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WALES'S MESSAGE TO POTSDAM.

LLOYD GEORGE AT HIS BEST. WHAT THE WORLD OWES TO LITTLE NATIONS. STRAIGHT TALK TO THE KAISER.

Oa September 19 the Chancellor of the Exchequer addressed a great gathering—-c-nlv 5.500 of the 12,000 who applied for seats could obtain admission—of his countrymen at the Queen'* Hal!. London, under the presidency of the Earl of Plymouth. The speech was a magnificent oratorical feat from its opening sentences to the final peroration, and the scene of enthusiasm which, marked iU close was followed bv numerous enlistments into the Welsh battalion* of Lord Kitchener's second armv. We make these- extracts:

—the right to defend your own home. But they were not in uniform -when they shot. The enemy's vterndy had already failed. They entered Belgium to save time. The time has gone. 1 hey have not- gained time, but they have lott their good name. Belgium was not t.ho only little nation t ha'. h.is been attacked fn this war, and 1 make no excuse for referring to tho case of the other little nation—the oast* of Servia. —Austria's Jnrsolent Demand.— The history of Servia is not unblotted. What history in the category of nations is unblotted? The tirst nation that is without sin let her cast a stone at Servia. A nation trained in a horrible school, she won her freedom with her tenaciove valor, an<l she has maintained it by the same courage If any Servians were mixed up in the assassination of the Grand Duke they ought to he punished. Servia was willing to punish any one of her subjects who had been proved to have any complicity in that assassination. What were the Austrian demand*? Servia, sympathise*! with her fellow-countrymen in Bosnia. That was one of her crimes. She must do so no mere. Her newspapers wero saying nasty thine* about Austria They must do so no longer. That is the Austrian spirit : you had it in Ze.bern. Servian newspapers must not criticise Austria. Servia raid : " Veiy well; we will give orders to the newspapers that they must not, criticise Avstriain future; —neither Austria, nor Hungary, nor anything that if. theirs." 'Who can doubt the valor of Servia when fche urdertook to tackle her newspaper editors? (Laughter.) She promised not to sympathise with Bosnia, promised to write no critical articles about Austria. She would have no public meetings at which anything unkind was said about Austria. That was not enough. Servia must dismiss from her army officers whom Austria should subsequently name. But these officers had just emerged from a war where they were adding lustre to the Servian arms—gallant, brave, efficient. I wonder whether it was their guilt or their efficiency that prompted Austria's action. Can you .name a country i>u the world that would have stood that? Supposing Austria or Germany had issued an ultimatum of that kind to this country. "You musit dismiss from your Army "and from your X;wy all those officers "whom we shall subsequently name." Well, 1 tbink 1 could name them now. Lord Kitchener would go. Sir John French would be sent about his business. General Smith-Dorrieiri would bo no more. And I am sure Sir John Jellicoo would go. (Laughter). And there was another gallant old warrior who would go—Lord Rolierts. It was a, difficult situation for a small Power. —Russia's Great Reply.— Then came Russia's turn. Russia has a special regard for Servia, which is a member of her family, and she cannot see Servia maltreated. " Germany knew that, and Glermanv turned round to Russia and said: * f Hcre, I insist that you should stand by with your arms folded whilst Austria, "is strangling to death your little brother." What answer did the Russian Slav give? Ho gave the only answer that becomes a man. He turned to Austria and said : " You lay hands on that little fellow, and I will tear your ramshackle empire limb from limb." And he is doing it. That is tho story of the little nations. The world owes much to little 'nations and to little men. This theory of bigness—you must have a big empire and a big nation and a. big man—well, long legs have their advantage in a Te treat. (Great laughter.) Germany applies that ideal to nations. She will only allow six-feet-two nations to stand in th? ranks, but all the world owes much to tho little five-feet-five nations. The heroic deeds that thril! humanity through generations wero the deeds of little nations fighting for their freedom. (Cheers.) .Ah. yes. and tho salvation of mankind came "through a, little nation. God has chosen little nations as the vessels by which lie cairies the choicest wines to the lips of humanity, to rejoice, their hearts, to exalt their vision, to stimulate and to strengthen their faith ; and if we had ttood by when two liitl? nations were being crushed and broken by the l.ru'a! hands of barbarism our shame uoidd have been rung down the everlasting ages. But Germany insists that this is an attack by a low civilisation upon a higher. (Laughter.) Well, as ;; matter of fact, the attack was bt'«un by the civilisation which calls itself I fie higher one. I am no apologist fur Russia. She has perpetrated deeds of which I have no doubt her best sons are ashamed. But what empire has not? And Germanv is the last empire to point the fir per of reproach at Ri:s*ia. (Hear, hear.) Bui. Russia has inad*> -sacri fires for freedom —great sacrifices —and England and France have mado Kicrirkes for the freedom of other lands. Can you name a single country in the world for the freedom of which the modern Prussia has ever saeriiied a single life? Theirs i* a hard civilisation. It is a material civilisation. They cannot comprehend the action of Britain at the present moment. They can understand vengeance. They can understand you fighting, for mastery. They can understand you fighting for greed of territory. They cannot understand a great Empire pledging its* resources, pledging its mipht, pledging the Uvea of its children, pledging it* very existence to protect a little nation. —The Kaiser's Speech.— Mr Lloyd George quoted that remarkable speech addressed by the Kaiser to his troops : Remember that the German people are chosen of G«">d. On me as German Emperor the, Spirit of Goil has descended. 1 ii in Mis weapon. His sword, and I (is vicere-getit. Woe to tho disobedieut : death to cowards and unbelievers. "There lias been nothing like it. .since tho days of 'Mohammed. Lunacy" (here at this word the Chancellor was interrupted for some time by loud and prolong cheering)—" lunacy." he continued, " is always distressing, but sometimes it is dangerous, and when you get it manifested in the. head of tho State, and it becmes the policy of a great empire, it is about time that that person " (A Voice: "Should be put away.") "Yes: should be put away." They are full of the clatter and blunter of German militarism, "the mailed fist." "the .".'lining armor.'' Poor old mailed fi.st—its knuckles are getting a little bruised. Poor shining armor—the shine is being knocked "Ut of it! The new philosophy of Germany is to destroy Christianity—sickly sentimentalism about sacrifice for others, poor pap for German mouths! We (they said) will have the new diet. Wo will force it on the world. It will be made in Germany. A diet of blood and iron. What remains? Treaties have gone. The honor of nations has gone. Liberty has gone. What is left? Germany ! Germi'ny is left—DeuUchland über alio*. —The Iloa-d flog of Europe.— That is what we are fighting—a civi- ■ ligation which at once rules and enslaves tho world. Liberty goes, democracy vanI ishes, and unless Britain comes to the ' rescue it will be a dark day for humanity. Have you followed the Prussian ] junker and his doings? You know his pretensions. They jive themselves the airs of demi-{£>d3. The civilian is »wept from the street to the gutter. All the military has got to say is : " We are in a hurry." This is the answer he gave to Belgium: "Rapidity of action is Germany's greatest asset," which means : " I am in a hurry; clear out of the way." You know the type of motorist, the terror of the road," with a 60 h.p. car. who thinks tho roads were made for him. Anybody who impedes the action ot his cor bv a. ain.-.ln muU i* knotty d, down.

Whv was our honor as a country involved" in this war? Because, in the first place, wo are bound in an honorable obligation to defend the independence, the Fibertv, the integrity of a small neighbor that "has lived peaceably. But she could not have compelled us, because she was weak. The man who declines to discharge his debt because his creditor is too poor to enforce it is a blackguard. We entered into this treaty—a solemn treaty, a full treaty—to defend Belgium and her integritv. * Our signatures are attached to the document. Our signatures do not stand alone there. Thin was not the only cccntrv to defend the integrity ot Belgium. Russia, France, Austria, and Prussia — they are all there. Why did they not perform their obligations? It i 3 suggested that when we quote this treaty it is purely an excuse on our part. It is our low erait and cunning just to eloak our jealousy of a superior civilisation—(laughter) —we are attempting to destroy. Our answer is the action we took in 1870. (Cheers.) At that time, bear in mind, the greatest danger to Belgium came from France, and not from Germany. We intervened to protect Belgium against Franco exactly as we are doing now to protect her against Germany. We invited both the belligerent Powers to state that they had no intention of violating Belgian territory.

—When the French Preferred Ruin. — What was the answer given by Bisnarrk? He said it was superfluous to ask Prussia such a question. France gave a similar answer. We received the thanks *t that time of the Belgian people for our intervention in a very remarkable document addressed by the municipality of Brussels to Queen Victoria .liter that intervention. Three or four days alter that document of thanks the French army wn-s wedged up against the Belgian frontier. Every means of escape was shut up by a ring of flame by Prussian cannon. There was one way to esqape. What was that? By violating the neutrality of Belgium. What did they do? Tho French on that occasion preferred ruin and humiliation to the breaking of their bond. The French Marshal's IOOiOOO gallant Frenchmen in arms preferred to be carried captive to the strange land of their enemy rather than dishonor the name of their country. Had thev violated Belgian neutrality the whole history of the war might have been changed. Yes, it was in the interest ol Fiance to break the treaty. Sho did not do it. —Treaties Must Be Respected.— It i? to tho interest of Prussia to break th.™ trc-Ov. and she has done it. iShame.) She avowed it with cvnical contempt from every principle of justice. She says treaties only bind you when it is to your interest to" keep them. " What is a treaty?" eavs the German Chancellor. "A '.run of paper." Have you any five-pound a-tcs abcut vou? (Laughter.) Have you jnv of those neat little Treasury £1 notes? ;l.aughter.) If you have, burn them—they »re "onlv scraps of paper. (Applause.) iVhat are they made of? Rags. What in- thev worth? The whole credit of the .-•.ritir.lv .Empire. " Scraps of paper !" I "lave' been de:i!iug w-ith' scraps of paper ivithin the last month. It was suddenly found that the commerce of the world was roming to a .-tandstill. The machine bad stepped. We discovered the machinery of commerce was moved bv bills of exchange. Ye-, these wretched little scraps of paper moved great ships laden with thousands ol tons of "precious cargo from one end of the world to the other. What was the motive power behind them? The honor of commercial men. (Applause.)

—Lying Excuses.—Treaties are tfie currency of international -i3.tA-.inan.-hip. Let us be fair. German merchants. German traders have the reputation of being as upright and otraiphttorward as any traders in the world. But if the currency of German commerce is to be deba&ed to tho level of that of her statesmanship, no trader from Shanghai to Valparaiso will ever look at a German signature again. This doctrine of the scrap of paper, thU doctrine which is superscribed by General Von Bernhardi. goes to the root .f public law. It is th- straight road to barbarism. The whole machinery of civilisation will break down if thi.s doctrine wins in this war. We are fifihtinq against barbarism. But there is only one -way of putting it right. If there arc nations that say they wiil only respect treaties when it is to their interest to do so we must nuike it to their interest to do so for the future. What is their defence? Just look at the interview which took place between our Ambassador and the ijreat German officials. When their attention was called to this treaty, to which they were partners, thev said: "We cannot help that; rapidity 'of action is the great German asset. *'" There is a greater asset for a nation than rapidity of action, and that is honest dealing. What aro Germany's excuses? She said Belgium was plotting acainst her. Beleium was encaged in a great conspiracy with Great. Britain anr. with France to-aitack her. Xnt merely is it rnt tvii". but Germany knows it is not tun. What is her other excuse? Frat.cc meant to invade Germany through Relgivm. Absolutely untrue " Franco offered BeL-ium live arniy corps to defend her if f-l;>"vere attacked. Belgium said: "1 don't ie.-|uire them. I have got tho word of '.he Kaiser- Shall C:esar send a lis;" All these talcs r.bout conspiracy have been tailed up since. A great nation ought to b- .'.^j.anicd—(hear, hear)—to behave i.ke .• ;:r..r-dnlent bankrupt. Germany has doVicrateiv broken this treaty, and we were in L<::ov bound to stand by it. (Cheers.) —Belgium's Only Grime l'.-L-urm has been treated brutally. How brc'r-llv we shall not yet know. We know ,i'.-c.ii.lv too much. VVhat had she done? lie.l >'!•• infi'ieted any wrongs upon Geinvmv nhich the Kuieer was bound to red •■ '.? She Wii« one. of the most unoffendi.■_> ]:•.-.:« countries in Kuropc. (Hear, i.ar.i Sh;> was peaceable, industrious, thrift v. hard-working, jiving offence to no < lie *A';d her cornfields have been trampled .!• «;-. her villages have been burned to the cm,;;-id. her art treasures liave been «'.-:;,• nrd. lier men have been slaughtered it;:.' and her women and children tooThousands of her people have had their • iriet comfortable little homes burned to ih-> du.it, and are wandering homeless in their own land. What is their crime? '!';.• ir crime we* that they titisted the word .-,;' r. I'rmsian King. I don't know what i:v; Kaiser hopes to achieve by this war. tLuttL'htiii - .) I have a shrewd idea of what ];•: w ; iil get. but one thing is made certain —no nation in future will ever commit, that crime again- I am not going to enter into those tales. Many of them are untrue always in a war. War is a grim, ghastly bunncsa at best or at worst, and I am not going to say that all that has been said In the way of tales of outrage muat necessarily be "true. It is enough for me to have* the at 017 which tha Germans themselves avow, admit, defend, and proclaim—the btrroing and •oassacring, the shooting down of harmless people. Why? Because, according to the Germans, thxT fired on Gormen goldiws. TVhat business had German soldiers there at allr Belgium was acting in puiauaw of ft most saor«d right

Tho Prussian junker is the road hog of Europe. Small nationalities in his way arc flung to the roadside bloediiig, and broken women and children thrust under the wheel of his cruel car. Britain also is ordered out of his road. All 1 can say is this : If the old British spirit is alive in British hearts that bully will he torn from his scat. (Great cheering.) Were he to win it would be, the greatest catastrophe that had befallen democracy since the days of the Holy Alliance and its ascendency. They think wc cannot bait them. It will not bo easy. It will be a. long job. It will be a terrible war. j But in tho end we shall march through terror to triumph. We shall need all ' our qualities, ovory quality that Britain and its peoplo pvossess—prudence in counsel, daring in action, tenacity in purpose, courage in defeat, moderation in victory, in all things faith. And we shall win!It has pleased them to believe and to preach the belief that, wo are a decadent, degenerate nation. They proclaim it to the world through their professors—that we are on unheroic nation, ekulking behind our mahogany counters, whilst we are egging on more gallant races to their destruction. They are beginning to find out llieir mistake. —A Fine Peroration.— A half-million of the young men of Britain have already registered their vow to their King that they will cross the seas hurl that insult to British courage against its perpetrators on the battlefields of Franco and Germany. Wo want half a million more, and we shall get them. T should like to see tho race who faced the Normans for hundreds of years in their struggle for freedom, the race that helped to win the battle of Creey, the race that fought for ,i generation under Glendowcr against tho greatest captain in Europe—l should like to see that race give a good tasto of its quality in this struggle in Ktirore. And thoy arc going to do it. . . . For most generations sacrifice comes in drab weariness of spirit to men. It has come to-day to us nil in tho form of the glow and thrill of a great movement for liberty that impels millions throughout Europe to the same end. It is a great war for the emancipation of Europe from the thraldom of a military caste which has cast its shadow on two generations of men, and which has now plunged the world into a, welter oi bloodshed. The peoplo will gain moeo by this struggle in idl lands than they comprehend at the present moment, ft is trus they will be rid of the menace of their freedom. But that is not all There is something infinitely greater and more enduring which is emerging already out of this great conflict —a new patriotism, rieffer, nobler more exalted than the old. I s-ee a- new recognition amongst all classes, high and low, shedding themselves of selfishness, a new recognition that tho honor of a country doe«i not depend merely on the maintenance of its glory in the stricken field, but in protecting its homes from distress ns well. It is a new patriotism ; it is bringing n new outlook for all classes. A great flood of luxury and sloth which hap submerged the land is receding, and a new Britain is appearing. May I tel! you, b: a simple parable, what T think this war is doing for us. I know a valley in North Wales, between the mountains "and the sea—a beautiful valley, snug, comfortable, sheltered by the mountains from all the bitter blasts. It was very enervating, arid T remember bow the boys were in the habit of climbing the hills above tho village to have a glimpse of the great mountains in the distance, and to be stimulated and freshened by the breezes which come from the hilltops, and by tho great spectacle of that great, valley. We have been living in a sheltered valley for generations. We have been too comfortable, too indulging—many, perhaps, too selfish. And the storn hand of Fate has scourged us to an elevation where we can see the great everlasting things that matter for a. nation. The great peaks of honor wo had :'orgotten, duty and patriotism, clad in glittering white. Tito great pinnacle of sacrifice, pointing like a rugged finger to heaven. Wo shall descend into tho valleys again, but as long as the i'len and women of this generation last they will carry in their hearts the image of "these great mountain peaks, whose fincerft are unshaken, though Europe rock and sway in the. convulsions of a great war. (Great cheering.)

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Bibliographic details

WALES'S MESSAGE TO POTSDAM., Issue 15647, 11 November 1914

Word Count
3,428

WALES'S MESSAGE TO POTSDAM. Issue 15647, 11 November 1914

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