Page:Britain's Deadly Peril.djvu/125

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CHAPTER VII


THE PERIL OF DELUDING THE PUBLIC


As showing the trend of public opinion regarding the spy-peril, I may perhaps be permitted to here give a few examples taken haphazard from the huge mass of correspondence with which I have been daily flooded since the publication of my exposure on that subject.

Many of my correspondents have, no doubt, made discoveries of serious cases of espionage. Yet, as spies are nobody's business, the authorities, in the majority of cases, have not even troubled to inquire into the allegations made by responsible persons. I freely admit that many wild reports have been written and circulated by hysterical persons who believe that every twinkling light they see is the flashing of signals, and that spies lurk in houses in every quiet and lonely spot. It is so very easy to become affected with spy-mania, especially when one recollects that every German abroad is patriotic, and his first object is to become a secret agent of the Fatherland. In this connection I have no more trust in the so-called "naturalised" German than in the full-blooded and openly avowed Prussian. Once a man is born a German he is always a German, and in taking out naturalisation papers he is only deliberately cheating the country which grants them, because, according to the Imperial law of his own

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