Theodore Roosevelt and His Time Shown in His Own Letters - Vol. 1

By Joseph Bucklin Bishop | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXXII
RUSSO-JAPANESE PEACE CONFERENCE--CONCLUDED

ON the eve of the meeting of the conference, the President was not sanguine of success. He wrote to Mr. J. St. L. Strachey, editor of the London Spectator, on July 17, 1905:

"The Peace Conference is about to meet, but from what I gather of Witte's (one of the Russian plenipotentiaries) attitude the chances are unfavorable for peace. The Russians, having been entirely unable to make war, seem now entirely unable to make peace, and stupidly unwilling to face the fact that when their opponents have them at their mercy the opponents have the same right to exact terms from them that they would have if they went on and treated them without mercy. It is just like two wrestlers, when one of them has the hammerlock on the other; the latter need not give way if he does not choose to, but if he does not his arm will be broken. That is the only alternative before him. Entirely for your information I wish to say that I undertook these negotiations only at the request of Japan."

Ten days later found him assuring the Kaiser that he was working cordially with him and was grateful for his cooperation. To Mr. Tower, the American Ambassador at Berlin, he wrote on July 27, 1905:

"You say that the Chancellor told you 'that M. Delcassé had formed a plan by which peace was to be made between Russia and Japan through the mediation of France and England, and that, under it, an arrangement was contemplated by which not only Russia and Japan were to obtain portions of China but that France and England were also to be indemnified by Chinese territory, as a price of their

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