22 MARCH 1935, Page 3

The result of the Norwood by-election has been an immense

encouragement to the Cabinet. They are con- vinced that it indicates that the country is not nearly as opposed to the limited measure of rearmament that they have undertaken as at first appeared likely. But there has been no weakening in the resistance of the Oppositions in the House to the increased estimates. Sir Bolton Eyres-Monsell in introducing the naval estimates, made a speech which was .for him remarkably temperate and restrained. His statement that " there was no man or woman in this country who did not regard war as a curse and an abomination, or did not realize that today victory literally meant dust and ashes," might have come from Mr. Lansbury himself. But it did not prevent the Liberals in the person of Sir Archibald Sinclair, in a first-class fighting speech, being more vehement even than the Labour Party in denunciation of the naval estimates. Sir Archibald made one point on the appalling cost of the Navy as compared with pre-War days, which was certainly impressive. " The First Lord," he said, " in his speech, this afternoon, told us that we got for the £140,000,000 which we spent in the twelve years before the War, 69 battleships as against 15 now ; 108 cruisers, as against 50 now ; 322 destroyers, as against 118 now ; 74 submarines, as against 48 now. Now for an expenditure 50 per cent. higher, and with the German Navy at the bottoM of the sea, our Navy, we are told, is in a state of steadily declining efficiency and already unable ' even to co-operate in any system of pooled security.' "