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permitted to view the questions solely from the standpoint of legal justice. There is nothing that occurred, to my knowledge, between the printing of the original draft of the Covenant and the printing of the revised draft, which indicated a change of opinion by the President. It may be that this is a misinterpretation of Mr. Wilson's attitude, and that the change toward international arbitration was due to conviction rather than to expediency; but

my belief is that expediency was the sole cause.

CHAPTER XII

REPORT OF COMMISSION ON LEAGUE OF

NATIONS

The Commission on the League of Nations, over which President Wilson presided, held ten meetings between February 3 and February 14, on which latter day it submitted a report at a plenary session of the Conference on the Preliminaries of Peace. The report was presented by the President in an address of exceptional excellence which made a deep impression on his hearers. His dignity of manner, his earnestness, and his logical presentation of the subject, clothed as it was in well-chosen phrases, unquestionably won the admiration of all, even of those who could not reconcile their personal views with the Covenant as reported by the Commission. It was a masterly effort, an example of literary rather than emotional oratory, peculiarly fitting to the occasion and to the temper and intellectual character of the audience.

Considering the brief time given to its discussion in the Commission and the necessary haste required to complete the document before the President's departure, the Covenant as reported to the Conference was a creditable piece of work. Many of the more glaring errors of expression and some of the especially objectionable features of the President's revised draft were eliminated. There were

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A MEETING AT THE QUAI D'ORSAY AFTER PRESIDENT Wilson's

DEPARTURE FROM PARIS

others which persisted, but the improvement was so marked that the gross defects in word and phrase largely disappeared. If one accepted the President's theory of organization, there was little to criticize in the report, except a certain inexactness of expression which indicated a lack of technical knowledge on the part of those who put the Covenant into final form. But these crudities and ambiguities of language would, it was fair to presume, disappear if the articles passed through the hands of drafting experts.

Fundamentally, however, the Covenant as reported was as wrong as the President's original draft, since it contained the affirmative guaranty of political independence and territorial integrity, the primacy of the Five Great Powers on the Executive Council, and the perplexing and seemingly unsound system of mandates. In this I could not willingly follow President Wilson, but I felt that I had done all that I could properly do in opposition to his theory. The responsibility of decision rested with him and he had made his decision. There was nothing more to be said.

On the evening of the day of the plenary session, at which the report of the League of Nations was submitted, the President left Paris for Brest where the George Washington was waiting to convey him to the United States. He carried with him the report of the Commission, whose deliberations and decisions he had so manifestly dominated. He went prepared to meet his political antagonists and the enemies of the League, confidently believing that

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