LONDON -- "One for all and all for one."
That is tonight the position of Great Britain, France and Russia. Germany is the common enemy. No peace will be made with the kaiser's hosts that is not agreed to by each of these three nations. This was decided on today when an offensive and defensive agreement was formally signed. It means that even though France or England or Russia should be overwhelmed, so long as one country is able to continue the fight, the fighting must go on. And it means that if Germany is finally crushed -- and all three nations insist she will be -- a lasting peace will be concluded by the three nations, and not by any one of them.
The agreement as signed at the foreign office this afternoon formally pledging the three nations as allies, reads as follows:
"The undersigned, duly authorized thereto by their respective governments, hereby declare as follows:
"The British, French and Russian governments mutually engage not to conclude peace separately during the present war. The three governments agree that when the terms of peace come to be discussed no one of the allies will demand conditions of peace without the previous agreement of the other allies.
"In faith whereof the undersigned have signed this declaration and have affixed thereto their seals.
"Done at London in triplicate this fifth day of September, nineteen hundred and fourteen.
"E. Grey, British secretary of foreign affairs.
"Paul Cambon, French ambassador to Great Britain.
"Beckendorff, Russian ambassador to Great Britain.
The importance of this agreement cannot be overestimated. Heretofore the allies were operating under separate and distinct declarations of war against Germany. Russia and France were bound by treaty mutually to aid each other. England was not. Her treaty promises diplomatic assistance only. That she went to war had so far been insisted to have been entirely due to Germany's invasion of Belgium, thereby violating the neutrality of that kingdom. England could always have withdrawn from the war. But in view of the devastation by the Germans in France it was decided that an offensive alliance should be agreed on and today's protocol was the result.
Japan and Belgium are not parties to the agreement. England is bound by her treaty agreements to Japan in such a manner that she has been able to limit the Japanese activity to the far east and has also exacted from Japan her promise that she will not wage a war of conquest on Chinese territory. Belgium has a treaty with England whereby England has promised to protect the integrity of Belgium as an independent kingdom. Should the allies conquer Germany it is certain that a just recompense will be exacted for Belgium.
One result of the new agreement, it is accepted in diplomatic circles, is that France and England will be able to curb Russia and prevent unreasonable demands by Russia. It is accepted that the Russians' demands will be the hardest to limit should the allies win. The German hatred of Russia is extreme. The kaiser has publicly called the czar a barbarian and has at all times emphasized that the present conflict was the natural outgrowth of the contrast between the Prussian people and the Slavic nations. Because of that it is realized that when mediation succeeds conflict, the hardest factors to reconcile will be the bitterness between the kaiser and the csar. The balance in Europe must be preserved and England and France are the two nations that will be most directly concerned in preserving it, should the cause of the allies eventually triumph.