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It is for humanity's sake, it is said, that America is asked by the European powers to accept the mandate for the new nation of Armenia. This territory, according to the Covenant of the League of Nations, is to be provisionally recognized as an independent nation, "subject to the rendering of administrative advice and assistance by a mandatory, until such a time as it is able to stand alone."
But it is not alone for humanity's sake that America must accept this trust which has been offered to her. We must accept it as a pledge of our good faith in world affairs; and that the principles embodied in President Wilson's "fourteen points", and in other altruistic protestations of our purposes in entering the war, may not become a mere shibboleth.
As a mandatory, the United States would be in the position of trustee for the development and ultimate self-rule of Armenia. This is the principle on which the United States has acted since 1787 in the administration of its dependencies, the principle that has been followed in the case of Cuba in the years following 1898, and in the Philippines since its annexation, and which must be reinforced no by our actions as well as by our words.
America has rejected the League; let her not deny a second time.
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