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Mr. Lansing had become familiar with the business of the Department and had shown himself to be possessed of the qualities which Mr. Wilson properly deemed to be essential. He was therefore appointed Secretary of State.
Mr. Lansing's selection has been welcomed both by the press and by the public. It is, however, a peculiar pleasure to his fellow members of the American Society of International Law and to his associate editors of the American Journal of International Law, for Mr. Lansing was in a very special sense both a founder of the Society and of its Journal of International Law.
At the Lake Mohonk Conference on International Arbitration, held in 1905, Mr. Robert Lansing and Mr. James Brown Scott attended the Conference and interested its members in the formation of the American Society of International Law. Professor George W. Kirchwey, of Columbia University, with whom they had previously discussed the feasibility of forming such a society, moved at their request that “this Conference regards with favor the movement to establish a society of international law in the United States and of an American Journal of International Law, and pledges its earnest sympathy with the aims and purposes of such movement.” A committee of seven was appointed, of which Mr. Oscar Straus was chairman and of which Mr. Lansing was one, to consider the formation of the Society, which reported at the final session of the Conference and recommended that an American Society of International Law be formed, that a Journal of International Law be established in connection therewith, and that a committee of representative gentlemen be selected in order to organize the Society upon a permanent basis. These recommendations were warmly approved by the Conference, and after much consideration and thought by Mr. Straus and the members of the committee the Society was permanently organized and a constitution adopted at a meeting of interested persons, held January 12, 1906, in the rooms of the Bar Association of the City of New York. At this meeting Mr. Lansing was elected a member of the Executive Council, and continues to serve as such. He was also elected a member of the Executive Committee of the Society as originally formed, and still continues to be a member.
At the meeting of the Lake Mohonk Conference on International Arbitration, held in 1906, the Executive Council of the Society decided
? For a brief sketch of Mr. Lansing's career, upon his appointment as Counselor of the Department of State, see this JOURNAL for 1914, Vol. 8, pp. 336-8.
to publish the Journal of International Law as its organ and appointed Mr. James Brown Scott its managing editor, with power to name an editorial board of not less than seven to coöperate with him in editing the Journal. Mr. Lansing was one of the seven, and Messrs. Lansing and Scott determined the content of the Journal and all the details of its publication, and Mr. Lansing contributed to the first number an article modestly entitled, “Notes on Sovereignty in a State." He has been from the first number, and is still, an editor of the Journal, to which he has contributed signed articles, editorial comments, and book reviews. He has attended the annual meetings of the Society, at which he has read papers, and has taken part in the discussions on the floor.
His fellow members of the American Society of International Law and his colleagues on the Board of Editors of the American Journal of International Law wish him well.
THE USE OF POISONOUS GASES IN WAR
Charges have appeared in the public press that the German army in the west has been using poisonous gases against the Allied armies. The German authorities are reported by the press to admit the truth of these charges, but they insist that the Allies first employed them and that they are merely following suit.
The JOURNAL does not know the truth of the charges and cannot settle the question of priority. It would appear, however, that such action on the part of any belligerent is unjustifiable, as a signed declaration of the First Hague Peace Conference of 1899 forbids this means of warfare. The text of the declaration is as follows:
The contracting Powers agree to abstain from the use of projectiles the sole object of which is the diffusion of asphyxiating or deleterious gases.
The present Declaration is only binding on 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 shall be joined by a non-contracting Power.
This declaration has had the good fortune to be ratified by all of the belligerents without reservations of any kind, and it would therefore seem to be binding upon them, supposing that any convention solemnly agreed to by the parties regulating their conduct in war is to govern their action.
It hardly needs to be argued that the contracting Powers intended the declaration to bind them, because provision is made for its denunciation in the following manner:
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 Government of the Netherlands, and forthwith communicated by it to all the other contracting Powers.
This denunciation shall only affect the notifying Power.
So far as known, no contracting country has denounced the declaration. It is interesting to note that the United States is not a party to this declaration.
THE SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT OF DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE OF THE
UNITED STATES CONCERNING THE WAR
The Journal is happy to inform its readers that the arrangement announced in its last issue (pages 474-475) for the publication of a special supplement containing a collection of the diplomatic correspondence of the United States with other powers concerning questions arising out of the European war has been completed and that the special supplement is now on the press and will be issued within a very short time.
Owing to the large amount of material in the special supplement it has been impracticable to prepare it and get it through the press in time to be sent with this issue of the Journal. For this reason and for the additional reason that the postal regulations will not permit the special supplement to be mailed under the same cover with the regular edition of the Journal, it was considered advisable to send the Journal to our readers at once and let the supplement follow as soon as its printing can be completed.
The special supplement will be considerably larger that the editors had anticipated. Instead of a volume of approximately one hundred pages, the average size of regular issues of the supplement, the special supplement will contain between four and five hundred pages. The correspondence is divided into twenty-four parts according to subjects, as follows: Part 1. Correspondence relating to the status of the Declaration of
London during the war. Part 2. Papers relating to articles listed as contraband of war, in
cluding correspondence with Great Britain, France, Russia, Germany, Austria-Hungary and Turkey. Part 3. Correspondence relating to restraints on commerce, which
includes correspondence with Great Britain concerning interference with American trade, correspondence with Germany concerning the war zone decree and submarine activity, and correspondence with Germany and Austria-Hungary relating to the export of munitions
of war. Part 4. Correspondence relating to the cargo of foodstuffs on the
American ship Wilhelmina in the British prize court. Part 5. Correspondence relating to the destruction of the American merchantman William P. Frye by the German cruiser Prinz Eitel
Friedrich Part 6. Proclamations of neutrality and papers relating to neutrality. Part 7. Violations of neutrality—Panama Canal. Part 8. Violations of neutrality by belligerent warships. Part 9. Defensive armament and the right of departure from neutral
ports of belligerent merchant ships to arm at sea. Part 10. Internment of the German ships Geier and Locksun. Part 11. Questions relating to neutrality.—Correspondence between
the Secretary of State and the Chairman of the Senate Committee
on Foreign Relations. Part 12. Transmission of mail of American diplomatic and consular
officers. Part 13. Censorship of telegrams transmitted by cable and wireless. Part 14. Belgian relief. Part 15. Attempt of German ship Odenwald to sail without clearance
papers. Part 16. Detention of the American merchant ship Seguranca. Part 17. Detention of the American ship Wico. Part 18. Internment of the German warship Prinz Eitel Friedrich. Part 19. Internment of the German cruiser Kronzprinz Wilhelm. Part 20. Detention of August Piepenbrink. Part 21. Internment of the German prize ship Farn. Part 22. Non-contraband character of hydroaeroplanes. Part 23. Dual nationality. Part 24. Circular instructions and correspondence relating to the
issuing of passports.
Porfirio Diaz, the former president of Mexico, and one of the most remarkable figures in the modern history of Latin America, died in Paris on July 2nd last, an exile from the country in which for thirty-one years he was not only the ruler, but, in the words of Louis XIV, “l'etat; c'est moi.” From 1876 until 1911, Mexico was Diaz, and Diaz was Mexico. Within those dates, our sister republic saw its most prosperous epoch and experienced a material progress which lifted it from the condition of an undeveloped and backward nation into the rank of a leading nation of the world, with the prospect before it of a further industrial and commercial development not unlike that which had already come to the United States. The five years which have elapsed since Diaz was driven into exile, have been some of the saddest years in the history of Mexico, and as yet she sees little sign of better days. No contrast more vivid and more tragic can be found between the pages of her history. It is worth while to look a little closely into the causes underlying this extraordinary transformation; and in doing so we must briefly recount the life of this remarkable man.
Porfirio Diaz was born in 1830 at Oaxaca, a region which has since produced more than its quota of radical leaders. His father was an innkeeper, and one-eighth of his blood was Indian. Orphaned when three years old, he was educated under the patronage of the bishop of Oaxaca, who destined him for the church. At the age of seventeen, he enlisted for the war with the United States, but saw little fighting. He went back to Oaxaca, and was a professor in the Law Institute there when the radical uprising against Santa Anna broke out. Diaz joined the rebels, was proscribed, and thereafter continued his career as a soldier. There followed the crusade against the church, then all powerful in Mexico, under the leadership of Benito Juarez. Diaz was one of his generals, and proved himself a soldier of great daring and brilliant strategy. In the internal war of 1855-61, he commanded the army which saved Mexico City and the Congress from the clerical attack. It was at this juncture that Mexico faced the international crisis arising out of the repudiation by the Juarez government of securities held by citizens of Spain, France and England, which countries landed joint armaments at Vera Cruz in October, 1861. When the schemes of Napoleon III for extending his imperialistic plans became evident, Spain and England withdrew. The