The idea of writing this book occurred to me when I found, both by conversing with friends and acquaintances and by listening at odd moments to remarks passed by "men in the street," how very little is known about Alsace-Lorraine in Great Britain. The general ignorance appeared to me to be the more regrettable as my acquaintance with all the more important German utterances and writings on this subject since 1871 convinced me, already at the outset of the Great War, that whatever conditions the Allies might resolve to exact of Germany, the one which, more than any other, she would resist to her utmost would be the restitution of Alsace-Lorraine to France. Nevertheless, it was absurd for Baron von Kühlmann to assert, as he did shortly after his appointment as German Minister for Foreign Affairs, that the sole obstacle to peace was the question of Alsace-Lorraine. As our Foreign Secretary, Mr. Balfour, replied - virtually repeating the utterances of our successive Prime Ministers, Mr. Asquith and Mr. Lloyd George—we undoubtedly desire to see Alsace-Lorraine restored to France ; but it is ridiculous to imagine that this one question "stands out solitary, preeminent, unconnected with any other of the objects of the war." "We are fighting," as Mr. Balfour said, "in order, in the first place, that Europe may be freed from the perpetual menace of the military party in Germany"; and, assuredly, if that object is to be attained, questions affecting quite a number of countries will require solution.