Page 3600

3600 UNIVERSAL HISTORY- THE MODERN WORLD.

the world was not so well provided as

was Germany with the machinery, factories and experts needed to produce the

materials that must be used in such production. Vast orders were, of course,

placed in the United States, but many

months of preparation were required before much could be done toward filling

of such orders. This applied not only

to high explosives, but to rifles, shells, and

artillery.

Furthermore, the new Minister of Munitions was greatly hampered by other

conditions. Industry in Great Britain

had largely fallen under the control of

the labor unions, and these unions, in

this supreme crisis, displayed a narrow-mindedness, a lack of patriotism that is

beyond belief. Strikes of coal miners

had already threatened disaster to the

fleet, because it would deprive the ships

of fuel; and, to proposals to suspend

union rules regarding hours of work,

quantity of output, and the persons who

could engage in various forms of labor,

the labor leaders interposed objections

and threatened strikes. It was only by

cajoling and pleading with these men

that Lloyd George-and he was perhaps

the only man who could have done it managed slowly to have his way.

New factories were built, thousands

of workers were induced to volunteer

in munition work, and industry was

organized toward the one great end of

furnishing the armies of the Allies with

the tools of warfare. Meanwhile, vast

sums were set aside for the purchase of

material elsewhere in the world, and

particularly in that greatest of all industrial countries, the United States. The

steel works of the world, outside the

Teutonic lines, the chemical works, the powder works, were to be set to work to

pile up a supply of guns and munitions

that would ultimately result in the crushing

of the Central Powers. Gold was to be

used lavishly, for, said Lloyd George,

"What you spare in money you spill in

blood."

In the same speech in which he used

these words, a speech made after the

Russian and Servian disasters, the Minister of Munitions made a moving appeal

for speed in the work and indicated one

of the main causes for repeated failures.

He said:

"I wonder whether it will not be too

late. Ah, fatal words! Too late in moving

here, too late in arriving there, too late

in coming to this decision, too late in

starting with enterprises, too late in