15 FEBRUARY 1935, Page 6

A SPECTATOR'S NOTEBOOK %v im the air thick with every kind

of rumour about Cabinet reconstruction it is as well to stick to the two or three hard facts of the situation. And the hardest of them is the now all-but universal insistence that the Government must have a head. Mr. MacDonald, I am told, presides over Cabinet meetings with considerable efficiency, but apart from that he might as well be non- existent. The spectacle of the Prime Minister without a word to say on the second reading of the India Bill, or the emergency Bill on Unemployment Assistance, is, in all the circumstances, astonishing. Never in living memory has an administration been so leaderless, and the nearer the election comes the more alarmed members and candidates are getting at the effect that may have on their prospects. So far as the Prime Minis- ter's health disables him he can count on very genuine sympathy, but the future of the National Government is more important than the future of any single Minister.