13 JUNE 1931, Page 2

Parliament - When Members of Parliament returned to the Palace

of Westminster after Whitsuntide the first important work done was the carrying of the third reading of the Electoral Reform Bill in an apathetic House. The Scottish Esti- mates were taken on the following day. On Thursday, June 4th, the Resolution to apply the " guillotine " to the Finance Bill was passed. The House seemed to realise that its hold upon finance is weaker than ever. The chances of debate having the slightest effect upon the decisions of the Government or Treasury grow less, and our liberties are as sharply endangered by this as by any other advance into bureaucratic Socialism. Mr. Brown, the Liberal Member for Leith, made an excellent speech, saying that the House had lost control of expenditure and was now losing control of taxation ; and the House alone stood between the country and a dictatorship. But he influenced no vote. Mr. Lloyd George and his followers had agreed to support the Government even upon this motion of which they did not all approve and upon which the Government would not have resigned if it had been defeated. On Friday the House agreed to the unhappily small loan which we can guarantee to help Mauritius which, distressed as she is by the state of the cane sugar trade, was visited in March by a violently destructive hurricane.