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The Perils of Peace 



Introduction by HILAIRE BELLOC 

This book shows conclusively that any 

peace which leaves the present German 

Empire in existence with its centre in 

Berlin would be a mere truce. 


Degenerate Germany. HENRY DE HAL- 
SALLE. 2s. net. 

In this remarkable book is revealed for the first time in 
a British publication the hideous and wholesale vice, 
crime, and the general immorality of the German people. 
It is the most complete and dramatic exposure of Kultur 
ever written. 

The German Woman and her Master. 

JONES. 2s. net. 

The German Spy ; Male and Female. 


The Secrets of the German War Office. 

DR A. K. GRAVES. losth thousand. 
Is. net. 

This popular edition tells of the Author's Mis-.ions to 
Germany and America for the British Secret Service. 
These disclosures, suppressed in the original edition, are 
now published for the first time. 











Que tout s'arme contre eux, contre eux que tout conspire 
Que, quels que soient IB chef t la route et les moyens, 
La France et les Francais n'aient qu'un seul but: detruire 
La Prusse et les Prussiens I 


Chants du Soldat. 


MY DEAR ECCLES, You and I have long 
agreed that such a book as this needed to 
be written. Had you written it, it would 
have been a much better book; though if 
you will pardon an esoteric allusion it 
would probably have taken longer to write, 
even with locked doors. However, as you 
would not write it, I had to do so, and I 
dedicate it to you, not only in gratitude and 
admiration, but also as a sort of incarnation 
of the Great Alliance in which we both be- 
lieved, I think, before we had seen it, and 
in which we both now see the only hope for 
the deliverance of Europe. 

In the same spirit I append to this volume 
a verse which I came across the other day 
in the works of a poet to whom you intro- 
duced me a poet, and something more than 
a poet, a prophet. He was a man who saw 
through forty years of apparently hopeless 
defeat what it was that Europe had to des- 
troy; and who, by a very tragic irony, died 
on the very eve of the war which, unless we 
are fools or cowards, will end in the fulfil- 
ment of his vision. It is an additional 


motive with me that dedicating this book to 
you, I feel that I am dedicating it to the 
spirit of Paul De>oulede. 

In revising the proofs of this book I 
realise how fast events are moving. The 
return of Russia, which even when I wrote 
was as obvious to me as it must, one would 
think, have been obvious to everybody ex- 
cept Mr George, is already an accomplished 
fact. The offensive in the West, which I 
speak of as a future event, is already in pro- 
gress. It would be unwise to prophesy 
concerning these matters. Before my book 
is out the military situation may have 
changed for the worse or for the better. But 
it is important to emphasise the fact that 
the peril of which I write in this book is 
one which increases instead of diminishes 
with the improved prospects of victory. 
The greater the measure of our apparent 
success, the larger the concessions which 
the enemy will be disposed to make, and 
the more dangerous the possible effect of 
such concessions upon uninstructed opinion. 

For, as you and I realise, in dealing with 
the thing called Prussia, the acceptance of 
any concession short of unconditional sur- 
render, is an act of suicide. 

I am, my dear Eccles, yours very sin- 




























MR CHESTERTON'S book is an attempt to 
accomplish a very difficult task. It is a 
task which, perhaps, I think more difficult 
than he does, and it is a task comparable 
in nature to more than one that he has 
lately undertaken in public affairs. 

To put it in the most general terms, it 
is the task of making what was an aris- 
tocracy and is now a plutocracy act like 
a democracy. 

But in the present case the matter of 
the war and its peace the need is so 
urgent, and the punishment threatening 
ignorance, corruption, or a bad political 
machinery, so evident and so tremendous, 
that he has a better chance of accomplish- 
ing his object than heretofore. 

Let me give an example that will show 
both the difficulty and the nature of such 
a task. 

Mr Chesterton and I worked side by 


side for months in making public the 
nature of Parliamentary decline. 

After a general exposure in book and 
newspaper, we proceeded to a particular 
case in proof the Marconi business. 

It was only one out of dozens of such 
things which are native to the atmosphere 
of Westminster, but it was an excellent 
working model with which to move our 
contemporaries . 

Mr Chesterton put it forth most clearly 
and fully. Of course all that could be 
concealed by the culprits was concealed 
and still is ; but the Marconi ramp was 
made an object lesson so reiterated and so 
insisted upon that nobody could ignore it. 
After several months of this prolonged 
action even the official ' ' Conservative ' ' 
Press was compelled to discuss the mis- 
deeds of the "Liberals." In something 
like a year all the middle classes and great 
sections even of the populace had at last 
appreciated though imperfectly what 
the governing classes had known all 
along : that bribery was a commonplace in 
public life, and that the professional poli- 
ticians gave themselves and their relatives 


sums of money obtained, directly and in- 
directly, by monopolies, special contracts, 
etc., out of the public pocket. I say, so 
far as plain statement and proof were con- 
cerned, all were at last convinced. 

What was the result ? 

Under the old aristocratic conditions, 
which had been the strength of Protestant 
England since the fall of the monarchy in 
the seventeenth century, the Marconi men 
would have been done for. Not that aris- 
tocracies are other than cynical, but that 
their power depends upon a certain pres- 
tige, and members of their oligarchy dis- 
covered and exposed in an undignified 
moral position are thrust out of that oli- 
garchy for the sake of its own preserva- 

Under a democracy the culprits would 
have been punished ; for under a demo- 
cracy public men are regarded not as 
masters but as servants. Dishonesty 
upon their part, though more frequently 
attempted perhaps than under other forms 
of Government, is checked before it grows 
dangerous by the simple process of attach- 
ing unpleasant consequences to corrup- 


tion. At best the culprits are imprisoned 
(like Garfunkel) or driven to suicide (like 
Reinach) or they fly the country (like 
Hertz). At the least they suffer general 
contempt. Honest men refuse io asso- 
ciate with the tricksters. They have to 
hide and retire. 

But under our present regime of pluto- 
cracy neither of these two salutary pro- 
cesses of excretion, the aristocratic or the 
democratic, were at work. The Marconi 
men remained in public life, and not only 
so remained, but were regarded by their 
colleagues as peculiarly suitable to further 
and graver responsibilities as a consola- 
tion for their recent sad experience. 

Why was this? It was due to effects 
of plutocracy working quite openly and 
patent to the observation of all : the first 
an indifference to right and wrong the 
chief moral consequence of plutocracy ; 
the second the direct power of great wealth 
in a plutocracy to govern to its own ad- 
vantage its chief material effect. 

As to the first, men told you upon every 
side that it was quixotic and fanatical to 
set up an impossible standard of purity in 


public life ; that there was no great harm 
in such things; that a fellow caught in 
some rather dirty action was probably 
fairly cunning or he would not have en- 
gaged in it, and that cunning was the 
chief requisite in an administrator and 
his greatest claim to our reverence. Of 
wisdom in contrast with cunning t of the 
fact that cunning is the opposite and cor- 
rosive of wisdom, as sloth and luxury are 
the opposites and the corrosives of good 
breeding, opinion in general had become 

As to the Second, it was simply a ques- 
tion of mechanism. There was no organ 
of expression that was not owned by the 
same plutocratic forces as had, in another 
aspect, worked the Marconi business. All 
the principal newspapers almost in pro- 
portion to their circulation first falsified 
and then hushed up the issue. A peerage 
was given to one newspaper vulgarian (the 
second Harms worth),; a few other honours 
and salaries to the ksser ones, and the 
thing was over. 

How does all this apply to the present 
crisis ? 


In the following manner : 

The country is at the present moment 
under the acute, imperative necessity of 
destroying Prussia. Its only impedi- 
ment in the full accomplishment of this 
salutary execution is the power of a few 
rich men. If this country is persuaded 
to lag behind its Allies in the hard task 
of victory, if it does not (i) fully support 
all its Allies up to the complete defeat of 
the enemy, (2) use that defeat fully and 
help its Allies whole-heartedly to elim- 
inate the criminal power, then the future 
of Britain whatever be that of her Allies 
is beyond doubt. She will remain for 
long a great, somewhat amorphous com- 
mercial power, bound together by the in- 
terests of her merchants and financiers, 
but increasingly lacking in co-ordination 
and losing wealth. As a spiritual and 
political force in the world she will decline 
very rapidly indeed. 

Britain is clearly at once the chief ob- 
jective against which a surviving Prussian 
State would direct itself, and, from her 
dependence upon the sea, Britain is also 
the most vulnerable objective offered to 


such a foe. Her dependence upon the sea 
makes her the most vulnerable objective 
because any one power commanding the 
sea excites the jealousy of all others, and 
because sea power depends in a great de- 
gree upon mechanical and limited things. 
A determined enemy with great material 
resources can far more easily and quickly 
build a great fleet than he can re-create 
a dominant army after defeat. Further, 
certain changes in marine attack and 
defence due to quite modern invention 
make security at sea much more gravely 
threatened by a much less expenditure of 
money than ever before. 

Now the organism of a nation thus 
politically threatened is, perhaps, better 
defended by an aristocracy than by any 
other form of government. An aris- 
tocracy is vividly alive to the national 
interests, and is prompt, ruthless, and 
exhaustive in the pursuit of them. 

The old aristocratic England (which 
perished in our own time and before our 
own eyes) would have fallen upon this 
problem with the rapidity and directness 
of lightning. Its governing members 


would not only have expended all their 
energy against the foe, but would have 
seized the first momenta of the struggle 
for the development of the fullest possible 
policy of aggression. Finally, it would 
have had no sort of hesitation about the 
end in view. It would have gone straight 
for the total destruction of the adverse 
power menacing the State. 

We may call such a fcpirif unscrupulous 
and even vicious if we disagree with it. 
But ftte cannot deny that it would have 
been the most efficient spiritual force for 
achieving the end the salvation of the 

A democracy Would in another fashion 
have been equally determined and direct, 
though perhaps less prompt, and certainly 
less informed. It would have worked 
more by instinct. It would probably have 
made initial mistakes. But it would have 
attempted to correct them by its later 
energy, and above all it would have no 
doubt whatever of the prime necessity to- 
day. Everyone among the people is to-day 
agreed. The speech of all in the street 
and in the crowds is the same. Those 


who with the terrible necessities of 
the moment, who divert themselves with 
4 Pacifist " theories or who continue, in 
the academfc classes, the old rubbish of 
* Teutonism," are numerically quite in- 
significant and utterly out of tune with 
masses around them. 

The danger lies in the fact that what 
really governs us is plutocratic, and that 
the aristocracy is gone and the populace 
impotent to act not even conceiving their 
action passible, but ready to $ubmit to 
anything th rich impose. 

There are three separate ways in which 
this danger of a false policy proceeding 
from th new plutocracy has manifested 

First, it has been clearly seen that 
private interests in trade the advantages 
of private fortunes have been allowed to 
weigh, if not against the commonwealth, 
at any rate on $ par with the interests of 
the commonwealth. We have seen it in 
the handling of freights ; we have seen it 
in the exceptions to blockade ; we have 
seen it in the field of contracts. But this 
evil is particularly apparent in the hesita- 



tion shown by many when they discuss 
the commercial terms to be imposed upon 
the enemy, and their fear lest a complete 
victory should interfere with private gain 
in commerce. 

From the point of view of the nation 
as a whole, a victorious people has no 
economic advantage whatsoever in leaving 
the vanquished wealthy. There is every 
advantage in leaving the vanquished la- 
borious and productive of wealth ; but the 
whole effort of the victor should be turned 
to the draining of that wealth, once pro- 
duced, away from the vanquished and 
towards themselves. 

Thus to exclude the goods of a con- 
quered Germany from these islands is the 
act of an idiot. To permit a conquered 
Germany to build up new wealth where- 
with to attack again is the act of a traitor. 
Yet these two policies alone are suggested 
by the stupid and the more intelligent 
sections of our plutocracy irrespectively. 

There is but one obvious public policy 
the maintenance of a continual drain 
of wealth from a Germany conquered and 
compelled to export to our advantage. It 


is a policy the richer can impose most 
simply by life-long indemnity, most dras- 
tically by the confiscation of mortgage and 
scrip with garrisons to maintain the treaty. 

Private interests are at issue with such 
a public policy. The financier has in- 
terests bound up with German interests ; 
the merchant fears the ruin of his client. 

There is here a very interesting 
example of private fortune misunder- 
standing its own advantage from its very 

The financial interests which are by 
far the strongest things in this country 
thoroughly understand the taking of 
tribute from the occupied and subject ter- 
ritory of those whom they think very 

The whole history of Ireland is nothing 
else than that. Ireland, until George 
Wyndham's Land Act (and to some ex- 
tent even since that Act), was sending 
overseas masses of material, vast in pro- 
portion to her wealth, as interest upon 
loans, which loans had been advanced to 
the landlord class by cosmopolitan finance. 

The whole history of modern Egypt is 


nothing else. What the Egyptian peasant 
produces beyond his bare livelihood and 
the cost of administration is paid as in- 
terest to their same cosmopolitan finan- 
ciers, who caught in their net long ago 
the foolish and irresponsible monarch of 
the country. 

It is perfectly ckar that the economic 
fate of any conquered country could be 
modelled upon the same lines. You can 
always so arrange matters that the van- 
quished have to produce wealth indeed, 
but, instead of retaining that wealth, shall 
regularly pass it over to the victors. If 
those members of our plutocracy who 
happen to have no personal interests in 
Germany or Austria could be got to see 
this almost self-evident economic proposi- 
tion, the power of their great fortunes 
would no longer be an impediment to the 
complete destruction of the enemy. 

But they cannot be got to see it. Even 
those wealthy men who have no interests 
in the enemy's country will almost cer- 
tainly work to prevent the terms of peace 
from impoverishing the enemy. 

Meanwhile those who have personal in- 


terests in the enemy territory (and these 
are very numerous) will be directly inter- 
ested in preventing a complete victory ; 
they are working actively against it at 
this moment. That is the first way in 
which the fact the new plutocracy imperils 
the final success of the national arms. 

The second way in which the danger 
manifests itself is through the preference 
of private fortune to public good in the 
matter of direct military expense. 

The great war has cost the belligerents 
in material goods per month far more than 
the material goods which they can them- 
selves produce or economically command 
as interest or tribute from abroad ; at least, 
it has cost them an expense of material 
goods at a far higher rate than the rate 
at which wealth can be produced or de- 
manded over and above the current neces- 
sities of national sustenance. 

Therefore the great belligerent nations 
have had to fall back upon their accumu- 
lated reserve of wealth to withdraw it from 
the production of further wealth : to con- 
sume it immediately and irrevocably upon 
the field of battle. 


In part this accumulation has been 
directly expended in the prosecution of the 
war. In part it has been exchanged for 
material obtained from neutral countries. 
For instance, the getting rid of American 
shares held in Britain simply means that 
whereas a resident of Britain formerly 
owned, say a group of buildings in 
America, and received the rent thereof in 
England, he has now been compelled to 
forgo this rent for ever in exchange for 
a number of shells the Americans have 
made for him; which shells produce no 
further wealth in consumption, and there- 
fore, when consumed, leave nothing in 
their place. The British revenue drawn 
from America has disappeared. It has 
disappeared in those little puffs of white 
against the grey of the Flanders sky. 

Now the accumulation of capital during 
the long peace of the West was so enor- 
mous that the first two years of this great 
struggle could be " financed " that is, 
in plain English, the coal, the chemicals, 
the cloth and the iron and wheat, etc., 
could be obtained without any form of 
true confiscation. The possessors of these 


accumulations were for two years willing 
to give them up on condition that the State 
promised them a certain yearly revenue 
in their place which revenue it could 
probably raise. But this process after 
about two years of war is reaching its 
term. The great accumulation of material 
still remaining available will hardly be 
obtained in this voluntary fashion. The 
State may try to obtain it by promising 
greater future rewards than it is ever 
likely to be able to pay but such inability 
will be patent to those who are approached 
for a loan. 

Therefore, if the war should proceed 
beyond a certain period I have suggested 
some time in the third year as the probable 
beginning of the new phase owners of 
great wealth would be faced, not merely 
with severe taxation upon their current 
revenue for short time, but with an actual 
diminution of their permanent revenues 
throughout all the future. They would 
be faced with the beginning of a confisca- 
tion from private stock for the public weal. 
To fight against this by quite obvious and 
direct means, the masters of our plutoc- 


racy might not dare. But to fight against 
it by indirect means, they would ; and the 
most obvious indirect means would be to 
spread the conception abroad that further 
struggle had become ' ' impossible ' ' on ac- 
count of some mysterious thing called 
* ' financial exhaustion . ' ' 

In plain economics it would only mean, 
of course, that the price of victory was 
the reduction of fortune. But plain 
economics are always presented nowadays 
as a mystery beyond the ken of ordinary 
mortals. It would be easy to flood the 
public with the technicalities of the money 
market; to ascribe to this " financial ex- 
haustion " a rise in the prices of food, or 
any other evil of which the populace as a 
whole was acutely conscious. And the 
very men to do it are the men of the 
Marconi ramp, the Indian balances and 
the Rupee scandal all of them actively 
in power. 

Such is the second form of the peril : 
the second way in which the fact that we 
are a plutocracy may interfere with the 
achievement of victory. 

But it may be asked by what instrument 


the plutocracy could act thus rapidly to 
pervert opinions in a matter so vital and 
so clear ? 

This question leads me to the third way 
in which the peril of it appears ; and that 
is through the plutocratic control of the 

The people of our great towns that is, 
between four-fifths and nine-tenths of our 
population have no information save 
through the Press. The things they care 
for and discuss are not real experiences, 
but phantasms presented to them by the 

Now the Press means to-day in England 
a very small number of very wealthy men, 
and on the patriotism and the public spirit 
of those very few wealthy men depends 
the true information of the people : upon 
their baseness, ignorance, folly, avarice, 
or cowardice or all five combined de- 
pends the mal-information of the populace. 
By mal-information we may suffer (we 
are already beginning to suffer) the 
weakening of the national will, and the 
failure to insist upon national success. 

This handful of rich newspaper-owners 


is, like all other categories of men, diverse 
in character ; and we find some portion of 
the Press resolved on victory and refusing 
to spread panic, although the resolution 
bids fair to impoverish its owners. But 
you will find another portion, from what- 
ever of the five motives I have enumerated 
(and usually from all five combined), 
playing the traitor. 

It will probably be the very newspapers 
which were most vulgarly violent against 
weak opponents in the past, which have 
shown the most offensive lack of chivalry 
in military matters, which have shrieked 
the loudest while opinion was still violent 
and tenacious in the earlier phases of 
the present great war, that will try to 
create towards the end of it a current of 
opinion leading towards an inconclusive 

That is the third way in which a pluto- 
cratic form of Government can manifest 
itself, and it is far the most effective of 
the several ways in which that form may 
ruin England, and of those individuals 
most dangerous, through a lack of educa- 
tion combined with avarice and fear, I 


should name Alfred Harmsworth as the 
most obvious type. 

Such then are the dangers besetting 
the full achievement of victory as I see 
them in the Society to which we belong. 
Against them we must set the fact that 
the marvellous effort the country as a 
whole has made, and made spontaneously, 
is a guarantee of something very different 
in the commonwealth, a resurrection of 
forces at which the plutocracy under which 
we had begun to live hardly guessed. 

It is possible it is to be prayed for 
most earnestly that these new popular 
forces will, handicapped though they are 
by the profound popular ignorance of pub- 
lic men and public affairs, prove too strong 
for any anti-national conspiracy. It is 
to these popular forces that such a book as 
this principally appeals. Not so long ago 
the appeal to aristocracy might have had 
its force but to-day that factor is quite 
dead. The aristocrats are dining with 
the Samuels and sneering at their hosts. 

I may add in conclusion that Mr 
Chesterton's book is largely directed to 
argument against those in whose singular 


philosophy justice does not demand the 
punishment of any powerful criminal nor 
common sense the rendering of a wicked 
maniac impotent for further evil. 

It seems to me personally (I give it only 
as a private opinion) that Mr Chesterton 
has here somewhat exaggerated the im- 
portance of a clique with which we are 
brought so directly into contact whenever 
we engage in political discussion that we 
may over-estimate its real strength. I 
mean the intellectuals. 

The fool who says " all war is wrong " 
(a perfectly meaningless phrase, as 
who should say, " all hammering is right 
whether on the head of my aunt or of a 
tenpenny nail "), and the more perverted 
fool who cannot reconcile justice with 
charity (for he has no creed), has indeed 
an influence in our society quite out of 
proportion to his numbers. That is 
because he is to be discovered almost 
exclusively in the wealthier classes. His 
subscriptions to secret political ' ' pools ' : 
and to the private necessities of individual 
politicians give him considerable power; 
while, in the absence df a common religion, 


he has a field for action upon some portion 
of the public mind. He still has an in- 
fluence. But I do think that this element 
can no longer be regarded as a chief factoi 
in the situation. 

The suffering has been so great, the 
heroism so simple and so sublime, the 
sacrifice so spontaneous and so superb that 
these mere negative follies of the Garden 
Cities and the Universities and a small 
minority even of these can hardly deflect 
opinion or control policy. 

No, the danger does not He there. It 
lies in the presence at the head of affairs 
of the low-born men who for years defied 
opinion while they took bribes from shady 
company-promoters and their families, 
while they rifled the silver interests and 
the taxation-balances of India, while they 
robbed ignorant investors as in the 
Howard Union attempt or in American 
Marconi s whik they still more cynically 
affirmed what was, alas I true that their 
colleagues, the political lawyers in the 
Courts, so far from punishing them would 
condemn any public-spirited critic to fine 
or imprisonment. 


It lies in the presence behind such scum 
in office (and now actually upon the bench) 
of newspaper-owners men of similar 
origin, similar morals, similar immunity 
from the law, and yet masters of our 
public life. 

Long before the war these things had 
become a common jest against us through- 
out Europe. We were bid neglect the 
foreign critics our shame was only a 
moral, an intangible weakness. We were 
told to ignore such flimsy stuff as honour. 

To-day the awful issue proves that Mr 
Chesterton and I were right, and that our 
shallow and timorous advisers of but four 
years ago were desperately, tragically 

If the country fails at the end and 
patches a peace the crime will proceed 
from just such secret powers as gave us 
Marconi, and the weakness and the follv 
will lie at the door of just those profes- 
sional politicians who permitted what fol- 
lowed and obeyed their private masters. 

There is no logical connection between 
swindling and inefficiency, but there is an 
organic connection. God is not mocked. 





IT was not till some time after the out- 
break of the present war that it began to 
become clear to most Englishmen of what 
nature was the Thing which they had 
to fight and kill. We had indeed been 
warned that a conflict was inevitable by 
many and very various witnesses by 
soldiers like Lord Roberts, by publicists 
like Mr Blatchford and Mr Hyndman, by 
men acquainted with the general Euro- 
pean situation like Dr Sarolea, by personal 
observers of the German attitude and the 
German preparations like Mr Bart Ken- 
nedy. But though such men could fore- 
see the conflict and warn us (with all too 
33 c 


little effect) to be prepared for it, they 
could not perhaps wholly foresee, at any 
rate they could not bring home to us the 
character which that conflict would as- 
sume ; and in consequence, when war was 
at last forced upon us, the revelation of 
that character came upon most English- 
men as a very disagreeable surprise. 

Up to that point we had had little or no 
hatred towards the Germans ; our bias was 
rather the other way. The Germans had 
been our Allies in the past, and we had 
even persuaded ourselves, by the help of 
our professors and theirs, that they were 
our kinsfolk so that in praising them we 
could in a subtler fashion praise ourselves. 
And indeed the praise of Germany and of 
German things was almost a note of nine- 
teenth-century literature in England, and 
was supported by some of its greatest 
names. Coleridge had taken up and 
introduced here the obscure and rather 
shadowy philosophy which had arisen in 
North Germany as an antidote to the lucid 
moral dogmas of the French Revolution, 
from which he had apostatised. Carlyle 
had praised the virility and manly sim- 


plicity of the German ; Matthew Arnold 
(though in him the sentiment was partly 
balanced by his love of the Latin culture) 
his devotion to Geist. Picturesque imag- 
inative writers like Kingsley had distorted 
all history in order to present the strong 
limbed, clean living, truth telling 
' Teuton " as a sort of predestined re- 
deemer. On the top of all this came the 
sensational military victory of 1870, which 
seemed to justify it all. From that time 
arose a new legend, that of the marvellous 
' ' efficiency " of the Germans, which it 
was our duty in all respects to imitate. 

It is true that during the last ten years 
or so a change had taken place in our 
purely political attitude towards the Ger- 
man Empire. The open challenge to our 
naval supremacy on which our very life 
as a nation depends the avowed pro- 
gramme of Colonial expansion at our ex- 
pense, together with the arrogance with 
which Germany under Prussian leader- 
ship appeared to take for granted her right 
to a hegemony of Europe, made us more 
and more conscious of a direct affront 
to our just influence, and even our in- 


dependence, and induced us to effect a 
settlement of various Jong-standing quar- 
rels with France, and to lean more and 
more to the Franco-Russian side in the 
European balance. 

But all this involved no personal hos- 
tility to Germany. We still rather liked 
and even more decidedly respected the 
Germans. When at last war came, though 
we had no difficulty in recognising the 
Prussian Government as the aggressor, 
though we were prepared to stand honour- 
ably by our engagement in resisting such 
aggression, and though our moral sense 
was shocked by the cynical repudiation of 
public faith involved in the invasion of 
Belgium, we were still inclined to attribute 
these things to this or that individual, 
and to regard the mass of Germans with 
indulgence. They were good enough 
fellows, misled by the wicked Kaiser. 

Much water and much blood has flowed 
under the bridges since then, but it would 
be a great mistake to suppose that the 
flowing of blood is any more responsible 
than the flowing of water for the change 
which has come over our outlook. Eng- 


lishmen and Germans might have decim- 
ated each other's ranks for ten years on 
end in fair and decent fighting without 
producing any effect save some passing 
moods of anger which might have been 
followed as has frequently been the case 
in such contests between Europe 's peoples, 
by enduring goodwill. What has changed 
us has simply been the revelation, forced 
upon us by the facts in spite of our in- 
credulity, that the German of to-day 
is in action not only a barbarian but a 

It is to be observed that this discovery 
came as a surprise to us English, and to 
us almost alone in Europe. It was no 
surprise whatever to the French or the 
Poles or the Danes or, in fact, to any of 
those who had had direct experience of 
what the Prussian is and of what all those 
who submit to his control soon become. 
It was no surprise to Europe as a whole, 
for in Europe as a whole the character of 
Prussia is pretty well appreciated. Even 
in Ireland, where in 1798 we had used the 
North German soldier to do the filthier 
part of the work of repression from which 


English soldiers shrank, there was much 
less surprise than in this country. 

When the first stories came of the abom- 
inations which the Germans were commit- 
ing in Belgium, as a sequel to their treach- 
erous violation of Belgian independence, 
a very considerable section, at least of 
English opinion, was disposed to a large 
measure of incredulity. Nor was that in- 
credulity wholly without excuse. It could 
be urged with perfect justice that in all 
wars charges of inhumanity and of viola- 
tion of the laws of war are frequently made 
on both sides. In certain matters notably 
in regard to alleged abuse of flags of truce 
or disregard of the Red Cross we know 
that such charges are often honestly made 
and as honestly denied. Some of the 
stories that reached us concerning the be- 
haviour of the Germans could hardly be 
brought under such a head ; but they might 
be exaggerated, or they might be isolated 
and untypical incidents. Then came the 
wholesale flight of the civil population of 
Belgium before the invader ; a thing unpre- 
cedented in Europe since the Dark Ages, 
and plainly pointing to an extreme of ter- 


rorisin altogether beyond the necessities of 
the most rigorous military occupation. We 
had also the official text of the German pro- 
clamations and army orders direct and 
unscrupulous appeals to fear. Yet there 
were still some who doubted ; nor were 
their doubts set altogether at rest until a 
full judicial inquiry, sifting the evidence 
with extreme care and rejecting all that 
was not capable of absolute demonstra- 
tion, had revealed a picture which seemed 
to belong, not to civilisation, not even to 
barbarism, but quite strictly to hell. -Then 
at last we learnt that the wildest stories 
we had heard, true or untrue, were but 
approximations to the unspeakable real- 
ity. Then at last we were to begin to 
know the Prussian as he is. 

We were to learn more. The German 
navy, unable to confront ours in fair fight 
upon the high seas, was to rival the Ger- 
man army in atrocities committed against 
non-combatants. Our women and children 
were to be murdered ; our unfortified towns 
shelled. An Englishwoman, who had de- 
voted herself to the care of our wounded 
and of the enemy's own, was to be foully 


put to death. Perhaps we are not at the 
end of our instruction. It may well be 
that before this war is over, Prussia's last 
throw may bring the murders, rapings, 
torturings, and the like into our own 
English meadows. But, even without such 
final proof, we are beginning to understand 
what Europe in general has already fully 
realised, what sort of power it is that has 
constituted itself leader of the assault upon 

For that Prussian power is like nothing 
else that Europe has ever seen. The sheer 
devilry which has appalled us in this war 
is at once the reflection and the outcome 
of a deeper devilry which has ever lain at 
the root of her policy, at least ever since 
her real founder, Frederick the Great, set 
out to prove that a State founded upon 
speculative and practical atheism that is 
upon the denial of the Whole Conception 
of right, divine or human could be made 
stronger than Christendom, and could 
maintain and aggrandise itself in defiance 
of the moral traditions of all Europe. 

What manner of man Frederick was, 
with what material he had to deal, why 


Europe was so slow and so little successful 
in making any stand against his outrages 
and those of the heirs of hid tradition 
these are matters which I have fully dis- 
cussed elsewhere, 1 and I shall not attempt 
here to recapitulate an argument now rein- 
forced and confirmed by the daily record of 
things too terrible and too close to us to 
admit of sophistical explanations. 

Nor shall I repeat at length what I have 
already written and what events have 
even more signally justified as to the 
character and effect of the Prussian system 
the hideous perversion it produces in 
those who submit to it, the cruelties which 
it inevitably involves towards those whom 
the Prussian would rule against their will. 
There are, however, certain particular 
conclusions to be drawn from the general 
survey of Prussia's record which it is 
necessary for the purpose of this book to 
emphasise in more particular fashion. 

The first is that the character of Prus- 
sian policy is a fixed character ; it does not 
and will not change with changes of for- 

1 "The Prussian hath said in his Heart," Chapman 
Hall, 2s. net. 


tune. It does not depend upon a partic- 
ular man, or even upon a particular 
dynasty. It depends upon a creed with 
which every true Prussian has been innoc- 
ulated from childhood, and which has 
bitten deep into the soul of the people. 
The conversion of the Prussians to any- 
thing resembling Christian or even civi- 
lised European morals is a rather less 
probable event than the conversion of the 
Spaniards to Primitive Methodism. So 
long as Prussia is suffered to exist, how- 
ever the war may end, the policy of Prussia 
will remain the same, though, of course, 
the opportunities of giving effect to it in 
this or that connection may vary. 

The second point and this has been to 
many the chief revelation of the war is 
that whatever Prussia can control becomes 
in effect and action Prussian. In the early 
days of the present conflict there were not 
a few who hoped that a distinction might 
be made between the rulers of Germany 
and the mass of Germans, between Prussia 
and the rest of the German Empire, at any 
rate between Prussia and her Allies. But 
it has been found in practice utterly im- 


possible to make such distinctions so long 
as Prussia remains established as the mili- 
tary centre of the alliance against Euro- 
pean civilisation. Whether we take the 
case of the German Socialists, on whose 
humanitarian and * ' internationalist * ' pro- 
clivities so many hopes were built by those 
who had no personal knowledge of them, 
or of the minor German States, which 
have been caught in the Prussian net, or 
the Allies whom Prussia has been able to 
bully or bribe into espousing her cause, we 
find the same thing indisputable about 
them all. Whatever fine distinctions we 
may seek to make between these various 
subjects and vassals of Prussia, the solid 
fact stands out that in action one and all 
accept their subjection and vassalage, and 
carry out faithfully the will of their 

This also will endure if the Prussian 
power endures among the Germans. So 
long as Prussia remains the first power in 
Germany, even if she ceases to be the first 
power in Europe, the Germans will con- 
tinue to obey her will. She will still 
remain, even after defeat, what she was 


before the war, the soul of a potential if 
not of an actual coalition against European 

Her ambitions will have been postponed, 
not abandoned. Her creed will remain. 
She cannot abandon it without abandoning 
her own existence, for she exists only as 
its creature and representative. So long 
as she lives she will live by those dogmas 
with which we are now at war, the dogmas 
of racial superiority overriding all liberty 
and nationality, and of predestined con- 
quest overriding all law and morals. Nor 
can she tolerate the setting of any perman- 
ent limits to the extension of her rule, for 
it is the first article of Prussianism, upon 
which all the others hang, that such rule 
is destined to illimitable and inevitable 

If we allow her to live, if, above all, we 
allow her to remain the rallying centre of 
the Germanic peoples, she will admit the 
limitation of her ambitions only so far as 
the facts compel her. She will admit them 
only for a time. She will replenish and 
recuperate her strength. She will re-arm. 
She will intrigue and bribe with the object 


of securing new supporters and disarming 
old enemies. And she will then seek to 
recover as much as possible of what she 
has lost by some treacherous stroke against 
such rival as she thinks she can most 
easily and completely isolate. 

And there is no shadow of doubt as to the 
name of the rival against whom such a 
blow is already planned as the first effort 
to be made after the war. 

It is England. 



IN order to enforce clearly the conclusion 
set out above, it is necessary to examine 
in a somewhat more definite fashion the 
origins of the present war. 

In general terms it is not necesaary to 
argue the matter very elaborately. The 
war was an act of aggression undertaken 
by the Germanic powers against their 
neighbours. The original inspiration of 
that aggression is to be found in the funda- 
mental Prussian doctrine that the strong 
have always the right to invade the privi- 
leges of those whom they suppose to be 
weaker than themselves; and its susten- 
ance is to be found in the conviction, care- 
fully instilled into all the populations of 
the Germanies, and at last accepted by 
them as a self-evident proposition, that the 


German is the natural superior of all other 
European peoples, is inevitably stronger 
than they, and has, in consequence (accord- 
ing to the Prussian theory), the right to 
deal with them as he chooses. That is the 
fundamental thesis which is now being 
debated, not with words, but with bullets 
and shells along the two great lines be- 
tween the North Sea and the mountains 
of Switzerland, and between the Baltic and 
the frontiers of Roumania. 

In consonance with this thesis Prussia 
resolved to assert once and for all her 
ascendancy over Europe, and ultimately 
over the whole world, by force of arms. 
That is, broadly speaking, the meaning of 
the present war. 

But in order t6 make it plain why 
Europe and this country in particular can- 
not afford to leave Prussia in existence at 
the end of this war it is necessary to go 
into these things in a little more detail, 
and to emphasise certain particular aspects 
of the Prussian project. 

Firstly, the assault upon European civi- 
lisation was planned in advance by at least 
two years. Long before such a date Prussia 


had contemplated the ultimate subjection 
of all Europe to her own vassalage and to 
her own peculiar code of morals. But one 
may fix the period of two years as the 
period during which the project was not 
only contemplated, but dated for a partic- 
ular hour. Since 1912, at least, the date 
of the proposed assault upon European 
civilisation was fixed for the year 1914 
after the gathering in of the harvest. 

There are a dozen pieces of evidence 
which make this conclusion certain. The 
French, whose excellent system of counter- 
spying (though somewhat disorganised by 
the activities of Cosmopolitan Finance in 
the Dreyfus case) has given them a pro- 
tection against German espionage which 
we lack, have published in their Yellow 
Book many documents enforcing this 
point. But really it needs no enforcing 
for those who have studied the course of 
European diplomacy during the period 
named. It was after the Balkan War, 
and more especially after the partial defeat 
of German diplomacy by the union of 
France and England in the matter of 
Agadir, that the Prussian Government be- 


gan to make its preparations for an act of 
aggression against its neighbours. It pro- 
posed to be ready by August, 1914 ; and it 
was ready by exactly that date. 

It was during this period that the 
German Empire under Prussian guidance 
made the first real attempt to put some- 
thing like a complement of its available 
citizens under arms. It was during this 
period that the Zeppelins were developed, 
and the submarines. B.ut especially it was 
during this period that a deliberate attempt 
was made to separate Great Britain from 
her natural Allies, to keep her neutral in 
the projected conflict, in order that she 
might be reserved for subsequent and 
separate destruction when the hegemony 
of Europe should have been secured. The 
Prussian Government tried hard to achieve 
that end, thought she had achieved it, and 
in fact missed it so narrowly that in view 
of what has happened since no instructed 
Englishman can easily help shuddering at 
the closeness of his escape. 

In the year 1912, as we all know, Lord 
Haldane visited Germany, and it was gen- 
erally understood that the object of his 



mission was the establishment of more 
friendly relations between the two coun- 
tries. With the wisdom, or otherwise, of 
dispatching such a mission, or of selecting 
Lord Haldane to take charge of it, we are 
not at the moment concerned. What con- 
cerns us is the light thrown upon Prussian 
aims and Prussian methods by his re- 

The Prussian Government drew jip and 
communicated to Lord Haldane a memor- 
andum setting out the conditions which it 
considered necessary to the conclusion of 
a good understanding with Great Britain. 
This document is so important that I quote 
it at length : 

(1) The high contracting parties assure 

each other mutually of their desire of 
peace and friendship. 

(2) They will not, either of them, make or 

prepare to make any (unprovoked) 
attack upon the other, or join in any 
combination or design against the 
other for purposes of aggression, or 
become party to any plan or naval or 
military enterprise alone or in com- 


bination with any other Power 
directed to such an end, and declare 
themselves not to be bound by any 
such engagement. 

(3) If either of the high contracting parties 

becomes entangled in a war with one 
or more Powers in which it cannot be 
said to be the aggressor, the other 
party will at least observe towards 
the Power so entangled a benevolent 
neutrality, and will use its utmost 
endeavour for the localisation of the 
conflict. If either of the high con- 
tracting parties is forced to go to war 
by obvious provocation from a third 
party, they bind themselves to enter 
into an exchange of views concerning 
their attitude in such a conflict. 

(4) The duty of neutrality which arises 

out of the preceding article has no 
application in so far as it may not be 
reconcilable with existing agreements 
which the high contracting parties 
have already made. 

(5) The making of new agreements, which 

render it impossible for either of the 
parties to observe neutrality towards 


the other beyond what is provided by 
the preceding limitation, is excluded 
in conformity with the provisions in 
Article 2. 

(6) The high contracting parties declare 
that they will do all in their power 
to prevent differences and misunder- 
standings arising between either of 
them and other Powers. 

Now had these terms been published at 
the time, there can be little doubt that the 
wealthy men who, from one motive or an- 
other, were at that time working for an 
understanding with Germany would have 
clamoured for their acceptance, and it is 
certain that, owing to their wealth, their 
control of a considerable section of the 
Press, and their " influence" with the 
politicians, the pressure which they might 
have exerted upon the Government would 
have been formidable. It would have been 
said by their spokesmen and stipendiaries 
that Germany had made an eminently fair 
and friendly offer, and that it behoved us 
to be generous in return. 

Fortunately such men, though their 


power for mischief is great, do not direct 
our foreign policy. Whether Lord Hal- 
dane realised the amazing implications in- 
volved in the proposals made to him does 
not appear. But the Foreign Office clearly 
realised them, and proposed instead a 
simple declaration that neither Power 
would take part in any aggressive design 
against the other. This proposal the 
Prussians, of course, rejected. 

It is easy now to see what the Prussian 
plan was. The significant articles are 
those numbered four and five. The first 
nullifies the obligation to maintain neutral- 
ity ' ' in so far as it may not be reconcil- 
able with existing agreements which the 
high-contracting parties have already 
made, ' ' while the other forbids the making 
of such agreements in future. Now the 
German Empire had already an offensive 
and defensive alliance with Austria, while 
England had no alliance with any Euro- 
pean Power, and was, by the terms of the 
proposed agreement, forbidden to enter 
into one. All then that Prussia would have 
to do to secure the neutrality of England in 
the aggressive war which she was already 


planning was to put up Austria to be 
the nominal mover in the matter. And 
that is, of course, exactly what, two years 
later, she actually did ; but, very fortun- 
ately for us, without having previously 
succeeded in tying our hands in advance. 

But though the plot failed, it carried 
with it its moral and its warning. It 
shows us very clearly what would happen 
if this country were mad enough to con- 
clude any kind of peace, however appar- 
ently favourable the terms, which left the 
German Empire under Prussian hegemony 
in being, and capable of future aggression. 

Had we fallen into the trap so carefully 
laid for us it is clear as daylight what 
would have happened to us. Prussia would 
have continued her preparations, and at 
the appointed time would have struck her 
blow at her European rivals. In addition 
to the advantages which she actually de- 
rived from long and elaborate preparation 
and from the choice of her own moment for 
action she would have had the advantage 
of sea power, of uninterrupted supplies 
from abroad, and of the elimination of the 
British forces from the number of her 


opponents. She would very likely have 
won. She would have achieved an undis- 
puted supremacy on the Continent, and 
she would at once have begun to prepare 
for the completion of her work by the over- 
throw of Great Britain . The attack which 
she would certainly have made upon us 
within a few years of a successful Con- 
tinental war we should have had to meet 
without Allies, for the defeated Powers 
would have not only been exhausted by 
war, but embittered against us for our 
treason, and we should have had to defend 
ourselves against an enemy with all the 
resources of Europe virtually at his dis- 

It seems from a hundred indications 
which may be found in the diplomatic 
correspondence, and especially from the 
evident surprise and alarm which mingled 
with the anger of the German Foreign 
Minister when he learnt our decision, that, 
even after the failure of the plot of 1912, 
Prussia counted to the last .upon our com- 
mitting the suicidal folly which she desired 
us to commit. Our fidelity to our engage- 
ments, and our determination to resist an 


aggression which must, if it had succeeded, 
ultimately have involved our own ruin, was 
evidently a very unpleasant surprise to her 
rulers. None the less, even after our in- 
tervention, those rulers continued to count 
on victory, and on a victory which should 
be at once speedy and complete. 

How excellent a reason they had for en- 
tertaining such an expectation was not 
grasped in this country at the time, and 
is quite insufficiently grasped by the lay 
public even to-day. It is important that 
it should be seized, if only because its 
neglect has led, among other things, to a 
gross exaggeration of the enemy's achieve- 
ments so far, and a consequent miscalcula- 
tion of his present position and future 
chances. It is therefore well to emphasise 
the immense handicap which Prussia with 
her vassals enjoyed at the outbreak of the 
war, and the great military advantages of 
which she had made sure before she struck 
her blow. 

These advantages went from beyond the 
obvious advantage which a deliberate crim- 
inal must always have over his victim the 
fact that the criminal necessarily knows 


when and where the crime is to be com- 
mitted, which the victim does not. They 
went far beyond the incidental advantage 
also necessarily appertaining to the 
criminal that he is free to violate at will, 
and unexpectedly rules, and traditions of 
morals which, so long as they are inviolate, 
he can rely upon his opponent respecting. 
They were material and calculable. They 
consisted especially in a great initial 
superiority in numbers and an even greater 
superiority in material. At the outset the 
Germanic Powers could put into the field 
on the Western front outnumbering those 
of the Allies by more than two to three, 
while still confronting the Russians with 
equal and probably slightly superior 
numbers. For munitionment, especially 
on the Eastern front, there was no com- 

This was not adequately realised because 
sufficient emphasis was not laid upon the 
distinction between the potential resources 
of the two sides in these respects and the 
resources available for use at the outbreak 
of war. It is quite true it is indeed the 
essential trutK which" will determine the 


future of the war that the Allies have 
ultimately far greater resources in men, 
and possibly, certainly if the power of 
the British fleet were used to its utmost 
capacity, ultimately greater resources in 
munitionment than had the Germanic 
Powers. And this was, of course, as well 
known to the Prussian Government as to 
us. If they had thought that the war was 
to last two years they would assuredly 
never have provoked it. They hardly ex- 
pected it to last two months. 

It must again be insisted that their cal- 
culation was not absurd. The plan was 
thought out very thoroughly perhaps too 
thoroughly, as is the Prussian way and 
it seemed plausible. A blow was to be 
struck with overwhelming force ; struck, 
for the better certitude of success, treach- 
erously through neutral Belgium and Lux- 
embourg, straight at the heart of France. 
Within a month, or little more, as was 
reckoned, the French armies would be 
destroyed, Paris would be seized (for the 
Germans guessed, and, as it proved, 
rightly, that modern fortications could not 
stand against modern siege artillery), and 


France disarmed at a blow. Great Britain, 
if she came in at all, could hardly continue 
the fight after her military Ally had been 
compelled to surrender. The whole force 
of the Russian Empire could not be 
destroyed. The German general staff knew 
that if the German people did not. But it 
was imagined that she could be wounded 
so deeply as to compel her, abandoned per- 
force by her Allies, to an early surrender. 

That was the Prussian calculation, and 
it is to be found set out in detail in the 
works of a dozen German military and 
political speculators. The action of the 
armies throughout the first phase of the 
war exactly followed it. 

When Prussia struck her blow, she 
struck to kill, meant to kill, and expected 
to kill the civilisation of Europe. Her 
blow missed its mark, but so narrowly that 
it would be suicidal mania to risk its 




WHEN the fortress of Namur fell in 
August, 1914, there must have been many, 
both in this country and in France and 
Belgium and those not the least qualified 
to judge of military things who thought 
that the end of European civilisation had 
come, that another stretch of Dark Ages 
was ahead of us, with perhaps no hope of 
resurrection. For situated as we and our 
Allies were, unexpectedly attacked, over- 
whelmingly outnumbered, and caught 
short by an enemy who had been pre- 
viously and secretly piling up his arms 
and munitions for two years against a war 
to be sprung upon the world at a date 
already fixed, such hopes as we dared 
to entertain hung upon the thinnest of 


threads, and the fall of Namur seemed to 
snap that thread. 

The loss of Namur meant more than the 
loss of a single citadel, though that citadel 
had been made the pivot of the allied posi- 
tion. It meant in effect something like 
the levelling of all the French and Belgian 
fortresses to the ground. It meant that 
the Germans had been right and the 
French wrong in at least one essential 
matter, concerning which controversy had 
raged in military circles before the war. 
It meant that modern permanent defences 
could not stand against modern howitzer 
fire directed by modern air-craft. It meant 
the doom of all that enormous work of 
fortification which the French had ac- 
complished since 1870. And in all our 
hearts, whether we spoke or were silent, 
there was the evil whisper, " What about 
Paris ?" 

Those who knew anything of the true 
facts could not take comfort, as did the less 
instructed, in dreams of which was called 
' ' the Russian steam-roller. ' ' They knew 
that that foolish optimistic phrase was the 
inspiration of some journalist of the same 


type perhaps the same man that has 
since evolved at the bidding of panicky or 
interested newspaper owners plenty of pes- 
simistic phrases equally foolish ; that our 
Allies in the East, though their mobilisa- 
tion had been more rapid than the enemy 
expected, and they had with magnificent 
self-devotion used it to create a diversion 
by a raid into East Prussia, had not and 
could not have within time then calculable 
anything like a decisive numerical superi- 
ority on the Eastern front. And in the 
darkest hour, when the Western Allies 
were retiring headlong before the over- 
whelming advance of the enemy, checking 
it when they could, but immediately re- 
commencing the retreat, when the French 
Government was abandoning Paris for 
Bordeaux, resolved to fight to the end what 
seemed a hopeless battle, came the news 
that the Russian invasion had been broken 
at Tannenberg. 

From a peril almost too enormous and 
present for our strained nerves to appre- 
ciate, the world was saved by two things 
the splendid courage, discipline, and en- 
durance of the British and French troops 


engaged, and the strategy of General 
Joffre, inherited in its broad lines from 
the great traditions of French arms and 
applied with consummate judgment and 
success. On the one hand the retreat, pre- 
cipitate as it had necessarily to be, was con- 
ducted without disaster ; on the other, the 
French commander kept his reserves free, 
and flung them at the moment of his 
choice upon the flank of the German ad- 
vance, compelled the forces which still 
greatly outnumbered his own to retire, and 
pinned them to the line which, with a very 
few variations in either direction, they still 

I am not attempting to write a military 
history of the war a task for which I 
possess no qualifications but it is neces- 
sary to the purpose of this book to trace 
the true character of the Battle of the 
Marne, because half of our misunderstand- 
ings of our present position, and, in con- 
sequence, the disastrous mistakes that we 
may make as a result of such misunder- 
standings are the direct result of a failure 
to appreciate its import. Many civilians 
are inclined (as they are encouraged by 


others as ignorant as themselves and gen- 
erally less honest who control a section of 
the Press) to regard the result as a sort 
of "draw." "The Germans, " such men 
will say, " certainly failed to get to Paris, 
and that was a check for them ; but equally 
have we and our Allies failed to drive them 
out of France and Belgium, and that is a 
check for us. ' ' From this false judgment 
is bred the mischievous delusion that the 
limit of effort on either side is now reached, 
and thence again the case for the disastrous 
consequence is deduced that the Germans 
will have to be expelled from French and 
Belgian soil, not by arms, but by " nego- 

With the dangerous folly of this sugges- 
tion, and the utter falsity of the theory 
which underlies it, I shall have to deal 
later ; but what may here be said is that 
the Battle of the Marne marks the final 
and complete failure of the original Prus- 
sian plan, the plan upon which the whole 
adventure was based, the plan but for the 
apparently assured success of which war 
would not have been forced by Prussia 
upon Europe. 


To the instructed military opinion of 
Germany this was as apparent as to in- 
structed military opinion elsewhere. 

Bernhardi who is as well worth reading 
when he is writing about the profession 
that he understands as he is intolerable and 
ridiculous when he is fumbling with the 
cruder Prussian sophistries concerning 
philosophy and morals had warned his 
countrymen long before that they must 
never allow themselves to be caught be- 
tween an unbeaten France and an unbeaten 
Russia. That is just the position in which 
they were from that moment in imminent 
danger of finding themselves ; as it is the 
position in which they actually find them- 
selves to-day. 

The fear and, later, the consciousness 
of that position is the key to all that 
has happened since. After several violent 
efforts against the allied line, hammering 
it heavily, especially at Ypres, in the hope 
of breaking it and so fulfilling, though 
after a perilous delay, the original plan 
of campaign, the Prussian General Staff 
suddenly altered that plan and tried the 
alternative one the destruction of the 



Russian forces while the French were held. 
This had also been canvassed by Bern- 
hardi, who had rejected it on grounds 
partly political. But the moment for 
adopting it was not ill chosen, for, though 
the Russians had successfully invaded 
Galicia, were threatening Cracow, and 
thence the area (all-^important both for 
strategic and industrial reasons) of Silesia, 
and had seized some of the passes of the 
Carpathians, their geographical position, 
coupled with their limited industrial devel- 
opment, placed them at a disadvantage in 
the matter of munitionment. Taking ad- 
vantage of this, the Germans piled up 
munitions, and, relying upon their superi- 
ority in this respect, made seven succes- 
sive attempts to capture and put out of 
action the Russian armies. Each one of 
these attempts failed. When at last, in 
Lord Kitchener's words, Germany had 
" shot her last bolt/' and the forces on 
cither side came to a standstill as a line 
running from the front of Vilna to the 
Roumanian frontier, all the Russian 
armies were still in being and ready to 
attack again so soon as their deficiency 


in military necessities could be made 

Here again most civilian opinion tended 
to illusion, and was encouraged in that 
illusion, by the section of the Press or, to 
be more exact, of the wealthy men who 
control the Press. They saw in it simply 
a defeat for our Ally. One prominent 
politician, a Cabinet Minister, had the 
almost inconceivable folly and lack of 
responsibility (one does not like to accuse 
him of anything worse) to say in a volume 
characteristically called " From Terror 
to Triumph " that Russia had evidently 
1 ' made her contribution" to the war! 
But what was obvious to every soldier 
not only to Lord Kitchener, whose very 
different interpretation of the facts I have 
already quoted, but quite as certainly to 
the soldiers who direct the military policy 
of the German Empire was that the 
Russian armies were still in being like the 
French and British armies ; that Germany 
had failed to escape from her dangerous 
position ; that she was still, in Bismarck's 
phrase, " bet ween the hammer and the 
anvil " ; that, in face of Bernhardi's warn- 


ing, she still had to deal with an unbeaten 
France and an unbeaten Russia. In that 
position she still remains, and, as the 
rulers of Prussia well know, every day 
during which she remains in it visibly 
increases the certainty of her ultimate 

There is one further point to be noted. 
Ever since the Battle of the Marne it is 
observable that an element, not truly 
military, mingles with the military plans 
of the enemy. Thus, for instance, the 
effort against Ypres, which had a reason- 
able strategic object, is followed by the 
much-advertised " march on Calais/' 
which failed and almost certainly must 
have failed, but which, if it had succeeded, 
would only have pushed back the allied 
line (which reposed on the sea and could 
not therefore be outflanked), and would 
have left the purely military situation 
exactly as it was. Its object was to in- 
timidate civilian opinion in this country, 
perhaps to frighten us into refusing to 
send our newly raised levies abroad, 
though in fact the Germans would find it 
just as easy to get troops from Ostende to 


London as from Calais to Dover. Of the 
same character was the " shelling >: of 
Dunkirk at a range which made all idea of 
aiming impossible, dictated by the belief 
(probably erroneous) that most English- 
men know where Dunkirk is. So again 
the failure against Russia was followed by 
the theatrical display in the Balkans, for 
which an indirect military object might 
indeed be claimed, since it helped to bring 
in Bulgaria and to confirm the possibly 
wavering loyalty of Turkey, but which 
could not possibly affect directly the mili- 
tary situation upon the two fronts, where 
alone decisive results can be achieved on 
either side. Finally the violent and very 
expensive attack upon the French line in 
the neighbourhood of the town of Verdun, 
which we have just been watching, under- 
taken at first probably with the object of 
breaking the French line, or at least of 
capturing a considerable section of the 
French forces, is persisted in at enormous 
cost long after such an object was patently 
unattainable from motives which we may 
not fully understand but which are clearly 
more or less political. 


What are those motives ? What is the 
political object to which purely military 
considerations are so often and so reck- 
lessly sacrificed by the enemy? That is 
the question which we have now to con- 



WHAT Prussia wants at the present 
moment is a truce. All her efforts, even 
her purely military efforts, are being 
directed increasingly to that single end. 
I say that this is obvious to anyone who 
carefully follows the course of events, and 
it is the true explanation of what must 
strike one unacquainted with this truth 
as it does strike many Americans for 
example as a paradox ; the contrast be- 
tween the increasing violence and ferocity 
of Prussia's deeds, and the increasing 
smoothness and humanity of her words. 
Clumsy as the thing is, it is quite intellig- 
ible. The acts of terrorism are intended 
to frighten civilians in the allied nations to 
divide their counsels and to create a public 
mood more or less favourable to surrender. 
7 1 


"The elevated sentiments are meant to ap- 
peal partly to neutral nations and partly 
to those sections of opinion in the allied 
nations which have inherited a certain 
tradition of idealistic or sentimental 
Pacifism. It is true that the first crude 
attempts of the Prussians to act the part of 
peace-lover, nation-defender, and treaty- 
observer have been as grotesque as a 
monkey trying to talk, but their intent is 
obvious enough. 

It has been so ever since the Battle of 
the Marne. When, indeed, the Prussians 
hoped for complete victory they not only 
committed, but boasted, of atrocities. The 
earlier abominations committed in Belgium 
and on the line of march up to the gates 
of Paris were accompanied by open and 
exultant proclamation that " a certain 
frightfulness " was necessary. But when 
the initial attack had failed the word went 
out to slow down on atrocities, and for some 
time the German armies were more or less 
on their good behaviour in France, while 
the German Press was ordered to discover 
an affectionate admiration for the French 
' ' our brave enemies whose gallantry we 


have always respected,'* etc. etc. When 
the French turned away with natural dis- 
gust from this slaver the outrages on their 
women and children were renewed. 

The same thing happened in regard to 
Poland. Prussia, the original author of 
the partition of Poland, and the most cruel 
and persistent enemy the Poles have had 
throughout their history, suddenly began 
to affect a warm sympathy with Polish 
national aspirations, and offered the Poles 
their " independence " under a German 
prince ! But the Poles knew their Prussia, 
and moreover the enemy committed the 
folly of trying at the same time to work 
through the Jews, whom the Poles hate 
much more bitterly than do the Russians. 
Then all the horrors that Belgium had 
endured were let loose on Poland. 

The next move was in the direction of 
Russia. When the six attempts to put 
the Russian armies out of action had 
failed, Russia was approached with pro- 
posals for peace "on honourable terms," 
seems even to have been graciously offered 
an alliance and compensation at the ex- 
pense of Prussia's Ally or vassal, Turkey. 


Of these proposals M. Sazanoff, the very 
able Foreign Minister of the Tsar, has left 
it on record that ' ' they were so ill-con- 
ceived that it cannot be said that they 
were rejected." Perhaps it was partly in 
revenge for this exquisitely phrased in- 
sult, but probably much more in disap- 
pointment at Russia's refusal to desert 
her Allies, that the German Chancellor 
filled his last speech with preposterous 
threats against Russia while making a 
veiled but tolerably obvious bid for peace 
in the West. 

There are not a few indications that our 
own turn is coming next. When a few 
more of our women and babies have been 
burnt alive, a few more of our watering- 
places bombarded, a few more of our un- 
armed civilians treacherously drowned, a 
few more of our prisoners maltreated, a 
few more of our nurses shot, perhaps after 
a last effort to land a German force, how- 
ever small, somewhere in these islands, 
so that rape and torture may be added to 
the toll of crimes, we shall be treated to 
the " very gallant enemy " stunt. Prob- 
ably our old friend, the " Teutonic race," 


will be resurrected for the purpose. 
Prussia can always mobolise her professors 
even more quickly than her armies. 

What sort of a peace or rather truce 
does Prussia expect to get? And why 
does she want it? 

In answer to the first question it may 
safely be said that she would now accept 
any peace which left her military and naval 
power in being, the resources of her Em- 
pire which for this purpose includes and 
will increasingly include the Austro-Hun- 
garian still at her disposal, and her inter- 
national action unfettered. She will try, 
of course, to get more out of our fears and 
credulity and lack of military knowledge. 
But pushed to the wall in the negotiation 
that is all she would really insist upon. 
She has evidently already made up her 
mind to the abandonment of Belgium ; the 
Chancellor's speech made that plain, and 
it is doubtful whether she would now put 
up much of a fight even to keep Antwerp, 
though that port would be very useful to 
her in her subsequent plans. She would 
try to bargain for the retention of at least 
part of Alsace-Lorraine, but in the last 


resort she would let that go. If she is not 
at the moment in the mood to give up 
Poland, a very short time will bring her 
to that mood. 

The terms of peace, therefore, which she 
would almost certainly accept, though they 
are, of course, not the terms which she 
would ask, would seem to many reasonable 
if not generous. 

The Prussian assault against Europe 
has failed. On the Continent Germany 
is beaten, and her Prussian rulers know it 
if her mixed populations do not. It will 
be long before Prussia again takes aggres- 
sive action against her neighbours on land. 
Yet she cannot remain content as she is, 
or as she will be after the war, for it is 
the very doctrine upon which not only her 
power but her national life is built that 
great nations live only by aggression and 
expansion. If she ceased to hold and en- 
force that doctrine she would cease to be 
Prussia, and her hold over the Germanics 
would be gone. She can afford to accept 
a temporary check she has suffered such 
checks before but she cannot acquiesce 
in a permanent and stable peace based upon 


anything but her own acknowledged super- 
iority. A partial defeat must be followed 
at some not too distant date by an un- 
challengeable victory, a victory which will 
at once restore her prestige and bring 
material compensation for whatsoever she 
may have been compelled to surrender, or 
else Prussia must needs die, or (and that 
is really death in a nation) be transformed 
into something other than herself. Bern- 
hardi was absolutely right when he said 
that, with such a philosophy as Prussia 
professed and believed, the alternative was 
" world-power or downfall/' 

The country marked out by every indi- 
cation of fate for such a revenge is Great 
Britain. The British Colonial Empire, 
British maritime trade, British sea-power 
these are the consolation stakes upon 
which the eyes of Berlin are now fixed. 
And if Prussia escapes to-day she will 
probably win them. 




IF it be true, as it certainly is true, that 
the enemy desires above all things an 
escape from his present situation by way 
of a truce which will leave him capable 
of further aggression in the future, it be- 
comes of the utmost importance to estimate 
justly the character and weight of the 
factors in the politics of this country upon 
which he can count for a measure of 

Foremost amongst these factors one 
must mark the prevalence in certain 
classes of that sentiment or doctrine it 
is doubtful how exactly one ought to de- 
scribe it commonly called Pacifism. 

That, in some vague and mysterious 
fashion, fighting, wholly irrespective of 
the justice of the cause in which it is 
81 F 


hndertaken, is more or less wrong, has 
become a sort of first principle with certain 
not inconsiderable sections of our popula- 
tion. The influence of this falsehood ex- 
tends far beyond the ranks of that tiny 
minority which is disposed in the present 
instance to oppose the national cause. The 
antics of the ' ' conscientious objectors ' ' 
are no more than symptoms, though the 
toleration of these lunatics and the open 
encouragement given to them to exhibit 
their mental diseases to the astonished eyes 
of England and Europe is an indication 
that the conscience of the nation or at 
least of an influential part of the nation 
is not shocked by them as the conscience 
of most historic European communities 
would have been. But not all persons 
touched with the Pacifist morality are mad 
or even unpatriotic. There are undoubt- 
edly quite a large number of people who 
admit for special reasons the justification 
of the present war, and who quite honestly 
desire to see it fought out until victory is 
attained, who nevertheless retain a certain 
vague and imperfectly defined sense of 
something immoral in the taking up of 


arms at any rate against a foreigner, for 
few feel any qualms of conscience about 
using force against their fellow-citizens if 
they happen to be poorer than themselves. 

Now this temper mainly found in a 
section of the middle class is of great 
importance in the matter we are consider- 
ing because, though, as I have said, many 
to whom it is more or less native, make 
an exception of the present war, and hon- 
estly and even ardently desire victory for 
their country, it is obvious that it is easier 
to persuade such people at a given moment 
that the time has come to put an end to 
hostilities than would be the case with 
people committed to the Christian theory 
of morals in the matter. 

Why has this country more than any 
other in Europe suffered the weakening of 
its moral traditions in this fashion ? That 
is a very interesting question to which 
more than one answer might be given. 
Our immemorial immunity from invasion 
counts for a good deal. The very wide- 
spread loss of religion, perhaps, for a good 
deal more. The capitalistic structure of 
our commercial civilisation founded upon 


a proletariat is another factor not to be 
ignored. Neither can we ignore the in- 
fluence of certain great men, remarkable 
in one way or another for their powers of 

In a previous book in which I made an 
attempt to analyse the phenomenon, I 
named Cobden and Shelley as the respec- 
tive types, if not the respective inspirers, 
of commercial and sentimental Pacifism 
in England. I should now, I think, be 
inclined to trace the inspiration of both 
back to the illusion which was almost uni- 
versal in the first decades of the nine- 
teenth century, that the French Revolution 
had been a complete failure. This sup- 
posed failure was interpreted in different 
fashions, but it so happened that the two 
principal interpretations adopted by those 
who conceived themselves more or less in 
sympathy with the democratic side in the 
quarrel, though widely different in almost 
every other respect, both told in favour 
of Pacifism. 

According to the first of these interpre- 
tations the French Revolution was right 
in its original aim in so far as that aim 


was the creation of an ideal commonwealth 
based upon freedom, equality, and brother- 
hood. Indeed in this respect those who 
directed its course were to be blamed rather 
for being too moderate than for being too 
extreme, since they recognised property 
and marriage, and did not attempt to create 
an absolute equality or community of 
wealth. Its error lay in the resort to 
violence for the achievement of its ends. 
This introduction of the element of viol- 
ence inevitably led to retaliatory violence 
on the part of the authorities, which in 
time produced ferocious popular reprisals 
which disgraced the righteous cause. The 
result was first civil and then foreign war, 
the conversion of all France into an army 
rather than a commonwealth, the estab- 
lishment of military despotism, aggressive 
wars provoking a combination of Europe 
against France, and finally the breaking 
of France and of all the work of the Revo- 
lution, good and bad alike, by that same 
armed force to which France herself had 
so unwisely appealed. 

That is the type of teaching of which 
Godwin was the principal contemporary 


exponent. If it had been left to Godwin 
to expound, it is hardly conceivable that 
a set of propositions so patently and ludi- 
crously divorced from all historical and 
psychological reality could have earned the 
serious consideration, not to say the assent, 
of sane men. But Godwin had among his 
disciples a man of splendid poetic genius, 
Shelley; and Shelley's influence on the 
youth of the coming age was to be pro- 
found. It would be an idle though a fas- 
cinating speculation to imagine what might 
have happened to the democratic move- 
ment in England had it taken as its 
literary prophet, not Shelley but Byron 
a man sane in his moral theory (whatever 
his practice may have been), a man who 
thoroughly understood Europe, and per- 
haps the one Englishman of that genera- 
tion who guessed that the Revolution had 
not failed. But for one reason or another 
perhaps his unquestionable superiority 
as a poet, perhaps his closer affinity with 
the vagueness and indecision of that age 
it was Shelley whose work brought inspir- 
ation to successive generations of young 
enthusiasts. He was the first poet that 


the budding Revolutionist of the Victorian 
age rushed to read, and it must be admitted 
that it needed a strong head especially in 
youth to so far avoid the intoxication 
induced by such overpowering and un- 
paralleled mastery of word-music and 
imagery as to ask whether what the poet 
was preaching was intellectually coherent 
or credible by reasonable men. Shelley 
got no nearer to Godwin to explaining 
since neither believed in miracles in what 
fashion, other than by violence, human 
rights, when invaded, were to be vindi- 
cated. He made two attempts to answer 
this obvious question ; one in * The 
Masque of Anarchy," another in " Prome- 
theus Unbound." In the one case he ends 
by flatly contradicting himself at the 
crucial moment ; in the other he saves 
himself the trouble of thinking by invent- 
ing an imaginery character called Demo- 
gorgon, who should do the troublesome and 
unpleasant part of his work for him. But, 
muddled as was Shelley's mental position, 
his moral influence was immense, and if 
we look forward to what is vaguely called 
the " advanced" movements of the later 


nineteenth century especially to the So- 
cialist movement we shall find them 
clogged up with a mass of moral dogmas, 
all wholly irrevelant to the main thesis of 
democracy, whether political or social, but 
all more or less to be found in the writings 
of Shelley vegetarianism, free love, and 
the greatest and incomparably the most 
mischievous of these was Pacifism. 

There was, however, another school of 
Radicals which arose on the morrow of the 
Revolution and which criticised it on differ- 
ent grounds but arrived at a somewhat 
similar verdict. In the judgment of this 
school the sin of the Revolution was intel- 
lectual, and consisted in the acceptance as 
its basis of an abstract creed. It founded 
itself on the mystical dogma of the rights 
of man, which seemed to the new school 
as little self-evident or demonstrable as 
the mystical dogma of the divine right of 
kings, which it sought to replace. The 
true test to be applied to systems of 
Government was the test of utility, 
and the privileges of kings and nobles 
were to be condemned, not because in 
the abstract they were unjust, but be- 


cause in the concrete they were useless, 
wasteful, and mischievous. Such was 
the criticism advanced at the time by 
Bentham, and from Bentham and the 
utilitarians this materialist philosophy 
descended to Cobden and the Manchester 
School, through whom it profoundly 
influenced the political outlook of the 
English middle class. 

This influence was also favourable to 
Pacifism. For when all institutions were 
asked to justify themselves by showing a 
visible and material profit, war naturally 
seemed to many people the most gigantic 
example of profitless waste of life and 
wealth. Its causes often seemed senti- 
mental, and sentiment was the Satan of 
the new creed ; the honour paid to it was 
traditional, and to these men it was one 
one of their worst limitations tradition 
seemed a contemptible refuge from the 
mentally weak. It is true that the middle 
class which backed Cobden so solidly in 
the matter of Free Trade fell away from 
him to a considerable extent when the issue 
of war was raised. None the less, had his 
teaching as to fundamentals profoundly in- 


financed them, so that while patriotism, 
anger, jnst or unjnst, Sympathy with 
some particular canse or what not might 
lead them in a particular instance to 
clamour for war the impression that war in 
in the abstract was a stupid " barbaric " 
thing and, above all, a waste of money was 
still present at the back of their minds, 
and showed itself very markedly when it 
was other people who were at war. Look 
up the cartoons in Punch published during 
the American Civil War a war fought in 
good faith on both sides on as portentous 
and worthy an issue as any that could pos- 
sibly appeal to arms and you will see how 
deeply Cobdenism had coloured the mind 
of Victorian England. The middle-class 
Englishman of that age did really think at 
bottom that war was justified only by some 
solid commercial advantage obtained by it 
and that judged by that test it is generally 
a fools' business. 

This conception of war remained a sort 
of undercurrent during the last decades of 
the nineteenth century in spite of the Im- 
perialist movement indeed in some re- 
spects that movement was akin to it, for, 


while it defended war, most of its expo- 
nents accepted the need of a tangible and 
material profit as a set off to its losses. 
With the reaction against Imperialism the 
old Cobdenite idea revived, and how easy 
it still was to conjure with it is shown by 
a very amusing episode which occurred on 
the eve of the great war. 

A Harmsworth journalist, named Ralph 
Lane, seems to have come across some of 
Cobden's neglected writings and speeches, 
and, selecting some of the crudest prop- 
ositions contained therein, lumped them 
together in a book which he called " The 
Great Illusion/* To make the result 
more impressive to the public he dropped 
the name of Lane associated for those 
who had heard it at all with nothing more 
impressive than the Paris Daily Mail 
and called itself " Norman AngelL" His 
thesis was Cobden's : that war can never 
bring commercial profit and ought there- 
fore under all circumstances to be avoided. 
His absurd book with its mixture of silly 
truisms and pestilentially false morals 
was hailed as a masterpiece of original 
creative thought, and it was sedulously 


boomed, especially by his ex-employer, 
whose tributes took the form of mournful 
regrets that so stupendous an intellect 
should have adopted and made so plaus- 
ible an anti-Imperial thesis. How long 
the bluff could have been kept up before 
somebody else happened on a speech or two 
of Cobden's somewhere in the 'forties or 
' fifties containing the new discovery ver- 
batim, one cannot say, for the war caught 
Lane in a full flood tide of success. He 
was too shrewd to abide the issue, and 
escaped for the United States, where he is 
now contributing anti-British but by no 
means Pacifist articles to the American 
papers. I think I ought to add that I do 
not really believe that in the first instance 
Lane had any other motive than to emulate 
his master, Harmsworth, by securing the 
fame and profit to be got from a successful 
journalistic spoof, though the effect of his 
action so far as it went was undoubtedly 
to the advantage of Prussia. 

But the main interest which to-day at- 
taches to the career of this curious char- 
latan lies in the continued presence among 
us of the kind of men whom he took in, 


and the considerable chance which Prussia 
may have of taking them in once more. 

There were, especially in the commer- 
cial classes, a good many men of power 
and wealth who were at first opposed to 
our entrance into the war largely on the 
exalted ground put forward by the ideal- 
istic cocoa manufacturer, Cadbury, that 
if we stood by we could make money out 
of both sides who came into line regret- 
fully, who hoped for a short and easy war, 
and who would now not be unwilling to 
conclude an early peace upon terms which 
would leave the power of Prussia intact. 
Their organs in the Press, though not of 
the widest circulation, possess a certain 
dignity and influence, even apart from the 
wealth of their proprietors. The Man- 
chester Guardian and the Nation may be 
taken as typical. 

With the wealthy commercial Pacifists 
powerful in politics and in journalism the 
fervent sentimental Pacifists constituting 
a certain element not large in numbers, 
but comprising some important elements 
in the Socialist movement, it is clear that 
the efforts to influence opinion in this 


country in favour of a premature peace 
the Prussians have certain material upon 
which to work. It remains to be seen what 
use they are making and are likely to 
make in the future of this material. 



THE elements in the Socialist movement 
which were more or less hostile to the 
national cause might be classified under 
three heads. There was the element to 
which I have already alluded the Shel- 
ley an element. This was largely middle 
class, but it included a number of young 
working men, keen on self -improvement. 
It received considerable reinforcement 
from Nonconformists who were doubtful 
about their God, and were looking round 
for something "undenominational" to 
believe in. The body calling itself the 
Independent Labour Party, or I.L.P., may 
be taken as fairly representative of this 
section. This type in its full and fatuous 
purity is almost unrepresented in politics ; 
it has hardly brains enough even for so 


futile a job. In practice it is more or less 
represented by certain professional poli- 
ticians who look to its support for a career, 
and timidly give expression to its aspira- 
tions, though before the war they were 
among the most docile of the servants 
of the front benches. Mr Macdonald 
though he has many other irons in the 
fire and Mr Snowdon are men of this 

The old guard of Social Democracy in 
this country was and is all but unanimous 
in support of the national cause. The 
conclusion to which the middle-class 
papers, even of the more honest type, have 
generally jumped, that the division be- 
tween the patriotic and unpatriotic Social- 
ists is identical with the division between 
the moderate and extreme Socialists, is not 
only false, but almost the reverse of the 
truth. The Marxians of the strict type, 
whatever the defects of their creed, were 
not Pacifist. They got their revolution- 
ary inspiration from the Continent, and 
largely escaped Shelley an infection. They 
had the enormous advantage derived from 
the leadership of Mr Hyndman, who was 


thoroughly familiar with the European 
situation and knew well that a victory for 
Prussia must mean the defeat of any pos- 
sible form of democracy. 

On the other hand, the vaguely Pacifist 
Socialists, whose condition of mind I have 
attempted to describe, were necessarily 
Pacifist in peace as in war. They had as 
little appetite for the violence in resist- 
ance to the oppression of their class as 
in defence of the rights of their country. 
They were shocked by such phrases as the 
" Class War M perhaps the one Marxian 
phrase which represents an indisputable 
reality for they were men who hated re- 
alities. This for the rank and file. Their 
leaders, such as Ramsay Macdonald, were 
professionals on the look-out for jobs, and 
not only permitted but helped every step 
that was taken by politicians financed by 
the capitalists towards the enslavement of 
the workers. 

Broadly one may say of the Socialistic 
movement that on the patriotic side was 
the ordinary Trade Unionist who had 
never really been a Socialist at all* who 
had very properly wanted security for the 



livelihood of his class, and who now wanted 
even more ardently security for the life of 
his country and the thorough-going So- 
cialists who had really thought out their 
position. On the -unpatriotic side were 
the muddy-minded Pacifists assisted by a 
rabble of refugees largely German, Rus- 
sian, and Polish Jews. 

Now the extraordinary thing that one 
began to note about this division was this : 
that while the former had the enormous 
superiority in numbers, in ability and in 
public repute, the latter appeared to have 
a quite startling advantage in financial 

I am not speaking without knowledge. 
Everyone who has been in the Socialist 
movement, as I have, knows that Socialist 
papers are always more or less on the 
rocks as regards money. More especially 
has this always been the case with that ably 
conducted and pluckily uncompromising 
Socialist organ called Justice. For years 
the invitation to Socialists in general to 
save Justice had been as hardy an annual 
as the formation of a new Socialist society 
(consisting of seceders from various other 


Socialist societies) to promote Socialist 
unity. But, though it was always difficult 
to raise money for Justice, and as soon as 
it became clear that its editor, Mr H. W. 
Lee, an uncompromising fighter through 
many years of persistent discouragement, 
believed in the cause of the Allies and in- 
sisted on supporting their cause in his 
paper, there appeared to be no difficulty 
at all in raising money for a paper to be 
called The Call, avowedly established as a 
pro-Prussian rival to Justice. Similarly, 
at a time when most papers, even when 
possessed of large circulations, consider- 
able advertisement revenue, and solid 
financial backing, find it necessary to re- 
duce their size, the pro-Prussian Labour 
Leader has no difficulty in issuing supple- 
ments. The Herald, which when it was a 
fighting pro-working class paper never had 
much money to spare even for current 
expenses, is able, now that it has become 
a Pacifist paper, to get itself sold by 
hawkers all over Fleet Street and the 

Personally I have very little doubt as 
to where the money so expended ultimately 


comes from, though I quite believe that 
many of those who accept are ignorant 
though they have no right to be content 
to remain ignorant of its source. 

In this connection let me note another 
new phenomenon the appearance in con- 
nection with the Pacifist-Socialist move- 
ment of men who were never before 
supposed to take any interest in the 
labour question. I will take a single 
instance, the strongest that I know, that 
of the gentleman who calls himself 
"E. D. Morel," and I will leave it to 
my readers to draw their own conclu- 
sions from the facts which I shall set 

According to his own account in Who's 
Who " Morel was born in 1873, being 
the son of Edmond Morel-de-Ville. His 
father's nationality and his own are not 
stated, but it appears in the public records 
that in 1896 one " Georges Edmqnde 
Morel-de-Ville " was naturalised at Liver- 
pool, giving his previous nationality as 
French. We also find the late Mr Holt 
of Liverpool left in his will an annuity 
to "George Morel-de-Ville, commonly 


known as E. D. Morel. " I think it 
reasonable in the absence of any con- 
tradiction to identify this person with 
"Morel.'* In that case it would appear 
(always supposing his own statements to 
be reliable) that he was a French citizen 
up to the age of twenty- three. He must 
have been resident in England for at least 
five years before he reached that age, or 
he could not have been naturalised, and 
this period of five years it will be observed 
covers the years of French military ser- 
vice. Beyond these inferences, all that I 
can discover about the man is that he 
seems once to have passed under the name 
of Deville, that he was in the employment 
of Sir Alfred Jones, the head of a great 
Liverpool shipping firm who was hand in 
glove with old Leopold of Belgium, that 
he left this employment apparently after 
a quarrel, and went to the rival firm of 
John Holt & Sons, who had, as it would 
seem, their own private quarrel with old 
Leopold, and that the head of this firm 
not only backed him in the Congo agita- 
tion, but left him the annuity above 
alluded to. 


So much for the man's origin. One 
could only say about it that the changes 
of name, the suspicion of desertion, and 
the general air of mystery and conceal- 
ment which surrounds the story suggests 
the type of man who might be a foreign 
agent or spy. Of course they are not 
direct evidence. 

The first direct evidence I find is 
" Morel's " public career subsequent to the 
inception of the Congo agitation. A close 
examination of that career will, I think, 
firmly establish the following thesis : that 
'* Morel's " very various activities assume 
an aspect of complete unity if one sup- 
poses him to have been employed by the 
German Government and desirous in all 
things of promoting the interests of that 
Government, while no other motive will 
connect them in any way with each other 
or indeed explain any two of them. 

In order to establish this thesis I pro- 
pose to set out in parallel columns the 
public activities of " Morel" during the 
last ten years, and the principal activities 
of German diplomacy during the same 
period : 


1905 onwards 

1905 onwards 

"Morel " engaged 
in working up the 
Congo agitation. His 
principal associate in 
this agitation was Sir 
Roger Casement, now 
admittedly in the em- 
ployment of Potsdam. 
In 1912 he, in " Mor- 
occo in Diplomacy," 
expressed the hope 
that Germany may be 
able to set an example 
in relation to this 
matter of faithful ad- 
herence to interna- 
tional treaties, which, 
besides, in this par- 
ticular instance, re- 
dounding to the bene- 
fit of black humanity 
and legitimate trade, 
will free her hand 
when presently (as I 
devoutly hope she 
may, and if the For- 
eign Office by that 
time is cured of its 
teutophobia in concert 
with Britain) she sets 
herself to insist upon 
the Belgians fulfilling 
their treaty obliga- 
tions in the Congo 

Germany demands 
a " place in the sun " 
in Africa. German 
writers and statesmen 
point to the Congo as 
providing an oppor- 
tunity for German 
expansion. In 1914 
Germany approaches 
France and (indirectly) 
England with a pro- 
posal to partition the 
Belgian Congo on the 
ground that " the bur- 
den is too heavy " for 
Belgium. (See paper 
published by Belgian 
Government in Au- 
gust, 1915.) 



" Morel " denounces 
the French action in 
Morocco; publishes 
"Morocco in Diplo- 
macy"; defends Ger- 
man action in regard 
to Agadir, and pro- 
tests against the action 
of England; claims 
that it is in the interest 
of England that Ger- 
many should take s 
much of the Congo as 
possible on the ground 
that the French treat- 
ment of British traders 
is abominable, while 
the German is just and 



Germany attempts 
to secure a, footing in 
Morocco by the coup 
of Agadir. Failing in 
this (partly owing to 
the solidarity of 
France and England) 
she attempts to bar- 
gain for a large slice 
of the French Congo. 


" Morel " takes part Germany has now 
in and probably in- determined on war 
spires the formation with France and 
of "the Anglo-Ger- Russia, and fixed the 
man Friendship So- date for August. (For 
ciety." summary of evidence 

of this see first chap- 
ter of Mr Belloc's 
" Great War/ 1 also 
French Yellow Book, 
Nos. 2 and 5.) She 
is seeking to secure 
the neutrality of Eng- 
land (see British Blue 
Book, No. 160, etc.). 

August, 1914 August, 1914 

" Morel " founds War breaks out be- 
the " Union of Demo- tween England and 
cratic Control," and Germany, 
begins to write for 
the Labour Leader. 

Now the thing to note about this sum- 
mary of " Morel's " public career is not 
merely the coincidence of his activities with 
those of the Prussian Government, but also 
their utter lack of coherence in any other 

For instance, " Morel" might have 
taken up the Congo agitation (as did many 
perfectly honest people) out of sincere in- 
dignation at the alleged ill-treatment of 
the natives. But in that case one would 
expect his next appearance would be in 
connection with the ill-treatment of natives 
somewhere else in German colonies, for 
instance, or even in British ones, but his 
enthusiasm for ' ' black humanity ' ' does 
not appear to have extended beyond the 
requirements of the Prussian diplomatic 
scheme for the partition of the Congo. But 
the connection between the two is em- 
phasised by his own extraordinarily com- 


plicated sentence quoted above, the intent 
of which is clear enough even if its mean- 
ing were not underlined by the diplomatic 
incidents recorded in the Belgian paper, 
an incident of which none of us knew 
anything at the time though perhaps 
"Morel' 'did. 

Again, dropping the wrongs of the black 
man, he takes up the wrongs of the British 
trader. Now " Morel's " present attitude 
might be explained by his being a con- 
vinced Pacifist. But in " Morocco in 
Diplomacy >J he is not at all Pacifist, 
but rather Jingo. Only the Jingoism is 
directed against France ; and that at a 
time when Germany has just suffered a 
partial diplomatic defeat owing to the 
united action of France and England. 

Finally I appeal to everyone acquainted 
with Socialists and Labour movement to 
say whether before 1914 " Morel " ever 
showed the faintest interest in Socialism 
or Labour. All his connections were on 
the other side, with the great capitalists' 
interests like the Holts'. Nevertheless, 
when it appears that one section of the 
Socialists a small minority of them I am 


thankful to believe constituted the one 
organised political group that could be 
exploited for the purpose of dividing the 
nation, "Morel" begins to organise the 
Union of Democratic Control, and begins 
to shed the light of his countenance on 
the Labour Leader and the I.L.P. 

Let us take the "Union" first. Its 
first public manifesto appeared on Septem- 
ber i Qth, 1914 ; but this was not the first 
document signed by * ' Morel ' ' in connec- 
tion therewith, nor was it the first indica- 
tion the public had of what was afoot. On 
September loth of the same year the 
Morning Post published a circular sent out 
privately inviting subscriptions for the for- 
mation of such a society, and signed by 
the same people, with two exceptions, who 
afterwards signed the public appeal. 

A comparison between these two docu- 
ments is extremely interesting. The de- 
finition of the objects to be pursued is for 
the most part identical in both, and carries 
with the present avowed (and apparently 
harmless) "objects" of the "Union of 
Democratic Control ' ' ; but one most im- 
portant passage which appears in the secret 


circular sent out for the purpose of obtain- 
ing money from certain unnamed persons, 
whose views were doubtless known to the 
Committee, is significantly omitted, both 
from the original public manifesto and 
from the declared objects of the society. 
In the circular one of the objects is de- 
scribed as follows : "To aim at securing 
uch terms that this war will not, either 
through the humiliation of the defeated 
nation or an artificial rearrangement of 
frontiers, merely become the starting- 
point for new national antagonisms and 
future wars." From the public appeals as 
from the official objects of the ' * Union ' ' 
as finally settled, all reference to the 
" humiliation " of the defeated nation 
disappears, and we are left with some in- 
nocuous if somewhat vague observations 
on the future conduct of foreign policy, 
with the substance of which we should 
most of us agree. 

But that deleted phrase gives the game 
away. It is clear that its authors could 
not have supposed themselves to have any 
power to save England or her Allies from 
humiliation in case of defeat. It must 


therefore have been the humiliation of the 
German Empire which it sought to avert. 
I have always admitted that the avowed 
creed of the " Union of Democratic Con- 
trol ' ' is perfectly compatible with the most 
ardent patriotism. I myself could, I be- 
lieve, sign it without doing any violence to 
my conscience. I shall not, however, join 
the " Union/* because I know too much 
about its origin. This tender regard for the 
Kaiser's feelings, this anxiety to spare the 
devastators of Belgium anything that could 
wound their sensibility, shows clearly 
enough what was the real motive of those 
who inaugurated the society, and, above 
all, of those on whose money it was origin- 
ally floated. 

" E. D. Morel '' signed both appeals as 
" honorary secretary pro tern." He after- 
wards dropped the pro tern, and was duly 
installed as " honorary secretary and hon- 
orary treasurer " for the " Union/* It is, 
by the way, one of the small incidental 
mysteries about "Morel" that he is so 
fond of "honorary" offices of this des- 
cription. He is always declaring that he 
is a poor man. The various movements 


which he organises must entail upon him 
an immense amount of work. There is 
not the shadow of reason why he should 
not quite honourably take a salary for the 
work he does if we are to assume that 
work itself is in no way shameful. Yet, 
in connection with the * ' Union, " as in 
connection with the Congo agitation, he 
appears to do all his work for nothing, 
and what is more remarkable to thrive and 
prosper thereon. It is not a very impor- 
tant point, but it looks odd. 

Of the movements of the other signa- 
tories to the manifesto of the U.D.C.j and 
of the other members of its executive I do 
not hear speak. But of the objects of the 
' ' honorary secretary ' ' one may form a 
pretty good idea by studying the article 
which he contributed at this time and for 
some time after to the Labour Leader. 

My readers are probably pretty fami- 
liar with the general trend and temper of 
Pacifist literature. It may be observed 
week by week in the leading articles and 
notes of the Labour Leader itself. Now 
I have not the space to reproduce such 
extracts from " Morel's n writings as 


would be necessary to prove my conten- 
tion. I must invite my readers to study 
them for themselves. But I affirm (and 
anyone who likes can test what I say) that 
the tone and character of " Morel's" 
articles were wholly different from those 
of ordinary Pacifist writers. 

The ordinary Pacifist appeals primarily 
to the general sentiment against war. He 
says that war is " barbaric and unchris- 
tian." He says that the different peoples 
have no real quarrel \* ith each other. He 
fixes the blame upon the Government, and 
declares that it is impossible to assign the 
whole guilt to any one of them, but that 
all are equally or almost equally guilty. 
But if he selects any particular Govern- 
ment for special attack, it is usually his 
own. That, I think, is a fair summary 
of the sort of thing you will find in the 
editorial columns of the Labour Leader, 
and in the speeches of Pacifists, especially 
of Pacifist Socialists. 

" Morel's" attitude is quite different. 
He is a man working out a brief, and he 
works it out as elaborately as any bar- 
rister, with references to Blue Books 


(nearly always false and fraudulent) and 
columns of statistics all complete. And 
the object of this brief is very significant. 
It is not to show that war itself is svil, or 
even specially and directly to show that 
Great Britain has its share in the respon- 
sibility for the present war. It is directed 
to show that the whole responsibility (of 
course " Morel " does not put it quite as 
strongly as that, but that is what nig argu- 
ment points to) rests upon, not Germany, 
ajjd not in the main Great Britain, but 
France and Russia. It is definitely sug- 
gested that there was a long-nurtured 
conspiracy on the part of our two Allies, 
backed by elaborate intrigue and secret 
armament to crush and humiliate Ger- 
many, that Germany struck virtually in 
self-defence, and that our part in the 
matter was that of dupes forced against 
our own interests to assist the conspira- 
tors. That in effect is " Morel's " thesis 
throughout. It is not the usual thesis of 
the English Pacifist. But it is the very 
thesis which a German agent would ob- 
viously be instructed to maintain in this 
country f just as he would be instructed to 


maintain a contrary thesis in France or 

There is much else that I might say 
about this man. I might contrast his 
factitious indignation over the " atroci- 
ties in the Congo ' * with his indifference not 
only to the notorious atrocity of German 
rule in her African colonies, but to the 
abominations committed in the face of all 
Europe on men, women, and children of 
his own colour in Belgium and France, 
in Poland and Serbia, but my space is 
limited, and I prefer to end with one 
further question. 

If the man is innocent, why does he not 
clear himself? If the man has an ex- 
planation, why does he not give it? If 
he has nothing to be ashamed of, why 
does he hide? For hide he does, and has 
ever sinre an inquiry into his past was 
begun. I myself attended a meeting ad- 
dressed by him some time after the 
U.D.C. was founded. I put him some 
questions. There are those who were 
present who can testify to his demeanour 
in answering them. Of course I had to 
take my turn with others, and he pro- 



ceeded to spin out every answer to the 
length of about ten minutes each, evi- 
dently in order to avoid further cross- 
examination. At last, however, I suc- 
ceeded in flinging the challenge to 
proceed against me giving him publicly 
the name of my solicitors. Neither they 
nor I have heard from him since, but so 
far as I know, and I have naturally 
watched closely, he has never since ven- 
tured to address a public meeting in 

I have gone at some length into the 
career of this particular man because it 
is the best illustration I know of the 
fashion in which the vague and foolish 
Pacifism of a considerable section of the 
Socialist and other ' ' advanced ' ' move- 
ments in England were exploited in the 
interests of the most brutal and least intel- 
ligent militarist Government in Europe. 
No one supposes that a man like the late 
Mr Keir Hardie, for example, would have 
taken money directly from the Prussian 
Government. But he would have taken 
it from "Morel," and "Morel" would 
have taken it from well, anywhere. 



THE Government of Great Britain at the 
date when war was declared in August, 
1914, was a plutocracy. Everyone knows 
in what fashion that Government was 
administered. Nominally the executive 
power was distributed among a small group 
of professional politicians, for the most 
part closely interrelated, and financed by 
secret payment made to them by powerful 
and wealthy commercial interest through 
the medium of what were called ' ' the 
Party funds." For the better mainten- 
ance of this system of government the 
politicians, though constituting one body 
for all purposes concerned with the inter- 
ests of their profession, were arbitrarily 
divided into two teams, labelled respec- 
tively " Liberal " and " Conservative, " 
or later " Unionist, " and it was arranged 


that only one of these teams should at a 
given time be actually in receipt of public 
money, while the other should be " in 
opposition ' ' that is to say should attract 
to itself the advantage of any resentment 
which might be felt against the action of 
the existing Government, deflecting such 
a resentment in such a fashion as should 
prevent its interference with the smooth 
working of the system, 

All this, as most people by this time 
realised, and as everyone acquainted with 
the inner workings of politics knew long 
before, was play acting. The essential 
fact remained that the dominant power in 
the State resided in the great moneyed in- 
terest which financed the politicians and 
enabled them by its subsidies to control 
Parliament and the electorate. 

Such a system of government is properly 
and accurately described as a plutocracy, 
and, in considering the national situation, 
it is essential to remember that a pluto- 
cracy involves certain specific evils and 
perils from which other forms of govern- 
ment, however defective, are commonly 


Thus if you establish government by the 
corporate will of the whole people you may 
especially if your populace is not well 
accustomed to the exercise of such author- 
ity be subjected to dangers arising from 
violent and irrational gusts of popular 
passion, or again from internecine division 
within the State. All democracies have 
been confronted and probably always will 
be confronted with these perils. On the 
other hand you will find, if you pass the 
test, a marvellous power of endurance 
arising from the fact that every citizen 
knows the purpose for which he is fighting, 
and approves that purpose. If you estab- 
lish monarchy or personal government by 
a single individual however chosen you will 
risk disaster from the personal idiocyn- 
crasies and secret insanities (for every man 
has his mad spot) of tha individual ; while 
you will have the very great advantage 
which is to be derived from the concentra- 
tion of power and responsibility in a single 
hand. If you give power to a political 
oligarchy that is to a certain class of 
citizens endowed by tradition with special 
privileges you will Have a certain amount 


of oppression of the unprivileged ; but as 
against this you will have a very stable 
political organisation, capable of excep- 
tional unanimity in public affairs and of 
exceptional continuity in public policy, and 
reposing for its defence upon the instant 
response of a well-disciplined population 
to a provisional authority which it has 
come to regard as natural. England es- 
pecially has profited in the past by the 
unquestionable advantage (mingled as they 
are with disadvantages which for me at 
least outweigh them), which belong to the 
oligarchical type of government. 

Only it must be noted that these advan- 
tages exist only so long as the qualifica- 
tions of the aristocrat are traditional and 
enjoy universal respect. They cease to 
exist when the position of oligarch comes 
to depend not upon a thing which gives 
some sort of guarantee or identity with the 
nation, such as lineage, but upon some- 
thing purely accidental and generally 
indicating, rather than otherwise, a low 
type of human ideal such as the possession 
of money and its ready expenditure for 
political purposes. 


There may be something national about 
an aristocracy. There is nothing national 
about a plutocracy. Under the system of 
government which we suffered during 
the epoch immediately preceding the war 
there was little security, I do not say for 
popular rights for the system did not 
contemplate that but for national in- 

Any man could, by paying sufficient 
money to the politician who was selected 
by the other politicians for the particular 
function of collecting money from their 
paymasters called, by an anachronism, 
the " Chief Whip," though his duties had 
far more to do with the peerage market in 
Downing Street than with the control of 
a House of Commons which had long be- 
come impotent purchase anything from 
a peerage to a policy. There was no more 
necessity that he should be an Englishman 
than that he should be a gentleman. All 
that was necessary was that he should have 
the money, preferably in cash, for the 
Central Office was for various reasons shy 
of cheques. 

This peculiarity of our politics was un- 


doubtedly used by the enemy before the 
war, and is almost certainly being so used 
to-day. We shall probably never know 
how much German money there has been 
and is in the secret Party funds. 

The case of Sir Edgar Speyer, still the 
proud possessor of a British baronetcy and 
a British privy councillorship, though he 
has one brother in Frankfort advising the 
Prussian Government, and another in New 
York notoriously promoting and financing 
the pro-German propaganda throughout 
the United States, is not without signifi- 
cance ; but it is only one of many. The 
man " Morel " of whom I have already 
spoken has openly threatened the Govern- 
ment with reprisals in the matter of the 
secret Party funds if they venture to 
investigate the origin of his own appar- 
ently ample resources, and I have little 
doubt that this has been at least in 
part responsible for his astonishing 

But whatever political payments may 
have been made with the direct intention 
of influencing British policy in the in- 
terests of Prussia, these probably consti- 


tute a comparatively small element in the 
danger to which I am now trying to draw 
attention . That danger consists primarily 
in the unnational character of much of the 
plutocracy that rules us. We have vir- 
tually given the control of our Government 
to the possessors of spare cash ; and no one 
is in a better position to provide spare 
cash for the use of politicians, or has a 
more direct interest in doing so than the 

Finance is cosmopolitan. Those who 
control the money markets in this country 
are never typically national as the great 
landowners in a sense were and are often 
quite definitely the reverse. The great 
financial corporations do not confine their 
activities to one European country or 
group of countries. They have interests 
everywhere. Their sympathies hardly 
count, and certainly cannot be trusted. 
Most of them are Jewish. Many of them, 
so far as they can be said to be centred in 
any one country, are centred in the Ger- 
man Empire. Even those which have 
their headquarters in this country or in 
one of its Allies' have important branches 


in the country of the enemy. Of their 
nature they are cosmopolitan. 

Cosmopolitan finance is, in matters 
such as are involved in the present war, 
necessarily Pacifist, not from moral convic- 
tion but from plain self interest. A small 
war against a weak and undeveloped state 
it will often back, for such a war may 
promote its interest. But a war like this 
which necessarily involves the life or death 
of one or other of several great European 
states it will inevitably oppose, for it has 
invested in the continuity and solvency of 
each and all of them. It may be granted 
that it would not pay the financiers to see 
Great Britain or France or even Russia 
completely obliterated. But neither would 
it pay them to see Germany completely 
obliterated. To a peace which would so 
far as possible re-establish the status quo 
anti bellum all their inclinations would 

It must be remembered that this war 
was entered upon by the more patriotic 
section of the governing class in defiance 
of the financiers and their " influence/ 1 
On the day on which the first shots were 


exchanged between Austria and Serbia, I 
was myself present at the meeting of a 
society called the Entente Cordiale, held 
to unveil at Norman Cross a monument to 
the French prisoners who died in captivity 
during the Napoleonic war. The present 
Lord Rothschild, then the Hon. Walter 
Rothschild, was in the chair. He made a 
speech in which he congratulated us on the 
improved relations now existing between 
this country and France, and added that 
all we now wanted was to extend those good 
relations so that they might include other 
great European powers. In view of the 
political situation at the moment the mean- 
ing of this hint was clear enough ; and I 
went home satisfied that the Rothschilds 
were working for British neutrality, and 
only hoping very faintly that they would 
not succeed in dishonouring our flag. 
Several things happened during the week 
which followed that awful week when 
every decent Englishman was wondering 
whether he could ever again show his face 
on the Continent confirmed my impres- 

The Daily News, which was then openly 


for neutrality, was publishing letters from 
Liberal and Labour members in that 
sense. Most of these letters were from men 
who might have been expected in any case 
to favour such a policy, men who belonged 
by tradition to the Pacifist wing of the 
Party. But among the names quoted was 
to be found that of the Hon. Niel Prim- 
rose, who was supposed to be by conviction 
and inheritance a (< Liberal Imperialist," 
but who was also by blood a Rothschild. 
A few days later, on the eve of Germany's 
ultimatum to France and Russia, the late 
Lord Rothschild told an interviewer that, 
so far as this country at any rate was con- 
cerned, there would be no war. 

As it was with the Rothschilds so it was 
with all the smaller fry of cosmopolitan 
finance. They did not want war, and if 
war was to come they wanted England kept 
out of it. The actual coming of war of 
course silenced them for a time, for it is 
of the nature of such men to hide when the 
public mind is excited. But the motives 
which led them to deplore the outbreak of 
war still exist to render them anxious for 
peace at the earliest possible moment, while 


a new motive has been added which would 
make a completely victorious peace, even 
if it could be obtained immediately, some- 
thing like a disaster to them the desire to 
keep the German Empire in being so that 
the security for their loans may not suffer. 
In a word, so far from this war being, as 
some of the sillier kind of Socialists say, 
a financiers' war, it is a war undertaken 
in the teeth of the unanimous opposition of 
cosmopolitan finance ; and those who desire 
to achieve a complete triumph for the 
Allies will have to achieve it in the teeth 
of the same opposition . The ' * influence ' ' 
of the financiers with our politicians must 
therefore be regarded as one of the most 
valuable cards in Prussia's present hand. 



THE system of government by profes- 
sional politicians secretly paid by great 
financial interests, which prevailed before 
the war, and which still prevails, subject 
to the modifications created by the abso- 
lute necessity of giving a degree of free- 
dom within their own provinces to the 
naval and military authorities, is (apart 
from its moral repulsiveness) a bad system 
from the national point of view, primarily 
for the reason already given that it gives 
power to mere money t without public 
responsibility, without any public know- 
ledge even of the names of the reposi- 
tories of such power, and without any 
security that these men are not indifferent 
or hostile to the nation whose policy they 
are none the less able to control. But 


there are other features connected with 
that system which necessarily aggravate 
the danger. 

First, its secrecy. The rulers of the 
country act at best upon their private 
judgment, at worst under orders from un- 
named men who have acquired financial 
authority over their actions. To those 
whom they are supposed to " represent " 
they are in no sense really responsible, 
nor have these any organ of control, or 
even of protest which could be easily and 
effectively employed to check the politi- 
cians and their paymasters if they were 
to attempt an unnational policy. 

It is not so with our Allies. In 
Russia the suspicion apparently quite 
unfounded that the Government might, 
after the great retreat, be contemplating 
an inconclusive peace was sufficient to 
arouse a movement so formidable that, if 
it had not turned out that the Govern- 
ment, like the people, was thoroughly in 
earnest, an improvised committee of pub- 
lic safety would have been ready to take 
over the conduct of the war whether the 
legitimate authorities liked it or not. In 


France, if the politicians were believed to 
be playing the Prussian game, they would 
at once be squelched by a military coup 
d'Stat, which the whole populace would 
enthusiastically support. But we in 
England have no such securities. Our 
soldiers are accustomed to the doctrine 
a sound one in nine cases out of ten that 
it is a soldier 's duty to carry out orders, 
and that politics are outside his legitimate 
purview ; and since we have not in the 
past been a military people in the sense 
of a people trained as a whole to arms and 
conscious that we may all be called upon 
to use them we have little comprehen- 
sion of those rare but important occasions 
when a soldier, speaking for a nation of 
soldiers, has a clear democratic right to 
override the civil authorities. On the 
other hand, our populace has almost 
entirely lost the instinct for corporate 
initiative. Anyone comparing the con- 
duct of an English crowd charged by the 
police or the military with that of a 
French, or, for that matter, an Irish 
crowd, under like circumstances, will 
understand the nature of the difference I 


am indicating. It is not a question of 
physical courage, as the exploits of Eng- 
lish troops conclusively proved. It is a 
question of that power of instantly recog- 
nising and instinctively co-operating with 
the general will, which is the essence of 
democracy. And it extends far beyond 
the matter of street-fighting into every 
department of national politics. 

I have already alluded to the " Union 
of Democratic Control ' ' as one of the 
instruments employed by the very sus- 
picious character who calls himself 
1 ' Morel ' ' in his efforts to mould the 
democratic and Socialist movements to 
the purposes of Prussia. But it seems 
to me that there is at this moment some 
need of a genuine " Union of Democratic 
Control," not for the purpose of averting 
unauthorised wars, but for the purpose 
of averting an unauthorised peace. The 
' ' democratic control ' ' of the Pacifists has 
never been anything but a piece of hypo- 
crisy. Everybody in the least degree 
acquainted with England knows that when 
the majority of the politicians in power, 
with the present Prime Minister at their 



head, determined, though with hesitations 
and delays, on an honourable and patriotic 
policy, in spite of the protests of the 
minority led by Mr George and the unani- 
mous opposition of cosmopolitan finance, 
they achieved the most popular act of 
their largely misspent lives. The nation 
backed them at once, and would certainly 
have felt bitterly humiliated and savagely 
indignant had any other course been 
adopted. But while it is rubbish to say 
that war was made without our consent- 
save in the sense that the English people 
would have made it four days earlier- 
it is true that as matters stand peace 
might be made without our consent. A 
peace which left the Prussian military 
power in being would undoubtedly pro- 
duce an outburst of violent and unanimous 
national indignation, would turn every 
ex-soldier into a rebel, would cost the 
politicians that made it their " careers, " 
and ought to cost them their heads. It 
remains none the less true that the people 
of these islands would have virtually no 
power of interfering until the mischief 
had been done. 


That is the consideration which makes 
it imperative that public opinion should 
be roused in time to give so emphatic a 
mandate against any peace that did not 
involve in the fullest sense the annihila- 
tion of Prussia as a military power, that 
no politician could venture to disregard 
such a mandate. 

For if there is one thing that the whole 
course of the war has proved, it is that 
even the best of the professionals have not 
ceased to be professionals. The " Party 
truce ' ' will impress only those who were 
ignorant and provincial enough to have 
been previously impressed by the equally 
unreal ' ' Party war ' ' which is supposed 
to have preceded it. The only good re- 
sult that one can expect from the lumping 
of all the professional politicians together 
in one ' ' Coalition ' ' Ministry by way 
of replacing the previous secret collusive 
conferences between them held behind the 
speaker's chair or at each other's houses 
has been to convince even the dullest 
that the only method of securing decent 
government is not the replacing of wicked 
"Liberals" by good "Conservatives," 


or vice versa, but by making a clean sweep 
of the lot. It may safely be taken as a 
general rule since the war began that 
everything valuable that has been done 
has been done by the soldiers and the 
populace, and everything mischievous by 
the politicians. 

And here is another peril. Since the 
beginning of the war we have suffered 
from the fact that the system of govern- 
ment under which we lived and under which 
the war had necessarily to be conducted 
was no longer either trusted or respected 
by the people. That unquestionable fact, 
together with the other fact that some of 
the concomitants of that system were too 
unsavoury to bear public discussion, has 
repeatedly weakened the hands even of 
those of our rulers whose ultimate pur- 
pose is sincerely patriotic. It has pre- 
vented them from locking up men like 
" Morel , M who publicly hinted at ex- 
posures in relation to the secret Party 
funds if the sources of revenue of the 
1 ' Union of Democratic Control " were 
inquired into. It has forced them to 
tolerate the grotesque spectacle of Mr 


Philip Snowdon occupying a seat on the 
" Liquor Control Board," while he makes 
anti-recruiting speeches and secures im- 
munity for his wife after she has publicly 
confessed herself guilty of treason, ac- 
knowledging in an article in the Socialist 
Review that when in the United States 
she did her best to prevent arms and 
munitions from that country reaching the 
Allies. It should be observed that no 
such immunity is extended to those who 
have no pulj oji the political machine. 
While on the one hand, Alfred Harms- 
worth (now known by the typically Serial- 
esque title, presumably chosen by himself, 
of " Lord Nortkcliffe of the Isle of 
Thanet ") is allowed to refuse recruiting 
advertisements which the military au- 
thorities have desired to print and to 
stimulate panic at critical moments by 
every kind of sensational falsehood, and 
while on the other, the wealth of the 
Quakers who control the Cocoa Trust has 
secured for the so-called ' ' conscientious 
objectors " not only relief from the duty 
of serving their country, but the oppor- 
tunity of exhibiting their mental diseases 


for the edification of the world, an im- 
politic severity is exercised against the 
Irish Sinn Feiners, who, absurd and 
suicidal as their " rebellion " was, were 
at any rate possessed of personal courage 
and moved by a kind of patriotism, how- 
ever wrong-headed. Similarly the more 
or less anti-national Socialist paper, For- 
ward, is tolerated so long as it merely dis- 
courages recruiting like Mr Snowdon, or 
hampers the production of armaments 
like Mrs Snowdon ; is dropped on at once 
when it ventures to give a perfectly accu- 
rate account of the reception accorded to 
a prominent professional politician who 
suffered a humiliating rebuff, not in the 
least because the men whom he attempted 
to address were pro-German one group 
of them refused to listen to him on the 
specific ground that they ' preferred 
to get on with the making of muni- 
tions " but because, in order to con- 
ciliate certain wealthy men whose 
political subscriptions are useful, he 
had repeatedly and deliberately insulted 
The most miserable episode and all that 


led up to it is typical of the sort of thin& 
that is weakening us and making easier 
the task of the enemy, which, as has al- 
ready been said, is not now so much to 
defeat us in war as to create such a temper 
among us as may lead us to give up the 
struggle before victory is complete. While 
the nation as a whole rallied to the nation's 
cause at the first shot with a magnificent 
unanimity and self-forgetfulness, those 
who controlled the administration, whether 
directly as professional politicians, or in- 
directly as subscribers to funds or owners 
of newspapers, could not even for a 
moment forget their private motives 
whether of superstition or greed. Some 
of the wealthy dictators of public policy 
had a private fad of teetotalism which they 
had always wished to impose upon men 
poorer than themselves. The war, by 
disarming that popular protest which had 
always appeared whenever such imposi- 
tion was attempted, offered an opportunity 
of exploiting the patriotism of the masses 
for the destruction of their liberties and 
traditions. Therefore a politician was 
put up to make the false statement 


proved false by subsequent inquiry that 
the drinking habits of the people were 
hindering the production of munitions, 
and as a result a ridiculous set of " drink 
regulations," for which n6 soldier had 
asked or ever would have asked. And 
the task of framing these regulations 
the only excuse for which was that they 
wef supposed to help us to win the war 
Was entrusted, among others, to Mr 
Philip Snowdon, who has publicly de- 
clared that we cannoi win the war in any 

There were other persons intent on ex- 
ploiting the patriotism of the mass, whose 
motive was nothing so clean and honour- 
able as sectarian fanaticism. The Trade 
Unions had consented to abrogate their 
rules in the interest of the national cause 
which may strike middle classes as a 
small thing, but which really amounts to 
much more than would be involved in the 
rich giving up the whole of their prop- 
erty, and more closely resembles the action 
of a nation of peasant proprietors who 
should give up the whole of their land. 
They asked only for some security that 


advantage should not be taken of their 
patriotism to enslave them when the war 
was over. But a number of rich men 
who were making huge private profits out 
of the war thought the opportunity an 
admirable one for the smashing of Trade 
Unionism once and for all, and so the 
same politician who had always been a 
particularly subservient tool of the great 
employers was put up to declare that 
the Trade Unions were traitorously ob- 
structing munition-making. This also 
proved on examination to be a lie ; but it 
did its work that is, Prussia's work 
in sowing disgust and dissension among 
the workers. 

And with this disgust and dissension 
came also a measure of discouragement 
a discouragement, as we shall see, delib- 
erately and treasonably encouraged by a 
section of the Press, a discouragement for 
which there is not and never has been any 
justification in the facts of the military 
situation, but a discouragement the per- 
sistence of which is at the moment per- 
haps the principal source of peril to the 
future of this country. 


To the examination of the causes of 
this discouragement and to the demon- 
stration of its utter absence of legitimate 
ground we will next proceed. 




THE mood of depression of which I have 
spoken neither has nor ever had any 
relation to the facts of the military posi- 
tion. This is proved conclusively by the 
fact that the ups and downs of the national 
spirits in no way follow the ups and downs 
of the fortunes of war. As I have already 
said, the moment of time when the for- 
tunes of the Allies were at the darkest 
when the peril of Europe was really im- 
minent and ghastly, and was recognised as 
such by the responsible military authori- 
ties the moment when a wise man might 
have been pardoned if in his heart he 
despaired of the future, was the moment 
immediately following the fall qf Namur. 
But at that moment there was practically 
no pessimism discoverable among the gen- 


eral public. The head of a great newspaper 
trust did indeed, during the retreat from 
Mons, make one attempt to excite panic by 
a disgraceful piece of sensationalism ; but 
his crime (for it was little less than that) 
met with none of the partial success which 
has unfortunately attended some later 
efforts of his in the same direction. On 
the other hand the pessimistic mood was 
never more general than at the end of the 
great and successful Russian retirement of 
last autumn, when the enemy having failed 
in spite of his superiority in munitionment 
to destroy the forces opposed to him, was 
finally obliged to accept the situation, 
which he had above all things desired to 
avoid that of being pinned down on both 
decisive fronts, with the alternative of 
breaking through somewhere by a des- 
perate and final effort (a feat which must 
become more difficult with every week that 
passes), or making up his mind, if the 
Allies persisted and held together, to ul- 
timate and crushing defeat. 

But if the pessimistic outlook which has 
undoubtedly from time to time afflicted 
certain sections of civilian opinion in this 


country, does not arise from any intelli- 
gent consideration of the actual course of 
the war, from what does it arise ? It is 
worth while devoting a little space to the 
analysis of the matter, because it is upon 
the prevalence of this outlook (which he 
doubtless exaggerates, and is led to exag- 
gerate by the disproportionate prominence 
given to it in certain sections of our Press) 
that the enemy is now primarily calculat- 
ing in his efforts to secure an inconclusive 
peace. It may not unsuitably be con- 
sidered under two heads, taking first the 
general psychological causes, which are 
calculated to produce such an effect upon 
the minds and imagination of men whose 
judgment is uninstructed in such matters, 
and second the particular causes, which in 
the present case tend to aggravate the evil. 
Among the factors which make for 
discouragement or perhaps one should 
rather say make for the state of mind in 
which discouragement can get a foothold 
is the mere fact of the prolongation of the 
war. Here the connection formed in the 
mind is on the face of it wholly irrational. 
Obviously there is nothing in the mere 


dela^j of a decision which could of itself 
logically lead to an increasing fear of 
defeat, Qr even to an increasing doubt of 
the possibility of ultimate victory. In- 
deed in the particular case under con- 
sideration mere reason would tend to the 
opposite conclusion.. Tjbe longer the war 
endures the greater are tjie chances that 
victory will ultimately be achieved by the 
side which has the greatest reserve of 
resources in men a^id materials to draw 
upon ; and I suppose that up one who has 
considered the question even superficially 
can have the smallest doubt that the 
reserves in both respects, but especially in 
the matter of men, which can ultimately 
be utilised by the Allies, are far greater 
than those at the disposal of the Germanic 
Powers. It was, of course, Prussia which 
counted on a rapid decision and a speedy 
victory,; it was the Prussian hopes that 
were rationally diminished if not de- 
stroyed, by the prospect of a long war. 
" France can afford to wait 4 v $ajd the 
German Chancellor in his first speech to 
the Reichstag, in justification of the viola- 
tion of Belgian rights, " we cannot." 


Bernhardi in his very interesting military 
works written before the war had re- 
peatedly said the same thing. 

Nevertheless, to the civilian mind, there 
does seem in some odd way a connection 
between delay in the achievement of any 
decision and fear that tfce decision may be 
unfavourable, or what is from the ra- 
tional point of view much more untenable 
doubt as to whether a decision can ever 
be reached. 

The fact is, that this is not fundamen- 
tally a matter of reason at all, but purely 
a matter of the nerves and the imagination . 
It occurs as every trainer of athletes 
knows in all sorts of less important con- 
tests. It is a dangerous reaction conse- 
quent on overstrain. No man and no 
nation need be in the smallest degree 
ashamed of being assailed by it. But for 
the man or the nation which succumbs to 
it, it invariably spells disaster. 

To this purely emotional factor must be 
added a factor which depends rather upon 
ill-instructed judgment. The mind, and 
still more the imagination, of a civilian 
population, would probably always even 



if it were not deliberately misled as it has 
been on the subject be affected to some 
extent by the mere accident that the fight- 
ing is at present taking place almost en- 
tirely on soil previously belonging to one 
or other of the allied powers, instead of on 
the soil of the enemy. From the military 
point of view this is, of course, a matter of 
complete indifference. Other things being 
equal you are in no way more likely to 
suffer an adverse military decision within 
your own borders than within those of your 
enemies ; and in war so long as it is really 
war and not politics a favourable or ad- 
verse military decision is the only thing 
that counts. The aim of each party is to 
destroy the effective armed force of the 
other. A retreat involving the abandon- 
ment of a whole country may be the first 
step towards that end, as it was with 
Wellington in the campaign of the penin- 
sular. An advance ending in the capture 
of the enemy's capital may end in the 
destruction of the military force of the in- 
vading, as it was in the case of Napoleon's 
Russian campaign. The fact that the 
German forces are in Belgium, Poland, 


Northern France, and Serbia, means of 
itself absolutely nothing from the military 
point of view. If we are foolish enough to 
bargain with them, they will no doubt 
use their temporary occupation of these 
regions as an asset wherewith to bargain. 
But no power can be said to have " con- 
quered " any territory whatsoever, until 
by the ratification of peace in its favour 
its possession is no longer disputed by 
arms. Such a peace cannot be concluded 
until one of two things occurs. Either 
those who are disposed to resist such con- 
quests are disarmed and unable to continue 
the struggle, or they deliberately abandon 
the struggle. The former might always 
conceivably happen, for prophecy in war 
is always impossible ; but the chances of 
it happening diminish every day, and are 
now almost negligible. The latter will 
happen only if we are either fooled or 

It may seem to many that in thus 
summarising the things that make for 
discouragement and for a secret longing 
for peace, I have left out the most enor- 
mous of all. Assuredly there was never 


in the history of the world a war of which 
John Bright 's words about the Angel of 
Death could be more truly spoken. This 
country in particular has never in recorded 
time been asked for so awful a tribute of 
blood and tears. The matter is so terrible 
and so close to what is deepest in us all 
that one dare not write of it lest some word 
should fall awry or some phrase ring false. 
As Gambetta said of Alsace-Lorraine : 
" Let us think of it always, let us speak 
of it never.'* But it must not be thought 
that those of us who are most loath to 
speak of it are less conscious of its un- 
speakable tragedy than those who at any 
moment can glibly exploit that tragedy, 
whether in the interests of mere journal- 
istic sensationalism, or of Pacifist treason. 
If I do not set down the horrors of the 
slaughter and the bereavement of a million 
homes among the natural causes of dis- 
couragement, it is simply because I know 
that it does not, in fact, tend to produce 
such discouragement. Assuredly it does 
not tend to produce a mood favourable to 
a shameful peace. Our brother's blood 
the blood of armed men dead on the field 


of honour, the blood of the unarmed, of 
women and little children, murdered by 
treachery cries aloud to us ; but it does 
not cry for peace. It cries for vengeance 
to Heaven and to us. And it will be 
found that those whom sorrow has most 
deeply wounded will be the most resolute 
to say of the fallen soldiers : "It shall 
not be said that they died for nothing/* 
and of the murdered victims : "It shall 
not be said they died unavenged." 



IN addition to the general causes which 
might, in any war so prolonged as this, 
have tended to favour a mood of discour- 
agement among unthinking people to 
whom the real conditions of military 
victory and defeat are unknown, there 
are, in the present instance, certain special 
causes which tend to emphasise that mood. 
Of these, perhaps the most ultimately 
important is the tradition of something 
superior in the barbaric (or as they are 
sometimes called " Teutonic M ) outlands 
of Europe, whether that sense of superi- 
ority takes the form of admiration or of 
fear. That tradition was thoroughly 
grafted upon the middle class of this 
country it does not exist among the 
populace nor among that section of the 


governing class which is well acquainted 
with Europe by half a century of hyp- 
notic suggestion by the academies, and 
by a long succession of eminent English 
writers. It has not yet been completely 

It is true that the legend of the gen- 
erous, pious, and duty-loving Teuton, en- 
forced so often by Carlyle and Kingsley 
and a score of lesser men, could hardly 
survive the Belgian abominations, the 
horrors of Wittenberg, the crucifixion of 
our soldiers, and the murder of Nurse 
Cavell. The part of the legend which 
attributed moral superiority to the bar- 
barian is, thank God, dead, killed by the 
first revelation of what such barbarism 
really means and must always mean. 

But the other part of the legend, 
the tradition of something mysteriously 
powerful and " efficient M in the Germans, 
still survives, and it is an important 
factor in the creation of a vague doubt as 
to the possibility of complete victory. It 
expresses itself mainly in the form of 
a subconscious belief that the German 
is " unconquerable " an expression to 


which no military meaning can be attached. 
And its effect upon many minds is to 
induce the conclusion that the best that 
we can hope for is some settlement which 
will place a certain check upon his future 
aggression. It is assumed that his natural 
strength material and moral is so great 
as to make the idea of obliterating his 
power fantastic and incredible. 

As in the former cases to which I have 
alluded, this sense of hopelessness in the 
presence of the German bears no relation 
to historic or military fact. Originally, 
merely an academic fad, supported by 
gross perversions of history, it owed 
such confirmation as it received from the 
general opinion to the issue of the war of 
1870. But that war proved nothing more 
than that the Prussians had succeeded 
(by means of a forgery) in Catching France 
at a disadvantage. The French had out- 
matched them before, aiid \vere destined 
to outmatch them again. The failure of 
civilised Europe to come to the help of 
France, fighting single-handed against 
the barbarians, was a blunder, a tragedy, 
perhaps a betrayal, but it was certainly 


not a demonstration of German superi- 

Nor is there anything at all in the 
events of this war to suggest such superi- 
ority. Prussia, as I have already pointed 
out, had, at the opening of the war, one 
very solid and easily recognisable advan- 
tage. She knew exactly at what moment 
her long-premeditated crime was to be 
attempted. The Allies, being innocent 
of aggressive intentions, could not know 
this. Consequently Prussia and her 
vassals were ahead of the Allies in pre- 
paration for a war already designed to 
take place at a particular hour by some 
two years at least, and were ahead of them 
in their mobilisation of the resources so 
carefully collected by at least a week. 
Further, the German school of military 
thought proved happy in its guess as 
to the impossibility of maintaining the 
modern ring fortress in the face of modern 
heavy artillery directed by modern air- 
craft. Also, Germany or rather Austria 
acting upon this just view of the situa- 
tion, had set herself to manufacture on a 
very great scale guns of unprecedented 


calibre designed for this special purpose. 
For all this let the Germanic Powers have 
such credit for ' ' efficiency * ' as may be 
their due. At that point the claim of 
Prussianised Germany to have shown a 
special degree of " efficiency " or to have 
exhibited a natural strength superior to 
that of other European nations begins 
and ends. 

Prussia started the war after two years 
of careful preparation with a great supe- 
riority in initial numbers, and an enor- 
mous superiority in initial equipment. 
Every success of any kind which she has 
gained up to the present has been due to 
one or other of these initial advantages. 
Not in a single case has such success been 
due to superior intelligence. Indeed the 
lesson of almost every episode of the great 
war is that the inferiority in intelligence 
of the German, and especially of the North 
German, to the more civilised nations (in- 
cluding Russia) against whom his blow 
was aimed, is still what it has always been 
in recorded history. 

Take first the subjects to which he has, 
with tremendous industry and concentra- 


tion and elaborate attention to detail, 
applied such brains as he possesses mili- 
tary preparation and military strategy. 

In the former matter, depending mainly 
on detailed imitation, docile labour, 
machinery, a'nd expenditure, the Ger- 
mans could do fairly well without work- 
ing miracles in the course of the long 
years which they devoted to building up 
a machine which they believed would, of 
its own weight, destroy anything that 
could be brought against it. But even in 
this department contrary to the accepted 
belief in this country there has been 
little or no sign of inventiveness or activity 
of mind. It is notable that even for the 
great howitzers, to which so many of the 
early triumphs of the enemy were due, 
Prussia, in the first instance, was largely 
dependent on her more civilised Ally, 
Austria. For the rest, in the matter of 
manufacture and provision of guns, muni- 
tions, aircraft, and the rest, France, which 
was far less well supplied at the beginning 
of the war, far inferior in mineral re- 
sources, and which had, moreover, her 
richest industrial areas occupied by the 


enemy since the first weeks of the war, 
and this country, which, except in the 
matter of the navy, had made no prepara- 
tions at all, and which was further ham- 
pered by the bad and discredited political 
system which she had suffered to grow 
more impotent and corrupt year by year, 
have something more than caught up 
Prussia on her own strongest chosen 
ground. In the matter of the application, 
the new mechanical forces in airmanship 
for instance, in naval gunnery, and in 
field artillery work matters which re- 
quire alertness of mind and intelligent 
initiative, Che Prussian is and always has 
been out-classed by both French and 

Turning to the strategy we find the 
case against the superstition of German 
superiority even clearer. The one de- 
finite success in this department which 
stands to the credit of Prussia is Hinden- 
burg's defeat of the Russian army among 
the Masurian Lakes. That great and 
very decisive victory was due to a careful 
investigation of the complex physical and 
geographical conditions prevailing in the 


district made by the Prussian General 
before the war. For this Hindenburg 
deserves full credit ; But nobody would 
pretend that such close application to 
detail was not a function of which the 
German mind is capable and for which 
indeed it is in some respects peculiarly 
fitted. And here, as in the West, the 
Prussian had the basic advantage of know- 
ing that the war was coming and when 
it was coming, because he had himself 
planned it beforehand. If we would form 
a fair estimate of the military capacity of 
the enemy, we must judge him by those 
unforeseen Developments which require 
rapidity and soundness of judgment, and 
are therefore the test of any command. 

Judged by such a test the Prussian 
military command cannot be said, if the 
war is considered as a whole, to come off 
brilliantly. At the Marne, though in 
greatly superior force, they were defeated 
by superior strategy. After the Marne, 
they failed to seize the importance of keep- 
ing the control of the Channel ports, which 
were then open to them, and they allowed 
the Allies to win the race to the sea. Then, 


after a series of expensive failures against 
Ypres, came the much advertised " march 
on Calais M an unsuccessful and enor- 
mously costly attempt to do what they 
could have done almost certainly in the 
first instance if they had been more alert, 
and that at a time when it would have 
been of verj much greater value to them. 
After that we had the six efforts to capture 
and put out of action at least part of the 
Russian army all barren in spite of the 
advantage given by our Allies' lack of 
munitionment. That almost ends the 
real military record of the Germanic 
Powers under Prussian leadership. The 
rest is almost wholly spectacular, and 
even as a spectacle it must be pronounced 
a failure. 

If this l?e a fair picture of Prussian in- 
telligence, even when applied to its own 
chosen speciality, the preparation for and 
conduct of war, it is hardly necessary to 
dwell upon the imbecilities which have 
marked Prussian policy in other directions. 
When it was a matter of vital impor- 
tance to Prussia to secure the neutrality 
of England a thing only too shamefully 


possible if the cards had been properly 
played the Prussian Government took 
none of the steps which they might have 
taken to achieve that end, but seem simply 
to have trusted to the grotesque reports 
of their amateur spies, and to the fact that 
( ' Morel ' ' and men of his kidney had 
succeeded in starting a thing called the 
1 ' Anglo-German Friendship Society, ' ' 
and in getting a number of innocent and 
more or less distinguished persons to join 
it as if, in a country like ours, such 
measure of success could not be achieved 
on behalf of any folly in peaceful times ! 
To the same calibre of judgment belongs 
the illusion that the French (who, of all 
the Allies, are the most determined that 
Germany shall not exist after the war) 
could be tempted to treason and surrender 
by clumsy barbarian flattery proceeding 
from men whom they alone in Europe had 
really known and therefore hated for forty 
years, the idea that the national spirit of 
England could be cowed by the bombard- 
ment of fashionable watering-places and 
the dropping of bombs at random among 
the civilian population, and the hysterical 


alternations of terrorist boasting and path- 
etic appeal by which it has been thought 
possible to influence neutral opinion. 

No, the German is docile and pains- 
taking, but he is not clever. The common 
quality which unites all the Germanic 
peoples is stupidity ; and of this quality 
their Prussian rulers have a full share. 



SUCH are the natural conditions which 
make possible a mood of pessimism wholly 
unrelated by any reasoned and impartial 
judgment on the facts. But it may safely 
be said that the common sense of the 
nation would have rejected all temptation 
to utterly irrational depression if those 
temptations had not been deliberately 
forced upon it, and the consequent depres- 
sion stimulated and exploited by a section 
of the Press, or if, alternatively, general 
opinion had been properly instructed and 
guided by those whose province it was 
to supply sucH instruction and such 

From almost the beginning of the war, 
and with increasing violence as any sub- 
stratum of truth diminished^ that large 
161 i. 


part of our Press which is controlled by a 
single man, one Alfred Harmsworth, sub- 
sequently (and very comically) created 
Lord Northcliffe of the Isle of Thanet, has 
set itself deliberately to create a mood of 
disappointment if not of panic. 

I need not recapitulate the whole story, 
with which everyone in England is toler- 
ably familiar. It began very early with 
the retreat from Mons, when at the most 
critical moment a correspondent of one of 
these sheets sent in an extravagant com- 
munication based upon the exaggerated 
emotions of some few stragglers and run- 
aways, indicating that the British army 
had been cut to pieces. That scandalous 
report was allowed to be published, and 
the politician who expressly permitted 
the outrage is still a member of the 

Later, when the heavy fighting began 
in the spring of 1915, and when it was of 
special and obvious importance from the 
point of view of patriotism to calm and 
steady public feeling in view of the inevi- 
tably severe losses which would have to be 
borne, another of these papers covered the 


country with posters, shouting the abom- 
inable message : " Huge casualties ! ' 

Next came the affair of the shells. 
Owing to the wholly unexpected conver- 
sion of the campaign into an affair of 
trench warfare a development quite cer- 
tainly as little foreseen by the enemy as 
by ourselves and owing also to the dis- 
covery that in such warfare the rate of 
expenditure in high explosive shells was 
far greater than military opinion whether 
German, French, or English had antici- 
pated, we and our Allies found ourselves 
caught short in the supply of such shells. 
The enemy certainly foresaw the condi- 
tions as little as we, but the fact that he 
had for two years accumulated high ex- 
plosives for a totally different purpose- 
that of reducing fortresses gave him a 
temporary advantage in this very import- 
ant department of warfare. This advan- 
tage, as soon as it was discovered, we and 
our Allies set ourselves at once to redress. 
But while this process was going on and 
the course of our production was steadily 
rising, the same Alfred Harms worth 
learned presumably from a politician who 


while a member of the Cabinet had acted 
as his servant of the temporary deficit, 
and also of the fact that it was being- 
remedied. He immediately raised an in- 
credibly ignorant (or mendacious) outcry 
which he coupled with an attack upon the 
soldier responsible for the military depart- 
ment of the war. He succeeded in getting 
his servant in the Cabinet appointed to 
the new "Ministry of Munitions. " But 
when the figures are published it will be 
found that the activities of that Minister 
had no effect whatever upon the output 
of shells, which had been steadily and 
rapidly increasing before his appointment, 
and would go on steadily and rapidly 
increasing if he were sacked to-morrow. 
All that the appointment did was to ham- 
per slightly the work that was being done 
by the soldiers on account of the extreme 
dislike and distrust felt of that particular 
politician by the working-classes, upon 
whose whole-hearted loyalty and readiness 
to make serious sacrifices the continuous 
and adequate supply obviously depended. 

I need not complete the whole miserable 
story. We all know how, out of spite 


against the soldier who had refused to 
allow him to meddle in matters of which 
he knew nothing, Harmsworth refused to 
print appeals for recruits. We all know 
of the absurd ' ' map of Europe ' ' (eagerly 
reprinted in the German papers) intended 
to impress upon the public a sense of the 
overwhelming triumph of our enemies, of 
the absurd calculations of German strength 
framed by Mr McCabe, the ex-Franciscan 
friar, who promulgated his authoritative 
opinion that the Germans could put 
twenty-five per cent of their population 
(including women and infants in arms) 
into the field against us. To men of 
intelligence such things are contemptible. 
But they have their effect. 

In any other belligerent country, 
whether of our Allies or of our enemies, 
a man who had thus behaved would 
assuredly have been treated in a very 
drastic fashion. His papers would have 
been suppressed, and he himself, perhaps, 
put under restraint. The English Govern- 
ment did not thus act, and it is not 
necessary to enter into the variety of 
reasons (many of them by no means 


creditable) which may probably have re- 
strained its action. Ultimately the reason 
is to be found in the fact that before the 
war the British Government had sunk into 
a condition which forbade to it the exercise 
of that moral authority without which 
any Government, if defied by a powerful 
individual or group of individuals, is 
impotent. Our otherwise incredible blun- 
dering over the Irish question can be ex- 
plained in the same fashion and in no 
other. It is deplorable but it is true. 

What, however, needs further em- 
phasis is this, that even without proceeding 
to extremities against Harmsworth and 
men of his kidney, the Government might 
have at least given to the nation a correc- 
tive in the form of a sober and reasoned 
official estimate of the military situa- 
tion. An "official" communication of 
any sort always carries with it no 
inconsiderable weight, and that weight 
would be greatly increased if such a 
communication in contrast to the mere 
appeals to emotion and the vague associa- 
tion of ideas which constitute the whole 
stock-in-trade of the journals whose in- 


fluence it was desired to undermine, 
offered, as it could easily offer without 
divulging any information which could 
help the enemy, specific and convincing 
reasons for its interpretation of the facts. 

The Government cannot plead that it 
has not been shown the way. Our French 
Allies publish such summaries at regular 
intervals. They are written with the 
utmost sobriety ; checks and reverses are 
admitted, and successes are never exag- 
gerated, often they are deliberately under- 
rated. But the effect is to keep French 
opinion in a state of cool and vigilant 
confidence, which is the best possible mood 
in which to conduct war. 

Let me take a specific instance of the 
contrast between the two methods. In 
the early months of the present year the 
Prussian Government published a sum- 
mary of its casualties up to the end of 
January, 1916. That summary was a 
grotesque falsification of the truth, and 
was recognised as such by military opinion 
throughout Europe. It was at once shown 
to be inconsistent not only with all human 
probability, but with the other statements 


published by the Prussian Government 
itself, as well as with the many sectional 
lists published in Germany. The Prus- 
sian military staff knew as Well as or 
even better than the military authorities 
in France and England that this estimate 
was nonsense. Yet when Mr Tennant was 
asked in the House of Commons whether 
he had any information as to the German 
losses, he got up and reeled off the patently 
absurd German " official " figures, which 
were, of course, at once taken up by the 
panic Press in this country, and present- 
ing them a$ the " official " (British " offi- 
cial, 1 ' be it observed this time) estimate 
of the amount of damage that the enemy 
had Suffered. The deduction obviously 
was that the enemy was still possessed of 
reserves of man-power which might well 
suffice for another two or three years of 
war exactly, of course, what Prussia de- 
sired us to believe, since it might be a 
powerful persuasive to a premature peace. 
Of course, eventually, not only the 
Government but the panic Press itself at 
any rate in those organs which are sup- 
posed to appeal to a fairly educated public 


had to acknowledge that the ' ' es- 
timate " was a pure concoction patently 
inconsistent with known facts. But what 
was there to prevent Mr Tennant from 
making this clear in the first instance ? 
The military staff could unquestionably 
have supplied him with information which 
would have shown beyond dispute that the 
hypothesis that the figures were reliable 
involved the raising to life of at least one 
hundred thousand Germans admitted to 
have been previously dead, to say nothing 
of the assumption that the Germans had 
killed or put out of action two men for 
every one disposed of by the Western 
Allies a supposition notoriously the op- 
posite of the truth. Had the publication 
of the Prussian figures been accompanied 
by only a few lines of the most obvious 
criticism, their publication could have done 
nothing but good, for it would have dis- 
credited in advance other falsehoods of the 
same kind circulated by Prussia with the 
object of influencing neutral opinion and 
uninstructed civilian opinion in the coun- 
tries at war with Germany, and especially 
in England. As it was tne lie had the 


start, and to-day, even though those who 
fathered it repudiate it, there are many 
who are in some vague fashion persuaded 
that the German losses have been more or 
less ' ' exaggerated ' ' by those professional 
soldiers who have no axe to grind in the 
matter, no aim but to estimate them ac- 
curately, and whose judgment is virtually 

Now, naturally, I have not at my dis- 
posal the facts and figures which are known 
to the military authorities who have 
formed this judgment. I accept it, firstly 
because it is the unanimous judgment 
formed upon separate but converging lines 
of investigation of men who know what I 
cannot know, and secondly because it is 
in itself consonant with probability. The 
broad outlines of the argument by which 
it can be shown, not that victory is certain 
for that it can never be until it is actually 
achieved but that it is increasingly prob- 
able, and that every day that passes with- 
out a decision leaves us in a better position 
and the enemy in a worse position than 
before is an outline apparent to me as an 
ordinary man, and one which, I believe, 


can be made apparent to other ordinary 
men if it can be put before them plainly. 
The Government ought so to put it before 
them. Since it does not do so, I, ill- 
qualified as I am, must venture on the 



WAR results from a conflict of will between 
two sovereign states. Each state attempts 
to impose its will upon the other ; the suc- 
cessful imposition of such will is victory. 
The failure to impose it and the conse- 
quent acceptance of the opposing will is 

Victory is achieved when one party has 
disarmed the other, and is in consequence 
in a position to impose its will without 
further resistance. Victory is always 
possible to one side o"r the other in any 
war. There is no such thing in war as 
stale mate, for in war men on both sides 
are continually put out of action by death, 
disablement, capture, or the destruction 
of their cohesion, and this must always, if 
sufficiently prolonged, result in one side 
or the other being rendered incapable of 


further resistance. There carr, therefore, 
never be a war in which an ultimate deci- 
sion (or victory) is impossible. What is 
always possible and has often happened 
is that both sides, while each has still a 
chance of victory, may decide that the 
chance is not worth the cost involved in 
the continuation of the struggle, and in 
consequence both may consent to a com- 
promise, that is, to a settlement which 
does not completely fulfil the will of either. 
Where the opposition of wills is funda- 
mental such a compromise is rarely, if 
ever, anything but a truce. 

I have already indicated and shall set 
out more fully hereafter the reasons which 
lead me to believe that such a compromise 
would, for the Allies and especially for 
Great Britain, be a disaster. But what I 
am at present concerned to show is that 
such a compromise is in no way the 
natural termination of this war; that its 
natural termination is a victory for either 
one side or the Qther, that is to say, the 
reduction of one party to a position in 
which, its power of resistance being lost, 
it must needs accept the imposition of the 


will of its opponent ; and further, that all 
indications point to the probability cer- 
tainty in such matters there cannot be- 
that if the war is fought to a finish the 
Allies will be in a position to impose their 
will on the Germanic Powers. 

I have already pointed out the absur- 
dity of judging of military affairs by the 
mere position of armies on the map. Let 
us try, from the purely military point 
of view, to define the present position 
of the combatants that we may estimate 
their reasonable chances of success. It 
is hardly necessary to emphasise the fact 
that from that point of view of whether 
the ultimate decision is obtained on allied 
territory or enemy positions is rather less 
important than that of whether it is 
obtained on clay or gravel soil. 

As has already been said, the Prussians, 
in accordance with their preconcerted plan, 
began the campaign with an effort de- 
signed to inflict upon the Western Powers 
such a defeat as might effectively render 
them incapable of further resistance. 
They nearly succeeded. In fact they 
failed. They were defeate^ on the Marae, 


forced to retreat, and pinned to a line of 
trenches which eventually came to extend 
from the Swiss frontier to the sea. After 
a series of singularly ill-concerted and 
wholly unsuccessful efforts to accomplish 
their original purpose of breaking the line 
of the Allies in the West, they turned 
to the East and attempted with the aid 
of their greatly superior munitionment to 
destroy the Russian armies in the East. 
They made six successive attempts to 
achieve this object, and in every case they 
failed. In the end a line was established 
in the East as in the West containing the 
German forces as a besieged garrison. 
That is their position to-day. In order 
to demonstrate its seriousness from their 
point of view, it is not necessary to quote 
English or French or Russian authorities. 
One needs but to quote General von Bern- 
hardi, who warned his fellow-countrymen 
that such was exactly the position which 
they must at all costs avoid since it would 
almost inevitably imply defeat. To-day 
they do find themselves in exactly that 
position, and to-day are in that sense al- 
ready undergoing defeat. 


To bring the issue down to matters more 
calculable, what is the German position ? 
They hold two long lines, one in the West 
and one in the East, which can be held 
only because their flanks rest upon im- 
penetrable obstacles neutral territory or 
the sea. They can be held only so long 
as there are enough men to hold them. 
The German population i,s a limited quan- 
tity, and ultimately the number of atfail- 
able men must become too few to hold 
them (for whatever may be said about the 
" strength of the modern defence," no 
one can pretend that there is not some 
minimum required for that purpose) unless 
in the meantime the Allies exhaust their 
own resources in man-power before those 
of their enemies are exhausted, or the 
Germans achieve a decision against the 
Allies which will put out of action so con- 
siderable a part of the latter's forces as 
may redress the balance in favour of the 
Germanic Powers. There is np fourth 

Now no man not hopelessly ignorant of 
the facts can pretend that the German 
forces are not as things stand in greater 



danger of exhaustion from the point of 
view of man-power than those of the 
Allies. The rate of wastage on both sides 
is unprecedently high, but it is certainly 
not now higher for the Allies than for the 
Germans. As a fact, owing to the method 
of attack adopted by the enemy and the 
fact that he is so situated as to be com- 
pelled to a continual offensive, it is lower; 
but I will not insist upon that. Let us 
assume the two to be equal. The Ger- 
man and Austrian Empires are putting 
their last men out into the field. They 
cannot increase. Of the Allies, France 
alone has reached anything like the same 
condition. Great Britain, Russia, and 
Italy have all three great reserves of un- 
used men available as soon as they can be 
trained and armed some of them avail- 
able as soon as they are wanted. Add to 
this the fact that Great Britain holds the 
seas, and that her blockade now at long 
last made really effective must increas- 
ingly embarrass the enemy in the matter 
of munitionment, if not of food, and it is 
a mere matter of arithmetic that if the 
war proceeds by exhaustion the Germanic 



Powers must be the first exhausted, and 
can therefore be compelled to accept such 
terms as the Allies may dictate. 

There remains the possibility that the 
Germans may obtain against one or other 
of the Allies a decision which will turn 
the scale in their favour. This is a pos- 
sibility. It cannot, like the lt stale mate " 
delusion, be proved mathematically to be 
rubbish. Indeed if it were not possible we 
could say that Prussia was not only in 
process of defeat, but already actually de- 
feated. But, though possible, such an 
issue becomes less and less probable every 

This is not, as I say, a matter of demon- 
stration, but it is a matter of reasonable 
argument. The considerations which lead 
one to such a conclusion are based not 
upon vague hopes, still less upon the un- 
utterably foolish idea that victory is made 
the more likely by taking it for granted, 
but upon facts and a rational process of 

At the beginning of the war the enemy 
attempted to obtain a decision against the 
Western Allies at a time when his forces 


outnumbered theirs by nearly two to one, 
and his munitionment in an even higher 
proportion. He failed at the Marne, and 
was forced to retreat. He may succeed 
in a new attempt now that the French and 
British forces are numerically stronger 
than his and their munitionment at least 
equally effective ; but it must be admitted 
that it would strike one as a rather curious 
paradox if he did. 

Again, last year he tried to envelop 
and destroy the Russian armies when 
those armies were short of munitions, of 
explosives, of powder, even of rifles ; and 
he brought to bear on them in that con- 
dition an enormous accumulation of such 
resources carefully collected over several 
months for the purpose. Once more he 
failed, and the Russians escaped with their 
potential power intact. He may succeed 
when the thaw is over and fighting on a 
large scale begins again on the Eastern 
front. But since our Allies have had 
the opportunity of replenishing themselves 
with munitions and fully arming new con- 
tingents, it is not clear why he should be 
able to do now what he could not do then. 


Other arguments can be advanced tend- 
ing to the same conclusion arguments 
more general but perhaps not less con- 
vincing to the lay mind. 

As the war approaches its final phase 
the actions of the enemy become less mili- 
tary and more purely theatrical. His 
proclamations and announcements become 
more and more patently divorced from 

Take the single case of the assault on 
the sector of Verdun but one example 
among many. That assault may have 
had probably did have in the first in- 
stance a legitimate military object, the 
cutting off and disarmament of the French 
forces east of the Meuse. But the attack 
has been continued, long after this specific 
object had become altogether unattainable, 
at the expense of stupendous losses such 
as nothing that the offensive could now 
possibly achieve would justify. 

And along with this persistence in what 
seemed and seems, from the military point 
of view, mere stupidity, went a series of 
pronouncements issuing from the Prussian 
Government and the Press which it in- 


spires and controls, all wildly absurd and 
each violently contradictory of the last. 
First the little dismantled fort of Duau- 
mont an outpost of the old and now 
obsolete and abandoned fortifications of 
Verdun which was given up to the Prus- 
sians in the first stage of the battle 
was * ' the strongest fortress of our chief 
enemy." Then Verdun itself situated 
not twenty miles over the frontier be- 
came ' ' the heart of France ' ' and the place 
where " peace would be dictated." When 
Verdun did not fall it was suddenly an- 
nounced that its capture had never been 
contemplated, and that the only object of 
the repeated attack was to " weaken the 
enemy ' by disabling one of his men at 
the cost of from three to five of their own. 
This seems to have been a little too crude 
even for German stomachs, and so, after 
rather more than a fortnight's delay, came 
more furious assaults and more rubbishy 

No nation, not even Prussia, acts and 
talks so, unless desperate. 

But the final and conclusive proof that 
Prussia is losing is to be found in the 


strange phenomenon already noted, the 
sudden conversion of the heirs and dis- 
ciples of Frederick II. to humanitarian 
Pacifism. While Prussia thought herself 
victorious she talked of nothing but blood 
and iron. Now that she talks clumsily 
enough, no doubt of peace and brotherly 
love and respect for the rights of nation- 
ality, we may draw the secure deduction 
that whatever may be the case with the 
inchoate and barbarous mass she governs, 
her rulers, at least, no longer think her 

* The devil was sick ; the devil a monk 
would be. The devil got well ! " That 
proverb also has a moral for these times. 




IN the foregoing sections I have attempted 
a rough estimate of the military situation, 
and have reached the conclusion that in 
all human probability the Allies can com- 
pletely defeat that is to say disarm and 
impose any terms they choose upon 
Prussia, if they continue to fight and 
refuse to listen to any talk of negotiation. 
The sole remaining question is as to 
whether such a result is worth the unques- 
tionable further sacrifice of life and wealth 
which its accomplishment will involve. 
And the only rational way of facing that 
question is to ask : What will be the effect 
if the Allies do not press their present 
advantage to such a natural and logical 
conclusion, but are content to conclude a 
peace which would leave the Prussian 



Empire checked indeed in respect of its 
immediate hopes of universal dominion, 
but still formidable and capable of further 
aggression at a later date? What es- 
pecially would be the effect upon this 
country of such a peace ? 

In order to answer that question the first 
point to consider is what would be the 
effect of such a peace upon the psychology 
of the Germans themselves that is upon 
the human material which Prussia is using 
and may again use for its own purposes. 

I do not think it necessary to debate at 
length the question of whether there are 
in the Germanies any materials capable, 
in certain circumstances, of revolt against 
what may be called ' ' Prussianism. ' ' Per- 
sonally, I am somewhat sceptical about 
their potency. I agree that, if Prussia 
could be cut out, the Germanic peoples, 
now so docile in their acceptance of Prus- 
sian control, might accept with little dif- 
ficulty the control of some more civilised 
power. But I doubt very much whether 
under any circumstances the Germans 
themselves will move against their rulers. 
In my Socialist days I attended Interna- 


tional Congresses and heard the speeches 
of German Socialists, and, even before the 
outbreak of war made it clear that at least 
half the Socialist deputies were and always 
had been in the service of Potsdam, I had 
excellent reason to question the assump- 
tion that a Social Democratic Republic 
with its centre in Berlin would be a whit 
less aggressive, less contemptuous, less 
convinced that it was the destiny of the 
1 Teuton ' ' to impose his ' ' higher civilisa- 
tion " upon the world, than the Hohenzol- 
lern dynasty itself. But that is not the 
question which at the moment I desire 
to argue. The moral which I wish to 
enforce and which can, I think, be proved 
to absolute demonstration is that any 
possible chance of creating a pacific or 
non-aggressive Germany will be utterly 
destroyed unless Germany is subjected to 
so frightful a punishment as shall make 
it clear even to Germans that widespread 
devastation and abject humiliation were the 
fruits of Prussian leadership. 

The contrary view seems to me to be 
based upon a confusion between what we 
know to be true and what the Germans 


will be told to believe and will believe to 
be true. In one sense it is no doubt true 
that even an inconclusive peace would be 
a German defeat. The original objective 
of the war, from the Prussian point of 
view an acknowledged German hege- 
mony of Europe with the Prussian dynasty 
at its head is defeated, or at least delayed 
for an indefinite period. But that is not 
how the matter will be put to the Germanic 
population subject to Prussian rule. We 
have already had plenty of samples of the 
sort of thing which those populations have 
been asked to swallow, and apparently do 
swallow. People who will accept from 
their rulers the statement that Scar- 
borough is a great fortress, that Verdun 
(not twenty miles over the frontier) is 
"the heart of France/' or alternatively 
(when repeated assaults accompanied by 
an enormous and utterly fruitless expend- 
iture of life and completely failed) that it 
was never intended to take it, that the 
surrender of a small and isolated garrison 
in a remote part of Mesopotamia is * * the 
greatest military blow that has ever fallen 
upon England ' ' and all the rest of the 


nonsense, are not likely to reject the very 
much more plausible case that will be put 
up to them by their rulers should the war 
end in any sort of compromise between 
victory and defeat. 

It is worth while to eliminate all that we 
may happen to recognise as absurd in that 
case, and try to present it as it will be 
stated by the Prussian rulers of Germany, 
and as it will probably appear reasonable 
to the German peoples. 

So stated it would run something like 
this : ' ' Germany had by the native superi- 
ority which belongs to the Teutonic race 
attained such a position in Europe as 
moved the envy of her barbaric or deca- 
dent neighbours. Actuated by such envy 
these neighbours combined against her, 
thinking her an easy prey. She was sud- 
denly confronted by a huge confederation 
of inferior peoples to the East and to the 
West, the final blow being struck at her 
by treacherous England which, though a 
Teutonic nation and owing all her past 
achievements to her heritage of blood from 
Germany, yet with the basest faithless- 
ness and ingratitude, joined the savage 


Slav and the decadent Latin against her 
cousins across the North Sea, thus placing 
her naval power a Teutonic speciality 
at the disposal of the infamous coalition. 
Had Germany been divided, or had she 
lacked a very strong central authority, she 
must have succumbed under such a uni- 
versal assault. But, thanks to Prussia 
and the Hohenzollerns, who had organised 
her native powers and resources as they 
had never been organised before, she was 
able not only to repell her enemies, but to 
invade and occupy their territories, while 
her own fatherland remained practically 
secure against the foreigner. 

* ' She might have achieved that full and 
recognise<jl supremacy which is the just 
meed of her native superiority but for 
the treason of England. But England 
though infected and decadent was still 
able to control the seas, and this fact made 
a temporary compromise necessary. The 
fact remains that while Belgium, Northern 
France, Poland, a great deal of Russia, 
Serbia and Montenegro have been 
subjugated by the German armies, the 
foreigner has been almost entirely kept off 


German soil. And the final proof of our 
triumph is that our enemies, with every 
advantage in their favour, have not dared 
to push the war beyond the point of secur- 
ing a dubious and temporary restitution 
which we should probably have made in 
any case of some of their own territories 
which our armies had conquered.'* 

That will be the Hohenzollern case in 
Germany after the war if the Allies are 
insane enough to acquiesce in any peace 
which can be twisted into supporting such 
a case. Of course, it is rubbish. It is easy 
to prove that there never was any con- 
spiracy against Germany, though there 
was an easily demonstrable conspiracy of 
Germany against her rivals. It is also 
easy to prove that Germany (that is to say 
Prussia and her vassals) started the war 
with an enormous visible handicap, and 
with the full expectation of immediate 
victory. But that is not the point. The 
point is whether those who swallowed the 
absurdities already quoted in regard to 
Verdun and Kut would swallow this also. 
It seems to me obvious that they would. 

Assuming that they did swallow it, it 


remains to be asked what deductions they 
would draw from it. These deductions 
seem clear enough and may be arranged 
as follows : 

(1) Stick to Prussia and the Hohenzol- 
lerns. They alone saved you from being 
overwhelmed by your enemies. Just as 
in the first instance they turned Germany 
from a geographical expression into a 
nation, so they have shown their capacity 
to maintain that national unit against the 
armed force of all Europe. Anything 
that even in the smallest degree tends to 
weaken their authority will expose Ger- 
many to a repetition of the peril which has 
been so narrowly escaped. 

(2) The ' ' militarism M with which we 
have been reproached has proved the single 
safeguard of our national existence. If 
any criticism is offered in regard to it, it 
must be that it has not carried far enough. 
Warned by the peril in which we have 
been placed, we must extend both the 
powers and the resources at the disposal 
of the General Staff at Berlin. Most 
especially must we add largely to our 
Navy, for it was solely on account of her 


naval supremacy that treacherous England 
was able to rob us of complete victory. 
Next time we must make sure that our 
fleet shall be at least equal to hers. With 
a very little further sacrifice we ought to 
be able to make it unquestionably superior. 
(3) The factor which prevented us from 
achieving complete victory was the treach- 
erous intervention of England against us. 
But for that we should not only have over- 
run both France and Russia, but should 
have been able to hold our conquests. We 
ought therefore to make sure that England 
shall not be such a factor in the next war. 
We tried to do this in the case of the 
present war by courting England through 
our diplomacy and through associations 
like " Morel's " Anglo-German Friend- 
ship Society with a view to inducing her 
to remain neutral until we had disposed of 
our Continental rivals, after which she 
could choose between fighting us single- 
handed and accepting an alliance with us 
on the basis of her permanent and assumed 
inferiority. Her treachery wrecked this 
excellent scheme. We must now adopt 
the opposite expedient and get England 



out of the way before we again challenge 
Europe. The immediate objective of our 
policy must therefore now bej on the diplo- 
matic side, the isolation of England, and 
on the side of war preparations the con- 
struction of a fleet sufficiently powerful to 
make our success in war against England 
thus isolated speedy and secure. 

I wish again to emphasise that in put- 
ting forward these conclusions as I con- 
ceive the German mind would receive 
them I am fully conscious of the folly 
and ignorance implied by their acceptance. 
But I am not submitting them to intelligent 
and civilised men and women such as I 
may reasonably suppose my readers to be. 
I am postulating them as likely to be 
accepted by the largely barbaric and very 
stupid peoples who inhabit the existing 
German Empire, to most of whom their 
absurd premises appear self-evident, and 
who will naturally be eager to accept con- 
clusions so consonant at once with their 
traditions and their desires. Looking at 
the matter in that light I think it must be 
admitted that the reasoning as given above 
is plausible, and to Germans, saturated 


with a century of consistent self-praise, I 
have little doubt that it would be found 

I believe then that if the end of this war 
should leave ihe present German Empire 
in being, though checked of some of its 
ambitions, and even though shorn of some 
of the outlying and alien territory, we need 
look for no change in the attitude of the 
Germanic peoples, and therefore no lessen- 
ing of the permanent dangers to the peace 
and good order of Europe which that 
attitude necessarily involves. Prussia will 
remain arrogant, and the Germanics will 
remain servile. They will still be the 
ready and obedient instruments of her will, 
and that will will still be what Nietzsche 
called " the Will to Power." As to ma- 
terial resources the complete incorporation 
of at least the Germanic parts of the Aus- 
trian Empire which would certainly follow 
such an insecure and unnatural settlement 
as we have been contemplating, would, 
perhaps, more than compensate Berlin in 
the long run for the loss of Alsace and 

Certain new elements or modifications 


we may indeed confidently expect to see 
appear in the psychology of the German 
peoples and their rulers as a result of the 
war, should it end inconclusively. And 
it is just these elements or modifications 
which, so far as this country is concerned, 
convert the probability of future disaster 
into a virtual certainty. They may be 
summarily stated under two heads. 

Firstly, the fact that by hypothesis the 
war has ended in an escape rather than 
in a victory, so that it would not be pos- 
sible to represent it even to the Germans 
as a repetition of 1870, will make it essen- 
tial for Prussia if she is to retain her supre- 
macy and confirm her legend to represent 
the truce as a mere breathing space to 
be followed in no long time by new and 
more glorious adventures. I have already 
said and it cannot be said too often that 
it is the very principle of Prussia's vitality 
that she should continually encroach upon 
the rights of her neighbours. Aggression 
is the law of her being, and always must 
be so long as she is Prussian. But the 
situation which an inconclusive peace 
would create would give to this general 


and enduring necessity a particular 

It would also give and here comes the 
second and for us most dangerous element 
it a particular direction. The failure of 
Germany to secure full and unqualified 
victory will assuredly be attributed to 
British " treachery, " and especially to 
the hampering effect of British sea power. 
Prussia has already begun to strike this 
note as if in anticipation. It appears in 
the last German reply to President Wilson, 
where this country is accused of " in- 
humanity " in starving the civilian popu- 
lation of Germany in order that her 
; ' victorious armies ' ' may be forced to* ac- 
cept an ' ' ignominious capitulation . ' ' We 
may be sure that this will be said with 
increasing iteration and emphasis, as the 
Prussian rulers are reduced to the neces- 
sity of explaining to the German peoples 
the very qualified nature of the " tri- 
umph ' ' which they had been led for thirty 
years to count upon as a certainty. 

It is plainly unnecessary to point out 
the inevitable effect of such interpreta- 
tion. It means that more than ever all 


Germans will be taught to regard Eng- 
land as the enemy, not, be it observed as 
before, as one of a number of enemies, 
but as One special enemy to whose de- 
struction the efforts of patriotic Germans 
should be devoted, to the exclusion of 
all other consideration. The rulers of 
Prussia will encourage this mood, not 
only because it helps to save their credit 
but also because they will rightly think 
it the safest direction to give to popular 
ambitions. Everything else will be sacri- 
ficed to the single purpose of building a 
Navy powerful enough to wrest from us 
our predominance on the seas. 

If that effort should succeed and I 
shall deal with its chance of success in 
another section it needs no insistence 
that the event spells for this country not 
merely defeat but annihilation. 



IT being clear for the reason set out in the 
last section that Prussia, if she succeeds 
in obtaining any sort of respite, will use 
it for the purpose of preparing for an 
overwhelming and, as it is hoped, decisive 
attack upon Great Britain, it remains to 
see how this country will stand in the 
face of such a threat to her security and 
indeed to her existence. 

To this end the international situation, 
which would be created by a premature 
peace, must first be considered. 

I am assuming throughout and the 
assumption is obviously a legitimate one 
that any peace that is made will be 
made by the common consent of all the 
Allies. None can suppose that either 
this country or any other concerned would 


break faith or tear up the ' ' scrap of 
paper ' J which has been so solemnly 
signed and ratified. Nevertheless, when 
nations are engaged in prosecuting a 
common cause, the influence of one nation 
will often determine the course of the 
others. If one party to an alliance ap- 
pears to be hanging back or showing a 
disposition to consider terms of peace, its 
example will powerfully influence the 
calculations and therefore the action of 
others. Its disposition may not prevail, 
but it will have weight. 

Let us suppose absit omen that the 
rulers of this country were somewhat in- 
clined to favour a settlement on terms 
short of the complete overthrow of the 
Prussian Empire. I feel pretty sure that 
France would not consent. I do not think 
that Russia would. And I do not suggest 
for a moment that any Englishman even 
a politician would withdraw while his 
Allies were holding out. Still if Great 
Britain or those who professed to speak 
for Great Britain- were of that mind, it 
would encourage such elements in the 
other countries as might incline to the 


same view and weaken the contrary ele- 
ments. Eventually it is j.ust conceivable 
that such a view might prevail, especially 
since it must be admitted that no other 
country is quite so directly menaced by a 
peace which would leave Prussia still 
capable of aggressive action as is this 
country of ours. 

Supposing such a peace to be concluded, 
what would be the subsequent relations 
between Great Britain and those Powers 
which had been her Allies? Here, I 
think, one has to take account of certain 
facts of national psychology to which all 
history bears witness. Of these none is 
more certain that nations which have, at 
the end of a long war, fully accomplished 
their purpose, tend to trust and admire 
each other, while, if the war closes with 
that purpose not fully accomplished, amid 
disappointed hopes and secret fears for 
the future, they tend to distrust and re- 
criminate upon each other. After all, it 
is only natural. Each Government must 
needs offer to its own patriotic nationals 
some explanation of its partial failure, and 
both Government and people would be 


more than human if they had no tendency 
to seek a scapegoat in the foreigner. If 
the close of this war leaves the Prussian 
menace undestroyed it will almost cer- 
tainly be said in England that it might 
have been destroyed if France had been 
better prepared; in France that it might 
have been destroyed if England had made 
greater sacrifices ; in Russia that it might 
have been destroyed if the Western Powers 
had moved more promptly, and so on. All 
these charges would be utterly false, and 
no whisper of them would ever be heard 
if the war ended in a complete and satis- 
fying victory. In that case France would 
be thought of by her Allies only in asso- 
ciation with the brilliant strategy of the 
Marne and the thrilling defence of Ver- 
dun ; England only in association with the 
invaluable service rendered in the keep- 
ing of the seas and the unparalleled effort 
by which virtually her whole manhood was 
suddenly called up in defence of the liber- 
ties of Europe ; Russia only in association 
with the chivalrous dash into East Prussia, 
and the amazing tenacity under almost 
unbearable pressure which marked the 


great and successful retreat of 1915. No 
serious divergencies appear among the 
special objects of the Allies, such as under 
less happy circumstances might endanger 
their union in the moment of triumph. 
But it is of the nature of defeat, and it 
cannot be too often repeated that a solu- 
tion which left the military power of 
Prussia in being would be nothing less 
than a defeat to breed such quarrels. 

And this peril would, of course, be 
enormously intensified if it appeared that 
the influence of Great Britain had been 
thrown into the scale against the annihila- 
tion of the German Empire. In that 
case we should have to face not merely 
a certain temper of doubt and luke-warm- 
ness on the part of our Allies, but almost 
certainly a definite coalition against us. 

Now taking it as certain for reasons 
already given, that if we leave the enemy 
still capable of renewed action in the 
future, we shall inevitably have to meet 
another attack upon our own liberties in 
a few years' time, and shall probably have 
to meet that attack single-handed, there 
remains the question of how far we can be 


in a position to defeat it if to-day we per- 
mit an inconclusive peace. 

In order that Prussia may prepare for 
an attack upon this country she needs to 
do one thing, and one thing only, and 
that is to build and equip a navy strong 
enough to overpower our own. When 
once that has been accomplished we are 
at her mercy, for not only is it true that 
even if we put every available man under 
arms we have not reserves of men power 
equal to those of the German and Austrian 
Empires, even if the latter be shorn of 
some of their provinces, but it is also true 
it is indeed a commonplace that if our 
fleet were defeated, an enemy could de- 
stroy our power of resistance without 
firing another shot, by simply cutting off 
our supplies of food and material. 

So much even the shallowest believer 
in some sort of permanent and mystical 
security attaching to these islands will 
admit. But to many who have been mis- 
led by the facile rhetoric of national self- 
glorification until their observations are 
perilously remote from reality, it will and 
does seem impossible that any rival nation 


can obtain such a superiority over us at 

It is not in the smallest degree impos- 
sible. Naval supremacy is ultimately a 
matter of shipbuilding, and shipbuilding 
is ultimately a matter of expenditure. No 
doubt other factors enter into the matter. 
Experience counts for something ; national 
tradition counts for something; inherited 
skill in matters such as seamanship and 
gunnery counts for something; the na- 
tional character, which in our case has 
always been known as peculiarly apt for 
sea as it has been found also to be for 
air work, counts for a good deal. But 
a statesman would deserve impeachment 
who counted on such incalculable things 
to- save him, if in all calculable things the 
enemy were demonstrably superior. More- 
over, at the best, such advantages can 
only outweigh superiority in material 
within a very narrow margin. Nobody 
can suppose that the most unmistakable 
difference in seamanship or gunfire or 
command conceivable as between two great 
European Powers could enable one fleet 
to meet such another three or four times 


its size. Yet, if once it be allowed that 
the Germans can outbuild us, it is only 
a matter of time, of application, and of 
sacrifice for them to obtain any measure 
of supremacy that their adventure might 

But can the Germans outbuild us ? As 
it seems to me, if they devote all their 
energies and resources to that one effort 
they almost certainly can. Prussia has 
at her absolute disposal all the material 
wealth within the confines of the German 
Empire. To this must in all probability 
be added the resources of such territories 
as still remain subject to the Austrian 
Crown, which is bound, after an uncertain 
peace, to become more than ever the 
vassal of Prussia, even if the German- 
speaking areas do not in the near future 
fall, as is exceedingly likely, directly 
under Prussian rule. Now the actual 
material wealth I mean the value of pur- 
chasable commodities within the German 
Empire is certainly far greater than that 
of the United Kingdom. And I shall 
show presently that the kind of wealth 
upon which we have counted as making 


up our national prosperity is likely to fail 
us altogether in such a contingency as I 
am outlining. 

Besides her material wealth, Prussia 
has the advantage of ruling the most docile 
population to be found on the face of the 
earth. The Germans are the last people 
in the world to offer serious resistance I 
mean the violent resistance that counts 
to any burden that may be put upon them 
in the form of huge taxation. Every- 
thing that the ordinary German I ex- 
clude certain wealthy and influential 
classes which are likely to be largely 
spared has can be taken from him by 
his rulers and exchanged for all that is 
necessary to the construction of an enor- 
mous fleet, and he will not resist, he will 
hardly complain. In this particular case 
he is the less likely to do so since he will 
be told and will believe that the Empire 
of the world was within his grasp, and 
had actually been achieved by Germans 
when the fruits of so astonishing a triumph 
were snatched from him, solely because 
he had allowed Great Britain to retain her 
preponderance at sea. 


The Germans will, in all probability, 
have another advantage which they have 
hitherto lacked. Their continental am- 
bitions will have suffered defeat, and their 
continental neighbours and rivals will feel 
pretty secure for some time at any rate 
against any renewal of Prussian aggres- 
sion in Europe. On the other hand, all 
the belligerent nations will have lost 
heavily both in blood and wealth. There 
will be a very general desire to slow down 
the pace in the matter of armaments, and 
it will be to the obvious interest of Prussia 
to take advantage of this sentiment so far 
as military armaments are concerned, and 
to propose, by a general agreement or 
otherwise, a limitation of the enormous 
armies which have had to be supported in 
the past. It will not be in any special 
way the business of France or Russia to 
insist on a similar limitation of naval 
armaments, for the building by Prussia 
of a great fleet seriously menaces only 
ourselves, and we cannot reasonably 
expect our present Allies to look after 
our interests for us if we prove lazy or 
stupid enough to neglect them. Prussia 


is therefore likely enough to be able to 
save largely on her military expenditure, 
and devote what she saves to a further 
increase in the size and efficiency of her 

It should be noted that the matter 
of naval construction is almost wholly 
mechanical. After what I have already 
written in these pages I imagine that I am 
not likely to be suspected of a belief in 
any astonishing " efficiency/' still less 
in any superhuman cleverness resident in 
the very dull barbarians of the dreary 
Baltic plain. I am quite sure that in 
any matter into which, in a high degree, 
intelligence entered the North German 
would be helpless in competition with the 
Englishman or any other inheritor of 
European culture, But this matter is 
one in which once the elementary lessons 
have been learnt from more civilised 
peoples the fool or the slave can do the 
actual work as well as another. It de- 
pends mainly on labour and expenditure 
that is, on industry and material wealth. 
And whatever industry and material 
wealth without the direction of broad 



judgment or alert intelligence can do, 
Prussia can do. 

Now if this be a fair summary of the 
assets available to our enemies in such a 
future competition as I have conceived, 
what can we reckon in regard to our own 
capabilities of outdistancing them in the 

The material wealth at our disposal 
and especially that consisting of exchange- 
able commodities actually within our 
borders is and has long been much less 
great than that of our rival. Such 
figures as may be quoted as showing that 
the total income of our nationals is as 
great or greater are vitiated by the 
multiplication of " imaginaries " which 
is involved in our vicious and unequal 
distribution of property. Moreover, an 
immense part of the riches which we have 
been able to count in the past as accruing 
to us has consisted of foreign investments 
that is, of ownership of the means of 
production in other countries, carrying 
with it the power of levying tribute on 
those countries. It is certain that this 
form of wealth will largely if not wholly 


disappear after the war. The huge taxa- 
tion to which that war has compelled us 
is being met, and ultimately can only be 
met by the sale of the bulk of our foreign 
investments in exchange for the perish- 
able commodities (most of them things 
like shells which are necessarily destroyed 
in the act of use) needed for the prosecution 
of war. And if, as many acute and well- 
informed authorities on finance believe, 
the cost of the war and of heavy expendi- 
ture in many directions which must inevit- 
ably follow the war, is to be met by the 
floating of a loan in America or elsewhere, 
the element of tribute must be transferred 
from the column of assets to that of liabil- 
ities. If it be said that our financial 
position will be better than that of our 
enemies, whom the war must necessarily 
reduce to actual bankruptcy, it may be 
answered that, while this is certainly true, 
it is also true that the mobilisable wealth 
of the Germanic Empires depends to a far 
less degree than ours upon actual products 
exchangeable in the market. 

It would seem, therefore, that if both 
Great Britain and the Germanic Powers, 


or even Great Britain and the German 
Empire 'alone, taxed themselves to the 
last farthing to build a supreme navy, the 
enemy could outbuild us, But there is a 
moral factor which enforces this conclu- 
sion even more convincingly. 

The people of these islands have shown 
thoroughly enough that they are prepared 
to shrink from no sacrifice demanded of 
them, if such sacrifice is known to be 
necessary to the preservation of their 
country. But they are by no means Ger- 
man in their submissiveness, and if to 
the enormous burdens entailed by this 
war is to be added the burden of an unpre- 
cedented and steadily rising increase in 
naval expenditure (to say nothing of mili- 
tary expenditure) to follow the war, they 
will certainly want to be assured that saich 
expenditure is urgently required in the 
vital interests of the nation. 

Now the politicians who have made 
an inconclusive peace supposing such a 
disaster to be contemplated can hardly 
stultify themselves by going to their con- 
stituents next day and telling them that 
that peace has placed them in such peril 


that immediate and unparalleled prepara- 
tions for another war are essential. To 
save their wretched faces, such men will 
have, for a time at least, to assure the 
nation that the peace may be regarded as 
permanent, and that the country is for the 
moment safe. From what we know of 
politicians we may take it as certain that 
they will do so. The old game will be 
played over again, but under a menace far 
more terrible, with consequences far more 
disastrous. We shall be assured that the 
Germans are as tired of war as we are, 
and that they have no intention of again 
attacking us, while Prussia is putting 
every spare penny into shipbuilding. 
She will get the lead and keep it until 
either the politicians are frightened into 
telling the truth or the people discover it 
in spite of them. In either case the reve- 
lation will probably come too late. 

One further thing must be observed in 
this connection. After this war we shall 
in any case be confronted with economic 
and industrial problems of the gravest 
kind serious financial exhaustion accom- 
panied with the need of providing for 



millions of men to whom their country 
owes a debt which must in honour be re- 
garded as a first charge upon the wealth 
of the nation. Beyond this, we shall be 
faced with the virtual collapse of our old 
social order, and the sharp alternative of 
building a new and stable order in its 
place, under which sufficiency, security, 
and freedom shall belong to the mass of 
families composing the State or taking the 
other and easier alternative of reducing 
that mass to a condition of quasi-slavery. 
On the choice we make the whole future 
of our country depends. 

Now unless this war ends in the com- 
plete destruction of the Prussian menace 
all these mighty issues must be left to 
solve themselves that is, to drift towards 
the worst and most humiliating solution. 
The great opportunity (accompanied by 
great perils) which the war has created of 
building a juster and happier society will 
be lost for ever because we shall have 
neither the time nor the resources required 
to avail ourselves of it. If the war ends 
inconclusively no patriot will dare to 
think of anything else than the immediate 


peril hanging over England. Everything 
will have to give way to the piling up of 
such armaments as may just avert and 
that narrowly the subjugation of our 
country. Conscription in the strictest 
form will have to be universally enforced. 
The iron discipline of war will have to be 
continued in peace. And all the time the 
very same rich men whose fear and greed 
have been largely instrumental in bring- 
ing about so shameful and disastrous a 
surrender to the foreigner will take advan- 
tage of the very peril they themselves 
have created, and pursue without check or 
hindrance their settled policy of enslaving 
their poorer fellow-countrymen. 

That is perhaps the last and worst con- 
sequence to be apprehended from a peace 
without security or honour. 



THOSE of us who believe that the funda- 
mental fact of existence consists of some- 
thing other than blind and mindless 
material forces, that as the old phrase 
went, " there is a Judge that judgeth the 
earth " will find great difficulty in be- 
lieving that men can obtain a stable peace 
based upon anything but justice. And 
the first condition of justice is the punish- 
ment of crime. A peace which left the 
criminal unpunished would be not merely 
a direct incitement to crime though that 
among other things it would assuredly be. 
It would be a thing to be condemned by 
standards older and higher than those of 
utilitarianism. It would be an affront to 
Divine Justice. 

That is one way of looking at the thing 
' 216 


the way native to Christendom. But 
let us look at it from the other standpoint 
that of modern thought, that is to say, 
of the denial of right. Let us look at the 
matter practically and ask what would be 
among the natural consequences of leav- 
ing Prussia no worse off or at least no 
more worse off than its victims for the 
crime which she attempted and so nearly 

There are a great many people, includ- 
ing many for whom I have a sincere 
respect, who hope that among the conse- 
quences of this war will be the establish- 
ment of some permanent guarantee of 
peace between European nations. I do 
not say that I share that hope, or at any 
rate that expectation. As a fact, I do not. 
But I recognise that many persons, whose 
motives and judgment I admire, entertain 
it, and as these are very largely the same 
sort of people to whom the hope of an early 
(which almost necessarily means an in- 
conclusive) peace makes a certain appeal, 
I think that it may be worth while to point 
out that the two hopes are strictly and 
absolutely incompatible. 


Those who desire the elimination of war 
and who believe such an elimination to be 
possible, must necessarily have something 
to offer as an alternative to war when two 
nations are at issue on some point of policy 
which neither feels disposed to surrender. 
The alternative most commonly offered is 
a reference of the dispute to arbitration 
by some neutral tribunal. An obvious 
though in my private opinion a fallacious 
analogy is continually offered in this 
connection. Private war, the settlement 
of differences of individual citizens by per- 
sonal combat, has, it is often pointed out, 
been virtually barred in all nations which 
have reached a certain standard of ordered 
civilisation. The duel indeed still exists 
in most of such nations to offer a partial 
contradiction to this argument ; but as 
against this it may be urged, firstly that 
the duel as a mode of redress is not uni- 
versal, and secondly that where it is in use 
it is employed mainly if not entirely for 
the redress of such wrongs as the law 
cannot or does not punish. Where the 
law is available to protect the citizen, it is 
increasingly conceived to be the duty of a 


civilised man to appeal to it. And it is 
argued that the application of the same 
principle to nations would lead to a similar 
elimination of international violence. 

I will not here set out the reasons which 
make me think this analogy false. I will 
rather assume it, for the sake of argument, 
to be true, and proceed to deduce some of 
its more obvious consequences. 

The reason why private violence has 
been eliminated in so far as it has been 
eliminated is not merely that State tri- 
bunals have been established, but that the 
decisions of such tribunals can be imposed 
on the recalcitrant by the armed force at 
the disposal of the State. If these deci- 
sions were not thus enforceable they would 
be of no use at all except in those cases 
where both sides were prepared to obey 
them voluntarily ; and as these will ob- 
viously be the very cases in which the 
disputants would, even if there were no 
tribunal, be disposed to compromise rather 
than fight, the value of such a tribunal as 
a preventative against violence would be 
practically nil. On the other hand, even 
without any elaborate apparatus of law, 


some kind of order can be kept in a primi- 
tive community as, for instance, in a 
new colony hardly settled if the actual 
citizens are ready to enforce some kind of 
rough-and-ready justice, and to punish the 
transgressor as horse-thieves and the like 
were punished in the ' ' back-blocks ' ' of 
America in pioneer times. 

Exactly the same thing is true of inter- 
national relations. Such a tribunal as we 
have established at the Hague may serve 
quite a useful purpose in settling small 
disputes which are not really worth fight- 
ing about, but which, if left open, may 
become dangerous the exact definition 
of a doubtful frontier, or the interpreta- 
tion of some minor clause in a treaty. 
But it is clearly valueless in relation to 
quarrels which involve vital national 
interests, unless it is armed with the 
material powers required to impose its 
decisions, by force if necessary, on the 
unwilling party. And the converse, al- 
ready noted in the case of private violence 
or fraud, is also true. Some sort of order 
can be kept between nations even without 
an authorised tribunal, if those nations 


are ready to act together against any one 
of their number which deliberately disre- 
gards its contracts or makes an unpro- 
voked attack upon its neighbours. 

Such action must necessarily carry with 
it the further idea of the punishment of 
the guilty party. If the police merely 
prevented a burglar from committing his 
crime, and, having caught him in the act 
of attempting it, let him go, empty-handed 
indeed, but free and unpenalised and in a 
position to repeat his offence, we should 
all feel not only that the ends of justice 
had been defeated, but that crime had 
been definitely encouraged. The burglar 
would feel, and rightly feel, that from the 
commercial standpoint his experiment was 
justified. He might have got a diamond 
necklace ; the chance was well worth taking 
even at a moderate risk. But if there is 
to be no risk, if he is not to balance the 
chance of getting a diamond necklace 
against the chance of getting two years 
in gaol, but merely the chance of getting 
a diamond necklace against the chance of 
failing to get it remaining otherwise 
exactly where he is it cannot be denied 


that from the worldly point of view he is 
a fool not to take it. Still more would 
this be so if the burglar were offered any 
inducement to surrender the diamond 
necklace if ' ' negotiations ' ' were entered 
into with him on the subject. In that 
case he would simply be being paid by the 
State for being a burglar. 

Yet just that and nothing else is the 
meaning of talk about ending this war by 
" negotiations " with the enemy. Nego- 
tiation means offering something. If 
Prussia is " negotiated " out of Belgium, 
as some suggest, it will mean one thing, 
and one thing only. It will mean that 
she is being rewarded for attacking 

Therefore I say to those who desire the 
establishment of permanent tribunals of 
arbitration such as they think may render 
war unnecessary in the future, that they 
stultify themselves unless they take the 
present unique opportunity of proving 
that the common conscience of Europe is 
capable of organising the defence of clear 
international Jaw and the punishment of 
those who openly and cynically violate it. 


If the case of Europe against the Ger- 
manic Powers cannot be enforced, what 
case ever can be enforced ? What declara- 
tion or treaty can the Great Powers sign 
which shall be more specific and binding 
than the declaration by which Prussia 
bound herself to respect the neutrality of 
Belgium ? What tribunal can they set 
up more authoritative than the Hague 
Tribunal to which Serbia appealed, or the 
Conference of Powers for which Sir Ed- 
ward Grey asked? Both the appeal and 
the request were refused by the Germanic 
Powers, and that on the specific ground 
advanced by the Prussian Government in 
so many words that Austria being a 
great power could not be expected to 
accept any sort of arbitration or mediation 
in dealing with a small one. If that plea 
is accepted there is an end of all thought of 
the substitution of arbitration for war; 
the enforcement of universal peace under 
such conditions would merely mean an 
express permission to the strong to bully 
the weak with impunity. And if the war 
ends without the exemplary punishment 
of the guilty parties, that plea is accepted. 


Whatever incidental sacrifice the Ger- 
manic Powers may be asked to make, 
they will in effect have carried their point. 
And in future the privilege of any big 
military power to attack a small neigh- 
bour without provocation, and to refuse 
all intervention, however friendly, on the 
part of the Powers will have been con- 

Furthermore, in speaking only of the 
original offence of Prussia for of course 
Prussia is the head and fount of the offend- 
ing in her violation of international 
right, I am altogether understating the 
case. From that original crime there has 
proceeded a long series of successive and 
individual crimes, every one of which must 
be punished both on the score of justice 
and on that of expediency. The peasantry 
of whole provinces of occupied territory 
have been deliberately massacred for no 
other purpose than that of terror. Women 
have been violated, not in consequence of 
lax discipline or sudden explosion of 
passion, but under regular military orders. 
Children have been killed and tortured. 
Churches, cathedrals, public monuments 


have been destroyed from mere perversion 
of spite. Non-combatants have been de- 
liberately slaughtered by land and sea. 
An Englishwoman who had been tending 
the German wounded has been foully 
murdered. Our very prisoners-of-war 
have been deliberately starved, beaten, 
and crowded of set purpose in centres of 
filth and disease. 

All this is not merely a question of 
sentiment. If the methods adopted by 
Prussia and her vassals throughout this 
war go unpunished, they become prece- 
dents ; even Powers with decent traditions 
of humanity will have in mere self-defence 
to go as near as their instincts will permit 
to the Prussian standard instead of keep- 
ing as far as possible away from it. All 
that the long Christian centuries have 
done in the way of humanising war, miti- 
gating its horrors, and preserving its 
chivalry and honour will be undone and 
reversed if those who are responsible for 
introducing into it a vileness unknown 
among the worst savages of the past are 
not made to suffer for their transgressions. 
And as it is obvious that such men will 



never be handed over for punishment as 
a condition of any peace not imposed on a 
people no longer capable of resistance, the 
refusal of all terms until such conditions 
obtained becomes not less necessary to any 
hope of diminishing the evils of war than 
to that of preventing its recurrence. 

Thus stands the case for the adequate 
punishment of Prussia and of her rulers 
as a condition of peace, as it may be stated 
on purely utilitarian grounds, and on prin- 
ciples acknowledged and even specially 
emphasised by those who, in general, 
lean towards Pacifist materialism in their 
theory of morals. So far as it goes it is 
conclusive. But I would not be so hypo- 
critical as to pretend that it is the full case 
as it appeals to me or as I fancy it 
appeals to most of my fellow-countrymen. 
When I read of the Wittenberg horrors 
the climax so far as we are concerned 
of Prussian infamy I own that I enter- 
tained the hope that I should never again 
hear an Englishman speak of peace, at 
least until we had the enemy beaten to 
his knees. There is one particular epi- 
sode in that hideous story which I would 


like to see written up in large letters on 
every hoarding and taught to the children 
in every Board School. It is that of the 
German doctor by name Aschenbach 
approaching the hell to which our men 
were condemned, standing afar off pro- 
tected by mask and gloves and other 
precautions for his personal safety, and 
calling the brave soldiers among whom he 
and his like had deliberately spread a 
filthy plague " English swine." 

There are only two alternative courses 
to be pursued in regard to those words. 
One is to note them^ to remember them, 
and, please God, in due time to take full 
vengeance for them. The other is to de- 
serve them. 



THE essential thing about the settlement 
which is to follow this war is that it should 
not be negotiated as between equals, but 
imposed by the victors on the vanquished. 
Compared with the importance of that 
condition the question of the actual terms 
so to be imposed becomes one of compara- 
tive insignificance. A Prussia utterly 
broken and humiliated, incapable of 
further resistance, and compelled to beg 
from those she has wronged such con- 
temptuous mercy as they may see fit to 
grant her that is the one thing needful. 
The arrangement of other matters, though 
not altogether a simple affair, is one which 
it ought not to be difficult to effect when 
once military victory is complete and 




It may, however, be worth while to 
devote a short space to the provisions which 
the Allies must undoubtedly take against 
the possibility of Prussia's recovery. 
Broadly speaking there are two methods 
of affecting this end which suggest them- 
selves. They are not, strictly speaking, 
alternatives, for they can be, to a con- 
siderable extent, combined. But those 
who agree that the elimination of the 
German Empire as a formidable military 
power from the constitution of Europe is 
essential to a stable peace, are to some 
extent divided according as they lean to 
the one or to the other. The two methods 
are disarmament (with some sort of 
guarantee against re-armament) and 

I suppose that we all agree that Prussia 
must disgorge her stolen goods or at 
least those that have been stolen within 
comparatively recent times. Alsace and 
Lorraine must be given back to France, 
and the Polish provinces must form part 
of a reconstructed Poland under Russian 
hegemony. This country must presum- 
ably regain Heligoland, and, of course, 


retain the German Colonies, while, secur- 
ing either the demolition of the Kiel Canal 
or its transfer to the small and pacific 
State of Denmark which might thus re- 
cover her stolen provinces. The German 
Navy must be either sunk or divided among 
the Allies. Similarly Austria must lose 
her share of Poland, Bohemia must be 
constituted an independent Slav State, 
Bosnia and Herzegovina must go to Ser- 
bia, and Slavonia, Croatia and the other 
Southern Slav provinces of the Hapsburg 
Empire must either share the same fortune 
(though here the difference of religion 
makes a difficulty) or become independent. 
Italy will, of course, get the Trentino, 
Trieste, and probably a part of Dalmatia. 
So far the matter is easy, once the fight- 
ing is over. But shall we carry dismem- 
berment any further? Shall we attempt 
any kind of partition of the true Ger- 
manies ? Or shall we destroy the bond 
which unites them, and break them up 
once more into a collection of small com- 
monwealths ? Shall we isolate Prussia 
from the other German States ? Shall we 
dethrone the Hohenzollerns ? 


As regards the last point, I may say at 
once that while such dethronement would 
be well deserved, and would help to satisfy 
the moral sense of mankind, I do not 
believe that its practical effect would 
be very great. I have heard German 
Socialists speak long before the war, and 
I have watched carefully their activities 
since its outbreak, and I have already 
given my conclusion that a German Re- 
public with its headquarters in Berlin and 
with a Cabinet drawn exclusively from the 
Socialist Party would have exactly the 
same sort of morals, and would be just as 
much of a nuisance and a menace to the 
rights of its neighbours as the present 
German Empire. The time has long gone 
by when Prussianism was the mere in- 
heritance of a dynasty. It has become the 
religion of a people. 

As regards partition carried beyond 
the points already noted there is one 
objection to it, and one only, and that is 
that none of the Allies really want it. It 
is true that the Germans have no more 
right to complain of annexation as a viola- 
tion of their nationality than has a garotter 


to complain of imprisonment as a violation 
of his individual liberty. It is also true 
tli at the Germans have never been con- 
verted to reasonably civilised habits except 
by conquest, and that the same docility 
and absence of indigenous culture which 
makes them to-day follow Prussia in so 
servile a fashion, would make them in a 
very short time amenable to more worthy 
leadership. The typical case of Alsace 
has proved this conclusively. But after 
this war all the European Powers will 
be pretty thoroughly exhausted, and will 
have quite enough work in hand in rebuild- 
ing their own social and economic systems 
without undertaking the forcible educa- 
tion of great masses of barbarians. 

In consequence we find some, whose 
judgment I greatly respect, who are as 
convinced as I am that peace must not 
be concluded on any terms which leave 
Prussia capable of further effort or mis- 
chief, but who think, nevertheless, that 
the best course to take will be to force a 
disarmed Germany to sign a treaty for- 
bidding her ever to rearm in any fashion 
whatsoever, saddle her with a crushing 


indemnity enforced as in 1871, by the 
occupation of certain parts of her territory 
until it shall be paid, and then leave the 
Germans severely alone to divide or unite 
as they choose, and even to retain Prussian 
leadership if, after the crushing military 
defeat and humiliation of Prussia, such 
leadership is still sought by them the 
only condition being that the first breach 
of the treaty which forbids them to keep 
up any armed force either on land or sea 
shall be the signal for a renewed attack. 
The Germanies under such a system would 
become something like the Indian reserves 
in America oases of tolerated barbarism, 
harmless to civilisation, because kept per- 
manently without power of aggression or 

Personally, though such a solution 
might be tolerable as a temporary arrange- 
ment while the rest of Europe was recover- 
ing from the wounds inflicted by this war, 
I cannot think that it could be satisfactory 
as a permanent solution. It would involve 
the shirking of our ultimate duty which 
is, after all, to make Europe one in tradi- 
tion and law, and it would also, I think, 


be not a little dangerous, for no one can 
guarantee that the European Powers will 
never again quarrel, or that advantage will 
not be taken of such quarrels by the Ger- 
mans to get rid of the humiliating position 
to which they find themselves compelled. 

Ultimately, whatever immediate ar- 
rangements are made, I think that Europe 
will have to deal with the barbarism of 
the Germanics in some more decisive 

As regards my own suggestions towards 
such a solution, I do not think I can do 
better than reproduce part of an article I 
wrote in the New Witness in reply to a 
challenge from Mr March Phillipps some 
months ago. These suggestions are only 
tentative, but I find little to add and 
nothing particular to modify in their 
terms : 

"Tentatively, I would suggest some- 
thing like this as a practical arrangement. 
France (or France and Belgium between 
them) might be given not only Alsace- 
Lorraine, but the whole left bank of the 
Rhine as far as the Dutch frontier. It 
would take the French, with their extra- 


ordinary national genius for Government 
and persuasion, very little time to absorb 
the inhabitants. In a generation or so 
they would be as good Frenchmen as 
the Alsatians. Perhaps we might resur- 
rect the old Kingdom of Hanover under 
Franco-British protection, and add West- 
phalia, with its great mineral resources, 
to it. At any rate, the shadow of the 
Latin name would thus fall upon all the 
Western Germanies. At the other end, 
the reconstituted Kingdom of Poland 
would, of course, include Posen, and 
should, I think, also include Silesia, with 
its large Polish population, the present 
Empire's other great source of mineral 
wealth. Whether the Poles would care 
to undertake the onerous task of civilising 
the Prussians I cannot say. Probably 
they will be too busy for the present with 
the renovation of their own national life. 
The alternative seems to be to treat 
Prussia, reduced to her original territory 
of sand and marsh, as the Americans 
treated Indian territory a reserve of bar- 
barism where the Prussians could be al- 
lowed to live under Hohenzollern Prince 


if they please, but closely watched, for- 
bidden to arm and isolated. 

' ' But under such an arrangement the 
South German States remain unaccounted 
for, and for these I see no natural centre 
save Vienna. The Germans of the Upper 
Danube are by comparison a civilised 
people, and the Hapsburg Crown carries 
with it a certain historic veneration. The 
Germans, incapable of corporate initiative, 
live most naturally when they live by 
tradition ; and the Hapsburg dynasty is 
probably the only one in Germany enjoy- 
ing sufficient traditional authority to keep 
the more barbarous North at bay. Aus- 
tria must necessarily lose her Slav and 
Italian provinces, including Bohemia, and 
(if Roumania should come in on our side) 
Transylvania. I do not see why she 
should lose Hungary, unless the Hun- 
garians desire independence ; and she 
might get some measure of compensation 
for her losses by bringing within her orbit 
at least the Catholic part of the present 
German Empire. At any rate, it seems 
to me that this will be wise statesmanship 
on the part of the Allies to keep the House 


of Hapsburg in being after the war ; and 
this will be even more essential if the 
obliteration of Prussia should not be so 
complete as I should desire. For if the 
war leaves the Prussian Empire in being, 
even though reduced, while the Austrian 
Empire is dismembered, Prussia will cer- 
tainly seek compensation by laying hands, 
sooner or later, on the German provinces 
of Austria (she would swallow Mr Shaw's 
Austrian Republic at a gulp), and might 
ultimately emerge stronger in resources 
and more of a menace to European civilisa- 
tion than ever." 

Of course this is all only a suggestion. 
I put it forward as my own contribution, 
for what it is worth, to the solution of the 
problem of the Germanies, which Europe 
will assuredly have to settle if it is ever 
to arrive at a stable equilibrium. 

And now a final word to the politicians. 
The whole structure of our political system 
makes them and keeps them separate and 
divorced from the popular will. In their 
ordinary political calculations they make 


occasional allowances for the fad of this 
rich subscriber to the Party funds or the 
odd scruple of that fellow-politician. They 
are never accustomed to consult the gen- 
eral will. They do not think it matters; 
and in ordinary affairs it must be con- 
fessed that their judgment is only too near 
to the truth. The most abominable things 
can, under our oligarchical system, be en- 
forced on the masses without resistance 
and almost without protest. Experience 
has shown that a measure so oppressive as 
the Insurance Act could be thus imposed 
on the inarticulate populace that loathed 
it and knew it to be the beginning of their 
enslavement, that a scandal so glaring and 
infamous as the Marconi affair could be 

But there is a limit. The politicians 
might know this by their own experience. 
They had done things so degrading to a 
decent man that it might be thought that 
there was no point at which they would 
make a stand. And yet there was such a 
point. When in August, 1914, they were 
asked to sell their country, then, in spite 
of the German money in the secret Party 


funds, the better of them, to their honour, 

Let them believe that there is a similar 
breaking point in what seems the un- 
limited patience of the nation. It will 
perhaps tolerate anything but treason. 
It will not tolerate that. 

If the politicians determine on a shame- 
ful peace, they can no doubt make it. 
There is in this country no organ of 
popular initiative. Peace would be made 
before we heard anything about it. But 
after we heard about it there would be con- 
sequences which the politicians would do 
well to take into account. And especially 
would they do well to take into account 
this fact : that the men whom they will 
in a very particular manner have betrayed 
are not the kind of men to whose anger 
they are accustomed. They will be very 
numerous. They have already shown 
themselves ready to face death. And 
they are already accustomed to the use of 








Victoria Cross Gertie de S. YVentworth-James 

Maud Churton Braby Mary Gaunt 

James Blyth Bart Kennedy 

Fergus Hume Stanley Portal Hyatt 

Florence Warden Hubert Bland 

Frank Richardson Eden Pbillpotts 

and Arnold Bennett 

Published at CLIFFORD'5 INN, LONDON, by 






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Mr Hall describes many of the secret dramas of Royal Courts, 
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M N ET. 

DOWNWARD: A " Slice of Life" 


The extraordinary vivid presentment of Dolly, the 
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CONTENTS. Part I. Signs of Unrest. The Mutual Dissatis- 
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Part II. Causes of Failure. The Various Kinds of Marriage. 
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Part III. Suggested Alternatives. Leasehold Marriage a la 
Meredith Leasehold Marriage in Practice : a Dialogue in 1999 
The Fiasco of Free Love Polygamy at the Polite Dinner Table 
Is Legalised Polyandry the Solution ? A Word for " Unogamy " 
The Advantages of the Preliminary Canter. 

Part IV. Children the Cul-de-sac of all Reforms. To Beget 
or Not to Beget : the Question of the Day The Pros and Cons of 
the Limited Family Parenthood : the Highest Destiny. 

Part V. How to Bear It. A Few Suggestions for Reform 
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A powerful little volume dealing with the pressing 
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With 24 Full-page Drawings. Is. net 
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SCARLET KISS. The Story of a 
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A N ET* 


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Here are a few thoughts of Mrs. Murphy on Love : 

" Love will make a man what lost half his face on a railway 
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" You never know which way it's going to break out with 
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or less Accurate Forecast of certain 
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not neglected, and Presentations at Court, Court Balls, and the 
entertainment of Royalty are treated at length. The author is 
particularly competent to deal with the subject as she and her 
people before her have always lived in the world whose doings 
she describes. Perhaps some Society lights may recognize 
themselves in her pages 

Contents: Preface Paying Calls Balls Presentation at 
Court and State Balls The Dinner Party The Luncheon Party 
The House Party The Bridge Party Etiquette of the Pro- 
posal The Society Wedding The Christening The Ne'glige' 
Manners Pets Flappers Letter- Writing Tips Travelling 
Games Chaperons Expressions, Vulgar and Otherwise 
Children's Parties Bazaars Popular Forms of Entertainment 
The Funeral Index. 


By GEORGE DUNCAN, Winner of the "News of the 
World" Tournament, 1913; Open Champion of France, 
1913; Open Champion of Belgium, 1912; Holder of the 
British Record for four consecutive rounds (250). Illus- 
trated by Special Photographs. Cloth. Crown 8vo. 
3s. 6d. net. 

This book is written and illustrated on entirely new lines by a 
keen and interested student of women's golf, but much of it will 
prove equally interesting to men. The illustrations show correct 
and incorrect grips, stances, swings, and shots of all kinds, as well 
as the characteristic styles of Lady Champions of the year and 
other well-known women golfers. Many of the photographs 
illustrate actual shots played in the championship and other 
important meetings, showing their grips, stances, swings, etc., 
and demonstrating correct styles and bad ones. 

8 Essex Street, Strand, London 

Uniform Edition of Pierre Loti's works, 7s. 6d. net each. 
New Volume. 


By PIERRE LOTI. Translated by W. P. BAINES. 

With many Illustrations in colours and half-tone. 
Demy 8vo, 7s. 6d. net. 

Pierre Loti was a member of a diplomatic mission t* the Sultan of Morocco at 
Fez, and in this book he gives us an extraordinarily fascinating account of the 
journey. The departure of the caravan from Tangier, the encampments, the nightly 
arrival of the Mouna, the crossing of the Oued M'Laxen in flood, the fantasias and 
1 ' powderplay " of the Arab horsemen, the magnificent state entry into Fez, are 
described in a succession of vivid pictures of most brilliant colour. At Fez, charac. 
teristically enough, Loti dons the Cafton and burrows of the Arabs and insinuate! 
himself into the life of the town. Thus besides descriptions of the formal reception* 
by the Sultan and other ceremonial functions of the mission he is able to give us un- 
forgettable impressions of the town itself with its strange houses and narrow 
tortuous streets, f the slave market, of the famous mosque of Karaauin, of the 
ladies of the harem basking on the roofs of the Arab houses. Never has Loti'* 
wonderful pictorial sense had freer or happier play. 

Other volumes in the Series -.INDIA, EGYPT, SIAM, 
JAPAN (in preparation). 


By AUGUST STRINDBERG. Translated by C. Field. 
Crown 8vo. Cloth. 6s. 

Sir Almworth Wright and Mr Belfort Bax should welcome Strindberg as a 
doughty ally in their protest against modern woman's ungainly attempt to scramble 
on to a pedestal by the side of man. Like the above two gentlemen, Strindberg 
regards ner with terrified distrust. For the two stories of married life contained in 
" Fair Haven and Ful Strand " woma is represented as the female spider who 
first allures and then devours her mate. These tales are free from the coarseness 
which disfigures the " Confessions of a fool," and the morbid gloom which broods 
over the " Inferno." The second tale is especially interesting as recording Strind- 
berg 's impressions of London, which he only visited once (in 1893) and did not like. 



Mr Stanley Portal Hyatt is breaking a silence of over two years with this new 
novel. His new book is a fine and thoughtful novel, gallant with high endeavour. 

The hero, the last of a long race of Empire-builders, is a prey to the morphia 
habit, and before be succumbs he wants to do one thing for the Empire, to rescue 
the Island of Katu (the key to the Far East) from the Germans, who are gradually 
obtaining possession of it through the machinations of a gang of scoundrels with 
supporters in England. 

Mr Hyatt reproduces all the atmosphere of the district with wonderful effect, 
and there is no little literary skill in the way his plot is worked out. 

8 Essex Street, Strand, London 


By HBNRY DE HALSALLB. 2/6 cloth ; 2/- net, paper. 

11 LORD HALSBURY is very grateful for Mr. de Halsalle's 
book ' Degenerate Germany.' 

" It certainly is a most astounding and interesting work ; but it is terrible. One 
shudders at seeing the picture, so vividly drawn, of a whole nation so corrupted and 

"in this country it is a most useful thing to know how corrupt, and how most 
unscrupulous, the Prussian State is, and how it is gradually infecting every part of 
the German Empire. 

' I hope Mr. de Halsalle's work will be circulated everywhere ; whether at home 
or abroad. 

"That it will do good I am sure; and I beg to thank Mr. de Halsalle again and 
again for the mode in which Mr. de Halsalle haa propagated the knowledge of the 
truth. Fearful as that truth is, it is necessary it should be kown. 

"With many thanks and hearty congratulations. 

" I am, very truly yours, (Signtd) HALBSBURY." 


paper; 2/6 cloth. 

This book reveali an entirely new and most sensational view of German woman- 
hood. It traces the degeneracy of the race to the low position allotted to the sex in 
the Fatherland, and shows that this has reacted on German women themselves to a 
quite extraordinary degree, It is no exaggeration to say that their licentiousness 
and eroticism and depravity have never been approached since the days when the 
decadence of Rome shocked the conscience of mankind. 


By HENRY DE HALSALLB. 2/- net, paper ; 2/6 cloth. A thorough 
expose of the whole German spy system. 

As the Author was commissioned by a great European power, two years before 
the outbreak of the war, to examine the operations of the Intelligence Department 
of the German military authorities (a task which he successfully accomplished) he 
may claim to speak with some authority. 


2/. net, paper ; 2/6 cloth. 

Shows conclusively that any peace which leaves the present German Empire in 
existence with its centre in Berlin would be a mere truce. 


By ARMGAARD KARL GRAVES, late Spy to the German Govern- 
ment. Picture Wrapper. Price I/- net. 

Unprecedented and astounding revelations of the inner workings of the German 
Secret Service Department. Dr. Graves, who was imprisoned by us for spying at 
Rosyth, tells ( his tale without concealment or hesitation from the day when he 
entered the "spy school" at Berlin to the day when he finally left the service in 
disgust. From the first page a scene at question-time in the English Parliament 
to the end of the story the interest and excitement never flags. 

T. WERNER LAURIE, Ltd., 8 Essex Street London, W.C.