14 NOVEMBER 1931, Page 15

[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.] SIR,—May I draw your

attention to page 267, vol. 3, of Life of Lord Salisbury, by Lady Gwendolen Cecil, for his views on a tax on corn? It is very apt that he warns his followers that any renewal of the Corn Laws would only be temporary and would lead farmers into useless expenditure.

The secretary of our N.I. Agricultural Department is a strong free-trader (I do not want you to quote his opinion though you may use his arguments). He says that though all farmers would like their products protected, when once definite proposals are made their differences will come out. The East Coast of England and Scotland want grain dearer, Midland farmers raising milk, and West of England farmers who produce poultry, bacon and butter, want it cheap.

Take Northern Ireland. Her climate is against wheatgrowing and so she produces practically none, but imports it largely as it is the best food for fowls, of which she has fifteen- for every man, woman and child outside the town ! ! She imports £2,500,000 worth of maize and turns it into the same products as the Danes do. Any suggestion of a duty on it would be utterly scouted. Yet what chance of a good price for barley and oats in Norfolk if maize comes in free ? East Prussia is light land," which is unsuitable for grass, but it is good for grain, so farmers there produce this and sell to the Danes Who turn it into butter, bacon and eggs, and these they Sell back to Germany. England will have only the best of these, the Germans take the " second best " !

I send you these facts, and if you want to confirm them you can write to Dr. Gordon, Secretary of Ministry of Agri- culture, Northern Ireland.

' The "Spectator -is the sanest paper published in Great

Britain and I hope you will succeed in getting the Tory majority to see that their greatest danger is in forcing on tariffs which will be repealed at the next election.— I am, Sir, &c.,

Agharainy, Donaghmore, Co. Tyrone. R. BROWN.