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are begun, shall be absolutely open, and that they shall involve and permit henceforth no secret understandings of any kind. The day of conquest and aggrandizement is gone by; so is also the day of secret covenants entered into in the interest of particular governments and likely at some unlooked-for moment to upset the peace of the world. It is this happy fact, now clear to the view of every public man whose thoughts do not still linger in an age that is dead and gone, which makes it possible for every nation whose purposes are consistent with justice and the peace of the world to avow now or at any other time the objects it has in view.
We entered this war because violations of right had occurred which touched us to the quick and made the life of our people impossible unless they were corrected and the world secured once for all against their recurrence. What we demand in this war, therefore, is nothing peculiar to ourselves. It is that the world be made fit and safe to live in; and particularly that it be made safe for every peace-loving nation which, like our own, wishes to live its own life, determine its own institutions, be assured of justice and fair dealings by the other peoples of the world as against force and selfish aggression. All the peoples of the world are in effect partners in this interest, and for our own part we see very clearly that unless justice be done to others it will not be done to us. The program of the world's peace, therefore, is our program; and that program, the only possible program, as we see it, is this:
I. Open covenants of peace, openly arrived at, after which there shall be no private international understandings of any kind but diplomacy shall proceed always frankly and in the public view.
II. Absolute freedom of navigation upon the seas, outside territorial waters, alike in peace and in war, except as the seas may be closed in whole or in part by international action for the enforcement of international covenants.
III. The removal, so far as possible, of all economic barriers and the establishment of an equality of trade conditions among all the nations consenting to the peace and associating themselves for its maintenance.
IV. Adequate guarantees given and taken that national armaments will be reduced to the lowest point consistent with domestic safety.
V. A free, open-minded and absolutely impartial adjustment of all colonial claims, based upon a strict observance of the principle that in determining all such questions of sovereignty the interests of the populations concerned must have equal weight with the equitable claims of the government whose title is to be determined.
PROGRAM OF WORLD PEACE
VI. The evacuation of all Russian territory and such a settlement of all questions affecting Russia as will secure the best and freest co-operation of the other nations of the world in obtaining for her an unhampered and unembarrassed opportunity for the Independent determination of her own political development and national policy and assure her of a sincere welcome into the society of free nations under institutions of her own choosing; and, more than a welcome, assistance also of every kind that she may need and may herself desire. The treatment accorded Russia by her sister nations in the months to come will be the acid test of their good will, of their comprehension of her needs as distinguished from their own interests, and of their intelligent and unselfish sympathy.
VII. Belgium, the whole world will agree, must be evacuated and restored, without any attempt to limit the sovereignty which she enjoys in common with all other free nations. No other single act will serve as this will serve to restore confidence among the nations in the laws which they have themselves set and determined for the government of their relations with one another. Without this healing act the whole structure and validity of international law is forever impaired.
VIII. All French territory should be freed and the invaded portions restored, and the wrong done to France by Prussia in 1871 in the matter of Alsace-Lorraine, which has unsettled the peace of the world for nearly 50 years, should be righted, in order that peace may once more be made secure in the interest of all.
IX. A readjustment of the frontiers of Italy should be effected along clearly recognizable lines of nationality.
X. The peoples of Austria-Hungary, whose place among the nations we wish to see safeguarded and assured, should be accorded the freest opportunity of autonomous development.
XI. Rumania, Serbia and Montenegro should be evacuated; occupied territories restored; Serbia accorded free and secure access to the sea, and the relations of the several Balkan states to one another determined by friendly counsel along historically established lines of allegiance and nationality; and international guarantees of the political and economic independence and territorial integrity of the several Balkan states should be entered into.
XII. The Turkish portions of the present Ottoman Empire should be assured a secure sovereignty, but the other nationalities which are now under Turkish rule should be assured an undoubted security of life and an absolutely unmolested opportunity of autonomous development, and the Dardanelles should be permanently opened as a free passage to the ships and commerce of all nations under International guarantees.
XIII. An independent Polish state should be erected which should Include the territories inhabited by indisputably Polish populations, which should be assured a free and secure access to the sea and whose political and economic independence and territorial integrity should be guaranteed by international covenant.
XIV. A general association of nations must be formed under specific covenants for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small states alike.
In regard to these essential rectifications of wrong and assertions of right we feel ourselves to be intimate partners of all the governments and peoples associated together against the Imperialists. We cannot be separated in interest or divided in purpose. We stand together until the end.
For such arrangements and covenants we are willing to fight and to continue to fight until they are achieved; but only because we wish the right to prevail and desire a just and stable peace such as can be secured only by removing the chief provocations to war, which this program does remove. We have no jealousy of German greatness, and there is nothing in this program that impairs it. We grudge her no achievement or distinction of learning or of pacific enterprise such as have made her record very bright and very enviable. We do not wish to injure her or block in any way her legitimate influence or power. We do not wish to fight her either with arms or with hostile arrangements of trade if she is willing to associate with us and the other peace-loving nations of the world in covenants of justice and law and fair dealing. We wish her only to accept a place of equality among the peoples of the world,—the new world in which we now live,—instead of a place of mastery.
Neither do we presume to suggest to her any alteration or modification of her institutions. But it is necessary, we must frankly say, and necessary as a preliminary to any intelligent dealings with her on our part, that we should know whom her spokesmen speak for when they speak to us, whether for the Reichstag majority or for the military party and the men whose creed is imperial domination.
We have spoken now, surely, in terms too concrete to admit of any further doubt or question. An evident principle runs through the whole program I have outlined. It is the principle of justice to all peoples and nationalities, and their right to live on equal terms of liberty and safety with one another, whether they be strong or weak.
Unless this principle be made its foundation, no part of the structure of international justice can stand. The people of the United States could GERMAN REPLY TO PRESIDENT WILSON
act upon no other principle; and to the vindication of this principle they are ready to devote their lives, their honor, and everything that they possess.
The moral climax of this the culminating and final war for human liberty has come, and they are ready to put their own strength, their own highest purpose, their own integrity and devotion to the test.
6. Address Of Count Georg Fr1edr1ch Von Hertl1ng, ChanCellor Of The German Emp1re, Before The Ma1n Comm1ttee Of The 1mper1al Re1chstag 1n Reply To The Address Of Pres1dent W1lson, January 24, 1918.1
Gentlemen, When last I had the honor to speak before your Committee— that was on January 3—we were faced by an incident which had occurred at Brest-Litovsk. At that time I expressed the opinion that we should await the settlement of this incident in all equanimity. The facts have corresponded with this expectation. The Russian delegation has again arrived at Brest-Litovsk, and negotiations have been resumed and continued. The negotiations are progressing slowly. They are exceedingly difficult.
I have already referred on a previous occasion to the exact circumstances from which these difficulties arise. Indeed, many times, there were reasons to doubt whether the Russian delegation was in earnest with their peace negotiations, and all sorts of wireless messages, which are going around the world with remarkably strange contents, tended to strengthen this doubt. Nevertheless, I hold firmly to the hope that we shall come to a favorable conclusion in the near future with the Russian delegation at Brest-Litovsk.
Our negotiations with the Ukrainian representatives are in a more favorable position. Here, too, difficulties have yet to be overcome, but the prospects are favorable. We hope shortly to reach conclusions with Ukraine which will be in the interests of both parties and will be economically advantageous.
One result, gentlemen, might be recorded, as you all know. The Russians last month proposed to issue an invitation to all the belligerents to participate in the negotiations. Russia submitted certain proposals of a very general character. At that time we accepted the proposal to invite
■ Translation from the Department of State, Division of Foreign Intelligence, supplemented by paragraphs from the news report of Reuter's Telegraph Agency.
the belligerents to take part in the negotiations, on the condition, however, that the invitation should have a definite period for its acceptance.
At ten o'clock on the evening of January 4 the period expired. No answer had come, and as a result we were no longer under obligations and had a free hand for separate peace negotiations with Russia. Neither were we longer bound, of course, by the general peace proposals submitted to us by the Russian delegation.
DECLARATIONS, BUT NO REPLY
Instead of the reply which was expected, but which was not forthcoming, two declarations were made by €aemy statesmen—Premier Lloyd George's speech and President Wilson's speech. I willingly admit that Lloyd George altered his tone. He no longer indulges in abuse, and appears desirous of again demonstrating his ability as a negotiator, which I had formerly doubted. I cannot go so far, however, as many opinions which have been expressed in neutral countries, which would read in this speech of Lloyd George a serious desire for peace and even a friendly disposition.
It is true, he declares he does not desire to destroy Germany, and never desired to destroy her. He has even words of respect for our political, economic and cultural position. But other utterances also are not lacking, and the idea continually comes to the surface that he has to pronounce judgment on Germany, charging her with being guilty of all possible crimes. That is an attitude with which we can have nothing to do, and in which we can discover no trace of a serious purpose to attain peace. We are to be the guilty ones, over whom the Entente is now sitting in judgment. That compels me to give a short review of the situation and the events preceding the war at the risk of repeating what long ago was said.
Germany's Internat1onal Pos1t1on
The establishment of the German Empire in the year 1871 made an end of dismemberment. By the union of its tribes the German Empire in Europe acquired a position corresponding to its economic and cultural achievements and the claims founded thereon. Bismarck crowned his work by the alliance with Austria-Hungary. It was purely a defensive alliance, so conceived and willed by the exalted allies from the first.
Not even the slightest thought of its misuse for aggressive aims ever occurred in the course of decades. The defensive alliance between Germany and the Danube monarchy, closely connected by old traditions and allied to us by common interest, was to serve especially for the maintenance of peace.