Page 3795

3795 THE TWENTIETH CENTURY-THE GREAT WAR.

generally greeted with satirical remarks.

Milk was allowed only to children up to the

age of six and to invalids when a committee

of doctors decided that it was absolutely

necessary. Even the articles on the cards

were not always obtainable, but certain

luxuries could be purchased by those who

had money to buy-at extremely high prices.

A single ham cost $70, and horse meat sold

at $2.75 a pound. Many of the people were

in rags, and the linen of most was worn dirty,

for soap with which to wash it was almost

unobtainable.

The German hope of conquering France

had long since disappeared. Some of the

people were skeptical regarding the official

reports, and women folk, more outspoken

than the men, would sometimes say, after

reading such reports on the bulletin boards,

"We have nothing but victories, and yet we

always get further back."

Conditions in parts of Austria-Hungary

were much worse. In some places even

potatoes brought fifty cents a pound. In

districts in Bohemia a new disease made its

appearance which from its symptoms was

called "famine-dropsy." In Budapest and

elsewhere, great demonstrations took place

in favor of peace.

The Italian disaster turned the attention

of the Allies once more to the fatal lack of

unified effort. In a speech at Paris, Premier

Lloyd George spoke bluntly concerning the

failure of the Allies in the past and enumerated some of the defects that had resulted

from lack of unified command. He referred,

for example, to the failure of the Allies to

assist Servia in time with the result that the

Central Empires opened a road to Turkey.

"Why was this unbelievable fault committed?" he asked. "The reply is simple.

It was because no one in particular was

charged with guarding the Balkan gate.

The united front had not become a reality.

France and England were absorbed by other

problems in other regions. Italy thought

only of the Carso. Russia was mounting

guard over a frontier of a thousand miles,

and, even without that, she could not have

passed through to have helped Servia,

because Roumania was neutral. It is true

that we sent troops to Salonica to succor

Servia, but, as always, they were sent too

late. . . .You may say this is an old story. I

grant you that it was simply the first chapter

of a series that has continued to the present

hour; 1915 was the year of the Servian

tragedy; 1916 was the year of the Roumanian tragedy, which was a repetition of the

Servian story almost without change. This

is unbelievable, when you think of the consequences to the Allies' cause of the Roumanian defeat. Opulent wheat fields and

rich petroleum wells passed to the enemy

and Germany was able to escape us.

"Through the harvest of 1917 the siege of

the Central Powers was raised once more,

and the horrible war was once more prolonged. That would not have happened

had there existed some central authority,

charged with meditating upon the problem

of the war for the entire theater of the war."

Lloyd George stated that he had reached

the conclusion that if nothing was changed

he "could no longer accept the responsibility

for the direction of a war condemned to

disaster from lack of unity.. . .The war has