31 OCTOBER 1908, Page 3

Mr. C. J. O'Donnell, the Liberal Member for Walworth, has

announced his intention not to contest the constituency again in a remarkable letter addressed to the secretary of the local Liberal Association. Mr. O'Donnell gives as his reasons, first, his inability to support the second Education Bill, which be regards as a most unsatisfactory substitute for the "admit-able measure" of Mr. Birrell. But his chief ground for retirement is clearly his conviction that he is out of touch with a large number of his constituents on the questions of the relations of Socialism and Labour and of Imperial defence. He blames the Liberal leaders for their remissness in restrain. tag Socialistic folly, and in particular condemns Mr. Lloyd George for the reeklessness of his Swansea speech. "Such language is the greatest obstacle to social reform, leads inevitably to reaction, and renders more difficult the heavy task of the Prime Minister and Mr. Burns." Finally, Mr. O'Donnell dissociates himself from the hundred and forty-four Liberal M.P.'s who signed the memorial last spring in favour of reduced military expenditure. Such reduction he regards as mischievous, and "recent events in Europe have proved that the War Office would deserve the execration of posterity if it listened to amiable but ill-informed criticism." We do not doubt that what Mr. O'Donnell is saying, scores of Liberal M.P.'s and Liberal voters by the thousand are thinking.