Courtesy Reuters

Safeguards to Neutrality

TO THOSE who regarded strict neutrality as an effective means of keeping the United States out of war I addressed an article in FOREIGN AFFAIRS for April 1934, entitled "Troubles of a Neutral." In it I tried to point out that maintenance of neutrality was no simple or easy matter; and that it must be supplemented by further legislation, and by the concession of alleged rights hitherto claimed by us, if we expected to avoid the frictions and controversies with belligerents which, judging from our experience in the World War, would inevitably occur in a future war. I pointed out twelve distinct subjects of legislation, which, based on my official experience from 1914 to 1917, I deemed necessary for the more effective preservation of our neutral status as a nation; and I stated that "it is better that our citizens should run the risk of commercial loss than that the country should be involved in a war to protect their alleged commercial rights. . . . Our Government may very properly say, in effect, to its citizens during the war: you engage in such trade at your own risk." Since 1934, the widespread and enhanced interest in the subject has resulted in the recent Joint Resolution of August 31, 1935, in which five of the subjects to which I called attention in my article have been more or less adequately dealt with.

On October 5, 1935, the President of the United States, acting under this Joint Resolution, after proclaiming the existence of a state of war between Ethiopia and Italy, established an embargo on arms, ammunition, and implements of war, and notified American citizens that they travelled on any vessel of a belligerent nation at their own risk. In addition, he issued a notable statement, announcing a new policy for the better safeguarding of our neutrality, in which he said: "In these specific circumstances, I desire it to be understood that any of our people who voluntarily engage in transactions of any character with either of the belligerents do so at their

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