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territory as the spoils of war, it was a subterfuge which deceived no one. It seemed obvious from the very first that the Powers, which under the old practice would have obtained sovereignty over certain conquered territories, would not be denied mandates over those territories. The League of Nations might reserve in the mandate a right of supervision of administration and even of revocation of authority, but that right would be nominal and of little, if any, real value provided the mandatory was one of the Great Powers as it undoubtedly would be. The almost irresistible conclusion is that the protagonists of the theory saw in it a means of clothing the League of Nations with an apparent usefulness which justified the League by making it the guardian of uncivilized and semi-civilized peoples and the international agent to watch over and prevent any deviation from the principle of equality in the commercial and industrial development of the mandated territories.

It may appear surprising that the Great Powers so readily gave their support to the new method of obtaining an apparently limited control over the conquered territories, and did not seek to obtain complete sovereignty over them. It is not necessary to look far for a sufficient and very practical reason. If the colonial possessions of Germany had, under the old practice, been divided among the victorious Powers and been ceded to them directly in full sovereignty, Germany might justly have asked that the value of such territorial cessions be applied on any war


indemnities to which the Powers were entitled. On the other hand, the League of Nations in the distribution of mandates would presumably do so in the interests of the inhabitants of the colonies and the mandates would be accepted by the Powers as a duty and not to obtain new possessions. Thus under the mandatory system Germany lost her territorial assets, which might have greatly reduced her financial debt to the Allies, while the latter obtained the German colonial possessions without the loss of any of their claims for indemnity. In actual operation the apparent altruism of the mandatory system worked in favor of the selfish and material interests of the Powers which accepted the mandates. And the same may be said of the dismemberment of Turkey. It should not be a matter of surprise, therefore, that the President found little opposition to the adoption of his theory, or, to be more accurate, of the Smuts theory, on the part of the European statesmen.

There was one case, however, in which the issuance of a mandate appeared to have a definite and practical value and to be superior to a direct transfer of complete sovereignty or of the conditional sovereignty resulting from the establishment of a protectorate. The case was that of a territory with or without a national government, which, not being self-supporting and not sufficiently strong to protect its borders from aggressive neighbors, or its people sufficiently enlightened to govern themselves properly, would be a constant source of expense instead of profit


to the Power, which as its protector and tutor became its overlord. Under such conditions there was more probability of persuading a nation inspired by humanitarian and altruistic motives to assume the burden for the common good under the mandatory system than under the old method of cession or of protectorate. As to nations, however, which placed national interests first and made selfishness the standard of international policy it was to be assumed that an appeal under either system would be ineffective.

The truth of this was very apparent at Paris. In the tentative distribution of mandates among the Powers, which took place on the strong presumption that the mandatory system would be adopted, the principal European Powers appeared to be willing and even eager to become mandatories over territories possessing natural resources which could be profitably developed and showed an unwillingness to accept mandates for territories which, barren of mineral or agricultural wealth, would be continuing liabilities rather than assets. This is not stated by way of criticism, but only in explanation of what took place.

From the beginning to the end of the discussions on mandates and their distribution among the Powers it was repeatedly declared that the United States ought to participate in the general plan for the upbuilding of the new states which under mandatories would finally become independent nationalities, but it was never, to my knowledge, proposed, except by the inhabitants of the region in question, that the United States should accept a mandate for Syria or the Asiatic coast of the Ægean Sea. Those regions were rich in natural resources and their economic future under a stable government was bright. Expenditures in their behalf and the direction of their public affairs would bring ample returns to the mandatory nations. On the other hand, there was a sustained propaganda - for it amounted to that — in favor of the United States assuming mandates over Armenia and the municipal district of Constantinople, both of which, if limited by the boundaries which it was then purposed to draw, would be a constant financial burden to the Power accepting the mandate, and, in the case of Armenia, would require that Power to furnish a military force estimated at not less than 50,000 men to prevent the aggression of warlike neighbors and to preserve domestic order and peace.

It is not too severe to say of those who engaged in this propaganda that the purpose was to take advantage of the unselfishness of the American people and of the altruism and idealism of President Wilson in order to impose on the United States the burdensome mandates and to divide those which covered desirable territories among the European Powers. I do not think that the President realized at the time that an actual propaganda was going on, and I doubt very much whether he would have believed it if he had been told. Deeply impressed with the idea that it was the moral duty of the great and enlightened nations to aid the less fortunate and especially to guard the nationalities freed from autocratic rule until they were capable of self-government and self-protection, the President apparently looked upon the appeals made to him as genuine expressions of humanitarianism and as manifestations of the opinion of mankind concerning the part that the United States ought to take in the reconstruction of the world. His high-mindedness and loftiness of thought blinded him to the sordidness of

purpose which appears to have induced the general acquiescence in his desired system of mandates, and the same qualities of mind caused him to listen sympathetically to proposals, the acceptance of which would give actual proof of the unselfishness of the United States.

Reading the situation thus and convinced of the objections against the mandatory system from the point of view of international law, of policy and of American interests, I opposed the inclusion of the system in the plan for a League of Nations. In view of the attitude which Mr. Wilson had taken toward my advice regarding policies I confined the objections which I presented to him, as I have stated, to those based on legal difficulties. The objections on the ground of policy were made to Colonel House in the hope that through him they might reach the President and open his eyes to the true state of affairs. Whether they ever did reach him I do not know. Nothing in his subsequent course of action indicated that they did.

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