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

By James Brown Scott | Go to book overview

the United States is a menace to no nation or people. It will never be used in aggression or for the aggrandizement of any selfish interest of our own. It springs out of freedom and is for the service of freedom.


REPLY OF PRIME MINISTER LLOYD-GEORGE TO CHANCELLOR VON HERTLING AND FOREIGN MINISTER CZERNIN1
February 12, 1918

. . . . . . . . . . .

I sought to find out what questions were to be addressed to the Government on this occasion because I thought it was exceptionally important that the Government should be informed so that whatever answers should be given should be well considered. I regret--perhaps it was owing to the absence of my right honorable friend--that I was unable to ascertain until, through the courtesy of my right honorable friend, this morning one of the questions which have been referred to was mentioned to me. My right honorable friend has said a good deal about the speeches which have recently been delivered on the question of peace. The Government stand by the considered declaration which I made on behalf of my colleagues and myself to the trade union representatives early this year.

I read with profound disappointment the replies given to President Wilson's speech and the one which I delivered on behalf of the Government by the German Chancellor and Count Czernin. It is perfectly true, as far as tone is concerned, that there was a great difference between the Austrian speech and the German speech, but I wish that I could believe that there was a difference in substance. I can not altogether, and I regret it, accept that interpretation of Count Czernin's speech. It was extraordinarily civil in tone and friendly, but when you came to the real substance of the demands put forward by the Allies it was adamant. It put Mesopotamia, Palestine, and Arabia in exactly the same category as Belgium. They were to be restored to the Turks on the same conditions presumably as those on which Germany was to restore Belgium. When it came to the demands of Italy Count Czernin simply said that certain offers had

____________________
1
Text in The Times, London, February 13, 1918, p. 11.

-271-

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