Page:Britain's Deadly Peril.djvu/127

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121
THE PERIL OF DELUDING THE PUBLIC

he cannot disguise from himself that the same dastardly vanguard is already here among us. Then he at once asks, and very naturally too, why do the authorities officially protect them? What pro-German influence in high quarters can be at work to connive at our undoing? It is that which is today undermining public confidence. Compare our own methods with those of methodical matter-of-fact Germany? Are we methodical; are we thorough? The man-in-the-street who daily reads his newspaper—if he pauses or reflects—sees quite plainly that instead of facing the alien peril, those in authority prefer to allow us to sit upon the edge of the volcano, and have, indeed, already actually prepared public opinion to accept a disclaimer of responsibility if disaster happens. The whole situation is truly appalling. Little wonder is it that, because I should have dared to lay bare the canker in Britain's heart, I should be written to by despairing hundreds who have lost all confidence in certain of our rulers.

Some of these letters the reader may find of interest.

From one, written by a well-known gentleman living in Devonshire, I take the following, which arouses a new reflection. He says:

"I may be wrong, but one important point seems to have been overlooked, viz. the daily publication of somewhat cryptic messages and advertisements appearing in the Personal Columns of the British Press. For instance:

"'M.—Darling. Meet as arranged. Letter perfect. Should I also write? To "the Day, and Kismet."—Vilpar.'

"Such a message may be, as doubtless it is, perfectly innocent; but what is to prevent spies in our