22 MARCH 1930, Page 2

The Liberals and the Government On Tuesday the Liberal Party

unanimously decided to abstain from ;voting on the amendment which is being discussed in the Committee stage of the COil Mines Bill when we go to press. The amendment, moved by Sir Philip Cunliffe-Lister, proposes to omit from the Bill -the provision empowering the coalowneis - to fix minimum prices.. The Government, therefore, seem to be assured' of a majority. The reason given by the Liberals for their decision 'is that they do not wish to embarrass the Govern- ment during the Naval Conference. There could not be a more excellent reason. But the puzzle is why the Liberals helped the Unionists to defeat the Government in the division on the proposal in the Coal Mines Bill for a levy. The Naval Conference was sitting then as surely as it is sitting now. The Liberal disputes must have been unmanageable for the Party to have behaved so un- scientifically: * *