6 APRIL 1934, Page 6

There is something pathetic about the conference of the withered

remnant of the Independent Labour Party, —reduced now it is stated to something under 16,000 members, and with a further reduction threatened through the defection of the moderate (or relatively moderate) section from Lancashire. I have considerable respect for Mr. Maxton, but the mantle of Keir Hardie sits strangely on his slender shoulders, and the thin battle- cries issuing from the Conference-hall at York will curdle no one's blood. The Socialist League has drawn off most of the ability of the I.L.P. at one end and the Com- munist ranks have gained from it at the other. Between the two the I.L.P., for all its notable history as an essential ann of the Labour movement, looks very like being squeezed out of existence altogether.