Page:Britain's Deadly Peril.djvu/69

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will have gone; there will be no places for them in the world where men in full health and strength fight the battle of life in the fields of commerce and industry. Are we doing enough—have we, indeed, begun to do anything—for these poor victims of war's fury, much more to be pitied than the gallant men who sleep for ever where they fell on the battlefields of France and Belgium?

Too often in the past it has been the shame and the reproach of Britain that she cast aside, like worn-out garments, the men who have spent their health and strength in her cause. Have we not heard of Crimean veterans dying in our workhouses? With all my heart I hope that, after the war, we shall never again be open to that reproach and shame. We must see that never again shall a great and wealthy Empire disgrace itself by condemning its crippled heroes to the undying bitterness of the workhouse during life, and the ignominy of a pauper's grave after death. Cost what it may, the future of the unhappy men "broke in our wars" must be the nation's peculiar care. I do not suggest—they themselves would not desire it—that all our wounded should become State pensioners en masse and live out their lives in idleness. The men who helped to fling back the Kaiser's barbaric hordes in the terrible struggle at Ypres are not the men who will seek for mere charity, even when it takes the form of a deserved reward for their heroic deeds.

Speaking broadly, the State will have the responsibility of caring for two classes of wounded men—those who are condemned to utter and lifelong disablement and those who, less seriously crippled, are yet unable to obtain employment in ordinary commercial or industrial life. As to the former