5 OCTOBER 1934, Page 6

The election of Sir Stafford Cripps to the Labour Party

Executive was a surprise, yet not very surprising. For one thing Sir Stafford- is unquestionably the ablest Labour member of the House of Commons. For another he had made an almost complete capitulation to party orthodoxy in the course of the Southport Conference, and deserved some reward. For another there is always some advantage in making a poacher a gamekeeper. Moreover, while Labour men may differ from Sir Stafford themselves it is another thing when he is made the target of the so-called capitalist Press. Against that the Party instinctively reacts. The choice of the new secretary of the party is not announced as I write. If, .as seems likely, Mr. James Middleton is chosen, it will be a fitting recognition of years of conscientious service.