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THE GENERAL ELECTION, Issue 15682, 22 December 1914
THE GENERAL ELECTION
The developments concerning the Northern Maori seats are most interesting (says the Kawakawa correspondent of the ‘ Lyttelton Times’). Tau Henare stated definitely on Friday that he was not pledged to support the Massey party, but that he stood as an Independent. He stood in the interests of the Maori race, and in the present circumstances was going to take the opinion of a hui of all tribes to be held on New Year's Day. The Reform party defeated Dr Buck in tho Bay of Islands electorate by raising the color line amongst other things, and he thought it peculiar that the Reform party now claimed him as a tied and bound supporter to them. He would keep his pledges to his people no matter what pressure was brought to bear, ami repudiated any claim that, ho was pledged to support tho Massey party. Referring to the defeat of Sir W. C. Buchanan lor Wairnrnpa, the Christchurch ‘Press’ says: "Sir Walter baa done far more than most men for tho country, in which lie settled with no capital save his industry and perseverance. By sheer hard work he won his way to his present position ; his possessions are the fruit of toil and sagacity. He made ior himself the moans of assisting very materially the growth of the great primary industries in the southern part of the North Island, and happily his experience will not cease to assist these interests now that he is once more a private citizen. He has given liberally for public causes, and he deserved far better of tho Wairarana district than to be replaced by Mr Hornsby. In retiring from politics the veteran will take with him trie regard of all his fello.vmembers, and he leaves behind only an honorable and useful record.’’
So an Austrian journal is sa’d to regard the notorious dash in s shell, and rush away German cruiser raid on the Yorkshire coast. It may bo so, but hardly in tho sense that the too-impulsive journalist would have his readers believe. An impartial study of the naval and military situation gives no support to Austrian hopes and German claims. It was leas than a month ago that Austria, after nearly four months of fighting, entered Belgrade, and it is two weeks since the ■Servians, headed by King Peter, triumphantly re-entered their ancient capital, while Vienna is lamenting in sackcloth and ashes the loss of 100,000 men, of more munitions of war than her ene ny ever possessed, and from all sides the voice of anger and revolt is heard. In sad and sober truth, the Dual Empire is in sore straits. Her Emperor lit the torch that set the world in flames with “a serene conscience,” and the whole country welcomed his pronouncement with shouts of joy. To-day “no sound of laughter “is heard among the foes, but a wild “and wrathful clamor” is arising in the land. The signs are that it will grow louder and more threatening with the passing of the weeks. This wo regard as the outstanding factor of the international situation as it presents itself to tho world at this hour. Every day tells against the enemy and in favor of tho Allies. Neither Germany, nor Austria, nor Turkey, singly or together, can repair their losses nor count upon practically inexhaustible reserve forces, whether of money or men. As for moral reserves, those stores of strength which Napoleon rated more highly than one-half the material forces at his command, and without which, as Lord Kitchener has told his fellow-countrymen, Governments, War Ministers, navies and armies can do but little—of these Germany has none. Her Government and people, proud in the magnificence and magnitude of their “ reeking tube and iron shard,” not only ignored the moral factor, hut defied and challenged it to pit itself against her multitudes of men and her thousands of cannon. That the Kaiser and his Advisers blundered badly in every calculation made by them in regard to the probable consequences of their declaration of war against modern civilisation none to-day know better than themselves, but of the many presumptions that were foredoomed to disaster there is none that betrayed greater ignorance of the probabilities than the belief that it was possible to win moral support and material success by lying.
" The Turning Point of the War."
There is an clement of childishness, of puerility, and of make-believe in German methods that is in appalling contrast to the naked, primitive savagery of their military poTcy. The Kaiser and tho War Party would appear to believe that mankind can be bludgeoned into terror and submission by noise on tho battlefields, threats from the council chamber, and boastings in tho Press. Prince Bulow, a former Imperial Chancellor and now recalled for service by a distracted master, and sent as specif] envoy to Rome to try to do something, is reported to have said that he knew of tho intended naval raid on the English coast, which is probable, but that it was simply a prelude to what the German fleet would soon undertake—they were engaged in a matter that would astonish the world. We venture to assert that tho world has long grown weary of talk of this sort. An educated Belgian lady, who was compelled to entertain German officers, has said in a letter to her English friends under date October 16 :
As for England, it is the most fierce hatred conceivable. I simply shuddered at their words in mentioning her. Not only can nothing resist their 42cm. guns, but they have now a 52cm. gun With which to bombard the English coast. They have also other secret inventions with which they will land in England, where they will leave not a thing standing and no one firing. Their fleet is now in the Baltic for purely tactical reasons, while their submarines arc gradually weakening the English Fleet--they themselves having lost not a single boat. They have also a scheme for reducing England to starvation. Then will Englarid pay to such an extent that she will be ruined for ever, and Sip Edward Grey will be cut into a thousand pieces!
In the absence of outside information the writer was fearful that what her “guests ” told her was true; and there is excuse for her doubt. When university professors tell their students how all Germans will exult when German bombs fall in London; and when responsible journals swear vengeance against Japan and “England who instigated her,” and solemnly declare that “ our mills will “grind slowly, but even if years should “ pass before the right moment comes at “ last, then a shout of joy will resound “ through Germany: ‘ Woe to yon
“Nippon!’ and when the Kaiser and supreme director commands that Louvain must be made “ a frightful example ” and Ypres “ levelled to the ground ” it is easy to understand how violence of speech and ferocious boasting have become part of the nation’s daily routine. The Mother Land and the Allies will read and estimate these braggart fulminations at their worth. Many, too, will recall that they are not even original. It was that sturdy but obstinate old Boer President Kruger who published broadcast his intention of doing something against the English that would “stagger humanity." Humanity never was staggered by anything that the Boers managed to do. Fourteen years later it is an accomplished, polished, and able ex-imperial German Chancellor who tells us that Germany will “astonish the world ” shortly. One feels tempted to say impatiently: “ Leave thy damnable faces and begin.” It is time that Germany redeemed her pledges to destroy, to invade, and to annihilate. Mere threats have no terrors for Englishmen. They are but enlargements on a grand scale of the desire of the Fat Boy in ‘ Pickwick,’ whose boast was: “I wants to make yer flesh creep.” Neither Kaiser, nor Ambassador, nor Press will by tactics of this nature divert the British Empire and her Allies from pursuing the path along which they are moving to their sure and certain goal.
THE GENERAL ELECTION, Issue 15682, 22 December 1914
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