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people, and is consequently most firmly opposed to those low conditions of life abroad which enable foreign and sweated goods to take the livelihood from our own workers. Furthermore, the firmness of the Unionist party on questions of defence makes it certain that no negotiations with Germany will lead it into the one error which would certainly prove fatal to those negotiations—the relaxation of our naval and military preparations, or an attempt to deal with Germany on those lines.
I believe that a Unionist Government might effect, on the lines that I have indicated, a settlement which would solve European difficulties for a quarter of a century, and would follow, in fact, as the logical outcome of our national and Imperial development.
British diplomatic relations were in former days guided and determined by other than economic interests. Our policy was in the last resort framed with an eye to Colonial expansion, or to maintaining the security of our Empire and the markets we monopolised. These elements in determining our foreign policy have now almost disappeared. No longer does expansion or aggression govern our policy. No longer can we attempt to monopolise our Colonial markets. The administration of our Colonies has now passed into the hands of Parliaments responsible only to the people who elect them, or if governed from home, they are administered solely in the interests of those countries. There has thus been a lessening of the Imperial basis of our foreign policy, which was only remotely economic, and a simultaneous rise of interests which are primarily and almost exclusively economic.
Hence our foreign policy is likely to be influenced more and more by economic forces in future. We are urged to this conclusion the moment we realise the dislocation to British industry resulting from a war with, say, Germany. Our own annual trade with that country now approaches a total of 100,000,0001. sterling. The effect on our commerce, factories, and credit if this enormous trade were threatened with even temporary disruption-indeed, the devastating nature of these consequences-can never be far removed from the minds of our Foreign Minister or our Ambassador.
It may frequently happen in the future that the full realisation of this fact alone must avert war and turn an ultimatum into a compromise. For after all are not foreign countries equally concerned to permit no interruption in the smooth course of their trade with us?
It is more true to-day than ever before in the world's history that our foreign policy is and must be determined by our economic interests, and these in turn must be measured by our trade interests. We who have concerned ourselves during recent years with the tariff problem have noticed that in neutral markets the
prestige and influence of diplomatic representatives at the Chancelleries of foreign nations have grown or diminished in proportion to the trade interests they represent. We have noticed this tendency, and by our policy have suggested an effective remedy. Treaties of commerce with foreign countries would be as effective in cementing friendships as formal treaties of alliance.
The Imperial policy of the Unionist party would do even more : it would enhance British diplomatic prestige, and our Foreign Minister, supposing he represented our Imperial economic interests, must necessarily exercise greater power and influence. In the case of Germany alone our trade interests of 94,000,0001. sterling would be at once increased to an Imperial interest measured by 156,000,0001. sterling, and must accentuate the advantage to both Empires of developing and increasing their friendly relations.
Of course, if German motives and intentions are of the character believed by many distinguished Englishmen, no accommodation is possible. But in that case let us have the situation in all its reality, and at once. If proper overtures are rejected, we can prepare for an alternative procedure. But no policy is more dangerous than that of drift, which not unfrequently leads to rash and impulsive action, so often mistaken for courage. We have no more striking illustration of this policy of drift than the statement, uttered almost with pride, of the Foreign Secretary, that we have no military alliance with France.
Never again ought this country to find itself in the position of last year, brought to the verge of war when a great Labour crisis was at its height.
We might well ask the question, Was the Government, was this country and India, were our oversea Dominions sufficiently informed of the situation and prepared for the probability of a total collapse of credit arrangements in this country on a declaration of war? What was the position of our gold reserves? Were our coal supplies safeguarded? Were our food supplies adequately secured ? Could we land an expeditionary force on the Continent without relying on the Reserve of a National Service Army? Would France enter into engagements with us without the support of such an army?
To all these questions, which must perturb the mind of any intelligent Englishman, the Government would have found difficulty in providing reassuring answers.
I am sufficiently optimistic to believe that a Unionist ministry will either come to terms with Germany or consolidate a real alliance of all who fear her ambitions. The interests of the two nations are not in reality in conflict. We possess all the territory
and the population that we desire. Our efforts must be directed during the present generation to developing the resources in men and material and character which we have neglected too long. Germany, on the other hand, has developed her existing resources to the uttermost and is looking for a new field for her energies.
Again I ask, whether between these very different interests may not a way of accommodation be found?
C. S. GOLDMAX.
THE TRUE STORY OF THE MOROCCO
In a paper published in the November issue of this Revicw I submitted that the time had come when Englishmen, whatever their views on ordinary questions of political controversy might be, should ask themselves in all soberness where the entente with France was leading us. That month, as it transpired, was to witness a perfect avalanche of revelations directly bearing upon the query. Under their weight public opinion was momentarily staggered. At the end of the month a distinguished and skilled physician administered a sedative with soothing effect. Englishmen are now being told, although the cause of their disquiet has become singularly aggravated, that they should forget all about these revelations. They are counselled to imitate the custom which legend attributes to the ostrich; to bury the events of the past six months in decent oblivion ; write Finis over the part played by British diplomacy in the Franco-German quarrel over Morocco, and thank the Almighty that their relations with foreign Powers are in the hands of calm, cool, collected, thoroughly wellinformed, clear-sighted men of affairs.
In the face of information now publicly accessible, this advice could only be followed by a nation which had ceased to think for itself and had parted with its political sanity. For December and January have also brought their revelations, and a careful study of the wholo crop discloses, inter alia, that those who control the nation's foreign policy have displayed neither calmness nor coolness, still less that they have exhibited ordinary foresight such as an average individual would extend to his own business concerns; that they have been incapable of appreciating themselves, and getting others to appreciate, the value of Britain's friendship to third parties; that they have given to agreements signed with certain Powers an interpretation warranted neither by their texts nor by any sort of national authorisation; and that they were prepared to involve the people of this country in all the immeasurable consequences of a great war on the strength of that unsa'nctioned interpretation. Passing from the general to the particular, an examination of the cards-British, French, German, SpanishVOL. LXXI-No 420 233
now placed upon the table proves most clearly that the fundamental reason explanatory of the attitude of the British Cabinet towards Germany in the crucial month of last July, as communicated to the House of Commons by the Foreign Secretary on November 27-viz. that the German Government planning a partition of Morocco between Germany, France, and Spain from which arrangement Britain was to be excluded, bore no relation to facts. This, I venture to believe, will be made good out of the mouths of our French friends themselves in the course of this article.
Now the attitude adopted by the British Cabinet at that moment is admittedly the governing factor in our relations with Germany to-day. It is equally certain that the common-sense in the nation declines, to use Mr. Bonar Law's phraseology, to believe in the inevitableness of war with Germany, and most emphatically does not desire such a war; is indisposed to weaken its defences by a single item so long as there is danger of it; is prepared to make any further sacrifices that may be required of it to maintain its unquestionable superiority on the high seas; would strike with all its giant strength if attacked; but is not in the least inclined to pull the chestnuts out of the fire and burn its fingers for someone else's benefit. Public feeling is becoming more and more persuaded that a better feeling with Germany would be possible if only it could get down to bedrock. It is somewhat puzzled and uncomfortable. It wants facts. It echoes Lord Selborne's demand for facts. It takes the measure of the German jingoes just as it does of its own-of the men on both sides of the North Sea who indulge in the criminal task of distilling venom, piling up suspicions, distorting history, and creating an atmosphere which makes for war. But it is not so foolish as to suppose that German public sentiment in the mass, including elements that have long worked for an improvement in relations, can suddenly become hostile---and this is the phenomenon with which public opinion here has to reckon out of sheer 'cussedness.'
Somewhere, somehow, some gigantic misunderstanding must have arisen, some malign influence must be at work. As a people Germans are level-headed, trade has become their dominating passion ; we are their best customers. Why, if the FrancoGerman agreement is, in the opinion of many Germans, more favourable to France than to Germany should German opinion, now that it is concluded, respect the French as hard bargainers and view us with angry eyes? Why, if Russia, with whom wo have an understanding, can come to a business arrangement with Germany, should the fact that seven years ago we settled various outstanding disputes with France and established cordial relations with that country, debar us from arriving at a business under