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3Efte gtftenteum ^res* 








The relations between independent states have been, during recent 
times, assuming such a character that our traditional ideas of interna- 
tional law are in need of revision ; or it might be better to say that 
we are witnessing processes and developments in international life 
which are adding new areas to the domain of international law. Such, 
for instance, is the rapid growth of international procedure in extra- 
dition, in the presentation of claims, and especially in arbitration. 
Another important new phase of the subject is the organization and 
administration of public unions in which certain economic, social, or 
scientific interests are dealt with on the basis of world-wide relations. 
The technical and industrial advance which characterizes our era has 
already brought about an internationalism, which is slowly and care- 
fully being embodied in the forms of political organization. It is 
this latter subject to which the present volume is intended to afford 
an introduction. Within its space only summary treatment of the 
individual unions is possible ; but the time will soon be ripe for a 
detailed study of this new international administrative law in all its 
manifold forms and applications. 

The author desires to acknowledge the effective assistance in proof 
reading, revision, and verification received from Mr. S. Gale Lowrie, 
of the University of Wisconsin, and Mr. Benjamin B. Wallace, now 
of Princeton University. Parts of the chapters which make up this 
volume were published originally in the American Journal of Interna- 
tional Lazv, the American Political Science Review, and the Forum. 
These portions, which are reprinted with the kind permission of the 
editors, have been revised, elaborated, and brought down to date. 




I. Introduction 1 

The New Internationalism i 

II. The Development and Organization of International Unions 12 

I. Communication 15 

The Telegraphic Union 15 

Wireless Telegraphy 19 

The Universal Postal Union 21 

The International Union of Railway Freight Transportation . 28 

Automobile Conference 33 

Navigation 34 

II. Economic Interests 35 

The Metric Union 35 

Industrial and Literary Property 36 

Union for the Publication of Customs Tariffs 41 

Protection of Labor 42 

The Sugar Convention 49 

Agriculture 5 1 

Insurance 55 

III. Sanitation and Prison Reform 56 

The International Prison Congress 56 

International Sanitation 57 

Pan-American Sanitary Union 60 

The International Opium Commission 61 

The Geneva Convention 62 

IV. Police Powers 62 

Fisheries Police 62 

Protection of Submarine Cables 63 

African Slave Trade and Liquor Traffic 64 

Repression of the White-Slave Trade 64 

The South American Police Convention 66 

V. Scientific Purposes 67 

The International Geodetic Association 68 

The International Electrotechnical Commission 69 

The Seismological Union 70 

Exploration of the Sea 70 

The Pan-American Scientific Congress 71 

VI. Special and Local Purposes 73 




III. The International Union of American Republics .... 77 

The Central American Union 118 

IV. The Administrative Law of the Hague Tribunal . . . .122 

V. International Administrative Law and National Sovereignty i 26 

I. The Basis and Body of Universal Law 127 

II. General Principles of Organization 143 

Formation of Unions 144 

Organs and Institutions 149 

Legislation 156 

Administrative Activities 160 

VI. International Unions and War 169 

INDEX 187 




The New Internationalism 1 

Among men of affairs the generous ideal of world unity and peace 
is still commonly looked upon as a golden dream. The historic experi- 
ence of generations has accustomed men to think in terms of national 
sovereignty, and to see in national life, rich with the color of varied 
experience, the final form of human civilization. It seems to accord 
with what is called the ineradicable basis of human nature that na- 
tional differences should exist and that they should express themselves 
in mutually exclusive fashion. So the thought of world unity seems 
to lack relation to actual facts ; it is at best a guiding hope, a gener- 
ous aspiration by which the harshness of competition and strife may, 
in ordinary times, be smoothed over a little. Even the men who are 
called to do the constructive work in international relations often 
accept the idea of universal peace only as " the bright star which we 
shall never reach, though it will always guide us," — to use the words 
of the president of the second Hague conference. This platonic 
enthusiasm frequently found among men of action may be accounted 
for partly by the trained conservatism of their nature, which leads 
them to take only one step at a time and never to rush with outspread 
arms toward an ideal which their souls might divine, but which their 
caution views with doubt. But more specifically their attitude is due 
to the fact that in the past the ideal of peace has assumed the charac- 
ter of a poetical abstraction, — a prophetic vision of a new world, — 
devoid of direct relation to the living facts and pulsating energies of 

1 Reprinted, in part, from the Forum, July, 1909. 



actual existence. Based upon the formal and abstract concept of hu- 
manity developed by the rationalism of the eighteenth century, it has 
assumed men capable of cutting loose from all the customs and inter- 
ests of their traditional life, and to be directly, as reasoning beings, 
impelled to world-wide unity. The world state above, the rational 
individual below, and between them nothing but an exalted en- 
thusiasm to uphold so vast a structure. It is, indeed, the privilege of 
human existence that we may be roused and impelled by generous 
appeals ; but to lift all the conditions of our being to a higher plane, 
abandoning the inherited customs and institutions, — that involves 
more complex activities and changes than the mere acceptance, intel- 
lectually, of an exalted thought. The true constructive force was want- 
ing in the older cosmopolitanism ; in its attempt to create a new basis 
for human life it cast aside and spurned all the relations and institu- 
tions in which our national and communal life has had its being. But 
man lacks the constancy of effort to hold himself permanently upon 
the height of a purely rational ideal ; his nature must be raised 
through many degrees of institutional life, from the narrow limits of 
personality, to the broad aims of civilization. 

These thoughts are suggested as we compare the pacifism and 
cosmopolitanism of the recent past with the world-organization move- 
ment of the present. Our age is realistic and practical ; its concepts 
are positive and concrete. The high ideals which it is conceiv- 
ing are viewed not as cloud castles but as mountain tops soaring 
aloft in untarnished beauty, yet resting upon an immovable and 
massive foundation. As we look upon human life in its complexity 
we appreciate the value of all those forms of association, local and 
national, which the past has so laboriously evolved. It is not for us 
to throw them on the rubbish heap of worn-out machinery. They are 
forms of life which manifest themselves independently of our theories. 
So we recognize their validity and seek a way to transform the social 
and political energies thus concentrated, for the accomplishment of 
still higher aims. The barren ideal of no war, no patriotism, no local 
interest, has given way to a potent centripetal force. We are build- 
ing up cooperation in constantly widening circles, so that it tran- 
scends national bounds to become a universal joint effort. We seek 
not so much to establish an abstract ideal as to work together in all 
the varied and absorbing interests and pursuits that occupy mankind. 


World-wide cooperation in all human activities, each interest ex- 
panding its field of action until it has filled the limits of the globe, — 
that is the tendency of to-day. Universal cooperation is the watch- 
word which stands for positive action, for the development of concrete 
facts in human life corresponding to the actual needs of our economic 
and social order. For this purpose adequate institutions must be 
created to take international action out of the field of resolutions and 
to make it a part of the realities of human life. The void which the 
old cosmopolitan ideal left between the individual and humanity is 
thus being filled by the creation of living institutions through which 
the individual may gradually learn to cooperate, in many groups, with 
all his fellow men. 

The most important fact of which we have become conscious in 
our generation is that the unity of the world is real. The most remote 
regions are being made accessible. The great economic and financial 
system by which the resources of the earth are being developed is 
centralized. The psychological unity of the world is being prepared 
by the service of news and printed discussions, by which in the space 
of one day or week the same events are reported to all the readers 
from Buenos Aires to Tokyo, from Cape Town to San Francisco. 
The same political dramas evoke our interest, the same catastrophes 
compel our sympathy, the same scientific achievements make us 
rejoice, the same great public figures people our imagination. That 
such a unity of thought and feeling is drawing after it a unity of action 
is plainly apparent. Our destiny is a common one ; whatever may 
happen to the nations of Africa and Asia affects our life. Should 
great national disasters devastate or wars disorganize these distant 
societies, we ourselves must bear a part of the burden. Nor is there 
any development or advance in the perfective arts of civilization, the 
conditions and processes which make industry profitable and life 
agreeable, but we ourselves shall share in the benefits. Science knows 
no national boundaries. What is achieved in Berlin, Paris, or Rome 
to-day is to-morrow a part of the scientific capital of all the world. 
The positive ideal of our day is undoubtedly that the whole earth 
shall become a field of action open to every man, and that all the ad- 
vantages which may be secured by the efforts of humanity shall accrue 
to the citizens of each individual nation. In this new grouping of 
social and economic life the national state will indeed continue to 


hold a prominent place, but public and associative action will be domi- 
nated by forces and considerations which are broader than national 
life. Cooperation is the key to life and society. Neither the indi- 
vidual nor the nation is self-sufficing. There is a broader life ; there 
are broader interests and more far-reaching activities surrounding 
national life in which it must participate in order to develop to the 
full its own nature and satisfy completely its many needs. Even as 
the individual receives from society both protection and stimulus, so 
the nation would suffer intolerable disadvantages were it to exclude 
itself from world intercourse. 

But if we have not intently followed the recent development of in- 
ternational affairs, we may be inclined to regard these things as impor- 
tant elements, indeed, in human thought, but not as productive of 
efficacious action. Yet the realm of international organization is an 
accomplished fact. The idea of cosmopolitanism is no longer a castle 
in the air, but it has become incorporated in numerous associations 
and unions world-wide in their operation. Nor are these merely 
represented by congresses where tendencies and aims are discussed 
and resolutions voted. No, they have been provided with permanent 
organizations, with executive bureaus, with arbitration tribunals, with 
legislative commissions and assemblies. Of international unions, com- 
posed of private individuals united for the advancement of industry, 
commerce, or scientific work, there are no less than one hundred 
fifty, all furnished with a permanent form of organization. But the 
national governments themselves have recognized the necessity for 
international action and have combined among themselves to further 
all those activities which cannot be adequately protected or advanced 
by isolated states. There are in existence over forty- five public inter- 
national unions, composed of states. Of these, thirty are provided 
with administrative bureaus or commissions. As the active cause for 
this development in modern civilization is rapidity and safeness of 
communication and transport, it is natural that the interests of these 
activities should have received a world-wide organization in unions 
for postal, telegraphic, and railway communication and for the protec- 
tion of the means and methods employed by them. No state can 
completely protect itself against the inroads of epidemic disease nor 
against the plottings of criminals without the cooperation of other 
governments. Unions have thus been established for mutual police 


assistance and for the development of international sanitation. In 
order that industrial competition may be raised to a plane where the 
individual laborer or manufacturer is sheltered against intolerable 
conditions, nations unite and follow a common plan of economic and 
labor legislation. For the ample development of such interests there 
have been founded the International Institute of Agriculture, the In- 
ternational Association for Labor Legislation, and many semipublic 
associations designed to realize the idea of a world unity in the great 
field of economic life. But we must not proceed to an enumeration. 
It is only our purpose to point out the significance of these great 
positive movements. When once we appreciate the scope of the forces 
involved, we are impelled to the conclusion that world organization is 
no longer an ideal but is an accomplished fact. The foundations in 
international life have been laid by the slow working of economic and 
social causes, guided by the conscious will of man, but responding to 
and logically expressing the deepest needs of human life. 

Effectual internationalism respects political and ethnic entities as 
essential forms of social organization within their proper limits, just 
as the modern state respects the autonomy of towns, provinces, and 
member states. We are not able to dispense with the traditions of 
orderly development, with the psychic unities which lie back of na- 
tional sovereignty and give it force. While, indeed, looking far beyond 
any narrow and exclusive policy, positive internationalism is equally 
averse to any attempts artificially to create a world state, either by the 
deadening force of military empire or by mechanical construction. 
But if this great force is not hostile to national community, it is plain, 
on the other hand, that the time is past when any nation can expect 
to prosper, or even exist, in a state of isolation. International cooper- 
ation has become an absolute necessity to states, along all the various 
lines of national enterprise. National independence must not be in- 
terpreted as equivalent to national self-sufficiency, nor ought we to 
think of political sovereignty as enabling a nation to do exactly what 
it pleases without regard to others. Though such a power may be 
found in the abstraction of law, among men acting with wisdom and 
foresight it does not as a matter of fact exist. The normal state is, by 
the circumstances of modern life, compelled to international coopera- 
tion. By cutting itself off from international intercourse and from the 
unions, it would be depriving its citizens of advantages to which they 


are entitled as men living in the civilized world of to-day. It is not 
outside of, but within, the great international society of the world that 
states will advance and develop what is best in their individuality. 
This should be borne in mind especially by us, citizens of a rich and 
powerful republic, which is at times inclined to forget that its policy 
must consider world-wide conditions and duties. Thus it has become 
clear that in all matters of actual life states are interdependent. Inter- 
national law is the expression of this interdependence, and in our days 
this great science is taking on a new form in response to the new 
situation in the world. The abundance of close relations and joint 
activities permanently established among states, in recent decades, 
is most impressive to the careful observer. The older treatises gave 
most attention to the state of war ; in the future the relations of peace 
will occupy three fourths of the space and attention. The law of war 
will sink to the relative unimportance which criminal procedure holds 
in municipal law systems. This vision of world-wide cooperation is 
indeed inspiring and grateful. Its beauty and strength rest' on the fact 
that millions are working together quietly, in the pursuit of their 
various living interests, toward the organization of world unity. It is 
not a thing imposed from above by force, or dictated only by a higher 
rationalism, but it is the almost instinctive work of active men building 
wider and wider spheres of affiliation. 

By a strange but not uncommon paradox, the very age that sees 
this striking growth of world-wide enterprise is also the witness of an 
insensate competition in military armament. In one of his poems the 
emperor of Japan says, " In this age, when in the entire world we 
believe ourselves brothers, why then should the tempest rise with so 
much force." Yet we are here not in the presence of a deep contra- 
diction. The spirit of our age expresses itself in a desire for energetic 
action, for strong personality, for positive deeds and achievements. 
There is a generous stirring of enthusiasm, a new idealism in act and 
thought. But it cherishes not a pale and silvery hue of life ; it demands 
character, force, and action. According as this force will be directed 
it will express itself in bitter national combats or in wonderful interna- 
tional construction. But action it demands. It is here that the older 
pacifism was weak. The ideal of rest, of quiet, of not arming, of not 
struggling, does not arouse this age as does the call to action. But 
once let internationalism be presented as the most far-reaching, the 


most promising action, — action full of difficulty, calling for strength 
and devotion, — and it powerfully appeals to the spirit of the age. Let 
us vow that this creative energy shall counteract the desire to waste 
the inheritance of civilization in bloody and destructive war. 

The warlike spirit presupposes a misunderstanding of the motives 
and aims of other nations. How can we key ourselves to the dread pur- 
pose of taking the life of fellow beings, unless our feelings are worked 
upon by the idea that they are antireligious, despotic, immoral, cruel, 
— in a word, enemies of civilization ? But will such designs be con- 
ceived by a merchant against those with whom he has sat in an inter- 
national body, discussing the interests of commerce and industry ? 
Will a physician desire to kill the sanitary official in cooperation with 
whom he is protecting his nation from the inroads of epidemic and 
plague ? Will the man of science conceive a murderous craving to take 
the life of those who are searching for the truth in the laboratories of 
Germany or of France ? War becomes criminal, a perversion of hu- 
manity, in such cases. There is no high ideal which can be appealed 
to for the killing of those with whom we cooperate in the work of 
making the world a better place. 

The older pacifism was of a purely negative character. It looked 
upon war as an evil entity to be combated directly. Yet war is only 
the symptom of a general condition in which too great emphasis is 
still laid upon local interests. It is evident that the only effective 
manner to remove the conditions to which the occurrence of war is 
due, lies in the building up of an international consciousness ; but such 
a consciousness cannot arise out of nothing — there must be back of 
it a development of actual unity in interest and feeling. We must 
realize our interdependence in practical affairs. It is through the cre- 
ation of international organizations for all the interests of human life 
that a positive content of the feeling of a common humanity is being 
provided. The incentive to war will become weaker and weaker as 
the bonds of community between nations increase, such as are pro- 
vided by communication agencies, by economic and industrial ties, or 
by scientific cooperation. How intolerably painful will be the ruthless 
interruption of all such relations and activities ! There are but two 
alternatives : either the ties which are thus being created will in time 
become so strong that no nation will be reckless enough to sunder 
them ; or, should war continue to exist, these relations will have to be 


exempted from its operations. Such an exemption will tend to reduce 
the sufferings and dangers of war more and more, and would thus be 
in itself a boon to humanity. 

Universal cooperation is the future ideal. The world is full of con- 
ditions and activities in which nations are not self-sufficing, in which 
we instinctively look beyond the boundaries of the national state. The 
nation that would be independent in isolation will condemn itself to 
be a Venezuela, 1 will cut itself and its citizens off from the advantages 
of civilization to which all human beings are entitled. But, recognizing 
interdependence with the other civilized nations of the world, a state 
strengthens itself as does the individual who plunges with full energy 
into the life of his community, being stimulated thereby and having 
all his faculties developed. The great fact that the world is a unit 
rests upon the underlying conditions of modern invention and science, 
which the dictum of no national government can destroy. Interna- 
tional cooperation points out the only way in which humanity may con- 
tinue to develop without wasting its energy and ultimately falling 
a prey to triumphant militarism. Between such alternatives it is not 
difficult to choose ; indeed, it is almost impossible to believe that 
mankind should be so perverse and misguided as to prefer much 
longer the waste and suffering of military competition to the joy of 
normal activity, — the development of all that is great and strong 
through international cooperation. On the one hand lies barbarism, 
on the other the certainty of continued progress. 

A study of the development of political thought during the modern 
era seems to reveal a sharp conflict between the nationalist and the 
humanitarian view. In forming their ideas about public life, men 
side either with Machiavelli, to whom the state, self-sufficient and 
untrammeled by moral considerations, is the sole end of existence ; 
or with Grotius, who builds his system upon the unity of mankind. 
In the footsteps of Machiavelli follow Hobbes, Burke, and the histori- 
cal school, while Grotius is the intellectual ancestor of the believers 
in a rationalist policy, like Locke, Rousseau, and the modern Liberals. 
At the end of the nineteenth century the conflict between these tend- 
encies seemed peculiarly acute. There was a recrudescence of Machi- 
avellian craft and cynicism. But at the same time nationalism, with 
its ideas of self-sufficiency and independence, its reliance upon force, 

1 This was written in the days of Castro. 


its desire for expansion, was confronted by the ideal of a broader 
humanity, softening discords and banishing feelings of hatred through 
a common belief in the essential unity of human life and civilization. 
It is a significant fact that, at the very time when the ideas of a 
common humanity have received such strong expression and have 
been given so tangible an embodiment as in the recent conventions 
on joint action, we should also be witnessing an extreme effort of 
nationalism in the continued and growing armaments and the in- 
creasing keenness of international competition. But this contrast 
indicates a deeper harmony. We are not here dealing with two forces 
that are at all times antagonistic and mutually destructive ; quite to the 
contrary, they are contained in each other. With all their apparent 
conflict they are intimately related, so that in the present stage of the 
world's history a strengthening of the one seems directly to stimulate 
the other. It was in nationalism that humanity first became conscious 
of its own aims and destinies. The Greek city, truly national, though 
politically and socially much narrower than the modern state, was the 
beginning of all humanitarian civilization. The strength of national- 
ism lies in its power of self-limitation, of individualizing humanity ; 
but its aim is, after all, humanity and not any narrower interest. Just 
as in state-life itself, aims must be national, — not local or particularis- 
tic, or we should have an intolerable rule of factions, — so in the life 
of the world, aims ought to be not narrowly national but humanitarian 
in the creative sense. This is a moral, but also an actual and inherent, 
necessity. An implied homage to this principle is constantly paid by 
nations when they make humanitarian professions of policy. Nor are 
such declarations a mere deceitful pretext. They indicate a funda- 
mental identity between the aims of humanity and those of the 
national state. 1 

1 The idea of the development of internationalism and its compatibility with the 
existence and strength of the national state is thus expressed in the prospectus of 
the German association for the mutual understanding among nations, of which a 
number of the most important international jurists were the founders : 

" At one time the problem and aim of our people was to establish the national 
state. We know what progress, especially on the field of industry, is due to its 
creation ; but a new era brings new demands. Already our technical development 
has brought about an epoch of internationalism ; yet the political organization of the 
world has fallen behind through its lack of legal relations between the individual 
states. While we now may cross the continent from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean 
in an uninterrupted railway journey, while the sea between England and the con- 
tinent has become virtually a bridge, the nations of the world confront each other 


When these considerations are clearly grasped, it will be seen that 
the law of nations addresses itself primarily to the great national 
powers, and that, though they seem to have the largest opportunity 
of breaking it, they will be, by their very nature, most prone to respect 
its principles. The ideal of a complete national life implies aims that 
transcend national boundaries. The great powers are the heirs, jointly 
and individually, of the world-state dreams of Rome and the Middle 
Ages. They are the heirs, too, of a common civilization that has 
descended to us from the older centers of human activity. The justi- 
fication of their existence lies solely in their power to establish and 
advance the complete life of their citizens upon the basis of humanity. 
Thus the very ambitions of every great world power directly impose 
on it aims and policies that may truly be called humanitarian in scope 
and essence. It is only the underdeveloped, the out-of-the-way, half- 
civilized states that do not feel the pervading influence of these 
world-wide forces expressing themselves in international action and 
international law. How different it is with the great powers. The 
very condition of their being demands the acknowledgment of broader 
relations and broader duties than their mere territorial entity would 
indicate. Thus the sanction of international law flows not so much 
from a contractual arrangement for cooperation or joint action, but 
from the fact that the essential nature of the national state is human- 
itarian, and that even in spite of itself it is forced to adhere to those 
principles of polity which express themselves in a developing rational 
law created from the point of view of a common humanity. Interna- 
tional cooperation is therefore not something that the nations agree 
to on account of extraneous pressure or by reason of a passing 
accession of humanitarian enthusiasm. On the contrary, it is the 

armed to the teeth. Whoever is devoted to national culture will be ready to consider 
what a flowering and fruiting of civilization could everywhere be brought about were 
it possible to initiate an era of mutual understanding in international politics. The 
present race in armaments will speedily lead to ruin. To-morrow it may be necessary 
to add to armaments on land and sea, the maintenance of which impose a crushing 
burden, an armada of the air. But is it not possible to combine with the idea of 
nationalism that of international organization ? Did not the founders of the Empire 
find a mediating policy between legitimism, the maintenance of the sovereign dynas- 
ties, and nationalism, which demanded a German union ? A similar conciliation 
between nationalism and internationalism has been begun and must be carried out. 
We must strive for the establishment of a different political system in the intercourse 
among nations." 

Signed by Jellinek, v. Liszt, Nippold, Piloty, Schuecking, and v. Ullmann. 


result of a national life which has come to realize its humanitarian 
implications. Those who hope for a developing internationalism need 
not fear the present strength of national impulses. The more nation- 
alism itself becomes conscious of its true destiny and its effective 
aims, the more will it contribute to the growth of international institu- 
tions. Great nations and responsible statesmen will gladly take part 
in building new and ampler mansions for human life and industry, and 
in discovering and establishing means by which the energies of our 
race may be turned into fruitful work for the betterment of civili- 
zation in all its aspects. 



The dominant note of political development during the nine- 
teenth century was undoubtedly nationalism, and the political forces 
of the century, intricate and involved as their action was, may be 
understood and analyzed with the greatest clearness from the point 
of view of the struggle for complete national existence and unity 
which was going on in all the principal countries of the earth. 
Nations are readily personified, and there is a unity and sequence in 
their action which makes it appear very concrete when compared 
with other political influences and movements. Thus toward the end 
of the century, after the great struggles in the United States, Ger- 
many, and Italy had been decided in favor of the national principle, 
it seemed as if the latter were bound to exercise an almost exclu- 
sive sway over the future destinies of humanity, — as if the twentieth 
century would be taken up with a fierce economic and military com- 
petition among' the nationalities who had achieved a complete polit- 
ical existence. Under such conditions diplomacy and international 
action would have had for their main function the maintenance of a 
political balance or equilibrium which would prevent the undue 
aggrandizement of any one state or nation. Such, indeed, had been 
the original and continuing purpose of diplomatic action. 

Yet, notwithstanding the definiteness and energy with which the 
action of nationalism asserted itself in nineteenth-century politics, 
the force of its current was all the time being diminished and its 
direction modified by that other great principle of social and political 
combination which we may call internationalism, and which com- 
prises those cultural and economic interests which are common to 
civilized humanity. During the Middle Ages the unity of civilization 
rested largely upon a cultural and religious basis. In our own age 

1 Reprinted, with copious changes and additions, from the American Journal of 
Jntti-national Law, July, 1907. 



such bonds of union have been powerfully supplemented by the grow- 
ing solidarity of economic life throughout the world, as well as by 
the need in experimental and applied science to utilize the experi- 
ence and knowledge of all countries. The existence of such an 
underlying economic unity of the civilized world has been borne in 
upon the nations with greater force every succeeding year. The 
development of the facilities for communication, bringing with them 
a great increase in the intercourse and exchange of commodities 
among nations, first convinced the latter of the need of international 
arrangements of an administrative nature. The inconveniences and 
delays caused at the point of transit from one national territory to 
another by the existence of different administrative methods and 
harassing regulations were such a serious impediment to the natural 
currents of trade that they could not long be tolerated. It was thus 
that a strong demand arose for the regulation of the international 
•telegraph and postal service, of transfer of freight on railways, and, 
in general, of all matters affecting international communication. It 
is not difficult to see the impulse toward joint action which would 
arise from relations such as those mentioned. 

Other interests, such as manufacturing and insurance, while sen- 
sitive to the importance of international economic relations, were not 
so directly and inevitably affected as was transportation. Yet in these 
fields another principle became powerfully active, inducing nations 
to seek for a cooperative procedure in matters of industry and other 
economic enterprise. This principle is found in the need of raising 
'the level of competition. It was soon discovered that after a nation 
had, within its territory, introduced some improvement in the condi- 
tion of its industries and its labor, such as required an additional 
' expenditure of money, its industries might, at least for a while, be 
seriously threatened by the competition of those countries in which 
such regulations had not as yet been adopted. The industrial inter- 
ests which might at first have opposed the introduction of such 
measures of protection now became eager partisans of their exten- 
sion to competing nations by means of treaties and administrative 
arrangements. The international movement for improving industrial 
and social conditions therefore found powerful support not only 
among men who had originally favored such reform, but among 
those interests which, through its introduction in certain nations, had 


been placed in a position of disadvantage in international competi- 
tion. This is the ground for international action in matters affecting 
agriculture, labor, sugar production, and similar economic activities. 
Closely allied to this development and preceding it in time is the 
movement for the international protection of patents and copyrights. 

A third cause for international action arises where a number of 
nations find themselves threatened by conditions existing in less 
civilized countries, and also where the instrumentalities and proc- 
esses of their economic activities extend upon the seas beyond 
national jurisdiction. Thus the safeguarding of public health against 
the importation of epidemics, and the protection of submarine cables 
in high-sea areas became the subject matter of agreements for inter- 
national administrative action. 

Civilized nations, being desirous of conducting their affairs in the 
most scientific and effective fashion, feel the need of making use of 
experience and knowledge wherever they may be found. Recogni- 
tion of the fact that no people has a monopoly of the best scientific 
and administrative processes has led the nations to seek opportu- 
nities for the interchange of experience such as are afforded by con- 
gresses of experts in various fields of public activity. Many of the 
unions formed more directly for administrative purposes also inci- 
dentally act as centers for the exchange of reliable information. 

The number and extent of the international activities already en- 
tered upon are surprising. It is not so much the case that nations 
have given up certain parts of their sovereign powers to international 
administrative organs, as that they have, while fully reserving their 
independence, actually found it desirable, and in fact necessary, 
regularly and permanently to cooperate with other nations in the 
matter of administrating economic and cultural interests. Without 
legal derogation to the sovereignty of individual states, an inter- 
national de facto and conventional jurisdiction and administrative 
procedure is thus growing up, which bids fair to become one of the 
controlling elements in the future political relations of the world. 

In order to give an adequate account of these important move- 
ments a monographic study of each of them would be necessary. 
No more will be attempted in the present chapter than to give 
an indication of the main historical facts concerning the formation 
of these various unions, and the conventions upon which they rest. 


Special attention will be given to the initial difficulties in the way of 
reaching such agreements, and to the manner in which those exist- 
ing were, as a matter of fact, concluded. The diplomatic and admin- 
istrative agencies employed in the formation of these unions, or created 
for their purposes, will be reviewed, as well as the influence of private 
initiative and associated effort in bringing about joint action by the 
governments. We shall also note the functions attributed to the in- 
ternational organs, and the main administrative principles and methods 
established. The present chapter will be confined to a brief account 
of the various unions from these points of view. A more thorough- 
going analysis, critical and comparative, of the arrangements and 
institutions thus established, viewed in their relation to general inter- 
national law and to the administrative systems of the individual states, 
will be given in the fifth chapter. 1 

I. Communication 

The TelegrapJiic Union 11 (U Union des administrations telegra- 
phiqncs). The first important international administrative union to 
be established was the telegraphic union. From 1849 on, treaties 
had been made between individual European states concerning tele- 
graphic communication. In 1850 an Austro-German telegraph union 

1 General references: Poinsard, L., Droit international conventionnel, 1896; Le 
droit international au XX e siecle, Paris, 1907. Moynier, G., Les bureaux interna- 
tionaux, Geneva, 1892. Kazanski, P., The General Administrative Unions of States 
(in Russian), Odessa, 1897. Kazanski, " Die allgemeinen Staatenvereine," \njahrb. d. 
intemat. Vereinigung, Vol. VI, Berlin, 1904. Descamps, Les offices internationaux, 
Brussels, 1894. Lavollee, "Les unions internationales," in Rev. d'hist. dip!., Vol. I, 
p. 331. Fiore, " L'organisation juridique de la societe internationale," in Revue de 
droit international, 1899, pp. 105, 209. Olivart, Marques de, Tratado de derecho 
internacional publico, Vol. II, Madrid, 1903. Ullmann, Vblkerrecht, p. 282. Field, 
D. D., Draft Outlines of an International Code, 1872. Oppenheim, L., International 
Law, Vol. I, 1896. Schiicking, W., " L'organisation internationale," Revue generate de 
droit international, Vol. XV, p. 5. Nippold, O., Verfahren in volkerrechtl. Streitig- 
keiten, chap, i, Leipzig, 1907. Annuaire de la vie internationale, A. H. Fried, ed., 
Brussels, contains valuable data on international unions. Edition 1908-1909 contains 
the organic laws of most of the unions, public as well as private. 

2 Fischer, P. D., Die Telegraphie und das Vblkerrecht, Leipzig, 1876. Save- 
ney, E., " La telegraphie internationale," Revue de deux mondes, September and Oc- 
tober, 1872. Renault, L., Rapports internationaux. La poste et le telegraphe, Paris, 
1877. Carmichael, E., The Law relating to the Telegraph, the Telephone, and the Sub- 
marine Cable, London, 1903. Kazanski, P., " L'union telegraphique internationale," 
Revue de droit international, 1897, p. 451. Meili, Die internationalen Unionen, etc., 
Leipzig, 1889. Rolland, L., De la correspondance postale et telegraphique, 1901. 
Journal telegraphique, Bern, since 1869. Archiv f. Post u. Telegraphie, Vol. XXXII, 
pp. 65-89. Treaties in Archives diplomatiques. 


was organized ; another union embraced France, Belgium, and Prus- 
sia ; and through the convention of October 4, 1852, at Paris, all 
continental states which at that time had state telegraphs regulated 
the mutual relations of their services. Through such conventions as 
these the international relations in this matter were made more satis- 
factory, without, however, securing that uniformity and regularity 
which the interests of the various nations really demanded. The 
desire to attain such uniformity by a universal union led to the 
convening of a conference at Paris in 1865. Twenty states were 
represented by their diplomatic agents at Paris, assisted by expert 
delegates. The conference, therefore, had the double character of a 
diplomatic congress and a meeting of expert representatives of the 
various administrations. The results of the work of the conference 
were, in accordance with this double character, divided into a conven- 
tion, or treaty, signed by the diplomatic representatives, and a rtglc- 
ment controlling the administrative details, which was signed by the 
expert delegates. These conventions resulted in a great simplification' 
of the international service as well as in a considerable reduction in 
the tariff rates. Many difficulties of local opposition had to be over n; 
come before an agreement could be reached. The discussions of the 
conference are of exceptional interest, as it constitutes the first impor- 
tant attempt to arrange for permanent cooperation between sovereign 
states in administrative matters. As a precedent for international 
action, the conference of Paris must be accorded a very high impor- 
tance. The telegraphic union which was thus formed embraced all 
the states represented, and to these were added, during the subsequent 
three years, eight other states and colonies. 

The first regular conference of the union took place at Vienna in 
June, 1868. The double nature of the conference — composed of 
diplomatic and technical representatives — was preserved on this as 
well as on subsequent occasions. Five more members were admitted 
at this time, including the telegraph administration of British India. 
The most important act of the conference of 1868 was the establish- 
ment of a bureau having its seat at Bern, and acting as a central 
organ of the union. At the conference at Rome, in 1871, represent- 
atives of important private telegraph companies were admitted as 
advisory members. The conference at St. Petersburg (1875) recast 
the constitutional form of the union by distinguishing more carefully 


between the matters to be dealt with in the diplomatic convention 
and those to be included in the reglement. The convention was made, 
in a way, the constitution of the union, laying down the fundamental 
principles which were accepted as expressing the essential relations 
and duties of the members and the permanent basis of the adminis- 
tration. The reglement, on the other hand, was composed of those 
administrative regulations by which the details of the administration 
were fixed, and which were susceptible of gradual modification, cor- 
responding to changes in the character of the administrative relations. 
A similar basis of division had been used the preceding -year in the 
formation of the general postal union. Among the matters which 
were laid down by the convention are the general classification of 
telegrams, the admission of cipher dispatches, conditions of suspend- 
ing the sen-ice, and the right of declining responsibility for loss. The 
details of the tariff and the application of the above rules are fixed 
by the reglement. 

Among the principles established by the convention, the follow- 
ing are of general interest : the secrecy of correspondence is to be 
guarded ; the governments do not admit any responsibility on account 
of the service of international telegraphy, particularly for damages 
caused by delay in delivery of messages ; special wires are to be used 
for the international sendee. Telegrams are divided into three classes, 
— state telegrams, senice telegrams, and private telegrams. The 
contracting parties reserve the power to stop the transmission of every 
private telegram which may seem dangerous to the state or contrary 
to its laws ; when judged necessary, the telegraph service may be 
suspended entirely or partially. The convention further established 
the central organ or bureau mentioned above, and laid down a definite 
basis for international tariffs of charges. Periodical administrative con- 
ferences are to be held for the purpose of revising the convention and 
the reglement ; in the deliberations, each public telegraph administra- 
tion has the right to one vote. The revisions decided upon by the 
conference do not come into force until they have received the 
approbation of all the contracting states. 

The telegraphic union is at the present time composed of forty-eight 
states and colonies. Its regulations are observed also by the subma- 
rine cable companies. The union comprises all the important countries 
)f the world with the exception of the United States, China, Mexico, 



Peru, and Canada. It is likely that China will be a member before 
long. As only a very small fraction of the telegraph lines in the 
United States is under federal control, the government is not in a 
position to fulfill the main requisite to becoming a member of the 
union, namely, "being in a position to insure the general acceptance 
of the principles and rules of the international telegraph conference 
on the part of the private companies within its territory." Hence the 
repeated invitation to become a member has had to be declined. The 
American government has however been represented at the recent 
conferences of the union by delegates who are accorded the right to 
speak, but who do not vote. 

The great increase in telegraphic communication in the last quarter 
century is shown in the following table from a United States gov- 
ernment report, giving the combined statistics of all the countries 
in the union : 





J 3>339>742 


2 5'640,33 8 


In 1868 the telegraph lines of the countries belonging to the tele- 
graphic union (including cables) had a total length of 135,378 miles ; 
in 1885 it had increased to 407,997 miles ; and in 1905, to 786,340 

The international telegraphic bureau began operations on January 
1, 1869. It is under the supervision of the Swiss government, and 
its expenses are met by the states in proportion to the importance of 
their telegraphic intercourse. Its original budget allowance was only 
50,000 francs a year, of which, as a matter of fact, only 65 per cent 
on an average was used during the earlier period. The conference 
at St. Petersburg increased the budget to 60,000 francs, and it now 
stands at 100,000 francs a year. The attributes of the bureau as 
determined by the convention are as follows : It is to collect informa- 
tion concerning international telegraphy ; to give due form to demands 
for changes in the tariffs and in the service regulations, and to give 
notice of such changes ; and to make special studies and investi- 
gations when so directed by the conferences of the union. 


The reglement provides that the various telegraphic administra- 
tions shall keep each other informed, through the intermediary of 
the bureau, of all changes and improvements in their service and of 
interruptions in communication. They shall also furnish to the 
bureau all statistical information, so as to enable it to issue a com- 
plete annual account of the international telegraphic services. At the 
periodic conferences of the union, a program, worked out beforehand 
under the initiative of the state where the conference is to be held, 
and in consultation with the other governments interested, forms the 
basis of discussion. Committees are appointed to consider in detail 
the various propositions. The resolutions of the conference are not 
binding until accepted by all the administrations of the contracting 
states, although for their adoption by the conference only a majority 
vote of the delegates present is necessary. A change of the funda- 
mental convention would of course require the diplomatic action of 
all the treaty powers. It is a general principle illustrated by the 
telegraphic union that in such combinations the sovereignty of each 
member demands that an important act of the union should be under- 
taken only by unanimous consent ; but the members of the union, 
of course, remain free to conclude among themselves special agree- 
ments, not conflicting with the general treaty, which their special 
situation and interests may require. Should certain members refuse 
to accede to the establishment of a proposed reform, those desiring 
the change may form a restricted union for such special purpose. 

Wireless telegraphy} The invention of wireless telegraphy raised 
many novel problems in international law and administration. The 
legal questions involved are of great interest, even when considered 
only from the point of view of an individual sovereignty ; but as 
telegraphy is an operation which is an essential part in the intercourse 
between nations, the method and manner of telegraphic communi- 
cation and the rules regulating it could not have been satisfactorily 
settled without resorting to international agreement. As there had been 
an attempt on the part of Great Britain to build up a radiotelegraphic 

1 Meili, T., Die drahtlose Telegraphic Zurich, 1908. Landsberg, A., Die draht- 
lose Telegraphie, Marburg, 1909. Fauchille, P., " Le regime aerien, etc.," Revue ge- 
nerate de droit international, Vol. VIII, p. 414. Rolland, La telegraphie sans fil, 
Revue generate de droit international, Vol. XIII, p. 58. Lorentz, Les cables sous- 
marins et la telegraphie sans fil, Nancy, 1906. Docum. de la conference radiotel. de 
1906, Berlin. Report of Select Committee, Pari. Sess. Papers, No. 246, London, 1907. 



monopoly, other nations in self-defense favored an agreement by 
which such narrow control of an international service would be pre- 
vented. A preliminary conference on radiotelegraphy took place in 
Berlin in 1903. This was followed by a more formal conference in 
1906, at which a convention was framed and adopted. The conven- 
tion is accompanied by a protocol containing subsidiary arrangements, 
as well as a rcglcment defining more in detail the principles of the 
convention and laying down rules for the administration. The 
principal provisions of the convention are as follows : Coast stations 
and stations on ships are bound to exchange radiotelegrams without 
discrimination against any system. Wireless stations must accept 
appeals for aid from ships in distress in preference to any other mes- 
sages. Inland stations must be connected with the coast stations by 
special wires. Naval and military stations can of course be maintained 
and they will not be subject to the duty of furnishing public service. 
The provisions of the convention and rcglcment may be changed by 
common accord among the contracting parties. Conferences of pleni- 
potentiaries or simple administrative conferences shall take place 
periodically, the former dealing with the convention, the latter with 
the rcglcment. In these each country is entitled to one vote. Colonies 
or protectorates may be admitted to the union on their own account. 
A bureau is established, charged with furnishing every kind of in- 
formation upon radiotelegraphy, giving notice of changes in the con- 
vention or reglement, and in general performing all administrative 
labors in the interest of international radiotelegraphy. In case of 
dispute between two or more governments concerning the interpreta- 
tion or execution of the convention, the question may be submitted to 
arbitral decision. Each litigant then chooses another government as 
arbiter ; if these do not agree, they may choose a third government 
as umpire. The Italian delegation, while signing the convention, made 
a reservation to the effect that their government could not ratify until 
the expiration of its contracts with the Marconi Company. In the 
end the conference did not create a separate bureau, but charged the 
telegraphic bureau at Bern to act as a central office of correspondence 
and information in connection with radiotelegraphy, and authorized 
it to spend 40,000 francs a year for this branch of the service. 

The union for the protection of submarine cables will be taken up 
in connection with international police arrangements. 


The Universal Postal Union } The industrial and commercial de- 
velopment of the early nineteenth century brought with it a remark- 
able growth in postal business. The carrying of letters and other 
missives, originally a private enterprise, had been generally assumed 
by the various states during the second half of the eighteenth century, 
although it was only as recently as 1867 that the private postal service 
of the Thurn and Taxis family was taken over by the Prussian gov- 
ernment. As the postal system of each state was an independent 
unit, and had practically no administrative relations with other postal 
services, there was a great complexity in arrangements and rates as 
far as 'international business was concerned. This was exceedingly 
cumbersome and constituted a great impediment to commerce. Not 
only were the rates of postage very high, but the tariffs were confused 
by the fact that the charges varied according to the respective route of 
transit. Thus, for instance, there were three different rates between 
Germany and Austria, five different rates between Germany and 
Australia, four different rates between Germany and Italy, according 
to the particular route taken by the letter. Postage between Germany 
and Italy, for instance, varied from forty-eight to ninety pfennings per 
letter. A letter from the United States to Australia would pay either 
five, thirty-three, forty-five, or sixty cents, or $1.02 per half ounce, 
according to the route by which it was sent. Mail service was by no 
means frequent, but the fact that a letter was prepaid for a certain 
route often prevented it from taking advantage of a quicker means of 
communication. It might just have missed the mail for which it was 
prepaid, by a few hours, but would have to wait until another mail 
left by the same route before it would be forwarded. Charges in 
general were very high ; thus the rate upon a registered letter between 
Berlin and Rome amounted to four marks and ten pfennings. In 
making up a through rate, the transit charges of every country whose 
administration handled the letter would be included. The accounts of 
such mutual charges were exceedingly complicated and it took a vast 
amount of clerical work to keep them balanced. Further difficulty 
was introduced through the difference in weights and in currency, all 

1 Weithase, H., Geschichte des Weltpostvereins, Strassburg, 1899. Rolland, Meili, 
op. cit. Schroeter, C, Der Weltpostverein, 1900. Krains, H., L'Union postale uni- 
verselle, 1908. L'Union postale, Bern, since 1875. Treaties of October 9,-1874, 
June 1, 1878, and May 26, 1906, in Archives diplomatique*. L'Union postale universelle, 
published by the international bureau at Bern, 1900. 


of which had to be taken account of in computing rates. It will be 
apparent from these few facts and examples that the service lacked 
that rapidity and cheapness which alone could make it a real influence 
in the development of w r orld-wide business relations. A remedy could 
be created only through international action. Nor were treaty arrange- 
ments between individual nations sufficient to solve the problem. 
What was needed was an understanding between all the civilized 
nations of the world. 

Beginning with the year 1802, a large number of conventions for 
the purpose of regulating postal communication were concluded by 
groups of two or more nations. After the middle of the century this 
international interest assumed such proportions that the establishment 
of a regime of uniform regulations appeared highly desirable. In 
1862 the United States government officially took the lead in this 
matter ; the Department of State called attention to the many incon- 
veniences arising from the lack of unity, and suggested the holding of 
an international postal conference. Such a conference accordingly as- 
sembled at Paris in May and June, 1863, on which occasion fifteen 
states were represented ; though its avowed purpose was not as yet to 
produce definite treaty regulations, but, on the basis of full and free 
discussion, to clear up the general principles which should dominate 
international postal administration. Many practical difficulties in the 
way of a unified system revealed themselves, especially in connectior 
with the freedom of transit and the division of the proceeds from 
mail passing through two or more jurisdictions. In its resolutions 
the conference declared itself in favor of thirty-one principles, which 
covered, among other matters, the transmission of letters with declared 
value and of inferior classes of mail, a uniform system of tariffs, and 
the establishment of fixed transit dues. 

In the subsequent decade not much progress was made, but in 
1869 the German postal union began to negotiate for the calling of 
a new congress. The Franco-German War interrupted these negoti- 
ations, but they were taken up again at its conclusion, and finally 
Switzerland convoked a conference to meet in September, 1873. 
Russia and France at first indicated their unwillingness to take part 
in the enterprise. The French administration believed that the for- 
mation of a postal union would cause it severe financial loss on account 
of the lowering of transit charges. This consideration, combined with 



the fact that the movement had been initiated by the German govern- 
ment, led to the reluctant attitude assumed by France. Public opinion 
and business interests, however, compelled her to join in the for- 
mation of a union, even at the loss of five million francs a year in postal 
income. Thus after a short delay Russia and France agreed to meet, 
and the conference finally came together on September 15, 1874. 
The points to be considered had been very carefully prepared by the 
German postal administration, under the guidance of Postmaster- 
General Stephan, and the conference, therefore, was enabled immedi- 
ately to enter upon the discussion of specific problems of organization. 
Twenty-two states were represented at the conference ; the dele- 
gates were in most cases the heads of postal administrations, or high 
officials connected with the same. The excellence of the preparatory 
labors enabled the congress to finish its work in less than four weeks, 
and in this short time to create the constitution and regulations of 
the General Postal Union. As in the case of the telegraphic union, 
a convention fixed the general principles upon which the union and 
its administrative work are based, while details were worked out in 
tj a rcglcment. The leading principles established were the complete 
l\ freedom of transit from one jurisdiction to another, and the creation 
f of a practically unified postal territory comprising all the treaty states. 
j It is, of course, necessary to distinguish between freedom and gratui- 
tousness of transit. The latter could not possibly be established, for 
states of central location, like Belgium and France, had too large and 
direct a financial interest in the matter ; but transit charges were 
reduced to fixed payments on the total net weight. This swept away 
the whole maze of accounts ; at present mails in transit are weighed 
during four weeks every six years, as a basis for charges. The postal 
convention of 1874 was ratified by the action of the diplomatic rep- 
resentatives of the powers at Bern, in May, 1875. 

A very important postal congress was held at Paris in 1878. The 
French representatives favored the conclusion of an entirely new 
convention, but the action taken did not go beyond a modification 
in some details of the convention of 1874. The union at this time 
assumed the name of Universal Postal Union. The number of states 
and colonies represented had risen to thirty-two. While the organi- 
zation of the union was not materially modified, the voting right of 
colonies was regulated so as to give one vote each to British India 


and Canada, and one vote each to the combined French, Spanish, 
Dutch, Portuguese, and Danish colonies. Subsequent congresses 
(Lisbon, 1885; Vienna, 1891 ; Washington, 1897; Rome, 1906) 
concerned themselves very largely with the details of administration. 
The congress of Vienna, however, instructed the international bureau 
of the postal union to act as a clearing house for the adjustment of 
the mutual financial claims of the various national postal administra- 
tions. Each administration forwards to the bureau a monthly state- 
ment of its accounts with every other national administration. The 
bureau balances these accounts, collects from the administrations 
whose balance is unfavorable, and pays over the proceeds to the 
nations entitled to a credit. This congress also provided for an in- 
ternational exchange of newspaper subscriptions. In many European 
states subscriptions to periodicals and newspapers may be arranged 
for through the postal sendee. The extension of this system so as to 
enable a subscriber to give his order and pay his subscription for some 
paper published in a foreign country, at the post office of his home 
town, was made possible by the arrangements adopted at Vienna. At 
this congress the Australian colonies were admitted to the union with 
the right of one vote. The congress of Rome, in 1906, agreed upon 
a further reduction in the charges by permitting a greater weight to 
be carried in letters. By divers groupings of member-states, numer- 
ous restricted unions for special purposes have been formed. 

The convention of the universal postal union, as revised by the 
congress of Rome in 1 906, lays down certain principles of law regard- 
ing the relations and duties of the various postal administrations, and 
establishes the organization of the union as well as the functions of 
congresses, conferences, and of the bureau. The right of transit is 
guaranteed throughout the entire territory of the union. Transit 
charges, to be paid to each of the countries traversed, are based upon 
weight and distance. Thus, for instance, one franc fifty centimes is 
paid per kilogram of letters for distances not exceeding three thousand 
kilometers. The rates of postage on the different classes of mail 
matter are fixed on a uniform standard throughout the entire extent 
of the union ; the rates for registry, too, are made uniform, although 
non-European countries are allowed to charge a double fee. The con- 
gress of Rome established the principle that postal administrations 
are responsible for the loss of a registered article, to the amount of 


fifty francs. It also provided for prepaid reply coupons, which are 
issued in all the countries of the union and may be sent to any 
other country, there to be exchanged for a stamp to frank the reply. 
The convention contains special prohibitions with respect to things 
not to be sent through the international mails, though it " does not 
impliedly alter the legislation of any country as regards anything not 
expressly provided for by its stipulations"; nor does it restrict the 
right of the contracting parties to conclude treaties with a view to 
making special postal arrangements with each other. 

The duties of the various organs of the union are outlined in the 
convention. The administrative organ of the union is the interna- 
tional postal bureau, located at Bern. It is under the supervision of 
the Swiss government. Its duties are to gather, publish, and distribute 
information of all kinds on the international postal service ; upon the 
demand of the parties interested, to give advice on controversial ques- 
tions ; to give regular form to propositions for the modification of the 
rtglement ; to notify the various administrations of adopted changes ; 
to facilitate the operations of international accounting ; and, in gen- 
eral, to make such studies and engage in such work as shall be in 
the interests of the postal union. The official language is French, and 
the bureau publishes a monthly journal, L Union post ale, in French, 
English, and German. A very important article of the convention 
provides for the settlement of disputes by arbitration. In any case of 
disagreement upon the interpretation of the convention or concerning 
the responsibility of any administration, each of the governments 
concerned chooses another member of the union not directly inter- 
ested in the matter ; if necessary, the arbitrators thus selected choose 
another administration as umpire. Decisions are determined by a 
majority of votes. 

A congress of the union shall be held not later than five years after 
the acts adopted at the previous congress have entered into force, or 
it may be called when demanded by two thirds of the governments. 
The congress is composed of plenipotentiaries empowered to intro- 
duce changes both in the convention and the reglement ; whereas 
the conference is an administrative body which deals only with the 
latter. In the interval between me^ings of the congress proposals for 
changes in the convention may be made and acted upon ; in such 
cases six months must be given for the administrations to examine 


the proposals before communicating their vote. For a change in the 
more important articles unanimity of votes is required, but articles 
regulating minor details may be modified by a two-thirds vote. If the 
question concerns only the interpretation of the convention, a simple 
majority is sufficient. Countries outside of the union may be admitted 
to membership upon their demand. The protectorates and colonies be- 
longing to European countries and to the United States are arranged in 
seventeen groups, each one of which is considered as a single country 
or administration. 

Further important organic arrangements are contained in the rbgle- 
menty though the larger part of this is taken up with specific rules 
concerning the transmission of mail matter and accountability with 
respect to transit charges. The rkglement divides the countries of the 
union into seven classes in order to determine the portion of budget 
charges to be borne by each. Each class contributes in the propor- 
tion of a certain number of units. The annual budget of the bureau 
at the present time is 125,000 francs. The duties of the bureau are 
more specifically laid down, and arrangements are made for communi- 
cations to be addressed to it by the governments ; its function of 
settling and liquidating accounts between the administrations is 
developed with special minuteness. It is the duty of the interna- 
tional bureau to effect the balance and liquidation of accounts of every 
description relative to the international postal service between admin- 
istrations of countries of the union who desire to make use of this 
service. In 1907 the financial transactions of the bureau acting as a 
clearing house amounted to 76,916,000 francs. 

The rtglement may be changed in the same manner by the con- 
gresses, and in intervals between them by the governments, as in the 
case of the convention. 

It may be noted that the tendency of development in the postal 
union has not been toward giving greater powers to majorities of 
member states. In 1878, out of twenty-three articles of the conven- 
tion only six required unanimity of votes for their modification ; at ' 
present as many as fifteen require unanimity, while only fourteen 
may be modified through a smaller vote. 

The postal union now comprises all the countries and colonies of 
the world with the exception of Morocco, Afghanistan, Baluchistan, 1 
and a few Pacific islands. China and Ethiopia are the most recent 




accessions to the union. A conception of the vast extent of the postal 
business of the world may be gained from the following figures : In 
1905 there were mailed in the territory of the union 32,140 million 
pieces of mail matter; the money-order business amounted to 6432 
millions of dollars ; the declared value of objects sent amounted to 
15,200 million dollars. 

In 1909 a beautiful monument was erected at Bern to commemorate 
the founding of the postal union. Upon the occasion of its unveil- 
ing, a great many tributes were paid to the remarkable development 
and influence of the union. Expressions such as the following from 
the speech of M. Deucher, president of the Swiss confederation, are 
significant : 

The old assembly house of the Bernese diet bears this inscription : " It is in 
this building that the universal postal union was founded on October the ninth, 
1874." To-day, thirty-five years later, there rises on one of the most beautiful 
sites of our capital, the grand commemorative monument, the unveiling of which 
we are met to celebrate. 

The five genii which surround the globe represent the universal importance of 
the union and attest the power gained by a great idea, for the realization of which 
nations went hand in hand, regardless of the difference of race, language, and 
religion, political and economic interests, — a triumph of civilization and culture, a 
bond of union between the peoples of the world. The universal postal union, a 
work supremely pacific, constitutes a real confederation of the nations, the repre- 
sentatives of which to-day turn their eyes to the international monument and 
express their gratitude to the master who created it. 

A number of restricted unions have been formed for special pur- 
poses. The objects for which they were founded are in no way incon- 
sistent with the purposes and activities of the general union, and all 
of them make use of the international bureau as their agent. There 
are also a great many treaties between individual countries concerning 
such matters as special postage rates. The following restricted unions 
are now in existence : first, the union for the exchange of money 
orders, founded in 1878 and comprising at present thirty-three states ; 
second, the union for the transmission of packages of declared value 
registered and insured, founded at the same -time and comprising 
thirty members ; third, a parcels-post union, founded in 1880, with a 
present membership of thirty-nine states ; fourth, a union for the col- 
lection of payments through the postal service, founded in 1885, with 
twenty-one members ; fifth, a union for the use of books of identity, 
with twenty members ; and sixth, the union for facilitating subscription 


to periodicals through the postal administration, with twenty-four 
members. The unions admit new members upon application. Their 
membership is constantly increasing, and most of them will ultimately 
coalesce with the general union as their object becomes more univer- 
sally important. Meetings of these restricted unions are usually held 
together with the congresses of the universal postal union. The 
United States is not a member of any of these restricted unions, 
though it has made special arrangements with some countries, such 
as Canada, Mexico, Great Britain, and Germany, respecting lower 
rates of postage and other postal matters. 

The International Union of Railway Freight Transportation} 
From the earliest days of railway development in Europe the necessity 
for international arrangements with respect to the transit of merchan- 
dise from one country to another was apparent. As early as 1847 
there was founded the union of German railway administrations, 
which is still in existence, comprising one hundred eight admin- 
istrations in Germany, Austria, Hungary, Holland, Belgium, Rou- 
mania, and Russia. The affairs of the union are administered through 
the roval railway " direction " at Berlin, and every two years there is 
a general meeting for the revision of the regulations. The work of 
the conference is prepared by eight standing committees on various 
branches of the sendee, such as freight traffic, passenger traffic, and 
exchange of cars. 

The idea of a more general union for railway transportation was 
first suggested by two experts, de Seigneux and Christ, of Switzer- 
land, who petitioned the Swiss federal council to call an international 
conference. Preliminary plans for such a union were worked out in 
Switzerland and in Germany, and in 1S78 the first conference met 
at Bern. It was composed of expert delegates of the following coun- 
tries: Germany, Austria, Hungary, Belgium, France, Italy, Luxemburg, 

1 Proces-verbaux des deliberations de la conference reunie a Berne au sujet d'une 
convention internationale en matiere de transports par chemins de fer, Bern, 1S7S, 
18S1, 1886. Congres international des chemins de fer, comptes rendus, at the dates 
and places of various conferences. Das internationale Ubereinkommen iiber den 
Eisenbahn- und Frachtverkehr, Bern, 1901. Zeitsckrift fur den internationalen Eisen- 
bahntransport, Bern, since 1S93. Rosenthal, Ed., Internationales Eisenbahnfracht- 
recht, Jena, 1S94. Olivier, E., Des chemins de fer en droit internal., Paris, 18S5. 
Eger, G., Das internationale Ubereinkommen, etc., Breslau, 1S93. Meili, Das Recht 
der Verkehrs- und Transportanstalten, iSSS. Gerstner, Th., Der neueste Stand des 
Berner Ubereinkommens, Berlin, 1901. Bulletin du Congrh internat. des chemins 
defer, Brussels. 


the Netherlands, Russia, and Switzerland. The two prime movers 
for the conference acted as its secretaries. In a session occupying 
a month, the conference, on the basis of the preliminary studies, 
worked out the text of a convention concerning railway freight traffic, 
a convention creating an international commission, and supplementary 
ordinances. The results of these labors were referred to the various 
governments which had been represented at the conference. They 
were carefully studied by the administrations concerned, and memo- 
rials suggesting improvements and modifications were handed in by 
the latter. A second conference was convened in 1881. It also met 
at Bern, and the same powers were represented. This conference 
introduced a number of important modifications in the convention. It 
suggested the creation of a central bureau in place of the commission 
provided for by the first conference. So careful were the administra- 
tions and governments interested that even yet they were not ready to 
accept the results of all these labors. After additional consideration 
a third conference met at Bern in 1886, which molded the convention 
and the regulations into their final form. It also adopted a protocol 
for the holding of a final conference of diplomatic representatives at 
which the convention might receive formal sanction. This meeting 
ultimately took place in 1890. It accepted the convention as adopted 
by the third conference, with some minor changes. Ratifications were 
exchanged on September 30, 1892, and the union as well as its cen- 
tral bureau began operations on January 1, 1893. 

The main portion of the convention thus carefully worked out by 
the best expert talent of continental Europe is composed of a state- 
ment of general principles as well as of more detailed rules concerning 
the transportation of railway freight from one country to another. 
The fundamental principle established by the convention is that 
transportation is obligatory, and that therefore no article of ordinary 
merchandise can be refused acceptance. Among the chief matters 
included are the continuity of transportation under a single bill of 
lading, the form of which is determined by the convention ; uniform 
regulations with respect to packing and to the transport of dangerous 
substances and breakable articles ; the responsibility of railway ad- 
ministrations, in international freight transportation, for delays, losses, 
and damages to goods. The competent tribunal for the trial of rail- 
way cases is that of the domicile of the company or administration 


affected. Judgments are however made executory in any of the con- 
tracting countries, without a revision of the substance of the litiga- 
tion. The arbitration of controversies between different administra- 
tions is also provided for. The inclusion of passenger traffic in the 
convention, though suggested, was not seriously considered at the 
time because of the feeling that to introduce so difficult a matter 
might greatly embarrass the achievement of a plan for united action. 
The organization of the union as determined by the convention is 
as follows : The administrative organ is the central bureau, which is 
located at Bern. Its functions are, first, to receive communications 
from the contracting states and from the railway administrations 
interested, and to transmit them to other states and administrations ; 
second, to gather, arrange, and publish information of all kinds which 
may be important to the international freight service ; third, at the 
demand of parties, to pronounce arbitral sentences on controversies 
which may arise between different railways ; fourth, to give due form 
to suggestions for the modification of the present convention, and to 
propose to the treaty states the calling of a new conference ; fifth, 
to facilitate between the different administrations financial operations 
necessitated by the international freight service, such as the collec- 
tion of arrears, and the maintenance of stable credit relations among 
the various railways. The bureau, therefore, acts as agent for the 
liquidation of accounts due from one railway administration to another, 
and the method of demand and collection, as well as the responsibility 
of the respective states for such dues, are regulated in detail by the 
reglement. The central office also edits an authoritative list of railway 
lines with international connections. In the special reglement for the 
central bureau the federal council of Switzerland is given authority 
to organize and supervise that institution. The expenses of the bureau 
are not to exceed one hundred thousand francs per year ; they are 
borne by the contracting states in proportion to the length of their 
railway lines, which form part of the international service. The cen- 
tral office is authorized to issue a publication in French and German 
(Zeitschrift fur den internationalen Eisenbahntransport ; Bulletin des 
transports internationaux par chemins de fer). 

In agreement with the terms of the convention, the Swiss federal 
council has established a central bureau composed of a director, a 
vice director, a juristic and a technical secretary, and the necessary 


clerical personnel. The international office, like the similar bureaus 
of the postal and the telegraph union, is placed under the direct 
supervision of the Swiss Department of Post Offices and Railways, 
and the general regulations made for these bureaus are also made 
applicable in this case. The most striking function of the central 
office is that of pronouncing judgment in controversies between dif- 
ferent railway administrations. According to the ordinance of the 
federal council, the court in such cases is composed of the director 
of the bureau and two arbitrators. The latter, as well as two substi- 
tutes, are appointed by the federal council. At the desire of the 
parties, or in cases of small importance, the director himself may act 
as judge without the assistance of other referees. The control of 
the steps of the arbitral procedure is in his hands and he also pre- 
sides in the court. In case of disagreement between him and the 
arbitrators, he may call in the two substitutes, and should there be an 
equality of votes, his opinion is decisive. The services of this tribunal 
are gratuitous as far as the parties to the controversy are concerned. 
The judicial function of the central office has been appealed to in 
numerous cases. Prominent experts have acted as arbitrators, per- 
plexing controversies have been settled, and the arrangement has 
given general satisfaction. 

The first conference for the revision of the convention took place 
in Paris in 1896. The modifications which it introduced were of a 
technical nature. After prolonged negotiations they finally went into 
effect in October, 1901. On account of these delays a long period 
elapsed between the first and second revision conferences, the latter 
of which did not meet until 1905. The feeling at this time was that, 
the convention having proved veiy acceptable in detail and successful 
in its operations, and its provisions having entered into the adminis- 
trative practices of all the countries concerned, changes should be 
made only with great care. Future conferences should not consider 
matters which have not been carefully examined by the contracting 
parties before the conference, with a view to ascertaining the bearing 
of new propositions upon their respective systems and instructing 
their delegates accordingly. The conference concluded that it would 
be sufficient to have a general meeting once in five years instead 
of every three years as provided in the original treaty. Though im- 
portant modifications were introduced in the technical details of the 

3 2 


convention, they did not affect the organization of the union. The 
annual budget of the central office was increased to one hundred 
ten thousand francs, and arrangements were made for instituting a 
pensioning system for its officials and employees. 

At this conference an effort was made to have the arbitral function 
of the central office extended to controversies between the railways 
and the general public. This change was, however, not sanctioned, 
though the conference declared that officials of the central bureau 
might personally act as arbitrators. But such judgments are not to 
be published in the official bulletin. Several other proposals failed of 
adoption. The Swiss federal council favored the extension of the 
union to the transportation of passengers and baggage. The Russian 
government desired to have the bureau instructed to work out and 
publish a complete statistical report on international railways, their 
traffic and operation. The latter proposition was not accepted be- 
cause the extent and cost of the undertaking were not perfectly clear 
to the conference, while the former appeared to necessitate previous 
negotiations among the governments concerned. The idea of making 
an international agreement concerning passenger traffic was however 
taken up again by the Swiss federal council, which, on February 9, 
1909, resolved to submit to the states who are members of the inter- 
national union a draft treaty concerning this subject. This conven- 
tion is at the present time being considered by the member states. 
It includes international arrangements concerning the carriage of 
passengers from country to country, as well as the transport of bag- 
gage and of express parcels. Its adoption, which is considered a 
question of only a short time, will bring the entire railway traffic of 
the principal states of continental Europe within the realm of inter- 
national agreement and regulation. The codification of the interna- 
tional railway law concerning freight has been in every way successful, 
facilitating commerce and simplifying the work of the various admin- 
istrations concerned. 

While the union under discussion comprises only states of conti- 
nental Europe, there is an organization of a semipublic nature, the In- 
ternational Association of Railway Congresses, which includes a much 
larger number of nations. It was founded in 1885, for the purpose 
of establishing an interchange of experience in railway management, 
and its membership now consists of forty-eight governments and four 


hundred thirteen railway administrations. The seventh congress was 
held at Washington in 1905 ; the eighth, at Bern in 19 10. 

A convention was adopted by an international conference at Bern 
in 1882, for the purpose of securing uniformity in the technic of 
railway administration. Two subsequent conferences, in 1886 and in 
1907, continued this work. Eleven continental European states have 
taken part in these conferences and ratified one or more of the con- 
ventions. The latter deal specifically with such subjects as the gauge 
of railways, the character of through carriages, and the construction 
and maintenance of rolling stock. 

Automobile conference. In October, 1909, there was held a con- 
ference, at which delegates from eighteen countries were present, 
for the purpose of working out a convention embodying international 
regulations for motor cars. The principal countries of Europe, as 
well as the United States, were represented by official delegates. 
The convention adopted lays down the conditions to be fulfilled by 
automobiles and by their drivers before international road certificates 
may be granted to them. It controls the issuance and validity of 
these certificates, and requires that each motor car shall carry, for 
purposes of identification, its number, as well as a large-sized letter 
establishing its nationality. Moreover, rules with respect to the posi- 
tion of signposts on the public roads are laid down, and it is pro- 
vided that in the meeting and passing of vehicles, the customs of the 
locality in which the driver finds himself must be strictly respected. 
This convention may be looked upon as an administrative arrange- 
ment. The delegates of some of the countries did not represent the 
department of foreign affairs but another administrative department 
of their government. While such delegates do not have a formal 
right to bind their country by signing the treat}', their participation 
will ordinarily assure the enforcement of the convention by the 
administrations which they represented. Arrangements of this kind 
have been entered into at other times, as, for instance, in the case 
of the South American agreement respecting dactyloscopy, which is 
discussed below. The convention was signed by the delegates of 
sixteen governments, and by April, 19 10, it had been formally rati- 
fied by the following : France, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Belgium, 
Spain, Great Britain, Italy, and Monaco ; so that it came into force 
May 1, 19 10. 


Navigation} The methods and rules of navigation on the high 
seas are a matter in which naturally all seafaring nations are inter- 
ested. It is, therefore, not surprising that signals and routes have 
been regulated to a certain extent by international cooperation. A 
signal code was first adopted by England and France in 1864. 
Other nations from time to time joined in accepting this code, which 
was given a thorough revision in 1899. At the present time forty 
states have adopted it. Through the use of flags of various sizes, 
forms, and colors, ships are enabled to communicate with each other, 
and thus a veritable international sign language has been created. 

England and France also led the way in the adoption of conven- 
tional rules with respect to routes of navigation, as well as night and 
fog signals. These rules also have been remodeled from time to 
time, especially at the conference of Washington in 1889. They 
are at present accepted by thirty states, and though their observance 
has not been made obligatory on ships, they are as a matter of fact 
generally observed by navigators. 

The work of harmonizing and eventually of codifying international 
maritime law has been discussed at the annual conferences of the 
International Maritime Committee, which have taken place regularly 
since 1896. The committee is the central organ of national associa- 
tions in twelve leading states ; it has its seat in Antwerp and pub- 
lishes a bulletin. Another body dealing with maritime interests is 
the International Association of the Marine, which was founded on 
French initiative. At its meeting at Lisbon in 1904, on which occa- 
sion the delegates of eight governments participated, the association 
voted for the establishment of an international maritime bureau. 
These private and semipublic endeavors have been supplemented by 
the work of an international conference on maritime law, convened at 
Brussels in 1905 on the invitation of the Belgian government. At 
this conference thirteen powers were represented and a convention 
project was adopted, covering the law of salvage and collision. This 
convention was further discussed and elaborated at a second confer- 
ence held at Brussels in 1909. 

1 Protocol and Proceedings, International Marine Conference, 1889, Washington, 
1890. Bulletin du Comite maritime international, Antwerp. Revue internal, de droit 
marit., Vol. XIX, pp. 800, 937. Ann. de droit commerc, Vol. XVIII, p. 323. Govare, 
P., in Revue de droit international prive, Vol. I, p. 593. Fromageot, H., Projet de 
creation d'un bureau international de la marine, Paris, 1902. 


There also exists a great semipublic union of navigation interests, 
the Permanent International Association of Navigation Congresses, 
which was founded in 1900. It numbers at present among its asso- 
ciates 25 governments and 1390 private organizations. Its annual 
budget is 75,000 francs, of which the states contribute 60,000 francs. 

II. Economic Interests 

The Metric Union} One of the most serious inconveniences of 
international commerce arises from a difference in the standards of 
weights and measures. The adoption of a uniform standard was 
therefore urged at an early date by the representatives of commerce 
and by scientific associations. In 1867 the international geodetic 
conference at Berlin pronounced in favor of the universal use of the 
metric system. It also suggested the creation of an international 
commission which should supervise the keeping and duplication of 
standard units of measure, in order to avoid a gradual divergence 
among the various national standards. In 1869 the French govern- 
ment created a metric commission (Commission d?t metre), composed 
of French and foreign members, for the purpose of advancing unity 
of measurements. A conference called by this commission discussed 
the scientific methods required for assuring the stability of standards, 
and suggested the creation of an international bureau. For the pur- 
pose of carrying out these suggestions a diplomatic conference was 
convoked in Paris in 1875, which adopted a treaty on the subject. 
Under this treaty there was created a bureau of weights and measures, 
installed at Sevres, near Paris. It is the function of this bureau to 
preserve the original standards of measurement, and, upon request, 
to furnish accurate copies to governments and scientific institutions. 
The bureau is under the supervision of a committee representing the 
states who are members of the union. From time to time there is 
held a general conference composed of delegates of the treaty states. 
The conference confines itself to the discussion of scientific methods 
for perfecting the accurate reproduction of standards of measurement. 
The bureau has become an important scientific center for metrological 
investigations. It is supported by contributions from the treaty states, 
and by fees received for reproductions of the prototype measures. 

1 Bigourdan, G., Le systeme metrique des poids et mesures, Paris, 1901. Moy- 
nier, op. cit., p. 57. Olivart, op. a'/., Vol. II, p. 477. 



The French government has dealt in a very liberal spirit with this 
institution. Not only are the buildings occupied by the bureau free 
from taxation, but the foreign members of the commission who 
reside at Paris are allowed a like exemption. Moreover, the bureau 
at Sevres has always had some foreigners on its staff. 

Patents, trade-marks, and copyrights} As a result of long-con- 
tinued discussion on the part of persons and associations inter- 
ested in the development of industrial inventions, the French 
government, in 1880, issued an invitation for a conference on the 
protection of industrial property, to be held at Paris. At a second 
conference held at the same place in 1883 there was adopted and 
signed by the representatives of eleven states a convention for the 
protection of patent rights and trade-marks. The purpose of the 
union thus formed was not the complete unification of the respec- 
tive laws of the member states, but rather the creation of adminis- 
trative rules by which the citizens of one state would be permitted, 
without expensive formalities, to come under the protection of the 
patent and trade-mark laws of the other contracting states. In 
the words of the convention, ' The subjects or citizens of each of 
the contracting states, as well as subjects and citizens of states which 
are not parties to the union, who are domiciled or have industrial or 
commercial establishments within the territory of any state of the 
union, shall enjoy in all the other states of the union the advantages 
which their respective laws accord at present or shall accord in future to 
their own nationals. Consequently they will have the same protection 
as the latter and the same legal recourse against any infringement of 
their rights, upon having complied with the formalities and conditions 
imposed upon nationals by the internal legislation of each state." 

1 Bergne, J., Internat. Copyrights Union, L.Q.R., Vol. Ill, p. 14. Briggs, Wm., 
Internat. Copyright, London, 1906. Darras, A., Du droit des auteurs et des artistes 
dans les rapports internationaux, 1SS7. Delzons, in Revue de deux moudes, Vol. 
XLVIII, p. 895. Dubois, J., " De la revision en 1908 de la convention de Berne, "Jon r/i. 
de droit international privi, Vol. XXXVI, p. 661. Frey-Godet, "La protection inter- 
nationale des marques industriels," in Zeitschrift filr Volkerrecht und Bundesstaatsrecht, 
Vol. I, p. 329. Olivart, op. cit., Vol. II, p. 402. Poinsard, L., in Annates des sciences 
politiqaes, Vol. XXV, p. 67. Soldan, L'Union intern, pour la protection des ceuvres 
litteraires et artistiques, 1887. Annuaire de l'Association internationale pour la pro- 
tection de la propriete industrielle. Recueil des conventions et traites concernant 
lapropriete litteraire et artistique ; published by the international bureau, Bern, 1903. 
" Paris Copyrights Congress," in Nation, Vol. LXXI, p. 226. U.S. House of Rep r. Doc. 
1208, Sixtieth Congress. International Copyright Union, Bulletin No. ij, Copyright 
Office, Washington, 190S. 


An administrative arrangement such as this might of course lead 
the way to a gradual assimilation of the various systems of national 
patent law themselves, although this would not be its immediate 
object. A central organ of the union, the international bureau of 
industrial property, was established at Bern. The functions of this 
office were at first confined entirely to correspondence, investigation, 
and publication. It was charged to bring together statistics and other 
useful information, to issue a periodical {La propriete industrielle), 
and to prepare preliminary studies for the conferences. The sugges- 
tion to make it an office for the registration of trade-marks and patents 
did not at first find favor. At the second revisionary conference, held 
at Madrid in 1891, the proposal for a trade-mark registry was re- 
peated. Though this arrangement is not as yet acceptable to all the 
treaty states, it has been adopted by ten of them, who thus form a 
restricted union under the more general convention. Under this 
system the registration, at the international bureau, of a trade-mark 
already registered in one of the treaty states has the effect of giving 
protection in all the other contracting states without any further special 
registration in any of them. This method of procedure is a great 
simplification, and it materially reduces the expenses of industrial 
companies on account of trade-marks. The net income of this special 
service is distributed pro rata among the states of the restricted union. 
This arrangement, by which the international bureau becomes an ad- 
ministrative organ of the treaty states, is admirable for its directness. 
It does not involve any change in the national law, but simply entitles 
the person or firm registering a trade-mark to whatever protection is 
given in the respective treaty state to this form of commercial prop- 
erty. Another restricted union was established at the Madrid confer- 
ence among eight states, for the purpose of preventing fraudulent 
indications of the place of origin of merchandise. 

The general union was strengthened in 1903 by the accession of 
the German Empire, which, up to that time, had held aloof. It com- 
prises at the present time seventeen countries, including the United 
States, in which country the conference of 191 1 will be held. 

The formation of the union for the protection of industrial property 
served as an encouragement to those men who desired to secure simi- 
lar international privileges to works of art and literature. An inter- 
national literary and artistic society had been formed in Paris in 1878 


under the presidency of Victor Hugo. Its main purpose was to bring 
about a more complete protection of literary property. At a confer- 
ence held at Bern, in 1883, the association worked out a general 
project of a convention for the international protection of copyrights. 
Thereupon the Swiss government was prevailed upon to call an official 
conference for the purpose of discussing and adopting a convention 
of this kind. Three diplomatic conferences were held in successive 
years, beginning in 1884, which resulted in the formation of the in- 
ternational union for the protection of literary and artistic property, 
and the adoption of the convention of 1886 on international copyright. 
The conditions existing before the creation of the union were in 
every way unsatisfactory. The systems of legislation of the different 
countries in matters of copyright were conflicting. Some of them 
granted no protection whatever to foreign authors ; any privileges that 
had been secured by the latter were based on treaties between indi- 
vidual countries, which differed greatly from one another. This 
condition was much improved by the adoption of the Bern convention 
of 1886, though indeed it constituted only a first step in the evolution 
of a satisfactory universal law of copyright. Such a law is not at pres- 
ent feasible on account of the jealousy of individual states in behalf 
of their own legislation. The national laws were however affected in 
two ways. In the first place, the convention provided that authors 
who are citizens of one of the contracting countries shall have their 
works protected in all the others. This was effected without a change 
in the laws, by giving an author such protection abroad as the existing 
legislation in each country may accord to its citizens or subjects. But 
in addition to this, certain general principles were laid down to which 
national legislation must conform. These latter rules constitute the be- 
ginning of a uniform system of copyright law, though they are of such 
a nature as still to leave a wide latitude for national discretion. The 
main principles, established in 1886, are as follows : Writings, music, 
works of fine art, and scientific designs are protected for a time 
which must not exceed the period of protection accorded either in 
the country of origin or in the country in which protection is sought. 
The right of translation is retained by the author for a period of ten 
years after the publication of the original. Dramatic works are pro- 
tected against production in the same manner and for the same period 
as writings. 



A conference for the purpose of revising the Act of Bern was held 
at Paris in 1896. It worked out and adopted an interpretative decla- 
ration and an additional act. The former settled a number of disputed 
points in connection with the first convention. The interpretations 
adopted were not satisfactory to Great Britain and were not ratified 
by that country. The additional act advanced the general work of in- 
ternational legislation and added to the principles established in 1886. 
This act was not adopted by Norway nor by Haiti. The principles 
established in the additional Act of Paris are as follows : Posthumous 
works are accorded protection. Authors who are not citizens of states 
in the union are personally protected when once their works have 
been published in, and receive the protection of, one of the member 
states. In other words, it is not the publisher, but the author, who is 
intended to have the benefit. Architectural works, as well as photo- 
graphs, are accorded international rights. 

In November, 1908, a second conference of revision was held at 
Berlin. It was a very important congress, attended by delegates of 
the fifteen members of the union, as well as of nineteen other nations 
who, though not members, had been invited by the German govern- 
ment. The latter included Argentina, the United States, and Russia. 
The conference adopted a complete code, intended to displace the 
former conventions. The most cardinal change made is that, while 
under the convention of 1886 foreign authors were protected accord- 
ing to the laws of their own country, it has now been established that 
the manner of protection abroad shall be governed by the laws of the 
country in which it is sought. This proposal was made by Germany 
on the ground that the problem of ascertaining the exact copyright law 
of other countries constitutes a great difficulty for the national judges. 
France supported the proposal, with the reservation that the time of 
protection should still be governed by the laws of the country of the 
author, because otherwise the countries giving the longest protection 
would be at a disadvantage. The German proposal was adopted by 
the conference. Hereafter, therefore, each country will protect liter- 
ary works according to its own law. It was further enacted that the 
normal time of protection should be that of France, extending to fifty 
years after the author's death ; but it is also provided that, if this du- 
ration is not uniformly adopted by all the countries of the union, the 
period of copyright shall not exceed the time fixed by the country of 


origin. The system of 1908 approaches more closely the ideal of a 
universal protection, and it admits foreigners directly to the privi- 
leges accorded under the local jurisdiction. The law of international 
copyright was further developed in the following manner : Architec- 
tural drawings are to be universally protected, whereas heretofore 
protection was made dependent upon the existence of national legis- 
lation. International rights are also given to choreographic pieces and 
pantomimes, to photographs, and to reproductions of music on mechan- 
ical instruments. An attempt was made to extend the privileges of 
the union to works of decorative art, or art applied to industry, but 
all that could be obtained was protection as far as the internal legis- 
lation of each country permits. The delegates of France, Germany, 
and Italy favored universal rights in behalf of industrial art, viewing 
the latter as an expression of creative thought in the same sense as 
applies to the fine arts. The proposal was opposed by England and 
Switzerland. The law relating to journalistic writings also was more 
definitely settled. Works of fiction appearing in periodicals are com- 
pletely protected. Scientific, literary, artistic, and political articles 
may be reproduced unless the author has expressly reserved his right. 
In all cases the duty to give credit to the source is imposed. News 
items are not accorded any protection. The law, as here stated, had 
in its main features been settled by the first convention. The conven- 
tion of Berlin completed the work and assimilated political articles to 
those of a literary character. It will be apparent from the above that, 
while the convention of Berlin grants protection according to the 
law of the country where rights are sought, it also continues the work 
begun before, of making the legislative norms in the various treaty 
states more and more harmonious and uniform. 

Though the convention constitutes a universal code, it is rather a 
model to which future development will conform, than an act whose 
integral acceptance on the part of all the members of the union 
is assured. The convention of Berlin declares, in Article 27 : " The 
present convention shall replace, in the relations between the con- 
tracting states, the convention of Bern of September 9, 1886, includ- 
ing the additional article and the formal protocol of the same day, as 
well as the additional act and the interpretative declaration of May 4, 
1896. The convention and acts above mentioned shall remain in 
force in the relations with the states which do not ratify the present 


convention. The states signatory to the present convention may, at 
the time of the exchange of ratifications, declare that they intend, 
upon such and such a point, still to remain bound by the provisions 
of the conventions to which they have previously subscribed." The 
convention was signed by the delegates of fifteen states. According 
to its terms, as seen above, it may be adopted with reservations, or 
even the former conventions may still remain in force in toto between 
individual members of the union. Nevertheless the treaty has already 
been ratified by nearly all the members, so that it may, before 
long, entirely displace the earlier conventions. The United States is 
not a member of this union. 1 The creation of a new convention by 
the union always gives an impetus to the making of more advanced 
treaties between individual nations. Thus, among such countries as 
France, Germany, Italy, and Belgium, a number of treaties have been 
made which develop their copyright law in the direction favored by 
the international union. 

The union, in 1888, created a bureau which acts as a central organ 
of information and publishes a journal (Le droit d'autetir). In 1892 
this office was united with the bureau of industrial property. The 
associated bureaus are under the control of the Swiss Department of 
Foreign Affairs. Their expenses are borne by the treaty states upon a 
basis of unit ratios. The relations of these bureaus to the govern- 
ments and national administrations are, of course, not so direct as in 
the case of the telegraph, the postal, and the railway-freight bureaus, 
nor do they possess any arbitral functions ; but their work in bring- 
ing together authoritative information upon the patent and copyright 
laws of the various nations has been of great value to the governments 
and to persons specially interested. Movements for the reform of 
national legislation have derived their information from these inter- 
national organs. The bureaus have a very small personnel, and have 
always stayed well within their modest budget, notwithstanding the 
volume and real importance of their published work. 

Union for tJie Publication of Customs Tariffs? In 1890 an 

1 The manner in which the attitude of the United States impresses the world is 
shown by such statements as the following : " The United States, in fact, subordi- 
nates the primordial right of authors to the narrow interest of American printers 
and their employers. It may be said without exaggeration that this is a situation 
unworthy of a great people." — L£on Poinsard 

2 Acts of the conference of Brussels, 1SS8, and of Bern, 1S94, in Archives Jiplo- 
matiques, Paris. 



international bureau was created for the authoritative collection and 
publication of customs tariffs. It is situated at Brussels, and is under 
the control of the Belgian administration. Its duty is to supply, with 
the least delay possible, copies of laws and administrative ordinances 
referring to customs tariffs, and to cause the same to be published in 
its own periodical [The International Customs Bulletin). Forty-one 
states are parties to this arrangement ; they divide among themselves 
the expenses of the bureau, which has an annual budget of 125,000 
francs. In 1894 it was attempted, upon the initiative of the Swiss 
government, to establish a similar office for the publication of treaties. 
Sixteen governments were represented at a conference held at Bern, 
where the project of the Swiss government was discussed. On account 
of the lack of direct authorization on the part of several delegates, 
the conference did not take any action, but referred the project to the 
consideration of the various governments. 

Protection of labor} The efforts which have been made for the 
purpose of securing agreements for the protection of labor are espe- 
cially instructive. To an unusual degree private and state initiative 
have been combined and intermingled in the cooperation between 
public officials and private experts to bring about an international 
understanding. No field of action reveals, so clearly the limitations 
of international arrangements and the difficulties in the way of their 
achievement, nor, on the other hand, shows so fully the possibilities 
inherent in them. The government of Switzerland deserves the credit 
of having made the first attempts to secure an international confer- 
ence on labor legislation, after the matter had been repeatedly con- 
sidered by a number of large international congresses, composed of 
delegates of labor associations and of other organized bodies. In 1889 
the Swiss federal council addressed an invitation to fourteen European 

1 A full bibliography is given by F. Dochow in Zeitschrift fur Internationales 
Privat- und dffentliches Recht, Liepzig, 1906. Francke, E., Der internat. Arbeiter- 
schutz, Dresden, 1903. Account of the Bern conference with proces-verbal, in 
Archives diplomatiques, 1905, Vol. Ill, p. 271. Bulletin de V Office international du 
travail, since 1900. Crick, D., " La legislation internationale du travail," Revue de 
droit internatiotial, 1905, p. 432. Armand-Hahn, J. P., in Annales des sciences poli- 
tigues,Vo\. XX, p. 156. Jay, R., La protection legale des travailleurs, Paris, 1904. 
Schriften der internationalen Vereinigung fiir gesetzlichen Arbeitschutz, Jena, 1901- 

1906. Bauer, " International Labor Office," Economic Journal, 1903. Raynaud, B., 
Droit international ouvrier, Paris, 1906. Pic, in Revue generate de droit international, 

1907, p. 495. Mahaim, E., in Rev. icon, internal., 1906. Metin, A., Les traites ouvriers, 
Paris, 1908. 



powers, requesting them to send delegates to a conference for the 
purpose of discussing certain definite topics concerning labor legisla- 
tion. The suggestion was favorably received by the majority of the 
countries addressed, and the federal council consequently decided to 
send out formal invitations. But at this very time the German em- 
peror issued two rescripts, in which he pronounced in favor of inter- 
national action in labor matters. Correspondence followed between 
Germany and Switzerland, and the smaller country yielded to the 
German Empire the honor of calling the conference, which then 
assembled in Berlin in March, 1890, with a representation of fifteen 
states. Three committees were appointed to consider (1) work in 
mines, (2) Sunday rest, (3) work of children, young workmen, and 
women. Though Switzerland proposed the conclusion of a binding 
convention and the creation of a central bureau, the conference did 
not favor the taking of such definite measures at that time. The only 
result of its work was the passage of resolutions embodying the opin- 
ion of the delegates on certain principles to be followed in labor 

The conference thus having failed to produce tangible results in 
the form of a treaty, the propaganda for international labor protec- 
tion was taken up with redoubled energy by private individuals and 
associations. In 1897 two labor-legislation congresses were held. 
The congress at Zurich was composed of the representatives of labor 
organizations. Although many opposing views were here represented, 
the delegates found it possible to unite upon a definite program of 
labor legislation. The congress which met in Brussels in the same 
year (international congress of labor legislation) was composed largely 
of publicists and economists. It confined itself entirely to discus- 
sion, not even passing resolutions. After the session, however, there 
was appointed informally a committee of three members for the 
purpose of finding means to carry on the work begun in the con- 
gress. The committee made certain arrangements with the Belgian 
government for the publication of an Annuaire de la legislation du 
travail, but the political conditions in Belgium were not favorable to 
a further pursuance of the purposes of this group of men. Other 
national committees were however created, and the French commit- 
tee eventually arranged for a conference, which was held at Paris 
during the exposition of 1900. This congress occupied itself with 



the question of a permanent organization. It was decided to form an 
international association, open to all who believed in protective labor 
legislation. The association was to be composed of national sections, 
each with its separate organization and autonomy. The governing 
board was to be a commission composed of two delegates from each 
section, together with the representatives of governments which de- 
sired to take part in the enterprise. An international labor office was 
established, whose mission it is to publish, in French, German, and 
English, periodic reports on labor legislation in all countries ; to fur- 
nish information on labor laws to members of the association ; to 
assist in the study of the legislative protection of labor, as well as in 
the creation of a systematic body of international labor statistics. The 
labor office is located at Basel, where it began work in May, 1901, 
and where the first general assembly of the association was held in 
September of the same year. It was composed of delegates repre- 
senting the national sections as well as four governments. This 
assembly expressed the opinion that, while the association itself might 
carry on an active propaganda for labor legislation, the bureau should 
confine itself to an objective and impartial study of labor legislation for 
the purpose of furnishing an absolutely reliable basis of facts and 
statistics. As the first questions for discussion and eventual action 
the assembly selected, first, industrial night work of women ; and, 
second, the regulation of unhealthy industries, especially those using 
white lead and white phosphorus. 

The second general assembly was held at Cologne in 1902. On 
this occasion seven national sections and eight governments were 
represented. The assembly considered the organization and the 
finances of the central office as well as the two questions submitted 
by the previous conference. The international commission was in- 
structed to take steps to induce the various governments to consider 
the suppression of these industrial dangers. The commission, at its 
subsequent meeting at Basel, decided to appeal to the Swiss federal 
council in order that an international conference might be called to 
frame a treaty on these matters. Early in 1905 invitations were 
sent out, and in May the official conference met at Bern. Over fifty 
delegates were present, representing all the governments of Europe, 
with the exception of Russia, Greece, Roumania, and Servia. The 
conference took up the discussion of the two questions which had 


been formulated and prepared by the assemblies of the international 
association. Although the sessions occupied only eight days, the dis- 
cussions were earnest and many different points of view were brought 
out. The absence of Japan interposed special obstacles to the adoption 
of a convention on the use of white phosphorus, a material exten- 
sively employed in the Japanese match industry. The convention 
which was finally adopted on this point provided that after January 
1 , 1 9 1 1 , the manufacture and sale of matches containing white 
phosphorus was to be forbidden. The Japanese government was 
to be invited to join in this treaty before December 31, 1907. 
Eleven out of the fifteen states voted in favor of this agreement. 
The conference also adopted a protocol regulating the hours of 
night work for women. These projects were transformed into 
definite conventions by a diplomatic conference which met in 
December, 1906. 

A study of the widening extent of the white-phosphorus prohibi- 
tion is particularly instructive in that it shows the reluctance of 
governments to place restrictions upon industry, and the possibilities 
which are afforded of accomplishing this through the plan of inter- 
national cooperation in the enactment of labor laws. The agitation 
started in countries where the match industry was of a comparatively 
insignificant character, and where the evils due to the use of white 
phosphorus outweighed more strongly the advantages attendant upon 
encouraging the business. Such countries made no opposition to the 
restriction, and as early as 1874 Finland and Denmark had prohibi- 
tive legislation and had been quite successful in stamping out the 
disease of necrosis. Switzerland fell in line in 1879, the Nether- 
lands in 1 90 1, and Germany in 1903. By this latter period substi- 
tutes had been found, so that the use of white phosphorus was not 
so imperative ; therefore the action of Denmark, Switzerland, and the 
Netherlands in prohibiting the importation of matches of this material, 
and the fact that Japan had become so successful a rival that other 
markets were practically excluded, made Germany not unwilling to 
prohibit the use of the poison and join the ranks of those who 
were agitating for this humanitarian legislation. 

Now began a more active campaign that the restrictions which 
these countries had imposed on this industry might become world- 
wide, and thus might constitute no special hardship upon home 


industries. In France and Roumania the manufacture of matches 
was a state monopoly, so that it required but the actual substitution of 
potash for white phosphorus to accomplish the purpose, — a step 
taken in i898 v A special prohibitory law was there unnecessary. 

The agitation for the extension of the prohibition resulted in its 
being placed on the program for discussion at the Bern conference 
of 1905 ; the convention adopted was promptly signed by Germany, 
Denmark, France, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, and Switzer- 
land, and somewhat later by Spain, Belgium, Portugal, and Norway. 
Of the fourteen states represented in the conference, seven thus were 
ready to sign the treaty at once, but among these the prohibition was 
already in force in five states, while in the sixth the industry was 
almost negligible. Italy was the only country making any consider- 
able concession, and here the convention has not as yet been ratified. 
By January, 19 10, the convention had been ratified by France and 
most of her colonies, Germany, Denmark, Luxemburg, the Nether- 
lands, Switzerland, Spain, Great Britain, and the Orange River 
Colony. Great Britain and Austria had previously conditioned their 
acceptance upon the adhesion of practically every country where the 
match industry was carried on, more especially of Japan. Great 
Britain pointed out that the signing of the treaty would necessitate 
(a) the postponement of other social legislation deemed more impor- 
tant in England, -(b) depriving the people of their accustomed kind 
of matches and increasing the price, and (c) hampering the British 
export trade with restrictions not borne by competitors. The British 
contended that their system of restrictions had effectively stamped 
out necrosis, and that until other competing states were ready to take 
similar measures, they could not be expected to sign the convention. 
The effect of the treaty was, however, practically to exclude British 
matches from the European markets. This led to the passage of a 
parliamentary act in December, 1908, prohibiting the sale, manufac- 
ture, or importation of white-phosphorus matches. The exclusion of 
such matches from Australia, a field of export which the Japanese 
manufacturers were finding very profitable, will be a potent factor in 
inducing Japan to accede to the convention. So far, however, the 
burdens of the late war have rested so heavily upon that country that 
she has hesitated to hamper her industries by restrictions which are 
not imperatively demanded. 


The extension of the white-phosphorus prohibition is of further 
interest as showing the obstacles which must be overcome before any- 
prohibitory law can be made world-wide in its scope. Before nations 
can become signatory to treaties of this character they must have 
their social legislation developed to such a point that the proposed 
provision fits in readily with the established system. It is unreason- 
able to suppose that all countries that are thrown into industrial com- 
petition have constructed their social legislation along similar lines. 
The physical and intellectual development of the working classes 
depends upon many factors, among which climate and race are 
prominent ; each country must bear in mind its own peculiar needs 
in framing industrial legislation, and the matter of conforming to the 
laws of other countries is of secondary consideration. There are 
many industries, too, where there is competition with countries in 
which the regulation of labor is primitive, and where for years to 
come no hope can be entertained of adequate laws properly enforced. 

International labor legislation implies that the contracting states 
are developing their social laws along parallel lines. This is not 
necessarily true. Several countries may be equally advanced in 
general labor legislation, but economic pressure and national interests 
may have operated so that one has neglected or postponed some 
one branch of legislation in which the others have made considerable 
progress. An international treaty covering such a branch may mean 
the sacrifice of world markets on the part of one country, with no simi- 
lar loss on the part of other nations. Though Great Britain was back- 
ward in prohibiting the use of white phosphorus, the fact remains 
that in regard to factory and labor legislation in general she was far 
in advance of most of the signatory powers to the convention of 1906. 
But the method of combining those countries which can pass labor 
legislation at comparatively little cost, and then gradually enlarging 
the field by cutting off the markets of recalcitrants, results in an ex- 
tension of labor prohibitions which nations working independently 
might be years in accomplishing. The limitation noted further sug- 
gests a method of work for which the international association of 
labor legislation is admirably fitted, and which it is in fact pursuing 
with marked success. By operating through the national sections in 
accordance with the program outlined by the bureau, pressure can be 
brought to bear upon the respective governments to induce them to 


legislate upon particular subjects ; when this has reached a stage 
sufficiently advanced, the time is ripe for an international agreement. 

In regard to the regulation of industries through international con- 
ventions, the United States occupies a position less advantageous 
than do the European countries, owing to the peculiar form of our 
governmental organization. The enactment of social legislation be- 
longs in the main to the states rather than to the federal government, 
and constitutional prohibitions keep the states from entering into 
treaties with foreign countries, or even among themselves, without 
the consent of Congress. The American section of the international 
association, especially in its operations through the state sections, is 
nevertheless accomplishing marked results in securing uniform laws 
in the various states, in conformity with the plans of the interna- 
tional association. 

The extreme caution with which the governments have proceeded 
in regard to labor treaties is a characteristic mark of the jealousy 
which states feel in behalf of their legislative independence in such 
important matters. In the railway and telegraph service a unified 
administrative procedure for international traffic was forced upon the 
various governments by the circumstances of the case. That there is 
a great need for international regulation of labor laws is apparent 
from the interest which this subject has aroused. National advance 
in labor reform would in fact be checkmated were it not to be 
seconded by agreements of wider scope. Yet the governments have 
been very reluctant to commit themselves to any definite policy of 
uniformity in this matter, and the existing union has therefore re- 
mained semiprivate in its nature, for its main constituent elements 
are the national sections. The international labor office may also be 
called a semiprivate institution, though its work has been assisted in 
every way by the various public administrations which deal with labor 
affairs. The expenses of the office are borne partly by the contribu- 
tions of national sections, but more largely by subscriptions of gov- 
ernments, Switzerland itself leading with a subscription of 12,000 
francs a year, while the United States contributes only $200. 

In this connection we may also note the provisions of the Franco- 
Italian treaty of April 7, 1904. This treaty constitutes a very im- 
portant attempt to have the privileges of national labor legislation 
extended to laborers who are sent in from another state. The 


convention refers especially to the gratuitous transfer of the savings 
accounts of laborers from one country to another, the admission of 
foreign laborers to the benefits of national labor insurance, and the 
extension to them in general of the protection afforded workingmen 
by the national law. Each power is obliged to make a full annual 
report on matters of public administration relating to labor, so that a 
guarantee may be afforded of the faithful carrying-out of the treaty 
provisions, through a mutual accountability. 1 

On July 3, 1909, representatives of Great Britain and France 
signed a convention at Paris, providing for the admission by either 
country of laborers belonging to the other, to the benefits of state 
workingmen's insurance against accidents. 

The sugar convention? For over forty years past, negotiations 
have from time to time been carried on among the powers for the 
purpose of putting restraints upon the policy of individual govern- 
ments, by which they attempt to modify the commerce and production 
of sugar by means of a bounty system. Earlier treaties, such as those 
of 1864 and of 1877, proved inadequate to accomplish this purpose, 
because of the lack of compulsory provisions and the consequent 
failure of some of the contracting nations fully to live up to the 
agreement. After long-continued negotiations and a succession of 
conferences, a convention was finally concluded in Brussels in March, 
1902, by which a number of European states formed a union for the 
purpose of doing away with sugar bounties and placing a fixed limit 
upon import duties (they are not to exceed the excise tax by more 
than six francs per quintal on refined, and five and a half francs on 
crude, sugar). The union included at the time of its formation nine 
states, and it now has fourteen members, including Russia, which 
came in under a special arrangement in 1907. A permanent organi- 
zation is provided for in Article 7 of the treaty, which creates a 
standing commission charged with supervising the execution of 
the agreement. This commission is composed of delegates of the 

1 Text in Revue de droit international, 1904, p. 296. Guyot, T., ibid., p. 359. Pic, 
in Revue ghierale de droit international, Vol. XI, p. 515. 

2 Text of the treaty of 1902 in Staats-Archiv, Vol. LXVII, p. 267. Martino, G., 
" The Brussels Sugar Conference," Ec. Jour., 1904. Taylor, B., " Sugar and the 
Convention," Fortnightly, Vol. LXXVII, p. 636. Lough, T. H., " The Sugar Con- 
vention of Brussels," Contemp. Rev., Vol. LXXXIII, p. 75. Kauffmann, Weltzucker- 
industrie, 1903. Politis, N., L'Union internat. des sucres, 1904. 


contracting states, and has its seat at Brussels. Its functions are as 
follows : (a) to determine whether in the contracting states there is 
accorded any direct or indirect bounty on the production or exporta- 
tion of sugar ; (b) to determine whether the contracting states, which 
are not exporters, continue in that special condition ; (c) to determine 
the existence of bounties in nonsignatory states and the amount of 
the compensatory duty ; (d) to give advisory decisions on questions 
in controversy ; (c) to give due form to requests for admission to the 
union on the part of states which are not yet members ; (/) to author- 
ize the levy of an exceptional surcharge (not more than one franc per 
hundred kilograms) by any one of the contracting states against 
another, by whose sugar its markets are invaded to the injury of 
national production. 

In general, it will be seen, the duties of the commission are con- 
fined to determining the existence of facts. On questions submitted, 
it makes an official report addressed to the Belgian government, to 
be communicated to the contracting states. But certain determina- 
tions of the commission have a direct validity, and form the basis of 
contingent treaty obligations on the part of the contracting states. 
This is the case with reference to the matters mentioned under (b) 
and (c) above. As soon as the commission shall determine that the 
states of Spain, Italy, and Sweden have begun to export sugar, these 
states, under the agreement, must conform their legislation to the dis- 
positions of the convention. Whenever the commission ascertains 
the existence of bounties in nonsignatory states, the treaty powers are 
bound to levy a countervailing duty upon sugar imported from such 
sources. These determinations are made by a majority of the com- 
mission, each state being entitled to one vote, and they go into effect 
within two months of their date. An appeal, to be considered, must 
be lodged within eight days after the notification. It will then be 
decided within a month. 

The commission is assisted by a permanent bureau located at 
Brussels, upon which is imposed the function of collecting, arrang- 
ing, and publishing every kind of information and statistics concerning 
sugar legislation throughout the world. The expenses of the bureau 
and of the commission are borne by the contracting states, who also 
pay individually the expenses of their delegates. It is to be noted 
that these organs of the union do not correspond directly with the 


contracting states. The communications are all made through the 
Belgian government, which thus becomes the diplomatic agent of 
the union. Even information on laws and regulations concerning 
sugar, as well as statistical data, are not communicated directly to 
the commission, but through the Belgian government as an inter- 
mediary. All reports of the commission are likewise transmitted 
through the Belgian government, which also has the right of calling 
new conferences. The sugar commission is the only international 
organ which has a right, through its determinations and decisions, to 
cause a direct modification of the laws existing in the individual treaty 
states, within the dispositions of the convention. Though not given 
direct legislative power, it makes determinations of fact upon which 
changes in the laws of the individual states become obligatory under 
the treaty. Its function may be compared to that intrusted to the 
President of the United States in the reciprocity provisions of the 
McKinley and Dingley tariff laws. 

In 1907 the life of the union was extended for a period of five 
years from September 1, 1908. It was also agreed that after this 
date Great Britain should be released from penalizing the importation 
of bounty-fed sugars, but such sugars when reexported from Great 
Britain to any other contracting state would become liable to the 
compensatory duty. 

Agriculture} Like other economic interests, those of agriculture 
extend in their relations beyond the political boundaries of states. 
The prosperity of the farmers of a nation is determined to a large 
extent by the conditions, legal and economic, in markets beyond the 
national boundary. Being more dispersed than the representatives of 
other pursuits, commercial or industrial, agricultural producers have 
been less successful in uniting for a defense of their common interests. 
Yet several private associations for the unification of various agricul- 
tural interests throughout the world were formed toward the end 
of the nineteenth century. A general international congress of 

} Delia Volta, R., " The International Institute of Agriculture," Rev. d'ec. pot., 
Vol. XIX, p. 597. Gidel, " LTnst. agricole internat," Annates des sciences politiques, 
Vol. XX, p. 630. Pantaleoni, M., in the Giomale degli economisti, February, 1905. 
Papafava, F., ibid., September, 1905. Henry, A., L'organisation du commerce des bles, 
Brussels, 1900. Luzzatti, L., " The International Institute of Agriculture," North 
Am. Rev., Vol. CLXXXII, p. 651. Bellini, A., LTstituto internaz. d'agric, Turin, 


agriculture has assembled periodically. It is composed of national 
sections and has for its organ a permanent international commission. 
Moreover, special organizations were founded to develop international 
relations among special groups of producers. Thus there was created 
a statistical union of sugar production and a congress of cotton pro- 
ducers and manufacturers. The latter established a permanent ex- 
ecutive organization at its meeting in Zurich in 1904. The cotton 
congress, held the year after the international institute of agriculture 
had been created, expressed its sympathy with that undertaking, and 
the hope that it might soon include in its studies and operations 
matters relating to cotton culture. A German scientist, Dr. Ruhland, 
has organized at Freiburg an international office for the observation 
of grain prices and markets, which has done valuable work in pro- 
viding accurate information on the supply and prices of grain, thereby 
enabling producers to take intelligent advantage of the conditions of 
the world's market. 

These various tentative efforts and organizations, with many others 
not here mentioned, indicated that the time was ripe for the creation 
of a more general union for the advancement of agricultural interests. 
The official initiative in this matter was taken by King Victor Em- 
manuel III, of Italy, to whom the idea of an international institute 
of agriculture had been suggested by Mr. David Lubin, an American. 
The king, on January 24, 1905, addressed to the president of the 
Italian council of ministers a letter in which he outlined the objects 
and purposes of such an institution in the following language : 

The agricultural classes, generally the most numerous in the country, have 
indeed a great influence upon the destiny of nations ; but being without any 
organization or bonds of connection among themselves, they cannot effectively 
cooperate for the improvement and proper distribution of the different crops ac- 
cording to the demands of consumers, nor for the protection of their interests in 
the markets which, with regard to the most important products, constantly tend 
to become more nearly world-wide. 

An international institute could therefore be of great utility if, free from all 
political aims, it engaged itself in the study of the conditions of agriculture in the 
different countries of the world, giving information from time to time upon the 
quantity and quality of crops, the manner of facilitating production, the least ex- 
pensive and most rapid means of reaching the market, and the most equitable 
method of fixing prices. Such an institute, working in conjunction with the 
different national bureaus already created, would also be able to furnish accurate 
data upon the conditions of rural labor in different places, so as to be a useful 
and reliable guide for emigrants ; it could make arrangements for the common 


defense against diseases of plants and animals, which resist individual or partial 
efforts ; finally, it would exercise a beneficent influence in the development of 
rural cooperation, insurance, and agrarian credit. 

On the basis of this royal initiative the Italian foreign office in- 
structed its diplomatic agents to attempt to secure the cooperation 
of the powers for the purpose of creating an international institute. 
These instructions call attention to the disadvantages from which 
farmers now suffer through the lack of united action, which makes 
them a prey to speculators and to commercial and railway syndicates. 
But the instructions especially emphasize the support which the 
movement for world peace would receive through a development of 
the common interests of the agricultural class. It is therefore sug- 
gested that there be formed an institute composed of the delegates of 
various governments and of national associations of agriculture. The 
purpose of such an institute would include the organization of agri- 
cultural exchanges and labor offices ; the organization of rural 
cooperation in sales, purchases, credit, and insurance ; the defense 
against syndicates of intermediaries ; and the preparatory study of 
legislative and administrative problems. Through the work of the 
institute the governments would be enabled to act in unison, upon the 
most reliable information. In order that these matters might be dis- 
cussed, the Italian government extended an invitation to the powers 
to send delegates to a conference to meet at Rome. In preparation 
for this conference the ministries of foreign affairs and agriculture 
in Italy worked out a definite program which embodied these 

In the conference which met on May 28, 1905, thirty-eight Euro- 
pean, American, Asiatic, and African governments were represented 
by official delegates. Although some of the most powerful states 
maintained an attitude of reserve, the general idea of an international 
institute of agriculture was received with favor. Opinions were how- 
ever divided on the form that it should take. The thought of the 
Italian government evidently had been that there should be two com- 
ponent elements, possibly organized in two separate houses, one com- 
prising the delegates of the governments, the other the representatives 
of agricultural associations. Thus only, it was believed, could the 
agricultural interests throughout the world become truly unified. The 
conference, however, confined its action to the establishment of an 


institution composed solely of the delegates of governments, — diplo- 
mats or agricultural experts. The international institute of agricul- 
ture, as organized by the conference, accordingly takes the following 
form : It is a public institution, consisting of a general assembly and 
a permanent commission, in both of which each treaty power is rep- 
resented. The general assembly controls the work of the institute. 
It considers projects prepared by the permanent commission, fixes 
the budget, and makes suggestions to the contracting governments 
with respect to modifications of the organization. The quorum is 
fixed at two thirds of all the votes of the contracting states. The per- 
manent commission carries out the directions of the assembly, and 
prepares projects for consideration by the latter. It is composed of 
one representative from each of the states, although one delegate 
may represent several governments. 

The functions of the institute are as follows : (a) to collect, study, 
and publish statistical, technical, and economic information relative to 
agricultural and animal husbandry, agricultural markets, and prices ; 

(b) to communicate the above information to governments interested ; 

(c) to investigate the payment of rural labor ; (d) to give notice of 
new plant diseases which may appear in any part of the world, indi- 
cating the extent of territory affected, the course of the malady, and, 
if possible, efficacious remedies ; (c) to study questions relative to 
agricultural cooperation, insurance, and credit ; (/) to present, for the 
approbation of governments, measures for the protection of the com- 
mon interests of agriculturalists and for the betterment of their con- 
dition, taking account of all means of information, such as resolutions 
of international and other agricultural congresses, agricultural societies, 
academies, and other scientific bodies. 

The states belonging to the institute are divided into five groups, 
each state being free to choose for itself to which group it will belong. 
Members of the first group have five votes in the assembly and 
contribute sixteen units to the income of the institute ; in the second 
group they have four votes and contribute eight units ; and so on 
down to the fifth, where each member has one vote and contributes 
one unit. The unit is not to exceed 2500 francs a year. The king 
of Italy supported the foundation of the institute by making over to 
it the revenues of certain valuable crown domains. 

The organization determined on by the diplomatic conference at 



Rome was far from meeting the desires and aspirations of the men 
who were most interested in the movement for an international union 
of agriculture. Not only is the institute a purely governmental insti- 
tution, but its functions are practically confined to the collection of 
information and the suggestion of projects for treaties and legislative 
measures. Yet it could hardly be expected that the governments 
would immediately consent to the establishment of an organ with 
direct administrative functions, such as, for instance, an international 
cooperative union of agricultural credit. On the basis of the organiza- 
tion as effected, it will be possible to centralize efforts in behalf of the 
agricultural interests and to secure a gradual amelioration of agricul- 
tural conditions. The institute, as its organic law indicates, will hold 
itself ready to cooperate with national and international organizations 
representing private initiative, such as the international congress of 
agriculture mentioned above. In Italy there was organized in 1905 
a special office for the representation of agricultural societies and 
cooperative organizations, which is to mediate between the latter and 
the international institute. 

Several matters connected with agriculture, which have heretofore 
been regulated by separate treaties, will now probably be drawn within 
the scope of the agricultural institute. In 1878 there was formed in 
Bern a union comprising eleven European states, for preventing the 
introduction and spread of phylloxera. In March, 1902, a convention 
was concluded at Paris for the protection of useful birds ; this has been 
ratified by eleven states. The treaty governments engage themselves 
to propose to their respective legislatures measures for the protection 
of birds which destroy insects noxious to agriculture. In this connec- 
tion we may also mention the union for the protection of large African 
game, concluded in London, May 19, 1900, among the powers which 
have colonies in central Africa. 

Insurance. 1 Though there has not as yet been created in the in- 
terests of insurance an international administrative organization, yet 
a number of governments have regularly participated in the meetings 
of international associations dealing with insurance problems. Most 
prominent among these is the international congress of actuarial 

1 Emminghaus, in Zeitschrift f. J. Versickerungs -WissenschafU'V ol. VII, p. 9. Re- 
ports, Memoirs, and Proceedings of the Fifth International Congress of Actuaries, 
Berlin, 1906. 


science. Not only have the meetings of this congress usually been 
held under government patronage, and under the presidency of some 
important statesman (in 1903, Secretary Cortelyou, in New York), but 
many governments have been represented by official delegates, and 
the deliberations of the congress have dealt to a large extent with 
administrative and legal, as distinct from technical and mathematical, 
subjects. The congress of 1906 was held in Berlin in conjunction 
with the fourth international congress of insurance medicine. Six- 
teen governments were represented by official delegates, and five of 
the thirteen topics of discussion dealt entirely with administrative and 
legal questions. The congress has an official organ in the permanent 
committee for insurance congresses at Brussels. Aside from the 
governments, national actuarial societies and similar associations are 
represented in its organization. 

The international congress of protection against fire, which is a 
more purely private organization, resolved, in London in 1903, to es- 
tablish experiment stations, an international expert commission, and 
a central statistical bureau. International congresses of labor insur- 
ance have been held repeatedly (the eighth congress met at Rome in 
1906) and have received financial assistance from various European 

III. Sanitation and Prison Reform 

The International Prison Congress. 1 Congresses for the purpose 
of the discussion of penitentiary administration and reform have 
been held at irregular intervals from 1846 on. At the congress of 
1872, under the leadership of the United States, steps were taken to 
secure a permanent organization. Since 1880 congresses have been 
held every five years, the place of the last meeting being Washington 
(1910). At the congress at Budapest in 1905 twenty-eight nations 
were represented. The scope of the work of the congress is not ap- 
parent from its designation in English. This is an imperfect transla- 
tion of pcnitentiairc, a term which includes the consideration of all 
that relates to the moral and physical amelioration of prisoners as 

1 Bulletin de la Commission pinitentiaire Internationale, Brussels and Bern. Jas- 
par, H., in Revue de droit international, 1901, p. 448. National Prison Association, 
Proceedings 1905, p. 227. Charities, Vol. XV, p. 116. "Les congres penitentiaires 
internat.," Revue pinitentiaire, 1905, p. 653. Le Poittevin, A., in Revue de droit inter- 
national prive, Vol. I, p. 90. Barrows, S. J., The International Prison Congress, Sen. 
Doc. 462, Sixtieth Congress, first session, 190S. 



well as to the prevention of crime. The executive work of preparing 
for the congresses is performed by the international penitentiary 
commission composed of one delegate from each country. The com- 
mission meets regularly every two years, and is composed of four 
sections, for the consideration of prison administration, penal law, 
prevention of crime, and juvenile delinquencies. The secretariate of 
the commission is situated at Bern. Some time previous to the meet- 
ing of the congress, series of questions prepared by experts are 
sent out to the various countries represented. They are submitted to 
careful review by adepts, and reports upon them are returned to the 
secretariate. All these reports are then edited and published in French, 
to be distributed among all the delegates appointed to the congress, 
in time for them to give these matters careful study. In this manner 
the discussions avoid all preliminary misunderstandings as to defini- 
tions and points at issue, and the meetings of the congress are usually 
very fruitful in the formation of definite opinions on matters con- 
nected with practical prison administration. The congress and the 
commission have no power to bind the respective governments by 
treaty ; their purpose is primarily the exchange of expert opinion 
and knowledge, for the development of the science of penitentiary 

International sanitation} International defensive action against 
invasion by epidemics was first urged by the French government, 
which in 185 1 called a sanitary conference to meet in Paris; this 
was followed by a second meeting in 1859. The terrible epidemic 
of cholera of 1865 caused the holding of a third congress at Con- 
stantinople. Other conferences have followed at short intervals. 
Although from the first these had a diplomatic character in that 
they were attended by the representatives of governments, they were 
primarily scientific in their aims, confining themselves to discus- 
sions and resolutions rather than to elaborating treaties. Ultimately, 

1 Text of the treaty of Venice, 1897, in Stoats- Archiv, Vol. LXI, p. 261. " La 
conference de Paris, 1903," in Revue ginirale de droit international, Vol. XI, p. 199. 
Houet, " Conference int. sanitaire," in Rev. int. de droit marit., Vol. XIX, pp. S05- 
870. Loutfi, Z., La politique sanitaire internat, 1906. Monod, H., in Rev. d'adtni- 
nistration, March, 1904. Rapmund, O., Das offentliche Gesundheitswesen, Leipzig, 
1901, p. 126. 8 e Congres internat. de hygiene et de demographic Budapest, 1S95. 
Huot, in the Rev. int. de droit marit., Vol. XIX, p. 803. Proces-verbaux, Paris Con- 
ference, 1903, Paris, 1904. Text of Convention of 1903, transl. by Thomson, London, 


however, more formal action was taken, and at Venice in 1892 
the first general treaty for protection against cholera was framed. 
Every conference since then has added to the diplomatic work, 
that of Venice in 1897 and that of Paris in 1903 being especially 

At the latter conference it was voted to establish an international 
sanitary office to be situated at Paris. Such a bureau had first been sug- 
gested at the international congress of hygiene at Brussels in 1897. 
At the Paris sanitary conference the president of the French dele- 
gation introduced the subject by calling for the creation of a union de 
sante incarnee dans une autorite Internationale fortement constitute. 
The functions bestowed upon the bureau according to this first pro- 
posal are, however, not executive, but only informational. The office 
is to collect information on the progress of infectious diseases, being 
assisted by the sanitary authorities of the treaty states. The results 
of the work of the bureau are to be communicated to the various 
governments and published. The establishment of the bureau was 
supported by all powers represented, but was accepted with certain res- 
ervations by Austria, Great Britain, and Germany. The sixth sanitary 
conference, which met at Rome in 1 907, drew up a formal convention 
which contains detailed arrangements for the new institution. The in- 
ternational office of public hygiene is located at Paris, and is under the 
control of a commission composed of delegates from all the member 
states. Its main object is "to collect and bring to the knowledge of 
the participating states facts and documents of a general character 
concerning public health and especially regarding infectious diseases, 
notably cholera, the plague, and yellow fever, as well as the measures 
taken to check these diseases." The number of votes allowed each 
treaty state, in the government of the office, is determined by, and is 
inversely proportional to, the number of the class to which it belongs 
as regards its participation in the expenses. The budget is fixed at 
150,000 francs per year. The convention went into effect in 1908, 
after having been ratified by nine powers, including the United States. 
Other governments have since given their adherence. 

The execution of the treaties of the sanitary union, with respect 
to prophylactic measures to be taken in Turkey and Egypt, is super- 
vised by two commissions, the sanitary councils of Constantinople 
and of Alexandria. The conseil supcrieur de sante of Constantinople 


was created by arrangement between the Sultan and the mari- 
time powers having relations with Turkey, as early as 1838. It was 
natural that the functions of surveillance created by the treaty of 
Venice in 1892 and by later treaties should be intrusted to this 
organ. The council is composed of seventeen voting delegates, four 
being appointed by Turkey, the others by the foreign treaty powers. 
Decisions of the council are taken by majority vote, and are directly 
executory. The Turkish minister of foreign affairs acts as president 
of the council, and the representation of the foreign powers is ar- 
ranged through their respective legations at Constantinople. The 
council supervises the quarantine service at Turkish ports on the 
Persian Gulf and on the Red Sea, as well as along the Persian and 
Russian boundaries. The expenses of the council are met by fees 
imposed for quarantine services, which are in turn regulated by a 
" mixed commission on the sanitary tariff," composed of representa- 
tives of the various powers. The Turkish government also contrib- 
utes toward the expenses. 

The conseil sanitaire, maritime et quarantenaire a" Egypt e at 
Alexandria was created in 188 1. It is composed of the representa- 
tives of fourteen treaty powers and two representatives of Egypt. 
The presidency is accorded to the representative of Great Britain. 
The council has regular monthly meetings, and controls the Egyptian 
quarantine stations on the Red Sea, the Suez Canal, and the mouth 
of the Nile. A similar sanitary council exists at Tangier. It was 
created in 1840, and has also been brought into relation with the gen- 
eral sanitary union. The conventions framed by the various sanitary 
conferences control the treatment of suspected ships and passengers 
from countries subject to epidemics, in all the ports of the treaty 
powers. The conclusion of general treaties on this matter was for a 
long time resisted by Great Britain, because of fears in behalf of her 
shipping interests. The continued danger of infection from oriental 
countries, however, finally forced the European nations to unite in 
self-defense. The sanitary conferences, while fitted out with diplo- 
matic attributes, are still largely concerned with scientific questions. 
The provisions of their treaties must frequently be modified in ac- 
cordance with the latest determinations of science with respect to the 
period of incubation and the most efficient means for preventing the 
transmission of disease. 


The international congress of hygiene and demography has a 
purely scientific character. It is composed of the official represent- 
atives of most of the civilized countries, together with delegates of 
scientific bodies and of local councils of public health. The congress 
has a permanent commission with offices at Brussels. Another 
similar organization, in which also governments officially interest 
themselves, is the international congress of school hygiene. Two 
government conferences have been held for the scientific discussion 
of leprosy (Berlin, 1897; Bergen, 1909); and the first international 
congress on the sleeping sickness was held at London in 1907. Six 
countries participated in the latter through official delegations. 1 

Pan-American sanitary union? The second Pan-American confer- 
ence, which met at Mexico in 1902, passed a resolution concerning 
international sanitary police. Among other things it recommended 
that the "American governments shall cooperate with each other to- 
ward securing and maintaining efficient and modern sanitary condi- 
tions in all their respective ports and territories, to the end that 
quarantine restrictions may be reduced to a minimum and finally 
abolished." The conference also provided for the calling of a sanitary 
congress at Washington and the establishment of an international 
sanitary bureau at the same place. The latter was to be composed of 
a permanent executive board of not less than five members, to be 
elected by the congress. These resolutions were carried out, the bureau 
was established in Washington, and four congresses have been held 
to date. The second of these, which met in October, 1905, worked 
out a treaty project concerning the prevention of such epidemics as 
cholera, the plague, and yellow fever. This treaty has been ratified 
by fourteen American powers, including the United States, Mexico, 
Peru, Venezuela, Brazil, and Colombia. The third Pan-American con- 
ference, held at Rio de Janeiro in 1906, passed a further resolution 
on sanitary police. After recommending the general acceptance of the 
convention of Washington, it urged the adoption of measures tend- 
ing to assure the adequate sanitation of cities and especially of ports. 
It had been pointed out that in order to be thorough, international 
sanitary police must not confine its attention to quarantine and to a 

1 See Brit. Pari, papers, 1907, Cd. 377S, and 1909, Cd. 4916. 

2 Proceedings of the International Sanitary Conferences, Washington. 1 902-1910. 
" Report of the Fourth Conference," in Bulletin of the American Republics, April, 


definition of quarantinable diseases, but must advance to the taking- 
up of the effective sanitation in centers from which disease may spread. 
The Pan-American conference further resolved on the establishment, 
in the city of Montevideo, of a center of sanitary information, which 
shall supply to the already existing international sanitary bureau at 
Washington the elements necessary for a successful carrying-out of 
its work. Cooperation between the bureau of Washington and that 
established at Paris by the international sanitary union was also pro- 
vided for, with a view to obtaining mutual information. The fourth 
international sanitary conference was held at San Jose in Costa Rica in 
1909. The advance made in sanitation throughout America as a result 
of the efforts of the union was reviewed at this time, and the great 
benefits obtained through this work were brought out in an impressive 
manner. The conference adopted further resolutions embodying the 
results of the best experience in dealing with the plague, cholera, and 
yellow fever, and recommending specific measures for uniformity in 
mutual protection. 

The International Opiitm Commission} In view of the fact that the 
opium evil in China and other countries cannot be effectively com- 
bated except through cooperation among different nations, it was 
proposed by the American government in September, 1906, that a 
conference be held by a commission composed of delegates of the 
different powers. The commission met at Shanghai in February, 
1909, upon which occasion thirteen nations were represented. The 
program had been prepared and was communicated to the countries 
concerned in advance. Each government had been invited to submit 
a report to be laid before the commission at Shanghai. After receiv- 
ing reports and discussing the questions before it, the commission 
adopted a set of resolutions calling for legislation within the countries 
represented, against the manufacture and distribution of opium for 
other than medicinal purposes. On September 1, 1909, the American 
Secretary of State proposed to the interested powers that a conference 
be called, to meet at The Hague, for the purpose of framing a con- 
vention concerning opium, which would include the recommendations 
made by the opium commission and other matters connected therewith. 

1 Proceedings of the International Opium Commission, Shanghai, 1909. Treaties 
and documents concerning opium in Am. Jour, of Intemat. Law, Supplement, July, 
1909. Hamilton Wright, " International Opium Commission," Am. Jour, of Internal. 
Lata, July and October, 1909. 


The Geneva Convention. 1 The care of the wounded during wars 
has become the subject of a special international agreement, the 
Geneva convention of 1864. This regulates the treatment of disabled 
soldiers and neutralizes the sanitary and hospital services during mili- 
tary operations. This convention made possible the work of the Red 
Cross societies, which have been established in practically all civilized 
countries. These associations are organized on a private basis, though 
their work is essentially of a public nature, for which reason they must 
necessarily be in close touch with the administration of military affairs. 
The societies form a universal union, which has its administrative 
offices at Geneva, where it periodically holds conventions. The inter- 
national committee of the Red Cross at Geneva acts as a central organ 
of communication between the national branches. Repeated attempts 
have been made to amend the convention of 1864, and finally, in 
1906, a new convention was adopted at Geneva. The latter defines 
with greater precision the persons and services protected by the con- 
vention, but avoids the term "neutral" and gives, in some respects, 
greater rights of control to belligerents. The emblem of the red cross is 
henceforth to be protected against unauthorized and commercial uses. 

IV. Police Powers 

Fisheries police? The fishing industry in the North Sea, being 
carried on by fishermen of various nationalities, has required inter- 
national legislation and protection. A treaty was concluded in 1882 
between the six powers most directly interested. Under this treaty any 
commissioned ship of a signatory power may, in certain enumerated 
cases, intervene and arrest any fishing vessel belonging to a subject 
of a treaty power. The delicts for which such an arrest may be made 
are enumerated in the treaty, and the delinquent vessel must be de- 
livered up to the authorities of its own country. This arrangement is 
supplemented by the convention of November 16, 1887, concluded 
at The Hague among the same powers, with the exception of France. 
Under this convention the surveillance and control of floating cabarets, 

1 Bulletin international des sociStes de la croix rouge, Geneva. Moynier, Notions 
•essentielles sur la croix rouge, Geneva, 1896. Meurer, in Zeitschrift fur Vblkerrecht 
tend Bundesstaatsrecht, Vol. I, p. 521. Annuaire de la vie Internationale, 1908-1909, 
p. 421. Fauchille et Politis, Manuel de la croix rouge, 1908. 

2 Treaty of May 6, 1882, and of November 16, 1887, in Archives diplomatiques. Pere 
de Cardaillac de St. Paul, Etude de droit international sur la peche, Toulouse, 1903. 


or liquor shops, is provided for. The policing is carried on by the 
commissioned ships of the treaty powers, which have the same rights 
of arrest in this matter as they were given under the treaty of 1882. 
Protection of submarine cables} The international status of sub- 
marine telegraphs led to much discussion when these instruments of 
communication were first put into use. In 1869 the government of 
the United States suggested the holding of a conference for working 
out a treaty project on the neutralization and protection of cables. 
The Franco- Prussian War caused the postponement of such action, 
although there was continued diplomatic and scientific discussion of 
the international law aspects of marine telegraphy. In 1879 the In- 
stitute of International Law took up this matter and came to the 
conclusion that the first object to be achieved was to protect submarine 
cables against wanton or careless destruction by means of an inter- 
national agreement for the arrest of delinquents on the high seas. 
In 1 88 1, on the basis of a resolution of the international congress of 
electricians, the French government issued invitations for a diplomatic 
conference, which met in Paris during the following year. Thirty- 
three states, as well as the international telegraph bureau of Bern, 
were represented, either by diplomatic or expert delegates. The dele- 
gates of the United States, the power which had originally taken the 
initiative, declined to take an active part in the proceedings, pleading 
lack of instructions from their government. The result of the deliber- 
ations of this conference was the drafting of a convention which was 
later ratified by the diplomatic representatives of the powers at Paris 
(March 14, 1884). Under this treaty certain precautions for the pro- 
tection of cables are made obligatory upon fishermen and navigators. 
The commissioned ships of any signatory power may arrest ships 
suspected of having willfully or negligently injured cables. The arrest 
is made for the purpose of ascertaining from the ship's papers all 
necessary data with respect to it. An authentic written minute (proces- 
vcrbal) is made out on the basis of the facts thus ascertained and of the 
injuries observed. This document has legal force before the national 
tribunals of the delinquent, to which jurisdiction for the trial of such 
cases is reserved. 

1 Landois, Volkerrechtl. Schutz d. submarinen Telegraphenkabel, Greifswald, 1S94. 
Renault, L., on protection of cables, in Revue tie droit international, Vol. XV, p. 17. 
Conf. internat. pour la protection des cables, 1882, 1SS6, Paris, Impr. Nat. 


African slave trade and liquor traffic} Agreements for the sup- 
pression of the slave trade were made between Great Britain and 
France in the years 1833 and 1841. In the latter treaty some addi- 
tional states joined. The congress of Berlin in 1885 took up the 
question again and determined in principle upon the more complete 
international organization of the preventive system. The Brussels 
conference of 1 890 finally regulated the matter .through a convention 
or general act in which both slave trade and African slavery itself 
were made subject to strict international regulation. An office was 
established at Zanzibar (bureau international maritime de la traite) 
for the purpose of superintending the enforcement of the general act. 
The five powers which primarily assumed the preventive operations on 
sea are represented in this bureau. A second bureau was established 
at Brussels for the purpose of collecting information and publish- 
ing documents and statistics with respect to the slave trade. Eight- 
een states are members of this union. The Brussels general act of 
1890 also regulates the sale of liquors in the central belt of Africa (be- 
tween twenty degrees north and twenty-two degrees south). In regions 
where the natives have not yet become accustomed to the use of 
liquors the traffic is entirely forbidden. For other parts a high mini- 
mum excise duty is fixed by the treaty. The bureau at Brussels is to 
act as an intermediary between the treaty powers for the exchange 
of information concerning the liquor traffic in their respective African 
possessions. Conferences were held in 1899, in 1906, and in 1908, 
at which the rules of 1890 were revised and amended. The traffic 
in firearms in Africa has been regulated in a similar manner by 
international action. 

The repression of the white-slave trade? The nefarious traffic 

1 Brussels General Act, in Archives diplomatiques, Vol. XXXV, p. 206. Docu- 
ments relatifs a la repression de la traite, Brussels, annually. Recueil du bureau de 
Bruxelles. Actes de la conf. de 1906, Brussels. 

2 Int. Conf. for the Repr. of White Slavery, 1902, in Archives diplomatiques, 
Vol. LXXVII, pp. 154-263. Appleton, P., La traite des blanches, Paris, 1903. Re- 
ports of the International Congress for the Repression of White Slave Trade (Lon- 
don, 1899 ; Frankfurt, 1903 ; Paris, 1906). Renault, L., " La traite des blanches," in 
Revue generate de droit international, Vol. IX, p. 497. Rehm, in Zeitschrift fiir Vbl- 
kerrecht und Bnndesstaatsrecht, Vol. I, p. 446. Mayr, G. v., on the Paris congress on 
white slavery, 1906, in Beilage znr Allgemeinen Zeitung, Munich, February 5-6, 1907. 
Teutsch, J., on the congress of 1906, in Revue penitentiaire, Vol. XXXI, pp. 84-104. 
Berenger, R., " La traite des blanches," in Revue de deux mondes, July, 1910. 
" Deuxieme conference internat., correspondance, etc.," Archives diplomatiques, 
Vol. CXV, pp. 45-200. 


known as the white-slave trade has for a considerable time operated 
on an international basis. The persons engaged in it have received 
protection from the fact that their transactions were not confined to 
one single national territory, but that acts apparently innocent and 
legitimate were followed by a consummation in another state which 
rendered the entirety of the act criminal. Without international agree- 
ment as to the responsibility in such cases, it would often be impossible 
to punish guilty persons because the acts committed in any one 
particular state might not amount to a completed crime. It was, 
moreover, necessary that the police administrations of the different 
states should support the efforts of each other by promptly giving 
information and in other ways, so that the execution of criminal 
designs might be frustrated. The matter of coming to an understand- 
ing was first taken up by private international congresses. The princi- 
pal one of these organizations is the international union for the 
repression of the white-slave trade, which was founded in London 
in 1899 and has its central office in that city. The successive con- 
gresses of this union have worked out definite principles and methods 
for the purpose of preventing the traffic in question. Through its 
initiative the French government was prevailed upon to call a confer- 
ence of the powers, which met in Paris in July, 1902. Fifteen states 
were represented, including Brazil on the part of America. The 
conference elaborated projects for a convention and for an adminis- 
trative arrangement. The former includes such modifications of the 
principles of criminal law as would be necessary to make the suppres- 
sion of the traffic effective. Certain divergencies as to the age of 
majority, the transmission of rogatory commissions, and other matters 
delayed the ratification of this treaty ; but the Paris conference of 
April 18, 19 10, resolved these difficulties in a satisfactory manner, 
and the convention has now been ratified by a number of states. 

The " arrangement " has in view the adoption of methods of sup- 
pression which can be instituted, without legislative action, by mere 
administrative ordinances in the various states. This was ratified by a 
diplomatic conference assembled in Paris in May, 1904, and it has been 
accepted by sixteen powers, including the United States. 1 It further 

1 The legislative and administrative autonomy of the individual states of the 
American Union places great difficulties in the way of effective cooperation on our 


provides that each treaty government is to create or designate a special 
bureau to collect all specific information about attempts to engage 
women for immoral purposes in foreign countries. Such bureau is to 
have the right of immediate communication with the similar bureaus 
in other states. The governments are to institute a special service of 
surveillance in railway stations and ports for the purpose of discover- 
ing attempts to carry on this illegal traffic. In cases where mere sus- 
picion exists, such suspicion shall nevertheless be communicated to the 
authorities at the point of destination of the suspected persons. The 
repatriation of victims of the traffic is also provided for. The French 
government is made the agent of the union for the purpose of carry- 
ing on the diplomatic negotiations for the admission of new members. 
The London bureau will act as a central organ for purposes of com- 
munication, while in the individual countries certain police authorities, 
as, for instance, the police presidency of Berlin, have been designated 
to act as national bureaus. 

The Paris conference of April, 19 10, extended the methods of 
international police cooperation to the suppression of immoral 
writings and objects. The publication or manufacture of, and the 
commerce in, such things is to be generally forbidden ; infractions 
may be tried in any country where the delict or some of its elements 
has transpired. By a "project of arrangement" each state binds 
itself to designate some authority to give information to the agents 
of the other governments respecting such cases. Fifteen powers were 
represented at this conference. 

The Soutli American police convention} The Latin-American 
scientific congress, which met at Rio de Janeiro in 1905, after a 
discussion of the best means of interchanging information for iden- 
tifying criminals, passed resolutions calling for the holding of an 
American police congress for the purpose of making an agreement 
upon this point. As a result a police conference met at the city of 
Buenos Aires in 1905. It included delegates of the police adminis- 
trations of the province, as well as the city of Buenos Aires, of the 
city of Rio de Janeiro, of Santiago, and of Montevideo. It was there- 
fore purely an administrative conference, representing not the na- 
tional governments in their entirety but only the police administration 

1 Conferencia internacional de policia, convenio celebrado, Buenos Aires, 1905. 
Almandos, L. R., Dactiloscopia Argentina, La Flata, 1909. 


of the capital cities. The convention adopted was an arrangement 
for the cooperation between these administrations for their mutual 
assistance. Paraguay later also gave its adherence. The convention 
provides for the interchange of data for the purpose of identifying 
criminals and suspicious characters. For purposes of identification 
the Argentinian system of dactyloscopy, together with a system of 
morphological description, was adopted, to be used in common by 
all the administrations. The treaty further provides for the exchange 
of information concerning the movements of suspicious characters. 

V. Scientific Purposes 

Modern governments are devoting a large and constantly growing 
part of their energies to scientific work. In nearly every branch of 
their administrative activities it is necessary to conduct scientific 
investigations in order to provide a reliable basis for governmental 
action. While this is true even of the police functions, it applies 
especially to that part of government which relates to developing 
industrial, commercial, and agricultural life. Here the government, 
through its scientific institutes, endeavors to guide and assist the 
material development of the country by the discovery and testing of 
new methods. But as governments enter more fully into scientific 
work, and as a greater force of officials is employed in this manner, it 
is also soon discovered that international cooperation is necessary in 
order to make such branches of the service most effective. Moreover, 
there are certain determinations of scientific and technical facts that 
can be made in a satisfactory manner only through world-wide coop- 
eration. In all sciences it is important that there should be a free and 
universal interchange of experience and results ; but some scientific 
undertakings involve the contemporary study of related groups of 
facts in different parts of the world in such a manner that they can 
be satisfactorily carried on only through simultaneous work by scientists 
in a large number of countries. It is, of course, possible that such 
international cooperation could be organized through private initiative, 
and this has in fact been done in many branches of science. But 
there are other lines of investigation which governments, on account 
of the scientific institutions which they already control, are well pre- 
pared to undertake. A number of public conferences of a scientific 


nature have been held, various standing committees and bureaus have 
been created which are supported by government contributions, and, 
moreover, a great many governments participate regularly, through 
official delegates, in international scientific congresses arranged for 
by private initiative. 

Among the commissions and bureaus which have been reviewed 
above, there are a number whose functions may be called scientific. 
Bureaus like that of the industrial property union and the sanitary 
union have the duty of collecting reliable information and arranging 
it in a scientific manner. The functions of the metric bureau at Sevres 
are of a strictly scientific nature. But in all these cases, and in the 
others reviewed, the information is gathered for the purpose of form- 
ing the basis of action by the governments who are members of the 
respective unions. There are, in addition to these associations and 
unions, a few whose purpose is purely informational and scientific. 
We cannot, of course, in this place deal with the numerous scientific 
associations of international extent, composed of private persons and 
not connected with governments through representation and financial 

The International Geodetic Association. 1 On the initiative of the 
Prussian government a conference was convened in 1864 for the pur- 
pose of forming an association through which the geodetic work car- 
ried on by the various governments could be compared, harmonized, 
and rendered more efficient. Fourteen states were represented at this 
conference. It created a permanent organization composed of a gen- 
eral conference which meets every three years, a governing commis- 
sion, and a central bureau. This last was located at Potsdam and 
placed under the direction of the Prussian institute of geodesy. The 
original purpose of the association was to standardize geodetic re- 
searches with respect to central Europe. Its scope was subsequently 
expanded so as to embrace all of Europe and then the entire globe, 
the ultimate purpose of the association being the absolute determina- 
tion of the form of the earth. The organization of the union was 

1 Titmann and Hayford, " Conference of the Geodetic Association," in Science, 
December 7, 1906. Publications of the International Council for the Exploration of 
the Sea, Copenhagen, since 1903. On the international conference and council for 
exploration of the sea, Geogr. Jour., Vol. XX, p. 316, and Scott. Geogr. Mag., Vol. XVI, 
p. 299. Bulletin of the Internat. Statistical Institute, various places since 18S6. Treaty 
of March 15, 1886, in Archives diplomatique*. 


modified in 1886 by giving the international bureau an independent 
budget made up of contributions of the member states according to 
population. The control of the Prussian government over the bureau 
was rendered less direct by this measure, although the connection 
with the Prussian institute was maintained. At the present time the 
association has a membership of twenty states, and its annual budget 
averages $19,000. The association does not fix the methods of obser- 
vation or computation in any country ; it controls only the processes 
used in its own central bureau and in the field work paid for from 
the association funds. But by virtue of the active interchange of ideas 
the union undoubtedly does exert a strong influence in making the 
methods used in various countries more nearly uniform and progres- 
sive than they would otherwise be. 

In 1882 there was held at Paris an international conference for the 
determination of electric units. Twenty-five governments took part 
through official delegates, and resolutions were adopted establishing 
certain general rules with respect to the subject under consideration. 
Conferences of this nature have been held from time to time, in one 
or another of which all of thirty-six governments have participated. 
The last conference on electric units and standards met at London in 
October, 1908. Its object was to obtain international agreement on 
the three electric units, — the ohm, the ampere, and the volt. It re- 
solved itself into three commissions : first, on electric units ; second, 
on electric currents ; and third, on a standard measure of light. A 
permanent international electrotechnical commission has been estab- 
lished, which met at the same time. This commission has under con- 
sideration the question of standardizing the nomenclature and the 
ratings of electric apparatus and machinery. 

In 1884 an international conference was held at Washington for 
the purpose of fixing a prime meridian. This also was entirely a 
government conference, twenty-six countries being officially repre- 
sented. It passed a resolution recommending the universal acceptance 
of the meridian of Greenwich as a prime meridian. Furthermore, it 
adopted a plan for a universal day. Under this arrangement the 
time in all parts of the world would be exactly the same, and it 
would become impossible to lose or gain a day by passing a certain 
meridian. 1 

1 Proceedings published at Washington, 1SS4. 


The study of the causes, results, and concomitant phenomena of 
earthquakes constitutes a subject which cannot be satisfactorily dealt 
with on the basis of the scientific experience of a single nation. The 
science of seismology is therefore essentially international. It is neces- 
sary to have a broad field of observation in order accurately to deter- 
mine the natural laws involved in the phenomena ; as a matter of fact, 
the physical area affected by any serious disturbance is practically the 
surface of the entire globe. A first general conference on seismology 
was held at St. Petersburg in 1 90 1 , when it was agreed that the estab- 
lishment of a public international union should be brought about. 
Accordingly, in 1903, there followed a meeting of official representa- 
tives of governments, through whom an international association was 
established. A rtglcment was adopted and a central bureau instituted 
at St. Petersburg. The conference also created a commission com- 
posed of delegates of each of the governments, who are members of 
the union. This body exercises a general supervision over the tech- 
nical work of the association. Subsequent general conferences were 
held at Leipzig, 1904; Rome, 1906; and The Hague, 1907. The 
union at the present time includes fifteen governments. 1 

Of great practical importance is the work of the international asso- 
ciation for unifying the formulae of potent drugs. Not only is med- 
ical science concerned in the establishment of universal formulae 
of this kind, but it is evidently also of great importance to certain 
branches of the public administration — such as, for instance, that of 
criminal law — that there should be uniformity in such matters. At a 
conference held at Brussels in 1902, at which nineteen powers were 
represented, this international association was established, a commis- 
sion formed, and a secretariate instituted at Brussels. A second 
conference, held in 1906, worked out a new convention, which was 
signed on November 29 of that year. 

Of a more purely scientific nature is the work of the permanent 
council for the exploration of the sea, which is located at Copenhagen. 
This union was founded at Stockholm in 1899. At a subsequent 
meeting at Christiania, in 1901, the international council was estab- 
lished, together with a bureau and a laboratory. The governments 
interested, nine in number, are represented upon the council by two 
representatives each. The purpose of the bureau is to give uniform 

1 Geogr. Jour., Vol. XXVIII, p. 8l. 


direction to hydrographic. and biological researches in the ocean. 
Particular research work is also intrusted to it from time to time by 
the council. It is the function of the international laboratory to con- 
trol the apparatus employed and to insure uniformity of methods on 
the part of investigators belonging to different nations, in order that 
the results obtained may be accessible and useful to all. The budget 
for 1907 was 102,425 francs. The expenses of the council are de- 
frayed entirely by the governments who are members. Another 
organization of this kind is the international commission established 
to carry on the study of the polar regions. It was brought into being 
at a congress held in 1906, at which fourteen governments and a 
number of learned associations were represented. A similar object is 
pursued by the Baltic and White Sea conference, which met at The 
Hague in September, 1909. 

It had been repeatedly suggested that there should be undertaken 
the joint elaboration of a map of the world, in which the principal 
civilized countries should participate. The suggestion was first taken 
up in the international geographical congress, which met at Bern in 
1 90 1. A committee appointed to develop a plan reported at subse- 
quent congresses. Finally, an international commission was created, 
which met at London in 1909. At this conference twenty-four coun- 
tries were represented. The plan adopted contemplates a map drawn 
upon the scale of one to one million, that is, about sixteen statute 
miles to the inch. Each sheet of this map will embrace an area of 
four degrees in latitude and six degrees in longitude. There will 
be twenty-four hundred of these sheets, and the entire map when 
put together will measure about one hundred by one hundred 
fifty feet. The commission will agree upon absolute uniformity in 
the system of notations. The practical value of this undertaking 
requires no emphasis. 

The Pan-American scientific congress. 1 General scientific con- 
gresses, taking for their province the whole realm of human knowl- 
edge, are peculiar to America. The meeting of scientific men from 
all parts of the world, during the St. Louis exhibition, is well remem- 
bered as the first attempt to gather in one convention representative 
scientific men from all nations. But our neighbors to the south 

1 Trabajos y conclusiones del cuarto congreso cientffico (primero pan-americano),. 
Santiago, 1909. 


made the beginning in holding general scientific congresses on a 
continental scale. In 1898, through the efforts of the Argentinian 
scientific society and under the auspices of the Argentinian govern- 
ment, there was convened the first Latin-American scientific congress, 
in the city of Buenos Aires. 

So successful was this first attempt that the idea took root and the 
scientific congress became an institution of American life. In 1901 
the second congress met at Montevideo, followed in 1905 by the 
third, in the capital of Brazil. In all these congresses the government 
of the country of meeting acted as host, and the president and public 
ministers took part as honorary or active officers. Thus, from the 
first, the congress was impressed with a semipublic character, and 
governments were represented in it by specially designated delegates. 
This did not of course exclude the presence of representatives of uni- 
versities and other learned bodies, as well as of private "adherents." 
These congresses served to establish closer bonds of union and of 
mutual friendship and understanding among the participating coun- 
tries of America. 

When the organizing commission of the fourth congress, in Chile, 
began its work, it was suggested that this congress should include all 
the nations of America, not only those using tongues of Latin deri- 
vation. This decision was a result of the efforts which had been 
made in the diplomatic conferences at Washington, Mexico, and Rio 
de Janeiro to establish relations of active friendship among all Ameri- 
can countries. These had prepared the way for a union of Ameri- 
can men of science. Thus the suggestion commended itself to the 
Chilean commission, and they inaugurated a new era in American 
intellectual life by making the scientific congress Pan-American in 
scope and character. Not only did they decide to include the United 
States among the nations invited, and thus to make the congress 
truly American, but they were guided by the concept of American- 
ism in the elaboration of the program. Accordingly it was planned 
that the congress was to occupy itself primarily with problems and 
conditions peculiar to the American continents. As this was the first 
meeting of the kind, a survey of the whole field of science in the New 
World was a proper work to be undertaken. For this reason many 
of the papers and discussions were occupied with the more general as- 
pects of their subject. An effort was made broadly to determine the 


tasks confronting American men of science at the present time. 
But in addition to this, many special investigations of scientific 
materials were presented. 

The fact that governments were represented, and that most Latin- 
American countries had appointed their minister in Chile as head of 
their delegation, gave the congress a semidiplomatic character. This 
was accentuated by the election of diplomats to the principal offices 
of the congress. The congress was divided into nine large sections, 
each of which held separate meetings, and some of which had again 
to be subdivided in order to make it possible to present the papers 
that had been prepared for the occasion. Many resolutions were 
adopted, based upon studies presented by various delegates. It was 
also resolved that the president, secretary, and treasurer of any con- 
gress should constitute a permanent commission acting until the sub- 
sequent meeting, in cooperation with the committee on organization, 
whose duty it is to carry out the preparatory arrangements in the 
country where the meeting is to take place. 

VI. International Commissions and Unions for Special 

and Local Purposes 

Common action on the part of a number of states to protect specific 
interests is becoming more and more frequent. In order to carry out 
the provisions of treaties or to make an investigation, temporary com- 
missions have often been created, whose duties are confined to the 
accomplishment of a certain specific task. Of this nature were the 
commissions appointed to elaborate the provisions of the Vienna 
treaty of 18 15, dealing with navigation. Separate commissions were 
appointed to prepare regulations for the Vistula, the Elbe, the Rhine, 
and the Ems. But though it would be interesting to study the organ- 
ization and work of these temporary bodies, we shall have to content 
ourselves with a very brief review of those international commissions 
for special or local purposes, which have a more permanent duration. 
An interesting attempt to regulate the jurisdiction over boundary 
rivers, through the institution of an international tribunal and the 
determination of its relations to the national courts, is contained in 
the convention relative to the navigation of the Rhine, concluded on 
October 1 7, 1 868, between six riparian states. It provided for a tribunal 
of Rhine navigation, in which all the treaty states were represented. 


The interest which a number of central European states have in 
the navigation of the Danube has led to the conclusion of a series of 
treaties and conventions upon this- matter, beginning with the treaty 
of Paris in 1856. By this treaty there was created a European 
Danube commission, which was charged to plan and carry out impor- 
tant works for improving the navigation of the lower Danube. Its 
duration, originally limited to two years, — a strangely inadequate 
period, - - was subsequently extended, until finally, by the treaty of 
London in 1883, its powers were prolonged for twenty-one years and 
for periods of three years thereafter, subject to denunciation by any 
of the treaty powers. The commission is composed of representa- 
tives of the ten treaty states ; its permanent offices are at Galatz. Its 
resources are supplied by an equal tax imposed by the commission 
itself, by a majority vote, upon the shipping of the lower Danube ; 
it is guaranteed complete independence from undue interference on 
the part of any riparian state, and has the right to use its own distinc- 
tive flag. Very important and useful works have already been exe- 
cuted under its superintendence. 1 

The Peking peace protocol of September 7, 1901, provides for 
the improvement of the navigation of two Chinese rivers under the 
superintendence of international commissions. 

By the general act of the Berlin conference (1885) there was insti- 
tuted an international commission of the Kongo. The duty of this 
commission is to superintend the execution of the treaty provisions 
in favor of the equal rights of navigation in the Kongo basin. It is 
provided by the act that the commission is to be composed of one 
representative of each treaty power, to be independent of the riparian 
governments and to have the usual diplomatic privileges of invio- 
lability. Thus far, however, the commission has not been constituted 
for work. A similar commission was instituted by the treaty of Con- 
stantinople, of 1888, for the purpose of supervising and enforcing 
the observance of the neutrality of the Suez Canal ; it is made up of 
the consuls of the treaty powers in Egypt. 

Another instance of international cooperation is found in the union 

1 Orban, P., Etude de droit fluvial international, Paris, 1S96. Arntz, Regime 
international du Danube. Bonfils, Droit int. publ., § 52S. Berges, A., Du regime 
de navigation des fleuves internationaux, 1902. " Reglement pour Amelioration du 
Whang-pou," in Archives diplomatiques, Vol. LXXXI, p. 28. Compare, also, the 
Canada-United States International Waterways Commission. 


for the purpose of maintaining a lighthouse at Cape Spartel, in Mo- 
rocco. Eleven powers are members to this agreement, which is car- 
ried out under the superintendence of the consular corps at Tangier. 
As a result of the treaty of Algeciras ( 1 906) international supervision 
over Moroccan affairs has been very much extended. We may note 
especially the international control of the police, and the international 
bank of Morocco. 

In case of serious disorganization in the financial system of the 
state, joint international action for the purpose of reform has been 
frequently resorted to. The Egyptian commission for financial affairs 
(caisse de la dcttc), which was instituted by treaty in 1880, is com- 
posed of representatives of the principal creditor nations. The amor- 
tization and conversion of the Egyptian debt is under its control, and 
its consent is necessary to enable the Egyptian government to incur 
any expenditures not authorized under the original treaty. A similar 
institution for Turkish finance has existed since 1878. In 1897 there 
was created an international financial commission for the control of 
Greek finances. The Macedonian financial reglement of 1906 pro- 
vided for a fiscal commission composed of delegates of Germany, 
France, Great Britain, and Italy, of the civil agents of Russia and 
of Austro-Hungary, and of the Turkish inspector general of finance. 
The commission was to superintend the regular collection of the 
taxes, and its assent was necessary to the validity of the Macedonian 
budget. It had the right to nominate for each vilayet an inspector to 
superintend the fiscal agents employed by the Turkish government. 
As a result of new fiscal arrangements made in 1909 the commission 
was dissolved, and the agents of Great Britain, France, and Italy en- 
tered Turkish service as foreign financial advisers. For the purpose 
of facilitating the payment of the indemnity installments, as provided 
for in the Peking protocol of 1901, there has been instituted at 
Shanghai a commission of bankers, upon which all the treaty powers 
are represented. 1 

In connection with these unions for local and restricted purposes, 
it also seems proper to mention two important organizations, which 
aim to unify and make interchangeable the coinage of the member 

1 The Macedonian reglement, in Archives diplomatiques, Vol. XCV, p. 355. Murat, 
Le controle international sur les finances de l'figypte, de la Grece et de la Turquie, 
Paris, 1899. Engelhardt, in Revue de droit international, Vol. XV, p. 340. 


states. Such are the Latin monetary union, 1 formed in 1865, and 
comprising France, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, and Greece, and the 
Scandinavian monetary union, formed in 1873, and composed of 
Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. The original purpose of the Latin 
union was the maintenance among the countries composing it of the 
double standard at the ratio of 15^ to 1. The great subsequent depre- 
ciation of silver caused many difficulties to the union. A conference 
meeting in 1874 decided upon a temporary suspension and permanent 
limitation of silver coinage. In 1885 Belgium threatened to withdraw 
from the union, but was ultimately induced to continue a member, on 
the basis of several concessions. Subsequent conferences were held 
in 1893, 1898, 1902, and 1908. The matters determined by these 
conferences related to means for preventing the exportation of coin, 
and for regulating the amount of fractional currency to be allowed 
each country, as well as the per capita amount of silver coin to be 
issued in each. This latter item was fixed at 16 francs per inhabitant 
by the conference of 1908. In 1892, upon the initiative of the 
United States, an international monetary conference met at Brussels 
for the purpose of discussing means for the maintenance of a suit- 
able currency with the double standard. This conference did not lead 
to the adoption of international acts or treaties. 

1 Willis, A History of the Latin Monetary Union, Chicago, 1901. Russell, H. B., 
International Monetary Conferences, New York, 1898. Van der Rest, " L'union 
monetaire latine," in Revue de droit international, Vol. XIII, p. 5. 



It is not our purpose in this chapter to follow in detail the history 
of the relations between the different republics of America, nor even 
the development of the idea of a specifically American tendency in 
international law and diplomacy. But as a part of the present study 
a brief presentation of the proceedings and results of the American 
conferences and of the international administrative organs created by 
them will be indispensable. The American union is distinguished 
from others by the universality of its purposes and by the geograph- 
ical limitation of its membership, but the action of its conferences 
and organs illustrates the same principles and subserves the same 
need for cooperation which we have observed in other cases. 

The invitation for the first Pan-American conference at Wash- 
ington was issued on the basis of the Act of Congress of May 24, 
1888. In this act the plan of cooperation between the American 
powers was outlined in the following language : ' The President of 
the United States shall set forth that the conference is called to 
consider : 

" First : Measures that shall tend to preserve the peace and promote 
the prosperity of the several American states. 

11 Second : Measures toward the formation of an American cus- 
toms union, under which the trade of the American nations with 
each other shall, so far as possible and profitable, be promoted. 

' Third : The establishment of regular and frequent communica- 
tion between the ports of the several American states. 

' Fourth : The establishment of a uniform system of customs regu- 
lations in each of the independent American states to govern the 
mode of importation and exportation of merchandise, and port dues 
and charges ; a uniform method of determining the classification and 
valuation of such merchandise in the ports of each country, and a 
uniform system of invoices ; and the subject of the sanitation of 
ships and quarantine. 



' Fifth : The adoption of a uniform system of weights and 
measures, and laws to protect the patent rights, copyrights, and 
trade-marks of citizens of either country in the other, and for the 
extradition of criminals. 

" Sixth : The adoption of a common silver coin, to be issued by 
each government, the same to be legal tender in all commercial 
transactions between the citizens of all of the American states. 

" Seventh : An agreement upon and recommendation for adop- 
tion to their respective governments of a definite plan of arbitration 
of all questions, disputes, and differences that may now or hereafter 
exist between them, to the end that all difficulties and disputes 
between such nations may be peaceably settled and wars prevented. 

' Eighth : And to consider such other subjects relating to the welfare 
of the several states represented as may be presented by any of said 
states which are hereby invited to participate in said conference." 

This general plan of common action is the result of long discus- 
sions in both Houses of Congress, of motions and resolutions offered 
by different senators and representatives, and of the political ideas 
of Blaine as set forth especially in his circular letter concerning a 
peace congress to be held in the year 1882. 1 The act cited above 
was adopted during the administration of President Cleveland by the 
action of a Republican Senate and a Democratic House. As the 
initiative in this matter was traced back to Blaine, who had been Sec- 
retary of State in 1881, and as the policy was in general a part of 
Republican views on our economic and commercial relations with 
the Old World, there was a strong opposition to the passage of this 
measure by the House of Representatives. The President himself 
did not sign the bill, but neither did he veto it, so the measure 
became a law without his cooperation. When the conference, thus 
called, met at Washington, the governmental power had again passed 
entirely into the hands of the Republicans. Blaine as Secretary of 
State under Harrison acted as president of the conference, an office 
which he exercised in person. Without doubt he was the leading 
personality in this meeting, as well as in the general movement. 
These facts explain why the entire merit of originating the Pan- 
American idea is often attributed to him. 

1 International American Conference, 1889, Reports and Discussions, Washing- 
ton, 1890, Vol. IV, p. 255. 


When, however, we consider the individual parts of the act of 
1888 in their development, it is apparent that this policy did not 
spring from the mind of any single statesman. The first suggestion 
of cooperative action among the American powers took the form of 
a plan for the arbitration of international controversies. This theme 
is contained in the first and seventh paragraphs of the section of the 
law of 1888 which lays down the purposes of the conference. In 
the year 1881 the government of Colombia had invited all American 
states to send delegates to a meeting where this matter should be 
discussed, 1 but on account of the war between Chile and Peru this 
conference could not be held. The circular letter of Secretary 
Blaine, already referred to, is entirely taken up with this purpose of 
arbitration and does not go beyond the idea of fostering international 
peace. In the House of Representatives this point of view is empha- 
sized in the resolutions presented by Worthington and by McKinley 
(1886) ; and Logan represented a similar sentiment in the Senate. 
These resolutions confine themselves to favoring the creation of 
international courts of arbitration for America. 

The commercial aspect of Pan-American relations was first dis- 
cussed in the House in 1884. In this year Congress passed an act 
creating a commission of three members who were charged to make 
a careful study of the commercial relations between the different 
American republics. 2 In a report addressed to the committee of the 
Senate and dated March 26, 1884, Secretary of State Frelinghuysen 
favored the policy of concluding a series of reciprocity treaties ; he, 
meanwhile, expressed some doubt concerning the practicability of a 
general American customs union. The Act of 1888, however, men- 
tioned such a union as one of the purposes of the conference. The 
Forty-ninth Congress, in which the Democratic party had a strong 
majority, had taken an entirely negative attitude in this matter ; the 
Fiftieth, through which the Act of 1888 finally came into being, 
contained a strong minority in the House, which opposed the policy 
of using diplomatic means for the development of commerce. 3 

The first international conference of American states held its in- 
augural session on October 2, 1889, all the independent American 

1 Conference, 1889, Reports, Vol. IV, p. 218. 2 Ibid., p. 299. 

8 Minority report (Mr. Perry Belmont) in Conference, 1889, Reports^ Vol. IV, 
p. 320. Majority Report, Vol. IV, p. 315. 


states being represented. The matters for discussion were distrib- 
uted among sixteen standing committees ; in general the plan out- 
lined in the Act of 1888 was made the basis of this division, 
although there was added a discussion of private international law. 
Four of the committees considered means of transportation by land 
and sea, while others dealt with such matters as the customs union, 
customhouse regulations, sanitary administration, extradition, and a 
Pan-American bank. 

Although the conference ultimately passed a resolution couched in 
very general terms, it soon became apparent to all delegates that the 
idea of an American customs union would have to be abandoned. 1 
The delegates of Chile and of Argentina insisted that the term " cus- 
toms union " could refer only to a complete Zollverein, such as that 
of the German states ; they accordingly brought in a minority report 
in which it was definitely declared that the project of a customs union 
among the American states must be rejected. However, it was not 
at all the attitude of the North American delegates to urge the crea- 
tion of a customs union, and at no time was this matter pressed. 
The American representatives argued that this expression ought to 
be interpreted in connection with the other parts of the act, and that 
it merely indicated that considerations of a commercial nature were 
to be taken up by the conference. The majority report of the com- 
mittee, which was accepted by the conference, assumed the following 
conservative form : ' To recommend to such of the governments 
represented in the conference as may be interested in the conclusion 
of partial reciprocity treaties of commerce, to negotiate such treaties 
with one or more of the American countries with which it may be to 
their interest to make them, upon such terms as may be acceptable 
in each case, taking into consideration the special situation, condi- 
tions, and interests of each country, and with a view to the promo- 
tion of the common welfare of all." 

Seldom did the conference in its further action pass beyond such 
general resolutions and recommendations. The territory was too new, 
the principle of cooperation was untried, and the questions of joint 
action were exceedingly complicated. It was felt that the mutual 

1 Blaine's Letter, June 19, 1890. Sen. Doc. 138, Fifty-seventh Congress, first 
session. Report of Committee on Customs Union, Conference Reports, Vol. I, 
p. 103. 


relations of the powers involved would have to be determined more 
definitely before a conference could undertake the elaboration of definite 
projects for treaties and laws with a feeling of complete assurance as 
to results. The conference adopted only one treaty project, — that 
dealing with the obligatory arbitration of international controversies. 1 
Though the conference, with the exception of the delegates of 
Mexico and Chile, had accepted this project, no state was bound 
diplomatically through this action ; the adoption was purely ad 
referendum and required ratification by the individual governments. 
The conference gave to this project a very advanced character ; obli- 
gatory arbitration was to be decreed in all controversies, with the 
sole exception of those in which the independence of a country was 
endangered. But even in the latter case arbitration was to be obli- 
gatory upon that party whose action threatened the independence of 
another country. The treaty also announced the principle that in 
America the right of conquest shall have no application, and therefore 
declared invalid all cessions of territory which had been obtained 
through the presence of an armed force. The principal advocates 
of this project, the delegates of Argentina and Peru, tried to weaken 
the objections urged against it through the argument that though the 
treaty made arbitration obligatory, it did not introduce a compelling 
power nor permit intervention on the part of outside nations. Under 
this interpretation the term " obligatory " would have addressed itself 
rather to the conscience of the parties to the controversy ; it did not 
invite the action of outside powers to secure the enforcement of the 
duty. It does not seem that the delegates were entirely clear in their 
minds concerning the relations of such a treaty to the sovereignty of 
the individual states. The acceptance of an arbitration project of so 
broad a character is in large part due to the personal influence of 
Secretary Blaine, who himself took part in the debates and made 
several enthusiastic and forceful appeals in behalf of international 

The project was signed by the delegates of eleven republics, among 
them Brazil, Bolivia, and the United States ; but on the date fixed for 
final ratification, May I, 1891, not a single government had sanctioned 
the treaty. Attempts were made to extend the term. In his annual 
message of December 19, 1890, President Harrison had urged that 

1 Conference Reports. Vo!. II. p. 259. 


the United States, true to its initiative, should adopt the treaty, but it 
was never ratified by any of the powers. 

Resolutions of the conference containing recommendations to the 
various American governments were adopted, concerning the following 
matters : postal communication, survey of the Pan-American railway, 
administrative customs regulations, harbor dues, international mone- 
tary affairs and a Pan-American bank, patents and trade-marks, weights 
and measures, sanitary regulations, extradition treaties, and interna- 
tional private law. Although in general the preparatory work of the 
conference was inadequate, nevertheless many of these subjects were 
dealt with in considerable detail and in the light of experience. Thus 
the report of the committee on customs regulations made a number 
of specific and practical recommendations. The reports on inter- 
continental communication, too, were of considerable value, as they set 
forth clearly the condition of existing and possible means of transpor- 
tation by sea and by land. In the matter of patents and international 
private law the conference confined itself to recommending the fur- 
ther adoption of the treaty which had been elaborated by the South 
American congress of international law at Montevideo in 1888. 1 In 
regard to sanitation, it pursued a similar course and favored the 
adoption of the projects which had been worked out by the sanitary 
conference of Rio in 1887, and of Lima in 1889. In these matters, 
therefore, the conference of Washington based its recommendation 
entirely upon the products of South American labors in the field 
of internationalism. 

Considered in its entirety, the conference of Washington repre- 
sents a new phenomenon in international life. Hitherto the world 
had known only two kinds of international meetings : congresses of 
a diplomatic character, called together for the purpose of dealing with 
a definite political situation, usually after a great war, and for the pur- 
pose of determining the bases for a treaty in which the different 
national interests would be balanced and adjusted ; or conferences 
partially diplomatic and partially technical in character, summoned 
for the discussion of a definite group of economic or social interests, 
such as, for instance, the various European conferences dealing with 
postal, telegraphic, or railway affairs. The conference of Washington 

1 Conference, 1889, Reports, Vol. II, pp. 555, 874. Actas del congreso sudameri- 
cano de derecho internac. privado, Buenos Aires, 1889. 


'differed from these established categories of international meetings in 
that, on the one hand, it was not convened for the settlement of a 
specific diplomatic problem, while on the other it did not confine itself 
to the discussion of any definite interest or group of relations. It had 
the character of a general advisory meeting of the representatives of 
neighboring countries, summoned for the purpose of bringing these 
countries into closer touch with one another and of arriving at a better 
mutual knowledge of their various relations and interests, in order to 
provide a secure basis for the eventual conclusion of treaties and 
for cooperation between these governments. It was therefore a fore- 
gone conclusion that such a conference, the first of its kind, would 
not be rich in specific results. More intimate relations would first 
have to be established and the countries would have to gain clearer 
views concerning the tendencies and probable effects of international 
arrangements among American states before definite action could be 
expected. But it could also be hoped that a free interchange of opin- 
ions among leading diplomats and statesmen of an entire continent 
would not be without desirable results in bringing about a better 
mutual understanding. 

The direct influence of the resolutions of the conference of Wash- 
ington upon the legislative and administrative conditions in the differ- 
ent American states was indeed very small. There was common action 
in the creation of an intercontinental railway commission and of the 
bureau of American republics. The former was nominated shortly 
after the conclusion of the conference, and it received its financial 
means through contributions from the United States and a few other 
governments. The commission caused important investigations and 
surveys to be made, and prepared a detailed technical report which 
was submitted to the second conference. 

Of great importance was the creation of the International Bureau 
of the American Republics. This step, incidentally suggested in the 
report of the committee on customs regulations, caused the confer- 
ence to provide for the creation of such a bureau "for the prompt 
collection and distribution of commercial information." The bureau 
was to be established in the city of Washington and was placed under 
the supervision of the American Secretary of State. The commercial 
and industrial information thus collected was to be published in an 
organ called The Bulletin of the International Bureau of American 


Republics printed in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese. 
The different governments assumed the duty of furnishing correct 
and detailed information concerning their commercial and customs 
legislation, as well as all statistical data bearing upon these matters. 
The annual budget of the bureau was not to exceed $36,000 ; its 
income was to be furnished by the different countries, in proportion 
to their population. It was provided that this union of American 
republics was to remain in force for ten years ; and unless twelve 
months before the end of this term a majority of the member states 
had announced their withdrawal, it was to continue for an additional 
term of equal length. Immediately upon the conclusion of the con- 
ference, the bureau was organized by the American Secretary of State, 
a director being appointed on August 26, 1 890. 

The conference of Washington did not pass any resolution con- 
cerning future meetings of American diplomats. It was, however, 
generally recognized that this conference constituted only an initiative 
which would be followed sooner or later by similar meetings for the 
further elaboration of the general ideas adopted at Washington. The 
accession to power of the Democratic party in 1893 did not favor 
the continuance of the work with which Blaine's name was so promi- 
nently connected. In the summer of 1896 the Mexican republic 
attempted to convene an international American congress. On the 
day set for its opening, however, there were present only the repre- 
sentatives of Venezuela and of the five Central American republics, 
so that the conference did not come into being. The American min- 
ister to Mexico had been instructed by his government to take part 
in the congress, should it actually be convoked. The idea had been 
expressed that this congress would consider the meaning and appli- 
cation of the Monroe Doctrine. President McKinley, educated in 
the political traditions of Blaine, was favorable to the Pan-American 
movement, but shortly after his accession to the presidency the 
United States became involved in the war against Spain. For some 
time during and after the war there was considerable doubt as to 
what influence it would exert upon the relations of the United States 
to the Spanish-American republics. Many publicists surmised that 
the hostilities would bring about an awakening of sympathy for the 
mother country among her ancient colonies, and that on the basis of 
the contrast between Latin and Germanic stock there would be 


developed a more conscious opposition between North and South 
America. Conjectures of this kind were, however, soon to prove fal- 
lacious. There was indeed a short ebullition of sentiment in favor of 
Spain, but it is doubtful whether it exerted any strong influence in 
modifying existing political and economic relations. A Hispano- 
American congress held in Madrid in 1900, though well attended 
and used as an occasion for expressions of loyalty to Spain, did not 
lead to any definite results. The Spanish-American War, on the 
other hand, through making the United States the sovereign power 
in Porto Rico and giving her a species of protectorate over Cuba, 
created among the North-American people a far greater interest in 
the Spanish-American world than they had ever felt before. 

In his message of December 5, 1899, President McKinley sug- 
gested that, in view of the incomplete results of the first Pan-Ameri- 
can conference, it might be desirable to hold a second meeting of this 
kind. Following out this suggestion, the Department of State sent a 
circular letter to its various diplomatic representatives in Central and 
South America. The Mexican republic now repeated its invitation, 
and on October 22, 1901, the second conference of American repub- 
lics met in the city of Mexico. This time, too, all the American 
republics were represented. 

At Washington controversy had centered upon questions of com- 
mercial policy. The suspicion that the United States was attempting 
to use diplomatic means in order to conquer South American trade 
had led the Chilean and Argentine representatives to defend their 
economic freedom against surmised dangers by making a positive 
declaration of commercial independence. On the other hand, the 
far-reaching project of arbitration was opposed only by Chile, and 
did not become a source of general strife and antagonism. But in 
the Mexican conference all this was reversed, and the question of 
arbitration became the focal point of debate. The perennial conflict 
between Chile and Peru concerning the provinces of Tacna and Arica 
had become more and more acute. Chile, though bound by treaty to 
institute a plebiscite in which the inhabitants of these provinces might 
express their preference with respect to the country to which they 
would rather belong, had refused to make any such submission of the 
question of sovereignty to the local population, except on terms not 
acceptable to Peru. The latter had therefore made repeated urgent 


representations, and now insisted upon submitting the entire question 
to an international tribunal. On all occasions, therefore, Peru was 
ready to favor a general obligatory procedure of international arbitra- 
tion. Brazil also had acquired more definite views upon this matter, 
although she looked at the question from the opposite position. When 
she came into territorial conflicts with her western neighbors, the latter 
had invoked the principle of arbitration against the great republic of 
the Amazon. 

During the first weeks of the conference the relations among the 
delegation at Mexico were uncomfortably strained. The delegates of 
Chile made no secret of their intention to withdraw from the confer- 
ence, should it even enter upon a discussion of obligatory arbitration. 
The more extreme representatives of the opposing view insisted upon 
the adoption of their proposals before they would agree to the consid- 
eration of any other topics on the program. The matter was further 
complicated through the fact that the defenders of the obligatory 
principle were not agreed among themselves whether the treaty to be 
concluded should refer only to future controversies, or whether the 
settlement of existing conflicts should also be provided for. When it 
became apparent that the large committee upon arbitration could not 
successfully cope with the problem, the whole negotiation was in- 
trusted to a subcommittee of seven representative members. This 
small group exhausted all the expedients of suasion and diplomacy. 
After long negotiations and careful discussion they finally brought 
forward a plan of compromise. Through the diplomatic tact of some 
leading members the elements of opposition had been quieted and a 
common mode of action made possible. Thus one of the greatest diffi- 
culties by which an international conference has ever been confronted 
was solved by the means of diplomacy and by a mutual forbearance 
among forces in decided opposition to each other on questions of prin- 
ciple. The solution adopted took the following form : The conference 
accepted the suggestion of the delegation of the United States, ac-, 
cording to which all American republics were to declare their adhe- 
sion to the Hague treaty of arbitration of 1899. In this manner 
the general principle of arbitration was given a measure of recogni- 
tion. In the second place it was agreed that those states which stood 
for an obligatory procedure should sign among themselves a proj- 
ect for a treaty, according to which all their controversies were to be 


submitted to the Hague tribunal, with the exception of such conflicts 
in which their national honor and independence were involved. These 
two treaty projects were to be communicated to the different govern- 
ments through the Mexican minister of foreign affairs. The solution 
suggested by the committee was adopted. All the republics accepted 
the protocol concerning the Hague treaty, and the treaty project for 
obligatory arbitration was signed by the representatives of the follow- 
ing states : Argentina, Bolivia, Guatemala, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, 
Salvador, San Domingo, Uruguay, and Venezuela. The govern- 
ments of Mexico and of the United States undertook to negotiate 
for the admission of the other American republics to the Hague 

Of great practical importance was the adoption of a treaty project 
for the purpose of establishing international arbitration in all cases 
of pecuniary claims. According to this treaty the parties agreed "to 
submit to arbitration all claims for pecuniary loss or damage which 
may be presented by their respective citizens, and which cannot be 
amicably adjusted through diplomatic channels, when said claims 
are of sufficient importance to warrant the expenses of arbitration." 
It was provided that the parties could take advantage either of 
Article 26 of the convention of The Hague, which arranges for the 
submission of cases to the permanent tribunal ; or of Article 2 1 , should 
they prefer that a special arbitration commission be organized for the 
particular case. The treaty was to come into force upon ratification 
by five states, and the term of duration was fixed at five years. 1 The 
project was signed by the delegates of all the republics present in the 
conference at the time, that is, all except Brazil, whose delegate had 
died on December 10, 1901, and Venezuela, which had withdrawn 
from the conference on January 14, 1902. 

The principle recognized in this treaty — that controversies founded 
upon private claims of a pecuniary nature should be settled by arbi- 
tration — had already for a long time been acted upon in the diplomatic 
intercourse among the American republics. 2 On many occasions when 
a number of claims of this kind had accumulated between two states, 


an arbitration commission was instituted by special treaty and the 

1 Second Int. Conf., Sen. Doc. jjo, Fifty-seventh Congress, first session, p. 139. 

2 See extracts from the documents in Moore, History and Digest of International 
Arbitrations, Washington, 1898. 


controversies were thus adjusted. 1 Moreover, a large number of contro- 
versies of this kind were constantly being settled through the ordinary 
means of diplomatic action. Thus the new treaty gave definite and per- 
manent form to a practice that had gradually grown up. Inasmuch as 
it provided for the reference of such cases to the Hague tribunal and 
made the latter the regular court for controversies between American 
states arising out of private claims, it may well be considered an 
important milestone in the progress of the world toward a normal 
and continuous application of international law. 

After these difficult political questions had been disposed of, the 
conference made rapid headway upon the other subjects of discus- 
sion. Questions of commercial policy again occupied its attention. 
The system of reciprocity which the first conference had advocated 
in so conservative a manner had brought but little fruit in the inter- 
vening period ; for although the M cKinley tariff law had, under 
Blaine's influence, provided for the conclusion of reciprocity treaties, 
and such arrangements had been made with Brazil, the Dominican 
republic, the Central American states, and the West Indian colonies 
of England and Spain, nevertheless actual commerce was influenced 
only in a small degree by these measures, and, finally, the entire 
system was done away with by the Wilson law of 1894. In very 
reduced proportions the system was again included in the Dingley 
law of 1898, but the reciprocity treaties which American diplomatic 
representatives succeeded in obtaining from South American repub- 
lics did not get beyond the Senate of the United States, which body 
at that time confined its action in such matters almost entirely to 

It was therefore to be expected that the Mexican conference would 
not take any detailed action with respect to commercial policies. The 
committee on commerce and reciprocity contented itself with pointing 
out the desirable results of a general better understanding among the 
American republics, which would proceed from closer commercial re- 
lations. The latter could best be aided by " an adhesion to the system 
of celebrating treaties of commercial reciprocity, as a favorable foun- 
dation for the encouragement of the sentiments of union among the 
republics of America, with the understanding that these treaties be 

1 For example, treaties between the United States and Ecuador, 1862 ; Peru, 1863 ; 
Venezuela, 1S66 ; Chile, 1S92. 


founded upon a careful study of the interests of the nations that may 
conclude them, so that the concessions granted in them may be 
mutually compensated, in order that they may be permanent and may 
constitute in a lasting manner a facility for international trade." But 
as the elaboration of a system of reciprocity was evidently not feasible 
at the time, the conference directed its attention rather toward the 
details of international instruments of commerce and transportation. 
Resolutions were adopted concerning the development of communica- 
tion by sea and by land, especially through the construction of the 
Pan-American Railway, the simplification of customs and harbor 
regulations, the exchange of full reports concerning trade and indus- 
try, and the improvement of the sanitary service in the ports. The idea 
of a Pan-American bank also received the support of the conference. 
Although general action in the matter of commercial treaties could not 
be expected any more than at the first conference, nevertheless the 
delegates acted with greater confidence in their attempts to do away 
with various kinds of petty impediments to commerce such as fre- 
quently exist in the regulations of the customs administration. The 
conference recommended the following improvements : Uniform regu- 
lations for the entry, dispatch, and clearance of vessels, and simplifi- 
cation of manifests and invoices ; adoption of a simple and uniform 
system for declarations of merchandise forwarded in postal parcels ; 
the facilitation of the transit of goods ; the simplification of charges 
collected from merchant vessels, and of formalities respecting the 
entry, clearance, loading and unloading of ships. The second con- 
ference further resolved that there should be called, within a year 
from its adjournment, a customs congress of the American republics, 
which was to take under consideration the various recommendations 
made by the Pan-American conference. It also favored the organi- 
zation of a permanent customs commission, composed of individuals 
possessing technical and expert knowledge, who were to compare and 
study the customs and tariff laws of the nations of America, in order 
to suggest measures which might simplify customhouse formalities 
and facilitate mercantile traffic. 

In connection with the reform of international sanitation the suc- 
cessful work of the United States in Havana, Santiago, and other 
Cuban towns had given rise to a general demand for the extension of 
such thorough methods in the suppression of epidemics in both of the 


American continents. The basis of the action of the conference in 
this matter was the hope that, through a common procedure and 
mutual support, the sanitary condition of the different ports might be 
improved to such an extent that the strict enforcement of a protective 
quarantine would become more and more superfluous. In addition to 
general requirements with respect to mutual notification in cases of 
epidemics, the conference resolved that within a year the governing 
board of the bureau of the American republics should convoke a con- 
ference at Washington, in which the sanitary authorities of the dif- 
ferent republics should be represented, for the purpose of discussing 
and proposing uniform treaty regulations. It was also decided to 
establish an international sanitary bureau at Washington, composed 
of at least five members to be nominated by the sanitary conference. 

The report of the commission on the intercontinental railway, on 
the basis of surveys made in the year 1899, estimated the cost of 
the fifty-four hundred miles yet to be constructed at $174,000,000 
in gold. The conference decided that in order to carry on the inves- 
tigations and propaganda thus begun, a commission of five mem- 
bers should be appointed. Such a commission was then immediately 
nominated by the president of the conference. It consisted of two 
North Americans and of three diplomatic representatives of other 
republics at Washington. 

In the matter of the elaboration of treaty projects the Mexican 
conference went much farther than her predecessor of Washington. 
The treaties concerning arbitration have already been mentioned. 
Further treaty projects were adopted concerning the following 
matters : 

First, the extradition of criminals. This treaty is based on the same 
principles which had already been adopted in treaties between the 
United States, Argentina, and Mexico ; it also included as causes 
for extradition anarchistic plotting and agitation, in so far as the latter 
are specifically defined as crimes by the legislation of both countries 

Second, the codification of public and private international law. 
This treaty empowered the governing board of the bureau of Ameri- 
can republics to nominate a commission of five American and two 
European jurists for the purpose of preparing a code of public and 
private international law. This code was then to be submitted to the 



governments of the American republics for acceptance, and would 
eventually, as far as adopted, control the international relations among 
the American states. 

Third, the practice of the learned professions. This treaty contained 
regulations for the mutual recognition of diplomas granted for pro- 
fessional study. 

Fourth, patents and trade-marks. 

Fifth, copyright and literary property. 

Sixth, the rights of aliens. This project contained the following 
provisions : ' The states do not owe to, nor recognize in favor of, 
foreigners, any obligation or responsibilities other than those estab- 
lished by their constitutions and laws in favor of their citizens. 
Therefore the states are not responsible for damages sustained by 
aliens through acts of rebels or individuals and . . . from acts of war 
whether civil or national, except in the case of failure on the part of 
the constituted authorities to comply with their duties. . . . Claims 
shall not be presented through diplomatic channels except in cases 
where there shall have been, on the part of the court, a manifest 
denial of justice, or unusual delay, or evident violation of the princi- 
ples of international law." This project was not signed by the dele- 
gates of the United States, who declared that the principles contained 
in the treaty were not entirely acceptable to their government. The 
American delegates also withheld their signature from the project 
on patents and trade-marks. 

In order to assure the periodicity of the conference, it was resolved 
that within five years a third conference should be convoked through 
the governing board of the bureau at Washington. It was also re- 
solved that a special conference for the discussion of matters pertain- 
ing to the coffee industry should meet in New York within a year. 

The second conference undoubtedly represents a decided progress 
in the development of American international relations. For the 
second time it had been possible, in the presence of radical differ- 
ences of opinions, to find a basis for mutual understanding and for 
cooperation in a number of important matters. The conference, like 
its predecessor, lacked detailed preparatory work, so that it could not 
enter upon a thorough discussion of the technical side of interna- 
tional legislation and intercourse ; but, on the other hand, there had by 
this time been developed a far greater feeling of security, of mutual 

9 2 


understanding, and of community of interest than had been the case 
at Washington. This was apparent from the fact that a large number 
of treaty projects were adopted. Some of the resolutions were indeed 
of such general and self-evident character that their promulgation was 
not due so much to a desire for practical action as to a wish of the 
conference to tide over certain difficulties and at least, apparently, to 
achieve definite results in matters where the public was not willing 
to be disappointed. 

When we consider the specific results obtained on the basis of the 
resolutions of this conference in the years from 1902 to 1906, the 
outcome again is apparently of small importance. The adhesion of 
the American states to the Hague convention and their inclusion 
in the Hague conference of 1907 were accomplished through the 
mediation of the United States and Mexico, but these results might 
have been gained by individual negotiation, even without the protocol 
of the conference of Mexico. The convention for the settlement of 
pecuniary claims came into force on December 28, 1905, when five 
states (the United States, Guatemala, Peru, Salvador, Honduras) had 
ratified it. In the course of the following two years three further 
powers acceded to the treaty. The convention for obligatory arbitra- 
tion had, in the beginning of 1906, been ratified by the following 
states : Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Uruguay, Mexico, Peru, and 
the Dominican republic ; the extradition treaty had been adopted only 
by Guatemala, Honduras, Salvador, and Costa Rica ; the treaty con- 
cerning the learned professions, by the five Central American repub- 
lics, Peru, and Bolivia ; the remaining treaties had been adopted only 
by the Central American republics, and in one case also by Bolivia. 
The principal states of South America — Chile, Argentina, and Brazil 
— had therefore, by 1906, not adopted any of the treaties framed 
at Mexico. Mexico had ratified two, while the United States had 
accepted only the convention concerning pecuniary claims. 

In accordance with the resolution of the conference of Mexico, 
the first American customs congress met in New York in January, 
1903. 1 Thirteen of the American republics were represented. The 
congress took up the matters referred to it under the resolutions of 
the Mexican conference, but after the delegates had expressed their 

1 Proceedings of the First International Customs Congress, Sen. Doc. 1S0, Fifty- 
seventh Congress, first session. 


regret at the lack of adequate preparatory research, they contented 
themselves with a recommendation favoring the creation of a special 
commission for the study of the customs laws and regulations of the 
different American states. On the basis of this inquiry future con- 
gresses would then be able to engage in more detailed discussions 
and pass more specific resolutions. The congress also adopted a gen- 
eral resolution on the desirability of unifying the regulations and prac- 
tices in the field of customs and harbor administration. As no funds 
were available, the bureau of the American republics could not create 
the commission called for, and the subsequent conference of Rio gave 
a different direction to the entire matter. 

The third international conference of American states, 1 which was 
held in Rio de Janeiro in July and August, 1906, differed in some 
important respects from the two conferences which had preceded it. 
While it was left to the conferences of Washington and of the city of 
Mexico to arrange their own programs and to determine upon their 
rules and regulations, and while no limit was set to the length of their 
sessions, all these matters had, in the case of the Rio conference, 
been settled beforehand by arrangement of the governing board of 
the bureau of American republics. A complete program had been 
worked out, containing all the subjects upon which joint action was 
considered desirable. A set of rules and regulations, also, had been 
adopted, and the length of the session had been fixed so as not to 
exceed six weeks. The conference, when it convened, was therefore 
saved all the trouble and loss of time which a discussion of these 
matters would have made necessary, had they been left to the con- 
ference itself. The making of these preliminary arrangements had 
consumed several weeks at both Washington and Mexico. 

The conference was further distinguished from its predecessors by 
a feeling, general among those who caused it to convene, as well as 
among those who composed its membership, that it would not be 
advisable upon such an occasion to inaugurate sweeping policies or to 
attempt radical changes. The action of former conferences had been 
more ambitious. Broad resolutions and long drafts of treaties had 
been adopted, but the various governments had given only moderate 
attention to these recommendations, so that most of them were not 

1 This part of the chapter is reprinted, with certain changes, from the American 
Political Science Review for February, 1907. 



followed by authoritative action. The third conference felt that the 
time had come when it might pass over the more general problems 
and devote itself rather to detailed structural changes and to admin- 
istrative arrangements, as well as to the improvement of conventions 
already existing. 

The political part of the program contained the thorny problems 
of international arbitration and the collection of debts by force. The 
arbitration convention for the settlement of pecuniary claims, worked 
out by the Mexico conference, had meanwhile been approved by 
several of the American governments. The conference extended the 
period provided for the validity of this treaty until December 31, 191 2. 
The general arbitration resolution offered greater difficulty. Some of 
the smaller South American states, like Peru and Bolivia, which be- 
lieve that they have been injured by their stronger neighbors, have 
always demanded an arrangement for compulsory arbitration. In this 
they were supported on general principles by the government of 
Argentina. On the other hand, states like Chile and Brazil absolutely 
opposed the passage of a compulsory-arbitration resolution because of 
the existence of certain differences which they considered of such 
vital importance to their national life as to lie outside the field of arbi- 
tration. The fact that the Latin-American republics had been invited 
to the second Hague conference furnished a method of solving this 
difficulty. The Rio conference merely passed a general resolution 
recommending that the delegates to the next Hague conference be 
instructed " to secure the acceptance of a general arbitration conven- 
tion so effective and definite that, meriting the approval of the civi- 
lized world, it shall be accepted and put in force by every nation." 

The matter of the collection of debts by force of arms was disposed 
of in a similar manner. Argentina, whose government had recently 
restated the principle that force should not be used in the collection 
of pecuniary claims, was especially anxious to have the conference 
pass a resolution indorsing this doctrine as a part of general inter- 
national law. But while the governments of the United States and 
of other creditor nations have generally abstained from diplomatic 
pressure in such cases, it was nevertheless considered unwise to pass 
a resolution of this kind at the conference where chiefly debtor nations 
were represented. The conference, therefore, carefully abstained from 
giving any indorsement to this principle other than recommending to 


the governments represented that they consider the advisability of 
inviting the second peace conference at The Hague "to examine the 
question of the forcible collection of public debts and, in general, 
means tending to diminish conflicts which have their origin in pecu- 
niary claims." It will thus be seen that the conference did not take the 
step of even advising the governments to instruct their delegates to 
bring up this matter at the Hague conference ; in fact, it simply re- 
ferred the proposal back to the individual governments to act upon 
it at their own discretion. The statement currently reported in the 
press that the so-called " Drago Doctrine " had been adopted by the 
conference was therefore absolutely unfounded. 

The foregoing broad political questions contain the matter upon 
which differences of opinion and controversies might most readily be 
expected. That they were dealt with to the satisfaction of the great 
majority of the delegates, though disposed of in a manner that could 
not of course be considered final, indicates the spirit of accommodation 
and forbearance that characterized the gathering. The location of the 
next conference also became a question of considerable importance 
during the course of the session. The Argentine government had 
invited it to meet at Buenos Aires in 19 10, but the delegates of 
Chile and Brazil led the opposition to fixing any date or place of 
meeting at this time, and the matter was finally left to the governing 
board of the bureau of American republics, which afterwards decided 
in favor of Buenos Aires. 

The second important matter that occupied the attention of the 
conference was the reorganization of the bureau of American repub- 
lics. The Mexico conference had passed a resolution calling for the 
construction of a separate building to be used by the bureau. The 
fact that, funds being now available, this construction would soon be 
undertaken, led to a general consideration of the organization and 
functions of the bureau. It was felt that the purely commercial and 
informational duties it had hitherto exercised were too narrow, 
and that this organ of the international union of the American states 
might be made far more effective in carrying out the resolutions of 
the conferences. It was recognized that the latter would in the past 
have received more attention and would have been acted on in more 
cases, had there existed a bureau or office charged with constantly 
bringing to the attention of the various governments the advisability 


of adopting the recommendations or ratifying the conventions. The 
most important part of the reorganization plan was therefore to con- 
stitute the bureau virtually the executive organ of the international 
American conference. The bureau was instructed to compile and 
digest all information regarding the treaties and conventions between 
the American republics, and to assist in securing the ratification of 
resolutions and conventions adopted by the conferences. It was also to 
prepare complete reports upon problems specially committed to it by 
any conference, which are to be subjects of subsequent discussion and 
action. The lack of such preparation and the absence of sufficient 
data formerly made definite action on many topics of the program 
entirely impossible, since the session was too short for the delegates 
to gather such necessary information at the time. The bureau of 
American republics was also assigned the duty of furnishing to any 
person interested information concerning educational facilities in 
any of the American countries. The growing educational relations 
between the various American countries attracted the attention of the 
conference, and it was believed that this migration of students and 
teachers contained in it the promise of far closer relations between the 
American states. It was therefore thought advisable that the bureau 
should be constituted an office of educational information, so as to act 
as a mediator in fostering this important movement. 

Another very important structural innovation is contained in the 
resolution calling upon the American governments to appoint, each in 
its own country, a permanent commission on Pan-American affairs. 
These commissions are to act as a nucleus for Pan-American interests 
in their own country, and are to assist the bureau of American repub- 
lics in carrying out the duties laid upon it under the new arrangement. 
These structural changes introduced by the third conference, if carried 
out with intelligence and energy, will be very powerful in rendering 
the union of American republics permanently efficient. The principal 
defect of the organization heretofore was the lack of connection 
between the successive conferences, and the absence of any office or 
commission in the individual states which was specially charged with 
and interested in the carrying-out of the resolutions of the confer- 
ences and the fostering of Pan-American relations. With preparatory 
studies resting upon the broad basis of information gained from the 
various commissions throughout America, the conferences in the 



future will be able to rear their work upon a solid foundation. The 
resolutions passed by them will not be allowed to fall into immediate 
neglect, but care will be taken to keep them before the various gov- 
ernments and to impress upon the latter the advisability of joint action 
on many important matters. 

Structural changes and innovations were also involved in some of 
the other questions on the program. The Mexico convention on 
patents, trade-marks, and copyrights was reaffirmed, and there were 
established in connection with it two international bureaus — one to be 
located in Havana, the other in Rio de Janeiro — for the registration of 
patents, trade-marks, and copyrights. The conference further passed 
a resolution providing for an American center of sanitary information 
in the city of Montevideo. This center is to be in close touch with 
the sanitary commissions of the various countries, to collect and com- 
pare the experience of all these bodies, and to assist, with its advice, 
any of the commissions or local authorities which may call upon it. 

By resolution the conference provided for a commission on public 
and private international law, which is to have its seat at Rio de 
Janeiro. This commission is to study, define, and formulate those 
principles of international action about which the American states in 
their practice are substantially agreed. It is also to be empowered to 
consider other parts of private and public international law, with the 
purpose of determining positive principles upon which the various 
governments may in future be brought to agreement. A complete 
codification of international law is not immediately expected, nor is it 
felt that a commission of this kind should undertake such a task ; but 
it might codify the results of American experience and practice, so as 
to create a definite American opinion on questions of international law 
for the guidance of our governments and eventually for the purpose 
of influencing the action of all civilized powers. 

Considerable importance naturally attaches to the deliberations of 
the conference upon questions affecting international commerce. Here, 
too, a new organ was created, namely, a special section on com- 
merce, customs, and statistics in the bureau of American republics. 
This section is placed under the direction of an expert, among whose 
specified duties there is the collection of information upon the cus- 
toms and consular laws and regulations of the various American 
states. The simplification and uniformity of the rules of customs 


administration is an end much to be desired for the encouragement 
of commerce ; and it is expected that the scientific work of the bureau 
will provide a firm basis for such reforms. 

The passage of resolutions on the general subject of the conclusion 
of commercial treaties was not favored by the majority of the com- 
mittee on commerce. The matters which they considered, in addition 
to the creation of the special section already mentioned, and which 
were formulated as resolutions and passed by the conference, were as 
follows : First, a plan, presented by the Chilean delegation, for the 
fostering of a more efficient merchant-marine service between the 
countries of America, which plan originally comprised the following 
elements : the American republics were to require that any naviga- 
tion company desiring to enjoy the benefits of the system should 
submit its time-tables, sailing lists, and rate schedules to the control 
of some agency like the bureau of American republics ; that, in re- 
turn for granting reasonable rates and giving good service, the com- 
panies were to receive favorable treatment in the various American 
countries ; they were, for instance, to be free from certain restrictions 
under the customs regulations with respect to the entiy of vessels 
and goods, and they were also to be granted certain reductions in 
harbor dues and other navigation charges. Many 'evident difficulties 
in the way of this scheme presented themselves. Harbor dues and 
local imposts are often not under the control of the central govern- 
ment, they are also frequently pledged as security for some public 
indebtedness ; the matter of controlling the rates of international 
transportation is, moreover, one of extreme difficulty and complexity. 
The conference did not therefore indorse any final policy on this 
matter, but instructed the bureau of American republics to make a 
complete investigation of the subject and to suggest the basis upon 
which contracts with navigation companies for rapid and frequent 
communication at reasonable rates might be concluded. 

Secondly, the conference passed a resolution for the purpose of 
fostering the development of the internal resources of the American 
republics. The bureau of American republics was directed to make 
a special investigation into the conditions of internal improvements 
and the laws governing land, mining, and forest concessions in the 
various American states ; and to present to the next conference a 
memorial upon the laws and administrative practices relating to these 



matters. The purpose of this resolution was to broaden the scope 
of the work of the bureau of American republics, and to make the 
latter an efficient agent in assisting in the internal development of 
the American republics. Most of these are in need of both capital 
and immigrants, and by the diffusion of correct information concern- 
ing industrial conditions a valuable service may be rendered. A 
resolution was adopted recommending the calling of a conference to 
take some action in order to meet the crisis in the coffee trade, as 
well as a further one instructing the bureau of American republics to 
make an investigation concerning the fluctuations of exchange in the 
Latin-American states. 

The above outline of the action of the third conference will show 
that, in so far as its work did not modify structural arrangements, it 
was mainly suggestive, calling attention to new lines of international 
activity, to new possibilities of development, and charging the bureau 
of American republics to make preliminary investigations. 

None of the delegations represented at Rio pressed upon the 
others a positive or ambitious program. They were mutually recep- 
tive, and all seemed to recognize that the function of the conference 
was not to force any policy of a majority upon the nonconcurrent 
members, but, by impartial discussion, to arrive at a basis of action 
upon which unanimity would be possible. The actual debates and 
discussions were therefore carried on entirely in committee. All 
differences of opinion were settled there, and the committees' reports, 
having the unanimous indorsement of their members, were in turn 
adopted by the conference itself without a dissenting voice. In this 
respect the conference differed most radically from its predecessors, 
in both of which long and earnest debates took place in the plenary 
sessions. This time the discussions on the floor were mostly of a 
purely formal nature. During the earlier part of the conference 
resolutions thanking the presidents of the United States and of 
Mexico for their successful intervention in the Central American 
disturbances called forth a number of congratulatory addresses. 
Thereupon commemorative remarks upon men recently deceased, who 
had been prominently associated with Pan-American interests, en- 
gaged the attention. The coming of Mr. Root brought many festivi- 
ties, as well as the formal session at which he delivered his memorable 
speech outlining the relations of the American states to each other. 


The expressions of condolence for Chile on the occasion of the 
earthquake of Valparaiso occupied one of the later sessions. The 
larger number of resolutions were passed on the last day. Though, 
under the rules, the meetings of the conference were to be secret, 
representatives of the press and other visitors were freely admitted 
by common consent ; but as all the real business was done in 
committee, the spirit of the rules was observed. 

The manner in which the work of the conference at Rio affected 
treaty relations is encouraging from the point of view of international 
cooperation. In accordance with its resolution, committees have been 
appointed in nearly all the American countries. Their membership 
ranges from three to fourteen, and in every case they are composed 
of representative men prominently identified with the foreign relations 
of their respective states. In many of the countries these committees 
have held frequent meetings for the discussion of American inter- 
national affairs and for the investigation of special problems comprised 
in the programs of the Pan-American conference. The treaties adopted 
by the Rio conference have received a great deal of attention on the 
part of the American governments, and they have been quite generally 
ratified. 1 The convention dealing with naturalization was ratified by 
twelve states, and in a number of other cases special agreements have 
been concluded between American states embodying the principles es- 
tablished by the Rio conference. The convention relating to arbitration 
of pecuniary claims, confirming the treaty of Mexico, was ratified also 
by twelve states. A large number of the countries, moreover, concluded 
with each other general treaties of arbitration, which include the matter 
of pecuniary claims. The United States, in the course of the year 
1909, concluded general arbitration treaties with nearly all the Latin- 
American governments. The convention providing for the creation 
of an international commission of jurists, which is to draft a code 
of international law, was ratified by fourteen states. The date fixed for 
the convening of the commission was however allowed to pass, so 
that at the time of the fourth Pan-American conference the commis- 
sion had not as yet been constituted. The convention relating to patents 
was ratified by eight states. But it is, of course, not merely in the 
specific ratification of treaties adopted by the Pan-American confer- 
ences that the usefulness of these meetings must be sought ; for 

1 See note and diagram at the end of this chapter. 


while they do lead to a direct modification of the treaty arrangements 
between the American states, they also indirectly assist in the estab- 
lishment of principles of international policy and law which then 
gradually become the basis of treaties independently made between 
different American countries. Moreover, the common discussion of 
public problems reacts in many cases upon internal legislation, bring- 
ing the latter more completely within the purview of the more 
general experience and the wider outlook upon international affairs 
represented in the Pan-American conferences. 

The fourth international conference met at Buenos Aires on July 
1 2, under the honorary presidency of the Secretaries of State of the 
United States and of Argentina, Mr. Philander C. Knox and Dr. 
Victorino de la Plaza, and under the active presidency of Dr. Antonio 
Bermejo, the chief justice of the supreme court of Argentina, with 
the Argentine minister in Washington, Seilor Epifanio Portela, 
acting as secretary general. The year of the conference coincides 
with that of the celebration of the centenary of independence in most 
of the Spanish-American countries, and the conference will stand in 
history as the most notable feature of this commemoration ; especially 
as it gives proof of the fact that the nations of this continent, moved 
by a common impulse to establish their independence, are still, after 
a century has passed, acting upon the basis of a common American 
policy. In accordance with the precedent established at Rio de 
Janeiro, the work of the conference was based entirely upon a pro- 
gram previously adopted by the governing board of the Pan-American 
Union in Washington and accepted by the member states. A pre- 
liminary program, which had been issued about six months before the 
meeting of the conference, contained a number of subjects which were 
ultimately omitted by the governing board for reasons of convenience 
and out of deference to the wishes expressed by one or the other 
American government. The preliminary program is nevertheless 
interesting as embodying subjects which may be taken up in future 
discussions. The governing board also adopted the rules and regu- 
lations which governed the conference. These rules followed in the 
main, and in nearly every detail, those which had been in force at the 
conference of Rio de Janeiro. The provision that the sessions of 
the conference were to be secret was however omitted, it being left 
to the conference itself to determine the matter of admission to its 


sessions. The rules fixed the number of countries to be represented 
on the various committees, but the conference itself determined how 
many there were to be of the latter. As a result there were altogether 
fourteen committees, on six of which every delegation was represented. 
The most notable regulation was that which provides that subjects 
not included in the program shall not be introduced unless there be 
a favorable vote of two thirds of the members. This regulation in 
connection with the character of the functions of the committee 
on general welfare brought about some discussion. There was, how- 
ever, an almost unanimous feeling among the delegations that it was 
not desirable that new business should be introduced at all. A coun- 
try wishing to bring before the conference any subject may in due 
time propose its discussion and ask for its inclusion in the program. 
As international conferences are not composed of legislators acting 
to a certain extent sui juris, but of delegates ruled by the instructions 
of their governments, it is not only desirable but absolutely necessary 
that the program of subjects to be discussed should be known be- 
forehand by all the governments, in order that they may study them 
and give instructions thereon to their representatives. This principle 
affects the functions of the committee, which, according to the regu- 
lations, is to consider the general welfare. The nature of its functions 
has not been entirely clear. Is it to deal only with the immediate 
welfare of the conference and of its members themselves, taking up 
questions which affect their convenience and comfort ? Or, going to 
the other extreme, is it to consider and report upon general business 
which affects the welfare of the entire continent ? Accepting the latter 
view, a delegate of Paraguay argued that every country ought to be 
represented on this committee, considering that by common accord 
the congress might modify its program and take up some new subject 
interesting to all American countries. Later on another delegate 
spoke at length upon the desirability of having such a committee, 
which could deal with the broader aspects of American policies. He 
cited an expression used by Senor Nabuco in the conference of 1906, 
when, speaking of the committee "on the general welfare of the con- 
tinent," he said that "to it pertain all the measures and plans not 
dealt with in the program, and all ideas of a unanimous character, so 
to speak, advanced in the interest of our hemisphere." In that con- 
ference Senor Nabuco also said that "the committee on the continental 


welfare looks after everything not foreseen in regard to the good 
relations between the American countries." It is evident that whatever 
interpretation may be given to the character of this committee, its 
functions will in the nature of things be more restricted than the name 
implies. The general welfare of the continent is the subject which 
the entire conference deals with, but it is necessary that the govern- 
ments should know beforehand what aspects of the general welfare 
are to be considered, in order that they may form a definite opinion 
thereon. The aspects so selected will be embodied in the program, 
and their consideration will be divided among the different commit- 
tees of the conference. It is unlikely that a conference will ever vote 
the taking-up of an entirely new topic which has not been considered 
by the governments, unless it be of decidedly minor importance. 
Matters of a relatively unimportant nature may from time to time be 
referred to the general-welfare committee, if admitted by a two-thirds 
vote in the conference ; but it is not in accordance with the character 
and the practice of the international union to bestow upon such a 
committee the function of introducing, of its own motion, matters 
which it might deem of general interest, nor was such a practice at 
all in the mind of Seiior Nabuco when he made the statements cited 
above. Whenever the question arises as to whether a certain motion 
constitutes new business, it is proper and in accordance with practice 
that the question be submitted first to the committee on rules and 
regulations. Only in cases where there is no doubt as to the subject 
matter being included in the terms of the program, but where no 
special committee has been provided for it, should such business be 
directly referred to the committee on general welfare, unless indeed 
the introduction of some new matter has been expressly sanctioned 
by a two-thirds vote. The proper time for the governments to consider 
what aspects and features of the general welfare of the continent they 
desire to have discussed, is the period when the program for the con- 
ference is being formed by the governing board of the Pan-American 

In connection with the fourth conference some very interesting 
questions arose as to the rights which flow from membership in the 
union. As the relations between the governments of Argentina and 
Bolivia were temporarily strained at the time when the invitations for 
the conference were being issued, a doubt came on as to whether 


a country which had broken off its diplomatic relations with the gov- 
ernment which is to act as the host of the conference is, nevertheless, 
by virtue of its membership, entitled to send a delegation. This ques- 
tion was resolved in the affirmative, and through the intermediation 
of the governing board of the Pan-American union an invitation was 
extended to Bolivia to send representatives to the conference. The 
plenary rights of membership at all times and under all conditions 
were thus established, although in this particular case Bolivia ulti- 
mately failed to avail herself of the right to take part. A similar 
problem arose with respect to the representation upon the governing 
board of the union of a government which for the time being does 
not have a diplomatic representative in Washington. It was decided 
that a republic thus situated might intrust its representation on the 
governing board to some other member of that body, who would 
then have a vote for each country represented. The suggestion had 
been brought forward that an American republic whose diplomatic 
relations with the United States had been interrupted, should be 
entitled to accredit a special representative directly to the governing 
board of the Pan-American union. When the practical difficulties 
involved in such an arrangement were pointed out, especially the 
inadmissibility of erecting within a sovereign state a separate organ- 
ization empowered to receive quasi-diplomatic envoys, 1 the suggestion 
was withdrawn, and the solution above outlined was unanimously 

An interesting question in the public law of international unions is 
that concerning the effect of the admission to a conference of dele- 
gates of a government, the independence or legality of which has not 
been recognized by all the members of the union. Precedents have 
been established which appear to justify the enunciation of the prin- 
ciple, which is also in accordance with the essential nature of inter- 
national unions, that membership in a union and participation in its 
administrative and deliberative business does not involve the recog- 
nition by every participant state of the legality or independence of 
every other government represented. The delegates of the republic 
of Brazil attended the first Pan-American conference at a time when 
the republican government had not as yet been officially recognized 
by all the American states. At the third conference both Colombia 

x The right of legation enjoyed by the Vatican rests upon a special historic basis. 


and Panama were represented, the latter republic at that time not 
having been recognized by the country from which it had severed 
itself. The delegates of Colombia did not make any declaration re- 
specting this matter while the conference was in session, yet no one 
considered their participation as implying a recognition of the new 
republic. Similarly, at the fourth conference the presence of the dele- 
gate from Nicaragua, who represented the government of Senor Madriz, 
which was not recognized by the United States, was not a fact involv- 
ing such a recognition. It is evident that as the conference from its 
very nature cannot enter into the controversies between individual 
nations nor those within the different countries, its acceptance of the 
representatives of a de facto government cannot be said to cany with 
it a universal recognition. It is indeed conceivable, though fortunately 
such a case has not as yet arisen, that the conference may have to 
decide for itself whether to recognize, for its own purposes, a certain 
government desiring to be represented. This question would arise, 
should two delegations from one country demand admission, or 
should the delegation appearing from any country notoriously not 
represent a de facto government. It is, however, very likely that in 
such a case the decision would rest upon the principle that as the 
conference cannot go into the internal affairs of a country, it cannot 
admit any delegation at all under such circumstances, unless indeed 
in the former of the two cases one of the two delegations had ap- 
peared under practically fraudulent pretenses. The full enjoyment of 
the rights of membership in the union may therefore be said to be 
based upon the maintenance of a stable and undivided government. 

A further step was taken to secure the periodicity of future con- 
ferences by bestowing upon the governing board of the Pan-American 
union the power to designate the place and time 'of the next confer- 
ence, and by fixing the period within which it is to be convoked at 
five years. This time may however be extended, should a meeting 
within the designated period become impossible. The rivalry which 
always exists among various nations who wish to secure the privilege 
of inviting the conference is in itself a proof of its importance. In 
order to avoid lengthy discussions and unavoidable disappointments 
during the conference, it has been found convenient to allow the 
governing board to make the selection, with due regard to all the 
points of convenience and propriety involved. 


The conference by resolution recommended the establishment, in 
the city of Buenos Aires, of a permanent Pan-American exposition 
of products. In order to carry out this resolution it was provided that, 
corresponding to the governing board of the Pan-American union, 
the American diplomatic representatives accredited to the Argentine 
government should form a committee in Buenos Aires, intrusted with 
the administrative direction of the permanent exhibit. 

The organization of the Pan-American Union itself was a subject 
for detailed and careful consideration in committee, as the result of 
which a resolution and the tentative draft of a treaty were adopted 
by the conference. The committee considered the advisability of con- 
verting into a formal convention the resolution passed and continued 
by successive conferences under which the bureau of American re- 
publics had hitherto been maintained. On the part of many delegates 
the belief was expressed that the ratification of such a convention 
would take an indefinite time on account of the constitutional provi- 
sions in numerous republics which require the submission of treaties 
to one or both houses of the legislature. Accordingly it was feared 
that the activities of the bureau ' might be embarrassed were a con- 
vention adopted immediately, on account of the delays which might 
occur in its ratification. It was therefore decided to maintain for 
the immediate future the resolution under which the bureau exists, 
making therein such changes as might seem necessary ; and also to 
submit to the governments the draft of a convention carefully con- 
sidered, which can be ratified as soon as the governments may find 
it convenient. 

The conference maintained the presidency of the Secretary of State 
of the United States of America in the governing board of the Pan- 
American union. Indications had been made by the delegates of 
some countries that it would be more in accordance with the equal 
dignity of all the members in the union if the chairmanship of the 
board were made elective. But it was pointed out that by common 
international practice a position of similar importance is usually ac- 
corded the minister of foreign affairs of the country in which the 
union has its seat ; and also that the presidency of the Secretary 
of State would powerfully assist the union and help to increase its 
dignity and efficiency. The importance of these considerations was 
accepted by all, and the dignity of the presidential office was again 


conferred upon the Secretary of State of the United States as an 
honor freely bestowed by the American nations. In the absence of 
the Secretary of State the sessions of the governing board are to be 
presided over by one of the American diplomatic representatives 
present, in the order of rank and seniority and with the title of vice- 
president. In order to acknowledge the dignity which it is proper to 
recognize in an international institution of such importance, the name 
of the bureau was changed to " Pan-American Union " ; while the name 
of the organization of American countries which supports the bureau 
was changed to the briefer form of " Union of American Republics." 

Under a resolution passed at Rio de Janeiro in 1 906, Pan-American 
commissions have been established in nearly all of the republics. It 
was the original intention that these bodies should cooperate with 
the central union in carrying out its work. In accordance with this 
purpose and in order to make it more definite, the fourth conference 
embodied in the resolution and draft convention relating to the Pan- 
American union an article defining the functions and relations of the 
Pan-American commissions. Being linked to the Pan-American 
union, they are to form with it a common organism, acting as its rep- 
resentatives and agencies in the different states, and having on their 
part the right to bring to the central institution matters relating to 
their respective countries. 

The functions of the Pan-American union were not essentially 
modified. It was decided that it would be desirable for the union to 
gather and publish information on the current legislative acts of the 
American republics. The position of the union as the permanent 
commission or agent of the international American conferences was 
emphasized. The success of these conferences in the future will de- 
pend largely upon the thorough and systematic work of preparation 
carried on by the Pan-American union and the commissions. The 
questions considered by the conferences are becoming less general 
and elementary, far more detailed and technical. The extensive body 
of accurate information required in the making of treaties and reso- 
lutions which shall be of practical value can be furnished only by 
cooperative work carried on through the administrative agencies of 
the union. The financial administration was more definitely regu- 
lated with respect to the annual budget and the duty of the member 
states to pay their quota upon a fixed date into the treasury of the 


Pan-American union. It was left to the governing board to arrange 
for the fulfillment of the duties of a treasurer on the part of some 
official of the union, and to establish an independent system of audit. 
The importance of the Columbus Memorial Library as a center where 
the most complete information on all the countries of the union can. 
be obtained, was recognized, and the republics renewed their engage- 
ments to supply this collection with documents and other books. In 
order to make the work of the Pan-American commissions more suc- 
cessful, and to form in each country a center of information on all 
American affairs, it was provided that documents and books should 
similarly be sent to the Pan-American commission in each country. 
It was felt that it would not be wise to attempt to make specific reg- 
ulations for all the activities of the Pan-American union. The power 
to provide in this manner for the control of the administration in all 
its agencies was therefore left to the governing board, and, in matters 
referring to the internal administration, to the director general. The 
Pan-American union thus established is an organization of great im- 
portance and dignity. It was therefore thought proper that the title 
of the head official should be changed to " director general " and that 
of the secretarv to "assistant director." 

In preparing and adopting the draft of a convention concerning 
the Pan-American union, the committee and conference were governed 
by the principle that in such a convention there should be laid down 
only the essential bases of the organization and functions of the union, 
leaving to the governing board and to the director general the power 
to determine, by means of regulations, all the details involved in the 
proper performance of the mission of this important agency. The 
draft adopted rests entirely upon experience, and incorporates in a 
more formal manner the organization already developed by means 
of the successive resolutions of the conferences and the activities of 
the union. 

The program of the conference included the consideration of the 
renewal of the treaty concerning the arbitration of pecuniary claims. 
The treaty concluded in Mexico upon this subject, and renewed at 
the conference at Rio in 1 906, had been ratified by twelve American 
states. The convention adopted by the fourth conference retains the 
first article of the treaty of Mexico, which provides for the submis- 
sion to arbitration of all pecuniary claims which cannot be adjusted 


amicably through diplomacy in all cases where such claims are suffi- 
ciently large to warrant the expense of arbitration. To this article 
there was added the clause that " the decision shall be given in con- 
formity to the principles of international law." The treaty allows the 
alternative of submitting the respective claims to the permanent court 
of arbitration at The Hague or of constituting a special jurisdiction. 
While the former treaties were concluded for a period of six years, 
the time during which the present convention is to run is indefinite, 
the signatory nations being given the faculty of denouncing the con- 
vention upon giving notice two years in advance. 

The discussion, in committee, of the treaty on pecuniary claims 
was very interesting from the juristic point of view. The proposal 
was made to include in the treaty a provision giving the arbitral tri- 
bunal the power to decide the preliminary question whether the re- 
spective claim is one in which diplomatic procedure is appropriate. The 
suggestion was made in order to protect the sovereignty of a nation 
against any attempt to take from its courts cases which they are 
legally competent to try, and to carry them before an international 
judicature. While the article in question was not added to the treaty, 
the committee in its report cited an extract taken from the report of 
the committee at the Rio conference to the effect that ' ' the internal 
sovereignty of a state consists explicitly in the right it always pre- 
serves of regulating, by its laws, such juridical acts as are consummated 
within its territory, and of trying these by its tribunals, excepting in 
cases where, for special reasons, they are converted into questions of 
an international character." The committee then disavowed the pur- 
pose of withdrawing alien residents from the jurisdiction of the local 
court, and stated that arbitration would exist only " in cases where it is 
shown that there has been a violation of the rules of conduct imposed 
upon states under the sanction of international law, towards the citi- 
zens of other nationalities. . . . With this understanding, the ex- 
pression ' denial of justice ' should be given a most liberal construction, 
causing it to embrace all cases where a state fails to furnish the guar- 
antees which it ought to secure to all individual rights. The failure 
of guarantees does not come solely from the judicial acts of a state. 
It may result also from the acts or omissions of other public officials." 
In the course of the discussion Mr. John Bassett Moore, delegate of 
the United States, made the following declaration, which was also 


incorporated in the report of the committee, and which indicates 
clearly the points involved : 

The undersigned, while he refrains from entering into a discussion of the 
statements of general principles embodied in the foregoing report, deems it proper 
to observe that he does not consider it to be practicable to lay down in advance 
precise and unyielding formulas by which the question of a denial of justice may 
in every instance be determined. Still less does he believe it to be possible to 
treat this matter as a preliminary question, which may be decided apart from the 
merits of the case, or to include in a general treaty of arbitration a clause to that 
effect. In the multitude of cases that have, during the past hundred and twenty 
years, been disposed of by international arbitration, the question of a denial of 
justice has arisen in many and in various forms that could not have been foreseen ; 
nor can human intelligence forecast the forms in which it may arise hereafter. In 
the future, as in the past, this question will be disposed of by the amicable methods 
of diplomacy and arbitration, and in a spirit of mutual respect and conciliation 
which happily grows stronger among nations with the lapse of years. 

This declaration was embodied in the committee's report because 
the other members did not consider it to be in conflict with what 
had been set forth. 

A group of three treaties adopted by the fourth conference deals 
with the important subjects of copyrights, patents of inventions, and 
trade-marks. In all these matters the conference was informed and 
inspired by the recent advances in the development of international 
administrative law, achieved through the general international union, 
which deals with industrial and literary property. The treaty of Bern, 
as recently amended by the convention of Berlin, formed the basis of 
the convention on literary and artistic property. The essence of this 
convention is contained in Article 3, which provides that " the recog- 
nition of a right of literary property obtained in one state, in con- 
formity with its laws, shall be of full effect in all the others^ without 
the necessity of fulfilling any further formality, whenever there ap- 
pears in the work some statement indicating the reservation of the 
property right." The principle here adopted constitutes the highest 
and most effective form that can be given to literary property. In 
fact, it likens that right almost completely to that of property in phys- 
ical objects, which, too, is protected in every civilized state when- 
ever it has been legally acquired in one of them. The provision led 
to some debate in the conference, as certain delegates, especially some 
members of the Mexican delegation, considered that any formalities re- 
quired by a state where protection is sought should also be observed ; 


but the simpler system was ultimately adopted by the conference. 
Article 6 of the convention provides that the extent of the protection 
granted to authors or artists shall be governed by the laws of the 
country where it is sought, but that the term of protection shall 
never exceed the time accorded by the laws of the country in which 
the respective property right originated. This article embodies the 
solution adopted by the most recent and mature opinion of jurists 
the world over, and incorporated in the convention of Berlin. The 
result of the provision is that each country gives to the literary prop- 
erty originating in other treaty states the same protection which it 
accords to its own citizens, but that, on the other hand, no country 
can claim for its citizens a longer term of protection than is granted 
by its own legislation. 

In the treaty on patents of invention the recent thought and ex- 
perience of the entire world were also taken into account. The 
essence of the convention is contained in Article 2, which provides 
that " every citizen of each of the signatory states shall enjoy in 
each of the other states all the advantages conceded by their respec- 
tive laws relative to patents and inventions, designs, and industrial 
models. In consequence they shall have the same protection and 
legal remedies against eveiy attack upon their rights, being bound, 
however, to comply with the formalities and conditions imposed by 
the internal legislation of each state." It is further agreed that every 
person who has duly applied for a patent in one of the contracting 
states shall be protected in his right of property during a term of 
twelve months, in order that he may have time to secure recognition 
of his patent in the other states. Another article provides that the 
recognition of a patent may be refused because the process or model 
involved does not really constitute a new invention, but has been in 
use previously. This provision is important, as it will oblige states, in 
order to receive international protection for the patents granted by 
them, to inquire into the usefulness and novelty of the inventions for 
which a property right is sought. The absence of a provision of this 
kind from the convention adopted by the conference of Rio de Janeiro 
was one of the causes why the government of the United States 
decided not to ratify that agreement. 

A detailed and interesting convention was adopted concerning 
trade-marks. Full international protection is to be accorded to 


trade-marks duly registered in one of the countries of the union, with- 
out prejudice to the rights of third persons or to the provisions of 
the internal legislation of each state. For the purpose of carrying out 
this system an international registry of trade-marks is to be estab- 
lished, with two bureaus, one located in Havana for the accommo- 
dation of the northern countries, the other in Rio de Janeiro for 
those to the south of Colombia. In order to secure the benefit of 
international protection, the owner of a trade-mark may register it 
in the proper bureau upon payment of the sum of fifty dollars. In 
the conventions adopted at Rio de Janeiro it was contemplated 
that the international bureaus of Havana and of Rio de Janeiro 
should not only undertake the registry of trade-marks, but should 
also be the depositories of international patents and copyrights. 
Upon more careful consideration it has however seemed unduly 
cumbersome and expensive to require the transmission of the rec- 
ords of all patents and copyrights granted in the individual states. 
The treaty framed at Buenos Aires therefore confined the function of 
registry entirely to trade-marks, while it charged the bureaus to act 
also as general information offices in relation to intellectual and 
industrial property. The reasoning of this decision accords with the 
experience of the international union which has its seat at Bern. 
As is well known, the bureau at Bern acts as a registry only for 
trade-marks ; in matters of patents and copyrights it is primarily an 
information office. The status which international legislation has 
been attempting to secure for the latter two kinds of property is 
that each state should give to the citizens of other states the rights 
and the protection which it accords to its own citizens. An inter- 
national registry of patents and copyrights has not as yet been cre- 
ated anywhere. It is, however, the purpose of international agreements 
to render more and more effective and uniform the protection which 
the different states accord to these rights. In this matter many of 
the American republics have made but a mere beginning, and it is 
highly desirable, from the point of view of the development of intel- 
lectual and industrial life, that there should be created in those states 
which do not as yet have an efficient legislation a strong sentiment 
for protecting these important kinds of property. 

A matter of great interest in international administration was 
dealt with in the resolutions concerning the unification of consular 


documents and customs regulations. The instructions issued by the 
Department of State to the United States delegation dwelt upon the 
hindrances of trade which result from the lack of uniformity in such 
matters as consular fees, the forms of invoices and manifests, and other 
features of consular and customs administration. It suggested the 
adoption of a uniform invoice for all shipments from one republic to 
another, and a uniform method of consular certification. The recom- 
mendations embodied in the resolution include the following : to 
suppress the consular certification of the general manifest ; to dis- 
pense with the certification of the bill of lading in the case of countries 
requiring the certified consular invoice, for the reason that the latter 
document embraces all material data ; and to adopt a common form 
of consular invoice and of consular manifest, models of which were 
appended to the resolution. The study of the different forms of cer- 
tificates in use convinced the committee and the conference that 
" the essential requirements of all these documents could be combined 
into a single international form of consular invoice, if there were 
omitted the certificates of shippers and consuls which must reflect 
the requirements of local laws." * With respect to consular fees the 
resolution recommended that they should be moderate and should not 
be treated as an indirect means of increasing the customs revenue ; it 
is considered desirable that these fees should be limited so as not to 
exceed an amount necessary to cover the costs of the consular service. 

The resolution regarding customs regulations is in the main a re- 
statement of the resolutions adopted by the New York international 
customs congress of 1902, which had never been placed before the 
several countries in a formal way. These resolutions contain a num- 
ber of suggestions for making the formalities of customs administra- 
tion simple, and freeing them from elements which would unduly 
retard the activities of commerce in the shipping industry. 

The resolution adopted on the subject matter of sanitary police 
recommends the adoption, by the countries which have not yet ratified 
it, of the international sanitary convention of Washington, as well as 
the enforcement of the resolutions of the third and fourth sanitary 
conferences, held respectively at the city of Mexico and at San Jose 
in Costa Rica. Article 12 of the convention of Washington is to 
be interpreted as requiring that the official proof of freedom from 

1 From the report of the delegation of the United States to the Department of State. 



infectious disease must be " satisfactory to both parties interested." 
The original proposal that such official proof should be ' ' satisfactory 
to the interested party " was objected to in committee by certain 
delegates on the ground that this phrase might endanger the com- 
merce of the weaker country by subjecting it to the discretion of the 
officials in another, who might use their power in a hostile manner. 
The form ultimately adopted seemed to be free from the objection 
raised, in the opinion of all the delegations with the exception of that 
of Venezuela, which entered its reservations upon this point. 

The other resolutions adopted by the conference deal either with 
matters of condolence or commemoration, or take up commercial and 
intellectual interests, such as the construction of the Pan-American 
Railway, the establishment of more efficient steamship service between 
the American republics, the summoning of the coffee congress, the 
celebration of the opening of the Panama Canal, the interchange of 
university professors and students, and the proceedings of the Pan- 
American scientific congress. All these matters are full of interest 
and form an important part in the development of closer relations 
between the republics of America, but as they do not involve any 
specific points in international law or practice, we shall simply men- 
tion them here without dealing with them in detail. It may however 
be noted that the resolution concerning steamship communication 
contains the very interesting suggestion that an inquiry be instituted, 
concerning the means by which there may be established between the 
American republics a reciprocal, liberty with respect to the coasting 
trade. The resolutions referred to in this paragraph indicate the 
growing strength of the feeling of solidarity among the American 
nations, which was given an eloquent expression in the speeches 
delivered at the opening and at the closing of the conference, as well 
as in the sessions when the centenaries of independence of different 
republics were commemorated. Among the delegations there was a 
complete feeling of mutual confidence, and all the questions before 
the committees were discussed with great frankness and in the fullest 
detail. Every point of view was ably presented, and differences of 
opinion were insisted upon with energy. It is therefore the more 
gratifying to record that, with all such divergencies, and after all 
national points of view had been discussed without reserve, it was 
possible to arrive at a practically unanimous agreement upon every 


subject of the program. Nor were these agreements the result of 
superior insistence on the one part, or the ready acceptance of alien 
points of view on the other ; but they naturally grew and evolved out 
of the discussion, so that as it proceeded, certain definite conclusions 
came more and more clearly out of uncertainty into the steady light 
of rational conviction. 

Turning to a general estimate of the work performed by the con- 
ference in the development of international administrative law, we 
encounter the fact that expectations are often entertained in relation 
to such diplomatic meetings which in the nature of things are not 
justified. It is the purpose of a general international conference to 
determine a basis upon which unanimous or almost unanimous action 
may be had. It cannot, in the space of a few weeks, solve all political 
questions of an international nature ; far less can it reform the world 
by entering into and attempting to deal with the domestic problems 
of different nations. The fourth Pan-American conference did not 
escape the unfavorable criticism born of such unpracticable views, 
but it must also be said that the responsible press of South America, 
when it came to consider the results of the conference, showed a high 
degree of appreciation of the exact nature of the work which these 
great international meetings can perform. The conference itself 
waived all purely doctrinaire discussions and dedicated itself from the 
start to the practical solution of specific problems. It was not indeed 
unmindful of the great principles which underlie the solidarity of 
America. Eloquent expression was given to these, from old and new 
points of view, but it was the unmistakable feeling among the dele- 
gates assembled that the relations of the American republics to each 
other were well enough settled as regards their general character to 
enable the continental conference to pass on to the order of the day 
and to transact the specific business before it. Isolated speeches in- 
volving a different conception were quietly listened to and respectfully 
consigned to the printed minutes of the conference. The practical 
character of the work to be done was emphasized through the reports 
made by the different governments, which indicated that since the 
last conference, far more ratifications of Pan-American treaties had 
been made than ever before. 

From this brief review of the work of these conferences we turn 
to consider the question whether these meetings, called into being 


by the optimistic policy of Blaine, have, at least in a measure, come 
up to the hopes entertained by the first advocates of the Pan-American 
idea. The result thus far achieved, expressed in the form of actual 
laws and treaties, is not indeed a large one. Yet the conventions and 
resolutions passed by the conference have been given constantly 
more support and attention by the governments, and there is un- 
doubtedly a growing sense that the conferences and the international 
union are by no means destined to failure, but are called to play a 
prominent part in the development of an all-American civilization. 
The very existence of an association of this kind in which the repre- 
sentatives of states of varied interests are given an opportunity of 
exchanging views, of measuring each other, and of testing the extent 
of the sphere of common consent is itself a great advantage, even if 
few treaties should result. The whole matter of international admin- 
istration is in its infancy, and the germs which exist at the present 
time are all-important as indicating the tendency of future develop- 
ments. The facts that the American international union embraces so 
many subjects and that it has an organ in the Pan-American Union 
of Washington, which is now given the opportunity of making itself 
truly efficient, are matters of great importance for the future peace 
and welfare of the American continent and of the world at large. As 
the understanding between the American nations grows stronger, as 
they realize more completely their true community of interest, these 
international services will grow in importance and will become a 
strong bond of civilization. 

It will be seen from this that the union of American republics is 
not looked upon as simply another name for a general protectorate of 
the United States over all America. Even were such a thing possible, 
the government of the United States has no intention of assuming 
such a burden. Certainly at the conferences the American government 
has had no policy to force upon the sister republics. Its delegates 
always accord an impartial hearing to whatever may be proposed by 
other delegations ; they claim no hegemony for the United States, but 
strive to assist in arriving at a basis for common understanding. It 
is of course in the nature of things that the government of a nation 
so great and powerful as is the United States should exert a con- 
siderable influence in any council that it may enter, but there was 
absolutely no inclination to strive for an influence greater than would 


be freely accorded by the other governments as a natural result of the 
situation. The union of American republics is therefore truly inter- 
national, its action is based upon the unanimous consent of all the 
states composing it, and no power or group of powers claims for 
itself a determining influence. 

The organization of the Pan-American Union, as perfected by the 
resolution and the draft convention at Buenos Aires in 1 9 1 o, contains 
the following salient features. The Pan-American Union in Wash- 
ington has the following duties and purposes : (1) to compile and 
distribute data and information relative to commerce, industry, agri- 
culture, education, and general progress in the American countries ; 

(2) to collect and classify all information respecting treaties and 
conventions between the American republics and between these and 
other states, as well as concerning the legislation in force in them ; 

(3) to contribute to the development of commerce and intellectual 
relations between the American republics, and to their more intimate 
mutual knowledge ; (4) to act as a permanent commission of the 
international American conferences, to keep their archives, to assist 
in obtaining the ratification of the resolutions and conventions adopted, 
to study or initiate projects to be included in the program of the con- 
ferences, to communicate them to the different governments of the 
union, and to formulate the program and regulations of each succes- 
sive conference ; (5) to present to the various governments, before 
the meeting of each conference, a report upon the work accomplished 
by the institution since the close of the last conference, as well as 
separate reports concerning the matters referred to the union. It is 
also provided that there shall be created in the capital of each one of the 
republics a Pan-American commission, dependent upon the ministry 
of foreign affairs and composed, as far as possible, of former dele- 
gates to an international American conference. It shall be their 
function (a) to assist in securing the approbation and ratification of 
resolutions and conventions adopted by the conference ; (/>) to furnish 
to the Pan-American Union all the data which it may require in 
the preparation of its works ; (c) to present, by their own initiative, 
projects which they may judge appropriate to the purposes of the 

The management of the Pan-American Union is intrusted to a gov- 
erning board, composed of the diplomatic representatives accredited 


by other American governments in Washington, and of the Ameri- 
can Secretary of State, upon whom the presidency of the governing 
board has been conferred. The governing board holds regular monthly 
sessions, except during the summer months. Five members form a 

The administration of the Pan-American Union is delegated to a 
director general, who formulates, with the approbation of the govern- 
ing board, the regulations for the various services of the union. The 
general regulations are passed by the governing board in accordance 
with the resolutions of the Pan-American conferences. The director 
general presents at the ordinary session of November an itemized 
budget of the expenses for the following year. This budget, when 
adopted by the governing board, is communicated to the signatory 
governments with an indication of the annual quota due from each, 
which is fixed in proportion to the population census. The quotas are 
to be paid promptly into the treasury of the Pan-American union. 
An auditing committee, composed of members of the board, is also 
established. According to the resolution the union is established for 
successive periods of ten years. The convention would make it of 
indefinite or permanent duration. Any government, however, has the 
right to withdraw upon giving two years' notice to the Secretary of 
State of the United States. 

The Central American Union 1 

Efforts had been made from time to time to bring about more 
stable and amicable relations between the five Central American 
republics. When finally, in 1906, a treaty was signed on board the 
United States vessel MarbleJiead, then in Central American waters, 
it provided for a conference to be held in Costa Rica for the 
purpose of drawing up a general treaty of peace, friendship, and 
commerce. This preliminary treaty was signed by representatives of 
Guatemala, Salvador, and Honduras. A diplomatic conference, held 
at San Jose, Costa Rica, in September, 1906, was attended by rep- 
resentatives of the Central American states, with the exception of 

1 Treaties, Am. Jour, of Intern at. Law, supplement for April, 1908. Scott, J. B., 
Central American Peace Conference, ibid., Vol. II, p. 121. Anderson, Luis, ibid., 
Vol. II, p. 144. Secunda conferencia centro-americana, actas-convenciones, San 
Salvador, 1910. 


Nicaragua. A general treaty of arbitration was signed at this time, 
and other conventions for the promotion of closer intercourse were 
concluded. The absence of Nicaragua from the conference of San 
Jose and the continued unrest resulting in frequent disturbances led 
to the friendly mediation of the United States and Mexico. A general 
peace conference was called to meet at Washington on September 
17, 1907. The work of this conference was productive of a number 
of important international enactments regulating the mutual inter- 
course and the commercial and political relations of the Central 
American republics. The past union of these republics, their con- 
tiguousness, and the similarity of their natural conditions led to a 
desire to create an international union which would do more than 
could ordinarily be undertaken by such an organization. As one of 
the conventions expressed it, the following Central American inter- 
ests, among others, should be given special attention : the peaceful 
reorganization of the mother country, — Central America ; public 
education of an essentially Central American character ; commerce 
between the republics ; improvement in the methods of agriculture 
and the industries ; uniformity in civil, commercial, and criminal legis- 
lation ; uniformity in customs laws, in the monetary system, and in 
weights and measures ; and cooperative effort for better sanitation. 
Another of the conventions speaks of the Central American court of 
justice as representing the national consciousness of Central America. 
It is therefore apparent that the conventions aimed at a form of 
cooperation which would in some respects constitute a first step in 
the direction of federal government. Yet as the sovereignty of the 
individual republics has been fully maintained, the Central American 
union has thus far not passed beyond the stage of. purely international 

The general treaty of peace and amity concluded at Washington 
provides for the mutual protection of the rights of citizenship, admis- 
sion to the practice of learned professions, enjoyment of the right to 
artistic and industrial property, the treatment as national vessels of 
the ships of any of the contracting countries, mutual validation of 
public instruments and judicial acts ; in a word, it establishes between 
the five republics a complete regime of mutuality in matters of private 
international law, and of public law as far as the rights and privileges 
of individuals are concerned. 


The convention for the establishment of a Central American court 
of justice is an instrument of great interest. The jurisdiction of the 
court comprises cases between contracting governments, as well as 
claims of individual citizens of a Central American country against 
any of the other contracting governments because of the violation of 
treaties and conventions, and other controversies of an international 
character. It is not necessary that the government of the suitor should 
support his claim, provided that the remedies of law have been ex- 
hausted or that a denial of justice can be shown. The Central Ameri- 
can court of justice is therefore distinguished through the fact that, 
preceding the international prize court created by the Hague con- 
ference of 1907, it constitutes the first instance of an international 
tribunal which is authorized to apply its remedies at the suit of in- 
dividuals. The court consists of five justices, one being appointed by 
each republic ; its procedure and the rights of representation before 
it are fully defined by the convention. It is provided that every de- 
cree or judgment shall be rendered with the concurrence of at least 
three of the justices. 

Another convention concluded at the same time provides for the 
establishment of an international Central American bureau for the pur- 
pose of furthering the objects for which the Central American union 
is created. The bureau was established in the city of Guatemala 
in 1908. It publishes an official journal, Centro America. The 
establishment of a Central American pedagogical institute, to be 
located in the republic of Costa Rica, was also agreed upon. 

International conferences of the Central American union are held 
annually in January in the different republics in rotation. The first 
conference was held at Tegucigalpa in 1909, and the second at San 
Salvador in 19 10. At this latter, conventions for the following pur- 
poses were adopted : the unification of the consular service of the five 
republics ; monetary uniformity on a gold basis ; commercial reciproc- 
ity among the five republics ; the adoption of the metric system of 
weights and measures ; the relations of the Central American bureau 
to the governments ; and the establishment of the pedagogic in- 
stitute provided for in the Washington treaty. These conventions 
are adopted ad referendum, subject to ratification by the respective 



Note to Chapter III 

Diagram indicating the ratifications of the conventions adopted by the confer- 
ence of Rio de Janeiro and the establishment of Pan-American commissions (up 
to June, 1910). 


Naturalized citizens 
resuming residence 
in country of origin 



Codification of 




United States 

of America . 





Argentina . . 

X X 

X X 

X X 

X X 


Brazil .... 


X X 

X X 


Chile .... 






Colombia . . 





Costa Rica . . 





Cuba .... 




Republic . . 



Ecuador . . . 





Guatemala . . 





Haiti .... 

Honduras . . 






Mexico . . . 





Nicaragua . . 





Panama . . . 





Paraguay . . 

Peru .... 

X X 

X X 



San Salvador . 






Uruguay . . . 


Venezuela . . 

X X 

X Ratified. 

x X Ratification advised by executive, being considered by Congress. 



The general international union represented by the Hague con- 
ferences has been fully dealt with in so many recent books that it 
would be of little use to go over the ground again in this place. It is 
therefore not our purpose to set forth their history or their work. 
Yet, for the sake of completeness and on account of their great im- 
portance to the subject of international unions, we shall have to devote 
some attention to the permanent institutions of an administrative char- 
acter which have been created by the Hague conferences. In estab- 
lishing and developing the administrative organization of the union, 
they have made use of the experience gained in the other more 
special unions with which we have already dealt ; but they have also 
added some elements in their constructive work which will, in turn, 
exert an influence upon the development of general international 

The international peace conference of The Hague, though origi- 
nally resulting from the call of an individual government, has already 
become an institution which is to a certain extent self-existent. The 
exclusive faculty of calling the conference and undertaking the pre- 
paratory negotiations, which was claimed for Russia on account of 
her original initiative, does now no longer obtain ; for while the 
attempt to establish a regular periodicity in the meetings did not fully 
succeed, the assembling of a third peace conference, " held within a 
period corresponding to that which has elapsed since the preceding 
conference," has been agreed upon. The recommendations of the 
second conference also call attention to "the necessity of preparing 
the program a sufficient time in advance to insure that the deliberations 
may be conducted with the necessary authority and expedition. In 
order to obtain this object, the conference considers that it would be 
very desirable that, some two years before the probable date of the 
meeting, a preparatory committee should be charged by the govern- 
ments with the task of collecting the various proposals to be submitted 



to the conference, of ascertaining what subjects are ripe for embodi- 
ment in an international regulation, and of preparing a program, 
which the governments should decide upon in sufficient time to enable 
it to be carefully examined by the countries interested. This com- 
mittee should further be intrusted with the task of proposing a system 
of organization and procedure for the conference itself." Thus gradu- 
ally, as the experience of nations in this matter ripens through repeated 
meetings and continued common action, a normal method of procedure 
is being worked out. 

The administrative organization of the Hague tribunal and of its 
bureau is provided for in the general convention on the settlement of 
international disputes of 1907. This treaty is so important a land- 
mark in the development of international action reduced to institu- 
tional form that its text should be carefully considered by those 
interested in this subject. Being readily enough accessible, it should 
be immediately at hand in the study of international administration 
for purposes of direct examination and comparison with other institu- 
tions. Though its text will, in the course of things, be modified 
and in part superseded by subsequent legislation, it will always be 
a document of the greatest importance, as containing the establish- 
ment of permanent international institutions whose operations are 
universal. 1 

The second conference paid especial attention to the development 
of international procedure. The experience gained through the inquiry 
into the Doggerbank incident was utilized to give completeness and 
definiteness to the provisions relating to the commissions of in- 
quiry. The procedure of these important though temporary inter- 
national bodies is laid down with great clearness and in considerable 
detail. The manner of composing the commissions, the representation 
of parties in investigations before them, the power to obtain testi- 
mony, the duty of litigants to furnish information, the manner of 
examining witnesses and of presenting the case, — all these matters 
are fully regulated in the twenty-eight short articles of Part III of the 

1 The text may be found in the volume of " Texts of the Peace Conferences at 
The Hague, 1899 and 1907," by James Brown .Scott (p. 155); also in "The First 
Book of World Law," by Raymond L. Bridgman ; and in "The Second International 
Peace Conference," Sen. Doc. 444, Sixtieth Congress, First session. On the general 
subject see also Ralston, J. II., "International Arbitral Law and Procedure," ('.inn 
and Company, Boston, 1910. 


treaty. In a similar manner, though with different details, the organ- 
ization of the permanent court and its procedure are settled in the 
subsequent parts of the convention. 

The more specifically administrative organs of the union are the per- 
manent administrative council, composed of the diplomatic represent- 
atives of the contracting powers accredited to the Dutch government, 
and of the Dutch minister of foreign affairs, who acts as president. 
This institution is evidently modeled upon the governing board of 
the Pan-American union. The council has power to control the ad- 
ministrative side of the work of the tribunal and of the international 
bureau ; it appoints and dismisses officials and employees of the latter, 
fixes their salaries, and controls the expenditure. The council also 
takes charge of the preparation of an annual report upon the work 
of the international court and of the administrative bureau, as well 
as on the budget of disbursements. It makes its decisions by a 
majority vote. 

It is the function of the bureau to perform all the administrative 
services needed in the operations of the court. It acts as a means of 
communication between parties and the arbitrators. It makes the 
necessary arrangements for the meetings of the court and acts as a 
chancellery or secretariat in all matters of judicial action. The 
expenses of the bureau are borne by the contracting powers in the 
proportion fixed respecting the international bureau of the universal 
postal union. 

Another convention concluded by the conference of 1907 deals 
with the establishment of an international prize court. In this docu- 
ment, too, matters of procedure are dealt with in detail. The greatest 
departure from the usage of international tribunals is made in that 
the prize court will take action in certain cases at the suit of an indi- 
vidual. Individual subjects of a neutral or hostile power, if the judg- 
ment of a national court in a prize case adversely affects their property, 
may institute proceedings before the international court. The admin- 
istrative council and the international bureau fulfill the same functions 
with respect to the prize court as have already been explained above 
respecting the court of arbitration. The secretary general of the inter- 
national bureau acts as registrar of the court ; the bureau is in charge 
of the archives and carries on the administrative work in general. 
Notice of appeal is entered with the bureau, to whom the records of 


the case in the national court must be transmitted. The president of 
the court and the registrar authenticate the minutes of the proceedings 
by their signatures. 

In the fall of 1909 the American Department of State proposed to 
the other powers who are signatories of the Hague conventions that 
the international prize court should be invested with the duties and 
functions of the proposed court of arbitral justice, the standing tri- 
bunal which was recommended but not established by the second con- 
ference. The American government suggested that " the international 
court of prize shall be competent to entertain and decide any case of 
arbitration presented to it by a signatory to the international court of 
prize convention ; and when sitting as a court of arbitral justice it shall 
conduct its proceedings in accordance with the draft convention for 
the establishment of a court of arbitral justice, approved and recom- 
mended by the second Hague conference in October, 1907." 




The conception of a law common to the entire civilized world has 
received a new content and a practical interpretation through the 
recent development of international unions. The numerous private 
unions and associations for international purposes constitute a spon- 
taneous grouping of men throughout the world, who are interested 
in certain lines of enterprise — industrial, political, or scientific — 
which are not limited by national boundaries, but have the whole 
world for their field of action. The number of such associations 
already created is indeed surprising. Nearly every type of social 
effort for the promotion of the broader interests of mankind has been 
organized in this manner, so that there are literally hundreds 2 of inter- 
national unions and associations. These bodies hold periodic confer- 
ences for the interchange of opinions and the comparison of results, 
and in many cases they have established permanent bureaus or offices. 

The public unions which have been formed by the action of states, 
and which are now operating as public agencies of international inter- 
ests, indicate the extent to which the national authorities have come 
to realize the importance of interests and activities that transcend in 
their operations the boundaries of the national state. There are over 
thirty such unions, most of them endowed with permanent organs of 
administration, which enable them to fulfill, even though only in a 
rudimentary way, the three classic functions of government, — the 
legislative, executive, and judicial. The interests which they repre- 
sent and administer can be understood only when we consider the 
human world as a totality of interrelated forces and activities. From 
this point of view any other form of organization that might be given 
them would be defective in extent and efficiency. 

1 Reprinted, with changes, from the American Journal of International Law, 
January, 1909. 

2 The number of international congresses held in the years 1901-1910 was seven 
hundred ninety. See lists in the Annuaire de la vie Internationale, 1910. 



The Basis and Body of Universal Law 

When any social or economic interest has attained world-wide re- 
lations, when its activities in order to succeed must rest on the 
experience of all mankind, and must extend their operations over 
numerous national territories, then such an interest can be effectively 
regulated only upon a world-wide basis. The legal aspects of its 
organization and action can be expressed only in the terms of a law- 
enacted from the point of view of international relations, rather than 
resting upon the experience and policy of any national state. The 
world law which is thus created is not merely an intellectual product 
such as the natural law of the older jurisprudence. Quite the con- 
trary, it is the legal expression of positive interests and activities 
already developed in the life of the world that are manifesting them- 
selves in action, and are therefore entitled to have their relations ex- 
pressed also in juristic form. A law of this kind, while aiming at 
universality, will strive to avoid purely theoretical construction and 
to base itself upon ascertained needs and actual experience. 

When the principal interests that have already received an inter- 
national organization are passed in review, it is not difficult to recog- 
nize in them those characteristics which make them essentially 
international. It is an often-repeated saying that the world at the 
present time stands in the sign of communication. The ideal of the 
civilized world with respect to economic relations is that the entire 
surface of the globe should be rendered readily accessible to the 
enterprise of any individual, and that rapid and uninterrupted commu- 
nication should make possible a uniform management and control of 
the natural resources which humanity has inherited. The demands 
thus made upon international policies have their material support in 
the great advances recently achieved in the practical sciences and arts 
of communication. But in order that the greatest advantage may be 
gained by mankind from these inventions, a liberal character should 
be imparted to legislation. We need a uniform law of transportation 
by land and sea in order that the efficiency of communication may 
not be impaired by unnecessary local differences of regulation. Scien- 
tific jurisprudence has directed itself to the task of gradually unifying 
the principles of maritime law and restoring to it the character of a 
world law, so that it may again be universal, as it was in its original 


medieval form. The European railway freight union has created a 
code of transportation which is justly considered one of the most 
notable achievements of modern international activity in the field of 
legislation. The very nature of communication makes it an interna- 
tional interest and establishes the unavoidable necessity of legislating 
in this matter from the point of view of universalism, — regarding the 
world as a unified economic organization. 

The same principles apply to correspondence by letter and by tele- 
gram. Rapidity of intelligence and notification is essential to effi- 
ciency in the exploitation and control of the manifold natural resources 
of the earth, and to the success of its greater industrial and com- 
mercial enterprises. The impossibility of treating any of these inter- 
ests from the point of view of a national policy alone was illustrated 
in a most striking fashion in the case of radiotelegraphy. When this 
process had gained recognition as a practical method, the British 
Marconi Company secured an exclusive contract with the British 
Lloyd and with the Italian government for telegraphic service be- 
tween vessels and the coast. Under this arrangement the wireless 
stations in these two countries would refuse to receive or send 
messages of any other system than that of Marconi. The political 
advantages of such an arrangement to a power like Great Britain are 
apparent at first sight, and the relinquishment of such a privilege 
through any convention met with much resistance in England, because 
it was believed that, under the Marconi monopoly, the British govern- 
ment would have obtained a great advantage over its rivals. As the 
Times put it, "The existence of a world-wide commercial organization 
with its headquarters in England, in closest touch with the admiralty, 
largely operated, even in foreign territories and on foreign ships, by 
English operators, would be an invaluable asset to the admiralty in 
a great war." This was apparently exactly the way in which the other 
powers also saw the matter, and they opposed this attempt to establish 
a universal monopoly in so important an interest. The two powers 
which favored restriction could not resist the logic of the opposition, 
so that finally, in 1906, an agreement was made which guaranteed for 
the future the freedom of international wireless communication. 

Other interests which have been organized on an international 
basis, while not so clearly world-wide in their nature, nevertheless 
contain prominent elements which have led to insistent demands for 


a universal organization. The scientific and economic interests con- 
nected with labor have long been organized on such a basis, and the 
problems of labor legislation can be dealt with satisfactorily only from 
an international point of view. There are several elements in the 
labor situation of the world which render this policy necessary. In 
order adequately to protect its own labor forces, any nation would be 
obliged to enact legislation which might seriously handicap its national 
industries unless assurance were given that foreign competitors should 
be bound by the same obligations. Efficient protection of national 
labor is therefore scarcely possible through the isolated efforts of an 
individual state ; it must rest upon a basis of international under- 
standing. Moreover, labor itself is an international force. Scarcely 
any nation at the present time derives from its own population all 
the labor of which it is in need, as more or less permanent migra- 
tions of laborers from country to country are continually taking place. 
The supply of labor is therefore international in scope and calls for 
international control. 

Of all the prime economic operations, agriculture appears at first 
sight to be to the greatest extent local and national. Yet a less super- 
ficial consideration of the interests involved will show that agriculture 
is by no means an activity that can be fully protected upon a national 
basis. International protection is demanded against the importation 
of plant and animal diseases. In order that agricultural operations 
may be effectively adjusted to atmospheric and climatic conditions, 
the meteorological service ought to be organized upon an interna- 
tional basis. To determine accurately the status of the market for 
agricultural products, world-wide determinations of the conditions of 
supply and demand are necessary ; and agricultural labor, in fully as 
great a measure as that employed in the industries, is dominated by 
international conditions and population movements. 

In scientific and administrative processes it is the common experi- 
ence of the entire world which is required to obtain the most satis- 
factory results, but it is especially in the field of criminal and sanitary 
administration that a large measure of international cooperation is nec- 
essary in order that national property and population may be protected. 
Modern criminal administration looks upon punishment as among the 
lesser of its various tasks, and concentrates its efforts upon the means 
of preventing crime. Hence extradition by no means exhausts all the 


requirements of mutual helpfulness. Crime is organized internation- 
ally ; the prevention of crime must therefore be effected in a similar 
way. We need only think of the most fundamental crime against 
state existence, the plottings of revolutionary anarchism, to realize 
fully how important international cooperation will be to the future 
efficiency of the protective service. We might thus review all the 
interests of civilized humanity, intellectual or material, and we should 
doubtless find in each of them certain elements calling for interna- 
tional action and organization. It is only when full advantage is 
drawn from the possibilities of international cooperation that human 
activities shall in the future be able to unfold and grow to their proper 

The body of law which is thus being created by the action of the 
authoritative organs of public international unions, and by cooperation 
among governments, is distinguished from general international law 
in that it not merely regulates the relations between national states, 
but undertakes to establish positive norms for universal action. We 
may tentatively apply to it the designation of international adminis- 
trative law, defining it as that body of laws and ordinances created 
by the action of international conferences or commissions which regu- 
lates the relations and activities of national and international agen- 
cies with respect to those material and intellectual interests which 
have received an authoritative universal organization. The law thus 
created contains principles and rules that might be viewed as the be- 
ginning of a universal civil law. This is true especially with respect 
to rules created in the matter of communication, such as the principle 
that telegrams and letters must be transmitted ; but even these prin- 
ciples refer to administrative action, so that they may be embraced in 
the designation which we have used above. Should the efforts to 
unify the maritime law of the world be crowned with success, the 
body of law thus created would not properly be included under the 
above designation ; it would continue to be dealt with under its tra- 
ditional name as a branch of the universal law of communication. In 
its elaboration and enforcement, however, international administrative 
organs would take an essential part. 

The general purposes that are being achieved by the creation of an 
international administrative law may be looked at from three different 
points of view. It is desired, in the first place, that a mutuality of 


advantages be secured for the citizens of all civilized states. In a por- 
tion of international legislative activity, therefore, the object is not so 
much to change the national law as to secure for the subjects of one 
state the advantages of legislative and administrative arrangements in 
others. The national law with respect to patents, copyrights, or the 
admission to liberal professions may continue to differ in the various 
jurisdictions. But the object aimed at by international arrangements 
is to secure for the foreigner the protection of the national law as it 
stands, placing him in the same position of right with respect to these 
matters as is enjoyed by the subjects of the state in question. 

A second general object is the regulation of the administrative ac- 
tivities connected with these world-wide interests on a basis adequate 
to their extent and importance. Such regulation may create an entirely 
new law, which the various national administrations bind themselves 
to respect ; or it may involve the modification, to a certain extent, of 
national methods of procedure. 

Finally, there is the ideal of uniformity or universality of law, which 
will be to a certain extent pursued in all these international unions. 
This ideal, on account of the simplicity and equity of the conception 
which it involves, is not merely attractive from the intellectual point 
of view, but, in the measure in which it is achieved in any field, it 
serves to free business intercourse and action from all kinds of diffi- 
culties and obstructions. It must however be noted in connection with 
this idea that it is far easier to introduce uniform methods within 
the field of pure administrative activities than to establish a similar 
homogeneity in principles which have become part of the civil law. 
International administration has the advantage of operating largely in 
a field that has not been occupied as yet by systematized methods and 
historic traditions, such as is the case in the field of private law. Pri- 
vate international law, dealing with conditions and characteristics based 
on a long national experience, has far greater obstacles to overcome 
in its unifying efforts than has international administrative procedure. 

As the purposes thus outlined are more and more nearly achieved, 
great advantages are to be gained. Homogeneous development, uni- 
formity, and simplicity are favored. Commercial and industrial inter- 
course is facilitated by the absence of irrational local differences in 
legal rules. Unfair competition is prevented by the uniformity of 
national regulations, which places competition the world over upon a 



higher plane, and which checks the granting of entirely inequitable 
advantages to certain enterprises and industries. The disadvantages 
flowing from the lack of international cooperation may be illustrated 
by examples taken from the field of insurance. As the operations of 
life insurance have become international, its scientific and technical 
activities have already been given an international organization in the 
actuarial congress. This pursuit, however, has not yet been pro- 
vided with public organs of international administration. The attitude 
of various national administrations illustrates the difficulties created 
by a lack of uniformity in regulations. Thus the German govern- 
ment demands that any foreign insurance company doing business 
in Germany shall submit its transactions in all the countries of the 
world to the control of the German administration. France has re- 
cently established the requirement that all insurance companies 
operating in that country must invest in French public securities, 
which pay at the present time an interest of about three per cent. 
These regulations are plainly due to the solicitude of national offi- 
cials in behalf of subjects who may become insured in foreign com- 
panies. But consider what a burden is placed upon the business of 
insurance, — a burden which of course must ultimately be borne by 
the insured. If each government should demand an account of the 
entire business of a foreign insurance company for the purpose of 
complete control, the expense and trouble involved would become intol- 
erable. When the governments of the older states require investments 
to be solely in their own low-interest-paying funds, they exclude the 
insured from the advantage of perfectly safe investments in new coun- 
tries at nearly double the rate of interest. All these difficulties would 
be avoided, could there be created an international bureau for the 
auditing and control of insurance investments. Investigations of the 
business of a particular company made once for all with perfect meth- 
ods, on a world-wide basis, could safely be accepted by any national 
administration, and all the advantages open to investors the world 
over could thus be enjoyed by the insured of any international 

Whenever we are examining any body of law it is of considerable 
importance to know how its individual principles are enforced. With 
respect to international administrative law reliance must, in the main, 
be placed upon the enlightened sense of self-interest of the national 



administrations. In so far as they realize the importance of these 
arrangements to themselves and to the interests intrusted to their 
care, will they be ready and willing to enforce the principles of inter- 
national legislation without any ulterior sanction. In the present con- 
dition of the world it will perhaps for some time be impossible to 
strengthen the administrative organs of the international unions so 
as to provide them with powers of execution against national ad- 
ministrations. Certain means of stricter enforcement have indeed 
been provided. In some of the unions the" individual governments 
are required to furnish annual reports upon their legislative and ad- 
ministrative action with respect to the interests in question. It is 
understood that if these reports show that the requirements of the 
union have not been fulfilled, the public opinion of the world, diplo- 
matic pressure, and ultimately exclusion from the union will be suf- 
ficient to provide a sanction. In this matter we have to rely upon the 
accuracy of the reports which the various administrations are bound 
to furnish, but we may rest assured that generally they will be care- 
ful to have their official returns correspond to the facts. How im- 
portant these reports are to international administration is illustrated 
by the case of such a union as that for the prevention of phylloxera. 
Each government is bound to report upon the occurrence of this 
disease in its wine-producing regions, and upon the methods that 
have been used for its suppression and for the protection of other 
parts of the country. Foreign nations should be able to rely abso- 
lutely on the accuracy of these reports and upon the good faith of the 
government in protecting itself as well as others by a strict fulfillment 
of its international obligations. When the labor-protection treaty was 
concluded between France and Italy in 1906, it was provided that 
each party must annually publish a complete report concerning its 
administrative action. This arrangement was criticized by French 
publicists on the ground that Italian inspectors would exercise a cer- 
tain control over French administration, in that the convention gives 
to each government the right of superintending the labor police exer- 
cised by the other. And yet it is inconceivable how the enforcement 
of treaties of this kind may be secured without such means of inter- 
national intelligence. Another method was employed by the union 
for the protection of submarine cables. The conference of 1886 
appointed a commission on the enforcement of the treaty, which 



examined the laws and practice of all the treaty states and reported as 
to which of them were not giving effect to the convention. In the labor 
conference of 1890 Germany proposed that the execution of the treaty 
measures should be insured by a sufficient number of functionaries, 
— specialists appointed for the purpose. The representatives of Aus- 
tria, however, cautiously urged that the surveillance of the national 
administration should be reserved to each government without any 
interference by an outside power. This objection indicates the diffi- 
culties which have to be met in any attempt to secure good faith 
and complete observance in the matter of international administrative 

When all is said, it is plain that the real sanction of international 
administrative law lies in the eventual exclusion from the union of a 
state which persistently neglects or refuses to fulfill its obligations. 
In some of the unions this sanction is amply sufficient to secure the 
careful observance of treaty obligations. An international union may 
be so necessary to the economic life of the member nations that 
exclusion from it would produce an industrial and commercial dead- 
lock, an eventuality to be avoided at almost any cost. 

The realization of this necessity — of the fact that economic life 
within the national state is dependent for its prosperity upon interna- 
tional cooperation and membership in international unions — serves 
as a balance to the ever-present desire to preserve sovereignty unim- 
paired and the freedom of national action unembarrassed. When at 
the labor conference in 1890 it was proposed by the Swiss delegates 
that an international bureau of labor should be established, the British 
representatives objected on the ground that they could not put their 
labor legislation at the discretion of a foreign power. The feeling thus 
expressed is still a very strong impediment to the progress of interna- 
tional legislation. It seems, however, that the world is passing from 
this attitude to another and more liberal view of the situation. The 
view which national governments have generally taken regarding inter- 
national cooperation is that everything must be avoided which would 
constitute a derogation of the complete rights of sovereignty. How- 
ever, it makes a great deal of difference how this principle of caution 
is applied. When all international action is regarded as endangering 
national power, the question which governments will ask themselves 
when such action is proposed, will take the following form : What is 


the least measure of concession which, with a due show of interna- 
tional courtesy, we can make to this demand ? But after the useful- 
ness and even necessity of international cooperation have emerged 
into view more and more clearly, and when the governments recog- 
nize that, in order to be completely useful to their subjects and citizens, 
they must join in these movements, they will ask themselves, What 
is the largest measure of aid and cooperation which we can give in 
this case with safety to our national interests ? In other words, the 
international activity is no longer looked upon as an outside hostile 
force, to which only the least modicum of concession ought to be 
made ; but it is regarded as a useful and necessary cooperative enter- 
prise in which each state should join as far as its special circumstances 
will permit. 

Although this is not the place to examine the theory of sovereignty, 
it is evident that the old abstract view is no longer applicable to 
conditions in a world where states are becoming more and more 
democratic and where the organization of interests is taking on an 
international aspect. It is undoubtedly a mistake to look upon sover- 
eignty as an irreducible entity including the sum of all political and 
social power. It is therefore not justifiable to proclaim that sover- 
eignty would be destroyed if any administrative activity of the national 
government be curtailed or transferred. Sovereignty in the modern 
organization of the state is merely the focal point at which the political 
energies of the nation converge. It represents the strongest social 
purpose to which at certain times all other social purposes may have 
to yield. At present the paramount social purpose in the civilized 
world is still the maintenance of national power. It is the national 
organization upon which the safety of the material and moral inter- 
ests of the world still reposes. But there are always large groups of 
interests which will not be dominated directly by the sovereign state, 
and whose activities are independent of the latter. The sovereign 
purpose, while it may eventually dominate, does not by any means 
at all times include, all other social purposes. 

The creation of international groups and organs which we are 
witnessing may, in the long run, have a tendency to change this focali- 
zation of power. There may ultimately be created an international 
consciousness, interest, and organization so powerful as to make itself 
the paramount social force. This will not be the work of a single 


generation, nor will it be brought about entirely through conscious 
political arrangements. If it comes, it will be as a result of inevitable 
convergences of social interest and power. Should it arrive, it will 
gradually make national sovereignty obsolete. Such a consummation, 
though its occurrence is not likely for some generations, could not be 
prevented by a narrow national policy which would attempt to block 
the normal and natural grouping and organization of interests the 
world over. We ought therefore not to speak of an abdication of 
sovereignty simply because one or several interests have been organ- 
ized on an international basis. The national state still remains in the 
center of the stage. It merely utilizes these international organizations 
for the benefit of its own citizens and subjects. 

It would also be a mistake — though this error has not always been 
avoided — to speak of sovereignty as a principle of international law. 
It is plain that international law does not bestow sovereignty upon the 
state. On the contrary, it clearly regards it as a question of fact, and 
simply discusses the conditions under which a certain society may be 
said to have achieved a sufficient political organization to be recog- 
nized as sovereign. Sovereign states, independent political entities, 
are the agents in international law whose importance is determined 
by the degree of vigor and efficiency with which they act in the com- 
munity of nations, but not by their isolation and withdrawal from 
contact and cooperation. The main principle of international law is 
community of interests ; upon this the law must be based if it is to 
be respected. Through membership in the international-law union 
the personality of the state is developed, as is that of man through 
life in the society of his fellows. These common interests are based 
on fact as undeniably as is the sovereign power. States have inter- 
course with one another ; they and their citizens need it, and so it 
will be continued. The relations thus established must be given a 
normal, orderly form. Therefore, though we are just beginning to 
create an international jurisdiction, we have long had an interna- 
tional procedure and we are fast developing international adminis- 
trative law. 1 

Through the essential mutuality of the relations of civilized life the 
sovereign state is practically forced to avail itself of the advantages 

1 See, in this connection, Nippold, Fortbildung des Verfahrens in volkerr. Streitig- 
keiten, 1907, chap. i. 



offered by international organization. It is plain that the individual 
isolated national government is unable to secure for its citizens all the 
advantages of civilization. Relying merely upon the capacities and 
resources contained within its national territory, it cannot offer to 
those dependent upon it the protection and the advantages which, as 
citizens of the modern world, they have a right to demand. If we 
consider the most fundamental and rudimentary duty of a civilized 
state, — the protection against disease and crime, — we immediately 
discover that the resources of a national administration are inadequate 
to afford complete security to the citizens. The organization of crime 
rests on an international basis. Like anarchism, which we have al- 
ready mentioned, the so-called white-slave trade illustrates the prin- 
ciples involved. The criminal laws of any individual state cannot 
reach the offenders so as to safeguard its subjects against this most 
heinous exploitation. Nor is it possible for a state to protect itself 
against the influx of disease, unless indeed it should, in Chinese 
fashion, cut itself off entirely from commercial intercourse. In all 
these matters it must rely upon cooperation with other national 
administrations, and only in a normal and well-regulated system of 
international police and sanitary administration can security be found. 
Similarly, a complete right to a patent or to the reproduction of a 
literary work cannot be given by single governments, but can result 
only from the common action of all civilized states. The moral right 
of the author of a book or an invention to be recompensed for the » 
worth and utility contained in the product of his mind can be pro- 
tected only within narrow limits by an individual state. The complete 
establishment of this right is secured only through universal legisla- 
tive arrangements. Numerous examples of this kind will immediately 
suggest themselves. It is evident that there are growing groups of 
advantages which are obtained by men as members of civilized society 
rather than of any particular state. Such advantages the states owe 
it to their citizens to foster and develop, in order that the latter may 
enjoy what in reason they are entitled to. The state is powerless to 
create these broader rights by its own unaided efforts. It can secure 
them for its citizens only through cooperation with other states. 

International cooperation may, in the present state of our civilization, 
be represented as an ethical duty. No state has the right, by stubborn 
aloofness from international movements, to exclude its citizens from 


the advantages of civilization. But this ethical duty is reenforced by 
a very practical necessity, which is plain to any common-sense admin- 
istration. As a matter of fact, the state which would isolate itself 
from the postal union or the sanitary union would act in as irrational 
a manner as an individual who would leave the abodes of civilization 
to pass his life in the unhealthy and inhospitable wilderness of a 
swamp. The laws created by international cooperation have an actual 
and potent sanction in the suffering and loss which are inevitably 
consequent upon their nonobservance. If we consider for a moment 
the international organ to which the most positive powers have been 
given, the sugar commission, we shall recognize the workings of neces- 
sity in its creation. The far-reaching powers which have been in- 
trusted to this body did not result from any preconceived plan or any 
conviction that the establishment of an international authority of this 
kind would be desirable. On the contrary, this solution was forced 
upon the members of the conference by the conditions which had 
been brought on throughout the sugar-producing world by the practice 
of granting national bounties. The disastrous results produced by 
this species of competition could be avoided only by the creation of a 
powerful international authority. The evils were so great that the 
measures for their removal presented themselves to the delegates in 
the form of unavoidable necessity ; and they acted in accordance with 
this conclusion, although they tried to improve the appearance of their 
action by substituting the word "executory" for "obligatory" in 
speaking of the determinations to be made by the commission. 
The decided step forward which was thus taken in the organization 
of international unity was due not by any means to theoretical con- 
siderations, but to the presence of a practical difficulty which could 
be solved only by committing important powers to an international 

The development of international administration is favored in 
general by the principle that action will not be taken unless all the 
parties are agreed as to its desirability. In the older type of treaties 
between nations the purpose was the conciliation and compromise of 
conflicting interests. The new economic conventions strive to discover, 
on the contrary, a basis for cooperation, an essential equality of inter- 
ests among all the nations, upon which permanent arrangements 
may be founded. The unanimity required for this kind of legislation 


cannot however be permanently defeated by mere capricious opposi- 
tion on the part of one or several states. When it is once clearly 
discovered that a basis for cooperation exists, the reluctant states will 
generally be forced in the event to accede to the agreement, because 
they very soon find that exclusion from the advantages of the union 
means a serious loss to their own interests. 

The effect of this new development, which we have been review- 
ing, upon the spirit and the methods of diplomacy cannot but be 
salutary. Although diplomacy has not yet entirely lost its old repu- 
tation, according to which its methods were held to be synonymous 
with shrewdness, scheming, and chicane, it is clearly apparent that 
a very different view of international relations is obtaining the lead- 
ing influence in the diplomatic world. Instead of dealing only with 
the nice balancing of political interests, and attempting to gain more 
or less ephemeral advantages by shrewd negotiation, the new diplo- 
macy makes its main purpose the establishment of a basis for frank 
cooperation among the nations in order that, through common action, 
advantages may be obtained which no isolated state could command 
if relying merely on its own resources. John Ouincy Adams, in his 
" Diary," says of a certain British diplomat : " The mediocrity of his 
talents has been one of the principal causes of his success"; and in 
the past merely neutral social virtues were indeed often accounted 
sufficient for diplomatic efficiency. The present sets more exacting 
requirements, and as the complexity of economic and social interests 
increases, efficient diplomats will have to be men of " great energy 
of mind, activity of research, and fertility of expedients," to use the 
words by which Adams expresses the qualities not so essential to 
ordinary 7 diplomatic intercourse in his day. In order adequately to 
represent his nation, a minister ought to keep himself informed, 
through touch with expert opinion and with the progress of affairs, 
on all the world-wide economic, industrial, and intellectual activities 
by which the welfare of his nation is intimately affected. A diplo- 
mat who masters these relations and keeps himself advised upon 
these movements will be able to secure many advantages for his own 
country, and he may moreover perform important sen-ices in help- 
ing to work out a basis for effective international cooperation in fields 
where such action is required by the very interests which he more 
particularly represents. 


The process of international organization frequently favors the ex- 
pansion of the sphere of the national government. When interests 
are organized upon an international basis, the persons and associa- 
tions concerned begin to see more clearly how their purposes may be 
furthered through state action. They consequently demand new legis- 
lation as well as the expansion of the administrative sphere, and urge 
the government to use its organs for the purpose of securing the 
greatest possible advantages for the individual citizen. The example 
of other nations is appealed to, and in every way the state is encour- 
aged to make the fullest use of its powers. The organization of the 
agricultural interests upon an international basis, recent as it is, has 
already produced an insistent demand for. greater state activity. The 
control which the state exercises over the conditions of labor is stimu- 
lated by the international agreements and conventions on that subject. 
In our country the agitation for a parcels-post service proceeds mostly 
from those persons who have realized the advantages which our in- 
dustry might gain in foreign markets through the use of this method ; 
so that if this system should be introduced, it would be due very largely 
to efforts to develop our international relations. 

It is very important to note that the organization of the economic 
and social activities of the world is being based upon the representa- 
tion of interests in definite organs. While the parliamentary systems 
of national governments still adhere to the abstract numerical idea, 
the more natural system of interest representation is being used in 
international affairs. Undoubtedly the international movement will 
be strengthened by this fact, because a social or economic interest 
is an entity possessed of independent potentiality of action. As world 
organization spontaneously takes this form from the beginning, it will 
profit by the combined energies which all these interests represent. 

The effect which international organization has exercised upon the 
methods and processes of national administration has been salutary. 
In conventions and congresses methods are compared, criticisms 
and suggestions are made, and the best experience of the world is 
centralized, — all of which has been turned to advantage by progres- 
sive administrations. Moreover, a certain responsibility comes to be felt 
by the individual governments over against each other. It would be 
embarrassing to be discovered in the use of antiquated and unscientific 
processes. The result is a greater efficiency of administrative action 


throughout the world. Through the public organization of universal 
scientific bodies the latest results of pure and applied science are 
placed at the disposal of governments. The scientific branches in the 
administration of modern states are so important and their influence 
upon governmental action is so direct that the organization of scientific 
work upon an international basis in itself constitutes a movement of 
prime importance. 

It would be interesting to compare the internationalism of the pres- 
ent with the cosmopolitan movements which the world has seen at 
former periods of its history. There is a distinct difference between 
the cosmopolitanism of the close of the eighteenth century and that 
of our own day. The rationalist cosmopolitanism is still current in 
much of our literature, although in practical affairs we have almost 
entirely outlived it in this particular form. It is individualistic and 
humanitarian, and recognizes no institutions between the isolated 
individual, on the one hand, and the all-embracing ideal of humanity 
on the other. Every person is supposed to be inspired with a feel- 
ing of human brotherhood, and to strive for the abstract purposes of 
universality. Cosmopolitanism of this kind caused Byron to weep 
when the enemy of his country was defeated, and Goethe to look on 
with indifference when the land of his fathers was invaded by the 
troops of Napoleon. 

The cosmopolitanism of our days is concrete and practical. It rests 
upon the idea of cooperation in constantly expanding circles. For 
this purpose adequate institutions must be created in order that inter- 
national action may become real. The national state is not regarded 
as a superfluous obstacle. As international advantages are essential 
to the citizen, so the state remains necessary to the achievement of 
internationalism. The temper of the age is positive and constructive 
rather than given to idealism and speculation. The void which the 
old cosmopolitan ideal left between the individual and humanity is 
being filled up by the creation of institutions through which the indi- 
vidual may gradually be raised, by almost imperceptible degrees, from 
the narrow limits of personality to the broad aims of civilization. This 
internationalism respects the ethnic and national entities of which it 
is composed. As through the consciousness of the city and of the 
national state we gradually develop into a consciousness of world 
unity, we shall not be able to dispense with the traditions and 


aspirations which lie back of national sovereignty and give it force. 
However, the positive ideal of the world to-day is undoubtedly that 
the whole earth shall become a field of action open to every man, 
and that all the advantages which may be secured by the energies of 
humanity throughout the world must be guaranteed to the citizens of 
each national sovereignty. A new grouping of social, economic, and 
political interests is being effected, in which, though indeed the 
national state will continue to hold a prominent place, public and 
associative action will be dominated to a large extent by forces and 
considerations which are broader than national life. 

This development will also exercise a profound influence upon the 
attitude of mankind toward war. The older pacifism overlooked the 
fact that war is only the symptom of a condition in which too great 
emphasis is still laid on local interests. With the gradual enlargement 
of the field of economic and cultural activities until what have been 
national forces shall have a more extensive scope, and with the wan- 
ing of narrower interests before those of world-wide importance, the 
incentive to war will necessarily become weaker and weaker, pari 
passu with the increase in the solidarity among nations. More and 
more reluctant will governments be to interrupt the complex integra- 
tion of industry and of commerce through war ; either these fields 
will have to be exempted from hostile action, or, as they come to occupy 
more and more completely our life and thought, war itself will have 
to be abandoned as a solution of international differences. 

While the vista of possibilities thus unfolded is attractive and 
of great promise, it is nevertheless true that the movement which we 
have been considering would be retarded and injured by too great 
expectations and by action which would overlook the present just 
claims of local autonomy. The basis for cooperative action will 
gradually unfold itself ; and as it does so, the principles of inter- 
national legislation and administration will assume a character of 
inevitableness and will be recognized by any particular state as sub- 
serving its own interests. Individual initiative, to be effective, should 
be confined to assisting in the discovery and clear expression of such 
unquestioned bases for cooperation. Any attempt to urge states into 
action without showing a specific need, on the mere plea of the inter- 
est of internationalism, would be, in so far, to jeopardize the normal 
development and ultimate success of the great movement which is 


one of the most notable phenomena of the era in which we are living. 
Nor should we expect states readily to give up that power of self- 
determination, of freely selecting their means, methods, and activities, 
which constitutes the essence of political sovereignty ; however essen- 
tial, in their own interest, a participation in common action may be, 
they still remain the principal guardians of human rights and inter- 
ests, and ought therefore to retain to themselves the necessary free- 
dom of action which such a trust requires. 

General Principles of Organization 

At first sight there is little promise of accord in the details of 
organization and in the methods of the various international unions. 
They have been founded for a great variety of purposes ; they deal 
with a multitude of interests representing every branch of human 
enterprise and endeavor, and having but little in common. There has 
been no general concerted plan among the governments with respect 
to the international movement which we are reviewing. The individual 
unions are rather the result of a spontaneous growth and crystalliza- 
tion than of carefully elaborated contrivance. Every particular one 
of them has naturally followed that course of development which 
its own specific purpose has indicated. But when all has been said, 
and when all these reservations have been made, there is yet dis- 
coverable an underlying unity in the movement which enables us to 
treat it as dominated by certain general principles, no matter how 
variegated and complicated its individual manifestations may be. In 
the course of the comparatively short life of the various international 
unions there have indeed already been developed individual bodies 
of law, of method, and precedent, which may lay claim to being 
important and separate entities in the field of jurisprudence and 
administration — which consequently require separate study, and are, 
as a matter of fact, dealt with in separate treatises. We need only 
think of such bodies of international legislation as the European rail- 
way freight law, the law of international copyrights, and the rules 
created by sanitary conventions. Yet if we desire to form an estimate 
of the tendencies of the international movement and of its relations 
to national life, it will be necessary to attempt a general survey of the 
principles and methods employed. Such an attempt to arrive at a 


conception of what may be considered the normal action in this great 
movement will give us a criterion by which individual proposals and 
arrangements may be judged. It will also enable us to form a more 
accurate judgment of the general bearing and the tendencies of inter- 
national administrative activities. Finally, it will protect us from the 
not uncommon error of exaggerating the importance of the functions 
created and of the positive powers which have been attributed to these 
new international organs. 

Formation of unions. It is not always easy to tell with certitude 
whether the formation of a given union is due primarily to public or 
to private initiative. We encounter commonly an interaction of in- 
fluences. Private associations or groups of individuals may discover 
the need for international action with regard to a certain interest, and 
may undertake to urge the establishment of treaty relations and 
administrative bodies. Quite generally such persons will themselves 
organize on an international basis and will hold conferences or 
congresses where the feasibility of common policies and actions is 
discussed at length, and where proposals for public unions frequently 
originate. Thereby governments may finally be moved to take authori- 
tative action in the matter in question, with the result that treaties 
and conventions will be concluded ; or the state organs, desiring to 
come in closer touch with the efforts of private initiative, may associ- 
ate themselves for a while with the organizations already established ; 
they may send official delegates to the conferences of the interna- 
tional associations, and out of this cooperation there may be evolved 
gradually a basis for public action. 

In a large number of cases, however, unions have been formed 
directly by public or state initiative. Nations had early realized the 
necessity of treaty arrangements on such subjects as the control of 
communication by telegraph, railway, or the mails. However, the 
individual conventions, multiplying year by year and containing 
many divergent provisions, had a tendency to render the subject 
unnecessarily complicated and difficult for the national administra- 
tions. Thus there came about naturally a desire for unification on a 
general international basis. At other times the technical branches of 
the national administration discovered in their practical work the 
need for a general treaty, and setting the government in motion, 
they secured the direct establishment of conventions and unions. 


In exercising its public initiative the state makes use both of 
technical experts belonging to its administration and of the general 
diplomatic personnel. Occasionally the basis for a treaty is worked 
out entirely by technical experts, possibly by medical men in the 
case of sanitary treaties, or by railway officials in the case of transpor- 
tation arrangements. Ultimately the results thus carefully perfected 
will be discussed, from the point of view of general diplomatic and 
political arrangements, by a conference of diplomatic representatives, 
which affixes the authoritative seal of signature and ratification. It 
is a frequent practice to use both diplomatic and technical delegates 
in the same conference. In such cases the state, of course, expects 
the diplomatic representative to give to the undertaking the prestige 
of his office and the assistance of his political experience, in order 
that the importance of the work may be duly emphasized, and that, 
on the other hand, the action proposed may be scrutinized from the 
point of view of national diplomatic interests. The general experi- 
ence of a trained diplomat on such occasions is also of no little 
benefit to the negotiators. The technical delegates, for their part, are 
relied upon to furnish the knowledge upon which the substantive 
action of the conference will be based ; the latter will necessarily 
draw upon the experience of these men with respect to the form to 
be given the enactments and with respect to the technical informa- 
tion upon which all its action must be founded. It is unquestioned 
that the presence of the diplomatic element has frequently acted as a 
retarding influence. The technical delegates, having experienced the 
disadvantages of local differences in legislation, enter the conference 
with more enthusiasm for the international idea. The diplomat, being 
accustomed to consider every proposal from the point of view of an 
undiminished national freedom of action, will suspect dangers and 
will be inclined to oppose any limitation upon the complete diplo- 
matic freedom of the nation which he represents. As we have 
already noted, the participation of diplomatic representatives in the 
creation of these various international unions has made demands 
upon the profession which the older concept of diplomatic action did 
not include. A successful diplomat to-day must master the intricate 
organization and interaction of world-wide industrial, commercial, 
and scientific forces which give to national life a new and broader 


In these matters private initiative is of course far bolder and 
more optimistic than that of the state. It is not beset by the ever- 
present care to preserve sovereignty intact, nor does it regard every 
interest from the point of view of national organization. But the 
very lack of responsibility may at times also be a disadvantage, as is 
also the want of technical experience when questions of detail in 
public administration are involved. Private initiative will frequently 
assume that international society has already been created, ignoring 
the fact that for the time being the realization of broad aims still 
depends largely upon the efficiency of the national governments. In 
its zeal it is apt to forget the natural limitations upon administrative 
action, and for international purposes will demand acts of govern- 
mental interference which it would scarcely tolerate if demanded 
from the point of view of national policy. The manner in which 
private initiative often loses the proper perspective is illustrated by 
the second congress against white slavery, which recommended that 
the postal administrations should not deliver postc restante mail to 
young girls without the consent of their parents. The difficulties of 
administration which such an arrangement, well intentioned though 
it be, would entail were certainly not given due consideration. 

The great unions dealing with the communication interests were 
all the result primarily of public initiative. Treaties between two 
powers or a group of powers grew up and increased in numbers 
until, as pointed out above, the unification on an international basis 
presented itself as the only rational and practical solution of the 
difficulties. The definite suggestion of forming some of these organ- 
izations, such as the railway freight union, came indeed from private 
individuals, who worked out preliminary projects ; but in all these 
cases the definite steps leading to the establishment of the unions 
were taken by public authorities. The great sanitary conventions of 
the last two decades were also the result of public initiative, although 
in these cases a long series of expert technical conferences preceded 
diplomatic action. In a similar way the unions dealing with the 
metric system, the suppression of the slave trade, the sugar bounties, 
and the publication of customs tariffs, were created by public agen- 
cies, as was also the scientific union for the study of geodesy. The 
international unions dealing with the police of the high seas, as well 
as the bodies which manage specific local affairs, such as the Danube 


commission and the Egyptian caisse de la dcttc, present them- 
selves under the aspect of an extension of national organs of admin- 
istration for the protection of interests beyond the boundaries of the 
state, and were therefore naturally the result of direct public initiative. 

Private initiative, on the other hand, has been most active and effec- 
tive in connection with general economic interests in which the politi- 
cal authorities are not so necessarily and directly involved as they are 
in the control of communication, sanitation, and the police. In the 
three important fields of literary and industrial property, labor legis- 
lation, and agriculture, the public unions which now exist are the 
result primarily of a determined and persistent private initiative. Two 
societies, the international association for the protection of industrial 
property 7 and the international literary and artistic association, agitated 
for the adequate protection of authors and inventors and worked out 
definite projects for international conventions. Urged on by this 
initiative, individual states thereupon took the necessary steps to 
bring about the convocation of diplomatic conferences through which 
the subject matter was given authoritative form. Permanent interna- 
tional organs of administration were also created for the safeguarding 
of these rights. 

Among all the subjects concerning which international action has 
been taken, none perhaps illustrates more strikingly than labor legis- 
lation the necessity and promise of this method of procedure, but 
at the same time the great difficulties which oppose themselves to 
the realization of any general plan of operation. Early in the devel- 
opment of the international movement it was realized that under- 
standings of a world-wide scope would ultimately be necessary to the 
very existence of advanced national labor legislation. It would evi- 
dently be impossible for an isolated nation to institute a system of 
perfect protection for its labor forces while those nations who were 
its principal competitors in the industrial field continued in the use 
of a system under which labor forces were exhaustively exploited. 
Another reason for treaty arrangements in this matter is found in 
the fact that the labor supply is becoming more and more an inter- 
national commodity. No longer based exclusively upon the native 
element in any one state, it is determined rather by importation and 
exportation of labor forces, whose temporary cooperation with local 
laborers necessitates some kind of understanding between nations 


upon this matter. Various international associations of a private 
nature were formed, composed either of the direct representatives of 
labor striving for a more complete recognition of its needs, or of 
persons who interested themselves in the situation of workingmen 
from a scientific or humanitarian point of view. The labor interest, 
both in its economic and scientific aspect, therefore received an 
organization which corresponded to the economic facts involved. A 
strong sentiment was thus created for the founding of a public inter- 
national union dealing with labor problems. A number of govern- 
ments sent delegates to the general assemblies of the international 
association for the legal protection of labor, giving this organization 
a quasi-public character. Finally, a diplomatic conference was con- 
vened in which certain proposals that had been worked out by the 
association were discussed, and where certain general legislative prin- 
ciples were adopted. 

As we have seen in a preceding chapter the first suggestion 
toward the establishment of the international institute of agriculture 
was made by a private person who brought his ideas to the attention 
of various governments. The proposal was finally taken up by the 
king of Italy, and public initiative thus took the place of private sug- 
gestion. The ideas of the originator of this movement had also been 
discussed and indorsed by the international association for agriculture, 
a private organization. In this case the action taken by the public 
authorities fell far short of what had been expected by the original 
sponsors of the movement. Instead of creating an organ empowered 
to take direct action for the protection of the various interests of agri- 
culture, the diplomatic conference which acted as a constituent 
assembly in this matter did not go beyond founding an intelligence 
bureau, the administrative functions of which are very limited. 

Private initiative has also brought about the creation of international 
unions with respect to penitentiary science, seismology, the repression 
of the white-slave trade, and the great humanitarian enterprise of the 
international Red Cross association. In general it may be said that 
the movement of internationalism, even in its public or authoritative 
manifestations, has been advanced most through the associated effort 
of private individuals. States naturally move with caution in these 
matters, and it is only when a need has become imperative and when 
means and methods have been worked out and shown to be safe and 


practical, that public authorities feel justified in entering into inter- 
national administrative arrangements. 

When a union has once been created, admission to it is, as a rule, 
granted freely. Any state may therefore ordinarily acquire member- 
ship by merely declaring its adherence to the conventions concluded, 
and by assuming the burdens imposed by them. Such adherence is 
notified to the "directing state" — the government in whose terri- 
tory the international bureau is established — and by it communicated 
to the other member states. This method prevails in nearly all the 
unions. An exceptional method is followed in those unions in which 
very special burdens are imposed upon the treaty states. Thus in the 
European railway freight union the request of a country to be admitted 
to membership must be addressed to the directing state ; it is then 
referred to and reported on by the bureau, submitted to the member 
states, and acted upon by them. Unanimous action of the latter is 
necessary in order that a new member may be admitted. In the sugar 
union the request for admission must be acted on by the commission 
of the union, to whom it is transmitted through the Belgian govern- 
ment, which is, in this case, the directing state. Admission to the 
union for the suppression of the slave trade may be made subject to 
certain conditions, which are applied upon motion of the treaty states. 
The common law of international unions may therefore be stated to 
be that the unions are open to all nations who are ready to assume 
the burdens imposed, and that the accession of all civilized countries 
will be encouraged. The purposes of these unions can of course be 
fulfilled best with a complete membership, including all the states of 
the world. Some of the unions, such as the postal union and the 
agricultural institute, closely approach this condition. 

In certain unions membership is limited by natural causes or by 
the specific nature of the purpose for which the union has been cre- 
ated. The union of American republics is limited by a geographical 
fact. The European railway freight union, the North Sea fisheries 
union, the Danube convention, are other examples of special purposes, 
which imply a limited membership. 

Organs and institutions. The method of organization in the inter- 
national unions tends toward uniformity. There is a general sys- 
tem which may be considered as the normal scheme of organization, 
although all its individual parts will not be found in every instance. 


The tendency toward imitation has manifested itself in this field as 
in other fields of social enterprise. Methods of organization which, 
though established in the face of great opposition, have subsequently 
proved their usefulness and thus justified their existence will natu- 
rally be imitated in the creation of new unions. 

The constituent assembly and general legislative organ of the inter- 
national union is the conference or congress. The use of the former 
term is becoming more general, although the meetings of the postal 
union are still called congresses, while in the case of the agricultural 
institute the term " general assembly " has been employed. The at- 
tempt to distinguish sharply between the terms "congress" and "con- 
ference " seems to be futile. As used in general diplomatic language, 
the term " congress " may be said to refer to an important assembly 
of plenipotentiaries for the discussion and settlement of a definite 
political situation demanding immediate action by the powers. In this 
manner the term is employed in connection with the congress of 
Vienna, the congress of Paris, and the congress of Berlin. In the 
past, congresses of this kind have been called when, as the result of a 
great war, the political equilibrium had been destroyed and when vast 
interests were in the balance, requiring authoritative and immediate 
settlement. The term " conference " is used more generally where the 
subject of discussion is some specific interest or group of interests. 
A conference does not ordinarily work in the presence of a political 
situation which imposes upon it imperative demands of action. It 
deals with matters in which action seems advisable, in which mutual 
counsel should be had, but it is free from the immediate urgency of 
political adjustments. The term is applied even to the general Hague 
conference, in which the most important interests of nations are dis- 
cussed by plenipotentiaries. If the phraseology were determined by 
the importance of the interests involved and by the diplomatic char- 
acter of the delegates, the term " congress " certainly should be used in 
this case. The only element which distinguishes the Hague meetings 
from those to which the term " congress " has been applied in the past 
is the absence of an urgent political situation calling for immediate 
international action of a fundamental and definitive nature, such as 
that taken in 181 5, or 1856, or 1878. It may however be that the 
term " congress " is destined to entire disuse in connection with in- 
ternational meetings of public representatives. The technical reason 



assigned for still calling the meetings of the postal union " congresses " 
is that they have the right and function of making changes in the 
original convention ; as distinguished, for instance, from the confer- 
ence of the telegraphic union, which cannot modify the original 
convention, but must confine its action to the provisions of the ad- 
ministrative rcglcmcnt. The reason for this usage is, however, not 
of universal validity, because, like the postal congresses, conferences 
of other unions may inaugurate changes in the fundamental conven- 
tions ; or meetings especially convoked for the purpose of making 
such changes are designated as conferences and not as congresses. 

On the other hand, the usage is growing up of giving the name 
" congress " to large international meetings of private individuals. 
Thus we speak of international scientific congresses. In this manner 
a change in our phraseology seems to be taking place, the more dig- 
nified and formal term " congress " being now used for meetings 
which have no public or authoritative character ; whereas assemblies 
which enjoy diplomatic powers or a public initiative are almost 
uniformly designated as conferences. 

The conference of an international union may either meet at periods 
whose occurrence is definitely fixed in the convention, or, in a smaller 
number of unions, at a time determined by the preceding conference, 
or upon special call by member states. Thus, for instance, the con- 
gress of the postal union meets no later than five years after the acts 
of the previous congress went into effect ; the conference of the geo- 
detic union meets every three years ; while that of the union of Amer- 
ican states meets at a time determined by the governing board of the 
Pan-American Union, within five years of the last conference. The 
conference acts both as a constituent assembly and as a legislature. 
As the original convention was the work of a conference, so, in gen- 
eral, changes in the convention or in additional acts may be inaugu- 
rated by it. The ordinary legislation of the union, contained in the 
rtglcmaits, is, of course, also subject to action by the conference, al- 
though in some cases the initiative in this matter is delegated to the 
commission. The conferences engage in discussions of questions of 
general policy, in the comparison of methods, and in the criticism of 
results. In the scientific unions the advances made by the particular 
science, reports on investigations, and the determination of methods 
to be employed in future study constitute the principal subjects of 


discussion, outside of the technical rules which may be made for the 
guidance of the executive organs. 

For action in congresses and conferences, unanimity is the general 
rule. Readiness to subordinate national interests to the vote of a ma- 
jority of states has as yet not been manifested to any large extent. 
Each member of the union reserves to itself the right to approve or 
disapprove of any important change or innovation introduced in the 
organization. It is a general principle of the action of international 
unions that it must not bear upon subjects in which the solidarity of 
the nations interested is not fully recognized. As long as differences 
of interest are keenly felt, common action is impossible. Of course 
it always remains open to the nations which desire certain arrange- 
ments not yet favored by the totality of the membership, to form 
a restricted union for the specific purpose of enjoying among them- 
selves the advantages of the measure proposed. If this action is 
really of such a nature as to be inherently advantageous to all states 
without distinction, the tendency is for such restricted unions to grow 
larger until they finally absorb the entire membership of the respec- 
tive union. In developing international cooperation, too great reliance 
ought not to be placed, however, upon the mere force of the major- 
ity. The only validity that may be attributed to it is that inherent in 
the reason and practicalness of the ideas suggested, which may ulti- 
mately bring about unanimity among all the nations concerned. In 
order that any action may be had, it is therefore necessary that a 
common standing ground, a coincidence of interests, should be dis- 
covered. At times, however, action is also favored by generous 
impulses and by the feeling that something must be done by an in- 
ternational conference in order that its existence may be justified. 

There are certain exceptions to the rule requiring unanimity of votes 
in the international unions. In the general assembly of the agricultural 
institute two thirds of all votes constitute a quorum and can therefore 
take action. The sugar commission, which enjoys certain legislative 
powers, acts by a majority of votes. The same is true of the superior 
council of health at Constantinople. In the postal union a peculiar 
provision obtains. In the interval between conferences, suggestions 
for changes in the legislative arrangements of the union may be pro- 
posed by any three member states. Such proposals will then be 
submitted to all the members. In order that they may be adopted, 


unanimity is necessary only in proposals affecting the most important 
parts of the convention ; with respect to other parts a two-thirds vote, 
or even a simple majority, is sufficient. 

In nearly all the unions a distinction is made between the conven- 
tion and the reglement. The former determines the organization of 
the union, together with some of the fundamental principles upon 
which it is to operate. Thus, for instance, the postal convention estab- 
lishes the principle of free transit and rules defining the responsi- 
bility of the various administrations for losses of postal matter. The 
ordinary operations of the union are regulated by the reglement, which 
has the juristic character of an administrative ordinance. Changes in 
the convention necessitate diplomatic action, and require, therefore, 
greater formality as well as more extensive deliberation. The pres- 
ence of diplomatic representatives is always necessary when a conven- 
tion is to be changed. Changes in the reglement, however, may be 
made by technical delegates ; or, in certain cases even, the function 
of determining the administrative rules may be delegated to a com- 
mission. The commission of the sugar union, for example, elaborated 
the reglement (June 20, 1903) which makes detailed regulations of 
an administrative nature respecting the customs treatment of sugars, 
their transit and importation. The administration of sanitary affairs 
in the ports of Turkey and the near East is determined in its details 
by the reglements worked out by the councils of health at Con- 
stantinople and Alexandria, which in turn are based on the general 

The next organ of the international unions to be considered is the 
commission. This may be defined as a governing board whose duty 
it is to superintend the administrative work of the union carried on 
by the bureau and other agencies. As just stated, the commissions 
are sometimes intrusted with the duty of preparing administrative 
regulations, or even, as in the case of the sugar union and the sani- 
tary councils, of working out a complete code of administrative ac- 
tion. Their administrative control is therefore at times of such a na- 
ture as to assume a quasi-legislative character. The commissions also 
exercise a certain fiscal control over the expenses of the bureaus of 
the union, and in some cases arbitral functions have been intrusted 
to them. The commission is a recent development marking a more 
complete evolution of the international union. In the older unions, 


commissions have not been instituted, but the function of control which 
they ordinarily exercise is in these cases intrusted to the government 
in whose territory the bureau is situated. 

The commissions are made up of representatives of the treaty 
powers. In some, all of the treaty powers are represented. Thus the 
governing board of the Pan-American union is composed of the rep- 
resentatives of the Latin-American republics at Washington, under 
the presidency of the American Secretary of State. The commissions 
of the sugar union and of the international institute of agriculture 
are also composed of representatives of all the treaty states. In some 
of the unions, however, the commission is elected by the conference, 
and contains a smaller number of members than the number of treaty 
states. Thus in the metrical union it is composed of fourteen members, 
half being renewed at each session of the conference, i.e. every six 
years. The permanent commission of the geodetic union is composed 
of two ex officio members and of nine others nominated by the con- 
ference. Four or five of the positions are refilled at each meeting of 
the conference, every three years. Other unions which make use of 
this organ are the penitentiary union, the union for the exploration 
of the sea, hygiene and demography, seismology, and formulas for 
potent drugs. 

The requirement of unanimity is not usually applied to action by 
the commissions. Even the sugar commission, which is intrusted with 
the most important powers, acts by a majority of votes. As the ad- 
ministrative and quasi-legislative functions of these commissions grow 
in importance, the principle of international action will be strength- 
ened, especially on account of the absence of the majority require- 
ment. The commission will therefore be seen to constitute an 
important step in advance in international organization, as implying 
that in some cases nations have come to recognize the necessity or 
desirability of subordinating their special wishes to the will of the 
majority. Most of these unions, it is true, deal with scientific inter- 
ests, and the functions of their commissions are therefore not apt 
to result in political action. But the establishment of the principle 
of majority action is nevertheless favored by this form of organiza- 
tion, and especially by the admission of that mode of action in the 
sugar union, which deals with most important economic and fiscal 



Practically all the unions make use of a central office or bureau as 
their chief administrative agency. The bureau is the connecting link 
between the various national administrations. It furnishes them in- 
formation about the interests of the particular union, acts as interme- 
diary between the governments, and carries out the specific administra- 
tive duties assigned to it in the reglcmcnt. Though its duties are chiefly 
informational, instances are not lacking where it has been intrusted 
with more positive powers of administration, and even with arbitral 
functions. While the term " bureau " is the ordinary designation, the 
words " secretariate " or " office " are also occasionally employed. 1 
All the unions which use the commission employ also the bureau as 
an administrative agency ; in addition, the following unions have inter- 
national bureaus : telegraphy, posts, railway freight, industrial and lit- 
erary property, publication of customs tariffs, labor, slave trade, and 
catalogue of science. 

It remains for us to consider the functions of the directing and 
supervising government, i.e. the government in whose territory the 
international bureau is situated. It is the ordinary practice to locate 
the central office of a union in a small neutral state. Thus far Switzer- 
land has been the favorite home, harboring the central offices of the 
telegraphic, postal, railway, industrial and literary property, labor, and 
penitentiary unions. The preference originally accorded to Switzer- 
land is probably due to the fact that this country is both centrally 
located and entirely independent of extraneous influences ; its use 
of four distinct idioms is also an advantage. More recently a number 
of bureaus have been located in Belgium (customs tariffs, sugar, slave 
trade, potent drugs). The jealousy which formerly prevented their 
location in the territory of more powerful nations seems to be yielding 
somewhat at the present time, for in addition to the older scientific 
bureaus, the new bureau of hygiene has been established at Paris, while 
Germany harbors the central office of the two scientific unions of seis- 
mology and geodesy, and Italy has become the home of the international 
institute of agriculture. It will be noted that nearly all these unions 
established more recently have created commissions or governing 
boards. In the unions which have no commission — this is the case 
with most of the unions located in Switzerland — the regulation of 

1 The bureau of the union of American republics is now known as the " Pan- 
American Union." 


the administrative organization of the bureau, and the general super- 
vision of its work, is left to the directing government. The bureaus 
situated in Switzerland are under the control of one of the Swiss 
departments, such as the Department of Post Offices and Railways. 
The action of the Swiss government with respect to the civil service 
of these bureaus has been criticized because of the somewhat narrow 
policy of confining appointments to these positions to Swiss subjects. 
The total advantage which Switzerland draws from this arrangement, 
however, is not very extensive, as the budgets of all these unions are 
exceedingly small. In Belgium the antislavery and the customs 
tariffs bureaus are under the direct charge of the Foreign Office. 
The Pan-American Union comes under the control of the government 
of the United States only inasmuch as the American Secretary of 
State is the president of the governing board of the bureau. 

In unions which use the commission as the organ of control, the 
directing government simply exercises the function of a diplomatic 
intermediary between the treaty states and the bureau. Thus, for in- 
stance, communications to the sugar commission are made through 
the Belgian government. There seems to be a certain reluctance to 
permit the international commissions or offices to establish direct rela- 
tions with the treaty governments. They may indeed in some unions 
furnish information by way of routine correspondence, but more formal 
matters are usually communicated through the foreign office of the 
government in whose territory the bureau is situated. The Pan- 
American Union corresponds with the governments through their 
diplomatic representatives in Washington. Correspondence with any 
government is permitted only in the absence of diplomatic represen- 
tation ; but the union may correspond directly with the various Pan- 
American commissions. 

Legislation. A general review of the field of legislation as occupied 
and developed by the international unions reveals that there are three 
classes of arrangements in which all the legislative acts of unions may 
be grouped. 1 The most notable of these classes contains the efforts 
which are made to bring about a unification of the substantive law 
governing any international interest. Uniformity of legislation is an 
ideal which under the present conditions of national life can be ap- 
plied only to a limited number of general principles. Moreover, it is 

1 The more general phases of this subject have been treated above, p. 135. 


not in all fields that the process of international unification is at the 
present time considered feasible, even in a partial form. There is, 
however, one branch of law in which a unifying activity is demanded 
by the most essential characteristics of modern civilization. The de- 
velopment of rapid communication has very nearly made the world 
into a unit in so far as the transmission of intelligence and the trans- 
portation of passengers and goods are concerned. Even before this 
advance had been made, the convenience of having a uniform law in 
matters of transportation by sea and land was generally recognized ; 
the recent developments already mentioned have only emphasized 
this desire. The most substantial achievement which has thus far 
resulted from the international movement is the creation of a railway 
freight code for the European continental states. The questions aris- 
ing in transportation are here juristically treated upon a uniform basis, 
with the result that the freight intercommunication between the con- 
tinental states of Europe has been to a large extent freed from diffi- 
culties and annoyances. A determined effort is even at the present 
time being made to reduce the principles of the maritime law to a 
condition of uniformity. As the law merchant and the maritime law 
were originally international, or rather had the character of a world 
law independent of national jurisdiction, created by the spontaneous 
action of merchants, bankers, carriers, and shippers throughout the 
medieval world, even so it is hoped that at the present time, when 
the interests of communication have so decidedly transcended national 
boundaries, we may again unify the maritime law and give it a world- 
wide currency. In the conventions relating to the telegraphic and 
postal unions, certain general principles respecting the duties and 
responsibilities of public administrations have been definitely settled. 
In some of the unions the establishment of uniform principles of 
law for all the nations is indeed the prime motive of action. Thus 
the international association for labor legislation works specifically 
toward the uniformity of labor-protection laws, and in the conventions 
already elaborated it is this principle which is applied, though thus far 
only a very limited field has been covered. 

The second class of international legislation consists of administra- 
tive regulations. In this class, too, the ideal of uniformity is para- 
mount, — the methods of the various national administrations arc to 
be simplified and based upon a common standard. But in addition 


to the unification of administrative processes cooperation pure and 
simple is aimed at, and therefore legislation of this kind often only 
establishes certain new relations between the governments by which 
there may be bound together administrations that retain in the 
management of their own affairs different rules of action. 

The third class of international legislative arrangements rests upon 
a different idea. In this class it is not uniformity that is primarily 
sought, but mutuality of advantages. No attempt is necessarily made 
to modify the details of the national administration, but it is simply 
provided that the subjects of each one of the treaty states shall be ad- 
mitted to the legal advantages granted to the subjects of every other. 
Thus the unions for the protection of industrial and intellectual prop- 
erty have until recently worked mainly with the purpose of obtaining 
a mutuality of advantages, so that, even without any changes in the 
copyright law of a given state, foreigners might be admitted to an en- 
joyment of the protection under such legislation, in return for a simi- 
lar benefit granted by their own sovereign state. But it must be noted 
that mutuality will after all rarely be the sole purpose of an interna- 
tional union. Even in the unions mentioned, the purpose of securing 
mutuality is accompanied by an effort to assure a minimum of protec- 
tion for copyrights and patents in all the treaty states, and further- 
more to arrive at a uniform interpretation of disputed questions in the 
law of copyrights, such as, for instance, the question of the nature of 
publication and of the dependence upon the original patent or copy- 
right of a privilege granted to the same person in a foreign country. 

We may note in passing that it requires rather more of an effort 
to achieve uniformity of substantive law than to harmonize admin- 
istrative methods and processes. The latter may be modified by mere 
executive orders, while a change in the substantive law of a state 
necessitates a more formal act. The reaction of treaty arrangements 
upon the national systems of law and government is therefore far 
more powerful in the field of administrative action than in substan- 
tive civil law. In the scientific unions the uniformity of processes of 
investigation constitutes, of course, the prime purpose of common 
action. The unifying tendencies of these organizations do not en- 
counter the difficulties occasioned by national differences of admin- 
istration to nearly the same extent as is the case in the unions dealing 
with political or economic interests. But also in those unions which 


afford a protection against disease, such as the sanitary union or the 
union against phylloxera, no great difficulties will be encountered by 
the demand for uniformity when it is once made clear that the judg- 
ment of science has positively decided that certain methods are indis- 
pensable if a country is to be protected from invasion by disease. I 
do not mean to say that these unions will be free from the difficulties 
caused by national differences in administration, and by the tenacity 
with which local methods are maintained ; yet their action will in 
general be the less impeded by such considerations, as it incorporates 
the dictates of science, against which there is no appeal in matters of 
this kind. 

The nature of the substantive rules enacted by international legis- 
lation is, as has already been indicated, characterized by simplicity 
and by perfect coaptation. Before a rule is given sanction by inter- 
national treaty, its applicability and validity must have been tested 
to the complete satisfaction of the treaty states. Mere experimen- 
tation on such a vast scale is inadvisable. The consequences of legal 
arrangements must be tested either on a national basis, or in a more 
restricted international union, before general rules of a legal nature 
will commend themselves to a large group of states for permanent 
adoption. And yet when the entire field of international legislation 
is surveyed, it is surprising what substantial bodies of law have already 
been created by such common agreement. 

The nature of the rules enacted may be illustrated by the following 
examples : In the law of communication, the principle of freedom 
of transmission of telegrams, wireless messages, and letters has been 
established. In the European freight union, the duties of a common 
carrier are enforced in so far as the acceptance, care, and delivery 
of merchandise are concerned ; moreover, the responsibilities of the 
carrier are strictly defined, so as to exclude national differences of 
interpretation. The postal union well illustrates the process of inter- 
national legislation. Only comparatively few rules of practice, and 
these of a very general character, have been established by law for the 
entire union. The principal among these relate to the obligatory ac- 
ceptance of mail matter, registry and indemnity for the loss of regis- 
tered packages, the relations of the postal administrations to one 
another, the charges to be made for international services when pre- 
paid and the liabilities incurred in case of insufficient prepayment, 


the forwarding of letters and parcels, the classes of articles to be 
excluded from the mails, the exchange of mail with warships, and 
the counterfeiting of stamps. All such matters are administrative in 
their nature, but with respect to them general rules of action and 
responsibility must be established, whether for all nations or for the 
members of a restricted union. Thus, after the principle had first 
been tested by the experience of a smaller group of nations, the postal 
congress of Rome in 1906 finally made general the responsibility of 
postal administrations for the loss of registered mail matter. 

The legislation of the sanitary union may be illustrated by the 
following details, which are contained in the treaty of 1903 : The 
duty of notification when epidemic exists, the declaring of quarantines 
and their duration, the measures of protection allowed to be applied 
by an individual state with respect to the disinfection of incoming 
passengers, merchandise, and ships, and special dispositions regard- 
ing the Red Sea, Suez Canal, and Persian Gulf. The convention on 
labor legislation provides for uniform principles with respect to the 
forbidding of night labor by women and the use of white phosphorus 
in the industrial arts. The sugar union has limited the amount of 
duty to be levied upon imported sugar and has entirely forbidden the 
granting of bounties to sugar producers. Enough examples have per- 
haps been given to indicate how largely international legislation is 
concerned with administrative methods and processes. Efforts to 
make uniform laws by which the rights of individual citizens would 
be regulated are, however, also encountered, although they are prom- 
inent only in those unions whose sphere of action directly affects 
private law. Of this nature are the rules prohibiting certain kinds of 
labor or the use of certain substances in manufactures, as well as 
those more comprehensive attempts to standardize the protection of 
copyrights and patents, and the rules on conflict of laws. 

Administrative activities. The administrative activities of the inter- 
national unions vary with their manifold purposes. Thus far, national 
governments have exhibited great reluctance in endowing the organs 
of the unions with direct powers of action. As long as they confine 
themselves to establishing means of communication between govern- 
ments, to affording occasions for the periodic interchange of opinions 
and comparison of results, even the greatest upholder of national 
sovereignty will not discover any dangers in such arrangements. But 


once permit the organs thus created to make binding decisions or to 
take administrative action which the individual sovereignties are bound 
to respect, and an entirely different situation is created. Yet the needs 
of international intercourse have become so prominent that it has been 
found imperative in many cases to give a certain limited power of 
action, carefully guarded and well defined, to the international admin- 
istrative organs. 

Their general purpose is of course to serve as a link of commu- 
nication between the contracting states, so that, should these desire to 
bring about any change in administrative arrangements or in the rela- 
tions among themselves in the matter covered by the respective union, 
they will have ready at hand an organ through which their efforts 
may legally and properly be made. The bureaus of the unions are 
therefore quite generally charged with the duty of giving due form 
to demands for changes in the respective convention or reglcmait. 
More initiatory or authoritative functions have been intrusted to a num- 
ber of them. Thus the slave-trade bureau at Zanzibar superintends 
the enforcement of the general antislavery act, which gives it a cer- 
tain power of control over the vessels furnished by the treaty powers 
for police duty in African waters. The sanitary councils of Constan- 
tinople and Alexandria exercise a direct administrative control over 
the various quarantine stations of the Levant and the Persian Gulf. 
The mixed commission of the Danube, the caisse de la dette, and the 
Turkish debt commission fulfill specific functions indicated by their 
local purposes. The Pan-American Union has been charged with the 
duty of obtaining information for the governments of America which 
may be useful to them with regard to projected public works. The 
governing board of the bureau, moreover, fixes the date and program 
of future conferences. The international patent bureau at Bern, in 
behalf of a restricted union for this purpose, acts as a registry of trade- 
marks, which are thus made ipso facto valid in all the states signatory 
to the convention. The work of the metric bureau and of the bureaus 
of the scientific unions can be called administrative only in the sense 
that it aims at the evolution of more adequate methods of investiga- 
tion in the sciences concerned. The metric bureau, however, has the 
specific administrative duty of preserving the original standards of 
weights and measures, and of issuing to governments and associations 
duplicates of such standards carefully tested as to their accuracy. 


More extensive and important administrative powers have been 
intrusted to the sugar commission. As already noted, it has the 
quasi-legislative function of preparing regulations for the customs 
administrations with a view of preventing the secret importation of 
bounty-fed sugars into the treaty states. The commission also decides 
upon requests for the admission of new members. In addition to 
these and other functions, it has the very important power of making 
certain determinations of fact on the basis of which the legislation of 
the treaty states must be modified under the provisions of the conven- 
tion. Thus it is instructed to ascertain if in any of the contracting 
states any sugar bounty is given ; further, to determine the existence 
of bounties in noncontracting states and the amount of such bounties, 
with a view to applying the compensatory duties provided for in the 
treaty ; and, finally, it may authorize the levy of a surcharge by one 
treaty state against another. The treaty not only fixes the maximum 
duties permissible on sugar imports, but it also establishes a general 
scale of countervailing duties to be levied against countries paying a 
bounty to their sugar producers. But all the determinations of fact 
upon which the levying of such duties is dependent are made by the 
international sugar commission. It is difficult to define a function 
of this kind. It may perhaps be described as essentially judicial in 
that its main element is the determination of fact ; but as it is a situ- 
ation rather than an isolated fact which the commission is to deter- 
mine, its power may in many cases be in its effect practically legislative, 
in that it may determine the duty of any treaty government to levy 
certain taxes or to make certain administrative arrangements. The 
functions attributed to the sugar commission include the greatest 
powers as yet intrusted to any international organ. The policy of 
granting such attributes was not discussed as a theoretical question, 
but the course of action was forced upon the treaty states by the situ- 
ation of the sugar industry at the time when the treaty was concluded. 

It is quite a general practice to give functions of a fiscal nature 
to the international bureaus and commissions. Sometimes accounts 
between different national administrations are to be settled. Thus, 
in the postal union, the bureau acts as a clearing house between the 
administrations and provides for the settlement of unsatisfied balances. 
In a similar way the bureau of the railway freight union acts as a 
fiscal center for the collection of arrears and the settlement of balances 


between the administrations. The bureau for industrial property, 
which is charged with the special work of trade-mark registry for the 
restricted union, derives a direct income from this service, as it levies 
a fee of one hundred francs for the registry of a trade-mark and fifty 
francs for each additional trade-mark registered by the same proprietor 
at the same time. The proceeds from these fees are, after deduction 
of the expense of administration, divided among the members of the 
restricted union. The governing board of the Pan-American L T nion 
deliberates on and fixes the annual budget of the bureau, which must 
be submitted to it by the director of that institution ; a similar finan- 
cial control is exercised by the council of the bureau at The Hague. 

The financial support of the international bureaus and commissions 
is usually derived from direct contributions by the member states. In 
some instances these contributions are made pro rata, according to 
the population of the member states (e.g. American union), or the 
expense may be borne in equal shares by all the members (e.g. 
sugar union). In the railway union the expenses are borne in pro- 
portion to the mileage of railways operated for international pur- 
poses in the various countries. Another method is to divide the 
member states into classes and to attribute to each class a certain 
number of units in the expenditure. Thus the members of the union 
for the protection of industrial property are divided into six classes. 
Those belonging to the first class pay twenty-five units, those of the 
second class twenty units, and so on down to the sixth, which pay 
three units. The annual expense of the union is divided by the total 
number of units, and the individual unit is then multiplied by the 
number associated with a particular class. A similar system is used 
in the international institute of agriculture, the postal, and the sanitary 
unions. The treaty states are given the choice as to which group they 
desire to enter. Stringent regulations covering default of payment 
are not always made, as the national self-respect of the member states 
is deemed a sufficient guaranty of payment. But in some cases a 
definite sanction is provided ; in the metric union, for instance, the 
failure of a member state to pay its quota for three years in succes- 
sion results in the striking of its name from the list of member- 
ship. It occasionally happens that the international unions receive 
special support from a particular nation, or from private sources. The 
American union thus recently received the sum of $750,000 from 


Mr. Carnegie for the purpose of erecting a suitable building as a home 
for its bureau ; and upon the establishment of the international insti- 
tute of agriculture, the king of Italy 'made a very substantial donation 
for the purpose of assisting in its maintenance. 

The conventions by which international unions are created gener- 
ally contain a determination of the maximum of annual contributions 
or expenses. While the budgets of the states and of the unions are 
usually annual, governments nevertheless bind themselves in many 
cases to support the work of a union for a period of years. Depend- 
ence of international activities upon annual budgets would be a great 
disadvantage, in that organizations which deal with big interests ought 
to plan their work for a long period in advance. The directing gov- 
ernment often acts as the treasurer or financial representative of the 
union. Thus, according to the rbglement of the postal union, "The 
Swiss administration supervises the expenses of the international 
bureau, makes the necessary advances, and prepares the annual 
account, which is communicated to all the other administrations." 
The same system is followed in the telegraphic union. Funds for 
the support of the sugar union are paid to the Belgian government 
and are applied by it to the purposes of the organization. On the 
other hand, the idea of endowing international unions with an inde- 
pendent financial system is beginning to find favor. Thus the Pan- 
American conference at Buenos Aires provided for an independent 
treasury and separate fiscal accountability of the Pan-American union 
in Washington. After the annual budget has been prepared by the 
director general and adopted by the governing board, it is communi- 
cated to the member states ; they are then held within a certain period 
to pay their quota into the treasury of the union. An auditing com- 
mittee is appointed by the governing board for the purpose of making 
a complete annual revision of accounts. 

In some of the unions, methods have been established for the 
arbitration of controverted questions. It is evident that a complete 
organization of internationalism would involve the creation of inter- 
national tribunals in which controversies with respect to the various 
interests represented might be heard and decided. The general 
opposition which the principle of obligatory arbitration has encoun- 
tered has thus far prevented any far-reaching action in this matter. 
Nevertheless, in a number of instances, arrangements for arbitral 


settlement of controversies have been concluded, which may indeed 
be looked upon as important precedents in the general movement. 
When at the second Hague conference the question of arbitration 
was being discussed in committee, it was strongly urged and seri- 
ously considered that all the interests which had been publicly organ- 
ized upon an international basis should be made subject to arbitration 
procedure. 1 This fact very well illustrates the connection between the 
establishment of the unions and the growth of a general feeling of 
international community. It was not merely an accidental suggestion 
that was made at The Hague, but rather the announcement of a 
principle which takes account of the most salient facts in the present 
organization of the civilized world. If certain international interests 
have arrived at a stage where their importance is recognized to the 
extent that separate international institutions have been created to 
guard over them and to develop them, it may well be argued that 
these very interests constitute the most natural subjects for arbitra- 
tion. If their administration has been made international and to a 
definite extent common among all the nations, the decision of contro- 
verted questions with respect to them may also safely be left to an 
international .organ. Although the opposition to the general principle 
of arbitration was still so strong upon this occasion that the above 
suggestion was not enacted in the form of a convention, it neverthe- 
less embodied a sound principle of policy and is at present influencing 
nations in the making of special treaties upon this subject matter. 

Turning, now, to the specific arrangements for arbitration which 
have already been instituted, we note that in the postal union the 
bureau is instructed, upon demand of the parties, to give advice on 
controverted questions. Moreover, it is provided that questions con- 
cerning the responsibility of any administration under the postal 
convention and disputed interpretations of its provisions shall be 

1 The proposal contemplated that controversies of a legal nature, and especially 
those relative to the interpretation of existing treaties, should be submitted to arbi- 
tration ; among the classes of treaties to be included in this arrangement were the 
following, relating to international unions : protection of laborers, patents and copy- 
rights, monetary systems, weights and measures, sanitation, phylloxera, and animal 
diseases. M. Alberto D'Oliveira, a delegate of Portugal, spoke as follows about this 
matter : " The world-wide conventions establish the accord of converging interests, 
the accord of all the states to bring about a unification of international services. 
Here there is no occasion for a collision of interests ; whenever there occurs a di- 
vergence in the interpretation of treaties, all the states have the same interest in 
obtaining an equitable solution." (Session of Committee A, August 15, 1907.) 



submitted to arbitration upon the instance of one of the parties, the 
arbitrators in such case being two or three impartial governments. 
This provision is of great interest in that it represents the first en- 
actment by public authority of the requirement of compulsory inter- 
national arbitration. Restricted as it is in its sphere of application, it 
nevertheless contains the complete principle of compulsory arbitration 
without abatement, and therefore may well be cited as a notable prec- 
edent in the future development of that method of procedure. Up 
to 1907, twelve cases had been submitted to the postal bureau for advi- 
sory arbitration, and three had been decided definitively by arbitrators. 

In the railway union the central bureau is charged, at the demand 
of the parties to the controversy, to pronounce arbitral sentences in 
disputes between different railway administrations. The suggestion 
made in 1904 that this power should be extended to controversies 
between railway administrations and private persons was not adopted 
by the conference. We have already seen that the determination of 
facts made by the sugar commission may be considered as quasi- 
judicial in their nature ; but in addition to this duty, the commission 
is charged to give advice on disputed questions at the request of the 
governments or their delegates. The convention for the regulation 
of wireless telegraphy also provides for the arbitration of controversies 
concerning the interpretation and execution of treaty requirements. 

The most common function of the international bureaus is that of 
furnishing reliable and adequate information concerning the particular 
interest they deal with. This is the main work of such bureaus as 
that of industrial and literary property, the American republics, cus- 
toms tariffs, labor, sugar, agriculture, hygiene, and the slave trade 
(Brussels). It was as purely informational agencies that most of these 
bureaus came into being. This truly inoffensive function became the 
entering wedge for other and more important attributes, but even 
considered entirely by itself it is by no means of small importance. 
As a basis for national legislation, impartial and reliable information 
about the subject matter involved, from the abundant sources of inter- 
national experience, may best be furnished through the central serv- 
ice of the various bureaus. National legislation is thus enabled to 
take advantage of a wider experience, so that it may avoid the diffi- 
culties and drawbacks of local variations and local ignorance of the 
broader conditions of legislative problems. World-wide information 


is the only sound basis for a growing enlightenment in law-making. 
In administrative work governments will find the informational func- 
tion of the bureaus of even more constant and general advantage. 
An administrative office is reluctant to send letters of inquiry to a 
foreign government. It may prefer, out of political reserve or for 
other reasons, to rely upon private sources of information — limited, 
partial, and in many ways inadequate. A thoroughly effective inter- 
national service of information ought to justify itself primarily through 
active assistance to administrative offices in the various treaty states. 
The publications which have from time to time or at regular periods 
been issued by the bureaus have in most cases been of unquestioned 
advantage to governments and to the public. 

Closely allied to the service of furnishing general and specific 
information is that of preparing matters for the conferences of the 
unions, a function which is intrusted to many of the international 
bureaus. The bureau of the institute of agriculture, for instance, is 
instructed to propose measures for the protection of the common in- 
terests of agriculture. The Pan-American Union has been directed to 
make special investigations of topics proposed for action by the inter- 
national American conference. Such reports must be prepared at a 
time sufficiently in advance of the conference, in order that the indi- 
vidual governments may examine the matter with a view of instructing 
their delegates on the basis of the facts set forth. Preparatory work 
of this kind is done also by the railway bureau and by the bureau of 
the sugar union. 

As we consider the totality of administrative activities centered in 
the unions, we again note the extreme reluctance which nations have 
hitherto felt toward endowing these international organs with positive 
powers. It is very common to exaggerate the importance of their func- 
tions. The railway bureau, for instance, is sometimes portrayed as in 
a measure controlling the various European railway administrations. 
In order not to receive a mistaken impression, it is necessary to 
remember that these institutions are primarily organs of information 
and communication. Other functions, as we have seen, have been 
granted, but they are thus far exceptional rather than normal. They 
point to future possibilities of development rather than to general pres- 
ent achievement. We need only look at the small budgets of these in- 
ternational institutions to understand how unprepared are the national 


governments to give them a powerful backing and support. On an 
annual allowance of from 60,000 to 125,000 francs, such as the 
bureaus in Switzerland enjoy, a complicated administration cannot 
be developed. However, what has actually been accomplished with 
such limited means is the more remarkable. Notwithstanding the 
limitation in functions and resources, it is unquestioned that the inter- 
national bureaus have succeeded in making for themselves a promi- 
nent place in the modern civilized world, a place which they owe 
partly to the circumspection and wisdom with which their affairs have 
been managed ; partly, however, also to the great and growing im- 
portance which we cannot fail to recognize as belonging to the inter- 
national organizations which these institutions represent. 



The effect of a declaration of war upon treaty arrangements between 
the belligerent powers is one of the most unsettled subjects in inter- 
national law. That military hostilities should carry with them a serious 
interruption of ordinary relations between the respective states and 
their citizens is, of course, inevitable. The old view, however, that a 
state of war absolutely annuls all treaties existing between the bellig- 
erents at the outbreak of hostilities can no longer be accepted. Our 
ideas in this respect have to be modified and adapted to the changed 
conception of the character of war. War no longer is looked upon as 
involving in absolute hostility all the citizens of the belligerents, even 
as to the most peaceable pursuits ; it is no longer the complete nega- 
tion of lawfulness, the unchaining of all the barbarous impulses of 
which mankind is capable. Instead of destroying all law, war is itself 
subject to legal restraint ; and as far as it affects individuals, it merely 
modifies the execution of jural remedies, but does not abrogate legal 
rights and principles. The old conception of warfare which mani- 
fested itself during the Thirty Years' struggle, and even later, was 
that all the furies of hatred should be let loose against mankind and 
all it holds clear, as far as included in the enemy state. The terrors 
of these ravages led Grotius to reflect upon means to protect humanity 

1 Annuaire de l'institut de droit international, 1879, I0 -° 2 > 1906. Fischer, D. P. D., 
Die Telegraphie und das Vblkerrecht, Leipzig, 1876. Kraemer, Die unterseeischen 
Telegraphenkabel in Kriegszeiten, Leipzig, 1903. Rey, F., " Le reseau telegraphique 
sous-marin en temps de guerre," Revue generate de droit international public, 1901. 
Rolland, De la correspondance postale et telegraphique dans les relations interna- 
tionales, Paris, 1901. Scholz, F., Krieg und Seekabel, Berlin, 1904. Drahtlose Tele- 
graphie und Neutralitat, Berlin, 1905. Wilson, Submarine Telegraphic Cables, Wash- 
ington, 1901. Catellani (Enrico), Condizioni ed effecti giuridici dello stato di guerra. 
Maurel, La declaration de guerre (these pour le doctorat, Toulouse). Renault, " Les 
unions internationales," Revue generate de droit international public. Renault, " Pro- 
tection des cables sousmarins," Revue de droit international. Vol. XII, p. 255. De 
Martens, G.-F., Uber die Erneuerung der Vertrage in den Friedensschliissen der 
europai'schen Machte, 1797. Jacomet, R., La guerre et les traites, Paris, 190S. Zucu- 
lin, B., I cavi sottomarini e il telegrafo senza fili, 1901. 



from such outrages. He says : "' Many very strong reasons deter- 
mined me to write. I have remarked on all sides in the Christian 
world such an unbridled license in warfare that the most barbarous 
nations would blush over it ; arms are taken without reason and for 
the slightest pretexts, and when once they are held in hand, men 
trample under foot every divine and human right, as if thereby one 
were authorized and firmly resolved to commit all kinds of crime 
without any check." Since then, through the labors of Grotius and 
his successors and through the work of responsible statesmen in con- 
trol of national armies, restraints have been placed upon the excesses 
of war, and gradually the character of that terrible procedure has been 
fundamentally changed. We have already established on a secure 
foundation the principle of the exemption of noncombatants from 
the sufferings of war. If war is to be a trial of strength, affording a 
faithful index of national power and resources, everything resembling 
a debauch must be strictly excluded. Indiscriminate cruelty and rob- 
bery not only offends our sense of justice, but it directly weakens the 
culpable army in keeping up to the requirements of modern warfare. 
The idea that war must be made as terrible as possible still has some 
adherents, but the tendency of action and legislation is in a different 
direction. That nation will be most likely to be successful which is 
able to control its military forces absolutely, to keep them from rob- 
bery and general interference with private rights, and to have them 
concentrate their efforts on the great problems of modern military 
organization and action. Elements that will make for success in 
future struggles, should they arise, must be sought among such as a 
high power of efficient organization, the grasp of technical detail, the 
successful handling of complicated mechanisms (like battleships), and 
the maintenance of discipline upon a level where the rights of non- 
combatants will be absolutely respected. These capacities will bring 
success, rather than preying on peaceful commerce on the high seas, 
ravaging fertile territories, and bombarding defenseless towns. The 
time is not far distant when all such barbarous excesses will appear 
beneath contempt. 

This changed conception of war has affected our views on the 
mutual relations of subjects of belligerent states. The ordinary produc- 
tive activities of life are already heavily handicapped by the burden 
of armaments ; they are, therefore, demanding and receiving greater 


immunity from the danger of interference. It no longer seems pre- 
posterous that subjects of different belligerent states might have 
peaceful economic relations with one another even during warfare. 
The last Hague conference went so far as to adopt a rule to the 
effect that "it is especially forbidden to declare extinguished, sus- 
pended, or unenforceable in a court of law the rights and rights of 
action of nationals of the adverse part}'." Though there is consid- 
erable difference of opinion as to the exact meaning of this clause, 
even under the narrowest interpretation it involves an enormous 
advance in recognizing the exemption of private rights from im- 
pairment through war. 

The matter which interests us directly in this place, however, is 
the effect of war upon treaties. The old absolute rule that all treaties 
are annulled by war has, as stated above, been abandoned in practice. 
The rule most generally adopted by authorities at the present time is 
stated in this language by the French Court of Cassation: "It is 
necessary to distinguish general and political treaties regulating the 
conditions of peace and of alliance between two or more nations, from 
special treaties of hospitality, commerce, etc., which touch more par- 
ticularly the interests of private persons in the two states ; though 
war destroys the former, it only suspends the latter, which resume 
their full force when peace is reestablished, by application of the 
principle, Cessante causa, tollitur effectus" x Dambach, in Holtzen- 
dorff's treatise, expresses the consensus of authorities in saying : 
" Nonpolitical treaties, especially those serving private interests, such 
as treaties of commerce, communication, postal service, extradition, 
etc., are«not abrogated by war. It is the better opinion that not even all 
of such treaties are suspended, but only those the execution of which 
would be incompatible with a state of hostility ; especially those whose 
enforcement would strengthen either party in warfare." The latter 
part of this dictum, though it may appear to be a little in advance of 
prevailing practice, undoubtedly does embody a just idea of interna- 
tional relations. The principle to be used as a basis for our judgment 
in this matter must be sought in the consideration as to whether we 
shall secure to the international economic and cultural activities and 
relations of mankind a continuous, uninterrupted existence. These re- 
lations constitute the normal state of human affairs from which war 

1 Isnara Blanc contre Perrales ; Sirey, 1S59, Vol. II, p. 605. 


is a derogation ; it ought, therefore, to be understood, that a clear 
military or strategical necessity must be shown before peaceful activ- 
ities shall be interfered with. Annulment and interference are no 
longer the rule but the exception. Though during warfare these 
interruptions may occur frequently enough to become common, yet 
the fact remains that they are exceptions ; and the world is ready for 
a rule that in so far as not specifically interrupted, the ordinary life 
of economic and cultural relations shall go on. When interruptions 
have to be made, the natural relations are resumed as soon as the 
disturbing cause has passed away. 

Reduced to more definite terms, it would follow from this principle 
that upon the conclusion of peace it would not be necessary specifi- 
cally to reestablish all treaties existing between the belligerents at the 
beginning of war ; but that even without such specific mention, all 
treaties relating to communication, economic activities, private rights, 
and intercourse between subjects of different nations would revive 
and regain their full force. 

Glancing at the practice followed in connection with the wars of 
the nineteenth century, it appears that the above principle has not 
yet become fully established. In peace negotiations it has often been 
asserted categorically that all treaties had been annulled by the decla- 
ration of war. Yet when we study more in detail these negotiations 
and the resultant treaties, we find that the old principle of absolute 
annulment has hardly ever been maintained in all its rigor. Thus, 
in the peace conference following the Crimean War, many general 
assertions of universal annulment were made ; but Count Buol, never- 
theless, insisted upon the permanence of the rights acquired under 
the Turkish capitulations, and when the treaty was finally concluded, 
it referred in terms only to treaties of commerce and " establishment 
or domicile." Even in these matters the arrangements existing 
before the war were kept in force, while other treaties not mentioned 
were evidently silently considered to have survived the war. At the 
beginning of the Spanish-American War the Spanish government 
issued a decree declaring that "the state of war, existing between 
Spain and the United States, brings about the annulment of the treaties 
of peace and amity, and of all the other accords, treaties, or conven- 
tions, until now in force between the two countries." The practice of 
Spain during the war was, however, not in accord with this extreme 


pronouncement, and, in fact, recognized the continued existence of indi- 
vidual treaties. Moreover, the language of the new treaty of amity 
concluded between the United States and Spain on July 3, 1902, is 
not consistent with the idea of the decree of 1898. The latter may 
indeed be looked upon as a shot in the air rather than as a well-con- 
sidered statement of a policy definitely asserted and adhered to. A 
similar situation existed in almost every case where, in recent negotia- 
tions, the general principle of the absolute annulment of treaties 
through war was announced. 

It is apparent that although negotiators representing their countries 
in peace conferences are still much inclined to take the ground that 
war has annulled all treaties, this is due to extreme caution. As 
the law on the point is not as yet entirely and definitely settled, it is 
considered safer to assume that anterior treaties have been annulled 
and to restore their force by a special statement in the treaty of 
peace. But, aside from such declarations, the actual practice of states 
is inspired by a different principle ; and even the negotiations and 
treaties of peace when closely analyzed reveal a state of facts different 
from the absolute theory. As a matter of fact, many kinds of treaties, 
especially those affecting the rights and activities of private indi- 
viduals, are tacitly allowed to revive as soon as diplomatic relations 
are reestablished ; in many cases, as we shall see, they have even 
been allowed practically to continue in force and operation during 
the war. 

Usually the argument for the continued existence of such treaties 
is based upon the consideration that they affect the rights of private 
individuals, and that, therefore, they should not be dealt with in the 
same manner as are general treaties of alliance which touch the po- 
litical action of states. However, in the case of conventions of inter- 
national unions, another element enters which makes their continued 
existence logical and proper. They are not arrangements between 
two powers, but acts carefully considered and adopted by a large 
number of nations, which at times assume the character and dignity 
of laws decreed by the powers for the entire world or a large part of 
it. Now, while it is conceivable that through strained relations be- 
tween two members of such a union their interchange of mutual 
services under the treaty may be for a while suspended, it would be 
entirely illogical to hold that by engaging in war they abrogate the 


convention and cease to be members of the international union. 
Nobody would hold that powers at war do not have a perfect right 
to send representatives to the conferences of the international unions 
of which they are members. It has been clearly established that 
governments who have no diplomatic relations with each other can, 
nevertheless, with perfect propriety participate in the business of in- 
ternational unions to which both may belong. Nor will such action 
be looked upon in the light of a direct political relation or a mutual 
diplomatic intercourse between them. These principles being ac- 
cepted, it follows that the convention upon which this membership 
rests is not annulled by warfare, but is simply partially suspended as 
between the belligerents. Any other solution would be untenable, 
also for the reason that no state certainly can be supposed to have 
the intention, by engaging in war with some one power, of cutting 
itself off from all friendly relations with the rest of the world. Every 
reason, therefore, exists for excepting the conventions of unions from 
the rule that a declaration of war effects the annulment of treaties. 
This solution is also accepted by authorities. Thus, M. Renault says : 
' When war comes about between two members of a union, it would 
seem that no one would think of contending that the treaty of union 
has, like some other conventions, been annulled or suppressed, and 
that it is not put in force again by the establishment of pacific rela- 
tions." With reference to the Franco-German War, he says : "'It is 
likely that the treaty constituting the telegraphic union had been con- 
sidered as restored in force as soon as diplomatic relations had been 
reestablished between the two countries. This is true also of the 
postal conventions ; as soon as the necessities of w T ar permitted, they 
were in force again." Fillet considers that the state of war is not in- 
consistent " with the conservation of certain legal relations between 
the enemy states, and that annulment strikes only the treaties whose 
enforcement would be incompatible with the existence of hostilities." 
Though their validity continues, the execution of such treaties may 
of course be interfered with, and, as a matter of fact, is usually sus- 
pended during war. It is, however, of the highest importance that it 
should be clearly established that nations may even during war retain 
legal relations with each other. Though at first all treaties not abro- 
gated may be considered as suspended with regard to their execution, 
as war continues it will be found convenient to have relations of 


various kinds even with the subjects of the other belligerent. Through 
the growing volume of such relations the ultimate reestablishment of 
peace is made to seem constantly more natural. Under the conditions 
of modern life no state can isolate itself permanently even from its 
worst enemy. The recognition of the fact that certain treaty relations 
subsist, though in a state of temporary suspension, makes the transi- 
tion from peace to war less abrupt and more in agreement with the 
nature of actual affairs. 

The principles here developed have, as a matter of fact, been quite 
generally recognized, — implicitly, if not expressly, — through the 
action of governments during and after recent wars. Thus while the 
treaty of Frankfurt, 1871, specifically revives the conventions with 
respect to the international railway service and to literal')' and indus- 
trial property, the telegraphic convention is not mentioned, but it was 
in fact observed again as soon as diplomatic relations were established. 
The international postal service between Germany and France was 
also reestablished immediately after the armistice by the convention 
of Rheims, March 17, 1871. Later negotiations bring out the fact 
that treaties on extradition and the execution of judgments were con- 
sidered to subsist after the war. During the Spanish-American War 
the United States government recognized the continued existence of 
the universal postal convention, which guarantees the right of transit 
of mails throughout the territories of the countries forming the union. 
With respect to copyright during this war, Secretary Hay declared 
that " while the government of Spain has maintained that all treaties 
with the United States were terminated by the recent war, it is 
thought that it would hold that its general laws granting copyright 
were at most only suspended, so far as American citizens were con- 
cerned, during the period of the existence of the war." Of course, 
on the other hand, many cases may be found in which postal and 
telegraphic conventions were in terms reestablished through the treaties 
of peace ; such was the case in the peace negotiations between Turkey 
and Greece in 1 897 ; the language used here was such as to imply 
that the telegraphic treaty had been entirely annulled. It is probable, 
however, as pointed out above, that such illogical views of the situation 
are due rather to an extreme caution in making sure that all proper 
treaty relations are reestablished than to an absolute belief in the 
actual annulment of all such relations during war. If it is ascertained 


that as a matter of general practice at the conclusion of wars such 
relations are immediately reestablished, the theory may seem of sec- 
ondary importance. Yet for purposes of clear reasoning it is essential 
to insist upon the principle that conventions of unions cannot be 
logically said to have been annulled by the mere fact that war exists 
between two parties to the union. 

Having considered the theory and practice with respect to the an- 
nulment or supension of treaties, let us now inquire concerning the 
practice of belligerents as affecting international services and rights, 
such as postal and telegraphic communication, extradition, copyrights, 
and sanitary protection. 

It is important to note at the beginning that exactly those instru- 
mentalities which are most essential to international intercourse, 
namely, telegraphic service, postal communication, and railways, are 
also most likely to be made use of by belligerents for military pur- 
poses. In modern warfare, with the vast areas covered by military 
operations, especially in the case of colonial empires, communication 
by mail and telegraph is an essential instrument of war. The first 
desire of every belligerent, therefore, will be to use these instruments 
for his own purpose, but also to prevent, as far as possible, their use 
by his adversary. This is the first main consideration which stands in 
the way of allowing postal and telegraphic communication to go on 
as uninterruptedly in times of war as in peace. The other principle is 
that to a large extent the ordinary economic intercourse between the 
subjects of the two belligerent states is interrupted, because it is con- 
sidered incompatible with the state of war, as involving a certain dis- 
loyalty of subjects to their own sovereign and a possibility of action 
harmful to the latter. With the development of modern international 
activities and with the changed conception of war, the principle of 
nonintercourse has however lost considerably in force ; and there is 
a strong tendency favorable to allowing ordinaiy commercial and in- 
dustrial enterprises, in so far as they are not inconsistent with hostil- 
ities, to go on between the private citizens of the two belligerent states. 
Great Britain and the United States have been backward in giving 
assistance to this tendency, not because of any hostility to the newer 
view, but because of the rule of the common law which interdicts 
commercial intercourse between subjects of states which are at war 
with each other. 



If the principle of nonintercourse stood alone, it would undoubt- 
edly soon be overcome and displaced by a more liberal policy, due to 
the growing importance of uninterrupted trade relations among all 
parts of the world. But the first consideration indicated, the necessity 
of protecting the efficiency of military operations, is not so readily 
superseded, and it is from this point of view that the services dealt 
with in international unions are usually interfered with or interrupted 
during times of war. 

According to the old conception of war it was believed that all 
postal and telegraphic communication between the enemy states is 
cut off. However, as war is no longer considered a struggle between 
citizens, but between states, it is now generally admitted that only the 
correspondence of a belligerent state and its armies should be interfered 
with. There are, indeed, also older precedents. As early as 1296, 
Philip le Bel authorized the messengers of the University of Paris 
to continue their services with Flanders even during war. 1 In recent 
times a number of treaties have been made, providing for a continu- 
ance of mail service even during war. Thus the convention between 
the United States and Mexico, July 1, 1887, provides that, should 
there be war between the two countries, postal communication is to 
continue without interruption until one of the countries has advised 
the other of its desire to modify this arrangement. Six weeks after 
the reception of such notice postal interchange must cease. France 
has made similar treaties with several of her neighbors. Thus the 
Anglo-French convention of June 14, 1883, provides that, in case of 
war between the two nations, the mail boats shall continue their com- 
munication without hindrance until notification by one of the two 
governments, in which case they shall be allowed to return freely 
into their respective ports. 

On principle most authorities now hold that postal and telegraphic 
communications are not ipso facto interrupted by war and that they 
persist wherever the interests of war do not oblige the enemy to sus- 
pend them. It is, of course, desirable from the point of view of each 
of the belligerents that these services should continue as far as is 
possible, and that restrictions should only be made when clearly re- 
quired for military reasons. No one, however, disputes the right of a 
belligerent state to make such restrictions as it may consider necessary. 

1 Rolland, De la correspondance postale. 


When a belligerent has occupied parts of the territory of the state 
with which it is at war, it has a right to seize official correspondence 
and exercise a strict control over that of private persons. Telegraphic 
communications, too, may be interrupted even by cutting the wires. 
But in so far as possible, the occupying state will continue the postal 
services for the benefit of the local residents as well as of neutral 
countries. The mails of the latter must of course not be interfered 
with. A project was suggested in 1877, according to which neutrals 
in case of war were to establish a service of mail couriers who might 
enter and traverse the territories of belligerents, even those under 
hostile occupation. Such an arrangement would of course be de- 
signed primarily for the carrying of mails between neutral countries ; 
it would be particularly a transit service. This suggestion has, how- 
ever, never been put into execution on account of the difficulty and 
expense of organizing temporary mail routes. It is generally under- 
stood that the agents of postal and telegraphic services should be 
dealt with entirely as persons connected with a civil administration. 
Even though messages are carried in balloons, messengers should 
not be treated as spies, although attempts to do so have been made 
repeatedly. The convention of St. Petersburg, concerning inter- 
national telegraphic service, provides that the contracting powers 
reserve the right to stop any message which may seem dangerous to 
the security of the state ; each government also reserves the right 
to suspend partially or entirely all telegraphic communication, but 
notice of such suspension must immediately be given to each of the 
contracting states. 

Difficult questions arise in connection with submarine cables in 
time of war. The cable system is of international importance, and in 
its maintenance not only the belligerents but other nations as well are 
interested. A belligerent who for military purposes cuts a cable or 
otherwise interrupts cable communication is, therefore, interfering with 
the general business affairs of the world. For these reasons it has 
been repeatedly tried to give cables international protection by declar- 
ing them inviolable or neutralizing them. A convention entered into 
between France, Brazil, Portugal, Italy, and Hayti, in May, 1864, pro- 
vides that the contracting states engage themselves "not to cut or 
destroy in times of war the cables laid by Ballestrini [the French 
oceanic cable system], and to recognize the neutrality of the telegraphic 



line." A project proposed by the United States in 1869, when the 
great North American cables had been laid, contained similar dispo- 
sitions. The adoption of this principle has, however, not thus far 
been possible on account of the reluctance which states feel against 


allowing so important an instrument to remain where it may be used 
by an enemy in war. A solution was suggested by the Austro- 
Hungarian government in 1872, to the effect that cables should 
be protected by the institution of a commission composed either of 
representatives of the belligerent states, or of neutrals, or both, with 
power to supervise the operations of submarine telegraphy. In actual 
practice in recent wars, hostile cables, or cables belonging to neutrals 
but landed upon hostile territory, have frequently been cut by bel- 
ligerents. Thus, in the Spanish- American War the American forces 
cut nearly all of the cables landed in Cuba, while strictly controlling 
those connecting Cuba with the United States. 

The Institute of International Law, in 1902, discussed these 
problems, and finally adopted the following rules (19 voting in the 
affirmative, 6 in the negative, 4 not voting) concerning cables in 
war time : 

I. A submarine cable connecting two neutral territories is inviolable. 

II. A cable uniting the territories of two belligerents or different parts of the 
territory of one of the belligerents may be cut anywhere, except in territorial 
waters or in neutralized waters belonging to a neutral country. 

III. A cable connecting a neutral country with the territory of one of the 
belligerents cannot be in any case cut in territorial waters or in neutralized waters 
belonging to a neutral territory. 

On the high sea such cable cannot be cut unless there is an effective blockade, 
and within the limits of the lines of this blockade, under condition of restoring the 
cable within the shortest time possible. Such cable may always be cut upon the 
territory and within the territorial waters belonging to an enemy country up to a 
distance of three marine miles from the low-water mark. 

IV. It is understood that the liberty of a neutral state to transmit dispatches 
does not imply the right to use a cable or to permit its use manifestly for the 
purpose of lending assistance to one of the belligerents. 

V. In the application of the preceding rules there is to be no difference 
between the cables of a state or cables belonging to private owners, nor between 
the cables of the enemy and those which are the property of neutrals. 

According to these rules, as will be seen, the only protection which 
is afforded cables is that they may not be cut in the territorial waters 
of a neutral country, nor upon the high sea, except in areas where 
there is an effective blockade ; and that cables connecting neutral 


territories are inviolable. The American Naval War Code of 1900 1 
contained the following rules : 

Article 5 

The following rules are to be followed with regard to submarine telegraphic 
cables in time of war, irrespective of their ownership : 

(a) Submarine telegraphic cables between points in the territory of an enemy, 
or between the territory of the United States and that of an enemy, are subject to 
such treatment as the necessities of war may require. 

(b) Submarine telegraphic cables between the territory of an enemy and neu- 
tral territory may be interrupted within the territorial jurisdiction of the enemy. 

(c) Submarine telegraphic cables between two neutral territories shall be held 
inviolable and free from interruption. 

As will be seen, they coincide in principle with the rules of the 
institute, with the exception that they do not contain the provision 
regarding the cutting of cables on the high seas in the area of the 
blockade. When the code was discussed in the Naval War College 
in 1903, the following formulation was suggested : 

Article 5 

Unless under satisfactory censorship or otherwise exempt, the following rules 
are established with regard to the treatment of submarine telegraphic cables in 
time of war, irrespective of their ownership : 

(a) Submarine telegraphic cables between points in the territory of an enemy, 
or between the territory of the United States and that of an enemy, are subject to 
such treatment as the necessities of war may require. 

(b) Submarine telegraphic cables between the territory of an enemy and neutral 
territory may be interrupted within the territorial jurisdiction of the enemy, or at 
any point outside of neutral jurisdiction if the necessities of war require. 

(c) Submarine telegraphic cables between two neutral territories shall be held 
inviolable and free from interruption. 

This version would leave the belligerents free to cut cables even on 
the high seas if the necessities of war required. Such a procedure, 
however, would in most cases be found very difficult to carry out, 
unless special instruments for the raising of cables were available, 
and the belligerent were in possession of detailed maps indicating 
the exact location of cables on the bottom of the sea. 

Communication by wireless telegraphy also gives rise to many prob- 
lems during war. The law respecting it has not as yet been settled ; 
but very extensive claims have been made in behalf of belligerents 

1 This code was withdrawn by order of the Navy Department, in February, 1904. 


because of the ease with which wireless communication may be used 
for military purposes. The Institute of International Law, in its ses- 
sion of 1906, adopted the following rules on this matter : 

Preliminary Dispositions 

Art. I. The air is free. States have with respect to it in times of peace and of 
war only the rights necessary for their conservation. 

Art. II. In default of special dispositions, the rules applicable to ordinary tele- 
graphic correspondence are applied also to wireless telegraphy. 

Part I. State of Peace 

Art. III. Every state has a right, in a measure necessary for its security, to 
prohibit, above its territory and its territorial waters and as high up as shall be 
necessary, the passage of Hertzian waves, whether they are sent from an appara- 
tus belonging to a state or a private apparatus, whether placed on the land, on 
board of a ship, or in a balloon. 

Art. IV. In case of the prohibition of wireless correspondence, the govern- 
ment must immediately advise the other governments of such a decree. 

Part II. State of War 

Art. V. The rules admitted for times of peace are in principle also applicable 
in times of war. 

Art. VI. Upon the high sea, within the zone which corresponds to the sphere 
of action of their military operations, the belligerents may forbid the sending 
of waves, even by a neutral subject. 

Art. VII. Individuals who, notwithstanding the orders of a belligerent, 
engage in the transmission or the receiving of wireless messages between the 
different parts of an army, or of a belligerent territory, shall not be considered as 
spies, but must be treated as prisoners of war when captured. A different rule 
holds when the correspondence has been sent under false pretexts. 

The carriers of messages transmitted by wireless telegraphy may be treated as 
spies when they employ deception and ruse. 

Neutral ships and balloons, which by their communications with the enemy may 
be considered as being placed in his service, may be confiscated together with 
their messages and their apparatus. Neutral subjects, ships, and balloons, in cases 
where it is not established that their correspondence was designed to furnish to 
the adversary information relative to the conduct of hostilities, may yet be removed 
from the zone of operations and their apparatus may be seized and sequestrated. 

Art. VIII. A neutral state is not obliged to prohibit the passage from its 
territory of Hertzian waves in the direction of a country at war. 

Art. IX. A neutral state has a right and the duty to close or to take under 
its administration an establishment of a belligerent state which it may have author- 
ized to operate upon its territory. 

Art. X. Every prohibition of communicating by wireless telegraphy issued 
by the belligerents must be immediately notified by them to the neutral gov- 


As will be seen, very considerable latitude is given to belligerents 
by Article VI, in that they are authorized to forbid the sending of 
telegraphic messages upon the high seas even by a neutral when 
within the zone of military operations. This is the most extreme ex- 
tent to which authority has been attributed to belligerents in modern 
international legislation in matters affecting neutrals. The rules pro- 
posed, however, also contain the provision that the agents of wireless 
telegraph companies shall not be treated as spies but as prisoners of 
war. During the siege of Port Arthur, Alexieff had issued an order 
making the sending of wireless messages from the neighborhood of 
the Russian forces equal to espionage. This has been considered as 
unduly rigorous, and is therefore not followed in the rules laid down 
by the institute. 

Another subject requiring special attention is the treatment of mail 
ships by belligerents. We have already cited the treaties made by 
France and by the United States in which postal communication is 
accorded protection in case of war. These treaties refer to ships car- 
rying on the mail service directly between the belligerent countries. 
A fortiori, it is, of course, desirable that mail ships navigating 
between a belligerent and a neutral country should be considered 
inviolable or that, at most, there should be accorded a right of inquir- 
ing whether any military correspondence is being transported. The 
Institute of International Law has adopted the principle that neutral 
ships shall not be arrested and visited when the commissioner of the 
government whose flag they carry declares in writing that they trans- 
port neither dispatches nor troops for the enemy nor contraband of 
war. In any event, only official correspondence can be seized, all 
private correspondence being inviolable. 

In practice the mails of neutrals have been generally given scru- 
pulous protection in times of war. During the Mexican War, while in 
occupancy of Vera Cruz, the United States allowed British mail boats 
to pass in and out freely. During the Spanish-American War the 
American government treated the universal postal convention as exist- 
ing in full force even between the United States and Spain, since the 
right of transit had been guaranteed throughout the entire territory of 
the countries of the union. The treaty was held " to insure the safe 
transit under any conditions of closed mails passing from one country 
of the postal union to another," but to have " no bearing on mails 


passing from one post office to another in the same country." 1 President 
McKinley's proclamation of April 26, 1898, contained the provision 
that the voyages of mail steamers are not to be interfered with except 
on the clearest grounds of suspicion of a violation of law in respect 
of contraband or blockade. During the Franco-Prussian War the 
French government gave orders to accept the word of the official in 
charge of the correspondence on a neutral mail steamer as to the ab- 
sence of any communications involving information to the enemy. 
The British, during the Boer War, did not interfere with German mail 
steamers communicating with South Africa. The practice of Russia 
during the Japanese War was, however, far from being in accord with 
these more liberal principles and practices. Thus Russian vessels re- 
peatedly stopped neutral mail steamers in order to search for Japanese 
mail. Xor did they confine their interference to official correspond- 
ence. On the contrary, they seemed to go on the principle that any 
private correspondence going to Japan could also be seized. 2 

The treatment to be accorded mail steamers has now been more 
adequately defined and established on a liberal basis in the Hague 
convention of 1907 on the Right of Capture in Maritime War, 
which contains the following provisions : 

Chapter I — Postal Correspondence 
Article I 

The postal correspondence of neutrals or belligerents, whatever its official or 
private character may be, found on the high seas on board a neutral or enemy 
ship, is inviolable. If the ship is detained, the correspondence is forwarded by 
the captor with the least possible delay. 

The provisions of the preceding paragraph do not apply, in case of violation 
of blockade, to correspondence destined for or proceeding from a blockaded port. 

Article II 

The inviolability of postal correspondence does not exempt a neutral mail ship 
from the laws and customs of maritime war applying to neutral merchant ships in 
general. The ship, however, may not be searched except when absolutely neces- 
sary, and then only with as much consideration and expedition as possible. 

These provisions constitute a great advance in the law of inter- 
national communication, especially in so far as they relate to official 

1 Moore, Digest of International Law, Vol. VII, p. 257. 

2 Lawrence, War and Neutrality in the Far East. 


correspondence. They virtually assure the continuance of communi- 
cation by mail throughout a war. That it should have been possible 
to adopt such a treaty is a testimony to the improvement of interna- 
tional relations and to the acknowledged importance of uninterrupted 
intercourse. The exemption of the mail service from military inter- 
ference was further made acceptable by the fact that other and more 
rapid means of communication are now chiefly relied upon by bellig- 
erents for purposes of military intelligence. 

What is true of the unions dealing with activities that are readily- 
made use of in military operations may be considered a fortiori to 
apply to those which affect only interests and relations outside of the 
realm of war. Concerning these it could be urged with even less 
reason that war annuls the conventions upon which they rest. The 
protection of the health of persons and animals against the importa- 
tion of diseases, the operations of the agricultural institute, the sup- 
pression of African slavery and of the white slave trade, the regulations 
of the monetary system, and the protection of private property in copy- 
rights and patents are all matters which have no direct relation with 
war, and in the conservation of which during war every civilized 
state must be interested, even from the point of view of its own 
special affairs. The conventions by which these unions are formed 
do not mention the eventuality of war ; while the means by which 
they can be abrogated or annulled are definitely fixed, war is not 
spoken of in this connection. As a matter of practice, these relations 
and conventions have always been looked upon as not dependent for 
their existence upon the maintenance of peaceful relations among 
all the members. States do not lose their rights of membership by 
engaging in war with one another. In the conferences and governing 
boards of international unions the representatives of warring nations 
may meet on a friendly footing without in any way compromising the 
belligerent position of their respective states. Thus the work of the 
great international unions continues without interruption, even though 
war may exist between individual members. The hygienic bureau at 
Paris, the sanitary councils at Constantinople and Alexandria, the 
international agricultural institute, the bureau of patents and copy- 
rights, the Pan-American Union, these and others, all continue their 
operations under the conventions in times of war as well as in times 
of general peace. 


The doctrine of nonintercourse, however, does involve, to a certain 
extent, the cessation of direct relations between the two belligerent 
governments and their subjects even in matters relating to the inter- 
national unions. During the Spanish-American War it was held that 
the mutual arrangements for copyrights were suspended, but also 
that when a treaty of peace should have been concluded, it would 
be " entirely proper for the librarian of Congress to admit Spanish 
subjects to the same copyright privileges that they enjoyed prior to 
the declaration of war." 1 

The permanence of international relations will be preserved intact 
in a constantly greater number of instances as the principle becomes 
more fully established that war is not a struggle between individuals, 
as even now the belligerent states retain their membership in the in- 
ternational unions. It will become possible to maintain direct rela- 
tions along certain lines, such as the postal service and the protection of 
private rights, even with the other belligerent and its subjects. Every 
sound consideration favors this policy, which is already partially applied 
by many nations. The needs of military efficiency do not require an 
absolute suspension of these relations. Through maintaining them, 
a belligerent nation is only utilizing the benefit of its membership in 
international unions to the fullest extent. Moreover, it is desirable 
that there should be a field within which even the subjects of two 
belligerents could meet in amity. During the international scientific 
congress at St. Louis, in 1904, a Japanese delegate declared that 
this was one of the few occasions and places where Russians and 
Japanese could meet in friendship at this time. But the maintenance 
of such relations which do not interfere with the military effective- 
ness of either party is also most advantageous, for the reason that 
they make the transition from war to peace easier and more natural. 
The sharp contrast between absolute hostility and profound peace is 
no longer in accord with the conditions of the world we live in. No 
war is strong enough to break up entirely all relations which bind 
two countries together. The recognition of this fact, by allowing 
certain peaceful relations to be maintained even while hostilities are 
going on, is a far more just and natural treatment of the matter than 
would be the rigid enforcement of the old uncompromising theory of 
absolute nonintercourse. 

1 Opinions of the Attorney-General of the United States, Vol. XXII, p. 268. 


Conclusion. The international organization that is being created 
in our era is not a force hostile to national life and development. 
Nations will not readily give up that ultimate liberty of political move- 
ment and self-determination in political action, that national independ- 
ence which has been won through great and long-continued sacrifices. 
The principle of independent nationalism is serving a purpose in 
allowing different aspects of human nature and human capacity 
to work themselves out, thus enriching the sum total of civilized 
forces. But the growing unity of the world is a fact which must also 
be recognized ; it rests upon the technical advances made in commu- 
nication and industrial processes during the last hundred years. The 
relations thus created among all branches of mankind have to be 
taken into account in national policy. While preserving intact their 
ultimate freedom of action, nations cannot therefore afford to stand 
aloof from the movement upon which their own efficiency and the 
welfare of their citizens depend. These universal factors have in 
our era become of prime importance. They have transformed the 
character of diplomacy. They are mitigating the rigors of war and 
are filling the entire world with that spirit of cooperation upon which 
real advance is dependent. In former ages mankind freed itself 
from the danger of overpopulation by terrible bloodlettings. The 
advances of modern science will make it possible for human beings 
to exist upon the surface of the globe in greatly increased numbers 
and under the happiest conditions, if only the works of civilization 
can be carried through by common accord of the nations. It is 
here that the real choice is to be made. The question is whether the 
energies of humanity are to be expended in old-fashioned, cruel, and 
universally harmful warfare, or are to be directed into the ample 
field of constructive work for the betterment of the conditions under 
which men live throughout the world. When this consideration is 
clearly understood, the true meaning and importance of international 
organization in the form of public unions will be grasped, and it 
will be seen that in this direction lies the highest promise for the 
betterment of the conditions of civilized life. 


Adams, John Quincy, 139 

Administrative law, international, 126-168 

African game protection, 55 

African slave trade and liquor traffic, 64 

Agriculture, international institute of, 51, 

Alexandria sanitary council, 59 

American customs union suggested, 77- 

American republics, international union 
of, 77-120 

Arbitration, before Pan-American con- 
ference, 81, 85-88, 92, 94, 100 ; Central 
American court of, 1 20 ; in interna- 
tional unions, 164-166; in the railway 
union, 30, 31, 32 

Argentina, opposition of, to American 
customs union, 80 

Armaments, 6 

Automobile conference, 1909, 33 

Baltic and White Sea conference, 71 

Basel labor office, 44 

Belgium, seat of unions, 155 

Berlin conference on radiotelegraphy, 

1906, 20 
Berlin copyright conference, 1908, 39 
Bern bureau for industrial and literary 

property, 37, 41, 161 
Bern copyright conferences, 38 
Bern labor conference, 1905, 44 
Bern postal congress, 1873-1874, 22 
Bern railway conferences, 28 
Birds, protection of useful, 55 
Blaine, James G., 78, 79, 88 
Brussels act of 1890 (liquor traffic), 64 
Brussels sugar conference, 1902, 49 
Buenos Aires, Pan-American conference 

at, 91 
Buol, Count, 172 

Bureau of the American republics, 83, 95 
Bureaus, international, character of, 155, 

156, 160-168 

Cape Spartel lighthouse, 75 
Carnegie, Andrew, 164 
Central American court of justice, 120 
Central American union, 118, 120 
Chile, and international arbitration, 85, 

86 ; opposition of, to American customs 

union, 80 
Cholera, protection against, 57-58 

Cleveland, President, 78 

Codification of international law, 90, 97, 

100, 121 
Colonies, members of postal union, 23, 

Commercial policy, American, 88, 97, 98 
Commissions, general character of, 153- 

Communication, 13, 15, 146 
Conferences, international, character of, 

82, 102-105, 115, 150-153 
Congresses, international, character of, 

82, 150-153 
Constantinople sanitary council, 58 
Cooperation, 4, 6, 8 
Copyrights, 36, 38, 91, 97, 110-112, 175, 

Cosmopolitanism, 2, 4, 141 
Cotton congress, 52 
Court of Cassation cited, 171 
Customs bulletins, international, 42 
Customs congress, American, 92 
Customs regulations, 113 
Customs tariffs, publications of, 41 

Dactyloscopy, 66 
Danube commission, 74 
Danube navigation, 74 
Diplomacy, newer methods of, 139, 145 
Directing state, 149, 156 
Drago doctrine, 94 

Drugs, association for unifying the formu- 
las of potent, 70 

Economic interests, 13, 35 
Egyptian financial control, 75 
Electric units, conference on, 69 
Enforcement of conventions, 132-134 
Exploration of the sea, council for the, 70 
Extradition in America, 90, 92 

Financial arrangements, 162-164 
Financial control, international, 75 
Financial support of the postal union, 26 
Fisheries police in the North Sea, 62 
Formation of unions, 144 
France and Great Britain, labor treaty 

between, 49 
Frelinghuysen, Secretary, 79 

Geneva Convention, 62 

Geodetic association, international, 68 


1 88 


Great Britain and France, labor treaty 

between, 1909, 49 
Grotius, 8, 169 

Hague convention, adherence of Ameri- 
can republics to, 87 ; postal correspond- 
ence in, 183 

Hague tribunal, 122-125 

Harrison, President, 8 

Hispano- American congress at Madrid, 
1900, 85 

Hugo, Victor, 38 

Hygiene, 57 

Hygiene and demography congress, 60 

Immoral traffic, repression of, 65 

Industrial properties, 36, 1 58 

Initiative, public and private, in forming 
unions, 144-149 

Institute, international, of agriculture, 54 

Institute of International Law, on sub- 
marine cables, 179; on wireless teleg- 
raphy, i8r ; on mail ships, 182 

Insurance, 55, 132 

Knox, Secretary, 101 
Kongo navigation, 74 

Labor legislation, 44-48 ; international 

association for, 44 
Labor protection, 42, 129, 133, 134, 147 
Latin monetary union, 76 
Legislation, international, 135, 156-160 
Lubin, David, 52 

Machiavelli, 8 

McKinley, President, 79, 84 

Mail ships in war, 182 

Map of the world, 71 

Marconi Company, 20, 128 

Marine, International Association of, 34 

Maritime law, 34 

Meridian, prime, 69 

Metric union, 35 

Mexico, Pan-American conference in, 85 

Monetary union, 76 

Montevideo treaty on private international 

law, 82 
Moore, John Bassett, 109 
Morocco, international control of, 75 

Nabuco, 102, 103 

National state, 5, 8, 10, 12, 135, 140 

Naval war code, 180 

Navigation, 34, 73 

Navigation congresses, 35 

Opium commission, international, 61 

Pacifism, 2, 7, 142 

Pan-American commission, 96, 107, 108 

Pan-American conferences, 77-120 

Pan-American railway, 90 
Pan-American sanitary union, 60, 89, 113 
Pan-American scientific congress, 71 
Pan-American union, 106-108, 117, 118, 

Paris postal congress, 1878, 23 
Paris telegraphic conference, 1865, 16 
Passenger transportation, 32 
Patents, 36, 91, 97, 110-112 
Pecuniary claims, arbitration of, 87, 92, 

1 08-1 10 
Phylloxera union, 55, 133 
Poinsard, Leon, 41 
Police powers, 62-67, 130 
Postage rates, 21, 24 
Postal monument, 27 
Postal union, 21, 159, 175, 177, 178, 182- 

Potent drugs, 70 
Potsdam geodetic bureau, 68 
Prime meridian, conference on, 69 
Prison congress, international, 56 
Protection of labor, 42, 133 
Psychological unity, 3 

Radiotelegraphy, 19 

Railway administration technic, 33 

Railway congresses, 32 

Railway freight bureau at Bern, 30 

Railway freight transportation, union for, 

28, 157 
Red Cross, 62 
RZglement, 17, 19, 1 51-153 
Renault, Louis, 174 
Restricted union, 19, 27 
Rhine navigation, 73 
Rio de Janeiro, Pan-American conference 

at, 93 
River commissions, JT, 
Rome conference on agriculture, 1905, 53 
Rome postal congress, 1906, 24 
Root, Secretary, 94 
Routes of navigation, 34 
Ruhland, Dr., 52 
Russian disregard of neutral rights, 183 

St. Louis scientific congress, 1904, 71, "185 
Sanitary bureau in Paris, 58 
Sanitation, 56-58, 89, 113, 160 
Santiago scientific congress, 72 
School hygiene, congress on, 60 
Scientific purposes, 67-73 
Seigneux, de, 28 
Seismology, conference on, 70 
Sevres metric bureau, 35 
Slave trade, 64 

Sleeping sickness, congress on, 60 
South American police convention, 66 
Sovereignty, theory of, 13 5-1 36 
Submarine cables, protection of, 63, 133, 



Suez Canal commission, 74 

Sugar commission, functions of, 50 

Sugar convention, 49, 162 

Support of unions, financial, 163-164 

Swiss government, control of, over 

bureaus, 31 
Switzerland, seat of unions, 155 

Telegraphic union, 15, 174, 177, 178 
Trade-marks, 36, 37, 91, 97, 110-112; 

registry of, 37, 112 
Transportation law, 29 
Treaties and war, 1 71-17 5 
Turkish financial control, 75 

Unanimity, 138, 152, 154 

United States, and international copy- 
right, 41 ; initiative of, for court of 
arbitral justice, 125; initiative of, for 
opium conference, 61 ; initiative of, 
for Pan-American conference, 77 ; 

initiative of, in calling postal confer- 
ence, 22 

Universal law, 127-142 

Universal postal union, 21 

Victor Emmanuel III, 52 

War,and international unions, 6, 169-185; 
effect of, upon treaties, 171 

Washington, Pan-American conference 
at, 1889, 79 

Washington sanitary bureau, 60 

White-phosphorus prohibition, 45 

White-slave trade, 64, 137 

Wireless telegraphy, 19, 128, 181-182 

Women in industrial night work, regula- 
tion of hours for, 45 

World law, 127-142 

World state, 10 

Zanzibar slave-trade bureau, 64, 161 


By Professor Paul S. Reinsch 

American Legislatures and Legislative Methods 

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Reins ch, Paul Samuel 

Public international unions 



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