Page:Britain's Deadly Peril.djvu/180

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I confess to feeling very strongly on the Clyde strikes, which, for a wretched industrial dispute—probably engineered by German secret agents—held up war material of which we stood in the gravest need. I cannot understand how Scotsmen, belonging to a nation which has proved its glorious valour on a hundred hard-fought fields, could have ceased work when they were assured that their claims would be investigated by an impartial tribunal. The bare idea, to me, is as shocking as it must be to most people. And I can only hope and believe that the action the men took is mainly attributable to the simple fact that they did not understand the real gravity of the position; that they did not appreciate the desperate character of our need, and that they utterly failed to realise that to cease work at such a time was as truly desertion in the face of the enemy as if they had been soldiers on duty in the trenches. I confess I would rather think this than put the cause down to laziness, or lack of patriotism, or drink. But if this, indeed, be the real cause—a lack of knowledge of the essential facts of the situation—whom have we to thank? Those, surely, who have cozened a great people with fair words; those, surely, who have spoken as though our enemy were in desperate straits, that all goes well, and that the war will soon be over.

With regard to the alien peril, it is a source of great gratification to me that His Majesty's Government have adopted my suggestion of closing the routes to Holland to all who cannot furnish to the Foreign Office guarantees of their bona fides. In my book, "German Spies in England," I suggested this course, and in addition, that the intending traveller should apply personally for a permit, that he