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cent results of war in the development of courage and stamina must in any conceivable event be shared by so few of our teeming populations that even the most sanguinary must realize that the time has gone by, when, by any stretch of imagination it can be regarded as a general disciplinary agent. (Applause.) And in the controversies of peace and in the bloodless struggles for the maintenance of truth and justice in our personal and civic relations, must be found the arena of the future in which character may find severer tests than ever were afforded by historic battlefield. (Great applause.)
We note with satisfaction the fact that war can now be waged only under onerous conditions, and the increasing pressure of economic considerations for the recognition of the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith. (Applause.) The growth of representative government, with its restraints upon the ambitions of despotism in a just appreciation of the general welfare, our complex commercial relations ignoring national boundaries, and our growing intimacies tending to make the world one society instead of a series of hostile camps (great applause) are reducing the possible causes of armed conflict and powerfully promoting the peaceful settlement of controversies.
Much can undoubtedly be accomplished by the meeting of the representatives of the nations in the direction of perfecting international law and in providing suitable conventions for the regulation of war. No doubt much that is of value can be secured in the more adequate protection of commerce and of property in time of war.
But important as are these objects, the great purpose to be achieved is the prevention of war, and not its regulation. (Great applause.)
Among nations as among men, the requirements of the sentiment of honor are subject to revision as conscience becomes more enlightened and truer conceptions of personal dignity gain place. And it may be reasonably expected that public opinion, taken in connection with the serious economic aspects of war, will gradually reduce the possible area of strife over questions thought to involve the national honor. The controversies which are incident to international business and exchanges, and those which relate to alleged violations of international agreements, may be composed without resort to arms. And without minimizing the con
ditions which still exist, threatening the peace of the world, we have reason to congratulate ourselves that the reign of war is nearly over.
In working for the interests of peace, regard may well be had to the influences which have thus far proved so successful. The end is not to be sought through coercion, or by the vain. attempt to compel peace by force, but by extending to the utmost provisions for deliberation and for conciliatory measures.
The security of peace lies in the desire of the people for peace. Protection against war can best be found in the reiterated expression of that desire throughout the nations of the earth, and by convening their representatives in frequent assemblies. Provision for stated meetings of the Peace Conference with their opportunities for interchanges of official opinion, the perfecting of plans for submissions to arbitration, and the improvement of the machinery of the International Court indicate the lines along which substantial progress may be made.
The people of the State of New York, cordial in their welcome to the delegates to this Congress, will watch its deliberations with sympathetic interest, earnestly desirous that through these meetings the united sentiment of the United States may find effective expression.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: I would just like to say ditto to every word that our Governor has said. (Applause.) I will only keep you a few minutes while I state that we are met to urge the speedy removal of the foulest stain that remains to disgrace humanity, since slavery was abolished-the killing of man by man in battle as a mode of settling international disputes.
This Society welcomes to membership advocates of all forms of opposition to war, from the non-resistant, to him who believes, as many of us do, that it would be our duty to fight when necessary for the enforcement of Arbitration. We prescribe no particular means of accomplishing our aim.
I belong to the class represented by the little boy who was taken to task by his Sunday School teacher for having struck Billy Johnson. "Oh, ma'am," he said, "but Billy Johnson struck me first."
"Oh, my dear, dear boy, that is no excuse for you. Remember that when one strikes you on the right cheek, you are to turn the other also."
"Oh, yes ma'am, that may be so, but Billy struck me on the nose and I have not got another nose to turn to him." (Laughter.)
We care little for the mode-everything for the result. We favor the program of the Interparliamentary Union and wish that powerful organization Godspeed. We support every proposal that makes for peace. We believe with the Prime Minister of Great Britain that:
"The sentiment in favor of peace has become incomparably stronger, and the idea of the arbitration and peaceful adjustment of international disputes has attained a practical potency and moral authority undreamed of in 1898."
We believe the psychological moment approaches when a decided step forward can be made. Personally, I am a convert to the League of Peace idea-the formation of an International Police, never for aggression, always for protection to the peace of the civilized world. It requires only the agreement of a sufficient number of nations to establish this. Since the civilized world is now united by electric bonds into one body in constant and instant communication, it is largely interdependent and rapidly becoming more so. War now involves the interests of all, and therefore one nation has no longer a right to break the peace without reference to others. Nations hereafter should be asked to remember this and not to resort to war, but to settle their disputes peacefully.
Leaving out of sight material interests, the savagery of war, from a moral and religious point of view, cries aloud to civilized man and rouses him to the firm resolve that it shall disgrace our civilization no longer. War never settles who is right but who is wrong. Might, not right, conquers.
This is no new idea, but only the extension of what has already been done. Recently six nations-Germany, Britain, France, Russia, Japan and our own country-combined their forces in China under command of a German General for a specific purpose, which was successfully accomplished. We urge this plan as the easiest and speediest means of attaining International Peace. Suppose these nations, or others, propose at the
Hague Conference that they and such other nations as concur agree to say to the world that no nation shall be permitted to disturb the peace, the nations thus combined would constitute an overwhelming force; peace would be unbroken, for resistance would be folly. Nevertheless, the overwhelming force must be in reserve, each nation agreeing when necessary to exert force to keep peace, and to contribute its agreed-upon quota, just as the six Powers did in China.
Before resorting to force it would be well to begin by proclaiming non-intercourse with the offending nation. No exchange of products, no loans, no military or naval supplies, no mails-these restrictions would serve as a solemn warning and probably prove effective. Force should always be the last resort. Such nations as supply funds and materials of war to others might complain that their interests were unduly affected. The maintenance of peace is, however, always the greatest interest of industrial nations, because for the thousands gained from foreign wars, millions are lost. Peace is the hand-maid of Prosperity.
Let us hope this plan will be submitted to the Hague Conference by the delegates of our Republic. Then the world will know that America stands for peace through a league of powers pledged to maintain it.
Let us determine how the nations stand in regard to this. Who are for effective peace measures? Who are opposed? So holy is our cause that no avowed opponent of Peace can be found, but who will fight for it if it be broken? This is the test. A dream, a fond dream! exclaims the pessimist. Not so fast, not so fast. Consider for a moment the first Hague Conference, which was called for the specific purpose of promoting disarmament. This proved to be a dream, but what was it that came as a reality?-the appointment of a permanent International Tribunal, a High Court of Humanity, to judge between nations and to settle their disputes peacefully-the most unexpected and the most notable of all unlooked-for advances in the history of man, a creation typified by Minerva when she sprang full-armed from the brow of Jupiter. The forming of a League of Peace at the next meeting of that body of men which produced the seemingly miraculous birth of an International Court, would pass as the next step forward in a path already marked out; the legitimate effect of the first astounding miracle. So far from its
consummation being only a dream, it is so near to reality that it lies to-day in the power of one man to found this League of Peace.
Perhaps our President may yet have that part to play. He seems born for great rôles in the world drama. He it was who breathed the breath of life into the Hague Conference by sending five leading powers to it for the settlement of their disputes; who closed the war between Russia and Japan; who recently induced Mexico and several of our neighboring Southern republics to join in remonstrance against war between two of the smaller powers. This first step in the right direction heralds the day when such intervention will be made effective by agreement between the American powers.
I do not believe that the first step that the President has taken through the Secretary of State is going to be the last; I believe that instead of a dream, we shall have an agreement which shall say to the powers of this continent, "Our interests are interdependent and the claims of humanity prevail; you shall not be allowed to disturb the peace, in the preservation of which we are all concerned."
Would that the great peacemaker of the future might be Theodore Roosevelt! Man of many triumphs, this last would lift him to the highest place in history. He is a bold man who ventures to forecast or limit the horoscope of Theodore Roosevelt.
At this moment, however, it is not in his hands but in those of the Emperor of Germany, alone of all men, that the power to abolish war seems to rest. His invitation to form a union of nations for this specific purpose would result in more than six nations gladly responding to his call. And, as in the temporary league of nations in China, so in this grander League, a German General would again rightfully command the allied forces. Much has been written and said of the Emperor as a menace to the peace of Europe, but I think, unjustly. Let me remind you, he has been nearly twenty years on the throne and, so far, is guiltless of the shedding of blood. No international war can be charged to him. His sin hereafter may be one of omission, since having been entrusted with power to abolish war, he failed to rise to this transcendent duty. Let us watch this possible man of destiny, however, and hope that a vision of his true mission. may be revealed to him. A higher no man ever had, if ever