‘First World War Centenaries that really matter are looming‘, Pearls and Irritations, 30 November 2017
Centenary moments of huge significance are upon us: the centenary of the so-called “Lansdowne Peace Letter” of 29 November 1917, and the centenary of the publication of the texts of the so-called “Secret Treaties” in Britain, beginning on 12 December 1917. The possibility of peace was suddenly on the front page. Sensational diplomatic deals underpinning the war on the Allied side were exposed to the world. Will these centenaries be noticed in Australia? Or will we go on treating the centenary of the Great War as a chance to run again and again a kind of national “show-reel” of battle honours?
Among other points, the article looks at how the Hughes government in 1917, in the midst of another campaign for conscription, suppressed publication in Australia of news about these moves for peace.
Douglas Newton is one of Honest History’s distinguished supporters, as is John Menadue, former senior public servant, ambassador and businessman, who runs the Pearls and Irritations blog. Douglas Newton has a chapter in The Honest History Book. The chapter is called ‘Other people’s war: The Great War in a world context’.