On the whole, the wisest thing the neutral nations can do, which are remote from the theatres of war, and have no territorial advantages to seek at the coming of peace, is probably to defend vigorously and with the utmost sincerity and frankness all the existing rights of neutrals. By acting thus in the present case they will promote national righteousness and hinder national depravity, discourage, for the future, domination by any single great power in any part of the world, and help the cause of civilization by strengthening the just liberty and independence of many nations—large and small, and of different capacities and experiences—which may reasonably hope, if the Prussian terror can be abolished, to live together in peaceful co-operation for the common good.
Need of Further Protecting Neutral Rights Set Forth.
By GEORGE W. WICKERSHAM.
Formerly United States Attorney General.
To the Editor of The New York Times:
The destruction of the Lusitania by the Germans, and the wanton killing of American men, women, and children, without warning, brings sharply before the American people the question of how long the present sexless policy of the conduct of our affairs is to be continued. Germany has apparently decided to run amuck with civilization. It is now for the American people to decide whether this nation has any virility left, or if it is content to sink to the level of China.
A very clear course, it seems to me, is open for us to pursue: We should cancel all diplomatic relations with a country which has declared war upon civilization, recall our Ambassador from Berlin, and hand Count Bernstorff his passports. Congress should be summoned in extra session, and an appropriation of at least $250,000,000 asked to put us in a condition to protect our rights as a neutral civilized power. At the same time we should invite all neutral nations of the world to join us in a council of civilization to agree upon the steps to be taken to protect the interests of all neutral powers and their citizens from such wanton acts of destruction of life and property as those which Germany has been committing and which have culminated in the destruction of the Lusitania and of so many of her passengers.