Minister Peirce to the Secretary of State .

No. 37.]

Sir: On Sunday morning, December 9, I called upon Mr. Lövland and made the final arrangements for the reception of the prize [Page 1192] in the chamber of deputies of the Storthing on Monday, December 10.

These arrangements were carried out as follows: An extraordinary session of the Storthing was called for 1.30 o’clock, on Monday, December 10, which the members of the diplomatic corps and the officials of the Government were invited to attend. A row of chairs had been placed in front of the seats of the deputies, facing the president, for the Nobel committee, and an additional chair for the representative of the recipient of the prize. So quietly had the matter been kept that no member of the Storthing, even, was aware of the decision of the committee, and there was much speculation as to who would receive the award. In the diplomatic loge intense interest was manifest, and while President Roosevelt’s name was frequently spoken as being the most fitting choice the absence of any intimation of the fact was regarded as an indication that this had not been decided upon.

The session was called to order by President Knutsen at 1.45 o’clock, and immediately Mr. Lovland, as chairman of the Nobel committee, announced the decision of the committee in a few brief and formal words.

The president then said the following, which I translate:

When this year the Nobel committee, perhaps for the last time, appears on the 10th of December, here in the Storthing, for the purpose of informing the Storthing of its decision in regard to the award of the peace prize, it is only fair to call to mind that the Norwegian Storthing was one of the first parliaments which adopted the cause of peace by awarding to the same its support.

The cause of peace, gentlemen, presented quite a different aspect twelve to fifteen years ago to what it does to-day. The cause of peace was then considered a utopianism and the champions of that cause were considered as well-intentioned but enthusiastic idealists, with whom one could not count in practical politics and who had no comprehension of the realities of life.

Since then a complete change has taken place in this respect. Since, in the course of later years, leading statesmen and even rulers of nations have adopted the cause, public opinion has undergone a complete change with regard to the latter. And it is, in the first place, the United States of America which have taken the lead in this work tending to the introduction of the cause of peace into the domain of practical politics. Treaties of peace and arbitration have been concluded by the United States with the governments of several countries, and a circumstance which more than anything else has directed the attention of the friends of peace as well as of the whole civilized world toward the United States is President Roosevelt’s philanthropic efforts tending toward bringing about the termination of the bloody war which recently raged between two of the world’s great powers, Japan and Russia.

In handing over to you, Mr. Minister, on behalf of the Storthing the peace prize with its appurtenances, I beg to request you on behalf of the Storthing to convey to the President a greeting from the Norwegian people and its thanks for what he has accomplished for the furtherance of the cause of peace, and I will add hereto the wish that it may be vouchsafed to this richly and eminently endowed personality to still work for the furtherance of the cause of peace and for the consolidation of the peace of the world.

He then handed me the diploma, medal, and order upon the Nobel trustees for the amount of the prize, and upon receiving them I spoke as follows, ending by reading the President’s telegraphed words of thanks and statement as to the disposition he has determined upon for the sum of money which constitutes the prize:

Mr. President, gentlemen of the Norwegian Storthing: I deeply regret that my residence in your capital has been as yet too brief to enable me to address you in your own vigorous language. But “had I a thousand several tongues “they would be inadequate to express to you the deep emotion with which I appear before you to receive, on behalf of the President of the United States, [Page 1193] this distinguished testimonial of your recognition of those acts which stamp him as preeminent in devotion to the cause of peace and good will on earth.

I will not vainly attempt by any words of mine to add to the luster of the name of Theodore Roosevelt. His acts proclaim him, and you, gentlemen of the Norwegian Storthing, by this award of the Nobel peace prize, a foundation conceived in God-like love of mankind, have blazoned to the world your recognition of his wise use of his great office in the best interests of humanity.

I quote President Roosevelt’s words in a telegram from him, recently received by me, when I say that he regards the award of this prize as one of the greatest honors which any man, in any position throughout the world, can receive.

Speaking for my countrymen, I may say that this award will deeply appeal to the hearts of our people and knit closer those bonds of sympathy which unite us in the brotherhood of nations.

To me, who have enjoyed the inestimable privilege of witnessing in the course of current affairs the earnest desire with which the Chief Magistrate of my country is imbued to promote the cause of peace in the interests of all mankind, when peace comports with that honorable self-respect which nations as well as individuals owe to themselves, this award seems most markedly felicitous, and I rejoice greatly in the good fortune which permits me to be the medium of transmission of this token of your appreciation of the profound love for and lofty sense of duty to his fellow-men which is the guiding principle of his official life.

The President has directed me to read to you, Mr. President, the following message which he has telegraphed to me for this purpose:

“I am profoundly moved and touched by the signal honor shown me through your body in conferring upon me the Nobel peace prize. There is no gift I could appreciate more, and I wish it were in my power to fully express my gratitude. I thank you for and I thank you on behalf of the United States; for what I did I was able to accomplish only as the representative of the nation of which, for the time being, I am President.

“After much thought I have concluded that the best and most fitting way to apply the amount of the prize is by using it as a foundation to establish at Washington a permanent industrial peace committee. The object will be to strive for better and more equitable relations among my countrymen who are engaged, whether as capitalists or as wage-workers, in industrial and agricultural pursuits. This will carry out the purpose of the founder of the prize; for, in modern life, it is as important to work for the cause of just and righteous peace in the industrial world as in the world of nations.

“I again express to you the assurance of my deep and lasting gratitude and appreciation.

Theodore Roosevelt.

The President’s telegram has given great satisfaction here, and is everywhere most favorably commented on, as is the award of the prize to him. I am informed that the King of Sweden has expressed himself as much gratified. The King of Norway is absent, but I have no doubt he will be greatly pleased both with the award and the President’s noble application of the fund.

I may perhaps be permitted to say that this has been one of the most gratifying occasions of my life, and that it was with unspeakable pride that I had the honor of receiving on his behalf this token of a nation’s recognition of the President’s high purpose toward mankind, and that I continue to hear the words of encomium and congratulation which everywhere comes to me.

I have, etc.,

Herbert H. D. Peirce.