by HALLIDAY SUTHERLAND
ALL civilised people welcome the Prime Minister's declaration that retribution must follow the shooting of hostages. Let us hope that this pledge will not he forgotten as was the eleictioneering cry of Lloyd George " to hang the Kaiser." There can be no justice in Europe until the man who ordered the shooting of French hostages, as a reprisal for the killing of German officers, has been arrested, charged, and tried for murder.
The murderer would he delighted if the British people in their hour of victory were to forget one of the most appalling crimes in history. He and other German murderers must therefore welcome the efforts now being made to change the mood of our people from calm determination into a frenzied hatred of 80 million Germans, all equally villainous. Even a German Jew, broadcasting about atrocities, is described by the B.B.C. as —" a German." I wonder why? A Jew living in Scotland is not a Scotsman.
1n a welter of-atrocity stories. atrocious crimes may be forgotten. Moreover, the majority of adults in Britain have not forgotten the last war. We remember how our feelings were harrowed and our hatred of Germany was raised, to the point of believing that the only good German was a dead German, by stories, sus:, as that of the Corpse Factory, which now we know were false. We also know that the British Government, sponsoring those stories, knew them to be lies.
One thing is certain. In an atmosphere of insensate Irate the common people of all belligerent countries will lose the Peace—just as they lost it at Versailles, where the sanity of President Wilson was accounted madness.
IN all civilised countries the common
people want peace and social security; and for those reasons the people of Britain should demand democratic Government. There can be no democracy without representative government, and no Parliament is democratic unless it truly represents the electorate. At the election of 1924 less than 74 million people voted for the Conservatives, and over 8 million people voted against them. Yet Conservatives secured two-thirds of the seats in Parliament and formed a government under Mr. Stanley Baldwin, who at this time was comparatively unknown. He realised that since the death of Queen Victoria the British public had lacked an object for their affectionate regard, an emotion distinct from the loyal affection accorded to King George V, and decided that this gap in our psychological defences must be repaired forthwith.
The press announced that Mr. Baldwin was born at Bewdley, in Worcestershire, which was true; and that his hobby was raising pigs, which was not true. Press photographs of Mr. Baldwin, with a pipe and wearing a large bowler hat, were also helpful. " 'E gets 'is baccy at Bewley's," surmised the Man in the Street. On this evidence the public, from Land's End to John o' Groats, recognised the Claimant to be none other than the Long Lost Squire, whom they had mourned as dead: and henceforth, to one and all, Mr. Baldwin became known as Straightforward Stan. Later on, his lips were " sealed " and his hands were tied—by persons unknown.
At the Election of 1929 the Labour Party, having polled only 37 per cent. of the votes, won 47 per cent. of the seats in Parliament and formed a government under Mr. Ramsay MacDonald. During the financial crisis of 1931, Ramsay MacDonald betrayed his Cabinet, and thereafter worked in harness with Straightforward Stan in a " National " Government. This Government, after Baldwin's declaration " The bomber will always get through," voted, not a million more, but over one million less for the Air Force than the previous Labour Government had voted in its last year of office. Dementia senalis. In the 1931 Election the parties supporting the " National " Government won two-thirds of the votes, and nine-tenths of the seats; and in the 1935 Election they had 55 per cent of the votes and 70 per cent. of the seats. Dementia popidi.
Thus it happened that Messrs. Baldwin and MacDonald, first in turn, and then together, became the rulers of Britain. " They found us at the end of a great war, wounded indeed and weary, but victorious, confident of solving our (Continued at foot of Column 5.)