7 JUNE 1935, Page 17

[To the Editor of THE SPECTATOR.] Sia,—The Hon. William Borthwick

does not allay my suspicions. He confirms them. On his own admission his figure for the "cost to the taxpayer" of sugar beet in the past includes this year's estimates of the future cost of the crop. which will be harvested next autumn ! Apart from that his figures also include about £17,000,000 of duty abatements. If it is accurate to describe these as "cost to the taxpayer" then I may, with equal justification, refer to an iron and steel subsidy of at least £600,000,000, a motor-car subsidy of E400,000,000 and subsidies to British Empire industries and trades (including cane sugar plantations) of almost astronomical figures. I submit that these statements are just as true as the statement that the sugar beet industry has "cost the taxpayer" £53,000,000.—Yours, &e., The School House, Sproughton, Suffolk. J. STEWART COOK.