(An extract from the Brecon & Radnor Express, August 6th, 1914)
As we write, the whole Nation is awaiting news of what the next few hours will bring forth. The terrible calamity that has come upon the people of Britain without any action on their part has been staggering; and even now the seriousness of a European War is not realised by the masses of the population. The events that led up to the conflagration are well known; how that the recent assassination in Serbia caused drastic action on the part of aggrieved Austria, how Russia stepped in to support the weaker State, and how Germany without declaration of War poured her Army over the French frontier, violating the neutrality of Luxemburg, and forcing on Belgium an ultimatum because that country has refused passage of troops. Truly a mailed-fist movement without parallel in the rest of the World.
This is not the time to forecast the horrors of war and the scarcity of foodstuffs which may arise. Our Colonies have nobly come to our aid. If the area of sea warfare can be confined to European waters there is ample supply of food which Canada and the States would rush into England immediately. A practical move as indicating the solidarity of
Britain; the spirit of our forefathers rising above party strife and above the aims and opinions of this generation is that of inviting the leaders of all parties to join the Government and form a Coalition; a coalition bringing together the best brains in the Nation. Britain has shown at this time of crisis a front which has probably surpassed the World, and a unity which spells victory whatever be the odds to be faced. That the position be serious cannot be gainsaid; but Germany is fighting on her Russian and French frontiers, and on the Baltic. She is practically surrounded by War and the end cannot be long delayed. England has been forced to take protection by the action of Germany not to observe the neutrality of Belgium, and there must be calm preparation and a united front presented by the nation to preserve her place as mistress of the seas.
England has answered the call of a weaker sister. Within our gates there must be consideration for the poor in spirit of Him who said ‘The poor ye have with your always.’ Unless the poor are considered now the results will be appalling. England has shown a united front politically and diplomatically; she must show a unity by bearing the general burden of the masses ....
... A small matter has set Europe aflame, and the blaze must be kept out of our Islands; at any rate until we are forced to attack in self-defence. There is no time, and will be no time, for dealing with results, and the Government must look to the causes which are likely to give rise to internal strife.
We are a great nation, having great traditions, and holding great possessions. We have a great task in front of us, but the God of our fathers is still the God ‘of their succeeding race.’