Page:Britain's Deadly Peril.djvu/78

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sufficient condemnation of the entirely unjustifiable methods of secrecy with which we are waging a war on which the whole future of our beloved nation and Empire depends. The public was left to imagine that the war had reached something approaching a "deadlock." The ever-mounting tale of casualties showed that, in very truth, there had been, in that silent period of three months, fighting on a scale to which this country has been a stranger for a century.

Will any one outside the Government contend that this absurd secrecy can be justified, either by military necessity or by a well-meant but, as I think, hopelessly mistaken regard for the feelings of the public?

We are not Germans that it should be necessary to lull us into a lethargic sleep with stories of imaginary victories, or to refrain from harrowing our souls when, as must happen in all wars, things occasionally go wrong.

We want the truth, and we are entitled to have it!

I do not say that we have been deliberately told that which is not true. I believe the authorities can be acquitted of any deliberate falsification of news. But I do say, without hesitation, that much news was kept back which the country was entitled to know, and which could have been made public without the slightest prejudice to our military position. At the same time, publication has been permitted of wholly baseless stories, such as that of the great fight at La Bassée, to which I will allude later, which the authorities must have known to be unfounded.

It is not for us to criticise the policy of our gallant Allies, the French. We must leave it to them to decide how much or how little they will reveal to