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COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL ASPECTS
Tuesday Afternoon, April Sixteenth, at 3
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: In the name of Mr. Andrew Carnegie, and on behalf of the Committee of Commerce and Industry of the National Peace Congress, I convey to you all a very hearty welcome to this meeting.
We note that there are a large number of ladies present, but is it surprising to find them at a meeting of commerce and industry when you consider that, without the ladies, commerce and industry would be bankrupt! (Applause-laughter.)
There are two things which we must do in this cause, looking at it in a practical way. The one is to express a sentiment; the second is to back up that sentiment by action, by practical deeds.
The merchants and manufacturers of this country are so deeply interested in the cause of peace that they will, I am sure, do two things: give time and give money to the Peace Movement. A great battleship costs eight million dollars, I understand.
BARON D'ESTOURNELLES: Ten!
MR. MARKS: Ten million dollars. The price has gone up. (Laughter.) Dollars are called the sinews of war. Now, let this meeting of Industry and Peace decide that dollars are the sinews of Peace. (Applause.) Because I am sure that the merchants will agree that a million dollars expended in furthering the cause of Peace will save more than one ten-million dollar warship. And that is a fine investment for us all.
Merchants have a twofold interest in encouraging movements tending to substitute a system of law and order for war in the settlement of differences between nations.
They share with the professional community the sentimental aversion to the injustice and terrors of war; but in addition to this they have what is sometimes called a selfish interest which prompts them to put additional energy into the task of preserving peaceful commercial relations at home and abroad.
For commerce (and consequently the welfare of all the people of every country) depends upon the stability of government and the friendly relation between nations, for the uninterrupted and profitable exchange of commodities to the fullest extent. The fact is recognized that only such nations as are in peaceful and friendly contact can thoroughly, sympathetically and satisfactorily study and supply each other's wants, thus developing mutual trading most successfully. I am told that some merchants preserve a neutral attitude towards the Peace movement because they believe that there is a financial gain in case of war from the sale of battleships, arms, powder, uniforms, food and other necessaries. It may be true that these calculations are correct from the narrow standpoint of their own immediate interests, but no one can doubt that the general financial loss caused by the interruption of commerce on account of war far offsets this small gain to a few.
But can it be that there is a human being mean enough to use this as an argument, or to act upon such a motive, to be willing to have his fellow-man suffer incalculably that he may profit in a small degree?
The merchants of America certainly rise above any such considerations and stand shoulder to shoulder with the statesmen and the professional men in their earnest endeavor to extend the spirit of brotherhood till it embraces all mankind. I can speak authoritatively on this point for the National Association of Clothiers, representing the third largest manufacturing industry in the United States. At our National Convention held in Boston last month we unanimously and enthusiastically endorsed the principles and aims of this Peace Congress. And as I look you in the eyes to-day, you merchants and manufacturers, representing all our industries in every section of our great country, I feel absolutely certain that when you are asked how you stand on the question of International Peace there will be one mighty "Aye!" in its favor.
We all recognize the fact that the day for settling differ
ences between men by the duel is practically over. As individuals we no longer try to decide who is right and who is wrong by test of swordsmanship or brute strength, but resort instead to the impartial judgment of the courts. Is it not time that differences between nations be settled in the same manner, not by arms, but by an international court of justice? The age of the savage has gone forever. Man now clasps the hand of his fellow-man in love, and Americans who bow in reverence to the majesty of the law of our land should be the first to extend the code of international law, so that the death struggle between nations should be no more.
Let the united voice of the business community, the practical men of affairs in this country, ring loud and true so that its echo reverberates at the Hague Peace Conference next June with the message: "Peace, Peace, Peace!" (Applause.)
Ladies and gentlemen, if a man saves a human life we call him a hero; if a man saves thousands of human lives what shall we call him? There is a man here present at my right, a nobleman-if nobleman there ever was-who, by sacrificing his time, his means, his brain, his health, has saved thousands and thousands of lives in minimizing war. (Applause and cries of "Hear! Hear!") He is a man who stands at the head of the gallant band throughout the world, striving for a day of brotherhood among men. It gives me pleasure-and I consider it a great honor to be able to introduce to you to-day Baron d'Estournelles de Constant. (Applause.)
BARON D'ESTOURNELLES DE CONSTANT.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: I should not like to deceive you. I am far from being as good as the Chairman says (laughter),— I am simply a man of good-will. It is as a man of goodwill and, I should say, as a man of some experience, that I came here, and that I am extremely happy and proud to have this splendid opportunity to address not only an American audience, but especially an audience of American business men, American people devoted to the great questions of commerce and
exchange, which are indeed questions of Peace itself, because you cannot separate those two ideas, commerce and Peace. (Applause.)
Ladies and gentlemen, yesterday I said—or I tried to say, because it was not very easy in a very large room-I tried to express my feeling of admiration for the American peopleladies as well as gentlemen-by saying that they are keen and clever enough to understand that it is not only their duty, but their interest, to meet and show that they are not indifferent to the question of Peace. In Europe they are indifferent; in Europe we have that state of mind which has been so aptly described by our Chairman; the state of mind of a people who are neutral, who are always waiting for somebody else to take the lead in a movement; a state of mind which is always waiting for a progress which might already have been attained, a progress the realization of which is still in the future. But in America I know we can always find an audience receptive to high ideas, and I am happy and proud of the privilege of addressing such an audience.
It is indeed an inspiring thing that this New World, understanding the truth, should show it to the Old World, and that the Old World should follow very obediently in its footsteps. (Applause.) That is right; we must not complain; it is much better to do that than to resist. The Europeans will follow you; they will follow even more closely if they see that you have not only organized-shall I say-sentimental manifestations, but that you have brought about practical ways of promoting the progress of your work and of attaining success.
It is not enough for us to say that we are devoted to truth, to justice, to peace. Those are mere words. We all agree to the expression of such sentiments; but what the world says is that we are always speaking of very fine ideals and using very fine phrases, but that we do not speak of the ways and means of realizing those ideals.
It is therefore time for us to speak of the means and methods of carrying out our ideals of international justice. For international and national justice are now very clearly defined. We know that we have to organize arbitration; that arbitration is much better than quarreling; that arbitration, of course, is much better than war. This idea has become understood little
by little, and it is because it is understood that you have seen the first Hague Conference, which has been practically the first international tribunal. But this practical, very practical organization, this quite matter-of-fact organization, has not yet been fully understood, although it existed. So we have been obliged, a few friends of mine and myself, to come here and ask the American people to take the lead, to ask the American people to show the way for these new institutions, to impress European public opinion and oblige them to make use of this great Court.
It is not an old story, it is quite a recent one, and very striking. In 1902, three years after the meeting of the first Hague Conference, the Hague Court, the permanent tribunal, had been founded, but nobody wanted to use it. The governments said it is of no use. I said, "Of course it is of no use, but simply because you do not make use of it. (Laughter.) It is for you to use it; if you do not use it, do not reproach the tribunal, reproach yourselves." But they did not. (Laughterapplause.) They did not, and I must tell you that the only man who understood that was your President, Theodore Roosevelt. (Applause.) This is not paying him a vain compliment; it is true, and that is one reason why he has been considered, and is considered now, as one of the great pacificators of our times.
President Roosevelt, seeing that it was a great pity that this new institution, still greater than your great Supreme Court, had been created and was not used, said: "What shall I do to give it life, to give it true existence? Well, the simplest thing is to give it a case, I must give it something to do— something to eat, if you like."
So the government of the United States and the government of the Republic of Mexico agreed to send to the Hague Court its first case, about this time of the year 1902. That was the beginning, and anyone would have thought as I myself did that that would have been sufficient to persuade the other governments to follow the example. No, no; not enough. In a few months a very serious difficulty arose, about which many of you know very well. It was a very great difficulty, the Venezuela affair. Several European countries were involved in it. It would have been rather disastrous to start a war of all Europe against that poor little Venezuela. So it became a matter