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The new Peace Palace

by
06 September 2013

September 5th, 1913.

ON FRIDAY last the Palace of Peace was opened at the Hague, in the interval, as one correspondent observed, between one war and the next. The Palace is a really fine building, so far as one may judge from the illustrations which have appeared in the Press, on strong and simple lines, and Mr Carnegie's munificent gift seems to have been wisely expended, so far as the building is concerned. It is well that such a home should have been found for the Permanent Court of Arbitration. A building is necessary if the imagination of the nations is to be impressed. The necessity of finding a home for an arbitration court is met; the Palace of Peace becomes from the moment of its opening practically neutral ground, where there can be no suspicion of the exercise of outside influence. Continental comment upon the ceremonies and the speeches has not been very enthusiastic or very hopeful. At a moment when a peace has been patched up in Eastern Europe which holds no promise of permanence, when on the American Continent two countries seem to be drifting rapidly into a war which can bring no gain to either, when all the world over nations are piling up armaments and making ever new demands upon their peoples, it seems as if the Permanent Court of Arbitration might have little enough to do. We shall nevertheless hope that the new palace may see the happy termination of many a last effort of diplomacy, the averting of many a conflict. At least it stands for a witness to the better [in its] way, a centre from which the spirit of peace may spread.

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