Obrázky stránek

tion.” The world's peace ought to be disturbed if the fundamental rights of humanity are invaded, but it ought not to be disturbed for any other thing that I can think of, and America was established in order to indicate, at any rate in one Government, the fundamental rights of man. America must hereafter be ready as a member of the family of nations to exert her whole force, moral and physical, to the assertion of those rights throughout the round globe. * * *

New York Times, Oct. 27, 1916.


(November 4, 1916)



* * * The world will never be again what it has been. The United States will never be again what it has been. The United States was once in enjoyment of what we used to call splendid isolation. The three thousand miles of the Atlantic seemed to hold all European affairs at arm's length from

The great spaces of the Pacific seemed to disclose no threat of influence upon our politics.

Now, from across the Atlantic and from across the Pacific we feel to the quick the influences which are affecting ourselves, and, in the meantime, whereas we used to be always in search of assistance and stimulation from out of other countries, always in search of the capital of other countries to assist our investments, depending upon foreign markets for the sale of our securities, now we have bought in more than 50 per cent of those securities; we have become not the debtors but the creditors of the world, and in what other nations used to play in promoting industries which extended as wide as the world itself, we are playing the guiding part.

We can determine to a large extent who is to be financed and who is not to be financed. This is the reason I say that the United States will never be again what it has been. So it does not suffice to look, as some gentlemen are looking, back over their shoulders, to suggest that we do again what we did when we were provincial and isolated and unconnected with the great forces of the world, for now we are in the great drift of humanity which is to determine the politics of every country in the world.

With this outlook, is it worth while to stop to think of party advantage? Is it worth stopping to think of how we have voted in the past? We are now going to vote, if we be men with eyes open that can see the world, as those who wish to make a new America in a new world mean the same old thing for mankind that it meant when this great Republic was set up; mean hope and justice and righteous judgment and unselfish action. Why, my fellow-citizens, it is an unprecedented thing in the world that any nation in determining its foreign relations should be unselfish, and my ambition is to see America set the great example; not only a great example morally, but a great example intellectually. ***

Every man who has read and studied the great annals of this country may feel his blood warm as he feels these great forces of humanity growing stronger and stronger, not only, but knowing better and better from decade to decade how to concert action and unite their strength. In the days to come men will no longer wonder how America is going to work out her destiny, for she will have proclaimed to them that her destiny is not divided from the destiny of the world; that her purpose is justice and love of mankind.

New York Times, Nov. 5, 1916.


(November 18, 1916)



I need not say that, coming to me as you do on such an ersand, I am very deeply gratified and very greatly cheered. It would be impossible for me off-hand to say just what thoughts are stirred in me by what Mr. Gompers has said to me as your spokesman, but perhaps the simplest thing I can say is, after all, the meat of the whole matter. What I have tried to do is to get rid of any class division in this country, not only, but of any class consciousness and feeling. The worst thing that could happen to America would be that she should be divided into groups and camps in which there were men and women who thought that they were at odds with one another, that the spirit of America was not expressed except in them, and that possibilities of antagonism were the only things that we had to look forward to.

As Mr. Gompers said, achievement is a comparatively small matter, but the spirit in which things are done is of the essence of the whole thing, and what I am striving for, and what I hope you are striving for, is to blot out all the lines of division in America, and create a unity of spirit and of purpose founded upon this, the consciousness that we are all men and women of the same sort, and that if we do not understand each other we are not true Americans.

If we cannot enter into each other's thoughts, if we cannot comprehend each other's interests, if we cannot serve each other's essential welfare, then we have not yet qualified as representatives of the American spirit.

Nothing alarms America so much as rifts, divisions, the drifting apart of elements among her people, and the thing we ought all to strive for is to close up every rift; and the only way to do it, so far as I can see, is to establish justice not only, but justice with a heart in it, justice with a pulse in it, justice with sympathy in it. Justice can be cold and forbidding, or can be warm and welcome, and the latter is the only kind of justice that Americans ought to desire. I do not believe I am deceiving myself when I say that I think this spirit is growing in America. I pray God it may continue to grow, and all I have to say is to exhort every one whom my voice reaches here or elsewhere to come into this common movement of humanity.

New York Times, Nov. 19, 1916.


(December 18, 1916)



The President of the United States has instructed me to suggest to the [here is inserted a designation of the Government addressed] a course of action with regard to the present war which he hopes that the * * * Government will take under consideration as suggested in the most friendly spirit, and as coming not only from a friend but also as coming from the representative of a neutral nation whose interests have been most seriously affected by the war and whose concern for its early conclusion arises out of a manifest necessity to determine how best to safeguard those interests if the war is to continue.

The suggestion which I am instructed to make the President has long had it in mind to offer. He is somewhat embarrassed to offer it at this particular time because it may now seem to have been prompted by a desire to play a part in connection with the recent overtures of the Central Powers. It has in fact been in no way suggested by them in its origin and the President would have delayed offering it until those overtures had been independently answered but for the fact that it also concerns the questions of peace and may best be considered in connection with other proposals which have the same end in view. The President can only beg that his suggestion be considered entirely on its own merits and as if it had been made in other circumstances.

The President suggests that an early occasion be sought to call out from all the nations now at war such an avowal of their respective views as to the terms upon which the war might be concluded and the arrangements which would be deemed satisfactory as a guaranty against its renewal or the kindling of any similar conflict in the future as would make it possible frankly to compare them. He is indifferent as to the means taken to accomplish this. He would be

[ocr errors]

happy himself to serve, or even to take the initiative in its accomplishment, in any way that might prove acceptable, but he has no desire to determine the method or the instrumentality. One way will be as acceptable to him as another if only the great object he has in mind be attained.

He takes the liberty of calling attention to the fact that the objects which the statesmen of the belligerents on both sides have in mind in this war are virtually the same, as stated in general terms to their own people and to the world. Each side desires to make the rights and privileges of weak peoples and small states as secure against aggression or denial in the future as the rights and privileges of the great and powerful states now at war. Each wishes itself to be made secure in the future, along with all other nations and peoples, against the recurrence of wars like this, and against aggression or selfish interference of any kind. Each would be jealous of the formation of any more rival leagues to preserve an uncertain balance of power amidst multiplying suspicions; but each is ready to consider the formation of a league of nations to insure peace and justice throughout the world. Before that final step can be taken, however, each deems it necessary first to settle the issues of the present war upon terms which will certainly safeguard the independence, the territorial integrity, and the political and commercial freedom of the nations involved.

In the measures to be taken to secure the future peace of the world the people and Government of the United States are as vitally and as directly interested as the Governments now at war. Their interest, moreover, in the means to be adopted to relieve the smaller and weaker peoples of the world of the peril of wrong and violence is as quick and ardent as that of any other people or Government. They stand ready, and even eager, to coöperate in the accomplishment of these ends, when the war is over, with every influence and resource at their command. But the war must first be concluded. The terms upon which it is to be concluded they are not at liberty to suggest; but the President does feel that it is his right and his duty to point out their intimate interest in its conclusion, lest it should presently be 7.5 lata to accomplish the greater things which lie beyond

« PředchozíPokračovat »