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Leaflet, "Just for a Scrap of Paper"

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"Just for a Scrap of Paper." The German Chancellor on August 4th told the British Ambassador in Berlin that he could not understand Great Britain going to war with Germany "just for a Scrap of Paper." In a speech to the Reichstag on the same day, he defended tearing up "the Scrap of Paper" by saying that "Necessity knows no Law."

The "Scrap of Paper," thus contemptuously referred to by the German Chancellor, is a Treaty made in 1839. Belgian Independence and Neutrality were first assured by a Treaty in 1831, the guaranteeing Powers being Great Britain, Austria, France, Prussia and Russia. This Treaty was confirmed by the same Powers in another Treaty - April 19th 1839 - the material portion of which is contained in the following Articles: ARTICLE I of Treaty. "Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, His Majesty the Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary and Bohemia, His Majesty the King of the French, His Majesty the King of Prussia, and His Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias, declare, that the Articles hereunto annexed, and forming the tenour of the Treaty concluded this day between His Majesty the King of the Belgians and His Majesty the King of the Netherlands, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, are considered as having the same force and validity as if they were textually inserted in the present Act, and that they are thus placed under the guarantee of their said Majesties."

ARTICLE VII of Annexe to Treaty. (Reproduced by photograph from the original document.) [image of text] Article VII La Belgique, dans les limites indiquées aux Articles I, II, et IV, formera un Etat indépendant et perpétuellement neutre. Elle sera tenue d'observer cette même neutralité envers tous les autres Etats.

The English translation of this is as follows: "Belgium, within the limits specified in Articles I, II, and IV, shall form an independent and perpetually neutral State. It shall be bound to observe such neutrality towards all other States."

Belgian Independence and Neutrality were strictly observed for 83 years. What the Prussian Kingdom respected throughout the Franco-Prussian War, the German Empire, in its brute strength, has cynically and grossly violated. [Over. (B 3050) Wt. w. 5366-28 100 1/2 M 10/14 H&S.