Why the War Was Prolonged

I

THERE are two ways of settling differences — by reason and by violence. When the former fails, the latter is resorted to. It is then that the passive state of war — the normal state in which mankind unconsciously moves — merely passes on to its active phase. Suasion gives place to coercion, right yields to might.

The coercive forces fall broadly into two categories: the physical and material forces of destruction, by which life and property are driven from the sanctuary that they enjoy under the protection of an established moral code; and the economic forces that act passively on the conditions of human existence and of inhuman warfare. To live, man must eat and drink and be clothed; to kill other men, he must have guns and munitions.

It is for the twofold purpose of giving prominence to the contrast so strikingly furnished by the World War between these two groups of forces, between the seen and the unseen, the understood and the not-understood, weapons with which it was waged, and of indicating the potency of the latter weapon, that Admiral Consett has presented his commentary on the economic aspect of the recent war, under the title of The Triumph of Unarmed Forces.

This volume is designed to demonstrate the far-reaching and evil effects of trade on the fortunes of war, by showing how the failure to harness the vast resources of a great Empire led to the undue protraction of the struggle in arms of 1914-1918, and brought economic defeat alike to victor and to vanquished.

In August 1914, Germany was prepared and equipped for only a short campaign. It is beyond all reasonable doubt that her chief and immediate object was the subjugation of France. England’s entry and the battle of the Marne finally destroyed Germany’s hopes of an early victory, and made victory itself uncertain, and possible only after a long and tedious struggle.

Germany saw that her existence depended upon her ability to import supplies from overseas. The war thus resolved itself into a struggle for the mastery of these supplies, whose war status was governed by conditions, some of which were not in dispute, while others formed the subject of diplomatic controversy with America. Germany had free access to Scandinavian and Dutch produce; but Scandinavia herself was dependent upon overseas supplies for her industrial and economic existence. These supplies came from the neutral world and from Great Britain and her allies. Over the latter Great Britain had absolute control, but only partial and challenged control over neutral commerce. British and British-controlled supplies, it must be noted, were of great, and, in some cases, of vital importance to Scandinavia.

What happened during the war was that Great Britain sent her own goods to Scandinavia, who passed them on directly to Germany, or used them either to release her native produce or to work her industries in the interests of Germany. British trade with Scandinavia continued for two and a half years, until, in 1917, Germany committed the blunder of declaring an unrestricted submarine warfare, thus virtually blockading herself by closing the North Sea to practically all traffic and bringing America into the war.

The generally accepted thesis with regard to the prolongation of the war differs from that of Admiral Consett. Admiral Consett attributes the prolonged fighting mainly, if not entirely, to the material effects of British trade on the blockade of Germany, and to its evil moral influence on American, Scandinavian, and Dutch opinion; whereas the official view, as stated during the war and as recently reiterated by Lord Grey, was that Great Britain’s belligerent rights over neutral commerce were limited by the necessity of having to accept America’s interpretation of international maritime law or to face the risk of a rupture with America.

It remains, therefore, before turning to the subject of British trade, to examine the contention of His Majesty’s Government in respect of America’s attitude during the time that America was a neutral; observing, however, that the subject of British trade is independent of the subject of maritime rights, to which, and to neutral trade, the official contention exclusively refers. In the one case we are concerned with a question of opinion, in the other we are dealing with a matter of proved fact. Also, before proceeding to an examination of the effects of an embargo on British exports, the ground must be cleared by a brief survey of the economic relationship between Great Britain and her allies and Scandinavia, with a view to ascertaining where and to what extent lay the economic advantage; and what were the political consequences that might result from the exerting of economic pressure on the Scandinavian neutrals.

I follow the plan which Admiral Consett has adopted. Naval belligerent operations have as their main, if not as their exclusive, ulterior offensive object the stoppage of all supplies to an enemy. The rules of naval warfare determine the extent of this right of interference; they are the expression of maritime rights and are framed for the protection of neutral commerce. They fix — or profess to fix, for they are very ambiguous and elusive affairs — the rights of neutrals equally with those of belligerents. Concerning, as they do concern, the basis of the prosperity of nations, it is not to be wondered at that they have always been fruitful sources of friction; and less is it a matter of surprise that the American overseas trade with the northern European neutrals, which they seriously threatened, brought Great Britain into sharp diplomatic conflict with America.

But the rules under which Great Britain fought during the war were of her own making. A long period of peace in the nineteenth century had lulled Great Britain into a false sense of security, and grave and radical changes had been voluntarily admitted into the code of rules under which she had previously fought. These changes greatly restricted the right of interference with neutral trade, though they would have operated greatly to the advantage of Britain, with her enormous carrying trade, in a European war in which she should have remained neutral — a contingency which, unhappily, ihese changes had contemplated. During the war a series of efforts was made to retrieve the abandoned rights and to bring into use the rules of the past. These efforts were resisted by America.

The principal rules are contained in the Declaration of Paris, 1856, and in the Declaration of London, 1909. With regard to the Declaration of London, although Great Britain herself was not bound by this Convention, it not having been ratified, it was nevertheless adopted with slight modifications on the outbreak of war. During the war very great changes were, in fact, made in these rules; chiefly by reason of Germany’s notorious contempt for, and disregard of, the moral obligations of the signatories of all contracts to preserve inviolate the faith from which alone a contract derives its value.

The Declaration of Paris authorizes a neutral vessel to carry enemy goods, with the exception of contraband.

The Declaration of London, which, be it said, was of German origin, deals chiefly with contraband and blockade. With regard to contraband, it gives lists of contraband articles, and, moreover, contains a list of articles which cannot be made contraband. On this Free List are to be found the principal raw materials for munitions. The capture of contraband is made subject to rigid conditions of proof of enemy destination, with which it was not practicable to comply. These conditions seriously fettered the jurisdiction of prize courts, the tribunal which pronounces upon the validity of all belligerent claims. The rules virtually amount to a notification to the smuggler of how to avoid risk to his venture. When it is considered that the smuggler stood to amass huge wealth, that he resorted to every trick and device that

unscrupulous ingenuity could suggest, — in some cases, I think, he could afford to lose three cargoes out of four, — is it a matter for surprise that a nation, fighting for its life, confronted with conditions that had never been contemplated by these rules, and seeing its enemy flagrantly violating them, should endeavor to search them for underlying principles? Although it was open knowledge that enormous supplies were reaching Germany, yet not a packet of merchandise could be touched without the authority of the prize courts, whose decisions were based on technical presumption of proof.

In the case of blockade, the range of modern guns, and the presence of aircraft, mines, and submarines made it impracticable to approach enemy ports in the North Sea and effectively to close them.

Thus, neither by the rules governing the seizure of contraband, nor by the rules of blockade, could effective control over guilty cargoes be obtained. Ships carrying foodstuffs and the raw materials for munitions and military equipment poured into the neutral ports of the North Sea, the British fleet being powerless to stop them. The ships were held up and sent into port for examination, only, in most cases, to be released.

The claims asserted by Great Britain in her search for principles met, in many cases, with energetic protest from America. The arguments on both sides in this diplomatic discussion are carefully and impartially reviewed. For instance, although it is quite true that long-range guns, aircraft, mines, and submarines did prevent British compliance with the rules of blockade, it has to be acknowledged that these hindrances were the lawful measures of our enemy, to whom America was neutral as well as to Great Britain. It was hardly to be expected that America would acquiesce, to her infinite injury, in the proposed rejection by Great Britain of rules to which she had agreed in peace-time, because in wartime she found that these rules did not suit her.

The controversy on the subject of maritime rights shows clearly how delicate a subject it is, and how utterly inadequate are the existing rules to meet the conditions of modern warfare.

During this discussion, however, the question of British trade was raised by America, who asked for the figures relating to the export of cocoa. These figures showed that British exports had increased from about 300,000 pounds during the first four months of 1913 to about 3,000,000 pounds during the first quarter of 1914. This is a very serious increase; but it is only fair to say that the general dislocation of trade and its diversion from accustomed routes may possibly in part have accounted for it. Further reference is made to British trade, which was justified on the ground that it was on a scale less than that of America’s export trade. Admiral Consett holds very strong views as to the effect of British trade on Anglo-American relations. But he brings very powerful reasoning to bear upon what he has to say on this subject, which is that British competitive trading lay at the root of the friction with America.

It is noted that in the opening months of the war America was not disposed, in view of the unexpected outbreak of hostilities, to judge British policy harshly, or to protest against it vigorously. At this time, too, the prestige of Great Britain stood at its highest, and Scandinavia would have been least disposed to resist the imposition of all lawful economic pressure. That Scandinavians, in fact, expected such pressure, and were frankly amazed at not being made to feel it, is amply borne out by Admiral Consett’s personal testimony.

These inestimable moral advantages were forfeited. Had Great Britain herself on the outbreak of war abstained from trade, there would, Admiral Consett submits, have been neither time nor cause for America’s displeasure to foment; for Germany’s neutral neighbors could not support themselves without the resources of the British Empire; much less could they have rendered assistance to Germany. America made such reasonable concessions as strict neutrality would allow, but she placed no obstacles in the way of a British embargo on Britain’s own goods. That the great mass of American opinion was sympathetic toward Great Britain seems to be beyond doubt. It is instanced notably in the case of the offer of an important firm of meat-packers. This offer and others were refused,

II

A survey of the economic relationship between the Allies and Scandinavia points to the nitrates of Norway as the only commodity of vital importance to the Allies. On the supply of Norway’s nitrates the French at one time depended for ninety per cent of their ammunition. Denmark’s food, Sweden’s steel, pit-props, timber, and other goods could be replaced by Great Britain from other sources at the cost of inconvenience only, whereas a British embargo would spell disaster to Scandinavia.

Holland, whose economic conditions resemble those of Denmark, is not treated separately.

With regard to political factors, it would seem that Germany’s aim throughout the war was the twofold aim of preserving at any cost the status quo in Scandinavia, and, to this end, of leaving no stone unturned to conceal this purpose from her enemies. Hence, Denmark is found preying upon England’s gullibility, to replenish her stocks, by pointing to fear of German invasion; and Sweden successfully staves off economic disaster by a simulated independence and a truculent or even bellicose attitude.

Perhaps the most important part of this volume is to be found in the closely reasoned discussion of these important factors. Admiral Consett’s arguments have been described as conclusive and unanswerable. Denmark’s army was small, and for defensive purposes only; Denmark was supplying Germany with 300,000 tons of food a year. Sweden was employing the whole of her man-power in turning out her priceless ore for Germany to the extent of between 4,000,000 and 5,000,000 tons a year, and supplying her with munitions and military equipment. Denmark was Germany’s larder, Sweden her workshop. The industries of these states were vitalized by British coal. Hostile to Great Britain, with the extreme probability that Norway would join the Entente powers, with the Scandinavian ports closed to commerce by the British fleet, with the Swedish army withdrawn from the mines and workshops, and, moreover, having to defend the Norwegian frontier and the west coast, with our enemies the only available source of supplies, with, in short, everything to lose and nothing to gain, was it likely that these states would abandon the unprecedented prosperity that they were enjoying and face almost certain and irreparable disaster?

Or was it likely that Germany, except on the supposition of a set of favorable circumstances too fantastic to receive consideration, could view the prospect of the turmoil into which Scandinavia would be thrown, except with the worst forebodings,and as pregnant with the gravest possibilities?

This examination of the political outlook is embarrassed by no necessity of having to consider the strategic features of Denmark and Sweden, by whom the navigable approaches to the Baltic were closed by mines and gates, which barred access to the British fleet, but left open a channel accessible only to the German fleet.

III

Having established his main premises, Admiral Consett addresses himself to the subject of trade and economic pressure. The bulk of the trade figures are given in an appendix. They are taken from official Scandinavian statistics published after the war. The observations that follow may suitably be introduced by three tables:

Metric tons of food sent by Norway, Sweden, and Denmark

Denmark To United Kingdom To Germany and Austria
1913 344,785 252,128
1914 359,820 262,376
1915 275,473 561,234
1916 191,916 620,756
1917 172,103 315,205

Metric tons of food sent from Denmark (the principal source of supply to Germany)

To United To Germany Kingdom and Austria

To United Kingdom To Germany and Austria
1913 256,754 123,547
1914 277,579 134,105
1915 197,398 274,401
1916 156,100 314,328
1917 102,423 196,907

Metric tons of food lost by England and gained by Germany from Denmark, as compared with 1913

Lost by Gained by England Germany

1913 Lost by England Gained by Germany
1915 59,356 150,854
1916 100,654 190,781
1917 154,321 73,360

Many food articles, such as beer, vegetable and fish oils, fruit, and immense quantities of vegetables are not included in the above tables.

Were these foodstuff’s of urgent importance to Germany? Could they have been restricted in amount?

The figures throughout the statistics for 1917, when the blockade became effective, furnish the most convincing reply to the latter question. In 1918 supplies to Germany dwindled away.

There was a factor which prevented Germany from drawing fully upon her native resources, and which governed access to the whole of Germany’s potential wealth. This factor was labor. There was coal in abundance in Westphalia, there was iron ore, there were large timber forests, and there was a fertile soil for the growth of food, though not in sufficient quantities. But all available men in Germany had been withdrawn from the mines, from the soil, from the factories, and from the workshops, to join the colors.

To cite only one example of the dearth of German labor — when Germany was under the influence of the great Entente offensive in the West and the extraordinarily high rate of wastage that it involved, 50,000 workmen had to be released at the request of the coal controller. These men were never recovered.

To strike therefore at Germany’s labor was to strike at her heart during the war. The ideal policy was to aim at the prevention of all goods from reaching her, but, alternatively, that, she should receive component parts preferably to finished articles, in order that her own soil, her own labor, and her own transport should be pressed into a service which was being performed partly by enemy and partly by neutral labor, and thus made to sap her strength. But all the German labor — and this point must be insisted upon — could not produce food enough, or nearly enough, for her own needs, even with the Roumanian and Ukraine supplies when they became available. Germany’s harvests had to be mortgaged and food riots had to be put down by the military. There were times when it was the immense stocks accumulated at earlier stages of the war that alone enabled Germany to bridge the narrow margin that separated her from famine. For the first time in history Prussian discipline had to yield to the relentless pressure of economic forces. In 1918, when the American armies took their place in the line of battle and the German offensive stopped, German troops left the fighting line in search of food. This significant admission is made by Ludendorff.

It is in the light of these facts that the importance of all outside supplies and the measures taken for restricting them must be judged.

It was not only food that Germany required, but it was food charged with fat. Fatty substances contain glycerine, the highly important ingredient in the manufacture of explosives. To this end Denmark imported immense quantities of oil-seeds, and fed her cattle on the most fat-producing food procurable.

Denmark’s agricultural system had been built up before the war to meet the special requirements of Great Britain; it was mainly on British and Britishcontrolled imports of fodder and fertilizers that, during the war, Denmark’s soil was nourished and her stock was fed. Before the war Great Britain took about 60 per cent and Germany about 25 per cent of Denmark’s total produce; but during the three years 1915, 1916, and 1917, Great Britain received an average amount of 100,000 tons a year less than in 1913, whereas Germany received an average of 138,000 tons a year more. While Denmark was feeding Germany at Great Britain’s expense, British goods poured into Denmark, British coal was used in the transport of Denmark’s raw materials from overseas, for its conversion into the finished article, in the mills that crushed the oil, on the State railways, in gas works, and in electric light and power stations; it was used by manufacturers of such food as meat conserves; and, finally, the trucks that were used for the transport of Denmark’s produce were German trucks.

During the war a system of rationing by agreement had been adopted. By this system neutral importers engaged that, in return for the expeditious delivery of their goods and freedom from the vexatious delays of examination and possible prize-court proceedings to which they were liable, they would guarantee not to use such goods for the benefit of our enemies. Neutral governments also prohibited the export of certain classes of imported goods; but, as the governments reserved the right to grant exemptions from the prohibited list, these prohibitions had very little value. The ambiguity in the drafting of these agreements and the failure to exercise a proper supervision in respect of their provisions greatly militated against the achievement of their designed aim. Traders were not slow to take advantage of the loopholes which they contained; and although prolonged parleys took place between the British authorities and the Danish agricultural representatives, with the view of amending the agreements,goods poured into Germany in a steady and unchecked stream for two and a half years. Broadly, Scandinavian importation under guaranty, though the goods were not sent direct to Germany, released native produce for export or fed the native industries that worked for Germany.

Prodigious quantities of oil-seeds were sent to Denmark from our colonies and from Manchuria. These seeds had great fodderand great oil-, that is to say great explosive-value. The import of soya beans and copra into Denmark increased from a pre-war average of 68,000 tons to an average of 150,000 tons in 1915 and 1916. The export of cattle that were fattened by these seeds and that went on the hoof to Germany increased from 150,000 in 1913 to 305,000 in 1916.

The enormous access of wealth and trade that the war had brought to Denmark had enabled her to expand her food industries and to open up new ones. During the first seven months of 1916 the meat alone that she was able to export to Germany was sufficient to furnish about 1,000,000 meat rations per day throughout the seven months, on the scale of the current German army ration. So flourishing was Denmark during the war that special accommodation had to be provided for the grain that poured into the country.

The irony of this extraordinary situation lay in this, that the Danes, who at times could obtain neither fish nor meat in their own shops, which had to close down because the goods went to the lucrative markets of Germany, attributed the shortage to the harsh British blockade.

Similarly, in Sweden, the Swedish spindles were idle when the wharves and quays of Swedish ports were choked with cotton for Germany; and coffee, the favorite beverage of the Swede, was unobtainable in Swedish restaurants at a time when Sweden was exporting quantities to Germany.

The whole of the Scandinavian fishing industries depended mainly upon British or British-controlled supplies. The greater part of the immense products of these industries, from which fish-guano, fish-meal, and fish-oil were obtained, went to Germany, where, during the first two years of the war, fish was the principal article of diet in trains and restaurants. From Denmark and Sweden alone during 1915, 1916, and 1917. Great Britain received 7000 tons to Germany’s 324,000 tons. An opportunity to purchase Norway’s fish — her fishing industry is one of the largest in the world — early in the war was rejected. In August, 1916, at three times the price of the original offer, the greater part of Norway’s catch was acquired by purchase. In the meantime Germany had been manuring her soil, manufacturing explosives, and feeding her population on the best part of the 355,000 tons of fish refused by her enemies. Petroleum was supplied to the Danish fishermen in unrestricted quantities, in violation of the signed conditions under which its import was allowed. The very fishermen themselves acknowledged that they were breaking faith and that they expected to be punished.

IV

Admiral Consett’s reports upon the Danish traffic with Germany are borne out in a very striking manner in all particulars by a report from Mr. Conger, the American representative in Denmark of the Associated Press after America’s entry. A copy of Mr. Conger’s report was sent to the Minister of Blockade.

Of the examples selected to illustrate the effects of British trade, coal is given first place.

All merchandise in war-time has a special war-value as distinct from its market value in peace-time. Coal was not so much a commodity as a source of irresistible power. Scandinavia has no coal; and, moreover, she depended very largely upon British coal, for the burning of which the grate surfaces of her boilers in many cases, including state railway engines, have been specially adapted. British coal was a vital cog in the Scandinavian machine, not only from its high calorific value, but because it was readily accessible and had no efficient substitute. In his luminous chapter on this subject, Admiral Consett examines all alternative sources of supply. Long distance, freights, and want of shipping-space placed America, as one such source, out of the question; and both the Silesian and Belgian stocks which were sent by Germany proved to be almost useless except when mixed with British coal. In coal alone there lay the power, if not to smash the industries of those working for our enemies, at least to cripple them to an extent sufficient to enforce respect for our wishes and legitimate claims.

As an example, tinned foods are highly important in the commissariat of an army, and tin has no efficient substitute. In Norway British coal was withheld from firms that worked for Germany, thus dealing a severe blow at certain canning and condensed-milk industries. Germany was compelled to expend man-power in the manufacture of enameled iron cans and in their transport to Norway. She had also to supply glass bottles for milk, — coal pressure having been exerted on the glass-bottle manufacturers, — and to accept supplies of perishable fresh milk instead of condensed milk. In Denmark, where coal pressure was less stringently applied, the supplies of tin that came from Great Britain enabled the Danes to meet Germany’s heavy demands for tinned foods, and to make and keep in repair the cans that carried the milk to Germany. A small amount of tin enabled immense amounts of foodstuffs to be preserved.

When Sweden was supplying Germany with copper in quantities three times as great as those that she sent to her before the war, the British export to Sweden was doubled. Among other of the infinite uses to which copper is put is that of rotating projectiles.

Nickel is a very hard metal, used in the construction of torpedoes and in the manufacture of steel armaments. Norway was Germany’s only source of supply, and the best part of Norway’s output went to Germany. The particulars of these transactions and of those that refer to lubricants are given chiefly for English readers.

Cotton was not made contraband until August, 1915, although it is the basis of the most powerful explosives. Sweden’s supply rose from 25,000 tons in 1913 to 123,000 tons in 1915. Denmark in 1916 received in piece goods alone a quantity equivalent to 16 yards per head of population. It is understood that the American cotton crop early in the war was offered to the British Government on easy terms of purchase. When Germany was cut off from cotton, she had to fall back upon an inferior substitute in the shape of pulp from wood fibre. Sweden’s exports in pulps to Germany at once trebled. The Swedish mills were worked by British coal, fifteen tons of which were consumed in the manufacture of eighteen tons of pulp.

When Great Britain was sending hides, leather, boots, shoes, and tanningmaterials to Denmark and Sweden on a scale of thousands of tons, in addition to hair, glue, and fats (such as oleo and lard), — all of which are component parts of the beasts that Denmark sent to Germany, — these countries were supplying Germany with cattle on the hoof, boots and shoes on a parallel scale. During the war, Denmark sent to Germany nearly 1,000,000 head of live cattle; and Sweden supplied Germany with about 4,500,000 pairs of boots and shoes.

In the early part of 1916 the wharves of Copenhagen were choked with tea,— a very bulky substance, occupying much freight-space, — a large part of which came from British colonies and was being despatched to Germany. These transactions came under the sardonic gaze of Admiral Consett’s neutral colleagues, and were made by him the subject of strong protest. The evil moral effect of British trade on neutrals is instanced, in the case of America, by transactions in bindertwine and Singer sewing machines. Similar instances are given with regard to our allies, notably France and Japan.

Flax, which feeds the linen industry, so vital to our air offensive, was being exported at a time when the Irish crop was the worst during ten years, and when the occupation of Belgium had seriously affected supplies. Our export of jute, which Germany badly needed, was so excessive as to place the home trade in a very precarious position.

The trade in British cement with Holland is made by Admiral Consett the subject of a special chapter. Cement was largely used by Germany for military purposes in Flanders. Whether British cement actually reached the Germans is in dispute. That Germany received indirect benefit from it by the substitution of British man-power for German man-power seems to be unquestionable. A demand in Holland for British cement had arisen at a time (the end of 1916) when the dearth of German man-power had reached so acute a stage that Germany could not maintain her export trade and could not supply Holland with cement in return for foods. The following table speaks for itself.

Export of Cement from United Kingdom to Holland

1913 1914 1915 1916 1917
4,916 20,838 4,118 1,304 48,930

Financial pressure is touched upon superficially, pointed comment being directed against the British traffic in paper currency in 1918, at a time when Germany was openly proclaiming her need for it, and when on this account America had stopped the traffic.

Before summing up his conclusions, Admiral Consett deals with the debates that took place in the Houses of Parliament on the British blockade policy, and makes reference to serious discrepancies between an official report on the subject of the excessive supplies that were reaching Germany and his own official reports on the subject.

British trade was justified on the grounds of regard for small neutral states and of the improvement of the exchange. These grounds cannot survive the criticism which is directed against them. With the neutrals Admiral Consett finds himself in sympathy. Their sufferings arose from the rapacity of a small body of profiteers.

On the question of Anglo-American relations, in a recent letter, Admiral Consett writes to me as follows: —

During the war, and ever since, I have felt strongly convinced that the future progress of the world depends upon the continual friendship between America and England. There must be no suspicion on either side that one is trying to take a mean advantage of the other. One of my chief reasons for wishing to bring out the book was because it seemed to me that the only possible way of removing a mutual distrust was to state frankly and fairly the real cause of the friction which arose during the war between America and England. If, therefore, the book is not read by Americans, one of my chief objects has not been attained.

The Triumph of Unarmed Forces was written for the purpose, first, of placing on record facts which concern themselves with the unknown and dominating factors of a titanic struggle for which history can furnish no parallel, and in which the very liberty of civilized nations was itself at stake. It was written, secondly, in the hope that by making appeal to all thoughtful men, steps may be taken to profit from the lessons of the past by providing, as far as possible, safeguards against a repetition of the peril with which the liberty of nations may again be confronted.

That American readers may the better be enabled to form an opinion of the value of this volume, I may perhaps usefully conclude my paper with a brief reference to its reception in England. The facts recorded are admittedly unchallengeable, and opinion appears to be but little divided on the expressed views contained in the book. Both in the London and in the provincial press stern comment on the grave nature of the disclosures — which have been received with incredulity—has been tempered with a restraint due to those upon whom responsibility may rest, though scathing denunciation in unmeasured terms has found expression in one or two very outspoken articles. The book, which is the only work extant on the economic aspect of the World War, is recognized as deriving a special value from its authorship, which gives it a quasi-official character. Admiral Consett served for six years as Naval Attaché in Scandinavia, having previously been employed in the Naval Intelligence Department of the Admiralty. In 1920 he was appointed Naval Adviser to the Supreme Council in Paris. His knowledge of the economic and diplomatic side of the war is, it has been said, probably unequaled by that of any other Englishman. His opinions and his writings cannot be ignored. Indeed, the only tendency to adverse criticism that his work has met with has been based upon grounds which are in disregard of his main thesis. His book has been made the subject of debate in the House of Lords, where again in the autumn the question of the blockade is to be raised. It has evoked considerable comment in France, where a French edition is now in course of preparation.

  1. Captain Daniel, R.N. (Retired), collaborated with Admiral Consett in the preparation of his important and most interesting book, The Triumph of Unarmed Forces. Our readers should understand at the outset that during the war Admiral Consett was stationed as Naval Attaché in Scandinavia — a post of capital importance at the time. — TEE EDITOR.