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

By Joseph Bucklin Bishop | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXXVI
SECRET HISTORY OF THE ALGECIRAS CONFERENCE

IT is a diplomatic secret that President Roosevelt is entitled to the credit of arranging the important Algeciras Conference of 1906 and dictating the terms on which war between France and Germany, with the possible involvement of England as the ally of France, was averted. His service as peacemaker in this controversy, rendered in response to the earnest and repeated appeals of the Kaiser, was equaled only by that which at the same time he was rendering to the world in bringing to an end the war between Russia and Japan. Secretary Root said of it to me, many years later, that he considered it of far greater importance to the world than the Portsmouth settlement. Happily a full history of what Roosevelt did is extant, narrated by himself. It is in the form of a letter, addressed on April 28, 1906, to Whitelaw Reid, then American Ambassador in London. This letter, which bears the impress of Roosevelt in every line, contains all the confidential correspondence which passed between him and the German and French Ambassadors, with the communications of their governments, including messages of the Kaiser. In the end the President fairly compelled the Kaiser to accept the terms upon which the final agreement was reached by the Convention. These documents have never been published, not even in the Blue Book, as the President says in his letter. Their full text is given here as historical material of the first interest and value.


THE LETTER

Absolutely private and confidential.

My dear Reid: April 28, 1906.

Now you are about to receive a quarto-volume from me

-467-

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