Exhibit 22: Het ABC memorandum (7)

But it is the German element enrolled under the banner of the Pan-Germanic League which threatens the existence of an empire which a great Czech writer has told us would have to be created if it did not exist. To sum up, then, the general conclusions of this paper: we should do everything in our power to promote the interests of Italy and the expansion of Italian power, while we need not conceal our sympathies for the Bohemian Slavs and the ideas they represent and we should adhere firmly to our old policy of alliance with Portugal. We are the only great European Power which covets no European territory and it ought not to be beyond the resources of our statesmanship to profit by this unique feature in our position. In the Far East the keystone of our policy will be the maintenance of our entente with Japan. It is our earnest desire to meet, if possible, the wishes of Russia, particularly on the Persian Gulf; but this policy is only practicable if Russia realises that our co-operation is at least as valuable to her as hers is to us. We may, perhaps, be allowed to interject in passing that the different methods and systems of government and political institutions in the two empires need not interfere with their cordial relations, as some Russians seem inclined to apprehend. His Excellency Constantin Pobiedonostseff, Procurator of the Holy Synod, has recently published an article in the North American Review expressing his unmitigated contempt for the parliamentary machinery of France, Austria, Germany and Italy. We cannot but suspect that he is equally hostile to the spread of English theories of government and fears they might conceivably creep into Russia in the wake of an Anglo-Russian entente. His Excellency should be reassured on that point. Englishmen are beginning to realise that their institutions, however suitable to this country, are quite unsuitable even to nations whose historical development is much more similar to that of England than is the history of Russia. The Empire of the Tsars, on its side, possesses interesting and characteristic institutions which it would be disastrous to impair, but which could not be transferred to other soils. In seeking to close our prolonged contest with Russia, we are desirous of doing something which would be for the advantage of civilisation and, should it be effected, it would not be less welcome because it brought us back into friendly relations with France — a country whose history is closely interwoven with our own and with which we share so many political sentiments. The French are perhaps the only nation which will make sacrifices and run risks for the sake of those who enjoy their friendship. They are capable of sentimental attachment as well as sentimental hatred. To those foreign statesmen who say, or are supposed to say, that’ It is impossible to do business with England, seeing that one Government is apt to reverse the foreign policy of its predecessor’, we would reply that of late years there have been various influences at work to steady public opinion in this country on questions of foreign politics and that the break on a change of Government is practically imperceptible. The credit of this continuity is principally due to Lord Rosebery and his adherents in Parliament and the Press. No one familiar with the personnel of our politics can seriously suggest that if Lord Salisbury and Lord Lansdowne were to pursue the policy set forth in this paper their successors would fail to keep the engagements they might inherit. But earnestly as we advocate a particular policy there should be no misunderstanding as to our motives. We are not touting for alliances. We are prepared to entertain friendly overtures and to enter alliances on suitable terms and for practical purposes; and for the realisation of ideals beneficial to the world at large we think Great Britain should be prepared to make considerable though reasonable sacrifices. But the people of this country will no longer tolerate a policy of „graceful concessions’ and will not permit any Ministry or any personage however exalted to adopt towards any Power the attitude which has been too long followed as regards Germany. If Russia wishes to come to us, we shall meet her cordially and at least half way. If, on the other hand, Russia and France, one or both of them, elect to combine with Germany in an attempt to wrest from us the sceptre of the seas and to replace our sovereignty by that of Germany, England will know how to meet them. The Navy Bill in Germany was carried through with the avowed object of creating a navy which „would be able to keep the North Sea clear.’ We have no intention of clearing out of the North Sea or out of any other sea. We seek no quarrel with any Power but if Germany thinks it her interest to force one upon us, we shall not shrink from the ordeal, even should she appear in the lists with France and Russia as her allies. Germans would however, do well to realise that if England is driven to it, England will strike home. Close to the foundations of the German Empire, which has hardly emerged from its artificial stage, there exists a powder magazine such as is to be found in no other country viz, Social Democracy. In the case of a conflict with Great Britain, misery would be caused to large classes of the German population, produced by the total collapse of subsidised industries; far-reaching commercial depression, financial collapse and a defective food-supply might easily make that magazine explode. A.B.C. etc.

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