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Lord Reading Asked to Be Allowed to Retire: Was Only on Urgent Pressure from Mr. Macdonald He Accept

It has been made known, the press states to-day, that the Marquis of Reading, who is succeeded at the Foreign Office by Sir John Simon, intimated to the Prime Minister immediately the election results became known that, in view of the difficulties which would confront Mr. MacDonald in the reconstitution of the Cabinet, on account of the changed representation of the parties in Parliament, he should be allowed to retire from office. This decision on Lord Reading’s part was a final one, and his formal resignation was placed in the Prime Minister’s hands before he had considered the personnel of his new Cabinet.

It is now disclosed that it was only on the most urgent pressure from Mr. MacDonald that Lord Reading consented, much against his own wishes, to accept office in the late Cabinet. Public duty in the crisis, it is stated, compelled his agreement to serve at the time, and in correspondence which has passed between the Prime Minister and Lord Reading, grateful acknowledgment is made of this act.

It is known, the statement says, that the Prime Minister attaches the greatest importance to Lord Reading’s counsel and support, and though Lord Reading has retired from active participation in the Government’s work, it is believed that his advice in many matters will be frequently sought.

It would have been worth while to increase the number of members of the Cabinet, Mr. Garvin, the editor of the “Observer” writes in an editorial to-day, in order to retain the wisdom of Lord Reading, who, like Sir Austen Chamberlain, renounced all claims in order to facilitate the Premier’s task.

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