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THE WAR: A LETTER TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN.

TO THE EDITOK. Sir, —Pessimism 'doesn't moan want of patriotism—at least, not in all cases. Mv pessimism is not founded on any tear that Britain will not emerge" as of old victorious. It is duo to the fact that the far, outlying portions of the Empire have not rightly realised what the aftermath may bring to them. With the brave old Mother Land thinned out to an appalling oxtent her recuperative power will he terribly handicapped, and years" and years must pass before the hearths and homes can recover from the stress of. sorrow. I was in a hotel on my way homo the other night, and remarked to an acquaintance the direful possibilities that might happen through a general uprising amongst races not bound to \is bv ties of blood, religion, or ethics, and of which none can s-peak with absolute certainty. I spoke of the possibility that Now Zealand might have to adopt the advice of an English statesman and cast itself on the protection of America. An apparently young man felt terribly put out. Poor fellow, like many New Zealanders, he is unable to grasp what a world war is or may mean. Without enthusiasm we are of little help. .Speeches, prayers, pence, ami platitudes count for nothing.. And if that enthusiasm is lacking in the far-flung portions of the Empire, then I say hoaven help them. Not to praise '■' Tommy," but to emulate him—there lies the most praise. Let us get rid of patriotic concerts. Let us put a serious face oil the matter, and Do up and doing. As an old soldier (not in years), but service in war and peace in various climes and equipped in the various military sections, I offered my services, but they were not accepted, as I have a wife-"and. children. A line state of affairs. At the outbreak of tho Boer War our first army corps had for its very backbone tho married as well as single reservists, for no British regiment could he brought up to war strength without them—and they rallied to a man.

Does tlio Defence Department in New Zealand fear having to provide for healthy orphans? Do we married men sometimes not have to work for patriotic employers at unhealthy work for oven less pay than_ that granted tho New Zealand Expeditionary Forces ? Isn't it hotter to fight and die for the old freedom of onr race in the open than die in dirfc with a slave's chain of low wage, poor homes, and endless struggle to bring up children, who will only grow up to see their fathers broken under the chains. I think tho end of tho war is far off, and the consequences undreamt of as yet. We are <: far from the madding crowd" — how can we tell how soon the horrors of the war may come to us—if we do not wake up and prcparo for eventualities. If wo aro not .British now we never shall be. Let the pressgang come and clear the hotels, the street corners, the picturo shows, etc., of thoso who havo no other purpose in life but to loaf along; but give some of us, like myself, a steerage passage, even in an old tramp, so that we may get somewhere nearer to tho point of practical help. The night is growing darker; and however assured the dawn, it is a long way off, and longer for the colonies, under whichever nag they may eventually live. Personally, I want the British flag. It is true of the physically blind that " they also servo who only stand and wait," but not of tho mentally blind. Each and all of us should adopt in practice these mottos (parodies): " They also servo who do but sentry go"; and for'tho able bodied, "They more than serve who ask to be prepared." My lore is in Great Britain, and fighting for her. Britain down even for a time may mean her British-speak-ing colonies down for all time. Beware of the night: then none can work.— I am, etc., EX-ROWU. JJIGnLAXD£B. Jiorembor, 4.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141104.2.55.2

Bibliographic details

THE WAR: A LETTER TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN., Evening Star, Issue 15641, 4 November 1914

Word Count
690

THE WAR: A LETTER TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN. Evening Star, Issue 15641, 4 November 1914

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