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constructed or in course of construction, which would otherwise be scrapped under the Treaty, and these may be of a tonnage of not more than 33,000 tons. (Article IX.)
The general provision as to the armament of aircraft carriers is that if it has guns exceeding six inches, the total number of guns shall not exceed 10. It cannot carry a gun in excess of 8 inches. It may carry without limit 5-inch guns and anti-aircraft guns. (Article X.)
In the case of aircraft carriers of 33,000 tons, the total number of guns to be carried, in case any of such guns are of caliber exceeding 6 inches, except anti-aircraft guns and guns not exceeding five inches, can not number more than 8. (Article IX.)
With respect to auxiliary craft, the Treaty provides that no vessel of war exceeding 10,000 tons, other than capital ships or aircraft carriers, shall be acquired by, or constructed by, for, or within the jurisdiction of any of the Contracting Powers. Vessels not specially built as fighting ships, nor taken in time of peace under Government control for fighting purposes, which are employed on fleet duties, or as troop transports, or in some other way for the purpose of assisting in the prosecution of hostilities, otherwise than as fighting ships, are not within this limitation. (Article XI.)
The Treaty contains certain provisions of a protective nature, that is, for the purpose of securing the faithful execution of the agreement.
Thus, it is provided that no vessel of war of any of the Contracting Powers, hereafter laid down, except a capital ship, shall carry a gun in excess of 8 inches (Article XII); that no ship designated in the Treaty to be scrapped may be reconverted into a vessel of war (Article XIII); that no preparations shall be made in merchant ships in time of peace for the installation of warlike armament for the purpose of converting such ships into vessels of war, other than the necessary stiffening of the decks for the mounting of guns not exceeding 6 inches. (Article XIV.)
There are also provisions with respect to the building of vessels for foreign powers. Thus, no vessel of war constructed within the jurisdiction of any of the Contracting Powers, for a noncontracting power, shall exceed the limits as to displacement and armament prescribed by the Treaty for vessels of a similar type, constructed by or for any of the Contracting Powers; provided, however, that the displacement for aircraft carriers constructed for a noncontracting power shall not exceed 27,000 tons. (Article XV.)
It is provided that a Contracting Power, within the jurisdiction of which a vessel of war is constructed for a noncontracting power, shall give suitable information to the other Contracting Powers. (Article XVI.)
Further, in the event of a Contracting Power being engaged in war, such Power is not to use as a vessel of war any vessel of war which may be under construction within its jurisdiction for any other power or which may have been constructed within its jurisdiction for another power and not delivered. (Article XVII.)
Each of the Contracting Powers undertakes not to dispose, by gift, sale, or any mode of transfer, of any vessel of war in such a manner that such vessel may become a vessel of war in the navy of any foreign power (Article XVIII). It is recorded in the proceedings of the Conference that this undertaking is regarded as binding as a matter of honor upon the Powers from the date of the signing of the Treaty.
Reference has already been made to the provision relating to the maintenance of the status quo as to fortifications and naval bases in the Pacific Ocean.
If, during the term of the Treaty, which is 15 years, the requirements of the national security of any of the Contracting Powers, in respect of naval defense are, in the opinion of that Power, materially affected by any change of circumstances, the Contracting Powers agree, at the request of such Power, to meet in conference with a view to the reconsideration of the provisions of the Treaty and its amendment by mutual agreement. (Article XXI.)
It is further provided that in view of possible technical and scientific developments the United States, after consultation with the other Contracting Powers, shall arrange for a Conference of all the Contracting Powers, which shall convene as soon as possible after the expiration of 8 years from the coming into force of the Treaty, to consider what changes, if any, may be necessary to meet such developments. (Article XXI.)
There is a special provision as to the effect of an outbreak of war. The mere fact that one of the Contracting Powers becomes engaged in war does not affect the obligations of the Treaty. But if a Contracting Power becomes engaged in a war which, in its opinion, affects the naval defense of its national security, such Power may, after notice to the other Contracting Powers, suspend for the period of hostilities its obligations under the present Treaty, other than certain specified obligations, provided that such Power shall notify the other Contracting Powers that the emergency is of such a character as to require such suspension. In such a case the remaining Contracting Powers agree to consult together and ascertain what temporary modifications may be required. If such consultation does not produce an agreement, duly made in accordance with the constitutional methods of the respective Powers, any one of the Contracting Powers may, by giving notice to the other Contracting Powers, suspend for the period of hostilities its obligations under the present Treaty, except as specified. On the cessation of hostilities the Contracting Powers agree to meet in Conference to consider what modifications, if any, should be made in the provisions of the Treaty. (Article XXII.)
The Treaty is to remain in force until December 31, 1936, and in case none of the Contracting Powers shall have given notice two years before that date of its intention to terminate the Treaty, it is to continue in force until the expiration of two years from the date on which notice of termination shall be given by one of the Contracting Powers; whereupon the Treaty shall terminate as regards all the Contracting Powers. (Article XXIII.)
This is a summary of the engagements of the Naval Treaty. Probably no more significant treaty was ever made. Instead of discussing the desirability of diminishing the burdens of naval armament, the Conference has succeeded in limiting them to an important degree.
It is obvious that this agreement means ultimately an enormous saving of money and the lifting of a heavy and unnecessary burden. The Treaty absolutely stops the race in competition in naval armament. At the same time it leaves the relative security of the great naval powers unimpaired. No national interest has been sacrificed; a wasteful production of unnecessary armament has been ended.
While it was desired that an agreement should be reached for the limitation of auxiliary craft and submarines, its importance should not be overestimated. Limitation has been effected where it was most needed, both with respect to the avoidance of the heaviest outlays and with reference to the promptings to war, which may be found in excessive preparation. Moreover, it is far from probable that the absence of limitation, in the other field, will lead to production of either auxiliary craft or submarines in excess of their normal relation to capital ships. Peoples are not in a mood for unnecessary naval expenditures.
The limitation of capital ships, in itself, substantially meets the existing need, and its indirect effect will be to stop the inordinate production of any sort of naval craft.
RULES FOR CONTROL OF NEW AGENCIES OF WARFARE
The British Delegation submitted a proposition for the abolition of submarines. This proposal was put upon the records in the following form:
"The British Empire Delegation desired formally to place on record this opinion that the use of submarines whilst of small value for defensive purposes, leads inevitably to acts which are inconsistent with the laws of war and the dictates of humanity, and the Delegation desires that united action should be taken by all nations to forbid their maintenance, construction, or employment."
The proposal was discussed at length, the British Delegation bringing forward in its support arguments of great force based upon the experience of Great Britain in the recent war. It met with opposition from France, Italy, and Japan.
The American Delegation not only had the opinion of their naval advisers in opposition to the proposal, but also had received a careful report upon the subject from the Advisory Committee of Twenty-One appointed by the President. This report was presented by the American Delegation as setting forth in a succinct manner the position of their Government. In this report it was stated:
"Unlimited submarine warfare should be outlawed. Laws should be drawn up prescribing the methods of procedure of submarines against merchant vessels both neutral and belligerent. These rules should accord with the rules observed by surface craft. Laws should also be made which prohibit the use of false flags and offensive arming of merchant vessels. The use of false flags has already ceased in land warfare. No one can prevent an enemy from running 'amuck' but immediately he does, he outlaws himself and invites sure defeat by bringing down the wrath of the world upon his head. If the submarine is required to operate under the same rule as combatant surface vessels no objection can be raised as to its use against merchant vessels. The individual captains of submarines are no more likely to violate instructions from their government upon this point than are captains of any other type of ship acting independently.
"submarines Against Combatant Ships
"Against enemy men of war the submarine may be likened to the advance guard on land which hides in a tree or uses underbrush to conceal itself. If the infantry in its advance encounters an ambuscade, it suffers greatly even if it is not totally annihilated. However, an ambuscade is entirely legitimate. In the same fashion a submarine strikes the advancing enemy from concealment and no nation cries out against this form of attack as illegal. Its Navy simply becomes more vigilant, moves faster and uses its surface scouts to protect itself.
"The submarine carries the same weapons as surface vessels, i. e., torpedoes, mines, and guns. There is no prohibition of their use on surface craft and there can be none on submarines. Submarines are particularly well adapted to use mines and torpedoes. They can approach to the desired spot without being seen, lay their mines or discharge their torpedoes and make their escape.
"The best defense against them is eternal vigilance and high speed. This causes added fatigue to the personnel and greater wear to the machinery. The continual menace of submarines in the vicinity may so wear down a fleet that when it meets the enemy it will be so exhausted as to make its defeat a simple matter.
"The submarine as a man-of-war has a very vital part to play. It has come to stay. It may strike without warning against combatant vessels, as surface ships may do also, but it must be required to observe the prescribed rules of surface craft when opposing merchantmen, as at other times.
"the Submarine As A Scout
"As a scout the submarine has great possibilities—it is the one type of vessel able to proceed unsupported into distant enemy waters and maintain itself to observe and report enemy movements. At present its principal handicaps are poor habitability and lack of radio power to transmit its information. However, these may be overcome in some degree in the future. Here, again, the submarine has come to stay—it has great value, a legitimate use, and no nation can decry its employment in this fashion.
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"The submarine is particularly an instrument of weak naval powers. The business of the world is carried on upon the surface of the sea. Any navy which is dominant on the surface prefers to rely on that superiority. While navies comparatively weak, may but threaten that dominance by developing a new form of attack to attain success through surprise. Hence submarines have offered and secured advantages until the method of successful counterattack has been developed.
"The United States Navy lacks a proper number of cruisers. The few we have would be unable to cover the necessary area to obtain information. Submarines could greatly assist them as they can not be driven in by enemy scouts.
"The cost per annum of maintaining 100,000 tons of submarines fully manned and ready is about thirty million dollars. For the work which will be required of them in an emergency, this cost is small when taken in connection with the entire Navy. The retention of a large submarine force may at some future time result in the United States holding its outlying possessions. If these colonies once fall the expenditure of men necessary to recapture them will be tremendous and may result in a drawn war which would really be a United States defeat. The United States needs a large submarine force to protect its interests.
"The Committee is therefore of the opinion that unlimited warfare by submarines on commerce should be outlawed. The right of visit and search must be exercised by submarines under the same rules as for surface vessels. It does not approve limitation in size of submarines."
Illegal Submarine Warfare—Use of Submarines Against Merchant Ships—
While the Conference was unable either to abolish or to limit submarines, it stated, with clarity and force, the existing rules of international law which condemned the abhorrent practices followed in the recent war in the use of submarines against merchant vessels. The resolutions adopted by the Conference as to the use of submarines against merchant vessels, and with respect to the use of poison gas, were put in the form of a treaty which was signed on February 6, 1922. The substantive portions of this Treaty are as follows:
"The Signatory Powers' declare that among the rules adopted by civilized nations for the protection of the lives of neutrals and noncombatants at sea in time of war, the following are to be deemed an established part of international law;
"(1) A merchant vessel must be ordered to submit to visit and search to determine its character before it can be seized.
"A merchant vessel must not be attacked unless it refuse to submit to visit and search after warning, or to proceed as directed after seizure.
"A merchant vessel must not be destroyed unless the crew and passengers have been first placed in safety.
"(2) Belligerent submarines are not under any circumstances exempt from the universal rules above stated; and if a submarine can not capture a merchant vessel in conformity with these rules the existing law of nations requires it to desist from attack and from seizure and to permit the merchant vessel to proceed unmolested.