19 JUNE 1936, Page 2

The Budget Leakage : The Epilogue The Budget Leakage debate

in the House of Commons last Thursday was painful but dignified. It was impossible not to sympathise with Mr. Thomas, who felt his position acutely, or to deny the justice of Sir Alfred Butt's protest that he was condemned, in spite of his strenuous assevera- tions of innocence, by a tribunal relieved from the necessity of observing the ordinary rules of evidence, and was refused all right of appeal. That, of course, applies equally to,Mr. Thomas, and however strong the public's conviction of the guilt of the two men may be it can leave no one happy that the career of a public man should be ended at a stroke through the denial to him of the rights of self-defence which the procedure of the established Courts offers to the humblest citizen. That mistake must not be made again—if there ever is an again. Two pieces of salvage from a miserable business are the intimation of the Attorney-General that he is considering how a loophole in the Official Secrets Act can be stopped up, and of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that he has reason to hope that Lloyd's underwriters will in future refuse all Budget insurance business during a brief period immediately preceding the introduction of the Budget. As to the Budget Tribunal report the House of Commons accepted it unanimously, and there that particular matter ends.

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