Diary of Lieutenant X (Aime Ernest Motsch)

Saturday, May 21, 1898

England and the United States

A wonderful piece of news. When the Americans become the masters of Manila, they will sell the Philippines to the England to indemnify her for her expenses. What a great farce! Europe’s intervention is imminent at this point. Both the French and the German officers have come to the conclusion that there is no reason why the English and the Americans should be allowed to carry out this insolent plan of selling the Philippines like merchandise. I know, though, that the Americans would never think of selling the Philippines to France or to Germany.

England and the United States will reach a compromise. Perhaps they may even tear each other apart at some later date, but for the moment, the secret pact between the two is capable of changing the entire balance of trade and power in the high seas, and always to the advantage of England. In this war, Hongkong plays a role similar to that of Florida during the Cuban rebellion.

Those who know Aguinaldo confirm that he has always respected the English for their strength and wisdom. It is said that he even wishes to place the Philippines under the protection of both the United States and England. The Americans could agree to this arrangement but would prefer to keep the prey entirely to themselves.

If the Philippines were in the possession of the Germans, the attitude of the English would be quite different, but Germany has no designs on the archipelago. It seems England has grown weary of this 50-year-old peace which has enabled it to annex half of the world and to establish its rights over the other half by bending its subjects. If England realized one day that war were inevitable, perhaps they would use the strategy of preempting it. Chamberlain, in his collection of speeches, gives every indication in his preface of being a convinced imperialist when he says, “The doctrine of peace at any cost has been England’s doctrine for half a century.” This is completely false! I believe England would go to war if such a course of action would warrant a victory, as in the case of Egypt. However, if all of Europe wanted her to leave Egypt, she would risk losing much of her wealth.

For a European country like England to support the United States and its interests at the expense of further weakening the already fragile moral unity of Europe is unforgivable. Whenever intervention is necessary for the good of Europe, non-intervention cannot be accepted as an impartial stand.