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POLICY IN RELATION TO THE
TREATIES OF PEACE AND THE
LEAGUE OF

OF NATIONS

BY ROBERT LANSING

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T is necessary, in the consideration of a possible policy for the United

States in relation to the Treaties of Peace of 1919 and the League of Nations created by those Treaties, to recognize certain facts which affect the problem and which must be taken into account in attempting to present suggestions which are of practical value in formulating a policy.

These facts are as follows:

1. The Treaties of Peace are now in force and the League of Nations has been organized and is, to an extent at least, functioning under the provisions of the Covenant.

(C) International 2. The American people showed by

ROBERT LANSING, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE AND MEMBER OF THE AMERICAN

COMMISSION TO NEGOTIATE PEACE the election of 1920 that they were opposed to the United States becoming a that the Treaties are in force and the jects, although they are essentially difmember of the League of Nations as League of Nations is in being, and with ferent in nature. The enforcement of formed and empowered by the Cove- e unavoidable conclusion that the the terms of peace manifestly requires nant, and that they were also opposed members of the League will be unwill. agency possessing the physical to the acceptance of certain of the terms ing to destroy its present form or or- might to compel obedience. Its powers of peace..

ganization and entirely abandon its should cease with full compliance with 3. The enforcement of the terms of functions. Having determined this, it the terms. The removal of the causes peace on the Central Powers is an obli- will be possible to see how far it is of war and the preservation of peace, in gation which is an unavoidable conse- feasible for the United States to go in my judgment, ought to be by pacific quence of the war, and it cannot from

responding to the wishes of the nations means if the results are to be perma. the point of view of wisdom or honor be which are parties to the Covenant with. nent, since coercion almost invariably avoided by those nations which took out surrendering the principles arouses discontent, resentment, and a part in the conflict and possess the which it must insist in order to comply spirit of retaliation. united strength to compel obedience. with the known will of the American The confiding of the enforcement of a

4. The public opinion of the world is people and with America's traditional part of the terms of peace to the League strongly in favor of some form of inter- policies.

of Nations, though many of the terms national association for the purpose of In order to determine the effect of the were under the Treaties to be enforced removing as far as possible causes of provisions of the Treaties of Peace on by the Principal Allied and Associated war and preserving peace between na- the principles as well as on those ideas Powers, compelled the recognition of tions.

which seem to be wise and possible of the possession of superior physical

acceptance by the Government of the might by certain nations, and this T is certain that unless the Covenant United States, it is well to consider the recognition is shown by the creation of

is amended the United States will subject in a general way rather than the Council of the League, which is to not become a member of the League of in detail. This consideration should be controlled in fact by the Five PrinciNations as now constituted.

make clear the problem to be solved pal Powers. The consequence was that It is equally certain that the nations and furnish a basis for the formulation the principle of the equality of nations, now members of the League are strongly of a possible policy of adjustment of the elemental to a permanent organization desirous that the United States should differences between this country and the devoted to the pacific removal of causes become a member; and it is fair to pre- nations which are now participants in of war, was subordinated to the prinsume that, while they will not be will- the activities of the League. In accord- ciple that the possessors of superior ing to abandon, they will be willing to ance with this purpose the following force had the right to determine intermodify, the form and functions of the comments are made:

national action, a principle essential to League by amending the Covenant in

treaty enforcement, but not essential to certain particulars.

WHERE are two forms of international peaceful settlements. It is evident, therefore, that a prac- agency which the victorious nations The qualities of universality and pertical policy might be based on a formula as a result of the Great War can hardly manency, which the League of Nations which will provide for the acceptance avoid creating: First, an agency to en- ought to have, were thus seriously imof the terms of peace and their enforce- force the terms of peace; and, second, paired by clothing it or its Council with ment, and for the continuance of the a general organization of nations for authority to enforce certain provisions League of Nations under a Covenant so the removal as far as possible of causes of the treaties, especially as no promodified as to overcome the principal of war and for the preservation of inter- vision is made in the Covenant for exobjections of the United States.

national peace. The first is an obvious tinguishing the right to employ force Can a formula be found which will necessity; the second is demanded by after the terms of peace have been fully include these factors?

the public opinion of the world, includ- complied with and the need of coercion A practical method of approach in ing American public opinion.

no longer exists. answering this query is to determine The Treaties of Peace of 1919 confided Under present international condiwhat the United States would do if it to one agency, the League of Nations, tions there should be, in my opinion, did not have to reckon with the fact powers for carrying out these two ob- two distinct agencies, each functioning

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within its own independent sphere. conferring on it, directly or by implica- cable to international relations, since One of these agencies should be for the tion, any executive, legislative, or judi. the relative measure of physical might enforcement of all of the terms of peace cial powers, such as are included in the and the inequality between nations only and based on the possession of physical articles dealing with guaranties, with find actual expression in war when might by the nations composing the mandates, with sanctions, and with force supersedes law in regulating such agency. The other should be for the other subjects which impose on the relations. To recognize the inequality removal by peaceful and not coercive members moral as well as legal obliga- of power in the pacífic relations bemethods of the causes of war and based tions. A further amendment, in ac- tween nations is to substitute physical on the equality of nations. I will later cordance with this idea, would be to force for legal right. It amounts to the develop these views more fully. It is abolish the present Council of the suppression of the rule of law and the my only purpose at the outset to state League and confide all the functions adoption of the rule of might. It is, in certain propositions in order that the and activities of the Council to the fact, the substitution of the ways of reader may more readily follow the line Assembly as now constituted in so far barbarism for the ways of civilization. of thought presented.

as such functions do not require the Evidently the use of force must be The logical and practical agency for

exercise of coercive power of any sort. predicated on the inequality of nations, all treaty enforcement, and not merely By adopting this suggested method of since only powerful nations can exercise for the enforcement of certain of the readjustment the chief defect of the actual coercion. An organization with terms of peace as it now is, is under Treaties caused by delegating to one authority to use force thus unavoidably the Treaties the existing Supreme Coun. agency two classes of functions which destroys the legal equality of nations cil, consisting of the Five Principal logically belong to two independent and imposes in times of peace an interPowers, namely, the United States, agencies would be cured.

national relationship which is normal Great Britain, France, Italy, and Japan.

solely in times of war, or in that period The agency for the prevention of He advisability of preserving gener- between the negotiation of a peace and future wars may be the League of ally the actual terms of peace im- full compliance with the terms imposed Nations, or rather the Assembly of the posed on the Central Powers, with cer- by the victors. The result of such a League, for the Council of the League tain modifications, has never been seri. provision would be to establish, in place without the conventional right to direct ously questioned. In fact, every plan of a universal association of equal nathe use of force has no logical reason proposed looking toward the restoration tions, a military alliance of a few powfor existence in its present form, though of a state of peace is based on the preser- erful nations, which together possess expediency may require its continuance vation of those terms in so far as Ameri- the power to compel obedience. In the if the present structure of the League can interests are affected. A necessary event of such an alliance being created, is preserved.

consequence of accepting the terms is the nations composing it will certainly

that there shall be an international assume the right to determine when PRACTICAL course of action to bring agency for their enforcement. That they will use force and when they will

about this readjustment under agency is logically the Principal Allied not use it. This means nothing less present conditions would be the follow- and Associated Powers, represented by than a primacy of great military Powers ing:

the Supreme Council, as I have already possessing to the extent of their com1. The separation of the Covenant of pointed out, since they possess the bined might an absolute dictatorship the League of Nations from the terms physical might to compel compliance over world affairs. In time of war of peace and its treatment as an agree- with the terms.

such a primacy may be, and doubtless ment independent and distinct from the Turning now to the organization of a is, justifiable and necessary; in time of Treaties of Peace.

general agency for the prevention of peace, never, for it ignores and, in truth, 2. The elimination from the terms of wars, the following discussion seems destroys the sovereignty and indepenpeace by amendment or reservation of necessary to a right understanding of dence of all nations other than those all objectionable articles, such as those the subject.

composing the group of primates. relating to Shantung, to labor, etc.

It is essential, in the first place, to It cannot be stated too emphatically 3. The amendment of the terms of recognize the fundamental principle that an organization of the world based peace by inserting, in place of "the that all nations, regardless of their rela- on the theory that nations in times of League of Nations,” “the Principal tive size, resources, and physical power, peace are unequal and that the strong Allied and Associated Powers" or "the are in times of peace, when law rather nations, because of their strength, are Supreme Council" or, in some cases, "an than force is dominant, equal in that entitled to dictate to others possesses International Commission."

each possesses sovereignty and inde- none of the elements which make for 4. The ratification of the Treaties of pendence, qualities which cannot be permanent unity or for permanent Peace in amended form or with reser- limited and exist in fact. This state- peace. Law is the very corner-stone of vations.

ment is at the same time a legal maxim peaceful intercourse between nations, In regard to the Covenant, it might be and a legal fiction; but it must be recog- and equality is fundamental to the amended by eliminating all provisions nized as an accepted principle appli- universal and persistent application of

law and principles of justice. Our present social and political institutions depend on the recognized equality of indi. viduals before the law. It has taken centuries of struggle to develop this precept and make it a vital force in modern civilization. To deny it in the case of the society of nations is to reject the lessons of history and to check the advance of human progress. Its denial would mean a reversion to that primitive state of human society in which the individual took whatever he was able to take and held in possession whatever he was able to hold. A union of nations to prevent international wars is manifestly intended to operate in

times of peace. Hence it follows, if the Keystone

foregoing views are admitted, and I do THE BUILDING IN GENEVA, SWITZERLAND, IN WHICH THE ASSEMBLY OF THE

not see how they can be logically reLEAGUE OF NATIONS MEETS

jected, that the accepted principle of the

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equality of nations should become the An Advisory Committee, designated Supreme Council, or, in certain cases, to basis of any practical plan for inter- by the Assembly of Delegates, as the international commissions named by national union or co-operation.

guiding agent of the Assembly in the them, such duties and powers of enforceThe first result of the adoption of the carrying out of its purposes, subject ment of the terms of peace as are now principle of the equality of nations always to the will of the Delegates. confided to the League of Nations. As would be to make impossible an under- A Bureau or Office of Information and the enforcement of many of the terms taking to employ force or coercion by Publicity to receive and disseminate in- is already delegated to the group of the international organization devoted formation concerning all international Principal Powers, such a transfer ought to prevention of appeals to force.

matters of general interest, including not to cause serious objection. The A second result would be the disap- therein the reception and publication of League of Nations would thus cease to pearance of all the active executive treaties, international agreements, and be an agency for treaty enforcement, powers of the League as now consti- other data which in the interest of peace and would possess

coercive aututed and the conversion of the legisla. and good understanding should be sub- thority. tive powers, if they can be called jected to the public opinion of the world. In regard to the changes in the Covelegislative, into authority to collect This Bureau or Office should be estab nant of the League of Nations which information and declare international lished, maintained, and directed by the would necessarily result from eliminatopinion as to conditions which affect the Assembly of Delegates.

ing all power of coercion, the structure common interests of the nations.

In addition to this union of nations, of the organization might be preserved A third result would be to make but entirely independent of it, a tribunal by retaining, for the present at least, the needless an oligarchy of the Principal or tribunals of international justice Council, as now constituted, to act as Powers or a body dominated by them, would of course be maintained as one of the suggested "Advisory Committee,” since the only justification for their the chief agencies for the removal of and confiding to the Secretariat of the superior rights in the League is their causes of war.

League the duties of the “Bureau of joint possession of force sufficient to en- It is evident that an international or- Information and Publicity." force those terms of peace with which ganization, constituted in the manner While retention of the Council with the League is charged in the Treaties. stated and having the scope and pur- its recognized primacy of the Principal With moral obligation to keep faith the poses set forth, would furnish a per- Powers would evidently be contrary to only compulsive element recognized, for manent world forum for the general the principle of the equality of nations, there is none other in the relations be- exchange of views concerning interna- the fact that it would be subordinate to tween nations except physical might or tional affairs and of subjects of mutual the "Assembly of Delegates" and withthe threat to exercise it, the reason for interest to the nations, a channel of out power to act even in a directory considering the possession of physical publicity in regard to political, eco- capacity unless authorized by the Asmight as a qualification for a superior nomic, and social matters through sembly would remove a valid objection voice in international affairs disappears. which opportunity would be given for to its retention. While in theory it

the expression of an intelligent public would be contrary to the basic principle SSUMING, then, that the Covenant opinion in all countries, and an agency of equality, in practice it would not

for the encouragement of the peaceful affect the principle. with these views so that the League of settlement of international controver- The adoption of this compromise beNations would possess only a single rep- sies, which would operate in conjunc- tween the desirable form, and the existresentative body which has no executive, tion with diplomacy and judicial proce- ing form of organization would seem to legislative, or judicial functions, the dure.

offer a possible basis for agreement. If scope and purpose of the League, So Though such an organization would later it seemed wise to bring the Covereconstituted, would be, stated briefly, be without any physical power to im. nant theoretically as well as practically as follows:

pose its will upon the nations, it would into complete accord with the funda1. Exchange of information and opin- seem to offer the most practical and mental principles that have been stated ions on subjects of international inter- effective means under present condi- and to remove the apparent contradic. est and concern, particularly on all con- tions to prevent or hinder international tion of those principles by retention of troversies and differences which may wars and to preserve good relations be

the present form, the Covenant could be develop into war or which threaten a tween nations by free discussion of dif- amended. rupture of good relations; and also pro- ferences and by furnishing the public vision for giving publicity to such opinion of the world with opportunity HESE suggestions and comments as information and opinions.

to exert its influence in behalf of peace. to a possible policy are made with a 2. Free discussion and counsel as to

full realization that they will not meet ways and means of removing causes of AVING considered the subject from the approval of those Americans who war and of preventing international dif- the standpoint of what is desirable are radically opposed to this country's ferences from becoming acute.

rather than from the standpoint of becoming a member of any general in3. Recommendations as to bases of what is possible, it is necessary, as a ternational association. But to decline conciliation and of adjustment of differ- practical matter, to introduce into the to enter such an association would be, ences; as to improvements in the con- problem the factors of the present status in my opinion, to act in defiance of the stitution and procedure of international of the Treaties and also of the status will of the people of the United States tribunals, to which nations may resort of the League of Nations.

and in opposition to the common desire for the judicial settlement of disputes; I think that it may be assumed that, of mankind which is demanding some and also as to means for the codification so far as the actual terms of peace are union of the nations which will be deand declaration of the principles and concerned, the

natories of the voted to the preservation of peace in the rules of international law.

Treaties will not place insurmountable world. A possible, as well as a proper, Confined to the foregoing purposes, obstacles in the way of amending the international organization is what which cover an enormous and most use- terms in accordance with American should be sought. No policy is worth ful field, the functions of the organiza- ideas. If they should take such an at. 'while that is not founded on practication would require the following agen- titude, the same result may be obtained bility. There is no use in suggesting cies:

through the medium of reservations in one which does not take into consideraAn Assembly of Delegates represent- the ratifying resolution. The

tion existing conditions, because it will ing the nations which are members of change in the Treaties which is essen- be unworkable and will be as futile as the organization. The Assembly should tial to the suggested policy, and which the proposal of one who, in the enthusi. meet periodically to discuss openly and could only be made by mutual agree- asm for an ideal or a theory, ignores freely the matters coming within its ment, relates to the agency for the facts and circumstances. The formula, scope and purposes and after common enforcement of the terms.

stated in general terms, is this: The counsel to express formally the opinions The proposition is to transfer to the preferable modified by the possible will and recommendations of the Delegates. Principal Powers represented

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THE HOME ÇF THE SCHOOL OF CERAMICS Alfred University is one of our small colleges such as Webster described when he said of Dartmouth, “It is a small college, and yes there are those who love it." It is in the town of Alfred, New York, about 75 miles southeast of Briffalo. This town was originally settled by Seventh-Day Baptists, whose customs still dominate the place. The University was chartered in 1837. Closely affiliated

with it is the New York State School of Clay-Working and Ceramics

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In the Summer School at Alfred University the classes in ceramics occupy an important place. Enthusiastic devotion to their work characterizes the students, many of whom are teachers taking advanced courses. But the term ceramics has come to include much more than pottery. As developed at Alfred the course in Ceramic Engineering is designed to qualify men to occupy positions as superintendents, scientific experts, and ceram c chemists in the great plants devoted to the making of tiles, bricks, drain-pipes, etc., as well as in pottery works. The courses of

study which lead to a degree in this department extend over a period of four years

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