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But this plan proved to be unworkable; and it became obvious that the Missions must be dealt with separately if their story, however condensed, was to be intelligible Still however I proposed only a small volume for general circulation; and I began writing on a very limited scale accordingly But when some portions of the MS. were submitted to the Secretaries, they were not satisfied. They urged that India and China, in particular, called for much fuller treatment. Eventually it was decided by the Publications Sub-Committee that I should attempt a Fourth Volume of the History on a scale similar to that of the previous three volumes.
One result of the change of plan has been the delay of over a year in bringing out the work. My original idea was to stop at the Declaration of War, August, 1914, and to have the book out by Easter, 1915. The period I should treat would thus be just years from the centenary, which was kept in April, 1899. As another year's work became necessary it was also necessary to bring the narrative down a year or so later and practically to produce a sixteen years' history. But I had already made a number of statistical and other comparisons based on the idea of the "fifteen-year period"; and it had not been possible to alter all these.