The “Silver Ballets” leaflet issued by the Parliamentary War Savings Committee provides some very interesting reading.
We are told that if our 45 million people each saved on an average half-a-crown a week, we should save nearly £300,000,000 a year. Now this 45,000,000 people comprises nearly the whole population of the United Kingdom, and half-a-crown a week from each person in an. average family of five persons—man, wife, and three children—would mean twelve shillings and sixpence per week to save. Ye gods, this from a population estimated in 1903 by Sir H. C. Bannerman to include over 12,000,000 “living in the grip of perpetual poverty” !— A population of whom Mr. D. Lloyd George (when booming his insurance scheme) said: “You have got, side by side with the most extravagant wealth, multitudes of people who cannot consider even a bare subsistence as assured to them. . . . The wolves of hunger prowl constantly round millions of doors in the land.”
Similar remarks coming from persons now “kidding” workers to save, what time the workers are receiving in some cases war bonus to meet the increased cost of living—run up by patriots—only show how their maintenance of political supremacy depends upon a lack of memory and want of understanding, among the working class, of their class status within the society of to-day. The work of the Socialist Party of Great Britain is to refresh workers’ memories on such points, and, primarily to put facts before them which, given intelligence to understand, they will proceed to act upon.
We wonder what one member of the Government (Mr. J. M. Robertson) thinks of his “Fallacy of Saving” in the light of the Parliamentary War Savings Committee’s sppeal ?
Mr. Lloyd George in his speech at Manchester said in reference to being prepared for this war:
“When we appear at the great judgment seat of history as a nation and as a people, and this war with its terrors, with its tortures, with its suffering, is brought up against us, we can say, the proof that we are innocent of this crime is that at any rate we did not prepare, we at any rate did not organise for that war. We had not organised great forces for the purpose of conquering Germany or Austria, or trampling upon the liberties of any other nation.”
But that was only the “swank” as showing how it could be organised, now he had taken over the organising of munitions for war.
Listen, however, to “Winnie” of the ineffable smile justifying his work at the Admiralty. At Dundee on June 5th he said :
“I was sent to the Admiralty in 1911, after the Agadir crisis had nearly brought us into war, and I was sent with the express duty laid upon me by the Prime Minister to put the fleet in a state of instant and constant readiness for war in case we wero attacked by Germany.”— “Reynolds,” 6.6.15.