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WAR AIMS OF BELLIGERENTS.
I. THE RUSSIAN PEACE OFFER.
I. PROGRAM DRAWN UP BY CENTRAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE
ALL-RUSSIAN COUNCIL OF WORKMEN'S AND SOLDIERS' DELE-
I. Evacuation by the Germans of Russia, and autonomy of Poland, Lithuania and the Lettish provinces.
II. Autonomy of Turkish Armenia.
III. Solution of the Alsace-Lorraine question by a plebiscite, the voting being arranged by local civil authorities after the removal of all the troops of both belligerents.
IV. Restoration to Belgium of her ancient frontiers and compensation for her losses from an international fund.
V. Restoration of Serbia and Montenegro with similar compensation, Serbia to have access to the Adriatic, Bosnia and Herzegovina to be autonomous.
VI. Disputed Balkan districts to receive provisional autonomy, followed by a plebiscite.
VII. Rumania to be restored her old frontiers on condition that she grant Dobrudja autonomy and grant equal rights to Jews.
VIII. Autonomy for the Italian provinces of Austria to be followed by a plebiscite.
IX. Restitution of all colonies to Germany.
XI. Neutralization of all straits leading to inner seas and also the Suez and Panama Canals. Freedom of navigation for merchant ships. Abolition of the right to torpedo merchant ships in war time.
XII. All belligerents to renounce war contributions or indemnities in any form, but the money spent on the maintenance of prisoners and all contributions levied during the war to be returned.
* New York Times, October 22, 1917.
XIII. Commercial treaties not to be based on the peace treaty; each country may act independently with respect to its commercial policy, but all countries to engage to renounce an economic blockade after the war.
XIV. The conditions of peace should be settled by a peace congress consisting of delegates elected by the people and confirmed by Parliament. Diplomatists must engage not to conclude separate treaties, which hereby are declared contrary to the rights of the people, and consequently void.
XV. Gradual disarmament by land and sea, and the establishing of a non-military system,
2. NOTE OF LEON TROTSKY, RUSSIAN NATIONAL COMMISSIONER FOR
FOREIGN AFFAIRS, TO THE DIPLOMATIC REPRESENTATIVES OF THE
PETROGRAD, November 21, 1917. I herewith have the honor to inform you, Mr. Ambassador, that the AllRussian Congress of Soldiers' and Workmen's Delegates organized on Oct. 26 a new government in the form of a Council of National Commissioners. The head of this government is Vladimir Ilich Lenin. The direction of the foreign policy has been intrusted to me in the capacity of National Commissioner for Foreign Affairs.
Drawing attention to the text of the offer of an armistice and a democratic peace on the basis of no annexations or indemnities and the self-determination of nations, approved by the All-Russian Congress of Soldiers' and Workmen's Delegates, I have the honor to beg you to regard the above document as a formal offer of an immediate armistice on all fronts and the immediate opening of peace negotiations--an offer with which the authoritative government of the Russian republic has addressed itself simultaneously to all the belligerent peoples and their Governments.
Accept my assurance, Mr. Ambassador, of the profound respect of the Soldiers' and the Workmen's Government for the people of France (etc.), which cannot help aiming at peace, as well as all the rest of the nations exhausted and made bloodless by this unexampled slaughter.
National Commissioner for Foreign Affairs. Associated Press dispatch, November 22, 1917. The note was sent in fulfilment of a resolution of the Workmen's and Soldiers' Congress voted on November 10, 1917, a translation of which is printed in Current History, Vol. VII, Part I, 422.
OFFER OF ARMISTICE
a. INCLOSURE. General notice to Russian representatives abroad offering armistice to all nations involved in the war, and order to Russian commander-in-chief to offer a cessation of hostilities, November 20, 1917."
By order of the All-Russian Congress of Workmen's and Soldiers' Delegates the Council of Commissioners of the People has taken power into its hands, together with the obligation to offer to all the nations and their respective Governments an immediate armistice on all fronts, with the purpose of immediately opening pour parlers for the conclusion of a democratic peace.
When the power of the Council is firmly established in all the most important places of the country the Council will make, without delay, a formal offer of armistice to all the nations involved in the war-to the Allies and also to the nations at war with us.
A draft message to this effect has been sent to all the people's representatives abroad, and to all the plenipotentiary representatives of the Allied nations in Petrograd.
ORDER TO COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF. To you, Citizen Commander-in-Chief, the Council, in fulfilling the resolution of the Congress of Delegates, gives the order that, after receiving the present message, you shall approach the commanding authorities of the enemy armies with an offer of a cessation of all hostile activities for the purpose of opening peace pour parlers.
In charging you with the conduct of these preliminary pour parlers, the Council orders you:
1. To keep the Council constantly informed, by direct wire, of all your pourparlers with the enemy armies. 2. To sign the preliminary act only after approval by the Council. (Signed) VLADIMIR ULIANOV-LENIN (alias Cederblum),
President of the Council of Commissioners of the People.
b. Notification by Russian Council of Commissioners of the People to the army and navy deposing commander-in-chief, appointing his successor and instructing regiments to begin pour parlers with the enemy, November 22, 1917.”
To All Committees of Regiments, Divisions, Corps, Armies; to All the Soldiers of the Revolutionary Army, and to All the Sailors of the Revolutionary Navy:
During the night of November 20 the Council of Commissioners of the People sent a wireless message to the Commander-in-Chief, Dukhonin, containing an order that he should immediately and formally offer an armistice to all the nations, Allied and hostile, involved in the war. This message was received at Headquarters on November 21, at 5.05 A.M.
• British Admiralty, per Wireless Press, London Times, November 22, 1917, page 6. A textual summary of this order is printed in Current History, Vol. VII, Part II, 7.
• British Admiralty, per Wireless Press, London Times, November 23, 1917, page 6.
Dukhonin was instructed to keep the Council continually informed of the progress of the pour parlers, and only to sign the agreement for an armistice after sanction by the Council.
At the same time a similar offer for an armistice was formally submitted to all the plenipotentiary representatives of the Allies in Petrograd.
Having received no answer from Dukhonin up to yesterday evening, the Council authorized Lenin, Stalin and Krilenko to ask Dukhonin by direct wire for the cause of such delay.
The pour parlers have been in progress since 4.30 A.M. to-day.
Dukhonin attempted many times to evade giving an explanation of his conduct and a clear answer to the orders of the Government. When a categorical order was sent to Dukhonin instructing him to offer immediately and formally an armistice for the purpose of beginning peace pour parlers he refused to obey.
Now, in the name of the Government of the Russian Republic, and by order of the Council, Dukhonin has been informed that he has been deposed from his functions for disobeying the instructions of the Government and for conduct which is bringing unheard-of and terrible sufferings upon all the working masses, upon the whole country, and especially upon the Armies.
At the same time Dukhonin has been ordered to continue his duties till a new Commander-in-Chief, or any other person authorized by him, arrives to take over the command.
Ensign Krilenko has been appointed the new Commander-in-Chief.
Soldiers! the question of peace is in your hands. You must not permit the counter-revolutionary generals to destroy the great work of peace. You must arrest and guard them well, so that lynch-law, which is not worthy of a Revolutionary Army, cannot take place, and so that these generals cannot evade imminent justice. You will observe the strongest revolutionary and military discipline.
Let the regiments which are in the frontal positions elect immediately plenipotentiaries who shall formally begin peace pour parlers with the enemy. The Council gives you the right to do this. On the progress of the pour parlers you shall inform us by all possible means.
Only the Council has the right to sign the final agreement of armistice.
Soldiers! the question of peace is in your hands. Have watchfulness, tenacity and energy, and the will for peace will win! In the name of the Government of the Russian Republic.
(Signed) V. ULIANOV-LENIN (alias Cederblum),
President of the Council of Commission
ers of the People. N. KRILENKO, Commissioner for War and
Highest Commander-in-Chief. PETROGRAD, Nov. 22, 1917.
c. Order of N. Krilenko, Russian national commissioner for war directing the army to cease firing and begin fraternization, November 28, 1917."
Our envoys have returned, bringing an official reply from the German Commander-in-Chief signifying his assent to the proposal to inaugurate negotiations
• London Times, December 3, 1917, page 8.