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and Consular Services that we should provide sufficient for a decent living, and hold out the hope that conspicuous ability and fidelity will be appropriately recognized.
There is also the need of a greater flexibility. There has long been too great a distinction between the political interests of the Diplomatic Service and the commercial interests of the Consular Service. Both are engaged in political work and both are engaged in commercial work. You cannot at this time take economics out of diplomacy. If you would protect our interests on the one side you must support them on the other, and I believe that the two branches of the Service, now called the Diplomatic and Consular, should be drawn together and treated as an interchangeable unit. This would permit men to be assigned from one Service to the other and thus give a greater range of opportunity for putting men in the places where they belong as their aptitudes and special talents are revealed.
In all these matters we must be realists and not permit our mental processes to be stopped by archaic differentiations. Nearly all nations have found it necessary to make a considerable reorganization in order better to equip their Foreign Service, and this country should not lag behind.
What I have said as to the service abroad applies also to the Department. The Department is undermanned. The work places too great pressure on many of the officials and employees who are required to sacrifice constructive hours to routine. There is need of more and better paid officials to handle important matters. The work of the Department in Washington is interlaced with that of the Field and the aim is constantly to interchange the benefits of the experiences of each. Thus men should be brought in from the Field to the Department so that the Department may be enriched by contact with those who have had the benefit of experience abroad, and at the same time men should be sent from the Department to the Field so that there may be a better understanding and more intimate knowledge of the Department's policies. Happily this reciprocal influence is being maintained and the spirit of both Field and Department leaves nothing to be desired.
Then there should be a coordination of effort among the different departments of government. Sometimes it might be supposed that the different departments of government were so many different governments, such has been at times the nature of the intercourse between them. While we are intent upon perfecting any particular agency of government, we can never afford to lose sight of the fact that it is a single government whose varied instrumentalities we are considering and which must act as a single government with a unified purpose and method.
I am glad to say that we are achieving at this time a very gratifying measure of cooperation among the Departments; in particular the relations between the Department of State and the Department of Commerce are most cordial and mutually helpful. We are working with each other and endeavoring each to aid the other in its recognized field of effort. It is my most earnest desire that all practicable measures shall be taken to promote American commerce and disseminate through all appropriate channels the essential information which the American merchant needs.
The Department of State is carrying the flag of the twentieth century. It aims to be responsive in its own essential sphere to what it recognizes as the imperative demands of American business. It aims at the coordination of the work of all departments bearing upon the same great object of American prosperity. It intends in its contacts with foreign governments to maintain the American tradition of candor and good faith, and at this difficult time it is earnestly desirous of aiding in the reestablishment of stable conditions and thus of contributing to the welfare of other peoples upon which our own prosperity must ultimately depend.
SOME OBSERVATIONS ON THE CONDUCT OF OUR FOREIGN
By The Honorable Charles E. Hughes
I desire to take this opportunity to present some observations on the conduct of our foreign relations, not to define particular policies, but to consider method and control.
Recent developments abroad have marked the passing of the old diplomacy and the introduction of more direct and flexible methods responsive to democratic sentiment. Peace-loving democracies have not been willing to rest content with traditions and practices which failed to avert the great catastrophe of the world war. Public criticism in some instances overshot the mark and becoming emotional enjoyed the luxury of a bitter and indiscriminate condemnation. The most skilled diplomats of Europe were charged with having become "enmeshed in formulae and the jargon of diplomacy"; with having "ceased to be conscious of pregnant realities". More potent than the critics were the exigencies due to the war which required the constant contact and direct interchanges of responsible leaders. The aftermath of problems has made necessary the frequent use of similar methods permitting concert, flexibility, more frequent informal intercourse, and decisions which, if not immediate, are relatively speedy. The international conference attests the new effort to achieve the necessary adaptation to new demands. An eminent chronicler of European conferences tells us that he has attended over five hundred international meetings since 1914. There has been a corrresponding stirring in foreign offices, modifications of the old technique and a new sense of responsibility to peoples.
It would be a shallow critic who would associate the United States with either the aims, the methods or the mistakes of the traditional diplomacy of Europe. To her "primary interests", as Washington said, we had at best "a very remote relation". We have had no part in the intrigues to maintain balance of power in Europe and no traditions of diplomatic caste. From the outset—from the first efforts of Benjamin Franklin—American diplomacy has deemed itself accountable to public opinion and has enjoyed the reputation of being candid and direct. It has opposed circumlocution and unnecesssary ceremonial. Its treaties have been open to the world. Indeed, instead
1 Address at the Commencement of the University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor, on Monday morning, June 19, 1922.
of being burdened by the artificialities, reticences and intriguing devices of an organization essentially aristocratic, instead of holding itself aloof from the current influences of politics, the organization of our instrumentalities of foreign intercourse has rather suffered from too much regard for politicians and too little attention to the necessity for special aptitude and training. But, while we have thus been immune from most of the destructive criticism visited upon old world methods, we also feel the pressure of a heightened demand for popular control, and it is essential that we should carefully consider the relation of public opinion to the conduct of our foreign relations, its proper aims, the special dangers in this field if public opinion is unintelligent or misdirected, and the conditions of the wholesome exercise of its authority. In the sphere of international action, the people have peculiar obligations as well as power, and education for citizenship implies a just appreciation of civic responsibility when peoples are dealing with each other as peoples and not merely determining domestic policy and settling internal disputes.
President Lowell has reminded us that, in asserting the final control of public opinion in popular government, the opinion to which we refer must be "public" and must really be "opinion". It imports the conviction of the people as a whole that the prevailing view expressed in the manner appropriate to our institutions should be carried out. It embraces deep-seated convictions due to the influence of tradition, authority or suggestion. In new conditions, where familiar standards are not involved, it is developed in a rational process by consideration of what are supposed to be the facts of the particular case.
It becomes at once apparent how difficult it is to develop true public opinion in relation to matters of foreign policy. There are, of course, certain viewpoints of the American people which are readily recognized, as they represent accepted postulates formulated and approved by generations of American statesmen and which could be changed only by a revolution of opinion. But in a host of matters, indeed in most cases, there is no such criterion. There are complicated states of fact which cannot be understood without an intimate knowledge of historical background and a painstaking and discriminating analysis of material. There are situations of controlling importance which are wholly unknown to the general public, and which cannot be appreciated without the special information available only to officers of the Government. The people cannot judge wisely without being informed, and the problem is how to inform them. Lack of accurate information does not imply any check upon the dissemination of what passes for fact or the withholding of comment or criticism however mistaken in its assumptions. The multiplied facilities of communication are always in use, and the processes of conjecture and suspicion go on uninterruptedly. In dealing with the problem of developing sound opinion, the fundamental consideration must always be that misinformation is the public's worst enemy, more potent for evil than all the conspiracies that are commonly feared.
Moreover, the difficulty of maintaining a true perspective and a distinctively American opinion in the field of foreign affairs is greatly increased by the natural and persistent efforts of numerous groups to bend American policy to the interest of particular peoples to whom they are attached by ties of kinship and sentiment. The conflicts of opinion and interest in the old world are reproduced on our own soil. Then there are the various sorts of propaganda by which organized minorities and special interests seek to maintain a pervasive influence.
Whatever the advantages of our governmental arrangements—and I should be the last to under-estimate them—I think it should be candidly admitted that they have the effect of limiting the opportunities for the responsible discussion which aids in the understanding of foreign policy. The conduct of foreign relations pertains to the executive power, and the executive power of the Nation is vested in the President, subject to the exceptions and qualifications expressed in the Constitution. Practice under the Constitution has abundantly confirmed the initiative of the President in the formulation of foreign policy.
The wisdom of this disposition of power has been fully demonstrated, for in view of the nature of the task, the delicacy of the negotiations involved, the necessity for promptness, flexibility and unity of control, this authority could not well be lodged elsewhere. But the separateness of the executive power under our system, while it has advantages which have been deemed to be of controlling importance, deprives the Executive of the opportunities, open to parliamentary leaders, of participation in parliamentary debates. Official communications are made by the President in the discharge of his constitutional duty. The Department of State, which is the instrumentality of the Executive in connection with foreign affairs, makes its public announcements. The Secretary of State appears before committees from time to time and gives the information which is asked. But there is lacking the direct personal relation to the discussions of the Senate when foreign affairs are under consideration. The Secretary of State, acting for the President, may negotiate an important treaty, but he has no opportunity to explain or defend it upon the floor of the Senate when its provisions are under debate. The knowledge which is at his command is communicated in formal writing or merely to those members who sit upon the appropriate committee. The advantage of oral explication and of meeting each exigency as it arises in the course of discussion and thus of aiding in the formation of public opinion in the manner best adapted to that purpose is not open to him. There are numerous situations in which an opportunity for the Executive through his Department Chiefs to explain matters of policy would be of the greatest aid in securing an intelligent judgment. As President Taft said,"Time and time again debates have arisen in each House upon issues which the information of a particular Department Head would have enabled him, if present, to end at once by a simple explanation or statement". This is especially true