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to juridicial methods designed to establish the reign of Right and to ensure the freedom of all, we shall certainly adopt—ana here I turn toward the Italian Prime Minister who just said; 'It is co-operation in the work of peace'—all the measures required for co-operation between States in relation to those numberless interests the interdependence of which I mentioned just now. This interdependence becomes daily closer. It will not only be a question of checking nacent conflicts but of preventing their birth.
"I think that, even without any further statement, I have thus correctly interpreted the general feeling. It is enough for me to have shown with what deep enthusiasm France joins those who but lately proposed the creation of the League of Nations. President Wilson said that this question was at the very heart of mankind. That is true. He said we must constantly have an eye open on humanity, a watchful eye that never shuts. Well, I will end by recalling another memory of the Hague. It has been said that we heard there the first heart-beats of Humanity. Now it lives indeed. Thanks to you. May it live for ever?"
Mr. Hughes (Australia) having asked whether it will be possible to discuss the scheme when it is complete, the President replied that the members of the Conference would be quite at liberty to do so.
The President calls successively on the Delegates of various Powers who, speaking in French, supports the draft resolution in these terms:
Mr. Lou (China): In the name of the Chinese Government I have the honor to support whole-heartedly the proposed resolution. China, always faithful to her obligations and deeply interested in the maintenance of the Peace of the World, associates herself entirely with the lofty ideal embodied in the resolution, which is that of creating an international cooperation which would insure the accomplishment of obligations contracted and will give safeguards against war. I am glad to give an assurance to this Conference that the Chinese Republic will always have the keenest desire to consult with the other States in the establishment of a League which will give all nations, both small and great, an effective guarantee of their territorial integrity, of their political sovereignty, and of their economic independence founded upon an impartial justice.
Mr. Dmowski (Poland): I rise not only to support the draft resolution but to express deep gratitude for this noble initiative. I do so not only as representing a part of mankind which has suffered no less than those who have suffered most and which cherishes the hope that such sufferings will never be repeated and that what this war has not destroyed will be preserved for the peaceful generations of the future.
I do so also as representing a country placed in that part of the world where sources of danger to future peace are greater than elsewhere, where today after the conclusion of the armistice, war continues, as representing the country which at this moment is exposed on three sides to danger and is forced to make war on three fronts. If we have an institution like that which is proposed to-day, such as would give international guarantees of peace, we should not be in this dangerous situation.
I express my gratitude in the name of a country which, perhaps more than all others, needs international guarantees of peace and which will greet a League of Nations with the greatest enthusiasm.
Mr. Hymans (Belgium): Gentlemen, I have not asked leave to speak in order to discuss the ideas expressed in the draft resolution, which the Belgian Delegation of course accepts whole-heartedly, and which have been so nobly set forth in this Assembly. I have asked to speak only on a practical question which is, I think, of general interest.
The Conference to-day is organizing its methods of work and procedure. I should like to ask for an explanation of the last sentence of the draft resolution relative to the representation of the Powers on the Commission appointed to examine the draft constitution of the League of Nations. The draft says that the Conference appoints a Commission representing the Associated Governments to work out the constitution in detail and to settle the functions of the League.
The President replies to Mr. Hymans that the explanation which he is about to furnish will doubtless give him satisfaction.
As nobody asks leave to speak on the subject of a resolution of the League of Nations, which has been submitted to the Conference by the Bureau, that resolution is unanimously adopted.
The President then replies to the question raised by the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium, on the method of appointment of the Commission charged with the duty of working out the draft constitution of the League of Nations:
The Great Powers, in accordance with the motion, have designated two delegates each to serve on the Commission. It has been decided that five delegates to be chosen in common by the other Powers should represent those Powers on the Commission. That is to say that you are asked to meet here, say, on January 27th. if that day suits you, at 2 or 3 o'clock, to come to an agreement among yourselves and appoint the 5 delegates of the other powers.
I ought to tell you that we shall ask you to agree to the same course as regards the appointment of other commissions. You will therefore have several elections to hold at the same time.
On this question of the appointment of the commission, the delegates of a certain number of rowers ask leave to speak and explain in turn the views of their respective countries: (All speak in French except Sir Robert Borden (Canada) and M. Phym Bibaoh Kosh* (Siam).
Mr. Hymans (Belgium): The reply which the Hon. President has been so good as to make to me raises the question of the constitution of all the conditions which will be appointed to-day. That will allow me, I think, to define my views on the whole question, which I will do very quickly.
Excepting the case of the Commission appointed to examine the question of reparation for the damage of the war, the general system. according to the President, is to give two delegates to each of the great Powers, which allows them 10 delegates, and five delegates in all to a group or collection formed ol 19 Powers who have been classed among the Powers ingeniously termed "Powers with special interests."
I do not wish to speak in the name of the Delegates of other countries, but I will speak only in that of my own and in that of the Belgian Delegation.
As an exceptional measure we, like Serbia, Greece, Poland and Roumania, have been given 2 delegates—2 to each of these Powers that on the Commission appointed to examine the question of reparation for the damage of the war. Apart from this Commission, the 19 Powers "'With special interests" have to appoint in common by a system hitherto unexplained, which they will have to discover, 5 delegates. It is not stated whether this will be done by proportional representation or otherwise.
We Belgians will beg leave to present to the Conference the following request:
First, as regards the Commission to examine the constitution of the League of Nations and next, the Commission appointed to examine international legislation on labor. We should wish the Conference to be so good as to grant to Belgium 2 delegates on each of these 2 Commissions.
As regards the Commission for the establishment of the League of Nations, we think that we have a right to this on account of our international, political and even geographic position, which has exposed us, and may again expose us in the future to serious danger.
As regards the question of international labor legislation there is nothing that could interest us more. Belgium, small in extent, counts among the great commercial producing and industrial powers of the world—she counted among tnem and I hope she will again count among them in a short time, after her reconstruction.
I will not tire the Conference by quoting figures, but we are in that respect among the 5 or 6 foremost Powers; we have a large industrial population. In certain departments we are among the very first. I will mention only the coal and zinc industries and the production and casting of iron. I will not labor the points.
I think it would be just to give to Belgium a double representation on the 2 Commissions I have mentioned, that is, two delegates.
There remain 3 Commissions: One dealing with the control of ports and ways of communication, another which will deal with crimes committed during the war and with the penalty to be inflicted for those crimes and the third dealing with reparation. But in this last named Commission we think we are fairly well represented. There remain therefore only two: that on ports waterways and railways and that on crimes committed during the war and the penalties which those crimes deserve.
I ask that it should at once be recognized that Belgium shall have a delegate on each of these two Commissions and in doing so I do not think that I am asking more than is reasonable. Belgium possesses one of the three most important ports on the European Continent. She has a network of railways which is the densest in Europe. Owing to the needs of her production and trades she is directly interested in the whole system of international communications. It is certainly not exaggerated to ask that for the examination of so grave a problem Belgium should have a Delegate, and I ask the Conference to decide in this sense.
As regards the question of crimes committed during the war and the penalties to be exacted for them, who could deny that we
have an absolute right to be represented on the Commission, when our country was the first to be invaded, the first to be submerged by invasion, when her neutrality was violated in spite of the treaty signed by the enemy, and when some of the most abominable crimes with which the enemy can be reproached were committed on our soil as also on Serbian soil? I think then there is nothing excessive in our demand.
I speak only for ourselves. I do not wish to prejudice the rights and interests of any other country. I do not think I" shall arouse their susceptibilities when I state this claim in the name of the Belgian Delegation alone.
To sum up, I ask that, as in the case of the Commission on damage caused during the war, Belgium, should have two delegates on toe Commission for the establishment of the League of Nations, two delegates on the Commission on international labor legislation, one delegate on the Commission relative to the control of ports, and one delegate on the Commission for the examination of crimes committed by the enemy and of the penalties to be exacted for them.
I appeal to the sense of justice of the Great Powers and to that of the President of the Conference.
Mr. Calogcras (Brazil): It is with some surprise that I constantly hear it said: "This has been decided, that has been decided." Who has taken a decision? We are a sovereign assembly, a sovereign court. It seems to me that the proper body to take a decision is the Conference itself.
Now, it appears from what has been said that functions have been allotted and that representation on the Commissions is contemplated without certain very important interests having been able to obtain a hearing. It is unnecessary to say that I cordially adhere to the principle of a League of Nations. I have the honor to represent a country which in its constitution absolutely forbids, in express terms, the waging of a war of conquest. This is an idea of long standing with us, firmly rooted in our traditions. I am therefore heartily in favor of the idea of a League of Nations.
But if, on the other hand, I consider the proposed organization of the conditions and the manner in which the interests of my country may be represented thereon, I must point out that we have laws, I may even say texts, of a constitutional character, which do not permit us to give to anybody powers to represent us.
I therefore appeal to the sense of justice of the President and of the members of the Bureau of this Conference. I ask them that, at least on the Commission which will deal with the League of Nations as well as those on which are to examine international control of railways and ports and reparation for damage, Brazil should enjoy the representation to which she considers herself entitled.
Sir Eobert Borden (Canada): I have a great deal of sympathy with the point of view of the smaller nations, because possibly the constitution of the League affects them even more closely that it affects the status of the Great Powers of the world. On the other hand, I realize that there must be a reasonable limitation of the membership of the committee; otherwise, it would be very difficult to carry on the work in an effective way. And I remember, also, that after this Committee has made its report, its conclusions must be submitted to this Conference, and must be approved by it before they can go into effect, but I do feel that the matter has been placed before this Conference in perhaps not the most appropriate way. We are told that certain decisions have been reached. The result of that is that everyone of us asks: "By whom have those decisions been reached, and by what authority?"
I should have thought it more appropriate to submit a recommendation to this Conference, and to have the Conference itself settle the number to be appointed and who they are to be. If that course had been taken, it seems probable that most of the difficulty which had arisen would not have presented itself. And I should like to suggest, with all due respect, that perhaps that would be a more appropriate method of dealing with such matters in the future. Certain regulations have been formulated and passed by which, as I understand, two Conferences wrere established—one a Conference of the 5 Great Powers, and another which may be called the full or plenary Conference. I do not understand that, up to the present time, there has been any Conference of the five great Powers in accordance with the regulations thus adopted. It may be that there has and I have no doubt that there is, and with the best intention; but nevertheless, as we are acting under regulations adopted by the representatives of the 5 Great Powers, it seems highly desirable that we should abide by them. Therefore, I again suggest, with all respect, that the proceedings in the future should be guided by those regulations.
M. Trumbitch (Serbia): I have the honor to declare, in the name of the Delegation of the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, that we support the entirely just proposal of my honorable friend Mr. Hymans. At the same time, I have the honor to ask that the same representation may be given to the delegation to whi«b I belong as to the Belgian delegation.
It is not necessary for me long to retain the attention of tint high assembly to justify the desire which I have expressed, for the reasons just now put forward by M. Hymans are almost the same as those which justify our proposal.
M. Veniselos (Greece): As regards the League of Nations. I associate myself with the request put forward by the Belgian Delegation, without, however, asking that Greece should receive the same treatment. I recognize that all small countries are deeply interested in the study of this question, but I must admit also that the situation of Belgium is entirely a special one by reason of her proximity to the German Empire, which started this War, and for the other reasons given by Mr. Hymans.
I therefore do not ask that my country should be specially represented on this Commission, and confine myself to declaring that I hold myself at the disposal of the Commission when it is appointed in order to make known my ideas on the subject.
As regards reparation for damage, I must thank the representatives of the Great Powers for the representation which they have granted to my country.
As regards the responsibility of the authors of the war, I ask that Greece may also be given a representative, in view of the fact