Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

23 erthygl ar y dudalen hon



NOTES AND, COMMENTS The Military Service Bill secured a .,niajiority of 39a. There were some changes in the Welsh voting. Among the rem- nant of 39 who went into the Lobby against the Hecand leading were Mr. E. T. John, Mi-. T. iiichards and Mr. W. Abraham—the division liet was not com- plete at the hour of writing, but we hope it will be found that this completes the iiist of Welsh last-ditchers- For Mr. Aaquith removed the last doubts that lingered in the minds ot the suspicious. iir. Llewelyn Williams the other day complained that the Prime Minister had not deposed that the Bill was a military mwomity. The Prime Minister spoke ffainly and definitely enough on this point on Wednesday eveniug. He said, with all the emphasis he could com- mand, and speaking on behalf of all lllb colleagii" in the Cabinet and in the Government, unless you enabla us by passing this Bill to obtain these men we cannot do our part in the prosecution of the war." It is difficult to ijnagino the state of iniod of itnn, who after that grave statu- weitt could go into the Lobby against the Bill- The explanation is c-ither that they huve exalted tbo voluntary system to the place of a fetish, or that they regard tbemselves as military pxperts to whom; tbfi Prime Minister's military advisers cannot hold u candle. One or the other. But there arc "ulterior motives." It waa probably ulterior motives H which 1«4 the South Wales miners to the re- grettable decision at which they arriTed. Mr. James still with his eyes ckwod to the lessons of Merthyr and bifi •are deaf to the voice of democracy, argmimj that if the Military Service Bill w? passed conscription would liece- a r- rmanent institution in the country." Jut the Prime MraMt?r, whose word is hi bund ?the whole wu2try over, exj?lici-t v? declared that he had no fear that this Bill might be used as a starting point for the adoption of general compulsion; and with regard to the ulterior motives his lan- guage was very direct. Dealing with the possibility that this Bill might be used not as a stepping stone to universal con- scription. but as an instrument to indus- trial compulsion," he said: Nothing was further from the inten- tions ot the trainers of the Bill than that it should be u¡,("<! or should be ca- pable of being u-sed for any such pur- pose—(hear, hear)—and ho hoped that not only members in all quarters of the House, but the vast mass of his fellftw countrymen engaged in industrial pur- suits would accept, as he believed they I would, that assurance. That statement should have a profound frect upon the conference of miners to be held to-day. The resignations of the three Ministers have been withheld as a result of a meeting with the Premier. The speeches at the Cardiff conference were delivered in ignorance of Mr. Asquith's new assurances, which ought to have their effect at the London gathering. As for the proposed down-tools" policy which will he urged by South Wales extremists, unless the Govern- ment withdraw the Bill." what can be said i No purpose will lie gained by abus- ing the men who put forward that policy; indeed, mischief may be done.Jut do they not see that they are endeavouring to set themselves up as the dictators uf the land, and that, whatever betides, the country will never tolerate govern .nant from the coal-pits, or any other secr.ion. Such an act would never lie forgiven by the country, however speedy the repen- tance of the men who took part in it. To place the command of the sea in peril, tc slow down the production "f munitions — and upon munitions depend British lives— to contribute to such risks we can hardly credit will be the decision Qf the miners. It u&ed to be said of the British people, before the war, that the one subject about which the average man would confess ignorance without confusion, was foreign polit ie". To-day all that is changed. The average man knows more to-day about the poli tical lile of the continent, of the men who lead it, than even the famous politi- cal upholsterer of Addison's famous essay. But of the internal life of our great Dominions how many Britishers know much? We sadly lack education in this respect, for presently it will begin to dawn upon the people of this island that the war has begun to revolutionise not only home affaire, but the very founda- tions M the Empire. How, in that won- derful world after the war. shall we stand together as British people? In what relationships? Questions buch as these are even now in the air. Sir- Robert BorApn, the Canadian Prime Minister, spola* in New York the other day, and we have before us a fairly full report of the address he delivered to the New England Society. It was a notable address; the woud«?r is that echoes of it have not been I sounding on this side of the ocean- For Sir Robert Borden, claiming that Canada has made her loyalty a living principle in a finer way than ever before, and declar- ing that Our Empire seems to us some- thing greater than it was a year ago," and that when mighty armies from the I Dominions and Dependencies arrayed themselves in its battle line a new and impressive epoch in its history was marked, went on to add: Those pregnant events have already given birth to a new order. It is rea- lised that the great policies and ques- tions which coneern and govern the issues of peace and war cannot in future be assumed by the people of the British Islands alone. We would do well to heed these words Jrom the great Dominion, for as the Canadian Prime Minister speaks, eo do also the leaders of the other parts of the Empire. It is a wonderful and sustaining note w.iiich comes booming over the waters. The journals of the Commonwealth &nd Dominions are line cures for de- pression. Here is an example from The Montreal Witness We have in Canada heard the boast in distinguished quarters that we will at-and by the Mother Country 'j the last man and the last dollar. It is not the Mother Country we are stand- ing by, but the cause of the Empire and of the world." And there is inspiration in the peroration of the Premier's speech, part of which we have already quoted. Realizing to the full the tragedy of this war," said Sir Robert, "we in Canada pray that the whirring loom of time may weave the mighty events of the next twelve months into an abiding peace. But there is with us the most intense convic- tion that the cause for which we fight does truly ("neern the freedom of the world, and that there can be no enduring peace until it fully prevails. Interwoven with this conviction is an equally intense and unalterable determination to spare no effort and shrink from no sacrifice necessary to make go groat a cause triumphant. Finally we have faith that this war heralds not the dies ae: but the regeneration of our civilization, founded, as it is, upon so many centuries of aspiration, endeavour, and sacrifice; faith also that humanity's struggle against i he enthronement of force above right will not be in vain." All this was said—and c-b,-PT-d to* the eeb-o,-in a New York banquet ting hall which was decorated with American and British flags. and in which the orchestra played the national airs of America and England. And yet during the next few weeks, it is being suggested that the United States will seek to embarrass Great Britain with a Note objecting most vigorously to our contraband procedure; and a Washington correspondent hints that if we are obdurate the demand for an embargo upon export of munitions may grow to inconvenient proportions. Most of the talking that is now going on in the United States, Ilowowr, can be dis- missed as lacking a really serious basis. As a commentator declared yesterday, The confused political situation, and all the racial and material prejudices that react upon it, make it necessary for the Government to pay what, to English observers, may seem exaggerated defer- ence to croes-currents of opinion." The parties are jockeying for position in view of the coming Presidential election. President Wilson is assailed bitterly for his programme. President Wilson I from the beginning strained every re- source at his command to maintain the neutrality of the United States, says one home critic; he has risked his own per. sonal popularity, the standing of the United States among the great Powers, and the future safety of the country in spreading abroad a reputation for inex- haustible patience under insult and in- jury. It will be his virtue, according to the party managers, that be kept the States out of war. And a few twists to the lion's tail, which the lion does not mind, may be considered necessary in order that the President halI keep per- fectly' balanced on the tight-rope of neutrality.

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