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You cannot wonder if we Germans

Has your government not concealed actual disaster—concealed it from their own people, though from no one else; for all the world was on the broad grin? Everybody knew of your misfortune save a certain large portion of the British public. The motive of your government could not have been to hide it away from the Germans, or the Austrians, or from neutrals, for the illustrated papers all over the globe, even in your own colonies, contained pictures reproduced from photographs of the occurrence. It was only possible to muzzle the press and blindfold the people of the United Kingdom, and these things your government did; acting no doubt very wisely  inflatable bounce.

Again after the great German victory over the Russians at Tannenberg in September last, an official bulletin of simple and conspicuous candour was published at Petrograd which confirmed in most of the . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Why did your Press Bureau during the heavy fighting from the middle of October to the middle of November persist in maintaining that 'the British are still gaining ground.' The British resistance from the beginning to the end of the four weeks' battle round Ypres is not likely to be forgotten by our German soldiers, still less to be belittled by them. {160} It was surely a great enough feat of arms to bear the light of truth. But. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

But is the same true of the British people? Can they be trusted to bear the light of truth  Zero Moment Of Truth?

, and for that matter the whole world, have drawn certain conclusions from these and other incidents. We do not doubt that your ministers have acted wisely in suppressing bad tidings; but why should they have taken all those pains and endured the derision, while incurring the distrust, of foreign countries—a material injury, mind you, and not merely a sentimental one—unless they had known, only too well, that publication of this or that piece of news would have too painfully affected the nerves of your people? Concealment of checks, reverses, and disasters which had not already become known to the Austrians and ourselves might have served a useful military purpose; but what purpose except that of a sedative for British public opinion could be served by the concealment of such matters when we, your enemies, knew them already? Have you ever thought of asking your American friends in what order they would place the candour of the official communications which emanate from Berlin, Petrograd, Paris, and London?

Shortly before Christmas one of your legal ministers, who, I understand, is specially responsible for looking after the Press Bureau, explained to the House of Commons the principles by which he had been guided in the suppression of news and comment. He should refuse, he said, to publish any criticism {161} which might tend to disturb popular confidence in the Government, or which might cause the people of England to think that their affairs were in a really serious state. On practical grounds there is no doubt something to be said for such a policy; but (will you tell me?) has any autocratic government ever laid down a more drastic rule for blindfolding the people in order to preserve its own existence  Academic alliance?