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where possible, and to use fat and lard spar- an end to the frightful butchery of nations. To ingly. To relieve the shortage of meat would express this desire is no sign of weakness and not be so easy as to solve the bread question. can least of all be so interpreted in our own case, The creation of an Imperial Fodder Board, to for our military successes are incontestable, our supply cattle, swine, and fowl raisers with oat, economic life has developed in an amazing malibarley, and molasses substitutes for oat fodder, ner, and our finances have remained firm. It is and the appointment of a certain number of the strongest who may first desire peace. My days in the week when meat should not be eaten, party as the representative of international Sowere helpful measures but not complete solu- cialism has always been the party of peace, and tions of the problem.
it knows that the Socialists of other countries THE REICHSTAG IN MARCH. After eight have the same idea. Our desire is for a lasting months of the war, the Reichstag met again on peace that will not contain within itself the March 10th for its third war session. The fear germs of new entanglements and new dissension. that Germany stood in immediate danger of It must be established that no nation may opbeing crushed by an iron ring of foes had by press another, and above all that all nations this time proved groundless; in its stead new shall perceive their peaceful mission in the exproblems had arisen, regarding the financial change of cultural goods.” Against this peace burden of a long and exhausting war, antici: manifesto an immediate protest was raised by pating the political consequences of the war, Dr. Spahn in the name of all the other parties and most of all respecting the economic crisis in excepting the Poles, on the ground that it would Germany. In opening the session, the president “lead to misunderstandings abroad.” “We are of the Reichstag, Dr. Kaempf, declared: “Never waging war," he continued, "not for the sake of can it be too frequently repeated that a people war but for the sake of peace; but it must be a which is capable of such sacrifices, such devotion peace that more than hitherto will ensure the to the Fatherland, can not be conquered or prosperous development of German labor and destroyed. As the Almighty Lord of Hosts has the German spirit of enterprise, and give the thus far blessed our banners with victory, so Fatherland a permanent guaranty and protection also, we are sure, the final victory will be ad- for its greatness. The achievement of this goal judged to our righteous cause. And on the demands still more victorious battles.” The bloody battlefields in the east and in the west, Social Democrats continued to perturb the othera lasting peace will be achieved, which will wise unruffled confidence of the Reichstag. Herr bring new blossoming, new might, and a new Schmidt, a Socialist from Berlin, called attention greatness to our beloved Fatherland." This was to the sufferings of the very poor. Millions of the key-note of the session. The first business families, he said, had nothing to rely upon but on the programme was the budget. The Im- their war allowance of 12 marks per month with perial secretary of the treasury, Dr. Helffer- 6 marks additional for every child. "How shall ich, delivered his maiden speech as a govern- these families subsist," he asked, “when the loaf ment representative in the tribune of the Reich- of bread that formerly cost 50 pfennigs in Berlin stag, clearly revealing in his lucid explanation now costs 95, and the potatoes which used to sell of the financial situation the expertness he had for 3-342 pfennigs a pound now have risen to acquired as director of the Deutsche Bank. A 7-10 pfennigs? In the Rhine country the cost further war credit of 10,000,000,000 marks, to of living has increased even more." Another be raised by loan, was demanded and received Socialist, Herr Ledebour, occasioned an uproar the Reichstag's consent. Interest on the war in the Reichstag by making a plea in behalf of debt, Dr. Helfferich insisted, should be met the Poles, Danes, and Alsatians and by denouncfrom current revenues; as for the rest, he ing the threat which the German military aucherished the hope "of being able to present thorities had made, that for every German vilthe bill for our war expenditures to our enemies lage in East Prussia destroyed by the Russians, at the conclusion of peace.” German financial three Russian villages in Poland would be deconditions, the secretary asserted, were on a stroyed by the Germans. Amidst vehement insounder basis than those of France or England. terruptions, the presiding officer of the Reichstag In spite of the loss of her external trade, worth reminded the speaker that "criticism of the over 20,000,000,000 marks a year, Germany was military authorities under the present circumstill able to endure. “As long as our own soil stances during the war cannot be allowed.” Dr. remains to us, no hunger and throttling policy Karl Liebknecht (Socialist) was reprimanded will succeed in cutting off our necessaries of for exclaiming "barbarism !” when Ledebour relife," he believed. Germany was determined to ferred to the German threat regarding the burnpersevere, and at the end to demand "a reward ing of Polish villages. Representatives of the of victory that is worthy of this huge sacrifice.” non-Socialist parties protested formally against Following Dr. Helfferich, Deputy Herr Haase, a the insult which had been uttered against the Social Democrat, mounted the tribune to offer German General Staff. Even the Socialist some trenchant criticism of the government. group, or a majority of the group, speaking The right of free speech and the liberty of the through its chairman, Herr Scheidemann, was press, said Herr Haase, had been arbitrarily constrained to disavow Herr Ledebour's remarks, and unjustifiably interfered with. Moreover, the and after a brief recess, Herr Scheidemann angovernment had been too reluctant to adopt the nounced that, for the same reasons which had measures of government control which the actuated them on Aug. 4 and Dec. 2, 1914, the Socialists had been indefatigably suggesting to Social Democrats this time would again vote for give the people an adequate supply of food at a the budget. The final vote on the budget was fair price. Food speculators should have been therefore unanimous, with the exception of two relentlessly prosecuted. War profits should be rebellious Socialists, Liebknecht and Ruehle. taxed. In conclusion the Socialist deputy de- MAY SESSION OF THE REICHSTAG. The brief livered an eloquent plea for peace. "In all lands session of the Reichstag in May, concerned chiefly the horrors of war strengthen the desire to put with the economic measures necessary to carry on the war, gave new proof of the solidarity of iron ore, 68.7 per cent of her textile industry, the various parties. Only a few Socialists con- and 43 per cent of her total industry. The suptinued to oppose the war. The comment of the ply of metals, cotton, and other raw materials Frankfurter Zeitung is worth noting: "The great in Germany had been seriously curtailed, 80 majority of the Social Democrats think and feel that it had been necessary to commandeer, Febabout this war just as does the rest of the Ger- ruary 1st, all supplies of copper, tin, aluminum, man nation. That they have a passionate wish nickel, antimony, and lead for military purthat a good peace should speedily follow the war, poses, thus crippling certain industries; neverin no way differentiates them from the rest of theless German industry was giving evidence of the Germans. For all Germans would have pre- remarkable vitality. The great fair at Leipzig ferred peace, and would rather see a speedy than in the spring had furnished a magnificent disa distant peace; but all know, also, that the play of German industries. The industrial possibility of peace does not depend on us alone, region of Westphalia was described as a vast and that only such a peace is possible for Ger- workshop, busy night and day, supplying the many as will insure us against the danger of material equipment of war. Finally, the Gernew wars for all time." As far as the demand man press was not slow to boast that although of the Socialists for democratic reforms was con- German commerce had been temporarily driven cerned, the Frankfurter Zeitung observed that from the seas, Germany's enemies had suffered it would be impossible for everything to "slip more than three times as heavily, both in merback again into the old ways" after the war; chant- and in war-ships, comparing the tonnage that the German nation must be organized of ships actually lost. democratically if the splendid spirit of solidar- THE REICHSTAG IN AUGUST. The fifth war ity and fraternity that had manifested itself session of the Reichstag was convened on August during the war was to be preserved, so that Ger. 19th. The Imperial Chancellor, in a long remany could become a leader and a model for view of the causes of the war, laid the guilt at all nations.
the door of the Triple Entente, and blamed THE CHANCELLOR'S SPEECH. The close of the France for lending money to Russia for military May session was signalized by a great speech preparations against Germany. England, he of Chancellor von Bethmann-Hollweg, May 28th. said, had suffered a severe blow to her self-confiThe German Chancellor in vehement terms de- dence and her hypocrisy. “The myth that it nounced the infidelity of Italy (Italy had just was only on Belgium's account that she was declared war against Austria-Hungary; see arwaging war, England herself has abandoned.” ticle WAR OF THE NATIONS, Italy's Entry into The claim of England to be the protector of the War). Without shedding a single drop of the freedom of small nations was being disblood, Italy could have obtained, according to proved by her interference with the freedom of Von Bethmann-Hollweg, land in the Tyrol and the seas, by her seizure of Greek islands in the on the Isonzo, “as far as the Italian language Ægean, and by her attempts to involve Greece is spoken," "satisfaction of her national desires and Rumania in the war. "In Poland, where in Trieste," "a free hand in Albania," and the Russia is fighting with her allies for the freeAlbanian harbor of Valona. “Germany pledged dom of nations, the entire country has been her word that the concessions would be carried devastated by the retreating Russian armies. out. There was no ground for distrust." This Villages were burned down, grainfields trampled reference to Germany's word of honor, after the under foot, and the population of entire com. events of August, 1914, called forth no little munities, Jewish and Christian, sent into exile." sarcastic comment from the Entente press. In “That is the way the Freedom and Civilization defining Germany's position, the Chancellor appear, for which our enemies fight.” “We will hinted that the greater the odds that Germany continue this war," said Von Bethmann-Hollweg, had to fight, and the harder the combat, the “until the way will be clear for a new Europe, greater would be the German determination to free from French conspiracies, from Muscovite persevere "until we have won all possible real lust for conquest, and from English tutelage." guarantees and assurances that none of our The Chancellor also made an important declaraenemies, singly or in coalition, shall again tion respecting the future of Poland, that the hazard an armed conflict with us."
Poles were to be “emancipated from the RusA YEAR OF THE WAR. On July 31st, after sian yoke" and "given an opportunity to develop just one year of the war, the Emperor issued a their national character." The declaration was proclamation “to the German people," reaffirm- 80 worded, however, that while it explicitly ing Germany's innocence in the striking words, stated that the Poles were to be free from Rus“Before God and history my conscience is sia, it left very vague the relationship which clear. I did not want the war.” With pious would exist between Poland and Germany. The gratification the Emperor declared "with grate- day after Von Bethmann-Hollweg's speech, the ful hearts we may say to-day: God was with secretary of the treasury came forward with a us." As for the terms of peace, he referred to demand for another war credit of 10,000,000,000 "military, political, and economic guarantees marks. The credits previously voted had for the future" and "conditions for the unre- brought the total up to 20,000,000,000 marks, a stricted expansion of our creative energies at sum equal to the value of the entire German home and on the free seas." The newspapers, in railway system, including equipment and rolling summing up the results of the first year of the stock. More was being spent in a single month war, pointed out that Germany had won al. than had been expended in the entire Francomost 2,000,000 prisoners (Russians, 1,518,000; Prussian War. Germany's war cost was now apFrench, 268,000; Serbians, 50,000; Belgians, proximately 70,000,000 marks a day, whereas 40,000; English, 24,000). To balance the loss England was called upon to supply 80,000,000 of her colonies, she had conquered extensive ter- marks a day. Germany's superiority in financial ritories in Europe, including 68 per cent of the strength was still asserting itself, he claimed. coal resources of France, 90 per cent of her Following Dr. Helfferich's speech the various parties in the Reichstag made brief declarations reply to the Socialist interpellation, the Imperial of policy. Dr. David, for the Social Democrats, Chancellor delivered a long speech, dwelling at hoped that war profits would be taxed, and that length upon what he conceived to be the unutpeace would come soon enough to render further terable folly and hypocrisy of the Entente war loans unnecessary. The food problem, he Powers. Pretending to fight for “the destruccomplained, had not yet received a satisfac- tion of Prussian militarism” and for the freetory solution." Concluding his remarks, the dom of small nations, the Entente Powers were Socialist leader made a significant demand for really striving, and striving in vain, to disdemocratic reform: “The might that gave us member Germany and to advance their own our interior strength cannot be employed by us selfish interests. But. Germany was invincible. except in the interest of freedom. Thus spoke As for the terms upon which Germany would the Imperial Chancellor. He was thinking about consent to make peace, he refused to go into external policy. We, however, expect that in- detail. The Entente Powers, having been the ternal freedom will not be denied us. Equal ones to begin the war, must be the ones to ask rights may not be denied to the great mass of for peace. As soon as they were ready to admit the people. In this spirit we vote for the war defeat, however, and to approach Germany with credit.” Herr Bassermann, in behalf of the Na- peace proposals "which are in consonance with tional Liberals, heartily supported the govern- Germany's dignity and security, we will always ment, and declared that the German Emperor be ready to discuss them.” While making this was a Peace Emperor, until the war was forced declaration as proof of Germany's love of peace, on Germany and he was compelled to take the he warned the Quadruple Entente that "the sword in self-defense. Herr Fischbeck, who longer and more bitterly they wage the war, the spoke for the Progressive People's Party, ap- greater will be the necessary guarantees” which proved the loan, but admitted ruefully that "our Germany would demand to prevent future ateconomic life has its gloomy side." The Con- tacks. Some intimation of what Germany would servative spokesman, Dr. Oertel, approved the in any case demand was given by the following loan and advocated vigorous measures against passage of Dr. von Bethmann-Hollweg's speech: food speculation, generous support of the fam. “Neither in the west nor in the east must our ilies of soldiers and crippled soldiers, and re- enemies of to-day hold in their possession the peated the phrase that was coming to be stereo- entrance gates to our country through which typed, “The magnitude of the reward of victory they might attack or menace us anew. It is must correspond to the magnitude of the strug- known that France gave loans to Russia only gle.” Dr. Spahn, for the Centre, signified ap- on condition that Russia strengthen her railproval of the loan. The Polish leader, Herr ways and fortresses in Poland against us; also Seyda, referred with satisfaction to Bethmann- that England and France regarded Belgium as Hollweg's promise of freedom for the Polish their route of advance against us. Against this people, and expressed the hope that the war danger we must have military and political would allow the "free development of the na- security. Also we must insure our economic tional life of the Polish people.” Dr. Schultz, development. . . . As regards the means to this of the Empire Party, reiterated the Conserva- end, we must reserve complete freedom of decitives' declaration, that “our army and our entire sion.” From these vague sentences it might be nation desires a peace which will be worth the inferred that Germany would take Poland from sacrifice, and we are confident that our stateg. Russia, and Verdun and Belfort from France; men will obtain for us the kind of a peace which Belgium might be annexed outright or placed the nation desires." The declarations of the under a sort of military and economic German parties in the Reichstag are cited, because they protectorate; and Germany's economic future indicate the progress of the movement in favor might be secured by annexing extensive colonies, of territorial conquests. It may be added, that or by restoring Egypt to Turkey and making the confidence of the wealthy and middle classes the Turkish Empire a German sphere of ecoin the ultimate success of German arms received nomic exploitation, or by gaining control of new and eloquent confirmation in the rapidity Belgian sea ports and mines, or by exacting huge with which the third war loan was subscribed. indemnities from the vanquished Powers, or by The loan was offered to the public September forcing them to lower their tariff walls against 2nd. Within three weeks enough subscriptions German manufactures. In reference to the conhad poured in to cover the loan, 10,000,000,000 dition of the territories which had been occupied marks, with 2,000,000 marks to spare. Nearly by German armies, the Chancellor had the most 45,000 depositors of the Berlin Savings Bank favorable reports to make. Belgium, he ansubscribed to the new loan, compared with 35,- nounced, was recovering from her injuries; Bel000 for the March loan. (For a discussion of gian commerce and industry were reviving, coal the attitude of the Socialists in the Reichstag, was being mined in considerable quantity, and see SOCIALISM.)
instruction in the Flemish language had been THE DEBATE ON PEACE TERMS. The discus- made obligatory for all. As regards the consion of the terms which Germany should de- quered Russian territory, Dr. von Bethmannmand at the conclusion of the war reached a Hollweg asserted that the German invaders climax in the historic Reichstag debate of Decem- found "terrible devastation" in Poland, Lithber. The debate was opened by Dr. Scheide- uania, and Courland. The Germans, however, mann, spokesman of the Social Democrats, who had established new police forces, municipal interpellated the government on the subject of administration, and legal and sanitary organizapossible peace terms. Inasmuch as Germany tion in the districts occupied by them. They had demonstrated her amazing strength and had promoted economic activity, rebuilt raildetermination, as she unquestionably has done, ways, constructed roads, introduced “municipal she could now afford to make the first move in statutes which give the people an interest in the direction of peace, certain that her desire participating in public life.” “The question of for peace would not appear as weakness. In school teaching has everywhere been taken up,"