The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, January 01, 1917, Page 28, Image 28

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    The Commonei
Eritente Nations Reply to Wilson
' A Washington dispatch, dated
Jan. 11 says: President Wilson today
received the text of the Entente
allies' roply to his peace note, giving
their peace terms as requested. The
translation from the French, as
cabled by Ambassador Sharp from
Paris, follows:
. "The allied governments have re
ceived tho noto which was delivered
to thom in tho name of tho govern
ment of tho United States on the 19th
of December, 1916. They have
studiod it with tho care imposed Up
on thom both by tho exact realization
which they have of tho gravity of the
hour and by the' sincere friendship
which attaches thom to the American
"In a gonoral way they desire to
dcclaro their rospoct for tho lofty
sontimonts inspiring tho American
noto and their whole-hearted agree
ment with tho proposal to create a
league of nations which Bhall assure
peaco and justice throughout the
"Thoy recognize all tho advantages
for tho cause of humanity and civil
ization which the institution of in
ternational agreements destined to
avoid violent conflicts between na
tions would present; agreements
which must imply tho sanctions
necessary to insure their execution
and thus prevent an apparent secur
ity from only facilitating now ag
gressions. "But a discussion of future ar
rangements for insuring a durable
peaco presupposes a satisfactory
settlement of the present conflict; tiio
allies nave as profound a desire as
the government of tho United States
to torminato as soon as possible a
war for which tho central empires
aro responsible and which inflicts
cruel sufferings upon humanity.
"But in their judgment it Is im
possible to obtain at this moment
such a peaco aB will not only secure
to thom the reparation, the restitu
tion and tho guarantees justly duo
them, by reason of the act of aggres
sion, tho guilt of which is fixed upon
tho central powers, while tho very
principle from which it Bpraug was
undermining tho safoty of Europe;
and at tho same timo such a peace as
will enable future European nations
to bo establisLed upon a sure foun
dation. ,v&i- us'tivj
"Tiie allied nations are conscious
that they are not fighting for selfish
interests, but i-bovo all to safeguard
the independent of peoples, of right
and of humanity.
"The allies are fully aware of the
losses and sufferings which the war
causes to neutrals as well as to bel
llgeronts, and they deplore therii;
but they do not hold themselves re
sponsible for them, having In no way
either willed or provoked this war,
and they strive to reduce these dam
ages In tho measure compatible with
tho inexorable exigencies of their de-
fense against the violence and the
wiles of the enemy.
. "It is with satisfaction therefore
that they take i.ote of the declaration
that tho Amerl mn communication is
in no wise associated In its origin
With that of the central powers
transmitted on the 18th of Decem
ber by the government of the United
States. They dldnot doubt, more
over, tho resolution of that govern
ment to avoid even the appearance
6ft a support, even moral, of the au
thors responsible for thowar.
"The allied governments feel It
tlier duty to challenge in the most
frjeiidly, but also in thj; clearest, way
the' analogydrawn between tho two
based on public declarations of the
central powers, is in direct conflict
with tho ovidonco, both .as regards
responsibility for tho past and guar
antees fo:f tho future. President
Wilson, in alluling to this analogy,
did not, of course, intend to adopt it
as his own.
"If there Is an historical fact es
tablished at tho present date, it is
the willful aggression of Germany
and Austira-Hungary to insure their
hegemony over Europe and their
economic domination over tho world.
Germany proved by her declaration
of war, by tho immediate violation
of Belgium and Luxemburg and by
her manner of conducting tho war
her simulating contempt for .all
principles of humanity and all re
spect for small states; as tho con
flict developed the attitude of the
central powers and their allies has
been a continual defiance of human
ity and civilization. It is necessary
to recall the horrors which accom
panied the invasion of Belgium and
of Serbia, the atrocious regime im
posed upon the invaded countries,
the massacre of hundreds of thou
sands of inoffensive Armenians, the
barbarities perpetrated against the
populations of Syria, the raids of
Zeppelins on open towns, the de
struction by submarines of passenger
steamers and of merchantmen oven
under neutral flags, tho cruel treat
ment inflicted upon prisoners of war,
the juridical murders of Miss Cavel,
of Captain Fryatt. the deportation
and the reduction to slavery of civil
populations, et cetera? The execution,
of such a series of crimes perpetrated
without any regard for universal
reprobation fully explains to Presi
dent Wilson the protest of the allies.
'-They consider that the note
which they sent to tho United States
in reply to the German note will be
a response to. the questions put by
the American government, and. ac
cording to tiro" exact words of the lat
ter, constitute 'a public declaration
as to the conditions upon which the
war could be terminated.'
"Prosldent Wilson desires more.
He desires that the belligerent pow
ers openly affirm the objects which
they seek by continuing the war; the
allies experience no difficulty in reply
ing, to this request. Their objects in
the war are well known; they have
been formulated on many occasions
by the chiefs of their divers govern
ments. "Their objects in the war will not
bo made known in detail with all the
equitable compensations and indem
nities for damages suffered until the
hour of negotiations. But tho civil
ized: world knows that they imply in
all necessity and. in the first instance
the restoration oft Belgium, of Ser
bia, and of Montenegro, and
tne indemnities which are duo
them; tho evacuation of the in
vaded territories of France, of Rus
sia and of Roumania with, just rep
aration; tho reorganization of Eu
rope guaranteed by stable regime
and founded as much upon respect
of nationalities and full security and
liberty (of) economic development
which all nations, great or small,
possess, as upon territorial conven
tions and international agreements
suitable to guarantee territorial and
maritime frontiers -against unjusti
fied attacks; the restitution of prov
inces or territories wrested in the
past from tho allies by force or
against the- will of their populations,
the liberation of Italians, of Slavs,
of Roumanians and of Tcheco Slova
ftuas from foreir v domination; the
enfranchisement of population! sub
ject to tho bloody tyrWnjoi" tW
Turks; the expulsion from Europe of
tho Ottoman empire, which has
proved Itself so radically alien to
western civilization.
"Tho intentions of his majesty,
tho Emperor of Russia, regarding
Poland have been clearly indicated
in tho proclamation which ho has
just addressed to hlu armies. It goes
without saying that if the allies wish
to liberate Europe from the brutal
covetousness of Prussian militarism,
it never has been their design, as
has been alleged, to encompass tho
extermination of the German peoples
and' their political disappearance.
That which they desire above all is
to insure a peace upon the principles
of liberty and justice, upon the in
violable fidelity to international obli
gation with which the government
of the United States has never ceased
to be inspired.
"United in the pursuits, of this su
preme object the. allies are deter
mined, individually and collectively,
to act with all their power and to
consent to all sacrifices to bring to
a vigorous close a coniiict upon
which they are convinced' not only
their own safety and prosperity de
pend, but also the future of civiliza
tion itself."
The translation 'of the. Belgian
note, which was handed to Ambassa
dor Sharp with the entente reply,
follows: '
"Tho government of the king,
which has associated itself with tne
answer handed by the president of
the French council to the American
ambassador on behalf of all, Is par
ticularly desirous or paying tribute
to the sentiment of humanity which
prompted the President of the United
States to send his note to the bellig
erent powers and it highly esteems
the friendship expressed for Belgium
through his kindly intermediation.
Ifc-fWsires as much as Mr. Woodrow
Wilson to see the present Tvar ended
as early as possible.
, "But the President seems to be
lieve that the statesmen of the two
opposing camps pursue the same ob
jects of war. The example of Bel
gium unfortunately demonstrates
that this is in no wfse the fact. Bel
gium has never, like' the central
powers, aimed at conquests. The
barbarous fashion in which' the Ger
man government has treated, and
still is treating, the Belgian nation
does not permit the supposition that
Germany will preoccupy herself with
guaranteeing in the future the rights
of the weak nations which she has
not ceased to trample under foot
Bince the war, let loose by her, began
to desolate Europe., On the other
hand, the government of the king
has noted with pleasure and with
confidence the assurances that the
United. States is impatient to co-operate
in the measures which will be
taken after the conclusion of peace,
io protect ana guarantee tne smalLf131" " a"""wd ,
nations against violence and oppresH Whereas, It has pleased the Divine
"Previous to the German ultima
tum Belgium only aspired to live
upon good term- with all her neigh
bors; she practiced with scrupulous
loyalty toward each one of them the
duties, .imposed by her neutrality. In
the same manner she has been re
warded by Germany for the confi
dence she placed in her, through
which from oj day to the other,
.without any plausible reason, her
neutrality was violated, and the
chancellor of the empire, when an
nouncing to the reichstag this viola
tion 08 right and of treaties, was
' VOL- 17, , NO, i
obliged to recognize the Iniquity nf
such an act and predetermine that i
would be repaired. bat u
"But th Germans, after tho 06.
cupation of Belgian territory, ha
displayed no tetter observance of th!
rights of international law or til
stipulations of The Hague conven!
tlons. They have, by taxation, as
heavy as it is .arbitrary, drained tho
resources of the country; they hava
intentionally ruined its industries
destroyed whole cities, put to death
and imprisoned a considerable num.
ber of inhabitants. Even now, while
they aro loudly proclaiming their de
sire to put an end to the horrors of
war, they increase the rigors of tho
occupation by deporting into servi
tude Belgian workers by the thou
sands. "If there is a country which has
the right to say that it has taken up
arms to defend its existence, it is
assuredly Belgium. Compelled to
fight or to submit to shame, she pas
sionately desires that an end bo
brought to the unprecedented suffer
ings of her population. But sho
could only accept a peace which
would assure her, as well as equit
able reparation, security and guar
antees for the future.
"The American people, sinco tho
"beginning of the war, have mani
fested for the oppressed Belgian na
tion its most ardent sympathy. It is
an American committee, the commis
sion for relief in Belgium, which, in
close union with the government of
the king and the national committee,
displays an unitiring devotion and
marvelous activity in revictualing
Belgium. Thq government of the
king is happy to aail itself of this
opportunity to express its profound
gratitude to the commission, for re
lief as well as to the generous Amer
icans eager to relieve the misery of
the Belgian population. Finally, no
where more than in the United States
have the abductions and deporta
tions of Belgian civilians provoked
such a spontaneous movement of
protestation and indignant reproof.
"These facts, entirely to the honor
of the American nation, allow the
government of the king to entertain
the legitimate hope that at the time
of the definite settlement of this long
war the voice of the entente powers
will find in the United States a unan
imous echo to claim in favor of the
Belgian nation, innocent victim of
German ambition and covetousness,
the rank and -the place which its ir-
rfinrnanhahlo tiast. the valor of its
soldiers, its fidelity to honor and its
remarkable faculties for wonc un
signed to it among the civilized nations."
At a regular meeting of the Bryan
club, 'held: at the home of Edward i.
Hughes, 1310 Byron street, last
night, the members gave expression
ofJ,heir loss in the aeaui ol nu ..
JHein as follows:
. .. ; " .
Ruler to remove from "J " " .
Fred J. Heln in the prime of Ins me,
therefore be 'it . ,,
Resolved, That the Bryan . cluD
lost a good and faithful member,
William Jennings Bryan a lojai sui
porter,. the city of Wheeling n gooa
citizen and his Bister a kind and lot
tng brother; therefore be it fJJ'
Resolved, That these expression
be spread upon the minute so '
club and a copy sent to ine
moner. Frank Auber, Louis GocW.
Toseph Mahood, committee.--"
ing Sunday Register, Wheeling,
i n i!