Page:Britain's Deadly Peril.djvu/64

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share in it, is that the great mass of public opinion is daily growing more and more apathetic towards the war, and truly that is not the mental attitude which will bring us with safety and credit through the tremendous ordeal which lies before us. The Government is not doing enough to drive home the fact that greater and still greater efforts will be required before the spectre of Prussian domination is finally laid to rest: the country at large, befogged by the newspapers, and sullenly angry at being kept in the dark to an extent hitherto unheard of, is in no mood to make the supreme sacrifices upon which final victory must depend. We are, as a result, not exercising our full strength: we are not doing enough, and our full strength will not be exerted until the Government takes the public into its confidence and tells them exactly what it requires and what it intends to have. That it would gain, rather than lose, by doing so, I have not the slightest doubt, while the gain to the world through the throwing into the scale of the solid weight of a fully aroused Britain would be simply incalculable.

While writing this, came the extraordinarily belated news of the decision of the Government to declare a strict blockade of the German coasts. It has been a matter of supreme bewilderment to every student of the war why this decision was not taken long before. Why should we have failed for so long to use the very strongest weapon which our indisputed control of the sea has placed in our hands, is one of those things which "no fellah can understand." We have been foolish enough to allow food, cotton, and certain other articles of "conditional contraband" free access to Germany, and it is beyond question that in so doing we have enormously prolonged the war. And all this, be it