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[Page 205]

I pointed out to him that if the troops were kept in their present exposed position during the winter months that they would lose the entire equivalent of the force in sickness alone, also that they ran the risk of being pushed out of their positions at certain exposed points, because the heavy rains would wash away the trenches which would affect the Turks less than ourselves, because theirs are everywhere situated above ours. I also told him that now communications were opened up between Austria, through Belgrade and Nish to Sofia, that the Germans could send down big guns and keep the Turks supplied with ammunition and shell us out of the awful beaches. Bonar Law replied that he thoroughly agreed with my point of view and that he himself had long advocated the withdrawal, but that the Cabinet were still undecided and could not make up their minds, and that Lord Kitchener now on his way out, would sendin a report on which they would come to a decision.

I then told him that unless they came to a decision before it was too late, that I would come out with a statement to the country, and that Lord Northcliffe was prepared to do the same. That we would risk the consequences and would not stand any more shillyshallying, and thus lose thousands more lives during the winter months, and at the same time very likely suffer a grave disaster. I then went around with Fenton and saw Doctor Vernon Jones who pronounced that I was suffering from a severe attack of jaundice and enteritis and must go into a nursing home at once. This is a serious blow as it means the postponement of my lecturing tour, but he gave a certificate saying that I could not go onwith it, so there is an end to the matter. I struggled into Doctor Shields Home at 17 Park Lane this afternoon and wasat once put to bed. I met ray old friend Sir Alfred Fripp, who also has an interest in this home.

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