Слике страница
PDF
ePub

to the Kingdom of Italy, and supports their claim to be united with those of their own race and tongue, It realizes that arrangements may be necessary for securing the legitimate interests of the people of Italy in the adjacent seas, but It condemns the aims of conquest of Italian imperialism and believes that all legitimate needs can be safeguarded without precluding a like recognition of the needs of others or annexation of other people's territories.

Regarding the Italian population dispersed on the eastern shores of the Adriatic, the relations between Italy and the Yugo-Slav populations must be based on principles of equity and conciliation, so as to prevent any cause of future quarrel.

If there are found to be groups of Slavonian race within the newly defined Kingdom of Italy, or groups of Italian race in Slavonian territory, mutual guarantees must be given for the assurance to all of them, on one side or the other, of full liberty of local self-government and of the natural development of their several activities.

(e) Poland and the Baltic Provinces

In accordance with the right of every people to determine its own destinies, Poland must be reconstituted in unity and independence with free access to the sea.

The conference declares further that any annexation by Germany, whether open or disguised, of Livonia, Courland, or Lithuania, would be a flagrant and wholly inadmissible violation of international law.

(f) The Jews and Palestine

The conference demands for the Jews In all countries the same elementary rights of freedom of religion, education, residence, and trade and equal citizenship that ought to be extended to all the inhabitants of every nation. It further expresses the opinion that Palestine should be set free from the harsh and oppressive government of the Turk, in order that this country may form a free State, under international guarantee, to which such of the Jewish people as desire to do so may return and may work out their own salvation free from interference by those of alien race or religion.

(g) The Problem of the Turkish Empire

The conference condemns the handing back to the systematically cruel domination of the Turkish Government any subject people. Thus, whatever may be proposed with regard to Armenia, Mesopotamia, and Arabia, they cannot be restored to the tyranny of the Sultan and The conference condemns wrnments and

[graphic]

capitalists who would make of these and other territories now dominated by the Turkish hordes merely instruments either of exploitation or militarism. If the peoples of these territories do not feel themselves able to settle their own destinies, the conference insists that, conformably with the policy of " no annexations," they should be placed for administration in the hands of a commission acting under the Supernational Authority or League of Nations. It is further suggested that the peace of the world requires that the Dardanelles should be permanently and effectively neutralized and opened like all the main lines of marine communication, under the control of the League of Nations, freely to all nations, • •without hindrance or customs duties.

(h) Austria-Hungary

The conference does not propose as a ■war aim dismemberment of Austria-Hungary or its deprivation of economic access to the sea. On the other hand, the conference cannot admit that the claims to Independence made by the Czecho-Slovaks and the Yugo-Slavs must be regarded merely as questions for internal decision. National independence ought to be accorded, according to rules to be laid down by the League of Nations, to such peoples as demand it, and these communities ought to have the opportunity of determining their own groupings and federations according to their affinities and interests. If they think fit they are free to substitute a free federation of Danubian States for the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

(i) The Colonies and Dependencies

The International has always condemned the colonial policy of capitalist Governments. Without ceasing to condemn it, the Interallied Conference nevertheless recognizes the existence of a state of things which it is obliged to take into account.

The conference considers that the treaty of peace ought to secure to the natives in all colonies and dependencies effective protection against the excesses of capitalist colonialism. The conference demands the concession of administrative autonomy for all groups of people that attain a certain degree of civilization, and for all the others a progressive participation in local Government.

The conference is of opinion that the return of the colonies to those who possessed them before the war, or the exchanges or compensations which might be effected, ought not to be an obstacle to the making of peace.

Those colonies that have been taken by conquest from any belligerent must be made the subject of special consideration at the Peace Conference, as to which the communities In their neighborhood will be entitled to take part. But the clause in the treaty of peace on this point must secure economic equality in such territories for the peoples of all nations, and thereby guarantee that none are shut out from legitimate access to raw materials, prevented from disposing of their own products, or deprived of their proper share of economic development.

As regards more especially the colonics of all the belligerents in tropical Africa, from sea to sea, including the whole of the region north of the Zambesi and south-of the Sahara, the conference condemns any imperialist idea which would make these countries the booty of one or several nations, exploit them for the profit of the capitalist, or use them for the promotion of the militarist aims of the Governments.

With respect to these colonies, the conference declares in favor of a system of control, established by international agreement under the League of Nations and maintained by its guarantee, which, while respecting national sovereignty, would be alike inspired by broad conceptions of economic freedom and concerned to safeguard the rights of the natives under the best conditions possible for them, and in particular:

1. It would take account in each locality of the wishes of the people, expressed in the form which is possible to them.

2. The interests of the native tribes as regards the ownership of the soil would be maintained.

8. The whole of the revenues would be devoted to the well-being and development of the colonies themselves.

IV Economic Relations

The Interallied Conference declares against all the projects now being prepared by imperialists and capitalists, not in any one country only, but in most countries, for an economic war after peace has been secured either against one or other foreign nation or against all foreign nations, as such an economic war, if begun by any country, would inevitably lead to reprisals, to which each nation in turn might in self-defense be driven. The main lines of marine communication should be open without hindrance to vessels of all nations under the protection of the League of Nations. The conference realizes that all attempts at economic aggression, whether by protective tariffs or capitalist trusts or monopolies, inevitably result in the spoliation of the working classes of the several countries for the profit of the capitalists; and the working class sees in the alliance between the military imperialists and the fiscal protectionists in any country whatsoever not only a serious danger to the prosperity of the masses of the people, but also a grave menace to peace. On the other hand, the right of each nation to the defense of its own

economic interests, and, in face of the world shortage hereinafter mentioned, to the conservation for its own people of a sufficiency of its own supplies of foodstuffs and raw materials, cannot be denied. The conference accordingly urges upon the Labor and Socialist Parties of all countries the importance of insisting, in the attitude of the Government toward commercial enterprise, along with the necessary control of supplies for its own people, on the principle of the open door, and without hostile discrimination against foreign countries. But it urges equally the importance, not merely of conservation, but also of the utmost possible development, by appropriate Government action, of the resources of every country for the benefit not only of its own people, but also of the world, and the need for an international agreement for the enforcement in all countries of the legislation on factory conditions, a maximum eight-hour day, the prevention of "sweating" and unhealthy trades necessary to protect the workers against exploitation and oppression, and the prohibition of night work by women and children.

V.—The Problems of Peace

To make the world safe for democracy involves much more than the prevention of war, either military or economic. It

will be a device of the capitalist interests to pretend that the treaty of peace need concern itself only with the cessation of the struggles of the armed forces and with any necessary territorial readjustments.

The Interallied Conference insists that, in view of the probable worldwide shortage, after the war, of exportable foodstuffs and raw materials, and of merchant shipping, it is imperative, in order to prevent the most serious hardships, and even possible famine, in one country or another, that systematic arrangements should be made on an international basis for the allocation and conveyance of the available exportable surpluses of these commodities to the different countries, in proportion, not to their purchasing powers, but to their several pressing needs; and that, within each country, the Government must for some time maintain its control of the most indispensable commodities, in order to secure their appropriation, not in a competitive market mainly to the richer classes in proportion to their means, but, systematically, to meet the most urgent needs of the whole community on the principle of "no cake for any one until all have bread."

Moreover, it cannot but be anticipated that, in all countries, the dislocation of industry attendant on peace, the instant discharge of millions of munition makers and workers in war trades, and the demobilization of millions of soldiers—in face of the scarcity of industrial capital, the shortage of raw materials, and the insecurity of commercial enterprise— will, unless prompt and energetic action be taken by the several Governments, plunge a large part of the wage-earning population into all the miseries of un

employment more or less prolonged. In view of the fact that widespread unemployment in any country, like a famine, is an injury not to that country alone, but impoverishes also the rest of the world, the conference holds that it is the duty of every Government to take immediate action, not merely to relieve the unemployed, when unemployment has set in, but actually, so far as may be practicable, to prevent the occurrence of unemployment. It therefore urges upon the Labor Parties of every country the necessity of their pressing upon their Governments the preparation of plans for the execution of all the innumerable public works (such as the making and repairing of roads, railways, and waterways, the erection of schools and public buildings, the provision of working-class dwellings, and the reclamation and afforestation of land) that will be required in the near future, not for the sake of finding measures of relief for the unemployed, but with a view to these works being undertaken at such a rate in each locality as will suffice, together with the various capitalist enterprises that may be in progress, to maintain at a fairly uniform level year by year, and throughout each year, the aggregate demand for labor, and thus prevent there being any unemployed.

It is now known that in this way it is quite possible for any Government to prevent, if it chooses, the occurrence of any widespread or prolonged involuntary unemployment; which, if it is now in any country allowed to occur, is as much the result of Government neglect as is any epidemic disease.

VI.—Restoration of the Devastated Areas and Reparations

of Wrongdoing

The Interallied Conference holds that one of the most imperative duties of all countries immediately peace is declared will be the restoration, so far as may be possible, of the homes, farms, factories, public buildings, and means of communication wherever destroyed by war operations; that the restoration should not be limited to compensation for public build

ings, capitalist undertakings, and material property proved to be destroyed or damaged, but should be extended to setting up the wage earners and peasants themselves in homes and employment; and that to insure the full and impartial application of these principles the assessment and distribution of the compensation, so far as the cost is contributed by any international fund, should be made under the direction of an international commission.

The conference will not be satisfied unless there is a full and free judicial investigation into the accusations made on all sides that particular Governments have ordered and particular officers have exercised acts of cruelty, oppression, violence, and theft against individual victims, for which no justification can be found in the ordinary usages of war. It draws attention, in particular, to the loss of life and property of merchant seamen and other noncombatants (including women and children) resulting from this inhuman and ruthless conduct. It should

be part of the conditions of peace that there should be forthwith set up a court of claims and accusations, which should investigate all such allegations as may be brought before it, summon the accused person or Government to answer the complaint, to pronounce judgment, and award compensation or damages, payable by the individual or Government condemned, to the persons who had suffered wrong, or to their dependents. The several Governments must be responsible, financially and otherwise, for the presentation of the cases of their respective nationals to such a court of claims and accusations, and for the payment of the compensation awarded.

VII.—International Conference

The Interallied Conference is of opinion that an international conference of Labor and Socialist organizations, held under proper conditions, would, at this stage, render useful service to world democracy by assisting to remove misunderstandings, as well as the obstacles which stand in the way of world peace.

Awaiting the resumption of the normal activities of the International Socialist Bureau, we consider that an international conference, held during the period of hostilities, should be organized by a committee whose impartiality cannot be questioned. It should be held in a neutral country, under such conditions as would inspire confidence; and the conference should be fully representative of all the Labor and Socialist movement in all the belligerent countries accepting the conditions under which the conference is convoked.

As an essential condition to an international conference, the commission is of the opinion that the organizers of the conference should satisfy themselves that all the organizations to be represented put in precise form, by a public declaration, their peace terms in conformity with the principles "No annexations or punitive indemnities, and the right of all peoples to self-determination," and • that they are working with all their power to obtain from their Governments the necessary guarantees to apply these

principles honestly and unreservedly to all questions to be dealt with at any official peace conference.

In view of the vital differences between the allied countries and the Central Powers, the commission is of opinion that it is highly advisable that the conference should be used to provide an opportunity for the delegates from the respective countries now in a state of war to make a full and frank statement of their present position and future intentions, and to endeavor by mutual agreement to arrange a program of action for a speedy and democratic peace.

The conference is of opinion that the working classes, having made such sacrifices during the war, are entitled to take part in securing a democratic world peace, and that M. Albert Thomas, (France,) M. Emile Vandervelde, (Belgium,) and Arthur Henderson, (Great Britain,) be appointed as a commission to secure from the Governments a promise that at least one representative of labor and socialism will be included in the official representation at any Government conference, and to organize a Labor and Socialist representation to sit concurently with the official conference; further, that no country be entitled to more than four representatives at such conference.

The conference regrets the absence of representatives of American labor and socialism from the Interallied Conference, and urges the importance of securing their approval of the decisions reached. With this object in view, the conference agrees that a deputation, consisting of one representative from France, Belgium, Italy, and Great Britain, together with Camille Huysmans, (Secretary of the International Socialist Bureau,) proceed to the United States at once, in order to confer with representatives of the American democracy on the whole situation of the war.

The conference resolves to transmit to the Socialists of the Central Empires and

of the nations allied with them the memorandum in which the conference has defined the conditions of peace, conformably with the principles of Socialist and international justice. The conference is convinced that these conditions will commend themselves on reflection to the mind of every Socialist, and the conference asks for the answer of the Socialists of the Central Empires, in the hope that these will join without delay in a joint effort of the International, which has now become more than ever the best and the most certain instrument of democracy and peace.

American Labor Federation's Views

Address by Samuel Gompers

rtE American Federation of Labor expressed its views on the war in an address by its President, Samuel Gompers, delivered in New York on Feb. 22, 1918, at a loyalty meeting held in celebration of Washington's Birthday. The meeting was held under the auspices of the American Alliance for Labor and Democracy. Mr. Daniels, Secretary of the Navy, spoke from the same platform. The President of the American Federation of Labor began his appeal to patriotism by saying that he, who was once an ultra-pacifist, was now a redblooded fighting man, and that American workers were fighting men. Referring to the message he had sent to Arthur Henderson, Secretary of the British Labor Party, saying that American workers would send no delegates to the labor peace conference in London, Mr. Gompers said he wished to send word to all the world on Washington's Birthday as to the stand of America's workers. He reviewed the recent history of Russia and pictured that country's plight. He continued:

The radicals of the Bolshevikl have not Biven the people land, nor bread, nor peace; and instead of finding the great people of Russia standing erect and fighting for their homes and for their lives, we find them licking the boots of the Kaiser and praying for mercy. Yes, this radical gang has done that,

and to it must be laid the charge of the undoing of Russia.

And they are showing their heads here. If the so-called radicals of America could have their way, you would find the people of the United States in the same position as the people of Russia are now.

And then they invite us to peace conferences with representatives of the workers of enemy countries. Why. men and women, the Kaiser wouldn't give a passport to German delegates who would not be bound to do his bidding. He would let no one go to those conferences who was not his minion.

I say to the Kaiser, I say to the Germans, in the name of the American labor movement: "You can't talk peace with American workers; you can't talk peace with us; you can't talk to us at all now. We are fighting now. Either vou smash your Kaiser autocracy or we will smash It for you."

Yes, we say to the Germans; "Get you out of France, out of Serbia, out of Belgium, and back into Germany, and then perhaps we'll talk peace terms with you. But we won't before you do that."

Here the audience arose as one and cheered Mr. Gompers. Then he paid his respects to those radicals in America who criticise the country and wouldn't fight for it. He said they were serving "the great autocrat of all time, the modern buccaneer of the world, an intellectual, scientific murderer."

"America is not perfect," Mr. Gompers said. "The Republic of the United States is not perfect; it has the imper

« ПретходнаНастави »