(4) Germany has been taxed with disregarding treaty obligations, tearing up a scrap of paper—a solemn engagement of international character regarding Belgium. I have the less reason to enter into this matter since—if it was a breach of international law at all—it has been followed up by all other belligerents by destroying other parts of that code so essential to the welfare of the community of nations. Two German men-of-war have been destroyed in neutral waters. The protests that the Government of this country had to make against Great Britain’s treatment of international sea law and the rights of the neutrals are too numerous to be recounted. Chinese neutrality has been violated in the grossest way.
In disregard of all conventions, China is now being subjected to demands incompatible with the rights of self-respecting nations. Egypt and Cyprus have been annexed by Great Britain, disregarding all treaties. Germany’s diplomatic representatives have been driven from China, Morocco, and Egypt—all countries sovereign at the time. The Declaration of London, which had been set up by the Government of the United States as the governing document, had to be dropped as such. There is practically no part of international law that could stand the test. Justice toward neutrals compels that international law should be re-established in a codified form, with sufficient guarantees so as to save, as far as possible, all the neutrals from possible implication in a war in which they do not take part.
(5) Germany does not strive for territorial aggrandizement in Europe; she does not believe in conquering and subjugating unwilling nations—this on account of a spirit of justice and her knowledge of history. No such attempts have ever been permanently successful.
Belgium commands the main outlet of Western German trade, is the natural foreland of the empire, and has been conquered with untold sacrifice of blood and treasure. It offers to German trade the only outlet to an open sea and it has been politically established, maintained, and defended by England in order to keep these natural advantages from Germany.
The love for small peoples that England heralds now will never stand investigation, as shown by the destruction of the small Boer republics. So Belgium cannot be given up. However, these considerations could be disregarded if all the other German demands, especially a guaranteed free sea, were fully complied with and the natural commercial relationship of Belgium to Germany was considered in a just and workable form. In this case Germany will not fail when the times come to help in rebuilding the country; in fact, she is doing so now.
(6) Germany is a country smaller in size than California, but populated thirty-five times as thickly as that State. She loves and fosters family life, and sees her future in the raising of large families of healthy children under the home roof and under the national flag. German parents have no desire to expatriate every year a considerable number of their children. This implies that her industrial development, which would alone give occupation to the yearly increase of pretty nearly a million people, should go on unhampered.