The Marquess of Lansdowne—I feel that it would be almost impertinent on my part to say a word after the extraordinarily interesting statement to which we have just listened. But I should be sorry if complete silence on our part lent itself to the interpretation that we are indifferent to the great topics which the Secretary of State for War has dealt with in his speech. May we be permitted to say that we regard with the profoundest admiration and gratitude what the noble Field Marshal described as the great feat of arms which has been accomplished by the British force since its arrival at the seat of war, and to add also that we share the feelings which the noble and gallant lord has expressed with regard to the immense services rendered by Sir John French to this country, services which he, of course, could not bear witness to in the dispatch he sent home? [Cheers.] There are only two other remarks which, with great deference, I would venture to make. One has reference to the noble and gallant lord’s statement in regard to the response made to his appeal to the country for recruits. That response has been memorable and admirable and, considering the immense influx of recruits which have come in, we can scarcely be surprised that in the early days the strain should have been rather greater than either the War Office or the local authorities were able to cope with. But we have every reason to believe that that has been corrected, and I have no doubt that all will now go smoothly and well. We have all heard with the greatest satisfaction the announcement that the separation allowances to the wives of regulars and territorials are to be considerably increased. ["Hear, hear!”] Considering what our soldiers are doing for us at the seat of war, the least we can do is to provide liberally for the relatives whom they have left behind in this country. [Cheers.]
* * * * *
Speech by King George V. Read Before Both Houses, Sept. 18.
The Lord Chancellor read the King’s speech, which was in the following terms:
My Lords and Gentlemen:
I address you in circumstances that call
for action rather than for speech.
After every endeavor had been made by my Government to preserve the peace of the world, I was compelled, in the assertion of treaty obligations deliberately set at nought, and for the protection of the public law of Europe and the vital interests of my empire, to go to war.
My navy and army have,
with unceasing vigilance, courage, and
skill, sustained, in association with gallant and faithful allies,
a just and righteous cause.
From every part of my
empire there has been a spontaneous and
enthusiastic rally to our common flag.
Gentlemen of the House
of Commons: I thank you for the liberality
with which you have met a great emergency.