|from: FALSEHOOD IN WAR-TIME: Propaganda Lies of the First World War by Arthur Ponsonby
The statement that whatever we were fighting for we desired no fresh territory was frequently made.
Considering that the British Empire comprised over thirteen million square miles of the earth's
surface in 1914, the statement was accepted as wise and sensible. A few of the chief declarations on
the subject may be given.
"We have no desire to add to our Imperial burdens either in area or in responsibility." (Mr. Asquith,
"Our direct and selfish interests are small." (Mr. Asquith , November 1914)
"We are not fighting for territory." (Mr. Bonar Law, December 1916.)
"We are not fighting a war of conquest." (Mr. Lloyd George, February 1917.)
"Such a victory as will give not aggrandizement of territory nor any extension of our Empire." (Mr.
Long, February 1917.)
So much for the protestations for public consumption. Now as to the facts with regard to what "fell
to us" when it was all over.
Egypt, formerly under Turkish suzerainty, became part of the British Empire 350,000
Cyprus, formerly under Turkish suzerainty, became part of the British Empire 3,584
German South-West Africa, mandate held by the Union of South Africa 322,450
German East Africa, mandate held by Great Britain 384,180
Togoland and Cameroons, divided between Great Britain and France (say half) 112,415
Samoa, mandate held by New Zealand 1,050
German New Guinea and Island south of Equator, mandate held by Australia 90,000
Palestine, mandate held by Great Britain 9,000
Mesopotamia (Iraq), mandate held by Great Britain
Total in square miles 1,415,929