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Spy scare in Germany

10 August 2012

August 9th, 1912.

[Mr Macdonald, a solicitor; Dr Stone, a surgeon; Dr Roberts, a physician; Mr Sheffield, a well-known London solicitor; and Mr Gregory Robinson, a marine painter, had been arrested on suspicion of spying.]

GERMANY would appear to be afflicted with a very severe attack of spy-mania. The arrest of five unfortunate Englishmen as spies, mainly on the ground that, as a letter from one of their party stated, they had been photo-graphing right and left - words which the German Press had rendered by the German equivalent for spying - is the latest evidence of its pathological state. Clearly it is not safe for a foreign visitor to the Fatherland to carry the camera with him, but if to this crime he adds as a yachtsman that of taking the soundings in a German harbour, even if it be only as a precaution for his personal safety and in compliance with the rules of his insurance office, he has the unpleasant prospect before him of internment in a fortress for a year or two. At the same time it is necessary to add that Englishmen who venture into specially guarded German waters and proceed to do suspicious things at a moment when the two nations are in a highly wrought, nervous condition are guilty of more than foolishness. We wish them well out of their troubles, and, at the time of writing yesterday, it seemed as though the party would be speedily released.

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