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MR SHAW SAYS “GET OUT OF BELGIUM”

Mr Bernard Shaw, in a lively open letter to the President of the United States, published in tho ‘Nation,’ suggests that Croat-Britain, Franco, and Germany should finish their fight out of Belgium. "You are tho spokesman of Western Democracy. That is why I appeal to you.” He speaks of flic “ complication of monarchy and its traditions, which have led Europe into the quaint absurdity of a war waged formally between the- German Kaiser, the German Tsar, tho German King of the Belgians, tho German King of England, tho German Emperor of Austria, and a gentleman who shares with you tho distinction of nob being related to any of them, and is therefore oescribahie monarelucally as one Poincare, a Frenchman. “To you it will be clear that even the strongest Power, or even allied group of Powers, can have its position completely changed by an expression of tho public opinion’ of the rest of the world. In your clear western atmosphere, and in your peculiarly responsible position as the head centre of western democracy, you, when the European situation became threatening three months ago, must have been acutely aware of the fact to which Europe was so fatally "blind—namely, that the simple solution of the difficulty in which the menace of the Franco-Rus.so-Briti.sh Entente placed Germany was for the German Emperor to leave* his western frontier under the safeguard of tho neighborliness and good faith of American, British, and French Democracy, and then await quite calmly any action that Russia might take against his country on tho cast.

“ Had he done bo, we could not have attacked him from behind; and had France made such an attack—and it is in tho extremes t degree improbable that French public opinion would have permitted such a hazardous and unjustifiable adventure—ho would at worst have confronted it with tho fullest sympathy of Britain and the United States, and at best with their active assistance.

‘‘Unhappily, German kings do not allow Democracy to interfere in their foreign policy ; do nbt believe in neighborliness ; and do believe in cannon and cannonfodder. The Kaiser never dreamt of confiding liis frontier ,to you and’ to the humanity of his neighbors. And the diplomatists of Europe never thought of that easy and right policy, and could not suggest any substitute for it, with tho hideous result which is before you.

"If you consider both’ sides equally guilty, we know that you can lind reasons tor that verdict. But Belgium is innocent; and it is on behalf of Belgium that so much of the world as is still at peace is waiting for a lead from you. Xo other question need be prejudged. "A right of way is not a right of conquest ; and even the right of way was not, as the Imperial Chancellor imagined, a matter of life and death at all, but a militarist hallucination, and one that has turned out, to far, a military mistake. In short, them was no such case of overwhelming necessity as would have made the denial of a right of wav to the German army equivalent to a refusal to save German independence- from destruction, and therefore to an act of war against her. justifying a German conquest of Belgium. You can leave every question between the belligerents fully open, and yet, in the common interests of the world ask Germany to dear out of Belgium inlo Franco, or across the Channel into England if she can. back home if she can force no other passage ; but at all events out of Belgium.

■‘Germany must be aware that the honor of England is now so hound up wit It the complete redemption of Belgium from the German occupation that to keep Antwerp and Brussels she must take Portsmouth and London. " Whatever else the war and its horrors may have clone or not done, veil will agree vrilh me that it ban made an end of the dreams of military and naval steam rollerbig in which the whole wretched business began.

"In London and Paris and Berlin nobody at present dare say: ‘Sirs, yc a.e brethren: why do ye wrong one to another'.'’ For the slightest disposition towards a Christian view of things is regarded as a shooting matter in these capitals ; but Washington is still privileged to talk common humanity to the nations.

“ How sorely you must be tempted to say. as you look on at what we are doing : ■Well, if European literature, ns represented by the library of Louvain, and European religion, as represented by the Cathedral of Rheims, have not got us beyond this, in God’s name let them perish.’ ” “ The Emperor William ought to pin the Iron Cress to the heart of Air Shaw, who has done more for Germany than all her apologists.” is Air James Douglas’s caustic comment on the above effusion.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19150116.2.80

Bibliographic details

MR SHAW SAYS “GET OUT OF BELGIUM”, Issue 15702, 16 January 1915

Word Count
814

MR SHAW SAYS “GET OUT OF BELGIUM” Issue 15702, 16 January 1915

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