18 APRIL 1931, Page 15

MEN OF THE MACHINE [To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.]

SIR,—April 19th is the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Disraeli, a fact to which it is hardly necessary to draw your attention. To all students of Parliamentary history during the past century, I think few points stand out in greater relief than the uncanny foresight displayed by Disraeli.

He foresaw the eventual destruction of the " landed " interests—not merely the ruin of Lord Creme-de-la-Creme, but of the Squire, the yeoman farmer, the small farmer, the labourer, the hedger, the ditcher, the thatcher, the farmer. He foresaw that the middle-classes would usurp the power of those landed interests and use it for their own benefit. He foresaw that an ill-balanced and unbounded extension of the franchise would eventually lead to exactly what we have got --the degradation of Parliament and the tyranny of a bureau- cracy. And withal, more sinister than any other aspect, he foresaw the alteration in the character of the people, which he rightly rated so high.

That, Sir, has not gone quite too far for an operation to cure, but there is a malignancy abroad in the land, which, if not enueleated, will assuredly eat into its very vitals. For we arc at a danger-point. In defence against the tyranny of the middle-class manufacturer, the men of the machine were forced to combine and organize, with the result that now, in their turn, the middle-classes are threatened with destruction, while the men of the machine have dangled in front of them by men of little knowledge and less conscience the bait of unlimited power and the promise of a pinchbeck millennium.

Sir, it is possible for any Conservative to visit the nearest library, and by even a cursory study of Disraeli to discover for himself that the words spoken and written by Disraeli fifty or ninety years ago can be applied with singular appro- priateness to the situation in which we find ourselves to-day. If only the facts could be preached to the deluded people they might yet be won over to sanity and truth. The facts are just exactly what Disraeli said they would be. Cold fact, supported by proof, cold reasoning, and a contrast of what is with what might have been, these are the surgeon's implements we

reqtiire.—I am, Sir, &c., F. DICKINS. United Service Club, Simla, India.