Page:The War and the Future (Masefield, 1918).djvu/59

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The War and the Future

looked too tempting to Germany, and she hit out at them. The results are before us.

This war employs all the strength and all the talent of the nations waging it. One of the weapons used by our enemies has been that of lying. They have spread abroad lies about us, which many repeat and some few, perhaps, believe. I wish here to state and answer some of those lies.

Firstly: that we are a decadent people, intent on sports and money-making, and without ideals or any sense of serving the state.

The answer to that is that in England and Scotland alone five million four hundred thousand of our men enlisted as volunteers to fight for our ideals, without compulsion of any kind, while three million more who tried to enlist were rejected as too old, or physically unfit, or needed in other work. That was before we had conscription.

Secondly: that we are a cowardly people, who let other people fight for us.

The answer to that is that had we been a cowardly people we should not have gone to war; but we did; we came into this war and have lost in this war something like two and one-half millions of our best men killed,