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

By James Brown Scott | Go to book overview

willing with their allies to examine, and, if need be, to revise, these agreements.


ADDRESS OF PRIME MINISTER LLOYD-GEORGE AT GLASGOW ON PEACE TERMS1
June 29, 1917

Revolution is a fever brought about by the constant and reckless disregard of the laws of health in the government of their country; while it is on the strength of a country is diverted to the internal conflict which is raging in its blood, and it is naturally not so effective for external use during that period. The patient takes some time to recover his normal temperature, but when he begins to recover--if his constitution is good and the Russian nation has as fine a constitution as any nation ever possessed--then he will regain its strength at a bound, and be mightier and more formidable than ever. That is the case in Russia. Although this distraction has had the effect of postponing complete victory, it has made victory more sure, more complete than ever. What is more important, it has made surer than ever the quality of the victory we shall gain.

What do I mean when I say it has ensured a better quality of victory? Because that is important. I will tell you. There were many of us whose hearts were filled with gloomy anxiety when we contemplated all the prospects of a great peace conference summoned to settle the future of democracy with one of the most powerful partners at that table the most reactionary autocracy in the world. I remember very well discussing the very point with one of the greatest of French statesmen, and he had great misgivings about what would happen. Now Russia is unshackled, Russia is free, and the representatives at the Peace Congress will be representatives of a free people fighting for freedom, arranging the future of democracy on the lines of freedom. That is what I mean when I say that, not merely will the Russian revolution ensure more complete victory, it will ensure victory more exalted than any one could have contemplated before.

. . . . . . . . . . .

____________________
1
Text in The Times, London, June 30, 1917, p. 8. Only portions of the address are here printed.

-107-

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