Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Today -100: December 4, 1918: I have not renounced anything and I have not signed any document whatever

Germany’s former crown prince Frederick Wilhelm insists he’s still crown prince: “I have not renounced anything and I have not signed any document whatever.” But he says if Germany declares itself a republic (it has, dude), he’d be happy to return and take up a job as a simple factory worker. He says he had nothing to do with the decision to go to war. According to the AP reporter who interviewed him in Holland, “The Prince is living a very simple life now. He strolls about the island, chats with peasants, and is learning the Dutch language from a small boy.” According to the crown prince, “My hovercraft is full of eels.”

George Bernard Shaw is running for Parliament as a Labour candidate.

Former Women’s Social and Political Union (now the Women's Party) leader Christabel Pankhurst is also running, for Smethwick (near Birmingham). Lloyd George and Bonar Law prevail on the previous Coalition candidate in the constituency, Major Thompson (whose first name is evidently lost to history), to step aside. She’ll be beaten narrowly by the candidate of the Labour Party, which she will accuse during the campaign of Bolshevism; Labour will respond that it works for social reform without breaking windows or setting post boxes on fire (irrelevant side note: British post boxes were introduced by the novelist Anthony Trollope in his day job).

Theodore Roosevelt attacks Wilson’s State of the Union speech. He says if the American people have expressed any opinion on the 14 Points it was to reject them at the ballot box last month, and he denies that the Army was fighting for them: “Why, there was not one American soldier in a thousand that ever heard of them. The American Army was fighting to smash Germany.” Of the Points, he’s especially critical of freedom of the seas. “The British must, of course, keep the colonies they have conquered.” Of course.

The Allies are holding off on pressuring the Netherlands to hand over Willy Hohenzollern until Wilson arrives in Europe. They say extradition laws don’t even enter it, he should be treated as someone who doesn’t have the right to sanctuary, like a pirate or a slave trader. Meanwhile, a Catherine Callan Hayden of Chicago, whose father died on the Lusitania, applies for an arrest warrant against Willy for murder. “The only thing I object to,” she says, “is that hanging is the severest penalty which can be inflicted.”

The National War Labor Board decides that the best way to end the strike of male employees at the Cleveland Railway Company is to fire all its women employees.

Headline of the Day -100:

That’s a bit over-dramatic. Actually they mostly won’t sell stuff to Austria. Also, none of them will allow trains from what was the Austrian State Railroad to cross their new national borders in case they don’t get them back. Every country is also banning export of hard cash (they’re still using the old Austrian currency, presumably while they decide on quaint names for their new currencies).

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