17 OCTOBER 1931, Page 32


Moreover, the difficulty of the electors will not be relieved by the fact that it is already evident that in many respects the contest will be of the most confused character which has ever been witnessed at a General Election. So far as can be seen at present, the majority in the National Party will be composed of Conservatives, led, however, by the former head of the Socialist Party which itself was largely responsible for the present situation. In saying this, however, it must not be supposed that I am questioning the leadership of Mr. MacDonald at the present juncture. On the contrary, the very fact that the Premier, Mr. Snowden and Mr. Thomas had the sense and the courage to pull up on the brink of the financial precipice not only redounds to their honour, but should, I think, impress the country with the fact that three prominent leaders of the Socialist Party have publicly acknowledged that the pace towards Socialism had been too fast and that retrenchment and economy are urgently needed at the present time.