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the people of Panama were entitled to be free again, the Isthmus was theirs and they were entitled to govern it; and it would have been a shameful thing for the Government of the United States to return them again to servitude.
It is hardly necessary to say now that our Government had no part in devising, fomenting, or bringing about the revolution on the Isthmus of Panama.
The temptation is great, as one turns the pages of these addresses and speeches, to linger over them in order to study each by itself and dwell longer upon its subject-matter with the enjoyment and relish that satisfy the mind in the treatment of them by so strong and skillful a hand. We might say that the feeling is not unlike that of being in the midst of a collection of rare books, which one takes down with pleasure and holds separately in one's hand, loath to put the volume back again upon the shelf.
It would be well if every one in America could read, for instance, the address entitled: "The Real Questions under the Japanese Treaty and the San Francisco School Board Resolution," delivered in 1907 as his inaugural address before the first annual meeting of the American Society of International Law. It would be a benefit to us all, as it would be to any nation, if people were enabled more generally to inform themselves as to the elements of a controversy which has arisen, or threatens to arise, between them and another Power equally sensitive and proud; especially so, if we approach the subject with the dispassionate judgment which Mr. Root displayed in this treatment of the questions here involved.
These were not only exceedingly delicate in so far as they became a menace to our peaceable relations with Japan, but the whole incident was erroneously considered and quite generally misunderstood by our own people because it presented an apparent conflict between the treatymaking power under the Constitution of the United States, on the one hand, and the rights of the citizens of California within their authority to make their own State laws and govern themselves, on the other. There could, of course, be no question in the mind of any American that the intention of the California people was to do right, — nor does anybody doubt it now, — and, that being so, the popular belief was that their official and public acts were legal even when they decided that Japanese
children should not be educated in the same schools with their own children.
But they had offended by this the national sensibilities of the Japanese people, and the Imperial Government of Japan appealed to its treaty with the Federal Government of the United States, claiming the rights which had been mutually conceded under that treaty as to the privileges, liberties, and rights of the nationals of the one high contracting Power within the territory of the other, which led, as Mr. Root said, “to much excited discussion of the subject in the newspapers and in public meetings and in private conversation.”
Happily, he was able to add:
The excitement has now subsided, so that it may be useful to consider what the question really was, not because it is necessary for the purposes of that particular case, but because of its bearing upon cases which may arise in the future under the application of the treaty-making power of the United States to other matters and in other parts of the national domain.
Mr. Root was himself Secretary of State at that time. The views which he expresses are conclusive and convincing throughout the address. Indeed, the discussion by him of the constitutional powers brought into question here, as between the several State Governments and the Federal authorities, has the incisive force of an argument before the Supreme Court. Speaking as a statesman, and not only as a lawyer, in the latter part of his address, he teaches us a lesson in international relations which may well serve, in dignity and high-minded forbearance, as a model in modern diplomacy:
There was one great and serious question underlying the whole subject which made all questions of construction and of scope and effect of the treaty itself — all questions as to whether the claims of Japan were well founded or not; all questions as to whether the resolution of the school board was valid or not — seem temporary and comparatively unimportant. It was not a question of war with Japan. ... There never was even friction between the two governments. The question was: What state of feeling would be created between the great body of the people of the United States and the great body of the people of Japan as a result of the treatment given to Japanese in this country?
What was to be the effect upon that proud, sensitive, highly civilized people across the Pacific, of the discourtesy, insult, imputations of inferiority, and abuse aimed at them in the columns of American newspapers and from the platforms of American public meetings? What would be the effect upon our own people of the responses that natural resentment of such treatment would elicit from the Japanese? · · · · ·
· · It is hard [he said] for democracy to learn the responsibilities of its power; but the people now, not governments, make friendship or dislike, sympathy or discord, peace or war, between nations. ... The people who permit themselves to treat the people of other countries with discourtesy and insult are surely sowing the wind to reap the whirlwind, for a world of sullen and revengeful hatred can never be a world of peace.
It is to Mr. Root that the country owes the benefits that have come to it and to our people through the adjustment of this very serious and difficult controversy. It was recognized abroad, as well as at home, to be one of the most distinguished services rendered by him to the United States Government, and was singled out as such and formally presented, at Christiania, as one of the chief considerations which led the Committee to award to him the Nobel Prize in 1912. We find the announcement in Le Prix Nobel en 1913 (Stockholm, 1914) that:
The most difficult task that fell to Mr. Root as Secretary of State was the settlement of the dispute between the United States and Japan on the question of Japanese immigrants in California, in 1906-07. It is impossible to give here the history of this great question, which assumed a threatening aspect in the winter of 1907. It will suffice to say that the peaceful settlement of the dispute, ratified by the action of the Congress at Washington in passing the immigration act of March 19, 1907, followed by the identic note of November, 1908, was due to the efforts of Mr. Root.
We incline somewhat to the idea that, in many respects, the address which Mr. Root prepared as his speech of acceptance of the Nobel Prize, in 1914, contains more of his own personality and brings one closer to him as a man than any of the others that are printed in this volume. There is a composure of expression in it which renders it especially agreeable in tone. One reads it with the feeling that one is more intimately acquainted with him than ever before. There is no controversy under discussion, or difference of opinion to be adjusted by force of argument, or international hostility to be conciliated. But, dealing tran
quilly with the great subjects that concern all nations alike, Mr. Root speaks, out of his world-wisdom, to his fellowmen.
Mr. Robert Bacon and Dr. James Brown Scott are to be congratulated upon the service that they have rendered to readers and thinkers by the collection and publication of these addresses.
TREATMENT OF ENEMY ALIENS
MEASURES IN RESPECT TO PERSONAL LIBERTY (Being Part XIV of Some Questions of International Law in the Euro
pean War, continued from previous numbers of the JOURNAL.)
WRITERS on international law are now in substantial agreement that a belligerent ought not to detain enemy subjects, confiscate their property, or subject them to any disabilities, further than such as the protection of the national security and defense may require. Vattel, in 1758, appears to have been the first writer to adopt the view that had come to be generally held by publicists at the time the present war broke out. “The sovereign,” he said, “who declares war has not the right to detain the subjects of the enemy who are found within his state, nor their effects. They have come to his country in public faith; in permitting them to enter and live in the territory, he has tacitly promised them all liberty and surety for their return. A suitable time should be given them to withdraw with their goods; and if they stay beyond the time prescribed, it is lawful that they should be treated as enemies, though as disarmed enemies.” i Alexander Hamilton, in defending the Jay Treaty of 1794, declared that the right of holding property in a country always implies a duty on the part of its government to protect that property and to secure to the owner full enjoyment of it. “Whenever, therefore,” he added, “a government trants permission to foreigners to acquire property within its terriLories, or to bring and deposit it there, it tacitly promises protection and security — the property of a foreigner placed in another country, by permission of its laws, may be justly regarded as a deposit of which ne society is the trustee.” 2 Westlake, in 1907, adverting to the nu
Droit des Gens, Liv. III, Ch. IV, sec. 63. Vattel adds that in his time it was actice to allow enemy subjects a period in which to withdraw with their effects. Letters of Camillus, No. XIX.