« PředchozíPokračovat »
tlement in the first report of the Covenant, which met Mr. Root's unqualified approval, has not been changed, except that the unanimity required for an effective recommendation by the Body of Delegates is now made unanimity by countries represented in the Council and a majority of the Assembly, a change which makes for effectiveness. Another important change is the addition of Article XXI, as follows:
Nothing in this covenant shall be deemed to affect the validity of international engagements, such as treaties of arbitration or regional understandings like the Monroe Doctrine, for securing the maintenance of peace
This meets two of Mr. Root's criticisms in full. First, it removes all doubt that all present arbitration treaties are to stand and bind the parties to them whether members of the League or not, and relieves those who were concerned lest progress toward peace by arbitration already made might be lost.
Second, it not only enables the United States to maintain the Monroe Doctrine, which was all that friends of that doctrine asked, but it recognizes it as a regional understanding for the securing of international peace. Never before in our history has the world set its approval upon the doctrine as in this Covenant. It is really a great triumph for the supporters of the doctrine. It is not only a reservation in favor of the United States asserting it, but it is an affirmative declaration of its conventional character and of its value in securing international peace.
The exclusion of immigration and tariff and other internal and domestic questions is secured by the following:
If the dispute between the parties is claimed by one of them and is found by the Council to arise out of a matter which by inter
national law is solely within the jurisdiction of that party, the Council shall so report and shall make no recommendation as to its settlement.
If anything is clearly settled in international law, it is that, except where a nation limits its rights by treaty, it may impose whatever condition it chooses upon the admission of persons or things into its territory. Those who express alarm lest the Council should reach a different conclusion, in spite of international law, can hardly be aware how jealous all countries must and will be of their right to determine methods of raising taxes and protect their industries, and how strenuously many of the nations will insist on the right to exclude persons not desirable as permanent residents. Indeed, Japan has not urged, in the conference, the view that immigration was anything but a domestic question, but only pressed for an express recognition of racial equality in the treatment of foreign persons resident in each country. Even this the conference did not deem it wise to grant.
Finally, we come to Article X, by which the members of the League undertake to respect and preserve against external aggression the territorial integrity and political independence of every member. Mr. Root, as the writer understands, strongly favors this article; but he thinks there should be a reëxamination of the arrangements made under the influence of the recent war, after conditions have become stabilized by peace, to remedy the possible mistakes made and to avoid too great rigidity. How this can be brought about indirectly through powers of amendment and withdrawal has already been pointed out.
The arguments against Article X which have been most pressed are those directed to showing that under its obli
gations the United States can be forced into many wars and burdensome expeditions to protect countries in which it has no legitimate interests. This objection will not bear examination. If Germany were to organize another conspiracy against the world, or if she and her old allies, together with Russia, were to organize a militant campaign for Bolshevism against the world, we should wish to do our share in fighting her, and in doing so quickly. If a stronger nation were to attack a weaker nation, a member of the League, our immediate and selfish interest in the matter would be determined by the question whether it would develop into a world war and so drag us in.
But we are interested as a member of the family of nations in maintaining international justice in the interest of international peace everywhere, and we should share the responsibility and burden. It was a mixture of all these motives which carried us into this war and we accepted as a slogan the cry: The world must be made safe for democracy. We make this war to secure the liberty and independence of nations against the doctrine that 'might makes right.'” This is all that Article X proposes. It is an answer to Germany's assertion of her right of conquest. It organizes the powers of the world to maintain the international commandment, “ Thou shalt not steal.”
To what extent will it involve us in war? Little, if any. In the first place, the universal boycott, first to be applied, will impose upon most nations such a withering isolation and starvation that in most cases it will be effective. In the second place, we will not be drawn into any war in which it will not be reasonable and convenient for us to render efficient aid, because the plan of the Council must be approved by our representative, as already explained.
In the third place, the threat of the universal boycott and the union of overwhelming forces of the members of the League, if need be, will hold every nation from violating Article X and Articles XII, XIII and XV, unless there is a world conspiracy, as in this war, in which case the earlier we get into the war the better.
The warning effect of such a threat from a combination of nations, like those in the League, is shown conclusively in the maintenance of our Monroe Doctrine. The doctrine was announced in 1823. Its declaration was deprecated by American statesmen because it would involve us in continual friction and war. It was directed against most powerful European nations. Yet we have maintained it inviolate without firing a shot or losing a soldier for now near a century. Article X merely extends the same protection to the weaker nations of the world which we gave to the weaker nations of this hemisphere against the greed of non-American nations. If our declaration accomplished this much, how much more can we count upon the effectiveness of the declaration of a powerful world-league of nations as a restraint upon a would-be bully and robber of a small nation!
The following correspondence is published with the consent of President Wilson.
Washington, Tuesday, March 18, 1919. Personal. Dear Mr. Tumulty:
I enclose a memorandum note to the President that is
probably superfluous, but may contain a suggestion. Do with the note as you choose — for the next ten days, the situation in Paris will be crucial and critical.
WM. H. TAFT. Hon. Joseph P. Tumulty, Secretary to the President, The White House, Washington, D. C.
Washington, D. C. 931 Southern Building,
March 18, 1919. Mr. President:
If you bring back the treaty with the League of Nations in it, make more specific reservation of the Monroe Doctrine, fix a term for duration of the League and the limit of armament, require expressly unanimity of action in Executive Council and Body of Delegates, and add to Article XV a provision that, where the Executive Council of the Body of Delegates finds the difference to grow out of an exclusively domestic policy, it shall recommend no settlement, the ground will be completely cut from under the opponents of the League in the Senate. Addition to Article XV will answer objection as to Japanese immigration as well as tariffs under Article XXI. Reservation of the Monroe Doctrine might be as follows:
Any American State or States may protect the integrity of American territory and the independence of the government whose territory it is, whether a member of the League or not, and may, in the interests of American peace, object to and prevent the further transfer of American territory or sovereignty to any European or non-American power.