Official Statements of War Aims and Peace Proposals, December 1916 to November 1918

By James Brown Scott | Go to book overview

strained to take up arms. The exploits of their armies have brought no change therein. Not for an instant have they swerved from the conviction that the respect of the rights of the other nations is not in any degree incompatible with their own rights and legitimate interests. They do not seek to crush or annihilate their adversaries. Conscious of their military and economic strength and ready to carry on to the end, if they must, the struggle that is forced upon them, but animated at the same time by the desire to stem the flood of blood and to bring the horrors of war to an end, the four allied Powers propose to enter even now into peace negotiations.1 They feel sure that the propositions which they would bring forward and which would aim to assure the existence, honor, and free development of their peoples, would be such as to serve as a basis for the restoration of a lasting peace.

If notwithstanding this offer of peace and conciliation the struggle should continue, the four allied Powers are resolved to carry it on to a victorious end, while solemnly disclaiming any responsibility before mankind and history.

The Imperial Government has the honor to ask through your obliging medium the Government of the United States to be pleased to transmit the present communication to the Government of the French Republic, to the Royal Government of Great Britain, to the Imperial Government of Japan, to the Royal Government of Roumania, to the Imperial Government of Russia, and to the Royal Government of Serbia.


NOTE OF THE GERMAN GOVERNMENT TO THE VATICAN REGARDING THE PEACE PROPOSALS2
December 12, 1916

According to instructions received, I have the honor to send to your Eminence a copy of the declaration of the Imperial Government today, which, by the good offices of the Powers intrusted with the protection of German interests in the countries with which the German Empire is in a state of war, transmits to these States, and in which

____________________
1

Similar notes were sent out by Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey on December 12, 1918; ibid., pp. 306, 307, 308.

1

The New York Times, December 13, 1916.

-3-

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