Page images

Isn't this worth while, even if the Covenant had done nothing more? But the Covenant does much more. Besides planning new instruments for settling disputes peacefully, such as the court of law, the Council and the Assembly; for controlling the armament madness — the sense of security which will follow the punishment of the wanton aggressor will make this possible — for united action to better the conditions of labor, the Covenant plans that great step toward more enduring peace, namely, the definition of that law under the reign of which the nations may live together and compose their interests just as the individual has long done under municipal law. Mr. Harley points out that these ends are to be achieved by a "new international person

to which the nations surrendered only those attributes of sovereignty needed to effect the purpose in view. In so doing they feel that they are making the residue and more vital part of their sovereignty — that which was retained by them — more secure from outside interference and attack. This is nothing other than the principle, long ago recognized, that true liberty is attainable only through a surrender of license — in this case the license to indulge in the pastime of war whenever it suited a people or their rulers to do so. Under the League, something of that license still persists, but much of it, as we have seen, is gone. Another sovereign right hitherto highly prized, the right to remain neutral, was likewise surrendered in the common interest. The aim of the surrender, as Mr. Harley sees it, is to clothe a continuous international agency” with just so much power as will make reasonable of expectation “the maintenance of international peace and security, and the promotion of international coöperation, through the development of international law.” This agency is not a State, for the territories of the nations which have set it up are not its territories and their peoples are not its nationals. According to Mr. Harley's view, it does not exercise the powers which Confederations have usually exercised, and, at the same time, is more than an Alliance the action of which is not continuous but which, as a rule, comes into play only under specified conditions. At the same time, this “new international person,” the League of Nations, is a subject of international law, its officials and representatives enjoy diplomatic privileges and immunities when engaged on the League's business, and in connection with its trusteeship of the Saar Basin it is vested with legal title to, and authority over, the actual territory administered.

It will be seen, from this brief introduction, what new problems Mr. Harley is here dealing with and what interest and importance attaches to them.


« PreviousContinue »