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Political Notes


Political Notes By F. W. Jowett, M.P. ARCHAIC LANGUAGE. If those who arc responsible for the precious- produetions which according to traditional usage are called Kind's Speeches were wise in their day and generation. tJiey would quietly chop out of the habir of using language that might have been appropriate in the days of William the Con- queror hut is out of place now. It is sheer non- sense, for instance, to say in the name of the King, that Parliament is summoned because it is imperative tor Me to .summon Parliament. Also, the phrases I and My Allies," My people," My Government." are not phrases that can be fittingly used in the public docu- ments of a democratic State, and. to refer to My forces in the field when the said forces are supposed to he making the world sftfe for Democracy is not the way to carry conviction as to the sincerity of the persons responsible for compulsory missions on which conscripted forces are encased. On the other hand, speaking of the Address in reply to the Kind's j Speech, which is annually debated in the House of Commons, to offer humble thanks to YOI" Majesty for the Gracious Speech is no pa¡1' of the business for which representatives of the people are elected. A less slavishly ser- vile text for Parliamentary speeches on public affairs might be found that would l, more in harmony with the spirit and intention of Parlia- mentary government. PROPAGANDISt TO ENEMY NATIONS. Viscount Northcliffe, who. as plain Mr. Harmsworth. rose to fame and fortune on the popubrity of Answers ha? been o?ere<! and has accepted the position of Director of Propa- gamb in Kiiemy Countries. |Tis duty, so he has himself stated, will be to use his knowledge of the enemy countries to direct the propaganda for the dissemination of full anc accurate reports of important speeches, statements of war aims and other matter among the people of the Cen- tral Powers and their allies. As, however,, the versions of important speeches and writings of public ilieli in enemy countries, published by Lord Xorthcliffe's pipers for the information of the British public, are frequently neithei inil no1- accurate, the German and Av.tri-ii Govern ITTr, wirl. no ..iolrbt, by publishing » lew se- let-ted exaui|)les taken from the Northcliffe Press, be able to give the people iii enemy coun- tries some idea of what they may expect from the new Director of Propaganda, and so discount in advance the effect of his activities, further- more, when the new Director ventures on the delicate ground of Allied war aims the enemy Governments will doubtless reply by re-publish- ing the secret treaties we have heard so much abort recently, and, if they do, there will be no need for furt her comment oil the matter. SHAMED AT LAST. I. At last the House of Commons has been shamed into making a protest against Mr. Lloyd George's treatment of an opponent in debate. I refer to the incident that took' place a week ago when • Lloyd George said in answer to an en- quiry'put to him by Mr. Asipiith that he bogged his right honourable friend not to for information winch the enemy '"would gladly pav large sums of money to get—thereby suggesting that Mr. Asquith was asking for the publication of military information that would be used against our own forces in the field. Of course. Mr. Asquith had made no enouirv wli. ell justified Mr. Li ovd George's suggestion, and it was a mere debating trick on Mr. Llonl George's part to implv that he had. Mr. Lloyd George was obvious!v surprised at the hostile demonstration mode against him on account of his unfairness. He did not know that lie had done anything -it was lllllhWrl for him to do. aiid, in faf-t.hf-bad done nothing more than repeat ins customary trick. But Mr. A«quith is an eN-P_ri'.ne Minister, and he has many friends and. political supporters in the House of Commons, and it is not ?mT<' the same thing to play a trick on him as it is t'? ta)\c advanTn? of otbo' and ?ss pow?rf'd persons.. The Prime Minister will probably take j thv, fact into account in future. QUITE TYPICAL. As J have said Mr. Llo.x d George regularly debate as he adopted in reply to Mr. Asquith on the occasion when he failed so badly. What he does is to pretend to opponent's case by means of suggestion rather than ?y means of quotation or proof. But it isahvaysano?ttrnsfoustrnvp?ty of an opponent's case that Mr. I?oyd George pt<-?"i?w!)?n it suits his purpose, and on this false ground he proceeds to convey the impres- sion that his opponent is devoid of patriotism, of honesty, or of spnsp. or, to cover him with ridi- cule if is fool. I CLAP-TRAP METHODS. j. J. Lloyd George not only employs the cheap flap-trap methods to which I have referred in }'eply to his political opponents in Parliament, He has so littlt, respect for his countrv as to speak i of it to the world a.t large, in reply to enemy statesmen, after the saiiie style and man- ner In the same speech in which he replied no )e?s unjustly, to the Austrian .Foreign Secrel tary. Count Czernm, and to the German Chan- cellor, Count HertHn?. The former (Count Czernm) he 8uggeted. quite m,¡tndy. had re- fused I to discuss a single definite question raispd oy President Wilson. although in point of fact Count Czermn had carefully replied to all the questions raised by President Wilson, and on several of the most important questions ex- pressed his unqualified agreement with Presi- dent Wilson. NOT STRAIGHT. I In reply to Count Hertling, Mr. Lloyd George deliberatelx twisted a remark to the effect that fi-ec,doill of the seas would be more easilv secured if I ii resid! ent AA ilson could persuade Great Britain to give up her fortified naval bases into a demand (which lie emphasised bv saying that it was made for the first time-, that all" the British coaling stations throughout the world would have to be given up. Mr. Lloyd George Knows very well that Count Hertling made no ii(,,Ii demand," and that the reference to Gih- aitai, Mnltn aud otlnfr naval bases was but a retort to Mr. Lloyd George's extravagant claim that the Central Powers must give up Alsace, Posen. Galioii. Trentino, Transylvania, Syria, Palestine, Arabia and Mesopotamia. Mr. Lloyd George's reply to Count Hertling and to Count Czernin, when compared with that of President W I lon. reported on the same day, reads badly. It is not straight. PROUD AND FLATTERED. I Mr. Lloyd George is flattered. He is proud. The Frenc h representatives at Versailles were not only willing to hand over the defence of the French (?p)ta! and the most ,'ita! pads of F rance to the British Army, br theA demanded n<? that the British Army she ta!? less, 1m l noL tliit the Fti-itisli !1(, .(1 less, l?lit I I{'an"that Great Britain is hoin? ]?it with the dog to hold. The soldiers, who wiH have to do th,- ho ding wiH be pleased to know t!m- .] r, ?joyd (;(n,?. is proud and flattered with MIS part of the job. CLUMSY FORGERIES. I ¡ Mr. J. K. Ma.cdonald did well to challenge, in the House of Commons, the authenticity of the series letters that appeared in the press re- cently, the object of which was to prove that the Bolshevik leaders were in German pay. The letters were said to have h?n suppli?j bv an anonymous informer, and the most damaging of the statements contained in them was to "the effect that the German Imperial Bank had cir- cularised G?'man ?anks in SwitxpWand instruct- ing them to pay onnnutod sums to nine pro- pagandists in Russia." The circulars were dated March 2nd. Lenin was one of the nine and Trotsky was another. Kameneff was also named. Ihat the letters are clumsy forgeries is clear for Lenin did not return to Russia lIntil April Trotsky was in the United States in March and did not reach Russia until midsum- mer. Kamaneff was an exile in Siberia. I A SINISTER ASPECT. I 1 he removal of Su' A\ tiliam Robertson from his- po^t as Chief of Staff threatened, at one time, to bring a bout a serious political cr sis, and. possjbjy, the destruction of the present I)it,ll I decision, however, to accept service in another capacity has smoothed matters over lor the Government and the crisis seems to have passed without sc!-tr,?,-?u}t. l!-si,.)uh))? tn?'?ol?rthntt?- ?pttT! t!?(??,,) ?)?. ?,i,? ? the House (,f Cott,Ioll,,1,1(,Il ,]I flip I ml'nt in /'("nnl rnih,?, !,? notL?n? ?L?. ?r.?nd.. Only ?.?n.on'?rsof t? Government woo are acquainted with the facts concerning the dispute 011 military policy which has led to So; illiam Robertson's removal from his post are m a position to jutl^re the military issue. But there is a serious constitutional issue involved in the case, and that is whether it is true, as has been staled, that the press has. been used as a too! 1w persons in authority for pur- poses which are not disclosed to piaiiiiiiiielit it- self. Tunc after time attacks in the Northcliffe press have been followed by changes in the Gov- ernment and in the command of the forces, and if is impossible to resist the conclusion that the dnpction of puMic polioy. as wpH as of the direc- tion of military operations, is passing into th? hands of Lord Northcliffe. and this w?h thf'1 connivance of the Prime Minister. It is this '.? pcf't 01" T h r'case that :ss) mstp)'an( menacing.) aspect of the case that is sinister and menacing. — ;—

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