3 NOVEMBER 1917, Page 22


[Letters of the length of one of our leading paragraphs are often more read, and therefore more effective, than those which fill treble the space.] THE CLAIMS OF ITALY.

ITo me Emma or rue " Special:m."1

Stn,—]t is with hesitation that I venture to address you again so soon, but the importance of the subject, and the hope that you may agree in what follows, and may see your way to using your justly powerful influence towards procuring a rectification of the omission alluded to, impel me to make the venture.

In every case lately in which Ministers have spoken publicly of our war aims, while the evacuation of Belgium and of the occupied portion of France, and the restoration of Alsace- Lorraine to France and indemnity to the two countries, have been rightly insisted upon, as sine guibus non, there has been a com- plete omission of any mention of the cession of the Trentino and Trieste to Italy. And there has been this omission, not only when the question might have possibly been regarded as not before the House or the meeting addressed, but when some Member protested against the dismemberment of the Austrian Empire (a dismemberment implied in the above-mentioned ces- sion) a Minister replied by saying that Austria was not our principal enemy. (Is there not complete solidarity among the members of the Entente, so that the enemy of one is the enemy of each of the others without any distinction ?) This omission of any reference to those war aims which specially concern Italy produces, to judge from several articles in the Corriere della Sera, a very painful impression in that country. Only yesterday there was the like omission in the speech of the Postmaster- General. Is it not M be desired that some Minister or Ministers should take occasion publicly to announce that Great Britain will consent to no peace which does not include the satisfaction of the test claims of Italy as well as those of Belgium and France and Serbia, and. I may add, of Rumania and Poland ? It is well to remember that Italy joined the Entente when things were looking very bad for the latter, and now when she has suffered a reverse it would be a cheer to her to have the assurance that we make her cause our own.—I am, Sir, Ac., H. S. V6118CHOILL Rubane, Kircubbin, Co. Down, October 27th.

P.S.—Since writing the above, I have read your most excellent article on " The Terms of Peace." I rejoice to see tow strongly and cogently you plead for the dismemberment of the Austrian Empire as necessary to secure the fulfilment of the aims of justice and liberty, and also that you have called attention to a point which has seemed hitherto strangely neglected—viz., the claim of the restoration of Schleswig to be included in the conditions of peace. As fighting in common for the cause of righteousness and liberty, we and our Allies are all equally bound to insist on this; but a special obligation rests upon our country to use every eflort to obtain this restitution. Fifty-three years ago we broke our word to Denmark by failing to give her our promised sup- port. We thus enabled Prussia to snatch Schleswig-Holstein from her. The one proof of the sincerity of our repentance of that national sin is to be found in the use of our beet endeavour. to obtain restitution to Denmark of the province to which she is justly entitled—viz., Schleswig.

[We cannot believe that Italian claims are ever really absent from the minds of our responsible leaders. Ituly must of eourss have absolute security, and the possession of all those strategic points that security postulates. Italians for their part. we are sure, will remember that there can be no security for a nation that has discontented neighbours. The South Slays must also have security. The two securities are interdependent. We are Bled to note a frank and reasoned recognition of this fact in Italian newspapers.—En. Spectator.]