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United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, 1919

Netherlands,   pp. 650-658 PDF (2.8 MB)

Page 653

862.001W64/104: Telegram
The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in France (Sharp)
WASHINGTON, November 21, 1918, 7 p.m.
56. For Colonel House: Referring to your No. 121, it is my own
feeling that there are many serious disadvantages in having the
Kaiser so near his former kingdom and so near also to the centers of
intrigue. I am at a loss to suggest what course ought to be taken,
but I think that Holland will find him an exceedingly inconvenient
and even dangerous guest. Woodrow Wilson.
The British Embassy to the Department of State
[Received December 3, 1918.]
"It is very important that the following communication shall
reach the President and Mr. Lansing before departure.
At a Conference of the Governments of France, Great Britain
and Italy held in London this morning the three Governments
agreed to recommend that a demand ought to be presented to Hol-
land for the surrender of the person of the Kaiser for trial, by an
International Court to be appointed by the Allies, on the charge of
being the criminal mainly responsible for the war and breaches of
International Law by the forces of Germany by land, sea and air.
During its deliberations the Conference had before it the opinion
of a Committee of nine of the most eminent Jurists of the British
Isles, who recommended unanimously that the Kaiser and his prin-
cipal accomplices should be brought to trial before a Court consist-
ing of nominees of the principal nations victorious in the war.
In coming to the conclusion set forth above the Conference were
influenced by the following principal considerations.
A. That justice requires that the Kaiser and his principal ac-
complices who designed and caused the war with its malignant
purpose or, who were responsible for incalculable sufferings in-
flicted on the human race during the war, should be brought to
trial and punished for their crimes.
B. That certain inevitable personal punishment for crimes
against humanity and international right will be a very impor-
tant security against future attempts to make war wrongfully
or to violate International Law and is a necessary stage in the
development of the authority of a League of Nations.

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