Friday, May 06, 2016

Today -100: May 6, 1916: The one thing I have never heard discussed is peace

Germany’s reply to Wilson’s last note on submarine warfare accepts US demands not to sink ships without warning and to rescue evacuees, and is considered by an (unnamed) member of the Wilson Administration to be “irritating but acceptable.” Germany denies Wilson’s charge of indiscriminate sinking of ships, but sees no reason to debate it since the US “omitted to substantiate the assertion by reference to concrete facts.” In other irritating but acceptable language, Germany says that sub warfare was merely a response to the British, who first extended the war to non-combatants through its naval blockade, and hey we can’t help noticing that “the sentiments of humanity, which the Government of the United States extends with such fervor to the unhappy victims of submarine warfare, are not extended with the same warmth of feeling to many millions of women and children who, according to the avowed intention of the British Government, shall be starved”. It also mentions the voluminous sales of munitions from US companies to Germany’s enemies. The irritating but probably unacceptable sting in the note’s tale is that limits on sub warfare will only remain in place if the US tells Britain to knock off the blockade.

The British execute 4 more Irish rebels, including poet Joseph Plunkett, sculptor and tutor William Pearse, and Michael O’Hanrahan, a Gaelic teacher. They sound very scary.

Lord Curzon, the Lord Privy Seal, says “I have heard many things discussed in the Cabinet, but the one thing I have never heard discussed is peace.”

US marines land in Santo Domingo.

Adela Pankhurst, whose mother Emmeline banished her to Australia before the war, is stoned by soldiers and others while leading a No Conscription rally in Melbourne.

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