Page:Britain's Deadly Peril.djvu/95

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THE PERIL OF THE PRESS BUREAU

Consider the circumstances. Sir John French, on November 20th, stated that throughout the battle of Ypres-Armentières, the position at La Bassée had defied all efforts at capture, and naturally the most intense anxiety had been felt for news of a definite success in this region. Yet the public, after hearing, by official sanction, the news of a success which would clearly have resulted in the Germans being driven pell-mell out of La Bassée, were calmly told, a few days later, that the entire story was a lie. To my mind, and I think the reader will agree with me, we could have no stronger illustration of the utter futilities and farcical eccentricities of the censorship as it to-day exists. Are we told the truth about the war? No, I declare—We are not!

I will go a step farther. The suppression of news by the censorship is bad enough, but what are we to think of a deliberate attempt to stifle perfectly legitimate criticisms of Ministers and their methods?

As those who read these pages are aware, I have taken a prominent part in the effort to bring home to the public the dire peril to which we are exposed through the presence in our midst of hordes of uncontrolled enemy aliens. I deal with this subject elsewhere, and I should not mention it here except that it is connected in a very special way with an attempt on the part of the Press Bureau to stifle public discussion on a matter of the gravest importance.

The Globe, newspaper has, with commendable patriotism, devoted much attention to the question of the presence of alien spies in our midst, and, on many occasions, its correspondence and editorial columns have contained valuable information and