The movement for the outlawry of war which has developed through the correspondence between Aristide Briand, the French foreign secretary, and Secretary of State Kellogg had its origin in the proposal addressed by M. Briand to the people of the United States through the press on April 6, 1927. This date was chosen by M. Briand because it marked the tenth anniversary of America's entry into the World War. The original Briand proposal was entirely unofficial in nature and nothing official was done about it until June 30, 1927, when M. Briand handed to Ambassador Herrick at Paris a draft treaty for the outlawry of war between France and the United States. This treaty provided that France and the United States should condemn recourse to war and renounce it entirely as between themselves. The settlement of all disputes of whatever nature was to be sought only through pacific means.
Although the text of the Briand treaty was not published until 1928, its general principles were known and provoked much comment and discussion in both France and the United States. Various draft treaties were drawn up by institutions and individuals in this country and resolutions were introduced in Congress in favor of the outlawry of war by one method or another. It was not until December 27, 1927, however, that Secretary Kellogg took any official action. On that date he wrote to M. Briand the first of the notes which have outlined the attitude of the United States toward the outlawry of war and which in turn have elicited from M. Briand a clear definition of the position of France.
French Position on Multilateral Treaty
From the beginning it was evident that serious obstacles would be encountered. First and foremost. Secretary Kellogg insisted that such a treaty should not be confined to France and the United States but should be extended to include the other great powers. M. Briand held that such a complete renunciation could be' made between the two countries only because of their long and traditional friendship. M. Briand conceded the desirability of a multilateral rather than a bilateral treaty but believed that this must be drawn up in a modified form with three important reservations.