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states and old colonies, necessarily leaves both the selection of the mandataries and the character of their powers and duties unsettled. All these uncertainties are not matters for criticism, but of necessity, arising from the situation. Still more important is the fact that no one knows when or upon what terms the Central and Eastern Powers are to be admitted to the League.
The whole agreement is at present necessarily tentative. It cannot really be a League of Peace in operation for a number of years. to come. It is now and in the immediate future must be rather an alliance of approximately one-half of the active world against or for the control of the other half. Under these circumstances it would be most unwise to attempt to give to this agreement finality and make the specific obligations of its members irrevocable. There should be provision for its revision in a calmer atmosphere and when the world is less subject to exciting and disturbing causes. In the meantime the agreement should not be deemed irrevocable. The last amendment which I annex is directed to that end.
If the amendments which I have suggested are made, I think it will be the clear duty of the United States to enter in the agreement. In that case it would be the duty of Congress to establish by law the offices of representatives of the United States in the Body of Delegates and the Executive Council, just as the offices of Ambassadors and Ministers are already provided for by law, and the new offices would be filled by appointment of the President with the advice. and consent of the Senate under Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution of the United States.
Strike out Article XIII and insert the following:
The high contracting Powers agree to refer to the existing Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague, or to the Court of Arbitral Justice proposed at the Second Hague Conference when established, or to some other arbitral tribunal, all disputes between them (including those af fecting honor and vital interests) which are of a justiciable character, and which the Powers concerned have failed to settle by diplomatic
methods. The Powers so referring to arbitration agree to accept and give effect to the award of the tribunal.
Disputes of a justiciable character are defined as disputes as to the interpretation of a treaty, as to any question of international law, as to the existence of any fact which if established would constitute a breach of any international obligation, or as to the nature and extent of the reparation to be made for any such breach.
Any question which may arise as to whether a dispute is of a justiciable character is to be referred for decision to the Court of Arbitral Justice when constituted, or, until it is constituted, to the existing Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague.
Add to Article XIV the following paragraph:
The Executive Council shall call a general conference of the Powers to meet not less than two years or more than five years after the signing of this convention for the purpose of reviewing the condition of international law and of agreeing upon and stating in authoritative form the principles and rules thereof.
Thereafter regular conferences for that purpose shall be called and held at stated times.
Immediately before the signature of the American delegates insert the following reservation:
Inasmuch as in becoming a member of the League the United States of America is moved by no interest or wish to intrude upon or interfere with the political policy or internal administration of any foreign state and by no existing or anticipated dangers in the affairs of the American continents, but accedes to the wish of the European states that it shall join its power to theirs for the preservation of general peace, the representatives of the United States of America sign this convention with the understanding that nothing therein contained shall be construed to imply a relinquishment by the United States of America of its traditional attitude towards purely American questions, or to require the submission of its policy regarding such questions (including therein the admission of immigrants) to the decision or recommendation of other Powers.
Add to Article X the following:
After the expiration of five years from the signing of this convention any party may terminate its obligation under this article by giving one year's notice in writing to the Secretary-General of the League.
Add to Article IX the following:
Such commission shall have full power of inspection and verification personally and by authorized agents as to all armament, equipment, munitions, and industries referred to in Article VIII.
Add to Article XXIV the following:
The Executive Council shall call a general conference of members of the League to meet not less than five or more than ten years after the signing of this convention for the revision thereof, and at that time, or at any time thereafter upon one year's notice, any member may withdraw from the League.
LETTER OF THE HONORABLE ELIHU ROOT TO SENATOR HENRY CABOT LODGE REGARDING THE COVENANT OF THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS
The Honorable HENRY CABOT LODGE,
WASHINGTON, D. C.
NEW YORK, June 19, 1919.
MY DEAR SENATOR: You were good enough to ask that after studying the whole of the proposed treaty with Germany and the amendments already made to the League of Nations part of it I should write you my opinion as to the amendments and as to the action which would be wise in view of existing international conditions.
I should be glad to see the peace terms and the League of Nations Covenant separated, as proposed in the resolution offered by Senator Knox, so that the latter could be considered by the people of the country without coercion from the necessities of speedy peace.
To avoid repetition, I inclose a copy of a letter which I wrote to Mr. Will H. Hays, March 29, 1919, proposing amendments to the League of Nations Covenant, and giving the reasons for them. Amendments similar in substance were proposed at about the same
1 Congressional Record, June 23, 1919.
time by many Americans familiar with public affairs both in and out of the Senate. The amendments subsequently made in the Covenant by the Paris Conference, while to some extent dealing with the subjects of the amendments so proposed, are very inadequate and unsatisfactory.
Nothing has been done to provide for the reëstablishment and strengthening of a system of arbitration or judicial decision upon questions of legal right. Nothing has been done toward providing for the revision or development of international law. In these respects principles maintained by the United States without variation for half a century are still ignored, and we are left with a program which rests the hope of the whole world for future peace in a government of men, and not of laws, following the dictates of expediency, and not of right. Nothing has been done to limit the vast and incalculable obligation which Article 10 of the Covenant undertakes to impose upon each member of the League to preserve against external aggression the territorial integrity and political independence of all members of the League all over the world.
The clause authorizing withdrawal from the League upon two years' notice leaves a doubt whether a mere charge that we had not performed some international obligation would not put it in the power of the Council to take jurisdiction of the charge as a disputed question and keep us in the League indefinitely against our will.
The clause which has been inserted regarding the Monroe Doctrine is erroneous in its description of the doctrine and ambiguous in meaning. Other purely American questions, as, for example, questions relating to immigration, are protected only by a clause apparently empowering the Council to determine whether such questions are solely within the domestic jurisdiction of the United States. I do not think that in these respects the United States is sufficiently protected against most injurious results which are wholly unnecessary for the establishment and maintenance of this League of Nations.
On the other hand, it still remains that there is in the Covenant a great deal of very high value which the world ought not to lose. The arrangement to make conferences of the Powers automatic when there is danger of war; provisions for joint action as, of course, by representatives of the nations concerned in matters affecting common interests; the agreement for delay in case of serious disputes, with opportunity to bring the public opinion of the world to bear on the
disputants, and to induce cool and deliberate judgment; the recognition of racial and popular rights to the freedom of local self-government; and the plan, indispensable in some form, for setting up governments in the vast regions deprived by the war of the autocratic rule which had maintained order-all those ought not be lost if that can possibly be avoided. The condition of Europe requires prompt action. Industry has not revived there. Its revival requires raw materials. To obtain these credit is necessary, and for this there must be security for the fruits of enterprise, and for this there must be peace. Satan is finding evil work for idle hands to do in Europeevil work that affects the whole world, including the United States. Under these circumstances, what ought to be done?
I am clear that if the Covenant has to be considered with the peace terms included, the Senate ought to include in its resolution of consent to the ratification an expression of such reservations and understandings as will cure, so far as possible, the defects which I have pointed out. You will probably be unable to do anything now about the system of arbitration and the development of international law. You can, however, put into the resolution of consent a reservation refusing to agree to Article 10, and I think you should do so; you can clarify the meaning of the withdrawal article and you can also include in your resolution the substance of the third amendment which I proposed in my letter to Mr. Hays, of March 29, relating to purely American questions, and I think you should do so. These clauses of the resolution shape themselves in my own mind as follows:
The Senate of the United States advises and consents to the ratification of the said treaty with the following reservations and understandings to be made a part of the instrument of ratification, viz.:
(1) In advising and consenting to the ratification of the said treaty, the Senate reserves and excludes from its consent the tenth article of the Covenant for the League of Nations, as to which the Senate refuses its consent.
(2) The Senate consents to the ratification of the said treaty reserving Article 10 aforesaid with the understanding that whenever two years' notice of withdrawal from the League of Nations shall have been given, as provided in Article 1, no claim, charge, or finding that international obligations or obligations under the Covenant have not been fulfilled will be deemed to render the two years' notice ineffectual or to keep the power giving the notice in the League after the expiration of the time specified in the notice.
(3) Inasmuch as in agreeing to become a member of the League of Nations, the United States of America is moved by no interest or wish to intrude upon or interfere with the political policy or international administration of any