21 JUNE 1913, Page 13


[To THE EDITOR CF THE "SPECTATOR."] Sin,—My protest, published in your issue of May 31st, against your dishonesty in writing of Ireland has provoked retorts from correspondents which, like your own comment upon my letter, are absolutely irrelevant to my indictment. But let that pass. I now charge you with uttering a deliberate and calculated falsehood when you write in your current issue that "there is not the slightest fear of the Irish farmers flying to arms even though they are balked of a tribute of some two and a half millions a year from the British taxpayer." Therein you assert that the passage of the Home Rule Bill involves the British taxpayer in an additional tribute to Ireland of two and a half millions annually. The assertion is false, and you know that it is false. To remove any doubt upon the point from the minds of readers who are not informed upon the provisions of the Bill, I challenge you to submit the question whether your statement contains any substantial measure of truth to any reputable authority. If any reasonably competent referee of your own selection finds that there is any ground for your assertion, I will offer you an unqualified public apology, and place the sum of £10 in your hands to be employed as you may desire towards defeating the Home

[We shall not, of course, adopt our correspondent's fantastic proposal, but we will gratify him by publishing his letter. Anyone who likes to procure a copy of the Home Rule Bill can test the matter for himself. The word "additional " added to the word tribute was, we need hardly say, not to he found in our article. There is no tribute at present. We have a common purse with Ireland and Ireland gets the benefit. When we have separate purses the annual sum contributed by England and Scotland to Ireland will be a tribute and nothing else.—En. Spectator.]