Re: Origins of WW1
There will always be profiteurs from war. Politicians and others.
"On March 18, 1914, on the very brink of the coming disaster, Philip Snowden, disease-wracked, crippled socialist labor leader rose in Commons to make a speech. When he had done, he had rocked the British Empire with his disclosures. For two years a young Quaker socialist named Walton Newbold had been tracing with infinite pains the tortuous trail of the international arms makers. And Philip Snowden had in his possession the fruits of that long quest when he rose to speak. One by one he pointed out cabinet ministers, members of the House, and named high-ranking officials in army and navy circles, persons of royal position, who were large holders of shares in Vickers and Armstrong, in John Brown and Beardmore, shipbuilders.
The profits of Vickers and Armstrong had been enormous, and the most powerful persons in the state and the church and the nobility had bought into them to share in the profits. Vickers had among its directors two dukes, two marquesses, and family members of fifty earls, fifteen baronets, and five knights, twenty-one naval officers, two naval government architects, and many journalists. Armstrong had even more — sixty earls or their wives, fifteen baronets, twenty knights, and twenty military or naval architects and officers, while there were thirteen members of the House of Commons on the directorates of Vickers, Armstrong, or John Brown. "It would be impossible," said Snowden, "to throw a handful of pebbles anywhere upon the opposition benches without hitting members interested in these arms firms."
Ministers, officers, technical experts moved out of the government, out of the cabinet, the navy, the army, the war office, the admiralty, into the employ of the munitions manufacturers.
Snowden quoted Lord Welby, head of the Civil Service, who only a few weeks before had denounced the arms conspirators. "We are in the hands of an organization of crooks," said Lord Welby. "They are politicians, generals, manufacturers of armaments and journalists. All of them are anxious for unlimited expenditure, and go on inventing scares to terrify the public and to terrify the Ministers of the Crown.""