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NO ALSACE-LORRAINE QUESTION"

171

new nation and neighboring Russian territories. For this reason the announcement of the peace with Ukraine at first caused great unrest in Poland. However, I hope that with good will it will be possible, by taking ethnographical conditions into just consideration, to arrive at a compromise of all claims. The announced intention of making an earnest effort in this direction has already led to a marked feeling of quiet in Polish circles, a thing which I take satisfaction in noting. Germany will, when it comes to settling the boundary question, only demand that which is absolutely required by military considerations.

ATTITUDE TOWARD GERMAN ENEMIES

As you have gathered, gentlemen, from my statements, the prospect of peace on the whole eastern front from the Baltic to the Black Sea is coming tangibly nearer (Bravo!), and the world, which is tired of war, especially neutral countries, is feverishly inquiring whether this does not open up the way to a universal peace. However, the leaders of the Entente in England, France and Italy seem to be entirely disinclined to listen to the voice of reason and humanity, for, unlike the Central Powers, the Entente has from the beginning pursued aims of conquest. They are fighting for the surrender of Alsace-Lorraine to France. I have nothing to add to what I have said before on this subject (Very correct—on the right). There is no Alsace-Lorraine question in an international sense (stormy applause). If there is any such question it is a purely German question (renewed lively approval). The Entente is fighting for the acquisition of parts of Austro-Hungarian territory by Italy. If the fine words of holy aspirations have been invented in Italy, of holy selfishness, the demand for annexations is not removed thereby (very good). It [the Entente] is fighting for the abandonment of Palestine, Syria and Arabia by the Turkish Empire. England has her eyes directed especially toward the Turkish territory. She has suddenly discovered sympathy for the Arabs, and hopes, by using the Arabs as stalking horses, and perhaps by creating a buffer state under English suzerainty, to annex new territories to the British Empire. That the colonial war aims of England are directed toward increasing and rounding off the tremendous English possessions, particularly in Africa, has been repeatedly announced by English statesmen.

And in the face of this thoroughly aggressive policy, which is directed toward the acquisition of foreign domains, the statesmen of the Entente continually have the audacity to represent militaristic, imperialistic and autocratic Germany as the disturber of the peace which in the interest of world peace must be reduced to the closest limits, if not annihilated. By a system of lies and calumny they are constantly endeavoring to stir up their own people and also neutral nations against the Central Powers, especially frightening the neutral nations with the specter of a violation of neutrality on the part of Germany. In the face of an intrigue such as has recently been carried on in Switzerland, I take this opportunity of declaring before the whole world that we have never thought for a moment and never shall think of violating Swiss neutrality (Very true—on the right). We know ourselves pledged to Switzerland by the principles of international law as well as our friendly relations of centuries' duration (Bravo!). We should feel respect and gratitude toward Switzerland and the remaining neutral nations—Holland, the Scandinavian countries, and Spain, which is particularly exposed to difficulties owing to her geographical situation; likewise, though in less degree, toward the non-European countries which have not yet entered the war, for the steadfast attitude with which they have preserved neutrality in spite of all criticism and pressure (Bravo! on all sides). The world longs for peace (Very correct—on the left); it has no other wish than that the sufferings of war, from which it is groaning, should come to an end, but the Governments of hostile nations are always able to stir up anew the war fury among their populations. Continuance of the war to the utmost! As far as is announced, this was the watchword given out at the Conference at Versailles, and in the speeches of the British Prime Minister it is ever loudly re-echoed.

At the same time, other voices, it is true, have been heard recently in England. Besides the speech of Walter Runciman, which I mentioned at the beginning of my speech, an utterance of Lord Milner, along the same lines but perhaps still more conciliatory, though extra-parliamentary, has recently been published.

We can only wish that such voices should increase, and that the peaceful tendencies which doubtless also exist in the Entente countries might make themselves felt, for the world is now standing before the greatest and most ominous decision: either the enemies must decide to make peace—under what conditions we would be willing to enter negotiations they know— or else they intend to continue the criminal folly of a war of conquest; in that case our glorious troops will go on fighting under their skilful leaders. To what extent we are prepared for this is also thoroughly known to our enemies, and our brave, admirable people will hold out still longer; however, the blood of those who have fallen, the suffering of the mutilated, all misery and all pain of the peoples will fall upon the heads of those who obstinately refuse to lend an ear to the voices of reason and humanity (lively applause on all sides).

THE TRIPLE ALLIANCE

173

THE BACKGROUND OF THE WAR

Back of the war are the Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente. They grouped the nations of Europe around what have proved to be the banners of two fundamentally opposite ideals. To know how the parties were bound is to understand how the world came to the present crisis; to know the circumstances and purposes of the bonds is to understand better what the foes are fighting for.

Of these arrangements no one but the expert in international affairs has had any real conception. To bring the texts together, to present them as wholes and thus reveal the spirit behind the engagements therefore seems worth while. The parties are given full opportunity for self-revelation in the following pages, and the record speaks for itself. Of the Triple Alliance Bismarck said: "No one will dare to measure himself with the Teuton fury which is manifested in case of an attack."1 Kipling once defined the Triple Entente as "a linked and steadfast guard set for peace on earth."2

The engagements which caused the alignment of European powers in the world war were:

A. The Tr1ple All1ance

In its first form this consisted of:

1. The Austro-German treaty of defensive alliance, signed at Vienna, October 7, 1879, by Count Julius Andrassy, AustroHungarian minister of foreign affairs, and Prince Henry VII of Reuss, German ambassador.

2. Treaty of alliance between Italy and Austria-Hungary, signed at Vienna, May 20, 1882, by Count Kalnoky, Austro-Hungarian minister for foreign affairs, and Count Robilant, the Italian ambassador.

3. Treaty of alliance between Italy and the German Empire, signed at Vienna, May 20, 1882, by Prince Henry of Reuss and Count Robilant, the German and Italian ambassadors.

'Archives diphmaliqurs, xxv, 305.

■ Quoted by Ernest Lavisse, London Times, Weekly Edition, April 17,1914, 300.

4. Adhesion of Rumania to the Triple Alliance, signed at Gastein, August/September, 1883, by Jean Bratiano on behalf of Rumania.

(Nos. 2, 3 and 4 were revised into a single document in 1887.)

5. Military conventions concluded, mutatis mutandis, between the powers concerned, possibly dating in their original form from 1882/83.

6. Exchanges of letters between the sovereigns, possibly dating from the conclusion of the alliance and certainly existing in 1889.

7. Exchange of letters between Austria-Hungary and Italy, December 15/19, 1909, relating to the Sandjak of Novibazar and alteration of the Balkan status quo.

To these may be added:

8. Treaty of alliance between the German and Ottoman Empires, signed at Berlin, August 4, 1914, and possibly incorporating an earlier understanding.

9. Treaty of alliance between Bulgaria and the German and Ottoman Empires and the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, concluded at Sofia, July 17, 1915, Bulgaria becoming a belligerent on October 14, 1915.

B. The Tr1ple Entente And 1ts Fr1ends

I. The Franco-Russian alliance, consisting of:

1. Exchange of letters at Paris, August 27, 1891, between Alexander Ribot, French minister of foreign affairs, and Baron Arthur Mohrenheim, Russian ambassador to France.

2. Military convention signed at St. Petersburg, August, 1892, by General Le Mouton de Boisdeffre, French assistant chief of the general staff, and General Obruchef, Russian chief of the general staff.

3. Agreement of alliance signed at Paris, March, 1894, by Nikola1 Karlovich Giers, Russian minister of state, and Jean CasimirP6rier, French premier and minister of foreign affairs.

4. Naval convention signed at Paris, July 13, 1912,by Theophile Delcasse, French minister of marine, and Admiral Prince Lieven, Russian naval chief of the general staff.

II. The Anglo-French entente, first manifested in the treaty of general arbitration of October 14, 1903, consisting of:

1. Convention between Great Britain and France respecting Newfoundland and West and Central Africa, signed at London, April 8, 1904, by the Marquess of Lansdowne, British secretary TRIPLE ENTENTE AND ITS FRIENDS

of state for foreign affairs, and Paul Cambon, the French ambassador.

2. Declaration and secret articles of Great Britain and France respecting Egypt and Morocco, signed at London, April 8, 1904, by the Marquess of Lansdowne, British secretary of state for foreign affairs and Paul Cambon, the French ambassador.

3. Declaration between Great Britain and France concerning Siam, Madagascar and the New Hebrides, signed at London, April 8, 1904, by the Marquess of Lansdowne, British secretary of state for foreign affairs, and Paul Cambon, the French ambassador.

4. Convention between Great Britain and France confirming the protocol signed at London on February 27, 1906, concerning New Hebrides, signed at London, October 20, 1906, by Sir Edward Grey, British secretary of state for foreign affairs, and Paul Cambon, the French ambassador.

5. Exchange of letters respecting armed assistance, London, November 22-23, 1012, hy Sir Edward Grey, British secretary of state for foreign affairs, and Paul Cambon, the French Ambassador.

III. The Anglo-Russian entente was brought about by:

1. Convention respecting Persia, Afghanistan and Tibet signed at St. Petersburg, August 31,1907, by Sir Arthur Nicolson, British ambassador to Russia, and Alexander P. Izvolski, Russian minister of foreign affairs.

IV. The Anglo-Japanese alliance:

1. Agreement between Great Britain and Japan relative to China, Korea (alliance, etc.), signed at London, January 30, 1902, by the Marquess of Lansdowne, British secretary of state for foreign affairs, and Count Tadasu Hayashi, Japanese minister at London; revised and superseded by

2. Agreement between Great Britain and Japan relative to Eastern Asia (China and Korea) and India, signed at London, August 12, 1905, by the Marquess of Lansdowne, British secretary of state for foreign affairs, and Count Tadasu Hayashi, Japanese minister at London; revised and superseded by

3. Agreement between the United Kingdom and Japan respecting rights and interests in Eastern Asia and India, signed at London, July 13, 1911, by Sir Edward Grey, British secretary of state for foreign affairs, and Takaaki Kato, Japanese ambassador at London.

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