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Title: Peaceless Europe
Author: Nitti, Francesco Saverio, 1868-1953
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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In this book are embodied the ideas which, as a parliamentarian, as
head of the Italian Government, and as a writer, I have upheld with
firm conviction during the last few years.

I believe that Europe is threatened with decadence more owing to the
Peace Treaties than as a result of the War. She is in a state of daily
increasing decline, and the causes of dissatisfaction are growing

Europe is still waiting for that peace which has not yet been
definitely concluded, and it is necessary that the public should be
made aware that the courses now being followed by the policy of the
great victorious States are perilous to the achievement of serious,
lasting and useful results. I believe that it is to the interest of
France herself if I speak the language of truth, as a sincere friend
of France and a confirmed enemy of German Imperialism. Not only did
that Imperialism plunge Germany into a sea of misery and suffering,
covering her with the opprobrium of having provoked the terrible War,
or at least of having been mainly responsible for it, but it has
ruined for many years the productive effort of the most cultured and
industrious country in Europe.

Some time ago the ex-President of the French Republic, R. Poincaré,
after the San Remo Conference, _à propos_ of certain differences of
opinion which had arisen between Lloyd George and myself on the one
hand and Millerand on the other, wrote as follows:

    "Italy and England know what they owe to France, just as France
    knows what she owes to them. They do not wish to part company with
    us, nor do we with them. They recognize that they need us, as we
    have need of them. Lloyd George and Nitti are statesmen too shrewd
    and experienced not to understand that their greatest strength
    will always lie in this fundamental axiom. On leaving San Remo
    for Rome or London let them ask the opinion of the 'man in the
    street.' His reply will be: '_Avant tout, restez unis avec la

I believe that Lloyd George and I share the same cordial sentiments
toward France. We have gone through so much suffering and anxiety
together that it would be impossible to tear asunder links firmly
welded by common danger and pain. France will always remember with a
sympathetic glow that Italy was the first country which proclaimed her
neutrality, on August 2, 1914; without that proclamation the destinies
of the War might have taken a very different turn.

But the work of reconstruction in Europe is in the interest of France
herself. She has hated too deeply to render a sudden cessation of her
hate-storm possible, and the treaties have been begotten in rancour
and applied with violence. Even as the life of men, the life of
peoples has days of joy and days of grief: sunshine follows the storm.
The whole history of European peoples is one of alternate victories
and defeats. It is the business of civilization to create such
conditions as will render victory less brutal and defeat more

The recent treaties which regulate, or are supposed to regulate,
the relations among peoples are, as a matter of fact, nothing but a
terrible regress, the denial of all those principles which had been
regarded as an unalienable conquest of public right. President Wilson,
by his League of Nations, has been the most responsible factor in
setting up barriers between nations.

Christopher Columbus sailed from Europe hoping to land in India,
whereas he discovered America. President Wilson sailed from America
thinking that he was going to bring peace to Europe, but only
succeeded in bringing confusion and war.

However, we should judge him with the greatest indulgence, for his
intentions were undoubtedly sincere and honest.

France has more to gain than any other country in Europe by reverting
to those sound principles of democracy which formed her erstwhile
glory. We do not forget what we owe her, nor the noble spirit which
pervades some of her historic deeds. But _noblesse oblige_, and all
the more binding is her duty to respect tradition.

When France shall have witnessed the gradual unfolding of approaching
events, she will be convinced that he who has spoken to her the
language of truth and has sought out a formula permitting the peoples
of Europe to rediscover their path in life, towards life, is not only
a friend, but a friend who has opportunely brought back to France's
mind and heart the deeds of her great ancestors at the time when fresh
deeds of greatness and glory await accomplishment. The task which we
must undertake with our inmost feeling, with all the ardour of our
faith, is to find once more the road to peace, to utter the word of
brotherly love toward oppressed peoples, and to reconstruct Europe,
which is gradually sinking to the condition of Quattrocento Italy,
without its effulgence of art and beauty: thirty States mutually
diffident of each other, in a sea of programmes and Balkan ideas.

Towards the achievement of this work of civilization the great
democracies must march shoulder to shoulder. At the present moment I
hear nothing but hostile voices; but the time is not far distant when
my friends of France will be marching with us along the same road.
They already admit in private many things which they will presently be
obliged to recognize openly. Many truths are the fruit of persuasion;
others, again, are the result of former delusions.

I place my greatest trust in the action of American democracy.

By refusing to sanction the Treaty of Versailles and all the other
peace treaties, the American Senate has given proof of the soundest
political wisdom: the United States of America has negotiated its own
separate treaties, and resumes its pre-war relations with victors and
vanquished alike.

It follows that all that has been done hitherto in the way of
treaties is rendered worthless, as the most important participant
has withdrawn. This is a further motive for reflecting that it is
impossible to continue living much longer in a Europe divided by two
contending fields and by a medley of rancour and hatred which tends to
widen the chasm.

It is of the greatest interest to America that Europe should once more
be the wealthy, prosperous, civilized Europe which, before 1914, ruled
over the destinies of the world. Only by so great an effort can the
finest conquests of civilization come back to their own.

We should only remember our dead in so far as their memory may prevent
future generations from being saddened by other war victims. The
voices of those whom we have lost should reach us as voices praying
for the return of that civilization which shall render massacres
impossible, or shall at least diminish the violence and ferocity of

Just as the growing dissolution of Europe is a common danger, so is
the renewal of the bonds of solidarity a common need.

Let us all work toward this end, even if at first we may be
misunderstood and may find obstacles in our way. Truth is on the march
and will assert herself: we shall strike the main road after much of
dreary wandering in the dark lanes of prejudice and violence.

Many of the leading men of Europe and America, who in the intoxication
of victory proclaimed ideas of violence and revenge, would now be very
glad to reverse their attitude, of which they see the unhappy results.
The truth is that what they privately recognize they will not yet
openly admit. But no matter.

The confessions which many of them have made to me, both verbally and
in writing, induce me to believe that my ideas are also their ideas,
and that they only seek to express them in the form and on the
occasions less antagonistic to the currents of opinion which they
themselves set up in the days when the chief object to be achieved
seemed to be the vivisection of the enemy.

Recent events, however, have entirely changed the situation.

As I said before, the American Senate has not sanctioned the Treaty
of Versailles, nor is it likely to give it its approval. The United
States of America concludes separate treaties on its own account.

Agreements of a military character had been arrived at in Paris: the
United States of America and Great Britain guaranteed France against
any future unjust attack by Germany. The American Senate did not
sanction the agreement; in fact, it did not even discuss it. The House
of Commons had approved it subordinate to the consent of the United
States. Italy has kept aloof from all alliances. As a result of this
situation, the four Entente Powers, "allied and associated" (as
formerly was the official term), have ceased to be either "allied" or
"associated" after the end of the War.

On the other hand, Europe, after emerging from the War, is darkened
and overcast by intrigues, secret agreements and dissimulated plots:
fresh menaces of war and fresh explosions of dissatisfaction.

Nothing can help the cause of peace more than giving a full knowledge
of the real situation to the various peoples. Errors thrive in
darkness while truth walks abroad in the full light of day. It has
been my intention to lay before the public those great controversies
which cannot merely form the object of diplomatic notes or of
posthumous books presented to Parliament in a more or less incomplete
condition after events have become irreparable.

The sense of a common danger, threatening all alike, will prove the
most persuasive factor in swerving us from the perilous route which we
are now following.

As a result of the War the bonds of economic solidarity have been
torn asunder: the losers in the War must not only make good their own
losses, but, according to the treaties, are expected to pay for all
the damage which the War has caused. Meanwhile all the countries of
Europe have only one prevailing fear: German competition. In order
to pay the indemnities imposed upon her (and she can only do it by
exporting goods), Germany is obliged to produce at the lowest possible
cost, which necessitates the maximum of technical progress. But
exports at low cost must in the long run prove detrimental, if not
destructive, to the commerce of neutral countries, and even to that of
the victors. Thus in all tariffs which have already been published or
which are in course of preparation there is one prevailing object in
view: that of reducing German competition, which practically amounts
to rendering it impossible for her to pay the War indemnity.

If winners and losers were to abandon war-time ideas for a while,
and, rather, were to persuade themselves that the oppression of the
vanquished cannot be lasting, and that there is no other logical way
out of the difficulty but that of small indemnities payable in a
few years, debiting to the losers in tolerable proportion all debts
contracted towards Great Britain and the United States, the European
situation would immediately improve.

Why is Europe still in such a state of economic disorder? Because the
confusion of moral ideas persists. In many countries nerves are still
as tense as a bowstring, and the language of hatred still prevails.
For some countries, as for some social groups, war has not yet
ceased to be. One hears now in the countries of the victors the same
arguments used as were current coin in Germany before the War and
during the first phases of the War; only now and then, more as a
question of habit than because they are truly felt, we hear the words
justice, peace, and democracy.

Why is the present state of discomfort and dissatisfaction on the
increase? Because almost everywhere in Continental Europe, in the
countries which have emerged from the War, the rate of production is
below the rate of consumption, and many social groups, instead of
producing more, plan to possess themselves with violence of the wealth
produced by others. At home, the social classes, unable to resist,
are threatened; abroad, the vanquished, equally unable to resist, are
menaced, but in the very menace it is easy to discern the anxiety
of the winners. Confusion, discomfort and dissatisfaction thus grow

The problem of Europe is above all a moral problem. A great step
toward its solution will have been accomplished when winners and
losers persuade themselves that only by a common effort can they be
saved, and that the best enemy indemnity consists in peace and joint
labour. Now that the enemy has lost all he possessed and threatens
to make us lose the fruits of victory, one thing is above all others
necessary: the resumption, not only of the language, but of the ideas
of peace;

During one of the last international conferences at which I was
present, and over which I presided, at San Remo, after a long exchange
of views with the British and French Premiers, Lloyd George and
Millerand, the American journalists asked me to give them my ideas
on peace: "What is the most necessary thing for the maintenance of
peace?" they inquired.

"One thing only," I replied, "is necessary. Europe must smile once
more." Smiles have vanished from every lip; nothing has remained but
hatred, menaces and nervous excitement.

When Europe shall smile again she will "rediscover" her political
peace ideas and will drink once more at the spring of life. Class
struggles at home, in their acutest form, are like the competition of
nationalism abroad: explosions of cupidity, masked by the pretext of
the country's greatness.

The deeply rooted economic crisis, which threatens and prepares new
wars, the deeply rooted social crisis, which threatens and prepares
fresh conflicts abroad, are nothing but the expression of a _status
animae_ or soul condition. Statesmen are the most directly responsible
for the continuation of a language of violence; they should be the
first to speak the language of peace.



_September_ 30, 1921.

P.S.--"Peaceless Europe" is an entirely new book, which I have written
in my hermitage of Acquafredda, facing the blue Adriatic; it contains,
however, some remarks and notices which have already appeared in
articles written by me for the great American agency, the _United
Press_, and which have been reproduced by the American papers.

I have repeatedly stated that I have not published any document which
was not meant for publication; I have availed myself of my knowledge
of the most important international Acts and of all diplomatic
documents merely as a guide, but it is on facts that I have solidly
based my considerations.

J. Keynes and Robert Lansing have already published some very
important things, but no secret documents; recently, however, Tardieu
and Poincaré, in the interest of the French nationalist thesis which
they sustain, have published also documents of a very reserved nature.
Tardieu's book is a documentary proof of the French Government's
extremist attitude during the conference, amply showing that the
present form of peace has been desired almost exclusively by France,
and that the others have been unwilling parties to it. Besides his
articles in the _Revue des Deux Mondes_, Poincaré has recently
published in the _Temps_ (September 12, 1921) a whole secret
correspondence between Poincaré, President of the Republic,
Clemenceau, President of the Council of Ministers, the American
Delegation, and, above all, Lloyd George.









_The author includes in the book numerous secret official documents
that emanated from the Peace Conference and which came into his hands
in his position, at that time, as Italian Prime Minister. Among these
is a long and hitherto unpublished secret letter sent by Lloyd George
to Nitti, Wilson, Clemenceau, and the other members of the Peace



Is there anyone who still remembers Europe in the first months of 1914
or calls to mind the period which preceded the first year of the War?
It all seems terribly remote, something like a prehistoric era, not
only because the conditions of life have changed, but because our
viewpoint on life has swerved to a different angle.

Something like thirty million dead have dug a chasm between two ages.
War killed many millions, disease accounted for many more, but the
hardiest reaper has been famine. The dead have built up a great cold
barrier between the Europe of yesterday and the Europe of to-day.

We have lived through two historic epochs, not through two different
periods. Europe was happy and prosperous, while now, after the
terrible World War, she is threatened with a decline and a reversion
to brutality which suggest the fall of the Roman Empire. We ourselves
do not quite understand what is happening around us. More than
two-thirds of Europe is in a state of ferment, and everywhere there
prevails a vague sense of uneasiness, ill-calculated to encourage
important collective works. We live, as the saying is, "from hand to

Before 1914 Europe had enjoyed a prolonged period of peace, attaining
a degree of wealth and civilization unrivalled in the past.

In Central Europe Germany had sprung up. After the Napoleonic
invasions, in the course of a century, Germany, which a hundred years
ago seemed of all European countries the least disposed to militarism,
had developed into a great military monarchy. From being the most
particularist country Germany had in reality become the most unified
state. But what constituted her strength was not so much her army and
navy as the prestige of her intellectual development. She had achieved
it laboriously, almost painfully, on a soil which was not fertile and
within a limited territory, but, thanks to the tenacity of her effort,
she succeeded in winning a prominent place in the world-race for
supremacy. Her universities, her institutes for technical instruction,
her schools, were a model to the whole world. In the course of a few
years she had built up a merchant fleet which seriously threatened
those of other countries. Having arrived too late to create a real
colonial empire of her own, such as those of France and England, she
nevertheless succeeded in exploiting her colonies most intelligently.

In the field of industry she appeared to beat all competitors from a
technical point of view; and even in those industries which were not
hers by habit and tradition she developed so powerful an organization
as to appear almost uncanny. Germany held first place not only in the
production of iron, but in that of dyes and chemicals. Men went
there from all parts of the world not only to trade but to acquire
knowledge. An ominous threat weighed on the Empire, namely the
constitution of the State itself, essentially militaristic and
bureaucratic. Not even in Russia, perhaps, were the reins of power
held in the hands of so few men as in Germany and Austria-Hungary.

A few years before the World War started one of the leading European
statesmen told me that there was everything to be feared for the
future of Europe where some three hundred millions, the inhabitants
of Russia, Germany and Austria-Hungary, about two-thirds of the whole
continent, were governed in an almost irresponsible manner by a man
without will or intelligence, the Tsar of Russia; a madman without a
spark of genius, the German Kaiser, and an obstinate old man hedged in
by his ambition, the Emperor of Austria-Hungary. Not more than
thirty persons, he added, act as a controlling force on these three
irresponsible sovereigns, who might assume, on their own initiative,
the most terrible responsibilities.

The magnificent spiritual gifts of the Germans gave them an Emanuel
Kant, the greatest thinker of modern times, Beethoven, their greatest
exponent of music, and Goethe, their greatest poet. But the imperial
Germany which came after the victory of 1870 had limited the spirit of
independence even in the manifestations of literature and art. There
still existed in Germany the most widely known men of science, the
best universities, the most up-to-date schools; but the clumsy
mechanism tended to crush rather than to encourage all personal
initiative. Great manifestations of art or thought are not possible
without the most ample spiritual liberty. Germany was the most highly
organized country from a scientific point of view, but at the same
time the country in which there was the least liberty for individual
initiative. It went on like a huge machine: that explains why it
almost stopped after being damaged by the war, and the whole life of
the nation was paralysed while there were very few individual impulses
of reaction. Imperial Germany has always been lacking in political
ability, perhaps not only through a temperamental failing, but chiefly
owing to her militaristic education.

Before the War Germany beat her neighbours in all the branches of
human labour: in science, industry, banking, commerce, etc. But in one
thing she did not succeed, and succeeded still less after the War,
namely, in politics. When the German people was blessed with a
political genius, such as Frederick the Great or Bismarck, it achieved
the height of greatness and glory. But when the same people, after
obtaining the maximum of power, found on its path William II with his
mediocre collaborators, it ruined, by war, a colossal work, not only
to the great detriment of the country, but also to that of the victors
themselves, of whom it cannot be said with any amount of certainty,
so far as those of the Continent are concerned, whether they are the
winners or the losers, so great is the ruin threatening them, and so
vast the material and moral losses sustained.

I have always felt the deepest aversion for William II. So few as ten
years ago he was still treated with the greatest sympathy both in
Europe and America. Even democracies regarded with ill-dissimulated
admiration the work of the Kaiser, who brought everywhere his voice,
his enthusiasm, his activity, to the service of Germany. As a matter
of fact, his speeches were poor in phraseology, a mere conglomerate
of violence, prejudice and ignorance. As no one believed in the
possibility of a war, no one troubled about it. But after the War
nothing has been more harmful to Germany than the memory of those ugly
speeches, unrelieved by any noble idea, and full of a clumsy vulgarity
draped in a would-be solemn and majestic garb. Some of his threatening
utterances, such as the address to the troops sailing for China in
order to quell the Boxer rebellion, the constant association in
all his speeches of the great idea of God, with the ravings of a
megalomaniac, the frenzied oratory in which he indulged at the
beginning of the War, have harmed Germany more than anything else. It
is possible to lose nobly; but to have lost a great war after having
won so many battles would not have harmed the German people if it
had not been represented abroad by the presumptuous vulgarity of the
Kaiser and of all the members of his entourage, who were more or less
guilty of the same attitude.

Before the War Germany had everywhere attained first place in all
forms of activity, excepting, perhaps, in certain spiritual and
artistic manifestations. She admired herself too much and too openly,
but succeeded in affirming her magnificent expansion in a greatness
and prosperity without rival.

By common accord Germany held first place. Probably this consciousness
of power, together with the somewhat brutal forms of the struggle for
industrial supremacy, as in the case of the iron industry, threw a
mysterious and threatening shadow over the granitic edifice of the

When I was Minister of Commerce in 1913 I received a deputation of
German business men who wished to confer with me on the Italian
customs regime. They spoke openly of the necessity of possessing
themselves of the iron mines of French Lorraine; they looked upon war
as an industrial fact. Germany had enough coal but not enough iron,
and the Press of the iron industry trumpeted forth loud notes of war.
After the conclusion of peace, when France, through a series of wholly
unexpected events, saw Germany prostrate at her feet and without an
army, the same phenomenon took place. The iron industry tends to
affirm itself in France; she has the iron and now she wants coal.
Should she succeed in getting it, German production would be doomed.
To deprive Germany of Upper Silesia would mean killing production
after having disorganized it at the very roots of its development.

Seven years ago, or thereabouts, Germany was flourishing in an
unprecedented manner and presented the most favourable conditions for
developing. Her powerful demographic structure was almost unique.
Placed in the centre of Europe after having withstood the push of so
many peoples, she had attained an unrivalled economic position.

Close to Germany the Austro-Hungarian Empire united together eleven
different peoples, not without difficulty, and this union tended to
the common elevation of all. The vast monarchy, the result of a slow
aggregation of violence and of administrative wisdom, represented,
perhaps, the most interesting historic attempt on the part of
different peoples to achieve a common rule and discipline on the same
territory. Having successfully weathered the most terrible financial
crises, and having healed in half a century the wounds of two great
wars which she had lost, Austria-Hungary lived in the effort of
holding together Germans, Magyars, Slavs and Italians without their
flying at each others' throats. Time will show how the effort of
Austria-Hungary has not been lost for civilization.

Russia represented the largest empire which has ever been in
existence, and in spite of its defective political regime was daily
progressing. Perhaps for the first time in history an immense empire
of twenty-one millions and a half of square kilometres, eighty-four
times the size of Italy, almost three times as large as the United
States of America, was ruled by a single man. From the Baltic to
the Yellow Sea, from Finland to the Caucasus, one law and one rule
governed the most different peoples scattered over an immense
territory. The methods by which, after Peter the Great, the old Duchy
of Muscovy had been transformed into an empire, still lived in the
administration; they survive to-day in the Bolshevist organization,
which represents less a revolution than a hieratic and brutal form of
violence placed at the service of a political organization.

The war between Russia and Japan had revealed all the perils of
a political organization exclusively based on central authority
represented by a few irresponsible men under the apparent rule of a
sovereign not gifted with the slightest trace of will power.

Those who exalt nationalist sentiments and pin their faith on
imperialistic systems fail to realize that while the greatest push
towards the War came from countries living under a less liberal
regime, those very countries gave proof of the least power of
resistance. Modern war means the full exploitation of all the human
and economic resources of each belligerent country. The greater a
nation's wealth the greater is the possibility to hold out, and the
perfection of arms and weapons is in direct ratio with the degree
of technical progress attained. Moreover, the combatants and the
possibility of using them are in relation with the number of persons
who possess sufficient skill and instruction to direct the war.
Germany, Great Britain, France, Italy, the United States of America,
were able without any appreciable effort to improvise an enormous
number of officers for the War, transforming professional men,
engineers and technicians into officers. Russia, who did not have a
real industrial bourgeoisie nor a sufficient development of the middle
classes, was only able to furnish an enormous number of combatants,
but an insufficient organization from a technical and military point
of view, and a very limited number of officers. While on a peace
footing her army was the most numerous in the world, over one million
three hundred thousand men; when her officers began to fail Russia was
unable to replace them so rapidly as the proportion of nine or ten
times more than normal required by the War.

Russia has always had a latent force of development; there is within
her a _vis inertiae_ equivalent to a mysterious energy of expansion.
Her birth-rate is higher than that of any other European country;
she does not progress, she increases. Her weight acts as a menace
to neighbouring countries, and as, by a mysterious historic law the
primitive migrations of peoples and the ancient invasions mostly
originated from the territories now occupied by Russia, the latter has
succeeded in amalgamating widely different peoples and in creating
unity where no affinity appeared possible.

At any rate, although suffering from an excessively centralized
government and a form of constitution which did not allow the
development of popular energies nor a sufficient education of the
people, Russia was perhaps, half a century before the War, the
European country which, considering the difficulties in her path, had
accomplished most progress.

European Russia, with her yearly excess of from one million and a
half to two million births over deaths, with the development of
her industries and the formation of important commercial centres,
progressed very rapidly and was about to become the pivot of European

When it will be possible to examine carefully the diplomatic documents
of the War, and time will allow us to judge them calmly, it will be
seen that Russia's attitude was the real and underlying cause of the
world-conflict. She alone promoted and kept alive the agitations
in Serbia and of the Slavs in Austria; she alone in Germany's eyes
represented the peril of the future. Germany has never believed in a
French danger. She knew very well that France, single handed, could
never have withstood Germany, numerically so much her superior. Russia
was the only danger that Germany saw, and the continual increase of
the Russian army was her gravest preoccupation. Before the War, when
Italy was Germany's ally, the leading German statesmen with whom I
had occasion to discuss the situation did nothing but allude to the
Russian peril. It was known (and subsequent facts have amply proved
it) that the Tsar was absolutely devoid of will power, that he was led
and carried away by conflicting currents, and that his advisers were
for the most part favourable to the War. After the Japanese defeat the
militarist party felt keenly the need for just such a great military
revival and a brilliant _revanche_ in Europe.

Possessing an enormous wealth of raw materials and an immense
territory, Russia represented Europe's great resource, her support for
the future.

If the three great empires had attained enviable prosperity and
development in 1914, when the War burst, the three great western
democracies, Great Britain, France and Italy, had likewise progressed

Great Britain, proud of her "splendid isolation," and ruler of the
seas, traded in every country of the world. Having the vastest empire,
she was also financially the greatest creditor country: creditor of
America and Asia, of the new African states and of Australia. Perhaps
all this wealth had somewhat diminished the spirit of enterprise
before the War, and popular culture also suffered from this
unprecedented prosperity. There was not the spasmodic effort
noticeable in Germany, but a continuous and secure expansion, an
undisputed supremacy. Although somewhat preoccupied at Germany's
progress and regarding it as a peril for the future, Great Britain
attached more importance to the problems of her Empire, namely to her
internal constitution: like ancient Rome, she was a truly imperial
country in the security of her supremacy, in her calm, in her

France continued patiently to accumulate wealth. She did not increase
her population, but ably added to her territory and her savings.
Threatened with the phenomenon known to political economists under the
name of "oliganthropy," or lack of men, she had founded a colonial
empire which may be regarded as the largest on earth. It is true that
the British colonies, even before the War, covered an area of thirty
million square kilometres, while France's colonial empire was slightly
over twelve millions. But it must be remembered that the British
colonies are not colonies in the real sense of the word, but consist
chiefly in Dominions which enjoy an almost complete autonomy. Canada
alone represents about one-third of the territories of the British
Dominions; Australia and New Zealand more than one-fourth, and
Australasia, the South African Union and Canada put together represent
more than two-thirds of the Empire, while India accounts for about
fifty per cent. of the missing third. After England, France was the
most important creditor country. Her astonishing capacity for saving
increased in proportion with her wealth. Without having Germany's
force of development and Great Britain's power of expansion, France
enjoyed a wonderful prosperity and her wealth was scattered all over
the world.

Italy had arisen under the greatest difficulties, but in less than
fifty years of unity she progressed steadily. Having a territory
too small and mountainous for a population already overflowing and
constantly on the increase, Italy had been unable to exploit the
limited resources of her subsoil and had been forced to build up her
industries in conditions far less favourable than those of other
countries. Italy is perhaps the only nation which has succeeded in
forming her industries without having any coal of her own and very
little iron. But the acquisition of wealth, extremely difficult at
first, had gradually been rendered more easy by the improvement in
technical instruction and methods, for the most part borrowed from
Germany. On the eve of the War, after a period of thirty-three years,
the Triple Alliance had rendered the greatest services to Italy, fully
confirming Crispi's political intuition. France, with whom we had had
serious differences of opinion, especially after the Tunis affair, did
not dare to threaten Italy because the latter belonged to the Triple
Alliance, and for the same reason all ideas of a conflict with
Austria-Hungary had been set aside because of her forming part of the

During the Triple Alliance Italy built up all her industries,
she consolidated her national unity and prepared her economic
transformation, which was fraught with considerable difficulties.
Suddenly her sons spread all over the world, stimulated by the
fecundity of their race and by the narrowness of their fields.

The greater States were surrounded by minor nations which had achieved
considerable wealth and great prosperity.

Europe throughout her history had never been so rich, so far advanced
on the road to progress, above all so united and living in her unity;
as regards production and exchanges she was really a living unity. The
vital lymph was not limited to this or that country, but flowed with
an even current through the veins and arteries of the various nations
through the great organizations of capital and labour, promoting a
continuous and increasing solidarity among all the parties concerned.

In fact, the idea of solidarity had greatly progressed: economic,
moral and spiritual solidarity.

Moreover, the idea of peace, although threatened by military
oligarchies and by industrial corners, was firmly based on the
sentiments of the great majority. The strain of barbaric blood which
still ferments in many populations of Central Europe constituted--it
is true--a standing menace; but no one dreamt that the threat was
about to be followed, lightning like, by facts, and that we were on
the eve of a catastrophe.

Europe had forgotten what hunger meant. Never had Europe had at her
disposal such abundant economic resources or a greater increase in

Wealth is not our final object in life. But a minimum of means is an
indispensable condition of life and happiness. Excessive wealth may
lead both to moral elevation and to depression and ruin.

Europe had not only increased her wealth but developed the solidarity
of her interests. Europe is a small continent, about as large as
Canada or the United States of America. But her economic ties and
interests had been steadily on the increase.

Now the development of her wealth meant for Europe the development of
her moral ideas and of her social life and aspirations. We admire a
country not so much for its wealth as for the works of civilization
which that wealth enables it to accomplish.

Although peace be the aspiration of all peoples, even as physical
health is the aspiration of all living beings, there are wars which
cannot be avoided, as there are diseases which help us to overcome
an organic crisis to which we might otherwise succumb. War and peace
cannot be regarded as absolutely bad or absolutely good and desirable;
war is often waged in order to secure peace. In certain cases war is
not only a necessary condition of life but may be an indispensable
condition towards progress.

We must consider and analyse the sentiments and psychological causes
which bring about a war. A war waged to redeem its independence by a
nation downtrodden by another nation is perfectly legitimate, even
from the point of view of abstract morality. A war which has for
its object the conquest of political or religious liberty cannot be
condemned even by the most confirmed pacificist.

Taken as a whole, the wars fought in the nineteenth century, wars of
nationality, of independence, of unity, even colonial wars, were of a
character far less odious than that of the great conflict which has
devastated Europe and upset the economic conditions of the world. It
has not only been the greatest war in history, but in its consequences
it threatens to prove the worst war which has ravaged Europe in modern

After nearly every nineteenth-century war there has been a marked
revival of human activity. But this unprecedented clash of peoples
has reduced the energy of all; it has darkened the minds of men, and
spread the spirit of violence.

Europe will be able to make up for her losses in lives and wealth.
Time heals even the most painful wounds. But one thing she has lost
which, if she does not succeed in recovering it, must necessarily lead
to her decline and fall: the spirit of solidarity.

After the victory of the Entente the microbes of hate have developed
and flourished in special cultures, consisting of national egotism,
imperialism, and a mania for conquest and expansion.

The peace treaties imposed on the vanquished are nothing but arms of
oppression. What more could Germany herself have done had she won the
War? Perhaps her terms would have been more lenient, certainly not
harder, as she would have understood that conditions such as we have
imposed on the losers are simply inapplicable.

Three years have elapsed since the end of the War, two since the
conclusion of peace, nevertheless Europe has still more men under
arms than in pre-war times. The sentiment of nationality, twisted and
transformed into nationalism, aims at the subjugation and depression
of other peoples. No civilized co-existence is possible where each
nation proposes to harm instead of helping its neighbour.

The spread of hatred among peoples has everywhere rendered more
difficult the internal relations between social classes and the
economic life of each country. Fearing a repetition of armed
conflicts, and owing to that spirit of unrest and intolerance
engendered everywhere by the War, workers are becoming every day more
exacting. They, too, claim their share of the spoils; they, too,
clamour for enemy indemnities. The same manifestations of hate, the
same violence of language, spread from people to people and from class
to class.

This tremendous War, which the peoples of Europe have fought and
suffered, has not only bled the losers almost to death, but it has
deeply perturbed the very life and existence of the victors. It
has not produced a single manifestation of art or a single moral
affirmation. For the last seven years the universities of Europe
appear to be stricken with paralysis: not one outstanding personality
has been revealed.

In almost every country the War has brought a sense of internal
dissolution: everywhere this disquieting phenomenon is more or less
noticeable. With the exception, perhaps, of Great Britain, whose
privileged insular situation, enormous mercantile navy and flourishing
trade in coal have enabled her to resume her pre-war economic
existence almost entirely, no country has emerged scatheless from
the War. The rates of exchange soar daily to fantastic heights, and
insuperable barriers to the commerce of European nations are being
created. People work less than they did in pre-war times, but
everywhere a tendency is noticeable to consume more. Austria,
Germany, Italy, France are not different phenomena, but different
manifestations and phases of the same phenomenon.

Before the War Europe, in spite of her great sub-divisions,
represented a living economic whole. To-day there are not only
victors and vanquished, but currents of hate, ferments of violence, a
hungering after conquests, an unscrupulous cornering of raw materials
carried out brutally and almost ostentatiously in the name of the
rights of victory: a situation which renders production, let alone its
development and increase, utterly impossible.

The treaty system as applied after the War has divided Europe into
two distinct parts: the losers, held under the military and economic
control of the victors, are expected to produce not only enough
for their own needs, but to provide a super-production in order to
indemnify the winners for all the losses and damages sustained on
account of the War. The victors, bound together in what is supposed to
be a permanent alliance for the protection of their common interests,
are supposed to exercise a military action of oppression and control
over the losers until the full payment of the indemnity. Another part
of Europe is in a state of revolutionary ferment, and the Entente
Powers have, by their attitude, rather tended to aggravate than to
improve the situation.

Europe can only recover her peace of mind by remembering that the
War is over and done with. Unfortunately, the treaty system not only
prevents us from remembering that the War is finished, but determines
a state of permanent war.

Clemenceau bluntly declared to the French Chamber that treaties were a
means of continuing the War. He was perfectly right, for war is being
waged more bitterly than ever and peace is as remote as it ever was.

The problem with which modern statesmen are confronted is very simple:
can Europe continue in her decline without involving the ruin of
civilization? And is it possible to stop this process of decay without
finding some form of civil symbiosis which will ensure for all men a
more human mode of living? In the affirmative case what course should
we take, and is it presumable that there should be an immediate change
for the better in the situation, given the national and economic
interests now openly and bitterly in conflict?

We have before us a problem, or rather a series of problems, which
call for impartiality and calm if a satisfactory solution is to be
arrived at. Perhaps if some fundamental truths were brought home to
the people, or, to be more exact, to the peoples now at loggerheads
with each other, a notion of the peril equally impending upon all
concerned and the conviction that an indefinite prolongation of the
present state of things is impossible, would prove decisive factors in
restoring a spirit of peace and in reviving that spirit of solidarity
which now appears spent or slumbering.

But in the first place it is necessary to review the situation, such
as it is at the present moment:

Firstly, Europe, which was the creditor of all other continents, has
now become their debtor.

Secondly, her working capacity has greatly decreased, chiefly owing to
the negative change in her demographic structure. In pre-war times the
ancient continent supplied new continents and new territories with a
hardy race of pioneers, and held the record as regards population,
both adult and infantile, the prevalence of women over men being
especially noted by statisticians. All this has changed considerably
for the worse!

Thirdly, on the losing nations, including Germany, which is generally
understood to be the most cultured nation in the world, the victors
have forced a peace which practically amounts to a continuation of
the War. The vanquished have had to give up their colonies, their
shipping, their credits abroad, and their transferable resources,
besides agreeing to the military and economic control of the Allies;
moreover, despite their desperate conditions, they are expected to
pay an indemnity, the amount of which, although hitherto only vaguely
mentioned, surpasses by its very absurdity all possibility of an even
remote settlement.

Fourthly, considerable groups of ex-enemy peoples, chiefly Germans
and Magyars, have been assigned to populations of an inferior

Fifthly, as a result of this state of things, while Germany, Austria
and Bulgaria have practically no army at all and have submitted
without the slightest resistance to the most stringent forms of
military control, the victorious States have increased their armies
and fleets to proportions, which they did not possess before the War.

Sixthly, Europe, cut up into thirty States, daily sees her buying
capacity decreasing and the rate of exchange rising menacingly against

Seventhly, the peace treaties are the most barefaced denial of all the
principles which the Entente Powers declared and proclaimed during the
War; not only so, but they are a fundamental negation of President
Wilson's famous fourteen points which were supposed to constitute a
solemn pledge and covenant, not only with the enemy, but with the
democracies of the whole world.

Eighthly, the moral unrest deriving from these conditions has divided
among themselves the various Entente Powers: United States of America,
Great Britain, Italy and France, not only in their aims and policy,
but in their sentiments. The United States is anxious to get rid,
as far as possible, of European complications and responsibilities;
France follows methods with which Great Britain and Italy are not
wholly in sympathy, and it cannot be said that the three Great Powers
of Western Europe are in perfect harmony. There is still a great deal
of talk about common ends and ideals, and the necessity of applying
the treaties in perfect accord and harmony, but everybody is convinced
that to enforce the treaties, without attenuating or modifying their
terms, would mean the ruin of Europe and the collapse of the victors
after that of the vanquished.

Ninthly, a keen contest of nationalisms, land-grabbing and cornering
of raw materials renders friendly relations between the thirty States
of Europe extremely difficult. The most characteristic examples of
nationalist violence have arisen out of the War, as in the case of
Poland and other newborn States, which pursue vain dreams of empire
while on the verge of dissolution through sheer lack of vital strength
and energy, and becoming every day more deeply engulfed in misery and

Finally, Continental Europe is on the eve of a series of fresh and
more violent wars among peoples, threatening to submerge civilization
unless some means be found to replace the present treaties, which are
based on the principle that it is necessary to continue the War, by a
system of friendly agreements whereby winners and losers are placed
on a footing of liberty and equality, and which, while laying on the
vanquished a weight they are able to bear, will liberate Europe from
the present spectacle of a continent divided into two camps, where one
is armed to the teeth and threatening, while the other, unarmed and
inoffensive, is forced to labour in slavish conditions under the
menace of a servitude even more severe.



The various peace treaties regulating the present territorial
situation bear the names of the localities near Paris in which they
were signed: Versailles, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Trianon and Sèvres.
The first deals with Germany, the second with Austria, the third
with Hungary, and the fourth with Turkey. The Treaty of Neuilly,
comparatively far less important, concerns Bulgaria alone. But the one
fundamental and decisive treaty is the Treaty of Versailles, inasmuch
as it not only establishes as a recognized fact the partition of
Europe, but lays down the rules according to which all future treaties
are to be concluded.

History has not on record a more colossal diplomatic feat than this
treaty, by which Europe has been neatly divided into two sections:
victors and vanquished; the former being authorized to exercise on the
latter complete control until the fulfilment of terms which, even at
an optimistic point valuation, would require at least thirty years to

Although it is a matter of recent history, we may as well call to mind
that the Entente Powers have always maintained that the War was
wanted and was imposed by Germany; that she alone, with her Allies,
repeatedly violated the rights of peoples; that the World War could
well be regarded as the last war, inasmuch as the triumph of the
Entente meant the triumph of democracy and a more human regime of
life, a society of nations rich in effects conducive to a lasting
peace. It was imperative to restore the principles of international
justice. In France, in England, in Italy, and later, even more
solemnly, in the United States, the same principles have been
proclaimed by Heads of States, by Parliaments and Governments.

There are two documents laying down and fixing the principles which
the Entente Powers, on the eve of that event of decisive importance,
the entry of the United States into the War, bound themselves to
sustain and to carry on to triumph. The first is a statement by Briand
to the United States Ambassador, in the name of all the other Allies,
dated December 30, 1916. Briand speaks in the name of all "_les
gouvernements alliés unis pour la défense et la liberté des peuples_."

Briand's second declaration, dated January 10, 1917, is even more
fundamentally important. It is a collective note of reply to President
Wilson, delivered in the name of all the Allies to the United States
Ambassador. The principles therein established are very clearly
enunciated. According to that document the Entente has no idea of
conquest and proposes mainly to achieve the following objects:

1st. Restoration of Belgium, Serbia and Montenegro, with the
indemnities due to them.

2nd. Evacuation of invaded territories in France, Russia and Rumania
and payment of just reparations.

3rd. Reorganization of Europe with a permanent regime based on the
respect of nationalities and on the right of all countries, both great
and small, to complete security and freedom of economic development,
besides territorial conventions and international regulations capable
of guaranteeing land and sea frontiers from unjustified attacks.

4th. Restitution of the provinces and territories taken in the past
from the Allies by force and against the wish of the inhabitants.

5th. Liberation of Italians, Slavs, Rumanians and Czeko-Slovaks from
foreign rule.

6th. Liberation of the peoples subjected to the tyranny of the Turks
and expulsion from Europe of the Ottoman Empire, as being decidedly
extraneous to western civilization.

7th. The intentions of his Majesty the Emperor of Russia in regard
to Poland are clearly indicated in the proclamation addressed to his

8th. The Allies have never harboured the design of exterminating
German peoples nor of bringing about their political disappearance.

At that time the autocratic form of government still prevailed in
Russia, and the Allies still considered themselves bound to Russia's
aspirations; moreover there existed, in regard to Italy, the
obligations established by the Pact of London. That is why in the
statements of the Entente Powers of Europe the restoration of
Montenegro is regarded as an obligation; mention is made of the
necessity of driving the Turks out of Europe in order to enable Russia
to seize Constantinople; and as to Poland, there are only vague
allusions, namely, the reference made to the Tsar's intentions as
outlined in his proclamation.

The Entente has won the War, but Russia has collapsed under the
strain. Had victory been achieved without the fall of Russia, the
latter would have installed herself as the predominating Power in the
Mediterranean. On the other hand, to unite Dalmatia to Italy, while
separating her from Italy, according to the pact of London, by
assigning the territory of Fiume to Croatia, would have meant setting
all the forces of Slav irredentism against Italy.

These considerations are of no practical value inasmuch as events have
taken another course. Nobody can say what would have happened if the
Carthagenians had conquered the Romans or if victory had remained with
Mithridates. Hypotheses are of but slight interest when truth follows
another direction. Nevertheless we cannot but repeat that it was a
great fortune for Europe that victory was not decided by Russia, and
that the decisive factor proved the United States.

It is beyond all possible doubt that without the intervention of
the United States of America the War could not have been won by the
Entente. Although the admission may prove humiliating to the European
point of view, it is a fact which cannot be attenuated or disguised.
The United States threw into the balance the weight of its enormous
economic and technical resources, besides its enormous resources in
men. Although its dead only amount to fifty thousand, the United
States built up such a formidable human reserve as to deprive Germany
of all hopes of victory. The announcement of America's entry in the
War immediately crushed all Germany's power of resistance. Germany
felt that the struggle was no longer limited to Europe, and that every
effort was vain.

The United States, besides giving to the War enormous quantities of
arms and money, had practically inexhaustible reserves of men to place
in the field against an enemy already exhausted and famine-stricken.

War and battles are two very different things. Battles constitute an
essentially military fact, while war is an essentially political fact.
That explains why great leaders in war have always been first and
foremost great political leaders, namely, men accustomed to manage
other men and able to utilize them for their purposes. Alexander,
Julius Caesar, Napoleon, the three greatest military leaders produced
by Aryan civilization, were essentially political men. War is not only
a clash of arms, it is above all the most convenient exploitation of
men, of economic resources and of political situations. A battle is a
fact of a purely military nature. The Romans almost constantly placed
at the head of their armies personages of consular rank, who regarded
and conducted the war as a political enterprise. The rules of tactics
and strategy are perfectly useless if those who conduct the war fail
to utilize to the utmost all the means at their disposal.

It cannot be denied that in the War Germany and Austria-Hungary scored
the greatest number of victories. For a long period they succeeded in
invading large tracts of enemy territory and in recovering those
parts of their own territory which had been invaded, besides always
maintaining the offensive. They won great battles at the cost of
enormous sacrifices in men and lives, and for a long time victory
appeared to shine on their arms. But they failed to understand that
from the day in which the violation of Belgium's neutrality determined
Great Britain's entry in the field the War, from a general point of
view, could be regarded as lost. As I have said, Germany is especially
lacking in political sense: after Bismarck, her statesmen have never
risen to the height of the situation. Even von Bülow, who appeared
to be one of the cleverest, never had a single manifestation of real

The "banal" statements made about Belgium and the United States of
America by the men who directed Germany's war policy were precisely
the sort of thing most calculated to harm the people from whom they
came. What is decidedly lacking in Germany, while it abounds in
France, is a political class. Now a political class, consisting of
men of ability and culture, cannot but be the result of a democratic
education in all modern States, especially in those which have
achieved a high standard of civilization and development. It seems
almost incredible that Germany, despite all her culture, should
have tolerated the political dictatorship of the Kaiser and of his

At the Conferences of Paris and London, in 1919 and 1920, I did all
that was in my power to prevent the trial of the Kaiser, and I am
convinced that my firm attitude in the matter succeeded in avoiding
it. Sound common sense saved us from floundering in one of the most
formidable blunders of the Treaty of Versailles. To hold one man
responsible for the whole War and to bring him to trial, his enemies
acting as judge and jury, would have been such a monstrous travesty
of justice as to provoke a moral revolt throughout the world. On the
other hand it was also a moral monstrosity, which would have deprived
the Treaty of Versailles of every shred of dignity. If the one
responsible for the War is the Kaiser, why does the Entente demand of
the German people such enormous indemnities, unprecedented in history?

One of the men who has exercised the greatest influence on European
events during the last ten years, one of the most intelligent of
living statesmen, once told me that it was his opinion that the Kaiser
did not want the War, but neither did he wish to prevent it.

Germany, although under protest, has been forced to accept the
statement of the Versailles Treaty to the effect that she is
responsible for the War and that she provoked it. The same charge has
been levelled at her in all the Entente States throughout the War.

When our countries were engaged in the struggle, and we were at grips
with a dangerous enemy, it was our duty to keep up the _morale_ of our
people and to paint our adversaries in the darkest colours, laying on
their shoulders all the blame and responsibility of the War. But after
the great world conflict, now that Imperial Germany has fallen, it
would be absurd to maintain that the responsibility of the War is
solely and wholly attributable to Germany and that earlier than 1914
in Europe there had not developed a state of things fatally destined
to culminate in a war. If Germany has the greatest responsibility,
that responsibility is shared more or less by all the countries of the
Entente. But while the Entente countries, in spite of their mistakes,
had the political sense always to invoke principles of right and
justice, the statesmen of Germany gave utterance to nothing but brutal
and vulgar statements, culminating in the deplorable mental and moral
expressions contained in the speeches, messages and telegrams of
William II. He was a perfect type of the _miles gloriosus_, not a
harmless but an irritating and dangerous boaster, who succeeded in
piling up more loathing and hatred against his country than the most
active and intelligently managed enemy propaganda could possibly have

If the issue of the War could be regarded as seriously jeopardized
by England's intervention, it was practically lost for the Central
Empires when the United States stepped in.

America's decision definitely crippled Germany's resistance--and
not only for military, but for moral reasons. In all his messages
President Wilson had repeatedly declared that he wanted a peace
based on justice and equity, of which he outlined the fundamental
conditions; moreover, he stated that he had no quarrel with the
Germans themselves, but with the men who were at their head, and that
he did not wish to impose on the vanquished peace terms such as might
savour of oppression.

President Wilson's ideas on the subject have been embodied in a
bulky volume.[1] Turning over the pages of this book now we have the
impression that it is a collection of literary essays by a man who had
his eye on posterity and assumed a pose most likely to attract the
admiration of generations as yet unborn. But when these same words
were uttered in the intervals of mighty battles, they fell on
expectant and anxious ears: they were regarded as a ray of light in
the fearsome darkness of uncertainty, and everybody listened to them,
not only because the President was the authorized exponent of a
great nation, of a powerful people, but because he represented an
inexhaustible source of vitality in the midst of the ravages of
violence and death. President Wilson's messages have done as much as
famine and cruel losses in the field to break the stubborn resistance
of the German people. If it was possible to obtain a just peace, why
go to the bitter end when defeat was manifestly inevitable? Obstinacy
is the backbone of war, and nothing undermines a nation's power of
resistance so much as doubt and faint-heartedness on the part of the
governing classes.

[Footnote 1: "President Wilson's State Speeches and Addresses," New
York, 1918.]

President Wilson, who said on January 2, 1917, that a peace without
victory was to be preferred ("It must be a peace without victory"),
and that "Right is more precious than peace," had also repeatedly
affirmed that "We have no quarrel with the German people."

He only desired, as the exponent of a great democracy, a peace which
should be the expression of right and justice, evolving from the War a
League of Nations, the first milestone in a new era of civilization, a
league destined to bind together ex-belligerents and neutrals in one.

In Germany, where the inhabitants had to bear the most cruel
privations, President Wilson's words, pronounced as a solemn pledge
before the whole world, had a most powerful effect on all classes
and greatly contributed towards the final breakdown of collective
resistance. Democratic minds saw a promise for the future, while
reactionaries welcomed any way out of their disastrous adventure.

After America's entry in the War, President Wilson, on January 8,
1918, formulated the fourteen points of his programme regarding the
finalities of the War and the peace to be realized.

It is here necessary to reproduce the original text of President
Wilson's message containing the fourteen points which constitute a
formal pledge undertaken by the democracy of America, not only towards
enemy peoples but towards all peoples of the world.

These important statements from President Wilson's message have,
strangely enough, been reproduced either incompletely or in an utterly
mistaken form even in official documents and in books published by
statesmen who took a leading part in the Paris Conference.

It is therefore advisable to reproduce the original text in full:

    1st. Honest peace treaties, following loyal and honest
    negotiations, after which secret international agreements will be
    abolished and diplomacy will always proceed frankly and openly.

    2nd. Full liberty of navigation on the high seas outside
    territorial waters, both in peace and war, except when the seas be
    closed wholly or in part by an international decision sanctioned
    by international treaties.

    3rd. Removal, as far as possible, of all economic barriers and
    establishment of terms of equality in commerce among all nations
    adhering to peace and associated to maintain it.

    4th. Appropriate guarantees to be given and received for the
    reduction of national armaments to a minimum compatible with
    internal safety.

    5th. A clear, open and absolutely impartial settlement of all
    colonial rights, based on a rigorous observance of the principle
    that, in the determination of all questions of sovereignty, the
    interests of the populations shall bear equal weight with those of
    the Government whose claims are to be determined.

    6th. The evacuation of all Russian territories and a settlement
    of all Russian questions such as to ensure the best and most
    untrammelled co-operation of other nations of the world in
    order to afford Russia a clear and precise opportunity for the
    independent settlement of her autonomous political development and
    of her national policy, promising her a cordial welcome in the
    League of Nations under institutions of her own choice, and
    besides a cordial welcome, help and assistance in all that she may
    need and require. The treatment meted out to Russia by the sister
    nations in the months to come must be a decisive proof of their
    goodwill, of their understanding of her needs as apart from
    their own interests, and of their intelligent and disinterested

    7th. Belgium, as the whole world will agree, must be evacuated
    and reconstructed without the slightest attempt at curtailing the
    sovereign rights which she enjoys in common with other free
    nations. Nothing will be more conducive to the re-establishment
    of confidence and respect among nations for those laws which they
    themselves have made for the regulation and observance of their
    reciprocal relations. Without this salutary measure the whole
    structure and validity of international law would be permanently

    8th. All French territories will be liberated, the invaded regions
    reconstructed, and the wrong done to France by Prussia in 1871,
    in the question of Alsace-Lorraine, and which has jeopardized the
    peace of the world for nearly half a century, must be made good,
    so as to ensure a lasting peace in the general interest.

    9th. The Italian frontier must be rectified on the basis of the
    clearly recognized lines of nationality.

    10th. The people of Austria-Hungary, whose place among the nations
    we wish to see safeguarded and maintained, should come to an
    agreement as to the best way of attaining their autonomous

    11th. Rumania, Serbia and Montenegro are to be evacuated and
    occupied territories restored: a free and secure access to the
    sea for Serbia; mutual relations between the Balkan States to be
    determined on a friendly basis by a Council, following the lines
    of friendship and nationality traced by tradition and history; the
    political and economic integrity of the various Balkan States to
    be guaranteed.

    12th. A certain degree of sovereignty must be assigned to that
    part of the Ottoman Empire which is Turkish; but the other
    nationalities now under the Turkish regime should have the
    assurance of an independent existence and of an absolute and
    undisturbed opportunity to develop their autonomy; moreover
    the Dardanelles should be permanently open to the shipping and
    commerce of all nations under international guarantees.

    13th. An independent Polish State should be founded, comprising
    all territories inhabited by peoples of undoubtedly Polish
    nationality, with a free and secure access to the sea and its
    political and economic independence and territorial integrity
    guaranteed by international agreements.

    14th. A League of Nations must be formed with special pacts and
    for the sole scope of ensuring the reciprocal guarantees of
    political independence and of territorial integrity, in equal
    measure both for large and small States.

The Peace Treaty as outlined by Wilson would really have brought about
a just peace; but we shall see how the actual result proved quite the
reverse of what constituted a solemn pledge of the American people and
of the Entente Powers.

On February 11, 1918, President Wilson confirmed before Congress that
all territorial readjustments were to be made in the interest and for
the advantage of the populations concerned, not merely as a bargain
between rival States, and that there were not to be indemnities,
annexations or punitive exactions of any kind.

On September 27, 1918, just on the eve of the armistice, when German
resistance was already shaken almost to breaking point, President
Wilson gave it the _coup de grâce_ by his message on the _post-bellum_
economic settlement. No special or separate interest of any single
nation or group of nations was to be taken as the basis of any
settlement which did not concern the common interest of all; there
were not to be any leagues or alliances, or special pacts or ententes
within the great family of the society of nations; economic deals and
corners of an egotistical nature were to be forbidden, as also all
forms of boycotting, with the exception of those applied in punishment
to the countries transgressing the rules of good fellowship; all
international treaties and agreements of every kind were to be
published in their entirety to the whole world.

It was a magnificent programme of world policy. Not only would it have
meant peace after war, but a peace calculated to heal the deep wounds
of Europe and to renovate the economic status of nations.

On the basis of these principles, which constituted a solemn pledge,
Germany, worn out by famine and even more by increasing internal
unrest, demanded peace.

According to President Wilson's clear statements, made not only in
the name of the United States but in that of the whole Entente, peace
should therefore have been based on justice, the relations between
winners and losers in a society of nations being exclusively inspired
by mutual trust.

There were no longer to be huge standing armies, neither on the
part of the ex-Central Empires or on that of the victorious States;
adequate guarantees were to be _given and received_ for the reduction
of armies to the minimum necessary for internal defence; removal of
all economic barriers; absolute freedom of the seas; reorganization
of the colonies based on the development of the peoples directly
concerned; abolition of secret diplomacy, etc.

As to the duties of the vanquished, besides evacuating the occupied
territories, they were to reconstruct Belgium, to restore to France
the territories taken in 1871; to restore all the territories
belonging to Rumania, Serbia and Montenegro, giving Serbia a free and
secure access to the sea; to constitute a free Poland with territories
_undoubtedly Polish_ to which _there might_ be granted a free and
secure access to the sea. Poland, founded on secure ethnical bases,
far from being a military State, was to be an element of peace, and
her political and economic independence and territorial integrity were
to have been guaranteed by an international agreement.

After the rectification of the Italian frontier according to the
principles of nationality, the peoples of Austria-Hungary were to
agree on the free opportunity of their autonomous development. In
other terms, each people could freely choose autonomy or throw in its
lot with some other State. After giving a certain sovereignty to the
Turkish populations of the Ottoman Empire the other nationalities were
to be allowed to develop autonomously, and the free navigation of the
Dardanelles was to be internationally guaranteed.

These principles announced by President Wilson, and already proclaimed
in part by the Entente Powers when they stoutly affirmed that they
were fighting for right, for democracy and for peace, did not
constitute a concession but a duty towards the enemy. In each of the
losing countries, in Germany as in Austria-Hungary, the democratic
groups contrary to the War, and those even more numerous which had
accepted the War as in a momentary intoxication, when they exerted
themselves for the triumph of peace, had counted on the statements, or
rather on the solemn promises which American democracy had made not
only in the name of the United States but in that of all the Entente

Let us now try to sum up the terms imposed on Germany and the other
losing countries by the treaty of June 28, 1919. The treaty, it is
true, was concluded between the allied and associated countries and
Germany, but it also concerns the very existence of other countries
such as Austria-Hungary, Russia, etc.:


Until the payment of an indemnity the amount of which is as yet not
definitely stated, Germany loses the fundamental characters of a
sovereign state. Not only part of her territory remains under the
occupation of the ex-enemy troops for a period of fifteen years but a
whole series of controls is established, military, administrative, on
transports, etc. The Commission for Reparations is empowered to effect
all the changes it thinks fit in the laws and regulations of the
German State, besides applying sanctions of a military and economic
nature in the event of violations of the clauses placed under its
control (Art. 240, 241).

The allied and associated governments declare and Germany recognizes
that Germany and her allies are solely responsible, being the direct
cause thereof, for all the losses and damages suffered by the allied
and associated governments and their subjects as a result of the War,
which was thrust upon them by the aggression of Germany and her allies
(Art. 231). Consequently the resources of Germany (and by the
other treaties those of her allies as well) are destined, even if
insufficient, to ensure full reparation for all losses and damages
(Art. 232).

The allied and associated Powers place in a state of public accusation
William II of Hohenzollern, ex-German Emperor, charging him with
the gravest offences against international morality and the sacred
authority of treaties. A special tribunal composed of representatives
of the five great Entente Powers shall try him and will have the
right of determining his punishment (Art. 227). The German Government
likewise recognizes the right of the allied and associated Powers to
try in their courts of justice the persons (and more especially the
officers) accused of having committed acts contrary to the rules and
customs of war.

Restitution of Alsace and Lorraine to France without any obligation
on the latter's part, not even the corresponding quota of public debt
(Art. 51 _et seq_.).

The treaties of April 19, 1839, are abolished, so that Belgium, being
no longer neutral, may become allied to France (Art. 31); attribution
to Belgium of the territories of Eupen, Malmédy and Moresnet.

Abolition of all the treaties which established political and economic
bonds between Germany and Luxemburg (Art. 40).

Annulment of all the treaties concluded by Germany during the War.

German-Austria, reduced to a little State of hardly more than
6,000,000 inhabitants, about one-third of whom live in the capital
(Art. 80), cannot become united to Germany without the consent of the
Society of Nations, and is not allowed to participate in the affairs
of another nation, namely of Germany, before being admitted to the
League of Nations (Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Art. 88). As the
consent of the League of Nations must be unanimous, a contrary vote on
the part of France would be sufficient to prevent German-Austria from
becoming united to Germany.

Attribution of North Schleswig to Denmark (Art. 109).

Creation of the Czeko-Slovak State (Art. 87), which comprises the
autonomous territory of the Ruthenians south of the Carpathians,
Germany abandoning in favour of the new State all her rights and
claims on that part of Silesia mentioned in Art. 83.

Creation of the State of Poland (Art. 87), to whom Posnania and part
of Western Prussia are made over. Upper Silesia is to decide by a
plebiscite (Art. 88) whether it desires to be united to Germany or to
Poland. The latter, even without Upper Silesia, becomes a State of
31,000,000 inhabitants, with about fifty per cent. of the population
non-Polish, including very numerous groups of Germans.

Creation of the Free State of Danzig within the limits of Art. 100,
under the protection of the League of Nations. The city is a Free
City, but enclosed within the Polish Customs House frontiers, and
Poland has full control of the river and of the railway system.
Poland, moreover, has charge of the foreign affairs of the Free City
of Danzig and undertakes to protect its subjects abroad.

Surrender to the victors, or, to be more precise, almost exclusively
to Great Britain and France, of all the German colonies (Art. 119 and
127). The formula (Art. 119) is that Germany renounces in favour of
the leading allied and associated Powers all her territories beyond
the seas. Great Britain has secured an important share, but so has
France, receiving that part of Congo ceded in 1911, four-fifths of the
Cameroons and of Togoland.

Abandonment of all rights and claims in China, Siam, Liberia, Morocco,
Egypt, Turkey, Bulgaria and Shantung (Art. 128 and 158).

Creation of a League of Nations to the exclusion, practically, of
Germany and of the other losing countries, with the result that the
League is nothing but a juridical completion of the Commission of
Reparations. In all of the various treaties, the pact of the League of
Nations, the Covenant, left standing among the collapse of President
Wilson's other ideas and proposals, is given precedence over all other


Germany is obliged, and with her, by the subsequent treaties, all the
other losing countries, to surrender her arms and to reduce her troops
to the minimum necessary for internal defence (Art. 159 and 213). The
German army has no General Staff; its soldiers are mercenaries who
enlist for a period of ten years; it cannot be composed of more than
seven infantry and three cavalry divisions, not exceeding 100,000
men including officers: no staff, no military aviation, no heavy
artillery. The number of gendarmes and of local police can only be
increased proportionately with the increase of the population. The
maximum of artillery allowed is limited to the requirements of
internal defence. Germany is strictly forbidden to import arms,
ammunition and war material of any kind or description. Conscription
is abolished, and officers must remain with the colours at least till
they have attained the age of forty-five. No institute of science or
culture is allowed to take an interest in military questions. All
fortifications included in a line traced fifty kilometres to the east
of the Rhine are to be destroyed, and on no account may German troops
cross the said line.

Destruction of Heligoland and of the fortresses of the Kiel Canal.

Destruction under the supervision of the allied commissions of control
of all tanks, flying apparatus, heavy and field artillery, namely
35,000 guns, 160,000 machine guns, 2,700,000 rifles, besides the tools
and machinery necessary for their manufacture. Destruction of all
arsenals. Destruction of the German fleet, which must be limited to
the proportions mentioned in Art. 181.

Creation of inter-allied military commissions of control to supervise
and enforce the carrying out of the military and naval clauses, at the
expense of Germany and with the right to install themselves in the
seat of the central government.

Occupation as a guarantee, for a period of fifteen years after the
application of the treaty, of the bridgeheads and of the territories
now occupied west of the Rhine (Art. 428 and 432). If, however, the
Commission of Reparations finds that Germany refuses wholly or in part
to fulfil her treaty obligations, the zones specified in Article
421 will be immediately occupied by the troops of the allied and
associated Powers.


The principle being recognized that Germany alone is responsible for
the War which she willed and which she imposed on the rest of the
world, Germany is bound to give complete and full reparation within
the limits specified by Art. 232. The amount of the damages for which
reparation is due will be fixed by the Commission of Reparations,
consisting of the representatives of the winning countries.

The coal fields of the Saar are to be handed over, in entire and
absolute ownership, free of all liens and obligations, to France, in
compensation for the destruction of the coal mines in the north of
France. Before the War, in 1913, the output of the Saar basin amounted
to 17,000,000 tons. The Saar is incorporated in the French douane
system and after fifteen years will be submitted to a plebiscite.

Germany may not charge heavier duties on imports from allied countries
than on those from any other country. This treatment of the most
favoured nation to be extended to all allied and associated States
does not imply the obligation of reciprocity (Art. 264). A similar
limitation is placed on exports, on which no special duty may be

Exports from Alsace and Lorraine into Germany to be exempt from duty,
without right of reciprocity (Art. 268).

Germany delivers to the Allies all the steamers of her mercantile
fleet of over I,600 tons, half of those between 1,000 and I,600 tons,
and one-fourth of her fishing vessels. Moreover, she binds herself to
build at the request of the Allies every year, and for a period of
five years, 200,000 tons of shipping, as directed by the Allies, and
the value of the new constructions will be credited to her by the
Commission of Reparations (Part viii, 3).

Besides giving up all her colonies, Germany surrenders all her rights
and claims on her possessions beyond the seas (Art. 119), and all
the contracts and conventions in favour of German subjects for the
construction and exploiting of public works, which will be considered
as part payment of the reparations due. The private property of
Germans in the colonies, as also the right of Germans to live and
work there, come under the free jurisdiction of the victorious States
occupying the colonies, and which reserve unto themselves the right to
confiscate and liquidate all property and claims belonging to Germans
(Art. 121 and 297).

The private property of German citizens residing in Alsace-Lorraine is
subject to the same treatment as that of residents in the ex-German
colonies. The French Government may confiscate without granting any
compensation the private property of Germans and of German concerns in
Alsace-Lorraine, and the sums thus derived will be credited towards
the partial settlement of eventual French claims (Art. 53 and 74).
The property of the State and of local bodies is likewise surrendered
without any compensation whatever. The allies and associates reserve
the right to seize and liquidate all property, claims and interests
belonging, at the date of the ratification of the treaty, to
German citizens or to firms controlled by them, situated in their
territories, colonies, possessions and protectorates, including the
territories surrendered in accordance with the clauses of the treaty
(Art. 217).

Germany loses everything with the exception of her territory:
colonies, possessions, rights, commercial investments, etc.

After giving the Saar coal fields in perpetual ownership to France in
reparation of the temporary damages suffered by the French coal mines,
the treaty goes on to establish the best ways and means to deprive
Germany, in the largest measure possible, of her coal and her iron.
The Saar coal fields have been handed over to France absolutely, while
the war damages of the French mines have been repaired or can be
repaired in a few years. Upper Silesia being subject to the plebiscite
with the occupation of the allied troops, Germany must have lost
several of her most important coal fields had the plebiscite gone
against her.

Germany is forced to deliver in part reparation to France 7,000,000
tons of coal a year for ten years, besides a quantity of coal equal
to the yearly _ante-bellum_ output of the coal mines of the North of
France and of the Pas-de-Calais, which were entirely destroyed during
the War; the said quantity not to exceed 20,000,000 tons in the first
five years and 8,000,000 tons during the five succeeding years (Part
viii, 5). Moreover, Germany must give 8,000,000 tons to Belgium for a
period of ten years, and to Italy a quantity of coal which, commencing
at 4,500,000 tons for the year 1919-1920, reaches the figure of
8,500,000 tons in the five years after 1923-1924. To Luxemburg Germany
must provide coal in the same average quantity as in pre-war times.
Altogether Germany is compelled to hand over to the winners as part
reparation about 25,000,000 tons of coal a year.

For three years Polish exports to Germany, and for five years exports
from Luxemburg into Germany, will be free of all duty, without right
of reciprocity (Art. 268).

The Allies have the right to adopt, on the territories left of the
Rhine and occupied by their troops, a special customs regime both as
regards imports and exports (Art. 270).

After having surrendered, as per Par. 7 of the armistice terms,
5,000 locomotives and 150,000 trucks and carriages with all their
accessories and fittings (Art. 250), Germany must hand over the
railway systems of the territories she has lost, with all the rolling
stock in a good state of preservation, and this measure applies even
to Prussian Poland occupied by Germany during the War (Art. 371).

The German transport system is placed under control, and the
administration of the Elbe, the Rhine, the Oder, the Danube, owing to
the fact that they pass through more than one state and give access
to the sea, is entrusted to inter-allied commissions. In all these
commissions Germany is represented by a small minority. France
and Great Britain, who are not directly interested, have numerous
representatives on all the important river commissions, while on the
Rhine commission Germany has only four votes out of nineteen (Art. 382
to 337). A privilege of first degree is established on all production
and resources of the German States to ensure the payment of
reparations and other charges specified by the treaty (Art. 248).

The total cost of the allied and associated armies will be borne by
Germany, including the upkeep of men and beasts, pay and lodging,
heating, clothing, etc., and even veterinary services, motor lorries
and automobiles. All these expenses must be reimbursed in gold marks
(Art. 249).

The privilege, as per Art. 248 of the treaty, is to be applied in the
following order:

(a) Reimbursement of expenses for the armies of occupation during
the armistice and after the peace treaty.

(b) Payment of the reparations as established by the treaty or
treaties or supplementary conventions.

(c) Other expenses deriving from the armistice terms, from the peace
treaty and from other supplementary terms and conventions (Art. 251).
Restitution, on the basis of an estimate presented sixty days after
the application of the treaty by the Commission of Reparations, of the
live stock stolen or destroyed by the Germans and necessary for the
reconstruction of the invaded countries, with the right to exact from
Germany, as part reparations, the delivery of machinery, heating
apparatus, furniture, etc.

Reimbursement to Belgium of all the sums loaned to her by the allied
and associated Powers during the War.

Compensation for the losses and damages sustained by the civilian
population of the allied and associated Powers during the period in
which they were at war with Germany (Art. 232 and Part viii, I).

Payment, during the first two years, of twenty milliard marks in
gold or by the delivery of goods, shipping, etc., on account of
compensation (Art. 235).

The reparations owed by Germany concern chiefly:

1st. Damages and loss of life and property sustained by the civilian

2nd. Damages sustained by civilian victims of cruelty, violence or

3rd. Damages caused on occupied or invaded territories.

4th. Damages through cruelty to and ill-treatment of prisoners of war.

5th. Pensions and compensations of all kinds paid by the allied and
associated Powers to the military victims of the War and to their

6th. Subsidies paid by the allied and associated Powers to the
families and other dependents of men having served in the army, etc.,
etc. (Part viii, I). These expenses, which have been calculated
at varying figures, commencing from 350 billions, have undergone
considerable fluctuations.

I have given the general lines of the Treaty of Versailles.

The other treaties, far less important, inasmuch as the situation
of all the losing countries was already well defined, especially as
regards territorial questions, by the Treaty of Versailles, are cast
in the same mould and contain no essential variation.

Now these treaties constitute an absolutely new fact, and no one can
affirm that the Treaty of Versailles derives even remotely from the
declarations of the Entente and from Wilson's solemn pledges uttered
in the name of those who took part in the War.

If the terms of the armistice were deeply in contrast with the pledges
to which the Entente Powers had bound themselves before the whole
world, the Treaty of Versailles and the other treaties deriving
therefrom are a deliberate negation of all that had been promised,
amounting to a debt of honour, and which had contributed much more
powerfully towards the defeat of the enemy than the entry in the field
of many fresh divisions.

In the state of extreme exhaustion in which both conquerors and losers
found themselves in 1918, in the terrible suffering of the Germanic
group of belligerents, deprived for four years of sufficient
nourishment and of the most elementary necessaries of life, in the
moral collapse which had taken the place of boasting and temerity, the
words of Wilson, who pledged himself to a just peace and established
its terms, proclaiming them to the world, had completely broken down
whatever force of resistance there still remained. They were the most
powerful instruments of victory, and if not the essential cause,
certainly not the least important among the causes which brought about
the collapse of the Central Empires.

Germany had been deeply hit by the armistice. Obliged to hand over
immediately 5,000 locomotives and 150,000 railway trucks and carriages
at the very time when she had to demobilize, during the first months
she found her traffic almost completely paralysed.

Every war brings virulent germs of revolution in the vanquished
countries. The war of 1870 gave France the impulsive manifestations of
_La Commune_ in exactly the same manner as war gave rise in Germany
during the first months after the armistice to a violent revolutionary
crisis, overcome not without difficulty and still representing a grave

Forced to surrender immediately a large quantity of live stock, to
demobilize when the best part of her railway material had gone, still
hampered by the blockade, Germany, against the interest of the Allies
themselves, has been obliged to sacrifice her exchange because, in the
absence of sufficient help, she has had to buy the most indispensable
foodstuffs in neutral countries. Her paper currency, which at the
end of 1918 amounted to twenty-two milliard marks, not excessive as
compared with that of other countries, immediately increased with a
growing crescendo till it reached, in a very short time, the figure of
eighty-eight milliards, thus rendering from the very first the payment
of indemnities in gold extremely difficult.

The most skilled men have been thrust into an absolute impossibility
of producing. To have deprived Germany of her merchant fleet, built up
with so much care, means to have deprived the freight market of sixty
thousand of the most skilled, intelligent and hard-working seamen.

But what Germany has lost as a result of the treaty surpasses all
imagination and can only be regarded as a sentence of ruin and decay
voluntarily passed over a whole people.

Germany, without taking into account the countries subject to
plebiscite, has lost 7.5 per cent. of her population. Should the
plebiscites prove unfavourable to her, or, as the tendency seems to
be, should these plebiscites be disregarded, Germany would lose 13.5
per cent. of her population. Purely German territories have been
forcibly wrenched from her. What has been done in the case of the
Saar has no precedents in modern history. It is a country of 650,000
inhabitants of whom not even one hundred are French, a country which
has been German for a thousand years, and which was temporarily
occupied by France for purely military reasons. In spite of these
facts, however, not only have the coal fields of the Saar been
assigned in perpetuity to France as compensation for the damages
caused to the French mines in the North, but the territory of the Saar
forms part of the French customs regime and will be subjected after
fifteen years to a plebiscite, when such a necessity is absolutely
incomprehensible, as the population is purely German and has never
in any form or manner expressed the intention of changing its

The ebb and flow of peoples in Europe during the long war of
nationalities has often changed the situation of frontier countries.
Sometimes it may still be regarded as a necessity to include small
groups of alien race and language in different states in order to
ensure strategically safe frontiers. But, with the exception of the
necessity for self-defence, there is nothing to justify what has been
done to the detriment of Germany.

Wilson had only said that France should receive compensation for
the wrong suffered in 1871 and that Belgium should be evacuated and
reconstructed. What had been destroyed was to have been built up
again; but no one had ever thought during the War of handing over to
Belgium a part, however small, of German territory or of surrendering
predominantly and purely German territories to Poland.

The German colonies covered an area of nearly 3,000,000 square
kilometres; they had reached an admirable degree of development and
were managed with the greatest skill and ability. They represented an
enormous value; nevertheless they have been assigned to France, Great
Britain and in minor proportion to Japan, without figuring at all in
the reparations account.

It is calculated that as a result of the treaty, owing to the loss
of a considerable percentage of her agricultural area, Germany is
twenty-five per cent. the poorer in regard to the production of
cereals and potatoes and ten to twelve per cent. in regard to the
breeding of live stock.

The restitution of Alsace-Lorraine (the only formal claim advanced by
the Entente in its war programme) has deprived Germany of the bulk of
her iron-ore production. In 1913 Germany could count on 21,000,000
tons of iron from Lorraine, 7,000,000 from Luxemburg, 138,000 from
Upper Silesia and 7,344 from the rest of her territory. This means
that Germany is reduced to only 20.41 per cent. of her pre-war wealth
in iron ore.

In 1913 the Saar district represented 8.95 per cent. of the total
production of coal, and Upper Silesia 22.85 per cent.

Having lost about eighty per cent. of her iron ore and large stocks
of coal, while her production is severely handicapped, Germany,
completely disorganized abroad after the suppression of all economic
equilibrium, is condemned to look on helplessly while the very sources
of her national wealth dry up and cease to flow. In order to form a
correct estimate of the facts we must hold in mind that one-fifth of
Germany's total exports before the War consisted of iron and of tools
and machinery mostly manufactured with German iron.

If we now consider the fourteen points of President Wilson, accepted
by the Entente as a peace programme, comparing the actual results
obtained by the Treaty of Versailles, we are faced with the following

1. "_After loyal peace negotiations and the conclusion and signing
of peace treaties, secret diplomatic agreements must be regarded as
abolished_," says Wilson. On the contrary, secret peace negotiations
have been protracted for more than six months, and no hearing was even
granted to the German delegates who wished to expose their views. By a
system of treaties France has created a military alliance with Belgium
and Poland, thus completely cornering Germany.

2. _Absolute freedom of the sea beyond territorial waters_. Nothing,
as a matter of fact, has been changed from the pre-war state of
things; with the difference that the losers have had to surrender
their mercantile fleets and are therefore no longer directly
interested in the question.

3. _Removal of all economic barriers and equality of trade
conditions_. The treaty imposes on Germany terms without reciprocity,
and almost all Entente countries have already adopted protectionist
and prohibitive tariffs.

4. _Adequate guarantees to be given and received for the reduction of
armaments to a minimum compatible with home defence_. The treaties
have compelled the vanquished countries to destroy or to surrender
their navies, and have reduced the standing armies of Germany to
100,000 men, including officers, of Bulgaria to 23,000, of Austria to
30,000 (in reality only 21,000), of Hungary to 35,000. The conquering
states, on the other hand, maintain enormous armies numerically
superior to those which they had before the War. France, Belgium
and Poland have between them about 1,400,000 men with the colours.
Germany, Austria, Hungary and Bulgaria altogether have only 179,000
men under arms, while Rumania alone has 206,000 and Poland more than
450,000 men.

5. _Loyal and straightforward settlement of colonial rights and
claims, based chiefly on the advantage of the peoples directly
concerned_. All her colonies have been taken from Germany, who needed
them more than any other country of continental Europe, having a
density of population of 123 inhabitants per square kilometre (Italy
has a density of 133 per square kilometre) while France has 74, Spain
40, and European Russia before the War had only 24.

6. _Evacuation of all Russian territories and cordial co-operation for
the reconstruction and development of Russia_. For a long time the
Entente has given its support to the military ventures of Koltchak,
Judenic, Denikin and Wrangel, all men of the old regime.

7. _Evacuation and reconstruction of Belgium_. This has been done, but
to Belgium have been assigned territories which she never dreamt of
claiming before the War.

8. _Liberation of French territories, reconstruction of invaded
regions and restitution of Alsace-Lorraine to France in respect of
the territories taken from her in 1871_. France occupies a dominating
position in the Saar which constitutes an absolute denial of the
principle of nationality.

9. _Rectification of the Italian frontier, according to clearly
defined lines of nationality_. As these lines have never been clearly
defined or recognized, the solution arrived at has been distasteful
both to the Italians and to their neighbours.

10. _The peoples of Austria-Hungary to be left free to unite together
or to form autonomous states in the manner best suited to their
development_. As a matter of fact the treaties have taken the greatest
possible number of Germans from Austria and of Magyars from Hungary in
order to hand them over to Poland, to Czeko-Slovakia, to Rumania and
to Jugo-Slavia, namely to populations for the most part inferior to
the Germans.

11. _Evacuation of Rumania, Serbia and Montenegro_. This has been
effected, but whereas the Entente Powers have always proclaimed their
fundamental duty for the reconstruction of Montenegro, they all
contributed to its disappearance, chiefly at the instigation of

12. _A limited sovereignty to the Turkish parts of the Ottoman Empire,
liberation of other nationalities and freedom of navigation in the
Dardanelles placed under international guarantees_. What really
happened was that the Entente Powers immediately tried to possess
themselves of Asia Minor; but events rendered it necessary to adopt
a regime of mandates because direct sovereignty would have been too
perilous an experiment. A sense of deep perturbation and unrest
pervades the whole of Islam.

13. _An independent Polish state with populations undoubtedly Polish
to be founded as a neutral State with a free and secure outlet to the
sea and whose integrity is to be guaranteed by international accords_.
In reality a Polish state has been formed with populations undoubtedly
non-Polish, having a markedly military character and aiming at further
expansion in Ukranian and German territory. It has a population of
31,000,000 inhabitants while it should not exceed 18,000,000, and
proposes to isolate Russia from Germany. Moreover the Free State of
Danzig, practically dependent from Poland, constitutes a standing
menace to Germany.

14. _Foundation of the League of Nations for the sole purpose
of re-establishing order among nations, and laying the basis of
reciprocal guarantees of territorial integrity and political
independence for all states, both great and small_. After more than
two years have elapsed since the conclusion of peace and three since
the armistice the League of Nations is still nothing but a holy
alliance the object of which is to guarantee the privileges of the
conquerors. After the vote of the Senate, deserving of all praise
from every point of view, the United States does not form part of the
League nor do the losing countries, including Germany.

It is therefore obvious that the most solemn pledges on which peace
was based have not been maintained; the noble declarations made by the
Entente during the War have been forgotten; forgotten all the solemn
collective pledges; forgotten and disregarded Wilson's proclamations
which, without being real contracts or treaties, were something far
more solemn and binding, a pledge taken before the whole world at its
most tragic hour to give the enemy a guarantee of justice.

Without expressing any opinion on the treaties it cannot be denied
that the manner in which they have been applied has been even worse.
For the first time in civilized Europe, not during the War, when
everything was permissible in the supreme interests of defence, but
now that the War is over, the Entente Powers, though maintaining
armies more numerous than ever, for which the vanquished must pay,
have occupied German territories, inhabited by the most cultured,
progressive and technically advanced populations in the world, as an
insult and a slight, with coloured troops, men from darkest and most
barbarous Africa, to act as defenders of the rights of civilization
and to maintain the law and order of democracy.



How, after the solemn pledges undertaken during the War, a peace could
have been concluded which practically negatives all the principles
professed during the War and all the obligations entered into, is
easily explained when the progress of events is noted from the autumn
of 1918 to the end of the spring of 1919. I took no direct part in
those events, as I had no share in the government of Italy from
January to the end of June, 1919, the period during which the Treaties
of Versailles and Saint-Germain-en-Laye were being prepared. The
Orlando Ministry was resigning when the Treaty of Versailles was drawn
up for signature, and the situation which confronted the Ministry
of which I was head was clearly defined. Nevertheless I asked the
Minister of Foreign Affairs and the delegates of the preceding Cabinet
to put their signatures to it. Signing was a necessity, and it fell to
me later on to put my signature to the ratification.

The Treaty of Versailles and those which have followed with Austria,
Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey have been validly signed, and they pledge
the good faith of the countries which have signed them. But in the
application of them there is need of great breadth of view; there is
need of dispassionate study to see if they can be maintained, if the
fulfilment of the impossible or unjust conditions demanded of the
conquered countries will not do more harm to the conquerors, will not,
in point of actual fact, pave the way to their ruin.

If there is one thing, Lloyd George has said, which will never be
forgotten or forgiven, it is arrogance and injustice in the hour
of triumph. We have never tired of saying that Germany is the most
barbarous among civilized countries, that under her civilization
is hidden all the barbarism of mediaeval times, that she puts into
practice the doctrine of might over right. At the present moment it is
our duty to ask ourselves if something of the principles which we have
for so long been attributing to Germany has not passed over to the
other side, if in our own hearts there is not a bitterness of hatred
clouding our judgment and robbing our programme of all action that can
do real good.

Prussia won the war against Austria-Hungary in 1866, and did not ask
for or impose any really onerous terms. It was contented with having
regained hegemony among the German people. Prussia conquered France
in 1870. It was an unjust war, and Prussia laid down two unjust
conditions: Alsace-Lorraine and the indemnity of five milliards. As
soon as the indemnity was paid--and it was an indemnity that could be
paid in one lump sum--Prussia evacuated the occupied territory. It did
not claim of France its colonies or its fleet, it did not impose the
reduction of its armaments or control of its transport after the
peace. The Treaty of Frankfort is a humanitarian act compared with the
Treaty of Versailles.

If Germany had won the War--Germany to whom we have always attributed
the worst possible intentions--what could it have done that the
Entente has not done? It is possible that, as it is gifted with more
practical common sense, it might have laid down less impossible
conditions in order to gain a secure advantage without ruining the
conquered countries.

There are about ninety millions of Germans in Europe, and perhaps
fifteen millions in different countries outside Europe. But in the
heart of Europe they represent a great ethnic unity; they are the
largest and most compact national group in that continent. With all
the good and bad points of their race, too methodical and at the same
time easily depressed by a severe setback, they are still the most
cultivated people on earth. It is impossible to imagine that they can
disappear, much less that they can reconcile themselves to live in a
condition of slavery. On the other hand, the Entente has built on a
foundation of shifting sand a Europe full of small States poisoned
with imperialism and in ruinous conditions of economy and finance, and
a too great Poland without a national basis and necessarily the enemy
of Russia and of Germany.

No people has always been victorious; the peoples who have fought most
wars in modern Europe, English, French and Germans, have had
alternate victories and defeats. A defeat often carries in its train
reconsideration which is followed by renewed energy: the greatness of
England is largely due to its steadfast determination to destroy the
Napoleonic Empire. What elevates men is this steadfast and persevering
effort, and a series of such collective efforts carries a nation to a
high place.

There is nothing lasting in the existing groupings. At the moment of
common danger eternal union and unbreakable solidarity are proclaimed;
but both are mere literary expressions.

Great Britain, the country which has the least need to make war, has
been at war for centuries with nearly all the European countries.
There is one country only against which it has never made war, not
even when a commercial challenge from the mercantile Republics of
Italy seemed possible. That country is Italy. That shows that between
the action of Italy there is not, nor can there be, contrast, and
indeed that between the two nations there is complete agreement in
European continental policy. It is the common desire of the two
nations, though perhaps for different reasons, that no one State shall
have hegemony on the continent. But between the years 1688 and 1815
Great Britain and France were at war for seventy years: for seventy
years, that is, out of a hundred and twenty-seven there was a state of
deadly hostility between the two countries.

General progress, evinced in various ways, above all in respect for
and in the autonomy of other peoples, is a guarantee for all. No
peoples are always victorious, none always conquered. In the time of
Napoleon the First the French derided the lack of righting spirit
in the German peoples, producers of any number of philosophers
and writers. They would have laughed at anyone who suggested the
possibility of any early German military triumph. After 1815 the
countries of the Holy Alliance would never have believed in the
possibility of the revolutionary spirit recovering; they were sure of
lasting peace in Europe. In 1871 the Germans had no doubt at all that
they had surely smothered France; now the Entente thinks that it has
surely smothered Germany.

But civilization has gained something: it has gained that collection
of rules, moral conditions, sentiments, international regulations,
which tend both to mitigate violence and to regulate in a form which
is tolerable, if not always just, relations between conquerors and
conquered, above all, a respect for the liberty and autonomy of the

Now, the treaties which have been made are, from the moral point of
view, immeasurably worse than any consummated in former days, in that
they carry Europe back to a phase of civilization which was thought
to be over and done with centuries ago. They are a danger too. For
as everyone who takes vengeance does so in a degree greater than the
damage suffered, if one supposes for a moment that the conquered
of to-day may be the conquerors of to-morrow, to what lengths of
violence, degradation and barbarism may not Europe be dragged?

Every effort, then, should now be made to follow the opposite road to
that traversed up to now, the more so in that the treaties cannot be
carried out; and if it is desired that the conquered countries shall
pay compensation to the conquerors, at least in part, for the most
serious damage, then the line to be followed must be based on
realities instead of on violence.

But before trying to see how and why the treaties cannot be carried
out, it may be well to consider how the actual system of treaties
has been reached, in complete opposition to all that was said by the
Entente during the War and to President Wilson's fourteen points. At
the same time ought to be examined the causes which led in six months
from the declarations of the Entente and of President Wilson to the
Treaty of Versailles.

The most important cause for what has happened was the choice of Paris
as the meeting-place of the Conference. After the War Paris was the
least fitted of any place for the holding of a Peace Conference, and
in the two French leaders, the President of the Republic, Poincaré,
and the President of the Council of Ministers, Clemenceau, even if the
latter was more adaptable in mind and more open to consideration of
arguments on the other side, were two temperaments driving inevitably
to extremes. Victory had come in a way that surpassed all expectation;
a people that, living through every day the War had lasted, had passed
through every sorrow, privation, agony, had now but one thought, to
destroy the enemy. The atmosphere of Paris was fiery. The decision of
the peace terms to be imposed on the enemy was to be taken in a city
which a few months before, one might really say a few weeks before,
had been under the fire of the long-range guns invented by the
Germans, in hourly dread of enemy aeroplanes. Even now it is
inexplicable that President Wilson did not realize the situation
which must inevitably come about. It is possible that the delirium of
enthusiasm with which he was received at Paris may have given him the
idea that it was in him alone that the people trusted, may have made
him take the welcome given to the representative of the deciding
factor of the War as the welcome to the principles which he had
proclaimed to the world. Months later, when he left France amid
general indifference if not distrust, President Wilson must have
realized that he had lost, not popularity, but prestige, the one sure
element of success for the head of a Government, much more so for the
head of a State. It was inevitable that a Peace Conference held
in Paris, only a few months after the War, with the direction and
preparation of the work almost entirely in French hands and with
Clemenceau at the head of everything, should conclude as it did
conclude; all the more so when Italy held apart right from the
beginning, and England, though convinced of the mistakes being made,
could not act freely and effectively.

The first duty of the Peace Conference was to restore a state of
equilibrium and re-establish conditions of life. Taking Europe as an
economic unity, broken by the War, it was necessary first of all and
in the interests of all to re-establish conditions of life which would
make it possible for the crisis to be overcome with the least possible

I do not propose to tell the story of the Conference, and it is as
well to say at once that I do not intend to make use of any document
placed in my hands for official purposes. But the story of the Paris
Conference can now be told with practical completeness after what
has been published by J.M. Keynes in his noble book on the Economic
Consequences of the War and by the American Secretary of State, Robert
Lansing, and after the statements made in the British and French
Parliaments by Lloyd George and Clemenceau. But from the political
point of view the most interesting document is still André Tardieu's
book _La Paix_, to which Clemenceau wrote a preface and which
expresses, from the point of view of the French Delegation at the
Conference, the programme which France laid before itself and what it
obtained. This book explains how the principal decisions were taken,
and indeed can be fairly considered to show in a more reliable way
than any other publication extant how the work of the Conference
proceeded. For not only was M. Tardieu one of the French Delegates to
the Conference, one of those who signed the Versailles Treaty, but
also he prepared the plan of work as well as the solutions of the most
important questions in his capacity of trusted agent of the Prime

The determination in the mind of President Wilson when he came to
Paris was to carry through his programme of the League of Nations. He
was fickle in his infallibility, but he had the firmest faith that he
was working for the peace of the world and above all for the glory of
the United States. Of European things he was supremely ignorant. We
are bound to recognize his good faith, but we are not in the least
bound on that account to admit his capacity to tackle the problems
which with his academic simplicity he set himself to solve. When he
arrived in Europe he had not even prepared in outline a scheme of what
the League of Nations was to be; the principal problems found him
unprepared, and the duty of the crowd of experts (sometimes not too
expert) who followed him seemed rather to be to demonstrate the
truth of his idea than to prepare material for seriously thought out

He could have made no greater mistake than he did in coming to Europe
to take part in the meetings of the Conference. His figure lost relief
at once, in a way it seemed to lose dignity. The head of a State was
taking part in meetings of heads of Governments, one of the latter
presiding. It was a giant compelled to live in a cellar and thereby
sacrificing his height. He was surrounded by formal respect and in
some decisions he exercised almost despotic authority, but his work
was none the less disordered; there was a semblance of giving in to
him while he was giving away his entire programme without being aware
of it.

In his ignorance of European things he was brought, without
recognizing it, to accept a series of decisions not superficially in
opposition to his fourteen points but which did actually nullify them.

Great Britain is part of Europe but is not on the Continent of Europe.
While Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Russia, Hungary, Holland,
Belgium, etc., live the same life, are one in thought, Great Britain
lives in her superb insularity. If she had any moment of supreme
anxiety during the War, it was in the spring and summer of 1917 during
the terrible threat of the destruction of her shipping by submarines
and the inability of construction to keep pace with it. But after
the defeat of Germany Great Britain found herself with a fleet far
superior to those of all the rest of Europe put together; once more
she broke away from Continental Europe.

Lloyd George, with swiftly acting brain and clear insight, undoubtedly
the most remarkable man at the Paris Conference, found himself in a
difficult situation between President Wilson's pronouncements, some
of them, like that regarding the freedom of the seas, undefined and
dangerous, and the claims of France tending, after the brutal attack
it had had to meet, not towards a true peace and the reconstruction of
Europe, but towards the vivisection of Germany. In one of the first
moments, just before the General Elections, Lloyd George, too,
promised measures of the greatest severity, the trial of the Kaiser,
the punishment of all guilty of atrocities, compensation for all who
had suffered from the War, the widest and most complete indemnity. But
such pronouncements gave way before his clear realization of facts,
and later on he tried in vain to put the Conference on the plane of
such realization.

Italy, as M. Tardieu says very plainly, carried no weight in the
Conference. In the meetings of the Prime Ministers and President
Wilson _le ton était celui de la conversation; nul apparat, nulle
pose. M. Orlando parlait peu; l'activité de l'Italie à la conference
a été, jusqu'à l'excès, absorbée par la question de Fiume, et sa part
dans les débats a été de ce fait trop réduite. Restait un dialogue à
trois: Wilson, Clemenceau, Lloyd George_. The Italian Government came
into the War in May, 1915, on the basis of the London Agreement of the
preceding April, and it had never thought of claiming Fiume either
before the War when it was free to lay down conditions or during the
progress of the War.

The Italian people had always been kept in ignorance of the principles
established in the London Agreement. One of the men chiefly
responsible for the American policy openly complained to me that when
the United States came into the War no notification was given them of
the London Agreement in which were defined the future conditions
of part of Europe. A far worse mistake was made in the failure to
communicate the London Agreement to Serbia, which would certainly have
accepted it without hesitation in the terrible position in which it
then was.

But the most serious thing of all was that Italian Ministers were
unaware of its provisions till after its publication in London by the
organ of the Jugo-Slavs, which had evidently received the text from
Petrograd, where the Bolsheviks had published it. In Italy the London
Agreement was a mystery to everyone; its text was known only to the
Presidents of the Council and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the
War Cabinets. Thus only four or five people knew about it, secrecy was
strictly kept, and, moreover, it cannot possibly be said that it was
in accordance either with national ideals or the currents of public
opinion, much less with any intelligent conception of Italy's needs
and Italy's future.

The framers of the London Agreement never thought of Fiume. Indeed
they specifically expressed their willingness that it should go to
Croatia, whether in the case of Austria-Hungary remaining united or of
the detachment of Croatia from it. It is not true that it was through
the opposition of Russia or of France that the Italian framers of the
London Agreement gave up all claim to Fiume. There was no opposition
because there was no claim. The representatives of Russia and France
have told me officially that no renunciation took place through any
action on the part of their Governments, because no claim was ever
made to them. On the other hand, after the armistice, and when it
became known through the newspapers that the London Agreement gave
Fiume to Croatia, a very strong movement for Fiume arose, fanned by
the Government itself, and an equally strong movement in Fiume also.

If, in the London Agreement, instead of claiming large areas of
Dalmatia which are entirely or almost entirely Slav, provision had
been made for the constitution of a State of Fiume placed in a
condition to guarantee not only the people of Italian nationality but
the economic interests of all the peoples in it and surrounding it,
there is no doubt that such a claim on the part of Italy would have
gone through without opposition.

During the Paris Conference the representatives of Italy showed hardly
any interest at all in the problems concerning the peace of Europe,
the situation of the conquered peoples, the distribution of raw
materials, the regulation of the new states and their relations with
the victor countries. They concentrated all their efforts on the
question of Fiume, that is to say on the one point in which Italian
action was fundamentally weak in that, when it was free to enter into
the War and lay down conditions of peace, at the moment when the
Entente was without America's invaluable assistance and was beginning
to doubt the capacity of Russia to carry on, it had never even asked
for Fiume in its War Treaty, that it had made the inexplicable mistake
of neglecting to communicate that treaty to the United States when
that country came into the War and to Serbia at the moment when
Italy's effort was most valuable for its help. At the conference Italy
had no directing policy. It had been a part of the system of
the German Alliance, but it had left its Allies, Germany and
Austria-Hungary, because it recognized that the War was unjust, and
had remained neutral for ten months. Then, entering into the War
freely and without obligation, there was one road for it to follow,
that of proclaiming solemnly and defending the principles of democracy
and justice. Indeed, that was a moral duty in that the break with the
two countries with which Italy had been in alliance for thirty-three
years became a matter not only of honesty but of duty solely through
the injustice of the cause for which they had proclaimed an offensive
war. It was not possible for Italy to go to war to realize the dream
of uniting the Italian lands to the nation, for she had entered the
system of Alliance of the Central Empires and had stayed there long
years while having all the time Italian territories unjustly subjected
to Austria-Hungary. The annexation of the Italian lands to the
Kingdom of Italy had to be the consequence of the affirmation of the
principles of nationality, not the reason for going to war. In any
case, for Italy, which had laid on itself in the London Agreement
the most absurd limitations, which had confined its war aims within
exceedingly modest limits, which had no share in the distribution
of the wealth of the conquered countries, which came out of the War
without raw materials and without any share in Germany's colonial
empire, it was a matter not only of high duty but of the greatest
utility to proclaim and uphold all those principles which the Entente
had so often and so publicly proclaimed as its war policy and its war
aims. But in the Paris Conference Italy hardly counted. Without any
definite idea of its own policy, it followed France and the United
States, sometimes it followed Great Britain. There was no affirmation
of principles at all. The country which, among all the European
warring Powers, had suffered most severely in proportion to its
resources and should have made the greatest effort to free itself
from the burdens imposed on it, took no part in the most important
decisions. It has to be added that these were arrived at between March
24 and May 7, while the Italian representatives were absent from Paris
or had returned there humbled without having been recalled.

After interminable discussions which decided very little, especially
with regard to the League of Nations which arose before the nations
were constituted and could live, real vital questions were tackled, as
is seen from the report of the Conference, on March 24, and it is a
fact that between that date and May 7 the whole treaty was put in
shape: territorial questions, financial questions, economic questions,
colonial questions. Now, at that very moment, on account of the
question of Fiume and Fiume alone, for some inscrutable reason the
Italian delegates thought good to retire from the Conference, to which
they returned later without being invited, and during that time all
the demonstrations against President Wilson took place in Italy, not
without some grave responsibility on the part of the government. Italy
received least consideration in the peace treaties among all the
conquering countries. It was practically put on one side.

It has to be noted that both in the armistice and in the peace treaty
the most serious decisions were arrived at almost incidentally;
moreover they were always vitiated by slight concessions apparently
of importance. On November 2, 1917, when the representatives of the
different nations met at Paris to fix the terms of armistice, M.
Tardieu relates, the question of reparation for damages was decided
quite incidentally. It is worth while reproducing what he says in his
book, taken from the official report:

M. CLEMENCEAU: _Je voudrais venir maintenant sur la question des
réparations et des tonnages. On ne comprenderait pas chez nous, en
France, que nous n'inscrivions pas dans l'armistice une clause à
cet effet. Ce que je vous demande c'est l'addition de trois mots:
"Réparations des dommages" sans autre commentaire.

Le dialogue suivant s'établit_:

M. HYMANS: _Cela serait-il une condition d'armistice_?

M. SONNINO: _C'est plutôt une condition de paix_.

M. BONAR LAW: _Il est inutile d'insérer dans les conditions
d'armistice une clause qui ne pourrait être exécutée dans un bref

M. CLEMENCEAU: _Je ne veux que mentionner le principe. Vous ne devez
pas oublier que la population française est une de celles qui ont
le plus souffert. Elle ne comprendrait pas que nous ne fissions pas
allusion à cette clause_.

M. LLOYD GEORGE: _Si vous envisages le principe des réparations sur
terre, il faut mentionner aussi celui des réparations pour les navires

M. CLEMENCEAU: _Je comprends tout cela dans mes trois mots,
"Réparations des dommages." Je supplie le Conseil de se mettre dans
l'esprit de la population française...._

M. VESSITCH: _Et serbe_....

M. HYMANS: _Et belge_....

M. SONNINO: _Et italienne aussi_....

M. HOUSE: _Puisqu'est une question importante pour tous, je propose
l'addition de M. Clemenceau_.

M. BONAR LAW: _C'est deja dit dans notre lettre au Président Wilson,
qui la comuniquera à l'Allemagne. Il est inutile de la dire deux

M. ORLANDO: _J'accepte en principe, quoiqu'il n'en ait pas été fait
mention dans les conditions de l'armistice avec l'Autriche_.

_L'addition "Réparations des dommages" est alors adoptée. M. Klotz
propose de mettre en tête de cette addition les mots: "Sous réserve
de toutes revendications et restaurations ultérieures de la part des
Alliés et des Etats-Unis." Il est ainsi décidé_.

If I were at liberty to publish the official report of the doings of
the Conference while the various peace treaties were being prepared,
as MM. Poincaré and Tardieu have published secret acts, it would be
seen that the proceedings were very much the same in every case.
Meanwhile we may confine ourselves to an examination of the report as
given by M. Tardieu.

The question of reparation of damages was not a condition of the
armistice. It had not been accepted. Clemenceau brings the question up
again solely in homage to French public opinion. The suggestion is to
write in simply the three words: _Reparation of damages_. It is true
that these three words determine a policy, and that there is no
mention of it in the claims of the Entente, in the fourteen points
of President Wilson, or in the armistice between Italy and
Austria-Hungary. In his fourteen points Wilson confined himself, in
the matter of damages, to the following claims: (1) Reconstruction
of Belgium, (2) Reconstruction of French territory invaded, (3)
Reparation for territory invaded in Serbia, Montenegro and Rumania.
There is no other claim or statement in the fourteen points. On the
other hand the pronouncement, "_Réparation des dommages_," included,
as in fact was afterwards included, any claim for damage by land or

The representatives of Belgium, Italy and Great Britain remark that it
is a condition of peace, not of armistice. But Clemenceau makes it
a question of regard and consideration for France. France would not
understand there being no mention of it; there was no desire to define
anything, only just to mention it, and in three simple words. "I ask
you," says Clemenceau, "to put yourselves into the spirit of the
people of France." At once the British representative notes the
necessity of a clear statement regarding reparations for losses at sea
through submarines and mines; and all, the Serbian, the Belgian and,
last of all, the Italian, at once call attention to their own damages.
Mr. House, not realizing the wide and serious nature of the claim,
says that it is an important question for all, while America had
already stated, in the words of the President of the Republic, that it
renounced all indemnity of any nature whatsoever.

So was established, quite incidentally, the principle of indemnity for
damages which gave the treaty a complete turn away from the spirit
of the pronouncements by the Entente and the United States. Equally
incidentally were established all the declarations in the treaty, the
purpose of which is not easy to understand except in so far as it is
seen in the economic results which may accrue.

Article 231 of the Treaty of Versailles states that the allied and
associated governments affirm, and Germany accepts, the responsibility
of Germany and her allies for causing all the loss and damage to which
the allied and associated governments and their peoples have been
subjected as a consequence of the War imposed on them by the
aggression of Germany and her allies.

Article 177 of the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye states in the
same way that the allied and associated governments affirm, and
Austria-Hungary accepts, the responsibility of Austria and her allies,

This article is common to all the treaties, and it would have no more
than historic and philosophic interest if it were not followed by
another article in which the allied and associated governments
recognize that the resources of Germany (and of Austria-Hungary, etc.)
are not adequate, after taking into account permanent diminutions of
such resources which will result from other provisions of the present
treaty, to make complete reparation for all such loss and damage.
The allied and associated governments, however, require, and Germany
undertakes, that she will make compensation for all damage done to the
civilian population of the allied and associated powers and to their
property during the period of the belligerency of each as an allied or
associated power against Germany by such aggression by land, by sea
and from the air, and in general all damage as defined in the treaty,
comprising many of the burdens of war (war pensions and compensations
to soldiers and their families, cost of assistance to families of
those mobilized during the War, etc.).

There is nothing more useless, indeed more stupid, than to take your
enemy by the throat after you have beaten him and force him to declare
that all the wrong was on his side. The declaration is of no use
whatever, either to the conqueror, because no importance can be
attributed to an admission extorted by force; or to the conquered,
because he knows that there is no moral significance in being forced
to state what one does not believe; or for third parties, because they
are well aware of the circumstances under which the declaration was
made. It is possible that President Wilson wanted to establish a moral
reason--I do not like to say a moral alibi--for accepting, as he was
constrained by necessity to accept, all those conditions which were
the negation of what he had solemnly laid down, the moral pledge of
his people, of the American democracy.

Germany and the conquered countries have accepted the conditions
imposed on them with the reserve that they feel that they are not
bound by them, even morally, in the future. The future will pour
ridicule on this new form of treaty which endeavours to justify
excessive and absurd demands, which will have the effect of destroying
the enemy rather than of obtaining any sure benefit, by using a forced
declaration which has no value at all.

I have always detested German imperialism, and also the phases of
exaggerated nationalism which have grown up in every country after the
War and have been eliminated one after the other through the simple
fact of their being common to all countries, but only after having
brought the greatest possible harm to all the peoples, and I cannot
say that Germany and her allies were solely responsible for the War
which devastated Europe and threw a dark shadow over the life of the
whole world. That statement, which we all made during the War, was a
weapon to be used at the time; now that the War is over, it cannot be
looked on as a serious argument.

An honest and thorough examination of all the diplomatic documents,
all the agreements and relations of pre-war days, compels me to
declare solemnly that the responsibility for the War does not lie
solely on the defeated countries; that Germany may have desired
war and prepared for it under the influence of powerful industrial
interests, metallurgic, for instance, responsible for the extreme
views of newspapers and other publications, but still all the warring
countries have their share of responsibility in differing degree. It
cannot be said that there existed in Europe two groups with a moral
conception differing to the point of complete contrast; on one side,
Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey and Bulgaria, responsible for the
War, which they imposed by their aggression; on the other, all the
free and independent nations. By the side of England, France, Italy
and the United States there was Russia, which must bear, if not the
greatest, a very great responsibility for what happened. Nor is it
true that armament expenses in the ten years preceding the War were
greater in the Central Empires, or, to put it better, in the States
forming the Triple Alliance, than in the countries which later formed
the European Entente.

It is not true that only in the case of Germany were the war aims
imperialist, and that the Entente countries came in without desire of
conquest. Putting aside for the moment what one sees in the treaties
which have followed the War, it is worth while considering what would
have happened if Russia had won the War instead of being torn to
pieces before victory came. Russia would have had all the Poland of
the eighteenth century (with the apparent autonomy promised by the
Tsar), nearly all Turkey in Europe, Constantinople, and a great part
of Asia Minor. Russia, with already the greatest existing land empire
and at least half the population not Russian, would have gained
fresh territories with fresh non-Russian populations, putting the
Mediterranean peoples, and above all Italy, in a very difficult
situation indeed.

It cannot be said that in the ten years preceding the War Russia did
not do as much as Germany to bring unrest into Europe. It was on
account of Russia that the Serbian Government was a perpetual cause
of disturbance, a perpetual threat to Austria-Hungary. The unending
strife in the Balkans was caused by Russia in no less degree than
by Austria-Hungary, and all the great European nations shared, with
opposing views, in the policy of Eastern expansion.

The judgment of peoples and of events, given the uncertainty of policy
as expressed in parliament and newspapers, is variable to the last
degree. It will be enough to recall the varying judgment upon Serbia
during the last ten years in the Press of Great Britain, France and
Italy: the people of Serbia have been described as criminals and
heroes, assassins and martyrs. No one would have anything to do with
Serbia; later Serbia was raised to the skies.

The documents published by Kautsky in Germany and those revealed from
time to time by the Moscow Government prove that the preparation for
and conviction of war was not only on the part of the Central Empires,
but also, and in no less degree, on the part of the other States. One
point will always remain inexplicable: why Russia should have taken
the superlatively serious step of general mobilization, which could
not be and was not a simple measure of precaution. It is beyond doubt
that the Russian mobilization preceded even that of Austria. After
a close examination of events, after the bitter feeling of war had
passed, in his speech of December 23, 1920, Lloyd George said justly
that the War broke out without any Government having really desired
it; all, in one way or another, slithered into it, stumbling and

There were three Monarchies in Europe, the Russian, German, and
Austro-Hungarian Empires, and the fact that they were divided into
two groups necessarily led to war. It was inevitable sooner or later.
Russia was the greatest danger, the greatest threat to Europe; what
happened had to happen under one form or another. The crazy giant was
under the charge of one man without intelligence and a band of men,
the men of the old regime, largely without scruples.

Each country of Europe has its share of responsibility, Italy not
excluded. It is difficult to explain why Italy went to Tripoli in the
way in which she did in 1911, bringing about the Italo-Turkish war,
which brought about the two Balkan wars and the policy of adventure of
Serbia, which was the incident though not the cause of the European

The Libyan adventure, considered now in the serene light of reason,
cannot be looked on as anything but an aberration. Libya is an immense
box of sand which never had any value, nor has it now. Tripolitania,
Cyrenaica and Fezzan cover more than one million one hundred
thousand square kilometres and have less than nine hundred thousand
inhabitants, of whom even now, after ten years, less than a third are
under the effective control of Italy. With the war and expenses of
occupation, Libya has cost Italy about seven milliard lire, and for a
long time yet it will be on the debit side in the life of the nation.
With the same number of milliards, most of which were spent before the
European War, Italy could have put in order and utilized her immense
patrimony of water-power and to-day would be free from anxiety about
the coal problem by which it is actually enslaved. The true policy
of the nation was to gain economic independence, not a barren waste.
Ignorant people spoke of Libya in Italy as a promised land; in one
official speech the King was even made to say that Libya could absorb
part of Italian emigration. That was just a phenomenon of madness,
for Libya has no value at all from the agricultural, commercial or
military point of view. It may pay its way one day, but only if all
expenses are cut down and the administrative system is completely
changed. It may be that, if only from a feeling of duty towards the
inhabitants, Italy cannot abandon Libya now that she has taken it, but
the question will always be asked why she did take it, why she took
it by violence when a series of concessions could have been obtained
without difficulty from the Turkish Government.

The Libyan enterprise, undertaken on an impulse, against the opinion
of Italy's allies, Austria and Germany, against the wish of England
and France, is a very serious political responsibility for Italy.

The European War was the consequence of a long series of movements,
aspirations, agitations. It cannot be denied, and it is recognized by
clear-thinking men like Lloyd George, that France and England too
have by their actions taken on themselves their part in the serious
responsibility. To say that in the past they had never thought of
war is to say a thing not true. And there is no doubt that all the
diplomatic documents published before and during the War show in
Russia, above all, a situation which inevitably would soon lead to
war. In the Balkans, especially in Serbia, Russia was pursuing a
cynical and shameless policy of corruption, nourishing and exciting
every ferment of revolt against Austria-Hungary. Russian policy in
Serbia was really criminal. Everyone in Germany was convinced that
Russia was preparing for war. The Tsar's pacificist ideas were of no
importance whatever. In absolute monarchies it is an illusion to think
that the sovereign, though apparently an autocrat, acts in accordance
with his own views. His views are almost invariably those of the
people round him; he does not even receive news in its true form, but
in the form given it by officials. Russia was an unwieldy giant who
had shown signs of madness long before the actual revolution. It
is impossible that a collective madness such as that which has had
possession of Russia for three years could be produced on the spur of
the moment; the regime of autocracy contained in itself the germs
of Bolshevism and violence. Bolshevism cannot properly be judged by
Western notions; it is not a revolutionary movement of the people; it
is, as I have said before, the religious fanaticism of the Eastern
Orthodox rising from the dead body of Tsarist despotism. Bolshevism,
centralizing and bureaucratic, follows the same lines as the imperial
policy of almost every Tsar.

Undoubtedly the greatest responsibility for the War lies on Germany.
If it has not to bear all the responsibility, as the treaties claim,
it has to bear the largest share; and the responsibility lies, rather
than on the shoulders of the Emperor and the quite ordinary men
who surrounded him, on those of the military caste and some great
industrial groups. The crazy writings of General von Bernhardi and
other scandalous publications of the same sort expressed, more than
just theoretical views, the real hopes and tendencies of the whole
military caste. It is true enough that there existed in Germany a real
democratic society under the control of the civil government, but
there was the military caste too, with privileges in social life and a
special position in the life of the State. This caste was educated in
the conception of violence as the means of power and grandeur. When a
country has allowed the military and social theories of General von
Bernhardi and the senselessly criminal pronouncements of the Emperor
William II to prevail for so many years, it has put the most
formidable weapons possible into the hands of its enemies. The people
who governed Germany for so long have no right to complain now of the
conditions in which their country is placed. But the great German
people, hardworking and persevering, has full right to look on such
conditions as the negation of justice. The head of a European State, a
man of the clearest view and calmest judgment, speaking to me of the
Emperor William, of whose character and intellect he thought very
little, expressed the view that the Emperor did not want war, but that
he would not avoid it when he had the chance.

The truth is that Germany troubled itself very little about France.
Kinderlen Wächter, the most intelligent of the German Foreign
Ministers, and perhaps the one most opposed to the War, when he
outlined to me the situation as it was ten years ago, showed no
anxiety at all except in regard to Russia. Russia might make war, and
it was necessary to be ready or to see that it came about at a moment
when victory was certain if conditions did not change. Germany had no
reason at all for making war on France from the time that it had got
well ahead of that country in industry, commerce and navigation. It
is true that there were a certain number of unbalanced people in the
metal industry who talked complacently of French iron and stirred up
the yellow press, just as in France to-day there are many industrials
with their eyes fixed on German coal which they want to seize as far
as possible. But the intellectuals, the politicians, even military
circles, had no anxiety at all except with regard to Russia.

There were mistaken views in German policy, no doubt, but at the same
time there was real anxiety about her national existence. With a huge
population and limited resources, with few colonies, owing to her
late arrival in the competition for them, Germany looked on the
never-ceasing desire of Russia for Constantinople as the ruin of her
policy of expansion in the East.

And in actual fact there was but one way by which the three great
Empires, which in population and extension of territory dominated
the greater part of Europe, could avoid war, and that was to join in
alliance among themselves or at least not to enter other alliances.
The three great Empires divided themselves into two allied groups.
From that moment, given the fact that in each of them the military
caste held power, that the principal decisions lay in the hands of a
few men not responsible to parliament; given the fact that Russia,
faithful to her traditional policy, aimed to draw into her political
orbit all the Slav peoples right down to the Adriatic and the Aegean
and Austria, was leaning toward the creation of a third Slav monarchy
in the dual kingdom, it was inevitable that sooner or later the
violence, intrigue and corruption with which we are familiar should
culminate in open conflict. Bismarck always saw that putting Russia
and Germany up against each other meant war.

Peoples, like individuals, are far from representing with anything
approaching completeness such social conceptions as we call violence
and right, honesty and bad faith, justice and injustice; each people
has its different characteristics, but no one people represents good,
or another bad, no one represents brutality, or another civilization.
All these meaningless phrases were brought out during the War,
according to which, as was said by one of the Prime Ministers of the
Entente, the War was the decisive struggle between the forces of
autocracy and liberty, between the dark powers of evil and violence
and the radiant powers of good and right. To-day all this causes
nothing but a smile. Such things are just speechifying, and banal at
that. Perhaps they were a necessity of War-time which might well be
made use of; when you are fighting for your very life you use every
means you have; when you are in imminent danger you do not choose your
weapons, you use everything to hand. All the War propaganda against
the German Empires, recounting, sometimes exaggerating, all the crimes
of the enemy, claiming that all the guilt was on the side of Germany,
describing German atrocities as a habit, almost a characteristic of
the German people, deriding German culture as a species of liquid
in which were bred the microbes of moral madness--all this was
legitimate, perhaps necessary, during the War. The reply to the
asphyxiating gas of the enemy was not only the same gas, but a
propaganda calculated to do more damage, and which, in fact, did do as
much damage as tanks and blockade.

But, when war is over, nothing should be put into a peace treaty
except such things as will lead to a lasting peace, or the most
lasting peace compatible with our degree of civilization.

On January 22, 1917, President Wilson explained the reasons why he
made the proposal to put an end to the War; he said in the American
Senate that the greatest danger lay in a peace imposed by conquerors
after victory. At that time it was said that there must be neither
conquerors nor conquered. A peace imposed after victory would be the
cause of so much humiliation and such intolerable sacrifices for the
conquered side, it would be so severe, it would give rise to so much
bitter feeling that it would not be a lasting peace, but one founded
on shifting sand.

In the spring of 1919, just before the most serious decisions were to
be taken, Lloyd George put before the conference a memorandum entitled
"_Some considerations for the Peace Conference before they finally
draft their terms_."

With his marvellously quick insight, after having listened to the
speeches of which force was the leading motive (the tendency round him
was not to establish a lasting peace but to vivisect Germany), Lloyd
George saw that it was not a true peace that was being prepared.

On March 25, 1919, Lloyd George presented the following memorandum to
the conference:


When nations are exhausted by wars in which they have put forth all
their strength and which leave them tired, bleeding and broken, it is
not difficult to patch up a peace that may last until the generation
which experienced the horrors of the war has passed away. Pictures
of heroism and triumph only tempt those who know nothing of the
sufferings and terrors of war. It is therefore comparatively easy to
patch up a peace which will last for thirty years.

What is difficult, however, is to draw up a peace which will not
provoke a fresh struggle when those who have had practical experience
of what war means have passed away. History has proved that a
peace which has been hailed by a victorious nation as a triumph of
diplomatic skill and statesmanship, even of moderation, in the long
run has proved itself to be short-sighted and charged with danger to
the victor. The peace of 1871 was believed by Germany to ensure not
only her security but her permanent supremacy. The facts have shown
exactly the contrary. France itself has demonstrated that those who
say you can make Germany so feeble that she will never be able to hit
back are utterly wrong. Year by year France became numerically weaker
in comparison with her victorious neighbour, but in reality she became
ever more powerful. She kept watch on Europe; she made alliance with
those whom Germany had wronged or menaced; she never ceased to warn
the world of its danger, and ultimately she was able to secure the
overthrow of the far mightier power which had trampled so brutally
upon her. You may strip Germany of her colonies, reduce her armaments
to a mere police force and her navy to that of a fifth-rate power; all
the same, in the end, if she feels that she has been unjustly treated
in the peace of 1919, she will find means of exacting retribution from
her conquerors. The impression, the deep impression, made upon the
human heart by four years of unexampled slaughter will disappear with
the hearts upon which it has been marked by the terrible sword of the
Great War. The maintenance of peace will then depend upon there
being no causes of exasperation constantly stirring up the spirit of
patriotism, of justice or of fair play to achieve redress. Our terms
may be severe, they may be stern and even ruthless, but at the same
time they can be so just that the country on which they are imposed
will feel in its heart that it has no right to complain. But
injustice, arrogance, displayed in the hour of triumph, will never be
forgotten nor forgiven.

For these reasons I am, therefore, strongly averse to transferring
more Germans from German rule to the rule of some other nation than
can possibly be helped. I cannot conceive any greater cause of future
war than that the German people, who have certainly proved themselves
one of the most vigorous and powerful races in the world, should be
surrounded by a number of small states, many of them consisting of
people who have never previously set up a stable government for
themselves, but each of them containing large masses of Germans
clamouring for reunion with their native land. The proposal of the
Polish Commission that we should place 2,100,000 Germans under the
control of a people of a different religion and which has never proved
its capacity for stable self-government throughout its history, must,
in my judgment, lead sooner or later to a new war in the East of
Europe. What I have said about the Germans is equally true about the
Magyars. There will never be peace in South-Eastern Europe if every
little state now coming into being is to have a large Magyar Irredenta
within its borders.

I would therefore take as a guiding principle of the peace that as
far as is humanly possible the different races should be allocated
to their motherlands, and that this human criterion should have
precedence over considerations of strategy or economics or
communications, which can usually be adjusted by other means.

Secondly, I would say that the duration for the payments of reparation
ought to disappear if possible with the generation which made the war.

But there is a consideration in favour of a long-sighted peace which
influences me even more than the desire to leave no causes justifying
a fresh outbreak thirty years hence. There is one element in the
present condition of nations which differentiates it from the
situation as it was in 1815. In the Napoleonic Wars the countries were
equally exhausted, but the revolutionary spirit had spent its force
in the country of its birth, and Germany had satisfied the legitimate
popular demands for the time being by a series of economic changes
which were inspired by courage, foresight and high statesmanship. Even
in Russia the Tsar had effected great reforms which were probably
at that time even too advanced for the half-savage population. The
situation is very different now. The revolution is still in its
infancy. The extreme figures of the Terror are still in command in
Russia. The whole of Europe is filled with the spirit of revolution.
There is a deep sense not only of discontent, but of anger and revolt
among the workmen against pre-war conditions. The whole existing
order, in its political, social and economic aspects is questioned by
the masses of the population from one end of Europe to the other. In
some countries, like Germany and Russia, the unrest takes the form of
open rebellion, in others, like France, Great Britain and Italy, it
takes the shape of strikes and of general disinclination to settle
down to work, symptoms which are just as much concerned with the
desire for political and social change as with wage demands.

Much of this unrest is healthy. We shall never make a lasting peace by
attempting to restore the conditions of 1914. But there is a danger
that we may throw the masses of the population throughout Europe into
the arms of the extremists, whose only idea for regenerating mankind
is to destroy utterly the whole existing fabric of society. These
men have triumphed in Russia. They have done so at a terrible price.
Hundreds and thousands of the population have perished. The railways,
the roads, the towns, the whole structural organization of Russia has
been almost destroyed, but somehow or other they seem to have managed
to keep their hold upon the masses of the Russian people, and what is
much more significant, they have succeeded in creating a large army
which is apparently well directed and well disciplined, and is, as to
a great part of it, prepared to die for its ideals. In another year
Russia, inspired by a new enthusiasm, may have recovered from her
passion for peace and have at her command the only army eager to
fight, because it is the only army that believes that it has any cause
to fight for.

The greatest danger that I see in the present situation is that
Germany may throw in her lot with Bolshevism and place her resources,
her brains, her vast organizing power at the disposal of the
revolutionary fanatics whose dream it is to conquer the world for
Bolshevism by force of arms. This danger is no mere chimera. The
present government in Germany is weak; its authority is challenged; it
lingers merely because there is no alternative but the Spartacists,
and Germany is not ready for Spartacism, as yet. But the argument
which the Spartacists are using with great effect at this very time is
that they alone can save Germany from the intolerable conditions which
have been bequeathed her by the War. They offer to free the German
people from indebtedness to the Allies and indebtedness to their own
richer classes. They offer them complete control of their own affairs
and the prospect of a new heaven and earth. It is true that the price
will be heavy. There will be two or three years of anarchy, perhaps
of bloodshed, but at the end the land will remain, the people will
remain, the greater part of the houses and the factories will remain,
and the railways and the roads will remain, and Germany, having thrown
off her burdens, will be able to make a fresh start.

If Germany goes over to the Spartacists it is inevitable that she
should throw in her lot with the Russian Bolshevists. Once that
happens all Eastern Europe will be swept into the orbit of the
Bolshevik revolution, and within a year we may witness the spectacle
of nearly three hundred million people organized into a vast red army
under German instructors and German generals, equipped with German
cannon and German machine guns and prepared for a renewal of the
attack on Western Europe. This is a prospect which no one can face
with equanimity. Yet the news which came from Hungary yesterday shows
only too clearly that this danger is no fantasy. And what are the
reasons alleged for this decision? They are mainly the belief that
large numbers of Magyars are to be handed over to the control of
others. If we are wise, we shall offer to Germany a peace, which,
while just, will be preferable for all sensible men to the alternative
of Bolshevism. I would therefore put it in the forefront of the peace
that once she accepts our terms, especially reparation, we will open
to her the raw materials and markets of the world on equal terms with
ourselves, and will do everything possible to enable the German people
to get upon their legs again. We cannot both cripple her and expect
her to pay.

Finally, we must offer terms which a responsible government in Germany
can expect to be able to carry out. If we present terms to Germany
which are unjust, or excessively onerous, no responsible government
will sign them; certainly the present weak administration will not.
If it did, I am told that it would be swept away within twenty-four
hours. Yet if we can find nobody in Germany who will put his hand to
a peace treaty, what will be the position? A large army of occupation
for an indefinite period is out of the question. Germany would not
mind it. A very large number of people in that country would welcome
it, as it would be the only hope of preserving the existing order of
things. The objection would not come from Germany, but from our own
countries. Neither the British Empire nor America would agree to
occupy Germany. France by itself could not bear the burden of
occupation. We should therefore be driven back on the policy of
blockading the country. That would inevitably mean Spartacism from the
Urals to the Rhine, with its inevitable consequence of a huge red army
attempting to cross the Rhine. As a matter of fact, I am doubtful
whether public opinion would allow us deliberately to starve Germany.
If the only difference between Germany and ourselves were between
onerous terms and moderate terms, I very much doubt if public opinion
would tolerate the deliberate condemnation of millions of women and
children to death by starvation. If so, the Allies would have incurred
the moral defeat of having attempted to impose terms on Germany which
Germany had successfully resisted.

From every point of view, therefore, it seems to me that we ought
to endeavour to draw up a peace settlement as if we were impartial
arbiters, forgetful of the passions of the war. This settlement ought
to have three ends in view.

First of all it must do justice to the Allies, by taking into account
Germany's responsibility for the origin of the War, and for the way in
which it was fought.

Secondly, it must be a settlement which a responsible German
government can sign in the belief that it can fulfil the obligations
it incurs.

Thirdly, it must be a settlement which will contain in itself no
provocations for future wars, and which will constitute an alternative
to Bolshevism, because it will commend itself to all reasonable
opinion as a fair settlement of the European problem.


It is not, however, enough to draw up a just and far-sighted peace
with Germany. If we are to offer Europe an alternative to Bolshevism
we must make the League of Nations into something which will be both
a safeguard to those nations who are prepared for fair dealing with
their neighbours and a menace to those who would trespass on the
rights of their neighbours, whether they are imperialist empires or
imperialist Bolshevists. An essential element, therefore, in the
peace settlement is the constitution of the League of Nations as the
effective guardian of international right and international liberty
throughout the world. If this is to happen the first thing to do is
that the leading members of the League of Nations should arrive at an
understanding between themselves in regard to armaments. To my mind
it is idle to endeavour to impose a permanent limitation of armaments
upon Germany unless we are prepared similarly to impose a limitation
upon ourselves. I recognize that until Germany has settled down
and given practical proof that she has abandoned her imperialist
ambitions, and until Russia has also given proof that she does not
intend to embark upon a military crusade against her neighbours, it
is essential that the leading members of the League of Nations should
maintain considerable forces both by land and sea in order to preserve
liberty in the world. But if they are to present a united front to the
forces both of reaction and revolution, they must arrive at such an
agreement in regard to armaments among themselves as would make it
impossible for suspicion to arise between the members of the League
of Nations in regard to their intentions towards one another. If the
League is to do its work for the world it will only be because the
members of the League trust it themselves and because there are no
rivalries and jealousies in the matter of armaments between them. The
first condition of success for the League of Nations is, therefore, a
firm understanding between the British Empire and the United States
of America and France and Italy, that there will be no competitive
building up of fleets or armies between them. Unless this is arrived
at before the Covenant is signed the League of Nations will be a sham
and a mockery. It will be regarded, and rightly regarded, as a proof
that its principal promoters and patrons repose no confidence in its
efficacy. But once the leading members of the League have made it
clear that they have reached an understanding which will both secure
to the League of Nations the strength which is necessary to enable
it to protect its members and which at the same time will make
misunderstanding and suspicion with regard to competitive armaments
impossible between them its future and its authority will be assured.
It will then be able to ensure as an essential condition of peace that
not only Germany, but all the smaller States of Europe, undertake to
limit their armaments and abolish conscription. If the small nations
are permitted to organize and maintain conscript armies running each
to hundreds of thousands, boundary wars will be inevitable, and all
Europe will be drawn in. Unless we secure this universal limitation we
shall achieve neither lasting peace nor the permanent observance of
the limitation of German armaments which we now seek to impose.

I should like to ask why Germany, if she accepts the terms we consider
just and fair, should not be admitted to the League of Nations, at
any rate as soon as she has established a stable and democratic
government? Would it not be an inducement to her both to sign the
terms and to resist Bolshevism? Might it not be safer that she should
be inside the League than that she should be outside it?

Finally, I believe that until the authority and effectiveness of the
League of Nations has been demonstrated, the British Empire and the
United States ought to give France a guarantee against the possibility
of a new German aggression. France has special reason for asking for
such a guarantee. She has twice been attacked and twice invaded by
Germany in half a century. She has been so attacked because she has
been the principal guardian of liberal and democratic civilization
against Central European autocracy on the continent of Europe. It is
right that the other great Western democracies should enter into an
undertaking which will ensure that they stand by her side in time to
protect her against invasion should Germany ever threaten her again,
or until the League of Nations has proved its capacity to preserve the
peace and liberty of the world.


If, however, the Peace Conference is really to secure peace and prove
to the world a complete plan of settlement which all reasonable men
will recognize as an alternative preferable to anarchy, it must deal
with the Russian situation. Bolshevik imperialism does not merely
menace the States on Russia's borders. It threatens the whole of Asia,
and is as near to America as it is to France. It is idle to think that
the Peace Conference can separate, however sound a peace it may have
arranged with Germany, if it leaves Russia as it is to-day. I do not
propose, however, to complicate the question of the peace with Germany
by introducing a discussion of the Russian problem. I mention it
simply in order to remind ourselves of the importance of dealing with
it as soon as possible.

The memorandum is followed by some proposals entitled "General Lines
of the Peace Conditions," which would tend to make the peace less
severe. It is hardly worth while reproducing them. As in many points
the decisions taken were in the opposite sense it is better not to go
beyond the general considerations.

Mr. Lloyd George's memorandum is a secret document. But as the English
and American Press have already printed long passages from it, it
is practically possible to give it in its entirety without adding
anything to what has already been printed.

M. Tardieu has published M. Clemenceau's reply, drawn up by M. Tardieu
himself and representing the French point of view:


The French Government is in complete agreement with the general
purpose of Mr. Lloyd George's Note: to make a lasting peace, and for
that reason a just peace.

But, on the other hand, it does not think that this principle, which
is its own, really leads to the conclusions arrived at in the Note in


The Note suggests that the territorial conditions laid down for
Germany in Europe shall be moderate in order that she may not feel
deeply embittered after peace.

The method would be sound if the recent War had been nothing but a
European war for Germany; but that is not the case.

Previous to the War Germany was a great world Power whose _future
was on the sea_. This was the power of which she was so inordinately
proud. For the loss of this world power she will never be consoled.

The Allies have taken from her--or are going to take from her--without
being deterred by fear of her resentment, all her colonies, all her
ships of war, a great part of her commercial fleet (as reparations),
the foreign markets which she controlled.

That is the worst blow that could be inflicted on her, and it is
suggested that she can be pacified by some improvements in territorial
conditions. That is a pure illusion. The remedy is not big enough for
the thing it is to cure.

If there is any desire, for general reasons, to give Germany some
satisfaction, it must not be sought in Europe. Such help will be vain
as long as Germany has lost her world policy.

To pacify her (if there is any interest in so doing) she must have
satisfaction given her in colonies, in ships, in commercial expansion.
The Note of March 26 thinks of nothing but satisfaction in European


Mr. Lloyd George fears that unduly severe territorial conditions
imposed on Germany will play into the hands of Bolshevism. Is there
not cause for fear, on the other hand, that the method he suggests
will have that very result?

The Conference has decided to call into being a certain number of new
States. Is it possible without being unjust to them to impose on them
inacceptable frontiers towards Germany? If these people--Poland and
Bohemia above all--have resisted Bolshevism up to now it is through
national sentiment. If this sentiment is violated Bolshevism will find
an easy prey in them, and the only existing barrier between Russian
and German Bolshevism will be broken.

The result will be either a Confederation of Eastern and Central
Europe under the direction of a Bolshevik Germany or the enslavery of
those countries to a Germany become reactionary again, thanks to the
general anarchy. In either case the Allies will have lost the War.

The policy of the French Government, on the other hand, is to give
the fullest aid to those young peoples with the support of everything
liberal in Europe, and not to try to introduce at their expense
abatements--which in any case would be useless--of the colonial, naval
and commercial disaster which the peace imposes on Germany.

If it is necessary, in giving these young peoples frontiers without
which they cannot live, to transfer under their sovereignty some
Germans, sons of the men who enslaved them, we may regret the
necessity, and we should do it with moderation, but it cannot be

Further, when all the German colonies are taken from her entirely and
definitely, because she ill-treated the natives, what right is there
to refuse normal frontiers to Poland and Bohemia because Germans
installed themselves in those countries as precursors of the tyrant


The Note of March 26 insists on the necessity of a peace which will
appear to Germany as a just peace, and the French Government agrees.

It may be observed, however, that, given the German mentality, their
conception of justice may not be the same as that of the Allies.

And, also, surely the Allies as well as Germany, even before Germany,
should feel this impression of justice. The Allies who fought together
should conclude the War with a peace equal for all.

Now, following the method suggested in the Note of March 26, what will
be the result?

A certain number of total and definite guarantees will be given to
maritime nations whose countries were not invaded.

Total and definite, the surrender of the German colonies.

Total and definite, the surrender of the German war fleet.

Total and definite, the surrender of a large part of the German
commercial fleet.

Total and lasting, if not definite, the exclusion of Germany from
foreign markets.

For the Continental countries, on the other hand--that is to say, for
the countries which have suffered most from the War--would be reserved
partial and transitory solutions:

Partial solution, the modified frontiers suggested for Poland and

Transitory solution, the defensive pledge offered France for the
protection of her territory.

Transitory solution, the regime proposed for the Saar coal.

There is an evident inequality which might have a bad influence on
the after-war relations among the Allies, more important than the
after-war relations of Germany with them.

It has been shown in Paragraph I that it would be an illusion to hope
that territorial satisfaction offered to Germany would compensate
her sufficiently for the world disaster she has suffered. And it may
surely be added that it would be an injustice to lay the burden of
such compensation on the shoulders of those countries among the Allies
which have had to bear the heaviest burden of the War.

After the burdens of the War, these countries cannot bear the burdens
of the peace. It is essential that they should feel that the peace is
just and equal for all.

And unless that be assured it is not only in Central Europe that there
will be fear of Bolshevism, for nowhere does it propagate so easily,
as has been seen, as amid national disillusionment.


The French Government desires to limit itself for the moment to these
observations of a general character. It pays full homage to the
intentions which inspired Mr. Lloyd George's memorandum. But it
considers that the inductions that can be drawn from the present Note
are in consonance with justice and the general interests.

And those are the considerations by which the French Government will
be inspired in the coming exchange of ideas for the discussion of
conditions suggested by the Prime Minister of Great Britain.

These two documents are of more than usual interest.

The British Prime Minister, with his remarkable insight, at once notes
the seriousness of the situation. He sees the danger to the peace
of the world in German depression. Germany oppressed does not mean
Germany subjected. Every year France becomes numerically weaker,
Germany stronger. The horrors of war will be forgotten and the
maintenance of peace will depend on the creation of a situation which
makes life possible, does not cause exasperation to come into public
feeling or into the just claims of Germans desirous of independence.
Injustice in the hour of triumph will never be pardoned, can never be

So the idea of handing over to other States numbers of Germans is not
only an injustice, but a cause of future wars, and what can be said
of Germans is also true of Magyars. No cause of future wars must be
allowed to remain. Putting millions of Germans under Polish rule--that
is, under an inferior people which has never shown any capacity for
stable self-government--must lead to a new war sooner or later. If
Germany in exasperation became a country of revolution, what would
happen to Europe? You can impose severe conditions, but that does not
mean that you can enforce them; the conditions to be imposed must be
such that a responsible German Government can in good faith assume the
obligation of carrying them out.

Neither Great Britain nor the United States of America can assume
the obligation of occupying Germany if it does not carry out the
excessively severe conditions which it is desired to impose. Can
France occupy Germany alone?

From that moment Lloyd George saw the necessity of admitting Germany
into the League of Nations _at once_, and proposed a scheme of treaty
containing conditions which, while very severe, were in part tolerable
for the German people.

Clemenceau's reply, issued a few days later, contains the French point
of view, and has an ironical note when it touches on the weak points
in Lloyd George's argument. The War, says the French note, was not a
European war; Germany's eyes were fixed on world power, and she
saw that her future was on the sea. There is no necessity to show
consideration regarding territorial conditions in Europe. By taking
away her commercial fleet, her colonies and her foreign markets more
harm is done to Germany than by taking European territory. To pacify
her (if there is any occasion for doing so) she must be offered
commercial satisfaction. At this point the note, in considering
questions of justice and of mere utility, becomes distinctly ironical.

Having decided to bring to life new States, especially Poland and
Czeko-Slovakia, why not give them safe frontiers even if some Germans
or Magyars have to be sacrificed?

One of Clemenceau's fixed ideas is that criterions of justice must not
be applied to Germans. The note says explicitly that, given the German
mentality, it is by no means sure that the conception of justice of
Germany will be the same as that of the Allies.

On another occasion, after the signing of the treaty, when Lloyd
George pointed out the wisdom of not claiming from Germany the
absurdity of handing over thousands of officers accused of cruelty
for judgment by their late enemies, and recognized frankly the
impossibility of carrying out such a stipulation in England,
Clemenceau replied simply that the Germans are not like the English.

The delicate point in Clemenceau's note is the contradiction in which
he tries to involve the British Prime Minister between the clauses of
the treaty concerning Germany outside Europe, in which no moderation
had been shown, and those regarding Germany in Europe, in which he
himself did not consider moderation either necessary or opportune.

There was an evident divergence of views, clearing the way for a calm
review of the conditions to be imposed, and here two countries could
have exercised decisive action: the United States and Italy.

But the United States was represented by Wilson, who was already in a
difficult situation. By successive concessions, the gravity of which
he had not realized, he found himself confronted by drafts of treaties
which in the end were contradictions of all his proposals, the
absolute antithesis of the pledges he had given. It is quite possible
that he had not seen where he was going, but his frequent irritation
was the sign of his distress. Still, in the ship-wreck of his whole
programme, he had succeeded in saving one thing, the Statute of the
League of Nations which was to be prefaced to all the treaties.
He wanted to go back to America and meet the Senate with at least
something to show as a record of the great undertaking, and he hoped
and believed in good faith that the Covenant of the League of Nations
would sooner or later have brought about agreement and modified the
worst of the mistakes made. His conception of things was academic,
and he had not realized that there was need to constitute the nations
before laying down rules for the League; he trusted that bringing them
together with mutual pledges would further most efficiently the cause
of peace among the peoples. On the other hand, there was diffidence,
shared by both, between Wilson and Lloyd George, and there was little
likelihood of the British Prime Minister's move checking the course
the Conference had taken.

Italy might have done a great work if its representatives had had
a clear policy. But, as M. Tardieu says, they had no share in the
effective doings of the Conference, and their activity was almost
entirely absorbed in the question of Fiume. The Conference was a
three-sided conversation between Wilson, Clemenceau and Lloyd George,
and the latter had hostility and diffidence on each side of him, with
Italy--as earlier stated--for the most part absent. Also, it was
just then that the divergence between Wilson and the Italian
representatives reached its acute stage. The essential parts of the
treaty were decided in April and the beginning of May, on April 22
the question of the right bank of the Rhine, on the 23rd or 24th the
agreement about reparations. Italy was absent, and when the Italian
delegates returned to Paris without being asked on May 6, the text of
the treaty was complete, in print. In actual fact, only one person did
really effective work and directed the trend of the Conference, and
that person was Clemenceau.

The fact that the Conference met in Paris, that everything that was
done by the various delegations was known, even foreseen so that
it could be opposed, discredited, even destroyed by the Press
beforehand--a thing which annoyed Lloyd George so much that at one
time he thought seriously of leaving the Conference--all this gave
an enormous advantage to the French delegation and especially to
Clemenceau who directed the Conference's work.

All his life Clemenceau has been a tremendous destroyer. For years and
years he has done nothing but overthrow Governments with a sort of
obstinate ferocity. He was an old man when he was called to lead the
country, but he brought with him all his fighting spirit. No one
detests the Church and detests Socialism more than he; both of these
moral forces are equally repulsive to his individualistic spirit. I do
not think there is any man among the politicians I have known who is
more individualistic than Clemenceau, who remains to-day the man of
the old democracy. In time of war no one was better fitted than he to
lead a fighting Ministry, fighting at home, fighting abroad, with
the same feeling, the same passion. When there was one thing only
necessary in order to beat the enemy, never to falter in hatred, never
to doubt the sureness of victory, no one came near him, no one could
be more determined, no one more bitter. But when War was over, when it
was peace that had to be ensured, no one could be less fitted for the
work. He saw nothing beyond his hatred for Germany, the necessity
for destroying the enemy, sweeping away every bit of his activity,
bringing him into subjection. On account of his age he could not
visualize the problems of the future; he could only see one thing
necessary, and that was immediate, to destroy the enemy and either
destroy or confiscate all his means of development. He was not
nationalist or imperialist like his collaborators, but before all
and above all one idea lived in him, hatred for Germany; she must be
rendered barren, disembowelled, annihilated.

He had said in the French Parliament that treaties of peace were
nothing more than a way of going on with war, and in September, 1920,
in his preface to M. Tardieu's book, he said that France must get
reparation for Waterloo and Sedan. Even Waterloo: _Waterloo et Sedan,
pour ne pas remonter plus haut, nous imposaient d'abord les douloureux
soucis d'une politique de réparation_.

Tardieu noted, as we have seen, that there were only three people
in the Conference: Wilson, Clemenceau and Lloyd George. Orlando, he
remarks, spoke little, and Italy had no importance. With subtle irony
he notes that Wilson talked like a University don criticizing an essay
with the didactic logic of the professor. The truth is that after
having made the mistake of staying in the Conference he did not
see that his whole edifice was tumbling down, and he let mistakes
accumulate one after the other, with the result that treaties were
framed which, as already pointed out, actually destroyed all the
principles he had declared to the world.

Things being as they were in Paris, Clemenceau's temperament, the
pressure of French industry and of the newspapers, the real anxiety to
make the future safe, and the desire on that account to exterminate
the enemy, France naturally demanded, through its representatives,
the severest sanctions. England, given the realistic nature of its
representatives and the calm clear vision of Lloyd George, always
favoured in general the more moderate solutions as those which were
more likely to be carried out and would least disturb the equilibrium
of Europe. So it came about that the decisions seemed to be a
compromise, but were, on the other hand, actually so hard and so stern
that they were impossible of execution.

Without committing any indiscretion it is possible to see now from
the publications of the French representatives at the Conference
themselves what France's claims were.

Let us try to sum them up.

As regards disarmament and control there could have been and there
ought to have been no difficulty about agreement. I am in favour
of the reduction of all armaments, but I regard it as a perfectly
legitimate claim that the country principally responsible for the War,
and in general the conquered countries, should be obliged to disarm.

No one would regard it as unfair that Germany and the conquered
countries should be compelled to reduce their armaments to the measure
necessary to guarantee internal order only.

But a distinction must be drawn between military sanctions meant to
guarantee peace and those which have the end of ruining the enemy.
In actual truth, in his solemn pronouncements after the entry of the
United States into the War, President Wilson had never spoken of a
separate disarmament of the conquered countries, but of adequate
guarantees _given and received_ that national armaments should
be reduced to the smallest point compatible with internal order.
Assurances given and received: that is to say an identical situation
as between conquerors and conquered.

No one can deny the right of the conqueror to compel the conquered
enemy to give up his arms and reduce his military armaments, at any
rate for some time. But on this point too there was useless excess.

I should never have thought of publishing France's claims. Bitterness
comes that way, responsibility is incurred, in future it may be an
argument in your adversary's hands. But M. Tardieu has taken this
office on himself and has told us all France did, recounting her
claims from the acts of the Conference itself. Reference is easy to
the story written by one of the representatives of France, possibly
the most efficient through having been in America a long time
and having fuller and more intimate knowledge of the American
representatives, particularly Colonel House.

Generally speaking, in every claim the French representatives started
from an extreme position, and that was not only a state of mind, it
was a tactical measure. Later on, if they gave up any part of their
claim, they had the air of yielding, of accepting a compromise. When
their claims were of such an extreme nature that the anxiety they
caused, the opposition they raised, was evident, Clemenceau put on
an air of moderation and gave way at once. Sometimes, too, he showed
moderation himself, when it suited his purpose, but in reality he only
gave way when he saw that it was impossible to get what he wanted.

In points where English and American interests were not involved,
given the difficult position in which Lloyd George was placed and
Wilson's utter ignorance of all European questions, with Italy keeping
almost entirely apart, the French point of view always came out on
top, if slightly modified. But the original claim was always so
extreme that the modification left standing the most radically severe
measure against the conquered countries.

Many decisions affecting France were not sufficiently criticized on
account of the relations in which the English and Americans stood
to France; objections would have looked like ill-will, pleading the
enemy's cause.

Previously, in nearly every case when peace was being made, the
representatives of the conquered countries had been called to state
their case, opportunity was given for discussion. The Russo-Japanese
peace is an example. Undoubtedly the aggression of Russia had been
unscrupulous and premeditated, but both parties participated in
drawing up the peace treaty. At Paris, possibly for the first time
in history, the destiny of the most cultured people in Europe was
decided--or rather it was thought that it was being decided--without
even listening to what they had to say and without hearing from their
representatives if the conditions imposed could or could not possibly
be carried out. Later on an exception, if only a purely formal one,
was made in the case of Hungary, whose delegates were heard; but it
will remain for ever a terrible precedent in modern history that,
against all pledges, all precedents and all traditions, the
representatives of Germany were never even heard; nothing was left to
them but to sign a treaty at a moment when famine and exhaustion and
threat of revolution made it impossible not to sign it.

If Germany had not signed she would have suffered less loss. But at
that time conditions at home with latent revolution threatening the
whole Empire, made it imperative to accept any solution, and all the
more as the Germans considered that they were not bound by their
signature, the decisions having been imposed by violence without any
hearing being given to the conquered party, and the most serious
decisions being taken without any real examination of the facts. In
the old law of the Church it was laid down that everyone must have a
hearing, even the devil: _Etiam diabulus audiatur_ (Even the devil
has the right to be heard). But the new democracy, which proposed to
install the society of the nations, did not even obey the precepts
which the dark Middle Ages held sacred on behalf of the accused.

Conditions in Germany were terribly difficult, and an army of two
hundred thousand men was considered by the military experts the
minimum necessary. The military commission presided over by Marshal
Foch left Germany an army of two hundred thousand men, recruited by
conscription, a Staff in proportion, service of one year, fifteen
divisions, 180 heavy guns, 600 field-guns. That is less than what
little States without any resources have now, three years after the
close of the War. But France at once imposed the reduction of the
German army to 100,000 men, no conscription but a twelve years'
service of paid soldiers, artillery reduced practically to nothing, no
heavy guns at all, very few field-guns. No opportunity was given for
discussion, nor was there any. Clemenceau put the problem in such a
way that discussion was out of the question: _C'est la France qui,
demain comme hier, sera face à l'Allemagne_. Lloyd George and Colonel
House confined themselves to saying that on this point France formally
expressed their views, Great Britain and the United States had no
right to oppose. Lloyd George was convinced that the measures were
too extreme and had tried on May 23, 1919, to modify them; but
France insisted on imposing on Germany this situation of tremendous

I have referred to the military conditions imposed on Germany:
destruction of all war material, fortresses and armament factories;
prohibition of any trade in arms; destruction of the fleet; occupation
of the west bank of the Rhine and the bridgeheads for fifteen years;
allied control, with wide powers, over the execution of the military
and naval clauses of the treaty, with consequent subjection of
all public administrations and private companies to the will of a
foreigner, or rather of an enemy kept at the expense of Germany itself
and at no small expense, etc. In some of the inter-allied conferences
I have had to take note of what these commissions of control really
are, and their absurd extravagance, based on the argument that the
enemy must pay for everything.

The purport of France's action in the Conference was not to ensure
safe military guarantees against Germany but to destroy her, at any
rate to cut her up. And indeed, when she had got all she wanted and
Germany was helpless, she continued the same policy, even intensifying
it. Every bit of territory possible must be taken, German unity must
be broken, and not only military but industrial Germany must be
laid low under a series of controls and an impossible number of

All know how, in Article 428 of the treaty, it is laid down, as a
guarantee of the execution of the treaty terms on the part of Germany,
or rather as a more extended military guarantee for France, that
German territory on the west bank of the Rhine and the bridgeheads
are to be occupied by allied and associated troops for fifteen years,
methods and regulations for such occupation following in Articles 429
and 432.

This occupation not only gives deep offence to Germany (France has
always looked back with implacable bitterness on the few months'
military occupation by her Prussian conquerors in the war of 1870),
but it paralyses all her activity and is generally judged to be
completely useless.

All the Allies were ready to give France every military guarantee
against any unjust aggression by Germany, but France wanted in
addition the occupation of the left bank of the Rhine. It was a very
delicate matter, and the notes presented to the Conference by Great
Britain on March 26 and April 2, by the United States on March 28 and
April 12, show how embarrassed the two Governments were in considering
a question which France regarded as essential for her future. It has
to be added that the action of Marshal Foch in this matter was
not entirely constitutional. He claimed that, independently of
nationality, France and Belgium have the right to look on the Rhine as
the indispensable frontier for the nations of the west of Europe, _et
par là, de la civilisation_. Neither Lloyd George nor Wilson could
swallow the argument of the Rhine a frontier between the civilization
of France and Belgium, all civilization indeed, and Germany.

In the treaty the occupation of the left bank of the Rhine and the
bridgeheads by the allied and associated powers for fifteen years
was introduced as a compromise. Such districts will be evacuated by
degrees every five years if Germany shall have faithfully carried out
the terms of the treaty. Now the conditions of the treaty are in large
measure impossible of execution, and in consequence no execution of
them can ever be described as faithful. Further, the occupying troops
are paid by Germany. It follows that the conception of the occupation
of the left bank of the Rhine was of a fact of unlimited duration.
The harm that would result from the occupation was pointed out at the
Conference by the American representatives and even more strongly by
the English. What was the use of it, they asked, if the German army
were reduced to 100,000 men? M. Tardieu himself tells the story of all
the efforts made, especially by Lloyd George and Bonar Law, to prevent
the blunder which later on was endorsed in the treaty as Article 428.
Lloyd George went so far as to complain of political intrigues for
creating disorder on the Rhine. But Clemenceau took care to put the
question in such a form that no discussion was possible. In the matter
of the occupation, he said to the English, you do not understand the
French point of view. You live in an island with the sea as defence,
we on the continent with a bad frontier. We do not look for an attack
by Germany but for systematic refusal to carry out the terms of
the treaty. Never was there a treaty with so many clauses, with,
consequently, so many opportunities for evasion. Against that risk the
material guarantee of occupation is necessary. There are two methods
in direct contrast: _En Angleterre on croit que le moyen d'y réussir
est de faire des concessions. En France nous croyons que c'est de

On March 14 Lloyd George and Wilson had offered France the fullest
military guarantee in place of the occupation of the left bank of the
Rhine. France wanted, and in fact got, the occupation as well as the
alliances. "_Notre but_?" says Tardieu. "_Sceller la garantie offerte,
mais y ajouter l'occupation_." Outside the Versailles Treaty the
United States and Great Britain had made several treaties of alliance
with France for the event of unprovoked aggression by Germany. Later
on the French-English Treaty was approved by the House of Commons, the
French-American underwent the same fate as the Versailles Treaty. But
the treaty with Great Britain fell through also on account of the
provision that it should come into force simultaneously with the
American Treaty.

In a Paris newspaper Poincaré published in September, 1921, some
strictly reserved documents on the questions of the military
guarantees and the occupation of the left bank of the Rhine. He
wished to get the credit of having stood firm when Clemenceau himself
hesitated at the demand for an occupation of the left bank of the
Rhine for even a longer period than fifteen years. He has published
the letter he sent to Clemenceau to be shown to Wilson and Lloyd
George and the latter's reply.

He said that there must be no thought of giving up the occupation and
renouncing a guarantee until every obligation in the treaty should
have been carried out; he went so far as to claim that in occupation
regarded as a guarantee of a credit representing an indemnity for
damages, there is nothing contrary to the principles proclaimed by
President Wilson and recognized by the Allies. Nor would it suffice
even to have the faculty of reoccupation, because "this faculty" could
never be a valid substitute for occupation. As regards the suggestion
that a long occupation or one for an indeterminate period would cause
bad feeling, M. Poincaré was convinced that this was an exaggeration.
A short occupation causes more irritation on account of its arbitrary
limit; everyone understands an occupation without other limit than the
complete carrying out of the treaty. The longer the time that passes
the better would become the relations between the German populations
and the armies of occupation.

Clemenceau communicated Poincaré's letter to Lloyd George. The British
Prime Minister replied on May 6 in the clearest terms. In his eyes,
forcing Germany to submit to the occupation of the Rhine and the Rhine
Provinces for an unlimited period, was a provocation to renew the war
in Europe.

During the Conference France put forward some proposals the aim of
which was nothing less than to split up Germany. A typical example
is the memorandum presented by the French delegation claiming the
annexation of the Saar territory. This is completely German; in the
six hundred and fifty thousand inhabitants before the War there were
not a hundred French. Not a word had ever been said about annexation
of the Saar either in Government pronouncements or in any vote in the
French Parliament, nor had it been discussed by any political party.
No one had ever suggested such annexation, which certainly was a far
more serious thing than the annexation of Alsace-Lorraine to Germany,
as there was considerable German population in Alsace-Lorraine. There
was no French population at all in the Saar, and the territory in
question could not even be claimed for military reasons but only for
its economic resources. Reasons of history could not count, for they
were all in Germany's favour. Nevertheless the request was put forward
as a matter of sentiment. Had not the Saar belonged in other days
entirely or in part to France? Politics and economics are not
everything, said Clemenceau; history also has great value. For the
United States a hundred and twenty years are a long time; for France
they count little. Material reparations are not enough, there must be
moral reparations too, and the conception of France cannot be the same
as that of her Allies. The desire for the Saar responded, according
to Clemenceau, to a need of moral reparation. On this point, too,
the extreme French claim was modified. The Saar mines were given to
France, not provisionally as a matter of reparations, but permanently
with full right of possession and full guarantees for their working.
For fifteen years from the date of the treaty the government of the
territory was put in the hands of the League of Nations as trustee;
after fifteen years the population, entirely German, should be called
to decide under what government they desired to live. In other words,
in a purely German country, which no one in France had ever claimed,
of which no one in France had ever spoken during the War, the most
important property was handed to a conquering State, the country was
put under the administration of the conquerors (which is what the
League of Nations actually is at present), and after fifteen years of
torment the population is to be put through a plebiscite. Meanwhile
the French douane rules in the Saar.

It was open to the treaty to adopt or not to adopt the system of
plebiscites. When it was a case of handing over great masses of German
populations, a plebiscite was imperative--at any rate, where any doubt
existed, and the more so in concessions which formed no part of the
War aims and were not found in any pronouncement of the Allies. On the
other hand, in all cessions of German territory to Poland and Bohemia,
no mention is made of a plebiscite because it was a question of
military necessity or of lands which had been historically victims
of Germany. But only for Schleswig, Upper Silesia, Marienwerder,
Allenstein, Klagenfurth and the Saar were plebiscites laid down--and
with the exception that the plebiscite itself, when, as in the case of
Upper Silesia, it resulted in favour of Germany, was not regarded as

But where the most extreme views clashed was in the matter of
reparations and the indemnity to be claimed from the enemy.

We have already seen that the theory of reparation for damage found
its way incidentally, even before the treaty was considered, into the
armistice terms. No word had been said previously of claiming from the
conquered enemy anything beyond restoration of devastated territories,
but after the War another theory was produced. If Germany and her
allies are solely responsible for the War, they must pay the whole
cost of the War: damage to property, persons and war works. When
damage has been done, he who has done the wrong must make reparation
for it to the utmost limit of his resources.

The American delegation struck a note of moderation: no claim
should be made beyond what was established in the peace conditions,
reparation for actions which were an evident violation of
international law, restoration of invaded country, and reparation for
damage caused to the civil population and to its property.

During the War there were a number of exaggerated pronouncements on
the immense resources of Germany and her capacity for payment.

Besides all the burdens with which Germany was loaded, there was a
discussion on the sum which the Allies should claim. The War had cost
700 milliard francs, and the claims for damage to persons and property
amounted to at least 350 milliards for all the Allies together.

Whatever the sum might be, when it had been laid down in the treaty
what damage was to be indemnified, the French negotiators claimed
sixty-five per cent., leaving thirty-five per cent. for all the

What was necessary was to lay down proportions, not the actual amount
of the sum. It was impossible to say at once what amount the damages
would reach: that was the business of the Reparations Commission.

Instead of inserting in the treaty the enormous figures spoken of, the
quality, not the quantity, of the damages to be indemnified was laid
down. But the standard of reckoning led to fantastic figures.

An impossible amount had to be paid, and the delegations were
discussing then the very same things that are being discussed now. The
American experts saw the gross mistake of the other delegations, and
put down as the maximum payment 325 milliard marks up to 1951, the
first payment to be 25 milliard marks in 1921. So was invented the
Reparations Commission machine, a thing which has no precedent in any
treaty, being a commission with sovereign powers to control the life
of the whole of Germany.

In actual truth no serious person has ever thought that Germany can
pay more than a certain number of milliards a year, no one believes
that a country can be subjected to a regime of control for thirty

But the directing line of work of the treaties has been to break down
Germany, to cut her up, to suffocate her.

France had but one idea, and later on did not hesitate to admit it:
to dismember Germany, to destroy her unity. By creating intolerable
conditions of life, taking away territory on the frontier, putting
large districts under military occupation, delaying or not making any
diplomatic appointments and carrying on communications solely through
military commissions, a state of things was brought about which must
inevitably tend to weaken the constitutional unity of the German
Empire. Taking away from Germany 84 thousand kilometres of territory,
nearly eight million inhabitants and all the most important mineral
resources, preventing the unity of the German people and the six
million and five hundred thousand of German Austrians to which
Austria was then reduced, putting the whole German country under an
interminable series of controls--all this did more harm to German
unity than would have been done by taking the responsibility of a
forcible and immediate division to which the Germans could not have
consented and which the Allies could not have claimed to impose.

What has been said about Germany and the Versailles Treaty can be said
about all the other conquered countries and all the other treaties,
with merely varying proportions in each case.

The verdict that has to be passed on them will very soon be shown by
facts--if indeed facts have not shown already that, in great measure,
what had been laid down cannot be carried out. One thing is certain,
that the actual treaties threaten to ruin conquerors and conquered,
that they have not brought peace to Europe, but conditions of war and
violence. In Clemenceau's words, the treaties are a way of going on
with war.

But, even if it were possible to dispute that, as men's minds cannot
yet frame an impartial judgment and the danger is not seen by all,
there is one thing that cannot be denied or disputed, and that is that
the treaties are the negation of the principles for which the United
States and Italy, without any obligation on them, entered the War;
they are a perversion of all the Entente had repeatedly proclaimed;
they break into pieces President Wilson's fourteen points which were a
solemn pledge for the American people, and to-morrow they will be the
greatest moral weapon with which the conquered of to-day will face the
conquerors of to-day.



How many are the States of Europe? Before the War the political
geography of Europe was almost tradition. To-day every part of
Europe is in a state of flux. The only absolute certainty is that in
Continental Europe conquerors and conquered are in a condition of
spiritual, as well as economic, unrest. It is difficult indeed to say
how many political unities there are and how many are lasting, and
what new wars are being prepared, if a way of salvation is not found
by some common endeavour to install peace, which the peace of Paris
has not done. How many thinking men can, without perplexity, remember
how many States there are and what they are: arbitrary creations of
the treaties, creations of the moment, territorial limitations imposed
by the necessities of international agreements. The situation of
Russia is so uncertain that no one knows whether new States will
arise as a result of her continuous disintegration, or if she will be
reconstructed in a solid, unified form, and other States amongst those
which have arisen will fall.

Without taking into account those traditional little States which are
merely historical curiosities, as Monaco, San Marino, Andorra, Monte
Santo, not counting Iceland as a State apart, not including the
Saar, which as a result of one of the absurdities of the Treaty
of Versailles is an actual State outside Germany, but considering
Montenegro as an existing State, Europe probably comprises thirty
States. Some of them are, however, in such a condition that they do
not give promise of the slightest guarantee of life or security.

Europe has rather Balkanized herself: not only the War came from the
Balkans, but also many ideas, which have been largely exploited in
parliamentary and newspaper circles. Listening to many speeches and
being present at many events to-day leaves the sensation of being in
Belgrade or at Sarajevo.

Europe, including Russia and including also the Polar archipelagos,
covers an area of a little more than ten million square kilometres.
Canada is of almost the same size; the United States of America has
about the same territory.

The historical procedure before the War was towards the formation of
large territorial unities; the _post-bellum_ procedure is entirely
towards a process of dissolution, and the fractionizing, resulting a
little from necessity and a little also from the desire to dismember
the old Empires and to weaken Germany, has assumed proportions almost
impossible to foresee.

In the relations between the various States good and evil are not
abstract ideas: political actions can only be judged by their results.
If the treaties of peace which have been imposed on the conquered
would be capable of application, we could, from an ethnical point of
view, regret some or many of the decisions; but we should only have to
wait for the results of time for a definite judgment.

The evil is that the treaties which have been signed are not
applicable or cannot be applied without the rapid dissolution of

So the balance-sheet of the peace, after three years from the
armistice--that is, three years from the War--shows on the whole a
worsening of the situation. The spirit of violence has not died out,
and perhaps in some countries not even diminished; on the other hand
the causes of material disagreement have increased, the inequality
has augmented, the division between the two groups has grown, and the
causes of hatred have been consolidated. An analysis of the foreign
exchanges indicated a process of undoing and not a tendency to

We have referred in a general manner to the conditions of Germany as a
result of the Treaty of Versailles; even worse is the situation of the
other conquered countries in so far that either they have not been
treated with due regard, or they have lost so much territory that they
have no possibility of reconstructing their national existence. Such
is the case with Austria, with Turkey and with Hungary. Bulgaria,
which has a tenacious and compact population composed of small
agriculturists, has less difficult conditions of reconstruction.

Germany has fulfilled loyally all the conditions of the disarmament.
After she had handed over her fleet she destroyed her fortifications,
she destroyed all the material up to the extreme limit imposed by the
treaties, she disbanded her enormous armies. If in any one of the
works of destruction she had proceeded with a bad will, if she had
tried to delay them, it would be perfectly understandable. A different
step carries one to a dance or to a funeral. At the actual moment
Germany has no fleet, no army, no artillery, and is in a condition in
which she could not reply to any act of violence. This is why all the
violence of the Poles against Germany has found hardly any opposition.

All this is so evident that no one can raise doubts on the question.

Everyone remembers, said Hindenburg, the difficult task that the
United States had to put in the field an army of a million men.
Nevertheless they had the protection of the ocean during the period
when they were preparing their artillery and their aerial material.

Germany for her aviation, for her heavy artillery, for her armaments,
is not even separated by the ocean from her Allies, and, on the
contrary, they are firmly established in German territory; it would
require many months to prepare a new war, during which France and her
Allies would not be resting quietly.

General Ludendorff recently made certain declarations which have a
capital importance, since they fit the facts exactly. He declared
that a war of reconquest by Germany against the Allies and especially
against France is for an indefinite time completely impossible from
the technical and military point of view. France has an army largely
supplied with all the means of battle, ready to march at any time,
which could smash any German military organization hostile to France.
The more so since by the destruction of the German war industries
Germany has lost every possibility of arming herself afresh. It is
absurd to believe that a German army ready for modern warfare can be
organized and put on a war footing secretly. A German army which could
fight with the least possible hope of success against an enemy army
armed and equipped in the most modern manner would first of all have
to be based on a huge German war industry, which naturally could not
be improvised or built up in secret. Even if a third power wished
to arm Germany, it would not be possible to arm her so quickly and
mobilize her in sufficient time to prevent the enemy army from
obtaining an immediate and decisive victory.

It would be necessary, as everyone realizes even in France, that
Germany should wish to commit suicide. In consequence of the treaty
there is the "maximum of obstacles which mind can conceive" to
guard against any German peril; and against Germany there have been
accumulated "_such guarantees that never before has history recorded
the like_" (Tardieu), and Germany cannot do anything for many years.
Mobilization requires years and years for preparation and the greatest
publicity for its execution.

Wilson spoke of guarantees _given and received_ for the reduction of
armaments. Instead, after the treaties had been concluded, if the
conquered were completely disarmed, the conquering nations have
continued to arm. Almost all the conquering nations have not only high
expenses but more numerous armies. If the conditions of peace imposed
by the treaties were considered supportable, remembering the fact that
the late enemies were harmless, against whom are these continuous
increase of armaments?

We have already seen the military conditions imposed on Germany--a
small mercenary army, no obligatory conscription, no military
instruction, no aviation, no artillery except a minimum and
insignificant quantity required by the necessities of interior order.
Austria, Bulgaria and Hungary can only have insignificant armies.
Austria may maintain under arms 30,000 men, but her ruined finances
only permit her, according to the latest reports, to keep 21,700;
Bulgaria has 20,000 men plus 3,082 gendarmes; Hungary, according to
the Treaty of Trianon, has 35,000. Turkey in Europe, which hardly
exists any more as a territorial State, except for the city of
Constantinople, where the sovereignty of the Sultan is more apparent
than real, has not an actual army.

Taken all together the States which formed the powerful nucleus of war
of Germany as they are now reduced territorially have under arms fewer
than 180,000 men, not including, naturally, those new States risen on
the ruins of the old Central Empires, and which arm themselves by the
request and sometimes in the interest of some State of the Entente.

The old enemies, therefore, are not in a condition to make war, and
are placed under all manner of controls. Sometimes the controls are
even of a very singular nature. All have been occupied in giving the
sea to the victors. Poland has obtained the absurd paradox of the
State of Danzig because it has the sea. The constant aim of the
Allies, even in opposition to Italy, has been to give free and safe
outlets on the sea coast to the Serb-Croat-Slovene State.

At the Conference of London and San Remo I repeatedly referred to
the expenses of these military missions of control and often their
outrageous imposition on the conquered who are suffering from hunger.
There are generals who are assigned as indemnity and expenses of all
sorts, salaries which are much superior to that of the President of
the United States of America. It is necessary to look at Vienna and
Budapest, where the people are dying of hunger, to see the carnival of
the Danube Commission. For the rest it is only necessary to look at
the expense accounts of the Reparations Commissions to be convinced
that this sad spectacle of greed and luxury humiliates the victors
more than the conquered.

German-Austria has lost every access to the sea. She cannot live on
her resources with her enormous capital in ruins. She cannot unite
with Germany, though she is a purely German country, because the
treaty requires the unanimous consent of the League of Nations, and
France having refused, it is therefore impossible. She cannot unite
with Czeko-Slovakia, with Hungary and other countries which have
been formed from the Austrian Empire, because that is against the
aspirations of the German populations, and it would be the formation
anew of that Danube State which, with its numerous contrasts, was one
of the essential causes of the War. Austria has lost every access
to the sea, has consigned her fleet and her merchant marine, but in
return has had the advantage of numerous inter-allied commissions of
control to safeguard the military, naval and aeronautic clauses. But
there are clauses which can no longer be justified, as, for instance,
when Austria no longer has a sea coast. (Art. 140 of the Treaty of St.
Germain, which forbids the construction or acquisition of: any sort of
submersible vessel, even commercial.) It is impossible to understand
why (Art. 143) the wireless high-power station of Vienna is not
allowed to transmit other than commercial telegrams under the
surveillance of the Allied and Associated Powers, who take the trouble
to determine even the length of the wave to be used.

Before the War, in 1914, France desired to bring her army to the
maximum of efficiency; opposite a great German army was to be found a
great French army.

Germany had in 1913, according to the Budget presented to the
Reichstag, a standing army of 647,000 soldiers of all arms, of which
105,000 were non-commissioned officers and 30,000 officers. It was the
greatest army of Europe and of the world, taking into account its real

Whilst Germany has no longer an army, France on July 1, 1921, had
under arms 810,000 men, of which 38,473 were officers, therefore many
more than Germany had before the War. Given its demographic character,
it is the greatest military force which has been seen in modern times,
and can only have two reasons--either military domination or ruin. The
military budget proposed for the present year in the ordinary section
is for 2,782 millions of francs, besides that portion paid by Germany
for the army of occupation; the extraordinary section of the same
budget is for 1,712 millions of francs, besides 635 millions for
expenses repayable for the maintenance of troops of occupation in
foreign countries.

Austria-Hungary had in 1913 a total of 34,000 officers and 390,249
men; the States which have arisen from her ruins have a good many
more. Whilst German-Austria has, as a matter of fact, only 21,700 men
and Hungary has only 35,000, Czeko-Slovakia has 150,000 men, of which
10,000 are officers; Jugo-Slavia has about 120,000, of which 8,000 to
10,000 are officers.

But the two allies of France--Belgium and Poland, Belgium no longer
neutral, Poland always in disorder and in a state of continual
provocation abroad and of increasing anarchy at home--have in their
turn armies which previous to the War could have been maintained only
by a first-class power. Belgium has doubled her peace effectives,
which now amount to 113,500 men, an enormous army for a population
which is about equal to that of the city of New York or London.

Poland, whose economic conditions are completely disastrous, and may
be described as having neither money nor credit any more, but which
maintains more employees than any other country on earth, has under
arms not fewer than 430,000 men, and often many more, and possibly has
to-day many more--about 600,000. Her treaty with France imposes on her
military obligations the extension of which cannot be compatible with
the policy of a country desiring peace. Poland has, besides, vast
dreams of greatness abroad, and growing ruin in the interior. She
enslaves herself in order to enslave others, and pretends in her
disorder to control and dominate much more intelligent and cultured

Rumania has under arms 160,000 men besides 80,000 carabineers and
16,000 frontier guards. Greece has, particularly on account of her
undertakings in Asia Minor, which only the lesser intelligence of her
national exaltations can explain, more than 400,000 men under arms.
She is suffocating under the weight of heavy armaments and can move
only with difficulty.

The two pupils of the Entente, Greece and Poland, exactly like naughty
children, have a policy of greed and capriciousness. Poland was not
the outcome of her own strength, but of the strength of the Entente.
Greece never found the way to contribute heavily to the War with a
strong army, and after the War has the most numerous army which she
has ever had in her history.

Great Britain and Italy are the only two countries which have largely
demobilized; Great Britain in the much greater measure. It is
calculated that Great Britain has under arms 201,000 men, of which
15,030 are officers. In this number, however, are not included 75,896
men in India and the personnel of the Air Force.

In Italy, on July 31, 1921, there were under arms 351,076 soldiers
and 18,138 officers, in all 369,214, of which, however, 56,529 were
carabineers carrying out duties almost exclusively of public order.

Under the pressure and as a result of the example of the States which
have come through the War, those States which did not take part have
also largely augmented their armies.

So, whilst the conquered have ceased every preoccupation, the neutrals
of the War have developed their armaments, and the conquerors have
developed theirs beyond measure.

No one can say what may be the position of Bolshevik Russia; probably
she has not much less than a million of men under arms, also because
in a communist regime the vagabonds and the violent find the easiest
occupation in the army.

The conquerors, having disarmed the conquered, have imposed their
economic conditions, their absurd moralities and territorial
humiliations, as those imposed on Bulgaria, Turkey and Hungary,
conditions which are sufficiently difficult to be maintained. And as
the ferment of hate develops, the conquerors do not disarm. Above
all, the little States do not disarm, who have wanted too much, have
obtained too much, and now do not know how to maintain what they
have. In many countries for certain social reasons war has become an
industry; they live by the state of war. What would they do without a
state of war?

In general, then, Europe has considerably more men under arms than in
1913. Not only has it not disarmed, as the Entente always declared
would be the consequence of the victory of the principles of
democracy, but the victors are always leaning toward further armament.
The more difficult it becomes to maintain the conditions of the peace,
because of their severity and their absurdity, the more necessary it
is to maintain armies. The conquered have not armies; the conquerors
are, or, perhaps, up to a short time ago, were sure that the big
armies would serve to enforce the payment of the indemnities. Now, in
fact, they would not serve for anything else.

At the Conference of London, after a long discussion in February,
1920, the economic manifesto was drawn up which warned Europe of the
perils of the economic situation. Lloyd George and myself were easily
agreed in denouncing it as the gravest danger, as the principal cause
of high prices and of economic disorder, both as to the maintenance of
large armies and in the continuation of the state of war.

A Europe divided distinctly into two parts cannot be pacific even
after the conquered have yielded up their arms. The conquerors are
bound to arm themselves because of their own inquietude, from the
conviction that the only salvation is in force, which allows, if not
a true peace, at least an armed peace; if not the development of
production and exchange, at least the possibility of cutting off from
the markets the very fountains of riches.

Violence begets new violence. If the conditions of the peace cannot
be fulfilled, other heavier conditions can be imposed. In France
irresponsible people are supporting already the necessity of occupying
permanently the Ruhr, that is to say, the greatest German centre for
the production of coal, and of not respecting the plebiscite of Upper

What has been said about the armies is true also about the fleets.
There is a race towards the increase of naval armaments. If first that
was the preoccupation of the conquered, now it is the preoccupation of
the conquerors in the exchange of doubts into which they have fallen
after the War.

The state of mind which has been created between Great Britain, the
United States of America and Japan deserves to be seriously examined.
The race for naval armaments into which these three countries entered
not many months ago, and the competition between the two great
Anglo-Saxon people, cannot be other than very damaging for

The Great War which has been fought was at bottom the fight between
the Germanic race and the Slav race; it was the doubts in regard to
the last and not in regard to France which pushed Germany to war and
precipitated events. The results of the Continental War, however, are
the suppression of Germany, which lost, as well as of Russia, which
had not resisted, and France alone has gathered the fruits of the
situation, if they can be called that, from amongst the thorns which
everywhere surround the victory.

But the War was decided, above all, by the intervention of the
Anglo-Saxon people, Great Britain, her Dominions, and the United
States of America. Nothing but the small political intelligence of the
German statesmen could have united in the same group the peoples
who have the greatest contrast of interests among themselves--Great
Britain, Russia, the United States of America, Japan, France and

But now the situation of Europe and especially that of Asia is
creating fresh competitions, the expenses for the navies, according to
the figures of the various Budgets from 1914 to 1921, have risen in
the United States of America from 702 millions of lire to 2,166, in
Great Britain from 1,218 millions to 2,109, in Japan from 249 millions
to 1,250, in France from 495 millions to 1,083, in Italy from 250
millions to 402. The sums proposed for new constructions in the year
1921-22 are 450 millions in the United States of America, 475 millions
for Great Britain, 281 millions for Japan, 185 millions for France,
and 61 millions for Italy.

The United States of America and Great Britain are countries of great
resources: they can stand the effort. But can Japan, which has but
limited resources, support these for any length of time? or has she
some immediate intentions?

A comparative table of the navies in 1914 and 1921 shows that the
fleets of the conquering countries are very much more powerful than
they were before the War. Nevertheless, Russia and Austria-Hungary and
the people arisen in their territories are not naval powers; Germany
has lost all her fleet. The race for naval armaments regards
especially the two Anglo-Saxon powers and Japan; the race for land
armaments regards all the conquerors of Europe and especially the
small States.

This situation cannot but be the cause of great preoccupation; but
the greater preoccupation arises from the fact that the minor States,
especially those which took no part in the War, become every day more
exigent and display fresh aspirations.

The whole system of the Treaty of Versailles has been erected on the
error of Poland. Poland was not created as the noble manifestation
of the rights of nationality, ethnical Poland was not created, but a
great State which, as she is, cannot live long, because there are not
great foreign minorities, but a whole mass of populations which cannot
co-exist, Poland, which has already the experience of a too numerous
Israelitic population, has not the capacity to assimilate the Germans,
the Russians and the Ukranians which the Treaty of Versailles has
unjustly given to her against the very declarations of Wilson.

So that after, with the aid of the Entente, having had the strength
to resist the Bolshevik troops, Poland is now in a state of permanent
anarchy; consumes and does not produce; pays debts with a fantastic
bigness and does not know how to regulate the incomings. No country
in the world has ever more abused paper currency; her paper money is
probably the most greatly depreciated of any country on earth. She
has not succeeded in organizing her own production, and now tends to
dissolve the production of her neighbours.

The whole Treaty of Versailles is based on a vigorous and vital
Poland. A harmless Germany, unable to unite with an equally harmless
German-Austria, should be under the military control of France and
Belgium on the west, and of Poland on the east. Poland, separating
Germany from Russia, besides imposing on Germany the territorial
outrage of the Danzig corridor, cuts her off from any possibility of
expansion and development in the east. Poland has been conceived as a
great State. A Polish nation was not constituted; a Polish military
State was constituted, whose principal duty is that of disorganizing

Poland, the result of a miracle of the War (no one could foretell the
simultaneous fall of the Central Empires and of the Russian Empire),
was formed not from a tenacious endeavour, but from an unforeseen
circumstance, which was the just reward for the long martyrdom of a
people. The borders of Poland will reach in time to the Baltic Sea in
the north, the Carpathians and the Dniester in the south, in the east
the country almost as far as Smolensk, in the west to the parts of
Germany, Brandenburg and Pomerania. The new patriots dream of an
immense Poland, the old Poland of tradition, and then to descend into
the countries of the Ukraine and dominate new territories.

It is easy to see that, sooner or later, the Bolshevik degeneration
over, Russia will be recomposed; Germany, in spite of all the attempts
to break her up and crush her unity, within thirty or forty years will
be the most formidable ethnical nucleus of Continental Europe. What
will then happen to a Poland which pretends to divide two people who
represent numerically and will represent in other fields also the
greatest forces of Continental Europe of to-morrow?

Amongst many in France there is the old conception of Napoleon I, who
considered the whole of European politics from an erroneous point of
view, that of a lasting French hegemony in Europe, when the lasting
hegemony of peoples is no longer possible. In the sad solitude of his
exile at Saint Helena, Napoleon I said that not to have created a
powerful Poland keystone of the roof of the European edifice, not to
have destroyed Prussia, and to have been mistaken in regard to Russia,
were the three great errors of his life. But all his work had as an
end to put the life of Europe under the control of France, and was
necessarily wrecked by reality, which does not permit the lasting
mistake of a single nation which places herself above all the others
in a free and progressive Europe.

If the policy of the Entente towards Germany and towards the conquered
countries does not correspond either to collective declarations made
during the War, or to the promises solemnly made by Wilson, the policy
towards Russia has been a whole series of error. In fact, one cannot
talk of a policy of the Entente, in so far that with the exception of
a few errors committed in common, Great Britain, France and Italy have
each followed their own policy.

In his sixth point, among the fourteen points, no longer pure, but
violated and outraged worse than the women of a conquered race by a
tribe of Kurds, Wilson said on January 8, 1918, that the treatment
meted out to Russia by the sister nations, and therefore their loyalty
in assisting her to settle herself, should be the stern proof of
their goodwill. They should show that they did not confound their
own interests, or rather their egoism, with what should be done for
Russia. The proof was most unfortunate.

The attitude of the Entente towards Russia has had different phases.

In the first phase, the prevailing idea, especially on the part of
one of the Allies, was to send military expeditions in conjunction
especially with Rumania and Poland. This idea was immediately
abandoned on account of its very absurdity.

In the second phase, the greatest hopes were placed in the blockade;
of isolating Russia completely, cutting off from her (and for the rest
she no longer had it) every facility of trade exchange. At the same
time war on the part of Poland and Rumania was encouraged, to help the
attempt which the men of the old regime were making in the interior.
France alone reached the point of officially recognizing the Tsarist
undertaking of General Wrangel.

Lloyd George, with the exception of some initial doubts, always had
the clearest ideas in regard to Russia, and I never found myself in
disagreement with him in valuing the men and the Russian situation. It
is easy for a broad and serene mind to judge the position of the rest.

For my part I always tried to follow that policy which would best
bring about the most useful result with the least damage. After the
War the working masses in Europe had the greatest illusions about
Russian communism and the Bolshevik organization. Every military
expedition against Russia signified giving the people the conviction
that it was desired not to fight an enemy but to suffocate in blood an
attempt at a communist organization. I have always thought that the
dictatorship of the proletariat, that is the dictatorship of ignorance
and incapacity, would necessarily lead to disaster, and that hunger
and death would follow violence. There are for the peoples great
errors which must be carried out in the very effort to benefit
civilization. Our propaganda would have served nothing without the
reality of ruin. Only the death by hunger of millions of men in
communist Russia will convince the working masses in Europe and
America that the experiment of Russia is not to be followed; rather is
it to be avoided at any cost. To exterminate the communist attempt by
an unjust war, even if it were possible, would have meant ruin for
Western civilization.

On repeated occasions I have counselled Rumania and Poland not to make
any attempt against Russia and to limit themselves to defence. Every
unjust aggression on the part of Bolshevik Russia would have found the
Entente disposed to further sacrifice to save two free nations, but
any provocation on their part could not create secure solidarity.

When I assumed the direction of the Government in June, 1919, an
Italian military expedition was under orders for Georgia. The English
troops, who were in small numbers, were withdrawing; Italy had, with
the consent of the Allies, and partly by her own desire, prepared
a big military expedition. A considerable number of divisions were
ready, as also were the ships to commence the transport. Georgia is a
country of extraordinary natural resources, and it was thought
that she would be able to furnish Italy with a great number of raw
materials which she lacked. What surprised me was that not only men of
the Government, but intelligent financiers and men of very advanced
ideas, were convinced supporters of this expedition.

However, confronted by much opposition, I immediately renounced this
undertaking, and renounced it in a definite form, limiting myself to
encouraging every commercial enterprise.

Certainly the Allies could not suggest anything unfriendly to Italy;
but the effect of the expedition was to put Italy directly at variance
with the government of Moscow, to launch her upon an adventure of
which it was impossible to tell the consequences.

In fact, not long afterwards Georgia fell into the hands of the
Bolsheviks, who sent there an army of 125,000 men, and since then
she has not been able to liberate herself. If Italy had made that
expedition she would have been engaged in a frightful military
adventure, with most difficult and costly transport in a theatre of
war of insuperable difficulty. To what end?

Georgia before the War formed part of the Russian Empire, and no
country of the Entente had considered that unjust. Further, as though
the vast empire and the dominion of the Caucasus were not enough for
Russia, the Entente with monstrous condescension had given to Russia
Constantinople and the Straits and a huge zone in Asia Minor. How
could you take away from Russia a territory which was legitimately
hers? And _vice versa_, if Georgia and the other States of the
Caucasus had sufficient strength to live autonomously, how can
you dominate Aryan people who have risen to a notable state of

To go to Georgia inevitably meant war with Russia for Italy, and one,
moreover, fraught with extraordinary difficulties. In fact, later, the
government of Moscow, as we have said, succeeded in invading as well
as Georgia almost all the republics of the Caucasus. And at San Remo,
discussing the possibility of an expedition on the part of Great
Britain, France and Italy to defend at least the oil production, after
the report of a military committee presided over by Marshal Foch, the
conclusion was quickly and easily arrived at that it was better to
leave the matter alone.

Italy had already made an expedition into Albania, the reason for
which beyond the military necessities for the period of the War has
never been understood, except that of spending a huge sum without
receiving the gratitude of the Albanians; an expedition in Georgia
would have done harm, the consequence of which cannot be readily
measured, it could, indeed, have meant ruin.

Even those minds that are most blinded by prejudice and hate recognize
the complete failure of the Russian communist system. The so-called
dictatorship of the proletariat is reduced in practice to a military
dictatorship of a communist group which represents only a fraction of
the working classes and that not the best. The Bolshevik government
is in the hands of a small minority in which fanaticism has taken the
place of character. Everything which represented the work of the past
has been destroyed and they have not known how to construct anything.
The great industries have fallen and production is paralysed. Russia
has lived for a long time on the residues of her capitalistic
production rather than on new productions. The productivity of her
agricultural and industrial work has been killed by communism, and the
force of work has been reduced to a minimum. The Russian people are in
straits which have no comparison, and entire territories are dying of
hunger. The communist regime in a short time has precipitated such
damage and such misery as no system of oppression could achieve in
centuries. It is the proof, if any were necessary, that the form of
communist production is not only harmful but not even lasting. The
economists say that it is absurd, but, given the collective madness
which has attacked some people, nothing is absurd beyond hoping in the
rapid recovery of the most excited nations.

If any country could be the scene of a communist experiment it was
Russia. Imperial Russia represented the most vast continuative
territory which a State ever occupied in all history's records of vast
empires. Under the Tsars a territory which was almost three times the
size of the United States of America was occupied by a people
who, with the exception of a few cases of individual revolt, were
accustomed to the most servile obedience. Under Nicholas II a few men
exercised rule in a most despotic form over more than 180,000,000
individuals spread over an immense territory. All obeyed blindly.
Centralization was so great, and the obedience to the central power so
absolute, that no hostile demonstration was tolerated for long. The
communist regime therefore was able to count not only on the apathy
of the Russian people but also upon the blindest obedience. To this
fundamental condition of success, to a Government which must regulate
production despotically, was joined another even greater condition
of success. Russia is one of those countries which, like the United
States of America, China and Brazil (the four greatest countries
of the earth, not counting the English dominions with much thinner
populations), possess within their own territories everything
necessary for life. Imagine a country of self-contained economy, that
lives entirely upon her own resources and trades with no one (and that
is what happened in Russia as a result of the blockade), Russia has
the possibility of realizing within herself the most prosperous
conditions of existence. She has in her territories everything: grain,
textile fibres, combustibles of every sort; Russia is one of the
greatest reserves, if not the greatest reserve, in the world.
Well, the communist organization was sufficient, the bureaucratic
centralization, which communism must necessarily carry with it, to
arrest every form of production. Russia, which before could give grain
to all, is dying of hunger; Russia, which had sufficient quantities of
coal for herself and could give petroleum to all Europe, can no longer
move her railways; Russia, which had wool, flax, linen, and could have
easily increased her cotton cultivation in the Caucasus, cannot even
clothe the soldiers and functionaries of the Bolshevik State. Ceased
is the stimulus of individual interest; few work; the peasants work
only to produce what their families need; the workers in the city are
chiefly engaged in meetings and political reunions. All wish to
live upon the State, and production, organized autocratically and
bureaucratically, every day dries up and withers a bit more.

To those who read the collection of laws issued by the Bolshevik
government many institutions appear not only reasonable, but also full
of interest and justice. Also many laws of the absolute governments
of past regimes appear intelligent and noble. But the law has not in
itself any power of creation; it regulates relations, does not create
them. It can even take away wealth from some and give it to others,
but cannot create the wealth. When the individual interest begins to
lack, work, which is sorrow and pain, lags and does not produce. To
begin with, it weakens in the short days when energy is avoided, and
then it stops through incapacity for energy. The old fundamental truth
is that in all the Aryan tongues the words which indicate work have
the same root as the words which denote pain. Among the great mass of
man work is only done by necessity or under the stimulus of individual
interest which excites the production of wealth. They work for wealth;
and therefore in the Aryan tongues wealth means dominion and power.

Two years ago I wanted, in spite of the opinion of others, to consent
to the Italian Socialists visiting Russia. I was convinced that
nothing would have served better to break in Italy the sympathy
for Russia, or rather the illusions of the revolutionaries, as the
spectacle of famine and disorder would. Never did the Press of my
country, or the greater part of it, criticize with more violence a
proposal which I considered to be both wise and prudent. I am glad to
state that I was right, and that, maybe through the uncertainties
and the lessons of those who had spread the illusions, the Italian
Socialists returned from Russia were bound to recognize that the
communist experiment was the complete ruin of the Russian people. No
conservative propaganda could have been more efficacious than the
vision of the truth.

I am convinced that the hostile attitude, and almost persecution, on
the part of the Entente rather helped the Bolshevik government, whose
claims to discredit were already so numerous that it was not necessary
to nullify it by an unjust and evident persecution.

The Bolshevik government could not be recognized: it gave no
guarantees of loyalty, and too often its representatives had violated
the rights of hospitality and intrigued through fanatics and excited
people to extend the revolution. Revolution and government are two
terms which cannot co-exist. But not to recognize the government of
the Soviet does not mean that the conditions of such recognition must
include that the War debt shall be guaranteed, and, worse still, the
pre-War debt, or that the gold resources and the metals of Russia
shall be given as a guarantee of that debt. This morality, exclusively
financial and plutocratic, cannot be the base of international
relations in a period in which humanity, after the sorrows of the War,
has the annoyance of a peace which no one foresaw and of which very
few in the early days understood the dangers.

Even when there was a tendency favourable to the recognition of the
republic of the Soviet, I was always decidedly against it. It is
impossible to recognize a State which bases all its relations on
violence, and which in its relations with foreign States seeks, or
has almost always sought, to carry out revolutionary propaganda. Even
when, yielding to an impulse which it was not possible to avoid--in
the new Italian Chamber, after the elections of 1919 not only the
Socialists, but above all the Catholic popular party and the party of
Rinnovamento, of which the ex-soldiers especially formed part, voted
unanimously an order of the day for the recognition of the actual
government of Russia--I did not think it right to give, and did not
give, effect to that vote, impulsively generous, which would have
invested Italy with the responsibility of recognizing, even if it were
_de facto_, the government of the Soviet.

I have always, however, rebelled and would never give my consent to
any military undertakings against Russia, not even to a participation
in the undertakings of men of the old regime. It was easy to foresee
that the population would not have followed them and that the
undertakings were doomed to failure. However, all the attempts at
military revolts and counter-revolutions were encouraged with supplies
of arms and material. But in 1920 all the military undertakings, in
spite of the help given, failed one after another. In February the
attempt of Admiral Koltchak failed miserably, and in March that of
General Judenic. Failed has the attempt of Denikin. All the hopes of
the restoration were centred in General Wrangel. The only Grand Duke
with any claim to military authority also sent to tell me that this
was a serious attempt with probability of success. General Wrangel, in
fact, reunited the scattered forces of the old regime and occupied a
large territory in power. France not only recognized in the government
of Wrangel the legitimate representative of Russia, but nominated her
official representatives with him. In November, 1920, even the army
of Wrangel, which appeared to be of granite, was scattered. Poland,
through alternating vicissitudes, claimed the power of resistance, but
has shown that she has no offensive power against Russia. So all the
attempts at restoration have broken, one after another.

One of the greatest errors of the Entente has been to treat Russia
on many occasions, not as a fallen friend, but as a conquered enemy.
Nothing has been more deplorable than to have considered as Russia the
men of the old regime, who have been treated for a long time as the
representatives of an existing State when the State no longer existed.

Let us suppose that the Bolshevik government transforms itself and
gives guarantees to the civilized nations not to make revolutionary
agitations in foreign countries, to maintain the pledges she assumes,
and to respect the liberty of citizens; the United States of America,
Great Britain and Italy would recognize her at once. But France has an
entirely different point of view. She will not give any recognition
unless the creditors of the old regime are guaranteed.

In June, 1920, the government of Moscow sent some gold to Sweden to
purchase indispensable goods. Millerand, President of the Council of
Ministers and Minister of Foreign Affairs, declared to the Minister of
Sweden at Paris that if his Government consented to receive Russian
gold _ferait acte de receleur_. He then telegraphed to the Minister of
Finance at Stockholm regretting that the Government and public opinion
in Sweden were tending to consider the _revendications juridiques_ of
the French creditors of the ancient Russian regime to be such that
they did not stop the consignment of Swedish goods against Russian
gold. He added at the end that the syndicates of creditors could
utilize the news in telegram No. 355, in which the Swedish Government
gave notice of the trade and put a sequestration on Russian gold sent
to Sweden.

This telegram, better than any speech, shows the diversity of

The Bolshevik government may be so immoral that we cannot recognize
it until it gives serious guarantees. But if the government of Moscow
sends a little of the gold that remains, or has remained, to buy
goods, what right have we to sequestrate the gold in the interests of
the creditors of the old regime?

The new regime, born after the revolution, can also not recognize the
debts of the old regime and annul them. It is not for that that we
have no relations with it.

We have pushed Germany by absurd demands to ruin her circulation. It
is already at about 100 milliard of marks; if to-morrow it goes to 150
or to 200, it will be necessary to annul it, nearly the same as is
done for bills of exchange. And for this should we not treat with

The new plutocratic conception, which marks the policy of a section
of the Entente, is not lasting, and the people have a justifiable
diffidence towards it.

Bolshevism, as I have repeatedly stated, cannot be judged by our
western eyes: it is not a popular and revolutionary movement; it is a
religious fanaticism of the orthodox of the East hoisted on the throne
of Tsarist despotism.

Italy is the country which suffers most from the lack of continuous
relations with Russia in so far that almost all Italian commerce, and
in consequence the prices of freight and goods, have been for almost
half a century regulated by the traffic with the Black Sea.

Ships which leave England fully laden with goods for Italy generally
continue to the Black Sea, where they fill up with grain, petroleum,
etc., and then return to England, after having taken fresh cargoes in
Italy and especially iron in Spain. It was possible in Italy for long
periods of time to obtain most favourable freights and have coal at
almost the same price as in England. The voyages of the ships were
made, both coming and going, fully laden.

The situation of Russia, therefore, hurts especially Italy. Great
Britain has Mediterranean interests; France is partly a Mediterranean
nation; Italy alone is a Mediterranean nation.

Although Italy has a particular interest in reopening relations with
Russia, the Italian Government has understood that the best and
shortest way is not to recognize the government of Moscow. But Italy
will never subordinate her recognition to plutocratic considerations.
Whatever government there may be in Italy, it will never associate
itself with actions directed to compelling Russia, in order to be
recognized, to guarantee the payment of obligations assumed previous
to the War and the revolution. Civilization has already suppressed
corporal punishment for insolvent debtors, and slavery, from which
individuals are released, should not be imposed on nations by
democracies which say they are civilized.

The fall of the communistic organization in Russia is inevitable. Very
probably from the immense revolutionary catastrophe which has hit
Russia there will spring up the diffusion of a regime of small landed
proprietors. Whatever is contrary to human nature is not lasting, and
communism can only accumulate misery, and on its ruins will arise new
forms of life which we cannot yet define. But Bolshevik Russia can
count still on two elements which we do not habitually take into
account: the apathy and indolence of the people on the one hand, and
the strength of the military organization on the other. No other
people would have resigned itself to the intense misery and to the
infinite sufferings which tens of millions of Russians endure without
complaint. But still in the midst of so much misery no other people
would have known how to maintain a powerful and disciplined army such
as is the army of revolutionary Russia.

The Russian people have never had any sympathy for the military
undertakings which the Entente has aided. During some of the meetings
of Premiers at Paris and London I had occasion, in the sittings of
the conferences, to speak with the representatives of the new
States, especially those from the Caucasus. They were all agreed
in considering that the action of the men of the old regime, and
especially Denikin, was directed at the suppression of the independent
States and to the return of the old forms, and they attributed to this
the aversion of the Russian people to them.

Certainly it is difficult to speak of Russia where there exists no
longer a free Press and the people have hardly any other preoccupation
than that of not dying of hunger. Although it is a disastrous
organization, the organization of the Soviet remains still the only
one, which it is not possible to substitute immediately with another.
Although the Russian people can re-enter slowly into international
life and take up again its thread, a long time is necessary, but also
it is necessary to change tactics.

The peasants, who form the enormous mass of the Russian people, look
with terror on the old regime. They have occupied the land and will
maintain that occupation; they do not want the return of the great
Russian princes who possessed lands covering provinces and were even
ignorant of their possessions. One of the causes which has permitted
Bolshevism to last is, as I have said, the attitude of the Entente,
which on many occasions has shown the greatest sympathy for the men of
the old regime. The Tsar of Russia was an insignificant man, all the
Grand Dukes were persons without dignity and without credit, and the
Court and Government abounded with men without scruples--violent,
thieves, and drunkards. If Bolshevik government had been ruin, no one
can deny but that a great part of the blame belongs to the old regime,
the return of which no honest man desires.

An error not less serious was to allow Poland to occupy large tracts
of purely Russian territory.

There remain in Europe, therefore, so many states of unrest which do
not only concern the conditions of the conquered countries, but also
those of the conquering countries. We have already seen how Germany
and the States which form part of her group cannot now any longer
represent a danger of war for many years to come, and that none the
less the victorious countries and the new States continue to arm
themselves in a most formidable manner. We have seen what an element
of disorder Poland has become and how the policy of the Entente
towards Russia has constituted a permanent danger.

But all Europe is still uncertain and the ground is so movable that
any new construction threatens ruin. Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria,
Turkey, cannot live under the conditions imposed on them by the
treaties. But the new States for the most part are themselves in a
sufficiently serious position.

With the exception of Finland all the other States which have arisen
on the ruins of the Russian Empire are in serious difficulty. If
Esthonia and Lithuania are in a fairly tolerable situation Lettonia is
in real ruin, and hunger and tuberculosis rule almost everywhere, as
in many districts of Poland and Russia. At Riga hunger and sickness
have caused enormous losses amongst the population. Recently 15,000
children were in an extremely serious physical and mental condition.
In a single dispensary, of 663 children who were brought for treatment
151 were under-nourished, 229 were scrofulous, 66 anaemic, and 217
suffering from rickets. The data published in England and the United
States and those of the Red Cross of Geneva are terrible.

Even with the greatest imagination it is difficult to think how
Hungary and Austria can live and carry out, even in the smallest
degree, the obligations imposed by the treaties. By a moral paradox,
besides living they must indemnify the victors, according to the
Treaties of St. Germain and the Trianon, for all the damages which the
War has brought on themselves and which the victors have suffered.

Hungary has undergone the greatest occupation of her territories and
her wealth. This poor great country, which saved both civilization and
Christianity, has been treated with a bitterness which nothing can
explain except the desire of greed of those surrounding her, and the
fact that the weaker people, seeing the stronger overcome, wish and
insist that she shall be reduced to impotence. Nothing, in fact, can
justify the measures of violence and the depredations committed in
Magyar territory. What was the Rumanian occupation of Hungary: a
systematic rapine and the systematic destruction for a long time
hidden, and the stern reproach which Lloyd George addressed in London
to the Premier of Rumania was perfectly justified. After the War
everyone wanted some sacrifice from Hungary, and no one dared to say a
word of peace or goodwill for her. When I tried it was too late.
The victors hated Hungary for her proud defence. The adherents of
Socialism do not love her because she had to resist, under more
than difficult conditions, internal and external Bolshevism. The
international financiers hate her because of the violences committed
against the Jews. So Hungary suffers all the injustices without
defence, all the miseries without help, and all the intrigues without

Before the War Hungary had an area almost equal to that of Italy,
282,870 square kilometres, with a population of 18,264,533
inhabitants. The Treaty of Trianon reduced her territory to 91,114
kilometres--that is, 32.3 per cent.--and the population to 7,481,954,
or 41 per cent. It was not sufficient to cut off from Hungary the
populations which were not ethnically Magyar. Without any reason
1,084,447 Magyars have been handed over to Czeko-Slovakia, 457,597 to
Jugo-Slavia, 1,704,851 to Rumania. Also other nuclei of population
have been detached without reason.

Amongst all the belligerents Hungary perhaps is the country which in
comparison with the population has had the greatest number of dead;
the monarchy of the Habsburgs knew that they could count on the
bravery of the Magyars, and they sent them to massacre in all the most
bloody battles. So the little people gave over 500,000 dead and an
enormous number of injured and sick.

The territories taken from Hungary represent two-thirds of her mineral
wealth; the production of three million quintali (300,000 tons) of
gold and silver is entirely lost; the great production of salt is
also lost to her (about 250,000 tons). The production of iron ore is
reduced by 19 per cent., of anthracite by 14 per cent., of lignite by
70 per cent.; of the 2,029 factories, hardly 1,241 have remained to
Hungary; more than three-quarters of the magnificent railway wealth
has been given away.

Hungary at the same time has lost her greater resources in agriculture
and cattle breeding.

The capital, henceforth, too large for a too small state, carries
on amidst the greatest difficulties, and there congregate the most
pitiable of the Transylvanian refugees and those from other lost

The demographic structure of Hungary, which up to a few years ago was
excellent, is now threatening. The mortality among the children and
the mortality from tuberculosis have become alarming. At Budapest,
even after the War, the number of deaths surpasses the number of
births. The statistics published by Dr. Ferenczi prove that the
number of children afflicted with rickets and tuberculosis reaches in
Budapest the terrific figure of 250,000 in a population of about two
millions. It is said that practically all the new-born in recent
years, partly through the privations of the mothers and partly from
the lack of milk, are tuberculous.

The conditions of life are so serious that there is no comparison;
some prices have only risen five to tenfold, but very many from thirty
to fifty and even higher. Grain, which before the War cost 31 crowns,
costs now 500 crowns; corn has passed from 17 to 220 and 250 crowns.
A kilogram of rice, which used to cost 70 centimes, can be found now
only at 80 crowns. Sugar, coffee and milk are at prices which are
absolutely prohibitive.

Of the financial situation it is almost useless to speak. The
documents presented to the Conference of Brussels are sad evidence,
and a sure index is the course of the crown, now so reduced as to have
hardly any value in international relations. The effective income is
more than a fourth part of the effective expenses, and the rest is
covered especially by the circulation.

Such is the situation of Hungary, which has lost everything, and which
suffers the most atrocious privations and the most cruel pangs of
hunger. In this condition she should, according to the Treaty of
Trianon, not only have sufficient for herself, but pay indemnities to
the enemy.

The Hungarian deputies, at the sitting which approved the Treaty of
Trianon, were clad in mourning, and many were weeping. At the close
they all rose and sang the national hymn.

A people which is in the condition of mind of the Magyar people can
accept the actual state of affairs as a temporary necessity, but have
we any faith that it will not seek all occasions to retake what it has
unjustly lost, and that in a certain number of years there will not be
new and more terrible wars?

I cannot hide the profound emotion which I felt when Count Apponyi,
on January 16, 1920, before the Supreme Council at Paris, gave the
reasons of Hungary.

You, gentlemen [he said], whom victory has permitted to place
yourselves in the position of judges, you have pronounced the
culpability of your late enemies and the point of view which directs
you in your resolutions is that of making the consequences of the War
fall on those who were responsible for it.

Let us examine now with great serenity the conditions imposed on
Hungary, conditions which are inacceptable without the most serious
consequences. Taking away from Hungary the larger part of her
territory, the greater part of her population, the greater portion of
her economic resources, can this particular severity be justified by
the general principles which inspire the Entente? Hungary not having
been heard (and was not heard except to take note of the declaration
of the head of the delegation), cannot accept a verdict which destroys
her without explaining the reasons.

The figures furnished by the Hungarian delegation left no doubt
behind: they treated of the dismemberment of Hungary and the sacrifice
of three millions and a half of Magyars and of the German population
of Hungary to people certainly more ignorant and less advanced. At the
end Apponyi and the Hungarian delegation did not ask for anything more
than a plebiscite for the territories in dispute.

After he had explained in a marvellous manner the great function of
historic Hungary, that of having saved on various occasions Europe
from barbaric invasion, and of having known how to maintain its unity
for ten centuries in spite of the many differences amongst nations,
Count Apponyi showed how important it was for Europe to have a solid
Hungary against the spread of Bolshevism and violence.

You can say [added Apponyi] that against all these reasons there is
only one--victory, the right of victory. We know it, gentlemen; we are
sufficient realists in politics to count on this factor. We know what
we owe to victory and we are ready to pay the price of our defeat. But
should this be the sole principle of construction: that force alone
should be the basis of what you would build, that force alone should
be the base of the new building, that material force alone should be
the power to hold up those constructions which fall whilst you are
trying to build them? The future of Europe would then be sad, and we
cannot believe it. We do not find all that in the mentality of the
victorious nations; we do not find it in the declarations in which you
have defined the principles for which you have fought, and the objects
of the War which you have proposed to yourselves.

And after having referred to the traditions of the past, Count Apponyi

We have faith in the sincerity of the principles which you have
proclaimed: it would be doing you injustice to think otherwise. We
have faith in the moral forces with which you have wished to identify
your cause. And all that I wish to hope, gentlemen, is that the glory
of your arms may be surpassed by the glory of the peace which you will
give to the world.

The Hungarian delegation was simply heard; but the treaty, which had
been previously prepared and was the natural consequence of the Treaty
of Versailles, was in no way modified.

An examination of the Treaty of Trianon is superfluous. By a stroke
of irony the financial and economic clauses inflict the most serious
burdens on a country which had lost almost everything: which has lost
the greatest number of men proportionately in the War, which since
the War has had two revolutions, which for four months suffered the
sackings of Bolshevism--led by Bela Kun and the worst elements of
revolutionary political crime--and, finally, has suffered a Rumanian
occupation, which was worse almost than the revolutions or Bolshevism.

It is impossible to say which of the peace treaties imposed on the
conquered is lasting and which is the least supportable: after the
Treaty of Versailles, all the treaties have had the same tendency and
the same conformation.

The situation of German-Austria is now such that she can say with
Andromache: "Let it please God that I have still something more to
fear!" Austria has lost everything, and her great capital, which was
the most joyous in Europe, shelters now a population whose resources
are reduced to the minimum. The slump in her production, which is
carried on amidst all the difficulties, the fall in her credit, the
absolute lack of foreign exchanges, the difficulty of trading with the
hostile populations which surround her, put Austria in an extremely
difficult position and in progressive and continuous decadence. The
population, especially in the cities, is compelled to the hardest
privations; the increase of tuberculosis is continuous and

Bulgaria has had rather less loss, and although large tracts of
Bulgarian territory have been given without any justifiable motive to
Greece and Jugo-Slavia, and although all outlet on the Aegean has been
taken from her by assigning to Greece lands which she cannot maintain,
on the whole Bulgaria, after the Treaty of Neuilly, has less sharp
sufferings than the other conquered countries. Bulgaria had a
territorial extension of 113,809 square kilometres; she has now lost
about 9,000 square kilometres. She had a population of 4,800,000, and
has lost about 400,000.

As for Turkey, if the treaties should continue to exist, she can be
considered as disappearing from Europe and on the road to disappear
from Asia. The Turkish population has been distributed haphazard,
especially to Greece, or divided up under the form of mandates to
countries of the Entente. According to the Treaty of Sèvres of August
10, 1920, Turkey abandons all her territory in Europe, withdrawing her
frontier to the Ciatalgia lines.

Turkey in Europe is limited, therefore, to the surroundings of
Constantinople, with little more than 2,000 square kilometres, and a
population which is rather hard to estimate, but which is that only of
the city and the surroundings--perhaps a million and a half men. In
Asia Minor Turkey loses the territory of the Sanjak of Smyrna,
over which, however, she retains a purely nominal sovereignty; the
territory still undefined of the Armenian Republic: Syria, Cilicia,
Palestine and Mesopotamia, which become independent under mandatory
powers; in Arabia the territory of the Hedjaz, whilst the remainder
of the peninsula will enjoy almost complete independence. Besides,
Constantinople and the Straits are subject to international control,
and the three States now the most closely interested--Great Britain,
France and Italy--assume the control of the finances and other aspects
of the Ottoman administration.

Every programme has ignored Turkey except when the Entente has had
opportunity to favour Greece. The Greece of Venezelos was the ward of
the Entente almost more than Poland itself. Having participated in the
War to a very small extent and with almost insignificant losses, she
has, after the War, almost trebled her territory and almost doubled
her population. Turkey was put entirely, or almost so, outside Europe;
Greece has taken almost everything. Rejected was the idea of fixing
the frontier on the Enos Medea line, and the frontier fixed at
Ciatalgia; Constantinople was under the fire of the Greek artillery,
and Constantinople was nominally the only city which remained to
Turkey. The Sanjak of Smyrna, in Asia Minor, was the true wealth of
Turkey; it represented forty-five per cent. of the imports of the
Turkish Empire. Although the population of the whole vilayet of Audin
and the majority of the Sanjak of Smyrna was Mussulman, Greece had the
possession. The whole of Thrace was assigned to Greece; Adrianople,
a city sacred to Islam, which contains the tombs of the Caliphs, has
passed to the Greeks.

The Entente, despite the resistance of some of the heads of
governments, always yielded to the requests of Greece. There was a
sentiment of antipathy for the Turks and there was a sympathy for
the Greeks: there was the idea to put outside Europe all Mussulman
dominion, and the remembrance of the old propaganda of Gladstone, and
there were the threats of Wilson, who in one of his proposals desired
exactly to put Turkey outside Europe. But above all there was the
personal work of Venezelos. Every request, without being even examined
thoroughly, was immediately justified by history, statistics,
ethnography. In any discussion he took care to _solliciter doucement
les textes_ as often the learned with few scruples do. I have met few
men in my career who united to an exalted patriotism such a profound
ability as Venezelos. Every time that, in a friendly way, I gave him
counsels of moderation and showed him the necessity of limiting the
requests of Greece, I never found a hard or intemperate spirit. He
knew how to ask and obtain, to profit by all the circumstances, to
utilize all the resources better even than the professional diplomats.
In asking he always had the air of offering, and, obtaining, he
appeared to be conceding something. He had at the same time a supreme
ability to obtain the maximum force with the minimum of means and a
mobility of spirit almost surprising.

He saw no difficulty, convinced as he was, of erecting a Greek Empire
on the remnants of Turkey. Every time that doubts were expressed to
him, or he was shown data which should have moderated the positions,
he denied the most evident things, he recognized no danger, and saw
no difficulty. He affirmed always with absolute calm the certainty of
success. It was his opinion that the Balkan peninsula should be, in
the north, under the action of the Serb-Croat-Slovene State and of
Rumania, and in the south of Greece. But Greece, having almost all the
islands of the Aegean, a part of the territory of Turkey and all the
ports in the Aegean, and having the Sanjak of Smyrna, should form
a littoral Empire of the East and chase the Turks into the poorer
districts of Anatolia.

In the facility with which the demands of Greece were accepted (and
in spite of everything they were accepted even after the fall of
Venezelos) there was not only a sympathy for Greece, but, above
all, the certainty that a large Greek army at Smyrna would serve
principally towards the security of those countries which have and
wished to consolidate great interests in Asia Minor, as long as the
Turks of Anatolia were thinking specially about Smyrna and could not
use her forces elsewhere. For the same motive, in the last few years,
all the blame is attributed to the Turks. If they have erred much, the
errors, even the minor ones, have been transformed into crimes. The
atrocities of the Turks have been described, illustrated, exaggerated;
all the other atrocities, often no less serious, have been forgotten
or ignored.

The idea of a Hellenic Empire which dominates all the coast of the
Aegean in Europe and Asia encounters one fundamental difficulty. To
dominate the coast it is necessary to have the certainty of a large
hinterland. The Romans in order to dominate Dalmatia were obliged to
go as far as the Danube. Alexander the Great, to have a Greek Empire,
had, above all, to provide for land dominion. Commercial colonies or
penetration in isolation are certainly possible, but vast political
organizations are not possible. It is not sufficient to have
territory; it is necessary to organize it and regulate the life.
Mankind does not nourish itself on what it eats, and even less on what
it digests, but on what it assimilates.

Historians of the future will be profoundly surprised to learn that in
the name of the principle of nationality the vilayet of Adrianople,
which contains the city dearest to the heart of Islam after Mecca, was
given to the Greeks. According to the very data supplied by Venezelos
there were 500,000 Turks, 365,000 Greeks, and 107,000 Bulgarians; in
truth the Turks are in much greater superiority.

The Grand Vizier of Turkey, in April, 1920, presented a note to the
ambassadors of the Entente to revindicate the rights on certain
vilayets of the Turkish Empire. According to this note, in Western
Thrace there were 522,574 inhabitants, of which 362,445 were
Mussulmans. In the vilayet of Adrianople, out of 631,000 inhabitants,
360,417 were Mussulmans. The population of the vilayet of Smyrna is
1,819,616 inhabitants, of which 1,437,983 are Mussulmans. Perhaps
these statistics are biased, but the statistics presented by the
opposing party were even more fantastic.

After having had so many territorial concessions, Greece--who during
the War had enriched herself by commerce--is obliged, even after the
return of Constantine, who did not know how to resist the pressure,
to undertake most risky undertakings in Asia Minor, and has no way of
saving herself except by an agreement with Turkey. In the illusion of
conquering the Turkish resistance, she is now obliged to maintain
an army twice as big as that of the British Empire! The dreams of
greatness increase: some little military success has given Greece the
idea also that the Treaty of Sèvres is only a foundation regulating
the relationship with the Allies and with the enemy, and constituting
for Greece a title of rights, the full possession of which cannot be
modified. The War determines new rights which cannot invalidate the
concessions already given, which, on the contrary, are reinforced and
become intangible, but renders necessary new concessions.

What will happen? Whilst Greece dreams of Constantinople, and we have
disposed of Constantinople and the Straits, Turkey seems resigned to
Constantinople itself, to-day a very poor international city rather
than a Turkish city. The Treaty of Sèvres says that it is true that
the contracting States are in agreement in not offending any of the
rights of the Ottoman government on Constantinople, which remains
the capital of the Turkish Empire, always under the reserve of
the dispositions of the treaty. That is equivalent to saying of a
political regime that it is a controlled "liberty," just as in
the time of the Tsars it was said that there existed a _Monarchie
constitutionnelle sous un autocrate_. Constantinople under the Treaty
of Sèvres is the free capital of the Turkish Empire under the reserve
of the conditions which are contained in the treaty and limit exactly
that liberty.

The force of Turkey has always been in her immense power of
resistance. Win by resisting, wear out with the aid of time, which the
Turks have considered not as an economic value, but as their friend.
To conquer the resistance of Turkey, both in the new territories of
Europe and in Asia Minor, Greece will have to exhaust the greater
part of her limited resources. The Turks have always brought to a
standstill those who would dominate her, by a stubborn resistance
which is fanaticism and national dignity. On the other hand, the
Treaty of Sèvres, which has systematized in part Eastern Europe, was
concluded in the absence of two personages not to be unconsidered,
Russia and Germany, the two States which have the greatest interest
there. Germany, the War won, as she could not give her explanations on
the conclusions of peace, was not able to intervene in the solutions
of the question of the Orient. Russia was absent. Worn out with the
force of a war superior to her energies, she fell into convulsions,
and is now struggling between the two misfortunes of communism and
misery, of which it is hard to say whether one, or which of the two,
is the consequence of the other.

One of the most characteristic facts concerns Armenia. The Entente
never spoke of Armenia. In his fourteen points Wilson neither
considered nor mentioned it. It was an argument difficult for the
Entente in so far that Russia was straining in reality (under the
necessity of protecting the Christians) to take Turkish Armenia
without leaving Russian Armenia.

But suddenly some religious societies and some philanthropic people
instituted a vast movement for the liberation of Armenia. Nothing
could be more just than to create a small Armenian State which would
have allowed the Armenians to group themselves around Lake Van and
to affirm their national unity in one free State. But here also
the hatred of the Turks, the agitation of the Greeks, the dimly
illuminated philanthropy, determined a large movement to form a great
State of Armenia which should have outlets on the sea and great

So that no longer did people talk of a small State, a refuge and safe
asylum for the Armenians, but of a large State. President Wilson
himself, during the Conference of San Remo, sent a message in the form
of a recalling to mind, if not a reproof, to the European States of
the Entente because they did not proceed to the constitution of a
State of Armenia. It was suggested to bring it down to Trebizond, to
include Erzeroum in the new Armenia, a vast State of Armenia in which
the Armenians would have been in the minority. And all that in homage
to historical tradition and for dislike of the Turks! A great Armenia
creates also a series of difficulties amongst which is that of the
relations between Armenia, Georgia and Azerbajan, supposing that in
the future these States cut themselves off definitely from Russia. The
great Armenia would include the vilayet of Erzeroum, which is now
the centre of Turkish nationalism, and contains more Mussulmans than
Armenians. As a matter of fact the vilayet of Erzeroum has 673,000
Mussulmans, 1,800 Greeks and 135,000 Armenians.

When it was a question of giving Greece territories in which the
Greeks were in a minority it was said that the populations were so
badly governed by the Turks that they had the right to pass under
a better regime, whatever it might be. But for a large part of the
territory of the so-called Great Armenia it is possible to commit the
error of putting large majorities of Mussulman people under a hostile
Armenian minority.

The Armenians would have to fight at the same time against the Kurds
and against Azerbajan; they are surrounded by enemies on all sides.

But the whole of the discussion of giving the vilayet of Erzeroum to
Armenia or leaving it to Turkey is entirely superfluous, for it is
not a question of attributing territory but of determining actual
situations. If it is desired to give to the Armenians the city of
Erzeroum, it is first of all necessary that they shall be able to
enter and be able to remain there. Now since the Armenians have not
shown, with a few exceptions, a great power of resistance, and are
rather a race of merchants than warriors, it would be necessary for
others to undertake the charge of defending them. None of the European
States desired a mandate for Armenia, and no one wished to assume
the serious military burden of protecting the Armenians; the United
States, after having in the message of Wilson backed a great Armenia,
wished even less than the other States to interest themselves in it.

Probably proposals of a more reasonable character and marked by less
aversion for the Turks would have permitted the Turks not only to
recognize, which is not difficult for them, but in fact to respect,
the new State of Armenia, without the dreams of a sea coast and the
madness of Erzeroum.

If the condition of the conquered is sufficiently serious
the situation of the peoples most favoured by the Entente in
Europe--Poland and Greece, who have obtained the greatest and most
unjust increases in territory, having given for a diversity of reasons
extremely little during the War--is certainly not less so. Each of
these countries are suffocating under the weight of the concessions,
and seek in vain a way of salvation from the burdens which they are
not able to support, and from the mania of conquest which are the
fruits of exaltation and error.

Having obtained much, having obtained far more than they thought or
hoped, they believe that their advantage lies in new expansion. Poland
violates treaties, offends the laws of international usage, and
is protected in everything she undertakes. But every one of her
undertakings can only throw her into greater discomfort and augment
the total of ruin.

All the violences in Upper Silesia to prevent the plebiscite going in
favour of Germany were not only tolerated but prepared far ahead.

When I was head of the Italian Government the representative of the
German Government in Rome, von Herf, gave documentary evidence on what
was being prepared, and on April 30, 1920, in an audience which I gave
him as head of the Council he furnished me with proofs of what was
the Polish organization, what were its objects and the source of its

As everyone knows, the plebiscite of March 20, 1921, in spite of the
violence and notwithstanding the officially protected brigandage,
resulted favourably to Germany. Out of 1,200,636 voters 717,122 were
for Germany and 483,514 for Poland. The 664 richest, most prosperous
and most populous communes gave a majority for the Germans, 597
communes gave a majority for Poland. The territory of Upper Silesia,
according to the treaty, according to the plebiscite, according to the
most elementary international honesty, should be immediately handed
over to Germany. But as they do not wish to give the coal of
Upper Silesia to Germany, and the big interests of the new great
metallurgical group press and trick, the Treaty of Versailles has here
also become a _chiffon de papier_.

Instead of accepting, as was the first duty, the result of the
plebiscite, people have resorted to sophism of incomparable weakness:
Article 88 of the Treaty of Versailles says only that the inhabitants
of Upper Silesia shall be called to designate by means of a plebiscite
if they desire to be united to Germany or to Poland.

It was necessary to find a sophism!

The Addendum of Section 8 establishes how the work of scrutiny shall
be carried out and all the procedure of the elections. There are six
articles of procedure. Paragraph 4 says that each one shall vote in
the commune where he is domiciled or in that where he was born if he
has not a domicile in the territory. The result of the vote shall be
determined commune by commune, according to the majority of votes in
each commune.

This means then that the results of the voting, as is done in
political questions in all countries, should, be controlled commune by
commune: it is the form of the scrutiny which the appendix defines.
Instead, in order to take the coal away from Germany, it was
attempted, and is being still attempted, not to apply the treaty, but
to violate the principle of the indivisibility of the territory and to
give the mining districts to Poland.

The violation of the neutrality of Belgium was not an offence to a
treaty more serious than this attempt; the Treaty of 1839 cannot be
considered a _chiffon de papier_ more than the Treaty of Versailles.
Only the parties are inverted.

It is not France, noble and democratic, which inspires these
movements, but a plutocratic situation which has taken the same
positions, but on worse grounds, as the German metallurgists before
the War. It is the same current against which Lloyd George has several
times bitterly protested and for which he has had very bitter words
which it is not necessary to recall. It is the same movement which has
created agitations in Italy by means of its organs, and which attempt
one thing only: to ruin the German industry and, having the control of
the coal, to monopolize in Europe the iron industries and those which
are derived from it.

First of all, in order to indemnify France for the _temporary_ damages
done to the mines in the North, there was the cession _in perpetuo_ of
the mines of the Saar; then there were the repeated attempts to occupy
the territory of the Ruhr to control the coal; last of all there is
the wish not to apply the plebiscite and to violate the Treaty of
Versailles by not giving Upper Silesia to Germany, but giving it
abusively to Poland.

Germany produced before the War about 190,000,000 tons of coal; in
1913 191,500,000. The consumption of these mines themselves was about
a tenth, 19,000,000 tons, whilst for exportation were 83,500,000 tons,
and for internal consumption were 139,000,000.

Now Germany has lost, and justly, Alsace-Lorraine, 3,800,000 tons. She
has lost, and it was not just, the Saar, 13,200,000 tons. She is bound
by the obligations of the treaty to furnish France with 20,000,000
tons, and to Belgium and Italy and France again another 25,000,000
tons. If she loses the excellent coal of Upper Silesia, about
43,800,000 tons per year, she will be completely paralysed.

It is needless to lose time in demonstrating for what geographic,
ethnographic and economist reason Upper Silesia should be united with
Germany. It is a useless procedure, and also, after the plebiscites,
an insult to the reasoning powers. If the violation of treaties is not
a right of the victor, after the plebiscite, in which, notwithstanding
all the violences, three-quarters of the population voted for Germany,
then there is no reason for discussion.

The words used by Lloyd George on May 18, 1921, in the House of
Commons, are a courteous abbreviation of the truth. From the
historical point of view, he said, Poland has no rights over Silesia.
The only reason for which Poland could claim Upper Silesia is that it
possesses a numerous Polish population, arrived there in comparatively
recent times with the intention of finding work, and especially in the
mines. That is true and is more serious than would be an agitation of
the Italians in the State of San Paulo of Brazil, claiming that they
had a majority of the population.

"The Polish insurrection," said Lloyd George justly, "is a challenge
to the Treaty of Versailles, which, at the same time, constitutes the
charter of Polish Liberty." Poland is the last country in Europe which
has the right to deplore the treaty, because Poland did not conquer
the treaty. Poland did not gain her liberty, and more than any other
country should respect every comma of the treaty. She owes her liberty
to Italy, Great Britain and France.

In the future [said the English Prime Minister] force will lose its
efficiency in regard to the Treaty of Versailles, and the maintenance
of the undertakings on the part of Germany on the basis of her
signature placed to the treaty will count increasingly. We have the
right to everything which she gives us: but we have the right also to
leave everything which is left to her. It is our duty of impartiality
to act with rigorous justice, without taking into account the
advantages or the disadvantages which may accrue therefrom. Either the
Allies must demand that the treaty shall be respected, or they should
permit the Germans to make the Poles respect it. It is all very well
to disarm Germany, but to desire that even the troops which she does
possess should not participate in the re-establishment of order is a
pure injustice.

Russia [added Lloyd George] to-day is a fallen Power, tired, a prey
to a despotism which leaves no hope, but is also a country of great
natural resources, inhabited by a people of courage, who at the
beginning of the War gave proof of its courage. Russia will not always
find herself in the position in which she is to-day. Who can say what
she will become? In a short time she may become a powerful country,
which can say its word about the future of Europe and the world. To
which part will she turn? With whom will she unite?

There is nothing more just or more true than this.

But Poland wants to take away Upper Silesia from Germany
notwithstanding the plebiscite and against the treaty, and which has
in this action the aid of the metallurgical interests and the great
interests of a large portion of the Press of all Europe. Poland, which
has large nuclei of German populations, after having been enslaved,
claims the right to enslave populations, which are more cultured,
richer and more advanced. And besides the Germans it claims the right
to enslave even Russian peoples and further to occupy entire Russian
territories, and wishes to extend into Ukraine. There is then the
political paradox of Wilna. This city, which belongs according to the
regular treaty to Lithuania, has been occupied in an arbitrary manner
by the Poles, who also claim Kowno.

In short, Poland, which obtained her unity by a miracle, is working in
the most feverish manner to create her own ruin. She has no finance,
she has no administration, she has no credit. She does not work, and
yet consumes; she occupies new territories, and ruins the old ones. Of
the 31,000,000 inhabitants, as we have seen, 7 millions are Ukranians,
2.2 Russians, 2.1 Germans, and nearly half a million of other
nationalities. But among the eighteen or nineteen million Poles there
are at least four million Jews--Polish Jews, without doubt, but
the greater portion do not love Poland, which has not known how to
assimilate them. The Treaty of Versailles has created the absurd
position that to go from one part to the other of Germany it is
necessary to traverse the Danzig corridor. In other terms, Germany is
cut in two parts, and to move in Prussia herself from Berlin to one of
the oldest German cities, the home of Emanuel Kant, Konigsberg, it is
necessary to traverse Polish territory.

So Poland separates the two most numerous people of Europe: Russia and
Germany. The Biblical legend lets us suppose that the waters of
the Red Sea opened to let the Chosen People pass: but immediately
afterwards the waters closed up again. Is it possible to suppose that
such an arbitrary arrangement as this will last for long?

If it has lasted as long as it has, it is because it was, at least
from the part of one section of the Entente, not the road to peace,
but because it was a method of crushing down Germany.

If a people had conditions for developing rapidly it was
Czeko-Slovakia. But also with the intention of hurting Germany and the
German peoples, a Czeko-Slovak State was created which has also
its own tremendous crisis of nationality. A Czeko-Slovakia with a
population of eight to nine million people represented a compact
ethnical unity. Instead, they have added five and a half million
people of different nationalities, amongst whom about 4,000,000
Germans, with cities which are the most German in the world, as
Pilsen, Karlsbad, Reichenberg, etc. What is even more serious is that
the 4,000,000 Germans are attached to Germany, and, having a superior
culture and civilization, will never resign themselves to being placed
under the Czeks.

Czeko-Slovakia had mineral riches, industrial concerns and solid
agriculture, and a culture spread among the people--all the conditions
for rising rapidly. All these advantages risk being annulled by the
grave and useless insult to the Germans and Magyars.

Not only is the situation of Europe in every way uncertain, but there
is a tendency in the groups of the victors on the Continent of Europe
to increase the military budgets. The relationships of trade are being
restored only slowly; commerce is spoken of as an aim. In Italy the
dangers and perils of reopening trade with Germany have been seriously
discussed; customs duties are raised every day; the industrial groups
find easy propaganda for protection. Any limitation of competition is
a duty, whether it be the enemy of yesterday or the enemy of to-day,
and so the greatest evils of protection are camouflaged under

None of the countries which have come out of the War on the Continent
have a financial position which helps toward a solid situation.
All the financial documents of the various countries, which I have
collected and studied with great care, contain enormous masses
of expenses which are the consequences of the War; those of the
conquering countries also contain enormous aggregations of expenses
which are or can become the cause of new wars.

The conquered countries have not actually any finance. Germany has an
increase of expenses which the fall of the mark renders more serious.
In 1920 she spent not less than ninety-two milliards, ruining her
circulation. How much has she spent in 1921?

Austria and Hungary have budgets which are simply hypotheses. The last
Austrian budget, for 1921, assigned a sum of seventy-one milliards
of crowns for expenses, and this for a poor country with 7,000,000

A detailed examination of the financial situation of Czeko-Slovakia,
of Rumania, and of the Serbo-Croat States gives results which are at
the least alarming. Even Greece, which until yesterday had a solid
structure, gallops now in a madness of expenditure which exceeds all
her resources, and if she does not find a means to make peace with
Turkey she will find her credit exhausted. The most ruinous of all
is the situation of Poland, whose finance is certainly not better
regulated than that of the Bolsheviks of Moscow, to judge from the
course of the Polish mark and the Russian rouble if anyone gets the
idea of buying them on an international market.

The situation of the exchange since the War has not sensibly bettered
even for the great countries, and it is extraordinarily worse for the
other countries.

In June, 1921, France had a circulation of about thirty-eight milliard
of francs, Belgium six milliard of francs, Italy of about eighteen
milliards; Great Britain, between State notes and Bank of England
notes, had hardly £434,000,000 sterling. Actually, among the
continental countries surviving the War, Italy is the country which
has made the greatest efforts not to augment the circulation but to
increase the duties; also because she had no illusions of rebuilding
her finance and her national economy on an enemy indemnity.

But the conquered countries have so abused their circulation that
they almost live on the thought of it--as, in fact, not a few of the
conquering countries and those come out from the War do. Germany has
passed eighty-eight milliards, and is rapidly approaching one hundred
milliards. Now, when one thinks that the United States, after so many
loans and after all the expenses of the War, has only a circulation of
4,557,000,000 dollars, one understands what difficulty Germany has to
produce, to live, and to refurnish herself with raw materials.

Only Great Britain of all the countries in Europe which have issued
from the War has had a courageous financial policy. Public opinion,
instead of pushing Parliament to financial dissipation, has insisted
on economy. If the situation created by the War has transformed also
the English circulation into unconvertible paper money, this is merely
a passing fact. If the sterling loses on the dollar--that is, on
gold--given the fact that the United States of America alone now have
a money at par, almost a quarter of its value, this is also merely a
transitory fact.

Great Britain has the good sense to curtail expenses, and the sterling
tends always to improve.

France and Italy are in an intermediate position. Their money can be
saved, but it will require energetic care and great economies,
stern finance, a greater development of production, limitation of
consumption, above all, of what is purchased from abroad. At the date
of which I am writing, expressed on a percentual basis, the French
franc is worth 47 centimes of the sterling and 36 of the dollar--that
is to say, of gold. The Italian lira is worth 28 centimes of the
sterling and 21 of the dollar.

Here are still two countries in which tenacious energy can save and
with many sacrifices they can arrive at good money. France has a good
many more resources than Italy; she has a smaller need of importations
and a greater facility for exportations. But her public debt has
reached 265 milliards, the circulation has well passed thirty-eight
milliards, and they still fear to calculate amongst the extraordinary
income of the budget the fifteen milliards a year which should come
from Germany.

Italy, with great difficulty of production and less concord inside the
country, has a more true vision, and does not reckon any income which
is not derived from her own resources. Her circulation does not pass
eighteen milliards, and her debt exceeds by a little one hundred

With prudence and firmness France and Italy will be able to balance
their accounts.

But the financial situation and the exchanges of the conquered
countries, even that of Germany, may be called desperate.

If expressed in percentages, the German mark is worth 5.11 per cent.
in comparison with the pound sterling and 3.98 per cent. of the
dollar. What possibility is there of systematizing the exchange?

Germany was compelled this year to carry her expenses to 130 milliards
of marks. As her circulation has exceeded eighty-eight milliards, how
can she straighten out her money?

As for the Austrian and Hungarian crowns, the Jugo-Slav crowns, the
Rumanian lei, and all the other depreciated moneys, their fate is not
doubtful. As their value is always descending, and the gold equivalent
becomes almost indeterminable, they will have a common fate. As for
the Polish mark, it can be said that before long it will not be worth
the paper on which it is printed.

There is, then, the fantastic position of the public debts! They have
reached now such figures that no imagination could have forecasted.
France alone has a debt which of itself exceeds by a great deal
all the debts of all the European States previous to the War: 265
milliards of francs. And Germany, the conquered country, has in her
turn a debt which exceeds 320 milliards of marks, and which is rapidly
approaching 400 milliards. The debts of many countries are only
recorded by feats of memory, because there is no practical interest in
knowing whether Austria, Hungary, and especially Poland, has one debt
or another, since the situation of the creditors is not a situation of

The whole debt of the United States of America is, after so much war,
only 23,982,000,000 dollars; but the United States are creditors of
the Entente for 9,500,000,000 dollars. Also England, against a debt of
£9,240,000,000 sterling, has a credit of £1,778,000,000.

These serious figures, whilst they increase the condition of
discomfort rendered even more serious by the scarcity of commercial
exchanges, indicate also what necessity may be superior to all in
every country to preserve internal peace: produce more, consume less,
put the finances in order, and reconquer the credits.

Instead, the conquered countries are going downwards every day and the
conquering countries are maintaining very big armies, exhausting their
resources, whilst they are spreading the conviction that the indemnity
from the enemy will compensate sufficiently, or at least partially,
for the work of restoration.

In fact, the causes of discontent and diffidence are augmenting.
Nothing is more significant than the lack of conscience with which
programmes of violence and of ruin are lightly accepted; nothing is
more deplorable than the thoughtlessness with which the germs of new
wars are cultivated. Germany has disarmed with a swiftness which has
even astonished the military circles of the Entente; but the bitter
results of the struggle are not only not finished against Germany,
not even to-day does she form part of the League of Nations (which is
rather a sign of a state of mind than an advantage), but the attitude
towards her is even more hostile.

Two years after the end of the war R. Poincaré wrote that the League
of Nations would lose its best possibility of lasting if, _un jour_,
it did not reunite all the nations of Europe. But he added that of
all the conquered nations--Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, Turkey and
Germany--the last-mentioned, by her conduct during the War and
after the peace, justified least a near right of entry. It would be
_incontestablement plus naturel_ (of how many things does nature
occupy herself!) to let Austria enter first if she will disavow the
policy of reattachment--that is, being purely German, renounce
against the principle of nationality, in spite of the principle
of auto-decision, when she cannot live alone, to unite herself to
Germany; Bulgaria and Turkey as long as they had a loyal and courteous
attitude towards Greece, Rumania and Serbia. The turn of Germany
will come, but only after Turkey, when she will have given proof of
executing the treaty, which no reasonable and honest person considers
any more executable in its integrity.

The most characteristic facts of this peace which continues the War
can be recapitulated as follows:

1. Europe on the whole has more men under arms than before the War.
The conquered States are forced to disarm, but the conquering States
have increased the armaments; the new States and the countries which
have come through the War have increased their armaments.

2. Production is very tardily being taken up again because there is
everywhere, if in a different degree, a lesser desire for work on
the part of the working classes joined with a need for higher

3. The difficulties of trade, instead of decreasing in many countries
of Europe are increasing, and international commerce is very slowly
recovering. Between the States of Europe there is not a real commerce
which can compare with that under normal conditions. Considering
actual values with values before the War, the products which now form
the substance of trade between European countries do not represent
even the half of that before the War.

As the desire for consumption, if not the capacity for consumption,
has greatly increased, and the production is greatly decreased, all
the States have increased their functions. So the discredit of the
paper money and the Treasury bills which permit these heavy expenses
is in all the countries of Europe, even if in different degrees, very

The conquering countries, from the moment that they had obtained in
the treaties of peace the acknowledgment of the conquered that the War
was caused by them, held it to be legitimate that they should lose all
their disposable goods, their colonies, their ships, their credits and
their commercial organization abroad, but that the conquered should
also pay all the damages of the War. The War, therefore, should be
paid for by the conquered, who recognized (even if against their will)
that they were alone responsible. That forms henceforth a certain
canon of foreign politics, the less a thing appears true the more it
is repeated.

Although the treaties oblige Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey to
pay the damages of the War, it is, however, certain that they are not
able to pay anything and not even the expenses of the victors on their
territory. "_Cantabit vacuus coram latrone viator_," said Juvenal
("Who has nothing can give nothing"), and Austria, for her part,
instead of giving is imploring food succour.

So the problem remains limited to Germany. Can she pay the indemnity
indicated in the treaty? Can she pay for the damages and indemnify the
victors? After having given up her colonies, her ships, her railway
material, all her disposable credits abroad, in what form can she pay?

The fundamental controversy reduces itself henceforth only to this
point, which we shall try if possible to make clear, since we desire
that this matter shall be presented in the clearest and most evident

From now on it is not the chancelleries which must impose the
solutions of great problems; but it is the mass of the public in
Europe and America.



We have seen the process by which the idea of the indemnity for
damages, which was not contained either in the peace declaration of
the Entente, nor in the manifestations of the various parliaments, nor
in the first armistice proposals, nor in the armistice between Italy
and Austria, was introduced in the armistice with Germany, out of pure
regard for France, without taking heed of the consequences. Three
words, said Clemenceau, only three words need be added, words which
compromise nothing and are an act of deference to France. The entire
construction of the treaties, after all, is based on those three

And how fantastic the demands for compensation have become!

An old Italian proverb says, "In time of war there are more lies than
earth." Ancient and modern pottery reproduce the motto, which is
widespread, and whose truth was not understood until some years
ago. So many foolish things were said about the almost mysterious
manoeuvres of Germany, about her vast expansion, her great resources
and accumulated capital, that the reality tended to become lost to

These absurd legends, formed during the War, were not forgotten, and
there are even now many who believe in good faith that Germany can
pay, if not twenty or twenty-five milliards a year, at least eight or
nine without any difficulty.

France's shrewdest politicians, however, well knew that the demand
for an enormous and unlimited indemnity was only a means of putting
Germany under control and depressing her to the point of exhaustion.
But the others maintained this proposal more out of rancour and hatred
than from any actual political concept. It may be said that the
problem of the indemnity has never been seriously studied and that the
calculations, the valuations, the procedures, have all formed a series
of impulsive acts co-ordinated by a single error, the error of the
French politicians who had the one aim of holding Germany down.

The procedure was simple.

In the first phase the indemnities came into being from three words
inserted almost by chance into the armistice treaty on November 2,
1918, _réparation des dommages_. It was merely a matter of a simple
expression to content public feeling: _Je supplie le conseil de se
mettre dans l'esprit de la population française_.... It was a moral
concession, a moral satisfaction.

But afterwards, as things went on, all was altered when it came to
preparing the treaties.

For a while the idea, not only of a reparation of damages, but of the
payment of the cost of the War was entertained. It was maintained that
the practice of making the vanquished reimburse the cost of the War
was permitted by international law. Since Germany had provoked the War
and lost it, she must not only furnish an indemnity for the losses,
but also pay the cost.

The cost was calculated roughly at seven hundred milliards of francs
at par. Further, there was the damage to assess. In the aggregate, war
costs, damage to property, damage to persons, came to at least one
thousand milliards. But since it was impossible to demand immediate
payment and was necessary to spread the sum over fifty years, taking
into consideration sinking funds and interest the total came to three
thousand milliards. The amount was published by the illustrated papers
with the usual diagrams, drawings of golden globes, length of paper
money if stretched out, height of metal if all piled up together, etc.

These figures were discussed for the first few months by a public
accustomed to be surprised at nothing. They merely helped to
demonstrate that an indemnity of 350 milliards was a real sacrifice
for the Allies.

Thus a whole series of principles came to be established which were a
contradiction of reality.

A great share in the responsibility in this matter lies with Great
Britain, who not only followed France's error, but in certain ways
made it worse by a number of intemperate requests. Italy had no
influence on the proceedings owing to her indecisive policy. Only the
United States, notwithstanding the banality of some of her experts
(_lucus a non lucendo_), spoke an occasional word of reason.

When Lloyd George understood the mistake committed in the matter of
the indemnity it was too late.

The English public found itself face to face with the elections almost
the day after the conclusion of the War. In the existing state of
exaltation and hatred the candidates found a convenient "plank" in
promising the extermination of Germany, the trial of the Kaiser, as
well as of thousands of German officers accused of cruelty, and last,
but not least, the end of German competition.

The Prime Minister of Australia, William Morris Hughes, a
small-minded, insensitive, violent man, directed a furious campaign
in favour of a huge indemnity. Lord Northcliffe lent the aid of his
numerous papers to this campaign, which stirred up the electors.

Lloyd George, with his admirable intelligence, perceived the situation
clearly. He did not believe in the usefulness or even in the
possibility of trying the Kaiser and the German officers. He did not
believe in the possibility of an enormous indemnity or even a very
large one.

His first statements, like those of Bonar Law, a serious, honest,
well-balanced man, an idealist with the appearance of a practical
person, revealed nothing. On the eve of the dissolution of Parliament,
Lloyd George, speaking at Wolverhampton, November 24, 1918, did not
even hint at the question of the reparations or indemnity. He was
impelled along that track by the movement coming from France, by the
behaviour of the candidates, by Hughes's attitude, and by the Press
generally, especially that of Northcliffe.

A most vulgar spectacle was offered by many of the English candidates,
among whom were several members of the War Cabinet, who used language
worthy of raving dervishes before crowds hypnotized by promises of the
most impossible things.

To promise the electors that Germany should pay the cost of the War,
to announce to those who had lost their senses that the Kaiser was to
be hanged, to promise the arrest and punishment of the most guilty
German officers, to prophesy the reduction to slavery of a Germany
competing on sea and land, was certainly the easiest kind of
electoral programme. The numerous war-mutilated accepted it with much
enthusiasm, and the people listened, open-mouthed, to the endless
series of promises.

Hughes, who was at bottom in good faith, developed the thesis which he
afterwards upheld at Paris with logical precision. It was Germany's
duty to reimburse, without any limitation, the entire cost of the
War: damage to property, damage to persons, and war-cost. He who has
committed the wrong must make reparation for it to the extreme limits
of his resources, and this principle, recognized by the jurists,
requires that the total of the whole cost of the War fall upon the
enemy nations. Later on, Hughes, who was a sincere man, recognized
that it was not possible to go beyond asking for reparation of the

Lloyd George was dragged along by the necessity of not drawing away
the mass of the electors from the candidates of his party. Thus he was
obliged on December 11, in his final manifesto, to announce not only
the Kaiser's trial and that of all those responsible for atrocities,
but to promise the most extensive kind of indemnity from Germany and
the compensation of all who had suffered by the War. Speaking the
same evening at Bristol, he promised to uphold the principle of the
indemnity, and asserted the absolute right to demand from Germany
payment for the costs of the War.

In England, where the illusion soon passed away, in France, where it
has not yet been dissipated, the public has been allowed to believe
that Germany can pay the greater part, if not the entire cost, of the
War, or at least make compensation for the damage.

For many years I have studied the figures in relation to private
wealth and the wealth of nations, and I have written at length on
the subject. I know how difficult it is to obtain by means of even
approximate statistics results more or less near to the reality.
Nothing pained me more than to hear the facility with which
politicians of repute spoke of obtaining an indemnity of hundreds of
milliards. When Germany expressed her desire to pay an indemnity in
one agreed lump sum (_à forfait_) of one hundred milliards of gold
marks (an indemnity she could never pay, so enormous is it), I saw
statesmen, whom I imagined not deprived of intelligence, smile at
the paltriness of the offer. An indemnity of fifty milliards of
gold marks, such as that proposed by Keynes, appeared absurd in its

When the Peace Conference reassembled in Paris the situation
concerning the indemnity was as follows. The Entente had never during
the War spoken of indemnity as a condition of peace. Wilson, in his
proposals, had spoken only of reconstruction of invaded territories.
The request for _réparation des dommages_ had been included in the
terms of the armistice merely to afford a moral satisfaction to
France. But the campaign waged in France and during the elections
in England had exaggerated the demands so as to include not only
reparation for damage but reimbursement of the cost of the War.

Only the United States maintained that the indemnity should be limited
to the reparation of the damages: a reparation which in later phases
included not only reconstruction of destroyed territories and damage
done to private property, but even pensions to the families of those
dead in the War and the sums in grant paid during it.

When Prussia beat France in 1870 she asked for an indemnity of five
milliards. The Entente could have demanded from the vanquished an
indemnity and then have reassumed relations with them provided it were
an indemnity which they could pay in a brief period of time.

Instead, it being impossible to demand an enormous sum of 300 or 400
milliards, a difficult figure to fix definitely, recourse was had to
another expedient.

From the moment that the phrase _réparation des dommages_ was included
in the armistice treaty as a claim that could be urged, it became
impossible to ask for a fixed sum. What was to be asked for was
neither more nor less than the amount of the damages. Hence a special
commission was required, and the Reparations Commission appears on
the scene to decide the sum to demand from Germany and to control
its payment. Also even after Germany was disarmed a portion of her
territory must remain in the Allies' hands as a guarantee for the
execution of the treaty.

The reason why France has always been opposed to a rapid conclusion of
the indemnity question is that she may continue to have the right, in
view of the question remaining still open, to occupy the left bank of
the Rhine and to keep the bridgeheads indicated in the treaty.

The thesis supported by Clemenceau at the Conference was a simple one:
Germany must recognize the total amount of her debt; it is not enough
to say that we recognize it.

I demand in the name of the French Government, and after having
consulted my colleagues, that the Peace Treaty fixes Germany's debt
to us and indicates the nature of the damages for which reparation is
due. We will fix a period of thirty years if you so wish it, and we
will give to the Commission, after it has reduced the debt to figures,
the mandate to make Germany pay within these thirty years all she owes
us. If the whole debt cannot be paid in thirty years the Commission
will have the right to extend the time for payment.

This scheme was agreed. And the thesis of the compensation of damages,
instead of that for the payment of the cost of the War, prevailed for
a very simple reason. If they proposed to demand for all integral
reparations, and therefore the reimbursement of the cost of the War,
the figures would have been enormous. It became necessary to reduce
all the credits proportionally, as in the case of a bankruptcy. Now,
since in the matter of the indemnities France occupied the first place
(to begin with, she asked sixty-five per cent. of all sums paid by
Germany), she took the greater part of the indemnities, while on the
sums paid for reimbursement of cost of war, she would only have got
less than twenty per cent.

Germany has therefore been put under control for all the time she will
be paying the indemnities--that is, for an indefinite time.

The valuation of the expenses for the reconstruction of the ruined
territories had to be carried out according to the regulations of
the treaty, and, the prices having increased, the French Government
presented in July, 1920, a first approximate valuation: damages, 152
milliards; pensions, 58 milliards; in all, 210 milliards. In November,
1920, the damages had increased to 218 milliards.

Even these figures represent something less absurd than the first
demands and figures.

On September 5, 1919, the French Minister of Finance, speaking in the
French Chamber, calculated the total of the German indemnities arising
from the treaty at 375 milliards, whose interest would accumulate
until 1921, after which date Germany would begin to pay her debt
in thirty-four annual rates of about 25 milliards each, and 13,750
milliards a year would go to France.

Again, in November, 1920, Ogier, Minister of the liberated regions,
put before the Reparations Commission in the name of France a detailed
memorial which made the value of the territories to be reconstructed
only for the cases of private individuals come to 140 milliards, not
including the pensions, damage to railways and mercantile marine,
which totalled 218 milliards, of which 77 milliards were for pensions
and 141 milliards for damages.

Of late the sense of reality has begun to diffuse itself. The Minister
Loucheur himself has laughed at the earlier figures, and has stated
that the damages do not exceed eighty milliards.

But the French public has been accustomed for some time to take the
figures of Klotz seriously, and to discuss indemnities of 150, 200
and 250 milliards. The public, however, is not yet aware of the real
position, and will not be able to arrive at a just realization of it
without passing through a serious moral crisis which will be the first
secure element of the real peace.

Setting aside all questions of indemnities from Austria-Hungary,
Turkey and Bulgaria (they have nothing to give, can give nothing; on
the contrary, they ask and merit assistance), it is clear that all the
indemnities must be paid by Germany.

The French totals of the material damage claims in the invaded
districts have been absolutely fantastic and more exaggerated than in
the case of Belgium, whose indemnity claims would lead one to suppose
the total destruction of at least the third part of her territory,
almost as if she had undergone the submersion of, say, ten thousand
square metres of her small territory.

This problem of the indemnities, limited to the reparation of damages,
and in accordance with the costs contemplated in the Treaty of
Versailles, has never been seriously tackled. One may even say it has
not been seriously examined. And it is deplorable that there has been
created among the public, or among a large part of it, the conviction
that Germany will repair the damage of the War by her own effort. This
idea, however, finds no acceptance in England among serious persons,
and in Italy no one believes in it. But in France and Belgium the idea
is widely diffused, and the wish to spread the belief is lively in
several sections of opinion, not because intelligent people believe
in the possibility of effective payment, but with the idea of putting
Germany in the light of not maintaining the clauses of the peace, thus
extending the right to prolong the military occupation and even to
aggravate it. Germany, thereby, is kept out of the League of Nations
and her dissolution facilitated.

John Maynard Keynes, ever since the end of 1919, has shown in his
admirable book the absurdity of asking for vast indemnities, Germany's
impossibility of paying them, and the risk for all Europe of following
a road leading to ruin, thus at the same time accentuating the work
of disintegration started by the treaty. That book had awakened a
wide-sounding echo, but it ought to have had a still wider one, and
would have done but for the fact that, unfortunately, the Press in
free countries is anything but free.

The great industrial syndicates, especially in the steel-making
industry, which control so large a part of the Press among the
majority of the States of Europe, and even beyond Europe, find
easy allies in the inadequate preparation of the major part of
the journalists to discuss the most important problems, and the
indisposition on the part of the public to examine those questions
which present difficulties, and are so rendered less convenient for

I knew Keynes during the War, when he was attached to the British
Treasury and chief of the department charged to look after the foreign
exchanges and the financial relations between Great Britain and her
allies. A serious writer, a teacher of economics of considerable
value, he brought to his difficult task a scrupulousness and an
exactness that bordered on mistrust. Being at that time Chancellor of
the Exchequer in Italy, in the bitterest and most decisive period of
the War, I had frequent contact with Mr. Keynes, and I always admired
his exactness and his precision. I could not always find it in myself
to praise his friendly spirit. But he had an almost mystic force of
severity, and those enormous squanderings of wealth, that facile
assumption of liabilities that characterized this period of the War,
must have doubtless produced in him a sense of infinite disgust. This
state of mind often made him very exigent, and sometimes unjustifiably
suspicious. His word had a decisive effect on the actions of the
English Treasury.

When the War was finished, he took part as first delegate of the
English Treasury at the Peace Conference of Paris, and was substituted
by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Supreme Economic Council.
He quitted his office when he had come to the conclusion that it was
hopeless to look for any fundamental change of the peace treaties.

His book is not only a document of political uprightness but the first
appeal to a sense of reality which, after an orgy of mistakes, menaces
a succession of catastrophes. In my opinion it merits a serious
reconsideration as the expression of a new conscience, as well as an
expression of the truth, which is only disguised by the existing state
of exasperation and violence.

After two years we must recognize that all the forecasts of Keynes
have been borne out by the facts: that the exchange question has grown
worse in all the countries who have been in the War, that the absurd
indemnities imposed on the enemies cannot be paid, that the depressed
condition of the vanquished is harmful to the victors almost in equal
measure with the vanquished themselves, that it menaces their very
existence, that, in fine, the sense of dissolution is more widespread
than ever.

The moment has come to make an objective examination of the indemnity
question, and to discuss it without any hesitation.

Let us lay aside all sentiment and forget the undertakings of the
peace treaties. Let us suppose that the Entente's declarations
and Wilson's proposals never happened. Let us imagine that we are
examining a simple commercial proposition stripped of all sentiment
and moral ideas.

After a great war it is useless to invoke moral sentiments: men, while
they are blinded by hatred, recognize nothing save their passion. It
is the nature of war not only to kill or ruin a great number of men,
not only to cause considerable material damage, but also, necessarily,
to bring about states of mind full of hate which cannot be ended at
once and which are even refractory to the language of reason.

For a long time I myself have looked upon the Germans with the
profoundest hatred. When I think of all the persons of my race dead in
the War, when I look back upon the fifteen months of anguish when my
first-born son was a prisoner of war in Germany, I am quite able to
understand the state of mind of those who made the peace and the
mental condition in which it was made. What determined the atmosphere
of the peace treaties was the fact that there was a conference
presided over by Clemenceau, who remembered the Prussians in the
streets of Paris after the war of 1870, who desired but one thing: the
extermination of the Germans. What created this atmosphere, or helped
to create it, was the action of Marshal Foch, who had lost in the War
the two persons dearest to him in life, the persons who attached him
to existence.

But now we must examine the question not in the light of our
sentiments or even of our hatreds. We must see quite calmly if the
treaties are possible of application without causing the ruin of the
vanquished. Then we must ask ourselves if the ruin of the vanquished
does not bring in its train the ruin of the victors. Putting aside,
then, all moral considerations, let us examine and value the economic

There is no question that the reparation problem exists solely in
the case of Germany, who has still a powerful statal framework which
allows her to maintain great efforts, capable not only of providing
her with the means of subsistence, but also of paying a large
indemnity to the victors. The other vanquished States are more in need
of succour than anything else.

What are the reparations?

Let us follow the _précis_ of them which a representative of France
made at the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. They are as follows:

1. Germany is responsible for the total of the losses and damages
sustained by her victors inasmuch as she caused them.

2. Germany, in consideration of the permanent diminution of her
resources, resulting from the Peace Treaty, is only obliged (but is
obliged without restitutions or reserves) to reimburse the direct
damages and the pensions as precised in Schedule I of Clause viii of
the treaty.

3. Germany must pay before May 1, 1921, not less than twenty milliards
of gold marks or make equivalent payment in kind.

4. On May 1 the Reparations Commission will fix the total amount of
the German debt.

5. This debt must be liquidated by annual payments whose totals are to
be fixed by the Commission.

6. The payments will continue for a period of thirty years, or longer
if by that time the debt is not extinguished.

7. Germany will issue one hundred milliards of gold marks of bearer
bonds, and afterwards all such issues as the Reparations Commission
shall demand, until the amount of the debt be reached in order to
permit the stabilization of credit.

8. The payments will be made in money and in kind. The payments in
kind will be made in coal, live stock, chemical products, ships,
machines, furniture, etc. The payments _in specie_ consist of metal
money, of Germany's credits, public and private, abroad, and of a
first charge on all the effects and resources of the Empire and the
German States.

9. The Reparations Commission, charged with seeing to the execution of
this clause, shall have powers of control and decision. It will be
a commission for Germany's debt with wider powers. Called upon to
decide, according to equity, justice and good faith, without being
bound by any codex or special legislation, it has obtained from
Germany an irrevocable recognition of its authority. Its duty is to
supervise until the extinction of the debt Germany's situation, her
financial operations, her effects, her capacity for production, her
provisioning, her production. This commission must decide what Germany
can pay each year, and must see that her payments, added to the
budget, fall upon her taxpayers at least to the extent of the allied
country most heavily taxed. Its decisions shall be carried out
immediately and receive immediate application, without any other
formality. The commission can effect all the changes deemed necessary
in the German laws and regulations, as well as all the sanctions,
whether of a financial, economic or military nature arising from
established violations of the clauses put under its control. And
Germany is obliged not to consider these "sanctions" as hostile acts.

In order to guarantee the payments an inter-allied army--in reality
a Franco-Belgian army--occupies the left bank of the Rhine, and is
stationed at the bridgeheads. Germany is completely helpless, and has
lost all the features of a sovereign State inasmuch as she is subject
to "controls" in a way that Turkey never was. In modern history we can
find no parallel for this state of things. These are conditions
which alter the very bases of civilization and the relations between
peoples. Such procedure has been unknown in Europe for centuries.
The public has become accustomed in certain countries to consider
responsible for the War not the government that wished it or the
German people, but the future generations. Thus the indemnities are
to be paid--were such conditions possible--in thirty years and for at
least twenty years afterwards by people still unborn at the time of
the War. This cursing of the guilty people has no parallel in modern
history. We must go back to the early ages of humanity to find
anything of the kind.

But even the most inhuman policies, such as Germany has never adopted
in her victories, although she has been accused of every cruelty, can
find at least some justification if they had a useful effect on the
country which has wished and accepts responsibility for them. The
conqueror has his rights. Julius Caesar killed millions of Germans
and retarded perhaps for some centuries the invasion of Rome. But
the practices established by the Treaty of Versailles are in effect
equally harmful to victors and vanquished, though maybe in unequal
measure, and in any case prepare the dissolution of Europe.

I had my share in arranging at San Remo the Spa Conference, in the
hope and with the desire of discussing frankly with the Germans what
sum they could pay by way of indemnity without upsetting their economy
and damaging severely that of the Allies. But the ministerial crisis
which took place in June, 1920, prevented me from participating at
the Spa Conference; and the profitable action which Great Britain had
agreed to initiate in the common interest, ours as well as France's,
could not be proceeded with. The old mistakes continued to be
repeated, though many attenuations have come about and the truth
begins to appear even for those most responsible for past errors.

We shall have to examine with all fair-mindedness if Germany is in
a position to pay in whole or in part the indemnity established or
rather resulting from the treaty. France especially believes, or has
said on several occasions she believes, that Germany can pay without
difficulty 350 milliards.

After many stupidities and many exaggerations which have helped
considerably to confuse the public, in face of the new difficulties
which have arisen, new arrangements for the payment of the indemnity
have been established. On May 11, in face of the situation which had
arisen, the Allies proposed and Germany accepted a fresh scheme for
the payment of the reparations. Germany is constrained to pay every
year in cash and in kind the equivalent of 500 million dollars, plus
26 per cent. of the total of her exports.

The rest of the accord refers to the procedure for the issue of
bonds guaranteed on the indicated payments, to the constitution of a
guarantee committee, and to the date of payment. Probably Germany will
have been able to get through the year 1921 without insurmountable

At Spa, on April 27, 1921, the proportionate sums assessed for each of
the conquering powers were established on a total indemnity notably
reduced in comparison with the earlier absurd demands.

But leaving alone the idea of an indemnity of 250, 150, or even 100
milliards of gold marks, it will be well to see in a concrete form
what Germany can be made to pay, and whether the useless and elaborate
structure of the Reparations Commission which, with its powers of
regulating the internal life of Germany for thirty years or more,
ought not to be substituted by a simpler formula more in sympathy with
civilized notions.

Shortly before the War, according to successive statistics, the
private wealth of France did not amount to more than 250 milliards.

The wealth of France, according to successive valuations, was
calculated at 208 milliards of francs in 1905 (de Foville), at 214
milliards in 1908 (Turquan), at about 250 milliards according to other
authors. The wealth of Belgium, according to official statistics
published by the Belgian Ministry of Finance in 1913, amounted to
rather less than 30 milliards of francs. The estimate is perhaps a
trifle low. But this official figure must not be considered as being
a long way from the truth. At certain moments Belgium's demands have
surpassed even the total of her national wealth, while the damages
have not been more than some milliards.

The value of the land in France was calculated before the War at
between 62 and 78 milliards; the value of the buildings, according
to _l'Annuaire Statistique de la France_, at 59-1/2 milliards. The
territory occupied by the Germans is not more than a tenth of the
national territory. Even taking into consideration the loss of
industrial buildings it is very difficult to arrive at the figure of
15 milliards. At the same time it is true that the Minister Loucheur
declared on February 17, 1919, in the French Chamber that the
reconstruction of the devastated regions in France required 75
milliards--that is, very much more than double the private wealth of
all the inhabitants of all the occupied regions.

In all the demands for compensation of the various States we have seen
not so much a real and precise estimate of the damages as a kind of
fixing of credit in the largest measure possible in order that in the
successive reductions each State should still have proportionally an
advantageous position.

Making his calculation with a generosity which I assert to be
excessive (and I assert this as a result of an accurate study of
the question, which perhaps I may have occasion to publish), Keynes
maintains that the damages for which Germany should be made to pay
come to 53 milliards for all losses on land and sea and for the
effects of aerial bombardments--53 milliards of francs all told,
including the damages of France, Great Britain, Italy, Belgium,
Serbia, etc.! I do not believe that the damages reach 40 milliards of
gold marks, unless, of course, we calculate in them the pensions and

But these figures have but small interest, since the demands have been
almost entirely purely arbitrary.

What we must see is if Germany can pay, and if, with a regime of
restrictions and violence, she can hand over, not the many milliards
which have been announced and which have been a deplorable speculation
on the ignorance of the public, but a considerable sum, such as is
that which many folk still delude themselves it is possible to have.

Germany has already consigned all her transferable wealth; the gold in
her banks, her colonies, her commercial fleet, a large and even the
best part of her railway material, her submarine cables, her foreign
credits, the property of her private citizens in the victorious
countries, etc. Everything that could be handed over, even in
opposition to the rights of nations as such are known in modern
civilized States, Germany has given. She has also hypothecated all her
national goods. What can she give now?

Germany can pay in three ways only:

1. Merchandise and food products on account of the indemnity: coal,
machines, chemical products, etc.

2. Credits abroad coming from the sale of merchandise. If Germany
exports, that is sells eight milliard marks' worth of goods abroad,
she pays two milliards to the Reparations Commission.

3. Property of private citizens. Germany can enslave herself, ceding
the property of her private citizens to foreign States or citizens to
be disposed of as they wish.

Excluding this last form, which would constitute slavery pure and
simple, as useless, as impossible, and calculated to parallel the
methods in use among barbarous peoples, there only remain the first
two methods of payment which we will examine briefly.

It must be remembered that Germany, even before the War, was in
difficulties for insufficient avenues of development, given the
restricted nature of her territory and the exuberance of her
population. Her territory, smaller than that of France and much less
fertile, must now nourish a population which stands to that of France
as three to two.

If we have had gigantic war losses, Germany, who fought on all the
fronts, has had losses certainly not inferior to ours. She too has
had, in larger or smaller proportion, her dead and her mutilated.
She has known the most atrocious sufferings from hunger. Thus her
productive power is much diminished, not only on account of the grave
difficulties in which her people find themselves (and the development
of tuberculosis is a terrible index), but also for the lowered
productive capacity of her working classes.

The statistics published by the Office of Public Health of the Empire
(_Reichsgesundheitsamt_) and those given in England by Professor
Starling and laid before the British Parliament, leave no doubt in the

Germany has had more than 1,800,000 dead and many more than 4,000,000
of wounded. She has her mass of orphans, widows and invalids. Taken
altogether the structure of her people has become much worse.

What constituted the great productive force of the German people was
not only its capacity to work, but the industrial organization which
she had created with fifty years of effort at home and abroad with
many sacrifices. Now Germany has not only lost 8 per cent. of her
population, but _25_ per cent. of her territory, from which cereals
and potatoes were produced, and 10 to 12 per cent. of her live stock,
etc. We have already seen the enormous losses sustained by Germany in
coal, iron and potash.

The most intelligent and able working classes, created by the
most patient efforts, have been reduced to the state of becoming
revolutionary elements. By taking away from Germany at a stroke her
mercantile marine, about 60,000 sailors have been thrown on the
streets and their skill made useless.

Germany, therefore, impoverished in her agricultural territory,
deprived of a good part of her raw materials, with a population
weakened in its productive qualities, has lost a good part of her
productive capacity because all her organization abroad has been
broken, and everything which served as a means of exchange of
products, such as her mercantile fleet, has been destroyed. Moreover,
Germany encounters everywhere obstacles and diffidence. Impeded from
developing herself on the seas, held up to ridicule by the absurd
corridor of Danzig, whereby there is a Polish State in German
territory, she cannot help seeking life and raw materials in Russia.

In these conditions she must not only nourish her vast population, not
only produce sufficient to prevent her from falling into misery,
but must also pay an indemnity which fertile fantasies have made a
deceived Europe believe should amount even to 350 milliards of gold
marks, and which even now is supposed by seemingly reasonable people
to be able to surpass easily the sum of a hundred milliards.

Could France or Italy, by any kind of sacrifice, have paid any
indemnities after ending the War? Germany has not only to live and
make reparation, but to maintain an inter-allied army of occupation
and the heavy machinery of the Reparations Commission, and must
prepare to pay an indemnity for thirty years. France and Italy have
preserved their colonies (Italy's do not amount to much), their
mercantile fleets (which have much increased), their foreign
organization. Germany, without any of these things, is to find herself
able to pay an indemnity which a brazen-faced and ignorant Press
deceived the public into believing could amount to twenty or
twenty-five milliards a year.

Taking by chance Helferich's book, which valued the annual
capitalization at ten milliards, the difference between an annual
production of forty-three milliards and a consumption of thirty-three
milliards, inexpert persons have said that Germany can pay without
difficulty ten milliards, plus a premium on her exports, plus a
sufficient quantity of goods and products.

One becomes humiliated when one sees newspapers of serious reputation
and politicians deemed not to be unimportant reasoning in language so

The estimates of private wealth, about which the economists make
experiments, and on which I myself have written much in the past, have
a relative value. It may be argued that before the War the total of
all private patrimony in Germany surpassed but by little three hundred
milliards of marks; and this is a valuation made upon generous

But when it is said that the annual capitalization of Germany was
ten milliards, that is not to say that ten milliards of capital is
deposited in the banks ready to be transferred at will. Capitalization
means the creation of instruments of production. The national capital
increases in proportion as these are increased. Therefore the best way
of examining the annual capitalization of a country is to see how many
new industries have arisen, to what extent the old ones have been
improved, what improvements have been introduced into agriculture,
what new investments have been made, etc.

If the capitalization of Germany before the War was scarcely ten
milliards of marks, it was too small for an Empire of some 67,000,000
persons. I believe that in reality it was larger. But even if it came
to fifteen milliards, it represented a very small figure.

The population in the progressive countries augments every year. In
Germany, before the War, in the period 1908-1913, the population
increased on an average by 843,000 persons a year, the difference
between the people born alive and the dead. In other words, the annual
increase of the population per annum was at the rate of 13.0 per

As in certain districts of Italy the peasants plant a row of trees on
the birth of every son, so among nations it is necessary to increase
the national wealth at least in proportion to the newly arrived.
Supposing that the private wealth of the German citizens was from 300
to 350 milliards of marks (an exaggeration, doubtless), it would mean
that the wealth increased each year by a thirteenth part or rather
more. The difference between the increase in population and the
increase in wealth constituted the effective increase in wealth, but
always in a form not capable of being immediately handled. To plant
trees, build workshops, utilize water-power: all this stands for the
output of so much force. One may undertake such works or not, but in
any case the result cannot immediately be given to the enemy.

This is so obvious as to be banal.

To seek to propagate the idea that Germany can give that which
constitutes her annual capitalization either wholly or in great part
is an example of extreme ignorance of economic facts.

It is positively painful to listen to certain types of argument.

A French Minister has said that the success of the war loans for 151
milliards in Germany, and the increase of bank deposits for a sum of
28 milliards, coinciding with an increase of capital of 45 milliards
in limited companies, demonstrate that Germany has saved at least 180
milliards in four years. Leaving aside the exactness of these figures,
it is really sad to observe reasoning of this type. How can the public
have an idea of the reality?

Let us apply the same reasoning to France. We must say that inasmuch
as France before the War had a public debt of 32 milliards, and now
has a debt of 265 milliards, without calculating what she owes to
Great Britain and the United States, France, by reason of the War, has
immensely enriched herself, since, leaving aside the debt contracted
abroad and the previous debt, she has saved during the War 200
milliards, quite apart from the increase in bank deposits and the
increase in capital of limited companies. The War has therefore
immensely enriched her. In reality we are face to face with one of the
phenomena of the intoxication brought about by paper money, by means
of which it has been possible at certain times for the public to
believe that the War had increased wealth. Other features of this
phenomenon we have in the wretched example of the capitalist classes,
after which it was not unnatural that the people should give way to
a great increase in consumption, should demand high wages and offer
little work in return at the very time when it was most necessary
to work more and consume less. There is small cause for wonder that
certain erroneous ideas are diffused among the public when they have
their being in those very sophisms according to which the indemnity to
be paid by the beaten enemy will pay all the debts and losses of the
conquering nations.

We are told that Germany, being responsible for the War, must impose
on herself a regime of restrictions and organize herself as an
exporting nation for the payment of the reparation debts.

Here again the question can be considered in two ways, according as
it is proposed to allow Germany a free commerce or to impose on her a
series of forced cessions of goods in payment of the reparations. Both
hypotheses can be entertained, but both, as we shall see, lead to
economic disorder in the conquering States, if these relations are to
be regulated by violence.

It is useless to dilate on the other aphorisms, or rather sophisms,
which were seriously discussed at the Paris Conference, and which had
even the honour of being sustained by the technical experts:

1. That it is not important to know what Germany can pay, but it is
sufficient to know what she ought to pay.

2. That no one can foresee what immense resources Germany will develop
within thirty or forty years, and what Germany will not be able to pay
will be paid by the Allies.

3. That Germany, under the stimulus of a military occupation, will
increase her production in an unheard-of manner.

4. The obligation arising from the treaty is an absolute one; the
capacity to pay can only be taken into consideration to establish the
number and amount of the annual payments; the total must in any case
be paid within thirty years or more.

5. _Elle ou nous_. Germany must pay; if she doesn't the Allies must
pay. It is not necessary that Germany free herself by a certain date;
it is only necessary that she pay all.

6. Germany has not to discuss, only to pay. Let time illustrate what
is at present unforeseeable, etc. etc.

If we exclude the third means of payment Germany has two ways open to
her. First of all she can give goods. What goods? When we speak of
goods we really mean coal. Now, as we have seen, according to the
treaty Germany must furnish for ten years to Belgium, Italy, and
France especially quantities of coal, which in the first five years
run from 39-1/2 to 42 millions of tons, and in the following five
years come to a maximum of about 32 millions. And all this when
she has lost the Saar coalfields and is faced with the threatening
situation in Upper Silesia.

Germany's exports reached their maximum in 1913, when the figures
touched 10,097 millions of marks, excluding precious metals. Grouping
exports and imports in categories, the millions of marks were
distributed as follows:

                          Imports. Exports.

  Foodstuffs               2,759    1,035
  Live animals               289        7.4
  Raw materials            5,003    1,518
  Semi-manufactured goods  5,003    1,139
  Manufactured goods       1,478    6,395

About one-fifth of the entire exports was in iron and machine products
(1,337 [mil.] articles in iron, 680 machines); 722 millions from
coal (as against imports of other qualities of 289), 658 millions
of chemical products and drugs, 446 from cotton, 298 paint, 290
techno-electrical productions, etc.

What goods can Germany give in payment of the indemnity? We have seen
how she has lost a very large part of her iron and a considerable
quantity of her coal.

All the economic force of Germany was based upon:

(a) The proper use of her reserves of coal and iron, which allowed
her to develop enormously those industries which are based on these
two elements.

(b) On her transport and tariff system, which enabled her to fight any

(c) On her potent overseas commercial organization.

Now, by effect of the treaty, these three great forces have been
entirely or in part destroyed.

What goods can Germany give in payment of the indemnity, and what
goods can she offer without ruining the internal production of the
Entente countries? Let us suppose that Germany gives machines,
colours, wagons, locomotives, etc. Then for this very fact the
countries of the Entente, already suffering by unemployment, would
soon see their factories obliged to shut down. Germany must therefore,
above all, give raw materials; but since she is herself a country that
imports raw materials, and has an enormous and dense population, she
is herself obliged to import raw materials for the fundamental needs
of her existence.

If we examine Germany's commerce in the five years prior to the
War--that is, in the five years of her greatest boom--we shall find
that the imports always exceeded the exports. In the two years before
the War, 1912 and 1913, the imports were respectively 10,691 and
10,770 millions, and the exports 8,956 and 10,097 millions. In some
years the difference even exceeded two milliards, and was compensated
by credits abroad, with the payment of freights and with the
remittances (always considerable) of the German emigrants. All this is

Exported goods can yield to the exporter a profit of, let us suppose,
ten, twelve, or twenty per cent. For the Allies to take an income from
the Custom returns means in practice reducing the exports. In fact,
in Germany production must be carried on at such low prices as to
compensate for the difference, or the exports must be reduced.

In the first case (which is not likely, since Germany succeeds only
with difficulty, owing to her exchange, in obtaining raw materials,
and must encounter worse difficulties in this respect than other
countries), Germany would be preparing the ruin of the other countries
in organizing forms of production which are superior to those of
all her rivals. Germany would therefore damage all her creditors,
especially in the foreign markets.

In the second case--the reduction of exports, one would have
the exactly opposite effect to that imagined in the programme
proposed--that is, the indemnities would become unpayable.

In terms of francs or lire at par with the dollar, Germany's
exportations in 1920 have amounted to 7,250 millions. In 1921 an
increase may be foreseen.

If Germany has to pay in cash and kind 2,500 millions of marks at
par, plus 26 per cent. of the total of her exports, then supposing an
export trade of eight milliards, she will have to give 1,840 millions,
or in all 4,540 millions of marks. Thus we arrive by stages at less
hyperbolical figures, coming down from the twenty-five milliards
a year to something less than a fifth. But to come to grips with
reality, Germany in all ways, it must be admitted, cannot give more
than two milliards a year, if, indeed, it is desired that an indemnity
be paid.

Notwithstanding her great resources, France would not be in a
condition to pay abroad two milliards a year without ruining her
exchange, which would drop at once to the level of Germany's. Italy
with difficulty could pay one milliard.

France and Italy are honest countries, yet they cannot pay their war
creditors, and have not been able, and are not able, to pay any share
of their debt either to the United States of America or to Great
Britain. As a matter of fact, up till now they have paid nothing, and
the interest continues to accumulate with the capital.

Why have neither France nor Italy yet started to pay some of their
debt? Having won the War, France has had all she could have--fertile
territories, new colonies, an abundance of raw material, and above all
iron and potash. The simple explanation is that which I have given

Can, then, Germany, who is in a terrible condition, whose circulation
promises ruin, who has no longer credits nor organization abroad, who
has a great shortage in raw materials; can Germany pay four or five
milliards a year?

We must also remember that Germany, in addition to the indemnity, must
pay the cost of the Army of Occupation, which up to now has amounted
to twenty-five milliards of paper marks a year, or more than 1,600
millions of francs at par. That is, Germany has to bear for the
support of the Allied troops a charge equal to the cost of maintaining
the armies of France, Italy and Belgium before the War.

No financier seriously believes that the issue of bonds authorized by
the treaty for the credit of the Reparations Commission has now any
probability of success. Germany's monetary circulation system is
falling to the stage of _assignats_, and the time is not distant
when, if intelligent provision is not made, Germany will not be in a
position to pay any indemnity.

Obliged to pay only one milliard of gold marks, Germany has not been
able to find this modest sum (modest, that is, in comparison with all
the dreams about the indemnity) without contracting new foreign debts
and increasing her already enormous paper circulation. Each new
indemnity payment, each new debt incurred, will only place Germany in
the position of being unable to make payments abroad.

Many capitalists, even in Italy, inspire their Press to state that
Germany derives an advantage from the depreciation of her mark, or,
in other words, is content with its low level. But the high exchanges
(and in the case of Germany it amounts to ruin) render almost
impossible the purchase of raw materials, of which Germany has need.
With what means must she carry out her payments if she is obliged to
cede a large part of her customs receipts, that is of her best form of
monetary value, and if she has no longer either credits or freights

If what is happening injured Germany only, it would be more possible
to explain it, if not to justify it. But, on the contrary, Germany's
fall, which is also the decadence of Europe, profoundly disturbs not
only the European continent, but many other producing countries.
Though the United States and Great Britain partially escape the
effect, they too feel the influence of it, not only in their political
serenity, but in the market of goods and values. Germany's position
is bound up with that of Europe; her conquerors cannot escape dire
consequences if the erstwhile enemy collapses.

We must not forget that before the War, in the years 1912 and 1913,
the larger part of Germany's commerce was with the United States,
with Great Britain, with Russia and with Austria-Hungary. In 1913 her
commerce with the United States represented alone little less than
two milliards and a half of marks according to the statistics of the
German Empire, and 520 millions of dollars according to the figures
of America. If we except Canada, which we may consider a territorial
continuation, the two best customers of the United States were Great
Britain and Germany. They were, moreover, the two customers whose
imports largely exceeded the exports. The downfall of Germany will
bring about inevitably a formidable crisis in the Anglo-Saxon
countries and consequent ruin in other countries.

Up to now Germany has given all she could; any further payment will
cause a downfall without changing the actual monetary position.
Germany, after a certain point, will not pay, but will drag down in
her fall the economic edifices of the victorious countries of the

All attempts at force are useless, all impositions are sterile.

All this is true and cannot be denied, but at the same time it must
be recognized that in the first move for the indemnity there was a
reasonable cause for anxiety on the part of the Allies.

If Germany had had to pay no indemnity this absurd situation would
have come about, that although exhausted, Germany would have issued
from the War without debts abroad and could easily have got into her
stride again, while France, Italy, and in much less degree Great
Britain, would have come out of the War with heavy debts.

This anxiety was not only just and well founded, but it is easy to see
why it gave ground for a feeling of grave disquiet.

France and Italy, the two big victor States of the Continent, were
only able to carry on the War through the assistance of Great Britain
and the United States. The War would not have lasted long without the
aid of the Anglo-Saxons, which had a decisive effect.

France has obtained all she asked for, and, indeed, more than all her
previsions warranted. Italy has found herself in a difficult position.
She too has realized her territorial aspirations, though not
completely, and the assistance of her Allies has not always been

I have had, as head of the Government, to oppose all the agitations,
and especially the Adriatic adventures, which have caused an acute
party division in Italy. From a sense of duty I have also assumed all
responsibility. But the rigidness of Wilson in the Fiume and Adriatic
questions and the behaviour of some of the European Allies have been
perfectly unjustifiable. In certain messages to Wilson during my term
of government I did not fail to bring this fact forward. Certainly,
Jugo-Slavia's demands must be considered with a sense of justice, and
it would have been an error and an injustice to attribute to Italy
large tracts of territory in Dalmatia; but it would have been possible
to find a more reasonable settlement for a country which has had such
sufferings and known such losses during the War. In any case, when
by the absurd system followed in the treaties so many millions of
Germans, Magyars, Turks and Bulgarians have been handed over to States
like Serbia, whose intemperate behaviour precipitated the War, or to
States like Greece, which took only a small and obligatory part in it,
when States like Poland have won their unity and independence without
making war, when Germany has been dismembered in order to give Poland
an access to the sea and the ridiculous situation of Danzig has been
created, when the moral paradox of the Saar, which now becomes a
German Alsace-Lorraine, has been set up, when so many millions of men
have been parcelled out without any criteria, it was particularly
invidious to contest so bitterly Italy's claims. I can freely affirm
this inasmuch as, risking all popularity, I have always done my duty
as a statesman, pointing out that solution which time has proved to be

No one can deny that Italy is passing through a period of crisis and
political ill-health. Such states of public psychology are for peoples
what neurasthenia is for individuals. On what does it depend? Often
enough on reasons which cannot be isolated or defined. It is a state
of mind which may come to an end at any minute, and is consequent upon
the after-effects of the War. Rather than coming from the economic
disorder, it derives from a malady of the temperament.

I have never believed, in spite of the agitations which have been seen
at certain periods, in the possibility of a revolutionary movement in
Italy. Italy is the only country which has never had religious wars,
the only country which in twenty centuries has never had a real
revolution. Land of an ancient civilization, prone to sudden bursts of
enthusiasm, susceptible to rapid moods of discouragement, Italy, with
all the infinite resources of the Latin spirit, has always overcome
the most difficult crises by her wonderful adaptive power. In
human history she is, perhaps, the only country where three great
civilizations have risen up one after another in her limited soil.
If Italy can have the minimum of coal, cereals and raw materials
necessary to her existence and her economic revival, the traditional
good sense of the Italian people will easily overcome a crisis which
is grave, but which affects in various measure all the victors, and is
especially temperamental.

It cannot be denied that if all Europe is sick, Italy has its own
special state of mind. Those who wished the War and those who were
against it are both dissatisfied: the former because, after the
War, Italy has not had the compensations she expected, and has had
sufferings far greater than could have been imagined; the latter
because they attribute to the War and the conduct of the War the great
trials which the nation has now to face. This sickness of the spirit
is the greatest cause of disorder, since malcontent is always the
worst kind of leaven.

Four great countries decided the War: Great Britain, France, Italy,
and the United States of America. Russia fell to pieces soon, and
fell rather on account of her own internal conditions than from enemy
pressure. The action of the United States arrived late, but was
decisive. Each country, however, acted from a different state of mind.
France had of necessity to make war. Her territory was invaded, and
all hope of salvation lay in moral resistance alone. Great Britain
had to wage the War out of sense of duty. She had guaranteed the
neutrality of Belgium, and could not fail to keep her word of honour.
Two countries alone chose freely the sorrowful way of the War: Italy
and the United States. But their sacrifices, sufferings and losses
have been very different. During the War the United States have been
able to develop their immense resources, and, notwithstanding some
crises, they have come out of it much richer than before. From being
debtors to Europe they have become creditors. They had few losses
in men, and a great development in wealth. Italy, who after many
difficulties had developed in her famous but too narrow territory the
germs of a greater fortune, has had, together with very heavy losses
in men, heavy losses in her wealth.

Italy saved the destinies of France for the first time by declaring
her neutrality on August 2, 1914, and letting the certainty of it be
known from July 30, as the diplomatic documents have shown.

It was that sudden and unexpected declaration of neutrality which
rendered it possible for France to concentrate all her forces in the
north and to win the battle of the Marne. Italy for a second time
saved the destinies of the Entente by entering into the War (too
precipitately and unprepared), in May, 1915, thus preventing the
Austrian army, which was formidable for its technical organization and
for its valour, from obtaining the advantages it expected.

Why did Italy go to war?

The diplomatic documents, which are not all documents of political
wisdom, demonstrate the anxiety of the Italian Government to
realize its Adriatic programme and to gain secure frontiers against
Austria-Hungary and its successors. But this was not the _cause_
of the War; it was rather a means of explaining to the people the
necessity for the War. Italy had been for nearly thirty-four years
ally of Austria-Hungary, and the aspirations of Italy's Adriatic
policy had never disturbed the relations between the two countries.
The real cause of Italy's war was a sentimental movement, a form of
extraordinary agitation of the spirits, brought about by the invasion
of Belgium and the danger of France. The intellectual movement
especially, the world of culture, partook largely in fomenting the
state of exaltation which determined the War.

During the progress of the War, which was long and bitter, Italy
passed through some terrible hours. Her privations during the War, and
immediately after, surpassed all expectations. Italy found herself
face to face with an enemy who enjoyed a superior geographical
situation, a numerical superiority, as well as a superiority in
artillery. After the downfall of Russia she had to support a terrible
campaign. Even in 1917, after the military disaster, when allied
troops came to Italy, she sent abroad more men than there came allied
troops to her aid. According to some statistics which I had compiled,
and which I communicated to the Allies, Italy was shown, in relation
to her demographic structure, to have more men in the front line than
any other country. The economic sufferings were, and are, greater
than those endured by others. France is only in part a Mediterranean
country, while Italy is entirely so. During the War the action of the
submarines rendered the victualling of Italy a very difficult matter.
Many provinces, for months on end, had to content themselves with
the most wretched kind of food. Taking population and wealth into
proportion, if the United States had made the effort of Italy they
would have had to arm sixteen millions of men, to have lost a million
and a half to two million soldiers, and to have spent at least four
hundred milliards. In order to work up popular enthusiasm (and it was
perhaps necessary), the importance of the country's Adriatic claims
was exaggerated. Thus many Italians believe even to-day in good faith
that the War may be considered as lost if some of these aspirations
have not been realized or will not be realized.

But, after the War, Italy's situation suddenly changed. The War had
aroused in the minds of all Europeans a certain sentiment of violence,
a longing for expansion and conquest. The proclamations of the
Entente, the declarations of Wilson's principles, or points, became so
contorted that no trace of them could be found in the treaties, save
for that ironic _covenant_ of the League of Nations, which is always
repeated on the front page, as Dante said of the rule of St. Benedict,
_at the expense of the paper_.

For Italy a very curious situation came about. France had but one
enemy: Germany. She united all her forces against this enemy in
a coherent and single action which culminated in the Treaty of
Versailles. France had but one idea: to make the Entente abandon the
principles it had proclaimed, and try to suffocate Germany, dismember
her, humiliate her by means of a military occupation, by controlling
her transports, confiscating all her available wealth, by raising
to the dignity of elevated and highly civilized States inferior
populations without national dignity.

Austria-Hungary was composed of eleven peoples. It was split up into
a series of States. Austria and Hungary were reduced to small
territories and shut up in narrow confines. All the other countries
were given to Rumania, to Serbia, or more exactly to the S.H.S.
State, to Poland, or else were formed into new States, such as
Czeko-Slovakia. These countries were considered by the Entente as
allies, and, to further good relations, the most important of the
Entente nations protected their aspirations even against the wishes of
Italy. The Italians had found themselves in their difficult theatre of
war against Galatians, Bosnians, Croats, Transylvanians, etc. But
by the simple fact of their having changed names, and having called
themselves Poles, Jugo-Slavs, Rumanians, they became friends. In order
to favour some of these new friends, it has happened that not only
have Italy's sentiments been offended, but even justice itself.
Montenegro was always mentioned in the declarations of the Entente.
On January 10, 1917, Briand, speaking in the name of all the Allies,
united at that time _pour la défense et la liberté des peuples_, put
forward as a fundamental programme the restoration of Belgium, Serbia
and Montenegro: Montenegro was in this on an equality with Belgium.
Just a year afterwards, January 8, 1918, Wilson, when formulating his
fourteen points, had included in the eleventh proposition the duty
of evacuating the territories of Rumania, Serbia and Montenegro, and
restoring them. The exact reason for which it was established that
Montenegro should be absorbed (even without plebiscite) by the S.H.S.
State, thus offending also Italy's sentiments, will remain one of the
most melancholy pages of the New Holy Alliance that the Entente has
become, along with that poor prestigeless organism, the League of
Nations. But let us hope this latter will find a means of renovating

While France was ruining the German people's sources of life, the
peoples who had fought most ferociously against Italy became, through
the War, friendly nations, and every aspiration of Italy appeared
directed to lessen the prestige of the new friends and allies.

The territories annexed to Italy have a small economic value.

For more than thirty years Italy had sold a large part of her richest
agricultural produce to Germany and had imported a considerable share
of her raw materials from Russia. Since the War she has found herself
in a state of regular isolation. A large part of the Italian Press,
which repeats at haphazard the commonest themes of the French Press
instead of wishing for a more intense revival of commercial relations
with Germany, frightens the ignorant public with stories of German
penetration; and the very plutocracy in France and Italy--though not
to the same extent in Italy--abandons itself to the identical error.
So to-day we find spread throughout the peninsula a sense of
lively discontent which is conducive to a wider acceptance of the
exaggerations of the Socialists and the Fascists. But the phenomenon
is a transitory one.

Italy had no feeling of rancour against the German people. She
entered the War against German Imperialism, and cannot now follow
any imperialistic policy. Indeed, in the face of the imperialistic
competitions which have followed the War, Italy finds herself in a
state of profound psychological uneasiness.

France worries herself about one people only, since as a matter of
fact she has only one warlike race at her frontiers: Germany. Italy's
frontiers touch France, the German peoples, the Slav races. It is,
therefore, her interest to approve a democratic policy which allows no
one of the group of combatants to take up a position of superiority.
The true Italian nationalist policy consists in being against all
excessive nationalisms, and nothing is more harmful to Italy's policy
than the abandonment of those democratic principles in the name of
which she arose and by which she lives. If the policy of justice is
a moral duty for the other nations, for Italy it is a necessity of
existence. The Italian people has a clear vision of these facts,
notwithstanding a certain section of her Press and notwithstanding the
exaggerations of certain excited parties arisen from the ashes of the
War. And therefore her uneasiness is great. While other countries have
an economic crisis, Italy experiences, in addition, a mental crisis,
but one with which she will be able to cope.

France, however, is in a much more difficult situation, and her policy
is still a result of her anxieties. All the violences against Germany
were, until the day before yesterday, an effect of hatred; to-day they
derive from dread. Moral ideas have for nations a still greater value
than wealth. France had until the other day the prestige of her
democratic institutions. All of us who detested the Hohenzollern
dynasty and the insolent fatuity of William II loved France, heir of
the bourgeois revolution and champion of democracy. So, when the War
came, all the democracies felt a lively pang: the crushing of France
meant the crushing of democracy and liberty. All the old bonds are
broken, all the organization which Germany had abroad is smashed up,
and France has been saved, not by arms alone, but by the potent life
of free peoples.

Yet victory has taken away from France her greatest prestige, her
fascination as a democratic country. Now all the democratic races of
the world look at France with an eye of diffidence--some, indeed, with
rancour; others with hate. France has comported herself much more
crudely toward Germany than a victorious Germany would have comported
herself toward France. In the case of Russia, she has followed purely
plutocratic tendencies. She has on foot the largest army in the world
in front of a helpless Germany. She sends coloured troops to occupy
the most cultured and progressive cities of Germany, abusing the
fruits of victory. She shows no respect for the principle of
nationality or for the right of self-determination.

Germany is in a helpless and broken condition to-day; she will not
make war; she cannot. But if to-morrow she should make war, how many
peoples would come to France's aid?

The policy which has set the people of Italy against one another, the
diffusion of nationalist violence, the crude persecutions of enemies,
excluded even from the League of Nations, have created an atmosphere
of distrust of France. Admirable in her political perceptiveness,
France, by reason of an error of exaltation, has lost almost all the
benefit of her victorious action.

A situation hedged with difficulties has been brought about. The
United States and Great Britain have no longer any treaty of alliance
of guarantee with France. The Anglo-Saxons, conquerors of the War and
the peace, have drawn themselves aside. Italy has no alliance and
cannot have any. No Italian politician could pledge his country, and
Parliament only desires that Italy follow a democratic, peaceful
policy, maintaining herself in Europe as a force for equilibrium and

France, apart from her military alliance with Belgium, has a whole
system of alliances based largely on the newly formed States: shifting
sands like Poland, Russia's and Germany's enemy, whose fate no one can
prophesy when Germany is reconstructed and Russia risen again, unless
she finds a way of remedying her present mistakes, which are much more
numerous than her past misfortunes. Thus the more France increases her
army, the more she corners raw materials and increases her measures
against Germany, the more unquiet she becomes.

She has seen that Germany, mistress on land, and to a large extent on
the seas, after having carried everywhere her victorious flag, after
having organized her commerce and, by means of her bankers, merchants
and capitalists, made vast expansions and placed a regular network of
relations and intrigue round the earth, fell when she attempted her
act of imperialistic violence. France, when in difficulties, appealed
to the sentiment of the nations and found arms everywhere to help her.
What then is able organization worth to-day?

The fluctuations of fortune in Europe show for all her peoples a
succession of victories and defeats. There are no peoples always
victorious. After having, under Napoleon I, humiliated Germany, France
saw the end of her imperialistic dream, and later witnessed the ruin
of Napoleon III. She has suffered two great defeats, and then, when
she stood diminished in stature before a Germany at the top of her
fortune, she, together with the Allies, has had a victory over an
enemy who seemed invincible.

But no one can foresee the future. To have conveyed great nuclei of
German populations to the Slav States, and especially to Poland; to
have divided the Magyars, without any consideration for their fine
race, among the Rumanians, Czeko-Slovaks and the Jugo-Slavs; to have
used every kind of violence with the Bulgars; to have offended Turkey
on any and every pretext; to have done this is not to have guaranteed
the victory and the peace.

Russia sooner or later will recover. It is an illusion to suppose that
Great Britain, France and Italy can form an agreement to regulate the
new State or new States that will arise in Russia. There are too many
tendencies and diverse interests. Germany, too, will reconstruct
herself after a series of sorrows and privations, and no one can say
how the Germans will behave. Unless a policy of peace and social
renovation be shaped and followed, our sons will witness scenes much
more terrible than those which have horrified our generation and upset
our minds even more than our interests.

Meanwhile, in spite of the frightful increase of scrofula, rickets
and tuberculosis, from which the conquered peoples are principally
suffering, the march of the nations will proceed according to the laws
which have hitherto ruled them and on which our limited action can
only for brief periods cause small modifications or alterations.

Demographic forecasts, like all forecasts of social events, have but
a comparative value. It is true that demographic movements are
especially biological manifestations, but it is also true that
economic and social factors exercise a profound influence in limiting
their regularity and can disturb them very considerably. It is better
therefore not to make long prophecies.

What is certain is that the French population has increased almost
imperceptibly while the population of Germany augmented very rapidly.
The annual average of births in the five years before the War,
1908-13, was 762,000 in France and 176,000 in Belgium. In Germany it
was 1,916,000. The average of deaths was 729,000 in France, 117,000 in
Belgium, and 1,073,000 in Germany. Thus, per thousand, the excess of
births in France was 0.9, in Belgium 7.7, in Germany 13. The War
has terribly aggravated the situation in France, whose demographic
structure is far from being a healthy one. From statistics published
giving the first results of the French census of 1921--without the new
territory of Alsace-Lorraine--France, in the interval between the
two census periods, has decreased by 2,102,864; from 39,602,258 to
37,499,394 (1921). The deaths in the War do not represent a half of
this decrease, when is deducted the losses among the coloured troops
and those from French colonies who fought for France. The new
territories annexed to France do not compensate for the War-mortality
and the decrease in births.

We may presume that if normal conditions of life return, the
population of Germany and German-Austria will be more than one hundred
millions, that the population of Belgium altogether little less than
fifty millions, that Italy will have a population much greater than
that of France, of at least forty-five million inhabitants, and that
Great Britain will have about sixty million inhabitants. In the case
of the Germans we have mentioned one hundred million persons, taking
into consideration Germany and German-Austria. But the Germans of
Poland, of Czeko-Slovakia and the Baltic States will amount to at
least twenty millions of inhabitants. No one can make forecasts, even
of an approximate nature, on Russia, whose fecundity is always the
highest in Europe, and whose losses are rapidly replaced by a high
birth-rate even after the greatest catastrophes. And then there are
the Germans spread about the world, great aggregations of populations
as in the United States of America and in a lesser degree in Brazil.
Up to now these people have been silent, not only because they were
surrounded by hostile populations, but because the accusation of being
sons of the Huns weighed down upon them more than any danger of the
War. But the Treaty of Versailles, and more still the manner in
which it has been applied, is to dissipate, and soon will entirely
dissipate, the atmosphere of antipathy that existed against the
Germans. In Great Britain the situation has changed profoundly in
three years. The United States have made their separate peace and want
no responsibility. In Italy there scarcely exists any hatred for the
Germans, and apart from certain capitalists who paint in lurid colours
the danger of German penetration in their papers because they want
higher tariff protection and to be able to speculate on government
orders, there is no one who does not desire peace with all peoples.
The great majority of the Italian people only desire to reconstruct
the economic and social life of the nation.

Certain tendencies in France's policy depend perhaps on her great
anxiety for the future, an anxiety, in fact, not unjustified by the
lessons of the past. Germany, notwithstanding her fallen state, her
anguish and the torment she has to go through, is so strong and vital
that everybody is certain of seeing her once again potent, indeed more
potent and formidable than ever.

Everyone in France is convinced that the Treaty of Versailles has lost
all foundation since the United States of America abandoned it, and
since Great Britain and Italy, persuaded of the impossibility of
putting certain clauses into effect, have shown by their attitude that
they are not disposed to entertain coercive measures which are as
useless as they are damaging.

In France the very authors of the Treaty of Versailles recognize that
it is weakened by a series of successive attenuations. Tardieu has
asserted that the Treaty of Versailles tends to be abandoned on all
sides: "_Cette faillite a des causes allemandes, des causes alliés,
des causes françaises_" (p. 489). The United States has asked itself,
after the trouble that has followed the treaty, if wisdom did not lie
in the old time isolation, in Washington's testament, in the Monroe
doctrine: _Keep off_. But in America they have not understood, says
Tardieu, that to assist Europe the same solidarity was necessary that
existed during the War (p. 493).

Great Britain, according to Tardieu, tends now also to stand aside.
The English are inclined to say, "_N'en parlons plus_" (p. 493). No
Frenchman will accept with calm the manner in which Lloyd George has
conceived the execution of the peace treaty. The campaign for the
revision of the treaties sprang up in lower spheres and from popular
associations and workmen's groups, has surprised and saddened the
French spirit (p. 495). In the new developments "_était-ce une autre
Angleterre, était-ce un autre Lloyd George_?" (p. 496). Even in France
herself Tardieu recognizes sadly the language has altered: "_les
gouvernements français, qui se sont succédé au pouvoir depuis le_ 10
_janvier_, 1920," that is, after the fall of Clemenceau, accused in
turn by Poincaré of being weak and feeble in asserting his demands,
"_ont compromis les droits que leur prédecesseur avait fait
reconnaître à la France_" (p. 503).

Taking into consideration Germany's financial downfall, which
threatens to upset not only all the indemnity schemes but the entire
economy of continental Europe, the state of mind which is prevalent is
not much different from that which Tardieu indicates.

It is already more than a year ago since I left the direction of the
Italian Government, and the French Press no longer accused me of being
in perfect agreement with Lloyd George, yet Poincaré wrote on August
1, 1920:

_L'autre jour M. Asquith déclarait au parlement britannique: "Quelque
forme de langage qu'on emploie, la conférence de Spa a bien été, en
fait, une conférence pour la révision des conditions du traité."
"Chut!" a répondu M. Lloyd George: "c'est là une déclaration très
grave par l'effet qu'elle peut produire en France. Je ne puis la
laisser passer sans la contredire." Contradiction de pure forme, faite
pour courtoisie vis-à-vis de nous, mais qui malheureusement ne change
rien au fond des choses. Chaque fois que le Conseil Suprême s'est
réuni, il a laissé sur la table des delibérations quelques morceaux
épars du traité_.

No kind of high-handedness, no combined effort, will ever be able to
keep afloat absurdities like the dream of the vast indemnity, the
Polish programme, the hope of annexing the Saar, etc. As things go
there is almost more danger for the victors than for the vanquished.
He who has lost all has nothing to lose. It is rather the victorious
nations who risk all in this disorganized Europe of ours. The
conquerors arm themselves in the ratio by which the vanquished disarm,
and the worse the situation of our old enemies becomes, so much
the worse become the exchanges and the credits of the victorious
continental countries.

Yet, in some of the exaggerated ideas of France and other countries of
the Entente, there is not only the rancour and anxiety for the future,
but a sentiment of well-founded diffidence. After the War the European
States belonging to the Entente have been embarrassed not only on
account of the enormous internal debts, but also for the huge debts
contracted abroad.

If Germany had not had to pay any indemnity and had not lost her
colonies and mercantile marine we should have been confronted with the
absurd paradox that the victorious nations would have issued from
the War worn out, with their territories destroyed, and with a huge
foreign debt; Germany would have had her territory quite intact, her
industries ready to begin work again, herself anxious to start
again her productive force, and in addition with no foreign debt,
consequently ample credit abroad. In the mad struggle to break
up Germany there has had part not only hatred, but also a quite
reasonable anxiety which, after all, must be taken into consideration.

Even to-day, three years after the War, Great Britain has not paid her
debt to America, and France and Italy have not paid their debts to
America and Great Britain. Great Britain could pay with a great
effort; France and Italy cannot pay anyhow.

According to the accounts of the American Treasury the Allies' War
debt is 9,587 millions of dollars: 4,277 millions owing from Great
Britain, 2,977 millions from France, 1,648 millions from Italy, 349
millions from Belgium, 187 millions from Russia, 61 millions from
Czeko-Slovakia, 26 millions from Serbia, 25 millions from Rumania, and
15 millions from Greece. Up to last July Great Britain had paid back
110 millions of dollars. Since the spring of 1919 the payment of
the interest on the amounts due to the American Treasury has been
suspended by some European States. Between October and November, 1919,
the amount of the capitalizing and unpaid interests of the European
States came to 236 million dollars. The figure has considerably
increased since then.

According to the _Statist_ (August 6, 1921) the Allies' debt to the
United States on March 31, 1921, amounted to ten milliards and 959
million dollars, including the interests, in which sum Great Britain
was interested to the sum of 4,775 million dollars and France for
3,351 million dollars. But the _Statist's_ figures, in variance to the
official figures, include other debts than strictly war debts.

The debts of the various allied countries' to Great Britain on March
31, 1921, according to a schedule annexed to the financial
statement for 1921-22, published by the British Treasury, came to
£1,777,900,000, distributed as follows: France 557 millions, Italy
476 millions, Russia 561 millions, Belgium 94 millions, Serbia 22
millions, Portugal, Rumania, Greece and other Allies 66 millions. This
sum represents War debts. But to it must be added the £9,900,000 given
by Great Britain for the reconstruction of Belgium and the loans
granted by her for relief to an amount of £16,000,000. So, altogether,
Great Britain's credit to the Allies on March 31, 1921, was
£1,803,600,000, and has since been increased by the interests. Great
Britain had also at the same date a credit of £144,000,000 to her

France has credit of little less than nine milliard francs, of which
875 millions is from Italy, four milliards from Russia, 2,250 millions
from Belgium, 500 millions from the Jugo-Slavs, and 1,250 millions
from other Allies. Italy has only small credits of no account.

Now this situation, by reason of which the victorious countries of
Europe are heavy debtors (France has a foreign debt of nearly 30
milliards, and Italy a debt of more than 20 milliards) in comparison
with Germany, which came out of the War without any debt, has created
a certain amount of bad feeling. Germany would have got on her feet
again quicker than the victors if she had no indemnity to pay and had
no foreign debts to settle.

France's anxieties in this matter are perfectly legitimate and must be
most seriously considered without, however, producing the enormities
of the Treaty of Versailles.

Assuming this, the situation may be stated in the following terms:

1. All the illusions as to the capacity of Germany being able to pay
have fallen to pieces, and the indemnities, after the absurd demands
which tended to consider as inadequate the figure of 350 milliards
and an annual payment of from ten to fifteen milliards have become
an anxious unknown quantity, as troublesome to the victors as to the
vanquished. The German circulation has lost all control under the
force of internal needs, and Germany is threatened with failure.
The other debtors--Austria-Hungary, Turkey, Bulgaria--have need
of succour, and can pay nothing. Austria has need of the most
indispensable objects of existence, and everything is lacking.

2. The indemnity which Germany can pay annually in her present
condition cannot, calculating goods and cash payments altogether,
represent more than two or three milliards at the most.

3. The victorious countries, such as France, have won immense
territories and great benefits, yet they have not been able to pay the
War debts contracted abroad, and not even the interests. France and
Italy, being countries of good faith, have demonstrated that, if they
cannot pay, it is absurd to demand the payment of much higher sums
from countries like Germany, which has lost almost all her best
resources: mercantile fleet, colonies and foreign organization, etc.

4. The danger exists that with the aggravation of the situation in the
vanquished countries and the weakening of the economic structure of
Europe, the vanquished countries will drag the victors down with
them to ruin, while the Anglo-Saxon peoples, standing apart from
Continental Europe, will detach themselves more and more from its

5. The situation which has come about is a reason for everyone to be
anxious, and threatens both the downfall of the vanquished and the
almost inevitable ruin of the victors, unless a way is found of
reconstructing the moral unity of Europe and the solidarity of
economic life.



No right-thinking person has nowadays any doubt as to the profound
injustice of the Treaty of Versailles and of all the treaties which
derive from it. But this fact is of small importance, inasmuch as it
is not justice or injustice which regulates the relations between
nations, but their interests and sentiments. In the past we have seen
Christian peoples, transplanted in America, maintain the necessity of
slavery, and we have seen, and continue to see every day, methods of
reasoning which, when used by the defeated enemy were declared to be
fallacious and wrong, become in turn, when varied only in form, the
ideas and the customary life of the conquerors in the War--ideas which
then assume the quality of liberal expressions of democracy.

If appeals to the noblest human sentiments are not made in vain (and
no effort of goodness or generosity is ever sterile), the conviction
which is gradually forming itself, even in the least receptive minds,
that the treaties of peace are inapplicable, as harmful to the
conquerors as to the conquered, gains in force. For the treaties are
at one and the same time a menace for the conquerors and a paralysis
of all activity on the part of the conquered, since once the economic
unity of Continental Europe is broken the resultant depression becomes

If many errors have been committed, many errors were inevitable. What
we must try to do now is to limit the consequences of these mistakes
in a changed spirit. To reconstruct where we see only ruins is the
most evident necessity. We must also try to diffuse among the nations
which have won the War together and suffered together the least amount
of diffidence possible. As it is, the United States, Great Britain,
France, Italy, Japan, all go their own way. France has obtained her
maximum of concessions, including those of least use to her, but never
before has the world seen her so alone in her attitude as after the
treaties of Paris.

What is most urgently required at the moment is to change the
prevalent war-mentality which still infects us and overcomes all
generous sentiments, all hopes of unity. The statement that war makes
men better or worse is, perhaps, an exaggerated one. War, which
creates a state of exaltation, hypertrophies all the qualities, all
the tendencies, be they for good or for evil. Ascetic souls, spirits
naturally noble, being disposed toward sacrifice, develop a state
of exaltation and true fervour. How many examples of nobility, of
abnegation, of voluntary martyrdom has not the War given us? But in
persons disposed to evil actions, in rude and violent spirits (and
these are always in the majority), the spirit of violence increases.
This spirit, which among the intellectuals takes the form of arrogance
and concupiscence, and in politics expresses itself in a policy of
conquest, assumes in the crowd the most violent forms of class war,
continuous assaults upon the power of the State, and an unbalanced
desire to gain as much as possible with the least possible work.

Before the War the number of men ready to take the law into their own
hands was relatively small; now there are many such individuals.
The various nations, even those most advanced, cannot boast a moral
progress comparable with their intellectual development. The explosion
of sentiments of violence has created in the period after the War in
most countries an atmosphere which one may call unbreathable. Peoples
accustomed to be dominated and to serve have come to believe that,
having become dominators in their turn, they have the right to use
every kind of violence against their overlords of yesterday. Are not
the injustices of the Poles against the Germans, and those of the
Rumanians against the Magyars, a proof of this state of mind? Even in
the most civilized countries many rules of order and discipline have
gone by the board.

After all the great wars a condition of torpor, of unwillingness to
work, together with a certain rudeness in social relations, has always
been noticed.

The war of 1870 was a little war in comparison with the cataclysm let
loose by the European War. Yet then the conquered country had its
attempt at Bolshevism, which in those days was called the Commune,
and the fall of its political regime. In the conquering country we
witnessed, together with the rapid development of industrial groups, a
quick growth in Socialism and the constitution of great parties like
the Catholic Centre. _Mutatis mutandis_, the same situation has shown
itself after the European War.

What is most urgently necessary, therefore, is to effect a return to
peace sentiments, and in the manifestations of government to abandon
those attitudes which in the peaces of Paris had their roots in hate.

I have tried, as Premier of Italy, as writer, and as politician, to
regulate my actions by this principle. In the first months of 1920 I
gave instructions to Italy's ambassador in Vienna, the Marquis della
Torretta, to arrange a meeting between himself and Chancellor Renner,
head of the Government of Vienna. So the chief of the conquered
country came, together with his Ministers, to greet the head of the
conquering country, and there was no word that could record in any way
the past hatred and the ancient rancour. All the conversation was of
the necessity for reconstruction and for the development of fresh
currents of life and commercial activity. The Government of Italy
helped the Government of Austria in so far as was possible. And in so
acting, I felt I was working better for the greatness of my country
than I could possibly have done by any kind of stolid persecution.
I felt that over and beyond our competition there existed the human
sorrow of nations for whom we must avoid fresh shedding of blood and
fresh wars. Had I not left the Government, it was my intention not
only to continue in this path, but also to intensify my efforts in
this direction.

The banal idea that there exist in Europe two groups of nations, one
of which stands for violence and barbarism--the Germans, the Magyars
and the Bulgarians--while the other group of Anglo-Saxons and Latins
represents civilization, must not continue to be repeated, because not
only is it an outrage on truth but an outrage on honesty.

Always to repeat that the Germans are not adapted for a democratic
regime is neither just nor true. Nor is it true that Germany is an
essentially warlike country, and therefore different from all other
lands. In the last three centuries France and England have fought many
more wars than Germany. One must read the books of the Napoleonic
period to see with what disdain pacificist Germany is referred
to--that country of peasants, waiters and philosophers. It is
sufficient to read the works of German writers, including Treitschke
himself, to perceive for what a long period of time the German lands,
anxious for peace, have considered France as the country always eager
for war and conquest.

Not only am I of the opinion that Germany is a land suited for
democratic institutions, but I believe that after the fall of the
Empire democratic principles have a wider prevalence there than in
any other country of Europe. The resistance offered to the peace of
Versailles--that is, to disorganization--may be claimed as a merit for
the democratic parties, which, if they are loyally assisted by the
States of the Entente, can not only develop themselves but establish a
great and noble democracy.

Germany has accustomed us in history to the most remarkable surprises.
A century and a half ago she was considered as a pacificist nation
without national spirit. She has since then become a warlike country
with the most pronounced national spirit. Early in the seventeenth
century there were in Germany more than one hundred territories and
independent States. There was no true national conscience, and not
even the violence of the Napoleonic wars, a century after, sufficed
to awaken it. What was required was a regular effort of thought, a
sustained programme of action on the part of men like Wolff, Fichte
and Hegel to mould a national conscience. Fifty years earlier no one
would have believed in the possibility of a Germany united and
compact in her national sentiment. Germany passed from the widest
decentralization to the greatest concentration and the intensest
national life. Germany will also be a democratic country if the
violence of her ancient enemies does not drive her into a state of
exaltation which will tend to render minds and spirits favourable to a
return to the old regime.

To arrive at peace we must first of all desire peace. We must no
longer carry on conversations by means of military missions, but by
means of ambassadors and diplomatic representatives.


A great step towards peace may be made by admitting at once all
ex-enemy States into the League of Nations. Among the States of
European civilization millions of persons are unrepresented in the
League of Nations: the United States, who has not wished to adhere to
it after the Treaty of Versailles sanctioned violence; Russia, who
has not been able to join owing to her difficult position; Germany,
Hungary, Austria and Bulgaria, who have not been permitted to join;
the Turks, etc. The League of Nations was a magnificent conception in
which I have had faith, and which I have regarded with sympathy. But a
formidable mistake has deprived it of all prestige. Clauses 5 and 10
of its originating constitution and the exclusion of the defeated
have given it at once the character of a kind of Holy Alliance of the
conquerors established to regulate the incredible relations which the
treaties have created between conquerors and conquered. Wilson had
already committed the mistake of founding the League of Nations
without first defining the nations and leaving to chance the resources
of the beaten peoples and their populations. The day, however, on
which all the peoples are represented in the League, the United
States, without approving the treaties of Versailles, St. Germain or
Trianon, etc., will feel the need of abandoning their isolation, which
is harmful for them and places them in a position of inferiority. And
the day when all the peoples of the world are represented, and accept
reciprocal pledges of international solidarity, a great step will have
been taken.

As things stand, the organism of the Reparations Commission,
established by Schedule 2 of Part VIII of the Treaty of Versailles,
is an absurd union of the conquerors (no longer allies, but reunited
solely in a kind of bankruptcy procedure), who interpret the treaty in
their own fashion, and can even modify the laws and regulations in
the conquered countries. The existence of such an institution among
civilized peoples ought to be an impossibility. Its powers must be
transferred to the League of Nations in such a manner as to provide
guarantees for the victors, but guarantees also for the conquered.
The suppression of the Reparations Commission becomes, therefore, a
fundamental necessity.


When the public, and especially in the United States and Great
Britain, become convinced that the spirit of peace can only prevail by
means of an honest revision of the treaties the difficulties will be
easily eliminated. But one cannot merely speak of a simple revision;
it would be a cure worse than the evil. During the tempest one cannot
abandon the storm-beaten ship and cross over to a safer vessel. It is
necessary to return into harbour and make the transhipment where calm,
or relative calm at any rate, reigns.

Inasmuch as Europe is out of equilibrium, a settlement, even of a
bad kind, cannot be arrived at off-hand. To cast down the present
political scaffolding without having built anything would be an error.
Perhaps here the method that will prove most efficacious is to entrust
the League of Nations with the task of arriving at a revision.
When the League of Nations is charged with this work the various
governments will send their best politicians, and the discussion will
be able to assume a realizable character.

According to its constitution, the League of Nations may, in case of
war or the menace of war (Clause 11), convoke its members, and take
all the measures required to safeguard the peace of the nations. All
the adhering States have recognized their obligation to submit all
controversies to arbitration, and that in any case they have no right
to resort to war before the expiration of a term of three months after
the verdict of the arbiters or the report of the Council (Clause 12).
Any member of the League of Nations resorting to war contrary to the
undertakings of the treaty which constitutes the League is, _ipso
facto_, considered as if he had committed an act of war against all
the other members of the League (Clause 19).

But more important still is the fact that the Assembly of the League
of Nations may invite its members to proceed to a fresh examination
of treaties that become inapplicable as well as of international
situations whose prolongation might imperil the peace of the world
(Clause 19).

We may therefore revise the present treaties without violence and
without destroying them.

What requires to be modified there is no necessity to say, inasmuch as
all the matter of this book supplies the evidence and the proof. What
is certain is that in Europe and America, except for an intransigent
movement running strong in France, everyone is convinced of the
necessity of revision.

It will be well that this revision should take place through the
operations of the League of Nations after the representatives of all
the States, conquerors, conquered and neutrals, have come to form part
of it.

But in the constitution of the League of Nations there are two clauses
which form its fundamental weakness, sections desired by France, whose
gravity escaped Wilson.

Clause 5 declares that, save and excepting contrary dispositions, the
decisions of the Assembly or of the Council are to be by the unanimous
consent of the members represented at the meetings. It is difficult
to imagine anything more absurd. If the modification of a territorial
situation is being discussed, all the nations must agree as to the
solution, including the interested nation. The League of Nations is
convinced that the Danzig corridor is an absurdity, but if France is
not of the same opinion no modification can be made. Without a change
of this clause, every honest attempt at revision must necessarily
break down.

Clause 10, by which the members of the League of Nations pledge
themselves to respect and preserve from external attacks the
territorial integrity and the existing political independence of all
the members of the League, must also be altered. This clause, which
is profoundly immoral, consecrates and perpetuates the mistakes
and faults of the treaties. No honest country can guarantee the
territorial integrity of the States now existing after the monstrous
parcelling out of entire groups of Germans and Magyars to other
nations, arranged without scruples and without intelligence. No one
can honestly guarantee the territorial integrity of Poland as it
stands at present. If a new-risen Russia, a renewed Germany, and an
unextinguished Austria desire in the future a revision of the treaties
they will be making a most reasonable demand to which no civilized
country may make objection. It is indeed Clauses 5 and 10 which have
deprived the constitution of the League of Nations of all moral
credit, which have transformed it into an instrument of oppression for
the victors, which have caused the just and profound disapproval of
the most enlightened men of the American Senate. A League of Nations
with Clauses 5 and 10 and the prolonged exclusion of the vanquished
cannot but accentuate the diffidence of all the democracies and the
aversion of the masses.

But the League of Nations can be altered and can become indeed a great
force for renovation if the problem of its functioning be clearly
confronted and promptly resolved.

The League of Nations can become a great guarantee for peace on three

(a) That it include really and in the shortest space of time possible
all the peoples, conquerors, conquered and neutrals.

(b) That clauses 5 and 10 be modified, and that after their
modification a revision of the treaties be undertaken.

(c) That the Reparations Commission be abolished and its powers be
conferred upon the League of Nations itself.

As it exists at present the League of Nations has neither prestige nor
dignity; it is an expression of the violence of the conquering group
of nations. But reconstituted and renovated it may become the greatest
of peace factors in the relations between the peoples.


In the state of mind in which France exists at present there is a
reasonable cause of worry for the future. Since the conclusion of
the War the United States of America have withdrawn. They concern
themselves with Europe no more, or only in a very limited form and
with diffidence. The Monroe doctrine has come into its own again.
Great Britain watches the decadence of the European continent, but,
girt by the sea, has nothing to fear. She is a country of Europe, but
she does not live the life of Europe; she stands apart from it. Italy,
when she has overcome the difficulties of her economic situation, can
be certain of her future. The very fact that she stands in direct
opposition to no State, that she may have competition with various
peoples but not long-nurtured hatreds, gives Italy a relative
security. But France, who has been in less than forty-four years twice
at war with Germany, has little security for her future. Germany
and the Germanic races increase rapidly in number. France does not
increase. France, notwithstanding the new territories, after her war
losses, has probably no more inhabitants than in 1914. In her almost
tormented anxiety to destroy Germany we see her dread for the
future--more indeed than mere hatred. To occupy with numerous troops
the left bank of the Rhine and the bridgeheads is an act of vengeance;
but in the vengeance there is also anxiety. There are many in France
who think that neither now nor after fifteen years must the territory
of the vanquished be abandoned. And so France maintains in effective
force too large an army and nourishes too great a rancour. And for
this reason she helps the Poles in their unjustifiable attempt in
Upper Silesia, will not allow the Germans of Austria to live, and
seeks to provoke and facilitate all movements and political actions
which can tend towards the dismemberment of Germany. The British and
the Italian viewpoints are essentially different. France, which knows
it can no longer count on the co-operation of Great Britain, of the
United States, or of Italy, keeps on foot her numerous army, has
allied herself with Belgium and Poland, and tries to suffocate Germany
in a ring of iron. The attempt is a vain one and destined to fail
within a few years, inasmuch as France's allies have no capacity for
resistance. Yet, all the same, her attempt derives from a feeling that
is not only justifiable but just.

France had obtained at Paris, apart from the occupation of the left
bank of the Rhine and all the military controls, two guaranteeing
treaties from the United States and from Great Britain: in case of
unprovoked aggression on the part of Germany, Great Britain and
the United States pledged themselves to defend France. The British
Parliament, as we have seen, approved the treaty provisionally on the
similar approbation of the United States. But as the latter has not
approved the Treaty of Versailles, and has not even discussed the
guarantee treaty, France has now no guarantee treaty.

If we are anxious to realize a peace politic two things are necessary:

1. That France has security, and that for twenty years at least
Great Britain and Italy pledge themselves to defend her in case of

2. That the measures for the disarmament of the conquered States be
maintained, maybe with some tempering of their conditions, and that
their execution and control be entrusted with the amplest powers to
the League of Nations.

No one can think it unjust that the parties who provoked the War or
those who have, if not the entire, at least the greatest share of
responsibility, should be rendered for a certain time incapable.
The fall of the military caste in Germany and the formation of a
democratic society will derive much help from the abolition, for a not
too brief period of time, of the permanent army, and this will render
possible, at no distant date, an effective reduction of the armaments
in the victorious countries.

Great Britain has the moral duty to proffer a guarantee already
spontaneously given. Italy also must give such a guarantee if she
wishes truly to contribute towards the peace of Europe.

As long as Germany has no fleet, and cannot put together an artillery
and an aviation corps, she cannot present a menace.

Great Britain and Italy can, however, only give their guarantees on
the condition that they guarantee a proper state of things and not a
continued condition of violence. The withdrawal of all the troops from
the Rhine ought to coincide with a clear definition concerning the
fate of the Germans of Austria and the Germans detached from Germany
without motive. Such a retirement must coincide with the definition
of the territory of the Saar, and the assigning, pure and simple, of
Upper Silesia to Germany and the end of all the insupportable controls
and the indemnity regulations.

Being myself contrary to any pledge binding Italy for too long a
period, I am of opinion that it is perfectly right that Great Britain
and Italy should make this sacrifice for the peace of Europe.

But no guarantee is possible, either for Great Britain or Italy, until
the most essential problems be resolved in the justest manner by means
of straightforward and explicit understandings.

Italy's tendency towards British policy on the continent of Europe
depends on the fact that Great Britain has never wished or tolerated
that any continental State should have a hegemony over others. And,
therefore, she has found herself at different epochs ranged against
France, Germany and Russia.

England is in the Mediterranean solely to secure her passage through
it, not to dominate it. She continues to follow the grand policy by
which she has transformed her colonies into dominions, and, in spite
of errors, she has always shown the greatest respect for the liberty
of other peoples.

But Europe will not have peace until the three progressive countries
of the Continent, Germany, France and Italy, find a way of agreement
which can reunite all their energies in one common force.

Russia has conceived the idea of having the hegemony of Europe;
Germany has indeed had the illusion of such a hegemony. Now this
illusion penetrates certain French elements. Can a people of forty
million inhabitants, who are not increasing, who already find
difficulties in dominating and controlling their immense colonies,
aspire to hegemonic action, even taking count of their great political
prestige? Can France lastingly dominate and menace a country like
Germany, which at no distant date will have a population double that
of France?

The future of European civilization requires that Germany, France and
Italy, after so much disaster, find a common road to travel.

The first step to be taken is to give security of existence and of
reconstruction to Germany; the second is to guarantee France from the
perils of a not distant future; the third is to find at all costs a
means of accord between Germany, France and Italy.

But only vast popular movements and great currents of thought and
of life can work effectively in those cases where the labours of
politicians have revealed themselves as characterized by uncertainty
and as being too traditional. Europe is still under the dominion of
old souls which often enough dwell in young bodies and, therefore,
unite old errors with violence. A great movement can only come from
the intellectuals of the countries most menaced and from fresh popular


These two problems are closely connected.

The victorious countries demand an indemnity from the conquered
countries which, except Germany, who has a great productive force even
in her hour of difficulties, are in extreme depression and misery.

Great Britain is in debt to the United States, and France, Italy and
minor nations are in their turn heavy debtors to the Americans and to
Great Britain.

The experience of the last three years has shown that, even with the
best will, none of the countries owing money to the Entente has been
able to pay its debts or even the interest. With an effort Great
Britain could pay; France and Italy will never be able to, and have,
moreover, exchanges which constitute a real menace for the future of

The fact that France and Italy, although they came out of the war
victoriously, have not been able to pay their debts or even the
interest on them is the proof that Germany, whose best resources have
been taken away from her, can only pay an indemnity very different
from the fantastic figures put forward at the time of the Conference
of Paris, when even important political men spoke of monstrous and
ridiculous indemnities.

The problem of the inter-allied debts, as well as that of the
indemnity, will be solved by a certain sacrifice on the part of all
who participated in the War.

The credits of the United States amount to almost 48 milliards of lire
or francs at par, and the credits of Great Britain to 44 milliards.
Great Britain owes about 21 milliards to the United States and is in
turn creditor for some 44 milliards. She has a bad debt owing from
Russia for more than 14 milliards, but 13 milliards are owing from
France, about 12 milliards from Italy, and almost 2-1/2 milliards from
Belgium. That is to say, that Great Britain could well pay her debt
to the United States, ceding the greater part of her credits towards
France and Italy.

But the truth is that, while on the subject of the German indemnities,
stolid illusions continue to be propagated (perhaps now with greater
discretion), neither France nor Italy is in a position to pay its

The most honest solution, which, intelligently enough, J.M. Keynes has
seen from the first, is that each of the inter-allied countries should
renounce its state credits towards countries that were allies or
associates during the War. The United States of America are creditors
only; Great Britain has lent the double of what she has borrowed.
France has received on loan the triple of what she has lent to others.

The credits of France are for almost two-thirds undemandable credits
of Great Britain; more than 14 milliards being with Russia, they are
for considerably more than one-third bad debts.

France and Italy would be benefited chiefly by this provision. Great
Britain would scarcely either benefit or lose, or, rather, the benefit
accruing to her would be less in so much as her chief credits are to

The United States would doubtless have to bear the largest burden. But
when one thinks of the small sacrifice which the United States has
made in comparison with the efforts of France and Italy (and Italy was
not obliged to enter the War), the new sacrifice demanded does not
seem excessive.

During the War the United States of America, who for three years
furnished food, provisions and arms to the countries of the Entente,
have absorbed the greater part of their available resources. Not only
are the States of Europe debtors, but so are especially the private
citizens who have contracted debts during or after the War. Great
Britain during the War had to sell at least 25 milliards of her
foreign values. The United States of America, on the contrary, have
immensely increased their reserves.

But this very increase is harmful to them, inasmuch as the capacity
for exchange of the States of Europe has been much reduced. The United
States now risk seeing still further reduced, if not destroyed,
this purchasing capacity of their best clients; and this finally
constitutes for the U.S.A. infinitely greater damage than the
renouncing of all their credits.

To reconstruct Germany, to intensify exchange of goods with the old
countries of Austria-Hungary and Russia, to settle the situation of
the exchange of goods with Italy and the Balkan countries is much more
important for the United States and the prosperity of its people than
to demand payment or not demand payment of those debts made for the
common cause.

I will speak of the absurd situation which has come about.
Czeko-Slovakia and Poland unwillingly indeed fought against the
Entente, which has raised them to free and autonomous States; and
not only have they no debts to pay, being now in the position of
conquerors, or at least allies of the conquerors, but they have, in
fact, scarcely any foreign debts.

The existence of enormous War debts is, then, everywhere a menace to
financial stability. No one is anxious to repudiate his debts in order
not to suffer in loss of dignity, but almost all know that they cannot
pay. The end of the War, as Keynes has justly written, has brought
about that all owe immense sums of money to one another. The holders
of loan stock in every country are creditors for vast sums towards
the State, and the State, in its turn, is creditor for enormous sums
towards the taxpayers. The whole situation is highly artificial and
irritating. We shall be unable to move unless we succeed in freeing
ourselves from this chain of paper.

The work of reconstruction can begin by annulling the inter-allied

If it is not thought desirable to proceed at once to annulment, there
remains only the solution of including them in the indemnity which
Germany must pay in the measure of 20 per cent., allocating a certain
proportion to each country which has made loans to allied and
associated governments on account of the War. In round figures the
inter-allied loans come to 100 milliards. They can be reduced to 20,
and then each creditor can renounce his respective credit towards
allies or associates and participate proportionately in the new credit
towards Germany. Such a credit, bearing no interest, could only be
demanded after the payment of all the other indemnities, and would be
considered in the complete total of the indemnities.

All the illusions concerning the indemnities are now fated to
disappear. They have already vanished for the other countries; they
are about to vanish in the case of Germany.

Nevertheless it is right that Germany should pay an indemnity. Yet, if
the conquerors cannot meet their foreign debts, how can the vanquished
clear the vast indemnity asked? Each passing day demonstrates more
clearly the misunderstanding of the indemnity. The non-experts have
not learned financial technics, but common sense tells them that the
golden nimbus which has been trailed before their eyes is only a thick
cloud of smoke that is slowly dissipating.

I have already said that the real damages to repair do not exceed
40 milliards of gold marks and that all the other figures are pure

If it be agreed that Germany accept 20 per cent. of the inter-allied
debt, the indemnity may be raised to 60 milliards of francs at par, to
be paid in gold marks.

But we must calculate for Germany's benefit all that she has already
given in immediate marketable wealth. Apart from her colonies, Germany
has given up all her mercantile marine fleet, her submarine cables,
much railway material and war material, government property in ceded
territory without any diminution of the amount of public debts, etc.
Without taking account, then, of the colonies and her magnificent
commercial organization abroad, Germany has parted with at least 20
milliards. If we were to calculate what Germany has ceded with the
same criteria with which the conquering countries have calculated
their losses, we should arrive at figures much surpassing these. We
may agree in taxing Germany with an indemnity equivalent in gold marks
to 60 milliards of francs at par--an indemnity to be paid in the
following manner:

(a) Twenty milliards of francs to be considered as already paid in
consideration of all that Germany has ceded in consequence of the

(b) Twenty milliards from the indemnity which Germany must pay to her
conquerors, especially in coal and other materials, according to the
proportions already established.

(c) Twenty milliards--after the payment of the debts in the second
category to be taken over by Germany--as part of the reimbursement for
countries which have made credits to the belligerents of the Entente:
that is, the United States, Great Britain and France, in proportion to
the sums lent.

In what material can Germany pay 20 milliards in a few years?
Especially in coal and in material for repairing the devastated
territories of France. Germany must pledge herself for ten years to
consign to France a quantity of coal at least equal in bulk to the
difference between the annual production before the War in the mines
of the north and in the Pas de Calais and the production of the mines
in the same area during the next ten years. She must also furnish
Italy--who, after the heavy losses sustained, has not the possibility
of effecting exchanges--a quantity of coal that will represent
three-quarters of the figures settled upon in the Treaty of
Versailles. We can compel Germany to give to the Allies for ten years,
in extinction of their credits, at least 500 millions a year in gold,
with privileges on the customs receipts.

This systematization, which can only be imposed by the free agreement
of the United States and Great Britain, would have the effect of
creating excellent relations. The United States, cancelling their, in
great part, impossible debt, would derive the advantage of developing
their trade and industry, and thus be able to guarantee credits for
private individuals in Europe. It would also be of advantage to Great
Britain, who would lose nothing. Great Britain has about an equal
number of debits and credits, with this difference, that the debits
are secured, while the credits are, in part, unsecured. France's
credits are proportionately the worst and her debits largest, almost
27 milliards. France, liberated from her debt, and in a position to
calculate on a coal situation comparable with that of before the War
and with her new territories, would be in a position to re-establish
herself. The cancellation of 27 milliards of debt, a proportionate
share in 20 milliards, together with all that she has had, represent
on the whole a sum that perhaps exceeds 50 milliards. Italy would
have the advantage of possessing for ten years the minimum of coal
necessary to her existence, and would be liberated from her foreign
debt, which amounts to much more than she can possibly hope for from
the indemnity.

Such an arrangement, or one like it, is the only way calculated to
allow Europe to set out again on the path of civilization and to
re-establish slowly that economic equilibrium which the War has
destroyed with enormous damage for the conquerors and the certain ruin
of the vanquished.

But, before speaking of any indemnity, the Reparations Commission must
be abolished and its functions handed over to the League of Nations,
while all the useless controls and other hateful vexations must be put
an end to.

While the Allied troops' occupation of the Rhine costs Germany
25 milliards of paper marks a year, it is foolish to speak of
reconstruction or indemnity. Either all occupation must cease or the
expenses ought not to exceed, according to the foregoing agreements, a
maximum of 80 millions at par, or even less.

We shall, however, never arrive at such an arrangement until the
Continental countries become convinced of two things: first, that the
United States will grant no credits under any formula; secondly, that
Germany, under the present system, will be unable to pay anything and
will collapse, dragging down to ruin her conquerors.

Among many uncertainties these two convictions become ever clearer.

If in all countries the spirit of insubordination among the working
classes is increasing, the state of mind of the German operatives
is quite remarkable. The workmen almost everywhere, in face of the
enormous fortunes which the War has created and by reason of the
spirit of violence working in them, have worked with bad spirit after
the War because they have thought that a portion of their labour has
gone to form the profits of the industrials. It is useless to say that
we are dealing here with an absurd and dangerous conception, because
the profit of the capitalist is a necessary element of production,
and because production along communist lines, wherever it has been
attempted, has brought ruin and misery. But it is useless to deny that
such a situation exists, together with the state of mind which it
implies. We can well imagine, then, the conditions in which Germany
and the vanquished countries find themselves. The workmen, who in
France, England and Italy exhibit in various degree and measure a
state of intractability, in Germany have to face a situation still
graver. When they work they know that a portion of their labour is
destined to go to the victors, another part to the capitalist, and
finally there will remain something for them. Add to this that in
all the beaten countries hunger is widespread, with a consequent
diminution of energy and work.

No reasonable person can explain how humanity can continue to believe
in the perpetuation of a similar state of things for another forty

In speaking of the indemnity which Germany can pay, it is necessary
to consider this special state of mind of the operatives and other
categories of producers.

But the mere announcement of the settling of the indemnity, of the
immediate admission of the vanquished nations into the League of
Nations, of the settling the question of the occupation of the Rhine,
and of the firm intention to modify the constitution of the League
of Nations, according it the powers now held by the Reparations
Commission, will improve at once the market and signalize a definite
and assured revival.

The United States made a great financial effort to assist their
associates, and in their own interests, as well as for those of
Europe, they would have done badly to have continued with such
assistance. When the means provided by America come to be employed to
keep going the anarchy of central Europe, Rumania's disorder, Greece's
adventures and Poland's violences, together with Denikin's and
Wrangel's restoration attempts, it is better that all help should
cease. In fact, Europe has begun to reason a little better than her
governments since the financial difficulties have increased.

The fall of the mark and Germany's profound economic depression have
already destroyed a great part of the illusions on the subject of the
indemnity, and the figures with which for three years the public has
been humbugged no longer convince anyone.


Among the States of the Entente there is always a fundamental discord
on the subject of Russia. Great Britain recognized at once that if it
were impossible to acknowledge the Soviet Government it was a mistake
to encourage attempts at restoration. After the first moments of
uncertainty Great Britain has insisted on temperate measures, and
notwithstanding that during the War she made the largest loans to the
Russian Government (more than 14 milliards of francs at par, while
France only lent about 4 milliards), she has never put forward the
idea that, as a condition precedent to the recognition of the Soviet
Government, a guarantee of the repayment of the debt was necessary.
Only France has had this mistaken idea, which she has forced to the
point of asking for the sequestration of all gold sent abroad by the
Soviet Government for the purchase of goods.

Wilson had already stated in his fourteen points what the attitude of
the Entente towards Russia ought to be, but the attitudes actually
assumed have been of quite a different order.

The barrier which Poland wants to construct between Germany and Russia
is an absurdity which must be swept away at once. Having taken away
Germany's colonies and her capacities for expansion abroad, we must
now direct her towards Russia where alone she can find the outlet
necessary for her enormous population and the debt she has to carry.
The blockade of Russia, the barbed wire placed round Russia, have
damaged Europe severely. This blockade has resolved itself into a
blockade against the Allies. Before the present state of economic
ruin Russia was the great reservoir of raw materials; she was the
unexplored treasure towards which one went with the confidence of
finding everything. Now, owing to her effort, she has fallen; but
how large a part of her fall is as much due to the Entente as to her
action during the War and since. For some time now even the most
hidebound intelligences have recognized the fact that it is useless
to talk of entering into trade relations with Russia without the
co-operation of Germany, the obvious ally in the vast task of
renovation. Similarly, it is useless to talk of reattempting military
manoeuvres. While Germany remains disassociated from the work
of reconstruction and feels herself menaced by a Poland that is
anarchical and disorderly and acts as an agent of the Entente, while
Germany has no security for her future and must work with doubt and
with rancour, all attempts to reconstruct Russia will be vain. The
simple and fundamental truth is just this: One can only get to Moscow
by passing through Berlin.

If we do not wish conquerors and conquered to fall one after the
other, and a common fate to reunite those who for too long have hated
each other and continue to hate each other, a solemn word of peace
must be pronounced.

Austria, Germany, Italy, France are not diverse phenomena; they are
different phases of the same phenomenon. All Europe will go to pieces
if new conditions of life are not found, and the economic equilibrium
profoundly shaken by the War re-established.

I have sought in this book to point out in all sincerity the things
that are in store for Europe; what perils menace her and in what
way her regeneration lies. In my political career I have found many
bitternesses; but the campaign waged against me has not disturbed me
at all. I know that wisdom and life are indivisible, and I have no
need to modify anything of what I have done, neither in my propaganda
nor in my attempt at human regeneration, convinced as I am that I am
serving both the cause of my country and the cause of civilization.
Blame and praise do not disturb me, and the agitations promoted in the
heart of my country will not modify in any way my conviction. On the
contrary, they will only reinforce my will to follow in my own way.

Truth, be it only slowly, makes its way. Though now the clouds are
blackest, they will shortly disappear. The crisis which menaces and
disturbs Europe so profoundly has inoculated with alarm the most
excited spirits; Europe is still in the phase of doubt, but after the
cries of hate and fury, doubt signifies a great advance. From doubt
the truth may come forth.


  ADRAIANOPLE, passes to the Greeks,
  Adriatic programme, Italy's
  Albania, an Italian expedition into
  Alexander the Great as politician
  Allenstein, a plebiscite for
  Allies, the, war debts of
  Alsace-Lorraine, annexation of
    restitution of
  America, and question of army of occupation
    her attitude on reparations
    result of her entry into the war
    (_see also_ United States)
  Apponyi, Count, on the Treaty of Trianon
  Arabia, Turkey's losses in
  Armaments, reduction of
    the peace treaties and
  Armenia, movement for liberation of
  Armenian Republic, the
  Armistice terms, summary of
    three words change tenor of
  Army of Occupation, the
  Asia Minor, the Entente Powers and,
    Turkey's losses in
  Australasia, British possessions in
  Australia as part of British dominions
  Austria, financial position of,
    loses access to the sea
  Austria-Hungary, and the Versailles Treaty
    civilizing influence of
    pre-war army of
    result of Treaty of St. Germain Germain-en-Laye
    States of, before the war
    victories of
  Austrian army, the

  BALKANS, the, Russia's policy in
  Battles, a military fact
    difference between war and
  Belgium, acquires German territory
    army of
    financial position of
    population of
    violation of, and the consequences
  Bernhardi, General von
  Bismarck, foresight of
    political genius of
  Bolshevik Government, the fiasco of
    result of
  Bolshevism, and what it is
  Boxer rebellion, the Kaiser's address to his troops
  Briand, M., on the objects of the Entente
  Bridgeheads, German, occupation of,
  British colonies, before the war,
  Brussels, Conference of,
  Budapest, conditions in,
    mortality in,
  Bulgaria, army of,
    the Treaty of Neuilly and,
  Bülow, von

  CANADA as part of British dominions,
  Civilization, evolution of,
  Clemenceau, M., and the military guarantees question,
    and the Paris Conference,
    and the reparations clause,
    as destroyer,
    communicates Poincaré's letter to Lloyd George,
    fall of,
    his hatred of the Germans,
    on peace treaties,
    replies to Lloyd George's note,
  Coal fields, Germany's pre-war,
  Colonial rights, and the Versailles Treaty,
  Colonies, British,
    German pre-war,
    Germany loses her,
  Commune, the French,
  Communist system, Russian, failure of,
  Constantine, King of Greece, return of,
  Constantinople, retained by the Turks,
    Russia's desire for,
    subject to international control,
    the Treaty of Sèvres and,
  Croatia and Fiume,
  Czeko-Slovakia, State of,
    added population of,
    army of,
    financial position of,
    Magyars in

  DALMATIA, the London Agreement and,
  Dante, a celebrated dictum of,
  Danube Commission, the,
  Danzig, allotted to Poland,
  Dardanelles, the, freedom of: Versailles Treaty and,
  De Foville's estimate of wealth of France,
  Denmark acquires North Schleswig,
  Disarmament conditions fulfilled by Germany,
  Disease, and the aftermath of war

  ECONOMIC barriers, removal of, and the peace treaty,
  England, and the Mediterranean,
    war record of,
  Entente, the, and Germany's responsibility for war,
    and the Bolshevik Government,
    author's opinion of peace terms of,
    division among, as result of peace treaties,
  Erzeroum, Mussulman population of,
  Eupen ceded to Belgium,
  Europe, area of,
    financial difficulties of,
    increased armaments in

  Europe, monarchies in, before the war
    pre-war conditions of
    reconstruction of, and peace policy
    results of world-war in
    States of
  European civilization, future of
  European States, war debts of
    (_cf of_ War Debts)

  FERENCZI, Dr., his statistics of sickness in Budapest
  Fichte, and Germany
  Financial and economic clauses of peace treaty
  Fiume, Italy's position regarding
    question of
    the London Agreement and
    Wilson and
  Foch, Marshal, and the military commission
    and the peace treaties
    unconstitutional action of
  France, acquires Saar mines
    alliances with
    and the indemnity
    and the old regime in Russia
    claims of, at Paris Conference,
    expenses of her navy
    financial position of
    iron industry of
    Italy and
    population of
    post-war army of
    post-war condition of
    presses for occupation of the Ruhr
    pre-war status of
    private wealth of, before the war
    purport of her action in the Conference
    recognizes government of Wrangel
    safety of, and military guarantees
    the political class in
    treaties with U.S. and Great Britain
    war record of
  Franco-Prussian War, the
    indemnity demanded by victors
    unjust terms of Prussia
  Frankfort, Treaty of, compared with Versailles Treaty
  Frederick the Great, political genius of
  Freedom of the seas, the peace treaties and
  French-American Treaty, the
  French-English Treaty, the
  French territories, liberation
  Frontiers, changed condition of

  GEORGE, Lloyd, a memorandum for Peace Conference
    a truism of
    and question of military guarantees
    and reparations question
    and Russia
    and the Paris Conference
    and the proposed trial of the Kaiser
    denounces economic manifesto
    difficult position of, at Paris Conference
    on Poland's claim to Upper Silesia
    proposes Germany's admission to League of Nations
  Georgia, in Bolshevik hands
    Italy prepares a military expedition to
  German army reduced by peace terms
    delegates and the Paris Conference
  German-Austria, army of
    loses access to the sea
    plight of
  Germany, a country of surprises
    a war of reconquest by, impossible
    accepts armistice terms
    Allies' demands for indemnities
    and America's entry into the war
    and her indemnity
    and reconstruction of Russia
    and the political sense
    annual capitalization of
    commerce of, before the war
    cost of army of occupation to
    effect of peace treaty on
    effect of President Wilson's messages on
    financial position of
    her indemnity increased
    her pre-war colonies
    her responsibility for the war
    how she can pay indemnity
    imports and exports of
    is she able to pay indemnity asked?
    loses her colonies
    losses of, in Great War
    militarist party in
    military conditions imposed on
    population of, in and outside Europe
    pre-war army of
    pre-war coal supply of
    pre-war conditions of
    result of Versailles Treaty to
    revolutionary crisis in
    Sèvres Treaty and
    suited for democratic principles
    territories and States in, before the war
    victories of
    war record of
  Great Britain, and the indemnity
    and the Treaty of Versailles
    army of
    enters the war
    expenses of her navy
    financial position of
    general election in
    insularity of
    population of
    pre-war conditions of
    war record of
    why she entered the war
  Great War, the, author's opinion of peace terms
    estimated number of dead in
    how it was decided
    post-war results of
    question of responsibility for
  Greece, acquires Bulgarian territory
    army of
    financial position of
    her gains by Sèvres Treaty
    her illusion of conquering Turkish resistance
    her policy of greed
    the Entente and

  HEGEL, and Germany,
  Helferich, and the capitalization of Germany,
  Herf, von, and Polish organization,
  Hindenburg, and the U.S. army,
  House, Colonel, and the reduction of the German army,
    and the reparations proposal,
  Hughes, W.M., Premier of Australia, and the German indemnity,
  Hungary, alarming mortality in,
    army of,
    conditions of life in,
    delegates of, at Paris Conference,
    harsh treatment of,
    losses of, by peace treaty,
    revolutions in, 166
  Hunger and disease, a legacy of war,
  Hymans, M., at Paris Conference,

  INDEMNITIES, question of,
    what Germany can pay,
    (_see also_ Reparations)
  Indemnity clause, how inserted,
    _et seq_.,
  India, British,
  Inter-Allied debts, problem of,
    _et seq_.
    (_see also_ Allies, war debts of)
  Iron, Germany's lack of,
  Iron-ore, Germany's pre-war wealth in,
  Italian frontier, rectification of,
  Italian Socialists visit Russia,
  Italians, their difficult theatre of war,
  Italo-Turkish war, the,
  Italy, a period of crisis in,
    an expedition into Albania,
    and Georgia,
    and Montenegro,
    and the Balkans,
    and the League of Nations,
    and the London Agreement,
    and the Paris Conference,
    army of,
    breaks with the Alliance,
    custom of tree-planting in,
    declares her neutrality,
    economic sufferings of,
    enters the war,
    expenses of her navy,
    financial position of,
    Great Britain and,
    her costly Libyan adventure,
    her freedom from revolutions,
    in the Triple Alliance,
    ministerial crisis in,
    population of,
    pre-war status of,
    stands apart from Conference,
    suffers from situation in Russia
    territories annexed to,
    the Adriatic problem,
    the question of Fiume,
    votes for recognition of the Soviet,
    why she entered the war,

  JAPAN, expenses of her navy,
  Jews, Polish,
  Judenic, General,
  Jugo-Slavia, acquires Bulgarian territory,
    army of,
    financial position of,
    Magyars in,
  Julius Caesar as politician,
  KANT, Emanuel
  Kautsky, published documents of
  Keynes, John Maynard, and inter-Allied debts
    and the Paris Conference
    author's admiration for
    represents English Treasury at Paris Conference
    the indemnity question and
    true forecasts of
  Klagenfurth, a plebiscite for
  Klotz, and the indemnity
  Koltchak, Admiral
  Konigsberg, the home of Emanuel Kant
  Kowno claimed by Poles

  LABOUR and the war
  Lansing, Robert, and the Paris Conference
  Law, Bonar, and question of military guarantees
    and reparations
    and the indemnity
  League of Nations, the, a suggested revision of treaties by
    and Danzig
    and the participation of the vanquished
    as trustee of Saar mines
    covenant of
  foundation of, and its objects
    Germany debarred from
    its capabilities and mistakes
    modification of two clauses of
    its constitution needed
    powers of
    Wilson in a difficult situation
  Libyan adventure, the
  Lithuania, Wilna ceded to, but occupied by Poles
  London Agreement, the
    secrecy of
  London, Conference of
    discusses economic manifesto
  Lorraine, Germany's pre-war iron production from
    iron mines of: German ambitions for
  Loucheur, M., and the indemnity
  Ludendorff,  General, important declaration by
  Luxemburg, iron industry of

  MAGYARS, in Rumania
    Treaty of Trianon and,
  Malmédy given to Belgium
  Marienwerder, a plebiscite for
  Marne, battle of the
  Mesopotamia lost by Turkey
  Military clauses and guarantees of peace treaty
  Millerand, M., and Sweden
  Monroe doctrine, the
  Montenegro, absorbed by the S.H.S. State
    restoration of
    the Entente and
  Moresnet becomes Belgian territory
  Moscow Government sends gold to Sweden: French action
  Mussulman population of pre-war Turkey

    as politician
    his three great errors
  Napoleon III
  Nationalism, and what it implies
  Naval armaments, the race for
  Neuilly, the Treaty of
  New Zealand, Britain's share of
  Nicholas II, his proclamation regarding Poland
    weakness of
  Nineteenth century, the, wars of
  Nitti, Francesco S., and admission of ex-enemies into League of
    and Germany's responsibility for the war
    and Italian Socialists
    and Russia
    and the Italian military expedition to Georgia
    and the proposed trial of the Kaiser
    at Conferences of London and San Remo
    denounces economic manifesto
    his son a prisoner of war
    ideals of
    opposes Adriatic adventure
    receives deputation of German business men
    signs ratification of Treaty of Versailles
    the indemnity question and
  Northcliffe Press, the, and the indemnity

  OGIER, M., territorial reconstruction scheme of
  Orlando, M., and the reparations question
  Orlando Ministry, the, resignation of
  Ottoman Empire, the, a limited sovereignty to Turkish parts of

  PALESTINE, Treaty of Sèvres and
  Paper currency, Germany's pre-and post-war
  Paris, an unsuitable meeting place for Conference
    Peace Conference in
    Supreme Council at
    welcomes President Wilson
  Paris Conference, and the indemnity
  Peace, necessary conditions for
  Peace Conference, Lloyd George's memorandum for
  Peace treaties, a negation of justice
    and continuation of the war
    and their application
    effect on Germany of
    origin and aims of
    question of reparation and indemnity
    revision of, a necessity
    their opposition to Wilson's fourteen points
    Peace treaty of June, 1919, summary of terms of
  Peasants, Russian, and the old regime
  Petrograd, text of London Agreement published in
  Plebiscite, result of, in Upper Silesia
  Plebiscites, system of
  Poincaré, M., and Clemenceau
    and Germany's right of entry into League of Nations
    and the peace treaties
    Lloyd George replies to
    on military guarantees and occupation
  Poland, aims at further expansion
    anarchic condition of
    and the plebiscite
    and the Treaty of Versailles
  Poland, army of
    financial position of
    gains by Treaty
    her policy of greed
    obtains State of Danzig
    of to-day
    the Tsar's proclamation regarding
    treaty with France
    working for ruin
  Polish state, foundation of an independent
  Politics, German, pre-war
  Portugal, war debt of
  Progress, war as condition towards
  Public debts of warring nations
    (_cf_. Allies, war debts of)

  RECONSTRUCTION of Europe, the, and annullment of inter-Allied debts
    and the revision of peace treaties
    Germany's indemnity and that of defeated countries
    necessity of forming new connexions with Russia
    the League of Nations and
    the safety of France and the military guarantees
  Renner, Chancellor of Vienna, confers with Marquis della Torretta
  Reparations clause, origin of
  Reparations Commission, the, expense accounts of
    formation of
    suppression of, a necessity
  Reparations, the problem of
    (_cf_. Indemnities)
  Rhine, the, as frontier
    occupation of
    an act of vengeance
    cost of, to Germany
  Riga, hunger and sickness in, the aftermath of war
  Ruhr, the, question of occupation of
  Rumania, army of
    evacuation of
    financial position of
    her gains by Treaty
    Magyars in
  Rumanian occupation of Hungary
  Russia, and the League of Nations
    as cause of world-conflict
    birth-rate of
    blockade of
    Entente aids military undertakings in
    financial position of
    Germany's fear of
    her policy of expansion
    Lloyd George on
    military revolts in
    peace army of
    policy of Entente towards
    power of the Tsar in
    present-day plight of
    pre-war empire of
    probable number of men under arms in
    Sèvres Treaty and
    the Versailles Treaty and
    under the Tsars
  Russian peasants and the old regime
  Russians, remarkable fecundity of
  Russo-Japanese peace, the and how drafted
  Russo-Japanese War, the

  SAAR, the, a plebiscite for
    annexation of: French proposals regarding
    coalfields of, assigned to France
      pre-war production of
  Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Treaty of
  San Remo, Conference of
  Schleswig, a plebiscite for,
  Secret diplomacy, peace treaties and
  Serbia, evacuation of
    her gains by Treaty
    ignorant of London Agreement
    responsibility for the war
    Russian policy in
    the Allied Press and
    war debt of
  Serbo-Croat States, financial position of
    sea-coast outlets for
  S.H.S. State absorbs Montenegro
  Silesia (_see_ Upper Selesia)
  Slav States, cosmopolitan population of
  Smyrna, the Sanjak of
  Sonnino, M., at Paris Conference
  South Africa, British
  Soviet, the, recognition of, refused
  Spa Conference, the
  Starling, Professor
  States, European, pre- and post-war, _et seq_.
  Submarine menace, the
  Sweden, Russian gold sent to

  TARDIEU, André, and the guarantees against Germany
    and the Paris Conference
    and the question of military guarantees
    draws up reply to Lloyd George
    his report on Paris Conference
    on President Wilson
    on the Treaty of Versailles
  Territorial and political clauses of peace treaty
  Thrace assigned to Greece
  Torretta, Marquis della, confers with Chancellor Renner
  Trade conditions, equality of, and the peace treaty
  Treaties, peace (_see Neuilly, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Sèvres
    Trianon, Versailles)
  Treaties with France against German aggression
  Treaty system, the, division of Europe by
  Trianon, Treaty of
  Triple Alliance, the
    Italy and
    "Triplice," the (_see_ Triple Alliance)
  Tripoli, Italy
  Turkey, and the result of Treaty of Sèvres
    army of
    Grand Vizier of, and his note
  Turks, their power of resistance
  Turquan's estimate of wealth of France

  United States, the, a deciding factor of the war
    abandons Treaty of Versailles
    and Armenian question
    and the indemnity
  United States, the, and the League of Nations,
    and the naval question,
    expenses of her navy,
    financial position of,
    losses in the Great War,
    (see also America)
  Upper Silesia, a plebiscite for,
    iron industry of,
    result of plebiscite in,

  VENEZELOS, M., author's tribute to,
    fall of,
  Versailles, Treaty of,
    abandoned by America,
    and the future of Germany,
    characteristic facts of,
    conditions of Germany as result of,
    injustice of,
    Lloyd George on,
    on what based,
    ratification of,
    summary of,
    violation of,
    why it has been weakened,
  Vessitch, M., at Paris Conference,
  Vienna, conditions in,
    the wireless high-power station at,

  WÄCHTER, Kinderlen-, and Russia,
  War, a political fact,
    as a necessary condition of life,
    difference between battles and,
    legitimacy of,
    the aftermath of,
    the nature of,
  War debts, a menace to financial stability,
  War debts of the Allies,
    (_cf_. Inter-Allied debts)
  Warfare, modern, what it means,
  Wars of the last three centuries, the,
  Wealth, influence of, on life and happiness,
  William II, and his responsibility for the war,
    as _miles gioriosus_,
    author's aversion to,
    frenzied oratory of,
    proposed trial of,
  Wilna ceded to Lithuania, but occupied by Poles,
  Wilson, President, and Armenia
    and Fiume,
    and military guarantees,
    and the League of Nations,
    demonstrations against, in Italy,
    his fourteen points,
    compared with Treaty of Versailles,
    his ignorance of European affairs, and the result,
    how he was received in Paris,
    memorable speech in American Senate,
    peace ideals of, 34,
    _post-bellum_ economic settlement proposals of (_see_ League of
  Wolff, and Germany,
  Wrangel, General,

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