11 JULY 1908, Page 2

On Thursday the debate on the third reading of the

Old- Age Pensions Bill was chiefly importaut owing to the speeches of Mr. Snowden, the Labour Member, and Mr. Balfour. Mr. Snowden, whose speech was described by Mr. Lloyd George as an attack upon the Government of "almost acid ferocity," in effect insisted that though the Labour Party were not going to vote against the Bill, they merely took it for what it was worth, and would use it as a lever for extorting more. Mr. Snowden declared that to his mind the object of social reform was the making of the rich poorer and the poor richer. He advocated old-age pensions as a means for equalising the distribution of wealth in the country. No scheme was worth having which did not add to the amount of wealth enjoyed by the working classes. The results of the by-elections showed that the country was sick of the parrot-cry that there was not enough money to carry out long overdue schemes of social reform. New Zealand could do what we could not, the reason being that New Zealand promoted legislation to prevent the accumulation of wealth in the hands of a few persons and scattered it broadcast BO as to be enjoyed by the largest possible number. Never again, he declared, would he vote for a "guillotine," Resolu- tion unless it was provided that there should be some discus- sion given to every clause and section of a measure. The character or industrial test was one which Jesus Christ Him- self could not go through, and which no Member of that House could go through.