"THE FIRST LORD."
TRYING POSITION. THE WAR & THE MURMURERS, t ' , AND THE RIDDLE CLOSE NORTH SEA OR NOT? ✓
[By A. Spesce.]
We must not swap horses in midstream. We must not lose Mr Churchill. This may sound a little after the tone of a small newspaper in the North Island which once grandiosely ordered tho Tsar “ to desist his intrigues in the Balkans, or we warn him it will be worse for him.” It is a far cry from New Zealand to the counsels of Europe, and tho little voice of New Zealand doubtless rings out unheard, but there ,is no other way to put it. We must not lose Mr Churchill.
1 do not suppose Mr Churchill has ever Ist himself go so far as in his message of sympathy to the Mayor of Scarborough. It is not so much a message of sympathy as a tirade. Some may think that he goes rather far, that ho is “killing Kruger with his mouth.” Clearly there is not much to-be gained by stating that the German hatred has already passed the frontier of reason, and, in order to enact the rolo of “ baby-killers,” the enemy xisked great ships vital to their fleet. War is not one risk, or two risks—it is all risk. If the Germans measured that risk and surmounted it, that is all there is to it at present. Perhaps Mr Churchill would have done better if he had sent a more temperate message to ffcaihorougli, but ho conies of a slock of fighters, and his fighting blood is up. What a difficult position he occupies. On the one hand he has the enemy; on tho other a public whose conception of war has been badly warped by what they read. The property-owners of Essex and Suffolk and York, where expensive villas and mansions rim tho shores, will not appreciate these raids, for no man likes to see his villa or mansion set aflame. These proprietors of mansions realise that another bombardment - may come, and, very naturally, they depend on Mr Churchill, Lord Fisher. Sir John Jellicoe, Sir C. E. Madden, and on everyone else now placed in the. seats of the mighty to shut it off. Mr Churchill and Lord Fisher could effectually sidetrack the German fleet if they chose by laying a north and south block of mines from the Thames to the Shetlands.
Given that embarrassing fringe of death traps, two other things would ensue. The Grand Fleet of Britain could not steer to sea without the delay of sweeping, and that would be fatal to its mission. Wor.se than this, the supply of fish through Grimsby would stop. The owner of the villa and the mansion would be safe, but want would come to others. So it is all very difficult for the First Lord, and until the sea war takes a definite phase—a long time,- I am sure—someone must suffer, and someone will murmur. The children of Israel murmured against Moses in _ the journey through the wilderness to' Caanan, and they will do so to the end of time whenever and wherever the embarrassment is immediate and the Promised Land is not in sight. Mr Churchill happens to be tho Mcscs of the moment, and tho murmurere .1 rr many,
“ Tiw attacks on Mr Churchill,” says a recent number of the ‘ Pall Mall Gazette.’
“ continue ■with ever-increased bitterness. Wo tin not know if those who take the responsibility of making them have any proof of their -allegations that the First Lord has taken the conduct of naval operations out of the hands of his naval advisers. This is not the time to base charges against the Minister who occupies the most,'responsible post in the Government on anonymous tittle-tattle. Mr Churchill is not, a civilian. He is a soldier, and a man who has had a large experience of war. Xo one knows better than he what the. disastrous consequences rf improper interference would be. He is not the man. however, to allow himself to he reduced to a, cipher. To be biting at his heels at this supreme, moment is, we think, to play a dog’s part.” This was written before the raid of December 16. hut it discloses the major aim actuating "Von '1: rp? i/. to risk so many armored ships. His primary purpose was to slay, not babies, but Mr Churchill. He desires a public panic and a change of British naval control. He evidently docs not like the present hloekaSo in the shape in which Mr Churchill hpo ordained it. THE AGA KHAN AND OTHERS.
Moslem iii'w.; is like tho Moslem mind decidedly confused. It. is a flow so full of backwash that even the straws on tho stream do not show which way the current runs. All that we can see is that some of the large straws aro floating in the desired wav.
One of these significant straws is the Aga Khan—a great social pet in London. The Press Bureau, in its bulletin of November 2 fa bulletin which we. never received hero, by the way), describes him as follows:— ‘‘His Highness tho Aga Khan, G.C.5.1., the spiritual head of the Khoja I "ommunity of Mohammedans, and president of the All India Moslem League.” It seems that he was specially summoned from London *o be present a*t tho elevation of Sultan Hussein to the Throne for what purports to be the Throne) of Egvpt.
The Aga Khan is one straw ; the Nizam of Hyderabad the other; and the latter is the greater. As soon a.s Jehad was proclaimed the Nizam of Hyderabad lost no time in endeavoring to range Mohammedan opinion one way or tho other. On November 2—five days after Turkey de-clared—-he promulgated his manifesto: 1 repeat and reiterate that in the crisis behind us Mohammedan inhabitants of India, especially subjects of ibis State, should, if they care for their own welfare, remain firm. In a rather playful way Captain Bean (Australian official coirespondent) informed us yesterday that the ex-Khedive was a pretty bad lot. His private extortions were'well known, and so forth. Even the peasantry knew. It seems, therefore, that things can lie- going on in what is practically a British colony regarding what the fellaheen may hear, but not us. Amid the gongs of war the Cairo correspondent of the London ‘Times’ strikes a similar sound to that by Captain Bean. 'I hero never was, and never could be, he «ays, such an antithesis as the deposed Khedive and the new one. The new arrival “ fully understands his country’s peculiar position, and is far abler than his nephew.” And we kept this meat, treacherous Khedive on his Thron® bo long! THE KAISER’S ILLNESS.
lli seems that the Kaiser has recovered. His entourage and bodyguard are said to number 1,500, and at present the resolute assassin or the idle sightseer would find it difficult to get within half a mile of him. Still the news agencies seem to eeo him often—by aeroplane, perhaps. Petrograd, October 24.—The Kaiser’s headquarters in Franco resemble a thicklypopulated centra His entourage number 1,500. London, October 27.—Reported that the Kajser has taken command of the AostroGennans in Poland. He is in good health and enjoying his position. London, October 28.-—M. Aghion saw the Kaiser at Coblenz. His eyes were buried 'in the folds of his eyelids. His moustache is only slightly twisted up. The officer in the motor beside him is very pale, because ltd Kaiser is aaciy 4
New" York*, November 9.—The Kaiser fa dull and morose. His personal guards are doubled. He is worried over the tremendous losses and the deaths of scores of personal friends. London, November 9.—His does* farm in East Prussia was raided 'by Bucrians and the troops at® the venison. [They are not near that pipes yet,] London, November 23.—The Kaiser has derided to return to Berlin to attend the Reichstag. London, November 24.—The Kaiser has offered a reward of £I,OOO for the capture of Captain Samson “dead or alive." [Referring to a very successful British aviator.] Copenhagen, November 26.—The Kaiser was present at Obemalgen, East Prussia, and witnessed a German deffeat from a hilltop. He left abruptly. " Petrograd, November 26.—The Kaiser’s carnage and blue doak were captured at C;.enstocho«’a. [Same day, but 500 miles distant.] London. November 27.'—The Kaiser visited the Wurtehmcrgers in Belgium and said: “It goes slowly but surely”” Both he and the Crown Prince were looking well. Petrograd, November 28.—Prior to the advance into Poland the Kaiser saw General Hindenberg at Thorn and said: “The eyes of the world are upon you." Amsterdam, December 4.—He inspects the troops at Czcnstochowa, in Poland. London, December 4.—He has an Interview with, the Archduke Frederick, Austrian Commandcr-in-Chief at Breslau. [Same day, apparently.] London, December 14.—His physician says that there is no ground for alarmist reports. He will be able to return to the field in ten days. Berne, December 14. —An operation on his throat is necessary. The fact that the Crown Prince has been recalled to his father's bedside is confirmed. And, out of all this, the ordinary citizen on whom war lories its heaviest toll will naturally look up at the blue implacable universe and ask, pertinently enough, which story is he to believe. RICOCHETS. “ Official.—Petrograd : Between the Bzuraand the Rawka we attacked two companies.” Two companies (500 men) in a battle where 6.000,000 or 7,000,000 must bo engaged on both sides! Germany has put the trade reason to Scandinavia. The trade reason is the root of the war. but let there bo no doubt that Germany docs not wish to quarrel with Norway and Sweden. Neither does sha wish to see Norway and Sweden other than neutral. The reference cf the message is to the increasing pinch on Scandinavia caused by the spreading of the British minefields in the North Sea. The Gorman apprehension is that these countries may join the Allies with a view to closing the struggle as quickly as possible. Signor Salandra the Italian Prime Slimsfor. who is endeavoring to lead Italy up to the giddy edge of war. is a wealthy man. A Turin paper recently gave his annual income from certain interests in Venice. Bologna*. Taventum. Naples, Spezzia, and Genoa as not less than half a a venr. Ho has also interests in Sardinia, Sicily, and the Mediterranean tunny fisheries, to sav nothing of his salary' as Prime Minister of Italy. _ • Further progress by the important* fiaut in. Belgium is mentioned to-day. The places are Lombaertzydc and St. Georges, not far from the sea at, Nieuport. Belgians and French are operating here. It will be interesting to know definitely whether the Allies are in Routers or not. This is the place towards which Sir Douglas Haig progressed two miles in 59 days, counting from November 11. The French and British have arrived at the gates of Lille. It, is,not long sine* the ‘Daily Mail’ told us that the Germans had evacuated Lille. The place was a second class fortress when the Germans took it, hut is probably a first class fortress
HOW. The Paris correspondent of the ‘ Evening Standaid’ has a. fresh story of atrocities. A uumlun- of women struck on the task of burying the dead, and the ultimate Tran that ail these poor females were shot. Will nnv confirmation of this be found when the December mails from London arrive Germans are said to have evacuated Lodz. Tlii» was their objective in midPoland to ease the pressure on Oacnsto-cbowa-Cracow in the south. A Rome message also indicates that the fifth string to the battle of Poland failed as well. This was the northern flanking movement irom Mlawa..- We shall see in time, but perhaps it v. ill ho weeks.
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"THE FIRST LORD.", Evening Star, Issue 15682, 22 December 1914