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戴维·劳合·乔治 告国民书

2006-07-07 17:00

David Lloyd George

AN APPEAL TO THE NATION

September 1g,1914

  There is no man in this room who has always re-garded the prospect of engaging in a great war with greater reluctance and with greater repugnance than I have done throughout the whole of my polit-ical life.There is no man either inside or outside this room more convinced that we could not have avoided it without national dishonor.I am fully alive to the fact that every nation that has ever en-gaged in war has always invoked the sacred name of honor.Many a crime has been committed in its name;there are some being committed now.All the same,national honor is a reality,and any na-tion that disregards it is doomed.Why is our honor as a country involved in this war? Because,in the first instance,we are bound by honorable obliga-tions to defend the independence,the liberty,the integrity,of a small neighbor that has always lived peaceably.She could not have compelled us; shewas weak; but the man who declines to discharge his duty because his creditor is too poor to enforce it is a blackguard.We entered into a treaty—a solemn treaty—two treaties—to defend Belgium and her integrity.Our signatures are attached to the documents.Our signatures do not stand there alone;this country was not the only country that undertook to defend the integrity of Belgium.Rus-sia,France,Austria,Prussia—they are all there.Why are Austria and Prussia not performing the obligations of their bond? It is suggested that when we quote this treaty it is purely an excuse on our part—it is our low craft and cunning to cloak our jealousy of a superior civilization—that we are at-temyting to destroy.

  It is the interest of Prussia to break the treaty,and she has done it.She avows it with cynical contempt for every principle of justice.She says “Treaties only bind you when your interest is to keep them.”“What is a treaty?” says the Ger-man Chancellor:“A scrap of paper.” Have you any £5 notes about you? I am not calling for them.Have you any of those neat little Treasury £ 1notes? If you have,burn them; they are only scraps of paper.What are they made of? Rags.What are they worth? The whole credit of the British Empire.Scraps of paper!I have been deal-ing with scraps of paper within the last month.One suddenly found the commerce of the world coming to a standstill.The machine had stopped Why? I will tell you.We discovered—many of us for the first time,for I do not pretend that I do not know much more about the machinery of commerce to-day than I did six weeks ago,and there are many others like me—we discovered that the ma-chinery of commerce was moved by bills of ex-change.I have seen some of them—wretched,crinkled,scrawled over,blotched,frowsy,and yet those wretched little scraps of paper move great ships laden with thousands of tons of pre-cious cargo from one end of the world to the other.What is the motive power behind them? The honor of commercial men.Treaties are the currency of International statesmanship.Let us be fair: Ger-man merchants,German traders,have the reputa-tion of being as upright and straightforward as any traders in the world—but if the currency of Ger-man commerce is to be debased to the level of that of her statesmanship,no trader from Shanghai to Valparaiso will ever look at a German signature a-gain.This doctrine of the scrap of paper,this doc-tine which is proclaimed by Bernhardi,that treaties only bind a nation as long as it is to its in-terest,goes under the root of all public law.It is the straight road to barbarism.It is as if you were to remove the Magnetic Pole because it was in the way of a German cruiser.The whole navigation of the seas would become dangerous,difficult,and impossible; and the whole machinery of civilization will break down if this doctrine wins in this way.We are fighting against barbarism and there is one way of putting it right.If there are nations that say they will only respect treaties when it is to their interest to do so,we must make it to their in-terest to do so for the future.

  What is their defense? Consider the interviewwhich took place between our Ambassador and thegreat German officials.When their attention wascalled to this treaty to which they were parties,they said,“We cannot help that.Rapidity of ac-tion is the great German asset.”There is a greaterasset for a nation than rapidity of action and that ishonest dealing.What are Germany's excuscs? Shesays Belgium was plotting against her;Belgiumwas engaged in a great conspiracy with Britain andFrance to attack her.Not merely is it not true,butGermany knows it is not true.France offered Bel-gium five army corps to defend her if she was at-tacked Belgium said,“I do not require them;Ihave the word of the Kaiser.Shall C$sar send alie?” All these tales about conspiracy have beenvamped up since.A great nation ought to be ashamed to behave like a fraudulent bankrupt,per-juring its way through its obligations.What shesays is not true.She has deliberately broken this treaty,and we are in honor bound to stand by it.

  Belgium has been treated brutally.How bru-tally we shall not yet know.We already know too much.What had she done? Had she sent an ulti-matum to Germany? Had she challenged Germany?Was she preparing to make war on Germany? Hadshe inflicted any wrong upon Germany which theKaiser was bound to redress?She was one of themost unoffending little countries in Europe.Thereshe was—peaceable,industrious,thrifty,hard- working,giving offense to no one.And her corn- fields have been trampled,her villages have beenburnt,her art treasures have been destroyed,hermen have been slaughtered—yea,and her womenand children too.Hundreds and thousands of herpeople,their neat comfortable little homes burntto the dust,are wandering homeless in their ownland.What was their crime?Their crime was thatthey trusted to the word of a Prussian King.

  Have you read the Kaiser's speeches?If youhave not a copy I advise you to buy one;they willsoon be out of print,and you will not have manymore of the same sort.They are full of the glitterand bluster of German militarism—“mailed fist,”and“shining armor.”Poor old mailed fist.Itsknuckles are getting a little bruised.Poor shiningarmor!The shine is being knocked out of it.Thereis the same swagger and boastfulness running through the whole of the speeches.

  Treaties?They tangle the feet of Germany inher advance.Cut them with the sword.Little na-tions?They hinder the advance of Germany.

  Trample them in the mire under the German heel!The Russian Slav?He challenges the supremacy ofGermany in Europe.Hurl your legions at him andmassacre him!Christianity?Sickly sentimentalismabout sacrifice for others!Poor pap for German di-gestion!We will have a new diet.We will force itupon the world.It will be made in Germany—adiet of blood and iron.What remains?Treatieshave gone.The honor of nations has gone.Libertyhas gone.What is left?Germany!Germany isleft!—“Deutschland über Alles!”

  They think we cannot beat them.It will notbe easy.It will be a long job;it will be a terriblewar;but in the end we shall march through terrorto triumph.We shall need all our qualities—everyquality that Britain and its people possess—pru-dence in counsel,daring in action,tenacity in pur-pose,courage in defeat,moderation in victory;inall things faith.

戴维·劳合·乔治

告国民书

1914年9月19日

  我在自己的整个政治生涯中对参加一场大战的前景从来是坚决反对和深恶痛绝的,在座诸位中没有人会超过我。在座或不在座的人当中也没有人比我更相信:我们不可能避免了战争而不损害国家荣誉。我充分注意到了这样的事实:每个曾经参加过战争的国家总要乞灵于荣誉这个神圣的名义。许多罪行是以荣誉的名义犯下的;眼下就有人在犯罪。但是国家的荣誉毕竟是一种实际存在,任何无视这种存在的国家都注定要倒运。为什么我们这个光荣的国家卷入了这场战争呢?首先是因为我们承担着光荣的义务:保卫一个始终与世无争的弱小邻国的独立、自由和领土完整。这个国家不可能强迫我们履行义务;她很弱小;但是如果有人因为债权人太懦弱,无力强制他还债而拒绝清偿债务,那他就是一个恶棍。我们签订过一个条约——一个庄严的条约——两个条约——以保卫比利时及其领土完整。我们是在文件上签了字的。在文件上签字的不止我们一个国家;我们不是承诺保卫比利时领土完整的唯一国家。俄国、法国、奥地利、普鲁士——它们都签了字。为什么奥地利和普鲁士不履行他们所承担的义务?有人提出,我们引用这个条约纯粹是我方的一种借口——是我们用以掩盖我们对一种优越文明的妒嫉的卑劣手腕和诡计——我们企图摧毁这个文明。撕毁这个条约对普鲁士有利,于是她就撕毁了条约。她以对一切正义原则肆无忌惮的轻蔑态度公开宣布这一点。她说“条约只有在遵守它们对你有利时才对你有约束力”。德国首相说,“条约是什么?”“一张废纸。”你们身边带着5镑的纸币吗?我不是要这五镑钱。你们有那种小巧匀称的1镑国库券吗?如果有的话,就烧掉它吧;那不过是几张废纸。它们是用什么东西造的呢?破布。它们有什么价值呢?它们的价值是不列颠帝国的全部信誉。废纸!上个月我一直在和废纸打交道。人们突然发觉世界贸易停止了。机器停转了。为什么?我来告诉你们。我们发现——我们许多人是第一次发现,因为我自认为自己今天在贸易机制方面比6个星期之前懂得的要多,其他许多人和我一样——我们发现贸易机制是靠汇票来运转的。我看到过一些汇票——脏兮兮、皱巴巴、票面上乱涂乱画、墨迹斑斑、散发着霉味。可就是那些脏兮兮的小小废纸开动了满载着几千吨珍贵货物的巨轮从世界的这一头驶向另一头。什么是这些废纸背后的动力呢?是商人的信用。条约是国际政治家的货币。平心而论,德国商人和世界上的任何商人一样,以诚实正直而闻名——但是如果德国贸易的货币贬值到德国政治家的货币的水平,那么从上海到瓦尔帕莱索就不会有一个商人对德国商人的签字再瞧上一眼。这个废纸论,伯恩哈迪所宣扬的这个废纸论——条约只有在对一个国家有利时才对它有约束力——涉及到了一切公法的根本。这种理论直通野蛮之路。这种理论就是你必须去挪动磁极,因为它挡了一艘德国巡洋舰的路。如果这种理论就这样得逞的话,那么所有海上的航行就会变得危险、困难,甚至不可能;而整个文明机制就会崩溃。我们正在同野蛮作斗争,我们有一个拨乱反正的办法。如果有些国家说他们只有在守约对他们有利时才守约,那末我们就不得不迫使他们只有守约才对他们今后有利。

  他们是如何辩解的?请看我们的大使与德国高级官员的会见。当大使要求他们注意他们也是这个条约的缔约方时,他们说,“我们对此无能为力。行动迅速是大日耳曼的财富”。其实,对一个国家来说,有一种比行动迅速更宝贵的财富,那就是以诚待人。德国的借口是什么呢?她说比利时正在阴谋反对她;比利时和英法在策划一个进攻德国的大阴谋。不仅这件事本身是不真实的,而且德国知道这是不真实的。法国提供比利时五个军,以保卫比利时不受侵犯。比利时说,“我不需要军队;我得到了皇帝的保证。难道恺撤还会撤谎吗”?所有这些关于阴谋的谎言都是事后捏造出来的。一个大国本该对这种像一个破了产的骗子那样用发假誓来摆脱其义务的行径感到羞耻。她所说的都是不真实的。她蓄意撕毁了这个条约,而我们在道义上必须遵守这个条约。

  比利时遭到了蛮横的对待。蛮横到什么程度我们还不清楚。其实我们已经知道得太多了。比利时干了什么呢?她给德国发了最后通牒吗?她向德国挑战了吗?她在准备向德国开战吗?她使德国遭受了必须要皇帝来纠正的冤屈吗?比利时是欧洲最安分守己的小国之一。比利时——她的人民温顺、勤劳、节俭、工作努力——没有冒犯任何人。而她的麦田遭践踏,她的村庄被烧毁,她的艺术珍品被毁坏,她的男人们遭屠杀——甚至妇女和儿童也未能幸免。她成千上万的人民在自己的国土上流离失所,他们那整洁舒适的小家已化为灰烬。他们犯了什么罪?他们的罪行就是听信了普鲁士国王的诺言。

  你们读过皇帝的演说集吗?如果你们没有这本演说集,我建议你们去买一本;它们将很快绝版,这种演说不可多得。它们充满了德国军国主义的气焰和咆哮——“铁甲拳头”,“锃亮的盔甲”。可怜的老铁甲拳。它的指关节有点发肿。可怜的锃亮的盔甲!它正在失去光泽。演说集篇篇都是这种耀武扬威,自吹自擂。

  条约?条约缠住了德国前进的脚步。用剑斩断它们。小国?小国阻碍了德国的前进。用德国的脚跟把她们踩入泥淖!俄国斯拉夫人?他们向德国在欧洲的霸权挑战。把你的大军开过去杀光他们!基督教徒?他们那种对于为别人牺牲的令人作呕的多愁善感!他们对德国的消化力来说不过是乏味的半流质食品!我们要有一种新的饮食。我们要把它强加给全世界。它将在德国制造出来——铁血饮食。还剩下什么?条约完了。国家的荣誉完了。自由完了。还留下什么?德国!只有德国留下了!——“德国高于一切!”

  他们以为我们不能打败他们。打败他们不会是件易事。这将是件耗时费力的事;这将是一场可怕的战争;但是最终我们将克服恐怖走向胜利。我们需要我们的所有品质——不列颠及其人民所拥有的每一种品质:谋划审慎、行动果敢、意志顽强、败不馁、胜不骄,无论何事都恪守诺言。

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