Another conviction is strongly impressed upon the commercial nations of the world by the developments of seven months of extensive fighting by land and sea, namely, the importance of making free to all nations the Kiel Canal and the passage from the Black Sea to the Aegean. So long as one nation holds the Dardanelles and the Bosporus, and another nation holds the short route from the Baltic to the North Sea, there will be dangerous restrictions on the commerce of the world—dangerous in the sense of provoking to war, or of causing sores which develop into malignant disease. Those two channels should be used for the common benefit of mankind, just as the Panama Canal or the Suez Canal is intended to be. Free seas, free inter-ocean canals and straits, the “open door,” and free competition in international trade are needed securities for peace.
These lessons of the war are as plain now as they will be after six months or six years more fighting. Can the belligerent nations—and particularly Germany—take them to heart now, or must more millions of men be slaughtered and more billions of human savings be consumed before these teachings of seven fearful months be accepted?
For a great attainable object such dreadful losses and sufferings as continuation of the war entails might perhaps be borne; but the last seven months have proved that the objects with which Austria-Hungary and Germany went to war are unattainable in the present state of Europe. Austria-Hungary, even with the active aid of Germany and Turkey, cannot prevail in Serbia against the active or passive resistance of Serbia, Russia, Rumania, Greece, Italy, France, and Great Britain. Germany cannot crush France supported by Great Britain and Russia, or keep Belgium, except as a subject and hostile province, and in defiance of the public opinion of the civilized world. In seven months Great Britain and France have made up for their lack of preparedness and have brought the military operations of Germany in France to a standstill. On the other hand, Great Britain and France must already realize that they cannot drive the German armies out of France and Belgium without a sacrifice of blood and treasure from which the stoutest hearts may well shrink.
Has not the war already demonstrated that jealous and hostile coalitions armed to the teeth will surely bring on Europe not peace and advancing civilization, but savage war and an arrest of civilization? Has it not already proved that Europe needs one comprehensive union or federation competent to procure and keep for Europe peace through justice? There is no alternative except more war.
CHARLES W. ELIOT.
By PAUL HERVIEU
Translation by Florence Simmonds.
[From King Albert’s Book.]
Once upon a time there lived a King and a Queen....
Indeed, it would be the most touching and edifying fairy-tale imaginable, this true story of H.M. Albert I. and H.M. Queen Elizabeth.