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honorable nations by ruling out interference; it will assist the dishonorable governments who have learned to manipulate affairs in a costume of legality. It may put minorities beyond the scope of the League's protection, and enforce the privilege of the oppressing state. Moreover, it puts a premium upon insincerity. In the actual conduct of human affairs there is an increasing limitation of political dependence resulting from the necessities of economic coöperation. Those necessities are stronger than any political axiom, and will prevail. But under Article X they will prevail in roundabout fashion and furtively. The framers of the covenant, and the majority of well-informed people do not believe that a state can do what it pleases within its own boundaries. In the future men will believe it still less, for they are discovering that “international relations” are after all nothing but the result of what goes on within the different nations. Surely at the end of this war it is perfectly clear that the “political independence" of empires like that of the Hohenzollerns, Hapsburgs, and Sultan is not something the world can afford to regard as beyond the jurisdiction of the League.
The Article should be revised. The preamble contains all that is valuable in it without setting up a piece of political dogmatism derived from the eighteenth century. Provided that international law is given binding sanctions, it is not the business of this generation to put the substance of that law in a straitjacket. When we have agreed that law is binding we have given all the necessary guarantees. What the law is to be in specific cases must be determined on the facts as they are developed by events. There is every reason to believe, for example, that sooner or later the world will require a far greater regulation of international trade than any one has yet dared to suggest. The experiences of the war point that way. They indicate the impossibility of permitting unfair trade practices between supposedly friendly nations, or of profiteering by governments, or the use of monopolies as a means of conquest. The conferees at Paris have avoided these matters in the draft. Perhaps they had to. But statesmen in the future may not be able to avoid them, and it is the part of wisdom to eliminate any dogmatic rule now which might exclude such action.
If the covenant is to serve through the perils that confront the next generation, flexibility and the possibilities of growth must be assured. To attempt, in the organic law, to go beyond “instruments” to legislation is to turn our back upon a century of experience with written constitutions. No printed text can govern the energies of a generation, but it can stifle the more inventive but scrupulous minds. When we have accepted the League we intend to abide by its spirit and its letter; let us not, then, tie ourselves up in the presence of those who may use the letter of it to defeat the spirit. That we can do by eliminating the negatives.
We can do it also by enlarging the “instrumentalities.” The President's own experience shows how necessary it is to secure the intimate coöperation of executive and legislature, majority and minority, if the action of the League is not to be balked. No meeting of executives alone is sufficient to bind the nations, and it is a stultification of democratic control to erect a structure on the theory that the legislature will accept the commitments of the executive after they are made. In parliamentary countries the ministry
will fall if its representatives make commitments of which the legislature disapproves. Under congressional government the result is likely to be a deadlock.
Inevitably, the mere act of securing agreement under the machinery of the League is impossible unless the delegates are capable of speaking with assurance for their countries. And having spoken, having reached a complicated agreement, it is infinitely confusing to throw the whole business back to the legislature for revision. A disagreement between House and Senate is nothing to what a disagreement between the legislatures of many nations would be. The only solution apparently is to have the legislative branch participate in the original discussion, so that it is not confronted each time with an accomplished fact. To be sure, the whole legislature of every state cannot be at the seat of the League, but there is no obvious reason why delegates from its Foreign Relations Committee should not be present to consult with the executive and with foreign legislators to share the responsibilities, and advise during the course of the negotiations. Both the administration parties and the opposition parties would thus be on the ground, and the resulting commitment would have a surer basis.
Unless Congress is to abandon power over foreign affairs, except the power to obstruct, it will insist upon representation of the legislature in the structure of the League. Formally, this representation need be nothing more than advisory, but the advice should be in the course, and not at the end, of the negotiations. It is no question of trusting or distrusting Mr. Wilson. I trust him beyond any statesman in the world to-day. It is a matter of the future, when Mr. Wilson will be a private citizen, and when perhaps some other person will be in the White House who needs to be checked by Congress. Above all, it is a matter of downright democratic responsibility which the legislature cannot abandon, no matter how excellent' a President may be. Finally, it is a necessity, as politics is managed to-day. No government on the continent of Europe is rooted deeply in the affections of the masses. Those who are now at Paris may not all be there a few months hence. No man knows who will rise to power. But this covenant is supposed to be a League not of governments