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The Brussels documents and the heresy of Woodrow Wilson

Carolyn Yeager

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British Foreign Minister Edward Grey and French Foreign Minister Théophile Delcassé  schemed to "inspire hostile feelings against Germany" from 1905 to 1914.

Two extraordinary articles from The Fatherland, by two extraordinary writers, make up this post, along with a shocking report on the US postal service further caving in to English demands.

First, we discover the World War I version of the famous “Potocki Papers” of WWII. Jerzy Potocki was the Polish ambassador to Washington from 1936 to 1940, whose dispatches to his government in Warsaw were discovered by the Wehrmacht after their victory in the 1939 German-Polish war. These documents proved the involvement of Franklin Roosevelt's "neutral" government with both Poland and England to incite war in Europe.

In likewise fashion, as Frederic Schrader informs us in the important article below, diplomatic documents were discovered in Brussels by the victorious German Army which revealed the machinations carried on by Great Britain beginning already in 1905 “to inspire hostile feelings against Germany.” Sir Edward Grey, Britain's foreign minister, and his French counterpart Théophile Delcassé schemed secretly to set the stage for a realignment of European powers. -cy

vol. 3 no. 16   November 24, 1915   Page 8


Record of Anglo-French Conspiracy Against Germany by Five Unprejudiced Witnesses

By Frederic Franklin Schrader

IT is a deplorable fact in relation to the European war that the average American begins his discussion of the events with the outbreak of hostilities, whereas the real history of the war began ten years before August 4, 1914. It is to be regretted, furthermore, that the German Government lacked the foresight to establish relations with one of the leading newspapers in New York—to buy it outright and control its policy with regard to the manner of presenting the news—in order to counteract the venomous influence which for more than a decade was exercised by England through the New York press upon the public mind of America. Though fifteen months have passed since the outbreak of the war, this press continues uninterruptedly to present but one side of the problems arising in connection with the great tragedy, and though the American people are doubtless by a considerable majority devoted to the motto, “America before England,” and inclined to study both sides impartially, they have never been permitted to get a glimpse of the diplomatic events which preceded the war save through the polluted channels of the London press as disseminated by its New York allies.

Now at last an impartial history of the diplomatic machinations by which Germany was forced into the war against her will has been made accessible to the public—and to anticipate any possible suspicion that it is the history of a German partisan, the reader is informed that it was written with no intention of finding its way into public print by the Belgian ministers to London, Paris and Berlin.

Among the documents found in Brussels by the victorious German troops was not only the tell-tale military convention between representatives of Great Britain and Belgium by which Belgium bartered away her neutrality—these papers have been discussed in a previous issue—but the complete reports made by Count de Lalaing, Belgian minister to London; Baron Greindl, Belgian minister to Berlin, and M.A. Leghait, Belgian minister to Paris, the series running from February 7, 1905, to April 26, 1912, after which the reports are rendered by Baron Beyens at Berlin and Baron Guillaume at Paris, concluding July 2, 1915.

Here is the complete history of every important diplomatic move made at the three principal capitals as recorded by trained observers reporting confidentially to their government. We see the Moroccan conspiracy between England and France showing its ugly face, we read these ministers boldly commenting on the sinister influences at work in London and Paris to inspire hostile feelings against Germany, sharp rebuffs of England's petty jealousy of Germany's prosperity, contempt for the snaky press organs beginning their campaign of vilification, notations on King Edward's scheme of isolating Germany, the scheming of Delcassé , etc. No partisan of Germany could possibly present the events preceding the war with a heartier sense of espousal of the justice of her cause than these Belgian diplomats writing under the seal of secrecy to their own government in order to advise it of what is going on behind the scenes. With this feeling doubtless, the German Government has issued the whole correspondence in pamphlet form under the title of “European Politics During the Decade Before the War as Described by Belgian Diplomats.” (25 cents; for sale by THE FATHERLAND. Ten cents extra for postage.) [I can't find this online -cy]

It consists of 144 pages and contains sundry fac simile reprints of the original documents, and the correspondence in the original French and in parallel columns the English translation. One of its best features is a carefully written introduction in which the correspondence is skilfully epitomized in a running review of editorial comments, so that the salient parts of the correspondence may be grasped and estimated in their true relationship.

The whole makes the impression of a world-wide criminal conspiracy engineered by Lord Lansdowne, [Edward] Grey, Delcassé, Poincare and Edward VII. Seeing France bleeding to death, there seems something like prophecy in M. Leghait's conjecture, written from Paris June 17, 1907: “England is preparing her ground admirably, but has France, who is joining her in her policy, all the necessary guarantees that she will not be the victim of this policy some day?” Seven years before the day which he prophesied would break in sorrow over France, Leghait wrote (same dispatch): “France is contracting a debt of gratitude which will seem heavy to her on the day when England will reveal the purpose for which she wants to use the influences which she had grouped around her.”

Baron Greindl in Berlin was so simple (according to those who represent Germany as the arch schemer) that in June 22, 1907, after England's alliance with Japan and her entente with France and Russia were followed by the understanding of Italy with France and England on the Mediterranean question, and by the agreement over Egypt and Morocco, etc., he wrote his government: “Japan is strong enough to guarantee the integrity of China alone until the day when it will suit her to violate it herself. It would be hard to admit that England needs Spain's assistance in order to defend her position in Egypt, Cyprus, Malta and Gibraltar. Who is thinking of attacking it and who, moreover, would have the material means to do so? France is no less secure in Algiers and Tunis. The danger could only come from one of the signatory powers, if the friendship existing between them at present were to break. If they do not contain any secret clause, they seem to have been concluded only for the pleasure of leaving Germany outside once more during the regulation of the interests of the world.”

Assuredly, this compact was designed to isolate Germany and arraign a horde of selfish enemies against her. Seven months later we find Baron Greindl writing (January 27, 1908): “The policy directed by King Edward VII [First cousin to Kaiser William, both grandsons of Queen Victoria with William being the elder -cy] under the pretext of guarding Europe from the imaginary German peril, has created a French danger which is only too real, and which is a menace above all to us.” And here occurs a significant passage (same report) which we recommend to the editors of the pro-Allied press in this country:

“Where did M. Delcassé see that Germany was endeavoring to impose her supremacy on other nations? We are her close neighbors, but for twenty years I have never observed in the Imperial Government the slightest desire to abuse its strength and our weakness. I wish that all the other great powers had used the same consideration toward us.”

On February 2, 1908, the Belgian minister at Berlin summarizes his view of English and Germany rivalry: “no one here ever cherished the absurd and impracticable idea of an attack against England; but everybody fears an English attack.” In the middle of 1908 Sir Frank Lascelles was removed against his will from the position of the British Ambassador at Berlin—why? Because, in the words of the Belgian diplomat: “If the British Government deprives itself of the services of a diplomat of such merit, it is only because Sir Frank Lascelles worked for fifteen years, without permitting himself to be discouraged by numerous checks, to bring about a rapprochement between Germany and England. The zeal which he displayed in order to dissipate the misunderstanding which he considered absurd and detrimental does not correspond with the views of his sovereign.”

Count de Lalaing, Belgian Minister to London, had no high opinion of the estimate on truth prevailing in the House of Lords, for he writes under date of November 30, 1911: “Lord Courtney of Penrith, a Liberal and a friend of Germany, attacked the policy of the Government (the Entente) because it had been aiming at the isolation of Germany (it is rare to hear that truth expressed in the British Parliament) and because it had not upheld the Act of Algeciras.” The minister adds: “These disagreeable truths were not to the liking of the House of Lords.”

It is impossible within this limited space to follow even remotely the remarkable story of British and French intrigue which the correspondence lays bare, and in almost every page of which the consensus of the Belgian diplomats is remarkable for the frank concession that Germany has no desire for a quarrel and is attending strictly to her own affairs. Baron Beyens, for instance, writes from Berlin November 30, 1912: “There is no doubt that the (German) Emperor, the Chancellor and the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs are passionately pacific.”

But little more space is available for additional citations, of which not even the most interesting or important have been more than casually referred to. In conclusion the writer will cite a report of Baron Beyens to his government, dated April 24, 1914, three months before the war, in which he comments on the official visit of the King and Queen of England to Paris and the then-prevailing relations between France and England:

“For us the most interesting point in connection with the visit of the sovereigns of Great Britain is to know whether the British Government would be as inclined today as three years ago to range itself by the side of France in case of a conflict of the latter with Germany. We have had the proof that a co-operation of the British army and the dispatching of an expeditionary corps to the continent have been considered by the military authorities of the two governments (England and France). Would it be the same today and would we still have to fear the entry of British soldiers into Belgium in order to help us to defend our neutrality by first compromising it?”

These are not the words of German apologists. This intensely interesting correspondence registers the conviction of five professional students of contemporary international history, living in the three chief capitals of Europe with the advantage of being detached and unprejudiced with regard to the facts. And their convictions are identical. ~