Development of the League of Nations Idea: Documents and Correspondence of Theodore Marburg - Vol. 1

Development of the League of Nations Idea: Documents and Correspondence of Theodore Marburg - Vol. 1

Development of the League of Nations Idea: Documents and Correspondence of Theodore Marburg - Vol. 1

Development of the League of Nations Idea: Documents and Correspondence of Theodore Marburg - Vol. 1

Excerpt

The documents and correspondence here published, correspondence conducted by me as chairman of the foreign organization committee of the League to Enforce Peace, disclose several distinct aims. Chief among these are: (a) continuous effort to perfect the project from the day of the first meeting (January 25, 1915) of the American group which initiated the movement for a league of nations to the convening of the Paris Conference (1919); (b) acquainting foreign governments with our purposes: letters from William Howard Taft introducing me to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of fifteen countries enabled me to open up direct communication with them in addition to several Foreign Ministers whom I knew personally and was already in touch with; (c) urging upon the Allies the importance of committing themselves to the principle during the war; (d) that commitment having been secured (January 10, 1917), a further effort to get neutral countries to make like commitments; (e) pressing for the setting up of official committees to study the question with a view to presenting at the Peace Conference, when called, thought-out official plans.

The Bryce Proposals for the Avoidance of War, dated February 24, 1915, reached the American group at its third meeting, March 30, 1915. During the two months which I spent in England in the early part of 1916, Lord Bryce brought me into touch with his associates and with others working on the problem and thereafter the American group and these several British groups cooperated closely throughout the war.

The first intimation I had that we were likely to get what we were asking for, namely the formal acceptance by the Allies of the principle of a league of nations, came to me in a letter from Sir Gilbert Parker dated September 19, 1916, in these words: "I THINK THAT YOUR IDEA OF THE ALLIES DECLARING IN FAVOR OF COMPULSORY INQUIRY, AND A LEAGUE TO ENFORCE IT TO BE SET UP AFTER THE WAR, MAY BE CARRIED OUT, BUT IT HAS NOT BEEN DEFINITELY SETTLED. . . ."

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