Page:Britain's Deadly Peril.djvu/172

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steadily against the Germans. In a sense, of course, this is true, but it is not the whole truth. I place not the slightest reliance upon the stories industriously circulated from German sources of Germany being short of food; all the evidence we can get from neutrals who have just returned from Germany condemns them in toto. The Germans are a methodical and far-seeing people, and no doubt they are very rightly looking ahead and prudently conserving their resources. But that there is any real scarcity of either food or munitions of war there is not a trace of reliable evidence, and those journals, one of which I have quoted, which delight to represent our enemy as being in a state of semi-starvation are doing a very bad service to our country. The Germans can unquestionably hold out for a very considerable time yet, and we are simply living in a fool's paradise if we try to persuade ourselves to the contrary. If it were true that Germany is really short of food, that our blockade was absolutely effective, and that no further supplies could reach the enemy until the next harvest, it might be true to say that time was on the side of the Allies. But supposing, as I believe, that the tales of food shortage have been deliberately spread by the Germans themselves with the very definite object of working upon the sympathies of the United States, what position are we in? Here, in truth, we come down to a position of the very deepest gravity. It is a position which affects the whole conduct and conclusion of the war, and which cannot fail to exercise the most vital influence over our future.

Speaking at the Lord Mayor's banquet last November, Mr. Asquith said:

"We shall never sheathe the sword, which we have not lightly drawn, until Belgium recovers in