Page images



Remarks Before the People's Mandate Committee to


End War, November 6, 1936

HERE are two kinds of peace conferences:
Those that are designed to reestablish peace

after a period of armed hostilities and those that have for their purpose the maintenance of peace and, consequently, the prevention of war. For myself, I would far rather labor in the vineyard of the latter and thus help spare mankind the awful antecedent of the former. I count it, therefore, a high privilege to set sail tomorrow, together with my colleagues of the United States delegation, for a great conference designed to strengthen in the world the forces of peace and to repel the forces of war.

The governments of the twenty-one American republics which will be represented at Buenos Aires are animated by one common purpose-to do everything in their power to banish war from the two continents of the Western Hemisphere. Moreover, by their example and their influence, they are seeking to promote peace throughout the world in every practicable way.

At the forthcoming conference, we shall take counsel with each other as to the best means of attaining our objectives. We shall endeavor to give appropriate expression to our desires and our determination, and to

embody in necessary conventions and agreements our will to act in accordance with the broad and constructive principles by which we are guided.

The Buenos Aires Conference will be confronted with a large task. But the breadth and scope of its agenda, and even the manner in which the numerous and complicated questions before it will be resolved, do not constitute the sole criteria of the success or failure of the effort.

Three years ago, at the Montevideo Conference, the American nations adopted important resolutions and pacts. But these instruments were no more important than the sincere determination of the delegates assembled to understand one another and to fashion for themselves a common purpose. By its success along these lines, that conference contributed greatly to the strengthening of the "good neighbor" policy among the American republics and to the placing of international relations in the Western Hemisphere upon a firmer basis of comprehension and cooperation than ever before.

It is our sincere hope that at the approaching conference these friendly relations will be carried to a still higher level. But here, too, the efficacy of whatever treaties that may be negotiated, of whatever international agencies that may be organized or strengthened, will, in the days to come, depend largely upon the good-will, mutual understanding, and confidence which will be engendered at the conference. Without sincerity, trust, and desire to cooperate, pacts and resolutions may all too quickly be forgotten.

Nor is it sufficient for statesmen to understand each other and to place their relations with each other upon a basis of confidence and good-will. Back of the statesmen are the great forces of public opinion which, in the final analysis, fashion the policies that the statesmen put into effect. Just and lasting peace cannot be achieved unless there is a wide-spread public understanding of the problems involved and sincere support for constructive solutions of these problems.

Organizations like yours offer a great public forum for discussions of such vitally important questions of public welfare as prevention of war and the promotion of peace. Only out of informed and searching discussion of this sort will there arise alert and responsible public opinion, insistent in its demand that war and threat of war cease to have a place in our civilization.

We are grateful to you for wishing us Godspeed in our enterprise. Dark and threatening clouds overhang the international horizon in many parts of the world. Our delegation and, I am sure, all those with whom we shall meet are keenly aware of the gravity of our task and the magnitude of our opportunity. We hope and pray that our efforts will meet with full measure of success.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »