3 DECEMBER 1937, Page 3

Mr. Herbert's own speech, and its effect upon the House,

beggars description. No other member could have composed it, and certainly no other member could have got away with it. He occupied forty-three minutes, during practically the whole of which tir. only person who succeeded in keeping a straight face was himself. Nevertheless he succeeded in making three of the most telling points in the debate, namely, that the whole of the information needed could be obtained more speedily and completely by an additional census, that the questions were to be addressed to the wrong people, and that everyone already knows perfectly well the reasons why fewer babies are being born. As for his final memoran- dum in verse, there has been nothing comparable heard in debate since the late Lord Lincolnshire sang the Land Song in the House of Lords. Although there was a' full House for the debate, only 197 Government supporters could be found to go into the Lobby in 'support of the Bill. Con- fronted with the prospect of voting for a measure which they instinctively dislike, Conservative members can vanish as suddenly as the witches in Macbeth. This is a portent of which the Minister of Health would do well to take notice.

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