20 MAY 1922, Page 2

The Labour Party once again showed its lack of practical

statesmanship in the Prevention of Unemployment Bill, which was defeated in the House of Commons on Friday, May 12th, by 172 votes to 82. The -avowed- object of the Bill was to provide work instead of out-relief, which was given last winter to one person in every twenty-eight. But this object was to be attained by conferring absolute powers upon the Minister of Labour, who would dictate to the Treasury and to the local authorities the public works that were to be undertaken for the purpose of creating employment. -Mr. Griffiths, the mover, emphasized the necessity of paying the workmen engaged such wages as would maintain them and their dependents " in efficiency." He did not trouble to estimate the cost or to say how the many millions required could be raised. The Minisr of Labour repudiated the Bill and Mr. Roberts, himself a Labour man, vigorously condemned the proposal to let Government departments interfere still further with industry. Until the Labour Party can produce more practical measures than this, it will not convince the electors that it is really fit to govern, except in Utopia.