The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, August 03, 1906, Page 4, Image 4

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The Commoner.
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Long Strides Toward Permanent Peace
On iho HrsL day of the fourteenth conference
'of the Interparliamentary Union held at London,
July 23, the report of the Brussol's commission,
giving a proposed modol arbitration treaty, was
Made. This model treaty is to bo submitted to
the noxt'eonforonce at The Hague. Some of the
detail of the proceedings of the London meeting
-will bo found in another column of this issue.
Mr. Bryan offered to the model arbitration
treaty, the following amendment:
"Jf a disagreement should occur between
contracting parties which in the terms of
the proposed arbitration treaty need not be
submitted to arbitration, they shall, before
declaring war or engaging in any hostilities
whatever, submit the question, to The Hague
court or some other impartial international
tribunal for investigation and report, each
party reserving the right to act independently
-On the following day, Mr. Bryan's amend
ment was unanimously adopted after being
-changed in phraseology so as to read:
"If a disagreement should arise which
is" not included in those to be submitted to
arbitration the contracting parties shall not
resort to any act of hostility before they sep
arately or jointly invite, as the case may
necessitate, the formation of the international .
commission of inquiry or meditation of one
or more friendly powers, this requisition to
take plate, if necessary, in accordance- with,
article VITI of The Hague convention provid
ing for a peaceful settlement of international
The Inter-parliamentary Union met in 1904
at the world's fair in St. Louis. ' At this St. Louis
meeting, the unjon called upon the president of
the United States to take the initiative in calling
a new inter-governmental conference to take up
the work left unfinished at The Hague conference
in 1899. Under the instructions of the president,
the. American secretary of state sent, in October
190$, notes to representatives of other govern
ments in linp with the suggestion made at the
St. Louis conference. Favorable responses were
received from all the powers. The Russian gov
ernment, while expressing its sympathy with the
plan, suggested that the conference be postponed
until after the conclusion ot the war with Japan.
As soon as peace was declared between Russia
and Japan, Russia recommended to the president
of .the United States that the conference at The
Hague, as proposed at the St. Louis convention,
be .called,. It is to this conference that the model
arbitration treaty will be submitted.
Mr. Bryan has long urged the adoption of
the plan which, by the action of the London gath
ering,, seems certain to be incorporated in an
international arbitration agreement.
"Writing in The Commoner of February 17
1905 protesting against the continuation of the
war between Russia and Japan, Mr. Bryan said:
"There has been ldlHnn- nn.mi, !.: ., 1
w ft, i tm,SUrd sense of nonor which requires
c hriS? HherG never was a ttme when th
Ghilstlan nations were under a more imperative
duty to throw their influence on the side of
?nCGVi?nd, tb,e ,Uniletl States can wel1 affora to
take the lead because our relations with both
Russia and Japan are such as to relieve us of any
suspicion of selfish interest. And when peace is
11 V Ur natIon 8houW tak0 tne initiative- in
vTnVn arD, ratlon comprehen-
nviinVi -luulJUS W1" uo submitted to-the
35 t to rofnTto' re807!S.e t0 each natIon "?! todlng H it believes
,. u uwia lll0 uuuur or integrity. Such a rvr.
tan"!i,' war a remote possibnlt?"
n WMJ treaties wore ponding before the sen.
7tVT "' ' vUiM' iaub Mr Bryan said
'It is possible, however, to provide for Lim
partial investigation of nJif I IK r, V.le im
SKJl X ?'?on TO.
ta, to enter Into anTgreemen to" fflf JS Tnd
the faeten, ;,' ".le..c?mt Pt8 "Pon
unrtlM. tw Sr -.!.--" " -lsBue between the
na LZT& "onor ofeTtner
mses, remove TSun7, ?""t in.
reconciliation an,! n,,i i. "' ."i "uu ur5 ""out a
do more to nromote peace than the plan embodied
in the treaties submitted by the president. If
such a plan had been in operation the Russian
Japanese war might have been prevented. It is
quite certain that a preliminary investigation by
an impartial board would have prevented most of
the international wars of the last half century,
and would be still more effective in the future."""
Ill The Commonej; of September 15, 1906,
Mr. Bryan addressed an open letter to President "
Roosevelt. This letter was entitled "A Plan "for
Permananent Peace' and was as follows: "To
President Roosevelt: Circumstances placed you
in a position where, as chief executive of the
nation, you were able to bring Russia and Japan
together to effect an honorable peace.
"You performed your duty in a manner
creditable to yourself and to your country. You
have been hailed as a peacemaker and you rea
lize how the peaceful victory thus achieved by
you outshines your military exploits. vWhy not
use the present opportunity to put on foot a move
ment for the establishment of permanent peace?
LaBt winter you asked for authority to enter into
agreements which would be in effect arbitration
treaties and the senate (wisely, I believe) re
fused to surrender the treaty making power. But
now if you had been intrusted with the authority
i.jked you would have hesitated to submit a ques
tion involving the nation's honor and it is not
always possible to know in advance what ques
tions may be involved. "Why not ask congress
for authority to submit all international questions
(when an agreement can not be reached by
parties interested) to an impartial board for in- -vestigation
and report. Investigation will, in
nearly every case, remove the cause of complaint
and , reconcile the parties. Questions which a
nation might be unwilling to submit to arbitra
tion in advance could be settled by investigation
by an impartial international board. "
"Ji. was a glorious thing to end the war be-'
tween the Russ and the Jap but it would have
been more glorious to have prevented the war
and saved the frightful loss of life; The moral
prestige which our nation now enjoys would in
all probability enable it to lead a successful
peace movement The congratulations which you
have received from the heads of European gov
ernments strengthen the chances' of success. If
the leading nations of the world would enter
into an agreement to join in the creation of
such a board and pledge themselves to submit
all disputes to the board for investigation before
declaring war the danger of war would be re
duced to a minimum. Few men have had it in
their power to do so much for humanity will
you improve the opportunity?"
In his speech before the American Society
at London, July 4, 1906, Mr. Bryan said: ""The
Christian nations must lead the movement for
the promotion of peace, not only because they
are enlisted under the banner of the Prince of
Peace, but also because they have attained such
a degree of intelligence that they can no longer
take pride in a purely physical victory. The be
lief that moral questions can be settled by the
. shedding of human blood is a relic of barbarism;1
to doubt the dynamic power of righteousness is
infidelity to truth itself. The nation which is
unwilling to trust its cause to the unLversal con
science or which shrinks from the presentation
of its claims bofore a tribunal where reason holds
sway, betrays a lack of faith in the soundness of
its position. I venture to suggest that the world's
peace would be greatly promoted by an agreement
among the leading nations that no declaration of
war should be made until the submission of the
question in controversy to an impartial court for
investigation, each nation reserving the right to
accept or reject the decision. The preliminary in
vestigation would in almost every instance insure
an amicable settlement and the reserved rights
would be a sufficient protection against any pos
sible injustice."
The work for peace at London must give
great encouragement to those who hope to live
to see war become a thing of the past. In the
light of the results of the London conference
we may say, in the language used by Mr. Bryan
some time ago: "We have reason to believe that
the light of a better day is dawning, and that we'
are about to enter upon an era in which conces
sion will assert its supremacy over brute .force
and the crown of victory be awarded, not to the
nation that has the largest array or the strongest
navy, but to the nation that sets the best example
and contributes the most to the welfare of the
world. When Elijah was fleeing from the wrath
of wicked Jezebel and believed all the prophets
to have been slain, the Lord commanded him to
stand upon the mountain, and as he stood there
a mighty wind swept by him and rent the rocks
asunder, but God was not injhe wind; and after
the wind came an earthquake, but God was not in
the earthquake; and after the earthquake, a flro;
but God was not in the fire; and after the firo,
a still, small voice, and it was the voice of God!
And so, today, throughout the world a"n increas
ing number, standing upon the heights, are com
ing to believe that God is not in the ironclads
that sweep the ocean with: their guns, that God
Is not in the armies that shake the earth with
their tread, or in the fire of musketry, but in the
still, small voice of justice that issues from trib
unals like that instituted at The Hague." '
As this copy of The Commoner may be reaa
by some one not familiar with the details of the
primary pledge plan, it is necessary to Say that
according to the terms of this plan every demo
crat is asked to pledge himself to attend all of
the primaries of his party to be held between
now and the next democratic national convention,
unless unavoidably prevented, and to secure a
clear, honest and straight-forward declaration of
the party's position on every question upon which
the voters of the party desire to speak. Those
desiring to be enrolled can either write, to The
Commoner approving the -object of the organiza
tion and asking to have their names entered on
the roll, or they can fill out and mail the blank
pledge, which is printed on page 15.
Extracts from letters received at The Com
moner office follow:
' H. L. Taylor, New Dale, "W. Va. Enclosed
find twenty signatures to .the primary pledge.
Harry Howard, Latham, Mo. Enclosed find
my primary pledge. Yet, as -my hobby is to at
tend democratic meetings, my signing it will be
of little avail. I am twenty-one years old, and
will cast my first vote in the coming election;
but don't worry over me, for I have studied dem
ocratic principles since I was ten years old, more
studiously than I have studied my school books,
and I have tried not to neglect them. I am not
washed with weeds, but am dyed in the purple.
Have read almost every issue of The Commoner
and consider it very instructive. Now as the
people seem to be indulging in a little bit of un
usual independent thinking, why can't one of
the editors write an article urging these think
ing ones to turn their thoughts and efforts to
ward controlling and making the parties what
they want them to be, instead of looking upon
them with suspicion and forsaking them? I am
a strong believer in partisan politics, and can
see no way for the cause of good government to
be furthered, except through the organized ef
forts of the people. Anything else would simply
mean -confusion. Of course the interests of the
party can not be above the welfare of the people
generally, but every serious effort to reform a
party to an extent advantages the interests of
the people, and every expression of indifference
is hurtful to their cause. Best wishes for the suc
cess of the democratic party.
G. B. Welch, Geneva, Neb. I have often
thought I would add a mite in aid of the staunch
democratic principles for which we stand. A
brother democrat inquired, "In what way would
you name or express your present status?" I
would give expression in the following: "Am a
Jeffersonian democrat and a Lincoln republican,"
and the brother expressed his approval of the
same. Our forefathers suffered, bled, fought and
died that we might have freedom from oppres
sion and will we sit still and let the oppressor
tie ouv hands by legislation until we are in a
worse state than was. the African slave? This
reminds me of old England's tactics. If she
couldn't whip us by force of arms, she will under
mine us by diplomacy or buying us off. I may be
writing some old time facts, but the rational
and fundamental truth remains the same; we all
have an inherited rignt to the Almighty's domain
(a portion) if we prove ourselves worthy citi
zens. I believe The Commoner an important fac
tor to &id in purifying and upholding an elevated
standard of honest government. I have already
spoken of your excellent paper and will endeavor
to spread its usefulness.
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