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 FIVE

T H E S T R A T E G Y OF
ST R A N G U L A T I O N

"The mere fact that President Wilson wants something is not an argument against it." Philadelphia PUBLIC LEDGER, quoted in the LITERARY DIGEST, December 6, 1919.


1

O N C E T H E Treaty of Versailles was formally before the Senate, it was referred as a malter of course to the powerful Foreign Relations Committee, a traditional graveyard of presidential hopes. The signs did not point to a hospitable reception.

When Congress had convened nearly two months earlier, the Republicans controlled the Senate by a narrow margin, and thus it was that Lodge became head of the Foreign Relations Committee. The "scholar in politics" went to great pains to see to it that the newly appointed members of his committee were not too kindly disposed toward the League.

Four new places were to be filled by Republicans. Kellogg of Minnesota was a logical choice for one of them, but the firmness of his opposition to the League was suspect. Lodge made it clear to him that he might have a place if he would promise in advance to support the chairman's decisions and carry out his policies. But Kellogg's self-respect would not permit him to be a Lodge rubber stamp, and he said as much. The vacancy was then filled by Moses of New Hampshire, a relative newcomer but an unflinching "irreconcilable."

The four new Republican members ( Harding of Ohio, New of Indiana, Johnson of California, and Moses of New Hampshire) were all at least "strong reservationists." Two of them, Johnson and Moses, were among the most active "bitterenders." Of the two new Democratic members (with whose

-72-

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