1 SEPTEMBER 1939, Page 3

No one was quite at his best. The Prime Minister

was rightly desirous of erring on the side of under-statement. His speech, however, did not seem quite to catch the temper of the House. Both Mr. Greenwood and Sir Archibald Sinclair appeared to take their cue from the Prime Minister, and shied from vigorous language. The Leader of the Liberal Party delivered his oration in such mournful tones, and at such a hearse-like speed, that his eight minutes' speech made the House restless. Mr. Eden was strangely disappointing ; his argument that, if we went to war, we should never give up, whatever happened to Poland, until we had won, needed making, in view of the rumours from Germany ; but the presentation of it was feeble, and the House seemed to miss its purport. Mr. McGovern knows the value which the House always puts on personal experience, and the Tories particularly seemed to delight in his speech, and the conclusion as to Axis troubles which he drew from his month's tour in Italy. The House can seldom have taken with better grace, or swallowed with greater ease, such a disagreeable measure as the new Emer- gency Powers Bill, which it disposed of in two hours and twenty minutes on Thursday. A few people felt that such wide powers should only be given to a Cabinet reconstructed on the widest basis. Mr. Amery, in particular, made a plea for such a War Cabinet. But, in general, Members took the line that such medicine from any hands would taste the same.