Page:Britain's Deadly Peril.djvu/133

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127
THE PERIL OF DELUDING THE PUBLIC

Customs authorities were very properly suspicious, but the captain insisted that the petrol was wanted as stores, and that there were no means by which we could prevent that petrol going. Where did it go to? There were boats no doubt in the neighbourhood which wanted petrol. They were enemy submarines!

Of isolated reports of espionage, and of the work of Germany's secret agents, dozens lie before me, many of which certainly call for strictest investigation. But who will do this work if the "authorities" so steadily refuse, in order to bamboozle the public, to perform their duty?

Some of these reports are accompanied by maps and plans. One is from a well-known solicitor, who is trustee for an estate in Essex where, adjoining, several men a month or so ago purchased a small holding consisting of a homestead and a single acre of land. They asserted that they had come from Canada, and having dug up the single acre in question for the purpose of growing potatoes, as they say, they are now living together, their movements being highly suspicious. On more than one occasion mysterious explosions have been heard within the house—which is a lonely one, and a long way from any other habitation.

The wife of a well-known Scotch Earl who has been diligent in making various inquiries into suspicious cases in Scotland, and has endeavoured to stir up the authorities to confirm the result of her observations, has written to me in despair. She has done her best, alas! without avail.

And again, in yet another case, the widow of an English Earl, whose name is as a household word, has written to me reporting various matters which have come to her notice and deploring that no heed