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Suggestions for Terms of a…

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Suggestions for Terms of a Peace Settlement. I WHAT MIGHT BE THE BASIS OF A SANE FINISH. 'SSUED BY THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE UNION OF DEMOCRATIC CONTROL. A stage in the war has been reached when the del-llo(.I,acies of all die belligerent countries are ?gnuiing to work towards a peace based on the same general principles. The frankest state- ? of those ideas is contained in the declara- tion of the Russian Democratic Government in ?'our of: 1eqce without annexations and without in- ?mnities on the basis of the right of nations to Decide their own destiny." The Russian Government further declared:- The Government deems it to be its duty to ede now that free Russia does not aim at the ?Mination of odwr nations, at. depriving them  their national patrimony, or at occupying by ?orce foreign terri tories, but that i? object is to establish a durable peace on the basis of the l'Tl1ghts of nations to decide their own destiny. "he Russian nation does not lust after the strengthening of its power abroad at the ex- pense of other nations. On behalf of Great Britain, on May 28, Lord Robert Cecil, replying in the House of Commons, declared that: Our aims and aspirations were dictated solely by our determination to secure a peace bounded on national liberty and international •%iitv, and that all imperialistic aims based on "'ice and conquest were. completely absent from President Wilson, in his recent message to Russia, declared:- No people must be forced under a sovereign- ty under which it does not wish to live. No ter- ritory must change hands except for the purpose of securing those who inhabit it a fair chance of !«fe and liberty. No indemnities must be insisted on except those that constitute payment for manifest wrongs done. No, readjustments of power must be made except such as will tend to secure the future peace of the world and the future welfare and happiness of the peoples." The German Chancellor declared in the Reich- on May 17 • i We did not go to war, and we are not Úght- lrtg now against almost the whole world, in order xto make conquests, but only to secure our existence, and firmly to establish the future of jj- "the nation." We have here the common principles by which 411 the Governments now profess to be guided. The frame of mind of the various nations JS owsuch that no Government can afford to lay itself open to the charge of prolonging the war tor the purpose of annexing new territory, either In Europe or outside Europe. In consequence of this unanimity of profession the Executive Committee of the Union of De- lllocratic Control has considered what these de- clarations mean in terms of practical politics, and makes the following suggestions, which are not final nor incapable of modification, but as a suitable basis for further examination and dis- cussion. The settlement arrived at when the war con- cludes will necessarily be imperfect. The stability of peace will depend quite as much on the methods adopted for dealing with new Inter- zonal difficulties as they arise and the exist- ence of international machinery for meeting ?cia/, economic and other rivalries in the uture, as upon the immediate wisdom of the settlement. Machinery for making international Ganges without war is one of the indispensable Conditions of permanent peace. •—QUESTIONS OF NATIONALITY AND I TERRITORY. ■ As a preliminary to any re-arrangement ot t-e.r:l'ltorial boundaries, it ought to be made per- fectly clear that all claims based on conquest, imperialistic ambition or strategic eonsidera- tlons, such as a German demand for a revision of strategic frontiers in Belgium and elsewhere, aa Italian demand for non-Italian Dalmatia or Russian demand for Constantinople, are ruled ()ut on principle. There must be « complete ac- °€rjtance of a policy of no annexations." OUR SUGGESTIONS ARE:- I (a) BELGIUM.—The complete re-establishment sovereign independence and integrity and the economic restoration of Belgium must be absolutely secured. <FKANC.K.—The invaded districts of France be evacuated. ?. (c) SE?HIA, MONTE?EC)!0 AND ROUMAMA.—Ser- '?. Montenesro and Roumania must be eva- ??ated and their independence restored. A?) A),8ACE AND LOHRAIXE.-The disposition of p^ce, and Lorraine sh(uld be decided on the ?. ? ?ple of thenght of the population to conr ° °'wn destiny. The decision would nob Deimply the allocation of the whole of )otlt I F (' ?'?'?'? t?' cither France or Germany, ??\)t\ hcr should the policv of Automonv be ex- uded. ?? this, as in other cases where the views of a P?P?tion are subject to dispute, the question "Sht to be decided by a plebiscite or other- ] *6' lln^ erhe supervision,of an impartial In- 1 Ma.honal Commission and free from the int?r- fej.ence of occupying armies, ??') T'!B?T?? __? claims of Italy to Tren- tin (' or ??MT unredeemed districts oii,,?bt to r? by ?'? ?'?"e process. <f? ?'?'?""??'?? should be fr? and inde- &n I i f1, Populations of Austrian Poland  the Polish districts of Prussia should decide "'I'L,ther they wish to become part of Poland. \g) A?STRO-HuNGAMA? EMPIRE.—An unfortu- _tate expression was created bv the Allied Note ? resident Wilson of January TO that it is the fixed determination of the Allies to break up the Austro-Hungarian Empire into independent States. This intention ought to be explicitly repudiated by all the Allies, as it has been by the Russian democracy. But it must be made clear that freedom for the component popula- tions of that Empire can be obtained by self- government within that Empire, as it can be secured for the Finns in Russia and for the Irisil within the British Empire. (II) OTHEI: PROW.EMS.—There are very com- plicated problems such as Polish claims on Dant- zig, Bulgaria's claim on Macedonia, Roumanians claim on Transylvania, and the future status of Persia which obviously cannot be settled by any military decision, but which ought to be referred to an International Commission appointed with the co-operation and authority of the nations of Europe. (i) TURKEY.—Russian democracy has repu- diated the imperialistic policy of the Tsars to annex Constantinople. The way is therefore open for a proposal to neutralise, or inter- nationalise, the city and the Straits. It is against the interest of the world that the great trading waterways of the world should be in the hands of single Powers. The policy of international control over the Ottoman Empire should be maintained and ex- tended so as to provide full security for the Christian peoples and freedom of development for other races under the suzerainty of the Sultan. But no immediate settlement of the Turkish Empire could be regarded as final. The arrange- rterts would necessarily have to be revised from time to time by the tague of Nations. The maximum of freedom for the various nationali- ties and freedom of trade between all the parts, and equality of economic opportunity for the nationals of all European Powers should be the policy followed. (k) GERMAN COLONIES.—G reat Britain should repudiate definitely anv claim to annex German colonies by right of conquest. That, however. does not imply the return to the status .quo ante helium. As recently as )MMu, Oy tne uenerat Act or the Conference of Berlin, an assignment of sov- ?(?ic,ign rights in Africa was made by the Great Powers. A shifting of the political frontiers in existence before the war lias become inevitable. It may be that such territorial readjustments will involve political changes under which some part of the African territory hitherto admin- istered by Germany may be transferred. The principle of no annexations, however, re- quires a. frank recognition that in the interests of a lasting peace, Germany is not less entitled than other and develop, over-sea Dependencies. The great zone of Tropical Africa should be neutralised under an international guarantee, and absolute freedom of trade and enterprise established there. A less exclusive trade policy enforced through- out Africa by international arrangement would greatly facilitate the adjustment of national ter- ritorial claims Under a general arrangement of territories the Pacific Islands might be dealt, with as well I as Africa. II.—GUARANTEES. J (a) LEAGUE OF NATIONS.—The foundations of all future hopes of permanent peace lies in the establishment of a League of Nations. That will become a reality only in so far as all the peoples are led to see that such a League offers Oetter hope of national security than the old system of competitive armament. We cannot hope to de- stroy militarism so long as there is a chance of Governments being able to persuade their people that the only means of national security lies in preponderant military power. Our first task is to convince the masses of every country that in a. League of Nations they may find a means of defence which renders their old militarism un- necessary. Such a. League of Nations with a common un- dertaking to submit disputes to arbitration and to form an international Council or Parliament for dealing with international problems as they become critical has been proposed by President Wilson on behalf of the United States, and ac- cepted in principle by the British, French, Rus- sian, Austro-Hungarian and German Govern- ments. (b) THE OPEN Doop.-The second condition in- dispensable to permanent peace is to persuade the German and Austrian populations that their right to equal opportunity for economic expan- sion and for access to raw materials will be se- cure without their being obliged to fight for them. To secure this the nations should agree to reciprocal equality of commercial opportunity in all their dependencies. Upon the breaking down of commercial exclusiveness depends the goodwill of the future. The policy of economic warfare laid down by the Paris Conference should be repudiated as being opposed to inter- national peace. (c) OPEN DIPLOMACY.—The disappearance of secret diplomacy is essential to permanent peace. Secret treaties should be prohibited by international agreement, and should be regarded as void. All treaties should be sanctioned by the National Parliaments and subject to periodi- cal revision. (d) DISARMAMENT.-—The largest measure of agreement for the reduction of armaments on land and sea, should he obtained at the settle- ment. We suggest that while the remova l of the motive for arming among nations will prove to be the only real guarantee for an effective re- duction, a method might lie adopted by means of international inspection of armament estab- lishments, for controlling the execution of any agreement for immediate reduction which may be reached by the settlement. Nations should agree to abolish private enter- prise in the production of armaments (e) FREEDOM OF THE SEAS.—This question should be surveyed in the light of the infrac- tion of the rights of neutrals in time of war. and of the security of economic opportunity for all nations in time of peace. I III.—REPARATION. Belgium is entitled to special relief from Ger- ir any owing to the circumstances under which she was forced into the war. ¡ No indemnities should be demanded in the sense of payments to recover the expenses of the sc-,iise of pa,viiient?, to 'r,(, war, but there should be a common fund pro- vided by all the belligerent nations to assist the recovery of the parts of the world most seriously devastated by the war. An International Com- mission should decide the allocation of the com- mon fund. The Executive Committee of the Union of Democratic Control,- NORMAN ANGELL, CHARLES RODEN BUX- TON, J. A. HOBSON, F. W. JOWETT, M.P., F. W. PETHICK LAWRENCE, J. RHlSAY A! U'DONALD, M.P., E. D. MOREl" AwrHUH PONSONBY, M.P., PHILIP SNOWDEN. M.P., H. M. SWAN- WICK, CHARGES TREVELYN, M.P., I. CoOPER-WLLLFS.



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