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air-service the critic was at an advantage, for the ordinary man had no expert knowledge to test his criticism; and it was frequently impossible for the authorities to reply, since that would have involved the publication of details valuable to the enemy. Any considerable increase in flying casualties brought the question to the fore; and there was always to be encountered the natural anxiety of the British citizen to make certain of the efficiency of a service on which his safety depended. In the summer of 1916, a committee, under the chairmanship of Mr Justice Bailhache, sat to investigate various charges brought by Press and Parliamentary critics against the administration of the Royal Flying Corps. The result was a conspicuous personal triumph for David Henderson. Quietly, gently, cunningly, with the subtlety of a great Chancery leader, he disposed of the accusations based on hearsay evidence or on no evidence at all, which had been showered on his department by advertising nonentities. Probably no living soldier could have handled the matter with such perfect judgment and consummate artistry.
The confusion at the top was a graver matter. The Air Board, under Lord Curzon in 1916, and Lord Cowdray in 1917, had not sufficient authority to harmonise the competitive demands of Army and Navy. In the autumn of 1917 General Smuts and David Henderson devised a scheme for an Air Ministry; and in January 1918 the new organisation came into being. Lord Rothermere was Minister; General Trenchard returned from France to be Chief of the Air Staff; and David Henderson became a member and Vice-President of the Air Council. This is not the place to recount the misfortunes of the first Air Minister, who contrived in a few weeks so to outrage the professional standards of his chief officers that he brought about the resignation of both General Trenchard and David Henderson before resigning himself. In that bad time there was much wild talk by this and that high official of resignation in sympathy with the Chief of the Air Staff. David Henderson did not talk, but he did not hesitate to retire from a service which was the apple of his eye and his own creation. Many things became him well in that service, but none better than his manner of leaving it.
In a few years the Royal Air Force has become a vital part of the armed strength of Britain and has already compiled a proud history. To David Henderson this servico owes more than to any single man, and his name must for ever be linked with it. For one thing, he was the pioneer, the man with insight and vision; for another, he was a most competent administrator, as his record bears witness—75 machines in 1914, 25,000 in 1917. In the noisy business of war a man so utterly unselfish as he might well have been crowded out, and in popular esteem he was surpassed by many more showy figures. Advertisement and intrigue of any kind were so repulsive to him that he scorned even the more innocent devices which assist success.
In 1915 there were some who decried his value, in 1917 there were many; now I do not think there are any who dare adopt that attitude—any, that is, with pretensions to sanity. He was the last man to make high claims for himself, and he was quick to admit the superiority of others in certain branches, for it takes every kind of talent to make a Service. But it was those very colleagues, who might excel him in this or that specialty, that testified most eagerly to the endowment which was his unique distinction. That endowment was a moral quality, a kind of spiritual and intellectual good-breeding, a high seriousness relieved by humour and a curious tenderness-σπουδαίον και επιεικές. It is not enough to call him a great gentleman. Happily the Army has no lack of gentlemen, even of great gentlemen. What he achieved without effort or ostentation was to make his quality felt throughout a mass of men, and insensibly and profoundly to influence many thousands. Hence he gave a tone—the most precious of gifts—to the new Service. At the start the Air Force was something of a corps d'élite; as it grew, it naturally absorbed some odd material, and on its home and noncombatant side showed an unfortunate gift of attracting the dregs of conscripted manhood and becoming the refuge of the arriviste and the embusqué. That it survived this ordeal and remained a great Service was due in no small part to the personality of its first chief.
When David Henderson left the Royal Air Force, he acted for some time as area commandant of British troops in Paris. He had to face now the greatest sorrow
of his life. His only son Ian had, like him, begun in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, and then transferred to the Air Force; and during the Somme battles he had been one of the most daring pioneers in the work of contact patrols. He died in the summer of 1918 as the result of an aeroplane accident in South Ayrshire. After then David Henderson was never quite the man he had been. He had lost all personal ambition; his reserve was now tinged with a permanent sadness; and his old flashes of gaiety were harder to elicit. Happily he found a new and enthralling profession.
About the time of the Armistice he met Mr H. P. Davison, of the American Red Cross, who had the idea of grouping in an international federation the various Red Cross Societies, and placing all their assets of knowledge and experience at the service of a great campaign of public health. It was to be the continuation in peace of the constructive and curative work which the Red Cross had done in war, and was intended to help to carry out Article XXV of the Covenant of the League of Nations : The members of the League agree to encourage and promote the establishment and co-operation of duly authorised voluntary national Red Cross organisations having as purposes the improvement of health, the prevention of disease, and the mitigation of suffering throughout the world.'
The League of Red Cross Societies was accordingly founded in May 1919, on the initiative of the Red Cross Societies of Great Britain, France, Italy, the United States, and Japan, with Mr Davison as Chairman. Its head-quarters were fixed at Geneva, and David Henderson was appointed Vice-Chairman and Director-General.
It was work for which he was peculiarly well fitted. His tact and charm of manner were invaluable in smoothing difficulties from the path of the young organisation; his sagacity kept its policy sane and central. He brought to his duties an almost missionary zeal. He was still the soldier, but his campaign was now against folly and avoidable pain; and he who had given his best years to the task of war now brought the same ardour to the healing of the world's wounds. How successful his work was all his colleagues have borne witness. Before his gracious kindliness national prejudices and the prickliness
to which philanthropists are prone vanished like snow in thaw; and criticism and enthusiasm became amicable yoke-fellows. He was happy in his new life. and seemed destined to make a second career as brilliant as the first. But the shock of his boy's death and years of over-work and anxiety had weakened a body never too strong. In the spring of 1921 he fell ill, and he died on Aug. 17, after a long illness borne with the fortitude that never failed him.
This short sketch gives but a dim idea of a brilliant and varied career, and to those who did not know him can present but a feeble picture of the man. Ordinary eulogy is out of place, for David Henderson's were not the kind of gifts to which justice can be done by an eloquent éloge. I can see yet the quizzical look that used to creep into his face when one tried to congratulate him on something or other; he loved good-will but not com. pliments, for he himself was the sternest and far the most competent judge of his own performances. What his friends felt chiefly about him was his rareness—the edge and fineness of both mind and character. He had the distinction which makes certain of the dead stand out with complete clearness from the background of memory, and the endearing charm that warms every remembrance. These are characteristics which one chiefly associates with the young men who fell in the war, for fifty odd years of life and a measure of success blur the lines of most figures and brush a little of the bloom off them; they have proved themselves, and we know pretty well what they can do, and what they cannot do. But the memory of David Henderson is chiefly of a certain youthfulness, of immense promise, of a personality greater than any possible achievements. At whatever age he died he would have died young. Whenever he died his death would have been untimely. That is what we feel about those who leave behind, not only a tale of things done, but a tradition of a spirit which defies positive record because it was an inspiration to a
Such a tradition David Henderson has bequeathed to his own special service and to the
Art. 10.-FASCISM AND ITS POLITICAL INFLUENCES
IN ITALY. THE logical connexion of recent happenings in Italy only begins to appear when they are presented in the context of the political evolution of the country since the general elections of Nov. 16, 1919. As, moreover, the development of the internal situation in the immediate future will to a large extent be determined by the events of the last two years, a brief review of this period is necessary in order to discover the goal, if any, towards which Italy is moving.
In 1919 the morale of Italy was shaken to its foundations. To the economic prostration consequent on a war that had drained the meagre resources of the State, there was added the bitter disappointment that, though the war had been won, the nation had reaped little of the fruits of victory. Italians watched with a sense of envy and disillusionment the assignment of mandates and the extension of zones of influence by the other victorious Allies, while they themselves had still to settle as best they could the fate of the Adriatic, for which they had principally entered the war. The masses were deeply discontented. The cost of living had gone up by 300-400 per cent., while wages had not risen in proportion. Every day brought fresh proofs of callous profiteering and of gross scandals by contractors in high places. Lodgings were unobtainable in the town districts, or could only be had at fancy rents. Bread was of the poorest possible quality, while many articles of ordinary consumption, such as butter and sugar, had all but disappeared from the retail market. Embitterment was intensified by the lavish display of wealth by the new rich and by the growing output of articles of luxury, while the barest necessaries of life were lacking. In these abnormal conditions Bolshevist propaganda found a ready response. Russia became the hallowed symbol of the social millennium in the popular imagination. The Red flag took the place of the national colours; and the Soviet emblem of the hammer and the sickle gained an almost fanatical significance. A little over two years ago contempt for the Army and all national institutions was frequently displayed in public