4 APRIL 1914, Page 3

Lord Roberts, in a most moving and impressive speech, appealed

to the Lords, and through them to the people of the country, to make an end of all these idle, dangerous and base- less assertions that the Army was implicated in any political conspiracy, and that it was allowing itself to be used as the tool of one party in the State. The option between two terrible alternatives was deliberately forced on the officers by the Government, and in exercising this option there was no sem- blance of disobedience of orders. Yet those who had made a choice involving the loss of a career and a livelihood and the severance of the ties of comradeship were falsely branded as conspirators I It was high time, for the sake of the nation no leas than for that of the Army, that the perversions of the truth should cease, and that the Army should be allowed to disappear from the political arena into which it had been .thrust—much against its own wish or expectation. The action of the Government had been altogether unprecedented, and the duties which they contemplated imposing on the Army might beat be inferred from the opening chapter of the Manual of Civil Law, which states: "English law never pre- supposes the possibility of civil war, and makes no express provision for such contingencies."