262 English Business Morals. of special stipulations. The English theory, for instance, is that a freight contract is automatically dissolved in case the transportation was to have taken place during the period of war. This is of particular significance for all those branches, of trade which import so-called products of the season from England. In case it proves impossible to make a timely delivery of the goods owing to the war, as has been stipulated, the purchaser is to be absolved from the duty of accepting the goods or paying for them. On the other hand insurance contracts if concluded before the war become invalid, if the event that entitles the insured party to damages occurs during the course of the war. The obligation of paying interest, since all claims are suspended during the war, is likewise abrogated by English law. A demand for interest can be made only after the conclusion of peace. The German Imperial Government has naturally been forced to adopt corresponding economic measures in the shape of reprisals for those passed by Great Britain. We are concerned in this book only with the complete and ruthless disregard of signed compacts and agreements on the part of England. II. It is an unfortunate fact, and emphatic reiteration of it may be made without committing the slightest injustice against England:—there is no nation in all the world which so wantonly disregards the rights of other nations, or the sanctity of international treaties or the neutrality of other lands, as England herself. This fact shouts from every page of English history. From Copenhagen to Alexandria, from Alexandria to Persia and the Boer Republics. Once more England bases her principles upon wrong, in this case upon the unmoral aspects of the debtor's law. But this too will be bound to have disastrous consequences for this nation of tradesmen. It is really nothing less than applying to ordinary commerce the rights of sçizure at sea, the privilege of capturing prizes and booty. The purpose, the end is the same,—the ruthless annihilation of the opponent. And annihilation at any price! And yet England does not see that she is merely digging her own grave. "Business as usual," exclaimed the English papers and this variety of patriotism finds expression in England's every utterance.
English Business Morals. 263 While all the recent international agreements have been actuated by the principle that only the official armies are to wage war, and that citizens are to be kept .as separate and immune as possible in their personal, economic, and financial relations from all the hostile proceedings, these singular English regulations, which might have applied to wars in the Middle Ages, are bent upon carrying war into the home, into the office, into the factory, into the most intimate family life, upon tearing asunder all those channels large and small, which modern intercourse has created between the citizens of the belligerent nations, all of whom stood so close to one another in relationship, amity, history and business life. All communication is to be prevented and interrupted, suspended by the ruthless hand of force. This is also the reason for the regrettable but excuseable hate which suddenly seized upon such wide circles of the German public, circles which had hitherto been inspired only by the friendliest feelings toward England and had in fact been altogether too much influenced by English traits and habits. Such is England's desire. Without the slightest national impulse towards war, and from the standpoint of a mere business calculation, she proceeds in the blindest manner to stir up passion against herself through this ruthless measure, merely in the hope that other nations might again be foolish enough to enact the role of sacrificial victims. Through this method of waging war she arouses the spirit of the darkest Middle Ages and finds herself confronted by a great people, outraged in all that they hold dear, and ready to pick up the glove of challenge flung so frivolously at their feet. By acts such as these England ignores the development of hundreds of years of human intercourse, and endeavors artificially to create conditions the limits of whose operation she cannot foresee, and which must in their final results inevitably avenge themselves upon those who prepare them. III. The British Bank of Northern Commerce sent an open communication to Ritzau's Bureau at Copenhagen at the end of August, 1914, in which it was openly stated that several German and Austrian Banks had made an attempt to cash their English checks and bills of exchange through the Scan-