Even on the ground of tactics it was better to
provoke battle than to run away from it; while on Constitutional grounds they claimed to occupy a more reasonable and democratic position than that of the Government. Lord Lansdowne protested against the monstrous assertion that, if returned to power, the Unionists would repeal the old- age pensions. Personally, he had no fear that British work- ing men were likely as a class to take up Socialism as their creed, nor did he believe that the country would think worse of the Lords for having had the courage to perform their duty to their fellow-countrymen and face the consequences. Mr. Austen Chamberlain also spoke, and made a good point when he declared that the action of the Lords had not only pleased everybody, but "had done some- thing more remarkable still, if they must believe Mr. Haldane, —it had united the Cabinet."