23 SEPTEMBER 1905, Page 2

We , have given elsewhere the substance of Herr Bebel's speech

on the foreign policy of Germany, and on Monday it was answered at Essen by Herr Bassermann, the leader of the National Liberals. The bulk of his speech was directed against Great Britain. England, he said, seeing that Germany was compelled by her increasing population to acquire new foreign markets, " was now working for fresh coalitions against Germany in order ultimately to get great forces together for a final reckoning with Germany. Germany, however, would not let herself be prevented by English menaces from building the strong Fleet which she required, nor would she be hindered by impudent speeches of English Admirals and incautious utterances of English diplomatists." " We," he continued, " do not desire to make war upon England; we only want a pacific development of our foreign commercial relations." There is no mistaking the meaning of that speech, which was uttered at an election meeting at Essen. It did not, however, carry away its bearers, for at the election it was found that Herr Bebel's followers had increased by 6,000 votes, while the National Liberals had declined from 20,819 to 17,886. Much of this transfer of votes is attributed to the rise in the price of meat caused by Protection ; but it is clear that the enthusiasm for a great Fleet intended to counterbalance the British does not increase. Too many sensible Germans recognise that Great Britain has never dreamed of denying the right of Germany to build any Fleet she pleases, and that we throw our markets open to all mankind.