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international executive to enforce the laws, possibly by the aid of an international army. Such a plan would infringe upon the prerogatives of at least every national legislative body and of every sovereign. Is it not well, therefore, before a discussion of its arrangement is provoked, to examine into the necessity for such an organization? Those born and reared in America have probably had instilled into them a keener appreciation than other peoples of the greatness of the struggles over the surrender of such rights, although limited. At the outset, the erection of the Constitution of the United States was accomplished only at a time when the Articles of Confederation and the Continental Government had proven to be inefficient and the States were impelled to such action to preserve the Union. The contentions between the federalist and democratic (centralization and decentralization) factions are still reflected each year in the decisions of the Supreme Court. It will be remembered also that the heads of the several States held only elective offices. By what means, then, is it supposed that, when no such exigency exists, the States of the World are going to cede even more substantial rights to this body or that their sovereigns are going to resign a portion of their hereditary power to a Mr. X, or a Mr. Y? Consider, too, the surrender that even the erection of a court of permanent judges would entail (see above, under Judicial Court, page 12), and no consideration is given there to the enforcement of its decrees. Why should the cause of arbitration and disarmament be jeopardized by reason of the antagonisms that such a discussion would arouse?
To accomplish all that is necessary, only the minimum of organization would be required: no more, it might be said, than what at present exists under the Convention of The Hague.
Under it, each of the signatory powers has the right to name four Members of the Court, which most of them have done. The latter have no powers, however, but depend for such upon the grant thereof in the compromis, or treaty, by which provision may be made for their ministry, in the same manner as would be that of any other individual who might be chosen. It is already in operation under an ample provision for its small expenses through joint contributions by the States.
Then, under Article 28, the provision is made:
“A Permanent Administrative Counsel, composed of the diplomatic representatives of the Signatory Powers accredited to The Hague and of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, who shall fulfill the functions of President, shall be constituted in that City,” etc. As its functions are simply to keep up the organization and administer the property, no fear can be aroused by the powers delegated to it or any of its members. With this very simple organization, all that remains to be done is to obligate nations to arbitrate their differences, when they cannot settle them otherwise; if they cannot agree upon the arbitrators, to select them according to an accepted plan, supposed to afford a choice of impartial persons; and finally, to conform to the award rendered.
To do this, it would not always be necessary that the disputing nations even place themselves in contact with the Court of The Hague, although it might be expedient that notifications to arbitrate and other processes be served by it for the purpose of registration and ultimate disposition, upon the failure to proceed amicably. The Court then would only be called upon to act as set forth above, under Tribunal. It would not be necessary that the hundred and some members should assemble or that the President of the Permanent Administrative Council should take part in the case, and the Convention already provides for the formation of Tribunals, or small working bodies of its Members, though not for the functions set forth under this plan. This organization would be complete; and yet it might be said even that it involved no surrender of sovereign rights, as it would only deal with disputes between independent nations and no government or individual has ever established a prerogative to pass upon such questions. If there should be an encroachment on such rights, it would be in compelling each nation to put aside the instruments of war intended for use on the other nations, for which a little compulsion might be necessary, although it would never provoke more than a protest. No nation has the sovereign right to use arms beyond its territorial limits. To use them elsewhere, implies, therefore, that some other sovereignty is being invaded; or, that it is upon common territory, such as the open sea, where other nations have an equal right; and, under a system of general disarmament, the international right of freeing all nations from the menace of armed attack would be paramount as a police regulation. In order that the minimum of power be delegated to the Members, who are the only permanent officers required,
no Tribunal should ever be empowered to pass upon the merits of a dispute. It will be seen that, while the highest rights might be presented for determination under this plan, no individual, or group of individuals, could be permanently exalted by it.
The League to Enforce Peace
The League to Enforce Peace, launched by a number of prominent citizens, at Independence Hall, in Philadelphia, on June 17, 1915, at a session lasting a little more than a day, is a combination plan, based largely on the plan for the proposed general arbitration treaties between America, Great Britain and France, signed on August 3, 1911, but never ratified, with an adaptation of the isolation idea, economic and military forces, which was brought forth a short time previous, at a meeting, styled The World's Court Congress, held at Cleveland, Ohio. The proposals were set forth in four short paragraphs: the first, providing that all, so-called, justiciable questions should be submitted to a judicial tribunal, which should also have the competency to determine whether it had jurisdiction; the second, that all other questions should be submitted to a council of conciliation, for hearing, consideration and recommendation; the third (in full): “The signatory powers shall jointly use forthwith both their economic and military forces against any one of their number that goes to war or commits acts of hostility against another of the signatories before any question arising shall be submitted as provided in the foregoing”; and the fourth, for conferences to codify rules of international law.
Subsequently, its Executive Committee authorized the provision, that the joint use of their military forces should follow that of their economic forces, due to the fact, that The Chamber of Commerce of The United States had, in the meantime, adopted similar resolutions with the specification, that military force should follow “commercial and financial non-intercourse.” Much opposition was made in the latter body, however, to the recommendation of the use of military force; and a referendum to the Chambers throughout the country, having been had, it failed to adopt the plan.
A circular was issued from the headquarters of The League, prepared by Samuel J. Elder, Esq., as its leaders were doubting whether Congress could be made to act under such an agreement, which stated:
“In case of violation by any of the signatory powers, war can be declared only by Congress as provided in the Constitution. The nations are not to bind themselves to contibute quotas to any international police, but will establish such armament, and such armament only, as each may determine upon and such as they would maintain in any event.”
Many criticisms followed; its prime mover, in The Atlantic Monthly, for September, following, stated: “The plan for a League to Enforce Peace is by no means perfect in conception, and still less in its provisions;” and The League has finally taken refuge in the announcement, that the propositions were not put forth as a complete plans but as a basis for discussion; as, of course, all question, must be decided by the official conference which will be called to establish the convention. The League, neverthe