Peace now — and vigilance

05 July 2019

July 4th, 1919.

ON Saturday last, the fifth anniversary of the murder of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand at Serajevo, the war which began from that event was brought formally to an end at Versailles. The Peace Treaty containing the terms imposed by the Allies was signed by two German plenipotentiaries, Herr Müller and Dr Bell, second or third-rate statesmen, but apparently the best whom the German authorities could find for the occasion. Thus, as a ceremony, the signing lacked brilliancy, but it will serve, for the Treaty was signed without reservation. More important than this formality was the subsequent publication of a defensive triple alliance, by which England and the United States of America pledge themselves to go to the help of France against any aggressive Power. So far as our country is concerned, quite apart from sentiment, it is to our interest to guarantee the security of France, for that country is our first line of defence. If France were overcome, our turn to be attacked would then follow, with consequences of a terrible war and possible defeat. How long the peace, which was proclaimed on Wednesday with due pomp and ceremony by his Majesty’s heralds in London, will continue will depend on the unremitting efforts of the nations which have been wantonly attacked to maintain it. Nothing is more certain than that, the moment those efforts were relaxed, the Germans would resume their hostile activity. For it must be remembered that there is now added to their former propensity for war a burning desire to revenge that humiliation which they had to ensure in the Gallery of Mirrors. They must not be given the opportunity to wreak their vengeance, and, to this end, it is well that, at least while the League of Nations is in the testing, the three great Western Powers should keep on the alert in close alliance.


The Church Times digital archive is available free to subscribers

Forthcoming Events

21-22 February 2020
Church Times Festival of Faith and Literature
For 2020 the Bloxham festival celebrates ‘The Power of Love’. Book tickets

26 March 2020
Theology Slam Live Final
Theology Slam is back, continuing its search for the most engaging young voices on theology and the contemporary world. Find out more

Latest Cartoon

The Church Times Archive

Read reports from issues stretching back to 1863, search for your parish or see if any of the clergy you know get a mention.

FREE for Church Times subscribers.

Explore the archive

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read five articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)