The Peace Negotiations eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 291 pages of information about The Peace Negotiations.

Manifestly this last provision in the Cecil plan was open to the same constitutional objections as those which could be raised against the President’s mutual guaranty.  My impression is that Mr. Wilson’s opposition to the provision was not based on the ground that it was in contravention of the Constitution of the United States, but rather on the ground that it did not go far enough in stabilizing the terms of peace which were to be negotiated.  The President was seeking permanency by insuring, through the threat or pressure of international force, a condition of changelessness in boundaries and sovereign rights, subject, nevertheless, to territorial changes based either on the principle of “self-determination” or on a three-fourths vote of the Body of Delegates.  He, nevertheless, discussed the subject with Lord Robert Cecil prior to laying his draft of a Covenant before the American Commissioners, as is evident by comparing it with the Cecil plan, for certain phrases are almost identical in language in the two documents.



The mutual guaranty which was advocated by President Wilson appears as Article III of his original draft of a Covenant.  It reads as follows: 


“The Contracting Powers unite in guaranteeing to each other political independence and territorial integrity; but it is understood between them that such territorial readjustments, if any, as may in the future become necessary by reason of changes in present racial conditions and aspirations or present social and political relationships, pursuant to the principle of self-determination, and also such territorial readjustments as may in the judgment of three fourths of the Delegates be demanded by the welfare and manifest interest of the peoples concerned, may be effected if agreeable to those peoples; and that territorial changes may in equity involve material compensation.  The Contracting Powers accept without reservation the principle that the peace of the world is superior in importance to every question of political jurisdiction or boundary.”

In the revised draft, which he laid before the Commission on the League of Nations at its first session Article III became Article 7.  It is as follows: 


   “The High Contracting Parties undertake to respect and preserve as
   against external aggression the territorial integrity and existing
   political independence of all States members of the League.”

The guaranty was finally incorporated in the Treaty of Peace as Article 10.  It reads: 

   “ARTICLE 10

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The Peace Negotiations from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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