Page:Britain's Deadly Peril.djvu/123

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117
THE PERIL OF THE ENEMY ALIEN

Are we not, indeed, coddling the Hun?

Even the pampering of German officers at Donington Hall pales into insignificance when we recollect that, upon Dr. Macnamara's admission, £86,000 a month, or £1,000,000 per year, is being paid for the hire of ships in which to intern German prisoners, and this is at a time when the scarcity of shipping is sending up the cost of every necessity! The Hague Convention, of course, forbids the use of gaols for prisoners of war, yet have we not many nice comfortable workhouses, industrial schools, and such-like institutions which could be utilised? We all know how vilely the Germans are treating our officers and men who are their prisoners, even depriving them of sufficient rations, and forbidding tobacco, fruit, or tinned vegetables. With this in view, the country are asking, and not without reason, why we should treat those in our hands as welcome guests. Certainly our attitude has produced disgust in the Dominions.

How Germany must be laughing at us! How the enemy aliens in certain quarters of London are jeering at us, openly, and toasting to the Day of our Downfall, I have already described. How the spies among us—unknown in spite of Mr. Tennant's amazing assertion—must be laughing in their sleeves and chuckling over the panic and disaster for which they are waiting from day to day in the hope of achieving. The signal—the appearance of Zeppelins over London—has not yet been given. Whether it will ever be given we know not. All we know is that an unscrupulous enemy, whose influence is widespread over our land, working insidiously and in secret, has prepared for us a blow from within our gates which, when it comes, will stagger even Mr. McKenna himself.