"If the majority of the people of the world do not think that the League of Nations can preserve peace, it cannot do anything," Albert Bushnell Hart '80, Eaton Professor of the Science of Government, emeritus, stated in an interview yesterday. Professor Hart declared that although the League of Nations has accomplished a great deal to preserve the peace of the world, it will never be able to meet a real international crisis without a much more potent threat to the offending countries than it now has, namely an appeal to them to consider the interests of mankind.
"I do not see how you are going to organize a really effective world peace power without a 'Santa Claus'," Professor Hart continued. "The League is very valuable for making joint treaties and for settling small disputes between minor powers, but when it comes to preventing war on a large scale, it simply cannot do it. For example, if Russia should get control of Manchuria, there would be a war to the death between Russia and Japan."
Professor Hart does not think that China is a real factor in the present Manchurian situation but believes it is a fair guess that an understanding exists between Russia and Japan to the effect that Russia will not interfere with Japan's activities in Manchuria. "The position of Manchuria is such that both Russia and Japan could use it to great advantage, Russia because it needs a seaport which is not ice-bound in the winter months, and Japan because it has no place to expand on the continent of Asia and Manchuria is the most accessible region for this expansion.
"Any large power can get a long way in war nowadays without anyone being able to interfere to any extent because modern warfare means complete destruction of cities and their whole population. It would be the easiest thing in the world for a large air fleet to wipe out a great city in a few hours in a modern war. In fact, if the World War had lasted two weeks longer, there would have been a determined air attack on Berlin."
Professor Hart declared that the fundamental obstacle to world peace is the fact that every country is just selfish enough to think only of its own interests without regard to the rights or feelings of the other countries. "Until Russia, China, and India, with their 700,000,000 people, can be pacified, world peace is impossible."