Britain: Oxford Atones

A vote for Queen and country

The motion before the Oxford Union, the university's prestigious 160-year-old debating society, had a familiar ring: "This house would not fight for Queen and country." Exactly 50 years earlier, on Feb. 9, 1933, the Union debated the same subject in the same wood-paneled hall. On that occasion, memories of World War I trench warfare were still vivid, and the motion was carried, 275 to 153. Only a few people seemed concerned that Adolf Hitler had just come to power in Germany. Even so, the pacifists' victory stirred an outcry. The Daily Express ranted against the...

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