SIR,—The letter from Mrs. Tarn in your issue of March
13th, which has aroused criticism, most of it adverse, contains much tha' is, unfortunately, only too true.
She complains of " man " being a " brainless idiot "; I maintain that had women, educated women of leisure, taken any intelligent interest in their country's welfare, shown any intelligent understand- ing of current events and felt any responsibility in their possession of a vote we should not have had the Governments which were in power during the last decade preceding the war, and which are in large measure responsible for the War. Such utter want of comprehension of the real issues before the country today, such contemptible greed of a certain class to get all they can without thought for others does indeed make one ashamed of one's compatriots, just as one despairs in many ways of the Government.
The country does not want to be lectured by the Lord President of the Council as if it were a class of junior students ; it demands of the Government that it shall lead and not wait to be pushed by public opinion into action. It demands that neither wives of Ministers. nor butlers of Ambassadors, nor daughters of " brass hats " going to their marriage should occupy priority seats in aircraft ; it demands that parcels containing rationed foodstuffs sent weekly to greedy people in this country by their friends in the Dominions should be stopped so that space may be reserved for essential commodities. It demancls fairness of treatment for all, of whatever class. Why should luxury hotels still exist? Why should their dining-tables be loaded with food which puts an honourable citizen to shame? Why were not all private cars except those actually essential suppressed at the beginning of the war? Because the wealthy are clinging to their privileges as a shipwrecked man to a raft, but until the Government has swept away these inequalities and shown itself determined to lead the only way to victory; it cannot expect the people to give their all without reserve.
The Home Secretary had better be careful of his edicts on the freedom of the Press! He has cornp:etely misunderstood the cartoon in question, which I would like to have enlarged and plastered on the door of every householder who, by his selfishness or greed. is risking the lives of those human beings far more valuable to the State than the consignee of the parcel or the owner of the luxury ear. The country is waiting for a lead! Where are the leaders?—Yours Villa Sant' Antonio, Marlborough Road, Canford Cliffs, Dorset.