CHAPTER 5
SOME NEVER ENDING PROBLEMS OF THE C.R.B.

MILITARIST OPPOSITION

The first day of our existence we had to meet the opposition of the hard-boiled militarists in Germany, Britain, and France. All of them at one time or another opposed the work of the Commission and periodically demanded its suppression.

The attitude of the German militarists was that they would gladly feed the occupied peoples if the "illegal" food blockade were abandoned. They insisted that they could not be called upon to feed these relatives of the Allies by depriving their own women and children. They argued that the threatened starvation of these people, who were the allies of Britain and France, would, in the end, secure relaxation of the food blockade against themselves. They maintained that the opening of a door in the blockade by way of the C.R.B. weakened this pressure. They feared the C.R.B. as possible Allied spies. They were bitter toward the Belgians because the Belgians, by resisting their invasion, had delayed their attack on the Allies, which resulted in their being stalled at the Marne.

An illustration of the German militarist attitude is given in an entry in the Journal of Hugh Gibson dated October 14, 1914:

In the course of a visit to General von Lüttwitz [the military governor of Belgium] today, one of . . . [my] colleagues remarked that the Germans must keep the Belgians alive, and could not allow them to starve.

-21-

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