14 FEBRUARY 1903, Page 14


on German-Americans in the Spectator of January 31st will give much food for thought to all who know

much of the non-official German, and I have reason to think that the views therein expressed are stated with what may be called unusual moderation. It is unwise to draw conclusions from isolated instances; but the following circumstance may show which way the wind blows. Some few months ago I was travelling in Switzerland with a German-American who had married a Swiss wife and had retired on his means in that country. I asked him why he came to Switzerland, and having left America, why be did not settle in his own country. His reply in purest American was : "Well, I guess if it had not been for my wife I should have stayed over the water, and if I wanted to make a move it would not have been to Ger- many. I have breathed the air of freedom in the States too long for that, and an occasional visit to Germany to see my relations is enough for me." I think the rulers of the Father- land—" the ruler of Kaiserland" would be a more appropriate expression to-day—are astute enough to know that the above is no isolated case, and realise only too well that should such a calamity as a war between the States and Germany take place, amongst the bitterest foes of Germany would be found the German-Americans. Material interest is, of course, the greatest incentive to emigration, but not the only one, and men are glad at all times to exchange military despotism for civil liberty and equality. Germany will not risk a quarrel with America if she can help it, and the Kaiser would never have sent the Kruger telegram had South Africa belonged to the States and Dr. Jameson been an American citizen. All she wants to do is to make mischief between America and England, and so weaken the latter. The German article of faith that some day she will have the reversion of England's trade and the possession of England's Colonies is buried deep in the breasts of many Teutons. If she gets the trade, it will be our fault; :at as to the Colonies, she would find that they would probably set up on their own account and be acknowledged as independent States by the civilised world before she had quite time enough to make her own arrangements. It is high time Englishmen were a little less dense about Germany and her political aims and methods. You have done much to en- lighten them, and the Venezuelan incident Las helped. Let us hope no more object-lessons are necessary.—I am, Sir, &c.,