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1917: War is no excuse for theft

We have to concentrate all our energies on beating our enemy in the field and on the sea

18 February 2017

9:00 AM

18 February 2017

9:00 AM

From ‘The confiscation of enemy property’, The Spectator, 17 February 1917: It is perfectly possible to remove German influences without confiscating German property. This, as far as can be gathered, is the policy which the French have followed, and in their interest as well as in our own we ought also to follow it. The Germans, to give them in this matter the full credit which is due to them, have been very slow to take any steps against British property held in Germany… We do not wish to give them an excuse for fresh crimes. Our business is to punish them as a nation for the crimes they have already committed. In order to effect this object we have to concentrate all our energies upon beating our enemy in the field and on the sea. We shall do nothing to help our cause, and we shall do much to impair our reputation, if we allow covetous hands to steal enemy private property established here under the implied guarantee of our laws.

 


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