22 JULY 1927, Page 15

PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION

[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.] Sin,—In recent issues of the Spectator your comments on this subject appear to overlook several points of vital interest.

You commiserate with Mr. Cosgrave because he has no working majority, but admit that P.R. has shown a majority for the Treaty. P.R. acts as a Referendum, as well as giving fair representation, and in this election the voice of the electorate has safeguarded the Treaty yet given fair repre- sentation to all parties.

What might have been the result of the election under our system ? Might we not have seen Mr. de Valera with a minority vote and a Parliamentary majority, and Mr. Cosgrave in the reverse position ? In Mr. Gladstone's case what trouble, anxiety and bloodshed would have been avoided if Great Britain had then had P.R. Now, but for P.R., Ireland might once again have been in turmoil.

Both you and one of your correspondents lament the pos- sibility of a coalition ; you both appear, however, to overlook the fact that with P.R. sudden reversals of policy and legis- lation are avoided, and the first consideration must be the country's welfare, whereas unfortunately Party is too often the first consideration. Under P.R. the purely party man must eventually give way to an increasingly better type of general candidate and also safeguard the return of all the out- standing personalities of every party, thus avoiding incidents such as Mr. Balfour's defeat in Manchester. Cleaner- politics (because bribery would become impossible through the enlarged constituency) and automatic redistribution as popula- tions varied, thus saving enormous expense, would also result.

You further state that P.R. brings into being more parties, but that is so in name only, for the different sections of the present three parties really only hang together for party reasons ; under P.R. they, would be free and able to act always for the country's good. Even under present condi- tions a fourth party is being advocated in your own columns. - No, Sir. P.R. means progression and safety and a dis- tinctly healthier political life for this and all countries.—I am,