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separated, so that, if they rejected the League, they would be responsible for defeating the Treaty and preventing a restoration of peace. With the general demand for peace this seemed no empty threat, although the propriety of making it may be questioned. It had, however, exactly the opposite effect from that which the President intended. Its utterance proved to be as unwise as it was ineffective. The opposition Senators resented the idea of being coerced. They became more than ever determined to defeat a President whom they charged with attempting to disregard and nullify the right of the Senate to exercise independently its constitutional share in the treaty-making power. Thus at the very outset of the struggle between the President and the Senate a feeling of hostility was engendered which continued with increasing bitterness on both sides and prevented any compromise or concession in regard to the Covenant as it finally appeared in the Treaty of Versailles.

When President Wilson returned to Paris after the adjournment of the Sixty-Fifth Congress on March 4, 1919, he left behind him opponents who were stronger and more confident than they were when he landed ten days before. While his appeal to public opinion in favor of the League of Nations had been to an extent successful, there was a general feeling that the Covenant as then drafted required amendment so that the sovereign rights and the traditional policies of the United States should be safeguarded. Until the document was amended it seemed that the opposition had the better of the argument with the people. Furthermore, when the new Congress met, the Republicans would have a majority in the Senate which was of special importance in the matter of the Treaty which would contain the Covenant, because it would, when sent to the Senate, be referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations to report on its ratification and a majority of that Committee, under a Republican organization, would presumably be hostile to the plan for a League advocated by the President. The Committee could hinder and possibly prevent the acceptance of the Covenant, while it would have the opportunity to place the opposition's case in a favorable light before the American people and to at

a tack the President's conduct of the negotiations at Paris.

I believe that the President realized the loss of strategic position which he had sustained by the Democratic defeat at the polls in November, 1918, but was persuaded that, by making certain'alterations in the Covenant suggested by Republicans favorable to the formation of a League, and especially those advocating a League to Enforce Peace, he would be able to win sufficient support in the Senate and from the people to deprive his antagonists of the advantage which they had gained by the elections. This he sought to do on his return to Paris about the middle of March. If the same spirit of compromise had been shown while he was in America it would doubtless have

far to weaken hostility to the Covenant. Unfortunately for his purpose he assumed a contrary attitude, and in consequence the sentiment against the League was crystallized and less responsive to the concessions which the President appeared willing to make when the Commission on the League of Nations resumed its sittings, especially as the obnoxious Article 10 remained intact.


In the formulation of the amendments to the Covenant, which were incorporated in it after the President's return from the United States and before its final adoption by the Conference, I had no part and I have no reason to think that Mr. White or General Bliss shared in the work. As these amendments or modifications did not affect the theory of organization or the fundamental principles of the League, they in no way changed my views or lessened the differences between the President's judgment and mine. Our differences were as to the bases and not as to the details of the Covenant. Since there was no disposition to change the former we were no nearer an agreement than we were in January.

The President's visit to the United States had been disappointing to the friends of a League in that he had failed to rally to the support of the Covenant an overwhelming popular sentiment in its favor which the opposition in the Senate could not resist. The natural reaction was that the peoples of Europe and their statesmen lost a measure of their enthusiasm and faith in the project. Except in the case of a few idealists, there was a growing disposition to view it from the purely practical point of view and to speculate on its efficacy as an instrument to interpret and carry


out the international will. Among the leaders of political thought in the principal Allied countries, the reports of the President's reception in the United States were sufficiently conflicting to arouse doubt as to whether the American people were actually behind him in his plan for a League, and this doubt was not diminished by his proposed changes in the Covenant, which indicated that he was not in full control of the situation at home.

Two weeks after the President had resumed his duties as a negotiator and had begun the work of revising the Covenant, I made a memorandum of my views as to the situation that then existed. The memorandum is as follows:

March 25, 1919 “With the increasing military preparations and operations throughout Eastern Europe and the evident purpose of all these quarreling nations to ignore any idea of disarmament and to rely upon force to obtain and retain territory and rights, the League of Nations is being discussed with something like contempt by the cynical, hardheaded statesmen of those countries which are being put on a war-footing. They are cautious and courteous out of regard for the President. I doubt if the truth reaches him, but it comes to me from various sources.

“These men say that in theory the idea is all right and is an ideal to work toward, but that under present conditions it is not practical in preventing war. They ask, what nation is going to rely on the guaranty in the Covenant if a jealous or hostile neighbor maintains a large army. They want to know whether it would be wise or not to disarm under such conditions. Of course the answers are obvious, But, if the guaranty is not sufficient, or accepted as sufficient, protection, what becomes of the central purpose of the League and the chief reason for creating it?

“I believe that the President and Colonel House see this, though they do not admit it, and that to save the League from being cast into the discard they will attempt to make of it a sort of international agency to do certain things which would normally be done by independent international commissions. Such a course would save the League from being still-born and would so interweave it with the terms of peace that to eliminate it would be to open up some difficult questions.

“Of course the League of Nations as originally planned had one supreme object and that was to prevent future wars. That was substantially all that it purposed to do. Since then new functions have been gradually added until the chief argument for the League's existence has been almost lost to sight. The League has been made a convenient 'catch-all' for all sorts of international actions. At first this was undoubtedly done to give the League something to do, and now it is being done to save it from extinction or from being ignored.

“I am not denying that a common international agent may be a good thing. In fact the plan has decided merit. But the organization of the League does not seem to me suitable to perform efficiently and properly these new functions.

“However, giving this character to the League may save it from being merely an agreeable dream. As the repository of international controversies requiring long and careful consideration it may live and be useful.

“My impression is that the principal sponsors for the League are searching through the numerous disputes which are clogging the wheels of the Conference, seizing

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