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condition to the German recruit, and she is introducing the three-year termthe extreme limit of the endurance of her people. So if Germany were to outbid the present status by a new effort, France might easily decide to fight before the effects of this new effort could be felt. Britain is in as good a position to join in the "melee" as she is likely to be for some time. Her Navy is to-day paramount -it may not be so to-morrow.
In connexion with the argument of German militarists and British pacificists that England should give up her right to capture enemy merchant ships on the high seas--in the interests of peace and good will—The Star declared (Feb. 20th) that this right was the greatest factor in sea-supremacy: "It puts into her hand a weapon for the finishing of a war, and the securing of the legitimate results of her sacrifices, which she would otherwise be without, and which most other first-class Powers possess in their conscript armies. QueryWhich would be the more humane, to impose conscription on Britain or to leave her with the right of capture?” Strong arguments were urged (Apr. 13th) against the Australian Navy policy which was so much quoted and admired by Canadian Liberals:
Our reasons for agreeing with the Admiralty and the Foreign Offixe, and disagreeing with the Australian Government are-in brief-that, so long as the Japanese Alliance lasts, there can exist no naval menace to Australia in the Pacific; that the perpetuation of the Japanese Alliance depends upon the ability of Britain to continue to give Japan an adequate quid pro quo for her co-operation; that this ability to keep our side of the bargain depends upon our retaining the command of the sea and thus remaining the paramount naval Power of the world; and that the only challenge to our command of the sea is that of the Triple Alliance which will be fought out in European waters—the North Sea and the Mediterranean. If the British Navy loses in European waters, one, two, or even three battle cruisers, idling in Australian waters, will count for nothing. They will be mopped up by the victorious navies, after the British home fleets have been captured or sunk, without the smallest trouble. Once Britain is beaten in European waters, and the Japanese Alliance is dissolved, no Navy that Australia could possibly get together would furnish an hour's' defence against a hostile expedition to Australian coasts convoyed by the superb Japanese Navy. In denunciation of the Canadian Senate for throwing out the Emergency gift of Dreadnoughts to Britain The Star was keen and sarcastic. On June 15th, for instance, it said: “They veto the right of the people to rule--they discount democracy-they cancel the verdict of a general election. Yet it is to be presumed that we will go on maintaining an appointive life Senate as long as the politicians of all parties prefer 'plums' to principles.” As to the coming War an interesting and prophetic point was made on Mar. 30th: "It is apparent enough that, if any member of the Triple Entente is compelled to fight during the next few years against the Germanic Empires, the other members must come to its assistance. They simply cannot afford to stand aside and see it beaten. This being true, surely it would be better to organize victory in advance by preparing all the close and detailed plans for co-operation, which usually characterize an Alliance, rather than trust to the loose understandings of an Entente. It will be no child's play when 'the day' comes; and we should make every preparation possible to ensure success.' When the crisis did come there was no doubt as to the position of The Star. On July 30th, when every influence that Britain could wield, every action she could take, every hope of her
people, were for peace this journal, 2000 miles away, described the coming and assured event: "The development will be as relentlessly inevitable as a syllogism. If Russia fights, Germany will fight; and if Germany fights, France and Britain must go to the help of
What nonsense to talk as if Britain had any choice in the case We will be as much concerned as Russia-possibly more so, for no one would think of dismembering Russia-and what we will be fighting for, will not be Slav prestige in the Balkans or even the integrity of the frontiers of France, but the life of the British Empire—the national identity of Canada.” On July 31st, before Germany had announced its policy of smashing Belgium, The Star referred to the splendid frontier fortresses of France and declared that, in the event of war, "the Germans would merely mask these forts with skeleton armies but deliver their real attack upon the Belgian frontier, hoping to march through that country and enter France by the comparatively unfortified Belgian sidedoor.” Following this statement, and the belief that war was inevitable, a full-page appeal was made to Canadians to "stand by the flag," cabled messages of loyalty were published from Australia and New Zealand, and a vigorous opinion expressed as to the imperative duty of the people of Canada:
In the events which are proceding in what may be the greatest war of the ages, it is abundantly clear that Britain is not as well prepared as could be desired. Politicians have been allowed to divert public attention from the indications of the approach of a World's War. The battleships Canada should have ordered would have given us a proud place in the inventory of Empire resources. Now, the Navy question must be brushed aside for the time being, but this forces to the front and gives enormous importance to the question: Shall we fold our arms as disinterested spectators, or take a manly part? Canada's existence is threatened. A month may make Britain a third-class Power and take the very name of Canada from the map. In the next few days The Star contained page after page of telegrams sent in answer to a formal despatch and embodying the opinion of the country, of all parties and races and religious view, in favour of prompt, powerful and vigorous aid to the Empire. During ensuing months The Star very naturally referred from time to time to its warnings as to the German menace and emergency-chiefly when some Liberal paper stirred up its political feeling. In particular were its editorials of Dec. 21st, 1911, Jan. 11th, 1912, May 23rd, 1912, quoted from and Lord Roberts' famous statement of 1912 repeated:
Germany strikes when Germany's hour has struck.” British leaders believed in the emergency, the British Navy prepared for it, Belgium in 1913 believed in it and established conscription, France understood and feared it, Russia had long believed in it and had built up a great military force to meet it-Canadian Liberal leaders and the Pacifists did not believe in it! For what was termed Pacifist thought, in Britain or in Canada, The Star had little mercy. “In time of peace prepare for war” was still its motto and the situation was described on Aug. 5th: "It is impossible to measure at this time the effect of 'pacifism' on British defence. We know what the effect has been in Canada. It has left us without a representative in the defensive Navies of the Empire; and it has whittled
down to the smallest possible total the reality and the preparedness of our military arm. It has vetoed our Dreadnoughts', it has lampooned our Militia, it has even sought to disperse our cadets with taunting cries of militarism'.”
As to the future (Dec. 12th) there could be no certainty: "Some would have us depend upon the moral superiority of our aspirations, and others upon a drastic disarmament of the German enemy. Both foundations are equally illusory. Moral superiority will go down before armed covetousness, if it be unprepared to defend itself; and there is yet to be proposed á plan by which the great and virile German people can be prevented from recuperation and re-arming once the pressure of the victorious Allies is removed.” Of the War in its world-wide development, during the latter months of 1914, The Star had a series of editorial studies in conditions, policies, possibilities, strategies, of the various countries concerned-belligerent and neutral, Allied and Teutonic, Italy and the United States, Roumania and Bulgaria.
Neutral nations, and especially the United States, were urged to protest against the destruction of such shrines of learning or religion as Louvain or Rheims; the two days' delay in mobilization which it was found that France had deliberately permitted in order to convince English Pacifists that War was forced on the Allies was blamed for the loss of countless French and British lives; the death of Lord Roberts evoked the statement that had he been listened to and England ready with a million men there would have been no war; the Allies were urged (Nov. 21st) to ask Japan to come into the European part of the struggle; the United States was told (Dec. 19th) that the bombardment of open towns was not only a breach of all the Laws of War but a vital menace to American interests and that if this practice were admitted and war some day came to the Republic “hundreds of its own Coast towns would be condemned to murderous destruction"; the same great Power was told that it should also have protested against the violation of Belgium neutrality and the open sea mine-sowing policy of the Germans. To sum up, the editorial and general policy of The Star in these troubled months of war was consistent with its past views and record, patriotic and strong in its immediate grip, far-seeing and Empire-loyal in its world outlook.
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