Gentlemen of the Congress:
Once more, as repeatedly
before, the spokesmen of the Central Empires have indicated their desire
to discoss the obJects of the `var and the possible basis of a general
2. Absolute freedom of navigation upon the seas, outside territorial waters, alike in peace and in war, except as the seas may be closed in whole or in part by international action for the enforcement of international covenants. ,
3. The removal, so far as possible, of all economic barriers and the establishment of an equality of trade conditions among all the nations consenting to the peace and associating themselves for its maintenance.
4. Adequate guarantees given and taken that national armaments ill be redoced to the lowest points consistent with domestic safety.
5. A free, open-minded, absolutely impartial adJustment of all colonial claims, based upon a strict observance of the principle that in determining all such questions of sovereignty the interests of the populations concerned must have equal weight with the equitable claims of the goverument whose title is to be determined.
6. The evacuation of all Russinn territory and suth a settlement of all questions affecting Russia as will secure the best and freest cooperation of the other nations of the world in oblaining for her an unhampered and upembarrassed opportunity for the independent determination of her own political development and national policy and assure her of a sincere welcome inlo the society of free nations under institutions of her own choosing; and, more than a welcome, assistance also of every kind that she may need and may herself desire. The treatment accorded Russia by her sister nations in the months to come will be the acid test of their good will, of their comprehension of her needs as distinguished from their own interests, and of their intelligent and unselfish sympathy.
7. Belgium, the whole world will agree, must be evcuated and restored, without any attempt to limit the sovereiguty which she eJoys in comwon with a11 other free nations. No other sngle act will scrve as this will serve to restore confidence among the nations in the laws which they have themselves set and determined for the governrnent of their relations with one another. Without this healing act the whole structure and validity of international law i,s for ever mpairec .
8. All Fren terrilory should be freed and the inYaded portions restored, and the wrong done to France by Prussia ,in 1871 in the matter of Alsace-Lorraine, whi had unsettled the peace of the world for nearly fifty year, should be righted$ in order that peace may once more be made secure in the interests of all.
9. A readJustment of the frontiers of Italy should be effected along clearly recognizable lines of nationality.
10. The peoples of Austria-Hungary, whose place among the natiom we wish to see safeguarded and assured, should be accorded the freest opportunity of autonomous development.
11. Rumania, Serbia, and Montenegro should be evacuated; occopied territories restored; Serbia accorded free and secore access to the sea; and the relations of the several Balkan states to one another determined by friendly conusel along historically established lines of allegiance and nationality; and international guarantees of the politinal and economic independence and territorial integrity of the~ several Balkan states should be entered info.
12. The Turkish portions of the present Ottoman Empire should be assured a secure sovereignty, bot the other nationalities which are now undet 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.
13. An-independent Polish state should be erecied whih -should incl'ude the territories inhabited by indisputably Polish populatio'ns, which should be assured a free and secure access to the sea, and whose political and economie independence and territorial integrity should be g'uaranteed by international covenant.
14. A general association of nations must be formed under specific ccvenants for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small states alike.
Ure have no Jealousy of German greainess, and there-is nothing in t his' program that impairs it. We grudge her no aievement or distinction of learning or of pacific enterprise such as have made her record very bright and very enviable. We do not wish to inJure her or to bloLk in any wa: her legitimate influence or power. We do not wish to fight her either with arms or with hostile arrangements of trade if she is willing to associate herself with us and the other peace-loving nations of the world in covenants of Justice and law and fair dealing.
We wish her only to accept a place of equality among the peoples of the world,ùthe~new ,vorld in which we now li-ve,ùinstearl of a place of mastery.