20 JANUARY 1900, Page 1

As we write on Friday the fate of the final

attempt to relieve Ladysmith still bangs in suspense. We do not believe that General Buller will fail, but he has a. difficult task before him, and war is always uncertain. We cannot therefore predict success. What we can do is to insist that if Buller fails we have yet another and a stronger argument for continuing the war and putting still more vigour and deter- mination and forethought into its conduct. Each fatal triumph of the Boers must only serve to" bring more near the inevitable end." Meantime we know that General Buller's forces started, not in any spirit of bravado or over-confidence, but in good health and spirits and determined to fight their hardest. The tone of General Buller's address to his men was excellent :—" We are going to the relief of our comrades in Ladysmith: there will be no turning back." The order, it is stated, goes on to advise the men when they charge as to the conditions upon which they should receive the surrender of any of the enemy. It also warns them that the Boers are treacherous in the use they make of the white flag.