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 avoided.
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 Pan-Germanism?
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 Bohemia.
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.