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Mr. Lou Tseng Tsiang.
Mr. Chengting Thomas Wang.
Mr. Rafael Martinez Ortiz.
Mr. Dorn y de Alsua.
Mr. Eleftherios Veniselos, President of the Council of Ministers. Mr. Nicolas Politis.
For The Hedjaz
His Highness The Emir Feisal.
Mr. Rustem Haidar.
Mr. Francisco Garcia Calderon.
Mr. Roman Dmowski.
The Count Penha Garcia, Former President of the Chamber
of Deputies, Former Minister of Finance. Mr. Jayme Batalha Reis, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister
Plenipotentiary of Portugal at Petrograd.
For The Czeciio-slovak Republic
Mr. Charles Kramar, President of the Council of Ministers.
Mr. Juan Carlos Blanco.
The President informs the Conference that, at the request of the Delegation of the United States, the approval of the Protocol of the first Session is postponed to the next Session, as that Delegation has not yet received the English text of Protocol Xo. 1 which it reserves the right to present to the Conference.
The order of the day calls for the appointment of five Commissions charged with the duty of examining the following questions:—
1. League of Nations.
2. Responsibility of the authors of the War and enforcement of
3. Reparation for damage.
4. International Legislation on Labor. •
5. International Control of Ports, Waterways and Railways. The first Commission to be nominated concerns the League
of Nations, upon which subject the Bureau presents a draft resolution (Anex I.) which has been distributed in English and French to all the members of the Conference.
The discussion is opened on the question of the League of Nations.
The President of the United States delivers the following speech:
"I consider it a distinguished privilege to open the discussion in this Conference on the League of Nations. We have assembled for two purposes—to make the present settlements which have been rendered necessary by this War, and also to secure the Peace of the world not only by the present settlements but by the arrangements we shall make in this Conference for its maintenance. The League of Nations seems to me to be necessary for both of these purposes. There are many complicated questions connected with the present settlements which, perhaps, cannot be successfully worked out to an ultimate issue by the decisions we shall arrive at here. I can easily conceive that many of these settlements will need subsequent re-consideration; that many of the decisions we shall make will need subsequent alteration in some degree, for if I may judge by my own study of some of these questions they are not susceptible of confident judgments at present.
"It is, therefore, necessary that we should set up some machinery by which the work of this Conference should be rendered complete. We have assembled here for the purpose of doing very much more than making the present settlement. We are assembled under very peculiar conditions of world opinion. I may say without straining the point that we are not representatives of Governments, but representatives of peoples. It will not suffice to satisfy Governmental circles anywhere. It is necessary that we should satisfy the opinion of mankind. The burdens of tnis War have fallen in an unusual degree upon the whole population of the countries involved. I do not need to draw for you the picture of how the burden has been thrown back from the front upon the older men, upon the women, upon the children, upon the homes of the civilized world, and how the real strain of the War has come where the eye of Government could not reach, but where the heart of humanity beats. We are bidden by these people to make a peace which will make them secure. We are bidden by these people to see to it that this strain does not come upon them again, and I venture to say that it has been possible for them to bear this strain because they hope that those who represented them could get together after this war, and make such another sacrifice necessary.
"It is a solemn obligation on our part, therefore, to make permanent arrangements that justice shall be rendered and peace maintained. This is the central object of our meeting. Settlements may be temporary, but the actions of the nations in the interests of peace and justice must be permanent. We can set up permanent processes. We may not be able to set up permanent decisions, and therefore, it seems to me that we must take, so far as we can, a picture of the world into our minds. Is it not a startling circumstance for one thing that the great discoveries of science, that the quiet study of men in laboratories, that the thoughtful developments which have taken place in quiet lecture-rooms, have now been turned to the destruction of civilization? The powers of destruction have not so much multiplied as gained facility. The enemy whom we have just overcome had at its seats of learning some of the principal centres of scientific study and discovery, and used them in order to make destruction sudden and complete; and only the watchful, continuous co-operation of men can see to it that science, as well as armed men, is kept within the harness of civilization.
"In a sense, the United States is less interested in this subject than the other nations here assembled. With her great territory and her extensive sea borders, it is less likely that the United States should suffer from the attack of enemies than that many of the other nations here should suffer; and the ardor of the United States,— for it is a very deep and genuine ardor—for the Society of Nations is not an ardor springing out of fear and apprehension, but an ardor springing out of the ideals which have come to consciousness in the War. In coming into this war the United States never thought for a moment that she was intervening in the politics of Europe, or the politics of Asia, or the politics of any part of the world. Her thought was that all the world had now Decome conscious that there was a single cause which turned upon the issues of this war. That was the cause of justice and liberty for men of every kind and place. Therefore, the United States would feel that her part in this war had been played in vain if there ensued upon it merely a body of European settlements. She would feel that she could not take part in guaranteeing those European settlements unless that guarantee involved the continuous superintendence of the peace of the world by the Associated Nations of the World.
"Therefore, it seems to me that we must concert our best judgment in order to make this League of Nations a vital thing—not merely a formal thing, not an occasional thing, not a thing sometimes called into life to meet an exigency, but always functioning in watchful attendance upon the interests of the Nations, and that its continuity should be a vital continuity: that it should have functions that are continuing functions and that do not permit an intermission of its watchfulness and of its labor; that it should be the eye of the Nation to keep watch upon the common interest, an eye that does not slumber, an eye that is everywhere watchful and attentive.
"And if we do not make it vital, what shall we do? We shall disappoint the expectations of the peoples. This is what their thought centres upon. I have had the very delightful experience of visiting several nations since I came to this side of the water, and every time the voice of the body of the people reached me through any representative, at the front of its plea stood the hope for the League of Nations. Gentlemen, select classes of mankind are no longer the governors of mankind. The fortunes of mankind are now in the hands of the plain peoples of the whole world. Satisfy them, and you have justified their confidence not only, but established peace. Fail to satisfy them, and no arrangement that you •can make would either set up or steady the peace of the world.
"You can imagine, Gentlemen, I dare say, the sentiments and the purpose with which representatives of the United States support this great project for a League of Nations. We regard it as the keystone of the whole program which expressed our purpose and our ideal in this war and which the Associated Nations have accepted as the basis of the settlement. If we return to the United States without having made every effort in our power to realise this program, we should return to meet the merited scorn of our fellow-citizens. For they are a body that constitutes a great democracy. They expect their leaders to speak their thoughts and no private purpose of their own. They expect their representatives to be their servants. We have no choice but to obey their mandate. But it is with the greatest enthusiasm and pleasure that we accept that mandate; and because this is the keystone of the whole fabric, we have pledged our every purpose to it, as we have to every item of the fabric. We would not dare abate a single part of the program which constitutes our instructions. We would not dare compromise upon any matter as the champion of this thing—this peace of the world, this attitude of justice, this principle that we are masters of no people but are here to see that every people in the world shall choose its own master and govern its own destinies, not as we wish but as it wishes. We are here to see, in short that the very foundations of this war are swept away. Those foundations were the private choice of small coteries of civil rulers and military staffs. Those foundations were the aggression of great Powers upon small. Those foundations were the holding together of Empires of unwilling subjects by the duress of arms. Those foundations were the power of small bodies of men to work their will upon mankind and use them as pawns in a game. And nothing less than the emancipation of the world from these things will accomplish peace. You can see that the Representatives of the United States are, therefore, never put to the embarrassment of choosing a way of expediency, because they have laid down for them their unalterable lines of principle. And, thank God, those lines have been accepted as the lines of settlement by all the high-minded men who have had to do with the begiimings of this great business.
"I hope, Mr. Chairman, that when it is known, as I feel confident that it will be known, that we have adopted the principle of the League of Nations and mean to work out that principle in •effective action, we shall by that single thing have lifted a great part of the load of anxiety from the hearts of men everywhere. We stand in a peculiar case. As I go about the streets here I see everywhere the American uniform. Those men came into the War after we had uttered our purposes. They came as crusaders, not merely to win the war, but to win a cause; and I am responsible to them, for it fell to me to formulate the purposes for which I asked them to fight, and I, like them, must be a crusader for these things, whatever it costs and whatever it may be necessary to do, in honor, to accomplish the objects for which they fought. I have been glad to find from day to day that there is no question of our standing alone in this matter, for there are champions of this cause upon every hand. I am merely avowing this in order that you may understand why, perhaps, it fell to us, who are disengaged from the politics of this great Continent and of the Orient, to suggest that this was the keystone of the arch and why it occurs to the generous mind of our President to call upon me to open this debate. It is not because we alone represent this idea, but Decause it is our privilege to associate ourselves with you in representing it.
"I have only tried in what I have said to give you the fountains of the enthusiasm which is within us for this thing, for those fountains spring, it seems to me, from all the ancient wrongs and sympathies of mankind, and the very pulse of the world seems to beat."
Mr. Lloyd George (Great Britain) delivers the following speech: "I arise to second this resolution. After the noble speech of the President of the United States I feel that no observations are needed in order to commend this resolution to the Conference, and I should not have intervened at all had it not been that I wished to state how emphatically the people of the British Empire are behind this proposal. And if the National leaders have not been able during the last five years to devote as much time as they would like to its advocacy, it is because their time and their energies have been absorbed in the exigencies of a terrible struggle.
'^Had I the slightest doubt in my own mind as to the wisdom of this scheme it would have vanished before the irresistible appeal made to me by the spectacle I witnessed last Sunday. I visited a region which but a few years ago was one of the fairest in an exceptionally fair land. I found it a ruin and a desolation. I drove for hours through a country which did not appear like the habitation of living men and women and children, but like the excavation of a buried province—shattered, torn, rent. I went to one city where I witnessed a scene of devastation that no indemnity can ever repair—one of the beautiful things of the world, disfigured and defaced beyond repair. And one of the cruellest features, to my mind, was what I could see had happened,—that Frenchmen, who love their land almost beyond any nation, in order to establish the justice of their cause, had to assist a cruel enemy in demolishing their own homes, and I felt: these are the results—only part of the results. Had I been there months ago I would have witnessed something that I dare not describe. But I saw acres of graves of the fallen. And these were the results of the only method, the only organized method,—the only organized method that civilized nations have ever attempted or established to settle disputes amongst each