We had Belgium, or prove disloyal to our entente with France. We know now from Lord Morley's posthumous 'Memorandum

greater than theirs. more money, we had more men, and our natural resources are greater. Such a programme would be popular in America, and should England give the incentive, the people would demand the rest." There is the real Colonel House, the Jingo unveiled, the hero who stands upon the table and leads the chorus, "We have the men, we have the ships, we have the money too." Not a bad explosion for one who was in the very act of making the world safe for democracy, and seeing that, militarism having been destroyed, equal justice should be done to small states. We hope that Sir William Wiseman and Lord Reading were properly impressed.

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that the Cabinet also was uncertain and divided. Of this uncertainty and this division we presently got a hint from the speech delivered by Sir Edward Grey on the last Monday of our peace. It will be remembered by all who on that day were in the country that the evening paper which brought us only the first part of Sir Edward Grey's speech convinced us that the Government had renounced its obligations, and sent us to bed in shame. When in the morning we read the last part of the Foreign Secretary's speech, we found that he, feeling his way cautiously and testing the temper of the House as he went on, had in the end delivered ultimatum to Germany. And now we learn from Lord Morley's 'Memorandum' with what difficulty Sir Edward Grey had carried the Cabinet with him. It was on or about 24th-27th July that Sir Edward took his colleagues into his confidence. "In his own quiet way," writes Morley, " which is none the less impressive for being so simple, and so free from the cassant and overemphatic tone that is Asquith's vice on such occasions, he made a memorable announcement. The time had come, he said, when the Cabinet was


1 'Memorandum on Resignation, August 1914,' by John Viscount Morley. London: Macmillan & Co.


2 L

bound to make up its mind whether we were to take an active part with the two other Powers of the Entente, or to stand aside on the general European question, and preserve an absolute neutrality. We could no longer defer decision. Things were moving very rapidly. We could no longer wait on accident, and postpone. If the Cabinet was for neutrality, he did not think that he was the man to carry out such a policy. Here he ended in accents of unaffected calm and candour." It is thus clear that Sir Edward Grey, though he kept his own counsel in silence, though he breathed no word of his intention to France or Germany, was on the right side. His strenuous simplicity, as Morley calls it, set the other side agoing. Harcourt instantly set to work to organise the opinion of those of his colleagues who favoured neutrality. Lord Beauchamp, M'Kinnon Wood, Hobhouse, and Pease, as well as Morley, were among the zealots of peace. They already had confidence in their number, and Morley, tapping Winston Churchill on the shoulder, said with a solemn gravity, "Winston, we have beaten you after all." Mr Lloyd George was brought over to what Morley considered the right side by the news communicated to the Cabinet by the Prime Minister. Mr

Asquith informed his colleagues that he had been consulting the Governor Deputy Governor of the Bank of Eng

land, other men of light and leading in the City, also cotton men, and steel and coal men, &c., in the North of England, in Glasgow, &c., and they were all aghast at the bare idea of our plunging into the European conflict; how it would break down the whole system of credit with London at its centre, how it would cut up commerce and manufacture, they told him, and how it would hit labour and wages and prices, and when the winter came would inevitably produce violence and tumult." Mr Lloyd George said afterwards that he had never believed this nonsense. But the nonsense was characteristic of the men and the moment. Few of the Cabinet seem to have possessed foresight or to have excluded irrelevancies from their mind. Morley feared that, if Germany and Austria were beaten, Russia would be predominant in Europe; he thought also that

Home Rule Rule would be imperilled, and that many other fads, which appeared important to this one or that in domestic policy, would be overlooked. By none of the doubters do the claims of honour seem to have been considered. Even on 3rd August the Ministers were still discussing uncertainly our obligation to France and to Belgium. The party of peace grew larger, and John Burns was staunch in his determination to resign. Morley was driven by Mr Lloyd George and Sir John Simon to lunch at Lord Beauchamp's, and there was an understand

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ing that all three were in favour of resignation. They were truly an ill-assorted collection, and loosely held together. It is evident that John Morley had not a simple faith in their professions. Pease had been lunching with the Prime Minister, "who begged him to keep the conciliabule which he was joining out of mischief,' or some such good-natured phrase. Pease also argued that Grey was never so stiff as he seemed. His tone convinced me that the Quaker President of the Peace Society would not be over-squeamish about having a hand in Armageddon." And Mr Lloyd George-what was he doing in this plot ? John Morley was naturally perplexed. "What exactly brought Lloyd George among us," he wrote,

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and what the passing computations for the hour inside his lively brain, I could not make out."

All these comings and goings between Lord Beauchamp's house and Downing Street were merely a form of bodily exercise. They were not destined to change the face of European history. It is improbable that the grave conspirators ever thought for a moment in terms of European history. They seem one and all to have been deficient in imagination, and to have had but a dim idea as to what would be the consequences of their action or inaction. Compared with their resolute opportunism, the threat of Armageddon appeared a trifling matter. Even when the dis


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solution of the Ministry was probable the sanguine eyes of John Morley could see only the spectre of a broken party. Would even the break-up of the Ministry be less of an evil," he asked himself, "both for Liberal principles, and the prospects and power of the Liberal Party, than their wholesale identification with a Cabinet committed to intervention in arms by sea and land in Central Europe?" He was sure of nothing, not even, and here he was justified by the event, that the fervid tone of the colleagues whom he had just left, sincere though it was, would last." Wherever he looked he saw no standardbearer." Though the ardent protestations of Mr Lloyd George and Sir John Simon still echoed in his ear, he knew, as a matter of hard fact, that the power of Asquith and Grey, and the "natural cohesion" of office, would prove too difficult for an isolated group to resist. That to which he and his friends of the moment never listened was, as we have said, the voice of honour and duty. They forgot easily the debt of duty which they owed to Belgium; they forgot the debt of honour they owed to France. They knew SO little about Germany, which John Morley believed to be the community in Europe best fitted to understand England, that they could not picture to themselves what Europe would be when it had been put securely under the heel of

Germany He could hardly was to be transformed."

find his way out of the maze of political intrigue. At the very last moment" the motives of Lloyd George were still a riddle to him." Lloyd George, he wrote, "knew that his 'stock' had sunk dangerously low; peace might be the popular card against the adventurous energy of Winston; war would make mince-meat of the Land Question." At the very crisis of our history his mind was set upon demagogic calculations" and the approaching election. And when he told Mr Lloyd George that he had resigned, that amazing politician, who had been on the edge of resignation himself, said: "But if you go, it will put us who don't go in a great hole." John Morley calls this "a singular remark." Being a politician himself, he should not have been surprised at it.


Lord Morley and Mr John Burns resigned. The others, no doubt, talked a vast deal about it, and remained behind. As for John Morley, he could not have done otherwise. He had not the war temperament. As he said himself, "he was not the man to sit in the Council of War into which Campbell-Bannerman's Cabinet


longer capable of service, he was resolved from the first to

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go. What could I look for-
ward to," he asks piteously,
"but everlasting wrestles with
Winston, without being able
to contribute a single useful
word." He had no illusions
about himself. He knew and
said that his days were dwind-
ling; he was a notorious peace
man and little Englander, while
the others had their lives before
them, and long issues com-
mitted to their charge. All
this is true, and it is to John
Morley's credit that, holding
his views, he never wavered.
The others, who played with
peace to this purpose or that,
have little to congratulate
themselves about.
read the story of these eventful
days, we cannot but be grate-
ful to Grey and Asquith that
they took the larger view and
saved their country from the
risk of a changed Government
in the midst of a great crisis.
The country, sounder than its
ministers, had already seen
that war was inevitable. Had
not the Foreign Minister
followed the country's lead,
Germany's initial success might
have been far greater than it

And as we

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