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lishment of the principle that all secret agreements are void for all purposes, as contrary to public policy.
It may thus be possible to make the existing union of nations so effective that economic or military force will not be required. If, however, such force should be found necessary, a basis will have been laid for the establishment of a suitable and legally limited supernational authority to wield the force of the union with skill and efficiency, and such a supernational authority will no doubt in due time be evolved.
The practical course, therefore, is, it would seem, to take as our basis of thought and action the present written constitution of the cooperative union of nations —the Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes as originally adopted, the one unanimous act which has ever happened among men, so far as appears, since the dawn of history. On that foundation, it may be possible, by taking thought and proceeding with careful steps, gradually to evolve a more and more perfect cooperative union of the nations, which shall secure to them order and law, and permit them to live in peace.
WASHINGTON, D. C., May 15, 1916.
COOPERATIVE UNION OF NATIONS
Self-interest, not fear; self-aggrandizement of all by utilizing equitably the resources which are properly common to all—that is the fundamental principle or motive upon which cooperative union of nations is already working and may be internationally developed, according to Mr. Snow. Readers of The World Court Magazine will recall Mr. Snow's suggestive article on "An International Directorate" last October. He now contributes the following striking study of the possibilities of cooperative union and the functions of the directorate in such a union.
Reprinted from The World Court Magazine, April, 1918
"It would bind together by means of continuous, friendly, and helpful correspondence, not merely the governments of the nations, but the legislatures and, through them, the peoples. It would be an agency of persuasive influence, formed by the nations, of the nations, and for the nations.”—From an address at a dinner in honor of Senator France of Maryland, New York City, May 1920.
URING the last century, plans for organizing the
nations as a union were generally modeled upon
the Constitution of the United States, and provided for forming them into a federal state. Of late years, the tendency has been to use the Articles of Confederation as the model, and the proposals made have generally had for their purpose the institution of a confederation or league of nations.
The federal state plan seems to be losing ground. The reason apparently is that no nation is now willing, or is ever likely to be willing, to subject itself, even as respects those matters which are of common concern to all nations, to a federal government, which necessarily acts through a majority of the nations and whose statutes are enforced by a federal army and navy.