A PLEA FOR TRUTH AND EQUITY.
Maoriland Worker, Volume 13, Issue 9, 28 February 1923, Page 13
A PLEA FOR TRUTH AND EQUITY.
By A.M.H. . • ________ To-day, in the twentieth century of what is called the Christian era, those whose .thoughts are with the countries of Europe are cut to the heart by the devil-inspired chaos that obtains there. For centuries it has been the belief of the British peoples that Britain's rule is just, wise, and generous. Our enemies conceded that. It ha;-been claimed that there trod no slave beneath oftr flag of Empire, that the lesser breeds knew and l'pved their protector; that where we 'ruled Avas equity and honour; that we sent our best to die -for Right against Might on every field. Was it once so in very deed? Or did that express the ideal towards which the leaders of the race planned and strove? It was at once a beautiful faith and a goal worthy of attainment, worthy the Prince of Peace to whom our visible temples are erected. But we, to-day, are far from that ideal. The knowledge of the criminal weakness and duplicity in whose hands were the destinies of our world, strikes a deadly blow at our trust. The thought of country and empire should be a driving foree 1 amongst all. . Can we who honestly love the land of our birth or of our adoption feel aught save anger and. disgust for those who have so debased our national honour? We have been cruelly lied to in the matter of the last war. Too late, we learn that our "glorious dead" gave their lives, not to protect the world from Prussian militarism, but to deliver it to British and French militarism, in :ts turn the tool of American and Euroi pean money-masters. Slowly the knowledge comes to lis that Germany, beaten and bound, a prey to the terror of military and financial oppression, is punished for being less successful in evil-doing than the victorious Powers. She must, be freed, if ever we are to regain prosperity and pea-je. In the shadow of the great lie we are still groping, and only Truth can restore international fraternity. One lie never stands alone. See, now, how in these later years the train of falsehood and injustice has lengthened. Japan is a country, ruined by Westernisation, of small honour and little j truth; the race is despised for its venality by all straight-dealing men." In business the Japanese are proven tricksters: their promises are worthless and perishable as their manufacture —yet this is our Ally. And why? Because Britain, to obtain possession of German African territory, in the; div-aion of spoils, bought Japan's good word by the promise of Shangtung in China! And these African territories, they, of course, benefit the nation into whose power they have come? Their reserves will be used for lightening taxation and for inir proving conditions among the people : blest by this acquisition? Most cei'tainly NOT. To him that HATH shall be given, and to no other. For the lni crease of the riches of those already rich have they robbed us of honour. Serbia is a country of which the ruling class are heavy, coarse, and most imperfectly educated. Hungary is the home of a most ancient and enlightened people. Here, in brief, is their history. Some thousand years ago, a westward travelling tribe of Magyars -acquired land and ceased "their wanderings. As a whole, they were, and are, industrious, thrifty, having a deep religious and moral sense. Their intellectual capacities are well proven in the arts. As a' people who have lived by the land for generations, they are de*eply attachedto their country. While they were working out their own civilisation, there came into' their borders Slovak , tribes, Roumanians, and others.- All were allowed to remain, meeting with small hindrance from a generous people. One might fairly say that the Magyars in their policy of live and* .let live, came very near the,old-time ? British idea of fairplay. And their reward has been recognition andequity? Tn no way. Taken into subjection to a-foreign power, they were forced into the European Avar. During the whole pex*iod, they saw only 'wounded and prisoners and the mm that was to come. It has come. An all--wise, just, and impartial 'Council has decided that all Slavs are one | people; ithat all territory where; Slavs live is Slovakia,-and-"that Serbia J is more fit than the Magyar to rule the country. In the same way has been cut off. Hereby nearly two-thirds of Magyar territory has [been alienated. Thus the people ,ofi Lfehe smaller countries are given theirs [rights: by the enforced union qf Slav? people who have little now in contmon save their distaste for the un'on and for each other. Look at the trouble that affects -u.s more nearly at the moment—the problem, of the Near East. - We .are like to be again at war? against all honour. Hera «-«;- need not go into
causes, for there is one fountain head of all this cvil —the eagerly-acclaimed Versailles Treaty. Since its inception it has been greatly altered, but the main issues are untouched. It is based on the statement that Germany; is sole author of the war, and therefore solely punishable: that her fit punishment is outlawry from the councils of the nations and from their: trading facilities and from fair play.
In accordance with this, she is saddled with -a debt that presses most cruelly, not on the original guilty War Lords, but on the people who had no voice in the matter: on the women
and young children. Germany is being forced into a double bankruptcy by a French Ministry mad for war and plunder. She has exhausted her metal currency; her- manufactures a*tsd products - } are mortgaged to the Allies, who must accept them to' the destruction of their own trade. Soon her paper Avill be worth nothing, and Europe, bound to her, will starve Avith her. The saA*agely blind folly of it!
There are men and women who say comfortably that there.-must.be Avars; it is human nature. There are others who admit the terrible bungling of those in authority, and then forbid action, saying that there are no others save these. I say there must be; while there are people who realise the wickedness done in the name of Empire, while there live men and women: who see the logic of cause and effect, there are statesmen, true lOA'ers of our commomvealth and of humanity..; to rule and to do justice.
"Judge of the Nations, spare us yet, Lest they forget, lest they forget."