« ПретходнаНастави »
also approach each other on several concrete peace questions. The remaining differences do not seem to me so great that a discussion at this point should not bring clearness and rapprochement. This situation, which probably arises from the fact that Austria-Hungary and the United States of America are two great powers among two groups of enemy states whose interests least conflict, suggests the thought that an exchange of ideas between these two powers might be the starting point for conciliatory discussions between all states which have not entered into peace conversations. So much for Wilson's propositions.
I now hasten to finish, and the conclusion is perhaps the most important thing I have to say. I am working on a peace with Ukrainia and with St. Petersburg. But peace with St. Petersburg does not change our definite situation. Nowhere do Austrian troops oppose those of the St. Petersburg Government. Ukrainian troops do oppose us. Nothing could be exported from St. Petersburg because it has nothing but revolution and anarchy to export, articles which Bolsheviks would like to export but acceptance of which I politely refuse. Still I desire peace with St. Petersburg also because it makes general peace nearer, as does the conclusion of any peace.
SEEKS FOODSTUFFS FROM UKRAINIA
Affairs with Ukrainia are definite, for Ukrainia has stocks of foodstuffs which it will export if we agree. The food question is to-day a world worry. Everywhere, with opponent as with neutral States, it plays an important r61e. The way to help out the population is by concluding peace with those Russian Governments which have for export a quantity of foodstuffs. We can and will hold out even without this aid, but I know my duty and it commands me to attempt everything to lessen the suffering of our population. Therefore, I will not reject this advantage for our population because of hysterical nervousness to bring about peace a few days orweeks earlier. Such a peace needs time. It cannot be concluded over night, for in the conclusion of peace it must be discovered whether, what and how the Russian fellow-peacemakers will supply us. This because Ukraine wishes to settle this business during the peace negotiations and not afterward. I have said already that the troubled relations of these newly created governments involve great hindrance and natural delay to the negotiations. If you attack me in the back, force me to finish hastily, then we will have no economic advantages and our people must go without the advantage which it might derive from peace. If a doctor has to make a difficult operation and people stand behind him with a watch and ATTEMPT TO SOLVE FOOD PROBLEM
force him to finish the operation in a few minutes, the operation will probably be done in record time, but the sick person will not be grateful for the technique of the operation. If you make a wholly wrong impression on your opponents that we must make peace at any price and immediately, we will not get a bushel of grain and success will be more or less platonic. Chiefly it is not at all a question of ending the war after we have agreed on a basis of no annexations. The question is not one—I repeat it the tenth time—of imperialistic or annexationist plans and intentions, but of assuring our population a finally deserved reward for steadily holding out and of giving it those foodstuffs which it will gladly accept.
But our partners are good reckoners and are observing exactly whether or not I am being forced into a bad position by you. If you want to spoil peace and refuse grain shipments then it is logical to force my hand by speeches, resolutions, strikes and demonstrations. It is a thousand times untrue that we are in a position where we would rather make a bad peace without economic advantages to-day than one with economic advantages. Food difficulties in the last analysis do not come from the lack of food. The crises which must be allayed are those of coal transportation and organization. If behind the front you arrange strikes you move in a vicious circle. Strikes increase and make more acute the existing crisis and the transportation of foodstuffs and coal more difficult. You are cutting your own flesh and all those who think that such means hasten peace are in awful error.
ASKS VOTE OF CONFIDENCE
People are said to spread rumors in the Monarchy that the Government is not unconcerned in the matter of strikes. I leave these people the choice of whether they desire to be considered criminal slanderers or fools. If you had a Government which wanted a different peace from that desired by the overwhelming majority of the population, if you had a Government which was continuing the war because of annexationist intentions, then the battle of the country behind the front against the Government might be comprehensible.
Since the Government wants exactly what the majority of the Monarchy wants—the soonest possible reaching of an honorable peace without annexations—it is madness to attack it in the back, slander it and disturb it. Those who do that, do not fight against the Government but blindly against the peoples whom they pretend to wish to help, and against themselves.
Gentlemen, you have not only the right but the duty to choose the following alternative. Either you have confidence in me that I will continue the peace negotiations and must help me, or you have it not, and you must bring about my fall. I am sure I have the majority of the Hungarian Delegation behind me. The Hungarian delegation has given me a vote of confidence. If that is doubtful here please clear up the matter. The question of confidence will be put and if I have a majority against me I will immediately draw the conclusion. The pleasure of all those who want to remove me will be much less than my own. Nothing keeps me in my place except a sense of duty to remain as long as I have the confidence of the Emperor and the majority of the Delegation. Good soldiers do not desert. No minister of foreign affairs can carry on negotiations of this importance if he does not know, if all the world does not know, that he is borne up by the confidence of the majority of constitutional bodies. It is one thing or another: either you have confidence in me or not. You must help me or you must bring about my fall. There is no third choice.1
8. Excerpt From Off1c1al Statement On The Meet1ngs Of The Th1rd Sess1on Of The Supreme War Counc1l, Held At VerSa1lles, January 30 And 31, February 1 And 2, 1918.*
The Supreme War Council gave the most careful consideration to the recent utterances of the German Chancellor and the Austro-Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs, but was unable to find in them any real approximation to the moderate conditions laid down by the Allied Governments. This conviction was only deepened by the impression made by the contrast between the professed idealistic aims with which the Central Powers entered upon the present negotiations at Brest-Litovsk and their now openly disclosed plans of conquest and spoliation.
In the circumstances, the Supreme War Council decided that the only immediate task before them lay in the prosecution, with the utmost vigor and in the closest and most effective co-operation, of the military effort of the Allies until such time as the pressure of that effort shall have brought about in the enemy governments and peoples a change of temper which would justify the hope of the conclusion of peace on terms which would not involve the abandonment, in face of an aggressive and unrepentant militarism, of all the principles of freedom, justice, and the respect for the law of nations which the allies are resolved to vindicate. . . .
* A Reuter dispatch from Amsterdam dated January 28, 1918, says: By 14 votes against 7 the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Reichsrath has adopted a vote of confidence in Count Czernin's policy. _ A telegram from Vienna to the Frankfurter Zeitung says that Czechs and South Slavs were responsible for four of the minority votes, and Czech, Italian, and German Socialists for the remaining three, while the Polish Socialist Daszymski absta1ned from voting. (London Times, January 20, 1918.)
* London Times, February 4,1918, page 7.
HERTLING'S REPLY VAGUE
The Allies are united in heart and will. Not by any hidden designs, but by their open resolve to defend civilization against an unscrupulous and brutal attempt at domination.
9. Address Of Woodrow W1lson, Pres1dent Of The Un1ted States, To Congress, February 11, 1918.1
Gentlemen of the Congress:
On the 8th of January I had the honor of addressing you on the objects of the war as our people conceive them. The Prime Minister of Great Britain had spoken in similar terms on the 5th of January. To these addresses the German Chancellor replied on the 24th and Count Czernin, for Austria, on the same day. It is gratifying to have our desire so promptly realized that all exchanges of view on this great matter should be made in the hearing of all the world.
AUSTRIAN CHANCELLOR'S REPLY
Count Czernin's reply, which is directed chiefly to my own address of the 8th of January, is uttered in a very friendly tone. He finds in my statement a sufficiently encouraging approach to the views of his own Government to justify him in believing that it furnishes a basis for a more detailed discussion of purposes by the two Governments. He is represented to have intimated that the views he was expressing had been communicated to me beforehand and that I was aware of them at the time he was uttering them, but in this I am sure he was misunderstood. I had received no intimation of what he intended to say. There was, of course, no reason why he should communicate privately with me. I am quite content to be one of his public audience.
COUNT VON HERTLING'S REPLY VAGUE
Count von Hertling's reply is, I must say, very vague and very confusing. It is full of equivocal phrases and leads it is not clear where. But it is certainly in a very different tone from that of Count Czernin, and apparently of an opposite purpose. It confirms, I am sorry to say, rather than removes, the unfortunate impression made by what we had learned of the conferences at Brest-Litovsk. His discussion and acceptance of our general principles lead him to no practical conclusions. He refuses to apply them to the substantive items which must constitute the body of any final settlement. He
1 Official Bulletin, February 11, 19x8.
is jealous of international action and of international counsel. He accepts, he says, the principle of public diplomacy, but he appears to insist that it be confined, at any rate in this case, to generalities, and that the several particular questions of territory and sovereignty, the several questions upon whose settlement must depend the acceptance of peace by the 23 States now engaged in the war must be discussed and settled, not in general council, but severally by the nations most immediately concerned by interest or neighborhood.
( He agrees that the seas should be free, but looks askance at any limitation to that freedom by international action in the interest of the common order. He would without reserve be glad to see economic barriers removed between nation and nation, for that could in no way impede the ambitions of the military party with whom he seems constrained to keep on terms. Neither does he raise objection to a limitation of armaments. That matter will be settled of itself, he thinks, by the economic conditions which must follow the war. But the German colonies, he demands, must be returned without debate. He will discuss with no one but the representatives of Russia what disposition shall be made of the peoples and the lands of the Baltic provinces; with no one but the Government of France the "conditions" under which French territory shall be evacuated, and only with Austria what shall be done with Poland. In the determination of all questions affecting the Balkan states he defers, as I understand him, to Austria and Turkey; and with regard to the agreements to be entered into concerning the non-Turkish peoples of the present Ottoman Empire to the Turkish authorities themselves. After a settlement all around, effected in this fashion, by individual barter and concession, he would have no objection, if I correctly interpret his statement, to a league of nations which would undertake to hold the new balance of power steady against external disturbance.
Chancellor's Method 1mposs1ble
It must be evident to every one who understands what this war has wrought in the opinion and temper of the world that no general peace, no peace worth the infinite sacrifices of these years of tragical suffering, can possibly be arrived at in any such fashion. The method the German Chancellor proposes is the method of the Congress of Vienna. We cannot and will not return to that. What is at stake now is the peace of the world. What we are striving for is a new international order based upon broad and universal principles of right and justice—no mere peace of shreds and patches. Is it possible that Count von Herding does not see that, does