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to be commended. They give the League substance and constant operation in some of its functions which will greatly promote the unity of nations. Out of this nucleus will come closer understanding and greater mutual interest suggesting new fields of international action for the betterment of mankind.
The administration of the German colonies with backward peoples in Africa and in the Pacific and the government of countries like Palestine, Syria, Armenia, Mesopotamia and the Caucasus, not yet ready for selfgovernment, is a problem forced upon the League because these countries cannot be trusted to the suzerainty or government of the defeated Powers. Their previous conduct toward them has forfeited all right, if any ever existed, to have them restored.
We agree to limit our armament in consideration of the other parties to this treaty limiting their armament, thus reducing the necessity for our maintaining an armament beyond that stipulated. The limitation upon our armament is not arbitrarily fixed by somebody else. It is to be fixed upon the recommendation of the executive council and agreed to by us. As our armament potentially threatens the other countries if used in a sinister way, so their armament potentially threatens us, and so by joint agreement we reduce the mutual threat by common proportionate reduction. To hold this beyond our power would be to hold that ihere is no possibility of curbing competitive armament, which, if it is to go on — and it will go on unless restrained -- will invite world suicide.
FROM AN ADDRESS AT SALT LAKE CITY,
FEBRUARY 22, 1919
When they object to certain features of this covenant let them tell us what they would substitute for them in order to accomplish the same purpose. Have you heard any constructive suggestions from them? They do not enter into the consideration of this League in the proper spirit. The President has been struggling over there, with his colleagues in that conference, to work out the most difficult problem that has ever been presented to a congress. They have criticized him for going over. I am glad he went, because he got into the atmosphere of the conference, and there on the ground it was brought home to him what a tremendous problem it is for those nations, in conference, to settle; and there he learned, as he never had before, the necessity for a league of nations.
Why should we enter into the League ? Well, I want to give you three commanding reasons: In the first place, we fought this war to secure permanent peace. That is what we promised our people when we came here and elsewhere, through our speakers, pleading for the Liberty Loan. They offered to you what? They offered to you the prospect of victory; and with the victory the defeat of militarism; and with the defeat of militarism, safety for democracy; and as a basis for safety for democracy, permanent peace. Those were the great objects proclaimed when we roused our people to action. Those were the objects proclaimed to our boys as they went over: “Go,” we said;
“Go," we said; “ we follow you with our hearts; we offer to make every necessary sacrifice because the struggle is worthy of every sacrifice.”
Did we mean that, or didn't we mean it? That is the
question. If we meant it, are we going to abandon the task and run away just at the moment when we can clinch it? Are we going to say to other nations: “No, we will not run any further risk. We have done all we ought to do. We will let you try to maintain the peace without us.” Is that what we promised when we went in? Is that what we gave those peoples to expect when we sent the messages of our President across the seas? What did those messages contain? They contained a promise that we would fight this war through to victory, to the defeat of militarism, to making the world safe for democracy, to permanent peace. By what — by what, my friends ? By a league of nations. That is what we said. That is what the President said; and he said it in a number of notes. The premiers on the other side said, “We agree to a league of nations." Now, what was the effect of those promises? It was to stiffen the morale of the plain people of those countries. At other conventions we have had present, as speakers, members of labor commissions and socialist commissions that were sent over by our government to talk with labor and socialist groups on the other side. What for?
What for? To offset the insidious conspiracies of German socialist and labor groups, aimed to defeat, to destroy the morale of those suffering peoples in France and Italy and England, who had been three long years in the war with the end nowhere in sight. When we came in with the promise of an army, their morale improved; though when our soldiers failed to come soon in great numbers, it began to weaken again. Then we followed with a promise to send more, and with the promise that we would give them a league of nations in order to make the peace permanent when it was won. These labor delegates testified to us that what maintained the morale of those
people to fight the war through - soldiers, working men, all was the promise of a league of nations in which the United States would take part. No one, at that time, when the President was promising this league of natoins, no one said nay, in the Senate or elsewhere. Why not? Because the spirit of the people was aroused. They were willing to go the whole length in order to achieve this purpose; and there could not be a higher or a more glorious purpose. I do not mean to say that we did not enter this war with the idea that our interests were affected; but I do say there never was a war fought through in which a nation was less motived by desire for gain of power, for gain of money, for gain of territory, for the acquisition of anything i permanent peace, than this war.
Some say: “Let them have a league of European nations and leave the United States out."
That is a great mistake. Who would constitute such a league ? England, France and Italy three nations. You would have an Entente Alliance; that is all — a balance of power with all the disappointing results that we have had in previous balances of power. The United States is indispensable to make that league go as a general league of nations, for the reason that it is the most disinterested member, the purest type of democracy, and its presence in the League will repudiate and refute any suggestion that it is an intrigue for autocratic action. Our presence will give to the League a potential strength and prestige which it will not have without us. So it is our duty to join, if we want to see the thing through, if we want to be square with those who fought this war for three years for us. We did not know they were fighting the war for us; but we found it out. They made enormous sacrifices before we went in. Are we going to
say to them now: We will not help further; our Constitution forbids; our policy against entangling alliances forbids. Oh, yes, we want to help you, but really, ..."? How do you like that? How would you like to play that role in a partnership? I say that the men who advocate our staying out of the League by reason of a policy against entangling alliances laid down by Washington, for a small nation struggling for existence, whereas to-day we are one of the most powerful nations in the world — I say that these men belittle the United States and its people.
It is alleged that our entry into a league of nations would imperil the Monroe Doctrine. Now, what is the origin and nature of this doctrine? It was announced in a message of President Monroe to Congress in 1823 under the following circumstances. Many of the Spanish colonies had, from time to time, declared their independence and the United States had recognized them as independent governments. The Holy Alliance, formed to perpetuate the “ Divine Right of Kings," and consisting of Russia, Austria and Prussia, had threatened to help Spain recover these colonies. Mr. Canning, the British foreign minister, had urged upon our minister at London, Mr. Rush, the necessity for action to prevent this step and proposed that the United States and Great Britain unite in a protest against any such attempt. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, both of whom were consulted by Mr. Monroe, thought the suggestion of Great Britain should be accepted and that there should be such an agreement to prevent the Holy Alliance from interfering with governments in this hemisphere. John Quincy Adams, who was Secretary of State, opposed the suggestion of a joint declaration. He felt that we should make the