« ПретходнаНастави »
that time onward Mr. Hoover's task of feeding the Central Powers and averting Bolshevism was considerably simplified. Under the arrangement agreed upon, Germany was to get large cargoes of food monthly till the harvest. Her ships were to be turned over for the transport home of American and Australian soldiers. On the return voyage the same ships were to carry food to Germany. Germany refrained from causing further delay by pressing the point that her ships be manned by German sailors—an impossible claim for various reasons, the most notable being that the ships would have to use French and British ports.
AGREEMENT AT BRUSSELS
The Supreme Council, in settling the German shipping question, arranged also that future armistice negotiations should be transferred to Brussels. The allied Commissioners left Paris on March 12 and held their first session on the 13th in one of the Government buildings in the Belgian capital. The economic situation was greatly clarified at once by the offer of the Allies to deliver about 400,000 tons of food monthly to Germany until the next harvest, in return for the delivery of the entire German merchant marine.
The allied commission at Brussels was headed by Vice Admiral Sir Rosslyn Wemyss of Great Britain; the German by Under Secretary of State von Braun. Prior to the session the French and Americans had settled their differences as to how Germany was to be permitted to pay for the food received under the new arrangement. The American delegates had favored the use of German gold and securities for this purpose, while the French delegates, desiring to have all Germany's ready money reserved for payment of indemnities, favored the proposition that the United States should furnish the food and be paid on long credits by the fruits of German labor. A compromise had been reached under which Germany should be allowed to pay for immediate supplies out of her credits in neutral countries, but only to the extent of about $200,000,000. After that amount had been spent
the controversy would have to be adjusted again.
Germany's representatives at Brussels definitely accepted the new proposition on March 14, and preparations were begun at once to turn over to the Allies all available merchant ships in German waters. Eight large passenger vessels were promptly made ready and sailed the next week for England, where American naval crews were to take charge of them and bring a load of American soldiers home on the first trip across for food cargoes. The giant Imperator, of 62,000 tons, Germany's newest and greatest steamship, was also to be ready to be turned over a few days later. The German ships in Central and South America and the Dutch East Indies were included in the agreement. These were to be manned by German crews and permitted to sail for Germany. All other ships were to be manned by non-German crews.
The total ship capacity thus made available for breaking the European famine and repatriating the American Army was estimated at 350,000 tons. Mr. Hoover pronounced the agreement one of the most important events in the settlement of a permanent peace.
VON WINTERFELD'S PROTEST
General von Winterfeld, who as military representative of Germany had driven across the lines to meet Marshal Foch and signed the first armistice and who later had relinquished his position because he could not agree to the added terms, explained his point of view to a correspondent on March 5, saying in part:
The basic mistake made by the Allies was in assuming that the Germans were in a position to resume hostilities. It must have been clearly evident to every unprejudiced judge that when we evacuated Northern France and Belgium the war was over—for us. Moreover, it would seem impossible, having given up that territory with its favorable strategic positions and rich supply sources—ore fields, for instance—to continue the war on German soil in our richest industrial province. The Entente therefore could have been accorded perfect military security with the following guarantee: Evacuation of Northern France and Belgium: surrender of a certain amount of war material and transport; the internment in neutral harbors of a considerable portion of the German fleet, especially the U-boats, and also the immediate beginning of demobilization. Any opposition to the last point raised by the German military leaders would have been overcome by the keen desire for peace of the Germans, even though It left Germany absolutely defenseless against its hitherto enemies.
An armistice based on my conditions would have made It entirely impossible at any place, or with any prospect of success, for Germany to begin hostilities again. Every experienced soldier must agree with me.
Conditions which General von Winterfeld considered unnecessary, and even inhuman, may be summarized as follows: 1. The short time given for the evacu
ation. 2. The occupation of the Rhine bridgeheads, the establishment of a neutral zone, and the hermetic sealing up of the occupied territory, all of which measures entailed a crippling of German industries. 3. The full maintenance of the allied blockade. 4. The conditions imposed which forbade German resistance to Polish invasion. 5. The return of the allied prisoners without reciprocity. In signing the convention of Nov. 11 in Compiegne, General von Winterfeld explained, he had been given assurances by the French Generals which were subsequently violated. His resignation, he said, was intended as a protest against such gross humiliation of his country.
CURRENT HISTORY IN BRIEF
[period Ended March 20, 1919]
Attempt On Clemenceau's Life
GEORGES CLEMENCEAU, the Premier of France, was wounded on the morning of Feb. 19 by Emil Cottin, an anarchist, who fired five shots at him while the Premier was proceeding in his automobile to attend a conference with Colonel House of the American Peace Delegation. Cottin fired while standing on the sidewalk, as the car was passing. One bullet entered the Premier's right shoulder and lodged under the left shoulder, penetrating the lung. Two bullets inflicted slight abrasions of the skin on the right arm and the right hand. The Premier, notwithstanding his extreme age, withstood the shock, and tens days later had sufficiently recovered to attend the Peace Conference. At no time was he in a dangerous condition.
The assassin was tried by a courtmartial and sentenced to death. The act had no political significance other than the deed of an anarchist; it was not believed that Cottin was prompted by any organized conspiracy, though subsequent developments revealed other anarchistic movements in Paris, whose participating groups were quickly arrested and their literature confiscated.
According to the official record read
by the clerk of the court when the courtmartial proceedings opened, Cottin first conceived the idea of killing the Premier in May, 1918, during a strike of employes of aviation factories, and he began practicing shooting then. The report, describing the attempt on the Premier, related that Cottin fired twice without moving, and then fired five times while running behind the automobile, to which he was so close that one witness believed he had jumped on the rear of the car. It was shown that Cottin aimed at the seat in which Premier Clemenceau was sitting, and fired so accurately that two bullet holes almost touched.
"Rarely has a crime," said the report, "been accomplished with more sustained premeditation, more mature design, and more implacable tenacity, with a certainty of method which it seemed would infallibly lead to a fatal result."
Cottin was described in the report as primitive, vain, and conceited, and believing himself omniscient. He was able to earn 37 francs a day easily, yet, finding society badly organized, was desirous of destroying everything. The document gave expert medical opinion, unreservedly holding Cottin responsible for his actions.
Germany's War Guilt
TWO dispatches sent in cipher by Count von Szogyeny-Marich, Austrian Ambassador at Berlin before the war, to the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Ministry, showing that Germany was backing Austria in her warlike attitude toward Serbia, have been made public by M. R. Vesnitch, Serbian Minister to France. As printed in the Journal des Debats, March 14, the messages read: BERLIN, July 25, 1914.—It Is generally supposed here that a negative reply from Serbia will be followed on our part by an immediate declaration of war and military 'operations. Any adjournment of military operations would be considered here as very dangerous on account of Intervention by other'powers. We are counseled with the greatest Insistence to pass immediately to action and thus put the world in face of an accomplished fact.
The second dispatch, marked " strictly secret," says:
BERLIN, July 27, 1914.—The Secretary of State has just declared to me positively, but under the seal of most strict secrecy, that very soon eventual propositions of mediation from England will be brought to the knowledge of your Excellency. The German Government assures me in the most convincing manner that it in no way identifies itself with these propositions, that it is absolutely against their being taken into consideration, and that it will only transmit them to us to give effect to the English request.
Minister Vesnitch then quotes the message sent on July 30, 1914, from Sir Edward Grey, the British Foreign Minister, to Ambassador Goschen at Berlin, offering, if the crisis passed, to take the initiative in an arrangement satisfactory to Germany. The Minister says that neither Sir Edward Grey, Foreign Minister Sazonoff of Russia, nor Premier Viviani of France then knew positively that Germany wanted war. The Minister concludes: "If any one is incredulous let him meditate upon the foregoing documents."
* * *
Tisza Accused Of Having Plotted The War
CHARGES that the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his wife, the Duchess of Hohenberg, at Serajevo on June 28, 1914, was the result of a deliberate plot led by the late Count
Tisza, former Hungai-ian Premier, are made in a pamphlet written by a priest who was the spiritual adviser of the Duchess of Hohenberg, according to a Vienna dispatch to the Frankfort Gazette. The pamphlet i& entitled "The Serajevo Murder and Count Tisza's Responsibility for the World War." It is declared that Francis Ferdinand repeatedly refused to go to Serajevo, and it was only an appeal to his courage that induced him to make the trip.
"The most elementary precautions were omitted," it is stated by the priest. "He was simply led into a trap prepared by the Court at Vienna and by the Hungarian aristocracy, headed by Count Tisza."
The general idea of the pamphlet is that Magyar magnates, with the consent of the Vienna Court, wished to get rid of the Archduke, who was extremely disliked, and obtain vengeance for the murder at the expense of the Jugoslavs, who would be made helpless. It is pointed out that no " proper" inquiry was ever made into the tragedy, and that no one was made responsible for the fact that precautionary measures were not taken. * * * Irish Independence
A CONVENTION was held at Philadelphia on Feb. 23 by delegates from many States representing the Irish race in America, and resolutions were passed declaring that a state of war existed between England and Ireland. The convention pledged itself to raise $1,250,000 within six months in support of the movement to bring freedom to Ireland.
Resolutions were passed and a committee of twenty-four was appointed to convey to President Wilson the resolutions adopted by the convention. The committee was unable to obtain an interview with the President until just prior to his departure for France on the night of March 4, after he had delivered his address at the Metropolitan Opera House. He met the committee, but only on condition that Justice Daniel F. Cohalan of the New York Supreme Court should not be present. The President's attitude on this point was due to personal attacks made on him in addresses by Judge Cohalan during the Presidential campaign. The lower house of Congress passed a resolution favoring the independence of Ireland, and several Legislatures passed similar resolutions.
President Wilson, in accepting the resolutions from the committee, expressed no opinion on the subject. Efforts were made to have a delegation, representing the Republic of Ireland, obtain an audience before the Peace Conference, but it had not succeeded up to March 20.
* * *
Korean Independence A N Associated Press dispatch from ** Peking, dated Feb. 28, announced that the members of the Independence Committee, representing the Korean people living in China, had presented to the American Minister a petition asking that the United States Government intercede with the Peace Conference in behalf of the Korean people, with a view to restoring the sovereignty and political independence to Korea.
During February and March frequent reports were telegraphed to European capitals from Russian and Chinese points indicating that there was an active movement prnong the Koreans in behalf of independence, but that all demonstrations had been severely repressed by the Japanese; it was stated that several meetings had been dispersed by soldiers and cruel penalties inflicted upon the participants.
* * •
Canadian Losses At Ypres
SIR SAM HUGHES, former Minister of Militia of Canada, made the assertion March 5 in the House of Commons at Toronto that officers commanding the Dominion forces in France had needlessly sacrificed the lives of their men in order to advance themselves. Sir Sam opened his attack with the announcement that he had protested several times to Premier Borden "against the waste "of Canadian boys' lives in unnecessary "stunts on the battlefield." He then read a letter he had sent to Sir Robert protesting against what he termed needless slaughter at Cambrai, and stating that he had drawn the attention of the Prime Minister on previous occasions to
the "massacres at Lens, Passchendaele," &c, where the only apparent object was to glorify the General in command and make it impossible, through butchery, to have a fifth and sixth division and two army corps.
Figures of the losses in the Ypres salient made public March 5 were regarded as an answer to the intimation that the Colonials had been sacrificed to save the British. The following were the official casualties of the British, Canadian, and Australian troops in the Ypres salient from July 31 to Nov. 18, 1917:
British—Officers. 10,79.r>; men, 207,838. Canadians—Officers, 496; men, 11.107. Australians—Officers, 1,289; men, 20,502.
It was announced from Toronto that Sir Sam Hughes's charges were inspired by chagrin over his failure to secure the appointment of his son by General Arthur Currie.
* * *
THE Independence Mission of tha Philippine Islands was made a permanent body March 4, and was instructed by the Territorial Legislature to continue its efforts for the erection of the Philippine Islands into an independent Filipino State until success was attained.
The action was taken by both houses of the Legislature, which were in special session, sitting jointly. » * »
Tunneling The English Channel
ANDREW BONAR LAW announced in Parliament March 10 that the driving of a tunnel under the English Channel to France was being cirjd-fered by the Government as among its projects for after the war. Five years would be required to complete the proposed tunnel. It is said that in ordinary times the cost of the work would be about $80,000,000, but, in view of the increased cost of labor and materials, the expense involved under present conditions would be nearly $100,000,000.
* * *
Paris-madrid In Fourteen Hours
A TUNNEL begun by France and Spain in 1898 and dug under the Pyrenees was completed on March 3. When railed it will, with French locomotives and rolling stock, reduce the journey from Paris to Madrid from twentysix to fourteen hours. The tunnel runs from Ax, Department of Ariege, France, to Puigcerda, Province of Catalonia, Spain—from the terminal of the Toulouse Railway, on the Ariege River, almost due south a distance of twentyeight miles under the Ariege-Segre watershed to a point on the Segre River, which is thirty miles north of Berga, where the railway from Barcelona ends.
At present the only through-rail communication between France and Spain is on the Bay of Biscay littoral to the west of the Pyrenees and over the lower ranges near the Mediterranean on the east. In Northeastern Spain there are only lateral lines, save that from Barcelona to Berga, and, in order to reach the towns on the southern slopes of the Yyrenees it is necessary for both travelers and merchandise first to be transported to Madrid, unless the mountain passes be used.
The French finished their end of the tunnel in 1915. Work on the longer Spanish side received e. great impetus in the Spring of 1918, when the SpanishAmerican commercial treaty was signed. By this treaty Spain was to help provision the American Expeditionary Force in France and in return receive raw materials from the United States. * * *
London-africa Via Spain rpWO great railway projects are inter•*■ esting the Government and press at Madrid. The first, incorporated in a bill passed by the Spanish Senate on Feb. 10, provides for a direct line from Dax, in Southern France, to Algeciras, near Gibraltar. This line is an enterprise of the British and French Governments and will form a link in the great railway from London to Cape Town, South Africa. The line will be the broad international, or American, gauge and electrified throughout.
It is purposed to make only one stop between Madrid and Algeciras, at Cuenca, where—as the line will be, at first, single track—the trains from the north and south will cross. The northern jour
ney will be made in six to seven hours, as against the present thirteen from Irun (sixty miles southwest of Dax) to Madrid.
The other line is designed to run from the Spanish port of Vigo, on the Atlantic, east and a little north until it strikes the first line at Hendayz, fifty miles southwest of Dax. This is part of a large American project for developing the port of Vigo by building docks, warehouses, and all the equipment of a great commercial harbor.
By this scheme the journey from New York to Paris could be shortened by twenty-four hours, and its realization will give the United States a commercial entrance into Europe.
Both schemes were recently discussed by the Spanish Premier, Count Romanones, while in Paris, and it was announced that a friendly agreement had been reached by the British, French, and Spanish Governments.
* * *
United States Loans To Allies T^LEVEN allies were, on March 8, -'-J debtors of the United States. Credits had been established amounting to $8,841,657,000, but $410,939,000 of this sum, although subject to draft, had not yet been paid out of the Treasury. Great Britain borrowed nearly as much as all other allies combined. By nations, credits established and the balances subject to draft up to March 8 were as follows:
Great Britain $4,124,481,000 $72,481,000
France 2.517,477,000 90,000,000
Baly 1.405,000,000 10,000,000
Belgium 338,145,000 60,300,000
Russia 325,000,000 137,270,000
Czechoslovakia .. 35,000,000 20,900.000
Serbia 27,000,000 10.000,000
Cuba 15,000,000 5,000,000
Siberia 5,000,000 4,988,000
* * *
Material Cost Of The War SECRETARY OF WAR BAKER an^ nounced to the conference of Governors at Washtngton March 3 that an official estimate submitted at his request, by experts in the War Department, indicated that the money cost of the war to