« ПретходнаНастави »
the union of Ukraine with Russia more nominal than actual. When Bolshevist communists came into power in Moscow, Ukraine broke off all political connection with the central government of Russia and proclaimed herself a free, independent, and sovereign nation. The young nation immediately found herself in a critical condition, as she was threatened by the forces of anarchy in the east and the Teutonic militarists in the west. Similar to Roumania, the Ukrainian Government, the Ukrainian Central Rada, tried to emerge from this dilemma by making peace with Germany and Austria. The people of Ukraine never accepted this farce of a treaty and rose in one rebellion when the Germans began to requisition food and cattle. When the Germans realized that they could not make of the Central Rada an obedient tool, they overthrew this government and set up a new government headed by Gen. Skoropadsky, a Ukrainian by birth, but thoroughly Russified. This coup d'etat still more embittered the Ukrainian people against the Germans. The Ukrainian peasantry rose en masse. There were peasant armies numbering hundreds of thousands, and as a result of these uprisings 60,000 Germans were killed in Ukraine. More than 1,000,000 German soldiers had to stay in Ukraine at the time when Germany needed them most in the west.
All Ukrainian parties combined to struggle against the Germans with every means at their disposal. This revolutionary body, composed of representatives of all these parties, as well as delegates of the Ukrainian cooperative associations, was called the Ukrainian National Union. The guerrilla conducted by it went on until Gen. Skoropadsky and the Germans were driven from Ukraine.
In November, 1918, the Ukrainian National Union set up a new government, the so-called "Directorate," headed by the leader of the peasant armies, Gen. Petlurt, and composed of representatives from all Ukrainian parties. The new governmena which has undergone hardly any change in its personnel since that time, has for its main object the preservation of the union of all Ukrainian territory and the safeguarding of Ukrainian independence. In January, 1919, the General Ukrainian Convention was held at Kiev and approved the policies of the Directorate.
The government had to stand the most trying circumstances, fighting on all sides. The hardest struggle of all was that against the Russian Bolshevists. In the opinion of the Bolshevik government, the organization of the Ukrainian Directorate as the supreme executive of the Ukrainian Republic was a classical manifestation of the national spirit as opposed to the principle of international class struggle. Although the Russian Bolshevist government proclaimed the principle of self-determination of nationalities, it allowed this self-determination only so far as it proceeded along the lines of Bolshevist experiments. The Bolshevist government of Russia, in spite of its international phraseology, was totally Great Russian in the meaning that nationalities composing Russia should be ruled by the Great Russian element. As such it appealed to Russian chauvinistic elements scattered in Ukraine, who never failed to manifest their preference of Russian Bolshevist rule to demorcatic Ukrainian government. The Ukrainians in organizing their government have rejected the Soviet formula and retained the democratic basis of the representative government, and this was another reason why the Bolshevist government of Russia considered them enemies. At the bottom of war between Great Russia and Ukraine, however, was the misery of the Russian masses due to Bolshevist experiments, resulting in disorganization of public life and disintegration of industries.
In Ukraine's struggle for her independence carried against the Bolshevists the Ukrainian Government was hampered by the lack of war materials, due to the refusal of the allied powers to give Ukraine any kind of recognition. This was the cause of the reverses suffered by the Ukrainian armies during the first half of the year 1918.
Another cause was that the Ukrainians had to fight at the same time on two more fronts—against the Roumanians in the southwest and the Poles in the west. The Roumanians occupied the northwestern part of Bukovina, populated by a compact mass of Ukrainians. In like manner the Poles, against the will of the population, occupied Eastern Galicia. This was done with the full sanction of the peace conference at Paris, which authorized the Poles to occupy the predominatingly Ukrainian country east of the River San for the alleged purpose of fighting Bolshevist bands. As a matter of fact, however, the Ukrainian part of Galicia was perhaps the only country in Europe which possessed no Bolshevist movement to speak of, and Eastern Galicia has rendered a service for democracy and civilization in preventing the union of Russian and Hungarian Bolshevist forces. The occupation of eastern Galicia by the Poles was in the interest of a disappearingly small Polish minority, some 11 per cent in all, composed of landlords and officials of the former Austrian monarchy, who were anxious to continue their political ascendancy over 75 per cent of Ukranians and 12 per cent of Jews. The Ukrainians of Austria organized during the Austrian collapse a separate government of their own and decided to unite with the remainder of Ukraine. The Polish occupation, carried on with most outrageous practices, still more antagonized the two races and made a thorough separation of Ukrainian and Polish territories a necessary prerequisite of lasting peace in this part of Europe.
Though unassisted in any way by the foreign powers and fighting on so many fronts against the enemies of Ukraine self-determination, the Directorate stood the test of stability. The government not only rejected the peace advances of the Bolshevist government of Russia, but struggled successfully against them and forced them to evacuate the whole territory west of the Dnieper River.
Kolchak's government has never enjoyed great popularity in Ukraine. Neither the admiral standing at the head of this government nor his nearest advisers and ministers have ever been known to take part in the emancipatory movements of the Russian people. Rome of them are known as reactionaries. The suspicion was only strengthened by the manner in which this government came to power. Whatever social and political reforms might have been promised by the representatives of this government, the oppressed nationalities of Russia failed to find there any promise of their free and unhampered development. If self-determination of the nationalities of the former Russian Empire were in the program of Kolchak's government, he would have undoubtedly declared so in unmistakable terms—so the nationalities reason. His failure to do so has produced among the Ukrainians as well as among the Lithuanians, Latvonians, and other nationalities of former Russia, an impression that the policies of Kolchak's government, at least in reference to these nationalities, are the same as those of the former Tsar government; namely, the policy of racial ascendancy of the Great Russian element toward all non-Russian people of the vast empire. Such policy, they understand, could not be carried out without a strong centralized government which would sacrifice the free development of non-Russians to the interest of the ruling nationality. Such conditions would, out of necessity, produce strong irredentist movements along the frontiers of the nation and would necessitate the maintenance of a large army to keep the non-Russian nationalities in check. This would subordinate even the interests of Great Russia herself to the interests of a small disciplined group with militaristic and monarchistic tendencies and might lead Russia into alliance with other nations ruled by similar tendencies. The whole zone along the border of the former Russian Empire would become one boiling pot of national unrest and turmoil. Russia would become new Balkans, differing from the latter only by its size. In the opinion of the nationalities of the former Russian Empire, the fate of these nationalities should be decided in accordance with the wish of the population. The struggle of the peoples of Ukraine, Finland, Esthonia, Lithuania, Latvonia, against Bolshevist efforts to decide the destinies of these nationalities without consulting them, shows clearly and unmistakably what other Russian groups have to expect if they follow Bolshevist examples. Any attempt to dispose of the fate of the nationalities of the former Russian Empire without opportunity having been given them to declare their free and unrestricted will shall meet with opposition from the vast masses of the population.
Should Eastern Europe enjoy permanent peace, should stable commercial relations be established with the industrially advanced countries of the world, the nationalities of the Russian Empire must be granted the right of self-determination and be allowed to organize their government according to the undistorted will of the masses.
The Russian Empire such as it existed under the Tsar's regime, Russia with oppression of the various nationalities composing the nation, is dead in the opinion of these nationalities firmly resolved that the old conditions should not be allowed to return. To reconstruct the old Russian Empire would be synonomous in the opinion of the nationalities with the reconstruction of the former Austrian-Hungarian monarchy or the late German Empire, which too were based upon the policy of racial ascendency of one nationality or one group of nationalities over the nationalities situated along the border. The nationalities of the former Russian Empire expect that no democratic country in the world will adopt such policy and still less do they expect such policy will be incorporated into the treaties made by the countries which wrote the principle of self-determination of nationalities in their program when they went into the war against Austria and Germany. They can not possibly expect that the allied and associated powers, having broken Austria, Hungary, and Germany, will reconstruct a new Austria or a new Germany in the east of Europe.
The people of Ukraine, from the River San in the west to the River Don in the east and from the River Pripet in the north to the Black Sea in the south, are resolved to become one and undivided, free, and sovereign nation. They have struggled for this ideal; they have sacrificed their lives for itj and they now appeal to the democratic powers of the world to give them recognition. They hope that this country will be the first to extend her hand and that the Senate of the United States will do all in its power to aid in securing the recognition of Ukraine.
STATEMENT OF ME. DUDLEY FIELD MALONE.
Mr. Malone. Senator Lodge and gentlemen of the committee, I am very grateful to you. I have an imperative court engagement on Tuesday and can not return.
I came here, sir, to-day not as counsel in any technical or legal sense to speak for the people of India. I come as an American citizen; I come, however, as their chosen representative, largely because it has been decreed, I understand, by this committee that only American citizens are to come here as representatives.
The Chairman. That is in conformity with the Senate rule.
Mr. Malone. Otherwise, I should ask you to hear the most distinguished citizen of India in this country, Mr. Raspat Rai, who is here to-day. So if my discussion of Indian affairs is inadequate, it is duo to the fact that I have only the casual understanding that an American citizen could have of affairs in India.
However, I speak today for a people who represent one-fifth of the population of the world, who are 350,000,000 in population, and who have a territory about two-thirds the size of the United States. And there is no question of political expediency, of advantage to America, and at the present time surely no question of commercial advantage to America. So that the plea that I make is based upon the humanitarian purpose for which we are supposed to have gone into the war, and the humanitarian purpose which is alleged to be the purpose of the covenant of the league of nations, and I do respectfully submit that if the coAenant in its present form is passed it may break the hearts of the world. The hearts of 350,000,000 people in India and millions in Ire'and and millions in Egypt will be broken if it is passed in its present form, and we come here with a specific request and that specific request is this, that this distinguished committee so amend the league of nations as to make it obligatory on every signatory to the covenant and to that treaty to provide democratic institutions for the people who live under the government of any signatory. Ireland, Egypt and India are very much in the same position with relation to Great Britain in these circumstances, and yet, though as a man of Irish origin I regret to say it, India has a strategic position superior to that of Ireland in this respect, that England asked—and the request was granted—that India should be permitted to sign the treaty; and England designated Mr. Montagu and an Indian citizen to act as signatories for India. Therefore, India is one of the nations whose signature is on the treaty. Therefore, India is in a better position, strategically, than Ireland or Egypt, who do not appear on the treaty.
Now I have no illusion about England wishing to grant any democratic advantage to India in giving her this distinction. I am persuaded that England merely wanted to get one of her six votes down on a document, and India provided one of the six. I can not speak for England for many reasons, but I believe that she wished to get the vote and she did not ask India to choose the representatives to sign the document. The Government of India is only the agent of the Government of England. In the Montagu-Chelmsford report, issued by the authority of the British Parliment in 1918, it is specifically admitted that the Government of India by England is an absolute despotism. The chief body which actually represents the people of India is the Indian National Congress, which of course under the circumstances is unofficial. It met, however, very completely and very fully but unofficially last December after England had appointed two representatives, and passed the following resolution [reading]:
That this congress urges that in justice to India it should be represented by an elected representative or representatives, to the same extent as the self-governing dominions, at any conferences that may be held to deliberate or settle the terms of peace or reconstruction.
Pursuant to that resolution, the congress appointed three men to represent the people of India at the peace conference. One of them applied for passports, and England refused the passports. Then this representative of the three delegates, appointed by the national congress for India and the Indian people, wrote to the president of the peace conference, Mr. Clemeneeau, which letter, it may be said in passing, received no reply. In that letter he had a paragraph that I think is cryptically significant of the whole situation. He says:
It is unnecessary for me to dwell upon the imperative importance of solving the Indian question for the purpose of insuring the future peace of the world and the progress of the people of India. India is self-contained, narbors no design upon the integrity of other States, and has no ambition outside India. With her vast area, enormous resources, and prodigious population, she may well aspire to be. a leading power in Asia, if not in the world. She could therefore easily be a powerful steward of the league of nations in the east for maintaining the peace of the world and the stability of the British Empire against all aggressors and disturbers of the peace whether in Asia or elsewhere.
And if there be anything to the suggestion of a "yellow peril" at any time, a happy, contented, self-governed India, an India that has proved her worth to civilization in the present war, would have a stabilizing influence if she had her institutions self-chosen. [Reading:]
But with India politically enchained, it is impossible for her to occupy her proper place among the nations of the world or to develop and realize her potentialities, so as to be able to render decisive assistance to the league of nations in enforcing the supreme object of its creation, viz, the peace of the world.
Gentlemen, India will be either stable, contented, and happy and a bulwark against any possible yellow peril—if there be such a thing, which I doubt very gravely—she will cither be that or else continue discontented, with growing poverty, with growing suffering. Six million Indians died in the last three months of 1918 from devitalization and from influenza because of the exploitation of India by England, not for India but for England, the drawing of resources out of India making it impossible for her to maintain an adequate food supply.
VVe face the world to-day with two alternatives, either a stable, happy nation, a bulwark against any menace, or a discontented India, the basis of future exploitation. And then there will be turned upon a region about India God knows how many wars that she may have, because I remember in one of the liturgical hymns there is a description of war, which, when translated literally, means a desire for cattle. The coinage of India at that time was cattle, and the native population very literally in describing war gave the definition of war as a desire for cattle.
Now if there should be a desire in the minds of the growing nations of the world to use India as a ground of exploitation, India, discontented, unstable, unhappy, and unfree, will provide a fine field for future trouble.
Now, gentlemen, it has been said publicly and privately that the question of India is a domestic question for England to decide. No question, gentlemen, to my mind, of any nationality, of any people, whether they be 1,000,000 or 350,000,000, can be a domestic question, if the whole world is called upon in more or less common council to decide upon it, and it has the machinery which will make the liberty of mankind not a domestic but an international question.
But in the second case, specifically the case of India can not be a domestic question since England has made India a signatory to the treaty. Therefore the Government must consider their situation. Now either she is to be an honest-to-God signatory to the treaty or she is not. If she is, what is her position? Whv, gentlemen, her position is as good as any country under a mandatory. I do not know just exactly what a mandatory is, I have not been able to find out, but it is supposed to be some kind of a trusteeship, a guardianship, for other people until they are able to stand on their own feet and govern themselves. But if India is a territory—is to be looked upon as a territory, not a mandatory—she is a territory and not a mandatory because she can never speak under present conditions except through England. If she had a dispute with Canada she could not appear and appeal to the machinery of the league in its present form, because she could speak only through England. She is merged in England. She could not speak except through England. So if she had a dispute with Canada, England could, if she wished, have her appeal before the council under the present machinery, but India herself could not do it. So she is neither fish nor fowl, in the present circumstances. She was signed to that treaty for English, not for Indian, purposes.
But we wish to take advantage of the strategic position which England has given her to claim the rights of an honest-to-God nation that has signed the treaty, and it does seem no extraordinary thing in America after the war that we should ask that every nation signed to the treaty with the altruistic purposes which those nations claimed to have, should free every people serving, living, and trying to live under their government.
I am not nere in any anti-British spirit. I surely am not. Mr. Chairman, I am not here making any argument against the English people. I am making arguments against the present government of England over 350,000,000 people.
I should like to point out in conclusion what India did during the war. India gave 1,475,000 men to the war. She contributed $1,000,000,000 in money, more than any other dominion of England. Besides untold quantities of stores and provisions, she suffered war losses of 100,000 men. The vitality of the people was so low, as I said, that during the last three months of 1918 she lost 6,000,000 people.
The average income of an Indian citizen is $10, and his taxes are $1.60. There is not much opportunity for accumulating wealth in India, under these conditions, with an income of $10 and taxes of $1.60, virtually 20 per cent.
That the British Government is not prepared to apply the principle of self-determination to India is proved by recent events. The