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United States to Italy are said to amount to $60,000,000 monthly, while the relief of the Czechs, Jugoslavs, and Serbians costs almost $20,000,000 monthly.
PROPOSED MILITARY AND NAVAL TERMS At the session of the War Council on March 10 Marshal Foch was generally triumphant in having his conditions accepted. Some important changes were made, however, one of which imposes severer conditions than even Foch proposed.
It was premier Lloyd George who offered this. He asked that the German Army strength should be fixed at 140,000 men. As a result of discussion, it was agreed to fix the army strength at 100,000, or less than half the original maximum recommended under the terms laid down by the Allies.
Germany must raise this force by voluntary enlistment. In order to prevent an army of this size being trained every year, it was provided that the enlistments should be for a period of twelve years. The number of German officers is fixed at 4000, instead of the 6000 as originally contemplated.
All artillery and other equipment in excess of the requirements of the reduced army must be surrendered, and the Imperial General Staff must be abolished.
Other military provisions require the destruction of the Rhine forts and the reduction of the munitions output to the needs of the reduced army.
The naval terms, among other provisions, require the personnel of the German Navy to be restricted to 15,000 men.-N. Y. Times, 11/3.
ARGUMENTS AGAINST SINKING GERMAN BATTLESHIPS.—Prior to President Wilson's return to France, a letter said to have been written by him was published in which he expressed tentative disapproval of the proposal to sink the surrendered German battleships. After his return to Paris, however, he again took up the question. The arguments in favor of sinking the ships are summarized as follows by C. H. Grasty (N. Y. Times), March 17:
1. In the face of the covenant committal to decreased armament, distribution makes an immediate increase of 30 per cent in allied armaments.
2. As matters stand the American ability to put through a building program creates the possibility of inducing Great Britain to join her in the alternative of scaling down to the lowest point the number of ships consistent with self-protection and maintaining the League, whereas distribution will make new standards to be built up to.
3. Distribution will vastly and unnecesarily increase the burden of taxation.
4. World interests would be subserved by no one power controlling the seas against all comers.
5. The morale of the world requires a dramatic heralding of better days. Distribution is a step in the opposite direction.
6. Destruction preserves entire our moral position with respect to Germany.
7. American interests compel the acceptance of a joint naval burden with Great Britain. Distribution will make that burden too great for America to carry.
8. Finally if the German fleet is thrown among the Allies to be contended for as a prize, it will prove a veritable apple of discord that may make its surrender profit to Germany more than if she had risked her ships in a final battle. The division of naval spoils would be a negation of the principle of co-operation which is the foundation stone of the League.
CABLE CLAIMS DISPUTED.-Early in the war the British cut the two German cables from Emden to America by way of the Azores and also the cable between Monrovia, the Liberian capital, and Brazil. They took one end of the German-American cables to Halifax, thereby securing another transatlantic line for themselves. The other cable they gave to the French Government, which so far has made no attempt to utilize it, probably because of the scarcity of submarine cable material and of cable-laying ships.
The British now contend that these cables are prizes of war. They do not intend to allow their return to Germany or to regard them as subject to disposition by the Peace Conference. The American delegates, however, contend that the cables were unlawfully cut and unlawfully reconnected, because the United States was not at war when this was done and had an interest in them as being one of the termini. Nor, they contend, was there proper warrant for the cutting of the cable between Liberia and Brazil, as both these countries were neutral at the time it was done.
There never has been any decision regarding the title to cables outside of territorial waters in time of war, and the Americans are now extremely anxious that no precedent shall be established that might place American business at the mercy of foreigners or prevent free communication between the United States and Central Europe after the conclusion of peace.
In addition to the transatlantic cables, several German cables in the Pacific also were seized by the British as prizes of war. One of these runs from the island of Yap, one of the Caroline group, to Singapore, connecting with the Dutch and British cables. Another connects this cable with the island of Celebes. Possession of these lines, it is held, insures business control of a fair proportion of Australian Polynesia, which is regarded as properly within the field of American commercial effort.
The possibility of these cables passing in some degree under the control of Japan alone in case the latter is made the mandatary of the captured Pacific Islands is also regarded with disfavor by the American representatives unless some plan to prevent any possible discrimination is made.N. Y. Times, 13/3.
SMALL STATES SEEK AMERICAN CONTROL.—The project of making the United States mandatary for one or more of the small states to be established in the Near East has been frequently broached at the Peace Conference. The proposed Armenian state, for which American control has been especially suggested, will probably have a population of about 6,000,000, in a territory bordering the Black Sea for 400 miles and extending southward nearly across Asia Minor. Mr. Oscar Straus, former Minister to Turkey, said in reference to this proposal:
The United States must never take a mandate for any of these new or small states in Europe or Asia Minor. It would involve us in endless trouble.
PREMIER CLEMENCEAU WOUNDED BY ANARCHIST.–On February 19, Premier Clemenceau was hit by three of seven shots fired by an assassin. One bullet entered the right shoulder and lodged under the left shoulder missing the spinal cord and lungs; the other two caused little more than abrasions of the skin. The attack occurred at 8.55 a. m. just after the Premier had entered his automobile to drive from his home to the Foreign
Office. The assassin, an anarchist, 18 years old, named Emile Cottin, was arrested and on March 14 sentenced to death.
The aged Premier made an astonishingly rapid recovery, taking up his public duties again in scarcely more than a week.
LEAGUE OF NATIONS DISCUSSION IN THE UNITED STATES
PRESIDENT Wilson's Boston SPEECH.-Landing in Boston upon his return from France, President Wilson on February 24 spoke vigorously in that city in advocacy of the project for a League of Nations. “In the name of the people of the United States,” he declared, “I have uttered as the objects of this great war ideals, and nothing but ideals, and the war has been won by that inspiration.” Arguing the necessity of a League of Nations, he said:
If America were at this juncture to fail the world, what would come of it? I do not mean any disrespect to any other great people when I say that America is the hope of the world; and if she does not justify that hope, the results are unthinkable. Men will be thrown back upon the bitterness of disappointment not only, but the bitterness of despair. All nations will be set up as hostile camps again; the men at the Peace Conference will go home with their heads upon their breasts, knowing that they have failed for they were bidden not to come home from there until they did something more than sign a treaty of peace.
Suppose we sign the treaty of peace and that it is the most satisfactory treaty of peace that the confusing elements of the modern world will afford, and go home and think about our labors, we will know that we have left written upon the historic table at Versailles, upon which Vergennes and Benjamin Franklin wrote their names, nothing but a modern scrap of paper ; no nations united to defend it, no great forces combined to make it good, no assurance given to the downtrodden and fearful people of the world that they shall be safe.
Any man who thinks that America will take part in giving the world any such rebuff and disappointment as that does not know America. I invite him to test the sentiments of the nation. We set this up to make men free, and we did not confine our conception and purpose to America, and now we will make men free. If we did not do that, the fame of America would be gone, and all her powers would be dissipated. She then would have to keep her power for those narrow, selfish, provincial purposes which seem so dear to some minds that have no sweep beyond the nearest horizon.
I should welcome no sweeter challenge than that. I have fighting blood in me, and it is sometimes a delight to let it have scope, but if it is a challenge on this occasion it will be an indulgence. Think of the picture, think of the utter blackness that would fall on the world. America has failed! America made a little essay at generosity, and then withdrew. America said, “We are your friends," but it was only for to-day, not for to-morrow. America said, “Here is our power to vindicate right," and then the next day said, “Let right take care of itself, and we will take care of ourselves." America said, “We set up a light to lead men along the paths of liberty, but we have lowered it; it is intended only to light our own path.” We set up a great ideal of liberty, and then we said: “Liberty is a thing that you must win for yourself. Do not call upon us."
And think of the world that we would leave. Do you realize how many new nations are going to be set up in the presence of old and powerful nations in Europe, and left there, if left by us, without a disinterested friend?
Do you believe in the Polish cause, as I do? Are you going to set up Poland, immature, inexperienced, as yet unorganized, and leave her with a circle of armies around her? Do you believe in the aspiration of the Czechoslovaks and the Jugoslavs, as I do? Do you know how many powers would be quick to pounce upon them if there were not the guarantees of the world behind their liberty?
Have you thought of the sufferings of Armenia? You poured out your money to help succor the Armenians after they suffered; now set your strength so that they shall never suffer again.
The arrangements of the present peace cannot stand a generation unless they are guaranteed by the united forces of the civilized world. And, if we do not guarantee them, can you not see the picture? Your hearts have instructed you where the burden of this war fell. It did not fall upon the national treasuries, it did not fall upon the instruments of administration, it did not fall upon the resources of the nation. It fell upon the victims' homes everywhere—where women were toiling in the hope that their men would come back.
When I think of the homes upon which dull despair would settle were this great hope disappointed, I should wish for my part never to have had America play any part whatever in this attempt to emancipate the world. But I talk as if there were any question. I have no more doubt of the verdict of America in this matter than I have doubt of the blood that is
And so, my fellow-citizens, I have come back to report progress, and I do not believe that the progress is going to stop short of the goal. The nations of the world have set their heads now to do a great thing and they are not going to slacken their purpose. And when I speak of the nations of the world I do not speak of the governments of the world. I speak of the peoples who constitute the nations of the world. They are in the saddle and they are going to see to it that, if their present governments do not do their will, some other governments shall. And the secret is out and the present governments know it.
SENATORIAL OPPOSITION TO LEAGUE PLAN.–Just at the close of Congress, on March 4, 37 Republican senators signed a round robin declaring opposition to the League of Nations covenant as prepared by the Paris Committee. This opposition was based on various grounds—such as fear of conflict with the Monroe Doctrine; fear lest we should be forced against our will into disputes in all parts of the world; weakening of our sovereignty in matters of strictly national concern, such as the size of armaments, exclusion of foreigners, etc.; and a feeling expressed by many that, while a League was desirable, it should not be incorporated in the peace treaty or accepted in its present form. While hostility to the League plan was expressed by at least two Democratic senators, Reed of Missouri and Fall of New Mexico, the Republican manifesto was regarded as in part at least a political move designed to embarrass the Administration.
A resolution, introduced by Senator Lodge but not voted on, read as follows:
Whereas, Owing to the victory of the arms of the United States and of the nations with whom it is associated, a Peace Conference was convened and is now in session at Paris for the purpose of settling the terms of peace; and,
Whereas, A committee of the conference has proposed a constitution for a League of Nations, and the proposal is now before the Peace Conference for its consideration;
Now, therefore, be it resolved, by the Senate of the United States in the discharge of its constitutional duty of advice in regard to treaties, that it is the sense of the Senate that while it is the sincere desire that the nations of the world should unite to promote peace and general disarmament, the constitution of the League of Nations in the form now proposed to the Peace Conference should not be accepted by the United States.
THE PRESIDENT'S NEW YORK SPEECH.-On March 4, on the eve of his return to France, President Wilson spoke at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. Without entering into a detailed defence of the League Covenant, the President declared that he was amazed at the ignorance regarding the state of the world displayed by its opponents.
"I have heard,” he said, “no constructive suggestion, I have heard nothing except 'will it not be dangerous to us to help the world?' It would be fatal to us not to help it.” He added that, far from involving us in entangling alliances, the League is “an arrangement which will disentangle all the alliances in the world." The President declared his confidence that the sentiment of the country was behind him.
Ex-PRESIDENT TAFT SUPPORTS LEAGUE.—The speech of President Wilson in New York was preceded by an address by ex-President Taft, in which he met in detail the arguments against American support of the League. Mr. Taft declared that our danger from foreign combinations would be greater without the League than with it; that the League covenant contained no provision preventing a country from resisting invasion, such as a border raid from Mexico; that the furnishing of military force to support League decisions would be voluntary rather than compulsory; that the covenant created no super-sovereignty; and that a treaty agreement limiting the power of Congress to make war or to increase armaments was constitutional, as shown by many precedents, such as the agreement with Great Britain not to fortify the Canadian frontier.
Mr. Taft, suggested that there should be some provision in the League plan for withdrawal from the League after reasonable notice. Appropriate words he thought might also be added to show that troubles in any continent would be the primary concern of nations of that continent, or hemisphere. This he considered clearly implied, but its explicit statement would relieve anxiety about European or Asiatic interference in America.
GERMANY BAVARIAN PREMIER MURDERED.—Kurt Eisner, the Independent Socialist Premier of Bavaria, was shot on the streets of Munich on February 21. The assassin was Count Arco Valley, a Bavarian aristocrat and former officer. The murder was reported to be due to Eisner's exposure of the war guilt of the German military authorities and their inhuman treatment of prisoners of war, made at the Berne Socialist Congress, together with his later statement in Munich that he had documentary evidence to prove that the German general staff continued, even then, to carry on secret dealings with the Russian Reds.