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lessons so clearly taught by recent history. While other nations, notably the United States of America and Britain, were striving by treaties of arbitration to make sure that no chance quarrel should mar the peace they desired to make perpetual, Germany stood aloof. Her historians and philosophers preached the splendours of war, power was proclaimed as the true end of the State, and the General Staff forged with untiring industry the weapons by which at the appointed moment power might be achieved. These facts proved clearly enough that Treaty arrangements for maintaining peace were not likely to find much favour at Berlin; they did not prove that such Treaties once made would be utterly ineffectual. This became evident only when war had broken out, though the demonstration, when it came, was overwhelming. So long as Germany remains the Germany which without a shadow of justification overran and barbarously ill-treated a country it was pledged to defend, no State can regard its rights as secure if they have no better protection than a solemn Treaty.

The case is made worse by the reflection that these methods of calculated brutality were designed by the Central Powers not merely to crush to the dust those with whom they were at war but to intimidate those with whom they were still at peace. Belgium was not only a victim, it was an example. Neutrals were intended to note the outrages which accompanied its conquest, the reign of terror which followed on its occupation, the deportation of a portion of its population, the cruel oppression of the remainder. And lest the nations happily protected either by British Fleets or by their own from German Armies should suppose themselves safe from German methods, the submarine has (within its limits) assiduously imitated the barbarous practices of the sister service.

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The War Staffs of the Central Powers are well content to horrify the world if at the same time they can terrorize it.

If, then, the Central Powers succeed, it will be to methods like these that they will owe their success. How can any reform of International relations be based on a peace thus obtained ? Such a peace would represent the triumph of all the forces which make war certain and make it brutal. It would advertise the futility of all the methods on which civilization relies to eliminate the occasions of International dispute and to mitigate their ferocity. Germany and Austria made the present war inevitable by attacking the rights of one small State, and they gained their initial triumphs by violating the Treaty guarantees of the territories of another. Are small States going to find in them their future protectors or in Treaties made by them a bulwark against aggression! Terrorism by land and sea will have proved itself the instrument of victory. Are the victors likely to abandon it on the appeal of neutrals? If existing Treaties are no more than scraps of paper, can fresh Treaties help us? If the violation of the most fundamental canons of International Law be crowned with success, will it not be in vain that the assembled nations labour to improve their code? None will profit by their rules but Powers who break them. It is those who keep them that will suffer.

Though, therefore, the people of this country share to the full the desire of the President for peace, they do not believe peace can be durable if it be not based on the success of the Allied cause. For a durable peace can hardly be expected unless three conditions are fulfilled. The first is that existing causes of international unrest should be, as far as possible, removed or weakened. The second is that the aggressive aims and the unscrupulous methods of the Central Powers should fall into disrepute


among their own peoples. The third is that behind international law and behind all Treaty arrangements for preventing or limiting hostilities some form of international sanction should be devised which would give pause to the hardiest aggressor. These conditions may be difficult of fulfilment. But we believe them to be in general harmony with the President's ideas and we are confident that none of them can be satisfied, even imperfectly, unless peace be secured on the general lines indicated (so far as Europe is concerned) in the joint note. Therefore it is that this country has made, is making, and is prepared to make sacrifices of blood and treasure unparalleled in its history. It bears these heavy burdens not merely that it may thus fulfil its Treaty obligations nor yet that it may secure a barren triumph of one group of nations over another. It bears them because it firmly believes that on the success of the Allies depend the prospects of peaceful civilization and of those International reforms which the best thinkers of the New World, as of the Old, dare to hope may follow on the cessation of our present calamities.

I am, etc.,


His Excellency,
The Right Honourable,
Sir Cecil Spring Rice, G. C. M. G.,

etc., etc., etc.


“Foreign Office,

“Berlin, December 26, 1916. With reference to the esteemed communication of December 21, Foreign Office No. 15118, the undersigned has the honor to reply as follows: To His Excellency the Ambassador of the United States of America, Mr. James W. Gerard.

“The Imperial Government has accepted and considered in the friendly spirit which is apparent in the communication of the President, noble initiative of the President looking to the creation of bases for the foundation of a lasting peace. The President discloses the aim which lies next to his heart and leaves the choice of the way open. A direct exchange of views appears to the Im. perial Government as the most suitable way of arriving at the desired result. The Imperial Government has the honor, therefore, in the sense of its declaration of the 12th instant, which offered the hand for peace negotiations, to propose the speedy assembly, on neutral ground, of delegates of the warring States.

“It is also the view of the Imperial Government that the great work for the prevention of future wars can first be taken up only after the ending of the present conflict of exhaustion. The Imperial Government is ready, when this point has been reached, to coöperate with the United States at this sublime task.

The undersigned, while permitting himself to have recourse to good offices of His Excellency the Ambassador in connection with the transmission of the above reply to the President of the United States, avails himself of this opportunity to renew the assurances of his highest consideration.



The German Ambassador to the Secretary of State

German Embassy,

Washington, January 31, 1917. MR. SECRETARY OF STATE:

Your Excellency was good enough to transmit to the Imperial Government a copy of the message which the President of the United States of America addressed to the Senate on the 22d inst. The Imperial Government has given it the earnest consideration which the President's statements deserve, inspired as they are, by a deep sentiment of responsibility. It is highly gratifying to the Imperial Government to ascertain that the main tendencies of this important statement correspond largely to the desires and principles professed by Germany. These principles especially include self-government and equality of rights for all nations. Germany would be sincerely glad if in recognition of this principle countries like Ireland and India, which do not enjoy the benefits of political independence, should now obtain their freedom. The German people also repudiate all alliances which serve to force the countries into a competition for might and to involve them in a net of selfish intrigues. On the other hand Germany will gladly coöperate in all efforts to prevent future wars. The freedom of the seas, being a preliminary condition of the free existence of nations and the peaceful intercourse between them, as well as the open door for the commerce of all nations, has always formed part of the leading principles of Ger. many's political program. All the more the Imperial Government regrets that the attitude of her enemies who

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