Page:Great Speeches of the War.djvu/343

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Great Speeches of the War

nection between the diplomatic service and the military classes in this country. The men in each belong to the same class, they have the same traditions, the same training, the same outlook. There was one further influence which had been making for war to which some reference must be made. Twelve months ago the Parliamentary Labour Party appeared to attach some importance to this influence, but in the stress of other work during recent months they appear to have forgotten it. I refer to the armament ring. The only reference I have seen to this matter lately was by the erratic genius, Mr. H. G, Wells, who said this war must mean the destruction of Kruppism. But why should Mr. Wells describe the traffic in armaments as "Kruppism"? I can give no reason except that it is fashionable now to regard every evil—capitalism, militarism, imperialism—as being exclusively confined to Germany. As a matter of fact we have in this country larger financial interests in the manufacture of armaments than the financial interests of the great Krupp concern, and our armament firms have their ramifications the wide world over. These firms had their agents going from Berlin to Paris to inflame the French nation through the press against Germany, and going back to Berlin to tell the Germans how France was preparing for war, and then as we know they came to London to tell the Government stories about what Krupps were doing. These financial interests have undoubtedly had a bad influence in international relations, and this question will have to be seriously considered when the time for the settlement of the war arrives.

It is necessary to take a wide and comprehensive view of all the questions involved in this war if a permanent peace is to come out of it. If the people of this country labour under the idea that the evil spirit they have to destroy is confined to one country they will fail to accomplish any real settlement. Some people talk as if there was no such thing as militarism in this country. Do you remember what was the absorbing national topic immediately before the war broke out? It was whether Parliament or militarism was to rule. We had the Army defying King, Parliament, and the People, and asserting its authority over all. Some sapient socialists have said that this is not a capitalist war. It is impossible to distinguish between militarism and capitalism. Militarism was necessary to capitalism. Militarism is the force by which capitalism preserves and maintains its position.

If the war is settled on the lines of the declaration made by