Hide Articles List

5 articles on this Page

THE WAR.

News
Cite
Share

THE WAR. THE Government has made a terrible confossiou,-a confession that gives us a glimpse of the calamitous effects of the present war. We have been told that Parliament cannot give any attention to domestic reforms, the war has withdrawn its mind even from the mere consideration of those measures which should after all be its chief business. All the sources of national energy have been driven abroad to put a neighbour's house in order, to the utter neglect of our own. The grievances of the Outlanders are far more important than the deplorable condition of our aged poor, and the management of the liquour traffic must go unremedied until the greed and avarice of the dividend hunter has been thoroughly satiated-if such a thing be possible. Money that could support the famishing millions in India is squandered on the work of slaughter in South Africa. At hopae, social reforms have been brought to a standstill, and abroad, a priceless prestige is being forfeited. Britain has been the true and tried friend of small nationalities. But is thereanystruggling or oppressed people so feeble that it would wish at this moment to be championed before the world by England ? Who can estimate the effects of this loss of prestige The greatest advantage which a government can possess is to be the one trustworthy government in the midsts of governments which nobody can trust. It has been trruly said that English valour and English intelligence have done less to extend and to preserve our Oriental Empire than English veracity. All that we could have gained by imitating the doublings, the evasions, the fictions, the perjuries which have been employed against us, is as nothing compared with what we have gained by being I the one power in India on whose word reliance can be placed. No oath which superstition can devise, no hostage, however precious, inspires a hundredth p^rt of the confidence which is produced by the simple 9 yea, yea," and nay, nay," of a British envoy. What effect will the war and the 1 shuffling, equivocating diplomacy which pro- duced it have on India? Can they be expected to inspire respect and spread friendly feeling ? A great deal is being said just now about the loss of material prestige which our military reverses have brought upon us. We have thus lost, it has been said by a high authority, an asset of much value to the Empire. But the Bishop of HEREFORD tells us that there is another asset of even greater value, an asset of which highminded statesmen should be very jealous, that of our moral prestige, our good name among the nations, which the present Cabinet has sorely damaged by shielding and whitewashing Mr RHODES and his fellow- conspirators, instead of promptly visiting them with the punishment they deserved. Truly, a good name is better than great riches. If England is to fulfil her mission worthily, she must gird herself to do it with clean hands. We have been told, said Sir WILLIAM HARCOURT in the House of Commons the other evening, many lessons would be derived from the war-lessons in the art of naval and military preparation but there was another lesson which far more concerned the safety of the country, and that was not to exasperate by an arrogant and insolent demeanour those whom we desired to be our friends, not to abuse and insult those with whom we had differences, but to carry ourselves with that moderation, prudence, and self-control which befitted the dignity of an empire conscious of its own greatness and its own strength."

NOTES AND COMMENTS. ■ .

Advertising

DR. EDWJlRD 30D€S. ---

A CAPITAL IDEA.