Page:Britain's Deadly Peril.djvu/72

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CHAPTER IV


THE PERIL OF THE CENSORSHIP


War brings into discussion many subjects upon which men differ widely in their opinions, and the present war is no exception to the general rule.

Amateur and expert alike argue on a thousand disputed points of tactics, of strategy, and of policy: it has always been so: probably it will be so for ever. But the censorship imposed by the Government, on the outbreak of war, has achieved a record.

It has earned the unanimous and unsparing condemnation of everybody. Men who have agreed on no other point shake hands upon this. For sheer, blundering ineptitude, for blind inability to appreciate the mind and temper of our countrymen, in its utter ignorance of the psychological characteristics of the nation and of the Empire, to say nothing of the rest of the world, the methods of the censorship, surely, approach very closely the limits of human capacity for failure.

When I say "the censorship" I mean, of course, the system, speaking in the broadest sense. It matters nothing whether the chief censor, for the moment, be, by the circumstance of the day, Mr. F. E. Smith or Sir Stanley Buckmaster. Both, I make no doubt, have done their difficult work to the best of their ability, and have been loyally

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