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

By James Brown Scott | Go to book overview

part, for I was not for a moment in doubt that you have made our cause your own, in the same measure as we stand for the rights of your monarchy. The heavy but successful battles of these years have clearly demonstrated this fact to every one who wants to see. They have only drawn the bonds close together. Our enemies, who are unable to do anything against us in honorable warfare, do not recoil from the most sordid and the lowest methods. We must, therefore, put up with it, but all the more is it our duty ruthlessly to grapple with and beat the enemy in all the theaters of war. In true friendship. WILHELM.


AUSTRIAN CLAIM THAT THE PRINCE SIXTUS LETTER WAS FALSIFIED1
April 13, 1918

The letter by his Apostolic Majesty, published by the French Premier in his communiqué of April 12, 1918, is falsified (verfaelscht). First of all, it may be declared that the personality of far higher rank than the Foreign Minister, who, as admitted in the official statement of April 7, undertook peace efforts in the Spring of 1917, must be understood to be not his Apostolic Majesty but Prince Sixtus of Bourbon, who in the spring of 1917 was occupied with bringing about a rapprochement between the belligerent States. As regards the text of the letter published by M. Clemenceau, the Foreign Minister declares by All Highest command that his Apostolic Majesty wrote a purely personal private letter in the spring of 1917 to his brother-in-law, Prince Sixtus of Bourbon, which contained no instructions to the Prince to initiate mediation with the President of the French Republic or any one else, to hand on communications which might be made to him, or to evoke and receive replies. This letter, morever, made no mention of the Belgian question, and contained, relative to Alsace- Lorraine, the following passage: "I would have used all my personal influence in favor of the French claims for the return of Alsace- Lorraine, if these claims were just. They are not, however." The second letter of the Emperor mentioned in the French Premier's communiqué of April 9, in which his Apostolic Majesty is said to have

____________________
1
Text in Current History, June, 1918, p. 494.

-321-

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