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But America has withstood your shell-burst of propaganda. In decisive days and hours America has not lost her nerve. But now you must speak up, Mr. Churchill, because the case of the Athenia is not finished with the failure of your plans, nay, it only starts with it. We have forgotten nothing and we will not allow grass to grow over the case. Again and again we have attacked you, Mr. Churchill, in articles, broadcasts and so on. You tried, like everyone with a bad conscience to lie low or to speak about things quite different from the things that mattered. You know us badly, Mr. Churchill. We will not give way. And no lie on your part, however impertinent, will make us silent. We have got our claws into you and the best thing for you would be to stop playing the harmless, unconcerned gentleman and to speak up frankly and loudly, for we shall not cease to chase you until you answer our questions. We will continue shouting: Stand, Knave, and answer!
We have published in yesterday's German Press the testimonial of an unbiased witness, Mr. Anderson from Illinois, and have thus furnished another clear proof that you, Mr. Churchill, have sunk the Athenia through three English destroyers. Now we demand an answer to the following questions until you admit your guilt:
1. How could you, Mr. Churchill, speak of German torpedoes in your first announcement, in spite of the fact you, as First Lord of the Admiralty, knew very well and had to know that it was three British destroyers that sank the Athenia.
2. How could you have tried to make the world believe that the Athenia would have stayed afloat for fourteen hours after a hit by your invented German torpedoes while your giant battleship Royal Oak had sunk in a few minutes in consequence of German torpedo.
3. Why have you not said anything at all about the fire of the three English destroyers until now, despite the fact that you as First Lord of the Admiralty had to know, and knew it.
The fire of the three British destroyers was the best piece of evidence pointing to the culprit. Why did you have to be reminded of this by Anderson and why did you wait until today with the announcement of this important fact, in an affair which might have drawn the USA into war, when you knew how important this circumstance was.
4. Where did you, Mr. Churchill, hire your questionable witnesses who, shortly after the disaster, were interviewed by the BBC and who have stated quite the contrary of what has been
established as undeniable fact by. a sworn statement of an unbiased witness.
5. And why do you now, Mr. Churchill, try to keep silent while you have flooded the world with your lies shortly after the sinking and why do you try to cover a subject so catastrophical for Britain and the world with a cloak of silence. This is not your usual self. In your books you are the most verbose chatterer of any British Minister. Your conceit alone would not have allowed you to leave laurels unplucked which were in your reach. Why are you so silent and quiet now. Does the knowledge slowly dawn upon you or are you afraid of inevitable consequences now? Do you think you can escape us by flight into silence? You are very much mistaken. You do not know us well. We will stick to your heels. We will never accept your silence. We shall put you on the spot and force you to answer. It is proved for everyone that it was not German submarines that sunk the Athenia. Your stroke against us was a stroke into emptiness. This does not settle the matter. The world demands to know who has sunk the Athenia.
It is beyond doubt that she has not been sunk by German submarines. There is nothing left for you but to make a clean breast and a frank confession that it has become the victim of your own criminal coup. The whole world waits with us for your confession. Out with the truth! You have never hesitated to bother the public with speeches and announcements of far less important matters. Into the House of Commons, Mr. Churchill, and speak, speak, speak. Not enough if Reuter again declares that Admiralty does not condescend to answer our tiresome questions. This, pardon me, Mr. Churchill, is no answer. It is a bad excuse, Mr. Churchill. You cannot escape answering for lack of time. You had time enough to invent fairy tales about sinking of German submarines, time enough to produce lyrical poems on heroic feats of British troops in France of which poilus had seen no trace. You had time to launch such exaggerated reports on German losses at Western Wall that French press had to pull you up and point out that obviously figure in your reports had one 0 too many. You had time to address from Commons German submarine commander alleged to be in British prison camp, at same hour when same commander gave interview in Berlin to foreign Press correspondents. Laughter of whole world did not prevent your going on in this way. You had time to affirm that a dog was only victim of Edinburgh raid at same moment when Admiralty published high figure of real victims. You will now find time to speak up on your own behalf. Come on, speak up, Mr. Churchill.
But of course I know that we shall wait in vain. You cannot give us the truth we ask for firstly because it is against your well-known character and temperament and secondly because you would thus sign your own political death sentence. Therefore, permit me to give you some assistance. I will assume role of examining magistrate who wants to make it easier for a stubborn defendant to confess his crime. The mysterious case of Athenia is not really at all mysterious; it is mysterious only as long as one does not bring your guilt into the picture. But as soon as one does so it becomes most simple, most primitive but also most dastardly piece of knavery in modern history. It was like this.
Athenia had already left port before outbreak of war but you knew very well that England had intention of declaring war on Germany. And you knew that in this case the plan existed to make you, Mr. Churchill, First Lord of the Admiralty. You wanted to celebrate your assumption of office, quite in tune with your character, with first big hit. You wanted to bring as dowry on entering office the entry of US into war. When you prepared liner Athenia for an explosion which you planned in all details you arranged there should be no German passengers on board because they would have been most inconvenient witnesses. You sent circulars to all branches of British shipping agencies asking them to exclude Germans from booking passages. You made them give as transparent reason for this that Athenia would change her course. She did not, but there were no German passengers to witness your crime, Mr. Churchill. You had everything carefully prepared for explosion which you knew you could command at any given time by wireless, and you arranged everything so that no trace could be found to bring final proof against you. Of course you did not prevent American passengers from going on Athenia because their loss might realize hopes you had for America's participation in war. You wanted American passengers to appear as victims of dastardly German naval warfare, as silent witnesses demanding US entry into war. You also took measures to prevent explosion at an earlier moment than you thought useful. This is proved by Anderson's statement that smoking was strictly forbidden on Athenia. You timed explosion for moment when it suited your aims. And you had three British destroyers ready to rescue neutral passengers-of course rather doubtful witnesses-who were to give proofs you required. Obviously you remained all the time between departure and sinking of Athenia in continuous radio communications with vessel. You decided the minute for the explosion and were of course very
angry when it was bungled, as shown afterwards. Athenia simply would not sink. It stayed afloat for fourteen hours without sinking and then after fourteen hours, hours of waiting in vain you ordered three British destroyers to shell ship in order to remove all traces of your crime. You hoped that probably no survivors would be found who could courageously tell the truth.
You hoped perhaps also that witnesses would be so confused by panic that you could get your infernal lie accepted by world if only you ceaselessly impressed it on public opinion. Immediately after sinking of Athenia, you made, with much beating of drums, public announcement, which had obviously been prepared long in advance with all details. Press and wireless are witnesses of this. They had to publish what you wanted, not what they considered right. Then you worked on public opinion in US. All German assertions were brushed aside with a wave of your hand. Yet even so, America did not come into the war. She did not come along as you had hoped, therefore you retired to dark silence. Presumably you thought at the time that you would allow grass to grow on this story too. Surely this is how it was thought out and planned and carried out? Wasn't it, Mr. Churchill? And then that accursed Anderson in the USA exposed your swindle. Awkward, very awkward for you, Mr. C. Now you are really in the soup. And the whole world is waiting, understand me well, waiting for your reply, and they will wait no longer for this reply. Whole American press today publishes our detailed statements about sinking of Athenia, and in meantime, Anderson has appeared, and now Scripps-Howard reports that another survivor of Athenia, American citizen, Helen Macdonald, reported, on second day after sinking, that British destroyer which rescued her fired several shots at Athenia, as it was alleged, to prevent floating hulk being danger to passing ships. That lazy excuse can only have been invented by you, Mr. C., and don't expect to put it over on us, because if Athenia had been sunk by torpedo from German submarine, it would never have kept afloat fourteen hours after hit.
But Mr. Churchill, we don't want to try and deceive each other! That won't work. You would have covered Athenia with gold and towed it to English or neutral harbor. We can already see in our mind's eye the international court of inquiry which would have been set up and which would have nothing more to do than to declare that German submarine had torpedoed Athenia and
then USA would have no alternative but to go to war against the infamous German Huns and barbarians. You wanted to have "corpus delicti" removed so as to cover up traces. But you did not reckon with Anderson and Helen Macdonald, and now it is all most unpleasant for you. Above all, Anderson will get on your nerves. You obviously wanted to be able to say "Mortimer died most conveniently for me". Unfortunately, Mortimer is not dead, but lives and has arisen from dead as witness against you, Mr. Churchill, a witness so clear, so evident and so undisputed that nothing can be done against it. That is how it is, that's how it is with you, Mr. C. Any other man who had been accused as we are accusing you, would either stand his man and reply, or retire into shame and disgrace. But you made your pitiful attempt to produce political lie to effect that atmosphere in Berlin was bad on account of signing of Turkish Agreement, and therefore you have been accused by Berlin radio once more of sinking Athenia and denounced as a criminal. All American publications, of course, have published this report, but London radio has not told its eager listeners one word. Only reported that you, Mr. C., had been created Colonel of Artillery, on account of your shooting practice at Athenia.
London wireless talks of atmosphere in Berlin. Why should Berlin atmosphere be depressed? On contrary, successful attacks against RO, Firth of F. and other successful attacks, all have put us in best atmosphere. And if London wireless does not report your misdeeds, Mr. C., then German radio will have to do it. The Athenia case is not finished, on the contrary, it has become Churchill case, and that has become English case. Question arises of whether criminal can still be left in same office, or whether whole world opinion does not finally consider it more important to get rid of unscrupulous liar. This must be decided by you and England. We are waiting for the answer. Answer quickly and thoroughly. Do not make any excuses and talk beside the point. There is no doubt that you, Mr. C., would be found by every court in whole world to be guilty. You now stand before world opinion, it can also judge and will judge, more loudly and clearly than ever before. You have heard what our accusation is. We have arranged for this accusation to be broadcast tonight to all countries in the world and in every language on earth. Now it is your turn to speak. We are waiting eagerly for your reply. First Lord of British Admiralty has ears of the court.