When President Lowell in his address at Worcester insisted upon the necessity of America's entry into direct and accredited participation in the Permanent Court of International Justice, he expressed an opinion now shared by all who have inspected the question without prejudice or permanent preconceptions. For it is time for the people of the United States to choose between an enervating isolation from, and a vitalizing participation in, the formulation of an abiding international law. Indeed, this court offers the unique opportunity for such a choice. And it is no more divorced from the interests of the United States than were those former and less promising attempts of the Hague Tribunals to create a means to this end. Those attempts were backed by, even fostered by, the American government. In fact the history of the Permanent Court of International Justice can be considered the history of America's own desire to share in the legislation of international affairs. Until Woodrow Wilson unsuccessfully attempted to give a country, reacting from a novel liason with European politics, a tangible and lasting connection with international affairs through the League covenants, the interest of the government at Washington in the creation of some kind of court was repeatedly evidenced. In truth, the survival of that expression is the Court of Arbitration still functioning at the Hague. But this is merely a panel of eminent jurists who function as consulting lawyers and cannot be considered a real court. The need for a means of creating a legislative digest of the growing international opinion on policies of peaceful relationship still exists. And only such a tribunal as the Permanent Court of International Justice can satisfy that need, for it alone can never have the necessary prestige.
Why then has America no active participation in that court? The reaction to war sentiment is over. It was over when President Harding, a member of the reactionary party, recommended with minor reservations that the Senate assume some active interest in the court. The answer to the question is simple. Certain American politicians are preventing America's entrance into the world court. It has not their vote for it has no evidence of their particular genius; it does not contain their signatures. To them the fact that such intelligent minds of their country as Mr. Hughes, Judge Choate, and President Lowell favor the court, means nothing. The eleven judges, chosen from the nations of the world in the hope that they can formulate an international law such as Grotius visioned, a law which will by its own prestige erect a bulwark against the international differences of future generations, these judges must count among their number no man who has behind his decisions the firm expression of this country's faith in his colleagues and himself. And thus, the necessity for impressing upon the next Congress the need of immediate action on the question of the world court is apparent. The purpose of the intercollegiate conference being held in New York this evening is to aid in creating sufficient public interest in the issue to gain favorable action, while essentially requisite for their success is the unified support of each individual college community.