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We have with us a gentleman who represents twenty-one republics. His voice should count. He is ex-Minister to Colombia and he is now Director of the International Bureau of American Republics at Washington. It gives me great pleasure to introduce the Hon. John Barrett.
The Permanency of the Pan-American Union JOHN BARRETT.
If one fact stands out more prominently than any other before the world in regard to the International Conferences of the American Republics, it is that these assemblages are now recognized as coming at regular intervals and as accomplishing great and significant results. Their bearing on the peace and good relations of the countries of the western hemisphere cannot be overestimated. They have so much to do with promoting harmony of interests among the nations concerned that all other Governments of the world, especially those of Europe, must concede that they are second only in international significance to those gathering at The Hague. While all kinds of questions affecting the mutual welfare of the American Republics come before them for consideration and discussion, the one central thought inspiring the best effort on the part of the delegates is that the resolutions debated or approved tend to promote a better understanding and truer friendship among them all.
The three Conferences that have been held during the last fifteen years have been notable successes. They have accomplished far more than is commonly supposed. They have been attended by the ablest men of the different nations participating, and they have adjourned only after the majority of the delegates felt that they had satisfactorily concluded their labors. Like all Conferences they have passed numerous resolutions and made many recommendations which have not been formally accepted or approved by the respective Governments of the delegates signing such documents, but they have set many wheels of Pan-American activities in motion that would never have been started otherwise. It is, moreover, safe to say that they have acted as a deterring influence, not only on wars between American nations, but on revolutions within the limits of different countries. Since
these Conferences first began to assemble, the American Republics have been getting closer and closer together, and the number of revolutions has greatly decreased. Because at the moment there may be a struggle going on among some of the smaller States of Central America, there can be no conclusion drawn adverse to the tranquillity and good relations of the great and powerful Republics of Latin America, from Mexico, on the north, to Brazil, Argentina and Chili, on the south.
If all the Pan-American Conferences had accomplished nothing else than the establishment of the International Bureau of the American Republics, they would have done enough to warrant their being called together. This institution, which is supported by twenty-one independent nations of the western hemisphere, is becoming a powerful international agency, not only for the promotion of commerce and trade, but for the cementing of closer ties of friendship and association. Ever since it was founded sixteen years ago, as a result of the First Pan-American Conference, which assembled in Washington during 1889, and was presided over by James G. Blaine, it has gradually grown in usefulness until now its value and possibilities are acknowledged from the United States to Argentina. The Second PanAmerican Conference, which assembled in Mexico in 1901-02, enlarged its scope, while the Third Conference, which gathered in Rio Janeiro in 1906, laid out a most ambitious plan for its work in the future. The action of the last Conference was so closely followed by the great diplomatic journey of the Secretary of State of the United States, Mr. Elihu Root, and this, in turn, by such an awakening of interest throughout the United States in Latin America, and throughout Latin America in the United States, that now the International Bureau is conducting a correspondence and carrying out a policy that must give it a unique position of prominence and power in the opinion of the world.
When that distinguished philanthropist, Mr. Andrew Carnegie, recently presented the International Bureau with $750,000 as a New Year's gift with which to construct a new building, he worthily described it as an American Temple of Peace. When President Roosevelt thanked Mr. Carnegie, he remarked that this Bureau should perform a work for the western hemisphere not unlike that of The Hague Institution for all the world. In the correspondence which Secretary Root conducted with Mr. Car
negie in reference to this gift, he pointed out that a new era was certainly dawning in the relations of the American Republics, which would be characterized by peace, prosperity, and the advancement of mutual interests.
There is nothing whatever antagonistic to the policies of European countries in the policy and plan of the International Bureau. To-day its Monthly Bulletins circulate in large numbers throughout Europe and are found in the legations and consulates of European countries in all parts of the world. European trade publications and newspapers quote from its pages, while the Bureau's correspondence department is continually receiving and answering large numbers of letters of inquiry from Europe about commercial opportunities in Latin America. The Bureau is not bound or expected to assist European interests, but it is too big and broad an institution to show any antagonistic attitude. There is plenty of room in Latin America for the commerce of all the world. The United States has no desire to retard the growth of European trade in her sister Republics, but holds that there is abundance of opportunity for the United States and Europe alike; and, in turn, the United States Government, in the hope of seeing South America reaching out for wider markets in the United States, trusts that she will also build up and extend her trade in Europe as well as in the United States, and thereby bring about a greater prosperity for all concerned.
The United States has never fully appreciated the vast importance and signal success of the visit to South America of its distinguished Secretary of State, Mr. Elihu Root. It is beginning now, after nearly a year has passed, to realize that no other Secretary of State in the history of the United States has accomplished so much for the promotion of international friendship as has Mr. Root in this extraordinary tour. He did more for the removal of distrust of the policies of the United States throughout South America and for the upbuilding of mutual confidence and goodwill, than the work of a hundred years of ordinary diplomatic procedure and intercourse. Had he been the President of the United States or of France, the Emperor of Germany, or the King of England, of Spain, or of Italy, he could not have been given a more enthusiastic welcome or been treated with a more magnificent display of cordiality than he, as Secretary of State of the United States, received from one end of South America to
the other. The benefits of his meeting representative South Americans, coming into contact with their statesmen and people, addressing them directly about the purposes of the United States, and studying their political conditions and material resources, will grow with the passing of years and result in that perfect international American comity which should permanently characterize the relations of all the nations of the western hemisphere.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: A prominent Englishman who visited Washington last week noticed that the statues on the squares and in the parks were nearly all those of war heroes. If I read the signs of the times aright, the statues that we will see in Washington during the next generation, the new ones, will be the statues of the Heroes of Peace. (Applause.)
The next speaker represents one of the handmaidens of Peace-education. He is a prominent publisher and eminent citizen of Boston. It gives me pleasure to introduce to you Mr. Edwin Ginn, of Boston. (Applause.)
The International School of Peace
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: Before commencing my short speech I wish to state briefly my dissent from the assertions that have been made here that we need large armies and navies, larger and larger, to protect the nations of the earth. (Applause.) We are suffering to-day from a hysteria of fear. Armies and navies have constantly been increasing. Is fear among the nations lessening? I am afraid not. My suggestion would be that we create an international police force to safeguard the nations, rather than increase the capacity of each nation for destroying the other. (Applause.) I would suggest, not a further burden of military power, but that the nations together agree to allow five per cent. of their present armament toward the formation of an international military guard. If this force were found to work harmoniously and effectively, in another three or four years the nations would say: "Let us give ten per cent. of our present armament"; and when they came to realize that this force was
sufficient to guard the interests of all, there would be no further need of these immense military forces, and they would naturally fade away.
We have had brought to our attention many times the horrors of war; we know that from the beginning of time until the present moment, the activity and wealth of the nations has been largely employed in the preparation for war and in actual contests. Much of this active warfare is past. What we now have to contend with chiefly is the continuous preparation for war, which is taking a large proportion of the surplus earnings of the world and a large number of able-bodied men from productive employment. A few years ago it was computed that there were 34,000,000 men the world over, either permanently or temporarily under arms, 5,000,000 of whom were constantly employed in this way. The expense attending these preparations for war cannot be estimated at less than two thousand million dollars annually, and the value of the time of these men engaged in warlike pursuits, if employed in productive labor, would amount to another two thousand million dollars. You may say that this burden comes mainly upon the rich. I wish it were so. But from China, Japan and Russia comes the cry of starving millions, victims of this cruel system. If but one-tenth of the money now being spent by Japan and Russia for warlike purposes was expended for food for their hungry subjects, it would not be necessary for them to appeal to outside nations for help.
It is well for us to come together in these conventions to bring home to the people afresh the horrors and waste of war; but if, when they are over, we go to our homes, take up our ordinary vocations and do nothing until another year rolls around, it will be a long time before the present pernicious system will be done away with. The Peace Societies are doing the best they can with the money at their command. Good books are being circulated. Other forces are at work in the right direction. But we are not reaching the people.
I do not find anywhere to-day a stronger arraignment of the present war system than that of Bloch, Sumner, Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Channing, Garrison and others; yet all these efforts have not succeeded in lessening the preparations for war. Never before in the history of the world have the outlays in this direction been so enormous. The nations are straining every