Page:Britain's Deadly Peril.djvu/165

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159
THE PERIL OF APATHY

the proprietorship and control were purely and wholly German. That concern is carrying on business to-day, and in the city of London, protected, no doubt, by its British registration. And the manager is an Englishman who, before the war, explained very fully to my informant the entire system on which the business was conducted.

The second case is similar, with the exception that the manager is a German, at least in name and origin, who speaks perfect English, and is still, or was very recently, conducting the business. In this case, as in the first, every detail of the business was, before war broke out, regularly reported to the head office of the firm in Germany. I wonder whether English firms are being permitted to carry on business in Berlin to-day!

Whether we shall go on after the war in the old haphazard style of rule-of-thumb rests solely with public opinion. And if public opinion will tolerate the employment of German waiters in our hotels in time of war, I see very little likelihood of any effort to stay the German invasion which will, assuredly, follow the declaration of peace. Then we shall see again the unscrupulous campaign of commercial and military espionage which has cost us dear in the past, and may cost us still more in the future. Our foolish tolerance of the alien peril will be used to facilitate the war of revenge for which our enemy will at once begin to prepare.