The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations ( Hitchcock ) to the Acting Secretary of State

My Dear Mr. Secretary: I enclose herewith copy of Senator Knox’s6 resolution, declaring that the purposes of the United States at the peace conferences should be confined to the restitution, reparation, and guarantees against the German menaces to the peace of our country. The committee will consider this resolution next Wednesday and I would be pleased to know before that time whether you have any suggestions to offer as to the wisdom of adopting the resolution.

Yours truly,

G. M. Hitchcock

Senate Resolution No. 361 of the Sixty-fifth Congress, Third Session, Submitted December 3, 1918

Whereas the United States of America entered the war with Germany and Austria-Hungary in order to vindicate the ancient rights of navigation as established under international law and in order to remove forever the German menace to our peace; and

Whereas the splendid effort of the American people and the valor of our soldiers and sailors during a year and a half, when added to the enormous sacrifices, the steadfast fortitude, and the noble courage displayed by our allies during more than four years, have made possible the attainment of those aims, now best expressed as restitution, reparation, and guaranties against the German menace; and

Whereas the surrender of Germany and Austria-Hungary to the terms of the armistice has attained a great part, and has rendered enforceable the remainder of those aims; and

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Whereas conferences are about to take place with the purpose to complete, to perfect, and to guarantee the attainment of the war aims aforesaid and thus to pass to the state of formal peace: Therefore be it

Resolved, That the purposes of the United States of America in those conferences should be confined to the aforesaid aims and matters germane thereto.

  • Second. That for the safeguarding of those aims the first essential is a definite understanding that the same necessity arising in the future there shall be the same complete accord and cooperation with our chief cobelligerents for the defense of civilization.
  • Third. That any project for any general league of nations or for any sweeping change in the ancient laws of the sea as hitherto recognized as international law and violated by the Teutonic powers should be postponed for separate consideration not alone by the victorious belligerents but by all the nations, if and when at some future time general conferences on those subjects might be deemed useful.

Resolved further, That immediately upon compliance with the terms of the armistice and the guaranteed attainment of the war aims as aforesaid, the Army and Navy of the United States should be withdrawn from foreign territories and waters except in so far as their retention might be temporarily necessary to establish the status contemplated by the armistice; and further that the extraordinary powers conferred upon the President for the prosecution of the war should be withdrawn and the country restored to a normal condition of peace with the greatest possible celerity consistent with the national interest.

  1. Senator Philander Knox of Pennsylvania.