2 OCTOBER 1920, Page 12


[To THE EDITOR OP THE " SPECTATOR "] Ssa,—A pamphlet by E. D. Morel, entitled The Horror on the Rhine, has come into may hands. This pamphlet -gives the figures of the black troops (Senegalese and Algerians) in Ger- many. It states that these black troops are billeted in the private houses of Germans, and it gives a long catalogue of murders, thefts, rapes and worse crimes which have been the consequences of this occupation. Whether these facts and figures are or are not true, I cannot say. Mr. Morel's reputa- tion is in itself hardly a guarantee, but that scarcely affects the case. It is repugnant to ninety-nine out of a hundred Englishmen to think of black savages from the Congo being forced into any European homes. The consequences of the proximity of the Senegalese, who have been separated from their own women for two years, to white women, and conquered white women, are too obvious to require discussion. It may be said that we too have occupied various lands with coloured troops, but in this case there is surely a difference to be observed. The Indians are unrelated to the full-blooded negro; they have neither his passions nor his ferocity.

The great majority of us who hare fought in France look forward not only to an alliance but to enduring friendship with the French as one of the great assets of the future, and it is therefore with the gravest anxiety that we see what is happening in the occupied territories to-day. France herself, who has been haunted by a nightmare since 1870, is now impos- ing a punishment that is a nightmare come true upon a beaten enemy. I have attempted to cheek Mr. Morel's facts by read- ing the French Press, and in the Paris newspapers I see refer- ences to the suppression by the French authorities of German newspapers which have criticized the actions of the French black troops. Conquest carries great powers with it, amongst them the power of making the innocent suffer for the guilty, and German girls for German camp-commandants, but not the power of ultimately suppressing the ugly truth. Let the facts be known, and let the remedy be applied, if our friendship with agreement with our correspondent, who is no Germanophile, but a man thoroughly in sympathy with France and her aspira- tions. We most sincerely trust that in this matter our friends and allies will put themselves right with the opinion of the whole English-speaking world.—En. Spectator.]