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Appeal to Enemy Peoples 1


Appeal to Enemy Peoples 1 Mr. Henderson and Mr Bowernman, on behalf of the Labour Party and the Parliamentary Committee of the Trade Union Congress, have addressed a manifesto to the Russian people. The document, which is as much a message to tho people of Germany and Austria iidopte the Russian principles of "0 annexations, no indemnities, and the self-determination of peoples, on he- half of the. British Empire, and calls upon the populations of the Central Powers to declare themselves similarly 80 as to bring the war to an end. ()tll<'rwÍ£('ay the authors, "we shall continue, but the responsibility will be yours." Tho manifesto is in response to Russia's appeal in the present crisis to the peoples of Germany and Austria ,utid also to the peoples of her Allies. The message declares that in this crisis the British people inust speak. Accept- ing the principles of No Annexations or Punitive Indemnities and the right of peoples to determine their own des- tinies, the manifesto proceeds to do- tails. It states:— "Wo believe that the first step to- wards a general solution must be an honest attempt by each party to set its .own house in order. The second step must be an open discussion in common of the suggestions for their own problems put forward by each. "The British people accepts the prin- ciple of No Annexations for the Bri- tish Empire. THE MIDDLE EAST. I "The first rt &ion to which this prin- ciple applies in our case is the Middle East. We accept with relief the repu- diation by Free Russia of the Tsar's policy in the Middle; and for our part we repudiate whole-heartedly and witTioiit 'reserve the policy of co-opera- tion with tho Tsar adopted in 1907, though we must put on record that tho aggressive policy of the German Government in Europe was largely re- sponsible for driving British diplomacy in the East into a line of action at I variajiee with its tradition. SECRET TREATIES. I "We repudiate still more empha- tically the secret treaties, published by the Bolsheviks, in which the policy of 1907 was unhappily carrie d during the war to its logical conclusion. "We respect the sovereign indepen- dence of the Turkish people in their national home in Constantinople, Thrace, and. Anatolia—but we believe that {lie domination of their Govern- ment over other peoples is a hindrance to their own national development as well as a calamity to the peoples con- cerned. ASIATIC TURKEY. I "Our Government has justifiably pledged it?f ? 'ome of those peoples —the Araks of Hajaz and Irak, the Jewish Colonists in Palestine, ?he Ar- iii(-TLi.ti)p,-tliat Ottoman rule shall never lie imposed on them again and the free peoples of the world are. 110 loss responsible morally for the libera- tion of those other population hither- to under Ottoman rule to whom no d.-finite pledge lias been ajiven. "These peoples will need help from outride for their reconstruction, Wo believe that this responsibility should be undertaken by the Peace Confer- ence, and by the permanent inter- national organisation that wo hope will bo constituted by it. "The second region with which the British Empire is peculiarly concerned is tropical Africa. Ncf one contends that the black races can govern them- selves, or will bo able to do so within a measurable period of time. They can only make it known that the particu- lar European Government under which they have been living is bad in some or all respects, and indicate the speci- fic evils from which they desire to be liberated. "We see no roa;.on why the natives should not be g iven self-determination, in this admittedly limited sense, in the German oolonies which have been oc- cupied by the British military forces during the war. We we no evidence that German administration in tropi- cal Africa has been so much worse tha.n that of other European Govern- ments that the Peace Conference would be justified in singling ;C-out for special treatment., but we believe that the. Peace Conference will be better advised to place all tropical Africa under a uniform international control BRITISH COLONIAL POLICY. I "The British people accepts tne pri'ieiplo of self-deterriiinrttic.ii for the British Empire. We wish first to re- mind th-3 Russian people that, taught hy the loss of her American colonies in the eighteenth ceiiiurv, Great nri- tain was the first mod-n 11 S^ate bo- fore revolutionary Russia lo grant complete self-determination to ity group of its inhabitants. "The Dominions of Cana da, Aus- tralia., South Africa, and New Zea- land hav-- their own Parliaments, seti.le their (d n tariffs Mth other States, and decide i.hrir own internal policy. FUTURE OF INDIA. accept the principle of seif- determination also foi India, though we believe that the record of British government here gives little occasion for reproach, and that the application of the principle is peculiarly difficult We intend to meet this by a. very much, more rapid development of self- government. Our purpose is to raise these dependencies to the status of dominions. We cannot give them this status at once because it is impossible to end in a day the position which has been created by a long period of British administration. "We offer these principles for dis- cussion to the peoples of Russia and Central Europe, and hope that our other Allies will make declarations on their part in the same sense. THE CHOICE. "We adjure tho peoples of Central Europe to declare themselves, or to make their Governments speak for them, in answer to Russia and our- selves. We call upon them to renounce annexations in Europe with the same good faith that we intend in renounc- ing them in Asia." The message concludes: "Peoples of Central Europe, this catastrophe of the human race, this fatal schism in the civilised world, can only be ended bv tlwxl defeat of militarism on both sidos, and by the victory on both sides of moral and intellectual fair dealing. Do not fail us now. Do not let your Governments drive the British people, as they are driving the Russian people, into the terrible choice be- tween continuing the war and aban- doning the only principles that save the world. *"If tILq choice is forced upon iis we shall choose as Russia chose—we shall continue—but the responsibility will be vours." The message is signed bv Mr. Boix-"T-- min for the Parliamentary Committee of th, Trade Union Congress, and Mr. Henderson for the Labour Party. ————— -————



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