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of arbitration, and would you not have thought that the European governments, being obliged to arbitrate, would at last have wanted to go before the Hague Tribunal? Not at all. Instead they sent a very fine telegram to President Roosevelt, asking him to be the arbitrator, and hoping that he would be flattered by their offer. They believed that President Roosevelt would be weak enough to accept that honor and forget the Hague Court, that he had been the first to advocate. Fortunately,—and that is what I admire about him above everything-President Roosevelt was firm enough, good enough, straightforward man enough (applause), to send a plain and very decisive answer. He said: "No, I cannot accept that. I stick to The Hague. (Applause and cries of "Hear! Hear!") "I stick to The Hague," he said. "You have created that European, that international, that universal institution; it is to be used. It has been good once, it will be good another time, for another experiment. Let us go to The Hague." And then the lethargy was broken, and to-day that Hague Court is full of life; for since that time the governments, when they were obliged to follow, wanted to follow altogether. They have signed treaties of arbitration, and everybody now is wanting to sign such treaties; everybody is wanting to go to the Hague Court; and I consider that very great progress. This progress is in large part due to President Roosevelt, to American initiative and energy. But there is another influence, a very good influence, which I must not forget to speak about. One of the reasons why the Hague Court had been forgotten and left alone was because it was poor. It had no home, it had no place for the judges, for the cases of the future, except a very unsatisfactory little building, which had to be let every year. There we have another sample of the disdain of governments. They would spend thousands of millions every year for war expenses, but they could not give a few dollars for the beginning of the organization of Peace. They refused the small amount of money needed for this great scheme, and then American initiative, American energy, arose. It was Mr. Andrew Carnegie who said: "It may be that the Hague Court is disdained because it is poor, but if we give it a home, if we endow it, then it will receive consideration," and that consideration has come because Mr. Carnegie gave to the Court of The Hague a very fine and very large palace, worthy of the Court, worthy of
Europe, worthy of America. (Applause.) Was I not right in telling you, ladies and gentlemen, that you may be proud of your country? It may be that the Hague Court is far away from us, it may be that the Hague Court is in Europe, but it is living because of the initiative, living because of the heart and the intelligence of America. (Applause.)
Now, to come back to a practical view of the subject, you are quite right in supporting such a movement. This movement in favor of international justice must not be the mere devotion of one man, even a man such as the first magistrate of your great Republic. It must be the devotion of your whole country. You must not leave to the President, or to a few statesmen, the great honor of supporting the idea of international justice. You must all take your share in that support, and that is why I am so happy to see that you have come here in such large numbers, representing so great a strength as the strength of the commercial, industrial and the agricultural activities of the United States.
It is a very noble thing, and I assure you that what you have done to-day will not be lost in France, in Germany, or in England. I found many difficulties. Many of my friends, even of my relatives, said that when I left my fine career of diplomat, I lost everything. They said that I have lost myself, yet in France I still find everywhere very good friends, devoted friends, who have been touched by the very great difficulties I met; and I can tell you that it is a very strengthening thing to find, as I found, more friends in my difficulties than I did in my fine days. (Great applause.) I have found friends whom I can trust, and I am not so sure about the first ones. (Applause.) When I go back to France, when I tell them that you in America are so interested in this great question, they will be pleased, because they want this encouragement. It will not be lost, and you will see them in a very short time trying to shake hands with you and trying to organize something.
Organize what? We never lose sight of that question of organization. We now have arbitration, which is much better than war, but we must find something that will be still better than arbitration. This something you will find, I know, and you will give it life. Arbitration is very good, because it settles the difficulties when they arise, but it is still more important to settle
these difficulties before they arise. Settle them before, but how? That is very easy. Of course, I do not say that we can settle all difficulties. Human nature is so different, and we have difficulties even with ourselves. I do not know whether you in America are as I am in perpetual conflict with myself. (Laughter.) At times there are two men speaking in me, one who tries to be good, but the other who is not always so good. (Laughter.) The bad one sometimes, very often, tries to give me very bad advice. (Laughter.) But I try not to follow such advice, and then arises the conflict. Then I must settle that conflict by arbitration, but I try to avoid having the conflict. That is still better. You must have that prevention organized, if you can. What is the best way? I will tell you: after many, many, many researches I found, through my friends in France and in other countries in Europe, I found that everywhere, and chiefly in commerce, there are many men and women who are extremely devoted to their work, but they are always speaking of American money. In America as in France-of course, money is a means and a way of doing things-but here as in France, also many good people are more devoted to their conscience, to the good of their country, to the good of their kind, than to money and material interests. (Applause.) All the good people of our time need only one thing-to know each other. When one man is isolated he is weak, he can do almost nothing; he hardly dares to express what he feels, because he feels so lonely in this immense, indifferent world. But put all these good men and women into relations with each other, let them become acquainted, let them correspond, so that they can exchange their ideas and information, then instead of isolation and weakness, you will get a real and powerful strength.
That is what we have been doing with that very small thing which was at first our International Conciliation movement. It was a very small thing, indeed, like a germ; but this small thing is growing and will become great. This International Conciliation movement is to be developed from the groups of the good people of every country, and when a group of the good people in every country has been created, then will come a kind of federationa trust, if I may say so of all the national groups; and these people from all over the world will make the most powerful association you can imagine. It is not an association for money;
it is not an association for power, but it is an association for insuring the triumph of good-will. If you do not have this association, if good-will always remains silent and inactive, you may be sure that bad passions, that jingoism and selfishness are sure to win without a struggle. If, on the contrary, you associate, it will be easy for you at once to prevent the misunderstandings, the difficulties and sometimes the catastrophies which arise from ignorance alone.
Now this is so well understood in America, certainly among the best of the public men, the politicians, artists, business men, agriculturists, and the clergy, that they have said that it is the right thing to do, to-morrow. Now you, ladies and gentlemen, you must try to help. We do not ask for money, at least I do not ask for money. What I want is your moral help, your clear knowledge, your clear intelligence applied to your own interests. If you understand your own interests you will understand the interests of all the world, because there is no antagonism, there is sympathy, there is solidarity between all the interests of all the people of the world who work together. We have against us nothing but idle and bad people, but people like you must agree or you will never, my dear friends, accomplish anything. You must then join this International Conciliation Association. I personally disappear in that; I am and I want to be nothing. I found in America the good, the very good, the soundest people have joined the American Branch of the International Conciliation Association. The Honorary President is Andrew D. White, my old and honorable friend of The Hague, who has also been Ambassador at Berlin (applause), and he is certainly one of the most respected men I have ever met. The other man is the President of this Congress, Andrew Carnegie. I have nothing to say of him after all you have seen and heard these days; then there is the effective President, Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler of Columbia University. (Applause.) Then I see that we have Mr. Straus, my friend here, if he will allow me to name him. We have practical men, and among them I think Mr. Straus is a very good example. Mr. Straus is one of the honorary members of the committee, so is Mr. Elihu Root, and Mr. John Hay was another. (Applause.) We have, I assure you, the most disinterested men you can find in America. If you will kindly apply to President Nicholas Murray Butler, he will send you
all the information about this Association, and you will find no better way of coming to an understanding with people of this same mind in all the countries of Europe. When we are all in touch, all in good relations, we may be sure there can be no misunderstanding, that international conflicts will be more and more rare, and that you will have done a great deal to prevent them
Now, ladies and gentlemen, I have finished; but I shall not be satisfied if I do not express to you as well as I can-I do not mean in an eloquent way, but I mean as sincerely as I possibly can-how happy I am to have seen you. I am very happy to have the feeling-I think I am not deceived in having the feeling that we quite agree; that you understand perfectly that my journey, although the crossing was very bad (laughter), was not useless. When I return to France I shall be with my family and with my friends, and when they reproach me for being always away from home, I shall tell them it is true; I am very often absent; I am very often far from my country, but I think I have been doing a good work; and I thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for having given me that good feeling. (Great applause.)
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: This meeting of commerce and industry is to be congratulated, because we have here to-day a cabinet officer, a representative of our government from the Department of Commerce and Labor. It would be presumptuous on my part to introduce this gentleman to you, because he is so well known to every American audience. I present the Hon. Oscar S. Straus. (Great applause.)
(As Mr. Straus came forward to address the meeting, Baron d'Estournelles arose.)
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: Allow me to tell you one thing that I was telling my friend, Mr. Straus. I was telling him that you were really a very hurrying nation. You think that my participation in the program is finished now and that there remains to me only the pleasure of listening to Mr. Straus. No, no; it is not that way. The committee has told me that I was to speak here at three, that very likely I should be free at four, and that then an automobile would wait for me at the door (laughter)