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this subject.” (Deuxième Conférence Internationale de la Paix (1907), Actes et Documents, Vol. II, p. 288.)
Admitting for the moment that Germany's objections to the various proposals were well founded, it would have been possible for the delegation to have proposed a form which would have obviated these objections, but this was not done, and it may be said in no unkindly spirit that Germany's attitude on the entire subject was negative, not constructive. The last paragraph of the quotation is likely to lead to some misunderstanding, if a word of explanation be not added; for, however faulty the final draft may have been, it was nevertheless approved by thirty-two delegations, nine opposed it, and three abstained from voting. Dr. Kriege's remarks would lead the casual reader to believe that several large Powers voted against it, whereas, as a matter of fact, only Germany and Austria-Hungary voted against it, and Italy, which is known to be strongly in favor of arbitration, abstained from voting. It seemed to the delegates at the time that Germany's influence in the Triple Alliance had made itself felt. The character of the opposition is best seen by enumerating the states which voted against the proposal: Germany, Austria-Hungary, Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro, Roumania, Switzerland, and Turkey. The three states abstaining from the vote were Italy, Japan and Luxemburg. The delegations of all the other states voted in favor of the general treaty, so that it is fair to say that, notwithstanding the imperfections of the projected treaty, the overwhelming majority of the states represented at the Conference expressed themselves in favor of it.
However, it is no small encouragement to the partisans of general arbitration to learn from Dr. Kriege's carefully worded remarks that, whatever his scruples may be against the arbitration of political questions, or controversies in which the clashing interests of the countries are involved, he, and presumably his country, are in favor of the arbitration of legal questions. It may be indeed difficult to separate the purely legal from political disputes, and yet this must be done, and it is believed that, if the Third Hague Conference would negotiate a treaty for the peaceful settlement of legal disputes, preferably by means of an international court in the technical sense of the word, Germany would be a party to such treaty, and the cause of peaceable settlement would be greatly advanced. Indeed, there is much to be said for the proposal which Dr. Kriege makes, and it is believed that it is possible to draw the line between legal questions and questions of a political nature, even although it is difficult.
In another paragraph Dr. Kriege states the readiness of his government to ratify the Declaration of London, which supplies the law which the International Prize Court is to apply under Article 7 of the Prize Court Convention, and he also states the willingness of his government to co-operate in the establishment and operation of the International Prize Court which, it should be said in passing, the German delegation proposed at the Second Hague Conference. Dr. Kriege's language on this point is so clear and decided as to merit quotation:
The Hague agreement regarding the establishment of an International Prize Court and the Declaration of London in reference to the laws of naval warfare had in time been signed by the states most directly concerned in the matter, and Germany among them. Germany is ready to ratify both treaties at an early date, and the more so in view of the fact that she was the proponent of the proposition to establish the In-, ternational Prize Court. The difficulties encountered in the realization of the two great international treaties came from England, not from the British Government nor indeed from the House of Commons, but from the House of Lords, which had declined to accept both treaties. The British Government endeavors to remove these difficulties by trying to secure an authentic interpretation of certain provisions of the Declaration of London through negotiations with Germany and other great Powers. We have tried to meet the British Government in this matter as far as this was possible, and we have indeed reason to believe that these negotiations will attain the desired end, so that the British Government will ere long be in a position to lay the treaties anew before its Parliament with the prospect of a successful issue. As regards the meeting of the Third Hague Peace Conference, Germany is indeed in sympathy with that object, although she may believe that the most important results of the former Conference should first be realized, that is, the two great treaties referred to should be ratified. If it were intended to take up without interruption the discussion of new international problems, before those hitherto discussed have been brought to realization, these Conferences would soon lose the worth attaching to them. The Second Hague Peace Conference has expressed the wish that such a program should be elaborated by an international commission, and then be submitted for the approval of the governments. In regard to the composition of this commission, negotiations had at the proper time been entered into, but they have not as yet led to any definite conclusions.
. Finally, Dr. Kriege states his desire, and doubtless the desire of his country, for a Third Hague Conference, and expresses the belief, in the following passages, that the Conference, which we all hope will meet in the near future, will render great services to the cause of peace:
Meanwhile the Foreign Office is already at work preparing the propositions with regard to the program to be offered by Germany, because that office, in view of its organization and experience, is best able to judge those international questions whose solution needs to be considered by the Conference. All the other departments of the government having any relation to these matters and eminent teachers of international law have of course been called upon by the Foreign Office to participate in this work. The hope that the Third Hague Peace Conference may take place rests on well founded grounds, and Germany, well prepared to take up this work, will take part in that Conference. Germany feels convinced that through the solution of important international problems the Conference will exercise great influence in settling dis putes and she will therefore deserve well of the cause of peace.
Dr. Kriege is a sincere, upright, and honest man. He expresses his opinions freely and without reserve, whether those opinions are agreeable or displeasing to his audience. He possesses the confidence of his government, and there is every reason to believe that the views expressed in the address from which the quotations have been made are the views which Germany has formed after great deliberation, and which Germany will be prepared to maintain at the next Hague Conference. That it may come soon; that the war which is plaguing mankind may soon cease; and that the nations may again meet at the little city of The Hague in the very near future and devise measures for the benefit of the nations of the world without exception is the hope of every lover of his kind.
A CARIBBEAN POLICY FOR THE UNITED STATES An editorial comment in the July number of the JOURNAL' was devoted to the nature and the origin of the Platt Amendment, and it was suggested, without going into details, that the policy which dictated the amendment was capable of a larger application. It is the purpose of the present comment to take up this subject and to consider it from the larger point of view.
It may be stated in this connection that the amendment, although restricted to Cuba, contemplated the independence of the country to which it was to be applied, a republican form of government, assuring personal liberty and the protection of property in the sense in which these terms are used and understood in constitutional government, a solemn engage ment on the part of the country covered by the amendment not to enter into any treaty or engagement with a foreign Power calculated to impair or to interfere with its independence, and that public debts should not be created in excess of the capacity of the ordinary revenues, after defraying the current expenses of the government, to pay the interest.
It is one thing, however, to undertake engagements of this kind; it is quite another thing to carry them out. A promise without performance would be a vain thing, and, as the United States intended to guarantee the independence of Cuba and as the provisions of the amend
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ment previously quoted were devised for this purpose, it was essential in the opinion of Mr. Root, who, as Secretary of War, drafted the amendment and officially interpreted it, to reserve to the United States the right of supervision, in order to justify the United States in guaranteeing the independence of the particular country in question.
The obligation which the United States was willing to assume was not unlimited, but was conditioned upon the obligation set forth in the amendment which Cuba assumed. The failure to comply with these conditions would free the United States from its obligation. Therefore, Mr. Root reserved the right, and properly so, of the United States to intervene, not generally, but specifically “for the preservation of Cuban independence, the maintenance of a government adequate for the protection of life, property, and individual liberty.” As, however, intervention has often been invoked to the detriment, as history shows, of the country subject to intervention, Mr. Root, as an upright and straightforward, prudent and far-seeing statesman officially interpreted the right of intervention in such a way as to exclude any and all thought of its abuse. Thus, in the gloss placed upon the amendment in an instruction to General Wood, the Military Governor of Cuba, he stated that the right of intervention was not "synonymous with intermeddling or interference with the affairs of the Cuban Government,” but that it was to be “based upon just and substantial grounds," namely, "for the preservation of Cuban independence, and the maintenance of a government adequate for the protection of life, property, and individual liberty.” It is true that he coupled with this the obligations “imposed by the Treaty of Paris on the United States," but this clause is of a special nature, involving, as it does, the interpretation of a definite treaty, and may be dismissed without comment in considering the applicability of the amendment from a broader point of view.
So much for the amendment as applied to Cuba. When Mr. Root drafted the amendment in his letter of instructions, dated February 9, 1901, to the Military Governor of Cuba, a great change had taken place in the international relations between the Latin American republics to the north of the Isthmus of Darien and the United States. Negotiations had been begun to abrogate the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty of April 19, 1850, between Great Britain and the United States, which contemplated the construction, supervision, and protection of a channel of communication between the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans by the contracting parties. The first Hay-Pauncefote Treaty of February 5, 1900, which
was, however, amended by the Senate in such a way as to be unaccepta able to Great Britain, had been signed. The new and existing HayPauncefote Treaty, dated November 18, 1901, was in process of negotiation and was the subject of much thought and reflection by the American Government, and in framing the amendment subsequently to be known as the Platt Amendment, Mr. Root had in mind the changed conditions incidental to the construction of a canal through the Isthmus of Panama, under the new treaty which acknowledged the right of the United States to build the canal without the co-operation of Great Britain, and gave it the right and imposed upon it the duty to protect the canal also without the co-operation of Great Britain. The privilege was an onerous one, for right and duty are correlative terms. The approaches to the canal must be safeguarded, and disorder in the countries to the north of the route and to the south of the Rio Grande would seriously impair the usefulness of the canal when built. The attitude of the United States toward Cuba through a long period of years has shown conclusively that the United States would not permit the island to pass under the control of any of the great Powers. This is equally true of the republics of Haiti and Santo Domingo in the Caribbean Sea, and of the republics to the north of the proposed canal.
As the second Hay-Paunceforte Treaty was between Great Britain and the United States, neither of which owned the territory through which the canal would pass, the United States need to enter into negotiations with the sovereign of the territory. The Hay-Herran Treaty of January 22, 1903, was, therefore, concluded between Colombia, then owner of the Isthmus, and the United States, giving the United States a right of way across the Isthmus. Advised and consented to by the Senate of the United States, the treaty was rejected by Colombia. Panama shortly thereafter revolted and established its independence, which the United States formally recognized and guaranteed to preserve in a treaty with Panama, dated November 18, 1903, which treaty gave the United States a right of way across the Isthmus for the construction of the canal in accordance with the terms of the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty of November 18, 1901.
It is thus seen that the negotiations resulting in the right to acquire, operate and control the canal were begun during the American occupation of Cuba, although they were terminated after the withdrawal of the American army on May 20, 1902, and the connection between the amendment and the canal suggests itself to the reader without further