25 OCTOBER 1930, Page 20


[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.]

Sia,—With reference to the letter from Major L. S. Norman Palmer of the Temperance Legislation League, in your issue of the 4th inst., may I crave the courtesy of your columns to make a few remarks ? I note particularly that your corre- spondent says that the Carlisle system provides for the legitimate demands of the public in an adequate manner. This is certainly not correct ; and as an official of a teetotal organization I do not see how Major Palmer is competent to make such a remark as he presumedly represents teetotallers only. Would people who habitually drink tea consider their legitimate demands were provided for if only one quality and one kind of tea was sold ? As it is at present there are many qualities in several brands--Inclia, Ceylon, and China. How if there was only one ? So is it with-beer. Under private ownership there are many qualities and many brands and consumers in most areas have the choice of several. Under the Carlisle system, or any form of Government or municipal ownership, there would be no competition and, therefore, only one kind of brew. Good, bad or indifferent, people would have to buy it or go without. Peculiarities of taste are not taken into account. These are some of the disadvantages existing under the present system in Carlisle.

There are other points to be considered, all unfavourable to public ownership. We have many instances before us at present of Parliamentary and Local Government mismanage- ment. Should we be justified in further eliminating competition, creating another Government monopoly, knowing as we do that the system in Carlisle has not improved drunkenness