6 MAY 1938, Page 20


{To the Editor of THE SPECTATOR] • SIR,—The review of my book contains a few misstatements which I am sure your readers would wish corrected.

My appeal on grounds of fact was never dismissed. It was never heard by reason of the Home Office, as they now admit, withholding from my solicitors my application for such an appeal. This can now be corrected by the Home Secretary. exercising the powers vested in him under. section 19 of the Criminal Appeal Act. It is untrue that I have been uniformly unsuccessful in litigation, in spite of my opponents having enormons wealth and governmental influence and I, most of the time, being penniless.

There is no suggestion in my book that I believed in the innocence of most of my fellow inmates. All I comment upon is the disadvantages of poverty in obtaining justice in British law courts, just as poverty is a disadvantage in most Other directions. I was able to observe -a thousand or more -prisoners

and interrogate some hundreds. It is not unreasonable to believe that in two instances I relate, two young men, one the son of a much :respected clergyman, the other of a magistrate, should have preferred to give an assumed name and give no evidence such as would have revealed their identity ; and cheerfully serve a short sentence (it was three months in each instance), rather than bring pain and distress to their families.

I am not, as your reviewer supposes, a non-smoker ; on th2 contrary, I was before my incarceration, and since, a heavy smoker, but after being "judicially raped," to be deprived of tobacco was a minor cruelty of which I felt it beneath my dignity to complain.—Yours, &c..,

3 Manor Court, Manor Mount, S.E.23. H. W. WICKS.