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TAFT PAPERS 

ON 

LEAGUE OF NATIONS 



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LEAGUE OF NATIONS 



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TAFT PAPERS. 

ON ^ 

LEAGUE OF NATIONS 



EDITED BY 

THEODORE MARBURG, M.A., LL.D. 

AND 

HORACE E. FLACK, Ph,D. 



THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 

1920 

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S« ttp and doctiotyped. PublUbed Octobv, i9a»> 






Speeches and articles by Williain Howard Taft, 
and extracts therefrom, covering period from May 
12, 191 5, to the adoption of the revised Paris 
Covenant, April 28, 1919. One article on the 
revised Covenant is added 



FOREWORD 

These addresses, articles and editorials were written when 
the issue was purely on the merits of the League to Enforce 
Peace plan for a League of Nations, and of the Covenant 
of the League of Nations as signed by President Wilson in 
Paris and by him submitted to the Senate. I have nothing 
to recall in what is said in them. But the present issue over 
the League is very different from that when these papers 
were written, and is made so by the very unfortunate atti- 
tude of President Wilson in refusing to allow the United 
States to join the League of Nations because the Senate 
would not consent to Article X as he had drafted it and put 
it into the Covenant. 

It is conceded that the other members of the League would 
have accepted us as a member with the modification of Article 
X insisted on by a sufficient number of senators to prevent 
ratification. The Democratic party and its platform adopt 
completely Mr. Wilson's position and, if Governor Cox is 
elected, the League will be defeated and a deadlock ensue just 
as before. 

Two-thirds of the Republican senators have already voted 
for the League with reservations and enough Democrats 
have expressed themselves in the Senate and elsewhere on 
this matter to ensure a ratification of the League with the 
Republican reservations if Mr. Harding is elected and sub- 
mits the German Treaty to the Senate. The doubt on this 
point is whether Mr. Harding will do so, arising from his 



FOREWORD 

failure to say, in his letter of acceptance, that he will do so. 
My own belief is that, as Mr. Harding has already twice 
voted for the League with reservations, and will find that a 
Democratic minority will prevent Ms putting through a 
separate treaty with Germany, he will conclude that the only 
satisfactory solution is a ratification of the League Covenant 
with reservations. 

For these reasons — though had I been a senator I would 
have voted for the League Covenant just as submitted and 
also for it with the reservations — I shall vote for Mr. 
Harding. 

William Howard Taft. 

Pointe au Pic, 
Province of Quebec, Canada, 
July 23, 1920. 



CONTENTS 



Introduction • • • vn 

League to Enforce Peace i 

Victory Program :. 2 

The Paris Covenant for a League of Nations ... 4 

Plan for a League of Nations to Enforce Peace . . 28 

Proposals of the League to Enforce Peace ... 46 

Constitutionality of the Proposals 52 

A Constructive Plan for Human Betterment ... 61 

The Purposes of the League 74 

Statement Made at Richmond, Va., March 21, 1917 . 79 

The Menace of a Premature Peace 81 

World Peace Debate 98 

Victory with Power 132 

Our Purpose 133 

Self Determination 136 

Peril in Hun Peace Offer 138 

The Obugations of Victory 141 

Workingmen and the League 152 

A League of Nations Our National Poucy ... 153 
Why a League of Nations Is Necessary . . . .156 

Lesser League of Nations 160 

Disarmament of Nations and Freedom of the Seas . 163 

The League of Nations and the German Colonies . 164 

The League of Nations and Reugious Liberty . . 166 

President Wilson and the League of Nations . . 169 
Senator Lodge on the League of Nations . . . .174 

The League: Why and How 177 

From Article in The Public T^kdger, January i, 1919 194 



CONTENTS 

PAOI 

Representation in the League 195 

Criticism Should Be Constructive 198 

Roosevelt's Contribution to League of Nations . . 201 

The League of Nations, What It Means and Why It 
Must Be 205 

League of Nations and President Wilson's Advisers • 210 

'* The League of Nations Is Here " 213 

The League's " Bite " 217 

The League of Nations and the German Colonies . 22i< 

From Address at Atlantic Congress for a League of 
Nations, New York, February 5, 1919 .... 225 

Ireland and the League 225 

The Great Covenant of Paris 228 

To Business Men 241 

From Address at San Francisco, February 19, 1919 . 2A7 

From Address at Salt Lake City, February 22, 1919 . 249 

League of Nations as Barrier to Any Great Wars in 
Future 257 

The Paris Covenant for a League of Nations . . . 262 

Answer to Senator Knox's Indictment 280 

Paris Covenant Has Teeth 290 

To Make Peace Secure 295 

League of Nations Has Not Delayed Peace . . . 300 

"Open Diplomacy" Slow 3^3 

Russia, France, Danzig 3^5 

The Round Robin 3^7 

Guaranties of Article 10 3^ 

Religious and Racial Freedom 3^9 

Secret Treaty Provisions that are at the Root of 

the Crisis at the Paris Conference . . . .311 
Analysis of the League Covenant as Amended . .313 
Correspondence 3^1 



INTRODUCTION 

Here in the United States the main attack on both the 
preliminary project and the perfected Covenant of the 
League of Nations was on the ground that the League 
would operate as an interference with our sovereignty and 
with the Monroe Doctrine, that it involved abandonment of 
our traditional policy against entangling alliances, and that 
the country lacked the power, under its Constitution, to 
enter into such a treaty. These objections are fully met 
by Mr. Taft in the speeches and articles embraced in this 
volume. Sovereignty is shown to be just so much liberty 
of action on the part of States as is consistent with their 
obligation, under international law and morality, to permit 
of the exercise of equal sovereignty or liberty of action by 
their sister States. The League Covenant secures all States 
in their exercise of this sovereignty free from oppression 
by other States, and he who wants more is really seeking 
the license selfishly to disregard these obligations — to 
reject, for example, the just judgments of a properly con- 
stituted tribunal — which is the German conception of 
sovereignty. 

The Monroe Doctrine is shown to be strengthened, not 
impaired, by the Covenant. In its original form the 
doctrine opposed future colonization on the American conti- 
nents by European governments and all interference by 
Europe with the free governments of America. Later on, 

the United States, under the Polk and under the Taft admin- 

. . 

Vll 



Vlll INTRODUCTION 

istrations, voiced its opposition to the transfer of American 
territory by sale to any European or Asiatic government. 
The original doctrine is strengthened by the League 
Covenant in that it is, for the first time, specifically recog- 
nized by the nations, and is extended to the world by the 
provisions of Article X, which preserves " against external 
aggression the territorial integrity and political independ- 
ence of all members of the League." Certainly we are not 
authorized by that, nor, in fact, by any other article of the 
Covenant, to acquire territory in Europe by conquest or 
purchase, and similarly European countries are not author- 
ized by the Covenant to do it in this hemisphere. 

The attitude both of Secretary Seward and of President 
Roosevelt is cited to the effect that the Monroe Doctrine 
does not forbid non-American Powers from justly disciplin- 
ing American countries provided the action does not extend 
to the point of interfering with the latter's independence and 
territorial integrity. Similarly the guaranties of territorial 
integrity and political independence under Article X of the 
Paris Covenant will not come into operation until the char- 
acter of a war, otherwise legally begun, discloses itself as 
aggressive in this respect. Neither are wars of independ- 
ence within the legal purview of the League though it will 
naturally take notice of them and invite friendly settlement. 

The sale of American territory to non-American Powers 
is not specifically forbidden by the League Covenant; but 
the motive for such attempted action is lessened by the very 
existence of the League. When the Monroe Doctrine is 
to be enforced in the western hemisphere, it is natural to 
expect that a strong American State, dose to the seat of 
trouble, will be selected to execute the mandate of the 
League. Similar reason would control the action of the 



INTRODUCTION ix 

League in employing the forces of a nearby State to quell 
disturbances in other parts of the world ; so that, unless the 
struggle be formidable or unless an international force be 
needed to allay fear of abuse of power, the forces of the 
United States will rarely be called upon to act abroad. 

The " entangling alliance " argument is met by a whole 
series of facts and considerations. The detached position 
of the United States, which obtained in Washington's day, 
is shown to have disappeared with the spread of dominion 
and interests since then. From a country limited to a 
comparatively narrow settlement along the Atlantic sea- 
board, the United States has extended its empire over the 
continent to the Pacific, has acquired Alaska, Hawaii, the 
Philippines, Porto Rico, and the Panama Canal strip, while 
a multiplied commerce and social intercourse tie up her 
fortunes intimately with the fortunes of other peoples. The 
life that pulses through her veins today is the life of the 
world and disease in the body politic elsewhere affects her 
own health. We have seen that we cannot keep out of a 
general world conflict and we risk less by assuming the 
obligations of membership in the family of nations and 
throwing our great influence in the scale for the preservation 
of peace than if we were to attempt isolation and play the 
role of onlooker until the conflagration drew us irresist- 
ibly in. 

Our presence will make the potential strength of the 
League so overwhelming that the hand of the would-be 
aggressor will be stayed, making serious assault on the 
world's peace unlikely. In most instances the need for the 
actual use of force will be avoided; just as the declared 
purpose of the United States to maintain the Monroe 
Doctrine has resulted in its being respected without our 



X INTRODUCTION 

being called upon to fire a shot or sacrifice the life of a single 
soldier in its defence. Accordingly there will be less likeli- 
hood of our being called upon to go to war than if we 
declined the commitments of the League with a view to 
avoiding war. While the United States, in entering the 
League, will assume new responsibilities, it will not assume 
new burdens. The League will prove to be a source of 
economy rather than of new expense to us; for it should 
not only enable us to escape the crushing expense of actual 
warfare, but, in course of time, should likewise relieve us of 
part of the present burden of armaments. 

So much from the standpoint of self-interest. But, 
irrespective of self-interest, the United States, having become 
a powerful nation in point of numbers, talent and resources, 
has a duty to perform in this respect to her sister nations. 
Modern ingenuity has so multiplied the destructiveness of 
war that the very preservation of the race is dependent on 
adequate organization to suppress war. Such organization 
cannot come about without the participation of the United 
States. Unless we join, other important countries will 
remain out and we will witness the world divided once more 
in hostile groups. Without a League of Nations, the many 
new States which have come into being, lacking experience 
and the self-restraint which makes successful self-govern- 
ment possible, will not only be unable to maintain their 
independence but will be a source of danger to the general 
peace, by reason of quarrels among themselves and quarrels 
with the States of which they were formerly a part ; for, on 
the one hand, racial animosity and the memory of the 
tyranny formerly practiced against them " will prompt them 
to be impatient and headstrong" in dealing with their 
former masters, while, on the other hand, the latter will 



IMTRODXJCTION XI 

harbor resentment against States whose independent exist- 
ence will remind them of their own " deserved humiliation." 
Our experience in Cuba indicates what we may expect of 
them. After three years of existence as an independent 
republic, Cuba indulged in a revolution. " Mr. Roosevelt 
sent me down there to stop it and laimch the Republic once 
more. Well, I could not stop it except by sending for the 
army and navy of the United States. That step had a 
wholesome, conciliatory, quieting effect. We were not 
called upon to fight. We took over the island and held it 
for two years. We passed a lot of good statutes, among 
them an election law, held a fair election under it and then 
turned over the government to those elected. We had 
launched her once more. If she ever requires it we will 
do the same thing over again and launch her again, and then 
again, until she gets strong enough — I hope she is now — 
to stand alone." 

This unpretentious and good-natured recital of the accom- 
plishment of a task which for another might have proved 
difficult indeed — and lengthy, if not bloody — shows, 
more clearly than any abstract dissertation possibly could, 
exactly the patience and fatherly concern which Mr. Taft 
feels will be required of us in starting the new nations of 
Europe safely on their way. 

Our own sacrifices and the more awful sacrifices of our 
allies, who were fighting our battle long before we awoke 
to the fact, were made in order to suppress militarism, to 
safeguard democracy and to make peace more lasting. 

It was the United States, acting through its President, 
that pointed the way to a league of nations. The hope of 
it gave new courage to the armies of our allies and to the 
people that suffered toil and hardship at home; it helped 



Xll INTRODUCTION 

nerve the arm of our own boys and encouraged the masses 
in the enemy country to revolt against their leaders. Shall 
we now disappoint their hope? Prove traitor to our pro- 
fessions? Tell the maimed and the mothers of the dead, 
at home and abroad, that we did not mean what we said? 
Suffer conditions to grow up which will make similar — 
nay, far graver — sacrifices necessary in the future ? "I 
say that the men who advocate our staying out of the 
League by reason of a policy against entangling alliances 
laid down by Washington for a small nation struggling for 
existence, whereas today we are one of the most powerful 
nations in the world — I say deliberately that these men 
are little Americans and belittle the United States and its 
people." Now is the time to set up the international organ- 
ization which for generations thinking men have sought; 
now, while the dreadful character of war has so impressed 
itself on nations that they are willing to make the concessions 
called for. 

Should we not, then, say to the nations of Europe : " We 
realize that the sea no longer separates us but is become a 
bond of union. We know that if war comes to you, our 
neighbor, it is apt to come to us, and we are ready to stand 
with you in order to suppress this scourge of nations. For 
love of our brother we will do our share as men and women 
conscious of the responsibility to help along mankind, a 
responsibility which God has given this nation in giving it 
great power." 

Led, by experience in furthering new measures, to expect 
violent attack on the proposed League from the side of the 
Federal Constitution, Mr. Taft took early occasion to deal 
with that important question. His full and satisfactory 



INTRODUCTION XIU 

treatment of it is among his most valuable contributions to 
the discussion of the League project. 

The United States is a nation, endowed with all the 
powers, so far as external relations are concerned, that 
appertain to a sovereign nation. Practice and legal decisions 
are cited to show that its treaty-making power extends to 
all subjects usually dealt with in treaties. These include, in 
practice and in law, the right to agree to submit to arbitra- 
tion not only existing disputes but likewise disputes which 
may arise in future. Among the latter, instance the 
approval, by the United States Senate, of the Hague conven- 
tion for an international Court of Prize and of the Bryan 
treaties. Such agreements may apply to extra-legal con- 
troversies as well as to justiciable controversies. The latter 
are defined as matters resolvable by the rules of law and 
equity. Precedent for instituting an international Court 
of Justice to pass upon the latter category of questions is 
found in the Supreme Court of the United States which is 
called upon at times to apply international law in con- 
troversies between the States of the Union. Settlement of 
extra-legal questions by a tribunal would simply be arbi- 
tration as we commonly know it. A long series of agree- 
ments of this nature, beginning with the Jay Treaty of 1794, 
affirms the practice of the country in respect thereto. Sub- 
mission of an issue to a judge, which this is, is not a dele- 
gation of power to an agent. 

Nor is the Government exceeding its constitutional powers 
when it enters into an agreement to go to war under certain 
conditions. For the complete act, the exercise of two con- 
stitutional functions is required. It is the President who, 
by and with the consent of the Senate, makes a treaty. 
" For this purpose the President and Senate are the United 



XIV INTRODUCTION 

States." That is one thing. It is the Congress which, 
observing the requirements of the treaty, takes supplemen- 
tary action. That is quite another thing. 

A treaty calling for a declaration of war under certain 
conditions can no more be carried out without action on the 
part of Congress than a treaty calling for the payment of 
money; because in Congress alone resides the power to 
declare war just as in Congress alone resides the power to 
make appropriations of money from the Treasury. The 
requirements of the Constitution are fulfilled only by this 
double action. But that fact cannot be interpreted as limit- 
ing the constitutional power of the Government to make 
treaties. The treaty we made with France during the 
Revolution was of that character. The Senate accepted the 
principle when it approved the treaties under which we 
guaranteed the independence of Cuba and Panama. " The 
obligation was entered into in the constitutional way and is 
to be performed in the constitutional way." 

Neither can the constitutional power of the country to 
enter into an agreement to limit armaments be questioned. 
This power was exercised early in the history of the country 
by the agreement with Canada ( 1817) to abolish armaments 
on the Great Lakes and maintain no fortifications along our 
lengthy common border. 

The charge that the League sets up a Super-State like- 
wise falls before an examination of the project. The central 
organs of the League recommend — they do not command 
— definite courses of action by the States of the League. 
When armaments are in question, the limit prescribed for 
each State is not definitive until that State has agreed to it. 
For the United States, it is the Congress, acting under the 
Constitution, which will finally determine what our arma- 



INTRODUCTIOK XV 

ments are to be. When mandates for administering back- 
ward regions are assigned, the mandatory is free to accept 
or reject the mandate. When the use of force is required, 
each State of the League will decide for itself whether or 
not it will observe the recommendation of the central organ 
of the League that force be used. True, among the positive 
agreements which may not be ignored, are two of major 
importance, namely, the agreement to institute a boycott 
against a member of the League which res6rts to war in 
violation of its covenants and the agreement to "afford 
passage through their territory to the forces " engaged in 
disciplining the recalcitrant. These provisions abolish neu- 
trality in the case of an aggressive war; but it is a condi- 
tion which arises not 1)y reason of any command of the cen- 
tral organs of the League but by reason of the act of the 
recalcitrant itself in waging war illegally. 

The power of the League rests, not on a super-govern- 
ment, but on the covenants of the members to cooperate 
voluntarily by boycott and by the use of force, to punish 
aggression. 

Combatting the views of persons who object to the ele- 
ment of force in the League program, Mr. Taft declares 
his respect for the motives of the advocates of non-resist- 
ance but doubts whether nations are as yet proof against the 
" temptations to cupidity, cruelty and injustice " manifested 
in men, and whether, on that account, an international police 
is not as requisite as the constabulary which " protects the 
innocent and the just against the criminal and unjust" 
within the State. 

Mr. Bryan, in the written debate with Mr. Taft, urges 
that the use of force invites violence, and cites the laying 
aside of weapons by private persons as having made for the 



XVI INTRODUCTION 



peace fulness of sdciety. Mr. Taft replies that the instance 
is not well chosen, because " men gave up weapons when 
they could rely on the police, exercising the force of the 
community, to protect them against violence. . . . Would 
Mr. Bryan dispense with the police in city, state and na- 
tion?" "There is no means of suppressing lawless vio- 
lence except lawful force." 

Mr. Bryan's view that a popular referendum should be 
taken before a nation may declare war is met by the supposi- 
tion that the people of one country to a dispute might well 
vote for war while that of the other country voted against 
it. " Shall another vote be taken ? In which countr>' ? 
Or shall it be in both ? " We may add that when the na- 
tional legislature had gone so far as to submit the question 
of peace or war by referendum to the people, what likeli- 
hood is there that the prospective enemy would await the 
decision before striking? Picture any of the great Euro- 
pean countries referring to popular vote the question of war 
against a neighbor. How long would the latter delay war- 
like action? The debate offers an interesting comparison, 
throughout, of the minds of the two participants. 

The assertion, made in certain quarters, that the League 
plan has little value because nations will disregard the obli- 
gations of the pact is met by the admission that nations are 
sometimes utterly immoral and shamelessly break treaties 
on the plea of necessity but that we cannot, on that account, 
abandon treaty-making " any more than we can give up com- 
mercial contracts because men sometimes dishonor them- 
selves by breaking them." Moreover, flying in the face of 
an organized world opinion and combined world power 
involves very different consequences from those which fol- 
lowed breach of treaty under the old order. 



IKTRODUCTION xvii 

The fear that judgments of an international tribunal will 
affect adversely the interests of the United States is dis- 
missed in these words: "If the judgment against her is 
just she ought to obey it. If it is not, why assume that it 
will be rendered at all, or, that if rendered all nations 
would join in world war to enforce it? Indeed, may not 
our imagination, if we let it run riot, as easily conceive 
such a union of the military forces of the world against 
the United States without a league and its machinery as 
with them?" No inconsistency is recognized between in- 
tense love of country, which is regarded as helpful and 
right, and universal brotherhood. " The relation of one 
to the other should be as love of home and family is to 
love of country." They strengthen each other. 

A league, such as is now planned, is viewed as a necessary 
and natural outgrowth of the treaty foreshadowed by the 
demands of the Allies. In fact the proposed treaty is im- 
possible of fulfillment without the aid of some such organi- 
zation. Even though drawn " by the ablest lawyers who 
ever drew a contract " its numerous provisions will call for 
authoritative interpretation. What instrument is there 
better fitted than a court to interpret a contract authorita- 
tively? Next, there are sure to be conflicts which are not 
justiciable among the nations. What better institution for 
settling such questions than a tribunal of inquiry and con- 
ciliation? Unruliness on the part of backward countries, 
or of those children among the nations to whoni reference 
has already been made, will call for the use of force to con- 
fine and restrain it. " You do not always have to use the 
broad hand but it is helpful to have it in the family." 
That was the third plank in the platform of the League to 
Enforce Peace. Lastly, we cannot escape the task of de- 



XVIU INTRODUCTION 

veloping and defining international law» and that is the 
fourth plank. 

As the discussion proceeded Mr. Taft was led to change, 
in the direction of enlarging, his view of the length to 
which nations might be expected to go in conferring powers 
on a central organization. Of the desirability of sanc- 
tion for all the pronouncements of the League there was 
never a question. The problem was to avoid wrecking 
the project by demanding more than the nations would be 
willing to concede at this time. 

It will be observed, for example, that in the earliest 
speeches, intention to enforce the judgment of an interna- 
tional court is denied ; whereas, later on and with Mr. Taft's 
approval, the platform of the League to Enforce Peace 
moved up to that demand. At the same time Mr. Taft has 
stood, from the beginning, for the power to hale a nation 
into court. The framers of the Paris Covenant were mani- 
festly unwilling to confer both powers conjointly on an in- 
ternational tribunal. They neglected to confer on the 
League the power to hale offenders before a tribunal or 
court in matters suitable for arbitration — justiciable mat- 
ters are included in the term — but, having once submitted 
the matter, the disputants are bound to respect the judg- 
ment or award. On the other hand, disputants in the field 
of extra-legal matters, including conflicts of political policy, 
may be haled before a tribunal — the Council or a com- 
mittee thereof — while the recommendation arrived at by 
the tribunal is not enforcible. Mr. Taft is of the opinion 
that there is still a way, through the instrumentality of the 
Council, to bring a nation into the Court of International 
Justice under the Covenant. Certainly it is not unreason- 



INTRODUCTION XIX 

able to expect further development of the powers of its 
tribunals, as well as of the general powers of the League, 
as time may disclose the need for them. 

So, too, the earlier position that the League should oper- 
ate only on its own members was abandoned by Mr. Taft 
and his associates in favor of insistence on resort to inquiry 
in the hope of peaceful settlement before even nations out- 
side the League were suffered to go to war. This is the 
attitude of the Paris Q>venant. The messages printed at 
the end of the volume reveal the part played by Mr. Taft 
in securing modification of the covenant originally reported 
to the Paris Conference (February 14, 1919). His sug- 
gestions were made with a view to meeting the objections 
raised against the instrument by members of the United 
States Senate. The attitude of the latter, softer the ob- 
jections voiced had been largely met by these modifications, 
indicates the true nature of much of the opposition, namely, 
desire to destroy the Covenant itself — 2l fearful responsi- 
bility in view of future consequences to the welfare of man- 
kind. 

In addition to meeting, with his usual touch of kindly 
humor and convincing reasoning, the arguments advanced 
against the League project, Mr. Taft discloses in these 
papers a deep conviction that a League of Nations is neces- 
sary and that within it lie boundless possibilities for good. 

Some one has said that the man whom we are inclined to 
regard as wise is the man with whose views we happen to 
agree. Be that as it may, in reviewing Mr. Taft's utter- 
ances one is struck with the extent to which the things he 
has advocated are the things that have been realized or 
are stiD regarded as desirable. His basket of discarded no- 



XX INTRODUCTieN 

tions — ' notions discarded for him by the public — is ex- 
ceptionally small. 

Among the speeches in his best vein is that of Montreal 
(September 26, 1917) analysing German motive in the light 
of Prussia's history and reviewing the events which led up 
inevitably to our own entry into the war. While stamped 
with his characteristic fairness, it constitutes such a sweep- 
ing indictment of Germany, is so eloquent and full of fire, 
to exact, comprehensive and satisfactory that it should live 
as a masterpiece in the literature of the war. 

It goes without saying that the Papers are replete with 
new evidence of our honored ex-President's grasp of the 
guiding legal principles of our government, gathered on the 
bench and in executive office, and of the attitude of mind 
which the best thought and feeling of the country heartily 
accepts as true Americanism. 

Theodore Marburg. 

Baltimore, November 11, 19 19. 



'. » 



TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE 
. OF NATIONS 

LEAGUE TO ENFORCE PEACE 

The League to Enforce Peace was organized in Independ- 
ence Hall, Philadelphia, June 17, 1915. Its objects are set 
forth in the following : 

• ■ . - ■ ■ 

» 

Proposals 

We believe it to be desirable for the United States to join 
a league of nations binding the signatories to the following : 

First: AH justiciable questions arising between the 
signatory powers, not settled by negotiation, shall, subject 
to the limitations of treaties, be submitted to a judicial tri- 
bunal for hearing and judgment^ both upon the merits and 
upon any issue as to its jurisdiction of the question. 

Second: All other questions arising between the signa- 
tories and not settled by negotiation shall be submitted to a 
council of conciliation for hearing, consideration and recom^ 
mendation. 

Third: The signatory powers shall jointly use forth- 
with both their economic and military forces against any 
one of their number that goes to war, or commits acts of 
hostility, against another of the signatories before any ques- 
tion arising shall be submitted as provided in the forego- 
ing.* 

. ^The foUowiog interpretation of Article 3 has been authorized 
by the Executive Qomnytttee: 
" The signatory powers shall jointly employ diplomatic and economic 



I 
I 



2 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

Fourth: Conferences between the signatory powers shall 
be held from time to time to formulate and codify rules of 
international law, which, unless some signatory shall signify 
its dissent within a stated period, shall thereafter govern 
in the dedsicms of the Judicial Tribunal mentioned in Article 
One. 



VICTORY PROGRAM 

Adopted at a meeting of the Executive Committee, held in 
New York, November 23, ipj8, as the ofRdal platform 
of the League to Enforce Peace, superseding the proposals 
adopted at the organisation of the League in Philadelphia, 
June 17, 191 5. 

The war now happily brought to a dose has been above 
all a war to end war, but in order to ensure the fruits of 
victory and to prevent the recurrence of such a catastrophe 
there should be formed a League of Free Nations, as uni- 
versal as possible, based upon treaty and pledged that the 
security of each state shall rest upon the strength of the 
whole. The initiating nucleus of the membership of the 
League should be the nations associated as belligerents in 
winning the war. 

The League should aim at promoting the liberty, progress, 

pressure against any one of their number that threatens war against 
a fellow signatory without havinj^ first submitted its dispute for inter- 
national inquiry, conciliation, arbitration or judicial hearing, and 
awaited a conclusion, or without having in good faith offered so to 
submit it. They shall follow this forthwith by the joint use of their 
military forces against that nation if it actually goes to war, or com- 
mits acts of hostility, against another of the signatories before any 
question arising shall be dealt with as provided in the foregoing." 




VICTORY PROGRAM 3 

and fidr economic opportunity of all nations, and the orderly 
development of the world. 

It should ensure peace by eliminating causes of dissen- 
sion, by deciding controversies by peaceable means, and by 
uniting the potential force of all the members as a standing 
menace against any nation that seeks to upset the peace of 
the world. 

The advantages of membership in the League, both 
^onomically and from the point of view of security, should 
be so dear that all nations will desire to be members of it. 

For this purpose it is necessary to create — 

1. For the decision of justiciable questions, an impartial 
tribunal whose jurisdiction shall not depend upon the as- 
sent of the parties to the controversy; provision to be made 
for enforcing its decisions. 

2. For questions that are not justiciable in their character, 
a Council of Conciliation, as mediator, which shall hear, 
consider, and make recommendations; and failing acquies- 
cence by the parties concerned, the League shall determine 
what action, if any, shall be taken. 

3. An administrative organization for the conduct of af- 
fairs of common interest, the protection and care of back- 
ward regions and internationalized places, and such matters 
as have been jointly administered before and during the 
war. We hold that this object must be attained by methods 
and through machinery that will ensure both stability and 
pr(^;ress ; preventing, on the one hand, any crystallization of 
the status quo that will defeat the forces of healthy growth 
and changes, and providing, on the other hand, a way by 
which progress can be secured and necessary change effected 
without recourse to war. 

4. A representative Congress to formulate and codify 



4 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

rules of international law, to inspect the work of thfc adr 
ministrative bodies and to consider any matter affecting the 
tranquility of the world or the progress or betterment of 
human relations. Its deliberations should be public. 

5. An Executive Body, able to speak with authority in the 
name of the nations represented, and to act in case the peace 
of the world is endangered. 

The representation of the different nations in the organs 
of the League should be in proportion to the responsibilities 
and obligations they assume. The rules of international 
law should not be defeated for lack of unanimity. 



THE PARIS COVENANT FOR A 
LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

[Similar provisions of the two drafts paralleled for comparison] 

Text of the Plan Adopted by Text of the Plan Presented 

the Paris Peace Confer- at the Paris Peace Con- 

ence April 38, ipip ference Feb. 14, ipip 



Preamble 
In order to promote inter- 
national cooperation and to 
achieve international peace and 
security, by the acceptance of 
obligations not to resort to war, 
by the prescription of open, just 
and honorable relations between 
nations, by the firm establish- 
ment of the understandings of 
international law as the actual 
rule of conduct among Gk)vem- 
ments, and by the maintenance 



Preamble 
In order to promote interna- 
tional cooperation and to secure 
international peace and security 
by the acceptance of obligations 
not to resort to war, by the pre- 
scription of open, just and 
honorable relations between na- 
tions, by the firm establishment 
of the understandings of mter- 
national law as the actual rul^ 
of conduct among governments^ 
and by the maintenance of jus- 



^ 



THE PARIS COVENANT FOR A LEAGUE OF NATIONS 



of justice and a scrupulous re- 
spect for all treaty obligations 
in the dealings of organized 
peoples with one another, the 
high contracting parties agree to 
this covenant of the League of 
Nations. 

Article I 

The original members of the 
League of Nations shall be those 
of the signatories which are 
named in the annex to this 
covenant and also such of those 
other states named in the annex 
as shall accede without reserva- 
tion to this covenant. Such ac- 
cessions shall be effected by a 
declaration deposited with the 
Secretariat within two months 
of the coming into force of the 
covenant. Notice thereof shall 
be sent to all other members of 
the League. 

Any fully self-governing state, 
dominion or colony not named 
in the annex may become a 
member of the League if its ad- 
mission is agreed to by two- 
thirds of the Assembly, provided 
that it shall give effective guar- 
antees of its sincere intention 
to observe its international obli- 
gations and shall accept such 
regulations as may be prescribed 
by the League in regard to its 
military^ naval and air forces 
and armaments. 

Any member of the League 
may, after two years' notice of 



tice and a scrupulous respect for 
all treaty obligations in the deal- 
ings of organized people with 
one another, the powers signa- 
tory to this covenant adopt this 
constitution of the League of 
Nations : 

Article VII 

Admission to the League of 
States, not signatories to the 
covenant and not named in the 
protocol hereto as States to be 
invited to adhere to the cove- 
nant, requires the assent of 
not less than two-thirds of the 
States represented in the body 
of delegates, and shall be 
limited to fully self-governing 
countries, including dominions 
and colonies. 

No State shall be admitted to 
the League unless it is .able to 
give effective guarantees of its 
sincere intention to observe its 
international obligations and un- 
less it shall conform to such 
principles as may be prescribed 
by the League in regard to its 
naval and military forces and 
armamenta. 



TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 



its intention so to do, withdraw 
from the League, provided that 
all its international obligations 
and all its obligations under this 
covenant shall have been ful- 
filled at the time of its with- 
drawal. 

Article II 
The action of the League un- 
der this covenant shall be 
effected through the instrumen- 
tality of an Assembly and of a 
Council, with a permanent Sec- 
retariat 



Article III 

The Assembly shall consist of 
representatives of the members 
of the League. 

The Assembly shall meet at 
stated intervals, and from time 
to time as occasion may require, 
at the seat of the League, or at 
such other place as may be de- 
cided upon. 

The Assembly may deal at its 
meetings with any matter within 
the sphere of action of the 
League or affecting the peace 
of the world. 

At meetings of the Assembly 
each member of the League 
shall have one vote, and may 



Article I 

The action of the high con- 
tracting parties under the terms 
of this covenant shall be effected 
through the instrumentality of 
meetings of a body of delegates 
representing the high contract- 
ing parties, of meetings at more 
frequent intervals of an Execu- 
tive Council, and of a perma- 
nent international secretariat to 
be established at the seat of the 
League. 

Article II 

Meetings of the body of dele- 
gates shall be held at stated in- 
tervals and from time to time, 
as occasion may require, for the 
purpose of dealing with matters 
within the sphere of action of 
the League. Meetings of the 
body of delegates shall be held 
at the seat of the League, or at 
such other places as may be 
found convenient, and shall con- 
sist of representatives of the 
high contracting parties. Each 
of the high contracting parties 
shall have one vote, but may 
have not more than three repre- 
sentatives. 



Ik 



THE PARIS COVENANT FOR A LEAGUE OF NATIONS 7 



have not more than three repre- 
sentatives. 

Article IV 
The Council shall consist of 
representatives of the principal 
allied and associated powers, to- 
gether with representatives of 
four other members of the 
League. These four members 
of the League shall be selected 
by the Assembly from time to 
time in its discretion. Until the 
appointment of the representa- 
tives of the four members of the 
League first selected by the As- 
sembly, representatives of Bel- 
gium, Brazil, Spain and Greece 
shall be members of the Council. 

With the approval of the ma- 
jority of the Assembly, the 
Council may name additional 
members of the League, whose 
representatives shall always be 
members of the Council; the 
Council with like approval may 
increase the number of members 
of the Les^^ue to be selected by 
the Assembly for representation 
on the Council. 

The Council shall meet from 
time to time as occasion may re- 
quire, and at least once a year, 
at the seat of the League, or at 
such other place as may be de- 
cided upon. 



Article III 

The Executive Council shall 
consist of representatives of 
the United States of Amer- 
ica, the British Empire, France, 
Italy, and Japan, together with 
representatives of four other 
States, members of the League. 
The selection of these four 
States shall be made by the 
body of delegates on sueh prin- 
ciples and in such manner as 
they think fit. Pending the ap- 
pointment of these representa- 
tives of the other States^ repre- 
sentatives of shall be mem- 
bers of the Executive Council. 

Meetings of the council shall 
be held from time to time as 
occasion may require, and at 
least once a year, at whatever 
place may be decided on, or, fail- 
ing any such decision, at the seat 
of the League, and any matter 
within the sphere of action of 
the League or affecting the 
peace of the world may be dealt 
with at such meetings. 

Invitations shall be sent to 
any power to attend a meeting 
of the council, at which matters 
directly affecting its interests 
are to be discussed, and no de- 
cision taken at any meeting will 
be binding on such a power un- 
less so invited 



8 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 



IV 

The Council may deal at its 
meetings with any matter with- 
in the sphere of action of the 
League or affecting the peace of 
the world. 

Any member of the League 
not represented on the Council 
shall be invited to send a repre- 
sentative to sit as a member at 
any meeting of the Council dur- 
ing the consideration of matters 
specially affecting the interests 
of that member of the League. 

At meetings of the Council, 
each member of the League 
represented on the Council shall 
have one vote, and may have not 
more than one representative. 

Article V 

Except where otherwise ex- 
pressly provided in this cove- 
nant, or by the terms of the 
present treaty, decisions at any 
meeting of the Assembly or of 
the Council shall require the 
agreement of all the membersi of 
the League represented at the 
meeting. 

All matters of procedure at 
meetings of the Assembly or the 
Council, including the appoint- 
ment of committees to investi- 
gate particular matters, shall be 
regulated by the Assembly or by 
the Council and may be decided 



THE PARIS COVENANT FOR A LEAGUE OF NATIONS 9 



by a majority of the members of 
ihe' League represented at the 
meeting. 

The first meeting of the As- 
sembly and the first meeting of 
the Council shall be summoned 
by the President of the United 
States of America. 

Article VI 

The permanent Secretariat 
shall be established at the seat of 
the League. The Secretariat 
shall comprise a Secretary Gen- 
eral and such secretaries and 
staff as may be required. 

The first Secretary General 
shall be the person named in the 
annex; thereafter the Secretary 
General shall be appointed by 
the Council with the approval 
of the majority of the Assembly. 

The secretaries and the staff 
of the Secretariat shall be ap- 
pointed by the Secretary Gen- 
eral with the approval of the 
Council. 

The Secretary General shall 
act in that capacity at all meet- 
ings of the Assembly and of the 
Council. 

The expenses of the Secre- 
tariat shall be borne by the 
members of the League in ac- 
cordance with the apportion- 
ment of the expenses of the In- 
ternational Bureau of the Uni- 
versal Postal Union. 



Article V 

The permanent secretariat of 
the League shall be established 

at , which shall constitute 

the seat of the League. The 
secretariat shall comprise such 
secretaries and staff as may be 
required, under the general di- 
rection and control of a Secre- 
tary General of the League, who 
shall be chosen by the Execu- 
tive Council. The secretariat 
shall be appointed by the Secre- 
tary General subject to con- 
firmation by the Executive 
Council. 

The Secretary General shall 
act in that capacity at all meet- 
ings of the body of delegates or 
of the Executive Council. 

The expenses of the secre- 
tariat shall be borne by the 
States members of the League, 
in accordance with the appor- 
tionment of the expenses of the 
International Bureau of the 
Universal Postal Union. 



10 



TAPT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 



Article VII 

The seat of the League is 
established at Geneva. 

The Council may at any time 
decide that the seat of the 
League shall be established else- 
where. 

All positions under or in con- 
nection with the League, includ- 
ing the Secretariat, shall be open 
equally to men and women. 

Representatives of the mem- 
bers of the League and officials 
of the League when engaged on 
the business of the League shall 
enjoy diplomatic privileges and 
immunities. 

The buildings and other prop- 
erty occupied by the League or 
its officers or by representatives 
attending its meetings shall be 
inviolable. 

Article VIII 

The members of the League 
recognize that the maintenance 
of a peace requires the reduc- 
tion of national armaments to 
the lowest point consistent with 
national safety and the enforce- 
ment by common action of in- 
ternational obligations. 

The Council, taking account 
of the geographical situation 
and circumstances of each state, 
shall formulate plans for such 
reduction for the consideration 
and action of the several 
Governments. 

Such plans shall be subject to 



Article VI 
Representatives of the 
contracting parties and officii 
of the League, when engaged in 
the business of the League, shall 
enjoy diplomatic privileges and 
immunities, and the buildings oc- 
cupied by the League or its 
officials, or by representatives 
attending its meetings, shall en- 
joy the benefits of extra-terri- 
toriality. 



Article VIII 
The high contracting parties 
recognize the principle that the 
maintenance of peace will re- 
quire the reduction of national 
armaments to the lowest point 
consistent with national safety, 
and the enforcement by com- 
mon action of international obli- 
gations, having special regard to 
the geographical situation and 
circumstances of each State, and 
the Executive Council shall 
formulate plans for effecting 
such reduction. The Executive 
Council shall also determine for 
the consideration and action of 



THE PARIS COVENANT FOR A LEAGUE OF NATIONS II 



reconsideration and revision at 
least every ten years. 

After these plans shall have 
been adopted by the several 
Governments, the limits of arm- 
aments therein fixed shall not be 
exceeded without the concur- 
rence of the Council. 

The members of the League 
agree that the manufacture by 
private enterprise of muni- 
tions and implements of war is 
open to grave objections. The 
Council shall advise how the 
evil effects attendant upon such 
manufacture can be prevented, 
due regard being had to the 
necessities of those members of 
the League which are not able 
to manufacture the munitions 
and implements of war neces- 
sary for their safety. 

The members of the League 
undertake to interchange full 
and frank information as to the 
scale of their armaments, their 
military, naval and air programs 
and the condition of such of 
their industries as are adaptable 
to warlike purposes. 



the several Governments what 
military equipment and arma- 
ment is fair and reasonable in 
proportion to the scale of forces 
laid down in the program of dis- 
armament and these limits, when 
adopted, shall not be exceeded 
without the permission of the 
Executive Council. 

The high contracting parties 
agree that the manufacture by 
private enterprise of munitions 
and implements of war lends 
itself to grave objections, and 
direct the Executive Council to 
advise how the evil effects at- 
tendant upon such manufacture 
can be prevented, due regard 
being had to the necessities of 
those countries which are not 
able to manufacture for them- 
selves the munitions and imple- 
ments of war necessary for their 
safety. 

The high contracting parties 
undertake in no way to conceal 
from each other the condition of 
such of their industries as are 
capable of being adapted to war- 
like purposes or the scale of 
their armaments, and agree that 
there shall be full and frank 
interchange of information as 
to their military and naval 
programs^ 



AxncLS IX Article IX 

A permanent commission shall A permanent commission shall 
be constituted to advise the be constituted to advise the 



12 



TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 



Council on the execution of the 
provisions of Articles I and 
VIII and on military, naval and 
air questions generally. 
Articxe X 
The members of the League 
undertake to respect and pre- 
serve as against external ag- 
gression the territorial integrity 
and existing political independ- 
ence of all members of the 
League. In case of any such 
aggression or in case of any 
threat or danger of such aggres- 
sion, the Council shall advise 
upon the means by which this 
obligation shall be fulfilled. 

Article XI 

Any war or threat of war, 
whether immediately affecting 
any of the members of the 
League or not, is hereby de- 
clared a matter of concern to 
the whole League, and the 
League shall take any action 
that may be deemed wise and 
effectual to safeguard the peace 
of nations. In case any such 
emergency should arise, the Sec- 
retary General shall, on the re- 
quest of any member of the 
League, forthwith summon a 
meeting of the Council. 

It is also declared to be the 
fundamental right of each mem- 
ber of the League to bring to 
the attention of the Assembly or 
of the Council any circum- 



League on the execution of the 
provisions of Article VIII and 
on military and naval questions 
generally. 

Article X 

The high contracting parties 
shall undertake to respect and 
preserve as against external 
s^gression the territorial integ- 
rity and existing political inde- 
pendence of all States members 
of the League. In case of any 
such aggression or in case of 
any threat or danger of such ag- 
gression the Executive Council 
shall advise upon the means by 
which the obligation shall be 
fulfilled. 

Article XI 

Any war or threat of war, 
whether immediately affecting 
any of the high contracting 
parties or not, is hereby declared 
a matter of concerp to the 
League, and the high contract- 
ing parties reserve the right to 
take any action that may be 
deemed wise and effectual to 
safeguard the peace of nations. 

It is hereby also declared and 
agreed to be the friendly right 
of each of the high contracting 
parties to draw the attention of 
the body of delegates or of the 
Executive Council to any cir- 
cumstance affecting interna- 
tional intercourse which threat- 
ens to disturb international 



THE PARIS COVENANT POR A LEAGUE OF NATIONS 1 3 



Stance whatever affecting inter- 
national relations which threat- 
ens to disturb either the peace 
or the good understanding be- 
tween nations upon which peace 
depends. 

Article XII 

The members of the League 
agree that if there should arise 
between them any dispute likely 
to lead to a rupture, they will 
submit the matter either to arbi- 
tration or to inquiry by the 
Council, and they agree in no 
case to resort to war until three 
months after the award by the 
arbitrators or the report by the 
Council. 

In any case under this article 
the award of the arbitrators 
shall be made within a reason- 
able time, and the report of the 
Council shall be made within 
six months after the submission 
of the dispute. 



peace or the good understand- 
ing between nations upon which 
peace depends. 



AsncLB XIII 
The members of the League 
agree that whenever any dispute 
shall arise between them which 



Article XII 

The high contractii^ parties 
agree that should disputes arise 
between them which cannot be 
adjusted by the ordinary pro- 
cesses of diplomacy they will in 
no case resort to war with- 
out previously submitting the 
questions and matters involved 
either to arbitration or to in- 
quiry by the Executive Council 
and until three months after die 
award by the arbitrators or a 
recommendation by the Execu- 
tive Council, and that they will 
not even then resort to war as 
against a member of the League 
which complies with the award 
of the arbitrators or the recom- 
mendation of the Executive 
Council. 

In any case under this article 
the award of the arbitrators 
shall be made within a reason- 
able time, and the recommenda- 
tion of the Executive Council 
shall be made within six months 
after the submission of the dis- 
pute. 

Article XIII 

The high contracting parties 
agree that whenever any dispute 
or difficulty- shall arise between 



14 



TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 



they recognize to be suitable for 
submission to arbitration and 
which cannot be satisfactorily 
settled by diplomacy, they will 
submit the whole subject matter 
to arbitration. Disputes as to 
the interpretation of a treaty, as 
to any question of international 
law, as to the existence of any 
fact which if established would 
constitute a breach of any inter- 
national obligation, or as to the 
extent and nature of the repara- 
tion to be made for any such 
breach, are declared to be 
among those which are generally 
suitable for submission to arbi- 
tration. For the consideration 
of any such dispute the court 
of arbitration to which the case 
is referred shall be the court 
agreed on by the parties to the 
dispute or stipulated in any con^ 
vention existing between them. 
The members of the League 
agree that they will carry out 
in full good faith any award 
that may be rendered and that 
they will not resort to war 
against a member of the League 
which complies therewith. In 
the event of any failure to carry 
out such an award, the Council 
shall propose what steps should 
be taken to give effect thereto^ 

Abticlb XIV 
The Council shall formulate 
and submit to the members of 



them, which they recognize to be 
suitable for submission to arbi- 
tration and which cannot be 
satisfactorily settled by diplo- 
macy, they will submit the whole 
matter to arbitration. For this 
purpose the court of arbitration 
to which the case is referred 
shall be the court agreed on by 
the parties or stipulated in any 
convention existing between 
theuL The high contracting 
parties agree that they will carry 
out in full good faith any award 
that may be rendered. In the 
event of any failure to carry 
out the award the Executive 
Council shall propose what steps 
can best be taken to give effect 
thereto. 



AincLB XIV 
The Executive Council shall 
formulate, plans for the estab- 



THE PARIS COVENANT FOR A LEAGUE OF NATIONS 1 5 



the League for adoption plans 
for the establishment of a perm- 
anent Court of International 
Justice. The court shall be 
competent to hear and determine 
any dispute of an international 
character which the parties 
thereto submit to it. The court 
may also give an advisory 
opinion upon any dispute or 
question referred to it by the 
Council or by the Assembly. 

Article XV 

If there should arise between 
members of the League any dis- 
pute likely to lead to a rupture, 
which is not submitted to arbi- 
tration in accordance with 
Article XIII, the members of 
the League agree that they will 
submit the matter to the 
Council. Any party to the dis- 
pute may effect such submission 
by giving notice of the existence 
of the dispute to the Secretary 
General, who will make all 
necessary arrangements for a 
full investigation and considera- 
tion thereof. For this purpose 
the parties to the dispute will 
communicate to the Secretary 
General, aa promptly as possible, 
statements of their case, all the 
relevant facts and papers; and 
the Council may forthwith direct 
the publication thereof. 

The Council shall endeavor to 
effect a settlement of any dis- 



lishment of a permanent court 
of international justice, and this 
court shall, when established, be 
competent to hear and determine 
any matter which the parties 
recognize as suitable for sub- 
mission to it for arbitration 
'under the foregoing article. 



Article XV 

If there should arise between 
States, members of the League, 
any dispute likely to lead to a 
rupture, which is not submitted 
to arbitration as above, the high 
contracting parties agree that 
they will refer the matter to the 
Executive Cotmcil; either party 
to the dispute may give notice of 
the existence of the dispute to 
the Secretary General, who will 
make all necessary arrangements 
for a full investigation and 
consideration thereof. For this 
purpose the parties agree to 
communicate to the Secretary 
General, as promptly as possible, 
statements of their case, with all 
the relevant facts and papers, 
and the Executive Council may 
forthwith direct the publication 
thereof. 

Where the efforts of the 
council lead to the settlement of 
the dispute, a statement shall be 



i6 



TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 



pute, and if such efforts are suc- 
cessful, a statement shall be 
made public giving such facts 
and explanations regarding the 
dispute and terms of settlement 
thereof as the Council may deem 
appropriate. 

If the dispute is not thus 
settled, the Council either unani- 
mously or by a majority vote 
shall make and publish a report 
containing a statement of the 
facts of the dispute and the 
recommendations which are 
deemed just and proper in re- 
gard thereto. 

Any member of the League 
represented on the Council may 
make public a statement of the 
facts of the dispute and of its 
conclusions regarding the same. 

If a report by the Council is 
unanimously agreed to by the 
members thereof, other than the 
representatives of one or more 
of the parties to the dispute, 
the members of the League 
agree that they will not g^ to 
war with any party to the dis- 
pute which complies with the 
recommendations of the report 

If the Council fails to reach 
a report which is unanimously 
agreed to by the .members 
thereof, other than the repre- 
sentatives of one or more of the 
parties to the dispute, the mem- 
bers of the League reserve to 
themselves the right to take 



published, indicating the nature 
of the dispute and the terms of 
settlement, together with such 
explanations as may be appro- 
priate. If the dispute has not 
been settled, a report by the 
council shall be published, set- 
ting forth with all necessary 
facts and explanations the 
recommendation which the 
council think just and proper for 
the settlement of the dispute. I f 
the report is unanimously agreed 
to by the members of the 
council, other than the parties 
to the dispute, the high contract- 
ing parties agree that they will 
not go to war with any party 
which complies with the recom- 
mendations, and that, if any 
party shall refuse so to comply, 
the council shall propose meas- 
ures necessary to give effect to 
the recommendations. If no 
such unanimous report can be 
made it shall be the duty of the 
majority and the privilege of the 
minority to issue statements, in- 
dicating what they believe to be 
the facts, and containing the 
recommendations which they 
consider to be just and proper. 
The Executive Council may 
in any case under this article 
refer the dispute to the body of 
delegates. The dispute shall be 
so referred at the request of 
either party to the dispute, pro- 
vided that such request must be 



L 



THB PARIS COVENANT FOR A LEAGUE OF NATIONS 1 7 



such action as they shall con- 
sider necessary for the main- 
tenance of right and justice. 

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 international law is 
solely within the domestic juris- 
diction of that party, the 
Council shall so report, and shall 
make no recommendation as to 
its settlement. 

The Council may in any case 
under this article refer the dis- 
pute to the Assembly. The dis- 
pute shall be so referred at the 
request of either party of the 
dispute, provided that such re- 
quest be made within fourteen 
days after the submission of the 
dispute to the Council. 

In any case referred to the 
Assembly all the provisions of 
this article and of Article XII 
relating to the action and 
powers of the Council shall 
apply to the action and powers 
of the Assembly, provided that 
a report made by the Assembly, 
if concurred in by the represen- 
tatives of those members of the 
League represented on the 
Council and of a majority of the 
other members of the League, 
exclusive in each case of the 
representatives of the parties to 
the dispute, shall have the same 
force as a report by the Council, 



made within fourteen days after 
the submission of the dispute. 
In any case referred to the body 
of delegates, all the provisions 
of this article, and of Article 
XII, relating to the action and 
powers of the Executive 
Council, shall apply to the action 
and powers of the body of dele- 
gates. 



i8 



TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 



concurred in by all the members 
thereof other than the repre- 
sentatives of one or more of the 
parties to the dispute. 

Article XVI 
Should any member of the 
League resort to war in disre- 
gard of its covenants under 
Article XII, XIII or XV, it 
shall ipso facto be deemed to 
have committed an act of war 
against all the other members 
of the League, which hereby un- 
dertake immediately to subject it 
to the severance of all trade or 
financial relations, the prohibi- 
tion of all intercourse between 
their nationals and the nationals 
of the covenant-breaking State 
and the prevention of all finan- 
cial, commercial, or personal in- 
tercourse between the nationals 
of the covenant-breaking State 
and the nationals of any other 
State, whether a member of the 
League or not. 

It shall be the duty of the 
Council in such case to recom- 
mend to the several Govern- 
ments concerned what effective 
military, naval or air force the 
members of the League shall 
severally contribute to the arma- 
ments of forces to be used to 
protect the covenants of the 
League. 

The members of the League 
agree, further, that they will 



Akticlb XVI 

Should any of the high con- 
tracting parties break or disre- 
gard its covenants under Article 
XII it shall thereby ipso facto 
be deemed to have committed an 
act of war against all the other 
members of the League, which 
hereby undertakes immediately 
to subject it to the severance of 
all trade or financial relations, 
the prohibition of all intercourse 
between their nationals and the 
nationals of the covenant-break- 
ing State and the prevention of 
all financial, commercial, or per- 
sonal intercourse between the 
nationals of the covenant-break- 
ing State and the nationals of 
any other State, whether a mem- 
ber of the League or not. 

It shall be the duty of the 
Executive Council in such case 
to recommend what effective 
military or naval force the mem- 
bers of the League shall sev- 
erally contribute to the armed 
forces to be used to protect the 
covenants of the League. 

The high contracting parties 
agree, further, that they will 
mutually support one another in 
the financial and economic meas- 
ures which may be taken under 



THE PARIS COVENANT FOR A LEAGUE OF NATIONS I9 



mutually support one another in 
the financial and economic 
measures which are taken under 
this article, in order to minimise 
die loss and inconvenience re- 
sulting from the above meas- 
ures, and that they will mutually 
support one another in resisting 
any special measures aimed at 
one of their number by the cove- 
nant-breaking State, and that 
they will take the necessary 
steps to afford passage through 
their territory to the forces of 
any of the members of the 
League which are cooperating 
to protect the covenants of the 
League. 

Any member of the League 
which has violated any covenant 
of the League may be declared 
to be no longer a member of the 
League by a vote of the G>uncil 
concurred in by the representa- 
tives of all the other members 
of the League represented 
thereon. 

Akticle XVII 

In the event of a dispute be- 
tween a member of the League 
and a State which is not a mem- 
ber of the League, or between 
States not members of the 
League, the State or States not 
members of the League shall be 
invited to accept the obligations 
of membership in the League for 
the purposes of such dispute, 
upon such conditions as the 



this article in order to minimize 
the loss and inconvenience re- 
sulting from the above meas- 
ures, and that they will mutually 
support one another in resisting 
any special measure^ aimed at 
one of their ntunber by the 
covenant-breaking State and 
that they will afford passage 
through their territory to the 
forces of any of the high 
contracting parties who are 
cooperating to protect the cove- 
nants of the League. 



Article XVII 
In the event of disputes be- 
tween one State member of the 
League and another State which 
is not a member of the League, 
or between States not members 
of the League, the high con- 
tracting parties agree that the 
State or States, not members of 
the League, shall be invited to 
accept the obligations of mem- 
bership in the League for the 



20 



TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 



Council may deem just. If such 
invitation is accepted, the pro- 
visions of Articles XII to XVI 
inclusive shall be applied with 
such modifications as may be 
deemed necessary by the 
Council. 

Upon such invitation being 
given, the Council shall imme- 
diately institute an inquiry into 
the circumstances of the dispute 
and recommend such action as 
may seem best and most effect- 
ual in the circumstances. 

If a State so invited shall re- 
fuse to accept the obligations of 
membership in the League for 
the purposes of such dispute, 
and shall resort to war against 
a member of the League, the 
provisions of Article XVI shall 
be applicable as against the 
State taking such action. 

If both parties to the dispute, 
when so invited, refuse to ac- 
cept the obligations of member- 
ship in the League for the pur- 
poses of such dispute, the 
Council may take such meas- 
ures and make such recom- 
mendations as will prevent hos- 
tilities and will result in the 
settlement of the dispute. 



purposes of such dispute, upon 
such conditions as the Execu- 
tive Council may deem just, and 
upon acceptance of any such in- 
vitation, the above provisions 
shall be applied with such modi- 
fications as may be deemed 
necessary by the League. 

Upon such invitation being 
given, the Executive Council 
shall immediately institute an 
inquiry into the circumstances 
and merits of the dispute and 
recommend such action as may 
seem best and most effectual in 
the circumstances. 

In the event of a power so in- 
vited refusing to accept the obli- 
gations of membership in the 
League for the purposes of such 
dispute, and taking any action 
against a State member of the 
League, which in the case of a 
State member of the League 
would constitute a breach of 
Article XII, the provisions of 
Article XVI shall be applicable 
as against the State taking such 
action. 

If both parties to the dispute, 
when so invited, refuse to ac- 
cept the obligations of member- 
ship in the League for the pur- 
poses of such dispute, the 
Executive Council may take 
such action and make such 
recommendations as will prevent 
hostilities and will result in the 
settlement of the dispute. 



THE PARIS COVENANT FOR A LEAGUE OF NATIONS 21 



Articxe XVIII 
Every convention or interna- 
tional engagement entered into 
henceforward by any member of 
the League shall be forthwith 
registered with the Secretariat 
and shall as soon as possible be 
published by it. No such treaty 
or international engagement 
shall be binding until so regis- 
tered. 



Akticle XIX 
The Assembly may from time 
to time advise the reconsidera- 
tion by members of the League 
of treaties which have become 
inapplicable, and the considera- 
tion of international conditions 
whose continuance might en- 
danger the peace of the world. 



Article XX 

The members of the League 
severally agree that this cove- 
nant is accepted as abrogating 
all obligations or understandings 
inter se which are inconsistent 
with the terms thereof, and 
solenmly undertake that they 
will not hereafter enter into any 
engagements inconsistent with 
the terms thereof. 

In case members of the 
League shall, before becoming a 
member of the League, have 
undertaken any obligations in- 



Article XXIII 
The high contracting parties 
agree that every treaty or inter- 
national engagement entered 
into hereafter by any State 
member of the League shall be 
forthwith registered with the 
Secretary General and as soon 
as possible published by him, and 
that no such treaty or interna- 
tional engagement shall be bind- 
ing until so registered. 

Article XXIV 
It shall be the right of the 
body of delegates from time to 
time to advise the reconsidera- 
tion by States members of the 
League of treaties which have 
become inapplicable and of in- 
ternational conditions of which 
the continuance may endanger 
the peace of the world. 

Article XXV 
The high contracting parties 
severally agree that the present 
covenant is accepted as abrogat- 
ing all obligations inter se which 
are inconsistent with the terms 
thereof, and solemnly engage 
that they will not hereafter 
enter into any engagement in- 
consistent with the terms 
thereof. In case any of the 
powers signatory hereto or sub- 
sequently admitted to the 
League shall, before becoming a 
party to this covenant, have 



22 



TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 



consistent with the terms of this 
covenant, it shall be the duty of 
such member to take immediate 
steps to procure its release from 
such obligations. 

Article XXI 
Nothing in this covenant shall 
be deemed to affect the validity 
of international engagements 
sudi as treaties of arbitration or 
regional understandings like the 
Monroe Doctrine for securing 
the maintenance of peace. 

Article XXII 

To those colonies and terri- 
tories which as a consequence 
of the late war have ceased to 
be under the sovereignty of the 
states which formerly governed 
them and which are inhabited by 
peoples not yet able to stand by 
themselves under the strenuous 
conditions of the modem world, 
there should be applied the prin- 
ciple that the well being and de- 
velopment of such peoples form 
a sacred trust of civilization and 
that securities for the perform- 
ance of this trust should be em- 
bodied in this covenant. 

The best method of giving 
practicable effect to this prin- 
ciple is that the tutelage of such 
peoples should be intrusted to 
advanced nations who, by 
reasons of their resources, their 
experience or their geogfraphi- 
cal position, can best undertake 



undertaken any obligations 
which are inconsistent with the 
terms of this covenant, it shall 
be the duty of such power to 
take immediate steps to procure 
its release from such obligations. 



Article XIX 

To those colonies and terri- 
tories which, as a consequence 
of the late war, have ceased to 
be under the sovereignty of the 
States which formerly governed 
them and which are inhabited by 
peoples not yet able to stand by 
themselves under the strenuous 
conditions of the modem world, 
there should be applied the prin- 
ciple that the well-being and de- 
velopment of such peoples form 
a sacred tmst of civilization and 
that securities for the perform- 
ance of this trust should be em- 
bodied in the constitution of the 
League. 

The best method of giving 
practical effect to this principle 
is that the tutelage of such 
peoples should be intmsted to 
advanced nations, who by reason 
of their resources, their exper- 
ience, or their geographical posi- 



THE PARIS COVENANT FOR A LEAGUE OF NATIONS 23 



this responsibility, and who are 
willing to accept it, and that 
this tutelage should be exercised 
by them as mandataries on be- 
half of the League. 

The character of the mandate 
must differ according to the 
stage of the development of the 
people, the geographical situa- 
tion of the territory, its eco- 
nomic condition and other 
similar circtunstances. 

Certain communities formerly 
belonging to the Turkish Empire 
have reached a stage of develop- 
ment where their existence as 
independent nations can be pro- 
visionally recognized, subject to 
the rendering of administrative 
advice and assistance by a man- 
datary until such time as they 
are able to stand alone. The 
wishes of these communities 
must be a principal considera- 
tion in the selection of the man- 
datary. 

Other peoples, especially those 
of Central Africa, are at such 
a stage that the mandatary must 
be responsible for the admin- 
istration of the territory under 
conditions which will guarantee 
freedom of conscience and re- 
ligion, subject only to the main- 
tenance of public order and 
morals, the prohibition of 
abuses, such as the slave trade, 
the arms traffic and the liquor 
traffic and the prevention of the 



tion, can best undertake this re- 
sponsibility, and that this tute- 
lage should be exercised by them 
as mandatories on behalf of the 
League. 

The character of the mandate 
must differ according to the 
stage of the development of the 
people, the geographical sit- 
uation of the territory, its 
economic conditions and other 
similar circumstances. 

Certain communities, form- 
erly belonging to the Turkish 
Empire, have reached a stage 
of development where their 
existence as independent nations 
can be provisionally recognized^ 
subject to the rendering of ad- 
ministrative advice and assist- 
ance by a mandatory power until 
such time as they are able to 
stand alone. The wishes of 
these communities must be a 
principal consideration in the 
selection of the mandatory 
power. 

Other peoples, especially those 
of Central Africa, are at such 
a stage that the mandatory must 
be responsible for the admini- 
stration of the territory, subject 
to conditions which will guar- 
antee freedom of conscience or 
religion, subject only to the 
maintenance of public order and 
morals, the prohibition of abuses 
such as the slave trade, the arms 
traffic, and the liquor traffic* and 



24 



TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 



establishment of fortifications or 
military and naval bases and of 
military training of the natives 
for other than police purposes 
and the defense of territory, and 
will also secure equal opportuni- 
ties for the trade and commerce 
of other members of the League. 

There are territories, such as 
Southwest Africa and certain of 
the South Pacific Islands, which, 
owing to the sparseness of their 
population or their small size or 
their remoteness from the cen- 
ters of civilization or their geo- 
graphical contiguity to the ter- 
ritory of the mandatary and 
other circumstances, can be best 
administered under the laws of 
the mandatary as integral 
portions of its territory, subject 
to the safeguards above men- 
tioned in the interests of the in- 
digenous population. In every 
case of mandate, the mandatary 
shall render to the Council, an 
annual report in reference to the 
territory committed to its 
charge. 

The degree of authority, con- 
trol or administration to be ex- 
ercised by the mandatary shall, 
if not previously agreed upon by 
the members of the League, be 
explicitly defined in each case by 
the Council. 

A permanent commission shall 
be constitued to receive and ex- 
amine the annual reports of the 



the prevention of the establish- 
ment of fortifications or military 
and naval bases and of military 
training of the natives for other 
than police purposes and the de- 
fense of territory, and will also 
secure equal opportunities for 
the trade and commerce of other 
members of the League. 

There are territories, such as 
Southwest Africa and certain of 
the South Pacific Islandsi, which, 
owing to the sparseness of the 
population, or their small size, 
or their remoteness from the 
centers of civilization, or their 
geographical contiguity to the 
mandatory State and other cir- 
cumstances, can be best admin- 
istered under the laws of the 
mandatory States as integral 
portions thereof, subject to the 
safeguards above mentioned in 
the interests of the indigenous 
population. 

In every case of mandate, the 
mandatory State shall render to 
the League an annual report in 
reference to the territory com- 
mitted to its charge. 

The degree of authority, con- 
trol, or administration, to be ex- 
ercised by the mandatory State, 
shall, if not previously agreed 
upon by the high contracting 
parties in each case, be ex- 
plicitly defined by the Executive 
Council in a special act or 
charter. 



THE PARIS COVENANT FOR A LEAGUE OF NATIONS 25 



mandataries and to advise the 
Council on all matters relating 
to the observance of the man- 
dates. 



Article XXIII 
Subject to and in accordance 
with the provisions of interna- 
tional conventions existing or 
hereafter to be agreed upon, the 
members of the League (a) will 
endeavor to secure and maintain 
fair and humane conditions of 
labor for men, women and chil- 
dren both in their own countries 
and in all countries to which 
their commercial and industrial 
relations extend, and for that 
purpose will establish and main- 
tain tht necessary international 
organizations; (b) undertake to 
secure just treatment of the 
native inhabitants of territories 
under their control; (c) will in- 
trust the League with the gen- 
eral supervision over the execu- 
tion of agreements with regard 
to the traffic in women and chil- 
dren, and the traffic in opium 
and other dangerous drugs; (d) 
will intrust the League with the 
general supervision of the trade 
in arms and ammunition with 
the countries in which the con- 
trol of this traffic is necessary 



The high contracting parties 
further agree to establish at the 
seat of the League a mandatory 
commission to receive and ex- 
amine the annual reports of the 
mandatory powers, and to assist 
the League in insuring the ob- 
servance of the terms of all 
mandates. 

Article XX 

The high contracting parties 
will endeavor to secure and 
maintain fair and humane con- 
ditions of labor for men, women, 
and children, both in their own 
countries and in all countries to 
which their commercial and in- 
dustrial relations extend ; and to 
that end agree to estalish as part 
of the organization of the 
League a permanent bureau of 
labor. 



Article XVIII 
The high contracting parties 
agree that the League shall be 
intrusted with the general su- 
pervision of the trade in arms 
and ammunition with the 
countries in which the control 
of this traffic is necessary in the 
common interest. 



Article XXI 
The high contracting parties 



26 



TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 



in the common interest; (e) will 
make provision to secure and 
maintain freedom of communi- 
cation and of transit and equit- 
able treatment for the commerce 
of all members of the League. 
In this connection the special 
necessities of the regions devas- 
tated during the war of 1914- 
1918 shall be in mind; (f) will 
endeavor to take steps in matters 
of international concern for the 
prevention and control of dis- 
ease. 

Article XXIV 

There shall be placed under 
the direction of the League all 
international bureaus already 
established by general treaties 
if the parties to such treaties 
consent. All such international 
bureaus and all commissions for 
the regulation of matters of in- 
ternational interest hereafter 
constituted shall be placed under 
the direction of the League. 

In all matters of international 
interest which are regulated by 
general conventions but which 
are not placed under the control 
of international bureaus or com- 
missions, the Secretariat of the 
League shall, subject to the con- 
sent of the Council and if de- 
sired by the parties, collect and 
distribute all relevant informa- 
tion, and shall render any other 
assistance which may be neces- 
sary or desirable. 



agree that provision shall be 
made through the instrument- 
ality of the League to secure 
and maintain freedom of transit 
and equitable treatment for the 
commerce of all States members 
of the League, having in mind, 
among other things, special ar- 
rangements with regard to the 
necessities of the regions devas- 
tated during the war of 1914- 
1918. 



Article XXII 
The high contracting parties 
agree to place under the control 
of the League all international 
bureaus already established by 
general treaties, if the parties to 
such treaties consent Further- 
more, they agree that all such 
international bureaus to be con- 
stituted in future shall be placed 
under control of the League. 



THE PARIS COVENANT FOR A LBAGUS OF NATIONS 2J 



The Council may include as 
part of the expenses of the Sec- 
retariat the expenses of any 
bureau or conunission which is 
placed under the direction of 
the League. 

Article XXV 

The members of the League 
agree to encourage and promote 
the establishment and coopera- 
tion of duly authorized volun- 
tary national Red Cross organi- 
zations having as purposes im- 
provement of health, the preven- 
tion of disease and the mitiga- 
tion of suffering throughout the 
world. 

Article XXVI 

Amendments to this covenant 
will take effect when ratified by 
the members of the League 
whose representatives compose 
the Council and by a majority of 
the members of the League 
whose representatives compose 
the Assembly. 

No such amendment shall bind 
any member of the League 
which signifies its dissent there- 
from, but in that case it shall 
cease to be a member of the 
League. 



Article XXVI 
Amendments to this covenant 
will take effect when ratified by 
the States whose representatives 
compose the Executive Council 
and by three-fourths of the 
States whose representatives 
compose the body of delegates. 



Annex to the Covenant 
One. Original members of 

the League of Nations. 
Signatories of the Treaty of 

Peace. 



28 TAFT- PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

United States of America, 
Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, British 
Empire, Canada, Australia, 
South Africa, New Zealand, 
India, Giina, Cuba, Ecuador, 
France, Greece, Guatemala, 
Haiti, Hedjaz, Honduras, Italy, 
Japan, Liberia, Nicaragua, 
Panama, Peru, Poland, Portu- 
gal, Rumania, Serbia, Siam, 
Czecho-Slovakia, Uruguay. 

States invited to accede to the 
covenant. 

Argentine Republic, Chile, 
Colombia, Denmark, Nether- 
lands, Norway, Paraguay, Per- 
sia, Salvador, Spain, Sweden, 
Switzerland, Venezuela. 

Two. First Secretary Gen- 
eral of the League of Nations, 
The Honorable Sir James Eric 
Drummond, K.C.M.G., C.B. 

PLAN FOR A LEAGUE OF NATIONS 
TO ENFORCE PEACE ^ 

Institutional advances in the progress of the world are 
rarely made abruptly. They are not like Minerva who 
sprang full armed from the brain of Jove. If they are to 
have the useful feature of permanence, they must be a 
growth so that the communities whose welfare they affect 
may come to regard them as natural, and so accept them. 
Our so-called Anglo-Saxon civil liberty with its guaranties 
of the Magna Carta, the Petition of Right, the Bill of 

^Address before the World Court Congress, at Ocveland, Ohio, 

May 12, 1915. 



PLAN FOR A LEAGUE TO ENFORCE PEACE 29 

Rights, the Habeas Corpus Act and the Independence of the 
Judiciary, constituting the unwritten British Constitution, 
made our American people familiar with a body of moral 
restraints upon executive and legislative action to secure the 
liberty of the individual. The written limitations upon 
legislative action in colonial charters granted by the Crown 
and their enforcement by the Privy Council of England, 
probably suggested to the framers of our Federal Constitu- 
tion that the principles of British Constitutional liberty be 
given written form and be committed to a supreme and inde- 
pendent Court to enforce them, as against the Executive and 
Congress, its coordinate branches in the Government. The 
step, epochal as it was, from judicially enforcing such 
limitations against a subordinate legislature under a written 
charter of its powers, to a judicial enforcement of the limita- 
tions imposed by the sovereign people on the legislature and 
executive that they, the people, had created in the same 
instrument, was not radical but seemed naturally to follow. 
The revolted colonies after the Revolution, though united by 
a common situation and a common cause in their struggle 
with Great Britain, and acting together through the Con- 
tinental Congress in a loose and voluntary alliance, were 
sovereigns independent of one another. The Articles of Con- 
federation which declared their union to be permanent were 
not agreed to and ratified in such a way as to be binding 
until some five years after the Declaration of Independence. 
Meantime, it had become increasingly evident that, strong as 
were their common interests, they had divergent ones, too, 
which might embarrass their kindly relations. The leagues 
of Greece had furnished an example of confederations of 
small states forced together by a common oppressor and 
foe, which had found it wise to settle their own differences 
by some kind of an arbitral tribunal. The office which the 



30 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

Privy Council and the Crown had performed in settling 
intercolonial controversies suggested an analogy less remote 
than those in Grecian history and prompted the adoption of 
a substitute. So there was inserted in the Articles of Con- 
federation a provision for a ** court to determine disputes 
and differences between two or more States of the Con- 
federation concerning boundary jurisdiction or any other 
cause whatever." The complainant state was authorized to 
present a petition to Congress stating the matter in question, 
and praying for a hearing. Notice of this was to be given 
by order of Congress to the other state in the controversy 
and a day was assigned for the appearance of the two parties 
by their lawful agents who should agree upon judges to 
constitute a court for hearing the matter in question. If 
they could not agree, Congress was then to name three 
persons out of each of the thirteen states. From this list 
each party was required alternately to strike out one until 
the number was reduced to thirteen, and from these thirteen 
not less than seven or more than nine names, as Congress 
should direct, were in the presence of Congress to be drawn 
by lot, and the persons whose names were so drawn, or any 
five of them, constituted the court to hear and finally de- 
termine the controversy. 

Proceedings were instituted under this provision before 
the Constitution by New Jersey against Vermont, by New 
York against Vermont, by Massachusetts against Vermont, 
by Pennsylvania against Virginia, by Pennsylvania against 
Connecticut, by New Jersey against Virginia, by Massachu- 
setts against New York, and by South Carolina against 
Georgia. Only one of these cases came to hearing and deci- 
sion by a court selected as provided. That was the case of 
Pennsylvania against Connecticut involving the govern- 
mental jurisdiction over the Valley of Wyoming and Luzerne 



PLAN FOR A LEAGUE TO ENFORCE PEACE 3 1 

County. The court met and held a session of forty-one days 
at Trenton, in New Jersey. Able counsel represented the 
parties, and the court made a unanimous decision in favor of 
Pennsylvania, without giving reasons. A compromise is 
suspected, because Connecticut promptly acquiesced and soon 
thereafter, with the approval of the Pennsylvania delega- 
tion. Congress passed an act accepting a cession by Connecti- 
cut of all the lands claimed by it west of the west line of 
Pennsylvania, except the Western Reserve, now in Ohio, 
which Connecticut was thus given ownership of, and which 
it sold and settled. A number of the other cases were com- 
promised and, in some, no proceedings were taken after the 
initial ones. 

In the Constitutional Convention the necessity for some 
tribunal to preserve peace and harmony between the states 
was fully conceded by all, but the form of the court was 
the subject of some discussion. One proposal was that the 
Senate should be a court to decide between the states all 
questions disturbing peace and harmony between the states 
while the Supreme Court was given only jurisdiction in con- 
troversies over boundaries. Ultimately, however, the judi- 
cial power of the United States exercised through the Su- 
preme Court was extended to ''controversies between 
States,'' without exception. 

To those who do not closely look into this jurisdiction 
of the Supreme Court, it seems no different from that of 
the ordinary mtmicipal court over controversies between in- 
dividuals. The states are regarded merely as municipal or 
private corporations subject to suit process, trial and judg- 
ment to be rendered on principles of municipal law declared 
by statute of State Legislature or Congress, or established 
as the common law. It is assumed that the Constitution 
destroyed the independence and sovereignty of the states 



32 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

and made the arrangement a mere domestic affair. This 
is a misconception. The analogy between the function of 
the Supreme Court in hearing and deciding controversies 
between states and that of an international tribunal sitting 
to decide a cause between sovereign nations is very dose. 
When the suit by one state against another presents a case 
that is controlled by provisions of the Federal Constitution, 
of course there is nothing international about it. But most 
controversies between states are not covered by the Federal 
Constitution. That instrument does not, for instance, fix 
the boundary line between two states. It does not fix the 
correlative rights of two states in the water of a non-nav- 
igable stream that flows from one of the states into another. 
It does not regulate the use which the state up stream may 
make of the water, either by diverting it for irrigation, or by 
using it as a carrier of noxious sewage. Nor has Congress 
any power under the Constitution to lay down principles by 
Federal Law to govern such cases. The legislature of 
neither state can pass laws to regulate the right of the other 
states. In other words, there is nothing but international 
law to govern. There is no domestic law to settle this class 
of cases any more than there would be if a similar con- 
troversy were to arise between Canada and the United 
States. 

For many purposes the states are independent sovereigns 
and not under Federal control. They have lost the 
powers which the people in the Constitution gave to the 
Central Government; but in the field of powers left to 
them, each is supreme within its own limits, and by the 
exercise of that power may trespass on the exercise of sim- 
ilar power by its neighbor. How is such a conflict to be 
settled? It may be by diplomacy, i. e., by negotiation and 
compromise agreement ; but this, under the Constitution, 



\ 



PLAN FOR A LEAGUE TO ENFORCE PEACE 33 

must be with the consent of Congress. It might be settled by 
war; but the Constitution forbids. And the state invaded 
by the forces of another state can appeal to the General 
Government to resist and suppress the invasion, no matter 
what the merits of the quarrel. In other words, one of the 
attributes of sovereignty and independence which the people 
in ordaining the Constitution took away from the states 
was the unlimited power to make agreements between each 
other as to their respective rights, and the other was that of 
making war on each other when other means of settlement 
failed. 

What did the people through the constitution substitute 
for these attributes of unrestricted diplomatic negotiation 
and compromise and the right to go to war over such in- 
terstate issues? The right of the complaining state to hale 
the offending state before the Supreme Court and have the 
issue decided by a binding judgment. 

Now, can the complaining state bring every issue between 
it and another state before the Supreme Court? No. The 
only issues which the Court can hear and decide are questions 
which in their nature are capable of judicial solution. Mr. 
Justice Bradley first called such questions *' justiciable " ^ 
and Chief Justice Fuller and Mr. Justice Brewer used the 
same terms. There are issues between states of a character 
which would be likely to lead to high feeling and to war if 
they arose between independent sovereignties, and which the 
Supreme Court can not decide because they are not capable 
of judicial solution. In such cases between states, of course 
there can be no war because the Federal Government would 
suppress it. Therefore, if an amicable understanding can 
not be reached, the states are left with an unsettled dispute 

^A conventional French word [Ed.]. 



^4 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

between them and no way of deciding it. They must put 
up with the existing state of things. 

There have been several interesting cases before our 
Supreme Court illustrating the character of the jurisdiction 
I have been describing. Chicago built a sewage canal to 
drain her sewage with the aid of the waters of Lake Mich- 
igan into the Desplaines River, thence into the Illinois and 
thence into the Mississippi from which St. Louis and other 
Missouri towns derived their water supply. The State of 
Missouri brought suit in the Supreme Court of the United 
States to enjoin the State of Illinois and the Sanitary Dis- 
trict of Chicago from continuing the flow, on the ground 
that the impurities added to the Mississippi water had 
greatly increased the typhoid fever in Missouri. It was held 
that this was a subject matter capable of judicial solution, 
that Missouri was the guardian of her people's welfare and 
had a right to bring such a suit and, if she made a clear case, 
to enjoin such use of the Mississippi and its tributaries. 

Mr. Justice Shiras, in upholding the jurisdiction (Mis- 
souri V. Illinois, i8o U. S. 208, 241), spoke of the court as 
follows : 

" The cases cited show that such jurisdiction has been exercised 
in cases involving boundaries and jurisdiction over land and their 
inhabitants, and in cases directly affecting the property rights and 
interests of a state. But such cases manifestly do not cover the 
entire field in which such controversies may arise, and for which 
the Constitution has provided a remedy ; and it would be objection- 
able, and indeed impossible, for the court to anticipate by definition 
what controversies can and what cannot be brought within the 
original jurisdiction of this court. 

" An inspection of the bill discloses that the nature of the injury 
complained of is such that an adequate remedy can only be found 
in this court at the suit of the State of Missouri. It is true that 



PLAN FOR A LEAGUE TO ENFORCE PEACE 35 

no question of boundary is involved, nor of direct property rights 
belonging to the complainant state. But it must surely be con- 
ceded that, if the health and comfort of the inhabitants of a state 
are threatened, the state is the proper party to represent and de- 
fend them. If Missouri were an independent and sovereign state, 
all must admit that she could seek a remedy by negotiation, and, 
that failing, by force. Diplomatic powers and the right to make 
war having been surrendered to the general government, it was to 
be expected that upon the latter would be devolved the duty of 
providing a remedy and that remedy, we think is found in the con- 
stitutional provisions we are considering." 

This hearing was on demurrer. When the case came be- 
fore the court again on the merits, Mr. Justice Holmes de- 
livered the judgment of the court and, while affirming the 
jurisdiction of the court, points out the difficulties the 
court has in exercising it and the care it must take in doing 
so. He said in the course of his opinion : 

"It may be imagined that a nuisance might be created by a 
state upon a navigable river like the Danube which would amount 
to a casus belli for a state lower down unless removed. If such 
a nuisance were created by a state upon the Mississippi, the 
controversy would be resolved by the more peaceful means of 
a suit in this court." 

Speaking of this provision in the Constitution extend- 
ing the judicial power to controversies between states, Mr. 
Justice Bradley in Hans v. Louisiana ( 134 U. S. 1-15) said : 

"Some things, undoubtedly, were made justiciable which were 
not known as such at the common law; such, for example, as 
controversies between states as to boundary lines, and other ques- 
tion admitting of judicial solution. And yet the case of Penn 
V. Lord Baltimore (i Ves. Sen. 444), shows that some of these 
unusual subjects for litigation were not unknown to the courts 
even in colonial times; and several cases of the same general 



36 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

character arose under the Articles of Confederation, and were 
brought before the tribunal provided for that purpose in those 
articles (131 U. S. App. i). The establishment of this new 
branch of jurisdiction seemed to be necessary from the extin- 
guishment of diplomatic relations between the states. Of other 
controversies between a state and another state, or its citizens, 
which, on the settled principles of public law, are not subjects 
of judicial cognizance, this court has often declined to take juris- 
diction." 

A very satisfactory discussion of the scope of the power 
of the Supreme Court to settle controversies between states 
is contained in Mr. Justice Brewer's opinion in the suit 
brought by Kansas against Colorado to restrain the latter 
from absorbing so much of the water of the Arkansas River 
flowing from Colorado into Kansas as to interfere seri- 
ously with the supply of water from the river for irrigation 
purposes in Kansas. He said (206 U. S. 95, 99) : 

"When the States of Kansas and Colorado were admitted into 
the Union they were admitted with the full powers of local sov- 
ereignty which belonged to other states, Pollard v. Hagan, supra ; 
Shively v. Bowlby, supra; Hardin v. Shedd, 190 U. S. 508, 519; 
and Colorado by its legislation has recognized the right of ap- 
propriating the flowing waters to the purposes of irrigation. 
Now the question arises between the states, one recognizing gen- 
erally the common law rule of riparian rights and the other pre- 
scribing the doctrine of the public ownership of flowing water. 
Neither state can legislate for or impose its own policy upon 
the other. A stream flows through the two and a controversy 
is presented as to the flow of that stream. It does not follow, 
however, that because Congress can not determine the rule which 
shall control between the two states or because neither state 
can enforce its own policy upon the other, that the controversy 
ceases to be one of a justiciable nature, or that there is no power 
which can take cognizance of the controversy and determine the 
relative rights of the two states. Indeed, the disagreement^ 



PLAN FOR A LEAGUE TO ENFORCE PEACE 37 

coupled with its effect upon a stream passing through the two 
states, makes a matter for investigation and determination by this 
court. . . . 

"As Congress cannot make compacts between the states, as 
it cannot, in respect to certain matters, by legislation compel 
their separate action, disputes between them must be settled 
either by force or else by appeal to tribunals empowered to de- 
termine the right and wrong thereof. Force under our system of 
Government is eliminated. The clear language of the Constitution 
vests in this court the power to settle those disputes. We have 
exercised that power in a variety of instances, determining in the 
several instances the justice of the dispute. Nor is our juris- 
diction ousted, even if, because Kansas and Colorado are states 
sovereign and independent in local matters, the relations between 
them depend in any respect upon principles of international law. 
International law is no alien in this tribunal. 

" One cardinal rule, underlying all the relations of the states to 
each other, is that of equality of right. Each state stands on the 
same level with all the rest. It can impose its own legislation 
on no one of the others, and is bound to yield its own views 
to none. Yet, whenever, as in the case of Missouri v. Illinois, 
180 U. S. 208, the action of one state reaches through the agency 
of natural laws into the territory of another state, the question 
of the extent and the limitations of the rights of the two states 
becomes a matter of justiciable dispute between them, and this 
court is called upon to settle that dispute in such a way as will 
recognize the equal rights of both and at the same time estab- 
lish justice between them. In other words, through these succes- 
sive disputes and decisions this court is practically building up 
what may not improperly be called interstate common law." 

Controversies between one state and another or its citizens 
which are not justiciable or capable of judicial solution find 
examples in the suits brought before the Supreme Court. 
One case of which the Supreme Court refused to take juris- 
diction was Wisconsin v. The Pelican Insurance Company 



38 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

(i U.'S.)» in which the State of Wisconsin sought to enforce 
against a Louisiana Insurance Company a judgment 
rendered in a Wisconsin court for penahies by a Wisconsin 
Statute upon Foreign Insurance Companies for failure to 
comply with statutory regulations of its business. It was 
held that neither under international comity nor law was one 
nation required to enforce extraterritorially the criminal law 
of another nation and therefore that the controversy pre- 
sented was not one of which, as between the states of the 
Union, the Supreme Court could take cognizance. Again 
in Louisiana v. Texas, 176 U. S. i, Louisiana sought to 
restrain the Governor of Texas from so enforcing a quaran- 
tine law as to injure the business of the people of Louisiana. 
The law itself on its face was a proper one for the protection 
of Texas. In dismissing the suit the court said : 

"But in order that a controversy between states, justiciable 
in this court, can be held to exist, something more must be put for- 
ward than that the citizens of one state are injured by the mal- 
administration of the laws of another. The states cannot make 
war, or enter into treaties, though they may, with the consent of 
Congress, make compacts and agreements. When there is no 
agreement, whose breach might create it, a controversy between 
states does not arise unless the action complained of is state 
action, and acts of state officers in abuse or excess of their powers 
cannot be laid hold of as in themselves committing one state to 
distinct collision with a sister state. 

" In our judgment this bill does not set up facts which show 
that the State of Texas has so authorized or confirmed the alleged 
action of her health officer as to make it her own, or from which 
it necessarily follows that the two states are in controversy within 
the meaning of the Constitution." 

Controversies between independent nations suggest them- 
selves which are not capable of judicial solution and yet are 
quite capable of leading to war. 



PLAN FOR A LEAGUE TO ENFORCE PEACE 39 

Thus suppose C nation in the exercise of its conceded 
powers admits to its shores and indeed to its citizenship 
the citizens or subjects of A nation and excludes those of B 
nation from both. The discrimination is certainly within 
the international right of C nation, but it may lead to 
acrimony and war. This is not a justiciable question nor 
one that could be settled by a court. 

The so-called General Arbitration Treaties negotiated by 
Secretary Knox with France and England used the word 
** justiciable " to describe the kind of questions which the 
parties bound themselves to submit to arbitration. They 
defined this to include all issues that could be decided on 
principles of law or equity. The issue whether a question 
arising was justiciable and arbitrable was to be left to the 
decision of a preliminary investigating commission. The 
term justiciable and indeed the whole scheme of these 
treaties were suggested by the provision for settling con- 
troversies between states in the Federal Constitution and the 
construction of it by the Supreme Court. The controversies 
between states, decision of which was not determined by 
rules furnished by the Constitution or by congressional 
regulation, were strictly analogous to questions arising be- 
tween independent nations and were to be divided into 
justiciable and non-justiciable questions by the same line of 
distinction. 

The treaties were not ratified but their approval by Eng- 
land and France and by the Executive of this country con- 
stitute a valuable and suggestive precedent for the framing 
of the constitution and jurisdiction of an arbitral court to 
be one of the main features of a League of Peace between 
the great nations of the world. 

Is it idle to treat such a league as possible ? Well, let us 



40 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

take England and Canada. For a hundred years we have 
been at peace. For that period of time the frontier between 
us and Canada, four thousand miles long, has been entirely 
undefended by forts or navies. We have had issue after 
issue between the two peoples that, because of their nature, 
might have led to war. But we have settled them by negotia- 
tion or, when that has failed, by arbitration, until now it is 
not too much to say that the " habit " of arbitration between 
us is so fixed that a treaty to secure such a settlement in 
future issues would not make it more certain than it is. I 
concede that conditions have been favorable for the creat- 
ing of such a customary practice. The two peoples have 
the same language and literature, the same law and civil 
liberty and the same origin and history. Each has had a 
wide domain, in the settlement and development of which 
their energies and ambitions have been absorbed. The 
jealousies and encroachments of neighbors in the thickly pop- 
ulated regions of Europe have not been present to stir up 
strife. And yet we ought not to minimize the beneficent 
significance of this century of peace by ignoring the fact that 
many of the issues which we have settled peaceably seemed 
at the time to be difficult of settlement and likely to lead to 
war. The Alabama Claims issue and the Oregon Boundary 
dispute were two of this kind. 

It is interesting to note that we now have two permanent 
arbitral English-American Commissions settling questions. 
One of them is to determine the equitable rules to govern 
the use of waters on our national boundary, in which both 
nations and their citizens have an interest, and to apply them 
to causes arising. The analogy between the function which 
the Supreme Court performed in the Kansas and Colorado 
case in regard to the use of the Arkansas River and that 



PLAN FOR A LEAGUE TO ENFORCE PEACE 4I 

of this Commission in respect to rivers traversing both coun- 
tries and crossing the border is perfect. Having thus 
reached what is practically the institution of a League and 
Arbitral Court with England and Canada for the preserva- 
tion of peace between us, may we not hope to enlarge its 
scope and membership and give its benefits to the world ? 

Will not the exhaustion in which all the belligerents, 
whether victors or vanquished, find themselves after this 
awful sacrifice of life and wealth make them wish to make 
the recurrence of such a war less probable ? Will they not 
be in a mood to entertain any reasonable plan for the settle- 
ment of international disputes by peaceable means? Can 
we not devise such a plan ? I think we can. 

The Second Hague Conference has proposed a perma- 
nent court to settle questions of a legal nature arising be- 
tween nations. But the signatories to the convention would, 
under such a plan, not be bound to submit such questions. 
Nor were the conferring nations able to agree on the consti- 
tution of the court. But the agreement on the recommenda- 
tion for the establishment of such a court shows that the 
idea is within the bounds of the practical. 

To constitute an effective League of Peace, we do not 
need all the nations. Such an agreement between eight or 
nine of the Great Powers of Europe, Asia and America 
would furnish a useful restraint upon possible wars. The 
successful establishment of a Peace League between the 
Great Powers would draw into it very quickly the less power- 
ful nations. 

What should be the fundamental plan of the League?^ 

^This IS the earliest public utterance of these four principles which 
correspond to the four articles of the program of the League to En- 
force Peace as formally adopted at Phila., June 17, 1915. The prin- 
ciples were worked out at a series of meetings — the last of which, 



42 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS . 

It seems to me that it ought to contain four provisions. 
First: It ought to provide for the formation of a court, 
which would be given jurisdiction by the consent of all the 
members of the League to consider and decide justiciable 
questions between them or any of them, which have not 
yielded to negotiation, according to the principles of inter- 
national law and equity, and that the court should be vested 
with power, upon the application of any member of the 
League, to decide the issue as to whether the question arising 
is justiciable. 

Second: A Commission of Conciliation for the con- 
sideration and recommendation of a solution of all nonr 
justiciable questions that may arise between the members of 
the League should be created, and this Commission should 
have power to hear evidence, investigate the causes of differ- 
ence, mediate between the parties and then make its recom- 
mendation for a settlement. 

Third: Conferences should be held from time to time 
to agree upon principles of international law, not already 
established, as their necessity shall suggest themselves. 
When the conclusions of the Commission shall have been 
submitted to the various parties of the League for a reason- 
able period of time, say a year, without calling forth objec- 
tion, it should be deemed that they acquiesce in the principles 
thus declared. 

Fourth: The members of the League shall agree that 
if any member of the League shall bring war against any 
other member of the League, without first having submitted 
the question, if found justiciable, to the arbitral court pro- 
April 9, 1915, was attended by Mr. Taft — were formulated by a 
sfnall group on April loth and immediately submitted to Mr. Taft who 
gave them the final form substantially embodied, later on, in the 
Phila. platform. (Editor.) 



PLAN FOR A LEAGUE TO ENFORCE PEACE 43 

vided in the fundamental campact, or without having sub- 
mitted the question, if found non-justiciable, to the Commis- 
sion of Conciliation for its examination, consideration and 
recommendaton, then the remaining members of the League 
agree to join in the forcible defense of the member thus 
prematurely attacked. 

First: The first feature involves the principles of the 
general arbitration treaties with England and France, to 
which England and France agreed, and which I submitted 
to the Senate, and which the Senate rejected or so mutilated 
as to destroy their vital principle. I think it is of the utmost 
importance that it should be embraced in any effective 
League of Peace. The successful operation of the Supreme 
Court as a tribunal between independent states in deciding 
justiciable questions not in the control of Congress, or under 
the legislative regulation of either state, furnishes a prece- 
dent and justification for this that I hope I have made clear. 
Moreover, the inveterate practice of arbitration, which has 
now grown to be an established custom for the disposition of 
controversial questions between Canada, and the United 
States, is another confirmation of the practical character of 
such a court 

Second : We must recognize, however, that the questions 
within the jurisdiction of such a court would certainly not 
include all the questions which might lead to war, and that, 
therefore, we should provide some other instrumentality 
for helping the solution of those questions which are non- 
justiciable. This might well be a Commission of Concilia- 
tion, a commission to investigate the facts, to consider the 
arguments on both sides, to mediate between the parties, to 
see if some compromise cannot be effected, and finally to 
formulate and recommend a settlement. This may involve 



44 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

time; but the delay, instead of being an objection, is really 
one of the valuable incidents of the performance of such a 
function by a commission. We have an example of such a 
Commission of Conciliation in the controversy between the 
United States and Great Britain over the Seal Fisheries. 
The case on its merits as a judicial question was decided 
against the United States ; but the world importance of not 
destroying the Pribilof Seal Herd by pelagic sealing was 
recognized, and a compromise was formulated by the arbitral 
tribunal, which was ultimately embodied in a treaty between 
England, Russia, Japan and the United States. Similar 
recommendations were made by the court of arbitration 
which considered the issues arising between the United 
States and Great Britain in respect to the Newfoundland 
Fisheries. 

Third: Periodical conferences should be held between 
the members of the League for the declaration of principles 
of international law. This is really a provision for some- 
thing in the nature of legislative action by the nations con- 
cerned in respect to international law. The principles of in- 
ternational law are based upon custom between nations 
established by actual practice, by their recognition in treaties 
and by the consensus of great law writers. Undoubtedly 
the function of an arbitral court established as proposed in 
the first of the above suggestions would lead to a good deal 
of valuable judge-made international law. But that would 
not cover the whole field. Something in the nature of 
legislation on the subject would be a valuable supplement to 
existing international law. It would be one of the very 
admirable results of such a League of Peace, that the scope 
of international law could be enlarged in this way. Mr. 
Justice Holmes, in the case of Missouri v. Illinois, to which 



PLAN FOR A LEAGUE TO ENFORCE PEACE 45 

I have already referred, points out that the Supreme Court, 
in passing on questions between the states, and in laying 
down the principles of international law that ought to 
govern in controversies between them, should not and can- 
not make itself a legislature. But in a League of Peace, 
there is no limit to the power of international conferences of 
the members, except the limit of the wise and the practical. 
Fourth : The fourth suggestion is one that brings in the 
idea of force. In the League proposed, all members are 
to agree that if any one member violates its obligation and 
begins war against any other member, without submitting 
its cause for war to the arbitral court, if it is a justiciable 
question, or to the Commission of Conciliation, if it is other- 
wise, all the members of the League will unite to defend the 
member attacked against a war waged in breach of plighted 
faith. It is to be observed that this does not involve mem- 
bers of the League in an obligation to enforce the judgment 
of the court or the recommendation of the Commission of 
Conciliation. It only furnishes the instrumentality of force 
to prevent attack without submission. It is believed that is 
more practical than to attempt to enforce judgment after the 
hearing. One reason is that the failure to submit to one of 
the two tribunals the threatening cause of war for the con- 
sideration of one or the other is a fact easily ascertained, 
and concerning which there can be no dispute, and it is a 
palpable violation of the obligation of the members. It is 
wiser not to attempt too much. The required submission 
and the delay incident thereto, will in most cases lead to 
acquiescence in the judgment of the court or in the recom- 
mendation of the Commission of Conciliation. The threat 
of force against plainly unjust war, for that is what is in- 
volved in the provision, will have a most salutary deterrent 



46 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

effect. I am aware that membership in this League would 
involve, on the part of the United States, an obligation to 
take part in European and Asiatic wars, it may be, and that 
in this respect it would be a departure from the traditional 
policy of the United States in avoiding entangling alliances 
with European or Asiatic countries. But I conceive that the 
interests of the United States, in view of its close business 
and social relations, with the other countries of the world, 
much closer now than ever before, would justify it, if such 
a League could be formed, in running the remote risk of 
such a war in order to make more probable the securing of 
the inestimable boon of peace to the world, an object of 
desire that now seems so far away. 



PROPOSALS OF THE LEAGUE TO ENFORCE 

PEACE ^ 

In calling this meeting my associates and I have not been 
unaware that we might be likened to the Tailors of Tooley 
Street who mistook themselves for the people of England. 
We wish, first, to say that we do not represent anybody but 
ourselves. We are not national legislators, nor do we con- 
trol the foreign policy of this Government. But we are 
deeply interested in devising a plan for an international 
agreement by which, when the present war shall cease, a 
recurrence of such a war will be made less possible. 

We are not here to suggest a means of bringing this war 
to an end ; much as that is to be desired and much as we 

^ Address delivered at the Convention of the League to Enforce 
Peace which was held at Philadelphia, June 17, 19 15'. 



PROPOSALS OF THE LEAGUE TO ENFORCE PEACE 47 

would be willing to do to secure peace, that is not within 
the project of the present meeting. 

We hope and pray for peace, and our hope of its coming 
is sufficient to make us think that the present is a good time 
to discuss and formulate a series of proposals to which the 
assent of a number of the Great Powers could be secured. 
We think a League of Peace could be formed which would 
enable nations to avoid war by furnishing a practical means 
of settling international quarrels or suspending them until 
the blinding heat of passion had cooled. 

When the world conference is held, our country will have 
its official representatives to speak for us. We, Tailors of 
Tooley Street, shall not be there; but, if in our post-prandial 
leisure we shall have discussed and framed a practical plan 
for a League of Peace, our official representatives will be 
aided and may in their discretion accept it and present it to 
the Conference as their own. 

There are Tooley Streets in every nation to-day and the 
minds of earnest men are being stirred with the same thought 
and the same purpose — we have heard from them through 
various channels. The denizens of those Tooley Streets 
will have their influence upon their respective official repre- 
sentatives. No man can measure the effect upon the peoples 
of the belligerent countries and upon the peoples of the 
neutral countries which the horrors and exhaustion of this 
unprecedented war are going to have. It is certain that 
they all will look with much more favorable eye to leagues 
for the preservation of peace than ever before. In no war, 
moreover, has the direct interest that neutrals have in pre- 
venting a war between neighbors been so clearly made 
known. This interest of neutrals has been so forced upon 
them that it would require only a slight development and 



48 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

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 ma- 
chinery, 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 deter- 
rent 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 avoid- 
able 

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 ex- 
ample 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 



PROPOSALS OF THE LEAGUE TO ENFORCE PEACE 49 

we respect your attitude. We admit your claim to sincere 
patriotism to be as just as ours. JA^e do not ascribe your de- 
sire to avoid war to be a fear of death to yourselves or your 
sons; but rather to your sense of the horror, injustice and 
hiefFectiveness 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 na- 
tions 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 sub- 
mitted. Issues between nations are of two classes : — 

1st. 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 



50 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

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 mem- 
bers 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, con- 
fer, 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 Com- 
mission'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 ma- 
terial 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 recur- 
ring congresses of the League, which, acting in a quasi- 
legislative 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 state- 
ment. In its practical application, difficulties now unfore- 
seen may arise, but we believe it offers a working hypothesis 
upon which a successful arrangement can be made. 



PROPOSALS OF THE LEAGUE TO ENFORCE PEACE 5 1 

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 o'f mankind, because there is a utilitarian reason for 
it — we are likely to be drawn in ourselves. Therefore we 
ought to depart from the policy of isolation that heretofore 



52 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

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 compli- 
cated 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 ^ 

To me has been assigned the discussion of the constitu- 
tional 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. 



CONSTITUTIONALITY OF THE PROPOSALS 53 

the signatories to the League. It contemplates the oppor- 
tunity of any member of the League, having a cause of com- 
plaint against any other member of the League, to sue such 
member in this court and bring it into court by proper pro- 
cess. The complainant's pleading will, of course, state its 
cause of action. The defendant may wish to question the 
jurisdiction of the court on the ground, for instance, that 
the cause of action stated by the complainant does not involve 
a justiciable issue; that it can not be decided on principles 
of law or equity. 

The court, upon this preliminary question, must decide 
upon its jurisdiction. If it finds the question not to be 
justiciable, it must dismiss the complaint ; but it may properly 
refer its investigation to the Commission of Conciliation. 
If it finds that it is justiciable, it must require the defendant 
nation to answer. 

What I have to discuss is whether the President and the 
Senate, constituting the treaty-making power for this 
Government, may consent, for and on behalf of the United 
States, to the settlement of any justiciable issue arising be- 
tween the United States and any other member of the League 
by this permanent court ; and whether it may leave to that 
court the power to decide whether the issue raised is a jus- 
ticiable one. It was argued against a similar provision in 
the general arbitration treaties with England and France that 
such a stipulation constituted a delegation by the President 
and Senate of the authority reposed in them over the foreign 
relations of our Government and therefore that it was ultra- 
vires. Both upon reason and authority this objection is 
untenable. The United States is a nation, and, from a 
foreign standpoint, a sovereign nation, without limitation 
of its sovereignty It may, therefore, through its treaty- 



54 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

making power, consent to any agreement with other powers 
relating to subject matter that is usually considered and made 
the subject of treaties. The well-known language of Mr. 
Justice Field, in the case of Geofrey v. Riggs, 133 U. S. 
258, leaves no doubt upon this point. It is as follows : 

"That the treaty power of the United States extends to all 
proper subjects of negotiations between our Government and the 
Governments of other nations, is clear. . . . The treaty power, as 
expressed in the Constitution, is in terms unlimited, except by 
those restraints which are found in that instrument against the 
action of the Government, or of its Departments, and those aris- 
ing from the nature of the Government itself, and of that of the 
States. It would not be contended that it extends so far as to 
authorize what the Constitution forbids, or a change in the char- 
acter of the Government, or in that of one of the States, or 
a cession of any portion of the territory of the latter without 
its consent. But with these exceptions, it is not perceived that 
there is any limit to the questions which can be adjusted touch- 
ing any matter which is properly the subject of negotiation with 
a foreign country." 

Issues that can be settled on principles of law and equity 
are proper subjects for decision by a judicial tribunal. Such 
issues have been settled by Boards of Arbitration, agreed 
to by independent sovereigns since there were governments. 
The first provision agreed to by the United States for an 
arbitration of this kind was in the Jay Treaty in 1794; and 
since that time there have been eighty-four international 
arbitrations to which an American nation was a party. In 
forty, or nearly one-half of these, the other party was an 
European Power, while the arbitrations between American 
nations were forty-four. To about two-thirds of all of these 
the United States was a party, the number of arbitrations be- 
tween other American powers being fourteen. Of this 



CONSTITUTIONALITY OF THE PROPOSALS 55 

number, there were ten that related to questions of boundary, 
which are, of course, questions capable of solution on princi- 
ples of law and equity. 

In such cases, it was never suggested that the Govern- 
ment was delegating any power at all to the tribunal. A 
submission to a judicial decision is not a delegation of power 
as to an agent. It is a submission of an issue to a judge. 
It is an error to call such a submission a delegation, or to 
determine its validity on principles of delegation of power 
as that is limited in constitutional law. In the discussion of 
the general arbitration treaties in the Senate, there was a 
suggestion that the agreement to submit to a court questions 
which had not yet arisen described only by definition and 
classification, with power in the court to take jurisdiction, 
was more of a delegation of power than the mere submis- 
sion of an existing question to arbitrators. There is, how- 
ever, not the slightest difference in principle between the two. 
If one is a delegation, the other is. If one is invalid, the 
other is ; and if one is not invalid, the other is not. 

Nor does the right to determine jurisdiction of the court 
involve in principle any more of a delegation than the mere 
voluntary submission of the issue to the court. It only 
somewhat enlarges the issues to be submitted. The question 
whether the court has jurisdiction of an issue is dependent 
on the question of law, involving the construction of the 
treaty, and such a subject matter is the commonest instance 
of the class of questions submitted to arbitration or a court. 
More than this, the Senate has consented from time to time 
to arbitrations on issues which may arise in the future and 
defined by language of the treaty of submission. 

The last notable instance, and the one which involved a 
really permanent court is the advice and consent by our 



56 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

Senate to the Hague International Prize Court Convention 
in which a permanent international prize court was estab- 
lished, and the United States bound itself to submit all 
questions, arising between it and foreign nations in respect 
to questions of prize in naval warfare, to this international 
prize court, and to abide the decision, even though that de- 
cision might involve, as it generally would, the reconsidera- 
tion of an issue already decided by the Supreme Court of 
the United States. The treaty is not in force because Eng- 
land did not finally approve, but our Senate approved it. 
The International Prize Court must of necessity pass*upon 
its own jurisdiction, and by agreement between the parties, 
its decision is to be accepted and to be carried out in good 
faith. The question as to whether conmiissioners of arbi- 
tration, under the Jay Treaty, had povster to determine their 
own jurisdiction was brought by Rufus King, American 
Minister in London, to the attention of Lord Grenville who 
submitted the question to Lord Chancellor Loughborough. 
The Lord Chancellor resolved the difficulty by declaring : 

" That the doubt respecting the authority of the Commissioners 
to settle their own jurisdiction was absurd; and that they must 
necessarily decide upon cases being within, or without, their com- 
petency." 

A similar question was raised by the British Government 
in regard to the power of the Geneva Tribunal to deal with 
what were known as the ** indirect claims," and her arbi- 
trators decided that they did not have jurisdiction of the 
indirect claims, and this was acquiesced in by both Govern- 
ments. 

In correspondence with the Chilean Minister over an arbi- 
tration between this country and Chile, Mr. Olney, then 
Secretary of State, used this language: 



CONSTITUTIONALITY OF THE PROPOSALS 57 

" But the question whether any particular claim is a proper one 
for the consideration and decision of an international commis- 
sion is necessarily one which the commission itself must deter- 
mine. The conventions under which such commissions are 
organized usually describe in general terms the class of cases of 
which the commission is to take jurisdiction, and whether any 
particular case presented to it comes within this class the com- 
mission must, of course, determine. The decisions of the late 
commission, both interlocutory and final, are binding upon both 
Governments, the latter absolutely so, the former unless reversed, 
after proper proceedings for a rehearing." 

I cpme now to the other objection. The third plank of 
the platform is as follows : 

"Third: The signatory powers shall jointly use forthwith 
both their economic and military forces against any one of their 
number that goes to war, or commits acts of hostility, against 
another of the signatories before any question arising shall be sub- 
mitted as provided in the foregoing." 

It is objected to this clause that it violates the Constitution 
in that the effect of such a treaty signed by the United States 
would take away from Congress the power, conferred upon 
it by section eight of article one, to declare war. 

I had the pleasure and privilege of hearing Mr. Bry^n 
advance this argument at the Lake Mohonk Conference. 
He said that we should need an amendment to the Consti- 
tution before we could agree to any such provision. He said 
that in order to carry out the provision we must have a joint 
council of the powers to determine when the time had arrived 
for military action and war, and that this would substitute 
the action of the council for the constitutional discretion of 
Congress. 

I venture to think that this view is wholly without f ounda- 



58 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

tion. Although it is not necessary, I am willing to accept 
the assumption that some kind of a council would be ap- 
pointed by the powers to make the annoimcements when the 
time had come for the use of economic and military forces 
against the recalcitrant member. Does that take away from 
Congress the power to declare war? It does not. If the 
war is a foreign war, it could not be begun under the Consti- 
tution until Congress had declared war. The President 
would not be authorized to direct the Army and the Navy to 
begin war until Congress had declared it. 

What, then, would be the situation if the fact were an- 
nounced upon which the obligation of the United States to 
make war arose under this treaty? It would be to make 
war by Constitutional means, that is, by the preliminary 
declaration of Congress that war existed. Congress might 
decline to exercise that power and refuse to declare war. 
What would be the effect of that? It would merely be a 
breach of faith on the part of Congress, and so a breach of 
faith on the part of the United States and we would not go 
to war. The treaty-making power under the Constitution 
creates the obligation to declare war in certain contingencies. 
That obligation is to be discharged by Congress under its 
Constitutional power to declare war. If it fails to do 
so, and thus comply with the binding obligation created by 
the treaty-making power, then it merely breaks the contract 
of the Government. It is left to Congress to carry out that 
which we in a Constitutional way have agreed to do. Thus 
to impose in a Constitutional way by treaty an obligation on 
Congress is not to take away its power to discharge it or to 
refuse to discharge it. 

In 1904 we entered into a treaty with the Republic ot 
Panama, the first article of which is : 



CONSTITUTIONALITY OF THE PROPOSALS 59 

" The United States guarantees and will maintain the independ- 
ence of the Republic of Panama." 

What is the necessary effect of this guaranty ? It neces- 
sarily means that if any nation attacks Panama and attempts 
to take territory from her or to subvert her Government, the 
United States is under treaty obligation to make war to de- 
fend Panama. Was it ever supposed that such an obligation 
took away from Congress the power to declare war ? This 
treaty obligation makes it the duty of the Government to 
declare war under certain conditions that may arise, creates 
a contract obligation to the Republic of Panama that it shall 
do so, and this duty can only be discharged through the action 
of Congress in declaring war. Does that deprive Congress 
of its Constitutional power to declare war? It seems to me 
the question answers itself. 

In our relations with Cuba we find in the present treaty : 

ARTICLE I 

" The Government of Cuba shall never enter into any treaty or 
other compact with any foreign power or powers which will im- 
pair or tend to impair the independence of Cuba, nor in any 
manner authorize or permit any foreign power or powers to obtain 
by colonization or for military or naval purposes or otherwise, 
lodgment in or control over any portion of said Island." 

ARTICLE II 

" The Government of Cuba consents that the United States may 
exercise the right to intervene for the preservation of Cuban in- 
dependence, the maintenance of a government adequate for the 
protection of life, property and individual liberty, and for dis- 
charging the obligation with respect to Cuba imposed by the 
Treaty of Paris on the United States now to be assumed and under- 
taken by the Government of Cuba.'' 

ARTICLE III 

" To enable the United States to maintain the independence of 



6o TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

Cuba, and to protect the people thereof, as well as for its own de- 
fense, the Government of Cuba will sell or lease to the United 
States, lands necessary for coaling or naval stations at certain 
specific points to be agreed upon with the President of the United 
States." 

It is quite clear from these three articles that the Govern- 
ment of the United States binds itself to maintain the inde- 
pendence of Cuba and to exclude other governments from 
lodgment in the Island. If any Government attempts to 
filch territory from Cuba or to subvert the government, it 
becomes the duty of the United States to make war and 
defend against such invasion. Does this treaty obligation 
thus created take away from Congress the power to declare 
war? It only creates the obligation on the part of the 
United States to wage war, and in discharging this obliga- 
tion Congress must act, or the Government must be recreant 
to its agreement. 

Thus, by reason and precedent, it would appear clear that 
this third plank of the platform of the League is not in any 
way an attempt to take from Congress the power which it 
has to declare war under the Constitution. The suggestion 
that in order to carry out such an obligation on the part of 
the United States, it would be necessary to amend the Con- 
stitution, grows out of a confusion of ideas and a failure to 
analyze the differences between the creation of an obligation 
of the United States to do a thing and the due, orderly and 
Constitutional course to be taken by it in doing that which 
it has agreed to do. 



A CONSTRUCTIVE PLAN FOR HUMAN BETTERMENT 6l 



A CONSTRUCTIVE PLAN FOR HUMAN 

BETTERMENT » 

What is International Law? It is the body of rules 
governing the conduct of the nations of the world toward 
one another, acquiesced in by all nations. It lacks scope 
and definiteness. It is found in writings of international 
jurists, in treaties, in the results of arbitration, and in the 
decisions of those municipal courts which apply international 
law, like the Supreme Court of the United States and courts 
that sit in prize cases to determine the rules of international 
law governing the capture of vessels in naval warfare. It 
is obvious that a Congress of the League with quasi-legisla- 
tive powers could greatly add to the efikacy of international 
law by enlarging its application and codifying its rules. It 
would be greatly in the interest of the world and of world 
peace to give to such a code of rules the express sanction of 
the family of nations. 

As to the submission of all questions at issue of a legal 
nature to a permanent international court, it is sufficient to 
point out that the proposal is practical and is justified by 
precedent. The Supreme Court of the Unted States., exer^ 
cising the jurisdiction conferred on it by the Constitution, 
sits as a permanent international tribunal to decide issues 
between the States of the Union. The law governing the 
settlement of most of the controversies between the States 
cannot be determined by reference to the Constitution, to 
statutes of Congress, or to the legislation of the States. 
Should Congress in such cases attempt to enact laws they 
would be invalid. The only law which applies is that which 

1 Address delivered before the National Educational Association, 
New York City, July 3, 1916. 



62 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

applies between independent governments, to wit: Inter- 
national Law. Take the case of Kansas against Colorado, 
heard and decided by the Supreme Court. Kansas com- 
plained that Colorado was using more of the water of the 
Arkansas River which flowed through Colorado into Kansas 
than was equitable for purposes of irrigation. The case 
was heard by the Supreme Court and decided, not by a law 
of Congress, not by the law of Kansas, not by the law of 
Colorado, for the law of neither applied. It was decided 
by principles of International Law. 

Many other instances of similar decisions by the Supreme 
Court could be cited. But it is said that such a precedent 
lacks force here because the States are restrained from going 
to war with each other by the power of the National Coverts 
ment. Admitting that this qualifies the precedent to some 
extent, we need go no further than Canada to find a com- 
plete analogy and a full precedent. There is now sitting 
to decide questions of boundary waters (exactly such 
questions as were considered in Kansas and Colorado) a 
permanent court, consisting of three Americans and three 
Canadians, to settle the principles of international law that 
apply to the use of rivers constituting a boundary between 
the two countries and of rivers crossing the boundary. The 
fact is, that we have gotten so into the habit of arbitration 
with Canada that no reasonable person expects that any issue 
arising between us and that country, after a hundred years 
of peace, will be settled other than by arbitration. 

If this be the case between ourselves and Canada and 
England, why may it not be practical with every well- 
established and ordered government of the Great Powers? 
The Second Hague Conference, attended by all nations, 
recommended the establishment of a permanent International 



A CONSTRUCTIVE PLAN FOR HUMAN BETTERMENT 63 

G)urt to decide questions of a legal nature arising between 
nations. 

The second proposal of the League involves the submis- 
sion to a Commission of Conciliation of all questions that 
cannot be settled in court on principles of law or equity. 
There are such questions which may lead to war, and fre- 
quently do, and there are no legal rules for decision. We 
have such questions giving rise to friction in our domestic 
life. If a lady who owns a lawn permits children of one 
neighbor to play upon that lawn and refuses the privilege to 
the children of another neighbor because she thinks the 
latter children are badly trained and will injure her lawn or 
her flowers, it requires no imagination to understand that 
there may arise a neighborhood issue that will lead to friction 
between the families. The issue is, however, a non-jus- 
ticiable one. Courts cannot settle it, for the reason that 
the lady owning the lawn has the right to say who shall 
come on it and who shall be excluded from it. No jus- 
ticiable issue can arise, unless one's imagination goes to the 
point of supposing that the husbands of the two differing 
ladies came together and clashed, and then the issue in court 
will not be as to the comparative training of the children of 
the families. 

We have an analogous question in our foreign relations 
with reference to the admission of the Chinese and Japanese. 
We discriminate against them in our naturalization and im- 
migration laws and extend the benefit of those laws only to 
whites and persons of African descent. This discrimina- 
tion has caused much ill-feeling among the Japanese and 
Chinese. We are within our international right in exclud- 
ing them ; but it is easy to understand how resentment, be- 
cause of such discrimination, might be fanned into a flame, 



64 TAl T PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

if through lawless violence or unjust State legislation the 
Japanese should be mistreated within the United States. 

We have had instances of the successful result of com- 
missions of conciliation where the law could not cover the 
differences between the two nations. Such was the case 
of the Bering Sea controversy. * We sought to prevent the 

^ In an address before the National Geographic Society in Wash- 
ington, D. C Jan. 17, 1919, Mr. Taft has the following to say in re- 
gard to this arbitration: 

"The United States, by a transfer from Russia, became the owner 
of the Pribiloff Islands, in the middle of the Bering Sea. Upon those 
islands was the breeding place of the largest herd of fur-bearing seals 
in the world. They were a valuable property «'in(I a considerable annual 
income was derived by the United States from the sale of the fur. 
Canadian schooners began what was called pelngic sealing. They shot 
the seals in the open Bering Sea. This indiscriminate hunting killed 
the females of the herd and was destroying it. Revenue cutters of the 
United States, by direction of the government, sci.ed snch sealing 
vessels, brought them into a port of the United States, where were 
instituted proceedings to forfeit them. Great Britain objected on the 
ground that the United States had no legal jurisdiction. The case was 
submitted to an arbitration. The treaty contained a provision that the 
arbitrators, should they reach the conclusion that the United States 
had no legal right, might recommend a basis of compromise. The 
United States asserted its right, on the ground, first, that it had terri- 
torial jurisdiction over the open waters of the Bering Sea by transfer 
from Russia, which had asserted, maintained, and enjoyed such juris- 
diction, and, second, that it owned the seals while in the sea in such 
a way that the Canadian schooners were despoiling its personal prop- 
erty. The court of arbitration held against the United States on both 
points, deciding that Russia never had any territorial jurisdiction over 
the open Bering Sea to transfer to the United States, and that when 
the seals left the islands and swam out into the open sea they were 
the property of no one and were subject to capture by any one. The 
judgment of the court, therefore, was against the United States and 
awarded damages. Pursuing, however, the recommendation of the 
treaty, the court made itself into a council of mediation. It said that 
while the killing of seals in the open sea was not a violation of the 
legal rights of the United States of which that country could legally 



A CONSTRUCTIVE PLAN FOR HUMAN BETTERMENT 65 

killing of female seals in the Bering Sea and asserted our 
territorial Jurisdiction over that sea for this purpose. The 
question was submitted to international arbitrators and the 
decision was against us ; but the arbitrators, in order to save 
to the world the only valuable and extensive herd of fur 
seals, recommended a compromise by treaty between the na- 
tions concerned, and accordingly treaties have been made 
between the United States, Great Britain, Russia and Japan 
which have restored the herd to its former size and value. 
So much, therefore, for the practical character of the first 
two proposals. 

The third proposal is more novel than the others and 
gives to the whole plan a more constructive character. It 
looks to the use of economic means first, and military force 
if necessary, to enforce the obligation of every member of 

complain, it was nevertheless a great injury to the common welfare 
of the world to destroy this greatest seal herd of the world, first, because 
the fur was valuable and useful for the garments of men and women, 
and, second, because the destruction of the herd would destroy valuable 
and useful industries in the preparation of the seal pelts for use. 
Therefore, they said it was good form and in the interest of the world 
that the four nations concerned should agree upon a compromise by 
which the United States might continue to maintain the herd and sell 
the seal pelts gathered on the islands and that pelagic sealing should 
be stopped, but that the United States, in consideration of the other 
three nations restricting their citizens from pelagic sealing, should 
divide with the other three nations some of the profits of the herd. 
Accordingly, Great Britain. Russia, Japan, and the United States 
made such a treaty, which is still in force and under which the herd 
has been restored to its former size and value. Here we have an 
example of a court passing on questions of legal right and deciding 
them against the United States. Then we have the court changing 
itself into a council of mediation and recommending a compromise, 
prompted by considerations of decency and good form and the public 
welfare of the world, which the nations appealed to have adopted 
and embodied in a treaty." 



66 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

the League to submit any complaint it has to make against 
another member of the League, either to the permanent inter- 
national court, or to the Commission of Conciliation, and to 
await final action by that tribunal before beginning hostili- 
ties. It will be observed that it is not the purpose of this pro- 
gram to use the economic boycott or the jointly acting armies 
of the League to enforce the judgment declared or the com- 
promise recommended. These means are used only to pre- 
vent the beginning of war before there has been a com- 
plete submission, hearing of evidence, argument and de- 
cision or recommendation. We sincerely believe that in 
most cases, with such a delay and such a winnowing out of 
the issues and such an opportunity for the peoples of the 
different countries to understand the position of each other, 
war would generally not be resorted to. Our ambition is 
not to propose a plan, the perfect working out of which will 
absolutely prevent war ; first, because we do not think such 
a plan would work ; and second^ because we are willing to 
concede that there may be governmental and international 
injustice which cannot be remedied except by force. If, 
therefore, after a full discussion and decision by impartial 
judges or a recommendation by earnest, sincere and equit- 
able compromisers, a people still thinks that it must vindicate 
its rights by war, we do not attempt in this plan to prevent 
it by force. 

Having thus explained what the plan is, let us consider the 
objections which have been made to it. 

The first objection is that, in a dispute between two mem- 
bers of the League, it would be practically difficult to de- 
termine which one was the aggressor and which one, there- 
fore, in fact, began actual hostilities. There may be some 
trouble in this, I can see ; but what we are dealing with is a 



A CONSTRUCTIVE PLAN FOR HUMAN BETTERMENT 67 

working hypothesis, a very general plan. The details aire 
not worked out. One can suggest that an International 
Council engaged in an attempt to mediate the differences 
might easily determine for the League which nation was at 
fault in beginning hostilities. It would doubtless be neces- 
sary where some issues arise to require a maintenance of the 
status quo until the issues were submitted and decided in one 
tribunal or the other; but it does not seem to me that these 
suggested difficulties are insuperable or may not be com- 
pletely met by a detailed procedure that, of course, must be 
fixed before the plan of the League shall become operative. 
The second objection is to the use of the economic boycott 
and the army and the navy to enforce the obligations entered 
into by the members of the League. I respect the views 
of Pacifists and those who advocate the doctrine of non- 
resistance as the only Christian doctrine. Such is the view 
of that Society of Friends which, with a courage higher than 
that possessed by those who advocate forcible means, are 
willing to subject themselves to the injustice of the wicked 
in order to carry out their ideal of what Christian action 
should be. They have been so far in advance of the general 
opinions of the world in their history of three hundred years, 
and have lived to see so many of their doctrines recognized 
by the world as just, that I always differ from them with 
reluctance. Still, it seems to me that in the necessity of 
preserving our civilization and saving our country's freedom 
and individual liberty maintained now for one hundred and 
twenty-five years, we have no right to assume that we have 
passed beyond the period in history when nations are affected 
by the same frailties and the same temptations to cupidity, 
cruelty and injustice as men. In our domestic communities 
we need a police force to protect the innocent and the just 



68 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

against the criminal and the unjust, and to maintain the 
guaranty of life, liberty and property. The analogy be- 
tween the domestic community and that of nations is suf- 
ficently close to justify and require what is in fact an inter- 
national police force. The attitude of those who oppose 
using force or a threat of force to compel nations to keep 
the peace is really like that of the modem school of theoreti- 
cal anarchists, who maintain that if all restraint were re- 
moved and there were no government, and the children and 
youth, and men and women were trained to self-responsibil- 
ity, every member of society would know what his or her 
duty was and would perform it. They assert that it is the 
existence of restraint that leads to the violation of right. I 
may be permitted to remark that with modem fads of educa- 
tion we have gone far in the direction of applying this prin- 
ciple of modem anarchy in the discipline and education of 
our children and youth, but I do not think the result can be 
said to justify the theory if we can judge from the strikes of 
school children or from the general lack of discipline and 
respect for authority that the rising generation manifests. 
The time has not come when we can afford to give up the 
threat of the police and the use of force to back up and sus- 
tain the obligation of moral duty. 

The third objection is that it would be unconstitutional for 
the United States, through its treaty-making power, to enter 
into such a League. This objection is based on the fact that 
the Constitution vests in Congress the power to declare war. 
It is said that this League would transfer the power to de- 
clare war away from Congfress to some foreign council, in 
which the United States would only have a representative. 
This objection grows out of a misconception of the effect of 



A CONSTRUCTIVE PLAN FOR HUMAN BETTERMENT 69 

a treaty and a confusion of ideas. The United States makes 
its contract with other nations under the Constitution 
through the President and two-thirds of the Senate, who 
constitute the treaty-making power. The President and the 
Senate have a right to bind the United States to any contract 
with any other nation covering the subject matter within 
the normal field of treaties For this purpose the President 
and the Senate are the United States. When the contract 
comes to be performed, the United States is to perform it 
through that department of the government which, by the 
Constitution, should perform it, should represent the govern- 
ment and should act for it Thus, the treaty-making power 
may bind the United States to pay to another country under 
certain conditions a million dollars. When the conditions 
are fulfilled, then it becomes the duty of the United States 
to pay the million dollars. Under the Constitution, only 
Congress can appropriate the million dollars from the 
treasury. Therefore, it becomes the duty of Congress to 
make that appropriation. It may refuse to make the appro- 
priation. If it does so, it dishonors the written obligation 
of the United States. It has the power either to perform 
the obligation or to refuse to perform it. That fact, how- 
ever, does not make the action of the treaty power in bind- 
ing the United States to pay the money unconstitutional. 
So the treaty-making power may bind the United States 
under certain conditions to make war. When the conditions 
arise requiring the making of war, then it becomes the duty 
of Congress honorably to perform the obligation of the 
United States. Congress may shirk this duty and exercise 
its power to refuse to declare war. It thus dishonors a bind- 
ing obligation of the United States. But the obligation was 



JO TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

entered into in the constitutional way and it is to be per- 
formed in the constitutional way. 

• ••••••• 

It is said that to enter into such a compact would require 
us to maintain a standing army. I do not think this fol- 
lows at all. If we become, as we should become, reason- 
ably prepared to resist unjust military aggression, and have 
a navy sufficiently large, and coast defenses sufficiently well 
equipped to constitute a first line of defense, and an army 
which we could mobilize into half a million trained men 
within two months, we would have all the force needed to 
do our part of the police work in resisting the unlawful ag- 
gression of any one member of the League against another. 

Fourth, it has been urged that for us to become a party to 
this League is to give up our Monroe Doctrine, under which 
we ought forcibly to resist any attempt on the part of Euro- 
pean or Asiatic powers to subvert an independent govern- 
ment in the Western Hemisphere or to take from such a 
government any substantial part of its territory. It is a 
sufficient answer to this objection to say that a question 
under the Monroe Doctrine would come under that class of 
issues which must be submitted to a Council of Conciliation. 
Pending this, of course, the status quo must be maintained. 
An argument and recommendation of compromise would fol- 
low. If we did not agree to the compromise and proceeded 
forcibly to resist violation of the Doctrine, we should not be 
violating the terms of the League by hostilities thereafter. 
More than this, as Professor Wilson, of Harvard, the well- 
known authority upon international law, has pointed out, 
we are already under a written obligation to delay a year 
before beginning hostilities in respect to any question arising 
between us and most of the Great Powers, and this neces- 



A CONSTRUCTIVE PLAN FOR HUMAN BETTERMENT J I 

* 

sarily includes questions relating to a violation of the Mon- 
roe Doctrine. It is difficult to see, therefore, how the obli- 
gation of such a League as this would put us in any different 
position from that which we now occupy in regard to the 
Monroe Doctrine. 

Finally, I come to the most formidable objection, which 
is that entering into such a League by the United States 
would be a departure from the policy that it has consistently 
pursued since the days of Washington, in accordance with 
the advice of his farewell address that we enter into no 
entangling alliances with European countries. Those of us 
who support the proposals of the League believe that were 
Washington living to-day he would not consider the League 
as an entangling alliance. He had in mind such a treaty 
as that the United States made with France, by which we 
were subjected to great embarrassment when France 
attempted to use our ports as bases of operation against 
England while we were at peace with England. He cer- 
tainly did not have in mind a union of all the Great Powers 
to enforce peace ; and while he did dwell, and properly dwelt, 
on the very great advantage that the United States had in 
her isolation from European disputes, it was an isolation 
which does not now exist. In his day we were only three 
and a half millions of people, with thirteen States strung 
along the Atlantic seaboard. We were five times as far 
from Europe as we are now in speed of transportation, and 
many times as far in speed of communication. We are now 
one hundred millions of people between the two oceans and 
between the Canada line and the Gulf. We face the Pacific 
with California, Oregon and Washington, which alone makes 
us a Pacific power. We own Alaska, the northwestern 
comer of our continent, a dominion of immense extent with 



72 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

natural resources as yet hardly calculable and with a country 
capable of supporting a considerable population. This 
makes us a close neighbor of Russia across the Bering 
Straits; while ownership of islands in that sea brings us 
close to Japan. We own Hawaii, 2,000 miles out to sea 
from San Francisco, with 75,000 Japanese laborers consti- 
tuting the largest element of its population. We own the 
Philippine Islands, 140,000 square miles, with eight millions 
of people, under the eaves of Asia. We are properly 
anxious to maintain an open door to China, and to share 
equally in the enormous trade which that country, with her 
400 teeming millions, is bound to furnish when organized 
capital and her wonderful laboring populations shall be 
intelligently directed toward the development of her rich 
natural resources. Our discrimination against the Japanese 
and the Chinese presents a possible cause of friction, since 
the resentment that they feel may lead to untoward incidents. 
We own the Panama Canal in a country which was recently 
a part of a South American confederation. We have in- 
vested 400 millions in that great world enterprise to unite 
our Eastern and Western seaboards by cheap transportation, 
to increase the effectiveness of our navy and to make a path 
for the world's commerce between the two great oceans. 

We own Porto Rico, with a million people, and we owe 
to those people protection at home and abroad, as they owe 
allegiance to us. 

We have guaranteed the integrity of Cuba, and have 
reserved the right to enter and maintain the guaranty of life, 
liberty and property and to repress insurrection in that 
island. Since originally turning over the island to its people 
we have had once to return there and restore peace and 
order. We have on our southern border the international 



A CONSTRUCTIVE PLAN FOR HUMAN BETTERMENT 73 

nuisance of Mexico, and nobody can foresee the complica- 
tions that will arise out of the anarchy there prevailing. 
We have the Monroe Doctrine still to maintain. Our rela- 
tions 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 diflferent state of things. One 
may reasonably question whether the United States, by 
uniting with the other great powers to prevent the recur- 
rence 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 in- 
terests. 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 mem- 
ber of the family of nations, to do its part and run its neces- 
sary 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 im- 
pose 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? 



74 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

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 con- 
dition 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 En- 
force Peace. Sir Edward Grey and Lord Bryce have indi- 
cated their sympathy and support of the same principles, 
and we understand that M. Briand, of France, has similar 
views. 



THE PURPOSES OF THE LEAGUE ^ 

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 alTord 
them against sudden attack by a great power. The League 
will then become a World League. H 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, Januao' 
20, 1917. 



THE PURPOSES OF THE LEAGUE 75 

war against any other member until after the question be- 
tween them shall have been submitted to a Court, if the 
question is of a legal nature, or a Commission of Concilia- 
tion, if it can not be settled on principles of law. The mem- 
bers agree to await the judgment in the one case or the 
recommendation of a compromise in the other, before begin- 
ning 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. 

m 
• ••••••• 

There would be practical difficulties in attempting to en- 
force judgments, difficulties which may some day be over- 
come but which the League has now no purpose to attempt 
to solve. It would be still more difficult to enforce com- 
promises. 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 as- 
sumes that the League proposes that the judgments and 
recommendations of compromise reached shall be enforced 



76 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

by the League. This is a fundamental error. We may 
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 con- 
troversy over a matter in Manchuria. Russia refuses sub- 
mission to a Court or Commission, and begins hostilities 
against Japan. Under the League, England, France, Ger- 
many, 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 efjuitable rule prescribed in the Treaty, proportioned 
to resources and geographical location. This is the extreme 



THE PURPOSES OF THE LEAGUE JJ 

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 be- 
come 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 Argen- 
tine and a European government have a dispute and Argen- 
tine 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 



78 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

will punish her for violating her plighted faith and treaty 
obligations. This is said to involve an abandonment of the 
Monroe Doctrine. Why? Mr. Seward in 1866, and Mr. 
Roosevelt in his administration, said most emphatically that 
the Doctrine can not be used to shelter South American 
countries against punishment by European countries for 
their shortcomings. The only limitation set by the Doctrine 
is that the punishment inflicted shall not involve subverting 
the independence of Argentine or appropriating and coloniz- 
ing her territory. I submit, therefore, that the three cases 
suggested by Senator Borah do not present the difficulties he 
supposes. 

The two questions for us are whether the League is prac- 
tical and whether the United States ought to enter it. Of 
course it is only a general plan, and the details would have 
to be worked out in a world conference. That it is feasible, 
and that such details may be worked out, is indicated by the 
approval which the League has received from Germany, on 
the one hand, and from the Allies, on the other. There are 
of course very great difficulties in a practical union of the 
forces of the world to accomplish a definite single purpose, 
but they are not insuperable. The League is only applying 
to the international community the same principle that has 
been applied to the domestic community, that of using the 
force of all to suppress the lawless force of the few for the 
common good. 

• •...... 

We are now entering upon a policy of preparation to de- 
fend ourselves against the unjust aggression of any nation. 
I believe this to be absolutely essential to our country's in- 
terest. The League has officially recognized that such 
preparation is necessary to its progress. When we have 



THE PURPOSES OF THE LEAGUE 79 

made this preparation and have the forces of our army and 
navy adequate to it, we shall be in a position to contribute 
our share to any force that we may be called upon to furnish 
in a joint exercise of power by the world to suppress war. 
President Wilson has said that in the next war there will be 
no neutrals. If the science of war advances in the next war 
as much as it has advanced in this over the last war, he is 
certainly right — there will be no room for neutrals. In 
this aspect, and from a selfish standpoint, therefore, our 
membership in the League in the future would prove to be 
safer for our interests than if we stayed out of it. 

But is the selfish standpoint the only one from which we 
should view this question ? We are potentially the strongest 
nation in the world. We have a vast population with high 
intelligence, solidarity and homogeneity. We have enor- 
mous resources and incomparable wealth. We are so 
situated that our position between the nations of Europe 
and between those of Asia is an impartial one and we could 
therefore exercise a just and commanding influence in a 
council of nations. We do not realize our power in this 
respect. Lord Grey says that we are necessary to the suc- 
cessful launching of such a League. We must lead it. 
Have we any right, therefore, to stay out of a world-ar- 
rangement calculated to make a world-war improbable, be- 
cause we shall risk having to contribute our share to an 
international police force to suppress the disturbers of peace? 
To-day war in any part of the world may rapidly manifest 
itself in another part, and the advantage of suppressing it 
or hedging it about so as to prevent its spread is inestimable. 

[The following statement was made on the occasion of a mass meeting 
at Richmond, Va., Wednesday evening, March 21, 1917 :] 

The break with Germany and the imminence of war 



8o TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OP NATIONS 

furnish the strongest arguments for the League to Enforce 
Peace. 

Preparedness is one of the watchwords of the hour. The 
Executive Committee of the League to Enforce Peace has 
pronounced more than once in favor of national prepared- 
ness to meet all emergencies and pointed out the fact that the 
plan it puts forward makes preparedness a necessity. 

The duty to support the President in his foreign policy 
is plain. The League has declared a thousand times that 
it is not a stop-the-war movement, and has pledged its sup- 
port in the defense of civilization and the rights of our 
citizens. 

The reason 'we have protested against Germany's ruthless 
submarine warfare and broken off relations with her is be- 
cause her conduct is subversive of any peace that is worth 
having. 

As we are forced into the war, our sole purpose must be 
to secure the right kind of a peace after the war, for our- 
selves and for the whole world — a permanent and righteous 
peace. 

This fact is fundamental to the whole situation, and ought 
to be kept constantly before the minds of all our people. 
We are contending for a righteous and permanent peace 
and for nothing else whatsoever. Preparation for such a 
peace is the most important part of preparedness. The 
President has this strongly in mind. If, through the growth 
of hatred and the cry for vengeance, the world should lose 
sight of its real purpose and come to the end of the war not 
knowing what it most wants and needs, and so should fail 
to roll the burden of militarism off its shoulders and to 
establish lasting peace, it would be a tragedy in the history 
of the world. 



THE MENACE OF A PREMATURE PEACE 8l 

The League to Enforce Peace presents the elements of a 
program that has been recognized as having in it promise 
of a better future, a program that has the support in general 
terms not only of the President but of leading statesmen in 
all or nearly all of the leading nations. The latter have 
espoused it while their countries were at war and both they 
and the President are watching the growth and expression 
of public opinion in the United States as the deciding factor 
in the formation of a league. 

During the present crisis and throughout the war which 
is at hand, the duty of the League to Enforce Peace is to 
stimulate military preparedness on the one hand, and on 
the other to spread its gospel of world organization for 
permanent peace after this conflict is over. 



THE MENACE OF A PREMATURE PEACE ^ 

We are engaged in the greatest war of history to secure 
permanent world peace. We are fighting for a definite 
purpose, and that is the defeat of German militarism. If the 
Prussian military caste retains its power to control the mili- 
tary and foreign policy of Germany after the war, peace 
will not be permanent, and war will begin again when the 
chauvinistic advisers of the Hohenzollern dynasty deem a 
conquest and victory possible. 

Our Allies have made a stupendous effort and have 
strained their utmost capacity. Unready for the war, they 
have concentrated their energy in preparation. In this im- 

^ Address delivered at General Conference of Unitarian and other 
Christian Churches at Montreal, September 26, 191 7. 



82 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

portant respect they have defeated the plan of Germany " in 
shining armor " to crush her enemies in their unreadiness. 

But the war has not been won. Peace now, even though 
it be made on the basis of the restoration of the status quo, 
" without indemnities and without annexations," would be 
a failure to achieve the great purpose for which the Allies 
have made heartrending sacrifice. Armaments would con- 
tinue for the next war, and this war would have been fought 
in vain. The millions of lives lost and the hundreds of 
billions' worth of the product of men's labor would be 
wasted. 

He who proposes peace now, therefore, either does not 
see the stake for which the Allies are fighting, or wishes the 
German mihtary autocracy still to control the destinies of 
all of us as to peace or war. Those who favor permanent 
world peace must oppose with might and main the proposals 
for peace at this juncture in the war, whether made in 
socialistic councils, in pro-German conferences or by Pope 
Benedict. That the Pontiff of the greatest Christian Church 
should wish to bring to an end a war in which millions of 
its communion are on both sides is to be expected. That 
he should preserve a difficult neutrality is also natural. 
That his high purpose is to save the world from further 
suffering goes without saying. But the present is not the 
opportunity of an intervening peacemaker who must assume 
that compromise is possible. 

The Allies are fighting for a principle the maintenance 
of which affects the future of civilization. If they do not 
achieve it they have sacrificed the flower of their youth and 
mortgaged their future for a century, and all for nothing. 
This is not a war in which the stake is territory or sphere 
of influence. The Allies cannot concede peace until they 



THE MENACE OF A PREMATURE PEACE 83 

conquer it. When they do so, it will be permanent. 
Otherwise they fail. 

There are wars like that between Japan and Russia, in 
which President Roosevelt properly and successfully inter- 
vened to bring about a peace that helped the parties to a 
settlement. The principle at stake and the power and ter- 
ritory were of such a character that a settlement might be 
made substantially permanent. But the present issue is like 
that in our Civil War, which was whether the Union was to 
be preserved and the cancer of slavery was to be cut out. 
Peace proposals to President Lincoln were quite as numer- 
ous as those of to-day, and were moved by quite as high 
motives. But there was no compromise possible. Either 
slavery and disunion lost or won. So to-day the great moral 
object of the war must be achieved or defeated. 

An organization of citizens in the United States, known 
as the League to Enforce Peace, has been active for three 
years past in promoting its propaganda. There is a similar 
association in England. In that League are many persons 
who for years urged the settlement of all international con- 
troversies by arbitration or judicial decision. The vortex 
of death and destruction for the peoples of the world, which 
the breaking out of the war portended, roused these peace 
lovers and promoters to devise a plan for avoiding war after 
this should end. The English plan is more ambitious in 
providing that if the council of nations so decide they must 
enforce the judgment or settlement. 

Whatever the detailed stipulations of such a league, its 
operation and success must depend on the obligations of the 
treaty stipulations. Unless their binding effect is recognized 
by the nations as a sacred principle, the stipulations of the 



84 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

league will be " writ in water." The revelations and dis- 
closures of this war will satisfy the members of the league 
that as long as the present military caste controls the German 
military and foreign policy, the league is impracticable, and 
would not be worth the parchment on which its obligations 
would be recorded. Why have they reached this conclusion ? 
Why, as citizens of the United States, and as citizens of the 
world anxious to promote peace, do they feel that any pro- 
posal of peace in the present situation would defeat perm- 
anent world peace and should be opposed by them with all 
the energy they can command ? The answer to this question 
must be found in the causes of this war and the revelations 
it has made of Germany's purpose, stripped of confusing 
pretence and naked for the whole world to see. 

Germany was long divided into little states, kingdoms, 
duchies and other forms of one-man rule. She was the 
prey of political intrigue and manipulation of other powers. 
All her well-wishers hoped for and looked forward to her 
union. The Germans of yore had loved freedom. We 
Anglo-Saxons were Germans once and our representative 
system can be traced back to institutions found first in the 
forests of Germany. In the wars of the first Napoleon, 
Prussia and other German states were subjected to a great 
humiliation. But ♦he German youth rebelled, organized 
themselves into military reserves, and finally contributed 
much to the defeat of the man whose lust for universal 
power finds its counterpart in the aim of the HohenzoUerns 
of to-day. Later, the Holy Alliance, retaining the principle 
of the divine right of kings, and supporting it in all of 
Germany, left no opportunity for the free exercise of politi- 
cal power by these liberty-loving German youths. In 1848 
democratic revolutions occurred throughout Germany and 



THE MENACE OP A PREMATURE PEACE 85 

in Austria, but they were overcome. Many of the leaders 
came to the United States and with their followers became 
our best adopted citizens. When our Civil War came on, 
their hatred of slavery led them to volunteer for their 
adopted country, and every battlefield of the war was wet 
with German blood. 

In Germany itself, however, the liberal element was not 
allowed to work out its hopes. It had looked to a united 
and liberal Germany with a government based on the repre- 
sentative system. It was not to be. Under the first Wil- 
liam with his Prime Minister Bismarck, who came to power 
in 1862, a definite plan was adopted of perfecting the 
already well^isciplined Prussian army so that by " blood 
and iron " the unity of Germany should be achieved. The 
whole Prussian nation was made into an army, and it soon 
became a machine with a power of conquest equaled by no 
other. The cynical, unscrupulous, but effective, diplomacy 
of Bismarck first united Prussia with Austria to deprive 
Denmark of Schleswig-Holstein by force, then secured a 
quarrel with Austria over the spoils, and deprived her of 
all influence over the German states by humiliating defeat in 
the six weeks' war of 1866. After this war, several Ger- 
man states were annexed forcibly to Prussia and offensive 
and defensive alliances were made with others. 

Then in 1870 the occasion was seized, when it was known 
that France was not prepared, to strike at her. France was 
beaten, and Alsace and Lorraine were taken from her. The 
German Empire was established with a Prussian King at its 
head. France was made to pay an indemnity of one billion 
dollars, with which the military machine of Germany was 
strengthened and improved. Then Germany settled down 
to a period of peace to digest the territory which by these 



86 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

three wars had been absorbed. Bismarck's purpose in main- 
taining the superiority of his army was to retain what had 
been taken by blood and iron, and at the same time by a 
period of prolonged peace to give to Germany a full oppor- 
tunity for industrial development and the self -discipline 
necessary for the highest efficiency. 

The marvelous work which the Germans have accom- 
plished in their field of industrial activity is known to all. 
The prosperity which followed increased the population of 
Germany and crowded her borders. Bismarck was dis- 
missed by the present Emperor, but his policy of maintain- 
ing the highest efficiency of the army was continued. And 
then, as the success of the German system in the material 
development of the Empire showed itself and became the 
admiration of the world, the destiny of Germany grew larger 
in the eyes of her Emperor and her people, and the blood 
and iron policy which had been directed first to the achieve- 
ment of the unity of Germany and then to the defense of 
the German Empire in the enjoyment of what had been taken 
in previous wars, expanded into a dream of Germanizing the 
world. The German people were impregnated with this 
idea by every method of official instruction. A cult of 
philosophy to spread the propaganda developed itself in the 
universities and schools. The principle was that the state 
could do no wrong, that the state was an entity that must 
be sustained by force ; that everything else must be sacrificed 
to its strength ; that the only sin the state could commit was 
neglect and failure to maintain its power. 

With that dogmatic logic which pleases the German mind, 
and to which it readily adapts itself, this proposition easily 
led to the further conclusion that there could be no inter- 
national morality; that morality and its principles applied 



THE MENACE OF A PREMATURE PEACE 87 

only to individuals, but that when the action of the state was 
involved, considerations of honor, of the preservation of ob- 
ligations solemnly made, must yield if the interests of the 
state required. These were the principles taught by 
Treitschke in the University of Berlin and maintained by 
German economic philosophers and by the representative of 
the military regime in the person of Bemhardi. 

Bismarck had been keen enough in his diplomacy to await 
the opportunity that events presented for seeming to be 
forced into a war which he had long planned. This was the 
case with Denmark. This was the case with Austria. 
This was the case with France. German diplomacy has lost 
nothing of this characteristic in the present war. Germany 
did not plan the killing of the Austrian Archduke and his 
consort ; but the minute that that event presented the likeli- 
hood of war, Germany accepted it as the opportunity for her 
to strike down her neighbors, Russia and France, and to 
enlarge her power. She gladly gave her consent to the ulti- 
matum of Austria to Servia that was sure to bring on war, 
and then posed as one driven into war by the mobilization of 
Russia. 

She knew that Russia was utterly unprepared. She knew 
that France was imprepared. She knew that Great Britain 
was unprepared. She herself was ready to the last cannon 
and the last reservist. Therefore, when appealed to by 
Great Britain and by all the other Powers to intervene and 
prevent Austria from forcing a universal war, Germany 
declined to act. Not a telegram or communication between 
Germany and Austria has ever been given to the public to 
show the slightest effort to induce delay by Austria. While 
Germany would pose as having acted only as Austria's ally 
and as unwilling to influence her against her interest and 



88 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

independent judgment, the verdict of history unquestionably 
will be that the war is due to Germany's failure to prevent 
it and to her desire to accept the opportunity of the assassina- 
tion of the Austrian Archduke as a convenient time to begin 
a war she long intended. The revelation of their unpre- 
paredness is sufficient to show that England, France and 
Russia did not conspire to bring on the war. On the other 
hand, before the war began Germany had constructed a 
complete system of strategic railways on her Belgian border, 
adapted not to commercial uses, but only to the quick in- 
vasion of Belgium. 

Indeed, every fact as the war has developed forms one 
more circumstance in the irrefragable case against Germany 
as the Power responsible for this world-disaster. The 
preparation of fifty years, the false philosophy of her destiny 
and of the exaltation of force, had given her a yearning for 
conquest, for the expansion of her territory, the extension 
of her influence, and the Germanization of the world. She 
alone is responsible for the incalculable destruction of this 
war. She led on in the armament of the world that she 
might rule it. She promoted therefore the armament of 
other nations. Her system was followed, though not as 
effectively, by other countries in pure defense of their peace 
and safety. 

And now her Emperor, her Prussian military caste, and 
her wonderful but blinded people, have the blood of the 
millions who have suffered in this world catastrophe on their 
heads. The German military doctrine, that when the in- 
terests of the state are concerned, the question is one of 
power and force, and not of honor or obligation or moral 
restraint, finds its most flagrant examples in Germany's 
conduct of this war. 



THE MENACE OF A PREMATURE PEACE 89 

Her breach of a solemn obligation entered into by her and 
all the powers of Europe, in respect to Belgium's neutrality, 
was its first exhibition. It was followed by the well-proven 
deliberate plan of atrocities against the men, women and 
children of a part of Belgium in order to terrorize the rest 
of the population into complete submission. It was shown 
in the prompt dropping of bombs on defenceless towns from 
Zeppelins and other aircraft; in the killing of non-combat- 
ant men, women and children by the naval bombardment of 
unfortified towns; in the use of liquid fire and poison gases 
in battle. All of these had been condemned as improper 
in declarations in the Hague treaties. 

The Reptile Fund, which was used under Bismarck for the 
bribery of the press and for the maintenance of a spy system, 
has been enlarged and elaborated, so that German bribery has 
extended the world over, and the German espionage has 
exceeded anything known to history. The medieval use 
by the Hohenzollems of dynastic kinship has paralyzed the 
action of the peoples of Greece and Russia. And now we 
know, by recent revelation, of the aid that Swedish diplomats 
are furnishing to Germany in her submarine warfare against 
neutral ships, and that it is made possible by the influence 
of the German consort of the Swedish King. 

Intrigue, dislionor, cruelty, have characterized the entire 
military policy of Germany. The rule^ of international 
law have been cast to the winds. The murderous submarine 
has sunk without warning the non-combatant commercial 
vessels of the enemy and sent their officers, their crews and 
their passengers, men, women and children, to the bottom 
without warning. Not only has this policy been pursued 
against enemy commercial vessels, but also against neutral 
commercial vessels, and parts of the crew have been 



go TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

assembled on the submarines and then the submarine has 
been submerged and the victims left struggling in the ocean's 
waste to drown. We find a German diplomat telegraphing 
from a neutral port to the German headquarters advising 
that if the submarine be used against the vessels of that 
neutral Power it leave no trace of the attack. In other 
words, the murder of the crews must be complete, because 
" dead men tell no tales." 

Having violated the neutrality of Belgium, having broken 
its sacred obligations to that country and her people, it is 
now enslaving them by taking them from Belgium and en- 
forcing their labor in Germany. This is contrary to every 
rule of international law, and is in the teeth of the plainest 
principles of justice and honor. All these things arc done 
for the state. It is not that the nature of the German people 
generally is cruel — that is not the case. But the minds of 
the German people have been poisoned with this false 
philosophy ; and the ruling caste in Germany, in its desperate 
desire to win, has allowed no consideration of humanity or 
decency or honor to prevent its use of any means which in 
any way could by hook or crook accomplish a military pur- 
pose. 

When the war began, Germany was able to convince her 
people and to convince many in the world that the issue in 
the war was not the exaltation of the military power of 
Germany and the expansion of her plan of destiny, but that 
it was a mere controversy between the Teuton and the Slav, 
and Germany asked with great plausibility, " Will you have 
the world controlled by the Slav or by the German?" 
Those who insisted that the issue was one of militarism 
against the peace of the world, of democracy against military 
autocracy, of freedom against military tyranny, were met 



THE MENACE OF A PREMATURE PEACE 9 1 

with the argument : ** Russia is an ally. She is a greater 
despotism and a greater military autocracy than Germany." 
As the war wore on, the real issue was cleared of this con- 
fusion. Russia became a democracy. The fight was be- 
tween governments directed by their people on the one hand, 
and the military dynasties of Germany, Austria and Turkey, 
on the other. 

President Wilson says the Allies are fighting to make 
the world safe for democracy. Some misconception has 
been created on this head. The Allies are not struggling to 
force a particular form of government on Germany. If the 
German people continue to prefer an Emperor it is not the 
purpose of the Allies to require them to have a republic. 
Their purpose is to end the military policy and foreign policy 
of Germany that looks to the maintenance of a military and 
naval machine, with its hair-trigger preparation for use 
against her neighbors. If this continues, it will entail on 
every democratic government the duty of maintaining a 
similar armament in self-defense, and, what is likely, the 
duty will be wholly or partly neglected. Thus the policy 
of Germany, with her purpose and destiny, will threaten 
every democracy. This is the condition which it is the 
determined purpose of the Allies, as interpreted by President 
Wilson, to change. 

How is the change to be effected ? By defeating Germany 
in this war. The German people have been very loyal to 
their Emperor, because his leadership accords with the false 
philosophy of the state and German destiny, with which 
they have been indoctrinated and poisoned. A defeat of 
the military machine, a defeat of the Frankenstein of the mil- 
itary dynasty to which they have been sacrificed, must open 
their eyes to the hideous futility of their political course. 



92 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

The German Government will then be changed, as its people 
will have it changed, to avoid a recurrence of such a tragedy 
as they have deliberately prepared for themselves. 

Men who see clearly the kind of peace which we must 
have, in order to be a real and lasting peace, can have no 
sympathy therefore with a patched-up peace, one made at 
a council table, the result of diplomatic chaflfering and 
bargaining. Men who look forward to a League of the 
World to Enforce Peace in the future can have no patience 
with a compromise that leaves the promoting cause of the 
present awful war unaffected and unremoved. This war 
is now being fought by the Allies as a League to. En force 
Peace. Unless they compel it by victory, they do not 
enforce it. They do not make the military autocracies of 
the world into nations fit for a World League, unless they 
convince them by a lesson of defeat. 

When the war came on, there were a few in the United 
States who felt that the invasion of Belgium required a 
protest on the part of our government, and some indeed who 
felt that we should join in the war at once. But the great 
body of the American people, influenced by our traditional 
policy of avoiding European quarrels, stood by the Admini- 
stration in desiring to maintain a strict neutrality. I think 
it is not unfair to say that a very large proportion of the 
intelligent and thinking people of the United States — and 
that means a great majority — sympathized with the Allies 
in the struggle which they were making. But many of Ger- 
man birth and descent, prompted by a pride in the notable 
advance in the world of German enterprise, German in- 
genuity, German discipline, German efficiency, and regard- 
ing the struggle as an issue between Teuton and Slav, 
extended their sympathy to their Fatherland. 



THE MENACE OF A PREMATURE PEACE 93 

As conscientiously as possible, the Administration and the 
country pursued the course laid down by international law 
as that which a neutral should take. International lav/ is 
the rule of conduct of nations toward one another accepted 
and acquiesced in by all nations. It is not always as definite 
as one would like, and the acquiescence of all nations is not 
always as clearly established as it ought to be. But in the 
law of war as to capture at sea of commercial vessels, the 
principles have been established clearly by the decision of 
prize courts of all nations, English, American, Prussian and 
French. The right of non-combatants on commercial ves- 
sels, officers, crew and passengers, either enemy or neutral, 
to be secure from danger of life, has always been recognized 
and never contested. Nevertheless, by submarine attack on 
English and American merchant ships without warning, 
Germany sent to their death one hundred and fifty American 
men, women and children. We protested and Germany 
halted for a time. We thought that if we condoned the 
death of one hundred and fifty we might still maintain peace 
with that Power. 

But it was not to be, and after more than a year Germany 
announced her purpose to resume this murderous and illegal 
course toward innocent Americans. Had we hesitated, we 
would have lost our independence as a people; we would 
have subscribed abjectly to the doctrine that might makes 
right. Germany left no door open to us as a self-respecting 
nation except that which led to war. She deliberately 
forced us into the ranks of her enemies, and she did it be- 
cause she was obsessed with the belief that the submarine 
was the instrument of destruction by which she might win 
the war. She recked not that, as she used it, it was a weapon 
of murder. Making military efficiency her god, and exalt- 



94 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

ing the appliances of science in the killing of men, she 
ignored all other consequences. 

Germany's use of the submarine brought us into the war. 
But being in, we recognized as fully as any of our Allies do 
that its far greater issue is whether German militarism shall 
continue after this war to be a threat to the peace of the 
world, or whether we shall end that threat by this struggle 
in which we are to spend our life's blood. We must not 
therefore be turned from the stem necessity of winning this 
war. 

When the war began and its horrible character was dis- 
closed, there were many religious persons who found their 
faith in God shaken by the fact that millions of innocent 
persons could be headed into this vortex of blood and 
destruction without the saving intervention of their Creator. 
But the progress of the war has revealed much, and it has 
stimulated our just historic sense. It shows that the world 
had become, through the initiative of Germany and the fol- 
lowing on of the other nations, afflicted with the cancer of 
militarism. God reveals the greatness of His power and 
His omnipotence not by fortuitous and sporadic intervention, 
but by the working out of His inexorable law. A cancer, 
if it is not to consume the body, must be cut out, and the 
cutting out necessarily involves suffering and pain. The 
sacrifices of lives and treasure are inevitable in the working 
out of the cure of the world malady. But we must win the 
war to vindicate this view. 

We are now able to see the providential punishment and 
weakness that follows the violation of moral law. The 
crass materialism of the German philosophy that exalts force 
above morality, power above honor and decency, success 
above humanity, has blinded the German ruling caste to 



THE MENACE OF A PREMATURE PEACE 95 

the Strength of moral motives that control other peoples, and 
involved them in the fundamental mistakes that will cause 
their downfall. They assumed that England, burdened with 
Ireland, would violate her own obligation and abandon Bel- 
gium and would leave her ally France to be deprived of all 
her colonial possessions. They assumed that France was 
decadent, permeated with socialism, and unable to make a 
contest in her state of unpreparedness. They assumed that 
England's colonies, attached only by the lightest tie, and 
entirely independent, if they chose to be, would not sacrifice 
themselves to help the mother land in her struggle. How 
false the German conclusion as to England's national con- 
science and fighting power, as to France's supposed deca- 
dence and her actual patriotic fervor and strength, and as 
to the filial loyalty of England's daughters! 

England and France since 19 14 have been fighting the 
battle of the world and fighting for us of America. The 
war has drained their vitality, strained their credit, exhausted 
their man-power, subjected many of their non-combatants to 
suflFering and destruction, and they have the war weariness 
which dulls the earlier eager enthusiasm for the principles at 
stake. Now, specious proposals for peace are likely to be 
most alluring to the faint-hearted, and most powerful in the 
hands of traitors. 

The intervention of the United States, by her financial aid, 
has helped much; but her armies are needed and she, a 
republic unprepared, required time to prepare. The war 
is now to be determined by the active tenacity of purpose of 
the contestants. England showed that tenacity in the wars 
of Napoleon. Napoleon succumbed. General Grant, in his 
Memoirs, says that the battle is won not in the first day, but 
by the commander and the army which is ready, even after 



g6 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

apparent defeat, to begin the next day. It is the side which 
has the nerve that will win. The intervention of the United 
States has strengthened that nerve in England, France and 
Italy. But delay and disappointment give full opportunity 
to the lethargic, the cowardly, the factious, to make the task 
of the patriot and the loyal men doubly heavy. This is the 
temper of the situation among our European Allies. 

With us at home the great body of our people are loyal 
and strong for the war. Of course, it takes time to con- 
vince a people, however intelligent, when very prosperous 
and comfortable and not well advised as to the vital concern 
they have in the issue of a war across a wide ocean, thou- 
sands of miles away. But we have, for the first time in the 
history of our republic, begun a war right. We have begun 
with a conscription law which requires service from men of 
a certain age from every walk of life. It is democratic in 
principle, and yet it offers to the Government the means of 
selection so that those who shall be sent to the front may 
be best fitted to represent the nation there, and those best 
able to do the work in field and factory, essential to our 
winning at the front, may be retained. We have adopted 
a merit system of selecting from the intelligent and educated 
youth of the country the company officers. The machinery 
of the draft naturally creaked some because it had to be so 
hastily constructed, but on the whole it has worked well. 
Those who devised it and have carried it through are entitled 
to great credit. 

The lessons of the war are being learned and applied in 
our war equipment and in neutralizing, by new construction, 
the submarine destruction of commercial transports. Ade- 
quate measures for the raising of the money needed to 
finance our Allies have been carried through Congress. 



THE MENACE OF A PREMATURE PEACE 97 

Food conservation is provided for. But of course it took 
time for a hundred million of peace lovers and non-mili- 
tarists to get ready, however apt, however patriotic, how- 
ever determined. 

" It is * dogged ' that does it." Reject all proposals of 
peace as ill advised or seditious, and then time will make for 
our certain victory. 

While there has been pro-German sentiment in the United 
States, and while the paid emissaries of Germany have been 
busy trying to create as much opposition to the war as pos- 
sible and have found a number of weak dupes and unin- 
telligent persons, who don't understand the importance of 
the war, to aid them, our Allies should know that the whole 
body of the American people will earnestly support the 
President and Congress in carrying out the measures which 
have been adopted by the United States to win this war. 

When the war is won, the United States will wish to be 
heard and will have a right to be heard as to the terms of 
peace. The United States will insist on a just peace, not 
one of material conquest. It is a moral victory the world 
should win. I think I do not mistake the current of public 
sentiment throughout our entire country in saying that our 
people will favor an international agreement by which the 
peace brought about through such blood and suflFering and 
destruction and enormous sacrifice shall be preserved by the 
joint power of the world. Whether the terms of the League 
to Enforce Peace, as they are, will be taken as a basis for 
agreement, or a modified form, something of the kind must 
be attempted. 

Meantime, let us hope and pray that all the Allies will 
reject proposals for settlement and compromise of every 
nature; that they will adhere rigidly and religiously to the 



98 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

principle that, until a victorious result gives security that 
the world shall not again be drenched in blood through the 
insanely selfish policy of a military caste ruling a deluded 
people intoxicated with material success and power, there 
will be no peace. 



WORLD PEACE DEBATE ^ 

A. Is the Platform of the League to Enforce Peace 
Feasible? 

I 

The platform is not a program to stop the present war. 
It looks to a treaty to be adopted at or after its close. Its 
purpose is to enforce deliberation, impartial investigation 
and judgment of a cause of international quarrel before 
hostilities. It does not seek to enforce the decision after it 
is rendered ; but by making clear to the threatening nations 
and to the world what the real issue is, and what an impartial 
Tribunal thinks about it, the enforced procedure and the 
necessary delay will prevent most wars. 

To make the platform work, the eight or nine great 
Powers should join the League. The weaker nations will 
then be glad to secure the benefit of its protection. Will 
the great belligerent Powers join? Lord Grey and Mr. 
Asquith of Great Britain, M. Briand of France, and Dr. 
Bethmann-Hollweg of Germany are representative of them. 
They have approved the principles of the League. Lord 
Grey says that the war should not end without it. President 

1 Written debate between Mr. Taft and Mr. Bryan during the first 
four months of 191 7. World Peace (Doran). 



WORLD PEACE DEBATE 99 

Wilson, Mr. Hughes and Mr, Lodge uphold it. These 
personal expressions do not bind the Nations; but they 
show that the general plan is feasible and supplies a want 
which the world feels. 

The platform only lays down broad lines. Its machinery 
must be worked out in International Conference. Its feasi- 
bility is not successfully attacked by exceptional hypotheses 
under which it would fail of its purpose. The most practical 
plan of government may thus be shown to be futile. If the 
platform will work in most cases, the value of the result 
justifies its adoption. 

Are the four planks considered in detail feasible ? 

1. A Court to administer international justice is not new. 
Our own Supreme Court is one. Questions arise between 
States not settled by the Federal Constitution or Federal 
statutes. In the Kansas-Colorado case, Congress had no 
power to control Colorado. International Law alone fixed 
the rights between the States; and the Supreme Court en- 
forced these rights. 

Our relations with Canada are such that we settle all 
questions by negotiation or arbitration. We have now two 
permanent Tribunals to decide controversies between us — 
one to adjudge questions of boundary waters like that be- 
tween Kansas and Colorado, and the other to pass upon 
claims of the citizens of one country against the other. We 
have thus contracted the habit of arbitration; and, when 
negotiation fails, no one expects anything else. In our 
League, the quarrelling nations, moved by their obligation, 
sanctioned by the threat of compulsion by their associates, 
will contract the same habit. 

2. There may be, however, political or other irritating 
and threatening issues between nations which cannot be 



lOO TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

settled on principles of law. They are to be submitted under 
the second plank for hearing and recommendation of com- 
promise just as our Fur Seal Arbitration with England. 

3. The third or Force plank gives vitality to the platform. 
It appeals to practical men. It provides for economic 
pressure and a Police Force to hold off members of the 
League from war until the cooling and curative influence of 
the League's judicial procedure may have time to operate, 

No matter how law-abiding a community, neither the 
statutes nor judgments of the Courts enforce themselves so 
as to dispense with police or sheriffs. The latter may be 
called on infrequently to suppress disorder or to remove 
obstruction to judicial decree. The fact that they are 
present, however, in the community, or in the Court, with 
the power to act and the intention to act when necessary, 
stays would-be disturbers or obstructors. Fear of police 
action is usually effective without actual use of force. 
" They also serve who only stand and wait." 

4. No one will doubt the feasibility of the fourth plank. 
Successful Congresses for declaring the principles of Inter- 
national Law and enlarging their scope have been held 
before. Such was the Congress at Paris in 1856 in which 
privateering was abolished. 

The agreement of all the powerful nations of the world 
to unite their armies and their navies to resist the prema- 
ture hostilities of one or more nations against another must 
increase the binding effect of the obligation of the League 
members not to rush into sudden war. The fear of forcible 
restraint would thus, in most cases, render actual resort to it 
unnecessary. 

The League is to be a world alliance. We have had 



WORLD PEACE DEBATE lOI 

precedents of successful alliances for the purpose of protect- 
ing the parties to them against outside attack. In various 
junctures in the past, these alliances have preserved peace. 
The fear of their united force has prevented others from 
attacking a single member. 

Moreover, the binding effect of such alliances has shown 
itself. France, with no interest in Servia, and with the 
danger of being crushed by Germany, keeps the letter of her 
agreement with Russia. England, with no interest in 
Servia, maintains her obligation to Belgium ; while Germany, 
without interest in Servia, upholds her word to Austria. 
Treaties may sometimes be broken; but as the best hope of 
securing international progress, we should not abandon them. 
The fear of another World War, which will lead the great 
Powers into our League, will also lead them to meet its 
obligation. 

II 

The League is not a defensive league against outside 
nations. It does not defend its members against non-mem- 
bers. Its purpose is to furnish a means of keeping peace 
among its own members only. It proposes to secure World 
Peace by attracting to its membership, first, all the Great 
Powers, and then the lesser Powers which will surely follow. 
The logic of circumstances must inevitably force the Great 
Powers engaged in this war to membership. In seeking 
permanent peace, whether they wish it or not, the League 
must be their common goal. 

The Allies proclaim their purpose to be to secure a perma- 
nent basis for peace, safeguarded by practical guaranties, 
that is, of superior force. What is that but the League? 

Germany's Chancellor avows her willingness to join a 



102 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

league to " suppress disturbers of peace." The League is 
only a wise preparation of the members, by organization of 
their united potential force, to frighten from its purpose a 
would-be disturber of the World's Peace, and thus probably 
make the use of actual force unnecessary. 

Germany now proposes peace with suggestion of a limita- 
tion of armaments. In the Hague conferences, Germany 
declined to consider such a limitation. Such a suggestion 
by her now looks necessarily to a continuing '* Bund " to 
exact the limitation. This is only a logical corollary to our 
proposals. Our League must deal with armaments and fix 
a minimum to secure effective joint action. Why not a 
maximum ? 

Again, whether Germany's present proposals are now to 
lead to peace or not, serious negotiations must sometime 
come ; and then conditions will make for a League like ours. 
One of Germany's motives in offering peace is, of course, her 
desire to satisfy her own people that their Government is 
anxious to end their almost unbearable burdens. In Russia, 
the power of control is passing from the Bureaucracy to the 
Council and the Duma. When whole peoples constitute 
the armies and the makers of war supplies, as never before, 
and all of them are enduring the sweat and woe and blood, 
their will determines policies. Otherwise, dynasties fall. 
In all history, no time can find the contending peoples so 
anxious for guaranties of permanent peace as at the end 
of this war. Lord Grey's words, that the war cannot and 
should not end without such a League, will find an echo 
in all their hearts. 

It is these circumstances that make the League feasible. 
Difficulties are suggested. They concern the detail of 
operation rather than the main principles. If the nations 



i. 



WORLD PEACE DEBATE IO3 

are determined to create such a League, as they will be, they 
can arrange the. details. 

Of course, a council or other joint body of representatives 
of the League must act in case of strained relations between 
League members. It will naturally use diplomatic pressure 
to prevent a rupture. Such a body in negotiation with them 
will have excellent opportunity to learn which of the con- 
testants intends a breach of its plighted faith. Upon the 
decision of such a council, all members of the League, in 
compliance with the third article, will withhold commerce or 
dealing with the recalcitrant. A boycott of this kind would 
be a powerful deterrent weapon and probably make resort 
to force unnecessary. 

But it is said that force is not a feasible means of securing 
and maintaining peace. To say so is to ignore history and 
experience, domestic and international. Fear of forcible 
restraint and punishment is often an indispensable motive to 
strengthen moral impulse to obey the law and follow the 
right. That it may not be needed by some does not render 
it safe to dispense with it in the case of others. If we need 
restraint to keep men in paths of peace and law, why not 
nations ? Nations are only men united in communities ; and 
they have not the moral self-restraint of the average man. 
Force used for selfish, vicious or improper ends is, of course, 
to be deplored. But is there any method of defeating force 
used for such ends, except superior force threatened or 
applied for the common good? Has force, or fear of it, 
never done any good among the nations ? What was it that 
kept Louis XIV's greedy hand out of the Spanish Nether- 
lands but the fear of the league of England, Holland and 
Sweden? What was it that stopped Napoleon in his mad 
lust for universal domination but a league of all Europe, 



I04 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

welded by England, against him? The fact that, after the 
Napoleonic wars, this league degenerated, as the Holy Alli- 
ance, into a selfish plot of an inner ring to promote the divine 
right of kings, does not detract from the useful purpose it 
originally served. What was it but force that cut out the 
cancer of slavery in our body politic? What was it but 
force that freed Cuba from oppression? Have men changed 
since these wars, that force or fear of force is not now 
needed at times to help a just cause to prevail? 

Before the present war, the Triple Alliance on the one side 
and the Triple Entente on the other, divided Europe into 
two vast and powerful camps ; and men spoke of their pro- 
moting peace on the theory that one sword would keep the 
other in its scabbard. These leagues did for a time prevent 
attack upon single members; but ultimately they failed. 
This war was precipitated because they were divided against 
each other; and there were other motives in their main- 
tenance than a mere preservation of peace. Their failure 
offers no argument against the feasibility and success of our 
League. Its members could not organize separate leagues 
and be honest or consistent members of ours. The League's 
simple plan of unity of power, with but one purpose of 
forcibly maintaining World Peace by deliberation, hearing 
and decision before hostilities, distinguishes it in its aim 
and practical moderation from all others. 

HI 

Mr. Bryan objects that if only a part of the nations 
entered the League, there would ensue a test of military 
strength between the League group of nations and other 
groups. This objection finds no warrant in our plan because 



WORLD PEACE DEBATE IO5 

the League deals not at all with non-members, but only with 
differences between League members. Of course, if but a 
part of the nations consented to join the League, the plan 
would not work. To be useful and accomplish its purpose, 
it must have world membership. In my last paper, I showed 
why it would have this, because the great Powers now in war, 
and then the lesser Powers, would and must seek such a 
League when peace comes. 

Mr. Bryan objects that confidence in the armed support 
of the League would prompt a League member to acts 
rendering peaceful settlement impossible and precipitating 
war. This rests on the same misconception as to the 
League's attitude toward non-members. As between mem- 
bers, such motive would be slight. The Council of the 
League, in using diplomatic pressure to prevent a rupture 
between two members, would have full opportunity to know 
and report which was really forcing hostilities; and the 
League would act accordingly. 

He also objects to a League with force in it because we 
have already made thirty-one treaties agreeing to investiga- 
tion before war which contain no provision for force. An 
agreement for investigation and orderly procedure before 
war and a subsequent agfreement providing a world police 
force to compel such procedure are not inconsistent. 

Mr. Bryan asks what is meant by " economic pressure.*' 
I answer — a boycott of the unruly nation — an embargo 
threatened or imposed by all the members of the League on 
their trade with the recalcitrant member. Such an embargo 
must of necessity accompany war, because war means the 
cessation of commerce between the belligerent parties. ' The 
boycott or embargo may, however, precede war and prevent 
it. This is the part which it is intended to play in our plan. 



I06 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

Mr. Bryan's whole argument thus far against the League 
is an argument against the evils of war. But I submit this 
is not to the point if war persists. The use of force to sup- 
press a small war, however undesirable, is better than a 
world war, and is justified in avoiding it. Mr. Bryan says, 
" Why not test the friendship plan among nations ? " His- 
tory has oftentimes tested it and found that it did not work. 
While peaceful means of avoiding war are becoming more 
successful than in the past, the present war has convinced the 
world that a plan for the peaceful settlement of international 
quarrels will be more certainly effective if the nations of the 
world unite in their own interest to compel the working of 
the plan. The present war has brought home to them their 
deep interest in stopping every war, however remote, in order 
to prevent the conflagration s spread. 

Mr. Bryan says that force breeds violence and cites the 
useful change from the time when all men carried weapons 
to the time when they gave up the practice. The instance is 
not helpful to his argument. Men gave up weapons when 
they could rely on the police, exercising the force of the 
community, to protect them against violence. By analogy, 
if our plan becomes effective, it will offer a strong induce- 
ment to limit armaments — a proposal that Germany has 
already unofficially given out. 

Would Mr. Bryan dispense with the police in city, state 
and nation? Does he think a state or national prohibition 
law would enforce itself without the arrest of offenders and 
their restraint and punishment? Will "the friendship 
plan," without any public force in the background, work 
well in any of our communities, however law-abiding? If 
not, why should it among the nations ? 

I agree that the analogy between the domestic police force 



WORLD PEACE DEBATE 107 

and the union of the forces of the nations of the world is 
not complete because of the difficulty of effective interna- 
tional cooperation ; but the essential principle which justifies 
and requires the use of force in each case is the same, to 
wit, that all the people have a right and duty to exert their 
united force to suppress violence between individuals dis- 
turbing the community, and that all nations have a right 
and duty to use their united forces to suppress a disturbance 
of international peace which may involve the whole world. 

Mr. Bryan questions whether the President's words or 
those of Mr. Hughes, in respect to the League, are suf- 
ficiently specific to justify my use of them. They were used 
by the speakers with the League's proposals in mind, not 
only to approve them all, but especially the third or force 
proposal, which is the one to which Mr. Bryan chiefly 
objects. 

Of course, if the United States or any other nation is to 
join the League, its principles will be embodied in a treaty 
with all the necessary working details. This treaty should 
not be ratified unless it is approved, after full knowledge 
and consideration of the details, not only by the treaty-mak- 
ing agency of each power, but also by the gfreat body of its 
people and its legislature or congress, upon whom must fall 
the serious burden of performance of the treaty obligations. 
This would be needed to give assurance that the League 
would really hold the nations when the strain comes. 

B. Does the League Platform Offer the Most Practical 
Plan for Securing Permanent Peace? 

IV 

Is the platform of the League the most practical plan for 
securing permanent peace after the war? 



I08 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

Should the League attempt more than it does ? Should it 
enforce the judgments of the Court and the recommenda- 
tions for compromise by the Commission? The two must 
be distinguished. A judgment between nations, like a 
domestic judgment, might be enforced. But nations will 
reasonably object to final submission of vital interests to 
the discretion of arbitrators, however impartial, in recom- 
mending compromise of an issue not covered by principles 
of law. The Supreme Court of the United States renders 
and enforces judgments between the States on justiciable 
issues ; but, although given broad authority to hear " con- 
troversies between States," it refuses to decide issues not 
involving the application of principles of law. They must 
be settled by agreement or go unsettled. A judgment binds 
the parties in honor to its terms. This helps to secure 
acquiescence. But a recommendation of compromise im- 
plies no such moral sanction. The League has deemed it 
best not to attempt the enforcement of either judgments or 
compromises. It is wise for it not to try too much, lest 
being over ambitious, it fail. 

There are said to be wrongs which only war can remedy. 
If so, our plan does not prevent such a remedy. It enforces 
investigation, discussion, deliberation and impartial decision 
before war is begun and avoids most wars. If a war be- 
tween members of the League is inevitable and necessary, 
the delay secured will enable the remainder of the League 
to hedge it about so as not to permit its spread. 

Is a plan without force in it more practical than that of 
the League? It is not practical at all because the present 
belligerent powers could not be induced to adopt it. They 
demand effective guaranties of future peace. They will not 
trust to the security of a League which depends for its main- 



WORLD PEACE DEBATE IO9 

tenance of peace on the mere promises of its members to abide 
a judicial settlement. In their minds, nothing will be effec- 
tive which will not unite the superior force of all for the 
common good to secure the world against the aggression of 
reckless and faithless disturbers of its peace. Without such 
a result, the war will, in their view, have been fought in vain. 

The psychological effect of this war upon the world has 
not been to vindicate the purely non-resistant pacifists or to 
increase their number. It has been to increase " the militant 
pacifists," to use a paradox, who are now willing to consent 
to the use of force if it be directed to the maintenance of the 
just peace of the world. 

Mr. Bryan objects to the obligation of every member of 
the League to be ready to do its share in creating the police 
force. What good could come from a police force if it had 
to be organized after the riot alarm was turned in? Each 
nation, therefore, must know what force it should furnish, 
and should in good faith keep in a state of reasonable 
preparation to respond to a call. The share of each member 
will have to be generally prescribed in the fundamental 
agreement of the League, and must vary in number and 
kind with the geographical location and resources of the 
member and other circumstances. A self-respecting nation, 
bound jointly with others to constitute an international 
police force, may agree without the least sacrifice of dignity, 
to keep ready a force to fulfil its obligation. It could well 
afford to do so, because the security afforded by the joint 
forces of the League will reduce the reasonable preparation 
needed for its own defence. 

Mr. Bryan insists that our League with its obligation will 
increase armaments. On the contrary, it will reduce them 
and the taxes necessary to maintain them. Indeed the work- 



I JO TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

ing out of our plan must inevitably furnish the strongest 
motive for an agreement to reduce and limit armaments, in 
accord with the intimation of Germany already referred to. 

Mr. Bryan objects to the surrender by each member of 
its control over its own military and naval policy. If so, 
he objects to the reduction and limitation of maximum 
armaments supervised by the League, — a plan which I sup- 
posed had the approval of the most extreme pacifists. Every 
treaty between two nations which accomplishes any good 
involves a surrender on the part of each of some right which 
it is willing to limit to accomplish a greater benefit. 

The fear, expressed by Mr. Bryan and others that such 
a league would degenerate into a trap for the peaceful 
nations, causing them to serve the purpose of designing and 
ambitious warlike members, has little to justify it. The 
unity, strength and permanence of the League must depend 
on its justice and fairness. The perversion of its high 
purpose, shown in the action of any group attempting its 
control, must inevitably and promptly lead to its dissolution. 

A league for judicial settlement of international disputes 
without force would prove a step forward ; but it would be 
far short of our League in efficacy and scope. It would 
cover only questions of legal nature. Many issues likely 
to provoke war would not come within its scope. The 
element of force in our League gives it an advantage not 
measured solely by the sanction it adds to its obligations. 
It will give to every member of the League a sense of respon- 
sibility for the peace of the world. It will create a union of 
interest among the members, wholly absent in a league for 
judicial settlement in which a refusal to submit to the court 
concerns only the refusing member and its opponent and 
involves the other members of the league in no responsibility. 



k 



WORLD PEACE DEBATE III 



Our League, through the active and stimulated concern of 
every member in the continuing friendship of all, would 
bring the nations much nearer to " the Parliament of Man 
and the Federation of the World." 



V 

Mr. Bryan suggests a League of Nations of which the 
members agree to delay war for a year of investigation and 
report by a permanent tribunal. This is on the basis of the 
stipulations of treaties negotiated by him as Secretary of 
State with thirty-one separate nations. Our League's pro- 
posals recognize the value of delay and investigation in 
avoiding hotheaded resort to war. But Mr. Bryan's plan 
did not include a judgment by a Court or a recommendation 
of compromise by a Commission. Thus he has advanced 
some, but little. He suggests that an arbitral judgment or 
recommendation after investigation and hearing is less likely 
to secure a peaceful adjustment than a mere investigation 
and report without conclusion and decision. This is not 
sound. The decision of an impartial tribunal must always 
be of some moral weight in securing from the disputing 
parties peaceful acquiescence in a settlement. He says that 
investigators will appeal to the reason and sense of justice 
of the parties, while arbitrators, in dealing with parties 
bound to abide their decision, are not so likely to do so. On 
the contrary, the most searching and just criticism of inter- 
national arbitrations is that their judgments are com- 
promises, intended to appeal to the acquiescence of the 
parties, rather than straight decisions on principles of law. 

Mr. Bryan urges that a treaty obligation of two nations to 
maintain a period of delay and investigation before hos- 



112 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

tilities, is inconsistent with a compact of all other nations 
forcibly to require the two nations to keep their engagement 
Why should this make the delay and investigation less likely 
than when dependent on the naked promises of the two 
nations in the heat of quarrel ? How is the insistence of all 
other nations upon the delay likely to create war between 
the quarrelling nations? Mr. Bryan says "the League to 
Enforce Peace violates the spirit of our treaty plan; it 
would send forth a dove of peace, to be sure, but its dove 
would carry a sword instead of an olive branch." With 
deference, this is mere rhetoric. It is not dealing with facts 
as they are, or with human nature as it is. I f it be a logical 
argument, then the presence of a policeman in a community 
to arrest law breakers and of a court to ptmish them violates 
the spirit of the law which all are under a moral obligation 
to obey. Mr. Bryan says that when two neighbors fall out 
they call in their friends and allow time for investigation 
and friendly advice, each party reserving the right of inde- 
pendent action after the conference, and that the prospect of 
settlement is much lessened if the conference is opened with 
a display of weapons. This is not the usual way of settling 
such disputes, but assume that it is. Would Mr. Bryan con- 
tend that the prospect of a settlement would be improved if 
the disputants knew that, in their failure to agree, there were 
no law and no courts and no police to enforce their mutual 
rights and duties? In our League to Enforce Peace, there 
is no display of weapons by one party to the controversy 
against the other. The element of world force in the third 
article is no more obtrusive and no more provocative of 
temper or heat than the machinery of justice in the domestic 
environment of the two supposed neighbors. 

There is no proof of the feasibility of Mr. Bryan's World 



WORLD PEACE DEBATE II3 

League in his thirty-one treaties between other nations and 
the United States. Many, but not all, nations were willing 
to sign such treaties because they were revocable within a 
short period, and because they were made with the United 
States which is notoriously unprepared for war. They 
would, doubtless, decline to make such an agreement with 
their immediate and powerful neighbors; and no such 
treaties have been made between other important nations. 
Mr. Bryan says that all nations would enter such a League 
if they would enter ours. On the contrary, the sanction of 
the world's united command in securing performance of the 
promises under our League will induce nations to yield their 
power to strike at once for their rights in the confidence that 
any opponent, however tricky or faithless, will not be per- 
mitted to take advantage of their concession. What the 
belligerent nations, in ending this war, are yearning for is 
a guaranty of peace, not only in the promise of each nation 
but in the assurance of the sanction of a superior force of all 
for the common good to compel observance of its promise. 
Mr. Bryan's proposal in this aspect would seem to them a 
rope of sand ; and they would have none of it as a practical 
object in ending the war. 

Mr. Bryan thinks that the present war demonstrates the 
fallacy of what he calls *' peace by terrorism." What the 
present war really demonstrates is the truth of the conclusion 
of Immanuel Kant, the great philosopher, that universal 
peace cannot be expected until the world is politically organ- 
ised, that is, until the nations of the world use the prestige 
and force of all for the common good to suppress disturbers 
of peace. The League to Enforce Peace, if it becomes an 
accomplished fact, will be a step in this world political organ- 
ization. 



114 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

Mr. Bryan's League would be nothing but a series of 
treaties between *' couples "of nations. If two nations fell 
out, the nations of the world other than the disputants, 
would have no active function except to watch the two 
quarrelling nations keep or break their promises to wait a 
year. There would be no " political organization " oi the 
world to preserve and secure peace. Our League makes 
every member active and selfishly interested in maintaining 
peace to escape the burden of acting as policeman. Thus we 
have the " team work " of the world. 



VI 

Mr. Bryan proposes four plans which he thinks more 
practical than that of our League. The first one I have 
already considered. 

The second is a World Court, in which all nations are to 
be represented, to consider and decide justiciable issues, and 
to investigate and make findings on non- justiciable issues, 
the judgment or finding to be enforceable only by the parties. 
This is similar to the first two proposals of our League, with 
the force article left out. There is no sanction, beyond its 
agreement, that any nation will delay hostilities until hear- 
ing and judgment. It does not differ from Mr. Bryan's 
first proposal except that his tribunal gives a decision here ; 
and, in his first, it did not. This is an improvement; but, 
with that exception, it is open to the same objections. It 
lacks the essential quality of world organization and pressure 
for peace. It is a mere combination of separate treaties of 
arbitration between every two nations. This suggestion of 
force adds nothing. The optional use of force by one party 
to an arbitration to compel performance by the other of an 



WORLD PEACE DEBATE II5 

award would be implied. Mr. Bryan says, "If the nations 
agreed to such a plan, the chances against war would be 
a hundred to one, if not a thousand to one." Mr. Bryan's 
*' If " is a formidable obstacle. The view of both the Allies 
and the Central Powers, shown in the peace correspondence, 
is clear. They both demand sanctions of force. Germany 
will enter a league to suppress disturbers of peace. The 
Allies declare in favor of " international agreements imply- 
ing the sanctions necessary to insure their execution and thus 
prevent an apparent security from only facilitating new 
aggressions." Lloyd George, in his Guildhall speech on 
January i ith, said : " The peace and security for peace 
will be that the nations will band themselves together to 
punish the first peace breaker who comes out. As to the 
armies of Europe, every weapon will be a sword of justice 
in the Government of men ; every army will be a constabulary 
of peace." 

Mr. Bryan's third plan is that all the nations shall agree 
to a referendum before declaring war. Mr. Bryan can 
hardly think that the Great Powers, Russia, Germany, 
France, England, Austria, Japan and Italy, or any of them, 
whose consent is necessary to form as effective league, would 
agree not to begin a war until the question should be left to 
a vote of their respective electorates and an affirmative vote 
given. If not, his proposal is not feasible. Suppose the 
electorate of one country decides for war and that of the 
other does not. Shall another vote be taken? In which 
country ? Or shall it be in both ? The difficulty in answer- 
ing these questions shows how chimerical the proposal is, 
and how ill adapted to the settlement of a pressing interna- 
tional issue between two governments. The Federal Con- 



Il6 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

stitution gives to Congress the power to declare war. 
Without amendment, Mr. Bryan's proposal could not be 
seriously entertained. Such an amendment is not likely 
before this war ends. 

As a fourth plan, Mr. Bryan suggests a reduction of arma- 
ments. We all strongly favor this. But Mr. Bryan offers 
no plan for securing and maintaining the reduction. Until 
all strongly-armed nations reduce their armaments, every 
wise nation will insist on providing and maintaining an 
armament enabling it to make effective defence against the 
possible unlawful aggression of any other armed nation. 
A general reduction of armaments is entirely impractical 
under a league unless the league offers to each country a 
security of peace equivalent to the armament it abandons. 
I have already pointed out that Germany has expressed a 
willingness to consent to a limitation of armament The 
Allies, in their answer to President Wilson, have intimated 
that agreements as to armament should be one of the 
sanctions of a secure peace. How is the reduction to be con- 
tinuously maintained unless by the united and enforceable 
command of all the members of the League? An agreed 
reduction of armament is a corollary to our League's pro- 
posals, because a world compact embodying them will fur- 
nish the security to each nation it requires, and justify a 
lessening of its self -protection. But Mr. Bryan suggests no 
such security. 

Mr. Bryan, irrelevantly, as it seems to me, charges that 
all army and navy officers, including our own, "make it 
their business to imperil peace." This is prompted by their 
insistence on due preparedness. Applied to our officers, it 
is a grave injustice to a fine body of men, fully imbued with 
the true American spirit of subordination of the military 



WORLD PEACE DEBATE II7 

to the civil. If war were to come, our sudden sense of de- 
pendence on their tried skill, courage and high patriotism 
would cause us deep humiliation for such words, uttered 
merely because they had warned their countrymen truly. 

The practical advantage of the League is in its organizing 
the political, economic and military forces of the world to 
command resort to impartial tribunals for the decision and 
settlement of all irritating questions between nations before 
they begin war. The educational effect of this practice will 
accustom them to such a mode of settlement. 

They will acquire the habit of arbitration as Canada and 
the United States have done. The sanction of world force, 
though present, will thus become less compulsive upon the 
nations ; and they will, as a matter of due course, as a habit 
and by preference, seek only a peaceful form. 

C. Should the United States Become a Member of the 
League to Enforce Peace? 

VII 

The war in Europe will have weakened all nations engaged 
in it by the loss of the flower of their youth and by the 
destruction of industries and homes in the thousands of 
miles in its train, the cost of the rehabilitation of which can 
hardly be measured. The belligerents will stagger under 
a stupendous debt and interest charge. The primacy of the 
United States among the nations of the world will thus 
become clearer than it ever was ; and this, taken with its real 
neutrality, must give it a great influence in a council of na- 
tions which can and ought to be exerted for the world's 
benefit. Its advocacy of such a League will strongly make 



Il8 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

for its acceptance by the other Great Powers, but only on 
condition that it becomes a member and bears its share of 
the risk and receives its share of the benefit of membership. 

Our wealth in the last three years has been added to by 
billions in the profits that have been reaped from the sale of 
war material and war equipment to the nations of Europe 
and thus from the blood and the suffering of the people of 
these stricken countries. We had the right to take advan- 
tage of the situation for which we were not responsible; but 
the fact should make us sensitive to our duty when occasion 
and opportunity arise for us to help our brethern of Europe 
to avoid a recurrence of such woe. We have been blessed 
beyond any other nation. Our good fortune seems to have 
no limit. We shall not be worthy of it unless we recognize 
our responsibility and run our share of risk in securing the 
world from a return of the scourge visiting it now. Of 
course, the first duty of a nation is to its own people and 
to itself ; and it should not, out of a mere ideal of self-sac- 
rifice, endanger the integrity of its government or its civiliza- 
tion. But it has a duty as a member of the family of 
nations ; and that duty is commensurate with its power for 
good to the world. 

Moreover the risk which the United States would run in 
joining such a League should not be exaggerated. If the 
United States makes adequate preparation, as it intends to 
do, to defend itself against the unlawful aggression of any 
nation, the army and navy which it has projected will furnish 
ample constabulary force to fill any quota which may be 
allotted to it in the formation of the world police to suppress 
the beginnings of war in violation of the regulations of the 
League. 



^ 



WORLD PEACE DEBATE I I9 

In the preliminary conference as to the proposals of the 
League, one member present put this question to another : 
Would you be willing that your boy, the apple of your eye 
and the pride of your heart, should lay down his life in a 
struggle over a question between Servia and Austria in 
which America has no concern? The answer was: "If 
the suppression of that struggle by the police force of the 
world would prevent a spread of the local fire into a general 
world conflagration, my boy's life could not be sacrificed in 
a higher cause." It is the duty of the United States, in its 
own interest and in the interest of mankind, to lead the 
nations into a League to Enforce Peace. 

VIII 

Washington's advice has no application to the League. 
The alliances which he condemned were like that with France 
during the Revolution because of which we were called on 
twenty years later to serve the selfish motive of our ally. 
Jefferson advocated a permanent alliance with Great Britain 
to maintain the Monroe Doctrine. Our League is a league 
of all nations to support the selfish purposes of none. It 
has only one object : to prevent unnecessary wars. 

The Monroe Doctrine rests ultimately on force. The 
traditions of ninety-three years strengthen it; but the Zim- 
mermann note advises us that they may not be sufficient. 
Indeed our interests the world over require us to protect 
and maintain them. Our enormous trade with all the 
countries of Europe makes it most difficult, in a European 
war, to preserve our rights and interests as neutrals, and is 
most likely to involve us in the war. We are now on the 



120 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

brink of hostilities with Germany. Why, then, should 
Washington's advice be controlling, advice given us in a day 
of small things, based on an isolation and a remoteness from 
the rest of the world which has ceased ? Our coming war 
with Germany demonstrates, from the selfish point of view 
alone, the wisdom of our joining in a world movement to 
prevent the recurrence of another European war, even 
though it imposes on us the burden of contributing our quota 
to an international police force. 

But Mr. Bryan says that in joining the League we would 
abandon the Monroe Doctrine. The Monroe Doctrine, 
shortly described, is our national policy of preventing, by 
protest and by force if necessary, any non- American Power 
from subverting any independent American government and 
from colonizing, by such means or by purchase, American 
territory under a government of its own. Our reason for 
maintaining the Doctrine is that we think such a course by 
a non-American Power would endanger our interests. The 
Doctrine does not rest on International Law. Should a 
question arise as to its enforcement between us and a non- 
American Power, therefore, it would be non- justiciable and 
must go to the Commission under the second article for a 
recommendation of compromise in which we would not be 
bound in honor to acquiesce. We would then have the same 
opportunity to maintain the Doctrine by force as if there 
were no league. Under the thirty-one treaties of Mr. 
Bryan, we would now have to abide a year of investigation 
before using force. The disadvantage to us, if any, of 
delay, therefore, will certainly be no greater under the terms 
of the League. 

Instead of hampering our maintenance of the Doctrine, 
the League would help us in any case where its violation 



WORLD PEACE DEBATE 121 

might be attempted, for by the terms of the League, the non- 
American Power must submit its cause for hearing to one 
of the Tribunals of the League before hostilities; and, if it 
failed to do so, we could summon the international police 
force to drive it off American shores. 

But it is said that, if we mix in European politics to the 
extent required by this League, we cannot exclude European 
Powers from taking part in those of this hemisphere. 
There is nothing in the League requiring us or authorizing 
us to participate in the internal politics of any European 
country or to do other than to use our good offices to prevent 
a war between any two of such countries. We arc to fur- 
nish our quota to suppress a premature war between them. 
They are to exercise the same functions in this hemisphere. 
In what respect does that violate the Monroe Doctrine? 
The League does not enable us nor authorize us to acquire 
and colonize territory in Europe by purchase or conquest 
any more than it authorizes a European nation to do so on 
this side ; and that is all the Monroe Doctrine forbids. 

Mr. Bryan suggests that we should not join a World 
League because our citizens of foreign nativity would divide 
in their sympathies as between European nations. If our 
foreign policies, needed for our protection and for that of 
the world, are to be abandoned because of race prejudice in 
a comparatively small group of our foreign-born citizens, we 
have failed in our experiment of naturalization. I cannot 
acquiesce in such a view. This would indeed be a humiliat- 
ing surrender to the so-called " hyphen." 

IX 

Mr. Bryan's eighth article commends the attitude of the 
President in his message read to the United States Senate on 



122 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

January 22nd. I have altogether misinterpreted the notes 
of the President to the belligerent powers, his speech at the 
dinner of the League to Enforce Peace in May, 1916, as 
well as the message of January 22nd last, if he has not, in 
all of these, intended to approve the general principles of our 
League. His reference to " the major force of the world " 
was certainly an approval of the political organization of the 
world to the extent of creating an international police force 
to secure compliance with a peaceable procedure for the set- 
tlement of international questions likely otherwise to lead to 
war. Mr. Bryan's citation of the President as authority 
does not sustain his contention. 

.. ....•• 

The question who shall command the joint military force 
in a campaign is not material, provided it be understood in 
advance, as it must be, what the purpose of the campaign is. 
The United States has had no difficulty in the past in acting 
with other nations to carry out a common purpose of a mili- 
tary character, as the taking of Pekin by the Allied force 
during the Boxer trouble proves. Nations have acted 
together often in history; and the question who shall have 
the military command or how the joint armies should be 
directed is a practical military question to be agreed upon by 
the joint powers in war council. The purpose of League 
campaigns would be settled by the terms of the League 
before the mobilization begins. It would be to restrain the 
warlike activities of a nation unlawfully breaking a peace 
to which it is pledged. To characterize this as placing the 
destiny of the toiling millions of the United States in the 
hands of aliens for their selfish purposes is to reveal a com- 
plete misunderstanding of the normal operation of the 
League. The United States retains complete control of its 



WORLD PEACE DEBATE 1 23 

forces and can withdraw them whenever the lawful and com- 
mendable purpose of preserving the peace of the world shall 
cease to be the object of the military campaign. 

• ••••••« 

Those who are promoting the League are not committed 
to any particular means by which the necessary military 
preparation shall be secured. Personally, I favor universal 
compulsory military training, for a year, of our youth 
between the ages of nineteen and twenty- four as the most 
effective and most democratic plan that can be adopted. It 
will fall equally upon the rich and poor. It will give a year 
of valuable disciplinary education to our youth who need it 
much. It will furnish a citizenship from which we can stun- 
mon a trained army to defend our country. I repeat, how- 
ever, this is not a part of the League plan. 

The war with Germany which we now face, after every 
effort to escape it and when our national conscience is wholly 
void of offence toward her, is a sufficient answer to Mr. 
Bryan's view that love is all that is needed to make effective 
a world league to insure peace. If this war teaches us any- 
thing, it is that our civilization has not advanced beyond 
the time when the major force of the world is sometimes 
needed for defense against selfish greed and ambition on the 
part of nations. If we fail to prepare ourselves to defend 
our rights against lawless aggression by ruthless military and 
naval power, we are blind to the simplest lessons of current 
history. If we can avail ourselves of the same preparation 
to do our part in defending the peace of the world, should 
we not seize the opportunity ? 



124 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 



We have now reached the end of the discussion. This 
tenth article offers an opportunity for a summary of the 
positions taken in the previous papers. The program of 
the League looks to a treaty binding all nations to adopt, in 
the settlement of controversies likely to lead to war between 
them, a peaceable procedure for the hearing and decision 
of issues capable of being settled on principles of law and 
of issues that may not be so settled. It does not attempt 
to enforce the decisions. The aim of the League is, by 
elucidation of the facts and arguments on both sides of the 
issue and by a decision of it by an impartial tribunal, to 
practice nations in the art of settling irritating questions by 
judicial investigation and conclusion. The example of our 
relations with Canada and the constant use of arbitration to 
settle our difficulties — which has become a habit — offer a 
precedent from which we believe that, when such a proced- 
ure is enforced, it will train all nations to adopt it rather 
than to resort to war. . . . The force of the world is to be 
used to compel nations to adopt this procedure before resort- 
ing to hostilities. ... A pacifist who will admit a police- 
man to be a proper official in the community yields the whole 
case against the creation of an international police force in 
our League. 

Mr. Bryan attempts to meet this argument by saying that 
the analogy is misleading and uses these words : 

" The nations cannot, in fairness, be likened to criminals, 
although we often describe their public acts as criminal, especially 
in time of war. The criminal is one who intentionally violates 
a law duly enacted by those having authority to make laws. He 
disregards an obligation confessedly binding upon him; and the 



WORLD PEACE DEBATE 1 25 

policeman, acting for the outraged community, arrests the guilty 
party and brings him before the bar of justice. There is no in- 
ternational law-making power; and, if such a law-making power 
existed, there are certain questions upon which it would not as- 
sume to act — certain questions upon which each nation, whether 
large or small, is conceded the right to decide for itself without 
regard to the views or interests of other nations. Our arbitra^ 
tion treaties, the most advanced in the world, contain excep- 
tions, questions of honor, questions of independence, vital in- 
terests and the interests of third parties. These questions are 
not to be submitted to arbitration; and yet these are the very 
questions out of which wars grow." 

Of all men in the world, Mr. Bryan, by reason of his 
general views, is the one least entitled to put forth these 
reasons in order to escape the analogy of state police. No 
one has spoken more eloquently against war as a crime than 
Mr. Bryan. No one has upheld more fully international 
law as a binding force upon the nations. International law 
is the law of nations agreed to between the nations and 
deriving its sanction from their general acquiescence. A 
nation which violates international law is a criminal before 
the bar. The exceptions from our existing treaties of arbi- 
tration of questions of vital interest and national honor, to 
which Mr. Bryan refers, were exceptions which were not 
recognized in the unratified general arbitration treaties made 
with France and Great Britain which Mr. Bryan approved 
and to which he gave effective support. More than that, 
the Senate itself did not seek, in its proposed amendments, 
to except questions of honor and vital interest from arbitra- 
tion. Mr. Bryan's distinction is a forced one and has no 
foundation, certainly as applied to the plan of the League 
to Enforce Peace. The treaty forming the League is an 
agreement by all nations to comply with its stipulations and 



126 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

not only to comply with its stipulations, but, in case of non- 
compliance by any member, to contribute their quotas to an 
international police to restrain and punish that member for 
non-compliance. In other words, it furnishes an interna- 
tional constitution. It creates an international law and 
denounces as a crime violation of the legal obligations into 
which the nations voluntarily enter. The very object of 
the League is to organize the world politically; and that 
means to enact law and to provide for its enforcement 
I submit that the analogy of the state police is not only a fair 
one but a clinching and convincing one in showing the funda- 
mental fallacy and error of those who have the international 
pacifist views of Mr. Bryan and still are in favor of a state 
and city police. 

That the League is practical may be inferred from the 
approval which its general principles have received from the 
leading statesmen of the Great Powers in answer to direct 
questions upon the subject, and also in official expression 
in the correspondence between President Wilson and the 
belligerent Powers engaged in the present war. It is prac- 
tical because there is precedent for every detail in the League, 
and because it embodies the elemental principle of govern- 
ment: as it should be in city, state, and nation and in the 
world: to wit, the organization of the force of all to sup- 
press lawless force of the few. The lines upon which the 
League has been framed are very general ; the plan is only 
a working hypothesis. That it may be changed in inter- 
national conference in detail goes without saying. But that 
it furnishes a broad and correct foundation for the political 
organization of the world, as Kant foresaw it, I submit, is 
clear. 
The United States should enter the League ; first, because 



^ 



WORLD PEACE DEBATE 12J 

of all nations in the world, it wishes to avoid war and to 
make it as remote as possible ; second, because its interests 
have now become so world-wide and it has become so close 
a neighbor of all the Great Powers of Europe and of Asia 
that a general war must involve the United States. It is 
therefore of the highest importance to the United States, 
viewed from the standpoint of self-interest, to secure the 
joint effort of the world to prevent such a war or to confine 
it to a local struggle. The present difficulty with Germany is 
a most striking demonstration of the danger in which the 
United States will be involved in every general war in the 
future, struggle as it may to escape being drawn in. 
.. •••••• 

Nor does the League involve the delegation to an inter- 
national council, in which the United States has but one 
vote, of the power to hurry this country into war. The 
President and the Senate sign the treaty of the League and 
bind the United States to its obligations. Congress is the 
authority which will decide whether the fact exists, calling 
for action by the United States, and then will take such 
action as the obligation requires. Should the purpose of 
the International Police under the League be perverted to 
anything other than enforcing the peaceable procedure in the 
settlement of international controversies. Congress will have 
full power to withdraw the United States forces and decline 
further to take part in the proceedings. 

..■*.•.• 

With the blessings which God has showered on this 
country, it should not hesitate to help the world and the 
family of nations to protect itself against the recurrence of 
such an awful disaster and retrograde movement in Christian 
civilization as the present war. 



128 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

XI 

Since this discussion began, and indeed since the tenth 
paper was written, the plot of the world drama now being 
enacted has developed with startling rapidity. Even as we 
have been arguing, a World League to Enforce Peace has 
been formed; and the United States has taken its proper 
place therein. The absolutism of Russia has toppled over 
in the twinkling of an eye ; and the Russia people have taken 
charge. Germany, in a ruthless disregard of the rights of 
American citizens, has forced the United States, as a self- 
respecting nation, to take up the sword against her. The 
United States is thus driven into an alHance with the Entente 
Allies. The democracies of Russia, Italy, France, England 
and the United States are now engaged in a death struggle 
with the dynasties of the Hohenzollerns and the Hapsburgs 
to end the only substantial military absolutism remaining in 
the world. Military dynasties are a threat against the peace 
of the world. With their lust for power and the selfish 
considerations that affect their policies, their respect for the 
solemn obligations of a treaty are much less than that of 
democracies. Democracies are not perfect in their sense of 
justice, in the certainty of peaceful policies, nor in their exact 
observance of treaty obligations; but they are a vast im- 
provement in these respects over an autocracy dependent on 
military force. 

The Prussian autocracy of Germany is the great interna- 
tional criminal. It has sacrificed honor; it has murdered 
men and women and has, in numberless ways, violated with 
ruthless cruelty the principles of international law to accom- 
plish its dynastic purposes. It has dragged its allies with 
it, and made them participes criminis. The League of the 



WORLD PEACE DEBATE 1 29 

United States and the Entente Allies, and the Central and 
South American countries that may join us, is an organiza- 
tion of world power to visit destruction on the dynasties 
whose continued existence constitutes an obstruction to Law 
and Peace. We are properly separating the Hohenzollems 
and the Hapsburgs, from the great German people and the 
great people of the Dual Monarchy. If we succeed, as we 
must, the war, dreadful as it has been in the losses and suf- 
fering it has entailed, painful and destructive as it is likely 
to be, will be worth all it cost. It will make the future of 
the world depend upon the rule of the peoples of the world, 
will exalt the reign of international justice, and will organize 
the joint forces of the world to maintain it. With the Ger- 
man and the Austrian and Hungarian peoples on the one 
hand, and the American, English, French, Italian and 
Russian peoples on the other, in an international conference, 
none will hesitate to enter a League to Enforce Peace. The 
popular character of all the governments, in and of itself, 
will render war between them less probable, will give greater 
sanction to their promises, and will make more practical and 
less burdensome a League having for its purpose compulsory 
procedure for the settlement of irritating international dis- 
putes. 

" Whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad." 
The people of the United States, immersed in business, 
lethargic with prosperity, naturally averse to war and its new 
horrors as shown in the present struggle, have been loath 
to take up the sword. They have made every honorable 
effort to keep out of the vortex. But Germany, in her mad 
desperation and with a lack of foresight that has charac- 
terized all her diplomatic policies, has forced an unwilling 
people to join the league of her opponents. The triumph 



130 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

of Democracy in Russia and the entry of the United States 
into the war make clear to the world and to history that this 
is a war for the benefit of mankind. 

The rulers of Germany have undervalued the power of 
the United States. They have made military efficiency their 
national god. A country which has, up to this time, ignored 
military science, and failed to maintain a trained army, 
arouses in them contempt. In their mad rage at England 
and in their desire to starve her people, they have stupidly 
aroused against themselves the only dangerous antagonist 
remaining. When money and food and supplies are more 
clearly the determining factor in the war than ever before, 
they deliberately make an enemy of the country which has 
greater capacity to furnish them than all other countries 
combined. The military unpreparedness of the United 
States blinds them to the enormous advantage which her 
accession to the ranks of their opponents gives in the test 
of endurance which must decide the struggle. Within a 
month after her declaration of war, the United States will 
place at the disposal of her allies the enormous sum of three 
billions of dollars to replenish their depleted treasuries and 
to strengthen the effectiveness of their serried hosts. Her 
resources in the production of food and war supplies are 
being promptly organized so that the energies of this country 
will be directed to feeding the peoples of her allies and sup- 
porting and maintaining the equipment of their armies. 
The skill and courage of her navy, with the ingenuity of her 
inventors, will be directed to the suppression of the sole hope 
of the Prussian military hierarchy, their cruel, lawless and 
murderous submarine. 

The broad conception of the world-cause for which the 
United States is fighting will send the blood tingling through 




WORLD PEACE DEBATE I31 

her giant limbs and awaken in her that moral strength which 
the Hohenzollem in his plan to conquer the world has con- 
sistently ignored. 

The struggle may be a long one. We do not aid our 
cause by under-estimating the power of our enemy or the 
perfection attained by her in the organization and use of 
physical and material resources, and of a people educated 
and moulded to the needs of a military autocracy. We hope 
the contest may end in a year. It may last double that or 
longer; but however long it lasts, the end is not in doubt. 
We were slow in getting in. We will never quit until our 
high purpose is attained; and the cause of Democracy is 
triumphant. We should not rely on the pleasing hope that 
our losses will chiefly be in money. We should organize our 
efforts and make our plans with the stem thought that many 
of our best lives and the flower of our youth will figure 
largely in the cost of our victory ; but the greatness of our 
cause should reconcile us to every sacrifice. When we, by 
our intervention, shall have contributed largely to the vic- 
tory, when our real enemies shall have disappeared in the 
deposition of the HohenzoUems and the Hapsburgs, the 
influence for good that we, without motive of aggrandize- 
ment, without hope or wish to increase our territory or 
power, can wield in the councils of the world will be com- 
manding and will make for a just peace and a world league 
to maintain it. 

" God works in mysterious ways his wonders to perform." 
It would seem that there was now being disclosed the 
providential plan for securing the future peace of the world. 
Everything that has happened is forcing on the adoption of 
a League to Enforce Peace. Events are shaping themselves 
so that when the Congress of Nations meets, after the end 



132 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

shall have come, the League will be as natural a result as 
peace itself. How futile in the face of the facts of to-day 
seem the arguments that we must preserve our isolation and 
avoid entangling alliances! How inapplicable Washing- 
ton's words, wise when uttered, become to the needs and 
policy of the present! The League to Enforce Peace is 
formed ; and we have joined it. On its success and perma- 
nence depends the future peace of the sons of men. 



VICTORY WITH POWER ^ 

No one in the wildest flight of his imagination now can 
think of undefeated Germany yielding either proper in- 
demnity to Belgium or justice to Alsace-Lorraine, each of 
which Great Britain and the United States have made a sine 
qua non. Nor will the unconquered German ruling dass 
consent to lift the German paw and remove its crushing 
weight from prostrate Russia or give over to decent rule the 
blood-stained Christian provinces of Turkey. If the wrongs 
of Belgium and Alsace-Lorraine, and of Russians, Italians, 
Poles, Armenians, Serbians and other Slav peoples are not 
righted, the sacrifices of the war will have been for naught. 
We must, therefore, conquer the Germans if a just and lasting 
peace is to be secured. Therefore, the slogan of the Allies, 
and the cry of this country must be " Victory with Power." 
• •••■•■• 

Our Society was organized to make this war an instru- 
ment for the promotion of peace. It holds that the horrors 
of the war and the awful misery it involves must make the 

^Extracts from an address before League to Enforce Peace Con- 
vention, Phila., May, 1918. 



OUR PURPOSE 133 

nations bind themselves to a common obligation for the 
future to suppress war. We call for a primitive political 
organization of the world, affording judicial and mediating 
agencies and an international police to stamp out the begin- 
nings of every riot of world violence. A member of the 
family of nations which looks upon war as a normal means 
of acquiring power and a justifiable condition of growth 
destroys hope for the future. Such member must be 
whipped into a different view and into conformity with the 
public opinion of the world. Nothing but force can cure 
the brutality and ruthlessness of force. In such a case the 
maxim, " Similia similibus curantur" has full application. 
The peaceful countries of the world are obliged to assume 
the habits and the panoply of war. When they, in spite of 
their lack of preparation, in spite of their peace-loving 
instincts, shall strike down in battle a people that makes war 
its god, the cure of that people will be complete, the scales 
will fall from their eyes, and with a clear vision they will 
see that he whom they have ignorantly worshipped is the 
devil and not God. Until so cured, the Central Powers can 
never be amenable and law-abiding members of a peaceful 
world community. 



OUR PURPOSE ^ 

We are in the war first of all to make the world safer 
and a better place to live in. We are fighting to bring about 
a lasting peace. There was a time when many cherished 
the hope that such a peace could be established by the moral 

^ Newspaper article, June 30, 1918. 



134 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

force of public opinion. Now we know that peace has a 
more terrible price, and we are ready to pay the price. 

We have had nothing to do with the politics of Europe; 
but this war is not a matter of European politics. It is 
world politics; and we announced ourselves as citizens of 
the world when we declared war against Germany. World 
politics, after all, are only fundamental questions of right 
and wrong. We are for the right against the wrong. 

We are fighting to make it impossible for military autoc- 
racy ever again to endanger the peace of the world. Re- 
publics make mistakes, but this war has proved that they are 
slow to fight. 

One thing this war will accomplish: when it is over we 
shall hear no more talk about the advantages of national 
isolation. In taking our place among the nations we have 
come with an international policy already prepared and we 
have made it clear to the world that the success of this policy 
is our main purpose. We are fighting, as our President has 
put it, " to make the world safe for democracy." 

We have not tried to set a price upon our participation in 
the war. We have made no bargain. Europe knows our 
purpose. When the war is over we expect to cast our vote 
at the peace council for what the President called " such 
cooperation of force among the great nations as may be 
necessary to maintain peace and freedom throughout the 
world." 

The war has demonstrated the weakness of international 
law unsupported by force. Such support can be furnished 
by a system of international police. 

........ 

I do not pretend to know just what our views will be 



OUR PURPOSE 135 

when the war is over. Nobody realized where the Spanish 
war would carry us. We went into it in Cuba and came 
out in the Philippines. But this is how the thing looks now. 
The policy and the purpose I have explained are so broad 
and their application so universal that it is difficult to see 
how any event can change them. 

In principle this policy and purpose have been endorsed 
by many of the leading European statesmen who may sit at 
the peace cotmcil beside the delegates from this side of the 
Atlantic. In his speech before the United States Senate, 
M. Viviani, the former premier of France and head of the 
French mission, said : 

" Together we will carry on that struggle ; and when by 
force we have at last imposed military victory, our labors 
will not be concluded. Our task will be — I quote the noble 
words of President Wilson — to organize the society of 
nations. . . . We will shatter the ponderous sword of mili- 
tarism; we will establish guarantees of peace; and then we 
can disappear from the world's stage, since we shall leave 
at the cost of our common immolation the noblest heritage 
future generations can possess." 

.■•..*•• 

And Russia has joined the consensus of the enlightened 
nations with this declaration by Prof. Milyukoff, first 
Foreign Minister of the young Republic : 

" The definition by President Wilson of the purposes of 
the war corresponds entirely with the declarations of the 
statesmen of the allied powers: M. Briand, Mr. Asquith 
and Viscount Grey all expressed themselves continually on 
the necessity of seeking to prevent conflicts of armed forces 
by providing peaceful methods of solution for international 
disputes and creating a new organization of nations based 



136 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

upon order and justice in international life. The democracy 
of free Russia is able to associate itself completely with these 
declarations." 

Our allies have accepted the definition of the high purpose 
of the war as it came to them from this side of the Atlantic. 
Now let us show them that we can wage war as well as 
analyze and define it. 



SELF DETERMINATION * 

The task of the League of Nations called to decide the 
terms of peace will be as huge as that of the war which the 
peace will end. The issues as to Alsace-Lorraine, the 
Trentino and Trieste will be simple as compared with the 
Czecho-Slovak and Jugo-Slav questions. The restrictions 
of the Turkish domain, the protection and freedom of 
Armenia, the Balkan boundaries and the government of 
Albania will try the ingenuity of statesmen in working out 
a just result. Above all in difficulty will be the settlement 
of the questions as to Russia. Shall it be a confederation of 
States like ours, or shall they be independent? Who shall 
determine this? 

" Let the people themselves decide," it is said. Every one 
agrees that this general rule should prevail in post-war 
arrangements. But how large or how small shall the unit 
of a people for such decision be ? Shall units be racial or 
geographical? Suppose a people as small in number as the 
Belfast Orangemen compared with the whole population of 
Ireland insists on a separate government, though geography, 

1 Philadelphia Public Ledger Oct. 3, 1918. 



SELF DETERMINATION 1 37 

trade conditions and every consideration but religious differ- 
ence and tradition require that the whole island be under one 
Government ? 

It becomes apparent at once that the general principle of 
popular rule is not a panacea and that many issues will have 
to be settled by the Congress of Nations, according to ex- 
pedient and practical justice, over the objection of some part 
of the people affected. The result will illustrate the in- 
herent error in the frequent assumption that a Government 
by the people is a Government in which that which is done 
is the will of each one. A practical Government by the 
people is a Government by a majority of the voters. The 
rest of the people must yield their will to the will of this 
majority. However, in the purest democracy, the voters 
are not a half of the population, and the prevailing majority 
is usually not more than 20 per cent, of all. The guide of 
the popular will is still less helpful when the issue is the fix- 
ing of the proper self-governing unit. In the intoxicating 
fumes of a new freedom, municipal Councils in Russia de- 
clared themselves independent governments. Should Lithu- 
ania, Esthonia, the Ukraine and Great Russia be separate 
entities ? This cannot be certainly and properly determined 
by a plebiscite of the population of the particular district, if 
its relation to the neighboring communities or to Russia 
as a whole make it best for all concerned that they be united. 
More than this, an ignorant people without the slightest 
experience in the restraints necessary in successful self- 
government and subject to the wildest imaginings under the 
insidious demagoguery of venal leaders may well not know 
what is best for them. 

Thus, flowing phrases as to liberty and the rule of the 
people do not offer a complete solution for all the problems 



138 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

which the world's peacemakers will face. Still, if we can 
make the adjustment to depend on just provision for the 
welfare of the peoples affected instead of on the greed of 
the parties, we shall secure an enormous advance over past 
international settlements. 



PERIL IN HUN PEACE OFFER * 

The European situation is working out exactly as one 
might have anticipated. Indeed, when we read the resolu- 
tions of the League to Enforce Peace, adopted in the con- 
vention which the League held in this city in May, their 
language is like a prophecy. The league in its platform 
said: — 

" Apprehensive of the lure of an inconclusive peace, which 
would enable the present masters of Germany to continue 
their dominion of Central Europe and sooner or later again 
to menace the peace and freedom of the world, the league 
feels that our people should be forewarned in case Germany 
should propose to make peace on terms that might well 
deceive the unsuspecting. Suppose she should offer to retire 
from Belgitun and France; to cede the Trentino to Italy; 
even to relinquish all claims to her captured colonies and to 
promise some kind of antonomy to the various races of 
Central and Eastern Europe. Such an offer would be highly 
seductive, and if we are not prepared to understand what it 
means might well beguile the Allies into a peace which would 
be inconclusive, because unless the principle of militarism is 
destroyed the promise would be kept no better than those 

^ Philadelphia Public Ledger Oct. 8^ 1918. 



PERIL IN HUN PEACE OFFER 1 39 

broken in the past. Autonomy of the other races would 
mean their organization for the strengthening of Germany 
until she had control of the resources of 200,000,000 for her 
next war. . . . Such a settlement would be a mere truce 
pending a strife more fierce hereafter. So long as pre- 
datory militarism is not wholly destroyed no lasting peace 
can be made." 

Germany now proposes an armistice in order to enable 
the representatives of the Central Powers and the Allies to 
negotiate a peace on the general basis of peace indicated by 
President Wilson in his address to Congress on January 8, 
19 1 8. This does not really commit Germany to anything 
except that she is willing to talk about the subject matter 
covered in the fourteen points by President Wilson in that 
address. It involves an interminable discussion of what his 
fourteen points mean and include. That address was made 
nearly nine months ago. It was made before the Czecho- 
slovak and Jugoslav movements had crystal ized into a de- 
mand for independent governments. The President in his 
reference to a settlement of an Austrian peace asked for ' the 
freest opportunity for autonomous development.' Austria 
evidently looks to a confederation under the dual monarchy. 
We have now gone further as to the Czecho-Slavs and 
recognized their independence. The message of January 8 
was made before the full revelations as to Germany's poli- 
cies in respect to Russian and the Baltic provinces, which 
reek with bad faith, cruelty and a murderous plotting 
with the insane Bolsheviki against the decent people of 
Russia. 

The President's fourteen points are stated in general 
words, the only ones which he could use at such a time. 
They are not stated in the specific terms upon which a treaty 
of peace could be formulated or upon which any offer of the 



I40 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

Germans could be accepted. The Germans do not agree to 
submit to the terms stated by the President, general as they 
are. All they agree to is to negotiate after an armistice, a 
treaty " on the basis " of the President's address. Nothing 
could be more unsatisfactory and uncertain. 

The attitude of the German Kaiser is important only as it 
shows the iron ring closing about him. He sees the hand- 
writing on the wall, and he struggles in a peace offensive for 
a halt which shall enable him to rehabilitate his forces. 
Then, if he does not secure peace, with the Hohenzollem 
dynasty still in the saddle, he can resist with a rested army 
to the last. He sets his snare in the sight of the bird. His 
offer should be rejected with the same curt rejoinder as that 
which met the Austrian approach. We, of course, should 
not deceive ourselves. A prompt and decided refusal on 
our part to accept this offer of the Kaiser will be used by 
him to arouse his people to further resistance. This is the 
great alternative object which he has in mind. He will say 
that this refusal indicates that the Allies seek to annihilate 
the German people. He hopes that this will stiffen all his 
subjects to further effort. In his dire extremity he has 
called on the most peaceful and the most liberal of the promi- 
nent political personages in his empire. 

But this personage is a cousin of the Emperor, is a 
Hohenzollern and would, of course, maintain the dynasty. 
His speech reads well, but we who have at hand the damning 
evidence of the militaristic treachery and the wicked ambi- 
tion of the Kaiser and his crew know that the Prince is but 
a pawn advanced now for the single purpose of securing a 
negotiated peace. The Prince will not sit at the council 
table to carry out his own ideas. Surrounding him and at 
his back will be the Kaiser, Hindenburg, Ludendorff and the 



THE OBUGATIONS OF VICTORY I4I 

Crown Prince, the leaders of Junkerdom, ready to refuse 
any terms in the treaty which will hamstring the dynasty or 
prevent the possibility of the resurrection of the German 
army and a future renewal of the Potsdam conspiracy. 

We should read the spirit of the Kaiser's offer in the light 
of burning Douai and the cruel looting and devastation of 
Belgium and Northern France. He says he will consent 
only to " an honorable peace." What does that mean? It 
means a settlement which assures for the German High 
Command and the Kaiser the position of honorable and 
trustworthy foes. This, in view of their conduct, is im- 
possible if we are to achieve what this war is fought for. 
The Kaiser's offer should be sternly rejected and he and 
Austria should be advised that in the present situation we 
can have no armistice and no negotiation except upon the 
same terms as those which were meted out to Bulgaria. 
Any other resul? will be a profound disappointment to the 
American people and our allies. 



THE OBLIGATIONS OF VICTORY » 

The international compact which is to follow this war 
is to be more ambitious than any ever made before. The 
world is larger, the nations are more numerous, the field of 
war has been greater, and the political changes are to be 
far more extensive than the world has ever known. 

The only peace comparable with this is that which was 
made after Napoleon's fall by the monarchs who constituted 

^Address delivered at Convention of the League to Enforce Peace, 
Madison, Wisconsin, under the auspices of the University of Wisconsin, 
November 9, 1918. 



142 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

the Holy Alliance. That was a League of Nations, with a 
high sounding declaration of disinterestedness and love of 
peace. It was a failure because the real purposes which 
governed its formation and life were wrong and unstable. 
It rested on the divine right of kings, and its objects were 
to recognize dynastic claims and to establish and maintain 
them. It took into consideration neither the interest nor 
the will of the peoples under the governments which it was 
setting up and proposed to maintain. After a few years it 
became a by-word of reproach. 

The difference between the Holy Alliance and the League 
of Nations we now propose is in the purpose and principle 
of its formation. Our League looks to a union of the 
democratic nations of the world, to the will of the peoples, 
expressed through their governments, as its basis and 
sanction. It looks to the establishment of new governments 
by popular choice and control. It is to be founded on jus- 
tice, impartially administered, and not on the interests of 
kings or emperors or dynasties. It is to rise as a structure 
built upon the ashes of militarism, and it is to rest on the 
pillars of justice and equality and the welfare of peoples. 

I have referred to the Holy Alliance not only to answer 
an argument, but also as a precedent to prove that a treaty 
of peace rearranging the map of Europe can not be made 
without a League of Nations. Think of what this present 
peace has to compass. We can realize it by considering the 
points of President Wilson's message of January 8th, out- 
lining the terms of the future peace. 

In the first place, we are to have disposition of the German 
colonies in accord with the interests of the people who live 
in them. Germany has made such cruel despotisms of her 
colonies that it is quite likely the Allies will insist that they 



THE OBLIGATIONS OF VICTORY 1 43 

shall be put under some other power more to be trusted in 
securing the welfare of backward peoples. Thus we are to 
set up a new government in East and West Africa, in 
Australasia, in China, and in some of the islands of the 
Pacific. Then we are to deal with Russia. If we separate 
from her the Ukraine, and the Baltic Provinces and Finland, 
there are three or four new nations to establish. Great 
Russia is now under the domination of bloody anarchists, 
and we must free her and give to her good people the oppor- 
tunity to organize and establish a free and useful govern- 
ment. This is a problem of the utmost complexity. In 
Austria we are to create a nation of the Czecho-Slavs, em- 
bracing Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia. We are to cut 
this nation out of the Dual Empire, and take it from Austria 
and from Hungary. We are to do the same thing with the 
Jugo-Slavs on the south of Austria and Hungary and 
establish new boundaries there. We are to settle the bound- 
aries of the Balkans. We are likely to give to Rumania 
the Rumanians of Hungary and of Bessarabia. We are to 
establish a new state of Poland out of Russian, Austrian and 
German Poland, and we are to give this state access to the 
sea. The fixing of these boundaries and the determination 
of the method of reaching the sea present issues of the 
utmost delicacy and difficulty. We are to determine the 
status of Constantinople and the small tract now known as 
Turkey in Europe. We are to fix the limits of Turkey in 
Asia, to set up a new government in Palestine, to recognize 
a new government of Arabia, to father, it may be, the 
creation of a new state in the Caucasus and to establish the 
freedom of Armenia. 

The mere recital of them is most convincing of the 
intricacy of these problems. The Congress of Nations will 



144 'TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

probably find it impossible definitely to settle them all. It 
will have to create Commissions, with judicial and concilia- 
tory powers, able to devote time enough to make proper in- 
vestigation and thus to reach just, defensible and practical 
conclusions. When the boundaries are all fixed, when the 
innumerable rights growing out of access to the Baltic, 
access to the Danube, access to the Black Sea and access to 
the Aegean, together wtih rights of way across neighboring 
states for freedom of trade, are defined, with as much clarity 
as possible, there still will arise, in the practical operation 
of the treaty, a multitude of irritating questions of interpre- 
tation. In fixing boundaries on distinctions of race and 
language, the Congress will encounter the obstruction of 
racial prejudice and blindness to reasonable conclusions. 
Lines of race and of language are not always so clearly 
drawn that convenient and compact states may be estab- 
lished within them. To attempt in a great world-agree- 
ment to settle the boundaries and mutual rights of so many 
new nations, without providing a tribunal whose decisions 
are to control and are to be enforced by the major force of 
the world, will be to make a treaty that will become a laugh- 
ing stock. 

We know that we have got to rearrange the map of 
Europe, and, in so far as it is practicable in that arrange- 
ment, to follow popular choice of the peoples to be governed. 
But such a flowing phrase will not settle the difficulty. It is 
merely a general principle that in its actual application often 
does not offer a completely satisfactory solution ; and after 
the Congress shall have made the decisions, sore places will 
be left, local enmities will arise, and if that permanent peace 
which is to justify the war is to be attained, the world com- 
pact must Itself contain the machinery for settlement of such 



THE OBLIGATIONS OF VICTORY 1 45 

inevitable disputes. In other words, we do not have to 
argue in favor of a League to Enforce Peace — the nations 
which enter this Congress can not do otherwise than establish 
it. It faces them as the only possible way to achieve their 
object. 

Germany and Austria and Bulgaria and Turkey are to 
indemnify the countries which they have outraged and de- 
vastated. Commissions must be created, judicial in their 
nature, to pass upon what the amount of the indemnity shall 
be, and then an international force must exist to levy execu- 
tion if necessary for the judgment upon the countries whose 
criminal torts are to be indemnified. We must, therefore, 
not only have, as a result of the Congress, the machinery of 
justice and conciliation, but we must retain a combined mili- 
tary force of the Allies and victors to see to it that these 
just judgments are carried out. Moreover, the Congress 
can not meet without enlarging the scope of international 
law and making more definite its provisions. The very 
functions which the Congress is to exercise in fixing the 
terms of peace will necessitate a statement of the principles 
upon which it has been guided. That will lead to a broaden- 
ing of the scope of existing principles of international law 
and a greater variety in their applications. Therefore, 
whether those who are in the Congress wish it or not, they 
can not solve the problems which are set before them with- 
out adopting the principles of our League to Enforce Peace 
as embodied in the four planks of our original platform — 
Court, Commission of Conciliation, enforcement of submis- 
sion and a Legislative International Congress to make Inter- 
national Law. They will have to create such machinery for 
the administration and enforcement of the treaty as to the 
Central Powers, the new nations created and Russia. 



146 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

Having gone so far as they must, can they fail to extend 
their work only a little to include the settlement of all future 
differences between all the nations that are parties to the 
League? A League for such future purposes will be no 
more difficult to make and maintain than the temporary 
League into which they are driven by the necessities of the 
situation. 

Now I want to take up some of the arguments made 
against the League. In the first place, a good many have 
created a straw League which they have knocked down with- 
out difficulty. They have attributed to us the views and 
principles held by extremists who perhaps support our 
League, but whose extreme views we do not and need not 
adopt. Thus it is said that we favor internationalism, that 
we are opposed to nationalism, that we wish to dilute the 
patriotic spirit into a vague universal brotherhood. That 
there are socialists and others who entertain this view, and 
who perhaps support the League to Enforce Peace, may be 
true ; but the assumption that such views are necessary to a 
consistent support of the League is entirely without war- 
rant. I believe in nationalism and patriotism, as dis- 
tinguished from universal brotherhood as firmly as any one 
can. I believe that the national spirit and the patriotic love 
of country are as essential in the progress of the world as 
the family and the love of family are essential in domestic 
communities. But as the family and the love of family are 
not inconsistent with the love of country, but only strengthen 
it, so a proper, pure and patriotic nationalism stimulates a 
sense of international justice and does not detract in any 
way from the spirit of universal brotherhood. 

Again, it is said that in the League we injure nationalism 
by abridging the sovereignty of our country in that we are 



THE OBUGATIONS OF VICTORY 1 47 

to yield to an international council and an international 
tribunal, in which we have only one representative, the de- 
cisions of questions of justice and of national policy. * 

^ Mr. Taft has expressed himself elsewhere on this topic as fol- 
lows: 

" Certainly we do not wish to contend for a sovereignty that shall not 
be limited by international law. That law should prevail in a decent 
community of nations — I mean the law of good form, the law of uni- 
versal brotherhood, the law of neighborly feeling, which is over and 
above the absolute rules of international law. All that this League 
proposes is that every nation shall enjoy complete sovereignty within 
the limitations of that international law and that good form among 
nations. 

"What is this League of Nations to do to uphold that sovereignty? 
It agrees to give sanction to law that regulates sovereignty. That 
sovereignty, regulated by law, is to be clinched through the organized 
action of all the nations of the world. 

"Any other view, any objection to that view, savors of what? It 
savors of the desire to use the sovereignty of our nation to achieve 
purposes that will be defeated by the restraints which the League 
offers. That is what it means. It is the German idea of sovereignty ^- 
the power to use that sovereignty to achieve your purpose even when 
that purpose transgresses international law or moral law." — The 
Atlantic Congress for a League of Nations, New York, Feb. 5, 1919, 

"To recur again to the objections which run as a thread through all 
of Senator Poindexter's attacks upon the constitution of the League, 
namely, that the League minimizes the sovereignty of the United States 
and of every nation which joins it, there is a misconception in the 
mind of the Senator as to sovereignty that needs to be pointed out 
No reasonable and patriotic and properly self-respecting citizen of the 
United States can claim that our sovereignty should be more than a 
right to freedom of action within the limitations of international law, 
international morality, and a due regard for the rights of other nations. 
The only sovereignty which we ought to claim is sovereignty regulated 
by these limitations. It is exactly analogous to the liberty that we enjoy 
as individuals, which is liberty curtailed and regulated by law in order 
that other citizens may enjoy the same liberty. It is an exercise of 
rights on my part consistent with the exercise of the same rights on 
the part of every other man. It is not complete liberty of action. 
Proper national sovereignty is similarly restricted. Now the League 
does not proceed to restrict that sovereignty further than, through the 



148 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

Sovereignty is a matter of definition. The League does not 
contemplate the slightest interference with the internal 
government of any country. The League does not propose 
to interfere, except where the claims of right of one country 

joint compulsion of all nations, to keep a would-be outlaw nation 
within the proper existing limitation. 

** The League is not a super-sovereign. It is only a partnership. Its 
power is in only a partnership. Its power is in joint agreement — not 
in the establishment of government. The Senator's objection is funda- 
mental. If it were analyzed and logically developed it would be seen 
to be a reactionary doctrine that belongs to the German view of the 
state and its needs and rights. It is not consonant with any hope of 
settling international differences other than by the power of the sword. 
It leads directly to the proposal that ' might makes right.' It is based 
on a doctrine of supreme national selfishness. It is the pessimistic and 
despairing view of any* possibility of restricting war. It contemplates 
with entire complacence the prospect of another war in ten or twenty 
years like that through which we have passed. It perverts the glorious 
idea of a national sovereignty and prevents its aiding the family of 
nations. It perverts our grand federal constitution rendering helpless 
— so far as aiding the outside world is concerned — a nation which, 
under the providence of God, has become the world's greatest Power. 

*' Will the American people acquiesce in such a small view of our 
responsibilities toward mankind and of our governmental capacity to 
be helpful ? We may be confident they will not." — Address at Portland, 
Oregon, Feb, 16, igig, 

"And then 'sovereignty' — what is sovereignty? Well, I can give 
you the German view and I can give you the American view. The Ger- 
man view is that sovereignty is the power to overcome the sovereignty 
of other nations by force. That is all. What is the American idea 
of sovereignty? It is a sovereignty regulated by international law and 
international morality and international decency and international 
neighborly feeling. Do we wish any sovereignty greater than that? 
Sovereignty is analogous to the liberty of the individual. The latter is 
liberty regulated by law which protects that liberty: and sovereignty 
is the same thing applied to nations. We do not change that in this 
League of Nations. All we do is to furnish the means of determining 
peaceably and justly what those limitations are, and provide the means 
of maintaining them. Does that deprive us of any sovereignty?" — Ad- 
dress at San Francisco, Feb. 19, igig. 



THE OBLIGATIONS OF VICTORY I49 

clash with the claims of right of another. To submit such 
claims of right to an impartial tribunal no more interferes 
with the sovereignty of a nation than the submission of an 
individual to a hearing and decree of court interferes with 
his liberty. The League is merely introducing, into the 
world's sphere, liberty of action regulated by law instead of 
license uncontrolled except by the greed and passion of the 
individual nation. 

It is said that we are giving up our right to make war or 
to withhold from making it. We can not take away from 
our Congress the right to declare war, and no one would 
wish to do so. But that is no reason why we should not 
enter into an agreement to defend the impartial judgments 
of the League and to repress palpable violations of its 
covenants by those who have entered it. The question must 
always be for the decision of Congress whether our obliga- 
tions under the League require us in honor to make war. 
We have guaranteed the integrity of Cuba, we have guar- 
anteed the integrity of Panama. Does that deprive us of 
sovereignty ? Yet we are under an obligation to make war 
if another country attacks them. 

The fourth of the President's fourteen points contains 
the provision that adequate guaranties must be given and 
taken that national armaments will be reduced to the lowest 
point consistent with domestic safety. That can not be 
done immediately. It represents an aim and an aspiration. 
We are the victors in this war which grew out of the exten- 
sive armament and military power of Germany. It will be 
a legitimate condition of peace exacted by the victors that 
Germany shall substantially disarm and leave the Allied 
Powers in a position with armament sufficient to keep 
Germany within law and right. How far disarmament can 



150 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

be carried must be determined by experience. Disarma- 
ment will be accomplished effectively in great measure by 
the economic pressure that will be felt intensely by all nations 
after this war, by such mutual covenants and general super- 
vision of an international council as experience may dictate, 
and ultimately by a sense of security in the successful opera- 
tion of this League to Enforce Peace. 

For the time being the people who are afraid that the 
United States will make itself helpless to defend its rights 
against unjust aggression are unduly exercised. Any prac- 
tical League of Nations will require the United States to 
maintain a potential military force sufficient to comply 
promptly with its obligations to contribute to an interna- 
tional army whenever called upon for League purposes. 
Such obligation may well be made the basis and reason for 
universal training of youth, in accord with the Australian 
or the Swiss system — a system that trains youths for a 
year physically and mentally and gives them a proper sense 
of duty and obligation to the state. There may be a differ- 
ence of opinion as to whether we should have such a system ; 
but there is nothing in the League to Enforce Peace and its 
principles which prevents its adoption; and either that or 
some other means of maintaining an adequate force to dis- 
charge our obligations under a League must be found. 
While we should lay broad the foundations for a League 
looking as far into the future as we may, we must trust to 
the future to work out the application of those principles, 
to amend the details of our machinery and to adapt it to 
the lessons of experience. We know that the real hope of 
reducing armament and keeping it down is the maintenance 
of a League which shall insure justice and apply in its aid the 
major force of the world. As the operation of that League 



THE OBLIGATIONS OF VICTORY I5I 

IS more and more acquiesced in, the possibility of the safe 
reduction of armaments in all countries will become apparent 
to all and will be realized. 

Another question that has agitated a good many people 
is whether we should admit Germany to the League. That 
depends upon whether Germany makes herself fit for mem- 
bership in the League. If she gets rid of the Hohenzollerns, 
if she establishes a real popular government, if she shows by 
her national policies that she has acted on the lessons which 
the war should teach her, in short if she brings forth works 
meet for repentance, then of course we ought to admit her 
and encourage her by putting her on an equality with other 
nations and use her influence and power to make the League 
more effective. The long-drawn-out payment of indemni- 
ties will keep her in a chastened mood and will keep alive 
in her mind the evils of militarism. 

I shall not now discuss the difference in the obligations of 
the members of such a League as between the Great Powers 
and the lesser Powers. All should have a voice in the gen- 
eral policy of the League ; but it is well worthy of considera- 
tion whether, with the burden of enforcing the obligations 
of the League by military force which the greater Powers 
must carry, they should not have the larger voice in executive 
control. As they are the only ones likely to be able to 
create the major force of the world, they may reasonably 
claim a right to more administrative power. The rights of 
the smaller nations will be protected in the Congress, in 
which they have a full voice, and by the impartial judgments 
of the judicial tribunals and the recommendations of the 
Commission of Conciliation. There is not the slightest 
likelihood that the mere executive control by the larger 
Powers would lead to oppression of the smaller Powers be- 



152 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

cause, should selfishness disclose itself in one of the Great 
Powers, we could be confident of the wish of the other Great 
Powers to repress it. 

One of the difficulties in the maintenance of a League of 
all nations will be the instability of the governments of its 
members if the League embraces all nations. On the whole, 
the Greater Powers are the more stable and the more respon- 
sible. It is well therefore that upon them shall fall the chief 
executive responsibility. While the principles of the 
League would prevent interference with the internal govern- 
ments as a general rule, the utter instability of a government 
might authorize an attempt to stabilize it. That this can be 
done better by a disinterested League than by a single nation 
goes without saying. 

The possibilities of many-sided world benefit from a 
League after it is well established and is working smoothly, 
it is hard to overestimate. For the present, as the result of 
this Congress of Nations to meet and settle the terms of 
peace, we may well be content to have a League established 
on broad lines, with principles firmly and clearly stated, and 
with constructive provisions for amendment as experience 
shall indicate their necessity. 

I verily believe we are in sight of the Promised Land. I 
hope we may not be denied its enjoyment. 



WORKINGMEN AND THE LEAGUE » 

The pressing imminence of the issue of a League is not 
as fully understood in this country as it is in Great Britain, 

^ Extract from article in Public Ledger Nov. 13, 1918. 



A LEAGUE OF NATIONS OUR NATIONAL POLICY 1 53 

in France and in Italy. The movement was initiated in the 
United States in 1915 by the formation of the American 
League to Enforce Peace; but the question then had more 
or less of an academic aspect because of the remoteness of 
peace, and, indeed, at that time, for us, the remoteness of 
the war. Associations were subsequently formed in Great 
Britain and in France. As the peoples of these countries 
became war-weary, as the working population felt the suffer- 
ing and dreadful pinch of starvation and want, their souls 
were gripped with a determination to have no more war. 
The subject was given world-wide attention through the 
addresses of President Wilson. The Socialists had always 
included the abolition of war as a fundamental plank in their 
platform. While the great majority of the Socialists and 
the workingmen in the allied countries admitted the necessity 
of fighting this war through, they made a peremptory de- 
mand for a League of Nations to Enforce Peace after this 
war was over and after the unconditional surrender of mili- 
tarism. 

The League of Nations, therefore, in England, France 
and Italy has become the slogan of workingmen and Social- 
ists and they will brook no hesitation on this subject by the 
representatives of their countries in the Peace Congress. 



A LEAGUE OF NATIONS OUR NATIONAL 

POLICY ^ 

Speeches are made from time to time in the Senate on 
the plan of a League of Nations to Enforce Peace. Sena- 

^ Article in Public Ledger Dec i, 1918. 



154 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

tors Poindexter and Reed have pronounced judgment upon 
the plan as dangerous to the Republic and contrary to the 
established traditions of the nation. With deference, this 
judgment is not up to date. It fails to note that the war, 
our participation and avowed purpose in it and the treaty 
which is to end it have so changed our relation to Europe 
and the world that such traditions have ceased to be 
applicable. These traditions were shown to be outworn by 
the fact that we could not keep out of the war. We were 
driven into it because of our relations as close neighbors 
to the European belligerents. Having been thus driven 
into war, are we to make a separate peace with Germany, 
merely securing a guaranty from her that in the future we 
shall be immune, as a neutral, from submarine attack upon 
our commerce? This would be the logical outcome of the 
attitude of the opposing Senators. Are we not rather to 
take part in framing the articles of a general treaty as to 
Alsace-Lorraine, Poland, the Trentino, the Czecho-Slavs, the 
Jugo-Slavs, Russia, Armenia and in respect to the numerous 
other questions that must be constructively answered in the 
treaty ? 

Certainly the American people have no doubt that we are 
to have a full share in the settlement of all these issues. No 
other inference can be drawn from the messages of the Presi- 
dent, acquiesced in by all. If we sit at the international 
council table and make this general treaty, it is idle to talk 
of our taking no further part in European world politics. 
If we enter into this treaty rearranging the map of Europe 
and the world in the interest of the rule of, by and for the 
various peoples of the world, and to secure them the bless- 
ings of permanent peace, we have got to see it through. We 
can't make such a treaty and run away from it as our 



A LEAGUE OF NATIONS OUR NATIONAL POLICY 155 

abandoned child. We must share, with those with whom we 
act in making it, the responsibility of securing and maintain- 
ing its full and beneficent operation. If we make a treaty 
to fill the outlines of President Wilson's message of January 
8, as amended by the Allies, we shall have the job of its 
execution lasting a number of years. It will not execute 
itself. 

• ••.■••• 

We have put our hand to the plow and we cannot turn 
back. The opposing Senators do not see the problems which 
confront us. 

.......a 

The imagination of Senators has been strained to conceive 
a situation in which the United States shall have had a judg- 
ment against her, in the international court, of vital char- 
acter which she resists, and the united military forces of the 
world combine to destroy her. If the judgment against her 
is just, she ought to obey it. If it is not, why assume that 
it will be rendered at all or that, if rendered, all nations 
would join in a world war to enforce it? Indeed, may not 
our imagination, if we let it run riot, as easily conceive such 
a union of military forces of the world against the United 
States without a league and its machinery as with them ? 

Thus far the opponents of the League on the Senate floor 
have been from both parties. If President Wilson returns 
to his first view of the need for such a League of Nations to 
Enforce Peace and succeeds in securing the concurrence of 
our European allies in this view, we may assume that the 
Democratic party will support him in his policy. The 
League of Nations to maintain peace will likewise have the 
passionate support of all the peoples of our Allies and of 
neutral nations. It will have the earnest support of organ- 



156 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

ized labor in this country. It will arouse the enthusiasm of 
the peace-loving people of this country, who are vastly in 
the majority. The Republican members of the Senate will 
do well to consider whether it would be wise for them to 
furnish to Mr. Wilson and the Democratic party an issue 
upon which the Administration would be most likely to win, 
and one which would dwarf all others upon which the 
Republicans now base their hope of success. Of course, 
this is no reason for yielding in the face of fundamental 
principle, but it may well weigh heavily when objection to 
the League is based on hypotheses, strained and improbable. 



WHY A LEAGUE OF NATIONS IS NECESSARY * 

My feeling about the League of Nations to Enforce Peace 
is that the stars in their courses are fighting to make it inevit- 
able. 

• ••••••• 

We are in a League of Nations to Enforce Peace, we have 
been enforcing peace, and we are in a place where we cannot 
escape it. 

We went into this war because we were driven into it. 
We had to be driven because of the Washington policy and 
entangling alliance doctrine ; and we stayed out of it a long 
time after, as we look at it now, we ought to have gone in. 
We were forced in to defend our rights on the seas. That 
was why those men who feared entangling alliances were 
willing to waive their objection or reached the conclusion 

^ Address delivered at dinner of editors and publishers, in New York, 
Dec. 6, 1918. 



WHY A LEAGUE OF NATIONS IS NECESSARY 1 57 

that we were not departing from that policy: our rights 
on the seas had really been invaded by murderous submarine 
attacks on neutral ships and on enemy merchant ships, bear- 
ing our citizens. And they had a right, under international 
law, to be there. 



When we got into the war Mr. Wilson stated — and I 
never heard any objection from anybody — that our pur- 
pose in this war was to make the world safe for democracy. 
Not the United States, the world. It was to suppress mili- 
tarism. Where? Not in the United States. Not in 
Europe. In the world. To say that we are not to take 
our part in world politics is to ignore just exactly where 
we are, what our position is — a position we cannot escape 
from. 

• ••.•••a 

We have made an armistice, we have imposed terms on 
Germany with respect to that armistice ; but we made that 
armistice on a basis of a treaty which was to deal in a 
general way with fields that were outlined in the message of 
January 8, 191 8, as amended by the Allies before the armis- 
tice was submitted to the Germans. One amendment refer- 
red to the freedom of the seas, the Entente Allies reserving 
the right to deal with that subject as they were advised. 
The other concerned the meaning of the word " restoration," 
which was made entirely free from doubt with reference to 
indemnities. 

That is the basis of the treaty ; those are the fields to be 
covered in the treaty. And now it is a matter of good 
faith, as I understand, between the parties. 

How are you going to regulate the question of how much 
armament each nation shall have ? How maintain the limit 



158 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

fixed upon? Of course, everybody understands that the 
armament we are especially interested in is Germany's arma- 
ment. We are going to see to it that that is only such 
" as domestic safety shall require." 

Are we just going to leave that requirement in the treaty 
and make no provision for enforcing it or maintaining it? 
Is that the way we are to deal with Germany ? Under such 
conditions, what will happen if Germany unites with German 
Austria to make a very considerable power and retains her 
military spirit ? Shall we not rather create an agency which 
shall see to it that this Covenant is effective ? 

Then there is Russia, controlled by the Bolsheviki. I do 
not know what we are going to do about Russia. I know 
what we ought to have done. We ought to have sent two 
hundred thousand men in there originally, and with addi- 
tional forces from our Allies we could have stamped out 
Bolshevism. When a man says you encimiber the earth 
and that the only way to have happiness on earth is to kill 
you — the only way you can deal with him is to kill him. 
That is all there is about it; and the idea of dealing with 
Bolshevism in any other way is an iridescent dream. We 
will have to stamp it out. That will have to be done by 
the Allies, and we will have to maintain a force for that 
purpose. 

• •••a... 

The countries we propose to set up have got to be held m 
leading strings. You cannot do that except by a League 
of Nations that notifies them — every one of them : " This 
war was fought for your liberty and that democracy might 
be safe, and we do not propose to have you start a conflagra- 
tion and bring about another war that we have sacrificed 



L 



WHY A LEAGUE OF NATIONS IS NECESSARY 159 

millions and billions and endured all sorts of suffering to 
avoid." 

• ••••••• 

We created a republic in Cuba. We surrounded it with 
all possible safeguards, and then we had to send a force 
down there to compose a revolution of gentlemen on the 
outs who wanted to get in and gentlemen on the ins who 
did not want to get out. That is the trouble we will find in 
these new republics. 

I say this with deference, but if there is not a League of 
Nations created in Paris the whole thing is a failure — and 
I do not think they are going to make a failure at Paris. 

It is perfectly easy to suggest objections to a plan like 
this. Take the Constitution of the United States. When 
it was adopted, the prophecies in respect to it were quite 
as formidable as certain distinguished Senators hold the dif- 
ficulties in the operation of the League to be. And you can 
imagine cases now with reference to the operation of the 
Constitution that would lead to such a disturbance as to de- 
stroy the Government. We had one but survived it. We 
had to camp outside the Constitution until we did, and then 
we got back under it again. 

In the disputed election between Hayes and Tilden we had 
to create an extra-constitutional body to settle that question, 
but we were self-governing people and we did it. 

What seems to me important is to get nations into the 
habit of settling their differences otherwise than by war. 
You can't get rid of war until some substitute is offered 
to prevent injustice and to enable you to get justice. Of 
course, we have produced that in our constitutional system. 
Every state has the right to go into the Supreme Court to 



l6o TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

ask justice against every other state. In many cases there 
is no law which governs the behavior of states except inter- 
national law, and that is administered by the Supreme Court 
of the United States in such cases. 

.......a 

I do not care what you call it, you have got to have a 
court, you have got to have a committee of conciliation, 
you have got to have force, you have got to fix rules of inter- 
national law. You cannot get away from these. 



LESSER LEAGUE OF NATIONS * 

Subjects for consideration by the conference at Versailles 
will naturally divide themselves into two great classes. 
The first will embrace those terms exacted of Germany and 
the other conquered nations to prevent them from again 
beginning war now or in the near future ; the indemnities to 
be assessed against them for damage inflicted on France, 
Belgium, Serbia and the other Allies; the redistribution of 
their territories and carving out of them the new republics 
to be set up ; together with the machinery for securing those 
terms and their maintenance. The second class of subjects 
for discussion and settlement will be less exigent and have 
more of a world-wide character. Such will be the definition 
of freedom of the seas, open diplomacy, the prevention of 
discriminating economic barriers and the machinery for a 
general League of Nations to Enforce Peace. 

This league may well consist of only the Allied nations, 

^ Article in Public Ledger Dec. 9, 1918. 



k_ 



LESSER LEAGUE OF NATIONS l6l 

England, France, Italy, Japan and the United States. These 
are now the only " great " Powers for practical purposes. 
They cannot achieve the end of this war without such a 
league. How, if at all, this league shall be expanded to 
include other or all nations may be properly inquired into by 
a Congress of Nations of the World, continuing the sessions 
of the Versailles conference. The greater league would 
thus be a growth from the smaller league into which the 
Allied Powers will find themselves forced by the necessities 
of the situation. This is the best method of developing 
political institutions. It is the Anglo-Saxon way. They 
are framed and set in operation to meet immediate needs 
and then are expanded as their adaptation to larger useful- 
ness makes itself clear. 

A question as to the first or smaller league will at once 
demand answer from us. That is, whether we shall join it. 
The reactionaries, of whom there seem to be several in our 
Senate, will insist that we should keep our skirts clear of it 
and leave it to the other four Great Powers. After we have 
signed and approved the treaty, in their view, we should rid 
ourselves of any responsibility for its enforcement or the 
maintenance of the just, equitable and democratic status 
which its signatories seek to establish. This is the counsel 
of cowardice and atavism. It breaks the word of promise 
to the oppressed peoples of Europe. It would take out of 
the executive council of such a league the only member of 
it to which the peoples of the new republics and the rest of 
Europe would look with confidence for purely disinterested 
counsel and action. After our magniloquent declarations of 
purpose in this war, after our high-sounding announcement 
of the equitable bases of settlement of the war upon which 
the armistice and the treaty to follow are conditioned, what 



1 62 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

a lame and impotent conclusion it would be for our President 
to come back to this country, leaving, as an arbiter of half 
the world, a League of Nations in which we were to have 
no voice and over whose actions we were to have no con- 
trol! 

Could we thus selfishly retire to our isolated seclusion and 
repudiate the responsibility that our participation in the war 
and in the terms of peace must thrust upon us as the most 
powerful and most impartial member of the family of na- 
tions? It is inconceivable that President Wilson, after what 
he has written and said to the world, would consent to play 
such a humiliating part. If, on the contrary, he is consistent 
with himself, if he stands up to the character he has assumed 
before to the plain people of Europe and the world, and signs 
a treaty by which the United States becomes a responsible 
factor in the world's progress, the men of small vision in the 
Senate and Congress will be swept from their opposition by 
a public opinion they cannot withstand. 

Such a general league must always be of the highest 
benefit to every small nation. It would offer protection 
against any oppression by a greater nation, and it would give 
relief from the burden of armament. Full reliance could be 
had on the fairness of the league, because a conspiracy by 
all the Great Powers, including the United States, to oppress 
a small Power is tmthinkable. Therefore, every small 
nation would ultimately seek admission. It would then 
willingly submit to reasonable restrictions on its own repre- 
sentative weight in the league to which, as an initiating con- 
stituent member, it might make vociferous objection. 



DISARMAMENT OF NATIONS 163 

DISARMAMENT OF NATIONS AND FREEDOM 

OF THE SEAS ^ 

The original program of the League to Enforce Peace 
contained no clause with reference to disarmament of 
nations. This was not because the projectors of the league 
did not deem disarmament of the utmost importance in the 
ultimate maintenance of permanent peace but because they 
deemed real disarmament possible only as the result of the 
successful operation of the league. The league could only 
serve its purpose by furnishing to the nations the protection 
that the nations secured by armament. It was to be substi- 
tuted for armament. Until it proved its usefulness as such, 
the armed nations could not be expected to part with their 
own insurance. 

• •»••••• 

In a league of nations to Enforce the Versailles Treaty 
the Allied Powers must retain armament to constitute a 
police force to secure peace between the new nations of 
Middle and Eastern Europe and Asia Minor. This will 
justify the United States in maintaining a potential army 
by a system of universal training. It accords with Secretary 
Daniels' recommendations that we continue the peace plan 
of increasing our navy. 

As the smaller league of peace proves its adequate pro- 
tection against war the motive of economy will prompt com- 
pliance with Mr. Wilson's armament clause in the fourteen 
points by a proportionate decrease in all armaments, and a 
mutual agreement will become possible and practical. 
Meantime we must be patient. Reforms of this kind do 

1 Article in Public Ledger Dec. 11, 1918. 



164 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

not come at once and should not be expected to. We take 
an important step, and its success leads to another forward 
movement. 

There is nothing in England's position respecting her fleet 
that should discourage the friends of the League of Nations 
to Enforce Peace. The exaggerated language of a Winston 
Churchill should not discourage us. It is the language of 
an advocate in a heated political campaign. We must ad- 
mit the justice of England's position — that she cannot give 
up her fleet in the absence of the test of a new league of na- 
tions. She cannot know whether the League will be 
sufficient protection to her against attack. Her isolated 
position requires her to protect herself against starvation in 
time of war. She is dependent on other countries for food 
and raw materials. These can only reach her by the sea. 
She must keep open the access by sea in time of war. Only 
by her fleet can she do this. Not until the operation of the 
League of Nations demonstrates that this danger in war is 
minimized can she be expected to reduce her fleet. 

So far as freedom of the seas in time of peace is con- 
cerned, wherever the British flag floats there is and always 
has been freedom of the seas. 



THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS AND THE GERMAN 

COLONIES * 

No one can overestimate the weight in winning this war 
of the morale of the Allies born of the righteousness of their 
cause. They said, and the world believed them, that they 
were engaged in this war for no selfish purpose. They were 

* Article in Public Ledger Dec. 16, 1918. 



THE LEAGUE AND THE GERMAN COLONIES 165 

enlisted in the terrible struggle to end the hideous immorality 
and unmorality of militarism, to restore stolen goods and 
to further the establishment of governments in accordance 
with the will of those governed. 

France sought Alsace-Lorraine as a measure of justice* 
Italy sought the Trentino and Trieste on the same ground. 
The United States and Great Britain sought the acquisition 
of no new territory. Great Britain has indicated that she 
does not desire the return of Helgoland, that island off the 
mouth of the Elbe which Lord Salisbury sold to Germany 
and which has proved so formidable a naval outpost of the 
German empire in this war. 

The question as to the German colonies, however, has 
raised a doubt among some whether Great Britain will adhere 
religiously to the attitude of seeking no additional territory. 
Germany has colonies in East and West Africa of large 
extent. She has a colony of large area in the neighborhood 
of Australia, part of the island of New Guinea. The 
Australians, the New Zealanders and the South Africans 
among the English colonists object to the return of these 
colonies to Germany, because Germany's ownership of them 
has been a threat to Australia and New Zealand and has 
required special defenses by them. 

It is to be inferred from the clearly proved outrageous 
treatment by Germany of her colonists that the Peace Con- 
ference in Versailles will conclude that none of her colonies 
should be returned to Germany. They have not been ad- 
ministered for the benefit of the backward peoples in the 
colonies. The treatment of these peoples is of a piece with 
the atrocious conduct of the Germans in this war. 

Under the principles laid down in the fourteen points, 
therefore, the only question which the conferees can take up 



/ 



1 66 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

is how shall these colonies be administered. That they are 
not now capable of self-government goes without saying. 
The Australians and New Zealanders would doubtless wish 
that the German colony in New Guinea should be taken over 
by Great Britain. The South African English colonists will 
probably seek the same result. 

It would be too bad for Britain to yield to the urgings of 
her daughters in this regard. She cannot afford to do it It 
will arouse at once the attack that she is exhibiting the same 
land-grabbing propensities which have been charged to her 
in the past. 

There is no argument making more strongly for the estab- 
lishment and maintenance of a league of nations in connec- 
tion with this treaty than the need of a proper method of 
providing for these German colonies. They should be 
governed by an agency of the league of nations charged with 
the duty of educating the natives, leading them on in the 
paths of civilization and extending self-government to them 
as rapidly as their fitness will permit. They will thus prove 
to the world the equitable and just motives and aims of the 
nations who frame the provisions of this epoch-making 
treaty. 



THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS AND RELIGIOUS 

LIBERTY » 

The earnest effort of the Jews of the United States to 
induce our executive to remedy the intolerable condition of 
their co-religionists in the backward countries of Europe has 
often been met and defeated by the argument that our 

1 Article in Public Ledger Dec. 17, 1918. 



THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS AND REUGIOUS LIBERTY 167 

government can not interfere with the domestic affairs of 
another nation. This argument has little if any application 
to the present situation. There is much evidence accumulat- 
ing to show that the pogroms and abuses of the Jews con- 
tinue in the countries where they have heretofore existed, 
and that the chaotic and lawless condition in these countries 
has offered an opportunity for the cruel gratification of race 
and religious prejudice. On the whole, it is not too much 
to say that the people of the Jewish race have suffered more 
in this war, as noncombatants, than any other people, unless 
it be the Serbians and the Armenians. 

In Poland and in Galicia the true story of their agonies 
and losses is heartrending. The five nations who are to 
draft the treaty at Versailles are setting up governments in 
Poland, in the Ukraine and in the Baltic provinces. In all 
of these the Jewish population is a substantial percentage of 
the whole. In their sad story we find the Jews in the Middle 
Ages seeking refuge from the oppression and cruelty of 
Western Europe and rushing to the great empire of Poland, 
then stretching from the Baltic to the Black Sea, to take 
advantage of a charter of religious tolerance and oppor- 
tunity granted by one of the liberal Polish kings. The irony 
of fate, however, ended the Polish kingdom and a large part 
of it was turned over to Russia, which ground the Jews 
under its tyrannous heel. This is why half of the thirteen 
millions of Jews living in the world were at the beginning 
of this war to be found in the Russian pale in which Jews 
were permitted to live, to which they were limited, and which 
was practically coterminous with the territory which Russia 
had taken from old Poland. 

One of the great projects of this Congress of Powers at 
Versailles is to set up independent governments in these ter- 



1 68 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

ritories of the Russian, Jewish pale. We shall be derelict in 
our duty if we do not require, as part of the fundamental 
law of these new republics, that the Jews shall have as great 
religious freedom as they have in the United States. But 
we must do more. We must have a league of nations to 
see to it that such fundamental law exacted by the treaty shall 
be enforced. We find full precedent for such a provision 
in the law in the treaty made by the Cong^ress of Berlin, in 
which Bulgaria and Rumania were established as independ- 
ent countries. Rumania, which had long been a heinous 
sinner against the Jews, was forced by the Berlin Congress 
to accept, as part of its constitution, a declaration that there 
should be complete religious freedom and that no citizen 
should be discriminated against on account of his religion 
in any respect. The Rumanian government had the 
audacity, after incorporating the guaranty in its fundamental 
law, to declare and hold that Jews who had lived in Rumania 
for two or three hundred years, father and son, were aliens. 
In this way the protection of the Jews provided for in the 
treaty of Berlin was denied, and this was after Rumania had 
secured recognition as a government on an additional 
promise of fair treatment of the Jews. 

Let us have no farcical result in working out this treaty of 
Versailles. Could we find a stronger argument for the con- 
tinuance of our league of nations than this ignominious fail- 
ure of that congress of 1879, under the presidency of Bis- 
marck, to carry out its declared purpose? If there be any 
people who should be earnestly in favor of a league of na- 
tions as the outgrowth and the condition of this treaty now 
being framed at Versailles the Jews are that people. 



PRESIDENT WILSON AND THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS 1 69 

PRESIDENT WILSON AND THE LEAGUE OF 

NATIONS ' 

President Wilson says that the statement of the Chicago 
Tribune that, before sailing, he approved the plan of the 
League to Enforce Peace is untrue and that he never directly 
or indirectly indorsed the plan. It is not believed that any 
one, for the American League, ever claimed that he did. 
From what he has said, however, he has given the world 
reason to believe that he favored action by a league of 
nations to achieve results only to be brought about along 
the lines of the American League to Enforce Peace. He 
has, because of his addresses and messages on the subject, 
come to be regarded as the foremost champion of a league 
of nations to maintain peace after this war. It is the con- 
fident belief of the people of France that he has attended the 
conference in order to secure such a league which prompts 
their enthusiastic and affectionate acclaim. He will do well 
to bear this in mind. He must not give the word of promise 
to the ear and break it to the hope. He has spoken so much 
on the objects of this war, he has laid down in a didactic 
form so many principles in their application to all the peoples 
in the sphere of the war, he has pictured with such eloquence 
the idealistic results for the freedom, justice and peace of the 
large and small nations affected by the war, that if he now 
fails to propose and secure in the treaty practical machinery 
for a real league of nations, which shall enforce peace, he 
will properly be held responsible for a lame and impotent 
conclusion iDcfore the world and its expectant peoples. 

Mr. Wilson is master of an inspiring style of promise, in 

» Article in Public Ledger Dec. 23, 1918. 



170 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

which he encourages hopes and ideals and awakens the 
enthusiasm of popular expectancy without committing him- 
self to constructive suggestions for a definite method of 
achievement. In dealing with the peoples of the world, who 
are looking to him as a savior from future war and a pre- 
server of peace and democracy, this habit of mind and 
expression is now to be subjected to the severest test in his 
career. He has in his keeping not alone his own reputation 
for good faith, but that of the great people for whom he is 
the spokesman. 

Let us see what this League of Nations, whose formation, 
he says, is absolutely indispensable to the maintenance of 
peace, is. Let us study it from his speeches. 

On May 27, 1916, Mr. Wilson delivered a written address 
at the dinner of the League to Enforce Peace in Washington. 
He expressly declined to discuss the program of the League, 
whose guest he was, but he clearly specified certain objects 
and laid down principles of international action which ac- 
corded with the objects and principles of the league. He 
said the people of the United States would wish " a universal 
association of the nations to maintain an inviolate security of 
the highway of the seas for the common and unhindered use 
of all nations of the world and to prevent any war begun 
either contrary to treaty covenants or without warning and 
full submission of the causes to the opinion of the world — 
a virtual guarantee of territorial integrity and political inde- 
pendence." He further said at this dinner that ** the world 
was even then upon the eve of a great consummation, when 
some common force will be brought into existence which 
shall safeguard right as the first and most fundamental 
interest of all peoples and all governments, when coercion 
shall be summoned not to the service of political ambition 



PRESIDENT WILSON AND THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS I /I 

or selfish hostility, but to the service of a common order, a 
common justice and a common peace." 

He delivered these words to a society whose plan included 
for its proposed league of nations a congress of Powers 
to improve international law, an international court and an 
international council of conciliation, to which all interna- 
tional differences were to be submitted, and, finally, a com- 
mon and combined police force of the nations together with 
combined economic boycott to prevent the advent of war 
before there has been full submission of the dispute to such 
tribunals. It was impossible for those who heard the Presi- 
dent against this background to escape the conviction that 
he was in general and almost specific accord not only with 
the purposes but with the method of the league. How could 
the just results which he sought be obtained without interna- 
tional tribunals ? How could a league of nations act through 
a common force without obligation of its members to respond 
with contributors to such a common force when war was 
begun without submission? 

Since that speech much has happened. But the President 
has continued to refer to a league of nations and to the 
major force of the world as a means of securing peace and 
justice. 

In the fourteen points of the message of January 8, 191 8, 
we find references to a League of Nations and its guarantee 
as follows: 

In the second point it is said that the high seas may be 
closed only " by international action for the enforcement of 
international covenants." 

In the third point establishment of equality of trade con- 
ditions is to be required " among all nations consenting 
to the peace and associating themselves for its mainte- 



nance." 



172 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

In the fourth point adequate guarantees are to be " given 
and taken that national armaments will be reduced to the 
lowest point consistent with domestic safety." 

In the eleventh point it is provided that " international 
guarantees of the political and economic independence and 
territorial integrity of the several Balkan States should be 
entered into/' 

By the twelfth it is enjoined that '' the Dardanelles should 
be permanently opened as a free passage to the ships and 
commerce of all nations under international guarantees." 

In the thirteenth point it is required that Poland shall be 
secured '' a free passage to the seas/' and her " political and 
economic independence and territorial integrity should be 
guaranteed by international covenants." 

In the fourteenth point it is said that a ** general associa- 
tion of nations must be formed under specific covenants for 
the purpose of political independence and territorial integrity 
to great and small States alike." 

In his address of September 27, 1918, he said: "There 
can be no leagues or alliances or special covenants and un- 
derstandings within the general and common family of the 
League of Nations." 

" There can be no special, selfish economic combinations 
within the League and no employment of any form of 
economic boycott or exclusion, except as the power of 
economic penalty by exclusion from the markets of the 
world may be vested in the League of Nations itself as a 
means of discipline and control." 

He signaled the entry of the United States into the war 
by his message of April 2, 19 17, in which he said we were 
to fight " for a universal dominion of right by such concert 



k 



PRESIDENT WILSON AND THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS 1 73 

of free peoples as shall bring peace and safety to all nations 
and make this world itself at last free." 

Other passages of similar import might be cited, but these 
are enough to show that those who read them had a right to 
believe the President was committing himself to a league 
of nations, bound by covenants of its members to maintain 
justice, freedom and peace among nations large and small 
and to do this by force; i. e., by the combined armies and 
navies of the members of the League. The maintenance of 
justice necessarily carries with it the conception of a court 
to administer it : to hear the differences submitted, pronounce 
judgment and enforce it through the executive agencies of 
the League. 

This is the general plan of the League to Enforce Peace. 
Mr. Wilson's plan is more ambitious in that the members 
of the League are mutually to guarantee the political and 
territorial integrity of all the signatories of the treaty. By 
this the United States would bind itself to preserve by arms 
the boundaries and independence of Poland, of the Balkans, 
of the Czecho-Slavs and all the new republics to be bom of 
this treaty, as Great Britain did those of Belgium. 

We cannot suppose that, after giving these assurances to 
the peoples of Europe, President Wilson will be content with 
a treaty of mere good intentions and with declarations obli- 
gating no nation to do anything to maintain justice, freedom 
and peace, but leaving it to the uncertain moral sanction of 
the conscience of each nation to find out what justice is and 
then to do it. 



174 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

SENATOR LODGE ON THE LEAGUE OF 

NATIONS * 

Senator Lodge's speech in the senate on the twenty-first 
of this month was the best yet made on the aims of the Allies 
and the elements of a satisfactory treaty of peace. It was 
comprehensive and accurate, lucid and forcible, felicitous in 
phrase and elevated in tone. It was in the senator's best 
style, and that is a high standard. 

Its great merit is in its broad vision of the real purposes of 
the United States and her present obligation. The senator 
summarizes certain objections to the general League of Na- 
tions. These are, as lawyers would say, obiter dicta in this 
speech, because he now asks a postponement of that subject 
matter, not its rejection on its merits. 

There are those who minimize the burden the United 
States should assume in execution of this peace; they deny 
that she should share it with her Allies. Mr. Lodge is not 
one of those. He is not a little American. He does not 
recur to the farewell address of Washington and the phrase, 
" entangling alliances," enjoined by Jefferson in order to 
employ them narrowly to limit the responsibilities of the 
United States, now that it has become the most powerful 
nation in the worid. 

In his address he said : 

" We went to war to save civilization. For this mighty 
purpose we have sacrificed thousands of American lives and 
spent billions of American treasure. We cannot, therefore, 
leave the work half done. We are as much bound, not 
merely by interests and every consideration for a safe future, 

^ Article in Pmblic Ledger Dec. jo, 1918. 



SENATOR LODGE ON THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS 1 75 

but by honor and self-respect, to see that the terms of peace 
are carried out, as we were to fulfill our great determination 
that the armies of Germany should be defeated in the field. 
We cannot halt or turn back now. We must do our share 
to carry out the peace as we have done our share to win the 
war, of which the peace is an integral part We must do 
our share in the occupation of German territory which will 
be held as security for the indemnities to be paid by Germany. 
We cannot escape doing our part in aiding the peoples to 
whom we have helped to give freedom and independence in 
establishing themselves with ordered governments, for in 
no other way can we erect the barriers which are essential to 
prevent another outbreak by Germany upon the world. We 
cannot leave the Jugo-Slavs, the Czecho-Slovaks and the 
Poles, the Lithuanians and the other states which we hope to 
see formed and marching upon the path of progress and de- 
velopment, unaided and alone." 

He says that the United States is obliged to aid Russia in 
rising from the chaos and disorder which has come upon her 
to the place which she ought to occupy in the family of na- 
tions; that the object of the Russian Bolsheviki has been to 
destroy their fellow citizens and every element which was 
necessary to a social fabric under which men could live and 
prosper while they themselves profit in money and in power 
from the ruin they have wrought; that they indulged in 
murder and massacre, destroyed property and all the instru- 
ments of industry, and the unhappy and ignorant people of 
Russia, in whose name they undertook to act, are to-day suf- 
fering from famine and disease, and are in a worse condition 
than they were in the days of the Romanoffs ; that if Russian 
anarchy should be permitted to spread through western civil- 
ization, that civilization would fall; that we cannot leave 



1/6 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

Russia lying helpless and breathing out infection on the 
world ; and that it would be discreditable to the United States 
if we failed to recognize our duty to her. 

The Senator's speech was delivered to establish the neces- 
sity for postponing the consideration by the conference of 
five of the fourteen points of the President's message of 
January 8, referring to secret diplomacy, to freedom of navi- 
gation and the seas, to the removal of economic barriers, to 
the reduction of armament, and to the central League of 
Nations. 

It must be admitted the Senator's argument for a post- 
ponement of these questions to an adjourned conference has 
weight. It may be that in the immediate settlement of them 
is to be found a means of solving difficulties in agreement 
upon specific terms of peace, of which neither the Senator 
nor we are advised. 

A stipulation that the five Allies dictating this treaty 
should not make any treaty as between themselves incon- 
sistent with the purpose of the great treaty and should make 
no secret treaties at all, may well strengthen mutual con- 
fidence in the good faith of all in the main treaty. 

The general reduction of armaments of all nations does 
not immediately concern the peace in the sphere of war, pro- 
vided Germany's teeth are effectively drawn. 

The provision against economic barriers is a general 
question of world trade, the immediate settlement of which 
does not, on the surface, seem essential to the adjustment of 
the purposes of the nations in winning this war. The sub- 
currents of selfish purpose in respect to trade, however, may 
require a preliminary settlement of such a general principle 
as the best basis for adjusting special interests. 

The freedom of the seas in time of war is a very general 



k 



THE league: why and how 177 

issue, postponement of which to the adjourned conference 
would hardly interfere with a satisfactory peace settlement 
for the present. 

What should be emphasized, however, and what Senator 
Lodge brings out with force of argument that cannot be 
met, is the fact that we now have a league of nations — 
the United States, England, France, Italy and Japan — 
whose obligations in respect to securing the results of the 
war in Europe are equal. They are dictating this peace. 
The treaty will not enforce itself. 

• ••••■•• 

Unless we stamp out the poisonous infection of Russian 
Bolshevism and prevent its spread throughout the countries 
of Europe, we shall only substitute anarchy, chaos and 
plundering, murderous violence for imperial despotism. 

We can only achieve these results by continuance of this 
existing league of Great Powers. Of this Senator Lodge's 
great address is a demonstration. 



THE LEAGUE : WHY AND HOW * 

It is possible that we need not include all the nations in 
the League in order to perform the task that we have set 
for ourselves ; but it is essential that we should have a league 
of the Great Nations to enforce peace, if the treaty of peace 
is to accomplish any of the objects that we and the Allies 
have had in the war. 

^Address delivered at Montclair, N. J., Dec. 30, 1918, under the 
auspices of the College Women's Club. 



178 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

Now, the expression league of nations is used to indicate 
something, and I think it is just as well to define it so that 
we may know what we are talking about. Of course it 
serves some purposes to have a slogan which you do not 
have to define. It gives you an opportunity to make a cam- 
paign without reference to details. You shout it to the 
crowd, and when anybody presents objections you can say 
that that is not the kind of a league of nations you favor. 
Therefore I think it best to define what we mean. I say 
we ; I mean a party of dreamers, mayhap, who got together, 
after the war began, to formulate something. Way back in 
an administration that is now forgotten — I did not wish 
to bring it up again, but I only refer to it as a reminiscence 
and a date — treaties of peace were negotiated with Eng- 
land and with France by the United States. They provided 
for arbitration of all justiciable issues between the contract- 
ing parties. We thought we had made a good deal of pro- 
gress in negotiating and signing those treaties, and the Sec- 
retary of State and the Ambassadors who signed were 
photographed and there was a general feeling that something 
had been done that was of historical interest. Well, that 
is the only interest it has now ; because when they got to the 
Senate, that august body truncated them and amended them 
and qualified them in such a way that their own father could 
not recognize them. 

There was no danger of war between the United States 
and either France or England; we had proven the lack of 
danger by a hundred years of peace. And since the treaties 
had really been framed as models, when they came back thus 
crippled and maimed, they were not very useful. So I put 
them on the shelf and let the dust accumulate on them in 
the hope that the Senators might change their minds, or 



THE league: why and how 179 

that the people might change the Senate ; instead of which 
they changed me. Now those treaties were an improvement 
on previous treaties. The previous treaties, of which there 
were many (there is no trouble in getting treaties of arbi- 
tration; you can get them by the bushel when they do not 
clinch anything), had provided that the contracting nations 
would arbitrate every question except one that concerned 
vital interests, honor or territorial integrity, leaving it, of 
course, to either party to determine what concerned its vital 
interests or its honor. Well, as no nation would ever go 
to war for anything but what did, in its opinion, concern its 
vital interests or its honor, the treaties ought to have read, 
and properly and freely rendered did read, " we agree to 
arbitrate every question which is not likely to lead to war." 
Therefore the assistance such treaties gave in the matter of 
peace was not perceptible. 

So we adopted this form by which we agreed to arbitrate 
every justiciable question. It is necessary to know what 
justiciable means. Old Noah Webster said that the word 
had become obsolete. Well, since his time it has been 
revived, notably in the decisions and opinions of the Supreme 
Court. It is used by Mr. Justice Bradley, by Chief Justice 
Fuller and by Mr. Justice Brewer, and it means a contro- 
versy that can be settled in court on principles of law ; one 
capable of settlement by the disposition of justice. 

• ••••••• 

Those of us who have been engaged in promoting the 
settlement of difficulties by arbitration were of course over- 
come with disappointment when the war broke out. We 
knew that armament was heavy ; but we thought it would be 
a brake on the people, who must realize from the armament 
itself first, how destructive war would be, and second, how 



l8o TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

enormously expensive it would be. Nevertheless, within 
a week after the first of August, 1914, Europe was at war. 
And then those of us who had suffered this disappointment 
gathered ourselves together to see if we could not get some 
plan to discourage war, some plan which we could induce the 
nations to adopt after this war was over, after this dreadful 
destruction had come to an end, and when men would be 
longing for some means of promoting and making peace 
permanent. We met at the Century Club and afterwards at 
the Independence Hall, and organized the League to Enforce 
Peace. 

.•..a... 

When the war began the people of this country were anxious 
to keep out of it. The President's proclamation of neu- 
trality was received by them with approval. We did not 
realize then what was at stake. We thought we could be 
neutral and keep within the lines of international law and 
avoid being drawn into the struggle. We were neutral and 
we did keep within the lines of international law; but we 
found it was impossible to avoid being drawn into the 
struggle. Of course we say we were drawn into it, as we 
were, by the blindness and cruelty of Germany's submarine 
policy. But what did that grow out of? It grew out of 
the circimistance that in war, as it is now carried on, it is 
impossible for a nation, which furnishes to the world what 
we furnish, to remain neutral. We were the market to 
which all the nations engaged in this war resorted for food, 
munitions and war equipment. Until the British navy 
swept the German navy from the seas, we furnished to both 
sides with impartiality what they came to buy. The 
fortunes of war having limited us to the Allies as our 
customers, that which was inevitable came about : Germany 



THE league: why and how i8i 

came to realize that our resources were going to enable the 
Allies to win the war. We were within our rights under 
international law in doing what we did. But it was found 
that we were so close to Europe, so much involved by our 
trade with all of Europe, that it was practically impossible 
for us to exercise our rights as international tradesmen with- 
out in effect so strengthening one side that that side was 
bound to look upon us as the means by which they could 
carry on the war ; and its enemy was bound to take the same 
view. Accordingly Germany determined to resort to the 
murderous policy of the submarines, in which she was will- 
ing to sacrifice the rights of innocent noncombatants and 
citizens of the United States in order to frighten us out of 
exercising our international rights upon the seas. That is 
what drove us into the war; and any future European war 
will probably bring about the same result. It shows how 
deeply interested we are, even from a selfish standpoint, in 
suppressing European war or war anywhere that is likely 
to spread. The world is now so closely knit together, 
oceans to-day being means of union rather than of separa- 
tion, that in future wars there will be no great neutral. 

When we got into this war we found that its issues were 
infinitely greater than that which drove us in. Our vision 
broadened. We discovered that our purposes in the war 
must be as broad as the purpose of the enemy we were 
fighting, that we must utterly crush him in order to cure his 
lust for power and to defeat that which was divulged as no 
less than a purpose to rule the world. Germany had, for 
forty years, been preparing for this war. Bismarck had 
taught her the value of military force. By wonderful suc- 
cesses in three wars, in each of which Germany, or Prussia, 
acquired territory and by all of which Germany was solidi- 



1 82 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

fied, the German people became convinced that they were 
supermen, became convinced that they had learned the secret 
of applying scientific principles to the military art. They 
were taught in their schools that the highest development of 
national greatness was military force. They were taught to 
worship the supremacy of the Grerman State. Having ap- 
plied this system of efficiency and thoroughness and these 
scientific principles to the military art, they proceeded to 
extend them to every field of human activity. That 
thoroughness, that system, that efficiency, which they called 
" kultur," enabled them to win in agriculture, manufacture, 
business, transportation, and every field of applied science. 
It also added to the size of their heads, already enlarged 
by military successes. They prospered under that false and 
wicked philosophy. Materialism forced itself into their 
schools and dominated their general view ; and while grow- 
ing ever more materialistic they began to use the conception 
of God as a partner in the enterprise. They said that He 
needed them in supporting His philosophy, that it was their 
design, under His direction, to spread this kultur by force 
in order to help Him make civilization a success. No con- 
sideration of decency, humanity, honor or morality must be 
allowed to interfere. That was the doctrine; you can see 
it in the lectures from their university platforms. The 
whole people were saturated with this dreadful principle, 
namely, that the victories of the state must be achieved at all 
hazards and without regard to those ordinary considera- 
tions that restrain individuals in society. And that led to 
their atrocious conduct of the war. They became obsessed 
with a madness. When we got into the war we began to 
realize — what our Allies had realized before — that the 
only thing that could rid the world of this danger was com- 



THE league: why and how 183 

plete defeat of the German people. We were fighting the 
German people, not the HohenzoUerns alone; for until we 
cured the German people of this obsession, until we cured 
them of this disease which was in their heads, we had not 
achieved the purposes of the war that had forced itself on 
us. We could only do this by a surgical operation on their 
heads to be performed with a club. We have been using 
that club and now we have got to keep our grip on it for 
some time until they show, by bringing forth works meet for 
repentance, that the cure has been effected. 

That is the purpose of the war. How are we going to 
achieve it? We have got through the first act, a very im- 
portant one; but others remain. The armistice was made 
as the basis of a future treaty which was to cover the sub- 
ject matter and to achieve the purposes outlined in President 
Wilson's message of January 8, 19 18, as modified and quali- 
fied by the Allies' insistence upon indemnities and by the 
refusal on their part to yield to the clause with respect to 
freedom of the seas, which they said was too indefinite. 
• •>••■•• 

We shall have to use some agency like the League of 
Nations in dealing with Constantinople, which will have to 
be internationalized, because the Bosporus, the Dardanelles, 
and the Sea of Marmora constitute a throat through which 
the countries on the Black Sea obtain access to the Mediter- 
ranean. Constantinople must therefore not be presided over 
by any nation having a selfish motive to close that passage. 

Then we come to Russia, what are we going to do about 
Russia ? Russia had the Romanoffs, but as between a one 
man despot and a mob I prefer the one man. The Bol- 
sheviki are the lowest proletarians led by a few professionals 
and if you can get a worse combination than that, I do not 



184 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

know what it is. They proceed on the theory that anybody 
with thrift, anybody with enterprise, anybody who dresses 
well and tries to help his family to a higher level, is an enemy 
of society. In order to be rid of them they get the country 
into a condition where there is not enough food to go round, 
divide the people into classes — the rich, or rather those who 
were rich, the bourgeoisie, the intellectuals and the pro- 
letariat — feed the lowest element of the proletariat, starve 
the other classes, and then, if the latter do not disappear 
rapidly enough, imprison the leaders and shoot them en 
masse without trial. This is simple, if it does not commend 
itself in any other way; and that minority — for they are a 
minority of the proletariat — will ultimately become a ma- 
jority if they just keep it up. The Bolsheviki are, in fact, 
deadly enemies of society. They are not democrats; they 
are not republicans; they are not in favor of popular rule. 
They called a constituent assembly and then drove the dele- 
gates out of the assembly chamber. On what ground ? On 
the ground that a majority of those elected were bourgeoisie ; 
they were respectable; and they could not brook having a 
respectable majority in power. Therefore they took forcible 
possession of the country and through the Soviet they are 
maintaining a tyranny the like of which has never been seen 
in history. They have far exceeded the tyranny of the 
French Revolution, without any justification. Unless we 
suppress that, unless those nations that are responsible for 
this loosening of the social ties see to it that that poison is 
stamped out, they have not done their work, they have not 
achieved their purpose. We must (when I say we, I mean 
the Allies) , by some means, and force is the only means, give 
to these poor people of Russia an opportunity themselves to 
set up government by majority ; and we cannot do that unless 



THE league: why and how 185 

we maintain a combined force of the Allies. That is an 
essential part of it, and that is one of the provisions of our 
League. 

• ••••••• 

Then there are half a dozen republics, perhaps more, 
which we are to launch. Their peoples have not had any 
experience in self-government. Self-government, which has 
been defined by President Wilson as character, is a great 
boon to people who are able to practice it. It needs train- 
ing, self-restraint. We do not realize that in this country. 
We seem to think that it is a panacea which we can apply 
to the troubles of Hottentots or anybody else. The same is 
true of our idea of liberty. We talk about liberty, but we 
really don't understand its value, because it comes to us as 
the air we breathe. It is hard to make people understand 
the benefits which they are enjoying under this government 
and to realize that our liberty has been the result of sacrifices 
and blood and struggle for a thousand years by our Anglo- 
Saxon ancestors. And so it is with self-government. We 
had to take our liberty by forcibly separating ourselves from 
England ; but she had herself enabled us to learn self-govern- 
ment even before we separated. This country has since be- 
come the great exemplar of self-government by the power 
of popular self-restraint. At no time is this self-restraint 
more in evidence than in the period between the presidential 
conventions and the second day after the election. Each 
party holds a convention and makes a platform. The plat- 
form explains with elaborate detail, with eloquence and with 
perfect fairness, what a horrible thing it will be to let in the 
other party or to continue the other party in power. Candi- 
dates are nominated and subjected to a scrutiny which be- 
littles the power of the microscope. I know something 



l86 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

about it. And then the orators, the torch-light procession, 
and the party activity! The visitor from Mars, interested 
only in the developments attending these great mass meet- 
ings and heated discussions, says : " Well, I will stay here 
until the election, because, with all this feeling, with people 
dividing into such equal forces and determined to win, there 
is certain to be an explosion then." The election comes 
and it is as quiet as a May morning. Each voter, man or 
woman, goes into the booth and votes as he or she wishes, 
or he votes as she wishes or she votes as he wishes. The 
votes are counted and the result is announced, perhaps that 
night, perhaps the next day or the next afternoon. But 
when the result is known, every man and woman is aware 
who it is that is certain, if he lives, to carry on and guide 
the destinies of this country in the executive branch of the 
government. Everybody acquiesces, and men, women and 
children follow the pursuits of the day as usual. Now, that 
is self-government. The minority acquiesce. They may 
think of the next election, but they make no trouble. 
Why? Because they realize that the majority, when they 
come into power, will administer the government as a trust 
for all the people, and that the rights of all will be preserved 
equally. That is what makes self-government possible. In 
Central America you find a very different state of affairs. 
There, whenever they have an election, the minority take to 
the woods, with their guns, and try to shoot themselves into 
a majority. Those are the two extremes. But any people, 
who have not had the training in popular self-restraint that 
we have had — this understanding of the responsibility of 
the majority for all the people — are likely to stumble and 
fall. We have tried it in the Philippines and in Cuba. We 
gave Cuba self-government After three years they had an 



THE league: why and how 187 

election which caused a revolution. Mr. Roosevelt sent me 
down there to stop it and launch the Republic once more. 
Well, I could not stop it except by sending for the army and 
navy of the United States. That step had a wholesome, 
conciliating, quieting effect. We were not called upon to 
fight We took over the island and held it for two years. 
We passed a lot of good statutes, among them an election 
law, held a fair election under it and then turned over the 
government to those elected. We had launched her once 
more. If she ever requires it, we will do the same thing over 
again and launch her again, and then again, until she gets 
strong enough — I hope she is now — to stand alone. And 
now, instead of setting up one Cuba we are setting up half 
a dozen. We are carving them out of the dominion of the 
empires that we have been engaged in fighting. We are 
putting them where the racial resentment, combined with 
memory of the tyranny practiced, will prompt them to be im- 
patient and headstrong in dealing with those empires. And 
the people of those empires will harbor the resentment which 
always comes against persons that have broken away from 
one's control. We are setting up these governments for two 
reasons : first, because we are in favor of giving people a 
chance to choose their own government ; and second, because 
we are hemming in Germany, taking away the territories she 
ought not to have so that she may never again raise her head 
in pursuit of world power. 

In order to do this we have got to arrange the machinery 
that shall maintain peace. The old powerful empires were 
much more likely to maintain peace than are these numerous 
new governments left to themselves. Unless we exercise 
the power of the father over these new children of ours they 
will prove unruly and bring about the very war that we are 



1 88 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

trying to prevent by creating them. I do not know any 
mathematical demonstration that is clearer than that. The 
danger is that these nations do not know their rights. They 
have the frailties of human nature, and it is an unaccustomed 
business for them. They are ambitious. Each one is deal- 
ing, without experience, with liberty and independence and 
self -development. Our liberty is liberty regulated by law. 
And when you say liberty regulated by law, you mean liberty 
regulated and limited by the rights of others so that all may 
enjoy the same liberty and equal rights. Just so nations 
must have independence limited and regulated by law — by 
international law ; and we have got to devise and maintain 
the machinery that shall make it possible. 

This treaty is going to be as long as the moral law. 
There never was a treaty so complicated as this will be. 
No matter what the character of the contract, even though 
drawn by the ablest lawyer who ever drew a contract, if it 
has many provisions, if it is complicated, it will need inter- 
pretation in application. But how interpret a contract 
authoritatively? That is a justiciable matter. That is what 
we have courts for ; and it is impossible for this treaty to be 
executed unless you have a court, appointed by the same 
power that made the treaty, to interpret the treaty. It will 
be especially needed when the new events arise that are 
certain to arise in the lives of these new nations. If you 
know any way by which those questions can be satisfactorily 
decided other than by a court with authority to decide them, I 
shall be glad to hear of it. And there you have the first 
plank in the platform of the League to Enforce Peace. 

Next, there will be questions of policy which do not come 
under the head of justiciable questions. You have got to 
have somebody representing the League to negotiate and ad- 



THE league: why and how 189 

just compromises of that kind. This League that is meeting 
in Paris is a ponderous body. Premiers and Presidents 
cannot be there all the time. They have got to leave an 
agency there and that agency must represent the League in 
the matter of settling differences which arise between the 
nations they are creating and the nations out of which they 
are created. And so you have the second provision as to 
a commission of conciliation. These new nations are going 
to manifest all the faults and the weaknesses of children. 
It is inevitable. And the thing that makes children better 
and leads them on is discipline. You do not always have to 
use the broad hand, but it is helpful to have it in the family. 
Therefore we need a combined force, which can be counted 
on when needed, to convince these creations of this treaty, 
these governments, and these people, that there is a power 
having the means of enforcing the judgments and the com- 
promises that will be reached under the court or the com- 
mission. This is the third or force plank of the League 
platform. 

Then the Congress of Powers is bound to enlarge and, in 
a way, codify and make more definite the principles of inter- 
national law, and this is the fourth plank of the platform of 
the League to Enforce Peace. 

Now, having that League before us as a necessity, the 
question arises, shall we go on to the larger League? 
Shall we invite in the other nations of the world to form a 
league that shall assume the responsibility of this treaty and 
also endeavor to make war less probable in the world at 
large? Shall we introduce a league which shall work not 
only to keep peace in that sphere but also to keep peace be- 
tween the very Powers that make this league, and between all 
the other Powers of the world? The question whether that 



190 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

shall be done now or later is a question that can be de- 
termined on the ground. Even if it is not determined 
now, the step that is taken by creating this smaller league 
to achieve its purpose of maintaining peace, where peace 
is more doubtful and where the problems are so much 
more difficult than in a normal world at peace, will be a long 
step towards the possibility of a general League of Nations. 
Heretofore this has been an academic question. Peq[>le 
have been interested in its discussion, but the war seemed 
remote and peace seemed remote. Now the question is live ; 
it is before us ; since the President will bring back with him 
this treaty with a provision for a league of nations in it. 

If the President does come home with a treaty like this, 
then it behooves us all to unite in support of it ; if there be 
difficulties in it, to suggest how the difficulties may be over- 
come ; but to appreciate the purposes of that League, to ap- 
preciate the fact that the world is longing for it and the 
oppressed and suffering peoples of the Allies are longing for 
the machinery that shall prevent a recurrence of the dread 
disaster through which they have passed. We should look 
at it from a progressive standpoint, should realize that some- 
thing has happened since the war began, that the assumption 
that everything which has occurred in the past is going to 
recur, that there is no hope of change, is the doctrine of 
pessimism and fatalism. This war has been fundamental in 
its character. It has shaken the foundations of society. 
And people who look forward, who look for better things, 
are not discouraged because something like that which is 
now proposed has been tried before and failed. They refuse 
to assume that it will therefore fail again. Progress is not 
made without some risk. We never enter into new experi- 



THE league: why and how 191 

ments without realizing that there may be a failure. But 
is that a reason why we should not go forward ? Eloquence 
is all right, platforms are all right, declarations of ideals are 
all right, provided they are accompanied by willingness to 
make sacrifices and run risks to accomplish the ideals. But 
they must not be treated as things of substance, their mere 
declaration an end in itself, imposing no obligations on those 
who have uttered them to go on and do the things they extol. 
I have heard it said that this League of Nations takes 
away sovereignty. Now, if we say to a nation we are going 
to keep you within the bounds of international law by this 
organization, do we limit its independence any more than 
we limit our own independence under a system of laws that 
are enacted for the benefit of society and for our own bene- 
fit? Every time we make a treaty by which we bind our- 
selves to do anything we limit our sovereignty. Sovereignty 
is only a matter of definition and degree. The question is : 
how far are we willing to go in yielding that entire freedom 
of action and that license to wage war for aggressive and 
selfish purposes. We need not be frightened by a definition. 
We agree to arbitrate; we agree to abide the result of an 
arbitration. That limits our sovereignty, does it not? 
Well, is that so heinous ? We have agreed not to put war- 
ships on our great lakes. That is a limitation of our sov- 
ereignty, is it not? If we were a jingo nation which in- 
sisted on doing everything it wanted to do, right or wrong, 
we ought to be able to put men of war on that water bound- 
ary; but we have agreed not to. Are we ashamed of that 
limitation on our sovereignty ? Are we not on the contrary, 
proud of it? We know that England and the United States 
will never get into a war. Everybody knows that ; we have 
got the habit of arbitrating. It took us fifty years to get it 



192 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

and then we had each to lose a case. England lost the Ala- 
bama Claim and we lost that Fisheries Case. They said we 
had stolen five millions worth of fish and apparently they 
proved it. They got a judgment and we paid it just as they 
paid the judgment against them. Well, that limited our 
sovereignty. Was it so disgraceful? We learned to play 
the game. You can't go into an arbitration and play it on 
the theory of heads I win, tails you lose ; that unless you do 
win you won't play. You have got to be good losers. 
When we go on and say that we are going to have this great 
court lay down the law and that we are going to enforce 
the judgment, of course that interferes with our freedom of 
action — to the extent that we cannot escape execution of 
the judgment — exactly as a man's freedom is limited when 
he agrees to pay a thousand dollars and does not pay it and 
his creditor comes into court and gets a judgment under 
which an execution is levied on his property. 

Now I am ready to answer any questions concerning the 
League that may occur to the audience. 

A Voice: I would like to have you state, if you will, 
what membership you would begin with, and what limita- 
tions, if any, you would impose upon it. 

Mr. Taft : That is a very apt question. I think it is 
wise to begin with the Great Powers. When you organize 
a club and you want clubable members you make your se- 
lections with care. There are a lot of nations that are ir- 
responsible. If you call them all into a convention at once, 
they will insist on having equal voice with the most re- 
sponsible and powerful nations, and I am not in favor of 
that. I am in favor of a practical arrangement; and this 
peace creates the opportunity for it. These five nations are 
an initiating nucleus that is most valuable in creating a 



THE league: why and how 193 

real league of all nations which are responsible nations. 
If we call a convention of all then every one will want to 
be heard and they will object if they are not given full 
representation. Now you have got to make a practical ar- 
rangement. Every nation ought to be heard in a congress 
that lays down the rules of law. What the proportion of 
representation should be is a matter of expediency and jus- 
tice. You cannot fix it according to population alone, be- 
cause China would then have four times as many votes as 
the United States. There ought to be a proportionate rep- 
resentation on some fixed basis, depending on importance and 
power, and perhaps on the average intelligence of the people ; 
but you can fix that when you have a managing commit- 
tee that passes on qualifications for admission. Such a 
league is going to be a great boon for the small nations. 
It is going to give them protection ; and therefore it is go- 
ing to be such an advantage that they will be glad to 
come in under reasonable conditions. But if you consult 
them all at once they will not be able to agree. We have 
had experience in that matter. In arranging the framework 
of an international court of admiralty prize, a court to 
deal with captures at sea, we were able to agree upon the 
membership because there were a lot of nations which had 
no navies and no merchantmen and which were therefore 
not concerned about naval prizes. But just as soon as we 
tried to establish a world-court, passing on general disputes 
between nations, then every nation wanted a judge on that 
court. That would have made the court worse than a town 
meeting, and it became impossible. 

. ....... 

I am not in favor of letting in Germany for a long time. 
She must show herself worthy. She is a criminal before 



194 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

the bar of justice. When you arrest a criminal and find a 
pistol on him you take it away. That is why, in this matter 
of reduction of armament, we have the right to say to 
Germany, " we will draw your teeth," and that is what we 
have been doing. I do not know whether you share my 
feeling, but nothing has occurred since the armistice that 
has given me more satisfaction than the delivery of those 
great war vessels at the Firth of Forth, and of those sub- 
marines at the mouth of the Thames. The punishment was 
richly deserved. 



FROM AN ARTICLE IN THE PUBLIC LEDGER, 

JAN. I, 1919 

The League of Nations, to be useful, must command the 
respect of the world as upholding right and justice. The 
United States is the least interested of all the nations of the 
League in the terms of peace from a selfish standpoint. Our 
membership in it is, therefore, of the highest value. It will 
give confidence to the peoples of Europe in the purity and 
sincerity of the League's intentions to secure the good of all. 
President Wilson's trip has shown clearly the weight the 
United States has in this respect. It is not too much to say 
that he is stronger to-day with the people of Great Britain, 
France and Italy than are the respective Premiers of these 
countries. The longing of tliese peoples for a league of 
nations to maintain peace and his championing of such a 
league have had much to do with bringing about this result. 
It has secured the support of Lloyd George and Clemenceau 
for the League. This phase of the situation imposes the 



REPRESENTATION IN THE LEAGUE I95 

heaviest obligation on the United States to retain an active 
part in the execution of all the provisions of the treaty. 



REPRESENTATION IN THE LEAGUE * 

An objection made to the general idea of a League of 
Nations is the impossibility of adjusting properly and satis- 
factorily the representation of the small and large nations in 
the governmental agencies of the League. Every one is 
aware of this difficulty. It was one upon which the proposal 
for a world court halted before the war. The Study Com- 
mittee of the League to Enforce Peace, believes the solution 
is to be found in giving representation, where representation 
is necessary, according to responsibility. 

The functions of the League may conveniently be divided 
into the legislative, the judicial, the mediating and the execu- 
tive. The congress of all the world Powers, great and 
small, will consider and determine general principles of inter- 
national law and policy for the guidance of the judicial and 
executive branches. It may well codify international law 
and give it that definite legislative sanction the absence of 
which has led some jurists to deny that it is law at all. In 
such a congress the nations should have representation in 
accord with their world importance, measured by power, 
population and responsible character. 

The great advantage of having a small league of the 
great Powers formed first for the immediate necessities of 
maintaining the terms of this peace and constituting the 

^Article in Public Ledger Jan. 3, 1919. 



196 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

initiating nucleus of a larger world league is that the small 
league could work out the equitable representation of the 
smaller nations as they apply for admission. The protection 
the greater league will assure them will induce them to seek 
the boon of membership. 

The great Powers of the small league as the trustees for 
all, made so by circumstances, may then fairly adjust the 
representation which each incoming member of the great 
league should have. 

The judicial branch or court of the League should not be 
a representative body at all. It should be a tribunal made 
up of great international jurists, selected for their high 
character, judicial and impartial bent of mind, their learning 
in jurisprudence and their ability. They should be perma- 
nent judges, made independent in tenure and compensation. 
Citizenship in countries parties to the controversy should 
disqualify members of the court in the particular case. They 
should have jurisdiction only to hear pure questions of law 
and fact. 

No political question should come before them. They 
should interpret treaties and declare and apply the inter- 
national law as now established or as qualified and enacted 
by the congress of Powers. The difficulty as to representa- 
tion should not, therefore, arise as to the constitution of the 
court. Of course, to give confidence in its broad view of the 
world law, care should be taken to select judges from dif- 
ferent countries with diflFerent systems of law, and thus give 
the tribunal a world character. 

The commission of conciliation, which is a negotiating, 
mediating body, should have the representative feature. 
The small nations are too many to have members of it 
permanently ; but every nation having a real interest in the 



k 



REPRESENTATION IN THE LEAGUE 197 

issue to be settled should be represented on it for the time 
being, and its representative should take part in the media- 
tion, hearing and recommendation of settlement. 

In its practical working the great Powers will furnish the 
police force of the League, and their representatives should 
exercise the executive function. The safety and security of 
the lesser nations who cannot be expected to share the burden 
of military contribution will be found in the judgments of the 
impartial international court, in the recommendation of the 
commission of conciliation and the principles of international 
justice ordained in a congress of the world's nations. More- 
over, without representatives in the executive, they may well 
confide in the friendly and just attitude of the united execu- 
tive council of great Powers in carrying out the judgments 
of the League court and in dealing with the compromises 
recommended by the League commission of conciliation. 
The great Powers in the executive council will have no united 
interest adverse to small nations as a group or individually. 
On the contrary, they will watch one another in dealing with 
every small nation. The resultant action will be dictated by 
the common purpose of the League. 

We are not now considering the representation of the 
United States in the branches of the League. As one of the 
great Powers, it will have an influential voice in all of them. 
We are only suggesting a method of giving the small nations 
the protection they should have and a representation when 
practical and needed. 



igS TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

CRITICISM SHOULD BE CONSTRUCTIVE * 

Objections to a general League of Nations are numerous. 
Senator Borah makes merry over it. The funny column of 
the Evening Sun is filled with hypotheses of its operation and 
its absurd results. Mr. Lodge and Mr. Knox treat the pro- 
posal with more deference. Mr. Lodge in a speech at the 
dinner of the League to Enforce Peace in May, 191 6, advo- 
cated the use of force to support an international tribunal's 
judgment. Since that time he has changed his mind, but in 
his last speech he appreciates the seriousness of the proposal 
sufficiently to discuss in more detail the plan of the League. 
Mr. Knox has favored treaties of universal arbitration of 
justiciable questions and therefore has also a past to observe. 

The force and weight of objections to the League should 
be gathered first from the attitude of mind of the objector. 
If he is content to dispose of the matter on the ground that 
the idea is an old one and has never been realized, we are 
not likely to have useful help from him. One who does 
not hope that the great war has changed the feeling of the 
peoples of the world toward war so that they are willing to 
bind themselves to a world policy of peace as they never 
were before will certainly not entertain the plea of the 
League with patience. He must be waked up before he will 
give it his consideration. One who has no sense of respon- 
sibility about future world peace, but is anxious to return to 
domestic business and politics, is equally beyond reach. 

It is only from those who appreciate our great oppor- 
tunity in the dreadful results of this war to arouse all peoples 
to the wisdom of uniting the major force of the world to 

^ Article in Public Ledger Jan. 5, 19191 



CRITICISM SHOULD BE CONSTRUCTIVE I99 

prevent their recurrence that we can have sympathetic dis- 
cussion and constructive thought. The proposal of a league 
of nations should not be flouted because the members of the 
Senate are justifiably indignant over the way in which the 
President has ignored them and ignored Congress in this 
matter. When he returns with a treaty providing for some 
kind of a league of nations to maintain peace, the people 
are unlikely to be interested in the personal soreness of the 
Senate or to accept that as any factor in judging the treaty. 
The Democrats of the Senate, with only one or two excep- 
tions, will approve what the President submits. If the 
Republicans who object to the League are numerous enough 
to defeat the treaty they will have to decide whether their 
objection is really so weighty and sincere that they wish to 
furnish it as an issue to the President and his party in the 
next campaign. The pressure of the popular desire will be 
to have immediate peace. The party which delays that must 
have a strong case. 

The League of Nations is very strong with the peoples of 
Europe. It is growing stronger here. Organized labor has 
approved it. It is going to attract the mass of wage-earners 
and the plain people as it has abroad. With the President 
and the Democratic party behind it, Republican objectors 
who manifest no constructive desire to create machinery to 
keep the peace, but depend wholly as of old on armament 
and troops to settle difliculties, will not be heard with favor. 
The contemptuous skepticism of the Senate cloakroom, the 
cheap sarcasms of " the old diplomatic and senatorial band," 
the manifest spirit of " how not to do it," will be very poor 
weapons with which to combat an idealistic campaign for a 
definite plan for permanent peace and democracy. 

The next presidential campaign promises well for the 



200 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

Republican party if that party, through its congressional 
representatives, does nothing to change the present trend. 
But if enough Republican senators attempt to defeat or hold 
up the treaty of peace because it makes the United States a 
member of a League of Nations to maintain peace they will 
seriously endanger the chance of Republican success. 

The Senators who discuss any plan for a League should 
show their interest, not by knocking it out with one blow, 
but by suggesting changes in it which would be more prac- 
tical than the ideals proposed and would still serve the gen- 
eral purpose. They should make their consideration hope- 
ful and optimistic by searching for alternative details of 
method which might avoid the objections they conceive. If 
any of the critics of the League in the Senate, or out of it, 
have given such evidence of their sympathetic interest in 
the project and its purpose, it has not been brought to our 
knowledge. The whole tone of the objectors has been 
pessimistic. Running through all their attacks is the C3aiical 
assumption that the great war has made no difference in the 
attitude and duty of the peoples of the world toward war 
and peace, except that for the time it has injured the power 
of Germany to make further trouble. They, in effect, ad- 
vocate the retirement of the United States to its shell of 
isolation, to reappear again only when the war-making 
proclivities of any nation, Germany, or any other country, 
shall threaten the interests of the United States. This is 
the gospel of despair and national selfishness. 

The possibility of a breach of national faith may be 
pointed out as a weakness of the League. If so, it is 
inherent in every treaty, the value and utility of which must 
ultimately rest in the honor of the nations making it. The 
more responsible the nations the greater their power of per- 



Roosevelt's contribution to league 201 

formance, the keener their appreciation of their honor, the 
clearer their perception of the value to themselves and the 
world of maintaining the treaty, the greater the certainty 
that the treaty will live and effect its purpose. 



ROOSEVELT'S CONTRIBUTION TO LEAGUE 

OF NATIONS ^ 

The last editorial of Colonel Roosevelt on the League of 
Nations, posthumously published, is one of the most im- 
portant he ever wrote. It is important in its useful sug- 
gestions and limitations as well as in the spirit of construc- 
tive statesmanship which prompted it and shines through it. 

The idea of a League of Nations is not a new one, as 
Senator Knox pointed out in his Senate speech. Among 
others, Sully, the great minister of France, proposed it. 
Tennyson with his poetic vision and pen fixed it forever in 
memory. In more recent times Theodore Roosevelt, in his 
speech accepting the Nobel peace prize, revived the thought 
and gave it more definite character by emphasizing the 
feature of an international police force which could impose 
international justice. 

During the war, men of action, intensely absorbed in the 
great and critical task of developing all the energies of the 
Allies to win in a contest so fraught with the fate of the 
world, found it diflicult to be patient with the discussion of 
a plan for peace which could only be realized after the war 
was won, and under which they saw lurking a tendency to 
a peace by negotiation and without victory. Roosevelt, 

* Article in Public Ledger, Jan. 15, 1919. 



202 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

Clemenceau and Lloyd George shared this feeling. As 
might be expected, it found freer expression from the Ameri- 
can leader, in his unofficial status, than from the other two. 
Colonel Roosevelt's nature recoiled from association with 
an idea he found supported by men without a country who 
exalt internationalism and deprecate nationalism. With 
them the League of Nations seems to mean the dilution of 
that intense and moving love of country, the source of all 
real effective progress, into a nervous, colorless, flabby and 
transcendental brotherhood of man. Universal brotherhood 
should, of course, be an increasing influence in the world 
and is, but it will never be useful if it means the loss of 
patriotism. The relation of one to the other should be as 
love of home and family is to the love of country. The one 
strengthens the other. The emasculated supporters of inter- 
nationalism as an antidote for love of country are inclined 
to regard the home and family as reactionary. Those insti- 
tutions find no sympathetic protection among the Bolsheviki, 
foreign or domestic. 

Moreover, men of the dynamic type, like Roosevelt, had a 
suspicion that all pacifists were pressing a league of nations 
as a stalking horse for compromising the vital principles at 
stake in the war. Hence their coldness toward the subject 
and their criticism of any definite plan. But proceeding in 
due order, these men of action now find themselves con- 
fronted by a situation that demands an organization of world 
force to secure the just fruits of the war. Now they look 
upon a league of the Great Powers, who won the war, as an 
existing fact, and they face the problem of how the mani- 
fold and complicated purposes of the treaty, after they have 
been defined and the treaty signed, shall be effectively car- 
ried out and maintained. As practical men they now take 



ROOSEVELT'S CONTRIBUTION TO LEAGUE 203 

up the League of Nations and study it in the earnest desire 
to make it work. 

In this way Theodore Roosevelt, having long ago pro- 
posed a league in his Nobel prize address, was brought 
around by logic of events to a sincere eflFort to frame a plan 
which would avoid the numerous objections that have been 
suggested by himself and others and still make progress 
toward the ideal he held out at Christiania. He studied all 
the plans proposed, considered their possible weaknesses and 
defects and busied his ingenious mind with finding alterna- 
tives which would be practical and still achieve the main 
purpose. He had in his mind the thought that under the 
general obligations of the League, when force had to be 
threatened or used, a great Power like the United States 
should act as a policeman in the western hemisphere, while 
the great Powers of Europe should in the first instance keep 
the peace of the world in the Balkans and in Eastern Europe* 

It was clearer to him than it seems to be to others who 
do not see the real need of a league and who are not so 
anxious, therefore, to make it useful to the world, that the 
European nations will only be too glad to recognize our 
Monroe Doctrine as a policy in the interest of world peace. 
Why should they not, when the principles and operation of 
the League are really directed to the creation of a Monroe 
Doctrine of the world? 

What Colonel Roosevelt always insisted on was that the 
United States should not promise in a treaty to do things 
which it could not or would not perform. Certainly, every 
one must sympathize with this common-sense restriction 
upon tmwise and transcendental enthusiasm. He feared 
there were issues not to be settled on principles of law and 
thus called nonjusticiable, which might, nevertheless, be sub- 



204 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

mitted to a court and decided against the will of a party to 
the treaty. His suggestion is that each nation might state 
those issues and after discussion have them specifically in- 
corporated in the treaty as nonjusticiable. 

He feared, too, that the United States might be committed 
to an obligation not to maintain military preparedness 
sufficient to protect itself against unjust aggression. He 
protested against reduction of armament which was on the 
theory that the League of Nations would form a substitute 
for reasonable defense, at least until its efficacy for such a 
purpose had been fully demonstrated by actual test of time. 
Certainly, many who earnestly support a League concur 
in such a view and believe with him that universal military 
training of the Swiss type may well be instituted in this 
country, both as an insurance against unjust aggression and 
as a proper preparation for such contribution to the world's 
police force as the United States may be called upon to make. 
Incidentally it will constitute an important factor in the edu- 
cation of our youth in the duties of life. 

For these reasons the proponents of the League of Nations 
to enforce peace may rejoice in this posthumous aid that 
Theodore Roosevelt gives to the League. He has the great- 
est personal following in this country, and his words go far. 

His attitude toward the problems involved in the League 
may well furnish an example to the doubters and opponents. 
Let them treat the League as something in its purpose to be 
desired, and let them lend their thoughts not to devising 
and imaging objections but to finding alternative substitutes 
in its structure which will not be subject to their own objec- 
tions. 



WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT MUST BE 205 

THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS, WHAT IT MEANS 

AND WHY IT MUST BE * 

The original program of the League to Enforce Peace ^ 
adopted at Philadelphia June 17, 191 5, was enlarged and 
made more ambitious at a meeting of the governing body 
of the League on November 24, 1918. It then declared 
that the initiating nucleus of the membership of the League 
should be the nations associated as belligerents in winning the 
war. 

It declared further : 

First, that the judgments of the international court on 
justiciable questions should be enforced ; 

Second, that the League should determine what action, if 
any, should be taken in respect to recommendations of the 
Council of Conciliation in which the parties concerned did 
not acquiesce ; 

Third, that provision should be made for an administra- 
tive organization of the League to conduct affairs of common 
interest and for the protection and care of backward regions 
and international places and other matters jointly adminis- 
tered before and during the war, and that such administra- 
tive organization should be so framed as to insure stability 
and progress, preventing defeat of the forces of healthy 
growth and changes, and providing a way by which progress 
could be secured and the needed change effected without 
recourse to war ; 

Fourth, that a representative Congress of Nations should 
formulate and codify rules of international law, inspect the 

^An address delivered before the National Geographic Society, in 
Washington, D. C, January 17, 1919. 
' The Program is printed in full on page i. 



2o6 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

work of the League's administrative bodies, and consider 
any matter affecting the tranquillity of the world or the 
progress or the betterment of human relations ; 

Fifth, that the League should have an executive council to 
speak with authority in the name of the nations represented 
and to act in case the peace of the world is endangered. 

It further declared that the representation of the different 
nations in the organs of the League should be in proportion 
to the responsibilities and obligations that they assume, and 
that rules of international law should not be defeated for 
lack of unanimity. 

It will thus be seen that the American association has be- 
come more ambitious in its aims since its first declarations. 
Under the first declaration it did not propose to enforce 
judgments of the court or in any way to deal with the recom- 
mendations of compromise, the exercise of force by the 
League being directed only against a nation beginning war 
before submission to the Court or the Council. 

In England, after the organization of the American 
League, a British League of Free Nations Association was 
formed, proposing a Court and a Commission of Concilia- 
tion, the use of force to execute the decisions of the Court, 
and the joint suppression, by all means at their disposal, 
of any attempt by any State to disturb the peace of the 
world by acts of war.^ 

^The first important group formed in England for advancing the 
idea of a League of Nations was the Bryce group. Others which fol- 
lowed were the League of Nations Society, the Fabian Society group 
and the Union of Democratic Control. The London International Allied 
Labor and Socialist Conference Feb. 22, 1918, likewise put out a most 
important program. Following the formation of the League of Free 
Nations Association, to which Mr. Taft refers, that body and the 
League of Nations Society merged into the League of Nations Union. 
[Editor]. 



WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT MUST BK 2O7 

It looked to the immediate organization of a League of 
Great Britain and her then allies, with a view to the ultimate 
formation of a League of Nations on a wider basis, includ- 
ing states then neutral or hostile. It excluded the German 
peoples until they should bring forth works meet for repent- 
ance and become a democracy. 

It contained a provision for action by the League as trustee 
and guardian of uncivilized races and undeveloped terri- 
tories. It proposed as a substitute for national armaments 
an international force to guarantee order in the world, and 
proposed a further function for the Council of the League 
in supervising, limiting, and controlling the military and 
naval forces and the armament industries of the world. 

Late in 191 8 a French Association for the Society of Na- 
tions ^ reconmiended that the Society of Nations should be 
open to every nation who would agree to respect the right 
of peoples to determine their own destiny, and to resort only 
to judicial solutions for the settlement of their disputes; that 
the use of force be reserved exclusively to the international 
society itself as the supreme sanction in case one of the 
member states should resist its decisions; that the Allies 
shotild form their association immediately and should work 
it out as completely as possible in the direction of sanctions 
of every kind — moral, judicial, economic, and in the last 
resort military — as well as in that of promulgating gen- 
eral rules of law. 

The French Society further provided that the Society of 
Nations thus immediately formed should control and con- 
duct the negotiations for the coming peace. 

It will thus be seen that the League of Nations, as con- 

^ In France we had, antedating the French Association for the 
Society of Nations, two very active groups, The League of the Rights 
of Man and League for a Society of Nations. [Editor]. 



208 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

ceived by its proponents in three of the four great nations 
that have won this war, has substantially the same structure. 
It includes a court to decide justiciable questions, a Council 
of Conciliation to consider other or nonjusticiable questions 
and to recommend a compromise. It calls for the organiza- 
tion of the combined economic and military forces of the 
world to enforce the judgments of the courts, and to deal 
with a defiance of the recommendations of the mediating 
council as the executive body of the League shall deem wise. 
■ ••••••• 

The American, English, and French plans all show a pur- 
pose to create a smaller League of the allied nations fighting 
this war, who are, so to speak, to be charter members of a 
larger League, which they are to form by inviting other 
nations into it as they show themselves fitted to exercise the 
privileges of the League, to enjoy its protection and to meet 
their obligations as members. The American plan refers to 
these allied nations who won the war as the initiating nucleus 
of the larger League. 

Each plan looks to the enforcement of judgments and 
leaves open to the League the question of what shall be done 
with reference to compromises recommended and not 
acquiesced in. Each one looks to a congress of nations to 
declare and codify international law. 

One of them provides for the reduction of armament; 
the others omit it. It does not appear in the American plan. 
I may say that this was not because the ultimate reduction 
of armament was not regarded as important, but because it 
was thought that this feature of a League of Nations might 
meet serious objection until the League should be shown to 
be an effective substitute for the insurance which reasonable 



WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT MUST BE 209 

preparation for self-defense gives against unjust foreign 
aggression. 

• •••••>• 
What are the objections to a League of Nations developed 

in this way and thus constituted ? The first and chief objec- 
tion is that the United States ought not to bind itself to make 
war upon the decree of an executive council in which it has 
but one vote out of four or five. 

What authority and duty does the executive council have 
in the League? It will be its duty to see that judgments are 
executed. 

Why should we object if called upon to declare war and 
make our contribution to the police force to maintain peace 
by enforcing a judgment of an impartial court? Such a 
judgment is not the result of the vote of other powers than 
our own. It is merely a decision on principles of inter- 
national law as between two contending nations. 

We have heard a great deal during this campaign of inter- 
national justice. Why should we favor international justice 
and then refuse to furnish the machinery by which that jus- 
tice can be declared and enforced? What risk do we run? 

• ••.•••. 
With reference to the enforcement of recommendations 

of compromise, the executive council should consider 
whether it is a case in which peace would be promoted more 
by economic or military enforcement than merely by inter- 
national public opinion. 

If, in such a case, it is thought that a majority of the 
executive council should not control the right to call for 
military execution of the compromise, such action might be 
limited to a unanimous decision of the executive council. 



2IO TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

This would prevent the imposition of the burden of war, by 
the determination of the League members, upon any nation 
without its consent. Or the enforcement of such a com- 
promise, if determined on by a majority of the executive 
council, might be left to that majority. 

Senator Knox seems to anticipate that the United States 
will be drawn into war against its will by a majority vote of 
a convention of heterogeneous nations. 

No such result could follow from the organization of a 
League as indicated above. The assumption that the votes 
of Haiti, or San Salvador, or Uruguay could create a mar 
jority forcing the United States into a war against its interest 
and will, under a practical League of Nations, is wholly 
unfounded. It would be left to the vote of an executive 
council of the Great Powers, and even then the United 
States, under the modifications above suggested, could not 
be drawn into war against its will. 

Objectors who rely on the Constitution seem to assume 
that the League plans contemplate a permanent international 
police force, constantly under command of a Marshal Foch, 
who may order the international army to enforce a judgment 
or a compromise without the preliminaries of declarations 
of war by the League members. This is wholly unwar- 
ranted and no plan justifies it. When force has to be used, 
war will be begun and carried on jointly in the usual way. 



LEAGUE OF NATIONS AND PRESIDENT 
WILSON'S ADVISERS * 

The reports of correspondents to whom has been attrib- 

^ Article in Public Ledger Jan. 20, 1919L 



LEAGUE AND PRESIDENT WILSON'S ADVISERS 211 

uted the privilege of peeping into the presidential mind give 
rise to some concern among the sincere advocates of a 
League of Nations to Enforce Peace. The failure of the 
President to indicate any definite structure for the League, 
as the champion of which he is now hailed by the world with 
such acclaim, creates an uneasy suspicion that he has not 
thought out any definite plan of his own. In his frequent 
references to the League, he has stated what it will not be 
rather than what it will be. His attitude is that of one seek- 
ing a plan which will encounter no objections either in the 
congress at Paris or in the congress at Washington. In 
the formulation of a new political institution the sincere and 
successful builder works by the affirmative method primarily. 
He has before him always the object to be achieved, and he 
frames the cooperating parts of his plan with that first in 
view. He should be trying to do something. He should not 
be trying merely to fulfill a promise to do something by com- 
ing as near to it as he can without meeting criticism. No 
reform worth having was ever put through without a fight. 
Faith not only in the value of the ideal but faith in a prac- 
tical plan needed to realize the ideal is required to bring real 
results. 

The element of the plan of a present League of Nations, 
which must distinguish it from past efforts to secure peace 
by agreement of nations, is the organization of the forces of 
lawful nations to compel justice from lawless nations. The 
President loves to dwell on the moral sanction of justice 
which is to prevail after this war. Let us agree with him 
that it will be stronger than before the war and that in and 
of itself it will help to make war less probable. But if that 
is the only sanction the League of Nations is going to furnish 
for the judgments of its court and for the suppression of 



212 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

lawless violence by recalcitrant nations, it will be a failure 
and a laughing stock — at least the influence of such moral 
force will be as great without the League as with it. 

It is unfortunate that the President, with his apparent lack 
of any definite plan for a league should not be able to find 
a single earnest supporter of a real league of nations to 
secure peace in the commission which he has taken with 
him. 

Secretary Lansing has heretofore always been opposed to 
a league of nations to enforce peace. His confidential ad- 
viser, James Brown Scott, has always opposed it and vigor- 
ously urged merely an international court, whose judgments 
are to be enforced by the obligations of honor and moral 
suasion. Mr. White has had the traditional attitude of the 
old diplomatic hand toward such an innovation. Few know, 
if any, what Mr. House's real attitude is or that of General 
Bliss. The commission is now engaged in examining forty 
different plans, we are told, with the hope, by the selective 
method, of hitting upon something as innocuous to Senate 
predilections as possible. A reported interview with Mr. 
White makes conformity to the Senate's views his objective. 
Has the cold attitude of the commission toward an effective 
league been changed by the eagerness of the common peoples 
of the Allies for it and by the enthusiasm with which the 
President's eloquent periods concerning the League have been 
greeted? Let us hope so. 

Lloyd George and Clemenceau are practical men. They 
have declared for a league. They will wish to create some- 
thing which will be a real instrument to do the things that 
have to be done by the treaty. They have men about them, 
Lord Robert Cecil, M. Leon Bourgeois and others, who, as 
earnest advocates of a league, have been framing plans and 



"the league of nations is here" 213 

studying details under the official authority of their respec- 
tive governments. May we not hope that in this way there 
will be offered to the President by Great Britain and France 
the constitution of a league which will have vigor and clinch- 
ing efficacy and which, after full consideration and needed 
qualification, he will accept? A mere reliance on moral 
force and good intentions to maintain peace among the new 
and old nations of Central and Eastern Europe and to resist 
and suppress the pacifistic ideals of the Bolsheviki, and the 
massacres and destruction wrought by them, will make the 
congress a dangerous and discouraging farce. It will be 
retreat and not advance. 



i€ 



THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS IS HERE " ^ 



The expression at the Peace Conference of President 
Poincare and Premier Qemenceau in reference to the 
League of Nations and the published rules of the Congress 
are reassuring to those who look to the growth of an effec- 
tive and real league out of the situation. The French 
leaders see clearly, and say with emphasis, that we have a 
league of nations now, and that it must be maintained in 
order to achieve the purpose of the war. The circumstances 
of the struggle forced the Allies into an interallied council 
and then into a common command of the armies under Foch. 
But for that the war might not have been won. 

The rules of the Congress recognize that the five great 
nations, Great Britain, France, Italy, Japan and the United 
States, are the ones which have an interest in all the 

* Article in Public Ledger, Jan. 23, 1919. 



214 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

questions coming before the Congress as guardians of the 
welfare of the world, made so by the logic of their winning 
the war. They are thus established as the initiating nucleus 
of a world union, as the charter members of a league of 
nations. 

It is to be noted that the League of Nations is the first 
subject to be considered by the Congress. This seems to be 
at variance with the views of James M. Beck and Senators 
Lodge and Knox. Mr. Beck argues that, as our fathers 
waited five years after winning independence before mak- 
ing a constitution, the nations ought to be equally deliberate 
in discussing and framing a constitution for the world. 
Most people agree, after reading the description by Hamilton 
and Madison of conditions existing in the interval between 
our independence and the convention of 1787, that it would 
have been much better if the convention could have been 
called earlier. Of course it may be said that the bad state 
of affairs during the interval was necessary to bring the 
people to see the necessity for a stronger government. But 
surely Mr. Beck would not wish a recurrence of the quarrels 
of nations and another war to convince the peoples of the 
world of the necessity and advantage of world unity to sup- 
press war and maintain peace. It is now, just after this 
horrible war when its agonies, its sufferings, its lessons, its 
inhuman character, all are fresh in the minds of men, that 
they will be willing to go farther in making the needed and 
proper concessions involved in a useful and real league of 
nations. Delay will dull their eagerness to adopt the ma- 
chinery essential to organized protection against war. 

But another fact which Mr. Beck and Mr. Knox seem to 
ignore is that a treaty of peace cannot be made at Paris, by 
which the peace of Europe can be secured and maintained 



"TttE LEAGUE OF NATIONS IS HERE*' 21$ 

without a league of nations. These gentlemen may well 
be challenged to tell us what arrangements they would sug- 
gest to the five nations engaged in forming this treaty for 
peace and in making it work, unless it be a continuing league 
of those five nations to maintain it. 

How can the objects and purposes of the fourteen points, 
especially those directed to rearranging the map of Eastern 
and Central Europe and Asia Minor, be achieved and carried 
to peaceful realization except through a league of nations 
embracing the five great powers? No one opposed to the 
league of nations idea has essayed to answer this very 
practical question. The Paris conference is confronted with 
it and must answer it suggestively by making the League of 
Nations the first subject for discussion. Premier Clemen- 
ceau said: 

" The League of Nations is here. It is for you to make 
it live." Senator Lodge in his speech fully recognized the 
existence of the League of great nations in the war and the 
necessity for its continuance. Indeed it is probable that if 
Senator Knox and Mr. Beck were cross-examined, their ad- 
missions would show them to be not very far removed from 
the view that something substantially equivalent to a league 
of great nations must be definitely formed by this Congress 
with agreed-upon means of enforcing the stipulated peace. 

The Associated Press informs us that a league of nations 
is in the forming, but that the super-sovereignty of an inter- 
national police force is to be rejected as part of it. This 
negation is not very helpful. Except in Tennyson's poetic 
vision and in the plans of impracticables, no such suggestion 
as super-sovereignty has been advanced. 

• ..•*••• 

Most opponents of the League idea have assumed that the 



2l6 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

so-called international police is to be a permanent body under 
an international commander and subject to orders without 
invoking consent of the nations contributing to the force. 
This is a misconception. A potential international police 
force will be erected by an agreement of the Great Nations 
to furnish forces when necessary to accomplish a legitimate 
purpose of the League. In most instances, no actual force 
will need to be raised. The existence of an agreement and 
confidence that the nations will comply with it is all that will 
be needed. Nations who have judgments against them in a 
court of the nations will generally perform them. It will 
only be where defiances of such judgments will lead to a 
dangerous war that the League force need be raised. 

Of course, during the interval after the conclusion of 
peace, the possibility of differences and the danger of Bol- 
shevism may require a retention of some of the war army 
strength of the Allies to see the treaty through to its effective 
execution. But after the return of normal times the 
strength of the League to secure compliance with the treaty 
obligations and justice will not be in its serried columns, but 
in its potential power under the joint agreement. 

In the convenient division of the world into zones, in 
which the respective Great Powers shall undertake the 
responsibility of seeing to it that members of the League 
conform to the rules laid down by the treaty, it will be 
unnecessary for any nation to send forces to a distant 
quarter. The United States can properly take care of the 
Western Hemisphere and need not maintain in normal times 
a military establishment more extensive than she ought to 
maintain for domestic use and the proper maintenance of 
the Monroe Doctrine without such a league. They may be 
well supplied, not by a professional army, but by a system 



THE league's '*BITE" 21 7 

of universal training on democratic principles like that in 
Switzerland or New Zealand. If this be conscription, its 
opponents may make the most of it. It will help our boys 
in discipline of character and in a most useful educational 
way. It will provide for the prompt display of democratic 
power to achieve justice. The picture painted by Senator 
Borah of the army of the United States needed for the pur- 
poses of the League is the result of a lively imagination, but 
does not find support in the real need of the League. 

After the League of the Great Powers has been estab- 
lished for the purpose of executing the plans of the new 
treaty, it will be time enough to take in all other responsible 
Powers. The lesser League will grow naturally into a 
larger League. Experience will test the practical character 
of the lesser League and in this wise and in due course the 
world League will come into being. But meanwhile as a 
necessary condition precedent to the success of the treaty 
of peace, it must provide for a League of the Great Nations. 



THE LEAGUE'S " BITE "^ 

Those who are looking for something real in a league of 
Nations to preserve peace, in creating sanctions for inter- 
national law, justice and equity, may well feel concerned 
over the developments in Paris. Such persons have based 
their hopes on the psychological effect of the horrors of the 
war upon all nations, which should make them willing to 
concede much to achieve the main object of the war. They 
have counted on securing a covenant between the members 

1 Article in Public Ledger, Jan. ap, 1919. 



2l8 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

of the League to unite, whenever necessity may arise, with 
the powerful members of the League to compel compliance 
with judgments of the League and to suppress recalcitrant 
members faithless to the principles of the League and to their 
obligations. They can hardly be blamed for so doing, in 
view of President Wilson's words, as follows: 

" I pray God that if this contest have no other result, it 
will at least have the result of creating an international 
tribunal and producing some sort of joint guaranty of peace 
on the part of the great nations of the world." ..." Now, 
let us suppose that we have formed a family of nations and 
that family of nations says : ' The world is not going to 
have any more wars of this sort without at least first going 
through certain processes to show whether there is any- 
thing in the case or not.' If you say, ' We shall not have 
any war,' you have got to have the force to make the ' shall ' 
bite. And the rest of the world, if America takes part in 
this thing, will have the right to expect from her that she can 
contribute her element of force to the general understanding. 
Surely that is not a militaristic idea. That is a very prac- 
tical ideal." 

The indorsement of these views by Mr. Lloyd George was 
as follows: 

" The best security for peace will be that nations will band 
themselves together to punish the peace-breaker." 

Mr. Asquith's comment on the President's views was as 
follows : 

" The President held out to his hearers the prospect of an 
era when the civilization of mankind, banded together for the 
purpose, will make it their* joint and several duty to repress 
by their united authority and, if need be, by their combined 
naval and military forces, any wanton or aggressive invasion 



THE league's "bite" 219 

of the peace of the world. It is a fine ideal, which must 
arouse all our sympathies/' 

From these statements of this ideal it is a descending 
climax now to hear that no member of the League is to bind 
itself to unite its forces with any other in enforcing the 
judgments of the league court or in punishing the peace- 
breaker. We are now to depend on moral force or the exer- 
cise of an economic boycott, it may be, and on the general 
public opinion of the world. If a nation which is interested 
in a judgment in its behalf desires, it is to be given the right 
to go to war to enforce it. We have still the wonderful 
and eloquent preaching of the ideal of a League of Nations 
while we see its strength and *' bite," to use Mr. Wilson's 
expression, fading into merely moral aspirations and moral 
sanctions. 

This is doubtless in part due to the difficulties that the 
nations now sitting around the council board in Paris are 
having in maintaining their armies. After four years of 
war the pressure of the men engaged in it to be released from 
their military duty is so strong that the nations cannot resist 
it. That is probably the explanation of the very weak policy 
adopted in respect to the Bolsheviki. The Congress cer- 
tainly would not have run the risk of exposing its members 
to just criticism had they not felt deeply the difficulty con- 
fronting them in sending an adequate force to Russia to 
stamp out the contagion, to rescue the Czecho-Slavs and to 
give Russia a chance. The error that our administration 
made during the war was in resisting the urgent appeal of 
our Allies to send a large force into Russia, through 
Vladivostok and Archangel, to create an eastern front. 
Such a force would have largely obviated the Bolsheviki 
complication. The Czecho-Slovaks, whom we have 



220 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

promised to help, are in a perilous situation, while our own 
little handful of men are fighting an aimless fight against 
great odds near Archangel. 

Should they who have expected real " bite," to repeat Mr. 
Wilson's expression, in the League of Nations, be dis- 
couraged? Institutions like the League of Nations, which 
represent an advance in civilization, are created by the 
necessity of the situation. 

• ••.*••* 

It is, of course, difficult to comment on plans for the 
League as they are outlined in the cabled reports of cor- 
respondents. They seem to be anxious to convince every- 
body that, while the League of Nations is a beautiful idea 
and inspires emotion when urged as President Wilson urged 
it in the congress at Saturday*s session, nevertheless, its 
covenants are not going to involve any trouble or obliga- 
tion or burden for the United States, but will permit com- 
plete freedom of action or withholding of action when war 
shall come again. 

Lord Robert Cecil is reported to have suggested a court 
to which all justiciable questions are to be submitted, while 
nonjusticiable questions leading to trouble are to go to a 
council of conciliation. This is accompanied, however, by 
the notable proviso that every nation may determine for 
itself whether the question threatening war is justiciable or 
not. This is equivalent to saying that every nation may 
keep out of the court of the League if it chooses, no matter 
what the issue. The court is thus to be constituted to decide 
questions which both quarreling nations are willing to sub- 
mit to it. It is thus as effective as the present voluntary 
arbitration of the Hague tribunal and no more. If, now, 
every proposal with anything of a "bite" in it is to be 



THE LEAGUE AND THE GERMAN COLONIES 221 

weakened to ineffectiveness, the common peoples of France, 
England, Italy and the United States, who have been look- 
ing upon the League as a real machine, with the " bite " in 
it to prevent future wars, may well feel that there has been 
much thtmdering in the index about the League of Nations 
without tangible result. If the League is only to be an 
agreement to confer over any breach of peace by the nations, 
and will not even bind nations to submit legal differences 
to a court, the man in the street will not put much faith in 
fine words in the future. 



THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS AND THE GERMAN 

COLONIES * 

It was to be expected that selfish desire to take advantage 
of the victory over Germany would appear in the congress 
at Paris ; but it should not be gratified. The strength of the 
Allies was in the justice of their cause German lies and 
propaganda concealed the facts and at first misled many. 
As the war progressed, Germany's sole responsibility for the 
war and the grinning skeleton of her vicious purposes were 
revealed. They were confirmed by her atrocious conduct of 
the war. The claim of the Allies that theirs was only a de- 
fensive struggle to save the world from the German monster 
of militarism, in which they were prompted by no spirit of 
conquest or self-aggrandizement, gained credence among all 
nations. Declarations of war against Germany as the enemy 
of mankind followed from every quarter of the globe. Her 
isolation from all the world save from her allies, who were 
under her iron heel, became a greater and greater factor in 
lowering the morale of her people. The material influence 

1 Article in Public Ledger Feb. 3, 1919. 



222 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

of the moral righteousness of the cause of the Allies is one 
of the inspiring circumstances in the history of the Great 
War. 

This feature of the victory should not be allowed to lose 
its beneficent force by a yielding to selfish claims of partici- 
pants in the peace pact. The restoration of Alsace-Lorraine 
to France or even of the coal mines of the neighboring Saar 
district is only justice. The German outrageous destruction 
of the mines at Lens and elsewhere makes the transfer of the 
Saar district only an equitable indemnity. The same view 
justifies the delivery to Italy of Italia Irridenta. But no 
such principle applies in respect to the German colonies. 

All will applaud and support the conclusion that Germany 
has forfeited ownership of her colonies. She has grossly 
mistreated the backward peoples living in them, and in whose 
interest they should be administered. How are they to be 
governed? It is agreed that their peoples are now incap- 
able of self-government ; that to attempt to extend it to them 
would be only less hurtful to them than German domination. 
Who then shall govern them? As a member of the confer- 
ence, Australia asks the transfer of the South Pacific colonies 
to it or to Great Britain, while British South Africa presses 
for British control over the former German dependencies 
in her neighborhood. 

These pretensions are advanced on two grounds. First, 
that in the past the proximity of German possessions has 
been a continual threat to them, and, second, that their sacri- 
fices in the war entitle them to take these territories over as 
an indemnity. As to the first, the exclusion of German 
control should remove any danger. As to the second, it is 
contrary to principles upon which, under the armistice terms, 
the treaty was to be framed. It involves in its essence the 



THE LEAGUE AND THE GERMAN COLONIES 223 

proposal that these countries and their backward peoples are 
to be traded as a commodity to compensate the two British 
dominions for sacrifices in war. They are thus to be treated 
as something of value belonging to Germany and are to be 
used as a substitute for money indemnity. 

President Wilson insists that they should be administered 
by the League of Nations for the benefit of theii" peoples. In 
this he is clearly right. Where his proposal lacks strength, 
however, is in his suggestion that the League shall 
administer them through the British dominions as *' manda- 
tories." Theoretically this means that the League shall 
supervise while the respective dominions actually govern. 
Previous experience shows that such arrangements are a 
source of much friction and interfere with eflFectiveness. 
The Algeciras method of dealing with Tangier and Morocco 
was like this and was not satisfactory. Moreover, the deal- 
ing by Australia and by South Africa with native races is 
not likely to be as just and equitable as that of their mother 
country. 

Why should not the League itself establish and maintain 
a proper government of these countries? We could be in 
this way much more certain of right treatment of the back- 
ward peoples than under the "mandatories." No danger 
to their British colonial neighbors could arise f rcnn a govern- 
ment of the League. 

Why then does Mr. Wilson suggest this jJan which really 
hides territorial acquisition and complete possession and con- 
trol under a thin cloak of League supervision? It is 
because he has not given any life to his ideal of a league. 
If he gave it flesh and bones in real and definite machinery 
and power, the purpose he has as to these German colonies 
might be successfully worked out. As it is, these colonies 



224 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

will in fact meet the fate of Bosnia and Herzegovina under 
Austria, which was complete absorption. It would seem to 
be better for the backward peoples who are the wards of the 
Peace Congress to give them directly and openly to Great 
Britain, who will govern them more sympathetically and 
wisely than will her own colonial daughters. 

The President is being further embarrassed by the pro- 
posal that the United States shall administer Constantinople, 
Palestine and Armenia as a mandatory of the League. He 
does not wish to entangle the United States in the compli- 
cations of the near Eastern question, and no wonder ! Had 
he and his colleagues planned a real League of Nations and 
not a mere figure of rhetoric, or noble conception without 
1)ody, the international agency to discharge this important 
function would be at hand. 

Will not these troublesome experiences with the very first 
problems, simpler indeed than many yet to come, convince 
the Congress that a real league of nations with a '' bite " in 
it is indispensable in achieving their puipose ? 

Is it too much to hope that the history of the framing of 
the Constitution of the United States may repeat itself in 
the present Congress and the proposed League of Nations? 
When the members of the convention met there were no 
definite plans of government except one which Hamilton had 
formulated and which was not adopted. Few thought they 
would be successful in framing a real nation. Hamilton 
and a few other constructive statesmen were the only ones 
who were not faint-^hearted. As their deliberations pro- 
ceeded, as the necessities of the situation developed, proposals 
which at first were thought to be chimerical and impossible 
seemed to become more practical and necessary, and out of 
it all we got our wonderful fundamental instrument of 



FROM AN ADDRESS AT THE ATLANTIC CONGRESS 22$ 

government May not the League in the same way become 
a living thing? 



FROM AN ADDRESS AT THE ATLANTIC CON- 
GRESS FOR A LEAGUE OF NATIONS, NEW 
YORK, FEBRUARY 5, 1919. 

You will only get the ideal court when the members are 
independent, their only qualifications being their probity, 
their ability, their learning and their experience. 

They will not represent anybody, but simple justice, on 
that court. They are to apply pure principles of law and 
exercise their acumen to determine facts impartially in the 
disposition of the legal questions which come before them. 
Therefore it is not representative. But, appointees should 
be distributed with reference to bringing in knowledge of 
all law throughout the world, just as our own Supreme 
Court is distributed, not by any law, but through the dis- 
cretion of the Executive, so that the different parts of the 
country, with different methods of administration of law, 
may be brought in. 



IRELAND AND THE LEAGUE ^ 

The resolution proposed in the House of Representa- 
tives to urge upon the President in Paris that he take steps 
to secure a government in Ireland independent of the gov- 
ernment of Great Britain is ill-timed. It can only embarrass 

1 Article in Public Ledger Feb. 13, 1919. 



226 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

him in securing an agreement between the Great Powers 
who are dictating the terms of peace to Germany and rear- 
ranging the map of Middle and Eastern Europe. 

The relation of Ireland to Great Britain is a British 
domestic question, and cannot properly be made other by 
the intervention of the United States. Hope of a satis- 
factory peace in which the whole world is interested would 
have to be abandoned if the Great Powers were to look 
into and discuss the internal affairs of one another. The 
relations of the government of France to Algiers, to Tunis, 
to Morocco and her African interests, the relation of Japan 
to Formosa, that of the United States to the Philippines, 
to the Indian tribes or to the colored voters of the States of 
the South, might all be thus added to the bewildering issues 
that now claim the attention of the delegates at the Paris 
conference. This treaty is to close the war with Germany 
and her Allies, and England's relation to Ireland is not 
germane to that war and has no connection with it 

Irishmen must know that the wrongs of Ireland in the 
past have sunk deep in the minds and memories of the 
people of the United States. Whenever there has been a 
movement to remedy these wrongs, whenever the issue of 
home rule has been raised, it has awakened the strongest 
sympathy in the hearts and soub of Americans, whether of 
Irish blood or not. Americans have had immense satis- 
faction in learning that the land laws of Ireland have been 
so improved and changed that now there is a large increase 
in the number of small farms owned in fee simple by the 

farmers. 

Sir Horace Plunkett, an Irishman, has led Irish farmers 
into associations by which they have learned to improve their 
agriculture and dairy farming, to unite in the disposition 



IRELAND AND THE LEAGUE 227 

of their product and get rid of the heavy toll of the middle- 
men, so that to-day it is not too much to say that rural Ire- 
land is in better economic condition than any other agri- 
cultural part of the British Islands. This has been directly 
due to the legislation of Parliament, the leadership of such 
men as Plunkett, and the capacity for organization developed 
among the farmers. 

The political blundering of the English government and 
what, to many of us, seems the unreasonable obstinacy of the 
Protestant half of Ulster have prevented that home rule to 
which most Americans believe that Ireland is entitled. If 
she could have been made a Dominion like Canada, with 
hardly more than nominal union to Great Britiain, except in 
international matters, Ireland would certainly have been 
satisfied before Sinn Feinism was fanned into flame by the 
delay in home rule. 

Self-determination is not a certain solvent of political 
difficulty. Self-determination means a rule of the majority; 
but the question what the unit shall be, of which the majority 
is to rule, still remains. This is affected by considerations 
of geography, language, race, religion and other factors of 
solidarity or variety in the mental attitudes of the people con- 
cerned. Geography forbids a separation of Ulster from Ire- 
land, especially in view of the fact that Ulster has been repre- 
sented in Parliament by half home rule and half unionist 
members of Parliament. On the other hand, the geographi- 
cal relation of Ireland to Great Britain makes the former a 
necessary outpost against hostile attack, while the difference 
in race and the traditional lack of sympathy justify the great- 
est autonomy in Ireland consistent with British protection. 

It is remarkable that Great Britain, which has been won- 
derfully successful in dealing with colonial dependencies of 



228 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

all kinds, should have been so unsuccessful in Ireland. This 
has been true, even since her statesmen have been sincerely 
and earnestly anxious to be just to Ireland, and to eliminate 
completely from her Irish policy the motive which so long 
disgraced it, that of exploiting Ireland and her people for 
the profit of England. In Irish affairs, English statesmen 
are always a length behind. They are always willing to g^ve, 
when it is too late, that which would have satisfied Irishmen 
at an earlier stage. 

Whatever the merits of the issue now, it is not within the 
field of jurisdiction of the Paris conference, and those who 
press it there, whatever their motive, are not helping the 
successful outcome of that fateful congress. Pressure for 
the proposed resolution is due, first, to the sincere sentiment 
for it of men of Irish blood in this country ; second, to the 
desire of reckless politicians to win political support by its 
advocacy, and, third, to the timidity of others who, though 
really opposed to it as unwise, are afraid of the personal 
political consequences of their opposition. Nor should we 
omit from the elements pressing for its adoption a class of 
persons anxious to make the conference at Paris a failure. 
It is to be hoped that the resolution will be taUed. 



THE GREAT COVENANT OF PARIS ^ 

The League to Enforce Peace, of which this is a congress 
called for Oregon, Washington and Idaho, is a voluntary 
association of men and women of the United States organ- 
ized early in 191 5 to spread propaganda in favor of a plan 

1 Address at Portland, Oregon, Feb. 16, 1919. 



THE GREAT COVENANT OF PARIS 229 

for world cooperation to maintain peace, by enforced settle- 
ment of differences likely to lead to war, on principles of 
justice and fairness. Its promoters had long been interested 
in promoting arbitration between nations. They thought 
that the end of this world-destructive war would find the 
peoples of the various countries in a frame of mind in which 
they would gladly accept any reasonable international co- 
operation to prevent war. Accordingly the League adopted 
a platform in which it recommended that the United States 
enter a League of Nations, in which the members of the 
League should stipulate that all differences arising between 
them of a justiciable character should be submitted to a 
court and those of a non-justiciable character to a council 
of conciliation; that every member of the League should 
agree to refrain from going to war until after judgment by 
the court or recommendation by the council of conciliation, 
and that any member who violated this obligation by attack- 
ing any other member should be overwhelmed by the 
economic pressure of all the members of the League and the 
joint military forces of the League, if need be. Similar 
associations were formed in England and France, with 
similar platforms, except that they provided for a forcible 
execution of the judgments and a dealing with the recom- 
mendations of the councils of conciliation by the League. 

There has been until now no means of knowing exactly 
what is meant by a league of nations except by reference 
to the platforms of these voluntary associations. The 
governments of England and France created commissions 
for the special purpose of studying the proper framework 
of a league of nations, but the result of their studies was 
not given to the public. Our government had declined to 
create such a commission. On Friday last, however, the 



230 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

committee to whom the great Paris congress had delegated 
the work of preparing a plan for a league of nations, of 
which President Wilson was the chairman, made a report 
which was concurred in by the representatives of all of the 
fourteen nations at the conference. Now therefore we have 
an authoritative statement of the constitution of a league of 
nations and an official basis for its discussion. 

This constitution is indeed wider in the scope of its pur- 
pose than was the platform of our League to Enforce Peace. 
The platform of our League was a mere skeleton. It had 
prepared a tentative draft of a treaty to give it body and 
constructive details, but that tentative draft was never given 
to the public, because it was thought wiser by governmental 
authority to withhold it. The sole object of the League to 
Enforce Peace platform was to promote peace and avoid war 
by instrumentalities for administering justice between na- 
tions and by enforcing submission to such instrumental- 
ities. It did not even contain a provision with respect to 
the limitation of armament. The purpose of the constitu- 
tion reported at Paris, which we may properly call " the great 
covenant of Paris," is much wider. It rs to organize a real 
and permanent league, whose first object is to provide for 
the just settlement of differences between nations and the 
prevention of war, and for this purpose to limit armaments. 
Its second object is to exercise executive functions in the 
administration of international trusts like the government of 
backward peoples whom this war has released from the ' 
sovereignty of the Germans and the other Central Powers. 
Its third object is to promote cooperation between the na- 
tions, with a view to the betterment of the condition of labor 
in all the nations and for joint action in respect to other use- 
ful matters now dealt with by international bureaus, like the 



THE GREAT COVENANT OF PARIS 23 1 

postal union. This provides a constant series of functions 
for the League to perform and gives it substance. 

The League is to be formed by a covenant which recites 
in its preamble its general purpose, and then states in twenty- 
six different articles the agreements included in the covenant. 

The present membership of the League is to consist of 
the fourteen nations who are to be signatories to the covenant 
and to sigfn the treaty of peace. The most numerous acting 
governmental branch of the League is a body of delegates to 
meet once a year or oftener if necessary, to consist of at least 
one representative and not more than three from each nation, 
with but one vote for each state. This body of delegates is 
to pass upon the question of membership of other nations 
applying to be admitted. Before a nation shall be admitted 
it must show itself able and willing to conform to the cove- 
nant and must receive the vote of two-thirds of the members 
of the League. This is drawn to keep Germany out until 
she is fit. The body of delegates also has the function of 
taking the place of the executive council as a tribunal of 
conciliation and compromise when either party to the con- 
troversy demands it. The most important agency of the 
League is the executive council, which consists of representa- 
tives of the five Great Powers and of four other members 
to be selected by the body of delegates. This council has 
numerous executive duties for the League and in most 
respects is the League, and it performs an important function 
in mediation and settlement of differences. There is a 
permanent secretariat of the League, which is to be estab- 
lished at the seat of the League, there to perform the duties 
indicated by its name. A permanent military commission is 
to advise the council on questions of the limitation of arma- 
ment and upon military and naval matters. The League is 



232 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

given a definite diplomatic status by securing to its repre- 
sentatives the immunity and privileges of ambassadors and 
extra-territoriality for the buildings and home in which it 
has its headquarters. 

States members of the League, having a difference, may 
submit it by agreement to arbitration. The members of 
the League covenant that if they become parties to an arbi- 
tration they will abide the award of the arbitrators. If 
either party objects to arbitration, then the difference is to 
be submitted to the executive council for mediation or recom- 
mendation. If the council succeeds in securing an agree- 
ment it is to be published. If not, then the council may 
report a recommendation. If it is unanimous, excluding 
representatives of interested parties, then the council must 
take measures to carry the recommendation into effect. 
Should the executive council divide, the majority is required 
to publish its recommendations with reasons and the minority 
may do so, without further action. 

Every member of the League agrees not to resort to 
any war until three months after the difference between it 
and its opponent has been submitted to arbitration and an 
award made, or to the executive council and a recommenda- 
tion made, and not then if the party against whom war is 
threatened complies with the award or the recommendation. 
If any member of the League begins war prematurely and in 
violation of its agreement, such breach of its covenant is an 
act of war against all other members of the League and is 
to be met by universal boycott of all the members of the 
League against the recalcitrant member. Not only is this 
boycott to be conducted by members of the League, but they 
are required to prevent non-members of the League also 
from having any commercial or personal relations with the 



THE GREAT COVENANT OF PARIS 233 

outlaw member and its nationals or citizens. The boycott 
is to include a complete severance of all trade, financial and 
personal relations between the citizens of the respective 
countries, and a sundering of all diplomatic and consular 
relations. The executive council is to recommend to the 
members of the League the effective military or naval forces 
which they should severally contribute to the armed forces 
of the League to be used to protect the covenants of the 
League. The members of the League are to divide the loss 
incident to the boycott falling on some members and not on 
others, and mutually to support one another in resisting any 
special measure of hostility brought by the outlaw state 
against any one or more of them. The League members 
are bound to afford passage through their territory for the 
force of any member or members who are cooperating to 
protect the covenants of the League. The participation in 
the boycott is obligatory upon all members of the League. 
The contribution of needed military force from the several 
members of the League, while fixed by the council, is not 
obligatory. The result is, however, to create a state of war 
between the recalcitrant member and all the members of 
the League at their option, much like that existing between 
certain South American countries and Germany during the 
late war. 

The Paris Covenant does not immediately provide a 
permanent international court. It directs that the executive 
council shall formulate plans for its establishment, and that, 
when established, it shall be competent to determine any 
matter which the parties recognize as proper to submit to it. 
Its jurisdiction, therefore, even when created, will be de- 
pendent on the voluntary submission by the parties. 

When a difference arises between a non-member and a 



234 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

member or between two non-members, they are to be invited 
to accept temporary membership of the League for the pur- 
pose of settling the dispute, in accordance with the proced- 
ure just described. If the non-member refuses to accept 
the obligations of the League, it is to be treated as a mem- 
ber of the League would be treated which violated its 
covenant. This attitude toward non-members is in pur- 
suance of a declaration of the constitution that the League 
is interested in the maintenance of universal peace and holds 
any threatened breach of it as a matter of its concern as to 
which it may take action. 

Three classes of countries with peoples not ready for 
self-government are committed to the trusteeship of the 
League, which administers them through competent govern- 
ments as mandatories of the League. 

A permanent mandatory commission is established, 
which is to require annual reports of the mandatories and 
to see that the restrictions contained in the constitution or in 
the special charters which are issued by the executive council 
to mandatories have been observed. 

Amendments to the covenant are to be made only upon a 
unanimous vote of the executive council and a two-thirds 
vote of the delegates. 

This summary of the constitution of the League shows 
very clearly that the nations that agreed to it intended to 
give the League real power. This power rests on the cove- 
nants of the members of the League and on their agreed 
cooperation in the universal boycott and in their voluntary 
cooperation by the use of military force to punish any cove- 
nant-breaking member. 

This Paris covenant has been made by the five nations 
who are to prescribe the terms of the treaty of peace. It 



THE GREAT COVENANT OF PARIS 235 

has been made in view of the necessities of that treaty and 
the machinery required for its execution. This is a very 
fortunate circumstance in the creation of the League and its 
growth into a League of all Nations. A convention of all 
the nations would never have agreed on anything as prac- 
tical as this. Though the ultimate object of the League is 
the protection of the interest of weaker nations, such nations 
are most likely to be obstructive in their insistence upon 
excessive representation. This League is growing up as an 
institution forced by the necessities of the situation. It is 
a wholesome and natural process in the establishment of 
needed and permanent institutions. Out of a clear sky in 
normal times it would be a matter of the utmost difficulty to 
form such a League of Nations. Here the condition which 
confronts the world and those responsible for its welfare 
calls for immediate action. Out of that immediate action 
comes this League, adapted to present uses and admirably 
available as a foundation for a world league. 

On the whole, the short program of the League to En- 
force Peace, adopted in June, 191 5, differs but little from 
the nub of this, except that military contribution is not 
expressly obligatory and that in this either party to a differ- 
ence may avoid a court and an award and seek a council of 
conciliation in the executive body of the League where 
unanimity of recommendation is required. The proposal 
to use compulsion to secure submission rather than execu- 
tion of judgment or recommendation came from the pro- 
gram of the League to Enforce Peace, and was adopted by 
General Smuts in a remarkable brochure submitted by him 
December 16, 1918. It is understood that the President was 
much impressed with the paper of General Smuts and with 
his plan as well. We may be certain the constitution as 



236 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

now adopted was largely taken from his recommendation. 
He argued for the joint obligation of League members to 
use force, which was only partly adopted, as I have pointed 
out. He, too, recommended required submission of the 
justiciable questions to a court and of nonjusticiable 
questions to a conciliation council as the League to Enforce 
Peace had done. But the Smuts plan was much more com- 
prehensive than that of the League to Enforce Peace. From 
that plan came the mandatory system of administering 
backward countries and internationalizing cities as wards of 
the League through competent and existing governments as 
agents answerable to the League. From that plan came the 
union of all present international bureaus under the League, 
as well as the permanent secretariat. He advocated inter- 
national labor reforms through the League, and this function 
is left to be developed under the League. He, too, brought 
non-members of the League under its influence and action. 

The gfiving to the Great Powers five votes in an executive 
council of nine is one of the most important features of the 
constitution and is indispensable to any practical working 
of it. They are the responsible members who are to do the 
work. The minor states of the League enjoy its protection, 
but will not be willing to expend money or effort in main- 
taining its authority. They should not be permitted to 
arrogate to themselves equal authority with the Great Powers 
and thus seriously interfere with the League's efficient 
operations. This is a sufficient safeguard against a too early 
admission of Germany. 

The treaty of peace to be framed is to deal with Middle 
and Eastern Europe, the Near East and the German colonies. 
The plan is to create ten or a dozen new states, more than 
half of them independent republics and the remainder under 



THE GREAT COVENANT OF PARIS 237 

some sort of suzerainty of the League. These new states 
are to be founded not only in the interest of the peoples who 
form them, but also to constitute bulwarks against a revival 
of German power. Finland, the Baltic provinces, Poland, 
the Czecho-Slovak state, the Ukraine, the Jugo-Slav state 
are all to be republics to curb and make impossible a revival 
of Germany's dream of Middle Europe and of an empire 
reaching from Hamburg to the Persian gulf. They are to 
prevent the extension of Germany's influence in Russia, 
where her commercial schemes have had in the past a con- 
trolling influence. These new nations must be rendered 
stable and must be kept at peace with each other and at 
peace with the countries out of which they have been carved. 
They will cherish resentments against their former owners 
because of the oppression which they suffered at their hands 
and the latter will feel bitter toward them because their inde- 
pendent existence will remind them of their deserved humi- 
liation and defeat. Moreover, their peoples have never been 
used to self-government and we must expect internal dis- 
orders, due to that lack of self-restraint that practice in self- 
government gives. They are to be six or seven Cubas and 
must remain under the kindly assistance of the nations who 
dictate this peace until their stability is secured. 

The League of Nations which existed during the war, 
and by which the war was won, continues in the conference 
at Paris and must be continued, after the signing of the 
treaty, with machinery to secure the peaceful settlement of 
the myriad questions and differences that will arise between 
the new countries and the old in the ultimate establishment 
of their relations. The flxing and the maintenance of the 
boundaries in the Balkans, always a most diflicult question, 
and the determination of the rights of new neighbors will be 



238 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

a continuous source of adjudication and adjustment if peace 
is to be enjoyed instead of a continual state of war. In 
responding to these necessities this League has been con- 
stituted. No one could look into the problems before the 
nations ccxnferring at Paris without realizing that a league 
with judicial and adjustment machinery and provision for 
the enforcement of judgments and settlements was an abso- 
lute requirement. As the conferees proceed to consider the 
details of the treaty and the need for speedy and in forced 
settlements and measures repressive of war, they may con- 
clude that the provisions contained in this constitution are 
not fully adapted to the present needs. If so, special articles 
can be added to the constitution to meet such exigencies. 
Indeed one may reasonably predict that within the elastic 
provisions of this constitution new means will be developed 
to increase the effectiveness of the League as a peacemaker. 

On the whole, we should thank God that such a great 
advance toward the suppression of war and the promotion 
of permanent peace has been make as in the agreement upon 
this constitution, with every reasonable prospect of its em- 
bodiment into the permanent treaty at Paris. Is it possible 
that such a vital feature of the treaty, upon which fourteen 
states through their representatives at Paris agree, is to be 
defeated by the lack of the necessary two-thirds vote in our 
Senate? I cannot think so. When President Wilson 
returns to present the result of his visit to Europe it must 
be that the American people will welcome him with approval 
and congratulations upon the success of the congress in 
which he has taken so prominent a part. 

In the President's addresses and messages during the 
war and since, he has promised to the long-harassed peoples 
of the Allied nations that the United States would press for 



THE GREAT COVENANT OF PARIS 239 

a League of Nations which should secure permanent peace 
when this war ended. Thus he revived the morale of the 
war-weary soldiers and workers of our Allies. These 
promises were not repudiated by any American when they 
were made. They were echoed in all the appeals to the 
American people and they found ready response among them 
and no protest. The nation is thus pledged to the idea of 
a League of Nations to render peace permanent. Good 
faith requires that what other nations are willing to under- 
go to secure the peace of the world we should ourselves be 
willing to undergo. 

Only now, after the reaction that the end of the war 
brings and after impatience at the delays in reaching peace 
conditions, do we hear on the floor of the Senate the criti- 
cisms of the President's promise of a league of nations. 
If uttered during the war they would have been out of tune 
with the overflowing spirit of the American people and their 
determination to win this war and end the possibility of any 
such war in the future. Now for the first time do we hear 
the claim that we did not go into this war for the benefit of 
the world, but for our own selfish purposes. 

Senator Poindexter attacks the eighth article of the con- 
stitution of the League on disarmament as follows: 

" The provision is unconstitutional and an impairment 
of the sovereignty and independence of this country." 

Congress under the constitution determines what our 
armament shall be; and therefore, even if we made an agree- 
ment, Congress would retain the constitutional power of 
violating that agreement and increasing the armament be* 
yond the limit set ; but that does not prevent the treaty-mak- 
ing power from entering into the obligation. It is not a 
transfer of sovereignty — it is only an agreement to limit 



240 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF 17ATI0NS 

our fortifications and our means of attack in consideration 
of other nations doing the same thing. The most famous 
agreement that we have made on this point is the agreement 
we have with Great Britain, by which we bind ourselves not 
to fortify the water boundary between Canada and the 
United States, or to place war vessels on the lakes. That 
agreement is of one hundred years' standing, and has been 
praised by every statesman who has referred to it. It was 
first made by correspondence between two secretaries of state 
and afterwards was embodied in a treaty. Does Senator 
Poindexter claim that this was unconstitutional and 
destroyed the sovereignty of the United States ? The Sena- 
tor says we cannot agree with another nation to take over 
and govern the exclusive right of manufacturing munitions 
and instruments of war. Why not, if other nations agree 
to do the same thing and to limit their production in the 
same way? The trouble with Senator Poindexter's concep- 
tion of this government is that it hasn't the powers of other 
great nations to help along the world by a joint agreement 
that shall prevent the dangerous increase of armament on 
the part of any nation. In asstuning to exalt the sovereignty 
of the nation as above ever)rthing, he falls into the error of 
minimizing its power to do anything to help the preservation 
of peace. 

Senator Poindexter objects to article XVIII, in which 
the League is to supervise the traffic of arms in countries 
where it is deemed necessary, for the public welfare, to re- 
strict the traffic. No one who is not a searcher for objec- 
tions could apply that article to the United States. It of 
course refers to countries of backward peoples who cannot be 
trusted with firearms, and whose use of them the world may 
well restrict to maintain its safety. 



TO BUSINESS MEN 24 1 

The most extreme position of Senator Poindexter is 
that the United States cannot consent to arbitration of issues 
between it and other countries because it might affect the 
vital interests of the nation. There have been scores of 
arbitrations between the United States and other countries, 
many of them of very great concern. The question of the 
payment of the Alabama claims related to a principle of 
international law and international safety that was of 
the highest importance. The arbitration of the Alaskan 
boundary was another. The arbitration of our rights in the 
Bering Sea and in the seal herd of the Pribilof islands was 
another. On this arbitration we submitted to the decision 
of an impartial tribunal the question whether we had the 
rights or not which we claimed. The assumption that either 
the court of arbitration or the executive council of the 
League by unanimous judgment would seek to take away 
the sovereignty or the liberty or the independence of the 
United States is utterly gratuitous. It is so extreme a view 
that it ought not to be given any weight as an objection to 
machinery for the peaceful adjustment of differences by 
decision of international courts. 



TO BUSINESS MEN ^ 

We have been discussing the question for four years as 
to how the world could make anything out of this war that 
would be useful for its further progress. Four years ago 
we adopted a plan in the League to Enforce Peace which 

^ Address before the Commonwealth Club of California, at San 
Francisco, Feb. 19, 19 19. 



242 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

provided for the cooperation of nations in attempting to stop 
the spread of war. We thought that if there was anything 
silly, anything cruel, it was war, and that the nations could 
not be said to be forward-looking or intelligent or business- 
like, or even to have common sense, if they permitted the 
condition of affairs to continue which made possible such a 
war as we have just had. That was an academic question 
when we raised it — academic in the sense that people were 
thinking rather of how the war could be ended than what 
we should do after it ended. 

Then we got into the war ourselves. We were a long 
time in getting in. As we look back upon it now, I think 
we regret that we did not get in earlier. I am offering no 
criticism that we did not, because our hindsight is always 
a great deal better than our foresight ; but what I would like 
to say to you gentlemen, business men of San Francisco, is 
this: use your foresight now rather than your hindsight 
hereafter in respect to this particular question that we are 
bringing before you. I do not want you to be in the attitude 
of the man who rides with his back to the engine and does 
not see anything until he gets by it. And that is what you 
are likely to do unless you take this thing to heart and under- 
stand what the necessity of it is and what it means. 

If, in ten or twenty years, we are called into another war, 
that war will be world suicide. The instrumentalities now 
capable of being used in war are far more destructive than 
they were when this war began; we have discovered 
explosives and poisonous gases which can destroy a whole 
community. 

Are we going deliberately to allow that condition to con- 
tinue which will make such a war possible? Are we going 
to sit down here in San Francisco and think that we are so 



TO BUSINESS MEN 243 

many thousand miles away from Paris that we are not con- 
cerned in that matter ? 

That is what we thought for three years of this war, and 
then we were drawn into it. And even when we were drawn 
into it we did not realize it: it was still remote. I know 
what I am talking about. I was going around the country. 
Those in Washington and those in responsible positions 
began to realize what it meant. But it was a long time 
before the real spirit of earnestness entered into the people 
of the United States; and it spread west with a good deal 
of slowness. Finally it became the solidest public opinion 
that America ever had. 

Now comes the reaction from the efforts made to win 
the war and we are looking around to get on a peace basis. 
We feel that the war is over and that Germany, under this 
armistice, cannot again come to the front as it did. There- 
fore we will let the world wag as it will and we will not 
concern ourselves about finishing a task in such a way as to 
make another war impossible. 

I want to stir you up, men of business ! The labor men 
are getting stirred up; they are receiving communications 
from their brethren over there and they are beginning to 
understand it. Now, I want you to study this thing, and 
take it to your hearts and souls, and understand that no 
one has a deeper interest in getting this League of Nations 
than you have. 

The American people are intelligent, but the difficulty is to 
challenge their attention. They have got their minds on 
something else. That something else is the question of 
domestic readjustment, and this deliberation at Paris and the 
telegrams concerning it, though they fill the front page of 
the newspapers, do not bring home to you the issues that 



244 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

are in Paris. The question is whether you are up to date ; 
whether you sympathize with the forward-looking men that 
are trying to take a great step forward in civilization and end 
war or make it so remotely possible that you can say that 
the prospect is that it is ended; whether you are going to 
agree with men who believe that the sovereignty and the Con- 
stitution of the United States lend themselves to going for- 
ward with other nations, or whether you agree that they are 
to be perverted to defeat the plans of the world framed to 
benefit mankind. 

Is it possible that we cannot agree to settle our differ- 
ences peaceably and refrain from appealing to the arbitra- 
ment of war, which seldom results in justice but always in 
the victory of the strongest? Sometimes the strongest is 
right ; sometimes it is wrong. Now let us adopt some means 
of settling differences that shall lean on justice as a guide, 
and not on force. 

Our President, representing this country, and the thirteen 
nations there in Paris have agreed upon a League of Na- 
tions. 

I wish you would study that covenant ; I wish you would 
work out what it means. It is a well-conceived plan. It 
does not involve as much compulsory force as our League 
to Enforce Peace has recommended, but it comes very near 
it ; and it carries with it an arrangement for amendment and 
for an elasticity that, as experience goes on, will enable the 
League to adopt other methods. 

Those nations that are gathered at Paris are in the 
presence of a very serious problem. Study it; analyze it; 
see whether they can get along without a League; see 
whether they can get along without the instrumentality for 
deciding questions justly by a tribunal of judges ; see whether 



TO BUSINESS MEN 245 

they can get along without a council of conciliation to adjust 
and readjust matters between the many new states there 
created. 

• •••••■• 

We are interested in that problem. Our soldiers are over 
there to see that this peace is carried through. We are 
going to be involved in any mix-up that comes from an 
attempt to settle this war without having the instrumentality 
for making that settlement effective. It is not a remote 
thing. It is at your door. We have got the responsibility 
for this peace along with all the other nations. These 
nations have realized that responsibility and have established 
the League of Nations, founded now with fourteen mem- 
bers, with a view of enlarging it afterwards and letting in 
others as they shall show themselves fit. 

The covenant provides a way for the nations constantly 
to confer, to get closer together, to bring about a better 
understanding and to resort to joint action, when necessary, 
to secure justice. 

Can we avoid that ? Are we going to retire into our shells 
and say, " We are all right ; we have resources within our- 
selves ; we can live against the boycott ; we can go on chasing 
the dollar comfortably and keep our people prosperous. 
What is the use? Why should we bother ourselves about 
other nations ? " That is what we thought before this war, 
but we thought wrong. 

Now, merely on selfish grounds, in order to avoid the 
disasters that may come to us in another war, we ought to 
do everything we can in the way of reasonable contribution 
to the general safety — and, certainly, all that is asked of us 
here is reasonable contribution. We are asked to join in 
a boycott, to unite with the other members of the League to 



246 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

say to any outlaw or recalcitrant nation that threatens to 
bring on war, ** When you do, we will suspend all contracts 
and the payment of all monies which may be owing to your 
citizens; all the food, all the products, manufactures and raw 
materials, we are sending you will be stopped. We will 
withdraw our ambassadors and consular agents." And 
when all the world says that to a nation, that nation will 
occupy a position grand and gloomy, but peculiar. 

We agree among ourselves that if there is any special loss 
to individual nations, all the other nations of the League will 
share that loss. The boycott may prove to be expensive. 
It may prove troublesome to some of our merchants who 
have dealings with the outlaw nation. But we can indem- 
nify them, and doubtless the country would be entirely will- 
ing to do so. 

So far as forcing this country into war is concerned, there 
is nothing in the constitution of the League that does this. 
Such a provision is found in the program of the League to 
Enforce Peace, and I should be glad to have it in the cove- 
nant. France wanted it. She is at the point of danger 
and she thinks she needs an obligation on the part of the 
other nations to come to her assistance ; but the other nations 
did not agree to go so far. All they did was to provide that 
the executive council should recommend the number of 
forces that each country should contribute to make the 
League eflFective, and any neighbor of the outlaw nation 
is bound to allow the League's soldiers to go over its terri- 
tory. The agreement does unite us with other nations; it 
does say that we shall live up to our ideals in dealing justly 
with other nations and respect their sovereignty ; but that is 
all it entails. 

We are told in a set of lurid speeches that we are sur- 



i 



FROM AN ADDRESS AT SAN FRANCISCO 247 

rendering our sovereignty and violating the Constitution. 
My friends, I recommend you to read the speeches that were 
made after the Constitution of the United States was 
framed, the speeches of George Mason and Patrick Henry 
and Samuel Adams, and of all those patriots who were 
vociferous in denunciation of the Constitution of the United 
States. You will find nothing in the present speeches in 
the Senate more startling. 

Accompanying a forward movement there are always 
some who are looking backward. You always have those 
who see the difficulties without seeing the advantages. In 
the enthusiasm of debate they exaggerate difficulties; 
whereas, after the thing is done, they are very willing to for- 
get it, and others have not time to look back to see how 
lacking in foresight these men were. 



FROM AN ADDRESS AT SAN FRANCISCO, 

FEBRUARY 19, 19 19 

In addition to its functions in respect to peace and war 
and the administration of territories containing backward 
peoples formerly administered by the defeated Central 
Powers, there are to be gathered, to act under the auspices 
of the League, all existing international bureaus like the 
postal tmion and all future international bureaus, including 
a new international bureau of labor under which it is pro- 
posed that, by international agreement, more humane con- 
ditions in respect to labor of men, women and children may 
be effected. 

They give the Paris covenant wider scope and are greatly 



248 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

to be commended. They give the League substance and 
constant operation in some of its functions which will greatly 
promote the unity of nations. Out of this nucleus will come 
closer understanding and greater mutual interest suggesting 
new fields of international action for the betterment of man- 
kind. 

The administra^tion of the German colonies with back- 
ward peoples in Africa and in the Pacific and the 
government of countries like Palestine, Syria, Armenia, 
Mesopotamia and the Caucasus, not yet ready for self- 
government, is a problem forced upon the League because 
these countries cannot be trusted to the suzerainty or govern- 
ment of the defeated Powers. Their previous conduct 
toward them has forfeited all right, if any ever existed, to 
have them restored. 

• .....•a 

We agree to limit our armament in consideration of the 
other parties to this treaty limiting their armament, thus 
reducing the necessity for our maintaining an armament 
beyond that stipulated. The limitation upon our armament 
is not arbitrarily fixed by somebody else. It is to be fixed 
upon the recommendation of the executive council and 
agreed to by us. As our armament potentially threatens 
the other countries if used in a sinister way, so their arma- 
ment potentially threatens us, and so by joint agreement we 
reduce the mutual threat by common proportionate reduc- 
tion. To hold this beyond our power would be to hold that 
there is no possibility of curbing competitive armament, 
which, if it is to go on — and it will go on unless restrained 
— will invite world suicide. 



FROM AN ADDRESS AT SALT LAKE CITY 249 

FROM AN ADDRESS AT SALT LAKE CITY, 

FEBRUARY 22, 1919 

When they object to certain features of this covenant let 
them tell us what they would substitute for them in order to 
accomplish the same purpose. Have you heard any con- 
structive suggestions from them? They do not enter into 
the consideration of this League in the proper spirit. The 
IH'esident has been struggling over there, with his colleagues 
in that conference, to work out the most difficult problem 
that has ever been presented to a congress. They have 
criticized him for going over. I am glad he went, because 
he got into the atmosphere of the conference, and there on 
the ground it was brought home to him what a tremendous 
problem it is for those nations, in conference, to settle ; and 
there he learned, as he never had before, the necessity for a 
league of nations. 

Why should we enter into the League ? Well, I want to 
give you three commanding reasons : In the first place, we 
fought this war to secure permanent peace. That is what 
we promised our people when we came here and elsewhere, 
through our speakers, pleading for the Liberty Loan. They 
oflFered to you what ? They offered to you the prospect of 
victory; and with the victory the defeat of militarism; and 
with the defeat of militarism, safety for democracy; and as 
a basis for safety for democracy, permanent peace. Those 
were the great objects proclaimed when we roused our 
people to action. Those were the objects proclaimed to 
our boys as they went over: " Go," we said; " we follow 
you with our hearts ; we offer to make every necessary sacri- 
fice because the struggle is worthy of every sacrifice." 

Did we mean that, or didn't we mean it? That is the 



250 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

question. If we meant it, are we going to abandon the task 
and run away just at the moment when we can clinch it? 
Are we going to say to other nations : " No, we will not run 
any further risk. We have done all we ought to do. We 
will let you try to maintain the peace without us.'* Is that 
what we promised when we went in? Is that what we gave 
those peoples to expect when we sent the messages of our 
President across the seas? What did those messages con- 
tain? They contained a promise that we would fight this 
war through to victory, to the defeat of militarism, to 
making the world safe for democracy, to permanent peace. 
By what — by what, my friends ? By a league of nations. 
That is what we said. That is what the President said ; and 
he said it in a number of notes. The premiers on the other 
side said, " We agree to a league of nations." Now, what 
was the effect of those promises? It was to stiffen the 
morale of the plain people of those countries. At other 
conventions we have had present, as speakers, members of 
labor commissions and socialist commissions that were sent 
over by our government to talk with labor and socialist 
groups on the other side. What for ? To offset the insid- 
ious conspiracies of German socialist and labor groups, 
aimed to defeat, to destroy the morale of those suffering 
peoples in France and Italy and England, who had been 
three long years in the war with the end nowhere in sight. 
When we came in with the promise of an army, their morale 
improved ; though when our soldiers failed to come soon in 
great numbers, it began to weaken again. Then we followed 
with a promise to send more, and with the promise that we 
would give them a league of nations in order to make the 
peace permanent when it was won. These labor delegates 
testified to us that what maintained the morale of those 



I 



FROM AN ADDRESS AT SALT LAKE CITY 25 1 

people to fight the war through — soldiers, working men, 
all — was the promise of a league of nations in which the 
United States would take part. No one, at that time, when 
the President was promising this league of natoins, no one 
said nay, in the Senate or elsewhere. Why not? Because 
the spirit of the people was aroused. They were willing to 
go the whole length in order to achieve this purpose; and 
there could not be a higher or a more glorious purpose. I 
do not mean to say that we did not enter this war with the 
idea that our interests were affected; but I do say there 
never was a war fought through in which a nation was less 
motived by desire for gain of power, for gain of money, 
for gain of territory, for the acquisition of anything 1 
permanent peace, than this war. 

Some say : " Let them have a league of European na- 
tions and leave the United States out." That is a great 
mistake. Who would constitute such a league? England, 
France and Italy — three nations. You would have an 
Entente Alliance ; that is all — a balance of power with all 
the disappointing results that we have had in previous bal- 
ances of power. The United States is indispensable to 
make that league go as a general league of nations, for the 
reason that it is the most disinterested member, the purest 
type of democracy, and its presence in the League will 
repudiate and refute any suggestion that it is an intrigue for 
autocratic action. Our presence will give to the League a 
potential strength and prestige which it will not have without 
us. So it is our duty to join, if we want to see the thing 
through, if we want to be square with those who fought 
this war for three years for us. We did not know they were 
fighting the war for us ; but we found it out. They made 
enormous sacrifices before we went in. Are we going to 



252 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

say to them now : " We will not help further; our Consti- 
tution forbids; our policy against entangling alliances for- 
bids. Oh, yes, we want to help you, but really, . . ."? 
How do you like that? How would you like to play that 
role in a partnership ? I say that the men who advocate our 
staying out of the League by reason of a policy against 
entangling alliances laid down by Washington, for a small 
nation struggling for existence, whereas to-day we are one 
of the most powerful nations in the world — I say that 
these men belittle the United States and its people. 

• •••*••• 

It is alleged that our entry into a league of nations would 
imperil the Monroe Doctrine. Now, what is the origin 
and nature of this doctrine? It was announced in a mes- 
sage of President Monroe to Congress in 1823 under the 
following circumstances. Many of the Spanish colonies 
had, from time to time, declared their independence and the 
United States had recognized them as independent govern- 
ments. The Holy Alliance, formed to perpetuate the 
" Divine Right of Kings," and consisting of Russia, Austria 
and Prussia, had threatened to help Spain recover these 
colonies. Mr. Canning, the British foreign minister, had 
urged upon our minister at London, Mr. Rush, the necessity 
for action to prevent this step and proposed that the United 
States and Great Britain unite in a protest against any such 
attempt. Thomas Jeflferson and James Madison, both of 
whom were consulted by Mr. Monroe, thought the suggestion 
of Great Britain should be accepted and that there should be 
such an agreement to prevent the Holy Alliance from inter- 
fering with governments in this hemisphere. John Quincy 
Adams, who was Secretary of State, opposed the suggestion 
of a joint declaration. He felt that we should make the 



FROM AN ADDRESS AT SALT LAKE CITY 253 

announcement alone, and his view prevailed. The message, 
probably drafted by Adams, opposed any extension of the 
monarchical system by interference with independent repub- 
lics on this side of the water, and, having in mind Russia's 
attempt to push down her boundary in the old territory of 
Oregon, asserted that there was no longer room for future 
colonization by European governments in the Western 
Hemisphere. ^ That is the Monroe Doctrine as originally 
proclaimed. Later, on, occasion gave rise to the extension 
of the doctrine in two instances. On one occasion some 
filibusters, who had gotten temporary control of Yucatan, 
offered to sell it to President Polk. When he said to them 
" I do not want Yucatan," they threatened to sell it to 
France or England. To this threat Polk responded, " No, 
you will not; we will not permit it." It was Polk who in- 
troduced that new feature of the Doctrine. Again, in my 
administration, a resolution was introduced in the Senate de- 
manding to know the circumstances under which certain 
lands on the shores of Magdalena Bay in Southern Califor- 

^ The language of Monroe's message is : 

"The occasion has been judged proper for asserting, as a principle 
in which the rights and interests of the United States are involved, 
that the American continents, by the free and independent condition 
which they have assumed and maintained, are henceforth not to be 
considered as subjects for future colonization by any European power. 

"We should consider any attempt on their part to extend their 
system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace 
And safety. With the existing colonies or dependencies of any 
European power we have not interfered and shall not interfere. But 
with the governments who have declared their independence and 
maintained it, and whose independence we have, on great consideration 
and on just principles, acknowledged, we could not view any inter- 
position for the purpose of oppressing them, or controlling in any other 
manner their destiny, by any European power, in any other light than 
as the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United 
States." 



254 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

nia were being taken over by a sjmdicate. It was reported 
that the Japanese were trying to get a base there. On inves- 
tigation the State Department found the facts to be the fol- 
lowing. A syndicate, which had acquired some thousands 
of acres on Magdalena Bay as an investment, were disap- 
pointed in their venture and attempted to unload. The at- 
torney, in whose hands they had placed the matter, tried 
unsuccessfully to sell the property to a Japanese company, 
and thereupon told the '' cock and bull '' story about a Jap- 
anese corporation trying to acquire the land with a view to 
turning it over to the Japanese Government. But the Senate 
passed a resolution to the effect that outside nations could 
not be allowed to acquire strategic points near the United 
States and thus endanger its interests. I do not object to 
this extension of the Monroe Doctrine. On the contrary 
I think it is a good thing. But the spirit of the League 
covenant would prevent that sort of transaction; though, if 
we desire our view of the matter to be doubly fortified, I 
have not the slightest doubt that we could get it specifically 
recognized in the covenant. 

The Monroe Doctrine has never been violated, except 
when France, under Napoleon III, seized Mexico. That 
trespass was shortlived ; for when we got through with the 
Civil War and sent Sheridan to the border, France with- 
drew. The Monroe Doctrine, in so far as it forbids the 
overthrow of independent governments, is in accord with the 
principles of any league of nations thus far proposed. It 
is covered over as with a blanket by Article X of the present 
covenant. Therefore, if *iny government did attempt to 
come over here to violate it — and when you are in the 
Senate you just see them coming — we could, under the 
provisions of the League, summon the united forces of the 



l-KOM AN ADDRESS AT SALT LAKE CITY 255 

League to prevent it. We would not be compelled to act 
as the sole policeman of this hemisphere, as we are now 
under the Monroe Doctrine. Instead of the doctrine being 
imperiled, it is strengthened. Its violation would, in every 
case except that of the sale of territory, be a direct violation 
of the legal rights of one of the nations of this hemisphere 
and would be a case for the League Court, brought by the 
assailed nation against its assailant. The judgment would 
be one which the United States would probably be delegated 
to enforce, acting exactly as it does in enforcing the Monroe 
Doctrine independently. 

President Wilson said that a league of nations would 
extend the Monroe Doctrine to the world. Now, if it is 
extended to the world, I presume it would remain in the 
Western Hemisphere. The object of such extension of the 
doctrine would be to prevent the very thing which the United 
States resents, namely, the overthrow of weaker nations by 
force, and that is what all this machinery is provided for. 
The language of Article X is: "The members of the 
League undertake to respect and preserve as against external 
aggression the territorial integrity and existing political 
independence of all members of the League. In case of 
any such aggression or in case of any threat or danger of 
such aggression, the Council shall advise upon the means by 
which this obligation shall be fulfilled." 

This is a declaration against the disturbers of political 
independence and territorial integrity everywhere. I can- 
not read it in any other way. If that be so, the League and 
the United States will be maintaining the same thing, and 
signing the treaty will only give to the United States the 
protection of the League in its traditional attitude. 

When the Monroe Doctrine was declared by the United 



'256 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

States, many American statesmen thought that it would 
certainly involve us in constant wars. For nearly a century, 
however, it has been peacefully and successfully maintained. 
Not a shot has been fired by the United States, not a soldier 
of the United States has been killed or injured in support 
of it. Its mere announcement, coupled with our known 
determination to enforce it, has dispensed with the necessity 
for the exercise of force. 

It is a mistake to suppose that, under the League covenant, 
the armies of the United States are to be called into distant 
countries. We must expect the Executive Council to be 
reasonable in its recommendations in this respect not only 
because it will wish to be just but because it will want to 
act promptly in suppressing disturbance and the threat of 
war, and it can do this best by calling upon nations which 
are close at hand and which can do the work of the League 
most conveniently and economically. Moreover, with the 
unanimity required of the Council by a proper construction 
of the covenant, the presence of our representative in that 
Council will naturally make certain only a proper assign- 
ment of the League's work to the United States. The as- 
sumption that membership in the League will involve us 
in frequent wars is directly contrary to its purpose and 
natural operation. Its potential primitive force will prevent 
the coming of war. 

Finally comes the question, my friends, whether we are 
willing to run the risk involved in joining the League. 
How much risk is there? I have tried to show that the 
risk is the danger of a boycott, the cost of a boycott, divided 
up between all the nations of the League, the risk involved 
in consenting to limit armament, after we have learned 
and consented to that limit, and the agreement to pay the 



BARRIER TO ANY GREAT WARS IN FUTURE 257 

expenses of a secretariat of the League jointly with other 
nations. As a consideration, we secure the strength of the 
union of nations in common action and a common purpose 
to suppress war and make peace permanent. 

I appeal to the women who hear me: Do they want 
war again ? Are they not willing that we should make con- 
cessions now in order that we may avoid war ten and twenty 
years hence? Do they wish their children and their grand- 
children subjected to the suffering that we have seen Eng- 
land and France and Italy undergo? It not this the time 
when enduring peace is to be bom — when everybody is 
impressed with the dreadful character of war, and the ne- 
cessity for avoiding it, when all the nations are willing to 
make concessions? Isn't now the time to take our share 
of the responsibility and say to our brothers : " We realize 
that the sea no longer separates us but is become a bond of 
union. We know that if a war comes to you, our neighbor, 
it will come to us, and we are ready to stand with you 
in order to keep off that scourge of nations. In the love 
of our brother we will do our share as men and women con- 
scious of the responsibility to help along mankind, a re- 
sponsibility which God has given this nation in giving it 
great power.*' 



LEAGUE OF NATIONS AS BARRIER TO ANY 
GREAT WARS IN FUTURE » 

The practical working of this covenant will be to suppress 
and avoid most wars. Of course, hypotheses can be imag- 

^ Address at the National Congress for a League of Nations at the 
Odeon, St Louis, Feb. 25, 1919. 



258 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

ined that will break clown any constitution, even that of the 
United States, or any plan of the kind I have described ; but 
this plan has a real bite in it, a real mutual obligation for 
union of the lawful economic and military forces of the 
world to police the world and prevent the recurrence of 
such another awful war as that from which we have just 
emerged. I have said " from which we have just emerged." 
That is a wrong term to use. I should use the expression 
" which we are now trying to end in such a way as to achieve 
its purpose and make the peace a stable and permanent one." 

You have heard Mr. Morgenthau describe, with trenchant 
accuracy, the conditions that now prevail in the sphere of 
war in Europe, and the danger there is from the spread of 
Bolshevism and from a reaction to autocracy as a desperate 
antidote for Bolshevism. Some who oppose the covenant 
most are blind to the critical conditions now existing in 
Europe, are blind to the absolute necessity for a league such 
as this covenant creates. 

. . . From time immemorial a most frequent subject 
matter of treaties is an agreement to submit differences 
to arbitration. The earliest treaties made by the United 
States with England and the Barbary States, and with other 
countries, contained a clause providing for such arbitration. 

Since that time we have had numbers of treaties of arbi- 
tration, among them general treaties of arbitration. These 
latter excepted some classes of questions, it is true, but they 
were general treaties, notwithstanding, in that the character 
of the differences could not be anticipated. Not by the 
wildest stretch of the imagination can such an agreement be 
construed to be a delegation of governmental powers or a 
parting with sovereignty. It is no more a curtailment of 
sovereignty than is the obligation of a man to abide the judg- 



BARRIER TO ANY GREAT WARS IN FUTURE 259 

ment of an impartial court, or the award of an agreed 
arbitration, an infringement on his liberty secured by the 
constitution. 

. . . This covenant does not create a super-sovereignty — 
it is only a loose obligation among the nations of the world 
by which they agree to unite together in a policy of sub- 
mitting their differences to arbitration and mediation, to 
withhold war until those efforts have proved unsuccess- 
ful and to boycott any nation which violates the covenant 
to comply with this obligation. It provides a method for 
reaching an agreement as to a limit of armament and an obli- 
gation to keep within that limit of armament until condi- 
tions shall require a change by a new agreement. The 
agreement on the part of one balances the agreement on 
the part of others in securing a general reduction of arma- 
ment. It does not impair our just sovereignty in the slight- 
est — it is only an arrangement for the maintenance of our 
sovereignty within its proper limits: to wit, a sovereignty 
regulated by international law and international morality 
and international justice, with a somewhat rude machinery 
created by the agreement of nations to prevent one sov- 
ereignty from being used to impose its unjust will on other 
sovereignties. Certainly we, with our national ideals, can 
have no desire to secure any greater sovereignty than this. 

The argument that to enter this covenant is a departure 
from the time-honored policy of avoiding entangling alli- 
ances with Europe is an argument that is blind to the 
changed circumstances in our present situation. The war 
itself ended that policy. Res ipsa loquitur. We attempted 
to carry it out. We stayed out of the war three years 
when we ought to have been in it, as we now see. 

We were driven into it because, with the dependence of all 



26o TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

the world upon our resources of food, raw material and 
manufacture, with our closeness, under modem conditions 
of transportation and communication, to Europe, it was im- 
possible for us to maintain the theory of an isolation that 
did not in fact exist. It will be equally impossible for us 
to keep out of another general European war. We are, 
therefore, just as much interested in stopping such a war 
as if we were in Europe. This war was our war. The 
settlement of the war is our settlement. The maintenance of 
the terms of that settlement is our business, as it is the 
business of the other nations. To say that we should avoid 
it is to say that we should be recreant to our duty to our- 
selves and to the world and blind to the progress of events. 
To say that it mixes us up with kings is amusing when 
we consider the dominance of democracy in Europe. 

The superlative expressions contained in the denunciations 
of Mr. Fess and Mr. Reed and Mr. Borah and Mr. Poin- 
dexter as to the dangerous working of this covenant find 
no basis in a clear understanding of its provisions. The 
contention that we are to be bound by the decision of the 
Executive Council on a critical issue of war or peace, of 
arbitration or no arbitration, of limit of armament or no 
armament, finds no justification in the covenant itself. 

The Executive Council is an executive body only to recom- 
mend measures to be adopted by the nations in the matter 
of the reduction of armament and in the matter of the fur- 
nishing of military forces and in other lines of action. 
The obligation is upon the governments through their usual 
constitutional agencies (which, in our case, is Congress) 
to perform the obligations they have assumed. Our obli- 
gations are: first, to submit differences to arbitration or 
mediation; second, not to make war until three months 



BARRIER TO ANY GREAT WARS IN FUTURE 261 

after an award or a report of a proper settlement and not 
then if the losing nation complies ; third, to lay an embargo 
or boycott against a covenant-breaking nation; fourth, to 
keep within an armament Congress agrees to. These are 
the " bite " of the League. 

The fundamental weakness of the attitude of Senator 
Poindexter and Senator Reed and Senator Borah is that 
they confine their arguments to pointing out the dangers of 
this Covenant to the United States, which, as I think I have 
shown, are comparatively slight, while they utterly fail to 
tender any constructive suggestions to the conference for a 
method by which peace can be maintained and the just re- 
sults of the war can be secured. They are merely destruc- 
tive critics and are not in search of a solution of the diffi- 
culty that we, in common with the other nations at the Paris 
conference, have to meet and solve. Such criticisms are not 
helpful. They are apparently prompted by a desire to find 
fault rather than by the duty of suggesting a remedy. 

General Smuts, who recommended the system of manda- 
tories, thought that the League itself could not get up an 
organization sufficiently effective to conduct these govern- 
ments, that therefore it ought to employ competent govern- 
ments as agencies to carry on the governments of these 
dependencies for the benefits of the people in them and 
that they should make a report of their trusteeship at the 
end of each year. In his opinion the principles should be 
laid down in the treaty or be contained in a charter granted 
by the Executive Council, so as to make a rule of conduct 
for the agencies acting as mandatories. 

Now, there is nothing in the League that requires any gov- 
ernment to accept the position of a mandatory. The South 
Sea colonies and the Pacific colonies of Germany will doubt- 



262 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

less come under England or under Australia. There are 
some Northern islands, perhaps, that may come under Japan 
as a mandatory. Then Palestine and Armenia and Con- 
stantinople may come under some other government They 
would be glad to have the United States take that, but 
you will remember that the representatives of the United 
States said in the Council, that this was impossible, that 
they could not agree to it. 

Now, if they took that attitude in the Council, how un- 
reasonable it is to contend that they would have consented 
to a league which obliged a member to accept a mandate 
of this character. You will find nothing compulsory in 
this provision of the League. 



THE PARIS COVENANT FOR A LEAGUE 

OF NATIONS ^ 

We are here to-night in sight of a league of peace, of 
what I have ever regarded as the " promised land." Such 
a war as the last is a hideous blot on our Christian civili- 
zation. The inconsistency is as foul as was slavery under 
the Declaration of Independence. If Christian nations 
cannot now be brought into a united effort to suppress a re- 
currence of such a contest it will be a shame to modem 
society. 

During my administration I attempted to secure treaties 
of universal arbitration between this country and France 
and England, by which all issues depending for their set- 

^ Address delivered at the Metropolitan Opera House on March 4> 
1919. 



THE PARIS COVENANT FOR A LEAGUE OF NATIONS 263 

dement upon legal principles were to be submitted to an 
international court for final decision. These treaties were 
emasculated by the Senate, yielding to the spirit which pro- 
ceeds, unconsciously doubtless, but truly, from the conviction 
that the only thing that will secure to a nation the justice it 
wishes to secure is force; that agreements between nations 
to settle controversies justly and peaceably should never be 
given any weight in national policy ; that in dealing between 
civilized nations we must assume that each nation is 
conspiring to deprive us of our independence and our 
prosperity; that there is no impartial tribunal to which 
we can entrust the decison of any question vitally affect- 
ing our interests or our honor, and that we can afford to 
make no agreement from which we may not immediately 
withdraw, and whose temporary operation to our detriment 
may not be expressly a ground for ending it. This is the 
doctrine of despair. It leads necessarily to the conclusion 
that our only recourse to avoid war is competitive armament, 
with its dreadful burdens and its constant temptation to 
resort to the war it seeks to avoid. 

The most important covenant with reference to peace and 
war in the constitution of the League is that looking to a 
reduction of armament by all nations. The Executive 
Council, consisting of representatives of the United States, 
the British Empire, France, Italy, Japan, and of four other 
nations to be selected by the body of delegates, is to con- 
sider how much the armaments of the nations should be 
reduced, having regard to the safety of each of the nations 
and their obligations under the League. Having reached a 
conclusion as to the proportionate limits of each nation's 
armament, it submits its conclusion to each nation, which 
may or may not agree to the limit thus recommended ; but 



264 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

when an agreement is reached it covenants to keep within 
that limit until, by application to the Executive Council, the 
limit may be raised. In other words, each nation agrees 
to its own limitation. Having so agreed, it must keep 
within it. 

Our Constitution contains no inhibition, express or im- 
plied, against making such an agreement. On the contrary, 
for one hundred years we have maintained an agreement 
to limit armaments between this country and Canada. The 
evil of competition in armament as between us has been 
avoided by abstaining from armament altogether. Could 
there be a more complete precedent for this provision of the 
Paris Covenant? 

The importance of providing for a reduction of armament 
every one recognizes. It is affirmed in the newly proposed 
Senate resolution. Can we not trust our Congress to fix a 
limitation which is safe for the country and to stick to it? 
If we cannot, no country can. Yet all the rest are anxious 
to do this and they are far more exposed than we. 

The character of this obligation is affected by the time 
during which the covenants of the League remain binding. 
There is no stipulation as to how long this is. In my judg- 
ment there should be a period of ten years or a permis- 
sion for any member of the League to withdraw from the 
covenant by giving a reasonable notice of one or two years 
of its intention to do so. 

The members of the League and the non-members are re- 
quired, the former by their covenant, the latter by an en- 
forced obligation, to submit all differences between them, 
not capable of being settled by negotiation, to arbitration 
before a tribunal composed as the parties may agree. They 
are required to covenant to abide the award. Should either 



THE PARIS COVENANT FOR A LEAGUE OF NATIONS 265 

party deem the question one not proper for arbitration, 
then it is to be taken up by the Executive Council of the 
League. The Executive Council mediates between the par- 
ties and secures a voluntary settlement of the question if 
possible. If it fails, it makes a report. If the report is 
unanimous, the Executive Council is to recommend what 
shall be done to carry into effect its recommendation. If 
there is a dissenting vote, then the majority report is pub- 
lished, and also the minority report, if desired, and no 
further action is taken. If either party or the Executive 
Council itself desires, the mediating function is to be dis- 
charged by the Body of Delegates in which every member 
of the League has one vote. There is no direction as to 
what shall be done with reference to the recommendation 
of proper measures to be taken, and the whole matter is 
then left for such further action as the members of the 
League agree upon. There is no covenant by the defeated 
party that it will comply with the unanimous report of the 
Executive Council or the Body of Delegates. 

And right here I wish to take up the objection made to 
the League that under this machinery we might be compelled 
to receive immigrants contrary to our national desire from 
Japan or China. We could and would refuse to submit 
the issue to arbitration. It would then go to mediation. 
In my judgment the Council, as a mediating body, should 
not take jurisdiction to consider such a difference. Im- 
migration by international law is a domestic question com- 
pletely within the control of the Government into which im- 
migration is sought, unless the question of immigration is 
the subject of treaty stipulation between two countries. 
If, however, it be said that there is no limitation, in the 
Covenant, of the differences to be mediated, clearly we would 



266 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

run no risk of receiving from the large body of delegates 
of all the members of the League a unanimous report recom- 
mending a settlement by which Japanese immigrants shall 
be admitted to our shores, or Japanese applicants be ad- 
mitted to citizenship, against our protest. But were it 
made, we are under no covenant to obey such recommenda- 
tion. If it could be imagined that all of the other nations 
of the world would thus unite their military forces to com- 
pel us to receive Japanese immigrants under the covenant, 
why would they not do so without the covenant? 

These articles compelling submission of differences either 
to arbitration or mediation are not complete machinery for 
settlement by peaceable means of all issues arising between 
nations. But they are a substantial step forward. They 
constitute an unambitious plan to settle as many ques- 
tions as possible by arbitration or mediation. They illus- 
trate the spirit of those who drafted this covenant and their 
sensible desire not to attempt more till after actual experi- 
ence. 

The next covenant is that the nations shall not begin war 
until three months after the arbitration award or the recom- 
mendation of compromise, and not then if the defendant 
nation against whom the award or recommendation has 
been made shall comply with it. This is the great restraint 
of war imposed by the Covenant upon members of the 
League and non-members. It is said that this would pre- 
vent our resistance to a border raid of Mexico or self-de- 
fense against any invasion — a most extreme construction. 
If a nation refuses submission at all, as it does when it 
begins an attack, the nation attacked is released instanter 
from its obligation to submit and is restored to the com- 
plete power of self-defense. Had this objection not been 



i 



THE PARIS COVENANT FOR A LEAGUE OF NATIONS 26/ 

raised in the Senate one would not have deemed it neces- 
sary to answer so unwarranted a suggestion. 

If the defendant nation does not comply with the award 
or unanimous report, then the plaintiff nation can begin 
war and carry out such complete remedy as the circum- 
stances enable it to do. But if the defendant nation does 
comply with the award or unanimous report, then the plain- 
tiff nation must be content with such compliance. It runs 
the risk of not getting all that it thought it ought to have 
or might have by war, but as it is asking affirmative relief 
it must be seeking some less vital interest than its political 
independence or territoral integrity, and the limitation is 
not one which can be dangerous to its sovereignty. 

The third covenant, the penalizing covenant, is that if a 
nation begins war in violation of its covenant, then ipso 
facto that is an act of war against every member of the 
League and the members of the League are required definitely 
and distinctly to levy a boycott on the covenant-breaking 
nation and to cut off all commercial, trade, financial, per- 
sonal and official relations between them and their citizens 
and it and its citizens. Indeed, the boycott is compound 
or secondary in that it is directed against any non-members 
of the League continuing to deal with the oudaw nation. 
This is an obligation operative at once on each member of 
the League. With us the Executive Council would report 
the violation of the covenant to the President and it would 
be reported to Congress. Congress would then, by reason 
of the covenant of the League, be under a legal and moral 
obligation to levy an embargo and prevent all intercourse 
of every kind between this nation and the covenant-break- 
ing nation. 

The extent of this penalty and its heavy, withering effect. 



268 ' TAFT PAPERS ON I.EAGUE OF NATIONS 

when the hostile action includes all members of the League 
as well as all non-members, may be easily appreciated. The 
prospect of such an isolation would be likely to frighten 
any member of the League from a reckless violation of its 
covenant not to begin war. It is inconceivable that any 
small nation, dependent as it must be on larger nations for its 
trade and su3tenance, indeed for its food and raw material, 
would for a moment court such a destructive ostracism as 
this would be. 

Other covenants of the penalizing article impose on the 
members of the League the duty of sharing the expense of a 
boycott with any nation upon which it has fallen with un- 
even weight and of supporting such a nation in its resistance 
to any special measure directed against it by the outlaw 
nation. But there is no specific requirement as to the 
character of the support beyond the obligation of the boy- 
cott, the contribution of expenses and the obligation of 
each member of the League to permit the passage through 
its territory of forces of other members of the League co- 
operating with military forces against the outlaw nation. 

If, however, the boycott does not prove sufficient, then 
the Executive Council is to recommend the number of the 
military and naval forces to be contributed by the members 
of the League to protect the covenants of the League in 
such a case. There is no specific covenant by which they 
agree to furnish a definite force, or, indeed, any force at 
all. to a league army. The use of the word " recommend " 
in describing the function of the Executive Council shows 
that the question whether such forces shall be contributed 
and what shall be their amount must ultimately address 
itself to the members of the League severally for their sev- 
eral decision and action. There is this radical and impor- 



THE PARIS COVENANT FOR A LEAGUE OF NATIONS 269 

tant diflFerence, therefore, between the obligation to lay a 
boycott and the obligation to furnish military force, and 
doubtless this distinction was insisted upon and reached by 
a compromise. The term " recommendation " cannot be 
interpreted to impose any imperative obligation on those 
to whom the recommendation is directed. 

By Article X, the high contracting parties undertake to re- 
spect and preserve against external aggression the political 
independence and territorial integrity of every member of 
the League, and when these are attacked or threatened the 
Executive Council is to advise as to the proper means to 
fulfill this obligation. The same acts or series of acts 
which make Article X applicable will be a breach of the 
covenant which creates an outlaw nation under Article XVI, 
so that all nations must begin a boycott against any nation 
thus breaking the territorial integrity or overthrowing the 
independence of a member of the League. Indeed Article X 
will usually not be applicable until a war shall be fought to 
the point of disclosing its specific purpose. Action under it 
will usually take the form of preventing, in a treaty of 
peace, the appropriation of territory or the interference 
with the sovereignty of the attacked and defeated nation. 
We have seen this in the construction put upon the Monroe 
Doctrine by Secretary Seward and President Roosevelt. 
The former, when Spain attacked Chili and that country 
appealed to the United States to protect it, advised Spain 
that under our policy we would not interfere to prevent the 
punishment by war of an American nation by a non-Ameri- 
can nation, provided it did not extend to a permanent de- 
privation of its territory or an overthrow of its sovereignty. 
President Roosevelt, in the Venezuelan matter, also an- 
nounced that the Monroe Doctrine did not prevent nations 



2/0 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

from proceeding by force to collect their debts provided 
oppressive measures were not used which would deprive the 
nation of its independence or territorial integrity. This 
furnishes an analogy for the proper construction of 
Article X. 

The fact that the Executive Council is to advise what 
means shall be taken to fulfill the obligation shows that 
they are to be such as each nation shall deem proper and 
fair under the circumstances. Remoteness from the seat of 
trouble and the fact that the nearer presence of other nations 
should induce them to furnish the requisite military force 
would naturally be included among the factors considered. 
It thus seems to me clear that the question, both under 
Article XVIII, and under Article X, as to whether the 
United States shall declare war and what forces it shall 
furnish, are remitted to the voluntary action of the Con- 
gress of the United States under the Constitution, regard 
being had to the matter of a fair division between all the 
nations of the burden to be borne under the League and 
the proper means to be adopted, whether the enjoined and 
inevitable boycott alone, or the advance of loans of money, 
or the declaration of war and the use of military force. 
This is as it should be. It fixes the obligation of action 
in such a way that American nations will attend to America, 
European nations will attend to Europe, and Asiatic nations 
to Asia, unless all deem the situation so threatening to the 
world and to their own interests that they should take a 
more active part. It seems to me that appropriate words 
might be added to the pact which would show distinctly 
this distribution of obligation. This would relieve those 
anxious to exclude European or Asiatic nations from for- 
cible intervention in issues between American nations until 



THE PARIS COVENANT FOR A LEAGUE OF NATIONS 271 

requested to intervene by the United States, or l?y an exe- 
cutive council of the American nations formed for the 
purpose. 

Objection is made that Great Britain might have more 
representatives in the Executive Council than other coun- 
tries. This is an error. The British Empire, which, of 
course, includes its dominions, is limited to one delegate in 
the Executive Council. As regards the other central organ, 
known as the Body of Delegates, provision is made by 
which, upon a two-thirds vote of that body, new members 
may be admitted who are independent states or are self-gov- 
erning dominions or colonies. Under this Canada and 
Australia and South Africa might be allowed to send dele- 
gates. I presume, too, the Philippines might be admitted. 
But the function of the Body of Delegates is not one which 
makes membership in it of great importance. When it acts 
as a mediating and compromising body, its reports must be 
unanimous to have any effect. And the addition of 
members is not likely to create greater probability of 
unanimity. More than this, the large number of countries 
who will become members will minimize any increase of 
British influence from the addition of such dominions and 
colonies, which are really admitted because they have dif- 
ferent interests from their mother country. When analyzed, 
the suggestion that Great Britain will have any greater 
power than other member nations in shaping the policy 
of the League in really critical matters will be seen to have 
no fotmdation whatever. 

A proposed resolution in the Senate recites that the Con- 
stitution of the League of Nations in the form now offered 
should not be accepted by the United States, although the 
sense of the Senate is that the nations of the world should 



2^2 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

unite to promote peace and general disarmament. The 
resolution further recites that the efforts of the United 
States should immediately be directed to the utmost expedi- 
tion of the urgent business of negotiating peace terms with 
Germany satisfactory to the United States and the nations 
with whom the United States is associated in the war against 
the German Government, and that the proposal for a League 
of Nations to insure the permanent peace of the world should 
be taken up for careful and serious consideration later. It 
is said that this resolution will be supported by thirty-seven 
members of the new Senate, and thus prevent the confirma- 
tion of any treaty which includes the present proposed 
Covenant of Paris. 

The President of the United States is the authority under 
the Federal Constitution which initiates the form of treaties 
and which at the outset determines what subject matter they 
shall include. Therefore, if it shall seem to the President 
of the United States, and to those acting with him with 
similar authority for other nations, that a treaty of peace 
cannot be concluded except with a covenant providing for 
a league of nations, in substance like that now proposed, 
as a condition precedent to the proper operation and effect- 
iveness of the treaty itself, it will be the duty of the Presi- 
dent and his fellow delegates to the Conference to insert 
such a covenant in the treaty. If accordingly such a cov- 
enant should be incorporated in a Treaty of Peace, signed 
by the representatives of the Powers and should be brought 
back by the President and submitted by him to the Senate, 
the question which will address itself to the proponents of 
this Senate resolution will be not whether they would pre- 
fer to consider a league of nations after a Treaty of Peace 
but whether they will feel justified in defeating or post- 



THE PARIS COVENANT FOR A LEAGUE OF NATIONS 273 

poning a treaty because it contains a constitution of a league 
of nations deemed by the President necessary to the kind of 
peace which all seek. 

... In the dark background is the threatening specter 
of Bolshevism, hard, cruel, murderous, uncompromising, de- 
structive of Christian civilization, militant in pressing its 
hideous doctrines upon other peoples, and insidious in its 
propaganda among the lowest element in every country. 
Confronted with the chaos and the explosive dangers of 
Bolshevism throughout all the countries of Europe, a League 
of Nations must be established to settle controversies peace- 
ably and to enforce the settlement 

Were the United States to withdraw, the League would be 
nothing but a return to the system of alliances and the bal- 
ance of power. We would witness a speedy recurrence 
of war in which the United States would be as certainly 
involved as it was in this war. New inventions for the de- 
struction of men and peoples would finally result in world 
suicide, while in the interval there would be a story of 
progressive competition in armaments, with all their heavy 
burdens upon peoples already burdened almost to the point 
of exhaustion. With such a prospect, and to avoid such 
results, the United States should not hesitate to take its 
place with the other responsible nations of the world and 
make the light concessions and assume the light burdens 
involved in membership in the League. 

No critic of the League has offered a single constructive 
suggestion to meet the crisis that I have thus summarily 
touched upon. The resolution of the Senate does not sug- 
gest or refer in any way to machinery by which the func- 
tion of the League of Nations in steadying Europe and 
maintaining the peace agreed upon in the treaty shall be 



274 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

secured. Well may the President, therefore, decline to 
comply with the suggestions of the proposed resolution. 
Well may he say when he returns with the treaty, of which 
the covenant shall be a most important and indispensable 
part, "If you would postpone peace, if you would defeat 
it, you can refuse to ratify the treaty. Amend it by striking 
out the Covenant and you will leave confusion worse con- 
founded, with the objects of the war unattained and sacri- 
ficed and Europe and the world in chaos." 

. . . Whatever nation secures the control of the seas will 
make the United States its ally, no matter how formal and 
careful its neutrality, because it will be the sole customer 
of the United States in food, raw material and war necessi- 
ties. Modern war is carried on in the mines and the work- 
shops and on the farm, as well as in the trenches. The 
former are indispensable to the latter. Hence the United 
States will certainly be drawn in, and hence its interests are 
inevitably involved in the preservation of European peace. 
These conditions and circumstances are so different from 
those in Washington's day and are so unlike anything which 
he could have anticipated that no words of his, having 
relation to selfish, offensive arid defensive alliances, should 
be given any application to the present international status. 

Objection is made that the Covenant destroys the Monroe 
Doctrine. The Monroe Doctrine was announced and 
adopted to keep European monarchies from overthrowing 
the independence of, and fastening their system upon, gov- 
ernments in this hemisphere. It has been asserted in various 
forms, some of them extreme — I presume that no one now 
would attempt to sustain the declarations of Secretary Olney 
in his correspondence with Lord Salisbury. But all will 
probably agree that the sum and substance of the Monroe 



THE PARIS COVENANT FOR A LEAGUE OF NATIONS 275 

Doctrine is that we do not propose in our own interest to 
allow European nations or Asiatic nations to acquire, 
beyond what they now have, through war or purchase or 
intrigue, territory, political power or strategical opportunity 
from the countries of this hemisphere. Article X of the 
Constitution of the League is intended to secure this to all 
signatory nations, except that it does not forbid purchase of 
territory. 

In recent speeches in the Senate the Monroe Doctrine has 
been enlarged beyond what can be justified. Those who 
seek to set up a doctrine which would make the Western 
hemisphere a preserve in which we may impose our sov- 
ereign will on other countries in what we suppose to be 
their own interest — because, indeed, we have done that in 
the past — should not be sustained. Our conquests of 
Western territory made for civilization have increased our 
own usefulness and the happiness of those who now occupy 
that territory. But we have reached a stage in history 
when the world's progress should be determined and se- 
cured under just and peaceful conditions, and attempted 
progress through conquest by powerful nations should be 
prevented. 

To suppose that, with the great trade relations between 
North America and Europe, we can isolate ourselves is to 
look backward, not forward. It does not face existing con- 
ditions. 

The European nations desire our entrance into this League 
not that they may control America but to secure our aid in 
controlling Europe ; and I venture to think that they would 
be relieved if the primary duty of keeping peace and policing 
this Western hemisphere were relegated to us and our West- 
ern colleagues. I object, however, to such a reservation as 



276 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

was contained in the Hague Conference against entangling 
alliances, because the recommendation was framed before 
this war and contained provisions as to the so-called policy 
against entangling alliances that are inconsistent with the 
present needs of this nation and of the rest of the world 
if a peaceful future is to be secured to both. I would 
favor, however, a recognition of the Monroe Doctrine as 
I have stated it above by specific words in the covenant, 
and with a further provision that the settlement of purely 
American questions should be remitted primarily to the 
American nations, with machinery like that of the present 
League, and that European nations should not intervene un- 
less requested to do so by the American nations. 

Objection is made to this League on constitutional 
grounds. . . . The Supreme Court has over and over again, 
through Mr. Chief Justice Marshall, indicated that the 
United States was a sovereign nation capable of dealing with 
other nations as such, and seized of all the powers inferable 
from sovereignty. It is said that the League will change the 
form of our government. But no function or discretion 
which it now exercises is taken from any branch of the gov- 
ernment. It is asserted that the Covenant delegates to an 
outside tribunal, viz., the Executive Council, the power vested 
by the Constitution in Congress or the Senate. But the 
Executive Council has no power but to recommend to the 
nations of the League courses which those nations may ac- 
cept or reject, save in the matter of increasing the limit of 
armament, to which, after full consideration, a nation shall 
have consented. In our case it would be Congress that 
had considered and consented to the limitation. Neither 
the Executive Council nor the Body of Delegates, in the 
machinery for the peaceful settling of differences, does 



THE PARIS COVENANT FOR A LEAGUE OF NATIONS 277 

Other than recommend a compromise which the United 
States does not, under the League, covenant to obey. In 
all other respects these bodies are mere instruments for 
conference by representatives for devising plans which are 
submitted to the various governments of the League for their 
voluntary acceptance. No obligation of the United States 
under the League is fixed by action of either the Executive 
Council or the Body of Delegates. 

Then it is said we have no right to agree to levy an em- 
bargo and a boycott. It is true that Congress determines 
what our commercial relations shall be with other countries 
of the world. It is true that if a boycott is to be levied 
Congress must levy it in the form of an embargo, as that 
which was levied by Congress in Jefferson's administration 
and sustained by the Supreme Court, with John Marshall 
at its head. It is also true that Congress might repudiate 
tlie obligation entered into by the treaty-making power 
and refuse to levy such an embargo. But none of these 
facts would invalidate or render unconstitutional a treaty 
by which the obligation of the United States was assumed. 

In other words, the essence of sovereign power is that 
while the sovereign may make a contract it retains the 
power to repudiate it if it chooses to dishonor its promises. 
That does not render null the original obligation or lessen 
its binding moral force. The nations of Europe are will- 
ing to accept, as we must be willing to accept from them, 
mutual promises, the one in consideration of the other, in 
the confidence that neither will refuse to comply with such 
promises honorably entered into. 

Finally, it is objected that we have no right to agree to 
arbitrate issues since we might, by arbitration, lose our ter- 
ritorial integrity or political independence. This is a mar- 



278 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

velous stretch of imagination by the distinguished Senator 
who made it. In the face of Article X, which is an under- 
taking to respect the territorial integrity and political in- 
dependence of every member of the League, how could a 
board of arbitration possibly reach such a result? More- 
over, we are not compelled to arbitrate a dispute. If pre- 
ferred, we can throw the matter into mediation and con- 
ciliation, and we do not covenant to obey the recommenda- 
tion of compromise by the conciliating body. 

We have agreed in treaties to arbitrate classes of ques- 
tions long before the questions arise. Now, in the present 
treaty, the issue to be arbitrated would have to be formu- 
lated by our treaty-making power — the President and the 
Senate of the United States. The award would have to be 
executed by that branch of the government which executes 
awards, generally the Congress of the United States. If 
it involved payment of money, Congress would have to ap- 
propriate it. If it involved limitation of armament, Con- 
gress would have to limit it. If it involved any duty with- 
in the legislative power of Congress under the Constitu- 
tion, Congress would have to perform it. If Congress sees 
fit to comply with the report of the compromise by the con- 
ciliating body, Congress will have to make such compliance. 

The Covenant takes away the sovereignty of the United 
States only as any contract curtails the freedom of action 
which an individual has voluntarily surrendered for the pur- 
pose of the contract and to obtain the benefit of it. The 
Covenant creates no super-sovereignty. It merely creates 
contract obligations. It binds nations to stand together 
to secure compliance with those obligations. That is all. 
This does not diflfer from a contract between two nations. 
If we enter into an important contract with another nation 



THE PARIS COVENANT FOR A LEAGUE OF- NATIONS 279 

to pay money or to do things of vital importance and we 
break it, then we expose ourselves to the just effort of 
that nation to attempt by force of arms to compel us to com- 
ply with our obligations. This covenant is only a limited 
and loose union of many nations to do the same thing. 
The assertion that we are giving up our sovereignty carries 
us logically and necessarily to the absurd result that we can 
not make a contract to do anything with another nation 
because it limits our freedom of action as a sovereign. 

Sovereignty is freedom of action of nations. It is exactly 
analogous to the liberty of the individual regulated by law. 
The sovereignty that we should insist upon and the only 
sovereignty we have a right to insist upon is a sovereignty 
regulated by international law, international morality and 
international justice, a sovereignty enjoying the sacred 
rights which sovereignties of other nations may enjoy, a 
sovereignty consistent with the enjoyment of the same sov- 
ereignty by other nations. It is a sovereignty limited by the 
law of nations and limited by the obligation of contracts 
fully and freely entered into as in respect to matters which 
are usually the subject of contracts between nations. 

Those persons who require more than this are really de- 
manding the license — they term it necessary American sov- 
ereignty — to trample upon all tribunals and to assert their 
own unregulated desires. That is not in accord with Ameri- 
can principles nor with the Constitution of the United States. 

The President is now returning to Europe. As the repre- 
sentative of this nation he has joined in recommending, 
in this proposed covenant, a league of nations for consid- 
eration and adoption by the conference. He returned home 
to discharge other executive duties and this has given him 
an opportunity to follow the discussion of the question 



28o TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

in the Senate of the United States and elsewhere. Some 
speeches, notably that of Senator Lodge, have been useful 
in taking up the League Covenant, article by article, criticis- 
ing its language and expressing doubts either as to its mean- 
ing or as to its wisdom. 

The President will differ, as many others differ, with 
Senator Lodge in respect to many of the criticisms, but in 
the constructive part of his speech he will find useful sug- 
gestions which he will be able to present to his colleagues 
in the conference. These suggestions should prove 
especially valuable in the work of revising the form of the 
Covenant and in making changes, to which the conference 
may readily consent, where Senator Lodge and other critics 
have misunderstood the purpose and meaning of the words 
used. 

The League Covenant should be in the Treaty of Peace. 
It is indispensable if the war is to accomplish the declared 
purpose of this nation and of the world and if it is to bring 
the promised benefit to mankind. We know the President 
believes this and will insist upon including the Covenant. 
Our profound sympathy in his purpose and our prayers for 
his success should go with him in his great mission. 



ANSWER TO SENATOR KNOX'S INDICTMENT * 

My friend. Senator Knox, has presented a formidable in- 
dictment against the proposed Covenant of the League of 
Nations. A number of his colleagues seem to have accepted 
his views as to its meaning. He says that it is unconstitu- 

^ Address at dinner of Economic Club of New York, March nth, 1919. 



ANSWEE TO SENATOR KNOX's INDICTMENT 28 1 

tional in that it turns over to the Executive Council of the 
League the power to declare and make war for us, to fix 
our armament and to involve us as a mandatory in all sorts 
of duties in the management of backward peoples. He 
says that it thus transfers the sovereignty of this nation to 
the governing body of the League, which he asserts the 
Executive Council to be. 

When Senator Knox's attack upon the validity of the Cov- 
enant is analyzed, it will be seen to rest on an assumption 
that the Executive Council is given executive powers, which 
is unwarranted by the text of the instrument. The whole 
function of the Executive Council is to be the medium 
through which the League members are to exchange views, 
the advisory board to consider all matters arising in the 
field of the League's possible action and to advise the 
members as to what they ought, by joint action, to do. 

The Council makes few if any orders binding on the 
members of the League. After a member of the League 
has agreed not to exceed a limit of armament, the Execu- 
tive Council must consent to raising the limit Where the 
Executive Council acts as a mediating and inquiring body 
to settle differences not arbitrated, its unanimous recom- 
mendation of a settlement must satisfy the nation seeking 
relief, if the defendant nation complies with the recom- 
mendation. 

These are the only cases in which the United States as a 
member of the League would be bound by action of the 
Executive Council. All other obligations of the United 
States under the League are to be found in the covenants of 
the League, and not in any action of the Executive Council. 
When this is understood clearly, the whole structure of 
Senator Knox's indictment falls. 



282 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

The Executive Council is a most necessary and useful 
body for coordinating the activities of the League, for 
initiating consideration by the members of the League of 
their proper joint and individual action, and for keeping 
all advised of the progress of events in the field of the League 
jurisdiction. 

It is impossible, in the time I have, to follow through 
Senator Knox's argument in all the Articles of the League, 
but his treatment of Article XVI is a fair illustration of the 
reasons he advances for ascribing to the Executive Council 
super-sovereign power. 

Article XVI is the penalizing section. Whenever a 
member of the League violates its covenant not to make 
war under Article XII, it is an act of war against the other 
members and they are to levy a boycott against the outlaw 
nation. There is in the Covenant no agreement to make 
war. An act of war does not produce a state of war unless 
the nation acted against chooses to declare and wage war 
on account of it. The Executive Council is given the duty 
of recommending what forces should be furnished by 
members of the League to protect the covenants of the 
League. The members are required to allow military forces 
of a member of the League, cooperating to protect the 
covenants, passage through their territory. 

Of this article Senator Knox says: 

" If any of the high contracting parties breaks its cov- 
enant under Article XII, then we must fly to arms to pro- 
tect the covenants," Again he says of it: "Whether or 
not we participate, and the amount of our participation in 
belligerent operations, is determined not by ourselves but 
by the Executive Council in which we have seemingly, at 
most, but one voice out of nine, no matter what we 



ANSWER TO SENATOR KNOX's INDICTMENT 283 

think of the controversy, no matter how we view the wisdom 
of a war over the cause, we are bound to go to war when 
and in the manner the Executive Council determines." He 
asserts that the power of the Executive Council is that of 
" recommending what effective military or naval forces each 
member of the League shall contribute to protect the cov- 
enants of the League, not only against League members but 
non-League members: that is, as a practical matter, the 
power to declare war/' 

I submit in all fairness that there never was a more palp- 
able fU)n sequitur than this. I venture to think that were 
Senator Knox charged as Secretary of State with construing 
the obligation of the United States under this Covenant, he 
would on behalf of the United States summarily reject such 
a construction. 

By what manner of reasoning can the word " recom- 
mend " be converted into a word of direction or command? 
Yet upon this interpretation of the meaning of the words 
" recommend,*' " advise " and words of like import, as they 
occur in many articles, depends his whole argument as to the 
powers of the Executive Council under the Covenant, and 
their super-sovereign character. 

Senator Knox contends that the plan of the League will 
create two Leagues — one of the Allies and one of the out- 
cast nations. The Covenant provides for a protocol to in- 
vite in all nations responsible and fit for membership. Cer- 
tainly Germany and the other enemy countries ought not now 
to be taken in, but they ought to be kept under control. The 
League wishes to prevent war in the world and realizes, of 
course, that excluded nations are quite asJikely to make war 
as their own members. 

The Covenant therefore declares the concern of the League 



284 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

in threatened war between nations whether members or not 
and asserts its right to take steps to prevent it. This dec- 
laration is made as the justification for Article XVII, by 
which a nation or nations not members of the League 
who threaten war are invited to become temporary mem- 
bers of the League in order to enable them to settle their 
disputes peaceably as permanent members covenant to do. 
These temporary members are visited with the same 
penalties for acts which would be, if committed by per- 
manent members, breaches of their covenants not to begin 
war. Thus the scope of the League s action is extended to 
all nations. 

This is the explanation and the purport of Articles XI 
and XVII. They involve the whole world in the covenants 
of the League not to make war. They operate to defeat the 
formation and warlike organization of a rival league of 
nations, composed of countries not admitted as permanent 
members to this league. They unite the rest of the world 
against such nations in any case of war threatened by them. 

There is no supreme court to construe this G>venant and 
bind the members, and each nation, in determining its own 
obligations and action under it, must construe it for itself. 
Our duties under it are not to be declared and enforced 
against us by a hostile tribunal or by one actuated by dif- 
ferent principles and spirit from our own. Its whole 
strength is to rest in an agreed interpretation by all. Its 
sanction must be in the good sense of the covenanting na- 
tions who know that, in order that it may hold together and 
serve its purpose, they must all be reasonable in their con- 
struction. What rules of interpretation should and must we 
therefore apply? 

The President and Senate are to ratify this Covenant if it 



ANSWER TO SENATOR KNOX's INDICTMENT 285 

be ratified, by virtue of their constitutional power to make 
treaties. This power, as the Supreme Court has held, en- 
ables them to bind the United States to a contract with an- 
other nation on any subject matter usually the subject matter 
of treaties between nations, subject to the limitation that 
the treaty may not change the form of government of the 
United States, and may not part with territory belonging to 
a State of the United States, without the consent of the 
State. The making of war, of embargoes, or armament, 
and of arbitration are frequently subject matter of treaties. 

The President and Senate may not, however, confer on 
any body, constituted by a league of nations, the power and 
function to do anything for the United States which is 
vested by the Federal Constitution in Congress, the treaty 
making power or any other branch of the United States 
Government. 

It, therefore, follows that whenever the treaty-making 
power binds the United States to do anything, it must be 
done by the branch of that Government vested by the Con- 
stitution with that function. A treaty may bind the United 
States to make or not make war in any specific contingency; 
it may bind the United States to levy a boycott, to limit its 
armament to a fixed amount ; it may bind the United States 
to submit a difference or a class of differences to arbitration. 
But the only way in which the United States can perform 
the agreement is for Congress to fulfill the promise to de- 
clare and make war ; for Congress to perform the obligation 
to levy a boycott; for Congress to fix or reduce armament 
in accord with the contract; and for the President and 
Senate, as the treaty-making power, to formulate the issues 
to be arbitrated and agree with the opposing nation on the 
character of the court. 



286 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

When the treaty provides that the obligation arises upon a 
breach of a covenant, and does not make the question of the 
breach conclusively determinable by any body or tribunal, 
then it is for Congress itself to decide in good faith whether 
or not the breach of the Covenant upon which the obligation 
arises, has in fact occurred, and finding that, it has to per- 
form the obligation. 

These plain limitations upon the Federal treaty-making 
power are known to nations of this conference, and any 
treaty of the United States is to be construed in the light 
of them. Following these necessary rules of construction, 
the provisions of the Covenant entirely and easily conform 
to the Constitution of the United States. They lose alto- 
gether that threatening and dangerous character and effect 
which Senator Knox and other critics would attach to them. 
They delegate to no body but to our own Federal consti- 
tutional agencies the duty of deciding in good faith what 
our obligations under the Covenant are, when they become 
immediate, the appropriate means and method by which they 
are to be performed, and the performance of them. 

By the first article the action of the high contracting par- 
ties under the Covenant are to be " effected through the in- 
strumentality of a meeting of a body of delegates represent- 
ing the high contracting parties, of meetings at more fre- 
quent intervals of an Executive Council, and of a permanent 
international secretariat." 

This means only that when the high contracting parties 
wish to take joint action, it is to be taken through such 
meetings. This does not vest these bodies with power ex- 
cept as it is especially described in the succeeding articles. 
The unusual phrase " effected through the instrumentality 
of meetings " means what it says. It does not confer 



L 



ANSWER TO SENATOR KNOX's INDICTMENT 287 

authority on the Body of Delegates or the Executive Coun- 
cil, but only designates the way in which the high contract- 
ing parties shall, through their representatives, express their 
joint agrement and take action. 

On this head, Lord Robert Cecil, who had much to do with 
formulating the Covenant, made an illuminating remark in 
his address following the report by the Committee of the 
Covenant to the Conference. He said : 

"Secondly — We have laid down (and this is the very 
great principle of the delegates, except in very special cases, 
and for very special reasons which are set out in the Cov- 
enant) that all action must be unanimously agreed to in 
accordance with the general rule that governs international 
relations. That this will to some extent, in appearance at 
any rate, militate against the rapidity of action of the organs 
of the League is undoubted. In my judgment, that de- 
fect is far more than compensated by the confidence that it 
will inspire that no nation, whether small or great, need 
fear oppression from the organs of the League." 

This interpretation by one of the most distinguished 
draftsmen of the League shows that all its language, rea- 
sonably contrued, delegates no power to these bodies to act 
for the League and its members without their unanimous 
concurrence unless the words used make such delegation 
dear. 

Senator Knox asserts that, as the recommendation for a 
reduction of armaments will be made with the consent of 
our representative on the Council, we shall be in honor 
bound to accept the limit and bind ourselves. It is difficult 
to follow this reasoning. The body which is to* accept the 
limitation is the Congress of the United States. Why 
should the Congress of the United States be bound by a 



288 TAFT PAP£RS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

representative selected by the President to represent the 
United States in this function, in respect to a matter of great 
importance under the control of Congress? 

That the United States should recognize the wisdom of a 
reduction of armament, under a world plan for it, seems 
manifest. The history of competitive armaments, with its 
dreadful sequel, is too fresh in the minds of the peoples 
of the world for them not to recognize the wisdom of an 
agreed reduction* If we are to have an agreed reduction, 
then there must be some limit to which the governments 
agree to submit. If the nations of Europe, with so many 
dangerous neighbors, are content to bind themselves to a 
limitation, why should we hesitate to help this world move- 
ment? There is not the slightest probability that we will 
wish to exceed the limit proposed. Our national failing has 
been not to maintain enough armament. 

.....a.. 

Senator Knox objects to the provision that no treaties 
made by members of the League shall have effect until after 
they have been registered in the office of the League. He 
says this is contrary to the Constitution, because treaties 
are to take effect when ratified by the Senate and proclaimed 
by the President 

This objection is not very formidable. All this requires 
is that the United States shall provide, in every one of its 
future treaties, that the treaty shall not take effect until it is 
registered in the Secretariat of the League. Certainly an 
agreement on the part of the United States and the nation 
with whom it is making a treaty as to conditions upon which 
it shall take effect is not in violation of the constitutional 
requirements to which Senator Knox refers. 



ANSWER TO SENATOR KNOX's INDICTMENT 289 

Senator Knox criticizes the League because it recognizes 
the possibility of war and proposes to use war to end war. 
Certainly there is no means of suppressing lawless violence 
but by lawful force, and any League which makes no provi- 
sion for that method, and fails to recognize its validity, 
would be futile. He points out that the plan of the League 
is not war-proof, and that war may come in spite of it. 
Then he describes the kind of league which he would frame, 
a league which will involve the United States in quite as 
many wars and in just as great a transfer of its sovereignty 
as he charges this Covenant with doing. 

He proposes to have compulsory arbitration, before an in- 
ternational court, of international differences, including 
questions of policy. His court would not settle all differ- 
ences likely to lead to war, for questions of policy are just 
as likely to produce war as questions which are justiciable. 
Then he would declare war a crime and punish any nation 
engaged in it, other than in self-defense, as an international 
criminal. Would not punishing a nation as a criminal be 
likely to involve war? The court would have the right to 
call on powers constituting the league to enforce its decrees 
and awards by force and economic pressure. It would be 
difficult to conceive a league more completely transferring 
sovereignty to an outside body and giving it power to in- 
volve us in war than the plan of Senator Knox. It is far 
more drastic and ambitious, and derogates much more 
from national control than anything in this league. In 
contrast with it, the present league is modest. 

The supporters of the present covenant do not claim it 
to be a perfect instnunent. It does not profess to abolish 
war. It only adopts a somewhat crude machinery for mak- 
ing war improbable, and it furnishes a basis for the union 



290 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

of nations by which, if they are so minded, they can pro- 
tect themselves against the recurrence of the disaster of 
such a war as that with which Europe has been devastated 
during the last four years. Experience under the League 
will doubtless suggest many improvements. But it is the 
first step that counts. Let us take it now when the whole 
world is yearning for it. 



PARIS COVENANT HAS TEETH ^ 

Many misconceptions of the effect of the Covenant of 
Paris have been set afloat by broadside denunciations of the 
•League based on loose constructions of it entirely unwar- 
ranted by the text. The attitude of those who favor the 
Covenant has been misconstrued, increasing the confusion 
in the mind of the public in respect to the inestimable value 
of the instrument as it is. Were the alternatives presented 
to me of adopting the Covenant exactly as it is, or of post- 
poning the coming of peace and continuing the state of war 
until the conference could reconvene and make other provi- 
sions for peace, I should, without the slightest fear as to 
the complete safety of my country under its provisions, 
vote for it as the greatest step in recorded history in the 
betterment of international relations for the benefit of the 
people of the world and for the benefit of my country. 

I was president of the League to Enforce Peace and 
continue to be. Our plan was somewhat more ambitious 
in the method of settling differences peaceably, in that fewer 
might escape a binding peaceful settlement. The proposed 

1 Article in Public Ledger Mar. 16, 1919. 



PARIS COVENANT HAS TEETH 29 1 

covenant, however, makes provision for peaceful settlement 
of most differences. Both plans include a definite obliga- 
tion on the part of all members of the League to use 
economic power to suppress an outlaw nation by wither- 
ing world ostracism. Ours also provided for definite con- 
tributions of force to an army to be called upon if the boy- 
cott failed to effect its purpose. The present covenant does 
not, in my judgment, impose such a definite obligation on 
the members of the League, but its theory, doubtless sound, 
is that their voluntary action in their own interest will lead 
to the raising of sufficient force without a covenant. The 
proposed league has real teeth and a bite to it. It furnishes 
real machinery to organize the power of the peaceful nations 
of the world and translate it into economic and military 
action. This, by its very existence and certainty, will keep 
nations from war, will force them to the acceptance of a 
peaceable settlement, and will dispense with the necessity for 
the exercise of economic pressure or force. 

Why, then, it is asked, if this is my view, have I ani- 
madverted upon the language of the League Covenant and 
suggested changes? I have done this not because I wished 
to change the structure of the League, its plan of action or 
its real character. I have done it for the purpose of re- 
moving objections to it created in the minds of conscientious 
Americans. There are many such anxious for a league of 
nations, anxious to make this peace permanent, whose fears 
have been roused by suggested constructions of the Cov- 
enant which its language does not justify. These fears can, 
without any considerable change of language or additions, 
be removed. 

The language of the Covenant is in diplomatic phrases, is 
verbose and not direct. When, however, we examine the 



292 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

important treaties of history, including those negotiated by 
our own country, we find that this is characteristic of most 
of them. They are not drawn with the concise, direct words 
of a business contract, nor in the clear style of a domestic 
statute. When reduced to such a style, the Covenant be- 
comes quite clear and presents to me no danger whatever 
of involving the United States in any obligation or burden 
which its people would not be, and ought not to be, glad to 
bear for the preservation of the peace of the world and 
their own. 

Take, for instance, the Monroe Doctrine. The Monroe 
Doctrine in spirit and effect is a policy of the United States 
which forbids any non-American nation, by external ag- 
gression, by purchase or by intrigue, to acquire the terri- 
tory in whole or in part, or the governmental power in 
whole or in part, of any country or nation in this Western 
Hemisphere. So far as external aggression is concerned, 
the policy is fully covered by Article X of the Covenant, 
which would enable the United States to use the whole power 
of the League, in addition to its own, to preserve the doc- 
trine. So far as the acquisition of such territory or power 
by purchase or intrigue is concerned, the United States 
could at once bring the matter before the Body of Dele- 
gates, which will include representatives of all the na- 
tions of North, South and Central America. Unless the 
whole Body of Delegates, so constituted, unanimously re- 
jects the Monroe Doctrine, the United States is completely 
at liberty to proceed to enforce it. Can it be supposed, 
by the wildest flight of imagination, that such a unanimous 
report could be obtained from a body including representa- 
tives of seventeen or eighteen countries of this Western 
Hemisphere? Though I have this view, I am entirely will- 



PARIS COVENANT HAS TEETH 293 

ing to see, and will be glad to see, a reservation introduced 
into the Covenant which shall be more explicit and more 
satisfying to those whose fears are roused. 

From the plan of the Covenant, from the language of 
Lord Robert Cecil, one of its chief draftsmen, and from the 
general rules of construction of international agreements, I 
think that the action of the executive council, unless other- 
wise expressly provided, must be unanimous. This would 
necessitate the concurrence of a representative of the United 
States in such recommendations and other actions as it may, 
in the course of its duties in the League, have to take. The 
same is true of the Body of Delegates. But I would be 
entirely willing to have the rule of unanimity stated ex- 
pressly ; it would clarify a matter which troubles many. 

Doubt has been expressed as to the time during which this 
Covenant is to run. There is now no express limitation. 
I would be glad to have a definite time limitation, say of 
ten years, for the League as a whole, and perhaps of five 
years for the obligation to restrict armament within a limit 
agreed to by the Congress of the United States. This 
would relieve many who reasonably fear perpetual obliga- 
tions. My own view is that, unless this be done, the nations 
composing the League will construe this to be a covenant 
from which any one of them may withdraw after reasonable 
notice. I think it is wiser to give it a definite term than 
to have it a covenant from which any member may with- 
draw at will. 

I do not mean to say there may not be other changes 
of a similar character that would aid in relieving unfounded 
objections. But I am distinctly opposed to a revision of 
the form of the League so as to change its nature. This is 
the League which, as amended in the conference, must be 



294 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

adopted unless we are to have an indefinite postponement 
of peace. 

The suggestions of the impossible and radically different 
leagues which have been put forward as a better solution 
than tfic present one will not be particularly relevant or 
helpful. To provide for amendments and reservations, 
that do not change the structure of the League and its es- 
sence and do satisfy doubting, conscientious Americans in 
respect to the safety of the United States in the obligations 
assumed, is a high and important duty of the representa- 
tives of the United States in this conference. If they per- 
form it, they will help materially to secure the ratification of 
the treaty. 

Of course the securing of amendments after fourteen na- 
tions have fought their way by earnest discussion to an agree- 
ment in committee is not free from difficulty. European 
nations, anxious to have us join the League, will consent 
to reservations and limitations as to strictly American ques- 
tions and policies; but it is not the easiest task to draw 
these in such form as to prevent their having wider effect. 
The solution of this problem will be facilitated by a con- 
sideration and study of the criticisms which are construc- 
tively directed to rendering this league unobjectionable. 
I regret to say that many of the speeches are so far afield 
and so entirely unwarranted by the present language of the 
Covenant that they are not helpful. 



TO MAKE PEACE SECURE 295 

TO MAKE PEACE SECURE * 

I favor the obligation on the part of all the nations to use 
their military force to maintain the covenants of the League. 
That was a feature of the plan of the League to Enforce 
Peace. I do not think it is clearly set forth in the present 
Covenant. The nearer it comes to that the more satisfactory 
it is to me, and the more effective that League will become. 
The burden of carrying on war, which has been held up 
as a reason for not entering the League, is one entirely re- 
moved by the certainty of cooperation of the nations. The 
usefulness of such a league is far greater in its warning 
and restraining effect upon reckless nations willing to begin 
war than even in its actual suppression of war. It is vastly 
more economical on our part to agree that, should occasion 
arise, we will contribute economic and military pressure to 
suppress war than it is to refuse such an agreement and 
then be drawn into a war like the one we have just passed 
through, leaving an indebtedness of twenty-five billions, 
a war that would have been avoided by the knowledge on 
the part of Germany and Austria that aggression would 
array the whole world against them. The arguments that 
Senator Borah advances in this regard are arguments that 
are the figments of his imagination. The very object of 
the League is to prevent war, not to fight little wars, and 
the clearer the obligation to exert economic pressure and 
military force against the aggressor, the greater the im- 
probability that wars will come. Instead of being a source 
of increased expense, the League will greatly reduce ex- 
penses to the government of the United Stats, first, in re- 

^ From an Address at the Methodist Church in Augusta, Georgia, 
March 23, 19 19. 



296 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

ducing armaments, and second, in reducing the number of 
the wars into which it is likely to be drawn. 

If the provisions I have mentioned were limited to the 
members of the League they would lack comprehensiveness 
in preserving world peace, because it may be some time be- 
fore two-thirds of the Body of Delegates shall conclude 
that it is wise to admit to permanent membership in the 
League countries like Germany, Austria, Turkey or Bul- 
garia, or countries with no sense of responsibility and so 
weak in police power and self-restraint as not to be able to 
perform the covenants of the League. To correct what 
otherwise would be a defect in the constitution of the League, 
there is a declaration that the League is interested in war 
between any countries whether members of the League or 
not, and will take such action as the peace of the world 
may require in order to prevent injury from such a war. 

The four great steps to secure peace are, first, reduction 
of armament; second, union against conquest by arms; 
third, peaceful settlements of differences and a covenant 
not to begin war until every effort has been made to secure 
such peaceful settlement, together with a world boycott of 
the outlaw nation and the exercise of military compulsion, 
if necessary; and finally, fourth, the inhibition of all secret 
treaties and an enforcement of open diplomacy. Nothing 
like it has heretofore been attempted in the history of the 

world. The problem of German peace has forced it 

.*••.••■ 

We have fourteen nations, seven of them being the na- 
tions who won the war with Germany, agreeing through 
their representatives at Paris upon these steps. The ques- 
tion now is whether the Senate of the United States is to 
destroy the possibility of this advance in the civilization of 



k 



TO MAKE PEACE SECURE 297 

the world by its vote against the action of the President 
and against what I verily believe to be the opinion of the 
majority of the people of the United States. I would un- 
hesitatingly vote for the Covenant just as it was unanimously 
reported by the committee of representatives of the fourteen 
countries engaged in drafting the treaty. I am hopeful, 
however, that the fears of some, who conscientiously favor 
the treaty, as to certain possibilities of danger may be re- 
moved by more express limitation. The treaty is in process 
of amendment now and any clarifying amendments should 
be welcomed in order, if possible, to secure ratification. I 
believe the President and the Commission have a sense of 
duty in this regard and that we may look for amendments of 
this character. 

What are the objections to the League ? They are, first, 
that the United States has gotten along so well since the 
beginning without being drawn into the politics of the out- 
side world that it ought to keep out of them and ought not 
to involve itself in a league of nations. This opinion, I think 
we may say, is confined to a small body of persons rep- 
resented by Senators Borah, Reed and Poindexter. If there 
are others who take this position in the Senate, their names 
do not occur to me. All the other members of the Senate 
who have objected to this covenant have averred that they 
are in favor of a league of nations to secure peace. If 
they are, they are in favor of something that binds the 
United States to some kind of an obligation to help in the 
preservation of peace. A league of nations means some- 
thing that binds one nation to another in respect to certain 
obligations. That is the etymological derivation of the 
word and that is its actual meaning. If they are therefore 
in favor of a league of nations, they have, by that fact, ad- 



298 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

mitted the necessity of departing from the traditional policy 
of the United States to enter into no alliances with foreign 
nations, because a league is an alliance, and, as a league 
contains obligations, it must entangle the United States to 
the extent at least of the performance of those obliga- 
tions. 

We cannot avoid being affected by international quarrels 
in Europe. It is economical for us to unite with the other 
countries to maintain peace instead of waiting until we are 
driven into war and then making a superhuman effort to 
defend ourselves against a war that has meantime grown 
into enormous proportions because of our failure, and that 
of the other nations, of the world to suppress it in its in- 
ception. 

The Executive Council has no power to fix the obligatipn. 
It does not determine conclusively for any member of the 
League any fact upon which the obligation of that member 
Ijecomes immediate. Its duties are executive in the sense 
that it acquires all the necessary information, follows 
closely matters with which the League has to do and takes 
action in the sense of making a recommendation to the 
various Powers as to how the difficulties shall be met. It 
furnishes a means by which the Powers confer together 
in order that they may agree upon joint action; but in no 
sense is any power delegated to it to declare war, to wage 
war, to declare a boycott, to limit armament or to force 
arbitration. 

The only two things which it does, things that can be 
said in any way to be binding on nations, are, first, not to 
increase the limit of armament to which a nation has agreed 
to confine itself after full consideration, and, second (where 



TO MAKE PEACE SECURE 299 

jurisdiction is not taken from it by reference to the Body 
of Delegates) if it can act unanimously, to make a report 
of settlement of a difficulty such that if the defendant nation 
complies with it, the plaintiff nation may not begin war to 
get more. It may propose measures to the members of the 
League by which they can carry out its recommendations of 
settlement, but it does not decide upon those measures and 
it is left to the members of the League to agree whether 
they desire to use force to carry out recommendations or 
not. In every other respect its action is advisory and of a 
recommending character. 

Still less can there be said to be sovereign authority dele- 
gated to the Body of Delegates. The Body of Delegates 
selects the four countries whose representatives are to enter 
the Executive Council. It elects, by two-thirds vote, new 
members to the League after they have shown themselves 
able to fulfill the covenants of the League. It may be sub- 
stituted as a mediating body and a body to recommend set- 
tlement in place of the Executive Council. It may also ad- 
vise the reconsideration by members of the League of treaties 
which have become inapplicable to international conditions 
and which may endanger the peace of the world. This is 
all. 

It is impossible, therefore, for one looking through the 
Covenant, without a determined purpose to formulate ob- 
jections to it, to find any transfer of sovereignty to the 
Executive Council or the Body of Delegates. The whole 
theory of the Covenant is that the nations are to act to- 
gether under obligations of the Covenant, that they are to 
come to an agreement, through these two bodies, but that 
the action to be taken is to be determined by each nation 
on its conscience under its agreement, and that when the 



•n 



CX> TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 



action is to be taken it is to be taken by that nation in ac- 
cord with its constitution. 



LEAGUE OF NATIONS HAS NOT DELAYED 

THE PEACE * 

The project of the League of Nations has, in the minds of 
its opponents, to bear the blame for many things. Ac- 
cording to their view, if it had not been for the League of 
Nations, peace would now have been declared and every- 
thing would be smooth and easy in the sphere of the late 
war. It is their view that only the absurd insistence of 
idealists has postponed the settlement needed to produce 
normal times. The fact is entirely otherwise. The League 
of Nations was made the first subject of consideration by 
the conference because it could be more promptly and easily 
disposed of than other issues rearing their ugly heads among 
the Allies. These latter needed earnest and painful con- 
sideration in confidential interviews between the represen- 
tatives of the leading powers. The full facts were not 
known to the conference and the issues were not ready for 
open discussion. 

The delay in fixing the terms of the League would not 
have happened but for the need of settling the other ques- 
tions. One of the most troublesome of these is the amount 
of the indemnities which France and Belgium and Italy and 
England and Serbia should exact from the Central Powers. 
It is complicated with the question how much the Central 
Powers can pay. Each premier has found himself em- 

^ Article in Public Ledger Mar. 29, 19191 



LEAGUE OF NATIONS HAS NOT DELAYED PEACE 3OI 

barrassed by promises to his people as to what the treaty 
must contain. In this regard, each one has found that his 
claims, based only on the viewpoint of himself and his 
countrymen, must be moderated. 

Another burning question is that of the boundary of 
Italy on the Adriatic. Italy insists on having Fiume be- 
cause the port has probably a majority of Italians in it. 
But it has always been the port of the Slav dependency 
of Hungary and it is surrounded by a country with which 
it has the closest business connection, a country which is 
overwhelmingly Slav. 

It is the normal and appropriate seaport of the projected 
Jugo-Slav State. Sonnino, the Minister of Foreign Af- 
fairs of Italy, is reported to be uncompromising in his de- 
mand. Fiume has become a political issue in Italy. Or- 
lando, a man of more judicial and conciliatory mind, is said 
to be embarrassed by Sonnino. Both are affected by the 
fact that the Italian elections are near at hand. 

Then, as a background to the whole settlement, there is 
the question of the defense of France against another and 
sudden attack by Germany. Marshal Foch and the French 
military strategists see no complete protection unless France, 
in some way, controls the crossing of the Rhine. A pro- 
posal which has received great support in the French papers 
and which has been urged by France has been the creation 
of a buffer state called Rhineland. The objection to this 
is that Rhineland is really German. Its separation from 
Germany is. not within the basis of the armistice. It has 
never within centuries been French. Its s)mipathies would 
all be with Germany. It would create a new Alsace-Lor- 
raine, with the boot on the other leg. It would be a con- 
stant source of irritation in Germany and a persistent in- 



302 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

yitation to a new war by her when opportunity offered. 

Lloyd George is seeking to make such a frontier unneces- 
sary by a required limitation on conscription in Germany 
and an agreed limitation of armament among the Allied 
Powers. This, of course, would become a part of 
the machinery of the League of Nations for securing peace. 

The question of Hungary, which is now being made 
prominent by the threat of Bolshevism or its actual appear- 
ance at Budapest and in the surrounding country, is also 
a difficult one. Unscrupulous leaders of Hungarian politics 
seem to have invited Bolshevism in order to fight a settle- 
ment which would limit Hungary to the Magyar country 
and the Danubian plains. The Magyars are a masterful 
race, a race of aristocrats, who have arbitrarily oj^ressed 
the Slovaks in mountainous northern Hungary, the 
Rumanians in Transylvania and indeed the Germans where 
they have settled within the Hungarian kingdom. As they 
see their power passing, they have become desperate and 
war threatens again. 

The specter of Bolshevism will not down. To charge this 
to delay due to seeking an agreement upon the League of 
Nations is ridiculously opposed to the facts. The outbreak 
in Hungary only demonstrates the necessity for a strong, 
firm league. The signing of a treaty which formally re- 
stores peace with Germany and Austria-Himgary will not 
give us peace unless there is guaranty in the power of 
the united Allies to compel peace. That power will be dis- 
solved unless a league of allies, the nucleus of the League 
of Nations, shall be established, not only to suppress im- 
mediate disorder, but also to settle differences (a great 
number of which will at once arise between the new gov- 



»< ^».^-^, v^.^* ^«-. -, ^-- >> 



OPEN DIPLOMACY SLOW 3O3 

ernments established and the old ones cut down) and to 
enforce the settlements peaceably arrived at. 

The news that amendments are being considered in the 
League of Nations and that it is nearly ready for incorpora- 
tion in the treaty itself demonstrates that it has not inter- 
fered at all with reaching terms of peace with Germany. 
The truth is, a league of nations is necessary to a satis- 
factory treaty. It helps and speeds it. 



tt 



OPEN DIPLOMACY " SLOW ^ 



The fluid conditions in the countries of the Central Pow- 
ers lead all to press for a speedy peace treaty that shall 
stabilize them. But this very fluidity adds to the com- 
plexity of the problem and delays its solution. The Allies 
are also embarrassed by the unrest of their troops, who re- 
garded the armistice as the end of the war and wish now 
to be released and to go home. Yet armies of occupation, 
and perhaps armies for further campaigns, are necessary. 
Then, between the seven Powers which fought the war, the 
peace terms are not easy to agree upon — the treatment 
Germany is to receive, the amount of indemnity she is to 
pay, the restrictions, if any, upon her competition in the 
world trade pending the slow industrial recovery of France 
and Belgium, the balancing considerations of the heavy in- 
demnity and her opportunity for freedom in trade to enable 
her to pay it, the defensive frontier of France, the Italian 
frontier on the Adriatic shore, the boundaries of the new 
States, the definition of neighborhood rights, the Balkan 

* Article in Public Ledger Apr. 5, igig. 



304 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

boundaries, the autonomous units in Asia Minor, the dis- 
position of the German colonies — all involve controversy, 
some of it of the most acute and irritating character. 

We must bear in mind that the conference was delayed 
by the need to gather together, from fourteen nations from 
all over the world, men who are to frame the treaty. Special 
commissions had to be formed to get at the facts. Hear- 
ings had to be held for claimants. The British elections 
kept Lloyd George at home, and during that time made it 
impossible for him to join in those confidential interviews 
with other leaders and premiers so necessary in smoothing 
out difficulties and reaching understandings. While the 
making of the terms has been in the absence of the defeated 
powers, the interests of the conferees themselves are often 
acutely adverse. Then, too, the disinterested attitude of the 
United States leads its representatives to consider more care- 
fully than those of the conferees seeking purely selfish ob- 
jects the wisdom of restrictions upon Germany. Too great 
severity may defeat its own purpose. 

The treaty is being negotiated by representatives of pop- 
ular constituencies and not by kings. Explanation is easier 
to one man than to a people. Room has to be given for 
what is called in this country "buncombe." A show of 
iight must be made on hopeless issues for home consumption. 
" Open *' diplomacy cannot move so swiftly as the old- 
fashioned kind. 

Then, there is a more substantial reason for time in the 
deliberations : the negotiators must discuss and argue all of 
the conflicting issues over and over again until each one has 
deeply impressed on him the real point of view of every 
other. This often takes the form of heated criticism and 
even recrimination, apparently most discouraging to a pros- 



RUSSIA, FRANCE, DANZIG 305 

pect of agreement but necessary to clear the air. Such talk 
is not waste of time. It is the usual and the only way to 
reach a compromise. 

The armistice in our Spanish war was signed on the 12th 
of August, 1898, and the treaty of Paris was not signed till 
December 12, a period of four months. This was in con- 
nection with a war which had only begun in the previous 
April. And it was a peace which involved the settlement 
of rather simple issues between only two nations. 

The period between the armistice and the treaty of peace 
in the Franco-Prussian War was about the same and there, 
also, the issues were simple and limited to two countries. 

The Congress of Vienna, convened to arrange the map of 
Europe after the Napoleonic wars, took a year for its delib- 
erations, and the conferees had only kings and emperors 
to satisfy. We see, therefore, that the delegates now at 
Paris have not been unreasonably slow in their work, con- 
sidering the great detail and the many conflicting interests 
they have to settle and agree upon. 



RUSSIA, FRANCE, DANZIG^ 

One may admit that a great mistake was made in not 
sending large armies to Archangel and Vladivostok to es- 
tablish an Eastern front in Russia during the war. Had 
this been done, Bolshevism could have been then repressed 
and an opportunity for a Russian constituent assembly and 
popular government could have been secured. But that is 

1 Article in Public Ledger Apr. 7, 1919. 



306 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

past history and the conference at Paris is dealing with 
present conditions. One of these is the difficulty of main- 
taining large armies at this juncture to enter upon a mili- 
tary crusade against Bolshevism in Russia. All the Allies 
hope to do is to prevent its spread into other coiuitries. It 
will probably burn itself out in Russia because of its un- 
fulfilled and impossible promises. 

The issue with France as to proper provisions for her 
safety is not by any means so clear as these cocksure 
statesmen and correspondents would have their readers 
believe. 

■ ••••••a 

The razing of fortresses on the German front, the en- 
forced limit of German armament, the restriction upon Ger- 
man conscription, the appropriation of the German navy, 
the taking over of German guns and the united power of 
the League of Nations to defend France and restrain Ger- 
many will in the long run be far better protection to French 
territory and independence than what France now seeks at 
the instance of her military strategists. 

The hesitation over Danzig is regarded as another damn- 
ing proof of a weak yielding to German truculence. Dan- 
zig is a German city. The people object to Polish sov- 
ereignty. It is the only practical port of access to the 
sea for Poland. Can it be made a free port for full use 
by Poland without complete sovereignty? This is being 
argued in the conference. It is not a question which an- 
swers itself. One may differ with the statesmen, corres- 
pondents and critics and still not be guilty of basely betray- 
ing Poland or truckling to Germany. A similar question 
is presented, as to Fiume, between the Italians and the 
Jugo-Slavs. 



THE ROUND ROBIN 307 



THE ROUND ROBIN ' 

The League of Nations is an organization which cannot 
disclose its advantages in the rapid manner an army or a 
military expedition can. Its operation is bound to be slow 
and cumbersome at first. Its influence on its members 
and on outside nations in avoiding war and promoting jus- 
tice will grow as the real strength of the uniting and common 
covenants comes to be clearly perceived. Experience under 
the League will disclose defects and suggest useful changes 
to make it more practical and effective. But the agreement 
upon a covenant providing for reduction and limitation of 
armament, for union of nations to prevent conquest, for 
definite postponement of war till after every opportunity 
for peaceful settlement has been secured, and for spreading 
international agreements on the table before the world is 
a series of steps forward toward permanent peace which 
only " ready made" military correspondents can belittle. 

If the cabled information as to the character of the 
amendments adopted is reliable, we may now confidently 
hope that the Senators who signed the Round Robin will 
be able to vote for the League as it is amended without 
being embarrassed in any degree by their signatures to that 
document. It will be remembered that they merely said that 
the Covenant in its then form was unacceptable to them, 
which of course does not prevent their consistently sup- 
porting the Covenant as at present amended. The further 
statement in the Round Robin was that they thought the 
peace treaty ought to be adopted at once and that the League 
should be postponed for further consideration. Of course 

* From an article in the Public Ledger April 12, igig. 



308 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

such a view, which rested on the importance of having peace 
come at once without delaying it for the sake of framing a 
league of nations covenant, ceases to apply when the peace 
treaty has been signed, with the League of Nations Cov- 
enant as a part of it, and indeed as an indispensable con- 
dition to its effective enforcement The Round Robin 
Senators may well say that the second objection is removed, 
because now to insist upon opposing or amending the League, 
which is web and woof of the peace treaty submitted to 
them, is to postpone peace rather than to expedite it 



GUAJtANTIES OF ART. X » 

It has been suggested that this Article X is in the interest 
of Great Britain, that it is designed to preserve the terri- 
torial integrity of her far-flung empire through the aid of 
the United States and other countries. There is no founda- 
tion for such a suggestion. Can any one point out in the 
history of the last fifty years any war against Great Britain 
by a foreign country to take away territory from her ? No ; 
war of that sort is not ordinarily begun against a nation 
as powerful as Great Britain. Wars are begun as Austria 
began the war against Servia, namely, because Servia was 
a weak nation and Austria a strong one ; and this guaranty 
is for the benefit of the weaker nations whom it is to our in- 
terest to protect against a war of conquest that will ulti- 
mately involve the world, as the attack upon Servia did. 

Another objection made to this Article is that if Ireland 
were to rebel against England and seek to establish her- 

^ From an address at Kansas City, April 19, 19 19. 



RELIGIOUS AND RACIAL FREEDOM * 309 

self as an independent republic, England cotild invite, under 
this Article X, the other nations of the world to assist her 
in suppressing the rebellion. This is utterly unfounded, be- 
cause Article X is only an undertaking to preserve territorial 
integrity and political independence against external aggres- 
sion. Nations must take care of their own revolutions, and, 
if their conduct of government is such that revolutions 
occur and new nations are established out of old ones, there 
is nothing in Article X to prevent this happening. 



RELIGIOUS AND RACIAL FREEDOM ^ 

News comes from Paris that the effort of a committee 
of the Jews to secure, in the constitution of the League, 
a declaration in favor of religious tolerance and the means 
of securing it has failed. This is not accurate. There is 
in the League Covenant a provision that in all countries 
which are to be governed by a mandatory of the League, 
the charter, under which the mandatory acts, shall require 
protection of religious freedom. This provision will apply 
in Constantinople, in Palestine, in Syria, in Armenia, in 
Mesopotamia and in the former colonies of Germany in 
Africa and the Pacific 

The Executive Council may add to such general provi- 
sions detailed guaranties and machinery to make the general 
declaration effective. The mandatories have to render 
yearly reports of their stewardship, so that violations of 
such guaranties may be brought before the organs of the 
League for remedy. 

1 Article in Public Ledger Apr. 24, 1919. 



3IO TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

The failure of the application for a general declaration 
in respect to freedom of religion was doubtless due to the 
sensitiveness of the British colonies and, indeed, of the 
United States, toward the attempt of Japan to obtain a 
declaration in favor of social equality and against racial 
discrimination in any state of the League. The American 
representatives probably felt that such a declaration, however 
neutral in its effect in this country because our Constitution 
secures the equal protection of the law to all, would be suc- 
cessfully used to defeat the ratification of the League Cov- 
enant as part of the treaty. They were therefore obliged 
to sacrifice the clause securing religious tolerance. 

But there still remains an opportunity to achieve every 
useful and practical end in regard to religious freedom. 
There exists no danger of pogroms and oppressive laws 
against the Jews in the United States or Britain or France 
or Italy. It exists only in certain states like Poland, 
Rumania, the Ukraine and possibly in the Czecho-Slav and 
Jugo-Slav countries. Of these, Rumania is the chief of- 
fender. Poland, under Paderewski, also shows obduracy in 
the matter. All these states are, so to speak, children of the 
League ; they may well be required, as a condition of their 
national independence and the protection they are to en- 
joy from the League, to give pledges against racial and 
religious discrimination in their laws and in favor of com- 
plete religious freedom. Means should be retained by the 
League to enforce the pledges. 

Pledges were required by the Congress of Berlin in 1879 
from Bulgaria, Servia and Rumania that their fundamental 
laws would put Jews on an equality with all other citizens 
and protect them in the exercise of their religion. Bulgaria 
and Servia faithfully complied, but Rumania deliberately 



SECRET TREATY PROVISIONS 3 11 

and dishonestly evaded, and dishonored, her solemn obliga- 
tion. If now she is to receive Transylvania from Hungary 
by decree of the League, she may well be put under effective 
bond to give to her Jewish people that freedom and justice 
which she has faithlessly denied to them for forty years. 
Poland, too, which was long the only refuge for the op- 
pressed and unhappy children of Israel, should be made, 
as the price of her restoration to nationality, to issue a new 
charter of religious liberty and civic equality to her Jewish 
citizens. 

The Jews are not the only denomination who need pro- 
tection. There are Unitarians and others who, in some of 
these new states, have suffered for their faith. It will be 
an important accomplishment if the League uses its power 
to remove this last vestige of mediaevalism. 



SECRET TREATY PROVISIONS THAT ARE AT 

THE ROOT OF THE CRISIS AT THE 

PARIS CONFERENCE \ 

ITAUAN CLAIMS TO FIUME WOULD, IF GRANTED, SOW THE 
SEEDS OF TROUBLE AND DISCONTENT AMONG THE 

JUGO-SLAVS 

The peace treaty with Austria-Hungary is delayed by the 
controversy over the disposition of the port of Fiume, near 
the head of the Adriatic. When the war broke out in 19 14 
the Entente Allies and Germany wooed Italy intensively to 
induce her to join their respective sides. The obligations of 
the Triple Alliance had not been made public, but it was 

* Article in Public Ledger, Apr. 25, 1919. 



312 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

understood that Italy was bound to lend her aid to Austria 
and Germany in case of a defensive war. Italy positively 
insisted that this was not such a war, and so maintained 
her neutrality for a time. Then she was induced by 
promises of the Entente Allies (Great Britain, France and 
Russia) to declare war on Austria and subsequently on 
Germany. Her course was criticized as one wholly in- 
fluenced by greed of territory. The treaty by which she 
became an ally of France and Great Britain was secret, 
but enough was known to enable Italy's critics to aver that 
it was the consummation of a successful bid. Italy's de- 
fenders met these attacks by showing that she was entitled 
under the treaty of the Triple Alliance to be consulted be- 
fore Austria attacked Serbia, and by revealing the bad faith 
of Germany and Austria in Italy's war with Turkey and 
their secret aid to the Sultan. This aroused sympathy with 
Italy, and it was assumed that the heart cry of the Irre- 
dentists for a restoration of Italy's territory everywhere had 
been satisfied by an agreement that Trentino and Trieste 
should become hers. 

It now appears that the Dalmatian coast was also included 
in territory promised to Italy. As to Fiume, Italians per- 
haps form a majority of the inhabitants, but it is, and has 
been for years, a Croatian city. It is, and has been always, 
the port by which the solidly Slav population in the country 
behind the city reach the sea. 

Italy seeks to push the principle of self-determination too 
far. The unit of population in which the majority is to 
determine the nation's control should include the back 
country with which the port is united. 

Unless some explanation is given, Italy's insistence will 
tend to revive the charge that greed was her chief motive 



ANALYSIS OF THE LEAGUE COVENANT AS AMENDED 3I3 

in this war. Our entrance into the war was accompanied 
by a declaration in favor of only jfist restitution of ter- 
ritory and upon the assumption, often stated, that it was not 
a war of conquest by the Allies. The terms of the armistice 
followed these lines. 

If the facts are correctly stated, the public opinion of the 
United States and the disinterested world will sustain the 
President in resisting Italy's determination to take over 
Fiume and close Croatian access to the sea. The question 
is one of Italian politics. Italy has taken possession of 
Fiume with the strong hand of conqueror against the 
Croatians. Orlando may lose power in the Italian Parlia- 
ment if he fails to stand by the Italian claim. Sonnino, 
his colleague at the conference and his associate as premier, 
is rigid and uncompromising. He would probably resist 
Orlando if the latter yielded. The situation is therefore 
acute. But can Italy afford to break, on such an issue, 
with the conference? One would think not. The Presi- 
dent would seem to be clearly right in maintaining that at 
least Fiume be made a free port for Croatia as Danzig is 
to be for Poland. If Italy's wish were to prevail, the set- 
tlement, with palpable injustice in it, would create a sense 
of wrong among the Jugo-Slavs that would return to plague 
Italy when most inconvenient. 



ANALYSIS OF THE LEAGUE COVENANT 

AS AMENDED^ 

The amendments to the Covenant of the League of Na- 
tions adopted in Paris on Monday will bear careful study, 

* Article in Public Ledger Apr. 30, 1919. 



314 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

and perhaps it is unwise hastily to express a confident 
opinion. But several readings suggest the following com- 
ment: 

In the first place, the language and arrangement of the 
articles have been greatly improved. The use of different 
terms to mean the same thing, which tended to prevent an 
easy reading of the document, has been largely corrected. 
Provisions having immediate relation to one another have 
been assembled where they belong, avoiding application of 
them to subjects or countries which they were not intended 
to affect. Then names, misleading or clumsy, have been 
changed. The Executive Council, which was and is not 
executive but advisory, has become the Council. The Body 
of Delegates has become the Assembly, a much more suit- 
able term. 

Second, rules of construction that ought to have ob- 
tained in interpreting the original Covenant are now made 
express and relieve the real doubts of friends and supporters 
of the League. The most important of these, perhaps, is 
the privilege specifically reserved to any member of the 
League to withdraw from it after two years' notice and 
after a compliance with its obligation under international 
law and under the League Covenant incurred before with- 
drawal. This gives any nation an opportunity to test the 
operation of the League and its usefulness and to avoid 
undue and unreasonable danger or burden in the future 
which actual trial may develop. Moreover, taken with the 
power of amendment which can be effected by a unanimous 
vote of the nine countries whose representatives compose the 
Council and by a majority of the members of the League, 
there is ample opportunity for such a country as the United 
States to secure a revision of the Covenant and a reexami- 



ANALYSIS OF THE LEAGUE COVENANT AS AMENDED 315 

nation of the status of the states composing the League 
after peace has stabilized conditions and has shown where 
changes should be made. We are so important a member of 
an effective world league, and so indispensable to its suc- 
cessful working, because of our impartial position and 
world power, that an announcement of our purpose to with- 
draw unless amendments were made would be most per- 
suasive. In this view Mr. Root's suggestion, that it would 
be well to reexamine treaty provisions made just after the 
war in the light of the test of five years or more of peace, 
can be carried out. 

The second change of the same character is the provision 
that, except where otherwise specifically provided, the action 
of the Council or the Assembly shall be by unanimous vote. 
The original covenant, properly interpreted, meant this, but 
it is of great importance to remove objections of those who 
did not think so. There are some who believe that such 
required unanimity will make the League ineffective and that 
a majority would have sufficed. But progress toward com- 
plete international cooperation in a new field like this must 
be gradual, and must, for the present, leave safeguards 
to nations against abuse of joint power which, experience 
may show, can be dispensed with later. The required 
imanimity in the action of the Council is very important in 
the answer it gives to the claim that under Articles X and 
XVI the United States may be required to send expedi- 
tionary forces into distant parts of the world to defend 
the integrity and independence of a country with which we 
have no relation of interest or to suppress remote wars not 
affecting us. Such expeditions are to be planned and recom- 
mended by the Council, and the plan is to be accepted in 
the discretion of the countries to whom the recommendation 



3l6 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

is addressed. The plan would certainly mark the limit of 
the obligation of the nations to whom it is presented. The 
United States will have a representative on the Council, 
whose vote must approve the plan before its presentation. 
Is it likely, then, that the plan will be unreasonable in pro- 
posing an undue share of the League's work to the United 
States? May we not be sure that what is to be done will 
be apportioned according to the convenience and natural 
interest of the members of the League, because it must in ef- 
fect be by mutual agreement? 

It is now made clear that under Article VIII the limit 
of armament for each country, under a general plan of 
reduction proposed by the Council, is only to be adopted 
and made binding as a covenant for each member of the 
League after its full examination and acceptance by that 
member. Moreover, there is to be a reexamination of the 
plan and the limits every ten years, and meantime a specific 
limit may be increased by consent of the Council. 

It is now made an express provision that only nations who 
choose to accept the duty may be made mandatories of the 
League. This removes another objection that was strongly 
pressed. We do not have to take charge of Constantinople 
or Armenia unless we choose to do so. 

One important change made by addition is the result of 
Mr. Root's constructive criticism. Mr. Root thought, and 
all who supported the plan of the League to Enforce Peace 
agreed with him, that the provision for arbitration ought 
to have required arbitration in justiciable issues, and he de- 
fined what he thought was clearly within the meaning of 
that term. By the present Article XIII the members agree 
to submit to arbitration any dispute which they recognize as 
suitable for arbitration. The Covenant then declares dis- 



ANALYSIS OF THE LEAGUE COVENANT AS AMENDED 317 

pules of the character described by Mr. Root, and, as the 
writer recollects, in Mr. Root's language, to be suitable 
for arbitration. Disputes as to interpretations of treaties, 
as to international law, as to facts upon which its applica- 
tion turns and damages for its breach are all declared to be 
arbitrable, or, in other words, justiciable. This imposes on 
members of the League having a dispute the duty of recog- 
nizing such disputes to be arbitrable and to submit them to 
arbitration. Can this duty be enforced under the League? 
Practically yes. If a nation declines to arbitrate such an 
issue, it goes to the Council or Assembly, with interested 
members excluded. Such body will at once recommend 
arbitration or will refer the issue to an international court 
of the League, as it may, to determine whether the issue 
is arbitrable under the obligations of the Covenant and will 
doubtless follow the judicial advice thus given. As this 
machinery thus works out indirectly the result sought for 
in the plan of the League to Enforce Peace, an amendment 
to substitute a court of the League to take up and decide 
such questions directly will doubtless approve itself to the 
nations. 

Mr. Root was anxious that, in addition to the declaration 
in the preamble, there should be practical recognition of 
international law as a guiding star of the League, its tri- 
bunals and its action. In the addition to Article XIII, 
which we have been discussing, we find such a recognition 
in the present Article XIV providing for a permanent 
international court of justice which is competent to hear and 
determine any dispute of international character submitted 
to it and to give an advisory opinion upon any dispute 
or question referred to it by the Council or Assembly. 

The provision for mediation and recommendation of set- 



3l8 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

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 coun- 
tries represented in the Council and a majority of the As- 
sembly, a change which makes for effectiveness. Another 
important change is the addition of Article XXI, as fol- 
lows: 

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 understand- 
ing for the securing of international peace. Never before 
in our history has the world set its approval upon the doc- 
trine 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 af- 
firmative declaration of its conventional character and of its 
value in securing international peace. 

The exclusion of immigration and tariff and other in- 
ternal 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- 



ANALYSIS OF THE LEAGUE COVENANT AS AMENDED 3x9 

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 deter- 
mine 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 resi- 
dents. Indeed, Japan has not urged, in the conference, 
the view that immigration was anything but a domestic ques- 
tion, 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 ex- 
ternal aggression the territorial integrity and political in- 
dependence of every member. Mr. Root, as the writer 
understands, strongly favors this article ; but he thinks there 
should be a reexamination of the arrangements made under 
the influence of the recent war, after conditions have be- 
come 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- 



320 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

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 con- 
piracy against the world, or if she and her old allies, to- 
gether 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 main- 
taining 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 com- 
mandment, " 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 ef- 
ficient aid, because the plan of the Council must be approved 
by our representative, as already explained. 



CORRESPONDENCE 32 1 

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 con- 
tinual 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 pro- 
tection 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 effective- 
ness of the declaration of a powerful world-league of nations 
as a restraint upon a would-be bully and robber of a small 
nation ! 



CORRESPONDENCE 

The following correspondence is published with the con- 
sent of President Wilson. 

Washington, Tuesday, March 18, 1919. 

Personal. 

Dear Mr. Tumulty: 
I enclose a memorandum note to the President that is 



322 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

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. 

Sincerely yours, 

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 arma- 
ment, 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 exclu- 
sively 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 XXL 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 govern- 
ment 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. 



CORRESPONDENCE 323 

■ 

Monroe Doctrine reservation alone would probably carry 
the treaty but others would make it certain. 

Wm. H. Taft. 
Hon. Woodrow Wilson, 
President of the United States, 
Paris, France. Augusta, Georgia. 

March 19, 1919. 
My dear Mr. Tumulty: 

Gus Karger has telegraphed me that the President will 
welcome any suggestions, and the sooner the better. I have 
thought perhaps it might help more if I was somewhat more 
specific than I was in the memorandum note I sent you yester- 
day, and I therefore enclose another memorandum for 
such action as you deem wise. 

Sincerely yours, 

Wm. H. Taft. 
Hon. Joseph P. Tumulty, 
Secretary to the President, 
Washington, D. C. 

Augusta, Ga., March 19th, 1919. 
Memorandum for the President: 
From William H. Taft. 

Duration of the Covenant 

Add to the Preamble the following : 

*' from the obligations of which any member of the 
League may withdraw after July i, 1929, by two years' 
notice in writing, duly filed with the Secretary Greneral of 
the League." 

Explanation, 

I have no doubt that the construction put upon the agree- 



324 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

ment would be what I understand the President has already 
said it should be, namely that any nation may withdraw 
from it upon reasonable notice, which perhaps would be a 
year. I think, however, it might strengthen the Covenant 
if there was a fixed duration. It would completely remove 
the objection that it is perpetual in its operation. 

Duration of Armament Limit 

Add to the first paragraph of Article VIII, the following : 
" At the end of every five years, such limits of armament 
for the several governments shall be reexamined by the Exe- 
cutive Council, and agreed upon by them as in the first in- 



stance." 



Explanation 

The duration of the obligation to limit armament, which 
now may only be changed by consent of the Executive 
Council, has come in for criticism. I should think this 
might be thus avoided, without in any way injuring the 
Covenant. Perhaps three years is enough, but I should 
think five years would be better. 

Unanimous action of the Executive Council or Body of 
Delegates 

Insert in Article IV, after the first paragraph, the follow- 
ing: 

'' Other action taken or recommendations made by the 
Executive Council or the Body of Delegates shall be by the 
unanimous vote of the countries represented by the members 
or delegates, unless otherwise specifically stated/' 

Explancttion 

Great objection is made to the power of the Executive 
Council by a majority of the members and the Body of 



CORRESPONDENCE 325 

Delegates to do the things which they are authorized to do 
in the Covenant. In view of the specific provision that 
the Executive Council and the Body of Delegates may act 
by a majority of its members as to their procedure, I feel 
confident that, except in cases where otherwise provided, 
both bodies can only act by unanimous vote of the countries 
represented. If that be the right construction, then there 
can be no objection to have it specifically stated, and it will 
remove emphatic objection already made on this ground. 
It is a complete safeguard against involving the United 
States primarily in small distant wars to which the United 
States has no immediate relation, for the reason that the 
plan for taking care of such a war, to be recommended or 
advised by the Executive Council, must be approved by a 
representative of the United States on the Board. 
Add to Article X. 

a. " A state or states of America, a member or members 
of the League and competent to fulfil this obligation in 
respect to American territory or independence, may, in event 
of the aggression actual or threatened, expressly assume 
the obligation and relieve the European or non-American 
members of the League from it until they shall be advised 
by such American state or states of the need for their 
aid.*' 

b. *' Any such American state or states may protect the 
integrity of any American territory and the sovereignty of 
the government whose territory it is, whether a member 
of the League or not, and may, in the interest of American 
peace, object to and prevent the further transfer of Ameri- 
can territory or sovereignty to any European or non-Ameri- 
can power." 



326 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

Explanation 

Objection has been made that, under Article X, European 
governments would come to America with force and be con- 
cerned in matters from which heretofore the United States 
has excluded them. This is not true, because Spain fought 
Chili, in Seward's time, without objection from the United 
States, and so Germany and England instituted a blockade 
against Venezuela in Roosevelt's time. This fear could be 
removed, however, by the first of the above paragraphs. 

Paragraph (b) is the Monroe Doctrine pure and simple. 
I forwarded this in my first memorandum. 

It will be observed that Article X only covers the integ- 
rity and independence of members of the League. There 
may be <5ome American countries which are not sufficiently 
responsible to make it wise to invite them into the League. 
This second paragraph covers them. The expression 
" European or non-American " is inserted for the purpose of 
indicating that Great Britain, though it has American 
dominion, is not to acquire further territory or sovereignty. 

Japanese Immigration and Tariffs 

Add to Article XV : 

"If the difference between the parties shall be found by 
this Executive Council or the Body of Delegates to be a 
question which by international law is solely within the do- 
mestic jurisdiction and polity of one of the parties, it shall 
so report and not recommend a settlement of the dispute." 

Explanation 

Objection is made to Article XV that under its terms the 
United States would be bound by unanimous recommenda- 
tion for settlement of a dispute in respect to any issue foreign 
or domestic; that it therefore might be affected seriously 



CORRESPONDENCE 327 

and unjustly by recommendations against the exclusion of 
Japanese or Chinese, or by recommendations forbidding 
tariffs on importations. In my judgment, we could rely on 
the public opinion of the world, evidenced by the Body of 
Delegates, not to interfere with our domestic legislation and 
action. Nor do I think that under the League as it is, we 
covenant to abide by a unanimous recommendation. But if 
there is a specific exception made in respect to matters com- 
pletely within the domestic jurisdiction and legislation of a 
country, the whole criticism is removed. The Republican 
Senators are trying to stir up anxiety among Republicans, 
lest this is to be a limitation upon our tariff. The President 
has already specifically met the objection as to limitation 
upon the tariff when the fourteen points were under discus- 
sion. Nevertheless, in respect to the present language of 
the Covenant, it would help much to meet and remove ob- 
jections, and cut the ground under Senatorial obstruction. 
Prospect of Ratification 

My impression is that if the one article already sent, on 
the Monroe Doctrine, be inserted in the treaty, sufficient 
Republicans who signed the Round Robin would probably 
retreat from their positions and vote for ratification so that 
it would carry. If the other suggestions were adopted, I 
feel confident that all but a few who oppose any League at 
all would be driven to accept them and to stand for the 
League. 

TELEGRAM 

The White House, Washington, D. C, 

March 22nd, 191 9. 
Hon. William H. Taft: 
Have just received following from the President. 



328 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

" Please thankfully acknowledge to Mr. Taft his message 
and say that I hope it will be very useful/' 

J. P. Tumulty. 

TELEGRAM 

Augusta, Georgia, 
March 28, 19 19. 
Hon. Joseph P. Tumulty, 
White House, 
Washington, D. C. 

Venture to suggest to President that failure to reserve 
Monroe Doctrine more specifically, in face of opposition in 
conference, will give great weight to objection that League as 
first reported endangers Doctrine. It will seriously em- 
barrass advocates of League. It will certainly lead to 
Senate amendments embodying Doctrine and other provi- 
sions in form less likely to secure subsequent acquiescence of 
other nations than proper reservation now. Deem some 
kind of Monroe Doctrine amendment now to Article Ten 
vital to acceptance of League in this country. I say this 
with full realization that complications in conference are 
many and not clearly understood here. A strong and suc- 
cessful stand now will carry the League. 

Wm. H. Taft. 

The White House, Washington, D. C, 

Mar. 31, 1919. 
Hon. Wm. H. Taft, 
Dayton, Ohio. 

The President has asked me to thank you for your cable- 
gram about the Monroe Doctrine. 

J. P. Tumulty. 



CORRESPONDENCE 329 

New York, N. Y., 
April loth, 1 91 9. 
My dear Mr. Tumulty: 

We are very much troubled over the report that the 
Monroe Doctrine amendment to the Covenant is being op- 
posed by England and Japan. Will you be good enough to 
send the enclosed to the President ? We had a meeting to- 
day of the Executive Committee of the League to Enforce 
Peace, and Dr. Lowell and I, at the instance of the League, 
will be glad to have this matter presented directly to the 
President by cable. 

Sincerely yours, 

Wm. H. Taft. 
Hon. Joseph P. Tumulty, 
Secretary to the President, 
The White House, 
Washington, D. C 

New York, N. Y., 
April loth, 1 91 9. 
The President, 
Paris. 

Friends of Covenant are seriously alarmed over report 
that no amendment will be made more specifically safeguard- 
ing Monroe Doctrine. At full meeting of Executive Com- 
mittee of League to Enforce Peace, with thirty members 
from eighteen States present, unanimous opinion that, with- 
out such amendment, Republican Senators will certainly 
defeat ratification of treaty because public opinion will sus- 
tain them. With such amendment treaty will be promptly 
ratified. 

William H. Taft. 
A. Lawrence Lowell. 



330 TAFT PAPERS ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

THE WHITE HOUSE 

Washington 

14 April, 19 19. 
Dear Mr. Taft: 

I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the tenth 
instant, and to say that I have transmitted to the President 
by cable the message enclosed. 

Sincerely yours, 

J. P. Tumulty, 
Secretary to the President 
Hon. William H. Taft, 
Washington, D. C. 

William H. Taft 

washington, d. c. 

May 5, 1919. 
My dear Mr. Tumulty : 

I am very much troubled that this conference at Paris was 
unable to adopt a provision in favor of religious freedom 
throughout the world. There is no necessity for such a reso- 
lution in respect to the allied countries, because there is now 
religious freedom there. The acute necessity for it is with 
respect to Poland, Rumania, and those other new States 
carved out of Russia, Austria and Germany. I would like, 
therefore, to have you transmit to the President, as coming 
from me, a cable message of the following purport: 

" The Jews of the United States are greatly disturbed over re- 
liable reports coining to them of continued abuses of their co- 
religionists in Poland, Rumania and in the new Slav States created 
under the auspices of the conference. Is it not possible to im- 
pose on these States, as a condition of their recognition and 
membership in the League, the maintainence of religious free- 
dom under their respective governments? What was done in the 



CORRESPONDENCE 33 1 

Berlin Conference of 1879 ought to be possible in the more 
favorable atmosphere of this conference, with the additional 
securities of performance that the League will give." 

I tmderstand that unless something of this sort is done, 
there will be a strong movement among the Jews to attack 
the League and I do not need to tell you that there are men in 
the Senate who will seize every opportunity of this kind as 
an instrument to defeat its ratification. 

Sincerely yours, 



WiLUAM H. Taft. 



Hon. Jos. P. Tumulty, 
Secretary to the President, 
The White House, 
Washington, D. C. 

THE WHITE HOUSE 

Washington, 
6 May 1919. 
My dear Mr. Taft : 

Let me acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the fifth 
of May quoting a message regarding religious freedom which 
you wish me to transmit to the President. I am doing so 
to-day by caUe. 

Sincerely yours, 

J. P. Tumulty, 
Secretaxy to the President. 
Hon. William H. Taft, 
931 Southern Building, 
Washington, D. C. 

PKVTID IN THB VSVPWD STATB8 OV IMBKOA 



INDEX 



Adams, John Quincy, reference 

to, 252 
Administrative Organization of 

League, 3 
Alabama Claims, 40, 49, 192 
Alaskan Boundary Arbitration, 49, 

241 
Alsace-Lorraine, reference to, 85, 

132, 136, 16s, 222 
Ammunition, Supervision of trade 

in, 25 
Appeal to Business Men, 241 
Appeal to Women, 257 
Arbitration (see " Arbitration 

Treaties " and " Concilia- 
tion"), 13, 191, 220, 232, 241, 

264, 316 
Concerning Seal Fisheries, 44 
With Canada, 62 
Arbitration, compulsory, 289 
Arbitration Treaties, 39, 43, 178, 

262 
Arbitration Treaties of the United 

States, 54 
Armaments — 
Limitation of, 102, 109, 157, 298, 

324 

Reduction of, 10, 116, 149, 178, 

208, 248, 263, 264, 288 
Armenia, reference to, 136, 143, 

154,248 
Armenia as mandatory, 224 
Armenians, 167 
Armistice, basis of, 183 
Arms (see "Munitions") 
Articles of Confederation, refer- 
ence to, 29, 30 
Article 10 of the League — 
Arguments against answered, 
319 



Article 10 of the League — confd. 

Discussion of, 255, 269, 325 

Guaranties of, 308 
Asquith, Mr., quoted, 218 

Referred to as favoring the 
League, ^ 
Assembly, reference to, 6, 7, 314 
Australian System of Military 

Training (see " Military 
Training ") 



B 



Balkan States, reference to, 136^ 

Baltic Provinces, 139, 143, 237 
Beck, James M., reference to, 214, 

215 

Belgium, invasion of, 92 

Belgium's Neutrality, Violation of 
obligation to protect, 89 

Bering Sea Controversy, arbitra- 
tion of, 44, 64, 241 

Bemhardi, reference to, 87 

Bessarabia, 143 ^ 

Bethmann-Hollweg referred to as 
favoring League, 98 

Bismarck, reference to, 85, 86, 89, 
181 

Body of Delegates, 265, 271, 299 

Bohemia, 143 

Bolsheviki, 175, 183, 184, 213, 219 

Bolshevism, 158, 177, 273, 302, 305 

Bourgeois, M. Leon, reference to, 
212 

Borah, Senator — 
Objections of to League an- 
swered, 76 
Reference to, 198^ 217, 260, 295, 

297 
Bosnia, reference to, 224 



333 



334 



INDEX 



Boycott, refe r e nce to, 65, 219, 232, 
245, 267, 268, 321 
Objections to answered, 67 
Use for prevention of war» lOS 
When to be instituted, i, 18 
Boxer Affair, reference to, 122 
British League of Free Nations, 

206 
Briand, M., referred to as favor- 
ing the League, 74, 98 
Bryan, W. J^ answered as to con- 
stitutionality of plank for use 
of military forces, 57 
Debate with on League to En- 
force Peace, 98-132 
Bryce, Lord, referred to, 74 
Business Men, appeal to, 241 



Canada — 

Agreement with as to fortifica- 
tions, etc., XIV, 240^ 264 

Arbitration with, 62 

Our relations with, 40 
Caucasus, the, reference to, 248 
Canning, reference to, 252 
Cases Cited — 

Geoffrey v. Riggs, 54 

Hans V. Louisiana, 35 

Kansas v. Colorado, 36, 52 

Louisiana v. Texas, 38 

Missouri v. Illinois, 34 

Wisconsin v. The Pelican In- 
surance Co., 37 
Cecil, Lord Robert, 

Quoted, 287 

Reference to, 212, 220 
Children, Traffic in, 25 
Chinese, Question as to naturali- 
zation of, 63 
Civil War, Analogy to war with 

Germany, 83 
Clemenceau — 

Quoted, 215 

Reference to, 194, 202, 212, 213 



Commission on Condliation, 42, 

43. 5c^ 53. 189. 196 
Compulsory Military Training, 123 

Conciliation, Instances of, 63, 64 
Conciliation, Commission of (see 
'' Commission on Concilia- 
tion" and ''Council of Con- 
ciliation ") 
Confederations of small States, 

example of, 29 
Congress of Nations, 205 
Congress, Power to declare war 
(see Treaty-making power), 
68 
Conscription law, reference to, 96 
Constantinople as mandatory, 224 
Constitution of United States, 

framing of, 224 
Constitutionality of Proposab of 
the League to Enforce Peace, 

52 

(Constitutionality of the League, 

276 
Council of Conciliation, 100, 160^ 

2Q5 
Court (see '* International 

Court") 
Court Decisions (see "(^es 

Cited ") 
Court of International Justice, 14 
Covenant of Paris (see "Paris 

Covenant ") 
Criticism of League, should be 

constructive, 198, 200 
Cuba — 
Integrity guaranteed, 149 
Our relation to, 72 
Reference to, 159, 187 
Treaty with, 59 
Czecho-Slovaks, reference to, 136, 

139. 175. 237 
Czecho-Slavs, 143, 154 
Czecho-Slavs, in Russia, 219 

D 

Dalmatian Coast, 312 
Danzig, 306 



INDBX 



335 



Dardanelles, 183 

Delegates, Body of (tee "Bodr 

of Delegates") 
Democrats, Support of League by, 

199 
Denmark — 

Schleswig-Holstein taken from. 

Disarmament, 149, 163, 239 

Disarmament and Freedom of the 
Seas, 163 

Disease, Control of, 26 

Disputes — 
Cases before Court to determine 
disputes between States un- 
der Articles of Confederation, 
30 
Procedure for settlement of, 15, 

19 
Divine Right of Kings, 142 

Draft, reference to, 96 



England, Our relations with, 40 
England and Her Navy, 164 
Entangling Alliances (see " Wash- 
ington's Advice") 
Economic Barriers, discussion of, 

176 
Europe, to rearrange map of, 144, 

154 
Executive Council — 
Power of, 209, 298 
Reference to, 206, 260, 265, 276^ 

aSi, 3x4 



Fess, Mr., reference to, 260 
Finland, 143, 237 
Fisheries Calse, 192 
Fiume, reference to, 301, 306^ 311, 
Foch, Marshal, reference to, 301 
Forr (see "Military Force'') 
Discussion of, XV, 103, 124, 160^ 
189 



Necessary for effective League, 

108 
Necessary to use force against 
force, 133 

Fourteen Points, reference to, 139^ 
14a, 149. iSS» iS7, 163, 165, 
171, 176. 183, 215 

France, War of 1870, 85 

Freedom of the Seas, 160^ 163, 176 

French Association for the Soci- 
ety of Nations, 207 



German Colonies, reference to, 22^ 

142, 164, 248 
(jerman Colonies and the League, 

221 
(jerman efficiency, 182 
German Militarism, reference to, 

81, 9i> 94 
(jerman Preparedness for War, 87 
Ckrmany, 157 
And the membership in the 

League, 151 
Essential to defeat, 132 
Growth and development of, 85 
Hemming in, 187 
Not to join League at once, 193 
War of 1870^ % 
Grant, Cieneral, quoted, 95 
Great Britain, Representation of, 

271 
Greater League, loi, 161 
Great Powers and the League, 151, 
i6x, 162, 177. 192, 19s, 196^ 197, 
202, 215, 216, 217 
Greece, Leagues of, 29 
Grey, Lord — 
In favor of League^ 74, gB 
Quoted, 79 



H 



Hague Conference, Second, 41 
Hague Tribunal, referred to, 220 



336 IN, 

Hamilton, reference to, 224 
Hayes and Tilden dispute, IS9 
Henry, Patrick, reference to, 24? 
Herzegovinia, reference to, 224 
Holy Alliance, reference to, 142 
Hughes, Mr^ referred to ai fav- 
oring League, 99 
Hungary, 302 



Immigration, 318 
Indcmnitie*, 300 
Internationa] Bureau of Labor 

provided for in League, 247 
International Army, Necessity for, 

ISO 
International Bureaus, 26 
International Court, $0, 53, til, 99, 

160, 188, 196, 205, 23f, 317 
Supreme Court as precedent 

for, 43 
International Law, SO, 189, 195, 

205, 208 
Conferences to agree upon, 42, 

44 
Definitioo of, 61, 93, 125 
Uethod for formulating and 

codifying, 2, 3 
The Logue to formulate princi- 
ples of, 100 
International Police (see "Mili- 

tory Police") 
International Prise Court, 56 
Internationalism, Argument as to 

answered, 146 
Ireland and the League, 235 
Isolation inconceivable, 162 
Italy and Her Entrance into Ibe 

War, 31 1> 312 

J 

Japanese, Immigration and natu- 
ralization of, 49, 63, 266, 310, 
326 

Jay Treaty, 54, 56 



Jefferson, Thos., reference to, 119, 

174. 252 
Jews and religious liberty, 166, 

309, 330 
Jews in Rumania, Poland, etc, 

310 
Jugo Slavs, 136, 139, 143, 154, 175, 

237 
Justiciable, definition of, 179 
Justiciable questions, 1, 3, 33, 39> 

«. 53 



Kaiser, reference to, 140 
Kant, reference to, 113 
Knox, Senator — 

Answered, 280 

Discussion of plan of League 
proposed by, 289 

Reference to, igS, 301, 210^ 214, 

215 



} miprove < 
all countries, 25 
Secretary, reference to. 



Larger League, 189 
League — 

A barrier to wars, 257 

Analogy to Domestic Govern- 
ment, 78 

British, 206 

Constitutionality of, 376, 277, 
280 ff 

Covenant, As amended, Analy^ 
of, 313 

English plan referred to, 83 

Feasibility of, discussed, 78 

Functions of, 195 

Fundamental plan of, 41 fi 

Greatest step in history, ago 

Members of, 27 

Objections to, 297 

Reasons for entering, 249 

Withdrawal from, 333 



i 



INDEX 



337 



League of Nations (see "Paris 

Covenant")! 52 
Defined, 178 

League to Enforce Peace — 
Constitutionality of Proposals* 

52 
Planks of Platform, 188 
Platform of, i, 205 
Purposes of, 74 
Steps in organization of, 180 
Legislative Body of League (see 
"Assembly" and "Body of 
Delegates"), 3 
Lesser League, loi, 160, 163, 195, 

208, 217 
Lesser Powers and the League, 

151 
Lincoln, referred to, 83 

Lithuanians, 175 

Lloyd George — 

Quoted, 115, 218 

Reference to, 194, 202, 212, 302 
Lodge, Senator — 

Reference to, 74; 198, 214 

Referred to as favoring the 
League, 99, '74 
Loughborough, Lord Chancellor, 
quoted, 56 

M 

Madison, James, reference to, 252 
Mandatories, 22, 223, 224, 234, 262, 

309, 316 
Mason, George, reference to, 247 
Members of League, 27 
Mesopotamia, referlence to, 248 
Milyukoff, quoted, 135 
Militarism, 94, 138^ 142, 157, 165, 

221 
Military Aid, when to be given, 18 
Military Force — 
Analogy to police in maintain- 
ing order, 106 
Discussion of, 65, 100, 112 
Objections to answered, 57, 67 
When to be used, i, 18, 42, 45, 
48 



Military Training, Universal, 150, 

163, 204, 217 
Missouri v. Illinois, 34 
Monroe Doctrine — 
Interpretation of, 269 
Message of President Monroe 

enunciating, 253 
Reference to or discussion of, 
VII, VIII, 22, 70, TJ, "9, 203, 
216, 252, 254, 274, 2^s^ 276, 292, 

322, 328, 329 
Reservation as to, 318 

Morgenthau, Mr^ reference to, 

258 
Munitions, manufacture of, 11 



N 



Napoleon, reference to, 95, 103, 

141 

National isolation impossible in 
the future, 134 

Nationalism, League not incon- 
sistent with, 146 

Naturalization, 63 

Neutrality of Belgium, Violation 
of, 90 

New Nations or Republics to be 
created, X, 143, 145, 160, 185, 
187. iffl, 236 

Non-Justiciable Questions, 49 



Objections to League, 198, 200, 
209,249 
Answered: 
(i) As to Boycott, 67 

(2) As to Military Force, 67 

(3) As to Unconstitutional- 

ity of, 68 
Olney, former Secretary of State, 

quoted, 57-58 
Opium, Traffic in, 25 
Oregon Boundary Dispute, 40 
Orlando, reference to, 313 



338 



INDEX 



Paderewski, reference to, 310 
Palestine, 248 

As Mandatory, 224 
Panama — 

Independence of, guaranteed, 59^ 

149 
Treaty with, 58 
Panama Canal, reference to, 72 
Paris Covenant, discussion of, 

228, 233, 262, 290 
Peace — 
Dangers of Premature, 81 
Not delayed by League, 300 
Steps to secure, 296 
Peace Offer, Danger of, 138 
Pennsylvania v. Connecticut, un- 
der Articles of Confederation, 
30 
Platform of League (see 
" League ") 
Discussion of, 98, 107, 145 
Plunkett, Sir Horace, reference 

to, 226 
Poincare, President, reference to, 

213 
Poindexter, Senator — 
Answered, 147, 240 
Quoted, 239 

Reference to, 154, 260^ 297 
Pogroms, reference to, 167 
Poland, 143. 154. 237 
Poles, 17s 

Police (see "International Po- 
lice ") 
Polk, President, quoted, 253 
Preparedness, in relation to 

League, 80 
Presidential Election, description 

of, 185^186 
Pro-German sentiment, 9^, 97 
Purpose of United Sutes in the 
War, 133 



Racial Freedom, 309 



Reasons for entering the League, 
249 

Reed, Senator, reference to, 154, 
260, 297 

Referendum, discussion of use be- 
fore declaring war, 115 

Regional Understandings, Reser- 
vations as to, 318 

Religious Liberty, 166, 309, 330 

Republicans and the League, 199 

Reptile Fund, reference to use of 
to bribe the press, 89 

Republics, New (see "New Re- 
publics **) 

Roosevelt, Former President, re- 
ferred to, 75> ^i> aos, 203 

Roosevelt and the Japanese-Rus- 
sian War, 83 

Root, Mr., reference to, 315, 317* 

319 

Round Robin, the, 307 

Rumania, 143 

Rumania and the Jews, 168^ 310 

Russia — 
Discussion of problems of, 183 
Reference to, 87, 91, 135, 136, 

I43> 154. 175* 219, 30s 
S 

Scott, James Brown, reference to, 

212 
Seal Fisheries (see "Bering Sea 

Controversy ") 
Secret Treaties, 311 
Self -Determination, 136 
Self-Govemment, definition of, 

18S 
Separate Peace, Logical result of 

those opposing League, 154 
Slovakia (see " Czecho-Slavs '0 
Smuts, General, reference to, 235, 

261 
Saar District, 222 
Small Nations, 196, 197 

Protection of by League, 193 
Smaller League (see "Lesser 

League ^ 



INDEX 



339 



Socialists, reference to, 146, 153 
Sonnino, reference to, 301, 313 
Sovereignty, discussion of, VIII, 

147, 148, 191, 279 
Submarine Warfare, reference to 

use of, 80, 89, 93, 94, 157. 180, 
181 

Sully, reference to, 20X 

Super-sovereignty, League not to 
establish, XIV, 14^ 215, 259 

Supreme Court, Analogy to inter- 
national tribunal, 32 

Swiss System of Military Train- 
ing (see "Military Train- 
ing") 

Syria, reference to, 248 



Tariff, Exclusion from League, 

318. 326 
Tennyson, reference to, 20X 
Treaties — 
Secret, 311 
To be registered with League, 

20 
Those negotiated by Mr. Bryan, 

III 
Treaty of Versailles — 
Delay in making, 303 
Long and complicated, 188 
Treaty-making Power, discussion 

of. S3, 58, 68, 239, 285, 286 
Treaty of Peace and the League 

of Nations, 272, 280 
Trentino, reference to, 136, 154, 

i6s, 312 
Triple Alliance, reference to, 104, 

312 
Triple Entente, reference to, 104, 

312 
Turkey, reference to, 136, 143 
Turkish Empire, Disposition of 

certain communities, 23 

U 
Ukraine, reference to, 143, 237 



United States — 
Discussion as to whether the 
United States should join the 
League, 117 
Driven to the war, 156 
Influence in League, 194 
Power, wealth and growth of, 

71 ff, 79 
Purpose of in the war, 133, 181 
Universal Training (see "MiU- 
tary Training") 



Victory, Obligations of, 141 
Victory Program, 2 
Victory with Power, 132 
Viviani, M., quoted, 135 



W 



War- 
Delay of by investigation, 11 1 
Right of Congress to declare, 

149 

Washington's advice against en- 
tangling Alliances, Discussion 
of, IX, XII, 71 ff, lift 132, 156^ 
174, 274 

Whhe, Henry, reference to, 212 

Wilson, President — 
And the Fiume Controversy, 

313 
Correspondence with in refer- 
ence to the League, 321 ff 
Influence in Europe, 194 
Quoted, 7ft 91. 134, IS7, 218 
Reference to, 74, 153, 154, 162, 

169, 211, 223, 230, 238. 255 
Referred to as favoring the 
League, 98 
Wilson, Professor, quoted, 70 
Women, Appeal to, 257 
Workingmen and the League, 152 
World Court, discussk>n of, 114 



340 INDEX 

World Court Congress, Address Z 

before, 28 
World Politics, 134 Zeppelins, reference to use of, 89 

World War, Beginning of, ^ Zones, Division of world into, 

216 




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