"Following the War, when the American troops were still on the Rhine, one of France's leading generals openly avowed that a Rhineland state would be desirable and would be his aim," said Major General Allen last night in an address at the Union.
"In fact," he continued, "a letter, which was written by this gentleman and which contained his views on the formation of such a state, was published in many of the Rhineland newspapers. Such a buffer state was desired by France.
"Strangely enough, there was German sympathy for it too. Dr. Rathenau, who is now dead but who was held in the highest esteem both in Germany and in Allied nations, said in conversing with me that the creation of such a state was conceivable if France proceeded in a conciliatory fashion. The laborers in the Rhineland district at that time did not feel much sympathy for the central government, according to Rathenau, and particularly wished to avoid much of the reparations of a war which as a district the Rhineland did not sponsor."
Allies Needed Us Sorely
A second thought that General Allen impressed upon his audience was the importance of the United States abroad. In various parts of his speech the following ideas on the subject was expressed: "Without being a braggadocio, Americans can say that if the United States had not come to the aid of the Allies, the sovereignty of many European states would be different from what it is today. In the spring of 1918 our big Allies were holding on merely by the hope for our reinforcements. They were entirely on the defensive; no offensives were planned.
"It was with regret that our Allies saw us go. When we hauled down the last flag in the territory of the Rhine, they, and I mean by they those in authority at the ceremony from France, Belgium, Great Britain, and Germany, gave evidence of deep sorrow.
U. S. Should Have Stepped In
"The attitude of Europe toward this country can well be seen by the remarks made by M. Briand when at dinner one evening with me. The divisions of Cilicia had just caused a fuor in Europe, and concerning this subject Briand spoke, 'If only the United States had taken a pencil and divided that territory between Poles and Germans, little criticism would have arisen; but as it is,--trouble.'"
Throughout General Allen's address, there was a strain of regret that America was not taking a more active part in foreign affairs. He humorously remarked, "Since the War, France and Belgium have been the high commission; Geat Britain the high abstainer; and the United States the high observer."