« ПретходнаНастави »
shall be fulfilled." Under this obligation the United States assumes, if it is adopted, the protection of every nation which shall become a member of the League. In this we would have the co-operation of other members who were willing and able to fulfill their obligations under this article, but whether acting jointly with them or alone, or with such of them as would live up to their obligations, the United States would be bound to tax its people and sacrifice its soldiers to make war in behalf of every foreign country, member of the League, when attacked in the manner indicated, either by a member or by a nonmember nation. The Washington Senator adverted to the obligations the United States must assume, under the League of Nations, in mixing in the affairs of small European countries. To the same extent, he said, these small nations would intrude into the affairs of the United States.
To place now in the hands of the Council of the League of Nations, all but one foreigners, nearly all of them speaking alien languages, born and bred to different traditions, accustomed to a diverse environment, with different ideals and varying interests and motives, that control over the sovereign action of the American people for which so many of our precious heroes have labored would be as though it were a pitiful murder of the very soul of our fathers in their own house, builded by their hands. It would be in its result the same thing as treason, because it would be a transfer of allegiance. No such colossal burden of entangling alliance was ever before conceived In the world. This League of Nations is a fertile seed of war, it is a dragon's tooth from which strong, armed soldiers will rise.
SENATOR BORAH'S ATTACK On Feb. 21 Senator William E. Borah, Republican, of Idaho, launched a similar attack against the League. He pointed out that the acceptance of such a League of Nations involved a radical departure both from the policy laid down by Washington in his Farewell Address and from the Monroe Doctrine. He said: The mere reading of the constitution of the League will convince any reasonable mind, it seems to me, that the policies of Washington and Monroe must depart if it Is adopted. The two propositions cannot exist together. In the first place, the League provides for an organization composed principally and at the present time of five great nations, three of them Kuropean. one Asiatic, and one American. Every policy determined upon by the
League and every movement made by It could and might be controlled solely by the European powers, whether the matter dealt with the European continent or with the American continent It makes no distinction between European affairs and American affairs and erects a common tribunal which has jurisdiction over one continent the same as the other, but, in addition, gives the majority votes to the European system.
After reading Article X., which provides for the preservation of the territorial integrity of the member nations of the League, Senator Borah said: The first obligation which we assume Is to protect the territorial integrity of the British Empire. That takes us into every part of the civilized world. That Is the most radical departure from the Washington policy. If the territorial integrity of any part of the British Empire shall be threatened, not the Congress of the United States, not the people of the United States, not the Government of the United States, shall determine what shall be done, but the Executive Council, of which the American people have one member, is to determine what is to be done. If we mean what we say In this Constitution, we are pledging ourselves, our honor, and our secred lives to territorial possessions the world over.
What has England given us in this League of Nations? What has she surrendered? Will some one advise me? Did she surrender the freedom of the seas? That was pushed aside at the first meeting of the congress and is not subject to its jurisdiction. Has she surrendered her contention for the largest navy? What has she surrendered?
On the other hand, we have surrendered the traditional foreign policy of this country, which has been established for 100 years, and we have gone behind these powers and placed at their disposal' our finances, our man-power, and our full capacity to guarantee the integrity of their possessions all over the globe. Is it an even balance between these great powers and the United States?
In close alliance with Great Britain and in close community of interest, said Senator Borah, will be the British dominions, Italy, and Japan. America in the League will be completely outvoted. The whole project, he believed, meant a sterilization of the principle of nationalism. It abrogates our Constitution, and its ratification should be contingent on a plebiscite; the adoption of such a program must be sustained by an intelligent public opinion.
SPEECH BY SENATOR REED Senator James A. Reed, Democrat, of Missouri, on Feb. 22 denounced the League in a vehement and climactic speech, at the conclusion of which an unusual demonstration occurred, both Democratic and Republican Senators flocking to Senator Reed's desk to shake his hands, while the galleries kept up a wave of handclapping.
The contemplated League of Nations, declared the Missouri Senator, abrogates the Monroe Doctrine and surrenders our sovereignty; it opens the way for foreign domination; it makes it possible for the Old World despotisms to outvote and control the United States; it means a plunge into internationalism that may run into Bolshevism and complete abandonment of all the principles for which George Washington and all other leading Americans had stood. He said in part:
I want to burn Into the brain and heart of the American people that all the nations in the League will have to yield to the arbitration of all controversial questions by members of the League. There Is not to be an arbitration, or an arbitration court, but a decision which can be enforced by the League itself. As the constitution reads, "any matter affecting the peace of the world shall be dealt with by the Executive Council." This means any matter that the League thinks may affect the peace of the world. Let those who may doubt not say I have misrepresented. I am quoting from the constitution itself.
This League may be made up to serve the despotisms in it. The United States would yield its sovereign right, for one thing, to fix the size of our army and our navy. We would have to ask the permission of eight gentlemen, six of whom cannot speak our language. To manufacture arms, whether by the Government or by private enterprise, we would have to get a license from these eight foreign gentlemen.
Quoting Article XVI., relating to the. agreement of members of the League to support one another, Senator Reed proreeded:
This compels us. In case Serbia should have a fight with Bulgaria or England should have a rebellion in the Transvaal or in Ireland, to render "financial and economic support." The language is that the nations in the League will mutually support one another in resisting any spe
cial measures aimed at one of their number by the covenant-breaking State. This binds us to go to the support of any member of the League with men, ships, and arms.
We further agree to let the armed forces of any of the high contracting parties who are co-operating to protect the covenants of the League pass through our territory. Any denial that these various obligations, stipulations, and surrenders, taken together, do not amount to a transfer of many of the great sovereign powers of the United States to a League controlled and dominated by foreigners is ridiculous and dishonest.
PRESSURE ON NEUTRALS Again referring to Article XVI. Senator Reed went on:
But the provision goes further. After declaring that there shall be a prohibition and prevention of all intercourse, financial, commercial or personal, between their nationals and the nationals of the covenant-breaking State, it declares that the same prohibition shall apply to the nationals of any other State. This monstrous provision, translated Into direct speech, means if the League has seen fit to issue its decree of excommunication against a State, that a nation not a member of the League and in no manner concerned in the League or In the dispute shall have its commerce ravished from the high seas, its honest trade with a nation with which it is at peace destroyed. Its commercial and financial business ruthlessly suspended, and it is made to suffer all the horrors of a war in which it has neither part nor lot.
This is freedom of the seas with a vengeance. It is, in fact, Germany's decree closing a part of the Atlantic extended to every water of the world. It makes the English fleet master; it leaves the nation thus assailed maltreated and deprived of its rights under international law with no recourse save that of tame submission or war.
In a League so constituted, said Senator Reed, there will be a ratio of three (monarchies as against two republics; it establishes the votes of four alien nations, closely allied in interests—Great Britain, France, Italy, and Japan, the last mentioned nation already in a state •of irritation against the United States— .against our single vote. It puts this country at a disadvantage, admits interference in our domestic affairs, and may .serve foreign despotisms; it surrenders our sovereignty. "It is an astounding "sweep of power. It is a transfer of "power that Congress never had, that "the f ramers of the Constitution did not "put into the hands of the President. "This power is put into the hands of the "Executive Council, six of whom are "representatives of Kings."
SUPPORTED BY SENATOR LEWIS Senator J. Hamilton Lewis, Democrat, of Illinois, spoke in advocacy of the entire League of Nations project on Feb. 24, saying that it ought to be accepted by the Senate without the change of a syllable. He regretted, he said, the attacks made against the project, most of which, he felt, were induced by partisanship. The constitution of the League, he declared, far from departing from the policy of Washington, harmonized with it. It meant, not the entering into a single alliance, but into a balancing of alliances. It meant no danger to the Monroe Doctrine; fears that had been expressed as to this were groundless. He continued:
We ask why this false fear Is heralded by Senators. What purpose has Britain to gain by allowing her European or Asiatic rivals In trade for territory to possess South or Central America? Will Spain, France, and Italy, the mothers of the sons of these southern lands, vote their destiny in the possession of Britain? The cry is to awaken prejudice, not to convince by the truth of a situation.
Senators opposing the compact say the Executive Council Is composed of five great world States—and, the United States being but one. It would be outvoted in every enterprise of world contest by each nation of the League casting one vote. Such are not In the possibilities. The Executive Council admits the States of the League. France. Britain, and Italy alone have such personal, racial, and commercial interests in all Central and South American countries that these countries are to be among the first to enter. There are eleven republics of America In, with eleven votes. If all of Britain's colonies having independent Governments each have a vote, the United States with Central and South America outvotes the Europeans on any American policy nine to five—assuming only the larger republics admitted to the council.
Other and graver dangers threaten us, said Senator Lewis; the threat of Russia, frenzied with hatred of us; the threat of the Atlantic, which may bear to us the animosities of Europe; the threat of the Pacific, of the mysterious East.
Hence, concluded Senator Lewis, we have no alternative; we must be victor or victim. We must unite in a world convention to wipe all war away.
VIEWS OF SENATOR OWEN
Admitting that the covenant of the League of Nations, as at present drawn, was not a perfect document, Senator Robert L. Owen, Democrat, of Oklahoma, speaking on Feb. 26, urged, for one thing, an amendment to make absolute the isolation of any nation that failed to respect the territorial integrity of another. The people of the United States, said Senator Owen, as well as all other peoples, desire international disarmament. Such a result, he pointed out, would be attained by Article VIII. of the League constitution. He asked:
Is not Article VIII. of tremendous importance in removing one great danger to war? Do we not all know that the Teutonic dynasty for over two years was manufacturing on a gigantic scale munitions of war and organizing armaments far beyond domestic need with the intent and purpose to assail the liberties of Europe and to dominate the world by military force? Shall we not remove this danger from our future by International agreement?
Article X., guaranteeing territorial integrity and political independence, Senator Owen stated, was a guarantee of all the nations of the world, and of the utmost importance, for it removed the danger of all war. All offenders against this principle must face the world. Article XL, providing that any dispute or threat of war concerns the League, meant that effective steps would be taken to prevent war before it had crystallized. Article XII., providing first inquiry and arbitration, then judgment, and then a regulated delay of three months, diminished the chance of war greatly, and the clause of compliance implied that there need be no war at all. Articles XII., XIII., XIV., XV., provide that all the signatory powers must submit their disputes to the Executive Council of the League.
Effective as all these provisions might seem, said Senator Owen, even more drastic measures were needed. No war should be permitted, ever. The provision of Article XVI. for commercial isolation did not go far enough; any invader of another nation's territory or political rights should be absolutely cut off from the rest of the world.
As to the objections raised to a surrender of our national sovereignty, Senator Owen was in favor of explicit delimitation. His suggestion follows:
We should Insert in the proposed formulated plan that " nothing contained In the Instrument itself should be constructed as , granting any rights to the League over the internal affairs of member nations, but that every member nation should be recognized as having complete right over Its emigration and immigration, its imports and exports, and all its domestic affairs, without any interference whatever by the League."
DENOUNCED BY MR. CUMMINS
Senator Albert B. Cummins of Iowa, Republican, at the same session assailed the League as a weak instrument, and called the guarantee of territorial integrity "destructive, unjust, and reactionary." Senator Cummins said he was not wholly opposed to the entry of the United States into a compact with foreign nations to prevent further wars, but he felt that any consideration of a League of Nations should come after definite peace terms had been made with Germany. He then laid down certain underlying principles which should be fundamental in such a League: (1.) All justiciable disputes should be arbitrable. (2.) Other international disputes should not induce war until after some international body should have discussed and considered it; such influence should be purely moral. (3.) Ostracism should punish the refusal of any nation to accept such discussion or moral judgment. (4.) In disarmament largely lies the hope of permanent peace.
Quoting Article X. of the League covenant, in which the signatories undertake to preserve the territorial integrity and existing political independence of all members of the League and engage that its members shall advise on the means of meeting any threat of aggression, Senator Cummins went on:
I do not assert that In the ordinary sense this article is unconstitutional. Within its sphere, our Government has all the attributes of sovereignty, and making treaties with other nations is one of these
attributes; and, moreover, the right to make treaties is specifically recognized in the Constitution.
Alliances, offensive and defensive, have been common among the powers of the world, and, while I do not recall a single instance of that character in our own history, I have no doubt of our constitutional authority to enter into a treaty of that kind. I have some doubt with regard to our power to enter into the treaty proposed in the Paris constitution—a doubt arising from the universality and duration of the obligation we are asked to assume.
I am opposed to It, because it is the most destructive, unjust, and reactionary proposal which was ever submitted to a patriotic and intelligent people. I predict that when the citizens of the United States thoroughly grasp the meaning of the proposed agreement and fairly understand its inevitable consequences it will be rejected In a storm of obloquy the like of which has never been witnessed within the borders of the Republic.
The man who, even in his thought, Is willing to play with the fate of mankind in this fashion is Indifferent to both the lessons of the past and the Judgment of posterity. We are solemnly asked to guarantee that the boundaries of nations, as they now exist, or as they will exist when the Peace Conference has redrawn the map of Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceanica, shall remain without change forever.
"CLIMAX OF SURRENDER" Going further into the problem of wars for and against territorial aggression, Mr. Cummins proceeded:
I am not advocating wars of aggression, and fervently hope that when the welfare of humanity requires changes in sovereign boundaries they may be peacefully effected; but I would hold myself false to the Interest of mankind if I should vote to ratify any treaty which obligated my country, no matter what the circumstances or conditions may be, to send our men to death on the battlefield In any and every land to maintain the boundaries which are now esablished.
I know, and you all know, that we would not fulfill any such obligation, and If we were to enter into it we would be guilty of worse than Punic faith.
Taking up the provision in the League covenant imposing mandates upon the United States and other signatory nations over the weaker nations, Senator Cummins declared that it was "the climax of surrender." He characterized it as the "grossest violation of our powers under the Constitution that has ever fallen under my observation."
Senator Cummins also argued that, under the present League proposals, Japan would be able to put before the Executive Council a protest against this country's refusal to allow Japanese nationals to become citizens of the United States. This, he said, might lead either to a surrender to Japan or to war. "I "believe that it is possible for us to do "everything that can be done to prevent "war without transferring to a foreign "power the Government of America," said Mr. Cummins.
MR. HITCHCOCK'S DEFENSE
The fluctuating tide of criticism surged up again on Feb. 27 in favor of the League in the speech made by Senator Gilbert M. Hitchcock of Nebraska, Democrat, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. Senator Hitchcock argued that the League was a sure guarantee against future world wars, and that it must be adopted to insure safety from aggression. Replying to arguments affecting Japan and Mexico, he said that Japan had recognized the exclusion laws of the United States, and that Mexico, not being able to give guarantees of international obligations, could not be allowed entrance to the League at all.
The Nebraska Senator extolled the Executive Council of the League as representating five great nations in control of all international disputes, their discussion and action to be influenced and modified by four other nations. All opposers to the project, he declared, were thinking in terms of the past. The argument that such a League would open the way to European despotism was groundless; the spirit of despotism was gone; of the nine nations to be represented in the Executive Council of the League none could be said to be a despotism; in all of them, even Japan, the spirit of democracy is rife. The existence of such a league, with its provisions of arbitration and delay, meant a cooling off of from nine months to a year, and thus made war unlikely. Large armaments would be reduced; the output of munitions would be kept within limits intelligently laid down and controlled by the nations themselves; enormous tax burdens would be eliminated; in the case of the United States it would mean a saving of many billions
within the next decade. Some of the main objections to the project were answered by Senator Hitchcock as follows:
We have been told that if we enter this League we would abandon the Monroe Doctrine, that is, we would abandon our right to attack any nation which sought to gain a foothold in the Western Hemisphere. Well, the Monroe Doctrine was enunciated when each nation had to look out for herself, but the purpose of the League of Nations includes the very purpose of the Monroe Doctrine, that is. to prevent the aggression of nations upon each other, and anything that had the character of an attack upon any American republic or of an unfriendly act against the United States would become at once a subject for activity of the League of Nations. Instead of being compelled to defend the Western Hemisphere alone, we would have the sympathy and help of the League of Nations in carrying out the spirit of its organization.
We have been told that this is one of those entangling alliances against which Washington warned us. I deny it. In Washington's day the world was full of alliances, the nations of the world wore seeking to maintain, through the theories of the balance of power, their rival interests. Alliances were for the very purpose of waging war, whereas the League of Nations is a great covenant among the democracies of the world for the purpose of preserving peace.
We have been told that if we agree to the League proposal for the limitation of armaments we would interfere with the power of Congress and impair the sovereignty of the country. Nothing is mere ridiculous. A hundred years ago the United States and Great Britain agrec-d to limit the naval arrangements on the Great Lakes on the border between this country and Canada. The limitation was so rigid that it practically wiped out all naval armament. Yet the Senate ratified the agreement, and so far as I know rot a voice has been heard in Congress or elsewhere to claim that the sovereignty of the United States had been impaired.
SENATOR LODGE'S OPPOSITION
It was left to Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts, Republican leader in the Senate, to voice the definite opposition of his party to the formation of such a League of Nations as had been proposed. In his speech before the Senate on Feb. 28 he reviewed the entire project.
At the outset of his address Senator Lodge drew attention to the vast importance of the subject under discussion. All details, he said, in view of this,