Слике страница
PDF
ePub

were many, and many of them were affirmed on appeal. He repeatedly and in reasoned terms declared the nature of the right of retaliation and its entire consistency with the principles of International Law. Since then discussion has turned on the measures by which effect was then given to that right, not on the foundation of the principle itself, and their Lordships regard it as being now too firmly established to be open to doubt. Turning to the question which was little argued, if at all, though it is the real question in the case, whether the Order in Council of March 11, 1915, inflicts hardship excessive either in kind or in degree upon neutral commerce, their Lordships think that no such hardship was shown. It might well be said that neutral commerce under this order is treated with all practicable tenderness, but it is enough to negative the contention that there is avoidable hardship. Of the later Order in Council they say nothing now. If the neutral shipowner is paid a proper price for the service rendered by his ship, and the neutral cargo-owner a proper price according to the value of his goods, substantial cause of complaint can only arise if considerations are put forward which go beyond the ordinary motives of commerce and partake of a political character, from a desire either to embarrass the one belligerent or to support the other. In the present case the agreement of the parties as to the amount to be allowed for freight disposes of all question as to the claimant's rights to compensation for mere inconvenience caused by enforcing the Order in Council. Presumably, that sum took into account the actual course and duration of the voyage, and constituted a proper recompense alike for carrying and for discharging the cargo under the actual circumstances of that service. The further claims are in the nature of claims for damages for unlawful interference with the performance of the Rotterdam charter-party. They can be maintained only by supposing that a wrong was done to the claimants, because they were prevented from performing it, for in their nature these claims assume that the shipowners are to be put in the same position as if they had completed the voyage under that contract, and are not merely to be remunerated on proper terms for the performance of the voyage, which was in fact accomplished. In other words, they are a claim for damages, as for wrong done by the mere fact of putting in force the Order in Council. Such a claim cannot be sustained. Their Lordships will humbly advise his Majesty that the appeal should be dismissed, with costs.

BOOK REVIEWS

The Commonwealth at War. By A. F. Pollard. London: Longmans,

Green & Co. 1917. pp. vi, 256. $2.25 net. It is not often that brilliancy goes hand in hand with learning and wisdom so continuously as it does along the pages of this volume. The book consists of a collection of essays, lectures, and newspaper articles by the Professor of History in the University of London, delivered or printed from time to time during the past four years. They are arranged for the most part in chronological order, and one gets the impression as to most if not all of them that they were evoked by the more or less critical conditions of public feeling and opinion that presented themselves from time to time during the course of the war. They have for this reason a vividness and vitality that are not too frequently characteristic of the work of profound and scholarly historians. It would not be possible for Professor Pollard to write anything that would be uninteresting, but the special interest of this volume is that, because of the circumstance referred to, it enables one to gain a particularly vivid conception of the realized as well as the frustrated hopes, the groundless as well as the justifiable fears, the true as well as the false judgments, amid which the people of England struggled through to the final victory for which they endured hardness as good soldiers for so many long and weary years.

The table of contents is certainly alluring, with its array of no less than nineteen titles. The author begins with a clear and powerful presentment of the causes of the war, laying particular emphasis upon the moral issues at stake. His second essay is a humorous but not the less philosophical treatment of the sometimes diverting and sometimes distracting rumors spread abroad in the earlier stages of the war, one of which will instantly be recalled, of the legendary Russian forces that embarked at Archangel and reached the western front by way of Leith and Southampton. Another, not so well-known, may be said to have deceived the very elect, as it appeared “not in a half-penny newspaper, but set out in the dignity and circumstance" of the Fortnightly Review, "over a familiar but pseudonymous signature.”

Space does not permit any detailed reference to these attractive titles, but there is one essay that is particularly timely, in which the author discusses “the growth of an Imperial Parliament." This admirable chapter is the Creighton Lecture, delivered before the University of London in October, 1916. The doctrine of the essay, if it is permissible to use so formidable a term—the idea that is expanded and illustrated by the lecturer, is closely connected with the conviction which led him to choose as a title for his volume, “The Commonwealth at War," rather than “The Empire at War." In one of the following chapters the writer recalls the well-known jest of Voltaire that the Holy Roman Empire was so-called because it was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire, which he makes good use of as his introduction to a reminder that “the British Empire is only an empire in a sense which makes nonsense of the word; for it is like no other empire that ever existed, and it would certainly smell as sweet if called by any other name.” The substance of this Creighton lecture, then, is a convincing historical argument against the school of Colonial and perhaps the smaller one of Imperial thinkers and publicists who are anxious to bring about some more definite constitutional relations than those which now exist between the mother-country and the so-called colonies of the empire. Without condemning entirely the desire evinced by this class of political thinkers for some conscious and deliberate effort in the promotion of Imperial unity, he administers a very timely and useful lesson to them by explaining the bearing of the antithesis between growth and manufacture upon the past and future of British parliamentary institutions. “If our forefathers consciously created first an English and then a British parliament to meet the needs of these islands, then,” says the writer, “we may hope by conscious effort to create a new Imperial parliament to satisfy the wider claims of a British empire. If, on the other hand, Parliament as it exists to-day was never designed or created by any conscious volition, then the argument in favor of the possibility of a new and special creation loses some of its force.”.

His illustrations of the development of British institutions by growth rather than by manufacture are most striking, and some of them must prove surprising to all but the best-instructed of historical scholars. It is no new discovery that Alfred the Great was not the inventor of trial by jury; that it was not an Anglo-Saxon institution at all, nor a popular institution designed to protect the liberty of the subject, but a royal expedient, introduced from abroad in the interests of the treasury. Possibly it is not so well-known that Henry II developed our judicial system, not for the sake of justice, but for the rewards or fines which justice brought into the royal exchequer, the incidental development of the beginnings of a system of common law being merely a by-product of his judicial establishment. “None of the great elements of the British constitution was deliberately made.” “The history of Parliament is a record of human action in which human design has played an almost insignificant part.” “No one designed either the House of Lords or the House of Commons." The British Cabinet, as everybody knows, for Macaulay told us that many years ago, is an institution wholly unauthorized by any written statute or resolution or record or any writing of any kind whatsoever. “The premiership was regarded as an obnoxious importation from France. George Grenville declared it an odious title, and Lord North forbade its use in his household.”

Coming to closer quarters with the problem of Imperial consolidation, the lecturer points out among other things how well the British Empire got along when the ties between the homeland and the British colonies were similar to the present relations between Britain and Canada, how tragically it fell to pieces when Grenville and Townshend insisted on regularizing the relations between the mother and the daughter and reducing to logical form the heterogeneous substance" of the commonwealth. Before Grenville's financial pedantry set the colonies and the motherland by the ears the New Englanders were the mainstay of the Imperial fabric on this side of the Atlantic. Nicholson, with his fleet and his New England troops, had captured Port Royal in 1710 and changed its name to Annapolis, in honor of the reigning sovereign. Governor Shirley, of Massachusetts, had sent out Sir William Pepperel to take Louisbourg from the French in 1745. If well enough had been let alone and the “salutary neglect” of the colonies had only been permitted to continue there would not have been the hundred and more years of alienation which required the agony of a world-wide war in order to completely cure it. Surely, in the light of such a lesson, and with the experience of the splendid results achieved in the European war under the loose and voluntary system or want of system which is at present enjoyed throughout the British Commonwealth the burden is upon those who call for any radical operation in the way of regularizing the relations between

[graphic]

its various constituents. Professor Pollard looks to the Privy Council as an agency through which may possibly be brought about the wider, all-embracing parliament of the whole united commonwealth. His discussion of this possibility is unconvincing. More to the purpose, and as eloquent as it is convincing, is the closing paragraph of this splendid lecture—“Essential unity has come in bountiful measure to British realms in this war, not because they sought that unity for itself but because they found it in the pursuit of a common ideal, in the defence of a common principle; formal unity may come in the course of time, but not because we strive to create it. It will grow as the outward sign of an inward grace, achieved through a communion of service and self-sacrifice for the Commonwealth of nations and the common weal of man."

B. RUSSELL.

Reports to the Hague Conferences of 1899 and 1907. Publication of

the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Division of International Law. Edited, with an introduction, by James Brown Scott, Director. Oxford: At the Clarendon Press. 1917. pp. xxxii, 940.

When the Third Hague Peace Conference convenes it will be confronted with a task of reconstruction. Of the conventions concluded by the earlier Conferences of 1899 and 1907, the agreements concerning belligerent rights and duties have proven ineffectual since August, 1914, partly because of a Teutonic determination to brook no interference with strategic aims or military achievement, and partly also because the conventions were the product of an endeavor to secure harmony of action at the expense of principle.

It has become, therefore, necessary to examine afresh, in the light of the European War, what was proposed as well as what was agreed upon in 1899 and 1907. The publication of the Reports to the Hague Conferences issued by the Carnegie Endowment and edited by Dr. Scott serves to bring home the task of examination and criticism to American students generally.

The volume embraces an English translation of the “official explanatory and interpretative commentary accompanying the draft conventions and declarations submitted to the conferences by the several commissions charged with preparing them, together with the texts

« ПретходнаНастави »