30 MARCH 1912, Page 2

The rejection of the Consolidated Fund Bill was moved by

Mr. Wedgwood in the House of Commons on Monday in order to protest against the Attorney-General's action in instituting the Syndicalist prosecutions. Mr. Wedgwood protested that they were an attack upon liberty of speech, and pointed out that similar expressions of opinion bad been made in the Labour Leader without proceedings being taken. He also drew attention to recent speeches of Irish Unionist members of Parliament. After Mr. Lansbury had spoken to the same effect, Sir Rufus Isaacs defended his action, for which he accepted the full responsibility. He emphasized the great gravity of the offence committed in attempting to seduce soldiers from their duty. If a riot took place during a strike, and the police were unable to cope with it, the result could only be anarchy unless troops were called in. After some further discussion the House divided, and Mr. Wedg- wood's motion was lost by a majority of 149 (176-27).