Слике страница


Extract from The Inter-Allied Labour War Aims


II. Whatever may have been the objects for which the war was begun the fundamental purpose of the InterAllied Conference in supporting the continuance of the struggle is that the world may henceforth be made safe for democracy.

Of all the conditions of peace none is so important to the peoples of the world as that there should be henceforth on earth no more war.

Whoever triumphs, the peoples will have lost unless an international system is established which will prevent war. What would it mean to declare the right of peoples to self-determination if this right were left at the mercy of new violations, and were not protected by a supernational authority? That authority can be no other than the League of Nations, in which not only all the present belligerents, but every other independent state, should be pressed to join.

The constitution of such a League of Nations implies the immediate establishment of an International High Court, not only for the settlement of all disputes between states that are of justiciable nature, but also for prompt and effective mediation between states in other issues that vitally interest the power of honour of such states. It is also under the control of the League of Nations that the consultation of peoples for purposes of self

determination must be organized. This popular right can be vindicated only by popular vote. The League of Nations shall establish the procedure of international jurisdiction, fix the methods which will maintain the freedom and security of the election, restore the political rights of individuals which violence and conquest may have injured, repress any attempt to use pressure or corruption, and prevent any subsequent reprisals. It will be also necessary to form an International Legislature, in which the representatives of every civilized state would have their allotted share and energetically push forward, step by step, the development of international legislation agreed to by, and definitely binding upon, the several


By a solemn agreement all the states and peoples consulted shall pledge themselves to submit every issue between two or more of them for settlement as aforesaid. Refusal to accept arbitration or to submit to the settlement will imply deliberate aggression, and all the nations will necessarily have to make common cause, by using any and every means at their disposal, either economical or military, against any state or states refusing to submit to the arbitration award, or attempting to break the world's covenant of peace.

But the sincere acceptance of the rules and decisions of the super-national authority implies, complete democratization in all countries; the removal of all the arbitrary powers who, until now, have assumed the right of choosing between peace and war; the maintenance or creation of legislatures elected by and on behalf of the sovereign right of the people; the suppression of secret diplomacy, to be replaced by the conduct of foreign policy under the control of popular legislatures, and the publication of all treaties, which must never be in contravention of the stipulation of the League of Nations, with the absolute

responsibility of the government, and more particularly of the foreign minister of each country to its legislature. Only such a policy will enforce the frank abandonment of every form of imperialism. When based on universal democracy, in a world in which effective international guarantees against aggression have been secured, the League of Nations will achieve the complete suppression of force as the means of settling international differences. The League of Nations, in order to prepare for the concerted abolition of compulsory military service in all countries, must first take steps for the prohibition of fresh armaments on land and sea and for the common limitation of the existing armaments by which the peoples are burdened; as well as the control of war manufactures and the enforcement of such agreements as may be agreed to thereupon. The states must undertake such manufactures themselves, so as entirely to abolish profit-making armament firms, whose pecuniary interest lies always in the war scares and progressive competition in the preparation for war.

The nations, being armed solely for self-defence and for such action as the League of Nations may ask them to take in defence of international right, will be left free, under international control either to create a voluntarily recruited force or to organize the nation for defence without professional armies for long terms of military service.

To give effect to the above principles, the Inter-Allied Conference declares that the rules upon which the League of Nations will be founded must be included in the treaty of peace, and will henceforth become the basis of the settlement of differences. In that spirit the Conference expresses its agreement with the propositions put forward by President Wilson in his last message:

(1) That each part of the final settlement must be

based upon the essential justice of that particular case, and upon such adjustments as are most likely to bring a peace that will be permanent.

(2) That peoples and provinces are not to be bartered about from sovereignty to sovereignty as if they were mere chattels and pawns in a game, even the great game now forever discredited of the balance of power; but that

(3) Every territorial settlement involved in this war must be made in the interest and for the benefit of the populations concerned, and not as a part of any mere adjustments of compromise of claims amongst rival states.

(4) That all well-defined national aspirations shall be accorded the utmost satisfaction that can be accorded them without introducing new or perpetuating old elements of discord and antagonism that would be likely in time to break the peace of Europe, and, consequently, of the world.



"I have said, and shall say again, that when the great present war is over it will be the duty of America to join with the other nations of the world in some kind of a league for the maintenance of peace."-Woodrow Wilson.


"The longer the war lasts the more deeply do we become concerned that it should be brought to an end and the world be permitted to resume its normal life and course again. And when it does come to an end we shall be as much concerned as the nations at war to see peace assume an aspect of permanence, give promise of days from which the anxiety of uncertainty shall be lifted, bring some assurance that peace and war shall always hereafter be reckoned part of the common interest of mankind.

"We are participants, whether we would or not, in the life of the world. The interests of all nations are our own also. We are partners with the rest. What affects mankind is inevitably our affair as well as the affair of the nations of Europe and of Asia

[blocks in formation]

"Only when the great nations of the world have reached some sort of agreement as to what they hold to be funda


« ПретходнаНастави »