Infomotions, Inc.The Peace Negotiations / Lansing, Robert, 1864-1928



Author: Lansing, Robert, 1864-1928
Title: The Peace Negotiations
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Tag(s): league; treaty; covenant; guaranty; president; wilson; delegates; council; international; draft; conference; negotiations; president wilson; nations; commission; peace; affirmative guaranty; paris; american; preliminary treaty; cecil plan
Contributor(s): Raemaekers, Louis, 1869-1956 [Illustrator]
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Title: The Peace Negotiations

Author: Robert Lansing

Release Date: December 13, 2003  [eBook #10444]

Language: English

Character set encoding: US-ASCII


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THE PEACE NEGOTIATIONS

A PERSONAL NARRATIVE

BY ROBERT LANSING


WITH ILLUSTRATIONS






CONTENTS

    I. REASONS FOR WRITING A PERSONAL NARRATIVE

   II. MR. WILSON'S PRESENCE AT THE PEACE CONFERENCE

  III. GENERAL PLAN FOR A LEAGUE OF NATIONS

   IV. SUBSTITUTE ARTICLES PROPOSED

    V. THE AFFIRMATIVE GUARANTY AND BALANCE OF POWER

   VI. THE PRESIDENT'S PLAN AND THE CECIL PLAN

  VII. SELF-DETERMINATION

 VIII. THE CONFERENCE OF JANUARY 10, 1919

   IX. A RESOLUTION INSTEAD OF THE COVENANT

    X. THE GUARANTY IN THE REVISED COVENANT

   XI. INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION

  XII. REPORT OF COMMISSION ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS

 XIII. THE SYSTEM OF MANDATES

  XIV. DIFFERENCES AS TO THE LEAGUE RECAPITULATED

   XV. THE PROPOSED TREATY WITH FRANCE

  XVI. LACK OF AN AMERICAN PROGRAMME

 XVII. SECRET DIPLOMACY

XVIII. THE SHANTUNG SETTLEMENT

  XIX. THE BULLITT AFFAIR

       CONCLUSION


APPENDICES

    I. THE PRESIDENT'S ORIGINAL DRAFT OF THE COVENANT OF THE
       LEAGUE OF NATIONS, LAID BEFORE THE AMERICAN COMMISSION
       ON JANUARY 10, 1919

   II. LEAGUE OF NATIONS PLAN OF LORD ROBERT CECIL

  III. THE COVENANT OF THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS IN THE TREATY OF
       VERSAILLES

   IV. THE FOURTEEN POINTS

    V. PRINCIPLES DECLARED BY PRESIDENT WILSON IN HIS ADDRESS OF
       FEBRUARY 11, 1918

   VI. THE ARTICLES OF THE TREATY OF VERSAILLES RELATING TO SHANTUNG


INDEX




ILLUSTRATIONS

THE AMERICAN PEACE DELEGATION AT PARIS
Photograph by Signal Corps, U.S.A.

FACSIMILE OF MR. LANSING'S COMMISSION AS A COMMISSIONER PLENIPOTENTIARY
TO NEGOTIATE PEACE

THE RUE ROYALE ON THE ARRIVAL OF PRESIDENT WILSON ON DECEMBER 14, 1918
Photograph by Signal Corps, U.S.A.

THE AMERICAN PEACE DELEGATION AND STAFF
Photograph by Signal Corps, U.S.A.

A MEETING AT THE QUAI D'ORSAY AFTER PRESIDENT WILSON'S
DEPARTURE FROM PARIS

FACSIMILE OF MR. LANSING'S "FULL POWERS" TO NEGOTIATE A TREATY OF
ASSISTANCE TO FRANCE

THE DAILY CONFERENCE OF THE AMERICAN PEACE COMMISSION
Photograph by Isabey, Paris






CHRONOLOGY

The Declaration of the Fourteen Points            January 18, 1918


Declaration of Four Additional Bases of Peace    February 11, 1918

Departure of Colonel House for Paris to represent the
  President on Supreme War Council                October 17, 1918

Signature of Armistice, 5 A.M.; effective, 11 A.M.
                                                 November 11, 1918

Departure of President and American Commission
  for France                                      December 4, 1918

Arrival of President and American Commission in
  Paris                                          December 14, 1918

Meeting of Supreme War Council                    January 12, 1919

First Plenary Session of Peace Conference         January 25, 1919

Plenary Session at which Report on the League of Nations
  was Submitted                                  February 14, 1919

Departure of President from Paris for United States
                                                 February 14, 1919

President lands at Boston                        February 24, 1919

Departure of President from New York for France      March 5, 1919

President arrives in Paris                          March 14, 1919

Organization of Council of Four               About March 24, 1919

President's public statement in regard to Fiume     April 23, 1919

Adoption of Commission's Report on League of Nations
  by the Conference                                 April 28, 1919

The Shantung Settlement                             April 30, 1919

Delivery of the Peace Treaty to the German
  Plenipotentiaries                                    May 7, 1919

Signing of Treaty of Versailles                      June 28, 1919

Signing of Treaty of Assistance with France          June 28, 1919

Departure of President for the United States         June 28, 1919

Departure of Mr. Lansing from Paris for United
  States                                             July 12, 1919

Hearing of Mr. Lansing before Senate Committee on
  Foreign Relations                                 August 6, 1919

Conference of Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
  with the President at the White House            August 19, 1919

Hearing of Mr. Bullitt before Senate Committee on
  Foreign Relations                             September 12, 1919

Return of President to Washington from tour
  of West                                       September 28, 1919

Resignation of Mr. Lansing as Secretary
  of State                                       February 13, 1920






CHAPTER I

REASONS FOR WRITING A PERSONAL NARRATIVE


"While we were still in Paris, I felt, and have felt increasingly ever
since, that you accepted my guidance and direction on questions with
regard to which I had to instruct you only with increasing
reluctance....

"... I must say that it would relieve me of embarrassment, Mr.
Secretary, the embarrassment of feeling your reluctance and divergence
of judgment, if you would give your present office up and afford me an
opportunity to select some one whose mind would more willingly go along
with mine."

These words are taken from the letter which President Wilson wrote to me
on February 11, 1920. On the following day I tendered my resignation as
Secretary of State by a letter, in which I said:

   "Ever since January, 1919, I have been conscious of the fact that you
   no longer were disposed to welcome my advice in matters pertaining to
   the negotiations in Paris, to our foreign service, or to
   international affairs in general. Holding these views I would, if I
   had consulted my personal inclination alone, have resigned as
   Secretary of State and as a Commissioner to Negotiate Peace. I felt,
   however, that such a step might have been misinterpreted both at home
   and abroad, and that it was my duty to cause you no embarrassment in
   carrying forward the great task in which you were then engaged."

The President was right in his impression that, "while we were still in
Paris," I had accepted his guidance and direction with reluctance. It
was as correct as my statement that, as early as January, 1919, I was
conscious that he was no longer disposed to welcome my advice in matters
pertaining to the peace negotiations at Paris.

There have been obvious reasons of propriety for my silence until now as
to the divergence of judgment, the differences of opinion and the
consequent breach in the relations between President Wilson and myself.
They have been the subject of speculation and inference which have left
uncertain the true record. The time has come when a frank account of our
differences can be given publicity without a charge being made of
disloyalty to the Administration in power.

The President, in his letter of February 11, 1920, from which the
quotation is made, indicated my unwillingness to follow him in the
course which he adopted at Paris, but he does not specifically point out
the particular subjects as to which we were not in accord. It is
unsatisfactory, if not criticizable, to leave the American people in
doubt as to a disagreement between two of their official representatives
upon a matter of so grave importance to the country as the negotiation
of the Treaty of Versailles. They are entitled to know the truth in
order that they may pass judgment upon the merits of the differences
which existed. I am not willing that the present uncertainty as to the
facts should continue. Possibly some may think that I have remained
silent too long. If I have, it has been only from a sense of obligation
to an Administration of which I was so long a member. It has not been
through lack of desire to lay the record before the public.

The statements which will be made in the succeeding pages will not be
entirely approved by some of my readers. In the circumstances it is far
too much to expect to escape criticism. The review of facts and the
comments upon them may be characterized in certain quarters as disloyal
to a superior and as violative of the seal of silence which is
considered generally to apply to the intercourse and communications
between the President and his official advisers. Under normal conditions
such a characterization would not be unjustified. But the present case
is different from the usual one in which a disagreement arises between a
President and a high official of his Administration.

Mr. Wilson made our differences at Paris one of the chief grounds for
stating that he would be pleased to take advantage of my expressed
willingness to resign. The manifest imputation was that I had advised
him wrongly and that, after he had decided to adopt a course contrary to
my advice, I had continued to oppose his views and had with reluctance
obeyed his instructions. Certainly no American official is in honor
bound to remain silent under such an imputation which approaches a
charge of faithlessness and of a secret, if not open, avoidance of duty.
He has, in my judgment, the right to present the case to the American
people in order that they may decide whether the imputation was
justified by the facts, and whether his conduct was or was not in the
circumstances in accord with the best traditions of the public service
of the United States.

A review of this sort becomes necessarily a personal narrative, which,
because of its intimate nature, is embarrassing to the writer, since he
must record his own acts, words, desires, and purposes, his own views as
to a course of action, and his own doubts, fears, and speculations as to
the future. If there were another method of treatment which would retain
the authoritative character of a personal statement, it would be a
satisfaction to adopt it. But I know of none. The true story can only be
told from the intimate and personal point of view. As I intend to tell
the true story I offer no further apology for its personal character.

Before beginning a recital of the relations existing between President
Wilson and myself during the Paris Conference, I wish to state, and to
emphasize the statement, that I was never for a moment unmindful that
the Constitution of the United States confides to the President the
absolute right of conducting the foreign relations of the Republic, and
that it is the duty of a Commissioner to follow the President's
instructions in the negotiation of a treaty. Many Americans, some of
whom are national legislators and solicitous about the Constitution,
seem to have ignored or to have forgotten this delegation of exclusive
authority, with the result that they have condemned the President in
intemperate language for exercising this executive right. As to the
wisdom of the way in which Mr. Wilson exercised it in directing the
negotiations at Paris individual opinions may differ, but as to the
legality of his conduct there ought to be but one mind. From first to
last he acted entirely within his constitutional powers as President of
the United States.

The duties of a diplomatic representative commissioned by the President
and given full powers to negotiate a treaty are, in addition to the
formal carrying out of his instructions, twofold, namely, to advise the
President during the negotiation of his views as to the wise course to
be adopted, and to prevent the President, in so far as possible, from
taking any step in the proceedings which may impair the rights of his
country or may be injurious to its interests. These duties, in my
opinion, are equally imperative whether the President directs the
negotiations through written instructions issuing from the White House
or conducts them in person. For an American plenipotentiary to remain
silent, and by his silence to give the impression that he approves a
course of action which he in fact believes to be wrong in principle or
contrary to good policy, constitutes a failure to perform his full duty
to the President and to the country. It is his duty to speak and to
speak frankly and plainly.

With this conception of the obligations of a Commissioner to Negotiate
Peace, obligations which were the more compelling in my case because of
my official position as Secretary of State, I felt it incumbent upon me
to offer advice to the President whenever it seemed necessary to me to
consider the adoption of a line of action in regard to the negotiations,
and particularly so when the indications were that the President
purposed to reach a decision which seemed to me unwise or impolitic.
Though from the first I felt that my suggestions were received with
coldness and my criticisms with disfavor, because they did not conform
to the President's wishes and intentions, I persevered in my efforts to
induce him to abandon in some cases or to modify in others a course
which would in my judgment be a violation of principle or a mistake in
policy. It seemed to me that duty demanded this, and that, whatever the
consequences might be, I ought not to give tacit assent to that which I
believed wrong or even injudicious.

The principal subjects, concerning which President Wilson and I were in
marked disagreement, were the following: His presence in Paris during
the peace negotiations and especially his presence there as a delegate
to the Peace Conference; the fundamental principles of the constitution
and functions of a League of Nations as proposed or advocated by him;
the form of the organic act, known as the "Covenant," its elaborate
character and its inclusion in the treaty restoring a state of peace;
the treaty of defensive alliance with France; the necessity for a
definite programme which the American Commissioners could follow in
carrying on the negotiations; the employment of private interviews and
confidential agreements in reaching settlements, a practice which gave
color to the charge of "secret diplomacy"; and, lastly, the admission of
the Japanese claims to possession of German treaty rights at Kiao-Chau
and in the Province of Shantung.

Of these seven subjects of difference the most important were those
relating to the League of Nations and the Covenant, though our opposite
views as to Shantung were more generally known and more frequently the
subject of public comment. While chief consideration will be given to
the differences regarding the League and the Covenant, the record would
be incomplete if the other subjects were omitted. In fact nearly all of
these matters of difference are more or less interwoven and have a
collateral, if not a direct, bearing upon one another. They all
contributed in affecting the attitude of President Wilson toward the
advice that I felt it my duty to volunteer, an attitude which was
increasingly impatient of unsolicited criticism and suggestion and which
resulted at last in the correspondence of February, 1920, that ended
with the acceptance of my resignation as Secretary of State.

The review of these subjects will be, so far as it is possible, treated
in chronological order, because, as the matters of difference increased
in number, they gave emphasis to the divergence of judgment which
existed between the President and myself. The effect was cumulative, and
tended not only to widen the breach, but to make less and less possible
a restoration of our former relations. It was my personal desire to
support the President's views concerning the negotiations at Paris, but,
when in order to do so it became necessary to deny a settled conviction
and to suppress a conception of the true principle or the wise policy to
be followed, I could not do it and feel that to give support under such
conditions accorded with true loyalty to the President of the
United States.

It was in this spirit that my advice was given and my suggestions were
made, though in doing so I believed it justifiable to conform as far as
it was possible to the expressed views of Mr. Wilson, or to what seemed
to be his views, concerning less important matters and to concentrate on
those which seemed vital. I went in fact as far as I could in adopting
his views in the hope that my advice would be less unpalatable and
would, as a consequence, receive more sympathetic consideration.
Believing that I understood the President's temperament, success in an
attempt to change his views seemed to lie in moderation and in partial
approval of his purpose rather than in bluntly arguing that it was
wholly wrong and should be abandoned. This method of approach, which
seemed the expedient one at the time, weakened, in some instances at
least, the criticisms and objections which I made. It is very possible
that even in this diluted form my views were credited with wrong motives
by the President so that he suspected my purpose. It is to be hoped that
this was the true explanation of Mr. Wilson's attitude of mind, for the
alternative forces a conclusion as to the cause for his resentful
reception of honest differences of opinion, which no one, who admires
his many sterling qualities and great attainments, will
willingly accept.

Whatever the cause of the President's attitude toward the opinions which
I expressed on the subjects concerning which our views were at
variance--and I prefer to assume that the cause was a misapprehension of
my reasons for giving them--the result was that he was disposed to give
them little weight. The impression made was that he was irritated by
opposition to his views, however moderately urged, and that he did not
like to have his judgment questioned even in a friendly way. It is, of
course, possible that this is not a true estimate of the President's
feelings. It may do him an injustice. But his manner of meeting
criticism and his disposition to ignore opposition can hardly be
interpreted in any other way.

There is the alternative possibility that Mr. Wilson was convinced that,
after he had given a subject mature consideration and reached a
decision, his judgment was right or at least better than that of any
adviser. A conviction of this nature, if it existed, would naturally
have caused him to feel impatient with any one who attempted to
controvert his decisions and would tend to make him believe that
improper motives induced the opposition or criticism. This alternative,
which is based of necessity on a presumption as to the temperament of
Mr. Wilson that an unprejudiced and cautious student of personality
would hesitate to adopt, I mention only because there were many who
believed it to be the correct explanation of his attitude. In view of my
intimate relations with the President prior to the Paris Conference I
feel that in justice to him I should say that he did not, except on rare
occasions, resent criticism of a proposed course of action, and, while
he seemed in a measure changed after departing from the United States in
December, 1918, I do not think that the change was sufficient to justify
the presumption of self-assurance which it would be necessary to adopt
if the alternative possibility is considered to furnish the better
explanation.

It is, however, natural, considering what occurred at Paris, to search
out the reason or reasons for the President's evident unwillingness to
listen to advice when he did not solicit it, and for his failure to take
all the American Commissioners into his confidence. But to attempt to
dissect the mentality and to analyze the intellectual processes of
Woodrow Wilson is not my purpose. It would only invite discussion and
controversy as to the truth of the premises and the accuracy of the
deductions reached. The facts will be presented and to an extent the
impressions made upon me at the time will be reviewed, but impressions
of that character which are not the result of comparison with subsequent
events and of mature deliberation are not always justified. They may
later prove to be partially or wholly wrong. They have the value,
nevertheless, of explaining in many cases why I did or did not do
certain things, and of disclosing the state of mind that in a measure
determined my conduct which without this recital of contemporaneous
impressions might mystify one familiar with what afterwards took place.
The notes, letters, and memoranda which are quoted in the succeeding
pages, as well as the opinions and beliefs held at the time (of which,
in accordance with a practice of years, I kept a record supplementing my
daily journal of events), should be weighed and measured by the
situation which existed when they were written and not alone in the
light of the complete review of the proceedings. In forming an opinion
as to my differences with the President it should be the reader's
endeavor to place himself in my position at the time and not judge them
solely by the results of the negotiations at Paris. It comes to this:
Was I justified then? Am I justified now? If those questions are
answered impartially and without prejudice, there is nothing further
that I would ask of the reader.




CHAPTER II

MR. WILSON'S PRESENCE AT THE PEACE CONFERENCE


Early in October, 1918, it required no prophetic vision to perceive that
the World War would come to an end in the near future. Austria-Hungary,
acting with the full approval of the German Government, had made
overtures for peace, and Bulgaria, recognizing the futility of further
struggle, had signed an armistice which amounted to an unconditional
surrender. These events were soon followed by the collapse of Turkish
resistance and by the German proposals which resulted in the armistice
which went into effect on November 11, 1918.

In view of the importance of the conditions of the armistice with
Germany and their relation to the terms of peace to be later negotiated,
the President considered it essential to have an American member added
to the Supreme War Council, which then consisted of M. Clemenceau, Mr.
Lloyd George, and Signor Orlando, the premiers of the three Allied
Powers. He selected Colonel Edward M. House for this important post and
named him a Special Commissioner to represent him personally. Colonel
House with a corps of secretaries and assistants sailed from New York on
October 17, _en route_ for Paris where the Supreme War Council was
in session.

Three days before his departure the Colonel was in Washington and we had
two long conferences with the President regarding the correspondence
with Germany and with the Allies relating to a cessation of hostilities,
during which we discussed the position which the United States should
take as to the terms of the armistice and the bases of peace which
should be incorporated in the document.

It was after one of these conferences that Colonel House informed me
that the President had decided to name him (the Colonel) and me as two
of the American plenipotentiaries to the Peace Conference, and that the
President was considering attending the Conference and in person
directing the negotiations. This latter intention of Mr. Wilson
surprised and disturbed me, and I expressed the hope that the
President's mind was not made up, as I believed that if he gave more
consideration to the project he would abandon it, since it was manifest
that his influence over the negotiations would be much greater if he
remained in Washington and issued instructions to his representatives in
the Conference. Colonel House did not say that he agreed with my
judgment in this matter, though he did not openly disagree with it.
However, I drew the conclusion, though without actual knowledge, that he
approved of the President's purpose, and, possibly, had encouraged him
to become an actual participant in the preliminary conferences.

The President's idea of attending the Peace Conference was not a new
one. Though I cannot recollect the source of my information, I know that
in December, 1916, when it will be remembered Mr. Wilson was endeavoring
to induce the belligerents to state their objects in the war and to
enter into a conference looking toward peace, he had an idea that he
might, as a friend of both parties, preside over such a conference and
exert his personal influence to bring the belligerents into agreement. A
service of this sort undoubtedly appealed to the President's
humanitarian instinct and to his earnest desire to end the devastating
war, while the novelty of the position in which he would be placed would
not have been displeasing to one who in his public career seemed to find
satisfaction in departing from the established paths marked out by
custom and usage.

When, however, the attempt at mediation failed and when six weeks later,
on February 1, 1917, the German Government renewed indiscriminate
submarine warfare resulting in the severance of diplomatic relations
between the United States and Germany, President Wilson continued to
cherish the hope that he might yet assume the role of mediator. He even
went so far as to prepare a draft of the bases of peace, which he
purposed to submit to the belligerents if they could be induced to meet
in conference. I cannot conceive how he could have expected to bring
this about in view of the elation of the Allies at the dismissal of
Count von Bernstorff and the seeming certainty that the United States
would declare war against Germany if the latter persisted in her
ruthless sinking of American merchant vessels. But I know, in spite of
the logic of the situation, that he expected or at least hoped to
succeed in his mediatory programme and made ready to play his part in
the negotiation of a peace.

From the time that Congress declared that a state of war existed between
the United States and the Imperial German Government up to the autumn of
1918, when the Central Alliance made overtures to end the war, the
President made no attempt so far as I am aware to enter upon peace
negotiations with the enemy nations. In fact he showed a disposition to
reject all peace proposals. He appears to have reached the conclusion
that the defeat of Germany and her allies was essential before permanent
peace could be restored. At all events, he took no steps to bring the
belligerents together until a military decision had been practically
reached. He did, however, on January 8,1918, lay down his famous
"Fourteen Points," which he supplemented with certain declarations in
"subsequent addresses," thus proclaiming his ideas as to the proper
bases of peace when the time should come to negotiate.

Meanwhile, in anticipation of the final triumph of the armies of the
Allied and Associated Powers, the President, in the spring of 1917,
directed the organization, under the Department of State, of a body of
experts to collect data and prepare monographs, charts, and maps,
covering all historical, territorial, economic, and legal subjects which
would probably arise in the negotiation of a treaty of peace. This
Commission of Inquiry, as it was called, had its offices in New York and
was under Colonel House so far as the selection of its members was
concerned. The nominal head of the Commission was Dr. Mezes, President
of the College of the City of New York and a brother-in-law of Colonel
House, though the actual and efficient executive head was Dr. Isaiah
Bowman, Director of the American Geographical Society. The plans of
organization, the outline of work, and the proposed expenditures for the
maintenance of the Commission were submitted to me as Secretary of
State. I examined them and, after several conferences with Dr. Mezes,
approved them and recommended to the President that he allot the funds
necessary to carry out the programme.

In addition to the subjects which were dealt with by this excellent
corps of students and experts, whose work was of the highest order, the
creation of some sort of an international association to prevent wars in
the future received special attention from the President as it did from
Americans of prominence not connected with the Government. It caused
considerable discussion in the press and many schemes were proposed and
pamphlets written on the subject. To organize such an association became
a generally recognized object to be attained in the negotiation of the
peace which would end the World War; and there can be no doubt that the
President believed more and more in the vital necessity of forming an
effective organization of the nations to preserve peace in the future
and make another great war impossible.

The idea of being present and taking an active part in formulating the
terms of peace had, in my opinion, never been abandoned by President
Wilson, although it had remained dormant while the result of the
conflict was uncertain. When, however, in early October, 1918, there
could no longer be any doubt that the end of the war was approaching,
the President appears to have revived the idea and to have decided, if
possible, to carry out the purpose which he had so long cherished. He
seemed to have failed to appreciate, or, if he did appreciate, to have
ignored the fact that the conditions were wholly different in October,
1918, from what they were in December, 1916.

In December, 1916, the United States was a neutral nation, and the
President, in a spirit of mutual friendliness, which was real and not
assumed, was seeking to bring the warring powers together in conference
looking toward the negotiation of "a peace without victory." In the
event that he was able to persuade them to meet, his presence at the
conference as a pacificator and probably as the presiding officer would
not improbably have been in the interests of peace, because, as the
executive head of the greatest of the neutral nations of the world and
as the impartial friend of both parties, his personal influence would
presumably have been very great in preventing a rupture in the
negotiations and in inducing the parties to act in a spirit of
conciliation and compromise.

In October, 1918, however, the United States was a belligerent. Its
national interests were involved; its armies were in conflict with the
Germans on the soil of France; its naval vessels were patrolling the
Atlantic; and the American people, bitterly hostile, were demanding
vengeance on the Governments and peoples of the Central Powers,
particularly those of Germany. President Wilson, it is true, had
endeavored with a measure of success to maintain the position of an
unbiased arbiter in the discussions leading up to the armistice of
November 11, and Germany undoubtedly looked to him as the one hope of
checking the spirit of revenge which animated the Allied Powers in view
of all that they had suffered at the hands of the Germans. It is
probable too that the Allies recognized that Mr. Wilson was entitled to
be satisfied as to the terms of peace since American man power and
American resources had turned the scale against Germany and made victory
a certainty. The President, in fact, dominated the situation. If he
remained in Washington and carried on the negotiations through his
Commissioners, he would in all probability retain his superior place and
be able to dictate such terms of peace as he considered just. But, if he
did as he purposed doing and attended the Peace Conference, he would
lose the unique position which he held and would have to submit to the
combined will of his foreign colleagues becoming a prey to intrigue and
to the impulses arising from their hatred for the vanquished nations.

A practical view of the situation so clearly pointed to the unwisdom of
the President's personal participation in the peace negotiations that a
very probable explanation for his determination to be present at the
Conference is the assumption that the idea had become so firmly embedded
in his mind that nothing could dislodge it or divert him from his
purpose. How far the spectacular feature of a President crossing the
ocean to control in person the making of peace appealed to him I do not
know. It may have been the deciding factor. It may have had no effect at
all. How far the belief that a just peace could only be secured by the
exercise of his personal influence over the delegates I cannot say. How
far he doubted the ability of the men whom he proposed to name as
plenipotentiaries is wholly speculative. Whatever plausible reason may
be given, the true reason will probably never be known.

Not appreciating, at the time that Colonel House informed me of the
President's plan to be present at the Conference, that the matter had
gone as far as it had, and feeling very strongly that it would be a
grave mistake for the President to take part in person in the
negotiations, I felt it to be my duty, as his official adviser in
foreign affairs and as one desirous to have him adopt a wise course, to
state plainly to him my views. It was with hesitation that I did this
because the consequence of the non-attendance of the President would be
to make me the head of the American Peace Commission at Paris. There was
the danger that my motive in opposing the President's attending the
Conference would be misconstrued and that I might be suspected of acting
from self-interest rather than from a sense of loyalty to my chief.
When, however, the armistice went into effect and the time arrived for
completing the personnel of the American Commission, I determined that I
ought not to remain silent.

The day after the cessation of hostilities, that is, on November 12, I
made the following note:

   "I had a conference this noon with the President at the White House
   in relation to the Peace Conference. I told him frankly that I
   thought the plan for him to attend was unwise and would be a mistake.
   I said that I felt embarrassed in speaking to him about it because it
   would leave me at the head of the delegation, and I hoped that he
   understood that I spoke only out of a sense of duty. I pointed out
   that he held at present a dominant position in the world, which I was
   afraid he would lose if he went into conference with the foreign
   statesmen; that he could practically dictate the terms of peace if he
   held aloof; that he would be criticized severely in this country for
   leaving at a time when Congress particularly needed his guidance; and
   that he would be greatly embarrassed in directing domestic affairs
   from overseas."

I also recorded as significant that the President listened to my remarks
without comment and turned the conversation into other channels.

For a week after this interview I heard nothing from the President on
the subject, though the fact that no steps were taken to prepare written
instructions for the American Commissioners convinced me that he
intended to follow his original intention. My fears were confirmed. On
the evening of Monday, November 18, the President came to my residence
and told me that he had finally decided to go to the Peace Conference
and that he had given out to the press an announcement to that effect.
In view of the publicity given to his decision it would have been futile
to have attempted to dissuade him from his purpose. He knew my opinion
and that it was contrary to his.

After the President departed I made a note of the interview, in which
among other things I wrote:

   "I am convinced that he is making one of the greatest mistakes of his
   career and will imperil his reputation. I may be in error and hope
   that I am, but I prophesy trouble in Paris and worse than trouble
   here. I believe the President's place is here in America."

Whether the decision of Mr. Wilson was wise and whether my prophecy was
unfulfilled, I leave to the judgment of others. His visit to Europe and
its consequences are facts of history. It should be understood that the
incident is not referred to here to justify my views or to prove that
the President was wrong in what he did. The reference is made solely
because it shows that at the very outset there was a decided divergence
of judgment between us in regard to the peace negotiations.

While this difference of opinion apparently in no way affected our
cordial relations, I cannot but feel, in reviewing this period of our
intercourse, that my open opposition to his attending the Conference was
considered by the President to be an unwarranted meddling with his
personal affairs and was none of my business. It was, I believe, the
beginning of his loss of confidence in my judgment and advice, which
became increasingly marked during the Paris negotiations. At the time,
however, I did not realize that my honest opinion affected the President
in the way which I now believe that it did. It had always been my
practice as Secretary of State to speak to him with candor and to
disagree with him whenever I thought he was reaching a wrong decision in
regard to any matter pertaining to foreign affairs. There was a general
belief that Mr. Wilson was not open-minded and that he was quick to
resent any opposition however well founded. I had not found him so
during the years we had been associated. Except in a few instances he
listened with consideration to arguments and apparently endeavored to
value them correctly. If, however, the matter related even remotely to
his personal conduct he seemed unwilling to debate the question. My
conclusion is that he considered his going to the Peace Conference was
his affair solely and that he viewed my objections as a direct criticism
of him personally for thinking of going. He may, too, have felt that my
opposition arose from a selfish desire to become the head of the
American Commission. From that time forward any suggestion or advice
volunteered by me was seemingly viewed with suspicion. It was, however,
long after this incident that I began to feel that the President was
imputing to me improper motives and crediting me with disloyalty to him
personally, an attitude which was as unwarranted as it was unjust.

The President having determined to go to Paris, it seemed almost useless
to urge him not to become a delegate in view of the fact that he had
named but four Commissioners, although it had been arranged that the
Great Powers should each have five delegates in the Conference. This
clearly indicated that the President was at least considering sitting as
the fifth member of the American group. At the same time it seemed that,
if he did not take his place in the Conference as a delegate, he might
retain in a measure his superior place of influence even though he was
in Paris. Four days after the Commission landed at Brest I had a long
conference with Colonel House on matters pertaining to the approaching
negotiations, during which he informed me that there was a determined
effort being made by the European statesmen to induce the President to
sit at the peace table and that he was afraid that the President was
disposed to accede to their wishes. This information indicated that,
while the President had come to Paris prepared to act as a delegate, he
had, after discussing the subject with the Colonel and possibly with
others, become doubtful as to the wisdom of doing so, but that through
the pressure of his foreign colleagues he was turning again to the
favorable view of personal participation which he had held before he
left the United States.

In my conversation with Colonel House I told him my reasons for opposing
the President's taking an active part in the Conference and explained to
him the embarrassment that I felt in advising the President to adopt a
course which would make me the head of the American Commission. I am
sure that the Colonel fully agreed with me that it was impolitic for Mr.
Wilson to become a delegate, but whether he actively opposed the plan I
do not know, although I believe that he did. It was some days before the
President announced that he would become the head of the American
Commission. I believe that he did this with grave doubts in his own mind
as to the wisdom of his decision, and I do not think that any new
arguments were advanced during those days which materially affected
his judgment.

This delay in reaching a final determination as to a course of action
was characteristic of Mr. Wilson. There is in his mentality a strange
mixture of positiveness and indecision which is almost paradoxical. It
is a peculiarity which it is hard to analyze and which has often been an
embarrassment in the conduct of public affairs. Suddenness rather than
promptness has always marked his decisions. Procrastination in
announcing a policy or a programme makes cooeperation difficult and not
infrequently defeats the desired purpose. To put off a decision to the
last moment is a trait of Mr. Wilson's character which has caused much
anxiety to those who, dealing with matters of vital importance, realized
that delay was perilous if not disastrous.

Of the consequences of the President's acting as one of his own
representatives to negotiate peace it is not my purpose to speak. The
events of the six months succeeding his decision to exercise in person
his constitutional right to conduct the foreign relations of the United
States are in a general way matters of common knowledge and furnish
sufficient data for the formulation of individual opinions without the
aid of argument or discussion. The important fact in connection with the
general topic being considered is the difference of opinion between the
President and myself as to the wisdom of his assuming the role of a
delegate. While I did not discuss the matter with him except at the
first when I opposed his attending the Peace Conference, I have little
doubt that Colonel House, if he urged the President to decline to sit as
a delegate, which I think may be presumed, or if he discussed it at all,
mentioned to him my opinion that such a step would be unwise. In any
event Mr. Wilson knew my views and that they were at variance with the
decision which he reached.




CHAPTER III

GENERAL PLAN FOR A LEAGUE OF NATIONS


It appears, from a general review of the situation prior and subsequent
to the assembling of the delegates to the Peace Conference, that
President Wilson's decision to go to Paris and to engage in person in
the negotiations was strongly influenced by his belief that it was the
only sure way of providing in the treaty of peace for the organization
of a League of Nations. While his presence in Paris was probably
affected to an extent by other considerations, as I have pointed out, it
is to be presumed that he was anxious to participate directly in the
drafting of the plan of organization of the League and to exert his
personal influence on the delegates in favor of its acceptance by
publicly addressing the Conference. This he could hardly have done
without becoming a delegate. It would seem, therefore, that the purpose
of creating a League of Nations and obtaining the incorporation of a
plan of organization in the treaty to be negotiated had much to do with
the President's presence at the peace table.

From the time that the United States entered the war in April, 1917, Mr.
Wilson held firmly to the idea that the salvation of the world from
imperialism would not be lasting unless provision was made in the peace
treaty for an international agency strong enough to prevent a future
attack upon the rights and liberties of the nations which were at so
great a cost holding in check the German armies and preventing them from
carrying out their evil designs of conquest. The object sought by the
United States in the war would not, in the views of many, be achieved
unless the world was organized to resist future aggression. The
essential thing, as the President saw it, in order to "make the world
safe for democracy" was to give permanency to the peace which would be
negotiated at the conclusion of the war. A union of the nations for the
purpose of preventing wars of aggression and conquest seemed to him the
most practical, if not the only, way of accomplishing this supreme
object, and he urged it with earnestness and eloquence in his public
addresses relating to the bases of peace.

There was much to be said in favor of the President's point of view.
Unquestionably the American people as a whole supported him in the
belief that there ought to be some international agreement, association,
or concord which would lessen the possibility of future wars. An
international organization to remove in a measure the immediate causes
of war, to provide means for the peaceable settlement of disputes
between nations, and to draw the governments into closer friendship
appealed to the general desire of the peoples of America and Europe. The
four years and more of horror and agony through which mankind had passed
must be made impossible of repetition, and there seemed no other way
than to form an international union devoted to the maintenance of peace
by composing, as far as possible, controversies which might ripen
into war.

For many years prior to 1914 an organization devoted to the prevention
of international wars had been discussed by those who gave thought to
warfare of the nations and who realized in a measure the precarious
state of international peace. The Hague Conventions of 1899 and of 1907
had been negotiated with that object, and it was only because of the
improper aspirations and hidden designs of certain powers, which were
represented at those great historic conferences, that the measures
adopted were not more expressive of the common desire of mankind and
more effective in securing the object sought. The Carnegie Endowment for
International Peace, the Ginn, now the World, Peace Foundation, and the
American Peace Society, and later the Society for the Judicial
Settlement of International Disputes, the League to Enforce Peace, and
many other organizations in America and in Europe were actively engaged
in considering ways and means to prevent war, to strengthen the bonds of
international good-will, and to insure the more general application of
the principles of justice to disputes between nations.

The outbreak of the war and the dreadful waste and suffering which
followed impelled the societies and associations then organized to
redoubled effort and induced the formation of new organizations. People
everywhere began to realize that their objects were real and not merely
sentimental or academic, that they were seeking practical means to
remove the conditions which had made the Great War possible. Public
opinion became more and more pronounced as the subject was more widely
discussed in the journals and periodicals of the day and at public
meetings, the divergence of views being chiefly in regard to the means
to be employed by the proposed organization and not as to the creation
of the organization, the necessity for which appeared to be
generally conceded.

With popular sentiment overwhelmingly in favor of some sort of world
union which would to an extent insure the nations against another
tragedy like the one which in November, 1918, had left the belligerents
wasted and exhausted and the whole world a prey to social and industrial
unrest, there was beyond question a demand that out of the great
international assembly at Paris there should come some common agency
devoted to the prevention of war. To ignore this all-prevalent sentiment
would have been to misrepresent the peoples of the civilized world and
would have aroused almost universal condemnation and protest. The
President was, therefore, entirely right in giving prominence to the
idea of an international union against war and in insisting that the
Peace Conference should make provision for the establishment of an
organization of the world with the prevention of future wars as its
central thought and purpose.

The great bulk of the American people, at the time that the President
left the United States to attend the Peace Conference, undoubtedly
believed that some sort of organization of this nature was necessary,
and I am convinced that the same popular belief prevailed in all other
civilized countries. It is possible that this assertion may seem too
emphatic to some who have opposed the plan for a League of Nations,
which appears in the first articles of the Treaty of Versailles, but, if
these opponents of the plan will go back to the time of which I am
writing, and avoid the impressions made upon them by subsequent events,
they will find, I believe, that even their own views have materially
changed since December, 1918. It is true that concrete plans had then
been suggested, but so far as the public knew the President had not
adopted any of them or formulated one of his own. He had not then
disclosed the provisions of his "Covenant."

The mass of the people were only concerned with the general idea. There
was no well-defined opposition to that idea. At least it was not vocal.
Even the defeat of the Democratic Party in the Congressional elections
of November, 1918, could not be interpreted to be a repudiation of the
formation of a world organization. That election, by which both Houses
of Congress became Republican, was a popular rebuke to Mr. Wilson for
the partisanship shown in his letter of October addressed to the
American people, in which he practically asserted that it was
unpatriotic to support the Republican candidates. The indignation and
resentment aroused by that injudicious and unwarranted attack upon the
loyalty of his political opponents lost to the Democratic Party the
Senate and largely reduced its membership in the House of
Representatives if it did not in fact deprive the party of control of
that body. The result, however, did not mean that the President's ideas
as to the terms of peace were repudiated, but that his practical
assertion, that refusal to accept his policies was unpatriotic, was
repudiated by the American people.

It is very apparent to one, who without prejudice reviews the state of
public sentiment in December, 1918, that the trouble, which later
developed as to a League of Nations, did not lie in the necessity of
convincing the peoples of the world, their governments, and their
delegates to the Paris Conference that it was desirable to organize the
world to prevent future wars, but in deciding upon the form and
functions of the organization to be created. As to these details, which
of course affected the character, the powers, and the duties of the
organization, there had been for years a wide divergence of opinion.
Some advocated the use of international force to prevent a nation from
warring against another. Some favored coercion by means of general
ostracism and non-intercourse. Some believed that the application of
legal justice through the medium of international tribunals and
commissions was the only practical method of settling disputes which
might become causes of war. And some emphasized the importance of a
mutual agreement to postpone actual hostilities until there could be an
investigation as to the merits of a controversy. There were thus two
general classes of powers proposed which were in the one case political
and in the other juridical. The cleavage of opinion was along these
lines, although it possibly was not recognized by the general public. It
was not only shown in the proposed powers, but also in the proposed form
of the organization, the one centering on a politico-diplomatic body,
and the other on an international judiciary. Naturally the details of
any plan proposed would become the subject of discussion and the
advisability of adopting the provisions would arouse controversy and
dispute. Thus unanimity in approving a world organization did not mean
that opinions might not differ radically in working out the fundamental
principles of its form and functions, to say nothing of the detailed
plan based on these principles.

In May, 1916, President Wilson accepted an invitation to address the
first annual meeting of the League to Enforce Peace, which was to be
held in Washington. After preparing his address he went over it and
erased all reference to the use of physical force in preventing wars. I
mention this as indicative of the state of uncertainty in which he was
in the spring of 1916 as to the functions and powers of the
international organization to maintain peace which he then advocated. By
January, 1917, he had become convinced that the use of force was the
practical method of checking aggressions. This conversion was probably
due to the fact that he had in his own mind worked out, as one of the
essential bases of peace, to which he was then giving much thought, a
mutual guaranty of territorial integrity and political independence,
which had been the chief article of a proposed Pan-American Treaty
prepared early in 1915 and to which he referred in his address before
the League to Enforce Peace. He appears to have reached the conclusion
that a guaranty of this sort would be of little value unless supported
by the threatened, and, if necessary, the actual, employment of force.
The President was entirely logical in this attitude. A guaranty against
physical aggression would be practically worthless if it did not rest on
an agreement to protect with physical force. An undertaking to protect
carried with it the idea of using effectual measures to insure
protection. They were inseparable; and the President, having adopted an
affirmative guaranty against aggression as a cardinal provision--perhaps
I should say _the_ cardinal provision--of the anticipated peace treaty,
could not avoid becoming the advocate of the use of force in making good
the guaranty.

During the year 1918 the general idea of the formation of an
international organization to prevent war was increasingly discussed in
the press of the United States and Europe and engaged the thought of the
Governments of the Powers at war with the German Empire. On January 8 of
that year President Wilson in an address to Congress proclaimed his
"Fourteen Points," the adoption of which he considered necessary to a
just and stable peace. The last of these "Points" explicitly states the
basis of the proposed international organization and the fundamental
reason for its formation. It is as follows:

   "XIV. A general association of nations must be formed under specific
   covenants for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees of political
   independence and territorial integrity to great and small
   states alike."

This declaration may be considered in view of subsequent developments to
be a sufficiently clear announcement of the President's theory as to the
plan of organization which ought to be adopted, but at the time the
exact character of the "mutual guarantees" was not disclosed and aroused
little comment. I do not believe that Congress, much less the public at
large, understood the purpose that the President had in mind.
Undoubtedly, too, a sense of loyalty to the Chief Executive, while the
war was in progress, and the desire to avoid giving comfort of any sort
to the enemy, prevented a critical discussion of the announced bases of
peace, some of which were at the time academic, premature, and liable to
modification if conditions changed.

In March Lord Phillimore and his colleagues made their preliminary
report to the British Government on "a League of Nations" and this was
followed in July by their final report, copies of which reached the
President soon after they were made. The time had arrived for putting
into concrete form the general ideas that the President held, and
Colonel House, whom some believed to be the real author of Mr. Wilson's
conception of a world union, prepared, I am informed, the draft of a
scheme of organization. This draft was either sent or handed to the
President and discussed with him. To what extent it was amended or
revised by Mr. Wilson I do not know, but in a modified form it became
the typewritten draft of the Covenant which he took with him to Paris,
where it underwent several changes. In it was the guaranty of 1915,
1916, 1917, and 1918, which, from the form in which it appeared,
logically required the use of force to give it effect.

Previous to the departure of the American Commission for Paris, on
December 4, 1918, the President did not consult me as to his plan for a
League of Nations. He did not show me a copy of the plan or even mention
that one had been put into writing. I think that there were two reasons
for his not doing so, although I was the official adviser whom he should
naturally consult on such matters.

The first reason, I believe, was due to the following facts. In our
conversations prior to 1918 I had uniformly opposed the idea of the
employment of international force to compel a nation to respect the
rights of other nations and had repeatedly urged judicial settlement as
the practical way of composing international controversies, though I did
not favor the use of force to compel such settlement.

To show my opposition to an international agreement providing for the
use of force and to show that President Wilson knew of this opposition
and the reasons for it, I quote a letter which I wrote to him in May,
1916, that is, two years and a half before the end of the war:

   "_May 25, 1916_

   "My DEAR MR. PRESIDENT:

   "I had hoped to see you to-morrow at Cabinet meeting, but to-day the
   Doctor refused to allow me to leave the house this week. I intended
   when I saw you to say something about the purposes of the League to
   Enforce Peace, which is to meet here, and at the banquet of which I
   understand you are to speak on Saturday night. I would have preferred
   to talk the matter over with you, but as that is impossible I have
   taken the liberty to write you this letter, although in doing so I am
   violating the directions of the Doctor.

   "While I have not had time or opportunity to study carefully the
   objects of the proposed League to Enforce Peace, I understand the
   fundamental ideas are these, which are to be embodied in a general
   treaty of the nations: _First_, an agreement to submit all
   differences which fail of diplomatic adjustment to arbitration or a
   board of conciliation; and, _second_, in case a government fails to
   comply with this provision, an agreement that the other parties will
   unite in compelling it to do so by an exercise of force.

   "With the first agreement I am in accord to an extent, but I cannot
   see how it is practicable to apply it in case of a continuing
   invasion of fundamental national or individual rights unless some
   authoritative international body has the power to impose and enforce
   an order in the nature of an injunction, which will prevent the
   aggressor from further action until arbitration has settled the
   rights of the parties. How this can be done in a practical way I have
   not attempted to work out, but the problem is not easy, especially
   the part which relates to the enforcement of the order.

   "It is, however, the second agreement in regard to the imposition of
   international arbitration by force, which seems to me the most
   difficult, especially when viewed from the standpoint of its effects
   on our national sovereignty and national interests. It is needless to
   go into the manifest questions arising when the _modus operandi_ of
   the agreement is considered. Such questions as: Who may demand
   international intervention? What body will decide whether the demand
   should be complied with? How will the international forces be
   constituted? Who will take charge of the military and naval
   operations? Who will pay the expenses of the war (for war it
   will be)?

   "Perplexing as these questions appear to me, I am more concerned with
   the direct effect on this country. I do not believe that it is wise
   to limit our independence of action, a sovereign right, to the will
   of other powers beyond this hemisphere. In any representative
   international body clothed with authority to require of the nations
   to employ their armies and navies to coerce one of their number, we
   would be in the minority. I do not believe that we should put
   ourselves in the position of being compelled to send our armed forces
   to Europe or Asia or, in the alternative, of repudiating our treaty
   obligation. Neither our sovereignty nor our interests would accord
   with such a proposition, and I am convinced that popular opinion as
   well as the Senate would reject a treaty framed along such lines.

   "It is possible that the difficulty might be obviated by the
   establishment of geographical zones, and leaving to the groups of
   nations thus formed the enforcement of the peaceful settlement of
   disputes. But if that is done why should all the world participate?
   We have adopted a much modified form of this idea in the proposed
   Pan-American Treaty by the 'guaranty' article. But I would not like
   to see its stipulations extended to the European powers so that they,
   with our full agreement, would have the right to cross the ocean and
   stop quarrels between two American Republics. Such authority would be
   a serious menace to the Monroe Doctrine and a greater menace to the
   Pan-American Doctrine.

   "It appears to me that, if the first idea of the League can be worked
   out in a practical way and an international body constituted to
   determine when steps should be taken to enforce compliance, the use
   of force might be avoided by outlawing the offending nation. No
   nation to-day can live unto itself. The industrial and commercial
   activities of the world are too closely interwoven for a nation
   isolated from the other nations to thrive and prosper. A tremendous
   economic pressure could be imposed on the outlawed nation by all
   other nations denying it intercourse of every nature, even
   communication, in a word make that nation a pariah, and so to remain
   until it was willing to perform its obligations.

   "I am not at all sure that this means is entirely feasible. I see
   many difficulties which would have to be met under certain
   conditions. But I do think that it is more practical in operation and
   less objectionable from the standpoint of national rights and
   interests than the one proposed by the League. It does not appear to
   me that the use of physical force is in any way practical or
   advisable.

   "I presume that you are far more familiar than I am with the details
   of the plans of the League and that it may be presumptuous on my part
   to write you as I have. I nevertheless felt it my duty to frankly
   give you my views on the subject and I have done so.

   "Faithfully yours

   "ROBERT LANSING

   "THE PRESIDENT

   "_The White House_"

The President, thus early advised of my unqualified opposition to any
plan which was similar in principle to the one advocated by the League
to Enforce Peace, naturally concluded that I would look with disfavor on
an international guaranty which by implication, if not by declaration,
compelled the use of force to give it effect. Doubtless he felt that I
would not be disposed to aid in perfecting a plan which had as its
central idea a guaranty of that nature. Disliking opposition to a plan
or policy which he had originated or made his own by adoption, he
preferred to consult those who without debate accepted his judgment and
were in sympathy with his ideas. Undoubtedly the President by refraining
from asking my advice spared himself from listening to arguments against
the guaranty and the use of force which struck at the very root of his
plan, for I should, if I had been asked, have stated my views with
entire frankness.

The other reason for not consulting me, as I now realize, but did not at
the time, was that I belonged to the legal profession. It is a fact,
which Mr. Wilson has taken no trouble to conceal, that he does not value
the advice of lawyers except on strictly legal questions, and that he
considers their objections and criticisms on other subjects to be too
often based on mere technicalities and their judgments to be warped by
an undue regard for precedent. This prejudice against the legal
profession in general was exhibited on more than one occasion during our
sojourn at Paris. Looking back over my years of intercourse with the
President I can now see that he chafed under the restraints imposed by
usage and even by enacted laws if they interfered with his acting in a
way which seemed to him right or justified by conditions. I do not say
that he was lawless. He was not that, but he conformed grudgingly and
with manifest displeasure to legal limitations. It was a thankless task
to question a proposed course of action on the ground of illegality,
because he appeared to be irritated by such an obstacle to his will and
to transfer his irritation against the law to the one who raised it as
an objection. I think that he was especially resentful toward any one
who volunteered criticism based on a legal provision, precept, or
precedent, apparently assuming that the critic opposed his purpose on
the merits and in order to defeat it interposed needless legal
objections. It is unnecessary to comment on the prejudice which such an
attitude of mind made evident.

After the President's exceptionally strong address at the Metropolitan
Opera House in New York on September 27, 1918, I realized the great
importance which he gave to the creation of a League of Nations and in
view of this I devoted time and study to the subject, giving particular
attention to the British and French suggestions, both of which
emphasized judicial settlement. Knowing that the President had been in
consultation with Colonel House on the various phases of the peace to be
negotiated as well as on the terms of the armistice, I asked the latter
what he knew about the former's scheme for a League of Nations.

The Colonel discreetly avoided disclosing the details of the plan, but
from our conversation I gained an idea of the general principles of the
proposed organization and the way in which the President intended to
apply them.

After the Colonel and his party had sailed for France and in expectation
of being consulted on the subject by President Wilson, I put my thoughts
on the League of Nations into writing. In a note, which is dated October
27, 1918, appears the following:

   "From the little I know of the President's plan I am sure that it is
   impracticable. There is in it too much altruistic cooperation. No
   account is taken of national selfishness and the mutual suspicions
   which control international relations. It may be noble thinking, but
   it is not true thinking.

   "What I fear is that a lot of dreamers and theorists will be selected
   to work out an organization instead of men whose experience and
   common sense will tell them not to attempt anything which will not
   work. The scheme ought to be simple and practical. If the federation,
   or whatever it may be called, is given too much power or if its
   machinery is complex, my belief is that it will be unable to function
   or else will be defied. I can see lots of trouble ahead unless
   impractical enthusiasts and fanatics are suppressed. This is a time
   when sober thought, caution, and common sense should control."

On November 22, 1918, after I had been formally designated as a Peace
Commissioner, I made another note for the purpose of crystallizing my
own thought on the subject of a League of Nations. Although President
Wilson had not then consulted me in any way regarding his plan of
organization, I felt sure that he would, and I wished to be prepared to
give him my opinion concerning the fundamentals of the plan which might
be proposed on behalf of the United States. I saw, or thought that I
saw, a disposition to adopt physical might as the basis of the
organization, because the guaranty, which the President had announced in
Point XIV and evidently purposed to advocate, seemed to require the use
of force in the event that it became necessary to make it good.

From the note of November 22 I quote the following:

   "The legal principle [of the equality of nations], whatever its basis
   in fact, must be preserved, otherwise force rather than law, the
   power to act rather than the right to act, becomes the fundamental
   principle of organization, just as it has been in all previous
   Congresses and Concerts of the European Powers.

   "It appears to me that a positive guaranty of territorial integrity
   and political independence by the nations would have to rest upon an
   open recognition of dominant coercive power in the articles of
   agreement, the power being commercial and economic as well as
   physical. The wisdom of entering into such a guaranty is questionable
   and should be carefully considered before being adopted.

   "In order to avoid the recognition of force as a basis and the
   question of dominant force with the unavoidable classification of
   nations into 'big' and 'little,' 'strong' and 'weak,' the desired
   result of a guaranty might be attained by entering into a mutual
   undertaking _not_ to impair the territorial integrity or to violate
   the political sovereignty of any state. The breach of this
   undertaking would be a breach of the treaty and would sever the
   relations of the offending nation with all other signatories."

I have given these two extracts from my notes in order to show the views
that I held, at the time the American Commission was about to depart
from the United States, in regard to the character of the guaranty which
the President intended to make the central feature of the League of
Nations. In the carrying out of his scheme and in creating an
organization to give effect to the guaranty I believed that I saw as an
unavoidable consequence an exaltation of force and an overlordship of
the strong nations. Under such conditions it would be impossible to
preserve within the organization the equality of nations, a precept of
international law which was the universally recognized basis of
intercourse between nations in time of peace. This I considered most
unwise and a return to the old order, from which every one hoped that
the victory over the Central Empires had freed the world.

The views expressed in the notes quoted formed the basis for my
subsequent course of action as an American Commissioner at Paris in
relation to the League of Nations. Convinced from previous experience
that to oppose every form of guaranty by the nations assembled at Paris
would be futile in view of the President's apparent determination to
compel the adoption of that principle, I endeavored to find a form of
guaranty that would be less objectionable than the one which the
President had in mind. The commitment of the United States to any
guaranty seemed to me at least questionable, though to prevent it seemed
impossible in the circumstances. It did not seem politic to try to
persuade the President to abandon the idea altogether. I was certain
that that could not be done. If he could be induced to modify his plan
so as to avoid a direct undertaking to protect other nations from
aggression, the result would be all that could be expected. I was
guided, therefore, chiefly by expediency rather than by principle in
presenting my views to the President and in openly approving the idea of
a guaranty.

The only opportunity that I had to learn more of the President's plan
for a League before arriving in Paris was an hour's interview with him
on the U.S.S. George Washington some days after we sailed from New York.
He showed me nothing in writing, but explained in a general way his
views as to the form, purpose, and powers of a League. From this
conversation I gathered that my fears as to the proposed organization
were justified and that it was to be based on the principle of
diplomatic adjustment rather than that of judicial settlement and that
political expediency tinctured with morality was to be the standard of
determination of an international controversy rather than strict
legal justice.

In view of the President's apparent fixity of purpose it seemed unwise
to criticize the plan until I could deliver to him a substitute in
writing for the mutual guaranty which he evidently considered to be the
chief feature of the plan. I did not attempt to debate the subject with
him believing it better to submit my ideas in concrete form, as I had
learned from experience that Mr. Wilson preferred to have matters for
his decision presented in writing rather than by word of mouth.




CHAPTER IV

SUBSTITUTE ARTICLES PROPOSED


The President, Mr. Henry White, and I arrived in Paris on Saturday,
December 14, 1918, where Colonel House and General Bliss awaited us. The
days following our arrival were given over to public functions in honor
of the President and to official exchanges of calls and interviews with
the delegates of other countries who were gathering for the Peace
Conference. On the 23d, when the pressure of formal and social
engagements had in a measure lessened, I decided to present to the
President my views as to the mutual guaranty which he intended to
propose, fearing that, if there were further delay, he would become
absolutely committed to the affirmative form. I, therefore, on that day
sent him the following letter, which was marked "Secret and Urgent":

   "_Hotel de Crillon December 23, 1918_

   "MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT:

   "The plan of guaranty proposed for the League of Nations, which has
   been the subject of discussion, will find considerable objection from
   other Governments because, even when the principle is agreed to,
   there will be a wide divergence of views as to the terms of the
   obligation. This difference of opinion will be seized upon by those,
   who are openly or secretly opposed to the League, to create
   controversy and discord.

   "In addition to this there will be opposition in Congress to assuming
   obligations to take affirmative action along either military or
   economic lines. On constitutional grounds, on its effect on the
   Monroe Doctrine, on jealousy as to Congressional powers, etc., there
   will be severe criticism which will materially weaken our position
   with other nations, and may, in view of senatorial hostility, defeat
   a treaty as to the League of Nations or at least render it impotent.

   "With these thoughts in mind and with an opposition known to exist
   among certain European statesmen and already manifest in Washington,
   I take the liberty of laying before you a tentative draft of articles
   of guaranty which I do not believe can be successfully opposed either
   at home or abroad."

I would interrupt the reader at this point to suggest that it might be
well to peruse the enclosures, which will be found in the succeeding
pages, in order to have a better understanding of the comments which
follow. To continue:

   "I do not see how any nation can refuse to subscribe to them. I do
   not see how any question of constitutionality can be raised, as they
   are based essentially on powers which are confided to the Executive.
   They in no way raise a question as to the Monroe Doctrine. At the
   same time I believe that the result would be as efficacious as if
   there was an undertaking to take positive action against an offending
   nation, which is the present cause of controversy.

   "I am so earnestly in favor of the guaranty, which is the heart of
   the League of Nations, that I have endeavored to find a way to
   accomplish this and to remove the objections raised which seem to me
   to-day to jeopardize the whole plan.

   "I shall be glad, if you desire it, to confer with you in regard to
   the enclosed paper or to receive your opinion as to the suggestions
   made. In any event it is my hope that you will give the paper
   consideration.

   "Faithfully yours

   "ROBERT LANSING

   "THE PRESIDENT

   "28 _Rue de Monceau_"

It should be borne in mind in reading this letter that I had reached the
conclusion that modification rather than abandonment of the guaranty was
all that I could hope to accomplish, and that, as a matter of
expediency, it seemed wise to indicate a sympathetic attitude toward the
idea. For that reason I expressed myself as favorable to the guaranty
and termed it "the heart of the League of Nations," a phrase which the
President by his subsequent use of it considered to be a proper
characterization.

The memoranda contained in the paper enclosed in the letter were as
follows:

_The Constitutional Power to provide Coercion in a Treaty_

                                    "_December_ 20, 1918

   "In the institution of a League of Nations we must bear in mind the
   limitations imposed by the Constitution of the United States upon the
   Executive and Legislative Branches of the Government in defining
   their respective powers.

   "The Constitution confers upon Congress the right to declare war.
   This right, I do not believe, can be delegated and it certainly
   cannot be taken away by treaty. The question arises, therefore, as to
   how far a provision in an agreement as to a League of Nations, which
   imposes on the United States the obligation to employ its military or
   naval forces in enforcing the terms of the agreement, would be
   constitutional.

   "It would seem that the utilization of forces, whether independently
   or in conjunction with other nations, would in fact by being an act
   of war create a state of war, which constitutionally can only be done
   by a declaration of Congress. To contract by treaty to create a state
   of war upon certain contingencies arising would be equally tainted
   with unconstitutionality and would be null and inoperative.

   "I do not think, therefore, that, even if it were advisable, any
   treaty can provide for the independent or joint use of the military
   or naval forces of the United States to compel compliance with a
   treaty or to make good a guaranty made in a treaty.

   "The other method of international coercion is non-intercourse,
   especially commercial non-intercourse. Would a treaty provision to
   employ this method be constitutional?

   "As to this my mind is less clear. The Constitution in delegating
   powers to Congress includes the regulation of commerce. Does
   non-intercourse fall within the idea of regulation? Could an embargo
   be imposed without an act of Congress? My impression is that it could
   not be done without legislation and that a treaty provision agreeing
   in a certain event to impose an embargo against another nation
   would be void.

   "Even if Congress was willing to delegate to the Executive for a
   certain purpose its powers as to making war and regulating commerce,
   I do not think that it could constitutionally do so. It is only in
   the event of war that powers conferred by the Constitution on
   Congress can be delegated and then only for war purposes. As a state
   of war would not exist at the time action was required, I do not
   believe that it could be done, and any provision contracting to take
   measures of this nature would be contrary to the Constitution and as
   a consequence void.

   "But, assuming that Congress possessed the power of delegation, I am
   convinced that it would not only refuse to do so, but would resent
   such a suggestion because of the fact that both Houses have been and
   are extremely jealous of their rights and authority.

   "Viewed from the standpoints of legality and expediency it would seem
   necessary to find some other method than coercion in enforcing an
   international guaranty, or else to find some substitute for a
   guaranty which would be valueless without affirmative action to
   support it.

   "I believe that such a substitute can be found."

The foregoing memorandum was intended as an introduction to the negative
guaranty or "self-denying covenant" which I desired to lay before the
President as a substitute for the one upon which he intended to build
the League of Nations. The memorandum was suggestive merely, but in view
of the necessity for a speedy decision there was no time to prepare an
exhaustive legal opinion. Furthermore, I felt that the President, whose
hours were at that time crowded with numerous personal conferences and
public functions, would find little opportunity to peruse a long and
closely reasoned argument on the subject.

The most important portion of the document was that entitled "_Suggested
Draft of Articles for Discussion_. December 20, 1918." It reads
as follows:

   "The parties to this convention, for the purpose of maintaining
   international peace and preventing future wars between one another,
   hereby constitute themselves into a League of Nations and solemnly
   undertake jointly and severally to fulfill the obligations imposed
   upon them in the following articles:

   "A

   "Each power signatory or adherent hereto severally covenants and
   guarantees that it will not violate the territorial integrity or
   impair the political independence of any other power signatory or
   adherent to this convention except when authorized so to do by a
   decree of the arbitral tribunal hereinafter referred to or by a
   three-fourths vote of the International Council of the League of
   Nations created by this convention.

   "B

   "In the event that any power signatory or adherent hereto shall fail
   to observe the covenant and guaranty set forth in the preceding
   article, such breach of covenant and guaranty shall _ipso facto_
   operate as an abrogation of this convention in so far as it applies
   to the offending power and furthermore as an abrogation of all
   treaties, conventions, and agreements heretofore or hereafter entered
   into between the offending power and all other powers signatory and
   adherent to this convention.

   "C

   "A breach of the covenant and guaranty declared in Article A shall
   constitute an act unfriendly to all other powers signatory and
   adherent hereto, and they shall forthwith sever all diplomatic,
   consular, and official relations with the offending power, and shall,
   through the International Council, hereinafter provided for, exchange
   views as to the measures necessary to restore the power, whose
   sovereignty has been invaded, to the rights and liberties which it
   possessed prior to such invasion and to prevent further
   violation thereof.

   "D

   "Any interference with a vessel on the high seas or with aircraft
   proceeding over the high seas, which interference is not
   affirmatively sanctioned by the law of nations shall be, for the
   purposes of this convention, considered an impairment of political
   independence."

In considering the foregoing series of articles constituting a guaranty
against one's own acts, instead of a guaranty against the acts of
another, it must be remembered that, at the time of their preparation, I
had not seen a draft of the President's proposed guaranty, though from
conversations with Colonel House and from my study of Point XIV of "The
Fourteen Points," I knew that it was affirmative rather than negative in
form and would require positive action to be effective in the event that
the menace of superior force was insufficient to prevent
aggressive acts.

As far as I am able to judge from subsequently acquired knowledge,
President Wilson at the time he received my letter of December 23 had a
typewritten draft of the document which after certain amendments he
later laid before the American Commissioners and which he had printed
with a few verbal changes under the title of "The Covenant." In order to
understand the two forms of guaranty which he had for consideration
after he received my letter, I quote the article relating to it, which
appears in the first printed draft of the Covenant.

   III

   "The Contracting Powers unite in guaranteeing to each other political
   independence and territorial integrity; but it is understood between
   them that such territorial readjustments, if any, as may in the
   future become necessary by reasons of changes in present racial
   conditions and aspirations or present social and political
   relationships, pursuant to the principle of self-determination, and
   also such territorial readjustments as may in the judgment of three
   fourths of the Delegates be demanded by the welfare and manifest
   interest of the people concerned, may be effected if agreeable to
   those peoples; and that territorial changes may involve material
   compensation. The Contracting Powers accept without reservation the
   principle that the peace of the world is superior in importance to
   every question of political jurisdiction or boundary."

It seems needless to comment upon the involved language and the
uncertainty of meaning of this article wherein it provided for
"territorial readjustments" of which there appeared to be two classes,
one dependent on "self-determination," the other on the judgment of the
Body of Delegates of the League. In view of the possible reasons which
might be advanced for changes in territory and allegiance, justification
for an appeal to the guarantors was by no means certain. If this article
had been before me when the letter of December 23 was written, I might
have gone much further in opposition to the President's plan for
stabilizing peace in the world on the ground that a guaranty so
conditioned would cause rather than prevent international discord.

Though without knowledge of the exact terms of the President's proposed
guaranty, I did not feel for the reason stated that I could delay longer
in submitting my views to the President. There was not time to work out
a complete and well-digested plan for a League, but I had prepared in
the rough several articles for discussion which related to the
organization, and which might be incorporated in the organic agreement
which I then assumed would be a separate document from the treaty
restoring peace. While unwilling to lay these articles before the
President until they were more carefully drafted, I enclosed in my
letter the following as indicative of the character of the organization
which it seemed to me would form a simple and practical agency common to
all nations:

   "_Suggestions as to an International Council For Discussion_

   "_December_ 21, 1918

   "An International Council of the League of Nations is hereby
   constituted, which shall be the channel for communication between the
   members of the League, and the agent for common action.

   "The International Council shall consist of the diplomatic
   representative of each party signatory or adherent to this
   convention at ----.

   "Meetings of the International Council shall be held at ----, or in
   the event that the subject to be considered involves the interests of
   ---- or its nationals, then at such other place outside the territory
   of a power whose interests are involved as the Supervisory Committee
   of the Council shall designate.

   "The officer charged with the conduct of the foreign affairs of the
   power where a meeting is held shall be the presiding officer thereof.

   "At the first meeting of the International Council a Supervisory
   Committee shall be chosen by a majority vote of the members present,
   which shall consist of five members and shall remain in office for
   two years or until their successors are elected.

   "The Supervisory Committee shall name a Secretariat which shall have
   charge of the archives of the Council and receive all communications
   addressed to the Council or Committee and send all communications
   issued by the Council or Committee.

   "The Supervisory Committee may draft such rules of procedure as it
   deems necessary for conducting business coming before the Council or
   before the Committee.

   "The Supervisory Committee may call a meeting of the Council at its
   discretion and must call a meeting at the request of any member of
   the Council provided the request contains a written statement of the
   subject to be discussed.

   "The archives of the Council shall be open at any time to any member
   of the Council, who may make and retain copies thereof.

   "All expenses of the Supervisory Committee and Secretariat shall be
   borne equally by all powers signatory or adherent to this
   convention."

As indicated by the caption, this document was intended merely "for
discussion" of the principal features of the organization. It should be
noted that the basic principle is the equality of nations. No special
privileges are granted to the major powers in the conduct of the
organization. The rights and obligations of one member of the League are
no more and no less than those of every other member. It is based on
international democracy and denies international aristocracy.

Equality in the exercise of sovereign rights in times of peace, an
equality which is imposed by the very nature of sovereignty, seemed to
me fundamental to a world organization affecting in any way a nation's
independence of action or its exercise of supreme authority over its
external or domestic affairs. In my judgment any departure from that
principle would be a serious error fraught with danger to the general
peace of the world and to the recognized law of nations, since it could
mean nothing less than the primacy of the Great Powers and the
acknowledgment that because they possessed the physical might they had a
right to control the affairs of the world in times of peace as well as
in times of war. For the United States to admit that such primacy ought
to be formed would be bad enough, but to suggest it indirectly by
proposing an international organization based on that idea would be
far worse.

On January 22, 1917, the President in an address to the Senate had made
the following declaration:

   "The equality of nations upon which peace must be founded if it is to
   last must be an equality of rights; the guarantees exchanged must
   neither recognize nor imply a difference between big nations or
   small, between those that are powerful and those that are weak. Right
   must be based upon the common strength, not the individual strength,
   of the nations upon whose concert peace will depend. Equality of
   territory or of resources there of course cannot be; nor any other
   sort of equality not gained in the ordinary peaceful and legitimate
   development of the peoples themselves. But no one asks or expects
   anything more than an equality of rights."

In view of this sound declaration of principle it seemed hardly possible
that the President, after careful consideration of the consequences of
his plan of a guaranty requiring force to make it practical, would not
perceive the fundamental error of creating a primacy of the
Great Powers.

It was in order to prevent, if possible, the United States from becoming
sponsor for an undemocratic principle that I determined to lay my
partial plan of organization before the President at the earliest moment
that I believed it would receive consideration.

To my letter of December 23 with its enclosed memoranda I never received
a reply or even an acknowledgment. It is true that the day following its
delivery the President went to Chaumont to spend Christmas at the
headquarters of General Pershing and that almost immediately thereafter
he visited London and two or three days after his return to Paris he set
out for Rome. It is possible that Mr. Wilson in the midst of these
crowded days had no time to digest or even to read my letter and its
enclosed memoranda. It is possible that he was unable or unwilling to
form an opinion as to their merits without time for meditation. I do not
wish to be unjustly critical or to blame the President for a neglect
which was the result of circumstance rather than of intention.

At the time I assumed that his failure to mention my letter in any way
was because his visits to royalty exacted from him so much of his time
that there was no opportunity to give the matter consideration. While
some doubt was thrown on this assumption by the fact that the President
held an hour's conference with the American Commissioners on January 1,
just before departing for Italy, during which he discussed the favorable
attitude of Mr. Lloyd George toward his (the President's) ideas as to a
League of Nations, but never made any reference to my proposed
substitute for the guaranty, I was still disposed to believe that there
was a reasonable explanation for his silence and that upon his return
from Rome he would discuss it.

Having this expectation I continued the preparation of tentative
provisions to be included in the charter of a League of Nations in the
event one was negotiated, and which would in any event constitute a
guide for the preparation of declarations to be included in the Treaty
of Peace in case the negotiation as to a League was postponed until
after peace had been restored. As has been said, it was my hope that
there would be a separate convention organizing the League, but I was
not as sanguine of this as many who believed this course would
be followed.

It later developed that the President never had any other purpose than
to include the detailed plan of organization in the peace treaty,
whether the treaty was preliminary or definitive. When he departed for
Italy he had not declared this purpose to the Commissioners, but from
some source, which I failed to note at the time and cannot now
recollect, I gained the impression that he intended to pursue this
policy, for on December 29 I wrote in my book of notes:

   "It is evident that the President is determined to incorporate in the
   peace treaty an elaborate scheme for the League of Nations which will
   excite all sorts of opposition at home and abroad and invite much
   discussion.

   "The articles relating to the League ought to be few and brief. They
   will not be. They will be many and long. If we wait till they are
   accepted, it will be four or five months before peace is signed, and
   I fear to say how much longer it will take to have it ratified.

   "It is perhaps foolish to prophesy, but I will take the chance. Two
   months from now we will still be haggling over the League of Nations
   and an exasperated world will be cursing us for not having made
   peace. I hope that I am a false prophet, but I fear my prophecy will
   come true. We are riding a hobby, and riding to a fall."

By the time the President returned from his triumphal journey to Rome I
had completed the articles upon which I had been working; at least they
were in form for discussion. At a conference at the Hotel Crillon
between President Wilson and the American Commissioners on January 7, I
handed to him the draft articles saying that they were supplemental to
my letter of December 23. He took them without comment and without
making any reference to my unanswered letter.

The first two articles of the "International Agreement," as I termed the
document, were identical in language with the memoranda dealing with a
mutual covenant and with an international council which I had enclosed
in my letter of December 23. It is needless, therefore, to repeat
them here.

Article III of the so-called "Agreement" was entitled "Peaceful
Settlements of International Disputes," and read as follows:

   "_Clause_ 1

   "In the event that there is a controversy between two or more members
   of the League of Nations which fails of settlement through diplomatic
   channels, one of the following means of settlement shall be employed:

   "1. The parties to the controversy shall constitute a joint
   commission to investigate and report jointly or severally to their
   Governments the facts and make recommendations as to settlement.
   After such report a further effort shall be made to reach a
   diplomatic settlement of the controversy.

   "2. The parties shall by agreement arrange for the submission of the
   controversy to arbitration mutually agreed upon, or to the Arbitral
   Tribunal hereinafter referred to.

   "3. Any party may, unless the second means of settlement is mutually
   adopted, submit the controversy to the Supervisory Committee of the
   International Council; and the Committee shall forthwith (a) name and
   direct a special commission to investigate and report upon the
   subject; (b) name and direct a commission to mediate between the
   parties to the controversy; or (c) direct the parties to submit the
   controversy to the Arbitral Tribunal for judicial settlement, it
   being understood that the direction to arbitrate may be made at any
   time in the event that investigation and mediation fail to result in
   a settlement of the controversy.

   "_Clause 2_

   "No party to a controversy shall assume any authority or perform any
   acts based upon disputed rights without authorization of the
   Supervisory Committee, such authorization being limited in all cases
   to the pendency of the controversy and its final settlement and being
   in no way prejudicial to the rights of the parties. An authorization
   thus granted by the Supervisory Committee may be modified or
   superseded by mutual agreement of the parties, by order of an
   arbitrator or arbitrators selected by the parties, or by order of the
   Arbitral Tribunal if the controversy is submitted to it.

   "_Clause 3_

   "The foregoing clause shall not apply to cases in which the
   constituted authorities of a power are unable or fail to give
   protection to the lives and property of nationals of another power.
   In the event that it becomes necessary for a power to use its
   military or naval forces to safeguard the lives or property of its
   nationals within the territorial jurisdiction of another power, the
   facts and reasons for such action shall be forthwith reported to the
   Supervisory Committee, which shall determine the course of action to
   be adopted in order to protect the rights of all parties, and shall
   notify the same to the governments involved which shall comply with
   such notification. In the event that a government fails to comply
   therewith it shall be deemed to have violated the covenant and
   guaranty hereinbefore set forth."

The other articles follow:

   "ARTICLE IV

   "_Revision of Arbitral Tribunal and Codification of International
   Law_

   "_Clause 1_

   "The International Council, within one year after its organization,
   shall notify to the powers signatory and adherent to this convention
   and shall invite all other powers to send delegates to an
   international conference at such place and time as the Council may
   determine and not later than six months after issuance of such
   notification and invitation.

   "_Clause 2_

   "The International Conference shall consider the revision of the
   constitution and procedure of the Arbitral Tribunal and provisions
   for the amicable settlement of international disputes established by
   the I Treaty signed at The Hague in 1907, and shall formulate codes
   embodying the principles of international law applicable in time of
   peace and the rules of warfare on land and sea and in the air. The
   revision and codification when completed shall be embodied in a
   treaty or treaties.

   "_Clause 3_

   "The International Council shall prepare and submit with the
   notification and invitation above provided a preliminary programme of
   the International Conference, which shall be subject to modification
   or amendment by the Conference.

   "_Clause 4_

   "Until the treaty of revision of the constitution and procedure of
   the Arbitral Tribunal becomes operative, the provisions of the I
   Treaty signed at The Hague in 1907 shall continue in force, and all
   references herein to the 'Arbitral Tribunal' shall be understood to
   be the Tribunal constituted under the I Treaty, but upon the treaty
   of revision coming into force the references shall be construed as
   applying to the Arbitral Tribunal therein constituted.

   "ARTICLE V

   "_Publication of Treaties and Agreements_

   "_Clause 1_

   "Each power, signatory or adherent to this convention, severally
   agrees with all other parties hereto that it will not exchange the
   ratification of any treaty or convention hereinafter entered into by
   it with any other power until thirty days after the full text of such
   treaty or convention has been published in the public press of the
   parties thereto and a copy has been filed with the Secretariat of the
   League of Nations.

   "_Clause 2_

   "No international agreement, to which a power signatory or adherent
   to this convention, is a party, shall become operative or be put in
   force until published and filed as aforesaid.

   "_Clause 3_

   "All treaties, conventions and agreements, to which a power,
   signatory or adherent to this convention, is a party, and which are
   in force or to come into force and which have not been heretofore
   published, shall within six months after the signature of this
   convention be published and filed as aforesaid or abrogated or
   denounced.

   "ARTICLE VI

   "_Equality of Commercial Privileges_

   "The powers, signatory and adherent to this convention agree jointly
   and severally not to discriminate against or in favor of any power in
   the matter of commerce or trade or of industrial privileges; and they
   further agree that all treaties, conventions and agreements now in
   force or to come into force or hereinafter negotiated shall be
   considered as subject to the 'most favored nation' doctrine, whether
   they contain or do not contain a clause to that effect. It is
   specifically declared that it is the purpose of this article not to
   limit any power in imposing upon commerce and trade such restrictions
   and burdens as it may deem proper but to make such impositions apply
   equally and impartially to all other powers, their nationals
   and ships.

   "This article shall not apply, however, to any case, in which a power
   has committed an unfriendly act against the members of the League of
   Nations as defined in Article I and in which commercial and trade
   relations are denied or restricted by agreements between the members
   as a measure of restoration or protection of the rights of a power
   injured by such unfriendly act."

These proposed articles, which were intended for discussion before
drafting the provisions constituting a League of Nations and which did
not purport to be a completed document, are given in full because there
seems no simpler method of showing the differences between the President
and me as to the form, functions, and authority of an international
organization. They should be compared with the draft of the "Covenant"
which the President had when these proposed articles were handed to him;
the text of the President's draft appears in the Appendix (page 281).
Comparison will disclose the irreconcilable differences between the
two projects.

Of these differences the most vital was in the character of the
international guaranty of territorial and political sovereignty. That
difference has already been discussed. The second in importance was the
practical repudiation by the President of the doctrine of the equality
of nations, which, as has been shown, was an unavoidable consequence of
an affirmative guaranty which he had declared to be absolutely essential
to an effective world union. The repudiation, though by indirection, was
none the less evident in the recognition in the President's plan of the
primacy of the Great Powers through giving to them a permanent majority
on the "Executive Council" which body substantially controlled the
activities of the League. A third marked difference was in Mr. Wilson's
exaltation of the executive power of the League and the subordination of
the administration of legal justice to that power, and in my advocacy of
an independent international judiciary, whose decisions would be final
and whose place in the organization of the nations would be superior,
since I considered a judicial tribunal the most practical agency for
removing causes of war.

The difference as to international courts and the importance of applied
legal justice requires further consideration in order to understand the
divergence of views which existed as to the fundamental idea of
organization of the League.

President Wilson in his Covenant, as at first submitted to the American
Commissioners, made no provision for the establishment of a World Court
of Justice, and no reference of any sort was made to The Hague Tribunal
of Arbitration. It is not, in my opinion, a misstatement to say that the
President intentionally omitted judicial means of composing
international disputes preferring to leave settlements of that sort to
arrangement between the parties or else to the Body of Delegates or the
Executive Council, both of which bodies being essentially diplomatic or
political in their composition would lack the judicial point of view,
since their members would presumably be influenced by their respective
national interests and by political considerations rather than by a
desire and purpose to do impartial justice by applying legal principles.

It is true that in Article V of the first draft of the Covenant
(Appendix) there is an agreement to submit to arbitration
certain classes of controversies and a method of selecting arbitrators
is provided--a method, by the way, which the actual experience of a
century has shown to be the least satisfactory in administering legal
justice, since it almost inevitably leads to a compromise which impairs
the just rights of one of the parties. But, to my mind, a provision, far
more objectionable than the antiquated and unsatisfactory method of
arbitration provided, was that which made an arbitral award reviewable
on appeal to the Body of Delegates of the League, which could set aside
the award even if the arbitrators had rendered a unanimous decision and
compel a rehearing before other arbitrators. International arbitration
as a method of applying the principles of justice to disputes between
nations would, in the first instance at least, have become a farce if
this provision had been adopted. As an award based on compromise is
seldom, if ever, satisfactory to both parties, the right of appeal would
in substantially every case have been invoked and the award would have
been reviewed by the Body of Delegates, who would practically render a
final decision since the new arbitrators would presumably adopt it. The
effect of this provision as to appeals was, therefore, to supplant
judicial settlements by political compromises and diplomatic
adjustments, in which the national interests of the judges, many of whom
would be untrained in juridical procedure, would be decided, if not
deciding, factors. Manifestly the expediency of the moment would be far
more potent in the decisions reached than the principles and precepts of
international law.

I shall not express here my opinion as to the reasons which I believe
impelled the President to insert in the Covenant these extraordinary
provisions which deprived arbitral courts of that independence of the
executive authority which has been in modern times considered essential
to the impartial administration of justice. But, when one considers how
jealously and effectively the Constitution of the United States and the
constitutions of the various States of the Union guard the judiciary
from executive and legislative interference, the proposal in the
President's plan for a League of Nations to abandon that great principle
in the settlement of international disputes of a justiciable nature
causes speculation as to Mr. Wilson's real opinion of the American
political system which emphasizes the separation and independence of the
three coordinate branches of government.

That a provision found its way into the draft of the Covenant, which the
President, on February 3, 1919, laid before the Commission on the League
of Nations, declaring for the creation by the League of a permanent
court of international justice, was not due, I feel sure, to any
spontaneous thought on the part of President Wilson.

My own views as to the relative value of the settlement of an
international controversy, which is by its nature justiciable, by a body
of diplomats and of the settlement by a body of trained jurists were
fully set forth in an address which I delivered before the American Bar
Association at its annual meeting at Boston on September 5,1919.

An extract from that address will show the radical difference between
the President's views and mine.

   "While abstract justice cannot [under present conditions] be depended
   upon as a firm basis on which to constitute an international concord
   for the preservation of peace and good relations between nations,
   legal justice offers a common ground where the nations can meet to
   settle their controversies. No nation can refuse in the face of the
   opinion of the world to declare its unwillingness to recognize the
   legal rights of other nations or to submit to the judgment of an
   impartial tribunal a dispute involving the determination of such
   rights. The moment, however, that we go beyond the clearly defined
   field of legal justice we enter the field of diplomacy where national
   interests and ambitions are to-day the controlling factors of
   national action. Concession and compromise are the chief agents of
   diplomatic settlement instead of the impartial application of legal
   justice which is essential to a judicial settlement. Furthermore, the
   two modes of settlement differ in that a judicial settlement rests
   upon the precept that all nations, whether great or small, are equal,
   but in the sphere of diplomacy the inequality of nations is not only
   recognized, but unquestionably influences the adjustment of
   international differences. Any change in the relative power of
   nations, a change which is continually taking place, makes more or
   less temporary diplomatic settlements, but in no way affects a
   judicial settlement.

   "However, then, international society may be organized for the future
   and whatever machinery may be set up to minimize the possibilities of
   war, I believe that the agency which may be counted upon to function
   with certainty is that which develops and applies legal justice."

Every other agency, regardless of its form, will be found, when
analyzed, to be diplomatic in character and subject to those impulses
and purposes which generally affect diplomatic negotiations. With a full
appreciation of the advantage to be gained for the world at large
through the common consideration of a vexatious international question
by a body representing all nations, we ought not to lose sight of the
fact that such consideration and the action resulting from it are
essentially diplomatic in nature. It is, in brief, the transference of a
dispute in a particular case from the capitals of the disputants to the
place where the delegates of the nations assemble to deliberate together
on matters which affect their common interests. It does not--and this we
should understand--remove the question from the processes of diplomacy
or prevent the influences which enter into diplomacy from affecting its
consideration. Nor does it to an appreciable extent change the actual
inequality which exists among nations in the matter of power and
influence.

   "On the other hand, justice applied through the agency of an
   impartial tribunal clothed with an international jurisdiction
   eliminates the diplomatic methods of compromise and concession and
   recognizes that before the law all nations are equal and equally
   entitled to the exercise of their rights as sovereign and independent
   states. In a word, international democracy exists in the sphere of
   legal justice and, up to the present time, in no other relation
   between nations.

   "Let us, then, with as little delay as possible establish an
   international tribunal or tribunals of justice with The Hague Court
   as a foundation; let us provide an easier, a cheaper, and better
   procedure than now exists; and let us draft a simple and concise body
   of legal principles to be applied to the questions to be adjudicated.
   When that has been accomplished--and it ought not to be a difficult
   task if the delegates of the Governments charged with it are chosen
   for their experience and learning in the field of jurisprudence--we
   shall, in my judgment, have done more to prevent international wars
   through removing their causes than can be done by any other means
   that has been devised or suggested."

The views, which I thus publicly expressed at Boston in September, 1919,
while the President was upon his tour of the country in favor of the
Covenant of the League of Nations, were the same as those that I held at
Paris in December, 1918, before I had seen the President's first draft
of a Covenant, as the following will indicate.

On December 17, 1918, three days after arriving in Paris, I had, as has
been stated, a long conference with Colonel House on the Peace
Conference and the subjects to come before it. I urged him in the course
of our conversation "to persuade the President to make the nucleus of
his proposed League of Nations an international court pointing out that
it was the simplest and best way of organizing the world for peace, and
that, if in addition the general principles of international law were
codified and the right of inquiry confided to the court, everything
practical would have been done to prevent wars in the future" (quoted
from a memorandum of the conversation made at the time). I also urged
upon the Colonel that The Hague Tribunal be made the basis of the
judicial organization, but that it be expanded and improved to meet the
new conditions. I shall have something further to say on this subject.

Reverting now to the draft of articles which I had in form on January 5,
1919, it must be borne in mind that I then had no reason to think that
the President would omit from his plan an independent judicial agency
for the administration of legal justice, although I did realize that he
gave first place to the mutual guaranty and intended to build a League
on that as a nucleus. It did not seem probable that an American, a
student of the political institutions of the United States and familiar
with their operation, would fail to incorporate in any scheme for world
organization a judicial system which would be free from the control and
even from the influence of the political and diplomatic branch of the
organization. The benefit, if not the necessity, of such a division of
authority seemed so patent that the omission of a provision to that
effect in the original draft of the Covenant condemned it to one who
believed in the principles of government which found expression in
American institutions. Fortunately the defect was in a measure cured
before the Commission on the League of Nations formally met to discuss
the subject, though not before the Covenant had been laid before the
American Commissioners.

The articles of a proposed convention for the creation of an
international organization were not intended, as I have said, to form a
complete convention. They were suggestive only of the principal features
of a plan which could, if the President desired, arouse discussion as to
the right theory and the fundamental principles of the international
organization which there seemed little doubt would be declared by the
Paris Conference.

Among the suggested articles there was none covering the subject of
disarmament, because the problem was highly technical requiring the
consideration of military and naval experts. Nor was there any reference
to the mandatory system because there had not been, to my knowledge, any
mention of it at that time in connection with the President's plan,
though General Smuts had given it prominence in his proposed scheme.

During the preparation of these suggestive articles I made a brief
memorandum on the features, which seemed to me salient, of any
international agreement to prevent wars in the future, and which in my
opinion ought to be in mind when drafting such an agreement. The first
three paragraphs of the memorandum follow:

   "There are three doctrines which should be incorporated in the Treaty
   of Peace if wars are to be avoided and equal justice is to prevail in
   international affairs.

   "These three doctrines may be popularly termed 'Hands Off,' the 'Open
   Door,' and 'Publicity.'

   "The first pertains to national possessions and national rights; the
   second to international commerce and economic conditions; and the
   third, to international agreements."

An examination of the articles which I prepared shows that these
doctrines are developed in them, although at the time I was uncertain
whether they ought to appear in the convention creating the League or in
the Preliminary Treaty of Peace, which I believed, in common with the
prevailing belief, would be negotiated. My impression was that they
should appear in the Peace Treaty and possibly be repeated in the League
Treaty, if the two were kept distinct.




CHAPTER V

THE AFFIRMATIVE GUARANTY AND BALANCE OF POWER


While I was engaged in the preparation of these articles for discussion,
which were based primarily on the equality of nations and avoided a
mutual guaranty or other undertaking necessitating a departure from that
principle, M. Clemenceau delivered an important address in the Chamber
of Deputies at its session on December 30, 1918. In this address the
French Premier declared himself in favor of maintaining the doctrine of
"the balance of power" and of supporting it by a concert of the Great
Powers. During his remarks he made the following significant assertion,
"This system of alliances, which I do not renounce, will be my guiding
thought at the Conference, if your confidence sends me to it, so that
there will be no separation in peace of the four powers which have
battled side by side."

M. Clemenceau's words caused a decided sensation among the delegates
already in Paris and excited much comment in the press. The public
interest was intensified by the fact that President Wilson had but a day
or two before, in an address at Manchester, England, denounced the
doctrine of "the balance of power" as belonging to the old international
order which had been repudiated because it had produced the conditions
that resulted in the Great War.

A week after the delivery of M. Clemenceau's address I discussed his
declarations at some length with Colonel House, and he agreed with me
that the doctrine was entirely contrary to the public opinion of the
world and that every effort should be made to prevent its revival and to
end the "system of alliances" which M. Clemenceau desired to continue.

During this conversation I pointed out that the form of affirmative
guaranty, which the President then had in mind, would unavoidably impose
the burden of enforcing it upon the Great Powers, and that they, having
that responsibility, would demand the right to decide at what time and
in what manner the guaranty should be enforced. This seemed to me to be
only a different application of the principle expressed in the doctrine
of "the balance of power" and to amount to a practical continuance of
the alliances formed for prosecution of the war. I said that, in my
judgment, if the President's guaranty was made the central idea of the
League of Nations, it would play directly into the hands of M.
Clemenceau because it could mean nothing other than the primacy of the
great military and naval powers; that I could not understand how the
President was able to harmonize his plan of a positive guaranty with his
utterances at Manchester; and that, if he clung to his plan, he would
have to accept the Clemenceau doctrine, which would to all intents
transform the Conference into a second Congress of Vienna and result in
a reversion to the old undesirable order, and its continuance in the
League of Nations.

It was my hope that Colonel House, to whom I had shown the letter and
memoranda which I had sent to the President, would be so impressed with
the inconsistency of favoring the affirmative guaranty and of opposing
the doctrine of "the balance of power," that he would exert his
influence with the President to persuade him to find a substitute for
the guaranty which Mr. Wilson then favored. It seemed politic to
approach the President in this way in view of the fact that he had never
acknowledged my letter or manifested any inclination to discuss the
subject with me.

This hope was increased when the Colonel came to me on the evening of
the same day that we had the conversation related above and told me that
he was "entirely converted" to my plan for a negative guaranty and for
the organization of a League.

At this second interview Colonel House gave me a typewritten copy of the
President's plan and asked me to examine it and to suggest a way to
amend it so that it would harmonize with my views. This was the first
time that I had seen the President's complete plan for a League. My
previous knowledge had been gained orally and was general and more or
less vague in character except as to the guaranty of which I had an
accurate idea through the President's "Bases of Peace" of 1917, and
Point XIV of his address of January 8, 1918. At the time that the
typewritten plan was handed to me another copy had already been given to
the printer of the Commission. It was evident, therefore, that the
President was satisfied with the document. It contained the theory and
fundamental principles which he advocated for world organization.




CHAPTER VI

THE PRESIDENT'S PLAN AND THE CECIL PLAN


I immediately began an examination and analysis of the President's plan
for a League, having in mind Colonel House's suggestion that I consider
a way to modify it so that it would harmonize with my views. The more I
studied the document, the less I liked it. A cursory reading of the
plan, which is printed in the Appendix (page 281), will disclose the
looseness of the language and the doubtful interpretation of many of the
provisions. It showed an inexpertness in drafting and a fault in
expression which were chargeable to lack of appreciation of the need of
exactness or else to haste in preparation. This fault in the paper,
which was very apparent, could, however, be cured and was by no means a
fatal defect. As a matter of fact, the faults of expression were to a
certain extent removed by subsequent revisions, though some of the
vagueness and ambiguity of the first draft persisted and appeared in the
final text of the Covenant.

The more serious defects of the plan were in the principles on which it
was based and in their application under the provisions of the articles
proposed. The contemplated use of force in making good the guaranty of
sovereign rights and the establishment of a primacy of the Great Powers
were provided for in language which was sufficiently explicit to admit
of no denial. In my opinion these provisions were entirely out of
harmony with American ideals, policies, and traditions. Furthermore, the
clauses in regard to arbitration and appeals from arbitral awards, to
which reference has been made, the lack of any provision for the
establishment of a permanent international judiciary, and the
introduction of the mandatory system were strong reasons to reject the
President's plan.

It should be borne in mind that, at the time that this document was
placed in my hands, the plan of General Smuts for a League of Nations
had, as I have said, been printed in the press and in pamphlet form and
had been given wide publicity. In the Smuts plan, which gave first place
to the system of mandates, appeared the declaration that the League of
Nations was to acquire the mandated territories as "the heir of the
Empires." This clever and attractive phrase caught the fancy of the
President, as was evident from his frequent repetition and approval of
it in discussing mandates under the League. Just as General Smuts had
adopted the President's "self-determination," Mr. Wilson seized upon the
Smuts idea with avidity and incorporated it in his plan. It
unquestionably had a decided influence upon his conception of the right
way to dispose of the colonial possessions of Germany and of the proper
relation of the newly created European states to the League of Nations.
As an example of the way in which President Wilson understood and
applied General Smuts's phrase to the new states, I quote the following
from the "Supplementary Agreements" forming part of the first printed
draft of the President's Covenant, but which I believe were added to the
typewritten draft after the President had examined the plan of the South
African statesman:

   "As successor to the Empires, the League of Nations is empowered,
   directly and without right of delegation, to watch over the relations
   _inter se_ of all new independent states arising or created out of
   the Empires, and shall assume and fulfill the duty of conciliating
   and composing differences between them with a view to the maintenance
   of settled order and the general peace."

There is a natural temptation to a student of international agreements
to analyze critically the composition and language of this provision,
but to do so would in no way advance the consideration of the subject
under discussion and would probably be interpreted as a criticism of the
President's skill in accurately expressing his thoughts, a criticism
which it is not my purpose to make.

Mr. Wilson's draft also contained a system of mandates over territories
in a form which was, to say the least, rudimentary if not inadequate. By
the proposed system the League of Nations, as "the residuary trustee,"
was to take sovereignty over "the peoples and territories" of the
defeated Empires and to issue a mandate to some power or powers to
exercise such sovereignty. A "residuary trustee" was a novelty in
international relations sufficient to arouse conjecture as to its
meaning, but giving to the League the character of an independent state
with the capacity of possessing sovereignty and the power to exercise
sovereign rights through a designated agent was even more extraordinary.
This departure from the long accepted idea of the essentials of
statehood seemed to me an inexpedient and to a degree a dangerous
adventure. The only plausible excuse for the proposal seemed to be a
lack of knowledge as to the nature of sovereignty and as to the
attributes inherent in the very conception of a state. The character of
a mandate, a mandatory, and the authority issuing the mandate presented
many legal perplexities which certainly required very careful study
before the experiment was tried. Until the system was fully worked out
and the problems of practical operation were solved, it seemed to me
unwise to suggest it and still more unwise to adopt it. While the
general idea of mandates issuing from the proposed international
organization was presumably acceptable to the President from the first,
his support was doubtless confirmed by the fact that it followed the
groove which had been made in his mind by the Smuts phrase "the heir of
the Empires."

In any event it seemed to me the course of wise statesmanship to
postpone the advocacy of mandates, based on the assumption that the
League of Nations could become the possessor of sovereignty, until the
practical application of the theory could be thoroughly considered from
the standpoint of international law as well as from the standpoint of
policy. The experiment was too revolutionary to be tried without
hesitation and without consideration of the effect on established
principles and usage. At an appropriate place this subject will be more
fully discussed.

As to the organization and functions of the League of Nations planned by
Mr. Wilson there was little that appealed to one who was opposed to the
employment of force in compelling the observance of international
obligations and to the establishment of an international oligarchy of
the Great Powers to direct and control world affairs. The basic
principle of the plan was that the strong should, as a matter of right
recognized by treaty, possess a dominant voice in international
councils. Obviously the principle of the equality of nations was ignored
or abandoned. In the face of the repeated declarations of the Government
of the United States in favor of the equality of independent states as
to their rights in times of peace, this appeared to be a reversal of
policy which it would be difficult, if not impossible, to explain in a
satisfactory way. Personally I could not subscribe to this principle
which was so destructive of the American theory of the proper relations
between nations.

It was manifest, when I read the President's plan, that there was no
possible way to harmonize my ideas with it. They were fundamentally
different. There was no common basis on which to build. To attempt to
bring the two theories into accord would have been futile. I, therefore,
told Colonel House that it was useless to try to bring into accord the
two plans, since they were founded on contradictory principles and that
the only course of procedure open to me was to present my views to the
President in written form, hoping that he would give them consideration,
although fearing that his mind was made up, since he had ordered his
plan to be printed.

In the afternoon of the same day (January 7), on which I informed the
Colonel of the impossibility of harmonizing and uniting the two plans,
President Wilson held a conference with the American Commissioners
during which he declared that he considered the affirmative guaranty
absolutely necessary to the preservation of future peace and the only
effective means of preventing war. Before this declaration could be
discussed M. Clemenceau was announced and the conference came to an end.
While the President did not refer in any way to the "self-denying
covenant" which I had proposed as a substitute, it seemed to me that he
intended it to be understood that the substitute was rejected, and that
he had made the declaration with that end in view. This was the nearest
approach to an answer to my letter of December 23 that I ever received.
Indirect as it was the implication was obvious.

Although the settled purpose of the President to insist on his form of
mutual guaranty was discouraging and his declaration seemed to be
intended to close debate on the subject, I felt that no effort should be
spared to persuade him to change his views or at least to leave open an
avenue for further consideration. Impelled by this motive I gave to the
President the articles which I had drafted and asked him if he would be
good enough to read them and consider the principles on which they were
based. The President with his usual courtesy of manner smilingly
received them. Whether or not he ever read them I cannot state
positively because he never mentioned them to me or, to my knowledge, to
any one else. I believe, however, that he did read them and realized
that they were wholly opposed to the theory which he had evolved,
because from that time forward he seemed to assume that I was hostile to
his plan for a League of Nations. I drew this conclusion from the fact
that he neither asked my advice as to any provision of the Covenant nor
discussed the subject with me personally. In many little ways he showed
that he preferred to have me direct my activities as a Commissioner into
other channels and to keep away from the subject of a League. The
conviction that my counsel was unwelcome to Mr. Wilson was, of course,
not formed at the time that he received the articles drafted by me. It
only developed after some time had elapsed, during which incidents took
place that aroused a suspicion which finally became a conviction.
Possibly I was over-sensitive as to the President's treatment of my
communications to him. Possibly he considered my advice of no value,
and, therefore, unworthy of discussion. But, in view of his letter of
February 11, 1920, it must be admitted that he recognized that I was
reluctant in accepting certain of his views at Paris, a recognition
which arose from my declared opposition to them. Except in the case of
the Shantung settlement, there was none concerning which our judgments
were so at variance as they were concerning the League of Nations. I
cannot believe, therefore, that I was wrong in my conclusion as to
his attitude.

On the two days succeeding the one when I handed the President my draft
of articles I had long conferences with Lord Robert Cecil and Colonel
House. Previous to these conferences, or at least previous to the second
one, I examined Lord Robert's plan for a League. His plan was based on
the proposition that the Supreme War Council, consisting of the Heads of
States and the Secretaries and Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Five
Great Powers, should be perpetuated as a permanent international body
which should meet once a year and discuss subjects of common interest.
That is, he proposed the formation of a Quintuple Alliance which would
constitute itself primate over all nations and the arbiter in world
affairs, a scheme of organization very similar to the one proposed by
General Smuts.

Lord Robert made no attempt to disguise the purpose of his plan. It was
intended to place in the hands of the Five Powers the control of
international relations and the direction in large measure of the
foreign policies of all nations. It was based on the power to compel
obedience, on the right of the powerful to rule. Its chief merit was its
honest declaration of purpose, however wrong that purpose might appear
to those who denied that the possession of superior might conferred
special rights upon the possessor. It seemed to provide for a rebirth of
the Congress of Vienna which should be clothed in the modern garb of
democracy. It could only be interpreted as a rejection of the principle
of the equality of nations. Its adoption would mean that the destiny of
the world would be in the hands of a powerful international oligarchy
possessed of dictatorial powers.

There was nothing idealistic in the plan of Lord Robert Cecil, although
he was reputed to be an idealist favoring a new international order. An
examination of his plan (Appendix) shows it to be a substantial revival
of the old and discredited ideas of a century ago. There could be no
doubt that a plan of this sort, materialistic and selfish as it was,
would win the approval and cordial support of M. Clemenceau, since it
fitted in with his public advocacy of the doctrine of "the balance of
power." Presumably the Italian delegates would not be opposed to a
scheme which gave Italy so influential a voice in international affairs,
while the Japanese, not averse to this recognition of their national
power and importance, would unquestionably favor an alliance of this
nature. I think that it is fair to assume that all of the Five Great
Powers would have readily accepted the Cecil plan--all except the
United States.

This plan, however, did not meet with the approval of President Wilson,
and his open opposition to it became an obstacle which prevented its
consideration in the form in which it was proposed. It is a matter of
speculation what reasons appealed to the President and caused him to
oppose the plan, although the principle of primacy found application in
a different and less radical form in his own plan of organization.
Possibly he felt that the British statesman's proposal too frankly
declared the coalition and oligarchy of the Five Powers, and that there
should be at least the appearance of cooperation on the part of the
lesser nations. Of course, in view of the perpetual majority of the Five
Powers on the Executive Council, as provided in the President's plan,
the primacy of the Five was weakened little if at all by the minority
membership of the small nations. The rule of unanimity gave to each
nation a veto power, but no one believed that one of the lesser states
represented on the Council would dare to exercise it if the Great Powers
were unanimous in support of a proposition. In theory unanimity was a
just and satisfactory rule; in practice it would amount to nothing. The
President may also have considered the council proposed by Lord Robert
to be inexpedient in view of the political organization of the United
States. The American Government had no actual premier except the
President, and it seemed out of the question for him to attend an annual
meeting of the proposed council. It would result in the President
sending a personal representative who would unavoidably be in a
subordinate position when sitting with the European premiers. I think
this latter reason was a very valid one, but that the first one, which
seemed to appeal especially to the President, had little real merit.

In addition to his objection to the Cecil plan of administration,
another was doubtless of even greater weight to Mr. Wilson and that was
the entire omission in the Cecil proposal of the mutual guaranty of
political independence and territorial integrity. The method of
preventing wars which was proposed by Lord Robert was for the nations to
enter into a covenant to submit disputes to international investigation
and to obtain a report before engaging in hostilities and also a
covenant not to make war on a disputant nation which accepted a report
which had been unanimously adopted. He further proposed that the members
of the League should undertake to regard themselves as _ipso facto_ at
war with a member violating these covenants and "to take, jointly and
severally, appropriate military, economic, and other measures against
the recalcitrant State," thus following closely the idea of the League
to Enforce Peace.

Manifestly this last provision in the Cecil plan was open to the same
constitutional objections as those which could be raised against the
President's mutual guaranty. My impression is that Mr. Wilson's
opposition to the provision was not based on the ground that it was in
contravention of the Constitution of the United States, but rather on
the ground that it did not go far enough in stabilizing the terms of
peace which were to be negotiated. The President was seeking permanency
by insuring, through the threat or pressure of international force, a
condition of changelessness in boundaries and sovereign rights, subject,
nevertheless, to territorial changes based either on the principle of
"self-determination" or on a three-fourths vote of the Body of
Delegates. He, nevertheless, discussed the subject with Lord Robert
Cecil prior to laying his draft of a Covenant before the American
Commissioners, as is evident by comparing it with the Cecil plan, for
certain phrases are almost identical in language in the two documents.




CHAPTER VII

SELF-DETERMINATION


The mutual guaranty which was advocated by President Wilson appears as
Article III of his original draft of a Covenant. It reads as follows:

   "ARTICLE III

   "The Contracting Powers unite in guaranteeing to each other political
   independence and territorial integrity; but it is understood between
   them that such territorial readjustments, if any, as may in the
   future become necessary by reason of changes in present racial
   conditions and aspirations or present social and political
   relationships, pursuant to the principle of self-determination, and
   also such territorial readjustments as may in the judgment of three
   fourths of the Delegates be demanded by the welfare and manifest
   interest of the peoples concerned, may be effected if agreeable to
   those peoples; and that territorial changes may in equity involve
   material compensation. The Contracting Powers accept without
   reservation the principle that the peace of the world is superior in
   importance to every question of political jurisdiction or boundary."

In the revised draft, which he laid before the Commission
on the League of Nations at its first session Article III
became Article 7. It is as follows:

   "ARTICLE 7

   "The High Contracting Parties undertake to respect and preserve as
   against external aggression the territorial integrity and existing
   political independence of all States members of the League."

The guaranty was finally incorporated in the Treaty of Peace as Article
10. It reads:

   "ARTICLE 10

   "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."

In the revision of the original draft the modifying clause providing for
future territorial readjustments was omitted. It does not appear in
Article 7 of the draft which was presented to the Commission on the
League of Nations and which formed the basis of its deliberations. In
addition to this modification the words "unite in guaranteeing" in
Article III became "undertake to respect and preserve" in Article 7.
These changes are only important in that they indicate a disposition to
revise the article to meet the wishes, and to remove to an extent the
objections, of some of the foreign delegates who had prepared plans for
a League or at least had definite ideas as to the purposes and functions
of an international organization.

It was generally believed that the elimination of the modifying clause
from the President's original form of guaranty was chiefly due to the
opposition of the statesmen who represented the British Empire in
contradistinction to those who represented the self-governing British
Dominions. It was also believed that this opposition was caused by an
unwillingness on their part to recognize or to apply as a right the
principle of "self-determination" in arranging possible future changes
of sovereignty over territories.

I do not know the arguments which were used to induce the President to
abandon this phrase and to strike it from his article of guaranty. I
personally doubt whether the objection to the words "self-determination"
was urged upon him. Whatever reasons were advanced by his foreign
colleagues, they were successful in freeing the Covenant from the
phrase. It is to be regretted that the influence, which was sufficient
to induce the President to eliminate from his proposed guaranty the
clause containing a formal acceptance of the principle of
"self-determination," was not exerted or else was not potent enough to
obtain from him an open disavowal of the principle as a right standard
for the determination of sovereign authority. Without such a disavowal
the phrase remained as one of the general bases upon which a just peace
should be negotiated. It remained a precept of the international creed
which Mr. Wilson proclaimed while the war was still in progress, for he
had declared, in an address delivered on February 11, 1918, before a
joint session of the Senate and House of Representatives, that
"self-determination is not a mere phrase. It is an imperative principle
of action which statesmen will henceforth ignore at their peril."

"Self-determination" is as right in theory as the more famous phrase
"the consent of the governed," which has for three centuries been
repeatedly declared to be sound by political philosophers and has been
generally accepted as just by civilized peoples, but which has been for
three centuries commonly ignored by statesmen because the right could
not be practically applied without imperiling national safety, always
the paramount consideration in international and national affairs. The
two phrases mean substantially the same thing and have to an extent been
used interchangeably by those who advocate the principle as a standard
of right. "Self-determination" was not a new thought. It was a
restatement of the old one.

Under the present political organization of the world, based as it is on
the idea of nationality, the new phrase is as unsusceptible of universal
application as the old one was found to be. Fixity of national
boundaries and of national allegiance, and political stability would
disappear if this principle was uniformly applied. Impelled by new
social conditions, by economic interests, by racial prejudices, and by
the various forces which affect society, change and uncertainty would
result from an attempt to follow the principle in every case to which it
is possible to apply it.

Among my notes I find one of December 20, 1918--that is, one week after
the American Commission landed in France--in which I recorded my
thoughts concerning certain phrases or epigrams of the President, which
he had declared to be bases of peace, and which I considered to contain
the seeds of future trouble. In regard to the asserted right of
"self-determination" I wrote:

   "When the President talks of 'self-determination' what unit has he in
   mind? Does he mean a race, a territorial area, or a community?
   Without a definite unit which is practical, application of this
   principle is dangerous to peace and stability."

Ten days later (December 30) the frequent repetition of the phrase in
the press and by members of certain groups and unofficial delegations,
who were in Paris seeking to obtain hearings before the Conference,
caused me to write the following:

   "The more I think about the President's declaration as to the right
   of 'self-determination,' the more convinced I am of the danger of
   putting such ideas into the minds of certain races. It is bound to be
   the basis of impossible demands on the Peace Congress and create
   trouble in many lands.

   "What effect will it have on the Irish, the Indians, the Egyptians,
   and the nationalists among the Boers? Will it not breed discontent,
   disorder, and rebellion? Will not the Mohammedans of Syria and
   Palestine and possibly of Morocco and Tripoli rely on it? How can it
   be harmonized with Zionism, to which the President is practically
   committed?

   "The phrase is simply loaded with dynamite. It will raise hopes which
   can never be realized. It will, I fear, cost thousands of lives. In
   the end it is bound to be discredited, to be called the dream of an
   idealist who failed to realize the danger until too late to check
   those who attempt to put the principle in force. What a calamity that
   the phrase was ever uttered! What misery it will cause!"

Since the foregoing notes were written the impracticability of the
universal or even of the general application of the principle has been
fully demonstrated. Mr. Wilson resurrected "the consent of the governed"
regardless of the fact that history denied its value as a practical
guide in modern political relations. He proclaimed it in the phrase
"self-determination," declaring it to be an "imperative principle of
action." He made it one of the bases of peace. And yet, in the
negotiations at Paris and in the formulation of the foreign policy of
the United States, he has by his acts denied the existence of the right
other than as the expression of a moral precept, as something to be
desired, but generally unattainable in the lives of nations. In the
actual conduct of affairs, in the practical and concrete relations
between individuals and governments, it doubtless exercises and should
exercise a measure of influence, but it is not a controlling influence.

In the Treaty of Versailles with Germany the readjustment of the German
boundaries, by which the sovereignty over millions of persons of German
blood was transferred to the new states of Poland and Czecho-Slovakia,
and the practical cession to the Empire of Japan of the port of
Kiao-Chau and control over the economic life of the Province of Shantung
are striking examples of the abandonment of the principle.

In the Treaty of Saint-Germain the Austrian Tyrol was ceded to the
Kingdom of Italy against the known will of substantially the entire
population of that region.

In both the Treaty of Versailles and the Treaty of Saint-Germain Austria
was denied the right to form a political union with Germany, and when an
article of the German Constitution of August, 1919, contemplating a
"reunion" of "German Austria" with the German Empire was objected to by
the Supreme Council, then in session at Paris, as in contradiction of
the terms of the Treaty with Germany, a protocol was signed on September
22, 1919, by plenipotentiaries of Germany and the five Principal Allied
and Associated Powers, declaring the article in the Constitution null
and void. There could hardly be a more open repudiation of the alleged
right of "self-determination" than this refusal to permit Austria to
unite with Germany however unanimous the wish of the Austrian people for
such union.

But Mr. Wilson even further discredited the phrase by adopting a policy
toward Russia which ignored the principle. The peoples of Esthonia,
Latvia, Lithuania, the Ukraine, Georgia, and Azerbaidjan have by blood,
language, and racial traits elements of difference which give to each of
them in more or less degree the character of a distinct nationality.
These peoples all possess aspirations to become independent states, and
yet, throughout the negotiations at Paris and since that time, the
Government of the United States has repeatedly refused to recognize the
right of the inhabitants of these territories to determine for
themselves the sovereignty under which they shall live. It has, on the
contrary, declared in favor of a "Great Russia" comprising the vast
territory of the old Empire except the province which belonged to the
dismembered Kingdom of Poland and the lands included within the present
boundaries of the Republic of Finland.

I do not mention the policy of President Wilson as to an undivided
Russia by way of criticism because I believe the policy was and has
continued to be the right one. The reference to it is made for the
sole purpose of pointing out another example of Mr. Wilson's frequent
departure without explanation from his declared standard for the
determination of political authority and allegiance. I think
that it must be conceded that he has by his acts proved that
"self-determination" _is_ "a mere phrase" which ought to be discarded
as misleading because it cannot be practically applied.

It may be pointed out as a matter of special interest to the student of
American history that, if the right of "self-determination" were sound
in principle and uniformly applicable in establishing political
allegiance and territorial sovereignty, the endeavor of the Southern
States to secede from the American Union in 1861 would have been wholly
justifiable; and, conversely, the Northern States, in forcibly
preventing secession and compelling the inhabitants of the States
composing the Confederacy to remain under the authority of the Federal
Government, would have perpetrated a great and indefensible wrong
against the people of the South by depriving them of a right to which
they were by nature entitled. This is the logic of the application of
the principle of "self-determination" to the political rights at issue
in the American Civil War.

I do not believe that there are many Americans of the present generation
who would support the proposition that the South was inherently right
and the North was inherently wrong in that great conflict. There were,
at the time when the sections were arrayed in arms against each other,
and there may still be, differences of opinion as to the _legal_ right
of secession under the Constitution of the United States, but the
inherent right of a people of a State to throw off at will their
allegiance to the Federal Union and resume complete sovereignty over the
territory of the State was never urged as a conclusive argument. It was
the legal right and not the natural right which was emphasized as
justifying those who took up arms in order to disrupt the Union. But if
an American citizen denies that the principle of "self-determination"
can be rightfully applied to the affairs of his own country, how can he
consistently maintain that it is a right inseparable from a true
conception of political liberty and therefore universally applicable,
just in principle, and wise from the practical point of view?

Of course, those who subscribe to "self-determination" and advocate it
as a great truth fundamental to every political society organized to
protect and promote civil liberty, do not claim it for races, peoples,
or communities whose state of barbarism or ignorance deprive them of the
capacity to choose intelligently their political affiliations. As to
peoples or communities, however, who do possess the intelligence to make
a rational choice of political allegiance, no exception is made, so far
as words go, to the undeviating application of the principle. It is the
affirmation of an unqualified right. It is one of those declarations of
principle which sounds true, which in the abstract may be true, and
which appeals strongly to man's innate sense of moral right and to his
conception of natural justice, but which, when the attempt is made to
apply it in every case, becomes a source of political instability and
domestic disorder and not infrequently a cause of rebellion.

In the settlement of territorial rights and of the sovereignty to be
exercised over particular regions there are several factors which
require consideration. International boundaries may be drawn along
ethnic, economic, geographic, historic, or strategic lines. One or all
of these elements may influence the decision, but whatever argument may
be urged in favor of any one of these factors, the chief object in the
determination of the sovereignty to be exercised within a certain
territory is national safety. National safety is as dominant in the life
of a nation as self-preservation is in the life of an individual. It is
even more so, as nations do not respond to the impulse of
self-sacrifice. With national safety as the primary object to be
attained in territorial settlements, the factors of the problem assume
generally, though not always, the following order of importance: the
strategic, to which is closely allied the geographic and historic; the
economic, affecting the commercial and industrial life of a nation; and
lastly the ethnic, including in the terms such conditions as
consanguinity, common language, and similar social and religious
institutions.

The national safety and the economic welfare of the United States were
at stake in the War of Secession, although the attempt to secede
resulted from institutional rather than ethnic causes. The same was true
when in the Papineau Rebellion of 1837 the French inhabitants of the
Province of Lower Canada attempted for ethnic reasons to free themselves
from British sovereignty. Had the right of "self-determination" in the
latter case been recognized as "imperative" by Great Britain, the
national life and economic growth of Canada would have been strangled
because the lines of communication and the commercial routes to the
Atlantic seaboard would have been across an alien state. The future of
Canada, with its vast undeveloped resources, its very life as a British
colony, depended upon denying the right of "self-determination." It was
denied and the French inhabitants of Quebec were forced against their
will to accept British sovereignty.

Experience has already demonstrated the unwisdom of having given
currency to the phrase "self-determination." As the expression of an
actual right, the application of which is universal and invariable, the
phrase has been repudiated or at least violated by many of the terms of
the treaties which brought to an end the World War. Since the time that
the principle was proclaimed, it has been the excuse for turbulent
political elements in various lands to resist established governmental
authority; it has induced the use of force in an endeavor to wrest the
sovereignty over a territory or over a community from those who have
long possessed and justly exercised it. It has formed the basis for
territorial claims by avaricious nations. And it has introduced into
domestic as well as international affairs a new spirit of disorder. It
is an evil thing to permit the principle of "self-determination" to
continue to have the apparent sanction of the nations when it has been
in fact thoroughly discredited and will always be cast aside whenever it
comes in conflict with national safety, with historic political rights,
or with national economic interests affecting the prosperity of
a nation.

This discussion of the right of "self-determination," which was one of
the bases of peace which President Wilson declared in the winter of
1918, and which was included in the modifying clause of his guaranty as
originally drafted, is introduced for the purpose of showing the
reluctance which I felt in accepting his guidance in the adoption of a
principle so menacing to peace and so impossible of practical
application. As a matter of fact I never discussed the subject with Mr.
Wilson as I purposed doing, because a situation arose on January 10,
1919, which discouraged me from volunteering to him advice on matters
which did not directly pertain to legal questions and to the
international administration of legal justice.




CHAPTER VIII

THE CONFERENCE OF JANUARY 10, 1919


It is with extreme reluctance, as the reader will understand, that I
make any reference to the conference which the President held with the
American Commissioners at the Hotel Crillon on January 10, because of
the personal nature of what occurred. It would be far more agreeable to
omit an account of this unpleasant episode. But without referring to it
I cannot satisfactorily explain the sudden decision I then reached to
take no further part in the preparation or revision of the text of the
Covenant of the League of Nations. Without explanation my subsequent
conduct would be, and not without reason, open to the charge of neglect
of duty and possibly of disloyalty. I do not feel called upon to rest
under that suspicion, or to remain silent when a brief statement of what
occurred at that conference will disclose the reason for the cessation
of my efforts to effect changes in the plan of world organization which
the President had prepared. In the circumstances there can be no
impropriety in disclosing the truth as to the cause for a course of
action when the course of action itself must be set forth to complete
the record and to explain an ignorance of the subsequent negotiations
regarding the League of Nations, an ignorance which has been the subject
of public comment. Certainly no one who participated in the conference
can object to the truth being known unless for personal reasons he
prefers that a false impression should go forth. After careful
consideration I can see no public reason for withholding the facts. At
this meeting, to which I refer, the President took up the provisions of
his original draft of a Covenant, which was at the time in typewritten
form, and indicated the features which he considered fundamental to the
proper organization of a League of Nations. I pointed out certain
provisions which appeared to me objectionable in principle or at least
of doubtful policy. Mr. Wilson, however, clearly indicated--at least so
I interpreted his words and manner--that he was not disposed to receive
these criticisms in good part and was unwilling to discuss them. He also
said with great candor and emphasis that he did not intend to have
lawyers drafting the treaty of peace. Although this declaration was
called forth by the statement that the legal advisers of the American
Commission had been, at my request, preparing an outline of a treaty, a
"skeleton treaty" in fact, the President's sweeping disapproval of
members of the legal profession participating in the treaty-making
seemed to be, and I believe was, intended to be notice to me that my
counsel was unwelcome. Being the only lawyer on the delegation I
naturally took this remark to myself, and I know that other American
Commissioners held the same view of its purpose. If my belief was
unjustified, I can only regret that I did not persevere in my criticisms
and suggestions, but I could not do so believing as I then did that a
lawyer's advice on any question not wholly legal in nature was
unacceptable to the President, a belief which, up to the present time, I
have had no reason to change.

It should be understood that this account of the conference of January
10 is given by way of explanation of my conduct subsequent to it and not
in any spirit of complaint or condemnation of Mr. Wilson's attitude. He
had a right to his own opinion of the worth of a lawyer's advice and a
right to act in accordance with that opinion. If there was any injustice
done, it was in his asking a lawyer to become a Peace Commissioner,
thereby giving the impression that he desired his counsel and advice as
to the negotiations in general, when in fact he did not. But,
disregarding the personal element, I consider that he was justified in
his course, as the entire constitutional responsibility for the
negotiation of a treaty was on his shoulders and he was, in the
performance of his duty, entitled to seek advice from those only in
whose judgment he had confidence.

In spite of this frank avowal of prejudice by the President there was no
outward change in the personal and official relations between him and
myself. The breach, however, regardless of appearances, was too wide and
too deep to be healed. While subsequent events bridged it temporarily,
it remained until my association with President Wilson came to an end in
February, 1920. I never forgot his words and always felt that in his
mind my opinions, even when he sought them, were tainted with legalism.




CHAPTER IX

A RESOLUTION INSTEAD OF THE COVENANT


As it seemed advisable, in view of the incident of January 10, to have
nothing to do with the drafting of the Covenant unless the entire theory
was changed, the fact that there prevailed at that time a general belief
that a preliminary treaty of peace would be negotiated in the near
future invited an effort to delay the consideration of a complete and
detailed charter of the League of Nations until the definitive treaty or
a separate treaty dealing with the League alone was considered. As delay
would furnish time to study and discuss the subject and prevent hasty
acceptance of an undesirable or defective plan, it seemed to me that the
advisable course to take was to limit reference to the organization in
the preliminary treaty to general principles.

The method that I had in mind in carrying out this policy was to secure
the adoption, by the Conference on the Preliminaries of Peace, of a
resolution embodying a series of declarations as to the creation, the
nature, and the purposes of a League of Nations, which declarations
could be included in the preliminary treaty of peace accompanied by an
article providing for the negotiation of a detailed plan based on these
declarations at the time of the negotiation of the definitive treaty or
else by an article providing for the summoning of a world congress, in
which all nations, neutrals as well as belligerents, would be
represented and have a voice in the drafting of a convention
establishing a League of Nations in accordance with the general
principles declared in the preliminary treaty. Personally I preferred a
separate treaty, but doubted the possibility of obtaining the assent of
the Conference to that plan because some of the delegates showed a
feeling of resentment toward certain neutral nations on account of their
attitude during the war, while the inclusion of the four powers which
had formed the Central Alliance seemed almost out of the question.

In addition to the advantage to be gained by postponing the
determination of the details of the organization until the theory, the
form, the purposes and the powers of the proposed League could be
thoroughly considered, it would make possible the speedy restoration of
a state of peace. There can be no doubt that peace at the earliest
possible moment was the supreme need of the world. The political and
social chaos in the Central Empires, due to the overthrow of their
strong autocratic governments and the prevailing want, suffering, and
despair, in which the war had left their peoples, offered a fertile
field for the pernicious doctrines of Bolshevism to take root and
thrive. A proletarian revolution seemed imminent. The Spartacists in
Germany, the Radical Socialists in Austria, and the Communists in
Hungary were the best organized and most vigorous of the political
groups in those countries and were conducting an active and seemingly
successful propaganda among the starving and hopeless masses, while the
Russian duumvirs, Lenine and Trotsky, were with funds and emissaries
aiding these movements against established authority and social order.
Eastern Europe seemed to be a volcano on the very point of eruption.
Unless something was speedily done to check the peril, it threatened to
spread to other countries and even to engulf the very foundations of
modern civilization.

A restoration of commercial relations and of normal industrial
conditions through the medium of a treaty of peace appeared to offer the
only practical means of resisting these movements and of saving Europe
from the horrors of a proletarian despotism which had brought the
Russian people to so low a state. This was the common judgment of those
who at that time watched with increasing impatience the slow progress of
the negotiations at Paris and with apprehension the political turmoil in
the defeated and distracted empires of Central Europe.

An immediate restoration of peace was, as I then saw it, of vital
importance to the world as it was the universal demand of all mankind.
To delay it for the purpose of completing the organization of a League
of Nations or for any other purpose than the formulation of terms
essential to peace seemed to me to be taking a risk as to the future
wholly unwarranted by the relative importance of the subjects. There is
no question, in the light of subsequent events, that the peoples of the
Central Empires possessed a greater power of resistance to the
temptations of lawlessness and disorder than was presumed in the winter
of 1918-19. And yet it was a critical time. Anything might have
happened. It would have taken very little to turn the scale. What
occurred later cannot excuse the delay in making peace. It was not wise
statesmanship and foresight that saved the world from a great
catastrophe but the fortunate circumstance that a people habituated to
obedience were not led astray by the enemies of the existing order.

Of the importance of negotiating a peace without waiting to complete a
detailed plan for a League of Nations I was firmly convinced in those
early days at Paris, and I know that the President's judgment as to this
was contrary to mine. He considered--at least his course can only be so
interpreted--that the organization of a League in all its details was
the principal task to be accomplished by the Conference, a task that he
felt must be completed before other matters were settled. The conclusion
is that the necessity of an immediate peace seemed to him subordinate to
the necessity of erecting an international agency to preserve the peace
when it was restored. In fact one may infer that the President was
disposed to employ the general longing for peace as a means of exerting
pressure on the delegates in Paris and on their Governments to accept
his plan for a League. It is generally believed that objections to
certain provisions of the Covenant were not advanced or, if advanced,
were not urged because the discussion of objections would mean delay in
negotiating the peace.

Mr. Wilson gave most of his time and thought prior to his departure for
the United States in February, 1919, to the revision of the plan of
organization which he had prepared and to the conversion of the more
influential members of the Conference to its support. While other
questions vital to a preliminary peace treaty were brought up in the
Council of Ten, he showed a disposition to keep them open and to avoid
their settlement until the Covenant had been reported to the Conference.
In this I could not conscientiously follow him. I felt that the policy
was wholly wrong since it delayed the peace.

Though recognizing the President's views as to the relative importance
of organizing a League and of restoring peace without delay, and
suspecting that he purposed to use the impatience and fear of the
delegates to break down objections to his plan of organization, I still
hoped that the critical state of affairs in Europe might induce him to
adopt another course. With that hope I began the preparation of a
resolution to be laid before the Conference, which, if adopted, would
appear in the preliminary treaty in the form of declarations which would
constitute the bases of a future negotiation regarding a League
of Nations.

At a conference on January 20 between the President and the American
Commissioners, all being present except Colonel House, I asked the
President if he did not think that, in view of the shortness of time
before he would be compelled to return to Washington on account of the
approaching adjournment of Congress, it would be well to prepare a
resolution of this sort and to have it adopted in order that it might
clear the way for the determination of other matters which should be
included in a preliminary treaty. From the point of view of policy I
advanced the argument that a series of declarations would draw the fire
of the opponents and critics of the League and would give opportunity
for an expression of American public opinion which would make possible
the final drafting of the charter of a League in a way to win the
approval of the great mass of the American people and in all probability
insure approval of the Covenant by the Senate of the United States.

In reviewing what took place at this conference I realize now, as I did
not then, that it was impolitic for me to have presented an argument
based on the assumption that changes in the President's plan might be
necessary, as he might interpret my words to be another effort to revise
the theory of his plan. At the time, however, I was so entirely
convinced of the expediency of this course, from the President's own
point of view as well as from the point of view of those who gave first
place to restoring peace, that I believed he would see the advantage to
be gained and would adopt the course suggested. I found that I was
mistaken. Mr. Wilson without discussing the subject said that he did not
think that a resolution of that sort was either necessary or advisable.

While this definite rejection of the proposal seemed to close the door
to further effort in that direction, I decided to make another attempt
before abandoning the plan. The next afternoon (January 21) at a meeting
of the Council of Ten, the discussion developed in a way that gave me an
excuse to present the proposal informally to the Council. The advantages
to be gained by adopting the suggested action apparently appealed to the
members, and their general approval of it impressed the President, for
he asked me in an undertone if I had prepared the resolution. I replied
that I had been working upon it, but had ceased when he said to me the
day before that he did not think it necessary or advisable, adding that
I would complete the draft if he wished me to do so. He said that he
would be obliged to me if I would prepare one.

Encouraged by the support received in the Council and by the seeming
willingness of the President to give the proposal consideration, I
proceeded at once to draft a resolution.

The task was not an easy one because it would have been useless to
insert in the document any declaration which seemed to be contradictory
of the President's theory of an affirmative guaranty or which was not
sufficiently broad to be interpreted in other terms in the event that
American public opinion was decidedly opposed to his theory, as I felt
that it would be. It was also desirable, from my point of view, that the
resolution should contain a declaration in favor of the equality of
nations or one which would prevent the establishment of an oligarchy of
the Great Powers, and another declaration which would give proper place
to the administration of legal justice in international disputes.

The handicaps and difficulties under which I labored are manifest, and
the resolution as drafted indicates them in that it does not express as
clearly and unequivocally as it would otherwise do the principles which
formed the bases of the articles which I handed to the President on
January 7 and which have already been quoted _in extenso_.

The text of the resolution, which was completed on the 22d, reads as
follows:

   "_Resolved_ that the Conference makes the following declaration:

   "That the preservation of international peace is the standing policy
   of civilization and to that end a league of nations should be
   organized to prevent international wars;

   "That it is a fundamental principle of peace that all nations are
   equally entitled to the undisturbed possession of their respective
   territories, to the full exercise of their respective sovereignties,
   and to the use of the high seas as the common property of all
   peoples; and

   "That it is the duty of all nations to engage by mutual covenants--

   "(1) To safeguard from invasion the sovereign rights of one another;

   "(2) To submit to arbitration all justiciable disputes which fail of
   settlement by diplomatic arrangement;

   "(3) To submit to investigation by the league of nations all
   non-justiciable disputes which fail of settlement by diplomatic
   arrangement; and

   "(4) To abide by the award of an arbitral tribunal and to respect a
   report of the league of nations after investigation;

   "That the nations should agree upon--

   "(1) A plan for general reduction of armaments on land and sea;

   "(2) A plan for the restriction of enforced military service and the
   governmental regulation and control of the manufacture and sale of
   munitions of war;

   "(3) Full publicity of all treaties and international agreements;

   "(4) The equal application to all other nations of commercial and
   trade regulations and restrictions imposed by any nation; and

   "(5) The proper regulation and control of new states pending complete
   independence and sovereignty."

This draft of a resolution was discussed with the other American
Commissioners, and after some changes of a more or less minor character
which it seemed advisable to make because of the appointment of a
Commission on the League of Nations at a plenary session of the
Conference on January 25, of which Commission President Wilson and
Colonel House were the American members, I sent the draft to the
President on the 31st, four days before the Commission held its first
meeting in Colonel House's office at the Hotel Crillon.

As the Sixty-Fifth Congress would come to an end on March 4, and as the
interpretation which had been placed on certain provisions of the
Federal Constitution required the presence of the Chief Executive in
Washington during the last days of a session in order that he might pass
upon legislation enacted in the days immediately preceding adjournment,
Mr. Wilson had determined that he could not remain in Paris after
February 14. At the time that I sent him the proposed resolution there
remained, therefore, but two weeks for the Commission on the League of
Nations to organize, to deliberate, and to submit its report to the
Conference, provided its report was made prior to the President's
departure for the United States. It did not seem to me conceivable that
the work of the Commission could be properly completed in so short a
time if the President's Covenant became the basis of its deliberations.
This opinion was shared by many others who appreciated the difficulties
and intricacies of the subject and who felt that a hasty and undigested
report would be unwise and endanger the whole plan of a world
organization.

In view of this situation, which seemed to be a strong argument for
delay in drafting the plan of international organization, I wrote a
letter to the President, at the time I sent him the proposed resolution,
saying that in my opinion no plan could be prepared with sufficient care
to warrant its submission to the Conference on the Preliminaries of
Peace before he left Paris and that unless a plan was reported he would
be in the position of returning empty-handed to the United States. I
urged him in the circumstances to secure the adoption of a resolution by
the delegates similar in nature, if not in language, to the draft which
was enclosed, thereby avoiding a state of affairs which would be very
disheartening to the advocates of a League of Nations and cause general
discontent among all peoples who impatiently expected evidence that the
restoration of peace was not far distant.

It would be presumptuous on my part to speculate on the President's
feelings when he received and read my letter and the proposed
resolution. It was never answered or acknowledged, and he did not act
upon the suggestion or discuss acting upon it, to my knowledge, with any
of his colleagues. On the contrary, he summoned the Commission on the
League of Nations to meet on February 3, eleven days before the date
fixed for his departure for the United States, and laid before that body
his revised draft of a Covenant which formed the groundwork for the
Commission's report presented to the Conference on February 14.

The question naturally arises--Why did the President ask me to complete
and send to him the resolution embodying a series of declarations if he
did not intend to make it a subject of consideration and discussion? It
is a pertinent question, but the true answer remains with Mr. Wilson
himself. Possibly he concluded that the only way to obtain his plan for
a League was to insist upon its practical acceptance before peace was
negotiated, and that, unless he took advantage of the universal demand
for peace by making the acceptance of the Covenant a condition
precedent, he would be unable to obtain its adoption. While I believe
this is a correct supposition, it is not responsive to the question as
to the reason why he wished me to deliver to him a draft resolution. In
fact it suggests another question--What, from the President's point of
view, was to be gained by having the resolution in his hands?

I think the answer is not difficult to find when one remembers that Mr.
Wilson had disapproved a resolution of that sort and that the Council of
Ten had seemed disposed to approve it. There was no surer way to prevent
me from bringing the subject again before the Council than by having the
proposed resolution before him for action. Having submitted it to him I
was bound, on account of our official relationship, to await his
decision before taking any further steps. In a word, his request for a
draft practically closed my mouth and tied my hands. If he sought to
check my activities with the members of the Council in favor of the
proposed course of action, he could have taken no more effectual way
than the one which he did take. It was undoubtedly an effective means of
"pigeonholing" a resolution, the further discussion of which might
interfere with his plan to force through a report upon the Covenant
before the middle of February.

This opinion as to the motive which impelled the President to pursue the
course that he did in regard to a resolution was not the one held by me
at the time. It was formed only after subsequent events threw new light
on the subject. The delay perplexed me at the time, but the reason for
it was not evident. I continued to hope, even after the Commission on
the League of Nations had assembled and had begun its deliberations,
that the policy of a resolution would be adopted. But, as the days went
by and the President made no mention of the proposal, I realized that he
did not intend to discuss it, and the conviction was forced upon me that
he had never intended to have it discussed. It was a disappointing
result and one which impressed me with the belief that Mr. Wilson was
prejudiced against any suggestion that I might make, if it in any way
differed with his own ideas even though it found favor with others.




CHAPTER X

THE GUARANTY IN THE REVISED COVENANT


During the three weeks preceding the meeting of the Commission on the
League the work of revising the President's original draft of the
Covenant had been in progress, the President and Colonel House holding
frequent interviews with the more influential delegates, particularly
the British and French statesmen who had been charged with the duty of
studying the subject. While I cannot speak from personal knowledge, I
learned that the suggested changes in terms and language were put into
form by members of the Colonel's office staff. In addition to
modifications which were made to meet the wishes of the foreign
statesmen, especially the British, Mr. Gordon Auchincloss, the
son-in-law and secretary of Colonel House, and Mr. David Hunter Miller,
Auchincloss's law partner and one of the accredited legal advisers of
the American Commission, prepared an elaborate memorandum on the
President's draft of a Covenant which contained comments and also
suggested changes in the text. On account of the intimate relations
existing between Messrs. Miller and Auchincloss and Colonel House it
seems reasonable to assume that their comments and suggestions were
approved by, if they did not to an extent originate with, the Colonel.
The memorandum was first made public by Mr. William C. Bullitt during
his hearing before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in
September, 1919 (Senate Doc. 106, 66th Congress, 1st Session, pages 1177
_et seq._).

The most important amendment to the Covenant suggested by these advisers
was, in my judgment, the one relating to Article III of the draft, which
became Article 10 in the Treaty. After a long criticism of the
President's proposed guaranty, in which it is declared that "such an
agreement would destroy the Monroe Doctrine," and that "any guaranty of
independence and integrity means war by the guarantor if a breach of the
independence or integrity of the guaranteed State is attempted and
persisted in," the memorandum proposed that the following be
substituted:

   "Each Contracting Power severally covenants and guarantees that it
   will not violate the territorial integrity or impair the political
   independence of any other Contracting Power."

This proposed substitute should be compared with the language of the
"self-denying covenant" that I sent to the President on December 23,
1918, the pertinent portion of which is repeated here for the purpose of
such comparison:

   "Each power signatory or adherent hereto severally covenants and
   guarantees that it will not violate the territorial integrity or
   impair the political sovereignty of any other power signatory or
   adherent to this convention, ..."

The practical adoption of the language of my proposed substitute in the
memorandum furnishes conclusive proof that Colonel House was "entirely
converted" to my form of a guaranty as he had frankly assured me that he
was on the evening of January 6. I am convinced also that Mr. Henry
White and General Bliss held the same views on the subject. It is
obvious that President Wilson was the only one of the American
representatives at Paris who favored the affirmative guaranty, but, as
he possessed the constitutional authority to determine independently the
policy of the United States, his form of a guaranty was written into the
revised draft of a Covenant submitted to the Commission on the League of
Nations and with comparatively little change was finally adopted in the
Treaty of Peace with Germany.

The memorandum prepared by Messrs. Miller and Auchincloss was apparently
in the President's hands before the revised draft was completed, for
certain changes in the original draft were in accord with the
suggestions made in their memorandum. His failure to modify the guaranty
may be considered another rejection of the "self-denying covenant" and a
final decision to insist on the affirmative form of guaranty in spite of
the unanimous opposition of his American colleagues.

In view of what later occurred a very definite conclusion may be reached
concerning the President's rejection of the proposed substitute for his
guaranty. Article 10 was from the first the storm center of opposition
to the report of the Commission on the League of Nations and the chief
cause for refusal of consent to the ratification of the Treaty of
Versailles by the Senate of the United States. The vulnerable nature of
the provision, which had been so plainly pointed out to the President
before the Covenant was submitted to the Commission, invited attack. If
he had listened to the advice of his colleagues, in fact if he had
listened to any American who expressed an opinion on the subject, the
Treaty would probably have obtained the speedy approval of the Senate.
There would have been opposition from those inimical to the United
States entering any international organization, but it would have been
insufficient to prevent ratification of the Treaty.

As it was, the President's unalterable determination to have his form of
guaranty in the Covenant, in which he was successful, and his firm
refusal to modify it in any substantial way resulted in strengthening
the opponents to the League to such an extent that they were able to
prevent the Treaty from obtaining the necessary consent of two thirds of
the Senators.

The sincerity of Mr. Wilson's belief in the absolute necessity of the
guaranty, which he proposed, to the preservation of international peace
cannot be doubted. While his advisers were practically unanimous in the
opinion that policy, as well as principle, demanded a change in the
guaranty, he clung tenaciously to the affirmative form. The result was
that which was feared and predicted by his colleagues. The President,
and the President alone, must bear the responsibility for the result.




CHAPTER XI

INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION


On the day that the Commission on the League of Nations held its first
meeting and before I had reason to suspect that Mr. Wilson intended to
ignore the letter which I had sent him with the suggested resolution
enclosed, I determined to appeal to him in behalf of international
arbitration. I decided to do this on the assumption that, even if the
plan for a resolution was approved, the Commission would continue its
sessions in preparation for the subsequent negotiation of an agreement
of some sort providing for world organization. The provision as to
arbitration in the President's original draft of a Covenant was so wrong
from my point of view and showed such a lack of knowledge of the
practical side of the subject that I was impelled to make an effort to
induce him to change the provision. Except for the fact that the matter
was wholly legal in character and invited an opinion based on technical
knowledge, I would have remained silent in accordance with my feeling
that it would be inadvisable for me to have anything to do with drafting
the Covenant. I felt, however, that the constitution and procedure of
international courts were subjects which did not affect the general
theory of organization and concerning which my views might influence the
President and be of aid to him in the formulation of the judicial
feature of any plan adopted.

With this object in view I wrote to him the following letter:

   "_Hotel Crillon, Paris

   "February_ 3, 1919

   "My Dear Mr. President:

   "I am deeply interested, as you know, in the constitution and
   procedure of international courts of arbitration, and having
   participated in five proceedings of this sort I feel that I can speak
   with a measure of authority.

   "In the first place let me say that a tribunal, on which
   representatives of the litigants sit as judges, has not proved
   satisfactory even though the majority of the tribunal are nationals
   of other countries. However well prepared from experience on the
   bench to render strict justice, the litigants' arbitrators act in
   fact as advocates. As a consequence the neutral arbitrators are
   decidedly hampered in giving full and free expression to their views,
   and there is not that frank exchange of opinion which should
   characterize the conference of judges. It has generally resulted in a
   compromise, in which the nation in the wrong gains a measure of
   benefit and the nation in the right is deprived of a part of the
   remedy to which it is entitled. In fact an arbitration award is more
   of a political and diplomatic arrangement than it is a judicial
   determination. I believe that this undesirable result can be in large
   measure avoided by eliminating arbitrators of the litigant nations.
   It is only in the case of monetary claims that these observations do
   not apply.

   "Another difficulty has been the method of procedure before
   international tribunals. This does not apply to monetary claims, but
   to disputes arising out of boundaries, interpretation of treaties,
   national rights, etc. The present method of an exchange of cases and
   of counter-cases is more diplomatic than judicial, since it does not
   put the parties in the relation of complainant and defendant. This
   relation can in every case be established, if not by mutual
   agreement, then by some agency of the League of Nations charged with
   that duty. Until this reform of procedure takes place there will be
   no definition of issues, and arbitration will continue to be the long
   and elaborate proceeding it has been in the past.

   "There is another practical obstacle to international arbitration as
   now conducted which ought to be considered, and that is the cost.
   This obstacle does not affect wealthy nations, but it does prevent
   small and poor nations from resorting to it as a means of settling
   disputes. Just how this can be remedied I am not prepared to say,
   although possibly the international support of all arbitral tribunals
   might be provided. At any rate, I feel that something should be done
   to relieve the great expense which now prevents many of the smaller
   nations from resorting to arbitration.

   "I would suggest, therefore, that the Peace Treaty contain a
   provision directing the League of Nations to hold a conference or to
   summon a conference to take up this whole matter and draft an
   international treaty dealing with the constitution of arbitral
   tribunals and radically revising the procedure.

   "On account of the difficulties of the subject, which do not appear
   on the surface, but which experience has shown to be very real, I
   feel that it would be impracticable to provide in the Peace Treaty
   too definitely the method of constituting arbitral tribunals. It will
   require considerable thought and discussion to make arbitration
   available to the poor as well as the rich, to make an award a
   judicial settlement rather than a diplomatic compromise, and to
   supersede the cumbersome and prolonged procedure with its duplication
   of documents and maps by a simple method which will settle the issues
   and materially shorten the proceedings which now unavoidably drag
   along for months, if not for years.

   "Faithfully yours

   "ROBERT LANSING

   "THE PRESIDENT

   "28 _Rue de Monceau_"

At the time that I sent this letter to Mr. Wilson I had not seen the
revised draft of the Covenant which he laid before the Commission on the
League of Nations. The probability is that, if I had seen it, the letter
would not have been written, for in the revision of the original draft
the objectionable Article V, relating to arbitration and appeals from
arbitral awards, was omitted. In place of it there were substituted two
articles, 11 and 12, the first being an agreement to arbitrate under
certain conditions and the other providing that "the Executive Council
will formulate plans for the establishment of a Permanent Court of
International Justice, and this Court will be competent to hear and
determine any matter which the parties recognize as suitable for
submission to it for arbitration."

Unadvised as to this change, which promised a careful consideration of
the method of applying legal principles of justice to international
disputes, I did not feel that I could let pass without challenge the
unsatisfactory provisions of the President's original draft. Knowing the
contempt which Mr. Wilson felt for The Hague Tribunal and his general
suspicion of the justice of decisions which it might render, it seemed
to me inexpedient to suggest that it should form the basis of a newly
constituted judiciary, a suggestion which I should have made had I been
dealing with any one other than President Wilson. In view of the
intensity of the President's prejudices and of the uselessness of
attempting to remove them, my letter was intended to induce him to
postpone a determination of the subject until the problems which it
presented could be thoroughly studied and a judicial system developed by
an international body of representatives more expert in juridical
matters than the Commission on the League of Nations, the American
members of which were incompetent by training, knowledge, and practical
experience to consider the subject.

No acknowledgment, either written or oral, was ever made of my letter of
February 3. Possibly President Wilson considered it unnecessary to do so
in view of the provision in his revised Covenant postponing discussion
of the subject. At the time, however, I naturally assumed that my
voluntary advice was unwelcome to him. His silence as to my
communications, which seemed to be intended to discourage a continuance
of them, gave the impression that he considered an uninvited opinion on
any subject connected with the League of Nations an unwarranted
interference with a phase of the negotiations which he looked upon as
his own special province, and that comment or suggestion, which did not
conform wholly to his views, was interpreted into opposition and
possibly into criticism of him personally.

This judgment of the President's mental attitude, which was formed at
the time, may have been too harsh. It is possible that the shortness of
time in which to complete the drafting of the report of the Commission
on the League of Nations, upon which he had set his heart, caused him to
be impatient of any criticism or suggestion which tended to interrupt
his work or that of the Commission. It may have been that pressure for
time prevented him from answering letters of the character of the one of
February 3. Whatever the real reason was, the fact remains that the
letter went unnoticed and the impression was made that it was futile to
attempt to divert the President from the single purpose which he had in
mind. His fidelity to his own convictions and his unswerving
determination to attain what he sought are characteristics of Mr. Wilson
which are sources of weakness as well as of strength. Through them
success has generally crowned his efforts, success which in some
instances has been more disastrous than failure would have been.

By what means the change of Article V of the original draft of the
Covenant took place, I cannot say. In the memorandum of Messrs. Miller
and Auchincloss no suggestion of a Court of International Justice
appears, which seems to indicate that the provision in the revised draft
did not originate with them or with Colonel House. In fact on more than
one occasion I had mentioned arbitration to the Colonel and found his
views on the subject extremely vague, though I concluded that he had
almost as poor an opinion of The Hague Tribunal as did the President.
The probability is that the change was suggested to Mr. Wilson by one of
the foreign statesmen in a personal interview during January and that
upon sounding others he found that they were practically unanimous in
favor of a Permanent Court of Justice. As a matter of policy it seemed
wise to forestall amendment by providing for its future establishment.
If this is the true explanation, Article 12 was not of American origin,
though it appears in the President's revised draft.

To be entirely frank in stating my views in regard to Mr. Wilson's
attitude toward international arbitration and its importance in a plan
of world organization, I have always been and still am skeptical of the
sincerity of the apparent willingness of the President to accept the
change which was inserted in his revised draft. It is difficult to avoid
the belief that Article V of the original draft indicated his true
opinion of the application of legal principles to controversies between
nations. That article, by depriving an arbitral award of finality and
conferring the power of review on a political body with authority to
order a rehearing, shows that the President believed that more complete
justice would be rendered if the precepts and rules of international law
were in a measure subordinated to political expediency and if the judges
were not permitted to view the questions solely from the standpoint of
legal justice. There is nothing that occurred, to my knowledge, between
the printing of the original draft of the Covenant and the printing of
the revised draft, which indicated a change of opinion by the President.
It may be that this is a misinterpretation of Mr. Wilson's attitude, and
that the change toward international arbitration was due to conviction
rather than to expediency; but my belief is that expediency was the
sole cause.




CHAPTER XII

REPORT OF COMMISSION ON LEAGUE OF NATIONS


The Commission on the League of Nations, over which President Wilson
presided, held ten meetings between February 3 and February 14, on which
latter day it submitted a report at a plenary session of the Conference
on the Preliminaries of Peace. The report was presented by the President
in an address of exceptional excellence which made a deep impression on
his hearers. His dignity of manner, his earnestness, and his logical
presentation of the subject, clothed as it was in well-chosen phrases,
unquestionably won the admiration of all, even of those who could not
reconcile their personal views with the Covenant, as reported by the
Commission. It was a masterly effort, an example of literary rather than
emotional oratory, peculiarly fitting to the occasion and to the temper
and intellectual character of the audience.

Considering the brief time given to its discussion in the Commission and
the necessary haste required to complete the document before the
President's departure, the Covenant as reported to the Conference was a
creditable piece of work. Many of the more glaring errors of expression
and some of the especially objectionable features of the President's
revised draft were eliminated. There were others which persisted, but
the improvement was so marked that the gross defects in word and phrase
largely disappeared. If one accepted the President's theory of
organization, there was little to criticize in the report, except a
certain inexactness of expression which indicated a lack of technical
knowledge on the part of those who put the Covenant into final form. But
these crudities and ambiguities of language would, it was fair to
presume, disappear if the articles passed through the hands of
drafting experts.

Fundamentally, however, the Covenant as reported was as wrong as the
President's original draft, since it contained the affirmative guaranty
of political independence and territorial integrity, the primacy of the
Five Great Powers on the Executive Council, and the perplexing and
seemingly unsound system of mandates. In this I could not willingly
follow President Wilson, but I felt that I had done all that I could
properly do in opposition to his theory. The responsibility of decision
rested with him and he had made his decision. There was nothing more
to be said.

On the evening of the day of the plenary session, at which the report of
the League of Nations was submitted, the President left Paris for Brest
where the George Washington was waiting to convey him to the United
States. He carried with him the report of the Commission, whose
deliberations and decisions he had so manifestly dominated. He went
prepared to meet his political antagonists and the enemies of the
League, confidently believing that he could win a popular support that
would silence the opposition which had been increasingly manifest in the
Halls of Congress and in some of the Republican newspapers which
declined to follow Mr. Taft, Mr. Wickersham, Mr. Straus, and other
influential Republican members of the League to Enforce Peace.

During the ten days preceding February 14, when the Commission on the
League of Nations held daily sessions, the President had no conferences
with the American Commissioners except, of course, with Colonel House,
his American colleague on the Commission on the League. On the morning
of the 14th, however, he called a meeting of the Commissioners and
delivered to them the printed report which was to be presented that
afternoon to the plenary session. As the meetings of the Commission on
the League of Nations had been secret, the American Commissioners, other
than Colonel House, were almost entirely ignorant of the proceedings and
of the progress being made. Colonel House's office staff knew far more
about it than did Mr. White, General Bliss, or I. When the President
delivered the report to the Commissioners they were, therefore, in no
position to express an opinion concerning it. The only remarks were
expressions of congratulation that he had been able to complete the work
before his departure. They were merely complimentary. As to the merits
of the document nothing was or could be said by the three Commissioners,
since no opportunity had been given them to study it, and without a
critical examination any comment concerning its provisions would have
been worthless. I felt and I presume that my two colleagues, who had not
been consulted as to the work of the Commission on the League, felt,
that it was, in any event, too late to offer suggestions or make
criticisms. The report was in print; it was that afternoon to be laid
before the Conference; in twelve hours the President would be on his way
to the United States. Clearly it would have been useless to find fault
with the report, especially if the objections related to the fundamental
ideas of the organization which it was intended to create. The President
having in the report declared the American policy, his commissioned
representatives were bound to acquiesce in his decision whatever their
personal views were. Acquiescence or resignation was the choice, and
resignation would have undoubtedly caused an unfortunate, if not a
critical, situation. In the circumstances acquiescence seemed the only
practical and proper course.

The fact that in ten meetings and in a week and a half a Commission
composed of fifteen members, ten of whom represented the Five Great
Powers and five of whom represented the lesser powers (to which were
later added four others), completed the drafting of a detailed plan of a
League of Nations, is sufficient in itself to raise doubts as to the
thoroughness with which the work was done and as to the care with which
the various plans and numerous provisions proposed were studied,
compared, and discussed. It gives the impression that many clauses were
accepted under the pressing necessity of ending the Commission's labors
within a fixed time. The document itself bears evidence of the haste
with which it was prepared, and is almost conclusive proof in itself
that it was adopted through personal influence rather than because of
belief in the wisdom of all its provisions.

The Covenant of the League of Nations was intended to be the greatest
international compact that had ever been written. It was to be the
_Maxima Charta_ of mankind securing to the nations their rights and
liberties and uniting them for the preservation of universal peace. To
harmonize the conflicting views of the members of the Commission--and it
was well known that they were conflicting--and to produce in eleven days
a world charter, which would contain the elements of greatness or even
of perpetuity, was on the face of it an undertaking impossible of
accomplishment. The document which was produced sufficiently establishes
the truth of this assertion.

It required a dominant personality on the Commission to force through a
detailed plan of a League in so short a time. President Wilson was such
a personality. By adopting the scheme of an oligarchy of the Great
Powers he silenced the dangerous opposition of the French and British
members of the Commission who willingly passed over minor defects in the
plan provided this Concert of Powers, this Quintuple Alliance, was
incorporated in the Covenant. And for the same reason it may be assumed
the Japanese and Italians found the President's plan acceptable. Mr.
Wilson won a great personal triumph, but he did so by surrendering the
fundamental principle of the equality of nations. In his eagerness to
"make the world safe for democracy" he abandoned international democracy
and became the advocate of international autocracy.

It is not my purpose to analyze the provisions of the Covenant which was
submitted to the Conference on the Preliminaries of Peace on February
14, 1919. My objections to it have been sufficiently discussed in the
preceding pages. It would be superfluous to repeat them. The innumerable
published articles and the endless debates on the Covenant have brought
out its good features as well as its defects. Unfortunately for the
opponents and defenders of the document alike some of the objections
urged have been flagrantly unjustifiable and based on false premises and
misstatements of fact and of law, which seem to show political motives
and not infrequently personal animosity toward Mr. Wilson. The
exaggerated statements and unfair arguments of some of the Senators,
larded, as they often were, with caustic sarcasm and vindictive
personalities, did much to prevent an honest and useful discussion of
the merits and demerits of the Covenant.

The effect upon President Wilson of this campaign against him
personally--and it seems to me that it would have had the same effect
upon any man of spirit--was to arouse his indignation. Possibly a less
stubborn man would not have assumed so uncompromising an attitude as he
did or have permitted his ire to find expression in threats, but it
cannot be denied that there was provocation for the resentment which he
exhibited. The President has been blamed for not having sought more
constantly to placate the opponents of the Covenant and to meet them on
a common ground of compromise, especially during his visit to the United
States in February, 1919. From the point of view of policy there is
justice in blaming him, but, when one considers the personal animus
shown and the insolent tone assumed by some of his critics, his conduct
was very human; not wise, but human. Mr. Wilson had never shown a spirit
of conciliation in dealing with those who opposed him. Even in the case
of a purely political question he appeared to consider opposition to be
a personal affront and he was disposed to retaliate in a personal way.
In a measure this explains the personal enmity of many of his political
foes. I think that it is not unjust to say that President Wilson was
stronger in his hatreds than in his friendships. He seemed to lack the
ability to forgive one who had in any way offended him or opposed him.

Believing that much of the criticism of the Covenant was in reality
criticism of him as its author, a belief that was in a measure
justified, the President made it a personal matter. He threatened, in a
public address delivered in the New York Opera House on the eve of his
departure for France, to force the Republican majority to accept the
Covenant by interweaving the League of Nations into the terms of peace
to such an extent that they could not be separated, so that, if they
rejected the League, they would be responsible for defeating the Treaty
and preventing a restoration of peace. With the general demand for peace
this seemed no empty threat, although the propriety of making it may be
questioned. It had, however, exactly the opposite effect from that which
the President intended. Its utterance proved to be as unwise as it was
ineffective. The opposition Senators resented the idea of being coerced.
They became more than ever determined to defeat a President whom they
charged with attempting to disregard and nullify the right of the Senate
to exercise independently its constitutional share in the treaty-making
power. Thus at the very outset of the struggle between the President and
the Senate a feeling of hostility was engendered which continued with
increasing bitterness on both sides and prevented any compromise or
concession in regard to the Covenant as it finally appeared in the
Treaty of Versailles.

When President Wilson returned to Paris after the adjournment of the
Sixty-Fifth Congress on March 4, 1919, he left behind him opponents who
were stronger and more confident than they were when he landed ten days
before. While his appeal to public opinion in favor of the League of
Nations had been to an extent successful, there was a general feeling
that the Covenant as then drafted required amendment so that the
sovereign rights and the traditional policies of the United States
should be safeguarded. Until the document was amended it seemed that the
opposition had the better of the argument with the people. Furthermore,
when the new Congress met, the Republicans would have a majority in the
Senate which was of special importance in the matter of the Treaty which
would contain the Covenant, because it would, when sent to the Senate,
be referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations to report on its
ratification and a majority of that Committee, under a Republican
organization, would presumably be hostile to the plan for a League
advocated by the President. The Committee could hinder and possibly
prevent the acceptance of the Covenant, while it would have the
opportunity to place the opposition's case in a favorable light before
the American people and to attack the President's conduct of the
negotiations at Paris.

I believe that the President realized the loss of strategic position
which he had sustained by the Democratic defeat at the polls in
November, 1918, but was persuaded that, by making certain alterations in
the Covenant suggested by Republicans favorable to the formation of a
League, and especially those advocating a League to Enforce Peace, he
would be able to win sufficient support in the Senate and from the
people to deprive his antagonists of the advantage which they had gained
by the elections. This he sought to do on his return to Paris about the
middle of March. If the same spirit of compromise had been shown while
he was in America it would doubtless have gone far to weaken hostility
to the Covenant. Unfortunately for his purpose he assumed a contrary
attitude, and in consequence the sentiment against the League was
crystallized and less responsive to the concessions which the President
appeared willing to make when the Commission on the League of Nations
resumed its sittings, especially as the obnoxious Article 10
remained intact.

In the formulation of the amendments to the Covenant, which were
incorporated in it after the President's return from the United States
and before its final adoption by the Conference, I had no part and I
have no reason to think that Mr. White or General Bliss shared in the
work. As these amendments or modifications did not affect the theory of
organization or the fundamental principles of the League, they in no way
changed my views or lessened the differences between the President's
judgment and mine. Our differences were as to the bases and not as to
the details of the Covenant. Since there was no disposition to change
the former we were no nearer an agreement than we were in January.

The President's visit to the United States had been disappointing to the
friends of a League in that he had failed to rally to the support of the
Covenant an overwhelming popular sentiment in its favor which the
opposition in the Senate could not resist. The natural reaction was that
the peoples of Europe and their statesmen lost a measure of their
enthusiasm and faith in the project. Except in the case of a few
idealists, there was a growing disposition to view it from the purely
practical point of view and to speculate on its efficacy as an
instrument to interpret and carry out the international will. Among the
leaders of political thought in the principal Allied countries, the
reports of the President's reception in the United States were
sufficiently conflicting to arouse doubt as to whether the American
people were actually behind him in his plan for a League, and this doubt
was not diminished by his proposed changes in the Covenant, which
indicated that he was not in full control of the situation at home.

Two weeks after the President had resumed his duties as a negotiator and
had begun the work of revising the Covenant, I made a memorandum of my
views as to the situation that then existed. The memorandum is
as follows:

   "_March_ 25, 1919

   "With the increasing military preparations and operations throughout
   Eastern Europe and the evident purpose of all these quarreling
   nations to ignore any idea of disarmament and to rely upon force to
   obtain and retain territory and rights, the League of Nations is
   being discussed with something like contempt by the cynical,
   hard-headed statesmen of those countries which are being put on a
   war-footing. They are cautious and courteous out of regard for the
   President. I doubt if the truth reaches him, but it comes to me from
   various sources.

   "These men say that in theory the idea is all right and is an ideal
   to work toward, but that under present conditions it is not practical
   in preventing war. They ask, what nation is going to rely on the
   guaranty in the Covenant if a jealous or hostile neighbor maintains a
   large army. They want to know whether it would be wise or not to
   disarm under such conditions. Of course the answers are obvious. But,
   if the guaranty is not sufficient, or accepted as sufficient,
   protection, what becomes of the central purpose of the League and the
   chief reason for creating it?

   "I believe that the President and Colonel House see this, though they
   do not admit it, and that to save the League from being cast into the
   discard they will attempt to make of it a sort of international
   agency to do certain things which would normally be done by
   independent international commissions. Such a course would save the
   League from being still-born and would so interweave it with the
   terms of peace that to eliminate it would be to open up some
   difficult questions.

   "Of course the League of Nations as originally planned had one
   supreme object and that was to prevent future wars. That was
   substantially all that it purposed to do. Since then new functions
   have been gradually added until the chief argument for the League's
   existence has been almost lost to sight. The League has been made a
   convenient 'catch-all' for all sorts of international actions. At
   first this was undoubtedly done to give the League something to do,
   and now it is being done to save it from extinction or from
   being ignored.

   "I am not denying that a common international agent may be a good
   thing. In fact the plan has decided merit. But the organization of
   the League does not seem to me suitable to perform efficiently and
   properly these new functions.

   "However, giving this character to the League may save it from being
   merely an agreeable dream. As the repository of international
   controversies requiring long and careful consideration it may live
   and be useful.

   "My impression is that the principal sponsors for the League are
   searching through the numerous disputes which are clogging the wheels
   of the Conference, seizing upon every one which can possibly be
   referred, and heaping them on the League of Nations to give it
   standing as a useful and necessary adjunct to the Treaty.

   "At least that is an interesting view of what is taking place and
   opens a wide field for speculation as to the future of the League and
   the verdict which history will render as to its origin, its nature,
   and its real value."

I quote this memorandum because it gives my thoughts at the time
concerning the process of weaving the League into the terms of peace as
the President had threatened to do. I thought then that it had a double
purpose, to give a practical reason for the existence of the League and
to make certain the ratification of the Covenant by the Senate. No fact
has since developed which has induced me to change my opinion.

In consequence of the functions which were added to the League, the
character of the League itself underwent a change. Instead of an agency
created solely for the prevention of international wars, it was
converted into an agency to carry out the terms of peace. Its idealistic
conception was subordinated to the materialistic purpose of confirming
to the victorious nations the rewards of victory. It is true that during
the long struggle between the President and the Senate on the question
of ratification there was in the debates a general return to the
original purpose of the League by both the proponents and opponents of
the Covenant, but that fact in no way affects the truth of the assertion
that, in order to save the League of Nations, its character was changed
by extending its powers and duties as a common agent of the nations
which had triumphed over the Central Alliance.

The day before the Treaty of Peace was delivered to the German
plenipotentiaries (May 6) its terms induced me to write a note entitled
"The Greatest Loss Caused by the War," referring to the loss of idealism
to the world. In that note I wrote of the League of Nations as follows:

   "Even the measure of idealism, with which the League of Nations was
   at the first impregnated, has, under the influence and intrigue of
   ambitious statesmen of the Old World, been supplanted by an open
   recognition that force and selfishness are primary elements in
   international co-operation. The League has succumbed to this
   reversion to a cynical materialism. It is no longer a creature of
   idealism. Its very source and reason have been dried up and have
   almost disappeared. The danger is that it will become a bulwark of
   the old order, a check upon all efforts to bring man again under the
   influence which he has lost."

The President, in the addresses which he afterward made in advocacy of
the Covenant and of ratification of the Treaty, indicated clearly the
wide divergence of opinion between us as to the character of the League
provided for in the Treaty. I do not remember that the subject was
directly discussed by us, but I certainly took no pains to hide my
misgivings as to the place it would have in the international relations
of the future. However, as Mr. Wilson knew that I disapproved of the
theory and basic principles of the organization, especially the
recognition of the oligarchy of the Five Powers, he could not but
realize that I considered that idealism had given place to political
expediency in order to secure for the Covenant the support of the
powerful nations represented at the Conference. This was my belief as to
our relations when the Treaty of Peace containing the Covenant was laid
before the Germans at the Hotel des Reservoirs in Versailles.




CHAPTER XIII

THE SYSTEM OF MANDATES


In the foregoing review of the opposite views held by the President and
by me in regard to the plan for a League of Nations and specifically in
regard to the Covenant as originally drawn and as revised, mention was
made of the proposed mandatory system as one of the subjects concerning
which we were not in agreement. My objections to the system were
advanced chiefly on the ground of the legal difficulties which it
presented because it seemed probable that the President would give more
weight to my opinion on that ground than on one which concerned the
policy of adopting the system. Viewed from the latter standpoint it
appeared to me most unwise for the President to propose a plan, in which
the United States would be expected to participate and which, if it did
participate, would involve it in the political quarrels of the Old
World. To do so would manifestly require a departure from the
traditional American policy of keeping aloof from the political
jealousies and broils of Europe. Without denying that present conditions
have, of necessity, modified the old policy of isolation and without
minimizing the influence of that fact on the conduct of American foreign
affairs, it did not seem essential for the United States to become the
guardian of any of the peoples of the Near East, who were aspiring to
become independent nationalities, a guardianship which the President
held to be a duty that the United States was bound to perform as its
share of the burden imposed by the international cooeperation which he
considered vital to the new world order.

The question of mandates issuing from the League of Nations was
discussed at length by the Council of Ten in connection with the
disposition and future control of the German colonies and incidentally
as to the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire. The discussions were
chiefly along the lines of practicability, of policy, and of moral
obligation. The President's strong support of the mandatory system and
his equally strong objection to the idea of _condominium_ showed that
his mind was made up in favor of the issuance of mandates by the League.
Since it would have been highly improper for me to oppose openly a
policy which the President had declared under his constitutional
authority, there was no proper opportunity to present the legal
difficulties of the system to the Council.

However, the seriousness of these difficulties and the possible troubles
and controversies which might be anticipated from attempting to put the
system into operation induced me, after one of the sessions of the
Council of Ten, to state briefly to the President some of the serious
objections to League mandates from the standpoint of international law
and the philosophy of government. President Wilson listened with his
usual attentiveness to what I had to say, though the objections
evidently did not appeal to him, as he characterized them as "mere
technicalities" which could be cured or disregarded. Impressed myself
with the importance of these "technicalities" and their direct bearing
on the policy of adopting the mandatory system, I later, on February 2,
1919, embodied them in a memorandum. At the time I hoped and believed
that the negotiation of the completed Covenant might be postponed and
that there would be another opportunity to raise the question. The
memorandum, prepared with this end in view, is as follows:

   "The system of 'mandatories under the League of Nations,' when
   applied to territories which were formerly colonies of Germany, the
   system which has been practically adopted and will be written into
   the plan for the League, raises some interesting and difficult
   questions:

   "The one, which is the most prominent since it enters into nearly all
   of the international problems presented, is--Where does the
   sovereignty over these territories reside?

   "Sovereignty is inherent in the very conception of government. It
   cannot be destroyed, though it may be absorbed by another sovereignty
   either by compulsion or cession. When the Germans were ousted from
   their colonies, the sovereignty passed to the power or powers which
   took possession. The location of the sovereignty up to the present is
   clear, but with the introduction of the League of Nations as an
   international primate superior to the conquerors some rather
   perplexing questions will have to be answered.

   "Do those who have seized the sovereignty transfer it or does Germany
   transfer it to the League of Nations? If so, how?

   "Does the League assume possession of the sovereignty on its
   renunciation by Germany? If so, how?

   "Does the League merely direct the disposition of the sovereignty
   without taking possession of it?

   "Assuming that the latter question is answered in the affirmative,
   then after such disposition of the right to exercise sovereignty,
   which will presumably be a limited right, where does the actual
   sovereignty reside?

   "The appointment of a mandatory to exercise sovereign rights over
   territory is to create an agent for the real sovereign. But who is
   the real sovereign?

   "Is the League of Nations the sovereign, or is it a common agent of
   the nations composing the League, to whom is confided solely the duty
   of naming the mandatory and issuing the mandate?

   "If the League is the sovereign, can it avoid responsibility for the
   misconduct of the mandatory, its agent?

   "If it is not the League, who is responsible for the mandatory's
   conduct?

   "Assuming that the mandatory in faithfully performing the provisions
   of the mandate unavoidably works an injustice upon another party, can
   or ought the mandatory to be held responsible? If not, how can the
   injured party obtain redress? Manifestly the answer is, 'From the
   sovereign,' but who is the sovereign?

   "In the Treaty of Peace Germany will be called upon to renounce
   sovereignty over her colonial possessions. To whom will the
   sovereignty pass?

   "If the reply is, 'The League of Nations,' the question is: Does the
   League possess the attributes of an independent state so that it can
   function as an owner of territory? If so, what is it? A world state?

   "If the League does not constitute a world state, then the
   sovereignty would have to pass to some national state. What national
   state? What would be the relation of the national state to
   the League?

   "If the League is to receive title to the sovereignty, what officers
   of the League are empowered to receive it and to transfer its
   exercise to a mandatory?

   "What form of acceptance should be adopted?

   "Would every nation which is a member of the League have to give its
   representatives full powers to accept the title?

   "Assuming that certain members decline to issue such powers or to
   accept title as to one or more of the territories, what relation
   would those members have to the mandatory named?"

There is no attempt in the memorandum to analyze or classify the queries
raised, and, as I review them in the light of the terms of the Treaty of
Versailles, I do not think that some of them can be asked with any
helpful purpose. On the other hand, many of the questions, I believe the
large majority, were as pertinent after the Treaty was completed as they
were when the memorandum was made.

As Colonel House was the other member of the Commission on the League of
Nations and would have to consider the practicability and expediency of
including the mandatory system in the Covenant, I read the memorandum to
him stating that I had orally presented most of the questions to the
President who characterized them as "legal technicalities" and for that
reason unimportant. I said to the Colonel that I differed with the
President, as I hoped he did, not only as to the importance of
considering the difficulties raised by the questions before the system
of mandates was adopted, but also as to the importance of viewing from
every standpoint the wisdom of the system and the difficulties that
might arise in its practical operation. I stated that, in my opinion, a
simpler and better plan was to transfer the sovereignty over territory
to a particular nation by a treaty of cession under such terms as seemed
wise and, in the case of some of the newly erected states, to have them
execute treaties accepting protectorates by Powers mutually acceptable
to those states and to the League of Nations.

Colonel House, though he listened attentively to the memorandum and to
my suggestions, did not seem convinced of the importance of the
questions or of the advantages of adopting any other plan than that of
the proposed mandatory system. To abandon the system meant to abandon
one of the ideas of international supervision, which the President
especially cherished and strongly advocated. It meant also to surrender
one of the proposed functions of the League as an agent in carrying out
the peace settlements under the Treaty, functions which would form the
basis of an argument in favor of the organization of the League and
furnish a practical reason for its existence. Of course the presumed
arguments against the abandonment of mandates may not have been
considered, but at the time I believed that they were potent with
Colonel House and with the President. The subsequent advocacy of the
system by these two influential members of the Commission on the League
of Nations, which resulted in its adoption, in no way lessened my belief
as to the reasons for their support.

The mandatory system, a product of the creative mind of General Smuts,
was a novelty in international relations which appealed strongly to
those who preferred to adopt unusual and untried methods rather than to
accept those which had been tested by experience and found practical of
operation. The self-satisfaction of inventing something new or of
evolving a new theory is inherent with not a few men. They are
determined to try out their ideas and are impatient of opposition which
seeks to prevent the experiment. In fact opposition seems sometimes to
enhance the virtue of a novelty in the minds of those who propose or
advocate its adoption. Many reformers suffer from this form of vanity.

In the case of the system of mandates its adoption by the Conference and
the conferring on the League of Nations the power to issue mandates
seemed at least to the more conservative thinkers at Paris a very
doubtful venture. It appeared to possess no peculiar advantages over the
old method of transferring and exercising sovereign control either in
providing added protection to the inhabitants of territory subject to a
mandate or greater certainty of international equality in the matter of
commerce and trade, the two principal arguments urged in favor of the
proposed system.

If the advocates of the system intended to avoid through its operation
the appearance of taking enemy territory as the spoils of war, it was a
subterfuge which deceived no one. It seemed obvious from the very first
that the Powers, which under the old practice would have obtained
sovereignty over certain conquered territories, would not be denied
mandates over those territories. The League of Nations might reserve in
the mandate a right of supervision of administration and even of
revocation of authority, but that right would be nominal and of little,
if any, real value provided the mandatory was one of the Great Powers as
it undoubtedly would be. The almost irresistible conclusion is that the
protagonists of the theory saw in it a means of clothing the League of
Nations with an apparent usefulness which justified the League by making
it the guardian of uncivilized and semi-civilized peoples and the
international agent to watch over and prevent any deviation from the
principle of equality in the commercial and industrial development of
the mandated territories.

It may appear surprising that the Great Powers so readily gave their
support to the new method of obtaining an apparently limited control
over the conquered territories, and did not seek to obtain complete
sovereignty over them. It is not necessary to look far for a sufficient
and very practical reason. If the colonial possessions of Germany had,
under the old practice, been divided among the victorious Powers and
been ceded to them directly in full sovereignty, Germany might justly
have asked that the value of such territorial cessions be applied on any
war indemnities to which the Powers were entitled. On the other hand,
the League of Nations in the distribution of mandates would presumably
do so in the interests of the inhabitants of the colonies and the
mandates would be accepted by the Powers as a duty and not to obtain new
possessions. Thus under the mandatory system Germany lost her
territorial assets, which might have greatly reduced her financial debt
to the Allies, while the latter obtained the German colonial possessions
without the loss of any of their claims for indemnity. In actual
operation the apparent altruism of the mandatory system worked in favor
of the selfish and material interests of the Powers which accepted the
mandates. And the same may be said of the dismemberment of Turkey. It
should not be a matter of surprise, therefore, that the President found
little opposition to the adoption of his theory, or, to be more
accurate, of the Smuts theory, on the part of the European statesmen.

There was one case, however, in which the issuance of a mandate appeared
to have a definite and practical value and to be superior to a direct
transfer of complete sovereignty or of the conditional sovereignty
resulting from the establishment of a protectorate. The case was that of
a territory with or without a national government, which, not being
self-supporting and not sufficiently strong to protect its borders from
aggressive neighbors, or its people sufficiently enlightened to govern
themselves properly, would be a constant source of expense instead of
profit to the Power, which as its protector and tutor became its
overlord. Under such conditions there was more probability of persuading
a nation inspired by humanitarian and altruistic motives to assume the
burden for the common good under the mandatory system than under the old
method of cession or of protectorate. As to nations, however, which
placed national interests first and made selfishness the standard of
international policy it was to be assumed that an appeal under either
system would be ineffective.

The truth of this was very apparent at Paris. In the tentative
distribution of mandates among the Powers, which took place on the
strong presumption that the mandatory system would be adopted, the
principal European Powers appeared to be willing and even eager to
become mandatories over territories possessing natural resources which
could be profitably developed and showed an unwillingness to accept
mandates for territories which, barren of mineral or agricultural
wealth, would be continuing liabilities rather than assets. This is not
stated by way of criticism, but only in explanation of what took place.

From the beginning to the end of the discussions on mandates and their
distribution among the Powers it was repeatedly declared that the United
States ought to participate in the general plan for the upbuilding of
the new states which under mandatories would finally become independent
nationalities, but it was never, to my knowledge, proposed, except by
the inhabitants of the region in question, that the United States should
accept a mandate for Syria or the Asiatic coast of the Aegean Sea. Those
regions were rich in natural resources and their economic future under a
stable government was bright. Expenditures in their behalf and the
direction of their public affairs would bring ample returns to the
mandatory nations. On the other hand, there was a sustained
propaganda--for it amounted to that--in favor of the United States
assuming mandates over Armenia and the municipal district of
Constantinople, both of which, if limited by the boundaries which it was
then purposed to draw, would be a constant financial burden to the Power
accepting the mandate, and, in the case of Armenia, would require that
Power to furnish a military force estimated at not less than 50,000 men
to prevent the aggression of warlike neighbors and to preserve domestic
order and peace.

It is not too severe to say of those who engaged in this propaganda that
the purpose was to take advantage of the unselfishness of the American
people and of the altruism and idealism of President Wilson in order to
impose on the United States the burdensome mandates and to divide those
which covered desirable territories among the European Powers. I do not
think that the President realized at the time that an actual propaganda
was going on, and I doubt very much whether he would have believed it if
he had been told. Deeply impressed with the idea that it was the moral
duty of the great and enlightened nations to aid the less fortunate and
especially to guard the nationalities freed from autocratic rule until
they were capable of self-government and self-protection, the President
apparently looked upon the appeals made to him as genuine expressions of
humanitarianism and as manifestations of the opinion of mankind
concerning the part that the United States ought to take in the
reconstruction of the world. His high-mindedness and loftiness of
thought blinded him to the sordidness of purpose which appears to have
induced the general acquiescence in his desired system of mandates, and
the same qualities of mind caused him to listen sympathetically to
proposals, the acceptance of which would give actual proof of the
unselfishness of the United States.

Reading the situation thus and convinced of the objections against the
mandatory system from the point of view of international law, of policy
and of American interests, I opposed the inclusion of the system in the
plan for a League of Nations. In view of the attitude which Mr. Wilson
had taken toward my advice regarding policies I confined the objections
which I presented to him, as I have stated, to those based on legal
difficulties. The objections on the ground of policy were made to
Colonel House in the hope that through him they might reach the
President and open his eyes to the true state of affairs. Whether they
ever did reach him I do not know. Nothing in his subsequent course of
action indicated that they did.

But, if they did, he evidently considered them as invalid as he did the
objections arising from legal difficulties. The system of mandates was
written into the Treaty and a year after the Treaty was signed President
Wilson asked the Congress for authority to accept for the United States
a mandate over Armenia. This the Congress refused. It is needless to
make further comment.




CHAPTER XIV

DIFFERENCES AS TO THE LEAGUE RECAPITULATED


The differences between the President's views and mine in regard to the
character of the League of Nations and to the provisions of the Covenant
relating to the organization and functions of the League were
irreconcilable, and we were equally in disagreement as to the duties of
the League in carrying out certain provisions of the Treaty of Peace as
the common agent of the signatory Powers. As a commissioned
representative of the President of the United States acting under his
instructions I had no alternative but to accept his decisions and to
follow his directions, since surrender of my commission as Peace
Commissioner seemed to me at the time to be practically out of the
question. I followed his directions, however, with extreme reluctance
because I felt that Mr. Wilson's policies were fundamentally wrong and
would unavoidably result in loss of prestige to the United States and to
him as its Chief Magistrate. It seemed to me that he had endangered, if
he had not destroyed, his preeminent position in world affairs in order
to obtain the acceptance of his plan for a League of Nations, a plan
which in theory and in detail was so defective that it would be
difficult to defend it successfully from critical attack.

The objections to the terms of the Covenant, which I had raised at the
outset, were based on principle and also on policy, as has been shown in
the preceding pages; and on the same grounds I had opposed their hasty
adoption and their inclusion in the Peace Treaty to be negotiated at
Paris by the Conference. These objections and the arguments advanced in
their support did not apparently have any effect on President Wilson,
for they failed to change his views or to modify the plan which he, with
General Smuts and Lord Robert Cecil, had worked out for an international
organization. They did not swerve him one jot from his avowed purpose to
make the creation of the League of Nations the principal feature of the
negotiations and the provisions of the Covenant the most prominent
articles in the Treaties of Peace with the Central Powers.

Instead of accomplishing their designed purpose, my efforts to induce
the President to change his policy resulted only in my losing his
confidence in my judgment and in arousing in his mind, if I do not
misinterpret his conduct, doubts of my loyalty to him personally. It was
characteristic of Mr. Wilson that his firm conviction as to the
soundness of his conclusions regarding the character of the League of
Nations and his fixity of purpose in seeking to compel its adoption by
the Peace Conference were so intense as to brook no opposition,
especially from one whom he expected to accept his judgment without
question and to give support in thought and word to any plan or policy
which he advocated. In view of this mental attitude of the President it
is not difficult to understand his opinion of my course of action at
Paris. The breach in our confidential relations was unavoidable in view
of my conviction of the duty of an official adviser and his belief that
objections ought not to be urged as to a matter concerning which he had
expressed his opinion. To give implied assent to policies and intentions
which seemed to me wrong or unwise would have been violative of a public
trust, though doubtless by remaining silent I might have won favor and
approval from the President and retained his confidence.

In summarizing briefly the subjects of disagreement between the
President and myself concerning the League of Nations I will follow the
order of importance rather than the order in which they arose. While
they also divide into two classes, those based on principle and those
based on policy, it does not seem advisable to treat them by classes in
the summary.

The most serious defect in the President's Covenant was, in my opinion,
one of principle. It was the practical denial of the equality of nations
in the regulation of international affairs in times of peace through the
recognition in the Executive Council of the League of the right of
primacy of the Five Great Powers. This was an abandonment of a
fundamental principle of international law and comity and was
destructive of the very conception of national sovereignty both as a
term of political philosophy and as a term of constitutional law. The
denial of the equal independence and the free exercise of sovereign
rights of all states in the conduct of their foreign affairs, and the
establishment of this group of primates, amounted to a recognition of
the doctrine that the powerful are, in law as well as in fact, entitled
to be the overlords of the weak. If adopted, it legalized the mastery of
might, which in international relations, when peace prevailed, had been
universally condemned as illegal and its assertion as reprehensible.

It was this doctrine, that the possessors of superior physical power
were as a matter of right the supervisors, if not the dictators, of
those lacking the physical power to resist their commands, which was the
vital element of ancient imperialism and of modern Prussianism. Belief
in it as a true theory of world polity justified the Great War in the
eyes of the German people even when they doubted the plea of their
Government that their national safety was in peril. The victors,
although they had fought the war with the announced purpose of proving
the falsity of this pernicious doctrine and of emancipating the
oppressed nationalities subject to the Central Powers, revived the
doctrine with little hesitation during the negotiations at Paris and
wrote it into the Covenant of the League of Nations by contriving an
organization which would give practical control over the destinies of
the world to an oligarchy of the Five Great Powers. It was an assumption
of the right of supremacy based on the fact that the united strength of
these Powers could compel obedience. It was a full endorsement of the
theory of "the balance of power" in spite of the recognized evils of
that doctrine in its practical application. Beneath the banner of the
democracies of the world was the same sinister idea which had found
expression in the Congress of Vienna with its purpose of protecting the
monarchical institutions of a century ago. It proclaimed in fact that
mankind must look to might rather than right, to force rather than law,
in the regulation of international affairs for the future.

This defect in the theory, on which the League of Nations was to be
organized, was emphasized and given permanency by the adoption of a
mutual guaranty of territorial integrity and political independence
against external aggression. Since the burden of enforcing the guaranty
would unavoidably fall upon the more powerful nations, they could
reasonably demand the control over affairs which might develop into a
situation requiring a resort to the guaranty. In fact during a plenary
session of the Peace Conference held on May 31, 1919, President Wilson
stated as a broad principle that responsibility for protecting and
maintaining a settlement under one of the Peace Treaties carried with it
the right to determine what that settlement should be. The application
to the case of responsible guarantors is obvious and was apparently in
mind when the Covenant was being evolved. The same principle was applied
throughout the negotiations at Paris.

The mutual guaranty from its affirmative nature compelled in fact,
though not in form, the establishment of a ruling group, a coalition of
the Great Powers, and denied, though not in terms, the equality of
nations. The oligarchy was the logical result of entering into the
guaranty or the guaranty was the logical result of the creation of the
oligarchy through the perpetuation of the basic idea of the Supreme War
Council. No distinction was made as to a state of war and a state of
peace. Strongly opposed to the abandonment of the principle of the
equality of nations in times of peace I naturally opposed the
affirmative guaranty and endeavored to persuade the President to accept
as a substitute for it a self-denying or negative covenant which
amounted to a promise of "hands-off" and in no way required the
formation of an international oligarchy to make it effective.

In addition to the foregoing objection I opposed the guaranty on the
ground that it was politically inexpedient to attempt to bind the United
States by a treaty provision which by its terms would certainly invite
attack as to its constitutionality. Without entering into the strength
of the legal argument, and without denying that there are two sides to
the question, the fact that it was open to debate whether the
treaty-making power under the Constitution could or could not obligate
the Government of the United States to make war under certain conditions
was in my judgment a practical reason for avoiding the issue. If the
power existed to so bind the United States by treaty on the theory that
the Federal Government could not be restricted in its right to make
international agreements, then the guaranty would be attacked as an
unwise and needless departure from the traditional policies of the
Republic. If the power did not exist, then the violation of the
Constitution would be an effective argument against such an undertaking.
Whatever the conclusion might be, therefore, as to the legality of the
guaranty or as to whether the obligation was legal or moral in nature,
it did not seem possible for it to escape criticism and vigorous attack
in America.

It seemed to me that the President's guaranty was so vulnerable from
every angle that to insist upon it would endanger the acceptance of any
treaty negotiated if the Covenant was, in accordance with the
President's plan, made an integral part of it. Then, too, opposition
would, in my opinion, develop on the ground that the guaranty would
permit European Powers to participate, if they could not act
independently, in the forcible settlement of international quarrels in
the Western Hemisphere whenever there was an actual invasion of
territory or violation of sovereignty, while conversely the United
States would be morally, if not legally, bound to take part in coercive
measures in composing European differences under similar conditions. It
could be urged with much force that the Monroe Doctrine in the one case
and the Washington policy of avoiding "entangling alliances" in the
other would be so affected that they would both have to be substantially
abandoned or else rewritten. If the American people were convinced that
this would be the consequence of accepting the affirmative guaranty, it
meant its rejection. In any event it was bound to produce an acrimonious
controversy. From the point of view of policy alone it seemed unwise to
include the guaranty in the Covenant, and believing that an objection on
that ground would appeal to the President more strongly than one based
on principle, I emphasized that objection, though in my own mind the
other was the more vital and more compelling.

The points of difference relating to the League of Nations between the
President's views and mine, other than the recognition of the primacy of
the Great Powers, the affirmative guaranty and the resulting denial in
fact of the equality of nations in times of peace, were the provisions
in the President's original draft of the Covenant relating to
international arbitrations, the subordination of the judicial power to
the political power, and the proposed system of mandates. Having
discussed with sufficient detail the reasons which caused me to oppose
these provisions, and having stated the efforts made to induce President
Wilson to abandon or modify them, repetition would be superfluous. It is
also needless, in view of the full narrative of events contained in
these pages, to state that I failed entirely in my endeavor to divert
the President from his determination to have these provisions inserted
in the Covenant, except in the case of international arbitrations, and
even in that case I do not believe that my advice had anything to do
with his abandonment of his ideas as to the method of selecting
arbitrators and the right of appeal from arbitral awards. Those changes
and the substitution of an article providing for the future creation of
a Permanent Court of International Justice, were, in my opinion, as I
have said, a concession to the European statesmen and due to their
insistence.

President Wilson knew that I disagreed with him as to the relative
importance of restoring a state of peace at the earliest date possible
and of securing the adoption of a plan for the creation of a League of
Nations. He was clearly convinced that the drafting and acceptance of
the Covenant was superior to every other task imposed on the Conference,
that it must be done before any other settlement was reached and that it
ought to have precedence in the negotiations. His course of action was
conclusive evidence of this conviction.

On the other hand, I favored the speedy negotiation of a short and
simple preliminary treaty, in which, so far as the League of Nations was
concerned, there would be a series of declarations and an agreement for
a future international conference called for the purpose of drafting a
convention in harmony with the declarations in the preliminary treaty.
By adopting this course a state of peace would have been restored in the
early months of 1919, official intercourse and commercial relations
would have been resumed, the more complex and difficult problems of
settlement would have been postponed to the negotiation of the
definitive Treaty of Peace, and there would have been time to study
exhaustively the purposes, powers, and practical operations of a League
before the organic agreement was put into final form. Postponement would
also have given opportunity to the nations, which had continued neutral
throughout the war, to participate in the formation of the plan for a
League on an equal footing with the nations which had been belligerents.
In the establishment of a world organization universality of
international representation in reaching an agreement seemed to me
advisable, if not essential, provided the nations represented were
democracies and not autocracies.

It was to be presumed also that at a conference entirely independent of
the peace negotiations and free from the influences affecting the terms
of peace, there would be more general and more frank discussions
regarding the various phases of the subject than was possible at a
conference ruled by the Five Great Powers and dominated in its
decisions, if not in its opinions, by the statesmen of those Powers.

To perfect such a document, as the Covenant of the League of Nations was
intended to be, required expert knowledge, practical experience in
international relations, and an exchange of ideas untrammeled by
immediate questions of policy or by the prejudices resulting from the
war and from national hatreds and jealousies. It was not a work for
politicians, novices, or inexperienced theorists, but for trained
statesmen and jurists, who were conversant with the fundamental
principles of international law, with the usages of nations in their
intercourse with one another, and with the successes and failures of
previous experiments in international association. The President was
right in his conception as to the greatness of the task to be
accomplished, but he was wrong, radically wrong, in believing that it
could be properly done at the Paris Conference under the conditions
which there prevailed and in the time given for consideration of
the subject.

To believe for a moment that a world constitution--for so its advocates
looked upon the Covenant--could be drafted perfectly or even wisely in
eleven days, however much thought individuals may have previously given
to the subject, seems on the face of it to show an utter lack of
appreciation of the problems to be solved or else an abnormal confidence
in the talents and wisdom of those charged with the duty. If one
compares the learned and comprehensive debates that took place in the
convention which drafted the Constitution of the United States, and the
months that were spent in the critical examination word by word of the
proposed articles, with the ten meetings of the Commission on the League
of Nations prior to its report of February 14 and with the few hours
given to debating the substance and language of the Covenant, the
inferior character of the document produced by the Commission ought not
to be a matter of wonder. It was a foregone conclusion that it would be
found defective. Some of these defects were subsequently corrected, but
the theory and basic principles, which were the chief defects in the
plan, were preserved with no substantial change.

But the fact, which has been repeatedly asserted in the preceding pages
and which cannot be too strongly emphasized by repetition, is that the
most potent and most compelling reason for postponing the consideration
of a detailed plan for an international organization was that such a
consideration at the outset of the negotiations at Paris obstructed and
delayed the discussion and settlement of the general terms necessary to
the immediate restoration of a state of peace. Those who recall the
political and social conditions in Europe during the winter of 1918-19,
to which reference has already been made, will comprehend the
apprehension caused by anything which interrupted the negotiation of the
peace. No one dared to prophesy what might happen if the state of
political uncertainty and industrial stagnation, which existed under the
armistices, continued.

The time given to the formulation of the Covenant of the League of
Nations and the determination that it should have first place in the
negotiations caused such a delay in the proceedings and prevented a
speedy restoration of peace. Denial of this is useless. It is too
manifest to require proof or argument to support it. It is equally true,
I regret to say, that President Wilson was chiefly responsible for this.
If he had not insisted that a complete and detailed plan for the League
should be part of the treaty negotiated at Paris, and if he had not also
insisted that the Covenant be taken up and settled in terms before other
matters were considered, a preliminary treaty of peace would in all
probability have been signed, ratified, and in effect during
April, 1919.

Whatever evils resulted from the failure of the Paris Conference to
negotiate promptly a preliminary treaty--and it must be admitted they
were not a few--must be credited to those who caused the delay. The
personal interviews and secret conclaves before the Commission on the
League of Nations met occupied a month and a half. Practically another
half month was consumed in sessions of the Commission. The month
following was spent by President Wilson on his visit to the United
States explaining the reported Covenant and listening to criticisms.
While much was done during his absence toward the settlement of numerous
questions, final decision in every case awaited his return to Paris.
After his arrival the Commission on the League renewed its sittings to
consider amendments to its report, and it required over a month to put
it in final form for adoption; but during this latter period much time
was given to the actual terms of peace, which on account of the delay
caused in attempting to perfect the Covenant had taken the form of a
definitive rather than a preliminary treaty.

It is conservative to say that between two and three months were spent
in the drafting of a document which in the end was rejected by the
Senate of the United States and was responsible for the non-ratification
of the Treaty of Versailles. In view of the warnings that President
Wilson had received as to the probable result of insisting on the plan
of a League which he had prepared and his failure to heed the warnings,
his persistency in pressing for acceptance of the Covenant before
anything else was done makes the resulting delay in the peace less
excusable.

Two weeks after the President returned from the United States in March
the common opinion was that the drafting of the Covenant had delayed the
restoration of peace, an opinion which was endorsed in the press of many
countries. The belief became so general and aroused so much popular
condemnation that Mr. Wilson considered it necessary to make a public
denial, in which he expressed surprise at the published views and
declared that the negotiations in regard to the League of Nations had in
no way delayed the peace. Concerning the denial and the subject with
which it dealt, I made on March 28 the following memorandum:

   "The President has issued a public statement, which appears in this
   morning's papers, in which he refers to the 'surprising impression'
   that the discussions concerning the League of Nations have delayed
   the making of peace and he flatly denies that the impression is
   justified.

   "I doubt if this statement will remove the general impression which
   amounts almost to a conviction. Every one knows that the President's
   thoughts and a great deal of his time prior to his departure for the
   United States were given to the formulation of the plan for a League
   and that he insisted that the 'Covenant' should be drafted and
   reported before the other features of the peace were considered. The
   _real_ difficulties of the present situation, which had to be settled
   before the treaty could be drafted, were postponed until his return
   here on March 13th.

   "In fact the real bases of peace have only just begun to receive the
   attention which they deserve.

   "If such questions as the Rhine Provinces, Poland, reparations, and
   economic arrangements had been taken up by the President and Premiers
   in January, and if they had sat day and night, as they are now
   sitting _in camera,_ until each was settled, the peace treaty would,
   I believe, be to-day on the Conference's table, if not
   actually signed.

   "Of course the insistence that the plan of the League be first pushed
   to a draft before all else prevented the settlement of the other
   questions. Why attempt to refute what is manifestly true? I regret
   that the President made the statement because I do not think that it
   carries conviction. I fear that it will invite controversy and
   denial, and that it puts the President on the defensive."

The views expressed in this memorandum were those held, I believe, by
the great majority of persons who participated in the Peace Conference
or were in intimate touch with its proceedings. Mr. Wilson's published
denial may have converted some to the belief that the drafting of the
Covenant was in no way responsible for the delay of the peace, but the
number of converts must have been very few, as it meant utter ignorance
of or indifference to the circumstances which conclusively proved the
incorrectness of the statement.

The effect of this attempt of President Wilson to check the growing
popular antipathy to the League as an obstacle to the speedy restoration
of peace was to cause speculation as to whether he really appreciated
the situation. If he did not, it was affirmed that he was ignorant of
public opinion or else was lacking in mental acuteness. If he did
appreciate the state of affairs, it was said that his statement was
uttered with the sole purpose of deceiving the people. In either case he
fell in public estimation. It shows the unwisdom of having issued
the denial.




CHAPTER XV

THE PROPOSED TREATY WITH FRANCE


There is one subject, connected with the consideration of the mutual
guaranty which, as finally reported by the Commission on the League of
Nations, appears as Article 10 of the Covenant, that should be briefly
reviewed, as it directly bears upon the value placed upon the guaranty
by the French statesmen who accepted it. I refer to the treaties
negotiated by France with the United States and Great Britain
respectively. These treaties provided that, in the event of France being
again attacked by Germany without provocation, the two Powers severally
agreed to come to the aid of the French Republic in repelling the
invasion. The joint nature of the undertaking was in a provision in each
treaty that a similar treaty would be signed by the other Power,
otherwise the agreement failed. The undertakings stated in practically
identical terms in the two treaties constituted, in fact, a triple
defensive alliance for the preservation of the integrity of French
territory and French independence. It had the same object as the
guaranty in the Covenant, though it went even further in the assurance
of affirmative action, and was, therefore, open to the same objections
on the grounds of constitutionality and policy as Article 10.

In a note, dated March 20, stating my "Impressions as to the Present
Situation," I discussed the endeavors being made by the President to
overcome opposition and to remove obstacles to the acceptance of his
plan for a League of Nations by means of compromises and concessions. In
the note appears the following:

   "An instance of the lengths to which these compromises and makeshifts
   are going, occurred this morning when Colonel House sent to Mr.
   White, General Bliss, and me for our opinion the following proposal:
   That the United States, Great Britain, and France enter into a formal
   alliance to resist any aggressive action by Germany against France or
   Belgium, and to employ their military, financial, and economic
   resources for this purpose in addition to exerting their moral
   influence to prevent such aggression.

   "We three agreed that, if that agreement was made, the chief reason
   for a League of Nations, as now planned, disappeared. So far as
   France and Belgium were concerned the alliance was all they needed
   for their future safety. They might or might not accept the League.
   Of course they would if the alliance depended upon their acceptance.
   They would do most anything to get such an alliance.

   "The proposal was doubtless made to remove two provisions on which
   the French are most insistent: _First_, an international military
   staff to be prepared to use force against Germany if there were signs
   of military activity; _second_, the creation of an independent
   Rhenish Republic to act as a 'buffer' state. Of course the triple
   alliance would make these measures needless.

   "What impressed me most was that to gain French support for the
   League the proposer of the alliance was willing to destroy the chief
   feature of the League. It seemed to me that here was utter blindness
   as to the consequences of such action. There appears to have been no
   thought given as to the way other nations, like Poland, Bohemia, and
   the Southern Slavs, would view the formation of an alliance to
   protect France and Belgium alone. Manifestly it would increase rather
   than decrease their danger from Germany since she would have to look
   eastward and southward for expansion. Of course they would not accept
   as sufficient the guaranty in the Covenant when France and Belgium
   declined to do it.

   "How would such a proposal be received in the United States with its
   traditional policy of avoiding 'entangling alliances'? Of course,
   when one considers it, the proposal is preposterous and would be
   laughed at and rejected."

This was the impression made upon me at the time that this triple
alliance against Germany was first proposed. I later came to look upon
it more seriously and to recognize the fact that there were some valid
reasons in favor of the proposal. The subject was not further discussed
by the Commissioners for several weeks, but it is clear from what
followed that M. Clemenceau, who naturally favored the idea, continued
to press the President to agree to the plan. What arguments were
employed to persuade him I cannot say, but, knowing the shrewdness of
the French Premier in taking advantage of a situation, my belief is that
he threatened to withdraw or at least gave the impression that he would
withdraw his support of the League of Nations or else would insist on a
provision in the Covenant creating a general staff and an international
military force and on a provision in the treaty establishing a Rhenish
Republic or else ceding to France all territory west of the Rhine. To
avoid the adoption of either of these provisions, which would have
endangered the approval of his plan for world organization, the
President submitted to the French demand. At least I assume that was the
reason, for he promised to enter into the treaty of assistance which M.
Clemenceau insisted should be signed.

It is of course possible that he was influenced in his decision by the
belief that the knowledge that such an agreement existed would be
sufficient to deter Germany from even planning another invasion of
France, but my opinion is that the desire to win French support for the
Covenant was the chief reason for the promise that he gave. It should be
remembered that at the time both the Italians and Japanese were
threatening to make trouble unless their territorial ambitions were
satisfied. With these two Powers disaffected and showing a disposition
to refuse to accept membership in the proposed League of Nations the
opposition of France to the Covenant would have been fatal. It would
have been the end of the President's dream of a world organized to
maintain peace by an international guaranty of national boundaries and
sovereignties. Whether France would in the end have insisted on the
additional guaranty of protection I doubt, but it is evident that Mr.
Wilson believed that she would and decided to prevent a disaster to his
plan by acceding to the wishes of his French colleague.

Some time in April prior to the acceptance of the Treaty of Peace by the
Premiers of the Allied Powers, the President and Mr. Lloyd George agreed
with M. Clemenceau to negotiate the treaties of protective alliance
which the French demanded. The President advised me of his decision on
the day before the Treaty was delivered to the German plenipotentiaries
stating in substance that his promise to enter into the alliance formed
a part of the settlements as fully as if written into the Treaty. I told
him that personally I considered an agreement to negotiate the treaty of
assistance a mistake, as it discredited Article 10 of the Covenant,
which he considered all-important, and as it would, I was convinced, be
the cause of serious opposition in the United States. He replied that he
considered it necessary to adopt this policy in the circumstances, and
that, at any rate, having passed his word with M. Clemenceau, who was
accepting the Treaty because of his promise, it was too late to
reconsider the matter and useless to discuss it.

Subsequently the President instructed me to have a treaty drafted in
accordance with a memorandum which he sent me. This was done by Dr.
James Brown Scott and the draft was approved and prepared for signature.
On the morning of June 28, the same day on which the Treaty of
Versailles was signed, the protective treaty with France was signed at
the President's residence in the Place des Etats Unis by M. Clemenceau
and M. Pichon for the French Republic and by President Wilson and myself
for the United States, Mr. Lloyd George and Mr. Balfour signing at the
same time a similar treaty for Great Britain. Though disagreeing with
the policy of the President in regard to this special treaty it would
have been futile for me to have refused to accept the full powers issued
to me on June 27 or to have declined to follow the directions to act as
a plenipotentiary in signing the document. Such a course would not have
prevented Mr. Wilson from entering into the defensive alliance with
France and Great Britain and might have actually delayed the peace.
Feeling strongly the supreme necessity of ending the existing state of
war as soon as possible I did not consider that I would be justified in
refusing to act as the formal agent of the President or in disobeying
his instructions as such agent. In view of the long delay in
ratification of the Treaty of the Peace, I have since doubted whether I
acted wisely. But at the time I was convinced that the right course was
the one which I followed.

In spite of the fact that my judgment was contrary to the President's as
to the wisdom of negotiating this treaty because I considered the policy
of doing so bad from the standpoint of national interests and of
doubtful expediency in view of the almost certain rejection of it by the
United States Senate and of its probable effect on any plan for general
disarmament, I was not entirely satisfied because I could not disregard
the fact that an argument could be made in its favor which was not
without force.

The United States entered the war to check the progress of the
autocratic imperialism of Germany. That purpose became generally
recognized before the victory was won. In making peace it was deemed,
therefore, a matter of first importance to make impossible a revival of
the aggressive spirit and ambitious designs of Germany. The prevailing
bitterness against France because of the territorial cessions and the
reparations demanded by the victor would naturally cause the German
people to seek future opportunity to be revenged. With a population
almost, if not quite, double that of the French Republic, Germany would
be a constant menace to the nation which had suffered so terribly in the
past by reason of the imperialistic spirit prevalent in the German
Empire. The fear of that menace strongly influenced the French policies
during the negotiations at Paris. In fact it was hard to avoid the
feeling that this fear dominated the conduct of the French delegates and
the attitude of their Government. They demanded much, and recognizing
the probable effect of their demands on the German people sought to
obtain special protection in case their vanquished enemy attempted in
the future to dispossess them by force of the land which he had been
compelled to surrender or attempted to make them restore the
indemnity paid.

Whether France could have avoided the danger of German attack in the
future by lessening her demands, however just they might be, is neither
here nor there. It makes little practical difference how that question
is answered. The important fact is that the settlements in favor of
France under the Treaty were of a nature which made the continuance of
peace between the two nations doubtful if Germany possessed the ability
to regain her military strength and if nothing was done to prevent her
from using it. In these circumstances a special protective treaty seemed
a practical way to check the conversion of the revengeful spirit of the
Germans into another war of invasion.

However valid this argument in favor of the two treaties of assistance,
and though my personal sympathy for France inclined me to satisfy her
wishes, my judgment, as an American Commissioner, was that American
interests and the traditional policies of the United States were against
this alliance. Possibly the President recognized the force of the
argument in favor of the treaty and valued it so highly that he
considered it decisive. Knowing, however, his general attitude toward
French demands and his confidence in the effectiveness of the guaranty
in the Covenant, I believe that the controlling reason for promising the
alliance and negotiating the treaty was his conviction that it was
necessary to make this concession to the French in order to secure their
support for the Covenant and to check the disposition in certain
quarters to make the League of Nations essentially a military coalition
under a general international staff organized and controlled by
the French.

There were those who favored the mutual guaranty in the Covenant, but
who strongly opposed the separate treaty with France. Their objection
was that, in view of the general guaranty, the treaty of assistance was
superfluous, or, if it were considered necessary, then it discredited
the Covenant's guaranty. The argument was logical and difficult to
controvert. It was the one taken by delegates of the smaller nations who
relied on the general guaranty to protect their countries from future
aggressions on the part of their powerful neighbors. If the guaranty of
the Covenant was sufficient protection for them, they declared that it
ought to be sufficient for France. If France doubted its sufficiency,
how could they be content with it?

Since my own judgment was against any form of guaranty imposing upon the
United States either a legal or a moral obligation to employ coercive
measures under certain conditions arising in international affairs, I
could not conscientiously support the idea of the French treaty. This
further departure from America's historic policy caused me to accept
President Wilson's "guidance and direction ... with increasing
reluctance," as he aptly expressed it in his letter of February 11,
1920. We did not agree, we could not agree, since our points of view
were so much at variance.

Yet, in spite of the divergence of our views as to the negotiations
which constantly increased and became more and more pronounced during
the six months at Paris, our personal relations continued unchanged; at
least there was no outward evidence of the actual breach which existed.
As there never had been the personal intimacy between the President and
myself, such as existed in the case of Colonel House and a few others of
his advisers, and as our intercourse had always been more or less formal
in character, it was easier to continue the official relations that had
previously prevailed. I presume that Mr. Wilson felt, as I did, that it
would create an embarrassing situation in the negotiations if there was
an open rupture between us or if my commission was withdrawn or
surrendered and I returned to the United States before the Treaty of
Peace was signed. The effect, too, upon the situation in the Senate
would be to strengthen the opposition to the President's purposes and
furnish his personal, as well as his political, enemies with new grounds
for attacking him.

I think, however, that our reasons for avoiding a public break in our
official relations were different. The President undoubtedly believed
that such an event would jeopardize the acceptance of the Covenant by
the United States Senate in view of the hostility to it which had
already developed and which was supplemented by the bitter animosity to
him personally which was undisguised. On my part, the chief reason for
leaving the situation undisturbed was that I was fully convinced that my
withdrawal from the American Commission would seriously delay the
restoration of peace, possibly in the signature of the Treaty at Paris
and certainly in its ratification at Washington. Considering that the
time had passed to make an attempt to change Mr. Wilson's views on any
fundamental principle, and believing it a duty to place no obstacle in
the way of the signature and ratification of the Treaty of Peace with
Germany, I felt that there was no course for me as a representative of
the United States other than to obey the President's orders however
strong my personal inclination might be to refuse to follow a line of
action which seemed to me wrong in principle and unwise in policy.

In view of the subsequent contest between the President and the
opposition Senators over the Treaty of Versailles, resulting in its
non-ratification and the consequent delay in the restoration of a state
of peace between the United States and Germany, my failure at Paris to
decline to follow the President may be open to criticism, if not to
censure. But it can hardly be considered just to pass judgment on my
conduct by what occurred after the signature of the Treaty unless what
would occur was a foregone conclusion, and at that time it was not even
suggested that the Treaty would fail of ratification. The decision had
to be made under the conditions and expectations which then prevailed.
Unquestionably there was on June 28, 1919, a common belief that the
President would compose his differences with a sufficient number of the
Republican Senators to obtain the necessary consent of two thirds of the
Senate to the ratification of the Treaty, and that the delay in
senatorial action would be brief. I personally believed that that would
be the result, although Mr. Wilson's experience in Washington in
February and the rigid attitude, which he then assumed, might have been
a warning as to the future. Seeing the situation as I did, no man would
have been willing to imperil immediate ratification by resigning as
Commissioner on the ground that he was opposed to the President's
policies. A return to peace was at stake, and peace was the supreme need
of the world, the universal appeal of all peoples. I could not
conscientiously assume the responsibility of placing any obstacle in the
way of a return to peace at the earliest possible moment. It would have
been to do the very thing which I condemned in the President when he
prevented an early signing of the peace by insisting on the acceptance
of the Covenant of the League of Nations as a condition precedent.
Whatever the consequence of my action would have been, whether it
resulted in delay or in defeat of ratification, I should have felt
guilty of having prevented an immediate peace which from the first
seemed to me vitally important to all nations. Personal feelings and
even personal beliefs were insufficient to excuse such action.




CHAPTER XVI

LACK OF AN AMERICAN PROGRAMME


Having reviewed the radical differences between the President and myself
in regard to the League of Nations and the inclusion of the Covenant in
the Treaty of Peace with Germany, it is necessary to revert to the early
days of the negotiations at Paris in order to explain the divergence of
our views as to the necessity of a definite programme for the American
Commission to direct it in its work and to guide its members in their
intercourse with the delegates of other countries.

If the President had a programme, other than the general principles and
the few territorial settlements included in his Fourteen Points, and the
generalities contained in his "subsequent addresses," he did not show a
copy of the programme to the Commissioners or advise them of its
contents. The natural conclusion was that he had never worked out in
detail the application of his announced principles or put into concrete
form the specific settlements which he had declared ought to be in the
terms of peace. The definition of the principles, the interpretation of
the policies, and the detailing of the provisions regarding territorial
settlements were not apparently attempted by Mr. Wilson. They were in
large measure left uncertain by the phrases in which they were
delivered. Without authoritative explanation, interpretation, or
application to actual facts they formed incomplete and inadequate
instructions to Commissioners who were authorized "to negotiate peace."

An examination of the familiar Fourteen Points uttered by the President
in his address of January 8, 1918, will indicate the character of the
declarations, which may be, by reason of their thought and expression,
termed "Wilsonian" (Appendix IV, p. 314). The first five Points are
announcements of principle which should govern the peace negotiations.
The succeeding eight Points refer to territorial adjustments, but make
no attempt to define actual boundaries, so essential in conducting
negotiations regarding territory. The Fourteenth Point relates to the
formation of "a general association of the nations for the purpose of
affording mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial
integrity to great and small nations alike."

It is hardly worth while to say that the Fourteen Points and the four
principles declared in the address of February 11, 1918 (Appendix V), do
not constitute a sufficient programme for negotiators. Manifestly they
are too indefinite in specific application. They were never intended for
that purpose when they were proclaimed. They might have formed a general
basis for the preparation of instructions for peace commissioners, but
they omitted too many of the essentials to be considered actual
instructions, while the lack of definite terms to-be included in a
treaty further deprived them of that character. Such important and
practical subjects as reparations, financial arrangements, the use and
control of waterways, and other questions of a like nature, are not even
mentioned. As a general statement of the bases of peace the Fourteen
Points and subsequent declarations probably served a useful purpose,
though some critics would deny it, but as a working programme for the
negotiation of a treaty they were inadequate, if not wholly useless.

Believing in the autumn of 1918 that the end of the war was approaching
and assuming that the American plenipotentiaries to the Peace Conference
would have to be furnished with detailed written instructions as to the
terms of the treaty to be signed, I prepared on September 21, 1918, a
memorandum of my views as to the territorial settlements which would
form, not instructions, but a guide in the drafting of instructions for
the American Commissioners. At the time I had no intimation that the
President purposed to be present in person at the peace table and had
not even thought of such a possibility. The memorandum, which follows,
was written with the sole purpose of being ready to draft definite
instructions which could be submitted to the President when the time
came to prepare for the negotiation of the peace. The memorandum
follows:

   "The present Russian situation, which is unspeakably horrible and
   which seems beyond present hope of betterment, presents new problems
   to be solved at the peace table.

   "The Pan-Germans now have in shattered and impotent Russia the
   opportunity to develop an alternative or supplemental scheme to their
   'Mittel-Europa' project. German domination over Southern Russia would
   offer as advantageous, if not a more advantageous, route to the
   Persian Gulf than through the turbulent Balkans and unreliable
   Turkey. If both routes, north and south of the Black Sea, could be
   controlled, the Pan-Germans would have gained more than they dreamed
   of obtaining. I believe, however, that Bulgaria fears the Germans and
   will be disposed to resist German domination possibly to the extent
   of making a separate peace with the Allies. Nevertheless, if the
   Germans could obtain the route north of the Black Sea, they would
   with reason consider the war a successful venture because it would
   give them the opportunity to rebuild the imperial power and to carry
   out the Prussian ambition of world-mastery.

   "The treaty of peace must not leave Germany in possession directly or
   indirectly of either of these routes to the Orient. There must be
   territorial barriers erected to prevent that Empire from ever being
   able by political or economic penetration to become dominant in
   those regions.

   "With this in view I would state the essentials for a stable peace as
   follows, though I do so in the most tentative way because conditions
   may change materially. These 'essentials' relate to territory and
   waters, and do not deal with military protection.

   "_First._ The complete abrogation or denouncement of the
   Brest-Litovsk Treaty and all treaties relating in any way to Russian
   territory or commerce; and also the same action as to the Treaty of
   Bucharest. This applies to all treaties made by the German Empire or
   Germany's allies.

   "_Second._ The Baltic Provinces of Lithuania, Latvia, and Esthonia
   should be autonomous states of a Russian Confederation.

   "_Third_. Finland raises a different question and it should be
   carefully considered whether it should not be an independent state.

   "_Fourth_. An independent Poland, composed of Polish provinces of
   Russia, Prussia, and Austria, and in possession of the port
   of Danzig.

   "_Fifth_. An independent state, either single or federal composed of
   Bohemia, Slovakia, and Moravia (and possibly a portion of Silesia)
   and possessing an international right of way by land or water to a
   free port.

   "_Sixth_. The Ukraine to be a state of the Russian Confederation, to
   which should be annexed that portion of the Austro-Hungarian Empire
   in which the Ruthenians predominate.

   "_Seventh_. Roumania, in addition to her former territory, should
   ultimately be given sovereignty over Bessarabia, Transylvania, and
   the upper portion of the Dobrudja, leaving the central mouth of the
   Danube as the boundary of Bulgaria, or else the northern half. (As to
   the boundary there is doubt.)

   "_Eighth_. The territories in which the Jugo-Slavs predominate,
   namely Croatia, Slavonia, Dalmatia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina, should
   be united with Serbia and Montenegro forming a single or a federal
   state. The sovereignty over Trieste or some other port should be
   later settled in drawing a boundary line between the new state and
   Italy. My present view is that there should be a good Jugo-Slav port.

   "_Ninth_. Hungary should be separated from Austria and possess rights
   of free navigation of the Danube.

   "_Tenth_. Restoration to Italy of all the Italian provinces of
   Austria. Italy's territory to extend along the northern Adriatic
   shore to the Jugo-Slav boundary. Certain ports on the eastern side of
   the Adriatic should be considered as possible naval bases of Italy.
   (This last is doubtful.)

   "_Eleventh._ Reduction of Austria to the ancient boundaries and title
   of the Archduchy of Austria. Incorporation of Archduchy in the
   Imperial German Confederation. Austrian outlet to the sea would be
   like that of Baden and Saxony through German ports on the North Sea
   and the Baltic.

   "_Twelfth_. The boundaries of Bulgaria, Serbia, and Greece to follow
   in general those established after the First Balkan War, though
   Bulgaria should surrender to Greece more of the Aegean coast and
   obtain the southern half only of the Dobrudja (or else as far as the
   Danube) and the Turkish territory up to the district surrounding
   Constantinople, to be subsequently decided upon.

   "_Thirteenth_. Albania to be under Italian or Serbian sovereignty or
   incorporated in the Jugo-Slav Confederation.

   "_Fourteenth._ Greece to obtain more of the Aegean littoral at the
   expense of Bulgaria, the Greek-inhabited islands adjacent to Asia
   Minor and possibly certain ports and adjoining territory in
   Asia Minor.

   "_Fifteenth._ The Ottoman Empire to be reduced to Anatolia and have
   no possessions in Europe. (This requires consideration.)

   "_Sixteenth_. Constantinople to be erected into an international
   protectorate surrounded by a land zone to allow for expansion of
   population. The form of government to be determined upon by an
   international commission or by one Government acting as the mandatory
   of the Powers. The commission or mandatory to have the regulation and
   control of the navigation of the Dardanelles and Bosphorus as
   international waterways.

   "_Seventeenth._ Armenia and Syria to be erected into protectorates of
   such Government or Governments as seems expedient from a domestic as
   well as an international point of view; the guaranty being that both
   countries will be given self-government as soon as possible and that
   an 'Open-Door' policy as to commerce and industrial development will
   be rigidly observed.

   "_Eighteenth._ Palestine to be an autonomous state under a general
   international protectorate or under the protectorate of a Power
   designated to act as the mandatory of the Powers.

   "_Nineteenth._ Arabia to receive careful consideration as to the full
   or partial sovereignty of the state or states established.

   "_Twentieth_. Great Britain to have the sovereignty of Egypt, or a
   full protectorate over it.

   "_Twenty-first._ Persia to be freed from all treaties establishing
   spheres of influence. Rigid application of the 'Open-Door' policy in
   regard to commercial and industrial development.

   "_Twenty-second._ All Alsace-Lorraine to be restored to France
   without conditions.

   "_Twenty-third._ Belgium to be restored to full sovereignty.

   "_Twenty-fourth._ A consideration of the union of Luxemburg to
   Belgium. (This is open to question.)

   "_Twenty-fifth._ The Kiel Canal to be internationalized and an
   international zone twenty miles from the Canal on either side to be
   erected which should be, with the Canal, under the control and
   regulation of Denmark as the mandatory of the Powers. (This last is
   doubtful.)

   "_Twenty-sixth._ All land north of the Kiel Canal Zone to be ceded to
   Denmark.

   "_Twenty-seventh._ The fortifications of the Kiel Canal and of
   Heligoland to be dismantled. Heligoland to be ceded to Denmark.

   "_Twenty-eighth._ The sovereignty of the archipelago of Spitzbergen
   to be granted to Norway.

   "_Twenty-ninth._ The disposition of the colonial possessions formerly
   belonging to Germany to be determined by an international commission
   having in mind the interests of the inhabitants and the possibility
   of employing these colonies as a means of indemnification for wrongs
   done. The 'Open-Door' policy should be guaranteed.

   "While the foregoing definitive statement as to territory contains my
   views at the present time (September 21, 1918), I feel that no
   proposition should be considered unalterable, as further study and
   conditions which have not been disclosed may materially change
   some of them.

   "Three things must constantly be kept in mind, the natural stability
   of race, language, and nationality, the necessity of every nation
   having an outlet to the sea so that it may maintain its own merchant
   marine, and the imperative need of rendering Germany impotent as a
   military power."

Later I realized that another factor should be given as important a
place in the terms of peace as any of the three, namely, the economic
interdependence of adjoining areas and the mutual industrial benefit to
their inhabitants by close political affiliation. This factor in the
territorial settlements made more and more impression upon me as it was
disclosed by a detailed study of the numerous problems which the Peace
Conference had to solve.

I made other memoranda on various subjects relating to the general peace
for the purpose of crystallizing my ideas, so that I could lay them in
concrete form before the President when the time came to draft
instructions for the American plenipotentiaries charged with the
negotiation of the Treaty of Peace. When the President reached the
decision to attend the Conference and to direct in person the
negotiations, it became evident that, in place of the instructions
customarily issued to negotiators, a more practical and proper form of
defining the objects to be sought by the United States would be an
outline of a treaty setting forth in detail the features of the peace,
or else a memorandum containing definite declarations of policy in
regard to the numerous problems presented. Unless there was some
framework of this sort on which to build, it would manifestly be very
embarrassing for the American Commissioners in their intercourse with
their foreign colleagues, as they would be unable to discuss
authoritatively or even informally the questions at issue or express
opinions upon them without the danger of unwittingly opposing the
President's wishes or of contradicting the views which might be
expressed by some other of their associates on the American Commission.
A definite plan seemed essential if the Americans were to take any part
in the personal exchanges of views which are so usual during the
progress of negotiations.

Prior to the departure of the American delegation from the United States
and for two weeks after their arrival in Paris, it was expected that the
President would submit to the Commissioners for their guidance a
_projet_ of a treaty or a very complete programme as to policies.
Nothing, however, was done, and in the conferences which took place
between the President and his American associates he confined his
remarks almost exclusively to the League of Nations and to his plan for
its organization. It was evident--at least that was the natural
inference--that President Wilson was without a programme of any sort or
even of a list of subjects suitable as an outline for the preparation of
a programme. How he purposed to conduct the negotiations no one seemed
to know. It was all very uncertain and unsatisfactory.

In the circumstances, which seemed to be due to the President's failure
to appreciate the necessity for a definite programme, I felt that
something ought to be done, as the probable result would be that the
terms of the Treaty, other than the provisions regarding a League of
Nations, would be drafted by foreign delegates and not by the President.

Impressed by the unsatisfactory state of affairs and desirous of
remedying it if possible, I asked Dr. James Brown Scott and Mr. David
Hunter Miller, the legal advisers of the American Commission, to prepare
a skeleton treaty covering the subjects to be dealt with in the
negotiations which could be used in working out a complete programme.
After several conferences with these advisers concerning the subjects to
be included and their arrangement in the Treaty, the work was
sufficiently advanced to lay before the Commissioners. Copies were,
therefore, furnished to them with the request that they give the
document consideration in order that they might make criticisms and
suggest changes. I had not sent a copy to the President, intending to
await the views of my colleagues before doing so, but during the
conference of January 10, to which I have been compelled reluctantly to
refer in discussing the Covenant of the League of Nations, I mentioned
the fact that our legal advisers had been for some time at work on a
"skeleton treaty" and had made a tentative draft. The President at once
showed his displeasure and resented the action taken, evidently
considering the request that a draft be prepared to be a usurpation of
his authority to direct the activities of the Commission. It was this
incident which called forth his remark, to which reference was made in
Chapter VIII, that he did not propose to have lawyers drafting
the Treaty.

In view of Mr. Wilson's attitude it was useless for Dr. Scott and Mr.
Miller to proceed with their outline of a treaty or for the
Commissioners to give consideration to the tentative draft already made.
It was a disagreeable situation. If the President had had anything,
however crude and imperfect it might have been, to submit in place of
the Scott-Miller draft, it would have been a different matter and
removed to an extent the grounds for complaint at his attitude. But he
offered nothing at all as a substitute. It is fair to assume that he had
no programme prepared and was unwilling to have any one else make a
tentative one for his consideration. It left the American Commission
without a chart marking out the course which they were to pursue in the
negotiations and apparently without a pilot who knew the channel.

Six days after the enforced abandonment of the plan to prepare a
skeleton treaty as a foundation for a definite and detailed programme, I
made the following note which expresses my views on the situation at
that time:

   "_January_ 16, 1919

   "No plan of work has been prepared. Unless something is done we will
   be here for many weeks, possibly for months. After the President's
   remarks the other day about a draft-treaty no one except the
   President would think of preparing a plan. He must do it himself, and
   he is not doing it. He has not even given us a list of subjects to be
   considered and of course has made no division of our labors.

   "If the President does not take up this matter of organization and
   systematically apportion the subjects between us, we may possibly
   have no peace before June. This would be preposterous because with
   proper order and division of questions we ought to have a treaty
   signed by April first.

   "I feel as if we, the Commissioners, were like a lot of skilled
   workmen who are ordered to build a house. We have the materials and
   tools, but there are no plans and specifications and no
   master-workman in charge of the construction. We putter around in an
   aimless sort of way and get nowhere.

   "With all his natural capacity the President seems to lack the
   faculty of employing team-work and of adopting a system to utilize
   the brains of other men. It is a decided defect in an executive. He
   would not make a good head of a governmental department. The result
   is, so far as our Commission is concerned, a state of confusion and
   uncertainty with a definite loss and delay through effort being
   undirected."

On several occasions I spoke to the President about a programme for the
work of the Commission and its corps of experts, but he seemed
indisposed to consider the subject and gave the impression that he
intended to call on the experts for his own information which would be
all that was necessary. I knew that Colonel House, through Dr. Mezes,
the head of the organization, was directing the preparation of certain
data, but whether he was doing so under the President's directions I did
not know, though I presumed such was the case. Whatever data were
furnished did not, however, pass through the hands of the other
Commissioners who met every morning in my office to exchange information
and discuss matters pertaining to the negotiations and to direct the
routine work of the Commission.

It is difficult, even with the entire record of the proceedings at Paris
before one, to find a satisfactory explanation for the President's
objection to having a definite programme other than the general
declarations contained in the Fourteen Points and his "subsequent
addresses." It may be that he was unwilling to bind himself to a fixed
programme, since it would restrict him, to an extent, in his freedom of
action and prevent him from assuming any position which seemed to him
expedient at the time when a question arose during the negotiations. It
may be that he did not wish to commit himself in any way to the contents
of a treaty until the Covenant of the League of Nations had been
accepted. It may be that he preferred not to let the American
Commissioners know his views, as they would then be in a position to
take an active part in the informal discussions which he apparently
wished to handle alone. None of these explanations is at all
satisfactory, and yet any one of them may be the true one.

Whatever was the chief reason for the President's failure to furnish a
working plan to the American Commissioners, he knowingly adopted the
policy and clung to it with the tenacity of purpose which has been one
of the qualities of mind that account for his great successes and for
his great failures. I use the adverb "knowingly" because it had been
made clear to him that, in the judgment of others, the Commissioners
ought to have the guidance furnished by a draft-treaty or by a definite
statement of policies no matter how tentative or subject to change the
draft or statement might be.

On the day that the President left Paris to return to the United States
(February 14, 1919) I asked him if he had any instructions for the
Commissioners during his absence concerning the settlements which should
be included in the preliminary treaty of peace, as it was understood
that the Council of Ten would continue its sessions for the
consideration of the subjects requiring investigation and decision. The
President replied that he had no instructions, that the decisions could
wait until he returned, though the hearings could proceed and reports
could be made during his absence. Astonished as I was at this wish to
delay these matters, I suggested to him the subjects which I thought
ought to go into the Treaty. He answered that he did not care to discuss
them at that time, which, as he was about to depart from Paris, meant
that everything must rest until he had returned from his visit to
Washington.

Since I was the head of the American Commission when the President was
absent and became the spokesman for the United States on the Council of
Ten, this refusal to disclose his views even in a general way placed me
in a very awkward position. Without instructions and without knowledge
of the President's wishes or purposes the conduct of the negotiations
was difficult and progress toward actual settlements practically
impossible. As a matter of fact the Council did accomplish a great
amount of work, while the President was away, in the collection of data
and preparing questions for final settlement. But so far as deciding
questions was concerned, which ought to have been the principal duty of
the Council of Ten, it simply "marked time," as I had no power to decide
or even to express an authoritative opinion on any subject. It showed
very clearly that the President intended to do everything himself and to
allow no one to act for him unless it was upon some highly technical
matter. All actual decisions in regard to the terms of peace which
involved policy were thus forced to await his time and pleasure.

Even after Mr. Wilson returned to Paris and resumed his place as head of
the American delegation he was apparently without a programme. On March
20, six days after his return, I made a note that "the President, so far
as I can judge, has yet no definite programme," and that I was unable to
"find that he has talked over a plan of a treaty even with Colonel
House." It is needless to quote the thoughts, which I recorded at the
time, in regard to the method in which the President was handling a
great international negotiation, a method as unusual as it was unwise. I
referred to Colonel House's lack of information concerning the
President's purposes because he was then and had been from the beginning
on more intimate terms with the President than any other American. If he
did not know the President's mind, it was safe to assume that no
one knew it.

I had, as has been stated, expressed to Mr. Wilson my views as to what
the procedure should be and had obtained no action. With the
responsibility resting on him for the conduct and success of the
negotiations and with his constitutional authority to exercise his own
judgment in regard to every matter pertaining to the treaty, there was
nothing further to be done in relieving the situation of the American
Commissioners from embarrassment or in inducing the President to adopt a
better course than the haphazard one that he was pursuing.

It is apparent that we differed radically as to the necessity for a
clearly defined programme and equally so as to the advantages to be
gained by having a draft-treaty made or a full statement prepared
embodying the provisions to be sought by the United States in the
negotiations. I did not attempt to hide my disapproval of the vagueness
and uncertainty of the President's method, and there is no doubt in my
own mind that Mr. Wilson was fully cognizant of my opinion. How far this
lack of system in the work of the Commission and the failure to provide
a plan for a treaty affected the results written into the Treaty of
Versailles is speculative, but my belief is that they impaired in many
particulars the character of the settlements by frequent abandonment of
principle for the sake of expediency.

The want of a programme or even of an unwritten plan as to the
negotiations was further evidenced by the fact that the President,
certainly as late as March 19, had not made up his mind whether the
treaty which was being negotiated should be preliminary or final. He had
up to that time the peculiar idea that a preliminary treaty was in the
nature of a _modus vivendi_ which could be entered into independently by
the Executive and which would restore peace without going through the
formalities of senatorial consent to ratification.

The purpose of Mr. Wilson, so far as one could judge, was to include in
a preliminary treaty of the sort that he intended to negotiate, the
entire Covenant of the League of Nations and other principal
settlements, binding the signatories to repeat these provisions in the
final and definitive treaty when that was later negotiated. By this
method peace would be at once restored, the United States and other
nations associated with it in the war would be obligated to renew
diplomatic and consular relations with Germany, and commercial
intercourse would follow as a matter of course. All this was to be done
without going through the American constitutional process of obtaining
the advice and consent of the Senate to the Covenant and to the
principal settlements. The intent seemed to be to respond to the popular
demand for an immediate peace and at the same time to checkmate the
opponents of the Covenant in the Senate by having the League of Nations
organized and functioning before the definitive treaty was laid before
that body.

When the President advanced this extraordinary theory of the nature of a
preliminary treaty during a conversation, of which I made a full
memorandum, I told him that it was entirely wrong, that by whatever name
the document was called, whether it was "armistice," "agreement,"
"protocol," or "_modus_," it would be a treaty and would have to be sent
by him to the Senate for its approval. I said, "If we change the
_status_ from war to peace, it has to be by a ratified treaty. There is
no other way save by a joint resolution of Congress." At this statement
the President was evidently much perturbed. He did not accept it as
conclusive, for he asked me to obtain the opinion of others on the
subject. He was evidently loath to abandon the plan that he had
presumably worked out as a means of preventing the Senate from rejecting
or modifying the Covenant before it came into actual operation. It seems
almost needless to say that all the legal experts, among them Thomas W.
Gregory, the retiring Attorney-General of the United States, who chanced
to be in Paris at the time, agreed with my opinion, and upon being so
informed the President abandoned his purpose.

It is probable that the conviction, which was forced upon Mr. Wilson,
that he could not independently of the Senate put into operation a
preliminary treaty, determined him to abandon that type of treaty and to
proceed with the negotiation of a definitive one. At least I had by
March 30 reached the conclusion that there would be no preliminary
treaty as is disclosed by the following memorandum written on that day:

   "I am sure now that there will be no preliminary treaty of peace, but
   that the treaty will be complete and definitive. This is a serious
   mistake. Time should be given for passions to cool. The operations of
   a preliminary treaty should be tested and studied. It would hasten a
   restoration of peace. Certainly this is the wise course as to
   territorial settlements and the financial and economic burdens to be
   imposed upon Germany. The same comment applies to the organization of
   a League of Nations. Unfortunately the President insists on a
   full-blown Covenant and not a declaration of principles. This has
   much to do with preventing a preliminary treaty, since he wishes to
   make the League an agent for enforcement of definite terms.

   "When the President departed for the United States in February, I
   assumed and I am certain that he had in mind that there would be a
   preliminary treaty. With that in view I drafted at the time a
   memorandum setting forth what the preliminary treaty of peace should
   contain. Here are the subjects I then set down:

   "1. Restoration of Peace and official relations.

   "2. Restoration of commercial and financial relations subject to
   conditions.

   "3. Renunciation by Germany of all territory and territorial rights
   outside of Europe.

   "4. Minimum territory of Germany in Europe, the boundaries to be
   fixed in the Definitive Treaty.

   "5. Maximum military and naval establishments and production of arms
   and munitions.

   "6. Maximum amount of money and property to be surrendered by Germany
   with time limits for payment and delivery.

   "7. German property and territory to be held as security by the
   Allies until the Definitive Treaty is ratified.

   "8. Declaration as to the organization of a League of Nations.

   "The President's obsession as to a League of Nations blinds him to
   everything else. An immediate peace is nothing to him compared to the
   adoption of the Covenant. The whole world wants peace. The President
   wants his League. I think that the world will have to wait."

The eight subjects, above stated, were the ones which I called to the
President's attention at the time he was leaving Paris for the United
States and which he said he did not care to discuss.

The views that are expressed in the memorandum of March 30 are those
that I have continued to hold. The President was anxious to have the
Treaty, even though preliminary in character, contain detailed rather
than general provisions, especially as to the League of Nations. With
that view I entirely disagreed, as detailed terms of settlement and the
articles of the Covenant as proposed would cause discussion and
unquestionably delay the peace. To restore the peaceful intercourse
between the belligerents, to open the long-closed channels of commerce,
and to give to the war-stricken peoples of Europe opportunity to resume
their normal industrial life seemed to me the first and greatest task to
be accomplished. It was in my judgment superior to every other object of
the Paris negotiations. Compared with it the creation of a League of
Nations was insignificant and could well be postponed. President Wilson
thought otherwise. We were very far apart in this matter as he well
knew, and he rightly assumed that I followed his instructions with
reluctance, and, he might have added, with grave concern.

As a matter of interest in this connection and as a possible source from
which the President may have acquired knowledge of my views as to the
conduct of the negotiations, I would call attention again to the
conference which I had with Colonel House on December 17, 1918, and to
which I have referred in connection with the subject of international
arbitration. During that conference I said to the Colonel "that I
thought that there ought to be a preliminary treaty of peace negotiated
without delay, and that all the details as to a League of Nations,
boundaries, and indemnities should wait for the time being. The Colonel
replied that he was not so sure about delaying the creation of a League,
as he was afraid that it never could be put through unless it was done
at once. I told him that possibly he was right, but that I was opposed
to anything which delayed the peace." This quotation is from my
memorandum made at the time of our conversation. I think that the same
reason for insisting on negotiating the Covenant largely influenced the
course of the President. My impression at the time was that the Colonel
favored a preliminary treaty provided that there was included in it the
full plan for a League of Nations, which to me seemed to be
impracticable.

There can be little doubt that, if there had been a settled programme
prepared or a tentative treaty drafted, there would have been a
preliminary treaty which might and probably would have postponed the
negotiations as to a League. Possibly the President realized that this
danger of excluding the Covenant existed and for that reason was
unwilling to make a definite programme or to let a draft-treaty be
drawn. At least it may have added another reason for his proceeding
without advising the Commissioners of his purposes.

As I review the entire negotiations and the incidents which took place
at Paris, President Wilson's inherent dislike to depart in the least
from an announced course, a characteristic already referred to, seems to
me to have been the most potent influence in determining his method of
work during the Peace Conference. He seemed to think that, having marked
out a definite plan of action, any deviation from it would show
intellectual weakness or vacillation of purpose. Even when there could
be no doubt that in view of changed conditions it was wise to change a
policy, which he had openly adopted or approved, he clung to it with
peculiar tenacity refusing or merely failing to modify it. Mr. Wilson's
mind once made up seemed to become inflexible. It appeared to grow
impervious to arguments and even to facts. It lacked the elasticity and
receptivity which have always been characteristic of sound judgment and
right thinking. He might break, but he would not bend. This rigidity of
mind accounts in large measure for the deplorable, and, as it seemed to
me, needless, conflict between the President and the Senate over the
Treaty of Versailles. It accounts for other incidents in his career
which have materially weakened his influence and cast doubts on his
wisdom. It also accounts, in my opinion, for the President's failure to
prepare or to adopt a programme at Paris or to commit himself to a draft
of a treaty as a basis for the negotiations, which failure, I am
convinced, not only prevented the signature of a short preliminary
treaty of peace, but lost Mr. Wilson the leadership in the proceedings,
as the statesmen of the other Great Powers outlined the Treaty
negotiated and suggested the majority of the articles which were written
into it. It would have made a vast difference if the President had known
definitely what he sought, but he apparently did not. He dealt in
generalities leaving, but not committing, to others their definition and
application. He was always in the position of being able to repudiate
the interpretation which others might place upon his declarations of
principle.




CHAPTER XVII

SECRET DIPLOMACY


Another matter, concerning which the President and I disagreed, was the
secrecy with which the negotiations were carried on between him and the
principal European statesmen, incidental to which was the willingness,
if not the desire, to prevent the proceedings and decisions from
becoming known even to the delegates of the smaller nations which were
represented at the Peace Conference.

Confidential personal interviews were to a certain extent unavoidable
and necessary, but to conduct the entire negotiation through a small
group sitting behind closed doors and to shroud their proceedings with
mystery and uncertainty made a very unfortunate impression on those who
were not members of the secret councils.

At the first there was no Council of the Heads of States (the so-called
Council of Four); in fact it was not recognized as an organized body
until the latter part of March, 1919. Prior to that time the directing
body of the Conference was the self-constituted Council of Ten composed
of the President and the British, French, and Italian Premiers with
their Secretaries or Ministers of Foreign Affairs, and two Japanese
delegates of ambassadorial rank. This Council had a membership identical
with that of the Supreme War Council, which controlled the armistices,
their enforcement, and other military matters. It assumed authority over
the negotiations and proceedings of the Conference, though it was never
authorized so to do by the body of delegates. The Council of Four, when
later formed, was equally without a mandate from the Conference. They
assumed the authority and exercised it as a matter of right.

From the time of his arrival in Paris President Wilson held almost daily
conversations with the leading foreign statesmen. It would be of little
value to speculate on what took place at these interviews, since the
President seldom told the American Commission of the meetings or
disclosed to them, unless possibly to Colonel House, the subjects which
were discussed. My conviction is, from the little information which the
President volunteered, that these consultations were--certainly at
first--devoted to inducing the European leaders to give their support to
his plan for a League of Nations, and that, as other matters relating to
the terms of peace were in a measure involved because of their possible
relation to the functions of the League, they too became more and more
subjects of discussion.

The introduction of this personal and clandestine method of negotiation
was probably due to the President's belief that he could in this way
exercise more effectively his personal influence in favor of the
acceptance of a League. It is not unlikely that this belief was in a
measure justified. In Colonel House he found one to aid him in this
course of procedure, as the Colonel's intimate association with the
principal statesmen of the Allied Powers during previous visits to
Europe as the President's personal envoy was an asset which he could
utilize as an intermediary between the President and those with whom he
wished to confer. Mr. Wilson relied upon Colonel House for his knowledge
of the views and temperaments of the men with whom he had to deal. It
was not strange that he should adopt a method which the Colonel had
found successful in the past and that he should seek the latter's aid
and advice in connection with the secret conferences which usually took
place at the residence of the President.

Mr. Wilson pursued this method of handling the subjects of negotiation
the more readily because he was by nature and by inclination secretive.
He had always shown a preference for a private interview with an
individual. In his conduct of the executive affairs of the Government at
Washington he avoided as far as possible general conferences. He talked
a good deal about "taking common counsel," but showed no disposition to
put it into practice. He followed the same course in the matter of
foreign affairs. At Paris this characteristic, which had often been the
subject of remark in Washington, was more pronounced, or at least more
noticeable. He was not disposed to discuss matters with the American
Commission as a whole or even to announce to them his decisions unless
something arose which compelled him to do so. He easily fell into the
practice of seeing men separately and of keeping secret the knowledge
acquired as well as the effect of this knowledge on his views and
purposes. To him this was the normal and most satisfactory method of
doing business.

From the time that the President arrived in Paris up to the time that
the Commission on the League of Nations made its report--that is, from
December 14, 1918, to February 14, 1919--the negotiations regarding the
League were conducted with great secrecy. Colonel House, the President's
collaborator in drafting the Covenant, if he was not, as many believed,
the real author, was the only American with whom Mr. Wilson freely
conferred and to whom he confided the progress that he was making in his
interviews with the foreign statesmen, at many of which interviews the
Colonel was present. It is true that the President held an occasional
conference with all the American Commissioners, but these conferences
were casual and perfunctory in nature and were very evidently not for
the purpose of obtaining the opinions and counsel of the Commissioners.
There was none of the frankness that should have existed between the
Chief Executive and his chosen agents and advisers. The impression made
was that he summoned the conferences to satisfy the _amour propre_ of
the Commissioners rather than out of any personal wish to do so.

The consequence was that the American Commissioners, other than Colonel
House, were kept in almost complete ignorance of the preliminary
negotiations and were left to gather such information as they were able
from the delegates of other Powers, who, naturally assuming that the
Americans possessed the full confidence of the President, spoke with
much freedom. As Mr. Wilson never held a conference with the American
Commission from the first meeting of the Commission on the League of
Nations until its report was printed, his American colleagues did not
know, except indirectly, of the questions at issue or of the progress
that was being made. The fact is that, as the Commission on the League
met in Colonel House's office at the Hotel Crillon, his office force
knew far more about the proceedings than did the three American
Commissioners who were not present. As the House organization made no
effort to hide the fact that they had inside information, the
representatives of the press as a consequence frequented the office of
the Colonel in search of the latest news concerning the Commission on
the League of Nations.

But, in addition to the embarrassment caused the American Commissioners
and the unenviable position in which they were placed by the secrecy
with which the President surrounded his intercourse with the foreign
statesmen and the proceedings of the Commission on the League of
Nations, his secret negotiations caused the majority of the delegates to
the Conference and the public at large to lose in a large measure their
confidence in the actuality of his devotion to "open diplomacy," which
he had so unconditionally proclaimed in the first of his Fourteen
Points. If the policy of secrecy had ceased with the discussions
preliminary to the organization of the Conference, or even with those
preceding the meetings of the Commission on the League of Nations,
criticism and complaint would doubtless have ceased, but as the
negotiations progressed the secrecy of the conferences of the leaders
increased rather than decreased, culminating at last in the organization
of the Council of Four, the most powerful and most seclusive of the
councils which directed the proceedings at Paris. Behind closed doors
these four individuals, who controlled the policies of the United
States, Great Britain, France, and Italy, passed final judgment on the
mass of articles which entered into the Treaties of Peace, but kept
their decisions secret except from the committee which was drafting
the articles.

The organization of the Council of Four and the mystery which enveloped
its deliberations emphasized as nothing else could have done the
secretiveness with which adjustments were being made and compromises
were being effected. It directed attention also to the fact that the
Four Great Powers had taken supreme control of settling the terms of
peace, that they were primates among the assembled nations and that they
intended to have their authority acknowledged. This extraordinary
secrecy and arrogation of power by the Council of Four excited
astonishment and complaint throughout the body of delegates to the
Conference, and caused widespread criticism in the press and among the
people of many countries.

A week after the Council of Ten was divided into the Council of the
Heads of States, the official title of the Council of Four, and the
Council of Foreign Ministers, the official title of the Council of Five
(popularly nick-named "The Big Four" and "The Little Five"), I made the
following note on the subject of secret negotiations:

   "After the experience of the last three months [January-March, 1919]
   I am convinced that the method of personal interviews and private
   conclaves is a failure. It has given every opportunity for intrigue,
   plotting, bargaining, and combining. The President, as I now see it,
   should have insisted on everything being brought before the Plenary
   Conference. He would then have had the confidence and support of all
   the smaller nations because they would have looked up to him as their
   champion and guide. They would have followed him.

   "The result of the present method has been to destroy their faith and
   arouse their resentment. They look upon the President as in favor of
   a world ruled by Five Great Powers, an international despotism of the
   strong, in which the little nations are merely rubber-stamps.

   "The President has undoubtedly found himself in a most difficult
   position. He has put himself on a level with politicians experienced
   in intrigue, whom he will find a pretty difficult lot. He will sink
   in the estimation of the delegates who are not within the inner
   circle, and what will be still more disastrous will be the loss of
   confidence among the peoples of the nations represented here. A
   grievous blunder has been made."

The views, which I expressed in this note in regard to the unwisdom of
the President's course, were not new at the time that I wrote them. Over
two months before I had watched the practice of secret negotiation with
apprehension as to what the effect would be upon the President's
influence and standing with the delegates to the Conference. I then
believed that he was taking a dangerous course which he would in the end
regret. So strong was this conviction that during a meeting, which the
President held with the American Commissioners on the evening of January
29, I told him bluntly--perhaps too bluntly from the point of view of
policy--that I considered the secret interviews which he was holding
with the European statesmen, where no witnesses were present, were
unwise, that he was far more successful in accomplishment and less
liable to be misunderstood if he confined his negotiating to the Council
of Ten, and that, furthermore, acting through the Council he would be
much less subject to public criticism. I supported these views with the
statement that the general secrecy, which was being practiced, was
making a very bad impression everywhere, and for that reason, if for no
other, I was opposed to it. The silence with which the President
received my remarks appeared to me significant of his attitude toward
this advice, and his subsequent continuance of secret methods without
change, unless it was to increase the secrecy, proved that our judgments
were not in accord on the subject. The only result of my
representations, it would seem, was to cause Mr. Wilson to realize that
I was not in sympathy with his way of conducting the negotiations. In
the circumstances I think now that it was a blunder on my part to have
stated my views so frankly.

Two days after I wrote the note, which is quoted (April 2, 1919), I made
another note more general in character, but in which appears the
following:

   "Everywhere there are developing bitterness and resentment against a
   secretiveness which is interpreted to mean failure. The patience of
   the people is worn threadbare. Their temper has grown ragged. They
   are sick of whispering diplomats.

   "Muttered confidences, secret intrigues, and the tactics of the
   'gum-shoer' are discredited. The world wants none of them these days.
   It despises and loathes them. What the world asks are honest
   declarations openly proclaimed. The statesman who seeks to gain his
   end by tortuous and underground ways is foolish or badly advised. The
   public man who is sly and secretive rather than frank and bold, whose
   methods are devious rather than obvious, pursues a dangerous path
   which leads neither to glory nor to success.

   "Secret diplomacy, the bane of the past, is a menace from which man
   believed himself to be rid. He who resurrects it invites
   condemnation. The whole world will rejoice when the day of the
   whisperer is over."

This note, read at the present time, sounds extravagant in thought and
intemperate in expression. It was written under the influence of
emotions which had been deeply stirred by the conditions then existing.
Time usually softens one's judgments and the passage of events makes
less vivid one's impressions. The perspective, however, grows clearer
and the proportions more accurate when the observer stands at a
distance. While the language of the note might well be changed and made
less florid, the thought needs little modification. The public criticism
was widespread and outspoken, and from the expressions used it was very
evident that there prevailed a general popular disapproval of the way
the negotiations were being conducted. The Council of Four won the
press-name of "The Olympians," and much was said of "the thick cloud of
mystery" which hid them from the anxious multitudes, and of the secrecy
which veiled their deliberations. The newspapers and the correspondents
at Paris openly complained and the delegates to the Conference in a more
guarded way showed their bitterness at the overlordship assumed by the
leading statesmen of the Great Powers and the secretive methods which
they employed. It was, as may be gathered from the note quoted, a
distressing and depressing time.

As concrete examples of the evils of secret negotiations the "Fiume
Affair" and the "Shantung Settlement" are the best known because of the
storm of criticism and protest which they caused. As the Shantung
Settlement was one of the chief matters of difference between the
President and myself, it will be treated later. The case of Fiume is
different. As to the merits of the question I was very much in accord
with the President, but to the bungling way in which it was handled I
was strongly opposed believing that secret interviews, at which false
hopes were encouraged, were at the bottom of all the trouble which later
developed. But for this secrecy I firmly believe that there would have
been no "Fiume Affair."

The discussion of the Italian claims to territory along the northern
boundary of the Kingdom and about the head of the Adriatic Sea began as
soon as the American Commission was installed at Paris, about the middle
of December, 1918. The endeavor of the Italian emissaries was to induce
the Americans, particularly the President, to recognize the boundary
laid down in the Pact of London. That agreement, which Italy had
required Great Britain and France to accept in April, 1915, before she
consented to declare war against the Austro-Hungarian Empire, committed
the Entente Powers to the recognition of Italy's right to certain
territorial acquisitions at the expense of Austria-Hungary in the event
of the defeat of the Central Empires. By the boundary line agreed upon
in the Pact, Italy would obtain certain important islands and ports on
the Dalmatian coast in addition to the Austrian Tyrol and the Italian
provinces of the Dual Monarchy at the head of the Adriatic.

When this agreement was signed, the dissolution of Austria-Hungary was
not in contemplation, or at least, if it was considered, the possibility
of its accomplishment seemed very remote. It was assumed that the
Dalmatian territory to be acquired under the treaty to be negotiated in
accordance with the terms of the Pact would, with the return of the
Italian provinces, give to Italy naval control over the Adriatic Sea and
secure the harborless eastern coast of the Italian peninsula against
future hostile attack by the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The boundary laid
down in the agreement was essentially strategic and based primarily on
considerations of Italian national safety. As long as the Empire existed
as a Great Power the boundary of the Pact of London, so far as it
related to the Adriatic littoral and islands, was not unreasonable or
the territorial demands excessive.

But the close of active warfare in the autumn of 1918, when the
armistice went into effect, found conditions wholly different from those
upon which these territorial demands had been predicated. The
Austro-Hungarian Empire had fallen to pieces beyond the hope of becoming
again one of the Great Powers. The various nationalities, which had long
been restless and unhappy under the rule of the Hapsburgs, threw off the
imperial yoke, proclaimed their independence, and sought the recognition
and protection of the Allies. The Poles of the Empire joined their
brethren of the Polish provinces of Russia and Prussia in the
resurrection of their ancient nation; Bohemia, Moravia, and Slovakia
united in forming the new state of Czecho-Slovakia; the southern Slavs
of Croatia, Slavonia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, and Dalmatia announced their
union with their kindred of the Kingdom of Serbia; and Hungary declared
the severance of her political union with Austria. In a word the Dual
Empire ceased to exist. It was no longer a menace to the national safety
of Italy. This was the state of affairs when the delegates to the Peace
Conference began to assemble at Paris.

The Italian statesmen realized that these new conditions might raise
serious questions as to certain territorial cessions which would come to
Italy under the terms of the Pact of London, because their strategic
necessity had disappeared with the dissolution of Austria-Hungary. While
they had every reason to assume that Great Britain and France would live
up to their agreement, it was hardly to be expected that under the
changed conditions and in the circumstances attending the negotiation
and signature of the Pact, the British and French statesmen would be
disposed to protest against modifications of the proposed boundary if
the United States and other nations, not parties to the agreement,
should insist upon changes as a matter of justice to the new state of
the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes. It apparently was considered expedient,
by the Italian representatives, in view of the situation which had
developed, to increase rather than to reduce their claims along the
Dalmatian coast in order that they might have something which could be
surrendered in a compromise without giving up the boundaries laid down
in the Pact of London.

It is probable, too, that these additional claims were advanced by Italy
in order to offset in a measure the claims of the Jugo-Slavs, who
through the Serbian delegates at Paris were making territorial demands
which the Italians declared to be extravagant and which, if granted,
would materially reduce the proposed cessions to Italy under the Pact of
London. Furthermore, the Italian Government appeared to be by no means
pleased with the idea of a Jugo-Slav state so strong that it might
become a commercial, if not a naval, rival of Italy in the Adriatic. The
Italian delegates in private interviews showed great bitterness toward
the Slavs, who, they declared, had, as Austrian subjects, waged war
against Italy and taken part in the cruel and wanton acts attendant upon
the invasion of the northern Italian provinces. They asserted that it
was unjust to permit these people, by merely changing their allegiance
after defeat, to escape punishment for the outrages which they had
committed against Italians and actually to profit by being vanquished.
This antipathy to the Slavs of the former Empire was in a measure
transferred to the Serbs, who were naturally sympathetic with their
kinsmen and who were also ambitious to build up a strong Slav state with
a large territory and with commercial facilities on the Adriatic coast
which would be ample to meet the trade needs of the interior.

While there may have been a certain fear for the national safety of
Italy in having as a neighbor a Slav state with a large and virile
population, extensive resources, and opportunity to become a naval power
in the Mediterranean, the real cause of apprehension seemed to be that
the new nation would become a commercial rival of Italy in the Adriatic
and prevent her from securing the exclusive control of the trade which
her people coveted and which the complete victory over Austria-Hungary
appeared to assure to them.

The two principal ports having extensive facilities for shipping and
rail-transportation to and from the Danubian provinces of the Dual
Empire were Trieste and Fiume. The other Dalmatian ports were small and
without possibilities of extensive development, while the precipitous
mountain barrier between the coast and the interior which rose almost
from the water-line rendered railway construction from an engineering
standpoint impracticable if not impossible. It was apparent that, if
Italy could obtain both the port of Trieste and the port of Fiume, the
two available outlets for foreign trade to the territories lying north
and east of the Adriatic Sea, she would have a substantial monopoly of
the sea-borne commerce of the Dalmatian coast and its hinterland. It was
equally apparent that Italian possession of the two ports would place
the new Slav state at a great disadvantage commercially, as the
principal volume of its exports and imports would have to pass through a
port in the hands of a trade rival which could, in case of controversy
or in order to check competition, be closed to Slav ships and goods on
this or that pretext, even if the new state found it practicable to
maintain a merchant marine under an agreement granting it the use of
the port.

In view of the new conditions which had thus arisen through the
dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the union of the Southern
Slavs, the Italian delegates at Paris began a vigorous campaign to
obtain sovereignty, or at least administrative control, over Fiume and
the adjacent coasts and islands, it having been generally conceded that
Trieste should be ceded to Italy. The Italian demand for Fiume had
become real instead of artificial. This campaign was conducted by means
of personal interviews with the representatives of the principal Powers,
and particularly with those of the United States because it was
apparently felt that the chief opposition to the demand would come from
that quarter, since the President was known to favor the general
proposition that every nation should have free access to the sea and, if
possible, a seaport under its own sovereignty.

The Italian delegates were undoubtedly encouraged by some Americans to
believe that, while the President had not actually declared in favor of
Italian control of Fiume, he was sympathetic to the idea and would
ultimately assent to it just as he had in the case of the cession to
Italy of the Tyrol with its Austrian population. Convinced by these
assurances of success the Italian leaders began a nationwide propaganda
at home for the purpose of arousing a strong public sentiment for the
acquisition of the port. This propaganda was begun, it would seem, for
two reasons, first, the political advantage to be gained when it was
announced that Signor Orlando and his colleagues at Paris had succeeded
in having their demand recognized, and, second, the possibility of
influencing the President to a speedy decision by exhibiting the
intensity and unity of the Italian national spirit in demanding the
annexation of the little city, the major part of the population of which
was asserted to be of Italian blood.

The idea, which was industriously circulated throughout Italy, that
Fiume was an Italian city, aroused the feelings of the people more than
any political or economic argument could have done. The fact that the
suburbs, which were really as much a part of the municipality as the
area within the city proper, were inhabited largely by Jugo-Slavs was
ignored, ridiculed, or denied. That the Jugo-Slavs undoubtedly exceeded
in numbers the Italians in the community when it was treated as a whole
made no difference to the propagandists who asserted that Fiume was
Italian. They clamored for its annexation on the ground of
"self-determination," though refusing to accept that principle as
applicable to the inhabitants of the Austrian Tyrol and failing to raise
any question in regard to it in the case of the port of Danzig. The
Italian orators and press were not disturbed by the inconsistency of
their positions, and the Italian statesmen at Paris, when their
attention was called to it, replied that the cases were not the same, an
assertion which it would have been difficult to establish with facts or
support with convincing arguments.

While the propaganda went forward in Italy with increasing energy,
additional assurances, I was informed by one of the Italian group, were
given to Signor Orlando and Baron Sonnino that President Wilson was
almost on the point of conceding the justice of the Italian claim to
Fiume. It was not until the latter part of March, 1919, that these
statesmen began to suspect that they had been misinformed and that the
influence of their American friends was not as powerful with Mr. Wilson
as they had been led to believe. It was an unpleasant awakening. They
were placed in a difficult position. Too late to calm the inflamed
temper of the Italian people the Italian leaders at Paris had no
alternative but to press their demands with greater vigor since the
failure to obtain Fiume meant almost inevitable disaster to the
Orlando Ministry.

Following conversations with Baron Sonnino and some others connected
with the Italian delegation, I drew the conclusion that they would go so
far as to refuse to make peace with Germany unless the Adriatic Question
was first settled to their satisfaction. In a memorandum dated March 29,
I wrote: "This will cause a dangerous crisis," and in commenting on the
probable future of the subject I stated:

   "My fear is that the President will continue to rely upon private
   interviews and his powers of persuasion to induce the Italians to
   abandon their extravagant claim. I am sure that he will not be able
   to do it. On the contrary, his conversations will strengthen rather
   than weaken Italian determination. He ought to tell them _now_ that
   he will not consent to have Fiume given to Italy. It would cause
   anger and bitterness, but nothing to compare with the resentment
   which will be aroused if the uncertainty is permitted to go on much
   longer. I shall tell the President my opinion at the first
   opportunity. [I did this a few days later.]

   "The future is darkened by the Adriatic situation and I look to an
   explosion before the matter is settled. It is a good thing that the
   President visited Italy when he did and when blessings rather than
   curses greeted him. Secret diplomacy is reaping a new harvest of
   execrations and condemnations. Will the practice ever cease?"

During the first three weeks of April the efforts to shake the
determination of the President to support the Jugo-Slav claims to Fiume
and the adjacent territory were redoubled, but without avail. Every form
of compromise as to boundary and port privileges, which did not deprive
Italy of the sovereignty, was proposed, but found to be unacceptable.
The Italians, held by the pressure of the aroused national spirit, and
the President, firm in the conviction that the Italian claim to the port
was unjust, remained obdurate. Attempts were made by both sides to reach
some common ground for an agreement, but none was found. As the time
approached to submit the Treaty to the German plenipotentiaries, who
were expected to arrive at Paris on April 26, the Italian delegates let
it be known that they would absent themselves from the meeting at which
the document was to be presented unless a satisfactory understanding in
regard to Fiume was obtained before the meeting. I doubt whether this
threat was with the approval and upon the advice of the American friends
of the Italians who had been industrious in attempting to persuade the
President to accept a compromise. An American familiar with Mr. Wilson's
disposition would have realized that to try to coerce him in that manner
would be folly, as in all probability it would have just the contrary
effect to the one desired.

The Italian delegates did not apparently read the President's temper
aright. They made a mistake. Their threat of withdrawal from the
Conference resulted far differently from their expectation and hope.
When Mr. Wilson learned of the Italian threat he met it with a public
announcement of his position in regard to the controversy, which was
intended as an appeal to the people of Italy to abandon the claim to
Fiume and to reject their Government's policy of insisting on an unjust
settlement. This declaration was given to the press late in the
afternoon of April 23, and a French newspaper containing it was handed,
it was said, to Signor Orlando at the President's residence where the
Council of Four were assembled. He immediately withdrew, issued a
counter-statement, and the following day left Paris for Rome more on
account of his indignation at the course taken by the President than
because of the threat which he had made. Baron Sonnino also departed
the next day.

It is not my purpose to pursue further the course of events following
the crisis which was precipitated by the President's published statement
and the resulting departure of the principal Italian delegates. The
effect on the Italian people is common knowledge. A tempest of popular
fury against the President swept over Italy from end to end. From being
the most revered of all men by the Italians, he became the most
detested. As no words of praise and admiration were too extravagant to
be spoken of him when he visited Rome in January, so no words of insult
or execration were too gross to characterize him after his public
announcement regarding the Adriatic Question. There was never a more
complete reversal of public sentiment toward an individual.

The reason for reciting the facts of the Fiume dispute, which was one of
the most unpleasant incidents that took place at Paris during the
negotiations, is to bring out clearly the consequences of secret
diplomacy. A discussion of the reasons, or of the probable reasons, for
the return of the Italian statesmen to Paris before the Treaty was
handed to the Germans would add nothing to the subject under
consideration, while the same may be said of the subsequent occupation
of Fiume by Italian nationalists under the fanatical D'Annunzio, without
authority of their Government, but with the enthusiastic approval of the
Italian people.

Five days after the Italian Premier and his Minister of Foreign Affairs
had departed from Paris I had a long interview with a well-known Italian
diplomat, who was an intimate friend of both Signor Orlando and Baron
Sonnino and who had been very active in the secret negotiations
regarding the Italian boundaries which had been taking place at Paris
since the middle of December. This diplomat was extremely bitter about
the whole affair and took no pains to hide his views as to the causes of
the critical situation which existed. In the memorandum of our
conversation, which I wrote immediately after he left my office, appears
the following:

   "He exclaimed: 'One tells you one thing and that is not true; then
   another tells you another thing and that too is not true. What is one
   to believe? What can one do? It is hopeless. So many secret meetings
   with different persons are simply awful'--He threw up his hands--'Now
   we have the result. It is terrible!'

   "I laughed and said, 'I conclude that you do not like secret
   diplomacy.'

   "'I do not; I do not,' he fervently exclaimed. 'All our trouble comes
   from these secret meetings of four men [referring to the Big Four],
   who keep no records and who tell different stories of what takes
   place. Secrecy is to blame. We have been unable to rely on any one.
   To have to run around and see this man and that man is not the way to
   do. Most all sympathize with you when alone and then they desert you
   when they get with others. This is the cause of much bitterness and
   distrust. _Secret diplomacy is an utter failure._ It is too hard to
   endure. Some men know only how to whisper. They are not to be
   trusted. I do not like it.'

   "'Well,' I said, 'you cannot charge me with that way of doing
   business.'

   "'I cannot,' he replied, 'you tell me the truth. I may not like it,
   but at least you do not hold out false hopes.'"

The foregoing conversation no doubt expressed the real sentiments of the
members of the Italian delegation at that time. Disgust with
confidential personal interviews and with relying upon personal
influence rather than upon the merits of their case was the natural
reaction following the failure to win by these means the President's
approval of Italy's demands.

The Italian policy in relation to Flume was wrecked on the rock of
President Wilson's firm determination that the Jugo-Slavs should have a
seaport on the Adriatic sufficient for their needs and that Italy should
not control the approaches to that port. With the wreck of the Fiume
policy went in time the Orlando Government which had failed to make good
the promises which they had given to their people. Too late they
realized that secret diplomacy had failed, and that they had made a
mistake in relying upon it. It is no wonder that the two leaders of the
Italian delegation on returning to Paris and resuming their duties in
the Conference refrained from attempting to arrange clandestinely the
settlement of the Adriatic Question. The "go-betweens," on whom they had
previously relied, were no longer employed. Secret diplomacy was
anathema. They had paid a heavy price for the lesson, which they
had learned.

When one reviews the negotiations at Paris from December, 1918, to June,
1919, the secretiveness which characterized them is very evident.
Everybody seemed to talk in whispers and never to say anything worth
while except in confidence. The open sessions of the Conference were
arranged beforehand. They were formal and perfunctory. The agreements
and bargains were made behind closed doors. This secrecy began with the
exchange of views concerning the League of Nations, following which came
the creation of the Council of Ten, whose meetings were intended to be
secret. Then came the secret sessions of the Commission on the League
and the numerous informal interviews of the President with one or more
of the Premiers of the Allied Powers, the facts concerning which were
not divulged to the American Commissioners. Later, on Mr. Wilson's
return from the United States, dissatisfaction with and complaint of the
publicity given to some of the proceedings of the Council of Ten induced
the formation of the Council of Four with the result that the secrecy of
the negotiations was practically unbroken. If to this brief summary of
the increasing secretiveness of the proceedings of the controlling
bodies of the Peace Conference are added the intrigues and personal
bargainings which were constantly going on, the "log-rolling"--to use a
term familiar to American politics--which was practiced, the record is
one which invites no praise and will find many who condemn it. In view
of the frequent and emphatic declarations in favor of "open diplomacy"
and the popular interpretation placed upon the phrase "Open covenants
openly arrived at," the effect of the secretive methods employed by the
leading negotiators at Paris was to destroy public confidence in the
sincerity of these statesmen and to subject them to the charge of
pursuing a policy which they had themselves condemned and repudiated.
Naturally President Wilson, who had been especially earnest in his
denunciation of secret negotiations, suffered more than his foreign
colleagues, whose real support of "open diplomacy" had always been
doubted, though all of them in a measure fell in public estimation as a
consequence of the way in which the negotiations were conducted.

The criticism and condemnation, expressed with varying degrees of
intensity, resulted from the disappointed hopes of the peoples of the
world, who had looked forward confidently to the Peace Conference at
Paris as the first great and decisive change to a new diplomacy which
would cast aside the cloak of mystery that had been in the past the
recognized livery of diplomatic negotiations. The record of the Paris
proceedings in this particular is a sorry one. It is the record of the
abandonment of principle, of the failure to follow precepts
unconditionally proclaimed, of the repudiation by act, if not by word,
of a new and better type of international intercourse.

It is not my purpose or desire to fix the blame for this perpetuation of
old and discredited practices on any one individual. To do so would be
unjust, since more than one preferred the old way and should share the
responsibility for its continuance. But, as the secrecy became more and
more impenetrable and as the President gave silent acquiescence or at
least failed to show displeasure with the practice, I realized that in
this matter, as in others, our judgments were at variance and our views
irreconcilable. As my opposition to the method of conducting the
proceedings was evident, I cannot but assume that this decided
difference was one that materially affected the relations between Mr.
Wilson and myself and that he looked upon me as an unfavorable critic of
his course in permitting to go unprotested the secrecy which
characterized the negotiations.

The attention of the delegates to the Peace Conference who represented
the smaller nations was early directed to their being denied knowledge
of the terms of the Treaty which were being formulated by the principal
members of the delegations of the Five Great Powers. There is no doubt
that at the first their mental attitude was one of confidence that the
policy of secrecy would not be continued beyond the informal meetings
preliminary to and necessary for arranging the organization and
procedure of the Conference; but, as the days lengthened into weeks and
the weeks into months, and as the information concerning the actual
negotiations, which reached them, became more and more meager, they
could no longer close their eyes to the fact that their national rights
and aspirations were to be recognized or denied by the leaders of the
Great Powers without the consent and even without the full knowledge of
the delegates of the nations vitally interested.

Except in the case of a few of these delegates, who had been able to
establish intimate personal relations with some of the "Big Four," the
secretiveness of the discussions and decisions regarding the Treaty
settlements aroused amazement and indignation. It was evident that it
was to be a "dictated peace" and not a "negotiated peace," a peace
dictated by the Great Powers not only to the enemy, but also to their
fellow belligerents. Some of the delegates spoke openly in criticism of
the furtive methods that were being employed, but the majority held
their peace. It can hardly be doubted, however, that the body of
delegates were practically unanimous in disapproving the secrecy of the
proceedings, and this disapproval was to be found even among the
delegations of the Great Powers. It was accepted by the lesser nations
because it seemed impolitic and useless to oppose the united will of the
controlling oligarchy. It was natural that the delegates of the less
influential states should feel that their countries would suffer in the
terms of peace if they openly denounced the treatment accorded them as
violative of the dignity of representatives of independent
sovereignties. In any event no formal protest was entered against their
being deprived of a knowledge to which they were entitled, a deprivation
which placed them and their countries in a subordinate, and, to an
extent, a humiliating, position.

The climax of this policy of secrecy toward the body of delegates came
on the eve of the delivery of the Treaty of Peace to the German
representatives who were awaiting that event at Versailles. By a
decision of the Council of the Heads of States, reached three weeks
before the time, only a digest or summary of the Treaty was laid before
the plenary session of the Conference on the Preliminaries of Peace on
the day preceding the delivery of the full text of the Treaty to the
Germans. The delegates of the smaller belligerent nations were not
permitted to examine the actual text of the document before it was seen
by their defeated adversaries. Nations, which had fought valiantly and
suffered agonies during the war, were treated with no more consideration
than their enemies so far as knowledge of the exact terms of peace were
concerned. The arguments, which could be urged on the ground of the
practical necessity of a small group dealing with the questions and
determining the settlements, seem insufficient to justify the
application of the rule of secrecy to the delegates who sat in the
Conference on the Preliminaries of Peace. It is not too severe to say
that it outraged the equal rights of independent and sovereign states
and under less critical conditions would have been resented as an insult
by the plenipotentiaries of the lesser nations. Even within the
delegations of the Great Powers there were indignant murmurings against
this indefensible and unheard-of treatment of allies. No man, whose mind
was not warped by prejudice or dominated by political expediency, could
give it his approval or become its apologist. Secrecy, and intrigues
which were only possible through secrecy, stained nearly all the
negotiations at Paris, but in this final act of withholding knowledge of
the actual text of the Treaty from the delegates of most of the nations
represented in the Conference the spirit of secretiveness seems to
have gone mad.

The psychological effects of secrecy on those who are kept in ignorance
are not difficult to analyze. They follow normal processes and may be
thus stated: Secrecy breeds suspicion; suspicion, doubt; doubt,
distrust; and distrust produces lack of frankness, which is closely akin
to secrecy. The result is a vicious circle, of which deceit and intrigue
are the very essence. Secrecy and its natural consequences have given to
diplomacy a popular reputation for trickery, for double-dealing, and in
a more or less degree for unscrupulous and dishonest methods of
obtaining desired ends, a reputation that has found expression in the
ironic definition of a diplomat as "an honest man sent to lie abroad for
the good of his country."

The time had arrived when the bad name which diplomacy had so long borne
could and should have been removed. "Open covenants openly arrived at"
appealed to the popular feeling of antipathy toward secret diplomacy, of
which the Great War was generally believed to be the product. The Paris
Conference appeared to offer an inviting opportunity to turn the page
and to begin a new and better chapter in the annals of international
intercourse. To do this required a fixed purpose to abandon the old
methods, to insist on openness and candor, to refuse to be drawn into
whispered agreements. The choice between the old and the new ways had to
be definite and final. It had to be made at the very beginning of the
negotiations. It was made. Secrecy was adopted. Thus diplomacy, in spite
of the announced intention to reform its practices, has retained the
evil taint which makes it out of harmony with the spirit of good faith
and of open dealing which is characteristic of the best thought of the
present epoch. There is little to show that diplomacy has been raised to
a higher plane or has won a better reputation in the world at large than
it possessed before the nations assembled at Paris to make peace. This
failure to lift the necessary agency of international relations out of
the rut worn deep by centuries of practice is one of the deplorable
consequences of the peace negotiations. So much might have been done;
nothing was done.




CHAPTER XVIII

THE SHANTUNG SETTLEMENT


The Shantung Settlement was not so evidently chargeable to secret
negotiations as the crisis over the disposition of Fiume, but the
decision was finally reached through that method. The controversy
between Japan and China as to which country should become the possessor
of the former German property and rights in the Shantung Peninsula was
not decided until almost the last moment before the Treaty with Germany
was completed. Under pressure of the necessity of making the document
ready for delivery to the German delegates, President Wilson, M.
Clemenceau, and Mr. Lloyd George, composing the Council of the Heads of
States in the absence of Signor Orlando in Rome, issued an order
directing the Drafting Committee of the Conference to prepare articles
for the Treaty embodying the decision that the Council had made. This
decision, which was favorable to the Japanese claims, was the result of
a confidential arrangement with the Japanese delegates by which, in the
event of their claims being granted, they withdrew their threat to
decline to sign the Treaty of Peace, agreed not to insist on a proposed
amendment to the Covenant declaring for racial equality, and orally
promised to restore to China in the near future certain rights of
sovereignty over the territory, which promise failed of confirmation in
writing or by formal public declaration.

It is fair to presume that, if the conflicting claims of Japan and China
to the alleged rights of Germany in Chinese territory had been settled
upon the merits through the medium of an impartial commission named by
the Conference, the Treaty provisions relating to the disposition of
those rights would have been very different from those which "The Three"
ordered to be drafted. Before a commission of the Conference no
persuasive reasons for conceding the Japanese claims could have been
urged on the basis of an agreement on the part of Japan to adhere to the
League of Nations or to abandon the attempt to have included in the
Covenant a declaration of equality between races. It was only through
secret interviews and secret agreements that the threat of the Japanese
delegates could be successfully made. An adjustment on such a basis had
nothing to do with the justice of the case or with the legal rights and
principles involved. The threat was intended to coerce the arbiters of
the treaty terms by menacing the success of the plan to establish a
League of Nations--to use an ugly word, it was a species of "blackmail"
not unknown to international relations in the past. It was made possible
because the sessions of the Council of the Heads of States and the
conversations concerning Shantung were secret.

It was a calamity for the Republic of China and unfortunate for the
presumed justice written into the Treaty that President Wilson was
convinced that the Japanese delegates would decline to accept the
Covenant of the League of Nations if the claims of Japan to the German
rights were denied. It was equally unfortunate that the President felt
that without Japan's adherence to the Covenant the formation of the
League would be endangered if not actually prevented. And it was
especially unfortunate that the President considered the formation of
the League in accordance with the provisions of the Covenant to be
superior to every other consideration and that to accomplish this object
almost any sacrifice would be justifiable. It is my impression that the
departure of Signor Orlando and Baron Sonnino from Paris and the
uncertainty of their return to give formal assent to the Treaty with
Germany, an uncertainty which existed at the time of the decision of the
Shantung Question, had much to do with the anxiety of the President as
to Japan's attitude. He doubtless felt that to have two of the Five
Great Powers decline at the last moment to accept the Treaty containing
the Covenant would jeopardize the plan for a League and would greatly
encourage his opponents in the United States. His line of reasoning was
logical, but in my judgment was based on the false premise that the
Japanese would carry out their threat to refuse to accept the Treaty and
enter the League of Nations unless they obtained a cession of the German
rights. I did not believe at the time, and I do not believe now, that
Japan would have made good her threat. The superior international
position, which she held as one of the Five Great Powers in the
Conference, and which she would hold in the League of Nations as one of
the Principal Powers in the constitution of the Executive Council, would
never have been abandoned by the Tokio Government. The Japanese
delegates would not have run the risk of losing this position by
adopting the course pursued by the Italians.

The cases were different. No matter what action was taken by Italy she
would have continued to be a Great Power in any organization of the
world based on a classification of the nations. If she did not enter the
League under the German Treaty, she certainly would later and would
undoubtedly hold an influential position in the organization whether her
delegates signed the Covenant or accepted it in another treaty or by
adherence. It was not so with Japan. There were reasons to believe that,
if she failed to become one of the Principal Powers at the outset,
another opportunity might never be given her to obtain so high a place
in the concert of the nations. The seats that her delegates had in the
Council of Ten had caused criticism and dissatisfaction in certain
quarters, and the elimination of a Japanese from the Council of the
Heads of States showed that the Japanese position as an equal of the
other Great Powers was by no means secure. These indications of Japan's
place in the international oligarchy must have been evident to her
plenipotentiaries at Paris, who in all probability reported the
situation to Tokio. From the point of view of policy the execution of
the threat of withdrawal presented dangers to Japan's prestige which the
diplomats who represented her would never have incurred if they were as
cautious and shrewd as they appeared to be. The President did not hold
this opinion. We differed radically in our judgment as to the sincerity
of the Japanese threat. He showed that he believed it would be carried
out. I believed that it would not be.

It has not come to my knowledge what the attitude of the British and
French statesmen was concerning the disposition of the Shantung rights,
although I have read the views of certain authors on the subject, but I
do know that the actual decision lay with the President. If he had
declined to recognize the Japanese claims, they would never have been
granted nor would the grant have been written into the Treaty.
Everything goes to show that he realized this responsibility and that
the cession to Japan was not made through error or misconception of the
rights of the parties, but was done deliberately and with a full
appreciation that China was being denied that which in other
circumstances would have been awarded to her. If it had not been for
reasons wholly independent and outside of the question in dispute, the
President would not have decided as he did.

It is not my purpose to enter into the details of the origin of the
German lease of Kiao-Chau (the port of Tsingtau) and of the economic
concessions in the Province of Shantung acquired by Germany. Suffice it
to say that, taking advantage of a situation caused by the murder of
some missionary priests in the province, the German Government in 1898
forced the Chinese Government to make treaties granting for the period
of ninety-nine years the lease and concessions, by which the sovereign
authority over this "Holy Land" of China was to all intents ceded to
Germany, which at once improved the harbor, fortified the leased area,
and began railway construction and the exploitation of the Shantung
Peninsula.

The outbreak of the World War found Germany in possession of the leased
area and in substantial control of the territory under the concession.
On August 15, 1914, the Japanese Government presented an _ultimatum_ to
the German Government, in which the latter was required "to deliver on a
date not later than September 15 to the Imperial Japanese authorities,
without condition or compensation, the entire leased territory of
Kiao-Chau with a view to the eventual restoration of the same to China."

On the German failure to comply with these demands the Japanese
Government landed troops and, in company with a small British
contingent, took possession of the leased port and occupied the
territory traversed by the German railway, even to the extent of
establishing a civil government in addition to garrisoning the line with
Japanese troops. Apparently the actual occupation of this Chinese
territory induced a change in the policy of the Imperial Government at
Tokio, for in December, 1914, Baron Kato, the Minister of Foreign
Affairs, declared that the restoration of Tsingtau to China "is to be
settled in the future" and that the Japanese Government had made no
promises to do so.

This statement, which seemed in contradiction of the _ultimatum_ to
Germany, was made in the Japanese Diet. It was followed up in January,
1915, by the famous "Twenty-one Demands" made upon the Government at
Peking. It is needless to go into these demands further than to quote
the first to which China was to subscribe.

   "The Chinese Government agrees that when the Japanese Government
   hereafter approaches the German Government for the transfer of all
   rights and privileges of whatsoever nature enjoyed by Germany in the
   Province of Shantung, whether secured by treaty or in any other
   manner, China shall give her full assent thereto."

The important point to be noted in this demand is that Japan did not
consider that the occupation of Kiao-Chau and the seizure of the German
concessions transferred title to her, but looked forward to a future
transfer by treaty.

The "Twenty-one Demands" were urged with persistency by the Japanese
Government and finally took the form of an _ultimatum_ as to all but
Group V of the "Demands." The Peking Government was in no political or
military condition to resist, and, in order to avoid an open rupture
with their aggressive neighbor, entered into a treaty granting the
Japanese demands.

China, following the action which the United States had taken on
February 3, 1917, severed diplomatic relations with Germany on March 14,
and five months later declared war against her announcing at the same
time that the treaties, conventions, and agreements between the two
countries were by the declaration abrogated. As to whether a state of
war does in fact abrogate a treaty of the character of the Sino-German
Treaty of 1898 some question may be raised under the accepted rules of
international law, on the ground that it was a cession of sovereign
rights and constituted an international servitude in favor of Germany
over the territory affected by it. But in this particular case the
indefensible duress employed by the German Government to compel China to
enter into the treaty introduces another factor into the problem and
excepts it from any general rule that treaties of that nature are merely
suspended and not abrogated by war between the parties. It would seem as
if no valid argument could be made in favor of suspension because the
effect of the rule would be to revive and perpetuate an inequitable and
unjustifiable act. Morally and legally the Chinese Government was right
in denouncing the treaty and agreements with Germany and in treating the
territorial rights acquired by coercion as extinguished.

It would appear, therefore, that, as the Japanese Government recognized
that the rights in the Province of Shantung had not passed to Japan by
the forcible occupation of Kiao-Chau and the German concessions, those
rights ceased to exist when China declared war against Germany, and that
China was, therefore, entitled to resume full sovereignty over the area
where such rights previously existed.

It is true that subsequently, on September 24, 1918, the Chinese and
Japanese Governments by exchange of notes at Tokio entered into
agreements affecting the Japanese occupation of the Kiao-Chau Tsinan
Railway and the adjoining territory, but the governmental situation at
Peking was too precarious to refuse any demands made by the Japanese
Government. In fact the action of the Japanese Government was very
similar to that of the German Government in 1898. An examination of
these notes discloses the fact that the Japanese were in possession of
the denounced German rights, but nothing in the notes indicates that
they were there as a matter of legal right, or that the Chinese
Government conceded their right of occupation.

This was the state of affairs when the Peace Conference assembled at
Paris. Germany had by force compelled China in 1898 to cede to her
certain rights in the Province of Shantung. Japan had seized these
rights by force in 1914 and had by threats forced China in 1915 to agree
to accept her disposition of them when they were legally transferred by
treaty at the end of the war. China in 1917 had, on entering the war
against Germany, denounced all treaties and agreements with Germany, so
that the ceded rights no longer existed and could not legally be
transferred by Germany to Japan by the Treaty of Peace, since the title
was in China. In fact any transfer or disposition of the rights in
Shantung formerly belonging to Germany was a transfer or disposition of
rights belonging wholly to China and would deprive that country of a
portion of its full sovereignty over the territory affected.

While this view of the extinguishment of the German rights in Shantung
was manifestly the just one and its adoption would make for the
preservation of permanent peace in the Far East, the Governments of the
Allied Powers had, early in 1917, and prior to the severance of
diplomatic relations between China and Germany, acceded to the request
of Japan to support, "on the occasion of the Peace Conference," her
claims in regard to these rights which then existed. The representatives
of Great Britain, France, and Italy at Paris were thus restricted, or at
least embarrassed, by the promises which their Governments had made at a
time when they were in no position to refuse Japan's request. They might
have stood on the legal ground that the Treaty of 1898 having been
abrogated by China no German rights in Shantung were in being at the
time of the Peace Conference, but they apparently were unwilling to take
that position. Possibly they assumed that the ground was one which they
could not take in view of the undertakings of their Governments; or
possibly they preferred to let the United States bear the brunt of
Japanese resentment for interfering with the ambitious schemes of the
Japanese Government in regard to China. There can be little doubt that
political, and possibly commercial, interests influenced the attitude of
the European Powers in regard to the Shantung Question.

President Wilson and the American Commissioners, unhampered by previous
commitments, were strongly opposed to acceding to the demands of the
Japanese Government. The subject had been frequently considered during
the early days of the negotiations and there seemed to be no divergence
of views as to the justice of the Chinese claim of right to the
resumption of full sovereignty over the territory affected by the lease
and the concessions to Germany. These views were further strengthened by
the presentation of the question before the Council of Ten. On January
27 the Japanese argued their case before the Council, the Chinese
delegates being present; and on the 28th Dr. V.K. Wellington Koo spoke
on behalf of China. In a note on the meeting I recorded that "he simply
overwhelmed the Japanese with his argument." I believe that that opinion
was common to all those who heard the two presentations. In fact it made
such an impression on the Japanese themselves, that one of the delegates
called upon me the following day and attempted to offset the effect by
declaring that the United States, since it had not promised to support
Japan's contention, would be blamed if Kiao-Chau was returned directly
to China. He added that there was intense feeling in Japan in regard to
the matter. It was an indirect threat of what would happen to the
friendly relations between the two countries if Japan's claim
was denied.

The sessions of the Commission on the League of Nations and the absence
of President Wilson from Paris interrupted further consideration of the
Shantung Question until the latter part of March, when the Council of
Four came into being. As the subject had been fully debated in January
before the Council of Ten, final decision lay with the Council of Four.
What discussions took place in the latter council I do not know on
account of the secrecy which was observed as to their deliberations. But
I presume that the President stood firmly for the Chinese rights, as the
matter remained undecided until the latter part of April.

On the 21st of April Baron Makino and Viscount Chinda called upon me in
regard to the question, and I frankly told them that they ought to prove
the justice of the Japanese claim, that they had not done it and that I
doubted their ability to do so. I found, too, that the President had
proposed that the Five Powers act as trustees of the former German
rights in Shantung, but that the Japanese delegates had declared that
they could not consent to the proposition, which was in the nature of a
compromise intended to bridge over the existing situation that, on
account of the near approach of the completion of the Treaty, was
becoming more and more acute.

On April 26 the President, at a conference with the American
Commissioners, showed deep concern over the existing state of the
controversy, and asked me to see the Japanese delegates again and
endeavor to dissuade them from insisting on their demands and to induce
them to consider the international trusteeship proposed. The evening of
the same day the two Japanese came by request to my office and conferred
with Professor E.T. Williams, the Commission's principal adviser on Far
Eastern affairs, and with me. After an hour's conversation Viscount
Chinda made it very clear that Japan intended to insist on her "pound of
flesh." It was apparent both to Mr. Williams and to me that nothing
could be done to obtain even a compromise, though it was on the face
favorable to Japan, since it recognized the existence of the German
rights, which China claimed were annulled.

On April 28 I gave a full report of the interview to Mr. White and
General Bliss at our regular morning meeting. Later in the morning the
President telephoned me and I informed him of the fixed determination of
the Japanese to insist upon their claims. What occurred between the time
of my conversation with the President and the plenary session of the
Conference on the Preliminaries of Peace in the afternoon, at which the
Covenant of the League of Nations was adopted, I do not actually know,
but the presumption is that the Japanese were promised a satisfactory
settlement in regard to Shantung, since they announced that they would
not press an amendment on "racial equality" at the session, an amendment
upon which they had indicated they intended to insist.

After the meeting of the Conference I made the following memorandum of
the situation:

   "At the Plenary Session of the Peace Conference this afternoon Baron
   Makino spoke of his proposed amendment to the Covenant declaring
   'racial equality,' but said he would not press it.

   "I concluded from what the President said to me that he was disposed
   to accede to Japan's claims in regard to Kiao-Chau and Shantung. He
   also showed me a letter from ---- to Makino saying he was sorry their
   claims had not been finally settled before the Session.

   "From all this I am forced to the conclusion that a bargain has been
   struck by which the Japanese agree to sign the Covenant in exchange
   for admission of their claims. If so, it is an iniquitous agreement.

   "Apparently the President is going to do this to avoid Japan's
   declining to enter the League of Nations. It is a surrender of the
   principle of self-determination, a transfer of millions of Chinese
   from one foreign master to another. This is another of those secret
   arrangements which have riddled the 'Fourteen Points' and are
   wrecking a just peace.

   "In my opinion it would be better to let Japan stay out of the League
   than to abandon China and surrender our prestige in the Far East for
   'a mess of pottage'--and a mess it is. I fear that it is too late to
   do anything to save the situation."

Mr. White, General Bliss, and I, at our meeting that morning before the
plenary session, and later when we conferred as to what had taken place
at the session, were unanimous in our opinions that China's rights
should be sustained even if Japan withdrew from the Peace Conference. We
were all indignant at the idea of submitting to the Japanese demands and
agreed that the President should be told of our attitude, because we
were unwilling to have it appear that we in any way approved of acceding
to Japan's claims or even of compromising them.

General Bliss volunteered to write the President a letter on the
subject, a course which Mr. White and I heartily endorsed.

The next morning the General read the following letter to us and with
our entire approval sent it to Mr. Wilson:

   "_Hotel de Crillon, Paris_

   "_April 29, 1919_

   "MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT:

   "Last Saturday morning you told the American Delegation that you
   desired suggestions, although not at that moment, in regard to the
   pending matter of certain conflicting claims between Japan and China
   centering about the alleged German rights. My principal interest in
   the matter is with sole reference to the question of the moral right
   or wrong involved. From this point of view I discussed the matter
   this morning with Mr. Lansing and Mr. White. They concurred with me
   and requested me to draft a hasty note to you on the subject.

   "Since your conference with us last Saturday, I have asked myself
   three or four Socratic questions the answers to which make me,
   personally, quite sure on which side the moral right lies.

   "_First._ Japan bases certain of her claims on the right acquired by
   conquest. I asked myself the following questions: Suppose Japan had
   not succeeded in her efforts to force the capitulation of the Germans
   at Tsing-Tsau; suppose that the armistice of November 11th had found
   her still fighting the Germans at that place, just as the armistice
   found the English still fighting the Germans in South-East Africa. We
   would then oblige Germany to dispose of her claims in China by a
   clause in the Treaty of Peace. Would it occur to any one that, as a
   matter of right, we should force Germany to cede her claims to Japan
   rather than to China? It seems to me that it would occur to every
   American that we would then have the opportunity that we have long
   desired to force Germany to correct, in favor of China, the great
   wrong which she began to do to the latter in 1898. What moral right
   has Japan acquired by her conquest of Shantung assisted by the
   British? If Great Britain and Japan secured no moral right to
   sovereignty over various savages inhabiting islands in the Pacific
   Ocean, but, on the other hand, we held that these peoples shall be
   governed by mandates under the League of Nations, what moral right
   has Japan acquired to the suzerainty (which she would undoubtedly
   eventually have) over 30,000,000 Chinese in the sacred province
   of Shantung?

   "_Second._ Japan must base her claims either on the Convention with
   China or on the right of conquest, or on both. Let us consider her
   moral right under either of these points.

   "_a)_ If the United States has not before this recognized the
   validity of the rights claimed by Japan under her Convention with
   China, what has happened since the Armistice that would justify us in
   recognizing their validity now?

   "_b)_ If Germany had possessed territory, in full sovereignty, on the
   east coast of Asia, a right to this territory, under international
   law, could have been obtained by conquest. But Germany possessed no
   such territory. What then was left for Japan to acquire by conquest?
   Apparently nothing but a lease extorted under compulsion from China
   by Germany. I understand that international lawyers hold that such a
   lease, or the rights acquired, justly or unjustly, under it, cannot
   be acquired by conquest.

   "_Third._ Suppose Germany says to us, 'We will cede our lease and all
   rights under it, but we will cede them back to China.' Will we
   recognize the justice of Japan's claims to such an extent that we
   will threaten Germany with further war unless she cedes these rights
   to Japan rather than to China?

   "Again, suppose that Germany, in her hopelessness of resistance to
   our demands, should sign without question a clause ceding these
   rights to Japan, even though we know that this is so wrong that we
   would not fight in order to compel Germany to do it, what moral
   justification would we have in making Germany do this?

   "_Fourth._ Stripped of all words that befog the issue, would we not,
   under the guise of making a treaty with Germany, really be making a
   treaty with Japan by which we compel one of our Allies (China) to
   cede against her will these things to Japan? Would not this action be
   really more unjustifiable than the one which you have refused to be a
   party to on the Dalmatian Coast? Because, in the latter case, the
   territory in dispute did not belong to one of the Allies, but to one
   of the Central Powers; the question in Dalmatia is as to which of two
   friendly powers we shall give territory taken from an enemy power; in
   China the question is, shall we take certain claimed rights from one
   friendly power in order to give them to another friendly power.

   "It would seem to be advisable to call particular attention to what
   the Japanese mean when they say that they will return Kiao-chow to
   China. They _do not_ offer to return the railway, the mines or the
   port, i.e., Tsingtau. The leased territory included a portion of land
   on the north-east side of the entrance of the Bay and another on the
   south-west and some islands. It is a small territory. The 50
   Kilometer Zone was not included. That was a _limitation_ put upon the
   movement of German troops. They could not go beyond the boundary of
   the zone. Within this zone China enjoyed all rights of sovereignty
   and administration.

   "Japan's proposal to abandon the zone is somewhat of an impertinence,
   since she has violated it ever since she took possession. She kept
   troops all along the railway line until recently and insists on
   maintaining in the future a guard at Tsinan, 254 miles away. The zone
   would restrict her military movements, consequently she gives it up.

   "The proposals she makes are (1) to open the whole bay. It is from 15
   to 20 miles from the entrance to the northern shore of the bay. (2)
   To have a Japanese exclusive concession _at a-place_ to be designated
   by her, i.e., she can take just as much as she likes of the territory
   around the bay. It may be as large as the present leased territory,
   but more likely it will include only the best part of Tsingtau. What
   then does she give up? Nothing but such parts of the leased territory
   as are of no value.

   "The operation then would amount chiefly to an exchange of two pieces
   of paper--one cancelling the lease for 78 years, the other granting a
   more valuable concession which would amount to a permanent title to
   the port. Why take two years to go through this operation?

   "If it be right for a policeman, who recovers your purse, to keep the
   contents and claim that he has fulfilled his duty in returning the
   empty purse, then Japan's conduct may be tolerated.

   "If it be right for Japan to annex the territory of an Ally, then it
   cannot be wrong for Italy to retain Fiume taken from the enemy.

   "If we support Japan's claim, we abandon the democracy of China to
   the domination of the Prussianized militarism of Japan.

   "We shall be sowing dragons' teeth.

   "It can't be right to do wrong even to make peace. Peace is
   desirable, but there are things dearer than peace, justice
   and freedom.

   "Sincerely yours

   "THE PRESIDENT

   "T.H. BLISS"

I have not discussed certain modifications proposed by the Japanese
delegates, since, as is clear from General Bliss's letter, they amounted
to nothing and were merely a pretense of concession and without
substantial value.

The day following the delivery of this letter to the President (April
30), by which he was fully advised of the attitude of General Bliss, Mr.
White, and myself in regard to the Japanese claims, the Council of Four
reached its final decision of the matter, in which necessarily Mr.
Wilson acquiesced. I learned of this decision the same evening. The
memorandum which I made the next morning in regard to the matter is
as follows:

   "China has been abandoned to Japanese rapacity. A democratic
   territory has been given over to an autocratic government. The
   President has conceded to Japan all that, if not more than, she ever
   hoped to obtain. This is the information contained in a memorandum
   handed by Ray Stannard Baker under the President's direction to the
   Chinese delegation last evening, a copy of which reached me through
   Mr. ---- [of the Chinese delegation].

   "Mr. ---- also said that Mr. Baker stated that the President desired
   him to say that the President was very sorry that he had not been
   able to do more for China but that he had been compelled to accede to
   Japan's demand 'in order _to save the League of Nations._'

   "The memorandum was most depressing. Though I had anticipated
   something of the sort three days ago [see note of April 28 previously
   quoted], I had unconsciously cherished a hope that the President
   would stand to his guns and champion China's cause. He has failed to
   do so. It is true that China is given the shell called 'sovereignty,'
   but the economic control, the kernel, is turned over to Japan.

   "However logical may appear the argument that China's political
   integrity is preserved and will be maintained under the guaranty of
   the League of Nations, the fact is that Japan will rule over millions
   of Chinese. Furthermore it is still a matter of conjecture how
   valuable the guaranty of the League will prove to be. It has, of
   course, never been tried, and Japan's representation on the Council
   will possibly thwart any international action in regard to China.

   "Frankly my policy would have been to say to the Japanese, 'If you do
   not give back to China what Germany stole from her, we don't want you
   in the League of Nations.' If the Japanese had taken offense and
   gone, I would have welcomed it, for we would have been well rid of a
   government with such imperial designs. But she would not have gone.
   She would have submitted. She has attained a high place in world
   councils. Her astute statesmen would never have abandoned her present
   exalted position even for the sake of Kiao-Chau. The whole affair
   assumes a sordid and sinister character, in which the President,
   acting undoubtedly with the best of motives, became the cat's-paw.

   "I have no doubt that the President fully believed that the League of
   Nations was in jeopardy and that to save it he was compelled to
   subordinate every other consideration. The result was that China was
   offered up as a sacrifice to propitiate the threatening Moloch of
   Japan. When you get down to facts the threats were nothing
   but 'bluff.'

   "I do not think that anything that has happened here has caused more
   severe or more outspoken criticism than this affair. I am heartsick
   over it, because I see how much good-will and regard the President is
   bound to lose. I can offer no adequate explanation to the critics.
   There seems to be none."

It is manifest, from the foregoing recital of events leading up to the
decision in regard to the Shantung Question and the apparent reasons for
the President's agreement to support the Japanese claims, that we
radically differed as to the decision which was embodied in Articles
156, 157, and 158 of the Treaty of Versailles (see Appendix VI, p. 318).
I do not think that we held different opinions as to the justice of the
Chinese position, though probably the soundness of the legal argument in
favor of the extinguishment of the German rights appealed more strongly
to me than it did to Mr. Wilson. Our chief differences were, first, that
it was more important to insure the acceptance of the Covenant of the
League of Nations than to do strict justice to China; second, that the
Japanese withdrawal from the Conference would prevent the formation of
the League; and, third, that Japan would have withdrawn if her claims
had been denied. As to these differences our opposite views remained
unchanged after the Treaty of Versailles was signed.

When I was summoned before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on
August 6, 1919, I told the Committee that, in my opinion, the Japanese
signatures would have been affixed to the Treaty containing the Covenant
even though Shantung had not been delivered over to Japan, and that the
only reason that I had yielded was because it was my duty to follow the
decision of the President of the United States.

About two weeks later, August 19, the President had a conference at the
White House with the same Committee. In answer to questions regarding
the Shantung Settlement, Mr. Wilson said concerning my statement that
his judgment was different from mine, that in his judgment the
signatures could not have been obtained if he had not given Shantung to
Japan, and that he had been notified that the Japanese delegates had
been instructed not to sign the Treaty unless the cession of the German
rights in Shantung to Japan was included.

Presumably the opinion which Mr. Wilson held in the summer of 1919 he
continues to hold, and for my part my views and feelings remain the same
now as they were then, with possibly the difference that the indignation
and shame that I felt at the time in being in any way a participant in
robbing China of her just rights have increased rather than lessened.

So intense was the bitterness among the American Commissioners over the
flagrant wrong being perpetrated that, when the decision of the Council
of Four was known, some of them considered whether or not they ought to
resign or give notice that they would not sign the Treaty if the
articles concerning Shantung appeared. The presence at Versailles of the
German plenipotentiaries, the uncertainty of the return of the Italian
delegates then in Rome, and the murmurs of dissatisfaction among the
delegates of the lesser nations made the international situation
precarious. To have added to the serious conditions and to have possibly
precipitated a crisis by openly rebelling against the President was to
assume a responsibility which no Commissioner was willing to take. With
the greatest reluctance the American Commissioners submitted to the
decision of the Council of Four; and, when the Chinese delegates refused
to sign the Treaty after they had been denied the right to sign it with
reservations to the Shantung articles, the American Commissioners, who
had so strongly opposed the settlement, silently approved their conduct
as the only patriotic and statesmanlike course to take. So far as China
was concerned the Shantung Question remained open, and the Chinese
Government very properly refused, after the Treaty of Versailles was
signed, to enter into any negotiations with Japan looking toward its
settlement upon the basis of the treaty provisions.

There was one exception to the President's usual practice which is
especially noticeable in connection with the Shantung controversy, and
that was the greater participation which he permitted the members of the
American Commission in negotiating with both the Japanese and the
Chinese. It is true he did not disclose his intentions to the
Commissioners, but he did express a wish for their advice and he
directed me to confer with the Japanese and obtain their views. Just why
he adopted this course, for him unusual, I do not know unless he felt
that so far as the equity of China's claim was concerned we were all in
agreement, and if there was to be a departure from strict justice he
desired to have his colleagues suggest a way to do so. It is possible,
too, that he felt the question was in large measure a legal one, and
decided that the illegality of transferring the German rights to Japan
could be more successfully presented to the Japanese delegates by a
lawyer. In any event, in this particular case he adopted a course more
in accord with established custom and practice than he did in any other
of the many perplexing and difficult problems which he was called upon
to solve during the Paris negotiations, excepting of course the subjects
submitted to commissions of the Conference. As has been shown, Mr.
Wilson did not follow the advice of the three Commissioners given him in
General Bliss's letter, but that does not detract from the
noteworthiness of the fact that in the case of Shantung he sought advice
from his Commissioners.

This ends the account of the Shantung Settlement and the negotiations
which led up to it. The consequences were those which were bound to
follow so indefensible a decision as the one that was reached. Public
opinion in the United States was almost unanimous in condemning it and
in denouncing those responsible for so evident a departure from legal
justice and the principles of international morality. No plea of
expediency or of necessity excused such a flagrant denial of undoubted
right. The popular recognition that a great wrong had been done to a
nation weak because of political discord and an insufficient military
establishment, in order to win favor with a nation strong because of its
military power and national unity, had much to do with increasing the
hostility to the Treaty and preventing its acceptance by the Senate of
the United States. The whole affair furnishes another example of the
results of secret diplomacy, for the arguments which prevailed with the
President were those to which he listened when he sat in secret council
with M. Clemenceau and Mr. Lloyd George.




CHAPTER XIX

THE BULLITT AFFAIR


The foregoing chapters have related to subjects which were known to
President Wilson to be matters of difference between us while we were
together in Paris and which are presumably referred to in his letter of
February 11, 1920, extracts from which are quoted in the opening
chapter. The narration might be concluded with our difference of opinion
as to the Shantung Settlement, but in view of subsequent information
which the President received I am convinced that he felt that my
objections to his decisions in regard to the terms of the peace with
Germany extended further than he knew at the time, and that he resented
the fact that my mind did not go along with his as to these decisions.
This undoubtedly added to the reasons for his letter and possibly
influenced him to write as he did in February, 1920, even more than our
known divergence of judgment during the negotiations.

I do not feel, therefore, that the story is complete without at least a
brief reference to my views concerning the Treaty of Versailles at the
time of its delivery to the German delegates, which were imperfectly
disclosed in a statement made by William C. Bullitt on September 12,
1919, at a public hearing before the Senate Committee on Foreign
Relations. As to the conduct of Mr. Bullitt, who had held a responsible
position with the American Commission at Paris, in voluntarily repeating
a conversation which was from its nature highly confidential, I make
no comment.

The portion of the statement, which I have no doubt deeply incensed the
President because it was published while he was in the West making his
appeals to the people in behalf of the Treaty and especially of the
League of Nations, is as follows:

   "Mr. Lansing said that he, too, considered many parts of the Treaty
   thoroughly bad, particularly those dealing with Shantung and the
   League of Nations. He said: 'I consider that the League of Nations at
   present is entirely useless. The Great Powers have simply gone ahead
   and arranged the world to suit themselves. England and France have
   gotten out of the Treaty everything that they wanted, and the League
   of Nations can do nothing to alter any of the unjust clauses of the
   Treaty except by unanimous consent of the members of the League, and
   the Great Powers will never give their consent to changes in the
   interests of weaker peoples.'

   "We then talked about the possibility of ratification by the Senate.
   Mr. Lansing said: 'I believe that if the Senate could only understand
   what this Treaty means, and if the American people could really
   understand, it would unquestionably be defeated, but I wonder if they
   will ever understand what it lets them in for.'" (Senate Doc. 106,
   66th Congress, 1st Session, p. 1276.)

It does not seem an unwarranted conjecture that the President believed
that this statement, which was asserted by Mr. Bullitt to be from a
memorandum made at the time, indicated that I had been unfaithful to
him. He may even have concluded that I had been working against the
League of Nations with the intention of bringing about the rejection of
the Covenant by the Senate. If he did believe this, I cannot feel that
it was other than natural in the circumstances, especially if I did not
at once publicly deny the truth of the Bullitt statement. That I could
not do because there was sufficient truth in it to compel me to show
how, by slight variations and by omissions in the conversation, my words
were misunderstood or misinterpreted.

In view of the fact that I found it impossible to make an absolute
denial, I telegraphed the President stating the facts and offering to
make them public if he considered it wise to do so. The important part
of the telegram, which was dated September 16, 1919, is as follows:

   "On May 17th Bullitt resigned by letter giving his reasons, with
   which you are familiar. I replied by letter on the 18th without any
   comment on his reasons. Bullitt on the 19th asked to see me to say
   good-bye and I saw him. He elaborated on the reasons for his
   resignation and said that he could not conscientiously give
   countenance to a treaty which was based on injustice. I told him that
   I would say nothing against his resigning since he put it on
   conscientious grounds, and that I recognized that certain features of
   the Treaty were bad, as I presumed most every one did, but that was
   probably unavoidable in view of conflicting claims and that nothing
   ought to be done to prevent the speedy restoration of peace by
   signing the Treaty. Bullitt then discussed the numerous European
   commissions provided for by the Treaty on which the United States was
   to be represented. I told him that I was disturbed by this fact
   because I was afraid the Senate and possibly the people, if they
   understood this, would refuse ratification, and that anything which
   was an obstacle to ratification was unfortunate because we ought to
   have peace as soon as possible."

It is very easy to see how by making a record of one side of this
conversation without reference to the other side and by an omission here
and there, possibly unintentionally, the sense was altered. Thus Mr.
Bullitt, by repeating only a part of my words and by omitting the
context, entirely changed the meaning of what was said. My attitude was,
and I intended to show it at the time, that the Treaty should be signed
and ratified at the earliest possible moment because the restoration of
peace was paramount and that any provision in the Treaty which might
delay the peace, by making uncertain senatorial consent to ratification,
was to be deplored.

Having submitted to the President the question of making a public
explanation of my interview with Mr. Bullitt which would in a measure at
least correct the impression caused by his statement, I could not do so
until I received the President's approval. That was never received. The
telegram, which was sent to Mr. Wilson, through the Department of State,
was never answered. It was not even acknowledged. The consequence was
that the version of the conversation given by Mr. Bullitt was the only
one that up to the present time has been published.

The almost unavoidable conclusion from the President's silence is that
he considered my explanation was insufficient to destroy or even to
weaken materially the effect of Mr. Bullitt's account of what had taken
place, and that the public would believe in spite of it that I was
opposed to the Treaty and hostile to the League of Nations. I am not
disposed to blame the President for holding this opinion considering
what had taken place at Paris. From his point of view a statement, such
as I was willing to make, would in no way help the situation. I would
still be on record as opposed to certain provisions of the Treaty,
provisions which he was so earnestly defending in his addresses. While
Mr. Bullitt had given an incomplete report of our conversation, there
was sufficient truth in it to make anything but a flat denial seem of
little value to the President; and, as I could not make such a denial,
his point of view seemed to be that the damage was done and could not be
undone. I am inclined to think that he was right.

My views concerning the Treaty at the time of the conversation with Mr.
Bullitt are expressed in a memorandum of May 8, 1919, which is
as follows:

   "The terms of peace were yesterday delivered to the German
   plenipotentiaries, and for the first time in these days of feverish
   rush of preparation there is time to consider the Treaty as a
   complete document.

   "The impression made by it is one of disappointment, of regret, and
   of depression. The terms of peace appear immeasurably harsh and
   humiliating, while many of them seem to me impossible of performance.

   "The League of Nations created by the Treaty is relied upon to
   preserve the artificial structure which has been erected by
   compromise of the conflicting interests of the Great Powers and to
   prevent the germination of the seeds of war which are sown in so many
   articles and which under normal conditions would soon bear fruit. The
   League might as well attempt to prevent the growth of plant life in a
   tropical jungle. Wars will come sooner or later.

   "It must be admitted in honesty that the League is an instrument of
   the mighty to check the normal growth of national power and national
   aspirations among those who have been rendered impotent by defeat.
   Examine the Treaty and you will find peoples delivered against their
   wills into the hands of those whom they hate, while their economic
   resources are torn from them and given to others. Resentment and
   bitterness, if not desperation, are bound to be the consequences of
   such provisions. It may be years before these oppressed peoples are
   able to throw off the yoke, but as sure as day follows night the time
   will come when they will make the effort.

   "This war was fought by the United States to destroy forever the
   conditions which produced it. Those conditions have not been
   destroyed. They have been supplanted by other conditions equally
   productive of hatred, jealousy, and suspicion. In place of the Triple
   Alliance and the Entente has arisen the Quintuple Alliance which is
   to rule the world. The victors in this war intend to impose their
   combined will upon the vanquished and to subordinate all interests to
   their own.

   "It is true that to please the aroused public opinion of mankind and
   to respond to the idealism of the moralist they have surrounded the
   new alliance with a halo and called it 'The League of Nations,' but
   whatever it may be called or however it may be disguised it is an
   alliance of the Five Great Military Powers.

   "It is useless to close our eyes to the fact that the power to compel
   obedience by the exercise of the united strength of 'The Five' is the
   fundamental principle of the League. Justice is secondary. Might
   is primary.

   "The League as now constituted will be the prey of greed and
   intrigue; and the law of unanimity in the Council, which may offer a
   restraint, will be broken or render the organization powerless. It is
   called upon to stamp as just what is unjust.

   "We have a treaty of peace, but it will not bring permanent peace
   because it is founded on the shifting sands of self-interest."

In the views thus expressed I was not alone. A few days after they were
written I was in London where I discussed the Treaty with several of the
leading British statesmen. I noted their opinions thus: "The consensus
was that the Treaty was unwise and unworkable, that it was conceived in
intrigue and fashioned in cupidity, and that it would produce rather
than prevent wars." One of these leaders of political thought in Great
Britain said that "the only apparent purpose of the League of Nations
seems to be to perpetuate the series of unjust provisions which were
being imposed."

The day following my return from London, which was on May 17, I received
Mr. Bullitt's letter of resignation and also letters from five of our
principal experts protesting against the terms of peace and stating that
they considered them to be an abandonment of the principles for which
Americans had fought. One of the officials, whose relations with the
President were of a most intimate nature, said that he was in a quandary
about resigning; that he did not think that the conditions in the Treaty
would make for peace because they were too oppressive; that the
obnoxious things in the Treaty were due to secret diplomacy; and that
the President should have stuck rigidly to his principles, which he had
not. This official was evidently deeply incensed, but in the end he did
not resign, nor did the five experts who sent letters, because they were
told that it would seriously cripple the American Commission in the
preparation of the Austrian Treaty if they did not continue to serve.
Another and more prominent adviser of the President felt very bitterly
over the terms of peace. In speaking of his disapproval of them he told
me that he had found the same feeling among the British in Paris, who
were disposed to blame the President since "they had counted upon him to
stand firmly by his principles and face down the intriguers."

It is needless to cite other instances indicating the general state of
mind among the Americans and British at Paris to show the views that
were being exchanged and the frank comments that were being made at the
time of my interview with Mr. Bullitt. In truth I said less to him in
criticism of the Treaty than I did to some others, but they have seen
fit to respect the confidential nature of our conversations.

It is not pertinent to the present subject to recite the events between
the delivery of the Treaty to the Germans on May 7 and its signature on
June 28. In spite of the dissatisfaction, which even went so far that
some of the delegates of the Great Powers threatened to decline to sign
the Treaty unless certain of its terms were modified, the supreme
necessity of restoring peace as soon as possible overcame all obstacles.
It was the appreciation of this supreme necessity which caused many
Americans to urge consent to ratification when the Treaty was laid
before the Senate.

My own position was paradoxical. I was opposed to the Treaty, but signed
it and favored its ratification. The explanation is this: Convinced
after conversations with the President in July and August, 1919, that he
would not consent to any effective reservations, the politic course
seemed to be to endeavor to secure ratification without reservations. It
appeared to be the only possible way of obtaining that for which all the
world longed and which in the months succeeding the signature appeared
absolutely essential to prevent the widespread disaster resulting from
political and economic chaos which seemed to threaten many nations if
not civilization itself. Even if the Treaty was bad in certain
provisions, so long as the President remained inflexible and insistent,
its ratification without change seemed a duty to humanity. At least that
was my conviction in the summer and autumn of 1919, and I am not yet
satisfied that it was erroneous. My views after January, 1920, are not
pertinent to the subject under consideration. The consequences of the
failure to ratify promptly the Treaty of Versailles are still uncertain.
They may be more serious or they may be less serious than they appeared
in 1919. Time alone will disclose the truth and fix the responsibility
for what occurred after the Treaty of Versailles was laid before the
Senate of the United States.




CONCLUSION


The narration of my relations to the peace negotiations as one of the
American Commissioners to the Paris Conference, which has been confined
within the limits laid down in the opening chapter of this volume,
concludes with the recital of the views which I held concerning the
terms of the Treaty of Peace with Germany and which were brought to the
attention of Mr. Wilson through the press reports of William C.
Bullitt's statement to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on
September 12, 1919.

The endeavor has been to present, as fully as possible in the
circumstances, a review of my association with President Wilson in
connection with the negotiations at Paris setting forth our differences
of opinion and divergence of judgment upon the subjects coming before
the Peace Conference, the conduct of the proceedings, and the terms of
peace imposed upon Germany by the Treaty of Versailles.

It is evident from this review that, from a time prior to Mr. Wilson's
departure from the United States on December 4, 1918, to attend the
Peace Conference up to the delivery of the text of the Treaty to the
German plenipotentiaries on May 7, 1919, there were many subjects of
disagreement between the President and myself; that he was disposed to
reject or ignore the advice and suggestions which I volunteered; and
that in consequence of my convictions I followed his guidance and obeyed
his instructions unwillingly.

While there were other matters of friction between us they were of a
personal nature and of minor importance. Though they may have
contributed to the formality of our relations they played no real part
in the increasing difficulty of the situation. The matters narrated
were, in my opinion, the principal causes for the letters written by
President Wilson in February, 1920; at least they seem sufficient to
explain the origin of the correspondence, while the causes specifically
stated by him--my calling together of the heads of the executive
departments for consultation during his illness and my attempts to
anticipate his judgment--are insufficient.

The reasons given in the President's letter of February 11, the
essential portions of which have been quoted, for stating that my
resignation as Secretary of State would be acceptable to him, are the
embarrassment caused him by my "reluctance and divergence of judgment"
and the implication that my mind did not "willingly go along" with his.
As neither of these reasons applies to the calling of Cabinet meetings
or to the anticipation of his judgment in regard to foreign affairs, the
unavoidable conclusion is that these grounds of complaint were not the
real causes leading up to the severance of our official association.

The real causes--which are the only ones worthy of consideration--are to
be found in the record of the relations between President Wilson and
myself in connection with the peace negotiations. Upon that record must
rest the justification or the refutation of Mr. Wilson's implied charge
that I was not entirely loyal to him as President and that I failed to
perform my full duty to my country as Secretary of State and as a
Commissioner to Negotiate Peace by opposing the way in which he
exercised his constitutional authority to conduct the foreign affairs of
the United States.


THE END




APPENDIX I


THE PRESIDENT'S ORIGINAL DRAFT OF THE COVENANT OF THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS,
LAID BEFORE THE AMERICAN COMMISSION ON JANUARY 10, 1919

PREAMBLE

In order to secure peace, security, and orderly government by the
prescription of open, just, and honorable relations between nations, by
the firm establishment of the understandings of international law as the
actual rule of conduct among governments, and by the maintenance of
justice and a scrupulous respect for all treaty obligations in the
dealings of organized peoples with one another, the Powers signatory to
this covenant and agreement jointly and severally adopt this
constitution of the League of Nations.

ARTICLE I

The action of the Signatory Powers under the terms of this agreement
shall be effected through the instrumentality of a Body of Delegates
which shall consist of the ambassadors and ministers of the contracting
Powers accredited to H. and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of H. The
meetings of the Body of Delegates shall be held at the seat of
government of H. and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of H. shall be the
presiding officer of the Body.

Whenever the Delegates deem it necessary or advisable, they may meet
temporarily at the seat of government of B. or of S., in which case the
Ambassador or Minister to H. of the country in which the meeting is held
shall be the presiding officer _pro tempore_.

It shall be the privilege of any of the contracting Powers to assist its
representative in the Body of Delegates by any method of conference,
counsel, or advice that may seem best to it, and also to substitute upon
occasion a special representative for its regular diplomatic
representative accredited to H.


ARTICLE II

The Body of Delegates shall regulate their own procedure and shall have
power to appoint such committees as they may deem necessary to inquire
into and report upon any matters that lie within the field of
their action.

It shall be the right of the Body of Delegates, upon the initiative of
any member, to discuss, either publicly or privately as it may deem
best, any matter lying within the jurisdiction of the League of Nations
as defined in this Covenant, or any matter likely to affect the peace of
the world; but all actions of the Body of Delegates taken in the
exercise of the functions and powers granted to them under this Covenant
shall be first formulated and agreed upon by an Executive Council, which
shall act either by reference or upon its own initiative and which shall
consist of the representatives of the Great Powers together with
representatives drawn in annual rotation from two panels, one of which
shall be made up of the representatives of the States ranking next after
the Great Powers and the other of the representatives of the minor
States (a classification which the Body of Delegates shall itself
establish and may from time to time alter), such a number being drawn
from these panels as will be but one less than the representatives of
the Great Powers; and three or more negative votes in the Council shall
operate as a veto upon any action or resolution proposed.

All resolutions passed or actions taken by the Body of Delegates upon
the recommendation of the Executive Council, except those adopted in
execution of any direct powers herein granted to the Body of Delegates
themselves, shall have the effect of recommendations to the several
governments of the League.

The Executive Council shall appoint a permanent Secretariat and staff
and may appoint joint committees chosen from the Body of Delegates or
consisting of specially qualified persons outside of that Body, for the
study and systematic consideration of the international questions with
which the Council may have to deal, or of questions likely to lead to
international complications or disputes. It shall also take the
necessary steps to establish and maintain proper liaison both with the
foreign offices of the signatory powers and with any governments or
agencies which may be acting as mandatories of the League of Nations in
any part of the world.


ARTICLE III

The Contracting Powers unite in guaranteeing to each other political
independence and territorial integrity; but it is understood between
them that such territorial readjustments, if any, as may in the future
become necessary by reason of changes in present racial conditions and
aspirations or present social and political relationships, pursuant to
the principle of self-determination, and also such territorial
readjustments as may in the judgment of three fourths of the Delegates
be demanded by the welfare and manifest interest of the peoples
concerned, may be effected if agreeable to those peoples; and that
territorial changes may in equity involve material compensation. The
Contracting Powers accept without reservation the principle that the
peace of the world is superior in importance to every question of
political jurisdiction or boundary.


ARTICLE IV

The Contracting Powers recognize the principle that the establishment
and maintenance of peace will require the reduction of national
armaments to the lowest point consistent with domestic safety and the
enforcement by common action of international obligations; and the
Delegates are directed to formulate at once plans by which such a
reduction may be brought about. The plan so formulated shall be binding
when, and only when, unanimously approved by the Governments signatory
to this Covenant.

As the basis for such a reduction of armaments, all the Powers
subscribing to the Treaty of Peace of which this Covenant constitutes a
part hereby agree to abolish conscription and all other forms of
compulsory military service, and also agree that their future forces of
defence and of international action shall consist of militia or
volunteers, whose numbers and methods of training shall be fixed, after
expert inquiry, by the agreements with regard to the reduction of
armaments referred to in the last preceding paragraph.

The Body of Delegates shall also determine for the consideration and
action of the several governments what direct military equipment and
armament is fair and reasonable in proportion to the scale of forces
laid down in the programme of disarmament; and these limits, when
adopted, shall not be exceeded without the permission of the Body of
Delegates.

The Contracting Powers further agree that munitions and implements of
war shall not be manufactured by private enterprise or for private
profit, and that there shall be full and frank publicity as to all
national armaments and military or naval programmes.


ARTICLE V

The Contracting Powers jointly and severally agree that, should disputes
or difficulties arise between or among them which cannot be
satisfactorily settled or adjusted by the ordinary processes of
diplomacy, they will in no case resort to armed force without previously
submitting the questions and matters involved either to arbitration or
to inquiry by the Executive Council of the Body of Delegates or until
there has been an award by the arbitrators or a decision by the
Executive Council; and that they will not even then resort to armed
force as against a member of the League of Nations who complies with the
award of the arbitrators or the decision of the Executive Council.

The Powers signatory to this Covenant undertake and agree that whenever
any dispute or difficulty shall arise between or among them with regard
to any questions of the law of nations, with regard to the
interpretation of a treaty, as to any fact which would, if established,
constitute a breach of international obligation, or as to any alleged
damage and the nature and measure of the reparation to be made therefor,
if such dispute or difficulty cannot be satisfactorily settled by the
ordinary processes of negotiation, to submit the whole subject-matter to
arbitration and to carry out in full good faith any award or decision
that may be rendered.

In case of arbitration, the matter or matters at issue shall be referred
to three arbitrators, one of the three to be selected by each of the
parties to the dispute, when there are but two such parties, and the
third by the two thus selected. When there are more than two parties to
the dispute, one arbitrator shall be named by each of the several
parties, and the arbitrators thus named shall add to their number others
of their own choice, the number thus added to be limited to the number
which will suffice to give a deciding voice to the arbitrators thus
added in case of a tie vote among the arbitrators chosen by the
contending parties. In case the arbitrators chosen by the contending
parties cannot agree upon an additional arbitrator or arbitrators, the
additional arbitrator or arbitrators shall be chosen by the Body of
Delegates.

On the appeal of a party to the dispute the decision of the arbitrators
may be set aside by a vote of three-fourths of the Delegates, in case
the decision of the arbitrators was unanimous, or by a vote of
two-thirds of the Delegates in case the decision of the arbitrators was
not unanimous, but unless thus set aside shall be finally binding and
conclusive.

When any decision of arbitrators shall have been thus set aside, the
dispute shall again be submitted to arbitrators chosen as heretofore
provided, none of whom shall, however, have previously acted as
arbitrators in the dispute in question, and the decision of the
arbitrators rendered in this second arbitration shall be finally binding
and conclusive without right of appeal.

If for any reason it should prove impracticable to refer any matter in
dispute to arbitration, the parties to the dispute shall apply to the
Executive Council to take the matter under consideration for such
mediatory action or recommendation as it may deem wise in the
circumstances. The Council shall immediately accept the reference and
give notice to the other party or parties, and shall make the necessary
arrangements for a full hearing, investigation, and consideration. It
shall ascertain all the facts involved in the dispute and shall make
such recommendations as it may deem wise and practicable based on the
merits of the controversy and calculated to secure a just and lasting
settlement. Other members of the League shall place at the disposal of
the Executive Council any and all information that may be in their
possession which in any way bears upon the facts or merits of the
controversy; and the Executive Council shall do everything in its power
by way of mediation or conciliation to bring about a peaceful
settlement. The decisions of the Executive Council shall be addressed to
the disputants, and shall not have the force of a binding verdict.
Should the Executive Council fail to arrive at any conclusion, it shall
be the privilege of the members of the Executive Council to publish
their several conclusions or recommendations; and such publications
shall not be regarded as an unfriendly act by either or any of the
disputants.


ARTICLE VI

Should any contracting Power break or disregard its covenants under
ARTICLE V, it shall thereby _ipso facto_ commit an act of war with all
the members of the League, which shall immediately subject it to a
complete economic and financial boycott, including the severance of all
trade or financial relations, the prohibition of all intercourse between
their subjects and the subjects of the covenant-breaking State, and the
prevention, so far as possible, of all financial, commercial, or
personal intercourse between the subjects of the covenant-breaking State
and the subjects of any other State, whether a member of the League of
Nations or not.

It shall be the privilege and duty of the Executive Council of the Body
of Delegates in such a case to recommend what effective military or
naval force the members of the League of Nations shall severally
contribute, and to advise, if it should think best, that the smaller
members of the League be excused from making any contribution to the
armed forces to be used against the covenant-breaking State.

The covenant-breaking State shall, after the restoration of peace, be
subject to perpetual disarmament and to the regulations with regard to a
peace establishment provided for new States under the terms of
SUPPLEMENTARY ARTICLE IV.


ARTICLE VII

If any Power shall declare war or begin hostilities, or take any hostile
step short of war, against another Power before submitting the dispute
involved to arbitrators or consideration by the Executive Council as
herein provided, or shall declare war or begin hostilities, or take any
hostile step short of war, in regard to any dispute which has been
decided adversely to it by arbitrators chosen and empowered as herein
provided, the Contracting Powers hereby bind themselves not only to
cease all commerce and intercourse with that Power but also to unite in
blockading and closing the frontiers of that Power to commerce or
intercourse with any part of the world and to use any force that may be
necessary to accomplish that object.


ARTICLE VIII

Any war or threat of war, whether immediately affecting any of the
Contracting Powers or not, is hereby declared a matter of concern to the
League of Nations and to all the Powers signatory hereto, and those
Powers hereby 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 nations signatory or adherent to this Covenant to draw the
attention of the Body of Delegates to any circumstances anywhere which
threaten to disturb international peace or the good understanding
between nations upon which peace depends.

The Delegates shall meet in the interest of peace whenever war is
rumored or threatened, and also whenever the Delegate of any Power shall
inform the Delegates that a meeting and conference in the interest of
peace is advisable.

The Delegates may also meet at such other times and upon such other
occasions as they shall from time to time deem best and determine.


ARTICLE IX

In the event of a dispute arising between one of the Contracting Powers
and a Power not a party to this Covenant, the Contracting Power involved
hereby binds itself to endeavour to obtain the submission of the dispute
to judicial decision or to arbitration. If the other Power will not
agree to submit the dispute to judicial decision or to arbitration, the
Contracting Power shall bring the matter to the attention of the Body of
Delegates. The Delegates shall in such a case, in the name of the League
of Nations, invite the Power not a party to this Covenant to become _ad
hoc_ a party and to submit its case to judicial decision or to
arbitration, and if that Power consents it is hereby agreed that the
provisions hereinbefore contained and applicable to the submission of
disputes to arbitration or discussion shall be in all respects
applicable to the dispute both in favour of and against such Power as if
it were a party to this Covenant.

In case the Power not a party to this Covenant shall not accept the
invitation of the Delegates to become _ad hoc_ a party, it shall be the
duty of the Executive Council immediately to institute an inquiry into
the circumstances and merits of the dispute involved and to recommend
such joint action by the Contracting Powers as may seem best and most
effectual in the circumstances disclosed.


ARTICLE X

If hostilities should be begun or any hostile action taken against the
Contracting Power by the Power not a party to this Covenant before a
decision of the dispute by arbitrators or before investigation, report
and recommendation by the Executive Council in regard to the dispute, or
contrary to such recommendation, the Contracting Powers shall thereupon
cease all commerce and communication with that Power and shall also
unite in blockading and closing the frontiers of that Power to all
commerce or intercourse with any part of the world, employing jointly
any force that may be necessary to accomplish that object. The
Contracting Powers shall also unite in coming to the assistance of the
Contracting Power against which hostile action has been taken, combining
their armed forces in its behalf.


ARTICLE XI

In case of a dispute between states not parties to this Covenant, any
Contracting Power may bring the matter to the attention of the
Delegates, who shall thereupon tender the good offices of the League of
Nations with a view to the peaceable settlement of the dispute.

If one of the states, a party to the dispute, shall offer and agree to
submit its interests and causes of action wholly to the control and
decision of the League of Nations, that state shall _ad hoc_ be deemed a
Contracting Power. If no one of the states, parties to the dispute,
shall so offer and agree, the Delegates shall, through the Executive
Council, of their own motion take such action and make such
recommendation to their governments as will prevent hostilities and
result in the settlement of the dispute.


ARTICLE XII

Any Power not a party to this Covenant, whose government is based upon
the principle of popular self-government, may apply to the Body of
Delegates for leave to become a party. If the Delegates shall regard the
granting thereof as likely to promote the peace, order, and security of
the World, they may act favourably on the application, and their
favourable action shall operate to constitute the Power so applying in
all respects a full signatory party to this Covenant. This action shall
require the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the Delegates.


ARTICLE XIII

The Contracting Powers severally agree that the present Covenant and
Convention is accepted as abrogating all treaty obligations _inter se_
which are inconsistent with the terms hereof, and solemnly engage that
they will not enter into any engagements inconsistent with the
terms hereof.

In case any of the Powers signatory hereto or subsequently admitted to
the League of Nations shall, before becoming a party to this Covenant,
have undertaken any treaty 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.




_SUPPLEMENTARY AGREEMENTS_

I

In respect of the peoples and territories which formerly belonged to
Austria-Hungary, and to Turkey, and in respect of the colonies formerly
under the dominion of the German Empire, the League of Nations shall be
regarded as the residuary trustee with sovereign right of ultimate
disposal or of continued administration in accordance with certain
fundamental principles hereinafter set forth; and this reversion and
control shall exclude all rights or privileges of annexation on the part
of any Power.

These principles are, that there shall in no case be any annexation of
any of these territories by any State either within the League or
outside of it, and that in the future government of these peoples and
territories the rule of self-determination, or the consent of the
governed to their form of government, shall be fairly and reasonably
applied, and all policies of administration or economic development be
based primarily upon the well-considered interests of the people
themselves.

II

Any authority, control, or administration which may be necessary in
respect of these peoples or territories other than their own
self-determined and self-organized autonomy shall be the exclusive
function of and shall be vested in the League of Nations and exercised
or undertaken by or on behalf of it.

It shall be lawful for the League of Nations to delegate its authority,
control, or administration of any such people or territory to some
single State or organized agency which it may designate and appoint as
its agent or mandatory; but whenever or wherever possible or feasible
the agent or mandatory so appointed shall be nominated or approved by
the autonomous people or territory.

III

The degree of authority, control, or administration to be exercised by
the mandatary State or agency shall in each case be explicitly defined
by the League in a special Act or Charter which shall reserve to the
League complete power of supervision and of intimate control, and which
shall also reserve to the people of any such territory or governmental
unit the right to appeal to the League for the redress or correction of
any breach of the mandate by the mandatary State or agency or for the
substitution of some other State or agency, as mandatary.

The mandatary State or agency shall in all cases be bound and required
to maintain the policy of the open door, or equal opportunity for all
the signatories to this Covenant, in respect of the use and development
of the economic resources of such people or territory.

The mandatary State or agency shall in no case form or maintain any
military or naval force in excess of definite standards laid down by the
League itself for the purposes of internal police.

IV

No new State arising or created from the old Empires of Austria-Hungary,
or Turkey shall be recognized by the League or admitted into its
membership except on condition that its military and naval forces and
armaments shall conform to standards prescribed by the League in respect
of it from time to time.

As successor to the Empires, the League of Nations is empowered,
directly and without right of delegation, to watch over the relations
_inter se_ of all new independent States arising or created out of the
Empires, and shall assume and fulfill the duty of conciliating and
composing differences between them with a view to the maintenance of
settled order and the general peace.

V

The Powers signatory or adherent to this Covenant agree that they will
themselves seek to establish and maintain fair hours and humane
conditions of labour for all those within their several jurisdictions
who are engaged in manual labour and that they will exert their
influence in favour of the adoption and maintenance of a similar policy
and like safeguards wherever their industrial and commercial
relations extend.

VI

The League of Nations shall require all new States to bind themselves as
a condition precedent to their recognition as independent or autonomous
States, to accord to all racial or national minorities within their
several jurisdictions exactly the same treatment and security, both in
law and in fact, that is accorded the racial or national majority of
their people.




APPENDIX II

LEAGUE OF NATIONS


(_Plan of Lord Robert Cecil_[1])

I

ORGANIZATION


The general treaty setting up the league of nations will explicitly
provide for regular conferences between the responsible representatives
of the contracting powers.

These conferences would review the general conditions of international
relations and would naturally pay special attention to any difficulty
which might seem to threaten the peace of the world. They would also
receive and as occasion demanded discuss reports as to the work of any
international administrative or investigating bodies working under
the League.

These conferences would constitute the pivot of the league. They would
be meetings of statesmen responsible to their own sovereign parliaments,
and any decisions taken would therefore, as in the case of the various
allied conferences during the war, have to be unanimous.

The following form of organization is suggested:

I. _The conference_. Annual meeting of prime ministers and foreign
secretaries of British Empire, United States, France, Italy, Japan, and
any other States recognized by them as great powers. Quadrennial meeting
of representatives of all States included in the league. There should
also be provision for the summoning of special conferences on the demand
of any one of the great powers or, if there were danger of an outbreak
of war, of any member of the league. (The composition of the league will
be determined at the peace conference. Definitely untrustworthy and
hostile States, e.g., Russia, should the Bolshevist government remain in
power, should be excluded. Otherwise it is desirable not to be too rigid
in scrutinizing qualifications, since the small powers will in any case
not exercise any considerable influence.)

2. For the conduct of its work the interstate conference will require a
permanent secretariat. The general secretary should be appointed by the
great powers, if possible choosing a national of some other country.

3. _International bodies_. The secretariat would be the responsible
channel of communication between the interstate conference and all
international bodies functioning under treaties guaranteed by the
league. These would fall into three classes:

_(a)_ Judicial; i.e., the existing Hague organization with any additions
or modifications made by the league.

_(b)_ International administrative bodies. Such as the suggested transit
commission. To these would be added bodies already formed under existing
treaties (which are very numerous and deal with very important
interests, e.g., postal union, international labor office, etc.).

_(c)_ International commissions of enquiry: e.g., commission on industrial
conditions (labor legislation), African commission, armaments
commission.

4. In addition to the above arrangements guaranteed by or arising out of
the general treaty, there would probably be a periodical congress of
delegates of the parliaments of the States belonging to the league, as a
development out of the existing Interparliamentary Union. A regular
staple of discussion for this body would be afforded by the reports of
the interstate conference and of the different international bodies. The
congress would thus cover the ground that is at present occupied by the
periodical Hague Conference and also the ground claimed by the Socialist
International.

For the efficient conduct of all these activities it is essential that
there should be a permanent central meeting-place, where the officials
and officers of the league would enjoy the privileges of
extra-territoriality. Geneva is suggested as the most suitable place.


II

PREVENTION OF WAR

The covenants for the prevention of war which would be embodied in the
general treaty would be as follows:

(1) The members of the league would bind themselves not to go to war
until they had submitted the questions at issue to an international
conference or an arbitral court, and until the conference or court had
issued a report or handed down an award.

(2) The members of the league would bind themselves not to go to war
with any member of the league complying with the award of a court or
with the report of a conference. For the purpose of this clause, the
report of the conference must be unanimous, excluding the litigants.

(3) The members of the league would undertake to regard themselves, as
_ipso facto_, at war with any one of them acting contrary to the above
covenants, and to take, jointly and severally, appropriate military,
economic and other measure against the recalcitrant State.

(4) The members of the league would bind themselves to take similar
action, in the sense of the above clause, against any State not being a
member of the league which is involved in a dispute with a member of
the league.

(This is a stronger provision than that proposed in the Phillimore
Report.)

The above covenants mark an advance upon the practice of international
relations previous to the war in two respects: (i) In insuring a
necessary period of delay before war can break out (except between two
States which are neither of them members of the league); (2) In securing
public discussion and probably a public report upon matters in dispute.

It should be observed that even in cases where the conference report is
not unanimous, and therefore in no sense binding, a majority report may
be issued and that this would be likely to carry weight with the public
opinion of the States in the league.




APPENDIX III

THE COVENANT OF THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS IN THE TREATY OF VERSAILLES


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
reservation to this Covenant. Such accession 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 admission is agreed to by
two thirds of the Assembly, provided that it shall give effective
guarantees of its sincere intention to observe its international
obligations, 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 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
fulfilled at the time of its withdrawal.


ARTICLE 2

The action of the League under this Covenant shall be effected through
the instrumentality of an Assembly and of a Council, with a permanent
Secretariat.


ARTICLE 3

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 decided 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 have not more than three Representatives.


ARTICLE 4

The Council shall consist of Representatives of the Principal Allied and
Associated Powers, together 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 Representatives of the four Members of the League first selected by
the Assembly, Representatives of Belgium, Brazil, Spain, and Greece
shall be members of the Council.

With the approval of the majority 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 League to be selected by the Assembly for
representation on the Council.

The Council shall meet from time to time as occasion may require, and at
least once a year, at the Seat of the League, or at such other place as
may be decided upon.

The Council may deal at its meetings with any matter within 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 Representative to sit as a member at any meeting of the
Council during 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 5

Except where otherwise expressly provided in this Covenant 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 Members of the
League represented at the meeting.

All matters of procedure at meetings of the Assembly or of the Council,
including the appointment of Committees to investigate particular
matters, shall be regulated by the Assembly or by the Council and may be
decided by a majority of the Members of the League represented at
the meeting.

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


ARTICLE 6

The permanent Secretariat shall be established at the Seat of the
League. The Secretariat shall comprise a Secretary General 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 staff of the Secretariat shall be appointed by the
Secretary General with the approval of the Council.

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

The expenses of the Secretariat shall be borne by the Members of the
League in accordance with the apportionment of the expenses of the
International Bureau of the Universal Postal Union.


ARTICLE 7

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 elsewhere.

All positions under or in connection with the League, including the
Secretariat, shall be open equally to men and women.

Representatives of the Members 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 property occupied by the League or its officials
or by Representatives attending its meetings shall be inviolable.


ARTICLE 8

The Members of the League recognize that the maintenance of peace
requires the reduction of national armaments to the lowest point
consistent with national safety and the enforcement by common action of
international 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 reconsideration and revision at least
every ten years.

After these plans shall have been adopted by the several Governments,
the limits of armaments therein fixed shall not be exceeded without the
concurrence of the Council.

The Members of the League agree that the manufacture by private
enterprise of munitions 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 necessary 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 programmes and the condition of such of their industries as are
adaptable to warlike purposes.


ARTICLE 9

A permanent Commission shall be constituted to advise the Council on the
execution of the provisions of Articles 1 and 8 and on military, naval
and air questions generally.


ARTICLE 10

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.


ARTICLE 11

Any war or threat of war, whether immediately affecting any of the
Members of the League or not, is hereby declared 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 Secretary General shall on the request
of any Member of the League forthwith summon a meeting of the Council.

It is also declared to be the friendly right of each Member of the
League to bring to the attention of the Assembly or of the Council any
circumstance whatever affecting international relations which threatens
to disturb international peace or the good understanding between nations
upon which peace depends.


ARTICLE 12

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 arbitration 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 reasonable time, and the report of the Council shall be
made within six months after the submission of the dispute.


ARTICLE 13

The Members of the League agree that whenever any dispute shall arise
between them which 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 international obligation, or as to the
extent and nature of the reparation to be made for any such breach, are
declared to be among those which are generally suitable for submission
to arbitration.

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 convention 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.


ARTICLE 14

The Council shall formulate and submit to the Members of the League for
adoption plans for the establishment of a Permanent 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 15

If there should arise between Members of the League any dispute likely
to lead to a rupture, which is not submitted to arbitration in
accordance with Article 13, the Members of the League agree that they
will submit the matter to the Council. Any party to the dispute 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 consideration thereof.

For this purpose the parties to the dispute will communicate to the
Secretary General, as promptly as possible, statements of their case
with all the relevant facts and papers, and the Council may forthwith
direct the publication thereof.

The Council shall endeavour to effect a settlement of the dispute, and
if such efforts are successful, a statement shall be made public giving
such facts and explanations regarding the dispute and the terms of
settlement thereof as the Council may deem appropriate.

If the dispute is not thus settled, the Council either unanimously 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 regard 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 go to
war with any party to the dispute 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 Representatives of one or more of
the parties to the dispute, the Members of the League reserve to
themselves the right to take such action as they shall consider
necessary for the maintenance 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 jurisdiction 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 dispute to the
Assembly. The dispute shall be so referred at the request of either
party to the dispute, provided that such request 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 12 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 Representatives 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 concurred in by all the members thereof other
than the Representatives of one or more of the parties to the dispute.


ARTICLE 16

Should any Member of the League resort to war in disregard of its
covenants under Articles 12, 13 or 15, it shall _ipso facto_ be deemed
to have committed an act of war against all other Members of the League,
which hereby undertake 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-breaking State, and
the prevention of all financial, commercial or personal intercourse
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 recommend to the
several Governments concerned what effective military, naval or air
force the Members of the League shall severally contribute to the armed
forces to be used to protect the covenants of the League.

The Members of the League agree, further, that they will mutually
support one another in the financial and economic measures which are
taken under this Article, in order to minimise the loss and
inconvenience resulting from the above measures, and that they will
mutually support one another in resisting any special measures aimed at
one of their number by the covenant-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
Council concurred in by the Representatives of all the other Members of
the League represented thereon.


ARTICLE 17

In the event of a dispute between a Member of the League and a State
which is not a Member 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 Council may deem
just. If such invitation is accepted, the provisions of Articles 12 to
16 inclusive shall be applied with such modifications as may be deemed
necessary by the Council.

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

If a State so invited shall refuse 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
16 shall be applicable as against the State taking such action.

If both parties to the dispute when so invited refuse to accept the
obligations of membership in the League for the purposes of such
dispute, the Council may take such measures and make such
recommendations as will prevent hostilities and will result in the
settlement of the dispute.


ARTICLE 18

Every treaty or international engagement entered into hereafter 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 registered.


ARTICLE 19

The Assembly may from time to time advise the reconsideration by Members
of the League of treaties which have become inapplicable and the
consideration of international conditions whose continuance might
endanger the peace of the world.


ARTICLE 20

The Members of the League severally agree that this Covenant is accepted
as abrogating all obligations or understandings _inter se_ which are
inconsistent with the terms thereof, and solemnly undertake that they
will not hereafter enter into any engagements inconsistent with the
terms thereof.

In case any Member of the League shall, before becoming a Member of the
League, have undertaken any obligations inconsistent 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 21

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.


ARTICLE 22

To those colonies and territories 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 modern world, there
should be applied the principle that the well-being and development of
such peoples form a sacred trust of civilisation and that securities for
the performance of this trust should be embodied in this Covenant.

The best method of giving practical effect to this principle is that the
tutelage of such peoples should be entrusted to advanced nations who by
reason of their resources, their experience or their geographical
position can best undertake this responsibility, and who are willing to
accept it, and that this tutelage 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 situation of the territory,
its economic conditions and other similar circumstances.

Certain communities formerly belonging to the Turkish Empire have
reached a stage of development where their existence as independent
nations can be provisionally recognised subject to the rendering of
administrative advice and assistance by a Mandatory 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.

Other peoples, especially those of Central Africa, are at such a stage
that the Mandatory must be responsible for the administration of the
territory under conditions which will guarantee freedom of conscience
and 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 the prevention of the 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 opportunities for the trade and
commerce of other Members of the League.

There are territories, such as South-West 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 centres of
civilisation, or their geographical contiguity to the territory of the
Mandatory, and other circumstances, can be best administered under the
laws of the Mandatory as integral portions of its territory, subject to
the safeguards above mentioned in the interests of the indigenous
population.

In every case of mandate, the Mandatory shall render to the Council an
annual report in reference to the territory committed to its charge.

The degree of authority, control, or administration to be exercised by
the Mandatory 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 constituted to receive and examine the
annual reports of the Mandatories and to advise the Council on all
matters relating to the observance of the mandates.


ARTICLE 23

Subject to and in accordance with the provisions of international
conventions existing or hereafter to be agreed upon, the Members of
the League:

_(a)_ will endeavour to secure and maintain fair and humane conditions
of labour for men, women, and children, both in their own countries and
in all countries to which their commercial and industrial relations
extend, and for that purpose will establish and maintain the necessary
international organisations;

_(b)_ undertake to secure just treatment of the native inhabitants of
territories under their control;

_(c)_ will entrust the League with the general supervision over the
execution of agreements with regard to the traffic in women and
children, and the traffic in opium and other dangerous drugs;

_(d)_ will entrust the League with the general supervision of the trade
in arms and ammunition with the countries in which the control of this
traffic is necessary in the common interest;

_(e)_ will make provision to secure and maintain freedom of
communications and of transit and equitable treatment for the commerce
of all Members of the League. In this connection, the special
necessities of the regions devastated during the war of 1914-1918 shall
be borne in mind;

_(f)_ will endeavour to take steps in matters of international concern
for the prevention and control of disease.


ARTICLE 24

There shall be placed under the direction of the League all
international bureaux already established by general treaties if the
parties to such treaties consent. All such international bureaux and all
commissions for the regulation of matters of international 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
bureaux or commissions, the Secretariat of the League shall, subject to
the consent of the Council and if desired by the parties, collect and
distribute all relevant information and shall render any other
assistance which may be necessary or desirable.

The Council may include as part of the expenses of the Secretariat the
expenses of any bureau or commission which is placed under the direction
of the League.


ARTICLE 25

The Members of the League agree to encourage and promote the
establishment and co-operation of duly authorised voluntary national Red
Cross organisations having as purposes the improvement of health, the
prevention of disease and the mitigation of suffering throughout
the world.


ARTICLE 26

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 therefrom, but in that case it shall cease to be a
Member of the League.




APPENDIX IV

THE FOURTEEN POINTS[2]

The program of the world's peace, therefore, is our program; and that
program, the only possible program, as we see it, is this:

I. Open covenants of peace, openly arrived at, after which there shall
be no private international understandings of any kind but diplomacy
shall proceed always frankly and in the public view.

II. Absolute freedom of navigation upon the seas, outside territorial
waters, alike in peace and in war, except as the seas may be closed in
whole or in part by international action for the enforcement of
international covenants.

III. The removal, so far as possible, of all economic barriers and the
establishment of an equality of trade conditions among all the nations
consenting to the peace and associating themselves for its maintenance.

IV. Adequate guarantees given and taken that national armaments will be
reduced to the lowest point consistent with domestic safety.

V. A free, open-minded, and absolutely impartial adjustment of all
colonial claims, based upon a strict observance of the principle that in
determining all such questions of sovereignty the interests of the
populations concerned must have equal weight with the equitable claims
of the government whose title is to be determined.

VI. The evacuation of all Russian territory and such a settlement of all
questions affecting Russia as will secure the best and freest
cooperation of the other nations of the world in obtaining for her an
unhampered and unembarrassed opportunity for the independent
determination of her own political development and national policy and
assure her of a sincere welcome into the society of free nations under
institutions of her own choosing; and, more than a welcome, assistance
also of every kind that she may need and may herself desire. The
treatment accorded Russia by her sister nations in the months to come
will be the acid test of their good-will, of their comprehension of her
needs as distinguished from their own interests, and of their
intelligent and unselfish sympathy.

VII. Belgium, the whole world will agree, must be evacuated and
restored, without any attempt to limit the sovereignty which she enjoys
in common with all other free nations. No other single act will serve as
this will serve to restore confidence among the nations in the laws
which they have themselves set and determined for the government of
their relations with one another. Without this healing act the whole
structure and validity of international law is forever impaired.

VIII. All French territory should be freed and the invaded portions
restored, and the wrong done to France by Prussia in 1871 in the matter
of Alsace-Lorraine, which has unsettled the peace of the world for
nearly fifty years, should be righted, in order that peace may once more
be made secure in the interest of all.

IX. A readjustment of the frontiers of Italy should be effected along
clearly recognizable lines of nationality.

X. The peoples of Austria-Hungary, whose place among the nations we wish
to see safeguarded and assured, should be accorded the freest
opportunity of autonomous development.

XI. Rumania, Serbia, and Montenegro should be evacuated; occupied
territories restored; Serbia accorded free and secure access to the sea;
and the relations of the several Balkan states to one another determined
by friendly counsel along historically established lines of allegiance
and nationality; and international guarantees of the political and
economic independence and territorial integrity of the several Balkan
states should be entered into.

XII. The Turkish portions of the present Ottoman Empire should be
assured a secure sovereignty, but the other nationalities which are now
under Turkish rule should be assured an undoubted security of life and
an absolutely unmolested opportunity of autonomous development, and the
Dardanelles should be permanently opened as a free passage to the ships
and commerce of all nations under international guarantees.

XIII. An independent Polish state should be erected which should include
the territories inhabited by indisputably Polish populations, which
should be assured a free and secure access to the sea, and whose
political and economic independence and territorial integrity should be
guaranteed by international covenant.

XIV. A general association of nations must be formed under specific
covenants for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees of political
independence and territorial integrity to great and small states alike.




APPENDIX V

PRINCIPLES DECLARED BY PRESIDENT WILSON IN HIS ADDRESS OF FEBRUARY 11,
1918


The principles to be applied are these:

_First_, that each part of the final settlement must be based upon the
essential justice of that particular case and upon such adjustments as
are most likely to bring a peace that will be permanent;

_Second_, that peoples and provinces are not to be bartered about from
sovereignty to sovereignty as if they were mere chattels and pawns in a
game, even the great game, now forever discredited, of the balance of
power; but that

_Third_, every territorial settlement involved in this war must be made
in the interest and for the benefit of the populations concerned, and
not as a part of any mere adjustment or compromise of claims amongst
rival states; and

_Fourth_, that all well defined national aspirations shall be accorded
the utmost satisfaction that can be accorded them without introducing
new or perpetuating old elements of discord and antagonism that would be
likely in time to break the peace of Europe and consequently of
the world.




APPENDIX VI

THE ARTICLES OF THE TREATY OF VERSAILLES RELATING TO SHANTUNG


ARTICLE 156

Germany renounces, in favour of Japan, all her rights, title and
privileges--particularly those concerning the territory of Kiaochow,
railways, mines, and submarine cables--which she acquired in virtue of
the Treaty concluded by her with China on March 6, 1898, and of all
other arrangements relative to the Province of Shantung.

All German rights in the Tsingtao-Tsinanfu Railway, including its branch
lines, together with its subsidiary property of all kinds, stations,
shops, fixed and rolling stock, mines, plant and material for the
exploitation of the mines, are and remain acquired by Japan, together
with all rights and privileges attaching thereto.

The German State submarine cables from Tsingtao to Shanghai and from
Tsingtao to Chefoo, with all the rights, privileges and properties
attaching thereto, are similarly acquired by Japan, free and clear of
all charges and encumbrances.


ARTICLE 157

The movable and immovable property owned by the German State in the
territory of Kiaochow, as well as all the rights which Germany might
claim in consequence of the works or improvements made or of the
expenses incurred by her, directly or indirectly, in connection with
this territory, are and remain acquired by Japan, free and clear of all
charges and encumbrances.


ARTICLE 158

Germany shall hand over to Japan within three months from the coming
into force of the present Treaty the archives, registers, plans,
title-deeds and documents of every kind, wherever they may be, relating
to the administration, whether civil, military, financial, judicial or
other, of the territory of Kiaochow.

Within the same period Germany shall give particulars to Japan of all
treaties, arrangements or agreements relating to the rights, title or
privileges referred to in the two preceding Articles.


[Footnote 1: Reprinted from Senate Doc. No. 106, 66th Congress, 1st
Session, p. 1163.]

[Footnote 2: From the address of President Wilson delivered at a Joint
Session of Congress on January 8, 1918.]




INDEX


Abrogation of treaties contrary to the League, in Wilson's original
   draft; in Treaty,

Affirmative guaranty of territory and independence, plan; Wilson adopts,
   in Fourteen Points; Lansing's opposition; constitutional and
   political arguments against; Lansing's "self-denying covenant" as
   substitute; in Wilson's original draft and in Treaty; as continuing
   balance of power; Wilson adheres to; not in Cecil plan; in Lansing's
   resolution of principles; other substitute; as reason for rejection
   of Treaty by Senate; retained in reported Covenant; and dominance of
   Great Powers. _See also_ Equality of nations; League;
   Self-denying covenant.

Albania, disposition.

Alliances. _See_ French alliance.

Alsace-Lorraine, to be restored to France.

Amendment of League, provision for.

American Bar Association, Lansing's address.

American Commission, members; ignored in League negotiations; conference
   of January 10; ignorant of preliminary negotiations; question of
   resignation over Shantung settlement; shares in Shantung
   negotiations. _See also_ Bliss; House; Lansing; White; Wilson.

American Peace Society.

American programme, lack of definite, as subject of disagreement;
   Fourteen Points announced; not worked out; insufficiency of Fourteen
   Points; Lansing's memorandum on territorial settlements; effect of
   President's attendance at Conference; embarrassment to delegates of
   lack; _projet_ of treaty prepared for Lansing; President resents it;
   no system or team-work in American Commission; reason for President's
   attitude; no instructions during President's absence; results of
   lack; and Preliminary Treaty; influence of lack on Wilson's
   leadership; text of Fourteen Points.

Annunzio, Gabriele d', at Fiume.

Arabia, disposition. _See also_ Near East.

Arbitral Tribunal, in Lansing's plan.

Arbitration, as form of peace promotion; in Lansing's plan; in Wilson's
   original draft; in Cecil plan; in Treaty. _See also_ Diplomatic
   adjustment; Judicial settlement.

Armenia, mandate for; protectorate. _See also_ Near East.

Armistice, American conference on.

Article X. _See_ Affirmative guaranty.

Assembly (Body of Delegates), in Wilson's original draft; analogous body
   in Cecil plan; in Treaty.

Auchincloss, Gordon, and drafting of League.

Austria, Archduchy and union with Germany, outlet to sea.

Austria-Hungary, dissolution; Fourteen Points on subject people.

Azerbaidjan, Wilson and.

Baker, Ray Stannard, and Shantung.

Balance of power, Clemenceau advocates; Wilson denounces; and Cecil
   plan; League and. _See also_ Affirmative guaranty; Equality of
   nations.

Balfour, Arthur, signs French alliance.

Balkans, Fourteen Points on. _See also_ states by names.

Belgium, and Anglo-Franco-American alliance, full sovereignty,

Bessarabia disposition,

Bliss, Tasker H. American delegate, opposes affirmative guaranty, and
   Covenant as reported, and proposed French alliance, and Shantung,
   letter to President, _See also_ American Commission; American
   programme.

Body of Delegates. _See_ Assembly.

Boers, and self-determination,

Bohemia, disposition,

Bolshevism, peace as check to spread,

Bosnia, disposition,

Boundaries, principles in drawing,

Bowman, Isaiah, Commission of Inquiry

Brest-Litovsk Treaty, to be abrogated,

Bucharest Treaty, to be abrogated,

Buffer state on the Rhine,

Bulgaria, boundaries,

Bullitt, William C., on revision of Covenant, testimony on Lansing
   interview, Lansing's telegram to President on testimony, no reply
   received, and Wilson's western speeches,

Canada, Papineau Rebellion and self-determination,

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace,

Cecil, Lord Robert, plan for League, Wilson opposes it, text of plan,

Central Powers, Wilson and need of defeat, hope in Wilson's attitude,
   peace or Bolshevism, _See also_ Mandates, and states by name.

China. _See_ Shantung.

Chinda, Viscount, and Shantung,

Civil War, and self-determination,

Clemenceau, Georges, Supreme War Council, advocates balance of power,
   and Cecil plan, and Franco-American alliance, _See also_ Council of
   Four.

Codification of international law, in Lansing's plan,

Colonies, disposition of, in Lansing's plan, Fourteen Points on, _See
   also_ Mandates.

Commerce. _See_ Non-intercourse; Open Door.

Commission of Inquiry, work,

Commission on the League of Nations, appointed, and Wilson's return to
   United States, meets, Wilson's draft as groundwork, meetings and
   report, Wilson's address, character of report and work, secrecy,
   Wilson's domination,

Constantinople, disposition,

Constitutional objections, to affirmative guaranty, and to Cecil plan,

Council of Foreign Ministers, established, nickname,

Council of Four, self-constituted, secrecy, "Olympians," gives only
   digest of Treaty to other delegates, Shantung bargain, _See also_
   Secret diplomacy.

Council of Ten, and Lansing's substitute resolution on League, during
   Wilson's absence, self-constituted organization, and Supreme War
   Council, divided, and secrecy,

Council of the Heads of States. _See_ Council of Four.

Council (Executive Council) of the League, in Wilson's original draft,
   analogous body in Cecil plan, in Treaty,

Covenant. _See_ League of Nations.

Croatia, disposition,

Czecho-Slovakia, erection,

Dalmatia, in Pact of London,

Danzig, for Poland,

Dardanelles, Fourteen Points on,

Declaration of war, affirmative guaranty and power over,

Denmark, Schleswig-Holstein, Heligoland,

Diplomacy. _See_ Secret diplomacy.

Diplomatic adjustment, as basis of Covenant, exalted, Lansing on
   judicial settlement and, in Wilson's original draft, in Treaty, _See
   also_ Judicial settlement.

Disarmament, not touched in Lansing's plan; in Lansing's resolution of
   principles; in Wilson's original draft; in Treaty.

Dobrudja, disposition.

East Indians, and self-determination.

Economic influence on boundary lines.

Economic interdependence, importance in peace negotiations.

Economic pressure. _See_ Non-intercourse.

Egypt, and self-determination; disposition.

Election of 1918, as rebuke to Wilson.

Entangling alliances. _See_ Isolation.

Equality of nations, sacrifice in Wilson's draft of League; in Lansing's
   form for League; ignored in Cecil plan; primacy of Great Powers
   retained in reported Covenant; violation by Treaty; and secret
   diplomacy at Conference.

Esthonia, Wilson and; autonomy.

Ethnic influence on boundary lines. _See also_ Racial minorities;
   Self-determination.

Finland, question of independence.

Fiume affair, Lansing's attitude; Pact of London in light of dissolution
   of Austria-Hungary; resulting increase in Italian claims as basis for
   compromise; attitude of Italy toward Jugo-Slavia; commercial
   importance of Fiume to Jugo-Slavia; campaign of Italian delegates for
   Fiume; Italian public sentiment; character of population,
   self-determination question; efforts to get Wilson's approval; threat
   to retire from Conference; Wilson's statement against Italian claim;
   withdrawal of delegation; Italian resentment against Wilson; as
   lesson on secret diplomacy; delegation returns; and Shantung.

Fourteen Points, announced; affirmative guaranty in; insufficient as
   programme; text.

France, Alsace-Lorraine; restoration. _See also_ Clemenceau; French
   alliance; Great Powers.

Freedom of the seas, in Fourteen Points.

French alliance, as subject of disagreement; provisions of treaty;
   relation to League; and removal of certain French demands from Treaty
   of Peace; and French adherence to League; Lansing's opposition;
   drafted, signed; Lansing and signing; arguments for.

Geographic influence on boundary lines.

Georgia, Wilson and.

Germany, buffer state on the Rhine; and Russian route to the East;
   Lansing's memorandum on territorial settlements; military impotence.
   _See also_ Central Powers; French alliance; Mandates.

Ginn Peace Foundation.

Great Britain, and clause on self-determination; Egypt. _See also_
   French alliance; Great Powers; Lloyd George.

Great Powers, and mandates. _See also_ Balance of power; Council of
   Four; Equality of nations.

Greece, territory.

Gregory, Thomas W., and Wilson's _modus vivendi_ idea.

Guaranty. _See_ Affirmative; Self-denying.

Hague Conventions, and international peace.

Hague Tribunal, and Lansing's plan; Wilson's contempt; recognition in
   Cecil plan.

Hands Off, as basis of Lansing's plan.

Health, promotion in Treaty.

Heligoland, dismantlement, disposition.

Herzegovina, disposition.

Historic influence on boundary lines.

Hostilities. _See_ Prevention of war.

House, Edward M., joins Supreme War Council; conference on armistice
   terms; selection as peace negotiator and President as delegate,
   Commission of Inquiry, and drafting of League, and international
   court, and "self-denying covenant," and balance of power, of
   Commission on the League of Nations, and mandates, and data, ignorant
   of Wilson's programme, and Preliminary Treaty with detailed Covenant,
   and private consultations, _See also_ American Commission.

Hungary, separation from Austria.

Immoral traffic, prevention in Treaty,

Immunities of League representatives,

Indemnities, and mandates,

India, German routes to,

International commissions, in Cecil plan, in Treaty,

International court. _See_ Judicial settlement.

International enforcement. _See_ Affirmative guaranty.

International military force, in Wilson's original draft, in Treaty,

International military staff, proposal,

Interparliamentary Congress, in Cecil plan,

Inviolability of League property,

Irish, and self-determination,

Isolation, policy, and affirmative guaranty, and mandates, and French
   alliance,

Italy, and Cecil plan, territory, _See also_ Fiume; Great Powers.

Japan, and Cecil plan, in Council of Ten, _See also_ Great Powers;
   Shantung.

Judicial settlement of international disputes, Lansing's plan,
   subordinated in Wilson's draft, Lansing on diplomatic adjustment and,
   Lansing urges as nucleus of League, in Lansing's resolution of
   principles, Lansing's appeal for, in Covenant, arbitrators of
   litigant nations, difficulties in procedure, cost, elimination from
   Covenant of appeal from arbitral awards, how effected, Lansing's
   appeal ignored, in Cecil plan, _See also_ Arbitration; Diplomatic
   adjustment.

Jugo-Slavia, and Anglo-Franco-American alliance, port, erected, _See
   also_ Fiume.

Kato, Baron, and Shantung,

Kiao-Chau. _See_ Shantung.

Kiel Canal, internationalization,

Koo, V.K. Wellington, argument on Shantung,

Labor article, in Wilson's original draft, in Treaty,

Lansing, Robert, resignation asked and given, divergence of judgment
   from President, reasons for retaining office, reasons for narrative,
   imputation of faithlessness, personal narrative, subjects of
   disagreement, attitude toward duty as negotiator, policy as to advice
   to President, President's attitude towards opinions, method of
   treatment of subject, conference on armistice terms, selected as a
   negotiator, opposition to President being a delegate, President's
   attitude toward this opposition, and Commission of Inquiry, arrival
   in Paris, and balance of power, and paramount need of speedy peace,
   opposition to mandates, opposition to French alliance treaty, signs
   it, personal relations with President, memorandum on American
   programme (1918), has _projet_ of treaty prepared, Wilson resents it,
   on lack of organization in American Commission, and lack of
   programme, and American Commission during President's absence, on
   Wilson's _modus vivendi_ idea, opposition to secret diplomacy, effect
   on Wilson, and Fiume, and Shantung, Bullitt affair, views on Treaty
   when presented to Germans, and ratification of Treaty _See also_
   American Commission; League; Wilson.

Latvia Wilson and autonomy

League of Nations principles as subject of disagreement as object of
   peace negotiations as reason for President's participation in
   Conference Wilson's belief in necessity American support of idea,
   earlier plans and associations divergence of opinion on form
   political and juridical forms of organization Wilson's belief in
   international force and affirmative guaranty affirmative guaranty in
   Fourteen Points Phillimore's report preparation of Wilson's original
   draft, House as author Lansing not consulted, reason Lansing's
   opposition to affirmative guaranty Lansing and non-intercourse peace
   plan draft impracticable and equality of nations Lansing's
   "self-denying covenant" Lansing accepts guaranty as matter of
   expediency diplomatic adjustment as basis of Wilson's draft guaranty
   in first draft, later draft, and Treaty Lansing's substitute, his
   communications not acknowledged, incorporation of detailed Covenant
   in Treaty irreconcilable differences between Wilson's and Lansing's
   plans Lansing on diplomatic adjustment versus judicial settlement
   Lansing urges international court as nucleus three doctrines of
   Lansing's plan Lansing's first view of Wilson's draft his opinion of
   its form of its principles Wilson considers affirmative guaranty
   essential, effect on Treaty American Commission ignored on matters
   concerning Cecil plan Wilson's opposition to it question of
   self-determination Lansing's proposed resolution of principles in
   Treaty and later detailing detailed Covenant or speedy peace Wilson
   utilizes desire for peace to force acceptance of League Lansing
   proposes resolution to Wilson and to Council of Ten drafted
   resolution of principles Commission on the League of Nations
   appointed, American members resolution and Wilson's return to United
   States Wilson's draft before Commission Wilson pigeonholes resolution
   revision of Wilson's draft Lansing's appeal for international court
   it is ignored elimination of appeal from arbitral awards, how
   effected report of Commission, Wilson's address character of report
   and work of Commission, main principles unaltered Wilson and American
   opposition (Feb.) American Commission and report amendments to
   placate American opinion reaction in Europe due to American
   opposition change in character and addition of functions to preserve
   it summary of Lansing's objections and French alliance in a
   preliminary treaty as a _modus vivendi_ as subject of Wilson's
   private consultations secrecy in negotiations and Shantung bargain
   Bullitt's report of Lansing's attitude and carrying out of the Treaty
   as merely a name for the Quintuple Alliance text of Wilson's original
   draft of Cecil plan in Treaty _See also_ Mandates.

League to Enforce Peace Wilson's address

Lithuania Wilson and autonomy

Lloyd George, David, Supreme War Council, 14 and French alliance _See
   also_ Council of Four.

Log-rolling at Conference

London, Pact of

Makino, Baron and Shantung

Mandates, in Smuts plan, Wilson adopts it Lansing's criticism retained
   in reported Covenant political difficulties Wilson's attitude legal
   difficulties usefulness questioned as means of justifying the League
   and indemnities altruistic, to be share of United States in Wilson's
   original draft in Treaty.

Meeting-place of League in Wilson's original draft in Cecil plan in
   Treaty.

Membership in League in Wilson's original draft in Treaty withdrawal.

Mezes, Sidney E., Commission of Inquiry and data.

Miller, David Hunter and drafting of Covenant and _projet_ of a treaty.

_Modus vivendi_, Wilson and a preliminary treaty as

Monroe Doctrine and affirmative covenant preservation in Treaty

Montenegro in Jugo-Slavia Fourteen Points on

Moravia, disposition

Munitions regulation of manufacture and trade in Wilson's original draft
   in Treaty

National safety, dominance of principle

Near East United States and mandates Lansing's memorandum on territorial
   settlements mandates in Wilson's original draft mandates in Treaty
   Fourteen points on

Negative guaranty. _See_ Self-denying covenant.

Non-intercourse as form of peace promotion constitutionality in Wilson's
   original draft in Treaty

Norway, Spitzbergen

Open Door in Lansing's plan in Near East in former German colonies
   principle in Wilson's original draft and in Treaty in Fourteen Points

Outlet to the sea for each nation

Orlando, Vittorio Emanuele

Palestine autonomy _See also_ Near East.

Pan-America, proposed mutual guaranty treaty

Papineau Rebellion, and self-determination

Peace, Treaty of inclusion of detailed Covenant as subject of
   disagreement expected preliminary treaty speedy restoration of peace
   versus detailed Covenant Wilson employs desire for, to force
   acceptance of League, resulting delay, delay, delay on League causes
   definitive rather than preliminary treaty subjects for a preliminary
   treaty influence of lack of American programme Wilson's decision for
   a definitive treaty Lansing's views of finished treaty British
   opinion protests of experts and officials of American Commission
   Lansing and ratification _See also_ League.

Persia, disposition

Phillimore, Lord, report on League of Nations

Poland and Anglo-Franco-American alliance independence Danzig

Postponement of hostilities as form of peace promotion in Wilson's
   original draft in Cecil plan in Treaty

President as delegate as subject of disagreement Lansing's opposition
   origin of Wilson's intention influence of belligerency on plan
   influence of presence on domination of situation personal reasons for
   attending decision to go to Paris decision to be a delegate attitude
   of House League as reason for decision

Prevention of war in Wilson's original draft in Cecil plan in Treaty
   _Sec also_ Arbitration; League.

Publication of treaties in Lansing's plan in Treaty

Publicity as basis of Lansing's plan _See also_ Secret diplomacy.

Quintuple Alliance, League of Nations as name for

Racial equality issue in Shantung bargain

Racial minorities protection, in Wilson's original draft

Ratification of Treaty Lansing's attitude

Red Cross promotion in Treaty

Rhenish Republic as buffer state

Roumania Bucharest Treaty to be abrogated territory Fourteen Points on

Russia Wilson's policy and route for Germany to the East Lansing's notes
   on territorial settlement Fourteen Points on

Ruthenians and Ukraine

Schleswig-Holstein disposition

Scott, James Brown drafts French alliance treaty and _projet_ of a
   treaty

Secret diplomacy as subject of disagreement in negotiation of League as
   evil at Conference Lansing's opposition, its effect on Wilson
   Wilson's consultations and Wilson's "open diplomacy" in Council of
   Four public resentment Fiume affair as lesson on perfunctory open
   plenary sessions of Conference Council of Ten effect on Wilson's
   prestige responsibility effect on delegates of smaller nations
   climax, text of Treaty withheld from delegates psychological effect
   great opportunity for reform missed and Shantung Fourteen Points on
   _See also_ Publicity

Secretariat of the League in Wilson's original draft in Cecil plan in
   Treaty

"Self-denying covenant" for guaranty of territory and independence
   Lansing's advocacy House and Wilson rejects suggested by others to
   Wilson

Self-determination in Wilson's draft of Covenant why omitted from treaty
   in theory and in practice Wilson abandons violation in the treaties
   and Civil War and Fiume colonial, in Fourteen Points Wilson's
   statement (Feb. 1918)

Senate of United States and affirmative guaranty opposition and Wilson's
   threat plan to check opposition by a _modus vivendi_

Separation of powers Wilson's attitude

Serbia Jugo-Slavia territory Fourteen Points on

Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes _See_ Jugoslavia

Shantung Settlement as subject of disagreement and secret diplomacy
   bargain injustice, blackmail influence of Japanese bluff not to agree
   to the League German control Japanese occupation moral effect Chinese
   agreement to Japanese demands, resulting legal and moral status
   status after China's declaration of war on Germany attitude of Allied
   delegates attitude of American Commission, letter to Wilson argument
   before Council of Ten Japanese threat to American Commission before
   Council of Four value of Japanese promises questioned and Fiume
   question of resignation of American Commission over China refuses to
   sign Treaty Wilson permits American Commission to share in
   negotiations American public opinion text of Treaty articles on

Silesia and Czecho-Slovakia

Slavonia disposition

Slovakia disposition

Small nations _See_ Equality.

Smuts, General and disarmament plan for mandates

Society for the Judicial Settlement of International Disputes

Sonnino, Baron Sidney _See_ Fiume

Sovereignty question in system of mandates

Spitzbergen disposition

Strategic influence on boundary lines

Straus, Oscar S. favors League as reported

Supreme War Council, American members added, 14; and Cecil plan; and
   Council of Ten.

Syria, protectorate. _See also_ Near East.

Taft, William H., supports League as reported.

Transylvania, disposition,

Treaty of Peace. _See_ Peace.

Treaty-making power, President's responsibility, duties of negotiators,
   and affirmative guaranty,

Trieste, disposition; importance,

Turkey, dismemberment and mandates, _See also_ Near East.

Ukraine, Wilson and; autonomy, and Ruthenians.

Unanimity, requirement in League.

Violation of the League, action concerning, in Wilson's original draft,
   in Cecil plan; in Treaty,

War. _See_ Arbitration; League of Nations; Prevention.

White, Henry, arrival in Paris; opposes affirmative guaranty; and
   Covenant as reported and later amendments; and proposed French
   alliance; and Shantung question. _See also_ American programme;
   American Commission.

Wickersham, George W., supports League as reported.

Williams, E. T., and Shantung question,

Wilson, Woodrow, responsibility for foreign relations; duties of
   negotiators to, and opposition, presumption of self-assurance,
   conference on armistice terms; disregard of precedent; and need of
   defeat of enemy; and Commission of Inquiry; open-mindedness; and
   advice on personal conduct; positiveness and indecision; and election
   of 1918; prejudice against legal attitude; prefers written advice,
   arrives in Paris, reception abroad, on equality of nations, and
   separation of powers, denounces balance of power, and
   self-determination, conference of Jan. 10, contempt for Hague
   Tribunal, fidelity to convictions, return to United States, return to
   Paris, and mandates, and French alliance, and open rupture with
   Lansing, and team-work, decides for a definitive treaty only,
   rigidity of mind, secretive nature, and Fiume, Italian resentment and
   Shantung, and Bullitt affair, Treaty as abandonment of his
   principles, Fourteen Points, principles of peace (Feb. 1918), _See
   also_ American programme; Commission on the League; Council of Four;
   Lansing; League; Peace; President as delegate; Secret diplomacy.

Withdrawal from League, provision in Treaty, through failure to approve
   amendments.

World Peace Foundation,

Zionism, and self-determination,

Zone system in mutual guaranty plan,



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