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GENERAL PACT FOR THE RENUNCIATION OF WAR
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7, 1928
UNITED STATES SENATE,
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, Gillett, 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
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 plenipotentiaties: 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:
For the Irish Free State:
Acting Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs; His Majesty the King of Italy: Count Gaetano Manzoni, his Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Count Uchida, Privy Councillor;
Mr. A. Zaleski, Minister for Foreign Affairs;
Dr. Eduard Benès, 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:
The 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 der osit become effective as between the power thus adhering and the other powers rarties 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 treat y 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.) J. S. Smit. SEAL.] FRANK B. KELLOGG.
(SEAL.] LIAM T. MacCosGAIR. SEAL) PAUL HYMANS.
CUSHENDUN. SEAL.] ARI BRIAND.
(SEAL.] G. MANZONI. SEAL.] CUSHENDUN.
(SEAL.] Uchida. SEAL.] W. L. MACKENZIE King. (SEAL.] AUGUST ZALESKI. SEAL.] A. J. McLACHLAN.
(SEAL.] DR. EDUARD BENES. SEAL.]
C. J. PARR.
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.
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 resolu-, tion repudiating any obligation to go to war in defense of any country attacked. But I will not go into the discussion--
Senator SWANSON. 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. 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
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 sonstitute 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 & 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 con