You remember how last year on this day [11 November], with ears expectant and hearts full of anxious surmise, suddenly we heard the syrens hoot and the fog signals crackle off beneath the engine wheels at the shunting sheds. How in a moment flags flew out, and the crowd of excited folk waving their emblems of victory met in the Town Hall Square, and heard from the lips of Mayor and Dean the good news. It was thanks to Almighty God not so much for victory as for the fact that the death-hungry guns had ceased to thunder, and every mother and father with a brave boy still at the front felt it was certain that they would see their boy again. But besides and above this was the thought that the greatest war that ever shook the world was probably over and Right not Might had proved the conqueror. “There shall be no more any war, if we can help it,” was the word on every lip and the vow in every heart; “we will work for a League of Peace that shall make this cursed arbitration of battle henceforth impossible.” But twelve months have lapsed, and the League of Nations is not yet an accomplished fact. One after another of the Nations in the Central Council Chamber of Peace at Paris has shown that, released from the agony of war, they cannot entirely restrain the lust of give and get; and are unable to take a much nobler and wider outlook than in the old pre-war days. The game of grab which was at the bottom of this last war, comes again into evidence, and what with Italy’s defection in the matter of Fiume, and America’s apparent hesitancy, with Turkey and Armenia still at grips for death and life, with Bulgaria sullen, Rumania hardly persuaded to disgorge ill-gotten gains, and the Balkans unsettled, he would indeed be an optimist who would claim that the League will ever be all that its promoters claimed for it – the cure for the welfare of the World. Reasons for Hope:–Yet we must not be out of hearts…. [The aim must be to ensure that] it shall at least be impossible for a nation to spring at the throat of another nation till all attempts at mediation, arbitration, and conciliation shall have been tried and failed. And I am not without hope that success will in the long run crown our efforts – for democracy is with us.
(Carlisle Journal, 14 November 1919, p. 5)