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"PUNCH PRUSSIA'S HEAD"!

♦ I'll:: EMPIRE'S IMMEDIATE iu'sixess, says p.ebkard shaw. Tt i.-; well ili.it. we fcliouid know what the war is about, writes Mr Bernard Shaw in a characteristically blunt article in the 'Daily News and Ltadcr.' "'Jo begin with, wo arc not at war becaus? Germany made- 'an ir.t'nmous proposal' that wr «hruld allow her to violate Belgian neuhnlity. I: it had suited i:s to accept that proposal wo could bare found plenty 1-1 f reasons for accepting it (the advocates of our own neutrality have found some of them already) no Titoie infamous than the diplomatic reasons «v« have given in the past far courses which happen to bo convenient to 113 Let us thcrefoy 'lmp it. Our national trick of virtuous indignation is tiresome enough in peaceful party strife*, at home. At war it is unpallant and unpardonable*. Let us take, our pugnacity to the iifld, and leave -our hypocrisy and our ha/! blood at They weaken the hemic fighter nn-:l en centra ere only the blackguard.

"This war is a Balanceof Power warand nothing **U'e>. And tho fact wo have all to fare is that if our side is victorious, the result, will bo an Overbalance of Power in favor of Russia, ■fur more dangerous to all the other combatants than tho one wr arc lighting to redress. Mr C, P. Trevelywi's resignation shows how strongly an Englishman with a, cultivated historical sense of tho Balance of Civilisation in Europe,can regard Germanj a.s so important a bulwark of that civilisation that even when wo are at war with her we must aim finally at the coMS"ivntion of her power to defend its eastern frontier. Tins need not discourage us in the field : on the contrary, we '•hall punch Prussia'* head nil the more gloriously it we do it for honor and not iti malice, meaning to let her up when we have- knocked tho militarism out of her, and taught her to ie?pect us. Prussian miltamm ha« bullied us for 40 years; and n mouth ago neither Germany nor France believed that wo would fijjht when it cr.mo to the point. That is why there was such a wild explosion of delighted surprise when the French Chamber learnt that we 1 weie game after all. That i« why the Kdisur. though reckless of every other interest concerned, offered us tho best excuse h*» could invent for our neutrality, believing that wo were only too ready "to snatch at it. And that is also why we had to take off Our coat and sail in. "We had to show that when it comes to a balance of the Powers we are no mere dummy weights in tho stale. And since Sir Edward Grey had written our names on tho back of his bill to Franco, wo hod to see that it was paid to tho uttermost farthing, and with the handsomest interest possible. Our immediate business is -iherefoi-e to fight as hard as we can ; for our weight when the settlement comes will depend on tho part wo shall havo played in "the conflict This is not a time for idle recrimination; but it is & time for showing that there is such a thing as an intelligent and patriotic foreign policy--patriotie. in the European as well as tho insular tense—and that our Governments are too much under the thumb of tho Stock Exchange, to find. it. History will not excusa va bec-auso, «ft*f making war inevitable, *» run round at tha l«t moment b**Kin« wrybady not to make a disturbance, but cotue fo London and be talked to kindly hut firmly by Sir Edward Grey. Our business now is first to convince Potsdam that it cannot trample down France, England, Belgium, and Holland, and must pay reasonable damages for having tried to; and, second, to eonI vinco Piussia that she must not take ad-tfa4^«caoUk7Js&mU-.ti^.Jtul«lu^Xl^'maflT.,'

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141106.2.61

Bibliographic details

"PUNCH PRUSSIA'S HEAD"!, Evening Star, Issue 15643, 6 November 1914

Word Count
646

"PUNCH PRUSSIA'S HEAD"! Evening Star, Issue 15643, 6 November 1914

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