26 DECEMBER 1931, Page 1

The Australian Election The Commonwealth Labour Government was soundly beaten

in last Saturday's general election. Mr. Scullin's following was reduced from thirty-five to thirteen, in a House of seventy-five ; his Treasurer, Mr. Theodore, and five other Ministers were defeated. The "staggering blow," as Mr. Scullin described it, was not made more tolerable by the fact that the disciples of his extreme Labour rival, Mr. Lang, won five orthodox Labour seats and now - number ten, in all. The United Australia Party, led by Mr. Lyons, returned thirty-five members— a gain of twelve-and the Camintry Party, with fifteen members, gained four, while Mr. W. M. Hughes and another independent were also elected. These figures may be modified a little when the second preferences have been counted. The result was not unexpected, as the several Labour factions were fighting one another, while Mr. Lyons, who had taken some of his moderate Labour colleagues into the Nationalist camp to form the United Australia Party, had tried to rally the sober elements of the community in defence of sound finance and reasonable economy.