To league with the shameless Hun
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To league with the shameless Hun book
Kipling 'The Rowers' The change in Chamberlain's mind is most remarkable. The last time I sa\\-r him he was a mad philoGerman. And now!
Spring Rice to Florence Lascelles
In November 1900, Lord Salisbury made a number of changes in the Cabinet. 'Dear me,' observed Spring Rice. 'Here is the old ship on her beam ends, engines out of order and compass gone wrong, and she goes into port - to receive a set of officers in kid gloves and a new suit ofwhite paint!'l Lansdowne assumed Salisbury's duties at the Foreign Office and the overall effect was a strengthening of the pro-German faction in the administration. This change of ministerial temper, together with the Kaiser's solicitous behaviour when his grandmother died inJanuary 1901, seemed to augur an improvement in AngloGerman relations. Certainly Lansdowne was disposed to find a way of working amicably with the Germans but it proved extraordinarily difficult to discover suitable grounds for cooperation. Every proposal that seemed to offer that possibility failed. A draft alliance for joint action with Japan in the Far East
collapsed when the Germans claimed that they were no longer interested in the fate of Manchuria. What they wanted was Britain to join with them against France and Russia. Sanderson told Lansdowne that such a convention, no matter how it might be worded, would 'practically amount to a guarantee to Germany of the provinces conquered from France, and that is the way the French will look at it. I do not see exactly what Germany will guarantee to US.'2 Talks continued fitfully, but those who had earlier sought agreement with Germany now began to think that the Germans could not be trusted: they were insisting on their pound of flesh but offered nothing of real value in return. So marked was this change in attitude that Sanderson, an eminently fair-minded man who 'earlier had to explain often enough there were certain things we could not expect of the Germans, however friendly they might be', now had to emphasise repeatedly to the same ministers 'that the conduct of the German government has in some material aspects been friendly'. He told Lascelles that among Cabinet members there was 'a settled dislike of the Germans and an impression that they are ready and anxious to play us any shabby trick they can'.3 Attempts to improve relations seemed only to achieve the contrary effect.