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The Attitude of Foreign I…


The Attitude of Foreign Countries towards Great \j::l Britain. PAPER BY THE! REV. T. A. MORGAN- JONES. The appended interesting paper was read by the Rev. T. A. Morgan-Jones, L.D., before the members of the St. George's Debating Society on Thursday evening, December 3rd —< There was a time, and that not very long ago, when Great Britain prided her- seLf on her position of grand isolation. It was doubtless a position of strength and advantage in some respects, but it was also a position fraught with danger. The attitude of the Continental nations during the South African War demonstrat- ed very clearly to us what, that danger was. It is not, too> much to say that we had at that time not, a single friend among the European nations. The position of grand and lonely isolation certainly had given us a freedom of action in the con- cerns of Europe. But this freedom and the policy generally adopted by us in con- sequence became, the source of irritation against this country and of a general dis- trust. I don't mean to say for one minute that there existed any real ground for this irritation or distrust. But the fact remains -and an ugly and awkward fact, we found it in those dark days in December 1899 and the opening months of 1900' The Kaiser's famous telegram to Kruger in connection with the Jameson raid had been a terrible eye-opener. It awoke us roughly from a sad delusion. The real inwardenss-the real aim-of German 1-. policy in relation to this country was re- vealed as by a lightning flash, and the sub- sequent events which havei been revealed year by year have only served to, confirm in an unmistakeable way that Germany was no friend to this country. We have real cause to be most thankful to the Ger- man Kaiser for the true and laudable: ser- vice he has rendered to, the best, interests of this country—through his most admir- able indiscretions. He has through his extraordinary and dangerous outbreaks enabled us to see clearly where we stand. And it would, criminal on the part of Ministers of the Clrown, in the present or in the future, to act as if these revelations had not, been made. But I am glad tioi think that we have, no longer any illusions on the subject. Perhaps it would be well in order to understand our present position in relation to foreign countries to casft a hurried glance in our position in the past in relation to the various Continental nations. At the close of the Napoleonic Wars Great Britain emerged as the great, and victorious Champion of liberty. She bad fought for the liberty of Europe. She had defeated i the Arch-tyrant—Napoleon—.and secured I the liberty of the world. The world at large owes Great Britain a debt which can never adequately be repaid. [ The victory at Waterloo enabled the í European nations to re-arrange their j boundaries. The peace which followed allowed the process of re-construction and a re-balancing of power to go on. Under the protecting and beneficent hand of I Great Britain the weaker nations of Eiurope began to grow and thrive. Without Great Britain, Prussia for instance would not have grown. There would have been no Holland, no Belgium. The independence of thei Scandinavian Kingdoms were secured. France in spite of many political convulsions and changes in form of gov- ernment had entered on a career of pros- perity, finding a kind of renewal of her former glory in the reign of that Prince-of- Adventurers, the unscrupulous Napoleon the Third. However a new cause of unrest and politcal disturbance was found, in the growing and advancing power of Russia. The unstable and decrepit condition of the Turkish Empire offered a tempting bait to the ambjitons of the Muscovite. Prus- sia kept advancing by leaps and bounds, crushing one independent state after another, under the ruthless guidance of Bismarck. Russia and Prussia join hands together with Austria to crush the poor Poles, and to dismember the Kingdom of Poland. Prussia makes war on Denmark, and on Austria successively and emerges as the dominant power among1 the German States. She snuffs the Kingdom of Han- over out of existence, and adds it to Prus- sia. All' the while England has been looking calmly on. For since Waterloo she had lived at peace with all Europe until in .an evil moment she allowed her- self to be dragged into the Crimean War by Napoleon under the weak government of Lord Aberdeen. France was growing jealous of Russia, s advance and was anxious to increase her power and prestige in the east, -and so made war on Russia. Except for the op- portunity it gave our country of display- ing unrivalled heroism and bravery, the Crimean War brought us no good. We had been duped by the cunning and duplicity of Napoleon. We have no time to follow the tortuous paths of European politics and diplomacy in this period. We shall note some salient points in the general march of events. In 1870 the war broke out between France and Prussia. France was regard- as the agressor. It is now well-known that Bismarck—(that brutal man of blood and iron, who had no scruples of con- science when the attainment of his objects was the question)—Bismarck it was who planned the war and waited for the oppor- tune moment. To-day it is a notorious fact, that the great Prussian General Mbltke had planned the whole: campaign agalinst France in the winter of 1868, two years before the actual break- out of the war. The sympathy of Great Britain was entirely on the side, of Prus- sia. Why? We believed that France was in the wrong. Why? Bismarck had carefully contrived that it should appear so. His policy all along had been to secure the sympathy of this country with Prussia, while at the same, time inspiring j the jealousy and animosity of other coun- tries against Great, Britain. When Prussia, made war on Denmark and snatched away the duchy of Schleswig- Holstein from that little Kingdom, we looked on complacently, said and did nothing. When Prussia, suppressed and annexed the Kingdom of Haiio-ver we maintained 'a. policy of discreet silence. When Prussia made the unjust war on her own kith and kin—on Austria-we looked on quietly. And all the while Prussia, was growing and advancing. During the Franco-Prussian War we again dfid nothing, maintained an attitude of neutrality, the sympathy of the Court and the Government, being with Prussia. Prussia emerges forth as the victor. The King of Prussia is proclaimed German Emperor on French soil, at Versailles. France is bereft of two provinces, Alsace- Lorrbaine. She is crushed by a stagger- ing indemnity. And all the while we looked on. The Bismarckian policy had triumphed. Prussia virtually becomes Germany. The same policy is kept, up. Russia is growing in power. But. she can only expand eastwardly at the, expense of ¡ other powers. She presses hard on Ger- many, and Austria and the Balkan States. The growth of Russia eastwarrdly is a dire menace to the stability and safety of the German Empire. On the west of Germany lies France waiting anxiously to retrieve her fallen fortunes, yearning for the opportunity to have her lost provinces restored to her. What is Bismarck's policy under the cir- cumstances? He maintains a policy of apparent friendship with Great Britain. But in all the Courts of Europe he lets no opportunity pass by to create a spirit of distrust, of hatred and malice towards England. He sows seeds of discord be- tween Russia and Great Britain—suggests in every policy of England in Eastern Europe a menace to Russia. Bismarck distracts the attention of Russia by creat- ing in her, a fear of Great Britain. The same policy is applied to France- E'ngland is her real enemy says Bismarck, and so France is incited to, keep up her policy of pin-pricking the British Lion. But the pin-pricking reaches at last, a critical point--the culminating pointa point which demands decided action on the part of Great Britain. I refer to the Marchand expedition and to the Fashoda incident. The Fashoda incident in con- nection with Kitchener's victorious Soudan campaign which crushed the M'ahdist power—the action of Great Britain—the brave and patriotic action of Lord Rosebery, who was then Prime Minister—^brought France to her senses. She saw that the game of twisting the b Lion's tail might, be highly diverting,, but as is always the case with playing with lions, it is a most dangerous game. Since those days of Fashoda-happily pa,ssed a tremendous change has taken place in the relation of France and Great Britain. The great enemy of the peace of Europe has been Germany. This has been proved up to the hilt, long before the absolute proof afforded by the stunning; interview of the Kaiser with his un-named Elnglish friend, which was published in the "Daily Telegraph." I have just; said that Germany has been and is still the disturber of the peace of E'urope. Now just follow me, gentle- men, for one minute. Germany to-day is only a. very much magnified Prussia. Prussia started on her mission by gaining the mastery and pre-dominancy over the German States. Then having accomplish- ed this by her victory over France, Ger- many begins her greater policy, of superiority and predominance in Eiurope. This was Bismarck's policy. With her huge standing army, aided by the cun- ning, duplicit, but masterly diplomacy of Bismarck she fairly made good her claim. She reduced France to imbecility,—to the position of a second-rate p,ower-by her constant threats of a. second war on her. She bullied and cajoled her by turns, always instilling into the minds of all Frenchmen itihat Britain was the enemy. When the present Kaiser came to the throne Bismarck was dismissed from office. The crafty and unscrupulous old States- man found out to his cost that his apt pupil had learnt his lesson of Absolutism only too well. You will all, gentlemen, remember Tenpiel's famous cartoon of "Dropping the Pilot" in "Punch." With the dropping of the "Pilot" Germany started on another and a still more aid- venturous career. No longer content with having made herself the paramount power in Oentiral Empire, and the chief and most powerful miliitary nation on the Con- tinentA Germany starts on her ambitious career of being a world-power, and of 'be L being chief even there. This has brought her into direct conflict with Great Britain. And this hrtings us I think: into the con- sideration of our present, position in rela- tion to all other countries. From a sentimental point of view much has been said and written as to affinity of races. The English are Anglo Saxons, and therefore Teutons. The German peo- ple are Teutons. Therefore the ideals of both English and Germans must be identical. This everlasting talk of Anglo- Saxon as applied to the British people, the inhabitants and descendants, of those who have lived in these British Isles and who have made the name of Britain in the modern world what Rome was in the'old is worse than arrant nonsense. The British people are a, composite race, repre- senting a union of Keltic and Teutonic elements. It is the predominating of the spiritual character of the Kelt in our peo- ple, proving its superiority over the Teutonic element, thaiti has given us ibe mastery over the stolid German. For let us remember where German poets and German musicians have appeared they have always sprung from that part of the country where Keltic blood prevails. In our own land, if we want a term to describe all the British Isles, then it is not Anglo-Saxon, but. Anglo-Keltic. L,et us look at our position to other countries from a commercial point of view. Great Britain was for a long; period the one great manufacturing country the work- shop of the world. Our manufactured goods were found in all parts of the world. The gold of other nations flowed into our coffers. This lead the politicians of the John Bright type—the Birmingham. School as it was called—to say—that it made no difference who ruled the world so long as we commanded the markets of the world. They started the mischievous cry of "Perish India," and that the Colonies were only a great incumbrance—and that the sooner they became independent the better for the mother country. But wiser counsels prevail to-day. We believe: in the federation of the Eimpjire. We are believers in Greater Britain in that Britain over the seas, the heart and home of that great lion-like race being here, To-day alas we find we are not the only manufacturing people. We have rivals— successful rivals-in every part of the world. Our own country has ceased to be the only workshops of the world. Re- taliation has set in with a vengeance, and foreign countries are dumping; in their goods upon us at an alarming rate, which bodes ill for the future of our commercial welfare. Our commercial supremacy in the markets of the world is most assuredly a thing of the past. We have been beaten clean out by other nations in many places, lost our trade, lost our influence. Even the term "M!ade in Germany" stamped on imported German-made goods has only served the purpose of being an excellent advertisement for such articles. Commercially the situation has changed. We no longer hold the laurel of supre- macy in the markets of the world. Let us not hoodwink ourselves. Let us look facts straight in the face. There are very few markets in the world, practically none, where we do not find keen 'competitors. Other countries have start- ed on a manufacturing career. Take the iron and steel industry in which we used toO be supreme. To-day we find our- selves driven out by by Belgium, France, Germany, and the United States. Not only out of their own respective countries, but out, of others also. The superior energy displayed by the foreign manu- facturer in the prosecution of his business may in a measure account for his success. Perhaps also the lethargic and antiquated methods pursued by our own may in a large degree account for our being: beaten. May I illustrate what I mean by a few concrete examples. Some years ago a, company was formed in South Wales, in the neighbourhood of Swansea, for the manufacture of steel. In erecting the new plant they needed huge steel girders. Where did the Company get them? Not from a British firm, but a Belgian. What was the reason? It was because they could buy the girders cheaper from a, Belgian firm than a British. Another instance. When the Barry Railway was being built the Directors were anxious to procure a peculiar type of locomotive. They sent specifications to the various British engineering works, asking them if they could supply them with the type they needed. The reply was 'No,' they could not,—that the Company would have to take the kind of engine they manufactured or be without any. The Barry Railway Company turned their eyes across the Atlantic. They made their request known to the Riogers Engineering Company in Pater son, New Jersey. The immediate re- sponse was, "Yes," they were prepared to turn out any kind of engine, the BarrTy Railway Company might re- quire, provided they sent their zz specifi- cations. And the Barry Railway Com- pany have continued to get their locomo- tives from America. During the great engineeringl srtike in E'ngland some years ago, the Midland Railway Company were obliged to go to the United States for their engines. Let me give you one more instance. At the close of the Soudan War, bridges were needed by the Egyptian Government. The Government contract went to an American firm. During: the Boer War, Lord Kitchener advertized for steel igirders for the erection of bridges, to be by a stipulated time. The matter was urgent. The British firms could not comply with the conditions, and so Lord Kitchener was obliged again to go to America. We used to be supreme in the cotton trade. It is true that Lancashire still turns out and probably wil continue owing to its special climatic conditions, the, finer grade of cotton cloth, But, to-day alas! we are not the sole suppliers of the cotton goods of the world. The looms of New England and Alabama are driving us out, of America. The cotton trade thrives in France and Germany. And who would have believed it a few years ago,? India is ffilaJnufaCituring cotton goods for herself now. The cotton industry is growing in size and importance in Calcutta. Go to a hardware shop, and enquire, where the carpenter's and joiner's tools come from. You will find that a large percentage comes from the United States. And this is also true of agricultural im- plements. It, is of course a well-known fact that these same articles can be bought cheaper here than in America itself. Our country is the dumping ground for foreign made articles, from America and Ger- many, cutlery, mowing and reaping machines, pianos, organs, sewing machines, joiner's tools of all kinds, gramophones. And I might, go on adding to the list without limit. But, I must not tire you. This fact we must, however, realize that not only are we losing our hold in foreign markets, but we are losing our trade even at, home, beaten even here, by foreign made goods, dumped at our very doors. Remember I am merely stat- ing facts. I am not to-night prepared to suggest remedies. We have at last waked up to the fact that we are. hard pressed in the market of the world by foreign competitors. And further that our rufchless opponent is Ger- many. German manufactures and German trade are flourishing, while ours are lanquishing, German policy is bent on beating us clean out, of all foreign market, and even dut of our own Colonial markets. ;j- x. ) To carry on vigorously her foreign trade I she has embarked on ship-building, by the aid of Government grants, on a tre- mendous scale. Germany, which is a nation of land- lubbers, with only one good port, has been transforming her people into sea-men. She has built great Atlantic fleets which have entered successfully into competi- tion with our own great Atlantic Com- panies. The C'unard and White Star and other Companies have all suffered from this German competition. Ships, Colonies and Empire have been the magic words used at all German elections. At the bidding of the German Emperor the Navy League started into being. It has grown into enormous proportions, having branches over all the world except in the United States and Russia. May I quote to you the words of Mr Ellis Barker in that illuminating book of his called "Modern Germany." These are Mr Ellis Barker's words: "Owing to the skilful organisation of the Germany Navy League and to the most liberal imperial, royal, and official patron- age bestowed on it, the members of the League rapidly increased in number, especially in the large towns. But the villages were not to be neglected. In order to enrol the country people as well, an army of tra;vellingi lecturers were engaged by the Navy League, and a num- ber of moving-picture machines were pur- chased^ which all the year round travel through the districts allotted to them, and bring the idea of the German Navy to the door of the peasants who le far away from, in remote rural or mountainous districts. From the statistics published by the Navy League, it appears that, on an average, one hundred and fifty thousand (1,50,000) people attend every month these moving; picture per- formances. "In order to strengthen the local Navy Society 2. frequent social meetings take place. To make these a success the cen- tral office of the Navy League issues suit- able instructions for holding such meet- ings, supplies lists of lecturers and their topics, sends out lectureres and theatrical plays written for promoting the objects of the League. "Besides, the Navy League has pub- lished a, 'hook of popular naval songs, which contains no less than sixty-seven (67) songs on the subject of "Our future lies upon the water." "The German Navy League has not only individual members, but it admits whole societies, clubs, etc., to membership. Even a number of town corporations are members of the German Navy League. "Apart from the four thousand branches of the Navy League in Germany." Just mark there are no less than 4000 branches of the Navy League throughout Germany. Apart from these the German Navy League has about one hundred branches in foreign countries" "excepting the United States and Russia," and German Consuls abroad are, in many cases, the founders and chairmen of these naval associations. These foreign naval associations contri- buted during the first ten months of 1905 considerably more than £ 2000 to, the C'en- tral Association of the Navy League in Berlin an amount which was larger than the takings of the British Navy League in the whole British Empire during that year. "And it is remarkable that the largest individual contribution sent that year to Berlin came from Cape Town (the capital of our own Cape Colony in South Africa). They sent contributions in January amounting to 2000 marks, in June 10,200 marks, and in October 1543 marks, all in the year 1905, amounting altogether to zn J6700, all from Cape Town." Is not this I may ask an eloquent fact containing food for much earnest reflection on our part? Mr Barker goes on to remark in con- nection with this: "It is certainly re- markable that so much enthusiasm for the creation of an overwhelmingly German Navy should be found in Cape Town, in the capital of one of our own Colonies, and it is perhaps :allowable to surmise that the larger part, of this contribution came from the pockets of South African Boers, and not from German Colonists, especially as the contributions sent from all the other British Colonies and from Great Britain itself are exceedingly small, the largest contribution from Great Britain being that of Glasgow, which sent B30 10s. to Berlin during 1905, while London only sent R,6 8s. The German Navy League is in the hands of the highest German aristocrats and officials. It is in a way a private í association, but it is an association under the direct influence and constant control I of the Emperor and of the, highest offi- cials. The policy of the Navy League, is in short, the policy of the German Emperor. In 1907 it had a membership of almost, one million. Its annual income amounts to £ 50,000. Its organ-the monthly journal-has a circulation of no less than 370,000 copies, whereas the combined circulation of the four great German papers amounts to only 152,000 copies. Against whom is this over- whelming Navy to be directed? The character and style of the ships built tell their own tale. They have not been built for long sea. voyages, but on the contrary for short, voyages., tremendous speed being the grea,t object attained at. In short, gentlemen, the Emperor's illuminating interview throws a lurid light on the whole situation. Britain thwarts German ambitions, stands in the way of her progress everywhere. There- fore she is to be crushed, destroyed, and Germany i.s to become the natural heir of all her greatness, wealth and power. We are, however, now very much alive to the true condition of things. No longer play- ing foolishly into the hands of Germany we have ceased to be used as a convenient tool for her own advancement. And what has been the result. We have a friendly understanding with France. We have a friendly understanding with Russia. Germany finds her game has been found out, and she bitterly complains we are A" _A" I plotting for her isolation. France is our 1 natural ally. Germany we regret to con- natural ally. Germany we regret to con- fess it is our sworn enemy. With Russia 1 there is no reason whatever why we should not long ago have come to a clear under- standing. In view of the present condition of things, it behoves Britain as of old to cul- tivat,e, the spirit of confidence in her own strength and destiny, of strong and resolute determination to hold together the glorious and mighy empire placed in her hands, fully believing that we have a great and mighty mission to accomplish in the world.






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