By Rene Bazin
[From King Albert’s Book.]
I believe that King Albert and Belgium, in sacrificing themselves as they have done for right, have saved Europe.
I believe that in order to act with such decision it was essential to have a King, that is to say, a leader responsible to history, of an old and proved stock.
I believe that for such action a Christian nation was essential, a nation capable of understanding, of accepting, and of enduring the ordeal.
I believe that the first duty of the Allies will be to restore the Kingdom of Belgium, and that the example shown by the King and his people will be exalted in all civilized countries as long as the world reads history.
By David Lloyd George, Chancellor of the Exchequer.
The gravity of labor disputes in the present time of national danger was dealt with by Mr. Lloyd George in a speech to his constituents at Bangor on Feb. 28, 1915, special reference being made to the Clyde strike. He declared that compulsory arbitration in war time was imperative, as it was “intolerable that the lives of Britons should be imperiled for a matter of a farthing an hour.” This was essentially an engineers’ war, for equipment was even more needed than men. Mr. Lloyd George went on to comment on the adverse effect of drinking upon production, and added: “We have great powers to deal with drink, and we shall use them.”
I have promised for some time to address a meeting at Bangor. I have been unable to do so because Ministers of the Crown have been working time and overtime, and I am sorry to say that we are not even able to make the best of the day of rest, the urgency is so great, the pressure is so severe. I had something to say today, otherwise I should not have been here, and I had something to say that required stating at once. This is the only day I had to spare. It is no fault of mine. It is because we are entirely absorbed in the terrible task which has been cast upon our shoulders. I happened to have met on Friday morning, before I decided to come down here, one of the most eminent Scottish divines, a great and old friend of mine, Dr. Whyte of Edinburgh. We were discussing what I have got to say today. I remarked to him, “I have only one day on which to say it, and as that is Sunday afternoon I am very much afraid my constituents won’t listen to me.” He replied, “If they won’t have you, come to Scotland, and we will give you the best Sunday afternoon meeting you ever had.” But I thought I would try Wales first. [Cheers.] He told me that in the Shorter Catechism you are allowed to do works of charity and necessity, and those who tell me that this is not work of necessity do not know the need, the dire need, of their country at this hour. At this moment there are Welshmen in the trenches of France facing cannon and death; the hammering of forges today is ringing down the church bells from one end of Europe to the other. When I know these things are going on now on Sunday as well as the week days I am not the hypocrite to say, “I will save my own soul by not talking about them on Sundays.” [Cheers.]