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

By James Brown Scott | Go to book overview

OFFICIAL ITALIAN STATEMENT ON THE AUSTRIAN PROPOSAL1
September 18, 1918

The Italian Government up to the present has no knowledge of the Austrian peace note except from what has been published by telegraph agencies. If, however, the text supplied by correspondents is correct, the Italian Government must point out that the Austrian proposal aims at creating a phantom of peace negotiations without any real substance or probability of a practical issue. The recent declarations of members of the Austro-Hungarian and German Governments, which exclude any cession of territory and would establish as definitive the iniquitous treaties of Brest-Litovsk and Bucharest, make any useful opening of negotiations impossible.

The Entente Powers and the United States have widely made known their sincere desire for a just peace, and at the same time also on what essential bases this peace ought to be founded. On this point the Austrian note does not say a word. The same can be said, for instance, as regards that which more directly affects Italian aspirations. These are well known to the Austrian Government and are recognized by the Allies, and they can be summed up by stating that they aim at the attainment of national unity by the deliverance of the Italians hitherto subject to Austria and at the realization of conditions which are indispensable for the security of Italy.

Until the Austrian Government also recognizes these special aims, as well as the general and special aims for which all the Allies are unitedly fighting, Italy will not cease the struggle the object of which is to lead humanity to the better and safer shelter of a durable peace founded on liberty and justice.

____________________
1
Text in The Times, London, September 20, 1918, p. 5.

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