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These four requirements of punitive and retributive justice call for the performance of certain tasks by Germany, and the performance of these tasks must be guaranteed.
We get, therefore, a second group of peace conditions, in which the principles are, first, that Germany must be disarmed, so as to be unable to recommence the struggle; secondly, points of commanding strategic importance, such as ports, capital, fortresses, etc., must be occupied; and thirdly, certain solid guarantees, such as the customs and Treasury receipts, railway, and so forth, must be in Allied hands, until the several restorations are completed.
Thirdly, the world must have some security that the agencies which gave rise to this war shall, so far as may be, be extinguished. The military power of Prussia must be ended by the abolition of autocracy and by substituting a constitutionally expressed popular will for that of an irresponsible monarchy.
Reciprocal Obligations.—These three groups deal with the obligations which the Allies will impose on Germany; but there is a fourth group, which must express the obligations which Germany has a right to expect the Allies to honor. The essential matter here is that, as in groups one, two, and three, we shall have prescribed what punitive and retributive justice requires, shall have guaranteed its due execution and prevented the recurrence of the crimes atoned for; so the fourth group shall make it clear not only that there is no effort to impose two punishments for one offence, but no intention of so shaping the punishment as to leave Germany without the power to make the retribution that we exact If, therefore, we deprive Germany of her present merchant fleet, and require that for six or ten years or more her shipyards shall labor solely to make up the deficit which her present fleet is unable to replace, then it follows that, when the needs of the Allies are reasonably met, a fair service of shipping shall be at Germany's disposal not as possessors, but as users. Again, if by being shorn of her colonies she is deprived of any national source of tropical products, a fair ration of the world's supply must be allowed to her. Further than this, the Allies, and those that sympathize with them, monopolize whole groups of the raw materials of the world. Of these, Germany must have a reasonable proportion. It is obvious that, unless such equitable and, indeed, generous arrangement is made, it will be impossible for Germany to meet the indemnities or to build the shipping, or to make the services effective that she will be under compulsion to put at the Allies' disposal. Our own interests, then, demand a certain largeness of view in dealing with these matters; but there is a higher reason why our conduct in this respect should be exemplary.
A New Spirit in Trade.—The militarism of Germany has not, as we all know, been limited to the action of her armed forces. For many years and in all countries her diplomacy has been secret, double-faced, disloyal, and disruptive. But there is nothing in her military or diplomatic records more rapacious, predatory, and essentially dishonest, than her commercial dealings. These things have excited the reprobation and disgust of the civilized part of the world. It would not be surprising if they were followed by a wide determination to deal with Germany no more. It is, indeed, a very human and a very natural instinct for each individual to say that, whatever others may do, he at least has done with such traffic for ever. But if we are sincerely aiming for a real peace—a settlement that will ultimately result in a reconciliation of wills-—we should see that our duty here runs with our interest, and that it is part of our duty to make Germany realize that commercial success and prosperity is not the result of disloyal competition and trickery but of mutual service and cooperation.
Here, then, I might close the general case for the conditions of peace; but the recent exchange of notes between the American and German Governments has brought up other issues, and it is idle to hide from oneself that great uncertainty and anxiety has been excited. It arises in this way. The Germans, as a preliminary to asking for an armistice, informed President Wilson that they had accepted as a basis of peace the fourteen points of January and the four points of his later speech. In the last note from President Wilson to the Foreign Secretary it was stated that exceptional guarantees were necessary before an armistice could be granted because, the recent constitutional changes notwithstanding, the German Government was still essentially under the domination of the King of Prussia. These two features have given rise to a large number of questions and protest from correspondents. The following are some of them: Are the Allies now tied down to insist on no reparation at the peace, except such as the fourteen points provide? The Germans have bound themselves to the fourteen points, but to no others. Do they limit us just as they bind them? Are we, therefore, debarred from asking for compensation for our lost tonnage? Again, do the fourteen points bind us to adopt the doctrine of the freedom of the seas? Have we abandoned our rights to search and capture? Is the British Navy henceforth powerless unless the League of Nations permits it to act? Is the immediate establishment of a League of Nations with Germany, Austria, and Turkey as members a necessary part of the peace arrangement? Is the ultimate destination of the German colonies to be discussed as if it were a question to be settled either in the German or the British interest alone? And, finally, if Germany adopts a constitution unquestionably democratic must we take this as tantamount to saying that whatever the new Germany undertakes it will carry out, so that a political reform will be held to be equivalent to the military occupation and enforcement of our terms?
Behind these questions there is a misunderstanding both of the position which President Wilson has assumed in the war, and his actual attitude in the recent correspondence. It must, then, be made unmistakably clear that the Chief Magistrate of America speaks for the United States only, for they are not, technically, in alliance with France, Great Britain, Italy, Serbia, and Montenegro, the last survivors of the original combination. They are associated, but not allied with us. The fourteen points were put forward by President Wilson without concert or consultation with the Allied Governments, and represent not the Allies maximum, but the American minimum. They set out in clauses 5 to 13 what seems to an impartial critic of singular acumen, a resettlement of the broad European issues that is at once equitable and necessary. But they do not profess to exhaust what other powers may see to be indispensable both to justice and security. They do not exclude further conditions, further compensations, further indemnities. These the several powers bound by the pact of London must agree amongst themselves and put forward with the authority of all the allies behind them. First, then, let us establish the point that President Wilson has not professed to exhaust the Allied case.
Next, in the recent exchange of notes, he has kept perfectly correctly to his technical position. Up to the last of them it is assumed not only that the Allies are not parties to the correspondence, but are even officially ignorant of its existence. What the President proposes to communicate to them is not his observations on the German proposal, but the German proposal itself. The Allies, then, take into cognizance one matter only, viz., that the Germans have applied to President Wilson for an armistice and that the President has forwarded the request. Here again the most punctilious care has been taken not to bind, fetter, or limit either the Allied governments or their naval and military advisers in the smallest degree.
But much more than this, of course, has happened. Two fundamental truths have been brought home to Germany, and have shaken the nation to its foundations. Every German who can read now knows, both by the admissions of his own government and by the masterful tone of Mr. Wilson, that the attempt of the rulers of Germany to conquer has recoiled upon themselves and their subjects. Every German now knows that it is his country, and not those which his rulers have attacked, that is on the eve of overwhelming defeat. Next, he lias learned that the kind of government capable of creating such a war and of carrying it on by the methods that Germany has applauded, is one with which America, at least, will have no civil dealings at all. Militarism, therefore, now appears in its true light to the nation that has so long been its exponent. It is not only an unsuccessful and futile thing: it is a horror which excites such disgust in other peoples that, except at the sword's point, no traffic of any kind can be held with it. This, while the political and military positions have been in every respect most strictly maintained, a moral offensive possibly of a decisive kind has been burst upon the German home front.
"Freedom of the Seas."—We need then have no misgivings as to Mr. Wilson having compromised the Allies, either by his courtesy or by his candor; but the questions which my correspondents have raised deserve discussion, quite apart from this implication. There are three that are vitally important: freedom of the seas, the limitation of indemnities to restoring invaded territories, and the question of the military occupation and constraint of Germany. I have only space to deal here with the first of these questions.
The second of the fourteen points runs as follows: "Absolute freedom of navigation upon the seas outside territorial waters alike in peace and in war, except as the seas may be closed in whole or in part by international action for the enforcement of international covenants."
It obviously becomes operative only when a League of Nations is established. As it stands, it changes nothing in sea law as it is to-day. It is, in fact, the suggestion of a rule which a League of Nations should adopt when war in defence of national rights will not be the affair of the country whose interests are jeopardized, but of the whole community of nations, who have bound themselves in a mutual obligation to see that justice is done to each. Until, then, we have settled the major point of entrusting the sea defence of the British Empire to a common navy, instead of to the British Navy, we do not have to concern ourselves over any diminution of the British Navy's admitted rights and powers.
But, rightly looked at, clause 2 seems to me to mean exactly the opposite of what it is popularly supposed to import. For the President sets it out that when the league as a league embarks on naval war, it will be able to decree the partial or entire suspension of sea trade with its enemy, thus assuming precisely those maritime rights in war on which the British Navy has all along insisted. Clause 2, in fact, is a vindication of and not a proposed infringement of our broad contentions as to the legitimate use of sea power.
The fourteen points are silent on Germany's economic liability for the disastrous results of her piratical war on shipping. The President's silence on this point is very easily explained. As a simple historical fact, it was the submarine, and nothing else, that brought America into the war. But it was America's moral repudiation of this iniquity, and not her material losses by it, that determined her action. The submarine campaign, instead of diminishing the merchant tonnage of America, has already resulted in measures which have increased it enormously, and these measures will go forward until in a very few years the American merchant marine will be at least double what Germany's was before the war, and more than half of the highest figure that Great Britain has ever attained. The British position is entirely different. Our merchant tonnage has been at the full war service of all the Allies, and for the last 18 months of America. It has afforded the most targets to the submarine; it has paid most highly in consequence. But the service of our sea tonnage has been only part of our naval contribution. We have had to maintain an impregnable fleet; we have had to supply more than 90 per cent of the craft necessary for fighting the submarine. And. quite unexpectedly, our military contribution, instead of being the three or four army corps suggested before hostilities began, had to run to millions almost from the very start. As a consequence, our shipyards were depleted of their most spirited and efficient labor, and the half-manned yards had to meet the whole demands both of the surface navy and of the new navy called into being to fight the under-water piracy. Never in our history, then, have we been so poorly equipped to make good the losses that we have suffered. It follows, then, that our equitable claim, not only to be whole of the existing German merchant tonnage, but to the service of the German shipyards for a considerable number of years is one that no impartial arbiter could refuse. It is quite certain that President Wilson never intended and that Americans will never require our, demands in this matter to be questioned.—Land and Water, 31/10.
CURRENT NAVAL AND PROFESSIONAL PAPERS
Journal Of American Society Of Mechanical Engineers. December.— Cooling Losses in Internal Combustion Engines as Affecting Design, by C. A. Norman.
Society Of Naval Architects And Marine Engineers. (Papers read November 14-16, to be published in Proceedings.) Application of Buoyancy Boxes to S. S. Lucia, by W. T. Donnelly. Experiments Upon Simplified Forms of Ships, by Prof. II. C. Sadler and T. Yamamolo. Application of Electric Welding to Ship Construction, by Jasper Cox.
Aerial Ace. November 4.—Battle Acrobacy or Trick Flying, bv Copt. K. G. Pulliam, U. S. A.
Rudder. December.—Present and Future of Ship Building, by Charles Pics. Potentialities of Our Inland Water Routes, by Robert G. Skerrclt.
Scientific American. December 14.—Our Navy's Winged Destroyers, by Austin C. Lescarboura. The Rise of Navigation, by R. H. Curtiss.
Journal Of The American Society Of Naval Engineers. November. Mechanical Reduction Gears, by J. A. Dalies. Ventilating and Heating from the Marine Point of View, by Chas. F. Gross. Ox-Acetylene Welding, by Stuart Plutnley. Screw Propellers, by Rear Admiral C. IV. Dyson, U. S. N. Dynamic Balancing, by Commander F. J. Cleary, U. S. .V.
"N. Y. Times" Current History. December.—Surrender of German High Seas Fleet. Overseas Transportation of U. S. Troops, by Commander Charles C. Gill. Growth of Commissioned Personnel of U. S. Navy, by Carol Howe Foster.
Flying. December.—The Navy's Part in the Air (letter from Vice Admiral Sims).
Land And Water. November 14.—The Armistice, by Ililaire Bclloe. What They Have Missed (Surrender of German Fleet), by Arthur Pollen.
Engineering. November 15.—Construction and Trials of 30,000-Ton Black Sea Floating Dock.
Journal Of The Royal United Service Institution. November.—The Kiao-Chao Campaign, by Major T. C. Compton.
From November 20 To December 20
Allan Westcott, Ph. D., Instructor, U. S. Naval Academy
PRESIDENT WILSON IN PARIS
American Peace Delegates Chosen.—On November 27 it was announced that the American delegation to the peace conference would be as follows:
Woodrow Wilson, who would act as an actual delegate, his place being taken later by Secretary of War Baker.
Robert Lansing, Secretary of State.
Colonel Edward House.
Henry White, formerly Ambassador to France and American delegate at the Algeciras conference in 1906.
David F. Houston, Secretary of Agriculture.
President Justifies His Attendance At Conference.—In his annual message, which he read to Congress on Dec. 2, President Wilson declared that it was his "paramount duty" to attend the peace conference, and requested the encouragement of united support. The part of the message dealing with his departure follows: Gentlemen of the Congress:
The year that has elapsed since I last stood before you to fulfill my constitutional duty to give to the Congress from time to time information on the state of the Union has been so crowded with great events, great processes and great results that I cannot hope to give you an adequate picture of its transactions or of the far-reaching changes which have been wrought in the life of our nation and of the world. You have yourselves witnessed these things as I have. It is too soon to assess them; and we who stand in the midst of them and are part of them are less qualified than men of another generation will be to say what they mean or even what they have been.
But some great outstanding facts are unmistakable and constitute, in a sense, part of the public business with which it is our duty to deal. To state them is to set the stage for legislative and executive action which must grow out of them and which we have yet to shape and determine.
Troop Shipment Unequaled.—A year ago we had sent 145,918 men overseas. Since then we have sent 1,950,513, an average of 162,542 each month, the number, in fact, rising in May last to 245,951, in June to 278,760, in July to 307,182 and continuing to reach similar figures in August and September—in August 289,570 and in September 257,438.
No such movement of troops ever took place before across 3000 miles of sea, followed by adequate equipment and supplies and carried safely through extraordinary dangers of attack—dangers which were alike strange and infinitely difficult to guard against. In all this movement only