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it would be more correct to say that they have led the "manual workers "by the nose. But even this engrossing occupation does not fit them to come to decisions about foreign affairs. And when Mr MacDonald explains how he envisages the whole problem, you know at once that sentiment takes the place of thought in his mind. He stands for a policy, so he tells us, of international co-operation through a strengthened and enlarged League of Nations. Co-operation is all very well, if you find those who will co-operate with you. It is of no effect in a hostile environment. Mr MacDonald, however, is sanguine. He can't get over the fact that on 21st February he addressed a letter to M. Poincaré, a letter designed to call into being a new world. Therein he told M. Poincaré that "our task must be to establish confidence, and this task can only be achieved by allaying the international suspicions and anxieties which exist to-day." seems clear, apart from any other consideration, that to continue the development of the naval base at Singapore would hamper the establishment of this confidence, and lay our good faith open to suspicion.
It will do more than lay our good faith open to suspicion. It will lay the heart of our Empire open to attack by the first enemy that comes along. Mr MacDonald has not the experiencing mind. Otherwise he
would have learnt by this time that when one of two contending parties attempts to establish friendship by surrender, he persuades the other party to treat him as a coward, whom he may profitably assault. When he made it, Mr MacDonald's discourse was said to be "lofty in tone." It was, in truth, pernicious cant, a piece of foolish mysticism, a simple dogma, divorced from the world of fact. The poor mystic, who bares his breast and shouts aloud, "I will not fight, wherefore nobody will attack me," is instantly knocked on head. And were Mr MacDonald a sincere lover of peace, he would know that it would be a better means of attaining peace to extend and strengthen the Singapore Base than to utter platitudes about agreement and goodwill. If Mr MacDonald would like to make an easy test of his dogma, let him abolish policemen, because they suggest the possibility of crime, and see what becomes of the unprotected citizen.
But his dogma needs no further test. It has been tried and found wanting in Ireland, in Egypt, in India. When in these three places our demagogues substituted surrender for government, the result was as might have been anticipated. Our "moral gesture," which in the hideous and vulgar slang of the moment the business is called, was taken for cowardice, as indeed it was. The union of hearts, which Messrs Lloyd George
and enlarged League of Nations. Mr Bruce, moreover, points out that the Australians are a peace-loving people, and as the members of & young community prefer to devote their wealth and energy, not to the making of armaments, but to reproductive works.
and Austen Chamberlain her- tion through a strengthened alded in Ireland, could have but one consequence. The campaign of murder and arson is still busily carried on, and the Irish rebels, who were once content to hate us, now despise us as well. In India, upon which our reckless politicians conferred as a boon the wornout machinery of popular Government, the silly complaisance of the ignorant hastens to its appointed and tragical end. A very few years will prove in Egypt, even to Mr MacDonald, of what worth are are cant and hopefulness in the management of an Empire. It is always easier to give in than to govern, but if the giving in produce anarchy and murder, let the responsibility and disgrace rest for ever upon the right shoulders.
So Mr MacDonald prefers to achieve the security of our Empire "by agreement, goodwill, arrangements, and steps towards disarmament." If we fail in this, then, he confesses,
we must go back to other considerations," and he does not see that when his method has failed, it will be too late to try any other. In truth, to turn from the sentimentalities of our Prime Minister to the sound sense of Mr Bruce is to discover the difference between the demagogue and the statesman. The Australian Government cordially endorses the sentiments underlying the declaration of the British Government that they stand for a policy of international co-opera
In the opinion of the Australian Government, Mr MacDonald's method of dealing with the situation would jeopardise the peaceful policy which Australia desires to support. port. "The Empire," said Mr Bruce, "had wielded a definite influence for peace, but that strength depended mainly on the British Navy. To ensure its mobility a base in the Pacific was imperative. Without it the existence and prestige of the Empire were endangered. In the Australian Government's opinion, the imperilling of the Empire would strike a fatal blow at the League of Nations. The Washington Conference arose primarily out of problems connected with the Pacific. The nations represented reached a stage of mutual understanding unprecedented in history, despite the fact that they knew Great Britain intended to proceed with the construction of a base, and expressly excluded Singapore from the area within which fortifications were not to be erected."
There you have contrasted the sane and the insane method of policy. Nor need we be surprised at the attitude of Mr Pecksniff assumed by Mr
MacDonald. He is not as other men are. He can thrust his hand into his waistcoat and claim the world's admiration for his lofty sentiments. Unfortunately, his sentiments are not the sentiments of Great Britain. It is intelligible that Mr MacDonald, who has never been a zealous lover of his own country, who in the war proved an eminent propagandist for his "German friends," who even to-day, when he is Prime Minister, still divides his allegiance between the country which for an unknown reason he desires to govern and the Second International, should care little about the British Empire. And let it be remembered that his treatment of the Singapore Base is typical of his method. He is ready to surrender whenever surrender be asked of him, and he will ensure the hatred and contempt of the whole world, not for himself, but for Great Britain. He is, therefore, a public danger, and the sooner he be sent back into private life and be permitted to give all his energies to the Second International, which meets, we believe, in the spiritual home which he shares with Viscount Haldane, the better will it be for Great Britain and her loyal Dominions oversea.
We have discussed at some length the question of Singapore, because it shows clearly the risk to which weakness and sentimentality always exposes the country which falls a victim to them. It may be said that a settled policy of peace at
any price always involves the country which espouses it in ruin and disgrace. The country which is too proud or too lazy to fight for itself will speedily be asked to fight for others. The warning is on the wall for those who will be at the pains to read it. There was a time when Holland had no superior in gallantry and courage. She sustained for many a year an unequal war with a nation greater than herself, and she even threatened the naval supremacy of England. As we all know, her ships sailed up the Thames, to our eternal disgrace. And then suddenly she seemed to abdicate. Sunk in sloth and comfort, her citizens prided themselves on their love of peace. No doubt they were swayed by the mixed motives of laziness and idealism. Truly, if they thought that they would set a good example to the others by ceasing to defend themselves, if they believed that security was best attained by refusing to fight for it, they were grievously disappointed. As Mr H. W. van Loon wrote in his Fall of the Dutch Republic,' which has been quoted before in these columns, and which should not be forgotten, "After having been one of the leading Powers of Europe for more than a century, the Republic voluntarily retired from active life among the great nations. Her armies were disbanded. Her fleet was allowed to rot away in the harbours. Her generals and admirals were pensioned off, and sent home
full penalty of her false doc-
to tend their vegetable gardens. teenth century she paid the Their places were taken by diplomats, long - wigged, and well provided with money. This money was to serve the very peace. Peace at any cost, even at the cost of dishonour, was to be the new creed of the Republic." Whatever else the Republic got, she did not get peace. Her increased wealth brought her no comfort. With the decay of her Arms, her Arts also decayed. The great painters who had brought her glory vanished with the pensioned admirals and generals. The nation, which repudiated the supreme duty of defence, was fit for nothing. "The nation as a whole," wrote Mr van Loon, the men and women who a century before had gone through famine, siege, and pestilence rather than submit to a foreign will and a foreign Church; what has become of them? They, too, have degenerated; they have settled into large well-to-do rentiers. Their energy and their enterprise are gone. Their money has been invested. Their dividends are expected to keep them in comfort." By 1715 the Dutch possessed neither fleet nor army, and they began to whine at their untoward fate. They whined without reason. "Unwilling to assert her good right by her fleet, the Republic had no just cause to complain that rival nations had destroyed her prosperity. As a matter of fact, she committed suicide." Before the end of the eigh- dislikes, but put them into
French uniforms, and sent them over the face of the globe to fight their wars for them as best they could. Before Napoleon got through with his campaigns, whole regiments of Dutch soldiers had been reduced to two or three men. Meantime generations of young men were practically annihilated before peace came once more to the country. When it did come, in 1813, the country was bankrupt, the people were hopeless, and in the town of Amsterdam one half of the population was kept alive by private- charity." Such is the warning given us by Holland, and no false idealism, no boastful pretence of superior morality, can make the warning ineffective.
Thus we know the fate which will overtake us if we listen to the empty eloquence of Mr MacDonald, who, despite the lesson of history, believes that he has only to stand up in the House of Commons and assert in a sob-broken voice that England will set a good example of disarmament, and that all the benefits of peace and prosperity will follow. Bitterly he deceives himself. His "lofty sentiments" have but one result they convince foreign nations of England's bad faith. France instantly brackets England with Germany as an untrustworthy State. And not without reason. If what Mr MacDonald says is true, that England is determined to weaken herself, then she is useless as a friend and ally.
If it be not true, then France has every right to believe that a trick is being put upon her. And while France is distrustful, Russia, whom Mr MacDonald regards as his nearest and dearest friend, is loud in contempt. What, then, have we gained from Mr MacDonald's elevation! Nothing, save increased unrest at home, and a complete loss of respect and prestige abroad, from which not even Mr MacDonald's "letter to M. Poincaré," which still fills him with pride, is likely to save us.
But if our governors wished to enlighten themselves, which is not easily credible, about the results of surrender, we would commend to their notice, as we commend it to the notice of all others, The Lost Dominion,' by Al. Carthill (Edinburgh and London: Wm. Blackwood & Sons). Never has the decay and ruin of a great Empire been more clearly set forth than in Mr Al. Carthill's vigorous and logical pages. He is a pupil of Swift, is Mr Al. Carthill, and he has caught much of his master's irony and satire. irony and satire. His irony and satire have the greater effect, because he is resolute to restrain whatever violence there may be in him. Indeed, he disclaims the possession of any strong opinions. "I am not writing," he says, "to recommend or dissuade from any future policy. I am neither a politician nor a preacher." He will get few readers to agree in this estimate of himself. To us he appears both a poli