27 NOVEMBER 1915, Page 2

Lord Lansdowne deprecated Lord Ribbleadale's speech, as to the nature

of which no sufficient warning had been given to the House. Nevertheless he answered the speech so far as the public interest allowed him to do so. Lord Lansdowne's courtesy is unfailing, bat it might be a good rule when a speech raises very undesirable questions for a Minister simply to say that they cannot possibly be discussed. Of course Lord Lansdowne can be trusted always to speak within the limits of safety, but the danger is that the giving of answers even in form to questions which should never have been publicly asked will encourage Members of Parliament moreasingly to ask such questions. We must say for ourselves that Lord Ribbles- dale's speech was most regrettable. If he knew anything about Sir 0. Monro's report, it was his obvious duty to keep it to himself. The phrase "common knowledge" was absolutely unjustified by the facts. As the freedom from restriction of the House of Lords is great, so is the obligation on men of sense and honour great to be extremely circumspect in what they say. The most important statements Lord Lansdowne made were that Sir O. Monro's report and evidence were not sufficient to enable the Government to come to a conclusion, and that the situation in Greece was extremely perplexing and disquieting.