The Neutrality Policy of the United States

By Julia E. Johnsen | Go to book overview

has recognized the legitimacy of existing cooperative arrangements for preventing such conduct, and the impropriety of perfect neutrality in the presence of such occurrences.

In the new situation it would appear that if the terms war and neutrality are retained at all as terms of international law, their significance will be greatly changed. What has heretofore been called an act of war, becomes under the pact either a criminal breach of the peace, an act of self-defense or an act of international police. As the legal consequences of each would be very different, the situation of states engaged in these different acts should not longer be characterized by the common term, war. Similarly what has heretofore been called neutrality becomes the situation of states, not actively engaged in illegal violence or its suppression, but bound, to paraphrase Grotius, "to do nothing to strengthen the side of the pact breaker," or which may hinder the movements of his adversaries. Such a situation conforms more to the idea of "partiality" than of neutrality. It is believed that the rights and duties of states in a condition of "partiality" might well engage the attention of jurists, particularly in the United States.


NEUTRALITY AND WAR PREVENTION6

It is proposed that we refuse to protect our citizens or their property in time of war; that we give the belligerent a free hand to do anything that he wishes; that we shut ourselves up within our own gates and pocket our losses and our pride. If we are determined to stay neutral, this is probably the only way in which it can be done without war on our part; but consider the consequences. I suggest three results to you.

____________________
6
From discussion by Clyde Eagleton, Professor of Government, New York University. American Society of International Law. Proceedings. 1935. p. 130-3.

-238-

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