« AnteriorContinuar »
seeing his picture, is a small, somewhat delicate man. He has a very cultivated and refined face, which reveals both strength and gentleness. His voice is low and soft, and he speaks in a way that indicates perfect self-possession.
He has an appreciative, conciliatory disposition, and sees quickly the merits of another's position. He did not seem in the least disposed to dictate to the conference, though feeling fully the position which Russia held in it. Some of the correspondents considered this evidence of a lack of strength. It
HOTEL DES INDES, Quarters of the English Commission.
was quite the opposite. It indicated not only strength, but wisdom as well. The least dictatorialness or stubbornness of opinion on his part would have ruined the conference.
Sir Julian Pauncefote was in some respects the most important man at The Hague. As the chief representative of Great Britain, he was naturally much in evidence. But his prominence was due quite as much to his personal characteristics. He has not only abilities of a high order, but a large and generous heart, which age has only made more perfect. There is nothing narrow or insular about
him. He is approachable anywhere, and sociable in the best sense of the word. His nature goes out in sincere and sympathetic interest toward every one whom he meets. His spirit and manner, therefore, did much to create in the conference the admirable spirit of concord which pervaded it almost without exception from beginning to end. His prominence was further increased by his profound personal interest in the object for which the conference met, and by the fact that the scheme of arbitration which he presented was adopted as the basis
of the plan to be worked out. He and Mr. de Staal were much together, and reminded one sometimes of affectionate twin brothers-an example which Englishmen and Russians would all do well to follow. Though of nearly the same age, they are very unlike physically, Sir Julian being tall and stout, Mr. de Staal small of stature and of frame. In geniality and goodness of heart they are much alike.
Andrew D. White, chairman of the American commission, was one of the best equipped and most influential men in the conference. His ripe scholarship and wide diplomatic experience, coupled with an exceptionally clear and critical intellect and a thoroughly humane and honest heart, eminently fitted him for his position. He is small physically, and not very robust in health. Socially he was less seen than Mr. de Staal or Mr. Pauncefote, partly on account of his health, but also, I judged, from natural disposition. But in straightforward and intelligent devotion to duty
he had no superior. He went to the conference, like many others, very sceptical as to its success. He hesitated long on this account about accepting the appointment. But once at The Hague, he threw the whole. weight of his position as chief of the American commission on the side of serious and honest effort to solve in a practical way the problems set for solution. It was due to him as much as to any one else that scepticism soon disappeared, and that the members entered upon their work with the determination to accomplish all that could reasonably be expected. In this he was loyally supported by his American colleagues. It has often been said that American diplomats have little weight in councils along with Europeans. But of this I saw no sign at The Hague. If the American commission was not absolutely first, it was not surpassed in weight by any other; and I did not once hear the Spanish war alluded to as having anything to do with it. The fact is that ability, good sense and devotion to duty always tell in any serious. council of men, and it does not take a war to make an opening for them. Mr. Léon Bourgeois, chief of the
Copyrighted by Rockwood.
HON. SETH LOW,
French deputation, now recognized as the foremost public man in France, was one of the most practical and businesslike of the first delegates. I was told that at the very opening of
the deliberations he was determined that things should "march," as the French say, that there should be as little red tape as possible about the proceedings. This reputation he sustained throughout as chairman of the Section on Arbitration. No man had a deeper appreciation than he of the importance of the task intrusted to the conference. When the crisis in France produced by the
Paris, Mr. Van Karnebeek, Den Beer Poortugael and Mr. Asser of Holland, Sir John C. Ardagh of Great Britain, Baron Bildt of Scandinavia, Captain Mahan and Mr. Holls of the United States commission. There were, of course, other men who aided much in the deliberations, and more would have done so but for the obstacle of
W. H. DE BEAUFORT, Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs.
language. Many of the men whose names scarcely ever appeared as taking part in the discussions were of the greatest value in helping to shape in private the opinions and plans of the separate delegations.
Professor de Martens is known throughout the world for his work in international law. He was reputed to be the author of the finely worked-out arbitration scheme brought by Mr. de Staal to the conference. He has a genius for plans and schemes and detail work. He is a man of medium stature, with a quick-glancing, penetrating eye and a quick, vital step. He has a somewhat unusual head, which is about equally developed toward all quarters of the world, marking him out at once as a man of cosmopolitan principles and tendencies. His pictures do him scant justice. He has a great dislike for interviews. Senator Descamps of Belgium is an expert in matters of international justice. He is the author of the wellknown plan for an international tribunal of arbitration adopted by the Interparliamentary Peace Union. He has just published an important book entitled "Le Droit de la Paix et de la Guerre." As chairman of the Ar
J. C. N. VAN EYS, General Secretary of the Conference.
There was another set of men whose eminence appeared from another point of view, viz., that of practical work in the committees. Foremost among these may be mentioned Professor Martens of Russia, chairman of the section on the Rules of War; Senator Descamps of Belgium, chairman of the Drafting Committee on Arbitration; Professor Renault of
MR. A. BEERNAERT
Captain Mahan of the United States commission would command attention anywhere. He is every inch a gentleman, tall, straight, self-poised, and having a face of extraordinary refinement altogether unusual in men of his profession. He made himself strongly felt in committee in presenting the demand of the United States that private property at sea in time of war should be made invio