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was agreed that Italy should have various territorial acquisitions in the Adriatic and elsewhere, and that she should be given a loan in London of £50,000,000- a very modest sum from the later point of view of war finance. I am reminded in this connection of a remark which Mr. Lloyd George is reported to have made in Paris, to the effect that the refusal of Great Britain to give Turkey a loan of £20,000,000 in 1914 was the most extravagant economy known to history.

Of course, the territorial clauses of the Pact of London were a bargain be tween Italy and the Allies; but I fail to see that they were a harsh bargain. Passing, for the moment, any question of the righteousness of the clauses, surely France and Great Britain were not being treated harshly; they were not giving away anything of their own, and from the point of view simply of self-interest, they could well afford to be generous with the territory of their enemies before they were just; it was not their ox that was being gored in Dalmatia.

Now the territorial clauses of the Pact of London have such a direct relation to the Adriatic negotiations at Paris that it is necessary to examine those clauses in some detail; perhaps their justice or injustice has become a matter of no practical moment; but still I shall turn aside to consider that question of justice, for otherwise the background of the Paris negotiations may be seen in a false light.

The moral qualities of an act are to be judged as of its date and not from subsequent events. I not only admit, but insist, that in 1919 it would have been wrong and unjust, as well as unwise and impossible, to carry out the terms of the Pact of London; but, to consider fairly the situation of 1915, we must lay aside our knowledge of subsequent events, difficult as that is to do.

In the spring of 1915, when Italy entered the war, the cause of the Allies was not going well. They were making no progress on the Western Front, and in the East, Russia was about to meet with a severe defeat. No one dreamed of a rout of Germany or of a complete remaking of the map of Europe. A continuance of the former European alignment seemed reasonable to expect, in a modified form, perhaps, but certainly with no overturn of the situation.

Italy had lived her national life of two generations in a continuous and justified state of fear-a sentiment almost unknown to American statesmen, but which has had, and has, a more profound influence on European thought and action than can well be imagined. The door in the Alps was open. Italy visualized a German empire and an Austro-Hungarian empire existing after the war, the former probably, and the latter certainly, deeply hostile to her; and so Italy sought safety, sought to acquire a frontier as impregnable as possible, together with the control of the Adriatic. Most of the questioned territorial gains secured by Italy in the Pact of London in the region we are now considering were of comparatively little material value; their worth was chiefly as a defense against attack.

Furthermore, unless the Empire of Austria-Hungary was to collapse, the future of the Jugo-Slav movement was problematical. In 1915, one might, perhaps, have predicted a greater Serbia, but hardly a union of all the Jugo-Slavs. Certainly, there was no heaven-sent reason why any of those peoples should be governed from Vienna or from Budapest rather than from Rome, if they were not to have their own capital at Belgrade. And while Serbia did not sign the Pact of London, Russia, the self-constituted protector of the Balkan Slavs, was a consenting party.

So, while the terms of the Pact of

London were drawn in the spirit of the old and now discredited diplomacy, still Italy, from the standpoint of 1915, was largely justified in signing that treaty, although the same treaty in 1919 would have been unrighteous and unjust.

By the Pact of London, while a part of the coast toward the north of the Adriatic, including specifically Fiume and all the coast of Croatia, was not to be Italian, the whole of the Istrian peninsula was to go to Italy, and in addition an extensive strip of Dalmatia above Spalato, with nearly all the islands off the coast; and when to these was added Valona and its gulf, almost opposite Brindisi and the heel of the Italian boot, the control of the Adriatic was complete; it would have been wholly Italian in all but name.

But by the time the Conference of Paris met, a change had come over the spirit of the political dream of Eastern Europe. The ancient empire, which had been the natural enemy of Italy, had vanished. And here let me say that it is a common criticism, born of common ignorance, to charge the Conference of Paris with the Balkanization of Eastern Europe, that catching phrase. It was no treaty that set up separate governments at Prague, at Budapest and at Vienna, for those separate governments had existed since before the German Armistice. And no Peace Conference could have joined together these fragments of an empire which its peoples had put asunder.

Nor was it any outside influence which brought to a conclusion that national movement which resulted in the union of the three Jugo-Slav peoplespeoples of different religions, indeed, and under different governments, some of whom had been under alien rule for centuries, but who were all of nearly the same blood and of nearly the same speech.

It has recently been made public, as perhaps some had earlier suspected, that not all the Americans at Paris were of one mind with their chief about the principle of self-determination. It now appears that there were some unexpressed and private thoughts at Paris, to the effect that self-determination is a rather unsettling doctrine and one not based on sufficiently ancient legal precedents; but surely everyone who is at all familiar with the history of the Jugo-Slav movement will agree with Woodrow Wilson that 'self-determination is not a mere phrase.'

For in place of Serbia we found, not a Greater Serbia, but a new kingdom, the kingdom of the Serbs, the Croats, and the Slovenes; a kingdom including Serbia and Montenegro, and which had taken in not only Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also Croatia and Slavonia, and other parts of Austria-Hungary; a kingdom which regarded its claim to Dalmatia and the adjacent islands as perfect, and which had aspirations, not only to Istria but even to Trieste.

And the change that had come was not a change in fact and in feeling only, but also in law. The Jugo-Slavs were not bound technically or in any other sense by the Pact of London, but held it as void from their point of view, and claimed that it had been annulled by the so-called 'Pact of Rome,' of April, 1918, a claim which had in it, perhaps, more of equity than of technical accuracy. But more important, practically, was the fact that the United States was certainly not bound by the Pact of London, to which we had never directly or indirectly assented; indeed, the American legal view was that the Pact of London, so far as it conflicted with the Fourteen Points, bound nobody at all; for the Fourteen Points had in substance been accepted by Italy as well as by France and Great Britain, even though they had not been

formally incorporated in the AustroHungarian Armistice of November 3, 1918, as they were in the strictest sense made part of the German Armistice eight days later.

But the Pact of London remained a factor throughout the negotiations. The British and the French recognized fully the unwisdom of that treaty in the light of events, though they were naturally unwilling to deny that an agreement which they had signed was binding as to them; so that, with some hesitation, doubtless, they recognized that they could not deny their support to Italian claims based on that treaty.

But, as all the world knows, the Italians did not stand on the Pact of London alone, for they claimed Fiume, which was specifically and by name excluded from their claims by that very document.


It was with such a background, such a confusion of conflicting facts and legal theories, that the Paris negotiations between the United States and Italy regarding the Adriatic took place.

For it was between those two powers that the real Adriatic negotiations at Paris were carried on. The British and the French were entirely willing to accept in advance anything that America and Italy agreed to, and the JugoSlavs were practically committed to the same view by their offer of arbitration before President Wilson. Indeed, as the Jugo-Slavs were a new political union of peoples, it was said at Paris, perhaps with some reason, that their three representatives, Mr. Vesnich, a Serb, Mr. Pachitch, a Slovene, and Mr. Trumbitch, a Croat, would have preferred to accept, as easier to defend in their own country, an agreement announced to them rather than one that had obtained their assent. Obviously, any criticism which alleged

that one branch of the newly formed union had been sacrificed for the benefit of the others would not have been easy to meet. The difficulties of their situation were illustrated by a symbolic remark made by one of their delegates in Paris, that he was negotiating with a dagger at his back, held by his own colleagues.

If I have succeeded in my attempted outline of the geography of the Adriatic, it will be seen that there were four regions there where the Italian and Jugo-Slav views and aspirations clashed: Istria, the islands belonging partly to Istria and partly to Dalmatia, the Dalmatian mainland, and Fiume. Doubtless, if the question were asked of anyone which of these four was the cause of the final difficulty between President Wilson and the Italians, the answer would be Fiume; but that answer would be wrong. It was not Fiume that proved the finally impossible point, but another region, very closely related to that of Fiume, it is true, but still distinct: it was a little strip of territory running along the Gulf of Fiume and then down the Istrian coast, with a hinterland of small importance-a strip which a New York journalist at Paris wittily called the 'Riverside Drive of Istria'; a strip which the Italians valued highly, but only because it would bring Italian territory up to Fiume itself.

During President Wilson's first visit to Europe, little progress was made toward any settlement of the Adriatic question. Signor Orlando, the Italian Prime Minister, had, indeed, during that time, most actively and heartily worked with President Wilson in the drafting of the Covenant of the League of Nations, and the relations between the two chiefs of state were most cordial. But the Adriatic was not directly related to a peace with Germany, with which all the delegations were then more particularly occupied.

It was not until President Wilson came to Paris for the second time that the whole matter was taken up directly between him and Signor Orlando, in great detail. The Italians naturally wanted settled a question which was of more direct interest to them than the terms of the peace with Germany, even including reparations.

In the negotiations, President Wilson rested almost wholly, I think I may say wholly, on the opinions of his territorial advisers on all details of the various proposals. He was, indeed, willing to accept any agreement freely entered into between Italy and the Jugo-Slavs; but no such agreement was possible, perhaps for the reasons I have indicated, perhaps, partly, because of the very natural hostility then existing between the two countries. The Serbs had, of course, fought valiantly and devotedly on the side of the Allies; but the Croats and the Slovenes had been subjects of Austria-Hungary, and while many of them had in fact supported the Allied cause, still the Italians did not then feel very kindly toward peoples, some of whom had, a few short months before, fought against Italian troops on the Piave.

The American point of view, as I have said, necessarily was that the subject must be considered wholly independently of the Pact of London; and the opinion of Professor Douglas Johnson, the eminent geographer of Columbia University and the American territorial adviser, in this matter supported the Italian claims as to Fiume not at all, practically not at all as to the Dalmatian mainland, to a very limited extent as to the islands, and in Istria up to, but only up to, the line drawn by Professor Johnson, which became known as the Wilson line.

It is difficult to describe verbally the Wilson line, in which, indeed, important changes were made from time to time

after it was originally laid down; but it left in Jugo-Slav territory a very considerable part of eastern Istria, and specifically, and more important, perhaps, it was intentionally drawn so as to leave wholly in Jugo-Slav territory the railroad running north from Fiume to Vienna. From the Italian point of view, one great objection to it was bound up with the matter of Fiume; for the Wilson line, in every form, left Fiume physically separated by land from Italy.

The views of the American territorial adviser were that the position taken by him really involved very great concessions to Italy: that the Wilson line was drawn so as to leave several hundred thousand Slavs in Italy and perhaps only 75,000 Italians on the other side of the frontier; that Dalmatia, with the exception of Zara, a city of 12,000 people, was almost wholly Slav; and that the Dalmatian and Istrian islands were likewise mostly Slav; and, finally, that Fiume, while possibly half-Italian in its population, was the essential economic outlet to the sea for a vast hinterland, much of which was part of Jugo-Slavia and the rest a part of Hungary and other regions toward the north.


This leads me to say something a little more in detail of Fiume, a city which for its size has certainly had more than its share of the headlines on the front pages during the last two years.

Fiume owes its commercial importance to its location at the only real break in the mountain-range running down the eastern coast of the Adriatic. Nowhere else along that shore south of Fiume can railroads easily reach the sea. While it has not a naturally fine harbor, its facilities had been well developed by Hungary, and are susceptible of further improvement; and while

logically not serving the same territory as Trieste, it is a commercial rival of that city. In 1914 the trade of Hungary found its political and natural outlet at Fiume, and its surrounding country and neighboring hinterland were wholly Slav. If the suburb of Susak, a part of the port, is included as being in everything but in law a part of the city, the Italians, while the largest group in Fiume, were not a majority of the population.

These facts made the Italian claim to Fiume seem to President Wilson wholly outside of any principle of selfdetermination, and the Italian argument had no other real basis. So that, so long as the Italian demands included Fiume, any successful result of negotiations between President Wilson and the Italian representatives was impossible. So-called 'compromise proposals' could mean only that one side or the other should give way. And in fact the negotiations between Orlando and President Wilson in March and April were more than unsuccessful, for they ended in President Wilson's public statement of April 23, which not only ended the discussions, but caused the temporary withdrawal of the Italian delegation from Paris.

The reasons that led President Wilson to declare publicly his position in a matter which was under discussion are still somewhat obscure. It seems that he was informed, I believe erroneously, that a public statement was about to be made by the Italian delegation. Certainly, late in the evening of the day before the issuance of President Wilson's statement, Count Macchi di Cellere, the Italian Ambassador at Washington, who was then in Paris, had no idea of such a purpose, for he then handed me a typewritten copy of the latest Italian proposal, in four brief items; and the day that President Wilson's statement appeared, the count told me that Signor

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Orlando had not succeeded in his attempt to see President Wilson that day, owing to the latter's other engagements; and that Mr. Lloyd George had sent word to the Italian delegation that three of the four items of the Italian proposal were acceptable, and had asked for information as to the fourth, which concerned Fiume.

But whatever were the reasons for President Wilson's action, certainly some of its effects were unfortunate. It stirred up much feeling about the whole matter, particularly in Italy, and tended to take the question out of the realm of discussion and argument and into the sphere of the emotions, an unsatisfactory background for any international exchanges.

Still, the negotiations were only interrupted; their first chapter was closed, but they were resumed, on the initiative of Colonel House, when Orlando and Sonnino came back to Paris. And I feel free to speak in some detail of those later negotiations of May, 1919, for their story has been largely published in Italy in the Memoirs of Count Macchi di Cellere.

Colonel House's aim was to arrive at a solution which would be satisfactory to the Italians, and which, at the same time, would not be an abandonment of the principles laid down by President Wilson. Certainly, this was a consummation devoutly to be wished, but one that seemed almost impossible on its face. However, Colonel House not only tried it, but demonstrated that it was not impossible; and while the desired goal was not reached, the failure was no fault of his.

After talking with Orlando and President Wilson, Colonel House evolved and had accepted this plan for discussions, which, indeed, was itself a proof of his extraordinary influence, both with his chief, President Wilson, and with his friend, Signor Orlando:

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