Page:Britain's Deadly Peril.djvu/164

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trade. We know, too, how the German worker, over here "to learn the language," has wormed himself into the confidence of the foolish English employer, and has abused that confidence by keeping his real principals—those in Germany—fully posted with every scrap of commercial information which might help them to capture British trade. We know, though we do not know the full story, that hundreds of "British" companies have been, in fact, owned, organised, and controlled solely by Germans. We know that for years German spies and agents, ostensibly engaged in business here, have plotted our downfall.

Are we going to permit, when the war is over, a repetition of all this?

I confess I look upon this matter with the gravest uneasiness. It is all very well to say that after the war Germans will be exceedingly unpopular in every civilised community. That fact is not likely to keep out the German, who is anything but thinskinned. And, I regret to say, there are only too many British employers who are likely to succumb to the temptation to make use of cheap German labour, regardless of the fact that they will thus be actively helping their country's enemies.

Germans to-day are carrying on business in this country with a freedom which would startle the public, if it were known. I will mention two instances which have come to my knowledge lately. The first is the case of a company with an English name manufacturing certain electric fittings. Up to the time the war broke out, every detail of this company's business was regularly transmitted once a week to Germany: copies of every invoice, every bill, every letter, were sent over. Though the concern was registered as an "English" company,