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The Secret Session

by
29 April 2016

April 28th, 1916.

IT WAS decided that there should be a secret meeting of Parliament on Easter Tuesday. The object of this new move was to lay before both Houses the real facts of the military situation, enabling Lords and Commons to judge for themselves whether the compulsion which Mr Lloyd George and other members of the Ministry deem to be necessary is so in fact. This closing of the Parliament’s doors against outsiders is, of course, quite according to precedent. No one but a member of the legislature has the right of entry, and in theory all the sittings of Parliament are private. The formula in which the leader of the Commons intimates that he “spies strangers” avails at any moment to banish intruders if the House agrees. So far as the country is concerned, it does not care two straws at the present moment whether the public is admitted or not, if only those at the head of affairs will push on with their work, which is to supply the naval and the military commanders with the men and the munitions that they require for their purpose. Neither does it care whether this Minister or that goes, or even if they should all go. It is by no means of Mr Asquith’s opinion that a change of Ministers would be a “national disaster of the most formidable character”. It is content that there shall be no change if the men in office will be strong and active, will give us deeds, not words, will give up thinking that their continuance in office is of more importance than the prosecution of the war without regard to old political shibboleths.

 

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