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have been taken toward ultimate success. Long-continued and persistent effort is always necessary to bring mankind into conformity with great ideals; every great advance that civilization has made on its road from savagery has been upon stepping-stones of failure, and a good fight bravely lost for a sound principle is always a victory.
The Government of the United States has also considered that the Second Hague Conference might well agree in putting some limitation upon the use of force for the collection of ordinary contract debts due by one government to the citizens of another.
It has long been the established policy of the United States not to use its army and navy for the collection of such debts. We have not considered the use of force for such a purpose consistent with that respect for the independent sovereignty of other members of the family of nations which is the most important principle of international law and the chief protection of weak nations against oppression. It seems to us that the practice is injurious in its general effect upon the relations of nations and upon the welfare of weak and disordered States, whose development ought to be encouraged in the interests of civilization, and that it offers frequent temptation to bullying and oppression and to unnecessary and unjustifiable warfare. It is possible that the non-payment of public debts may be accomplished by such circumstances of fraud and wrong-doing or violation of treaties as to justify the use of force as a last resort; but we hope to see an international consideration of the subject which shall discriminate between such causes and the simple non-performance of a contract with a private person, and to see a resolution in favor of reliance exclusively upon peaceful means, in cases of the latter class. It may well be that the principle of arbitration can be so extended in its application that the class of adventurers who have long been in the habit of trading upon the necessities of weak and distressed governments may be required to submit their often exorbitant and unconscionable demands to an impartial tribunal before which both parties can hear both as to the validity and the amount of their claims and the time and manner of payment to which they are entitled. The record of the cases submitted to arbitration during recent years shows that the total awards of the arbitral tribunals have amounted to a very small percentage of the demands submitted. It is difficult to resist the inference that the
claims of private citizens who seek the good offices of their own government to obtain payment from other countries generally need investigation by fair tribunals rather than immediate and peremptory enforcement.
In the general field of arbitration we are surely justified in hoping for a substantial advance both as to scope and effectiveness. It has seemed to me that the great obstacles to the universal adoption of arbitration is not the unwillingness of civilized nations to submit their demands to the decision of an impartial tribunal; it is rather an apprehension that the tribunal selected will not be impartial. In a despatch to Sir Julian Pauncefote dated March 5, 1896, Lord Salisbury stated this difficulty. He said that:
"If the matter in controversy is important, so that defeat is a serious blow to the credit or the power of the litigant who is worsted, that interest becomes a more or less keen partisanship. According to their sympathies, men wish for the victory of one side or another. Such conflicting sympathies interefere most formidably with the choice of an impartial arbitrator. It would be too invidious to specify the various forms of bias by which, in any important controversy between two great powers, the other members of the commonwealth of nations are visibly affected. In the existing condition of international sentiment, each great power could point to nations whose admission to any jury by whom its interests were to be tried, it would be found to challenge; and in a litigation between two great powers the rival challenges would pretty well exhaust the catalogue of the nations from which competent and suitable arbiters could be drawn. It would be easy, but scarcely decorous, to illustrate this statement by examples. They will occur to anyone's mind who attempts to construct a panel of nations capable of providing competent arbitrators, and will consider how many of them would command equal confidence from any two litigating powers. "This is the difficulty which stands in the way of unrestricted arbitration. By whatever plan the tribunal is selected, the end of it must be that issues in which the litigant States are most deeply interested will be decid
by the vote of one man, and that man a foreigner. He has no jury to find his facts; he has no court to appeal to to correct his law; and he is sure to be credited, justly or not, with a leaning to one litigant or the other."
The feeling which Lord Salisbury so well expressed is, I think, the great stumbling-block in the way of arbitration. The essential fact which supports that feeling is, that arbitrators too often act diplomatically rather than judicially; they consider themselves as belonging to diplomacy rather than to jurisprudence; they measure their responsibilty and their duty by the traditions, the sentiments and the sense of honorable obligation which have grown up in centuries of diplomatic intercourse, rather than by the traditions, the sentiments and the sense of honorable obligation which characterize the judicial departments of civilized nations. Instead of the sense of responsibility for impartial judgment which weighs upon the judicial officers of every civilized country, and which is enforced by the honor and self-respect of every upright judge, an international arbitration is often regarded as an occasion for diplomatic adjustment. Granting that the diplomats who are engaged in an arbitration have the purest motives; that they act in accordance with the policy they deem to be best for the nations concerned in the controversy; assuming that they thrust aside entirely in their consideration any interests which their own countries may have in the controversy or in securing the favor or averting the displeasure of the parties before them; nevertheless it remains that in such an arbitration the litigant nations find that questions of policy and not simple questions of fact and law are submitted to alien determination, and an appreciable part of that sovereignty which it is the function of every nation to exercise for itself in determining its own policy, is transferred to the arbitrators.
An illustration of this view is to be found in the fact that one of the features of the extraordinary advance made by the nations of South America in the arts of peace is the development of arbitration for the settlement of disputes, and especially boundary disputes, to a greater degree than in any other part of the world. This has been facilitated by the almost complete detachment of South American politics from the international politics of Europe; so that it has been easy for the South American States. to find arbitrators who neither knew nor cared for any political
question in South America, and who, therefore, have been able to determine the questions before them with sole reference to the merits of the question, as a trained and upright judge decides a case submitted to his court.
What we need for the further development of arbitration is the substitution of judicial action for diplomatic action, the substitution of judicial sense of responsibility for diplomatic sense of responsibility. We need for arbitration, not distinguished public men concerned in all the international questions of the day, but judges who will be interested only in the question appearing upon the record before them. Plainly this end is to be attained by the establishment of a court of permanent judges who will have no other occupation and no other interest but the exercise of the judicial faculty under the sanction of that high sense of responsibility which has made the courts of justice in the civilized nations of the world the exponents of all that is best and noblest in modern civilization.
Let me add a few words of warning concerning your anticipations of what the Second Peace Conference is to do. Do not expect too much of it.
It is an essential characteristic of such a Conference that it shall deal not with matters upon which the nations differ, but with matters upon which the nations agree. Immaterial differences may be smoothed away; misunderstandings may be explained; consideration and discussion along lines that do not run counter to any immediate and specific interest may work out methods of applying general principles in such a way as to prevent future differences; progress may be made toward agreement upon matters which are not yet ripe for complete adjustment; but the moment an attempt is made to give such a Conference any coercive effect, the moment any number of nations endeavor to use the Conference for the purpose of compelling any other nation to do what it deems inconsistent with its interests, that moment the Conference fails.
Such a Conference is an agency of peace; not the peace of conquest, but the peace of agreement; not enforced agreement, but willing and cheerful agreement. So far as the nations can go together in such an agreement, the Conference can go, and no further.
Many lovers of their kind, certain that the principles which
they see so clearly ought to be accepted of all men, are unmindful of the many differences which divide the nations in the competition of trade and wealth, for honor and prestige; unmindful that the selfishness and greed and willingness to do injustice which have marked all human history still exist in the world; unmindful that because of these, the instinct of self-protection engenders distrust and suspicion among the nations; and they will be sadly disappointed because the Hague Conference of 1907 does not realize their dreams and usher in "the parliament of man the federation of the world." But let them take heart: a forward step will be taken; an advance will be made toward the reign of peace and justice and righteousness among men, and that advance will go just as far as the character of the great mass of civilized men permits. There lies the true measure of possibility and the true origin of reforming force. Arbitration and mediation, treaties and conventions, peace resolutions, declarations of principle, speeches and writings, are as naught unless they truly represent and find a response in the hearts and minds of the multitude of the men who make up the nations of the earth, whose desires and impulses determine the issue of peace and war.
The end toward which this assemblage strives the peace of the world—will be attained just as rapidly as the millions of the earth's peoples learn to love peace and abhor war; to love justice and hate wrong-doing; to be considerate in their judgment and kindly in feeling toward aliens as toward their own friends and neighbors; and to desire that their own countries shall regard the rights of others rather than be grasping and overreaching. The path to universal peace is not through reason or intellectual appreciation, but through the development of peace-loving and peace-keeping character among men; and that this development, slow though it be as measured by our short lives, is proceeding with steady and unremitting advance from generation to generation no student of history can question. The greatest benefit of the Peace Conference of 1907 will be, as was that of the Peace Conference of 1899, in the fact of the Conference itself; in its powerful influence molding the characters of men; in the spectacle of all the great powers of the earth meeting in the name of peace, and exalting as worthy of honor and desire, national self-control, considerate judgment and willingness to do justice.