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It is to be further regretted that Italy's aims and ambitions have been characterized as imperialistic and an infringment upon the newly created Jugo-Slav nation.
Was it not Italy that received the Jugo-Slav representations in Rome in 1918? Was it not there that the Jugo-Slavic aspirations were first recognized, and was it not Premier Orlando who, in speaking for the Italian nation, promised to assist them in the realization of their rightful claims?
Much has been said about the Treaty of London, but it is indisputable that Italy has an inalienable right to the terms guaranteed to her under that treaty. Her national existence and the safety of the world depend upon the proper rectification of her natural boundaries. The annexation of the Provinces of Venezia, Julia, Flume, and part of Dalmatla is the completion of the Italian national and geographical unity, that unity for which the Italians have been struggling for long years with perfect faith in the justice of their cause.
After four long years of suffering, of destruction, of hardships such as to try the faith of mankind, the people of this world have entered upon a new era of international justice and fair dealing, which will insure to them and to the coming generation that peace and freedom of action which are so necessary to their progress and liberty.
The articles of the league of nations is proof of the sincere effort on the part of the great statesmen gathered in Paris to lay the firm foundations for the future peace and well-being of this universe. Though only a beginning, it is a substantial step toward the construction of that mighty barrier based upon universal right and justice which will arise to protect the world against future conflicts. And, however much, some of our public men may rant against it, however much they may find fault with it, and seek to discredit it, and the efforts of those men out of whose minds it was created, it will stand to the everlasting credit of humanity.
The days of dark diplomacy and false dealings have passed; justice is the by-word to-day, and let us say that justice will be meted out to all, and Italy's claims will be granted to her not because of her secriflces in this war, but because truth and justice demand the security of her confines, the safety of her race and of her civilization.
OPINION OF. PROMINENT MEN ON ITALY.
President Wilson to Hon. Charles E. Hughes, president of the Italy-America Society, May 24, 1918:
"I am sure that I express the sentiment of the whole country when I thus express my admiration for Italy and my hope that increasingly, in the days to come, we may be enabled to prove our friendship in every substantial way."
George Clemenceau, Premier of the French Republic, in a letter to KxPremier Luigi Luzzattl, April, 1919:
"You can not doubt, my dear illustrious friend, that I am animated by the same sentiment toward Italy as are yours toward France, for I have esteemed it an honor to manifest them in darker days. At the hour of signing peace there can be no question of disregarding our reciprocal engagements. French policy is not a 'scrap of paper.'
Robert Lansing. Secretary of State, May 23, 1918:
"The people of Italy, as of this country, must not doubt for a moment the outcome. * * * As sure ns there is a just God in heaven, the day will dawn when victory will crown the eagles of Rome, as in ancient days, and, side by side with the victors and sharing their glory will be the eagles of America!"
Theodore Roosevelt, Ex-President of the United States, May 24, 1918:
"I take tliis opportunity to pay liomnge to the high valor and lofty idealism that Italy has shown in this great struggle for humanity and civilization against Germany and her vassal confederate states Austriu, Bulgaria, and Turkey. I most earnestly hope that Italy will be able to round out the great work of Victor Emanuel, Cavour, Mazzinl, and Garibaldi, and that the Italian-speaking provinces of Austria will take their natural places in the Italian Kingdom. * * * Our country owes a deep debt of gratitude to Italy for what she has done, and I earnestly hope that we shall pay this debt as generously as possible, and In as fine a spirit as Italy herself has shown."
Newton D. Baker, Secretary of War, at the celebration of Italy Day in New York, May 24, 1918:
"Upon this day we celebrate the fact that Italy has for three years bravely faced the sacrifices which this war entails. On behalf of the American people and the American Army, we send you grateful messages."
Gen. Ludeudorff, formerly quartermaster general of the German Army, from a dispatch from Paris, March 12, 1919:
"Ludendorff stated that if Austria had been able to release even a small number of her divisions to help Germany on the western front the war would have been won by the Central Empires before America could have had time to send reinforcements to the Allies. Ludendorff stated further that the position of the Central Empires became precarious when Italy abandoned her neutrality to join the Allies, but it became altogether disastrous in June, 1918, when Gen. Diaz foiled the Austrian offensive on the Piave, in which the Austrlnns had employed their best troops and all their resources."
Maj. Gen. William Crozier, United States Army, June 1,1918:
"Italy is responding nobly to the needs of the great cause she shares. The Italian people, from my observation, are a unit in their support of the war aims of their nation. They are a wonderful people, both as warriors and as craftsmen. I visited all their great war plants. Their production of munitions is awe-inspiring. In their retreat before the Austrians before the opening of last winter they lost many big guns, weapons essential to defense and offense on the terrain where they were fighting. They have replaced all guns lost, and, better than that, have produced many more than they have ever had before."
Hon. Charles. E. Hughes, Ex-Justice of the United States Supreme Court, president of the Italy-America Society, May 24, 1918:
"We have appreciated altogether too little in our appraisements of the achievements of this war what Italy has accomplished. * * * We have given our praise to France and Great Britain; we must give the just meed of praise to the extraordinary accomplishments of Italy; for following that fateful day of which this was the anniversary there was achievement after achievement, which must forever hold high place In the records not only of daring and exploits, but of the most eflicient organization in connection with the history of the war."
Prof. Charles Upson Clark, director School of Classical Studies, American Academy in Rome, December, 1918:
"We do not realize that Italy lies at the mercy of the power controlling the eastern Adriatic harbors; that the Slovenians and Croats have always been under German-Austrian control and that the Germans will undoubtedly bend every effort to getting an Adriatic base of operations through the north Jugo-Slavs, and that Italy's sacrifices and successes In our common struggle entitle her, as in the case of France, not merely to our sympathy but to our active aid in protecting her against the next outbreak of unrepentant and rejuvenated Teutondom. We all wish the new Jugoslavia well; but every student of Austria and the Balkans feels that it is not wise to trust too fully the Croatians and Slovenians, who were among the staunchest supporters of the Hapsburgs and our bitterest enemies on the Italian front."
Hon. John F. Hylan, mayor of New York City, May 23, 1918:
"Italy's invaluable contribution of human and material resources in this awful conflict will long be remembered, for she has participated gallantly In three years of the hardest fighting. We rejoice in her victories and will stand by her until complete victory crowns the efforts of the Allied armies with speedy and triumphant success."
William Dean Howells, author:
"I never knew an American who did not love Italy and was not proud to share citizenship In Italy's ideal Republic that invites all children of liberty. I lived in Venice during the last four years of Austrian domination, and It Is ray old age's greatest grief to see the Austrians again near the lagoon. My most fervent hope Is that I may live long enough to see them driven from Italy forever."
William Roscoe Thayer, author and historian:
"We owe Italy a further great debt of gratitude because she did not allow herself to be driven by popular clamor and reptilian intrigues to take part In the war prematurely. Had she done so, nothing could have prevented the Austrian armies from sweeping Into Venetla and Lombardy and putting Italy out of the war before she had really entered It. Such a disaster at the outset would have had a most depressing effect on the other allies and might have brought about an Irrevocable disaster."
Prof. George S. Herron, publicist, speaking of Italian aspirations at the pence conference, .Tune. 1919:
"Although I did not know the President's mind about the matter, • • * I none the loss believe that those upon whom he depended for his information have misinterpreted the Italian problem. * * * It does not follow, however, that hi* judgment of European questions Is always infallible, especially ns his judgment must depend in a large degree upon the opinions of the Incredible 'experts' who have swarmed Europe as a positive pest and who have no actual knowledge of these nationalities, no actual knowledge of human beings, no actual knowledge of modern economic and political processes."
THE AMERICAN PRESS ON ITALY.
Throughout the United States hundreds of dailies at the epoch making of Italy's victory at Vlttorio Veneto, November, 1918, when she destroyed the Hapsburg secular autocratic empire—35,000,000 Italians against 53.000,000 enemies—German, Slav, Turk, Magyar—chanted high, very high, the lauds of the Italian army's and nation's might.
"Italy's part in the war was potential and momentous."
Some titles from "American editors' tribute to Italy" (New York, December, 1918), taken at random, well conveys national sense and consensus of the American press toward Italy's deeds of valor and sacrifice in the World War:
"Italy the immortal" (The Journal, Minneapolis, Minn.).
"America rejoices with Italy" (Hartford (Conn.) Courant).
"Heroic Italy" (Milwaukee Journal).
"What the world owes to Italy" (New York Evening Mail).
"Deserves praise without stint" (Evening News, Rutland, Vt.).
"Paved way for German surrender" (Herald, Gloversville, N. Y.).
"Italy's victory" (Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, N. Y.).
"The debt to Italy" (Herald, Rochester, N. Y.).
"Italy's Astonishing Achievement" (The Globe, New York).
"Italy's splendid triumph" (Oregonian, Portland, Oreg.).
"Honor to Italy's victorious armies" (The Binghamton Press).
"Naval heroes" (Republican, Providence, R. I.).
"The Alps' bridge builders" (Post-Telegraph, Camden, N. J.).
"Faithful Italy" (Boston Transcript).
"Glorious Italy" (Buffalo Express).
"The glory that is Italy" (The Indianapolis Star).
"The new Italy" (Times-Tribune, Bay City, Mich.).
"Great days for Italy" (New York Herald).
"Italia ! Italia!" (The Daily Mining Gazette, Houghton, Mich.)
The Chairman. Is there anyone else to be heard?
Mr. Cotili/j. Mr. Chairman, we have here an American citizen who comes from Fiume, a native of Fiume, Mr. Ernest Papich, of New York City.
STATEMENT OF MR. ERNEST PAPICH.
Mr. Papich. Mr. Chairman and honorable Senators, I am an American citizen. I was born at Fiume. My family has belonged for generations to the city of Fiume. I left Fiume, as many others did, refusing to be under Austrian military rule, and came to this country to become a good and faithful citizen.
I asked to come before this committee to assert and to describe the spirit of my native city.
My first words'were in the Italian language, and through my childhood I did not hear any other language but Italian, which is not only spoken by the great majority of our population but venerated with pride as our most sacred link with our motherland, Italy.
I will tell you also that my fellow citizens never thought of any other country but Italy, and that the small minority of Slavs at Fiume were never seriously spoken of and never were represented in any municipal activity.
My fellow citizens are ready to die and to defend their world-wide, well-known Italian sentiment. At Fiume not only the hearts of the population but even the stones are Italian.
Buildings, churches, and monuments were built by Italians thousands of years ago. Hard as these stones is the will of Fiume to defend and preserve the Italianity of their city.
My fellow countrymen fought for this sentiment hundreds of battles, and they hope now that this one will be their last struggle.
Fiume, according to history having always been an independent and free city, is entitled as any other free people to recognition and respect. It is simply repugnant to me to think that anybody else shall contest Fiume's own wishes after so much suffering and the many sacrifices of its people.
I was recently informed by a friend of mine, who is a member of the National Council of Fiume, that there is only one watchword: "Italy or death!"
Honorable Senators, since Fiume asked, from the very beginning, for the protection of the American democracy, I myself, being proud of my American citizenship, I dare to affirm that we can not fail it in its confidence and expectation that we must uphold Fiume's intangible right to self-determination against everything and everybody.
Th? Chairman. Is there anyone else who wishes to be heard?
Mr. Cotillo. Yes; Mrs. Curry.
Senator Moses. Senator Cotillo, before going on with another witness, ma}- I ask you one question?
Mr. Cotillo. Yes, sir.
Senator Moses. Do the Fiumeans regard the League of Nations as a suitable instrumentality through which to attain their aspirations?
Mr. Cotillo. No, sir. The answer to that is that after they were heard at the conference between their representative, Premier Orlando and President Wilson, they came back with a strong resolution stating that they simply rebelled against it, and that they would go to the American shores for assistance.
Senator Moses. Then they would not think of turning to the League of Nations?
Mr. Cotillo. Evidently not, from their resolution.
The Chairman. They are the same people who are making the appeals.
Mr. Cotillo. Mr. Chairman, if there is any question that the Senators would like to ask to relieve their minds, I believe there are men here who are competent, far more than myself, to answer questions, and if there are any other questions desired to be asked, I would like to have them stated now, so that if I can not answer them I can obtain the information.
The Chairman. Very well.
Mr. Cotillo. I understand that Mrs. Curry is very much interested in this matter and has requested an opportunity of appearing before the committee.
STATEMENT OF MBS. MARIAN CURRY.
Mrs. Curhy. There is very little that I want to say. I simply want to say that we have been so universally accused of not attending to our own affairs, but, on the contrary, I think it is our affair that the people be safe and contented, and that the Fiume question is the most vital part of it at this time, and I want, as an American citizen, and in the name of the many American citizens who have not been befogged by the Jugo-Slav propaganda, to lodge a most violent protest against Fiume passing into the hands of a group of people who, for the time being, are so irreconcilable as the Jugo-Slavs have been up to the present time.
The Chairman. Have you lived in Fiume, Mrs. Curry?
Mrs. Curry. No; I have never lived in Fiume.
The Chairman. Have you been abroad recently?
Mrs. Curry. Yes, I have, and I was in Paris during Holy Week, during the week before Easter, when the Fiume matter came up.
The Chairman. Were you connected with the work of the peace conference?
Mrs. Curry. I was not officially; but I was acting as unofficial secretary to some one who was connected with it at the time.
Senator Moses. Were you familiar with the discussions that went on at Paris with regard to the disposition of Fiume?
Mrs. Curry. It was a matter of such common talk that I think almost everybody was in one way or another.
I think it is not so much the Italians having called attention to the fact of Fiume passing into the hands of the Jugo-Slavs, but that came from the English side. But they themselves did call attention to the fact that they must supply the northern countries with a port, and from the unstable condition that they were in that they would fall a prey perhaps easily to German influence.
Senator Moses. Did you ever hear of any financial question respecting the railroads of the Dalmatian coast as being considered in the Fiume question?
Mrs. Curry. You mean—that one is, I believe, that the bonds of one are largely in German hands, is it not?
Senator Moses. I am trying to verify the information, whether it is true that there were two groups of bondholders there.
Mrs. Curry. I suppose the others are supposed to be in the hands of some French bankers.
Senator Moses. Do you know what banking house controls the German group?
Mrs. Curry. I do not know, but I think it is a matter largely published, I think it has been quite universally discussed, and I think that probably some of the records are in the archives of the committee at this time.
Senator Moses. No; we have not anything.
Mrs. Curry. I think anything of that nature would have to be— I am afraid I can not submit proofs of that.
Senator Moses. Do you have any direct information with reference to discussions of this subject which went on between the members of the peace commission?
Mrs. Curry. No; no official knowledge.