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immortal work of a nation's genius. In this he
expressed what everyone feels in the presence of this
brilliant and flexible French mind. To honour
Anatole France was to honour the country which
alone could produce such a writer, and this the French
nation felt. In reply to my invitation he wrote me
the following characteristic little epistle : —

" Je sens tout le prix de l'offre si honorable que vous me.
faites. Ce serait trop d'orgueil de l'accepter, trop de

1 I must here acknowledge the valuable assistance I had in the
collaboration of Mr. Robert Dell of Paris, Mr. John Lane, who has
published a translation into English of Anatole France's works, and
especially of Mr. Holford Knight who acted as honorary secretary of the
committee.

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PAST AND PRESENT EFFORTS

renoncement de la refuser. Decidez vous-meme. J'aime
PAngleterre et vous prie de croire a mes meilleurs senti-
ments."

A translation of the speech he delivered at the
banquet given in his honour on December II, 1913,
was given in the newspapers at the time. In its
original French it was as follows : —

Je ne sais pas si je reve ! Mais, accueilli avec une splendide
bienveillance par tant d'hommes qui representent tant de
belles pensees, tant de beaux actes, tant de beaux ouvrages,
il me semble que mon aventure est celle de ce crocheteur d'un
vieux conte francais, ce crocheteur qui, drape dans une etoffe
de Baghdad, croyait qu'il etait devenu l'Empereur de la Chine
et qu'il etait aime de la princesse de Chine ! Mais je n'ai
aucun desir de me reveiller, et je me demande quel demon de
la nuit, quelle fee, aurait pu me dieter le si beau, et pour moi
si touchant discours que je viens d'entendre. A une eloquence
si vive et, malgre ce qu'elle a de trop flatteur pour moi, je dirai
si sincere, je ne puis malheureusement vous repondre que par
une eloquence de papier — e'est a dire la plus detestable des
eloquences.

Vous m'excuserez, en consideration des choses considerables
que j'ai a dire, puisque je parlerai de PAngleterre et de vous.
Le discours de Lord Redesdale m'a tres emu, parce qu'il m'a
rappele ces vieilles mceurs de la vieille Angleterre, de cette
vieille aristocratie qui avait une si belle culture intellectuelle,
qui, au temps de Fox et de Pitt faisait retentir le Parlement
de citations de Virgile. On pourrait faire un livre entier des
citations de Virgile au Parlement d' Angleterre ! Je ne suis
meme pas sur que ce livre n'ait ete deja fait.

Mais Lord Redesdale etait bien qualifie pour parler du
roman. Je passe de son discours tout ce qu'il a pu dire de
moi. J'en retiens ce qu'il a dit du roman anglais, car, je le
repete, comme lettre et comme Anglais, comme l'auteur de
ces beaux recits sur le Japon, il est qualifie pour parler du
roman, la forme intime et moderne du poeme epique. II vous
a revele le Japon, et e'est lui qui a fait en Europe la gloire de
ce pays lointain. C'est lui qui en a fait connaitre la litterature,
dans un livre qui reste classique.

Vous avez done pu parler du roman avec autorite, parce
que vous etes un ecrivain et parce que vous etes un Anglais.

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THIRTY YEARS

Vos compatriotes, durant deux siecles, ont donne des chefs
d'ceuvre de ce genre. Est-il besoin de rappeler Richardson
et Fielding. Swift et Daniel Defoe, Walter Scott, Dickens,
Thackeray, George Eliot ? Je m'arrete, pour ne pas faire
aux vivants une apotheose anticipee. Le roman est en
Angleterre dans son sol de predilection, comme la pomme en
Normandie et l'orange a Valence.

Pourquoi ? II faut pour le dire un gros volume ou un seul
mot. Eh bien, disons-le en un seul mot. Ce mot, Lord
Redesdale nous l'a fait pressentir ; c'est que le roman est
intime, cordial, familier, par nature, et que 1' Anglais a l'esprit
familier, intime, et cordial.

Decidement, je ne reve pas ! C'est un banquet ! Et je
vois briller les verres et les visages bienveillants des convives.
Et j 'arrive a comprendre pourquoi vous m'y avez convie.
Je suis pour vous un symbole, une allegoric Je represente a
cette table les lettres francaises, comme, aux fetes de la
Revolution francaise, la citoyenne Momore representait la
deesse Raison sans etre deesse ni specialement raisonnable.

Cette idee me met a l'aise, et je ne vous chicanerai pas trop
sur le choix de votre symbole. Je me dis que peut etre il ne
vous a pas deplu de faire asseoir a votre table un Francais
qui a la faiblesse d'ecrire (" seul le silence est grand," a dit un
poete philosophe) et d'aimer le merite, que vous estimez fort,
de ne jamais deguiser sa pensee.

II y a dans ce genie anglais, dont vous avez recu le flambeau
et le tendez tout ardent a la generation future, une continuite
de choses fortes qui etonne et qui force l'admiration. Par
sa gravite, unie a une parfaite bonhomie, par l'heureux
melange d'idealisme sublime et de realisme qui le composent,
par son patient effort pour la justice, par son energie virile
et sa Constance vertueuse, on peut dire qu'il est un perpetuel
hommage a la liberte et a la dignite humaines. II a conquis
l'estime du monde entier et ne fut nulle part mieux compris ni
mieux estime qu'en France. Vos institutions, vos mceurs
publiques servirent d'exemple et d'ideal a la France du i8me
siecle, a la France de Montesquieu et de Voltaire — et cella-la
est la grande, la vraie. Votre Shakespeare a renouvele notre
inspiration poetique. Notre regime parlementaire est sorti
du votre — et c'est ne pas votre faute si nous ne le pratiquons
pas toujours de maniere parfaite.

Je vois ici, et c'est votre honneur et le mien, des homines
qui different grandement entre eux en croyances, en senti-
ments, et en idees, mais qui ont en commun la droiture,

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PAST AND PRESENT EFFORTS

l'energie, cette robustesse britannique qui leur donnent un
air de famille et les tiennent unis par des liens tres forts.
Tout est energie en vous, l'esprit et le caractere. Ce n'est pas
par hasard que les ecrivains anglais comme Thomas de
Quincey ont bien parle du peuple romain ; ce n'est pas par
hasard que Kipling a ecrit de belles pages sur la Rome
Imperiale ; c'est parce qu'il y a quelque parente entre la genie
de Rome et le genie anglais. Le peuple romain aimait la
justice et pensait etablir des lois equitables et une paix
auguste sur la terre conquise.

II ne s'agit plus de conquerir le monde, mais de le pacifier.
Travaillez, travaillons de concert a la paix du monde. En
parlant ainsi, je ne crois pas etre sorti du cadre des propos
de table : cette table est grande comme le monde !

Ce banquet etait encore dans le chaos original quand Sir
Thomas Barclay, President du Comite d'Organisation,
a souffle sur ce chaos son esprit d'amitie pour la France et
d' entente pour la paix du monde ; encourage par ce noble
ami de la France, dont le nom est egalement illustre et cher
des deux cotes du Detroit, j'acclame en terminant Pamitie de
l'Angleterre et de la France en vue de la paix universelle.
*****

It is by this constant cultivation of the spirit of
friendship between the two countries that it will be
made to sink into the souls of the two nations.



Excellent work in the same direction has been done
by the "Entente Cordiale Society" with which the
names of my late friend W. H. Sands and that of his
sympathetic and indefatigable widow are identified.
Under the chairmanship of Mr. Barton Kent it shows
an activity in London which compares well with the
excellent work which is being done in Scotland by
the Franco-Scottish Society. It was founded by
Sir Roper Parkington about the same time as the
Franco-Scottish Society.

Nor should I forget to mention the English branches
of the Alliance Francaise under the chairmanship of

3°3



THIRTY YEARS

Professor Salmon of Reading, that energetic institu-
tion which fulfils so admirably its task of promoting
French intellectual influence throughout the world,
nor that offshoot of the Alliance, the Franco-British
Alliance for the reciprocal promotion of a similar
influence, founded by Mile. Irma Dreyfus who in
Paris manages to keep up a constant round of
interesting Anglo-French social functions.

All these undertakings deserve well of the two
countries. That they prosper without official en-
couragement shows that private initiative has not
yet been entirely " legislated " or " administrated "
out of us either in France or in England.



3°4



CHAPTER XXVI



STUMBLING BLOCKS



With peace propagandas of all kinds I have always
had the strongest sympathy, and I sincerely admire
the devoted perseverance with which, in spite of
ridicule and malicious misrepresentation, the pacifists
have succeeded in gradually achieving a respectful
hearing by the " powers-that-be." There are, no
doubt, truly ridiculous persons. For instance, I
remember a member of the House of Representatives
at an Anglo-American Arbitration meeting at Wash-
ington delivering a spirited oration on the abolition
of war by the abolition of monarchical government in
which he enunciated his scheme as a brilliant thought
which would enlighten the world and have to be
followed because it was the only solution of a practical
character ! I inquired who this oracular and eloquent
politician was and learnt that he was a journeyman
printer by trade, saturated with the self-regeneration
literature then current in the United States.

Although I am a man of peace and regard
peace as the consequence of all sensible diplomacy
and statecraft, I do not see it in the light of an
object per se. It has as many phases as human
character, purposes, and circumstances. There
is peace which is almost as bad as war — peace
which is worse than war, peace which is virtual war.
When war exists, the object of the combatants is to
t.y. 305 X



THIRTY YEARS

force each other to accept peace on acceptable con-
ditions, when war is threatened the object of diplomacy
is to preserve peace by the negotiation of acceptable
conditions, but when peace is spoken of in the abstract
as an object per se, it has no more sense than to speak
of war as an object per se. We must assume that war
in all cases can be referred to causes which can be
formulated. It is, therefore, essentially to the ex-
amination and removal of the causes of war, to the
adoption as between States of methods of diplomacy
enabling them to settle difficulties by negotiation,
and, when negotiation fails, by judicial adjustment,
that a peace movement should direct public attention.
To show that war is contrary to progress because
it kills off the more fit or that it is a barbarous and
revolting method of adjusting differences, however
convincing the arguments may be, is only proving
what public opinion in civilised countries admits or
more or less admits already. And all the arguments
against war have never advanced the solution of the
difficulties which are a menace to peace. Nor have
they ever influenced peoples in their attitude towards
a war. In the course of the Turco-Italian war even
Italian pacifists, including Signor Moneta, one of the
laureates of the Nobel Peace Prize, professed their
approval of a war which was a violation not only of
treaty obligations, but one in which the Turks were
not even given a chance of peaceful settlement.

Nor do books showing that peace commercially or
financially is a good thing and war a bad thing get
to the root of the evil. Nobody would dare at the
present day to contend that war from that point of
view is a good speculation. If anybody could prove

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STUMBLING BLOCKS

that the building of warships or field artillery was a
loss to those who actually built them, or that large
contracts for war material were generally ruinous to
those who obtained them, or that military or naval
promotion impoverished those who were promoted,
war would suffer a truly severe check. These are the
interests which benefit by war and preparation for it.
There is nothing to prevent German and British ship-
building interests from holding shares in each other's
concerns. War between this country and Germany
might therefore enrich the British shareholders in the
German concerns and German shareholders in the
British concerns. This is the contrary thesis to that
of my friend, Norman Angell. On neither side do the
interested parties want war — of that I feel sure —
but if orders for war material fell off, men would be
thrown out of work, expensive plant would stand
idle, and the dividends of the respective shareholders
would shrink. War panics are profitable to these
highly syndicated interests, and all the arguments
against war based on the principle that general
interests benefit by peace do not attack the evil of
war-scaremongering at its real source.

The only effective method of attacking the evil
seems, I repeat, to be elimination of the causes of war.

To take a concrete instance : any attempt at the
present time to create a war scare between Great
Britain and France would be doomed to failure.
Plausibility, which is essential to the manufacture of
a scare, does not exist in this case. There is no
alliance between these two countries, but there is a
strong feeling of sympathy and appreciation between
them, with which the supposition that either con-

307 x 2



THIRTY YEARS

templated a hostile attitude against the other is
incompatible.

If similar good feeling could be brought into existence
between Great Britain and Germany, 1 scaremongers
would have to rely on Russo-German artifices, for then,
as between Germany and France, an era might begin
in which there would be no reason for disturbing the
political status qud of Europe, or the expansion of that
work of civilised co-operation which has been making
steady though unobtrusive progress for many years,
co-operation not only in many public services such as
posts, telegraphs, telephones, wireless telegraphy, sub-
marine cables, but in the neutralisation of waterways,
such as the Suez Canal, the Congo and Niger basins,
the international protection of the common interest
in patent rights, trade-marks and copyright, the pro-
tection in the general interest of human health and
morality, the assimilation, for the common benefit of
mankind, of international and even private law, etc. —
all steps for establishing law and order among nations.

We are, nevertheless, told that war as the law of
nature is necessary to man's development. If it is
so, it is natural that men should wish to kill each other,
the destruction of the fittest is what is ordained
by the destiny of man, and the survival of the
lame, the halt and the blind — that is, the survival of
the unfittest — a decree of Providence !



" Si vis pacem para helium." This maxim is always

1 Sir Max Waechter, in a masterly article in the Fortnightly Review,
May, 19 13, has dealt with the problem of Anglo-German rivalry, and if
his more general scheme does nothing more than bring the two countries
in question into closer association, he will have deserved more than well
from both,

308



STUMBLING BLOCKS

quoted by the panic-mongers as a conclusive
argument against the advocates of peace. It is
no doubt true that to be unprepared for war is
to expose a country to a casus belli on the part
of a neighbour, if that neighbour has a grievance to
right or a territorial craving to satisfy. Unfortunately
a perfectly sensible maxim has been construed as
meaning that a State to be safe must excite the alarm
of its neighbours by proclaiming its determination to
outvie them in armaments, and in practice this con-
struction has resulted in a wild race to surpass each
other in advantages for attack. How can advantages
for attack which are met by a corresponding counter-
development of the forces of resistance assure peace ?
They can only result in a parallel increase of arma-
ments, which leaves the relative position of the parties
unchanged. We are told that it would be quixotic
for any nation to curtail any disproportionate ability
it may possess to assail its neighbours. These, how-
ever, in turn combine, and again oblige it to increase its
strength for the purposes of possible defence. And
thus competition in armaments and combinations con-
tinues in a vicious circle of response to realities of self-
preservation. When any proposal is made to set the
example of relaxing speed in this mad career, there is
an outcry of national danger, and yet, if no nation
pulls up, there is no reason why the increase of
armaments should not go on ad infinitum. What
reason is there for supposing that, just as States
increase their armaments to preserve the balance
between them, they would not diminish them if the
proportion remained unchanged ? At any rate, an
experiment might be tried on such a scale as would
not endanger the national defences. This was the

309



THIRTY YEARS

suggestion recently made by a British Cabinet
Minister, and I do not see in what respect it showed
any indifference to the safety of these islands and a
misconception of any difficulties affecting the national
interests as such.

A common mistake is to confuse the desire for
the preservation of good feeling which may exist
between two countries with willingness to subordinate
primal interests of the one to primal interests of the
other. This is a most dangerous and misleading
mistake. Two nations can be in close sympathy, as
two individuals can be in close sympathy, with one
another ; they can be ready at all times to work
together in their common interest, to exercise forbear-
ance and self-restraint over any unpleasant incident
which might otherwise cause irritation, to act the part
of a friend, and do all that can be expected of a friend
in an emergency, without being pledged to join one
another in matters affecting third parties or which
one but not the other may regard as of supreme
importance.

It is quite enough an asset in the economy of peoples
to be on such friendly terms with any other people that
when any incident occurs between them no element of
public irritation complicates the question and em-
barrasses the Governments in their handling of it.
This obviously applies in a greater degree to States
governed, like Great Britain, the United States and
France, on the elective principle than to autocratic
States, and with the widening influence of democracy
the value of this asset is increasing.

A few years ago the unfortunate incident, which
has arisen in reference to the Panama Canal,

310



STUMBLING BLOCKS

might have become acute and aroused a great
deal of public feeling on both sides of the Atlantic.
As things are, the public on both sides are perfectly
confident that the incident will be dealt with by
the two Governments on merits and in that spirit of
courteous consideration for each other's difficulties

which attends discussion between friends.

******

Lord Rosebery, in his famous speech at Stourbridge
on October 25, 1905, speaking on the Anglo-French
and Anglo-German relations, stated the position very
clearly : —

" A warm and friendly understanding with France," he
said, " whatever you may think of the particular instrument
which began it, is an incalculable gain to both countries ;
and I only wish that it was not considered necessary to
associate a friendship with our ancient rival with so bitter
an animosity to another great country with which we should
have no real cause of dispute. I need not say that I allude
to Germany. I cannot understand why friendship with
France should involve such violent polemics with Germany as
now rage between the two countries, and which I do not believe
represent the real feeling of the two nations, though they may
represent the feelings of some or all their Governments — of
that I know nothing ; but I do view these polemics as a
serious danger to peace, as poisonously influencing the two
nations and the growing generations of the two nations ;
and therefore I am one of those who deprecate most sincerely
the view which appears to prevail in some quarters, that
cordial relations with France mean irreconcilable animosity
to Germany."



Nor was Lord Lansdowne's idea, judging by a letter
he wrote me at the time, other than that the Anglo-
French entente should be the precursor of others to
follow. On my sending him a memorandum on my
American campaign and congratulating him on the

3 11



THIRTY YEARS

success of his Anglo-French settlement of May 4, 1904,
he replied : —

Foreign Office, May 8, 1904.

" Dear Mr. Barclay,— I am much obliged to you for
sending me the Anglo-American Treaty paper which I am
glad to have by me.

Pray accept my best thanks for your kind words of con-
gratulation in regard to our understanding with France. The
manner in which the Agreement has been received in both
countries is certainly very satisfactory and is most encouraging
to those of us who are anxious to see all matters which might
give rise to controversy between ourselves and other nations
happily settled. — Yours sincerely, Lansdowne."

" What a mistake you made," said an eminent
French politician, who was my neighbour at a dinner-
table some months ago, " in not preventing the dis-
memberment of France in 1871." An English poli-
tician on my other side observed that it was Queen
Victoria who prevented us from exercising any
influence in favour of France, her sympathies having
been throughout strongly in favour of the adopted
country of her daughter, the Prussian Crown Princess.
Besides, she regarded France as the aggressor.

Challenged to say how Great Britain could have
exercised any influence, my French neighbour hazarded
the suggestion that at the close of the war Germany
would no more have risked the hostility of England in
1871 than she did in 191 1, and that England would
not have had to back up her influence by force.

I have often heard this view expressed, but it is
based on the assumption that England would have
been able to exercise the same pressure as she was
able to exercise forty years later, when a naval war
would have had some sort of terror for a country
which has an enormous and growing overseas trade

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STUMBLING BLOCKS

on which it depends for its industrial prosperity and
for revenue corresponding to that prosperity. In
1 871 the stoppage of German overseas trade would
not have been a matter of critical importance to
Germany, and the 100,000 men we could have placed
at the assistance of France would obviously not have
had the same effect after all the French armies had
been defeated as they might have had in preventing
a war. Moreover, nobody at the outset dreamt that
France was the weaker Power. To the bulk of
Englishmen the war appeared to have been wantonly
and on the flimsiest of grounds forced on Germany.
France was beaten, and the genuine sympathy there
was for France was on account of the huge proportions
of the indemnity exacted, and not at all on account
of the claim to Alsace-Lorraine, which in the same
way had been taken by France from Germany and
had never ceased to be a German-speaking land. The
part of Lorraine which was included in the annexation
only appeared as a fragment to cover the fortress of
Metz, which on the map seemed necessary to the safety
of the annexed territory. Germany was the winner,
and as such seemed entitled to secure her new
frontier. No doubt it would have been wiser to
neutralise a zone of territory between the two
countries, and though this may still be a solution
some day, the idea of a neutral zone at the time
appears to have occurred to nobody.

Napoleon III., as a fact, never counted on England.
Nor did his ministers. M. Emile Ollivier, in an article
in the Revue des Deux Mondes, " La Disillusion diplo-
matique," relates that France counted on the assistance
of Austria, to whom the war afforded a chance of
retrieving her place in Central Europe, and of Italy,

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THIRTY YEARS

who owed France a return for her assistance in the
creation of a unified Italy. France had forgotten
that both had grievances against her, for in that war
France had dismembered Austria in favour of Italy
and Italy in favour of herself, another fact which was
present to the minds of Englishmen, who could not
see why what was right when she won should be wrong
when she lost.



At dinner at an Alsatian friend's house some years
ago I sat next an old Alsatian Roman Catholic priest.
By the way, I may mention that my friend was a
Protestant Alsatian and that he was and is a
friend and supporter of the well-known French
Pastor Wagner. We spoke about the feeling in
Alsace, and he told me it was very difficult to say
what the true feeling was. This, however, he thought



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