The Great War Part 244, April 19th 1919

A WEEKLY REVIEW SUPPLEMENT TO “THE ”GREAT WAR PART 244. History in the Making H E next Part of The Great War will contain M. Emile Cammaerts account of the full recovery of their long- aflflicted country by the Belgian Army led by King Albert and this chapter will be followed in the next succeeding Part by Mr. Edward Wrights account of the Allies march to the Rhine. The two are mutually complementary. As niight be expected that written by M. Cammaerts vibrates with the more tense personal emotion but Mr. Wrights imagination has been fired by the dramatic nature of his subject and he too has risen to the full height of his powers and his description of the most dramatic march in history is quite remarkable for its vivid actuality. ERU SAL of these two chapters should have a wholesome steadying effect upon people in this country who incline to charge the delegates at the Peace Conference with slowness in garnering the harvest of victory. Criticism of this kind causes no surprise when it comes from the civilian population of Belgium. M. Cammaerts outpoints that during the long years of oppression they were led to believe that their sufferings would end with the libera­tion of their territory and that as soon as the enemy evacuated the country they would be able to uptake the thread of their daily occupa­tions that nations would rush to their help, that Germany would restore the stolen'machinery and pay the war indemnity that industry would revive prosperity return and that as by the touch of a magic wand Belgium would be restored to its former state. UCH illusions fostered by the emphatic declarations of allied statesmen which had reached occupied Belgium were ”only natural says M. Cammaerts adding with generous insistence on the whole truth “they were necessary. Without them the population would not have been able to stand the strain.” Nevertheless a reaction was inevitable whip weeks went by without the expected miracle taking place and they still did not reap the expected reward of their splendid fortitude. King Albert wise statesman ashe is brave soldier did not shrink from giving his people a Heard at the word of warning at the very moment when he brought them greeting from their victorious Army. He told them that the restoration of the country was a gigantic task requiring all the strength of the nation and that it needed no less devotion and self-sacrifice to achieve than its liberation. Patience even yet was required of them and saddened but still not embittered, they are responding to his appeal. It ill becomes people in Britain who know none of the horrors of invasion to underestimate the difficulty of the problems occupying the attention of the allied statesmen at the International Conference in Paris and to blame them for not waving a magic wand and working a miracle beyond the power of man. MPATIENCE almost equal to that of the Belgians is felt by many Alsatians whom hope deluded into belief that the with­drawal of the last German behind the Rhine would be followed by the immediate rectification of all their wrongs. To these a tender admonition was addressed recently. In many towns and villages the Alsatians are planting “Liberty trees ”in commemoration of their deliverance from the German yoke. On March 9th one such tree was solemnly planted at Berstett a rural suburb of Strasbourg and M. Blaisot civil administrator of the district made a little speech. Here is one passage from i t :“Whenever in your legitimate anxiety to be wholly reunited to France you incline to think that things are not moving fast enough when­ever the measures taken by our administration fail to satisfy your desires completely or at once, do not be impatient but turn your eyes to this tree that you have planted here to-day. You who know this soil so welland know what it can yield who know that a tree does not grow in a day know too that France owes a debt to many of her regions ravaged by a ruthless foe, and you must— I am sure you will— have faith and intrust us. In these delirious days one is rather apt to forget that Germany has had forty-eight years in which to do her work in Alsace. We have had a bare four months as yet. In a spirit of patience illumined by quiet and steadfast joy you will help us with all the strength that is in you.” Listening Post an inessential the making of high explosives. Schweitzer did buy practically all the carbolic acid on the market and turned it over to the Heyden Chemical Works which in turn converted it into harmless pharmaceutical products such as salol. This for a time interfered very materially with the ptons of the Allies for the purchase of high ex­plosives and munitions on the other side of the Atlantic. Further Schweitzer made large profits for himself out of his scheme. *The blowing of whistles as signifying welcome to the transports witli returning soldiers has been ordered to be stopped to a large extent in the harbour of New York as it had Quiet become positively a danger. The Welcome Captain of the Port of New York, Home acting on instructions from the U.S. Government has placed certain re­strictions on the movements of vessels welcoming ships with home-coming soldiers aboard because of representations by the cpmmandants of cruisers and transport forces as well as by the captains of transports who stated that the safety of the transports was seriously endangered by the action of the welcoming ships. The noise made by the whistles and sirens of the latter was so great that navigation signal whistles could not be exchanged and in thick weather the bell-buoys could not be heard. One transport actually went aground owing to the noise. A rule has now been made which makes all welcoming vessels keep at a distance of at least half a mile from incoming transports. No band is permitted to play in the vicinity of a transport approaching its dock. .*The steps taken to trace missing British soldiers have already been referred here.to Some additional particulars are now available. A figure of 64,800 has been given in answer to recent Tracing questions as the number of “miss- ”the ing whose fate remains to be Missing determined- It is an approximate figure only and as evidence of death is received or death is presumed on lapse of time orin the absence of news the number tends to diminish steadily but no great change has taken place so far. It is to be remembered that the “missing ”have fallen on the field of battle without their fate becoming known to either side and such information can be best ascertained from the evidence furnished by their surviving comrades and by a search of the site. During the war the wounded were examined in hospital by the Red Cross Society and since the cessation of hostilities released prisoners are being examined. Much information has been obtained by these methods, though not all of it is conclusive. The battlefields have always been searched as far as possible and a systematic search is being undertaken by the units of the Director-General of Graves Registration and Inquiries now that the whole area is open. *Speaking at the dinner of the Land Union Lord Ernie President of the Board of Agriculture, unveiled some secret history of the war. He said the Government intended if we had Full not finished the war in November last Granaries to make the great push about the in Britain present time and to place on the western front the whole force we could command and to try to bring the war to a con­clusion this summer. For that purpose we wanted absolute command of all the tonnage we could supply. The granaries of the country were filled with wheat in order that we might set free tonnage for the great push. Plans could not be altered in a few hours. All the wheat was brought forward for delivery at a certain time and the British farmer from his point of view had a legitimate complaint and the Government had a perfectly reasonable answer to it. Wheat was now being passed into consumption as rapidly as possible, although no doubt there was more on the farmer’s hands than would normally bethe case. Lord Ernie thought that although the conditions to the farmer were trying the explanation he had given was a reasonable one. The World To-day is continued on page iii. In all new appointments to the mens administra­tive and clerical staffs of the Ministry of Pensions, the joint committees the local war pensions com­mittees and sub-committees pre- Pensions ference will be given to officers and Appoint- other ranks who have served in the ments recent war those who have been disabled being given priority in suit­able appointments amongst those equally capable. A large womans staff is employed by the Ministry, especially in the awards and issues branches re­cruited during the war and is now skilled in the regulations and procedure of the department. This staff has done excellent work at a critical time, and it is not intended to displace it but so far as possible vacancies occurring will be filled by transfers of other women already employed else­ wherein the Ministry upon work suitable for Amen* Royal Warrant dated March 15th substitutes the full rate of bonus for the half rates laid down in Army Order 54 of 1919 for officers warrant officers, non-commissioned officers and men Army who although not selected to form Bonus and part of the Armies of Occupation, Gratuity have not actually been demobilised on May 1st 1919. Every officer, warrant officer non-commissioned officer and man who is in receipt of pay on May 1st 1919 will therefore automatically become entitled to the full bonus from that date under the same conditions as apply to those definitely selected for retention. The condition postponing issue of the half bonus until the date of release will not apply and the full bonus will be issuable with pay. A Royal Warrant recently published as an Army Order provides that no reduction shall be made in the additional war gratuity payable to a soldier by reason of his having been eligible to draw service pension or entitled to elect to draw it during his war scrvice. **The Alien Property Custodian of the United States has sold to an American concern tho Heyden Chemical Works at Garfield New Jersey the plant of which covers more than seven acres, Heyden and which were owned by Germans Chemical before the war. These works figured Works in a great plot to prevent the manu­facture and shipments of munition to both Great Britain and France. In 1915 when the Allies were contracting for enormous quantities of munitions in America Dr. Hugo Schweitzer the well-known German propagandist formed the Chemical Exchange the object of which was to buy up all the available carbolic acid in the country, so as to prevent its manufacture into picric acid
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