26 DECEMBER 1941, Page 4

The loss both the Labour Party and the House of

Commons as a whole have sustained through Mr. H. B. Lees-Smith's death is great. Able, unassuming, reasonable, sincere, Mr. Lees-Smith was a House of Commons man of the best type—as all his speeches in recent months, when he has been acting-leader of the Parliamentary Labour Party, have demonstrated. Me thoroughly enjoyed both his terms of office in the 'twenties—at the Board of Education because he was genuinely interested in education, and at the Post Office because he was able to award himself the convenient telephone-number Speedwell moo, thus relieving his friends' memories of any strain, and to take occasional pleasant trips round the coasts of the United Kingdom in cable-ships. No one could fail to respect him, and he had considerably better claims to office in the present Government than some who have attained it. But in many ways he rendered better service opposite the Treasury bench than on it. * * * *