The Oban Times, 31 August, 1912
The Piobaireachd Society’s New Collection
42 Elmfield Avenue, Aberdeen, 21 August, 1912
Sir,–I have no desire to continue controversy if it can be avoided, but under the circumstances I beg to remind your correspondent, Mr. John McLennan, Edinburgh, that he has failed to fulfill his promise, which was as follows: “Let ‘One who Knows’ come to the front, say who he is, and I (Mr. MacLennan) shall then verify every word in dispute to the full satisfaction of all reasonable persons, and at the same time I (Mr. MacLennan) will tear the statements of ‘One who Knows’ to shreds, and scatter them through Gaeldom.”
Although I have no grudge against Mr. MacLennan personally, nevertheless as a patriot I must protect my native music (Ceol Mor) from destruction. Therefore the matter stands as follows: The Piobaireachd Society have issued a work for the good of the piping world. I uphold it as being correct, and Mr. MacLennan has tried to make out that it is all wrong and attempted to destroy it. I challenged your correspondent to fulfill his promise. As several weeks have passed and this has not been done doubtless the following question will arise in the minds of those who are interested, as well as in my own: Is Mr. MacLennan capable of fulfilling his promise? If he is, why has it not been done?
After all that Mr. MacLennan has said, he is only one man, and about a five-thousandth part of the piping fraternity of Scotland alone, so that what he has already said is quite harmless, and more especially so in view of the fact that he has failed to make good his plea. If Mr. MacLennan comes forward and fulfills his promise, I am prepared to meet him, but in the event of a continued silence on his part, and this being the end of the matter, I have no hesitation in giving the Piobaireachd Society the credit of being worthy of the highest possible praise. I have already said, and will say again, that Part V is one of the finest books of piobaireachd ever published. When the Piobaireachd Society cease to continue their excellent work, and piobaireachd lies in the hands of people who produce it in all sorts of erroneously published shapes, void of proper form and meaning, not to speak of technical correctness of construction and beauty, that we must say “Alas! not only has the great MacCrimmon passed away, but piobaireachd also, which he adorned so much with the genuine fruits of his ingenious skill.” Happily the Piobaireachd Society is in a flourishing condition, and their book meets with a very ready sale, which alone proves its correctness and popularity.–I am, etc.,