It was announced on Thursday that the British transport Mercian'
was attacked by gun-fire from an enemy sub- marine in the Mediterranean. No date, however, is given.
The 'Mercian,' we are told, was not sunk and has reached harbour safely, but " the following casualties took place : twenty-three killed, thirty missing, and fifty wounded." The ' Mercian' is a steamer of 6,305 tone belonging to the Leyland Line. Here of course we make no sort of complaint of the German attack. A transport is fair game, and there seems no reason to suppose that there was anything but fair fighting. When will the Germans learn that if they still have any regard for the esteem of mankind they should follow the example we set in the case of the Baltic ferry-boat the other day P We sank the German cruiser escort, but of course carefully abstained from doing any injury to the ferry. And here we may say that the way in which we have con- ducted our submarine blockade in the Baltic appears, even when contrasted with German methods, to leave President Wilson quite cold, His Note only says that our blockade is ineffective. It might at least have admitted that it was, as far as possible, worked on humane lines. But once again, to use a phrase of Tom Paine's, " ho pities the plumage [cotton and corned beef] but forgets the dying bird."