THE WORLD COURT PROBLEM
Assistant Professor Elliott's explanation of the two solutions of the World Court problem shows the difficulties arising from the lamentable fifth reservation. The first of these solutions, to the effect that no opinion shall be given without the consent of the nation involved, would obviously deprive the Court of any influence--for no country would accept advice unless it were favorable. This was what happened in the recent boundary dispute between Finland and Russia consent was not forthcoming. The second solution, suggested by Senator Walsh, that a unanimous vote of the council be required before rendering an advisory opinion, is no more effective than the first. In such circumstances, any nation which did not wish to receive advice from the Court would merely cast its vote so as to destroy unanimity.
The situation is made all the more difficult by the die-hards of the United States senate, and the authorities of Geneva, who do not wish to deprive the Court of power by complying with American requests. But they also know that they would profit by the membership of the United States. This gained, without disrupting provisions, the Kellogg pacts would be of actual significance. That would be happily received at Washington.
But the United States cannot have her cake and eat it. If she profits by the Court, she must also bear responsibility. This she is now shirking. However, as Mr. Elliott explains, there is little value in an opinion unless it is received voluntarily. The World Court at least offers a point of contact between nations, a place for the storms of arbitration. This remains, although the United States insists on disarming the council.