Excerpt from The Nineteenth Century, Vol. 44: A Monthly Review, July-December, 1898
It is not a matter for positive Opinion, but the truth seems to be that even from the moment when an anglo-american alliance was first talked of that tame outcome was by much the more probable. Reduce the pressure of the three Powers upon England, or dispel the dread of foreign interference in the United States, and the project of a defensive alliance between the two countries retires into the distance whence it was drawn. What, then, is the likelihood that neither of these things will happen? I confess to having thought a few weeks ago (though without the ill-luck Of saying so) that both would happen - at any rate, the first. The erroneous calculation was that the most formidable of England's rivals would prefer a spell of peace and quiet - even of diplomatic peace and quiet. Her later gains seemed so vast, and so securely held for further advance, that she could afford a relaxation of the squeeze; meanwhile devoting her energy and resource to shipbuilding on the Black Sea, the completion of the Siberian railway, the establishment of another Sebastopol at its terminus, and the organisation of Manchuria as a Russian province; work enough, one would think. But no. With all the look of a surprise for the Foreign Office itself, news comes in that the diminishing activity of Russia at Pekin is quite a mistake. The conspiracy Of negotiation with the Chinese Government goes on, succeeding against us in central as well as northern China even where it was supposed that we had made ourselves secure. This, then, is no sedative for the alarm sounded by Mr. Chamberlain in his famous alliance speech. A new ousting arrangement between Russia, France, and Belgium, is no assurance that we are safe in a policy of no alliances.
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