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PRESS AND POLITICIANS, Issue 696, 19 October 1918
PRESS AND POLITICIANS
Britaia's Newspaper Coibks, asd tk People
The cablegrams stata that Sir Henry ' fTames Dalziel, who had become known as. the managing- director of "Reypoids's Newspaper Company," has also Recently purchased a number of newspapers known as the United Newspapers, which term appears to Include the London "Daily Chronicle," "Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper}" and one or two other Journals, Prior to tlhe announcement that the purchase had been made by Sir Henry James Dalziel, it was alJflged by one paper that the "Daily Chronicle" had been purchased by a syndicate for the purpose of supporting Mr. Lloyd George,- and that the price agreed upon for the "Daily Ghroniole" was no less than one mil' Jion pounds sterling. • - •-.■«■ . # Apparently Sir Henry Dalziel is desirous of setting- himself up as a sort bf Lloyd Georgian rival to Viscount Jtforthcliffe. This fieslro on his part eeems to be tho outcome of the recent tendency of Lord Northcllffe's news-, papers to "write down" Lloyd George. Prior to the. manifestation of this tendency, Lord Nbrthcliffe, the Rt. Hon. /Sir Henry Dalziel, and some olher owners of important newspapers were po much m iharmony that they practically formed an almost complete combine of the Important newspapers of Great Britain. So widespread and powerful was this combine that very few newspapors seemed to havo been Omitted from its ranks, and there la treason to suspect that there was a similar combine m France, and one m .the United States also. It was, however, m Britain that the combine was frnost powerful. • ' *, * , The well-known historian and writer ten military tactics and strategy, Mr. JHilaire Belloc, lhaa recently had pubJished for him a work m which he ideals with the few newspapers m Britain and France that are not as yetIn the hands of capitalistic combines or banded bourgeois. ' The title of the work is "The Free Press," and among those -which he regards as belonging to "the free press," as distinguished from the press which is merely the plave of the combines, is "L/Humanfte,"- whidh is the organ of the French Socialist Party, and "The New Agra," Which is the organ of the recentlyCrlsen school of economic thought that Js known as the National Guildsmen, land which advocates the restoration of the old guild system of controlling industry, but m an up-to-date co-opera-jtlve form. •. • • But for the ambition of Viscount 'Northcliffe to take possession 'of the .Government of the country bofore it got too late there would have been too difference of opinion between him fend the Rt; Hon. Sir Henry D&l*i«l as to the support to be given to Lloyd George. At least, this appears to be the case. It is true that Lloyd George baa been an Immensely over-rated nan; that big conduct of affairs since i« has been In office during the war las constituted a long aeries at doitructive blunders; but Viscount fforthcllffe knew this long ago, quite \m well as did anybody else. At last, bowaver, the time came when Vlsoount Korthcllffe got tired of being the klnfftaaker, and wanted to be the politics.! "king" himself. Tliat Is to flay, he d»ftjired from his position In the House W? Lords to be the fread of a Government consisting mainly of tho puppets fjhat his press had set up for the multitude to worship. • , * « ' »Phe London "Dally Chronicle" had Iteen regarded as a Liberal newspaper; one that would not dance when Lord Northcliffe pulled tho strings; and yet one that was not so Radical and so much inclined towards the speedy ! making of peace as was the Liberal '•Dally News." Tho "Dally News 1 ' and fcome other ne%vspapors, It Is said, are ewned by members of the well-known family of Quaker chocolate-makors, the Cadburys. Because of this fact, befeanse ot the ownership Of tho "Daily Kowb," 8-nd some similar papers being Bald to be In the hands of sotne gentlemen who <hod become prosperous and affluent by the manufacture and sale erf chocolate and cocoa, It has been ciia•ttiary for the truculent Tories of the •&F*atfonal Review" and similar publiWlons^o sneeivat the "Daily News" fend papers holding similar . opinions to those expressed m the "Daily News" M "the coccfa press." #• '■■ • * Nevertheless, there Itos been more trutbu told by these papers about j the . -vyar^and about Russia since the war ""broke out and the Russian Revolution followed than has been told m all the newspapers Ewned by Lord Northcliffe and other fcoriea put together. Whatever the World may think of the conscientiously held religious convictions of tho owners ©* the London "Daily News" and other members of the "cocoa press'? there ban be little doubt tttat\ the future his- ' torlan who really does desire to write the truth about the present war and fetoSt; tfe* revolution m Rusßia will pay
more attention to papers like the London "Daily News" and the "Manchester Guardian" than iho will to tlie truculent Tory "Times" of London or the "Daily Mail" or similar publications. • • 0 ■ The London "Daily Cln-onicle" lhad become a paper of vary high standing. Originally, it was not very greatly esteemed. Its "get up" was not attractive, and Its editorial matter, although Radical, was dry and Bterile. In the old days it was a, sheet known as the "Clerkenwoll News," and was published m the somewhat poverty-stricken locality of Clerkenwell Green. It was, however, purchased m 1877 by a Mr. Edward Lloyd, and converted into what he called M An Imperial Morning Paper." It independently advocated Liberal principled, and soon cama to be highly * respected because of the ability with "which its political convictions were set before the people. Its opposition, ' wihen Massingfaam was its editor, to Chamberlainiam was parti.cularly effective. . It also made, itself, extremely popular because of its fine advocacy of tihe cause of the men during the strike of the London dockers. •♦ • . It has enterprisingly spent money m the getting of news and setting It before its readers, and h&s several notable "scoops" to its credit For instance, It vra» the first newspaper to announce the revolution whioh took place m Eastern Rumalia m 1886} it was the first newspaper to give an account of the death of Prince Rudolph m 1889. It published Nansen's own narrative of his expedition towards the North Pole; Sir Martin Conway's journey across Spitzbergen m 1898; was also first described m the London "Daily Chronicle"; and it also achieved a "scoop" with its acoount of the first ascent of Aconcagua m 1897. Furthermore, it made a considerable reputation for itself by its exposure of the adventurer and imposter, "De Rougemont." There is no doubt that the "Daily Chronicle" is now a more important paper than ever it was. Its attitude has continued to be that of Independent Liberalism, and it often ihad things to say that were not at all to the taste of Lord Northcliffe, and did not harmonise with some of the things to be found m Lord Northcliffe's publications. It was looked upon as a formidable rival of the London "Times," and no doubt (had a very great circulation. • •.••■ ■ ■ • • • When it was Vhs fashion ot the Tory newspapers and of the newspapers generally that were supporting the Government to howl at the working men of Britain whenever . they — finding themselves driven to desperation by the constant increase In the prices of the necessaries of life — took drastic action, the London "Chronicle" did not hesitate to speak out plainly/ For instance, when a few months ago tho munition -makers threatened to strike the London "Dally Chronicle" published an excellent artJole on the problems that were disturbing th* p«ac« of mind of Organised Labor, Among other fcbintfe, it said m this article: Looking- into its own house, Labor is beginning to fear the situation it will be facod with after tho war. Its hard-fougiht-for position, it believes, its being undermined. Ita accumulated laws, practices and customs are being swept away. Its skilled crafts are swamped with unskilled labor. New machinery and new processes have played havoc with the old ways. Many of the changes may be inevitable; but they are perturbing. The morrow of the war may usher m a new world. It may be a better one. Tha.t is the one*, hope that keeps the v/hole world from despair. At any rate. Labor Is beginning to take ; thought of that morrow ... j The efforts to popularise systems of payment by results were doubtless designed without any Binißter intentions, but wor« sincerely put forward as a means of stimulating the paid output of munitions. But they threatoned a standard rate, the sheet anchor of trades unionism. As it Is, the standard rate to-day Is more or less a nominal thing. WQien to all these problems Is added the delay on the part of the Government to 1 redeem its pledges to | bring m the long-promised Bill for the restoration of trade union conditions, it is easy to understand why Labor is sometimes sullen and occasionally gives expression to its thoughts m dramatically misguided fasfhion; Nothing perhaps would be more calculated to allay suspicion and restore confidence m the ranks of Labor tttian >the production of this Bill. When all is said, It must be admitted that Labor has played its part m the great struggle, not unworthily. Labor had delivered the goods. It now expects that it will be treated m future as something more than a beggar at the gate. © * • That is "good stuff." It Is to be feared, howeyer, that there will be not
very much of that kind of thing now that the "Chronicle" has changed hands and lias become the property of a rival to Lord Northcliffe, who wants to give to Lloyd George newspaper Bupport to compensate for that which Lord Northcliffe is taking away. The people, however, will become more and more distrustful of the London 1 daily press. After all, too, London does not- wield the power, nor exert the influence, m England that Paris wields and exerts m France. In some of tfhe most important centres of Britain th© opinion of Tory-ridden London la regurded with contempt and deriflion. Decidedly, Britain, will Bee stirring 1 times after the war, and it la not probable that with all the. thimble-rigging of dally newspaper ownership it will be possible to prevent the people from getting that political and economic justice which they will almost certainly then demand.
PRESS AND POLITICIANS, Issue 696, 19 October 1918
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