7 JUNE 1913, Page 15


OF THE "SPECTATOR."1 SIR,—By way of rejoinder to the historical "facts" alleged in a letter in your columns on Saturday, May 31st, you may think it fair to print the following extract from the opinion of Lord Loreburn in giving judgment in the case of Nairn v University of St. Andrews, Law Reports, 1909, Appeal Cases, p. 147 at p. 160 :- "It is incomprehensible to me that anyone acquainted with our laws or the methods by which they are ascertained can think, if, indeed, anyone does think, there is room for argument on such a point. It is notorious that this right of voting has, in fact, been confined to men. Not only has it been the constant tradition alike of all the three kingdoms, but it has also been the constant practice, so far as we have knowledge of what has happened from the earliest times down to this day. Only the clearest proof that a different state of things prevailed in ancient times could be entertained by a court of law in probing the origin of so inveterate a usage."

Lord Loreburn's emphatic statement would seem to be of higher authority than the views of a writer of footnotes.—I