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THE COURTS-TO-DAY MONDAY, JANUARY 11, 1915.

I For. 160 days, the greater portion of the | habitable globe lias been ! The Only Way. at war. Of no previous \ period in the history of i this relatively insignificant planet of ours is it possible to make, a similar assertion. Over 50 per cent, both of people and tor- | ritory iire active participants and directly ' concerned- in tho tremendous catastrophe that has fallen upon mankind. In the wars of the past, however great and whatever the issues, men talked hi thousands, or, at most, hundreds of thousands. To-day we talk and think and call for millions and ever more millions. We have come to regard losses at sea which by far exceed the price that Nelson paid for his greatest victories and losses on land such as Wellington never knew as commonplaces. Every day brings its own tale of slaughter. Thousands of our fellows who at this hour of writing, or reading, are facing each, other in '' battle's magnificently stern array " will be, ere tho sun again rises, but ait " a thing, o'er which tho raven flaps his fuivral wing." And tho same words can be said, without fear of contradiction, of to-morrow and the da;/ after and for those of the many weeks and months that- are to follow. Whatever else is uncertain, this at least is certain : that there '.'.ill be yet more thousands of desolated homes and broken hearts before the Allies, who represent and do battle for those things which alone make life worth having, are able to say "Let there now be peace." Yet, certain as this faet is, it remains true that there are multitudes of men throughout the Mother Land and the Oversea Dominions who have, despite the teaching of the. past few months, signally failed to realise either their obligations or their privileges. Tho Empire still needs men, and the cry of its statesmen, its> .leaders", and its Press is that the youth and manhood of the Empire should answer that need. Why, with an army of over oho million men in training and another coming into being, it is necessary to plan and prepare for yet another million has been made sufficiently clear. It is only possible, says Lord Rcsebery, to achieve such a victory as we must achieve by pushing millions against millions. Whether the failure to secure these, millions with tho promptitude that is desirable be due, aa many believe, to the unwisdom that has characterised the methods of the military censorship or whether to the scandalous apathy, indifference, and ignorance of large numbers of qualified youths and men does not greatly matter. Nor need we at this crisis in our Imperial history turn aside to denounce those writers and agitators who are in part responsible for Britain's unreadiness to take the field effectively and end the war. The one and only question of the hour is how to bring heme to the hearts and consciences of the manhood of the Empire that the decisive victory which some are for ever examining their newspapers to find will be long in coming unless all men are willing, individually and personally, to do their share. That tho volunteer is a better soldier than tho pressed one is an accepted article of British faith, and we rejoice to learn that Lord Haldane has no fear that the voluntary system will break down. It may please the German Press to sneer at our volunteer armies as "hirelings" and "mercenaries," but in tle-ir hearts they know that their own conscripts, man for man, are not tho equals of those who of their own initiative abandon home and calling for the honor of the Flag. And it is because they are not so that England, at this late hour, shrinks from compulsion—between which and the compulsory military training that this and other self-governing British Dominions have insisted on there is, of eourso, no comparison. But there must be no shadow of doubt, as to what will happen if the appeal of the Imperial Government is not answered. Millions are wanted, and the millions will cojiig forward. When the Mother Laud decided to enter the lists on behalf of what men and nations hold dear; when she crushed down the persistent, hissing whispers of the tempter to " remain neutral and make money,'' she .counted the cost. " This is .going to be a terrible war," said Sir Edward Grey, "but," he added, amid the tense silence of the House of Commons, " we are prepared." There is nothing now happening, or that has happened, which was not foreseen. Lost warships, aerial invasions, retreating armies, Turkish treachery, the possibility of compulsory levies of men—all were anticipated, discussed, and judged. And that judgment was that we aro prepared to lose the might, the wealth, the very existence of this . Empire—all that it has taken us 1,000 years to build tip —rather than break faith with Belgium and stand idly by while the - German Goths glut their ire upon hei\ It is for, this cause that the I

Empire has shed the blood of her sons, and it is for this that she asks that more and more come forward to shed theirs. Count it not blood shed in vain ! Say not that our dead do not return : "lis not the grapes of Canaan that repay, But the high faith that failed not by the way; Virtue treads paths that end not in the grave; No bar of endless night exiles the brave; And to the saner mind We rather seem the dead that stayed behind. It is to these seeming dead that that august Mother of Free Nations again makes her appeal.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19150111.2.27

Bibliographic details

THE COURTS-TO-DAY MONDAY, JANUARY 11, 1915., Issue 15697, 11 January 1915

Word Count
949

THE COURTS-TO-DAY MONDAY, JANUARY 11, 1915. Issue 15697, 11 January 1915

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