22 MARCH 1940, Page 3

Mr. Hore-Belisha is not a popular figure just now. He

has never had many admirers in the Opposition parties, and his popularity on the Government side vanished with his resignation. But even his fiercest critics must admit that he is not easily daunted. Obviously he was ill at ease on Tuesday. Possibly he missed the obedient applause which can always be commanded by any Minister with a glib tongue. Nor can it be easy to address the House from below the gangway after nine years of speaking from the dispatch box. Nevertheless, he made out a really formid- able case, and his audience listened with grudging acquies- cence. It was noticeable that he appeared to command no support from the row of Liberal Nationals who sat beside him. Their predicament is a matter of satirical comment among other parties. For years Mr. Hore-Belisha has been the brains of their organisation. He has protected their interests and determined their strategy both at Westminster and in the country. Now they feel as devout Anglicans might do if the Archbishop of York were suddenly to declare himself a Baptist. * * * *