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THE PEACE CRUSADE.] ,& LETTER FROM THE POPE. t "— M By W. T. STEAD. 1 The Crusade, which started with the benediction of Lord Wolseley, Commander-in-Chief, has now received a very friendly communication from our other General, Lord Roberts. "Fighting Bob" does not quite understand the drift of the Crusade, for he imagines that it is a movement in favour of general disarmament, which it is not; but the Crusaders are glad to have received from him an. emphatic declaration that there is nothing in the programme of the movement or its organ which in any way jars upon the susceptibilities of a soldier,, His letter appears in this week's number of War Against War. Never was there a peace meeting that wa so much in sympathy with all that is best in the defensive forces of the country. At Leamington, for instance, last week, the chair was taken by the chief local representative of the Navy League, and at Ripon the resolution was seconded by Mr. Carpenter, the son of a Bishop, who is the organising secretary of the Navy League in York- shire. Not only so, but at Lambeth, on Sunday, Mr. Stead, in appealing for volunteers for service in the Crusade, declared that he was going to preach Tommy Atkins, and that he wished for nothing better than that the Crusaders should fight for peace with only one-tenth of the same devotion and discipline which characterised the British soldier when on a regular campaign. So far as the navy is concerned, it is more and more clear to the people at the head of affairs that the Russian Emperor's proposal is the very best that England has ever received from friend or foe. A good many people have tried to make game of the Emperor's suggestion that everything should be done to make war as humane as possible. But, as a matter of fact, these humane suggestions are more warmly supported by the Governments of Germany and Austria than any other items in the programme. So far as England is concerned, they are all to her advantage, for if the Czar succeeded in forbidding the use of submarine boats one of the greatest dangers to the British Navy would disappear. The great event of the week in connection with the International Crusade has been the publication of the Pope's solemn approval of the movement. Many good Protestants dislike the Pope but the stoutest of all Protestants is glad to have his help in a cause such as this. Without the Pope it was Impossible to secure the hearty support of the Catholic populations in Belgium, France, Germany, Austria, and Italy. Now that the Pope has spoken through his Secretary of State, Cardinal Rampolla, it will be the duty of all good Catholics to give the Crusade their hearty support, for the Pope has now publicly recognised, by the autograph letter of his Secretary of State, that the Crusaders are effectively co-operating with the Holy See in the interests of peace. A member of the General Committee, who has just returned from Berlin, reports that at the German Foreign Office they are much more interested and earnest about making the Peace Conference a success than they are in this country. The German Emperor is said to have only one regret, and that is that he did not issue the Rescript himself but as the Czar got in ahead of him he intends to go one better than the Czar, if possible, at the Conference. This is good news for everyone, and nothing will tend to confirm the Emperor in his good resolutions so much as the popular demonstra- tions which are Asking place throughout this country. it is not generally known that Mr. Herbert Gladstone is interested in a business way, with Sir James Kitson and others, in a great petroleum industry in the south of Russia, and he has written a very interesting letter to the secretary of the Crusade, in which he says that he is quite sure the Russian Government is most favourably dis- posed to' the extension of British industrial enter- prise in the Russian Empire, and that his own experience enables him to speak as to the courteous and friendly consideration with which the British investor meets. Wonderful stories are told as to, the dividends paid by some of the English, Belgian, and French companies in Southern Russia. At a time when people find it difficult to get a safe 4 per cent. it makes the mouth water to hear of companies which are paying 35 per cent. and 40 per cent. I am more and more convinced that the real, permanent and abiding influence of the peace movement will lie in the recruiting of volunteers, who will undertake to pay Id. a week for twelve weeks, and obtain two volunteers and collect signa- tures to the memorial. This can be done by any- one in country districts where the population is too scattered to hold a public meeting. Any reader who wants to help cannot do better than send up his shilling in stamps to the Crusade Headquarters, 9, Arundel-street, Strand, and get his badge, forms of petition, and enrol him or her- self as a member. But time is passing, and the sooner it is done the better. Mr. W. S. Caine, who has just been speaking up and down the West of Scotland, reports that everywhere the feeling of the people is right. He says: "Your Crusade has already begun to walk. It will 'soon run and gallop." The list of meetings already arranged for—town's meetings almost all— is reaching portentous length. London is generally the despair of all organisers of great movements. To stir this leviathan city from its lethargy, to rouse it in behalf of some great cause, is an undertaking which too often proves incapable of achievement. The public opinion of the capital makes itself apparent reluctantly. More often than not it is hidden by that frothy senti- ment which takes its colour from the music-halls- but it exists. This Crusade of Peace is giving a new demonstration of the fact. Battersea has been followed by Paddington and Bermondsey, and by Lambeth. At each place the utmost zeal and enthusiasm has been displayed. There has been no finer gathering than that at Paddington. Sir George Fardell, the local Conservative member, ■peaking from the chair, declared with conviction that he could recollect no movement which has received such general support from the public at large. Had the weather been favourable the meeting would probably have been the most striking demon- stration of public opinion that has been seen in Paddington for years. Under adverse circum- stances it was notable alike in its size and in its enthusiasm. No town is more closely in accord with the senti- ment of London on most public questions than Brighton. That watering-place responds, as it were, instinctively, to the lead of the West End of London. If possible, that circumstance gives an added significance to the magnificent demonstration in the Dome. Fifteen hundred persons were present. Sir J. Blake occupied the chair, while the principal resolution was moved by Sir Joseph Ewart. These two gentlemen are strong political opponents, and lead the public opinion in Brighton From opposite camps. On the subject of the Czar's Rescript they are, however, in accord, and the nrest of armaments movement has found no more tealous supporters in Brighton. The meeting of Conservative and Radical on the platform at Brighton is but typical of what is happening in every part of the country. Men who have no other interest in common, who on many of the public juestions of the day are diametrically opposed, are working harmoniously together for the furtherance af the great cause of international peace, and meet In the sympathy of a common purpose.

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