[Editor: A letter to the editor, which provides an example of a negative opinion on German culture from the time period of World War One. Published in The Examiner, 29 July 1916.]
The return of Mr. Hughes.
(To the Editor.)
Sir, — The downfall of the British Empire is the aim of the Teuton Powers of Central Europe. The present war is the culmination of this objective. The liberty of individual and freedom of thought and every ideal which we have hitherto cherished are all jeopardised by the German or Prussian creed and system in which the personality of the individual and the sanctity of the family life are all suborned to a military discipline and regime, and thus British traditions and all the heritage that has made us great in the past become effaced.
Mr. Hughes has by his speeches and by his actions given proof to Australia and the British world, both his understanding of the situation and his fitness to be a leader of a movement to neutralise the efforts of the enemy. We in Australia, having selected Mr. Hughes as our Prime Minister, desire on his return from his mission in Europe to render to him evidence of our appreciation of the work he has accomplished so well, and we feel that he should have every encouragement to continue his work in Australia independent of party politics.
It is proposed that he should receive the support and co-operation of every well-meaning citizen of Australia. I therefore make the suggestion to offer him that homage on his return, so that he may feel that he possesses the whole confidence of his fellow citizens to help him in his efforts to advance Australian and British interests and ideals, and to destroy for ever the German menace. In order to bring this to a practical issue, it would be well if party politics were overlooked, in view of the very big issues at stake, and that we all unite in giving Mr. Hughes, not only a cordial welcome, but also the assurance to strengthen and encourage him, that the movement is a national one, irrespective of party.
No statesman so far has had such a brilliant opportunity as Mr. Hughes to lead and protect his country. He has attended many meetings of the British Cabinet, has been in the confidence of the greatest British statesmen. No one doubts his patriotism, and he is in the unique position, by virtue of the confidence we all possess in him, to unify all parties.
I would suggest that we abstain from entering into any details so as to leave Mr. Hughes quite unhampered, at the same time to avoid the susceptibilities of party politics. It is to be hoped this movement will he a universal one, to which everyone interested in the welfare of Australia and the Empire, and who knows the character of Mr. Hughes can conscientiously subscribe. As a practical expression of the approval of these views, will you be good enough to receive the names of those residing in your state willing to subscribe to this movement?
— Yours, etc.,
Hotel Carlton, Sydney.
The Examiner (Launceston, Tas.), Saturday 29 July 1916, page 3
[Editor: The original text has been separated into paragraphs.]