A NEW PEACE
ORGANIZED BY THE
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.
LARGE HALL, HOTEL WITTEBRUG, THE HAUGE, December 7th, 8th, and 9th, 1922.
Chairman -- -- -- JANE ADDAMS.
PROCEDURE TO BE ADOPTED.
(1) Amendments to resolutions may be sent in by all properly accredited delegates from organizations in sympathy with the principles of the Conference.
(2) All amendments must be sent in by December 1st, addressed to Madame Ramondt-Hirschmann, Valeriusplein, 5, Amsterdam.
(3) No new resolutions may be brought forward.
(4) Delegates will have voting cards presented to them at The Hague, one for each organization they represent.
(5) At all the meetings the languages shall be French, German, and English.
I. GENERAL EFFECTS OF THE PEACE TREATIES.
MOVED BY THE CHAIRMAN.
§ 1 This Conference declares that the present terrible state of Europe and its reactions on the rest of the world are the result not only of the World War but also in very large measure of the existing Peace Treaties.
§ 2 It notes that, from the political, economic, military and psychical aspects, these Treaties have been alike disastrous and have become the chief obstacles to the peaceful reorganization of the world.
§ 3 Recommendation: This Conference, composed of . . . organizations representing . . . members, and organized by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, urges the immediate summoning of a World Congress of all nations to discuss A NEW PEACE, whose object shall be to satisfy international interests and to encourage international [cooperation].
§ 4 Alternative Recommendation:
MOVED BY THE AGENDA COMMITTEE.
This Conference, composed of . . . organizations representing . . . members, and organized by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, urges the States members of the League of Nations to bring before the League the necessity of summoning immediately a World Congress of all Nations to discuss A NEW PEACE, whose object shall be to satisfy international interests and to encourage international [cooperation]. [page 2]
II. POLITICAL EFFECTS OF THE PEACE TREATIES.
(A) Effects of the Covenant upon the work of the League of Nations.
§ 5 This Conference recognizes that, failing certain amendments, the League of Nations must fall very far short of a truly international organ of democracy. The primary defect is that, the League not being universal, its decisions are to a great extent robbed of their impartial character.
Recommendation: This Conference urges --
§ 6 (1) the immediate admission to the League of Nations, of all States desirous of becoming members and willing to abide by its constitution and decisions;
§7 (2) the introduction of such changes, both in the covenant and in the spirit in which the States members of the League conduct their foreign affairs, as shall reassure those States which have not yet applied for membership, and make them desirous of doing so.
(B) Effects of other parts of the Treaties upon the work of the League of Nations.
§ 8 This Conference notes that, although the Covenant actually forms Part I of the Treaties, and declares that its object is "international [cooperation], peace and security," the other parts of the Treaties are opposed to international [cooperation], being one-sided and penal; opposed to peace, since they present many injustices; opposed to security, since their provisions make impossible the creation of a true League of Nations, by which alone security can be established.
§ 9 Article 10 of the Covenant requires the members to "respect and preserve, as against external aggression, the territorial integrity and existing political independence of all members of the League"; but there are in the Treaties repeated instances of contempt for the desires and interests of the peoples affected, and this makes Article 10 either a dead letter for those who do not wish to administer it, or a cause of wars for those who do.
§ 10 Recommendation: This Conference, recognizing a widespread desire for a universal and democratic League of Nations to promote international [cooperation], and recalling the consistent advocacy of such a League by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, reiterates it steadfast belief that such a League is the only political instrument capable of preventing the causes of war. It therefore urges upon all the nations the importance of --
§ 11 (1) Putting into power governments which shall honestly [endeavor] to make the existing League of Nations into such an instrument, and shall submit to its decisions all differences in international policy on which the parties concerned cannot unaided arrive at an agreement;
§ 12 (2) Where the Treaties have resulted in continuous unrest, making new agreements to settle national boundaries in accordance with the will of the majority of the inhabitants, impartially ascertained, and making adequate provision for the welfare of all dissident minorities, and for free exchange and traffic between States;
§ 13 (3) Amending the Mandate system so as to give the inhabitants of mandated territories the right of direct appeal to the League of Nations, and to give to the League the power of withdrawing and redistributing mandates upon good cause shown.
III. ECONOMIC EFFECTS OF THE PEACE TREATIES.
(A) Reparations and War Debts.
§ 14 While recognizing the duty of repairing the injury done in devastated areas, this Conference holds that the extravagant claims made by the Allied Powers for Reparations from Germany, Austria, and Hungary were not only in contravention of the Armistice terms, but have proved economically disastrous to victors as well as to vanquished.
§ 15 The holding by the Allies of Austrian securities for Reparations until summer 1922 and the forbidding Austria to join Germany greatly aggravated her already critical situation.
§ 16 The effort to impose fantastic indemnities upon Germany has resulted in the sum never being definitely fixed, a fact which, taken in conjunction with the falling valuta, has had the inevitable [page 3] consequence that the people must lose zest for work (since no amount of work profits them); and that grave difficulties are being created in the home politics of Germany.
§ 17 The economic and financial policy pursued hitherto by the victors has also caused widespread devaluation of money, destruction of credit (since no lender can be sure that his interest and even his capital will not be seized by the victors), adoption of crippling tariffs, and regulations and disappearance of a large part of world trade, while the remnant has been reduced to a demoralizing gamble. It has complicated business and delayed reconstruction (as, for instance, in France). It has caused monstrous prices, underfeeding, overwork and insecurity among the vanquished peoples on the one hand, and, on the other, unemployment and the closing of factories and loss of trade with all attendant social disorders to the rest of the world. The Armies of Occupation and the numerous extravagant Commissions eat up even such proportion of the indemnities as has been paid.
§ 18 Recommendation: This Conference strongly recommends the summoning of a world conference for the consideration of the whole question of reparations and indemnities, and urges that, at the same time, Inter-Allied war debts should be considered, with a view to reducing international indebtedness and once more bringing world trade into normal channels.
§ 19 Alternative Recommendation:
MOVED BY THE AGENDA COMMITTEE.
This Conference heartily welcomes the suggestion advanced at the assembly of the League of Nations (1922) that the whole question of reparations should be considered from an international standpoint; it urges the League of Nations to use its good offices to bring together the nations for this purpose, and recommends that Inter-Allied war debts should be considered at the same time.
(B) Free Trade.
§ 20 The Treaties have resulted in a disastrous restriction of trade, partly as an extension of trade-war, partly in an [endeavor] to counteract the injurious effects of the indemnity clauses.
§ 21 This Conference holds that competitive tariffs and the political corruption associated with Protection are some of the chief causes of wars; it also notes that self-determination may be economically disastrous unless associated with Free Trade, as was proved, for instance, in the Succession States of the late Austrian Empire.
§ 22 Recommendation: This Conference recommends that the world Congress suggested in Resolution I should [endeavor] to arrive at conventions by which protective tariffs may be abandoned all the world over, while the needs of all peoples in regard to raw materials should at the same time be supplied and international provision be made for rationing in time of shortage. It further recommends that restrictions on the free circulation of law-abiding [travelers] should be universally withdrawn.
IV. MILITARY EFFECTS OF THE PEACE TREATIES.
§ 23 This Conference notes that, whereas provision for disarmaments is made in the Covenant, very little progress has been made by the League of Nations in this direction, and that, whereas on the one hand Germany, Bulgaria, and Hungary have been extensively, and Austria entirely disarmed, the Turks have been allowed to recover their military power, and among the Allies also, armaments by sea, land, and air have grown far beyond even the pre-war standard, and several of the Neutrals in the late war have been following their example.
§ 24 Recommendation: This Conference, rejecting war as a means of settling differences between peoples, and, moreover, believing that, in view of modern scientific developments, there is no practicable half-way measure in respect to disarmament, urges Universal Total Disarmament by land, sea, and air, each State retaining only such forces as are adapted to internal police work. As a necessary corollary, all standing armies, navies, and air forces would be disbanded. Until disarmament has been arrived at, all manufacture of arms, and traffic in them, should be subject to international agreement and inspection. [page 4]
V. PSYCHICAL EFFECTS OF THE PEACE TREATIES.
The International Spirit.
§ 25 This Conference is of opinion that the psychical effects of the Treaties have been at least as bad for the victors as for the vanquished, and that they have been in the highest degree responsible for the failure of the League of Nations to take the place it might have taken and to deal with the most important international questions.
§ 26 Among other injuries the Treaties have --
§ 27 (1) Maintained the distinction between Victors and Vanquished, between Allies and non-Allies;
§ 28 (2) Imposed Armies of Occupation whose presence is like the persistent irritation of an open sore;
§ 29 (3) Necessitated frequent interferences with the sovereign rights of Vanquished Powers, not in international interests, but in the supposed interests of the Allies, or as part of a penal policy;
§ 30 (4) Made almost inevitable a propaganda of antagonism and misrepresentation, in order to prove Germany in [willful] default in the matter of indemnities, and have given occasion for much oppression and tyranny;
§ 31 (5) By fixing upon Germany the sole guilt of causing the war (although documents which have already come to light implicate other nations) have perpetuated hatred and bitterness, which fatally obstruct international [cooperation] and which have infected youth everywhere with a spirit of chauvinism;
§ 32 (6) By aggravating the fluctuation of the exchanges, caused widespread gambling and all the corruption associated therewith;
§ 33 (7) Kept in being the Supreme Council, the Council of Ambassadors, the Reparations and other Commissions, all of which have tended to diminish the prestige of the League of Nations;
§ 34 (8) Given to the League of Nations the odious task of carrying out some of the penal clauses of the treaties, such as the administration of the Saar Basin and the partition of Silesia, thereby associating the League with a Victor’s peace in which it had no hand, and rendering it unpopular and suspect among the Vanquished Powers.
§ 35 Recommendation: Since a genuinely international spirit is essential for the effective working of the League of Nations, and since the punitive Treaties render the development of such a spirit impossible, this Conference calls upon all peoples to insist that their Governments shall make new agreements conceived and carried out in that spirit.
§ 36 The Peace Treaties are contrary to the Armistice terms (i.e. President Wilson’s 14 points).
§ 37 They are inconsistent with the spirit of the League of Nations expressed in the Preamble to the Covenant, and do in fact "endanger the peace of the world" (Covenant Article 19).
§ 38 They have proved disastrous in practice notably by --
(a) Preventing economic reconstruction;
(b) Preventing progress in disarmament;
(c) Making a real and effective League of Nations impossible.
§ 39 This Conference demands A New Peace based on New International Agreements.
Signed for the Agenda Committee
H. M. SWANWICK,
ALETTA H. JACOBS,
CATHERINE E. MARSHALL.