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REALIZED THE POSSIBLE
doubt that the United States, whose troops arc called to fight upon the same front, will give this council its adhesion. As regards the other fronts, further negotiations will be conducted with Russia and Japan.
Purpose Of The Counc1l
The purpose of the council is not to direct military operations in detail but to shape the general policy of the war and the general plans of the Allies by adapting them to the resources and means available in such manner as to insure those means yielding the best results. It is to comprise two representatives of each Government and to meet normally in France at least once a month. It will rely upon the permanent interallied general staff, which will be both its central intelligence organ and its technical adviser. The decisions of such a council can have no tinge of particularism. They will embrace the field of battle as a whole. They will be subject to ratification by the respective Governments, and already we hear the objection: "What we want is a single command, and not a consultative committee."
No plan escapes criticism, and I am far from saying that ours constitutes the last step in the line of the progress that has to be made, but in such matters the wisest course is to realize immediately what is possible without making the attainment of the best an excuse for waiting for months without achieving anything.
If unity of command is one day possible, and is really efficacious, its exercise will require just such an interallied general staff as has now been created. Perhaps even the working of the Supreme War Council will lead to the institution of that unity of command without its being so called, which is better than having the word without having the thing.
In fact, the creation of this Supreme War Council is regarded by the British and Italian Governments as an immense step forward, which others may follow. The language of their whole press shows that the Italians have derived from this new creation a big source of comfort and enthusiasm, while the judgment of the British may be summed up in Mr. Lloyd George's dictum: "The war has been prolonged by sectionalism; it will be shortened by solidarity."
Another problem in the military domain which urgently calls for the attention of Parliament is that of the extension of the British front.
A preliminary agreement has just been reached between the two commanders-in-chief, with the authority of the two Governments, and will be carried out at a very early date which it would be inadvisable to
Besides this, the victory on the Aisne, one of the most brilliant of this war, by its rectification of our front and its improvement of our positions places some divisions at our disposal.
But every one in this house understands that at such a time and in the face of the military developments now taking place there can be no question of removing fresh classes from the front.
Germany is attempting a desperate effort with all her available forces to obtain before the end of the year a showy victory, which she might hope would be decisive. This supreme effort of the enemy must be met by a supreme effort on the part of France and her Allies without abandoning a scrap of our military strength.
Common Food Suppl1es
But it is not only in the military domain; it is in every domain, and in particular in the economic domain, that the Government has endeavored to realize a systematic co-ordination and complete solidarity with our Allies. The negotiations which we have just been conducting with the British Government aimed at assuring a full and regular co-operation between the two Governments for the provisioning of both countries, as well as of Italy and of our European Allies. Great Britain and France have arrived at a complete agreement, which will be put into execution at once. In virtue of this agreement, the allied countries will in future constitute but a single country from the point of view of food supplies and imports indispensable to their existence.
Great Britain has never hesitated before the division of resources, which she regards as one of the essential duties of the alliance, but hitherto the measures taken have been provisional measures for immediate aid. The agreement arrived at for the future replaces such immediate aid, given to meet an imminent danger, by the common execution of a concerted program, thanks to which, provided we discipline ourselves and are ready to impose upon ourselves the same sacrifices and restrictions as our Ally is going to impose upon herself, all fear of a crisis suddenly yawning before us will be averted in advance. The country must make up its mind that these restrictions are indispensable if the necessary tonnage is to be freed for the transport of American troops in great numbers.
The collaboration of the Government of the United States is indispensable to the development of this policy of co-operation, which is imposed DIPLOMATIC POOL SUGGESTED
by events. Everybody knows the daily efforts of the federal Government, under the direction of President Wilson, to bring to the Allies and especially to France not only the military but the economic aid of the great American nation. We are certain that the next interallied conference, to which America has specially delegated Colonel House as its eminent representative, will contribute to the final realization of unity of action in the economic and financial fields.1 . . .
III. D1plomat1c Un1ty Of Act1on
At a conference held in Paris March 27-28, 1916, the representatives of the allied Governments affirmed "the entire community of views and solidarity of the Allies," by which they meant, besides military and diplomatic unity, "diplomatic unity of action, which is guaranteed by their unshakable determination to pursue the struggle to the victory of their common cause."
An editorial in the London Times, September 20, 1918, suggested the creation of a diplomatic council—"a sort of political Versailles"—to give unity of political command under the Supreme War Council. This suggestion drew forth discussion. The writer signing himself "Pertinax" in the Echo de Paris said:
"A Government can pool its armies, ships, economic resources and so on. It cannot altogether alienate its freedom of judgment, cannot withdraw from the daily changing influence of public opinion. Do what one may, there are certain decisions which will never be taken at Versailles. To ignore this would be to defeat the end in view. The innovation should be confined to:
"1. More frequent meetings between allied ministers.
"2. The participation by American plenipotentiaries in these meetings, a measure which Mr. Wilson has hitherto declined to take.
"3. The creation of offices for the centralization of all information received by the various Governments concerning current events, thus assuring that, if the decisions are not everywhere
1 Translated from Journal officiel, Chambre des diputes. Seance du 13 Novembre 1917, 2940-2942; ibid., Senat, 978-979.
identical, at any rate the problems shall be formulated everywhere in identical terms.
"4. The creation of 'small executives' for the application in a strictly denned field—for instance, in the field of Russian affairs— of decisions taken in common."
The Temps was of the opinion that the best means would be that which has succeeded so well in securing military unity— namely, an interallied organ of information, studies and preparation. Le Pays thought that if an organ of diplomatic unity were already in existence, the Allies might have sent a collective reply to the Austrian proposal.
The Italian Corriere della Sera of Milan remarked that the privileged position of the United States, which is not bound by special agreement with the other powers of the Entente, permitted Mr. Wilson to dictate a reply to Austria before the Entente leaders had time to meet. The paper added that unfortunately before creating a diplomatic Versailles the Entente Governments were obliged to determine the big lines of a common Entente policy, and have not yet been able to seek a solution of problems which ought to have been solved at the beginning of the war."
This discussion had not resulted in any definite action up to mid-October. Political decisions of the Supreme War Council must take into consideration the terms of the following engagements:
I. Declarat1on By Wh1ch Great Br1ta1n, France, Italy, Japan And Russ1a Engage Not To Conclude Peace Separately Dur1ng The Present War1
The Italian Government having decided to accede to the Declaration between the British, French and Russian Governments, signed at London on the 5th September, 1914, which Declaration was acceded to by the Japanese Government on the 19th October, 191s,2 the undersigned, duly authorized thereto by their respective Governments, hereby declare as follows:
'Treaty Series No. 14 (1915).
REPEAT PLEDGE TO BELGIUM
The British, French, Italian, Japanese and Russian1 Governments mutually engage not to conclude peace separately during the present war.
The five Governments agree that, when terms of peace come to be discussed, no one of the Allies will demand conditions of peace without the previous agreement of each of the other Allies.
In faith whereof the undersigned have signed this Declaration and have affixed thereto their seals.
Done at London, in quintuplicate, this 30th day of November, 1915.
(L.S.) E. Grey.
(L.S.) Paul Cambon.
(L.S.) K. Inouye.
2. Declarat1on Of The All1ed Guarantee1ng Powers To Belg1um, Havre, February 14, 19161
a. M1n1sters Of France, Great Br1ta1n And Russ1a To The Belg1an M1n1ster FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
The allied powers signatory to the treaties guaranteeing the independence and neutrality of Belgium have decided to renew to-day by solemn act the agreements made regarding your country, which has been heroically faithful to its international obligations. Consequently we, the ministers of France, Great Britain and Russia, duly authorized by our Governments, have the honor to make the following declaration:
"The allied and guaranteeing powers declare that when the moment comes the Belgian Government will be called upon to take part in peace negotiations, they will not put an end to hostilities without Belgium having re-established its political and economic independence."'
'Russia was still an allied state for the purposes of the war, said the British secretary of state for foreign affairs in reply to a question in Parliament on January 21, 1918. He added that the position taken up by Russia at the present time with reference to the pact of London did not affect the validity of the treaties so far as he knew. (London Times, January 22, 1918, page 10.)
'New York Times, February 17, 1916.
'The Italian minister, although Italy was not among the powers which guaranteed the independence and neutrality of Belgium, stated that his Government had no objections to the foregoing declaration. A similar announcement was made on behalf of the Japanese Government.