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By Joseph Reinach

French Historian and Publicist

Shortly after President Wilson sent his peace note of Dec. 20, 1916, to the belligerent powers, Joseph Reinach wrote for the Paris Figaro the reply here translated for CURRENT HISTORY MAGAZINE,

C

an

of war;

POINTS OF FACT

That on the same day, without paying I. PREMEDITATION OF THE WAR any attention to this reply, which had ONSIDERING that on April 13,

been made at the request of Russia and 1905, the Reichstag passed a new

France, the Austro-Hungarian Minister

broke off relations with Serbia and left military law extending over six

Belgrade; years, and providing for initial, non-renewable credit of 87,000,000

That on July 27, 1914, the British Govfrancs and a supplementary credit of

ernment, in concert with France and 39,000,000 annually for expenses in case

Russia and with the support of Italy,

proposed to Germany a conference in That on March 7, 1911, the Reichstag

London with a view to preserving the voted a five-year non-renewable expendi- peace of Europe; ture for military purposes of 103,000,

That the German Government refused 000, with a supplementary annual ex

to consider this suggestion; penditure of 55,000,000;

That on July 29, 1914, relying upon That on June 14, 1912, the Reichstag the declaration of Herr von Jagow, the voted another non-renewable credit of German Minister of Foreign Affairs, 180,000,000 and a new annual supple

“ that Austria must have special guarmentary credit of 55,000,000;

antees before Serbia's reply could offer That on July 3, 1913, the Reichstag a basis for negotiations,” the French voted a non-renewable credit of 1,105, Government immediately suggested that 000,000 francs, with a new annual sup an international commission should take plementary credit of 228,000,000;

charge of the execution of Serbia's promCONSIDERING that during the same ises: period the French Chamber voted: On That no response was made to that March 21, 1905, a supplementary annual suggestion; credit of 21,000,000, and, on March 26,

That on the same day a personal tele1914, through the necessity of parrying

gram from the Czar of Russia to the in part the menace of the enormous sums German Emperor offered to submit the appropriated by the Reichstag since 1905,

Austro-Serbian difference to The Hague and especially in 1913, a permanent sup tribunal; plement of 257,000,000 francs for the war

That again there was no reply to this budget, and a non-renewable credit of

telegram; and that, furthermore, this 720,000,000;

important matter of record was omitted That these facts and dates establish

intentionally from the German White the respective tendencies of the two coun

Book of August, 1914; tries at the beginning of 1914;

That on July 31 the British G ernII. RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE WAR ment asked France and Germany CONSIDERING that on July 25, 1914, whether in

could not be in response to the Austro-Hungarian averted, they would respect the neutralultimatum of the 23d, the Serbian Gov ity of Belgium; ernment accepted in practical totality the That France, one of the parties to the conditions imposed by the Government at Treaty of 1839, at once replied that the Vienna, and declared itself ready to sub treaty would be scrupulously respected; mit any points of difference either to The That Germany, also a party to that Hague or the great powers;

treaty, refused to give any guarantee,

case

war

and on Aug. 2, upon a pretext—since and for the death of several millions of proved absolutely false—that France was men; preparing to send troops through Belgium That the statesmen, educators, and along the Meuse, destroyed the treaty, military officials of Germany, in their qualifying it in the words of the German writings, teachings, and public addresses Chancellor as a "scrap of paper,” ad have long proclaimed the necessity of dressed an ultimatum to Belgium, in making right bow before might; vaded Luxemburg, whose neutrality she That whole German generations have had no less solemnly guaranteed, and been mentally formed upon a doctrine of crossed the Belgian frontier with her contempt for the plighted word and the armies;

triumph of brute force; That on July 31, 1914, Germany began That in connection with her increasing mobilization under the pretext that she and unjustified military preparations, was “ in danger of war";

Germany, through an unscrupulous and That on the next day France, while

immoral diplomacy, sought to impose finding herself compelled to take a simi

upon free nations a habit of humiliation

and fear; lar step, announced that in order to avoid any clash at the frontier she was with

That these nations, in the illusion of drawing her border troops ten kilome

an imprudent confidence, had come to

neglect-for the works of civilization and ters back of the line;

peace—the most legitimate precautions That on Aug. 2, early in the morning,

and preparations for self-defense; the first German patrols set foot on French soil, while it was only in the

That the men responsible for the disevening of the following day, Aug. 3,

regard of plighted honor and the brutal

aggression which the war has brought 1914, that the German Government sent

forth, could not, a few months before its declaration of war to the French

hostilities, longer keep their own evil Government;

counsel, as evidenced by the Emperor's That this declaration of war was ac conversation with the King of Belgium companied by a statement that Belgian

on Nov. 6, 1913, and the speech of the and German territory had been violated German Chancellor from the tribune of by French aviators, a statement since

the Reichstag on Aug. 4, 1914; recognized by the German Government

That the rulers of Germany, therefore, itself as without foundation of fact or by virtue of the very power they hold, truth;

have been the sole responsible and guilty POINTS OF RIGHT

parties, having for a long time previous III.-CONDUCT OF THE WAR

to hostilities premeditated and prepared CONSIDERING that the whole world

war, loosing it at the moment which they

judged favorable and giving it its charknows how the Central Powers and their allies have conducted the war, notably

acter of increasing ferocity, as mani

fested in the untold destruction of propin violating the articles of the Geneva Convention relating to the Red Cross,

erty and cruelty to humanity;

That in logical consequence these men, those of The Hague Conference on the

who have shown contempt for their sause of asphyxiating gas, the laws of

cred engagements, are disqualified to enmaritime warfare, and Article 22 of the Convention of Nov. 29, 1909, forbidding

gage in peace negotiations, which they

themselves, either through cynicism or a belligerent to force citizens of another

through lack of conscience, characterize belligerent to take part in war opera

offensive diplomacy"; tions against their own country;

That the Governments and peoples of IV.-THE LESSONS OF HISTORY

the Entente cannot consider the question CONSIDERING that the Imperial of peace as long as they have to treat German Government has sought in vain with men who can no longer be trusted; to throw upon the Entente the responsi CONSIDERING that no chance exists bility for a catastrophe without precedent for a just, honorable, and lasting peace,

66

as

a peace restoring the principles of right and honor, in the presence of men who have deliberately violated engagements and treaties signed by themselves;

CONSIDERING that these men thus remain the sole yet insurmountable obstacle to the re-establishment of that peace of which they pretend to be sincere champions, and which is longed for by their own people, who are suffering cruel deprivations, and even hunger;

CONSIDERING that if the German Nation has been deceived by official falsehood and systematically kept in ignorance of the true facts, the German rulers have followed out exactly a coldly premeditated plan;

CONSIDERING that, having failed to crush France, as they had hoped, in a

few weeks, and to turn then upon Russia
and terrorize or corrupt Belgium, Eng-
land, Japan, Italy, Portugal, and Ru-
mania, they do not conceal the fact that
peace for them now would be only a
truce to prepare for a new aggression;

CONSIDERING that there could be
neither security nor justice in a world
over which 'is suspended the sword of
Prussian militarism:

THE ENTENTE POWERS, resolved not to lay down their arms before the liberation of the oppressed peoples, declare, in the name of the nations that are the victims of German aggression and in the face of the world, that they will not treat with William II., the man responsible before humanity and history for this war, its mourning and its ruins.

America Through English Eyes

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By William Archer

English Dramatist, Essayist, and Critic [The severance of relations by the United States with Germany aroused widespread discussion of the attitude of Great Britain toward the United States. Among the many contributions on this subject, Mr. Archer's essay in The Westminster Gazette (London) is especially noteworthy for its truth, clarity, and keen analysis.-ED, CURRENT HISTORY MAGAZINE.]

M

no

'ANY people do not realize that Of course this does not mean that

hitherto all the active political there has not been real friendship be-
relations between Great Brit tween them. There has never been a mo-

ain and America have been ment when thousands of Englishmen hostile relations. Twice the two nations and thousands of Americans have not have been at war, and there are not a felt the warmest regard for each other. few Americans who are fond of boasting Perhaps it may even be said that the rethat in both of these conflicts they ciprocal feeling of the majority of both “ whipped ” us. Our normal level rela peoples has been a sort of vaguely crititions have doubt been amicable cal and suspicious kindliness. But there enough; but whenever the level has been have always been certain classes in broken it has been by incidents which America that cherished old and new ranleft a certain legacy of ill-feeling. The cors against England, and these were not general attitude of Britain during the a little encouraged by the general tone of great civil war was anything but sympa common school education. No one can thetic. Once we were on the verge of read the American newspapers of today rupture over the case of Mason and Sli without realizing that, except among a dell. The affair of the Alabama was ex cultured minority in the Eastern States, ceedingly disagreeable. The Venezuelan pro-ally sympathies are centred rather squabble led us, not perhaps to the brink upon France and Belgium than upon of hostilities, but some way in that direc England, and that in the Middle West tion. The incident of Manila Bay is per and West the feeling of the masses tohaps the only international episode of ward the Allies in general, and England any note that has definitely tended to in particular, is at best one of indifferdraw the two nations together.

ence.

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