Слике страница

affairs. Neither is it to this isolation policy which the opponents of the League of Nations refer when they state that the Monroe Doctrine is in danger. They refer to the Monroe Doctrine in its relation to the American hemisphere.

Although the real Monroe Doctrine means, “American territory shall remain American," other and illegitimate interpretations, often selfish and imperialistic, have frequently been given to it. As Mr. Root said in his muchquoted address upon the Monroe Doctrine: "Grandiose schemes of national expansion invoke the Monroe Doctrine. ... Clamors for national glory from minds too shallow to grasp at the same time a sense of national duty invoke the Monroe Doctrine... Thoughtless people who see no difference between lawful right and physical power assume that the Monroe Doctrine is warrant for interference in the internal affairs of all weaker nations in the New World."

Is the genuine Monroe Doctrine endangered by the constitution of the League of Nations? This question may best be answered by considering two or three different ways in which, it is assumed, the Monroe Doctrine may be violated under the League compact.



that the Mon auch an attempus that the

It was to prevent any such attempt, especially by the Holy Alliance, that the Monroe Doctrine was first announced; and it was against such an attempt, that of Napoleon III in Mexico during our Civil War, that the Monroe Doctrine was most signally enforced. But during the past century this Doctrine has been no stronger than the American navy. In 1902, for example, President Roosevelt sent an ultimatum to the Kaiser, threatening to send Admiral Dewey's squadron to prevent the German naval forces from seizing the harbors and customhouses of Venezuela. The United States at that time was nearly involved in a war, single-handed, in defense of the Monroe Doctrine against the most powerful military nation in the world.

Under the constitution of the League, however, an attempt to seize by force the territory of Venezuela, or of any other American state in the League, would be resisted not alone by the forces of the United States, but by all the power of all the members of the League. One of the strongest and most notable provisions of the entire League constitution is the positive guarantee of independence and territorial integrity given in Article X: “The high contracting parties shall undertake to respect and preserve as against external aggression the territorial integrity and existing political independence of all states members of the League.”

The Monroe Doctrine in so far as it protects American territory against seizure by force, is ratified and strengthened by the League constitution. The compact gives not merely the added power of the League to the Monroe Doctrine on this hemisphere; but it extends the principle of the Doctrine to the other states of the World League.



Although President Monroe made no reference to the possibility that a European power might secure American territory by peaceful means, President Polk and President Grant both definitely announced that the United States would not allow any American territory to be ceded to a European power, or any of the existing colonies on this hemisphere to be transferred to a European power. The present Monroe Doctrine is thus admitted to mean that no nonAmerican power may secure any American territory by any means whatsoever. The United States has often asserted that it would not permit the transfer of any of the Caribbean islands to a stronger European state, while during the present war our Government bought the Virgin Islands from Denmark to prevent Germany from securing them by purchase.

Under the actual operation of the proposed constitution of the League, there is no real danger that any non-American power would be permitted to secure any American territory, even by peaceful means, against the opposition of the United States. We need not be disturbed over the fear that either Great Britain or France will sell or transfer any of their Caribbean islands to Germany or Japan, the only powers which could possibly desire to secure them. Neither is there any danger that any of the stable Latin-American states will cede or sell any of their territory; such a proposal would appeal to them much as a similar proposal would appeal to us. The weak states around the Caribbean, which might be tempted to alienate some piece of territory on account of financial distress, are in large measure under the protectorate of the United States,-Cuba, Panama, Haiti and San Domingo—and these states would be incapable of negotiating any such transfer.

It is possible, though not probable, that Holland might sell Curacao, in the Caribbean, or that Ecuador might sell the Galapagos Islands, which are so far distant from the mainland that they may properly be regarded as possessions of Ecuador rather than part of its home territory.

Let us imagine that the League constitution is in force and that Holland or Ecuador should attempt to sell Curaçao or the Galapagos; or, to make the case complete, that Mexico or some weak Caribbean country should be induced to cede a site to a non-American power for a naval base.

In this contingency the United States would object to the transfer of American territory, and the case, under the League constitution, would go before the Executive Council, since it is not the kind of a dispute which would properly be submitted to formal arbitration. There are nine members of this Executive Council, representing the United States, Great Britain, France, Italy, Japan, and four of the smaller states not yet selected. The question which the United States would present would be in substance: “Shall the United States be required to permit a rival power to establish a naval or military base in dangerous proximity to United States territory?".

The recommendation of the Executive Council, to be binding upon the United States or to be enforceable by the League, must be "unanimously agreed to by the members of the Council other than the parties to the dispute." Probably not one of the great powers would agree to the principle that a rival power must be permitted to establish a naval or military base in dangerous proximity to the territory of another. Great Britain is especially sensitive on this point, for it would never willingly permit a rival power to establish itself on its route to India. Great Britain has a Monroe Doctrine even for the Persian Gulf, announced in 1903 in these words: “We should regard the establishment of a fortified post in the Persian Gulf by any other power as a very grave menace to British interests which we should certainly resist with all the means at our disposal.” The British commonwealths in the Pacific, Australia and New Zealand, have a Monroe Doctrine of their own, which forbids a foreign power to acquire land in any way in their part of the South Pacific. To preserve her own Monroe Doctrine, and that of her dependencies, Great Britain simply could not vote to compel the United States to permit a non-American power to acquire land on this hemisphere.

There is a possibility that the dispute might be transferred to the full body of delegates of the League; but this would not greatly alter the situation, for in that body Australia would have a vote, as well as all of the Latin American states in the League. It would be impossible to secure a unanimous recommendation in favor of a European or Asiatic power which wished to acquire American territory.

It should be emphasized that unless the recommendation of the Executive Council is unanimous (except for the two parties concerned) the United States is not bound by it; and the members of the League are under no obligation to attempt to carry it out. If the recommendation is not unanimous, the United States is as much at liberty to enforce this aspect of the Monroe Doctrine as it is at the present moment.

So far then as the practical working of the League constitution is concerned, there is no real danger that the Monroe Doctrine would be violated, even by peaceful purchase of

[ocr errors]

American territory. But if it would win support for the League to make this point absolutely positive, the other powers would probably agree to an amendment of the present draft, or, at least, would be willing to accept a statement by the Senate, in giving its consent to the ratification of the treaty containing the League constitution, that nothing therein should be interpreted to interfer with the well-known policy of the United States that American territory must remain American.


BY NON-AMERICAN ARBITRATORS The Monroe Doctrine has nothing to do with the method of arbitrating disputes between American states; but certain opponents of the League have recently insisted that the Doctrine would be violated if international differences on this hemisphere were ever referred to a court of arbitration or council of conciliation on which Europeans should be in the majority.

But so far as arbitration is concerned, the United States has been referring American disputes for years to courts in which the majority were Europeans; and no one has claimed that the Monroe Doctrine was violated or endangered. During the past fourteen years the United States has had four cases before the Hague Court; in each instance Europeans have been in control of the Court. It was President Roosevelt, the great exponent of Americanism, who persuaded Mexico, in 1902, to refer to the Hague Court the first dispute ever submitted to it. In this Pious Fund case, as it was called, President Roosevelt, or his Secretary of State, selected two Europeans as our two judges; Mexico selected two other Europeans, and these four chose a fifth European. Every single member of this famous court was a European, and our Government and our people were entirely satisfied with the proceedings and with the results. The following year, President Roosevelt persuaded the nations which had differences with Venezuela to submit their case to the Hague. The three judges

« ПретходнаНастави »