Peaceless Europe eBook

Francesco Saverio Nitti
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 217 pages of information about Peaceless Europe.
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.

III

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.

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Peaceless Europe from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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