The first speech of the Liberal campaign was made on
Friday week by Mr. Lloyd George in a characteristic vein at a luncheon given in his honour by the National Liberal Club. He devoted himself entirely to the question of the rejection of the Finance Bill by the House of Lords, for, as he said, he came neither to bury the Budget nor to praise it. The Assembly which had delayed, denied, and mutilated justice for so long had at last been brought to justice. He proceeded to a detailed analysis of the composition of the House of Lords, and of the interests which it represented. It contained a small minority of men of experience in business and commerce, "and the rest of them are of no more use than broken bottles stuck on a park wall to keep off poachers." He contrasted the attitudes taken up towards the Budget by Lord Cromer, "the greatest living Proconsul," and Lord Milner, "who has a peculiar genius for running institutions and countries into destructive courses." After a number of similar personal comments upon individual Peers, Mr. Lloyd George declared that the right of the Commons to grant supplies was not, as Mr. Balfour had said, "a pet vanity," but was "a franchise won through generations of sacrifice and suffering." He did not believe that the dauntless national spirit would surrender to an effete oligarchy without striking a single blow.