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flag of the commission and carrying passes from the German Ambassadors at the neutral capitals. The Captains of the commission's ships were pledged not to engage in belligerent practices, and the commission not to send anything but food and clothing for the Belgian population.
When Great Britain declared foodstuffs contraband, the commission's ships were exempted from the Order in Council. It was provided that they should be specially marked with the letters“ C. R. B.” At the beginning of the submarine warfare around the British Isles in February, 1915, the German Government agreed that the commission's steamers should go through the war zone immune from attack.
On President Wilson's announcement of the diplomatic break, the commission ordered all its ships in America, Argentina, India, and Europe to remain in port till further notice. But fifteen ships were either in or approaching the war zone, and could not be reached by wireless. Two of them were sunk. It was said that the German Government would no longer respect the commission's flag unless the ships took a course entirely to the north of the newly established war zone on their way to Holland. The German Government gave assurances that it had no intention of interfering with the work of feeding the civil populations of Belgium and Northern France.
Despite the diplomatic break, the commission decided at first not to withdraw its representatives from Belgium, but on Feb. 12, after a German order had been issued for all Americans to withdraw from the occupied territories, leaving in Brussels only a few of their representatives, headed by Brand Whitlock, the American Minister to Belgium, the commission notified the German authorities that the Americans would cease to participate in the relief work in Belgium and Northern France. However, after a conference on Feb. 15 between the German Civil Governor of Brussels, the American and Spanish Ministers, and representatives of the commission and the Belgian National Committee, permission was given by the German authori
ties for the commission to continue its work, and it was decided not to withdraw. The German action in ordering Americans to leave the occupied territories was so promptly reversed that the continuity of the work was not interrupted.
In regard to immunity from attack by submarines, it was announced on Feb. 24 that the sailing of the commission's ships had been resumed as the result of arrangements with the British and German Governments whereby a route between North American ports and Rotterdam had been agreed upon. Meanwhile, however, many of the commission's vessels had accumulated in British ports, and were held there. Concerning these Sir Maurice de Bunsen, British Under Secretary of Foreign Affairs, made the following statement on March 5:
In declaring the war zone, Germany ex . plicitly canceled all her safe conducts, giving only a few hours for the relief ships then in United Kingdom ports to clear for Rotterdam. It was impossible to get them away in time. It was also impossible to communicate with the ships on the high seas, as they were not provided with wireless.
Since then the Germans have alleged that they accorded to these and to other neutral ships a further period of grace. Nobody ever heard of this until the Germans announced that the period had expired. All that the commission or the world knew was that the Germans had opened their submarine campaign by sinking two Belgian relief ships.
There has thus been a steady accumulation of relief ships in the United Kingdom ports. Their cargoes have been deteriorating, valuable anchorages have been taken up, and the whole of this tonnage, which urgently is required to take additional relief cargoes from American ports, has been held in suspense for a month.
The commission immediately opened negotiations with the Germans through the Spanish, Dutch, and Swiss Governments, and the Entente Governments strongly supported their representations. The only reply which the Germans vouchsafed regarding the ships in the ports of the United Kingdom is that they will reserve any question as to the giving of guarantees for such ships until they have received a detailed list of their names and of the reports where they now are. This request was received virtually simultaneously with the sinking of Dutch liners in the English Channel.
His Majesty's Government have replied that, in view of that occurrence, to give any such information to the Germans before the latter have guaranteed absolute immunity to all these ships, would be to lay them open
to attack and invite treachery. In view of the evident intention of Germany to hold up this tonnage for the longest possible period, and in view of the urgent need of these ships to take further cargoes to the starving populations in Belgium and Northern France, his Majesty's Government have agreed with the commission to discharge these cargoes in the United Kingdom and provide storage for them until the Germans either have given the necessary guarantees to relief ships from the United Kingdom ports passing. Rotterdam or have shown even more clearly than at present that they do not intend to give such guarantees.
Meanwhile a regular supply of foodstuffs for Belgium and Northern France will go on in ships passing under German safe conducts from American ports to Rotterdam. The
position therefore is
follows: His Majesty's Government have respected and will respect property of the commission in these cargoes.
All that they have done is to provide storage room for foodstuffs which the Germans are apparently anxious to hinder reaching Belgium and Northern France.
On the other hand, the Germans already twice have broken their safe conducts and destroyed property of the commission. By this act of faithlessness they have struck one blow at the work of relief. They now invite his Majesty's Government to assist them in destroying more relief ships by informing them where the ships are and consequently how they can best be attacked when the ships set sail. To satisfy the German demands would be to become accomplices in their crimes.
Secret Journalism in Belgium
Story of La Libre Belgique
A LIBRE BELGIQUE, the secret this modern slavery in its most odious
newspaper whose tenacity of life light, concluding with these words:
exasperates the German authorities “ Belgians, do you desire that when in the occupied provinces of Belgium, re our brave soldiers return from the front cently celebrated the second anniversary they shall say to you, "You dug the of its birth. At the end of January, 1915, trenches which we had to fight for '? appeared the first number of this unique Take flight, or, if you cannot do that, organ, which describes itself as
regu resist; if necessary, even die, but die larly irregular," and which states under its title that its office is in an automo Baron von Bissing, the Governor Genbile cellar." Naturally, this indomitable eral, finds the little sheet in his mail organ of patriotic propaganda, which every week, and he will probably be the circulates mysteriously in every Belgian only person after the war, says a writer town under the German yoke, celebrated in the Paris Temps, “to possess a comthe anniversary by coming out yet again plete file of this publication, which mocks and evading the frantic efforts of Baron the German Emperor in the midst of von Bissing's police to suppress it.
Prussian terrorism, and which, in spite La Libre Belgique (Free Belgium) is of all the censors, calls a cat a cat, Bethirrepressible. The Germans have ar mann Hollweg a liar, and William II. a rested numerous persons suspected of
knave." being connected with it, but they have The only result obtained by the opnever succeeded in preventing or even pressor is an extraordinary development retarding its publication. Neither the of clandestine printing in the occupied promise of a large reward for any one districts. The success of La Libre Belwho will betray it, nor the threat of gique has caused other journals to spring heavier punishments, nor yet the implac up, edited by no one knows who, printed able attempt to hunt down all who carry no one knows where, circulated no one or read the paper-nothing has been able knows by what means. There exists in to ruin the audacious enterprise. In its downtrodden Belgium a Weekly Review first issue of last December, when the of the French Press which has passed its forced deportation of civilians was in sixtieth number and which reproduces full swing, La Libre Belgique published for Belgian readers the chief articles in on its front page an article depicting the Paris newspapers and magazines;
there is Le Motus, a satirical sheet, full that involve circumventing the police. of a biting, something cruel, irony; there No letter can enter Belgium or leave is Patrie! which competes with La Libre it without passing under the eyes of the Belgique--for there is competition even German censors, and yet at Brussels, at there and indulges in the perilous Antwerp, at Liége, the people know luxury of reproducing the most striking exactly what the Paris papers of four or cartoons of Louis Raemaekers, notably five days ago contained. La Libre the famous “ En Route to Calais," which Belgique in June, 1916, reproduced in shows the corpses of German soldiers extenso a speech by M. Briand that had floating in the flood of the inundated appeared in Le Temps on May 19. At region along the Yser.
no moment since the beginning of the How do these newspapers live? How German occupation have the leading can they get together their
French papers ceased to circulate in BelHow do they get their type set, or make gium. There is a well-known system the plates for their pictures, or procure which consists in obtaining for two or the necessary paper, or recruit their three francs the regular reading of this salesmen, or deliver the printed copies to or that journal for half an hour. Another their subscribers ? There is a series of form of “subscription" is more curious, complex problems, when one recalls that and more expensive: every day one rethe German authorities have thousands ceives two or three mimeographed sheets of spies at their command, that every summing up the news and reproducing house is watched, and that a man cannot the essential passages from the latest move from one town to another without Paris and London papers.
What sort special permit from the “kom of an organization handles this service ? mandatur.” And yet all this is accom Nobody knows; the Belgians themselves plished regularly; hundreds of patriotic do not know. They read and reread the persons risk prison and deportation every sheets, fixing the details in the memory, week to devote themselves to this task. then carefully burn them. When the It is their way of fighting the Germans Germans afterward wish to impose on on the ground where these pretend to them with a false version of events, they be absolute masters.
have the laugh on their oppressors, for Later, when everything can be told, even in the remotest and smallest towns the story of the adventures of clandestine the people know the truth. newspapers in the occupied regions will “ The rapidity with which the news constitute one of the most curious chap circulates in the invaded regions,” says ters in the history of the war. The Ger a French writer, “has been one of the mans will be astonished at the simplicity essential factors in maintaining the adof the means used to circumvent them. mirable morale of the Belgian people. The Belgian, a protester by nature, with The clandestine press, with its disconrare tenacity in anything he undertakes, certing phenomena, has kept the populaat once bold in conception and prudent tion in touch with the outer world and in execution, was admirably fitted for played an important rôle in the nation's a struggle of this sort. The writer above passive resistance to its oppressors. quoted remarks that the Germans under These little leaves, printed no matter stand nothing of the 'Belgian tempera how, in the chance of the hour, have ment, and do not even suspect the rival demonstrated the fallibility of Prussian ries and complicities which are always terrorism, for they sum up for a whole to be found alike in Flanders and in people its passion of patriotism and its Wallonia, for the most incredible tasks inflexible will not to die."
Serbia and the War's Beginning
By Woislav M. Petrovitch
Former attaché of the Royal Serbian Legation at the Court of St. James's; author of
“ Serbia : Her People, History, and Aspirations."
HE defeat of the Sultan's forces Such was the position when, on June
by the Balkan allies in 1912-13 28, 1914, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, had been a tremendous blow to heir to the Hapsburg throne, and his
Austria-Hungary and especially consort were murdered in the streets of to Germany, whose officers had reorgan Serajevo, the capital of Bosnia. “ There ized and trained the Ottoman Army, and are many mysterious features about that who, for the success of her schemes of tragedy. His death certainly did not expansion in Asia Minor and Mesopo serve any Southern Slav interests, for, tamia, depended on her ascendency in however great and dangerous his ambiConstantinople. The
tions, he is known to utter débâcle of Bul
have been quite out of garia, inflicted upon
Sy sympathy with the her by the Serbians in
short-sighted policy of the memorable battle
repression which had of the Bregalnitsa, in
hitherto found favor July of 1913, the Greek
in Vienna and in Pesth, occupation of Saloniki,
where, for various reaand the rise in power
sons, he had many eneand prestige of Ser
mies in extremely inbia, the friend of Rus
fluential quarters. The sia and the apostle of
absence of all the most the Jugoslav,or South
elementary precauern Slav, emancipa
tions for his safety tion, constituted for
during the visit to the powers north of
Serajevo, though, acthe Danube still
cording to the Ausgreater catastrophe.
trians themselves, the The high road to Sa
whole of Bosnia was loniki, by the valleys
honeycombed with seof the Serbian rivers, WOISLAV M. PETROVITCH
dition, is an awkward Morava and the Var
fact which has not dar, was definitely closed to Austria, hitherto been explained.” and Germany was cut off from Turkey, On the morrow of the crime the whose army was to act in conjunction Austro-Hungarian press started a violent with the Teutonic hosts in the event of a campaign against Serbia, openly putting European war.
upon the Serbian Government the reOnly prompt action could retrieve such sponsibility for the outrage. It availed a miscarrying of the Austro-German nothing to point out that a country still plans, and it is not surprising to hear
bleeding from the wounds of two desthat as early as the Summer of 1913 the perate wars, and whose most urgent Dual Monarchy was bent on declaring
need was a period of quiet and of inwar on Serbia, and endeavored to secure ternal consolidation, could not have the support of Italy. As this help was
chosen so unfavorable a moment to innot forthcoming, action was deferred for
volve itself in new difficulties with a the moment, and a huge army bill was
powerful neighbor; still less was considpromulgated in Germany to redress the
ered the fact that the young miscreants balance of power and make ready for
*Sir Valentine Chirol, “ Serbia and the any eventuality.
Serbs,” Oxford, 1914.
date, late at night, the newspapers received the following request:
We beg the editor not to publish the report relating to the Serajevo outrage, which appeared in our evening's bulletin.
From this moment profound silence fell upon the inquiry at Serajevo and upon the proceedings at the Foreign Office. The attempt to trace the crime to any responsible quarters in Serbia was evidently beyond the power of even Count Forgach. Count Berchtold discontinued the usual weekly receptions at the Ballplatz; he refused to discuss the Serajevo outrage with the representatives of foreign countries, or, if discussion did arise, care was taken to dispel all apprehension and suspicion that Austria-Hungary was meditating any serious action against Serbia. Petrograd was assured that the step to be taken at Belgrade would be of a conciliatory character; the French Ambassador was told that only such demands would be put forward as Serbia would be able to accept without difficulty. campaign, nevertheless, continued unabated and took its tone from the utterance of the inspired Neue Freie Presse: “ We have to settle matters with Serbia by war
and if we must come to war later, then it is better to see the matter through now."
On July 20, 1914, Mr. Jovanovitch, then Serbian Minister in Vienna, ciphered to Mr. Pashitch, the Premier:
Ít is very difficult, almost impossible, to discover here anything positive as to the real intentions of Austro-Hungary. The mot d'ordre is to maintain absolute secrecy about everything that is being done. Judging by the articles in our newspapers, Belgrade is taking an optimistic view of the question pending with Austria-Hungary. There is, however, no place for optimism. That which is chiefly to be feared and is highly probable is that Austria is preparing for war against Serbia, The general conviction that prevails here is that it would be nothing less than suicide if Austria-Hungary once more failed to take advantage of the opportunity to act against Serbia. It is believed that the two opportunities previously missed-annexation of Bosnia and the Balkan war-have been extremely harmful to Austria-Hungary. In addition to this, there is the still more deeply rooted opinion that Serbia, after her two wars, is completely exhausted, and that a war against Serbia would in fact merely
Austrian subjects, and that “ Bosnia, Dalmatia, and Croatia are a seething pot which needs no stirring from the outside;* the Viennese press set itself deliberately to spread the idea that the misdeed had been organized in and by official Serbia. Although the Bosnian Serbs, who constitute the bulk of the population of that province, are always referred to in Austria by such
“ die Bosniaken or “ die Orthodoxen aus Bosnian," the assassins were referred to invariably as Serben," and in such a manner as to create the impression that they were Serbs from the Kingdom of Serbia.
On July 3, when the remains of the Archduke and his consort were brought from Serajevo to Vienna, the Serbian flag was very properly half-masted at the Serbian Legation in Vienna; noisy demonstrations took place in front of the legation, and the incident was referred to the next day under the heading: “ Provocation by the Serbian Minister."
The “Case" Against Serbia In the meantime a case against Serbia, resting upon a secret investigation in the prison of Serajevo, was in course of preparation; it had been intrusted to Austria's professional forger, Count Forgach, notorious especially by the Friedjung trial, who now fittingly occupie the post of permanent Under Secretary at the Foreign Office, and who, in the early days of July, provided the Hungarian correspondence bureau with a plentiful supply of falsehoods. On July 3 the following communication was issued to the press:
The inquiries made up to the present prove conclusively that the outrage is the work of a conspiracy. Besides the two perpetrators, a considerable number of persons have been arrested, mostly young men, who are also, like the perpetrators, proved to have been employed by the Belgrade Narodna Odbrana (National Defense) in order to commit the outrage, and who were supplied in Belgrade with bombs and revolvers.
The Foreign Office in Vienna, however, probably realized that zeal was outrunning discretion, for on the same
*R. W. Seaton-Watson, Democracy,” London, 1915.
“ The War and