2 DECEMBER 1899, Page 19

On Thursday Mr. Chamberlain made another speech at Leicester. After

dwelling warmly on the subject of Anglo- American relations, he went on to speak of "the natural alliance between ourselves and the great German Empire." Interest and sentiment, in spite of passing contentions, united us to Germany ; and, added Mr. Chamberlain, "I can foresee many things in the future which must be a cause of anxiety to the statesmen of Europe, but in which our interests are clearly the same as the interests of Ger- many, and in which that understanding of which I have spoken in the case of America might, if extended to Germany, do more perhaps than any combination of arms in order to preserve the peace of the world." These are important words. Personally, we have no wish to be unfriendly to Germany, and we cannot disguise from ourselves that the hatred dis- played towards this country in France is forcing us into a position which almost makes us a party to the Triple Alliance. If France went to war with Germany we should certainly not ran the risk of France defeating Germany and then turning on us. At the same time, we trust that an alliance with Germany is not meant to be directed against Russia in the Far East and to stop the impending war with Japan. That is a war which we had better leave entirely alone to be fought out on its merits.