Page:Britain's Deadly Peril.djvu/48

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must be done not only in the far-flung battle lines, but in the factory and workshop, whose outputs are essential to the far deadlier work which we ask of the men who are heroically facing the shells and bullets of the common enemy.

Now there is no disguising the fact that the industrial army at home contains far too large a percentage of "slackers."

That is the universal testimony of men who know. There are thousands of workmen who will not keep full time, for the simple reason that they are making more money than they really need and are so lazy and unpatriotic that they will not make the extra effort which the necessities of the situation so urgently demand. What we need to-day is, above all things, determined hard work: we do not want to see our fighting forces starved for want of material caused by the shirking of the "slackers" or by unpatriotic disputes and squabbles. To-day we are fighting for our lives. The privates of the industrial army ought to realise that "slacking" or striking is just as much a criminal offence as desertion in the face of the enemy would be in the case of a soldier. It is true, as a recent writer has said, that "those who fight industrially, working long hours in a spirit of high patriotism, may not seem very heroic," but it is none the less the fact that they are fighting: they are doing the work that is essential to our national safety and welfare. Do they—at least do some of them—realise this? The following extract from Engineering, the well-known technical journal, shows very clearly that among certain classes of highly paid workers there is a total disregard of our national necessity which is positively appalling. As the result of a series of inquiries Engineering says: