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100 years ago: H. G. Wells is given the sack

03 December 2021

December 2nd, 1921.

THE interest aroused by the announcement that Mr. H. G. Wells was to serve the Daily Mail as special correspondent at the Peace Conference at Washington was exceeded by the announcement that our contemporary would print no more of his articles. In an article of nearly a column in length readers of the Daily Mail were told that Mr Wells had not proved himself an impartial reporter. His criticisms of M. Briand and his accusation of treachery against France were held to militate against the friendly relation between France and Britain. It may be that Mr Wells is prejudiced, but whatever view we take of his opinions, we are bound to regard with respect the action of a newspaper which deprives itself of a most valuable, and doubtless costly, feature in order to serve the interest of the Entente. We will say nothing of the general principle involved in silencing a too candid writer, for that has two sides to it. Though Mr Wells’s articles are still being telegraphed from Washington to Paris, we hope that the example of the Daily Mail will be taken to heart in French newspaper offices. Just now the attacks on Britain in the French Press are more venomous than ever, and much more inexplicable. What possible service is thought to be done to France by stirring up bourgeois hatred we cannot conceive. The Daily Mail has acted with dignity and generosity. Let L’Œuvre and Le Matin follow suit.

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