22 FEBRUARY 1930, Page 36


Having regard to the general character of the Labour Party's programme at the last Election, and also having regard to the heavy increase in expenditure involved by the extension of the " dole" system to youths, it is not perhaps surprising that there should be much talk of apprehensions of the economic situation being still more gravely impaired by socialistic legislation. I think, however, that such a statement quite inadequately expresses the real apprehensions and misgivings which are felt. These misgivings are concerned not with one political party, but with all political parties. It is impossible to forget that when' the Conservatives came into power with a large majority more than five years ago their record at the Exchequer was wholly disappointing, and instead of promised economies there was a further great expansion in the expenditure. The Liberal programnie, too, as we know, was one of greatly enlarged expenditure, and at the last General Election not one of the three parties deemed it worth while to make economy in the national expenditure a plank in their programmes.