« AnteriorContinuar »
war among the nations of the world shall once and for all be shunned from the face of the earth and give way to the higher, nobler, and more humane purpose of Peace and humanity. I come to you with that clarion call of labor, expressive of the hope that through the International Court, now established, resolve may be crystallized into eternal Peace. But, lest these hopes be dissipated, it may not be amiss for all to bear in mind that in the last analysis the masses of the people of every country have it in their hands to exert their own giant power to compel Peace, and that if otherwise thwarted, they will not hesitate to exert it. (Applause.)
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: You know the time when the best wine was reserved for the last. Well, I am not going to specify quite so clearly as that, but certainly there is in every country some man distinguished for his virtue. In times of trouble and doubt, when the country hesitates, does not see clearly which way it ought to go, what is its duty, we have a man whose clarion voice rings out so clearly, so truly, you never have to pause for a moment to know just what he stands for and what he means; and he always means and he always stands for that which he sees to be right. We have such a man here to-night. The difference between British Universities, as far as I know, and our own universities is nothing more than this: that we have men at the head of our universities who speak to the nation from the high standpoint of disinterestedness and tell the nation, from their superior education and wider outlook, what the nation should do, what path it should tread-the path of righteousness. I call upon one, the foremost voice of that kind in this country-President Eliot, of Harvard.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: At this late hour I feel the urgent need of being brief; but I want to follow for a few moments in the steps of my dear friend, the British Ambassador, and to ask at this final period of this great Congress, what action we are prepared to recommend? I have heard, even very lately, many doubtful expressions as to the possibility of bringing a meeting like this to a conclusion which the statesmen of the world will call
profitable. Now, I do not want to deal with any vision or hopes merely. I want to deal only with established facts, with things done and reasonable inferences from things done, and with things which can be done before long. I want to point out what the past has realized which is of promise for the near future.
Our friend, Mr. Bryce, spoke of the common origins of wars, and described them justly in their most familiar forms. He seemed to me, however, not to make quite adequate mention of a very common cause or antecedent condition of war, namely, the dense ignorance of one people concerning the disposition, purposes, and qualities of another people (applause), and the distrust which results from this ignorance. Now, in this respect the world has made great gains during the past fifty years; we have recorded great gains in regard to mutual intercourse and mutual comprehension, and I believe that one of the next things we ought to do is to take careful, wise, practical steps toward increasing the amount of international publicity, and therefore the mutual acquaintance and mutual intercourse of one people with another. (Applause.) Conceive, ladies and gentlemen, what new powers we have for promoting this intercourse and getting acquainted. Conceive what new powers applied science has furnished the world with in steam communication and electric speech. Conceive how these new powers can be further utilized to this good end of mutual knowledge and sympathy. It would be better if the civilized nations of the world would unite in carrying on an international bureau of publicity, just as a few of the civilized nations united to keep blazing the great lighthouse on Cape Spartel, when the government in whose territory the light is situated would not undertake the duty of maintaining it. If we could extend that co-operative mode of action, so that there would be in every capital of the world, in every port where the exports and imports of two or more nations are constantly exchanged, in every great frontier city, and every great center of distribution, an impartial, intelligent, expert agent for international publicity, reporting steadily and with dispatch to one central publication office, an effective security would be provided for International Peace. We already know the way to organize and conduct such an enterprise. The news agencies of the commercial world have shown us how; the press of the world, the dailies and weeklies and the magazines have shown us
how. If the nations will not thus combine, four or five rich men, public-spirited, humane, desiring to serve their countries and the world, could do it without national aid of any sort. I would undertake to name-I need not name them-four or five Americans who together are capable of doing this great service to the whole world. (Applause.)
We have rejoiced in everything that has been said about the institution of the tribunal of The Hague, one of the greatest triumphs of civilization within the lives of those here present. But the good work is not yet finished. A court ought to have a force behind it. What sort of a force does the Hague Tribunal need? A police force. We have seen one example of certain civilized nations uniting to constitute a police force and using that power-the expedition to Pekin. We know how the idea of a police force and the exercise of police powers have developed and improved during the last fifty years. This is a form of force which human society will long need, will need century after century-the protective force. It is the force that keeps order, that keeps the peace, that brings aid in disaster, and stands behind every court of justice with a power sufficient to execute the court's decrees. Now, that is the international force which needs to be provided; and again we know the way to do it. The nations of the world have taught the way within their own boundaries. An international police would be only an extension of the idea everywhere familiar, of the police force which now in all civilized communities protects the great majority of citizens against the disorders of a small minority. What a delightful reflection it is that here we see the way to maintain on a large scale that kind of force which should lie behind all government, essentially protective in its nature, and rarely used for any other purpose. I say that such a force will be needed for many a century to come. We need not regret it. When the angels sang above the plains of Bethlehem, they said, "Peace on earth to men of good-will." There are always in the world men of evil will, and force will be needed to control them. It is the moderate police force that is needed for that control, not the huge armies and navies. (Applause.)
Again, the world has learned and put in practice the doctrine of neutralization, and we only need an extension of that doctrine. How instructive is the lesson of the neutralization of
Switzerland, of the neutralization of the Suez Canal. How simple would be the extension of neutralization to all the great routes of commerce, provided we had an international naval police to enforce the neutralization.
I have thus far spoken, ladies and gentlemen, as if I did not recognize that human passion and human ill-will have had much to do with the warfare which has desolated the world. It is indeed true, however, as the British Ambassador said, that passion and misguided sentiment often cause war. Now, there is one sentiment which is especially apt to cause war, and sometimes the bitterest kind of war. I mean the sentiment about what is falsely called "National Honor." In spite of the immense visible progress made in the arbitration of disputes between nations-sixty cases lately in three years-we hear, now on this side of the world and now on the other, that there are questions arising between nations which cannot be arbitrated, because they are questions of national honor. That is a fearful misuse of the term. (Applause and cries of "Hear! Hear!") The honor of a nation is said to be violated if its flag is ever hauled down in a land over which it has once waved. Now, we of the United States have lately learned and taught something on that subject; we hauled down our flag in Cuba (applause) and never, never, was a more honorable act done by a government or a nation. (Applause and cries of "Hear! Hear!") Before that incident of the Russian fleet firing upon British fishermen in the North Sea with fatal effect, should we not have said that such an outrage would be held to have stained the honor of England, and that the stain could only be washed out in blood? England found another way to wash out that stain-a better way. (Applause.) If there were no other outcome of this Congress than this,that we offered to the world a new definition of national honor, it would be enough. The duellist's notion of wiping out a stain on his honor by killing or wounding, is the one which has prevailed among nations. We need a purer, juster and more generous idea of honor. We need to associate with honor and courage, gentleness and justice. We should all abandon this barbaric notion of wiping out a stain on our honor by shedding innocent blood. (Applause.)
Time forbids that I go further. I trust that I have indicated practical measures, practical extensions of principles and
practices already at work in the world. We need not class ourselves with visionaries, with people who hope for the impossible. We desire to class ourselves with men and women who, seeing how much has been done wisely and effectively for the promotion of Peace, say-Let us go and do likewise-only more. plause.)
Ladies and gentlemen, the Secretary will now read letters and telegrams from the crowned heads of the world.
(Mr. Ely read selections from the letters and telegrams found on later pages.)
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN OF THE PEACE AND ARBITRATION CONGRESS: I think it is time that we were getting a proper conceit of ourselves (laughter) according to these messages.
Now, I have an announcement to make to you. A gentlemen who has made an address at the other banquet-and I am informed that there were even more people at that as many at least as there are here has kindly consented to come over and deliver the last speech of the evening. I take pleasure in calling upon him because at London at the Conference of the Interparliamentary Union, he rendered a great service to the cause of Peace by a suggestion which had Shakespeare's line in view,
"Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper sprinkle cool patience."
And this suggestion is that before going to war, or committing any hostile act, there shall be time taken to produce patience. have great pleasure in calling upon the Honorable William Jennings Bryan to address the meeting. (Great applause, the audience rising as Mr. Bryan took the platform.)
MR. CHAIRMAN, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: In looking over the program and the list of speakers I find that you have heard some diplomats; that you have heard representatives of the wageearners in the factories; that you have heard from the distinguished educator of Massachusetts; and your Chairman repre