3 MARCH 1939, Page 23

[To the Editor of THE SPECTATOR]

SIR,—If Mr. C. E. Vulliamy has aroused the hostility and disgust of canophilists by his revolutionary doctrine regard- ing dogs, he is in good company. After reading his letter I turned up the late W. H. Hudson's collection of essays and articles entitled The Book of a Naturalist, remembering he has something to say on the subject. Here is an extract from The Great Dog-Superstition which I recommend for its common sense and interesting matter. " Out of this same coarse material man, unconsciously imitating Nature's method, has fashioned his favourite; or, rather, since the dog has be- come so divergent in his keeping, his large group of favourites, with their various forms and propensities. Only now, too late by some thousands of years, he is able to see that it was a mistake to go so low in the first place, to have contentedly taken base metal, dull-witted barbarian that he was, when he might ;ust as well have taken gold. For the baseness of the metal shows in spite of much polishing to make it shine. Polishing powders we have, but not the powders of projec- tion ; and the dog, with all his new propensities, remains mentally a jackal, above some mammalians and below others ; nor can he outlive ancient, obscene instincts which become increasingly offensive as civilisation raises and refines his master, man."

One cannot but feel, after consideration, that Mr. Vulliamy is right in his conclusions. There is no doubt that, were dogs abolished, apart from those required for utility reasons, much benefit would ensue to public health. And much misery, too, would be spared the brute creation, many thousands of whose members today are suffering mistaken kindness at the hands of those Hudson characterises as " the dog-worshippers, or canophilists as they are sometimes called, a people weak in their intellectuals, and as a rule unveraciou- although pro- bably not consciously so."—I am, Sir, yours, etc.,


Wesley Villa, Upper George Street, Tyldesley, Manchester.