EMPIRE builders striving for world power and the pacifists of all ages represent two spheres and two conceptions of thought. Yet both are concerned in subjugating the greatest possible part of the world and of humanity. In the one case it is a world empire founded on power which is to provide the largest possible section of mankind with the benefits of security and peace; in the other case it is an organization of the world on the basis of ideas which is to achieve those ends. On the one hand, mankind declares war on war and seeks to attain peace by means of material force, violence and arms; and on the other, by peaceful methods and by material and moral disarmament. There is no need to enumerate the attempts made in all ages to found world empires, and the reasons for their fall. Nor is there need to refer to history in order to see how in all ages great religious, philosophical and social ideas aiming at world peace by peaceful methods have been wrongfully applied and fruitless. In spite of all this, the best minds of every generation, the apostles of genuine humanity, those who have faith in the mission of mankind, have continued to struggle to give the world peace through peace and not through war.

The greatest thinkers of ancient, medieval and modern times have wrestled with the problem of how to convince states and governments that it is possible to solve this primary question, and they have invented systems of eternal peace and universal human solidarity. Aristotle and Plato in their classics of the ancient world, Dante in his work on monarchy, Grotius in his study on arbitration, Rousseau in his treatise on European federation, and Kant in his call for eternal peace -- all these thinkers strove for the ideas which today are expressed in the endeavors of the League of Nations. Many practical politicians, too, from George of Poděbrady and Henri IV to President Wilson, have attempted to arrive at a peaceful organization of the world. Since 1848 the parliaments of Europe have been occupied uninterruptedly with the problem of disarmament. If we refer to the minutes of practically every European parliament from the beginning of this century we see that the leading minds of Europe and America have struggled to a much greater extent than one imagines for everything that the League of Nations has been attempting to accomplish during the last few years.

Most of the political events in Europe during the last six years have been connected with the problem of security. On its solution will depend, in great measure, the tendency of international European politics for many years to come. The history of the problem shows three stages.

In the first stage, beginning at the Peace Conference and lasting up to the year 1923, it was a question of a guarantee pact between Clemenceau, Briand and Poincaré on the one side and Lloyd George and Lord Curzon on the other -- a guarantee pact concerning only France, England and Belgium.

The second stage witnessed the abandonment of this first conception, and the substitution for it of an attempt on the part of the League of Nations to bring about a general pact such as the Treaty of Mutual Assistance or the Geneva Protocol.

The third stage has consisted of a compromise between the two preceding attempts, on the one hand, and the proposals made by the German Government on the other -- a partial guarantee pact, combined with the admission of the late enemy state to the League of Nations and that state's assumption of obligations therein, the whole to be regarded as a first step towards a universal pact of security in general.


All the contemporary negotiations on the question of security arise out of the demand which France made at the Peace Conference and which was recognized by all her allies, namely that she should be safeguarded for the future against the invasion of foreign armies, a thing which had happened three times during the last century. France abandoned her demand that political and military provisions for her security should be included in the Peace Treaties when she was offered the alternative of the socalled Three-Power Guarantee Pact between France, England and the United States. The proposal, which was signed on June 28, 1919, by Wilson, Lloyd George and Clemenceau, fell through when the United States refused to ratify the Treaty of Versailles. From the beginning of these negotiations, however, Lloyd George and all his successors recognized that England was morally bound to provide France with guarantees of security in view of the circumstances under which the negotiations on the Three-Power Pact had been conducted.

Thus it happened that the question of a guarantee pact turned up regularly in the course of all Anglo-French negotiations. At the Cannes Conference Lloyd George proposed to Briand (January 11, 1922) a new pact, according to which England should for a certain period guarantee aid to France and Belgium in the case of those countries being attacked by Germany. In the Cannes resolution the idea was to bind all states mutually to refrain from making any kind of attack upon their neighbors. (The members of the League of Nations have this obligation under Article X; in the Cannes resolution the reference was also to non-members of the League of Nations.) This attempt failed because the French Opposition, led by Poincaré, did not consider the proposal adequate. As a result Briand resigned and the Poincaré Government came to power.

Poincaré drew up the claims of France in detail and augmented them. He desired, in particular, that the pact proposed at Cannes by Lloyd George should be concluded for a longer term and should be supplemented by a military convention. The negotiations came to nothing, and this apparently constrained Lloyd George to attempt to extend the question of security to all Europe and to come to the Genoa Conference with a new proposal for an all-European guarantee pact, known as the Pact of Non-Aggression. This somewhat vague pact, composed of two articles, simply bound each state to refrain from attacking the frontiers of any other state -- an obligation expressed in much stronger form in the Covenant of the League of Nations. It was rejected by the great majority of the delegates to the Genoa Conference after fruitless efforts had been made to supplement and perfect it.

The disaffection which followed upon the Genoa Conference, and the opposition of Poincaré to Lloyd George's proposal, caused a temporary break, in July, 1922, in the whole Franco-British negotiations touching security. In the summer of the following year London made a new effort to discuss this question in connection with reparations, but Poincaré declined to combine the two questions. The tension arising from the occupation of the Ruhr likewise rendered difficult a direct Franco-British agreement, and the negotiations were constantly put off throughout 1923.

When the MacDonald Cabinet was formed in January, 1924, following the English general election, and the Herriot Government came into power in France in May, 1924, the question of reparations first claimed the attention of both. This question, as is well known, was solved at the London Conference last year, though the questions of inter-allied debts and of security remained open. On leaving the London Conference, Herriot received the assurance from MacDonald that England regarded herself as bound in the matter of the guarantee pact and that she would enter into negotiations as soon as possible on this point with France. Such was the state of negotiations between the two countries in July, 1924.


In the meantime, parallel with the negotiations between France and England, the question of security began to be discussed in the League of Nations in combination with the question of disarmament.

Although the League of Nations Covenant signifies great progress towards the establishment of a more lasting peace, it does not mean everything. It contains provisions whereby states are obliged to endeavor by peaceful methods to maintain peace, but it does not enforce an obligatory peaceful settlement of a conflict. It prohibits certain wars, but it cannot prohibit all wars by rendering wars in general impossible. All the endeavors of the supporters of the League of Nations have been directed towards the problem of how to fill in these two great gaps.

Article 8 of the Covenant, according to which the members of the League bound themselves to disarm to the greatest extent compatible with the maintenance of their national security, was taken as the starting-point. On the basis of this obligation, and after difficult negotiations in the Assembly of the League, there was passed in September, 1922, the so-called Resolution XIV which lays down in solemn form the principle that the states should disarm, but that they must mutually undertake also to render military aid to a disarmed state should it be attacked by any other. Thus the problem of disarmament was for the first time clearly and in binding form combined with the problem of security, and in all subsequent negotiations these two principles were not again separated.

After a long discussion on the so-called Pact of Guarantee at Geneva during the year 1922, projects for a system of this kind were finally submitted to the League of Nations by the representatives of England and France. These projects were discussed in the committees of the League of Nations during 1923 and were submitted in definitive form to the Assembly of the League in September, 1923, under the title of the Treaty of Mutual Assistance. This treaty represented an attempt to ensure general European security on the basis of the following principles:

1. Armaments are to be restricted and are to be permanently subject to control.

2. States are to undertake to assist an attacked country. At the same time recognition is given the necessity of regional treaties and alliances which should form the principal means of rendering assistance.

3. A certain measure of differentiation is to be permitted between the individual parts of the world (more freedom being allowed in regard to subscribing to this treaty than was later allowed in the Geneva Protocol).

4. The entire functioning of the treaty is to be placed under the control of the League of Nations.

After having been submitted to the various Governments for consideration, the Pact of Guarantee was agreed to in principle by eighteen states but aroused considerable fears and objections in the case of other states. The answer of the MacDonald Government was unfavorable. It rejected the principle of special regional treaties and demanded in substitution of them a universal pact; it emphasized the necessity for demilitarizing the individual frontier zones where no danger threatened; and it took a decided stand for the principle of arbitration. In view of these objections the Treaty of Mutual Assistance fell through.

Out of the discussion and criticism of the Treaty of Mutual Assistance arose a further demand based on the demand for disarmament. The states providing assistance, it was said, must demand from the states which they happen to assist a moral and juridical guarantee of a reasonable and peace-loving policy, this to be demonstrated by the fact that the states signing the pact of guarantee should unconditionally submit each of their international conflicts to an international tribunal for peaceful settlement.

The acceptance of this principle of arbitration led to the need for a system of security guarantees which should support the fulfilment of the arbitration obligations prescribed and of the verdicts of the international court. Thus as a result of the discussion and the political struggle in the League three great problems of present-day international politics were inseparably linked together: the limiting of armaments, the creation of security guarantees, and the organization of international arbitration.

I was entrusted by the sub-committee of the League to formulate for discussion a new general proposal which should take into consideration all the English objections as well as the suggestions of other states (those members of the League as well as nonmembers) which had been made during the deliberations on the Treaty of Mutual Assistance. The draft proposal came before the League committee, some recommendations of the law committee were added to it, and, after discussion and a series of amendments, the proposal was unanimously passed by the League and became the well-known Geneva Protocol for the Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes.

The Geneva Protocol was a new, more perfected and more complete guarantee pact. The form of a treaty of guarantee was replaced by the form of the Protocol, which simply supplements the provisions of the Covenant. A number of delegates at Geneva rightly believed that the League of Nations Covenant in reality contains in germ everything: the principle of the peaceful settlement of international conflicts, guarantees of security, and, finally, the principles of the limitation of armaments. They believed it sufficient simply to supplement it where gaps remained.

The main principle of the Protocol was the prohibition of an aggressive war and of war in general, whereas by the League of Nations Covenant the sovereign right of states to wage war against one another is limited but not entirely removed: in addition to prohibited wars there are legal wars and also wars which are suffered.

A second main principle of the Protocol, logically supplementing the first principle, was that every international dispute which might give rise to armed hostilities must unconditionally be submitted for peaceful settlement.

I cannot here examine in detail the whole of the complicated juridical machinery suggested. I will mention only its principles as interpreted in the official proclamation of the French Government. In concluding his speech at the session of the Council of the League of Nations in March, 1925, M. Briand said:

"This document means only the realization of the system contained in the League of Nations Covenant. . . . It allows for the first time a practical emergence of the principle of international solidarity and of the principle of arbitration. It introduces for the first time into international law the doctrines of private law, and declares aggressive war to be a crime. In the interests of all nations it organizes the activity of permanent international justice and realizes in this way a second great step forward. But it does not content itself with the acceptance of the principle. It organizes arbitration, which is henceforward laid down for the settlement of conflicts; it fixes the procedure of arbitration and takes steps to prevent it from becoming a trap for unsuspecting nations. It defines the agressor and organizes preventive measures against war. If, despite the measures taken, it is necessary to have reqourse to sanctions, whether they be economic, financial or military, the Protocol implies only obligations which are imposed on the members of the League of Nations by Article 16 of the Covenant which was solemnly approved by all the Powers which signed the Treaty of Versailles."

The Geneva Protocol, which solemnly expressed the principle of the solidarity of the big states with the small ones, whose equal right to security had been recognized, was accepted in September, 1924, by all the factors then interested, with sincerity and enthusiasm, as a new general effort to settle the problem of security and as a document not only expressing what was then felt to be the practical need of all, but also expressing the lofty ideals for the future as incorporated in the League of Nations.

The fall of the MacDonald Government and the reserved attitude of the succeeding British Government during the meeting of the Council of the League of Nations at Rome in December, 1924, indicated that England would not accept the Protocol of Geneva in its existing form.

In distinction to the point of view of the British Empire, all the members of the Council of League of Nations (even while admitting some shortcomings in the Protocol, as could hardly be otherwise, for every such general document will always display some discrepancies owing to the geographical, cultural and moral differences between individual nations in different parts of the world) spoke decidedly for all the principles of the Protocol, and declared that they would keep to these principles and that they would work for their realization. They said, on the other hand, that they did not adhere slavishly to the accepted text of the Protocol, and that they did not reject on principle the British suggestion, namely, that of solving the problem of security temporarily by a partial guarantee pact entered into directly between the interested powers and subordinated to the control of the League of Nations.

France, after six years' negotiation for security, possessing the Geneva Protocol as the only (at least morally) binding act, emphasized naturally and rightly its importance and her decision to adhere to it. She was willing, however, as were other members of the League, to substitute for it, temporarily, something which would be able to solve the present problem of security in Europe. But France did not, and does not, give up hope of the Protocol being brought into effect by degrees.

The British Government, for its part, declared that it did not desire to solve the problem of security by a diplomatic act of general character such as the Geneva Protocol, but that it would rather give precedence to the principles applied in the Treaty of Mutual Assistance, negotiated by the League of Nations in 1923, and that the solution of the problem of security was possible only through the direct conclusion of guarantee pacts between individual interested powers.

Thus the British Government added to its program these two points:

1. As such a pact should be concluded with the participation of all directly interested, in this case it should have the participation of Germany, in order that the action should not appear to take the form of a bloc against one state.

2. The pact should be placed under the control of the League of Nations and submitted to the principles which direct the whole activity and policy of the League.

At the last session of the Council of the League of Nations, in March, 1925, the British Government declared itself against the Protocol as a means of solving the problem of security. An analysis of the speeches of the English Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Chamberlain, shows that: (a) the British Government did not regard a general application of the principle of arbitration as acceptable, and wished to reserve to itself the possibility of settling certain disputes in another manner; and (b) that the obligations imposed by the Protocol were, in view of the extent of the British Empire, too great. In particular it seemed to the British Government impossible to take upon itself the duty of guaranteeing the preservation of peace in some regions of Eastern Europe.

In other words, the British Government rejected once more what it has always rejected from the very first negotiations (outside the League of Nations) touching security -- that is, to give a guarantee for anything more than the Franco-Belgian frontier with Germany.

Thus the Geneva Protocol was thrust back, and we come to the last act in the negotiations touching the problem of security.


Under the influence of the occupation of the Ruhr by the Poincaré Government, which in official circles in Germany was considered also as a part of the struggle for France's security and not only as a sanction for not fulfilling the reparation clauses of the Treaty of Versailles, the first attempt was made from the German side to aid in the solution of this question. On December 18, 1922, the Secretary of State of the United States of America, Mr. Hughes, transmitted to the French Ambassador, M. Jusserand, the proposal of the German Chancellor, Dr. Cuno, in which the latter proposed that the Great Powers which had an interest in the Rhine frontier should bind themselves (America serving as a guarantee) that for a period of about thirty years, i. e. one generation, they would not declare war against each other without the declaration being preceded by popular vote.

Premier Poincaré rejected this proposal as inadequate and pointed out that the same thing was guaranteed, without limitation as to time, by the Covenant of the League of Nations; besides, neither America nor England showed any intention to adhere to these agreements or to guarantee them.

The second German proposal was made on May 2, 1923, when the German Government submitted to England, France, Italy, Belgium, Japan and the United States of America its proposals regarding the reparation question and added an offer to negotiate with France a pact by which she would bind herself to settle all conflicts in a peaceable way and not by war. As a condition to the conclusion of this pact Germany demanded the evacuation of the Ruhr. In September, 1923, Minister Stresemann in a public speech at Stuttgart repeated the same idea in an absolutely general form. These proposals did not lead to any further negotiations; they were generally considered as tactical steps aimed at bringing about the evacuation of the Ruhr.

The end of the year 1923 and the year 1924 were occupied, as already said, by the proceedings of the League of Nations in connection with the Treaty of Mutual Assistance and the Protocol; even on the part of Germany the attempts at a solution of the problem of security stopped, just as had the direct negotiations between France and England.

Just at the time when the British Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Chamberlain, had prepared his reply to the Geneva Protocol, came the new proposal for a guarantee pact from the German Government. This proposal, as well as the first proposal made by the Chancellor, Dr. Cuno, was evoked not only by the general development of the problem of security, but also by current political events closely affecting Germany. On January 10, 1925, was made the Allied decision to maintain temporarily the occupation of the Ruhr. To the German protest Premier Herriot replied in Parliament, on January 28, 1925, with a famous speech which aroused great attention.

Herriot recalled the negotiations during the Peace Conference regarding the security of France and the concessions which France had made without receiving in return the fulfilment of the promise of security which had been given her. Further, he called attention to the fact that the Military Control Commission possessed material which showed that military preparations were being carried on in Germany and pointed out in what respects the peace obligations from this point of view had not yet been fulfilled. He emphasized, therefore, the necessity of accepting the Geneva Protocol and the definitive adjustment of military control, so that the whole question of French security could be settled.

Two days afterwards Chancellor Luther delivered his reply. He made two main points. In the first place, he said, M. Herriot regards Franco-German relations from the point of view of the problem of security; Germany agrees in this, but as the question of security exists for Germany too she is interested in the solution of the guarantee pact and wishes to collaborate in its preparation. Secondly, Germany agrees with the ultimate aim of France to attain a general peace convention such as the Geneva Protocol. Such a general convention, if it cannot be secured immediately, can be prepared gradually by partial pacts of guarantee in regions where the problem is most acute. Germany would be willing to coöperate immediately in such negotiations.

On February 9, the German Government transmitted to the Governments of the Great Powers a confidential memorandum, in which the ideas of Chancellor Luther were stated with some important additions and with more precision. The proposal was for a pact of guarantee among the Great Powers, by which the status quo on the Rhine would be guaranteed to all states reciprocally, the stipulations of Articles 42 and 43 of the Treaty of Versailles regarding the demilitarization of the left bank of the Rhine would be carried out, and arbitration conventions would be signed between Germany and all other interested Powers, not only the Great Powers but also Germany's neighbors on her eastern frontiers. The memorandum repeated Dr. Luther's idea that this partial guarantee pact might prove a first step to a world-wide protocol, ensuring security in general.

The preparatory period of the Western Pact negotiations, which were opened by the German memorandum of February 9, ended with the German Note of August 27, whereby the German Government accepted the French suggestion that the further negotiations should be conducted orally and that they should be commenced by a meeting of legal experts at London. At this conference of legal experts, which was convened in the beginning of September, 1925, the text of the Rhine pact was agreed upon in principle, together with the fundamentals of the arbitration treaties.

There followed upon these negotiations the concluding conference at Locarno, from October 5 to 16. There, after strenuous debates, an agreement was arrived at and expressed in a complex of treaties forming the Peace of Locarno. These treaties set forth thecontemporarycondition of the process of European pacification.

The first important diplomatic document produced by the Locarno Conference, the so-called Rhine Pact, contains roughly the following points:

1. Germany, France and Belgium bind themselves to respect, and England and Italy guarantee, the inviolability of the Franco-Belgian-German frontiers.

2. Germany, France and Belgium bind themselves mutually not to undertake any invasion and not to have recourse to any warlike step.

3. The obligation not to wage war does not apply to cases of necessary defence, the violation of a demilitarized frontier, the fulfilling of the duty of a member of the League of Nations, and the carrying into effect of articles 15 and 16 of the League of Nations Covenant (which includes, for France, the case of assistance to Czechoslovakia and Poland). In this case military intervention is not bound down to any previous decision of the Council of the League, if it is a question of necessary defence, a flagrant violation of a demilitarized frontier, a flagrant attack, or violence.

4. Germany, France and Belgium, having made a decision not to wage war against one another, bind themselves at the same time by special arbitration treaties to settle all their disputes by peaceful means, or by accepting the verdict of a court of arbitration.

5. England and Italy guarantee the observance of these obligations on the part of the participating states.

6. All the rights and duties of the participating states arising from the League of Nations Covenant remain unaffected, i.e., all these negotiations are conducted within the compass of the Covenant and are really the carrying out of certain of its principles and articles. These obligations will enter into effect with the entry of Germany into the League of Nations.

Another equally important part of the Peace of Locarno consists of the arbitration treaties between Germany and France, Belgium, Poland and Czechoslovakia. It is a question here of integral arbitration treaties, not excluding the settlement by arbitration of any kind of dispute. The Locarno Conference therefore did not take as a model the arbitration treaties which Germany after the war negotiated, for example, with Switzerland, Sweden and Finland, and which exclude from settlement by arbitration disputes referring to independence, territorial inviolability and other supreme interests, i.e., precisely those all-important disputes which most frequently lead to war. On the contrary, the Locarno Conference was guided by the principles which have been supported hitherto in the League of Nations.

In their essence all the arbitration treaties that have been negotiated are based on the difference (indicated in Article 13 of the Covenant) between disputes where the parties are in conflict concerning a right positively laid down and formulated by treaties, texts of obligations and the principles of internationallaw, etc., and conflicts involving a clash of interests which are not thus positively laid down juridically. At Locarno, disagreements of the latter type were termed, not entirely correctly, disagreements in interests or purely politically disagreements. We are dealing here with a dispute where one state makes full use, to its own advantage, of the given status quo on the basis of existing international treaties and of the principles of international law, and another state, feeling itself to be affected disadvantageously thereby, though not asserting in any way that the first state has violated a right, endeavors to obtain an alteration in that state's course of action.

The view that all disputes between states should be settled on a solely legal basis was not supported at Locarno by any state. It was therefore necessary to distinguish between two categories of disputes. It appeared very dangerous, however, to render possible the settlement of disputes of the first category only, the so-called juridical disputes, and to regard conflicts of interests and political conflicts as insoluble,--as has always happened hitherto.

Means, too, were sought for solving the problem of security for Central Europe, so far as the problem is capable of solution in existing circumstances. It was here that the idea arose of mutual guarantee pacts between France on the one hand and Czechoslovakia and Poland, respectively, on the other. These pacts were so formulated as to represent a complement to the Rhine Pact and the arbitration treaties. The two pacts -- the Franco-Czechoslovak and the Franco-Polish -- constitute a special entity, but they are referred to specifically in Article 2 of the Rhine Pact, and are also expressly mentioned in the final Protocol, so that from a political point of view they form, plainly and indisputably, a constituent part of the Locarno agreement.

All the Locarno documents have the same ideas for their basis and pursue the same end. Indeed, the final Protocol of the Conference states that the treaties and agreements are mutually inter-related. This indivisibility of the Locarno agreements finds legal expression in the provision that they all enter into and lose their force simultaneously and under the same conditions. They become effective as soon as all the ratifications are deposited with the League of Nations and Germany becomes a member of the League. No restrictions are placed on their length of duration. They remain in force until one year after the date when the Council of the League of Nations shall have ascertained, by at least a two-thirds majority, that the League is so established that it can itself give certain and adequate guarantees to the parties to treaties. In my opinion the Locarno agreements could only be replaced by the acceptance of the Geneva Protocol or some similar system.

What is the import of the Locarno agreements from a general international standpoint?

Historically, politically, and from the point of view of power, the Locarno treaties are the outcome of struggles in the League of Nations that have lasted for three years. I will not deal with this in detail or try to show what the Locarno agreements have adopted from the discussions carried on in the League and the documents passed through the committees of the League, nor will I deal with their relation to the Geneva Protocol. Even if they are not what the Protocol was intended to be, they are fully permeated with it and represent a great step towards it. I merely emphasize the fact itself.

The Locarno agreements introduce, for the first time in the history of European politics, the obligation -- after the model of the Geneva Protocol -- on the part of sovereign states in no case to resort to war but to settle all disputes by peaceful methods. I do not contend that this means a definitive end to wars. But at any rate it means that war in Western and Central Europe is rendered difficult and, in particular, that the danger of it is probably postponed for many decades.

The Locarno treaties, themselves the result of work by the League of Nations (a resolution passed at Geneva in September emphasizes this fact), signify further an undoubted strengthening of the League of Nations. They are conceived in the League spirit, and in all the peace organisation which they have brought into being they give the League of Nations a far-reaching task. They have also won Germany for the League of Nations, without whom the League could neither be complete nor quite normal. In this way they constrain all other countries which are not members of the League to begin to look upon the policy of the League with rather different eyes than in the past.


I should like to emphasize one final political fact. It was clear to everyone that the tension existing in Europe after the war could not last very long. An agreement between the two sides that had fought the war had to be reached. The agreement which has now been arrived at means a fundamental change in the political situation of Europe: Germany is returning to European political life on a basis of full equal rights as a new Great Power. This is a significant thing for Europe and we must make ourselves well aware of it. It signifies the creation of a new psychological atmosphere in Europe, a new European equilibrium, and new international conditions in general. Locarno represents also an attempt to arrive at moral disarmament, a new moral consolidation and therefore also political and economic consolidation. It means that for a long time to come the present status quo will be accepted in Western and Central Europe, a fact which is of immense political importance. Finally, it means that present-day Russia will be obliged, willy nilly, to take this into account, to include it definitively in its calculations, and, accordingly, to come to an agreement with the rest of Europe. I should like to point out that we must prepare ourselves for an agreement of this kind also with Russia. The time is not far distant when there will be a second Locarno, when the whole of Europe will arrive at an agreement with Russia. This will be of advantage alike to Russia and to Europe. The United States of America, also, gradually and in the course of time, will probably change its attitude towards Europe in consequence of the Locarno agreements.

Looking back at the development of the problem of European security as we have sketched it through its three stages, we see that it was a question of a universal solution only in the second stage. In the first and third stages the question of security was narrowed down to perfecting first of all the organization of security in those parts of Europe -- the Rhine district and Central Europe -- where political and economic opposites have clashed so often and with such force that the effect was felt not only over the whole continent but also beyond the seas. It was seen that to safeguard peace in these critical parts of Europe meant safeguarding it to a very considerable extent in the whole of Europe and also outside Europe. This is the last phase of the contemporary process of pacification; it is the phase which will serve as the basis of further endeavors to arrive at security and to cause the benefits of peace to be spread over as large an area as possible.

The World War was the grave of a long series of pacificist endeavors and experiments. The League of Nations is a post-war expression of the undying faith that it is possible, by gradually increasing the solidarity of mankind, to render difficult, impossible even, the conscious and deliberate slaughtering of man by man. The League of Nations Covenant means a great step forward along the path to a more lasting peace, but, as we have said, it does not mean everything. It was therefore supplemented by the Protocol and by its system of arbitration. The authors of the Protocol were well aware that they would not abolish all extreme cases, that is, wars, but they knew that they could improve the Covenant and that with the aid of the Protocol they could settle a greater number of disputes. They knew that the ideal could not be realized all at once, but they were certain that they could at least come nearer to their distant goal. They made their attempt because they did not wish to pursue a policy of all or nothing and because they were unwilling to appear to assume the inevitability of the existence of wars. They well knew that there is no perfection in this world and that it is impossible in the short period of a few weeks to bring into being what could not be accomplished in thousands of years. But they wished to take a step forward, and they were of the opinion that one day it would be said that it had been worth the trouble.

The negotiations over the security problem showed that we had not yet arrived at the point where it could be solved by means of a universal document. Locarno represents an attempt to arrive at the same end by stages, -- by treaties and local regional pacts which are permeated with the spirit of the Geneva Protocol, -- these to be constantly supplemented, until at last, within the framework of the League of Nations, they are absorbed by one great world convention guaranteeing world security and peace by the enforcing of the rule of law in inter-state life.

In the session of the Council of the League of Nations in March, 1925, when the idea of regional treaties was opposed to the idea of the Protocol, I expressed my doubts or rather my secret hopes as follows: "When the idea of a regional treaty under the aegis of the League of Nations and the Covenant begins to receive thorough study, I am practically certain that if there is a real desire for something lasting and firm, something providing genuine security, we shall necessarily return to the idea of some kind of Protocol, a limited, partial Protocol perhaps, one which is more elastic than is our own and more immediately practicable: but it will be return to a system that is analogous with the present Protocol." Today the necessity to confirm and supplement the Covenant is recognized by everyone. I think that this aim can be attained only by a system based on the great principles that we incorporated in the Protocol. Meanwhile we have commenced along other lines which may prove to be very good and may lead at last to the same result.

Though there may be different methods of approach, as far as concerns the period of realization I am not a pessimist. But time is needful for enterprises of this kind. It is necessary to be patient, and to go on working unwearyingly, without losing courage, and with sincerity and devotion.

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  • EDUARD BENES, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Czechoslovakia, one of the principal authors of the Geneva Protocol
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