I see with much disgust, from the reports of Friday's proceedings at Marylebone Police-court, that the female prisoner Horos has been described by a South African paper as a friend of mine. As they are being prosecuted under the provisions of the law which, 16 years ago, I was instrumental in forcing through Parliament, I hope you will have the kindness to allow me to disclaim this friendship. My association with the woman was limited to the fact that she and the male prisoner astonished me one day last year by calling upon me at my home without any introduction, and apparently without any particular object. I was even more astonished when, some months later, letters begin to arrive from South Africa addressed to the prisoners at my office, a privilege for which my consent had never been obtained. When the male prisoner returned from South Africa he called for the letters and apologised for the liberty he had taken in giving my address. As they were totally unknown to me, I did not like this, but as the letters were arriving from South Africa, I gave orders that they should be forwarded to them. Some time later, on account of information received, I gave instructions for their letters to be returned to the Post Office on arrival. It was only yesterday that I found that two or three recent letters had been forwarded to their address by a clerk who was unaware of my order. I had no idea until the case opened of the existence of any allegations that they were guilty of criminal practices.
Mowbray-House, Norfolk-Street, W.C. Oct. 12.