Page:Britain's Deadly Peril.djvu/80

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produced by the story of success and the suppression of disagreeable truths.

Twenty-four hours later you meet a gloomy individual who assures you we are no nearer beating the Germans than we were three months ago. That is the depths of pessimism. Both frames of mind are derived from the "official news" which the Government thinks fit to issue.

Here and there, if you are lucky, you meet the man who realises that we are up against the biggest job the Empire has ever tackled, and that, if we are to win through, the country must be plainly told the facts and plainly warned that it is necessary to make the most strenuous exertions of which we are capable. That is the man who forms his opinions not from the practically worthless official news, but from independent study of the whole gigantic problem. And that is the only frame of mind which will enable us to win this war. It is a frame of mind which the official news vouchsafed to us is not, in the least degree, calculated to produce.

In the prosecution of a war of such magnitude as the present unhappy conflict the public feeling of a truly democratic country such as ours is of supreme importance. It is, in fact, the most valuable asset of the military authorities, and it is a condition precedent for success that the nation shall be frankly told the truth, so far as it can be told without damage to our military interests.

Mr. Bonar Law, in the House of Commons, put the case in a nutshell when he said that—

"He had felt, from the beginning of the war, that as much information was not being given as might be given without damage to national interests. Nothing could be worse for the country than to do what the Japanese did—conceal disasters until the end of