Common interests of Germany and Great Britain: 100 years ago today

Around about now, the focus on matters 100 years ago is very sharp. There is even a statue of Gavrilo Princip being unveiled in Sarajevo. Our own small contribution is to draw attention to an opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald of 29 June 1914, headed ‘Britain and Germany’.

The writer noted the presence of a British fleet at the reopening (24 June) of Germany’s Kiel Canal. ‘There could be no better symbol of the changed relations between Great Britain and Germany’, the writer believed.’Two years ago it seemed impossible that British and German ships would ever be found side by side for any purposes except destruction.’

The Herald‘s writer made much of the prospects of commercial cooperation between British and German firms. Meanwhile, it was important for the British to keep the unruly French under control. ‘England is no longer under a special obligation to France.’ She should make it clear to the French that she will not support them in ‘a war of revenge’ (for the defeat at the hands of Prussia in 1870-71) or ‘a war of revenge’ provoked by France’s Russian allies.

In other news … Lady Strickland, wife of the New South Wales Governor, presided at a meeting of Catholic sewing ladies and then entertained them to afternoon tea; the Herald‘s Federal parliamentary correspondent complained of the ‘crude horseplay’ in the parliamentary session just concluding.

29 June 2014

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