11 OCTOBER 1913, Page 2

Lord Robert Cecil, addressing a Unionist meeting in North-West Manchester

in support of the candidature of Mr. Hubert M. Wilson, dealt with the controversy between Mr. Lloyd George and members of his family on the Marconi question. The various charges which Mr. Lloyd. George bad brought against the Cecil family were irrelevant, and, he believed, entirely mistaken ; but whether mistaken or not, if the gentlemen attacked had broken every one of the ten Com- mandments, that did not alter his right or his duty to express his honest and impartial opinion on the conduct of Mr. Lloyd George in the Marconi transaction. He had never said or suggested that the transaction was corrupt ; but he did say that, if it was to be approved and recognized as the common practice among Government officials, then one of our greatest safeguards against corruption was absolutely destroyed. The transaction was bad and grossly improper, and it was made far worse by the fact that Mr. Lloyd George went about posing as an injured innocent. For a man in his position to defend that transaction was even worse than entering into it. Lord Robert Cecil added that the recklessness of the transaction, which was even more remarkable than its im- propriety, was characteristic of a good deal of the Govern- ment's proceedings, public as well as private. Recklessness was the chief characteristic of the Insurance Act and their policy in Ireland, and it also marked their attack on the Welsh Church.