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Rhineland Difficulties

December 29, 1918

Yesterday Clemenceau came in for what he called a friendly informal talk. Both he and the Colonel asked me to stay, "to keep us old fellows from straying too far afield" was the way the Tiger put it. He began by explaining the expression of noble candeur as applied to the President in his recent speech in the Chamber, to which many ascribe an offensive meaning.

"Nothing was farther from my thoughts than that," explained the Tiger; "I used the words in their English sense. I was applauding his frankness and his loyalty of spirit, but at the same time I wished to utter a word of warning because we are both in a difficult situation and naturally and inevitably we shall view it from different standpoints."

Then turning to House: "Let us survey the scene calmly and deliberately, my dear friend, before the battle begins. America is far away, but we are near to the ravening wolves. America came and saved us, but still you remain far away, and while you were coming think of what we suffered! Our homes and our fields have been ravaged and our mines destroyed. Don't take this as a formal statement, much less a protest. I am simply a tired old man thinking aloud. We are reviving after a world disaster. We in Paris placed our faith in the balance of power and in strong frontiers. Well, as the event has proved, our frontiers were not solid and the political arrangements - well, they were in unbalance. In view of the disaster that followed many today condemn the old system and President Wilson is their prophet. He and he alone can lead us into the pastures of peace and plenty, we are told. Now I admit I am, even in view of the disaster that has involved us all, still a partisan of the old system, at least until something better is offered and, note this, has been tested by experience. I am not an opponent of the proposed League of Nations. Gladly I accept it as a supplementary guarantee, but for today we must have something more practical, something that has been through the furnace of war, even if, as might well be the case, some of the tests have not turned out very successfully."

[I think this is the first indication that Clemenceau had in mind a joint agreement for the defense of the Rhine frontier.]

March 11, 1919

The problem of the Rhine is now the order of the day. Tardieu came in this morning and had a long talk with the Colonel who asked me to he present and, when he left, to draw up a memo of what was said. He admitted that by the Armistice arrangements the Fourteen Points had become binding on France, but he asserted they should be interpreted in the light of what he called "antecedent circumstances," he went into what he called the historique of the Rhine problem for the purpose of showing that the present demand for a rearrangement of the frontier had always been a principal war aim of France. He brought with him documents to prove that the question had been taken up with some of the Allies in January, 1917, three months before we entered the war, and that at least with Russia an agreement had been reached. At this time Briand, who was Prime Minister, had instructed the French Ambassador in St. Petersburg to advise the Russian government that in view of the fact that her vital interests were involved France must be allowed a preponderant influence in the adjustment of the Rhine frontier. "In the future," ran this communication, "Germany must nor be allowed to touch the Rhine or to secure positions near by which would facilitate future aggression.

Tardieu also revealed a communication which at the same time was sent by his Foreign Office to Ambassador Paul Cambon in London. In it Cambon was instructed to feel our Britain as to the best methods of securing the independence of the Rhine provinces or, in any event, of shielding them from Prussian contact and influence. However, as the instruction revealed, leeway was granted Cambon as to when and how he should broach the subject. He was not to introduce it if in his judgment it would lead to discord between the principal allies or even to discussion. A few days later the Briand ministry fell and the instruction was not renewed.

But with Russia the negotiations went much farther. M. Doumergue was sent to St. Petersburg with a letter from the President of the Republic to his great and good friend the Tsar in which once again it was affirmed that both Britain and France had agreed to give Constantinople to Russia and also some territory in Thrace that was to be taken away from ungrateful Bulgaria. M. Doumergue brought hack from St. Petersburg his quid pro quo. The Tsar agreed to support whatever decision France might make as to the future of the Rhine.

"It was not intended to keep these arrangements secret," explained Tardieu. "On the contrary it was planned to publish them urbe et orbe at a favorable moment, for instance, when the expected success of the Nivelle offensive was apparent. Indeed a secondary instruction went to Paul Cambon in London advising him that in the opinion of the French government this would be the appropriate moment to inform London of its views, indeed of its decision. But unfortunately Nivelle was nor successful and on March 12, 1917, the Tsar was overthrown and all the papers dealing with the matter went into the waiting but certainly not into the "dead" files. So we admit that when Lloyd George came to Paris he was not bound by treaty, open or secret, to any territorial arrangements with France except in regard to Turkey in Asia and also unfortunately on the Adriatic."

Two days later Jules Cambon came in on what the Colonel called a "follow up" mission. He is an ardent partisan of a division of Germany into what he calls "its component parts." "We must separate the sheep from the goats," he said; "the good Bavarians from the stiff-necked, impossible Prussians. Otherwise there will never be peace on our frontier or for that matter in Europe." His argument is as follows:

"It was the wicked treaty imposed by our conquerors in 1815 that put Prussia on the Rhine. Who can deny that from that sad day to 1870 the inhabitants of these stolen regions have regarded themselves as the unfortunate victims of a detestable diplomatic combination? I hope the right of self-determination will he granted to these people and that in any event the dominance of Prussia will be terminated. Among the Germans, Prussian influence will always be great, perhaps controlling, and this danger must be removed from our frontier as far as possible.

"I cannot see," continued Cambon, "how our plan runs counter to the humanitarian ideals of your great President, and I even think it will find favor in many liberal circles in Germany and perhaps secure the support of some Prussians who must be tired of the recurrent and fruitless wars to which this unsettled frontier condemns them."

The Colonel spends much time reading and pondering over these memoranda. Today he said, "I do not have to tell you that this is graveyard stuff. France won the battle of the Maine and the struggle for Verdun, but now the Battle for the Rhine looms on our dark horizon. How will it end? I confess I do not know."

February 27, 1919

Much to our surprise Clemenceau, unannounced, dropped in on House this morning. He looked rather shaky (he had been shot on the nineteenth) but was in fine spirits. "I have come to pay homage to the American delegation on the birthday of our joint father, the immortal George. Of course I had planned to come on the twenty-second, that is a date I shall never forget, but was prevented by an `unpleasant incident over which the police had no control.'"

The Tiger was in a rollicking humor and gave amusing accounts of the birthday celebrations in which he had participated during his happy years of exile, as he called them, in New York, in Rochester, and in Stamford. Then he grew serious and the real purpose of his call was revealed.

"My dear House, during many sleepless nights I have cudgeled my brains, what is left of them, for a substitute policy that would he more palatable to Wilson and to you, but I can t find it. There is no other way to secure the security of France than by the annexation of the Rhine lands or the establishment of the Rhenish republic. Wilson told me he could not consider even for a moment direct annexation, so I have come to tell you that after due consideration the French government will insist upon the creation of the Rhenish republic. Those lands furnish easy access to the very heart of France, access that has been availed of so frequently in the past, as the Prussian invasions of our country during the last hundred years reveal. The keys to France must be in the custody of Frenchmen. I am sorry we cannot accept the American view. We probably would had we enjoyed the same pleasant neighbors as you have during your national existence, but unfortunately we have been up against quite a different breed."

March 28, 1919

The last ten have been crucial days and at times the outlook for the long-sought world settlement has been none too bright. It is most unfortunate that the French and the Italian delegates should be so well informed as to Wilson's increasing difficulties with the Senate and the insistent, indeed the imperative demand that has been served on him in Washington as to the necessity of making a hard and fast reservation in regard to the Monroe Doctrine. At times it has looked as though the Isolationists, far from awaiting the ratification battle at home, have succeeded in choking the Covenant while still in the cradle over here. At the very first meeting of the chief delegates after Wilson's return to Paris (March 14), as is his habit the Tiger placed his cards face up on the table, he told his listeners, who simulated surprise, that unless he secured some hold on the Saar and at least a fairly defensible position on the Rhine he did not think he could present the Treaty for ratification and that if he did he was quite certain that in its present mood the Senate and the Chamber would not ratify it.

The issue was now clearly defined, as Lloyd George and the President were in agreement that they could not accept either the Foch or the Tardieu plan for a solution of these problems. While they differ as to terms, both of these plans aim at a permanent occupation of these frontier districts by Allied forces, a commitment which neither Britain nor America is willing to assume.

It looked as though a stalemate was impending and it must be admitted that it was the resourceful little Welshman who broke it. First he sounded out House with, "I confess I find it natural and even reasonable that France should ask for protective guarantees; in the last fifty years she has been twice invaded by Germany, and it is clear to me why she has been attacked. France is the guardian of democratic civilization on the Continent; she is our bulwark against Central European autocracy." When this had sunk in, George continued, "Until the League has proved its strength we must stand by France in case of invasion and we must make public announcement of our decision in this regard."

Whatever his real feelings may have been, for some days Clemenceau demurred and talked of counter, more concrete, proposals. Finally, however, he weakened somewhat but insisted upon the temporary occupation of the Rhine bridgeheads by Allied troops, "until the League is seasoned - until it has proved its metal." This is the genesis, in a few words, of the Rhine agreement about which much ink is being spilled and many ponderous tomes are bound to be written.[23] As none of the parties to it are jubilant, it is probably an excellent settlement. In any event, the deadlock is broken and the other problems will now be taken up. Grudgingly rather than enthusiastically Clemenceau admits that with this guarantee he can steer the Treaty through the chambers, hut he asks House, "Can George and Wilson get it through their parliaments?" Clemenceau is well aware how reluctant these bodies are to overseas commitments and responsibilities to be automatically assumed at some future time under circumstances which no one can foresee. House reassures him. He is confident that once the President takes the stump and explains his difficulties and his purpose the American people will stand behind him enthusiastically.

[Under these circumstances, which were clearly beyond his control, the President signed the Rhine agreement. But in view of the hostile reception that the treaty received on its publication in America, he delayed presenting the protocol of the agreement to the Senate. his failure to do so released Britain from its adherence to the agreement, which it only consented to assume in case the resulting responsibility was also shouldered by America. This is the basis of Franklin Bouillon's claim that the ratification of the treaty by the Chamber was secured through misleading and even false representations. To me and to others Clemenceau flatly denied that this was the case. He stated that both before and when signing the protocol, Wilson had told him that the agreement would require the sanction of the Senate; that he hoped to obtain this but could not guarantee it.

In July, 1920, in Paris, I discussed the matter with M. Tardieu and he confirmed the information and the impressions I have given above. "Of course the charges of bad faith against Wilson made in some of our papers are absurd and absolutely without foundation, but the unfortunate fact remains that France is left `holding the bag.' I am not so sure of the good faith of Lloyd George. Why should he have made the assistance of Britain contingent upon the ratification of the pact by Washington? I think that at the time he felt this would be regarded as an entangling alliance by many of your senators, and in consequence be rejected. He saw to it that in this event Britain would be free to act or to stand aside, as she desired. The result is, we think, that the way is left open for future aggressions on the part of Germany. I trust we are mistaken, but we must prepare for such an eventuality, and of course that is a heavy burden on our financial resources and a lamentable conclusion to our war effort. As I recall the circumstances - correct me if I am mistaken - we met in Paris in 1919 to liberate the world from economic burdens as well as from the fear of the Barbarians." Tardieu is distressed and bitterly disappointed at the resulting situation, but he at least does not misrepresent how it came about, as do so many of his countrymen, and some of our own people. "We knew exactly what we were doing" he added. "Clemenceau thought, we all thought, that we should have the Rhineland to safeguard us from invasion. When Britain and America refused this safeguard, we accepted all we could get; that is, the pledge of assistance in ease of invasion. We knew that such a pledge required parliamentary sanction in both countries, and while I fear we have been left `holding the bag,' as you say in America, we were not hoodwinked."]

March 10, 1923

Once again the German propaganda machine is in full operation, and strange as it may seem its bare-faced lies and misrepresentations are carrying conviction in many quarters. The charge of bad faith is hurled at the Powers who signed the Versailles Treaty and, in view of their failure to evacuate the Rhinelands and the other occupied territories, the Germans claim that they are released from the obligations which they entered upon in "good faith." They chose to forget that as plainly stated in the Treaty none of these withdrawals were to be carried out unless the Germans had faithfully complied with all provisions of the Treaty. As a matter of fact, they have nor carried our a single one of them or up to the present hour even made an attempt to do so.

[In 1936 Germany marched troops into the demilitarized zone amid feeble but ineffective protests from the League and world public opinion.]


Korea: Once the Land of the Morning Calm

February 5, 1919

All is not quiet along the Seine tonight. Trouble is brewing and it comes from the experts of the Inquiry[24] who, to the number of two or three score, came over on the George Washington with the President determined to put the unruly peoples of Europe, Asia, and Africa in their proper places and make the world safe for democracy. They have served formal complaint to the effect that they are not in the close touch with the President, or with his lieutenant, House, to which they are entitled and the critical world situation demands. Since the day they had the privilege of holding "common council" with the chief of our delegation, our crusading President, on the voyage to France they complain that they have only had one conference with him and that it only lasted five minutes.

This morning, although it was raining cats and dogs, Mrs. House came into the office and said. "I wish you would take my lamb for a walk, under the colonnades of the rue de Rivoli so that he will not get wet to the skin, and tell him one of your stories about life in Korea, which amuse him so much. They must be nice people - at least they are not here squabbling and raising `foreign issues,' which are so perplexing."

This gave me my cue. Mercifully, however, I did nor tell Mrs. House that while they had not, as yet, arrived, at least two Korean delegations were on their way to Paris with fully justified complaints against the arrogant Japanese supremacy under which they suffer.

In a few words the Colonel who now came in began to explain the quandary in which the President found himself. "The men of the Inquiry point out that at least once a week Lloyd George convokes the prime ministers from the Dominions, discusses with them the progress of the negotiations, and outlines his plans for the next stage. Why should the President not follow this example with the men of the Inquiry?

"I can only insist," continued the Colonel, "that the over-burdened President would like to do this but has not the time for these meetings in 'common council' of which he speaks so often but so rarely indulges in. But barring these conferences, everything possible has been done for the members of the Inquiry. For the most part they are lodged in the Crillon, they are close at hand for consultation, they have a spacious conference room where they get together to discuss the ever-changing situation, and their reports when they do arrive, nor I think as promptly as we could wish, are carefully considered."

Here I thought to rush in with what I hoped would prove a consoling thought. "How natural it is," I argued, "that the men of the Inquiry do not understand what their function is. Like all of us they were totally unprepared for the unexpected war, and now they are taken by surprise, as we all are, by the sudden peace. We are still in the shirt-sleeved stage of our diplomacy. Now in Korea " here the Colonel pricked up his ears; "Tell me about that," he said eagerly.

"Well in Korea," I went on, "while the government has not prospered, it has survived for hundreds of years and its leaders have learned to manage some things better than we do. For instance, in Seoul the high officials just naturally fall into two categories. One is that of the Mandarins-Help-Discuss, the other is that of the Mandarins-Help-Decide. When they are summoned to the palace, in a crown council over which the king presides, the Mandarin-Help-Discuss make the welkin ring with their varied plans and proposals for or against the solution of the pending problem that has been placed before them. In the meantime, the Mandarins-Help-Decide just sit in silence and listen and sweat. It would be a gross breach of etiquette for them to put in a word - even edgeways.

"When their voices have grown husky and their vocal chords are exhausted, the Mandarins-Help-Discuss announce that their last word has been spoken and with great ceremony they withdraw. These lucky fellows now go where their fancies lead them. Some to a monastery to reflect on the possibilities of the future life; others go to some pleasant mountain glade and enjoy a picnic with their lady friends leaving the Mandarins-Help-Decide in the council chamber to face the grim business of decision. If the men of the Inquiry could only be brought to appreciate how fortunate they are in being expected to function simply as Mandarins-Help-Discuss, everybody would be happier and things would move more smoothly. And," I added, "I certainly welcome the advantages of my Mandarin-Help Discuss position."

The Colonel laughed and evidently told the story to the President for, several evenings later when I was interpreting for him at the Covenant Commission, and was in a decidedly light-hearted mood because M. Bourgeois was down with a cold and could not pontificate, he said, "Mandarin-Help-Discuss! How wise it is for you to appreciate the advantages of your position!"

Unfortunately the yarn got about, and unfortunately not precisely in the form in which I had related it. The men of the Inquiry quite distinctly were not amused, and at times they assumed a somewhat sullen attitude toward those of us members of the Colonel s "family" who inevitably are in closer touch with the kaleidoscopic changes of the day-to-day situation than they are.

Speaking seriously, some of these experts were very competent and their services would have been most valuable if the "rush" and creaking mechanism of the Conference had made it possible to make fuller use of them. But truth compels me to admit that in their number there were misfits as well, and the newspaper correspondents were inclined to poke fun at them, fun which was not always good-natured. One of these mischievous fellows brought out the fact (and fact it was) that while one of the experts had been for six months in the troubled zone, to the elucidation of which he was assigned, these months had been spent in the darkness of a cave where the picture writings of men of an era that even preceded the blossoming of the Cro-Magnon race awaited interpretation. "What enlightening facts as to present-day conditions can you expect from this sojourner in the dark cave?" was the cynical inquiry at one of the Colonel's press conferences. Then, as always, the Colonel loyally supported the Inquirers. "I seem to remember," he countered, "that Diogenes, or some other great researcher, sought and found truth at the bottom of a well. I have no reason to doubt that W... met with equal success in the recesses of his cave."

February 6, 1919

"The beautiful, the halcyon days of Aranjuez are over," as the poet sang. A delegate has arrived from what was once known as the Land of the Morning Calm, and so this Naboth's vineyard of the Fast Asian coast must be classed with the other troubled zones which present so many apparently insoluble problems. In any event it is no longer one of the few sections of the globe to which I can lead my Colonel without the least danger of becoming involved in the labyrinthine discussions of the Conference. The delegate is a Mr. Kim, an authentic Korean if there ever was one. He does nor have a topknot or wear a rat trap hat, but he can quote pages of that wonderful idyl of his native land, the "Perfume of Spring." Indeed, he knows the author of this charming song of youth.

These credentials suffice for me, but as a matter of protocol neither Mr. Kim nor his distressful country have any standing at the Great Assizes, nor will they have a look in at the Conference. The subjugation of his people and the annexation of his land by predatory Japan was formally, indeed it seemed to me at the time cheerfully, recognized by President Theodore Roosevelt and later reaffirmed by President Taft. Indeed, the last mentioned chief magistrate of the "land of the free and the home of the brave" announced to Washington and to the world that the Tokyo government was in complete control of Korean affairs both in the foreign and the domestic field.

These eminent gentlemen, whose power in the Far East was only exceeded by their ignorance of the situation, "disremembered" a treaty of alliance, defensive and even offensive, which was negotiated with the Seoul government forty-five years ago by one of our roving sailor diplomats. It bound Washington to defend these unfortunate people against all intruders, whatever might be the purpose with which they came. Doubtless this formal instrument was placed in the "dead" files, but even before the encroachments came from benevolent China and later ruthless aggression from predatory Japan, it was regarded by the Koreans (it being among other things the first treaty they had ever negotiated with the Western World) as the charter of their liberties and the bulwark of their independence.

From this instrument, certainly lost sight of in Washington, flowed very distinct personal advantages to a group of Americans with whom I had close contacts during my stay at the Seoul Legation in the fall months of 1895.

It seems to me quite natural, and Mr. Kim assures me such is the case, that the people of Korea should regard the assembly of this Parliament of Man, and the convening of this High Court of world justice, as a heaven-sent opportunity (since Washington had always turned a deaf ear to their pleas) to make known their wrongs to the world and to seek redress. Leaving our of consideration the treaty of reassurance and of benevolent guardianship which our government has long regarded as outmoded as nor even worth denouncing there is another treaty and other engagements of quite recent date which it should not be so easy to ignore, especially at a gathering where treaty-breakers are to be pilloried and it is hoped punished.

In view of the fact that the war which has cost the world ten million of its best and bravest was fought to maintain the sanctity of treaties and to bring to a strict accounting those who failed to live up to their engagements, yet Japan, the great law- and treaty-breaker in the Far East, sits in the Council of the Great Powers and is not even to be interrogated as to her recent conduct.

Of course Korea is far away and few here know the facts of her situation. Still fewer have any comprehension of them, and yet as a matter of fact it is all very simple. In declaring war on Russia in 1904 Japan proclaimed to the world that she did so to defend and preserve the integrity and the independence of Korea whence came in a large measure her culture, now threatened by the advance of the Russian Colossus to the shores of the Pacific. And after the war she reaffirmed her noble intention. When the treaty of peace was, at the instigation of President Roosevelt, signed and sealed at Portsmouth, one of its redeeming features was that once again Japan agreed to guarantee and to defend the independence of Korea. But see what happened a scant six years later! When the treaty made on American soil with its commitments approved and many think inspired by the American President was thrown into the wastepaper basket by the men of Tokyo, nothing came from Washington, not even a word of remonstrance.

When what they regarded as their opportunity came and the Great Assizes was summoned to meet in Paris, the Koreans bestirred themselves and several delegations at least started for Europe to explain their plight and ask for a fair deal. Of course passports and visas to leave the country were refused by the Japanese overlords, and when mass meetings were held to protest in Seoul and other cities, the unfortunate "agitators" were machine-gunned by the army of occupation to the number of many thousands. It was under these circumstances that the official delegations were prevented from leaving their former kingdom. The result is that the delegation that has arrived, and two others that are on the way, have but very informal accrediting documents and international lawyers are in agreement that they are "stateless men." They, however, represent the two or three million Koreans who have escaped from their oppressed country and found safety and work in China or Eastern Siberia where they cannot be reached by the Japanese police. Mr. Kim represents the refugees in China, while my old friend General Pak, who was my guide and interpreter during my stay in Seoul, represents his countrymen living in Eastern Siberia. Mr. Kim tells me that for lack of funds poor Pak is walking along the rails of the Trans-Siberian and when last heard from was bogged down somewhere near Lake Baikal. Kim, too, is practically without funds, but he faces this unpleasant situation with great dignity.

Later. I have done what I could for Kim. Unfortunately it is very little. It is decided that the Korean case will not even be submitted to our High Court. Despite the fact, the undoubted fact, that the Imperial Japanese minister, General Miura, instigated the murder of the Min Queen (during my sojourn in Korea), and the undeniable fact that his clerks in October, 1895, led the assassins who cut her to pieces, many think that I take a too extreme view of the situation and certainly an impractical one. She was a gallant little woman who would not be bullied or even browbeaten, and so the Japanese murdered her. She may not have been the only "man" in Korea, as many disgusted foreigners at the time asserted, but she was an outstanding one and put to shame the chicken-hearted king, her husband.

Yesterday it was my unpleasant duty to tell Kim, as instructed, that the Korean problem did nor come within the purview of the Conference, that its jurisdiction was not worldwide as some had believed. My Colonel is sympathetic with my point of view, but he says we must be practical that if we attempt too much we may fail to accomplish anything. One word of comfort he offered and gave permission to pass on to Kim. If we deal our justice in Europe and punish the criminals here it may prove a leaven of righteousness in other fields. Perhaps later the League will be able to curb Japan when it has less pressing matters nearer at hand to deal with. I hope so, but it was hard to have to tell Kim that there was nor even a forlorn hope that he would have his day in court, that Japan, if not a Great Power, is certainly a strong one. He took it very well and seems confident that later, on some nor too distant day, the League will at least listen to the grievances of his unfortunate people.

In some respects I fear the New Order is very like the Old. I recall (it is not a comforting memory) what the Russian Ambassador Count Benkersdorff told me of his last talk with that good man and outstanding liberal, Sir Edward Grey, at a critical moment in the affairs of the world at which unfortunately this well-meaning man took the wrong turn. Ignoring the provisions of the Treaty of Berlin, the Austro-Hungarian monarchy formally annexed (1908) the Slav provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina of which she had accepted the trusteeship twenty-five years before.

What are we going to do about it?" inquired the Russian Ambassador. Grey hemmed and hawed and then said, "My dear Count, I agree with you wholeheartedly. It is an outrageous breach of faith. But Britain will do nothing about it. Those provinces you have just mentioned are too far away. They do not form a part of our life. Many of our people have never heard of them and few know where they are."

That was quite true, but in those provinces which nobody knew, as a result of thwarted racial aspirations, an explosion occurred, the heir to the treaty-breaking empire was murdered, and a million men of Britain and her dominions died in the terrible war that followed. Korea is far away too, many times farther than was Bosnia, but in it live some twenty million people who are being oppressed and whose enslavement, ten times more severe than anything the South Slavs suffered, may result in another explosion, another World War.

March 15, 1919

Mr. Kim, the unrecognized delegate from Korea, came in today to say good-by. He is naturally very depressed and he has not had even a word from his fellow delegate, and my old friend, General Pak, who apparently is still marooned in the waste places of Siberia.

I did my best to send him off with a word of cheer. While I have the lowest possible opinion of the Yangbans, the official and gentry class of his country, the peasants (and there are nearly twenty million of them) are fine, honest people. They hate the Japanese with what I hold to be a holy hatred, and some day they may strike a blow for liberty and come into their own again. It will not be much, as from what I saw on my last visit, in 1916, the Japanese have stripped the country of everything valuable.

Evidently Kim was comforted by the thought I gave him that unlike our present Peace Conference the field of the League Assembly when it is convened next fall will embrace all the troubled areas of the world. Then the Koreans will have their day in court.

"What a strange world it is," said Kim. "When the Japanese pilgrim, Kobo Daishi, came to us from his volcanic islands hundreds of years ago we gladly opened to him the wisdom of the ages. We taught him the Kingly Way of Life which we had followed for forty centuries. Enlightened he went home and he taught his barbarians how to read and to write. To this day they do him homage at the sanctuary of Koyasan, but it is only lip service. Today these scamps and scalawags, these pirates and landgrabbers, are here and they are accepted as representing a great power while we are excluded from the World Congress. How can anyone in his senses imagine that these swashbucklers will help to make the world safe for democracy?" I did not attempt to answer that one, but I did what I could, perhaps more than the facts of the situation warrant.

"You will have your day in court; the world does not remain static. Do you recall the old Chinese proverb, 'Fullness comes before waning?'"

"I do, I do," he said, "and also that 'waning precedes fullness,'" and with a quick step and an eager eye Mr. Kim went on his way.

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