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our forests and our crops are destroyed. It is not sufficient to rely upon the States. The reliance is vain, and were it otherwise, the question is whether the United States is forbidden to act.
We are of the opinion that the treaty and statute must be upheld. Cary v. South Dakota, 250 U. S. 118.
Decree affirmed. Mr. Justice Van Devanter and Mr. Justice Pitney dissent.
BOOK REVIEWS 1
Present Problems in Foreign Policy. By David Jayne Hill. New
York: D. Appleton & Co. 1920. pp. 361. $1.50 net.
This is a volume of essays upon subjects of international importance, most of which now interest the statesmen of the world especially from the point of view of each of the participants in the Great War; they tend largely in the direction of a unity of purpose as well as a community of organized effort amongst all nations to secure that political and commercial harmony which shall become the basis of a lasting peace.
The collection of seven or eight papers which the author has subdivided here into that many chapters of his book is made up of articles published heretofore by him in The North American Review, or of addresses delivered upon appropriate occasions before the George Washington University. Their most important headings, as, for instance: “The Entente of Free Nations," "The Obstruction of Peace," "The Corporate Character of the League of Nations," “The Treaty-Making Power under the Constitution of the United States,” “The President's Challenge to the Senate,'' sufficiently indicate the character of the material of which they are composed and show the wide range of the discussions incidental to them; to which, it may be said at the outset, Dr. Hill has devoted a ripened scholarship as well as a mature judgment derived from long experience in these matters.
Indeed, there are few Americans of today whose career in public life has brought them more closely into contact with the foreign relations of the United States, or with questions of international law in general. For as Assistant Secretary of State, as Minister Plenipotentiary and Ambassador, his intimate acquaintance with the actual practice in intercourse between the great Powers abroad gives him the right to speak with authority where these legal and political
1 The Journal assumes no responsibility for statements made or views ex• pressed in signed book reviews.-ED.
questions are concerned. We should say that, amongst the strongest impressions which one obtains from the careful reading of his essays is perhaps that of the tranquillity and fairness with which Dr. Hill approaches the consideration of these questions, many of which have frequently become, and are even now, the sources of violent disagreement or acrimonious debate.
This does not mean, of course, that he has not made up his mind or that he has no decided opinion in regard to them; for, on the contrary, he gives evidence of an exceedingly definite and very conclusive opinion, at which he has arrived after deliberate consideration and reasoning and into the course of which he invites the reader or student to follow as he proceeds with the development of his theme. This is especially true in regard to his treatment of the League of Nations.
Every international lawyer and statesman whose contact with colleagues or opponents in the establishment of mutual friendly relations between the peoples of different countries, or the composure of disputes arising from diversity of traditions or of purpose, has learned that sentiment is not to be looked upon as a determining factor in examining or treating international questions; because these, like any other negotiations in the political or commercial world, are to be met and disposed of by arrangements which, whilst avoiding conflict, shall ultimately safeguard the aims and interests of the parties most directly concerned.
Consequently each takes in such matters, as it is natural that he should, the point of view which most nearly coincides with the principle of administration and the attainment of the national purposes of his countrymen where these meet and touch, or are in any wise brought within the range of the public interests of other people. Dr. Hill's attitude is consistently American, as we should expect it to be, and always within the limits of his just and complete rights. We sympathize and agree with him when he says, for example, in speaking of the plan proposed for a League of Nations: “We do not wish to be misunderstood in Europe by the representation that we went into this war with the purpose, or for the end of creating a League of Nations. We have not, as a people, studied the project. We do not even know what it is. Of one thing some of us are sure, we do not wish or intend to be bound in the dark or to be controlled by abstract terms that would make us shrink from keeping our obliga
tions in a concrete way; and we know that nothing is more illusive than the requirements of a treaty, unless it is very precise and treats of matters clearly and definitely known. And,” he continues, "it must be emphasized that no one Power can expect, or should desire, to impose upon others a system of which they do not all heartily approve; for, if any plan is to be permanent and effective it must have the support not only of the leading governments but of the masses of the people whom these governments represent.'
He gives us a very timely warning in this regard, which ought to be, and is, of value to the reflecting portion of the population of this country before whom the precise question of the approval by the United States of such a league is likely to become one of the foremost elements of conflict in the approaching Presidential campaign, in which each citizen is to determine for himself whether he will take sides in favor of it or not. Any one who wishes to obtain a judicial statement of the case may find it in Dr. Hill's chapter entitled: “The Entente of Free Nations,” which it will be profitable for him to read.
Without undertaking to analyze the peculiar forms proposed for an international constitution, as the fundamental law regulating the legislative, judicial and executive powers of such an international government—which will control the governments of the nations that subscribe to it-Dr. Hill points out that: “to possess any efficiency these powers must detract in large degree from the powers of the national governments and involve a considerable sacrifice of their sovereignty. Every scheme for a League of Nations requires this surrender in some degree, for every such league creates in some form a supernational body of control to which the members agree to submit. Membership in such a league, of necessity, implies the renunciation of any independent foreign policy."
All this is of the first importance to America. It ought to be brought home to the mind of every American citizen that schemes of this kind cannot add anything possible to the dignity or the authority of the United States amongst the nations of the world, but that the absolute and inevitable result would be, to yield into the hands of other people whose interests are not identical with our own the solution of national or international questions which the judgment of the American people is strong enough and wise enough to decide for itself, and to permit interference by foreigners in the management of our domestic affairs which would be an intolerable encroachment upon American independence.
Now is the time to understand and reflect upon these things. Assuredly the people of the United States are a peace-loving nation. They have not the nature to seek aggressive war, or any war; their ambition has always been, to right wrongs and to establish justice in the world; they fulfil scrupulously any international obligation that they have ever entered into, and they will continue to do so. But, it is still true, as Thomas Jefferson once said, in the turmoil and conflict of his day: a way must be found “which will reconcile our faith and honor with peace.
This evidently is not what Dr. Hill considers likely to be accomplished by the “Covenant” prepared at the conference in Paris, which he refers to as being not the formation of a universal Society of States such as is contemplated by international law, but a creation of a predominant group within this more general association. It is, he says, a distinct corporate entity, "exercising a will not identical with that of all the separate members, organized with power to coerce other States not belonging to it, to act under its own rules and by its own judgment, and even to dictate the form of government and degree of authority to be exercised over wide areas and great populations subject to its control."
Nothing, certainly, could be farther from the spirit of the American Constitution than the form of control thus conceived, nor could any one imagine the people of this country becoming a participant in a league which our author describes as a covenant which “creates a new legal person, acting by itself and in accordance with rules to be adopted by itself. It creates a body, at first called the Executive Council, which, in turn choses and directs its own organs of action, defines their rights and duties and confers new authority upon them. It creates obligations on the part of the nations composing the league which these nations owe not to one another but to the league, as a distinct and separate legal person, who can call them to account for non-performance of duty and inflict punishment upon them. It attributes to the league, as a corporate entity, powers which the separate States do not, either singly or in combination, themselves possess. An imperium, he says, over States not belonging to the league which is empowered to coerce and punish them for not submitting to its decisions.