Monday, March 31, 2014

Today -100: March 31, 1914: Asquith has run away

Sir John French, head of the Imperial General Staff, and Sir John Ewart, adjutant general to the Armed Forces, stick to their resignations. Secretary of State for War J.E.B. Seely again offers his resignation, and this time it’s accepted. Prime Minister Asquith will take over that job as well. Which means (as it meant before World War I) that he is required to resign his parliamentary seat and run again in a by-election, while continuing as prime minister. His opponent, unless the other parties decide to let him run unopposed, will be a Tory who is named Col. Sprot, because of course he is. Asquith’s absence from Parliament will conveniently make it unable to question him for a couple of weeks, including the period in which the Home Rule Bill is debated. “Premier Asquith has run away,” the Daily Mail says.

Count Zeppelin invents a soundless airship for the German military.

Stories from the siege of TorreĆ³n from war correspondent John Reed, as played by Warren Beatty: Federal commander Velasco going insane and having to be put under restraint. Pancho Villa personally throwing hand grenades.

The debate in Congress on repealing the exemption from Panama Canal tolls for US ships traveling between the East and West coasts of the US has been contentious. Woodrow Wilson is angry that he’s been accused of doing a secret deal with Britain on this.

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