29 MARCH 1884, Page 13


uro THE EDITOR OF THE " SPECTATOR."1 SIR,—As no one else has done so, I wish to contradict the statements of the Rev. J. Matthews relative to the Middlesex Liberal Association which lately appeared in your columns. I admit that a few years ago they may have been more or less correct, but made now, they are absurdly inaccurate.

Feeble as that organisation may have been at the time of the last election, it had strength enough to engage in the spirited contest which brought Mr. Herbert Gladstone into public notice, and secured a considerable increase in the Liberal vote. Since then, it has been completely reorganised, and, instead of having "apathetic and Club-house" leaders, the Committee is composed of hard-working and earnest Liberals, who meet regularly and frequently, and no more evade responsibility "under the delusive hope that the Franchise Bill will soon be passed, and the new voters will be all Liberal," than Mr. Matthews himself does. As to candidates, let him have, I will not say more, but a little patience, and he will see how ill founded and unjust his censures are.

Surely it is not necessary to disparage other organisations, in order to exalt a particular organisation or a particular man. We should, no doubt, "sharpen our weapons," but not to turn them against our own friends. Let your irate correspondent try to make the Middlesex Liberal Association stronger, and not to destroy its influence.—'I am, Sir, &c.,