l>Interpretation of president Wilson"s Fourteen Points

Interpretation of president Wilson"s Fourteen Points through ColonelHouse

At my inquiry Cobb and also Lippmann have actually compiled the following respecting her fourteenpoints. Ns shall be thankful to girlfriend if you will cable me whether it meets through your generalapproval. Here complies with memorandum:

1. Open covenants that peace, openly come at, ~ which over there shall be no privateinternational knowledge of any kind of kind, however diplomacy candlestick proceed constantly frankly andin the general public view.

The purpose is plainly to prohibit treaties, part of treaties or understandingsthat are secret, such together the , etc.

The expression "openly arrived at" need not cause difficulty. In fact, thePresident described to the Senate last winter the the phrase was not meant to excludeconfidential diplomatic negotiation involving delicate matters. The on purpose is thatnothing which occurs in the food of together confidential negotiations shall be bindingunless it appears in the final commitment made public come the world.

The matter may possibly be put this way: it is proposed that in future every treaty bepart that the public legislation of the world and that every nation assume a specific obligation inregard come its enforcement. Obviously, nations cannot assume responsibilities in problem ofwhich they are ignorant; and therefore any mystery treaty tends to threaten the solidityof the whole structure of global covenants which the is proposed to erect.

2. Absolute freedom of navigating upon the seas, outside territorial waters, alikein peace and also in war, except as the seas might be closed in entirety or in component by internationalaction for the enforcement of worldwide covenants.

This proposition should be check out in link with number 14 i beg your pardon proposes a league ofnations. The refers to navigating under the three adhering to conditions: (1) general peace;(2) a basic war, gone into into through the league of nations for the objective of enforcinginternational covenants; (3) restricted war, including no breach of international covenants.

Under "(1) basic peace," no serious problem exists. There is impliedfreedom to come and also go .

No serious problem exists as to the intention under "(2) a basic war enteredinto by the organization of nations to enforce international covenants." Obviously such awar is conducted versus an outlaw nation and finish nonintercourse v that nation isintended.

"(3) A limited war, including no breach of global covenants" is thecrux that the totality difficulty. The inquiry is, what room to it is in the rights of neutralshipping and also private residential or commercial property on the high seas throughout a war in between a limited number ofnations when that war requires no worry upon i beg your pardon the league of nations cares come takesides; in various other words, a battle in i m sorry the league of countries remains neutral. Clearly, itis the intention of the proposal that in together a battle the civil liberties of neutrals candlestick bemaintained against the belligerents, the civil liberties of both come be clearly and preciselydefined in the regulation of nations.

3. The removal, so much as possible, that all financial barriers and also the establishmentof one equality of profession conditions amongst all the nations consenting come the tranquility andassociating themselves because that its maintenance.

The proposal uses only come those nations which expropriate the obligations ofmembership in the organization of Nations. It means the destruction of all special commercialagreements, each placing the trade of every other nation in the league on the exact same basis,the most-favored-nation clause using automatically to all members of the league ofNations. For this reason a country could legally preserve a tariff or a unique railroad price or aport restriction versus the whole world, or against all the signatory powers. The couldmaintain any type of kind of restriction which that chose against a country not in the League. Yet itcould not discriminate as between its partner in the League.

This clause naturally contemplates fair and equitable understanding as to thedistribution of raw materials.

4. Adequate guarantees given and also taken that national armaments will be lessened tothe lowest points constant with domestic safety.

"Domestic safety" plainly implies no only interior policing, but theprotection the territory against invasion. The buildup of armaments over this levelwould it is in a violation that the intention of the proposal.

What guarantees need to be given and taken, or what are to be the requirements of judgmenthave never been determined. It will certainly be vital to embrace the general principle and also theninstitute some sort to prepare detailedprojects for its execution.

5. A free, open-minded and absolutely impartial convey of all early american claimsbased upon a strict observance the the principle that in determining every such inquiries ofsovereignty, the understand of the populations pertained to must have equal weight v theequitable cases of the federal government whose title is to it is in determined.

Some fear is express in France that this requires reopening of allcolonial questions. Obviously that is no so intended. It applies clearly colonial claims which have actually been produced by the war. That way the German colonies and anyother nests which may come under international consideration as a result of the war.

The stipulation is that in the case of the German nests the title is come bedetermined after ~ the conclusion of the battle by "impartial adjustment"based on specific principles. These space of two kinds: (1) "equitable" claims; (2)the understanding of the populations concerned.

What room the "equitable" cases put forth by great Britain and also Japan, the twochief heirs the the German colonial empire, that the colonies cannot be went back toGermany? due to the fact that she will use them together submarine bases, because she will arm the blacks,because she provides the colonies as bases that intrigue, since she oppresses the natives.What room the "equitable" insurance claims put soon by Germany? the she needs access totropical life material, the she needs a ar for the growth of her population, thatunder the principles of the tranquility proposed, occupation gives her opponents no title to hercolonies.

What room the "interests the the populations?" that they must not bemilitarized, the exploitation have to be carried out on the rule of the "opendoor," and also under the strictest regulation as to labor conditions, profits, and also taxes,that a sanitary regimen be maintained, that permanent enhancements in the means of roads,etc., it is in made, that indigenous organization and also custom be respected, that the protectingauthority it is in stable and also experienced enough to thwart intrigue and also corruption, that the power have actually adequate resources in money and also competent administrators come actsuccessfully.

It would seem as if the principle connected in this proposition is that a early american poweracts no as owner that its colonies but as trustee for the natives and also for the understanding ofthe culture of nations, the the terms on i beg your pardon the colonial management is conductedare a matter of worldwide concern and also may legitimately be the topic of internationalinquiry, and also that the peace conference may, therefore, create a password of colonial conductbinding upon colonial powers.

6. The evacuation of all Russian territory and such a negotiation of every questionsaffecting Russia as will certainly secure the best and freest participation of the other countries ofthe world in obtaining for she an unhampered and also unembarrassed opportunity for theindependent determination of her own political development and nationwide policy and assureher that a thank you welcome into the society of free nations under institutions of her ownchoosing; and, an ext than a welcome, assistance likewise of every type that she might need andmay herself desire. The treatment accorded Russia by her sister nations in the months tocome will certainly be the acid test of your goodwill, of their understanding of her needs asdistinguished native their very own interests, and also of your intelligent and unselfish sympathy.

The an initial question is whether Russian are is identified with territory belongingto the former Russian Empire. This is plainly not so since proposition 13 stipulates anindependent Poland, a proposal which excludes the territorial reestablishment the theEmpire. What is recognized as valid because that the Poles will certainly have to be recognized forthe Finns, the Lithuanians, the Letts, and perhaps additionally for the Ukrainians. Due to the fact that theformulating of this condition, these topic nationalities have actually emerged, and there have the right to beno doubt that they will need to be granted an opportunity of totally free development.

The problem of these nationalities is facility by two facts: (1) the they haveconflicting claims; (2) the the evacuation referred to as for in the proposal may be complied with byBolshevist revolutions in every one of them.

The chief problems are: (a) in between the Letts and also Germans in Courland; (b) between thePoles and the Lithuanians ~ above the northeast; (c) between the Poles and also the White Ruthenianson the east; (d) in between the Poles and also the Ukrainians on the south-east (and in easternGalicia).

In this totality borderland the connections of the German Poles to the othernationalities is about speaking the of landlord come peasant. Therefore the evacuating ofthe territory, if it resulted in course war, would very probably likewise take the kind of aconflict that nationalities. The is clearly to the interests of a an excellent settlement the thereal country in each territory need to be consulted rather than the ruling and possessingclass.

This deserve to mean nothing much less than the by the tranquility conference the a seriesof federal governments representing Finns, Esths, Lithuanians, Ukrainians. Thisprimary the recognition have to be conditional top top the call of national assembliesfor the production of de facto federal governments as shortly as the peace conference has actually drawnfrontiers for these brand-new states. The frontiers need to be attracted so far as possible on ethniclines, but in situation the appropriate of unhampered financial should be reserved.No dynastic ties v German Austrian or Romanov princes should be permitted, andevery inducement should be come encourage commonwealth in between these newstates. Under proposition 3 the economic sections the the contract of Brest-Litovsk areobliterated, yet this proposition need to not be understood as forbidding a custom-mades union, amonetary union, a railroad union, etc., of this states. Provision should additionally be made bywhich good Russia deserve to federate through these states on the exact same terms.

As for an excellent Russia and also Siberia, the tranquility conference might well send a article askingfor the production of a federal government sufficiently come speak because that theseterritories. It must be interpreted that economic rehabilitation is offered listed agovernment carrying sufficient credentials can show up at the peace conference.

The Allies should offer this provisional federal government any type of aid it may need.The opportunity of extending this will certainly exist as soon as the Dardanelles room opened.

The essence of the Russian problem then in the instant future would certainly seem to be: (1)the recognition of provisional governments; (2) assistance expanded to and also through thesegovernments.

The Caucasus should most likely be treated as part of the trouble of the Turkish Empire.No information exists justifying one opinion ~ above the suitable policy in regard to MohammedanRussia--that is, briefly, main Asia. It might well be that part power will have to begiven a restricted mandate to act as protector.

In any kind of case the treaties of Brest-Litovsk and Bucharest should be canceled together palpablyfraudulent. Provision need to be produced the withdrawal of every German troops in Russia andthe tranquility conference have actually a clean slate on i beg your pardon to create a policy for all theRussian peoples.

7. Belgium, the whole human being will agree, must be evacuated and revitalized without anyattempt to limit the sovereignty which she enjoys in typical with every other complimentary nations.No other solitary act will certainly serve as this will serve to gain back confidence among the nationsin the regulations which they have themselves set and identified for the federal government of theirrelations through one another. Without this healing act the entirety structure and validity ofinternational law is forever impaired.

The only difficulty raised right here is in words "restored." even if it is restorationis to be in sort or how the lot of the indemnity is come be determined is a matter ofdetail, no of principle. The principle that must be established is that in the case ofBelgium over there exists no difference between "legitimate" and"illegitimate" destruction. The initial act of intrusion was illegitimate andtherefore all the results of that act are of the exact same character. Amongst theconsequences might be placed the war debt of Belgium. The acknowledgment of this rule wouldconstitute "the healing act" of i beg your pardon the president speaks.

8. Every French territory should be freed and the invaded portions restored, and thewrong done to France through Prussia in 1871 in the matter of Alsace-Lorraine, which hasunsettled the tranquility of the human being for practically fifty years, should be righted in bespeak thatpeace may once an ext be make secure in the attention of all.

In regard to the reconstruction of French are it might well be said that theinvasion of northern France, gift the result of the illegal act together regards Belgium, wasin chin illegal. However the situation is no perfect. As the people stood in 1914, war betweenFrance and also Germany was not in chin a violation of global law, and also greatinsistence should be put upon maintaining the Belgian instance distinct and also symbolic. For this reason Belgiummight well, as indicated above, case reimbursement, not only for destruction yet for thecost of transporting on the war. France can not case payment, it would seem, for more thanthe damage done to her northeastern departments.

The standing of Alsace-Lorraine was settled by the main statement issued a couple of daysago. It is to be restored fully to French sovereignty.

Attention is called to the solid current that French opinion which cases "theboundaries that 1914 <1814>" quite than that 1871. The territory asserted is the valleyof the Saar with its coalfields. No claim on grounds of nationality have the right to be established,but the dispute leans on the possibility of acquisition this are in lieu that indemnity;it would certainly seem to be a clean violation the the President"s proposal.

Attention is called also to the reality that no referral is do to status of Luxembourg.The finest solution would seem to it is in a cost-free choice by the Luxembourg themselves.

9. A readjustment the the frontiers of Italy should be effected follow me clearlyrecognizable currently of nationality.

This proposal is much less than the Italian claim; less, that course, 보다 the territoryallotted by the treaty of London; much less than the arrangement made in between the Italiangovernment and also the Yugoslav state.

In the an ar of Trent the Italians case a strategic rather than country frontier. Itshould be noted in this connection that and Germany will become neighbors ifGerman Austria joins the German Empire. And also if Italy obtains the best geographicalfrontier she will assume sovereignty over a big number of Germans. This is a violationof principle. However it may be said that by drawing a sharp line follow me the stakes of theAlps, Italy"s protection will be enormously intensified and the requirement of heavy armamentsreduced. It might, therefore, be provided that Italy should have actually her claim in theTrentino, however that the north part, populated by Germans, have to be completelyautonomous and that the population should not be responsible to military company in the ItalianArmy. Italy can thus accounting the uninhabited Alpine peaks for military purposes, butwould no govern the social life of the alien population to the southern of she frontier.

The other problems of the frontier are questions in between Italy and Yugoslavia, Italyand the Balkans, Italy and also Greece.

The covenant reached with Yugoslavs may well be allowed to stand, although it shouldbe insisted because that the hinterland the both Trieste and Fiume be freeports. This is to Bohemia, German Austria, Hungary, and also to prosperityof the cities themselves.

Italy appears in Balkan national politics through her claim to a protectorate over Albania andthe possession that Valona. Over there is no significant objection elevated to this terms that the protectorate must be intensely controlled. If Italy is protector ofAlbania life the Albania should be guaranteed by the league of Nations.

A problem with Greece appears through the Greek insurance claim to northern Epirus, or what isnow southerly Albania. This would bring Greece closer to Valona 보다 Italy desires. Asecond problem with greek occurs over the Aegean islands of the Dodecanese, however it isunderstood that a equipment favorable to greek is being functioned out.

Italy"s claims in Turkey belong come the problem of the Turkish Empire.

10. The people of Austria-Hungary, whose place among the countries we great to seesafeguarded and assured, must be accorded the freest chance of autonomousdevelopment.

This proposition no longer holds. Instead we have the adhering to elements:

(1) Czechoslovakia. That territories include at least a million Germans because that whomsome provision should be made.

The self-reliance of Slovakia means the dismemberment of the northwestern countries ofHungary.

(2) Galicia. Western Galicia is clearly Polish. East Galicia is in largemeasure Ukrainian (or Ruthenian) and also does not of ideal belong to Poland.

There likewise are several hundred thousand Ukrainians follow me the north and also northeasternborders of Hungary and in parts of Bukovina (which belonged to Austria).

(3) German Austria. This territory must of appropriate be permitted to join Germany,but there is solid objection in due to the fact that of the increase of involved.

(4) Yugoslavia. It deals with the complying with problems: frontier questions with Italy in Istria and the Dalmatian coast; v Rumania in the Banat; one international problem arises out of the refusal of the Croats to expropriate the supremacy of the Serbs of the Serbian Kingdom; a trouble of the Mohammedan Serbs of Bosnia who are claimed to be loyal to the Hapsburgs. Castle constitute a little less than one-third that the population. (5) Transylvania. Will without doubt join Rumania, however provision should be made forthe defense of the Magyars, Szeklers, and Germans who constitute a big minority.

(6) Hungary. Now independent and very democratic in form, but governed byMagyars whose aim is to protect against the offhanded of territory of nationalities top top thefringe.

The United states is plainly committed come the regime of nationwide unity andindependence. It need to stipulate, however, for the defense of national minorities, forfreedom of access to the Adriatic and the black color Sea, and it supports a regime aiming in ~ aconfederation of southeastern Europe.

11. Rumania, , and Montenegro must be evacuated; inhabited territoriesrestored; Serbia accorded totally free and secure access to the sea; and the relationships of theseveral Balkan states to one one more determined by trusted counsel along historicallyestablished present of allegiance and nationality; and international assures of thepolitical and also economic independence and territorial verity of the several Balkan statesshould be entered into.

This proposal is additionally altered by events. Serbia will show up as Yugoslavia through accessto the Adriatic. Rumania will certainly have obtained the Dobrudja, Bessarabia, and also probablyTransylvania. This two says will have actually 11 or 12 million inhabitants and also will it is in fargreater and also stronger than Bulgaria.

Bulgaria should plainly have her frontier in the southern Dobrudja together it stand beforethe 2nd Balkan War. She should also have Thrace approximately the Enos-Midia line and perhapseven come the Midia-Rodosto line.

Macedonia should be allotted after ~ an impartial investigation. The heat which can betaken together a basis of examination is the southern line that the "contested zone"agreed ~ above by Serbia and also Bulgaria before the very first Balkan War.

Albania could be under a protectorate, no doubt that Italy, and its frontiers in thenorth can be essentially those the the London conference.

12. The Turkish sections of the present Ottoman empire should be assured a securesovereignty, however the various other nationalities which are currently under Turkish rule should beassured an undoubted protection of life and an absolutely unmolested possibility ofautonomous development; and the Dardanelles should be permanently opened as a totally free passageto the ships and commerce of all countries under global guarantees.

The same challenge arises right here as in the instance of Austria-Hungary worrying the word"autonomous."

It is clear that the Straits and Constantinople, while they may remain nominallyTurkish, must be under global control. This control may be collective or it is in inthe hands of one power as obligated of the League.

Anatolia should be scheduled for the Turks. The coastlands, where Greeks predominate,should it is in under special worldwide control, perhaps with Greece as mandatory.

Armenia must be a port on the Mediterranean, and a protecting powerestablished. France may case it, yet the Armenians would prefer good Britain.

Syria has currently been allotted to France by covenant with great Britain.

Great britain is plainly the ideal mandatory because that Palestine, Mesopotamia, and Arabia.

A basic code of assures binding upon all mandataries in Asia Minor must bewritten right into the contract of Peace.

This have to contain provisions because that minorities and the "open door." The trunkrailroad lines should be internationalized.

13. An independent polish state need to be erected which should encompass theterritories inhabited by indisputably polishing populations, which have to be assured a freeand secure accessibility to the sea, and whose political and also economic independence andterritorial integrity should be guaranteed by worldwide covenants.

The chief difficulty is whether Poland is to acquire territory west the the Vistula, whichwould cut off the Germans of eastern Prussia indigenous the empire, or whether Danzig have the right to be do afree port and the Vistula internationalized.

On the east, Poland have to receive no region in which Lithuanians or Ukrainianspredominate.

If Posen and also Silesia walk to Poland, strict protection should be afforded the decimal ofGermans and Jews life there, and also in various other parts of the polish state.

The rule on i m sorry frontiers will be is had in the President"sword "indisputably." This may indicate the acquisition of one impartial census beforefrontiers are marked.

14. A basic association the nations have to be created under particular covenants because that thepurpose of affording common guarantees of politics independence and territorial integrityto an excellent and little alike.

The rule of a league of nations as the primary essential of a permanent tranquility hasbeen so clearly presented by chairman Wilson in his speech of Sept. 27, 1918, that nofurther elucidation is required.


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The is the foundation of the totality diplomatic structure ofa long-term peace.