4 APRIL 1914, Page 13


[TO Tax Enttos or rem ”Srseuxta.”1 SIG,—It is quite evident that the Government have suppressed a great many relevant facts in their explanation of the recent action of officers stationed at the Curragh ; and it is clear that these facts cannot be elicited in the course of a debate in the House of Commons. While Ministers alone are responsible to the country, serious accusations have been made by their supporters against his Majesty the King, and against distin- guished officers of the Regular Army. The Constitutional question is of grave moment, and should be settled im- mediately without any hesitation on the part of either party. The Government have denied that the Crown exercised, or attempted to exercise, any influence upon the course of events ; but, on the other hand, they have declined to accept responsi- bility for the action of their subordinates; and, as the officers involved are amenable to disciplinary measures, it is impera- tive that the War Office should take some action against them. The question is one for a Commission, or for a Court-Martial, to try specific charges against these officers, with full power to examine and cross-examine Ministers of the Crown, following the procedure of the Marconi Committee, and taking into account the movements of all military and naval forces concerned. When the first document printed in the White Paper, dated in December last, expressly states that the onus of obeying, or disobeying, orders received from their responsible chiefs, rests entirely with the officers actively engaged in carrying out their duties, there cannot be the slightest ground for condemning the officers' action in this instance. The doctrine now preached by the Prime Minister is that Ministerial power involves no responsibilities. For the rest, it is merely amusing to find Mr. Ramsay MacDonald condemning "the right to strike."—I am, Sir, &c.,