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SUMNER RESOLUTIONS, 1872–1874
ing for its permanence and its universal adoption, hereby through their representatives in Congress recommend such arbitration as a rational substitute for war, and they further recommend to the treaty-making power of the Government to provide if practicable that hereafter in treaties made between the United States and foreign powers war shall not be declared by either of the contracting parties against the other until efforts shall have been made to adjust all alleged cause of difference by impartial arbitration."
No action seems to have resulted from either resolution. That the interest in arbitration aroused by the Alabama settlement was not confined to the United States is shown by the fact that similar resolutions were being adopted by European parliaments.”
Cong. Record, Vol. 2, Part VI, 5124.
On July 8, 1873, the British House of Commons adopted the following resolution, moved by Henry Richard, M.P. for Merthyr Tydvil:
"That an humble address be presented to her Majesty, praying that she will be graciously pleased to instruct her principal secretary of state for foreign affairs to enter into communication with foreign powers with a view to further improvement in international law and the establishment of a general and permanent system of international arbitration."
The resolution elicited the following reply on July 17:
"I have received your address praying that I will be graciously pleased to instruct my principal secretary of state for foreign affairs to enter into communication with foreign powers, with a view to further improvement in international law, and the establishment of a general and permanent system of international arbitration.
“I am sensible of the force of the philanthropic motives which have dictated your address.
"I have at all times sought to extend, both by advice and by example, as occasion might offer, the practice of closing controversies between nations by submission to the impartial judgment of friends, and to encourage the adoption of international rules intended for the equal benefit of all.
“I shall continue to pursue a similar course, with due regard to time and opportunity, when it shall seem likely to be attended with advantage.”—(Hansard's Parl. Deb., 3rd series, 217, 52-90, 500-501.)
On November 24, 1873, the Italian Chamber of Deputies unanimously adopted the following motion, introduced by Pasquale Stanislao Mancini, recently minister of justice, the whole house rising in token of approval:
"The Chamber expresses the wish that His Majesty's Government will endeavor, in their relations with foreign powers, to render arbitration an acceptable and frequent mode of solving, according to the dictates of equity, such international questions as may admit of that mode of arrangement; that it propose, as occasion offers, to introduce into treaties a clause to the effect that any difference of opinion respecting the interpretation and execution of those treaties is to be referred to arbitrators; and that it persevere in its excellent initiative of many years' standing for the conclusion of conventions between Italy and other civilized nations of a nature to render uniform and obligatory, in the interest of the respective peoples, the essential rules of private international law.”—(Revue de droil international, VI, 177-176.)
On March 21, 1874, the second chamber of the Swedish Diet, at Stockholm, adopted a resolution (71 ayes, 64 noes), moved by Jonas Jonassen:
That an humble address be presented to the King, praying that his Majesty will, in the form and under the circumstances which he may think fit, use his best endeavors to procure the establishment of a court of arbitration, either permanent or composed for each special occasion, to settle disputes that may arise between nations."-(Revue de droit international, VII, 79.)
On November 27, 1874, the second chamber of the States General of the Netherlands adopted the following motion (35 ayes, 20 noes), introduced by M. Van Eck and M. Bredius:
“The Chamber expresses its desire that the government should negotiate with foreign powers, for the purpose of making arbitration the accepted means for the just settlement of all internatinal differences between civilized nations respecting matters suitable for arbitration; and that until this object has been accomplished, this government will endeavor in all agreements to be entered upon with
other states, to stipulate that all differences, capable of such solution, shall be submitted to arbitration." - (Revue de droit international, VII, 79-80; Foreign Relations of the United States, 1875, 987-988.)
On January 20, 1875, the Chamber of Deputies of Belgium adopted (81 ayes, 2 noes) the following resolution, introduced by M. Couvreur and M. Thonissen:
“This Chamber records its desire to witness an extension of the practice of arbitration among civilized nations in all cases to which it may be applicable. It invites the government to aid, as opportunity may offer, in establishing rules of the procedure to be followed in the appointment and duties of international arbitrators. And it hopes that the government whenever it may deem it practicable to do so, when negotiating treaties, will endeavor to obtain the insertion of a clause providing that any differences which may arise, in respect of their execution, may be submitted to the decision of arbitrators."
HAYES INDORSES GRANT'S POLICY, 1877. President Hayes in his inaugural address on March 5, 1877, which was a declaration of administration policy, gave the following assurance to his fellow citizens:
The policy inaugurated by my honored predecessor, President Grant, of submitting to arbitration grave questions in dispute between ourselves and foreign powers points to a new, and incomparably the best, instrumentality for the preservation of peace, and will, as I believe, become a beneficent example of the course to be pursued in similar emergencies by other nations.
If, unhappily, questions of difference should at any time during the period of my administration arise between the United States and any foreign government, it will certainly be my disposition and my hope to aid in their settlement in the same peaceful and honorable way, thus securing to our country the great blessings of peace and mutual good offices with all the nations of the world."
ARTHUR URGES CONGRESS TO ACT.
As early as 1881 the Department of State took up the problem of closer relations with Pan America. The result was a tentative invitation to a conference where all the American states might discuss their mutual problems and devise methods for insuring the maintenance of peaceful relations. The time was not entirely propitious for such a meeting, and it was found advisable to drop the matter for a while. In discussing the subject in his second annual message to Congress of December 4, 1882, President Arthur urged his own desire in these words:
I am unwilling to dismiss this subject without assuring you of my support of any measures the wisdom of Congress may devise for the promotion of peace on this continent and throughout the world, and I trust the time is nigh when, with the universal assent of civilized NEGOTIATIONS WITH SWITZERLAND
The same resolution was adopted on February 17, 1875, with absolute unanimity by the Senate of Belgium. On this occasion, the minister for foreign affairs, Count D'Aspremont-Lynden,
stated that he did not hesitate for a single moment to declare that it was perfectly opportune for the Belgian Government to support such resolutions.-(Revue de droit international, VII, 80-87.)
• Richardson, Messages and Papers of the Presidents, 4397-4398.
peoples, all international differences shall be determined without resort to arms by the benignant processes of arbitration."
NEGOTIATIONS WITH SWITZERLAND, 1883. On April 1, 1883, Col. Emile Frey, Swiss minister to the United States and previously an officer in the American army during the Civil War, addressed a confidential inquiry to Secretary of State Frelinghuysen, regarding the possibility of concluding a general treaty of arbitration between the two countries. Mr. Frelinghuysen accepted the suggestion, and on July 24, 1883, a project of treaty was adopted by the Swiss Federal Council. This draft was the subject of negotiations, which, however, were not concluded. The substantive parts of this treaty, indicating the state of opinion only 34 years ago, are as follows:
1. The contracting parties agree to submit to an arbitral tribunal all difficulties which may arise between them during the existence of the present treaty, whatever may be the cause, the nature or the object of such difficulties.
5. The contracting parties bind themselves to observe and loyally to carry out the arbitral sentence.
CLEVELAND REPLIES TO BRITISH MEMORIAL, 1887. The next American move in the direction of a permanent peace policy was inspired from England. William Randal Cremer, who a little later organized the Interparliamentary Union, had been much impressed by the publication of Andrew Carnegie's "Triumphant Democracy," in 1886. On June 16, 1887, Cremer arranged a meeting to consider the best means for obtaining a treaty of arbitration between Great Britain and the United States. At that gathering, Mr. Carnegie asserted that "for years there had not been a political platform formulated by any party in the United States which did not contain the clause 'we are in favor of submitting to arbitration all questions of international dispute.'” With that encouragement, Cremer drew up a memorial from members of the British House of Commons to the President and Congress of the United States. This memorial, signed by 232 members of Parliament, was presented to President Cleveland by a Parliamentary deputation, which was given the privilege of the floor in both houses of Congress a few days later. The memorial reads:
* Richardson, Messages and Papers of the Presidents, 4718.
The undersigned members of the British Parliament learn with the utmost satisfaction that various proposals have been introduced into Congress, urging the Government of the United States to take the necessary steps for concluding with the Government of Great Britain a treaty which shall stipulate that any differences or dispute arising between the two Governments, which cannot be adjusted by diplomatic agency, shall be referred to arbitration. Should such a proposal happily emanate from the Congress of the United States, our best influence shall be used to insure its acceptance by the Government of Great Britain. The conclusion of such a treaty would be a splendid example to those nations who are wasting their resources in war-provoking institutions, and might induce other governments to join the peaceful compact.
The President in his reply regretted that he had not given the subject practical attention, and continued:
I am reminded that in the administration of government, difficulty often arises in the attempt to carefully apply ideas which in themselves challenge unqualified approval. Thus it may be that the friends of international arbitration will not be able at once to secure the adoption, in its whole extent, of their humane and beneficent scheme. But surely great progress should be made by a sincere and hearty effort. I promise you à faithful and careful consideration of the matter; and I believe I may speak for the American people in giving the assurance that they wish to see the killing of men for the accomplishment of national ambition abolished, and that they will gladly hail the advent of peaceful methods in the settlement of national disputes, so far as this is consistent with the defense and protection of our country's territory, and with the maintenance of our national honor, when it affords a shelter and repose for national integrity, and personifies the safety and protection of our citizens.'
RESOLUTION OF CONGRESS, 1890, AND RESPONSE OF BRITISH
HOUSE OF COMMONS, 1893. The British memorialists also had an interview with Senator John S. Sherman, chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate, who introduced the following concurrent resolution that was passed by the Senate on June 14, 1888, and finally by both the Senate and House in 1890:
Howard Evans, Sir Randal Cremer, His Life and Work, 126-128.
RESOLUTIONS OF 1890-1893
Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That the President be, and is hereby, requested to invite, from time to time as fit occasions may arise, negotiations with any Government with which the United States has or may have diplomatic relations, to the end that any differences or disputes arising between the two Governments which can not be adjusted by diplomatic agency may be referred to arbitration, and be peaceably adjusted by such means."
The British House of Commons replied to this American initiative in a resolution adopted on June 16, 1893. This British action was the result of considerable effort and popular interest as indicated by "petitions representing nearly 1,300,000 of our contrymen, heartily indorsing the proposal for a treaty of arbitration.” The effort to get parliamentary action lasted intermittently for nearly a year and a half and resulted in this definite response to the American suggestion:
Resolved, That this House has learnt with satisfaction that both Houses of the United States Congress have, by resolution, requested the President to invite from time to time, as fit occasions may arise, negotiations with any government with which the United States have or may have diplomatic relations, to the end that any differences or disputes arising between the two governments which cannot be adjusted by diplomatic agency may be referred to arbitration and peaceably adjusted by such means; and that this House, cordially sympathizing with the purpose in view, expresses the hope that her Majesty's Government will lend their ready co-operation to the Government of the United States, upon the basis of the foregoing resolutions.
President Cleveland commended this British action to Congress in his message of that year, as requested by Great Britain,4 and, as a result, negotiations between the United States and Great Britain were begun for a permanent treaty of arbitration, resulting in a
* This particular resolution was introduced by Senator Sherman on December 9, 1889. It was reported from the Committee on Foreign Relations, January 15, 1890, and was considered and agreed to by the Senate February 14, 1890, and by the House of Representatives April 3, 1890. The text is reprinted from Misc. Doc. No. 113, 51st Cong., ist Sess. (Cong. Docs., Vol. 2768).
• Parl. Deb., 4th series, XIII, 1240-1273. The resolution was adopted on June 16 and not on July 16 as stated in Sir Julian Pauncefote's note covering it to the Department of State. The typographical error has been generally repeated in subsequent references to the British action. The British discussions of that period will be found in Parl. Deb., 4th series, I, 88,
1813; III, 1664-1676, February 9, March 3 and April 29, 1892.
· Messages and Papers of the Presidents, 5874.