LEAGUE OF NATIONS. While this ideal has been in the mind of many mod ern thinkers on international law and while many statesmen have furthered the idea it first became a matter of prac tical statesmanship through the influence of President Wilson. In his famous ad dress, Jan. 8, 1918, he gave as the last of his celebrated fourteen bases of the com ing peace :—"A general association of nations must be formed under specific covenants for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees of political and ter ritorial independencies for great and small states alike." Later in the year, at the Independence Day celebration at Mt. Vernon, the President said one of the ends to which the United States entered the war was: "The establishment of an organization of peace which shall make it certain that the combined power of free nations will check every invasion of right and serve to make peace and jus tice the more secure by affording a defi nite tribunal of opinion to which all must submit." Finally on Sept. 27, 1918, he again reiterated that the League of Na tions would play an important part in the peace settlement, in fact he declared it to be an "indispensable instrumen tality" if the coming peace settlement were to be worth while. Five bases for the League he laid down in this address: "First, the impartial justice meted out must involve no discrimination between those to whom we wish to be just and those to whom we do not wish to be just. It must be a justice that plays no favor ites and knows no standard but the equal rights of the peoples concerned; "Second, no special or separate inter est of any single nation or any g-roup of nations can be made the basis of any part of the settlement which is not con sistent with the common interest of all; "Third, there can be no leagues or al liances or special covenants and under standings within the general and com mon family of the League of Nations.
"Fourth, and more specifically, there can be no special, selfish economic CORI binations within the league and no em ployment of any form of economic boy cott or exclusion except as the power of economic penalty by exclusion from the markets of the world may be vested in the League of Nations itself as a means of discipline and control; "Fifth, all international agreements and treaties of every kind must be made known in their entirety to the rest of the world."
While the President thus put himself in the forefront of the movement to es tablish a League of Nations, he was not alone among the statesmen of the world in this position. Prominent among other leaders was General Smuts of the Union of South Africa whose draft of a leag-ue was actually made the basis of discussion in the negotiations at Paris. Viscount Grey and Lord Robert Cecil in England both pronounced in favor of the idea, the latter being appointed by the British Premier to have charge of the "League of Nations Department" of the British Government's staff at the Peace Conference. Premier Clemenceau exhib itel no enthusiasm for the idea from the first, although Leon Bourgeois, a sup porter of the League, was placed in eharge of the matter at the Peace Con ference.
After the President had arrived in Paris there was considerable discussion as to whether the terms of peace should not first be settled and then the cove nant of the League of Nations be drafted. Most of the European statesmen took this view, but the President was obdu rate in demanding that the first business of the Peace Conference should be the drafting of a constitution of a League of Nations. In this he carried his point and on Jan. 18, 1918, at the first session of the Conference it was announced that the first business would be the adoption of a covenant of a league. On Feb. 14, 1919, just before sailing for the United States to transact necessary business, the President read the Covenant of the League of Nations to the Peace Confer ence which adopted it.