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A LOOK ROUND. The" Commonwealth of Nations." 1) SENTINEL."] WE have a picture this week ol the King, dressed as an Ad- miral, receiving the Prime Ministers of the British Dominions across the seas on board the battleship Britannia." Of course, it is a fancy picture, but it conveys an idea to us which we ought to remember. That is that we British people live and move and have our being by the Freedom of the Seas, and that. in spite of all that Germany can do, the Freedom of the Seas is so little interfered with that the representatives of the Colonies can come here as and when they please, to take counsel with our own statesmen 011 the things which concern us all. That is, for the moment, at any rate, on the conduct of the war. When Germany plunged the world into misery in 1914, one of the chief calculations of her War Lords was that, if Great Britain joined in, her Colonies would break away from her and set up as independent States. Germany has been woefully deceived in this. So far from breaking away, the Colonies have b drawn closer to the Mother Country. They have poured out their blood and treasure in the common cause. And, what is more, the great independent nation which broke away nearly one hundred and fifty years ago has now drawn closer to the old Mother Coun- try than at any time during all those years. It was some miscalculation for a great Empire mtit for dominion or downfall." was it not? Now, why did these free peoples, which dwell under the British flag, stand by us in this splendid manner? It was just bccausc they are free, and their freedom is protected by the Frce- dom of the Seas which Britain estab- lish over a hundred years ago, and has since preserved. Sea-power and free- dom go together, and have gone to- gether throughout all history. The sea is the great pathway for intercourse in time of peace it is an impassable bar- rier, except for the nation which has the mastery of it. in time of war. Be- hind this barrier, or, rather, behind the ships which guard it, nations can develop their own life in their own way. They do not need to be drilled and ruled by a despotic government as they do when, just beyond their land frontiers, there is a jealous or ambitious Power on the watch for a chance to attack them. When would-be conquerors of the world, like Xerxes, Philip of Spain, Napoleon, or the Kaiser, march their armies through ravaged lands to the coast, the navy which has the mastery of the seas says to them, Thus far, and no farther! That is our position to-day. and the peoples of Canada, Australia,. New Zealand, and South Africa know quite well that on the power of the British Navy to hold the seaways depends their own freedom from (lernian conquest. W e talk about the British EJlI- pire," and it is a convenient term. But, in point of fact, the realm of King George was better described by General Smuts as the British Common- wealth of Nations." What is a Com- monwealth"? Tt is a partnership to secure the common well-being—the well-being of all its members. All must have a voice in saying ill what that well- being consists. Great Britain does not want to interfere in the life of her children over-seas, and she takes no tribute from them. She flings the broad shield of her sea power over them, and leaves them free to develop their own life. But we have found out especially since the Germans threat- ened us with subjection to their ways, which are not our ways—that there is a common life and a common well- being in which we are all concerned. That is why, both this year and last, the Prime Ministers from over-seas have defied the threat of the U-boats, and have come to take counsel together. They and the peoples they represent are with us to the end. They see, even more clearly than we do, that if there is to be peace and justice on earth, the Prussian system must be utterly over- thrown and that the British way of life, which is the way of liberty and goodwill, must prevail on earth instead of the German. Therefore, they will fight by our side and we by theirs until the final victory is won.





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