25 JANUARY 1935, Page 19


[To the Editor of TILE SPECTATOR.]

SLR,—Under this heading in your issue of January 18th you suggest that anything in the nature of a muzzle for the Press would be a national calamity.

You overlook, I think, the fact that there are two very distinct " Presses." There is the five per cent. (probably too high a figure) which is represented by, say, The Times, and the rest, which is represented by, say, the Daily Express.

Will you kindly tell me, Sir, what harm could possibly befall the country by muzzling or even putting to sleep the Daily Express? I am not concerned for an instant with this paper's politics, if it has any, but with the fact that every single paragraph in it is cooked to tickle the palates of the morons.

To give to these concoctions the dignity of " news-paper " is absurd. They provide nothing more than low-class enter- tainment on which, at least, entertainment tax should be paid. Of course, the vast majority of people would not have anything better, but they want a lot of other harmful things which they are not allowed to have, and the only reason why the type of newspaper we are discussing is allowed to exist is that the Press barons here are about as powerful as the Beer barons used to be in America, and the authorities, who do not hesitate to tackle the Theatre or the Film, are afraid to say boo to them. The nearest they ever get is to deplore " certain newspapers."—I am, Sir, yours truly,

68 West View, Letchworth, Herts. MONTAGUE WARD.

[The harm that could come is the harm that comes of all unnecessary restrictions on freedom of speech and thought. Lord Beaverbrook has a perfect right to produce a paper like the Daily Express. Our correspondent'§ strictures on it may be perfectly sound, but nearly two million people choose to buy it every day. Who has any right to deprive them of that privilege? And on what grounds?—En. The Spectator.]