26 MARCH 1927, Page 2

Lord Oxford well deserved the very large and attentive audience

which he had in the House of Lords on Tuesday when he spoke on national economy. Many statesmen have been less effective in the House of Lords than in the House of Commons, but Lord Oxford has the highest power of adaptation and his speech was perfect in form, argument and appropriateness. He earnestly appealed to the Government to restrict their naval expenditure on the ground that naval warfare was in the melting-pot. He suggested, as has been suggested times without number here, that the Government . should decide how much they could afford to spend and then ration the departments. It is a hopeless plan to go through the bill item by item deciding what is " necessary "; the total amount so reached is always much too high— more than we can afford. Lord Oxford suggested the abolition of unnecessary Ministries—the Ministry of Labour, the Ministry of Mines, the Ministry of Transport, and the Department of Overseas Trade. No doubt each of these-Ministries -does useful -work, but the real question is whether they arc worth to us what we pay for them. Our own conviction is that they are not. Their essential work could be done by the older Departments: • * *