Page:Britain's Deadly Peril.djvu/51

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45
THE PERIL OF EXPLOITING THE POOR

every thinking man, may be judged by the following extract from their report:

"We are strongly of opinion that, during the present crisis, employers and workmen should under no circumstances allow their differences to result in a stoppage of work.

"Whatever may be the rights of the parties at normal times, and whatever may be the methods considered necessary for the maintenance and enforcement of these rights, we think there can be no justification whatever for a resort to strikes or lockouts under present conditions, when the resulting cessation of work would prevent the production of ships, guns, equipment, stores, or other commodities required by the Government for the purposes of the war."

The Committee went on to recommend that in cases where the parties could not agree, the dispute should be referred to an impartial tribunal, and the Government accordingly appointed a special Committee to deal with any matters that might be brought before it.

I do not think it is possible to exaggerate the seriousness of the danger with which we must be threatened if these unhappy disputes are not brought to a close, and I know of no incident since the war began that has shown us up in so unfavourable a light as compared with our enemy. Whatever we may think of Germany's infamous methods; whatever views we may hold of her monstrous mistakes; whatever our opinion may be as to the final outcome of the war, we must, at least, grant to the Germans the virtue of patriotism. The German Socialists are, it is notorious, as strongly opposed to war as any people on earth. But they have, since the great struggle began, shown themselves willing to sink their personal views when the safety of the Father-