Britain and the Chicago Exhibition

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

Britain and the Chicago Exhibition is a letter written by Arthur Conan Doyle first published in The Times on 24 december 1892.

Britain and the Chicago Exhibition

The Times (24 december 1892)


Sir, — A graceful act of courtesy may do more than the most elaborate statecraft. A capacity for such actions has never shown itself to be part of our national genius. Such a proceeding, for example, as the presentation of the Statue of Liberty by France to America is, as far as I know, unparalleled in our annals. And yet if there are any two races upon earth between which such courtesies should prevail they are our own and our kin of the United States.

At present their heart is set upon making their exhibition a success, and any help which we might give them in achieving this would be very welcome to them. Much after-dinner oratory has been expended upon both sides of the water upon our common origin and common sympathies. Our Government has an opportunity now of showing some practical sign of good will.

The German Government has just refused to the Americans the use of any of their military bands. It would be a graceful action upon the part of our authorities to offer, say, three of our own crack regimental bands, including one of the Guards, to play in the British section of the exhibition. If, in addition to this, a squadron of our Life Guards was sent over to take part in the opening procession the compliment would be the greater. German and French regimental bands have played in London exhibitions and American regiments have visited Canadian towns, so that the idea has no claims to novelty. It appears to me, however, to be just one of those occasions for cementing international friendship which seldom present themselves and which are too valuable to neglect.

Yours faithfully,

Reform Club, Pall Mall, S.W., Dec. 22.