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FIRST HAGUE CONFERENCE, 1899
without resorting to the horrors of war. Treaties embodying these humane principles on broad lines, without in any way imperiling our interests or our honor, shall have my constant encouragement."
THE FIRST HAGUE CONFERENCE, 1899.
In 1898, the Emperor of Russia invited the powers to what became known as the First Peace Conference at The Hague. In 1896, David Jayne Hill, assistant secretary of state, had delivered an address entitled "International Justice; with a Plan for its Permanent Organization” before the American Social Science Association. In that paper, which was republished in pamphlet form, the American diplomat reviewed the historic efforts to organize an international judicial system, criticised them, and offered certain suggestions of his own. Sir Julian Pauncefote, British ambassador to the United States, had also been much impressed with the possibilities of arbitration as a result of the negotiations for a treaty with the United States just before the publication of the Czar's manifesto. What followed is best told in Mr. Hill's own words:
“One day (November, 1898) the door of my office opened, and the genial face of John Hay appeared. He walked into my room saying, 'I have brought you a visitor'; and Lord Pauncefote, following, as the door was swung open, entered the room. Mr. Hay said, 'Lord Pauncefote has brought to the department a little pamphlet about international justice. He has come to talk with regard to the answer to be given to the Czar's rescript calling the Conference at The Hague. I think you have thought a little about that subject, and I believe you have written something upon it. Won't you sit down with Lord Pauncefote and discuss it?' And so that venerable diplomat and jurist sat down with me and for half an hour we discussed this subject. 'It is quite impossible,' he said very calmly, 'that anything should be done at that conference in the direction of disarmament or of arresting armament; but isn't it possible that there should be a movement in the direction of a court of arbitration?'”
Mr. Hill wrote the instructions of the Department of State to the delegates to the Peace Conference, and he annexed thereto his plan for an international tribunal. At the conference, work began in the third Commission on the basis of projects presented by Russia, and written by the great publicist Feodor Martens. This project aimed only to create machinery for the use of such international commissions as might be established independently by the powers. After this project was read, Sir Julian Pauncefote as the first British delegate arose and spoke "in the sort of plain, dogged way of a man who does not purpose to lose what he came for.” “It seems to me,' he said, "that new codes and regulations for arbitration, whatever their merit, do not much advance the great cause which brings us together. If we desire to take a step in advance, I am of the opinion that it is absolutely necessary to organize a permanent international tribunal which may be convened on a moment's notice at the request of the contesting nations.” Sir Julian began drafting a project as soon as he had finished speaking, and telegraphed it for approval to the British minister for foreign affairs. This British plan and the American project, together with a plan presented by Russia, became the foundation of the Hague Permanent Court of Arbitration. Here for the first time definite methods of pacific settlement of international disputes became a recognized part of international procedure.
• Fourth National Conference, American Society for Judicial Settlement of International Disputes, pp. 383–384.
ROOSEVELT.-AMERICA SUBMITS THE FIRST CASE, 1901. Theodore Roosevelt succeeded to the Presidency of the United States on September 14, 1901, six months after the Hague Court of Arbitration had been declared open for business. One of the first foreign visitors whom he entertained at the White House was a French senator, who was one of the most active members of the Interparliamentary Union, which has so influentially affected the attitude of parliaments in favor of the pacific settlement of international disputes. It was feared that Continental chancelleries would permit the established Court to die of inanition. This idea was presented to President Roosevelt. The American Executive, suspecting that the American Department of State, like all other chancelleries, had plenty of unsolved problems capable of arbitral solution, inquired of the secretary of state whether he did not have a pending dispute that was suitable to start the work of the new international institution. Secretary Hay did have such a problem, one of long standing, due to the fact that the southwestern part of the
SUPPORT FOR PAN AMERICAN PROGRESS
United States had once been under the Mexican flag, and that the Mexican clerical authorities had possessed much property in that territory. As a consequence, the Pious Funds case between the United States and Mexico was submitted at The Hague and duly decided.
SUPPORT FOR PAN AMERICAN PROGRESS
1901. President Roosevelt gave instructions on October 8, 1901, to the delegates to the Second Pan American Conference that they should support arbitration during its sessions in Mexico City. He used these words:
The Government of the United States is favorable to the pacific settlement of international disputes and will be gratified to see provision for such settlement promoted and applied wherever practicable. In the discussion of this subject and in the formation of any convention that may be proposed relating to it, the commission will be guided by the following general principles: (1) All arbitration should be voluntary; (2) the choice of judges should be left to mutual agreement; (3) the locality in which a tribunal of arbitration is to act, in case one should be instituted, should not be definitely prescribed in a general convention."
Organization for peace played a considerable part in that conference. Among its results were the adhesion of 19 American republics to the Hague Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes; a convention for the arbitration of pecuniary claims; and a draft plan for compulsory arbitration.
Mr. Roosevelt tells the story in his Chapters of a Possible Autobiography:
“It was under my administration that the Hague Court was prevented from becoming an empty farce. It had been established by joint international agreement, but no power had been willing to resort to it. Those establishing it had grown to realize that it was in danger of becoming a mere paper court, so that it would never really come into being at all. M. d'Estournelles de Constant had been especially alive to this danger. By correspondence and in personal interviews he impressed upon me the need not only of making advances by actually, applying arbitration--not merely promising by treaty to apply it-to questions that were up for settlement, but of using the Hague Tribunal for this purpose. I cordially sympathized with these views. On the recommendation of John Hay, I succeeded in getting an agreement with Mexico to lay a matter in dispute between the two republics before the Hague Court. This was the first case ever brought before the Hague Court. It was followed by numerous others; and it definitely established that Court as the great international peace tribunal."
Sen. Doc. No. 330, 57th Cong., ist Sess., 34.
SERIES OF ARBITRATION TREATIES NEGOTIATED, 1904. Shortly after the First Hague Conference, Sir Thomas Barclay, then a commoner practicing law in Paris, began a campaign for the betterment of relations between Great Britain and France. March 27, 1901, he proposed in an address before the French Arbitration Society that the two neighboring countries should have an arbitration treaty. Barclay organized and conducted an active propaganda for this proposition, which was crowned with success by a treaty signed on October 14, 1903. When the treaty was concluded Barclay was in the United States, whither he had come to interest the American authorities in it. The visit was effective. He saw several prominent men, including Secretary of State Hay, and as a result a Second American Conference on International Arbitration was held in Washington on January 12, 1904. It was largely due to the public interest thus created that Secretary Hay issued on October 20, 1904, an invitation to the governments signatory to the Hague convention to enter into arbitration treaties with the United States. In this circular the secretary instructed American diplomats:
The President, in his last message to the Congress of the United States, on December 7, 1903, stated:
“There seems good ground for the belief that there has been a real growth among the civilized nations of a sentiment which will permit a gradual substitution of other methods than the method of war in the settlement of disputes. It is not pretended that as yet we are near a position in which it will be possible wholly to prevent war, or that a just regard for national interest and honor will in all cases permit of the settlement of international disputes by arbitration; but by a mixture of prudence and firmness with wisdom we think it is possible to do away with much of the provocation and excuse for war, and at least in many cases to substitute some other and more rational method for the settlement of disputes. The Hague Court offers so good an example of what can be done in the direction of such settlement that it should be encouraged in every way.”
Moved by these views, the President has charged me to instruct you to ascertain whether the Government to which you are accredited, which he has reason to believe is equally desirous of advancing the principle of international arbitration, is willing to conclude with the Government of the United States an arbitration treaty of like tenor
Sir Thomas Barclay, Thirty Years. Anglo-French Reminiscences (1876-1900), pp. 194–241.
INTERNATIONAL POLICE FORCE
to the arrangement concluded between France and Great Britain, on October 14, 1903.
I enclose herewith a copy of both the English and French texts of that arrangement. Should the response to your inquiry be favorable, you will request the government to authorize its minister at Washington to sign the treaty with such plenipotentiary on the part of the United States as the President may be pleased to empower for the purpose."
As a result of this invitation a series of treaties was negotiated. They failed because of the chronic attitude of the Senate in regard to its participation in the special agreement of submission. Secretary Root modified the treaties to meet the scruples of the Senate and secured the assent of the other governments to the change. As altered, 25 of these treaties were negotiated in 1908 and 1909, becoming effective with this provision respecting the scope of arbitration:
Differences which may arise of a legal nature or relating to the interpretation of treaties existing between the two contracting parties and which it may not have been possible to settle by diplomacy, shall be referred to the Permanent Court of Arbitration established at The Hague by the convention of the 29th of July, 1899, provided, nevertheless, that they do not affect the vital interests, the independence or the honor of the two contracting States, and do not concern the interests of third parties.
INTERNATIONAL POLICE FORCE-ROOSEVELT, 1904. The settlement of the Pious Funds case was not only a triumph for the Hague Court, but it also had the effect of causing the President to study the problem of peace. He developed his ideas with typical vigor in his message to Congress, dated December 6, 1904, in which for the first time in recent years the head of a state frankly faced the question of co-ordinating international justice with international force. In this message, the President said:
It is our duty to remember that a nation has no more right to do injustice to another nation, strong or weak, than an individual has
Foreign Relations of the United States, 1904, 8-9.
• Treaties, Conventions, etc., 1776-1909, 59. The treaties are effective, after renewal, with the following: Argentine Republic, Austria-Hungary, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Great Britain, Haiti, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Salvador, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Uruguay. The Imperial German government declined to sign the treaty.