1882, Anonymous , Submarina: or Green Eyes and Blue Glasses 

Anonymous (1882) Submarina: or Green Eyes and Blue Glasses – The Channel Tunnel. Danger to England or No Danger!, London: Yates, Alexander and Shepheard, 21 Castle Street, Holborn,E.C

A strange tale, from 100 years ahead, of the debates around the danger of a channel tunnel.


As to the unmitigated disastrousness of the scheme of which we hear, I was under the impression before I left my club this evening that there could be no two opinions on the subject Is it too much for most obtuse and dull imagination on the other side of this House to picture the inevitable result of establishing land communication between Great Britain and the Continent Of Europe. The bare possibility Of substituting a one hour’s journey under the sea for a two hours’ journey over it would be a temptation so great as to kindle a passion for war and conquest in the most peace-loving of nations. Think for a moment of the result of placing such an opportunity in the hands of impulsive Frenchmen. Throw for a moment the mind’s. eye into the future, and see the easy excuse which would at once be found by perfidious foreigners for a declaration of war. The enemy’s troops, of course, are lying in secrecy at Calais. With complete secrecy they embark on rolling stock which had been secretly accumulated to a sufficient extent. A short journey over, and they are upon our very shores! What remains but to prevent the giving Of any alarm to any of Our troops who happen to be in the neighbourhood, to disembark and rise to the surface Of the earth ; and before we are aware of it these very halls may be seized by the alien. Is this prospect to be laughed to scorn? And how infinitely worse if it were not an army of Frenchmen, but of Germans or Russians, that was marched upon us before we could hear a rumour of its mobilization.