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

By James Brown Scott | Go to book overview

assure you that a most satisfactory understanding exists on this subject among all the Allies at a moment when the Allied Powers have taken the decision of continuing the war until the victory of justice and righteousness as well as true peace of the world has been realized. I would most eagerly express our sentiments of the most sincere appreciation for the efforts displayed by Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy, Belgium, Serbia, Montenegro and Roumania. At the same time I would express our most profound admiration for their brave armies and navies. I also wish to testify to our hearty sympathy for the inhabitants of the regions fouled by the foot of the cruel and barbarous invaders and I am firmly persuaded that a future more glorious is in store for these unfortunate peoples.


COMMENT OF BONAR LAW, CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER, ON THE ADDRESS OF PRESIDENT WILSON1
January 24, 1917

We are working for, looking forward to peace. The Germans the other day made us what they call an offer of peace. It received from the Allied Governments the only reply which was possible. You have read the speech made by President Wilson. It was a frank speech, and it is right that any member of an Allied Government who refers to it should speak frankly too. It is impossible that he and we can look on this question from the same point of view. Whatever his private feeling may be, the head of a great neutral State must take a neutral attitude. America is very far removed from the horrors of this war; we are in the midst of it. America is neutral; we are not neutral. We believe that the essence of this conflict is the question, which is as old as time, of the difference between right and wrong. We know that this is a war of naked aggression. We know that the crimes which have accompanied the conduct of the war--crimes almost incredible after two thousand years of Christianity--are small in comparison with the initial crime by which the men responsible for the policy of Germany with cold-blooded calculation, because they thought it would pay, plunged the world into the horrors we are enduring.

____________________
1
The Times, London, January 25, 1917.

-57-

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