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Full text of "Parliament's vote of thanks to the forces: speeches delivered in the houses of Parliament, Westminster, on October 29, 1917"

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ON OCTOBER 29, 1917 





thp: resolution. 

TJiat the lliaiiks nf Ilr.n.;,' be Piveii to tlic Oiaccrs 

Petty Officen;, and Mr:i ihr n : v h'l- their faithftil watd u 
upon the sea.i ditnng i.'ncc years of ceaseles. ^ 

lianger and si-resx, ivhilc ' . our shores and protcclini {i 
irom the attacks of a tui, foe the commerce iipot " 

ivliich tlie victory df the Allied cause depench. ' 

That the tlianks of this I-L>u..e be given to tlie Ufjicers 
X on-commissioned Officers, and Men of the British Armiel 
in. the field, and also to the ir.i/'/c/; in tiie Medical ant 
other Services auxiliary Iberelr., jar biicir u)ifu:ling eouragi 
and endurance in dcfeudiii:^ tlie rigiit, amid sufferings aM 
hardships unparalleled in llic history of war, a)td for tlies 
loyal readiness to continue the work to which they have sS 
their hands until the liberty of the world is secure. j 

That the thaiiks of lliis House be accorded i.i the gall.aif 
troops from tire Di^miuions Overseas, from India, and frc^. 
the Crown Colonies, zidw have travelled muiiy Ihousands 6] 
miles to share with their comrades from lite l^riiisli Isle: 
in the sacrifices and iriuniplis of tlie batflelleld aiul to iakc 
their full part in. the struggle for human freed'-'m. 

That the thanks of this House be aeconr-d to tlic Opicen 
and Men of the Mercantile Marine for tlie devotion io duty 
with which tliev have continued to carry the vital supplier 
to the Allies thraugli seas infested iviili deadly perils. | 

That this House doth acknowledge with grateful admiral 
Hon the valour and devotion of those who have offered their 
lives in the service of tlieir country, and tenders its sym- 
pathy to their relatives and friends in the sorrows they have 




Earl Curzon of Kedleston (Lord President of the 
ouncil) : In dealing with the achievements of the Army and 
avy in a war that has lasted over three and a-quarter years, 
have a rather long road to travel. 

In one respect this Motion has an excellent precedent, 
his country has never been slow to acknowledge the valour 
id the heroism of its soldiers and sailors in the operations 

■ war, and Parliament has been the natural and inevitable 
■ icle'by which the grateful tribute of the nation has always 

;en conveyed. Motions in themselves not dissimilar from 
lis have been moved after every great war in our history ; I 
ay instance the Napoleonic War, the Crimean War, and 
le South African Campaign. But, in one respect this motion 
without precedent, for it is not moved in both Houses of 
arliament to-day at the close of the war, nor as a sequel to 
le successful conclusion of peace. It is moved in the course 

■ the war, while the war itself is approaching its culminating 
)int, before the end is at all clearly in sight. 

The justification for this novel procedure mi<.;ht, 1 ih:p.k, be 
und in the scale and character of this war, it elf without 
ecedent, if not in duration, at any rate in ihe range and 
v'ersilv 'if its theatres, in the strength of tiie Armies and 

Navies who are engaged, in the magnitude of the resounSe' 

that are involved and the operations that have been under 
taken ; above all, in the nature of the issues which are a 
stake, (^ther countries have fought, and other wars hav 
been waged, to resist aggression, to defend national honoui 
to save the existence of a people, or religion, or race, bu 
there has been no war before in which the whole world ha 
arisen to ward off a felon blow directed at human freedorr 
Such a war surely does not require us to await it 
termination before the nation which sits in comfort an' 
ease at home expresses its gratitude to those who have beer 
and still are, its saviours. 

But there is another and a better reason, I think, fc 
moving at this moment. We want our soldiers and sailors' 
the men and women who are upholding our arms in this grea * 
struggle, to know, as the2/ enter the fourth winter of the wa 
and as fresh sacrifices He before them, that we do not forg* 
v>^hat they have suffered and endured up to this moment 
We want to tell them, here and now, that our hearts are fille 
with pride and admiration and sympathy for their incompai, 
able service, for their magnificent devotion, for the losses, th| 
incredible losses, which they have sustained. And I thin' 
that there is something peculiarly appropriate in making thi 
Motion in this v/eek — the week which three years ago wi\ 
nessed the supreme achievement of the first battle of Ypre; 
one of the great battles of history, where the gallantry an 
heroism of our small Army foiled the enemy and helped t, 
save Europe and civilisation. jj 

One other preliminary observation I ask leave to mak* 
If I do not descant this afternoon on the bravery and heroisr 
of our Allies, on their prodigious exertions, on their sufferings 
in many_ cases so much greater than ours — and here, in pass 
ing, may I say one word of sympathy to our gallant Ally acros 
the Alps in the blow that has fallen upon her? — it is nc 
because those considerations are absent from our minds, bu, 
rather because it is a domestic occasion on which we me€ 
in Parliament to-day, as if we were present at some grea 



ii, i 

J fnhy gathering, to celebrate the deeds and to cordoie wi 
i,_ e sufferings of our own people, subjects of our King. c:l 
J J= of our Empire, who have fought and died, and are 

hiiiig and dying at this mcme'nt, fcr all that we ard thrv 
J Id mo'^t dear. Other opp ?rtunities will occur of offerir.g 
lj, aimony to the nations and peoples and Armies of .Allied 

tions who are fighting with us for the 'reedom of the world. 


ji The first paragraph of this Motion, according to prece- 
It, gives the place of honour to the senior Service, the 
' vy ; but there is another paragraph a '.ittie further down 
[i jiich is without precedent, and _which includes the officers 
jj men of .he iVIercantile Marine, vi^hose services are so 
,j sely interwoven with those' of the Navy that I ask your 
^, -mission not to separate them in my remarks. I am not 
.J -e that the Navy has had full justice done to it in the three 
J irs of war. Because the conflict on the seas has not been 
,| rked by any great and crowning achievement like 
afalgar or the Nile, because the spectacular incidents in 
inection with I he naval warfare have been few, because 
has not been found possible to defeat in open battle an 
'l^ my who shrinks from battle except with a palpably in- 
ior foe, who denies the challenge that is ever open to 
re ^' ^".^ when he is caught and engaged, flees from 

crisis to the protection of his mine fields and fixed de- 
j' ces, it has sometimes been unjustly assumed that the 
vy has been untrue to the old traditions which have made 
1^ he glory of this country and have given us the mastery of 
: seas. Such an imputation would, as I say, in my opinion 
^ most unjust. Throughout this war the Navy has done 
> lething much rnore important than sitting still and wait- 
' for dramatic victories over an enemy who, since August, 
5, has never left his harbours to' enter into open conflict on 
™ Northern Seas. It is the Navy that has m;;de the con- 
' lation of the war possible from month to month and 
n^day to day. 

■3' . , 




We hear a great deal of the phrase " the freedom of the 
seas " on the lips of our enemy. But in the German concep. 
tion of this phrase it means that the seas are to be freed 
for his advantage from the superb predominance, the ubiqui 
tous and disinterested vigilance, of the British Fleet. There 
has been freedom of the seas. With the exception of th 
waters to which the German submarines penetrate and where 
special precautions have to be taken, these seas have been 
free for three years to the commerce, not only of our Allies,; 
but of every neutral country. They have only been denied^ 
to the common enemy of mankind. This has been the in 
comparable service of the British Navy. Were it not for the 
Grand Fleet, shrouded in the misty recesses of the North 
Sea, and for the other squadrons of the -Navy operating on 
every sea and every ocean, could the war lest one hour, could 
we feed our people, could we transport our troops to all the|[' 
theatres of war and supply them with arms and munitions,! "'f' 
could we carry coal and wheat to the Allies, could we evenP 
protect our OAvn shores? No; the Navy is the great instru- 
m.ent whose d3'namic force, hidden but never absent, enables; 
all this to be done. 

When the war broke out the first duty of His Majesty's 
Navy was to clear the seas of the surface craft of the enemy 
I need not recall the stages by which the battleships, the 
armed cruisers, and the merchant fleet of the Germans dis- 
appeared. At the present moment there only remains on*' 
small German merchant boat, converted into an armed raider, [ 
which is not accounted for, and for three months it has not 
been heard of. It is a solitary speck on the boundless ocean, 
and for all we know, and hope, it is probably at this moment 
at the bottom of the sea. Whether we contemplate an ocean, 
swejjt free from enem.y craft, or the enemy contained in his 
own waters, or our own shores secure from invasion and 
exposed only to an occasional surprise raid which is only 
remarkable for its impotence, or whether we look at the wide 


1 to 

lie ( 

III ri! 




•eaii on which the ships of the world move to and fro, Iti 
)ite of the submarine menace, like the shuttles of r ome 
igantic loom, ^carrying the resources of war to all the theatres 
' war, you equally trace the omnipresence and you find the 
■otecting hand of the British Navy. When I tell you that 
le Navy has, since the beginning of the war, transported 
';,ooo,ooo human beings, out of whom only 3,500 have 
■en lost— 2,700 by the action of the enemy, 550 in hospital 

If rps— and in addition 2,000,000 horses and rnules, 500000 

■•*-hicles, 25,000,000 tons of explosives and supplies, 51,000,000 
ns of oil and fuel for the Fleets and Armies of ourselves and 

;( ir Allies, you get some idea of the magnitud- of tl.e opera- 

11, 3ns which the Fleet has undertaken. 

i(| And, if we narrow somewhat our field of vision, when I 
tl ,11 you that 30,000 tons of stores and supplies and 7 000 
rsonnel are carried daily to France, that 570 steamers 
1,750,000 tons are continually employed in the service of 
n7ing troops and stores to the Armies in France and to the 
Jrce? in the various theatres of war. again vou will 
ahse the magnitude of the task and the immensity 
the strain. There are som,e occasions on which figures are 
^re eloquent than words, and this is, I think, one of them 
This gr at task has not been achieved without an expansion 
the Navy without parallel in the history of our country 
. indeed, of any country. In 1914 the Navy Estimate pro- 
ied for a personnel in the Royal Navy of 145,000 officers 
d men. 1 he strength is now 430,000. And it has been 
lit up not by drawing on the original reserves but bv re 
iitment from the sea-faring population and volunteers from 
parts of the Empire. The total tonnage of the Fleet 
iployed in naval services after mobilisation in September 
14, was 4,000,000 tons; now it is 6,000,000 tons This 
-rk has been accomplished in circumstances that call I 
n.<, for special, notice. In the case of the Navy the task 
preparation is not followed by the excitement 'of certain 
iflict The sailor does net, like the soldier, leap over the 
|-apet to cnarge at a visible foe. For months at a time 

he never sees the foe at all. When the crisis comes, it comesj 
in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, and the issues of life! 
and death, of victory and defeat, are decided in a few minutes. 
For the rest of the time the task of the Navy is monotonous, 
arduous, sometimes obscure. It is a work of waiting, wait- 
ing, waiting. It is impossible to exaggerate the strain which 
such experiences must impose upon every faculty both of 
mind and body. 

There is, perhaps, one respect in which the fighting ships 
of the. Navy cannot complain of lack of excitement or adven- 
ture. We hear a great deal of the German submarines and 
of their campaign of organised and brutal destruction. People 
seem to forget that we have submarines also. I am not 
going to give their numbers; still less am I going to say 
wheie they are or what they are doing. But in the 
pursuit of legitimate warfare our submarines have made 
.:|o successful attacks on enemy warships, and 270 successful 
attacks on other vessels. And if I may turn to one particular 
incident or group of incidents, who can forget the superb 
courage of those submarine commanders in the Dardanelles,! 
who crept through the stormy currents and the hidden dangers; 
of the Narrows, made their wav into the Sea of Marmora,; 
and for weeks at a time preyed upon a heljiless and; 
bewildered enemy? j; 


Equally w tIuI is the record of the auxiliary naval 
services, which .lave been expandrd to an extraordinary degree 
to meet the changes that have occurred in maritime warfare 
bv the development of the mine and the submarine. I allude The 
more especially to the minesweepers and the patrol vessels. Iliai 
Over ^,100 vessels are now- engaged on these duties. At theihni 
beginning of the vs^ar there were 12. They are out in allpa« 
weathers^ day and i^.ight, searching and sweeping for mines, the 
r);it'-o"ing the coastal routes, escorting merchant traffic, in t! 
hunting the enemv submarines. It is imposs'ble to imagine 
a more arduous or a more dangerous duty. Never a day but 

6 i 

S they may be in contact with a mine or torpedo ; never a week 
j but some of them are sent to the bottom ; yet in all this time 
cf stress not a single man has asl<ed to be relieved, and if 
one man is lost scores leap forward to take his place. 

I could detain you this afternoon for hours with tales of 
personal gallantry; but we are here to-day to place the crown 
of glory on the heads, not of individuals, but of the Navy 
as a whole. The spirit which animates all our oflRcers and 
men, whether on the sea or under the sea, is to be found in 
the words of the skipper of a trawler attacked by the gun-fire 
of a German submarine. Though armed only with a 
3-pounder gun and outranged by her opponent, she refused to 
haul down her flag even when the skipper had both his legs 
shot off and most of the crew were killed or wounded. 
" Throw the confidential books overboard and throw me after 
them," the skipper said ; and, refusing to leave his ship when 
the few survivors took the boats, he went down with her. 

There is another aspect of the work of the Navy upon 
which I must speak for one moment, and that is the story of 
the Blockade. We hear the Blockade a good aeal criticised 
" and even attacked in the newspapers. I invite you 
to think for a moment of what a Blockade means to 
those who take part in it. Patrolling the ocean gateway 
5oo miles in width from Scotland to Iceland and Greenland 
these vessels are exposed to incessant gales and to the perils 
:)f submarines. Day and night it is their dutv to stop and' 
•o board the ships that may be taking supplies to the enemy. 
The efficiency of the service may be gathered from the fact 
:hat, early in 1915, 256 out of 1,400 ships managed to slip 
hrough the patrol; at the end of 1916 only 60 out of 3,000 
massed without being intercepted. The large majority of 
he men who are engaged in this work were' before the war 
n the Mercantile Marine. 


I said just now that I would ask leave to say a word (i 
tv/o about the Mercantile Marine and the amazing scrvic 
that it has rendered in every theatre of war. What has th 
service been? In the first place, these men have provide 
a large part of those auxiliary services to which I have bee 
referring — the mine-sweepers, the patrol boats, the F\e< 
colliers, and the blockade vessels. Then steadily, in spite < 
constant danger, they have kept up the flow of British .in 
ports to this country, conveying to these shores the f-ood c 
which we live, the wool and cotton by which we are clothei 
the raw material of every industry. Equally the Mercanti 
Marine has been the carrier and purveyor and feeder of oi 
Allies. But I am not sure that its most wonderful achievi 
ment has not been the continuous service which it maintaine 
across the Channel and to the various theatres of war. Wee 
in and week out, in all weathers, proceeding at full speed i 
the fog and the darkness, navigating without lights, swejljlei 
by heavy seas, they have carried the soldiers to their de: 
tinations and brought back the wounded to these shore 
Think of the responsibility that lies upon the captain of sue 
a vessel. Always on the bridge, sleepless for nights at 
time, he knows that on his vigilance depend the lives < 
thousands of the soldiers of his Sovereign. Remember th; 
both for him and for his men there may spring at any momeri 
from the ocean the menace of sudden death — the rush of 
torpedo, the firing of a gun, and the vessel sinks down \n{ 
ihe grffat deeps and is lost. Then fallows the tumult 
evccuation, the agony of the boat drifting on the stormy sea uoi 
for days and nights at a time with the most precarious chanc llii^; 
of res-cue. Many vessels in this way have been torpedoili>i> 
scveta'. times over. The lives of the men of the Mercantil 
Marme that have been lost number 8,000. But never a ma: 
has been found who refused to sail. This is a recor 
that brings a lump to the throat and tears to the eyesL,! 
and it has invested with an everlasting renown the naiTl: 
?nd service of the British Mercantile Marine, 


of II 

is to 








I pass now to the paragraphs of this Motion which relate 
to the Army and the service which has been rendered by it 

i m so many parts ot the world. It is notorious that v/e'are 

ii not a mi.itary nation. It is a truism that at the outbreak 
of war we were unprepared. We had onh' an exiguous Arm}- 
of 100,000 ready for the field, though this was an Armv of 
superlative quality. i3ut now, after three j^ears of war' we 
have slowly forged the most powerful military weapon 'that 

;i IS to be found in the armour>- of any of the Aries. We have 
■ produced an Army of 3,000,000— in spirit, in fi.o-htmg qualitv^ 
land in endurance second to none, if it does not surpass any 
[that has ever been known in the historj' of our race, 
a I Observe the steps by which this has" been accomplished 
M !ln August, 1914, there was, as I said, the Expeditionary 
'^8 Force of six Infantry Divisions and one Cavalry Division, 
ft-ith a total of 160,000 men." Four of these Divisions and 
:he Cavalry Division were rushed across the Channel in the 
* Dpening days of the war and met on landing with an ex- 
Mt jenence that has rarely befallen anv force i.n the opening 
^«|fays of a campaign. Marching, as they had to do, 150 miles 
n eleven days, sustaining heavy losses, confronted by an 
memy of superior numbers and equipment, they fought the 
mmortal Battle of Mons— a retre'at more glorious than a 
■ictory. This was the first occasion on which the British 
forces saved France and Europe, and, I think we may say 
II ivihsation itself. Then, when two more Divisions had gone 
il! cross, this Army, sliattered but unbroken, decimated but 
ndismayed, turned on the enemy and, assisted bv our brave 
dhes the French, drove him back over the Mar'ne and the 

n« ■J^''^"r'^f ^?"''' ^''^ '^''^^ ^^"^e of Ypres, from the 
" ndche of October to the latter part of November, 1014, one 
» f tne greatest feats of endurance in British mi.itary history 
„ »ne more Infantry Division had been added, and the tWo 
n^chan Oivisions came- up in the nick of time. In that battle 



the pressure was so great, extending along a front of 40 mile: 
that cooks and transport drivers had to be put in the line 
The enemy had a great superiority in heavy guns and arm£' 
ment, but we were saved by the magnificent fighting powcj 
and desperate courage of our officers, non-commissionc! 
officers, and men, and for the second time the danger w£' 
rolled back. The hero of tliat battle, wlio takes his n-arr 
from tlie scene of his glory, sits in this House. W 
iTonour him, and the nation honours him, and h 
men, for what they did in these days of destiny, whet* 
for the second time Europe was saved. When this batt 
was over the original Expeditionary Force had practical 
ceased to exist. Three months of heavy fighting, betweci Kvi 
August and November, had left very few of the original For^ 
in the ranks, and the units had been almost entirely fiUenfC 
with fresh drafts. No sacrifice ever recorded in history hfi 
obtained better results than theirs. Great as the subsequei 
achievements of the troops have been, it is generally recoj 
nised tliat, both in the magnitude of the results they obtaind ii 
and the trial of endurance they faced, these seven Reguhl ilri 
Divisions will hold a unique place in the annals of thej (c 
countrymen. The traditions of dutv and discipline whic; 
inspired them have been handed down to those who conj 
after them, and are a living force in our Armies to-day. ift: 


In 1915 new forces began to enter the field. Already ; 
few picked Territorial battalions and a few Yeomanry re^ 
ments had shared with the old Regulars the glory of tl 
first Battle of Ypres. But with the beginning of 19 L 
the value of the Territorial Forces began to be fel 
This country owes a deep and lasting debt of gratitude 'ffi 
the Territorial Army. Raised for home defence, often djicti( 
paraged, many times the victims of sneers, its membe e 
were ready to assume any other duty placed upon ther 
They undertook, and are carrying out now, the defence 
outlying portions of the Empire, thereby relieving Regiil. aj 




troops or the bront The first time the Tcrritoria! Anm 
cn.i^ao:;d ,n heavv figntinj^ v.-as in the second Ypres Battle 
in 19 15, and at Festubert in Ma)-. Though comparatively 
». imried, their conduct was beyond all- praise, and tl-ir stub- 
9 jorn resistance gave us time to organise measure^ of 
« ieience, bring up reinforcements, and finally close ihe road 
- o ^alais. Since then the Territorial Army,' now on^-foM--.- 
Jf the entire Expeditionary Force, has shared in "!■■ 
:very important engagement in France and Fland; r- 
las also fought gallantly in Gallipoli, Salonika Eo-yn'' 

Now we come to the time— in May, 1915— wh^-n t'-. 
|)ivision of the New Army was despatched to France' I h.- 
■rganisation of this New Army, by wirich a large number 

ll f .Yf V^''' ''''^'"i' trained, equipped, and placed in 
lie hJd in the course of about nine months, is an achieve- 
nent whicii only the late Lord Kitchener's great nrestio-g 
nergy, and determination could have rendered possible • nor 
ould i_t ever have been carried out had it not been for th« 
atnotism and zeal of the people of this country. No 
reater self-sacrifice has been displayed in this war than by 
lose who compose the New Army, 'and who w-re the first 
, ansvyer their country's call. Thus we see that we have 
assed through three periods of military organisation in the 
me to which I have been referring— first, the days of the 
d hxpeaitionary Force that went cut at the beginnincr of 
ugust, 1914; secondly, the new and enlarged E xo-ditioPary 
orce, with the addition of the Indian Rrgimen'ts and "the 
olonial and Territorial Forces, which fought through iqi; • 
irdly, the appearance of the New Army upon the ^scene in 
« middle and latter parts of that year. But all these 
fferences were presently obliterated when, yyith the intro- 
iction of compulsory military service in this country at 
e end of 1915, the distinction between Regulars and 'New 
•my and Territorials disappeared, and the Army became 
r the first^time a National Arm.y. During the two yea-s 
at have since elapsed ev^ry Division of that Army has 



been engaged in the great happenings across the Channe 
of the Somme, of Arras, and Ypres— and it would be 
possible to select any portion for special praise. 


But I must not forget that there have been other theal 
of war in which these troops have fought. Of Gallipol 
shall speak presently when I come to the st;rvices of 
Australians and New Zealanders. But our Overseas tro 
were not alone in braving the perils of those inhospitE 
beaches and those cruel cliffs. Side by side with th 
fought the troops of the New .'\rmy, the Territorials ; 
the Irish and Welsh Divisions. Whether the Dardane 
Expedition was or was not a sound and legitimate ventv 
vv-hether its abandonment was or was not a prudent ' 
necessary proceeding, it can never be denied that in 
theatre of war was greater gallantry and a more hei 
spirit displayed. There were many chapters in that hei 
but ill-fated' epic— the landing on the beaches in the- f 
of a determined enemy, the clinging for months to th 
desperate slopes, the repeated though futile attempts 
advance to the heights, and perhaps not least of all 
re-embarkation, almost without loss, under the very f 
of the enemy. When, in later years people visit that me 
choly spot they will see the tombstones which record j j""' 
of the greatest achievements of the British Army. 


At Salonika the Allied troops, arriving too late to s 
gallant little Serbia from disaster, have had less h 
"fighting and fewer opportunities for winning glory t. 
have fallen to the lot of their comrades elsewhere. Nef* 
theless their work, in which the British contingent ur'" 
General Milne has played a conspicuous part, has enal 
the Serbian Army once' again to take its place in the fi: 
and has preserved Greece from the enemy and brought 
to our side, A climate malarious in summer and bitt 

X)ld in winter, and, what the soldier hates still more, loni^ 
periods of comparative inactivity— these trials our men at 
jaJpnika have boi-ne with a spirit fully equal to that ef 
Jjair comrad«« m more {lorlou* fields. 


_ Egypt has been another field of war where the opera- 
ions have been important and have played a considerable 
;i part in the fortunes of the war. It is such 'ancient histor- 
,it iiow that we ha^'e almost forgotten that after the evacua- 
,ion of Ga hpoh Egypt was supposed to be in danger, and 
le I urks launched at least two desperate efforts to dislodge 
> trom the Sinai Peninsula and the Canal. Those attacks 
,-ci;e repelle-d, and the British Army, after rendering the- 
josilion in Egpyt secure, were able to carry out the lon<J- 
ied;tated advance, clear Sinai and the Canal, and move 
:3rward to the borders of Palestine. There thev are at 
,ie present moment engaged, and doubtless we shall hear 
f tnem again, and that very soon. The Egyptian Cam- 
aign has not been without its episodes of hard fightino- 
nd personal heroism, but it is as a triumph of scientific 
■gani.ation that I would specially mention it this afternoon 
1 the operations that are going on in Palestine every pound 
„, ■ stores, every gallon of water that is drunk by the' trooos 
' IS to hi. carried all the way from Egypt across 150 miles 
desert This is a i^eat that rivals what has been so 
ccecsfully accomplished in France. 


I turn for a moment to Mesopotamia. The Army in 
esopotamia has suffered vicissitudes greater than any which 
ive been experienced in any of the other theatres of war 
arting with the brilliant success of the handful of British 
d Indian troops in the autumn of 1014, the advance, in 

n/r^h '^'■■^^^^''^ difficulties, almost 

the thieshold of Baghdad, was presently arrested bv mis-, 
■tune and eyen by disaster. But, even after this set-back, 




th,-- discipline and valour of the troops never waverrd 
nJ: finer exhibition of those qualities has ever been s^h 
tlfan that which was made by the Force which foufjlit 
way back from the field of Ctesiphon to Kut, and t! 
made that heroic defence which will be one of the mem 
able sieges of history. Then ensued an interval wl 
mistakes were being repaired and recuperation was unci „ 
taken, and it was reserved for General Maude and his bn: gdi 
men to retrieve the laurels which had been tem^porarily k 
and by the capture of the Turkish positions and by th 
subsequent advance to Baghdad and the occupation of t 
city, to accomplish one of the greatest feats of the 
Since then General Maude has driven the enemy back to 
east and west and north. He has won another nota 
victory, and his fine generalship and the splendid^ efficiei 
of his troops have enabled us to acquire a position wh 
enables the British Force to await the threatened attack 
the enemy without any alarm. 

As we survey these different scenes of fighi 
which 1 have briefly enumerated to you, there f 
I think, certain reflections that come to our mi 
The first of these is the high level of competence of 
commanders in the field. War is a very different thing n 
from what it was ten years ago. It requires scient 
training, a high order of ability, an immense amount of c£ 
forethought, and knowledge such as was undreamed o 
few decades ago. I might mention many of our cc. 
manders who have excelled in this respect, but I shall, I'l* 
haps, not err if I take as a type and model of them all. ~ 
gallant Field-Marshal who is at present commanding > 
troops in France. During more than two years Sir Doug 
Haig has never wavered, never murmured, never cc 
plained, never been despondent. He has gone steadily 
with attack after attack and has shown himself a grfch 
commander and leader of men. 




The second point that I would mention is tiie e-tra- 
■dinary valour of our officers, non-commissioned officr. 
Id men. Let me give you what I procured from Ihe 
spartments concerned this mornino— the tigures of the 
.ards for valour that have been given both to the Army 

farded- "^^^"^ ''^^^ l^*^^" 
Victoria Crosses 

Bars to the Victoria Cross 



D.S.O's ...o 

First Bar ;;; 4-5o« 

Second Bar ... '"" I' 

Military Crosses i , 2c- 

Distinguished Conduct Medal " 10 jIs 

First Bar '[^y 

Second Bar ... j 

Military Medal ... 39^4^^ 

xt I give the figures of the Navy— 

Victoria Crosses ... ,c 

^^•s-o's ... ... ::: ;:; 

Bars to the D.S.0 2- 

Distinguished Service Cross ' 766 

Bars to that Cross 

Conspicuous Gallantry Medal 


Distinguished Service' Medal ... 2,211 
I do not envy the man who can read without emotion 
records which we see, even when they are couched in 
:ial language, of the facts which have won ihese awards 
-he newspapers you read the words, " Awarded the Vic- 
i*a Cross for most conspicuous bravery." Then there 
Hes, in eight or ten lines of print, a narraCvo of doings 
Plch almost surpass belief, which as time goes on wil' 
'e?nshrined m legend and will become one of the les=;ons 
1 IS taught, and taught with advantage, to future gencra- 
s of our race. 

' IS 

But is not the great revelation of the war the Britisl' 
soldier himself? In all previous wars the Army has beei 
a class of the nation. Now it is the nation itself. Thi '* 
.\rmy has become in a wonderful degree a microcosm o '"' 
all classes of our people, reflecting not merely, as it alway 
did, the valour and endurance of our people, but their idea * 
and ideals, their aspirations, even the culture and th' ' ' 
spiritual side of the nation. We see the British soldier, a I"''] 
he has shown himself in this war, a model of cheerfu 
endurance and uncomplaining devotion to duty, seldom ii 
low spirits, possessed of a quaint and irrepressible humoui f| 
contemptuous of danger, greedy for self-sacrifice, a tiger ii 
lighting, but chivalrous and humane to the enemy; abl' 
to think as well as to act; pondering deeply on the problem " 
and issues of the war ; resolved, as his generation has beei 
called upon to pay the price, that he will pay it himself with - 
out a murmur, to save posterity from a similar peril. W ' 
may well be proud to belong to a race that has producei ' 
such men, and to have lived in an age that has been callc' ' 
upon to meet and to surmount such a danger. I 

But there are one or two other debts of honour whic:' * 
vou would wish to pay this afternoon. May I sa' * 
one word about the chaplains of every Church an^ 
denomination, 2,200 of whom are serving with the Armie 
in the field, giving the consolations of religion to the livin, L 
and performing the last rites of the Church over the dead 
How gallant and perilous their service has been may b n 
shown by the fact that over 70 have been killed, man; 1,1 
wounded, and many others have died from disease, 2 hav ]„ 
won the Victoria Cross, 130 have been decorated, and man; ' 
more have been mentioned in Despatches. 


1 desire to allude also to the medical officers who have 
/oted their skill wuh unwearyin- assiduitv, not merely 
the care of the wounded, which is the part" of their du y 
V uTu immediately occurs to us bu S 

been the call upon this service can be seen from the 

vaT'°rm°v mI TT '''' •'^^8'""'"^ °f he 

yal Army Medical Corps contained 3,168 otlkers ; there 

oT' Nor-m ■■•ri- '6.330; there a;e no v " 

,000. Nor must I omit the civil medical practit oners 
udms many surgeons and physicians of Jre^t practice 
|l renown in this cUy, who have volunlarily sacrificed ar-e 
pmes and connections in order to serve their countr^! 
,?re has never been an Army tliat has been in such ^a 
-e of heakn as the British Arnn- in France. In o^her 
. disease has olten proved more fatal than the cuns 
he enemy. We remember it in the Crimea. There were 
ii some sad stones in South Africa. But in this war 

"ha'o°S?! f-T -tuany'Ee^S'U:^ 
T tha. o: the civilian population at home. It has been 
er than the of the Army in times of peace and 
.do.xicnl though ,t may seem, the British Army in 
ice ha, really been a sanitarium for the British citizen. 


"he°'fi',-~^'^?-'°" T,' forgotten, but have included 

.he fi St time, the service of nurses. Nobly have they 
rved this compliment. They have not only "been minis, 
g -ngels in the hospitals behind the lines, but they have 
pushed forward to the Casualty Clearing Stations just 
id the front line, where they have literally stood between 
living and the dead. Their names figure not only as 
leromes, but also as the mart;, rs, of this lar Severa 
em have been torpedoed and drowned at sea. SeveS 
■5 have been killed by bombs thrown on the hospitals 




where they were serving, tn one case the name of ail 
English nurse has been rendered immortal b^' her martyr- 
dom. This organisation also has expanded in proportion 
to the calls upon it. On August i, 1914, Queen Alexandra's! 
Imperial Nursing Service contained 463 nurses ; there are 
now 7,711. The Territorial Army Nursing Service has 
expanded from 3,000 to 5,000. 

There is another Service about which you will expect mt 
to say a word. I might have dealt with it under the ArmV 
or the Navy because it belongs to both, but I have reservec 
a special category for it, because of the quite exceptiona 
nature of its service— I allude to the " Knights of the Air,' 
whether belonging to the Royal Flying Corps or to th( 
Royal Naval Air Service. I deliberately call them " Knight; 
of the Air," because in this war nowhere more than ii 
these, aerial excursions and combats does it seem to mt 
that the spirit of knight errantry has reappeared. Thi, 
solitary ride on the machine through the heavens, the ca! 
for constant presence of mind and courage, the fierc. 
combat, the swift victory or the sudden death — all of thes 
seem.hke a survival of the romance of a bygone age. When 
in August, 1914, 100 oflicers and 66 machines — for that wa 
all we had — made their way either by sea or the air t( 
France, who could have foreseen that this would develoj! 
into a great fleet of thousands of machines and ten thou' 
sands of men ? 

Let me give you an idea of their work on the Westen 
front. In the first nine months of 1917 the men of tin 
Royal Flying Corps brought down 876 machines of tb 
enemy, drove down 759 out of action, and 52 were broughj'*^ 
down by anti-aircraft gunfire. They dropped thousand 
of tons of explosives on aerodromes, military buildings 
railways, bridges, communications, even on moving regi 
ments of the enemv, swooping down to within a few fee 
of the ground and "scattering and killing the enemy as hi 




spotting'the enemy batter i tnr ^'" '-^vs "eno-aged in 

lave seen many of them Zl'i u ? ^""'^^ 
:hey enable ou7 Artil ery to'eontro/' 7"ff''^^' .tfegraphy 
orecision. Let us not forVt ^Iso h. *u ^"'''^'y 

iarkness and the wl SnS h?«h ™ Z ?' """".^ the 
,1 those loftv alHeudes are r dS„ " f-*^ 
•om destruction. The ,v-,r V,?^ 'i?"""- to save us 
eroism 0, the airmJn % °M ani" l'd°„™%°,' 

2 R.N AS was%nn -f "'^ ^ '''^ personuel of. 

ps the most effective branch f T / c -'''"f'- 
^ Naval Squadron at Dun - 1- U ^"^"i? 

the most Efficient aJen^S'of'-the^ v T A^.t'd^ily"^: 
newspapers we reprl nf t-hc,;.- lusi aany m 

k aerUontes va^^iS 

t IS thus wrought huf ^Icr^ k„^„ . '-"^^'"-iction 

'uuj,nc, Dut also because every time they gq 

fofth and attack the aerodromes of the enemy they <' 

diminishing, and indeed at times they absolutely frustr; 
the invasion which may be conlemplated by the enerv 
liere. The aircraft of the R.N.A.S. have been simila\" 
in evidence in every theatre of the war. They have lloP 
over Damascus; they have dropped bombs on Beirut; llji' 
have destroyed buildings at Constantinople; and I dare 
you will remember in the early operations of the war tip 
splendid effort by which the Zeppelin shed was destroyed »« 
Lake Constance. 

I to 

There remain but two paragraphs, anc two only, \\ 
which I must ask your leave to deal before I sit down. '. 
first is an acknowledgment of the services which have bife 
rendered by the gallant troops from the Dominions and frjui 
India, and from our Crown Colonies and Protectora j 9^ 
The Germans have made many miscalculations in this w 
but I ihink that which must have caused them the rr or 
acute disappointment was the spectacle which was s t; 
when, at the beginning of the war, there ral'ied round i « 
country the armed contingents, both European and nat. jj 
from our Dominions all over the world. These pec ui 
realised Vv-ith unerring instinct the nature of th.e 'ssl st 
which were involved. They saw that the British Emil m 
was in danger, and that if it perished the, e would go '[iff 
it the guarantees for their own free and contented existciij, 
'J'hey never minded that the war was thousands of m 
away, and that their country was not invaded, and, ind' 
that r^o |:ior(ion of the British Empire was invaded. T | 
never thought of the dangers that were to be encou n.f , 
or the lives that might be laid down. From all pi j^j' 
of the wf)r!d the great greyhounds came coursing i.cross 
sea carrying to the battlefield the men of man)- la^'j^ 
religions, and climes. 1 ' 

■ iui 

' ; til 
20 I 


!» Let me glance in a sentence or two at the principal scene* 
U 9f their operations, either on the battlefields of Europe or ia 
more remote parts of tha world. In German Couth-West 
\fnca the South African troops under General Botha, in a 
short campaign which lasted only eleven months, conquered 
520,000 square miles of territory, and turned the Germans 
jut of that country, as we hope, for ever. The operations 
vere distinguished for the mobility and endurance of the 
Toops and for the military skill and efficiency of the 

In East Africa we were confronted the beginning of 
^he war with a situation in which our Forces were greatlv 
liUtnumbered, and in which we could .not protect our own 
'srntory; but the tide was turned when General Smuts 
ppeared on the scene in 1916 with a large South African 
orce and with a contingent from Rhode',!;!. Since then 
lese troops have been replaced, for the mos! part, by native 
jrces and by Indian troops and by men from ihe Gold Coa«t 
nd Gambia. There have been great obslacles to be over- 
me— fighting over marshes, across m..,unatins amid 
;serts, in dense bush— but gradually the enemv have been 
-iven back to the south-east corner of the Colonv where 
ley are thrown back upon guerilla warfare and where the 
id cannot long be pijstponed. 

Togoland and (he Camemons-German colonies-have 
en taken by hnti-h forces, ,-dmost entirely natives of West 
rica, who hav-e <listinguislied themsels-.'s bravelv in the 
■htmg there. It was a land of rivers el mountains, and 
dense forest. _ 1 he French fought side bv side with our- 
ves, and in eighteen months the Colony was cleared— a 
;ult due equ.illy to the bravery of the troops and the .kill 
the commander. 



Meanwhile, Colonial contingents have shown their faci 
and have earned renown on other fronts. There has been 
South African Brii^ade in France ever since 1916. Tl 
Rhodesians fought "both in South-West Africa and in_Ea 
Africa. The Newfoundland Battalion has taken part in < 
the principal fighting in France. All the available white m( 
in our Colonies, and in our Protectorates in East Afric 
Hong Kong, Celon, Mauritius, West Indies, Seychelle 
Fiji, Malay, Bermuda, volunteered, and were either se 
abroad or released garrisons which Were maintained^ in the 
countries. Nor must we forget the Labour battalions, t; ,^ 
carriers, of whom there have been many tens of thousan 
sent from our Colonies to the Front. 

I have reserved to the end the immortal service of t! 
Canadians, the Australians, and New Zealanders, and f 
men of the Indian Army. Our kinsmen have more than on | 
before rallied to our assistance. We saw them in Egyp ' 
they fought with us in South Africa; but never has th 
service been so lavishly rendered, never has it been on such 
scale, and never has it been attended with such importai 
and decisive results as in this war. If I told you th 
Canada has sent 350,000 men for service overseas, a 
Australia 300,000, and New Zealand 120,000, I should be b 
little over~the mark. If I added that South Africa has se 
SO, 000, and Newfoundland 4,000, I should be slightly und 
it ' But the most remarkable feature of this contributio 
next to the scale of the effort, has, I think, been the marvi 
lously short time which has been taken to put these nii 
into the line, and the success with which, almost from t 
start, they have been able to hold their own against season 
j)rofessional troops. It may induce us to revise some of 0 
own ideas about Army instruction in the future. 



Galiipoli was the first test of the quality of the An/ac* 
he.r bravery has invested that barren and forbidding Ipo^t 
n a L':orv which wi n/^vpr fr,,i,. .,.,,1 u.,_ . , , ' ^ 

, ^ ,1 t • 1 au(.i iorijiuain<r snot 

E .11 a -:ory which w. 1 never fade, and has added a name 
h ^ the nomenclature of the British Empire. I have heard 
rjie commander on that Peninsula bear testimony to 
nous elation with which, as he described it, thes-e oversea^ 
,.en faced danger and deatii. From there, after a reA thJ 
,n.acs wei^ tal^n to Egypt. Their Cavalry has sin ; bee^ 
uyino ,n Egypt and m Sinai, and is now in Palectine bu" 
.leir mrantrv was transferrp.l fn „„,, . '"^-^^^'ne, out 

. ,^ ill oiiiai, ana is now in Pa C^tine biif 

^leir mrantry was transferred to France, and in France thev 
liye fought in everv battle in the last one and a-halTvears- 
|e bomme, Arras, Messines, and Ypres. 

The Canadian record is not less glorious. There is still 
?sh .n our memory the second Battle of Ypres- Ae fis 

inSf ;ortSr r~"'r" ^^^"■'^^ brolfe,'Ld i t ' 
.ei ed for the Canadians to save the situation U wis 

gely due tp their stubborn resistance at that tin" tl^at he 

Id to Calais was barred. Since then the Canadians hive 

rticpated in every great battle; they have never wavered 

?tiS o?The^Em;tr'^'^^ ''"^^ ^" 


videil troops for a mu 1, larger number of f,!,*" 
>n, Ga!,,po,f laionS'Sd ;f FrScT"v,^^^ 



ft-£Ord in Mesoootamia has been one of exceptional vakuf 
and endurance.' But remember that, elsewhere, they have 
be -n exposed to surroundings entirely novel m character, to a 
species of warfare of which thev had no knowledge, to con- 
d'.tions which at times must have been shattering to the 
nerve and might have broken the morale even of trained 
European forces. The fortitude with which they have con- 
ducted themselves in France, in a climate which must seem 
to them verv often to be one of cruel seventy, is one of the 
outstanding' features of the war. It is a record of which 
ihev and we may be proud. And the fact that two Victoria 
Crosses have been pinned to the breasts of Indian soldiers 
is a direct testimony to the valour and endurance which they ,,)., 
have displaved. . ' '- 

I have now completed mv survey of the various theatres- 
o{ war, and I have endeavoured, however imperfectly, to 
enumerate the services that have been rendered. I have 
deliberately said nothing about the administration and 
or'-'anisation at home, about the work of the Generals and 
ad7ninistrative .Staffs of the War Office, and the Home ir. 
Command. No one who has not been in close touch with 
their work can picture the incessant labour that has beeni 
involved in the creation and training of our new Armies, thej 
change in war time from a voluntary to a compulsory system;, 
•ind the control, organisation, and maintenance of the vast 
Armies which we now have in the field. But their time for 
praise and congratulation will come later on. To-day wf! 
have been dealing with the service of our men and women irl 
the field. 


1 perhaps, could not give you a better idea of the fuf 
meaiure of the achievement of the .Armies whose work ; 
liave been narrating than bv communicating to you a statei||| 
ment of the captures of prisoners and guns which have beei ^^^^ 
r ffected bv them, and the extent of enemy territory wnicl 
they have' taken in the last three years. We have captured 



ail the theatres of war, over 159,000 prisoners and 683 
jns. ^^'e have talien 1,244,000 square miles of enemy 
rritory in East and West Africa and the Pacific ; in Egypt 
have recovered over 20,000 squares mi'.es of territory 
hich the enemy had overrun ; and in the Western theatre 
have, in conjunction with our Allies, since the trench 
les were established from the North Sea to Switzerland, 
covered 1,410 square miles of French and Belgian territory. 

It remains for me only, before I resume my seat, to offer ' 
\ your behalf a tribute of our admiring gratitude to all the 
ave men who have returned and will return, maimed or 
'oken, from the awful ordeal of the Front, and whose cheer- 
Iness and fortitude in the face of blindness, of mutilation, 
id of many forms of suffering and torture, makes us proud 
be their countrymen. 

One word also I must devote to the poor prisoners of 
ar, many of them languishing in captivity for the best part 
' three years. The victims of ill-fortune, they have suffered 
H om no conduct of their own. Many of them have 
:perienced cruel treatment at the hands of their merciless 
;iiii|jolers. But I suspect that if we could get to the bottom 
their minds we should find that the worst torture which 
ley have suffered is that of being unable to stand by their 
untrymen in this great struggle for the future of their 
mmon race. • 


The Motion to ^\•h!ch I ask your assent concludes with 
1 expression of the respectful sympathy of this House to the 
lations and friends of those who have fallen. There is an 
d saying that in peace men bury their fathers, and in war 
thers bury their sons. Many of thos-e fathers sit upon 
;ese benches. If I cast my eyes around I can see them in 
any quarters of this House. Nothing that I can say, 


[iothinri that we Can cio, can mitigate the severity of the 
blow that has fallen upon them or console them for the 
irreparable loss that they have sustained. But it is possible 
that the unanimous thanks and vote of Parliament may add 
something to the pride that is mingled with their grief, and 
may assure them that we are conscious of the superlative 
value of the sacrifice that they have made. We know, as 
thpy know, that their dear ones have fought, not because 
thi-y loved war, but because they loved peace more than 
war. They died that the nation might live, and that peace 
and justice might reign once more on the earth. In some 
Elastern countries that I have visited the foundations of 
palaces and city walls used to be cemented with the blood of 
human victims, slaughtered in the pit where the foundation 
stones were laid. The blood of our heroes has been shed as 
a voluntary sacrifice to lay the foundation of a structure 
fairer, stronger, more enduring than any palace or city built 
by men's hands — namely, the fabric of a new society, free 
from the f^aws and weakness of the times that are passing 
away, and reared on the solid bases of humanity and free- 
dom. Thus may those who have died become in their death 
the architects of a new world in which the generations that 
live after them may breathe a purer air and pursue a higher 
aim. Let us see to it that this is no idle dream, and that 
when our soldiers come back to England they will return to a 
country for which those who died have not died in vain, 
and which those who survive will find to be a land worth 
liviag for and living in. I beg to make the Motion which 
stands in my name. 
Moved to resolve — 

That the thanks of this House be given to the officers, 
petty officers, and men of the Navy for their faithful 
watch upon the seas during more than three years of 
ceaseless danger and stress, while guarding our shores 
and protecting from the attacks of a barbarous foe, the 
commerce upon which the victory of the Allied cause 


; That the thanks of this House be given to the officers, 
non-commissioned officers, and men of the British 
i Armies in the field, and also to the wonien in the 

i medical and other services auxiliary thereto, for their 

unfailing- courage and endurance in defending the right, 
amid sufferings and hardships unparalleled in the 
history of war, and for their loyal readiness to continue 
the work to which they have set their hands until the 
liberty of the world is secure. 

That the thanks of this I^Iouse be accorded to the gallant 
troops from the Dominions Overseas, from India, and 
from the Crown Colonies who have travelled many 
( thousands of miles to share with their comrades from 
i the British Isles in the sacrifices and triumphs of the 
battlefield, and to take their full part in the struggle for 
human freedom. 

That the thanks of this House be accorded to the officers 
and men. of the Mercantile Marine for the devotion to 
's duty with which they have continued to carry the vital 

supplies to the Allies though seas infested with deadly 

^ That this House doth acknowledge with grateful admira- 
tion the valour and devotion of those who have offered 
their lives in the service of their country, and tenders 
its sympathy to their relatives and friends in the 

J sorrows thev have sustained. 


The Marquis of Crewe : In this House, where a Motion 
needs no seconder, we might well have been content to leave 
the expression of our gratitude to the two Services to the 
eloquent voice of the noble Earl who leads us, and to the 
masterly review and analysis of the whole f eld of war during 
these years to which we have just listened. But perhaps it 
Is as well that this expression should be in some degree 
■enforced by one who does not sit on Government Benches 


as an evidence of our coriiplete union ol mind in this inattef, 
for it is impossible to conceive tiie slightest dissent from any- 
thing which has fallen from Lord Curzon. It is true that in 
the past the conclusion of hostilities might have been waited 
for before such a iMotion as this was made ; but, as Lord 
Curzon pointed out, tliis occasion has been one of unprece- 
dented service and unprecedented sacrifice. It is no question 
of conveying the thanlts of the nation to a small professional 
band of heroes of the Army and Navy; it is actually the case 
that something like three-fourths of the whole adult popula- 
tion of these islands desires to express its gratitude to the 
remaining one-fourth. That one-fourth has gone through a 
series of unheard-of hardships, and has endured more than 
any Army or Navy has had to endure before in every part 
of the world. 

In 1914 these islands were watched over by the three great 
units of the Home Fleet, and it is to that Fleet that we 
still owe the security — of which, unless we specially ".i i'iii of 
it, we are barely conscious — the kind of security which is 
felt by no other of our European Allies, and of which we 
cannot be too mindful. And with what reinforcement of our 
seafaring race does that Navy now continue to guard us? 
The patrol vessels,., the mine-sweepers, the trawlers, the 
drifters — those have all received their meed of praise. Lead- 
ing a life very often of absolute monotony but accom- 
panied by a monotony of danger from which there 
is often no respite whatever, the Royal Navy, speak- 
ing generally, has had but comparatively few chances 
of dramatic distinction during the present war. We cer- 
fainly must not forget Admiral Slurdce's dash to the Fa!k'and 
Islands in December, 19:4, which reflected equal credit on 
those who planned it and on those who carried it out. The 
Jutland Battle of last year was, as we know, robbed of such 
a victory as was w-on by Rodney or Nelson ; but nobody can 
ever forget the determination w-ith which the battle-cruiser 


&qua<irx>iu elvng to ti-ttiv superici- to«, or the rush of th^ 
Bat;h Fleet summoned to the s;:ene of action, and, not least, 
die per;;ecuai devotion of the light cruisers and fiotillas all 
througii the course of thnt battle. 

That was a year and nve months aqo ; and since then, as 
we have been told, the German High Sea Fleet has been, in' 
practice, dormant. It is true that the menace of the sub- i 
marines has since then greatly increased, and it would no 
doubt be false to speak of it as overcome. But that it is 
not altogether overcome is certainly not the fault of the 
Navy. And I do not think that it is unreasonable to con- 
clude that, in this particular matter, experience and scientific 
experiment should lead rather to the advantages of the j 
defence than of the attack. After all, do not let us forget j 
that_ between 1794 and 18 15 something more than 10, coo | 
British ships of one kind and another Vv-ere destroyed by 1 
the enemy. During the whole of that time we held, generallv 3 
speaking, the command of the sea. In the ten years from ' | 
1805 e held it as absolutely as it has ever been held ; yet : 
during those twenty years that great figure of loss was j 
incurred. I am sure that we all desire not'merely to express j 
our deep sense of gratitude to Sir John JelHcoe, to Sir David 1 
Beatty, and to all the officers and men of the Navy, but j 
also to express our absolute confidence in them in' their I 
respective positions in the Fleet. ' j 

Lord Curzon told us how our military affairs stood at 
the beginning of August, 1914. As a matter of fact, the 
entire British Force — Regular, with their Reserve, the Sprr'.il 
Reserve, and the Territorial Army, including the BV tiih 
Forces all over the world— amounted to some "7-0,000 men; 
and in the first week of the war another half million, as 1 
I'ou will remember, were voted. How urgent the n.eed i 
>f addition to that Force, greatly scattered at that time, was, j 


friay fee shown by the fact that in the first year of the war 
our British casualties were 330,000, or, say, 45 per cent, of 
the entire force of British soldiers, including Territorials, all 
over the world. We know that great additions continued to 
be made on the voluntary basis during the first year of the 
war ; and it is, I think, important to remember that during 
the year 1915 the more difficult problem was to supply the 
necessary equipment for the men that we had, than to find, 
for the moment, more men. In the meantime, from the very 
first days of the war, the Dominions vied with each other in 
prompt and free-handed contributions of men ; and in India, 
as we know, every Native State that possessed an Army 
offered it freely at once to their Emperor and the British 
Government. Thus, first on the voluntary basis and after- 
wards by a compulsory system freely accepted by the country, 
arose, in the words of an acute and generous French crilic — 

" That unprecedented force which has absorbed all mili- 
tarv precedent and tradition, an emanation from the very 
. depths of English life, combining every essential British 
characteristic, intellectual and religious ; with all the 
national conventions, prejudices, catch-words, ideals, and 
virtues. " 

That writer, Andre Chevrillon, goes on to say in words 
which I believe to be profoundly true, that — 

" The Germans believed that they had foreseen every 
material contingency; but the New Armies of Britain 
had their origin in spiritual realities to which our methodi- 
cal foe has been uniformly blind." 


Yes, educated Englishmen, outside the regular .Services, 
altogether lacked that training in the elements of military 
science ^\•hich men of the sa.rne sort on the Continent of 
Europe have all acquired at some time or other of their 
lives. Our educated classes, both professional and artisan, 
first had to overtake that industrial organisation for war 


which for manv y*rars past in Germany had been fostered 
bv State endowments. That is conceivable. But how would 
it be, it was aslc^d. when it came for those men to the actual 
practice and conduct r-.f tho art of war? I venture to say 
that the result wa« otni-iHy amnzins:; both to military 
and civilian observers. It shows, i-d^ed, that education 
does not consist only in the acquiring of a series of facts, 
but in the broadening of the mind of those who learn, and 
in the devrlipment of character, both to dare and to endure. 
The fact is that the convertion of the British peop'.e into an 
Army, as reckVss in courage as any Army, as patient to 
unoarnlleled ha'-d=h']3. and undoubtedly the most humane 
and crimeless .'\rmv that has ever taken the field in war, is 
one .of the most tremendous phenomena that can be found 
in t^f na£?e^ nf all historv. 

It t>. indeed, to a whelp nation, so far as numbers are 
,-■ n">--ed. that our tha ks have to be rendered; but it is 
'm , ■li'p that v'lme individual names should not rise to the 
niin'I a; thev did to the mind of Lord Curzon. We think, 
Pr-T a'l, of Lo'-d T-'itcherer, who rests in his vast and 
w:i (l- ri'-g grave. Then of the noble Viscount, who is not 
no'.'-. in the House, but whom we are also proud to have as 
a member of this LLiuse, Lord French, whose title will pre- 
serve, as I hope, for m.any generations to come the recol- 
lection of the stand of the British Army, in what I suppose 
was the most critical moment of the whole v,-ar, at Ypres 
in the end of October, iqij. Now we think of the Field- 
M.T-shal Comma:id'ng-in-Chief, and also of Sir William 
Robertson, who played so gr-^-'t a part in France before he 
caine to take charge here. Both those merit and possess 
the absfljte confidence of the country, and we feel that the 
decisive end of the war. which alone will content us, will 
come to pass under their guidance and auspices. Then Lord 
Curzon mentioned, liot by name, for they are too many, 
all rliH capable lieutenants of the Gommander-in-Chief and 


of the Army CouticiI in the vancus theat-es of the war, | 
worthy chi<?fs of th^ gloriou"; troops that they command, ttii 'i 
the nan-commissioned •fficers and the m&a. 


I was glad that Lord Curzon placed in the very first 'fe 
rank the Medical Service, both that part of it which was ' | 
originally military and that part of it which was originally | 
civil, and also the chaplains and the goodly company, both of j 
men and women, who have given their devotion, and not *| 
seldom their lives, in the different branches of hospital and 
of ambulance work. It was barely possible to enumerate 
all the various branches of the services to which we wish || 
to render our tribute. There was no part of his speech 
which seemed to me more eloquent and more charged with 
emotion than his refcrrnce to the two branches of" the .Air 
Service, which indeed deserve as large a share of our thanks 
as any. But most of all, of course, we desire to render our 
thanks to those who are no longer here to receive them, but -I 
have passed beyond this turbulent world. We can onlv, by 
passing this Resolution, lay our laurel wreath upon their 
graves, and offer to those wlio mourn them the. tribute of our 
undying sympathy and our pride. 


The .'Xrcuhlshop of Cantf.rburv : Perhaps it may not bo i 
out of place that a few words shou'd he S|)r^ken by one who i 
approaches the subject from a standpoint a little different i 
from_ that of either Cabinet Minister or jjolitical ]( ader or i 
warrior by land, or sea, or air, and whose dufv it is to trv ■ i 
to be in '! lily touch with the underlying princip es on which ' 
all that is best in linglish life is based. \\ 

It is hard to find terms adequate to express what we all i 
feel about our sailors and soldiers, whether it be the daunt- '! 
less men who have a Hotspur enthusirrsm for the frav, or thellf 
more thoughtful and quiet-spiritH men who, with perhaps no ;| 

3"^ J 

martial ardour to start with, have yet of deliberate choice 
given themselves to the task of uphoMing what they believp 
to be right, and in doing it have shown a couraoe as daunt- 
!«*s and a pirseverance as thorough as that which cou'.d be 
shown by the bravest and most hardened soldier or sailor in 
the land, or the immense multitude of those splendid, dogged 
Englishmen and Scotsmen who have been facing throughout 
all the privations and difficulties of these terrible campaigns 
with a courage, a cheeriness, and a good humour which have 
made an hnperishable mark upon the mind of their country- 


I noted, too, with satisfaction, the reference made to those 
who_ mmister to the bodies and the spirits of those who are 
serving. The testimony deepens day by day as to the services 
that are felt_ to have been rendered by those medical men, 
who have at immense sacrifice given themselves— to do better 
than it has ever been done before— a task immense beyond all 
calculation ; and to the services of the chaplains who have 
striven, again in the face of great diflk-uities, to fulfil the 
grandest task that could be given to men. 

I _ should like for just a moment or two to emphasise the 
subsidiary work, the complementary work, which is bein^ 
done ov those— both men and women— whose names 
do not appear in the forefront at least of the records of service 
rendered, but whose deeds, both at home and abroad are 
malang a new mark in the life of the English people, a mark 
that IS not going to be very readily or ever effaced. If ever 
a record of what is being done in this war could, as it 
certainly can never, be made complete, those who are work- 
mg m what I have called the subsidiary and incidental sup- 
port ot our great cause and our great war would have a 
place in the foremost line of honour, all the more because no 
public plaudit in their favour now ordinarily meets the ear 



You go, as I do, from place to ijl.icc in our land, and we 
are day by day startled to find — and it fills us with won- 
dering admiration — how peop'e from whom work could 
lard'.y be expected (the delicate, the reserved, the very old) 
are contributing at this time to the needs of their country, 
■either by direct or indirect service. I have been struck again 
and again by seeing what is possible to be done — what is 
now being done by men and women alike who feel that they 
must be bearing their part in an enterprise so vast as this, 
which calls for the output of all the energy oi all the people if 
the work is to be worthily performed. The value of that work 
seems to me to rest nut merely in what the worker is actually 
doing, but it expresses a larger and deeper patriotism which 
is going to be born anew out of this great conflict. Many 
people who had, perhaps, little opportunity and certainly took 
small occasion to think of these things in ordinary life, are 
now feeling the splendour of their responsibility and their 
trust as members of the Empire to v,?hich they have the 
privilege to belong. If the rope of human brotherhood, that 
link which binds nations together, is to be made strong here- 
after on behalf of justice and truth and libertv. it will be by 
the knitting together of many strands; and the patriotism 
which we are evoking will make one strand which is imper- 
ishable in its strength for the furtherance of that for which 
that bond is ultimately to endure. Of course, the thought 
is :iot a new one. The fact is that in hundreds of thousands 
of homes the idea of patriotism is now becoming the ordinary 
thought, and the principle which underlies it is becoming 
current coin. That is something which is worth while at' 
this time, and for which we ought to be, and the country will 
be, expressing thankfulness. 


I should like to say how the country thanks those who are 
doing what Is, perhaps, the hardest "task of all — men who 
would give simply anything to go out, but are obliged to work 


t home because their services here are wanted ; who feel, 5t 
. nay be, that they are liable, not merely to the disappointment 
I. ivhich is inevitable to themselves, but to some degree of mis- 
j ipprehension on the part of their friends and others. These 
l| nen are deserving every whit as much gratitude and 
I lonour as those who are fighting at the Front. They are, 

)erhaps, doing harder things in the response they are riiak- 
■5 ng to the home call than they would do in fighting in the 

orefront of the field. We thank these inconspicuous but 
; nforgettable workers, men and women, not only for what 
j hey do and suffer, but also for the abiding asset they are lo 
I; English life in implanting so. firmly amongst us the idea that 
;, t is not upon armaments or military prowess alone but on 
j he spirit that lies behind them that must ultimately depend 
„. he cause of right m Europe and beyond it. The fact that 
I; hey are making this clear for all time is something for which 

/e have good cause to offer to them, on behalf of the country, 

ur thanks just now. 


" We are striving together for a just and enduring peace. 

-J noted American thinker has pointed out — it is the thought 
;hich brought America to our side — that peace is not in 

, :self the ultimate ideal. Our ideal is the establishment of 
uman liberty, human justice, and the honourable conduct of 

i, ur civilised and humane society. Secure that, and a durable 
?ace follows naturally. Without that, it seems to rre to ' 

'i', e no true or abiding peace, but only the rule of force until 
berty and justice should revolt against it again in search of 
iace. The new Europe, nay, the new world, of which we 
■e in search, is going to insist upon justice, liberty, and 
ghteousness as its foundation, and it will welcome a d.ur- 
)le peace as the companion and friend of these new condi- 
ons. It is for the courage, the perseverance, the patience, 
id the resource of the men and women of our country in 
eir work for the furtherance of this end that we desir.^ 
express our country's thanks. 



The Earl of Selborne : A* I had tlve gieat honoui 
presiding over the Board of Admiraltj,' for five years, 1 sho 
not like to pass in silence this histor.c ocxasion. I need 
say how entirely I associate myself with all that my nc 
friend the Leader of the House said about the Army — 
Home Army, the Indian Army, and the Army of the Do 
nions. 1 was very glad to hear what he said concerning 
retreat from Mons and the first Battle of Ypres. for I veritc. 
believe that in the calm light of knowledge the histori 
when he comes to write the history of this, the greatest \ 
of the world's story, will fix upon that retreat and upon t 
first battle, and say that the safety of civilisat'on hung tl 
in the balance, and that the world, not only England, v 
saved by Lord French and the little old Army. 



IV i 




When I was at the Admiralty it was not possible to fj 
a more implicit and unl'mited confidence than I felt in 
courage, the devotion, the endurance, and the professio 
capacity of the o.i'ficers, warrant ofiicers, petty officers, s 
men, stokers, and marines of the Fleet. It was not possi 
to have had a more implicit belief that when the day of ti I 
came there would be no failure, and therefore nothing t 
has happened has surprised me. But the country does vv 
reminding again and again, how tremendous have been 
services of the Fleet, partly unrecognised because they 
comparatively obscure. I shoukl lay stress particularly 
the supreme seamanship, the wonderful efficiency which 1 
enabled this, service to be carried on for three and a haif yea 
without cessation, in all weathers, with the min'mum of it 
hap or misfortune And then there is the Fleet Reservq 
seamen, stokers, and marines who had serx'cd in the FS 
and taken their discharge. Behind them are the Roval N4 
Reserve, the men of the Mercantile Marine, fishermen, a 
the men of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, many 

3^ . 



^1 K'hom were landsmen, clerks, iTiechan"cs, and artisans. The 
■ j^ivhole of that wonderful auxiliary service which Lord Curzon 
,,iO beautifully described, esp:cially that of the mine-sweepers, 
,,ias been done mainly by men of the Royal Navai Reserve™ 
~ )y fishermen turned King's sailors. The youngest Service of 
dl, the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, has taken its place 
: md worked on board ship with the men of the profession, 
,:1, md has fulfilled all our aspirations. 

But there was nothing that my noble friend said which I 
,| elt to be more profoundly true than what he said about the 
. , viercantile Marine. What the .Mercantile .Marine has done 
annot be expressed ; there are some thoughts too deep for 
' itterance. The men of the .Mercantile ".Marine have no 
radition behind them like the Navy, no discioline to support 
hem and did not join the profession, which would carry 
hem in its train, support them, and bear them up. They 
re free men at the end of each vovage. 

4 But has one man left? Has one crew refused, or even 
, esitated, to sail? Have not men, marooned in a boat in 
,; lid-Atlantic, the m.oment they have been restored to health, 
:c gned on again for another voyage, and mostly in unarmed 

lips, always in ships only armed as a mean's of defence? 

here were croakers before this war who told us that our 
K, ice had deteriorated. Our forefathers never had to face 
n 1 ordeal in the least degree equal to that which our seamen 

id _ soldiers have faced in this war; but I believe t!- -nost 

iblime example of the unconquerable .sou! has b.-er. -iiov.n 

• the men of the Mercantile Marine. 

Lord Beresford : .As an old naval officer I -iiou'd like 
support what Lord Selborne said about thn .^Iercantik■ 
arine. The country does not knovv vet what it owes to the 
ercantile Marine. When war wa"s declared our trade 
Dtes w*re unprotected and our ?hlps were unarmed. Men 



went out to face certain death, and there are 9,000 
them at the bottom of the sea, and 4,000 of them prisone 
No atrocities that have ever been comm'tted by any nati 
in the world are equal to those to which our mercantj|''„ 
seanien have been subjected. Submarines have blown , ^^ 
unarmed ships, and the men of those submarines hd^^^ 
slau£*htered our men who were unarmed. The enemy h£\^ 
toUrour men that they would tow them to places of safe ^jj, 
but twfnty minutes afterwards they have towed them straif,,,, 
to the bottom, perhaps two only being left to tell the tale. ' 
have myseJf see'n a man who has been seven times torpedo'{;jj 
Me was as fine a specimen of a British seaman as you woi! j, 
see. He was not very well, and I asked him what he W| 
going to do. He replied, " I shall be all right in about 
week, and then I wifl go to sea again." I have also seer, 
boy whose feet were off. lie was the only survivor of; ij, 
boat's crew, all the other members of the crew having be, [|,, 
slaughtered by machine guns. If the heroes of c: 
Mercantile Service were falling in in a party with the .'\rij [li 
and Navy, the officers and men of the .'Vrmy and Navy wc f 
say, " Let the men of the Mercantile Marine take the ri< 
of the line." Whv? Because they know that these nw 
enable the Army and the Navy to fight. You are sittill 
here at this moment because these men die that_ \K, 
should live. As I say, I cannot, as an old naval oificlc 
emphasise sufi'iciently what the Mercantile Marine have d( | 
for us; they have absolutely saved us. These men have cO' | 
to our' help in every way." There are thousands of themj ■ 
the Navy," and we are proud of • it. I hope that after tj I 
war the" association and the co-operation between the f t 
Services will be tar better and far higher than ever before. I 

The fishermen on the trawlers and the drifters go out 
almost certain death every time. What do they go out fi 
They go out to clear the fairways oi the mines sn that 
vessels in v.'hich their comrades arc coming, bringing f( 



fl raw material from over tlie waters, should have a cleaf 
'y into the harbour. They run the risk of being destroyed 
submarines outside, and' then they run another risk' of 
ng destroyed by mines when they get into the fairwa\ • 
i other men go out every day and every night sweeping 
the mines. At one estuary in the North when certain 
ps were going out, the officer in command thought : 
Veil, I have had it swept at S o'clock to-night. 1 am going 
take some ships out to-morrow. There' is just a chance 
■t a submarine may come. 1 will have it swept once more 
o'clock in the morning." Two sweepers were blown up' 
rig that. These men are a part of the Mercantile Marine 
It was known before the war. I believe that the country 
s not really know what the .Mercantile Marine does. But 
Royal Navy and the Army know; both Services are well 
ire of the extraordinary gallantry of these seamen— a 
lantry that is traditional to the British Mercantile Marine 
. has never been surpassed in all our history. 

The Resolution was agreed to neuiinc dissentienie . 





'S\r. Llovd George, in moving tlie \'otc of Thanks ii 
the Mouse of Commons, said : 

Even had I the leisure, which I certainly have not i 
these terrible times, I feel that I could not do justice to thi 
great theme ; but the deeds which are referred to in th 
Resolution are so well known and have won such universe 
admiration and gratitude, not merely from every member c 
this lIiDuse, but from every subject of His Majesty, that 
feel that no words arc necessary in order to commend it t 
the acceptance of any body of Britishers throughout th 

Taking the first paragraph in tJie Resolution — tha 
which refers to the British Navy — the enormous magnitud|jl 
of our Army, the fart that it has representatives in million 
of homes in the country, and the dazzling record of its grea 
achievements, may in some respecffe have obscured the servic 
which the British Navy has rendered to this country and t 
its Allies. ii! 

The British Navy is like one of those internal organs 
essential to life, but of the existence of which we' are no 
conscious until something goes wrong. The Navy is take; 
for granted. In this War the British Navy has been th 
anchot- of the Allied cause. If it lost its hold the hopes c 
the Alliance w ould be shattered. To realise the power 
might of the British Navy and how essential a part it ha 
])]a\ed in this. great struggle, one has only to imagine for ■ 
moment what would have happened, not if we had not had th 
command of the sea at the beginning of the War, but if th 
British Navy had been defeated even a year ago and th|.. 
sceptre of the seas had been snatched by our foes. Ouij; 





les in France, in Mesopotamia, in Salonika, and in Egypt 
fid have languished and finally vanished for lack of sup- 
: in men and material. France, deprived not merely of 
support but of the material assistance which the British 
•y -enables us still to get from abroad, would be unable 
)ably to defend herself against the overwhelming hordes 
he foe. Italy, deprived of coal for her ammunition and 
ood, would have fallen a ready prey to her fierce and 
lictive enemies. Russia, cut off on the east and the west, 
Id indeed have been defenceless. I have no hesitation 
;aying that but for the British Navy overwhelming 
ster would have fallen on the Allied cause. Prussia 
lid ha\-e been the insolent mistress of Europe, and, 
'I ii'-'h Europe, of the world. 

^ ^ever in the whole of the affairs of the world has the 
ish Navy been a more potent and a more beneficent in- 
ice in the affairs of men. What has it aecomplished ? 
pite of hidden foes, as well as open attack, in spite of 
imate naval warfare, and in spite of black piracy, it has 
erved the highway of the seas for Britain and her Allies. 
Duld just give a few interesting figures of the numbers 
len and the quantities of material which have been 
sported since the beginning of the War to the British 
ies and to those of our Allies. Thirteen million men 
! crossed ar.d recrossed the seas, 2,000,000 horses, 
)o,ooo tons of explosives and supplies, 51,000,000 tons of 
and oil fuel for the use of our F"leet and our Armies 
mo meet the needs of our Allies. And the losses in men out 
i le whole of that 13.000,000 during these years of war 
p only been 3.500, 2,700 of these abne through the action 
I le enemy, and the remainder through the ordinary perils 
! le sea — this apart from the prodigious quantity of- food 
i< other materials amounting in all to 130,000,000 tons, 
a;ported in British ships. This indeed has been a triumph 
fhe great Navy. 

The grand fleet. 

It is too early yet to summarise the effects of the bloClcad 
of the British Navy upon our foes, a blockade which woul 
have been complete had we not left the gates of the Balkan 
unlocked and unguarded. As to our Grand Fleet, they hav. 
not had many opportunities such as those which built th 
fame of our Navy, but that is not their fault. On th 
contrary, it is the recognition of their merit. It has bee 
due to no deficiency on their part, but to the enemy know 
ledge of their efficiency. The Germans know they are thertj'" 
and since the battle of Jutland they have never see 
fit to challenge that Great Fleet; and it is the bet 
proof that they do not trust the veracity of their ow 
chroniclers that they have not yet challenged the Navy whic 
they then claimed to have overcome. 




As to the smaller craft of the Fleet, their work and per 
never ends. They are numben d by the thousand, and the: 
hardships and dangers are bare'.y realised, but through the 
action security and plenty are enjoyed by the population i 
these Islands. They patrol the seas from the icy waters ( 
the Arctic Ocean to the stormy floods of Magellan. There 
not an ocean, a sea, a bay, a gulf — there is not an estuarl | 
used for commerce which is riTjt patrolled by the ships of th 
British Navy. How dangerous a task it is the casualty lisi 
proclaim, because in proportion to their numbers the dead at 
equal to those of the British Army. Through it all the con 
mand of the sea has been maintained. I am glad that i 
this respect special recognition is accorded to the officers an 
men of the mercantile marine. It is a great distinction fc 
any civilian body to be placed in the same category as th 
soldiers of the British Army and the sailors of the Britis 
Navy, but the officers and men of the British mercantil 
marine have won that distinction. Seamanship at best is 
comfortless and a cheerless calling. 1 remcmbtr that whe 



occupied the oMce of President of the Board of Trade, the 
,;:(()ncern of the Department at that time was the difficulty in 
:i Jtting men to engage in this avocation, and as tlie standard 
i-j. ' living improved it was impossible alm^ost to persuade men 
':s ■■ pursue a trade so full of peril and so devoid of comfort, 
•j hat was in time of peace. What is it no v ? During the 
iij^ar the strain, the hardship, the terror, the peril, have in- 
a eased manifold. Piracy is more rampant and ruthless than 
:;; has ever been in the history of the world. This is a new 
rror added to those of the deep. 


•,T The risks of the na\'igator have increased in every direc- 
)n. Lighthouses which were there to warn the mariner 
;ainst imminent peril are, many of them, dark. They have 
drive their ships full speed through fog and 
rough storm ; the ceaseless watch has a new terror, 
t merely of the day but of the night. Their eyes spear the 

!• rk for objects hardly visible on the surfjice of the seas, even 

- sunlight, and yet life depends u])o;t their observing those 
jects in time. Then whr-n the blow comes from the in- 
iible foe they are faced with conditions which would mak-e 
^ stoutest heart c[uail. The mariner is left with the surging 
as around him, scores of miles from a friendly shore. .And 

- t amongst those who go down to the deep in ships there has 
' ■ t been found one man who refused to sail. I have made 
; ■ juiries, and I am told on all hands that the men return with 

;ater alacrity than in times of peace. Men torpedoed 
ii ice, thrice, seven times, hardly wait for their papers before 
»K >y return to another ship, because. they realise that in these 
Ri les their country cannot spare one man or one hour. This 
OS no time to dwell upon the dark deeds of our foes on ihe 
3! I ; but they are all in the reckoning. What has struck me 
5r: th regard to the sailors is this : they have no fear or 
:a] iger ; there is not one of them who shirks it; but thev 
'i lor the degradation of seamanship involved in these acticns 
»d the dishonour to the traditions of a noble calling. That 


IS why the sailor steadfastl_v refuses to have any traffic with 
men who are guilty of such, conduct, or of sanctioning it, 
until the stain is wiped out. 


I would like to say a word about our fishermen. Their i 
contribution has been a great one. Sixty per cent, of our i g 
fishermen are in the Naval Service. Their trawlers are en- , g 
gaged in some of the most perilous tasks that can be entrusted Ij jji 
to sailors — that of mine-sweeping, a dangerous occupatiomi . 
often ending in disaster. The number of mines they have ■ | 
swept is incredible, and if they had not done this E5ritain : 
would now have been bloclvaded by a ring of deadly engines j 
anchored round our shores-. But their services have not been 
confined to this. You find their trawlers patrolling the : 
seas everywhere, protecting ships, and not merely around the 1 
British Isles. You find these fishing trawlers in the Medi- , | 
tp'ranean. These men surely deserve the best thanks that j 
we can accord them for the services which they have rendered, j 

I should like to give the House one or two illustrations uf i 
the way in which these fishermen have faced these new perils. I » 
Here is one case given to me by the Admiralty. A trawler ' li 
was attacked by the gunfire of a German submarine, i i 
Though armed only with a three-pounder gun and outranged i it 
by her opponents she refused to haul down her flag, even when I j 
the skipper had both legs shot off and most of the crew t; 
were killed or injured. "Throw the confidential books over- 1 1 
board and throw me after them," said the skipper, and, refus- i t( 
ing to leave his ship when the few survivors took to the ei 
boat, he went down with his trawler. ne 

There is another case of an armed trawler escorting a niil 
number of fishing vessels. Attacked by submarines, out-; { 
ranged, the main boom broken, the funnel down, the wheel-d | 
house blown up, the steering gear disabled, many of the menl J 
killed, the ship sinking, they patched her up with canvas ; lit 
she goes on fighting, and when she ultimately goes down 'i' 
the fishing fleet is safe in port. These are not men trained ff 


ir war. These are fishermen ; but this is the spirit iKat liiiS 
limated our sailors whether in the Navy or in the mercaiitile 
larine or in our fishing fleets. Never have British -sailors, 
hether in the Navy or in the auxiliary services, shown more 
rit. Never have they rendered greater service to their 
ative land or to humanity. For their courage, for their 
esolution, for the ser\-ice they have rendered and for the 
esource they have shown, I invite the House in this Resolu- 
ion to thank thein, officers and meii. 

I come now to the part of the Resolution which deals with 
he Armv. Our Expeditionary Force numbered at the be- 
inning of the War 160,000 men. Our Expeditionary Forces 
D-day number over 3,000,000 — probably the greatest feat of 
lilitarv organisation in the history of the world. It never 
ould have been accomplished but for the heroism and self- 
acrifice. of the old Army — the old Army, the finest body of 
'OOps in the world at that time, more highly trained, more 
isciplined, more perfect in physique than an\' other. It 
aved Eurf.ipe. In the retreat from Mons it-delaved over- 
whelming iiordes of the enemy, and at the Marne helped to 
3II back the invader. But more than all, the great first 
attle of Ypres was one of the decisive battles of the world, 
wliei /ith unparalleled tenacity and sacrifice it held superior forces 
era )r weeks. The eneni}^ superior in numbers and material ; our 
oops short of heavy artillery and ammunition, with no re- 
elus ;rves. Every man was put in, Cavalry men, cooks, drivers, 
) tlij irvants, and through the individual efforts of officers and 
len, iron discipline, dogged, determination, the Army held 
ingvt to the last and saved us from disaster. 


By the end of November France was saved, and Europe; 
t there was hardly a man left out of the old Arrny. One 
donjivision went into battle 12,000 strong. It came out 2,000. 
ainiijf 400 officers only fifty were left — in one battle. The old 


Army is the Army that gathered the spears of the Prussian 
legitins into its breast, and in perishing saved Europe. No 
sacrifice in the history of the world has liad greater resuUs, 
and tliose seven divisions have a unique position in history 
and in the annals of the British Army. Then after that came 
the dreary w^inter and spring of 1914 and 1915. Most of the 1 
old veterans gone ! And here let me say a word for the ' 
Territorials who came to the rescue. Old Army gone ; New 
.A-rmy not ready ; and somebody had to occupy water-logged 
trenches. Somebody had to stand torrents of shot and shell 
from well-equipped artiller}', with orders that only two or three 
shells per day could be spared for our guns. Somebody had 
to do that for months while the New Army was getting ready ; 
and the Territorials fought with the ardour of recruits in their 
hrst charge; yea, and with the steadiness of veterans in 
their hundredth fight ! And let me say one word here — and 
I am glad to say it — v.'e owe a debt of gratitude to the man 
who created that organisation which came to the rescue of 
tiic Empire at such a critical hour. 

Now we come to our New Army, who occupy the battle 
line from the German Ocean to the Persian Gulf. Tho 
raising and training of that Army was an unexampled feat, 
and will always be associated with the name, the great name, 
of Lord K-itchener. I could not even pretend to give a sum- 
mary of their achievements. We know, we have heard, many 
descriptions of battles in narratives we have read, and all 
I can say is that it fills us with a sense of swelling pride that 
we should belong to the race that has produced such men. 
There has been nothing comparable to the sustained courage 
displayed by the British soldier in this War. In previous 
wars you had great, you had fierce, battles, which lasted for 
hours, not many of them lasting for days. Those have been 
the great examples in history ; and then you had long intervals 
of marching and preparation. Now you have battles that ! 
last not. for hours, not for days or for weeks, but battles that ' 



!i last for months. Nwer had British courage been put to 30 
1° terrible a test ; never has it so triumphantly endured it. When 
I read of the conditions under which our gallant soldiers 
I fight 1 marvel that the delicate and sensitive mechanism of 
J' the human nerve and the human mind can endure them 
ll' without derangement. The campaigns of Stonewall Jackson 

fill us with admiration and with wonder — how that man of j 
! iron led his troops through the mire and the swamps of 
,| Virginia. But his troops were never called upon to lie for 
' days and nights in morasses under ceaseless thunderbolts 
I from a powerful artillery, and then march into battle through 
an engulfing quagmire under a hailstorm of machine-gun fire. 
, That is what our troops have gone through. 


i They were confronted with the finest Army in the world — '. 

"I ' the men trained for years, the officers instructed and prepared i 

'''' \ for this hour. Our men, with a few months' training, our j 

officers in the main taken from counting houses, factories, ; 

schools and colleges. Their generals, accustomed to handle ' 
, scores and hundreds of thousands of men in great 

* manoeuvres, while ours at the best were only afforded the ^ 

* opportunity of handling a few thousands. And yet these i 
men with this training, with these scant opportunities, are 
bringing to defeat veteran armies, entrenched in formidable ■ 
positions. We reall)' owe a debt of the deepest thanks to this ' 

" great Army. I can only barely refer to their achievement in i 

'" other things. In Salonika they have had few opportunities ' 

for glory. They arrived too late to save Serbia, but they ; 

^- have faced the malaria of summer and the piercing cold of ' 

? winter, and they have borne them all with spirit and good ' 

^> cheer — because no country. has ever had more cheerful heroes : 
'i to deal with than we have. In Mesopotamia there is a 
record of heroism — the way they endured the disasters of the 

earlier months, the brilliant way in which they retrieved ' 

those disasters, re-establishing British preftlge thioughout ! 
the East. In Africa, under most trying conditions of d'mate 


— sverywhere— ^these men have behaved In a way which i 

worthy of the great country to which they belong, and »| 
the record of the great Army in which they are serving. | 

The time has not yet come for singUng out individuals 
W'hrn the task is accomplished, when the issues are nc 
longer in the balance, when we are able to apprf-ciate valuei 
of work done, by the traditions of this House individuals wil 
be thanked and rewarded ; and I shall only -.peak in passing 
— and 1 think the House will expect me to do fo — in respecl 
of two or three of the most conspicuous figures in the 
strugg'c. I think that I ought to say a word about the 
Commander-in-Chief of our old Army, and of at least two of 
ihf new Army, who have had to fight in the most difficult 
coiiJitions— General Sir Douglas Haig and General Maude. 
! do not feel competent myself to express opinion-s which are 
sufficiently valuable on the achievements of these great 
so'diers. Therefore, if the House will permit me, I will 
quote the ,-iuthority of one of the most brilliant members of, 
cur Imperial General Staff in respect of these three great, 
Generals. With regard to Lord h'rench, he sa)s : " : 

■' This country should not forget the services rendered? 

by Lord French. He displayed the most indomitable' 

courage, _ calmness and foresight in circum>tances which! 

at the time appeared desperate and in conditions which! 

imposed as hard a test as any commander has ever been 

required to bear." 

With regard to the present distinguishtd Comander-in-Chief 
of our great Armies in France, the same military authority 
says, a'Hl ! nm certain that the Llouse w ill accent his words'| 
" Spi;'!idid as the fighting qualities of our troops havf 
been, and great as is our material superiority, '"success 
has been_ due in very large measure to the powers of 
. organisation, the persistence, the foresight of the Com,- 
mander-in-Chief. The conduct of operations on this seal* 

requires from all commanders a degree of knowledge, care, 
scientific training and organising ability such as no 
previous war has required, and in all these respects, as well 
as in the universal confidence which he inspires, Sir 
Douglas Haig has shown himself to be both a great general 
and a great leader of men." 
With regard to General Maude, of whose achievements I 
have alreadv spoken, the same authority bears testimony to 
the magnificent service which he has rendered, and says : 

" He has displayed a degree of resource, skill and energy 
which mark him' out as a commander of no ordinary 


This Resolution refers to the fighting forces in the field, 
and obviously that is right. We are thanking those who 
have rendered service in the battlefield. The time will come 
when we shall thank those who have rendered equally con- 
spicuous service behind the lines at home — on our Staff, on 
our Home command, in the organisation of our transport, of 
our railway system, and in the equipment of our Army. But 
we shall also thank— when the time comes to single out— 
the men who, in various commands, some high and some 
low, have rendered service in this War— commanders of 
armies, of army corps, of divisions, of brigades, and others. 
But I do not think that this is the occasion upon which we 
could usefully dwell upon the services rendered by these 
individuals, great though those services have bc-K?n, and deep 
as is the gratitude which we feel. 

I should like to say a word about the parts of the Empire 
which have contributed to this great .Army. England has 
contributed 75 per cent, of the- armies of the Empire. I 
want to say a word, first of all, about England— and I do so, 
not because England is not great enough to give, not merely 
her share, but more than her due share, to other nationali- 
ties in the Empire, but because it is necessary to dwell upon 
that fact, for the simple reason that our foes have been cir- 



culating the same old calumny about England, that she is 
fight'' t. her battles with the help of others. 


There never yet has been a time when that was less true 
than in this War. Seventy-five per cent, of the contribution 
in men, 75 per cent, in the contribution in loss, has fallenj 
upon England. Scotland has— as it always has — done its 
due share. Ireland has made a distinguished contribution, 
and my country also. It is my pride, and I am entitled to 
make the boast, that in voluntary recruiting we just beat the 
record by a shade. Scotland came second, in the proportion 
of population, who voluntarily recruited for the Army. 


I must say a word now about the Dominions. Theyi 
have contributed between 700,000 and 800,000 men. What 
does that mean ? — five times the number of our Expeditionary 
Force. .And what a contribution ! How well they have 
fought ! The citizen armies ! The ready and resourceful 
courage of the Canadians — how it saved France and the 
British Army at the second battle of Ypres ! How, on the 
heights of Vimy, they swept the foe from the positions where 
they had defied the greatest armies of the Allies for two or 
three years ! 

And then the men of the Southern Seas, of Australia and 
New Zealand— the dash and the tenacity which enabled 
them first to capture the precipitous rocks of Anzac, and to 
cling to them for months; to rush Pozieres and to hold 
Bullecourt; the men who came in smaller contingents from 
South Africa, clearing Delville Wood; and the noble sacri- 
fices of the men of Newfoundland. I could not even give a 
catalogue of their achievements without detaining the House 
beyond the limits. 

And then there is India. How bravely, how loyally 
she has supported the British arms! 'The memory 

i i>t 


i pf the powerful aid which she willingly accorcie<i 
in the hour of our trouble will not be forgotten when tlie 
War is over, and when the affairs of India come up for 
jxaniination and for action. Then our Colonies throughout 
:he world, how they have helped with the fighting men 

'* and assisted us with labour 1 Never has the British Empire 
^ho\\ n greater and more effective unity. It was regarded 
IS a dream by many ; now it is a fact — a powerful fact, j 
'ashioning the history of the world and the destinies of men. 


It would be invidious if I were to attempt to distinguish 
oetween the various arms of the Service — our splendid In- 
fantry who have borne the brunt of the battle, our Cavalry, 
md our Artillery, who have lost more heavily, perhaps, ' 
n this War than in any war ever waged. The mere fact 
:hat we have the Artillery is in itself an achievement. 
A'ho would have believed — when you thought it took years i 
o train gunners — that in a few months we would turn out , 
\rtillery the precision of whose fire is at once the admiration 1 
ind terror of the foe? 

But, amongst all these, I may be permitted to mention ' 
mc arm of the Service which has appeared for the first time ,i 
n the history of warfare — I mean the Air Service. I am . < 
;ure the House would like special mention to be made of 
3ur Air Service. The heavens are their battlefield ; they 
ire the Cavalry of the clouds. Far above the squalor and ] 
he mud, so high up in the firmament as to be invisible 
rom earth, they fight the eternal issues of right and wrong. ' 
Their daily, yea their nightly, struggles are like the 
'vliltonic conflict between the winged iVosts of light and of 
larkness. Sometimes they skim low like armed swallows 
langing over trenches full of armed men, wrecking con- 
•oys, scattering infantry, attacking battalions on the 
narch. Every flight is a romimc"; every report is an 
■pic. They are tlie kniglnho'id of lh\^ War; v.-ithout fear '.| 
md without reproach have they fought, for they have 

51 ' ■ ' ■' 

brought back the "legendary days of chivalry, not merely 
by ths daring of tb.eir exploit?, but by the nobiUty of their 
■'Ijirit. Among m3'riads of hsroes we are specially proud 
of the chivalry of the air. 


I do not think we ought to pass by the chaplains In the 
Army. They have sustained their losses and have done their 
duty manfully, courageously and tenderly. When you come 
to the Medical S ervice, the men and the women, they have 
never shown greater courage, knowledge, and experience. 
Thousands of them have devoted themselves — devotion is the 
right word — to the curing of the wounded and the healing 
of the sick. Great consultants have given up princelv in- 
comes and volunteered for this service. Wounds have "been 
cured which before the War were regarded as fatal, and I 
may give an iTustration, and only one illustration, of the 
services they have rendced in saving life, not merely by their 
curing expedients, but by the precautions they have taken. 
In the South African War, I believe, 50,000 men died of 
ivnhoid. In France, out of our gigantic Army, during the 
V, hole three years of the War, only 3,000 have fallen victims 
to this disease. We owe thanks to the medical profession. 
They have suffered ; hundreds have been killed and many 
more hundreds wounded. 


We should also thank the women, our trained and un- 
trained nurses, v.-hose tenderness and care for the wounded 
have earned thanks from the Hps of hundreds of thousands 
of |)oor men v> hose lives have been saved, and who have 
been speared much suffering through their tender ministra- 
tion. Ihey have not escaped perils. Many have been killed 
bv shell-fire, many of them drowned in hospital ships sunk 
with the sign of the Red Cross upon them. We all owe 
them a debt of gratitude. 



The last paragraph in the Resolution is one I must jay' 
I !a word about, and it will be brief. There_ are hundreds 
->f thousands of sorrowing men and women in this land on 
iccount of the War. Their anguish is too de-p to be 
^Kpressed or to be comforted by words, but, juJging the 
multitudes whom I know not by those I do kr:ow, there is 
not a single one of them who. would recall the valiant dead 
:o life at the price of their country's dishonour. Th.e example 
:)f these brave men who have fallen has enriched the life 
and exalted the purpose of the people. You cannot "nave 
4., 000,000 of men in any land who voluntarily sacrificed 
everything the world can offer them in obedience to a higher 
:-all without ennobling the country from which they sprang. 
The fallen, whilst they have illumined with a fresh lustre 
:he glory of their native land, have touched wi;h a new 
dignUy the households which they left for the battlefield. 
rhrTe'will be millions who will come back and live to te'.l 
Aildren now unborn how a generation arose in England, 
Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, and in the ends of the earth, 
where men of our race dwell, who were willing to leave 
sase and comfort and face privation, torture, and death 
to win protection for the weak and justice for the op- 
pressed. There are hundreds of thousands who will never 
come back. For them there will be for ages to come sacred 
iTiemories in a myriad homes of brave, chivalrous men wiio 
tJave up their young lives for justice, for right, for freedom 
Tn peril. This Resolution means that- the greatest Empire un 
earth, through this House, thanks the living for the readi- 
ness with which they obeyed its summons and the gallantry 
ivith which they supported its behests. It also means that 
:his great Empire, through this House, enters each home 
Df the heroic dead, grasps the bereaved by the hand, and 
says, " The Empire o-wes you gratitude for your share of 
:he sacrifice as well as for theirs, partakes in your_ pride for 
:h«ir valour, and in your grief for their fall." 



Mr. AsouiTH : This Resolution of thankful acknowledg- 
ment for the services both of the living and the dead re- 
quires no words of advocacy or of appeal to commend it 
to the House. It might, indeed, be a more impressive, 
and in the true sense a more eloquent, tribute if we were 
to pass it in silence. We are face to face in this War with 
acts and with emotions which are too large for speech. 
Everything in it — the issues at stake, the forces arrayed, 
the endurance of the people, the toll of losses, and the pain 
— ever3-thing is on a scale unexampled in the annals of man- 
kind. The commonplaces, whether of eulogy or sympathy, 
even if they could be expi-essed as they have been in days 
gone by with the art of Pericles or of Lincoln, seem to be 
meagre and dwarfed, and, indeed, hopelessly inadequate 
to so great a thing. What more can we say? As we 
witness month by month, and now year by year, the 
gradual unfolding of this vast panorama of heroism and 
suffering, it strikes us dunib with a sense, at once overpower- 
ing and unutterable, of admiration. 


Wc all feel here to-day that we should be departing, if 
not frum the letter, at any rate from the spirit, of the wise 
precedent of our ancestors, and in some sense abdicating 
the duty of Parliament, if we did not from time to time 
convey the recognition and thanks of this House — the 
authentic mouthpiece of the nation — not only to our great 
generals and admirals — the Prime Minister has mentioned 
the names of the generals, and we shall all join most 
heartily in the tribute he paid to them — may I add the 
names of two great admirals. Sir John Jellicoe and Sir 
David Beatty, who have with consummate skill directed 
our fortunes at sea — but also to our soldiers and sailors, our 
merchant seamen, our airmen, our doctors and nurses, our 
fellow countr3'men and countrywomen enlisted in every 


department of war work, who from all quarters of the 
Empire have, by their ceaseless enerf,'y arfd unbounded 
sacrifice, ensured the victory of the Allies. Amon;:^ all these 
comrades and fellow combatants — for such they are — in the 
g'reatest of causes we make no discrimination in the degree 
of our gratitude. It is by their united efforts and by their 
unextinguishable faith the struggle has been and wiW be 
maintained till it ends, as we know it must end, in the 
enthronement of the sovereignty of right. Heavy indeed, 
as the last paragraph in this Resolution reminds us, heavy 
indeed is the tax in life and sufi'ering which the Empire 
is called upon to pay. We have only to look round this 
House to recall the names and faces of colleagues whom 
the War has called away from us and whom we shall never 
see again. We who remain behind, impoverished by their 
loss, are yet enriched by their m.emory and their example. 
Let it not be said when the judgment ot history comes to 
be recorded that they gave their lives in vain. 


Mr. John Redmond : My object rather is to empl>asise 
the fact that in what they have said Mr. Lloyd George and 
Mr. Asquith have spoken for an absolutely unanimous House 
of Commons, and that the heart of every Member of this 
House, English, Scottish, Welsh, or Irish, goes out to-day in 
pride, admiration, and gratitude to those gallant men who are 
fighting in the cause of civilisation and liberty in so many 
parts of the world, and in the deepest veneration for the 
memory of the dead. 

In addition to that perhaps it is as well on this occasion an 
Irish voice should be heard, and I think the House will 
agree that it is natural that my heart and m\" mind on this 
occasion should turn in a very special way to the Irish troops. 
These troops have by their constancy, their endurance, and 
their gallantry in every field of war shed a lustre upon their 

racp. However torn by di.ssensicm or by misfortune theii 
country may bo at this moment, ! bulieve that the heart oi 
(he Irish race to-day is filled wit'n pridr- and with gratitud< 
[or their achievements. The old historic Irish regiments 
who played their part in the battle of Ypres, to which allusioPi 
has b<'oi! made, who played their part in the retreat to the 
Marne and in the return from the I'liarne. the old historic 
Irish regiments who were the first to land from the " Rivei 
Clyde " at V. beach, and who were nearly annihilated in th* 
operation, and who performed what tiieir General declared 
to them seemed to him and to otlier commanders the impos- 
sible, these i7ien have maintained at their highest the mag- 
nificent traditions ot the gallantry of the Irish regiments. 

The three new Irish Divisions whic!) were raised for the 
New Army, the loth Division, the i6th Division, and the 36th! 
Division, at Suvla Bay. at Salonika, and on the Western 
Fronts, down to this moment have, I believe, been watched 
with the tenderest solicitude and the deepest pride by theiri 
countrymen. With the deepest pride their countrymen saw 
how civilians drawn from every walk of civil life were able 
lo hold their own, and ix-rhaps more than their own, with 
the trained soldier of some of the oldest and most powerful 
armies in the \\-orld. \\'e Irishmen h.ave regarded every 
victory of the Canadians and of the Anzacs with feelings of 
the deepest pride, because we feel justified in recalling th«i 
fact that from 20 to 25 per cent, of those gallant men «r«i 
the sons of Irish parents. 

Let me say there is one very special reason indeed why I 
should say these words now upon this occasion. These 
gallant Irish troops have during the past year and a half 
had a new and bitter trial imposed upon them in events that 
have been happening in ih.eir own country. These events 
have not touched their valour or their loyalty. They have 


remained true to tlicir proud motto, Scr.ipcr ct%ubique 
fidelis. But many of those men, esi>ecially those who jouied 
the New Army, believed that they were not only going to fight 
in a just cause for the general jirinciples of civilisation and 
of Lberty, but that in a certain special sense they were going 
to fight for Ireland, for her happiness, for her prosperity and 
her Tiberty. Now they have seen a section, at any rate, of 
their own counti^men at heme during the past year repudiate 
that idea, and then they have had brought home to them in 
the midst of their other trials, privatio:.,^ and sufi'erings, 
a new and poignant feeling of anguish. 1 wish it 
were possible for me to speak a wore' to every one 
of those men. If my v.-ords could reach ihem, I would 
say to every one of them that they need have no misgiving, 
that they were right from the first, that time will vindicate 
them, that time will show that while fighting for civilisation 
and liberty in Europe they are also fighting for civilisation and 
liberty in "their own lard. 1 would like to say to every man 
of them, in addition, that even at this m.oment, when ephe- 
meral causes have confused ard d'sturbed Iri-h opinion, they 
are regarded with feelings of the deepest pr'de and gratitude 
by the great bulk of the Irish rrce, and by all that is best in 
.every creed and class in Ireland. 

Mr. O'Grady : I desire to add my voice to those already 
heard by the House in suppcrt'ng this Resolution. _ As the 
bulk of the Armiv is ccmposed cf m.en whom in a certain sense 
we represent, l' think a' few wcrds from these benches will 
not be deemed out of place. With re.gard to the Navy, I can 
add very litt'.e to v.'hat the Prime Minister and Mr. Asquith 
have sa'd, except to say that I feel sure on the part of the 
public generally in personnel and bravery cur Navy is con- 
sidered to be u'nequnil'H'i by anv Navy in the wor'd. I wel- 
come the bringing' forwa-d of thi? Motion, and think it is a 
good idea on the part cf the Prime Minister. Our Allies, 
from, the discussion on this Motion, will get to apprehend 


^■■7 ;•"^""^T hns ren-y b^en doin^. Reference has heel 
~ ' s l-_t watch upon the Nor.h Sea and thp 

i' ". " 1 tiiifil^ ifis true to sav that peopll' 

■ ■• t «r-nt task which the Navv hns had" to pei 

1 ■ ■ - i r in ■ Minist. r told us l:hat it has vv-aiched rv ba 
a-d t;..-M-v jtulf and every sea throughout the world Whe 
our enenres sometime talk about the freedom of the c.^as o 
one of the conditions of peace, it is wise at this r .omen 
to a.k when the fre^um of the seas has ever hee, 
in danger. That freedom has been kept by the Britisl 
iNavy from time immemorial, and it is keeping it to-day ii 
tlie mterests of the Allied Powers and in the interests o' 
civllisatwn I have seen the men of the Navy in the Nortl 
Sea and I have wondered and marvelled at their courage anc 
p.uck and vigilance and zeal. 

With regard to the Army, I happened to be with then 
upon the \pt-es salient when things were bad and at a tmic 
when the only thing that stood between the enemy and th. 
capture of that salient was men's bodies. There was n 
reply to the terrible hail of shot that came from the enemy'', 
artillery and there were very few machine guns. \\'h<.n w( 
reca 1 how we lost a third of the Army there without i 
single fight, that men stood there, and that their bodie« 
were smashed and mangled in the trenches, I sav that tha 
bravei-y of the British Army has never yet been excelled : aitd 
in saying that I am only making a simple statement of fact 
VVhen we remember that the great bulk of th^ men in th-' 
Army were drawn from the dockside, the railways, the mire'^' 
and factories and desks, we must admire the wonderful spirit 
which they displayed. The fact that those men after six 
months were put up against the greatest military proposition 
the world has yet seen, and that they fought and beat the 
great Prussian Guards, speaks volumes for the tenacity and 
courage of our race, and gives the lie direc to the German 
philosophers ana politicians who said we were a decadent 


iii-re is the retreat from Mons. W'ill the story of that 
eroic and magnificent efl'ort ever be written? "l do not 
Jhink that the English language can find words to express 
td quat'jjy what happened upon tliat occasion. Our men fought 
lUid died, and there were less than ten thousand of the original 
\rmy left ; but they left a spirit behind them and taught 
:he boys who came from the desk and the mine and the 
ailway how to die heroically and nobly for an ideal, and 
low -to save their country and civilisation from overwhelming 
lisaster. The Prime Minister has said glorious words about 
he men of the Mercantile Marine, but he will agree with 
lie that mere words cannot express our admiration for 
heir glorious conduct. At home here, which of us can say 
hat we have been suffering in the War? Here we are in 
)eace and security with very little sacrifice and very little 
;uff( ring, and all because of the three great arms of our 
itrvices, the Navy, the Army, and the Mercantile Marine, 
vho have kept these shores almost immune from attack. 
MI over the country in towns and villages I have met men 
vho have told me stories of how they had been torpedoed and 
scaped in open boats, and how they had been fired upon by 
he submarine when they tried to escape, and when they got 
ome almost the first thing those men did was to go down to 
shipping oflice eager again to go to sea, and eager again 
o save us and the country from all danger. 


The relatives of those who have died to save this dear 
Id land of ours will, I know, never be forgotten by the 
ountry. You have the widows and the mothers and the 
atherless children, and 1 have never yet heard a single one 
f them regret that their men died for the cause for which 
hey fought; but, on the contrary, they recall with pride the 
^"use for which the men went down,' and that thev offered 
[ that nien can offer, and endured death and suffering, in 


order that freedom an-d libert}- miglit live, in order t 
our civilisation shall be perpetuated, and in order that 
whole Christian faith shall be purilied and ennob'ed by 
sacrifices the}' ha\'e made. In every workint^'-class ho 
in this country the Prime Minister and this Ho 
will be thanked for the opportunity t'nat has been taken 
record, not merely the opinion of tliis House, but 
thanks of the country at large, to that noble Ar 
of citizen soldiers and that great Navy of si'ent, couragei 
men and the great mercantile fleet of our country. 


Mr. Eugene Wason : As Chairman of the Scott|?i 
Liberal Members, I have been asked to say one or two woii 
from the Scottish point of view. Let me first mention 
Navy. We all recollect the gallantry of John Cornwi 
Last week there was a young officer on board one of i 
destroyers which was torpedoed. His mother wanted h 
to take a life-saving jacket, but his rejily was, " No, I 
not put it on. I will take my chance with {he men." 
think that was a noble and gallant action for him to hi 
taken, and I am glad to say that he was saved. 


So far as the Army is concerned I think there could be 
discrimination as between the different troops, whether tf 
come from England, Scotland, Ireland or Wales. I wish 
make no discrimination. They all fought well a 
borne their part bravely. The motto of the famous Sc( 
(ireys is " Second to None," and all I claim for Scotlar 
both in the Army and in the Nav}- or in the Merca 
.Marine, where most of the engineers are Scottish, is 
the men have been second to none and shown thrmsei 
second to none in their braver)- and galiantr)-. The la<-t v%-l Je, 
I have to say is -with reference to tho.<^e v, ho lo t th 
nearest and dearest in this \\"ar. I do not think there i$ i, 


mn here whn cithor himself oi- in his fri- nd^ hns nnt hccn 
erci't of thu--^^ w hmn ho lo\Tft aivl t'los'' v linm ir- wou'.ci iiavc 
kcd- to iiavc liaii •ii oiuvJ !iim ;n his o'<\ It !in? ix-'-ii 

|ke-li sy:d tli:it: tlii-^ War lau.^'nl ihe >"(-u,ii; bun' to di ■ and o j^lit 
'"fo teach the old how tu W o ni(] iv.ev. whn c :nnot !.;o to 

he front ought lo do all w e can to help on in ihi- pro-;! riition 
)f the War, and to ste that the motliers and the widows and 
hose who have been brrefi and tho.-.e who ha\';' Ijeen 
njured shali liave ample mean? lo secure soineihing 
ike comfort in their old age. As the Prime Minister ha.s 
:aid, Scotland now, as aiwa_\s. iias de>ne its •-iK-re. I am 
peaking not only or. mv own b.lialf, but on beiiali of all th 
jeople wdnen I say how proiiii we are of the part that S^otiaiui 
las played in this War, and that we mean w continue to ;he 
■nd until victory has been secured to this cbuntrv. 

SiK HiiRBKRT RoBi-.RTS : I tlesire to associate Wales with 
he Motion which has been so adequately moved by the Prime 
linister and su[)]3orted by other speakers. The great lesson 
f this War ha.> undoubtedl}' been unit}-, the co-ordination 
)f a'.!, without distinction, to the common cause. None 
:ie less, 1 think it is perfecil}' true to say thrst the si^e.^s 
f this great convulsion of war has given a new meaning 
nd a new influence to the national charactorislics of tho,-e 
vho make up the British peop'e. It is not, therefore, un- 
lalural, I think-, that 1 should also claim on beh.tlf of ^^^'^les 
p-ecial reference in this Motion to the heroism of m)- 
ountrymen on land and on sea. to the men who ha\c, tlurin^g 
he last three years, upheld the best traditions of their rac(-. 
"enluries ago Wales was described as "an old, hauglity 
lation proud in arms." I think 1 ma_\- sav, probaldx in no 
irnited sense, that the conduct ijf Welshmen in the various 
lattlefields of this great war has amply vindicated that 
.escription. I feel, as other speakers have already expressed 
t. that it is the duty and the privilege of this House to 
ilace this definite expression of gratitude upon its Journals, 


At the same time, when we consider, or try to realise, 
height and depth of the sacrifice and suffering of those w 
have stood, and who do stand to-day, between us and 
fiercest and most formidalile foe that ever wielded 
weapons of war, we feel how futile mere words are in 
expression of our sense of lasting gratitude and of obli; 
tion. I think 1 may say this, too : Never has Motion e 
been submitted to this House so charged with meaning a 
feeling as this Motion to-da)'. I w ill not endeavour to sin 
out any special deed of heroism done by Welshmen in ! 
course of this War. That is unnecessary. Still more wot 
it be out of place to endeavour to compare in any way i 
\alour of those gallant men who unitedly make up c 
invincible armies at the front. 



But I will say this much if I may : Wales in this W 
has given the flower of her youth. She has given of 1 
best. She has given those of greatest promise in intell 
and in character. No man can measure the loss of 1 
sufi'ered l)y Wales from the destruction of this devastati ii 
war. .May I say this, too? Wales from the outset, t 
real Wales, has never faltered in this great enterpri; 
.'\lthough further sacrifice may be demanded in the futu 
that will be given and endured until the triumphant end h 
been reached. In conclusion, mav 1 sa_\' this further? 
passing this Resolution in this histci'ic House, which, 
all events to-day, is the mouthpiece of the nation, I fe 
ami I think every Member of the House who is listening., 
nil' must feel, that behind the words of ili's l\e.-o!ution th| 
lies the consciousness and the assurance that when Pe|i 
comes we will, so far as Parlian.ient can do it, ti nns'ale 'g 
gratitude into deeds. So far as Parliament can do it, wh 
Peace comes, we wil' trv to 

Ring c ut the false -and 

L- tl 


Ring in the true. 



will try, so far as we can, to iorg^et 
" The ancient forms of party strife " 

I secure so far as we are able, tfiose 
" Nobler modes of life, and those purer laws " 

on which alone the fabric of our great State and Empire 
1, in days to come, be truly built. In my judgment this 

II be our best memorial to the heroic dead. This will be 
"Ji 3 real thanks of this House to those gallant men and 

imen named in the Resolution who have so splendidly 
' lyed their part in their ever-memorable fight for the next 
iedom of the world. 

BRIGADIER-GENERAL CROFT. Croft : I believe I am reflecting 
opinion, not of an}' section of the communit_\-, 
t of the whole nation, when I say that we thank 
Prime Minister for having permitted the House to do 
lat the House has been desirous of doing for a very long 
Jiiti i€ — to place on record its gratitude to the armed forces 
the Crown who are sustaining this intense and long fight 
such a glorious manner for the people of our Empire, 
lere is nobody who has had the privilege, even as an 
lateur and a civilian, of serving in His Majesty's Army 
1«H 10 does not realise that but for the Navy the IBritish Arm}' 
jld have taken no part in this War, 'and the German 
tion at this time , would have been dominating the world, 
ere is no civilian in this country who does not realise — 
least I ho\)e there is none — that we should be starving, 
ing for bread at this very moment, but for the fact that 
Navy has kept the surface of the ocean clear of the 
ps of our enemies. Therefore it seems very fit and proper 
it we should thank the armed forces of the Crown now, 
5 1, particularly when we remember the great sacrifices 
fch have been already nlkided to — wiien men are 
iting and perishing — it is fit and proper that ever}' soldier 

I sailor who has been clefending our country and the 

Empire for tiles':^ months and years may know tha 
the cjratitiide of this Hou^e and the gratitude of ou 
whole race goes out to them; that we think of ther 
wiih thankfulness every day and every night. Thi 
is no occasion for mourning. It is an occasion for joyfi. 
lhanlcs for the wonderful tilings our Navy and ou 
.\-:nv have done. We recall the fact that the position a 
a'ong the Belgian and French frontiers, where our Armie 
have been Rghting all this time, vsere positions of th 
fni'm\"s choice; that for nearly three vears the enemv wa 
i-niireh' dominating the British .Army from one end of tha 
jjositinn to the other, that its observation was so superio 
ih It, however deep our trenches were, he coukl look dowi 
into them and infiict casualties continuouslv upon our men. 





Ever since Jul\' ist, iyi6, we have seen the changi 
coming, ^\'e should record our thanks to those who havi 
made this change possible, and who have worked out tin 
greatec schemes of organisation lhat we have seen sincei 
W't- ha\e to remember this, in the five great offensive; |; 
lhat have taken place since then — on the .Somme, a f 
.\rmentieres, at !\Iessines, at Ypres, and also during tha 
winter on the .Ancre — that on every single occasion in thesi 
offensives the British troops have stormed the stronges 
frontal positions which ha\'e been e\-er held against attacks. 
In addition to that fact, every single one of these offensivcf 
entailed at least five, and in some cases twelve and four- 
teen, minor offensives, \\'hich had to be undertaken b}- thf 
Hi-ilish troops; so in the something like fifty attacks 
sin.ce ist Juiy of last year, against, let us not forget, the 
strongest positions that have ever been occupied in war, 
the British troops have been successful on practicallv everyt 
occasion. !t is only right lhat wc should remember that tl^^ 
horroi's modern warfare entails have never been equalled iif 
an_\- warfare of the past. Therefore, the men who ari; 
thanked by this Motion are not the kind of soldiers who 


It gaily forth to battle in days gone by, for a Httle 
iggle wiiic'n was going to take a short time, followed by 
jrolonged rest. They are bearing this burden day and 
ht with extraordinarily good hope, an extraordinary 
ief and faith in their cause, and extraordinary confidence 
the people of this country. 


These results have been obtained in those various offen- 
es to which I have alluded. In the earliest days, when 
British Regular Army, to which so great and noble a 
)Ute has been paid to-day, and to which I, perhaps, as 
who saw them but was not of them, can also pay my 
)ute, one man in ever\- five 3'ards, and with no reserves 
all, defeated the flower of the Prussian Arm^-. W'e have 
)d reason to remember all this, as v,-e will in a few days 
ice, on the great anniversary of tliat day. We ought 
er to forget, as we shall not in generations to come, bv 
ler.'uiiins }'et unborn in this country, that imperishable 
^e in our history. I do desire to emphasise this ; that 
e iliose times War has become far more horrible, and 
New Armies, without so much training, are sustaining 
fight against the most terrible nerve-strain which mortal 
n h.a.s ever had to face. When we reniember that in 
te of tha.t, in spite of all the infernal inventions of modern 
ari\ these men stand firm and have never allowed the 
f to be broken, I think we v,-ill all agree that our gratitude 
uld be great. 

The Prime Minister tc-dny pa'd a tribute not onlv to our 
^ular Army, but to our New Arn.iy, and aiso to the Terri- 
al .\rmy. There are many homes in this country who 
1 be glad to have that tribute to the men v.'ho had no 
e to put their houses in order, who were not men carved 
for professional service, whose terms kept them in this 
ntry, but who, with very few exceptions, as one man, 


i*eaclj- to step into the breacfi at a time when we ha* ff 
no men to turn to and when our great New Army wa hi 
unarmed and untrained. It seems to me that the grea 
lesson we have to learn is to ask ourselves here, what i 
the best way we can really thank our soldiers in the field' 
Surely the best way we can thank them is to be worthy o' 
them ; and to see that we do not weaken our support o « 
them in this country. I believe that the country ti" 
and I am sure that the Navy and the Army, wil 
all be rejoiced to think that we have taken this opportunit- I 
of placing on record our gratitude, which can never diei i 
and which is given from this great assembly as representin| | 
the heart and the mind of the nation. . !ii 

MR. B. E. PETO. ■ 1^ 
Mr. Peto : I have been asked by the large association Oi j,, 
the officers of the merchant service to express to the Prim( 
Minister, the Government, and the House, the intense appre 1 
elation of the merchant service for the great honour whicl,',, 
is done to that service by placing them side by side with th(, 
Navy and the Army and the Oversea Forces of the Crowrl ,| 
in the vote of thanks which this House is now considering j, 
for their priceless services to the country. 1 


I am convinced, from what I have already heard, thai ' 
thij discussion will be an inspiration to our merchant service; i 
and will be an inducement — although none is really needed— i 
to them to carry on their hazardous calling, so absolutely vital; ; 
to the success of this War in the cause of liberty, and that thej i 
Prime Minister has really, in the form in which he has put! j 
this Motion, interpreted the true position and the feeling of ^ 
the people as a whole. The records of the Elizabethan sailors j 
for reckless courage and daring are a great mhcritance of j' 
our Navv and our merchant serx'icc, an<l v/e now know I hat, | 
high as that record is, the very S')ui and ?p:i'it of thc.'e g/cr.t j 
heroes, Drake, Frobislier, and Ra'cigh, a.'id the others of , 
the Elizabethan era still pervade and animate alJ our sai-ors, j,. 

.vhether they are officers oi men, whether thev belong to 
;he Na\7 or the merchant service, 

It is significant that this year several Deprirhnents of Slate 
jdfcave each in their own way recognised fhe fact that the 
tjnerchant service has reached a fresh level and a fresh dis- 
inction, and has fresh claims upon the nation it never had 
5il:)efore. The Chancellor of the Exchequer in his last Finance 
[\ct — and the merchant service is grateful to him for it — 
>xtended to it the same concessions in the matter of Income 
Fax and death duties which have been accorded to the Navy 
md the .A.rmy. Even at the present moment in the Repre- 
lentation of the People Bill the Home Secretary is treating 
yith sym.pathy the claims of the merchant service to ha\-e all 
!he voting facilities which are accorded to the Navy and the 
\.rmy, and the President of the Board of Trade has done much 
his year to remove small grievances and small inequalities 
nd injustices which press hardly on many of the officers and 
nen of the Merchant Service. And now, I think, I may 
airly say that the coupling of the Merchant Service with 
he Navy, the Army, and the Oversea Forces is a fitting 
oken of the esteem and gratitude of the nation, and one 
/hich they well deserve. They have done all that mortal 
len could, and I am satisfied that they will do their part to 
he end of this War until xve secure our final victory. 

Colonel Yate : May I, as an old Indian officer, be 
ermitted to say one word to associate myself with what 
le Prime Minister has told us regarding the doings of the 
ndian Army in this \A'ar? We must remember that the 
:),ooo men v>'ho formed tiie first force from India landf-d 
1 France in the autumn of iqij." just about the time of 
le first battle of Ypres, and that they came just in time 
I fill up the gaps then, and to help to hold the trenches 
til our New Army was ready. Those men came over at 
moment's notice— the first Indians, I may say, that ever 

came over to fight in Europr, ultrrly strange and fcirrirfn 
to the country. We all know that Indians can st; nd lu'at, 
and we know, as the result of the Thibet Expediliini, they 
c;an stand cold, but what Indians cannot stand is wet and 
cold. Now, the way those 70,000 men stuck it out there 
through the whole of that terrible winter of 1914-15 is a 
rhing that should always remain in our memory for genera- 
tions to come. They took their share in the trenches. l! 
have often heard described the terrible sufferings they went 
through — how, when they got out of the trenches, their feet 
were so swollen that they could hardly crawl back to their 
billets; how the little Ghurkas were up to the waist ini 
mud, and it took two men to get them out of the trenches. 
Well, those men stfick it all through the winter of 1014-15, 
and we owe them undying gratitude for what they did. 


The Infantry afterwards went to Mesopotamia. The 
Indian Cavalry are still in France, and will have their 
fourth winter there this year. Not one of those men has leave, and yet there is not a murmur. Those Indiar 
cavalrymen have lands and have great cause to want to gci 
home, and yet there they are. We hear continual com- 
plaints here of men not getting leave for eighteen months 
•vot those men have been nearly four years in France anc 
h.-ive never had any. It is the same with the Indian Avim 
in East Africa ; the men have never had any leave, and \v« 
hear no grumbling. The Indian .\rmy also has servec 
in Egypt and done well there. They have also won admira; 
tion in Salonika and elsewhere. I need riot say a wore 
about Mesopotamia or as to how the Indian Forces stucl' 
it throughout the vv'hole_ siege. The country owes a grea 
debt of gratitude to the' Indian Army, and I am proud t( 
think that they havo now received this mark of apprecia 

• The Question was put and agreed to. 

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