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In this speech there is just one more condition of peace that President Wilson contends for,—and it is the tenth one we have, before the great official peace communications and notes came to the United States from the Central Powers after the United States entered the war. It is this: 10. There should be no exclusive economic leagues against, or in favor of, any nation or group of nations after the war. There must be equal economic opportunity for all nations. Next, we shall take up the "peace drives" of 1917, by the Central Powers, the Bolsheviki, and certain elements in some of the Allied countries.
PEACE NEGOTIATIONS (Continued)
r 1 lHE German ambassador informed me that a conference had been held in Berlin m the early part of July, (1914), °t which the date of the war was fixed. This conference was presided over by the Kaiser; the Baron Wangenheim was present to report on conditions in Turkey. Moltke, the Chief of Staff, was there, and so was Grand Admiral Von Tirpitz. With them were the leaders of German finance, the directors of the railroads, and the captains of industry. . . . Each was asked if he were ready for the war. All replied in the affirmative, except the financiers, who insisted that they must have two weeks in which to sell foreign securities and arrange their loans. (Two weeks more would make it the last of July, as actually happened.)
"The Italian Ambassador at Constantinople announced that Baron Wangenheim said the same thing to him, Italy, at that time being a member of the Triple Alliance. . . . All the details of the meeting were still (Aug. 26,1914) fresh in Baron Wangenheim's mind."—Henry Morgenthau, former American Ambassador to Turkey, in the New York World, Oct. 14, 1917.
The above quotation from an official source is worth reading again and again, and fixing definitely in mind. Once more let me repeat, most assuredly we cannot admit Germany into the League of Nations until she has a genuine constitutional government and has repudiated everything that her former imperial and militaristic government has stood for—until she repents in sackcloth and ashes for the colossal weight of crime that she has heaped upon suffering humanity, under the leadership of her war lords and lords of trade and industry, who, as above shown in 1914, are still the real masters of Germany.
There is as much reason to study the causes and nature of the war now as there has been at any time during its progress, for the simple reason, as we pointed out once before, that we must know the cause of a disease in order to apply the remedy. And now, as the Supreme Council of the Nations is preparing the remedy, it is incumbent upon them and upon the peoples to whom they are responsible and whom they represent, to have the causes clearly and constantly in mind, if broken humanity is to be healed of its wounds in the future. At one and the same time we are face to face with the world's greatest opportunity and its greatest danger. That is why today witnesses the world's greatest crisis, and a great forward or great backward step is inevitable. Because of these facts the writer is adding a number of additional war study pamphlets to the list given a few months ago. Some have been referred to before, others have not, but none as definitely as they are now.
Published by the Committee on Public Information:
I. War Information Series
No. 21 "America's War Aims and Peace Program."— Carl L. Becker, Cornell University.1
No. 14. "The War for Peace."—Arthur D. Call, Secretary American Peace Society.
No. 13. "German Militarism and Allied Ideals."—Stuart P. Sherman, University of Illinois.
No. 13. "The War Message and Facts Behind It."— Annotated text of President Wilson's War Message, April 2, 1917.
No. 14. "Why America Fights Germany."—John S. P. Tatlock, Stanford University.
1 All quotations in this article without names of authors mentioned are taken from "America's War Aims and Peace Program."
No. 2. "The Nation in Arms,"—Secretaries Lane and Baker.
No. 16. "Study of the Great War."—Topical Outline, Samuel B. Harding, Indiana University.
II. The "Red, White and Blue" Series
January, 1918. "Conquest and Kulture."—Notestein and Stoll.
March, 1918. "German Treatment of Conquered Territory."
January, 1918. "German War Practices." March, 1918. "War, Labor and Peace,"—President Wilson.
September, 1917. "The President's Flag Day Address."
, 1917. "The Battle Line of Democracy."—Prose
and Poetry of the World War.
, 1918. "War Cyclopedia."—Reference Hand-book
on the War.
Germany's First Peace Proposal
At the close of our last chapter we were dealing with the Pope's peace message of the summer of 1917 and President Wilson's answer, rejecting the papal terms. The reader will recall that we proposed a consideration of the peace moves of the Central Powers next, and United States official negotiations with them.
"The first official proposal for peace came from Germany, at the close of the year 1916, at a time when, in Germany's eyes, victory for her army was already at hand. In the west the Allies had no more than held the German line; while in the east the Central Powers had gained the aid of Turkey and Bulgaria, had overrun Poland, Serbia, Roumania, and had inflicted serious reverses upon the British in Mesopotamia. . . . During the first two years then closing, the fortunes of war were decidedly with Germany and her allies. Under these circumstances the German government offered to discuss peace, confident that if the Allies accepted the offer she could get what she wished; while if they refused it, it could be made to appear that they were responsible for prolonging the conflict." This was the offer contained in the German note of Dec. 12,1916, and forwarded to the belligerents through the neutral powers. The substance of Germany's proposals at this time was as follows:
(1) Though ready to continue the war (forced upon them), yet "prompted by the desire to avoid further bloodshed and make an end to the atrocities of war," all the Central Powers "propose to enter forthwith into peace negotiations."
(2) These propositions "have for their object a guarantee of the existence, honor and freedom of the development" of the Central Powers and are "appropriate terms for the establishment of a lasting peace."
(3) Germany is carrying on a war of defense against her enemies, which aim at her destruction.
It was not an offer of terms, but an offer to stop the war if the Allies would agree to Germany's terms, whatever they might be. For the Allies to have accepted this proposal and a peace conference at that time would have been nothing less than an unconditional surrender to Germany.
Reply of the Entente Governments
The French denounced the proposal as a trap, and Lloyd George, speaking for Great Britain, stated that it would be nothing less than "putting our heads into a noose with the rope end in the hands of the Germans." Quoting Lincoln's words, he further stated, "We accepted the war for an object, a worthy object. The war will end when that object is attained. Under God I hope it will never end until that time." In his speech Lloyd George also spoke of "complete restitution, full reparation and effective guarantees," and