« ПретходнаНастави »
has organized his informing data, until, with apologies to Hegel, his “creative synthesis” has given us something better than existed before.
There are 290 pages of text and 190 pages of appendices. The text is divided into three main divisions dealing respectively with: (1) International Relations, (2) International Law, (3) International Coöperation. The appendices give us the most relevant parts of the peace treaty; the treaty establishing the Dual Alliance in 1879; the published sections of the treaty establishing the Alliance, renewed finally in 1912; the French texts of the two papers relating to the Russo-French alliance; the Holy Alliance act; Central American treaties of 1907; the Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes; the draft convention relative to the creation of the Judicial Arbitration Court, and the convention relative to the creation of an International Prize Court, all taken from the Hague Conventions and drafts of 1907; the treaty between the United States and Guatemala, 1913, and a bibliography. There is a respectable index.
Hence we have here an ambitious work; but a dip into its substance does not disappoint. It contains excellence. History in abundance falls before the author's power of analysis. Thus a service is rendered to the inquiring mind bent on knowing something of the Covenant of the League of Nations.
The early portions of the first chapter will bring prepossessions of many to the author's support at the outset. Like the men who gathered at The Hague in 1899 and in 1907, he recognizes in his beginning paragraphs “the solidarity uniting the members of the society of civilized nations." But a careful reading of the entire chapter reveals more caution than seems necessary. It may be true, as he says, that the society of civilized nations has no written covenant, no officers, no seat of government or administration; but the Hague Conferences with their statutes, their Court of Arbitration and other organs, came nearer to being these things than the author seems to grant or realize. Instead of saying dogmatically that no world legislature “at any time has been in existence,” he might have acknowledged more appropriately the quasi-legislative acts, say, of those same Hague Conferences. Indeed, he does grant in another connection (page 107): “In any case the work of the two Hague Conferences and of the International Naval Conference ought not to be lost. In the light of a new and unparalleled experience, their product should be revised, if only to attempt anew to record the progress of custom and the common consent on which all international law is founded.”
Many people will probably agree that the present League of Nations is “a new manifestation of the desire to give more definite organization to the existing Society of Nations upon which it is based and out of which it has grown.” But all will not agree with “the author's personal conviction that the League of Nations should be supported not merely because it provides means for putting war a few steps farther in the background, but because it emphasizes the necessity for coöperation between sovereign states.” This "personal conviction,” however, is expressed only in the preface. In justice to the author, it must be granted that in the body of his text “the facts have been allowed to speak for themselves, opinions and prophecies rarely being hazarded.”
The book is typical of the fact that a movement for some form of a governed world seems now to be substantially in that period of its development which science, particularly biological science, found itself following the work of the Swedish botanist, Carl von Linné, at about the time of the American Revolution. With Linné, collection and classification were a methodic passion. Because of his influence, in no small measure, the museums of Europe became choked with specimens. The naïve notion prevailed that by the collection of a sufficient number of specimens clearly classified, ultimate truth could be adequately attained. Dr. Hicks gives us something of an impression of a Linnæus bent upon attaining unto ultimate international truth by the method of collecting and briefing as many facts as possible relative to the League of Nations. This seems just now to be peculiar to most of the books treating of that hotly debated subject.
Yet the weaknesses of the book are but incidental to its elements of strength. It is evidently the product of a careful and conscientious note taker, assisted by his students, and bent upon using his notes for lecture purposes. Failure to employ a sufficient number of connectives, relatives, and periods leaves some of the passages correspondingly nebulous. In a book thus constructed, even the schoolmaster's “baby blunder" is probably inevitable; in any event, on page 14 there stands unabashed the unlawfully wedded sentences: “In 1919 the attempted answer was the League of Nations, but let us not imagine that this is a new conception produced by the latest necessity for something better than had yet been devised.” It is difficult to defend the inclusion of the long quotation from President Lowell, pages 64 and 65, distinguishing futilely between an automatic and a delegated form of a league of nations. There are still more glaring errors. In his Economies Royales, Pfister seems to have disposed in 1894 of the theory that Henry IV was the author in fact of the “Great Design” rather than Sully, his Minister of Finance. It is very doubtful if this, as our author says, is “a doubtful question." On page 74 the author seems to have made two misstatements of fact within the compass of one sentence. Referring to William Ladd's plan for a separate court of international justice, the author says: “He had been preceded in this conception by Bentham in 1789, but as Bentham's plan was not published until 1843, Ladd could not have been indebted to him for the idea." Since Bentham's “common court of judicature” was essentially a diplomatic body usually referred to by its author as a “Congress or Diet," it cannot be said with accuracy that Mr. Ladd's Court had any relation to the conception by Bentham. Furthermore, for the sake of historical precision, Bentham's plan was first published in 1839; not in 1843. On page 114 the author says: “It may well be contended historically that the primary purpose of the Monroe Doctrine was not to maintain peace,” etc. And yet the Monroe Doctrine specifically says, speaking of European countries, “that we should consider any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety." It would seem nearer to the truth to say that it may be well contended historically that the primary purpose, like the primary result, of the Monroe Doctrine was and is to maintain peace. It is difficult to picture Alexander VI issuing a Papal bull recognizing the paramount interests of Spain in the Gulf of Mexico” as early as 1493. It is inaccurate for the author to say, as he does on page 291, that the Interparliamentary Union has “now 3,300 members drawn from the twenty-four Groups." But errors like unto these, and there are others, do not detract from the value of the book so materially as one would naturally conclude before reading it.
The author achieves his general purpose of examining the Covenant of the League of Nations at first hand. He wisely tries to abstain from defending a thesis. In no way does he criticize directly or indirectly the reservations of the Covenant of the League of Nations as proposed by the United States Senate. Thus, layman or expert, be he for or against the League of Nations, will be glad to possess this informing text both for purposes of general reading and ready reference.
There are twenty chapters in the text. Chapters I-VI deal with international organization. These chapters are not coherently arranged, but they are valuable just the same, for they do summarize previous league proposals, lay before us facts relative to the balance of power and the concert of Europe, and sketch the beginnings and the salient features of the League Covenant. Chapters VII-XIII deal with international law under such headings as customary international law and treaty-made law, the development of international law, international law and peace, international arbitration and the administration of territory. Chapters XIVXX treat of international coöperation. Here there are chapters devoted to international coöperation during the war, diplomacy as a means of international cooperation, coöperation in national legislation, and international coöperation through public and private associations. Chapter XVII, dealing with the subject of conflict of laws, that is to say, coöperation in national legislation as it relates particularly to extradition, nationality, naturalization, expatriation, and labor, is one of the most thoughtful and helpful, if not the most helpful, of all the chapters; but this is an expression of personal opinion with which many others would undoubtedly differ.
Emerson defines a good book as the book which puts us "in a working mood." Measured by that standard, we have here a good book. Every thoughtful reader of its pages will agree to that.
ARTHUR DEERIN CALL.
The Peace Negotiations: a Personal Narrative. By Robert Lansing. With
illustrations. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company. 1921, pp. 328. $3.00.
For the readers of this JOURNAL the chief interest in this book will be in the contrast presented in this personal narrative between what the peace negotiations really were and what they might have been. Coming from the former Secretary of State of the United States, the history of the procedure followed possesses a higher degree of authority than can be claimed for the reports given by previous writers on this subject, while his emphatic dissent from the course pursued in nearly all points confirms the justice of the chief criticisms passed by others upon the work of the Peace Conference, and particularly upon the Covenant of the League of Nations as an international compact.
From the moment when President Wilson decided that he would go to Paris and personally conduct the peace negotiations there, according to Secretary Lansing's account, the President and he were at variance at virtually every step of the proceedings. Believing, as he asserts, “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,” Secretary Lansing evidently thought that this divergence of views did not constitute a sufficient reason for separating from his chief. President Wilson, however, pressed this theory of the President's prerogative in the conduct of the nation's foreign relations to its logical conclusion. “While we were in Paris,” he wrote to the Secretary, on February 11, 1920, “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."
If it be true, as Secretary Lansing holds, that the President of the United States is intrusted with the "absolute right” of determining international policy, and it is the duty of a Commissioner to follow the President's instructions—and this is the only point in which the President and the Secretary appear to have been in perfect harmony—the President was undoubtedly right in feeling that his guidance and direction should be accepted without reluctance; for in this matter his will was the law.
It is not necessary here to enter into the question whether or not the conduct of the foreign relations of the United States is legally intrusted
to a single mind; but, if it be so intrusted, the chief permanent value of Secretary Lansing's personal narrative may prove to be a demonstration of the unhappy consequences of this theory. It shows beyond the possibility of contradiction that the exclusive exercise of such an “absolute right” in a form of government designed to render impossible any form of absolutism involves risks of error of incalculable gravity.
The utility of a wider responsibility in decisions of such public importance is well set forth in the author's conception of the duties of a diplomatic representative commissioned by the President and given full powers to negotiate a treaty. These duties are, “in addition to the formal carrying out of his instructions, twofold, namely, to advise the President during the negotiations 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,” he concludes, “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." These obligations he regards as “the more compelling" in the case of the Secretary of State.
How vain and nugatory these obligations become if they encounter the resistance of a mind convinced of its “absolute right,” the pages of this book disclose.
Placed in this anomalous position of considering it his duty to give advice with the growing conviction that his advice was not wanted and would not even be seriously considered, the Secretary of State reports his line of conduct as follows:
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.
This duty, according to the author's narrative, was faithfully performed; and it was the performance of this duty that is presented as the prime cause of the virtual detachment of the Secretary from the course of the negotiations and of the ultimate decision of the President, declared under circumstances that were not very obviously related to it and for an immediate reason that seemed even less sufficient, to request an opportunity to select some one “whose mind would more willingly go along" with his.
With what good faith the Secretary entertained convictions upon points of procedure and policy in opposition to the plans and purposes of the President is clearly evidenced by the memoranda made from day to day