30th January 1915 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY: in Kensington, London – Brigadier John Dennis (“Jack”) Profumo, 5th Baron Profumo in the nobility of Sardinia, educated at Harrow and Oxford, Secretary of State for the British War Office from 1960-1963 (when he resigned after a scandal involving Christine Keeler, a model with “connections” to a Soviet diplomat); and later a volunteer East End toilet cleaner while retaining his membership of the Boodles (gentleman’s) club in London’s St James. “His friend, social reform campaigner  Lord Longford said he ‘felt more admiration [for Profumo] than [for] all the men I’ve known in my lifetime’ ”. [Wikipedia].

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Profumo

War!

War at Sea: German U-boat SM U-20 sinks two British cargo vessels in the English Channel/ La Manche, while SM U-21 sinks another three in the Irish Sea. All twenty one crewmen from the vessel “Oriole” are drowned. The crewmen from the other four vessels are thankfully all rescued by nearby ships.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_shipwrecks_in_January_1915

War of Words: The British “Spectator” magazine publishes a review of a newly published book “What’s Wrong with Germany?”, but also goes on to offer its own diagnosis:

“We believe that, if the inquiry is to be pushed to the ultimate point, what is wrong with the Germans is their dreadful, their slavish devotion to Logic— to the “Absolute” and to Abstractions. When English- men create an Abstraction they do not call upon all mankind to enthrone it. They treat it as some- thing which is ” there or thereabouts,” as something useful, no doubt, but not to be pressed too far. When the Germans create an Abstraction they fall down and worship it. They not only treat it with intellectual servility, but regard it as a living thing. When their Abstraction is once established, they will not place any limits on its authority. They follow it ruth- lessly, relentlessly, remorselessly, and to the bitter end. The result is what we see in the world to-day—the earth reeking with blood, Belgium, Poland, and some of the fairest parts of France drinking the cup of suffering to the dregs, and millions of men by land and sea locked in a death struggle. Truly did Mme. de Steel use the words which we have placed as a motto to this article—” Thinking calms men of other nations; it inflames the Germans.” They are maddened by an Abstraction, but they adore it. Frankenstein had to obey the monster he created, but he loathed and feared it. Germany, the new Frankenstein, worships her creations, and is willing to follow them through blood and fire, no matter what the consequence to herself or to the rest of mankind.” [Spectator, 30th January 1915].

http://archive.spectator.co.uk/article/30th-january-1915/18/what-is-wrong-with-germany

Peace? 

US influence in Europe: Colonel Edward House, US President Wilson’s special adviser on foreign affairs, sails for Europe in pursuit of peace talks after holding bilateral discussions with the German and British ambassadors in Washington. [Burg & Purcell].

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