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less crowded countries of the earth. Everywhere they were treated as friends and equals. There were no restrictions as to their owning property or intermarrying with nationals in their adopted countries. The feelings of Germans towards neighbouring nations, and those whose hospitality they sought, would be better described as the ordinary one of national contempt rather than racial horror-the contempt which no nation, least of all ours, is free from in its estimate of others. She thought she could win, she knew what she wanted—I am not sure that we yet know-and as, since the FrancoPrussian War, she has always declared frankly was the German method, she struck when she was ready to strike, with no more thought or compunction than if her neighbours had not been human beings. It is commonly supposed that the completion of the Kiel Canal fixed the exact time. The war has already lasted long enough to show that she had to wait for something vastly more fundamental. A group of chemical processes--technically referred to as the fixation of atmospheric nitrogen-had to be perfected and put into practice in the especial form necessary for her war needs, before she had any chance of success, for on these new processes, cut off as she is from most outside supplies, she depends for the raw materials of explosives. It all seems to have been nationally thought out in cold blood to the dotting of the last i. Had it been successful they would have gloried in it, as some of the more sanguine still are glorying.
We expect, of course, professional soldiers to think along these lines and to act, under civil control, according to these tenets. But for an entire nation-once great in philosophy, literature and the arts, once possessing an empire vastly wider than the material possessions that can be seized and
THE PARTING OF THE WAYS
fought over by soldiers—for such a nation to have adopted militarism as the national soul and conscience, and to take its orders and ideas from soldiers, appears to us to-day, however it may be viewed by the historian, to have brought the world to a parting of the ways. Whether it is because of our more fortunate geographical position, or whether it is because we are an older nation than Germany, whatever fate the future holds for us individually and as a nation, we cannot accept that as the end. It means, simply, that man has risen in intellectual stature to the point at which he is in league rather than at war with mighty Nature, in order that nations may never be able to live mutually at peace again. It is not a war between irreconcilable principles. It is a war between the fundamental principle of all national co-existence and its contemptuous negation.
If we concern ourselves, when the time comes, merely with the relatively small task of making wars of this sort more difficult or impossible to recur, we can leave with a good conscience to our successors the wider and more complex task of dealing with the racial causes of internecine strife, wherein peoples of different colours and civilisations strive for mastery. No doctor talks at large about the termination of disease. He knows too well the almost infinite variety of disease. But where would you find a doctor who, knowing leprosy, let us say, to be incurable, not only discountenanced any attempt to cure it, but also would not hear of any attempt to cure, let us say, consumption. So it is with war. Its causes are as manifold and as ineradicated as the causes of disease. But there are many kinds of war, each requiring totally different consideration. If we are either unduly discouraged on the one hand, or unduly sanguine on the other, as the result of the present conflict, and tolerate vague platitudes about war and peace in the large, then, when peace comes to be settled, we shall have difficulty in escaping from the chains of the very militarism which, instinctively, millions of our people have sprung to arms to destroy.
CHEMISTRY AND NATIONAL
I HAVE been asked by the Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce to say a few words on the importance of chemistry in the affairs of the nation, and the part that skilled chemists can play in furthering the general prosperity of the community.
The war has been already the means of removing some misconceptions and of the making of some discoveries. It has, for example, discovered the science of chemistry to a vast number of people, not excluding Cabinet ministers, who hitherto have associated it vaguely with the gilded mortar and pestle and mysterious flagons of brightly coloured fluids of the apothecary. Long ago a French savant described us as a country where the apothecaries call themselves chemists. Another discovery that is destined to be made is the difference between money and wealth.
The wealth of a country is in its matter and energy,--matter, the passive resister, that in the raw state will not do anything you want it to do; and energy, both animate and inanimate, which is for ever trying to do what you do not want it to do, and needs to be controlled. So man found the world, and so, largely, till the beginning of last
1 Address to the Annual Meeting of the Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce, 8th February 1916.
century he left it, moralising and philosophising eternally about himself, and leaving a vast legacy of these elegant accumulations for the "education" of his children. Ignorant of the most elementary facts outside himself, and of the simplest principles which control absolutely his life from the cradle to the grave, he was worse than that. He attempted, with considerable initial success, by means of a cunningly devised "educational” system to entail the conclusions of these preposterous self-examinations in perpetuity upon his children. We have first to break this entail, or so much of it, if any, as still survives after the conclusion of this disastrous war. I read in the columns of Nature the other day that the only officers in the British Army who receive a scientific training are those belonging to the Royal Artillery and the Royal Engineers who are attached to the regular army; that for cavalry and infantry officers practically no facilities exist; that the teaching of science at Sandhurst was abandoned many years ago, and has not yet been resumed; that at the present time boys who receive commissions immediately on leaving school are devoting their time to the dead languages, and enter the army without a scrap of scientific knowledge.
However, what I want here mainly to emphasise is that after the war, whatever be its outcome, science and its application can retrieve every disaster and make good even the present seemingly irreparable destruction. Science is neither the upbuilder nor the destroyer. It is the docile slave of its human masters. It will appear as the one or the other, according as the moral outlook of the latter is derived from a progressive and deepening sense of responsibility, awakened by the realisation of the true position which man occupies with regard to the external realities of nature, or an