4 APRIL 1914, Page 13

[To TER EDITOR OF 11111 ”Srscmproa..7 Sin,—To those who hotly

maintain that nothing must stand in the way of the people's will, I commend the story of how Mitylene revolted from the rule of Athens. Cleon, himself of humble birth and "by far the most persuasive speaker in the eyes of the people," as Thucydides relates, persuaded the popular Assembly to kill off the entire male population and to sell all women and children into slavery. A ship was at once sent to order a scoundrel called Paches to carry out the will of the people. The ship crawled unwillingly on its hateful voyage, but next day a sudden repentance took place. The order was countermanded, but, even so, more than a thousand men were put to death. Such was the crime of an ancient democracy, of a single unchecked Chamber. Our modern Cleons make their most persuasive speeches at Huddersfield or at Bradford, and the people are carried away by their fluent words. But, happily, in this modem case the people's will was not to be carried oat until the Army had been asked to decide between

"Yes" and "No."—I am, Sir, Sze., R.