1917: Must Crush German Lust for Conquest, Asserts President

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BUFFALO, N.Y., Tuesday, — President Wilson delivered an eloquent speech here yesterday before the annual congress of the American Federation of Labor. He made a stirring appeal to the workers to aid in prosecuting the war, which, he said, could not be won unless all parties made common cause and forgot their differences.

Mr. Samuel Gompers presided, and an audience numbering 6,000, and including 450 Labor delegates from all parts of the country, gave Mr. Wilson a rousing ovation.

“We have arrived,” he said, “at the decisive hour when we have to choose between the old principle of Might and the new principle of Liberty. Germany had her place in the sun. What more did she want? She had peace in her domain, but she desired to succeed by domination, not by peaceable labor.”

Speaking of Russia, the President said that any nation that has dealings with Germany is courting her own ruin. “The Russian pacifists,” he added, “are as deceived as.they are visionary.”

The audience gave him an enthusiastic ovation.

Referring to the Berlin-Baghdad railway, Mr. Wilson said: — “That railway was constructed with a view to outflanking the industries of half-a-dozen countries. German competition would not have met with great resistance because it has always been possible for the German armies to get into the heart of a country more quickly than other armies.’

How It Looks on Paper.

“Take a glance at the map of Europe. In the German proposals regarding Belgium, Northern France and Alsace-Lorraine, there are some very interesting side issues, but Germany takes good care not to broach the matter herself.

“Germany has absolute control of Austria-Hungary, and practically controls the Balkans, Turkey and Asia-Minor. If she can keep the map of Europe as it is at present she will realize the dreams which she cherished at the beginning of the war, and, by her might, trouble the world as long as she retains it.”

— The New York Herald, November, 14, 1917 —