Front Page Titles (by Subject) THE HAGUE PEACE CONFERENCES 1899 AND 1907 - The Hague Peace Conferences and Other International Conferences concerning the Laws and Usages of War
Return to Title Page for The Hague Peace Conferences and Other International Conferences concerning the Laws and Usages of War
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
THE HAGUE PEACE CONFERENCES 1899 AND 1907 - A. Pearce Higgins, The Hague Peace Conferences and Other International Conferences concerning the Laws and Usages of War 
The Hague Peace Conferences and Other International Conferences concerning the Laws and Usages of War. Texts of Conventions with Commentaries, by A. Pearce Higgins, LL.D. (Cambridge University Press, 1909).
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
THE HAGUE PEACE CONFERENCES 1899 AND 1907
THE PEACE CONFERENCE OF 18991 .
As the Second Peace Conference continued the work of the first and in certain respects was able to make additions to the results attained in 1899, it will be of assistance in the study of the Conventions adopted by the Powers at these two Conferences first to set forth the results of the Conference of 1899.
The first step towards the summoning of the Hague Conference of 1899 was taken when Count Mouravieff, the Russian Foreign Minister, on the 24th Aug. 1898, addressed a circular letter to the representatives of the Powers accredited to St Petersburg in which he referred to the desire which the Emperor had for “the maintenance of the general peace and a possible reduction of the excessive armaments which were burdening all nations.” Actuated by the wish to put an end to the increase of such armaments, and to seek for means to avoid the calamities which were threatening the whole world, the Tsar proposed to all the Governments whose representatives were accredited to the Court of St Petersburg to assemble in conference to consider this serious problem. This invitation to disarmament was received with coldness in several important quarters. Count Mouravieff therefore, on the 11th Jan. 1899, addressed another circular to the Russian ministers accredited to the states represented at St Petersburg in which he suggested the following topics for the consideration of the Conference, thereby considerably widening its scope. (1) The prohibition for a fixed term of any increase of the armed forces beyond those then maintained. (2) The prohibition of, or limitation in the employment of new firearms or explosives. (3) The restriction of the explosives already existing, and the prohibition of the discharge of projectiles or explosives of any kind from balloons or by any similar means. (4) The prohibition in naval warfare of submarine torpedo-boats or similar engines of destruction, and the ultimate abolition of vessels with rams. (5) The application to naval warfare of the principles of the Geneva Convention of 1864 on the basis of the additional Articles of 1868. (6) The neutralisation of ships and boats employed in saving those shipwrecked during or after an engagement. (7) The revision of the unratified Brussels Declaration of 1874 concerning the laws and customs of war on land. (8) The acceptance in principle of the employment of good offices, of mediation and arbitration with the object of preventing armed conflicts between nations, and the establishment of a uniform practice in their employment.
An important limitation was placed on the discussion of these matters by the statement that all questions concerning the political relations of states and the order of things established by treaties and all questions which did not directly fall within the programme adopted by the Cabinets were to be absolutely excluded from the deliberations of the Conference.
The circular concluded by stating that the Tsar thought it advisable that the Conference should not meet in the capital of one of the great Powers “where so many political interests are centred which might, perhaps, impede the progress of a work in which all the countries of the universe are equally interested1 .”
The Dutch Government having assented to the proposed Conference being held at the Hague, invitations were addressed by it to the states designated by Russia. The Conference met on the 20th May, 1899, under the presidency of M. de Staal, the first Russian Plenipotentiary, and was attended by representatives of the 26 Powers enumerated in the Final Act. Difficulties had been raised as to the status of several Powers to whom invitations had been addressed. Italy declined to attend if the Papal representative was admitted. Great Britain as suzerain objected to the presence of a representative of the Transvaal. The representative of Bulgaria was only admitted in subordination to Turkey. Though the number of Powers represented was large, none of the American Republics, except the United States and Mexico were present. The delegates and their staffs numbered upwards of 100. The representatives were divided into three Committees: the first two being divided into two Sub-Committees. To the First Committee were assigned the matters dealt with in Articles 1-4 of Count Mouravieff’s circular of the 11th Jan. 1899; to the Second those comprised in Arts. 5, 6 and 7; and to the Third those comprised in Art. 8. The Sub-Committees and Committees held numerous meetings and reported to plenary meetings of the Conference of which there were 10 in all, the last being held on the 31st July. The Conference was thus in session for a little over two months.
The Final Act of the Hague Conference of 1899.The results of the labours of these two months were embodied in a Final Act which is not in itself a Convention, but rather a resumé of the work done by the Conference1 and as such was signed by all the Powers present, who thus affirmed the authenticity of the record, without binding themselves to sign each of the Conventions or adhere to each of the Declarations or Wishes contained in the Act.
The following are set forth in the Final Act as having been agreed upon for submission for signature by the Plenipotentiaries2 :
(a) Three Conventions: (1) For the pacific settlement of international disputes, (2) regarding the laws and customs of war on land, (3) for the adaptation to maritime warfare of the principles of the Geneva Convention of the 22nd August, 1864.
(b) Three Declarations: (1) To prohibit the discharge of projectiles and explosives from balloons or by other similar new methods. (2) To prohibit the use of projectiles, the only object of which is the diffusion of asphyxiating or deleterious gases. (3) To prohibit the use of bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with a hard envelope, of which the envelope does not entirely cover the core, or is pierced with incisions.
The Conventions and Declarations to form so many separate Acts.
(c) One Resolution affirming “that the restriction of military budgets which are at present a heavy burden on the world is extremely desirable for the increase of the material and moral welfare of mankind.”
(d) Six Wishes (Vœux): (1) That a special Conference might be summoned by the Swiss Government for the revision of the Geneva Convention. (2) That the questions of the rights and duties of neutrals might be inserted in the programme of a Conference in the near future. (3) That questions regarding rifles and naval guns, as considered by the Conference, might be studied by the governments with the object of coming to an agreement respecting the employment of new types and calibres. (4) That the governments, taking into consideration the proposals made at the Conference, might examine the possibility of an agreement as to the limitation of armed forces by land and sea, and of war budgets. (5) That the proposal for the exemption of private property from capture in naval warfare might be referred to a subsequent Conference for consideration. (6) That the question of the bombardment of ports, towns and villages by a naval force might be referred to a subsequent Conference for consideration.
As the subjects mentioned in Nos. 2, 5 and 6 were outside the programme of the Conference and as the delegates considered that the Swiss Government had a prior claim to take the initiative in the subjects mentioned in No. 1, the expression of the Wishes on these matters was all that was within the competence of the Conference.
Results of the Hague Conference of 1899.Such is a brief outline of the immediate results of the deliberations of the First Hague Conference. It did not do all that its “August Initiator” had desired, and the question of disarmament or even of the limitation of armaments and budgets which was in the forefront of Count Mouravieff’s second circular was found on examination to present “so many difficulties from a practical point of view that it was necessarily abandoned for the present1 .” The passing of a resolution endorsing in general terms the desirability of the restriction of military budgets, and the emission of Vœux Nos. 3 and 4 was the method in which this abandonment was notified to the world. But failure in this respect, a failure which had been foreseen from the first, did not mean that 26 Powers had assembled for two months for naught. Idealists had expected too much, and were dissatisfied with the results; but the solid work of the Conference as attested by the three Conventions, two of which were completions of work which previous gatherings1 had failed to accomplish, cannot but be viewed as marking an important epoch in the development of international law. It is true that a Conference known as La Conférence de la Paix had devoted the greater part of its labours to the elaboration of rules of war. The Emperor of Russia might have said of it, “I labour for peace, but when I speak unto them thereof, they make them ready for battle.” Many of the members of Peace Societies could not but view the results as discouraging. But it is not alone by these Conventions, Declarations and Vœux that the worth of the Conference is to be appraised. The results assume a truer perspective when viewed in the light of the years that have passed since the conclusion of the Conference.(i) The laws of war on land. The sanguine prophecy expressed by Sir Julian Pauncefote that the new century was destined to “open with brighter prospects of international peace” was not fulfilled. Almost before the ink on the Final Act was dry, war broke out between the South African Republics and Great Britain. Hardly had that terminated, before two of the signatory Powers (one of them the initiator of the Conference) were engaged in a prolonged and sanguinary struggle in the Far East. The Peace Conference had not maintained the peace of the world. Its work, however, in humanising the laws of war both on land and sea was now put to the test. The terms of the two Conventions were well observed, and the bureaux for information relative to prisoners of war, a new creation of the Conference (Art. 13, Regulations for the laws of war), came into existence and operation for the first time2 . Naturally deficiencies were discovered in the practical application of both Conventions, but in the main they were found to be workable. War on land was now conducted for the first time under rules previously agreed upon by the parties.
(ii) Pacific settlement of international disputes.The Convention for the pacific settlement of international disputes is a greater mark of international progress than the two Conventions just referred to. This Convention was also put to the test between 1899 and 1907. Good offices and mediation of friendly powers were not appealed to to prevent the outbreak of war either in South Africa or the Far East, but twice during the Russo-Japanese war the value of the Convention was manifested. There is no doubt that the recourse to a Commission of Inquiry, with wider powers than those contemplated by the terms of Title iii. of the Convention1 , prevented the outbreak of war between Great Britain and Russia over the Dogger Bank affair of October, 1904. When it is remembered that this was a difference involving “honour and vital interests” which are expressly excluded from the competence of such Commissions by the Convention (Art. 9) the solution of the question in a peaceful manner is the more noteworthy. The long drawn-out struggle between Russia and Japan was ultimately closed by the Treaty of Portsmouth in 1905. It was doubtless the recommendation contained in the third Article of the Convention which furnished President Roosevelt with the means of initiating the negotiations which reached so successful a conclusion2 .
Cases before the Permanent Court at the Hague.The Permanent Court of Arbitration whose creation was provided for by Title iv. Chapter ii. of the same Convention soon got to work. The Powers nominated their representatives and since its establishment four cases have been heard and settled before a Court composed of Judges who were members of the Permanent Court.
(1) The Pious Fund of the Californias.The first case to come before the Court at the Hague was a claim of the United States of America against the Republic of Mexico3 . By the Compromis (agreement of reference) between these states dated the 22nd May, 1902, the subject of the dispute was defined, and terms of proceedings set forth. The question in dispute between the Powers had reference to a charity known as “The Pious Fund of the Californias” which had been instituted in the 17th and 18th centuries for the propagation of the Roman Catholic faith in unsettled portions of Spanish North America called the Californias. After the accomplishment of Mexican independence the administration of the Fund passed to Mexico, and the properties having been sold, the Republic undertook to pay 6 per cent. on the proceeds to the Church. War broke out between the United States and Mexico in 1846, and was terminated by the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo in 1848, and Upper California was ceded by Mexico to the United States for 15 million dollars and other considerations. During the 20 years succeeding the treaty claims arose by citizens of each republic against the other for damages resulting from injuries of various sorts, and in July, 1868, a Convention was concluded between the two nations under which an international tribunal was constituted for the determination of such claims. Among the claimants were the Roman Catholic Archbishop of San Francisco and the Roman Catholic Bishop of Monterey for so much of the interest on the capital of the Pious Fund accrued since the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo as properly belonged to Upper California. The Arbitrators disagreed, and the question having been referred to the British Minister at Washington as Umpire, he signed an award in favour of the claimants for $904,070.79 in Mexican gold coin, being 21 years’ interest at 6 per cent. per ann. on one-half of the capital of the Pious Fund. This award was satisfied. Mexico subsequently made default in payment of the annual interest and the United States Government on behalf of the Bishops claimed payment thereof ($43,050.99) from the year 1868, and contended that the question of liability could not be re-opened as the matter was res judicata. In the alternative, the United States contended that if the Permanent Court at the Hague decided against the validity of the Umpire’s award, a much larger sum than that originally claimed was due and this was set forth and the method in which it was calculated. Mexico denied liability, and the finality and conclusiveness of the judgment of the Umpire. To this the United States filed a replication. The hearing of the case commenced on the 15th Sept. 1902 before Professor H. Matzen, President of the Danish Landthing, as Umpire and President of the Court, chosen by the Arbitrators, the Right Hon. Sir Edward Fry, a former Lord Justice of Appeal in England, Dr F. de Martens, Privy Councillor of Russia, both nominated by the United States, and Dr T. M. C. Asser, Member of the Council of State of the Netherlands, and Dr A. F. de Savornin Lohman, former Minister of the Interior of the Netherlands, both nominated by Mexico. French was the language of the Tribunal, but the Tribunal decided that both parties might use English. Both states were represented by agents and counsel. The Court sat 11 times and the award was given on the 14th Oct. on the two following points:
1. Whether the claim of the United States on behalf of the Archbishop of San Francisco and the Bishop of Monterey was governed by the principle of res judicata in virtue of the decision of the 11 Nov. 1878 given by Sir Edward Thornton in his capacity of Umpire.
2. If not, whether the said claim was just; with power to give such judgment as seemed to the Court just and equitable.
The Court unanimously decided in favour of the claim of the United States on the ground that it was governed by the principle of res judicata as set forth in the Compromis, and awarded the sum of 1,420,682 Mexican dollars to the claimants, being the annual interest due from the 2nd Feb. 1869 to the 2nd Feb. 1902.
All friends of international arbitration will re-echo the words of Mr Ralston, the agent for the United States, who in addressing the Court after the delivery of the judgment said: “There has just been determined at the Hague a controversy over money,—a thing which we are told has been the ‘slave to thousands,’ and the love of which is described as ‘the root of all evil.’ If a judgment now meant nothing more than the transfer or nontransfer of money from one party to the other, however interesting this might be to those concerned, the world at large would look on with indifference. We believe, however, that a first step has been taken that will count largely for the good of future generations: that following this primal recognition of the existence of a Court competent to settle disputes between nations, will come general references to it, not alone of differences similar to the present, but of other controversies involving larger questions of individual rights and national privileges. We may hope that precisely as questions formerly believed to involve individual honour had in many countries entirely ceased, and in others are ceasing to be settled by formal exercise of force, the same revolution may gradually be effected in the affairs of nations. The Permanent Court of Arbitration, assisting this end, must tend to bring about that ‘peace on earth, good will toward men’ for which Christians hope1 .”
The members of the Court addressed to the Dutch Minister for Foreign Affairs a note in which they made certain reflections on the procedure before the Tribunal, and recommendations with a view to providing against possible difficulties in the working of the Court. These recommendations will be dealt with in discussing the Convention itself2 .
(2) Claims against Venezuela.The next case to come before the Tribunal was a dispute between Great Britain, Germany and Italy on the one side and Venezuela on the other3 . This case both as regards the questions raised, as well as the procedure to be followed, involved “larger questions of individual rights and national privileges” than the Pious Funds Case. In consequence of the inability of Great Britain, Germany and Italy to obtain satisfaction from Venezuela for claims made on behalf of their subjects, the ports of Venezuela were blockaded in 19024 . Ultimately on the intervention of the United States an agreement was arrived at whereby Venezuela recognised in principle the justice of the claims preferred by the three Governments on behalf of their subjects, and agreed for the purpose of their satisfaction to set aside 30 per cent. of the customs revenues of La Guaira and Puerto Cabello, and to submit claims for injury to persons and property to arbitration. Other Powers also claimed against Venezuela, and Protocols containing conditions for the settlement of claims against that country by a Mixed Commission were signed by her Government and those of the following Powers, in addition to the three already mentioned: the United States, France, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden and Norway and Mexico. Great Britain, Germany and Italy having claimed preferential treatment in payment of their claims it was agreed by an additional Protocol of 7th May, 1903, to submit the question of preferential or separate treatment to the Hague Tribunal, and, should it decide against the three Powers, to ask it to determine how the revenue derived from the 30 per cent. customs should be distributed. In consequence of the number of Powers involved the choice of Arbitrators was left to the Tsar (Russia being a disinterested Power), subject to the condition that nationals of interested Powers were to be excluded from membership of the Tribunal. Any nation, moreover, having claims against Venezuela, was allowed to join as a party in the arbitration. As all Venezuela’s other creditors had an interest in her success, the case resolved itself into an arbitration between Great Britain, Germany and Italy on the one side, and Venezuela, Belgium, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Sweden and Norway and Mexico on the other. The Arbitrators were M. N. V. Mouravieff, Russian Imperial Secretary of State (President), Professor H. Lammasch, Member of the Upper House of the Austrian Parliament, and Dr F. de Martens, Russian Privy Councillor. The official language used was English in accordance with the terms of the Protocols. The hearing of the case occupied the Court for 13 days during the months of October and November, 1903, and a unanimous decision was given on the 22nd February, 1904, in favour of the three Powers who had claimed preferential treatment by reason of the blockade which they had carried out. This decision in no way affected the Protocols of the 13th Feb. 1903 between Great Britain, Italy and Venezuela for submission of the sums due to a Mixed Commission. The Judges in this case also addressed a note to the Dutch Foreign Minister, containing recommendations in regard to the procedure of the Court1 .
The third case to come before the Court was between Great Britain, France and Germany on the one side, and Japan on the other1 .(3) The case of the Japanese leases. The Protocols for submission were signed on the 28th Aug. 1902. The question for settlement in this case was the true intent and meaning of the provisions of certain treaties made between the three European Powers and Japan with reference to the exemption of land held under leases in perpetuity granted by Japan from imposts, taxes, charges, contributions or conditions other than those expressly stipulated in the leases in question. The Court consisted of three members, Professor Louis Renault (of Paris), nominated by the three European Powers, Dr Itchiro Motono, nominated by the Japanese Government, under the presidency of the Umpire, Mr G. Gram, a former Prime Minister of State of Norway, chosen by the two Arbitrators. In this case the Court announced that French would be the language of the Tribunal, but that the parties could use either English or French. At a subsequent sitting, a request was made on behalf of the three European Powers for permission to employ the German language, whereupon the Japanese agent (speaking in English) claimed for the Japanese language the same right as would be accorded to other languages, a claim which the Court admitted. It does not appear that the Japanese agent availed himself of this right. The Court held four sittings in November, 1904, and May, 1905. Judgment was delivered on the 22nd May, 1905. The Tribunal by two to one decided in favour of the contention of the European governments that the provisions of the treaties between them and Japan not only exempted the lands possessed under perpetual leases granted by the Japanese Government or in its name, but they also exempted buildings of every kind erected, or to be erected on these lands from all imposts, taxes, charges, contributions or conditions whatsoever, other than those expressly stipulated in the leases in question. The Japanese member of the Court dissented from this judgment and the reasons for it.
In this case the pleadings were all in writing, and it does not appear that Counsel addressed the Court on the actual points at issue between the parties.
(4) The Muscat Dhows Case.The fourth case to come before the Hague Tribunal was between Great Britain and France2 . The Compromis was signed on the 13th Oct. 1904. It stated that the Government of His Britannic Majesty and that of the French Republic had thought it right, by the Declaration of the 10th March, 1862, “to engage reciprocally to respect the independence” of His Highness the Sultan of Muscat, that difficulties had arisen (1) in relation to the issue by the French Republic, to certain subjects of the Sultan, of papers authorising them to fly the French flag, and (2) as to the nature of the privileges and immunities claimed by subjects of His Highness who are owners or masters of dhows, and in possession of such papers, or are members of the crews of such dhows, and their families, especially as to the manner in which such privileges and immunities affect the jurisdiction of the Sultan over his subjects, and that these questions should be referred to the arbitration of the Hague Tribunal. The Compromis provided that each Power should nominate one Arbitrator and these two should choose an Umpire, failing this the choice of the Umpire should be entrusted to the King of Italy. The Arbitrators and Umpire were not to be subjects or citizens of either Great Britain or France and should be chosen from among the members of the Hague Tribunal. It was further agreed that each party should prepare and deliver to the Tribunal a written or printed case supported by arguments and a file containing documents or other evidence on which he relied, and after the delivery of such cases, written or printed counter-cases, similarly supported, and that the Tribunal might require any further oral or written evidence, but in such case the other party had the right to reply. The British Government nominated the Hon. Melville W. Fuller, Chief Justice of the United States, the French Government nominated Dr A. F. de Savornin Lohman, a former Minister of the Interior of the Netherlands, and the King of Italy nominated Professor H. Lammasch, Member of the Upper House of the Austrian Parliament.
The Tribunal held its first meeting on the 25th July, 1905, and sat on four days, the last being the 8th August, when a unanimous decision of the Tribunal was given. The Court held that France by acceding to the General Act of the Brussels Conference of 1890 relative to the African slave trade, was not entitled to authorise vessels belonging to subjects of the Sultan of Muscat to fly the French flag except where their owners or fitters-out had been considered and treated by France as her protégés before 1863, or in the case of owners of dhows, who before 1892 had been authorised by France to fly the French flag, so long as France renews this authorisation to the grantee. On the second point the Court held that dhows of Muscat duly authorised to fly the French flag were entitled in the territorial waters of Muscat to the inviolability provided by the French-Muscat Treaty of 17th Nov. 1844; that the authorisation to fly the French flag could not be transmitted or transferred to any other person or to any other dhow, even if belonging to the same owner; that subjects of the Sultan of Muscat who are owners or masters of dhows authorised to fly the French flag or who are members of the crews of such vessels or who belong to their families, do not enjoy in consequence of that fact any right of exterritoriality exempting them from the sovereignty or jurisdiction of the Sultan.
From the foregoing summary of the points at issue, and the decisions given in the cases which have so far come before the Hague Tribunal, its scope of operations and method of work may in some degree be appreciated. It is not necessary here to deal further with the questions involved.
It will thus be seen that within five years from the conclusion of the First Peace Conference at the Hague all three of the Conventions which emanated therefrom were put to the test. To deficiencies which became apparent in their working reference will be made in discussing the amendments adopted by the Second Conference.
(iii) The Declarations of 1899.The three Declarations were not adopted with unanimity; Great Britain signed none of them, but on the 30th Aug. 1907 she became a party to Nos. 2 and 3. The first lapsed after 5 years. The United States did not sign the second and third, and Portugal only signed on 29th Aug. 1907. Nevertheless Great Britain observed them all during the war in South Africa. They were all observed by Russia and Japan, both of whom had signed the Declarations.
(iv) The Vœux.The first Wish was realised in 1906 when a new Geneva Convention was adopted; the others (except No. 3, on which nothing appears to have been done) were discussed at the Second Peace Conference. The second, regarding the rights and duties of neutrals, and the sixth on the bombardment of unfortified towns by naval forces both resulted in Conventions in 1907.
The foregoing account of the results of the First Conference and their subsequent practical application is sufficient to justify the statement made at the time by Sir Julian Pauncefote that they “greatly surpassed the expectations of its most enthusiastic supporters.” The growth of international law has not infrequently been compared to that of municipal law, and in particular to that of the English Common law. As a scientific body of principles it is still in an early stage of development, custom is ripening slowly into law and in some departments of international relations, the work of codification has begun. The “enthusiastic supporters,” of whom the British Ambassador spoke, were those who, knowing how exceeding slow is the grinding of the wheels of progress, were prepared for the difficulties which only statesmen, historians and lawyers could fully appreciate; their expectations were chastened by knowledge and experience of the innumerable forces at work in the domain of high politics. It is, therefore, from such a standpoint that a view of the work of the Second Conference must be taken.
THE SECOND PEACE CONFERENCE OF 19071 .
The Hague Conference of 1899 did nothing definite to ensure a subsequent meeting except to express a wish that certain matters might be inserted in the programme of a Conference in the near future, but it “broke up with the conviction that its work would be completed subsequently by the regular progress of enlightenment among the nations, and as the result of the experience gradually acquired2 .” The Second Conference was, as the Final Act records, first proposed by the President of the United States (Mr Theodore Roosevelt). Several years having elapsed since the termination of the First Conference, and no steps having been taken to convoke another, the Hon. John Hay, American Secretary of State, on the 21st October, 1904, addressed a Circular to the representatives of the United States accredited to the Governments who were signatories of the Acts of the Conference of 1899. A preliminary circular had been despatched shortly before by the Assistant Secretary of State.
After referring to the beneficial work done by the Hague Conference of 1899, and the questions which it left over for subsequent discussion, the Circular referred to the work done by the Inter-parliamentary Union in preparing the “minds of governments for an accord in the direction of the assured peace among men.” The Annual Meeting of the Union, which was held in 1904 at St Louis, had passed a resolution requesting the several governments of the world to send delegates to an international Conference to be held for the purpose of considering (1) the questions for the consideration of which the Conference at the Hague expressed a wish that a future Conference should be called; (2) the negotiation of arbitration treaties between the nations represented at the Conference to be convened; (3) the advisability of establishing an international congress to be convened periodically for the discussion of international questions: it concluded by inviting the President of the United States to invite nations to send representatives to such a congress. In acceding to the request the President stated that he was not unmindful that a great war was in progress, but he recalled the fact that invitations to the First Hague Conference were sent out while the United States and Spain were at war, though during an armistice for the settlement of terms of peace. The American ministers were directed to bring the foregoing considerations to the attention of the Governments to which they were accredited, without specifically mentioning a programme for such Conference, except those matters which the Hague Conference of 1899 left for further discussion. He referred to the fact that on the 28th April, 1904, the Congress of the United States had resolved that it was desirable, in the interests of uniformity of action by the maritime states of the world in time of war, that the President endeavour to bring about an understanding among the principal maritime Powers with a view of incorporating into the permanent law of civilised nations the principle of the exemption of all private property at sea, not contraband of war, from capture or destruction by belligerents. After mentioning the questions of contraband and inviolability of postal correspondence, and the treatment of refugee belligerent ships in neutral ports, the Circular stated that the overture for a second Conference was not designed to supersede other calls for the consideration of special topics, such as the amendment of the Hague Convention with respect to hospital ships, and concluded by expressing the President’s desire and hope that “the undying memories which cling round the Hague as the cradle of the beneficent work which had its beginning in 1899 may be strengthened by the holding of the Second Peace Conference in that historic city1 .”
Russia, the originator of the First Conference, was, as the American Circular points out, at war with Japan, and the Russian Government stipulated that the Conference should not be held till war was terminated. This was ultimately brought about by the statesmanlike action of President Roosevelt. Meantime the Tsar made known his desire to be allowed to summon the Second Conference. The President at once yielded the precedence to the Emperor Nicholas II, and on the 3rd April, 1906, the following note was addressed with the assent of the Tsar by representatives of the Russian Government abroad to the Governments to which they were accredited2 .
April 3, 1906.
M. le Secrétaire d’Etat,
In convoking a second Peace Conference, the Imperial Government have had in view the necessity of giving a fresh development to the humanitarian principles which formed the basis of the work of the great international meeting of 1899.
They are at the same time of opinion that it is desirable to increase as far as possible the number of states taking part in the labours of the proposed Conference, and the enthusiasm which this appeal has met with proves how deep and widespread is the wish to-day to give effect to ideas having as their object the welfare of humanity.
The first Conference broke up with the conviction that its work would be completed subsequently by the regular progress of enlightenment among the nations and as the result of experience gradually acquired. Its most important creation, the International Court of Arbitration, is an institution which has already been tested, and which has collected for the common weal, as it were in the areopagus Court, jurists enjoying universal respect. It has also been proved how useful the International Commissions of Inquiry have been for settling differences which have arisen between one state and another.
There are, however, improvements to be made in the Convention relative to the pacific settlement of international disputes. As a result of recent arbitrations the jurists on the Tribunal have raised certain questions of detail about which it is necessary to come to a decision, by giving to the said Convention the necessary developments. It seems, in particular, desirable that fixed principles should be laid down in regard to what languages are to be used in the Court, in view of the difficulties which might arise in the future, as recourse to arbitration jurisdiction became more frequent. There are, similarly, certain improvements to make in the working of the International Commissions of Inquiry.
As regards the codification of the laws and customs of war on land, the provisions adopted by the First Conference must likewise be completed, and so clearly defined as to preclude all possibility of misunderstanding.
In regard to naval warfare, as to which the laws and customs differ in certain particulars in different countries, it is necessary to establish fixed rules to meet both the requirements of the rights of belligerents and the interests of neutrals.
A Convention respecting these matters would have to be elaborated, and would form one of the most important duties of the next Conference.
Consequently, as it is at present desirable to examine only such questions as are of pressing importance, in the light of the experience of recent years, leaving untouched those questions which might affect the limitation of military or naval forces, the Imperial Government puts forward as the programme of the proposed meeting the following principal points:—
1. Improvements to be made in the provisions of the Convention relative to the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes, as far as the Court of Arbitration and the International Commissions of Inquiry are concerned.
2. Additions to be made in the provisions of the Convention of 1899 relative to the Laws and Customs of War on Land, among others, concerning the opening of hostilities, the rights of neutrals on land, etc. Declarations of 1899. One of them having lapsed, question of its renewal.
3. Elaboration of a Convention relative to the Laws and Usages of Naval Warfare concerning—
Special operations in naval warfare, such as the bombardment of ports, towns, and villages by a naval force, laying torpedoes, etc.;
Conversion of merchant-vessels into war-ships;
Private property of belligerents at sea;
The days of grace accorded to merchant-vessels for leaving neutral or enemy ports after the commencement of hostilities;
The rights and duties of neutrals at sea, among others, questions of contraband, the regulations to be applied to the belligerent vessels in neutral ports; destruction by force majeure of neutral merchantships detained as prizes.
In the said proposed Convention would be inserted provisions relative to war on land which would be likewise applicable to naval warfare.
4. Additions to be made in the Convention of 1899 for applying to naval warfare the principles of the Geneva Convention of 1864.
As at the Conference of 1899, it is fully understood that the deliberations of the proposed meeting shall not affect either the political relations between one country and another or the existing order of things as established by treaties, or, in general, questions not directly referred to in the programme adopted by the Cabinets.
The Imperial Government wishes it to be clearly understood that this programme and its eventual acceptance by the different states obviously does not prejudice any opinions which may be expressed at the Conference as to the solution to be given to questions submitted for discussion. Similarly it would be the duty of the proposed meeting to define the order in which questions are to be treated and the form which such decisions as are adopted should take, according as it should be considered preferable to include some of them in fresh Conventions or to add them to Conventions already in existence.
In formulating the above-mentioned programme, the Imperial Government has, as far as possible, taken into consideration the opinions expressed at the First Peace Conference, in particular in regard to the rights and duties of neutrals, private property of belligerents at sea, bombardment of ports, towns, etc. They trust that His Britannic Majesty’s Government will recognise in the various suggestions an expression of the desire to arrive at that high ideal of international justice which is the constant aim of the whole civilised universe.
Under instructions from my Government, I have the honour to inform you of the above, and I have to add that the date of the assembling of the proposed Conference at the Hague should be the second half of July next (n.s.), the Netherland Government being also of opinion for their part that this date would be the most convenient.
Awaiting a reply from the Government of His Britannic Majesty at an early date, I have, etc.
The First Conference contained no representatives from the Central and South American Republics. In addressing an invitation to these and other states which did not take part in the First Conference a difficulty presented itself. The First Convention of the First Conference on the pacific settlement of international disputes was only open to signature by the Powers present at that Conference. By Article 60 it was provided as follows:—“The conditions upon which those Powers which were not represented in the International Peace Conference may accede to the present Convention shall form the subject of a further agreement between the contracting Powers.” No such agreement had been concluded. As it was probable that the projected Conference would take the Conventions of 1899 into consideration, it was necessary to enable the newly-invited states to become parties to the Conventions if they wished. Count Benckendorff therefore suggested in another note of the 3rd April, 1906, that at the opening of the Second Conference the agreement contemplated by Article 60 should be entered into, and as a similar restriction did not exist in the case of the other two Conventions, the Russian Government approached the newly-invited states to signify their adherence to these two Conventions to the Netherland Government1 . No objection was made to this course and the newly-invited states acceded to the Convention No. 1 of 1899 at the opening of the Conference in 1907, and those states which had hitherto not become parties to the other Conventions also signified their adherence. The date suggested by the Russian Circular was found to be inconvenient for two reasons. A Conference of the South American States had already been fixed for July, 1906, and the Swiss Government had summoned a meeting of the Powers for June, 1906, for the revision of the Geneva Convention of 1864. A further postponement was therefore necessary. Invitations were finally issued by the Dutch Government in May, 1907, to 47 states, and on the 15th June, 1907, the Conference was opened in the Hall of the Knights at the Hague by the Dutch Minister for Foreign Affairs. M. Nélidow, the Russian Ambassador in Paris, was elected President of the Conference. Forty-four states were represented; those who were not represented, though invited, were Abyssinia, Costa Rica and Honduras. The delegates of Corea sought to be included, but owing to the opposition of Japan were excluded2 .
The Programme for the discussion of the Conference had been sketched in the Circular of Count Benckendorff of the 3rd April, 1906, and in replying to it several states intimated their intention to bring forward additional subjects. The United States, Great Britain and Spain reserved the right of submitting the question of the reduction or limitation of armaments, and the growing expenditure on them. It is a noteworthy fact that though this question was the prime cause of the meeting of the First Conference and appeared in the forefront of Count Mouravieff’s Circular it finds no place in that of Count Benckendorff. This in itself was not a hopeful omen for those who attached great weight to the pacific influence of such gatherings. The United States also intimated their intention of submitting an agreement for restricting the employment of force for the recovery of ordinary public debts resulting from contracts. Japan expressed the opinion that certain questions not specifically mentioned might be usefully included among the subjects to be examined. Bolivia, Denmark, Greece and the Netherlands also reserved the right of submitting to the Conference other subjects similar to those explicitly mentioned in the Circular. It was also clear that several governments did not expect fruitful results from some of the proposals, as the British, Japanese, German and Austro-Hungarian Governments reserved the right of abstaining from discussing questions which they did not consider would lead to useful results. In announcing, before the opening of the Conference, these new subjects for discussion the Russian Government made a similar reservation. Great Britain was represented by four delegates1 : the Right Hon. Sir Edward Fry, G.C.B., the Right Hon. Sir Ernest Satow, G.C.M.G., the Right Hon. Lord Reay, G.C.S.I., G.C.I.E. and Sir Henry Howard, K.C.M.G., with a staff of seven legal, military and naval technical delegates (Lieut.-Gen. Sir Edmond R. Elles, G.C.I.E., K.C.B., Captain C. L. Ottley, M.V.O., R.N., A.D.C. (now Rear-Admiral Sir Charles Ottley), Mr Eyre Crowe, Mr Cecil Hurst, Lieut.-Col. the Hon. H. Yarde-Buller, D.S.O., Commander J. R. Segrave, R.N. and Major George K. Cockerill). The United States delegates were: the Hon. J. H. Choate, the Hon. Horace Porter, the Hon. U. M. Rose, the Hon. D. J. Hill, Rear-Admiral Sperry, General G. B. Davis, Mr W. I. Buchanan, with two technical delegates (Mr James Brown Scott and Mr C. H. Butler). One hundred and seventy-four names of Plenipotentiaries and delegates are enumerated in the Final Act; being nearly double the number attending the First Peace Conference.
The Second Plenary Meeting was held on the 19th June, when in consequence of the large number of the Plenipotentiaries and delegates it was agreed to adopt a set of 12 rules with a view to facilitate the business. Following the precedent of 1899, Committees were appointed, the Plenipotentiaries of each Power being entitled to place themselves on as many as they chose and to designate their technical delegates. Great Britain and Germany objected to a portion of the eighth rule in the draft which allowed one Power to be represented by the Delegation of another Power, and this was suppressed. It was agreed that each Power should have only one vote. French was recognised as the official language for the deliberations and Acts of the Conference, speeches delivered in any other language to be translated into French through the medium of the Secretariat-General. Four Committees were appointed, and the subjects specified in Count Benckendorff’s Circular were allotted among them.
To the First Committee: (1) Arbitration, (2) Commissions of international inquiry, (3) Questions relating to naval prizes; M. Bourgeois (France) was President of this Committee.
To the Second Committee: (1) Revision of the rules of war on land, (2) The three Declarations of 1899, (3) Rights and duties of neutrals in regard to land warfare, (4) The opening of hostilities; M. Beernaert (Belgium) was President of this Committee.
To the Third Committee: (1) The bombardment of ports, towns and villages by a naval force, (2) The placing of torpedoes and submarine mines, (3) Regulations for belligerent ships of war in neutral ports, (4) The revision of the Convention of 1899 applying to naval warfare the principles of the Geneva Convention of 1864 which was revised in 1906; Count Tornielli (Italy) was President of this Committee.
To the Fourth Committee: (1) The conversion of merchant-ships into ships of war, (2) Private property at sea, (3) Days of grace, (4) Contraband of war, (5) Blockade, (6) Destruction of neutral prizes, (7) Application of the rules of war on land to maritime warfare; M. de Martens (Russia) was President of this Committee.
Honorary Presidents and Vice-Presidents were appointed to each Committee. At the Second Plenary Meeting of the Conference the British and German delegates intimated that they proposed to submit projects for the establishment of an International Prize Court. The American delegate announced that he intended to bring before the Conference the question of the forcible collection of public debts, and the British delegate made a general reservation in favour of introducing other subjects during the sitting of the Conference. Besides the Four Committees mentioned there was also a Drafting Committee (Comité de Rédaction) and a Committee to examine and report on the numerous addresses, books, etc. presented to the Conference (Commission des Adresses). The First, Second and Third Committees were each divided into two Sub-Committees, and Examining Committees were also appointed. The size of the Committees as well as the different matters assigned to each made such an arrangement necessary. The average number of each Committee was 93. The United States had the largest number of representatives on each, varying from 8 on the Fourth Committee to 5 on the Third. It will, however, be remembered that each Power possessed but one vote.
The Conference held eleven plenary meetings; its work as well as that of the Committees whose reports were presented at these meetings will be dealt with in connection with the Conventions and “Wishes” set forth in the Final Act of the Conference adopted on the 18th Oct. 1907, and an endeavour will be made to deal with the results in the concluding chapter.
Final Acts of the International Peace Conferences.
Actes Finals des Conférences Internationales de da Paix.
Acte Final de la Conférence Internationale de la Paix, 1899.
La Conférence Internationale de la Paix, convoquée dans un haut sentiment d’humanité par Sa Majesté l’Empereur de Toutes les Russies, s’est réunie sur l’invitation du Gouvernement de Sa Majesté la Reine des Pays-Bas, à la Maison Royale du Bois à La Haye, le 18 Mai, 1899.
Les Puissances, dont l’énumération suit, ont pris part à la Conférence, pour laquelle elles avaient désigné les Délégués nommés ci-après:—
[Dénomination des Délégués des Puissances, dont l’énumération suit.]
L’Allemagne, l’Autriche-Hongrie, la Belgique, la Chine, le Danemark, l’Espagne, les États-Unis d’Amérique, les États-Unis Mexicains, la France, la Grande-Bretagne et Irlande, la Grèce, l’Italie, le Japon, le Luxembourg, le Monténégro, les Pays-Bas, la Perse, le Portugal, la Roumanie, la Russie, le Serbie, le Siam, la Suède et la Norvège, la Suisse, la Turquie, la Bulgarie.
Acte Final de la Deuxième Conférence Internationale de la Paix, 1907.
La Deuxième Conférence Internationale de la Paix, proposée d’abord par M. le Président des États-Unis d’Amérique, ayant été, sur l’invitation de Sa Majesté l’Empereur de Toutes les Russies, convoquée par Sa Majesté la Reine des Pays-Bas, s’est réunie le 15 Juin, 1907, à La Haye, dans la Salle des Chevaliers, avec la mission de donner un développement nouveau aux principes humanitaires qui ont servi de base à l’œuvre de la Première Conférence de 1899.
Les Puissances, dont l’énumération suit, ont pris part à la Conférence, pour laquelle Elles avaient désigné les Délégués nommés ci-après:—
[Dénomination des Délégués des Puissances, dont l’énumération suit.]
L’Allemagne, les Etats-Unis d’Amérique, la République Argentine, l’Autriche-Hongrie, la Belgique, la Bolivie, le Brésil, la Bulgarie, le Chili, la Chine, la Colombie, la République de Cuba, le Danemark, la République Dominicaine, la République de l’Équateur, l’Espagne, la France, la Grande-Bretagne, la Grèce, le Guatémala, la République d’Haïti, l’Italie, le Japon, le Luxembourg, le Mexique, le Monténégro, la Nicaragua, la Norvège, le Panama, le Paraguay, les Pays-Bas, le Pérou, la Perse, le Portugal, la Roumanie, la Russie, le Salvador, la Serbie, le Siam, la Suède, la Suisse, la Turquie, l’Uruguay, les États-Unis du Vénézuéla.
Dans une série de réunions, tenues du 18 Mai au 29 Juillet, 1899, où les Délégués précités ont été constamment animés du désir de réaliser, dans la plus large mesure possible, les vues généreuses de l’Auguste Initiateur de la Conférence et les intentions de leurs Gouvernements, la Conférence a arrêté, pour être soumis à la signature des Plénipotentiaires, le texte des Conventions et Déclarations énumérées ciaprès et annexées au présent Acte:—
I. Convention pour le règlement pacifique des conflits internationaux.
II. Convention concernant les lois et coutumes de la guerre sur terre.
III. Convention pour l’adaptation à la guerre maritime des principes de la Convention de Genève du 22 Août, 1864.
IV. Trois Déclarations concernant:
1. L’interdiction de lancer des projectiles et des explosifs du haut de ballons ou par d’autres modes analogues nouveaux.
2. L’interdiction de l’emploi des projectiles qui ont pour but unique de répandre des gaz asphyxiants ou délétères.
3. L’interdiction de l’emploi de balles qui s’épanouissent ou s’aplatissent facilement dans le corps humain, telles que les balles à enveloppe dure dont l’enveloppe ne couvrirait pas entièrement le noyau ou serait pourvue d’incisions.
Ces Conventions et Déclarations formeront autant d’Actes séparés. Ces Actes porteront la date de ce jour et pourront être signés jusqu’au 31 Décembre, 1899, par les Plénipotentiaires des Puissances représentées à la Conférence Internationale de la Paix à La Haye.
Obéissant aux mêmes inspirations, la Conférence a adopté à l’unanimité la Résolution suivante:—
“La Conférence estime que la limitation des charges militaires qui pèsent actuellement sur le monde est grandement désirable pour l’accroissement du bien-être matériel et moral de l’humanité.”
Elle a, en outre, émis les vœux suivants:—
1. La Conférence, prenant en considération les démarches préliminaires faites par le Gouvernement Fédéral Suisse pour la revision de la Convention de Genève, émet le vœu qu’il soit procédé à bref délai à la réunion d’une Conférence spéciale ayant pour objet la révision de cette Convention.
Ce vœu a été voté à l’unanimité.
2. La Conférence émet le vœu que la question des droits et des devoirs des neutres soit inscrite au programme d’une prochaine Conférence.
3. La Conférence émet le vœu que les questions relatives aux fusils et aux canons de marine, telles qu’elles ont été examinées par elle, soient mises à l’étude par les Gouvernements, en vue d’arriver à une entente concernant la mise en usage de nouveaux types et calibres.
4. La Conférence émet le vœu que les Gouvernements, tenant compte des propositions faites dans la Conférence, mettent à l’étude la possibilité d’une entente concernant la limitation des forces armées de terre et de mer et des budgets de guerre.
5. La Conférence émet le vœu que la proposition tendant à déclarer l’inviolabilité de la propriété privée dans la guerre sur mer soit renvoyée à l’examen d’une Conférence ultérieure.
6. La Conférence émet le vœu que la proposition de régler la question du bombardement des ports, villes, et villages par une force navale soit renvoyée à l’examen d’une Conférence ultérieure.
Les cinq derniers vœux ont été votés à l’unanimité, sauf quelques abstentions.
En foi de quoi, les Plénipotentiaires ont signé le présent Acte, et y ont apposé leurs cachets.
Fait à La Haye, le 29 Juillet, 1899, en un seul exemplaire, qui sera déposé au Ministère des Affaires Étrangères, et dont des copies, certifiées conformes, seront délivrées à toutes les Puissances représentées à la Conférence.
Dans une série de réunions, tenues du 15 Juin au 18 Octobre, 1907, où les Délégués précités ont été constamment animés du désir de réaliser, dans la plus large measure possible, les vues généreuses de l’Auguste Initiateur de la Conférence et les intentions de leurs Gouvernements, la Conférence a arrêté, pour être soumis à la signature des Plénipotentiaires, le texte des Conventions et de la Déclaration énumérées ci-après et annexées au présent Acte:—
1. Convention pour le règlement pacifique des conflits internationaux.
2. Convention concernant la limitation de l’emploi de la force pour le recouvrement de dettes contractuelles.
3. Convention relative à l’ouverture des hostilités.
4. Convention concernant les lois et coutumes de la guerre sur terre.
5. Convention concernant les droits et les devoirs des puissances et des personnes neutres en cas de guerre sur terre.
6. Convention relative au régime des navires de commerce ennemis au début des hostilités.
7. Convention relative à la transformation des navires de commerce en bâtiments de guerre.
8. Convention relative à la pose de mines sous-marines automatiques de contact.
9. Convention concernant le bombardement par des forces navales en temps de guerre.
10. Convention pour l’adaptation à la guerre maritime des principes de la Convention de Genève.
11. Convention relative à certaines restrictions à l’exercice du droit de capture dans la guerre maritime.
12. Convention relative à l’établissement d’une Cour internationale des prises.
13. Convention concernant les droits et les devoirs des Puissances neutres en cas de guerre maritime.
14. Déclaration relative à l’interdiction de lancer des projectiles et des explosifs du haut de ballons.
Ces Conventions et cette Déclaration formeront autant d’Actes séparés. Ces Actes porteront la date de ce jour et pourront être signés jusqu’au 30 Juin, 1908, à la Haye, par les Plénipotentiaires des Puissances représentées à la Deuxième Conférence de la Paix.
La Conférence, se conformant à l’esprit d’entente et de concessions réciproques qui est l’esprit même de ses délibérations, a arrêté la déclaration suivante qui, tout en réservant à chacune des Puissances représentées le bénéfice de ses votes, leur permet à toutes d’affirmer les principes qu’elles considèrent comme unanimement reconnus:—
Elle est unanime—
1. A reconnaître le principe de l’arbitrage obligatoire.
2. A déclarer que certains différends, et notamment ceux relatifs à l’interprétation et à l’application des stipulations conventionnelles internationales, sont susceptibles d’être soumis à l’arbitrage obligatoire sans aucune restriction.
Elle est unanime enfin à proclamer que, s’il n’a pas été donné de conclure dès maintenant une Convention en ce sens, les divergences d’opinion qui se sont manifestées n’ont pas dépassé les limites d’une controverse juridique, et qu’en travaillant ici ensemble pendant quatre mois toutes les Puissances du monde, non seulement ont appris à se comprendre et à se rapprocher davantage, mais ont su dégager, au cours de cette longue collaboration, un sentiment très élevé du bien commun de l’humanité.
En outre, la Conférence a adopté à l’unanimité la Résolution suivante:—
La Deuxième Conférence de la Paix confirme la Résolution adoptée par la Conférence de 1899 à l’égard de la limitation des charges militaires; et, vu que les charges militaires se sont considérablement accrues dans presque tous les pays depuis la dite année, la Conférence déclare qu’il est hautement désirable de voir les Gouvernements reprendre l’étude sérieuse de cette question.
Elle a de plus émis les Vœux suivants:—
1. La Conférence recommande aux Puissances Signataires l’adoption du projet ci-annexé de Convention pour l’établissement d’une Cour de Justice arbitrale, et sa mise en vigueur dès qu’un accord sera intervenu sur le choix des juges et la constitution de la Cour1 .
2. La Conférence émet le vœu qu’en cas de guerre, les autorités compétentes, civiles et militaires, se fassent un devoir tout spécial d’assurer et de protéger le maintien des rapports pacifiques et notamment des relations commerciales et industrielles entre les populations des Etats belligérants et les pays neutres.
3. La Conférence émet le vœu que les Puissances règlent, par des Conventions particulières, la situation, au point de vue des charges militaires, des étrangers établis sur leurs territoires.
4. La Conférence émet le vœu que l’élaboration d’un règlement relatif aux lois et coutumes de la guerre maritime figure au programme de la prochaine Conférence et que, dans tous les cas, les Puissances appliquent, autant que possible, à la guerre sur mer, les principes de la Convention relative aux lois et coutumes de la guerre sur terre.
Enfin, la Conférence recommande aux Puissances la réunion d’une troisième Conférence de la Paix, qui pourrait avoir lieu dans une période analogue à celle qui s’est écoulée depuis la précédente Conférence à une date à fixer d’un commun accord entre les Puissances, et elle appelle leur attention sur la nécessité de préparer les travaux de cette troisième Conférence assez longtemps à l’avance pour que ses délibérations se poursuivent avec l’autorité et la rapidité indispensables.
Pour atteindre à ce but, la Conférence estime qu’il serait très désirable que, environ deux ans avant l’époque probable de la réunion, un Comité préparatoire fût chargé par les Gouvernements de recueillir les diverses propositions à soumettre à la Conférence, de rechercher les matières susceptibles d’un prochain règlement international et de préparer un programme que les Gouvernements arrêteraient assez tôt pour qu’il pût être sérieusement étudié dans chaque pays. Ce Comité serait, en outre, chargé de proposer un mode d’organisation et de procédure pour la Conférence ellemême.
En foi de quoi les Plénipotentiaires ont signé le présent Acte et y ont apposé leurs cachets.
Fait à La Haye, le 18 Octobre, 1907, en un seul exemplaire, qui sera déposé dans les archives du Gouvernement des Pays-Bas et dont les copies, certifiées conformes, seront délivrées à toutes les Puissances représentées à la Conférence.
Final Acts of the International Peace Conferences.
Final Act of the International Peace Conference, 1899.
The International Peace Conference, convoked in the best interests of humanity by His Majesty the Emperor of All the Russias, assembled on the invitation of the Government of Her Majesty the Queen of the Netherlands in the Royal House in the Wood at the Hague, on the 18th May, 1899.
The Powers enumerated in the following list took part in the Conference, to which they appointed the Delegates named below.
[Names of Delegates of the following Powers.]
Germany, Austria-Hungary, Belgium, China, Denmark, Spain, the United States of America1 , the United States of Mexico, France, Great Britain1 and Ireland, Greece, Italy, Japan, Luxemburg, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Persia, Portugal, Roumania, Russia, Servia, Siam, Sweden and Norway, Switzerland, Turkey, Bulgaria.
Final Act of the Second International Peace Conference, 1907.
The Second International Peace Conference, proposed in the first instance by the President of the United States of America, having been convoked, on the invitation of His Majesty the Emperor of All the Russias, by Her Majesty the Queen of the Netherlands, assembled on the 15th June, 1907, at the Hague, in the Hall of the Knights, for the purpose of giving a fresh development to the humanitarian principles which served as a basis for the work of the First Conference of 1899.
The Powers enumerated in the following list took part in the Conference, to which they appointed the Delegates named below:—
[Names of Delegates of the following Powers.]
Germany, The United States of America2 , The Argentine Republic, Austria-Hungary, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Colombia, The Republic of Cuba, Denmark, The Dominican Republic, The Republic of the Ecuador, Spain, France, Great Britain2 , Greece, Guatemala, The Republic of Haïti, Italy, Japan, Luxemburg, Mexico, Montenegro, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, The Netherlands, Peru, Persia, Portugal, Roumania, Russia, Salvador, Servia, Siam, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Uruguay, The United States of Venezuela.
At a series of meetings, between the 18th May and the 29th July, 1899, in which the above Delegates were throughout animated by the desire to realize, in the fullest possible measure, the generous views of the august initiator of the Conference and the intentions of their Governments, the Conference drew up for submission for signature by the Plenipotentiaries the text of the Conventions and Declarations enumerated below and annexed to the present Act:—
I. Convention for the pacific settlement of international disputes.
II. Convention respecting the laws and customs of war on land.
III. Convention for the adaptation to maritime war of the principles of the Geneva Convention of the 22nd August, 1864.
IV. Three Declarations:—
1. Prohibiting the discharge of projectiles and explosives from balloons or by other similar new methods.
2. Prohibiting the use of projectiles, the only object of which is the diffusion of asphyxiating or deleterious gases.
3. Prohibiting the use of bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with a hard envelope, of which the envelope does not entirely cover the core, or is pierced with incisions.
These Conventions and Declarations shall form so many separate Acts. These Acts shall be dated this day, and may be signed up to the 31st December, 1899, by the Plenipotentiaries of the Powers represented at the International Peace Conference at the Hague.
Guided by the same sentiments, the Conference has unanimously adopted the following Resolution:—
“The Conference is of opinion that the restriction of military charges, which are at present a heavy burden on the world, is extremely desirable for the increase of the material and moral welfare of mankind.”
It has, besides, formulated the following wishes:—
1. The Conference, taking into consideration the preliminary steps taken by the Swiss Federal Government for the revision of the Geneva Convention, expresses the wish that steps may be shortly taken for the assembly of a Special Conference having for its object the revision of that Convention.
This wish was voted unanimously.
2. The Conference expresses the wish that the question of the rights and duties of neutrals may be inserted in the programme of a Conference in the near future.
3. The Conference expresses the wish that the questions with regard to rifles and naval guns, as considered by it, may be studied by the Governments with the object of coming to an agreement respecting the employment of new types and calibres.
4. The Conference expresses the wish that the Governments, taking into consideration the proposals made at the Conference, may examine the possibility of an agreement as to the limitation of armed forces by land and sea, and of war budgets.
5. The Conference expresses the wish that the proposal, which contemplates the declaration of the inviolability of private property in naval warfare, may be referred to a subsequent Conference for consideration.
6. The Conference expresses the wish that the proposal to settle the question of the bombardment of ports, towns, and villages by a naval force may be referred to a subsequent Conference for consideration.
The last five wishes were voted unanimously, saving some abstentions.
In faith whereof the Plenipotentiaries have signed the present Act, and have affixed their seals thereto.
Done at the Hague, 29th July, 1899, in a single copy, which shall be deposited in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and of which duly certified copies shall be delivered to all the Powers represented at the Conference.
At a series of meetings, held from the 15th June to the 18th October, 1907, in which the above Delegates were throughout animated by the desire to realize, in the fullest possible measure, the generous views of the august initiator of the Conference and the intentions of their Governments, the Conference drew up for submission for signature by the Plenipotentiaries, the text of the Conventions and of the Declaration enumerated below and annexed to the present Act:—
1. Convention for the pacific settlement of international disputes.
2. Convention respecting the limitation of the employment of force for the recovery of contract debts
3. Convention relative to the opening of hostilities.
4. Convention respecting the laws and customs of war on land.
5. Convention respecting the rights and duties of neutral powers and persons in case of war on land.
6. Convention relative to the status of enemy merchant-ships at the outbreak of hostilities.
7. Convention relative to the conversion of merchant-ships into warships.
8. Convention relative to the laying of automatic submarine contact mines.
9. Convention respecting bombardment by naval forces in time of war.
10. Convention for the adaptation to maritime war of the principles of the Geneva Convention.
11. Convention relative to certain restrictions with regard to the exercise of the right of capture in naval war.
12. Convention relative to the creation of an International Prize Court.
13. Convention concerning the rights and duties of neutral Powers in naval war.
14. Declaration prohibiting the discharge of projectiles and explosives from balloons.
These Conventions and this Declaration shall form so many separate Acts. These Acts shall be dated this day, and may be signed up to the 30th June, 1908, at The Hague, by the Plenipotentiaries of the Powers represented at the Second Peace Conference.
The Conference, actuated by the spirit of mutual agreement and concession characterizing its deliberations, has agreed upon the following Declaration, which, while reserving to each of the Powers represented full liberty of action as regards voting, enables them to affirm the principles which they regard as unanimously admitted:—
It is unanimous—
1. In admitting the principle of compulsory arbitration.
2. In declaring that certain disputes, in particular those relating to the interpretation and application of the provisions of international agreements, may be submitted to compulsory arbitration without any restriction.
Finally, it is unanimous in proclaiming that, although it has not yet been found feasible to conclude a Convention in this sense, nevertheless the divergences of opinion which have come to light have not exceeded the bounds of judicial controversy, and that, by working together here during the past four months, the collected Powers not only have learnt to understand one another and to draw closer together, but have succeeded in the course of this long collaboration in evolving a very lofty conception of the common welfare of humanity.
The Conference has further unanimously adopted the following Resolution:—
The Second Peace Conference confirms the Resolution adopted by the Conference of 1899 in regard to the limitation of military expenditure; and inasmuch as military expenditure has considerably increased in almost every country since that time, the Conference declares that it is eminently desirable that the Governments should resume the serious examination of this question.
It has besides expressed the following wishes:—
1. The Conference calls the attention of the Signatory Powers to the advisability of adopting the annexed draft Convention for the creation of a Judicial Arbitration Court, and of bringing it into force as soon as an agreement has been reached respecting the selection of the Judges and the constitution of the Court1 .
2. The Conference expresses the wish that, in case of war, the responsible authorities, civil as well as military, should make it their special duty to ensure and safeguard the maintenance of pacific relations, more especially of the commercial and industrial relations between the inhabitants of the belligerent States and neutral countries.
3. The Conference expresses the wish that the Powers should regulate, by special Treaties, the position, as regards military charges, of foreigners residing within their territories.
4. The Conference expresses the wish that the preparation of regulations relative to the laws and customs of naval war should figure in the programme of the next Conference, and that in any case, the Powers may apply, as far as possible, to war by sea the principles of the Convention relative to the laws and customs of war on land.
Finally, the Conference recommends to the Powers the assembly of a third Peace Conference, which might be held within a period corresponding to that which has elapsed since the preceding Conference, at a date to be fixed by common agreement between the Powers, and it calls their attention to the necessity of preparing the programme of this third Conference a sufficient time in advance to ensure its deliberations being conducted with the necessary authority and expedition.
In order to attain this object the Conference considers that it would be very desirable that, some two years before the probable date of the meeting, a preparatory Committee should be charged by the Governments with the task of collecting the various proposals to be submitted to the Conference, of ascertaining what subjects are ripe for embodiment in an International Regulation, and of preparing a programme which the Governments should decide upon in sufficient time to enable it to be carefully examined by the countries interested. This Committee should further be intrusted with the task of proposing a system of organization and procedure for the Conference itself.
In faith whereof the Plenipotentiaries have signed the present Act and have affixed their seals thereto.
Done at The Hague, the 18th October, 1907, in a single copy, which shall remain deposited in the archives of the Netherland Government, and of which duly certified copies shall be sent to all the Powers represented at the Conference.
The Final Acts of the International Peace Conferences 1899 and 1907.
The Final Acts.The Final Acts of the Conferences are authoritative statements of the results arrived at, but the signature thereof by the delegates in no way committed the Powers to a signature of the Conventions. Both in 1899 and 1907 the work of preparing the Final Acts was entrusted to a Drafting Committee (Comité de Rédaction), of which Professor Louis Renault was “Reporter” on both occasions.
The Final Act of the Second Peace Conference was entrusted to a Sub-Committee of 8, and finally revised by the Drafting Committee of 29. At the Ninth Plenary Meeting of the Conference, M. Renault gave an account of the work of these bodies and explained the form in which the Final Act was laid before the Conference for signature1 . The form of the two Acts is similar, but in that of the Second Conference reference is made to the fact that the Conference was first proposed by President Roosevelt2 . Then follow the names of the Powers and the delegates, and a list of the Conventions and Declarations to be submitted to the Plenipotentiaries for signature3 .
The name “Convention” was chosen for all the agreements of the Conference, other designations, such as “Règlement” being not deemed suitable for international Acts. The term “Règlement” is however retained in Convention No. 4, on the Laws and Customs of War on Land, which replaces No. 2 of 1899 on the same subject, but there was a doubt whether the “Règlement” annexed to this Convention was as binding on the contracting Powers as the Convention itself (Art. 1)4 . The Final Acts were left open for signature for some months. In the case of the Final Act of 1907 the period allowed for signature was about 3 months longer than was the case in 1899; this was in consequence of the larger number of Powers represented at the Conference. In the case of Convention No. 12 of 1907, for the establishment of an International Prize Court, the protocol was left open until the 30th June, 1909. Apart from the Final Acts come the various Conventions, and the Declaration, which form so many separate Acts1 .
Accession of non-signatory Powers.The question of accession of non-signatory Powers raised considerable discussion both in 1899 and 1907. In the case of the First Conference the system of the “open door” was adhered to except in the case of the Convention for the pacific settlement of international disputes2 . In this case the special permission of the signatory Powers was required for the accession of non-signatory Powers. The door was closed, but might be opened, though not to everyone who cared to knock. The Powers represented at the First Conference were not willing to contract generally to submit to arbitration disputes which they might have with others than those then present. The accession of the Latin-American States was accepted on the opening of the Second Conference3 .
All the Powers present in 1907 were, by the Final Act, enabled to sign until the 30th June, 1908, but as regards those not represented, the question as to their accession was raised, though in a different manner from that in which it presented itself in 1899, by reason of the large increase in the number of the Powers represented, and the very small number which remained outside the deliberations of the Conference. There was no question of modifying the rule laid down by the Conference of 1899 with regard to the Convention for the pacific settlement of international disputes. Article 53 of Convention No. 12, for the establishment of an International Prize Court, reserves to certain Powers, determined beforehand in Article 15 and the annexed table, the right of acceding to the Convention. This provision was necessary so as not to destroy the harmony of the whole project which establishes an agreement between the composition of the Court and the number of the contracting Powers.
But in regard to the other Conventions three alternatives were proposed: (1) To adopt the principle of 1899 and leave the Conventions open. (2) To limit subsequent accession only to the Powers summoned to the Second Conference, which was equivalent to closing the Conventions. (3) To adopt the principle of the Geneva Convention of 1906 under which the Convention is closed, but non-contracting Powers are allowed to accede, and their accession is final unless a formal protest is lodged by one of the contracting Powers within a certain period4 . The basis of the two latter views was that the signatory states formed a society into which a stranger could not enter without first knocking at the door. The system of the “open door” offered certain inconveniences to the Dutch Government, who it was thought might find themselves embarrassed if application for accession were made by a Power whose status was doubtful. The Drafting Committee, however, adopted this principle on the grounds that any restrictive system would constitute a retrogressive movement, that the Conventions to which the principle was to apply (and it will be noticed it does not apply to Conventions 1 and 12) do not present the character of mutual concessions as is the case with Conventions made with some states only, for they are general in character, and are declarations of principles, and it is desirable that they should be established by as large a number of states as possible so as to constitute a code of universal law: lastly it was necessary to anticipate the possible case of one state obstinately refusing to allow a new state to become a party to the Conventions. The Conference adopted the recommendation of the Committee for the Conventions other than those mentioned, and each of the Conventions is concluded with a common formula of four Articles, commencing with “Non-signatory Powers may accede to the present Convention,” except in the case of Convention No. 10, in which a slight restriction is made by Article 24 which states “Non-signatory Powers which have accepted the Geneva Convention of the 6th July, 1906, may accede to the present Convention1 .”
As regards the extent of the application of the Conventions, the general principle adopted is that they are only binding on the contracting Powers, and in case of the Conventions relating to war which contain provisions relative to neutrals, the Conventions only apply when all the belligerents are parties to the Convention except in the case of Convention No. 3 (see Art. 3).
Signatory Powers of the Final Acts.The twenty-six Powers who took part in the First Conference in 1899 are enumerated in the preamble to the Final Act: forty-four Powers are enumerated in the Final Act in 1907. All the Powers who had not participated in the First Conference, and who were present at the Second, signed their accession to the Conventions of the First at the commencement of the Second. The following Powers, who were not parties to the Final Act of 1899, are parties to the Final Act of 1907: the Argentine Republic, Bolivia, Brazil, Chili, Colombia, Cuba, San Domingo, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haïti, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Salvador, Uruguay, Venezuela. Norway and Sweden, having dissolved their union in 1905, appear as two separate states. It will also be noticed that Bulgaria, which in 1899 signed after Turkey, is in 1907 placed in alphabetical order with the other Powers. The only state represented at the Second Conference which has not, up to the present, signed the Final Act is Paraguay, though it has signed all the Conventions. Switzerland signed the Final Act under reservation of “Wish” No. 1 (for the creation of a Judicial Arbitration Court) which the Swiss Federal Council does not accept.
A slight change was made in the mode of execution of the Conventions of 1907. The long formality of sealing was suppressed for all the Conventions, and only retained for the Final Act. Before dealing with the Conventions and Declaration agreed to at the two Conferences, the Resolutions and Wishes must be referred to.
The Wishes (Vœux).
The limitation of armaments and military budgets1 .In the note which Count Mouravieff on the 12th August, 1898, handed to the members of the diplomatic corps at St Petersburg, a note which constituted the first cause of the Hague Conferences, “the maintenance of universal peace and a possible reduction of the excessive armaments which weigh upon all nations,” was represented as the ideal towards which the efforts of all Governments should be directed. The second circular of the 12th Jan., 1899, took note of the fact that the political horizon had in the interval undergone a change, but the Imperial Government put forward a programme for discussion in which the limitation of the progressive increase of military and naval armaments appeared as the first item. At the First Conference the Russian proposal was to maintain the status quo of the armed forces and military estimates for five years. Count Mouravieff’s circular had stated that financial burdens, constantly on the increase, were affecting public prosperity at its source; that the intellectual and physical forces of the peoples, labour and capital were to a large extent diverted from their natural application and were unproductively consumed; and that the armed peace of modern Europe had become a crushing burden which the peoples had more and more difficulty in bearing. This was not the opinion of the German delegate2 , nor of the French, but, said the latter (M. Bourgeois), if both in Germany and France the great resources which are now devoted to military organisation were, at least in part, put to the service of peaceful and productive activity, the grand total of the prosperity of each country would not cease to increase at an even more rapid rate.
The limitation of armaments and the reduction of military burdens as means of reducing the chances of war were remedies which appealed to the popular imagination; but the discussions showed that the difficulties in carrying them into effect, which had never been absent from the minds of statesmen, were unsurmountable. The military forces of a nation do not always correspond with the amounts of their military budgets or the numbers of men enrolled in time of peace. The position of no two states is identical: geographical, physical, and political conditions, the density, rapidity of growth, and state of education of the population, the position of a state in regard to colonies, coaling stations and means of communication, its dependence for food supplies on ocean-borne trade, its financial credit and natural resources, are all factors to be taken into account. It was not found possible to frame any formula which could apply to all states, and as M. Nélidow stated in 1907, keen differences of opinion soon broke out, and the debates assumed such a character, that, instead of the desired understanding, there was a danger of a disagreement which might have proved fatal to the rest of the labours of the Conference. Formal homage was paid to the Tsar’s ideal by the passing of the Resolution which declared that the restriction of military budgets was extremely (grandement) desirable, and by the emission of the Vœu that Governments would examine the possibility of an agreement as to the limitation of armed forces and war budgets.
The subject of the reduction of military budgets and disarmament was absent from the circular of Count Benckendorff. Much had happened since 1899. The position of Russia after the termination of the Russo-Japanese war did not permit her to consider that the limitation of armaments was an urgent question. In the interval of the two Conferences the question had however not been allowed to remain dormant. The subject was discussed in the House of Commons on 10th May, 1906, and in the House of Lords on the 25th May, and in the French and Italian Chambers of Deputies in June of the same year1 . Subsequently Sir H. Campbell-Bannerman, when Prime Minister, expressed himself strongly against the policy of huge armaments and in favour of the reconsideration of the subject by the Powers2 . Notwithstanding the fact that the British Government had reason to anticipate that the discussion of the question would lead to no fruitful results, the British delegates were instructed to bring it forward at the Conference of 19073 . At the Fourth Plenary Meeting of the Conference on the 18th August, Sir Edward Fry proposed that the Conference should confirm the Resolution adopted in 1899 in regard to the limitation of the military charges, and, in view of their great increase, should put it on record that it is eminently (hautement) desirable that Governments should resume their study of the question1 . The British Plenipotentiary in his speech drew attention to the fact that between 1898 and 1906 the military expenditure of Europe, the United States and Japan had increased from £251,000,000 to £320,000,000, and stated that with a view of assisting in a reduction of this non-productive expenditure the British Government would be willing to communicate annually their programme to other Powers who would pursue the same course. The late Lord Goschen in a speech in 1906 in the House of Lords made a somewhat similar proposal, but on this occasion Sir Edward Fry on behalf of the British Government made the offer formally to the whole world. So far no Power seems to have accepted it. Sir Edward Fry’s motion received the support of the French delegate, M. Bourgeois, and the President communicated to the Conference a note from the delegates of Argentine and Chili containing the terms of a treaty which had been entered into on the 28th May, 1902, for the mutual reduction of the armaments of their countries for five years2 . The discussion was felt however to be purely academic. “Contact with reality,” said M. Nélidow, “soon showed that the noble ideal of the Tsar concealed practical difficulties when it became a question of putting it into application.” The Resolution, which committed no one, was carried unanimously with applause.
The problem of disarmament or the limitation of armaments is one of the greatest difficulty. Armaments are not a cause of war in themselves; often they afford the best guarantee of peace. The sense of insecurity felt by nations, and the increase of their means of defence are due to moral causes; they spring from a lack of international confidence and the instinct of self-preservation. Disarmament, or even the reduction of armaments will not be effected so long as there is the fear that while some Powers adopt this course others will not. The lack of confidence in the protestations of pacific intentions which some of the greatest military Powers make from time to time prevents the reduction of the vast burdens which all the great Powers are increasingly putting on their citizens. Until the causes of international distrust are removed, progress towards the solution of the disarmament problem will be stayed. “La deuxième Conférence,” writes M. de Lapradelle, “n’accorde à la limitation des armamens, proclamée grandement désirable en 1899, hautement désirable en 1907, qu’une attention indifférente et lointaine, négligemment fixée dans un vœu sceptique, dont la molle formule cherche moins à flatter les amateurs de mirages qu’à leur adoucir la peine de l’illusion déçue1 .”
The immunity of enemy private property at sea2 .Of the other Vœux which were expressed by the Conference of 1899, No. 1 produced a practical result in the Geneva Convention of 1906, and Nos. 2 and 6 form the basis of Conventions Nos. 5, 9 and 13 of the Conference of 1907. No. 3 appears up to the present to have been fruitless. No. 4 has already been dealt with. There remains only No. 5 in which the Conference expressed the wish that the proposal which contemplates the declaration of the inviolability of private property in naval warfare may be referred to a subsequent Conference for consideration.
At the First Hague Conference the United States delegates presented the following proposition: “The private property of all citizens or subjects of the signatory Powers, with the exception of contraband of war, shall be exempt from capture or seizure on the high seas or elsewhere by the armed vessels or the military forces of any of the said signatory Powers. But nothing herein contained shall extend exemption from seizure to vessels and their cargoes which may attempt to enter a port blockaded by the naval forces of any of the said Powers3 .” The Conference did not consider the discussion of this proposition to be within its competence, but adopted the Vœu set forth in the Final Act.
At the Second Conference the subject was assigned to the Fourth Committee, and M. Fromageot presented their Report at the Seventh Plenary Meeting4 . The proposition was again brought forward by the United States Delegation and was framed in similar terms to those in which it had been presented in 1899 by Mr A. D. White1 , and Mr Choate’s speech in moving it in the Committee followed similar lines of reasoning.The United States proposal in 1907. He traced the historical continuity of the doctrine onwards from 1783 when Benjamin Franklin proposed to Great Britain a treaty that in case of war between the two Powers all traders with their unarmed vessels employed in commerce should be allowed to pass freely unmolested. He cited treaties which had been entered into embodying the principle of abolition of capture of private property and the numerous expressions of opinion in its favour from statesmen, merchants and jurists. He urged the analogy of land warfare, the lack of military interest in the destruction of commerce, reasons of humanity, the losses occasioned to neutrals, the need for limiting war to the armed forces of the belligerents, and the risk of calling out a spirit of revenge and reprisals, and he concluded by intimating that President Roosevelt desired a vote of the Conference on the American proposal. The Russian delegates were of opinion that the question was not yet ready for solution, for the American proposition presupposed preparatory agreements and experience which were lacking up to the present time. The dread of great pecuniary losses both to belligerents and neutrals by the outbreak of war was, it was pointed out, one of the strongest guarantees of the peace of the world. The delegates of Brazil, Sweden and Norway supported the American proposal. The latter speaking for a Power largely interested in shipping, and for a country which he hoped would always be neutral, preferred that the self-interest of neutrals who would certainly gain by the maintenance of the status quo should give place to principles of humanity. The delegates of Holland, Greece and Austria also spoke on the same side, which received the qualified support of the German Plenipotentiary, Baron Marschall von Bieberstein, who, however, contended that the subject could not be considered by itself, as it was too closely allied to the questions of blockade and contraband to be able to be settled until these questions were first solved. The Portuguese delegate expressed a similar view. Strong opposition to the American proposal came from the Argentine and Colombian delegates, the latter (M. Triana) observing that the maintenance of the rule was essential for countries with great natural wealth which might excite the cupidity of stronger Powers. Sir Ernest Satow, speaking for Great Britain, opposed the American proposal2 . He pointed out that the adoption of it would produce an abolition of commercial blockade, that attempts to limit blockades would produce friction, but while unable to accept the American proposal Great Britain desired to have the interests of neutrals respected, hence the British proposal for the abolition of contraband.
The unanimous acceptance of the American proposal was obviously not possible, but before a vote was taken on it various proposals for modifying the existing rigour of the law of capture were taken into consideration.
Other proposals in 1907 for mitigating the rules of capture of private property at sea.Brazil proposed that pending the acceptance of the American proposition, the Powers should put in force the principles of Articles 23, 28, 46, 47 and 53 of the Convention of 1899 on the laws and customs of war on land. These as further explained by M. Ruy Barbosa would enable a belligerent to capture enemy merchantmen and cargo, even when neutral, if the necessities of war so demanded, receipts being given as if for requisitions: while the crew of a captured enemy were to be put ashore in a neutral port1 .
The Belgian proposition consisting of 12 Articles was to substitute sequestration for capture of enemy ships and their cargoes, the crews being liberated on condition of not serving against the captor during the war; and to forbid the destruction of prizes except under special circumstances. At the termination of the war, property so sequestered was to be returned, or if sold or destroyed its value to be handed to the former owners2 .
The Dutch delegate proposed that exemption should be accorded to every ship to which the enemy had delivered a passport certifying that it would not be used as a ship of war, and subject to certain modifications he supported the Belgian proposal.
Lastly, the French delegate, while willing to accept the United States proposition if a unanimous agreement could be reached, suggested certain modifications in the existing rule in the meantime. He argued that as war is a relation of state to state, interference with the commerce of the enemy is perfectly justifiable. It is a powerful means of coercion, but its legitimate exercise should be directed against the resources of the state and not against private individuals, and therefore it should not be used as a means of gain to individuals. With a view of carrying out these ideas, he expressed the desire (vœu) that the distribution of prize-money among the crews of the capturing ships should be suppressed, and that means should be taken to ensure that the loss occasioned by the capture of private property should fall on the state.
Result of the discussion at the Hague in 1907.The American proposition of absolute immunity from capture of enemy property at sea was put to the vote, when 21 states voted for, 11 against, and one abstained; 11 states were absent. The states voting for were: Germany (with the reservations before mentioned1 ), the United States, Austria-Hungary, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Cuba, Denmark, Ecuador, Greece, Hayti, Italy, Norway, Holland, Persia, Roumania, Siam, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey. Against: Colombia, Spain, France, Great Britain, Japan, Mexico, Montenegro, Panama, Portugal, Russia and Salvador. Abstained, Chili.
On the Brazilian proposition for the assimilation of the laws of war on sea to those on land, 13 states voted for, 12 against. It was therefore withdrawn.
On the Belgian proposition for the substitution of sequestration for confiscation 14 states voted for the 1st Article, 9 against, 7 being absent. It was therefore withdrawn.
The President (M. de Martens) sought to bring about a compromise by proposing the “Wish” that at the commencement of hostilities Powers should declare if, and under what conditions, they would renounce the right of capture, but various objections were raised and it was withdrawn. A vote was then taken on the French proposal for the suppression of prize-money as modified by the Austro-Hungarian delegate, who had proposed the participation by the State in the losses by capture. The first part expressing the desire that Powers which maintained the right of capture should be invited to consider means of abolishing prize-money was adopted by 16 to 4, 14 states abstaining: on the second part in favour of State indemnity, only 7 states voted for (these included Great Britain), while 13 voted against, and 14 abstained. Here, so far as the Committee were concerned, the matter terminated, but the Brazilian proposition is largely reflected in the fourth “Wish” adopted in the Final Act which records that the Powers should apply, as far as possible, to war by sea the principles of the Convention relative to the laws and customs of war on land.
An examination of this question in all its bearings is impossible in this connection. The instructions of the British delegates clearly set forth the view which the Government of this country took on the matter before the Conference, and the results of the Conference showed that the questions of the immunity of enemy private property at sea as well as those of contraband and blockade must all be considered together in relation to the proposed creation of an International Prize Court, and the law which it is to administer.
The “Wishes” enumerated in the Final Act of the Second Conference are the summary of its failures to reach any definite conclusion.
Obligatory arbitration.The Final Act of 1907, after an enumeration of the 13 Conventions and the Declaration agreed upon states that the delegates unanimously admitted the principle of obligatory arbitration, and declares that certain disputes, in particular those relating to the interpretation and application of the provisions of international agreements, may be submitted to obligatory arbitration without any restriction, it ends with the rhetorical statement that though it had not been found feasible to conclude a Convention in this sense the Powers had learnt to understand one another and to draw closer together and had “succeeded in the course of this long collaboration in evolving a lofty conception of the common welfare of humanity.” This was adopted at the Ninth Plenary Meeting of the Conference by 41 votes; the United States, Japan and Roumania did not vote.
The problem of obligatory arbitration was considered by the First Committee, and its Sub-Committee, and various propositions were examined by a Special Committee (Committee “A”) which held 16 meetings. The Report of Baron Guillaume which was presented to the Ninth Plenary Meeting is a document of great length and contains a résumé of the propositions and arguments which the Committees had had under consideration1 .
Article 16 of the Convention of 1899 for the pacific settlement of international disputes recognised arbitration as the most effective, and at the same time the most equitable means of settling disputes which diplomacy has failed to settle in questions of a legal nature, and especially in the interpretation or application of international conventions. It was hoped by many states that the Conference of 1907 would go further and produce a Convention whereby the Powers represented would agree to accept compulsory arbitration in disputes regarding certain definite matters. Various proposals with this object were presented by the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Portugal, Servia, Sweden, Great Britain and the United States, but the discussion chiefly turned on the Portuguese proposal, based upon a draft prepared by the Inter-parliamentary Union which was subsequently amended by, and to a large degree embodied in, a proposal formulated by Great Britain and the United States and supported by France. Under the Portuguese proposal the contracting Powers agreed to submit to arbitration, without any reservations, disputes on some 18 subjects: the British proposal eliminated several and altered the definitions of others. The draft in this form was called the “Projet du Comité d’Examen” or “Projet anglo-portugais-américain.”
The chief opposition came from Germany. Baron Marschall von Bieberstein, while declaring himself favourable to the principle of obligatory arbitration under certain conditions and reservations, made it clear that he was not prepared to go beyond this general acceptance of principle. His main line of argument was as follows. If awards are given of a contradictory character regarding the interpretation of international treaties to which many states are parties, the existence of these treaties will be imperilled. Awards in contradiction with judicial verdicts of national tribunals in respect of the interpretation and application of international treaties will create an impossible situation. Awards to the effect that a state ought to alter its laws in accordance with an international treaty may produce serious conflicts with legislative bodies. And as regards the lists submitted, some matters were too unimportant to include, others were too serious without the reservation of “honour and vital interests1 .”
It was evident that Germany would not fall in line with the great majority of the Powers on these questions, though Baron Marschall’s arguments were equally cogent in regard to the proposal to establish an international prize court which he was supporting. Strenuous endeavours were made to frame lists of subjects which would receive the acceptance of the Powers. The British proposal contained a table with a list of 22 subjects against which states should write their acceptance or rejection. Germany, however, was not prepared to accept or formulate any list. The Austro-Hungarian delegate (M. Mérey de Kapos-Mère) proposed that the Conference should content itself with a declaration which accepted the general principle of obligatory arbitration, but should state that, as difficulties were experienced in arriving at an agreement, the Conference would invite the Governments represented to make a further study of the questions and submit them to an international Committee2 . This failed to receive the unanimous support of the Sub-Committee. Italy submitted another amendment by way of an addition to Article 16 of the Convention for the pacific settlement of disputes, whereby the Powers undertook to study the question and report by the 31st Dec. 1908 to the Dutch Government the matters which they were prepared to make the subject of a Convention on obligatory arbitration, but this also was rejected by Germany. Thus the attempts of the two members of the Triple Alliance to facilitate the adhesion of the third to some form of obligatory arbitration were unsuccessful. After weeks of fruitless endeavour to reach unanimity the Anglo-Portuguese-American proposals were submitted to the Committee and voted upon. The debate lasted two days, when this draft was carried by 32 votes against 9: 3 states abstained from voting. The majority agreed to accept obligatory arbitration in disputes concerning the interpretation and application of treaties with regard to the following matters: (1) mutual relief of indigent sick persons; (2) international protection of labour; (3) means of preventing collisions at sea; (4) weights and measures; (5) measurement of vessels; (6) wages and effects of deceased seamen; (7) protection of literary and artistic works; also for claims for pecuniary damages when the principle of indemnity was recognised by the parties. The states which voted against the project were: Germany, Austria-Hungary, Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro, Roumania, Switzerland and Turkey. Italy, Japan and Luxemburg abstained from voting—the Japanese delegate, though not voting, announced that his Government was not prepared to accept obligatory arbitration, as the Court might adopt legal principles in opposition to those which his Government had adopted. The subjects on which the majority agreed to accept compulsory arbitration were not matters of great importance, but even these would have been welcomed as affording evidence of a practical acceptance of the principle. The opposition of Germany and Austria-Hungary, and the abstention of Italy, were fatal to their acceptance.
Notwithstanding the largeness of the majority, the Committee, acting on the principle that unanimity was requisite for a Convention, limited its recommendation to the acceptance of the Vœu suggested by Count Tornielli, which the Conference adopted. Mr Choate, however, was unable to accept this, as he considered that it constituted a real and serious retreat, and its adoption would imperil the cause of arbitration; he therefore abstained from voting at the Ninth Plenary Meeting. Japan and Roumania also abstained. The principle of obligatory arbitration was therefore accepted nem. con.
In one important point, however, the Conference was able to register a success, namely, Convention No. 2, respecting the limitation of force for the recovery of contract debts, which in effect makes arbitration compulsory in such cases1 .
Judicial Arbitration Court.The first Vœu of the Second Conference relates to an annexed draft for the creation of a Judicial Arbitration Court, and will be discussed in connection with the text of the draft Convention1 .
Neutrals in belligerent territory2 .The second and third Vœux emanated from the Second Committee to which was referred the subject of the rights and duties of neutrals on land. The second Vœu expresses the desire that in case of war the responsible authorities, civil and military, should make it their special duty to ensure and safeguard the maintenance of pacific relations, more especially the commercial and industrial relations, between the inhabitants of the belligerent states and neutral countries. By the third the Conference expresses the opinion that the Powers should regulate, by special treaties, the position, as regards military charges of foreigners residing within their territories.
The Second Committee, for which Colonel Borel (Swiss delegate) acted as “Reporter,” presented a report to the Fifth Plenary Meeting of the Conference, in which they recommended the addition of two chapters to the Regulations for war on land containing 11 Articles which were based on a draft introduced by the German delegate. Chapter 1, containing draft Articles 61-63, dealt with the definition of a neutral; Chapter 2, containing draft Articles 64-68, dealt with services rendered by neutrals, and the treatment of neutral property. The discussion at the Fifth Plenary Meeting on the 7th Sept. showed so much divergence of opinion with regard to the draft Articles 64 and 65, and so many reservations were made, that the draft was remitted to the Committee for further consideration. The Articles in question proposed to confer special benefits on neutral aliens resident in belligerent territory, both as regards the treatment of their persons and property. It was proposed to enact that belligerents should not requisition neutrals for services having direct bearing on the war except for sanitary services or sanitary police absolutely demanded by the circumstances (64). That such exemption from service should not apply to persons who had voluntarily enlisted in a belligerent army, nor to persons belonging to the army of a belligerent state in virtue of the legislation of that state (65). As regards neutral property it was proposed that no contribution of war should be levied on neutrals (66); that the destruction, injury or seizure of neutral property should be prohibited except in case of absolute necessity, and then compensation should be paid (67); that belligerents should undertake to grant compensation for use of neutral immoveable property (68); and also for expropriation or use of neutral moveable property (69). The difficulty in regard to the draft Articles 64 and 65 turned partly on the difference of treatment as regards military service by various states of domiciled aliens and their children born within their territory, in which there is a striking lack of uniformity. Several of the Spanish-American states have been engaged in controversies with European Powers who have considered that the principle of nationality by parentage ought to exempt the children of their nationals, born within the territory of such states, from military service1 . Several states have, by treaties, expressly guarded against the compulsory enrolment of their subjects for other than police purposes2 . Some states, such as Switzerland, have replaced military service by a tax, and France and Spain have, by treaty of 1862, agreed that Spaniards born in France, and Frenchmen born in Spain are liable for military service in France and Spain respectively, unless they can prove that they have performed the service in their own countries3 . As regards the special benefits it was proposed to confer on neutral property, Great Britain, France, Russia and Holland contended that aliens by taking up their residence in a state must submit to the treatment accorded to its nationals by the invader, and that contributions were levied ratione loci not ratione personae. The opposing principles were those of nationality and enemy domicile. Special difficulties in applying the suggested Articles were also pointed out by the British and Japanese delegates. Notwithstanding the hearty support accorded to the draft Articles by the United States and Swiss delegates, they failed of acceptance; Articles 61-63 of the German draft alone were adopted and form Articles 16-19 of Convention No. 54 . The Committee recommended the adoption of the two Vœux which were unanimously accepted. We have dealt so far with the second; the fulfilment of the first does not appear to be very probable. The purpose of military operations is to bring the enemy to terms as speedily as possible, and a belligerent can best do this by cutting off the supplies of his adversary from neutral sources. His business is to hamper his opponent by all possible legitimate means, he will not be likely to assist and protect the maintenance of commercial and industrial relations between the inhabitants of his enemy’s state and neutrals, when by so doing he will naturally tend to increase the duration of the struggle1 . War is more than a relation of state to state.
The laws and customs of naval warfare2 .The fourth Vœu covers a wider field than the second and third. Questions relating to naval warfare entered into the work of all the four Committees of the Second Conference. The first Committee elaborated a draft Convention for an International Prize Court, the second dealt with declarations of war, a matter common to warfare by land and sea; the third and fourth formed a combined Committee on maritime questions under the presidencies of Count Tornielli and M. de Martens.
Of all departments of international law, that which relates to naval warfare, and the duties of neutrals therein, is in the most unsatisfactory condition. Jurists cannot be entirely acquitted of the charge of having assisted in producing this result. Sometimes the rules adopted by the state of which a publicist is a citizen, have been enunciated by him as if they were universally accepted as international law, and no small number of “incidents” and “strained relations” between states have been produced by the ignorance of the people of one state of the rules of naval warfare observed by another. In the case of land warfare there have been no changes in the weapons in use or the mode of conduct of hostilities during the past century comparable to the change from wooden sailing vessels to great floating metal fortresses propelled by steam power. The rules of maritime warfare, elaborated when wooden walls were the defence of a sea-girt state, are seen to be antiquated, and in some cases useless, when applied to modern conditions. Not only are the problems, by which belligerents themselves are faced, of increasing complexity, but in a still higher degree difficulties are experienced by neutrals in fulfilling their rôle of abstaining from all interference in a pending conflict. The dislocation of neutral trade, springing from an extension of the idea of contraband, the doctrine of “continuous voyage,” the divergent views of great naval Powers on the subject of blockade, and the danger to innocent neutral merchantmen from floating mines, produces increasing friction between belligerents and neutrals. The two great wars which had taken place since 1899 had brought these questions into dangerous prominence, and afford sufficient explanation why problems relating to naval warfare occupied so much of the attention of the Second Hague Conference. Unlike the laws of war on land, which, previously to the First Conference, had been considered in detail at the Brussels Conference and by the Institute of International Law, both of which bodies had prepared draft regulations, admirably adapted to form a basis for the work of the Conference, the laws of naval warfare as a whole (and apart from the treatment of the sick and wounded) had never received the careful study of an international gathering of the Powers. In many important points it has long been recognised that there are two divergent views, the Anglo-American and the Continental, and the failure of the Conference to produce a code of laws for naval warfare analogous to that which the First Conference elaborated for land warfare is not a matter for surprise. The “questionnaire,” prepared by M. de Martens for the basis of the discussions of the Fourth Committee, was framed in the following terms: “Within what limits are the provisions of the Convention of 1899 relating to the laws of war on land applicable to the operations of war on sea?” Considerable labour and much time were devoted to an examination of the general question of a code of naval warfare, as well as to a consideration of specific subjects which were entrusted to the Committee.
The “questionnaire” of M. de Martens was examined by a Comité d’Examen and a report prepared by M. de Karnebeck, but time did not admit of its being taken into consideration by the whole Committee. The difficulties in the way of arriving at a solution of the numerous questions connected with maritime warfare were explained by M. de Martens at the meeting of the Committee on the 18th Sept. He pointed out that historically there was a sharp line of demarcation between land and sea warfare. That, whereas in the case of the former, soldiers from Epaminondas to Gustavus Adolphus had themselves endeavoured to frame the rules, and the First Conference had before it the work of the Brussels Conference, in the matter of naval warfare the case was quite different. The instructions of a few great naval commanders, the decisions of Prize Courts and especially those of Lord Stowell, and naval manuals prepared by various Governments, were the sources for the law of naval warfare, and all were more or less tainted with national aspirations and the requirements of political expediency. M. Fromageot also pointed out in his report1 that the attempt to adapt the Rules of Land Warfare of 1899 to naval warfare would necessitate a change not only in drafting and form, but that they would even require fundamental modifications. The principles, however, underlying these regulations were recommended to the Conference as being applicable to maritime warfare, and the fourth Vœu was proposed, and unanimously adopted by the Conference, that the preparation of regulations relative to the laws and customs of naval warfare should be considered at the next Conference, and that meantime the Powers should apply the principles of the Convention of 1899 to war by sea. The Committee prepared a draft in parallel columns showing suggested changes in the application of these rules1 . The problem relating to blockade and contraband, and the question as to the legality of sinking neutral prizes were however found to be insoluble2 .
Destruction of neutral prizes3 .On this latter subject the “questionnaire” of M. de Martens was as follows: “Is the destruction of merchant ships under a neutral flag engaged in war time in carrying troops or contraband forbidden by the laws of different countries or by international practice?” “Is the destruction of all neutral prizes illegitimate according to existing national laws and according to the practice in naval wars?”
In examining these questions the Committee refrained from endeavouring to formulate a statement as to what was the existing law, devoting its labours to discussions de lege ferenda rather than de lege lata, but it considered that there was a close connection between this subject and the question of the free access of prizes to neutral ports which was under consideration by the Third Committee.
In the course of the study of the matter by the Fourth Committee four proposals presented by the delegates of Great Britain, Russia, the United States and Japan came under consideration. These four were subsequently reduced to two, the United States and Japan supporting the British proposals.
The Russian proposal which was the first to be examined by the Examining Committee forbade the destruction of neutral prizes except in cases where the non-destruction would endanger the safety of the captor or the success of his operations. The arguments advanced by Colonel Ovtchinnokow in support of this proposal were that by the fact of capture the property in the prize passed to the captor, and that the subsequent decision of a Prize Court confirmed and did not create the right of ownership. The right of destruction should and would naturally be exercised with great reserve, for a captor would not lightly destroy his own property, and when it was exercised, persons and, as far as possible, cargo and papers on board should be preserved for use of Prize Courts, and to assist in fixing indemnities, if any, to neutrals. If the Prize Court subsequently decided against the validity of the capture, that would entail a liability to make compensation. For military or other reasons it might be impossible to take a captured ship into a port for condemnation, and absolutely to forbid its destruction would place states not possessing ports (hors de leurs côtes métropolitaines), into which prizes could be conducted, in a position of unjustifiable inferiority, and this would be increased if additional restrictions were adopted, as was proposed, on access of belligerents and their prizes to neutral ports.
The British proposal was framed to carry out the instructions given by Sir Edward Grey “that Great Britain has always maintained that the right to destroy is confined to enemy vessels only1 ,” and was that the destruction of neutral prizes is forbidden, and the captor must release a neutral ship which it cannot bring in for adjudication before a Prize Court. Sir Ernest Satow in supporting this proposal contended that destruction of neutral prizes was forbidden by existing practice, and pointed out that the Regulations of the Institute of International Law on maritime prizes, which in 1882 were drafted so as to make no distinction between captured enemy and neutral vessels, were in 1887 altered so that the right to destroy was limited to enemy vessels2 . The rule of the British Admiralty, based on decisions of Lord Stowell, was clear, and Commanders are directed, when unable to send their prizes in for adjudication, “to release the vessel and cargo without ransom3 .” In answer to the Russian argument based on the difference of the geographical situation of states, the British delegate urged that if this prevented the exercise of the right of capture of neutral ships carrying contraband or guilty of breach of blockade, they ought nevertheless to be set free. He concluded by stating that if the destruction of neutral prizes were allowed, there would be but little difference between neutral and enemy ships, and neutral governments would be almost powerless to protect their merchantmen.
The German delegate “shared entirely” the Russian point of view, while the United States and Japanese delegates supported the British; the Italian delegate pointed out the intimate connection between the subject and the right of using neutral ports, and a combined meeting of the two Examining Committees was held with the following result: free access to neutral ports for belligerent prizes was carried by a small majority (9 for, 3 against, 6 abstentions), prohibition of destruction, made by most conditional to free access, was carried by a slightly larger majority (11 for, 4 against, 2 abstentions), the Russian proposal for right to destroy had a small majority (6 for, 4 against, 7 abstentions)1 .
The subject of the destruction of neutral prizes was brought into striking prominence during the Russo-Japanese war by the sinking by the Russians of various neutral merchantmen, the Knight Commander, the Hip-sang, the St Kilda, the Ikhoma, the Oldhamia, the Thea and others. The British Government entered a strong protest against this procedure, which it characterised as “a serious breach of international law”; and a distinguished English publicist terms it an “outrage” and a “gross breach of international law2 .”
It will be noticed that the “questionnaire” of M. de Martens referred to the “laws of different countries” and “international practice.” Sir Ernest Satow asked for the view of the Committee on the existing state of international law, but M. de Martens objected to put this question to the vote3 . The “laws of different countries” as evidenced by their naval instructions undoubtedly show a lack of uniformity, but such instructions have no international force, as will be seen from Lord Salisbury’s correspondence with Germany in 1901 in the cases of the Herzog and Bundesrath4 . According to the Naval Codes and Prize Regulations of Russia, the United States and Japan, the sinking of neutral prizes is allowed under certain circumstances5 ; the British proposal was however supported by the delegates of the two latter states. The British Manual of Naval Prize Law prohibits this procedure. From Naval Codes and the opinions of certain writers on international law (chiefly continental), the language of the British Government cannot be wholly supported, but it is certainly supported by modern international practice. In no modern naval war has any Government put forward such a doctrine as that enunciated by the Russian, and no belligerent since the Declaration of Paris has acted as the Russians. The doctrine of the Russian Government would, as Lord Lansdowne stated, justify the destruction of any neutral ship taken by a belligerent vessel which started on her voyage with a crew sufficient only for her requirements, and therefore unable to furnish prize crews for her captures; it is in effect a negation of the Declaration of Paris.
There is a clear distinction between the right of seizure of enemy and neutral ships. The former is the legitimate exercise of a right of appropriation of all enemy property found on the high seas, the latter is exercised only for the purpose of punishing certain special acts which do not necessarily involve condemnation of the ship1 . If the destruction of enemy ships is now generally recognised as lawful only in special cases, the list of exceptions should either vanish altogether, or be reduced to the minutest dimensions in the case of neutral prizes. The “Institut de Droit International” in 1887 pronounced in favour of the first alternative which is undoubtedly supported by modern practice. An agreement on this subject would materially aid in maintaining the peace of the world by removing a not improbable cause of war on the part of a neutral Power whose commerce was being ruined by the adoption by a belligerent of the practice advocated by the Russian Government2 .
Beginnings of a Code of naval warfare.The Conference was, however, able to make some progress towards a Code of naval warfare by the adoption of the Conventions relating to the status of enemy merchant ships at the outbreak of hostilities (No. 6), the Convention relative to the conversion of merchant ships into war ships (No. 7), the Convention relative to the laying of automatic submarine contact mines (No. 8), the Convention respecting bombardment by naval forces in time of war (No. 9), the Convention placing certain restrictions on the exercise of the right of capture in naval warfare (No. 11), the Convention for the creation of an international prize court (No. 12), and the Convention concerning the rights and duties of neutral Powers in naval war (No. 13). These Conventions are of unequal value, and some bear evident traces of a desire that some agreement on the subject to which they relate might be registered after so many weeks of labour; they will, doubtless, on many points need revision by the next Conference.
The next Hague Conference1 .The First Conference had closed without making any provision for the summoning of another. The Second Conference was dragging on, hampered by its want of preparation and of adherence to parliamentary precedents, and many of those who looked for solid results were “in genuine anxiety about the consequence of a real collapse,” and possessed by a “genuine desire that the Hague institution should not perish of what were not, perhaps, essential defects2 .” A Meeting of the First Delegates was held on the 14th September to consider the situation, and it was resolved to bring before the next Plenary Meeting a Vœu with reference to a future Conference. The United States Delegation was instructed to “favour the adoption of a resolution by the Conference providing for the holding of further Conferences within fixed periods and arranging the machinery by which such Conferences may be called and the terms of the programme may be arranged, without awaiting any new and specific initiative on the part of the powers or any one of them.” This had been recommended by the Inter-parliamentary Congress in 1904. The Conferences would then become real international assemblies presided over by a President chosen without any regard to the requirements of diplomatic etiquette, and discussing a programme which had not been prepared for it, but which it had previously settled for itself. The actual form in which the Vœu found acceptance is as it appears in the Final Act, and M. Nélidow, the President of the Conference, proposed it at the Sixth Plenary Meeting on the 21st Sept., but the initiative must be assigned to the United States Delegation. “The somewhat slow and at times uncertain progress of our labours,” said the President, “as well as the impossibility which the Conference finds of solving some of the problems submitted to it, or which have been brought forward in the course of our labours, have suggested to some of our colleagues the idea of taking into consideration the advantage of another meeting of the Conference, and of the necessity of preparing for it in advance a detailed programme and the method of its working and organisation3 .” In these words the President concisely specified some of the causes of the want of success which had attended the wearisome and laborious discussions on many of the topics which had been under consideration. The Roumanian delegate, M. Beldiman, in supporting the Vœu paid a tribute of homage to the August Initiator of the First and Second Conferences, adding that the Vœu in his opinion did not prejudge the taking of the same august initiative in the future, while the Austro-Hungarian delegate in rendering grateful homage to the Tsar added that they considered the initiative of Russia was definitely accepted in this matter. A general desire was expressed that the Queen of Holland would extend her hospitality to the next Conference. It will be seen that the speeches of the Roumanian and Austro-Hungarian delegates go beyond the actual words of the Vœu. To whomsoever the initiative of the next Conference may belong, if in 1915 the Third Conference should meet in accordance with this Vœu, two years before that date a preparatory Committee is to collect the various proposals to be submitted, to ascertain the subjects which are ripe for embodiment in an international regulation and to prepare a programme which the Governments shall decide upon in sufficient time to enable it to be carefully examined by the countries interested. The Committee is also to be entrusted with the work of proposing a system of organisation and procedure for the Conference itself. The Second Hague Conference has thus taken an important step, and, taught by its own tedious and cumbersome procedure, it has endeavoured to spare its successor from suffering from the like causes. If Hague Conferences, meeting in the future at specified intervals, are to develope into a world legislature, a veritable “Parliament of man,” they can only be certain of producing beneficial and lasting results if the states taking part have thoroughly made up their minds both in regard to the matters to be discussed, and the views which their representatives are to support. The delegates of future Conferences will also be spared the chagrin and annoyance from which on several important occasions Plenipotentiaries suffered in 1907, when, owing to lack of instructions, they were unable to speak with any authority for the states they represented; while the latter will not hurriedly, and without due warning, have to formulate a policy on any topic which may be introduced without previous notice and consideration.
[1 ]The Peace Conference of 1899. There is a considerable literature on this subject. A few only of the sources of information are here mentioned as most of the modern Text-books deal with this subject. British Parl. Papers, Miscellaneous, No. 1 (1899); De Martens, Nouveau Recueil Général de Traités (2nd series), Vol. xxvi. pp. 1-920,—the Final Act is printed at p. 258; F. W. Holls, The Peace Conference at the Hague; Sir T. Barclay, Problems of international practice and diplomacy with special reference to the Hague Conferences, etc.; T. J. Lawrence, War and neutrality in the Far East; Idem, International Problems and Hague Conferences; G. de Lapradelle, La Conférence de la Paix; A. Mérignhac, La Conférence Internationale de la Paix; J. B. Scott, Texts of the Peace Conferences at the Hague; E. A. Whittuck, International Documents. See also F. Despagnet, La Guerre Sud Africaine; Sidney Low in The Nineteenth Century for September, 1899, p. 383; Prof. T. E. Holland, Some lessons of the Peace Conference, Fortnightly Review, Vol. lxvi. (N.S.), p. 944; S. Jules Enthoven in The Law Magazine and Review, Vol. xxiv. p. 457; La Revue Générale de Droit International Public, Vol. vi. pp. 846, 859, 879, 883; J. B. Moore, Digest of International Law, Vol. vii. p. 78.
[1 ]Parl. Papers, Misc. No. 1 (1899), p. 3.
[1 ]The “Acte Final” was described by Sir Julian Pauncefote as “an exposition of the work of the Conference presented to the various Governments for their information and approval” (Sir J. Pauncefote to the Marquess of Salisbury, 31 July, 1899, Parliamentary Papers, Misc. No. 1 (1899), p. 278).
[2 ]For text of Final Act, see post, p. 60.
[1 ]Letter of Sir Julian Pauncefote to the Marquess of Salisbury, Parl. Papers, Misc. No. 1 (1899), p. 353. Great Britain was represented at the Conference by the Right Hon. Sir Julian Pauncefote and Sir Henry Howard, with Vice-Admiral Sir John Fisher, Major-Gen. Sir J. C. Ardagh and Lieut.-Col. C. à Court as technical advisers.
[1 ]The Conference of Geneva 1868, and the Brussels Conference 1874.
[2 ]The Japanese bureau was instituted by Imperial Ordinance No. 44 dated the 21st February, 1904, the Russian by Imperial Ordinance confirmed 18th May, 1904. See S. Takahashi, International Law applied to the Russo-Japanese War, p. 114.
[1 ]See post, pp. 167-9.
[2 ]Amos S. Hershey, The international law and diplomacy of the Russo-Japanese War, pp. 347-8.
[3 ]J. B. Moore, International Arbitrations, Vol. ii. pp. 1349-54; De Martens, Nouveau Recueil Général de Traités (2nd series), Vol. xxxii. p. 189.
[1 ]I am indebted to Dr L. H. Ruyssenaers, the Secretary-General of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, for copies of the Recueil des Actes et Protocoles of the four cases here dealt with.
[2 ]See Sir T. Barclay, Problems, etc. pp. 273-7.
[3 ]Brit. Parl. Papers, Venezuela, No. 1 (1904) [Cd. 1949]. A. Mallarmé, L’arbitrage vénézuélien devant la Cour de la Haye, Rev. gén. de Droit inter. Vol. xiii. p. 423; J. B. Moore, Digest of International Law, § 967.
[4 ]See post, p. 185, for the circumstances of this blockade
[1 ]See Sir T. Barclay, Problems, etc. p. 278.
[1 ]Brit. Parl. Papers, Japan, No. 1 (1905), Vol. ciii. (1905), p. 301. Anon. L’arbitrage des baux perpetuels au Japon, Rev. gén. de Droit inter., Vol. xii. p. 492.
[2 ]Brit. Parl. Papers, Treaty Series, No. 3, 1905, Vol. ciii. (1905), p. 235; Muscat, No. 1 (1905), Vol. cxxxvi. (1906), p. 391. For a further discussion of the case see an Article by Prof. J. Westlake, K.C., in The Law Quarterly Review, Vol. xxiii. p. 83; see also M. Bressonnet, L’arbitrage franco-anglais dans l’affaire des boutres de Mascate, Rev. gén. de Droit inter. Vol. xiii. p. 145.
[1 ]Parl. Papers, Miscellaneous, Nos. 1, 4, 5 and 6 (1908); La Deuxième Conférence Internationale de la Paix, Actes et Documents (3 vols.); Sir T. Barclay, Problems of international practice and diplomacy with special reference to the Hague Conferences and Conventions and other General International Agreements; Idem, The Second Hague Conference, Fortnightly Review, June and Oct. 1907; Baron d’Estournelles de Constant, The results of the Second Hague Conference, Am. Independent, 21 Nov. 1907; A. H. Charteris, The Second Peace Conference, Juridical Review, Vol. xix. pp. 223, 347; A. Ernst, L’œuvre de la deuxième Conférence de la Paix; A. H. Fried, Die zweite Haager Konferenz; D. J. Hill, The net result at the Hague, Am. Review of Reviews, Dec. 1907; T. E. Holland, The Hague Conference 1907, Law Quarterly Review, Vol. xxiv. p. 76; T. J. Lawrence, International Problems and Hague Conferences; A. de Lapradelle, La guerre maritime après la nouvelle Conférence de la Paix, Revue des deux Mondes (1 Aug. 1908); Ernest Lémonon, La seconde Conférence de la Paix; J. B. Moore, Digest of Int. Law, Vol. vii. p. 96; A. Pillet, La cause de la Paix; L. Renault, Les deux Conférences de la Paix; J. B. Scott, The work of the Second Hague Peace Conference, Am. Journal of Int. Law, Jan. 1908; Idem, Texts of the Peace Conferences at the Hague; W. T. Stead, Notes from the Hague, Review of Reviews (London), Nov. 1907; Idem, Impressions from the Hague, Contemporary Review, Dec. 1907; A. Tardieu, La deuxième Conférence de la Paix, Revue des deux Mondes, 1st June, 1907; J. Westlake, International Law, War, Chapter xi.; Idem, The Hague Conference, Quarterly Review, Jan. 1908, p. 225; Anon. The Second Hague Conference, Edin. Review, Jan. 1908, p. 224; Le Courrier de la Conférence, edited by W. T. Stead; E. A. Whittuck, International documents.
[2 ]Letter of Count Benckendorff to Sir Edward Grey, 3rd April, 1906.
[1 ]Mr Hay’s letter is set forth in extenso in J. B. Moore, Digest of Inter. Law, Vol. vii. p. 96. J. B. Scott, Texts of the Peace Conferences, etc. p. 93. See also Sir T. Barclay, Problems, etc. p. 3.
[2 ]Parl. Papers, Misc. No. 1 (1908), p. 2.
[1 ]Letter of Count Benckendorff to Sir Edward Grey, 3rd April, 1906.
[2 ]See note to Geneva Convention of 1906, p. 35.
[1 ]For the Instructions given to the British delegates see Appendix.
[1 ]See note 1, page 69.
[1 ]For names of British and United States delegates in 1899 see supra, p. 42.
[1 ]For names of British and United States delegates in 1899 see supra, p. 42.
[2 ]For names of British and United States delegates in 1907 see supra, p. 57.
[2 ]For names of British and United States delegates in 1907 see supra, p. 57.
[1 ]For the draft Convention referred to, see post, p. 498.
[1 ]Parl. Papers, Misc. No. 4 (1908), pp. 66-9; La Deuxième Conférence Internationale de la Paix, T. i. (Actes et Documents), pp. 342-6.
[2 ]See ante, p. 51.
[3 ]The “Acte Final” is printed after the 13 Conventions and the Declaration in Vol. i. of the Official Report of the Second Hague Conference, La Deuxième Conférence Internationale de la Paix, T. i.; in the British Blue Book it is printed first, the Conventions and Declaration following it.
[4 ]T. E. Holland, The Laws of War on Land, p. 5; L. Oppenheim, Int. Law, Vol. ii. p. 77 (note); see post, p. 260.
[1 ]La Deux. Confér. T. i. p. 343.
[2 ]Parl. Papers, Misc. No. 1 (1899), p. 260; Sir T. Barclay, Problems, etc. p. 43.
[3 ]See ante, p. 56.
[4 ]See ante, p. 32.
[1 ]La Deux. Confér. T. i. pp. 343-4; Parl. Papers, Misc. No. 4 (1908), pp. 67-8.
[2 ]Parl. Papers, Misc. No. 1 (1899), p. 113.
[1 ]Sir T. Barclay, Problems, etc. p. 125.
[2 ]See Article in The Nation of 2 March, 1907.
[3 ]For Instructions on this subject see Appendix.
[1 ]Parl. Papers, Misc. No. 1 (1908), p. 27; La Deux. Confér. T. i. p. 90.
[2 ]A translation of this treaty is given by Sir T. Barclay, Problems, etc. pp. 128-9.
[1 ]La guerre maritime, etc. in La Revue des deux Mondes, 1 Aug. 1908, p. 676.
[3 ]Parl. Papers, Misc. No. 1 (1899), pp. 108-111, 165-8. The United States Government in 1856 refused to accede to the Declaration of Paris in consequence of the non-acceptance of this principle. See supra, p. 3.
[4 ]See Parl. Papers, Misc. No. 1 (1908), p. 187; La Deux. Confér. T. i. p. 245 for M. Fromageot’s Report on which the following summary is based. See also Livre Jaune, p. 101.
[1 ]Mr White’s speech is printed in extenso in Parl. Papers, Misc. No. 1 (1899), p. 166.
[2 ]For British Instructions on this head see Appendix.
[1 ]E. Lémonon, op. cit. p. 634.
[2 ]See E. Lémonon, op. cit. p. 635.
[1 ]See ante, p. 79.
[1 ]Parl. Papers, Misc. No. 4 (1908), pp. 351-423; La Deux. Confér. T. i. pp. 455-552; Livre Jaune, pp. 42-54; E. Lémonon, La seconde Conférence, pp. 121-187; A. B. Fried, Die zweite Haager Konferenz, pp. 39-119; W. J. Hull, Obligatory arbitration and the Hague Conferences, Am. Journ. of Int. Law, Vol. ii. p. 731.
[1 ]Parl. Papers, Misc. No. 4 (1908), p. 368; La Deux. Confér. T. i. p. 476.
[2 ]Parl. Papers, Misc. No. 4 (1908), p. 370; La Deux. Confér. T. i. p. 479.
[1 ]See post, pp. 180-197.
[1 ]See post, p. 498.
[1 ]J. Westlake, Peace, p. 218.
[2 ]See W. E. Hall, Int. Law, pp. 207-8 for a discussion of the position of aliens in regard to military service.
[3 ]Despagnet, Droit int. § 342.
[4 ]For further discussion of this subject see post, p. 293.
[1 ]J. Westlake, War, p. 285.
[1 ]Parl. Papers, Misc. No. 4 (1908), p. 201; La Deux. Confér. T. i. p. 265.
[1 ]Parl. Papers, Misc. No. 4 (1908), pp. 202-216; La Deux. Confér. T. i. p. 264.
[2 ]See ante, p. 4.
[1 ]See Appendix.
[2 ]See Sir T. Barclay, Problems, etc. p. 101; Annuaire, Vol. ix. (1888), p. 204. The Règlement international des prises maritimes allows the destruction of a captured enemy ship in five cases, (1) where she is unseaworthy and the sea is rough, (2) where she sails so badly that she cannot keep up with the captor, (3) on the approach of a stronger enemy fleet endangering her recapture, (4) where the captor cannot spare a prize crew without endangering her own safety, (5) when the port to which it is possible to take the captured ship is too distant.
[3 ]See The Actaeon, 2 Dodson, 48; Felicity, 2 Dodson, 381; Leucade, Spinks, 217; T. E. Holland, Manual of Naval Prize Law, § 303.
[1 ]See post, p. 478.
[2 ]T. J. Lawrence, War and Neutrality, p. 257.
[3 ]See The Times, 8th Aug. 1908.
[4 ]Parl. Papers, Cd. (1900); J. Dundas White, The seizure of the Bundesrath, 17 L. Q. R. 14.
[5 ]L. Oppenheim, Vol. ii. pp. 470-1.
[1 ]L. Oppenheim, Vol. ii. p. 469.
[2 ]See post, pp. 557, 597.
[2 ]See Article in Edin. Review, Jan. 1908, p. 224.
[3 ]Parl. Papers, Misc. No. 4 (1908), p. 42; La Deux. Confér. T. i. p. 169.
[P. 79, line 16,]for “American” read “United States” and so elsewhere on pages 79 and 80.
Sir T. Barclay, Problems, etc. pp. 123-130; A. Ernst, L’œuvre de la Deuxième Conférence de la Paix, p. 55; E. Lémonon, La seconde Conférence de la Paix, pp. 719-735; “The limitation of Armaments,” The Times, 20 July, 1906; R. P. Hobson, Disarmament, Am. Journ. of Inter. Law, Vol. ii. p. 743; B. F. Trueblood, The case for limitation of Armaments, Idem, p. 758. The subject is treated fully in the various works dealing with the Hague Conferences mentioned in the note on p. 51.
The literature on this subject is great, and the question is discussed by all writers on Public International Law. L. Oppenheim, Int. Law, Vol. ii. pp. 179 and 186, gives a list of authors who discuss the question of confiscation of enemy property at sea, and in addition reference may be made to the following: F. W. Holls, The Peace Conference, pp. 306-321; J. Westlake, War, pp. 129-132, 311-314; Sir T. Barclay, Problems, etc. pp. 63-70; C. H. Stockton, Am. Journ. of Int. Law, Oct. 1907, p. 930; E. Lémonon, La seconde Conférence, etc. p. 623; N. Bentinck, War and private property, pp. 85-96; Lord Loreburn’s (then Sir R. Reid) letter to The Times, 14 Oct. 1905, since edited with notes by F. W. Hirst; A. de Lapradelle, La guerre maritime, La Revue des deux Mondes, 1 Aug. 1908, p. 676; Livre Jaune, p. 101; Captain Mahan, National Review, June, 1907; Julian S. Corbett, Nineteenth Century and after, June, 1907.
Parl. Papers, Misc. No. 4 (1908), pp. 33-36, 134-145; La Deux. Confér. T. i. pp. 125-9, 150-161, 163, 176-8; J. Westlake, War, p. 285; Livre Jaune, pp. 79-82; A. S. de Bustamente, Am. Journ. of Int. Law, Vol. ii. p. 115.
Parl. Papers, Misc. No. 4 (1908), p. 201; La Deux. Confér. T. i. p. 264; Livre Jaune, p. 101.
Parl. Papers, Misc. No. 1 (1908), p. 17; Idem, Misc. No. 4 (1908), p. 199; La Deux. Confér. T. i. p. 262; Sir T. Barclay, Problems, etc. pp. 99-102; J. Westlake, War, p. 318; L. Oppenheim, Vol. ii. § 431; T. J. Lawrence, Int. Law, § 215; Idem, War and Neutrality, etc. p. 255; W. E. Hall, Int. Law, p. 735; T. E. Holland, Prize Law, § 303; Idem, Neutral duties in a Maritime War, pp. 12-13; H. Taylor, Int. Law, § 691; A. Hershey, International Law and Diplomacy of the Russo-Japanese War, pp. 156-9; F. E. Smith and N. W. Sibley, International Law as interpreted during the Russo-Japanese War, Chap. xii.; L. A. Atherley-Jones, Commerce in War, pp. 531-8; T. Baty, La destruction des prises neutres, Rev. de Dr. int. (2nd series), Vol. viii. p. 434; E. Lémonon, La seconde Conférence, etc. pp. 684-694.
J. B. Scott, Recommendations for a third Peace Conference at the Hague, Am. Journ. of Int. Law, Vol. ii. p. 815.