“WE WILL NOT SIGN”
Paris is surprised by Germany's selection of delegates for Versailles. Astonishment is felt that the Government did not nominate more important personages, and that, as would appear from the German Government's note, THESE DELEGATES HAVE ONLY FULL POWERS TO RECEIVE THE TEXT OF THE TREATY, AND NOT SIGN IT.
The " Petit Journal " to-day describes the plenipotentiaries to represent Germany at Versailles as "DIPLOMATIC DUST." The "Excelsior" asks whether it Is a question of a threat or blackmail by the German Government.
The "Berliner Tageblatt" commenting on the situation, remarks:—We must have our minds made up for AN EXTREME STEP. If the Entente sends us peace conditions in contradiction with the principles accepted by- us and approved by the Entente Powers, COUNTER-PROPOSALS MUST BE MADE THAT ARE JUST AND RECONSILABLE WITH PRESIDENT WILSON'S POINTS.
The journal refers to the possibility of the National Assembly desiring a plebiscite on the subject, and remarks - It the Entente refuses all negotiations on our counter-proposals and demand that we shall simply submit, there will, be nothing for it but to declare that in such circumstances WE WILL NOT SIGN.
In a message received from Berlin to-day, the Press Association correspondent says everyone there is discussing the possible rejection of the peace terms if they prove to be of a very drastic character. Particularly, he says, is there a strong feeling in favour of rejecting any terms involving any alteration in the political status of the Soar Coal District.
The George Washington, which is to take President Wilson back to the United States, has arrived at Brest.
An official Note issued to-night says:— The German Government, in reply to the communication of the Allied and Associated Governments, HAS ACCEPTED THEIR CONDITIONS, AND WILL SEND TO VERSAILLES DELEGATES PROVIDED WITH THE NECESSARY POWERS TO NEGOTIATE THE PRELIMINARIES OF PEACE.
The Delegates will be COUNT BROCKDORFF RANTZAU, Minister of Foreign Affairs. HERR GIESBERTS, Minister of Posts. HERR LEINERT, President of the Prussian National Assembly. DR. MELCHOIR, and PROFESSOR SCHUECKING.
The total number of the German delegates and suite will be about seventy five.
The Delegates will probably not arrive before April 28. The Press Association adds—Dr, Melchoir is manager of the firm of Warburg and Co. Professor Schuecking is an international lawyer.
“A Good Augury”
Germany Gives Way To Allied Demands”
THE BIG FOUR FIRM
(Press Association War Special.)
All the newspapers this morning record Germany's capitulation in response to the Allies' demand for the dispatch of fully empowered peace plenipotentiaries to Versailles, and express the opinion that the set-back administered to the German attempt to create a diversion is a good augury.
The 'Figaro’ says the Council of Four did not fall in with the little game attempted by the Germans, and Germany realised at once that the hour is now past for displays of bad faith by blusterers. She THEREFORE GAVE WAY.
It is reported from Paris to-day that SIGNOR ORLANDO, the Italian Premier, has withdrawn from the deliberations of the Council of Four until such time as the Adriatic question is settled in a manner favourable to Italy. Thus a fresh serious deadlock confronts the Peace Conference, and the position is said to have become serious during the past 24 hours. The crisis appears to centre round the possession of Fiume and the Italian attitude is said to be of no compromise.
The Chief Parties to the crisis are Italy and America;
Italy remains inflexible in her insistence upon having Fiume as the minimum of their claims. Grave trouble is feared if this is not conceded and the press in Rome are very militarist.
America, through President Wilson, maintains that to place Fiume under Italian control might mean the bottling up of a great new country at its birth and the sowing seeds of a future war.
It is understood that Mr. Lloyd George is endeavouring to find a middle ground between the hitherto incompatible views of the Americans and the Italians.
The Italian Press strikes a very militant tone in connection with the deadlock;
" The territory conquered by the bravery of our army will remain Italian whether and agreement is reached or not “
The comment by the "Giornalo d'ltalia " is typical of the mood expressed in the chief journals in Rome. One paper hints that Italy can make the Peace Treaty nugatory on the basis of the Treaty of London, which forbade a separate peace.
The differences of opinion between the Chinese and Japanese delegates on the Kiao Chau question and the port of Tsingtau were also under consideration yesterday, but no decision has yet been reached.
THE BREAK UP OVER FIUME
The gravity of the crisis over the fate of FIUME is accentuated by the news from Paris and Rome received this morning, that the Italian delegation to the Peace Conference leaves Paris to-day.
President Wilson's manifesto issued yesterday has caused bitter resentment in Italian circles, and strengthened the delegation in its decision to quit the Peace Conference. the following two items of news received this morning indicate the gravity of the crisis which has been precipitated
The general view of the Italians attached to the Peace Conference is that the manifesto, which will be published throughout Italy to-day, will provoke an explosion of popular anger which may not improbably take the form of anti-American demonstrations. Signor Orlando is confident that he has the whole of Italy behind him in the decision that he has taken.
In response to appeals in the papers to the people of Rome to show their feelings on the subject of the Italian claims, a large crowd gathered in the Piazza di Colonna yesterday, carrying flags and banners. A procession was formed to the Capitol, headed by the Mayor and Councillors. During the demonstration the American, British, and French Embassies were guarded to avoid any possible incident.
Speaking at a demonstration in Rome yesterday, the Mayor said:—In the face of any statement offending justices and denying Italy's right, the people would "rise up with all means, at all costs, against everything and everybody." Italy would not tolerate any diminution of her national rights. 'This supreme crisis of the war and the Alliance" is the Rome "Tribuna's" description of the situation. The Press in Rome unanimously declare that Italy's programme is the minimum compatible with dignity and security.
A Reuter's message, dated to-day, says:Signor Orlando this morning confirmed his intention of leaving this afternoon, although some of his colleagues might remain a few days later. Orlando added:—We are not breaking with our Allies In leaving Paris. We are merely asking them to take charge of our interests.
The King Backs Orlando.
A Reuter’s Paris telegram received this afternoon says:The King of Italy has sent a telegram to Signor Orlando commending his action and insisting that there shall be no recession from the position the Italian Premier, has taken up.
Yesterday was the date for the Quarterly Munster Fair in Limerick, but no horses were exhibited, though permission was given for the holding of the fair. Very few buyers reached the city. The cattle section-of the fair is fixed for to-day.
The conference between the National Executive of the Labour Party and Trade-Union Congress and the strike committee was resumed in tho Mechanics' Institute. Negotiations, with which both Most Rev. Dr. Hallinan and the Mayor were identified, were conducted in the early part of the day, and a further session of the conference took place in the afternoon.
Meanwhile his Lordship and the Mayor called on Gen. Griffin, and after their visit they despatched a joint letter to the conference the purpose of which was not made known. The deliberations terminated 'at 8 o'clock, when it was announced that certain decisions had been reached.
Mr. Thomas Johnston informed the representatives of tho Press that the following proclamation, which would be put in the streets, contains the main conclusions arrived at—"Whereas, the workers of Limerick have been on strike since Monday, April 11, as a protest against the military ban on our city; and whereas, in the meantime the question has become a national issue, we hereby call upon all workers who can resume work without permits to do so on to-morrow (Friday) morning. We further call upon all those workers whose daily occupation requires them to procure military permits to continue in their refusal to accept this sign of subjugation and slavery, pending a decision of a special Irish Trade Union Congress, to be called immediately. "We also call upon our fellow-countrymen and lovers of freedom all over the world to provide tho necessary funds to enable us to continue this struggle against military tyranny.”
At the close of the conference a crowd of a couple of thousand, assembled outside the headquarters of the strike committee, and quietly awaited an announcement of the decisions come to. Mr. John Cronin appeared at a window of the building, having congratulated the people on the magnificent stand made 'against military tyranny in the city, told of the result.