The Telegraph Book of Readers' Letters from the Great War (5 page)

BOOK: The Telegraph Book of Readers' Letters from the Great War
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Most of the glasses received have been of the best modern patterns, and it is easy to realise how valuable they will prove in the field. Those who do not possess field glasses and who desire to assist should send cheques to The Secretary, National Service League, 72 Victoria Street, London S.W. All glasses should also be sent to this address.

It will be my pleasure to send a personal letter of thanks to those who in this way contribute to the safety and welfare of our splendid soldiers.

Every effort will be made to restore the glasses at the conclusion of the war. In all cases an index number is stamped
upon the glasses and a record of their disposal registered at the Offices of the National Service League.

Yours very truly,

Roberts, F.M.

Englemere, Ascot, Berks

30 September 1914

BOYCOTT OF GERMAN GOODS

Plea For United Action

SIR – I am very much in sympathy with your continued articles respecting the boycotting of German manufactures, but agree with you that it is quite possible that traders will not persist in this unless there is a strong and united protest from the public, backed up by their resolve not to buy German goods.

I would suggest that a Non-German League should be started amongst the public, with a nominal subscription of 6d or 1s, mainly for the purpose of gathering a considerable number of names. These people would be asked to pledge themselves:

1. Not to buy German-made articles for, say, a period of years;

2. Not to buy any article whatever from a retailer whom they know to be stocking German goods.

That ought to be quite easy for people in large towns. I am quite sure that unless some united course of this kind is taken we shall get back to the condition before the war, purely out of slackness, but if the wholesalers and retailers find that there is a big public resolve not to purchase at their establishments if they handle German goods, they will be very careful not to offend.

Believe me, yours faithfully,

G.W.W.

London W.C.

BRITISH-MADE TOYS

SIR – The innate mechanical inventiveness of the British expert workman has not had the encouragement it deserves and needs. Toy and fancy goods manufacturers are only working three or four days a week. Why? Where is the need for short time when orders for hundreds of thousands of pounds' worth of German toys will never be executed?

What are we to think of British toy manufacturers who have raised their prices ten per cent, since the war, and have even made the advance applicable to all orders secured before that time?

Let us get to business. The time has arrived when the German toy industry can be captured. But this will not be done if we
look at the question from a philanthropic standpoint. It can be conclusively proved that it is possible to make toys more cheaply and more profitably in this country than on the Continent. With all due respect to the British manufacturer, the foreigner has beaten him in business acumen. He has adapted his commodity to the requirements of the public.

What is wanted is a toy factory run on up-to-date business lines, with a commercial intelligence department as a leading feature. Without the slightest doubt it would prove a sound, remunerative investment to the shareholders.

It means the establishment in this country of a new and flourishing industry with illimitable possibilities. It means the permanent employment of a large and an increasing number of British workpeople.

Yours truly,

B. Wilde

258 Droylsden Road, Newton Heath, Manchester

1 October 1914

GIFTS TO GERMAN PRISONERS

SIR – The letter of Lady Hulse in your issue of Monday is both well timed and badly needed. I have several times read of German prisoners in this country being treated as
honoured guests, instead of the vicious monsters they have so often proved themselves to be.

Why is it that in this country there is always a class so saturated with maudlin and misplaced sentiment that it is always ready to bestow its pity and sympathies upon the wrongdoer? One has only to remember what took place in Belgium a few weeks ago, and, in fact, is still taking place, murder, fire and unbridled license by these modern Huns to see the monstrous absurdity of bestowing such acts of kindness as Lady Hulse refers to upon those of their number who have been so fortunate as to fall into our hands.

If these misguided Britishers have such a super abundance of charity and goodwill, let them spend it upon our own brave soldiers and sailors, and leave these prisoners to the care of the military authorities.

That they will be well looked after there is no doubt. We as a nation always treat our foes better than they deserve.

Your obedient servant,

V. Page

Gorleston-on-Sea

HOARDING OF GERMAN TOYS

SIR – Toys can be made by British labour better than they have ever been made in Germany, if only there was co-operation.

But I would ask you more particularly to make known the fact that several large stores and large retail toy shops, in London and elsewhere, have been buying up every stray scrap of German-made toys and fancy goods and are ‘nursing' it ready for the Christmas trade in toys. Those goods will undoubtedly be passed on to the public as British, or at any rate, the goods of friendly nations, and this is just where the difficulty arises with those of us who are truly patriotic.

I remain, Sir, yours faithfully,

British Trader

2 October 1914

CHEAP SUGAR

SIR – In your excellent leading article in Monday's
Daily Telegraph
on ‘Trade War with Germany', you mention ‘sugar'. Of all the articles we import from Germany sugar is the least understood by the people, considering its universal necessity.

The point to note is, that Great Britain is the only country which does not produce sugar for her own requirements. For thirty years, we have, in a large measure, been dependent largely upon the Continental supply of beet sugar. From a small beginning a gigantic industry has been built up under the fostering care of the German Government, until the cane source of supply became severely crippled, as it was not able to compete in price with subsidised German sugar.

The Germans deliberately set out to capture this important market, and, incidentally, to ruin the West Indies and other cane-producing countries, by their cartels, bounties and rebates. It is quite obvious that individuals could not compete against a deliberate policy of a Government. Germany produced sugar for ‘export'; that is her policy.

Since the Sugar Convention, however, many of her immoral trading methods have been stopped or mitigated, but she has, in the meantime, created this large sugar industry at the expense and ruin of others, and if she had not been stopped, even a little, by the Sugar Convention, she would have stamped out opposition and then charged us her own prices.

There are some (agricultural enthusiasts) who advocate growing beetroot ourselves, but at the best this policy would be one of a slow and doubtful growth unless our Government subsidised it for years, and subsidising any industry should be a last resort, and avoided if possible.

There are two methods of ensuring a plentiful supply of sugar on a safe permanent basis: (1) Encourage the growth of
cane sugar; (2) keep the refining industry in our own hands at home. We have had practical experiences of the necessity for this during the last few weeks. It is not too much to say that if it had not been for the British refiners, sugar would have been unobtainable.

Raw cane sugar, and plenty of it, with refiners to refine it and confectioners to use it – that is a sound British policy, and this can be obtained by admitting raw sugar free of duty.

Yours faithfully,

Geo. Nightingale

33 Queen's Avenue, Muswell Hill, N.

GERMANY'S TRADE ENERGY

SIR – I was exceedingly pleased to read your excellent leading article in today's issue, as it emphasises the fact that the capture of German trade at the present moment is perfectly useless unless it is accomplished by such a reformation in our trading methods as will enable us to retain it when Germany is again in a position to compete with us.

BOOK: The Telegraph Book of Readers' Letters from the Great War
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