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probability of war, and will promote a peaceful and harmonious collaboration of nations. If the idea of a league of nations, as suggested by President Wilson, proves on closer examination really to be conceived in a spirit of complete justice and complete impartiality toward all, then the Imperial Government is gladly ready, when all other pending questions have been settled, to begin the examination of the basis of such a league of nations.
"let Them Rev1se The1r Programs"
Gentlemen, you have acquainted yourselves with the speech of Premier Lloyd George and the proposals of President Wilson. I must repeat what I said at commencement: We now must ask ourselves whether these speeches and proposals breathe a real and earnest wish for peace. They certainly contain certain principles for a general world peace to which we also assent, and which might form the starting point and aid negotiations.
When, however, concrete questions come into the question, points which for us are of decisive importance, their peace will is less observable. Our enemies do not desire to destroy Germany, but they cast covetous eyes on parts of our allies' lands. They speak with respect of Germany's position but their conception ever afresh finds expression as if we were the guilty who must do penance and promise improvement. Thus speaks the victor to the vanquished, he who interprets all our former expressions of a readiness for peace as merely a sign of weakness.
The leaders of the Entente must first renounce this standpoint and this deception. In order to facilitate this I would like to recall what the position really is. They may take it from me that our military position was not so favorable as'it now is. Our highly gifted army leaders face the future with undiminished confidence in victory. Throughout the whole army, in the officers and men, lives unbroken the joy of battle.
I will remind you of the words I spoke November 20 in the Reichstag. Our repeatedly expressed willingness for peace and the spirit of reconciliation revealed by our proposals must not be regarded by the Entente as a license permitting the indefinite lengthening of the war. Should our enemies force us to prolong the war, they will have to bear the consequences resulting from it. If the leaders of the enemy powers really are inclined toward peace let them revise their programs once again, or, as Premier Lloyd George said, proceed to reconsideration. If they do that and come forward with fresh proposals, then we will examine them carefully, because our aim is no other than the re-establishment of a lasting general peace. But this lasting general peace is not possible so long as the integrity of the CZERNIN SPEAKS IN AUSTRIA
German Empire, the security of her vital interests and the dignity of our fatherland are not guaranteed. Until that time we must quietly stand by each other and wait. As to the purpose, gentlemen, we are all one.
VICTORY WILL BE OURS
In regard to the methods and the "modalities," there may be differences of opinion. But let us shelve all these differences. Let us not fight about formulae which always fall short in the mad course of the world events, but, above dividing party controversies, let us keep our eyes on the one mutual aim, the welfare of the fatherland. Let us hold together, the Government and the nation, and victory will be ours. A good peace will and must come. The German nation bears in an admirable manner the sufferings and the burdens of the war, which is now in its fourth year. In connection with these burdens and sufferings I think especially of the sufferings of the small artisans and the lowly-paid officials. But you all, men and women, will hold on and see it through. With your political knowledge you do not allow yourselves to be fooled by catch phrases, you know how to distinguish between the realities of life and the promising dreams. Such a nation cannot go under. God is with us and will be with us also in the future.
7. Address Of Count Ottokar Czern1n Von Chtjden1tz, AustroHungar1an M1n1ster For Fore1gn Affa1rs, Before The Fore1gn Affa1rs Comm1ttee Of The Austr1an Delegat1on, January 24, 1918.1
It is my duty to give a faithful picture of the peace negotiations, discuss the various phases of the results reached to date, and to draw from them conclusions which are true, logical and justified. It seems to me above all that those who seem to find the course of the negotiations too slow are not able to have even a slight idea of the difficulties which are naturally met in them everywhere. In what follows I shall describe these difficulties, but would like to point out in advance the cardinal difference between the peace
1 The translation is the one supplied to the American press by the Department of State on February 6. 1018, compared with a Reuter summary telegraphed from Basel on January 24, a German text published in the New Yorher Staats1eitung, February 22, and the Associated Press summary telegraphed from Basel on January 24.
A significance attaches to the c1rcumstance that this speech was delivered before the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Austrian Delegation. Count Czernin is minister for foreign affairs of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, and he refers in his speech to the careful distinction he has observed between the Austrian and Hungarian Delegations. These two bodies are selected from the Austrian Reichsrath and Hungarian Parliament and are charged with the constitutionally common interests of the Monarchy, the ministries of war, fiaance and foreign affairs. They meet separately, and neither is able to obligate the other. (See A Lawrence Lowell, Government and Parties in Continental Europe, U, 165-170.)
negotiations at Brest-Litovsk and all those which ever took place in history. Never, so far as I know, have peace negotiations taken place in view. It is quite impossible that negotiations which approach the present ones in extent and depth can take their course smoothly and without obstacles from the very beginning. Our task is to build a new world, and rebuild all that which this most trying of wars has destroyed and trampled to the ground. Various phases of all the peace negotiations which we know have developed more or less behind closed doors and their results were told to the world only after the negotiations have been completed. All histories teach, and it is easily understood, that the troublesome road of such peace negotiations always leads up and down, that prospects are more favorable some days, less favorable on others. But when these various phases and these details are each day telegraphed to the world it is quite easily understood that they act like electric shocks in the present condition of nervousness which rules in the world, and that they excite public opinion. We were completely aware of the disadvantage of this procedure. Still we immediately gave way to the desire of the Russian Government for publicity because we wished to show ourselves friendly, and because we have nothing to hide, and also because we might have made a false impression had we insisted on a method of provisional secrecy. But the other fact consequent on this complete publicity of the negotiations is that the great public, that country behind the front, and, above all, the leaders, keep their nerves steady. The game must be finished in cold blood and it will come to a good end if the peoples of the Monarchy support the responsible representatives at the peace conference.
NO COMPENSATIONS, NO INDEMNITIES
In advance let it be said that the basis on which Austria-Hungary treats with the various newly-created Russian governments is that of no compensations nor annexations [ohne Konlributionen und ohne Annexionen]. That is the program which I stated briefly to those who wanted to speak about peace after my nomination as minister, which I have repeated to the Russian people in power on their first offer of peace, and from which I will not deviate. Those who believe I can be crowded off the road which I purpose to go are bad psychologists. I have never let the public be in doubt as to the road which I go and I have never allowed myself to be crowded from this road a hair's breadth, neither to the right nor to the left. Since then I have become the undisputed darling of the Pan-Germans and those in the Monarchy who imitate the Pan-Germans. At the same time I am calumniated as an inciter to war by those who want peace at any price, of which UKRAINIA INTERESTS AUSTRIA
innumerable letters are proof. Neither has ever troubled me. On the contrary, these double insults are my only amusement in these serious times. I declare once more that I demand not a square meter nor a penny from Russia, and that if Russia, as seems to be the case, itself adopts that point of view also, peace will be made.
Those who want peace at any price might have doubts as to my nonannexationist purposes toward Russia if I did not tell them with the same inconsiderate openness that I shall never allow myself to make a peace which transcends the form I have just sketched. Should our Russian fellow-peacemakers demand the cession of territory from us, or indemnity, I should continue the war despite a desire for peace which I have as well as you, or would resign if I could not make my view prevail.
DIFFICULTIES AT BREST-LITOVSK
Having said this in advance, and emphasized once more that there is no reason for the pessimistic view that peace will fail, since negotiating committees have agreed on the basis of no annexations nor contributions,— and only new instructions from the various Russian governments or their disappearance could change this basis,—I now proceed to the two greatest difficulties which contain reasons why the negotiations are not progressing as rapidly as we all should like.
The first difficulty is that we are not treating with one Russian peacemaker, but with various newly-created Russian governments, which have not clearly defined among themselves their spheres of competency. The governments in question are that part of Russia which is led by Petrograd, secondly, our own new neighboring state, great Ukrainia, thirdly, Finland, and, fourthly, Caucasus. With the first two states we treat directly, with the two others now only more or less indirectly, because they have to date sent no negotiator to Brest-Litovsk. These four Russian fellow-peacemakers are met by us four powers and the case of the Caucasus, in which we naturally have no difficulties to remove, but which is in conflict with Turkey, shows the extent of the subjects under discussion.
What interests us especially and chiefly is the newly-created great state which will be our neighbor in the future, Ukrainia. We have got very far in our negotiations with this delegation. We have agreed on the abovementioned basis of no annexations nor compensations and have agreed what and how commercial relations with the newly-created republic are to be re-established. But this very example of Ukrainia shows one of the ruling difficulties. While the Ukrainian Republic holds the point of view that it has the right to treat with us quite autonomously and independently, the Russian delegation stands on the basis that the boundaries of its country and those of Ukrainia have not been definitely fixed, and St. Petersburg consequently has the right to participate in our negotiations with Ukrainia, a view with which the gentlemen of the Ukrainian delegation do not care to agree. But this troubled situation of domestic conditions in Russia was the cause of enormous delay. We have overcome these difficulties also and I believe that the negotiations to be taken up in a few days will find the road clear here.
I confess I do not know what the situation is to-day, for yesterday my representative at Brest-Litovsk received two telegrams to the effect that M. Joffe, the president of the Russian delegation, had sent to the delegations of the Quadruple Alliance a circular note declaring that the Government of the Republic of Workmen and Peasants of the Ukraine, which sits at Kharkov, in no case recognizes the secretariat-general of the Kiev Rada as representing the entire Ukrainian people, because the Central Rada represents only the capital classes, and cannot, consequently, speak in the name of the Ukrainian people. The note also states that the Kharkov Rada does not recognize any agreements which might eventually be concluded by the Central Rada without its assent, and announces that the Kharkov Rada is sending two delegates to Brest-Litovsk as delegates of the central committee of all the councils of workmen, soldiers and peasants in the Ukraine.
According to the decision of January 12 of the Central Executive Committee, the note proceeds, these delegates must declare categorically that all attempts on the part of the Central Rada to speak in the name of the Ukrainian people must be considered as overtures due solely to the initiative of the bourgeois groups of the Ukrainian people in opposition to the interests and will of the working classes of the Ukraine. They must declare that the decisions taken by the Rada will not be recognized by the Ukrainian people; that the Rada of Workmen and Peasants recognizes the People's Commissioners as the organ of all the Soviets of Russia and as having the right to speak in the name of the entire Russian federation; that the delegation of the Rada of Workmen and Soldiers sent to BrestLitovsk to denounce the intrigues of individuals at Kiev will act in complete accord with the delegation of all Russia. President Joffe adds in his communication that his delegation is ready to co-operate to the fullest extent with the new Ukrainian delegation.
There is a new difficulty, for we cannot and do not wish to meddle in the internal affairs of Russia, but, if the way is once clear, other difficulties will