8. All French territory should be freed and the invaded portions restored, and the wrong done to France by Prussia in 1871 in the matter of Alsace-Lorraine, which has unsettled the peace of the world for nearly fifty years, should be righted in order that peace may once more be made secure in the interest of all.
In regard to the restoration of French territory it might well be argued that the invasion of northern France, being the result of the illegal act as regards Belgium, was in itself illegal. But the case is not perfect. As the world stood in 1914, war between France and Germany was not in itself a violation of international law, and great insistence should be put upon keeping the Belgian case distinct and symbolic. Thus Belgium might well, as indicated above, claim reimbursement, not only for destruction but for the cost of carrying on the war. France could not claim payment, it would seem, for more than the damage done to her north-eastern departments. The status of Alsace-Lorraine was settled by the official statement issued a few days ago. It is to be restored completely to French sovereignty.
Attention is called to the strong current of French opinion which claims ‘the boundaries of 1914 ’ rather than of 1871. The territory claimed is the valley of the Saar with its coalfields. No claim on grounds of nationality can be established, but the argument leans on the possibility of taking this territory in lieu of indemnity; it would seem to be a clear violation of the President’s proposal. Attention is called also to the fact that no reference is made to status of Luxembourg. The best solution would seem to be a free choice by the [people of] Luxembourg themselves.
9. A readjustment of the frontiers of Italy should be effected along clearly recognizable lines of nationality.
This proposal is less than the Italian claim; less, of course, than the territory allotted by the treaty of London; less than the arrangement made between the Italian government and the Yugoslav state.
In the region of Trent the Italians claim a strategic rather than ethnic frontier. It should be noted in this connection that [Italy] and Germany will become neighbours if German Austria joins the German Empire. And if Italy obtains the best geographical frontier she will assume sovereignty over a large number of Germans. This is a violation of principle. But it may be argued that by drawing a sharp line along the crest of the Alps, Italy’s security will be enormously enhanced and the necessity of heavy armaments reduced. It might, therefore, be provided that Italy should have her claim in the Trentino, but that the northern part, inhabited by Germans, should be completely autonomous and that the population should not be liable to military service in the Italian Army. Italy could thus occupy the uninhabited Alpine peaks for military purposes, but would not govern the cultural life of the alien population to the south of her frontier.
The other problems of the frontier are questions between Italy and Yugoslavia, Italy and the Balkans, Italy and Greece. The agreement reached with Yugoslavs may well be allowed to stand, although it should be insisted for [the protection of] the hinterland that both Trieste and Fiume be free ports. This is [essential] to Bohemia, German Austria, Hungary, as well as to prosperity of the cities themselves.
Italy appears in Balkan politics through her claim to a protectorate over Albania and the possession of Valona. There is no serious objection raised to this [although the] terms of the protectorate need to be vigorously controlled. If Italy is protector of Albania [the local] life of Albania should be guaranteed by the League of Nations.
A conflict with Greece appears through the Greek claim to northern Epirus, or what is now southern Albania. This would bring Greece closer to Valona than Italy desires. A second conflict with Greece occurs over the Aegean Islands of the Dodecanese, but it is understood that a solution favourable to Greece is being worked out.
Italy’s claims in Turkey belong to the problem of the Turkish Empire.
10. The people of Austria-Hungary, whose place among the nations we wish to see safeguarded and assured, should be accorded the freest opportunity of autonomous development.
This proposition no longer holds. Instead we have [today] the following elements:
(1) Czechoslovakia. Its territories include at least a million Germans for whom some provision must be made. The independence of Slovakia means the dismemberment of the north-western countries of Hungary.
(2) Galicia. Western Galicia is clearly Polish. Eastern Galicia is in large measure Ukrainian (or Ruthenian) and does not of right belong to Poland. There also are several hundred thousand Ukrainians along the north and north-eastern borders of Hungary and in parts of Bukovina (which belonged to Austria).
(3) German Austria. This territory should of right be permitted to join Germany, but there is strong objection in [France] because of the increase of [population] involved.
(4) Yugoslavia. It faces the following problems:
1. frontier questions with Italy in Istria and the Dalmatian coast; with Rumania in the Banat;
2. an international problem arises out of the refusal of the Croats to accept the domination of the Serbs of the Serbian Kingdom;
3. a problem of the Mohammedan Serbs of Bosnia who are said to be loyal to the Hapsburgs. They constitute a little less than one-third of the population.
(5) Transylvania. Will undoubtedly join Rumania, but provision must be made for the protection of the Magyars, Szeklers, and Germans who constitute a large minority.
(6) Hungary. Now independent and very democratic in form, but governed by Magyars whose aim is to prevent the detachment of territory of nationalities on the fringe.
The United States is clearly committed to the program of national unity and independence. It must stipulate, however, for the protection of national minorities, for freedom of access to the Adriatic and the Black Sea, and it supports a program aiming at a confederation of south-eastern Europe.
11. Rumania, [Serbia], and Montenegro should be evacuated; occupied territories restored; Serbia accorded free and secure access to the sea; and the relations of the several Balkan states to one another determined by friendly counsel along historically established lines of allegiance and nationality; and international guarantees of the political and economic independence and territorial integrity of the several Balkan states should be entered into.
This proposal is also altered by events. Serbia will appear as Yugoslavia with access to the Adriatic. Rumania will have acquired the Dobrudja, Bessarabia, and probably Transylvania. These two states will have 11 or 12 million inhabitants and will be far greater and stronger than Bulgaria.
Bulgaria should clearly have her frontier in the southern Dobrudja as it stood before the second Balkan War. She should also have Thrace up to the Enos-Midia line and perhaps even to the Midia-Rodosto line.
Macedonia should be allotted after an impartial investigation. The line which might be taken as a basis of investigation is the southern line of the ‘contested zone’ agreed upon by Serbia and Bulgaria before the first Balkan War.
Albania could be under a protectorate, no doubt of Italy, and its frontiers in the north might be essentially those of the London conference.
12. The Turkish portions of the present Ottoman Empire should be assured a secure sovereignty, but the other nationalities which are now under Turkish rule should be assured an undoubted security of life and an absolutely unmolested opportunity of autonomous development; and the Dardanelles should be permanently opened as a free passage to the ships and commerce of all nations under international guarantees. The same difficulty arises here as in the case of Austria-Hungary concerning the word ‘autonomous.’
It is clear that the Straits and Constantinople, while they may remain nominally Turkish, should be under international control. This control may be collective or be in the hands of one power as mandatory of the League.
Anatolia should be reserved for the Turks. The coastlands, where Greeks predominate, should be under special international control, perhaps with Greece as mandatory.
Armenia must be [given] a port on the Mediterranean, and a protecting power established. France may claim it, but the Armenians would prefer Great Britain.
Syria has already been allotted to France by agreement with Great Britain.
Great Britain is clearly the best mandatory for Palestine, Mesopotamia, and Arabia. A general code of guarantees binding upon all mandataries in Asia Minor should be written into the Treaty of Peace. This should contain provisions for minorities and the ‘open door.’ The trunk railroad lines should be internationalized.
13. An independent Polish state should be erected which should include the territories inhabited by indisputably Polish populations, which should be assured a free and secure access to the sea, and whose political and economic independence and territorial integrity should be guaranteed by international covenants. The chief problem is whether Poland is to obtain territory west of the Vistula, which would cut off the Germans of East Prussia from the empire, or whether Danzig can be made a free port and the Vistula internationalized. On the east, Poland should receive no territory in which Lithuanians or Ukrainians predominate. If Posen and Silesia go to Poland, rigid protection must be afforded the minorities of Germans and Jews living there, as well as in other parts of the Polish state. The principle on which frontiers will be [delimited] is contained in the President’s word ‘indisputably.’ This may imply the taking of an impartial census before frontiers are marked.
14. A general association of nations must be formed under specific covenants for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small [states] alike.
The principle of a league of nations as the primary essential of a permanent peace has been so clearly presented by President Wilson in his speech of Sept. 27, 1918, that no further elucidation is required. It is the foundation of the whole diplomatic structure of a permanent peace.