The Daily Herald

Lobby Correspondent: “Undoubtedly Sir Oswald Mosley’s speech was the event of the debate. Tory members discussing it with me afterwards seemed almost awed, such was the impression it made on them.”

“The resignation of Sir Oswald Mosley will be regretted throughout the Labour Movement.”

“Sir Oswald Mosley will be 34 in November … Make good he assuredly will, for he has a first class mind, great industry and courage of a rare kind.”

Daily Herald

“Mr. Oswald Mosley’s decision to join the Labour Party was adjudged by seasoned critics the most notable event of its kind since Mr. Winston Churchill at nearly the same age (Mr. Mosley was scarcely 28) went over to the Liberals. Time may prove it by far the more important conversion of the two. The Member for Harrow has the Churchillian brilliancy in debate – and much besides … The fine diction, the keen sarcasm, the flashing wit of Mr. Mosley’s speeches are notorious. Less known, but equally characteristic, are their close reasoning, their original thinking, their economic and historical knowledge, their wise idealism and high sense of moral responsibility. We who have watched him see no limit, within the possible, to his future political eminence.”

“… Sir Oswald Mosley impressed the whole House with a dignified and urgent statement of the reasons that led to his resignation … At an early hour it became obvious that the House was facing up to the problem with a new seriousness. An insistent sense of national emergency breaking down Party barriers seemed to sweep over the Members … Sir Oswald Mosley entered a brilliant defence of his attitude followed by a vigorous and detailed offensive … When he sat down there was a long and continued cheering from every section of the House. Rarely, if ever, has a Junior Minister retiring under such circumstances achieved such a remarkable personal triumph. Whether Members agreed or not, there was a general consensus that he had provided a real basis for a constructive debate.”

Sunday Express

“Sir Oswald is a very powerful figure in public life. He makes a bigger platform appeal than any other individual in this country.”

“Mr. Mosley has already secured the confidence of the country in a marked degree, and I venture to predict that, when he has shed a few of his illusions about the League of Nations and settled down, he will prove of the stuff out of which Prime Ministers are made.”

“No one could ‘draw’ Mr. Winston Churchill in the last Parliament more effectively than he, and as a matter of fact, young Mr. Mosley is very much of the Churchill type. He has a daring mind, any amount of courage, and is a master of jibe and biting sarcasm.”

“The House of Commons is extraordinarily interested in the definite crossing over to the Socialist Party of young Mr. Mosley. It is a tribute to one of the most challenging personalities in Parliament … He is a valuable a recruit as the Government could well have – young, politically ambitious, remarkably able and with a gift for stinging, vitriolic eloquence with which Mr. Winston Churchill used to be able to deal, but which nobody in Parliament can quite match.”

Daily Express

“If I were asked to pick out two men from the back Socialist benches whom I thought to have as much chance as future Prime Ministers as any others I should name Mr. Maxton and Mr. Mosley. They both take politics seriously, and both have great gifts of expression and manner. (Labour lost both).

New Statesman

“I should say that at 28 he is as ripened an intelligence as was Mr. Churchill’s at the same age, and that in his case mind and heart go well together, they offer a rich promise of good for the state. Nor is there anything sudden or impulsive in Mr. Mosley’s act. He has spoken the language of what is called ‘sane idealism’ ever since he began to think about after-war politics.”

The Nation

“Oswald Mosley’s decision to join the Independent Labour Party brings to that organisation one of the ablest and most promising young men in England, whom some are already describing as a future prime Minister … Quite aside from personalities, however, the accession to Labour ranks of men of this type gives the greatest hope for that party’s future.”

“The resignation of Sir Oswald Mosley is an event of capital importance in domestic politics … We feel that Sir Oswald has acted rightly – as he has certainly acted courageously – in declining to share any longer in the responsibility for inertia.”

Week End Review

“The defection of Sir Oswald Mosley was a great blow to the Government; for he is the one man on the Labour side who increased his reputation last session.”

“Sir Oswald Mosley’s Manifesto, published last week end, came pat upon the issue. In principle it is exactly right … The great gain is that Sir Oswald and his advisers have sensed the first need of the hour and have fulfilled it. They understand two things: first that the nation is sick to death of party routine and effete political machinery – sick to death in the literal sense that it is dying of them; secondly that unless we can quickly pull ourselves together as a people and unite in a supreme effort of reconstruction and national planning, we shall go down into the pit. In recognising this the Mosley Manifesto sounds a new and ringing tone in current politics. For months politicians have been content with a cry that ‘something must be done.’ Here is a man with the courage and the sense to face the music.”

Westminster Gazette

“Although in his 27th year, Mr. Mosley is spoken of by old and skilled Parliamentary hands as composed of the stuff of which Prime Ministers are made. The most polished literary speaker in the Commons, words flow from him in graceful epigrammatic phrases that have a sting in them for the Government and the Conservatives. To listen to him is an education in the English language, also in the art of delicate but deadly repartee … he has human sympathies, courage and brains.”

“There is no more polished speaker in the House than Mr. Oswald Mosley … who is steadily gaining the ear of the House.”

“It was an indication of the way in which the House of Commons is beginning to anticipate Mr. Oswald Mosley’s clever wit that although there were shouts of ‘vide’ when Lord Robert Cecil sat down, they were instantly silenced when the member for Harrow was seen on his feet.”

Daily News

“Behind the over-cleverness of Mr. Mosley’s style lies an intense passion for social justice, and it was for that reason, as well as for the sake of entertainment, that the House had again filled to over-flowing before he sat down.”

Daily Mail

“The one outstanding case of an advanced prestige is Sir Oswald Mosley, who has provided us with a rare example of a man who has steadily advanced in importance since retiring from Ministerial office … Sir Oswald has proved himself more and more of a force to be reckoned with.”

Daily Mirror

“One of the few who has displayed gifts of the highest oratorical order is Sir Oswald Mosley.”

Morning Post

“Mr. Mosley who is to combat the Duke of Northumberland tonight in debate … is one of the most promising but most uncertain of our young Parliamentarians. In many respects Mr. Mosley reminds me of Disraeli before he had taken his political bearings and was eager to attract attention by his waywardness, brilliance and audacity. Mr. Mosley never shouts, but like his predecessor, he does not ‘sit down’ until they have heard him. Mr. Mosley will go far, when he gets his marching orders.”

Manchester Guardian

“Who could doubt, when Sir Oswald Mosley sat down after his Free Trade Hall speech in Manchester on Saturday and the audience, stirred as an audience rarely is, rose and swept a storm of applause towards the platform – who could doubt that here was one of those root-and-branch men who have been thrown up from time to time in the religious, political and business story of England. First that gripping audience is arrested, then stirred and finally, as we have said, swept off its feet by a tornado of a peroration yelled at the defiant high pitch of a tremendous voice…”

“There are two men on the Labour benches who will make their mark before long. No party could afford to keep Mr. Oswald Mosley and Mr. James Maxton on its back benches forever.”

“The manifesto fulfils expectations concerning Sir Oswald Mosley which have been more than once expressed in these columns; it constitutes a challenge to traditionalism … It is not difficult to criticise certain details of the manifesto. But the spirit of the manifesto is stimulating and courageous. It is the embodiment of that vital energy which, at present lacking, youth of whatever party must supply in our national life, if industrial prosperity, the well-being of our land and the unity of the Empire are to be saved from the blight of traditionalism.”

Christian Science Monitor

“Despite the fact that no political party upholds it and that it received but a chilly reception at the hands of the party press in England, the demand of Sir Oswald Mosley for an emergency Cabinet of five members to direct the Government of Great Britain during the continuance of the present depression has in it a good deal of intelligent common sense. The ‘Cabinet of All the Talents’ is what Sir Oswald seeks, and it is not certain that such a plan would not be advantageous were it adopted in some other countries than Great Britain … Among the masses in England and among the thinking people in England not too closely bound by party ties, Sir Oswald’s suggestion is awakening an active and intelligent discussion.”
(10.12.1930)

Observer

“Sir Oswald Mosley himself has taken his political life into his hands with brilliant fearlessness. He is the only leader of his generation who has the courage to strike a new path though it may lead him temporarily into the wilderness.”

Manchester Daily Dispatch

“Sir Oswald Mosley is the outstanding Socialist figure of this Parliament. He has imagination … and an immense intellectual equipment. The speech in which he revealed the work plans over which he broke with the Government was easily the most distinguished Socialist performance of last session.”

Manchester Evening Chronicle

“There was a consensus of opinion that on the Government side Sir Oswald Mosley is the member who has definitely enhanced his reputation.”

Liverpool Post

“Is there a place in life for a man who can think, and can feel, and at the same time can build a bridge between human sorrow and human sympathy? One man in England does think and feel this more intensely than his fellows, for he was born in a class far apart from the poor. And his name is Sir Oswald Mosley … Anyone who studies Mosley’s face will see that he is a strong personality – a man who never suffers fools gladly. He bubbles over with energy of mind and body; hence, one can imagine his scorn of fools in authority … It is a new form of Socialism of which we shall hear more in the future, and its boldest and most eloquent exponent will be Sir Oswald Mosley … it will inevitably make him Prime Minister of Great Britain and leader of the British empire.”

Yorkshire Post

“They noted his superb command of language, his elevated phraseology, his extraordinary power of invective, and they conferred among themselves regarding his various graces and power, exulting in the brilliance of his attacks, and agreeing as to the indication of future parliamentary greatness which in those days he provided so amply…”

Notts Journal

“Sir Oswald Mosley’s speech is praised all round … because it contained evidence that the speaker still believed in his party’s election pledges and believed that they could and should be attempted. It was a breath of honest politics for which the nation was waiting.”

Notts Guardian

“The resignation of Sir Oswald Mosley was the principle topic of conversation in the lobby of the House of Commons last night. It is conceded generally that he has shown considerable spirit in taking this step.”

Edinburgh Evening News

“When Sir Oswald Mosley said he felt his position in the Government to be inconsistent with honour, he meant it from the bottom of his heart. He has before made great sacrifices for his faith and will make them again.”

East Anglian Daily Times

“Before he had finished he had got the House into that state in which it even forgets to applaud. Every effort was concentrated on listening. One secret of his success was his complete but businesslike naturalness.”

Bristol Daily Press

“Whatever may be the ultimate fate of the proposals put forward by Sir Oswald Mosley and his friends, they are likely to command the earnest attention, if not necessarily the approval, of thoughtful people of all parties.”

Pembroke Telegraph

“In our opinion Sir Oswald Mosley has got a grip of the situation which others have not. His remedy lacks nothing in thoroughness … Only by the application of the principles he suggests will the various component parts of the state function again and prosperity be restored to the land.”

Hanley Sentinel

Sir Oswald Mosley is an outstanding figure in the political parties of the day; he has the gift of oratory, and the capacity of swaying his hearers; he has a proper discontent with things as they are; and he has courage sufficient to face the wilderness. Whatever may be said of his memorandum – both as to plan and detail – it throws laissez faire to the winds, and proposes concrete schemes in place of acceptance of existing conditions … Sir Oswald’s manifesto is a sign of the times and expressive of the trend of thought and belief among the working people.”