2 JANUARY 1932, Page 16

A Spectator's Notebook

THE new Parliament is shaping well. The vast

Government majority is very different from that produced by the 1918 election. There are few of the suc- cessful business-man type, who only want to round off their career with a seat in the House. The majority are young men who between them represent a remarkable variety of interests, experience, and talents. I speak of the new Conservative members whom I know best, and, ai far as I can judge, most may be described as left-centre. They will not be stampeded into die-hard paths, as was shown by their deafness to Mr. Churchill's blandishments on the Statute of Westminster and on India. They intend to emphasize the national character of the Government, being very clear about the basis on which they were elected, and will not readily lend themselves to sectional intrigues. Indeed, they seem to be very apathetic about Party in the ordinary sense, therein no doubt reflecting the feeling of the nation that returned them. It may be that this Parliament will be the matrix from which will spring a new and more rational classifica- tion of opinion., Of course, they have not yet found their feet. For one thing they are puzzled by the Prime Minister, who rarely does himself justice in the House of Commons, for he has never quite caught the true tone of debate. He lacks urbanity, and the staple of his speak- ing is too rhetorical. There is evidence that he is shaping his diverse Cabinet into a harmonious team, and that he is master in his own house. Mr. MacDonald is far more of a mystery-man than any recent Prime Minister more even than Lord Rosebery. He is capable of taking a stubborn line of his own, right or wrong ; he showed it in 1914, and he showed it five months ago. ThiS gift of extreme boldness may be disastrous, but it may also be providential.

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