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a continuous source of adjudication and adjustment if peace is to be enjoyed instead of a continual state of war. In responding to these necessities this League has been constituted. No one could look into the problems before the nations conferring at Paris without realizing that a league with judicial and adjustment machinery and provision for the enforcement of judgments and settlements was an absolute requirement. As the conferees proceed to consider the details of the treaty and the need for speedy and inforced settlements and measures repressive of war, they may conclude that the provisions contained in this constitution are not fully adapted to the present needs. If so, special articles can be added to the constitution to meet such exigencies. Indeed one may reasonably predict that within the elastic provisions of this constitution new means will be developed . to increase the effectiveness of the League as a peacemaker.
On the whole, we should thank God that such a great advance toward the suppression of war and the promotion of permanent peace has been make as in the agreement upon this constitution, with every reasonable prospect of its embodiment into the permanent treaty at Paris. Is it possible that such a vital feature of the treaty, upon which fourteen states through their representatives at Paris agree, is to be defeated by the lack of the necessary two-thirds vote in our Senate? I cannot think so. When President Wilson returns to present the result of his visit to Europe it must be that the American people will welcome him with approval and congratulations upon the success of the congress in which he has taken so prominent a part.
In the President's addresses and messages during the war and since, he has promised to the long-harassed peoples of the Allied nations that the United States would press for
a League of Nations which should secure permanent peace when this war ended. Thus he revived the morale of the war-weary soldiers and workers of our Allies. These promises were not repudiated by any American when they were made. They were echoed in all the appeals to the American people and they found ready response among them and no protest. The nation is thus pledged to the idea of a League of Nations to render peace permanent. Good faith requires that what other nations are willing to undergo to secure the peace of the world we should ourselves be willing to undergo.
Only now, after the reaction that the end of the war brings and after impatience at the delays in reaching peace conditions, do we hear on the floor of the Senate the criticisms of the President's promise of a league of nations. If uttered during the war they would have been out of tune with the overflowing spirit of the American people and their determination to win this war and end the possibility of any such war in the future. Now for the first time do we hear the claim that we did not go into this war for the benefit of the world, but for our own selfish purposes.
Senator Poindexter attacks the eighth article of the constitution of the League on disarmament as follows:
“ The provision is unconstitutional and an impairment of the sovereignty and independence of this country.”
Congress under the constitution determines what our armament shall be; and therefore, even if we made an agreement, Congress would retain the constitutional power of violating that agreement and increasing the armament beyond the limit set; but that does not prevent the treaty-making power from entering into the obligation. It is not a transfer of sovereignty — it is only an agreement to limit
our fortifications and our means of attack in consideration of other nations doing the same thing. The most famous agreement that we have made on this point is the agreement we have with Great Britain, by which we bind ourselves not to fortify the water boundary between Canada and the United States, or to place war vessels on the lakes. That agreement is of one hundred years' standing, and has been praised by every statesman who has referred to it. first made by correspondence between two secretaries of state and afterwards was embodied in a treaty. Does Senator Poindexter claim that this was unconstitutional and destroyed the sovereignty of the United States ? The Senator says we cannot agree with another nation to take over and govern the exclusive right of manufacturing munitions and instruments of war. Why not, if other nations agree to do the same thing and to limit their production in the same way? The trouble with Senator Poindexter's conception of this government is that it hasn't the powers of other great nations to help along the world by a joint agreement that shall prevent the dangerous increase of armament on the part of any nation. In assuming to exalt the sovereignty of the nation as above everything, he falls into the error of minimizing its power to do anything to help the preservation
Senator Poindexter objects to article XVIII, in which the League is to supervise the traffic of arms in countries where it is deemed necessary, for the public welfare, to restrict the traffic. No one who is not a searcher for objections could apply that article to the United States. It of course refers to countries of backward peoples who cannot be trusted with firearms, and whose use of them the world may well restrict to maintain its safety.
The most extreme position of Senator Poindexter is that the United States cannot consent to arbitration of issues between it and other countries because it might affect the vital interests of the nation. There have been scores of arbitrations between the United States and other countries, many of them of very great concern. The question of the payment of the Alabama claims related to a principle of international law and international safety that was of the highest importance. The arbitration of the Alaskan boundary was another. The arbitration of our rights in the Bering Sea and in the seal herd of the Pribilof islands was another. On this arbitration we submitted to the decision of an impartial tribunal the question whether we had the rights or not which we claimed. The assumption that either the court of arbitration or the executive council of the League by unanimous judgment would seek to take away the sovereignty or the liberty or the independence of the United States is utterly gratuitous. It is so extreme a view that it ought not to be given any weight as an objection to machinery for the peaceful adjustment of differences by decision of international courts.
TO BUSINESS MEN 1
We have been discussing the question for four years as to how the world could make anything out of this war that would be useful for its further progress. Four years ago we adopted a plan in the League to Enforce Peace which
1 Address before the Commonwealth Club of California, at San Francisco, Feb. 19, 1919.
provided for the coöperation of nations in attempting to stop the spread of war. We thought that if there was anything silly, anything cruel, it was war, and that the nations could not be said to be forward-looking or intelligent or businesslike, or even to have common sense, if they permitted the condition of affairs to continue which made possible such a war as we have just had. That was an academic question when we raised it - academic in the sense that people were thinking rather of how the war could be ended than what we should do after it ended.
Then we got into the war ourselves. We were a long time in getting in. As we look back upon it now, I think we regret that we did not get in earlier. I am offering no criticism that we did not, because our hindsight is always a great deal better than our foresight; but what I would like to say to you gentlemen, business men of San Francisco, is this: use your foresight now rather than your hindsight hereafter in respect to this particular question that we are bringing before you. I do not want you to be in the attitude of the man who rides with his back to the engine and does not see anything until he gets by it. And that is what you are likely to do unless you take this thing to heart and understand what the necessity of it is and what it means.
If, in ten or twenty years, we are called into another war, that war will be world suicide. The instrumentalities now capable of being used in war are far more destructive than they were when this war began; we have discovered explosives and poisonous gases which can destroy a whole community.
Are we going deliberately to allow that condition to continue which will make such a war possible? Are we going to sit down here in San Francisco and think that we are so