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that Nicaragua has the power without consulting Costa Rica to conclude a convention granting the right to construct such a canal. In support of this contention, Costa Rica cites the award of President Cleveland rendered on May 22, 1888, as arbitrator in the boundary dispute between Costa Rica and Nicaragua involving the validity and interpretation of the treaty of limits of April 15, 1858, and especially their respective rights in the San Juan River. By this award, it was held that Nicaragua “remains bound not to make any grants for canal purposes across her territory without first asking the opinion of the Republic of Costa Rica, as provided in Article 8 of the treaty of limits of the 15th day of April, 1858." Article 8 referred to binds Nicaragua not to enter into any contracts of canalization or transit "without first hearing the opinion of the Government of Costa Rica as to the disadvantages which the transaction might occasion the two countries, and, if the transaction does not injure the natural rights of Costa Rica 5 the vote asked for shall only be advisory." President Cleveland's award expressly holds, however, that the treaty of limits of 1858 "does not give to the Republic of Costa Rica the right to be a party to any grants which Nicaragua may make for interoceanic canals." The award further holds that




in cases where the construction of the canal will involve an injury to the natural rights of Costa Rica, her opinion or advice, as mentioned in Article 8 of the treaty, should be more than "advisory” or “consultative.” It would seem in such cases that her consent is necessary, and that she may thereupon demand compensation for the concessions she is asked to make; but she is not entitled as a right to share

* For the text of the award and information regarding the arbitration, see Moore's International Arbitrations, Vol. II, pp. 1945–68.

5 These natural rights were defined in President Cleveland's award as follows: "The natural rights of the Republic of Costa Rica alluded to in the said stipulation are the rights which, in view of the boundaries fixed by the said Treaty of Limits, she possesses in the soil thereby recognized as belonging exclusively to her; the rights which she possesses in the harbors of San Juan del Norte and Salinas Bay; and the rights which she possesses in so much of the River San Juan as lies more than three English miles below Castillo Viejo, measuring from the exterior fortifications of the said castle as the same existed in the year 1858; and perhaps other rights not here particularly specified. These rights are to be deemed injured in any case where the territory belonging to the Republic of Costa Rica is ocoupied or flooded; where there is an encroachment upon either of the said harbors injurious to Costa Rica; or where there is such an obstruction or deviation of the River San Juan as to destroy or seriously impair the navigation of the said River or any of its branches at any point where Costa Rica is entitled to navigate the same."

in the profits that the Republic of Nicaragua may reserve for herself as a compensation for such favors and privileges as she, in her turn, may concede.

The objections of Salvador, in which presumably Honduras joins, arise from the geographical position of those two countries, sharing as they do with Nicaragua the shores of the Gulf of Fonseca, upon which Nicaragua grants to the United States the right to establish a naval base. This grant, it is alleged, violates the general treaty of peace and amity concluded on December 20, 1907, at the Central American Peace Conference held in Washington through the good offices and upon the invitation of the United States and Mexico. It is averred that the possession of a part of the territory of Nicaragua by the United States for military purposes will enable it to dominate the entire country and thus impair the constitutional order of Nicaragua in derogation of Article 2 of the convention at Washington, which declares that “every disposition or measure which may tend to alter the constitutional organization in any of them (the five Central American republics) is to be deemed a menace to the peace of the said Republics."

The sovereignty and constitutional order of Nicaragua is further alleged to be impaired by the control retained by the Government of the United States over the expenditure of the $3,000,000 granted to Nicaragua in return for her concessions. It is interesting to recall in this connection that on January 10, 1911, three years after the convention of Washington, and five months before the original loan convention was negotiated with Nicaragua, Honduras signed with Secretary Knox a convention identical in terms with the Nicaraguan loan convention, providing for a loan to be secured upon its customs, which could not be altered without agreement with the Government of the United States, and which were to be collected and administered by a collector approved by the President of the United States. This convention further provided that detailed statements of the operations under the arrangement were to be submitted to the Department of State of the United States. The convention with Honduras failed of ratification

? along with the first Nicaraguan loan convention.

Finally, it is asserted by Salvador that the establishment of a naval base on the Gulf of Fonseca violates the neutrality of Honduras which

6 This convention is printed in the SUPPLEMENT to the JOURNAL for 1908, Vol. II,

p. 219.

7 For the text of this convention, see SUPPLEMENT to the JOURNAL for 1911, Vol. V,

p. 274.

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is provided for in Article 3 of the Convention of Washington of 1907 as follows:

Taking into account the central geographical position of Honduras and the facilities which owing to this circumstance have made its territory most often the theater of Central American conflicts, Honduras declares from now on its absolute neutrality in event of any conflict between the other Republics; and the latter, in their turn, provided such neutrality be observed, bind themselves to respect it and in no case to violate the Honduranean territory.


It is contended that the neutrality of navigable waters places upon bordering states the obligation not to fortify their coasts, citing Article 13 of the Treaty of Paris of 1858, Article 9 of the Congo agreement of November 4, 1911, between France and Germany, and Article 7 of the agreement of April 8, 1904, between France and England regarding the Straits of Gibraltar. These precedents are relied upon to establish the principle of international law that the fortification of points near neutral waters is prohibited as a menace to the existence of a state of neutrality. Consequently, it is maintained that the Government of Nicaragua can not authorize the establishment of a naval base which practically menaces the safety of the immediate neutral territory. It is further asserted that it is not lawful for the United States to infringe upon the neutrality of Honduras, as the character of mediator which it assumed in the Central American Conference prohibits it from being a party to the violation of the stipulations of the treaties which were the result of its good offices and mediation.

The protests of Costa Rica, Salvador and Honduras apparently received careful consideration in the United States Senate, for in giving its advice and consent to the ratification of the treaty, the Senate added the following amendment:

Provided, That whereas Costa Rica, Salvador, and Honduras have protested against the ratification of said convention in the fear or belief that said convention might in some respect impair existing rights of said states; therefore, it is declared by the Senate that in advising and consenting to the ratification of the said convention as amended such advice and consent are given with the understanding, to be expressed as a part of the instrument of ratification, that nothing in said convention is intended to affect any existing right of any of the said named states.

Even this assurance seems unsatisfactory, for Salvador has filed a formal notice with the United States that "it does not recognize the validity of the Nicaraguan treaty, which establishes a naval base in the

Gulf of Fonseca, and that consequently the Government of Salvador will always work against the said treaty, with all the means and lawful procedures which existing conventions, international law and justice grant it, in order to invalidate the same in its effects.” Costa Rica has also indicated its unwillingness to accept the treaty by bringing an action against Nicaragua to test its legality in the Central American Court of Justice.



On February 23, 1916, the Portuguese Government seized German merchant vessels lying within its jurisdiction, claiming to do so under the provisions of certain treaties between Germany and Portugal. Germany protested against the seizure as unauthorized by the treaties in question and demanded the release of the vessels. This Portugal declined to do and on March 9, 1916, the German Minister at Lisbon handed the Portuguese Minister for Foreign Affairs the following declaration of war:

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Since the outbreak of the war the Portuguese Government, by actions which are in conflict with her neutrality, has supported the enemies of the German Empire. The British troops have been allowed four times to march through Mozambique. The coaling of German ships was forbidden. The extensive sojourn of British war vessels in Portuguese ports, which is also in conflict with the laws of neutrality, was allowed; Great Britain was also permitted to use Madeira as a point d'appui for her fleet. Guns and materials of war were sold to Entente Powers, and even a destroyer was sold to Great Britain.

German cables were interrupted, the archives of the Imperial Vice-Consul in Mossamedes were seized, and expeditions sent to Africa were described as directed against Germany. At the frontier of German South-West Africa and Angola the German district commander and two officers and men were tricked into visiting Nauhla, and on October 19, 1915, were declared to be under arrest. When they tried to escape arrest they were shot at, and forcibly taken prisoners.

During the course of the war the Portuguese press and Parliament have been more or less openly encouraged by the Portuguese Government to indulge in gross insults on the German people. We repeatedly protested against these incidents in every individual case, and made most serious representations. We held the Portuguese Government responsible for all consequences, but no remedy was afforded us.

The Imperial Government, in forbearing appreciation of Portugal's difficult position, has hitherto avoided taking more serious steps in connexion with the attitude of the Portuguese Government. On February 23 the German vessels in Portuguese ports were seized and occupied by the military. On our protest, the Portuguese Government declined to go back from these forcible measures, and tried to justify them by illegal (gesetzwidrig) interpretations of existing treaties. These interpretations appeared to the German Government to be empty evasions. It is a fact that the Portuguese Government seized a number of German vessels out of proportion to what was necessary for meeting the shortage of Portugal's tonnage, and that the Government did not attempt even once to come to an understanding with the German ship-owners, either directly or through the mediation of the German Government. The whole procedure of the Portuguese Government, therefore, represents a serious violation of existing laws and treaties.

The Portuguese Government by this procedure openly showed that it regards itself as the vassal of Great Britain, which subordinates all other considerations to British interests and wishes. Furthermore, the Portuguese Government effected the seizure of the vessels in a manner in which the intention to provoke Germany cannot fail to be seen; the German flag was hauled down in the German vessels, and the Portuguese flag with a war pennon was hoisted, and the flagship of the Admiral fired a salute,

The Imperial Government sees itself obliged to draw the necessary conclusions from the attitude of the Portuguese Government. It regards itself from now onward in a state of war with the Portuguese Government. (London Times, March 11, 1916.)

A few days later, on the 13th, Viscount de Alte, the Portuguese Minister to the United States, issued the following statement, showing that Portugal had entered the war at the request of Great Britain, its protector and friend:

Portugal is drawn into the war as a result of her long-standing alliance with England, an alliance that has withstood unbroken the strain of five hundred years.

The first treaty of alliance between the two countries was concluded June 16, 1373, by Ferdinand of Portugal and Edward III of England. Subsequent treaties have affirmed the alliance and defined its scope. It rests on a secure and permanent foundation. The foreign policies and the interests of the countries have almost invariably proved to be identical and the ideals of their people have never clashed. The dawn of the eighteenth century (1703) found the soldiers of Portugal and those of England fighting side by side in the war of the Spanish Succession. At the beginning of the nineteenth century Portuguese and British bled together on the battlefields of the Peninsula in the tremendous struggles brought about by the Napoleonic invasions of Portugal.

Like Belgium, Portugal desires nothing that belongs to any other nation; she has nothing to gain and much to lose in the present conflict. But she is ready, notwithstanding, to aid England to the full extent of her resources.

Portugal is not prepared to subscribe to the doctrine engendered by militarism that good faith must be made subservient to expediency and that the interests of one nation may legitimately be fostered at the expense of the rights of others whenever backed by sufficient force. (Washington Post, March 14, 1916.)

A day later, that is to say on March 14, Sir Edward Grey, British

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