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NIGHTS IN HOME CITIES. [By A. Spence.] Inroads just made on Alsace by the French mean nothing in a major way. The French aeroplanes have doubtless reported that the Germans were thinning j their forces there to reinforce other points. Perhaps gome were going to Poland. So < the French crossed the frontier and offered fhattlo. which, is the surest way of developing a military situation. This is the. whole strength of the capture of Stein bach. The practice of elevating these, veconnaissances-in-force into victories is the thing of things which makes Kitchener angry. It was that which soured him on the war correspondents for ever. Other news to-day embodies three distinct hints at conscription, a reference to the magnitude, of the task of getting a second million men ready for the field, an American appreciation of English naval strategy, and the establishment of a cooperative food company in Berlin. That American appreciation makes one rock with laughter. ''The circumstances,'’ says that illuminative Yankee, “have produced strategy of the highest order. Amateur strategists who demand that Britain should steam madly over minefields in order to reach the Germans simply ask the British to commit national suicide.’’ 0 noble America! First-class hand at stating the obvious! Hut why cable the obvious all over the world? BERLIN’S B AROM ETHR. The new food concern in Berlin interests. It is to be a co-operative affair, under State control. Even the, Kaiser would be done with if Berlin blamed in revolt, and hunger is the parent of rebellion. The best news that can be, obtained about Berlin from all sorts of sources is that the city is still Hooded with light nightly to give an air of cheerfulness. Bands play everywhere, and the. theatres carry on to good houses at nominal rates. Girls and women who were thrown out of employ, ment by the war can obtain a full meal for a penny or thereabouts. The rent bogy is done with, for open-air camps have been arranged outside the city. Ho the Berlin factory- girl finds her daily interest in four things; walking in from the camp to the one meal of the day. wander- : ing about Berlin listening to the baud, taking a cheap seat in the theatre in the evening, walking out to the, camp at night. DAYS AND NIGHTS AT HOME. Mails which arrived this week indicate that England and Scotland resemble an armed camp. There is attention to lights after dark, but the style varies in different municipalities. In some towns total blackness ensues after nightfall. In others the electri. lights in .he streets are shaded from above, while the shopkeepers' blinds are drawn down nearly but not quite, to the bottom. There is a certain amount of coercion by the military ham!, hut the grip is not a, rough, one. Citizens wandering about certain roads at night are liable to he challenged hy sentries with fully-loaded magazines. Few wide to friends in the colonies about such places as. Rosyth. for that would be. high treason, and letters are liable to he opened at any British post office. ’The whole, of the east, coast, from London north past Aberdeen, is more or less entrenched, the British property-owner having patriotically given permission, subject to compensation. The Clyde, Barrow, and other yards arc. humming night and day. MONEY STRAIN AND PEACE. One small wood about pence fell aslant the cables yesterday. Wall Street, New York, talked. There is more to-day, and no idle talk either-—up to a certain point, at least. Widespread circulation is being given in America to the consideration that the Germans realise that the bird of defeat will flap its wings over their banners at last. At least these, financiers choose to put it that way. What the military of Germany “ realise ’’ is past their ken. But 'these financiers do assert, —and they seem to assert it truly—that there was some veiled assurance from. Beilin that the war would not last long. A neutral hanker of distinction said all this early in November, and it is regrettable that we. did not receive his interesting word at the lime. It ia news still.

The General Staff (he said) told the great captains of industry, who in Germany are hardly a less important factor in the conduct of a war than the Stall itself, that the plan of campaign—reduced to essentials—-was this : We shall smash France within three weeks, then wheel about and deliver Russia a knockout blow before she has had time to complete her mobilisation. Belgium will offer only tho resistance of sullenness. England will not ‘'come in” at all. The German Government had the positive assurance of leading Englishmen to that effect.

And now, as it stands, men like Bailin and Heineken, whose, liners have been swept from the seas; people like the textile magnates of Westphalia and Saxony, whose looms are silent when no more American cotton can be imported ; iron masters like Krupp, Thyssen, and Stinnes ; electrical magnates like Rathenau and the Siemens-Schuc-kerts. who know what uninterrupted supplier, of staple raw stuffs from abroad such as copper and petroleum mean; hankers like Von Gwinner and Furstenherg, who know the havoc which the financing of war and stoppage of exports works to German credits at home and abroad—these men are under no deluas to what the war is dolnc and will do. °

Quite right from the standpoint of the captains of industry ! Quite right, too, from the viewpoint of the goldbug in his office! But it _ docs not mean a quick peace. The military are the primarv men now, and—again up to a- certain point—• it is they who decide, WHITE LIGHTS. Brickbats are now being east at the. War Office over the late Earl Roberts. The obsequies of the late Field Marshal were taking place when the last papers left London. I have sometimes endeavored to show readers what the inside of this War Office, is like, doing no more, than the late Sir William Butler did in his ‘Autobiography.’ One correspondent (to the "Evening Star’) held this to be very “unpatriotic.” Here is a bit from '‘Fairplay ’ :

It is no secret that Lord Robots was hated by the gods of the War Office, and so was Lord Kitchener in a lesser degree. The Army a few years ago was said to be run in cliques. There was the War Office clique of which Lord Woiseley was the type, the Indian clique which swore by Lord Roberts, and the Egyptian, clique represented by Lord Kitchener, As the War Office contained in its hands the distribution of honors and emoluments, prudent soldiers bowed down and worshipped it, and so it came to pass that a brilliant despatch writer blundered at Majuba, another War Office favorite came a cropper at Maiwand, and Indian and Egyptian troubles bad to be settled by men out of touch with the official magnates on this side. Lord Roberts retrieved the disasters in India and South Africa, which were due to the incompetence of the false gods of the official circle, and Lord Kitchener soon put matters straight in Egypt; yet if it had been left to the War Office neither of these soldiers would have been heard of. I remember that at a

1 great f tenet ion of some kind held in Windsor Park, to which all the official world and its wives were invited, Lord Roberts, though in London, was left out in the cold. The passage is not fair to the British generals who commanded at Majuba and Maiwand, for the trouble lay in an ugly direction which it would do no good to hint at now. It is certainly not fair to the late Lord Wolseley either, but in the main it states something even less than the truth. BACK TO THE RHINE? Among other interesting matter just, received from Home one notes quickly that the. English newspapers, especially ‘The Times,’ are thundering on German strategy. They shout that the German* should have withdrawn to the Rhine after the battle of the Marne. They quote the original Moltke with a view to showing that the Rhine was the place. Surely there never was such benevolence —the Press of one belligerent endeavoring to help the other belligerent out of the mud by telling him that he has made a I mistake, and showing him how he may t mend it ! ‘ The Times ’is being bought, I on the Continent tor as much as £9 per copy, and typewritten duplicates of it are ) flying into Germany. The aim oi these articles is not beyond a blind man’s vision. They are obviously intended to shake the faith of the German nation in their leaders. The Rhine has no more to do with the military position at present than the man in the moon has to do with a fountain orator. The German eye is gazing quite another way. .By holding Northern Eranee the.Germans hope to throw 10,000,0000r 15,000,000 civilians on the benevolence of the South of France. They anticipate that this strain will tell. By holding to Belgium they hope, to develop au air and submarine base against England, By holding both they gather in indemnities, heet crops, and vintage. Beyond all is the moral effect. SAVE FORMIDABLE.?. Regarding the Formidable, a suggestion which looks a, good one is put by the, London ‘ Times.’ Why use these cumbrous ships for patrol work in the throat of the Channel? Every lime one of them is lost people’s hearts sink towards their boots. ” A battleship 1” they ejaculate. "Another battleship gone!” Lighter ships would lie, twice as effective, and the bells of Berlin would not ring so loudly it some of them were lost now and again. CT RE FOR CONTRABAND. Most of ns thought that ths right of search need not lead to any great friction with America if the search took place at the port of loading. Mr Arthur KiC-nn. however, comes forward with a novel suggestion in the ‘ Morning Rost.’ He thinks that Britain might take the whole American cotton and copper exports for a year or two. Mr Kitson's suggestion opens s lire of thought. Copper consigned to Germany is anathema. if consigned to Britain it i* all right. Where the duties of international law begin and where, they end is as vagn« as e, ■••••. Might, o; course, is right. The r-ugpc-t.ion made iiv Mr Kit -on in the Loudon paper i- pregnant with interest, lint let n-. hope that the war is not going to last for "a year or two," PEDLAR OF ATROCITIES. It’s s pi city -tory which M. Verbruggen gives in a Chile paper about the action off Coronci :•:< November 1. He says that a. German officer has info.mod him that the sea was not so rough that the Germans could not have saved British life. Plainly he means that the Germans committed murder of a cold-blooded kind. "He attests the. absolute truth of what ho says," but opportunely, as it imppens, an official account of the state of the sea. and other matters con nected with the naval battle of Coionei arrived in Dunedin yesterday. This is by Captain John Luce, of H.M.S. Glasgow, and is embodied in • Tim Times' of November 19. He Unit the head sea was so heavy that the guns on the main deck’s of the Good Hope and Monmouth could only i.r. worked with great difficulty. The Chilian pedlar, of atrocity stories should cease lire.

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PEACE CHATTER., Issue 15693, 6 January 1915

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PEACE CHATTER. Issue 15693, 6 January 1915

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