Ten million men

Kitchener’s convincing argument

Russia’s army for the Balkans

The ‘No blockade’ announcement

THERE is very little that can be profitably added to the footnote appended in the Argus yesterday afternoon, to the Foreign Office’s “no blockade” announcement, but for convenience it may be repeated.

It was pointed out that in commenting on Monday upon the statement issued from the British Legation in Athens the remark was made here that “It must be left to jurists to give an exact interpretation of the measures taken, and to the politico military authorities to justify anything in the nature of a blockade instituted at a time when pourparlers were proceeding.”

The remainder of the footnote was as follows: “The significance of today’s Foreign Office announcement lies, however, not so much in the apparent denial of statements previously published as in the suggestion it conveys, reading between the lines that a better condition of affairs now prevails.

"Measured thus speculatively the outlook is decidedly brighter but at the same time too much must not be read into the communique. It is quite possible it merely indicates a delicate situation and the necessity for removing all factors calculated to be disturbing or a hindrance to agreement.

The cautious view taken of the Legation Note has been justified by events, and the interpretation of the Foreign Office announcement appears to be in accord with the views of the writers in the morning’s papers.

Briefly we have had an example of visible diplomacy - the velvet glove without a crease in it or to vary the simile, the flashlight warning which can be turned on and off as circumstances dictate. And, if we mistake not, results have already been affected.

It remains to be added that the non-declaration of a regular blockade is perfectly consistent with the suspension of normal commercial relations between Greece and the Entente Powers which it may also be pointed out that the point of view of Greece, the complete suspension of oversea trade with Turkey, the Allied Powers and the North African possessions, would carry consequences very nearly as unpleasant as a blockade formally proclaimed and enforced according to the requirements of the laws of nations.

Obviously, as an authority pointed out the other day, without declaring a “blockade” with all its awkward legal consequences it is quite possible for the Allied Governments “to take certain measures having for their object the suspension of commercial and economic facilities hitherto enjoyed by Greece.”

Nothing more than was suggested by the location announcement; and it is reasonable to suppose that nothing less than this has actually been done. There, for a time, the subject may be left.

Generally speaking the situation is regarded much more hopefully. The public cannot be expected to give to official documents the close scrutiny which would have to be bestowed upon a Greek palimpsest or upon Egyptian hieroglyphics and attention is likely to be concentrated this morning upon, for example, what Lord Kitchener is reported to have told the King of Greece.

It is said he told Constantine Great Britain would have 4,000,000 men under arms by March next and that we should also be in a position to arm and supply Russia’s 6,000,000 waiting troops.