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By Take Jonescu Leader of the National Democratic Party in Rumania M. Jonescu, foremost of the pro-Entente statesmen of Rumania, made a historic address last Winter in the Chamber of Deputies, urging his countrymen to enter the war on the side
After many months, Rumania has followed his counsel. The more significant portions of the speech in question, printed below, now have historic interest.
of the Allies.
had no idea of how the his
THOSE who lived in the time of Jesus
Christ had no idea of how the his
tory of humanity was to be affected by the coming of Christianity. During the barbaric invasions nobody took into account what transformations they involved. Nobody knew that therefrom might result the death of civilization for a thousand years. If people had realized the meaning of these things they would have made better defense against them. At the time of the French Revolution people had no idea of the tremendous consequences it was to bring, of the far distance they would reach. Today, gentlemen, I think we are confronted, not with an ordinary war which will simply involve a certain changing of frontiers, with things after that very much as they were before. We are faced by a catastrophe involving the whole of the human race; we have before our eyes the declining twilight of one world, preceding the dawn of another and a new.
And note, gentlemen, how grave is the problem with which humanity is faced today! You see Italy, instead of accepting a gratuitous increase of territory, throwing herself of her own free will into the horrors of war. And it is not alone the people of Europe who are throbbing with excitement today. Have you never asked yourselves what these new nations are doing in the great conflict-the young republics founded by the AngloSaxons across the ocean? Why is it that we see Canada, Australia, New Zealand en rolling from 7 to 8 per cent. of their populations as volunteers for the front? Is it for love of the motherland?
Sentiment does not move humanity to such a degree as that. How is it the conscience of the United States of America has become uneasy? Out of love for England ? Nothing of the sort, gentle
men. To attack Great Britain has always been recognized as a safe and popular note by orators in the United States; it is known as “twisting the British lion's tail.” Why, then, is it disturbed, this democracy of a hundred million souls, engaged in making the most glorious experiment imaginable; the creation of a civilization without prejudices, with no class distinctions, with no monarchy, no militarism, no hindrance of any sort-a civilization based solely on the nationalist sovereignty carried to its extremest limits?
This entire movement can have but one explanation, namely, that we are confronted with a transformation of the human race, a transformation which expresses itself in the form of a general
It is a struggle between two worlds, and we shall see which of the two shall succeed in obtaining the mastery. Were it otherwise this war would not be possible, and it would not be waged with the fury that distinguishes it from all others.
Gentlemen, the truth is that in this war, which was most certainly provoked by the Germans, we see the last attempt made by a single people to secure for itself a universal hegemony.
If the German soldier were to win today the first result would be that the same military force, which is the greatest in the world, would also be the greatest naval force, and there would be no more independence, no more liberty for any one in the world, not even for the great American democracy. If ever the day should come when one and the same State had domination not only on land but also on sea—the day on which the Roman Empire should be reconstituted in conformity with the affirmation once made by the Emperor William that the
time would come when all men would be But German unification is the product happy to call themselves German, just of Prussian caporalism,” with regard as formerly one exclaimed joyously, to which a very intelligent Teuton hold" Civis Romanus sum,” then the free life ing a high position remarked to me five of each one of us would be at an end. or six months ago: “You are right, all
Well, and what is the basis of this at you say is true; there is nothing more
While M. Diamandy was speaking of the Is there a single hypothesis among all battle of the Marne some one replied the hypotheses forming the basis and the that it was just an engagement like any poetry of science; is there one of all the other. To which I retort: It was not a discoveries which have contributed to the battle, it was a historic moment, it was progress—the material progress—of mod the proof that even the brute force of ern life; is there one among all the ideas “caporalism,” in a State in which one that have roused the world to enthusiasm; man can proclaim that the highest law is is there one of all the creations of art his own will, may be vanquished by the which would be lost if we were to remove armies of a democratic republic wherein Germany's contribution? No, gentlemen, abuse of liberty was mistaken by fools the treasure possessed by the human race for moral decline and loss of virtue. would remain intact, a little reduced, to And if such is the meaning of the war be sure, but in no wise diminished in now raging, how can it be supposed that quality. It would remain as it was be it can end with the customary peace, the fore. What is there in the assets of Ger sort of peace in which so many goldmany to set against the extraordinary laced, decorated plenipotentiaries will productions of our neo-Latin civilization? discuss a lot of nothings around a green One thing alone there is that is charac cloth? Can one imagine that it will end teristic in Germanic culture, and that is like a duel with button-tipped foils, in its political organization, which to us is which the swordsman hit exclaims, a puzzle.
“ Touche!” and after shaking hands and How is it possible to reconcile an ultra putting the weapons in their case the two modern economic organization with a adversaries go off and drink to each political organization dating from the other's health! Middle Ages? How reconcile a teaching No, gentlemen, today it is a war of 80 generalized, a material well-being so nations rather than a war of armies; the highly developed, with a political system conscience of all the races is awakened; which enables one man to declare, “ My
this war must and will go on until one will is the highest law," or, “I owe my
of the two sides shall have been crushed power not to the assent of the German in such a manner that the victor shall people, but solely to the Divine mission be able to impose his rule upon the vanwith which I have been intrusted on
quished. No other peace will be acearth"?
ceptable to the nations. Such are the characteristics of German
If Germany is victorious her rule will civilization, of the far-famed Kultur.
be the rule of the mailed fist, the reign And, gentlemen, that springs, unhappily, of a single people chosen by God; if the from the manner in which the unity of Germany has been formed.
others win—and they will—the law they If this German unity had sprung from
will impose will be the law of justice, in the Liberal movement of 1848 a great
order that the whole world may enjoy new nation would have been added to
the benefits of civilization. the existing Liberal nations of Europe.
Such is the problem. But you will ask “ What!
Is Germany to disap
Who can imagine any such Jonescu's Later Comment thing? It is Austria that might and In the light of the foregoing speech, should vanish away.
the following statement by Take Jonescu Austria ought to have disappeared long after Rumania had declared war is of ago. When she has vanished from sight
added interest: a general sigh of relief will be heard; Rumania's entry into the war is simevery one will be glad that at last she ply the outcome of the entire history of has paid the price of centuries of wicked the Rumanian people. A Latin colony ness, for you may search the pages of established astride the Carpathians beher history through and through and you tween the Black Sea and the Tisza, the shall not find that she has done good to Magyar invasion had separated us into any one of any sort, while many and two. In spite of centuries of political many have been the sufferers from her
separation, the intellectual life of all Rutreachery and her brutality. What would manians has been one and the same, I not give to any one who should point and in every epoch the national aspiraout to me a single good action ever done tion in the two sides of the Carpathians by this monarchy ?
has been for union and a single indeAnd things being as they are, gentle- pendent State.
Never before this war has the princimen, can you doubt on which side victory will rest? I forget who it was said just ple of nationality, the corollary of na
tional sovereignty—that is to say, the now that it was childish to introduce the idea of morality into international
right of every people to live according politics.
to its own genius-been declared as the
foundation of political right in Europe. How slight must be his acquaintance
This principle was first declared by imwith the philosophy of history. Indi
mortal France, but it has been English viduals, like peoples, pay the price of the
statesmen of this present epoch who offenses they commit against morality. have given its definite consecration. In the one case punishment follows im
So, too, are the British people for this mediately, in the other case it is delayed, principle. Yet more than any conquest but there would be no order in the uni
do they value being champions of right verse, life would be without value were
and liberty. I know no greater good it not that we have the conviction of the
fortune than to be able to assist in the existence of a moral law above us.
realization of this national ideal while And if, gentlemen, the problem is as I serving at the same time the cause of see it, if the events through which we civilization and permanent future peace. are passing are as I have attempted to Such is the case of the Rumanian peodescribe them, how can one talk of neu ple at this moment. trality? Is there a single State through For two years I never ceased mainout the world which will not be affected, taining that if Rumania had nothing to which will not be transformed by the claim for herself she owed it to her own results of this war? No, gentlemen, there feeling of dignity and honor to draw is not one. But note this difference: the sword on the side of the crusaders There are some States which will suffer for the right. The creation of a great from the consequences of the war with Rumania, which will convert us into a out power to have their say, because they State of 14,000,0000 inhabitants, is not let their sword rust in its scabbard; only a Rumanian but a European inothers there are which, while suffering terest. We must put Germany into such no less severely from the effects of the a position that she will find it materially conflict, will at least have a hearing; impossible to start again that tragedy of their utterance will either be that of the armaments à outrance which fatally led conqueror, who decides, or that of the to this monstrous war. vanquished, who, having done his duty, We must put between Germany and may rightly claim the respect of the the Orient, which she covets, States sufvictor.
ficiently strong and representing mili
tary worth sufficiently great to be able to resist all intrigues and sufficiently distant from the German spirit to be by the nature of things soldiers of civilization against German stupidity. Magna Rumania will fulfill these three conditions. With our amazing racial fecundity, we shall have in forty years between Tisza and the Black Sea a State of 25,000,000 inhabitants, and for France, England, Russia, and Italy this will be some recompense for their enormous sacrifices.
The whole nation has received the declaration of war with a satisfaction that is marked with the greatest dignity. Nothing could prove better how necessary and inevitable war was. Our armies have seized all the passes of the Carpathians with extraordinary rapidity, yet that has turned nobody's head, for the Latins of the Danube have a sense of measure and self-command.
You will read in the official com
muniqués of the fighting on the Dobrudja frontier. There, too, we are defending a cause that is not only our own, but also that of the Allies, and I might say of Europe. In order that the Turk shall be driven from Europe it is necessary, first of all, to subdue Bulgaria, or rather her rulers, who are the real cause of Bulgaria's madness. In my belief it is the duty of Europe not to repeat the mistakes of last Autumn, but to bring to bear upon the Balkan front sufficient forces to solve the Bulgarian problem. In any case, in dealing with a primitive people like the Bulgarians, a display of force is the first requirement.
As for the ultimate victory of the Allies, that has been as clear to me as sunlight for a long time past. Today, more than ever, the possibility of our common victory is definitely guaranteed, not only by our military superiority, but also and in especial degree by our moral strength.
Text of Rumania's Declaration of War
UMANIA'S reasons for entering
the great conflict on the side of
the Entente powers were stated in her declaration of war on AustriaHungary, issued on Aug. 28. Following is the text of that document, which took the form of a note handed to Count Czernin, the Austro-Hungarian Minister to Rumania, at the close of the historic meeting of the Crown Council in Bucharest, where the die was cast for war:
The alliance concluded between Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy, according to the statements of those Governments, had only & conservative and defensive character.
Its principal object was to guarantee the allied countries against attack from the outside and to consolidate the state of affairs created by previous treaties. It was in accordance with these pacific tendencies that Rumania joined this alliance,
Devoted to the development of her internal affairs and faithful to her resolution to remain as an element of order and equilibrium on the lower Danube, Rumania never has ceased in her devotion to the maintenance of peace in the Balkans. The last Balkan wars, by destroying the status quo, imposed upon her a new line of conduct, but her
intervention gave peace and re-established the equilibrium.
For herself she was satisfied with the rectification of her borders which gave her the greatest security against aggression and repaired certain injustices of the Congress of Berlin, but in pursuit of this aim Rumania was disappointed by the failure of the Vienna Cabinet to take the attitude Rumania was entitled to expect.
When the present war broke out Rumania, like Italy, declined to associate herself with the declaration of war by Austria-Hungary, of which she had not been notified by the Vienna Cabinet.
In the Spring of 1915 Italy declared war against Austria-Hungary. The Triple Alliance no longer existed and the reasons which determined Rumania's adherence to this political system disappeared,
Rumania remained in the peace group of States, seeking to work in agreement in order to assure peace and to conserve the situation de facto and de jure created by treaties. Rumania then found herself in the presence of powers making war for the sole purpose of transforming from top to bottom the old arrangements which had served as a basis for their treaty of alliance. These changes were for Rumania proof that the object she pursued in joining the Triple Alliance no longer could be attained and
that she must direct her efforts in new paths, especially as the work undertaken by AustriaHungary threatened the interests of Rumania and her national aspirations. Consequently Rumania resumed her liberty of action.
The neutrality which Rumania imposed upon herself in consequence of a declaration of war made independently of her will, and contrary to her interests, had been adopted as the results of the assurances that AustriaHungary, in declaring war against Serbia, was not inspired by a spirit of conquest or of territorial gains. These assurances have not been realized.
Today we are confronted by a situation de facto threatening great territorial transformations and political changes of a nature constituting a grave menace to the future of Rumania. The work of peace which Rumania attempted to accomplish, in a spirit of faithfulness to the Triple Alliance, thus was rendered barren by the very powers called upon to defend it.
In adhering in 1883 to the group of Central Powers, Rumania was far from forgetting the bonds of blood constituting between them a pledge for her domestic tranquillity, as well as for the improvement of the lot of the Rumanians of Austria-Hungary. In fact, Germany and Italy, who reconstituted their States on the basic principle of nationality, could not but recognize the legitimacy of the foundation upon which their own existence reposed.
As for Austria-Hungary, she found in the
friendly relations established between her and Rumania assurances of tranquillity both in her interior and on our common frontiers, for she was bound to know to what extent the discontent of her Rumanian population found echo among us, threatening our good relations.
For a period of thirty years the Rumanians of Austria-Hungary not only never sa wa reform introduced, but, instead, were treated as an inferior race and condemned to suffer the oppression of a foreign element which constitutes only a minority amid the diverse nationalities constituting the Austro-Hungarian States.
All the injustices our brothers thus were made to suffer maintained between our country and the monarchy a continual state of animosity. At the outbreak of the war Austria-Hungary made no effort to ameliorate these conditions. After two years of the war Austria-Hungary showed herself as prompt to sacrifice her peoples as powerless to defend them. The war in which almost the whole of Europe is partaking raises the gravest problems affecting the national development and very existence of the States.
Rumania, from a desire to hasten the end of the conflict and to safeguard her racial interests, sees herself forced to enter into line by the side of those who are able to assure her realization of her national unity. For these reasons Rumania considers herself, from this moment, in a state of war with Austria-Hungary.
Proclamation of the King of Rumania to His
King Ferdinand issued the following only able to establish for a moment, proclamation to his people on Aug. 28: namely, Rumanian union both
UMANIANS! The war which for slopes of the Carpathians.
the last two years has been encir For us the mountains and plains of
cling our frontiers more and more Bukowina, where Stephen the Great has closely has shaken the ancient founda slept for centuries. In our moral energy tions of Europe to their depths.
and our valor lie the means of giving It has brought the day which has been him back his birthright of a great and awaited for centuries by the national free Rumania from the Tisza to the conscience, by the founders of the Ru Black Sea, and to prosper in peace in manian State, by those who united the accordance with our customs and our principalities in the war of indepen- hopes a dreams. dence, by those responsible for the na Rumanians! Animated by the holy tional renaissance. It is the day of the duty imposed upon us, and determined union of all branches of our nation. to bear manfully all the sacrifices insepToday we are able to complete the task arable from an arduous war, we will of our forefathers and to establish for march into battle with the irresistible ever that which Michael the Great was élan of a people firmly confident in its