Twenty-Five Years, 1892-1916 - Vol. 2

Twenty-Five Years, 1892-1916 - Vol. 2

Twenty-Five Years, 1892-1916 - Vol. 2

Twenty-Five Years, 1892-1916 - Vol. 2

Excerpt

A Change in the Point of View--A Question of Naval Obligations-- Examination of the Belgian Issue--Lord Clarendon's Definition of British Obligations--The Distinction between Belgium and Luxembourg--Mr. Gladstone's View--The Movement towards Cabinet Unity--The Speech of August 3--Lichnowsky's Last Questions--At War.

BY August 1 a change in the point of view of the anti-war group was beginning to give shape to the attitude of the Cabinet as a whole. It is not possible to say with certainty how and why this change was being wrought. It is not always easy for a man to trace the inward path and steps by which he reaches his own conclusions; so much of the working of the mind is subconscious rather than conscious. If it is difficult to be sure of one's own mind, one can only guess at the processes in the minds of others. My impression is that, as war became more imminent, men began to picture to themselves the probable scenes and events of it; and the more vividly they saw these, the more uneasy they became at the prospect of Britain sitting still and immovable, while great events fraught with incalculable consequences were happening at her very doors.

The first sign of this trend of thought was the expression of an opinion that we could not stand the German . . .

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