ALLIED NAVAL COUNCIL.
President Wilson's Fourteen
Extract from President
Wilson's Address to Congress, January 8, 1918.
The programme of the world's peace, therefore, is our programme; and that
programme, the only possible programme as we see it, is this:-
| Open covenants of peace, openly arrived
at, after which there shall be no private international understandings
of any kind, but diplomacy shall proceed always frankly and in the
| 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.
| 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.
| Adequate guarantees given and taken that
national armaments will be reduced to the lowest point consistent
with domestic safety.
| A free, open-minded, and 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 Government whose title is to be determined.
| The evacuation of all Russian territory,
and such a settlement of all questions affecting Russia as will secure
the best and freest co-operation of the other nations of the world
in obtaining for her an unhampered and unembarrassed opportunity for
the independent determination of her own political development and
national policy, and assure her of a sincere welcome into 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 goodwill, of
their comprehension of her needs as distinguished from their own interests,
and of their intelligent and unselfish sympathy.
|Belgium, the whole world will agree, must
be evacuated and restored, without any attempt to limit the sovereignty
which she enjoys in common with all other free nations. No other single
act will serve as this will serve to restore confidence among the
nations in the laws which they have themselves set and determined
for the government of their relations with one another. Without this
healing act, the whole structure and validity of international law
is for ever impaired.
| All French territory should be freed,
and the invaded portions restored, and the wrong done to France by
Prussia in 1871 in the matter of Alsasce-Lorraine which has unsettled
the peace of the world for nearly fifty years, should be righted in
order that peace may once more be made secure in the interests of
| A readjustment of the frontiers of Italy
should be effected along clearly recognisable lines of nationality.
| The peoples of Austria-Hungary, whose
place among the nations we wish to see safeguarded and assured, should
be accorded the freest opportunity of autonomous development.
| Roumania, Serbia, and Montenegro should
be evacuated; occupied territories restored; Serbia accorded free
and secure access to the sea; and the relations of the several Balkan
States to one another determined by friendly counsel along historically
established lines of allegiance and nationality; and international
guarantees of the political and economic independence and territorial
integrity of the several Balkan States should be entered into.
| The Turkish portions of the present Ottoman
Empire should be assured a secure sovereignty, but the other nationalities
which are now under 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 ships and commerce of all nations under international guarantees.
| An independent Polish State should be
erected, which should include the territories inhabited by indisputably
Polish populations, which should be assured a free and secure access
to the sea, and whose political and economic independence and territorial
integrity should be guaranteed by international covenant.
|A general association of nations must be
formed under specific covenants for the purpose of affording mutual
guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to
great and small States alike.
regard to these essential rectifications of wrong and assertions of right,
we feel ourselves to be intimate partners of all the Governments and peoples
associated together against the Imperialists. We cannot be separated in
interest or divided in purpose. We stand together until the end.
such arrangements and covenants we are willing to fight and to continue
to fight until they are achieved; but only because we wish the right to
prevail, and desire a just and stable peace such as can be secured only
by removing the chief provocations to war, which this programme does remove.
We have no jealousy of German greatness, and there is nothing in this
programme that impairs it. We grudge her no achievement 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 block in
any way 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 - the
new world in which we now live - instead of a place of mastery.
do we presume to suggest to her any alteration or modifications of her
institutions. But it is necessary, we must frankly say, and necessary
as a preliminary to any intelligent dealings with her on our part, that
we should know whom her spokesmen speak for when they speak to us, whether
for the Reichstag majority, or for the military party and the men whose
creed is imperial domination.