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ership of power remains in British and American hands, but its uses are stipulated in a covenant. By this we avoid the dangers of competition and alliance, while retaining the possession of the necessary force against an emergency in case the League were destroyed. Anglo-American sea power, fortified by the abolition of neutrality, becomes the ultimate guarantor of the world's affairs. It is the force by which such liberties as we may devise are finally secured.
This is not the old isolation. There is no denying that. But so far as mortal man can see into an extremely perplexing future, this program can if intelligently administered be made to serve the same ends. At the beginning of the nineteenth century we were a weak people and the neighbors of a string of weak republics which had just secured their independence. In Europe a great war had ended with the triumph on the continent of autocracies which hated republics and were resolved to crush them. Taking advantage of England's position and her liberalism President Monroe proclaimed the doctrine that this hemisphere must remain safe for democracy. Now, a century later, another great war has closed in which those autocracies are crushed and a string of weak republics has risen from their ruins. We stand as the richest and strongest power in the world, and our intervention decided the issue. In spite of our strength we have remained true to those very things which we proclaimed when we were young and weak. European peoples seeing this miracle, for miracle it is to the continental mind, have turned to us with such faith as was never before given to a distant people. They have heard an American president announce their liberation and promise their safety, and while the war was engaged they heard no dissent because in fact there was none. They have taken his word as America's, and built their hopes upon it.'
Perhaps it was wrong of him to arouse such expectations. Certainly it would have been wiser if he had acted less singly in committing the nation. But nevertheless, there was opportunity to object, and no formal objection was made. Our honor is consequently very seriously involved in the President's promises,
TT cannot be asserted too often that the indis
1 pensable action to be taken at Paris is to provide for a continuous meeting. Nothing else in the Twenty-Six Articles can be regarded as beyond the reach of criticism and amendment. Let it be agreed now, that in one form or another the contacts which exist shall not be broken, and it becomes not only possible but desirable that the covenant should be subjected to drastic examination. Revision need not delay the making of the Peace Treaty, because the Congress of Versailles -if it does not adjourn—can adequately perform the immediate tasks of the League. For at bottom the League is merely the conference made permanent, and the conference is quite competent to make the necessary decisions of the next half a dozen months, while a more adequate instrument is provided out of the provisional text contained in the Twenty-Six Articles.
The document itself exhibits all the marks of haste and patching. General principles, agencies, procedure are scattered through the various articles in considerable confusion, and one has to search through most of the covenant to discover the complete doctrine on any specific point. For example, why having read Articles VII, VIII, and IX on the subject of armaments, does one suddenly discover another provision on the subject in XVIII? What is the meaning of “freedom of transit and equitable treatment" in XXI, and how does it relate itself to X where“ political independence" is guaranteed? Does this same X mean that the boundaries to be fixed at Versailles are immutable, or simply that they cannot be changed by threat of war? Does this X mean that if a state once member of the League collapses through misgovernment the mandatory principle cannot be applied to it?
Apart from these general and technical difficulties there are certain specific criticisms to be made.
The covenant is very difficult to amend. Now an organic law which is virtually unchangeable should not burden itself with those abstract nega
tive principles, which are the refuge of obstructionists. Article X, guaranteeing territorial integrity and existing political independence, is of this type. It is an article of distrust, an effort to be wiser than the next generation, and to curb the action of the future by a magic set of words. Contrast it with Article XI, which makes it a “ friendly right” to draw attention to circumstances which threaten peace and understanding. X binds the League in a formula; XI releases the League for an active policy of conciliation. The one is restrictive, the other permissive, and the two clauses bark at each other. X is one of those grand generalities behind which every opponent of change can barricade himself. He can always declare that anything he does not like is “external aggression” against his political independence, and there is always sure to be some nation ready to vote against a unanimous recommendation. į The clause will not protect a nation's independ
ence against the kind of economic penetration which to-day constitutes the chief mode of conquest. But it will protect a government in bad practices and oppressions. It will hamper the