The Parliamentary situation has been affected during the past week
by a change of tactics on the part of the Govern- ment which has greatly intensified the general feeling of unrest caused by the uncertainty of the Lords' attitude towards the Budget. In spite of the previous assurances that they would adopt " short, sharp, and decisive" methods in furthering the passage of the Finance Bill, the Government have for the last few days been content to mark time. " The Budget "—we quote from the Daily Chronicle—" is ambling through the House of Commons as leisurely as though it were June and not September. No attempt is made by the Govern- ment to stop the ceaseless flow of talk from the Opposition. At the present rate of progress there is no reason why the House should not be still sitting at Christmas The Government have it in their power to speed up the pace, and their refusal to exercise it mystifies many of their supporters." The Parliamentary correspondent of the Chronicle advances no explanation of the mystery, but other quidnunes are less reticent. The chief theories put forward are : (1) that the Government are spinning out discussion so that they may make certain, in the event of a Dissolution, of going to the country on the new register ; (2) that the policy of "marking time" is due to divided counsels in the Cabinet, the more moderate section being opposed to forcing on a Dissolution. A variant on this theory is that a Cabinet crisis has arisen, not necessarily over the Budget proposals, but on some question of policy, and that the House of Commons is being allowed to take its own time until Ministers have composed their differences.