Every Nation the Best Judge of Her Own Honor

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia
Everybody's Magazine (january 1916)

Every Nation the Best Judge of Her Own Honor is a short article written by Arthur Conan Doyle published in Everybody's Magazine in january 1916.

The article is a contribution to the symposium "America's Neutrality as England Sees It" gathered by Perriton Maxwell, as a response to these questions :

  • I. To what extent, in your opinion, can America continue to maintain her neutrality, assuming Germany's satisfactory apology for wrongs committed against the United States and her citizens, and the full and complete compliance on the part of the Gennan Imperial Government with all the demands made by President Wilson?
  • II. Does the British Nation really care whether the United States remains neutral or joins the Allies in their present work of crushing Prussian militarism ?
  • III. Would Great Britain benefit one way or another if the United States went to war with Germany?
  • IV. What of the future of America should Germany conceivably be able to dictate terms of peace or force arbitration upon the allied nations ?

The contributors were : Viscount Bryce, H. G. Wells, Sir A. Conan Doyle, Lord Aberconway of Bodnant, Jerome K. Jerome, G. K. Chesterton, The Duke of Newcastle, The Countess of Warwick, Sir Hiram Maxim, Maurice Hewlett, The Archbishop of Armagh, Mrs. Humphry Ward, G. Bernard Shaw, Israel Zangwill, Admiral Sir Edward Seymour, Gen. Sir George B. Wolseley, Maj.-Gen. Sir Alfred E. Turner, William De Morgan, W. J. Locke, Sir E. Ray Lankester, William Archer.

Every Nation the Best Judge of Her Own Honor

Everybody's Magazine (january 1916, p. 4)

SIR A. CONAN DOYLE. The creator of "Sherlock Holmes" is now giving his expert services to his country as a physician.

Every Briton would like to see the United States upon our side, because we are fighting the battle of liberty against aggressive militarism, and we should wish to have men of our blood at our side in so noble a contest, which will decide the future trend of the world's history.

So far as material things go, I am not clear what military or naval advantage could come to the Allies through the accession of the United States to their cause. We already hold the seas, and there are ample men for the land campaign.

I believe the American soldier to be second to none in the world, but before an adequate expeditionary force could be prepared and sent, the crisis of the war will probably be over.

Financially, the United States would, of course, be a great ally, but we believe that we have enough money to see the matter through.

As to whether the States should come in or not, it seems to me a sheer impertinence for any outsider to pronounce an opinion upon such a subject.

Every man is the best judge of his own honor, and so is every nation.

We appreciate upon this side of the Atlantic how complex and difficult is the American situation, and we rest assured that your country will act in such a way that you can justify your position to succeeding generations of Americans.

Arthur Conan Doyle.