By a great man, however, we mean a man who, because of his spiritual gifts, his character, and other qualities, deserves to be called great and who as a result earns the power to influence others.
Today's date, the eighteenth of May, should sometime become an occasion of great international celebration, for on this day ten years ago the first Peace Conference opened at The Hague.
We have long possessed the art of war and the science of war, which have been evolved in the minutest detail.
I would have thought it possible to choose delegates for these larger conferences who, even if they could not speak the principal languages, could at least understand them or could have friends seated beside them who could keep them informed on essential points.
But I feel convinced, and I venture even to prophesy in this regard, that the time will come when there will also be a minister of peace in the cabinet, seated beside the ministers of war.
Always we must bear in mind that law has to be substituted for power, that care must be taken to serve the interests of law.
An advantage that the Hague Conferences lack, in contrast to the peace associations and the Interparliamentary Union, is a bureau.
Indeed; peace literature is almost exclusively read, though to good effect, by pacifists, while what is needed is the canvassing of those who have not so far been won to the cause.
Propaganda is a topic of particular concern to peace associations. This is a matter of educating the population in general, and not least the voters.
A sign that a peace association is going adrift is its exclusion of other political parties, with whom it could collaborate effectively on most of the problems besetting the cause of peace.
There are in most states one or two ministers of war, one of whom is the minister of naval affairs.
I would rather propose a bureau somewhat similar to that which we have in the Universal Postal Union.
To read the report of a discussion in which arguments for and against are presented, in which a subject has been covered from different points of view, with new ideas advanced - this is far more instructive than to read a brief account of the resolution passed on the matter.
We have had such a letter movement on two occasions in Denmark when more than a quarter of the adult Danish population participated. Such an achievement, however, demands a really great effort and also a great deal of money.
Indeed, whenever a new idea is developed, as for example ballooning, warfare immediately takes possession.
Peace congresses often start by dealing with some of the less important questions in excessive detail, so at the end there is no time to discuss the most important problems.
Naturally, business and pleasure can be readily combined, but a certain balance should exist, and the latter should not predominate over the former.
Waging war we understand, but not waging peace, or at any rate less consciously so.
Warfare has been marvelously developed. It will soon be impossible to raise it to further heights.
Pacifists should stress more and more that it is the rule of law for which they are fighting.
On the other hand, the waging of peace as a science, as an art, is in its infancy. But we can trace its growth, its steady progress, and the time will come when there will be particular individuals designated to assume responsibility for and leadership of this movement.
This is the task, I think, of a letter movement. But it should be set up only in states where a significant response can be achieved, for a letter movement necessarily presupposes a strong organization.
There is one criticism which cannot be leveled at interparliamentary conferences but which is applicable to a great extent to peace congresses: the meetings waste time.
There are those who believe we have need of more literature, of a large international publishing house, of a great peace newspaper, or the like. I am rather skeptical about this idea.
There are many members of parliament present here who know as well as I do that, if a man has not already been converted, it will require a great deal more than a letter of appeal to achieve conversion.
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