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pointed out that England was not in the same position as small States with unitary Constitutions. The constitution of the British Empire was not unitary, and it would be dangerous for the Imperial Government to proceed as if it were. The assent of the Dominions and India had to be procured at every step, and if it failed them at any moment, disputes might be aggravated instead of settled by compulsory arbitration. On one point, however, Sir Austen gave his critic right-that the Government had gone into the Geneva Naval Conference without sufficient diplomatic preparation; and he said this would be a lesson to them in all future conferences.

In the further course of the debate, the First Lord of the Admiralty made a spirited reply to those who blamed the Government for the breakdown of the Naval Conference. Referring to Lord Cecil's attacks on the Cabinet, he questioned the propriety of his exposing what went on within that body, and therefore did not deal with them directly, but he summed up his difference with his colleague by saying that the latter thought the question of 8-inch guns of secondary importance, while he himself, with the Government, thought it of primary importance. From this point of view he had little difficulty in showing that the stand he had taken against the American demands was justified. While regretting the failure of the Conference, he did not think it had done the great harm that many people feared. There had been a frank exchange of views, and the delegates had parted good friends. If there was no will to peace, a formula would not help them; if there was a will to peace, a formula was not absolutely essential.

At the Preparatory Conference on Disarmament, which was held at Geneva at the end of November, Britain was represented by Lord Cushendun. The proposal for complete and universal disarmament which M. Litvinoff, as head of the Russian delegates, sprang upon the Conference, was not taken seriously by the British Government or the bulk of the British public. Lord Cecil described it as "impracticable," and Mr. Baldwin declined the request of a Labour member to discuss it in the House of Commons on the ground that the Geneva Committee had not regarded it as a practical and helpful contribution to the solution of the problem.

Before M. Litvinoff left Geneva, Sir A. Chamberlain arrived to take part in the League of Nations Winter session. M. Litvinoff asked for an interview, which was granted, and the two statesmen conferred for an hour on December 5. According to the communiqué subsequently issued, there was a frank exchange of views between them, but it was not found possible to reach any basis of agreement. It was understood that the stumbling-block was the refusal of M. Litvinoff to give any assurance with regard to the activities of the Third International and other revolutionary organisations having their headquarters in Moscow.

At the meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party on December 6, Mr. Ramsay MacDonald was again appointed Chairman of the party for the ensuing session. His acceptance of the office disposed of a crop of rumours which had been circulating for some little time previously to the effect that he intended to retire from the leadership of the party owing to ill-health. It was true that he had never completely recovered from the breakdown which he suffered during his visit to America in May; but, according to a statement issued by the party Executive, there was no reason on grounds of health why he should not continue to lead the party during the Parliamentary sessions, provided he allowed himself sufficient rest during the vacations.

On December 10, Mr. Snowden, speaking in Lancashire, at length broke his silence regarding the surtax proposal which had been adopted by the Labour Party Conference two months before. He declared himself in favour of it, but with such qualifications as rendered his acceptance of very little value for party purposes. As a prospective Chancellor of the Exchequer, he told his party openly that he must reserve full liberty to himself to frame his Budgets according to the requirements of the moment, and refused to allow his hands to be tied beforehand by Conference resolutions. He did not conceal his scepticism regarding the sum which the new tax was expected to yield. And he announced his firm intention of devoting the whole of that yield, whatever it might be, to debt reduction pure and simple. Mr. Snowden's cold douche on the extravagant expectations of his party hugely delighted the Conservative and Liberal Press, but in spite of this it did not alienate from him his own colleagues; immediately after the delivery of his speech he headed the poll in the election of the party Executive. It brought to a head, however, his long-standing differences with the Independent Labour Party, and at the end of the year he resigned from that body, after a membership of thirty-four years.

In the House of Lords on November 17 no fewer than four lawyers of eminence-Lords Buckmaster, Haldane, Carson, and Phillimore-protested against the action of Rumania in refusing to submit to arbitration certain questions in dispute between herself and Hungary, and indirectly against the conduct of the Foreign Secretary in supporting Rumania in this course at the last League of Nations meeting. Lord Newton, who had raised the question, declared himself dissatisfied with the Government replies, but took comfort in the thought that, as debates in the House of Lords were followed with great attention on the Continent, the views that had been expressed might have some effect on the League of Nations.

Before the close of the session, Parliament found time for the consideration of a matter of very great importance for the religious life of the nation. The subject was one which belonged more

properly to an ecclesiastical than a political assembly, and only came before Parliament in virtue of the connexion of Church and State in England; nevertheless, it was debated with more animation than any which had been raised during the year, with the possible exception of the Trade Union Bill. At the beginning of the year the English Bishops, after deliberations lasting over several years, had produced a new Prayer Book, the use of which was to be optional in all churches as an alternative to the old; and in February the Church Assembly had by a considerable majority given its approval to this step. As the use of the old Prayer Book was ordained by statute, the new one could not be introduced alongside of it without the special permission of Parliament, which was now sought.

The decision of the Assembly in February had caused a great ferment in Church of England circles. Most of the changes found in the new book were, it is true, of minor importance, and many of them commanded universal assent. But two of them proved to be highly contentious. Alterations were made in the Holy Communion and the Reservation of the Sacraments in such a way as to bring these two rites perceptibly nearer to the form used by the Church of Rome. The strict evangelicals, including a few of the Bishops themselves, took the alarm, fearing that the door was being opened to the introduction of Romish practices-or, as they termed it, idolatry-into the Church. A violent agitation against the new Prayer Book was carried on by methods and in language which seemed to smack rather of the seventeenth than the twentieth century.

The Prayer Book Measure, as the decision of the Church Assembly was called, after being the subject of heated public discussion for months, was laid before the House of Lords for its approval by the Archbishop of Canterbury on December 12. Interest in the matter had not abated, and the attendance was such as was seen only on rare occasions in the Upper House. The Archbishop explained clearly the reasons which had induced the great majority of the Bishops to support the Measure. Their paramount object in doing so was to put a stop to the indiscipline which had prevailed in the Church for thirty years past, and was steadily growing worse. A considerable section of the clergy, in spite of their vows, deliberately departed from the prescriptions of the authorised Prayer Book, and were not to be brought back to the old path by the moral suasion of the Bishops. As this state of affairs was detrimental to the good order of the Church, the best course seemed to be to legalise their actions, so far as this could be done without any change of doctrine or any injury to the principles of the Reformation. He himself, and most of his colleagues were confident that no such change or injury was entailed by the new Prayer Book, even in those portions which were most assailed; and he thought that the concession to the

demands of the age would be purely beneficial to the Church by retaining for it the services of many valuable elements.

The discussion lasted for three days, and brought out the various points of view among those directly interested in the subject the evangelical, the broad Church, and the AngloCatholic. The evangelicals found themselves united with some of the Anglo-Catholics in opposition to the Measure, but for opposite reasons-the former because it allowed too much liberty, the latter because it allowed too little. For the Broad Churchmen —those who valued chiefly "comprehensiveness "in the Church— the only question was whether the new Prayer Book would indeed promote peace and order. Most, though not quite all, of them were content to take the word of the Bishops on the point.

The Archbishop, in his opening speech, had been careful to skim very lightly over purely theological points, as not being suitable for the consideration of Parliament, but many of the subsequent speakers were not so scrupulous, and freely expressed their views on transubstantiation and similar recondite matters. The strongest denunciation of the new Prayer Book came from two Irish Peers, Lord Carson and Lord Cushendun, whose speeches betrayed the fierce anti-Roman feeling characteristic of the Protestantism of their native country. Even they, however, did not fail to treat their opponents with a courtesy befitting the Assembly in which they were speaking. It was brought out in the course of the debate that a number of Bishops had somewhat changed their standpoint within recent years, having become more complaisant towards the new practices; and this fact in itself filled the opponents of the Measure with sinister forebodings. In the end, however, the Measure was approved by an unexpectedly large majority-241 to 88.

In the House of Commons, owing to the exigencies of Parliamentary time, only one day-December 15-was allowed for the discussion of the Measure. The interest displayed in the affair was no less keen than in the Upper House, but the members did not exercise the same self-restraint, and many of the speeches were subjected to unseemly interruptions. The task of proposing the acceptance of the Measure was perforce entrusted to a layman, Mr. Bridgeman, who spoke as the representative of the "man in the pew." His arguments all came back to a plea to "trust the Bishops;" but naturally this appeal came with much less force from a layman than it had from the Archbishops and Bishops themselves in the other House. Of the speakers who supported the motion, only two were able to strike a deeper note. Sir Henry Slesser, as an Anglo-Catholic, disclaimed all idea of drawing nearer to Rome, and pleaded that Catholic-minded members of the Church of England should be allowed liberty for the development of their views. Mr. Baldwin urged the acceptance of the Measure for the sake of the religious life of the nation. The

rejection of the Measure might lead to the disestablishment of the Church, and the Church, if disestablished, would inevitably lose that comprehensiveness which was a valuable asset, not to the Church itself, but to the nation.

While the supporters of the motion were able to advocate the Measure only at second hand, so to speak, its opponents expressed their own sentiments with conviction and even passion. Sir William Joynson-Hicks, who made the first speech for the Opposition, deeply impressed the House with the evident sincerity and the fervour of his No-Popery appeal. He would have no truck with the Anglo-Catholics, and he blamed the Bishops severely for allowing matters to come to the present pass. They had, he said, repeatedly disregarded his warning not to give promotion in their dioceses to clergymen with Romanising tendencies, and now he absolutely refused to trust them. Sir Douglas Hogg, speaking on the same side, said he knew that the rejection of the Measure would be a disaster, but its acceptance would be an even greater disaster. The resolute tone of the opponents of the Measure carried the day with a number of members of undecided views, and to the general surprise, secured the rejection of the motion; the voting was 205 for and 238 (at first erroneously announced as 247) against.

The decision of the House of Commons made the Deposited Prayer Book (as the new form was called) invalid, and seemed to render nugatory the ecclesiastical labours of twenty years. The Archbishop of Canterbury, however, did not lose heart. He issued a message stating that he refused to take the decision of the House of Commons as final. The Bishops, he said, would give further consideration to the revised Prayer Book, and reintroduce the Measure with certain alterations calculated to remove misapprehensions which the debate in Parliament had shown still to exist. Meanwhile, he made an earnest appeal to all members of the Church not to avail themselves of the provisions of the new Prayer Book until such time as it should have been authorised, and at all events not to practise usages which it would forbid.

In spite of its desire to economise, the Government was forced, before the end of the session (December 14), to ask for Supplementary Estimates to the amount of nearly 4,000,000l. -3,000,000l. for the British Defence Force at Shanghai, and 900,000l. for the sugar-beet subsidy. Labour speakers expressed impatience with the Government for not hastening the withdrawal of troops from China, but it was pointed out to them that the situation in that country had become, if anything, more confused in the course of the year, and that there was still no responsible Chinese authority to which Shanghai could be entrusted or with which further negotiations on the position of foreigners in China could be conducted. The sugar-beet subsidy was opposed

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