LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.
THE AGRICULTURAL LABOURERS AND THE POLICE.
[TO THE EDITOR OF THE " SPECTATOR."]
SLE,—We have had two Unionist meetings at Blandford this winter, in which I took a part. The first was attended by Professor Newman and Mr. Howard Evans ; the second, by Messrs. Arch and Cox. At the first meeting, the Unionists were (1) shut out in the cold by the refusal of the Mayor to allow them to hire the Corn Exchange, and so had to meet in the market-place ; (2) they were interrupted by the incessant clangour of the church-belle, which were rung with the sanction of the churchwardens for the confessed purpose of drowning the speakers' voices ; (3) they were disturbed by incessant shoutings from hired opponents, and by volleys of rotten eggs ; and (4) the police made no effort to suppress disturbance.
I should not think this of sufficiently general interest to the public, if it were not for the result. At the second meeting, for which they were again refused the Corn Exchange, perhaps as many as a thousand Unionists, knowing they could get no protection from " the party of order," determined to protect themselves, and came armed with stout ash sticks to put down disturbers. The result was a perfectly quiet and orderly meeting. But can any- thing be more irrational than that those who call themselves " the party of order," and deprecate setting class against class, should by their conduct compel Unionists to come armed to their out-