Page images
PDF
EPUB

Mr. William Nelson Cromwell:

I submit that I regard the claims of such a resolution as an impertinence. What right has this Association to make any suggestion of that kind. This question is of supreme magnitude, and the vote of this assemblage will have a significance which may be misconstrued, and I believe it will work injury to the Association. What we will be doing is to mix up politics and policies with legal principles, and that is wrong. I say that we should keep off that ground. That is not our business. That is the business of individual advocacy of such wonderful men as my friend who has spoken. Let them speak in their own forumlet them speak as lawyers, as statesmen-anywhere; but let them not use the great organization of this State to insult our President and our Administration and our Department by saying that we know more than they do. Leave it alone. I submit it is a blunder; it is a blunder. This is going to be one of the great topics for years to come.

Personally, my vote might be exactly the same as that of my friend, Mr. Coudert, but I am against the idea of a great organization such as the State Bar Association being quoted as against the policy of my Government. We have many difficulties the world over. There is hardly a Nation in the world in which our Government is not now in trouble and great distress. Shall we aggravate it? Shall we increase it? Shall we multiply the difficulties, and tell the world to-morrow morning that we differ with our own government? Is the Bar Association of the State of New York to be recorded as differing with its own government?

A Member:

Yes, sir.

Mr. Cromwell:

Are they?

A Member:

No, sir.

Mr. Cromwell:

That is the point. I move that the resolution be tabled.
Motion seconded.

The President:

Is there anything to be said further before the motion to table the resolution of Mr. Coudert is voted upon?

Mr. Church:

It seems to me that we have every right as lawyers —

Mr. Cromwell. (Interposing):

The resolution, as I understand it, is not debatable.

The President:

We are now on the motion to table the resolution.

Mr. Church:

It was my understanding that the President had called for

remarks

The President:

I asked if there was any observation to make before this motion to table is put to a vote. Are you ready to vote upon that question? If you are so ready, all who favor the tabling of the resolution offered by Mr. Coudert will stand.

A portion of the assemblage arises.

A Member:

Will you make it clear, Mr. President, what the resolution is? The President:

We are now voting upon the motion to table the resolution offered by Mr. Coudert, that it be not acted upon here and now, and that it be left on the table.

Will you poll the vote, Mr. Secretary?

The Secretary:

I believe I counted nineteen in favor.

The President:

Nineteen in favor of tabling the resolution. Now, all who oppose the tabling of this resolution will kindly arise.

A portion of the assemblage arises.

It is plain that the motion to table this resolution is lost. Will you now vote upon the original resolution of Mr. Coudert?

Mr. Campbell:

Is that open for discussion?

The President:

I think it is.

Mr. Campbell:

It seems to me this proposition is a very simple one, but, like many simple propositions, it can be obscured.

As a Nation we have determined by decisive act that we will remain out of the League of Nations. Having so determined, how it is logical or sensible for us to enter into any plan in which we shall simply, in regard to this matter, have an equality with the Nations which are in the League of Nations? In my judgment we want nothing to do with advisory opinions from that Court relating to political matters; and so, I think, it is clear that our Courts of action, if we are to stand in accord with our fellow citizens, pronouncedly express, and, I think, very wisely suggested by Mr. Cromwell, is that political matters absolutely are not those in which lawyers should intermeddle. Therefore, it seems to me that it is our duty as an Association to vote against the confirmation of this report. I may not have attained the high plane of understanding in regard to international matters which is affected by some of our conferees. I am getting to have a good deal of doubt about the so-called intelligentsia. I have heard them down at the Columbia extension course making radical assertions. I have heard them proclaiming doctrines that are absolutely contrary to what has been revealed to us in the matter of religion. Therefore, I am not surprised to see the atmosphere that is being exhibited here today even in a gathering of lawyers, which confuses our functions, and I therefore want to register my voice as decidedly against the adoption of this report.

Mr. Adelbert Moot:

Mr. Chairman: This question has nothing to do with the League of Nations. Everybody understands that the Senate of the United States determined that this Nation should not take any action to bring this Nation into the League of Nations. Whether that is now the opinion of the country or not, is not a

subject for debate here. If this country officially receives notice that more than forty nations are willing to have us become a member of the League of Nations-not all of them Nations in the League of Nations-if we are willing to become one of those Nations supporting an International Court, which we have advocated for more than twenty-five years in this Association-if we are willing to accept the action of the other. Nations saying to us, in substance, "If your reservation is contrued as we construe it, to give you an absolute parity with any Nation in the League of Nations as to this Court, are you content? Will you come in on that ground?" Is there anybody here really that thinks we ought to decline to come in if that is received? I do not suppose there is.

Now, what more is there to this? The President of the United States is asked if that notice comes to lay it before the Senate to take appropriate action. That is all. What is there in the name of high Heaven that should stop the mouths of this Association for the first time in twenty-five years in respectfully requesting the President of the Unted States to do that? (Applause.)

Mr. William D. Guthrie:

Mr. Chairman, this Association has repeatedly, as Mr. Moot has said, approved the principle of a permanent Court of International Justice. This Association may be prepared to approve the Protocol if indeed it did not approve it a year ago. It may be prepared to approve the recommendations admirably made, and very forcibly stated, in this report. We will accomplish everything that we ought to venture upon by approving the participation of the United States in the Court, but not in the form suggested.

I think the Association will establish a most objectionable precedent if it attempts, in a matter now within the hands of the President for attention, to request him to do any particular thing. We can approve and accept certain recommendations and express our opinions accordingly, but I think, as does Mr. Cromwell, that it is highly improper for us to pass a resolution. requesting the President of the United States to do or refrain from doing, any particular thing in connection with our Inter

rational relations. We can, let me repeat, approve any principle; we can approve any policy for what it is worth. We can approve the clarification, as proposed, as seeming to us adequate to meet our views, but I earnestly hope and urge upon this Association that it will not make the great mistake of requesting the President of the United States to do a particular act and to make a particular recommendation to the Senate in connection with International relations.

If you pass this resolution, who knows what other resolutions will follow at this very meeting, requesting the President to do this thing or to refrain from that?

I, therefore, think that all proper objects of this Association will be accomplished in an appropriately worded resolution approving the principles of this report, but not venturing to instruct the President of the United States as to what he shall or shall not do in respect of pending international negotiations. The President:

Do you suggest an amendment to the particular language in the resolution offered by Mr. Coudert, which will obviate the difficulty and embarrassment that you and others may feel might arise therefrom? Perhaps, Mr. Guthrie, if you and Mr. Coudert could confer for a few moments the objectionable feature of the resolution might be cured.

Mr. John W. Leavitt:

I rise to say that Mr. Guthrie's address has changed my mind and I shall vote on that side.

Mr. Guthrie:

I think, Mr. Coudert, that you should consider a modification of your motion, which either you or I may make. I think the approval of the acceptance of the proposed qualifications by this Association is all that we should do.

Mr. Coudert:

I am not worried as to the precise phraseology.

Col. Dykman:

I submit that this matter is too important to be conducted by two men on their feet talking for the floor.

1

« PreviousContinue »