25 OCTOBER 1930, Page 19

BRITISH SCHOOLBOYS AT BULL - FIGHTS To the Editor of the SpEmyron.1

Sta.—I note that you have recently published a letter on "British Schoolboys at Bull-fights." As one of the masters responsible for the organization of this visit to Spain by pupils of a large Liverpool school, I beg leave to make some reply to the shame and dismay of your correspondent. It is a grave pity that the stunt press should have been allowed to distort the facts of the ease with articles manufactured from the scattered remarks of a number of boys and one of my colleagues who was more concerned with getting four tons of camping material through the Liverpool customs, than with explaining the incidents and motives of our activities.

In the first place, it will surely be conceded by most people that a visit to a bull-fight has to be seriously considered on a visit to Spain. When our trips were inaugurated four years ago, the matter was thrashed out with great care. Anybody with a modicum of common sense would not dash into the assumption that senior masters of a large modern school. who have represented their Universities at football and cricket, would gaily and cynically take a number of boys to such a spectacle to applaud and admire. We agreed, however, that first-hand knowledge is better than rumour, and after carefully explaining the technique of the sport, and issuing warnings against its unpleasantness, whilst, in all fairness emphasizing the qualities of skill and nerve required by the participants, we agreed to conduct any boy to a bull-fight whose parents had no objection. Parents were definitely approached by written circular to this effect. With this cover, we took the boys to form a judgment—generally a very adverse one—on what a bull-fight really is, and in order that they might know, when condemning it, precisely what they are talking about. If this is not education, what is ?

We imagined, incidentally, that this was a sure way to strike a telling blow at blood sports, of which there are no sterner opponents than ourselves. And I think we were right, for few English boys ever go to a bull-fight more than once. In conclusion, we deeply resent the open suggestion, supported as usual in these cases, by a complete ignorance of the true facts, that we have much to learn from either Maida Vale or Albania concerning the ethics of true British sportsmanship, or the care of boys whose holidays are entrusted to us from year to year.—I am, Sir, &c.,