Karl Liebknecht
The Future Belongs to the People

Liebknecht Protests at Being Prevented from Discussing the Submarine Warfare

Reichstag, March 22 1916


For discussion: First reading of the Budget in connection with the taxation bill.

PRESIDENT KAEMPF: In accordance with an understanding between the representatives of the different parties in the Reichstag the submarine warfare will be excluded from this discussion until further decisions of the Seniorenconvent. (Committee composed of the Party Leaders to discuss the business of the Reichstag before it is discussed in open session. S. Z.) The discussion of this question will take place in the meetings of the Budget Committee in the first days of next week.

MEMBER DR. K. LIEBKNECHT (not belonging to any party in the Reichstag, questions the order of business): I consider it my duty to dispute the decision (laughter). This is a question which concerns most vitally the present public interests. Everything is done under cover and we are brought to discuss only accomplished facts. (Great commotion and shouts so that the following words of the speaker can't be understood very clearly.) Very soon it will be Tirpitz redivivus. The people have a right to hear the Parliament on this important question immediately. The people have a right to demand that nothing shall be hidden from them.

PRESIDENT KAEMPF: Please make your remarks in a parliamentary fashion, and don't present general political considerations when you speak to the question of the order of business.

DR. K. LIEBKNECHT: In the Prussian Assembly everything is done under cover. The same methods of concealing matters obtain as here. (Stormy interruptions and calls: "This does not belong to the discussion about the order of business.") I wish to protest against such a policy injurious to the people, against the continuation of secret diplomacy in Parliament.

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