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the last days of a session in order that he might pass upon legislation enacted in the days immediately preceding adjournment, Mr. Wilson had determined that he could not remain in Paris after February 14. At the time that I sent him the proposed resolution there remained, therefore, but two weeks for the Commission on the League of Nations to organize, to deliberate, and to submit its report to the Conference, provided its report was made prior to the President's departure for the United States. It did not seem to me conceivable that the work of the Commission could be properly completed in so short a time if the President's Covenant became the basis of its deliberations. This opinion was shared by many others who appreciated the difficulties and intricacies of the subject and who felt that a hasty and undigested report would be unwise and endanger the whole plan of a world organization.
In view of this situation, which seemed to be a strong argument for delay in drafting the plan of international organization, I wrote a letter to the President, at the time I sent him the proposed resolution, saying that in my opinion no plan could be prepared with sufficient care to warrant its submission to the Conference on the Preliminaries of Peace before he left Paris and that unless a plan was reported he would be in the position of returning emptyhanded to the United States. I urged him in the circumstances to secure the adoption of a resolution by the delegates similar in nature, if not in language, to the draft which was enclosed, thereby avoiding a state of affairs
which would be very disheartening to the advocates of a League of Nations and cause general discontent among all peoples who impatiently expected evidence that the restoration of peace was not far distant.
It would be presumptuous on my part to speculate on the President's feelings when he received and read my letter and the proposed resolution. It was never answered or acknowledged, and he did not act upon the suggestion or discuss acting upon it, to my knowledge, with any of his colleagues. On the contrary, he summoned the Commission on the League of Nations to meet on February 3, eleven days before the date fixed for his departure for the United States, and laid before that body his revised draft of a Covenant which formed the groundwork for the Commission's report presented to the Conference on February 14.
The question naturally arises — Why did the President ask me to complete and send to him the resolution embodying a series of declarations if he did not intend to make it a subject of consideration and discussion? It is a pertinent question, but the true answer remains with Mr. Wilson himself. Possibly he concluded that the only way to obtain his plan for a League was to insist upon its practical acceptance before peace was negotiated, and that, unless he took advantage of the universal demand for peace by making the acceptance of the Covenant a condition precedent, he would be unable to obtain its adoption. While I believe this is a correct supposition, it
is not responsive to the question as to the reason why he wished me to deliver to him a draft resolution. In fact it suggests another question — What, from the President's point of view, was to be gained by having the resolution in his hands?
I think the answer is not difficult to find when one remembers that Mr. Wilson had disapproved a resolution of that sort and that the Council of Ten had seemed disposed to approve it. There was no surer way to prevent me from bringing the subject again before the Council than by having the proposed resolution before him for action. Having submitted it to him I was bound, on account of our official relationship, to await his decision before taking any further steps. In a word, his request for a draft practically closed
mouth and tied my hands. If he sought to check my activities with the members of the Council in favor of the proposed course of action, he could have taken no more effectual way than the one which he did take. It was undoubtedly an effective means of “pigeonholing" a resolution, the further discussion of which might interfere with his plan to force through a report upon the Covenant before the middle of February.
This opinion as to the motive which impelled the President to pursue the course that he did in regard to a resolution was not the one held by me at the time. It was formed only after subsequent events threw new light on the subject. The delay perplexed me at the time, but the reason for it was not evident. I continued to hope, even after
the Commission on the League of Nations had assembled and had begun its deliberations, that the policy of a resolution would be adopted. But, as the days went by and the President made no mention of the proposal, I realized that he did not intend to discuss it, and the conviction was forced upon me that he had never intended to have it discussed. It was a disappointing result and one which impressed me with the belief that Mr. Wilson was prejudiced against any suggestion that I might make, if it in any way differed with his own ideas even though it found favor with others.
THE GUARANTY IN THE REVISED COVENANT
DURING the three weeks preceding the meeting of the Commission on the League the work of revising the President's original draft of the Covenant had been in progress, the President and Colonel House holding frequent interviews with the more influential delegates, particularly the British and French statesmen who had been charged with the duty of studying the subject. While I cannot speak from personal knowledge, I learned that the suggested changes in terms and language were put into form by members of the Colonel's office staff. In addition to modifications which were made to meet the wishes of the foreign statesmen, especially the British, Mr. Gordon Auchincloss, the son-in-law and secretary of Colonel House, and Mr. David Hunter Miller, Auchincloss's law partner and one of the accredited legal advisers of the American Commission, prepared an elaborate memorandum on the President's draft of a Covenant which contained comments and also suggested changes in the text. On account of the intimate relations existing between Messrs. Miller and Auchincloss and Colonel House it seems reasonable to assume that their comments and suggestions were approved by, if they did not to an extent originate with, the Colonel. The memorandum was first made public by Mr. William