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The Evening Star WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 1914

A great deal of public interest is taken in the position Germans In Dunedin. of those German residents of Dunedin who, by virtue of their naturalisation, still enjoy tho full liberty and civic rights of British subjects, and the executive members of the Dunedin Municipal Association who brought the matter under the notice of tho Mayor yesterday deserve unqualified commendation for their courageous ventilation of an important question. It was hardly within the scope of tho constitutional duties of a municipal body to take action in a representative sense upon a. question that is essentially Imperial in character and effect, but the deputation to His Worship the Mayor obviously acted as loyal citizens, and stated their views of a delicate position with sensible discretion. They discussed with creditable- tomperateness the possibility of a disloyal sympathetic acth-ity on tho pare of naturalised German residents in this City, and indicated definite channels through which that sympathy miyht be expressed—by supplying financial aid and valuable information to their desperate countrymen in Europe* and clsewhore. This possibility is not strained speculation, but could bo very real if pro-Germans in Now Zealand were treacherous enough to violate their responsibilities and duties ar. naturalised British subjects. So it was perfectly justifiable to givo the question public prominence. If thero is any danger of disloyalty which would prove disadvantageous to tho interests of tho Empire, that danger should he removed, even though (as must bo tv common experience among British subjects interned in Germany) tho innocent suffer with, the

guilty. War destroys the interracial and international friendships of peace, and makes sentiment a dangerous virtue. And ererybody knows howforeigners at all times and in all circumstances depend with confidence upon the ingrained generosity and sentiment of the true British character. They even trade upon it on occasions, and are astute enough to extol British sentiment as a cardinal virtue of greater service to aliens than to those who I exercise it. So it is imperatively essential in thuo of wnr 'to harden our \ character to meet the flinty disposition ! of a bitter enemy, whose ways in warfare are not the honest methods of tho British. But if there is no real danger from treacherous practices by naturalised Germans in New Zealand, and if there is a generous method of preventing any exercise of treachery, there is no necessity for adopting harsh and repressive measures to safeguard national and Imperial interests. Thy easiest and most complete way to prevent any violation of loyal citizenship by naturalised Germans would, of course, be by interning them all; but until tho Imperial Government deem it advisable and essential to adopt tho methods of tho enemy, individual communities or countries need not take completely preventive action against a possiblo exercise of disloyalty by naturalised Germans. Something could be done by the German residents themselves to allay suspicion and conserve their profitable liberty and privileges, which appear to have been withdrawn from British subjects in Germany ; and if they have, any knowledge of the circumstances and far-reaching influences of war, and have a deep appreciation of their peaceful experiences, they would voluntarily give to tho administrative authorities in Xcw Zealand an assurance of their loyalty and of their determination to maintain tho confidence of their fellowcitizens. A few of the German residents in this City would also find it advantageous to their interests to practise a discreet silence, even when their sense of justice is bruised, or, it must inevitably bo on occasions. Silent suffering amidst active prosperity is better than noisy inactivity in a guarded carap. This advice is timely.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141111.2.19

Bibliographic details

The Evening Star WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 1914, Issue 15647, 11 November 1914

Word Count
605

The Evening Star WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 1914 Issue 15647, 11 November 1914

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