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Declaration III (1899). - 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).
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Declaration III (1899).
Des Balles à Enveloppe Dure etc.
Les soussignés, Plénipotentiaires des Puissances représentées à la Conférence Internationale de la Paix à La Haye, dûment autorisés à cet effet par leurs Gouvernements,
S’inspirant des sentiments qui ont trouvé leur expression dans la Déclaration de Saint-Pétersbourg du 29 novembre (11 décembre), 1868,
Les Puissances contractantes s’interdisent 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.
La présente Déclaration n’est obligatoire que pour les Puissances contractantes, en cas de guerre entre deux ou plusieurs d’entre elles.
Elle cessera d’être obligatoire du moment où, dans une guerre entre des Puissances contractantes, une Puissance non-contractante se joindrait à l’un des belligérants.
La présente Déclaration sera ratifiée dans le plus bref délai possible.
Les ratifications seront déposées à La Haye.
Il sera dressé du dépôt de chaque ratification un procès-verbal, dont une copie, certifiée conforme, sera remise par la voie diplomatique à toutes les Puissances contractantes.
Les Puissances non-signataires pourront adhérer à la présente Déclaration. Elles auront, à cet effet, à faire connaître leur adhésion aux Puissances contractantes, au moyen d’une notification écrite, adressée au Gouvernement des Pays-Bas et communiquée par celui-ci à toutes les autres Puissances contractantes.
S’il arrivait qu’une des Hautes Parties contractantes dénonçât la présente Déclaration, cette dénonciation ne produirait ses effets qu’un an après la notification faite par écrit au Gouvernement des Pays-Bas et communiquée immédiatement par celui-ci à toutes les autres Puissances contractantes.
Cette dénonciation ne produira ses effets qu’à l’égard de la Puissance qui l’aura notifiée.
En foi de quoi, les Plénipotentiaires ont signé la présente Déclaration et l’ont revêtu de leurs cachets.
Fait à La Haye, le 29 Juillet, 1899, en un seul exemplaire, qui restera déposé dans les archives du Gouvernement des Pays-Bas et dont des copies, certifiées conformes, seront remises par la voie diplomatique aux Puissances contractantes.
Bullets with a Hard Envelope etc.
The Undersigned, Plenipotentiaries of the Powers represented at the International Peace Conference at the Hague, duly authorized to that effect by their Governments,
Inspired by the sentiments which found expression in the Declaration of St Petersburg of the 29th November (11th December), 1868,
The Contracting Parties agree to abstain from the use of bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with a hard envelope which does not entirely cover the core, or is pierced with incisions.
The present Declaration is only binding for the Contracting Powers in the case of a war between two or more of them.
It shall cease to be binding from the time when, in a war between the Contracting Powers, one of the belligerents is joined by a non-Contracting Power.
The present Declaration shall be ratified as soon as possible.
The ratifications shall be deposited at the Hague.
A procès-verbal shall be drawn up on the receipt of each ratification, a copy of which, duly certified, shall be sent through the diplomatic channel to all the Contracting Powers.
Non-Signatory Powers may accede to the present Declaration. For this purpose they must make their accession known to the Contracting Powers by means of a written notification addressed to the Netherland Government, and by it communicated to all the-other Contracting Powers.
In the event of one of the High Contracting Parties denouncing the present Declaration, such denunciation shall not take effect until a year after the notification made in writing to the Netherland Government, and forthwith communicated by it to all the other Contracting Powers.
This denunciation shall only affect the notifying Power.
In faith of which the Plenipotentiaries have signed the present Declaration, and have affixed their seals thereto.
Done at the Hague the 29th July, 1899, in a single copy, which shall be kept in the archives of the Netherland Government, and of which copies, duly certified, shall be sent through the diplomatic channel to the Contracting Powers.
Declaration prohibiting the use of expanding bullets1 .
The discussions leading to the adoption of this Declaration at the First Peace Conference showed considerable difference of opinion among the delegates. The chief opponents were the British and United States delegates. It was recognised by the delegates of both Powers that the use of bullets inflicting unnecessarily severe wounds should be prohibited, and Captain Crozier (United States) moved an amendment to this effect, but his only supporter was the British delegate1 . The British view was expressed in a letter from the War Office to Lord Salisbury which the latter communicated to Sir Julian Pauncefote, and in which it was pointed out that experience in the Chitral campaign had demonstrated that a bullet with a hard covering had not sufficient stopping power, and the British Government was not prepared to give up the use of the bullet known as the “Mark iv” pattern as it possessed the minimum of destructive effect and did not inflict unnecessary suffering. For this reason the Indian Government had adopted the Dum-dum2 bullet, in which a very small portion of the head of the leaden bullet is not covered by a hard metal envelope3 . It was clear that this bullet was the one at which the prohibition was aimed, though no direct evidence was adduced that it was of the nature indicated by the Declaration.
On the outbreak of the Boer war “Mark iv” bullets were not served out to the British troops, and the occasional use of expanding bullets by the Boers led to energetic protests on the part of the British Commanders.
Until the opening of the Second Conference neither Great Britain, the United States nor Portugal had signed this Declaration, but at the Fourth Plenary Meeting on the 17th August, 1907, the delegates of Great Britain and Portugal intimated their accession4 .
At the meeting of the First Sub-Committee of the Second Committee the President stated that none of the signatory Powers had asked for revision, and therefore any discussion on the subject was out of order. The United States Delegation had however filed a proposal in the following terms: “The use of bullets which inflict unnecessarily cruel wounds, such as explosive bullets, and in general every kind of bullet which exceeds the limit necessary for placing a man immediately hors de combat, should be forbidden5 .” These were the terms of the United States amendment in 1899 which, owing to the curious method of procedure at the Conference, was never put to the vote. General G. B. Davis (United States) at the meeting of the Second Committee on the 14th August, 1907, drew attention to this proposal, and also to the ruling of the President at the meeting of the Sub-Committee in which he stated that as the modification or restriction of the Declaration did not appear in the programme of the Conference a restrictive proposal of the United States was not connected with it1 . He pointed out that his Delegation found it difficult to understand “that no one had asked for a revision of the Declaration2 .” No discussion of the subject was allowed by the Chairman.
The Declaration has been signed by all the states represented at the First Peace Conference except the United States: it has not been signed by those states which were represented only at the Second Peace Conference.
[1 ]De Martens, Nouveau Recueil de Traités (2nd series), Vol. xxvi. p. 1002; Parl. Papers, Misc. No. 1 (1899), pp. 62, 88, 118, 169, 179, 182-5, 192-4, 218, 260; T. E. Holland, The laws of war on land, p. 42; F. W. Holls, op. cit. pp. 99-117; G. B. Davis, International Law, p. 547; E. Lémonon, La seconde Conférence, p. 387.
[1 ]Parl. Papers, Misc. No. 1 (1899), p. 183.
[2 ]So called from the Arsenal near Calcutta where the bullet was first made.
[3 ]See Parl. Papers, Misc. No. 1 (1899), p. 118.
[4 ]La Deux. Confér. T. i. p. 26; Parl. Papers, Misc. No. 4 (1907), p. 26.
[5 ]Ibid. T. iii. p. 251.
[1 ]La Deux. Confér. T. iii. p. 159.
[2 ]Ibid. p. 17. General Davis in an Article on The Declarations of 1899, in the Amer. Journ. of Inter. Law (Vol. ii. p. 76), discusses the proposition which he was not allowed to make at the Conference.