By H. C. BROUGHALL
The Liberal manifesto does not contain a programme; but it contains references to the sources from which its policy may be gleaned. The Liberal party can claim to be unique in this: it has produced as the result of careful enquiries, a detailed programme for the organisation " indus. try, for the mines, for agriculture and land other parties have raid it the unambigu js Compliment of filchin:parts of each of these programmis The u.anifeF takes them' as sufficiently well-known to need, no repetition and they do not readily yield to summary treatment but it significantly calls attention to one or two points "the securing for the public benefit of th-.t., land values created by the public," and changes in the educational system which the National Government announces; 'Apart from these detailed reports, Whic.L. are the most suggestive and least challengeable part cf the Liberal programme, the manifesto is devoted mainly to the questions of the hour.
DPF--:_c.—"Upon the success or failure of the League of Nations in its effort to
penalise aggression must depend orn own future policy, in foreign affairs, and as to armaments." The word "penalise" is strange ore.
" Te national defences must be kepi efficient and large enough for. t' -t needs of the times, but a colossal, panic expend' ture upon arms is not the road to peace —an unimpeachable statement.
"It Ls the duty of the House of Corn mons to examine, upon their mer:ts and with the rtmost care all demands for in creased —nenditure, espec;olv upon arma ments, and to insist upon the P•rimost con trol of their manufacture and s, and the din' nation of the motive of private profit." If r last phrase is to be taken literally, it is the most significant thing in the whe1e..of this section of the manifesto
FREE TRADE.—Without actually saying the word, the manife.sto suggests that the Liberal party will still fight for free trade "The disastrous reduction in the volume of world trade" is attributed to the "restrictions imposed by the governments, and these are, therefore, the cause of the "poverty" and "distress" and the "peril ol war."
"To rid commerce of the hindrances that come from tariffs, quotas, subsidies and unstable currencies is the first step to a restored prosperity and a more tranquil world." The Liberal party alone has continuously urged the vital importance ol this issue. "It will be noted thr. no engagement is given about when and how the Ottawa agreements, the tariffs and subsidies will be dealt with. The manifesto merely engages that C.:r party "can be trusted to press it (the issue) forward to a solution."
DEVELOPMENT.—The party once
more urges a vigorous and sustaine ' policy of national development, and upon it ad vocates the use of "idle capital and idle labour." The sort of develop.......t sug gested is indicated by housing, expansion of industry and agriculture, and "the better equipment of our country."
THE MEANS-TLST.—Upon the meanstest the party takes up its least amSL,......us
stand. It condemns the regulations. It condemns the principle of treating the "household" as a unit. Upon this matter there can no longer be any doubt, and it i certain to have some influence upon elm ion.
LIBER1Y AND DEMOCRACY.—Under this headingr.,-the Liberals make two proposals which are of importance;
1. It pumps for proportional representation, and 2. "It would give the same rights t. women as, to men throughout the political and social systems.
The first is pretty definite; the second less definite but more far-reaching.
" I he Liberal party stands, as ever, tor personal and political liberty. It has fought against the many encroachments upon freedom which have been made in recent years." These are well-sounding sentences, but the Liberal party tends to treat liberty only a little less like a dangerous drug than the other parties.
It opposes the transference of powers from representative bodies to irresponsible boards. The suggestion is sufficiently clear and the instance—the control of unemployment assistance is pointed. But the principle is a large one and in slightly different phrasing it has been used for years to prcvc -it doing justice to Catholic schools. Liberals, somehow. see in it a cardinal principle of Liberalism and not as to most it will seem, a matter of administration.
Democratic institutions are to he strenuously defended against the attacks ol fascists or communists "or others in other parties who set small store by liberty."
It is noticeable that the manifesto only appeals for "an effective representation of Liberal opinion" and not for 1' return of the Liberal party, although it emphasises, "in the national interest," the necessity of "the Socialist party pledged to a reckless scheme of wholesale nationalisation" not being the only alternative to the "existing Conservative government."
It is, further, of note that Sir Herbert