Spanish Reply to President Wilson's Peace Note, December 30, 1916

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WWI Document Archive > 1916 Documents > Official Communications and Speeches Relating to Peace Proposals 1916-1917 > Spanish Reply to President Wilson's Peace Note, December 30, 1916

Spanish Reply to President Wilson's Peace Note, December 30, 19161

     His Majesty's Government has received through your embassy a
copy of the note which the President of the United States has pre-
sented to the belligerent powers, expressing the desire that an early
opportunity should be sought for obtaining from all the nations now
at war a declaration as to their intentions so far as regards the bases
upon which the conflict might be terminated. This copy is accompanied
by another note, signed by yourself, and dated December 22, in which
your embassy, in accordance with the instructions of your Govern-
ment, says, in the name of the President, that the moment seems to
be opportune for action on the part of his Majesty's Government,
and that it should, if it thinks fit, support the attitude adopted by
the Government of the United States.
     With regard to the reasonable desire manifested by the latter Gov-
ernment to be supported in its proposition in favor of peace, the Gov-
ernment of his Majesty, considering that the initiative has been
taken by the President of the North American Republic, and that the
diverse impressions which it has caused are already known, is of
opinion that the action to which the United States invites Spain
would not have efficacy, and the more so because the Central Em-
pires have already expressed their firm intention to discuss the con-
ditions of peace solely with the belligerent powers.
     Fully appreciating that the noble desire of the President of the
United States will always merit the gratitude of all nations, the Gov-
ernment of his Majesty is decided not to dissociate itself from any
negotiation or agreement destined to facilitate the humanitarian work
which will put an end to the present war, but it suspends its action,
reserving it for the moment when the efforts of all those who desire
peace will be more useful and efficacious than is now the case, if there
should then be reasons to consider that its initiative or its intervention
would be profitable.
     Until that moment arrives the Government of his Majesty regards
it as opportune to declare that in all that concerns an understanding
between the neutral powers for the defense of their material interests
affected by the war, it is disposed now, as it has been since the begin-
ning of the present conflict, to enter into negotiations which may tend
toward an agreement capable of uniting all the non-belligerent powers
which may consider themselves injured or may regard it as necessary
to remedy or diminish such injuries.

1Current History, New York, February, 1917, p. 792.