Слике страница
PDF
ePub
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

' is believed that the Proceedings of the Fourth Annual Meeting

» far to justify the existence of the Society, and the volume will can contribution to the cause of judicial settlement. A society

boast four such presidents in succession as John Hays Hamcon E. Baldwin, Joseph H. Choate, and Charles W. Eliot * 1914), must have a mission, and their sustained interest and its proceedings can only mean that it is performing innion.

SENATOR ROOT AND THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE

In December last, the committee of the Swedish Storthing announced the award of the Nobel peace prize for 1912 to Senator Elihu Root, the President of the American Society of International Law. This splendid prize, established by Alfred B. Nobel, the Swedish scientist, at his death in 1898, is yearly distributed in five equal parts to persons who are adjudged to have contributed most to “the good of humanity” in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and in the promotion of the cause of international peace. Once before this peace prize has come to an American citizen; it was awarded to President Roosevelt in 1906, in recognition of his services in bringing to an end the Russo-Japanese war. Now it is bestowed upon the premier of Mr. Roosevelt's cabinet, and the President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Undoubtedly this award is a recognition of the services this illustrious American publicist has rendered the cause of international peace by his remarkable record in promoting the settlement of differences between nations by arbitration or by judicial methods.

For Mr. Root is not a pacifist in the ordinary sense of the word, but a believer in international peace brought about between nations by the same slow and gradual processes which have secured peace within national lines. Indeed, it may be said that Mr. Root is not so much in favor of peace as in favor of justice. His policy as Secretary of State and his views as a private citizen were clearly expressed in the address he delivered on May 11, 1908, in laying the cornerstone of the building of the Pan-American Union, quoted by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands at the opening of the Peace Palace at The Hague, in August last:

There are no international controversies so serious that they cannot be settled peaceably if both parties really desire peaceable settlement, while there are few causes of disputes so trifling that they cannot be made the occasion of war if either party really desires war. The matters in dispute between nations are nothing; the spirit which deals with them is everything.

This was the spirit in which Mr. Root approached and settled the outstanding controversies to which the United States was a party when he was Secretary of State. His experience as a member of the Alaskan Tribunal taught him how difficult it is to settle controversies between nations which, by delay or mismanagement, have assumed political importance, and how easy it is to reconcile such controversies in time of profound friendship and peace. He entered upon the performance of his duties as Secretary of State with the avowed purpose either of actually settling all outstanding disputes between Great Britain and the United States, or of providing means for their peaceable settlement. Feeling that the Newfoundland question, which had embittered the foreign relations of Great Britain and the United States for years, would arise during his administration as Secretary of State, he visited the fishing grounds of Newfoundland and Labrador to study the question on the spot; took advantage of the first occasion to bring the entire question to discussion; and by great tact, forbearance, and a spirit of conciliation, brought about the arbitration of the entire question. He had the great satisfaction of participating in the settlement as leading counsel of the United States before the Tribunal at The Hague, to which the question was referred in 1910.

As Secretary of State, Mr. Root drafted the instructions to the American delegation to the Second Hague Conference, and urged upon them the negotiation of a general treaty of arbitration and the establishment of a truly permanent court of justice, composed of judges who would act under a sense of judicial responsibility. Recognizing the great service which a series of international conferences would render to the cause of international law and therefore to the cause of peace, he directed the American delegates to propose that the Conference should meet at regular intervals without awaiting any new and specific initiative on the part of the Powers, or any of them. The Conference failed, as is well known, to adopt a general treaty of arbitration; but Mr. Root manifested his belief in arbitration and its beneficent influence by negotiating within the course of a year and a half twenty-six arbitration treaties, all of which were ratified by the Senate. The Permanent Court of Justice which he advocated was adopted in principle by the Conference, but awaits the appointment of the judges through diplomatic channels. His proposal that the Conference should meet at regular intervals was also accepted in principle, but unfortunately the precise year in which the Third Conference shall meet was not fixed, with the result that the meeting of a Third Conference now depends not upon the arrival of a previously determined date, but upon negotiation and the pleasure of the Powers.

Mr. Root has frequently said that it is unbecoming the dignity of a nation to refuse to arbitrate a question which another country wishes to arbitrate, even though such question may have been passed upon by the national authorities. He applied this principle under very trying circumstances to the Panama Canal Act, insisting that as we had agreed by the arbitration treaty of 1908 to arbitrate questions arising as to the meaning of existing treaties, it is the duty of the United States to arbitrate the Panama toll controversy under the existing treaty of 1901. The settlement of the difference between Japan and the United States regarding the immigration of Japanese laborers to our Pacific coast was in accordance with the principle proclaimed in his speech in laying the cornerstone of the Pan American Union; for by this settlement the United States does not forbid Japanese laborers from coming to the United States, but enforces regulations made by the Japanese Government to prevent the emigration of Japanese laborers,-a solution equally honorable and satisfactory to the amour-propre of both governments.

Mr. Root is a great believer in the possibilities of Latin American development, and is anxious to see those countries grow and prosper, because, as he says, the prosperity of any country is a benefit to other countries, and the prosperity of all is a benefit to each. To quote his own words, in a speech delivered at Rio de Janeiro:

We wish for no victories but those of peace; for no territory except our own; for no sovereignty except the sovereignty over ourselves. We deem the independence and equal rights of the smallest and weakest member of the family of nations entitled to as much respect as those of the greatest empire, and we deem the observance of that respect the chief guaranty of the weak against the oppression of the strong. We neither claim nor desire any rights or privileges or powers that we do not freely concede to every American Republic. We wish to increase our prosperity, to expand our trade, to grow in wealth, in wisdom, and in spirit, but our conception of the true way to accomplish this is not to pull down others and profit by their ruin, but to help all friends to a common prosperity and a common growth, that we may all become greater and stronger together.

The First Hague Conference was composed of representatives from twenty-eight states, and Mexico was the only Latin American country represented. Mr. Root believed that an international conference could not be truly international, if Latin America were unrepresented; and he procured the invitation of the Latin American states to the conference, not only for the benefit to the conference which would result from their participation, but also for the advantages it would confer upon the Latin American states thus drawn into the international movement.

While these services constitute Mr. Root's genuine title to the respect of foreign publicists, he has no less claim to the gratitude and admiration of his own countrymen for the services he rendered them during the troubled period when he was Secretary of War. It is common knowledge that he drafted the so-called Platt amendment; that he prepared Cuba for self-government, and as Secretary of State withdrew the American troops from Cuba when the Cuban people had adopted their constitution, incorporating in it the Platt amendment, and were prepared to govern themselves as an independent nation. It is also common knowledge that Mr. Root drafted the organic act for the government of the Philippines, and instituted the civil government of the islands.

As Secretary of State, Mr. Root adopted the principle of President Lincoln that no question is settled until it is settled right, and laid down for his guidance the principle that we cannot ask from foreign governments what we ourselves would not receive or grant under like circumstances. Hence the great respect in which he is held by foreign governments and by foreign peoples. It was the announcement of the Nobel award that gave Mr. Bryce, recently British Ambassador to the United States, the opportunity to declare his opinion in a speech before the National Liberal Club in London, that Mr. Root was the greatest Secretary of State the United States ever had.

It is thus by reason of his services in the application of international law to world problems that Mr. Root has been adjudged worthy of the Nobel peace prize, and this fact makes the award peculiarly gratifying to his friends, both at home and abroad. The award is not only a tribute to American diplomacy but a recognition of the fact that the attainment of international peace is finally to come through the development and processes of international law.

The part Mr. Root has played in the founding and development of the American Society of International Law is well known to the readers of this JOURNAL; and his seven annual addresses as its president have already taken rank among the classics of the subject. Mr. Root is a member of the Institute of International Law, to which the Nobel peace prize was awarded in 1904,—the first and only instance since the fund was established in which an institution has been thus recognized. The Nobel peace prize for the year 1911 was awarded to the distinguished founder of the Institute, the late Dr. T. M. C. Asser; and now again for the third time in thirteen years, the services of international law and the international lawyers to the great and growing cause of world peace, are fittingly recognized.

THE AWARD OF THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE TO SENATOR HENRI

LAFONTAINE

Henri LaFontaine, of Belgium, who has been awarded the Nobel peace prize for 1913, has devoted his life with complete consecration to the work of internationalism, and is identified with this movement in many of its phases. Allying himself when a young man with organized labor, he later became a socialist as well, and as the representative of the social democrats was elected a member of the Belgian Senate in 1895, of which body he still continues to be a member. Sir William Randal Cremer, with whom Senator LaFontaine was intimately associated and from whose example he drew much of his inspiration, is the only other representative of organized labor who has been recognized in the award of the Nobel prize.

In 1894, Senator LaFontaine became one of the founders of L'Université Nouvelle, at Brussels, in which he has since occupied the chair of international law. In 1897, he founded his famous “House of Documentation," where he proposes to file and index everything printed in the world. This institution was followed in 1910 by the organization of the Union of International Associations, the Central Office of which is now established in Brussels, in commodious quarters furnished by the government. Two world congresses of international associations have since been held under its auspices. They demonstrated the practicability and the advantage of a central organization for all international associations, scientific, literary, sociological, of whatever character, through which their coöperation and close sympathy can be secured in all fields of internationalism.

Senator LaFontaine is one of the most active members of the Interparliamentary Union. He has been the president of the Bureau Inter

« ПретходнаНастави »