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PART VII TWELVE PAGES
SUNDAY, JANUARY 11, 1920
PART VII TWELVE PAGES
An Ex-Premier of FranceloTriaEon Charge of Treason
Joseph Caillaux, Bitter Foe of
Clemenceau, Accused of
Aiding the Germans
By Fred B. Pitney
WITHIN a few days, almost
exactly two years after
bis arrest, Joseph Cail?
laux, ex - Premier o?
France, Is to be tried before the
High Court of the French Senate
for treason, euphemistically para?
phrased by French courtesy as
??plotting against the external secu?
rity of the state."
It is the last stage of the ten
yean' battle between Clemenceau
and Caillaux. What is the reason
for that long and bitter fight, the
implacable duel between the two
ablest men in France? Why is it
that Clemenceau paces steadily tow?
ard the end, full of years and
honors, while Caillaux at fifty-six is
threatened with being placed against
a wall, waiting for the handker?
chief to be bound over his eyes?
In few words, it is the difference
between indomitable patriotism and
To understand Joseph Caillaux
and why the High Court of the
?French Senate is confronted with
the solemn duty of trying for his
life an ex-Premier of France it is
necessary to trace his career from
the beginning'. One sees then that
the prime motive of his life led in?
evitably to this ultimate end.
The cause of the action that led to
the treason charge against Caillaux
was not an unfortunate mistake. He
was not misled by false friends. It
was not the jrrisconception of a h if h
ideal. It was not even the fatal
error of a man blinded by success to
the ?6rue balance of values. No.
Treason with Joseph Caillaux, if he
be found guilty as charged, was sim?
ply and merely the end to which
every, fact and act of his life led un
deviat?ngly, Just as Clemenceau's
honors are the end to which every
fact of bis life led.
Clemenceau has been fired by pa?
triotism burning' with a high and
pure flame. Ambition has motivated
Caillaux, ambition for power and
ambition for money. Ambition is an
enriching quality if it is balanced by
h ig h principles. But Caillaux has
been devoid-ef principle. There has
bean no counter weight to his am?
bition. It has been utterly unscru?
pulous and givten a man of his
ability, his strength and mastery
ever men, it has moved him with
mathematical precision to a certain
and unavoidable end.
Joseph Caillaux was born March
30, 1863, at Le Mans, of an old
French bourgeois family. One of
his grandfathers was a member of
the French National Assembly after
the Revolution, while another held
an important position under Napo?
leon I. Caillaux's father, Alexandre
Caillaux, was a civil engineer and
with the Belgian, de Gammond, first
proposed building a tunnel under
the Channel from Dover to Calais.
He was for many years chief en?
gineer for the Chemin-de-fer de
l'Ouest, but in 1871 went into poli?
tics and was Minister of Public
Works in that year and Minister of
Finance in the Duc de Broglie's
Cabinet in 1876.
?Joseph studied law and was ad?
mitted to the bar, but chose finance
?nd politics as a career. He inher?
ited a modest fortune from his
father and set out to raise it to im
*???? proportions. Stalling with a
?inor ?administrative position in the
Mbrtstry of Finance in 1888, he suc
???ded In attr-acting the attention
?f WaUieck-Rousseau and was suc
CWe?T*?F raised to higher positions
???I in 1898 he abandoned adminis?
trativ? work and stood for election
? the Chamber of Deputizes.
The Due de la Rochefoucauld, a
Royalist, was Caillaux'? opponent.
^Hsttt, running as a Republican,
*?s elected by a handsome majority
?*? tboietftor continued to repre
?T* *** B?J>?rt?ent of too Sartho
in the Chamner until his arrest.
Once in the Chamber his future was
assured, for he had the backing of
Waldeck-Rousseau, who made him
Minister of Finance in 1899, a posi?
tion he held until 1902.
Up to this time Caillaux had been
a comparatively obscure man, but he
hqd been, as he always remained, a
tireless worker. By attaching him?
self to Waldeck-Rousseau he had
laid the sure foundation of political
success, and by his operations on the
Bourse had greatly increased his
fortunes. His purse was ready for a
political career when at the age of
thirty-five he first entered the
Ohamb?rT It was?* preliminary.>he
had decided upon. But his desire
for money was not satisfied, and he
foresaw the need for a much larger
fortune in order to keep the power ?
he intended to seize.
An Enemy's Attack I
One of the scandals of his career'
has always been his close connection1 ?
with the Bourse - While he was' atv'i
active politician, the'? steady aug-j
mentation of his priyate fortune/by
uniformly successful operations on
the Bourse while he was Minister, of
Finance. It was this open scandal
that caused Gaston Calmette to
write of him in the "Figaro": (
"The series of articles we have.
been devoting to the secret maneu- j
vers and schemes of M. Caillaux j
has allowed us to show that the ef-j
forts of the Minister .of Finance
have constantly been directed to
one single object, 'the quest. of
money.' We have shown the dema?
gogic plutocrat (according to the
stinging appellation applied to him
by M. Briand) on the watch for all
the public or private operations
which could feed the war treasury
on which rests all his fame. We
have told of the manipulation on the
Bourse which allowed his well in?
formed friends to increase without
any risk the mysterious resources
which they intend to use for the
defense of his disastrous policy, or
which they recognize as indispensa?
ble for his costly praise.
"We have shown that in the most
unexpected administrative delibera?
tions he was the suave and servile
captive of the wealthiest foreign
financiers; that, like a zealous slave,
he sacrificed to them his closest col?
leagues in cases of disputes; that he
insured for himself the continuance
of lucrative honorariums and fat
salaries, while retaining during his
passage to power, in spite of his de?
nials, offices well paid from Cairo
and elsewhere. We have proved that
in keeping?illegally?on the list'of
the Paris market the lottery bonds
of the Credit Foncier Egyptien, in
causing the laws of France to bow
before a prohibited foreign secu?
rity in which he was personally in?
terested, this enemy of the savings
of the nations and enemy of the1
safety of the country was also the
enemy of justice.
"It remains for us now to show
that, unknown to a parliament which
he makes game of by lavishly offer
ing it his injurious subterfuges, M.
Caillaux has placed alt the power of
his ministerial functions at the dis?
posal of a swindler."
The marvel is how the man mr
vived his notoriety and ?temed to
thrive on his blown upon fame. A
dozen years before Calmette wrote
Caillaox had already made himself
noxious. A? Minister of Finance
under Waldeck-Rousseau, he had
proposed an income tax law. It
made him. popular with the radicals
and badly frightened the financiers
of the Bourse. Caillaux secretly
killed his own bill, retained his pop?
ularity, with both the radicals and
the capitalists, and cynically wrote
to his mistress, claiming credit for
He was openly accused of offering
to have allowed a claim against the
French government of 40,000,000
francs, provided the lion's share wa^
turned over to him. He was accused
of trying to hold up a great Paris
bank for 400,000 francs ; he was
mobbed by the stockholders of thi
Credit Foncier of Argentina for ap
propriating to himself such a large
share of the profits of the concern
while their returns were so meager
and. he was charged with protectim
and aiding in the escape of Henr
Rochette, who swindled the Frene;
people out of $30,000,000.
Meanwhile, his private life wa
Some of those whose names fvill figure in the Caillaux trial
as notorious as his public career.
Caillaux married first in 1900, but
almost immediately after his mar?
riage fell in love with Mme. Jules
Dupr?. She was an unusually beau?
tiful woman, who was the wife of a
clerk in the Ministry of Fine Arts,
at a salary of $48t) a year. It was
to her that Caillaux confided in the
letters he could not help writing to
the women he loved the story of
the income tax bill with which he
had bamboozled both his radical
followers and the capitalists. Mme.
Dupr?' and ? Caillaux both obtained
divorces in 1906 and Caillaux mar- i
ried "'Mme." Dupr?." Her former hus?
band was appointed an excise offi?
cer, at a salary of $4,2.00 a year,
and Caillaux fell in love with Mme.
This was a more, difficult affair to
arrange. Clareti? divorced his wife
in 1910, but Caillaux could not per?
suade Mme. Caillaux to divorce him,
and it was not until 1912 that he was
free. Early in that year he di?
vorced his second wife and married
Mme. Clareti?. But his habit of
writing letters to his mistresses was
destined to lead him to the brink of
Caillaux became Minister of
Finance in Clemenceau's Cabinet in
1906 and remained in the govern?
ment until 1909. But he wanted to
be Premier. There was an election
in 1910* and Caillaux left the Re?
publicans and put himself at the
head of the poor but honest Radi?
cal Socialists. He became their
leader by the simple means of
financing their campaign. That was
where Clemenceau and Caillaux
Clemenceau would not prostitute
his principles to obtain office. Cail?
laux had no principles?power was
what . he wanted. Clemenceau
turnad his baek.cn CaiHaux, who re?
turned to the chamber at the head
of the largest single bloc there was
in the body. Money had bought the
balance of power. Still, President
Fallieres would not make him
Premier, and it was'not until 1911
that Caillaux went back into office
as Minister of Finance once more, i
under Antoine Monis, and accident !
gave him the opportunity to betray i
his chief and achieve the coveted
Soon after this ministry was con?
structed the accident took place on
the aviation field at Vincennes that
cost the life of the Minister'of-War,
Berteaux, and resulted in injuries
to Premier Monis that confined .him.
to his bed for several weeks. They
were not sufficient, however^ to pre?
vent his transacting business and he
presided at several Cabinet meet?
ings held at his bedside.
The .?Double Cross
Caillaux suggested that the meet?
ings were historic and that a photo?
graph should be made of one, of
fchem as a souvenir. After the pic?
ture was taken he caused it to be
published in the illustrated news?
papers of Paris and then started an
agitation in the opposition press
against the idea of the ?destinies of
France being guided by a statesman
who was bedridden. When this
propaganda was well under way
Caillaux complained to Fallieres
that the administration was not
only handicapped but endangered
by these attacks, and said it would
be well for him, Caillaux, to as?
sume the duties of Premier tem?
porarily, until Monis should be re?
i After much pressing Fallieres ?
consented to do whatever Monis
wanted in the matter and with this
agreement Caillaux rushed off to
Monis and informed him that the
President insisted on his giving up
the Premiership. Monis according
ly wrote a letter of resignation and
Caillaux rushed;back to the Elys?e
Palace with it and; received' his own
appointment as/Premier before any
of his colleagues had been informed ;
of what was/taking'place.
The ^'Agadir affair ' was already
brewing when Caillaux took the:
helm.' He had-been taught by his
mother -that his' ancestors had
helped to reconquer France from.the
English 'kings," and his predilections
had always been strongly anti-Brit?
ish, while he had had intimate finan?
cial relations ??,with Germany. Thus,
while the French Foreign Minister,
Jean Gruppi, - and -hts -successor, -M.
de Selves, helped by Sir Edward
Grey, British Minister of Foreign
Affairs, were carrying on official ne?
gotiations through the French Am?
bassador at. Berlin; Jules Cambon,
apparently . under, the. sanction, of
Caillaux, the Matter was secretly .ne?
gotiating directly with the Wilhelm?
strasse through the German Ambas?
sador^ at Paris,'Baron von Schoen.
The end of the negotiations was
a surrender of French territory in
the Congo to Germany, the humili?
ation of France and the offending of
England and Spain, both of whom
had supported, France against Ger?
many. But huge profits were made
on the Bourse. ?
This matter . was no sooner fin?
ished than ' he helped Turkey nego?
tiate a loan in France of 500,000
francs. In some secretive way the
money MfS& advanced, but Caillaux
had already doomed his government
by the Agadir negotiations. As a
result of an investigation by the
Senate he was forced to resign the
Premiership, and the succeeding gov?
ernment of Louis Barthou declared
the Turkish loan illegal and ordered
the bank through which it had been
issued to pay a fine of 8,000,000
francs. The bank never had that
much money, but through the influ
opened early in January, 1914, and
day by day the secret history of
Caillaux was laid before the public.
On March 13 Calmette published a
letter written by Caillaux to Mme.
Dupr? in the early days of their in?
timacy. It was signed. "Ton Jo" and
furnished the px'oof in his own hand?
writing of his duplicity in the mat?
ter of the income tax.
Caillaux Letters Printed
Calmette accompanied this letter
with a threat to publiah more secret
documents; and Mme. Caillaux, in?
terpreting the threat to mean that
some of Caillaux's correspondence
with her had in some way fallen into
Calmette's hands and would be pub?
lished, went to the office of the
"Figaro," March 16, and killed Cal?
Caillaux at once resigned as Min?
ister of Finance and devoted himself
to the defense of ,his wife. In the
coui'se of the trial, which began in
July and lasted three weeks, Caillaux
challenged the prosecution to pi*o
duce the documents Calmette had
threatened to publish, and then it
developed that they were not cor?
respondence with Mme. Caillaux at
the time she was Mme. Clareti?, but
documents in the German official
cipher, signed by Baron von Schoen,
proving the secret negotiations of
Caillaux with Germany at the time
of the Agadir crisis. As soon as
Caillaux learned the true nature of
the documents he withdrew his chal?
lenge for their production.
The trial ended with the acquittal
of Mme. Caillaux on the theory of a
crime of passion. Then the war be?
Such was the preparation of Joseph
Caillaux for the Great War, which
found him in deep disgrace, cast out
of the position of power as coadjutor
to Doumergue and real Premier of
France, where he could have direct
1 ence of Caillaux the money was
I found and the fine paid. Neverthe
| less, Turkey had received the 500,
^ 000,000 francs, which were after
| ward used against the Entente in
| Caillaux was again out of office
| until the end of 1913, when Gaston
| Doumergu? was called on to form
| a government. Caillaux was the
$ leader of the opposition in the Cham
| ber, and Doumergue was only named
% as Premier as a cover for Caillaux
t on account of the scandals with
| which he had recently been connect
| ed. Caillaux became Finance Min
? ister for the fourth time, and under
I his leadership the government advo
% cated reducing the time of military
| service from thi'ee years to two
| years, just at the moment when Ger
| many had added several hundred
| thousand men to her standing army.
| Gaston Calmette, editor of the
| "Figaro," at once began a furious
| campaign against Caillaux in the
| columns of his paper. The attack
Much Personal and Official
Scandal Will Be Aired Before
a Verdict Is Given
ed the policies and controlled the
destinies of the country whose lot it
was to protect the liberties of the
Yielding to the first impulse, he
went into the army and was
made paymaster. But there was
no career in the army for him,
no chance for rehabilitation and a
return to power. There was even
another breath of scandal, some hint
of irregularities in the army finances,
and when he and Mme. Caillaux ap?
peared together on the streets of
Paris they were hooted and pelted.
Decidedly, the army held nothing for
Caillaux. Politics was his r?le. To
?.wait the defeat of his country by
Germany and then appear as the
savior, the only man who could
salvage anything from the wreck.
There were both money and power in
It came to that openly in 1916,
when Germany was hammering at
Verdun. Caillaux's followers and
sycophants exulted brazenly.
"France cannot hold out ten
days," they said. "The Germans
will take Verdun and then it will be
all over. They will have to call on
Caillaux then. They will have to
call on him to save France. He is
the only man who can do it."
It was devilish to see the exulta?
tion of that brood of traitors and
defeatists. France was in her dark?
est hour and they made no effort to
hide their joy.
Caillaux, however, had not stood
silently by, waiting for fortune. He
had given fortune a vastly helping
hand. The indictment reveals him.
4 "Peace of Defeat"
"Political notes discovered in the
Florence safe throw a flood of light
on M. Caillaux's true intention.
They prove he had conceived a plan
of seizing power in order to make
peace and had taken every measure
to secure this result. These docu?
ments cannot form, the basis of a
charge, but justice has the right
and it i? its duty to take account of
"The 'Rubicon' law to be imposed
on Parliament, if it does not con?
sent to vote it, reveals M. Caillaux's
ambitious designs. The very con?
ditions under which his government
will have to force peace upon the
country are carefully defined. The j
responsible' memorandum proves j
that M. Caillaux was expecting that '
he would have to conclude a 'peace i
jf defeat' intended, in order to bet- j
;er assure the success of his Caesar- ?
;an enterprise, to throw a large part ?
jf the responsibility for the war not i
apon the aggressors, but upon those J
Frenchmen who had the frightful j
responsibility of assuring the coun- j
;ry's defense in the most tragic i
Deriod of its history, thus exposing
hem to the terrible and often un
iust wrath of a vanquished people.
V?. Viviani is right when, in his
leposition, he terms it an abomi
One sees him, Caillaux, the man
?vith an infinite capacity for labor,
lirected always to the ends of his
The indictment picks him up at
the time he left the army, a few
weeks after the war began, and
follows him through all the pere?
grinations of his plottings. He
first went to South America on a
ninor and obscure misaion for the
government, and there, through the
I intervention of Count Jkmes Mi
notto and Count Luxburg, pre?
sented his views on the war to the
German government. His dealings
with Lipscher, the German spy |>ay
master, and reception of an emis?
sary from Lipscher in Paris, are
detailed. Then come his dealings
with the notorious Marx of Mann?
heim and Marx's agent. All these
things are confirmed by documents
found in Caillaux's safe deposit
box in Florence.
Germans Claimed Him
He is tangled in the web of Bolo
Pacha?or was it Bolo who was
caught in the Caillaux net??and
I is smeared with the slime of the
\ despicable "Bonnet Rouge" gang.
"It is impossible," says the in
| dictment, "not to be struck by the
j fact that all the affairs of enemy
! intelligence at present known have
as their pivot M. Caillaux's person?
ality in the choice of intermediaries
or of journals as recipients of Ger?
Delegates from Alsace-Lorraine
to the Reichstag have testified that
ht a secret meeting of the Budget.
Committee in May, 1916, either
Bethmann-Hollweg or Jagow de?
clared that there would be a
change of government in Franc?
j before the autumn, that Caillau.x
I would return to power, and then
there would bo peace.
"Caillaux is our man," said the
The indictment now discusses tlin
? Italian journey, prefacing it with a
: review of the general situation of
the belligerents at the end of 191*;,
when Rumania, having abandoned
Bucharest, was gathering tho rem?
nants of her armies in Moldavia,
when Constantine was having parti?
sans of Venizelos murdered in the
| streets of Athens and attacking
French sailors treacherously, when
the Briand Cabinet was violently at?
tacked and there was a Ministerial
crisis in England, when for the first
time in the Italian Chamber the So?
cialists dared to bring forward a
motion for peace, and when, in spitr
of the victories of the Somme and
?he German failure at Verdun, thm
situation of the Entente was grave.
That was the moment von Beth?
mann-Hollweg chose for pretended
offers of peace and the moment
?chosen by Caillaux to go to Italy to
?begin intrigues designed to hurry
?Italy and France into a peace of
This brings the indictment to the
great defeatist campaign of 1917.
"The German rulers," the docu
' ment says, "considered Caillaux the
j only man in France with whom
; Germany could, when the momcit
j had arrived, negotiate on advan
! tageous bases in the event that tin?
! complete victory by arms, which she
; still counted on, should escape her.
] Thus alone can one understand why
; the Germans were ready to supply
| millions to profusely distribute?!
I journals, animated or ostensibly ani
: mated by lively patriotic sentiment?,
; or to defeatist journals, whose cam*
| paigns tended to shake the moral?1
I of the army and the nation, but
| which were all devoted to M. Cail
j laux's person."
Foiled by Clemenceau
It was Clemenceau who tripped
the master plotter and wrecked his
"Csesarian enterprise." As head of
| the Army Commission of the Sen
! ate he was familiar with all the in?
formation in the hands of the gov?
ernment concerning the doings of
Caillaux. He began July 22, 1917,
with an attack in the Senate on
Louis J. Malvy, Minister of the In?
terior and Caillaux's creature in the
Cabinet, and continued his attacks
until Malvy's parliamentary immu?
nity was withdrawn and he was
brought to trial.
The charges against Malvy were
rapidly followed by others?Bolo
Pacha, the "Bonnet Rouge" gang
and Humbert. Clemenceau exposed
the weakness of the government in
leaving the traitors at liberty be?
cause of the influence of the man be?
hind them. He promised to follow
the trail mercilessly, until all those
who would betray France had met
the fate they deserved. In Novem
ber the Ribot government fell and
Clemenceau was called upon to form
a cabinet. He pressed the inquiry
against the traitors, the evidene?
against Caillaux piled up, and Jan
uary 13, 1918, Joseph Caillaux, ex
Premier of France, was lodged ii
the Prison de Sant? under thi
charge of treason.