Слике страница
PDF
ePub

dence of the German people shall be put in the equity of their cause and not in the might of their armies. A better guarantee than either would be democratization of the German government.

No one wishes to dictate to the German people the form of government under which they should choose to live. But it is right that we should say that we will enter into negotiations with a free government of Germany with a different attitude of mind and a different temper and different spirit and with less suspicion and more confidence than we should

As to the military situation, there is no doubt that the startling developments in Russia have modified the military situation this year temporarily to our disadvantage, but permanently for the better. What happened on the western front showed what could have been accomplished this year if all the allied forces had been ready to bring all-round pleasure to bear.

In training, equipment, and experience our army is infinitely better than it has ever been. The finest collection of trenchpounding machines which any army has ever seen is now in the possession of the British forces.

VICTORY SURER THAN EVER.

The Russian revolution, beneficent as it undoubtedly is, great as will be its results both this year and even more hereafter, undoubtedly has had the effect of postponing complete victory. But Russia will regain her strength with a bound, and become mightier and more formidable than ever.

Although these distractions had the effect of postponing complete victory, they made victory more sure than ever, more complete than ever, and, what is more important, they made surer than ever that quality of victory.

The Premier said that many hearts had been filled with gloomy anxiety, contemplating the prospect of a peace conwith a government whom we feel to-day to be dominated by the aggressive and arrogant spirit of Prussian militarism.

All the Allied governments will, in my judgment, be acting wisely if they draw that distinction in their general attitude toward the discussion of peace terms. ference to settle the future of democracy with representatives present of the most reactionary autocracy in the world. Russia was now unshackled and free, and her representatives at the peace conference would be representative of a free people, fighting for freedom and arranging a future democracy on the lines of freedom. The Russian revolution would insure not merely a more complete but a higher and more exalted victory than ever was contemplated before.

“Meanwhile,” the Premier proceeded, “France, Italy and Great Britain had to bear a greater share of the burden." He continued:

“The strength of Great Britain, once more flung into the breach, has once more saved Europe and human liberty. But now Russia is gaining strength every day. It has a capable

88319-320]

FRENCH AND RUSSIAN IDEAS

357

government. It never had a better one, and her power in the future would be inspired by freedom.

“America, always the mainstay of freedom, is beginning to send her valiant sons to the battlefields of Europe to rally around the standard of liberty. That is why victory now is more assured and more complete than we could have hoped for.

“Europe is again drenched with the blood of its bravest and its best, but do not forget the great succession of hallowed

They are the stations of the cross on the road to the emancipation of mankind.

"I again appeal to the people of this country and beyond that they should continue to fight for the great goal of international rights and international justice, so that never again shall brute force sit on the throne of justice nor barbaric strength wield the sceptre over liberty."

(New York Times, Nov. 30, 1917.)

causes.

(b) [320] French Project of a Buffer State.

BY A GERMAN STATES MAN.

Challenged by Chancellor Michaelis to tell the world whether or not the French government had entered into a secret treaty with the Czar Nicholas of Russia, before the recent revolution, by the terms of which the Czar bound himself to support French pretensions not only to Alsace and Lorraine, but to German territory on the left bank of the Rhine, M. Ribot has made a reply, in which, while characterizing a large part of the German Chancellor's insinuations in his speech as lies, he makes this surprising admission:

"M. Doumergue (ex-Premier and Foreign Minister), after a conversation with the Czar, demanded and obtained M. Briand's authorization to take note of the Czar's promise to support our claim to Alsace-Lorraine, and to leave us free to seek guarantees against fresh aggression, not by annexing territories on the left bank of the Rhine, but making an autonomous state of these territories, which would protect us and also Belgium against invasion."

This is a decidedly interesting avowal of French intentions concerning the adjustments which, premising the success of the Entente Allies in the war, might be .expected to follow. It promises, indeed, a considerable step toward the dismemberment of Germany and the formation of another new state in Europe. The left side of the Rhine is the left side as one faces down the stream, and that means the territories of the Rhine Palatinate or Rhein-Pfalz, Rhine-Hessen, Birkenfeld, and the great Rheinland proper, and it includes the cities of Worms, Ludwigshafen, Cologne, Coblenz, Aix-laChapelle, Krefeld, Cleves and others. It is a region larger, territorially, and much more populous and richer than Alsace and Lorraine together.

(Boston Transcript, Aug. 6, 1917.)

(c) [$321] Russian Ideas of Peace.

BY THE RUSSIAN PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT (March 19, 1917.)

Citizens: The great work has been accomplished. By a powerful stroke the Russian people have overthrown the old regime. A new Russia is born. This coup d'etat has set the keystone upon long years of struggle.

RUSSIAN STRUGGLES.

Under pressure of awakened national forces, the act of October 30, 1905, promised Russia constitutional liberties, which were never put into execution. The first Duma, the mouthpiece of the national wishes, was dissolved. The second Duma met the same fate, and the government, being powerless to crush the national will, decided by the act of June 16, 1907, to deprive the people of part of the legislative rights promised them.

During the ensuing ten years the government successively withdrew from the people all the rights they had won. The country was again thrown into the abyss of absolute ruin and administrative arbitrariness. All attempts to make the voice of reason heard were vain, and the great world struggle, into which the country was plunged, found it face to face with moral decadence and power not united with the peoplepower indifferent to the country's destinies and steeped in vices and infamy.

PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT.

The heroic efforts of the army, crushed under the cruel weight of internal disorganization, the appeals of the national representatives, who were united in view of the national danger, were powerless to lead the Emperor and his government into the path of union with the people. Thus when Russia, by the illegal and disastrous acts of her governors, was faced with the greatest disasters, the people had to take the power into their own hands.

With unanimous revolutionary spirit, the people, fully realizing the seriousness of the moment and the firm will of the Duma, established a Provisional Government, which considers that it is its sacred duty to realize the national desires and lead the country into the bright path of free civil organization. The government believes that the lofty spirit of patriotism which the people have shown in the struggle against the old regime will also animate our gallant soldiers on the battlefields.

WILL DO ITS UTMOST IN WAR.

On its side the government will do its utmost to provide the army with everything necessary to bring the war to a victorious conclusion. The government will faithfully observe all alliances uniting us to other powers and all agreements made in the past.

While taking measures indispensable for the defence of

$$321-322]

GERMAN IDEAS OF PEACE

359

the country against á foreign enemy, the government will consider it its first duty to grant to the people every facility to express its will concerning the political administration, and will convoke as soon as possible a constituent assembly on the basis of universal suffrage, at the same time assuring the gallant defenders of the country their share in the parliamentary elections.

The Constituent Assembly will issue fundamental laws, guaranteeing the country the immutable rights of equality and liberty.

PRINCIPLES OF LIBERTY.

Conscious of the burden of the political oppression weighing on the country and hindering the free creative. forces of the people during years of painful hardships, the Provisional Government deem it necessary, before the Constituent Assembly, to announce to the country its principles, assuring political liberty and equality to all citizens, making free use of their spiritual forces in creative work for the benefit of the country. The government will also take care to elaborate the principles assuring all citizens participation in communal elections, which will be carried out on a basis of universal suffrage.

At the moment of national emancipation the whole country recalls with pious gratitude those who, in the struggle for their political and religious ideas, fell victims of the vengeance of the old power, and the Provisioonal Government will joyfully bring back from exile and prison all those who thus suffered for the good of their country.

In realizing these problems the Provisional Government believes it is executing the national will, and that the whole people will support it in its efforts to insure the happiness of Russia.

(New York Times, March 20, 1917.)

(d) [8322] Germany's Terms of Peace. BY CHANCELLOR GEORG MICHAELIS (July 28, 1917.) The speech of David Lloyd George, the British Premier, at Queen's Hall, London, and the recent debate in the British House of Commons, again have proved with indisputable clearness that Great Britain does not desire peace by agreement and understanding, but only a conclusion of the war which means the enslavement of Germany to the arbitrary violence of our enemies.

BRITISH TERMS.

Proof of this may be seen in the fact that Sir Edward Carson (member of the British war cabinet) recently declared in Dublin that negotiations with Germany could begin only after the retirement of German troops beyond the Rhine. In response to a question put by Commoner Joseph King, A. Bonar Law, the spokesman of the British Government in the House of Commons, modified this declaration by fixing

the standpoint of the British Government as being that if Germany wanted peace she first of all must declare herself willing to evacuate the occupied territories.

We possess clear proofs that the enemy gives assent to a declaration going even further than that impudently made by Sir Edward Carson. You all know that detailed information regarding the French plans of conquest, approved by Great Britain and Russia, has been circulated for weeks past in the neutral press, and that it has not been denied up to the present.

FRENCH SEEK CONQUEST.

It would be of the greatest importance for the enlightenment of the whole world regarding the true reasons for the continuation of the sanguinary massacre of nations for it to be known that written proofs of our enemies' greed for conquest have since fallen into our hands. I refer to reports of the secret debate on June 2 in the French Chamber of Deputies.

I ask the French Government this question: Does it deny that ex-Premier Briand and Premier Ribot, in the course of that secret sitting, at which were present Deputies Moutet and Cochin, who had just returned from Petrograd, were forced to admit that France, shortly before the Russian revolution, had come to an agreement having in view vain plans of conquest with a Government which Premier Lloyd orge described in his last speeech as a 'corrupt and narrow autocracy'?

I ask if it is true that the French Ambassador at Petrograd, in response to a request sent by him to Paris, received instructions to sign a treaty prepared in advance by M. Doumergue (ex-Premier and Foreign Minister), after negotiations with the Russian emperor?

Is it true or not that the French President at the instance of General Berthelot, head of the French military mission to Rumania, formally entrusted him with a mandate, and that M. Briand afterward sanctioned this step?

This treaty assured to France her frontiers, but amended on lines of previous wars the conquest of 1870 to include, besides Alsace-Lorraine, Saarbruecke and vast territorial modifications on the left bank of the Rhine.

As desired by France when M. Tereschenko (the Russian Foreign Minister) took office, the Russian Government protested against the French aims of conquest, which also included that of Syria. ... The delegates from the Russian armies also are in agreement with this.

Regardless of this manifest proof of the revulsion of the Russian people against a policy of aggrandizement, Premier Ribot refused in the secret session of the French Chamber to undertake any revision of the French war aims, and announced the fact that Italy also had received guarantees of great territorial aggrandizements.

In order to divert their ambitions on the left bank of the Rhine of a character of greed and conquest, he announced

« ПретходнаНастави »