Page:Britain's Deadly Peril.djvu/87

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CHAPTER V


THE PERIL OF THE PRESS BUREAU


It is one of the curses of our Parliamentary system that every piece of criticism is immediately ascribed to either party or personal motives, and politicians whose conduct or methods are impugned, for whatever reason, promptly assume, and try to make others believe, that their opponents are actuated by the usual party or personal methods.

At the present moment, happily, we have, for the first time within our memory, no politics; the nation stands as one man in its resolve to make an end of the Teutonic aggression against the peace of the world. In the recent discussion in the House of Commons, however, Sir Stanley Buckmaster, head of the Press Bureau, upon whom has fallen the rather ruffled and uncomfortable mantle discarded by Mr. F. E. Smith, seems to have interpreted the very unanimous criticism of the censorship as a personal attack upon himself. As a brilliant lawyer, of course he had no difficulty in making a brilliant reply to a fallacy originated entirely in his own brain.

In very truth the personality of Sir Stanley Buckmaster concerns us not at all. He is a loyal Englishman. He does not originate the news which the Press Bureau deals out with such belated parsimony. No one blames him for the fact that the nation is kept so completely in the dark on the subject of the war. If it were possible for Sir Stanley Buckmaster,

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