29 JANUARY 1910, Page 16

[To Tat EDITOR OF THE " SPECTATOR."] SIE,—Mr. Cecil F. Parr,

in connexion with the above-named project, writes to the Spectator of January 8th to denounce the fatal desire of sons, and mothers even more, that ranch life should be "free from the indignities and the dirtiness which are frequently and unnecessarily associated with the work of a farm-pupil." (No doubt by this time others nearer home have written to you on both sides of the question.) The point of course is that not only in Canada, but in various parts of Australia, paying English pupils, their premiums once pocketed in a lump sum, have been given by the Colonial farmer or his experienced hands the dirtiest work, and nothing else the roughest, most vicious horses, and nothing else; and the most impossible feats in finding and collecting cattle without knowledge of their drinking haunts and local habits, just on purpose to break the raw English youth's spirit. It is true that some fellows, and the best, would live down, and even thrive in spite of, this treatment; but if a good many "get cold feet" at it, I do not think their unfitness and lack of grit are thereby proved. I hope our three sons will serve their country when they grow up ; and should be much ashamed if, once conscription starts, they paid another man or men to take their places. But the desire, after a few weeks of barrack life, to secure a decent room with books and a bath, where a man can be clean and quiet, and even spend his nights, if Continental conditions should ever prevail in England, Scotland, and Ireland—this desire, I say, is wholesome and no mistake. Drawing-room farming is humbug. Unnecessary dirt is just dirtiness.—I am, [We cannot continue this correspondence.—ED. Spectator.]