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The Evening Star THURSDAY, OCTOBER 22, 1914.

Br cross have for long—perhaps too long—treated their enemies with England the same impartial jusAwakenlng. lice and in harmony with the same standard of honor which characterises their dealings with each other. Because there are allegations of cruelty and inhumanity jgainst the Get mane in the treatment of British wounded and prisoners, that meted out to German prisoners remains unaffected by as much as a single hair’s breadth. There is a complete absence of vengeance, or even of the desire for vengeance, in the heart of the British, as far as visiting the crimes of the Kaiser and his Advisers upon the bodies of the men who fall into .their hands in the progress of the war. Any other course, happily, will be repugnant to the national instinct everywhere. Nor can we, after the first impulsive cry of dissent, regard ■ with any other feeling than pride the action of the men of the Navy who, ill the height of a fierce engagement, and when ' Averv soul aboard is liable- to sudden eclipse, send 1 heir boats to pick up the men who had a few moments earlier been exulting in ihe probable destruction of their rescuers. These are traits that have made the race what it is to-day—honored by most, feared by some, and hated only by those who, in their defiance of right, have become a byword among the nation*, lint while Britons, not without reason, take a modest pride in these things, arid hardy soldiers blush like a schoolgirl to hear their own good-nature acclaimed, the nation as a whole is becoming irritable and increasingly angry over what is termed ine Government’s leniency in dealing with known spies and conspirators. There is eorrvefctiins so isv tKe , Briton in tho spy ousindße that he Is apt to credit those of other nationalities with a similar sense of innate didike, and to belittle tho whole matter. This has been hi* policy in the past, in spite of warnings, which were invariably regarded 4s good material for a QueUx novel, and it is only *|g.day that jo thi# as in other things he

it awakening to find that his hospitality lias been abused. Doubtless there are (juite a host of baseless charges, and probably many a man guilty of nothing else than having been born in Germany W'll have to make expiation for sins of which he is wholly innocent; but, these aside, there is a mass of evidence that cannot be brushed away. Day by davit is being brought home to lire most sceptical of doubters that this German menace, which he and others had so long derided as the fantastic nightmare of the jingoist, is a very sober and dread reality. ‘There are none to-day in more serious plight than such as these. German writejs and statesmen had warned them, and British publicists and politicians had underlined their declarations, but the Massinghams and Nevinsona, the Lord Courtneys and Ramsay Macdonalds, the ‘Manchester Guardians’ and 'Daily Newses,’ up to the night of the declaration of war, not only protested earnestly against war with Germany, but indulged in a virulence of language against their own Government apd Ministers that was the more repre lensinlo, as it was almost invariably accompanied by the most perverse and dictatorial assertions in relation to peace-loving Germany. The judgment that fell upon these- superior people was not only swift and complete, but had in it an element of grim humor. Mr Nevinson, for example, who had the impertinence and ignorance to call Britain's participation in the war a •• hideous crime," to boast that he was " not blinded by tenor of Germany, ’’ and to speak of Russia "as a cruel despotism, upon whose word no one could rely,” was himself compelled a few days later, in his capacity as correspondent for the ‘Daily News’ in Berlin, to send an account of the " seandaloiw nature" of the attacks made on people bearing English names. And to Mr Nevinson succeeds the ‘ Manchester Guardian,’ a paper that could always make room for disgracefully perverted statements of this Dominion’s system of military training. The ‘ Guardian,’ through its circulation and status as a Radical daily paper, led the way in its passionate opposition to Gieat Britain going to war on behalf of Belgium’s neutrality. English, honor, English interests, it incessantly insisted, demanded that England should oppose •• au organised conspiracy to drag us into war. ’ This was on August 1. Gn August 5 (the day following the declaration of war against Germany) its tone changed, and it has gone on changing until —most marvellous change of all—the ‘Guardian’ is asking (and rightly so, perhaps) why British cruise:s are not arresting German reservists who are serving with neutrals ! The change is indicative of a pardonable dissatisfaction with the authorities for having so long fallen short of their duty in the matter of international espionage. What the Empire to-day knows of German. policy and methods, what the cities of Louvain and Malines ami Terrnonde and Antwerp proclaim Germany to be, ought at least to have made plain to all men that she can neither be treated nor regarded as an honorable foo. She has applied*the policy of Machiavelli’s Prince to the politics ot the twentieth century of Christian civilisation; she has elevated the doctrines and weapons of naked force to the supreme and decisive- factor in the fate of nations} and she has lied and tricked and schemed, not for the uplift merit of humanity (for it could not be lifted up by any such tortuous path), but for her own ensanguined beatification and the suppiession and oppression of mankind. Therefore, it is time the Mother Land was fully awake

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141022.2.21

Bibliographic details

The Evening Star THURSDAY, OCTOBER 22, 1914., Evening Star, Issue 15630, 22 October 1914

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952

The Evening Star THURSDAY, OCTOBER 22, 1914. Evening Star, Issue 15630, 22 October 1914

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