Remarks to the Delegates of the Interparliamentary Union at the White House

September 24, 1904

Gentlemen of the Interparliamentary Union:

I greet you with profound pleasure as representatives in a special sense of the great international movement for peace and good will among the nations of the earth. It is a matter of gratification to all Americans that we have had the honor of receiving you here as the nation's guests. You are men skilled in the practical work of government in your several countries, and this fact adds weight to your championship of the cause of international justice. I thank you for very kind allusions to what the Government of the United States has accomplished for the policies you have at heart, and I assure you that this government's attitude will continue unchanged in reference thereto. We are even now taking steps to secure arbitration treaties with all other governments which are willing to enter into them with us.

In response to your resolutions, I shall at an early date ask the other nations to join in a second congress at The Hague. I feel as I am sure you do, that our efforts should take the shape of pushing forward toward completion the work already done at The Hague, and that what ever is done should appear not as something divergent therefrom, but as a continuance thereof. At the first conference at The Hague several questions were left unsettled, and it was expressly provided that there should be a second conference. A reasonable time has elapsed, and I feel that your body has shown sound judgment in concluding that a second conference should now be called to carry some steps further forward toward completion the work of the first. It would be visionary to expect too immediate success for the great cause you are championing; but very substantial progress can be made if we strive with resolution and good sense toward the goal of securing among the nations of the earth as among individuals of each nation, a just sense of responsibility in each towards others, and a just recognition in each of the rights of others. The right and the responsibility must go hand in hand. Our effort must be unceasing both to secure in each nation full acknowledgment of the rights of others and to bring about in each nation an ever growing sense of its responsibilities.

At an early date I shall issue the call for the conference you request. I again greet you and bid you welcome in the name of the American people, and wish you Godspeed in your efforts for the common good of mankind.

Theodore Roosevelt, Remarks to the Delegates of the Interparliamentary Union at the White House Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under



Washington, DC

Simple Search of Our Archives