30 AUGUST 1902, Page 2

The libel action brought by Messrs. Wernher, Bra, and Co.

against Mr. Markham, M.P., has ended in a complete with- drawal by Mr. Markham of all his charges and insinuations. In a letter to Messrs. Wernher, Beit, and Co., published in all Thursday's papers, he states tbat he based the charges of dis- honesty made by him upon, information which he has now satisfied himself was false. He admits that the charges were without foundation, withdraws them unreservedly, and expresses his sincere regret for having made them. So ends a discreditable episode. We have sometimes had occasion to speak plainly as to South African millionaires, and we by no means suppose them to have a double dose of original virtue, but we believe that Messrs. Wernher, Beit, and Co. are a firm of honourable and high-minded men, and the fact that, though now British, the majority of the partners were not British by birth makes it the more monstrous that they should have been so unjustly accused on false and frivolous evidence. It is just as cruel and disgrace- ful to assume that a man would stoop to low practices because lie has made himself a millionaire as to' hold all poor men potentially dishonest. Mr. Markham does not tell us whence he got the false information he so foolishly accepted, but we may guess its sources. It is to be hoped that in the future be, and others, will remember that being a professed enemy and detractor of one's native land does not necessarily clothe a man with veracity like a garment. Yet during the past three years it would really seem as if many men had accepted the notion that an enemy of England when he spoke evil of Englishmen was always to be believed.