Fraternising with enemies

by
11 August 2017

August 10th, 1917

THREE years of war “have served to weld more closely than ever the bonds of unity which.steel the hearts of the nation in their firm Resolve to secure the sacred principles of Justice, Freedom, and Humanity” — so ran the King’s message to the Lord Mayor of London on the third anniversary of the declaration of the war. Mr Lloyd George, in the Queen’s Hall on Saturday, enlarged in his own way on his Majesty’s theme. In one particularly fine passage he compared the task in which we are engaged to a great mountain climb. So long as the rope holds, he said, none need fear and give up the struggle. For in war, as in mountaineering, it often happens that the top is reached sooner than was expected. . .

In another passage the Prime Minister wisely pointed the moral of the Russian Revolution. The pitiful collapse of Russia is due to her loss of discipline. There are people at work in our country seeking to introduce disintegrating methods into the Army, and to place the direction of the war in the hands of Workmen’s and Soldiers’ Committees. The nation, Mr Lloyd George well said, has chosen its own Workmen’s and Soldiers’ Committee — the House of Commons — and we cannot allow sectional organisations to direct the war or to dictate the peace. The nation as a whole makes the war; the nation as a whole must make the peace.” In saying this, he no doubt was thinking of the Labour meeting to be held to-day, for the purpose of deciding whether delegates shall be chosen to forgather with enemy Socialists in the International Conference at Stockholm. Upon the issue of to-day’s meeting the gravest issues depend. Will British Labour, hitherto loyal to the cause of the Allied nations, now, at the crisis of the war, fraternise with Germans, Austrians, Bulgarians and Turks ? If it decides affirmatively there will be serious trouble. We cannot think that the nation as a whole will tolerate the giving of permission to the delegates to leave the country.

 

The full Church Times archive is available online for free to subscribers here

The Church Times Podcast

The Church Times Podcast, hosted by Tim Wyatt and Ed Thornton, features a mixture of interviews and news analysis. Listen online

Latest Cartoon

The Church Times Archive

Read reports from issues stretching back to 1863, search for your parish or see if any of the clergy you know get a mention.

FREE for Church Times subscribers.

Explore the archive

Subscribe now to get full access

To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read seven articles each month for free.