Puslapio vaizdai

great war was no mere clash of worldly ambitions. It was a phase of the eternal struggle between light and darkness. It was only a short time before his death that in a speech to the Canadian Club at Ottawa he revealed his innermost soul:


The world has many ideals. Two of the most prominent are present in the minds of all. We have seen the relics of Egypt and of Assyria. We have seen the emblem of the ancient religions, the ancient monarchies-the king on his throne; the badge of sovereignty in his hand, the scourge. We have read of the ruins of a palace once decorated with pictures of burning cities, troops of captives, victims being tortured to death. That was the banquet-hall of the King of Assyria. That is one type of civilisation. There is another, the sign of which is the Cross. I need not tell you what that means, but I must say this: the Cross is a sign of patience under suffering, but not of patience under wrong. The Cross, gentlemen, is on the banner under which we fight--the Cross of St George, the Cross of St Andrew, the Cross of St Patrick; different in form, in colour, in history, yes, but the same in spirit, the spirit of sacrifice.

'We are all subjects of the Prince of Peace, the Prince of Peace who fought the greatest fight ever fought upon this earth, who won the greatest victory, and won it by His Blood. That is the Cross; that is the sign under which we fight against this hideous enemy. That is the sign under which we fight, and by which we shall conquer.'

About a fortnight later, Spring-Rice, who was waiting at Ottawa for the steamer that was to carry him home to England, went out skiing with his children, and spent the evening as usual, and in very good spirits, with his wife and his kindly hosts at Government House. He had not long retired to bed when his brave heart suddenly failed, and he passed away without a struggle to the rest he had well earned. The following lines, though written by an English poet, Alfred Noyes, were first published in the New York Times,' and afterwards so widely reproduced all over America that they may stand for the epitaph placed by the American people themselves upon the grave of one who had held the banner of England high amongst them at the most solemn hour of their national fortunes and our own.


'Steadfast as any soldier of the line

He served his England, with the imminent death Poised at his heart; nor did the world divine

The constant peril of each burdened breath.

'England, and the honour of England, he still served,
Walking the strict path, with the old high pride
Of those invincible knights who never swerved

One hair's-breadth from the way until they died.
'Quietness he loved, and books, and the grave beauty
Of England's Helicon, whose eternal light
Shines like a lantern on that road of duty,
Discerned of few, in this chaotic night.

* And his own pen, foretelling his release,
Told us that he foreknew the end was peace.


'Soldier of England, he shall live, unsleeping,

Among his friends, with the old proud flag above; For, even to-day, her honour is in his keeping ;

He has joined the hosts that guard her with their love

They shine like stars, unnumbered, happy legions,

In those high realms where all our darkness dies;
He moves, with honour, in those loftier regions,
Above this "world of passion and of lies."

'For so he called it, keeping his own high passion
A silent flame before the true and good;
Not fawning on the throng in this world's fashion,
To come and see what all might see who would.

'Soldier of England, perfect, gentle knight,
The soul of Sidney welcomes you to-night.'



In most countries propaganda is more or less of an accident, but in Germany it is a science. There the greatest importance is attached to propaganda, and it is developed with Teutonic thoroughness. Official propaganda in Germany is issued by the different Government departments, by the Foreign Office, the War Office, and the Admiralty, each of which has a special section for the purpose. There is also a Press Department for influencing Neutral Countries (Presseabteilung zur Beeinflussung der Neutralen), presided over by the wellknown Roman Catholic member of the Reichstag, Dr Matthias Erzberger. A vast amount of propaganda, however, is done by those private organisations, many of them established long before the war, which originated in the desire of the German industrialists to encourage commercial relations between Germany and foreign countries, and to influence public opinion abroad in favour of German interests. These have combined to form an Union of German Associations for Economic Activity in Foreign Countries (Verband Deutsch-Ausländischer Wirtschaftsvereine) for the settlement of questions jointly affecting them-a very useful scheme, but one from which little has resulted, owing to the divergence of interests between the constituent bodies. Besides the purely economic associations, there are others which concern themselves only indirectly with trade, and whose primary aim is to spread Kultur in foreign countries. Since the outbreak of war, these associations have worked hand in hand, devoting themselves but little to their original functions, and, together with those more recently founded, giving all their energies to furthering the general propaganda of the Fatherland. It is to an examination of these societies and their labours that this article is confined.

The most important and the most active of all the private propagandist organisations was the Deutscher Ueberseedienst Transozean, Berlin, which was founded in the spring of 1914 by a number of important industrialists, one of the most important shareholders being August Thyssen, the well-known German coal and iron-master. One of the principal objects of the founders

was to set up a news-service which should supplement or supplant Wolff's Telegram Bureau. Wolff, in the ordinary course of business, had concluded with the other great news-agencies, Reuter, Havas, Stefani, etc., an agreement by which each of these bodies had its own sphere of work, pooled the telegrams received, and circulated them to subscribers throughout the world. As an international news-agency the scheme worked fairly well, but the founders of the D. U. Transozean above all things objected to an international news-agency; they complained that the telegrams circulated by Wolff were too neutral in tone. They desired to establish a national, as opposed to an international, news-agency, which would serve exclusively the interests of Germany throughout the world, and have as its unwritten motto, 'Deutschland über Alles.'

The original intention of the founders was probably only to conduct a campaign for furthering the commercial interests of Germany; but the outbreak of war, which at once put an end to Germany's overseas export trade, and threatened very shortly to extinguish her overseas import trade also, impelled them to a different line of conduct. In 1915 the D. U. Transozean was reconstructed as a political propagandist organisation; and from that date it has been in close touch with other propagandist societies at home and abroad. Although its views did not always coincide with those of the German Government, and from time to time some measure of restraint had to be imposed upon it, it nevertheless to a great extent acted under official direction. Its pecuniary resources were apparently boundless; certainly its expenses were enormous; and there can be little doubt that it was heavily subsidised by Government. The Director of the organisation was Dr Th. Schuchart; and it is impossible not to admire the thoroughness and vigour with which he conducted the campaign entrusted to his management.

The D. U. Transozean issued a daily wireless service, which has been of great value to Germany; for, while Wolff's Telegram Bureau is to some extent compelled by its semi-official character to maintain a certain reserve, Transozean, being ostensibly a private concern, could conduct its service as unscrupulously as it liked, without

in any way implicating the Government. As a matter of fact, it did not hesitate to send out garbled war telegrams and tendencious matter of all kinds. It seems scarcely to be doubted that the official circles of the Empire encouraged and sometimes instructed it to issue doubtful and even definitely mendacious statements for which the Government did not care openly to accept responsibility. Certainly the promptness and regularity with which these messages were despatched suggest that priority was given to them by the authorities.

The management devised a very thorough Intelligence Section, with agents all over the world, especially in Central and South America. These agents reported on the political situation and economic conditions in the country in which they lived, and furnished lists of people to whom propagandist literature could with advantage be sent. Well aware that public opinion is to a great extent manufactured by the Press, the organisation endeavoured, by every means in its power, to influence proprietors and editors of newspapers and periodicals in neutral countries; and in this branch of its activities it was ably seconded by its agents abroad, who supplied detailed information concerning such publications, and the importance and financial position of proprietors, foreign correspondents, and journalists.

Besides its wireless propagandist messages, this association printed a news-service, 'Continental Correspondenz,' with editions in German, English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. This was founded in 1915 by Herr Ludwig Asch, and said to be edited now by Herr Günther Thomas. Through its agents it supplied free 'copy,' in the form of Germanophile articles, to any newspaper that would print it. Before Rumania entered the war, that country was favoured by the D. U. Transozean with a special news-service, which consisted mainly of cuttings from the German, Allied, and Neutral Press, selected, of course, with the view of showing that the Central Powers must emerge victorious from the conflict. If argument failed, it would, if possible, subsidise a newspaper proprietor or editor; when this course proved ineffectual, it would endeavour to purchase a newspaper outright. All other means failing, it would itself found a newspaper.

« AnkstesnisTęsti »