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that a majority of the requisite character would be very difficult to maintain for any length of time. What is there to prevent the Kaiser from choosing a Chancellor whose practical interpretation of what is meant by “the maintenance of constitutional responsibilities” will be very different from Prince Bülow's? The present bloc may break up at any moment. No one knows what Parliamentary combination can replace it. The simple truth is that the German people have obtained nothing but a promise, or rather a suggestion, that the Kaiser will in future impose upon himself a greater reserve. How that apparent but not specific pledge will be carried out remains to be seen. There will doubtless be some considerable interval of comparative silence. There is no "guarantee " that the characteristic episodes of the past will not be repeated. It may also be said that these outbursts have been a safety-valve for a high-pressure temperament. “My dear," said Miss Jewsbury to Mrs. Carlyle, “suppressed irritation is worse than suppressed perspiration." While there is no bridle upon the Kaiser but his own will, less dangerous words may mean more dangerous acts. The world has won no additional security; and it is to be feared that the German people have still to pass through storm and stress before they secure the effective control of their own political destinies. Nor if we are just can we afford to forget that the German people are quite as much to blame as their Sovereign for the situation in which they find themselves. They have repudiated none of his "policies,” to adopt the convenient Americanism. They are angry with the Kaiser, not because they disapprove of his objects, but because his methods have not been successful. The outburst of Anglophobe passion during the Boer War was the spontaneous expression of the German national temperament; and the spirit of the naval propaganda has testified to the existence of that degree of hostility which the Kaiser admits and it would be futile to deny At the present moment that sentiment is more abated than it has been for many years. But Germany is increasing her financial resources and her armaments. She is laying down four capital ships a year. National anxiety can never be relieved on this side except by such unmistakable measures as shall prove our inflexible determination to hold steadily the mastery of the sea.
If the Daily Telegraph interview had not drawn the lightning, a later storm might have burst with more destructive effect. We refer to the "suppressed" interview which has unfortunately not been kept in suppression. At the beginning of November the Century Magazine withdrew at the last moment an article reporting a special conversation with the German Emperor. The author was a journalist of standing, Dr. William Bayard Hale. This interview had been prepared originally for the New York Times, but was found to be of too explosive a character for publication. The Century
Magazine apparently accepted a mitigated version. The German Foreign Office, rightly setting every agency at work, induced the well-known magazine to cancel the contribution. Proofs of the interview as originally written for the New York Times had found their way into several hands. Some reached this country, and of these one set at least was carried back to America. The New York World has now published a version, upon which we decline to comment in detail. It amounts to a railing indictment against England and her Sovereign, with a reassertion in the language of mania of the Kaiser's dread and hatred of Japan. To what extent all this is accurate or not cannot be judged in the absence of the full text. It seems certain, however, that the second interview was more mischievous than the first. Otherwise such extraordinary efforts to secure suppression would not have been made. To suppress, however, a whole article unparalleled in its sensational character, after it has been repeatedly "pulled " in proof and passed through more than one American newspaper office, is like trying to imprison the general air. The attempt was hopeless, though some parts at least of the interview are perhaps as unprintable as the letter to Lord Tweedmouth. But whether the version of the New York World is true or false, the sequel will mean an improvement, if anything, and not an embittering of the relations of England and Germany. Upon this matter there can be no recrimination. The situation is so grave that to increase the tension means madness between nations and war at any cost. As to the German Emperor himself, there is no disposition to add one word to the comments already passed in this country upon previous acts of impulse. He labours under certain fixed ideas, and when he speaks they must out. He repeats them again and again with variations of colour. The German people, however, are in a position of distracting difficulty. They are well aware that we do not desire to exploit their troubles, and that as far as we are concerned the new revelations will make as little mischief as possible. A common shudder has passed through the two peoples at last, and, as has been well said, they have a feeling as of drawing back together from the brink of an abyss.
Yet upon the Casablanca incident-to turn tardily to other topics the peace of Europe was for a moment in greater jeopardy than at any time since the fall of M. Delcassé. That an obscure scuffle should have threatened to result in an overwhelming catastrophe is a deplorable proof of the nervous irritation of Europe. The facts are known. Some cosmopolitan soldiers of the French Foreign Legion in Morocco attempted to desert. They were abetted by the German Consul at Casablanca. In an attempt by & French patrol to recapture the fugitives just as they were about to be smuggled aboard ship, some members of the staff of the German Consulate were
maltreated. Both sides were to blame, but the second offence was
And France indeed owes her success to herself. Determined never again to submit to humiliation, but as moderate in the hour of relief as they had been resolute in the hour of anxiety, our neighbours showed a national unanimity hardly known before under the Third Republic. This is partly due to the preparations for any emergency which have been carried out during the last three years. M. Gervais, the reporter of the Army Estimates, expressed the confident opinion of all France when he said the other day : -“We have an army which justifies the sacrifices to which Parliament consents for it, and which is a credit to the country. We may have confidence in ourselves.” Let us not forget, however, that throughout this period of recovery M. Clemenceau has been the driving personality in the administration. One of Mr. Bodley's reasons for despairing of the Third Republic was the instability of its Cabinets. That reproach, once too well justified, no longer applies. The celebrated Ministry of M. Ferry, formed on February 21st, 1883, lasted rather more than two years and two months. But up to the crisis of the Dreyfus affair the average life of a French Ministry was no more than six or seven months. It is true that these changes were often but a shuffling of the pack. Nevertheless, the quick change of Cabinets was à cause of national weakness. How completely all that has been remedied in the last dozen years is very little realised in this country. The Ministry of M. Méline, formed on April 29th, VOL. LXXXIV. N.S.
1896, lasted two years and two months. The Waldeck-Rousseau Ministry, formed on June 22nd, 1899, seemed an astounding attempt to combine incompatible personalities, and was expected speedily to disappear, but it proved by far the most stable Cabinet of the Third Republic, and lasted for two years and eleven and a half months. Then came M. Combes, and remained in office for two years and a half. There is a chance that M. Clemenceau will break all records. He took office as Minister of the Interior under M. Sarrien in the early part of 1906, and even then he was, of course, the real master-spirit of Government. His own Cabinet, formed eight months later, has already lasted more than two years, and we may hope that it will long continue. With M. Clemenceau at her head, France has a leader. To her that is always a priceless asset.
By the excursions and alarums we have described, attention has been largely and perhaps fortunately distracted from the Eastern Question. It is enough to say that the anticipations of last month have been fulfilled, and that immediate war has been averted. As January and February are the best of Russian generals, an early winter is proving the ablest of European diplomats. In the Balkans the cold season has unexpectedly set in with extreme severity, and even the Serb temperament recoils from the prospect of a hopeless campaign among frozen heights and storm-swept passes. It is true that the peril is postponed, not dissipated, and that for this reason alone the necessity for a Conference increases. There is now every probability that it will be held, though Vienna and St. Petersburg are not yet at one upon the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Russia wishes the change of status in the occupied provinces to be brought up for ratification before the Powers. The Ballplatz maintain that in every point of form, no less than in reality, the annexation should be absolutely accepted before the Conference meets. Next month we shall be able to take up to much more purpose the narrative of the Eastern Question. The negotiations for a final settlement between Turkey and Bulgaria are still conducted with extreme slowness and obstinacy on both sides. It would be a mistake, however, to regard this as other than part of the prelude of a coming drama. With much discontent among Greeks and Bulgarians, the former complaining of the "tuning" of the ballot-boxes, the latter asserting that their political rights have been practically nullified, the Turkish elections pursue their course. Three-fourths of the deputies have been already returned. The Young Turks have made certain of a majority, as they were bound to do in disregard of the pedantic impartiality of the ballotbox in our own part of the West. The resolution and efficiency with which they continue to carry through all their purposes offer by far the best hope for the future. The Ottoman Parliament is
expected to meet in the middle of December, and until its opening other events merely mark time.
For the rest, Mr. Taft has been elected to succeed Mr. Roosevelt. The economic consequences will not be revolutionary, as the tariff will be revised in a Protectionist sense. It is probable, however, that ao serious attempt will be made to draw Canada into a system of trade reciprocity. What will be the character of Mr. Taft's foreign policy in other respects remains to be seen. Finally, that pallid spectre, the late Emperor of China, and the Empress Dowager have passed away--almost at the same moment. Tse-hsi, who made herself for nearly forty years an autocrat over 400,000,000 of people in a land where female influence in politics is nominally abhorred, was one of the most remarkable women in the whole history of the world. At another time the interest and importance of the change of règime in Pekin might well have claimed the whole of this chronique. The new Emperor, Pu-Yi, is a child of less than three years old. The Regent, Prince Chun, has taken up the Government with energy, and Yuan Shi Kai is the power behind the throne, upon whom all dependence has been placed. There seems every probability that the reform movement in China, hitherto making itself felt chiefly from below, will now be steadily promoted from above. Let us not forget that this movement, slow and devoid of sensational episodes as it is, means the most momentous transforma. tion now being effected in the world.