29 JANUARY 1910, Page 3

At a time when so much capital has been made

out of the alleged iniquities of the Unionist Peers, and their attempts to dictate to and intimidate the people, it is positively amazing to note that the most glaring instance of political intervention is that of Lord Ashton, who was created by a Liberal Premier, and sits on the Liberal benches. On the day before the polling in the Lancaster division, Lord Ashton issued a circular to the electors, which is reproduced in the Daily Telegraph of last Saturday. After a strong expression of his belief in Free- trade, he warns the electors to have nothing to do with Tariff Reform, which he is convinced would "seriously injure the trade of Lancaster and the neighbourhood." Speaking as Unionist Free-traders, we applaud these sentiments most cordially; but imagine the outcries in which the Liberal Press would have indulged if Lord Lansdowne on the day before polling in Wiltshire had issued a dictatorial manifesto to a contrary purport ! But Lord Ashton does not confine himself to generalities. It appears that the motives of his munificent benefactions to Lancaster have been misconstrued and mis- interpreted. Hitherto he has taken no notice of his slanderers, but "I have now, however, made up my mind that if this sort of thing is to continue I shall not take any further interest in Lancaster or the neighbourhood, and thus save myself from a repetition of those disgusting exhibitions of political rancour, as well as from an expenditure of many thousands a year." We dare not let our mind dwell upon the language which would have fallen from Mr. Lloyd George and the Daily News if this had been written by a Tory Duke. What an opportunity it would have given to Dr. Clifford or Mr. Campbell for a sermon on the text "Thy money perish with thee,"—provided, of course, the threat had come from the proper quarter.