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not do so believing as I then did that a lawyer's advice on any question not wholly legal in nature was unacceptable to the President, a belief which, up to the present time, I have had no reason to change.

It should be understood that this account of the conference of January 10 is given by way of explanation of my conduct subsequent to it and not in any spirit of complaint or condemnation of Mr. Wilson's attitude. He had a right to his own opinion of the worth of a lawyer's advice and a right to act in accordance with that opinion. If there was any injustice done, it was in his asking a lawyer to become a Peace Commissioner, thereby giving the impression that he desired his counsel and advice as to the negotiations in general, when in fact he did not. But, disregarding the personal element, I consider that he was justified in his course, as the entire constitutional responsibility for the negotiation of a treaty was on his shoulders and he was, in the performance of his duty, entitled to seek advice from those only in whose judgment he had confidence.

In spite of this frank avowal of prejudice by the President there was no outward change in the personal and official relations between him and myself. The breach, however, regardless of appearances, was too wide and too deep to be healed. While subsequent events bridged it temporarily, it remained until my association with President Wilson came to an end in February, 1920. I never forgot his words and always felt that in his mind my opinions, even when he sought them, were tainted with legalism.

CHAPTER IX

A RESOLUTION INSTEAD OF THE COVENANT

As it seemed advisable, in view of the incident of January 10, to have nothing to do with the drafting of the Covenant unless the entire theory was changed, the fact that there prevailed at that time a general belief that a preliminary treaty of peace would be negotiated in the near future invited an effort to delay the consideration of a complete and detailed charter of the League of Nations until the definitive treaty or a separate treaty dealing with the League alone was considered. As delay would furnish time to study and discuss the subject and prevent hasty acceptance of an undesirable or defective plan, it seemed to me that the advisable course to take was to limit reference to the organization in the preliminary treaty to general principles.

The method that I had in mind in carrying out this policy was to secure the adoption, by the Conference on the Preliminaries of Peace, of a resolution embodying a series of declarations as to the creation, the nature, and the purposes of a League of Nations, which declarations could be included in the preliminary treaty of peace accompanied by an article providing for the negotiation of a detailed plan based on these declarations at the time of the negotiation of the definitive treaty or else by an article providing for the summoning of a world congress, in which all nations, neutrals as well as belligerents, would be represented and have a voice in the drafting of a convention establishing a League of Nations in accordance with the general principles declared in the preliminary treaty. Personally I preferred a separate treaty, but doubted the possibility of obtaining the assent of the Conference to that plan because some of the delegates showed a feeling of resentment toward certain neutral nations on account of their attitude during the war, while the inclusion of the four powers which had formed the Central Alliance seemed almost out of the question.

In addition to the advantage to be gained by postponing the determination of the details of the organization until the theory, the form, the purposes and the powers of the proposed League could be thoroughly considered, it would make possible the speedy restoration of a state of peace. There can be no doubt that peace at the earliest possible moment was the supreme need of the world. The political and social chaos in the Central Empires, due to the overthrow of their strong autocratic governments and the prevailing want, suffering, and despair, in which the war had left their peoples, offered a fertile field for the pernicious doctrines of Bolshevism to take root and thrive. A

pro letarian revolution seemed imminent. The Spartacists in Germany, the Radical Socialists in Austria, and the Communists in Hungary were the best organized and most vigorous of the political groups in those countries and were conducting an active and seemingly successful propaganda among the starving and hopeless masses, while the Russian duumvirs, Lenine and Trotsky, were with funds and emissaries aiding these movements against established authority and social order. Eastern Europe seemed to be a volcano on the very point of eruption. Unless something was speedily done to check the peril, it threatened to spread to other countries and even to engulf the very foundations of modern civilization.

A restoration of commercial relations and of normal industrial conditions through the medium of a treaty of peace appeared to offer the only practical means of resisting these movements and of saving Europe from the horrors of a proletarian despotism which had brought the Russian people to so low a state. This was the common judgment of those who at that time watched with increasing impatience the slow progress of the negotiations at Paris and with apprehension the political turmoil in the defeated and distracted empires of Central Europe.

An immediate restoration of peace was, as I then saw it, of vital importance to the world as it was the universal demand of all mankind. To delay it for the purpose of completing the organization of a League of Nations or for any other purpose than the formulation of terms essential to peace seemed to me to be taking a risk as to the future wholly unwarranted by the relative importance of the subjects. There is no question, in the light of subsequent events, that the peoples of the Central Empires possessed a greater power of resistance to the temptations of lawlessness and disorder than was presumed in the winter of 1918–19. And yet it was a critical time. Anything might have happened. It would have taken very little to turn the scale. What occurred later cannot excuse the delay in making peace. It was not wise statesmanship and foresight that saved the world from a great catastrophe but the fortunate circumstance that a people habituated to obedience were not led astray by the enemies of the existing order.

Of the importance of negotiating a peace without waiting to complete a detailed plan for a League of Nations I was firmly convinced in those early days at Paris, and I know that the President's judgment as to this was contrary to mine. He considered - at least his course can only be so interpreted — that the organization of a League in all its details was the principal task to be accomplished by the Conference, a task that he felt must be completed before other matters were settled. The conclusion is that the necessity of an immediate peace seemed to him subordinate to the necessity of erecting an international agency to preserve the peace when it was restored. In fact one may infer that the President was disposed to employ the general longing for peace as a means of exerting pressure on the delegates in Paris and on their Governments to accept his plan for a League. It is generally believed that objections to certain provisions of the Covenant were not advanced or, if advanced, were not urged because the dis

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