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Title: German Spies in England - An Exposure
Author: Le Queux, William
Language: English
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_Printed in Great Britain_


 CHAP.                                                     PAGE

 To the Reader                                              7

 I. How the Truth was Hidden                               11

 II. The Kaiser's Secret Revealed                          22

 III. How the Public were Bamboozled                       36

 IV. Under the Kaiser's Thumb                              57

 V. How Spies Work                                         66

 VI. Some Methods of Secret Agents                         78

 VII. Master-Spies and Their Cunning                       93

 VIII. The Spy and the Law                                116

 IX. A Remarkable Spy                                     138

 X. Some Recent Cases                                     152

 XI. 27,000 Aliens at Large in Great Britain              171

 XII. How to End the Spy Peril                            196


From the outbreak of war until to-day I have hesitated to write this
book. But I now feel impelled to do so by a sense of duty.

The truth must be told. The peril must be faced.

Few men, I venture to think, have been more closely associated with, or
know more of the astounding inner machinery of German espionage in this
country, and in France, than myself.

Though the personnel of the Confidential Department established at
Whitehall to deal with these gentry have, during the past six years,
come and gone, I have, I believe, been the one voluntary assistant who
has remained to watch and note, both here and in Belgium--where the
German headquarters were established--the birth and rapid growth of
this ever-spreading canker-worm in the nation's heart.

I am no alarmist. This is no work of fiction, but of solid and serious
fact. I write here of what I know; and, further, I write with the true
spirit of loyalty. Though sorely tempted, at this crisis, to publish
certain documents, and make statements which would, I know, add greatly
to the weight of this book, I refrain, because such statements might
reveal certain things to the enemy, including the identity of those
keen and capable officials who have performed so nobly their work of

Yet to-day, with the fiercest war in history in progress, with our
bitterest enemy threatening us with invasion, and while we are
compelled to defend our very existence as a nation, yet Spies are
nobody's business!

It is because the British public have so long been officially deluded,
reassured and lulled to sleep, that I feel it my duty to now speak out
boldly, and write the truth after a silence of six years.

Much contained within these covers will probably come as a complete
revelation to many readers who have hitherto, and perhaps not unjustly,
regarded spies as the mere picturesque creation of writers of fiction.
At the outset, however, I wish to give them an assurance that, if
certain reports of mine--which now repose in the archives of the
Confidential Department--were published, they would create a very
considerable sensation, and entirely prove the truth of what I have
ventured to write within these covers.

I desire, further, to assure the reader that, since 1905, when I
first endeavoured to perform what I considered to be my duty as an
Englishman, I have only acted from the purest patriotic motives, while,
from a pecuniary point of view, I have lost much by my endeavour.

The knowledge that in the past, as now, I did what I conceived to be
but my duty to my country, was, in itself, an all-sufficient reward;
and if, after perusal of this book, the reader will only pause for a
moment and reflect upon the very serious truths it contains, then I
shall have accomplished all I have attempted.

We have, since the war, had a rude awakening from the lethargy induced
by false official assurances concerning the enemy in our midst.

It is for the nation to now give its answer, and to demand immediate
and complete satisfaction from those who were directly responsible for
the present national peril, which, if unchecked, must inevitably result
in grave disaster.


 Hawson Court,
 Buckfastleigh, Devon.
 _February, 1915._




The actual truth regarding Germany's secret and elaborate preparations
for a raid upon our shores has not yet been told. It will, however, I
venture to think, cause considerable surprise.

A few curious facts have, it is true, leaked out from time to time
through the columns of the newspapers, but the authorities--and more
especially the Home Office, under Mr. McKenna--have been most careful
to hide the true state of affairs from the public, and even to lull
them into a false sense of security, for obvious reasons. The serious
truth is that German espionage and treasonable propaganda have, during
past years, been allowed by a slothful military administration to take
root so deeply, that the authorities to-day find themselves powerless
to eradicate its pernicious growth.

Unfortunately for myself--for by facing the British public and daring
to tell them the truth, I suffered considerable pecuniary loss--I was
in 1905 the first person to venture to suggest to the authorities, by
writing my forecast "The Invasion of England," the most amazing truth,
that Germany was secretly harbouring serious hostile intentions towards
Great Britain.

The reader, I trust, will forgive me for referring to my own personal
experiences, for I do so merely in order to show that to the grievous,
apathetic attitude of the Government of the time the present scandalous
state of affairs is entirely due.

I had lived in Germany for a considerable period. I had travelled up
and down the country; I had lived their "home life"; I had lounged in
their officers' clubs; and I had indulged in the night-life of Berlin;
and, further, I had kept my eyes and ears open. By this, I had gained
certain knowledge. Therefore I resolved to write the truth, which
seemed to me so startling.

My daring, alas! cost me dearly. On the day prior to the publication of
the book in question, Sir Henry Campbell Bannerman, then Premier, rose
in the House of Commons and--though he had never had an opportunity of
seeing my work--deliberately condemned it, declaring that it "should
never have been written" because it was calculated to create alarm.
Who, among the readers of this book, would condemn anything he had not
even seen? Now the last thing the Government desired was that public
attention should be drawn to the necessity of preparing against German

Once the real fear of the German peril had taken root in our islands,
there would instantly have been an irresistible demand that no money
should be spared to equip and prepare our fighting forces for a very
possible war--and then good-bye to the four-hundred-a-year payments to
Members, and those vast sums which were required to bribe the electors
with Social Reform.

In the columns of the _Times_ I demanded by what right the Prime
Minister had criticised a book which he had never even seen, and in
justice to the late Sir Henry Campbell Bannerman I must here record
that he apologised to me, privately, for committing what he termed a
"political error."

Political error! If there had been no further "political errors" in
this dear old country of ours, we should have no war to-day.

The Government was bent upon suppressing the truth of my earnest
appeal; hence I was held up to derision, and, in addition, denounced on
all hands as a "scaremonger."

Now, at the outset, I wish to say that I am no party politician.
My worst enemy could never call me that. I have never voted for a
candidate in my life, for my motto has ever been "Britain for the
British." My appeal to the nation was made in all honesty of purpose,
and in the true sense of the patriotism of one who probably has the ear
of a wide public. The late Lord Roberts realised this. Our national
hero, who, like myself, was uttering words of solemn warning, knew what
pressure the Government were endeavouring to place upon me, and how
they meant to crush me; therefore on November 29th, 1905, he wrote the

  "Speaking in the House of Lords on the 10th July, 1905, I said:--'It
  is to the people of the country I appeal to take up the question
  of the Army in a sensible practical manner. For the sake of all
  they hold dear, let them bring home to themselves what would be
  the condition of Great Britain if it were to lose its wealth, its
  power, its position.' The catastrophe that may happen if we still
  remain in our present state of unpreparedness is vividly and forcibly
  illustrated in Mr. Le Queux's new book, which I recommend to the
  perusal of _every one who has the welfare of the British Empire at

But alas! if the public disregarded the earnest warnings of "Bobs," it
was scarcely surprising that it should disregard mine--especially after
the Prime Minister had condemned me. My earnest appeal to the nation
met only with jeers and derision, I was caricatured at the music halls,
and somebody wrote a popular song which asked, "Are we Downhearted?"

Neither the British public, nor the authorities, desired the truth,
and, ostrich-like, buried their heads in the sand. Germany would never
dare to go to war, we were told, many wiseacres adding, "Not in our

The violent storm of indignation sweeping upon my unfortunate head,
I confess, staggered me. The book, which had cost me eighteen months
of hard work, and a journey of ten thousand miles in a motor-car, was
declared to be the exaggerated writing of a Jingo, a sensationalist,
and one who desired to stir up strife between nations. I was both
puzzled and pained.

Shortly afterwards, I met Mr. (now Lord) Haldane--then War Minister--at
dinner at a country house in Perthshire, when, in his breezy way,
he assured me over the dinner-table that he knew Germany and German
intentions better than myself, and that there would never be war. And
he waxed humorous at my expense, and scorned Lord Roberts's warnings.

The Kaiser's cleverness in ingratiating himself with certain English
Statesmen, officers, and writers is really amazing, yet it was--though
at that time unsuspected--part of the great German plot formed against

As an instance how the Emperor was cleverly misleading the British
Cabinet, Lord Haldane, speaking on June 29th, 1912, at a public dinner,
at which Baron Marschall von Bieberstein, the German Ambassador, was
present, said:--

  "I speak of one whom we admire in this country and regard as one of

  "He (the Kaiser) knows our language and our institutions as we do,
  and he speaks as we do.

  "The German Emperor is something more than an Emperor--he is a man,
  and a great man. He is gifted by the gods with the highest gift that
  they can give--I use a German word to express it--_Geist_ (spirit).
  He has got _Geist_ in the highest degree. He has been a true leader
  of his people--a leader in spirit as well as in deed. He has guided
  them through nearly a quarter of a century, and preserved unbroken
  peace. I know no record of which a monarch has better cause to be
  proud. In every direction his activities have been remarkable.

  "He has given his country that splendid fleet that we who know
  about fleets admire; he has preserved the tradition of the greatest
  army the world has ever seen; but it is in the arts of peace that
  he has been equally great. He has been the leader of his people in
  education, and in the solution of great social questions.

  "That is a great record, and it makes one feel a sense of rejoicing
  that the man who is associated with these things should be half an
  Englishman. I have the feeling very strongly that in the last few
  years Germany and England have become much more like each other than
  they used to be. It is because we have got so much like each other
  that a certain element of rivalry comes in.

  "We two nations have a great common task in the world--to make the
  world better. It is because the German Emperor, I know, shares that
  conviction profoundly that it gives me the greatest pleasure to give
  you the toast of his name."

The Government, having sought to point the finger of ridicule at my
first warning, must have been somewhat surprised at the phenomenal
success which the book in question attained, for not only were over
a million copies sold in different editions in English, but it
was translated into no fewer than twenty-six languages--including
Japanese--and, further, was adopted as a text-book in the German
Army--though I may add that the details I gave of various vulnerable
points around our coasts were so disguised as to be of little use to
the enemy.

I had had a disheartening experience. Yet worse was to come.

A couple of years later, while making certain inquiries in Germany with
a view to continuing my campaign, and my endeavour to disclose the
real truth to the British public, I discovered, to my surprise, the
existence of a wide-spread system of German espionage in England.

Just about that time Colonel Mark Lockwood, the Member for Epping,
asked a question in the House of Commons regarding the reported
presence of spies in Essex. For his pains he was, of course, like
myself, promptly snubbed.

A week later, I ventured to declare, at a meeting in Perth, that in
our midst we were harbouring a new, most dangerous, and well-organised
enemy--a horde of German spies.

German spies in England! Who ever heard such wild rubbish! This
completed the bitterness of public opinion against me. The Press
unanimously declared that I had spoken wilful untruths; my statements
were refuted in leading articles, and in consequence of my endeavour
to indicate a grave national peril, a certain section of the Press
even went so far as to _boycott my writings altogether_! Indeed, more
than one first-class London newspaper which had regularly published my
novels--I could name them, but I will not--refused to print any more of
my work!

I was, at the same time, inundated with letters from persons who
openly abused me and called me a liar, and more than one anonymous
communication, which I have still kept, written in red ink and probably
from spies themselves, for the caligraphy is distinctly foreign,
threatened me with death.

Such was my reward for daring to awaken the country to a sense of
danger. It caused me some amusement, I must confess, yet it also taught
me a severe lesson--the same bitter lesson which the British public,
alas! taught Lord Roberts, who was so strenuously endeavouring to
indicate the danger of our unpreparedness. It told me one plain truth,
a truth spoken in the words of the noble General himself, who, with a
sigh, one day said to me, "Nothing, I fear, will arouse the public to a
sense of danger until they one day awaken and find war declared."

On the day following my speech, the German Press, which published
reports of it, called me "the German-hater," by which epithet I am
still known in the Fatherland. The editor of a certain London daily
newspaper told me to my face: "There are no spies in England"; adding,
"You are a fool to alarm the public by such a statement. Nobody
believes you."

I, however, held my own views, and felt that it was my duty to act in
one of two ways. Either I should place the confidential information
and documents which I had gathered, mostly from German sources, in the
hands of the Press, and thus vindicate myself; or give them over to
the Government, and allow them to deal with them in a befitting and
confidential manner. The latter attitude I deemed to be the correct
one, as an Englishman--even though I have a foreign name. At the War
Office the officials at first sniffed, and then, having carefully
examined the documents, saw at once that I had discovered a great and
serious truth.

For this reason I have never sought, until now, to vindicate myself in
the public eye; yet I have the satisfaction of knowing that from that
moment, until this hour of writing, a certain nameless department,
known only by a code-number,--I will refer to it as the Confidential
Department,--has been unremitting in its efforts to track down German
secret agents and their deadly work.

Through six years I have been intimate with its workings. I know
its splendid staff, its untiring and painstaking efforts, its
thoroughness, its patriotism, and the astuteness of its head director,
who is one of the finest Englishmen of my acquaintance.

There are men who, like myself, have since done work for it both at
home and abroad, and at a considerable expenditure--patriotic men who
have never asked for a single penny to cover even their expenses--men
who have presented reports which have cost them long journeys abroad,
many a watchful night, much personal danger, and considerable outlay.
Yet all the time the Home Office ridiculed the idea of spies, and thus
misled the public.

The archives of the secret department in question, which commenced
its activity after the presentation of my array of facts, would be
an amazing revelation to the public, but, alas! would, if published,
bring ignominy, disaster, and undying shame to certain persons among us
towards whom the Kaiser, the Master-Spy, has, in the past decade, been
unduly gracious.

I could name British spies. I could write things here, shameful facts,
which would, like my first allegations, be scouted with disbelief,
although I could prove them in these pages. But, as a Briton, I
will not reveal facts which repose in those secret files, records
of traitorous shame, of high-placed men in England who have lived
for years in the enjoyment of generous allowances from a mysterious
source. To write here the truth I feel sorely tempted, in spite of the
law of libel.

But enough! We are Englishmen. Let us wipe off the past, in the hope
that such traitorous acts will never be repeated, and that at last our
eyes are open to the grave dangers that beset us.

To-day we have awakened, and the plain truth of all for which I have
contended is surely obvious to the world.



Before proceeding further with this exposure of the clever and
dastardly German plot against England, the reader will probably
be interested in a confidential report which, in the course of my
investigations, travelling hither and thither on the Continent, I was
able to secure, and to hand over to the British Government for their

It was placed, in confidence, before certain members of the Cabinet,
and is still in the archives of the Confidential Department.

The report in question, I obtained--more fully than I can here
reproduce it--from an intimate personal friend, who happened to be a
high functionary in Germany, and closely associated with the Kaiser.
Germany has spies in England; we, too, have our friends in Germany.

Shortly after the Zeppelin airship had been tested and proved
successful, a secret Council was held at Potsdam, in June, 1908, at
which the Emperor presided, Prince Henry of Prussia--a clever man whom
I know personally--the representatives of the leading Federal States,
and the chiefs of the army and navy--including my informant--being

I regret that I am not at liberty to give the name of my informant,
for various reasons. One is that, though a German of high position,
he holds pro-British views, and has, in consequence, more than once
furnished me with secret information from Berlin which has been of the
greatest use to our Intelligence Department. Suffice it to say that his
identity is well known at Whitehall, and that, although his report was
at first regarded with suspicion, the searching investigation at once
made resulted in its authenticity being fully established.

That the Kaiser had decided to make war, the British Government first
knew by the report in question--notwithstanding all the diplomatic
juggling, and the publication of Blue Books and White Books. The French
Yellow Book published in the first week of December, 1914, indeed, came
as confirmation--if any confirmation were necessary--from the lips of
King Albert of Belgium himself.

Now at this secret Council the Kaiser appeared, dressed in naval
uniform, pale, determined, and somewhat nervous and unstrung. For more
than two hours he spoke of the danger confronting the German Empire
from _within_ and without, illustrating his speech by many maps and
diagrams, as well as some well-executed models of air-craft, designed
for the war now proceeding.

At first, the Emperor's voice was almost inaudible, and he looked
haggard and worn.

  [1]"Gentlemen," the Emperor, in a low, hoarse voice, commenced,
  "in calling this Council this evening, I have followed the Divine
  command. Almighty God has always been a great and true ally of the
  House of Hohenzollern, and it is to Him that I--just as my august
  ancestors did--look for inspiration and guidance in the hour of need.
  After long hours of fervent prayer light has, at last, come to me.
  You, my trusted councillors and my friends, before whom I have no
  secrets, can testify that it has been, ever since I ascended the
  throne, my most ardent desire to maintain the peace of the world and
  to cultivate, on a basis of mutual respect and esteem, friendship
  and goodwill with all the nations on the globe. I am aware that the
  course followed by me did not always meet with your approval, and
  that on many an occasion you would have been glad to see me use the
  mailed fist, rather than the silken glove chosen by me in my dealings
  with certain foreign nations. It was a source of profound grief to
  me to see my best intentions misunderstood, but bulletproof against
  public censure and criticism, and responsible only to the Lord above
  us for my acts, I calmly continued to do what I considered to be my
  holy duty to the Fatherland. True to the great traditions of Prussia,
  and the House of Hohenzollern, I believed in the necessity of
  maintaining a great army and an adequate navy as the best guarantee
  of peace. In our zeal for the preservation of peace we were compelled
  to keep pace with the ever-increasing armaments of our neighbours,
  until the limit seems now to have been reached.

  "We find ourselves now face to face with the most serious crisis in
  the history of our new German Empire. Owing to the heavy taxation,
  and the enormous increase in the cost of living, the discontent of
  the masses is assuming alarming proportions, and even infecting the
  middle and upper classes, which have, up to the present time, been
  the strongest pillar of the monarchy. But worst of all, there are
  unmistakable signs that the discontent is spreading even among the
  troops, and that a secret well-organised anti-military movement is
  afoot, calculated to destroy all discipline, and to incite both
  my soldiers and sailors to open disobedience and rebellion. As,
  according to the reports of my Secret Service, a similar movement
  is making itself felt in nearly all the states of Europe; all
  indications point to the fact, which admits, indeed, no longer of
  any doubt, that we have to deal with an international revolutionary
  organisation whose voiced object is the overthrowing of throne and
  altar, and the establishment of a Republican government.

  "The gravity of the situation can, in no way, be underrated. In the
  last session of the Reichstag it was openly admitted that never
  before had there been among the German population so many friends of
  a republican form of government as at the present time, and the idea
  is rather gaining ground, not only among the masses, but also the
  classes, though I have given the strictest orders to my Government
  for its suppression. The fact, however, remains, and I cannot afford
  to ignore it.

  "'Breakers ahead!' is the call of the helmsman at the Imperial ship
  of state, and I am ready to heed it. How to find an honourable and
  satisfactory solution of the problem is a question to which I have
  devoted the closest attention during these last months. The outlook
  is, I admit, dark, but we need not despair, for God, our great ally,
  has given into our hands the means of saving our Empire from the
  dangers which are threatening its happiness and welfare. You know
  what I mean. It is that wonderful invention which His Excellency
  Count Zeppelin was enabled, through the grace of the Lord, to make
  for the safeguarding and glory of our beloved Fatherland. In this
  invention God has placed the means at my disposal to lead Germany
  triumphantly out of her present difficulties and to make, once and
  for all, good the words of our poet, '_Deutschland, Deutschland über
  alles!_' Yes, gentlemen, Germany over everything in the world, the
  first power on earth, both in peace and war; that is the place which
  I have been ordered by God to conquer for her, and which I will
  conquer for her, with the help of the Almighty.

  "This is my irrevocable decision. At present we are, thanks to our
  airships, invincible, and can carry at will war into the enemy's
  own country. It goes without saying that if we want to maintain our
  superiority and to use it to the best advantage, we cannot postpone
  the necessary action much longer. In a few years our good friend, the
  enemy, may have a fleet of airships equal--if not superior--to our
  own, and where should I be then? Great Britain has thrown down the
  gauntlet by declaring that she will build to each German, two English
  Dreadnoughts, and I will take up the challenge. Now is our time. The
  attack has always been the best defence, and he who strikes the first
  blow generally comes triumphant out of the fray. To find an outlet
  for the discontent of the nation; to nip the growing republican
  sentiment in the bud; to fill our treasury; to reduce the burden of
  taxation; to gain new colonies and markets for our industries across
  the seas; to accomplish all this and still more, we simply have to
  invade England.

  "You do not look at all surprised, gentlemen, and I see from the
  joy on your faces that my words have found an echo in your hearts.
  At last this idea, which is so popular with the greater part of my
  people, and to the propagation of which I am so much indebted to
  the untiring efforts of my professors, teachers, and other loyal
  patriots, is to become a fact--a fact certainly not anticipated by
  the English panic-mongers when first creating the scare of a German
  invasion. Our plans have been most carefully laid and prepared by our
  General Staff.

  "Another von Moltke will, true to his great name, demonstrate to the
  world at large that we have not been resting on our laurels of 1870
  and 1871, and that, as the first condition of peace, we have been
  preparing all the time for war. The glorious deeds of our victorious
  armies will, I fear me not, be again repeated if not surpassed on the
  battlefields of Great Britain and France, assuring in their ultimate
  consequences to Germany the place due to her at the head of nations.
  I need not go into details at the present moment. Suffice it to say
  that preparations have been made to convey, at a word, a German army
  of invasion of a strength able to cope with any and all troops that
  Great Britain can muster against us. For the safe transport of the
  army of invasion we shall, to a considerable degree, rely on the
  fleets of fast steamers belonging to the Hamburg-Amerika Line and
  the North-German Lloyd, two patriotic companies, whose officials,
  employees, and agents have--throughout the world--proven their
  zeal and devotion to the cause of the Empire, and whose tact and
  discretion have already helped my government in many an embarrassing
  position. Herr Ballin, Director-General of the Hamburg-Amerika Line,
  whom I received but a few days since on board my yacht 'Hohenzollern'
  at Swinemünde, is truly a great man and verily deserves something
  better than to be nicknamed 'the Napoleon of German Shipping'--as
  his enthusiastic compatriots call him. His activity, his energy, and
  his brains accomplish the most difficult things, and when the day of
  invasion arrives, he will reveal his plans.

  "Of course it is too early yet to fix the exact date when the blow
  shall be struck. But I will say this, that we shall strike as soon
  as I have a sufficiently large fleet of Zeppelins at my disposal. I
  have given orders for the hurried construction of more airships of
  the improved Zeppelin type, and when these are ready we shall destroy
  England's North Sea, Channel, and Atlantic fleets, after which
  nothing on earth can prevent the landing of our army on British soil,
  and its triumphant march to London. Do you remember, my Generals,
  what our never-to-be-forgotten Field-Marshal Gebhard Lebrecht von
  Blücher exclaimed, when looking from the dome of St. Paul's Cathedral
  upon the vast metropolis at his feet. It was short, and to the point.
  'What a splendid city to sack!'

  "You will desire to know how the outbreak of hostilities will be
  brought about. I can assure you on this point. Certainly we shall
  not have to go far to find a just cause for war. My army of spies
  scattered over Great Britain and France, as it is over North and
  South America, as well as all the other parts of the world, where
  German interests may come to a clash with a foreign power, will take
  good care of that. _I have issued already some time since secret
  orders that will, at the proper moment, accomplish what we desire._
  There is even now, as you are all aware, a state of private war
  existing between our country on the one side, and Great Britain and
  France on the other, which will assume an official character as
  soon as I give the word. It will become the starting point of a new
  era in the history of the world, known to all generations as the
  Pan-German era. I once pledged my word that every German outside of
  the Fatherland, in whatever part of the globe he might live, had a
  just claim to my Imperial protection. At this solemn hour I repeat
  this pledge before you, with the addition, however, that I shall not
  rest and be satisfied until all the countries and territories that
  once were German, or where greater numbers of my former subjects now
  live, have become a part of the great Mother-country, acknowledging
  me as their supreme lord in war and peace.

  "Even now I rule supreme in the United States, where almost one
  half of the population is either of German birth, or of German
  descent, and where three million German voters do my bidding at the
  Presidential elections. No American administration could remain
  in power against the will of the German voters, who through that
  admirable organisation, the German-American National League of the
  United States of America, control the destinies of the vast Republic
  beyond the sea. If man ever was worthy of a high decoration at my
  hands it was Herr Dr. Hexamer, the president of the League, who may
  justly be termed to be, by my grace, the acting ruler of all the
  Germans in the United States.

  "Who said that Germany did ever acknowledge the Monroe doctrine? The
  answer to this question was given by the roar of German guns at the
  bombardment of the Venezuelan fort, San Carlos, by our ships. The
  day is not far distant when my Germans in the Southern States of
  Brazil will cut the bonds now tying them to the Republic, and renew
  their allegiance to their former master. In the Argentine, as well
  as in the other South American republics, a German-Bund movement
  is spreading, as is the case in South Africa, where, thanks to the
  neighbourhood of our colonies, events are shaping themselves in
  accordance with the ultimate aims of my Imperial policy. Through my
  ally, the Emperor-King of Austria-Hungary, I have secured a strong
  foothold for Germany in the Near East, and, mark my word!--when
  the Turkish 'pilaf'-pie will be partitioned, Asia Minor, Syria and
  Palestine--in short, the overland route to India--will become our
  property, and the German flag will wave over the holy shrines of

  "But to obtain this we must first crush England and France. The
  war will be short, sharp and decisive. After the destruction of
  the English fleets through our Zeppelins, we shall meet with no
  serious resistance on the British Isles, and can, therefore, march
  with nearly our whole strength into France. Shall we respect the
  neutrality of Holland? Under the glorious Emperor, Charles V., both
  Holland and Belgium formed part of the German Empire, and this they
  are this time to become again. We shall have two or three battles in
  France, when the French Government, recognising the impossibility of
  prevailing with their disorganised, mutinous regiments against my
  German 'beasts,' will accede to my terms of peace. After that, the
  map of Europe will look somewhat different from what it does now.
  While our operations are going on in England and France, Russia will
  be held in check by Austria-Hungary.

  "The Empire of the Tsar is still suffering from the effects of its
  unfortunate war with Japan, and is, therefore, not likely to burn
  its fingers again, the more so as it is conscious of the fact that
  any warlike measures against Germany would at once lead to a new
  outbreak of the revolutionary movement--the end of which no man could
  possibly foresee. Thus, you will agree with me, we have no real cause
  to fear Russia. After the war, it will be time to set things right in
  America, and to teach my friends over there that I have not forgotten
  the object-lesson which Admiral Dewey saw fit to give me some years
  since, when we had the little altercation with Castro.

  "_If God will help us, as I am convinced He will, I trust that at
  the end of the coming year the Imperial treasury will be filled to
  overflowing with the gold of the British and French war indemnities_,
  that the discontent of our people will have ceased, that, thanks to
  our new colonies in all parts of the world, industry and trade will
  be flourishing as they never were before, and that the republican
  movement among my subjects, so abhorrent to my mind, will have

  "Then--but not before--the moment will have come to talk of
  disarmament and arbitration. With Great Britain and France in the
  dust, with Russia and the United States at my mercy, I shall set a
  new course to the destinies of the world--a course that will ensure
  to Germany for all time to come the leading part among the nations
  of the globe. That accomplished, I shall unite all the people of
  the white race in a powerful alliance for the purpose of coping,
  under German guidance, with the yellow peril which is becoming more
  formidable with every year. Then--as now--it must be 'Germans to the

The notes before me describe, in vivid language, the effect which this
speech of the Emperor had upon his devoted hearers.

The old white-headed General von K---- even knelt before his Majesty to
kiss the hand which was gracefully extended to him.

"It is truly the voice of God that has spoken out of your Majesty," he
cried in deep emotion. "God has chosen your Imperial Majesty as His
worthy instrument to destroy this nightmare of British supremacy at
sea, from which Germany has suffered all these many years--and God's
will be done!"

The blasphemy of it all! In the subsequent Council, which lasted nearly
five hours through the night, the Kaiser arrived with his advisers at
a perfect understanding regarding the best ways and means to be adopted
for a successful carrying out of his Majesty's secret campaign for war.

And Prince Henry of Prussia soon afterwards organised a British
motor-tour in Germany and throughout England. And he became the idol of
the Royal Automobile Club!


[Footnote 1: The German Government, by some means, learnt that I was
in possession of a report of this secret speech of the Kaiser's, and a
curious incident resulted. It was my intention, in September, 1908, to
write a book pointing out that Germany meant war. With that object I
gave to my friend Mr. Eveleigh Nash, the publisher, of Fawside House,
Covent Garden, the opening chapters of the manuscript, together with
the speech in question. He locked them, in my presence, in a drawer
in his writing-table in his private room. Two days later, when Mr.
Nash opened that drawer he found they had been stolen! German Secret
Agents undoubtedly committed the theft--which was reported in certain
newspapers at the time--for I have since learnt that my manuscript is
now in the archives of the Secret Service in Berlin! This, in itself,
is sufficient proof as showing how eager the Kaiser was to suppress
his declaration of war. It was fortunate that I had kept a copy of the
Emperor's speech.]



Though the foregoing has been known to the British Cabinet for over
six years, and through it, no doubt, to the various Chancelleries of
Europe, not a word was allowed to leak out to the world until December
2nd, 1914--after we had been at war four months.

The determination of the War Lord of Germany--whose preparations
against Great Britain had been so slyly and so cunningly made--was
at last revealed by the publication of the French Yellow Book, which
disclosed that in a dispatch dated November 22nd, 1913, M. Jules
Cambon, the French Ambassador in Berlin, reported a conversation
between the Emperor and the King of the Belgians in the presence of
General von Moltke, the chief of the General Staff. King Albert had
till then believed, as most people in Great Britain had believed, that
the Emperor was a friend of peace.

But at this interview King Albert, according to an excellent summary of
the dispatches published in the _Star_, found the Emperor completely
changed. He revealed himself as the champion of the war party which he
had hitherto held in check. King Albert learned that the Emperor had
"come to think that war with France was inevitable, and that things
must come to that sooner or later." General von Moltke spoke to King
Albert "exactly as his Sovereign." He, too, declared that "war was
necessary and inevitable." He said to King Albert: "This time we must
settle the business once and for all, and your Majesty can have no idea
of the irresistible enthusiasm which on that day will sweep over the
whole German people."

King Albert vainly protested that it was a travesty of the intentions
of the French Government to interpret them in this fashion. He found
the Emperor "over-wrought and irritable."

M. Cambon suggested that the change in the Emperor's attitude was due
to jealousy of the popularity of the Crown Prince, "who flatters the
passions of the Pan-Germans." He also suggested that the motive of the
conversation was to induce King Albert to oppose no resistance in the
event of war. The French Ambassador warned his Government that the
Emperor was familiarising himself with an order of ideas once repugnant
to him. In other words, as long ago as 1913 the Kaiser was no longer
working for the peace of Europe, but was already in the hands of the
Prussian gang of militarists, who were working for war.

The French Yellow Book proves up to the hilt the guilt of Germany, in
shattering the last hopes of peace at the end of July, 1914. Russia
had proposed a formula for a direct agreement with Austria, but on
July 30th Herr von Jagow, without consulting Austria, declared that
this proposal was not acceptable. When Germany discovered that Austria
was wavering and becoming more conciliatory, she threw off the mask,
and suddenly hurled her ultimatum at Russia. M. Cambon reminded Herr
von Jagow of his declaration that Germany would not mobilise if
Russia only mobilised on the Galician frontier. What was the German
Minister's reply? It was a subterfuge. He said: "It was not a definite
undertaking." The German Government, in its White Paper, suppressed its
despatches during the crucial period to Vienna. It did not publish them
because, we now know, it did not dare to reveal the truth.

Germany, as I have shown, had for a long time planned the attack on
France through Belgium. So long ago, indeed, as May 6th, 1913, von
Moltke said: "We must begin war without waiting, in order to brutally
crush all resistance." The evidence of the Yellow Book proves that the
Emperor and his _entourage_ had irrevocably resolved to frustrate all
efforts of the Allies to preserve the peace of Europe. It confirms the
Kaiser's secret intentions revealed in the previous chapter, and it
establishes--fully and finally--the guilt of the Kaiser and of the
German Government.

Those British newspapers which were most active and resolute in keeping
the country unprepared for the war that has come upon us, and which,
if they had had their way, would have left us to-day almost naked to
our enemies, are now suddenly rubbing their eyes, and discovering that
Germany had premeditated war for _quite a long time_. And this is
up-to-date journalism! The public, alas! reposed confidence in such
journals. Happily, they do not now. What the country will never forget,
if it consents to forgive, is the perversity with which they so long
refused to look facts in the face.

It is surely a damning coincidence that when the Kaiser and von Moltke
were telling King Albert that war was inevitable, was the very time
chosen by the National Liberal Federation to demand the reduction of
our Navy Estimates, and to threaten the Government with a dangerous
division in the party unless the demand were complied with!

Reduction in armaments, forsooth!

The Government knew the facts, and did indeed resist the demand; but
for weeks there was a crisis in the Cabinet, and even in January, 1914,
as the _Globe_ pointed out, a Minister took the occasion to declare
that a unique opportunity had arrived for revising the scale of our
expenditure on Armaments!

While Mr. McKenna was, as late as last November, endeavouring in an
outrageous manner to gag the _Globe_, and to prevent that newspaper
from telling the public the truth of the spy-peril, Lord Haldane--the
scales from whose eyes regarding his friend the Kaiser appear now
to have fallen--made a speech on November 25th, 1914, in the House
of Lords in which he, at last, admitted the existence of spies. The
following are extracts from this speech:--

  "With the extraordinary intelligence system which Germany organised
  in this country _long before the war_, no doubt they had certain
  advantages which they ought not to have even of this kind.... If he
  were to harbour a suspicion it would be that the most formidable
  people were not aliens, but probably people of British nationality
  who had been suborned.... He wishes he were sure that when really
  valuable and dangerous pieces of information were given they were not
  given by people of our own nationality, but some of the information
  which had been given, could only have been given by people who had
  access to it because they were British. His belief was that we had
  had very little of this kind of thing, but that we had some, and that
  it was formidable he could not doubt. In seeking these sources of
  communication with the enemy it was desirable to go about the search
  in a scientific way, and to cast suspicion where it was most likely
  to be founded."

Such a contribution to the spy question was really very characteristic.
It, however, came ill from one whose legal _confrère_ was, at that
moment, being referred to in the House of Commons as having a German
chauffeur who had been naturalised after the war broke out, and _had
gone for a holiday_ into Switzerland! Switzerland is a country not in
the Antarctic Ocean, but right on the border of the land of the Huns
in Europe, and the Lord Chief Justice, according to Mr. Asquith at the
Guildhall, is in close association with Cabinet Ministers in these days
of crises.

Perhaps, as a correspondent pointed out, it never struck our Lord
Chancellor that the Lord Chief Justice's "now-British" chauffeur
might--though I hope not--have gone through Switzerland into Germany,
and might, if so disposed, quite innocently have related there
information to which he had access, not only because he was British,
but because he was in the service of a highly-placed person. Or,
perhaps, he did realise it, and his reference to information given
by persons of British nationality was a veiled protest against the
action of some of his colleagues--against that other who also has a
"now-British" chauffeur, or to a third, whose German governess, married
to a German officer, left her position early in November, but has left
her German maid behind her. Perhaps he did not know these things, or he
would also have known that other people may have access to information,
not because they are British, but because they are in the employ of
British Cabinet Ministers.

Hitherto, the security of our beloved Empire had been disregarded by
party politicians, and their attendant sycophants, in their frantic
efforts to "get-on" socially, and to pile up dividends. What did "The
City" care in the past for the nation's peril, so long as money was
being made?

In the many chats I had with the late Lord Roberts we deplored the
apathy with which Great Britain regarded what was a serious and most
perilous situation.

But, after all, were the British public really to blame? They are
discerning and intelligent, and above all, patriotic. Had they been
told the hideous truth, they would have risen in their masses, and men
would have willingly come forward to serve and defend their country
from the dastardly intentions of our hypocritical "friends" across the
North Sea, and their crafty Emperor of the _volte-face_.

It is not the fault of the British public themselves. The blame rests
as an indelible blot upon certain members of the British Government,
who now stand in the pillory exposed, naked and ashamed. The apologetic
speeches of certain members of the Cabinet, and the subdued and altered
tone of certain influential organs of the Press, are, to the thinker,
all-sufficient proof.

In the insidious form of fiction--not daring to write fact after
my bitter experiences and the seal of silence set upon my lips--I
endeavoured, in my novel "Spies of the Kaiser" and other books, time
after time, to warn the public of the true state of affairs which was
being so carefully and so foolishly hidden. I knew the truth, but, in
face of public opinion, I dared not write it in other fashion.

Naturally, if the Government jeered at me, the public would do
likewise. Yet I confess that very often I was filled with the deepest
regret, and on the Continent I discussed with foreign statesmen, and
with the Kings of Italy, Servia, Roumania and Montenegro in private
audiences I was granted by them, what I dared not discuss in London.

Our national existence was certainly at stake. Lord Roberts knew it.
He--with members of the Cabinet--had read the Kaiser's fateful words
which I have here printed in the foregoing pages, and it was this
knowledge which prompted him to so strenuously urge the peril of our
unpreparedness until the outbreak of war.

The hypocrisy of the Kaiser is sufficiently revealed by the fact that
two months after his declaration at the Secret Council at Potsdam he
made a public speech at Strasburg on August 30th in which he assured
the world that the peace of Europe was not in danger.

In the same month, however, that the German Emperor disclosed his
secret intentions towards Great Britain, some important military
manoeuvres took place in Essex and were watched most closely by the
German authorities. The spy-peril had then commenced. It would seem
that the Kaiser took the keenest interest in the matter. Despite the
fact that there was an officially accredited German military attaché,
a number of German agents were also present, and among the number
was Count Eulenburg, a Secretary of the German Embassy in London. A
military correspondent of the _Daily Mail_ wrote that the Count's
taking of notes and making of sketches had excited a good deal of
adverse criticism among the British officers who were familiar with
the fact. The reports of all these secret agents were apparently to be
laid before the Kaiser, who was well aware of the significance of the
operations in Essex to both the German Army and Navy.

The only organ of the Press which recognised the spy-peril in its
earliest stages was the _Daily Mail_, which never ceased to point out
the imminent and serious danger, and to warn the public that Germany
meant us harm. Because of this open policy, it was from time to time
denounced by the deluded public--deluded because of official lies--for
what was termed its "scaremongerings." But recent events have surely
shown the world that that journal spoke the open truth, while all
others, and more especially a certain dear old delightful London daily
paper, so glibly told us that "there will be no war with Germany,"
while even three days before the outbreak of war this same journal
actually made a plea for "German Culture."

Culture indeed! Have not the modern Huns now revealed themselves?
What must readers of that paper now think? It has truly been said
that the influence of the half-naked barbarians who swept over the
Thuringian forests soon after the birth of Christianity has never been
totally eradicated. There is, _au fond_, an inherent brutality in the
German character which the saving grace of the art of music has never
destroyed, the brutality which caused the destruction of Louvain, of
Rheims, of Ypres, of Termonde, of Malines, the wreck of cathedrals and
churches, and the wholesale savage butchery of innocent men, women, and
even tiny children.

And this is the gallant and "cultured" nation which has been so admired
and eulogised by certain well-known papers: the nation which has so
cleverly spread its spies through every phase of our national life, and
made such elaborate plans for her conquest that, in her arrogance, she
has now risen to defy civilisation.

Here is one of many equally ridiculous extracts from that same journal
which pleaded for "German culture." It was published after a Zeppelin
had flown 610 miles, on January 1st, 1909:

  " ... as far as national danger goes, the thing is not yet within
  sight. 'Dirigibles' may, in the future, be useful for scouting and
  collecting intelligence when war has once begun, ... but talk about
  invasion by airship, or bombardment from the sky, need not, for a
  long time, be considered by ourselves or any other nation."

Again, a few days later, this same pro-German journal wrote:--

  "It is maintained by some of our contemporaries that Germany is
  struggling to regain her position of predominance in Europe, such as
  she held more than thirty years ago. That is not our reading of the

I will not quote more. There are dozens of such expressions of opinions
in the files of that unreliable organ of "public opinion."

Where should we have been to-day, I ask, had we suffered ourselves to
be led by the nose by this "patriotic" organ of the Press, which, with
its sinister commercialism on the declaration of war, urged upon us to
keep out of the fighting, and to capture the trade of our friends the
Belgians, French, and Russians?

This self-proclaimed organ of "humanitarianism" actually urged us to
stand aside and make capital out of the agonies of those countries at
war. I will quote the following from the article in its actual words on
August the 4th--the day upon which war was declared:--

  "If we remained neutral we should be, from the commercial point of
  view, in precisely the same position as the United States. We should
  be able to trade with all the belligerents (so far as the war allows
  of trade with them); we should be able to capture the bulk of their
  trade in neutral markets; we should keep our expenditure down; we
  should keep out of debt; we should have healthy finances."

And this same organ of humanitarianism has assured us, for years, that
no spies of Germany existed in England, and that war was utterly out of
the question. And the British public have paid their half-pennies for
such bamboozle! One sighs to think of it!

Times without number--even to-day as I write--this journal has sought
to ridicule those who attempt to tell the nation the truth concerning
the underground peril existing in every part of our islands. Its motive
for so doing may be left to the inquisitive.

Probably few men have travelled so constantly up and down Europe as
I have done, in search of material for my books. In the course of my
wanderings, and perhaps a somewhat erratic life on the Continent, I
have--ever since I recognised the spy-peril--made it my practice to
seek out the spies of Germany, and I know a good many of them.

An incident which may interest the reader occurred on October 29th,

I was on the platform of Waterloo Station buying a paper, and chatting
with the bookstall clerk, when I noticed a group of men, mostly in
shabby overcoats and presenting a woebegone appearance, surrounded
by a cordon of police in silver-trimmed helmets--county constabulary
from the North. An excited crowd had surrounded them, and as I glanced
across my attention was attracted by a man slightly better dressed than
the others, though his well-cut grey overcoat was somewhat shabby. As
his dark, narrow-set eyes met mine, he lifted his grey plush hat to
me, and smiled across in recognition.

For a moment I halted, puzzled. I had not realised that the group
of men were prisoners. The fellow's face was familiar, and the next
instant I recognised him. We had met a dozen times in various places
in Europe--the last time at Salvini's, in Milan, early in the previous
year. He was a well-known agent of the German General Staff, though I
had never met him before on British soil.

I crossed over to him, arousing the distinct suspicion of the
constables and the curiosity of the crowd of onlookers.

"You recollect me, Mr. Le Queux--eh?" he asked in good English, with a

"Of course," I said, for I could not help a grain of sympathy with him,
for, usually a resident of the best hotels, he was now herded with the
scum of his compatriots. "Well, what's the matter?"

"Matter!" he echoed. "You see! They've got me at last!"

"Speak French," I said in that language. "The police won't understand";
for the constable near him looked at me very suspiciously, and I had no
desire to be arrested on Waterloo platform.

"_Bien!_" said my friend, whom I will call by his assumed name, von
Sybertz, "I am arrested. It is the fortune of war! I am simply detained
as an alien, and we are going to Frimley, I hear. Do not say anything;
do not make it worse for me. That is all I ask, M'sieur Le Queux. You
know me--too well--eh?" and he grinned.

"I shall say nothing," was my reply. "But, in return, tell me what
you know. Tell me quickly," I urged, for I saw that the constables
were preparing to move the prisoners towards the train. "What is the

He shrugged his shoulders.

"Bad. My friends are frantic," he replied. "All their plans have
gone wrong. It is, I fear, our downfall. The Kaiser is mad. I have
no money. I came to England in the middle of August. I have been to
Portsmouth, to Rosyth, Hull, and Liverpool; now I am deserted. I was
arrested yesterday near Manchester, though I had registered as German
and thought myself safe. I was, as I have always been when in England,
a teacher of languages. It covers so much," and he smiled. "Is not this
meeting strange, eh? We have chatted together--and laughed together,
too--in Nice, Florence, Rome--in many places. And now, monsieur, you
have the laugh of me--eh? We must be beaten. Germany begins to know the

"No, not the laugh," I protested. "It is, as you say, the fortune of
war that you have been taken."

"Pass on, please," commanded the big constable gruffly at my elbow.

"And you?--you will say nothing? Promise me, M'sieur Le Queux," von
Sybertz urged again in French.

"I have promised," was my reply. "You are arrested--for me, that is
sufficient. I wish you no ill-will, though you are my enemy," I added.

"Ah, yes, you are English!" exclaimed the spy. "I knew--I have known
always that the English are gentlemen. _Au revoir_--and a thousand
thanks for your promise."

And my friend the spy--a man who, on account of his refined and
gentlemanly bearing, and the money which had, for years, been at
his command, was a particularly dangerous secret-agent of the
Kaiser--lifted his shabby grey hat politely, and then passed dolefully
on, with the big constable at his elbow, to the train which stood
waiting to convey him to that barbed-wire enclosure high upon Frith

I watched him pass out of my sight, while the crowd, on their part,
watched me in wonder. I knew I had aroused the suspicions of the police
by speaking in a foreign tongue. That meeting had been a strangely
dramatic one. In those moments there came up before me visions of past
meetings. Five years before, I had first known him living in a pretty
white villa, with palms in front, on Mont Boron, outside Nice, and
taking his lunch daily at the Reserve, at Beaulieu, one of the most
expensive luncheon-places in Europe. I had met him in the Russie in
Rome, in Doney's in Florence, and in the Pera Palace in Constantinople.
He was a gay, merry companion, and half a dozen times I had been to
variety theatres with him and to garish night-cafés afterwards. Yet
I knew him to be a German international spy, and so intimate had we
become that he had scarcely taken the trouble to conceal the fact from

In those few brief moments there had been enacted before me, at that
busy London terminus, the dénouement of a great life-drama, and, as the
spy disappeared, there arose before me recollections of the gay places
of Europe where we had before met--the Rooms at Monte Carlo, the Casino
at Trouville, and other places where he had been such a well-known
figure, always exquisitely dressed, always the acme of correctness, and
always a great favourite with the fair sex. What would the latter think
could they see him now?

In silence and in sorrow I have watched the proceedings of many a
German spy in this country--watched while the public have been lulled
to slumber by those who rule. Ah! it has all been a fearful comedy,
which has, alas! now ended in tragedy--the tragedy of our dead sons,
brothers and husbands who lie in unnumbered graves in France and in

My thoughts revert to individual cases which I have investigated
during recent years.

At Rosyth, I lived in an obscure hotel in Queensferry under the name of
William Kelly, enduring three weeks of wearisome idleness, boating up
and down the Firth of Forth, and watching, with interest, the movements
of two Germans. They had arrived in Edinburgh from a tourist-ship which
had touched at Leith. The first suspicion of them had been conveyed to
me by my friend Mr. D. Thomson, proprietor of the _Dundee Courier_, and
I sped north to investigate. In passing I may say that this journal
was one of the first--with the _Daily Mail_--to point out the danger
of German spies. My journey was not without result, for I waited, I
watched, and I returned to the Intelligence Department with certain
important details which proved to be the beginning of a long campaign.
Those two Germans, unsuspicious-looking professors with gold-rimmed
spectacles, were making elaborate maps. But these maps were not
ordnance maps, but maps of our weaknesses. Our secret agents followed
them to Plymouth, to Milford Haven, to Cromarty, and afterwards on a
tour through Ireland.

Surely it is betraying no confidence to say that one of our secret
agents--a man whose remarkable career I hope to some day record in the
guise of fiction--acted as their guide on that curious tour!

I know I have written times without number of spies in the form of
fiction. Many people have asked me, "Is it true?" To such I will say
that the dramas I have written, short and long, have been penned solely
with one single purpose--in order to call public attention to our peril.

Many of the stories I have written have been based upon actual fact.
Half a life spent in travelling up and down Europe has shown me most
conclusively how cleverly Germany has, with the aid of her spies, made
elaborate preparations to invade us.

So intimate have I been with Germany's secret agents that, during this
last Christmas, I had the _dis_pleasure of sending Compliments of the
Season to two of them!

I have dined at the Ritz in Paris on more than one occasion with the
yellow-toothed old Baroness X----, an Austrian, high-born, smart, and
covered with jewellery. With her she has usually one and sometimes two
pretty "nieces," who speak French, and pose as French. Perhaps they
are, but one may be forgiven if one is suspicious. The Baroness X----
always has on hand a goodly supply of these "nieces." I have met them
at Doney's in Florence, at Ciro's at Monte Carlo, at Maxim's in Paris,
at Shepheard's at Cairo. I have chatted with these young ladies at the
Hotel Hungaria in Budapest, at the Royal at Dinard, at the Grand in
Rome, and in the aviary at the Métropole at Brighton. But these merry
little "nieces" are always different! Baroness X---- and myself are in
entire agreement. She knows what I know, and she sent me a Christmas
card this season and dated from The Hague! She is certainly the ugliest
old lady I have ever met, a figure well known in every European
capital. Her speech is like the filing of brass. As a linguist,
however, she is really wonderful. I believe she speaks every European
language perfectly, and Arabic too, for she once told me, while we were
together on a steamer going down the Mediterranean, that she was born
in Smyrna, of Austrian parents.

As a spy of Germany she is unique, and I give her her due. She is
amazingly clever. To my certain knowledge, she and her nieces, two
years ago, while living in Nice beneath the same roof as myself,
obtained through a young artillery officer a remarkable set of plans
of the defences of the Franco-Italian frontier near the Col di Tenda.
Again, I know how she and her attendant couple of "nieces" were in
Ireland "on a tour" during the troubles of last year. And, further, I
also know how many a military secret of our own War Office has been
"collected" by one or other of those pretty cigarette-smoking flapper
"nieces," with whom I, too, have smoked cigarettes and chatted in
French or Italian.

How often have I seen one or other of these sirens--daughters of a
foreign countess as their dupes have believed them to be--driving about
London in private cars or in taxis, or supping at restaurants.

On a day in last November I found one of these interesting young
ladies, dark-haired and _chic_--Parisienne, of course--enjoying a
tête-à-tête luncheon at the Hut at Wisley, on the Ripley road, her
cavalier being a man in khaki. I wondered what information she was
trying to obtain. Yet what could I do? How could I act, and interrupt
such a perfectly innocent _déjeuner à deux_?

Yes, to the onlooker who knows, the manoeuvres are all very intensely
interesting, and would be most amusing, if they were not all so grimly
and terribly tragic.

And who is to blame for all this? Would it be suffered in Germany?

The law of libel, and a dozen other different Acts, are suspended over
the head of the unfortunate man who dares to risk ridicule and speak
the truth. Therefore, with my own personal experience of the utter
incapability of the Commissioner of Metropolitan Police to deal with
spies, or even to reply to correspondence I have addressed to his
hopeless department, and to the still greater discourtesy and amazing
chaos existing in his ruling department, the Home Office, I ask myself
whether it is of any use whatever _to trouble, or even exert oneself
further in the matter_? It is for my readers, the public themselves,
to demand the truth. The public are assuredly not blind to the fact
that air raids have been made upon us directed by spies.

I can only address these serious words to my circle of readers
throughout the Kingdom, and to make my bow, assuring them that while
they were being gulled and bamboozled by those whom they have so
foolishly trusted, I have, at personal loss to myself--which need not
be counted--done my level best to counteract the evil which Germany has
spread in our midst.

And my only request is that, by my works, constant and earnest as they
have been, I may be judged.



By every subtle and underhand means in her power Germany has prepared
for her supreme effort to conquer us.

Armies of her spies have swarmed, and still swarm, over Great Britain,
though their presence has been, and is even to-day, officially denied.

The method adopted at the outset was to scatter secret agents
broadcast, and to allot to each the collection of certain information.
Men, and women too, in all walks of life have made observations,
prepared plans, noted the number of horses locally, the fodder
supplies, the direction of telegraph-lines, the quickest method of
destroying communications, blowing up tunnels, etc.; in fact, any
information which might be of use in the event of a raid upon our

Each group of spies has acted under the direction of a secret-agent,
termed a "fixed post," and all have been, in turn, visited at
periods varying from one month to six weeks by a person not likely
to be suspected--usually in the guise of commercial-traveller,
debt-collector, or insurance-agent, who collected the reports and made
payments--the usual stipend being ten pounds per month. Some spies in
the higher walks of life were, of course, paid well, as much as one
thousand pounds a year being given in one case--that of a lady who,
until recently, lived in Kensington--and in another to a German who,
until a few weeks ago, was highly popular in the diplomatic circle.
The chief bureau, to which all reports from England were sent, was an
innocent-looking office in the Montagne de la Cour, in Brussels--hence
Ostend was so often made a rendezvous between spies and traitors.

It is certainly as well that the authorities have already taken
precautions to guard our reservoirs. As far back as five years ago,
a large number of the principal water supplies in England were
reconnoitred by a band of itinerant musicians, who, though they played
mournful airs in the streets, were really a group of very wide-awake
German officers. They devoted three months to the metropolis--where
they succeeded in making a complete plan of the water-mains supplying
East London--and then afterwards visited Manchester, Glasgow,
Birmingham, Liverpool, Leeds, and Newcastle. At the latter place they
were detected, and being warned by the authorities, fled. They were
"warned" because at that time there was no Act to deal with them.

Just at this juncture a most fortunate incident occurred, though
probably it will be met with an official denial. A young German who
had been making observations around Rosyth and beneath the Forth
Bridge, was detected, and fled. The police sought him out and he was
compelled to again fly without paying his rent, leaving his suit-case
behind. After a month the landlady took this bag to the police, who,
on opening it, found a quantity of documents, which were sealed up
and sent to London. They were soon found to be most instructive, for
not only was there a list of names of persons hitherto unsuspected of
espionage, but also a little book containing the secret code used by
the spies! Needless to say, this has been of the greatest use to those
engaged in the work of contra-espionage. Of the good work done by the
latter, the public, of course, know nothing, but it may be stated that
many a confidential report destined for Berlin was intercepted before
it reached the spy's post-office, the shop of the barber Ernst, in
London--to which I will later on refer--and many a judicious hint has
been given which has caused the suspect to pack his, or her, belongings
and return by the Hook of Holland route.

East Anglia has, of course, been the happy hunting ground of spies,
and the counties of Lincoln, Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex have, long
ago, been very thoroughly surveyed, and every preparation made for a
raid. It was found--as far back as four years ago--that next door, or
in the vicinity of most village post-offices near the coast-line of
those counties, a foreigner had taken up his residence, that German
hairdressers and jewellers were everywhere setting up shops where
custom did not warrant it; that Germans took sea-side furnished houses
or went as paying guests in the country, even in winter; while, of
course, the number of German waiters--usually passing as Austrians--had
increased greatly.

When the Kaiser rented Highcliffe Castle, in Hampshire, under the
pretext that he was ill, he brought with him no fewer than thirty
secretaries. Why? A foreigner who comes here to recuperate does not
want thirty secretaries--even though he may be an Emperor! Napoleon
never wanted such a crowd of scribblers about him.

But the truth was that these thirty secretaries were engaged with their
Imperial master-spy in reorganising and perfecting the various sections
of his amazing spy-system in this country--a system that the British
Government were with culpable untruthfulness declaring only existed in
the imagination of a novelist--myself. I wrote pointing out this, but
only execrations again fell upon my unfortunate head. I was laughed at
as a "sensationalist," scorned by the Party of Criminal Apathy, and a
dead set was made at me by a certain section of the Press to jeer at,
and crush myself and all my works into oblivion.

Let us go a step further. Mr. Anthony Nugent, who writes with
considerable authority in the _Globe_, shall here speak.

  "The oddest situation in England," he says, "was just before the
  outbreak of the war. We had then, not only an Ambassador's cloak in
  London covering Prince Lichnowsky, but a real Ambassador in Herr
  Kühlmann, Companion of the Victorian Order. [I wonder if he still
  wears the honourable insignia?] The Ambassador was an honest man, and
  believed that he had a free hand in trying to improve our relations
  with Germany. He was only here to give us 'taffy'--as the Yankees
  say. All his speeches at Oxford and at City banquets were sincere
  enough from his point of view, but he knew nothing of what was going
  on in the Chancelleries at Berlin, or downstairs in the Embassy
  residence at Carlton House Terrace.

  "Those who descend the Duke of York's steps in Pall Mall, will see
  a common, unpretentious door on the right hand side, part of the
  way down. That was one of the entrances to the Embassy, and quite a
  different class of people used it from those gay folk who came boldly
  in motor-cars to the front door, which sported the decoration of the
  Imperial eagle. It was by the lower door there passed the principals
  in the espionage system, and it was in the lower rooms that Herr
  Kühlmann interviewed his 'friends.' He was a tall, good-looking man,
  with a specious suggestion of being straightforward and open dealing,
  but probably there never was so tortuous-minded a person at the
  Embassy. He was there for many years, and knew all who were worth
  knowing. He it was who furnished the reports on which the Emperor
  and the Crown Prince acted.

  "Prince Lichnowsky, for instance, foresaw that in the event of war,
  the Unionists in Ulster would support the Government. Herr Kühlmann
  had sent over spies who masqueraded as journalists, and they came
  back from Belfast believing that civil war was inevitable. Herr
  Kühlmann accepted their view, and thus deceived the Kaiser and the
  German Chancellor. The same gentleman was much interested in the
  Indian movement, and I remember discussing with him the causes that
  led to the murder of a great Anglo-Indian official at the Imperial
  Institute. He was convinced that India was ripe for revolt. Again
  he deceived the Emperor on the subject. The German spy system was
  wide, and it was thorough, but its chief lacked imagination, and took
  niggling and petty views. In a word it is efficient in signalling,
  prying into arrangements, spreading false news, and securing minor
  successes, and that it can still do here, but had it realised how the
  whole world would be opposed to it, there would have been no war."

The gross licence extended to our alien enemies in peace-time has,
surely, been little short of criminal. Fancy there having been a
"German Officers' Club" in London, close to Piccadilly Circus! Could
anyone imagine an "English Officers' Club" in Berlin--or in any other
Continental capital, for the matter of that? In the first place, there
would not have been a sufficient number of English officers to run a
club, even if it had been allowed by the German authorities, which
would have been most unlikely. But, on the other hand, there were
enough German officers in London, not only to support a club, but to
give a large and expensive ball not very long ago at a well-known West
End hotel!

Germany has a large army, and a considerable navy, but is leave
lavished with such prodigality on her officers as to make it worth
their while to have a special club of their own in the metropolis?
One can hardly imagine this to be the case. Why, then, were there
so many German officers in London? We may be sure that they were
not here for the benefit of _our_ country. The German Officers'
Club was no secret society, and was, therefore, winked at by the
sleepy British authorities. The War Office may have argued that it
enabled them to keep an eye on them, and there may be something in
that plea. But what possible justification could have been found for
allowing a considerable number of German officers to assemble near
Southborough--between Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells--not so very long
ago, and to carry out what practically amounted to a "Staff Ride" in
the "Garden of England" over a very important strategic position? Fancy
such a piece of espionage being attempted in Germany! It is even known
that the German Ambassador dined with the officers in question.

Had the German Officers' Club been under observation, could this have
possibly been done without the cognisance of the authorities? The
authorities knew of all that was in progress, but calmly looked on,
and, as usual, did nothing. The downfall of England was being plotted,
but what did they care, so long as all went smoothly and they enjoyed
their own social standing and their own emoluments.

There is an air of refreshing candour and simplicity in the official
statement that no alien enemy is permitted to reside in a prohibited
area without a special licence granted, after his case has been
carefully examined, by the police.

Now, we know that proprietors and managers of hotels and licensed
premises, as well as prominent residents, are usually on good terms
with the police. It would surely be to their interest to cultivate good
relations with them. And as the Lord Chancellor has assured us that the
Germans are people of "greater astuteness," it is only reasonable to
suppose they would be particularly careful to entrust their spying work
in this country to only the smartest and most crafty emissaries.

One can imagine that a really clever German spy "bent on business" has
had but very little difficulty in hoodwinking the honest man in blue,
and obtaining from him the "permit" required for his signalling, or
other work on the coast.

The experiences of the last four months at Liége, Antwerp, Mons,
Rheims, Ypres, and other places, has taught us that it is not always
the alien who is the spy. In each of those towns men who had lived for
years as highly respectable and law-abiding citizens, and whom everyone
believed to be French or Belgian, suddenly revealed themselves as
secret agents of the invaders, acting as their guides, and committing
all sorts of outrages.

In our own country it is the same. There are to-day many who have lived
among us for years, and are highly respected, only waiting for the
signal to be given to commence their operations.

It is true that bombs from German air machines have been dropped on
English ground--one fell in a garden at Dover and damaged a cabbage, or
maybe two--also that Zeppelins flew over Norfolk and dropped bombs, but
so far no air fleet from Germany has given the signal for German spies
to start their arranged work of destruction in our midst, for the enemy
has declared with its usual cynical frankness that their army of spies
will only start their dastardly work when all is ready for the raid and
the fleet of Zeppelins sail over London and give the signal.



The German spy system, as established in England, may be classified
under various heads--military, naval, diplomatic, and also the _agents
provocateurs_, those hirelings of Germany who have, of late, been so
diligent in stirring up sedition in Ireland, and who, since the war
began, have endeavoured, though not successfully, to engineer a strike
of seamen at Liverpool and a coal strike.

First, every German resident in this country may be classed as a spy,
for he is, at all times, ready to assist in the work of the official
secret-agents of the Fatherland.

The military spy is usually a man who has received thorough instruction
in sketching, photography, and in the drafting of reports, and on
arrival here, has probably set up in business in a small garrison
town. The trade of jeweller and watchmaker is one of the most favoured
disguises, for the spy can rent a small shop, and though he cannot
repair watches himself, he can engage an unsuspecting assistant
to do so. Therefore, to all intents and purposes, his business is
a legitimate one. If he is a devout church or chapel-goer, and
subscribes modestly to the local charities, he will soon become known,
and will quickly number among his friends some military men from
whom he can obtain information regarding movements of troops, and
a-thousand-and-one military details, all of which he notes carefully in
his reports, the latter being collected by a "traveller in jewellery,"
who visits him at regular intervals, and who makes payment in exchange.

Every report going out of Great Britain is carefully tabulated and
indexed by a marvellous system in Berlin. These, in turn, are compared,
analysed and checked by experts, so that, at last, the information
received is passed as accurate, and is then indexed for reference.

Now the military spy also keeps his eyes and ears open regarding the
officers of the garrison. If an officer is in financial difficulties,
the fact is sent forward, and some money-lender in London will most
certainly come to his assistance and thus ingratiate himself as his
"friend." Again, there are wives of officers who are sometimes a little
indiscreet, and in more than one known case blackmail has been levied
upon the unfortunate woman, and then, suddenly, an easy way out of it
all has been craftily revealed to her by a blackguard in German pay.

From the wide-spread secret-service of Germany, nothing is sacred. The
German General Staff laughs at our apathy, and boasts that it knows all
about us, the military and civil population alike. In the archives
of its Intelligence Department there are thousands upon thousands
of detailed reports--furnished constantly throughout the past ten
years--regarding the lives and means of prominent persons in England,
with descriptions of their homes wherein, one day, the enemy hope to
billet their troops.

These unscrupulous men who act as "fixed-posts"--and it is no
exaggeration to say that there are still hundreds in England alone,
notwithstanding all official assurances to the contrary--have all gone
through an elaborate system of training in signalling, in reducing
messages to code, and in decoding them, in map-making, in the use of
carrier-pigeons, and, in some cases, in the use of secret wireless.

The naval spy works in a somewhat similar manner to his military
colleague. At every naval port in Great Britain it is quite safe to
assume that there are spies actively carrying on their work, though
it is quite true that one or two, who have long been under suspicion,
have now found it wise to disappear into oblivion. A favourite guise
of the spy in a naval port is, it seems, to pose as a hairdresser, for
in pursuance of that humble and most honourable calling, the secret
agent has many opportunities to chat with his customers, and thus learn
a good deal of what is in progress in both port and dockyard: what
ships are putting to sea, and the strength and dispositions of various
divisions of our navy. Cases in recent years of spies at Portsmouth,
Chatham, and Plymouth have revealed how active Germany has been in this

In one case, at Plymouth, a salary of £500 a year was offered to a Mr.
Duff for information regarding naval matters, on the pretext that this
information was required by a Naval and Military journal in Germany.
Mr. Duff, however, communicated with the authorities, who promptly
arrested the spy--a man named Schulz, who lived on a yacht on the
river Yealm. He was tried at the Devon Assizes and, certain documents
being found upon him, he was sentenced to a year and nine months'
imprisonment. What, we wonder, would have been his fate if he had been
British, and had been arrested in Germany?

Of diplomatic espionage little need be said in these pages. Every
nation has its secret service in diplomacy, a service rendered
necessary perhaps by the diplomatic juggling of unscrupulous
representatives of various nations. Many diplomatic spies are women
moving in the best society, and such persons abound in every capital in
the world.

The means of communication between the spy and his employers are
several. Innocent sketches may be made of woodland scenery, with a
picturesque windmill and cottage in the foreground, and woods in
the distance. Yet this, when decoded in Berlin--the old windmill
representing a lighthouse, the trees a distant town, and so
forth--will be found to be an elaborate plan of a harbour showing the
disposition of the mines in its channel!

Again, there are codes in dozens of different forms of letters or
figures with various combinations, key-numbers, cross-readings, etc.
There is the three-figure code, the five-figure code, and so on, all of
which, though difficult, can, if sufficient time be spent upon them, be
eventually deciphered by those accustomed to dealing with such problems.

Far more difficult to decipher, however, are communications written as
perfectly innocent ordinary correspondence upon trade or other matters,
yet, by certain expressions, and by mentioning certain names, objects,
or prices, they can be rightly read only by the person with whom those
meanings have been prearranged.

From the daring movements of the German Fleet in the North Sea it would
appear that, through spies, the enemy are well aware of the limit
and position of our mine-fields, while the position of every buoy is
certainly known. When the first attack was made upon Yarmouth, the
enemy took his range from certain buoys, and the reason the shells fell
short was that only the day before those buoys had been moved a mile
further out to sea.

Again, for many years--indeed, until I called public attention to the
matter--foreign pilots were allowed to ply their profession in the
Humber, and by that means we may rest assured that Germany made many
surveys of our East Coast.

The spies of Germany are to be found everywhere, yet the Home
Office and the police have shown themselves quite incapable of
dealing effectively with them. The War Office, under the excellent
administration of Lord Kitchener, has surely been busy enough with
military matters, and has had no time to deal with the enemy in our
midst. Neither has the Admiralty. Therefore the blame must rest upon
the Home Office, who, instead of dealing with the question with a firm
and drastic hand, actually issued a communiqué declaring that the spy
peril no longer existed!

As an illustration of Germany's subtle preparations in the countries
she intends to conquer, and as a warning to us here in Great Britain,
surely nothing can be more illuminating than the following, written
by a special correspondent of the _Times_ with the French Army near
Rheims. That journal--with the _Daily Mail_--has always been keenly
alive to the alien peril in England, and its correspondent wrote:--

  "Nowhere else in France have the Germans so thoroughly prepared their
  invasion as they did in Champagne, which they hoped to make theirs.
  In the opinion of the inhabitants of Épernay, the saving of the town
  from violent pillage is only due to the desire of the Germans not to
  ravage a country which they regarded as being already German soil.
  The wanton bombardment of Rheims is accepted almost with delight,
  as being a clear indication that the enemy has been awakened by the
  battle of the Marne from those pleasant dreams of conquest which
  inflamed the whole German nation with enthusiasm at the outset of the

  "The spy system thought out in time of peace in preparation for
  what is happening to-day has served Germany well, and every day the
  accuracy of German gunfire pays a tribute to the zeal and efficiency
  with which these loathsome individuals accomplish a task for which
  they have sold their honour as Frenchmen. Hardly a week passes
  without some fresh discovery being made. At the headquarters of
  the different army corps along this section of the front, hardly a
  day passes without the arrest and examination of suspect peasants
  or strangers from other provinces. Elaborate underground telephone
  installations have been discovered and destroyed.

  "One day a gendarme who wished to water his horse approached a well
  in the garden of an abandoned house. At the bottom of the well there
  was not truth but treason. Comfortably installed in this disused
  shaft a German spy was engaged in making his report by telephone to
  the German Intelligence Department.

  "The mentality of the spy can never be explained, for how can one
  account for the mixture of the fine quality of bravery and the
  despicable greed of money which will keep a man in a city like
  Rheims, exposed every hour of the day and night to death from the
  splinter of a shell fired at the town by his own paymasters? I do
  not suggest for a moment that of the 20,000 people who still inhabit
  the town of Rheims and its cellars there is any large proportion of
  traitorous spies, but to the French Intelligence Department there is
  no question whatsoever that there is still a very efficient spying
  organisation at work in the city."

Among us here in Great Britain, I repeat, are men--hundreds of
them--who are daily, nay hourly, plotting our downfall, and are
awaiting the signal to act as the German General Staff has arranged
that they shall act. To attempt to disguise the fact longer is
useless. We have lived in the fool's paradise which the Government
prepared for us long enough. We were assured that there would be no
war. But war has come, and thousands of the precious lives of our
gallant lads have been lost--and thousands more will yet be lost.

We cannot trust the German tradesman who has even lived long among
us apparently honourable and highly respected. A case in point is
that of a man who, for the past twenty-six years, has carried on a
prosperous business in the North of London. At the outbreak of war he
registered himself as an alien, and one day asked the police for a
permit to travel beyond the regulation five miles in order to attend
a concert. He was watched, and it was found that, instead of going to
the concert, he had travelled in an opposite direction, where he had
met and conferred with a number of his compatriots who were evidently
secret agents. This is but one illustration of many known cases in the

Can we still close our eyes to what Germany intends to do? The
Government knew the enemy's intentions when, in 1908, there was placed
before them the Emperor's speech, which I have already reproduced.

Perhaps it may not be uninteresting if I recount how I myself was
approached by the German General Staff--and I believe others must have
been approached in a like manner. The incident only serves to show the
"astuteness"--as Lord Haldane has so well put it--of our enemies.

One day, in September, 1910, I received through a mutual friend, a
lady, an invitation to dine at the house of a prominent official at
the War Office, who, in his note to me, declared that he had greatly
admired my patriotism, and asked me to dine _en famille_ one Sunday
evening. I accepted the invitation, and went. The official's name, I
may here say, figures often in your daily newspapers to-day. To my
great surprise, I found among the guests the German Ambassador, the
Chancellor of the Embassy, the Military and Naval Attachés with their
ladies, and several popular actors and actresses.

In a corner of the drawing-room after dinner, I found myself chatting
with a German Attaché, who turned the conversation upon my anti-German
writings. By his invitation, I met him at his club next day. He
entertained me to an expensive luncheon, and then suddenly laughed at
me for what he termed my misguided propaganda.

"There will be no war between your country and mine," he assured me.
"You are so very foolish, my dear Mr. Le Queux. You will ruin your
reputation by these fixed ideas of yours. Why not change them? We
desire no quarrel with Great Britain, but we, of course, realise that
you are doing what you consider to be your duty."

"It _is_ my duty," I responded.

My diplomatic friend sucked at his cigar, and laughed.

"As a literary man you, of course, write to interest the public. But
you would interest your public just as _easily_ by writing in _favour_
of Germany--and, I tell you that we should quickly recognise the favour
you do us--_and recompense you for it_."

I rose from my chair.

I confess that I grew angry, and I told him what was in my mind.

I gave him a message to his own Secret Service, in Berlin, which was
very terse and to the point, and then I left the room.

But that was not all. I instituted inquiries regarding the official at
the War Office who had been the means of introducing us, and within a
fortnight that official--whose dealings with the enemy were proved to
be suspicious--was relieved of his post.

I give this as one single instance of the cunning manner in which the
German Secret Service have endeavoured to nobble and bribe me, so as to
close my mouth and thus combat my activity.

Another instance was when the Norddeutscher Lloyd Line, of Bremen,
kindly invited me to take a voyage round the world, free of expense,
so that I might visit the various German colonies and write some
descriptions of them. And, on a third occasion, German diplomats were
amazingly kind to me, both in Constantinople and in Belgrade, and
again broadly hinted at their readiness to win me over to their side.

How pitiable, how absolutely criminal our apathy has been!

Do not the souls of a million dead upon the battlefields of France
and Belgium rise against the plotters to-day? Does not the onus of
the frightful loss of the flower of our dear lads lie, not upon
our four-hundred-a-year legislators, but upon some of the golfing,
dividend-seeking, pushful men who have ruled our country through the
past ten years?

Without politics, as I am, I here wish to pay a tribute--the tribute
which the whole nation should pay--to Mr. Lloyd George and his
advisers, who came in for so much adverse criticism before the war.
I declare as my opinion--an opinion which millions share--that the
manner in which the Chancellor of the Exchequer faced and grappled with
the financial situation at the outbreak of war, was an illustration
of British pluck, of coolness and of readiness that is unequalled in
our history. The poor suffered nothing, and to-day--even though we
are struggling for our very existence--we hear not a word of that
winter-cry "The Unemployed."

I trust, therefore, that the reader will find my outspoken criticisms
just, and perfectly without prejudice, for, as I have already stated,
my only feeling is one of pure patriotism towards my King and the
country that gave me birth.

Though I am beyond the age-limit to serve in the Army, it is in
defence of my King and country, and in order to reveal the naked truth
to a public which has so long been pitiably bamboozled and reassured,
that I have ventured to pen this plain, serious, and straightforward
indictment, which no amount of official juggling can ever disprove.



Some of the cases of espionage within my own knowledge--and into
many of them I have myself made discreet inquiry--may not prove
uninteresting. Foreign governesses, usually a hard-worked and
poorly-paid class, are often in a position to furnish important
information, and very serious cases have recently been proved against
them. These young women have lived in the intimacy of the homes
of men of every grade, Cabinet Ministers, Members of Parliament,
financiers, officers of both Services, and officials of every class.
By the very nature of their duties, and their extreme intimacy with
their employers, they are, naturally, in a position to gather much
valuable information, and often even to get sight of their employers'
correspondence, which can easily be noted and handed over to the proper
quarter for transmission to Berlin.

Here is a case already reported by me. Not very long ago, in the
service of a very well-known Member of Parliament living in Essex,
lived a clever, good-looking, and intensely musical young German
governess, who was regarded by the Member's wife as "a perfect
treasure," and who took the greatest interest in her two little
charges. For over two years Fräulein had been in the service of this
pleasant household, being, of course, regarded as "one of the family."

In the grounds of the big country house in question was a secluded
summer-house, and here Fräulein was in the habit of reading alone, and
writing her letters. One hot summer's afternoon she had gone there as
usual, when about an hour later one of the under-gardeners, in passing,
saw her lying back in her chair unconscious. She had been seized with
a fit. He raised the alarm, she was carried back to the house, and the
doctor was at once telephoned for.

Meanwhile her mistress, greatly alarmed, went out to the summer-house
in order to see whether her unconsciousness could be accounted for.
Upon the table she noticed a number of documents which did not appear
to be letters which a governess might receive, and, on examination,
she found to her dismay that, not only were they carefully-written
reports of conversations between her husband and a certain Cabinet
Minister who had been their guest during the previous week-end, but
there were also copies of several confidential letters from one of the
Government departments to her husband. That the girl was a clever and
most dangerous spy was at once proved, yet, rather than there should be
any unpleasant publicity, the girl was, that same night, packed off
unceremoniously across to the Hook of Holland.

In another instance a German governess in the employ of an officer's
wife at Chatham was discovered endeavouring to obtain confidential
information; and in a third, at Plymouth, a charming young lady was
caught red-handed.

These three glaring cases are within my own knowledge; therefore,
there probably have been many others where, after detection, the girls
have been summarily dismissed by their employers, who, naturally, have
hesitated to court publicity by prosecution.

It therefore behoves everyone employing a foreign governess--and more
especially anyone occupying an official position--to be alert and
wary. Many of these young ladies are known to have been trained for
the dastardly work which they have been so successfully carrying out,
and, while posing as loyal and dutiful servants of their employers, and
eating at their tables, they have been listening attentively to their

We have, of late, been told a good deal of the danger of secret agents
among the alien staffs of hotels, and, in deference to public opinion,
the authorities have cleared our hotels of all Germans and Austrians.
Though holding no brief for the alien servant, I must say, at once,
that I have never known one single instance of a hotel servant of
lower grade being actually proved to be a secret agent. It is a fact,
however, that among the hall-porters of some of the principal hotels
were, until the outbreak of war, several well-known spies. The class of
person who is much more dangerous is the so-called "naturalised" alien.
Among these are, no doubt, spies, men who have long ago taken out
naturalisation papers for the sole purpose of blinding us, and of being
afforded opportunities to pursue their nefarious calling. To-day, while
thousands of men who have for years worked hard for a living are in
idleness in detention camps, these gentry are free to move about where
they will because they are so-called British subjects.

Surely the heart of a German is always German, just as the heart of
a true-born Briton is always British, whatever papers he may sign. I
contend that every German who has been "naturalised" during the last
seven years should be treated as other aliens are treated, and we
should then be nearer the end of the spy-peril.

"Naturalised" foreign baronets, financiers, merchants, ship-owners,
and persons of both sexes of high social standing, constitute a very
grave peril in our midst, though Mr. McKenna has not yet appeared to
have awakened to it, even though the Press and the public are, happily,
no longer blind to the German preparations. In the month of November,
while spies were being reported in hundreds by the public themselves,
the Home Office was actually engaged in holding an inquiry _into
whether there had really been any atrocities committed by the German
soldiery in Belgium_! And I was officially asked to assist in this!

As far as can be gathered from Mr. McKenna's reply in November to the
Parliamentary attack on the methods of dealing with the spy peril,
the position was still a most unsatisfactory one. Though he admitted
that we still have 27,000 enemy aliens at large among us, nobody is
assumed to be a spy unless he is an unnaturalised German. Even if he
fulfils this condition, he is then to be caught "in the act" of spying,
or if really strong suspicion be aroused, some evidence against him
may be "looked for." But until this is "found," and so long as he
complies with the posted-up registration orders, etc., he may continue
unmolested. In short, after the steed is stolen, our stable door may be

One sighs in despair. Could anything be more hopeless? If the matter
were not so very serious, the position would be Gilbertian in its

Though we are at war, our sons being shot down and our national
existence threatened, yet there is yet another very strong factor in
favour of the German spy. According to Mr. McKenna, he himself is
only responsible for the London district, while elsewhere the County
Constabulary, under the Chief Constables of Counties, are "to pay every
attention to representations of the naval and military authorities,"
in the matter of hostile espionage.[2]

This strikes me as one of the finest examples of "how not to do it"
that we have heard of for some time, and it must indeed be a source of
delight to the secret "enemy within our gates." Fancy such a ridiculous
regulation in Germany!

Of some of the hundreds of cases of undoubted espionage which have been
brought to my notice since the outbreak of war, I will enumerate a few.

One was that of two Germans who--posing as Poles--rented a large
country house at £150 a year, bought a quantity of furniture, and
settled down to a quiet life. The house in question was situated at a
very important point on the main London and North Western Railway, and
the grounds ran down to a viaduct which, if destroyed, would cut off
a most important line of communication. The suspicion of a neighbour
was aroused. He informed the police, and a constable _in full uniform_
began to make inquiries of the neighbours, the result being that the
interesting pair left the house one night, and have not since been

Outside London, the county constabulary are making praiseworthy efforts
to find spies, but when men in uniform set out to make inquiries--as
they unfortunately do in so many cases--then the system becomes

The same thing happened in a small coast town in Norfolk where
signalling at night had been noticed. Indeed, in two instances in the
same town, and again in Dunbar, the appearance of the police inspector
caused the flight of the spies--as undoubtedly they were.

As regards the county of Norfolk, it has long received the most careful
attention of German secret agents. At the outbreak of war the Chief
Constable, Major Egbert Napier, with commendable patriotism, devoted
all his energies to the ferreting out of suspicious characters, spies
who were no doubt settled near and on the coast in readiness to assist
the enemy in case of an attempted landing. By Major Napier's untiring
efforts a very large area has been cleared, more especially from Cromer
along by Sheringham, Weybourne--a particularly vulnerable point--and
from Cley-next-the-Sea to Wells and King's Lynn.

Major Napier engaged, at my instigation, a well-known detective-officer
who, for some years, had been engaged at the Criminal Investigation
Department at New Scotland Yard, specially attached to deal with
German criminals for extradition back to Germany. He was a Russian,
naturalised English, and spoke German perfectly, being born in
Riga--and an ideal officer to inquire into the whole German spy system
in Norfolk.

Well, after Major Napier had asked him to go forth on his mission, I
saw him and wished him all success. Within a fortnight this shrewd
officer returned to me with a hopeless story. Wherever he went the
Coastguard refused to tell him anything, or any of their suspicions,
as they said they were sworn to secrecy, while the superintendents
and inspectors of the Norfolk Constabulary--with few exceptions--even
though he bore proper credentials signed by the Chief Constable
himself, actually _refused to give him any assistance or information

This keen and clever detective-officer returned to the Chief Constable
of Norfolk and told him that he was certain spies still existed along
the coast, but expressed regret at the hopeless state of affairs.

If any Government authority would like to question the officer upon his
experiences, I shall be pleased to furnish that department with his
private address.

I had a curious experience myself in Norfolk.

In a field, high upon the cliff between Cromer and Runton, I last
year established a high-power wireless installation. When in working
order--with a receiving range of 1,500 miles or more, according to
atmospheric conditions--I allowed visitors to inspect it. There came
along certain inquisitive persons with a slight accent in their speech,
and of these I believe no fewer than eight are now interned. It formed
quite an interesting trap for spies!

From the great mass of authentic reports of German spies lying before
me as I write, it is difficult to single out one case more illuminating
than another.

It may perhaps be of interest, however, to know that I was the first to
report to the authorities a secret store of German arms and ammunition
in London, afterwards removed, and subsequently seized after the
outbreak of war. Other stores have, it is said, been found in various
parts of the country, the secrets of which, of course, have never been
allowed to leak out to the public, for fear of creating alarm.

That secret stores of petrol, in readiness for that raid upon us by
Zeppelins which Germany has so long promised, have been thought to
exist in Scotland, is shown by the reward of £100, offered by the
Commander-in-Chief in Scotland for any information leading to the
discovery of any such bases.

But in connection with this, the situation is really most ludicrous.
Though, on November 8th, 1914, a London newspaper reproduced a copy of
the poster offering the reward--a poster exhibited upon hoardings all
over Scotland--yet the Press Censor actually issued to the London Press
orders to suppress all fact or comment concerning it! We may surely ask
why? If Scotland is told the truth, why may not England know it?

Between Rye and Winchelsea of late, on four occasions, people have been
detected flashing lights from the most seaward point between those
places to German submarines. In fact, two of the spies actually had
the audacity to build a shanty from which they signalled! This matter
was promptly reported by certain residents in the locality to the
Dover military authorities, but they replied that it was "out of their
division." Then they reported to the Admiralty, but only received the
usual typewritten "thanks" in these terms:--

  "The Director of the Intelligence Division presents to Mr. ---- his
  compliments, and begs to acknowledge with thanks the receipt of his
  letter of ----.

  "Admiralty War Staff: Intelligence Division."

Now what happened?

Early in the morning of December 10th, in the midst of a thick hazy
rain, half-a-dozen German submarines are reported to have made a daring
dash for the western entrance of Dover Harbour, where several of our
warships were lying at anchor. Fortunately they were discovered by
men working the searchlights, heavy guns were turned upon them, and
one submarine, if not more, was sunk. We have to thank spies in the
vicinity for this attempt, in which we so narrowly escaped disaster.
If not through spies, how could the enemy have known that, just at the
time the attack was made, Dover was without its boom-defence? And the
question arises whether the spies were those detected near Rye?

In all probability there exists somewhere in the neighbourhood a secret
wireless station sufficiently powerful to send intelligence say five
miles to sea by day, and double that distance at night. By this means
the enemy's submarines could easily learn the truth. Therefore the
authorities should lose no time in making domiciliary visits to any
house where a suspect may be living.

And if secret wireless exists near Dover, then there may be--as there
probably are, since small wireless stations are not costly to fit up,
and could, till the outbreak of war, be purchased without arousing the
least suspicion--other stations in the vicinity of other of our naval
bases, the peril of which will easily be recognised.

The replies by the Admiralty to persons who give information are curt
and unsatisfactory enough, yet if a resident in the Metropolitan area
writes to the Chief Commissioner of Police upon a serious matter
concerning espionage--he will _not even receive the courtesy of a
reply_! At least, that has been my own experience. It is appalling to
think that the authorities are so utterly incapable of dealing with the
situation to-day, even though our men are laying down their lives for
us, and fighting as only Britons can fight.

Existence of carefully-prepared concrete emplacements, in readiness
for the huge German Krupp guns, has been reported to me from a dozen
different quarters--sometimes they are concealed in the form of a
concrete carriage-drive, in others as a tennis-court, or a yard
enclosed by stables. Workmen who have actually been employed in
laying them down, and have given me the enormous thicknesses of the
concrete used, have communicated with me, and indicated where these
long-considered preparations of the enemy are to-day to be found.

But as it is nobody's business, and as Mr. McKenna has assured us that
we are quite safe, and that the spy-peril has been snuffed-out, the
position is here again hopeless, and we are compelled to live daily
upon the edge of a volcano.

Oh! when will England rub her eyes and awaken?

As events have proved in Belgium and France, so here, in our own
dear country, I fear we have spies in every department of the public
service. I say boldly, without fear of contradiction--that if our
apathetic Home Department continues to close its eyes as it is now
doing, we shall be very rudely stirred up one day when the Zeppelins
come in force--as the authorities fear by the darkening of London. From
the lessons taught us in France, I fear that in every department of our
public services, the post-office, the railways, the docks, the electric
generating-stations, in our arsenals, in our government factories, and
among those executing certain government contracts--everywhere, from
Wick to Walmer--the spy still exists, and he is merely awaiting the
signal of his masters to strike: to blow up bridges and tunnels, to
destroy water-supplies, docks, power-stations and wireless-stations:
to cut telegraphs and telephones, and to create panic--a sudden and
fearful panic--which it would be to the interest of the invaders to

At my suggestion the Postmaster-General, at the outbreak of war,
ordered each letter-carrier in the Kingdom to prepare lists of
foreigners on their "walk," and upon those lists hundreds of
arrests of aliens took place. No doubt many spies were "rounded-up"
by this process, but alas! many still remain, sufficient of the
"naturalised,"--even those "naturalised" after the war,--to form a very
efficient advance-guard to our invading enemy, who hate us with such a
deadly, undying hatred.

If Zeppelins are to raid us successfully they must have secret bases
for the supply of petrol for their return journey. Such bases can only
be established in out-of-the-way places where, on descending, air-craft
would not be fired upon. The moors, those of Yorkshire, Dartmoor, and
certain districts of Scotland and the Lake Country, are admirably
adapted for this purpose, for there are spots which could easily be
recognised from the air--by the direction of the roads, running like
ribbons across the heather--where considerable stores could easily be
secreted without anyone being the wiser.

This is a petrol war, and if any raid is attempted upon the country,
petrol will be wanted in great quantities by the enemy. Is it
not, therefore, with our knowledge of Germany's long-completed
preparations at Maubeuge, Antwerp, along the heights of the Aisne,
and in other places, quite safe to assume that considerable--even
greater--preparations have already been made in our own country--made
in the days when the British public were lulled to sleep by the
Judas-like assurances of the Kaiser and his friendly visits to our
King, and when any honest attempt to lift the veil was met with abuse
and derision. If we assume that preparations have been made, it is,
surely, our duty to now discover them.

Petrol and ammunition are the two things which the enemy will want
if they dare to attempt a dash upon our coast. Therefore it would be
very wise for the authorities to make a house-to-house visitation,
and search from garret to cellar all premises until lately occupied
by aliens in the Eastern Counties, and all houses still occupied by
"naturalised" foreigners, who, if they were honestly "British subjects"
as they declare, could not possibly object.

There are many licensed premises, too, held by the "naturalised,"
and the cellars of these should certainly be searched. Hundreds of
"naturalised" Germans and Austrians are living--immune from even
suspicion. They are of all grades, from watchmakers and hotel-keepers
to wealthy financiers.

If only the Government would deal with the "naturalised," as any sane
system of Government would in these unparalleled circumstances, then
it would give a free hand to the Chief Constables of Lincolnshire,
Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, and Kent to clear out, once and for ever, the
canker-worm of espionage which has, alas! been allowed to eat so very
nearly into Britain's heart.

I am not affected by that disease known as spy-mania. I write only of
what I know, of what I have witnessed with my own eyes and have heard
with my own ears.

I therefore appeal most strongly, with all my patriotism, to the
reader, man or woman, to pause, to reflect, to think, and to demand
that justice shall, at this crisis of our national life, be done.

We want no more attempts to gag the Press, no evasive speeches in the
House--no more pandering to the foreign financier or bestowing upon him
Birthday Honours: no more kid-gloved legislation for our monied enemies
whose sons, in some cases, are fighting against us, but sturdy, honest
and deliberate action--the action with the iron-hand of justice in the
interests of our own beloved Empire.


[Footnote 2: Even at this moment of our peril, it is doubtful if the
public will find at New Scotland Yard a single detective able to
pass himself off as a German and thus be in a position to make close
investigation. There are, certainly, several who speak German, but
in a dozen words they betray their British nationality. Surely the
police cannot hope for good results without possessing agents competent
to carry out what is a difficult and delicate task. The Extradition
Department is no longer what it was under Chief-Inspector Greenham.]



We shall probably never be able to realise a hundredth part of what
Germany has done by her spy system, but we know enough to realise
that, for years, no country and no walks of life--from the highest to
the lowest--have been free from the presence of her ubiquitous and
unscrupulous secret agents. Nothing in the way of espionage has been
too large, or too small, for attention.

Her spies have swarmed in all cities, and in every village; her agents
have ranked among the leaders of social and commercial life, and
among the sweepings and outcasts of great communities. The wealthiest
of commercial men have not shrunk from acting as her secret agents.
She has not been above employing beside them the very dregs of the
community. No such a system has ever been seen in the world; I hope it
is safe to say that no such system will ever be seen again. Indeed,
so despicable is this German spy system that even the leader of the
Opposition in the Reichstag, Herr Richter, one day rose from his
seat and protested against "the more than doubtful morality of the
individuals employed." This protest was made because it was known that
the Secret Service of Germany countenanced rank immorality and vice,
the suborning of high officials, and the shameless engagement of women
of ill-fame in the search for information. The official feeling in
Germany concerning such debased methods was well illustrated by the
reply of Herr Von Puttkamer, the Minister for the Interior, who said:--

  "It is the right and duty of the State to employ special and
  extraordinary methods, and even if that honest and estimable
  functionary, Police-Councillor Rumpff, has employed the methods of
  which he is accused, in order to secure for the State the benefits of
  useful intelligence, I here publicly express to him my satisfaction
  and thanks."

That statement is certainly informing. It reveals to us the low, vile
methods of our enemies.

The German spy system, as we know it to-day, is the creation of one
Carl Stieber, and it dates back to about the year 1850.

Stieber, who was an obscure Saxon, began his career of espionage by
betraying the revolutionary Socialists, with whom he pretended to
sympathise, and so successful was he in this respect that he very
soon obtained employment among the regular police, and was afterwards
created head of a department which finally worked quite independently,
and was beyond police control.

Stieber could never have achieved the success he did but for the luck
or good management which, during his work among the revolutionaries,
brought him to the notice of Frederick William, the King of Prussia.
Under the royal patronage he was secure against counter-plotters among
the military and the police, both of whom hated him beyond measure
as an interloper who was seen to be dangerous to their interests.
Up to this time, it should be remembered, the game of espionage, so
far as military matters were concerned, had been a matter solely
for the military authorities, and they did not fail to resent
the new influence, which very speedily threatened to make itself
all-powerful--as, indeed, it ultimately did--in this particular field
of Prussian activity.

It must not be supposed that Stieber--upon whose model the Russian
Secret Police was afterwards established--confined his activities to
either the enemies or the criminals of Prussia. He established a close
watch on persons even of high rank, and many a tit-bit of information
went to regale the mind of his royal master. In a sense, Frederick
William was, like the modern Kaiser, the master-spy, for without his
confidence Stieber could never have achieved the success he did,
against both the military and the police, influences which, even in
those days, were almost, but not quite, all-powerful in Germany.

Stieber's greatest achievement in the field of actual spying was his
work which led to the crushing of Austria at Sadowa in 1866. At this he
laboured for years, and it is not too much to say that his work assured
the success of the campaign. By the time the Prussian armies were on
the move, Stieber had established such an army of spies and agents
throughout Bohemia, that it was a matter of absolute impossibility for
the unfortunate Austrians to make a single move without information
being promptly carried to their enemies.

So successful was Stieber's method found, that it was only natural that
it should be tried in other countries. France was the next victim, and
the campaign of 1870-71 is so recent that it is hardly necessary to do
more than remind the reader how thoroughly the Germans were served by
their spy system.

As in the present war, the advancing Germans found, in every town
and village, swarms of agents who were ready to provide them with
information and guidance, and it was even said that the German invaders
were better acquainted with the country they were attacking than
were the officers entrusted with its defence. We have seen the same
thing in the present war, when time after time the Germans have been
led into towns and districts by men who have lived there for years
and, in many cases, had even become naturalised Frenchmen the better
to carry on their work. It speaks volumes for the perfection of the
German military machine that, on the outbreak of hostilities, these men
should have been able, without the slightest difficulty, to join the
corps operating in the districts with which they had become perfectly
familiar by years of residence.

And they were able, not merely to give topographical information, but
even to indicate where stores of food and petrol could be found, and
to point out to their comrades where the best prospects of loot and
plunder existed.

All this was merely a natural development of the system which Carl
Stieber established, and which his successors have developed to the
highest pitch of unscrupulous perfection.

After the war of 1870-71, the system which Stieber invented found
its place in German administration, and it has continued ever since
as a separate and highly-organised department, spending vast sums of
money--about £720,000 a year--and extending its ramifications to an
incredible extent. It may be mentioned, incidentally, that its workings
and methods have been copied by the German commercial world, and many
a British employer has, during the past few years, paid dearly through
his closest commercial secrets being given away to his keenest German
rivals by the patient, diligent and hard-working German clerk, who
was willing to work for a mere pittance for the advantage of "learning
English" and studying British methods.

There cannot now be the slightest doubt that thousands of these German
employees were, before the war, really in the pay of German firms, and
were busily engaged in sending to Germany all the information they
could possibly pick up which would tend to help the German and injure
the British merchant and manufacturer.

I hope they have over-reached themselves, and that when the war is over
we shall see a great deal less of the English worker being supplanted
by spying Germans, whose apparent cheapness has been the costliest
labour Englishmen have ever employed.

"Never trust or employ a German, and always make him pay cash" ought to
be the British commercial motto for the future.

Stieber died in the early nineties, but he was succeeded by others
quite as clever, and even more unscrupulous than himself, some
of whom--though by no means all--have become faintly known to us
through the revelations made in the too few cases of espionage where
prosecution has been undertaken by our sleepy authorities. I say "very
few," of course, in the comparative meaning of the phrase. Actually,
there have been a fair number of cases, but when we consider the
slyness of German methods we must come to the conclusion that not a
fraction of the whole have been dealt with, in spite of the amusing
claim of Mr. McKenna that he has succeeded in smashing the German spy
organisation in this country. Our leniency in this respect is a matter
of amazement to people in France, and other countries where, from
bitter experience, the German spy-peril is better understood, and it is
also a matter of some resentment. Every blow at England, it is argued,
injures the cause of the Allies as a whole, and the worst blows are
likely enough to be struck by the undetected and unpunished spy.

In almost every case of espionage in England in recent years, the name
of Steinhauer, "of Potsdam," has figured prominently. He is, at the
moment, the chief of the Kaiser's spy-system, and there is no doubt
that he fully enjoys the confidence and friendship of his royal master.

Steinhauer--as he is known to our Secret Service--is an officer in
the Prussian Guard, and is about forty years of age. Personally, he
is a man of charming manners, of splendid education, and of excellent
presence, capable of taking his place--as he has frequently done--in
the very best society. Steinhauer--the man of a hundred aliases--acting
under the direct instructions of the Kaiser, and with the closest
support and co-operation of the German military authorities,
established in England such a network of naval and military spies as,
when it was tardily discovered, fairly made our authorities aghast.

The allegations I have made in these pages are borne out by Mr.
McKenna's own admission, that hardly anything was done in the matter
until about the year 1911; yet, as I have indicated, long before this
the Germans were actually plotting war against England, and were
preparing for it and looking forward to the day when they might hope to
wage it with every prospect of success.

The following extract from a public statement by the Home Secretary
is worth quoting. It will be noticed that Steinhauer's name is
not mentioned, but there is no doubt that he was the head of the
organisation of which the Home Secretary speaks.

Mr. McKenna stated in his remarkable and somewhat ludicrous communiqué
of October 9th, 1914:--

  "The Special Intelligence Department ... was able in three years,
  from 1911 to 1913, to discover the ramifications of the German
  Secret Service in England. In spite of enormous effort and lavish
  expenditure by the enemy, little valuable information fell into their
  hands.... There is good reason to believe that the spy organisation,
  crushed at the outbreak of the war, has not been re-established....
  How completely that system had been suppressed in the early days of
  the war is clear from the fact disclosed in a German Army Order--that
  on 21st August the German military commanders were ignorant of the
  dispatch and movements of the British Expeditionary Force, although
  these had been known for many days to a large number of people in
  this country."

Such an attempt as this to lull us into a false sense of security was
little short of criminal.

If not from spies, asked a correspondent of the _Globe_, from whom did
Germany obtain, in 1912, the very valuable information that oil was
to be the sole source of motive power for the "Queen Elizabeth" (v.
_Taschenbuch der Kriegsflotten_, January, 1913)? Certainly not from
any English official source; for we were kept entirely in the dark as
to this momentous change until the _Morning Post_ announced in July,
1913, that the battleship in question would consume liquid fuel only.
Even minor details did not escape the notice of German spies during the
period specified by Mr. McKenna. For instance, the _Taschenbuch_ for
1914 contains this statement:--

  "'Hermes,' at present tender to air-craft, and as such only carries
  eight 6in. guns."

Yet it was not until the "Hermes" had been sunk in the Channel by a
German submarine, that any official statement was made as to how she
had been employed and her armament reduced!

Again, there is irrefutable evidence to show that German agents were
ready waiting in France for the disembarkation of at least some details
of the British Expeditionary Force, and the whole world knows that the
German Emperor's insolent reference to Sir John French's Army was made
_before August 21st_.

Further evidence of the activity of German spies before and since
the outbreak of the war is to be found in the following extract from
a letter written by an English naval officer, and published in the
_Times_ of November 20th under the heading, "In the North Sea":--

  "Their (_i.e._, the Germans') submarines are outside even now, and it
  seems funny where they get their information. But, at any rate, they
  are well served, as they knew where the Fleet was when we were at
  Devonport, and we did not know ourselves."

Taking all these facts into consideration, it is evident that the
German spy system is more than a match for the Intelligence Division of
the Admiralty War Staff.

Steinhauer--the chief of German Espionage--was the author and
inspiration of these "enormous efforts," and of the lavish expenditure
of money.

With unlimited means at his disposal from the German Secret Service
funds, a close personal friend of the Kaiser, a man of undoubted
ability, great charm of manner and unquestionable daring, the man
known as Steinhauer must be ranked as one of the most dangerous of our
enemies. I have met him more than once. He speaks English practically
like an Englishman, and, out of uniform, might well pass for an
Englishman in any cosmopolitan gathering. About eight years ago he
was appointed to look after the German Secret Service, with special
instructions from the Emperor to particularly devote himself to England.

He made frequent visits to this country; he got to know many German
residents here of the better class, whose efforts might be of value to
him, and within twelve months--while our red-tape-tangled Government
Departments closed their eyes and dreamed--had actively at work a swarm
of agents in every dockyard town and garrison where the picking up of
information of value would be possible or likely. How he must have
smiled! Every important town and city, many villages on the coast,
every naval base had its agent or agents, and there can be no doubt
that it was the result of Steinhauer's wonderful activities that at
last aroused even the supine British Home Office, which for years had
jeered at me and reassured the public with official denials that there
were no spies in England, and had laughed at the numerous warnings to
them to "sit up and take notice."

And all this in face of a great and terrible national peril!

I would here like to pay a tribute to the thoroughness with which the
Confidential Department have all along done their work. Up to the
limits to which the staff were allowed to go, they did magnificently.
There can be no doubt that a good many of the most active German spies
were detected and accounted for. The trouble is that the Intelligence
officers were not allowed to go far enough--indeed, since the war the
director, who knew many of the spies personally, has actually been
relieved of his post. Why, we may well ask. Do not let us inquire,
however, but let us realise that after six months at war we still have
at large amongst us some 27,000 alien enemies who would, in any other
country, be safely under lock and key. This spy peril means the loss
of our sons and our loved ones, and a blow at our Empire. Even the
Department is subject to ordinary human limitations, and we shall never
be free from the spy-peril until we recognise with Sherman that during
war the military authority is superior to the civil; until we insist
with Sir Oliver Lodge that all foreign spies must be shot, and all
native ones hanged.

This Steinhauer's crowning act of daring and cool "cheek" came in
1911, when it is stated upon the best authority that he actually paid
a visit to King George at Buckingham Palace, as a member of the German
Emperor's personal suite! In that year I met him. The Kaiser visited
London to attend the unveiling by the King of the Queen Victoria
Memorial. Steinhauer, the spy, was actually a member of his suite!

Of the action of our false friend the Kaiser in this matter it
is difficult to speak with patience. At this time, it should be
remembered, he was professing the firmest friendship for England,
and more than one Cabinet Minister was full of his praise; yet this
pinchbeck Napoleon could find it within his notions of honour to
introduce to England the one man of all others who was most active in
the perfidious campaign against her. Can it be wondered that with such
an example of treachery to lead them, German diplomatists made small
ado about tearing up the solemn treaty which guaranteed the neutrality
of Belgium!

At this time, of course, Steinhauer's real mission was unknown to our
Home Office, and, of course, Steinhauer is not his real name. It was
not until later in the year that the Confidential Department fixed his
identity and ascertained his true character. One sighs to realise the
farce of it all.

Then began a campaign in which the Germans were badly outwitted.
Without giving the slightest indication that anything unusual was
on foot, or had been discovered, the Special Department--under the
director who is, alas! no longer there--set to work.

One branch of their activities was revealed in a recent case, when they
calmly produced, in court, tracings of letters posted in London by
Steinhauer's agents. For once the spy had been met and beaten at his
own game. In the meantime, some of Steinhauer's chief agents had been
identified, and were kept under the closest but most unostentatious

Arrests were made in a number of cases, and in many others information
was secured which bore prompt fruit when war was declared, and over two
hundred of the "master-spy's" tools were captured in different parts of
the country and interned.

It is, however, beyond doubt that many of this man's agents, of greater
or less influence or ability, are to-day still at liberty, and there
is no doubt either that many have come over in the guise of Belgian
refugees; that, indeed, has been officially admitted. Of course, they
are now working under enormously greater difficulties in getting
information, owing to the increased severity of the watch kept at all
places of importance. And even to send it away when they have got it is
not easy, though no doubt it is arranged, through Italy, Denmark, or

Here is an instance reported by me to the authorities, as I considered
it full of suspicion. Among the thousands of Belgian refugees arriving
in England just before the fall of Antwerp--a city infested by German
spies--there came among us a certain priest, with four other male
companions. The priest explained to the Relief Committee which received
him, that he was head of a certain college in Belgium. He and his
companions were, at their own request, passed on to a provincial Relief
Committee. There the priest's penurious position naturally aroused
much sympathy, and he and his companions were put into a good-sized
house, given money for their maintenance, and petted by many charitable

The five were free to take observations in and around the place where
they were domiciled. That our enemy would be glad of any details
regarding it there can be no doubt. Then, of a sudden--in the first
days of January--the priest, to the surprise of the Committee,
announced the fact that as he had received a letter from the Cardinal
Archbishop of his diocese, stating that many of his old pupils had
returned, he must leave at once for home with two of his companions.
One of the latter declared that he had to go to "look after his
cows"--as though the Germans would have left him any cows! When
questioned, the priest admitted that he held monies of the college
which he must hand over. To say the least, their behaviour was highly

By some persons who became acquainted with this curious request the
matter was viewed with considerable suspicion. There seemed no urgent
reason why the refugees in question should return, for their excuses,
when challenged, were of the flimsiest character. However, they were
able to obtain a sum of money, which went towards their travelling

I at once went to the proper authorities--with the usual result.
Officials "got busy" scribbling reports and writing polite
"acknowledgments," but nothing was done, and the priest and his
friends were allowed to cross to Flushing unmolested on January 5th.

But while it may be true that the main spy organisation has been
partially broken up--as Mr. McKenna would have us believe--it should
not be supposed, by any means, that the peril is at an end. Letters
can still be smuggled out of the country. To test this, I myself have
communicated with friends in Germany since the war by sending my
letters to Italy, where they were re-addressed, and replies have come
by the same means. Signals can, and are still, undoubtedly being made
to German submarines lying within easy distance of our East Coast.
And there can be no doubt that the stream of secret German gold, part
of the £720,000 a year, has, alas! done its work all too well in
inducing at least a few renegade Englishmen to betray their country.
This thought leaves a nasty taste in one's mouth, but there are
black sheep in all nations, and the black sheep of this kind are the
master-spy's most precious instruments. Very few of them, fortunately
or unfortunately, as we may choose to think, have been discovered; but
an example was made of one--the ex-naval gunner, Parrott--who, perhaps,
was one of the worst examples.

Much organising of the actual work of espionage in England is believed
to have been carried on by Count von der Schulenberg, who was recently
appointed Governor of Liége. A very interesting account of his clever
methods was published by the _Daily Mail_ soon after his appointment
was announced. Von der Schulenberg belongs to what is, unquestionably,
the most dangerous type of spy--the monied man of good family, of a
certain culture, enjoying the friendship of people in the better ranks
of life, and above all, able to plead many hobbies to account for his
presence in this country. We have many of a similar sort in our midst,
posing as naturalised persons.

It was in 1909 that Schulenberg--whom I met at the Hotel Cecil, where
I was living--first settled in England. He took a flat in Jermyn
Street, where he spent a considerable time, probably in the work of
familiarising himself with the ramifications of the German spy system
in this country. He became well known among the German colony in the
West End, and he was in the habit of spending considerable periods on
some mysterious errands; at any rate he often disappeared for days from
his favourite haunts.

About two years ago this Schulenberg left Jermyn Street--and the
Hotel Cecil, where he often came in to see his friends--and went to
live in Borough Green, Kent, a quiet village within easy reach of
Chatham Dockyard. Here he posed, of all things in the world, as a
poultry fancier! Here he spent a good deal of time, sparing no pains
to ingratiate himself with everybody in the district, and, to a great
extent, succeeding.

We next hear of him as a "breeder of bulldogs" in the little village of
Hemley-on-Deben, in Suffolk, not far from Harwich. This was about the
middle of 1913. The amusing part of his pose here is that it was quite
obvious to everyone that he knew nothing whatever about the subject
which he made his hobby! He was utterly ignorant of bulldogs, and
everything pertaining to them. However, they served as the excuse he
wanted to cover his real operations.

It is not thought that this Schulenberg did any actual spying; it is
more probable that he was merely an agent and a "cover" for the work of
others. That he may have been an organiser under Steinhauer is probable
enough, and it is known that he received visits from mysterious
Germans, to one of whom, in particular, he paid considerable deference.
After his departure, a very significant statement is said to have been
made by a young man who is now serving in our army at the front. This
man asserted that if he had been willing to do what von Schulenberg
asked him, he would, by this time, "have been a rich man, able to drive
his own motor-car." We can make a pretty good guess as to the class of
service that was sought.

Many other cases of a similar nature that have come to light make
it plain that Great Britain was systematically divided out into
territories, for the purpose of espionage, each territory having a
head spy, or agent, to whom all others under him were responsible, and
to whom they gave their reports for transmission to the headquarters
of the German spy system in Brussels. These cases are too numerous to
mention individually, and it will be sufficient to quote one as an
example, that of Captain X----, of Manchester.

The captain was originally arrested for having--needless to say he
was a German--travelled more than five miles from the city without
permission. When the case came on the magistrates took the view that
the offence was a mere oversight, and inflicted a small fine. Later,
however, certain facts came to light, and the captain was re-arrested
at the instance of the military authorities. Great importance was
attached to the case, as the authorities believed that through it they
would be able to lay their hands upon centres, not only in the North of
England, but also in London, through which the Germans were in receipt
of important information.

Captain X---- was a man of the type who have done excellent service for
Germany among the too trustful English. Of charming manners, apparently
a rich man, and very "English" in his ways, he was able to move in
good society, and numbered among his friends many prominent Manchester
people. But there was another side to his character of which his
Manchester friends were not aware.

One of his favourite haunts was a certain German club in the city. Here
he was seen almost nightly, and it was noticed that he seemed to have a
great friendship for certain hotel-waiters of German nationality, who,
like himself, were members. These club waiters, who evidently possessed
an amount of cash which is not common among men participating in the
"tronc," were constantly occupied with the captain in a private room.
They "did themselves well," and in course of time they attracted the
attention of certain Englishmen who were also members of the club. It
could not escape notice that German waiters were rather curious friends
for an apparently wealthy man moving in the best society in Manchester,
and there is only one explanation of their common activities. Of the
captain's ultimate fate I am ignorant, but we may assume that by this
time he is beyond the capacity of doing us further harm, at any rate
for a considerable time.

"_Place aux dames!_" Among the "master spies" of the Kaiser we must
certainly include a proportion of the fair sex--those women of lax
morals discussed in the Reichstag. And of all the perplexing problems
with which our authorities have had to deal of late, there is none more
difficult than that of women who have been acting as agents of German

It is a popular jibe that a woman cannot keep a secret. Never was
a popular opinion worse founded. To the spy no quality is more
essential than the ability to hold his tongue--a casual word may be
enough to betray him under circumstances in which he might think
himself absolutely safe. And if some women, at any rate, could not be
trusted to set a very rigid seal on their lips, the Kaiser and other
spy-masters would be robbed of some of their most able and desperate

History has shown us that the woman-spy is, if anything, far more
dangerous than the man, once she gives herself heart and soul to
the business. And the reason is obvious: she brings to bear subtle
influences--especially if she is of the half-world--which are far
beyond the capacity of the male spy. More often than not, she simply
works on a man's passions, and there are endless cases of men who have
given away important secrets not for mere sordid motives, but through
the wiles of a pretty little woman by whom they have been temporarily
enslaved. The woman-spy, as a rule, must be possessed of great personal
charm of manner, and more than a share of good looks--often they
are minor actresses or ladies of no profession. They are, indeed,
the aristocrats of the spy profession, for they can work with good
prospects of success in cases where the ordinary lure of money would
be rejected with scorn, and, probably, personal violence if it were

Now, it is absolutely foreign to the British character to take
any steps against women of whatever class unless there are very
clear grounds upon which to act. We may be quite sure that this
fact is fully recognised by the authorities at Potsdam. There are
to-day, in London--many around Piccadilly Circus, and practically
uncontrolled--hundreds of German women, clever and capable, who are
an unmistakable danger to our country. What to do with them is,
admittedly, not a problem easy of solution. We, as Britons, do not want
to inflict on women the unavoidable hardships of the concentration
camps if it can be avoided, but we certainly do want to protect
ourselves. The suggestion has been made that these women should be
compulsorily repatriated, and it seems as good a way of dealing with
the difficulty as any.

One of the most notorious of the German woman agents is believed to
have come over to this country immediately after the fall of Brussels.
She is said to be an exceedingly accomplished woman, very good-looking,
and widely travelled, and speaking seven languages. The Confidential
Department are to-day keeping her under observation. A woman of this
kind is especially dangerous owing to her ability to pass in any class
of society, and it is to be hoped that the Department has been able to
curtail her opportunities for mischief.

As I have, over and over again, stated in the course of these past few
years of Britain's slumber, the tremendous extent of the German spy
system cannot be over-estimated, nor can it be too strongly impressed
upon the public. Nothing is too large, or too small, for the net of
German espionage; no agent can be too highly, or too lowly, placed.
From the few chiefs who really control the dastardly work, designed
for our undoing, radiate channels which stretch into every department
of life, pouring in a constant stream of facts of greater or less
importance, but all having their proper place when correlated and
arranged by the keen brains in Berlin devoted to the work.

Never let it be forgotten that an apparently trivial incident may
be the key for which the spy is patiently seeking, and that even a
seemingly baseless rumour transmitted by the humble German, as the
result of eavesdropping during his employment, may set the master-brain
at work upon some matter of overwhelming importance.



There is a vast amount of misconception in the public mind on the
subject of spying, and an almost complete ignorance of the law of
dealing with spies, military and civil, in time of peace and in time of

The subject is one which absolutely bristles with anomalies and
incongruities. In all times and in all countries, and by the great
majority of people, spying has been condemned as something essentially
dishonourable--to call a man a spy has always been regarded as one of
the deadliest insults. Yet here we have at once the first, and perhaps
the most striking, anomaly of the spy business--the men of unblemished
personal honour, who, unquestionably, would not descend to any act
which, in their views, was even tainted with meanness, have acted as
spies. I will mention a few of these cases presently; in the meantime,
it will be well to consider what international law has to say on the

Naturally enough, the subject of spying met with a good deal of
consideration on the part of the members of the Hague Convention, and,
so far as there can be said to be international law in the matter,
it is expressed in the conventional laws of war drawn up by the
assemblage. The following Articles of the Convention dealing with the
subject may be usefully quoted:--


  A person can only be considered a spy when, acting clandestinely, or
  on false pretences, he obtains or endeavours to obtain information
  in the zone of operations of a belligerent with the intention of
  communicating it to the hostile party.

  Thus, soldiers not wearing a disguise who have penetrated into the
  zone of operations of the hostile army for the purpose of obtaining
  information are not considered spies. Similarly, the following are
  not considered spies: Soldiers and civilians, carrying out their
  mission openly, entrusted with the delivery of despatches intended
  either for their own army or for the enemy's army. To this class
  belong likewise persons sent in balloons for the purpose of carrying
  despatches, and generally of maintaining communications between the
  different parts of an army or a territory.


  A spy taken in the act shall not be punished without previous trial.


  A spy who after rejoining the army to which he belongs is
  subsequently captured by the enemy, is treated as a prisoner of war,
  and incurs no responsibility for his previous acts of espionage.

A very detailed and lucid exposition of the law dealing with spies is
given in Mr. J.M. Spaight's "War Rights on Land," perhaps the fullest
and most authoritative source of information on the work of the Hague
Convention in respect to war on land.

Now, in the conduct of war early and accurate information is of supreme
importance. One of the best instances of this on record was the capture
of Marshal Macmahon's army by the Germans in the Franco-Prussian War
of 1870-71. This, of course, was not the work of a spy, but it was the
result of information which a spy might very well have obtained.

A Paris paper published a statement indicating that Macmahon's army had
changed the direction of its march. This statement was telegraphed to
London and appeared in the papers here. It caught the attention of the
then German Ambassador, who, realising its value, promptly telegraphed
it to Berlin. For Moltke, of course, this was a heaven-sent opportunity
of which his military genius made the fullest use. A new movement was
at once set on foot, and the result was the surrender of Macmahon with
his entire force.

Granting that information of equal value may at any moment be obtained
by a clever spy, it is obvious that commanders in the field are not
only entitled, but bound to take the most drastic measures to defend
themselves against spies. The work of a single spy may wreck a campaign
and settle the fate of a nation, and here we have the real reason why
the spy caught in the act is punished with relentless severity. "Kill
that spy" is, and should be, the rule of every commander in the field.

Then arises another consideration of equal importance: every commander
is entitled and bound to do his utmost to secure the best possible
information as to the enemy's forces, their disposition, their size,
and, above all, their intentions. It is of even more importance to
understand what your enemy intends to do than to know the forces which
he has available to carry out his plans. How, then, are we to draw a
distinction between perfectly legitimate scouting and reconnaissance
work, which can involve no reprobation and no punishment, and the
"spying" properly so called, which justifies the infliction of the
death penalty?

The answer lies in a couple of words--the spy acts under false
pretences, while the soldier or scout acts quite openly; though, of
course, concealing himself from observation and detection, he does not
adopt any disguise or discard his uniform. The result is, that under no
circumstances can a soldier wearing his uniform be treated as a spy. He
may dare and do anything; if he is caught his sole punishment is that
he is treated as a prisoner of war. So far as the soldier is concerned
(the case of the civilian spy will be dealt with presently) disguise is
the essence of spying. This point is clear beyond the possibility of
misconception, and the commander who shot a soldier in uniform on the
plea that he was acting as a spy would simply be committing a murder.

Usually, a military spy is a soldier who has laid aside his own
uniform, and either adopted civilian dress, or clothed himself in the
uniform of the enemy, or a neutral, the better to escape detection. For
such, there is no mercy; the penalty of detection is death. The reason
is obvious: the soldier in disguise is a far more dangerous enemy
than the one who openly carries out his hostile acts. In war, as in
peace, the enemy in disguise is most dangerous; the false friend is the
soldier's as well as the civilian's worst peril.

Here we come to another anomaly: spying in itself is not a criminal
act. That is clearly recognised by Article XXXI. of the Hague
Convention already quoted. Consequently, unless he is taken in the act
the spy is immune; once he has regained his own lines, and discarded
his disguise, he is exempt from the consequences of his espionage, even
though he were captured and identified ten minutes later.

To constitute "spying" in the strict sense of the word, the offence
must be carried out clandestinely, and _in the war area_. As we all
know now, and as I and others pointed out years ago, the United Kingdom
for many years has been flooded with German agents busily engaged in
picking up information on naval and military subjects which would be of
value to Germany. It is important to recognise that these agents _are
not "spies" in the strict sense of the word_, since the United Kingdom
is, happily, not within the war zone. In time of peace they could not
be shot. When war began, however, they were guilty of "war treason"
and liable to the death penalty. The case of Carl Lody, with which
I deal fully elsewhere, is a case in point. Lody was not accused of
"spying," but of "war treason." The word "spy," however, is convenient,
and no doubt it will continue to be used without undue regard to the

It is necessary, I think, to make it clear how eminent soldiers have
found it not beneath their dignity and honour to act as spies, even
in the face of the general opprobrium which attaches to the spy. In
the first place, the obtaining of information is essential to the
successful conduct of war. Secondly, it is recognised that no moral
guilt attaches to the spy, as is shown by the fact that he can only
be punished if he is taken in the act, and as a preventive measure.
Thirdly, we must remember that only a very brave man, ready to lay down
his life for his country, could bring himself to act as a spy in war
time. The spy, let it not be forgotten, is under no illusions; he takes
his life in his hands, and he knows it. If he is caught there is no
help for him; his doom is as certain as the rising of the sun. Only
a man to whom his life was as nothing if risking it would serve his
country's cause, would dare to undertake the perilous work of spying in
time of war. Whatever other attributes the spy may possess, and many
of them undoubtedly are individuals of a very undesirable kind, the
possession of courage must be granted to them.

Naturally, it will be asked why the spy is so generally held in
contempt, and, indeed, in abhorrence. That this should be so is, in all
probability, due to a certain confusion of ideas between the soldier
spy who, risking his life in war, may be playing a truly heroic part,
and those miserable secret agents who, in time of peace and without
risk, abuse for gold a nation's hospitality with the deliberate
intention of working her ruin when war comes, or, still worse, the
traitor who is ready to sell the interests of his own country. And it
is one of the anomalies of the whole subject that the traitor who is
ready to sell his country's interests to a possible enemy should, in
time of peace, be punishable only by penal servitude, while the truly
brave and often heroic soldier who in time of war risks his life in his
country's cause, should meet certain death if he is detected.

Let us assume for a moment that a man of the former class, the day
before the war broke out, had sold to Germany information of some
secret upon which the safety of the British Empire depended. There is
no such secret, but I assume it for the sake of argument. His maximum
punishment would have been penal servitude. Take next the case of a
German soldier who, the day after war was declared, crept disguised
into our lines and obtained information which might have enabled his
commander to capture fifty British soldiers. We should have shot
him without delay. Yet will anyone contend that there is anything
comparable in the moral turpitude of the two acts? It must not be
understood, of course, that I am pleading for clemency for the spy; my
plea is for greater severity for the traitor!

We are now faced with another problem. If it is dishonourable to
spy--and many eminent authorities, as well as public opinion, generally
hold this to be the case--it is unquestionably dishonourable to
employ spies. Yet all commanders of all nations employ spies, and
if any nation failed to do so, it might as well--as Lord Wolseley
said--sheathe its sword for ever. We can take it for granted that, in
his many campaigns, Lord Wolseley made the fullest use possible of
spies, and yet his personal honour need not be questioned. We certainly
cannot say that he was dishonoured by the use of means often regarded
as dishonourable.

Moreover, great soldiers themselves have not hesitated to act as
spies. The history of war is full of such cases. Catinat spied in the
disguise of a coal-heaver. Montluc disguised himself as a cook. Ashby,
in the American Civil War, visited the Federal lines as a horse-doctor,
while General Nathaniel Lyon visited the Confederate camp at St. Louis
in disguise before he attacked and captured it. Against the personal
honour of such men as these no word can be said, and, as Mr. Spaight
points out, it is surprising to find a military historian like Sir
Henry Hozier declaring that "spies have a dangerous task and not an
honourable one."

The truth seems to be that as regards the military spy in time of
war, popular opinion stands in need of revision. In the face of the
instances quoted, it cannot be fairly said that the military spy is
necessarily a man of dishonour. The spy and the revolutionary, in some
respects, fall under the same category. If they succeed, well and good;
if they fail, they pay the inevitable penalty, and no mercy is shown
them. Yet the revolutionary as well as the spy may be a person of
blameless honour.

As a matter of fact, the Germans themselves--whose sense of honour
no one will regard as being excessively nice--seem to recognise the
distinction between the military spy and the wretched agents of
espionage, of whom they have made abundant use, who in times of peace,
work, and can only work, by abusing the hospitality of the nation
among whom they live, and by tempting men to betray their honour and
their country's secrets. The Japanese, too, one of the proudest of
nations, and with a code of honour as strict as any in the world, have
recognised that there is nothing essentially dishonourable about the
military spy. During the war with Russia, Mr. Douglas Story relates,
they captured a Russian who was spying disguised as a Chinaman. They
shot him, of course, but they afterwards sent into the Russian lines a
message in which they hailed the spy as a brave man, and expressed the
hope that the Russian army held many others equally brave.

Perhaps the most remarkable spy case on record is that of Major André,
which aroused the fiercest indignation during the American War of
Independence. André, who was born in London in 1751, joined the British
Army in Canada, and became aide-de-camp to General Clinton. Benedict
Arnold, an American commandant, had undertaken to surrender to the
British forces a fortress on the Hudson River, and André was sent by
Clinton to make the necessary arrangements.

On the night of September 20th, 1780, Arnold and André met at a place
called Haverstraw, on the Hudson River. Then André changed his uniform
for plain clothes, and attempted to pass through the American lines by
means of a passport given him by Arnold in the name of John Anderson.
As he was approaching the British lines, however, he was captured by
a patrol of the enemy, who handed him over to the American military

Washington at once convened a board of officers, who found André
guilty of espionage, and declared that he ought to be put to death.
Curiously enough, André himself did not protest against this sentence;
all that he asked was that he should be shot instead of suffering the
ignominious death of hanging. This request, however, was refused, and,
accordingly, he was hanged on October 2nd, 1780.

The case created an uproar in England. The essence of spying is that
the spy shall be caught while seeking information, and André was not
thus caught. The Americans contended that so long as he was captured
before he had returned to his own lines he was to be regarded as a spy,
and, therefore, liable to condemnation. Many people in England, and
elsewhere, regarded André as a martyr. George III. granted a pension
to his mother, a baronetcy was conferred on his brother, and, in 1821,
his remains were allowed to be exhumed, and were brought to England and
buried in Westminster Abbey!

It is most important to recognise the distinction between spying,
properly so called, and "war treason." The inhabitants of an occupied
territory do not owe any allegiance to an invader, but they do owe
him the duty of remaining quiet and abstaining from acts which might
endanger his safety or success. They are subject to his martial law
regulations, and, under certain circumstances, they may be guilty of
war treason. War treason has been defined by the Germans as:--

  "The act of damaging or imperilling the enemy's power by deceit,
  or by the transmission of messages to the national army on the
  subject of the position, movements, plans, etc., of the occupant,
  irrespective of whether the means by which the sender has come into
  the possession of the information be legitimate or illegitimate
  (_e.g._, by espionage)."

It is, of course, regarded as an act of perfidy when a person whose
rights as a non-combatant have been regarded abuses his position to
render aid to the national army. Non-combatants, save when the "levy in
mass" has been put in force, have no right, it is considered, to meddle
in any way with the operations of the contending armies.

Bearers of despatches, whether military or civilian, are not spies so
long as they work openly. During the Franco-Prussian War, Bismarck
contended that all who attempted to pass out of Paris by balloon
were spies, and should be treated as such, and though those who were
caught were not put to death, they were very harshly treated. He was,
undoubtedly, wrong under international law as recognised at the present

Since those times, the aeroplane has placed in the hands of military
commanders a powerful weapon, not only of espionage or scouting, but
also of communicating information, and probably not even Bismarck,
were he still alive, could contend that the use of aeroplanes could be
regarded as bringing the airman within the laws of espionage. And there
is no difference in principle between the aeroplane and the balloon.
Obviously, there can be none of the concealment which is necessary to
establish spying.

The invention of wireless telegraphy brought about a curious problem
in espionage during the Russo-Japanese War. A steamer, fitted with
a wireless installation, followed the movements of the rival fleets
in the interests of one of the London papers. She was boarded by a
Russian cruiser, and, as result, the Russian Government informed the
neutral Powers that should any neutral vessel be found within the
Russian maritime zone, having on board correspondents with apparatus
of this kind--which, obviously, was not foreseen in the then existing
Conventions--used for the purpose of transmitting information to the
enemy, the correspondents would be treated as spies, and the vessels
made prizes of war. That position is now untenable.

Owing to the improvements made in wireless telegraphy, a very similar
situation might arise in a land war. It is possible, to-day, to
carry in an ordinary motor-car a wireless outfit capable of sending
messages a very considerable distance; indeed, there is good reason
for believing that such an apparatus is actually being used by German
agents for transmitting information from the east and north-east
districts of England, to enemy submarines lurking in the North Sea.
A rigorous search has been made for this mysterious car, which has
been reported in various districts. Naturally, when the apparatus is
not in use it is concealed within the body of the car, which would
then become, apparently, an ordinary touring vehicle, with nothing to
distinguish it from hundreds of others passing freely along the roads.

In this case there would be little doubt about the fate of the
occupants of the car if they were caught. They would not be "spies" in
the strict sense of the word, as their offence was not committed within
the zone of the operations, but they would be guilty of "war treason,"
and liable to the death penalty.

This is a very real danger, and the offence is one that it would be
extremely difficult to detect. The popular idea of a wireless plant,
gained no doubt from the enormous "aerials" of the high-power stations
sending messages thousands of miles, is that wireless telegraphy is
something that cannot be carried on without employing huge plant that
it would be impossible to conceal.

Now I can claim to know something of wireless telegraphy--I have
experimented for some years--and I can say, at once, that this is an
exceedingly dangerous fallacy. In recent years very great improvements
have been made in both transmitters and receivers, and to-day it is
quite possible to establish in almost any house, a small, but powerful
wireless plant, which would be utterly invisible from outside, but
quite capable of sending messages from any spot near the coast to enemy
vessels, such as submarines, lying a few miles away.

Of secret installations there are, no doubt, to-day, many in various
parts of the country. Several stations have, indeed, been discovered.
The reason aliens were not allowed to possess a telephone was regarded
as curious by some people. But it was because telephone-wires, when
properly insulated and arranged, make quite a good "aerial." Further,
in any barn or long attic, aerial wires can be strung across, and
give excellent results. The spy does not need spidery wires upon
masts high above his house-top, or in his garden. If his instruments
are sufficiently delicate, and are connected with the underground
gas-pipe, or even to an ordinary wire-mattress, he will be able to
receive messages from any of the high-power stations within a radius
of, say, five hundred miles, while from a wire strung inside a
disused factory-chimney, and thereby hidden, a wireless message can
be despatched a couple of hundred miles. Therefore the peril of all
this will at once be realised, for any spy who knows sufficient to fit
up a wireless station inside his own house, and is acquainted with
the latest developments of the science, need not use lamp-signalling
at night, or pigeons, or any other antiquated modes of communication.
Indeed, he can flash at night a code-message direct to Norddeich or
any other place on the German coast, and receive back his answer in a
few moments, no one being able to detect, until after long search and
inquiry, whence the mysterious buzz has emanated.

It ought to be said, however, that it is problematical how long such a
fixed station, established say in Yorkshire, could be worked without
detection, because its messages must--sooner or later--be picked up
by some of our own Post Office or naval operators. The messages would
be in cipher, of course, but the important thing would be to know
that such a plant was being used. An expert wireless-operator, with a
newly-invented instrument called a "direction-finder," can make a very
good guess at the distance of the point of origin of any message he
receives, and once the proper authorities were on the track of a secret
wireless station, the work of hunting it down would be only a matter
of time and trouble. Such a case was reported a few weeks ago from the
Pacific coast, where a wireless station established in the centre of a
remote district was giving the Germans valuable help. It was tracked
down and located, and it is said that a similar station was found
in the centre of Rome, and others in Paris and Antwerp. We might be
equally successful here, but, in the meantime, it is more than likely
that a good deal of damage might have been done.

The case of a wireless installation used for a motor-car, however,
presents much more difficulty of detection. We might know perfectly
well that it was being used, and yet be unable to locate it on account
of its mobility. It is practically certain that it would never be
used twice from the same spot; indeed, it might operate along a line
running a couple of hundred miles north and south, and still convey its
messages to the enemy vessels. In such a case as this, we can only rely
upon vigilance and good luck to turn the trick in our favour.

In my view, the Admiralty took an extremely unwise step when, at the
beginning of the war, they closed all the private wireless stations in
England. There are a great many of these stations--far more than the
general public realises--and the majority of them were being worked
by men whose loyalty and discretion stood absolutely above suspicion.
These installations--free from the heavy load of business thrown upon
the Government coast stations--are quite capable of doing excellent
work in constantly "listening" for illicit stations which might be
in the hands of German spies for the purpose of giving information
respecting our naval movements. The value of these small stations as a
means of detecting hostile messages has been entirely under-estimated
by the Admiralty, who seem to consider the risk of Englishmen being
either traitors or fools more than outweighs the possibility of
detecting secret wireless in the hands of our enemies.

I have dwelt upon this matter at some length, because I am absolutely
convinced of the very serious danger to which we are exposed from the
use of wireless installations, small, but capable of working over any
distance up to, say, one hundred miles--and even less would be amply
sufficient--by German spies in Great Britain at the present moment.

We now know quite enough of German methods to be aware that our enemy's
spies are not only singularly daring, but singularly resourceful.
I know what a small, compact, portable station can do in skilled
hands, and I am strongly of opinion that the risks we are running
in this respect are not sufficiently appreciated--perhaps are not
understood--by the authorities. Even to-day, in spite of the evidence
that I and others have been able to bring forward for some years, and
in spite even of numerous convictions during the past few months, there
is too much of a tendency on the part of the Government to try to "save
its face" by declaring that the spy peril is enormously exaggerated.
No doubt they will endeavour to refute my arguments in these pages.
They declared, for so long, that there were no German spies in England,
that even to-day they are reluctant to take the drastic steps which
the situation urgently demands. On no other supposition can we explain
the unparalleled liberty accorded to thousands of Germans, whether
naturalised or not, who are still permitted to live and move so freely
among us. Some, indeed, have been interned, and afterwards released.

Returning to the legal position of spies (after a digression perhaps
not without its uses), it should be noted that the Hague regulations
distinguish between a member of the armed forces and a private citizen.
The soldier spy who has rejoined the army cannot, afterwards, be
punished for his act of espionage. The civilian who acts as a spy
enjoys, however, no such privilege. He has no business to meddle with
military affairs, and, should he be captured at any time, he is liable
to pay the penalty of his former deeds. Similarly, to harbour a spy is
also a criminal offence.

A person found guilty of espionage may either be hanged or shot;
nowadays, the usual punishment is shooting, though the American code
still prescribes hanging. In earlier times, also, he was liable to be
executed on the spot, without formality of any kind. To-day, he must
first be tried by court-martial in accordance with the established
rules of martial law in the country in which the offence was committed.

The position of civilians in an invaded territory who give or transmit
to their own side information respecting the enemy's movements is not
without interest to us now that threats of a German invasion are so
freely indulged in by the Press of Germany, and preparations to defeat
such an attack are being actively made by our own military authorities.

There can be no doubt that if a resident of an occupied territory gives
such information, he is guilty either of spying, or of a hostile act
against the invader, amounting to war treason, and equally punishable
by death. The "American Instructions" are very emphatic on this point.
They say:--

  "If a citizen or subject of a country or place invaded or conquered
  gives information to his own Government from which he is separated
  by the hostile army or to the army of his Government he is a _war
  traitor_ and death is the penalty of his offence."

Thus, a Belgian resident in Brussels, during the German occupation,
found sending information to the Belgian authorities in France, would
be shot out of hand by the Germans, and they would be within their
clear rights in shooting him.

A more doubtful case would be that of an inhabitant of a district not
yet occupied, who entered the war zone, obtained information, and,
having sent it to his Government, returned home, only to be captured
later when the enemy occupied the district. The view is generally held,
though the Convention came to no very clear decision, that in such a
case he could not be punished, as he was not supposed to belong to an
occupied territory. Such a man owes no duty to the enemy, as in the
case of an occupied territory, and once he has completed his mission,
he is free.

It should be noted that the nationality of a spy is not material;
neutrals found guilty may be punished as though they were the
enemy subjects. Many Chinese who spied for the Russians during the
Russo-Japanese War were executed by the Japanese. One of them was a
Chinese officer, and the Government of China demanded an explanation.
The Japanese reply was quite unequivocal, and insisted on the right to
punish spies, no matter of what nationality.

As I have said, all nations spy in the interests of national
self-preservation. It is not the _fact_ of German espionage that has
roused the indignation of the civilised world against her. We have no
feelings even of resentment against such men as Carl Lody, though,
of course, we are entitled to protect ourselves against them. They
owe us nothing, and they are clearly doing their duty in trying to
help their country. What has aroused anti-German feelings--which are
not likely to die out for many years--is the baseness of the German
_method_: systematic "planting" of agents who, for years, have posed
as the friends of those among whom they lived, yet have not hesitated
to betray them in the first shock of war. Thousands of paid German
spies have deliberately become naturalised Frenchmen, Englishmen, and
Belgians, as a mere cloak for their efforts to betray the country of
their adoption. Hundreds of thousands of Germans accepted for years
as friends in this country, bearers even of British honours, have
abused our hospitality, and added the vilest treachery to the blackest
ingratitude. While posing as our friends, they have worked their best
for our undoing, and--worse still--they have suborned and made traitors
of poor men, to whom the lure of gold of this kind is simply that it is
"not cricket," and for the false friend, not for the open enemy, the
British people reserve their bitterest scorn and contempt.



Of the many cases of espionage which have come before the British
public recently, surely none exceeds in interest and importance that
of Carl Hans Lody, who, after trial by court-martial, was shot in the
Tower of London early in November. Lody was the first secret-service
agent shot in England after the outbreak of war, and the first person
executed in the Tower since the middle of the eighteenth century.

Lody, beyond all question, was a very remarkable man. Before going into
the details of the charge against him, it is well worth while to recall
some of the leading features of his career.

Born in Berlin, he was only thirty-five, yet he had seen enough of life
and the world to have satisfied many men of double his age. There is
hardly a corner of the civilised world into which he had not travelled.
He had been much in America, and it was a considerable help to him,
in his work as a secret-service agent, that he spoke English with a
decidedly American accent. This, no doubt, explains the fact--of which
more presently--that he posed as an American, and used an American
passport, which really belonged to a certain Mr. Charles A. Inglis.

It was as Mr. Charles A. Inglis that Lody arrived in England early in
August. He knew England and Scotland well, and he is believed to have
been in this country once or twice earlier in the year. Originally, he
served in the German Navy; after he left he became a steward on the
liner "Hamburg." In the meantime he married a very handsome American
woman, to whom, apparently, though the marriage did not turn out very
happily, he was very deeply attached.

When the Hamburg-Amerika Line established a series of personally
conducted tours from Berlin, Lody secured an appointment to take charge
of a party of rich Americans who were going round the world. He made a
similar tour in 1913 and in the summer of 1914, and when the American
medical societies held an International Conference in London, Lody was
one of the guides who helped to show them round England. None of the
Americans, it may be mentioned, ever doubted that he belonged to their

It was in August, as I have said, that Lody came to England on the
mission that led him to his death. He travelled as Mr. Inglis, though
to an American acquaintance who chanced to meet him he was still Lody.
It was some weeks before the attention of the Confidential Department
was drawn to him, and then began a game of hide-and-seek, which was
not without a humorous side.

From August till the middle of September, Lody was in Edinburgh, a
district prohibited to enemy aliens, though not, of course, to an
American. Thence he sent, to Stockholm, a telegram which aroused
suspicion. On September 7th he was followed from the neighbourhood of
Rosyth, and with magnificent "bluff" he went direct to the police and
complained. So well did he play the part of an injured and innocent
American citizen, that the police actually apologised to him. He
slipped away and, for a time, all trace of him was lost.

Then he went to London and began an examination of the steps that had
been taken for the protection of the principal buildings. Again the
Intelligence Department got on his track, and from that moment his doom
was sealed. No doubt he thought he had shaken off all suspicion, but he
was soon to be undeceived.

After a visit to Scotland about the end of September, Lody went to
Liverpool, no doubt to pick up all he could about the Mersey defences,
and then over to Ireland in the guise of an American tourist on a visit
to Killarney. But the police had their eye on him all the time, and
he was arrested and detained until the arrival of Inspector Ward of
Scotland Yard. His trial and conviction followed.

The public will never know the full extent of Lody's doings as a spy,
but it is beyond question that he was a most daring and dangerous man.
The reports he made have not yet been published, but they were of such
a character that, in the interests of the State, much of the evidence
was taken in camera, and those who have been privileged to read them
declare that, in their keen observation and clear expression, they
are among the most remarkable documents that have ever come into the
possession of the War Office. The Confidential Department did its work
well, and it is worth noting here that after grave suspicion fell upon
Lody, he was so closely shadowed that none of his reports left the
country, and they were produced in evidence at the trial.

Lody's task was to travel about England and to send to Germany news
about our naval movements, about our losses and the steps that were
being taken to repair them. One message he tried to send from Edinburgh
read:--"Must cancel. Johnson very ill last four days. Shall leave
shortly." Innocent enough! But to Berlin, as Lody admitted at his
trial, it meant that the British Fleet, in four days, would be leaving
the Firth of Forth.

What, we may well wonder, was to be cancelled!

There was a dramatic scene in the ancient Guildhall when the
court-martial assembled to try Lody for his life--a scene strangely
unfamiliar in a country which, for a generation, has had little
experience of military trials. The court was composed of Major-General
Lord Cheylesmore as President, and eight officers in uniform. In the
dock stood Lody, guarded by two khaki-clad soldiers with bayonets fixed.

The following were the charges on which Lody was accused:--

  The accused, Carl Hans Lody, alias Charles A. Inglis, an enemy
  civilian, is charged--first charge--with committing a war crime,
  that is to say, war treason, against Great Britain, in that he at
  Edinburgh, on or about September 27, 1914, attempted to convey to a
  belligerent enemy of Great Britain--namely to Germany--information
  calculated to be useful to that enemy by sending a letter headed
  Edinburgh 27/9/14, and signed Nazi, addressed to one Karl J. Stammer,
  Berlin, which contained information with regard to the defence and
  preparations for war of Great Britain. The second charge is that of
  committing a war crime in that he on or about the 30th of September
  attempted to convey to a belligerent enemy of Great Britain--namely
  to Germany--information calculated to be useful to that enemy, by
  sending a letter, headed Dublin and signed Nazi, and addressed to
  Karl J. Stammer, which contained information with regard to the
  defences and preparations for war of Great Britain.

Lody's movements were very clearly traced at the trial by Mr. Bodkin,
who prosecuted for the Crown. It was shown, by the visé on the American
passport he was using, that he had been in Berlin as recently as August
4th. Another document found on him proved that he was in Bergen, in
Norway, on August 20th. In all his movements he passed as Charles A.
Inglis. It is not necessary to follow him in detail, but it may be
mentioned that apparently he reported both to a man named Burchard,
at Stockholm, and also to Stammer at Berlin. There were found in
his notebook not only a copy of the "Johnson" telegram, but also
particulars of British losses in battle and in the naval fight in the
North Sea, a list of German cruisers and German ships sunk up to date,
and also copies of four other communications to Burchard.

Mr. Bodkin made it clear that, through the Post Office officials,
certain letters to and from persons abroad had been examined and
copied, and in some cases delivered; since August 4th letters for
Norway and Sweden posted in any part of the United Kingdom were sent
to London and there examined. Several of these were to and from the

The main part of the evidence against Lody was taken in camera and
has never been made public, but that it was overwhelming there can be
no doubt; indeed, Lody himself admitted that he had had a fair trial,
and was quite justly dealt with. It was, however, mentioned that his
letters contained reports on such places as Queensferry, near the naval
base at Rosyth, and various other places round the coast.

There was a very remarkable incident when Lody himself gave evidence,
an incident which gives us a good deal of insight into the real
character of this remarkable spy.

Having admitted that his name was on the German Navy List, he said
that when he went to Berlin at the end of July he reported himself to
"a certain department," making a request that he should not be sent
on active service as he was an invalid, having undergone a serious
operation some years before and being unfit to do any fighting.
Narrating events in Berlin, Lody said, "A proposition was put before me
by a certain person."

"Are you willing," counsel asked him, "to give the name of that person?"

Then for the first time Lody's iron nerve broke down. He burst into
heavy sobs, and in a voice almost choked with emotion, replied: "I have
pledged my word of honour not to give that name, and I cannot do it.
Although names have been discovered in my documents, I do feel that I
have not broken my word of honour."

"Are you unwilling," counsel asked, "to tell us the position in life
that person occupies?"

Again Lody hesitated; then he added quietly that the person was a
superior naval officer. "I was summoned to see him," he said; "and I
had three or four interviews with him."

Then came a question which provoked a very remarkable reply. "Are you
willing," asked counsel, "to tell the court what took place at those
interviews with your superior officer?"

"I am willing to tell the court," said Lody. "And I am willing not to
conceal anything, but I should like it not to be in public, as I shall
certainly refer to very essential and important affairs."

Lody was then asked to give the "principal instruction" that he
received, and he did so readily. He was to remain in England until
the first engagement had taken place between the two Powers, and send
information as regards the actual losses of the British Fleet. Then
he was at liberty to go on to New York; he had previously asked for
permission to do so. He was also told to get all the information he
could with regard to the movements of the Fleet, and what was going on
in England, but was specially warned not to go and "spy round," but to
see as much as every traveller could see.

Lody added that he was very reluctant to undertake this work, as he
felt he was not well fitted for it. He pointed this out, he said.
It was put to him that pressure was applied to him to induce him to
undertake the mission, to which he replied: "There was no pressure, but
there is certainly an understanding. If they make a suggestion you feel
obliged to obey. I have never been a coward in my life, and I certainly
won't be a shirker."

Let us give credit where credit is due--even in espionage. I think
everyone will admit that, whatever view we may take of this spy's
offence--and views on the subject of espionage will always vary
widely--Lody behaved as a brave man. He was, in the first place,
absolutely loyal to his chiefs; there was about him nothing of the
craven wretch as willing to sacrifice his own country as any other if
he could hope by so doing to win any favour for himself. Nor would he
even speak in open Court of matters which, as he thought, might have
been prejudicial to us. One cannot but recognise his chivalry. It is
not often that the man in the dock deserves all his counsel says about
him, but Lody was an exception, and the eloquent plea on his behalf
made by Mr. George Elliott, K.C., who defended him, deserves to be
remembered, not only for its references to Lody, but as a tribute to
British justice, which placed at the service of a dangerous adversary
the skill of one of the most brilliant members of the English Bar.

Whatever his fate might be, said Mr. Elliott, he hoped the accused
would remember to the last hour of his existence that he had received
from the country whose interests he came to betray a trial which, for
fairness, was unrivalled in history. He said, quite frankly, that he
came to this country in the service of his own--as a German actuated by
patriotic German motives. He had told the Court all that he could tell,
refusing to speak only where it clashed with his word of honour as an
officer and a gentleman. He was not a man who had sold his country for
gold, and he had not attempted to corrupt a single British subject or

"I plead for him," said Mr. Elliott, admitting that a conviction
was unavoidable, but asking the Court whether they could not find
some extenuating circumstances, "not as a miserable coward, or as a
fear-stricken wretch, but as a man born of a land to which he is true,
whose history and traditions he cherishes. His own grandfather was a
great soldier who held a fortress against Napoleon, and it is in that
spirit he wishes to stand before you here to-day. He was ready to offer
himself on the altar of his country. I am not here to cringe for mercy;
my client is not ashamed of anything he has done. Many a man would do
for England what he did for Germany--may, in fact, be now doing it.
Whatever his fate, he will meet it bravely like a man."

The verdict, as usual in the case of a court-martial, was not announced
until some days later, when an official statement told us that Lody had
been shot. He maintained his courage to the end, and died without a
tremor. Before he died he left a letter in which he admitted he had had
a fair trial, and expressed appreciation of the fact that he had been
treated, not as a spy, but as an officer.

Now we come to the ugliest and darkest side of the Lody case. It will
be remembered that Lody was able to get about by the aid of an American
passport issued in the name of Charles A. Inglis. It was thought, at
first, that this was merely a passport obtained either by forgery or
by false pretences; as a matter of fact it was a perfectly genuine
document, but Lody had no right to it. How it came into his possession
shows the depth of degradation to which the German General Staff are
prepared to descend.

Mr. Inglis, it was ascertained after the trial, was a _bona fide_
American traveller holding a genuine passport. He left his passport
with the American Embassy in Berlin for registration with the German
Foreign Office, or some other department. The Embassy sent it in for
registration _and it was never returned_. Nor was it ever heard of
again until it turned up in the possession of Carl Lody--a spy in Great

The German explanation to the American Embassy was that the passport
had been mislaid. The same fate, it is said, has befallen no fewer than
_two hundred_ United States and British passports in Germany, and the
corollary of this astounding announcement is that at the present moment
there may be two hundred German agents wandering about equipped with
British and American passports which are perfectly genuine, and not in
the least likely to be suspected.

The stealing of these passports by the German authorities has been the
subject of an official British communication, so that there can be no
doubt about the fact, whether the exact number had been stated or not.
"It has come to the notice of the Foreign Secretary," says the British
statement, "that some passports belonging to British subjects leaving
Germany have been retained by the German authorities. Such cases should
be reported to the Foreign Office."

I say without hesitation that I do not believe any other country on
the face of the globe would descend to such methods as this. I say,
moreover, that no nation capable of such conduct can be regarded as
possessing a shred of public honour. It is comparable only to the
white flag treachery, or the mounting of machine guns in Red Cross
ambulances, which is a feature of German warfare, to the murder
by bombs of non-combatants in districts where there cannot be any
soldiers, to the sowing of mines on the high seas, to the making of
shields for soldiers out of the bodies of miserable civilians, to the
slaughter of women and children at Louvain and Aerschot. What will the
civilised communities of the world have to say in the future to Germans
convicted out of their own mouths of disregarding every law of God and
man that may operate to their disadvantage?

But even out of the theft of the passports--no doubt regarded by them
as an excellent stroke of "kultur"--the Germans are not unlikely to
reap trouble. The United States is not a country to be played with,
and in this passport trick there lie the elements of serious trouble.
Americans will not be likely to lie down quietly while their passports
are used for espionage, and it is more than likely that the Germans
have stirred up a hornets' nest about their ears. In the meantime, it
is reported from Washington that the Government has instructed the
Embassy in Berlin to sift the Lody-Inglis incident to the very bottom.

That incident, too, has brought about much more stringent rules with
regard to passports. Henceforth no American or British passport will
be recognised as valid which does not bear the certified photograph of
its rightful owner, and extra photographs for registration purposes
will have to be lodged with the Embassy or Consulate by which the
passport is issued. In the meantime we may be quite sure that American
passports in London will be the subject of very special attention.
What diplomatic action the United States may take in the matter it is
impossible to say, but we can be fairly sure that such a proceeding as
the stealing of neutral passports and using them for the purposes of
spying in Great Britain will hardly be allowed to pass without very
serious protest.

The Lody case has had one good effect in bringing home to a public,
which is, alas! too liable to be careless in such matters, the reality
of the German spy-peril in the country. The public had been so
consistently deluded in this matter by those who were perfectly aware
of the real facts of German espionage that it was far too much inclined
to look upon everyone who insisted that there was a very real and very
urgent spy danger as a mere alarmist. It knows better now! Anyone who
glances at the columns of the daily Press must be aware that public
opinion is slowly awakening to the real urgency of the question, and,
though I and others have been bitterly disappointed that our warnings
have, to a great extent, gone unheeded, I am even now not without hope
that we shall yet see the public insist that adequate steps shall be
taken for our national safety in this respect.

It is true we may offend Germany by the drastic action the position
demands. We may even, it is true, make the lot of Englishmen still,
unhappily, in Germany, harder and more disagreeable. We shall regret
either necessity. But the safety of the country has to come first.

Germany has never shown the slightest regard for our feelings, and I
am sure that those of our countrymen who are prisoners in Germany,
military or civil, would cheerfully suffer any conceivable hardship
rather than that the safety of our beloved Empire should be jeopardised
in the hope of making better terms for them.

To think otherwise would be to assume that patriotism had entirely
departed from us.



We can respect Lody; we can have no other feelings but the bitterest
scorn and contempt for such traitorous miscreants as the ex-naval
gunner, Charles Parrott, who, early in 1913, was sentenced to four
years' penal servitude, under the Official Secrets Act of 1911, for
selling official secrets likely to be useful to the enemy.

The class of traitor to which Parrott belongs represents the spy in
his very lowest and most contemptible guise. About these wretched
agents among us there is no redeeming feature. Patriotism is, to them,
a word of no meaning; to their country they have no attachment: their
one idea is to make money, and to do this they are willing to risk the
very existence of the nation to which they belong. Show them gold, and
there is no work on earth too dirty for them to undertake! And we have,
I fear, many such men in our public services. It is men of this stamp
who have made the very name of "spy" a by-word in all countries and all
times--not the men who risk their lives in order to gain an advantage
for the cause to which they are attached by every sacred obligation of

Parrott, up to August, 1912, was a gunner attached to H.M.S. "Pembroke"
at Sheerness. He was a warrant officer, and as such would have
opportunities of obtaining information which would be denied to those
of lower rank. The charge against him was, of course, not one of
spying, since the offence was not committed in time of war. It was
couched in the following terms:--

  That he being a British officer did feloniously communicate at
  Ostend to a person unknown certain information in regard to the
  arms, armaments, dispositions and movements of ships and men of His
  Majesty's Navy which was calculated, or intended to be, or might be
  useful to an enemy.

In considering Parrott's case we have to remember that he was an
Englishman, in the service of the Crown in the Navy, and a British
officer. He was in a position of responsibility, and his pay, with
allowances, would work out at about £260 a year, so that he had not
even the excuse of poverty to urge in mitigation of his horrible
offence. He had been in the Navy for a number of years, and he was
regarded as an efficient and trustworthy officer, so that he was able
to become acquainted with matters which it was his obvious duty to
guard with the most jealous care. He had been associated with the
building of the "Agamemnon" on the Clyde, so that he was intimately
acquainted with all those particulars of guns and armaments which,
in the event of war, it would be of the utmost interest to an enemy
to know. He knew, in fact, of confidential matters of the utmost

Parrott, on July 11th, 1912, asked for and obtained leave of absence,
on the plea that he wanted to go to Devonport. On the same day he sent
a telegram, not from Sheerness, where he lived, but from Sittingbourne,
to "Richard Dinger," at an address in Berlin, saying, "Coming eight
o'clock Saturday, Seymour." The same day he left Sheerness by train. A
lady travelled with him as far as Sittingbourne, and then he went on
alone to Dover.

Apparently he had already become an object of suspicion, for on the
Admiralty Pier at Dover he was questioned by Detective-Inspector Grey.
He was searched, and on him was found a piece of torn paper on which
were the words: "When there is a chance," "Coming over on Saturday of
that same week," "You telegraph probably Saturday, then I make all my
arrangements to leave the moment I get order." On the other side of
the paper were the words, "Richard Dinger, Esq.," and "With much love,
yours, R."

Parrott's explanation of all this was that he had been writing to a
woman in the name of another man, and that he was going to meet her at
Ostend. In his pocket was found a naval signal-form, and in answer to
the Inspector he admitted that he was a naval officer, and asked that
his wife should not be told about the "lady." The Inspector decided to
let him go, but kept the paper.

Parrott evidently thought that the detective had no suspicion as to
the real motive of his visit to Ostend, or he would surely have taken
the alarm. He crossed, however, to Ostend, carefully shadowed all
the time by no less acute an observer than ex-inspector Melville of
Scotland Yard. When the boat arrived at Ostend, Parrott went through
the station, and was joined by another man. There was no greeting,
no welcome, no handshaking, not a sign of recognition; the other man
simply sidled up alongside Parrott and they went off together. Mr.
Melville formed the opinion that the man was a foreigner, and probably
a German. They went about together for a time and then Parrott returned
to Dover.

An inquiry followed, and ultimately Parrott's name was removed from the
Navy List. The case against him was not, however, complete, and it was
not until October that the police were able to lay him by the heels.
It was then found that he was having letters addressed to him in the
name of Couch delivered at a tobacconist's shop at Chelsea. Five or
six letters came to him, and on November 16th two police officers went
to the shop, where another letter had arrived. During the day Parrott
called, the letter was given to him, and he was at once arrested.

In his presence the letter was opened. Inside were two £5 Bank of
England notes--which, it was afterwards shown, had been in circulation
in Germany--and a letter bearing the postmark "London, E.," which was
as follows:--

  Dear Mr. Couch,--I am very much obliged to you for your prompt reply
  to my last letter. Now I beg to place in your hands some questions
  in addition to my last letter. Have the goodness to leave as soon as
  possible for Firth of Forth, ascertaining about the following:--Which
  parts of the Fleet are in or off the Forth since November 5. Only
  the vessels of the First and Eighth Destroyer Flotilla, or which
  other men-of-war of any kind else? Where is the Second Destroyer
  Flotilla now? Have there been mobilising tests of the Flotillas and
  coast defences in the Firth of Forth? What are the Flotillas doing or
  proposing now? What number of Royal Fleet Reserve Class A are called
  in now for the yearly exercise? Where do they exercise? Are any of
  these men kept longer than a fortnight? I think it will be necessary
  to stay some days at Firth of Forth for gathering information about
  those questions. I should be much obliged if I could be informed as
  soon as you have got satisfying statements about one or several of
  these points. Do not wait to answer until you have found out all I
  wish to know.

  Enclosed £10 as travel expenses for the last and this journey. Please
  tell me in the next letter after having returned to London your
  expenses that I can hand you the balance if the £10 should not do
  it. I beg you to keep yourself ready, if possible also in the near
  future, to run over immediately to any place as soon as rumours as
  to extraordinary preparations of material and personal are running.
  In such a case please do not wait until you have received an order
  from me, but leave on your own accord, and at the same time send
  your address and make your doings known to me with particulars of the
  reason.--Yours truly, Richard.

I have given this letter in full for several reasons. Parrott was
not definitely charged with giving information to Germany, but the
letter is obviously the work of a German, and, moreover, a German who
was working in London--for it was posted in the Eastern district!
It suggests, moreover, that the Germans suspected that some naval
movements were on foot, and were willing to pay handsomely to get
the news; it will be noted that Parrott was practically given _carte
blanche_ to spend what he liked without waiting for authority from
his master. A subsequent examination of his banking account showed
that he had paid in about fourteen £5 notes, some of which had been in
circulation in Germany. He had also been in Hamburg and Flushing, two
centres of German espionage.

Parrott's own explanation of the affair was that he met a woman in a
London music hall and went over to Ostend to see her. While he was
there he failed to meet the woman, but a man came up to him and asked
him if he was expecting to meet anyone. He replied that he expected to
meet a lady, and the man then professed to know about her, and said she
was unable to come. After that he received a letter from the man he met
at Ostend. At that time he had been dismissed from the Service, and the
letter expressed the concern of the writer, and the lady had offered
to help him. He replied asking what assistance they could give, and had
a letter asking him to go to Hamburg. He went and met the man, who said
he was a newspaper correspondent, and asked him to write an article
once a week dealing with naval matters--a story curiously like that
told by the spy Schulz. He afterwards received a letter from "Richard"
outlining the kind of article required. The man said: "Let me know the
progress of warships building, ships launched, ships laid down, and
the movements of ships. Send me a specimen article dealing with the
subject." He then bought a copy of a naval paper and from it wrote an
article, which he sent.

Then Parrott described how he got a letter from the lady asking him to
go to Rotterdam to see her. This he did, hoping, as he said, "to induce
her to come to England, as he wished to raise the question why he was
dismissed from the Service." Not unnaturally the lady declined to come,
but Parrott admitted that she told a man who was with her to pay his
expenses, and then gave him 100 francs.

"I have little doubt but that you were entrapped by a woman," said Mr.
Justice Darling, in sending Parrott to four years' penal servitude.
"You have been long under suspicion," his Lordship added; "I do not
believe for a moment it was a first offence."

Even the Liberal journals which had long insisted that there were no
German spies in England thought this sentence was inadequate. "It will
strike most people," said the _Daily Chronicle_, "as not erring on the
side of over-severity." The case was a flagrant abuse of a most sacred
trust, and deserved all the punishment the law allowed; as a matter of
fact, it deserved a good deal more, and Parrott was more than lucky
that he was on trial, not in Germany, but in England.

The case of Karl Gustav Ernst is of very great interest, not only
as revealing some of the methods of the Kaiser's "master-spy," the
man Steinhauer, but also as showing the utter futility of relying on
"naturalisation" of Germans to protect us against spying.

We are constantly told that it is impossible for us to take steps
against "naturalised" Germans, as we have solemnly undertaken to treat
them in all respects as Englishmen, and we have even "naturalised" many
Germans since the outbreak of war. The Ernst case ought to have been
sufficient warning of the danger arising from the naturalised alien,
but apparently there is no limit to the innocent trustfulness of our
sleepy Home Office. How long it will be before we learn that a German
no more changes his nature by adopting naturalisation than an ass does
if he clothes himself in a lion's skin I cannot say; I only hope it
will not be brought home to us by some terrible catastrophe which will
seriously affect our fighting power. Ernst, be it remembered, was not
even naturalised; he claimed to have been born in England, and posed as
an Englishman. Yet he was a spy; how much more, then, have we reason
to suspect the recently "naturalised alien" whose national sympathies
have not been blunted by birth and long residence in this country? The
leopard cannot change his spots, and "once a German, always a German,"
is the only safe rule for us in the present crisis.

Ernst, who was a hairdresser in the Caledonian Road, London, had been
for sixteen years in business there. His function was to act as a sort
of "post-office" for Steinhauer of Potsdam, by whom letters were sent
to him for distribution throughout England. In order to minimise risks
of detection, these letters were posted in various parts of London.
Ernst, of course, besides acting as "post-office," made inquiries on
his own account, and did some of the work of getting into touch with
other agents. He was paid all out-of-pocket expenses and a kind of
retaining fee, first of £1 a month, and then, when he pointed out that
the business was both risky and important, £1 10s. a month.

Ernst first came under suspicion of the Nameless Department as long
ago as October, 1911, and we ought to admit with cheerful gratitude
that he was a very valuable ally to us! From the very commencement
the authorities were, I happen to know, alive to what was going on,
and the closest observation was kept on the hairdresser's shop. All
letters were opened by the postal authorities, their contents were
carefully copied, and a most useful accumulation of information thus
came into the hands of the astute director of the Department. It was
not specifically stated that Parrott was detected in this way, but as
letters were sent to him by Ernst we may well assume that by such means
the authorities were put on his track.

One of the most useful pieces of information picked up was a list of
names and addresses of persons to whom letters from Germany were sent
for distribution, and who were spies at Chatham, Sheerness, Portsmouth,
Rosyth, and other places. An amusing feature of the case was that
after all these letters had been carefully examined and copied by the
Post Office they were delivered in the ordinary course with only a
very slight delay, and thus the suspicions of the spies, if indeed
they entertained any, were most effectually put to sleep. The Nameless
Department was not quite the fool the Germans had some excuse for
thinking it!

An important discovery made early in the case was the _nom de guerre_
of Steinhauer of Potsdam. He had at that time become "Mrs. Reimers."
"Mr. J. Walters, c/o K.G. Ernst" was soon found to be Ernst himself,
who had long before suggested the adoption of that name to avoid

It will illustrate the thoroughness of German methods to mention that
most of the letters sent to Ernst were written on English paper,
so that when he posted them there would be nothing to call special
attention to them. One of the letters from Steinhauer read in court was
a request for English paper and envelopes, which Ernst duly forwarded
as "samples." Many of the letters intercepted by the Post Office
contained money, mostly in the shape of bank-notes.

The work that Ernst was doing was sufficiently important to justify a
visit from the redoubtable Steinhauer himself, as we learn from Ernst's
own statement. During the time he was in custody Ernst made a statement
to a detective in which he said:--

  I am sorry I was introduced into this business. Kronauer introduced
  me. I thought it was only a private inquiry business. I have only
  seen Steinhauer once. That was just before Christmas in 1911.

  He came to my shop on a Sunday morning. My shop was open and I had
  several customers there. He said to me, "Are you Mr. Ernst?" and I
  said, "Yes." He said, "Do you know me?" I said, "No." He said, "You
  have heard of me, I am Steinhauer. I see you are busy now. I want
  to have a quiet chat with you. I will come back after the shop is
  closed. What time do you close?" I said, "Twelve o'clock."

  He said, "All right, I will come back after that, and went away. He
  returned later and came into my parlour, where we sat down and had a
  long talk."

This statement is exceedingly interesting, as we know that Steinhauer,
as described in another chapter, was in London about this time, when he
actually went to Buckingham Palace as a member of the Kaiser's suite.
That he should be able to spare time to visit a man in Ernst's position
shows what work the latter was doing, and also throws a good deal of
light on the class of agent most useful to the Germans--the "small"
man, whose insignificant position does so much to guard him against

In one of his letters Ernst represented himself as "a zealous stamp
collector," of course to explain, in the event of detection, the
constant remittances he was receiving from Germany. This letter,
addressed to "Miss Reimers," ran:--

  Dear Mr. Steinhauer,--Best thanks for the 100 marks, which were
  handed to me mid-day to-day. If you think it right you can in future
  send my advance direct to me without having recourse to a third
  person--namely, in the following way. I am a zealous stamp collector.
  Many of my customers and also my assistants know this. On the
  occasion of the next remittance copy the following letter:--

  "Dear Mr. Ernst,--Your last parcel of stamps arrived just in time
  to be included in last month's sale. Messrs. Kurt Moeser and also
  Koehler, the Berlin stamp auctioneers, are realising good prices at
  their sales. I have enclosed 100 marks on account, and will forward
  balance later. A receipt for the enclosed by return will oblige."

I have sent you last Sunday's paper. What I can see from the case
Henschel will go over to the British Secret Service just as the doctor
from Glasgow has done. It has also occurred to me that Henschel's
wife's maiden name was Miss Riley, and that one of Scotland Yard's
Special Service Inspectors, who had the case in hand, was also called
Riley. In conclusion, many greetings.--I remain, yours, J. Walters.

It may be mentioned incidentally that the "doctor from Glasgow" was
Armgaard Carl Graves, a well-known spy. Henschel was a German who was
accused in London on his own confession of disclosing naval secrets
and of conspiring with the ex-gunner Parrott. It was suggested that
certain information he gave was communicated under the understanding
that he should not be prosecuted, and under the circumstances the Crown
withdrew the case, the accused giving an undertaking that he would not
in any way make known the matter with which he had become acquainted.

Ernst's case was hopeless from the start; in fact, so complete was the
evidence, that as soon as Mr. Bodkin had opened the case for the Crown,
his counsel withdrew, explaining that the prisoner had assured him he
had had nothing to do with espionage, but that he (counsel) was sure
Mr. Bodkin would not make an opening statement he could not justify.

Ernst was sent to seven years' penal servitude. "You are a mean,
mercenary spy," said Mr. Justice Coleridge in sentencing him, "ready to
betray your country to the enemy for money; equally ready, I dare say,
to betray Germany to us for an increased reward." The case could not
have been better summed up.

I will now pass on to the case of Armgaard Carl Graves, which is
remarkable chiefly for its extraordinary sequel. Graves, who was
arrested in Glasgow, had been receiving letters at the Post Office
in the name of "John Stafford." When he was taken into custody a
memorandum-book found in his pocket was found to contain a number of
leaves gummed together at the open edges. When they were cut apart the
police found groups of figures opposite German phrases, apparently
constituting a code. In a pocket-case several more groups of figures
were found, the number 271 being subtracted from each. That afterwards
supplied the key to the code. There was also a note in German relating
to a new gun under construction by Beardmore and Company, and three
code telegrams from Amsterdam. There were also found a number of
maps covering the Firth of Forth and the vicinity, and a bundle of
cartridge cases, including two of the latest British Army pattern. The
description of the new gun was said to be practically accurate, and it
was also stated that Graves' code appeared to indicate every class of
ship in the Navy, and also such strategic points as Scapa Flow, Moray
Firth and Cromarty--the same code which is probably being used by the
naval spies still amongst us to-day.

This code, used for the telegrams between the prisoner and his
Continental correspondents, was, said counsel for the Crown, a very
deadly one to be found in his possession. If the person utilising it
were in a certain place on a certain day and found that mines were
being laid, he would telegraph the figures 11,719 to 11,729. "He seems
to be the ideal character for a spy," counsel added; "he has a very
high intelligence, and is sociable, genial and affable, while his
moral character is not of a very high standard." He was sentenced to
eighteen months' imprisonment. "Well--exit Armgaard Carl Graves," was
the prisoner's only remark on hearing the decision.

Graves was sentenced on July 23rd, 1912. On June 7th, 1913, came the
amazing announcement that he had been released. When, and why he
was set at liberty, no one outside official circles knows; all the
information given was that "Graves was released in due course of law,
but there is no further information to give." Graves's own story was
that he was released in order that he might join the British Secret
Service, but this fact, and even the fact that he had been released,
came to us from America. The sensational story of his release and
subsequent adventures was published by the _New York American_ in the
following narrative:--

  Armgaard Carl Graves, former secret agent in the German service,
  who was convicted of espionage in England last July and sentenced
  to eighteen months' imprisonment, declares that shortly after his
  sentence he was released in order that he might join the British
  Secret Service.

  He was sent to America, and there discovered that envoys of Germany
  and Japan had met in New York with the object of completing an
  anti-American agreement. He succeeded in making a copy of the
  document and cabling it to the British Foreign Office.

  He never got any payment from England, however, so has decided
  to make the contents public. The agreement binds Germany not to
  interfere in a great Japanese scheme of colonisation in the South

Graves afterwards published a book in which he professed to give away
many of the secrets of the German spy system. Information we have
received from other sources shows that a great deal of the book is well
founded, and it may well be that on the whole it is a fairly reliable
exposure of German methods. But the last thing one should do is to
trust or believe the spy!

According to Graves--whose account we should accept with considerable
reserve--the heads of the departments of the spy-organisation in Berlin
are all German officers, recruited from "the old feudal aristocracy."
He declares that though they plan the work, they never execute it. "No
active or commissioned officer," he says, "does Secret Service work."
He shows, too, that whatever ethics they may hold about doing dirty
work themselves, the German officers wash their hands entirely of the
methods their subordinates may choose or find it necessary to adopt.
One of them explained the matter to him in terms which admit of no
misunderstanding. He said:--

  We cannot afford to be squeamish. The interests at stake are too vast
  to let personal ethical questions stand in the way. What would be
  required of you in the first instance is to gain for us information
  such as we seek. The means by which you gain this information will be
  left entirely to your own discretion. We expect results.

It was also made clear to him that he had only himself to depend
upon, and if he got into trouble he would get no help. "Be pleased to
understand," was the official warning given at the first interview,
"that this service is dangerous, and no official assistance could be
given in any circumstances."

As to the agents employed in this work, Graves says the Personal
Branch, the most important, is managed from the Wilhelmstrasse, the
German Foreign Office, the Emperor in person, or his immediate Privy
Councillor. He adds:--

  The personnel consists of all classes of men and women. Princes and
  counts, lawyers and doctors, actors and actresses, mondaines of the
  great world, demi-mondaines of the half-world, waiters and porters,
  all are made use of as occasion requires. It may well happen that
  your interesting acquaintance in the saloon of an express steamer,
  or your charming companion in the tea-room of the Ritz, is the paid
  agent of some Government.

A sinister side of the profession is also revealed; grave risks are run
by the spy even from his own side. A woman named Olga Bruder, whose
death in a hotel on the Russian border was described as suicide, is
said to have been poisoned; a Lieutenant von Zastrov was compelled to
fight duels until he was at last killed. They knew too much, Graves
declares, and the death sentence came from their own employers. One can
well believe it, for the records of German espionage show that in their
own interests the Germans stick at nothing.

One episode which Graves relates concerns a famous dancer, still
living, whom the Germans believed to be a Russian Government spy. They
suspected that she had an "affair" with a young officer in the Potsdam
garrison, and one night they became interested in a gold "vanity bag"
which the young officer had given to her; they believed it contained
some secret military intelligence. How they got possession of it was
very clever.

The dancer was at supper at the Ice Palace in Berlin, and her bag lay
on the table. A "clumsy" waiter upset a glass of champagne on the
cloth. Instantly the cloth was whipped off, and, with the bag inside
it, was taken away. A moment or two later back came the waiter with
the bag and many apologies. The waiter was a clever spy, and in the
moment or two that he had been absent the incriminating letter had been
secured. The bag was offered to the dancer, who at once opened it, and
finding the letter had disappeared, promptly said the bag was not
hers. But she was put over the frontier just the same.

Many more cases might be cited to show the ramifications of the German
spy system in England, but I have selected the foregoing as typical,
and most of the others follow more or less the same general outline.
They all point to the same conclusion: that the number of German agents
in England is endless, that they are to be found in all places and
in all ranks of society, that they are clever and daring to the last
degree, and that nothing is too large or too small for their attention.
Many of them, no doubt, have been interned; many of them, no doubt, are
still at work, risking everything in their ceaseless efforts to bring
about our undoing. There is only one effective protection--_to make
a clean sweep of all Germans and Austrians, naturalised or not_, and
confine them in the concentration camps until the war is over. Treat
them properly, by all means, but put them out of the way of doing us

This drastic measure, it is true, will not protect us against the
traitor within our gates, but it would at least do much to remove the
greatest source of peril.



We know, from official sources, that in spite of all the foolish
self-congratulation of Mr. McKenna and his friends--who are "getting
on" towards Birthday Honours,--and his attempt to gag the _Globe_,
there are some 27,000 alien enemies still at large in Great Britain,
and upon their activities on their country's behalf, until recently our
only check was the shadowy form of "registration" that we have adopted.
Even many of those interned are now being released upon bonds being
given by responsible citizens.

Unfortunately, anyone who ventures to suggest that these people--whose
bonds may be signed by persons in German pay--may constitute a very
serious danger, is at once branded, officially, as an alarmist, and
accused of attempting to manufacture a "spy scare," whatever official
optimists may mean by that term.

I am no alarmist, and the last thing I should wish to see in our
country would be a scare of any description. But as I have, for so
many years, made a special study of the spy question, as the evidence
I was able to lay before the Government caused the establishment of
our anti-espionage precautions, I think, without undue egotism, I may
claim to know something about the matter. I should have remained silent
unless I had been absolutely convinced that there is still a very real
and very grave peril of espionage owing to our supineness in this
matter of aliens living here practically uncontrolled, and certainly
owing to their great numbers not being under anything like effective

The popular idea of the spy still seems to be that he is, invariably,
an individual sent specially from Germany to wander about this country
picking up such scraps of information as he can. There could be no
more dangerous delusion. The Germans are far too acute to trust to
such methods; they know a great deal too much about the science of
espionage to dream of thinking that foreigners sent hap-hazard into
this country--obviously strangers and, therefore, most likely to invite
attention--are likely to be able to carry out safely the difficult
and dangerous work of espionage. Their secret agents are chosen,
invariably, with the utmost care and method.

The "foreign" spy is not the worst peril; the real danger comes from
those who, for years, have made their homes among us, who have married
Englishwomen, and have become so familiar to their neighbours that they
are in little or no danger of being under the slightest suspicion.
This has been proved over and over again, both here and in France,
during the present war.

The case of the barber Ernst was a good instance. This man had carried
on business at the same shop _for sixteen years_, and we can be quite
sure that the last thing his neighbours thought of him was that he was
a spy in German pay! No. He was a good Englishman like the rest of us.
Yet, it was shown that he was a secret agent of the most dangerous
character, and even worthy of a personal visit from the great and
distinguished Steinhauer himself!

Now I hope that the many who have read my books over the last twenty
years will at least believe that I am one of the last men to be
suspected of any desire to belittle my own countrymen. I am simply an
Englishman who has tried to interest them. To-day I point a peril to
each and all of my million readers. But I wish to make it quite clear
that nothing I say in this connection should be taken as reflecting
on the work of our Confidential Department--a department which has
done magnificently and which in every way I respect. They have matched
brains against brains, and cunning against cunning, and the balance of
the account is decidedly in their favour. They have, indeed, fooled
Steinhauer's agents all through--examined their correspondence and
their reports, tracked the agents down by the information thus gained,
arrested a large number of them, and to a very great extent smashed
the organisation in its original form. So much I cheerfully admit, and
congratulate them heartily upon their success. My point is that the
work has not gone far enough, that what they have done has not been
adequately supplemented, that much yet remains to be done before we can
assume that a reasonable degree of security has been attained.

On October 8th last, a very important statement was issued by the Home
Secretary, describing the steps that had been taken "to deal with the
system of espionage on which Germany has placed so much reliance." I
have shown elsewhere how the Confidential Department came into being,
and how it was able to "discover the ramifications of the German Secret
Service in England." In this statement Mr. McKenna says:--

  The agents ... were watched and shadowed without in general taking
  any hostile action or allowing them to know that their movements
  were watched. When, however, any actual step was taken to convey
  documents or plans of importance from this country to Germany, the
  spy was arrested, and in such cases evidence sufficient to secure his
  conviction was usually found in his possession.

  Proceedings under the Official Secrets Act were taken by the Director
  of Public Prosecutions, and in six cases sentences were passed
  varying from eighteen months to six years' penal servitude. At the
  same time steps were taken to mark down and keep under observation
  all the agents known to have been engaged in this traffic, so that
  when any necessity arose the police might lay hands upon them at
  once; and accordingly on August 4th, before the declaration of war,
  instructions were given by the Home Secretary for the arrest of
  twenty known spies, and all were arrested.

This figure, it is added, does not cover over two hundred who were
under suspicion or noted to be kept under special observation, the
great majority of whom were interned at, or soon after, the declaration
of war.

Now, although the spy organisation which had been established before
the war may have been partially broken up, Mr. McKenna admits that "it
is still necessary to take _the most rigorous measures_ to prevent the
establishment of any fresh organisation, and to deal with individual
spies who might previously have been working in this country outside
the organisation, or who might be sent here under the guise of neutrals
after the declaration of war."

Here really we have the crux of the whole matter. It is easy enough to
deal with the known spy; it is easy enough in time of war for the Post
Office to watch very closely correspondence not only with Germany, but
also with neutral countries, from which letters can so easily be sent
into Germany--as I have sent them--and it is easy enough to censor
cables. Mr. McKenna says:--

  This censorship has been extremely effective in stopping secret
  communications by cable or letter with the enemy, but as its
  existence was necessarily known to them, it has not, except in a few
  instances, produced materials for the detection of espionage.

I should think not, indeed! Would any sane person suspect the German
Secret Service of such imbecility as endeavouring to send important
reports by post or cable from this country in time of war, except as
a last desperate resort to deal with some unexpected situation in
an apparently harmless message? It was this very thing that brought
about the downfall of Lody, and the fact that he attempted to send
a cable-message shows how urgent he thought it was that his message
should reach its destination as soon as possible. He trusted to luck,
but luck failed him. If I thought our Confidential Department regarded
such a proceeding as normal, I should indeed be in despair.

Remember one highly important fact. It is perfectly easy to-day to
travel from Holland or Denmark to Berlin, and there is no difficulty in
anyone with a British or American passport travelling from this country
to Holland. Some two hundred British and American passports have been
"mislaid"--in plainer language, stolen--by the German authorities. Can
we think for a moment that it would be impossible for the Germans to
find agents quite willing to run, as commercial travellers or what not,
the trivial risk of making the journey from England to Holland, where
their information could be handed over for conveyance to Berlin?

Lody came to England as an American; I have no doubt he could have
gone back to Berlin in the same guise if he had wanted to. We know
perfectly well that every scrap of official news published here finds
its way to Berlin in a very short time--a distinguished British
General a few days ago stated that the German commanders had copies
of the London papers within a few hours of publication. Where, then,
assuming a spy in England has secured some useful information, lies the
difficulty of transmitting it to those who are ready and anxious to
receive it?

Suspected passengers on the steamers, it may be said, can be searched,
and letters found upon them examined. Is it to be imagined that a spy's
reports would be written in copperplate on a large sheet of paper for
all and sundry to read? Need they even be written at all?

Censorship on mails and on cables, and the close examination of
cross-Channel passengers are excellent precautions, but, after all, we
are only locking the door after the horse has been stolen. Admit that
the spy is here, grant that he has got hold of a piece of important
information, and I will wager that he finds means of transmitting it to
his Government, if he possesses an ounce of sense.

The man Louis Trabbaut, sentenced at Marlborough Street, had passed
through the German lines nine times between London and Brussels. More
than this, it has been shown that the Kaiser, since the war began,
has been using a courier _to send letters to London_! On October
8th, Mr. H.L. Reiach, editor of the _Yachting Monthly_, received a
card from Vice-Admiral K. von Eisendecher, who is attached to the
Kaiser's suite, stating that he would no longer subscribe for that
journal. There is no reason, as the _Daily Mail_ pointed out, why this
particular communication should not have been sent by open post in
the ordinary way, but for some reason the Kaiser's Admiral preferred
to use the secret courier service. The letter, written at Karlsruhe,
was evidently brought over by a courier, stamped with an English penny
stamp, and posted in the South-West district of London.

I wonder what else came over by that courier, and, still more, what
went back!

"It is practically impossible," said a high police official discussing
this incident, "to prevent this smuggling of letters." The only certain
way to prevent it would be to detain and strip every passenger arriving
at our South and East Coast ports, and minutely examine every article
of their clothing. The authorities have power to detain and search
any suspected person, but that is very different from searching every
passenger--man, woman and child. The real remedy lies not in these
palliatives; the disease is desperate enough to call for drastic
remedies. We must stop so far as is humanly possible--and no one asks
more--the collection of information here. And there is only one really
effective way of doing this--intern or deport every individual of enemy
birth, naturalised or not, until the end of the war.

Now I am not alone in holding this opinion; it has been expressed by
our judges, and by much more exalted individuals than my humble self.
So recently as October 27th, the Recorder of Pontefract said:--

  All those who have not been naturalised at all should be deported
  until the end of the war. Those who had been naturalised during the
  past ten years, since when Germany has been competing navally with
  England, should be interned under supervision but allowed to conduct
  their business; men naturalised over ten years ago should be allowed
  to live on their own premises under substantial bond for their good
  behaviour under police supervision.

This is the opinion, not of a layman, but of a judge, speaking with all
the authority and responsibility which must attach to his high office.
Must we write him down as a spy-maniac or an alarmist?

Lord Leith of Fyvie is a nobleman who has been giving special attention
to the spy-peril, more particularly along the East Coast. Here is his
view, expressed at Torquay as recently as October 23rd:--

  At last the chief spy has been removed from the neighbourhood of
  Rosyth (it was late enough, I might remark!), and the Government has
  recognised the necessity of making a wholesale sweep of aliens. There
  cannot be any distinction between classes. The only exception ought
  to be in favour of English women who have married aliens. All others
  ought to be transported to a neutral country; out of Great Britain
  they must go. Such a course would certainly be the most humane
  course that could be taken. Originally the East Coast was the most
  dangerous zone, but in view of the desire of the "Head spy and devil
  Emperor William" to seize Calais, it was necessary to deal with the
  whole coast.

The Government recently decided to arrest all enemy aliens between the
ages of 17 and 45. This, of course, meant that all men of military age
were to be arrested, and it was a welcome step. No doubt this decision,
which was announced on October 22nd, considerably reduced the danger of
espionage arrangements that had previously been made, by removing many
of the agents. But are we to assume that the Home Secretary considers
that no German over 45 is capable of acting the part of a spy? Or is he
under the impression that 45 is the utmost age attained by Germans in
this country?

"After this war," said Mr. Justice Ridley at Worcester Assizes on
October 22nd, "we must make an end of spies. The German nation appears
to think that it can conquer Europe by a system of espionage. We will
have no more of that." Most people will concur with the learned judge's
view, but will regard it as rather belated to wait till "the end of the
war" to make an end of the German espionage which is rampant _now_!

It is often represented by well-meaning people that it would be unjust,
and not in accordance with British fair-play, to take steps against
aliens who have become naturalised. We are told that these people have
been promised the full liberty accorded to British-born subjects, and
that to treat them in a manner different from other Englishmen would be
to go back upon our solemn undertaking.

I confess this argument leaves me unmoved. We have no use for the
unpatriotic get-rich-at-the-expense-of-your-neighbour arguments. We
are Britons, and Britons we will remain in spite of the puny leading
articles in unimportant papers. Naturalisation, in the great majority
of cases, means absolutely nothing; it is, indeed, usually adopted
purely for business reasons. Seldom does a German become so imbued
with profound veneration for our institutions and customs that nothing
short of citizenship of our Empire will satisfy his sacred feelings
of patriotism. Moreover, naturalisation is one of the spy's favourite
devices, and surely one of his best methods of disarming any possible

But these are not ordinary times, and the requirements of the situation
as we see it cannot surely be met by ordinary methods. Nothing is more
jealously guarded in this country than the right to be protected from
arbitrary imprisonment. No one in England can be arrested and kept in
custody for more than a few hours without being fully informed of the
nature of the charge against him, and brought before a magistrate,
whose duty it is to decide whether there is a _prima facie_ case
against him, upon which he should be sent for trial. That, in ordinary
times, is the British practice. Yet, only a few days before I write,
the High Court refused an order, under the Habeas Corpus Act, that an
Englishman, who had been imprisoned for over a week without any charge
having been made against him, should be brought up for trial.

The case was a remarkable one. A collision had occurred between a
submarine and a British steamer, and the captain of the steamer was
arrested. No charge being preferred against him, application was made
to the High Court. It was stated in Court that a charge might be made,
but that it was against the interests of the nation that it should be
stated. The application was therefore refused.

Looking at the absolute stringency of English law on this subject at
ordinary times, that was a very remarkable decision, but I venture to
think it was absolutely correct, since the interests of the State must
at all times over-ride the rights of the individual. The question of
the guilt or innocence of the captain, it should be remembered, was not
before the Court, and was not even discussed.

The same rule, I contend, should be applied to the naturalised alien.
It was Burke who said that it was not possible to frame an indictment
against a nation, but we can say with tolerable certainty that no
German loses his German sympathies simply because he takes out
naturalisation papers at the British Home Office.

Undoubtedly, if it were determined to intern or deport all of alien
birth, whether naturalised or not, there would be many cases of
hardship, and many people who are good citizens and perfectly loyal to
the country of their adoption would suffer. Many such are suffering
to-day. I am not going to suggest for a moment that every one of the
thousands of aliens we have interned in the concentration camps is
dangerous, either as a spy or as a combatant. I do insist, however,
that many of them are, and to catch all the guilty we must necessarily,
though with regret, inflict hardship on some who are innocent. Exactly
the same conditions apply to the naturalised alien; in many cases they
apply with even greater force.

In his published statement from which I have already quoted, Mr.
McKenna parades with intense satisfaction the absence, since the war
began, of any outrages traceable to aliens. He says:--

  Another matter which has engaged the closest attention of the police
  has been the possibility of conspiracies to commit outrages. No trace
  whatever has been discovered of any such conspiracy, and no outrage
  of any sort has yet been committed by any alien--not even telegraph
  wires having been maliciously cut since the beginning of the war.

As a dose of soothing-syrup administered in Mr. McKenna's "best
bedside manner" this is inimitable; as a contribution to the solution
of a very serious problem, it lacks finality. I wonder whether it has
ever occurred to the Home Secretary, or the sleepy Department over
which he presides, that, up to the present moment, there has not been
the slightest necessity for any alien to commit an outrage of any
description, and that to have done so before the time was ripe would
merely have meant rousing such an outburst here that, when the time did
come, there would probably not have been an alien left at liberty to
give help at the psychological moment? What, in the name of Johnson,
would it profit a German, or Germany, to blow up at the present moment
a tube station or one or two bridges on our main lines? The time for
that was when we were moving the Expeditionary Force, if at all, under
present conditions. But the movement of the Expeditionary Force was
carried out with such speed and secrecy that hardly anyone knew what
was going on, and in any case a slight delay to a few units of that
Force would not have been a vital matter.

Now whether it is possible or not, whether it has a faint chance of
success or whether it is foredoomed to hopeless failure, an invasion
of England is at the present moment the dearest dream of every German
heart. To compass that, they are prepared to make any and every
sacrifice. Personally, I have no fear that to-day such an invasion
would have the remotest chance of success, but that is not the belief
of Germans, military or civilian. They believe that it is not only
possible, but that it must succeed, and we know that plans for carrying
it out have been carefully elaborated for years past.

Suppose the Germans come. Troops will be instantly hurried towards the
scene of their landing by every railway in England. What, then, I ask,
would be the value of a few skilfully placed charges of explosive?
What, then, would be the value of a successful attempt to cut the trunk
telephone or telegraph wires running along one of our main lines of
communication? What would it mean to us if an important bridge on a
main line were shattered, and many trainloads of troops delayed for
hours? Remember that in the unlikely event of invasion time will be
calculated by minutes, for the Germans must rely upon the effects of a
desperate dash to strike us in a vital spot before we could overwhelm
them by accumulated reinforcements.

But Mr. McKenna tells us "there is no evidence of a conspiracy to
commit outrages." Let us fold our arms and sleep! I wonder what the
War Office would tell him if he hinted that there was no evidence that
the Germans were planning to invade us, and that they had better cease
the arrangements they are very properly making to deal with such a
contingency, however remote or unlikely it may appear!

It is not in the least degree likely that all the German arrangements
and plans have been made for outside operations only, and that every
internal device that could help to ruin us has been neglected; that
is not at all the German way. It has already been officially admitted
that there is reason for believing that the Germans have established
petrol stores in these islands. Is there any reason why they should
not equally have established depots of explosives for use in the same

Our naval authorities say quite plainly that, with the present
disposition of the Fleet, no invading force above the proportions of a
raiding party intended to create panic could ever hope to reach these
shores. To that, I think, the great majority of our people, supremely
confident in our splendid Navy, cordially subscribe. But in war no
chances can be taken, for the unexpected always happens, and though we
may not discuss the measures that have been adopted, it is known that
the War Office authorities have done everything possible to provide for
even such a remote contingency. Can we say that the Home Office has
done everything possible to cut the claws of the German plotters, when
so many potential enemies are still allowed to be at large amongst us?
And further, many enemy aliens are now being released, and returning to
their employment in hotels.

Mr. McKenna has quite justifiably claimed that the Confidential
Department has broken up the organisation of spies that existed in
England before the war. For that, I desire quite sincerely to give
them every credit. The Home Secretary has admitted, however, the
necessity of taking every possible step to deal with those who have
come here since the war began. And in this connection a very serious
position has been created by the swarms of unhappy refugees from
Belgium who have been pouring into the country for several months past.
Among these thousands, it is absolutely certain, there must be many
clever German agents, possibly men who have long lived in Belgium, and
speak French or Flemish without a trace of German accent.

What steps are being taken to guard against this peril? It must be
remembered that in the case of these unfortunate people there can be
no question of passports, or papers of any kind. The great majority of
them are quite glad enough to have escaped with their lives, without
troubling about their papers, even had they wished to do so. There
would not be the slightest difficulty in German agents slipping over
amongst these thousands without any risk of detection, and we can be
tolerably confident that many have done so.

It has been suggested that some of the better educated Belgians, about
whose _bona fides_ there could be no question, should be given the work
of tracking down any possible impostors. They would probably be glad
of the work, and in this direction they could do much to help us. They
would be only too keen upon doing so, for most of them are filled with
a hatred of everything German, beside which our own growing dislike
is a mere nothing. To lay by the heels one of the German spies who
have contributed so powerfully to the ruin of Belgium would be, to the
average refugee, the keenest delight. I believe this plan would be well
worth a trial, and I should like to see it put into effect immediately.

The trial and conviction on a charge of high treason of Mr. Nicholas
Emil Herman Adolph Ahlers, a naturalised German who, for some years,
acted as German Consul in Sunderland, is a remarkable and emphatic
corroboration of every word I have written as to the manner in which
the authorities are dealing with the alien peril.

Mr. Ahlers was accused of assisting German reservists to return to
Germany after the declaration of war. It was alleged that he sought out
our enemies, impressed upon them the necessity of returning to Germany,
and gladly paid their fares. The striking feature of the affair was, it
is alleged, Ahlers' own statement, "Although naturalised, I am a German
at heart."

On December 9th, the prisoner was convicted of high treason, and
sentenced to death. Yet anything more farcical could not well be
imagined, and was certainly well in keeping with the tactics of the
Home Office. Mr. Ahlers was prosecuted for having "adhered to the
King's enemies." Yet he had only, after all, succoured the King's
enemies to the extent _actually allowed to him by the Order in
Council_! As Mr. Justice Bankes justly observed at the appeal, it is
abhorrent to the mind that a man should be sentenced to death for doing
what the Home Secretary's circular expressly permitted.

As exposed in the Court of Appeal, the whole prosecution was simply
another effort of the authorities to mislead and gull the public, and
to play to the gallery.

When this amazing prosecution was undertaken, and the Solicitor-General
was sent down to Durham to invoke the majesty of the law, _the Home
Office must have known_ that the Order in Council, issued by that
same department, gave alien enemies--up to August the 11th--the right
to leave our shores! Therefore Mr. Ahlers ought never to have been
prosecuted and sentenced to death. What was presented to the public as
a grim and terrible tragedy, turned out to be an amusing, though hollow
comedy. Yet we find, even in the final scene at the Court of Appeal,
the Solicitor-General gallantly protesting that the Order in Council
had nothing to do with the case.

Of course, as the Press pointed out, had the matter been anything
but the merest jest produced for the purpose of making the people of
this country believe that the Government were at last tackling the
spy peril in earnest, the Minister, or other official, who drew up
the Order in Council might have found himself in an awkward position.
It allowed alien enemies, without any distinction as to whether they
were combatants or not, to leave this country and join the King's
enemies _for a full week after war had been declared_, and whoever was
responsible for it was much more deserving of condemnation than the
unfortunate "German at heart."

But a further fact seems to have escaped the notice of the public.
It is this. When the conviction for high treason had been obtained
against Mr. Ahlers--a conviction improperly obtained--the Government,
with their conscience awakened, hastened to prepare the public for the
comedy by issuing from the Press Bureau the following illuminating

  "The conviction of Ahlers is subject to appeal, the judge having
  granted a certificate of appeal on certain points of law which arose
  at the trial. The sentence of death was the only one which the judge
  could pronounce in accordance with the law on a conviction for high
  treason. If, on the appeal, the conviction is affirmed, the Secretary
  of State for Home Affairs will consider the question of advising a
  commutation of the death-sentence with a view to substituting a term
  of penal servitude or imprisonment."

The whole prosecution was a ghastly hoax, for Mr. Ahlers had committed
no legal offence. The proceedings, so dignified and realistic, which
resulted in him lying under sentence of death for a crime which he had
not committed, was merely a hollow pretence in order to give a sop to
the public.

It reflects no credit upon our authorities, whoever was responsible,
and such proceedings are, surely, not in accordance with the high
morality of British justice. It is important, however, as serving as
yet another example of the pitiful rule-of-thumb methods which are
being adopted towards this grave peril.

If the Home Department, in its wisdom, bestirs itself in future and
prosecutes dangerous aliens and spies, it is to be hoped that it will
not endeavour to further mislead us by presenting such a lamentable
spectacle as it has done in the case of Mr. Ahlers.

Surely this is not the moment when the Department should be engaged
in trying to discover whether the German soldiery were guilty of any
atrocities in Belgium. The futility of the latter I pointed out to Mr.
McKenna in a letter I ventured to address to him at the Home Office on
December 11th, 1914.

It ran as follows:--

  "Sir,--Though seven days have now elapsed since my letter of December
  3rd, I am still awaiting a reply, as I am anxious--in the interests
  of the public--to have an explanation of the matter to which it

  "I desire to point out to your Department--which, according to Mr.
  Aitken's letter to me of November 16th, is making an inquiry into
  allegations of outrages by German troops, and in which my aid is
  requested--that any further waste of public time and public money may
  be avoided if it will--as it no doubt can do if it wishes--obtain,
  through the proper channels, a copy of General von Bülow's
  Proclamation posted in Liége on August 22nd last. In this, the
  General in question declares in reference to the destruction of the
  town of Andenne:--

  "'It is _with my consent_ that the General had the whole place burned
  down, and about one hundred people shot.'

  "In addition, three official reports of the Royal Belgian Commission,
  sent to me by His Excellency the Belgian Minister, are before me, and
  I have interviewed M. Carton de Wiart, Belgian Minister of Justice,
  regarding them.

  "Further, I would point out that your Department might, with
  advantage, examine the proclamation of Field-Marshal Von der Goltz,
  and also Major Deckmann's poster published at Grivegnée.

  "As these, no doubt, will be as available to you as they are to the
  public Press, perhaps your Department may obviate further waste of
  time by examining them.

  "Meanwhile, I await, with anticipation, a reply to my letter of
  December 3rd."

Let us hope that the Home Department--if only responsible for German
spies in London, as it is--will really rub its eyes and awaken, ere it
is too late.

For five months the authorities had been continually warned by Lord
Leith of Fyvie, and others, of spies who were detected in the act of
signalling at night off the East Coast. The newspapers were flooded
with correspondence on the subject, while I myself received more than
a hundred letters asking me to urge the authorities to take up the
matter, and deal with it.

On December 16th, Yorkshire had its first instalment of the fruits of
the extraordinary manner in which this signalling has been permitted
to continue, and the freedom given to spies. On the previous night it
was noticed, by reliable observers, that the night signallers were
specially active, and at eight o'clock next morning, the towns of
Scarborough, Whitby, and Hartlepool were bombarded by German ships,
resulting in over four hundred persons being injured, and over one
hundred killed, including many women and children.

Information supplied by secret means to the German Navy had already
enabled shells to be flung at Yarmouth, but here, as in the attack
in Yorkshire, we have again very clear proof and evidence of spies.
Indeed, already orders have been issued to shoot at sight anyone found
signalling from the coast--but, alas! after so many innocent persons
have lost their lives!

The daring adventure of the German ships show that they must have
received information concerning the distribution of our Fleet.

According to the First Lord of the Admiralty, practically the whole
fast cruiser force of the German Navy, including some great ships vital
to their fleet and utterly irreplaceable, was risked for the passing
pleasure of killing as many English people as possible, irrespective of
sex, age, or condition, in the limited time available.

Now we know sufficient of German thoroughness to be quite sure that
they would never have risked a journey of over four hundred miles
from their base, through a sea sown with mines, unless they were
well acquainted with the channels left open. Knowledge of the exact
positions in which we have placed our mines could only have been gained
through spies amongst us.

Surely this should be sufficient answer to Mr. McKenna's communiqué to
the Press.

A special correspondent of the London _Evening News_, who passed
between London and Berlin twice, unsuspected, during the month of
December, and even visited Vienna, writing on December 19th of what
he saw in the German capital, declared that he heard the raid upon
Scarborough discussed in certain circles in Berlin on December 16th,
_three days before it took place_!

In the course of his comments he wrote:--

  "I always thought the spy mania in England exaggerated, but now I am
  absolutely persuaded that even those Englishmen who recognise this
  peril do not realise the lengths to which it goes. They have been
  suspecting waiters and servants, whilst the spies are in high social
  positions; they have contented themselves with searching the houses
  of German barbers and grocers, whilst neglecting the hands which
  collect and forward to Berlin the information gathered by more humble

  "It is very sad to have to say such things, but I think the most
  dangerous spies still in England are not Germans, whether naturalised
  or not, but are people belonging to neutral countries--even to
  countries actually fighting Germany--and subjects of Great Britain

  "I would not have written this if I was not sure of it; the diplomat
  from whom I got the information assured me that there are some
  English and French of both sexes who come regularly to Berlin, or
  to frontier towns through neutral countries, and have conversations
  with officials and then return. The restrictions as to luggage and
  passports, both in France and in England, are not half as severe as
  they should be; _they are even slacker than at the beginning of the
  war_. I know, personally, of a number of stolen American passports
  under the shelter of which German spies are now travelling, and an
  Italian Consul with whom I happened to travel a few days ago, said
  he had discovered two fellows with false Italian passports almost
  perfectly imitated.

  "In Berlin I heard people, well-informed people, saying that in every
  English town of importance, and on every spot of strategical value on
  the British coast, Germany has got _a few friends_ keeping their eyes
  open and ready to receive an eventual German raid, and to give their
  friends as strong a hand as possible."



"After this war," said Mr. Justice Ridley, in a passage already quoted,
"we must make an end of spies."

"After this war," however, may be too late. I contend we should make
an end of spies _now_, and with that end in view I would propose very
strong measures--so strong that, I willingly admit, only very grave
national peril would justify it. That peril, I contend, actually exists
to-day, _and no steps we can take to minimise it can be regarded as

At the present moment it is perfectly easy for any German agent to
travel quite freely between England and the Continent. As we know, the
Germans have in their possession a large number of stolen British and
American passports. By means of these passports their agents can come
and go between England and the Continent practically as they please,
taking with them any information they can pick up. And, although the
collecting of information has been made much more difficult by the
additional precautions taken since the outbreak of war, information is
still to be obtained by those who know where and how to look for it.

Now, the only channels by which this information can be conveyed abroad
at present are, first by correspondence in invisible ink beneath an
unsuspicious letter addressed to a neutral country--this was proved
at the court-martial of the prisoner of war, Otto Luz, at the Douglas
Internment Camp--secondly, by travellers between England and the
Continent, and thirdly, by secret wireless stations communicating
between our shores and the German ships--probably submarines--lying off
the coast. All three of these channels of leakage must be stopped.

The first step should be the absolute closing of the sea routes from
these shores to all persons, excepting those who are vouched for by the
British Foreign Office. The second is a much closer and more persistent
search for concealed wireless plants, and a third, a closer censorship
upon outgoing mails to neutral countries. I happen to know that in
certain instances censorship upon both cables and correspondence is
quite inadequate.

As to the second proposal, there will be no two opinions. Wireless is
already forbidden, and there is no hardship in taking steps to see that
the law is obeyed. With regard to the first suggestion, I am well aware
that many people will think it, as indeed it is, extremely drastic.
It would, of course, cause great inconvenience, not only to British
subjects, but to the subjects of neutral Powers with whom we are on
the best of terms. It would seriously interfere with business which we
have every wish should continue, and I should never suggest it unless I
were convinced of the urgent need.

A correspondent who has just returned from Holland, where, says
the _Evening News_, he saw British tradesmen doing business with
German manufacturers, shows how easy it is for the Germans to send
professional spies to England _via_ Flushing. A German permit will pass
anyone over the Belgian frontier into Holland: a Belgian passport is
not necessary, but such passports are issued by the local authorities.
There is nothing to prevent a German commander getting a Belgian
passport and issuing it to a German if it suits his purpose, while the
present examination arrangements on the English side offer no obstacles
to spies landing, especially from boats containing five or six hundred

The remedy is to make the landing test far more stringent, and to use
responsible Belgians in the work. One can readily understand that the
average Englishman, even though he spoke French and Flemish, would not
be able to detect a German, speaking both languages, as being anything
but a genuine Belgian. Such a man, however, would be readily detected
by a Belgian; however well he spoke the languages, some trick of accent
or pronunciation would be sure to "give him away." Thus our Belgian
friends could do much to prevent the German spy getting into the

Assume that the spy is here; how are we to prevent him getting out?

By closing the sea routes to all who could not produce to our Foreign
Office absolutely satisfactory guarantees of their _bona fides_. The
ordinary passport system is not sufficient; the Foreign Office should
demand, and see that it gets not only a photograph, but a very clear
explanation of the business of every person who seeks to travel from
England to the Continent, backed by unimpeachable references from
responsible British individuals, banks, or firms.

In every single case of application for a passport it should be
personal, and the most stringent enquiries should be made. I see no
other means of putting an end to a danger which, whatever the official
apologists may say, is still acute, and shows no signs of diminishing.

Under the best of conditions some leakage may take place. But our
business is to see, by every means we can adopt, that the leakage is
reduced to the smallest possible proportions.

Now, a few words as to the future. Let us look forward to the time when
the war is over, and Europe is at peace again. Will it be necessary for
us to take steps to prevent a recrudescence of this German espionage,
or can we assume that there will be nothing of the kind again?

In the language of Mr. Justice Ridley, we have got to "make an end of
spies" once and for all.

The spy system has gained a firm and, I believe, quite unshakeable
footing in the German military system, and my own view is that directly
the war is over the old game will begin all over again. Whatever may
be the result of the war, we can take it for granted that Germany will
cherish dreams of revenge, more especially against the "treacherous
British," upon whom, at the present moment, she is pouring out all the
vials of her concentrated hatred and malignity. She has been spending
huge sums annually on her spy-system, and she will not readily give it

I certainly cherish the hope that after the war we shall be spared
the flood of German immigration that, quite apart from all questions
of espionage, has, in past years, done so much harm to England by
unloading on our crowded labour market a horde of ill-paid and
wage-cutting workers, many of whom were trade spies, and who have done
much to drive the British employee out of the positions which, by
every natural and political law, he ought to hold. This has been made
possible to a great extent by subsidies from German rivals anxious
to get hold of British trade secrets. The German clerk will never be
the welcome figure he has been in the past with certain British firms
who have regarded nothing but cheapness in the appointment of their
staffs. Still, we may be certain that, welcome or unwelcome, the German
will be with us again; as a rule, he is sufficiently thick-skinned to
care very little whether he is wanted or not, provided he "gets there."
He will be a potential danger, and his activities must be at once
firmly restricted.

With this end in view the French system of the registration and
taxation of every alien coming to reside in this country ought to
be insisted upon. Many worthy people seem to think that there is
something highly objectionable in a precaution which is taken by every
European country except Britain. As a matter of fact, there is nothing
of the kind. Every Briton, in ordinary times, who goes to Germany is
registered by the police; there is no hardship and no inconvenience
about it, and no reason whatever why the person whose motives are
above suspicion should object to it. The same is true of Russia, where
the passport system is strict; yet, once you have registered, you are
free to do pretty much as you please, so long as you do not attempt
to interfere in political matters, which are surely no concern of the
foreigner. Germans should be the last people in the world to object to
a policy of registration and supervision in this country, and to do
them justice the reputable Germans would never think of protesting.

Another essential precaution would be that every alien coming to reside
in this country must produce his papers. There is no hardship in
this; the honest foreigner never makes any trouble about showing his
papers at any time. In every country save Great Britain everyone has to
possess such papers, and there is no reason why he should not produce
them when he goes from his own to another country. By a system of
papers and registration, the police would be enabled at any moment to
lay their hands on doubtful characters, quite apart from spies.

It is also to be sincerely hoped that the Lord Chamberlain's Department
will request, as the _Globe_ has justly demanded, that City financiers
who have been accustomed to make use in this country, without the Royal
licence or the King's permission, of German titles of nobility, will
discontinue this practice when they become "naturalised." We should
then have fewer pinchbeck "Barons" among us than at present.

Evidence has been accumulating during the past few years, and came
to a head with the case of the German consul at Sunderland, that
naturalisation in the great majority of cases is a perfect farce. The
"naturalised" are still "Germans at heart." Naturalisation is usually
adopted either for spying or for business purposes, and to suppose that
the mere fact makes a German into anything else is to argue a pitiful
ignorance of human nature, and particularly of the German nature. There
is in this, of course, no reproach; we should think as little of a
German who forsook the cause of his country as of an Englishman who
turned renegade. The Germans are an intensely patriotic people, and
we may honour them for it, but we do not want to help them to further
exercise their patriotism at our expense.

Notable changes in the law relating to the naturalisation of aliens
were made by the new British Nationality and Status of Aliens Act,
which came into force on January 1st, 1915. Among the most important of
these is the power given to the Home Secretary to revoke certificates
of naturalisation obtained by means of false declarations.

The Naturalisation Act of 1870 is now repealed. That Act contained
no definition of the classes of people who are to be regarded as
natural-born British subjects. This omission is rectified in the new
Act, by which such persons are defined as follows:--

  (a) Any person born within His Majesty's dominions and allegiance; and

  (b) Any person born out of His Majesty's dominions whose father was
  a British subject at the time of that person's birth, and either
  was born within His Majesty's allegiance, or was a person to whom a
  certificate of naturalisation had been granted; and

  (c) Any person born on board a British ship, whether in foreign
  territorial waters or not.

I regard section (c) as far too sweeping; it seems to imply that
even the children of German emigrants born while their parents are
travelling, say to America, on board a British vessel become British
subjects, even though they may never set foot on British territory
during the whole of their lives! In such a case, naturalisation
will mean absolutely nothing to the person concerned, while it is
conceivable that his claim to be a British subject might involve us
in awkward entanglements. A person born on a foreign ship will not be
regarded as a British subject merely because the ship was in British
territorial waters at the time of the birth.

Children of British subjects, whether born before or after the passing
of the Act, will be deemed to have been born within the King's
allegiance if born in a place where "by capitulation, grant, usage,
sufferance or other lawful means His Majesty exercises jurisdiction
over British subjects."

The qualifications for naturalisation are extended under the new Act.
Section 2 provides that the Secretary of State may grant a certificate
of naturalisation to any alien who shows

  (a) That he has resided in His Majesty's dominions for a period of
  not less than five years in the manner required by this section, or
  been in the service of the Crown for not less than five years within
  the last eight years before the application; and

  (b) That he is of good character, and has an adequate knowledge of
  the English language; and

  (c) That he intends, if his application is granted, either to reside
  in His Majesty's dominions, or to enter or continue in the service of
  the Crown.

Paragraph (b), which is new, is certainly very valuable and it will
be cordially approved. Hitherto, in the granting of naturalisation
certificates, character and a knowledge of English were entirely
disregarded. By means of the new provision we shall be able to shut out
from British citizenship a large and exceedingly undesirable class of
alien immigrants and render their deportation practicable in case of

In the case of a woman who was a British subject before her marriage
to an alien, and whose husband has died, or whose marriage has been
dissolved, the requirements of this section as to residence are not to
apply, and the Secretary of State may, in any other special case, grant
a certificate of naturalisation, even though the four years' residence
or five years' service has not been within the eight years immediately
before the application for naturalisation. The provision as to the
women is both humane and just. It will alleviate the hard lot of many
Englishwomen who married Germans before the war, and whose cases under
the old Act involved much unmerited hardship.

Section 3 of the Act is very noteworthy. It provides that

  (1) A person to whom a certificate of naturalisation is granted by a
  Secretary of State shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, be
  entitled to all political and other rights, powers and privileges,
  and be subject to all obligations, duties and liabilities to which
  a natural-born British subject is entitled or subject, and, as from
  the date of his naturalisation, have to all intents and purposes the
  status of a natural-born British subject.

The 3rd Section of the Act of Settlement, which disqualifies
naturalised aliens from holding certain offices, is to have effect
as though the word "naturalised" were omitted. This section applies,
among other things, to membership of the Privy Council or either House
of Parliament, or to "any office or place of trust either civil or

The power given to the Secretary of State to revoke any naturalisation
certificate obtained by false representation or fraud is contained in
Section 7, which says:--

  (1) Where it appears to the Secretary of State that a certificate
  of naturalisation granted by him has been obtained by false
  representations or fraud, the Secretary of State may by order revoke
  the certificate, and the order of revocation shall have effect from
  such date as the Secretary of State may direct.

  (2) Where the Secretary of State revokes a certificate of
  naturalisation, he may order the certificate to be given up and
  cancelled, and any person refusing or neglecting to give up the
  certificate shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not
  exceeding one hundred pounds.

This is a very valuable provision, and it is one that, whenever fraud
or false representation is detected, should be summarily and rigorously
enforced. In the past our practice in the matter of naturalisation
has been decidedly too lax; I fear the granting of certificates had
become rather too much a matter of form, and possibly statements as
to residence, etc., had not been too closely scrutinised. There is
thus reason for believing that a good many individuals who are to-day
masquerading as "British citizens" would have extreme difficulty in
making good their claims to that honour if they were closely pressed
for evidence.

It is important to remember that under the naturalisation law a
naturalised "undesirable alien" cannot be deported in the event of his
being convicted of a certain class of offence to which the alien of the
lower type is especially prone. These are just the men who most dread
deportation, since they are usually well known to the police of their
own country, and they are therefore most likely to resort to fraudulent
means to secure the protection afforded by naturalisation here. When
such individuals fall into the hands of the police in future, we may
be sure that their papers will be scrutinised with special care, and
should any evidence of fraud be detected we shall be able to strip them
of their too easily obtained British nationality, and relieve ourselves
of their presence.

The taking out of naturalisation papers is one of the natural weapons
of the spy, and by the circumstances of his case he is very frequently
compelled to resort to devious means to secure his papers. Under the
new law it will be easier when he is detected to treat him as an enemy
subject, since inquiry of a close character will be likely, if not
practically certain, to reveal the deception of which he has been

It is to be hoped on every ground that the new law will be rigorously
enforced. I hold very strongly--and recent cases have justified my
belief--that the _naturalised alien_ is among our most dangerous
enemies. For this reason, if for no other, the acquisition of British
nationality should be made as difficult as possible in order to protect
our country against hordes of subjects whom we do not want and who, if
the truth were told, would be found to have but the most shadowy claim
to the honour they seek.

But, as the _Globe_ has well described it, the Act is, at best, only a
piece of belated legislation. It is to be regretted that the Government
could not have seen their way to issue a proclamation postponing its
operation, so that Parliament could have some further opportunity of
discussing it before it is treated as settling the extremely difficult
and complicated questions which are inherent in the subject, questions
which have gained a new meaning in the last few months. It would be
satisfactory, for instance, to investigate the very curious problems
raised by the Third Section. Under this, certain disqualifications
which the Act of Settlement imposed upon naturalised aliens are again
made inoperative except as against aliens. Under the Act of Settlement
naturalised aliens were prohibited from becoming members of the Privy
Council, or of either House of Parliament, and from holding any office
or place of trust, "either civil or military." It is notorious that
naturalised aliens have sat on both sides of the House of Commons,
_are actually members of the Privy Council_, and have occupied places
of the most intimate trust in civil and military affairs. It is surely
time we reverted to the older methods. No naturalised alien should be
appointed a Privy Councillor.

The whole Act is therefore belated and incomplete. It does not,
so far as one can understand it, provide for the one thing really
necessary--that the individual seeking naturalisation in this country
should divest himself altogether of any allegiance to the Sovereignty
under which he was born. Whether he can do so, or not, is his affair.
Germany, by her new Citizenship Law, as the journal quoted has pointed
out, has devised methods obviously designed to disguise the real nature
of the act of a German on seeking naturalisation in a foreign country.
Against such attempts to deceive the nation of which a German, for his
own ends, seeks to become a member, it may be difficult to continue
effective measures, but at any rate we should make the attempt.
Naturalisation is primarily a favour granted to the alien, and is only
in very rare and exceptional cases an advantage to the State which
grants it. Therefore it ought to be hedged about with such restrictions
as will make it as certain as any laws can do, that the individual
seeking it divests himself of all his former allegiance.

It is perfectly certain, as the journal before mentioned has remarked,
that there are in this country to-day many naturalised Germans who,
if they had not taken out letters of naturalisation (which are in
effect letters of mark), would now be interned in some concentration
camp. They are chartered enemies, who can be compared to none so
justly as those German spies at the front who penetrate the Allies'
lines by wearing British uniforms. The French Government have, unlike
our own, been quick to see the danger that exists, and to cope with
it. A Bill has been introduced into the French Parliament empowering
the Government to withdraw naturalisation from persons who preserve
their original nationality, or who, by reason of their attitude to the
enemies of France, are judged unworthy of French nationality. The Stock
Exchange has taken similar action. British citizenship is a privilege
which in no case ought to be lightly conferred, and assuredly it should
never be relieved from the obligations which properly accompany its
great advantages. No man can serve two masters, at any rate when they
are at war with one another; and, to be just to the Germans, they have
not even tried.

We know that the German espionage organisation in England was set
up some time about the year 1905, so that there has been plenty of
time for the German General Staff to get together quite a number of
agents who, under our present system, fulfil all the demands of our
naturalisation laws. We must make this more difficult in the future,
remembering that the naturalised German is at least as much an object
of suspicion as his non-naturalised brother.

Residence of aliens, whether naturalised or not, in the immediate
vicinity of our dockyards, naval bases, and important strategical
positions should be stopped, once and for all. We know how in many
recent cases the activities of the German agent have been concentrated
upon these points, where the most valuable information is often to be
picked up, and if we are indeed to make an end of spies, this closing
of certain areas to aliens is one of the first and most important steps
to take.[3]

I have just heard of a case in one of our most important garrison
towns, where, for years past, a shop overlooking the barracks has been
in German occupation without apparently any business whatever being
done; the stock was practically allowed to rot in the windows, and
certainly the volume of trade was not enough to pay the rent. We can
form our own conclusions as to the real object of such establishments.

Not very long ago Captain Persius, the well-known German naval expert,
described, with his tongue in his cheek, the ease with which he was
able to get information at certain British dockyards, and we know
that many foreign visitors have been allowed practically free access
to many of our battleships and to the naval ports. The case of the
undergraduates who posed as foreign princes and were shown over one of
our Dreadnoughts will be well remembered. All this kind of thing must
certainly be put an end to in the future.

The question of wireless is also another matter to which we shall have
to give considerable attention. It is very much a question whether
we should not, in future, adopt some stricter system of compulsory
registration of all wireless plant sold and worked in this country. We
all hope, of course, that after the present war we shall see a long
period of undisturbed peace, but not even that assurance ought to be
allowed to blind us to future danger, any more than the belief that a
German invasion of Great Britain is an impossibility should cause us
to relax, for an instant, our preparations to meet it should it come.
Wireless is likely to play a growing part in our world communications,
and the tremendous possibilities which attend its unauthorised use have
to be reckoned with.

I confess that I should have hesitated to introduce even into a
novel such an incident as a German officer attempting to escape from
this country packed up in a large box. Yet such a case has just been
reported; the man was detected and arrested by no more than a lucky
accident just as the case was about to be placed on board the liner
which was to convey it to Rotterdam. Examination of the case showed
how carefully the plans for the escape had been made, and certainly
there is a very strong suggestion that the affair could not have been
undertaken without active assistance from persons outside the prison
from which the officer had escaped. And those persons were spies.

It was stated, I see, that the man is believed to have been trying to
get over to Germany with important information, and in all probability
this is true; it is not at all likely that anyone would have adopted
such a desperate expedient merely to escape from custody. The incident,
in its practical bearings, is not of great importance, since it is
not a plan likely to be adopted except by someone who was absolutely
desperate, and obviously we cannot examine every packing case shipped
abroad, even in war time. For us the importance of the incident lies in
the light it throws upon the skill and resource of the German secret
agents, and the need for straining every nerve to cope with their
activity. One cannot but admire the courage and resource of a man who
was ready to take the risks involved in this particularly daring

Whatever system we decide to adopt to protect ourselves against
espionage in the future, there is no question that the entire matter
ought to be in the hands of one central authority, with very wide
powers of inquiry and action. We must put an end once and for all to
the idiotic--no other word is strong enough--position in which Mr.
McKenna is able to say that outside London the spy-peril is no concern
of his, and that he has no power of action. Whether we complete and
extend the operations of the Confidential Department, or whether some
new organisation is brought into being, the matter of espionage for the
country as a whole _ought to be centralised in the hands of a single

I know certain people are likely to raise a grumble that the cost
will be considerable. Supposing it is? No one suggests that we should
spend, as Germany has been spending, £720,000 a year on spying on our
neighbours; all that we need to do is to establish a complete system of
contra-espionage, and look after the people who want to spy on us. In
doing this, surely the expenditure of a few thousands a year would be
money well invested.

In France a system has been adopted--too late, unfortunately, so far
as the present war is concerned--by which the public are invited to
co-operate in the work of checking the activities of the spies, by
giving to the proper authority information of any suspicious cases
coming to their notice.

My view is that a somewhat similar procedure should be adopted here.
In this way public opinion would be educated up to the importance
of the subject, and a great deal of valuable information would be
acquired. It is certain, of course, that much of this information would
be valueless, but it would be the duty of the special department to
separate the chaff from the wheat, and to see that every suspicious
case was duly inquired into. Apart from anything else, this action by
the public would, in itself, give the spies to pause, for they would
realise how much more difficult it would be for them to carry on their
nefarious work undetected.

I come now to perhaps the most unpleasant feature of the spy
problem--the possibility of our betrayal by traitors in our own ranks.
I am proud to think that, in this respect, we are perhaps better off
than any nation under the sun, but at the same time, there have been,
in recent years, one or two proved cases, and, as I have already said,
a good many where grounds existed for very grave suspicion. However
mortifying it may be to our national pride, we cannot overlook the
possibility of our secrets being sold to the enemy by men of our own

In this connection, I cannot do better than quote an instructive
passage from Paul Lenoir's masterly book on "The German Spy System
in France," one of the most complete and fascinating exposures of
German machinations that has ever been written, and a veritable mine
of information on German aims and methods. Lenoir relates how, on one
occasion, he had a long conversation with a very distinguished member
of the German spy administration who had expressed the wish to meet
him. In the course of their conversation, the German said:--

  "Ah! If only you knew how many of your politicians who shout and
  declaim in France demanding the suppression of _your_ Secret Service
  funds--if you only knew how many of those men are drawing thumping
  good salaries out of _our_ Secret Service funds; if only you knew
  what proportion of their election expenses is paid by us every four

I do not suppose for a moment that we have in England anything of this
kind; the class of men who secure election to the House of Commons is
no doubt above temptation. I, however, mention this instance, revealed
be it remembered by a Frenchman working hard in his country's cause,
to show how very far the German espionage bureau is prepared to go to
seduce men from their natural allegiance, and convert them into the
most dangerous enemies of their country. And, with regret I confess it,
we have to face the fact that even in our own services there are some
whose honour is not proof against the lavish stream of German gold.

How to detect and defeat them is indeed a difficult problem; all we
can say is that in this, as in other matters, eternal vigilance is the
price of liberty. But at least we can say that when they are caught
these men ought to be made to pay a terrible price for their treachery,
as an example and a deterrent to others. There must be no illegal
sentences of death, as in the Ahlers case. There must be no paltering
with this blackest of crimes, and no concession to the sentimentalists
of the cocoa-Press.

In conclusion, I appeal to my readers to believe that I do feel, after
many years' study of this subject, that in German espionage lies one of
the greatest dangers our beloved country has to face.

I earnestly appeal to them to do all in their power to assist in
forming a vigorous public opinion, that shall insist that, at whatever
cost, this canker in our public life shall be rooted out. We must--and
we can, if we devote our attention to it--make an end to the spy in our
midst, and make it impossible that our hospitality shall be abused by
those who are plotting our downfall. To do this a strong and healthy
public opinion, which shall drive supine officials to determined
action, is the first and greatest requisite. Without that--and it is
the purpose of this book to assist in rousing it--we shall drift back
into the old rut of contemptuous and incredulous neglect, and it is
more than probable that our last state will be worse than our first.

We can rest assured that Germany will never willingly give up the
system that has paid her such enormous profits; it is for us to meet
craft with craft, to smash her spy organisation, to show her that we
are determined that we will put an end to an insidious form of attack
which in time of peace--whatever we may think of espionage in time of
war--is nothing short of moral and political corruption in its worst
and most hideous form.

Another point which has apparently been overlooked by the public is the
fact that as recently as January 14th the United States Embassy, acting
for Germany and Austria, announced the astounding fact that German men
over 55, Austrian men over 50, with all those physically unfit for
military service, as well as all women of both countries, _may leave
Great Britain and return to the land of their birth_! The Ambassador
stated that anyone wishing to do so should apply to the Home Office
(Permits Department) for the necessary permission; and, further, that
the Austro-Hungarian Government were organising personally-conducted
parties to Vienna and Budapest!

Now, it is to be sincerely hoped that the Home Office (Permits
Department) will not consider any man who has a weak heart, a faulty
leg, or bad teeth, or is over 50, incapable of acts of espionage.
Further, as alien women have been allowed to move freely about the
country, and as our Confidential Department knows that the enemy has
already made good use of the fair sex as spies, is it really too much
to expect that the Permits Department will--if aliens are allowed to
leave at all--grant the necessary passes with a very sparing hand,
and submit to severe examination anyone desirous of joining these
personally-conducted parties which sound so delightfully alluring?

But to the man-in-the-street this official announcement of the United
States Embassy, especially after the prosecution of Mr. Ahlers, must
cause considerable dismay. Are we to allow these enemy aliens who have
been among us ever since the outbreak of war to return, and carry with
them all the information they have been able to gather?

Surely this is a most important point to which public attention should
at once be directed! If the Home Office are actually about to issue
permits to enemy aliens to return home, then why bother any further
about espionage? We may just as well accept Mr. McKenna's assurances,
close our eyes, and fold our arms.

Further, with the illuminating discussion in the House of Lords on
January 6th, 1915, the Briton--as apart from the politician, or
the supporter of the cocoa-Press--surely cannot be satisfied. The
Government spokesmen told us that we still had among us no fewer than
27,000 Germans and Austrians at liberty, and of this number 2,998 were
living in prohibited areas--an increase of 37 since November 7th!
The lack of organisation for dealing with these aliens is the most
deplorable feature of the administration. There are three separate
authorities. The navy, military and police all act according to their
own interpretations of the Defence of the Realm Act, and when one or
other takes drastic steps for the removal of alien enemies, somebody
who stands in the background reverses the process. A truly amazing
state of affairs.

The splendid efforts of the Earl of Portsmouth, the Earl of Crawford,
Lord Leith of Fyvie, Viscount St. Aldwyn, Lord St. Davids, the Earl of
Selborne, Viscount Galway and Lord Curzon made in the House of Lords
seem, alas! to be of no avail, for, while on November 25th Mr. McKenna
gave details showing the distribution of male alien enemies, the latest
figures supplied in the House of Lords on January 6th by Viscount
Allendale show:--

                                  Nov. 25th   Jan. 6th
 Aberdeen to Berwick                   35         59
 Northumberland to the Wash           543        437
 The Wash to Thames Estuary            54         38
 Thames Estuary to Dorsetshire        136   }    161
 Devonport to Plymouth                  3   }
                                     ____       ____
                    Total             771        695

Our authorities have actually admitted that from November 7th to
January 7th, 49 more alien enemies have gone to live on the East Coast
of Scotland and on the South Coast of England! And Mr. McKenna has
permitted them to do so!

Surely by the official assurances of safety an attempt has been made to
lull us to sleep--and we are now being slowly lulled into the hands of
the enemy!

In these same areas were 2,190 women alien enemies on November 25th, as
compared with 2,303 at the present time.

The figures show that there has been a decrease of 106 in the
neighbourhood of the Yorkshire raid. But there has been an increase of
22 on the South Coast, and of 27 on the East Coast of Scotland.

Under whose authority, one may surely ask, have 49 alien enemies been
permitted to settle on the Scotch and South Coasts?

With these 27,000 alien enemies free to move five miles in each
direction from any area in which they may be living, and power to
make longer journeys if they can get a permit--not a very difficult
thing to do--the Home Office is adding to the danger by encouraging a
movement for the release of some of the 15,000 alien enemies interned
originally because they were held to be dangerous. The Chief Constables
who are being asked to certify such as might be released, may, I
quite think with the _Evening News_, be pardoned for giving a liberal
interpretation of the request.

Surely every sane man must agree with the opinion expressed by the
same outspoken journal, namely, that with some 35,000 Germans and
Austrians, registered and naturalised, moving freely in our midst, a
Government which permits that freedom is taking risks which it ought
not to take. The German Government, in their wisdom, are not guilty of
such folly. Every British subject, even those who have lived there for
forty years, and can hardly speak their mother-tongue, is interned.

Why, if a naturalised German is known to be an enemy of the country
of his adoption--be he waiter or financier--should any tenderness be
displayed towards him?

He is an enemy, and whatever Lord Haldane or Mr. McKenna may say, he
must be treated as such. I write only as an Englishman fighting for his
own land.

I repeat that I have no party politics, but only the stern resolve
that _we must win this war_, and that all who lean to the enemy in any
manner whatever must go, and be swept with their fine houses, their
wives and their social surroundings into oblivion.

To-day we, as Britons, are fighting for our existence. To give our
alien enemies a chance of espionage is a criminal act.

Sir Henry Dalziel advocates the constitution of an Aliens Board to
deal with the whole subject. He evidently has no faith in the present
indecision, for he has expressed himself in favour of moving all alien
enemies fifty miles from the coast.

The flabby policy of indecision is, one must agree, a mistake.

No one wants to embarrass the Government, who in so many ways have done
admirably, but, in the face of the serious dangers which must arise
from the presence of 27,000 alien enemies within our gates at this
moment, even implicit confidence must not stand in the way of a stern
and effective national defence.

And the removal of the spy danger is, I maintain, eminently a matter of
national defence.

It is for the public to make a stern and unmistakable demand.

       *       *       *       *       *

The following lines, from an anonymous pen, appeared on December 10th
in the _Evening News_, which has performed a patriotic work in pointing
out the peril of spies, and demanding that they should be interned.
Though amusing, the words really contain a good deal of truth:--

  _"Will you walk into my parlour?" said the Kaiser to the Spy,
  "For I've lots of work to give you, and the pay is very high,
  And you've only got to send me a report from day to day,
  All about the English people, and the things they do and say._

  _"There is Fritz and Franz and Josef, though their names you may not
  know, You may write to them and see them, but as 'Number So-and-So,'
  And should you meet your brother or your mother at the game,
  You are not to recognise them; they're numbers just the same._

  _"You will travel through the country in the name of Henry Jones,
  Or as Donald P. McScotty, selling artificial stones;
  You will rent a modest dwelling in the shadow of a base,
  And when nobody is looking you will photograph the place._

         *       *       *       *       *
  _"Then 'Hoch' unto your Kaiser, 'Am Tag' your daily cry,
  God bless our Krupps and Zeppelins, the victory is nigh.
  God bless our shells! and dum-dums! Kultur shall fight her way;
  God, Emperor, and Fatherland in one Almighty sway."_


ALIENS.--Notices to quit coastal towns adjoining the Tyneside district
were yesterday served by the police on behalf of the military
authorities upon persons regarded as undesirable residents. The
people affected include enemy aliens and naturalised aliens of both
sexes, also British-born descendants of aliens, including even the
second generation. Exceptions have been made in cases of advanced
age and extreme youthfulness. New addresses must be approved by the
military. Notices were also served on German residents in Sunderland
to leave the town and district and move into an area approved by the
military authorities. The order applies to men, women, and children,
whether naturalised or not, and must be obeyed within eight days. The
approved area will be some inland place about thirty miles from the
coast.--_Daily Mail_, December 30th, 1914.]


Printed by W. Mate & Sons, Ltd., Bournemouth.

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