Page:Jean Jaurès socialist and humanitarian 1917.djvu/140

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

It was beneficial, he goes on, to reconcile England and Italy with France, but the problem was to do this without "uselessly and thoughtlessly exciting the susceptibilities of Germany."

Jaurès then gave a description of the rise of Germany, showing how she had always had the misfortune to lag behind the other great nations in her development. He pointed out that for forty years peace had been maintained and that, during that time, Germany had grown immensely in population and in industrial activity. Now she finds herself again too late. Most parts of the world are already occupied. Therefore it is natural, says Jaurès, that she should watch with a particularly scrupulous care that no new distribution of the small markets which remain should be arranged.

"And this is why in 1904 and 1905 when vast diplomatic combinations came into play, and when these diplomatic combinations had for their immediate object the distribution of a new sphere of influence and of power, I say that it was a grave imprudence in French diplomacy not to have occupied itself by real and serious negotiations in taking precautions with reference to the susceptibilities of Germany,

"You have made, eight years later, the bargain by which, eight years ago, you would have saved France a period of crisis and agitation."

Many of the deputies were very much excited