18 DECEMBER 1909, Page 3

Mr. Lloyd George was the principal speaker at a great

Free Church demonstration in the Albert- Hall on Thursday. He said that he was there not as a Liberal Minister but as a quiet and retiring Free Churchman. In this capacity he observed that he could not reCall a single Nonconformist Bill ever sent up to the House of Lords which was not either rejected altogether or amended to the detriment of Noncon- formity. He demurred to Lord Curzon's view that civili- sation had been the work of the aristocracy. The "heaviest swell among the Galilean fishermen was purely an excise- man." As the result of his recent motoring trips through England, Mr. Lloyd George had been struck by this fact in the landscape, that on the one side you saw the great baronial castle and the stately Elizabethan mansion, and on the other a little red-brick Nonconformist chapel. All the men in the village who would decline to cringe were there. But did they think the Peers loved them for that ? "Why should they ? Why, I believe in their hearts they put Primitive Methodists and poachers in the same category." With much of Mr. Lloyd George's glowing tribute to the services of Nonconformity to the cause of political freedom we are in entire agreement. We can only regret that he should have discredited a noble cause by his habitual and pernicious exaggeration.