The Peace Negotiations eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 291 pages of information about The Peace Negotiations.
to incorporate in any scheme for world organization a judicial system which would be free from the control and even from the influence of the political and diplomatic branch of the organization.  The benefit, if not the necessity, of such a division of authority seemed so patent that the omission of a provision to that effect in the original draft of the Covenant condemned it to one who believed in the principles of government which found expression in American institutions.  Fortunately the defect was in a measure cured before the Commission on the League of Nations formally met to discuss the subject, though not before the Covenant had been laid before the American Commissioners.

The articles of a proposed convention for the creation of an international organization were not intended, as I have said, to form a complete convention.  They were suggestive only of the principal features of a plan which could, if the President desired, arouse discussion as to the right theory and the fundamental principles of the international organization which there seemed little doubt would be declared by the Paris Conference.

Among the suggested articles there was none covering the subject of disarmament, because the problem was highly technical requiring the consideration of military and naval experts.  Nor was there any reference to the mandatory system because there had not been, to my knowledge, any mention of it at that time in connection with the President’s plan, though General Smuts had given it prominence in his proposed scheme.

During the preparation of these suggestive articles I made a brief memorandum on the features, which seemed to me salient, of any international agreement to prevent wars in the future, and which in my opinion ought to be in mind when drafting such an agreement.  The first three paragraphs of the memorandum follow: 

   “There are three doctrines which should be incorporated in the Treaty
   of Peace if wars are to be avoided and equal justice is to prevail in
   international affairs.

   “These three doctrines may be popularly termed ‘Hands Off,’ the ’Open
   Door,’ and ‘Publicity.’

   “The first pertains to national possessions and national rights; the
   second to international commerce and economic conditions; and the
   third, to international agreements.”

An examination of the articles which I prepared shows that these doctrines are developed in them, although at the time I was uncertain whether they ought to appear in the convention creating the League or in the Preliminary Treaty of Peace, which I believed, in common with the prevailing belief, would be negotiated.  My impression was that they should appear in the Peace Treaty and possibly be repeated in the League Treaty, if the two were kept distinct.



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The Peace Negotiations from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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