The reasons given in the President’s letter of February 11, the essential portions of which have been quoted, for stating that my resignation as Secretary of State would be acceptable to him, are the embarrassment caused him by my “reluctance and divergence of judgment” and the implication that my mind did not “willingly go along” with his. As neither of these reasons applies to the calling of Cabinet meetings or to the anticipation of his judgment in regard to foreign affairs, the unavoidable conclusion is that these grounds of complaint were not the real causes leading up to the severance of our official association.
The real causes—which are the only ones worthy of consideration—are to be found in the record of the relations between President Wilson and myself in connection with the peace negotiations. Upon that record must rest the justification or the refutation of Mr. Wilson’s implied charge that I was not entirely loyal to him as President and that I failed to perform my full duty to my country as Secretary of State and as a Commissioner to Negotiate Peace by opposing the way in which he exercised his constitutional authority to conduct the foreign affairs of the United States.
THE PRESIDENT’S ORIGINAL DRAFT OF THE COVENANT OF THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS, LAID BEFORE THE AMERICAN COMMISSION ON JANUARY 10, 1919
In order to secure peace, security, and orderly government by the prescription of open, just, and honorable relations between nations, by the firm establishment of the understandings of international law as the actual rule of conduct among governments, and by the maintenance of justice and a scrupulous respect for all treaty obligations in the dealings of organized peoples with one another, the Powers signatory to this covenant and agreement jointly and severally adopt this constitution of the League of Nations.
The action of the Signatory Powers under the terms of this agreement shall be effected through the instrumentality of a Body of Delegates which shall consist of the ambassadors and ministers of the contracting Powers accredited to H. and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of H. The meetings of the Body of Delegates shall be held at the seat of government of H. and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of H. shall be the presiding officer of the Body.
Whenever the Delegates deem it necessary or advisable, they may meet temporarily at the seat of government of B. or of S., in which case the Ambassador or Minister to H. of the country in which the meeting is held shall be the presiding officer pro tempore.
It shall be the privilege of any of the contracting Powers to assist its representative in the Body of Delegates by any method of conference, counsel, or advice that may seem best to it, and also to substitute upon occasion a special representative for its regular diplomatic representative accredited to H.