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principles of international justice may be discovered and administered for the benefit of mankind, and with a permanent parliamentary body authorized to enlarge and amend the law of nations, a tribunal empowered to determine certain controversies between nations, the crushing weight of war will pass away and the Prince of Peace stand on the mountain top with a face radiant with celestial light.
I have now the pleasure of introducing as the next speaker the Hon. John W. Foster, a man so highly thought of in his own country that he has been one of that distinguished body of men who have served as Secretary of State of the United States, a man so highly thought of on the other side of the world that he has been named by the Emperor of China as one of its delegates to this Second Hague Conference. (Applause.) Mr. Foster is also President of the National Arbitration Congress recently held at Washington.
The Growth of International Arbitration
HON. JOHN W. FOSTER
In indicating on the program for this afternoon's discussion the legislative and judicial aspects of the Peace Movement, I take it for granted that it was intended to include the international legislation of treaty enactment to that end. I desire to consider very briefly the existing and proposed provisions respecting International Arbitration.
As we all know, the Hague Arbitration Convention of 1899 did not provide for compulsory arbitration. Hence, it was in effect little more than a declaration of the nations that the settlement of international controversies by peaceful arbitration was desirable whenever such a settlement was found practicable. For this reason an effort was made to heal this defect by bringing about among the leading nations separate treaties to submit certain classes of controversies to arbitration. But in all those treaties there was a proviso that the questions submitted should not involve the vital interests, the independence, or the honor of the contracting parties. Such conventions now exist between Great Britain and France, and between each of those countries and a number of other European powers.
Similar conventions between the United States and each of several European and American nations were submitted two years ago to the Senate for its constitutional sanction, but because of a difference of views between the President and the Senate, those conventions did not go into operation. While this want of agreement was lamented, there was a general feeling among the friends of arbitration that the cause was not seriously affected by this failure, for the reason that they regarded those conventions as very defective and not such as were required to maintain Peace among the nations.
They were defective in two respects. First, they embraced only a limited class of cases to be arbitrated; and, second, the proviso practically nullified the stipulations, for an unwilling nation might readily allege that almost any question involved its vital interests or its honor. It was felt by the earnest and thoughtful friends of arbitration in this country that we must labor for a higher standard of self-abnegation among the nations, if arbitration was to take the place of war in the adjustment of international disputes. But it will be contended that the United States will never agree unconditionally to refer all questions affecting its honor or its vital interests to the adjudication of a foreign tribunal. Why not? Is not this just what is done between individuals in all constitutional and well-ordered nations? Can we ever hope for a peaceful method of settling international disputes if each nation reserves the right to decide whether or not the controversy involves its vital interests or its honor?
This question was carefully considered by a committee of able and experienced public men during the session of the Arbitration Conference in Washington in 1904. They had been appointed to consider the provisions of an arbitration treaty between the United States and Great Britain. The committee consisted of five persons who had represented our country abroad as ambassadors and ministers; one was a member of our federal court, two were judges of The Hague Arbitration Tribunal, the majority of them were lawyers of eminence, others were recognized authorities on international law, editors and university professors. This committee by unanimity reported to the Conference that the proper treaty of arbitration to be entered into between the United States and Great Britain was one which should embrace all differences which could not be adjusted by
diplomatic negotiations, without any reservation. After full consideration the report was unanimously approved by the Conference, which was composed of representative citizens from all sections of the country.
If such a convention is judicious and proper between the United States and Great Britain, why may it not be adopted between the United States and other nations? Such, in my opinion, is the standard which should be set by the American friends of International Arbitration. It is very probable it will not be reached at the next Hague Conference. Its realization may not come in our day. But it is the only sure method of preserving Peace among the nations.
I can not do better than close my remarks by quoting the language of one of the most eminent diplomatists of modern times. Lord Augustus Loftus represented Great Britain for nearly fifty years, residing during that period in all the leading capitals of Europe. He was familiar with the negotiations attending the Crimean War of 1854, the Italian campaigns of 1854-60, the Franco-German war of 1870, the Russo-Turkish war of 1877, and the various other hostile operations in Europe, and had seen the rise of the great military establishments which in those times had become the fixed policy of the Great Powers. His mature judgment, at the close of his long and eventful career, was that the only way to prevent the repetition of those cruel wars and to abate those great armaments was to "institute by common assent among the powers of the world a new system of arbitration to compose all differences and disputes between governments and nations."
If this humane and philanthropic idea could be realized the monstrous armies which are now ruining the nations of Europe would no longer be necessary, and it may be hoped that Peace and good-will would bind all nations in one bond of Christian friendship, and obliterate all feelings of animosity and ill-will.
I fear, however, that we have not yet arrived at that happy stage of practical concord, and that, on the contrary, the vast armaments so destructive to Peace will be brought into action at no distant date. The maintenance of these costly armies is worse than a state of war, and acts most prejudicially on the development of trade and industry.
"The question of general disarmament has often been mooted, but invariably failed. I feel confident that nothing will or can be done to remedy this evil till all the powers agree to institute for a war a system of arbitration for the settlement of all international disputes."
I now have the pleasure of introducing to you as the next speaker Señor Diego Mendoza, formerly President of the Republican University of Colombia, S.A., and Minister Plenipotentiary from Colombia to the United States, a noted authority on International Law, and Professor on that subject in the Republican University of Colombia, a Member of the Academy of Bogota. Señor Mendoza will speak on "The Prophecy of Bolivar Realized." I am not entirely sure that the great liberator of Northern South America may not be better known to the audience as "Bolivar" (with the accent on the last syllable).
The Prophecy of Bolivar Realized
MR. PRESIDENT AND MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL ARBITRATION AND PEACE CONGRESS: I must first express my deep gratitude for the consideration shown to the history of Latin-America, and to those who made it, in the kind invitation which was extended to me to speak at this Congress to the representatives of numerous and respected organizations, and who endeavor ceaselessly, both in Europe and in America, to bring about the reign of Justice and Peace among all the different communities composing the human family. The ideal which has brought us together in this hall, bearing the name of an eminent philanthropist of the United States, is the same that inspired Bolivar's mind in 1815, and the same that the Interparliamentary Union condensed into three propositions approved at its St. Louis session. The resolution of St. Louis is as follows:
"The Conference requests the several governments of the world to send representatives to an International Conference, to be held at a time and place to be agreed upon by them for the purpose of considering:
"First, the questions for the consideration of which the
Conference at The Hague expressed a wish that a future conference be called;
"Second, the negotiation of arbitration treaties between the nations represented at the Conference to be convened;
"Third, the advisability of establishing an international Congress to convene periodically for the discussion of international questions."
Bolivar's exact words in 1815 were as follows:
"May it be granted that some day we be happy enough to install an august body of the representatives of republics, kingdoms, and empires, to consider and discuss the weighty questions of Peace and war with the nations of the other parts of the world. The existence of such a congress will be possible at some future epoch in our march onward."
For the purpose of enabling this illustrious Congress to appreciate the development of that noble thought in the exalted soul of the Liberator of my people I shall recount briefly the consecutive stages of his immortal career as linked to the rapid crystallization of his ideal.
The first consequential revolutionary movement against Spanish rule was organized in Venezuela under the leadership of General Francisco Miranda, who played an important part in the French Revolution. The failure of his expedition, in 1812, resulted in his capture by the Spanish authorities, and in compelling Bolivar to seek refuge on foreign shores. Having, however, received news that the Granadine patriots had conquered the Province of Carthagena, Bolivar tendered his services to them. With a small army placed under his command he invaded Venezuela, and after a comparatively short campaign, he entered Caracas as victor. Fortune turned against him later on; he was routed at the battle of Aragua, in 1814. Bolivar then returned to New Granada, where Congress appointed him Commanderin-Chief of the Union army, but an unfortunate disagreement with the Carthagena Government made him an exile again. It was while he was a refugee in Kingston, in 1815, that he wrote to a friend in the terms above quoted.
Efficiently supported by Petion, President of Hayti, Bolivar invaded Venezuela anew, and though he was defeated, Petion did not abandon him, but furnished him with the necessary elements for a new liberating campaign. This time Bolivar met