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THE RUSSIAN AND GERMAN PEACE DRIVES

AFTER procuring an armistice

which was to continue automatically while peace negotiations with the Central Powers lasted, the Russian delegation put up the radical peace program originally formulated as instructions to a Russian delegate to the Paris Conference of the Allies. This program of fifteen planks was reported in THE WORLD COURT MAGAZINE last month. But we repeat here a London news version, December 31, of these remarkably plain spoken Bolshevist proposals:

Evacuation of all Russian territory occupied by Germany, and autonomy for Poland and the Lithuanian and Lettish provinces.-Autonomy for Turkish Armenia.— Settlement of the question of Alsace-Lorraine by plebiscite, with a guarantee of perfect freedom of vote.-Restoration of Belgium and indemnity for damages to be provided by an international financial fund. -Restoration of Serbia and Montenegro with indemnity for damages to be taken out of a similar international fund. Serbia, moreover, to have access to the Adriatic; Bosnia and Herzegovina to have complete autonomy.-Other contested territory in the Balkans to enjoy temporary autonomy until a plebiscite is taken.-Roumania to recover all territory within her previous frontiers, after promising to grant autonomy to the Dobrudja, and to give effect to Article III of the Berlin Convention concerning the equality of the rights of Jews.-Autonomy for the regions of Trent and Trieste, inhabited by Italian populations, until a plebiscite is taken.-Germany to receive back her colonies.-Restoration of Persia and Greece. Neutralization of all maritime straits leading to inland seas, including the Canals of Suez and Panama; freedom of commercial navigation, the cancelling of all charters during war time of enemy ships, and the torpedoing of commercial ships on the high seas to be forbidden by international agreement.-All belligerents to renounce war indemnities under any form or disguise whatsoever, and all contributions exacted since the beginning of the war to be refunded.All belligerents to renounce definitely any

commercial boycott after the war, or the institution of special customs agreements.Peace conditions to be settled by a peace congress composed of delegates chosen by national, representative bodies; diplomatists to bind themselves to sign no secret treaties, which are to be declared, by their very nature, null and void.-Gradual disarmament on land and sea, and the reestablishment of militia to replace standing armies.

When the oft-postponed Paris Conference was finally held, action was limited to Inter-Allied war measures, and the Russian revolutionary scheme for a "general democratic peace" fell outside the lines. At the Brest-Litovsk armistice-conference, however, the Russian delegation proffered their scheme to the Central Powers by way of explaining what they meant by demands for peace, partly summarized, in principle, like this:

1. No compulsory annexation of territory taken during the war and speedy evacuation of such territory.

2. That political independence shall be restored to all nations deprived of independence by the fortunes of war.

3. That national groups not independent before the war shall decide by a referendum whether they shall become independent or give their allegiance to some power.

4. Where mixed nationalities occupy any territory the rights of the minority shall be defended by a separate law assuring educational freedom and administrative autonomy, if possible.

5. No belligerent country shall be required to pay contributions, and private persons shall be compensated for losses incurred through the war from a special fund contributed by all the belligerents on a proportional basis.

6. The same principles shall be applicable to colonies as to the parent countries. 7. No economic war after the war.

Reduced to its briefest form the Russian formula is "no annexations, no indemnities," and the right of all

peoples to national "self-determination." The fuller statements quoted above show the startling extent to which the Russian Bolshevist regime is willing to apply its formula in national and international relations. To stop fighting and take such propositions direct to the enemy arch-Imperialists as a basis for peace is very, very Russian!

At Brest-Litovsk the inexperienced Russian delegation was confronted by well-known diplomats of the old school, Dr. Kühlmann, Germany's Foreign Minister, presiding. Fortunately, however, there can now be no backstairs deal with a Czar; whatever develops in conference is sure to be naively blurted out to the world by the revolutionists.

Count Czernin, Austria's Foreign Minister, declared for the Central Powers their agreement "immediately to conclude a general peace without forcible annexations and indemnities." They thought that "the basic principles of the Russian delegation can be made the basis of such a peace." "For the sake of conquest they will not prolong the war a single day." But-the Russian proposals could only be realized if all the powers "obligate themselves scrupulously to adhere to the terms.” But-also-political independence of nationalities cannot be solved internationally; that and the rights of minorities are constitutional matters of self-determination. But-againto realize the principle of self-determination in German colonial

territories is at present "practically impossible."

Another press report gave Germany's separate peace terms offered to Russia alone. Renewal of beforethe-war treaties and reorganized economic relations were proposed. But German evacuation of occupied territory was hedged about, and in the case of portions of the Baltic provinces it was held that the people had already expressed their will to separate from Russia! Trotzky, the Bolshevist Foreign Minister, promptly denounced "Germany's hypocritical peace proposal" wholly at Russia's expense, and Russian threats to fight again and appeal to the German masses over the heads of the Imperialists were heard.

It is easy to say that the Bolsheviki have led Russia into a German trap and ask whether Russia has not now learned her lesson. Yet, the German Chancellor, von Hertling, bewails the publicity which the Brest-Litovsk negotiations receive, and the German press is compelled to discuss what the trouble is with the desperate German peace drive. For good or ill, too, the Russian peace drive draws out re-statements of war aims by Entente statesmen, disclaiming imperialistic purposes in former secret treaties with the deposed Czar. deposed Czar. At the moment separate peace seems as far away as general peace, through old style diplomacy. But peace negotiations have begun and must continue in the open.

TH

Court League

By CHARLES LATHROP PACK President of The World's Court League

HE question before the world is not merely who is to win the great war, but is our civilization to be utterly destroyed? The Germans are great in their efficiency but this efficiency has gone mad. For thousands of years God's indictment of Cain as a murderer has been remembered and righteous men have execrated that crime. The severest penalties known to law have always been inflicted upon those who deliberthose who deliberately with clear intent have taken human life. Now, in the twentieth century, after two thousand years of slow but sure progress toward the Christian ideal, in a moment, as it were, we have seen this nation, great in its efficiency, for no good reason, set in motion the most gigantic enginery of death the human mind could conceive and go forth to kill, to maim, to outrage, to torture and to rob the citizens of neighboring peace-loving nations. It is as though the demons of Hell, after ages of waiting and restraint, had in countless numbers broken loose from their confines and were bent on turning this fair earth into a slaughter pen sparing only those who are willing to accept the most abject slavery to Satan. Efficiency, yes. Nothing just like it has ever been seen or heard of. The German officers and soldiers object to being called Huns but the

record of their cruelty and vileness in Belgium, in France, in Mesopotamia, in Syria, in prison camps and on the sea makes the Huns seem like respectable adventurers and pioneers.

The tocsin has sounded the world's doom. That the danger is great is seen in the fact that twenty nations have united to overpower and destroy this raging host of destroyers. In spirit and in faith the whole world is enlisted in the contest. That the United States has thrown all her wealth, all her energy and all her manhood into the struggle goes to show what a nation dedicated to peace will do when freedom and justice are at stake. There is no hope for liberty or justice except in victory. That victory may be far off but it will surely come when our National sacrifices are sufficient. So sure are we that the forces of truth and righteousness will win that we properly begin to think of the new day that is coming, of the rescue of civilization and the reconstruction of prostrate peoples.

The World's Court League believes that justice is to have a new meaning after the war and that a court of nations will be the crowning feature of a new international order. All good Americans need to feel this hope and expectation; the young men on the battle front need to feel

it. In urging this view the League holds strategic ground. It proposes nothing impossible or visionary. It follows the greatest precedent of history. At the same time it is ready to indorse any plan that is large enough and comprehensive enough to meet all exigencies.

Militarism in its Germanic form must be destroyed. So says President Wilson and so say many voices from across the sea. An established World Court naturally will include the machinery for arbitration already organized and will provide the most effective means possible for mediating and settling difficulties which cannot properly be taken before the court. We hear very strong demands from those high in authority in this and other countries, that after this crucial struggle the armaments of the world be greatly reduced and in some way be placed under international control so that the world may be policed, disorders prevented and recalcitrant and powerful nations be restrained. Here we see a great possibility and one which is worth our most careful study and consideration. Surely the appropriate fruits of a victorious war would be such a change of mind and heart and will throughout the world as will make future wars unnecessary and impossible. Even Germany, when defeated from without and brought to the lowest depths of domestic sorrow and suffering, will be glad to treat for peace upon that basis and unite with

other nations in preserving civilization from further assaults. No one, who is just and humane, can forget the thousands of helpless people of the warring countries who in their distress are praying for the dawn of peace. No good citizen of the world will wish to see the war prolonged for a moment after the goal is reached, but the end is not yet and the war is more than ever our job. Germany proposes the economic destruction of all countries. Only our wisdom, self-restraint and the best industry of all our people can thwart her purpose. There must be no wavering. In the name of God and humanity civilization must be rescued. The things that are true and just and of good report must be established throughout the world.

The redrawing of boundaries is of far less moment to the world as a whole than the enthronement of justice and the closing forever of the temple of Janus. A League of Nations is sure to come but it will fail unless substantially all the world is included. One alliance pitted against another will mean another war and it will be more terrible and more destructive than this one. There is no hope for the World Court and World Justice until autocracy and militarism are swept away by the ongoing tide of victorious war, and the defeated nations are converted to truth and honor and yield their obnoxious military tradition to the demands of world opinion.

of Nations

Here we continue the publication of answers by a number of well-known persons to the following timely questions:

(a) How far does the alinement of nations in this war provide a fitting basis for a League of Nations to improve or control international relations after the war?

(b) What do you think is the least amount of improved international machinery public opinion among the fighting nations will support and adopt at the close of the war?

CORRECTION

In the first article contributed to this symposium last month by Charles Noble Gregory the last paragraph contained an unfortunate typographical error which completely changed

the sense of what the writer said. The last sentence as printed read, "that shining fact gives no hope even now." The paragraph should have read as follows: "The one portion of 'international machinery' which has survived in marvelous efficiency even this awful war is the charitable and eleemosynary. That shining fact gives us hope even now."

A BASIS FOR BEGINNING
Dr. Francis E. Clark, President United
Society of Christian Endeavor, Boston,
Member National Advisory Board of The
World's Court League.

In answer to your question, I would say that I think the nations allied in this war against the Central Powers provide a basis for the beginning of a League of Nations to improve international relations after the war. Of course we should all hope that not only all the countries that

are now neutral, but the Central European countries, would in time join this League; only thus could it be made ideally effective.

As to the "least amount of im

proved international machinery which
public opinion among the fighting
nations will support and adopt at
the close of the war," I would say
that it seems to me that in the end,
to secure permanent peace, the four
great principles for which The World
Court League stands, must necessar-
ily be established, and I see no reason
why the nations that are at war, if
they really mean to keep the peace in
the future, after this war is over, and
so do away with the horrors of an-
other and greater war, cannot adopt
this platform practically as it stands.

THREAT OF A WAR-LEAGUE
Dr. Junius B. Remensnyder, President of
the General Synod of the Evangelical
Lutheran Church of the United States,
New York, Member National Advisory
Board of The World's Court League.

It is very difficult to forecast the future action of the warring nations at present. When steps are taken toward peace, and the great powers

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