Swiss Reply to President Wilson's Peace Note, December 23, 1916

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WWI Document Archive > 1916 Documents > Official Communications and Speeches Relating to Peace Proposals 1916-1917 > Swiss Reply to President Wilson's Peace Note, December 23, 1916

Swiss Reply to President Wilson's Peace Note, December 23, 19161

     The President of the United States of America, with whom the
Swiss Federal Council, guided by its warm desire that the hostilities
may soon come to an end, has for a considerable time been in touch,
had the kindness to apprise the Federal Council of the peace note
sent to the Governments of the Central and Entente Powers. In that
note President Wilson discusses the great desirability of international
agreements for the purpose of avoiding more effectively and perma-
nently the occurrence of catastrophes such as the one under which
the peoples are suffering to-day. In this connection he lays particular
stress on the necessity for bringing about the end of the present war.
Without making peace proposals himself or offering mediation, he
confines himself to sounding as to whether mankind may hope to
have approached the haven of peace.
     The most meritorious personal initiative of President Wilson will
find a mighty echo in Switzerland. True to the obligations arising
from observing the strictest neutrality, united by the same friendship
with the States of both warring groups of powers, situated like an
island amidst the seething waves of the terrible world war, with its
ideal and material interests most sensibly jeopardized and violated, our
country is filled with a deep longing for peace, and ready to assist
by its small means to stop the endless sufferings caused by the war
and brought before its eyes by daily contact with the interned, the
severely wounded, and those expelled, and to establish the founda-
tions for a beneficial cooperation of the peoples.
     The Swiss Federal Council is therefore glad to seize the opportunity
to support the efforts of the President of the United States. It would
consider itself happy if it could act in any, no matter how modest a
way, for the rapprochement of the peoples now engaged in the strug-
gle, and for reaching a lasting peace.

1The New York Times, December 25, 1916