He became the Conservative candidate for his father's seat in the Commons, and immediately became involved in a bitter electioneering controversy as the result of a speech he had made in the Schoolroom at Hawstead during his father's campaign. The offending speech was reported in the East Anglian Daily Times as follows: "Referring to the last election, the speaker (Mr. E. Walter Greene) said the labourers were promised cows (laughter) - acres of land (laughter), and other things, but where are they now? (Renewed laughter). Radical promises were like the proverbial pie crust - they knew the rest. (Hear! Hear!) The only piece of land they were certain to get was about six feet by two feet. (Loud Laughter)."
The contemporary slogan of the Liberal Party was "Four acres and a cow" for each man living in a rural area. It is interesting to note that this slogan originated in Pakenham, when Lord Calthorpe, a liberal peer, who purchased Pakenham Manor in 1806, divided Pakenham Fen into four acre strips and offered the tenancy of each strip to a village with some initial success. The experiment, though still part of Liberal policy, had made little progress in other parts of the country, hence the speech already quoted. The last sentence of the speech was twisted by the opponents' of Mr. Walter Greene to read thus: "The only land a man ought to have was six feet by two feet". The sentence became the caption of a cartoon, published in "The Stowmarket Daily Reporter", on May 4th 1891, and it was widely circulated and displayed throughout the constituency in support of the Liberal Candidature of Mr. de Stern.