23 MARCH 1918, Page 1

The Allies have taken over all Dutch shipping in Allied

ports, For months past the Allies have tried to come to an agreement with Holland, by which the Dutch, in return for the use of their shipping, would receive regular supplies of American food- stuffs. But the Dutch Government, actuated always by deadly fear of Germany, have put off their decision, and their ships have lain idle, as Germany desired. The ultimatum from the European Allies and America puts an end to this deadlock. The economic pressure caused by Germany's ruthless submarine war has compelled us to disregard the avowed wishes of Dutch Ministers who are no longer free agents, and to use Dutch ships in the joint interests of Holland and the Allies. Holland has vainly asked Germany for wheat. She must obtain it from America or face starvation. The Allies cannot spare her the wheat unless they are assured of the full use of Dutch shipping at a fair price to increase their own stocks. Germany has nothing to offer the Dutch but threats. Her sole object is to drive every ship, whether Allied or neutral, off the high seas and win the war by famine. Our object is to keep the seas open to shipping so that Allies and neutrals alike may be fed. In this clash of purposes the neutrals are now involved, whether they like it or not. We can no longer pay such formal respect to their neutrality as to let them be involuntary instruments of Germany's evil purposes by keeping their ships in port.