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I uEMPTY AND INSINCERE." -40

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I uEMPTY AND INSINCERE. 40 /Germany's Sham Peace Proposal. I i t STINGING REPLY FROM THE ALLIES. I I REMORSELESS ARRAY OF FACTS. âââ I PRESS BUREAU, Saturday night (received Sunday morning). The following is a translation ot the â¦<?xt of the Allies' reply to the German peace Note communicated bv the Frencli Government on behali ol the Allied Pewers to the United States Ambassador In Paris :â December 30th. The Allied Covernments of Russia, < France, Creat Britain, Japan, Italy, Serbia, Belgium, Montenegro, Portugal j and Rumania, united for the defence of the freedom of nations, and faithful to their undertakings not to lay down I their arms except in common accord, have decided to return a joint answer j ta the I ILLUSORY PEACE PROPOSALS which have been addressed to them by the Governments of the Enemy Powers through the intermediary of the United States, Spain, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. t Af a prelude ut any reply the Allied Pcvffs feel hound to protest strongly --tgabt!t, the two material assertions made in the Xotfi from the enemy Powers, the one professing to throw upon the Allies the reo *jtansibilit y of the war and the other 1110- iairning the victory- of the Central Powert. The Allie s cannot admit a cla-ira which is la iratrue in e,ch and is sufficient alone to r Hile all attempts at negotiation. The Allied nations have for thirty months 'â eon engaged in s. war which they had done everything u, avoid. Xhty have shown by â¢â hair actions their devotion to peace. This sewtion. is as strong to-day as it was in 1914. and after the Violating by Germany irsf her engagements. Germany's promise is no sufficient foundation on which to re-establish the peace which s he broke, i A m-e-ic suggestion without statement or verm* thia.'i negotiations should be opened is net an offer of peace. The putting forward by the Imperial Government of t A sham proposal, iaciarig zlit suDstaaic-f, and precision, '"would 4pneai- to be less art offer of peace than « war nklamuvre. Tt is founded on a. calculated misiiiterpre- tAtMn of the character of the struggle in the past, the present and the future. As- for the past the German Note takes no accoulit of the facts, dates and figures whioh establish that the war was desired. provoked and declared by Germany and Austria-Hungary. At the Hague Conference it was the Ger- man delegate who refused all proposals for disarmament- in July. 1914; it "was Austria- Hungary who, after having addressed to Serbia, an unprecedented ultirmuum. de- clared war upon her in spite of the satisfac- tion which had at once been accorded. The Central Empires then rejected all the ) attempts made by the Entente to bring èbout a pacific solution of a purely local conflict. Great Britain suggested a conference; France proposed an International Commis- pion the Emperor of Russia Asked the German Emperor to go to arbitration, ajsd Russia and Austria-Hungary came to an j, wnderstanding on the ere of the conflict, but ;te all these efforts German} t>ave neither answer nor effect. Belgium was invaded by an Empire which th.a,d guaranteed her neutrality and which has (had the assurance tc- proclaim that treaties were "scraps I) f paper. ,ønd that "necessity knows no law." At the present moment those sham offers tm the part of Germany rest on a "war ma:p" of Enirope alone, which represents Wthing more than a superficial and passmg phaBe of the situation and not the real strength of the belligerents. Peace concluded "upon these terms would "tv2 only to the advantage of the aggressors, who, after imagining that they would Reach their goal in, two months, discovered after two years that thev could tiefver attain it. As for the future, the disasters caused by the German declarations of war and the in- numerable outrages committed by Germanv and her allies against both belligerents arid reutrals demand penalties, reparation, and guarantees. Germany avoids the mention of any of these. In reality the.se overtures made by the Ont-ral Powers are nothing more than a < -llculated attempt to influence the future <â wirse of the war, and to end it by imposing German peace. I The abject of these overtux'es is to e? c Create dissension in public opinion »n the Allied countries, but that public I opimon, ha? in %pite of all the bac in_,C-?e;? s; e?- ??red by the AUies. already given its answer with admirable ifrmness, and has denounced the empty pretence of the declaration of the en."my Powers. They have the further object of stiffening I V'cblic opimon in Germany and in the coun- tries allied to her. one and all already seveiely tried bv their losses, worn out by economic pressure, and crushed bv the supreme effort which has been imposed upon their inhabitants. TheT endeavour to deceive andintitui- date public opinion in neutral countries whose inhabitants have long since made up their mmds where the initial respon- sioilit.y rests, have recognised the existing responsibilities, 1nd are far too enlighten- «d to favour the designs of Germany by abandoning the defence of human free- clom. Finally, these overture" attempt to justify in a dvance in the eyes ot the world a nein- series of (Times, submarine war- fere, deportations, forced labour and forced enlistment of inhabitants against .â their own countries, and violations of neutrality. Fully CONSCIOUS OF THE GRAVltY OF THIS MOMENT, but equally conscious of its require- ments, the Allied Governments, closely united to one another, and in oerfect sympathy with their neonles. REFUSE TO CONSIDER A PRO- POSAL which Is empty and insincere. Once again the Allies declare that no i ir-a,ce is possible so long as they have not. 0-coureA repa,r--t;,rm 1-iolated -t,nci Secured reparation otviolated ripbts and Hh orties, recognition or the principle ol nationalities, and of the free existence of la',l states, so long as they have not C.i)tight abbot a settlement ea IC111at to: lend (?iiep and for all forcp which have con-1i -etitut,c-d a Perpetual menace to the nations, paitt wafford the only effective guarantee; for the future security of the world. In conclusion, the Allied Powers think it jteeefisary to put forward the following con- eitie rations which show the special situation of Belgium alter two and a, lialf N-eiaii of war: In viitue of international treaties pigned by five great Europea.ii Powers, of (whom Germany was one, Belgium enjoyed Itlre the war a special status rendering her territory inviolable and pJaci-n,g her under the guarantee of the Powers outride all Euro- conflicts. She was, however, in ajftte of these to'caties., the first to suffer the aggression of Gen;i;y. for this reason The Belgian Government I Tr:? '?-f:!y to define the aim* which] E .'<?p!)-t?h<'?'e)'c6?ed to pursue. I :j ? fi??tin!: ?dc by s?Ae with th? Eh- I tente Powers for right and justice Belgium has alway.> scrupulou*ly fulfilled the duties which her neutrahty imposed upon her. She has taken up arms to defend her indepen- dence and her neutrality, violate 1 by Ger- j many, and to show blie i-eiiiaiiis 'aithful to her international obligations. Oji the 4th of August, 1914. in th. Reich- i -fag. the German Chancellor admitted that. this constituted an in justice con- trary to the laws uf nations, and pledged I himself in the Ham", of Germany to repair it. During two aiid a hali )eals thift injustice I ha.s beer, cruelly aggravated by the proceed- ings of the occupying forces, which havB ex- 1 hausted the resources o: L the countrw Ruined its industries, devastated its I towns aiid villager, and have been responsible foi I iimumsn.ble massacres, executions and im- prisonrnen.ts.. At this very monictt wliile Gem.any is proclaiming peace and humanity t.o the | world ihe i, deporting Belgian citizens by j thousands and redticin,g them to slavery. i Belgium before the war asked for nothing t, I c. 1, but to e in harmony with her neighbours. Her Kl!lg a.)(! her Government have ¡ But one aim, if if re-e-Uc ilishmeot of peace and justice, but | they only desire a peine which would assure to their couutry legitimate reparation, guar anteeK and safeguards for the future. â

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