27 MARCH 1915, Page 14


[To rue Earroa or an. "Hascraros."]

Sre,—The death on March 18th of the distinguished " Adam Smith" Professor of Political Economy in Glasgow University is not likely to pass unnoticed in your columns, to which he was from time to time a contributor. Perhaps you will permit me, as his near neighbour and companion on his every-morning-before-breakfast walks, to tell you how much pleasure I know he derived from your pages and from the independent stand you have taken on many questions. Whether he agreed with you or not (and he generally agreed), he liked the frank expression of individual opinion. While Dr. Smart'a death was not preceded by any incapacitating illness, he was far from well at the beginning of the winter term. Then he picked up wonderfully, and was es alert in mind and body as ever. During the week before his seizure he was particularly happy in mind. He had finished the second volume of his Economic Annals of the Nineteenth Century; he had made the index for it; his term's work was within two or three days of its end, and hie class had shown by most marked attention their interest in and sympathy with their teacher. Personally, therefore, he was singularly free from strain and at ease. On the other hand, since the war began, the study of its operation and its probable results undoubtedly overtasked his strength. Political economy, as earlier we had known it, was in the melting-pot, and Dr. Smart was keenly interested in every phase of the economic dislocation of Europe, and indeed of the world generally. He was urgent that we should all take our share in helping the Allies to victory, in the first place (so far as we who are past arms-bearing ago were concerned) by economy, and in the second place by every personal service which could help national efficiency. I know he offered his own wide know- ledge of economics to the Government, and would have bailed with delight any intimation that he was to be put to use. He was not a party man in any sense. He had devoted his life to furthering the better distribution of wealth, so that the worker should receive his due share, but he was a severe contemner of strikes in war time or slackness in providing war material. Never slack himself, he could not understand or forgive such slackness in others as might lead to national suicide. He was a genuine, warm-hearted friend to many, modest and gentle in bearing his store of learning, and a devoted lover of his country. Gifted with happy humour as he was, and earnest in collecting, assimilating, and communicating knowledge, our nation is much the poorer by the death of William Smart—I am, Si, [It was with deep regret that we beard of the death of Professor Smart, for he was, as Mr. Black says, a true and loyal friend of the Spectator. Professor Smart was always the good citizen. He judged all things by their effect upon the country and its people. As our correspondent says, he greatly desired a better distribution of national wealth, but he would not, out of a sort of sham sympathy with the poor, pretend that the nostrums of Socialism would redress the

balance. He knew that Socialistic changes would only make our economic difficulties greater than even—ED. Spectator.]