THE ECONOMIC SETTLEMENT
BY ALLYN ABBOTT YOUNG
Half of the Treaty of Versailles is made up of economic provisions. These provisions comprise literally hundreds of separate and distinct stipulations. Read them with any care and imagination and you will construct for yourselves, I venture to say, a better picture of how the treaty was made--of how it must inevitably have been made--than you will get from most of the published accounts of the Peace Conference.
No four men, you will decide, wrote those clauses. Undoubtedly, the members of the Council of Four considered them, passed upon them, altered them at certain points, and of necessity assumed a final responsibility for them. Undoubtedly, too, a number of particularly knotty points, on which agreement was difficult, must have been referred to them for solution. And back of these hundreds of clauses, it will occur to you, there must have been a thousand complex facts--facts of history, of geography, of international law, of precedents, of past or existing treaties, of faith to be kept, of economic needs, of national interests and policies, and of domestic politics. Many men, you will conclude, must have had a hand in the making of the treaty, and for that task they must have needed all the knowledge and all the preparation they could command.
This much, I think, is no more than a fair inference