Obrázky stránek



The original program of the League to Enforce Peace contained no clause with reference to disarmament of nations. This was not because the projectors of the league did not deem disarmament of the utmost importance in the ultimate maintenance of permanent peace but because they deemed real disarmament possible only as the result of the successful operation of the league. The league could only serve its purpose by furnishing to the nations the protection that the nations secured by armament. It was to be substituted for armament. Until it proved its usefulness as such, the armed nations could not be expected to part with their own insurance.

In a league of nations to Enforce the Versailles Treaty the Allied Powers must retain armament to constitute a police force to secure peace between the new nations of Middle and Eastern Europe and Asia Minor. This will justify the United States in maintaining a potential army by a system of universal training. It accords with Secretary Daniels' recommendations that we continue the peace plan of increasing our navy.

As the smaller league of peace proves its adequate protection against war the motive of economy will prompt compliance with Mr. Wilson's armament clause in the fourteen points by a proportionate decrease in all armaments, and a mutual agreement will become possible and practical. Meantime we must be patient. Reforms of this kind do

1 Article in Public Ledger Dec. 11, 1918.

not come at once and should not be expected to. We take an important step, and its success leads to another forward movement.

There is nothing in England's position respecting her fleet that should discourage the friends of the League of Nations to Enforce Peace. The exaggerated language of a Winston Churchill should not discourage us. It is the language of an advocate in a heated political campaign. We must admit the justice of England's position — that she cannot give up her fleet in the absence of the test of a new league of nations. She cannot know whether the League will be sufficient protection to her against attack. Her isolated position requires her to protect herself against starvation in time of war. She is dependent on other countries for food and raw materials. These can only reach her by the sea. She must keep open the access by sea in time of war. Only by her fleet can she do this. Not until the operation of the League of Nations demonstrates that this danger in war is minimized can she be expected to reduce her feet.

So far as freedom of the seas in time of peace is concerned, wherever the British flag floats there is and always has been freedom of the seas.



No one can overestimate the weight in winning this war of the morale of the Allies born of the righteousness of their cause. They said, and the world believed them, that they were engaged in this war for no selfish purpose. They were

1 Article in Public Ledger Dec. 16, 1918.

enlisted in the terrible struggle to end the hideous immorality and unmorality of militarism, to restore stolen goods and to further the establishment of governments in accordance with the will of those governed.

France sought Alsace-Lorraine as a measure of justice. Italy sought the Trentino and Trieste on the same ground. The United States and Great Britain sought the acquisition of no new territory. Great Britain has indicated that she does not desire the return of Helgoland, that island off the mouth of the Elbe which Lord Salisbury sold to Germany and which has proved so formidable a naval outpost of the German empire in this war.

The question as to the German colonies, however, has raised a doubt among some whether Great Britain will adhere religiously to the attitude of seeking no additional territory. Germany has colonies in East and West Africa of large extent. She has a colony of large area in the neighborhood of Australia, part of the island of New Guinea. The Australians, the New Zealanders and the South Africans among the English colonists object to the return of these colonies to Germany, because Germany's ownership of them has been a threat to Australia and New Zealand and has required special defenses by them.

It is to be inferred from the clearly proved outrageous treatment by Germany of her colonists that the Peace Conference in Versailles will conclude that none of her colonies should be returned to Germany. They have not been administered for the benefit of the backward peoples in the colonies. The treatment of these peoples is of a piece with the atrocious conduct of the Germans in this war.

Under the principles laid down in the fourteen points, therefore, the only question which the conferees can take up

is how shall these colonies be administered. That they are not now capable of self-government goes without saying. The Australians and New Zealanders would doubtless wish that the German colony in New Guinea should be taken over by Great Britain. The South African English colonists will probably seek the same result.

It would be too bad for Britain to yield to the urgings of her daughters in this regard. She cannot afford to do it. . It will arouse at once the attack that she is exhibiting the same land-grabbing propensities which have been charged to her in the past.

There is no argument making more strongly for the establishment and maintenance of a league of nations in connection with this treaty than the need of a proper method of providing for these German colonies. They should be governed by an agency of the league of nations charged with the duty of educating the natives, leading them on in the paths of civilization and extending self-government to them as rapidly as their fitness will permit. They will thus prove to the world the equitable and just motives and aims of the nations who frame the provisions of this epoch-making treaty.



The earnest effort of the Jews of the United States to induce our executive to remedy the intolerable condition of their co-religionists in the backward countries of Europe has often been met and defeated by the argument that our

1 Article in Public Ledger Dec. 17, 1918.

government can not interfere with the domestic affairs of another nation. This argument has little if any application to the present situation. There is much evidence accumulating to show that the pogroms and abuses of the Jews continue in the countries where they have heretofore existed, and that the chaotic and lawless condition in these countries has offered an opportunity for the cruel gratification of race and religious prejudice. On the whole, it is not too much to say that the people of the Jewish race have suffered more in this war, as noncombatants, than any other people, unless it be the Serbians and the Armenians.

In Poland and in Galicia the true story of their agonies and losses is heartrending. The five nations who are to draft the treaty at Versailles are setting up governments in Poland, in the Ukraine and in the Baltic provinces. In all of these the Jewish population is a substantial percentage of the whole. In their sad story we find the Jews in the Middle Ages seeking refuge from the oppression and cruelty of Western Europe and rushing to the great empire of Poland, then stretching from the Baltic to the Black Sea, to take advantage of a charter of religious tolerance and opportunity granted by one of the liberal Polish kings. The irony of fate, however, ended the Polish kingdom and a large part of it was turned over to Russia, which ground the Jews under its tyrannous heel. This is why half of the thirteen millions of Jews living in the world were at the beginning of this war to be found in the Russian pale in which Jews were permitted to live, to which they were limited, and which was practically coterminous with the territory which Russia had taken from old Poland.

One of the great projects of this Congress of Powers at Versailles is to set up independent governments in these ter

« PředchozíPokračovat »