By Max Beloff
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Extra info for Britain’s Liberal Empire 1897–1921: Volume 1 of Imperial Sunset
T. S. Eliot (London, Faber . 1941), p. 16. 'J. I. M. Stewart, Eight Modem Writers (Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1963), p. 286. I Charles Carrington, Rudyard Kipling (London, Macmillan, 1955), p. 274. 8 B 21 BRITAIN'S LIBERAL EMPIRE outlook that brought Kipling close to Cecil Rhodes and Alfred Milner, two of the three men with whom he dined in April 1897 at the Atheneum to celebrate his election to the club. 1 An element of prophecy may be found in Kipling's perception that the kind of strength that made it possible for the area of civilization to be extended - whether manifest in the soldier or the civilian administrator or technician - would be sapped by an excessive indulgence in the merely verbal, in the proclamation of imposing principles unaccompanied by the will to make the effort needed if they were to triumph.
SeeJ. C. Lockhart and C. M. Woodhouse, Rhodes (1963), pp. 168-g. I M. Cumpston, 'The Discussion ofImperial Problems in the British Parliament, 1880-1885'. S. (1963), p. 39. a F. H. O'Donnell, quoted by Cumpston, loco cit. It has been pointed out that since the Irish question with its interminably divisive effects on British domestic politics was an unpopular subject in parliament at this time, the Indians did not gain much from this association. See M. , vol. LXXVI (1g61), p. 286. 'l It was not only in India that the echoes ofIrish nationalism were felt.
In the first half of the war, the problems presented by the neutrality of the United States and its threatened intervention to promote a compromise peace were all-important. In the latter half of the war, with American collaboration assured, British attention turned to the new threat to the Empire presented by militant Russian communism. Both the Indian and the Irish questions took on a new urgency. War aims began to be defined in terms of the desirability of securing a situation in Europe that would free Britain from the need actively to intervene to preserve the balance, and of making gains outside Europe that would prevent any renewal of the threat to the Empire and its communications, either by a revived Germany or by a Russia, perhaps under German influence.