General Pact for the Renunciation of War
HEARINGS BEFORE THE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS UNITED STATES SENATE SEVENTIETH CONGRESS SECOND SESSION ON THE GENERAL PACT FOR THE RENUNCIATION FO WAR, SIGNED AT PARIS AUGUST 27, 1928
DECEMBER 7 AND 11, 1928PART 1
Printed for the use of the Committee on Foreign Relations
UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE WASHINGTON
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
WILLIAM E. BORAH, Idaho, Chairman
HIRAM W. JOHNSON, California.
CLAUDE A. SWANSON, Virginia.
GEORGE E. MOSES, New Hampshire.
KEY PITTMAN, Nevada.
GEORGE P. McLEAN, Connecticut.
JOSEPH T. ROBINSON, Arkansas.
WALTER E. EDGE New Jersey.
THOMAS J. WALSH Montana.
ARTHUR CAPPER Kansas.
JAMES A. REED, Missouri.
FREDERICK E. GILLETT, Massachusetts.
PAT HARRISON, Mississippi.
DAVID A. REED, Pennsylvania.
THOMAS F. BAYARD, Delaware
SIMEON D. FESS, Ohio.
WALTER F. GEORGE, Georgia.
HENRIK SHIPSTEAD, Minnesota
CORA BUBIN, Clerk
GENERAL PACT FOR THE RENUNCIATION OF WAR
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7, 1928
UNITED STATES SENATE, COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS,
Washington, D. C.
The committee met, pursuant to call, at 10.30 o’clock a. m., in the room of the committee in the Capitol, Senator William E. Borah presiding.
Present, Senators Borah (chairman), Johnson, Moses, McLean, Edge, Billets, Reed of Pennsylvania, Fess, Swanson, Pittman, Robinson of Arkansas, Walsh of Montana, Reed of Missouri, Harrison, Bayard, George, and Shipstead.
(The committee had under consideration the following:)GENERAL PACT FOR THE RENUNCIATION OF WAR-SIGNED AT PARIS AUGUST 27, 1928
The President of the German Reich, the President of the United States of America, His Majesty the King of the Belgians, the President of the French Republic, His Majesty the King of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas, Emperor of India, His Majesty the King of Italy, His Majesty the Emperor of Japan, the President of the Republic of Poland, the President of the Czechoslovak Republic
Deeply sensible of their solemn duty to promote the welfare of mankind;
Persuaded that the time has come when a frank renunciation of war as an instrument of national policy should be made to the end that the peaceful and friendly relations now existing between their peoples may be perpetuated
Convinced that all changes in their relations with one another should be sought only by pacific means and be the result of a peaceful and orderly process and that any signatory power which shall hereafter seek to promote its national interests by resort to war should be denied the benefits furnished by this treaty
Hopeful that, encouraged by their example, all the other nations of the world will join in this humane endeavor and by adhering to the present treaty as soon as it comes into force bring their peoples within the scope of its beneficent provisions, thus uniting the civilized nations of the world in a common renunciation of war as an instrument of their national policy;
Have decided to conclude a treaty and for that purpose have appointed as their respective plenipotentiaries:
The President of the German Reich:
Dr. Gustav Stresemann, Minister of Foreign Affairs; The President of the United States of America:The Hon. Frank B. Kellogg, Secretary of State; His Majesty the King of the Belgians:
Mr. Paul Hymans, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of State: The President of the French Republic:
Mr. Aristide Briand, Minister for Foreign Affairs;
His Majesty the King of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas, Emperor of India:
For Great Britain and Northern Ireland and all parts of the British Empire which are not separate members of the League of Nations:
The Right Hon. Lord Cushendun, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Acting Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs;
For the Dominion of Canada:
The Right Hon. William Lyon Mackenzie King, Prime Minister and Minister for External Affairs;For the Commonwealth of Australia:
The Hon. Alexander John McLachlan, Member of the Executive Federal Council
For the Dominion of New Zealand:
The Hon. Sir Christopher James Parr, High Commissioner for New Zealand in Great Britain;
For the Union of South Africa:
The Hon. Jacobus Stephanus Smit, High Commissioner for the Union of South Africa in Great Britain;
For the Irish Free State:
Mr. William Thomas Cosgrave, President of the Executive Council;
The Right Hon. Lord Gushendun, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Acting Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs;His Majesty the King of Italy:
Count Gaetano Manzoni, his Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary at Paris.
His Majesty the Emporer of Japan:
Count Uchida, Privy Councillor; The President of the Republic of Poland:
Mr. A. Zaleski, Minister for Foreign Affairs; The President of the Czechoslovak Republic:
Dr. Eduard Benes, Minister for Foreign Affairs; who, having communicated to one another their full powers found in good and due form have agreed upon the following articles:
ARTICLE 1The high contracting parties solemnly declare in the names of their respective peoples that they condemn recourse to war for the solution of international controversies, and renounce it as an instrument of national policy in their relations with one another.
The high Contracting parties agree that the settlement or solution of all disputes or conflicts of whatever nature or of whatever origin they may be, which may arise among them, shall never be sought except by pacific means.
The present treaty shall be ratified by the high contracting parties named in the preamble in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements, and shall take effect as between them as soon as all their several instruments of ratification shall have been deposited at Washington.
This treaty shall, when it has come into effect as prescribed in the preceding paragraph, remain open as long as may be necessary for adherence by all the other powers of the world. Every instrument evidencing the adherence of a power shall be deposited at Washington and the treaty shall immediately upon such deposit become effective as between the power thus adhering and the other powers parties hereto.
It shall be the duty of the Government of the United States to furnish each government named in the preamble and every government subsequently adhering to this treaty with a certified copy of the treaty and of every instrument of ratification or adherence. It shall also be the duty of the Government of the United States telegraphically to notify such governments immediately upon the deposit with it of each instrument of ratification or adherence.
In faith whereof the respective plenipotentiaries have signed this treaty in the French and English languages, both texts having equal force, and hereunto affix their seals.
Done at Paris, the twenty-seventh day of August in the year one thousand nine hundred and twenty-eight.
[SEAL] GUSTAV STRESEMANN
[SEAL] FRANK B KELLOGG
[SEAL] PAUL HYMANS
[SEAL] ARI BRIAND
[SEAL] W. L. MACKENZIE KING
[SEAL] A J MCLACHLAN
[SEAL] C. J. PARR
[SEAL] J S. SMIT
[SEAL] LIAM T.MACCOSGAIR
[SEAL] G. MANZONI
[SEAL] AUGUST ZALESKI
[SEAL] DR EDWARD BENES
STATEMENT OF HON. FRANK B. KELLOGG, SECRETARY OF STATE
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Secretary, the committee asked that you be with us to-day for the purpose of going over this treaty. If you desire, you can make any sort of statement you wish, or the committee may ask you questions, whichever you prefer.
Secretary KELLOGG. It is immaterial to me. I understood from you the committee wanted to know whether this treaty was a recognition of Russia and the Russian Soviet Government.
Senator JOHNSON. Will you pardon me, just an instant, because of a suggestion that was made by Senator McLean at the last gathering of the committee. Is what we do here now to be considered in executive session, or is it for publicity?
The CHAIRMAN. I should suppose it was in executive session, unless we made up our minds hereafter to make it public.
Secretary KELLOGG. I should think it should be in executive session; and I might want to correct the language of my statement. After that, if you want to use it in the Senate, I have no objection.
The CHAIRMAN. All right. Mr. Secretary, suppose we take up first the question of what are these supposed reservations; the position of France and the position of Great Britain as expressed in their notes, which are referred to in popular parlance as reservations. What is your judgment or what is your view as to the effect of those communications as constituting any changes in the treaty or modifications of the treaty?
Senator JOHNSON. May I ask the chairman, before the Secretary answers that, have we in the form of the communications before us the general text of the reservations where the very words are inserted?
Secretary KELLOGG. I did not hear that clearly.
Senator JOHNSON. We have the communications before us?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; go ahead, Mr. Secretary.
Secretary KELLOGG. Any communications made with any of the governments up to the signing of the treaty have been published. I made up my mind when we started negotiations that the only way to obtain this treaty was to publish every note as it was delivered, and I do not think the treaty would ever have been signed if it had not been for the opinion of the world passing on these notes as they appeared, so that every country had full opportunity to discuss the treaty,: and if they believed there were any obligations imposed on the United States beyond the agreement not to go to war, I think they would have suggested it. They knew, from the notes that I wrote, that I was not willing to impose any obligation on the United States. I knew that was out of the question. I knew that not many countries would agree to affirmative obligations, if we did.
As you will remember, the British Government refused the security pact because they said it imposed on them certain obligations which some of the governments had claimed existed under Article X of the league; and in consequence of agitation on that question, the fourth assembly of the league with a single negative vote accepted a resolution repudiating any obligation to go to war in defense of any country attacked. But I will not go into the discussion
Senator SWANS0N. As I understand from what you say, if this multilateral treaty is violated by any other nation, there is no obligation, moral or legal, for us to go to war against any nation violating it?
Secretary KELLOGG. That is thoroughly understood. It is understood by our Government; and no other government made any suggestion of any such thing. I knew, from the attitude of many governments, that they would not sign any treaty if there was any moral obligation or any kind of obligation to go to war. In fact, Canada stated that. The other governments never suggested any such obligation.
As to the reservations, of course I can not go over all the discussions on this treaty, which lasted many months. There is absolutely nothing in the notes of the various governments which would change this treaty, if the treaty had been laid on the table and signed as it is, without any discussion. It is true, of course, that during this discussion, through these notes with the various nations, many questions were raised as to the meaning of the treaty. It was for the reason that I did not care to have any private discussions about the matter that I insisted on carrying out the negotiations by notes.
I was invited to attend a conference in Europe to negotiate this treaty, which I declined. I was invited to send a lawyer with the lawyers of all the other governments to discuss it. I knew that would be the end of any treaty, and I refused that; so that the negotiation was carried on by notes entirely, and you have got them all.
I will illustrate some of the questions. The question was raised by some governments, does this take away the right of self-defense? It seemed to me incomprehensible that anybody could say that any nation would sign a treaty which could be construed as taking away the right of self-defense if a country was attacked. That is an inherent right of every sovereign, as it is of every individual, and it is implicit in every treaty. Nobody would construe the treaty as prohibiting self-defense. Therefore I said it was not necessary to make any definition of “aggressor” or “self-defense.” I do not think it can be done, anyway, accurately. They have been trying to do it in Europe for six or eight years, and they never have been able to accurately define ” aggressor ” or ” self-defense. ”
Senator McLEAN. You stated that the question as to whether action is in self-defense or not, was to be left entirely to the government interested.
Secretary KELLOGG. Left entirely to that government.
I knew that this Government, at least, would never agree to submit to any tribunal the question of self-defense, and I do not think any of them would. That is one question that was raised.
Senator SWANSON. The term “self-defense” is not confined to defense of any territory, but any national may send troops into any territory where it may be necessary for its self-defense.
Secretary KELLOGG. Certainly; the right of self-defense is not limited to territory in the continental United States, for example. It means that this Government has a right to take such measures as it believes necessary to the defense of the country, or to prevent things that might endanger the country; but the United States must be the judge of that, and it is answerable to the public opinion of the world if it is not an honest defense; that is all.
Senator REED of Missouri. The whole of that rule would apply equally to every other country.
Secretary KELLOGG. Certainly; nor do I think it is practicable to do anything else; although there are idealists who say that it is practicable. It is entirely impracticable, in my judgment.
Senator SWANSON. YOU consider your speech of April 28, 1928, as an official interpretation of the treaty, do you not?
Secretary KELLOGG. I do, because I sent it to every country; and furthermore
Senator SWANSON. Did they make any response to it?
Secretary KELLOGG. What is that?
Senator SWANSON. Did they make any comments on that speech?
Secretary KELLOGG. Yes; a good many of the governments said that it was a proper interpretation of the treaty, as you will see, and that they were very glad to have it.
Senator SWANSON. AS I understand, every government accepted it under the conditions, and it is an official interpretation.
Secretary KELLOGG. Not only were those interpretations sent to the Governments, so that they would see what I considered the meaning of the treaty, but I believe that every statement I made in that speech, which was put into a note, would be accepted as an accurate construction of the treaty, if there never had been a note written at all.
But on the question of obligations and sanctions, that I was speaking of —-
The CHAIRMAN. May I suggest, before you get to that
Secretary KELLOGG. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. Suppose you take up the English note.
Secretary KELLOGG. The English note?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; which is most referred to as to the reservations. In connection with the remarks you have just made, I think it would be logical to consider it.
Secretary KELLOGG. Very well. This is on page 28 of the treaty pamphlet, the tenth subdivision. The British Government said:
10. The language of article 1, as to the renunciation of war as an instrument of national policy, renders it desirable that I should remind your excellency that there are certain regions of the world the welfare and integrity of which constitute a special and vital interest for our peace and safety. His Majesty’s Government have been at pains to make it clear in the past that interference with these regions can not be suffered. Their protection against attack is to the British Empire a measure of self-defense.
Now, then, they did not say, “We reserve the right to make war against anybody in the world that we want to because we want peace in the country.” The British Government put it solely on the ground of self-defense. I apprehend that the United States has got interests, the peace and security of which are necessary to the defense of the United States. Take the Canal Zone. Self-defense, as I said, is not limited to the mere defense, when attacked, of continental United States. It covers all our possessions, all our rights; the right to take such steps as will prevent danger to the United States.
We had a right to assume-Great Britain said nothing else-that Great Britain was insisting upon the maintenance of certain rights which are necessary to the self-defense of the British Government. She did not say anything else. Furthermore, she signed this treaty without asking any reservations to it at all, with an absolute obligation not to go to war; of course, subject to the right of self-defense that every country has.
I can illustrate that by another question that was raised. Great Britain and France raised the question as to whether this treaty would prevent them from going to the assistance of any country attacked, party to the Locarno treaties. I think they both abandoned the idea that there was any obligation to use military forces, to apply sanctions under the league, because all but one of the countries had refused to accept that interpretation. But that would not make any difference as to the principle.
Senator WALSH of Montana. That is suggested in the French note.
Secretary KELLOGG. That is suggested in the French note, and I believe also in the British note.
Under the Locarno treaty there were the following parties: Great Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Poland, and Czechoslovakia. Here is one of the clauses:
ART. 2. Germany and Belgium, and also Germany and France, mutually undertake that they will in no case attack or invade each other or resort-to war against each other.
You remember under that treaty these countries guaranteed the western front with Germany.
It was also provided, in the case of a flagrant violation of article 2 of the present treaty or of the flagrant breach of articles 42 and 43 of the treaty of Versailles-that was as to the demilitarized zone- by any of the high contracting parties, each of the other contracting parties should come to the help of the party against whom the violation was directed. This is clause 3 of article 4. [Reading:]
3. In case of a flagrant violation of article 2 of the present treaty or of a flagrant breach of articles 42 or 43 of the treaty of Versailles by one of the high Contracting parties, each of the other contracting parties hereby undertakes immediately to come to the help of the party against whom such a violation or breach has been directed.
It did not say, of course, that it would come to the help of such party with military forces, but that was a possible interpretation, and they did not wish to sign a treaty which would prevent them from carrying out the treaties of Locarno.
I refused to put a clause in this treaty to make it subject to the conditions of any other treaty or guaranty of neutrality that they had in the world; but I did say that they had an easy way for their own self protection, if they wished to do it; that if all of the Locarno powers that I have named which signed those guarantees and agreements to come to the help of the nation attacked also signed the multilateral treaty. If they broke the Locarno treaty they would break the multilateral treaty, and the other parties to either one of the treaties would be released and could take such action as they saw fit as to the belligerent nations. There is no principle of law better established than that. Therefore it was not necessary for them, for their protection, to have any clause that this treaty was subject to the other treaties that they had made. They could avoid that by simply having all the original parties to the Locarno treaties sign this treaty; that is all. They knew perfectly well that the United States would never sign a treaty imposing any obligation on itself to apply sanctions or come to the help of anybody
You will find that, early in the negotiation of this treaty, I took occasion to say in a speech that it must be understood that the United States would never obligate itself to any military alliance or to use its military forces to enforce any treaty or any obligation.
Senator REED of Missouri. Is that speech in this pamphlet we have?
Secretary KELLOGG. That speech is in that pamphlet. Here is what I said [reading]:
Since, however, the purpose of the United States is so far as possible to eliminate war as a factor in international relations, I can not state too emphatically that it will not become a party to any agreement which directly or indirectly, expressly or by implication, is a military alliance. The United States can not obligate itself in advance to use its armed forces against any other nation of the world. It does not believe that the peace of the world or of Europe depends upon or can be assured by treaties of military alliance, the futility of which as guarantors of peace is repeatedly demonstrated in the pages of history.
Every nation had that speech.
Senator REED of Missouri. On what page is that?
Secretary KELLOGG. The speech is at the end of the volume.
Senator GILLETT. AS I understand, you quoted from one of your speeches largely in the notes?
Secretary KELLOGG. Yes; that was the note, that is on page 36, in which, in order to get my views entirely before the country, I defined self-defense, the league covenant, the treaties of Locarno, the treaties of neutrality, and the relations with treaty-breaking states; and that was sent in a note to all the governments long before the treaty was signed
Now all that the British note said or would mean, if it was written into this treaty, was that there were certain regions the welfare and integrity of which were necessary to the security and defense of the British Empire. I said over and over again that any country had that right in self-defense. But in the discussion of the treaty many things were asked and many things were said which the Governments afterwards, under careful consideration, concluded were not necessary, and then they signed an absolute treaty; and you will find in the notes statements to these Governments, and understandings we had about the treaty, as a result of which they did not believe it was necessary to make any reservations to the treaty. I do not know if there is anything else on that. Do you want me to say anything else?
The CHAIRMAN. No; I do not know that I do.
Senator SWANSON. In the notes of Canada and the British Empire they specifically stated that they signed them with the distinct understanding that the obligations of Locarno and the obligations of the league were not in any way interfered with by this treaty; is that true?
Secretary KELLOGG. Yes; they said that my explanation of protecting them by having them sign this treaty was sufficient. That is the reason the number of the nations was increased. Great Britain said that the nature of the obligation was such that she could not sign for the Dominions and India, and she asked the nations to invite them to join, which they did. They all accepted.
Senator SWANSON. What France and Great Britain finally said was that they did not consider, from the explanation you make, that this treaty was in conflict with their duties under those other treaties.
Senator MOSES. But did they say that in a note?
Secretary KELLOGG. Yes.
Senator MOSES. Which note?
Secretary KELLOGG. It was discussed in several places.
Senator MOSES. What makes me ask that is that in Clause 8 of paragraph 10 of the British note there is certain language used which you say was employed also by us, to say that we had certain interests the defense of which we would be necessitated to take on. Was that ever stated in a note on the part of this Government?
Secretary KELLOGG. No; my explanation of what was self-defense was stated in the note on page 36.
Senator SWANSON. In the notes of Austen Chamberlain both discussing it and in the final acceptance, he said they believed it was expressing the intention of our Government to defend the regions in which we had an interest, which I believe meant certain regions, and you acquiesced in it?
Secretary KELLOGG. Of course there are certain regions
Senator REED of Missouri. Let me say, without answering, Secretary Kellogg said he did not answer the British note, but acquiesced in it.
Secretary KELLOGG. I did not acquiesce in it at all; and if there was anything in that note contrary to the treaty they signed, it would not be a part of the treaty.
Senator REED of Missouri. That would be true, then, of every one of these paragraphs.
Secretary KELLOGG. Yes; but I say, these questions with the suggestions made about Locarno and the right of self defense, and these other matters, were answered by me in our notes, and the treaty would have the same effect whether these notes had been exchanged or not.
Senator REED of Missouri. But is it your position that when this treaty was signed, that left it so that the treaty stood there to speak for itself, without regard to any of the negotiations that had gone on, or constructions that had been placed?
Secretary KELLOGG. That is undoubtedly true, except I think they had the right to believe that the legal effect of the treaty is what I state; and they all finally did say that they believed that the question of self defense was answered.
Senator REED of Missouri. Your construction, then, of this treaty is the same as you put on a contract, that previous talks, end so forth, of the parties, are all merged finally in the instrument when it is signed, and the instrument speaks for itself?
Secretary KELLOGG. They are. If there was anything in these notes contrary to the provisions of the treaty, naturally, the treaty; would control.
Senator REED of Missouri. Suppose they were not contrary to the extent of construction
Secretary KELLOGG. Take that question we have been discussing, of self-defense. The British Government said they were not sure that the right of self-defense was not taken away by the treaty; but they finally concluded that that was not so. Well, now, would you say that their doubt or their expression of doubt, about self-defense being taken away by this treaty, would control, when they finally accepted my statement that self-defense was inherent in every sovereignty? The same way about the Locarno treaties.
Senator REED of Missouri. I do not want to haggle. I am not trying to haggle, you understand, about this; but I would like to know whether it was your position that when this treaty is signed, when it comes to be put in force, we are to take the treaty by its four corners and consider the language of the treaty, or whether we are to take into consideration, in construing it, certain statements that have been made during the progress of the negotiations; and if certain statements, then what are they, and where do we stop?
I will say this, to make clear my idea. Of course we all know that under the law people may negotiate for six months about a contract and they may write hundreds of letters about it, but finally, when they sign the contract, the contract speaks for itself, and all that has preceded is supposed to be merged in the language of the contract. Now, if that rule applies here, then these negotiations and all these things that took place are unimportant.
Senator ROBINSON of Arkansas. If ambiguities appear in the language of the contract, I understand you may resort to the negotiations to determine the meaning.
Senator REED of Missouri. If there are absolute ambiguities apparent upon the face of the contract, then you can resort to extraneous evidence to elucidate, perhaps, the ambiguities, but further than that you can not go. It is a very important thing, to me, to know as to that.
Senator WALSH of Montana. That rule is one which defies the dogmatic statement as you make it.
Secretary KELLOGG. How is that?
Senator WALSH of Montana. I say, that rule defies dogmatic statement. I had occasion to study it pretty carefully in connection with the treaty of 1909 with Canada, and in the interpretation of that treaty by the International Joint Commission the whole course of negotiation leading up to it was received, with a view to determining Just exactly what was meant by the treaty.
Senator REED of Missouri. Very well; then that is the other rule. You claim that applies in treaties?
Secretary KELLOGG. No, it is the same rule.
Senator MOSES. You say it has applied in one treaty?
Senator REED of Missouri. I could not agree to a rule of that breadth at all, in regard to an ordinary contract. But that is unimportant. I want to get the Secretary’s opinion.
We have here this instrument that is made, now. The Secretary has stated that there were a lot of negotiations and a lot of things occurred which were afterwards abandoned, and they were abandoned when they signed the contract; and I take it from that statement that his viewpoint is that when you sign this agreement, it wipes out all ambiguities and everything else that occurred prior to the signing of the treaty. If that is his view, I would like to have it.
Secretary KELLOGG. Senator, that is rather difficult to answer without some explanation. For instance, France desired that only aggressive warfare should be prohibited by this treaty. I discussed that and declined it.
France’s claim that she did not sign any treaty against aggressive warfare of course would not: be a part of this treaty, because she abandoned it.
France claimed that this treaty ought to be subject to the obligations of the Locarno treaties. I declined it; but I pointed out a way that made it safe for her. This treaty, therefore, could not be said to be subject to the conditions of the Locarno treaties, because France signed a treaty absolute, without any such conditions. Those positions were abandoned.
Now, most of the positions taken in these notes and explanations are what the treaty would mean, anyhow, if they had not mentioned them most of them. It is true, of course, as the Senator from Missouri says, that if there is anything in the correspondence or negotiations contrary to the terms of the treaty, the treaty is the one that settles it. That is the contract which finally defines the rights of the parties.
It is also true that if there is ambiguity on the face of a document, the surrounding circumstances and the history may be looked into; but they may not look into direct statements contradictory of the treaty to show that they meant something else.
Senator REED of Missouri. But in construing it and giving it its meaning, you think they should look into these previous communications?
Secretary KELLOGG. Yes.
Senator REED of Missouri. Then what would you say with regard to this? [Reading ]
As regards the passage in my note of the l0th May relating to certain regions of which the welfare and integrity constitute a special and vital interest for our peace and safety, I need only repeat that His Majesty’s Government in Great Britain accept the new treaty; upon the understanding that it does not prejudice their freedom of action in this respect.
Secretary KELLOGG. Yes.
Senator REED of Missouri. Would that be considered?
Secretary KELLOGG. I do not believe that that leaves Great Britain free to make war anywhere in the world where she considers it is to her interest. The treaty contradicts it, absolutely.
Senator REED of Missouri. But does that modify the treaty- give it a construction?
Secretary KELLOGG. No, I do not think it modifies the treaty.
Senator MOSES. If you turn to page 28, paragraph 10, you will find that language in more vigorous form.
The CHAIRMAN. The language on page 28 defines what Great Britain conceives to be her right of self-defense, and the language just read by the Senator has reference back to her right of self-defense
Senator REED of Missouri. I do not want to take up the time of the committee, and I beg pardon for asking these questions, but I am very much concerned about this question of construction. Article 1 is commented on by Mr. Chamberlain on page 28. [Reading]
10. The language of article 1, as to the renunciation of war as an instrument of national policy, renders it desirable that I should remind your excellency that there are certain regions of the world the welfare and integrity of which constitute a special and vital interest for our peace and safety. His Majesty’s Government have been at pains to make it clear in the past that interference with these regions can not be suffered. Their protection against attack is to the British Empire a measure of self-defense. It must be clearly understood that His Majesty’s Government in Great Britain accept the new treaty upon the distinct understanding that it does not prejudice their freedom of action in this respect.
Senator WALSH of Montana. That is to resist attack upon those regions.
Senator MOSES. Or “interference,” it says.
Senator WALSH of Montana. Certainly. You must construe “interference” with reference to the past. It says:
His Majesty’s Government have been at pains to make it clear in the past that interference with these regions can not be suffered. Their protection against attack is to the British Empire a measure of self-defense.
Senator REED of Missouri. Will you let me finish reading what I referred to? [Reading:]
The Government of the United States have comparable interests any disregard of which by a foreign power they have declared that they would regard as an unfriendly act. His Majesty’s Government believe, therefore, that in defining their position they are expressing the intention and meaning of the United States Government.
That was a note of May 19, 1928. Then turning to page 48, on July 18, 1928, occurs the language:
As regards-the passage in my note of 19th May relating to certain regions of which the welfare and integrity constitute a special and vital interest for our peace and safety, I need only repeat that His Majesty’s Government in Great Britain accept the new treaty upon the understanding that it does not prejudice their freedom of action in this respect.
Secretary KELLOGG. Will you just read the next clause?
Senator REED of Missouri (reading):
I am entirely in accord with the views expressed by Mr. Kellogg in his speech of the 28th of April that the proposed treaty does not restrict or impair in any way the right of self-defense, as also with his opinion that each State alone is competent to decide when circumstances necessitate recourse to war for that purpose.
Secretary KELLOGG. That is it.
Senator REED of Missouri (continuing reading).
In the light of the foregoing explanations, His Majesty’s Government in Great Britain are glad to join with the United States and with all other governments similarly disposed”
And so forth.
Secretary KELLOGG. Yes.
Senator REED of Missouri. Is there any doubt in your mind, Mr. Secretary, if after these treaties were signed, some nation was guilty of some act with reference to these possessions that Mr. Chamberlain is talking about which England regarded as an interference with her rights, that England would claim that they had construed this treaty in advance, and had excepted those rights?
Secretary KELLOGG. There is undoubtedly doubt in my mind, because Great Britain was talking about nothing but self-defense.
It is true that whether she had written that note or not, if Great Britain had any possessions in the world, she had a right to defend them; and that is all she was talking about.
Senator REED of Missouri. Do you not think that England would have the right to say, “Mr. Chamberlain said thus and so”-and quote his language-“and that means we are not going to suffer anything to be done in these possessions which we believe will impair our rights”?
Secretary KELLOGG. She would have no greater right under her notes than she would have under this treaty without the notes.
Senator REED of Missouri. Then everything you have said goes into the same hopper. We have no greater rights in the matter of the construction of this treaty because of anything you said, than Austen Chamberlain has because of what he said; because both of us signed the treaty and we both are to be governed by the treaty?
Secretary KELLOGG. Yes.
Senator REED of Missouri. That is where we. come out. So that all this talk and all this negotiation goes into the junk heap; is that right?
Secretary KELLOGG. Many of their suggestions were not agreed to by me. The legal construction of the treaty I stated after giving it very careful consideration. I still hold it is the proper construction of this treaty, and would be if there never had been a note written.
Senator SWANSON. Mr. Secretary, let me read this to you. I want to be clear in my mind. South Africa is mentioned in nearly every other note from Mr. Chamberlain. On July 18 you sent a note insisting that they should say whether they accepted, and in their letter of acceptance which ends on page 36, is this provision:
(e) That provision will be made for rendering it quite clear that it is not intended that the Union of South Africa, by becoming a party to the proposed treaty would be precluded from fulfilling as a member of the League of Nations its obligations toward the other members thereof under the provisions of the covenant of the League.
I understand France said she gave her acceptance with the distinct understanding that the obligations accruing under the league and the Locarno treaties were not to be interfered with by this treaty. Does that mean that so far as these obligations are concerned it is precisely the same as if the treaty was not written, and that it does not apply to those obligations or interfere with those obligations?
Secretary KELLOGG. Certainly; because I suggested it would be a further protection to them. They knew that we would not join in any sanction, or assume any obligation to join in any sanction. They were afraid this treaty would take away their right to come to the help of somebody else, and I was not willing to put a clause in this treaty to that effect, at all; but I said they could accomplish that object by having all the parties to those treaties sign this treaty. Then what would happen? If they broke those treaties they would break this treaty and would be, ipso facto, released from the obligations under this treaty. That is what I said, and that is the application of this treaty.
Senator SWANSON. If a case should arise in which the obligations of the league or the Locarno treaties should require war-there are cases of war under the Locarno treaties-would this treaty apply on those obligations excluded from this treaty?
Secretary KELLOGG. I do not know exactly what you mean. Let me illustrate by a statement. Suppose Germany should make war on Belgium, in violation of the Locarno treaties; it would then be the duty of Great Britain and France and Italy and Czechoslovakia and Poland to come to the help-whatever that may mean-of Belgium; and we will assume that it means by military forces. The moment Germany broke the treaty she would also break this treaty, would she not?
Senator SWANSON. That is true
Secretary KELLOGG. And they could go ahead and carry out their obligations if they wanted to without violating this treaty, because if one party to the treaty violates it, the other parties to it are released from their obligation.
Senator EDGE. The British Foreign Office, on page 36, states exactly what you have stated.
Senator BAYARD. Suppose Belgium put it on the flat ground of self-defense which this treaty sets up; would the treaties of Locarno then come into effect?
Secretary KELLOGG. AS I have explained before, nobody on earth, probably, could write an article defining ” self-defense ” or ” aggressor ” that some country could not get around, and I made up my mind that the only safe thing for any country to do was to judge for itself within its sovereign rights whether it was unjustly attacked and had a right to defend itself, and it must answer to the opinion of the world.
Senator SWANSON. As I understand this treaty-and I have studied it carefully-the obligations assumed by 55 nations in the League of Nations are considered and understood by you and understood by these men to be reserved, and that this treaty does not in any way interfere with the obligations of the League or the Locarno treaties.
Secretary KELLOGG. No.
Senator SWANSON. And if the obligations of the treaty and of the league conflict, that the obligations to the league would prevail, and this treaty would not be considered as interfering with those obligations.
Secretary KELLOGG. No; now, that is not accurate.
Senator SWANSON. That is the way these people who have signed have understood it.
Secretary KELLOGG. Most of the States that signed the league covenant have signed this treaty, and if one of them breaks this treaty, if one of the countries should attack another in violation of the league covenant, then of course the other countries would be released; and the same way with the Locarno treaties.
Senator SWANSON. Suppose a country is not attacked. Suppose there is an economic blockade, and they carry out their obligations under the League of Nations for an economic blockade; would this treaty interfere with it?
Secretary KELLOGG. There is no such thing as a blockade without you are in war.
Senator SWANSON. That is a debatable question.
Senator REED of Missouri. It is an act of war.
Secretary KELLOGG. An act of war, absolutely. If an act of war is committed in violation of the treaty, the other parties are released as to the treaty breaking nation.
Senator WASH of Montana. I wanted to follow up the question asked by the Senator from Delaware. He said, assume that Germany invades Belgium, claiming she does so in self-defense. Let us assume her claim is a perfectly just one; that she is acting in self-defense. Then of course the other nations that come to the aid of Belgium would be breaking not only the Locarno treaties, but breaking this treaty. But what difference does that make to us?
Secretary KELLOGG. None at all.
Senator WALSH of Montana. Supposing some other nation does break this treaty, why should we interest ourselves in it?
Secretary KELLOGG. There is not a bit of reason.
Senator WALSH of Montana. And why should we care whether they break this treaty or some other treaty? That is for them to consider and not us.
Senator EDGE. In other words, one treaty is just as binding as the other.
Senator REED of Missouri. I think there is no doubt that Secretary Kellogg is right when he says that if a nation begins war, it breaks this treaty, and if it begins an unjust war, a war of aggression, it breaks this treaty and consequently it would break the Locarno treaties, and would break the obligations of the league. I think that is true. But I am going a little bit further; or, rather, I am discussing, or was discussing, another subject. The Secretary says that this covers the right of self-defense, and that self-defense can not be defined, and I think that is true.
Secretary KELLOGG. It is pretty difficult to do.
Senator REED of Missouri. It is a difficult thing practically to define self-defense; but the question I was getting at was this. Mr. Chamberlain was very careful to say, in substance, “We have got an English ‘Monroe doctrine’ on the other side, hare, and we say that any interference with our possessions will not be tolerated by us, and we will defend them.” If that language means anything, if all these other negotiations mean anything, then we must read the language of the negotiations in connection with this instrument, and give them such effect as they are entitled to. If the position which I understand the Secretary to take is the correct one, namely that all these negotiations are merged in the instrument itself, and have no effect upon its construction, then we have quite a different case presented here to pass upon.
Senator WALSH of Montana. But, if you will pardon me, let me state this. Suppose, now, that Great Britain does do some act which she claims is in the nature of self-defense, which she claims she is entitled to, and suppose she does do something that is not an act of self-defense; what difference does it make to us? It is a mere matter of whether she can justify her conduct in the opinion of the world upon the ground of self-defense, and she has got to take her own chance of being accused of having violated this treaty. But, of what concern is it to us?
Mr. REED of Missouri. I think I can answer it. We have the Monroe doctrine. We sign this treaty, and, of course, it means something. It is supposed to have very great binding effect upon nations. I am not speaking about punishment at all. England has said very clearly to all the world, “We have our Monroe doctrine”- they do not employ that term but that is what it means-“and we want it understood that any interference with our rights here would be regarded by us as a cause warranting self-defense.”
All right. Mr. Kellogg thinks that that language amounts to nothing, because the treaty was afterwards signed, and we must judge every thing by the treaty.
If we were sure that would be accepted, we might remain silent. I do not agree with the Secretary-with all the respect in the world. I think when you come to try this case of a violation, before the public opinion of the world, if England were, under the circumstances, to regard any invasion of or any interference with her possessions as justifying self-defense, she can go back and point to the fact that at the time and before the treaty was signed, Mr. Chamberlain said these things to you, and all the world knows what they mean.
But suppose the Monroe doctrine was invaded, and we had said nothing about it. England has specifically reserved her rights over there, and we have said nothing. What would be our position before the world?
Either this treaty ought to be signed with the complete wiping out of everything that has been said, or we ought to make our proper declarations when we’ sign it. That is the way I look at it.
Secretary KELLOGG. Senator, all that Great Britain said was that. she had a right to defend her interests-her possessions. Could we object to that? And as Senator Walsh says, if she went beyond that’ she would be answerable for violating the treaty. She has not said anything else in her notes. We have said that every nation has a right of self-defense. Of course the right of self-defense, as I have said, does not simply include the right to repel invasion of San Francisco or New York or anywhere else.
Senator REED of Pennsylvania. Mr. Secretary, suppose that some important European power declared war upon Panama, and invaded the Territory of Panama. Would you construe our right of self-defense to authorize us to object to that?
Secretary KELLOGG Certainly. We have guaranteed the independence of Panama. Outside of that question, we have a right to defend our treaty for maintaining the integrity and independence of Panama just as much as we have a right to defend San Francisco or New York.
Senator REED of Pennsylvania. How about Colombia?
Secretary KELLOGG. South America?
Senator REED of Pennsylvania. Yes.
Secretary KELLOGG. That brings up the Monroe doctrine. The Monroe doctrine is simply a doctrine of self-defense. It does not consist of any agreement between the United States and any country in the Western Hemisphere or anywhere else.
Senator EDGE. Does not the British Government admit that very clearly, in the same expressions Senator Reed refers to? After stating their position with respect to their colonies, on page 28 of this pamphlet, they go on to say:
The Government of the United States have comparable interests any disregard of which by a foreign power they have declared that they would regard as an. unfriendly act.
They admit the Monroe doctrine, in effect.
Senator REED of Missouri.: But they do not admit it as to all countries. She may admit it for herself but not for other countries.
Senator EDGE. YOU are discussing Great Britain’s reservations.
Senator GEORGE. There Is no textual reference to the Monroe doctrine in any of the notes.
Secretary KELLOGG. No. It is unnecessary or me to go through all the utterances of every statesman from the time of Monroe to the present, to show what the Monroe doctrine is. Immediately after the Revolution there was the Holy Alliance in existence whose object was to impose monarchical government, monarchical rule, on every country. We considered that a menace to the United States, and that was the basis of the Monroe doctrine. President Monroe said that we should: consider any attempt on their part to extend their system of government to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety. And over and over again it is stated that the doctrine is based solely on the right of self-defense to the United States.
The CHAIRMAN. It is perfectly certain that every nation, when the time arrives, will construe this treaty in the way it regards as justifying self-defense. Every nation will construe the treaty for itself, as to what constitutes self-defense, and it does not make any difference what you said and what was stated afterwards, when the time comes, what she regards as self-defense she will construe as self-defense.
Senator REED of Missouri. But is it not important that if we get into a controversy nobody shall be able to construe this treaty to show that we have violated our obligation under it?
The CHAIRMAN. If we construe the treaty in the way that we construe to be self-defense, we have got then to make our defense before the world as to whether or not it was self-defense.
Senator REED of Missouri. Yes, but if we have stated, as Mr. Chamberlain did, that a certain thing would come within our doctrine of self-defense, we would then have a defense before the world.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Chamberlain’s utterance is very vague and indefinite. He says “certain regions.” What regions does he mean?
Senator SWANSON. England would determine what those regions are.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; and she would construe it.
Senator ROBINSON of Arkansas. When you construe that with such great breadth, you get nearly back to your starting point. If you recognize the right of every nation to construe for itself what is aggressive war and what is defensive war, you have not accomplished much by agreeing to renounce war. There are only two kinds of war, aggressive and defensive, and if you renounce the right of aggressive war and reserve the right of defensive war, you have placed in the treaty the same interpretation that the French sought to place in it by express provision.
Secretary KELLOGG. Senator, if I had started out to define what aggression was and what self-defense was, I would not have been able to negotiate a treaty during my lifetime or that of anybody present here. They have been struggling with that question in Europe in the League of Nations for years, and finally Chamberlain himself stated that if any definition of “aggressor” would be followed, it would be a trap for the innocent and a signpost for the guilty, or language to that effect.
Senator SHIPSTEAD. Mr. Secretary, I understand that in this negotiation certain propositions were advanced which you rejected.
Secretary KELLOGG. What is that?
Senator SHIPSTEAD. I understand that certain propositions were brought up that you rejected.
Secretary KELLOGG. Yes.
Senator SHIPSTEAD. Then you said there were certain ones that you agreed to.
Secretary KELLOGG. There were certain ones as to which I explained that that was what the treaty meant, and that we did not need any of them.
Senator SHIPSTEAD. Is your proposition that whatever these things you agreed to may be, they can not be considered as a corollary to the treaty, or a condition of it?
Secretary KELLOGG. NO.
Senator JOHNSON. Pardon me, on that, Senator Shipstead, I can not construe this language in that fashion [reading]
It must be clearly understood that His Majesty’s Government in Great Britain accept the new treaty upon the distinct understanding that it does not prejudice their freedom of action in this respect.
Secretary KELLOGG. Senator, that of course must be taken with the other language as to the matter of self-defense.
Senator JOHNSON. I am not discussing the matter of whether it is or not appropriate to the question of self-defense at all; but I certainly think that this treaty, if it ever came to be construed, would be construed in the light of that language.
Senator GEORGE. On the doctrine that whatever one party to a treaty understands, and the other understands that he understands, to be the meaning, becomes the meaning.
Senator BAYARD. Would it not go beyond that, in this way, that Mr. Chamberlain refers to section 10 of the note of May 19, 1928, that note having been sent around to all the nations that were parties to this pending treaty, and there has been no objection or suggestion or comment upon it at any time? Would not that be an acceptance by all the parties adhering to the present treaty, of the doctrine set up by Chamberlain that England would interpret her rights as similar to the right of the United States to operate under the Monroe doctrine? Would not that be the English interpretation of it-“Our own rights and the Monroe doctrine rights”; reservation both ways?
Secretary KELLOGG. Will you let me say a word about the Monroe doctrine? I would just like to tell you my statement as to the Monroe doctrine.
The CHAIRMAN. Go ahead.
Secretary KELLOGG. To show that that doctrine has never changed. Secretary Root reviewed it, and he said this [Reading]:
It is a declaration of the United States that certain acts would be injurious to the peace and safety of the United States and that the United States would regard them as unfriendly.
The doctrine is not international law but it rests upon the right of self-protection and that right is recognized by international law.
We frequently see statements that the doctrine has been changed or enlarged; that there is a new or different doctrine since Monroe’s time. They are mistaken. There has been no change.
The scope of the doctrine is strictly limited. It concerns itself only with the occupation of territory in the New World, to the subversion or exclusion of a preexisting American Government.
Simply because we considered that a threat and a danger to the United States. That declaration does not claim anything else. It does not give us any right to intervene in the affairs of any other country. It does not give us any right to dictate to them what government they shall have or what kind of government; not at all.
A great many people have talked and written, but it is confined absolutely to the question of self-defense; beyond saying, of course, that any danger to the United States by European countries occupying South American countries no longer exists. They refer to that; but it is purely a doctrine that we say we will not permit the subversion of the governments of the Western Hemisphere, because it is dangerous to the peace and security of the United States.
Senator JOHNSON. Did not Secretary Hughes, during the time when he was Secretary of State and in the administration in pursuance thereof, announce another policy in respect to the countries south of us, and those particularly in Central America; that the United States Government would frown unon revolution, and would aid constituted authority in, and would uphold constituted authority in, those countries south of us?
Secretary KELLOGG. I think I can answer that from memory. Mr. Hughes invited the five Central American countries to Washington in 1923 to enter into arbitration treaties and other treaties. In one of those treaties the five Central American countries agreed that they would not recognize any government in any other one of the five countries, which was established by coup d’etat or revolution; but there was no agreement that they would come to their assistance to put down a revolution.
Mr. Hughes, I understood-I think it was while I was in London- said that he had recognized the Obregon government, and while he did not announce that the United States would or should come to the assistance of and maintain a recognized government, he did authorize the War Department to sell munitions to the Obregon government for the purpose of putting down revolution. That, I think, is as far as he went.
Senator JOHNSON. Was not that on the distinct statement, however, I that the foreign policy of the United States was that it would frown :’ upon revolution and maintain the status quo in those countries: south of us?
Secretary KELLOGG. I do not know, Senator; I would have to look that up.
Senator JOHNSON. The only reason I call that to your attention at all is because that is another foreign policy that we must consider in addition to the Monroe doctrine.
Secretary KELLOGG. I have made it pretty plain that the United States has no foreign policy to put down revolution in any country.
Senator JOHNSON. I am glad to hear that.
Secretary KELLOGG. And I have stated over and over again that the extent to which the United States would go was that it would not recognize a revolutionary government; and that is all we have done during my term of office.
Senator SWANSON. Whatever that may have been, it was not involved with those countries. That was in regard to Mexico and the recognition of Obregon. Did not Mr. Hughes definitely state that when we recognize a government, we ought to give it support?
Secretary KELLOGG. Well, what support?
Senator SWANSON. We gave it support by giving it arms and breaking up the blockade so that they could get to the City of Mexico. He stated when we recognize a government we ought to make it valid by giving the government support.
Senator JOHNSON. That is a policy with which I have no sympathy, and with which I am very glad to know the Secretary has no sympathy, either.
Senator REED of Missouri. Did he not go further and give permission, although I think it was not used, for the passage of munitions through American territory?
Senator JOHNSON. I am not sure, but I think in 1923 the announcement was made by Secretary Hughes in substance as we have been discussing here
Senator FESS. I understood the Secretary’s position was that in case there was a revolution, and the rights or lives of foreign citizens residing there were in jeopardy, and in the interest of keeping Europe from going in and settling it, the Monroe doctrine would Justify our doing it
Senator JOHNSON. NO; I think, Senator, that was not the statement of the policy at that time.
Secretary KELLOGG. My statement was this, Senator. I said that while the United States did not sign the Five-Power Treaty in 1923 providing that no one of the five nations would recognize a government which came in by coup d’etat or revolution, and while we were not bound by it, I thought it was a good policy morally, which I think we should follow, not to recognize a government coming in by revolution. That is what I have said.
Senator REED of Missouri. Under any circumstances?
Secretary KELLOGG. I could not say, Senator; but, generally speaking, a government which started a revolution and threw out the other government by force of arms, I think ordinarily we should not recognize.
Senator REED of Missouri. That would have been a bad thing for US in 1776.
Senator FESS. The Monroe doctrine we have had for over 100 years, and during that time, in the Maximilian trouble, and another time under President Cleveland, we took steps that indicated it might be war; but we have never gone to the extent of war. I just wondered whether, if you would write a reservation here, that that would not indicate that it is a subject of war
Secretary KELLOGG. Why, gentlemen, every country in Europe which could make war on Central or South America has signed this treaty; and if they did make war they would break it, and we would be released anyhow. Here is a shadow! Even without this treaty does anybody believe that the present governments of Europe are in .any position to attack any one of the South American countries and impose their form of government? And they all have different forms of government now from what they had l00 years ago.
Senator REED of Missouri. Mr. Secretary, it does not necessarily come up in that way. You will remember that it was reported that Japan, through a corporation, was acquiring control of land around Magdalena Bay.
Secretary KELLOGG. Yes.
Senator REED of Missouri. And that in fact, while being acquired in the name of a corporation, or of individuals, it was being acquired for the Government of Japan; and we passed a resolution in the Senate of protest, or calling upon the President to protest. Now, there is that danger, and we all know that conditions may change at any time; so that I do not think we can treat the question as one where there is no possibility.
Senator REED of Missouri. But I would like to ask this further question. I would like to ask it by way of illustration. Under the treaty of Versailles, France has the right, for a period of years and until Germany complies with certain conditions, to keep her troops on certain portions of the German soil.
Secretary KELLOGG. In the Rhineland.
Senator REED of Missouri. We have a treaty with Germany in which we compelled Germany, as I understand it, to obligate herself to carry out certain of the terms of the Versailles treaty. We have gotten up a deal there with Germany direct, and it is a deal that was made for the benefit of France, and perhaps other countries. All right. These years expire, and France does not get out. Germany then says, “You are now invaders of our country, and we have a right, as the right of self-defense, to put you out;” and France says, “You have not complied with the conditions, and we have got a right to stay until you do ;” so they begin a war.
Then the League of Nations meets, and it proceeds to sit on this case, and it says, “France is right. Germany has not complied with her obligations, and we propose to apply sanctions to you; that is to say, we are going to close your ports ;” which you have very frankly stated, and correctly stated, is an act of war. So war springs up.
Now, what is the reason that those nations involved in that war on either side or both sides, have not the right to say to the united States, “We did not sign individual treaties between individual countries. We signed a multilateral treaty. We all signed it. The obligation is mutual.”
Secretary KELLOGG. Which treaty do you refer to?
Senator REED of Missouri. This one that you have; this multilateral treaty.
Secretary KELLOG. Yes.
Senator REED of Missouri. Suppose they say, “The obligation is mutual, and when it is broken, the nation breaking it violates its treaty with every country alike.”
Secretary KELLOGG. Yes.
Senator REED of Missouri. And in addition to that are these other considerations which I have mentioned. They say, ” Now, we find it necessary to go in and discipline this nation. What are you going to do about it? Your treaty was broken at the same time our’s was broken. It is all one treaty. Are you going to stand outside and do nothing and let us carry this obligation, or are you going to come in and do your part? ” Is there not the heaviest kind of an obligation on our part, under those circumstances, to stand with those we contracted with?
Secretary KELLOGG. Now, Senator, in the first place, we are under no treaty obligation in relation to the Rhineland, at all. We have nothing to do with it.
In the second place, as to the Locarno treaties; those nations- Great Britain, France, Italy-, Germany, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, and Poland-guaranteed the western front, and the carrying out of those clauses; and if any one of the countries in that treaty made war against another, the other powers agreed to come to their help. We have nothing to do with that. As to our treaty with Germany, we do not guarantee anything at all.
Next, if they break that treaty, as the Senator correctly says, and go to war, they would necessarily break this treaty. But how there can be a moral obligation for the United States to go to Europe to punish the aggressor or punish the party making war, where there never was such a suggestion made in the negotiation, where nobody agreed to it, and where there is no obligation to do it, is beyond me. I can not understand it.
As I see it, we have no more obligation to punish somebody for breaking the antiwar treaty than for breaking any one of the other treaties which we have agreed to.
Senator REED of Missouri. Are you sure of that? Let us turn the thing around.
Senator WALSH of Montana. We have made a number of multilateral treaties.
Secretary KELLOGG. A great number; yes.
Senator MOSES. Do you mean postal conventions?
Senator WALSH of Montana. Yes; all that kind of thing. Suppose that a nation violates one of those multilateral treaties, such as the one with Italy or Greece; what kind of obligation have we to join Italy against Greece or to join Greece against Italy?
Secretary KELLOGG. Senator, we have four multilateral treaties which Russia signed, and I do not know how many more we have got.
Senator REED of Missouri. That hardly answers the question, that we have other multilateral treaties.
Secretary KELLOGG. Where is there a statement in the treaty, or anywhere else, of any moral obligation to punish an aggressor?
Senator REED of Missouri. Let me see. Suppose we all sign this treaty, and then England forms a coalition with Japan and some other country, and they come to the attack of this country, in direct violation not only of their obligation to us, but of their obligation to every other country in the world. They have all signed. Would we not feel inclined to say to the other countries of the world, “England has not only violated her treaty with us but she has violated her treaty with you, and you have a direct i interest in it because your commerce is interfered with, and we think that you ought to come in and aid us “? Now, why not?
Secretary KELLOGG. I think the United States could defend itself. I do not think it would be calling upon the other countries of the world to defend it, either.
Senator REED of Missouri. I think we would be calling for all the help we could get, moral and otherwise.
Senator SWANSON. I understand in your statement giving official interpretation of this treaty, you state there would be no moral obligation for us to use any force.
Secretary KELLOGG. Yes; and furthermore no country suggested it; and no country said anything about it, at all, or made any suggestion at all, except Canada, and Canada said there was no obligation to apply sanctions; if there had been, I am sure she would not have signed it.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Secretary, the time has arrived when we have to go on the floor of the Senate. I suppose that is all we can do to-day.
(Thereupon, at 12 o’clock m., the committee adjourned Until Tuesday, December 11, 1928, at 10.30 o’clock a. m.)
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 11, 1928
UNITED STATES SENATE, COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS,
Washington, D. C.
The committee met, pursuant to adjournment, at 10.30 o’clock a. m. in the room of the committee in the Capitol, Senator William E. Borah presiding.
Present: Senators Borah (chairman), McLean, Edge, Gillett, Reed of Pennsylvania, Swanson, Pittman, Robinson of Arkansas, Walsh of Montana, Reed of Missouri, and George.
STATEMENT OF HON. FRANK B. KELLOGG SECRETARY OF STATE-Resumed
The CHAIRMAN. I asked the Secretary of State to come back this morning, because I understood some further questions might be desired to be submitted.
Secretary KELLOGG. I do not know that there is anything more I can say about this. If there is, I will be glad to answer any questions.
Senator REED of Missouri. The Secretary stated this morning before the committee came in, that if the committee desired it, he was willing to send to the committee the whole of the correspondence in relation to these treaties.
I asked him personally if we could not see it, and I think we ought to have it and have an opportunity to examine it, that is all, and find out what the attitude of these nations is so far as it is expressed.
I want to say now, since the newspapers have had so much to say because I asked the Secretary two or three questions here the other day trying to get some light on this business, that I have not aligned myself on these treaties. I do not know what my position is going to be. I want to find out about it.
The CHAIRMAN. Have we not all of the correspondence?
Secretary KELLOGG. You have all the correspondence with the 15 nations up to the signing of the treaty.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Secretary KELLOGG. Two or three days before this treaty was signed, and knowing that before the treaty, offer was made to any nation in the world to adhere, an invitation was sent to each country inviting them to adhere. That appears in this pamphlet.
That was forwarded to each country in the world, so that they would have it on the day the treaty was signed, and immediately the treaty was signed, I sent what we call a flash-a brief message-to our embassies and legations, to deliver this invitation to all the countries in the world. It was delivered. During that day and the next, there were about twelve notices regarding adherence.
From that time to this there are 44 nations which have either adhered or declared their intention to adhere to this treaty. Some of them, of course, have yet to send this adherence to their parliament, but the governments have declared their intention to adhere.
The CHAIRMAN. Are these declarations all written?
Secretary KELLOGG. They are in writing and filed in the State Department, and there are no reservations in any of them, as I recollect-I went over them at the time-but I will have them copied and sent up here, if you wish. There is nothing private about them, at all.
Senator SWANSON. May I ask you this question? After the negotiation had gone so far that the United States Government and France agreed that each would communicate to the nations that contemplated being original signatories to the treaty, their views
Secretary KELLOGG. Yes.
Senator SWANSON. This was handed to these nations and the nations replied?
Secretary KELLOGG. Yes.
Senator SWANSON. Then, finally-I think it was July 18 or 11, or some time-after these communications had been received, you addressed a note to all the powers and asked them to let you know early whether they would accept the treaty as you had sent it. Was there any correspondence in that interim that is not included in what we have here?
Secretary KELLOGG. Not at all. There is not a particle of correspondence, from the beginning to the end, in relation to the negotiation of this treaty, that has not been published and is not in this volume; not one.
Senator REED of Missouri. I do not want to prolong this, and I do not want to be in the position of trying to by hypercritical. I will state the point so far as it appears to me. Here is a treaty, and if there had not been a word said, of course, what the treaty means would have to be judged by just what is written in it; but there were some things said. Mr. Chamberlain said some things, and in his final note that he writes he reiterates those things. I take it that if a situation arose in the future where Great Britain was doing some one of the things that come within the scope of what Chamberlain referred to at least Great Britain would say, ” Now we are acting in good faith. We told you in advance that this is the construction we put upon this treaty”; and if that was all there was to it, I, speaking for myself, would not see any escape from the position that they might take; that is, if they took it within the terms of Chamberlain’s statement.
Senator WALSH of Montana. Let me ask, before you go further, just what is there within the terms of Chamberlain’s statements, and what might they do that would be within those terms?
Senator REED of Missouri. I would rather proceed without interruption.
Senator WALSH of Montana. All right.
Senator REED of Missouri. I can answer that later. I am not trying to provoke an argument; I am just leading up to this–
The CHAIRMAN. Let me say a word. The Secretary, of course, has this Pan American Conference on his hands to-day, and if we are through with him, can we not let him go?
Secretary KELLOGG. Senator Reed, did you want me to answer any questions?
Senator REED of Missouri. No; I just wanted to make this statement to the committee. I would like to finish that sentence.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; go ahead.
Senator REED of Missouri. If it was true that some other nations, in view of the statements made by Mr. Chamberlain, had in some of their correspondence said that they did not accept that construction, that they put a different and broader construction upon the treaty, I think it is important to know what these other nations may have said.
The CHAIRMAN. We will have the entire correspondence. Now, Senator Reed of Pennsylvania.
Senator REED of Pennsylvania. Mr. Secretary, has Soviet Russia adhered to this treaty?
Secretary KELLOGG. Yes; Soviet Russia adhered to the treaty- an absolute adherence. When Soviet Russia adhered, about the same time, or I guess at the same time, she wrote a long note, which I will send up to you-which the French Government sent to us-saying the treaty did not go far enough, and complaining that all the powers ought to, I believe she said, disarm. It was something like the note she wrote before; criticizing the treaty because it did not go far enough. But she signed and adhered to it without any reservations.
Senator SWANSON. That note is not in your catalogue here?
Secretary KELLOGG. You see, that came after the signing of the treaty. We have that note.
Senator REED of Missouri. I wonder if any South American countries took a similar action?
Secretary KELLOGG. No; no South American country.
Senator REED of Pennsylvania. In your opinion, is the confirmation of the treaty with Russia equivalent to recognition of her?
Secretary KELLOGG No; that has been thoroughly settled. The adhering to a multilateral treaty that has been agreed to by other people is never a recognition of the country. How could the United States force Great Britain to recognize a country, by our asking the third power to adhere? We have four multilateral treaties to which Russia is a party, and nobody ever claimed that one of them was a recognition of the Russian regime, at all. I have looked that up carefully, and have given instructions to our ministers about the subject.
Senator REED of Pennsylvania. They had made no such claim on the other treaties?
Secretary KELLOGG. They have made no such claim. Russia does not make any such claim.
Senator REED of Pennsylvania. Then, in your opinion, there is no sense in putting a reservation in this, as to recognition of Russia?
Secretary KELLOGG. No; that would be an Executive act, anyway. If the President felt that there was any doubt about it, when he proclaimed the treaty he would say that there is no recognition of Russia. But of course the President has no doubt about it. The question of recognition is not a matter of legislation; it is a matter of the intention of the Executive; and if he saw fit, even in answering the Russian declaration of adherence, he could say, “This is no recognition of Russia.” But I do not think it is necessary or advisable in this case.
Senator SWANSON. It is usually consummated by an exchange of ambassadors and consular officers, is it not?
Secretary KELLOGG. Yes. A bilateral treaty containing mutual obligations to perform certain governmental acts is generally conceded by us to be in the nature of at least a de facto recognition, especially when we announce it is, as we did in the case of China; we announced that by signing that treaty we considered it a recognition of the Government.
Is there anything further?
Senator McLEAN. I would like to ask the Secretary a question.
Secretary KELLOGG. Yes.
Senator McLEAN. Mr. Secretary, Mr. Miller has written a book-
The CHAIRMAN. David Hunter Miller
Senator McLEAN. Yes. Have you seen that books
Secretary KELLOGG. I think I have looked at it, but I have not examined it carefully.
Senator McLEAN. He quotes you as stating in your definition of the right of self-defense, that every nation has the unquestionable right to defend its territory against attack or invasion. That would limit our idea of the application of the Monroe doctrines
Secretary KELLOGG. NO
The CHAIRMAN. The Secretary said a great deal more than that. Mr. Miller did not quote all of the Secretary’s statement.
Secretary KELLOGG It is all stated in the note on page 36 of this pamphlet.
Senator SWANSON. In your speech of April 28?
Secretary KELLOGG. Yes.
Senator McLEAN. I know it, but I do not see that that particular definition of the Secretary’s has been qualified anywhere. This notion that the right as recognized, to take up arms in self-defense, is limited to the defense of territory, if attacked by an invader.
Secretary KELLOGG. I have said, over and over again, that any nation has the right to defend its interests anywhere in the world. Of course, that is a necessity. I explained that by the illustration of Panama. We have a treaty guaranteeing the independence of Panama.
Senator McLEAN. As to the Monroe doctrine, I do not know that we have ever limited it to the defense of our territory
The CHAIRMAN. NO; neither does the Secretary in his definition.
Senator EDGE. The Secretary in his statement last week supplemented that very largely.
Secretary KELLOGG. Senator Reed asked me for one thing. I stated the other day that the United States had no treaty with Germany or with the other powers guaranteeing the Rhineland occupation. I have prepared a letter, which I could not get ready because I was engaged all day yesterday, citing the Berlin treaty and the provisions of the Versailles treaty, by which we get our rights and advantages. We reserved the benefits of certain sections of the treaty. But there is no guarantee anywhere of the Rhineland; nor are there any other obligations that we are under, in that treaty We simply have the rights and advantages stipulated in the treaty for the benefit of the United States, which it is intended that the United States shall have and enjoy; and the you will find the sections given, so and so-I will not name them all. I will send you up a letter on that subject. It was not ready when I left the office this morning.
I have here the transcript of the previous hearing, which I worked on yesterday late in the afternoon. I think I have made the corrections of grammar, and so forth, on the document itself, so that you can see that nothing has been changed in it.
It contains, however, of course the questions of Senators, and except where those questions were plainly in error, I have not 1mdertaken to revise them. Whether you want to make public these statements about foreign countries, is for you to decide. I will leave the document here. I have: nothing else that I care to suggest.
The CHAIRMAN. If that is all, Mr. Secretary, we thank you for your presence.
Senator SWANSON. It was understood that his testimony should be made public after he revised it.
Secretary KELLOGG. I have revised it so far as I am concerned. If the Senators here wish to revise their questions in any respect, if you will just show it to me after that is done, very well.
Senator REED of Pennsylvania. I notice in article 3 it is stated that it is the duty of the United States ” to furnish each government named in the preamble and every government subsequently adhering to this treaty with a certified copy of the treaty and of every instrument of ratification or adherence; ” and also ” telegraphically to notify such governments immediately upon the deposit with it of each instrument of ratification or adherence.”
Have You conducted negotiations with Russia under that article?
Secretary KELLOGG. No; we have conducted no direct negotiation with Russia at all. France undertook to invite Russia to adhere to the treaty; but we have sent to every government in the world two certified copies of the treaty, and as fast as governments adhere we will notify the countries.
The legal aspect of that is this. Of course the treaty does not go into effect until it is ratified by the 15 original powers which signed it; so that an adhesion by another country would not go into effect until the day of ratification and exchanges of ratifications of the original 15 powers. But there is no reason why all the other powers should not adhere, and even submit their adherences, where it is necessary, to their parliaments for ratification, and file them before the treaty goes into effect. Then when it does go into effect, of course, it would go into effect as to the adhering powers.
Senator SWANSON. In giving notification to Russia, France has conducted these negotiations for you; and did this Government then give notice to France, or to Russia direct?
Secretary KELLOGG. Sent it to France, and she has sent it to Russia.
Of course these adhesions are under conditions. Should the treaty be changed, of course it will not bind them. That is the machinery by which I apprehend the treaty will be handled. I have nothing else to suggest, Mr. Chairman.
Senator GILLETT. How many of the original 15 nations have ratified now?
Secretary KELLOGG. None of them.
Senator GILLETT. None of them?
Secretary KELLOGG. They probably will not until the United States does so. In most cases their parliaments were not in session. I am not sure but it may have been subject to action by their parliaments. I could not say.
Senator ROBINSON of Arkansas. Are they waiting for the United States to act, Mr. Secretary?
Secretary KELLOGG. I do not know. They have not said anything about that. I think there were not any of the parliaments of the 15 powers in session when the treaty was signed.
I understand that in Japan they do not have to submit to their congress. Russia does not submit. Of course Great Britain does not have to submit it to the Parliament. They do usually make an announcement through their prime minister that such and such a treaty is laid before the Parliament and that the Government intends to ratify it. Whether they actually take a vote on it in the Parliament I am not sure; but the King has power to ratify without the Parliament. They usually submit it, however, to the Parliament. I have not looked that matter up as to the other governments of the 15 powers. Some of them undoubtedly have to ratify. There are certain treaties which France may ratify by decree and there are certain treaties which she is required to submit to her Parliament. Treaties affecting the territorial extent of France, and possibly some others-I have not their constitution before me-require the action of their Parliament. Other treaties do not require it.
If there is nothing else, gentlemen, that is all.
The CHAIRMAN. That is all; thank you, Mr. Secretary.
(Thereupon, at 10.55 o’clock a. m., the committee went to executive session. )