Two dangers may have to be faced as the war proceeds. One is that the nation, exhilarated by smaller successes, may think that the war will soon be over, and that no excessive effort is therefore required. Traces of this feeling are sometimes visible in the published letters (how admirable, as a rule, they are!) of soldiers at the front, telling their families to expect them back in a month or two’s time. The other danger is that, harassed by the continuance of the struggle, or attracted by delusive offers of peace or affected by economic or industrial conditions which have fortunately not so far developed, a section of the nation may cry out for peace before the victory has been consummated and before the peril we are fighting to avert is forever destroyed.
It may be that renewed platform activity may be required as time goes on to sustain the spirit and fortify the constancy of the nation. In the meanwhile, speakers, from my experience, cannot do better than dilate upon the immense magnitude of the stakes involved, and probable long duration of the struggle, and the supreme importance that our country should, by the strength and effectiveness of its material contribution to the common cause, exercise a powerful influence both upon the issue of the struggle and in the resettlement of territories and forces which will follow upon its conclusion. I am, Sir, yours obediently,
CURZON OF KEDLESTON.
1 Carlton House Terrace, Sept. 14.
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[Illustration: W.L. SPENCER CHURCHILL, British First Lord of the Admiralty. (Photo from Underwood & Underwood.)]
Speech by Winston Spencer Churchill, First Lord of the Admiralty, at the London Opera House, Sept. 11.
These are serious times, and though we meet here in an abode of diversion and of pleasure in times of peace, and although we wish and mean to rouse and encourage each other in every way, yet we are not here for purposes of merriment or jollification. I am quite sure I associate my two friends who are here tonight and who are to speak after me, and my noble friend, your Chairman, with me when I say that we regard the cheers with which you have received us as being offered to us only because they are meant for our soldiers in the field and our sailors upon the sea, [cheers,] and it is in that sense that we accept them and thank you for them.
We meet here together in serious times, but I come to you tonight in good heart, [cheers,] and with good confidence for the future and for the task upon which we are engaged. It is too soon to speculate upon the results of the great battle which is waging in France. Everything that we have heard, during four long days of anxiety seems to point to a marked and substantial turning of the tide.