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great appreciation for your good work. (Applause.) (Applause.) And I cannot help thinking on this occasion of those who are absent, of those who have died on the battlefields, of the millions of souls, who, through the ages, will send you the message of love, the message of high appreciation, the message of their congratulations and of high gratitude for your good and noble work. (Applause.)
Ladies and gentlemen, His Excellency the President of the United States of America is one of the great peace-makers of the world. (Applause and cries of "Hear! Hear!") His letter to the National Arbitration and Peace Congress has opened new fields and has established new hopes at which we all should rejoice, and at this happy moment, when we all pray for Peace and Arbitration, let us drink his health, the health of President Roosevelt. (Great applause.)
To the health of the President of the United States. Ali stand and drink.
(The audience all rose and drank the toast amid cheers.)
It seems like an act of supererogation to introduce the next speaker to any assembly of English-speaking men in any part of the world. (Applause.) If there be one objection to him it is, that he knows too much about us. (Applause.) There is no use in trying to put on a good face. There is no use in trying to dissemble, to hide our few faults, or to expose our numerous virtues. This man knows them all better than most of us, and he is here representing His Majesty from Great Britain, as Earl Grey is representing him from Canada. I will say nothing more about him, for every intelligent man and woman knows him. (Applause.) I have great pleasure in introducing to you the Right Honorable James Bryce, Ambassador Extraordinary from his Britannic Majesty to the United States. (Great applause.)
MR. CHAIRMAN, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: First, let me thank you for the great kindness of your reception. I cannot tell you how deeply I feel the kindness with which here, and
on many other occasions, I have been received in this country. To me it is not a foreign country. I feel that I am among friends. (Applause.) Ladies and gentlemen, let me say at once that it is a great pleasure to see so many ladies here to-night. (Applause and laughter.) I pass over the other reasons (laughter), but I say it is a great pleasure to know that women are throwing their influence, as they ought to throw it, and it is a powerful influence, upon the cause which brings us together. Now, Mr. Carnegie, ladies and gentlemen, this is the end of the fourth day, on which able speakers, distinguished men from both sides of the ocean, have been descanting on the horror and the folly of war and upon the blessings of Peace. There has been a great array of authority on the side of Peace. You have printed in the paper distributed to us to-night a list of extracts from every President of the United States, culminating in the one from your present President, who has also sent a message of sympathy to this Congress, and who is like my own Sovereign and like the Canadian Sovereign, King Edward VII, a true friend of Peace. (Applause.)
Let me add that it is with the greatest pleasure that we have received the further testimony which has been given by my friend and colleague, the Ambassador of Mexico from the distinguished President of that great state. (Applause.)
We have also had a great weight of argument in favor of Peace. Members of this Congress have shown to one another's satisfaction that war is irrational, that it is immoral, that it is unphilosophical, that it is unchristian; and they have also shown, which perhaps it is well to do in a commercial center like New York, that it is unprofitable. (Laughter.) In fact, it is bad business. The argument is complete; and I congratulate you, Mr. Carnegie, upon the success which has attended this Congress, upon the impression which it has made, not only, I think, in America, but also upon the world at large. And I think we may all congratulate you, who have done so much for so many years in this cause, that this Congress has proved so great a success. (Applause.)
But, when we are satisfied that we have proved war to be wrong, how much further have we got? What about the future? We may look back on the past and be able to say, with some confidence, that war in the past has almost always been unneces
sary. I will venture to say that in the last sixty years there has been only one war which could have been called necessary; that is to say, only one war the object of which was worth fighting for, and which object could not have been obtained by peaceful means. I am not going to tell you what war that was. (Great laughter and applause.) Everybody might not agree with the particular war which I have in mind. (Laughter.) Therefore I will leave the name of that war blank and everybody can fill it up according to his own pleasure.
Let us think a little of the future. What are we going to do to prevent war in the future? Suppose some cynical critic should come and say to us: Ladies and gentlemen, you have had a successful Congress, because you are now agreed. You came here being friends of Peace and believers in Peace. You are, according to the French saying, "Preaching to the converted," but you ought to bring in the unconverted; you ought to preach to them; you ought to try to convince, not only one another, but those whom the Scripture calls "The people that delight in war." Are we doing that? Our cynic will continue: What result, he will say, do you expect to attain by your resolutions? Are you not rather like a congress of sheep, with irreproachable white fleeces (laughter) who are met together to pass resolutions entreating the wolves to leave off biting? (Laughter.) You must get after the wolves, you must put pressure on the wolves, you must remove the causes which in the past have made for war. Now, that ought to lead us to ask, how it is that war has come about? I think that the phenomena are fairly familiar to many of us. A difference arises between two nations. Each nation knows and sees and thinks only of its own side. It doesn't know-it doesn't often care to knowthe side of the other nation. They state the case of their own nation very fully and they neglect altogether to state the case of the other nation. They exaggerate altogether the object dispute, and they tell the nation that its honor is involved in fighting for it. They collect every spiteful, angry or malicious word that is spoken in the newspapers of the other nation and publish it to the nation in which they are, and they omit everything that can soften feeling and mitigate hostility. In that way they lash the people into a fury. The governments get frightened; the governments drift with the tides and war is declared.
We all know that in times past wars have come about in this way. And one of the saddest outcomes of it is that not only do the wolves rush in and become masters of the field, but that many of those innocent sheep, who were meeting in congresses and passing resolutions in favor of Peace, turn into wolves themselves. (Laughter and applause.)
I am afraid that at the bottom of the most of us there is a little touch of the wolfish element; and when a nation gets excited, when people lose their heads under the stimulus of passion, the wolf comes to the top. Now, whose fault is it that these things happen? Is it the fault of the governments? I don't deny that governments, which ought to know and generally do know, more about the merits of the case than the people know, are sometimes weak and fail to assert their own views with sufficient firmness, but they say that the nation wants them to go to war. Is it the fault of the newspapers? We all know that the newspapers do often fan the flame and spread the flame,—but why do they do it? Because the newspapers believe that they are pleasing the people. The newspapers want to please the people; they don't want to displease the people; they want to give the people what they think the people want to have. Ladies and gentlemen, it isn't for us to blame the newspapers. The press of every country is what the country makes it. (Applause.) Every nation has exactly the sort of newspaper it deserves. (Applause.) I am afraid that in the last resort the cause of the breaking out of war rests with the people. It is because the people forget those excellent maxims which they had supposedly believed in and adhered to in quiet times; because they are carried away by the passion, which works like a fever in the air and carries them into that course which they were previously resolved to avoid. Now, if that is so, and I am afraid the recollections of many of us can confirm it, if that is so, what can we do to prevent in the future what we have so often seen in the past? How shall we prevent nations from losing their heads? There are, I think, three expedients, three possible expedients that may be suggested.
The first is that every nation should endeavor to reduce the pride it feels in its large military and naval forces, because the possession of those large naval and military forces necessarily leads it to desire to use the armament for which it has been
taxing itself so heavily. Now, I do not deny that the question of the limitation of armament is an extremely difficult question. Everyone knows the obstacles there are to a simultaneous reduction of armament by the great powers. The object is one of such extreme importance that it ought to be seriously studied, kept before the minds of all the great nations, presented to them on every occasion when they gather together, so that, if possible, some attempt may be made to solve this difficult and yet immensely important problem. It doesn't get any easier by waiting. The difficulties do not diminish while you wait, and the armaments go on increasing. I do believe that it will be the duty of the Hague Conference to address itself in an earnest spirit to this question, and even if it is not possible now to bring about that system which we all desire, at any rate let the question be seriously studied and let an effort be made to advance one stage toward its solution. (Applause.)
The second measure we may take is that of endeavoring to frame general treaties of arbitration, treaties with a wider scope than arbitration treaties have generally had in the past. Treaties which will embrace every case where a disinterested third party could enable two nations to adjust their differences. It is not always possible to have a judicial decision, but much is gained in getting a dispassionate third party, such as the Court of the Hague Tribunal, to suggest some course that will enable them to find a common solution. There are many cases in which a nation is told that its honor is involved, and its own honor is dear to a nation. But if there is a Court of Arbitration which can tell the nation that its honor will not suffer by making a concession, it becomes easier for the nation to make the concession and the danger of a conflict is averted. (Applause.)
Let us earnestly hope that this sitting of the Hague Tribunal may devote itself to the question of constituting a permanent body, which cannot be too authoritative, and of investing that body with the widest powers that the arbitration treaties can give it as arbitrator or as mediator in the largest possible number of cases of difference. (Applause.)
Lastly, although it is quite true that a Congress like this cannot hope to avert the advent of those crises, which in times past have frequently ended in war, still it surely can do a great deal in endeavoring to diffuse among the masses of the people