THE SCENES IN THE COUNTRY
Though the war does not touch our shores, there have been stirring scenes all week, owing to the calling out of the Reserves and Territorials. The men have responded with spirit to the call of duty, convinced that the policy of this country is right in defending the weak against the strong, in honourably standing by the engagements entered into with the neutral States of the Continent, and in acting up to the full spirit of our happy entente with France. Regret that war is necessary is universal, for a friendly feeling was slowly growing with Germany, and was taking the place of the distrust excited by the constant huge growth, to our disadvantage, of the German naval armaments. Many people, indeed, impressed by the rapid growth of these armaments, have felt that the present unhappy conflict was bound to come.
One immediate effect of the war is to send up prices of provisions and commodities, through the huge demands of people who are rather panic-stricken. There is no need for alarm, as the supplies in the country will last for months, and abundance will come in from our Colonies and from foreign countries, the waterways nearly all over the world being open to our commerce.
Should the war continue long, there will of necessity be much short time and unemployment, for which the public should be preparing themselves. The Government are making preparations for the emergency, and the benevolent public will be ready to respond to calls to help the destitute, and to assist the wives and children whose fathers have been called away to their military duty. It is a time when we must all stand together in firm defence of the land we love, yet trusting that the war cloud, which now looms so darkly, will soon pass away.
(The Halifax Courier, 8th August 1914)
[I included this, because it shows that enthusiasm for war was not universal, even at the start.]