Swiss Peace Note in support of President Wilson, December 23, 1916

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WWI Document Archive > 1916 Documents > Official Communications and Speeches Relating to Peace Proposals 1916-1917 > Swiss Peace Note in support of President Wilson, December 23, 1916

Swiss Peace Note in support of President Wilson, December 23, 19161

     The President of the United States of America has just addressed
to the Governments of the Entente and to the Central Powers a note
in favour of peace. He has been good enough to communicate
it to the Swiss Federal Council, which, inspired by the ardent de-
sire to see an early cessation of hostilities, got into touch with him
as long as five weeks ago.
     In this note President Wilson recalls how desirable it is to come
to international agreements with a view to avoiding, in a permanent
and sure manner, such catastrophes as those which the peoples have
to suffer to-day. Before all, he insists upon the necessity of put-
ting an end to the present war. He himself does not formulate
peace proposals, nor does he propose his mediation. He limits him-
self to sounding the belligerents in order to ascertain whether hu-
manity may hope to-day that it has advanced towards a beneficent
     The generous personal initiative of President Wilson will not fail
to awaken a profound echo in Switzerland. Faithful to the duties
which the strictest observation of neutrality imposes upon her, united
by the same friendship to the two groups of Powers at present at war.
isolated in the midst of the frightful melee of the peoples, seriously
threatened and affected in her spiritual and material interests, our
country longs for peace.
     Switzerland is ready to aid with all her feeble strength in putting
an end to the sufferings of war which she sees being endured every
day by the interned, the seriously wounded, and the deported. She,
too, is willing to lay the foundations for a fruitful collaboration
of the peoples. That is why the Swiss Federal Council seizes with
joy the opportunity to support the efforts of the President of the
United States of America. She would esteem herself happy if she
could, even in the most modest measure, work for the rapprochement
of the nations at war and the establishment of a lasting peace.

1The Times, London. December 26, 1916. Addressed to all the belligerent Govern-
ments. Norway, Sweden and Denmark likewise addressed these Governments
in support of President Wilson, in an identical note of December 22, 1916, no
official text of which is available. These notes were briefly acknowledged by the
Entente Allies on January 17, 1917, the four States being referred for
fuller reply to the joint note to President Wilson of January 10, 1917. Ibid.,
January 18, 1917. For the replies of the Central Governments to the Swiss note,
see post, pp. 36, 27. Germany, on January 1, 1917, briefly acknowledged the
Scandinavian note, concluding with the remark : "It depends upon the reply
of the Entente whether the attempt to give back to the world the blessings of
peace will be crowned with success." The New York Times, January 4. 1917.
For the Austro-Hungarian reply to the Scandinavian note, see post, p. 45.