From The Irish standard (Minneapolis), 20th September 1919
San Francisco, Sept. 17.
Setting forth publicly for the first time his interpretation of the League of Nations
covenant as it affects Ireland. President Wilson said in a statement that the league would constitute a forum before which could be brought all claims for self-determination which are likely to affect the peace of the world.
Welcomed by the noise of cheers, steam whittles and sirens, President Wilson arrived in San Francisco at 9:30 a. m.
"The covenant would not bind the United States to assist in putting down rebellion in any foreign country," he asserted, "nor would it limit the power of this country to recognize the independence of any people who seek to secure freedom." He said Ireland's case was not heard at Versailles be
cause it did not come within the jurisdiction of the peace conference.
The president's statement was in reply to a series of questions sent to him by the San Francisco Labour Council. It is understood that within a few days he will reply similarly to questions put by other labour bodies regarding Shantung and the representation of the British dominions in the league assembly.
Replying directly to a question as to his attitude toward self-determination for Ireland, Mr. Wilson said his position was expressed in Article XI of the covenant, under which it is declared
"any member nation can call the attention of the league to any circumstance whatever affecting international relations which threaten to disturb inter national peace or the good understanding between nations upon which peace depends."
The president's statement detailing the labour council's questions and his answers follow:
1. Under the covenant does the nation obligate itself to assist any member of the league in putting' down a rebellion of its subjects or conquered peoples?
Answer—It does not.
2. Under the covenant can this nation independently recognize a government whose people seek to achieve, or have achieved, their independence from a member of the league?
Answer—The independent action of the government of the United States in a matter of this kind is in no way limited or affected by the covenant of the League of Nations.
3. Under the covenant are those subject nations or peoples only that are mentioned in the peace treaty entitled to the right of self-determination, or does the league possess the right to accord a similar privilege to other subject nations or peoples?
Answer—It was not possible for the peace conference to act with regard to the self-determination of any territories except those which had belonged to the defeated empires, but in the covenant of the League of Nations it was set up for the first time, in Article XI, a forum to which all claims of self-determination which are likely to disturb the peace of the of the world or the good understanding between nations upon which the peace of the world depends can be brought.
4. Why was the case of Ireland not heard at the peace conference, and what is your position on the subject of self-determination for Ireland?
Answer—The case of Ireland was not heard at the peace conference because the peace conference had no jurisdiction over any question of that sort which did not affect territories which belonged to the defeated empires. My position on the subject is-ex self-determination for Ireland is expressed in Article XI of the covenant in which I may say I was particularly interested, because it seemed to me necessary for the peace and freedom of the world that a forum should be created to which all peoples could bring any matter which was likely to affect the peace and freedom of the world.
Distribution of Lies About Ireland Condemned by Belfast Journal.
Belfast, Ireland, Sept. 6.—The Belfast Examiner, Ulster's leading newspaper, gives prominence to the following dispatch from London: "Much has been hoard about recent revelations of secret documents made by the German Republican Government. Nothing issued from Weimar or Berlin could possess a tithe of the public interest that would be taken in the communications from British agents at Washington and New York to the Foreign Office in London if it were possible to publish them. The situation in the United States is becoming more serious every day—for England. Excited journalists who are willing to write any quantity of 'propagandist' literature themselves at a reasonable rate per thousand words clamour hoarsely for the initiation of something like a regular English State Department to operate on an extensive and unprecedented scale upon American public opinion but 1believe the wiser and cooler Englishmen in the United States are throwing buckets of cold water on the proposal. They explain that Americans look on these 'propagandist' exercises with feelings of distrust and contempt. The American people are at once enthusiastic and wide-awake. They may be deluded for a short time, but they are proof against obvious attempts to befool them by methods with which they’re perfectly familiar. America has, in fact, made up its mind on the issue between England and Ireland, and the English observers or the spot are telling the chiefs at home that the timework doing something more than spending millions on (he distribution of stuff like Ian Hay's lies cannot be safely deferred. "Mr. Lloyd George is beset by a thousand difficulties of his own creation—and it. is satisfactory to know that the Irish question is the most dangerous and, in some respects, the most pressing of his well-deserved troubles."