mind turned away from The Hague and why matters covering the ground of the Hague treaties were entrusted in the Covenant to a political body, the Council of the League of Nations.
IN his address to Congress on January 9, 1918, so anxiously awaited in Europe, Woodrow Wilson placed at the head of his Fourteen Points, outlining "the program of the world's peace . . . the only possible program as we see it," the following conditions:
"Open covenants of peace, openly arrived at, after which there shall be no private international understandings of any kind, but diplomacy shall always proceed frankly and in the public view."
These words caused a profound stir in the chancelleries; for the proposal was quite unexpected and at first sight it seemed impracticable and dangerous. Experienced diplomats argued that it could not possibly be carried out and that to try to do so would be to open up all kinds of new sources of trouble.
But Woodrow Wilson knew what he was doing when he put "Open Covenants" at the head of his list; for it was the clearest illustration of the difference between the old diplomatic system and the new methods of which the League of Nations was to be the vehicle. Of course, what he was advocating would be a breach with diplomatic precedent. Europe had grown used to the blackcoated emissary from the New World. She would get used to the new methods of diplomacy necessitated by the new conditions-- and the sooner the better. Hence the placing of the subject at the head of the list. After well-nigh two generations, we are so used to "diplomacy proceeding" more and more "in the public view" that we have almost forgotten what the conditions were which Woodrow Wilson set himself to redress.