Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

the largest that civilized man can have. There are moral considerations which make a stronger appeal to us to work for Peace than can be expressed in terms of pounds, francs, marks or dollars. Other speakers at the sessions of this assemblage, however, have already dealt on the ethical side of the Peace question, and have done it more adequately than I could do it. And, as I understand, others are still to speak on that side. I shall therefore confine myself to the strictly business phase of the subject.

Many persons think that war promotes commerce, and that thus it aids farmers, manufacturers and all sorts of producers. But this is true only for the moment. The Russo-Japanese war increased America's sales to Japan, Russia and China while the war was going on, but it decreased those sales immediately afterward. To the extent of the drain made upon their resources by the war those countries will have to economize for a few years. Their purchases from the outside world will be smaller.

To an immeasurably greater extent than ever before the world has become one great family. International commerce has had a very large place in promoting this solidarity. In one degree or another whatever aids one country benefits all the rest. Disaster, too, is universal in its consequences. Most of us who are here to-day, no matter which side of the Atlantic or which side of the Pacific we hail from, remember the fall of the great London financial and commercial house of Baring Brothers in 1890. The crash was heard around the world. It helped to start the trade dislocation which, in the next few years, striking every country successively, circled the globe.

In the financial flurry two or three weeks ago the drop one morning on the Berlin bourse registered itself instantaneously in the London market, and it immediately sent prices down on the New York Stock Exchange. To-day famine in large districts of Russia and China deprives the United States, England, Germany and every other commercial country of many patrons, just as last year's famine in part of Japan did. Cain's query, Am I my brother's keeper? cannot be answered to-day as Cain would have answered it. To a certain degree the humanitarian spirit of this age makes every man his brother's keeper.

As I said a moment ago, the war between Japan and Russia, while it lasted helped our trade with those countries, and also

with China, in part of whose territory the war was waged. But it retarded trade afterward. It killed hundreds of thousands of men, and it impoverished millions. All of us manufacturers thus lost many patrons. Dead men buy no clothes. Paupers cannot pay for any.

In the ancient world rivers, mountains, deserts and seas separated peoples. Separations made them strangers to each other, and, as strangers, they became enemies. Steam and electricity have changed all this. The railroads have blotted out the mountains, the rivers and the deserts. The steamers have abolished the oceans. With their cargoes of merchandise and passengers, the railroads and the steamboats, aided by the marine and the land telegraphs, have made all the world's peoples speak a common tongue, and have brought the four corners of the globe into close proximity.

International commerce is the greatest promoter of International Peace that any of us can name. If Swift was right when he said that the man who made two blades of grass grow where only one grew before deserved better of mankind than did the whole race of politicians, doubly blest must be the man or the nation that puts two lines of steamers on the ocean or builds two lines of railway across international frontiers where only one existed previously. The lines which carry passengers and commodities between Paris and Berlin are doing more to maintain harmony between France and Germany than are all the Peace Societies of the two countries.

Dr. Lardner, a very wise man who was still alive when many of us who are here to-day were boys, predicted that, as a commercial proposition, it would be forever impossible to build boats which would cross the Atlantic by steam. No boat, he said, could carry enough coal to make steam for those 3,000 miles of transit. And he proved it, too, to the satisfaction of many persons, wise and unwise, for he was very handy with figures.

Before Dr. Lardner died, a little less than half a century ago, the Cunard, Collins, Inman, Allen, Hamburg-American and other lines of steamers crossed the Atlantic in the regular trade between England and other European countries and the United States. Steamboats, too, were running on the Pacific. Four or five years before Dr. Lardner died, his country, Great Britain, sent a merchant steamer all around the globe, making the circuit

that Magellan, Drake and Cook made long before his time, and making it not only far quicker, but in far greater safety and comfort for its crew.

Lowell's injunction is something which all of us should keep constantly in mind. We must never prophecy unless we know. Steamboats are now making the Atlantic trip almost as familiar and nearly as safe as that from New York to Brooklyn or to Jersey City. The voyage by sailing vessels from England to the United States which took several weeks of time when George II. was king, can be made in the same number of days by steamer in his great grandson, Edward VII.'s age.

And the improved relations which have been established between the two countries are largely due to the shortening and the cheapening of the time distance between them, and the consequent expansion in the commerce which passes from one to the other. To a certain extent all international trade is reciprocal. Each country buys from its neighbors as well as sells to them. And the more buying and selling which is transacted between them, the better friends they become, and the greater the stake which they have in maintaining peace with each other. For selfish as well as for humanitarian reasons each is interested in the other's welfare. Each figuratively greets the other with Rip Van Winkle's salutation, "May you live long and prosper."

Speaking for men of my own guild, I say that we have an especial incentive to work for the maintenance of amicable relations with all countries. More and more every year the products of America's factories outrun the demands of America's consumers. To a constantly increasing degree we are under the necessity of looking for new and broader markets in England, Germany, France, China, Japan and every other land. It is only by the preservation of Peace that we can get these markets, or hold them when we do get them.

For this as well as for many other reasons, as I look around this hall to-day I greet every man in it as a kinsman, regardless of the language which he speaks or the color of his skin. The Russian, the Japanese, the Englishman, the German, the Frenchman, the Mexican and everybody within sound of my voice I hail as a brother, in whose life and welfare I have an interest. Each produces something that we manufacturers want to buy. Each asks for something that we have to sell.

But we Americans cannot work effectively for harmony between the nations until we get peace at home. We must have Industrial Peace like that for which the Citizens' Industrial Association, of which I have the honor to be one of the founders, has been working with such success for years. We want Peace like that which President Roosevelt's commission, just formed, which had its origin in the Nobel prize, seeks to establish. Harmony between employers in all callings and between employers and workers, is one of the things which we aim to bring about. We must have peace between the great political parties by abolishing the demagogues in each of them, and by keeping them clean Then when we speak in behalf of peace for all nations we will be speaking with the voice of 85,000,000 of people, representing the most populous country in the world except China and Russia, a country which has without exception as much wealth as any two nations in the world combined.

American manufacturers have an especial reason to work for an arbitration board to settle international controversies. The arbitration, however, must be based on justice. We want some tribunal in which the leading nations of the world are represented; one that will consider and adjust peaceably issues in dispute between countries. A court which represents the public sentiment of the world, reinforced if necessary by the armies and the navies of the great nations, will command respect. But in order to bring the right sort of a settlement-and this is the only kind of a settlement which will stay settled-the Peace Tribunal's rulings must be based on the elemental and eternal principles of justice, which appeal to all men.

While no man in this great assemblage would rejoice more sincerely than I would at the establishment of Universal and Eternal Peace, I am compelled by circumstances to say that the United States cannot safely lose sight of Cromwell's injunction to "keep your powder dry." Great Britain, Spain and the United States are to propose, in the Hague Peace Conference in June, a limitation of the armaments of the nations. Russia, Germany and Austria have given notice that they will oppose this proposition. This means that many years must pass before the nations disband their armies and navies, or place any restriction on their expansion. Tennyson's "parliament of man and federation of the world" will not come in the lifetime of anybody in this hall.

wish it were here in 1907, or that we could be assured of getting it in 1917 or 1927, but as practical men we must pay a decent regard to the conditions which confront us.

"To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace." These were the words of a man who was first in Peace as well as first in war. They were the words of a lover of the entire human race-George Washington. And, happily, they are just as applicable to the America of to-day as they were to the America to which they were directed.

The United States must be friendly to all races and all peoples. It must meet all its obligations as a member of the family of nations. When disagreements arise, if they ever do arise, between us and any other nation, we must so order our conduct that it will appeal to the world's sense of fairness and justice. We shall then be able to submit our claims to any intelligent and impartial tribunal with the faith that our position will command the world's approval.

But suppose that, even with the right on our side, justice is denied to us. What then? Then we must accept Davy Crockett's doctrine. Being sure that we are right, we must go ahead.

There are some issues-issues of honor, of principle, of national safety-which cannot consistently be referred to any international tribunal. What would have happened if we had submitted to arbitration that hands-off-the-American-continent warning which Monroe in 1823 directed against the Holy Alliance, which intended to subjugate the little countries to the south of us that had just broken away from Spain? If we had presented our case to any International Tribunal which could have been set up in that day, we would have been thrown out of court. The whole European world, except England, would have been against us. Europe was the only part of the world which was on the map in that day, except the United States, and there were many rulers who thought that the contour of the world's map would be improved if the United States were removed from it.

The world of 1823 would have told us that those little mongrel countries of Central and South America would have been better taken care of if they had remained under Spain's' control than if they were left to manage their own affairs. The arbitrators could easily have shown that Spain was a leader in the world's civilization, with many centuries of history behind her,

« AnteriorContinuar »