Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 14 October 1914

Mr GLYNN (Angas) .- May I be permitted the privilege of supplementing by a few words the expression of respect and admiration which I think we, in ' common with all who are touched by ardent and effective patriotism, by sublime courage in the field, and by the spectacle of suffering as great as the fortitude with which it is borne, feel for the King and the people of Belgium ? I confess that, in looking over the correspondence that passed between the two nations, nothing to me has seemed more direct and convincing in its eloquence, more affecting, and, as Mr. Asquith, I think, said, more pathetic, than the appeal of the King of the Belgians to the diplomatic intervention of England. Here are the words -

Remembering the numerous proofs of your Majesty's friendship and that of your predecessors, and the friendly attitude of England in 1870, and the proof of friendship she has just .given us again, I make a supreme appeal to the diplomatic intervention of Your Majesty's Government to safeguard the integrity of Belgium.

There was never, perhaps, a greater tribute paid to the heart and mind of the Mother Country than that appeal, in a moment of national danger, to the intervention of Great Britain on the sole grounds of sympathy and morality; an appeal as creditable to the Monarch, in every sense a man, who made it as it was to the people to whom it was made; and made, as is evident, in the confident expectation that our statesmen's sense of the moral supremacy of right over might, and justice over brute force, would not be touched in vain. I feel that this episode - the approach arid the response - about which happily there was no hesitation, will be found to be the most honorable of those that have marked the now historic friendship of those two countries ; one world-wide in extent and influence, and imperial in scope and responsibilities, the other comparatively small in area, but intense in local and domestic feeling, and, until this wretched war, well-knit in industrial life; but both alike, and in all essentials, great; for Belgium has shown by her attitude in counsel, and the valour of her sons in the field, that real greatness is not a matter only of wealth and material resources or breadth of territorial sway - that it is not a matter of the mailed fist, of material power or colossal ambition - but of the clean soul and the unflinching spirit. And that it cannot exist without the clear conscience, the righteous purpose, per- sonal ardour, and devotion to national duty, which have won for the King and the people of Belgium the profound respect and sympathy of the civilized world to-day. Th« Leader of the Opposition has very happily referred to the fact that there have been tremendous sacrifices, and he instanced that the students were dying in the Belgian trenches within a few hours of their examinations. To those who have fallen might well be applied the words of the Athenian orator regarding those who fell for Greece -

Their glory is not graven only on stone over their native earth, but lives on far away, without visible symbol, woven into the stuff of other men's lives.

May God grant that the issue will be worthy of the sacrifice, and that the compensation on the one side may be as great as the retribution on the other.

Suggest corrections