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man, will show you at a glance what the four nations are who appear before you this morning. The Esthonians inhabit the territory marked in green on the map, just south of the Gulf of Finland, between the Gulf of Finland and the Gulf of Riga, and this lake ou the east. The green area on the map represents the Esthonians.
The Esthonians are a different people racially from the other three nations which are before you this morning. The other three nations are S'avic.
The Chairman. The Lithuanians are Aryans 1
Mr. Battle. The Esthonians are closely akin to the Finns.
Below Esthonia is the country inhabited by the Letts, which is. roughly speaking, bounded by that blue line. Then, south of the Letts, is the State of Lithuania, which is, roughly speaking, bounded by that blue line and having its outlet on the Baltic Sea. Below that is Ukrainia. Of course, these boundaries are indefinite. They have not been definitely delimited yet, but they are fairly certain, and the Ukrainian boundary is the blue line running along here in the southern and central part of Russia.
These are the four nations appearing before you this morning and asking for recognition. Each of these nations in August. 1914. at the beginning of the European war, farmed a part of the Russian Empire. They had all been unwilling subjects of the Russian Empire. They had always had national aspirations. Each of them formed a separate national stock, with roots reaching back into antiquity, with a romantic national history and national traditions, with national literatures, with national artistic aspirations, strongly national in their feeling. Each of these four nations has set up and established a substantial provisional Government. This Government in each case is republican in its character, based and formed along the lines of the French Republic, with a president and a premier, a Government strictly republican in its character. The Governments are not provisional in the sense that there is anything uncertain about them. They are established and certain, they havr armies in the field. They are now fighting the forces of Bolshevism in Russia. During the war these four nations fought bravelv and with the greatest devotion for the cause of the Allies. After the collapse of Russia and after the coming on of the Bolshevik r6gime in Russia these nations were opposed to Bolshevism and their armies in the field are fighting against Bolshevism. One of the principal reasons why it is to the interest of this country, we respectfully submit, that these nations be recognized, is that they complete the chain of buffer nations running through central Europe and forming a barner against the aggressions of Germany from the west and the attack? of Bolshevism on the east. By a glance at the map you will seo how it is necessary to have this full chain of nationally independent States if it is intended to separate Germany from Russia. The Statr of Lithuania for instance, if it is recognized and established, bars the advance of Germany into Russia, bars the penetration of Germany into Russia along the northern boundaries of Germany, just as Poland bars it along the southern boundaries of Germany.
Now, what we ask of your committee, Mr. Chairman, is that you take such action as in your judgment will be appropriate and propyr to secure for these countries and for their governments the recogni* tion to wliich we claim they are entitled. As we say, the Government in each case, while it is provisional, is stable and certain. These nations have already been recognized by many of the great nations. Esthonia, I think, has been recognized by some fifteen of the greater nations. The representative of Esthonia will tell you who they are, and the other Governments have been recognized by other nations. If these nations can be recognized by the United States, not only will it be of the greatest aid and assistance to them in their struggle for civilization, in their struggle for their national liberty and in their struggles against Bolshevism, but it will at once enable them to open up trade relations with this country. It will at once enable them to srain a very valuable and extensive commerce with this country. They need most desperately supplies from us. They have the means to buy the supplies, and there are the facilities on both sides to open, up at onc« a profitable commerce between this country and these nations so soon as they can be recognized and put on a stable and permanent basis.
Senator Johnson of California, ('an you tell us what nations have recognized these four?
Mr. Battle. Their representatives who are here can tell you definitely. In a general way, I can say that Esthonia has been recognized by a very large number of the nations.
Senator Johnson of California. But not by us?
Mr. Battle. No; none of them have been recognized by us.
Senator Johnson of California. The failure to recognize them precludes the possibility of the commercial intimacy which you speak of, does it?
Mr. Battle. Yes; practically. We can not have diplomatic representatives there.
Senator Johnson of California. And there could be profitable trade and exports from this country if they were recognized by this Government 't
Mr. Battle. Undoubtedly.
Senator Johnson of California. And its consequent effect, I presume, upon the high cost of living?
Mr. Battle, les; undoubtedly, just as every advancement of commerce will have that effect.
The Chairman. Of course you know, Mr. Battle, that the recognition of a nation is an executive function.
Mr. Battle. I quite understand that. It is entirely an executive function, and the suggestion that I would respectfully make to the committee would be under article 116 of the treaty, which provides [reading]:
Germany acknowledges and agrees to respect as permanent and inalienable the independence oi all the territories which were part 01 the former Russian Empire on August 1, 1314.
These four nations were a part of the territories of the former Russian Empire on August 1, 1914, and it occurred to me that in the report which will accompany the action, I presume, of this committee on the treaty, if reference could be made to this section, and the opinion of the committee could be expressed, if it held that opinion, that these territories should be deemed to include these four nations, the independence of these four nations could well be recognized by this Government. In that way it seems to me germane to the treaty.
Now, these nations not only deserve well of the world for the part they took in the Great War and for the part which thevare taking now in the struggle of civilization against Bolshevism; thev also have a peculiar claim on this country, not only hecause of the traditional attitude of this country as an asylum and an aid for all oppressed nationalities, hut because we have here within our borders groat numbers of the nationals from these four countries. We have about 3,000,000 or more of nationals from these four countries who are now resident in our borders. They are among our most industrious and valuable citizens. They aid us in the development of our mines. Many of them are farmers, many of them are artisans—skilled workmen. From every branch of life you will find representatives of these four nations contributing very largely to our American Army. •and I am informed that from the city of Chicago alone there were 3,000 Lithuanians in the American Army during the late war. They have bought more than $70,000,000 of the Victory and Liberty bonds. They aided in all the war works of this country. They have been in every respect patriotic, devoted, and useful citizens, and for that reason they have a claim to ask the Government of this country to recognize the country of their nativity and to give it aid now in its hour of need.
We ask this in the cause of justice and in the cause of expediency. To my mind it is one of the most important issues that now confronts the world, because, unless these nations are given their independence, there are going to be sown the seeds of future discontent, the seeds <>f racial unrest, which will make another Balkan question along the shores of the Baltic Sea, and now is the time to settle this question and settle it right, and if these nations are given their independence, if their national aspirations are recognized, if the principle of selfdetermination about which we have heard so much is applied, then their future will be peaceful, their future will be content, it will be restful. If not, they will be a festering sore on the map of the world. There will be trouble and discontent there, and for the sake of the peace of the world and the prosperity of this country as well as for the principles of justice and of right, we ask that this committee give consideration to the request that we respectfully submit to you.
Now, in accordance witli my conversation with the chairman. I wish, in view of the short time that we have to submit our case, to call upon four spokesmen first, one for each nation, and then we have a number of witnesses who can answer specific questions along any specific line. I will ask first to introduce to the committee the four spokesmen representing each his nation, and taking up first Esthonia, oil which I have spoken, I wish to introduce to the Committee Lieut. Commander Beall. He is an American citizen. He is the only one of these spokesmen who is not a native of the country he represents. Commander Beall has been in Paris in connection with the work of the peace conference, and he has become peculiarly interested in Esthonia. He knows them all, knows their problems at first hand. and I think he can present their claims to the committee with better force, perhaps, than a native of that nation. So I beg to present Commander Beall as the spokesman of Esthonia.
STATEMENT OF LIEUT. COMMANDER G. A. BEALL, UNITED
Commander Beall. The recognition of independence may be an executive function, as the chairman of the committee has pointed out. Still we feel that the hope of the world lies in this committee. That something unselfish and something free from hypocrisy may be gotten out of this war lies in America, and, lying in America, must express itself through this committee.
Esthonia is a Republic. There has been an independent government since the first day of the Russian revolution. Kerensky made her an autonomous part of Russia. She had had her own diet and her assembly. When the Bolsheviki came in the soldiers and sailors' I'ommittee dissolved this assembly officially, though they did not dissolve, but remained in correspondence and in touch with each other and kept their assembly intact. When the Germans came in, by virtue of having been sold out by the Bolsheviki, they fought- the tiermans all the way through, even going so far as to make it a traitormis act to sell land to any foreigner, Germany's scheme being to buy up all the land. This country passed the act making it a traitorous act to sell any Esthonian land to any foreigner, and passed that act and published it in the face of the German occupation. They promised those who did this act that they would punish them as soon as they could get hold of them. They fought the Germans all the way through. a
When the Germans left, an unquestionable pact existed so that the Bolsheviki could follow in on their heels and seize the country, hut Esthonians, left without arms and munitions, raised an army and drove the Bolsheviki out after bloody battles.
England saw fit to go into Esthonia with troops and into the Gulf of Finland, and to have a naval engagement with the Bolshevik vessels. She gave Esthonia every assistance possible, and gave her nominal recognition, saying that she could go no further until after the action of the peace conference. That same provisional recognition has been extended by a great many countries to Esthonia.
Let me impress upon you that Esthonia is a separate nation, absolutely separate from any of her neighbors, more closely allied to the Finns than to any others. Until the thirteenth century she was free. She then came under the domination of the Germans. Peter the Great eventually took Esthonia from the Swedes and Germans in 1510, and then Esthonia acquired two masters, the Russians forking through the existing German barons and German domination, and that is the condition under which Esthonia has labored ever since. She has had two masters, not one.
Esthonia is racially different from the Letts and from any of her neighbors except the Finns.
Esthonia has no religious problems. She has no Jews within her borders. Her church is free. Most of the people are Lutherans. She has no border problems. Her borders are well defined. Her people are agricultural, 79 per cent rural population. The population is something under 2,000,000—between a million and a hali and two million. It can be considered as 2,000,000 if the rural population which has gone into the adjoining territory is considered as Esthonian, and being the majority of the population there they can be considered as part of Esthonia. It then runs up somewhert around 2,000,000. But within her well-defined borders they claim a population of 1,500,000, of which 06 per cent are Esthonians.
Senator New. What is its area?
Commander Beall. Forty-seven thousand five hundred kilometers is its area. It is not a very great State, but you can see by looking at the map that it occupies the most important position of western Russia. It is the gateway of Russia, particularly to Petrograd. The port of Reval and the Baltic ports are very great ports. The government of Esthonia has taken in 600,000.000 marks in revenue in the last half year.
I want to read to you a memorandum in regard to Britain's interest in Esthonia by Sir Park Goff, M. P. I will read only excerpts [reading]:
In sending a mission to Esthonia and ships to defend her coasts Britain has shown strategic foresight. It is as essential to us as to the Esthonians that Reval. the chid port of Esthonia. should he in the hands of the Esthonians and ourselves, as it is the door to Baltic trade.
It goes on to say [reading!:
If Reval falls into German hands or into the grip of the Bolsheviki, Baltic trade will be closed to Britain.
Esthonia desires Reval to be a free port. She does not desire to throttle back Russia. From the very first her proposition has l>ccn to make free all her ports. What they want is their own persoruti independence, not with the idea of throttling back Russia and fattening upon her.
Mr. Goff says further [reading]:
Esthonia desires Reval to be a free port, and with the port of Helsingfors, the capital of Finland in the north, and port of Reval, the capital of Esthonia in the south. th»-> together can command the entrance to the Baltic and the Gulf of Finland.
A second mission under Col. Talents has been sent to Esthonia by the British <r\ernment, snd Col. Percy Gordon is soon leaving with a diplomatic mission to R*\»l. This friendship between the two countries will have a lasting effect on the development of commerce, on which in these days of reconstruction depends the greatnw both of Britain and of Esthonia.
To those whose bump of locality is not abnormally developed a glance at the mi: will at once prove the enormous importance and strategic geopraphical poritinn c: Esthonia to-day. which may have a most important and far-reaching effect on ih* problems of the future.
Now the Finns and the Esthonians are very well shown here in the same color. They have the same national anthem. That show* how closely allied thev are. Their language is practically the same. They constitute a real wall that is already built, and it is to incline your minds and hearts to something of the attitude of interest and of friendship toward these Esthonians that 1 am speaking to you to-day.
It is of the greatest importance commercially to the United States to establish some connection with Esthonia. England has seen tit to make her biggest effort in Russia in Esthonia. That surely t» rather a good guide to any one venturing on the
Senator Johnson of California. Commercial sea.
Commander Beali,. Unknown sea of foreign commerce. Mr. Goff speaks as follows of the Esthonian race [reading]:
The Esthonian race is as stanch as it is slow. Once a friend is made, Esthonia will aen-c him faithfully and devotedly through all time. Her friendship with Britain