Page:The future of democracy.djvu/12

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The cause of democracy, as I have said, is at stake against German anti-democracy. There is nothing more striking than the way in which it has become clear that the German nation, which, after all, is not so very different from our own if you take the mass, has been compelled to go into this war by a class and caste, which has trained and organised it so that it has to do as it is told. It has gone into this war, and from the deeds its citizens have done I am sure it is intoxicated. Nevertheless I am not without hope that there will come a day when the German democracy will tender its thanks to the British democracy for having made possible its deliverance from its chains and fetters.

The Lichnowsky revelations are very striking, and if I were at full liberty I could speak of them, perhaps with as much first-hand acquaintance with some of their points as any man in this country. I was concerned in some of the efforts to which Prince Lichnowsky has referred, and in other efforts—and I could add to those revelations something that would show that this country did its utmost to preserve the peace and tranquillity of the world and the feeling with which alone the nations could work together for the good of mankind. The attempt was, I need not add, destroyed and thwarted by the same military spirit that later on induced the German people to follow it into war. No doubt in good time these things will appear. They are appearing fast enough just now, and if we hold our own they will have their effect and help to bring this war to a close. In the meantime, here are you and I standing up to-night to testify that we will give our utmost and our last farthing in support of the splendid resistance that is being made to an attack on the national life and liberty.

This is a time of crisis so supreme that although the Government may do things that we do not like and in which we do not all agree, still some of us feel that the Government