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TELEGRAM TO THE KING OF THE
BELGIANS, NOVEMBER 17, 1917
HIS MAJESTY ALBERT,
King of the Belgians, Havre.
I take pleasure in extending to Your Majesty greetings of friendship and good will on this your fete day. For the people of the United States, I take this occasion to renew expressions of deep sympathy for the sufferings which Belgium has endured under the willful, cruel, and barbaric force of a disappointed Prussian autocracy.
The people of the United States were never more in earnest than in their determination to prosecute to a successful conclusion this war against that power and to secure for the future, obedience to the laws of nations and respect for the rights of humanity.
ADDRESS RECOMMENDING THE DECLARA-
In his address to the Congress of April 2, 1917, President Wilson referred to the grievances which this country had against the Austro-Hungarian Government, and stated that "that Government has not actually engaged in warfare against citizens of the United States on the seas, and I take the liberty, for the present at least, of postponing a discussion of our relations with the authorities at Vienna. We enter this war only where we are clearly forced into it because there are no other means of defending our rights." As, however, events proved, in the language of the Austrian poet, Friedrich Halm, that Germany and AustriaHungary are
"Two souls with but a single thought,
the President reluctantly reached the conclusion that a state of war should be declared to exist between the United States and the Austro-Hungarian Government. He therefore recommended it in his address to the Congress of December 4th, and on December 7th that body gave effect to his recommendation as follows: "Whereas, The Imperial and Royal Austro-Hungarian Government has committed repeated acts of war against the Government and the people of the United States of America, therefore be it
"Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That a state of war is hereby declared to exist between the United States of America and the Imperial and Royal Austro-Hungarian Government, and that the President be and he is hereby, authorized and directed to employ the entire naval and military forces of the United States and resources of the Government to carry on war against the Imperial and Royal Austro-Hungarian Government; and to bring the conflict to a successful termination all the resources of the country are hereby pledged by the Congress of the United States.
GENTLEMEN OF THE CONGRESS:
Eight months have elapsed since I last had the honor of addressing you. They have been months crowded