31 OCTOBER 1908, Page 2

Mr. Balfour, in a debating speech of extraordinary brilliancy and

dexterity, denied that there was anything novel in the Government schemes. Everything that was substantial in them was founded on the policy of the Unionist Government. As for the Post Office scheme, it appeared on examination that the unemployed would be engaged only by the displace- ment of those partially employed men who have done the extra Christmas work in previous years. The relaxation of the regulations under the Act of 1905 was dangerous, because a vital distinction between two classes of men, unemployed and paupers, was being ignored. The special relief works were economically inconsistent with Free-trade, because the Government were forcing the taxpayers and the ratepayers to buy the worst goods in the dearest market. Mr. Harold Con's speech was a closely reasoned economical argument which is really unanswerable. The Government policy would actually increase the number of unemployed. Let unskilled labour be organised, labour exchanges established, as in Germany, and the unfit be made fit ; but he objected utterly to spending money which not only gave no return, but magnified the evil.