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in this war. Our entrance into the war was accompanied by a declaration in favor of only just restitution of territory and upon the assumption, often stated, that it was not a war of conquest by the Allies. The terms of the armistice followed these lines.
If the facts are correctly stated, the public opinion of the United States and the disinterested world will sustain the President in resisting Italy's determination to take over Fiume and close Croatian access to the sea. The question is one of Italian politics. Italy has taken possession of Fiume with the strong hand of conqueror against the Croatians. Orlando may lose power in the Italian Parliament if he fails to stand by the Italian claim. Sonnino, his colleague at the conference and his associate as premier, is rigid and uncompromising. He would probably resist Orlando if the latter yielded. The situation is therefore acute. But can Italy afford to break, on such an issue, with the conference? One would think not. The President would seem to be clearly right in maintaining that at least Fiume be made a free port for Croatia as Danzig is to be for Poland. If Italy's wish were to prevail, the settlement, with palpable injustice in it, would create a sense of wrong among the Jugo-Slavs that would return to plague Italy when most inconvenient.
ANALYSIS OF THE LEAGUE COVENANT
AS AMENDED 1
The amendments to the Covenant of the League of Nations adopted in Paris on Monday will bear careful study,
1 Article in Public Ledger Apr. 30, 1919.
and perhaps it is unwise hastily to express a confident opinion. But several readings suggest the following comment:
In the first place, the language and arrangement of the articles have been greatly improved. The use of different terms to mean the same thing, which tended to prevent an easy reading of the document, has been largely corrected. Provisions having immediate relation to one another have been assembled where they belong, avoiding application of them to subjects or countries which they were not intended to affect. Then names, misleading or clumsy, have been changed. The Executive Council, which was and is not executive but advisory, has become the Council. The Body of Delegates has become the Assembly, a much more suitable term.
Second, rules of construction that ought to have obtained in interpreting the original Covenant are now made express and relieve the real doubts of friends and supporters of the League. The most important of these, perhaps, is the privilege specifically reserved to any member of the League to withdraw from it after two years' notice and after a compliance with its obligation under international law and under the League Covenant incurred before withdrawal. This gives any nation an opportunity to test the operation of the League and its usefulness and to avoid undue and unreasonable danger or burden in the future which actual trial may develop. Moreover, taken with the power of amendment which can be effected by a unanimous vote of the nine countries whose representatives compose the Council and by a majority of the members of the League, there is ample opportunity for such a country as the United States to secure a revision of the Covenant and a reëxami
nation of the status of the states composing the League after peace has stabilized conditions and has shown where changes should be made. We are so important a member of an effective world league, and so indispensable to its successful working, because of our impartial position and world power, that an announcement of our purpose to withdraw unless amendments were made would be most persuasive. In this view Mr. Root's suggestion, that it would be well to reëxamine treaty provisions made just after the war in the light of the test of five years or more of peace, can be carried out.
The second change of the same character is the provision that, except where otherwise specifically provided, the action of the Council or the Assembly shall be by unanimous vote. The original covenant, properly interpreted, meant this, but it is of great importance to remove objections of those who did not think so. There are some who believe that such required unanimity will make the League ineffective and that a majority would have sufficed. But progress toward complete international coöperation in a new field like this must be gradual, and must, for the present, leave safeguards to nations against abuse of joint power which, experience may show, can be dispensed with later. The required unanimity in the action of the Council is very important in the answer it gives to the claim that under Articles X and XVI the United States may be required to send expeditionary forces into distant parts of the world to defend the integrity and independence of a country with which we have no relation of interest or to suppress remote wars not affecting us. Such expeditions are to be planned and recommended by the Council, and the plan is to be accepted in the discretion of the countries to whom the recommendation
is addressed. The plan would certainly mark the limit of the obligation of the nations to whom it is presented. The United States will have a representative on the Council, whose vote must approve the plan before its presentation. Is it likely, then, that the plan will be unreasonable in proposing an undue share of the League's work to the United States? May we not be sure that what is to be done will be apportioned according to the convenience and natural interest of the members of the League, because it must in effect be by mutual agreement ?
It is now made clear that under Article VIII the limit of armament for each country, under a general plan of reduction proposed by the Council, is only to be adopted and made binding as a covenant for each member of the League after its full examination and acceptance by that member. Moreover, there is to be a reëxamination of the plan and the limits every ten years, and meantime a specific limit may be increased by consent of the Council.
It is now made an express provision that only nations who choose to accept the duty may be made mandatories of the League. This removes another objection that was strongly pressed. We do not have to take charge of Constantinople or Armenia unless we choose to do so.
One important change made by addition is the result of Mr. Root's constructive criticism. Mr. Root thought, and all who supported the plan of the League to Enforce Peace agreed with him, that the provision for arbitration ought to have required arbitration in justiciable issues, and he defined what he thought was clearly within the meaning of that term. By the present Article XIII the members agree to submit to arbitration any dispute which they recognize as suitable for arbitration. The Covenant then declares dis
putes of the character described by Mr. Root, and, as the writer recollects, in Mr. Root's language, to be suitable for arbitration. Disputes as to interpretations of treaties, as to international law, as to facts upon which its application turns and damages for its breach are all declared to be arbitrable, or, in other words, justiciable. This imposes on members of the League having a dispute the duty of recognizing such disputes to be arbitrable and to submit them to arbitration. Can this duty be enforced under the League? Practically yes. If a nation declines to arbitrate such an issue, it goes to the Council or Assembly, with interested members excluded. Such body will at once recommend arbitration or will refer the issue to an international court of the League, as it may, to determine whether the issue is arbitrable under the obligations of the Covenant and will doubtless follow the judicial advice thus given. As this machinery thus works out indirectly the result sought for in the plan of the League to Enforce Peace, an amendment to substitute a court of the League to take up and decide such questions directly will doubtless approve itself to the nations.
Mr. Root was anxious that, in addition to the declaration in the preamble, there should be practical recognition of international law as a guiding star of the League, its tribunals and its action. In the addition to Article XIII, which we have been discussing, we find such a recognition in the present Article XIV providing for a permanent international court of justice which is competent to hear and determine any dispute of international character submitted to it and to give an advisory opinion upon any dispute or question referred to it by the Council or Assembly.
The provision for mediation and recommendation of set