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11 MRS- BRUCE GLASiER AND…

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11 MRS- BRUCE GLASiER AND THE GERMANS. CROMWELL S MODEL ARMY PRESSED MEN. NO UNITED STATES OF EUROPE POSSIBLE WHILE ONE NATION REMAINS MILITARIST. To the Editor of the "Labour Voice." Sir.—I want to make it quite clear that my differences with Mrs. Bruce Glasier rest on matters connected with the war only, and I gladly pay my acknowledgment of the years of un- selfish service she and her husband have given the Labour movement. After the war all parties in the Lab- our movement must work together, and that we shall do if hotheads like Mr Russell Williams in Mrs. Glaeier's camp, and Mr Sexton in mine, can be kept under control. Let me deal first with Mrs. Bruce Glasier's argument that it is no good recognising that mutual aid is the divine law unless we act on the know- ledge. There are so few issues in life that present a choice between absolute right and absolute wrong, and war isn't one of them. Sbe and I believe that the State is as much an enemy of the criminal as the criminal is of the State. We believe that the way to deal with the criminal is to remove the con- ditions that breed the criminal. But suppose that while walking down the Strand at Swansea, Wb saw a group of criminals trying to %urder a police- man. We should put aside for the moment our ideas about the main causes of crime, and go to the aid of the policeman. For the period and the purpose of the crisis our theories (wound enough in themselves) would be useless, and it would be folly to hold a public meeting to propagate our views until after we had rescued the policeman from the criminals' clutches. I do not suggest a parallel between the criminals and policeman on the one hand, and Germany and ourselves on the other. The crisis is my point, and I say that only prompt and vigor- ous action can be effective. If we do not down the Germans, we shall allow the crime of Belgium to go un- punished, we shall leave France, the home of liberal and Socialist ideals, prey to a ruthless enemy, and we shall have conscription (which Mrs. Glasier abhors) fastened on us, not by our militarists, but by our militarists plus the Prussian militarists. Let me take another illustration to enforce my contention that a crisis necessitates the temporary suppression of fundamental principles. "Under no circumstances will I take life" is a maxim of those extreme individualists who call themselves the No Conscrip- tion Fellowship. Suppose a member of the Fellowship were aboard the "Persia" which was torpedoed in the Mediterranean, and that he had the good fortune to be fished out of the sea. into a small boat heavily laden with women and children. Suppose, further, that one additional passenger in the boat would imperil the lives of all aboard. If two or three Lascars, wild with terror, swam up, and tried to clamber in, would the member of the No-Conscription Fellowship knock them on the head with an oar? His maxim would go by the board in any case, for he "would have to take the lives of tho few Lascars, or sacrifice the lives of all the women and hild- ren. Crises do make a material differ- ence to preconceived notions, however well-grounded, and Mrs. Glasier can- not deny it. Mrs. Glasier's reference to Russian militarism is only a debating society point. Our men in the House of Com- mons would gladly accept the aid of Liberals and Tories for a measure to do away with unemployment, although they know that on the morrow they may be fighting them, bitterly on an- other issue. The actual menace of the moment is Prussian militarism: the possible danger of the future is Russian militarism. We have to deal with the former now; we can tackle the latter when it materialises. On the question of British and Prussian militarism, all I have to say i8 that ours is to theirs as a common cold to pneumonia. If Mrs. Glasier challenges this statement, I will readily produce the facts. Mrs. Glasier shows a lack of sense of proportion when she says that "if in the belief that it is possible to cast out evj1 by t-vil, the British people suffer t hemselves to become a con- script ration, we shall soon see every evil thiag in Russia copied here? Whnt Absolute monarchy, and the knout. logril suppression of trade unions, transportation for life of prominent agitators like Mrs. Bruce Glasier, and humble ones like myself? Stuff and nonsense! Not with con- scription fifty times over would our people submit to it. On two occasions in historv when Anglo-Saxon liberty has been at stake, have we submitted to partial con- scription. In my John Richard Green I read that nearly all the infantry in Cromwell's New Model army were pressed men, and we know that Lin- coln crushed slavery with the aid of forced men. After conscription had served its purpose, it was in both cases discarded. Mrs. Bruce Glasier says that if we had a majority of men in Parliament with the will to work for a United States of Europe, "I am certain there would be no war now." I am equally certain there would have been war. If we had five hundred Ramsay Mac- donalds in the House they could not have prevented the war. One Europe- an nation can no more bring about the U.S.E. than one swallow can make a summer. Nay more, if five out, of the six great European Powers were de- sirous of peace, it would be in the power of one, devoted to militarist ideals, to bring about war. We simply could not help ourselves. Possibly after this war a beaten and chastened Germany will help to form a United States of Europe. She cer- tainly will not if she is victorious. It was a war which made the United States of America, and let not Mrs. Glasier forget, a second war was neces- sary to maintain it. I come to what Mrs. Glasier de- scribes as her main suggestion—that the only power that can overcome the II militarism of Germany is the anti- militarism of Germany. I agree, but we alone can create the necessary psychological conditions for the Social Democrats to oust the Junkers. Let the Kaiser march home through the Brandenburg gate a victor, and the Socialists are done for, in the sense of being able to defeat their home enemy. The Prussian victory against the French in 1870 is the main reason (pale Bebel) why the Socialists, with their magnificent party organisation and formidable numbers, have ab- solutely failed to win electoral re;, form. If the Kaiser wins, the majority of the German people will feel eternally indebted to the Junkers for enabling them to withstand "a world of enemies, and no political dynamite yet discovered will blast them out of their secure place in popular esteem. Our boys in the trenches are better workers for peace than the I.L.P. at home. I am not one of those who decry the I.L.P. entirely. In some ways they have done good work, and in others they have done badly. They have made 80 many mistakes, such as that resolution condemning the Lab- our M.P.'s for recruiting, that they now do more harm than good to any cause which they advocate. The trutil of this statement wa,4 exemplified in the House last week, when Mr Ellis Griffith torpedoed Mr Anderson's speech. If Mr J. H Thomas, who has worked hard to maintain the volun- tary system, had been put up to move the rejection of the Bill, he would not have presented such an easy target. to Mr Ellis Griffiths' devastating epi- grams. And I make bold to prophesy that the voice of the I.L.P. will be jus puny and futile in influence when peace comes as it is now. Contrast their position with that of the French Socialists at the end of the war. What a chance you have thrown away, Mrs. Glasier, and mv comrades of the I.L.P.! Yours* fraternally, J LODQE SECRETARY. *P.S.Mrs. Glasier will probably re- member that Bebel, more than once, told the French representatives at In- ternational Socialist Congresses, that it was the Prussian armies, which, by defeating Napoleon III., gave them the Third Republic. "It would be easier to shift the Ger- mans out of France and Belgium than to get me to abide by the law. I never have done so and never will," said Wm. White, a Treorky man, who was charged at Pent/re Police Court on Mon- day with a breach of his probation. Police-sergeant Evans stated that he saw defendant in the Princess of Wales Hotel, Treorky, with a pint of beer before him. Witness told him to leave, and he said "Let me have mv pint first." Fined 40s., or one month's imprisonment.

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