6 APRIL 1934, Page 6

* The irresponsible rumours and still more irresponsible speculations about

Mr. Jardine's intimation that he would not in any case accept the captaincy of the English test team against the Australians are the worst possible preparation for the Australian tour, and the reports bandied about and officially denied, that the matter has been the subject of political discussion, making the out- look worse still, for the public persists (quite wrongly in most cases) in believing there can be no smoke without fire. The cables exchanged between this country and Australia about the coming tour had no very satisfactory results, and if feeling fails to get better it will certainly get worse, in which case the Australians had much better have stayed at home. But I put a good deal of faith in that most sporting of conglomerations, an English cricket crowd.