29 OCTOBER 1937, Page 1

Mr. Lyons' Success By his victory in the Federal elections

in the House of Representatives, Mr. Lyons becomes the first Australian Prime Minister to hold office for three Parliaments in succes- sion. No doubt he will recognise that his achievement is due to good luck as well as merit. In the House of Repre- sentatives Labour have won only 2 seats, as compared with the 13 which they had predicted ; the Government with 43 seats, as compared with 46 in the last House, has a large and absolute majority. In the Senate, Labour is likely to win 13 of the 19 vacancies, but will still be in a minority. These results are very different from anything that might have been expected six months ago, when Mr. Lyons' defeat seemed probable. The change is almost exclusively due to Labour's folly in fighting the election on an isolationist and anti-Navy defence policy, at a time when Japanese aggression in China and piracy in the Mediterranean have impressed Australians with the Japanese menace and the vulnerability of trade routes on which Australia depends. On the other hand, a Government elected on this single issue may be less strong than it looks. Mr. Lyons' majority cannot conceal that on democratic issues Labour may well have the country behind it, and this weakness may show itself in lack of popular support or in Cabinet dissensions.