Wilson and the Peacemakers: Combining Woodrow Wilson and the Lost Peace and Woodrow Wilson and the Great Betrayal

By Thomas A. Bailey | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TEN

THE BATTLE OF
RESERVATIONS

"He [ Wilson] can not pass his treaty without some kind of reser
vations and he should have seen this a month ago." SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR LANE, September 11, 1919.


1

AS Wilson lay on his bed of pain, battling for his very life, the struggle in the Senate over the treaty moved into its final stages.

On September 10 the Senate committee finally relinquished the treaty from the strangle hold which it had been maintaining for the two months since July 14. The majority report, which was signed by Lodge and eight fellow Republicans, is a unique document.

Lodge denied at the outset that the committee had been unduly dilatory; surely it was entitled to a few weeks in which to consider this momentous pact. It was also handicapped by the unwillingness of the President to provide information, and by the necessity of having to ferret out data of its own. And as far as speed was concerned, how about the Allies? Great Britain had "very naturally" ratified at once (a suggestion of sinister British designs); but France, Italy, and Japan had not yet acted.

The popular clamor for haste, continued the report, was largely, "artificial." It had been fomented by administration forces, by banking firms (the malign hand of Wall Street), and by the "unthinking outcry" of ignorant but well-meaning citizens who had not read the treaty beyond' the words "League of Nations." Yet these were the people who were certain that the pact would bring about a beatific state of "eternal peace."

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