The Essentials of International Public Law and Organization

By Amos S. Hershey | Go to book overview

CHAPTER V
THE PARIS TREATIES AND AFTER, 1919-1925
86c. The Wilsonian Principles. -- In an address to Congress on January 8, 1918, President Wilson announced "the program of the world's peace," including the famous Fourteen Points1 which, together with four subsequent addresses of President Wilson's and eight diplomatic notes exchanged between the President and the German Government during October and November, 1918, were formally accepted by the Allies as well as by Germany as the legal basis of the Armistice and the Peace Settlement.With slight abridgements, the Fourteen Points which were to constitute the main basis of the peace, and which may also be considered as fundamental principles of a proposed New World Order, were thus stated by President Wilson:
"1. Open convenants of peace, openly arrived at, . . .2
____________________
1
In respect to the Fourteen Points there was one reservation made by the Allies -- that relating to the "freedom of the seas" (see below, note 3) -- and a modification or interpretation of the meaning of "restoration" (see below, note 8) as used by President Wilson.

The subsequent addresses were: the Address to Congress on Feb. 11, 1918 (containing the Four Principles); the Speech at Baltimore on April 6, 1918; the Speech at Mount Vernon on July 4, 1918 (stating the Four Ends or Objects); and the Speech at New York on Sept. 27, 1918 (with the Five Particulars).

For the text of these speeches, see 1 Temperley, Hist. of the Peace Conference of Paris ( 1920-24), 431-48. With the exception of the two latter, they are also printed in Scott, Pres. Wilson's Foreign Policy ( 1918). For the text of the Fourteen Points, see Scott, op. cit., 359-62 or 1 Temperley, op. cit., 433-35. They may also be found in Latané, Isolation to Leadership ( 2d ed., 1923), 205 ff. These should be read in the light of Premier Lloyd George's statement of British War Aims on January 5, 1918. See 1 Temperley, op. cit., 189-92.

For the text of the diplomatic notes referred to in the text, see 1 Temperley, op. cit., 448-58.

2
It is added: "after which there shall be no private international understandings of any kind, but diplomacy shall proceed always frankly and in the public view."

Obviously, under the conditions which existed there, this point could be observed very imperfectly at Paris in 1919; but it: nevertheless constitutes an ideal or a fundamental principle of the New Diplomacy which can be increasingly realized under a New World Order.

-125-

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