Herbert Hoover Describes The Ordeal Of Woodrow Wilson


The United Nations’ organization, except in one particular, follows very closely the pattern of Woodrow Wilson’s League. The Council, dominated by the Great Powers, each with its veto, the Assembly, the Secretariat, the machinery for appeal in case of aggression, the processes of investigation, conciliation, arbitration, the economic and military sanctions—all these were better formulated in the League and with fewer words. But the admission of aggressive dictatorship to its membership would never have been accepted by Woodrow Wilson. He conceived the League as an association of free nations, not to include men and dictatorships conspiring for its ruin.

He stated among his principles of peace: … Only free peoples can hold their purpose and their honor steady to a common end and prefer the interests of mankind to any narrow interest of their own.

A steadfast concert for peace can never be maintained except by a partnership of democratic nations. No autocratic government could be trusted to keep faith within it or observe its covenants. It must be a league of honor. …

With his death ended a Greek tragedy, not on the stage of imagination, but in the lives of nations. And as in the tragedies of old the inspiring words and deeds of men who failed still live.