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

By James Brown Scott | Go to book overview

STATEMENT OF FOREIGN MINISTER BURIAN ON THE ROUMANIAN TREATY AND IN REPLY TO MR. LLOYD-GEORGE1
June 11, 1918

Our economic alliance must not exhibit any hostile face to the world. The agreements we propose to adopt will have no influence on the possibility of receiving other nations into the contemplated system. All doors will remain open.

There is an inseparable connection between the Polish question and the rendering of the Austro-German alliance more intimate. The Polish question can only be solved by the mutual consent of the Allies, and account must be taken in this solution of the separate interests of each; otherwise the solution would bring with itself new difficulties. It is not our intention to introduce a new center of disturbance in the Northeast. The Polish problem will be discussed in Berlin, and naturally we must not lose sight of the effect on home policy which may result from every solution. The South Slav problem was not brought on the tapis by the war, but four years of war have produced what may be called a hot house atmosphere in which everything political matures much more quickly.

Our readiness to conclude peace has not undergone change in a single respect. The Austro-Hungarian monarchy desires no annexation. The monarchy has thus far signed four peace treaties, not one of which has brought what one might call conquest. Naturally, in making peace with Roumania we have been obliged to take care that our hitherto unprotected frontiers should be guaranteed. This is precisely the same as if anybody noticed that his front door insufficiently protected him from danger without, and therefore, caused a safety lock to be put on. That we have taken an uninhabited strip along the Carpathians can not be described as subjecting foreign races to our yoke. Moreover the Roumanians also have received the impression that they are not too hardly treated by us. So long, however, as foreign statesmen speak as does Mr. Lloyd-George, nothing can remain to us but to fight on resolutely. This however, does not change in the least our readiness to conclude peace, or our honest effort to arrive at peaceful agreement.

____________________
1
Text in The Times, London, June 12, 1918, p. 6.

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