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ORGANIZATION AND PROCEDURE
Following the address of the President, the Conference, on motion of Mr. Balfour, elected the Secretary of State of the United States as Chairman of the Conference and of each committee of which he should be a member.
The Honorable John W. Garrett, of Baltimore, Maryland, was elected Secretary-General.
A committee on Program and Procedure was appointed, consisting of heads of the Delegations or such representative as each Power might select for the purpose.
As the Conference was to concern itself with two groups of questions which, though related, required separate investigation and discussion, that is, (1) the question of limitation of armament, and (2) Pacific and Far Eastern questions, it became necessary to provide a course of procedure which would facilitate the work of the Conference in both fields. In the public discussions which preceded the Conference there were apparently two competing views: (1) that the consideration of armament should await the result of the discussion of the Far Eastern questions, and another, that the latter discussion should be postponed until an agreement for limitation of armament had been reached. It was not thought necessary to adopt either of these extreme views. It was proposed that the Conference should proceed at once to consider the question of the limitation of armament, but this was not deemed to require the postponement of the examination of Far Eastern questions. In order to serve both purposes, two committees were set up (1) consisting of the plenipotentiary delegates of the Five Powers, the United States of America, the British Empire, France, Italy, and Japan, to deal with questions of armament, and (2) consisting of the delegates of the Nine Powers, that is, the United States of America, Belgium, British Empire, China, France, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, and Portugal, to deal with Pacific and Far Eastern questions.
The work of the two committees proceeded along parallel lines without interference with each other and the conclusions reached in each were reported, from time to time, to the Conference in plenary session for its adoption. Each committee provided itself with the necessary sub-committees dealing with technical questions and with drafting, so that in the most expeditious manner all questions before the Conference were thoroughly considered.
The Conference held seven plenary or public sessions, at the last of which, on February 6, 1922, the treaties approved by the Conference were signed.
While the sessions of the committees were not public, a complete record was kept of all their proceedings, and at the close of each session of the Committees on Armament and on Pacific and Far Eastern Questions, respectively, a communiqué was made to the press, which, generally, stated
all that had taken place in the committee and, in all cases, set forth whatever matters of importance had received attention.
Thus, full publicity was given to the proceedings of the Conference. The minutes of the plenary sessions and of the committees of the Conference are submitted herewith.
In advance of the meeting of the Conference the Department of State prepared a tentative statement of agenda which was submitted to the invited Powers. It was as follows:
Limitation of Armament
(a) Basis of limitation.
Pacific and Far Eastern Questions
First: Principles to be applied.
(b) Administrative integrity.
privileges. (e) Development of railways, including plans relating
to Chinese Eastern Railway. (f) Preferential railroad rates.
(g) Status of existing commitments. Two. Siberia.
(similar headings). Three. Mandated Islands.
(unless questions earlier settled).
Electrical Communications in the Pacific. While this statement was not formally adopted by the Conference, the proceedings of the Conference followed closely the lines thus indicated.
TREATIES AND RESOLUTIONS The following treaties were approved by the Conference and signed at the closing session on February 6, 1922: (1) A treaty between the United States of America, the British Empire,
France, Italy, and Japan, limiting naval armament. (2) A treaty between the samé Powers, in relation to the use of sub
marines and noxious gases in warfare.
(3) A treaty between all Nine Powers relating to principles and policies
to be followed in matters concerning China. (4) A treaty between the Nine Powers relating to Chinese customs
tariff. The following treaties were notified to the Conference: (1) A treaty between the United States of America, the British Em
pire, France, and Japan, signed December 13, 1921, relating to their insular possessions and insular dominions in the Pacific
Ocean. (2) A treaty between the same Powers, supplementary to the above,
signed February 6, 1922. (3) A treaty between China and Japan, signed February 4, 1922, pro
viding for the restoration to China of rights and interests in the
Province of Shantung. In addition, while the Conference was in session, the Government of the United States and the Government of Japan reached an agreement in relation to the Island of Yap and the mandated islands in the Pacific Ocean, north of the Equator, which is to be embodied in a formal Convention.
In other matters, not requiring treaty form, the conclusions and agreements of the Conference are embodied in a series of Resolutions, which are described below.
For convenience, these Treaties and Resolutions are set forth in an Appendix.
The proceedings of the Conference and the substance of the agreements to which reference has been made may be appropriately considered in the two main divisions already noted.
FIRST. LIMITATION OF ARMAMENT It was recognized at the outset that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to provide at this Conference for the limitation of land forces.
So far as the army of the United States is concerned, there was no question presented. It has always been the policy of the United States to have the regular military establishment upon the smallest possible basis. At the time of the Armistice, there were in the field and in training in the American Army upwards of 4,000,000 men. At once, upon the signing of the Armistice, demobilization began and it was practically completed in the course of the following year, and to-day our regular establishment numbers less than 160,000 men. The British Empire has also reduced its land forces to a minimum. The situation on the Continent was vividly depicted in an eloquent address by M. Briand, speaking for the Government of France in which he stated his conclusions as follows:
“The thought of reducing the armaments, which was the noble purpose of this Conference, is not one from which we would feel disinterested from the point of view of land armaments. We have shown that already. Immediately after the armistice demobilization began, and demobilization began as rapidly and as completely as possible. According to the military laws of France there are to be three classes of men; that is, three generations of young men under the flag. That law is still extant; that law is still valid. It has not been abrogated yet, and the Government has taken the responsibility to reduce to two years the time spent under the flag, and instead of three classes-three generations of young men-we have only two that are doing military service. It is therefore an immediate reduction by onethird that has already taken place in the effectives—and I am speaking of the normal effectives of the metropolis, leaving aside troops needed for colonial occupation or the obligation imposed by the treaty in Rhineland or countries under plebiscite. We did not think that endeavor was sufficient, and in the future we have plans in order to further restrict the extent of our army. In a few days it is certain that the proposals of the Government will be passed in the Chamber, and in order to further reduce the military service by half. That is to say, there will be only one class and a half actually serving. The metropolitan French army would be therefore reduced by half, but if anybody asks us to go further, to consent to other reductions, I should have to answer clearly and definitely that it would be impossible for us to do it without exposing ourselves to a most serious danger.
“You might possibly come and tell us ‘This danger that you are exposed to, we see it, we realize it, and we are going to share it with you. We are going to offer you all means-put all means at your disposal in order to secure your safety.' Immediately, if we heard those words, of course we would strike upon another plan. We should be only too pleased to demonstrate the sincerity of our purpose. But we understand the difficulties and the necessities of the statesmen of other countries. We understand the position of other peoples who have also to face difficult and troublous situations. We are not selfish enough to ask other people to give a part of their sovereign national independence in order to turn it to our benefit and come to our help. We do not expect it; but here I am appealing to your consciences, if France is to remain alone, facing the situation such as I have described, and without any exaggeration-you must not deny her what she wants in order to insure her security. You must let her do what she has to do, if need arise and if the times comes."
“If by direction given to the labors of the Conference, it were possible somewhere over there in Europe—if it were possible to say that the outcome of this Conference is indirect blame and opprobrium cast upon France-if it was possible to point out France as the only country in the world that is still imperialistic, as the only country that opposes final disarmament, then, gentlemen, indeed this Conference would have dealt us a severe blow; but I am quite sure that nothing is further from your minds and from your intentions. If after listening to this argument, after weighing the reasons which you have just heard, you consider it then as valid, then, gentlemen, you will still be with us and you will agree with me in saying that France can not possibly do anything but what she has actually done.”
Senator Schanzer described the Italian situation as follows:
"It is far from my mind to discuss what France considers indispensable for her national safety. That safety is as dear to us as it may be to them, and we are still morally by the side of our allies of yesterday and our friends of to-day.
“I wanted to say this. Only may I be allowed to express the wish and the hope that the general limitation of land armament may become a reality within the shortest possible space of time. Italy has fought the war for the highest aims which a country can seek, but Italy is in her soul a peace loving nation. I shall not repeat what I had the honor to state at the first meeting of the Conference, but I should like to emphasize again that Italy is one of the surest factors of the world's peace, that she has no reason whatsoever of conflict with any other country, that she is following and putting constantly into action a policy inspired by the principle of maintaining peace among all nations.
“Italy has succeeded in coming to a direct understanding with the Serb, Croat, and Slovene people and in order to attain such an end had made considerable sacrifices for the interest of the peace of Europe. Italy has pursued toward the successor countries to her former enemies a policy not only of pacification, but of assistance. And when a conflict arose between Austria and Hungary, a conflict which might have dragged into war the Danubian peoples, has offered to the two countries in conflict her friendly help in order to settle the dispute. Italy has succeeded and in so doing has actively contributed to the peace of Europe.
“Moreover, Italy has acted similarly within her own frontiers and has reduced her armed forces in the largest possible measure. She has considerably curtailed her navy expenditures in comparison to the pre-war time. The total amount of her armed forces does not exceed 200,000 men and the further reduction to 175,000 men is already planned, and 35,000 colored troops.
“Our ordinary war budget for the present financial year amounts to $52,000,000, including $11,000,000 expenses for police forces; the extraordinary part of the war budget, representing expenses dependent for the liquidation of the war, expenses therefore of a purely transitory character, amounts to $62,000,000.
“However, although we have all reduced our armaments to the greatest possible extent, we consider it necessary, for a complete solution of the problem of limitation of armaments in Europe, to take into consideration the armaments of the countries either created or transformed as a result of the war. The problem is not a simple one. It must be considered as a whole. It is a serious and urgent problem, for which a solution at no far distant day is necessary."
Baron Kato spoke as follows:
“I would like to say this morning just a few words on land armament limitation. Japan is quite ready to announce her hearty approval of the principle which aims to relieve a people of heavy burdens by limiting land armaments to those which are necessary for national security and the maintenance of order within the territory.
“The size of the land armaments of each state should be determined by its peculiar geographical situation and other circumstances, and these basic factors are so divergent and complicated that an effort to draw final comparisons is hardly possible. If I may venture to say it, it is not an easy task to lay down a general scheme for the limitation of land armaments, as in the case of limitation of naval armaments. Nevertheless, Japan has not the slightest intention of maintaining land armaments which are in excess of those which as absolutely necessary for purely defensive purposes, necessitated by the Far Eastern situation."