29 JANUARY 1921, Page 2

Mr. Masterman, who would appear to be the chief author

of the Independent Liberals' new programme, has been constrained to defend it, in the Manchester Guardian for Wednesday, against fellow-Independents in Manchester who complained, not without reason, of its extreme vagueness. He remarks oracularly that " Vagueness, or rather comprehension, of phrase would seem to be necessary in the fluid condition of opinion concerning industrial organization in its present state of develop- ment." Further, he declines to gratify his Manchester critics' desire to know what industries he regards as suitable for " nationalization "—by whirl, he says, he does not mean State ownership and control but something else which he will not define. We are confirmed, on the whole, in the belief that Mr. Masterman has no coherent industrial policy, but is waiting for something to turn up.