1970s >> 1976 >> no-864-august-1976

50 Years Ago: A Liberal-Labour Government?

The recent Labour Government took office as a gift from the Liberal Party. Their short term of ‘power’, with its attendant rewards, no doubt whetted the appetite of these Labour Leaders.

Philip Snowden, in an article published in Reynolds’ (June 6th) exhibits a hunger that is ravenous, and a contempt for the minds of his followers that is surprising, even in a Labour Leader.

After pointing out ‘That there is a large amount of Liberal opinion and sentiment in the country, which is disorganised’, this ‘Honourable Gentleman’ asserts that ‘If any man can revive the fortunes of the Liberal Party, it is Mr. Lloyd George’.

For what purpose should Lloyd George organize the Liberals he has not already disgusted?

Snowden answers: ‘Mr. Lloyd George knows that neither his magnetism nor his programme can ever revive the Liberal Party to the extent of giving the Party enough members in Parliament to form a government. He will have to depend upon the support of another party to carry out that programme.’

‘Co-operation with the Conservatives for such an object is out of the question. A Labour Government is the only possible alternative to the continuation in office of the Conservative Party. There is nothing in Lloyd George’s programme which is in opposition to the Labour programme on these subjects.’

‘His only hope of achieving his land and coal power scheme lies in helping a Labour Government to get back to office, and in co-operating with them in the House of Commons. There is no sacrifice of independence in co-operating for a common purpose.’

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Anxious that it should be clearly understood there is no difference between the Liberal and Labour Party Snowden again refers to Lloyd George, who he says: — ‘Will carry the vast bulk of the Liberals with him on a programme which as an immediately practical programme for the next reform government is little different from the Labour programme.’

(From an article “Birds of a Feather” by Comrade E. Lake, published in the Socialist Standard, August, 1926.)