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ninety-three from the British steamer Voltaire, which was sunk on Nov. 21. On Dec. 6 a Newfoundland trawler was stopped and sunk while on a journey to Gibraltar with fish. The same evening the C. P. R. liner Mount Temple, with a cargo of 750 horses and 5,000 tons of merchandise, was stopped by seven shots. The steward and one sailor were killed, and another sailor had both his legs smashed. The crew, numbering 107, were taken on board. The Mount Temple was finally sunk by bombs, the horses struggling for life in the icy water.
“In the evening of Dec. 10 the large White Star liner Georgic, having on board 1,200 horses, was brought to a halt by shots. Great panic prevailed on board and fifty of the men jumped into the water without their clothes on, but only one of them was drowned. The vessel was then blown up by bombs. Hundreds of horses, swimming toward the Möwe, made desperate efforts to clamber on board, but the German sailors, standing with loaded revolvers, killed them as they reached the ship.
“ On Dec. 11 the British steamer Yarrowdale was encountered. As there were already 500 men on board the Möwe, the Captain decided that his latest capture must go to Germany with his prisoners. For a whole day after leaving the Möwe the Yarrowdale was in communication with her by wireless. The Yarrowdale at last got the order to go northward, and the ship then made for the south coast of Iceland, Norway, the Cattegat, &c., and was compelled by storm to anchor near Hveen Island, in the sound, where a German patrol ship appeared. It was at this spot that two British sailors attempted to escape, but they were discovered. They offered violent resistance, and bit and scratched the enemy. The next day the Yarrowdale anchored in Swedish waters and a Swedish destroyer appeared. The 500 prisoners were commanded to go below. The Swedish officer came on board, but failed to find anything suspicious. Meanwhile the Germans stood with their revolvers leveled against the prisoners in the hold.
While the Möwe was still busy it was known that one or more auxiliary raiders
were at work in the same region. The captured British steamer St. Theodore was said to have been fitted out with guns from the Möwe, and there were rumors of a German raider named the Venetia assisting in the work of destruction. A circumstantial account of the sinking of the Venetia by the British cruiser Glasgow on Jan. 25 was told by an officer of that warship.
Exploits of the Secadler More tangible, however, was the news brought to Rio Janeiro on March 20 by the French bark Cambronne.
A new raider, the Seeadler, (Sea Eagle,) was at work in the South Atlantic and had already sunk eleven vessels. The Cambronne, one of the Seeadler's victims, brought 277 men from the crews of other captured vessels in addition to her own crew of twenty-two. She had encountered the raider on March 7 at a point two-thirds of the way across to the African coast, and had been commanded, after receiving the refugees on board, to proceed to Brazil, a voyage of twenty-two days.
The Seeadler had left Germany on Dec. 22, escorted by a submarine. The commander declared to his prisoners that the German Emperor and the Crown Prince alone knew of the expedition. The vessel's guns and two gasoline launches had been concealed in the hold while she was running the British blockade. On sighting a merchantman the raider would first hoist the Norwegian flag, which would be replaced by a German flag when her prey was within reach of her guns. The commander presented to the Captain of each ship he sank an engraved certificate setting forth the circumstances in which it had been destroyed. The prisoners all said they were well treated aboard and no loss of life had occurred. Five were Americans. The ships sunk, as reported by the American Consul General at Rio de Janeiro, were the British steamers Lady Island, Gladys, Royal Hongar, and sailing vessels Pintors, British Yeoman, Terse; Italian vessel Buenos Aires, and French vessels Charles Gounod, Antoine, Rochefaucauld, and Dupliex, all between January and March in the neighborhood of Madeira and Cape Verde Islands.
Democratic Progress in Germany T"
HE news of the Russian revolution was hardly known in Berlin before the Imperial Chancellor, von
Bethmann Hollweg, appeared before the Prussian Diet, on March 14, and delivered a speech which startled the empire from end to end, (see CURRENT HisTORY MAGAZINE, April, 1917, Page 37.) “ Woe to the statesman who cannot read the signs of the times!” were his words of warning. After the Chancellor's speech declaring that there must be reforms, the debate became tempestuous, the Socialists seizing the opportunity to attack Junkerism and demand the abolition of the Herrenhaus, the Prussian House of Lords. “ We are no longer serfs,” said Deputy Leinert, a Socialist, “whom the King can buy and sell or order to bleed and die at the word of command.” Amid cheers Leinert spoke of the coming time when Junkerism would be swept off the earth. The speech of another Socialist, Adolf Hoffmann, provoked so much commotion that it was cut short, but before he was silenced he made the following remarks:
We shall refuse to vote for the budget. Chancellor von Bethmann Hollweg is merely the fig leaf of military absolutism. Militarism bears the responsibility for the bloodshed in Europe, and only when militarism and despotism are removed will the people breathe freely. Force of arms will not lead to a decision and peace. Distress, desperation, and general collapse will do it.
When both enemies are equally strong the threat of crushing is sheer nonsense. Germany, despite many successes, has not conquered. The German peace proposal with its tone of victory was bound to cause vexation and distrust. She should have communicated her peace terms and thereby dissipated her enemies' distrust.
The revolution in Russia should be a warnIng to our rulers. The German submarine warfare is opposed to the laws of humanity and international law.
The floodgates of democratic agitation were now open.
Philipp Scheidemann, leader of the majority of the Socialist Party in the Reichstag, which had stood behind the Government since the beginning of the war, came out in an article in Vorwärts on March 19 with the bold statement, “ The whole world sees among
our enemies more or less developed forms of democracy, and in us it sees only Prussians." There was a stormy scene in the Reichstag on March 22, when the Socialist Deputy Kunert charged the Kaiser and the Imperial Chancellor with having been the originators of the war. Another sign of which way the wind was blowing was the election to fill the seat in the lower house of the Prussian Diet which had been vacated by Liebknecht. Dr. Franz Mehring, a member of the anti-war Socialist minority, who at one time had been placed under “preventive arrest,"
easily elected, though opposed by a representative of the Socialist majority. The ever-growing scarcity of food was a constant contributor to the popular discontent, and when it was announced that after April 15 the bread ration was to be reduced by one-fourth, it seemed that the breaking point would soon be reached.
But the Junkers, the Prussian Herrenhaus, were not to be easily moved even by the most solemn warnings. They declared against reform of the three-class system of voting for the Diet and all proposals whatever for increasing popular rights. The language of the noblemen who spoke on March 28 was reminiscent of the old days of the divine right of Kings. “My highest war aim," said Count von Roon, “ is to maintain the Crown and the monarchy as high as the heavens." Others asserted they would stand by the “good old Prussia.” That the power of the Junkers was still very great was shown by the fact that their opposition induced von Bethmann Hollweg to decide that political reform must be postponed till after the war. This decision he announced in the Reichstag on March 29, and instantly there were outbursts of indignation, not only by the Socialists, who are leading the fight for German democracy, but also by such moderates as the National Liberals. The Socialist leader Georg Ledebour made a historic speech, in which he said: Kerensky [the new Russian Minister of
Justice and a Socialist] is now the most powcrful man in Russia, yet he was lately only the leader of a small faction. We are few in the Reichstag, but behind us stands the Industrial revolutionary population, true to democratic principles.
We regard a republic as a coming inevitable development in Germany. History is now marching with seven-league boots. The German people, indeed, shows incredible patience. The Reichstag must have the right to a voice in the conclusion of alliances, peace treaties, and declarations of war. The Imperial Chancellor must be dismissed when the Reichstag demands it.
The speech was interrupted by shouts of “ High Treason!” Gustav Noske, another Socialist, referred to the “ deplorable events at Hamburg, Magdeburg, and elsewhere, indicating that there had been food riots, the reports of which had been suppressed by the censorship. References to the Russian revolution were frequent, and more than one speaker reminded von Bethmann Hollweg of his words, “ Woe to the statesman who cannot read the signs of the times.” Finally, despite the Government's intention to postpone reform questions till after the war, the Reichstag adopted by 227 votes against 33 a resolution appointing a committee of twenty-eight members to consider the whole subject of constitutional reform.
The Kaiser, who had kept silent during all this agitation, was roused by President Wilson's message and the declaration of war which followed it, to come out openly in favor of reform. On April 7 it was announced that he had ordered the Imperial Chancellor to submit to him certain proposals for the reform of the Prussian electoral law, to be discussed and put into effect after the conclusion of peace. The text of the Kaiser's order follows:
Never before have the German people proved to be so firm as in this war. The knowledge that the Fatherland is fighting in bitter self-defense has exercised a wonderful reconciling power, and, despite all sacrifices on the battlefield and severe privations at home, their determination has remained imperturbable to stake their last for the victorious issue.
The national and social spirit have understood each other and become united, and have given us steadfast strength. Both of them realized what was built up in long years of peace and amid many internal struggles. This
was certainly worth fighting for. Brightly before my eyes stand the achievements of the entire nation in battle and distress. The events of this struggle for the existence of the empire introduce, with high solemnity, a new time.
It falls to you as the responsible Chancellor of the German Empire and First Minister of my Government in Prussia to assist in obtaining the fulfillment of the demands of this hour by right means and at the right time, and in this spirit shape our political life in order to make room for the free and joyful co-operation of all the members of our people.
The principles which you have developed in this respect have, as you know, my approval.
I feel conscious of remaining thereby on the road which my grandfather, the founder of the empire, as King of Prussia with military organization and as German Emperor with social reform, typically fulfilled as
his monarchial obligations, thereby creating conditions by which the German people, in united and wrathful perseverance, will overcome this sanguinary time. The maintenance of the fighting force as a real people's army and the promotion of the social uplift of the people in all its classes was, from the beginning of my reign, my aim.
In this endeavor, while holding a just balance between the people and the monarchy to serve the welfare of the whole, I am resolved to begin building up our internal political, economic, and social life as soon as the war situation permits.
While millions of our fellow-countrymen are in the field, the conflict of opinions behind the front, which is unavoidable in such a farreaching change of constitution, must be postponed in the highest interests of the Fatherland until the time of the homecoming of our warriors and when they themselves are able to join in the counsel and the voting on the progress of the new order.
Specifying the reforms that were necessary the Kaiser said:
Reform of the Prussian Diet and liberation of our entire inner political life are especially dear to my heart. For the reform of the electoral law of the lower house preparatory work already had been begun at my request at the outbreak of the war.
I charge you now to submit to me definite proposals of the Ministry of State, so that upon the return of our warriors this work, which is fundamental for the internal formation of Prussia, be carried out by legislation. In view of the gigantic deeds of the entire people there is, in my opinion, no more room in Prussia for election by the classes.
The bill will have to provide further for direct and secret election of Deputies. The merits of the upper house and its lasting significance for the State no King of Prussia will misjudge. The upper house will be better able to do justice to the gigantic demands of the coming time if it unites in its midst in more extended and more proportional
Reply to the Dardanelles Report
danelles Expedition, which had
manner than hitherto from various classes bers to the Committee on Reforms was and vocations of people men who are
fixed for April 24, the date on which the spected by their fellow-citizens.
Reichstag was to resume its sittings after The election of the twenty-eight mem the Easter recess. HE report of the Special Parlia Asquith, and, he added, “it is so easy to mentary Commission on the Dar be wise after the event." He held that
the Commissioners had not given sufficriticised Lord Kitchener, former cient weight to these considerations when Premier Asquith, and Mr. Churchill, First they passed their censure. Lord of the Admiralty, was the subject He dealt at some length with the critof a vigorous attack in Parliament on icisms of the report on his own neglect March 28, 1917. Speeches were made by to summon a War Council between March Mr. Asquith and Mr. Churchill, in which 19 and May 14. His answer to this was the fairness of the report was challenged that he had been in daily and hourly conand its political use severely rebuked. Mr. sultation with Lord Kitchener and Mr. Asquith paid a glowing tribute to Lord Churchill, and that the operations were Kitchener, who had been represented as in the hands of the naval men on the “a solitary, taciturn autocrat,” who took spot. But there had been no fewer than no counsel with any one and insisted on thirteen meetings of the Cabinet in that having everything his own way. This period, and at several the Dardanelles opMr. Asquith denied. Lord Kitchener erations had been discussed at length. was, indeed, a masterful man and a for As for the role of the experts at the War midable personality, but the fact was Council, Mr. Asquith declared that he that at the outbreak of war all the Gen had never known them to show the least eral Staff went to France and no sol reluctance to give their opinion, whether diers of experience were left in the coun invited or uninvited, and though Lord try. The Government, therefore, in all Fisher was known to be averse to the military matters was bound to defer Dardanelles operations, it was not on the to Lord Kitchener's unrivaled authority, ground that they were impracticable, but and no man ever had a heavier burden that his preference was for a different to carry. Mr. Asquith also revealed the operation in a totally different sphere. fact that, at the outbreak of war, Lord Lord Fisher, said Mr. Asquith, was in Kitchener was the only man
a minority of one, but he explicitly thought of asking to become Secretary agreed to undertake the naval operations. of State for War.
According to Mr. Churchill, everybody Mr. Asquith, in replying to the criti on the War Council knew of Lord Fishcism that there had been a delay of three er's objections, but knew also that they weeks in sending reinforcements, said were not objections based on the impracthat the delay had been due, not to any ticability of " forcing " the Dardanellesvacillation or hesitation, but to two main a very different thing from rushing considerations—first, that the Russian the Dardanelles, which no one ever conposition was so bad at the time that Lord templated. Lord Fisher, insisted Mr. Kitchener feared the Germans might Churchill, never objected to carrying out withdraw divisons from the eastern and the operations until the Admiral on the send them to the western front, and, sec spot changed his mind and advised that ond, that both the British and French the naval attack should not be proceeded headquarters were putting the strongest with. Mr. Churchill did not conceal his pressure on him to dispatch the Twenty own desire to press the attack with the ninth Division to France. Those were
navy alone, but he was overruled, and “grave and weighty reasons," said Mr. then the fatal delays took place.
Toward the close of his speech Mr. and it is certainly one of the contribuChurchill intimated that if naval rein tory causes of the favorable developforcements had been furnished the re ments which we have happily witnessed sult might have been different, as the in the events in Egypt, Mesopotamia, Turkish ammunition was about exhaust and Persia." ed at the time of the retirement. He Mr. Churchill, in his defense of the exlikewise affirmed, in a detailed review pedition, asked: “ What was gained, not of the proceedings of the War Council, what might have been gained, by the that the plans for a purely naval attack naval attack? Was ever any demonhad received the considered approval of stration in the history of the world more all the naval authorities, including the potent? The relief to the Grand Duke Admirals on the spot, Sir Henry Jack in the Caucasus was instantaneous. The son, Admiral Oliver, and the French whole attitude of Bulgaria was changed Naval Staff, and that Lord Fisher him for the time in our favor. Greece had self had agreed to carry it out. He con almost joined us. Lastly, there was Italy. tended that this naval attempt to force During the progress of the naval attack the Dardanelles was not a rash enterprise those negotiations were begun which foisted upon an unwilling Admiralty, finally, in the hands of Mr. Asquith, who but was the plan of the naval experts dealt for all the Allies, culminated in themselves.
Italy's entrance into the war at the moMr. Asquith by no means conceded that ment when her entrance was most needthe expedition was a failure. On the ed and before she could be discouraged contrary, he asserted that “it absolutely by the defeats of the Russians in Galicia, saved the position of Russia in the Cau which began a few weeks later. These casus; it prevented for months the de- are the results of failure. Think what fection of Bulgaria to the Central Pow might have been the consequences of ers; it kept at least 300,000 Turks immo success. It is a torment to dwell upon bile; and, what is more important, it them and to think how near was the cut off and annihilated a corps d'élite, the naval attack to success. Was there even whole flower of the Turkish Army. The really a reasonably fair chance of its sucTurks have never recovered to this mo ceeding if it had been persevered in and ment from the blow inflicted upon them, pushed on?”
Writing War History in France
A contributor to Le Temps of Paris has placed on record the measures which self-conscious France is taking to aid the future historian. The article is here translated for CURKENT HISTORY MAGAZINE,
NSTINCTIVELY we are watching our
selves live in these heroic days. We
feel, indeed, that the passionate curiosity of future centuries will be concentrated upon our acts and movements; we have become conscious of the consideration and respect which coming generations will lavish upon the men and things of today. We are secretly flattered by the thought, and, without going so far as to strike a pose before the painters of history, we are beginning discreetly to prepare their palettes and brushes.
We throw furtive glances in the direc
tion of the mirror that reflects our