12 APRIL 1935, Page 3

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The fight over the India Bill has taken on a new liveli- ness this week. Mr. Churchill's motion to report progress, following on " the revelations " of the Morning Post with regard to a communication from half a dozen Bengal. Civil Servants, was accompanied by charges and counter- charges and angry retorts reminiscent of a pre-War debate. It is odd, however, that in spite of all these adventitious aids to the Diehard campaign from the Princes and the Indian Congress and now the Bengal Civil Service, and Mr. Churchill's very astute exploitation of them, the opposition vote does not increase in the Division Lobby. Throughout two months of continuous debate, Mr. Churchill has not won a single recruit for his army. His spirits, however, are not in the least damped by this lack of success. Day after day he prophesies death and dam- nation, and does it with such engaging relish and with such a wealth of picturesque imagery that he keeps the House in a continuous ripple of laughter. As Sir Austen Chamberlain pointed out. Mr. Churchill has taken on the role of Cassandra in these debates, but he plays it in so merry a spirit " that he relieves us all from the fears which he tries to instil in our minds. No man could be so merry if he really believes all the disasters that he prophesies." Mr. Churchill might have retorted that the reference to Cassandra was a little unfortunate, as her prophecies usually came true.