4 MAY 1907, Page 12



SIR,—Can you explain to an anxious Conservative bow it comes to pass that in these latter days as Parliamentary seat after seat becomes vacant Unionist candidates are found solely from amongst the ranks of comparatively obscure Tariff Reformers defeated elsewhere at the General Election,

whilst the intellect and eloquence of the party—e.g Lord Curzon, Lord George Hamilton, Lord Hugh Cecil, and Sir John Great (not to mention others)—are passed over P We are daily invited by our leaders to close our ranks in order to prevent disruption of the Empire, Home-rule, and spoliation of the Church. How is it, Sir, then, that these very leaders discard our beet weapons of attack and defence ? Is Tariff Reform to take precedence both of the Empire and of the [It is with deep regret that we are obliged to express our inability to give any answer to " Unionist Churchman's " question which he is likely to find satisfactory. The Tariff Reformers seem bent on refusing a place in the Unionist Party to those who differ from them on the Fiscal problem. The splendid services and the great abilities of the men he names, and of such men as the Duke of Devonshire, Lord Balfour of Burleigh, and Mr. Arthur Elliot, count for nothing since they will not bend the knee at the shrine of Protection. As we have pointed out elsewhere, Mr. Long falls under the reproof of the National Review because he recently made a statesmanlike and moderate speech advocating Unionist re- union. How far Tariff Reform has eaten up all other causes is to be seen also in the fact that the National Review is indignant that Unionist leaders should be asked to support and further the cause of national training, lest, we suppose, Tariff Reform should suffer thereby. But though we deplore a state of things so dangerous to the best interests of Unionism and Conservatism, we believe that before long a reaction must take place, and that the rank-and-file of the party already begin to see bow terribly near the precipice they are and how necessary it is to draw back from the abyss of Socialist Protection.—En. Spectator.]