My reasons for commending M. Cheradame’s most instructive work to the earnest attention of my countrymen and countrywomen are three-fold.
In the first place, M. Cheradame stands con- spicuous amongst that very small body of politicians who warned Europe betimes of the German danger. The fact that in the past he proved a true prophet gives him a special claim to be heard when he states his views as regards the present and the future.
In the second place, I entertain a strong opinion that M. Cheradame’s diagnosis of the present situation is, in all its main features, correct.
In the third place, in spite of the voluminous war literature which already exists, I greatly doubt whether the special aspect of the case which M. Cheradame wishes to present to the public is fully understood in this country; neither should I be surprised to hear from those who are more qualified than myself to speak on the subject that the same remark applies, though possibly in a less degree, to the public opinion of France.
It is essential that, before the terms of peace are discussed, a clear idea should be formed of the reasons which led the German Government to provoke this war. It is well that, if v such a course be at all possible, those who are personally responsible for the numerous acts of barbarity committed by the Germans should receive adequate punishment. But attention to points of this sort, however rational and meritorious, should not in any degree be allowed to obscure the vital importance of the permanent political issues which call loudly for settlement. Otherwise, it is quite conceivable that a peace may be patched up, which may have some specious appearance of being favourable to the Allies, but which would at the same time virtually concede to the Germans all they require in order, after time had been allowed for recuperation, to renew, with increased hope of success, their attempts to shatter modern civilization and to secure the domination of the world.