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President Wilson’s Peace Note

by
22 December 2016

December 29th, 1916.

PARLIAMENT has been prorogued after an amazing session, in the course of which a Ministry has succumbed, not to a vote of the House of Commons, but to the pressure of public opinion, and to the ambition or the public spirit of its most energetic member. We have called the result a Revolution, and time does not weaken the impression or diminish the satisfaction with which it was received. The King’s Speech, short and stern, was concerned exclusively with the duty of pressing the war, and contained no reference to the proposals for a peace conference issuing from Berlin.

That very day the world was astonished by the news of a Note sent to all belligerent Governments from the President of the United States, who invited them to state in reply the terms on which they would be disposed to make peace. In most countries this was regarded as lending support to the German proposals of the previous week, but in Germany there seems to have been complete bewilderment, and the most contradictory judgments appeared in the Press. By some journals the President was denounced as acting in collusion with the British Government; by others his intervention was welcomed as supporting the German manoeuvre. The Kaiser’s Government has replied to the Note in the latter sense, ignoring the request for detailed terms of peace, and renewing the proposal of an open Conference. The response of the Allies is yet awaited.

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