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The question which side has the stronger military situation appears idle, and may confidently be left to the judgment of the world. The four allied powers now look on their purely defensive war aims as attained, while their enemies travel further and further from the realization of their plans.
For the enemy to characterize our peace proposals as meaningless before peace nego. tiations were begun, and so long as, therefore, our peace conditions are unknown, is
merely to make an arbitrary assertion. We had made full preparations for the acceptance of our offer to make known our peaco conditions on entering into the negotiations. We declared ourselves ready to end the war by a verbal exchange of views with the enemy Governments, and it depended solely on our enemies' decision whether peace were brought about or not.
Before God and mankind we repudiate responsibility for continuance of the war.
Replies' of Neutral Nations to President
Wilson's Peace Note
EARLY all the neutral nations of
N Europe Sento formal replies to
President Wilson's note of Dec. 18, and all of these except Spain indicated their willingness to co-operate with the United States in a peace movement of the kind suggested.
Text of Swiss Note Switzerland was the first of all the nations to make a formal reply. The response was addressed by the Swiss Federal Council, under date of Dec. 23, 1916, to all belligerents and neutrals. The text of the note, as received by the Swiss Consul at Washington and given out by Secretary Lansing, is as follows:
The President of the United States of America, with whom the Swiss Federal Council, guided by its warm desire that the hostilities may soon come to an end, has for a considerable time been in touch, had the kindness to apprise the Federal Council of the peace note sent to the Governments of the Central and Entente Powers. In that note President Wilson discusses the great desirability of international agreements for the purpose of avoiding more effectively and permanently the occurrence of catastrophes such as the one under which the peoples are suffering today. In this connection he lays particular stress on the necessity for bringing about the end of the present war. Without making peace proposals himself or offering mediation, he confines himself to sounding as to whether mankind may hope to have approached the haven of peace.
The most meritorious personal initiative of President Wilson will find a mighty echo in Switzerland. True to the obligations arising from observing the strictest neutrality, united by the same friendship with the States of both warring groups of powers, situated like an island amid the seething waters of the terrible world war, with its ideal and mate
rial interests most sensibly jeopardized and violated, our country is filled with a deep longing for peace, and ready to assist by its small means to stop the endless sufferings caused by the war and brought before its eyes by daily contact with the interned, the severely wounded, and those expelled, and to establish the foundations for a beneficial cooperation of the peoples.
The Swiss Federal Council is therefore glad to seize the opportunity to support the efforts of the President of the United States. It would consider itself happy if it could act in any, no matter how modest a way, for the rapprochement of the peoples now engaged in the struggle, and for reaching a lasting peace.
The Scandinavian Nole Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, the three Scandinavian nations, answered in an identical note, which was handed to Secretary Lansing on Dec. 29, 1916. The text of the Norwegian version, as delivered by Minister Bryn, is here given as representative of all three:
It is with the liveliest interest that the Norwegian Government has learned of the proposals which the President of the United States has just made with the purpose of facilitating measures looking toward the establishment of a durable peace, while at the same time seeking to avoid any interference which could cause offense to legitimate sentiments.
The Norwegian Government would consider itself failing in its duties toward its own people and toward humanity if it did not express its deepest sympathy with all efforts which would contribute to put an end to the ever-increasing suffering and the moral and material losses. It has every hope that the initiative of President Wilson will arrive at a result worthy of the high purpose which inspires it.
Spain's Polite Refusal The Spanish Government replied to the
American note on Dec. 30, expressing sympathy with the President's purpose of facilitating peace, but declining at present to co-operate to that end. The official text was not given out at Washington, but the following version has come direct from Madrid by way of a London newspaper. The note is addressed to C. S. Wilson, Chargé d'Affaires at the Uni. ted States Embassy in Madrid:
His Majesty's Government has received through your embassy a copy of the note which the President of the United States has presented to the belligerent powers, expressing the desire that an early opportunity should be sought for obtaining from all the nations now at war a declaration as to their intentions so far as regards the bases upon which the conflict might be terminated. This copy is accompanied by another note, signed by yourself, and dated Dec. 22, in which your embassy, in accordance with the instructions of your Government, says, in the name of the President, that the moment seems to be opportune for action on the part of his Majesty's Government, and that it should, if it thinks fit, support the attitude adopted by the Government of the United States.
With regard to the reasonable desire manifested by the latter Government to be supported in its proposition in favor of peace, the Government of his Majesty, considering that the initiative has been taken by the President of the North American Republic, and that the diverse impressions which it has caused are already known, is of opinion that the action to which the United States invites Spain would not have efficacy, and the more so because the Central Empires have already expressed their firm intention to discuss the conditions of peace solely with the belligerent powers.
Fully appreciating that the noble desire of the President of the United States will always merit the gratitude of all nations, the Government of his Majesty is decided not to dissociate itself from any negotiation or agreement destined to facilitate the humanitarian work which will put an end to the present war, but it suspends its action, reserving it for the moment when the efforts of all those who desire peace will be more useful and efficacious than is now the case, if there should then be reasons to consider that its initiative or its intervention would be profitable.
Until that moment arrives the Government of his Majesty regards it as opportune to declare that in all that concerns an understanding between the neutral powers for the defense of their material interests affected by the war, it is disposed now, as it has been since the beginning of the present conflict, to enter into negotiations which may tend toward an agreement capable of uniting all the nonbelligerent powers which may consider
themselves injured or may regard it as necessary to remedy or diminish such injuries.
The Greek King's Reply King Constantine of Greece summoned the American Minister, Garrett Dropper, to his palace in Athens on Dec. 30 and communicated to him the text of a message to President Wilson, the press version of which is as follows:
I wish to express, Mr. President, feelings of sincere admiration and lively sympathy for the generous initiative you have just taken with the view to ascertaining whether the moment is not propitious for a negotiable end of the bloody struggle raging on earth.
Co from the wise statesman who, in a period so critical for humanity, is placed at the head of the great American Republic, this humanitarian effort, dictated by a spirit of high political sagacity and looking to an honorable peace for all, cannot but contribute greatly toward hastening re-establishment of normal life and assuring through a stable state of international relations the evolution of humanity toward that progress wherein the United States of America always so largely shares.
[There follows a recital of the trials Greece has suffered from the war, which, on account of the censorship, it is useless to attempt to cable. The King's message ends as follows:]
Such are the conditions in which your proposals find my country. This short and necessarily incomplete recital is not made with the purpose of criticism of the cruel blows at her sovereignty and neutrality from which Greece has been forced to suffer the effects. I have merely wished to show you, Mr. President, how much the soul of Greece at this moment longs for peace, and how much it appreciates your proposals, which constitute so important a step in the course of the bloody world tragedy of which we are wit
CONSTANTINE. A formal note from the Greek Government to the same effect was handed to the State Department at Washington on Jan. 16. It said in part:
The Royal Government learns with the most lively interest of the steps which the President of the United States of America has just undertaken among the belligerents for the cessation of a long and cruel war which is ravishing humanity. Very sensitive to the communication made to it, the Royal Government deeply appreciates the generous courage as well as the extremely huinanitarian and profoundly politic spirit which dictated that suggestion. The considerations given in it to the subject of the sufferings of neutral nations as a result of the colossal struggle, as well as guarantees which will be equally desired by both belligerent factions for the rights and privileges of all States, have particularly found a sympathetic echo in the soul
of Greece. In fact, there is no country which, like Greece, has had to suffer from this war, while at the same time remaining a stranger to it.
Through circumstances exceptionally tragic, she has less than other neutral countries been able to escape a direct and pernicious effect from the hostilities between the belligerents. Her geographical position contributed toward diminishing her power of resistance against violations of her neutrality and sovereignty, which she has been forced to submit to in the interest of self-preservation.
The Royal Government would certainly have made all haste to accede to the noble demand of the President of the United States of America, to help with all means in its power until success were achieved, if it were not entirely out of communication with one of the two belligerents, while toward the other it must await the solution of difficulties which seriously weigh upon the situation in Greece. But the Royal Government is following with all the intensity of its soul the precious effort of the President of the United States of America, hoping to see it completed at the earliest possible moment.
China Favors Peace League The Chinese Government, in a note sent through the American Minister at Peking on Jan. 11, indicated its readiness to cooperate after the war in a league to insure peace. The note was written by the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs and is addressed to the American Minister. The text follows:
I have examined, with the care which the gravity of the questions raised demands, the note concerning peace which President Wilson has addressed to the Governments of the Allies and the Central Powers now at war, and the text of which your Excellency has been good enough to transmit to me under instructions of your Government.
China, a nation traditionally pacific, has recently again manifested her sentiments in concluding treaties concerning the pacific settlement of international disputes, respond
Ing thus to the wishes of the peace conference held at The Hague.
On the other hand, the present war by its prolongation has seriously affected the interests of China, more so perhaps, than those of other powers which have remained neutral. She is at present at a time of reorganization which demands economically and industrially the co-operation of foreign countries, operation which a large number of them are unable to accord on account of the war in which they are engaged.
In manifesting her sympathy for the spirit of the President's note, having in view the ending as soon as possible of the hostilities, China is but acting in conformity with not only her interest but also with her profound sentiments.
Persia Eager for Peace Medhi Kahn, the Persian Minister at Washington, presented the following note to Secretary Lansing on Jan. 15:
His Imperial Majesty's Government has instructed me to communicate to your Excellency that it experienced the utmost pleasure upon receipt of the President's note of Dec. 18, 1916, regarding peace terms transmitted through the United States plenipotentiary at Teheran, and to express to you the hope that a step so benevolent and humane will meet with the success it deserves.
I am further instructed to say that, notwithstanding we declared ourselves neutral, a large part of our country has been disturbed and devastated by the fighting of the belligerents within our boundaries. In view of this fact you cannot doubt that we heartily welcome and indorse the move the President has made.
Furthermore, inasmuch as his Majesty's Government understands from the President's note that he desires the preservation of the integrity and freedom of the powers and the weaker nations, and in view of the firm friendship which has always existed between our two countries, it ardently hopes that the Government of the United States will assist our oppressed nation to maintain its integrity and rights, not only for the present, but whenever a peace conference shall take place.
" Peace Founded on the Rock of
92 Lloyd George's Guildhall Address, Jan. 11, 1917 REMIER LLOYD GEORGE deliv speech was punctuated throughout with
ered an important address at the cheers and applause, indicating how aptly
Guildhall, London, Jan. 11, appeal it expressed the opinions of the auditors. ing primarily for subscriptions to the new The full text, as sent to THE NEW YORK war loan, but also touching largely upon TIMES by special cable, is as follows: questions in the peace discussion. The My Lord Mayor, my Lords, Ladies, and
Gentlemen : The Chancellor of the Exchequer [Bonar Law] in his extremely lucid and impressive speech has placed before you the business side of this proposal, and I think you will agree with me, after hearing his explanation of his scheme, that he has offered for subscription a loan which possesses all the essential ingredients of an attractive investment. They are the most generous terms that the Government can offer without injury to the taxpayer. I agree that the Chancellor was right in offering such liberal terms because it is important that we should secure a big loan now, not merely in order to enable us to finance the war effectively, but as a demonstration of the continued resolve of this country to prosecute the war; and it is upon that aspect of the question that I should like to say a few words.
The German Kaiser a few days ago sent a message to his people that the Allies had rejected his peace offers. He did so in order to drug those whom he could no longer dragoon. Where are those offers? We have asked for them; we have never seen them. We were not offered terms; we were offered a trap baited with fair words. They tempted us once, but the lion has his eyes open. We have rejected no terms that we have ever seen. Of course, it would suit them to have peace at the present moment on their terms. We all want peace; but when we get it it must be a real peace.
War Better Than Prussian Peace The allied powers separately and in council together have come to the same conclusion. Knowing well what war means, knowing especially what this war means in suffering, in burdens, in horrors, they have still decided that even war is better than peace at the Prussian price of domination over Europe. We made it clear in our reply to Germany; we made it still clearer in our reply to the United States.
Before we attempt to rebuild the Temple of Peace we must see now that the foundations are solia. They were built before upon the shifting sands of Prussian faith; henceforth, when the time for rebuilding comes, it must be on the rock of vindicated justice.
I have just returned from a council of war of the four great allied countries upon whose shoulders most of this terrible war falls. I cannot give you its conclusions; they might be information to the enemy.
There were no delusions as to the magnitude of our task ; neither were there any doubts about the results.
I think I can say what was the feeling of every man there. It was one of the most businesslike conferences I ever attended. We faced the whole situation, probed it thoroughly, and looked its difficulties in the face, and made arrangements to deal with them. We separated feeling more confident than ever. All felt that if victory were difficult, defeat was impossible. There was no flinching, no
wavering, no faint-heartedness, no infirmity of purpose.
Challenge to Free Nations There was a grim resolution at all costs that must achieve the high aim with which we accepted the challenge of the Prussian military caste and rid Europe and the world forever of her menace. No country could have refused the challenge without the loss of honor. None could have rejected it without impairing national security. No one would have failed to take it up without forfeiting something which is of greater value to every free and self-respecting people than life itself. Those nations did not enter into the war lightly. They did not embark upon this enterprise without knowing what it really meant. They were not enticed by the prospects of immediate victory.
Take this country. The millions of our men who enlisted in the army enlisted after the German victories of August, 1914, when they knew the accumulated and concentrated power of the German military machine. That was when they placed their lives at the disposal of their country. What about the other lands? They knew what they were encountering; that they were fighting an organization which had been perfected for generations by the best brains of Prussia-perfected with one purpose, the subjugation of Europe.
Why did they do it? I passed through hundreds of miles of the beautiful land of France and of Italy, and as I did so I asked myself this question: Why did the peasants leave by myriads these sunny vineyards and cornfields in France? Why did they quit these enchanting valleys, with their comfort, their security, their charm, in order to face the grim and wild horrors of the battlefield ? They did it for one purpose, and one purpose only. They were not driven to the slaughter by Kings, These are great democratic countries. No Government would have lasted twenty-four hours that had forced them into an abhorrent war against their own free will. They embarked upon it because they knew the fundamental issue had been raised which no country could shirk without imperiling all that has been won in the centuries of the past and all that remains to be won in the ages of the future.
That is why, as the war proceeds and the German purpose becomes more manifest, the conviction is becoming deeper in the minds of those people that they must work their way through to victory in order to save Europe from an unspeakable despotism. That was the spirit that animated the allied conference in Europe last week.
Allies' Increasing Trust in Britain But I tell you one thing that struck me, and strikes me more and more each time I attend these conferences and visit the Continent: The increasing extent to which the allied peoples are looking to Great Britain. They are
“ PEACE FOUNDED ON THE ROCK OF VINDICATED JUSTICE”
trusting her rugged strength and great resources more and more. She is to them like a great tower in the deep. She is becoming more and more the hope of the oppressed and despair of the oppressor; and I feel more and more confident that we shall not fail the people who put their trust in us.
But when that arrogant Prussian caste flung the signature of Britain in the treaty in the waste paper basket as if it were of no account, they knew not the pride of the land they were treating with such insolent disdain. They know it now. Our soldiers and our sailors have taught them to respect it. You had an eloquent account from my colleague, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, of the achievements of our soldiers; our sailors are gallantly defending the honor of the country on the high seas. They have strangled the enemy's commerce; they will continue to do so in spite of all the piratical devices of the foe.
Predicts Victory in 1917 In 1914 and 1915, for two years, a small, illequipped army held up the veterans of Prussia, with the best equipment in Europe; in 1916 hurling them back and delivering a blow from which they are reeling. In 1917 the armies of Britain will be more formidable than ever in training, in efficiency, in equipment; and you may depend upon it, if you give them the necessary support, they will cleave a road to victory through the dangers and perils of the next few months.
But we must support them; they are worth it. Have you ever talked to a soldier who has come back from the front? There is not one of them who will not tell you how he is encouraged and sustained by hearing the roar of the guns behind him.
I will tell you what I want to do. I want to see checks hurtling through the air, fired from the City of London; fired from every city, town, and village and hamlet throughout the land ; fired straight into the intrenchments of the enemy.
Every well-directed check, well loaded, properly primed, is a more formidable weapon of destruction than a twelve-inch shell. It clears a path to the barbed-wire entanglements for our gallant fellows to march through A big loan helps you, insures victory; a big loan will help shorten the war; it will help save lives; it will help save the British Empire; it will help save Europe; it will help save civilization.
That is why we want the country to rise to this occasion and show that the old spirit of Britain, represented by those great men (pointing to the monuments in the hall] you have here, is still alive, alert, and as potent as ever.
I want to appeal to the men at home--yes, and to the women. I want to appeal to both; they have done their part nobly in this war. A man who has been a Munitions Minister for twelve months must feel a debt of gratitude to the women for what they have done.
They have helped to win the war, and without them we could not have done it; but I want to make special appeal, or rather to enforce the special appeal of the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Fervid Appeal for Self-Denial Let no money be squandered in luxury and indulgence which can be put into the fight and which counts-every penny of it; every ounce has counted in this struggle. Do not waste it, do not throw it away; put it there to help the valor of our brave young boys. Back them up! Let every one contribute to assist them, with greater pride in it than in costly garments. It will become them; they will feel prouder of it today, and their pride will increase in the years to come, when the best garment they have got will have rotted, when the glisten and glitter of it will improve with the years. They can put it on in old age and say: “ This is something I contributed in the great war," and they will be proud of it.
Men and women of England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland ! The first charge upon all your surplus money, over your needs for yourselves and your children, should be to help those gallant young men who tendered their lives to the cause of humanity. The more we get the surer the victory; the more we get the shorter the war; the more we get the less it will cost in treasure, and the greatest treasure of all is brave blood. The more we give the more you will be enriched by your contribution, by your sacrifices of extravagance.
I want to bring this home to every man and woman. This extravagance during the war has cost blood-valiant blood, the blood of heroes. It will be worth millions to save one of them-the big loan will save myriads of them. Help them not merely to win; help them to come home, to shout for the victory which they have won.
It means better equipment for our troops, it means better equipment for the allies as well; and this I say for the fiftieth, if not the hundredth, time: this is a war of equipment. That is why we are appealing for your assistance. Most of us could not do more, but what we can do it is our duty, it is our pride, to do,
I said it was a war of equipment. Why are the Germans pressing back our gallant allies in Rumania? It is not that they are better fighters; they certainly are not. The Rumanian peasant has proved himself to be one of the doughtiest fighters in the field when he has the chance he never had much and as for the Russian, the way in which, with bared breast, he has fought for two years and a half, with inferior guns, insufficient rifles, inadequate supplies of ammunition, is one of the tales of heroism of the world.
Helping to Equip the Fighiers Let us help to equip them, and there will be another story to tell soon; but it is for us to