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THE WELSH OUTLOOK NOTES OF THE MONTH The Political Recent political doings in Ger- Situation many afford much room for in Germany speculation. Herr von Beth- mann-Hollweg, the Chancellor from July 18th, 1909, to the same date this year, has been replaced by Herr Michaelis, a former Under Secretary of State for Finance, and of late in charge of corn control. The exact circumstances leading up to this change are obscure. Are they vague strivings after democratisation on the part of the German people ? If so, how far is this a con- scious direction towards a definite object, and not a reaction from uneasiness as to the cause of the war or actual discomfort from internal conditions ? The answer seems to be plainly writ in Herr Michaelis speech of Thursday to the Reichstag. First of all, the territory of the Fatherland is inviolable." There must be no economic offensive alliance against us." We cannot again offer peace." 11 I consider it advantageous and necessary that closer touch should be established between the great parties and the Government but I am not willing to permit the conduct of affairs to be taken from my hands." The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau. The apparent story of the crisis is on the following lines. Early in July Herr Ebert, a Socialist de- puty, severely criticized German policy in Committee of the Reichstag, the next day Herr Erzberger of the Centre, who had just returned from an interview with the Austrian Emperor, Karl, spoke to the same effect. He expressed open doubt as to the military and political situation and wished for domestic reform and a restatement of war aims. According to the Germania, the organ of the Centre, the objects to be thus attained were (1) to show that Germany was not the victim of a Prussian military caste; AUGUST, 1917 (2) to obtain reconstruction of the ministry on the lines of a closer alliance between the Government and the Reichstag, and to obtain a pledge as to a reform of the Prussian franchise, the nett effect being to influence foreign opinion, especially that of Russia. Herr von Bethmann-Hollweg apparently fell in with these views and obtained the Kaiser's signature to the new Prussian franchise decree. By this he openly arrayed against himself the forces of the Conservatives and the National Liberals, i.e. the Land, the Army, and the Industrial Army militant of the great commercial magnates. Next a Crown Council was held-the first since the opening of war-and a few days later the Crown Prince arrived in Berlin. Herr von Bethmann-Hollweg is credited with the conception of a Council of the Empire," and here Bavaria, in the person of Count Hertling, the Prime Minister, declared its opposition to any- thing in the way of ministerial responsibility to the Reichstag. This intervention had the effect of setting the seal upon Herr von Bethmann-Hollweg 's dismissal, the Vorwarts commenting: "Bavaria even though it be only the official Bavaria, as the opponent of Empire Democracy! What an edifying spectacle for foreign countries at this time Thus ends, for the present, the "crisis;" but for how long? Apart from academic interest is the blind gropings of a society to better things the lesson of the crisis to the Allies would seem to be that of Emerson-" Trust thyself every heart vibrates to that iron string." Educational A Conference, attended by over Reconstruction 300 delegates of Workers' As- sociations, public authorities, co-operative societies, institutes and clubs, in Glamorganshire and Monmouthshire, was held at