17 OCTOBER 1931, Page 32


The confusion of the contest, moreover, is likely to be intensified by the manner in which the whole fiscal controversy on Free Trade and Protection is being revived. The Manifesto of the Prime Minister made it perfectly clear that the National Government, having regard to the gravity of the present crisis, is merely seeking a' mandate Irom the country to employ any and every means which may be needed to deal with the situation and bring back the country to a sound condition. This is an appeal entirely justified by the facts of the situation, and there is every reason to believe that with leaders such as Mr. MacDonald, Mr. Baldwin and Sir Herbert Samuel there will be no desire to push tariffs or any fiscal measures other than those which may. be obviously necessary at the moment. It is already clear, however, that in many directions there will be a tendency to obscure the main points at issue in this election and to revive the Free Trade and Protection controversy.