stria-Hungary, supported by Germany, was preparing to attack Russia, and that Russia was acting in self-defence. Whichever of these views may be the true one, it is certain that it was aggression, or fear of aggression, by Russia against the German Powers, or by the German Powers against Russia, that brought on the war. Now, to the governmental mind, this appears as an inevitable conflict. It is labelled ' 'the conflict of Slav and Teuton,' ' and is the theme of many learned lucubrations. But why should there be a conflict of Slav and Teuton? And what is there inevitable about it ? If all that is meant be that, as a matter of fact, the Russian Government was intending to attack the German Government, or the German Government to attack the Russian, that is merely to accept my contention that Governments make war without rhyme or reason. But what is meant is, of course, something more than this. It is meant that there are certain vital interests of the peoples of I Germany and of Russia which Governments understand but peoples do not, and for which it is worth while to go to war. What can these be ?
Let me quote from an author who has acquired in this country a deserved and sinister reputation, and who is a master of the theory and practice of the governmental mind. ' 'The requirements of the mighty Empire," so General Bernhardi writes of Russia, "irresistibly compel an expansion towards the sea, whether in the Far East, where it hopes to gain icefree harbours, or in the direction of the Mediterranean, where the Crescent still glitters on the dome of St. Sophia. After a successful war, Russia would hardly hesitate to seize the mouth of the Vistula, at the possession of which she has long aimed, and thus to strengthen appreciably her position in the Baltic. Supremacy in the Balkan Peninsula, free entrance into the Mediterranean, and a strong position on the Baltic, are the goals to which the European policy of Russia has long been directed. She feels herself also the leading Power of the Slavonic races, and has for many years been busy in encouraging and extending the spread of this element into Central Europe."
Let us take it from General Bernhardi — I think we may safely do so — that these really are the purposes of the Russian Government. Those which concern the Far East let us leave aside, for they bring Russia into conflict with the English, the Chinese, and the Japanese, rather than with Germany. Let us take the points that immediately concern the German Powers. Russia, we are told,