Puslapio vaizdai
PDF
„ePub“

fice of our dead who fell to emancipate and not enslave peoples, and involve us in inglorious wars of oppression. Among the states invited to accede to the covenant of the League of Nations (see Annex after Article 26) is Persia. Before the ink was dry on the Treaty of Versailles, the British Minister at Teheran induced the Persian Prime Minister to sell his country's independence against the protest of the Persian Cabinet and the Persian people and is now protecting the traitor and upholding the validity of the signature by British bayonets.

The Treaty of Versailles contains four hundred and forty articles. From Article 27 on to the end, although we may disapprove of the treaty in many particulars, we have no choice but ratification without amendment or reservation. It is the kind of treaty that our allies want. Amendment or reservation would jeopardize the whole structure of peace, and mean going through the weary business once more. We are sorry about a lot of things. Shan-tung humiliates us and gives us concern for the future. We are doubtful about boundary-lines and economic clauses. We know that we have treated the Egyptians shamefully and that the mandatory plan for Africa and the Ottoman Empire is pure bunk unless we assume larger responsibilities overseas than the American people would be willing to stand for. But we do not want to get into quarrels with our allies. We do not care to negotiate anew with Germany. Above all, we cannot accept the responsibility of protracting the state of war and unrest in Europe, where peace and a return to normal conditions are absolutely essential before winter. It is imperative for our senators to hold their noses and ratify Articles 27-440 inclusive. The considerations that led General Smuts to sign the treaty are more potent as an argument for ratification than they were as an argument for signing. Said the representative of South Africa at the moment he signed the treaty:

The months since the armistice have been as upsetting, unsettling and ruinous to Europe as the previous four years of

war, perhaps. I look upon the Peace Treaty as the close of these two chapters of war and armistice, and only on that ground do I agree with it. . . I feel that in the treaty we have not yet achieved the real peace to which our peoples were looking and that the real work of making peace will begin only after the treaty has been signed and a definite halt has thereby been called to the destructive passions that have been desolating Europe for nearly five years. This treaty is simply a liquidation of the war situation in the world. There are guarantees laid down which we all hope will soon be found out of harmony with the new peaceful temper and unarmed state of our former enemies. There are punishments foreshadowed, over most of which a calmer mood may yet prefer to pass the sponge of oblivion. There are indemnities stipulated which cannot be exacted without grave injury to the industrial revival of Europe, and which it will be in the interests of all to render more tolerable and moderate.

Failure to ratify the main body of the treaty, however objectionable we may find many of its stipulations, would throw upon the American Senate the onus of having prolonged the economic and social unrest of the state of war. Not only in Europe, but also in America, it will be impossible to continue much longer the discussion, internally or internationally, of the Treaty of Versailles. And when the Treaty of St.Germain and the Bulgarian and Turkish treaties come along, we must swallow them, too, without long delay. The world is crying for peace, and those who obstruct the conclusion of peace, no matter what the cause, are going to be decidedly unpopular.

But it is asking too much of the Senate to demand the acceptance without serious reservations of Articles 1 to 26 of the treaty, which are assembled under the heading, "The Covenant of the League of Nations." At the time of this writing I have been in America only a few days. Although I realize how powerful are the forces working for ratification without reservations, I have faith in the common sense and patriotism of our senators. There must be Democrats who put the interest of

their country above the interest of their party leader.

An editorial in "The New York Times" of September 10, headed "Peace or War," is an illustration of the effort that is being made in some circles to influence "the man in the street" against the Senate by specious arguments. The "Times" editorial writer draws a logical conclusion from his premises, but the premises are false. Is it necessary to assume that the League of Nations covenant is an integral part of the treaty of peace with Germany, and that reservations in our acceptance of the covenant entail negotiating a new treaty with Germany? Germany has no part in the covenant of the League of Nations. One searches in vain throughout the Treaty of Versailles to find a single phrase relating to Germany that would have to be modified or altered if the United States makes reservations concerning America's entrance into the league. As the treaty is framed, the League of Nations does not regard Germany either now or in the future. Is it necessary to assume that our allies will refuse to accept whatever reservations we see fit to make in the League of Nations covenant, thus putting the treaty back again into the melting-pot? None who has been with the treaty-makers from the beginning, as I have been, believes this. The truth is that the League of Nations covenant was inserted in the Treaty of Versailles because President Wilson insisted upon it and made it America's one unalterable demand. We wanted no colonies, no material advantages. If our allies would yield and give us the covenant in the treaty, they could divide up the world as they pleased, violating every principle of the covenant before it was born. Public opinion in France and Italy and Belgium and in the secondary European states is decidedly against the League of Nations. The few voices that wanted a League of Nations in January have virtually all been silent since June.

Moreover, it does not follow that advocates of reservations in the League of Nations covenant, as it is set forth in the Treaty of Versailles, are opponents of the League of Nations idea,

or that they unreasonably expect the building of Rome in a day. The yearning of the world for a new international order, which will tend to make wars less frequent and diminish the burden of armaments, is as unmistakable as the yearning for the reëstablishment of peace; but the conception is so tremendous and so revolutionary that we must make haste slowly. All who participated in the work of the conference of Paris were bitterly disappointed, and I know many in high places who are frankly pessimistic. The struggle for peace, following the struggle for victory, was too much for them. They confess that they are not the men to lead the world in new paths. And they rightly attribute the failure of the conference of Paris to the atmosphere of intense hatred, of fear, of suspicion, and, above all, of the realization of a victory beyond their wildest dreams. Premier Clemenceau, before the conference opened, took issue with President Wilson and the "internationalists" of France and other Allied countries, when he said to the Chamber of Deputies that he was going into the conference to get as much for France as he could, with a maximum and minimum program as a basis of bargaining. However imbued with idealism and internationalism we Americans may be, it would be folly for us to enter blindly and unreservedly under these conditions a League of Nations which is simply a coalition of victorious powers, presided over by diplomats of the old school.

Let us support the Senate in its determination to accompany the ratification of the Treaty of Versailles with reservations in clear language that will preserve our independence of action in international affairs. It is not to be feared that these reservations will be rejected by our allies or our late enemies. They will not delay the reestablishment of peace. On the other hand we shall be in a better position to continue our championship of American principles and to fulfil the high mission of the United States to bring together the nations of the world into an international organization to prevent wars and reduce armaments.

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]
[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]

The Clash of Color

The Negro in American Democracy

By GLENN FRANK

[This is one of a series of articles Mr. Frank is contributing to THE CENTURY on post-war problems. This article presents the facts that lay back of the recent race riots, and without prejudice or rant offers certain suggestions regarding inter-race relations in the future.-THE EDITOR.]

T

HE war has left no end of aftermath as a legacy to American statesmanship. This aftermath in part comprises new problems, but in the main represents simply an intensification and fresh reference of certain old problems with which we dallied rather than dealt before the war. I have referred in earlier papers to the fact that the political idealism of our diplomacy has shown a disconcerting tendency to filter down into the social and economic areas of our national life. It was so easy for the facile idealism of war-days to bandy about that strangely elusive idea of self-determination and to hawk the merits of democracy to the ends of the earth. But the preachers of these doctrines did more than stimulate morale with their phrases. They set the mind of the planet at work thinking out the full implications of these phrases, and the phrases have refused to stay tethered to politics alone. The mass mind has shown a penchant for analogy. When the German throne fell, the crash set many non-political thrones tottering. The crusade for political democracy has stirred to life a crusade for industrial democracy. Self-determination has become a class slogan no less than a watchword for oppressed nationalities. In short, the partisans of problems long unsolved have found a new vocabulary in the phrases of our war-time diplomacy. This has meant a psychological factor of no mean moment in the intensification of certain social and industrial isues. Many of the sleeping lions of pre-war days are now on prowl, and

they roar familiar phrases to which we give indiscriminate assent during the

war.

These facts stand boldly out in the recent race-riot-dramatizations of our American negro problem, a capital illustration of the tendency to apply our diplomatic slogans to domestic issues. One periodical heads its review of the race riots with the caption "Our Own 'Subject Race' Rebels," and suggests the irony of a race riot at President Wilson's door in Washington so soon after his return from pleading the rights of subject races in Europe. A cartoonist parodies Rodin's "The Thinker" by sketching the pensive figure of a muscular black man about whose feet lie parchments with titles that are a study in satirical contrasts, "American Democracy for the World" and "Black Men in the World War" lying next to "American Lynch Law." Negro publicists, with singular unanimity, find in the ideals of the war a fresh basis for race appeals, touched here and there with a menacing passion.

Local race riots have never been isolated and unrelated happenings. Two years ago the clash of color in East St. Louis was not just an East St. Louis affair. It was only a local bursting of a storm that had been brewing the country over for more than a generation. The lines of its causes ran into other years and into all parts of the North and South. Wherever white and black have met in serious labor competition, as section hands in the South, as domestics in the East, or as mechanics in the West or North, race tension has been the result. It was

« AnkstesnisTęsti »