5 AUGUST 1916, Page 17


Mn. EDGAR CRAMMOND, writing on " The Reckoning " in the new Nineteenth Century, prefaces his argument in favour of a huge monetary indemnity by considering (a) the conditions imposed by Prussia on • Prow-Doubt to MA. By Horace D. Hutchinson. London: Longman and Co. dla lid. new her defeated adversaries in the wars of 1864, 1866, and 1870-71, and also the terms on which the Chino-Japanese, Spanish-American, and Russo-Japanese Wars were brought to a conclusion ; (b) the responsi- bility of Germany and Austria for the war as established by historical documents ; and (c) the national incomes of Germany and Austria as estimated by official authorities. He politely but strongly dissents from the view expressed in our columns of the 15th lilt. to the effect that the Central Powers will bo too utterly exhausted when the war ends for the payment of a general indemnity, being convinced that in one way or another £2,000,000,000 or £3,000,000,000 could be extracted from them immediately or by way of annual tribute. His scheme provides that the war claims should be pooled and presented in one claim by the Allies ; that the German mercantile fleet should be applied first in making good the loss which maritime Powers, belligerent or neutral, have suffered through German submarines and mines; that in view of the deliberate policy of destruction pursued by Germany she should be required to return in kind, not money, the rolling stook, agricultural stock, machinery, raw materials, manufactured goods, banknotes, securities, and works of art stolen from Belgium, Northern France, Poland, and Serbia. Finally, when credit has been given for all the assets realized, the German and Austrian Governments should be required to issue Debt certificates to the Allies' War Debt Com- mission for the balance outstanding—about £8,000,000,000—these certificates to be distributed to the Allied Powers in proportion to their admitted claims, payment to be made by an annual tribute secured on the State railways of Germany and Austria and as a first charge on their Customs and Excise. Each Allied Power should also under- take to impose upon its trade with Germany and Austria, and with every neutral Power which entered the German Customs Union, certain duties and shipping dues, the proceeds of which should be paid over to the War Debt Commission to be applied in payment of such a dividend in the pound by way of interest on the war claims against Germany and Austria as they might yield. Mr. Crammond ends by protesting against the Memorandum of Free Traders issued last month on the ground that it would be a stupendous act of folly if we failed to exert our full economic pressure on Germany to prevent her from again plunging the world into a hell of suffering.—Mr. Headlam has an interesting paper on the new preface to Prince Billow's work on The Germany of William the Second. He shows that while Prince Billow avoids the arrogance and brutality of Count Reventlow and Herr Bassermann, writes with coolness and restraint on the causes of the war, and inferentially criticizes his successors, he offers no real help towards the settlement —no message to Europe. " All ho sees is a continuance of the old game of the rival Powers intriguing for place and power, with this difference, that in the future Germany is always to hold all the trumps." —Mr. William George FitzGerald in " The Apathy of America " maintains that, however loudly the cultured minority may protest, " Keep out I " is America's real watchword ; and that President Wilson moves in perfect accord with his apathetic people's wish not to be embroiled with enemies, hyphenate or foreign—German, Mexican, or Japanese. "America is sobered now, and scents new dangers, but she is more than ever concerned with problems peculiarly her own."

The most moving article in the National Review is not the editor's warning on " The Perils of Premature Peace," or his attack on Mr. Churchill, Lord Haldane, or Viscount Grey—who is promoted in this number to the position of First Villain—but that in which a blinded officer describes his debt to St. Dunstan's. He was only nineteen when a wound in action robbed him of sight, and " life at first seemed to hold very little in store for me." He describes how to please his mother, and only to please her, he consented to go to St. Dunstan's, and arrived in April, 1915, " shy and, to be candid, very frightened at that house in Regent's Park which sees so much misery and dejection turned into happiness, ambition, and joy of life." First he had to learn how to be blind; how to regain his independence; then came the more serious and difficult problem of reading and writing. Games are possible, for he has learned how to row, play pushball, cards, draughts, and chess, and what he has " lost in the beauty of the fields, woods, and sky I have gained in the beauty of human nature." He goes on :- "Never before had I realized what kindness and self-sacrifice were in my fellow-creatures. My odd moments are now. filled up with reading, makmg baskets or playing about on my typewriter ; when I want to go out everything is made easy, with plenty of people always ready to take me. I am living, of course, an altogether different life, but every- thing I have lost in the old has been replaced in the new, not by my own effort, but by the endless work, I might almost say slavery, of St. Dun- stan's, Mr. Pearson, and all those who help him."

In fine, the writer impresses on his readers that his first tragic estimate of the future has been proved wrong by his experience at St. Dunstan's, " largely through the example and personality of Mr. Pearson (a blind

man himself) and through the wonderful spirit of independence and cheerfulness with which the whole place throbs."—Ono of the best features of the National Review is the reprinting of important documents in extenso. This month tho editor reproduces textually the momentous

Hardinge Report on the Rebellion in Ireland, which he is justified in pronouncing to have been boycotted by the Liberal Press. Indeed, by

some organs it was bitterly criticized for its unsympathetic tone, while others resented it for its fearless exposure of Liberal maladministration. Those who regard Liberalism as a sacred ark are happily derided by the editor in another passage, where he speaks of those who " contrive to Mescal empire with a small ' e ' and war with a small ' w,' and Parliament and Party with a vast P.' "—Mr. Cope Cornford writes on the Jutland Battle under the heading " The Two Firsts of June," and draws an interesting parallel between the victories of 1918 and 1794. But the sting of the article is in its bitter attack on a Government which, in the writer's opinion, misunderstands the Navy and is jealous of its great captains, and has done nothing to express the national admira- tion and the national gratitude to the Fleet. According to Mr. Cornford, while we have the most magnificent Navy the world has seen, the Government restrict the exercise of its lawful powers, and throw away the bloodily won and decisive advantages of exercising the full control of sea communications. In short, " the Foreign Office has taken over the conduct of sea war from the Admiralty."

Dr. Dillon writes in the Contemporary on Greece. He reminds us that Prussia and Austria, officially and semi-officially, were hostile to Greece at her rebirth in the War of Independence, and that Greece owes her existence:, independence, Constitutional liberties, financial solvency, and economic prosperity to the three Powers against which her rulers have recently been treacherously intriguing. At the moment every- thing turns on the two irreconcilable conceptions of the function of the King which are held by Constantine XII. and M. Venizelos respectively. If the Greek people is allowed to vote without undue pressure, the Venizelists will, it is calculated, be represented by about two hundred and fifty Deputies as against seventy partisans of their adversaries. But even if M. Venizelos becomes Premier, and favours intervention on the side of the Allies, how can Greece be " other than a south-eastern forepost of the Teutons, a confederate of the Bulgars, and a menace to the Allied forces at Salonica, so long as the Germanizing agencies and their Chief are allowed free scope " 2 (Incidentally Dr. Dillon assures us that he

ree:eived on July 15th trustworthy evidence from Macedonia to the effect that orders for the cession of Roupel were sent to that fortress by the Greek General Staff fifteen days before it surrendered.) He concludes by asserting that sober-minded Greeks both at home and abroad are putting this question for the protecting Powers to answer, and would rather accept a solution from them than be constrained to impose it themselves.—" Blue-Water School " vindicates Admiralty foresight in regard to the war on the four points of the possibility of invasion, the estimates of shipbuilding expenditure, the scale of the fisedelefences at fort ified harbours, and the capture of private property at sea. In regard to the first, he points out that the seamen had an especially difficult course to steer between the soldiers, who declared invasion to be a constant and serious menace, and the politicians, who asserted it was so improbable that no naval precautions were needed to meat it. As for the shipbuilding programme, he holds that the Admiralty were seriously hampered by the economists, who cut down the programme in respect of light cruisers, a policy which has involved us in a commercial loss vastly_greaterehan the outlay on these extra cruisers would have been.— Prof en:or Sir William Barrett's paper on the Irish problem was written in ignorance of the details of the proposed settlement and before the col- lapse of the negotiations. It is mildly optimistic, rather vague, and says nothing about the rebellion beyond expressing a pious hope that the Sinn Fein leaders may mix common-sense with their wild idealism.—Mr. J.M. Kennedy examines war conditions in Austria-Hungary as revealed in the Press, and various pamphlets dealing with food supply and prices, statistics of trades and industries, war loans, &o. His conclusion is that, bad as the conditions are, there is no sign of an immediate collapse due to these conditions alone. " There is a living minimum, and the authorities are sufficiently powerful to deal with attempts at disorder." But the Russian advance may change the complexion of things entirely, and already " all the financial and business interests are indicating through their Press organs, as clearly as the Censor will permit, their desire for a speedy settlement."—We may also note Mr. Boulger's article on the heroism of the Belgian Army and its reinvigorated condi- tion ; Mr. Harold Temperley's inquiry into the supernatural element in history, with special reference to two modern instances—the story of the angels at Mons and the appearance of Marko Kraljevio to the Sorbian ; and an anonymous paper mit the Sultan of Turkey and the Caliphate.

In the Fortnightly " Politicus " discusses the hopelessness of Germany's position. There is, of course, no startling discovery to be disclosed, but the review of all the factors of the situation cannot fall to show how marked is the turn of the tide. Germany certainly counted the cost moat minutely before beginning this war, but in her estimate she did not put down our Army as one of millions. This one fact must have an enormous result. Another thing that is now beginning to be felt is the Austrian inability to send Slav troops to face Russians. They have to be kept on the Italian frontier, even if desperately wanted elsewhere. —Messrs. Grahame-White and Harper write jointly of aerial war in a paper which would bear some compression. They tell us that the mastery we have shown over the Germans in the air comes from the fact that the Germans built their machines principally with a view to steadiness, so as to make the least demands on the pilot. This moans that they are blow and not capable of swift manmuvring. Our machines, on the contrary, are capable of more swiftness and greater power of manoeuvring, and consequently are better for fighting, though they want to be used with greater skill. Thus it is that the German airmen with their slow machines do not like taking the risks of flying over our lines. With regard to the future, the writer:: look

forward to a Power striking an initial blow with aircraft whieh might have disastrous effects. Aeroplanes with a speed of two hundred miles an hour, launched at the declaration of war, and need in fleets of thousands of machines against the nerve centres of the foe, might produce decisive results. We must not be behindhand in the air again, but must command it.—Mr. Balderston gives an account of a conversation on art with Mr. George Moore which is more curious than interesting. Mr. Moore dogmatically informs the world that art is dead ; music, painting, literature, and all. This is so because art has always been the result of national segregation in the past, and in the modern world it is made impossible by international communication. So it would seem that art was an accident and not an elemental passion of humanity. The conversation should not, as it is, be headed " The Dusk of the Gods," but " The Damnation of the Critic."—We can again rejoice in another of Fabre's wonderful studies of insect life in " The Processionaries." Here we see the hairy caterpillars of the South aimlessly walking round and round the rim of a tub for days until accident sends them on their right road. Marvellous as their instinct is, these insects seem possessed of no glimmer of reason. The paper has all the charm and humour of the wonderful observer, who died not long ago in extreme old age.

The inexhaustible supply of stories from the outermost parts of the Empire is well maintained In Blackwood. " Out of It," by "Zeros," is a powerful description of a raid which would have failed had not a subaltern disobeyed orders. Though the ending, with the death of the disobeying officer, is rather conventional, the account of the relatiens of the two white men is strikingly told. They are isolated in an African fort with native and Indian troops, and got on each other's nerves. To add to the unpleasantness of the situation there is the feeling that they are left in a backwater by the European War.—A paper on Aleppo gives an interesting account of what the writer considers the most typical of Turkish cities, a character not lost from its being a railway junction where the cry is said to be " Change here for Mecca, Cairo, and Baghdad." In future the list of places may become extended to include Uganda, eteefigasear, Cape Town, Ispahan, Bombay, Calcutta, Mandalay, Singapore, Melbourne, and Sydney. Aleppo, as we know from the witches in Macbeth, was a centre to which Elizabethan trade went. Its position near two mountain passes, through which trade routes are bound to pass, assures to the city a permanently prosperous future. The bazaars are of great richness. Everything can be bought there, in one part Manchester goods, in another American sewing-machines, and again Chinese ivories, pore► lain, and prints. Here is a meeting-place of the trade of the world.— The " Wounded Officer " continues his account of his detention. At the hospital at Cerebral he was joined in December by some British soldiers, who, their officer says, were unforgettable, "because they were such good companions." Two of these men met death later from German brutality in the camp at Wittenberg. One soldier is described as lying in a ditch wounded while innumerable German troops wee* passing along the road. When they halted a German who bad lived fifteen years in Glasgow gave him a drink of water. But the next time a halt was oalled his treatment was different. Fists were shaken at him, and his pipe snatched from his mouth and thrown away. It seems that Germans can only be humane if tlav have lived in our country. This man made a statement, which was taken down in shorthand when he reached England a year later, from which the following is an extract, and shows that the popula- tion of Wittenberg share the infamy of the authorities of the camp there : " As soon as we arrived in Wittenberg all the people were at the station, a big crowd of men and women. They all had big sticks, some had bars of iron, and we had to run the gauntlet of this— of course I could not do so. I got one terrible kick, but anyhow I managed to get into the camp, and as soon as we got into camp we got knocked about by the Germans, and everything was taken from us." This soldier also records that after the typhus was well over the American Ambassador came to the camp. He learned all about the epidemic, and then things began to improve.—Mr. George Townsend Warner dile ceases the position of " The United States as a Neutral," as revealed by past history. He thinks that, in view of the past, it is much too early to assume that the United States will not enter the contest, or, if she does, will do so on our side. The writer's reading of history is that the most powerful neutral has a tendency to take part against the nation holding command of the sea. At present it seems unlikely that the United States will side against us. " For this we- may be grateful to America's sense of justice and honour, and to Germany's blunders; but Germany is persevering, and may find a way out of these."