« PředchozíPokračovat »
nuisance of Mexico, and nobody can foresee the complications that will arise out of the anarchy there prevailing. We have the Monroe Doctrine still to maintain. Our relations to Europe have been shown to be very near by our experience in pursuing lawfully our natural rights in our trade upon the Atlantic Ocean with European countries. Both belligerents have violated our rights, and in the now nearly two years which have elapsed since the war began we have been close to war in the defense of those rights. Contrast our present world relations with those we had in Washington's time. It would seem clear that the conditions have so changed as to justify a seeming departure from advice directed to such a different state of things. One may reasonably question whether the United States, by uniting with the other great powers to prevent the recurrence of future world war, may not risk less in assuming the obligations of a member of the League than by refusing to become such a member in view of her world-wide interests. But even if the risk of war to the United States would be greater by entering the League than by staying out of it, does not the United States have a duty, as a member of the family of nations, to do its part and run its necessary risk to make less probable the coming of such another war and such another disaster to the human race?
We are the richest nation in the world, and in the sense of what we could do were we to make reasonable preparation we are the most powerful nation in the world. We have been showered with good fortune. Our people have enjoyed a happiness known to no other people. Does not this impose upon us a sacred duty to join the other nations of the world in a fraternal spirit and with a willingness to make sacrifices if we can promote the general welfare of men?
At the close of this war the governments and the people of the belligerent countries, under the enormous burdens and suffering from the great losses of the war, will be in a condition of mind to accept and promote such a plan for the enforcement of future peace. President Wilson, at the head of this administration and the initiator of our foreign policies under the Constitution; Senator Lodge, the senior Republican member of the Committee on Foreign Relations, and therefore the leader of the opposition on such an issue, have both approved of the principles of the League to Enforce Peace. Sir Edward Grey and Lord Bryce have indicated their sympathy and support of the same principles, and we understand that M. Briand, of France, has similar views.
THE PURPOSES OF THE LEAGUE 1
The purpose of the League to Enforce Peace is, after the present war, to organize the world politically so as to enable it to use its power to prevent the hotheadedness of any nation from lighting a fire of war which shall spread into another general conflagration. It proposes to effect this by securing membership in the League of all the great nations of the world. The minor stable nations will then certainly join because of the protection which the League would afford them against sudden attack by a great power. The League will then become a World League. If it does not, it will fail of its purpose. No member of the League is to begin
1 Address delivered at the dinner of the Chamber of Commerce of the Borough of Queens, New York City, Saturday evening, January 20, 1917.
war against any other member until after the question between them shall have been submitted to a Court, if the question is of a legal nature, or a Commission of Conciliation, if it can not be settled on principles of law. The members agree to await the judgment in the one case or the recommendation of a compromise in the other, before beginning hostilities. If any member violates this agreement and begins hostilities before the appointed time, the whole power of the League, by the joint use of the military and naval force of its members, is to be exerted to defend the nation prematurely attacked against the nation attacking it. The compulsion thus to be exercised is directed only to securing deliberation and delay sufficient to permit a hearing and judgment on questions of a legal nature, and a hearing and recommendation of compromise on other questions.
There would be practical difficulties in attempting to enforce judgments, difficulties which may some day be overcome but which the League has now no purpose to attempt to solve. It would be still more difficult to enforce compromises. The League contents itself, and believes that it will make a long step forward if it succeeds, in securing a world agreement by which hearings of the irritating issues may be had and a decision rendered before war is allowed to begin. It is confident that, in most cases, a war thus delayed for a full discussion of the issues and a fair decision will never come.
Mr. Roosevelt objects to the League with great emphasis. It would have added to the usefulness of his criticism if he had read carefully the proposals of the League. He assumes that the League proposes that the judgments and recommendations of compromise reached shall be enforced
by the League. This is a fundamental error. therefore dismiss further consideration of Mr. Roosevelt's objections.
Senator Borah objects to the League because he says it will involve the United States in a surrender of the Monroe Doctrine and in momentous obligations which he does not think the people would be willing to assume.
I quite agree that the League will involve momentous consequences, and I also quite agree that the people of the United States ought to understand exactly what those consequences are and the burdens that they would assume in entering such a League. It would be a great deal better not to enter such a League than to suffer the humiliation of having made an agreement and then repudiate it. There is no disposition on the part of those who are urging the adoption of the League to avoid a discussion of its necessary consequences. They, on the contrary, seek the fullest discussion because it would be idle for the treaty-making power to enter into a treaty of this kind until after Congress and all the people of the United States shall know and fully approve our participation in such a movement.
Senator Borah supposes three cases to show its dangers. In the first, Russia and Japan, being members of the League with all the other great nations of the World, have a controversy over a matter in Manchuria. Russia refuses submission to a Court or Commission, and begins hostilities against Japan. Under the League, England, France, Germany, Austria, Italy and the United States would unite forces with Japan to defeat Russia's attack. The United States would have to contribute men and vessels according to some equitable rule prescribed in the Treaty, proportioned to resources and geographical location. This is the extreme
responsibility which the United States must face. This is the burden she might have. But it is improbable. With a knowledge of this union of tremendous forces against her, Russia would not be likely to violate her plighted faith. The moral effect of the power of the world would prevent her. Ought the United States not be willing to run the risk of being called upon to contribute her quota in such a remote contingency in order that the power of the world may become effective without actual use of force to stop war? Each instance of its successful exercise would strengthen its future moral influence.
The second case suggested by Senator Borah is this. Mexico transfers part of her territory to Japan, and Japan takes it. Thus the Monroe Doctrine is violated. The United States protests and Japan demands a submission under the League. The question is a political one; the Monroe Doctrine does not involve or rest on principles of international law. It would be submitted to the Commission of Conciliation which would, after needed time, recommend a compromise. The United States, if it did not subscribe to the compromise, might honorably refuse to accept it and begin hostilities against Japan. Under the thirty treaties initiated by Mr. Bryan, and consented to by the Senate, the United States could not even now begin such hostilities within a year. In what respect, therefore, is the United States at a disadvantage in the maintenance of the Monroe Doctrine ?
The third case supposed by Senator Borah is that Argentine and a European government have a dispute and Argentine refuses to submit. If Argentine begins war against the European country, then the powers of the League must be used against her, and European forces jointly with our own