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The War on All Fronts: England's Effort eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 151 pages of information about The War on All Fronts.

And now let me record two final sayings.

One from a manager of a department: 

We have a good many Socialists here, and they constantly give trouble.  But the great majority of the men have done wonderfully!  Some men have put in one hundred hours a week since the war began.  Some have not lost a minute since it began.  The old hands have worked splendidly.

And another from one of the Directors: 

     I know of no drunkenness among our women.  I don’t remember
     ever having seen a drunken woman round here.

III

I have almost said my say on munitions, though I could continue the story much longer.  But the wonder of it consists really in its vastness, in the steady development of a movement which will not end or slacken till the Allies are victorious.  Except for the endless picturesqueness of the women’s share in it, and the mechanical invention and adaptation going on everywhere, with which only a technical expert could deal, it is of course monotonous, and I might weary you.  I will only—­before asking you to cross the Channel with me to France—­put down a few notes and impressions on the Clyde district, where, as our newspapers will have told you, there is at the present moment (March 29th) some serious labour trouble, with which the Government is dealing.  Until further light is thrown upon its causes, comment is better postponed.  But I have spoken quite frankly in these letters of “danger spots,” where a type of international Socialism is to be found—­affecting a small number of men, over whom the ideas of “country” and “national honour” seem to have no hold.  Every country possesses such men and must guard itself against them.  A nucleus of them exists in this populous and important district.  How far their influence is helped among those who care nothing for their ideas, by any real or supposed grievances against the employers, by misunderstandings and misconceptions, by the sheer nervous fatigue and irritation of the men’s long effort, or by those natural fears for the future of their Unions, to which I have once or twice referred, only one long familiar with the district could say, I can only point out here one or two interesting facts.  In the first place, in this crowded countryside, where a small minority of dangerous extremists appear to have no care for their comrades in the trenches, the recruiting for the new Armies—­so I learn from one of the leading authorities—­has been—­“taken on any basis whatever—­substantially higher than in any other district.  The men came up magnificently.”  That means that among those left behind, whatever disturbing and disintegrating forces exist in a great Labour centre have freer play than would normally be the case.  A certain amount of patriotic cream has been skimmed, and in some places the milk that remains must be thin.  In the second place—­(you will remember the employer I quoted to you in a former

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