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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

28___________________------------------------------------------
those in Spain who feel that they are thus being handicapped.
That leads to accusations of want of impartiality and counter-
accusations, and then to such deplorable incidents as the
bombing of the Deutschland and destruction by bombing.
[An HON MEMBER : " And the bombing of Almeria."] And
the bombing of Almeria. Once this chain begins, it goes
on, first on one side and then on the other.
" I am not going to discuss the incidents in which the
cruiser Leipzig was involved. The German officers on that
ship were convinced, on what they thought was indisputable
evidence, that they had been the subject of attack by torpedoes.
I do not exclude the possibility of a mistake. I know that
in the course of the Great War many British naval officers
thought that they saw torpedo tracks when afterwards it
was proved that there could have been no torpedo, and we
did not think any the worse of them on that account. They
were perfectly genuine in what they said and thought at the
time. But whether the German officers are right or wrong,
that is what they believe, and in those circumstances it seems
to me that their claim, that they could not allow their ships
to be exposed any longer to the risk of such incidents as that,
was a reasonable claim, and ought not to be the subject of
hostile criticism.
" In fact, I go a little further than that. When I think of
what the experiences of the German Navy have been, the loss
of life and mutilation of men on the Deutschland and the
natural feelings of indignation and resentment which must
be aroused by such an incident, with all that, I must say that
I think the German Government in merely withdrawing their
ships and then stating that this question is closed have shown
a degree of restraint which we all ought to recognise. At any
rate, the result of this disappearance of German and Italian
ships from the patrol means that there should not be any
longer any danger of further incidents of this kind and, in
my view, the best thing we can do now is to turn our minds
back again to the two practical steps which have to be taken,
the first one being to fill the gap in the patrol which has now
been left open and the other to re-start our endeavours to
obtain the withdrawal of foreign volunteers in Spain.
" That is all I have to say at present, and I want to conclude