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growth in the law of international relations to develop that interest into a right to be consulted before such a war among neighbors can be begun. This step we hope to have taken by the formation of a Peace League of the Great Powers, whose primary and fundamental principle shall be that no war can take place between any two members of the League until they have resorted to the machinery that the League proposes to furnish to settle the controversy likely to lead to war.
If any member of the League refuses to use this machinery, and attacks another member in breach of his League obligation, all members of the League agree to defend the member attacked by force.
We do not think the ultimate resort to force can be safely omitted from an effective League of Peace. We sincerely hope that it may never become necessary, and that the deterrent effect of its inevitable use in case of a breach of the League obligation will help materially to give sanction to the laws of the League and to render a resort to force avoidable
We are not peace-at-any-price men, because we do not think we have reached the time when a plan based on the complete abolition of war is practicable. As long as nations partake of the frailties of men who compose them, war is a possibility and that possibility should not be ignored in any League of Peace that is to be useful. We do not think it necessary to call peace-at-any-price men cowards, or apply other epithets to them. We have known in history the most noble characters who adhered to such a view and yet the example of their physical and moral courage is a heritage of mankind. To those who differ with us in our view of the necessity for this feature of possible force in our plan, we say
we respect your attitude. We admit your claim to sincere patriotism to be as just as ours. We do not ascribe your desire to avoid war to be a fear of death to yourselves or your sons; but rather to your sense of the horror, injustice and ineffectiveness of settling any international issue by such a brutal arbitrament. Nevertheless, we differ with you in judgment that, in the world of nations as they are, war can be completely avoided. We believe it is still necessary to use a threat of overwhelming force of a great League with a willingness to make the threat good in order to frighten nations into a use of rational and peaceful means to settle their issues with their associates of the League. Nor are we militarists or jingoes — we are trying to follow a middle and practical path.
Now what is the machinery, a resort to which we wish to force on an intending belligerent of the League? It consists of two tribunals, to one of which every issue must be submitted. Issues between nations are of two classes :
ist. Issues that can be decided on principles of international law and equity, called justiciable.
2nd. Issues that cannot be decided on such principles of law and equity, but which might be quite as irritating and provocative of war, called non-justiciable. The questions of the Alaskan Boundary, of the Bering Sea Seal Fisheries, and of the Alabama Claims were justiciable issues that could be settled by a court, exactly as the Supreme Court would settle claims between States.
The questions whether the Japanese should be naturalized, whether all American citizens should be admitted to Russia as merchants without regard to religious faith, are capable of causing great irritation against the nation denying the privilege; and yet such nations, in the absence of a treaty on
the subject, are completely within their international right and the real essence of the trouble can not be aided by a resort to a court. The dispute is non-justiciable.
We propose that for justiciable questions we shall have an impartial court to which all questions arising between members of the League shall be submitted. If the court finds the question justiciable, it shall decide it. If it does not, it shall refer it to a Commission of Conciliation to investigate, confer, hear argument and recommend a compromise.
We do not propose, in our plan, to enforce compliance either with the Court's judgment or the Conciliation Commission's recommendation. We feel that we ought not to attempt too much. We believe that the forced submission, the truce taken to investigate and the judicial decision, or the conciliatory compromise recommended, will form a material inducement to peace.
It will cool the heat of passion and will give the men of peace in each nation time to still the jingoes.
The League of Peace will furnish a great opportunity for more definite formulation of the principles of international law. The arbitral court will amplify it and enrich it in their application of its general principles to particular cases. They will create a body of judge-made laws of the highest value.
Then the existence of the League will lead to ever recurring congresses of the League, which, acting in a quasilegislative capacity, may widen the scope of international law in a way that a court may not feel able or competent to do.
This is our plan. It is not complicated, at least in statement. In its practical application, difficulties now unforeseen may arise, but we believe it offers a working hypothesis upon which a successful arrangement can be made.
We are greeted first by the objection that no treaties can prevent war. We are not called upon to deny this in order to justify or vindicate our proposals as useful. We realize that nations are sometimes utterly immoral in breaking treaties and shamelessly bold in avowing their right to do so on the ground of necessity. But this is not always the case. We cannot give up treaties because sometimes they are broken any more than we can give up commercial contracts because men sometimes dishonor themselves by breaking them. We decline to assume that all nations are always dishonorable or that a solemn treaty obligation will not have some deterrent effect upon a nation which has plighted its faith, to prevent its breach. In every nation there are people who are in favor of peace and opposed to war, and when you furnish a treaty that binds the nation not to go to war, you strengthen the hands of the people in that nation that do not want to go to war and are in favor of preserving the honor of the nation. When we add to this the sanction of an agreement by a number of powerful nations to enforce the obligation of the recalcitrant and faithless member, we think we have a treaty that is much more than a "scrap of paper and we base our faith in this on a common sense view of human nature.
We have got to depart from the traditional policy of this country, I agree. But this war has borne in on us the fact that we are so near to all the nations of the world to-day that we are vitally interested in keeping war down as far as we can, and that we had better step forward and assume certain obligations in the interest of the world and in the interest of mankind, because there is a utilitarian reason for
we are likely to be drawn in ourselves. Therefore we ought to depart from the policy of isolation that heretofore
has served us so well, because we are a strong nation. We must bear our share of the responsibilities of the moment, and we must help along the world, and incidentally help along ourselves, for I believe, even if you view it from a selfish standpoint, in the long run it will be a better policy.
It is objected that we only propose to include the more powerful nations. We'll gladly include them all. But we don't propose to have the constitution of our court complicated by a demand for equal representation of the many smaller nations. We believe that when we have a League initiated by the larger powers, the smaller powers will be glad to come in and enjoy the protection that the League will afford against the unjust aggression of the strong against the weak.
CONSTITUTIONALITY OF THE PROPOSALS 1
To me has been assigned the discussion of the constitutional objections to the proposals of the League to Enforce Peace. These objections, so far as I understand them, are directed against the first and third planks in our platform. The first plank reads as follows:
First: All justiciable questions arising between the signatory powers, not settled by negotiation, shall, subject to the limitations of treaties, be submitted to a judicial tribunal for hearing and judgment, both upon the merits and upon any issues as to its jurisdiction of the question."
This looks to an organization of a permanent court by 1 Address delivered at the First Annual Assemblage of the League to Enforce Peace, Washington, D. C., May 26, 1916.