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NOTES OF THE DAY. Prom our London Correspondent. THE LANSDOWNE LETTER. I do not remember a greater ferment in political circles than that which has been created by Lord Lansdow.ne' s letter on the war. This letter is an event and it will probably stand out as a landmark in the history of the war. Its publication has. aroused fierce passions aulong our "jusquau' -boutists,"—men who, regard- less of all that lias happened, want the gaim busiaess of killing to go on indefi- nitely in the hope that somehow, some- time, somewhere, a military decision will be reached. Cooler minds take a differ- ent view. They see no prospect of a crushing Allied victory on land, and are asking whether the time has not arrived te take stock of the whole situation. Our object in this. war. they reason, is not the annihilation or the dismemberment of Germany, but certain very definite aims, such as the restoration of Belgium. Has not the time come when we ought to try to ascertain whether those aims can now be realized by negotiation ? Germany has been baulked of her arrogant plans of conquest; she is suffering grievously, and her spectacular victory in Italy has not repressed the passionate longiag of bar people for peace. Arc not, argue these reasoners, the conditions favourable to some attempt at negotiation, or is the war to continue until all Europe is plunged into the abyss of bankruptcy and ruin ? CLEARINC THE AIR. I To men holding these views the Lans- (town-o letter comes like the first faint flush of dawn after a long night of black- ness and terror. "At last," said a pr#nsinent man to me, "the still sman roiee of reason is making itself heard through the raging storm of fierce pa»oions. Wt are getting back to *Mity. What effect this momentous letter will have on the continent it is impossible to predict. For my part I can- not see that it compromises the Allied oase in any respect. Its plea for a clear statement of AAlied War aims is irresist- ible. It will be interesting to note its reception in Germany. If the Germans, under the influence of the collapse of Russia and the Austro-German victories in Italy, treat it with disdain in the ex- pectation that they can yet obtain a military decision we will know where we are, and wo shall be able to continue the war with renewed vigour and a clear con- science. If, on the other hand, Germany recognizes the facts and is genuinely anxious to promote the realization of President Wilson's noble ideal of a League of Nations to prevent war, an immense step forward in world progress will be taken. LORD LANSDOWNE'S INFLUENCE. I What is certain is that things will not he the same again after this brave letter. ft cannot be ignored or effaced. Lord Isansdowne is not a pacificist; he has himself suffered cruelly from the war*. He is a man of chaeaeter and distinction who has held some of the highest oiffces under the British Crown. He has been Governor-General of Canada, Viceroy of India, Secretary for War, Secretary for Foreign Affairs. He was responsible as Foreign Secretary for the negotiation of the entente with France. The words of a man of this ripe experience and high authority must carry weight not merely in this country but abroad. Lord Lans- downe is the last of the Whigs, that re- markable race of aristocratic Liberals which has played so large, and on the whole so honourable a part in British history since the Revolution of 1638. He is now 72, but with his slender dapper figure he bears lightly the burden of old age. There is a, strong strain of French blood in him; and in appearance and physique he is much more Gallic than British. Since the death of the late Lord Salisbury he has led the Unionist party in the House of Lords. A man of his position and antecedents is not the sort of person to rush precipitately into print. This letter must have been written after careful deliberation, and doubtless also after con-ultation with other eminent men. It is to have an influence on the course of events.

I Christmas Market.

I Loeal Vocalist in |France.




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