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

By James Brown Scott | Go to book overview

posal compatible with the vital interests of the German Empire and people.

Germany, owing to her geographical situation and economic requirements has to rely on peaceful intercourse with her neighbors and with distant countries. No people, therefore, has more reason than the German people to wish that instead of universal hatred and battle, a conciliatory fraternal spirit should prevail between nations.

If the nations are guided by this spirit it will be recognized to their advantage that the important thing is to lay more stress upon what unites them in their relations. They will also succeed in settling individual points of conflict which are still undecided, in such a way that conditions of existence will be created which will be satisfactory to every nation, and thereby a repetition of this great world catastrophe would appear impossible.

Only on this condition can a lasting peace be founded which would promote an intellectual rapprochement and a return to the economic prosperity of human society.

This serious and sincere conviction encourages our confidence that our enemies also may see a suitable basis in the ideals submitted by his Holiness for approaching nearer to the preparation of future peace under conditions corresponding to a spirit of reasonableness and to the situation in Europe.1


ADDRESS OF MR. ASQUITH ON PEACE TERMS INCLUDING COMMENT ON THE GERMAN REPLY TO THE POPE2
September 26, 1917

Let me start with a proposition which may sound like a paradox-- we are fighting for peace--for the peace of the world. One does not need to witness with one's own eyes, as I did last week when I went over the French and Flemish battlefield, the actual desolation of war, to feel that the attainment of peace is at the moment the supreme interest of mankind. It is worth any sacrifice--except the sacrifice of the things which make peace worth having and which ensure its stability, by basing it on a solid rock of right, internationally recognized and

____________________
1
Cf. Gasparri in Giornal d'Italia, Sept 26, 1917, and The New York Times, July 27, 1919, p. 2.
2
Text in The Times, London, September 27, 1917, p. 7.

-141-

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