Theodore Harris published in 1918 a plan for a constitution for the United Nations of the World.




A Proposed Constitution for the United Nations of the World.


DATE: 1918.


C. F. Ruckstuhl Inc., New York.


FEDERAL: Modeled on United States Constitution.

NAME: United Nations.


UNIVERSAL: All nations with capacity for self-government. the most numerous branch of their national legislature; one representative for every two million of population or fraction thereof; representatives at least thirty years old and citizens for seven years of nations they are to represent. Vacancies filled by national executive. Quorum: Members from two-thirds of nations represented. Senate: Eight-year term; ten Senators from each nation; elected by national legislatures. Expiration of term of office staggered; each Senator one vote; at least forty years old; nine years citizen of nation represented. Vice-President is President of the Senate, voting only in case of a tie. Senate has sole power to try impeachments -- conviction by two-thirds vote. Quorum: Two-thirds of all Senators.


President and Vice-President chosen by electors (appointed by national legislatures) equal to the number of representatives in United Nations Congress. Electors meeting in own nation vote on separate ballots for President and Vice-President, one of whom must be of a different nationality from that of the electors. Lists of all persons voted for with number of votes for each must be certified and sent to United Nations Congress. President of Senate before joint meeting of Congress counts votes for each office. Candidate receiving majority vote of all electors is President. If no candidate has majority, House chooses President by ballot from three highest on list: voting by national delegations, each delegation having one vote. If no majority for Vice-President, Senate chooses from two highest on list. Duties of President: Commander-in-chief of army, navy, and of national militias when they are in United Nations service; makes treaties with two-thirds concurrence of Senate; appoints officers with consent of Senate; grants reprieves and pardons for offenses against United Nations.


Supreme Court: Original Jurisdiction -- in cases involving treaties, ambassadors, ministers, consuls; admiralty and maritime cases; also cases to which United Nations is party, or between two or more member nations, a nation and citizens of another nation, citizens of different nations, or a citizen of the United Nations and a foreign nation, or its citizens, or subjects; interpretation of United Nations Constitution. Appellate jurisdiction in other cases.


Congress has authority to levy and collect taxes, duties (except export duties), imposts, excises; provide for common defense and general welfare, but federal laws must apply equally to all nations; regulate commerce between member nations and with foreign nations; coin money, determine its value; create courts inferior to the Supreme Court; declare war; raise and support armies (but appropriations for this purpose cannot be made for a term longer than four years); maintain a navy; administer all property acquired from member nations. No nation may keep troops or ships in peace time, declare war, or make treaties or alliances with foreign nations.


Equal suffrage in the Senate (Constitution cannot be amended in this respect). Right to appoint officers of militia and supervise its training in accordance with disciplinary regulations of congress. Right to levy duties on imports to defray costs of inspection, subject to revision by Congress.


Toward Non-Member Nations: Use of army and navy in case of hostilities. Toward Member Nations: In case of insurrection or disorder, federal troops can intervene only on request of national government. Individuals are protected by Bill of Rights modeled after that in United States Constitution.


No provisions made.


By two-thirds vote of both Houses of Congress, or legislative bodies of two-thirds of Member Nations may call a convention to propose amendments to be ratified by three-fourths of national legislatures, or by conventions in three-fourths of the nations.


Suggests that after the War Germany might be governed to temporarily as a federal territory until ability to govern herself has been proved. Suggests similar procedure be applied to China, Russia, and Mexico.