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

By James Brown Scott | Go to book overview

I beg that no effort be spared in bringing into stores all artillery and other military equipment, which has cost milliards of the people's money.

Remember that only systematic demobilization can be carried out in the shortest time, and that systematic demobilization alone can prevent interference with the sending of food supplies to those detachments which remain for a certain period at the front.1

Unsigned.

February 11, 1918.


REPLY OF PRESIDENT WILSON TO THE ADDRESSES OF THE IMPERIAL GERMAN CHANCELLOR, AND THE IMPERIAL AND ROYAL AUSTRO-HUNGARIAN MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
February 11, 1918

Address Delivered at a Joint Session of the Two Houses of Congress2

GENTLEMEN OF THE CONGRESS: On the eighth of January I had the honor of addressing you on the objects of the war as our people conceive them. The Prime Minister of Great Britain had spoken in similar terms on the fifth of January. To these addresses the German Chancellor replied on the twenty-fourth and Count Czernin, for Austria, on the same day. It is gratifying to have our desire so promptly realized that all exchanges of views on this great matter should be made in the hearing of all the world.

Count Czernin's reply, which is directed chiefly to my own address of the eighth of January, is uttered in a very friendly tone. He finds in my statement a sufficiently encouraging approach to the views of his own Government to justify him in believing that it furnishes a basis for a more detailed discussion of purposes by the two Govern-

____________________
1
The Congress of Workmen and Soldiers' Deputies (see item under date of January 23 just quoted) agreed that the peace terms of the Germans were inacceptable; it also recognized the inability of Russia to continue the war. The result, as here illustrated, was an effort to avoid the unpleasant alternatives by proclaiming the war "ended" and justifying this action for intrinsic reasons while refusing to sign a peace treaty because of its unpleasant possibilities in the results.
2
Text in Scott, op. cit., p. 364.

-265-

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