Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Today -100: January 6, 1916: Of compliments

The British government introduces its compulsion bill, making all single men aged 18 to 41, except in Ireland, eligible for conscription. There is a conscientious objection provision. After Asquith speaks in Parliament, Sir John Simon, who resigned as home secretary over the bill, calls for its rejection: “Voluntarism is a birthright of the nation. ... Do not let us pay Prussian militarism the compliment of imitating the worst of its institutions.”

Although the British gave Franz von Papen safe passage when Germany recalled him from the US, that evidently didn’t extend to his papers, which they’ve seized at Falmouth.

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