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A GERMAN PRESS MANŒUVRE, Issue 15630, 22 October 1914
A GERMAN PRESS MANŒUVRE
ATTEMPTED STATEMENT IN * THE TIMES.’ A MISDIRECTED TELEGRAM. The statement made by, the German Imperial Chancellor to the Reichstag on August 4, which (says ' The Times ’) we published, lends piquancy to a communication that reached us from an influential quarter in Germany on August 2. The communication, which we give in its original form, bore the name of a personage holding a prominent position m Germany, and standing in a close personal relationship to the German Emperor. It was evidently timed for publication on the morning of August 3, the day of Sir Edward Grey’s historic speech in the House of Commons. August 2, 1914. “I hear with astonishment that in France and elsewhere in the world it is imagined that Germany wants to carry on an aggressive war, and that she had with this aim brought about the present situation. It is said that the Emperor was of the opinion that the moment had coma to have a final reckoning with his enemies, but what a terrible error that is! Whoever knows the Emperor as I do, whoever knows how very seriously he take* the responsibility of the awn, how his moral idea* are rooted in true religions feeling, must he astonished that anyone could attribute such motives to him. “He has not wanted the war; it has been forced upon him by the might of the circumstances. Ho has worked unswervingly to keep the peace, and has, together with England; thrown his whole influence into the scales to find a peaceful solution, in order to save his people from the horrors of wax. Bub everything has been wrecked upon the attitude of Russia, which in the middle of negotiations which, offered good outlook of success mobilised her forces, wherewith she proved that she did not mean in earnest what her assurances of peaceful intentions indicated. “Now Germany’s frontiers ai-e menaced by Russia, which drags her Allies into the war, now Germany’s honor is at stake. Is it possible under these circumstances that the most peace-loving monarch can do otherwise than take to the sword in order to defend the most sacred interests of the nation? “ And, finally, the German people! In them is firmly rooted the word of Prince Bismarck against aggressive wars: ‘One must not try to look into the cards o' Fate.’ “It must be stated again: Russia alone forces the war upon Europe. Russia alone must carry the full weight of responsibility.” —Message from the Official Agency.— Since this statement was in flagrant contradiction with the facts of the situation as known to us then, and as subsequently revealed by Ihe course of events, we refrained from publishing it. Towards midnight on Monday, August 3. we were therefore astonished to receive, by accident, the following telegram, dated Berlin, August 2, and evidently addressed to a London representative of the Wolff Bureau, the German Official Telegraph Agency: “ ‘ Times ’ is publishing ’* statement on the situation. Please telegraph it word for word.—(Signed) Wolff Bureau.” By come oversight this telegram was Insufficiently addressed, and the Post Office, doubtless imagining" that as the word “ Times ” followed immediately the name of the addressee he might be known in ‘ The Times ’ office, sent it to us, open, and aeked whether we could supply the right address. Seeing that it concerned 4 The ■Time-s,’ we took a copy of the telegram and ‘handed it back to the telegraph messenger. It was clear from this telegram that tho personage whose statement had been sent to us had either informed the German Official Telegraph Agency of what he hud dona or that the tending of his statement had been prompted by the German Government, if not by the Emperor himself. It also showed that had the statement, been published in ‘The Time*,’ it was to have been telegraphed back to Germany with the added authority deriving from its publication in tie leading English nevspaper. In short, the statement appeared as a transparent attempt to uie the influence of ‘The Times’ in England and the authority of its name abroad with the object of misleading both the‘British and the Gorman public.
A GERMAN PRESS MANŒUVRE, Issue 15630, 22 October 1914
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