22 JULY 1905, Page 13

SIR,—In the Standard of July 19th there appears a vigorous

reply from a "Carlisle Conservative" to the article on the above subject in the Standard of July 17th. "Carlisle Conservative " repudiates with some force the accusation that recent Unionist defeats have been caused by the apathy of the local organisation. He contends that in Carlisle there were " four " good and sufficient reasons for the Liberal victory, which he states to be :—(1) Mr. Chance's great local popularity ; (2) his very moderate views; (3) the unpopularity of the present Government ; (4) the gross Radical misrepre- sentations of the policy of Fiscal Reform. As regards the first three, in all probability they to some extent influenced the election ; but as to the fourth, I think if he substituted the following he would be nearer the mark :—" The gross mystification of the policy of Tariff Reform and of the policy of its advocates." Unionist candidates have constantly given the electors good cause for doubting the soundness and sincerity of their policy or the strength of their convictions, for as so often happens, when they commence their canvass they are thoroughgoing " Chamberlainites," but as the probable result of the election grows more and more doubtful their hearts fail them, and instead of being " honest whole- hoggers," they are simply " Balfourian Retaliators" opposed to "food taxation " and any " form of Protection" which could increase the cost of living to the poor man. I can conceive no better proof of the hollowness of the whole policy. But what adds to the humour of it is that when a Unionist does win, even with a greatly reduced majority, he is claimed as a " whole-hogger," whatever he may have said about food taxa- tion; and when he loses he is condemned as a poor weak- kneed Balfourite with a milk-and-water policy which ruined

his chances !—I am, Sir, &c., I. G. Fox.