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ing of Mr. Lansing's associates in Watertown and in northern New York and of his friends in his home town, who had gathered to do him honor and to welcome his home-coming as only friends and neighbors can welcome a distinguished and a beloved townsman.
Mr. Lansing seized the occasion, as they say in diplomacy, to explain frankly and in some detail the policy of the United States as a neutral in the great war and the difficulties which beset the government in its endeavor to perform its neutral duties and to cause its neutral rights to be respected by the belligerents which, as always happens in moments of excitement, are more intent upon their rights than upon the performance of their duties.
The first part of Mr. Lansing's address deals with the situation produced by the war, and as this statement of facts and conditions forms the ground work of the address, it is given in Mr. Lansing's own words. Thus, he says:
The Great War has caused so many conditions, which are entirely new, and presented so many questions which were never before raised or even thought of, that it has been no easy task to meet and answer them. The relations between neutrals and belligerents were never more difficult of adjustment. It was never harder to preserve neutral rights from invasion by the desperate opponents in the titanic conflict, in which the power, if not the life, of the great empires of the earth is at stake. The peoples and governments at war are blinded by passion; their opinions are unavoidably biased; their conduct is frequently influenced by hysterical impulses, which approach to madness. Patience and forbearance are essential to a neutral government in dealing with such nations. Acts, which under normal conditions would be most offensive, must be considered calmly and without temper. It is an extraordinary situation and requires extraordinary treatment with a due regard for the mental state of those who are straining every nerve to defeat their enemies and to that end using every possible means to weaken them in their industrial as well as their military power.
In a nutshell the situation of our relations with Great Britain and Germany, the two Powers with which we have had our principal controversies, is this:
Germany, having developed the submarine as an effective engine of destruction, asserts that she cannot, on account of the resulting conditions, conform to the established rules of naval warfare, and we should not, therefore, insist on strict compliance. Great Britain has no sympathy with the German point of view and demands that the submarine observe the rules of visit and search without exception.
On the other hand, Great Britain declares that, on account of the new conditions resulting from submarine activity and the use of mines and from the geographical position of Germany, she cannot conform to the established rules of blockade and contraband, and we should not, therefore, hold her to strict compliance with those rules. Germany insists, nevertheless, that Great Britain be made to follow the existing law.
Both governments have adopted the same arguments, based primarily on military necessity, and offer the same excuses for their illegal acts, but neither will admit that the other is in any way justified for its conduct.
After this statement of the effects and conditions as Mr. Lansing believes them to exist, and after giving the reasons which each belligerent advances or might advance in justification of its conduct, Mr. Lansing puts the very pertinent question, "What is the United States to do in these circumstances?" and, differing from most querists, he suggests the answer. Thus:
If we admit the arguments advanced are sound-and I am sure no one will deny that they are more or less reasonable—and submit to changes in the rules of naval warfare, we will be without any standard of neutral rights. Conceding that the rules can be modified by a belligerent to meet new conditions, how far can a belligerent go in changing the rules? Would not the liberties of neutrals on the high seas be at the mercy of every belligerent? As it is under the old rules, neutrals suffer enough when a state of war exists. They should not be further restricted in the exercise of their rights.
The only alternative, therefore, is for this government to hold firmly to those neutral rights which international law has clearly defined and to insist vigorously on their observance by all belligerents. In not the slightest degree can the settled rules be modified unless all the parties interested consent to the modifications.
If Germany finds it difficult or impossible to conform submarine warfare to the international naval code, that is her misfortune; or, if Great Britain finds it equally difficult to obey the rules of blockade and contraband, that is her misfortune. They certainly cannot expect neutral nations to submit without resistance to further invasions of their rights.
This has been the position of the United States from the beginning of the war. It has twice sought to obtain mutual consent from the belligerents to certain changes in the rules, but in both cases it failed and the suggestions were withdrawn.
Mr. Lansing next notes that the violations of international law result in the loss of life, on the one hand, and in injury to property, on the other. He calls attention to this fact and properly states that, although the loss of life and the injury to property result in each case from violation of the law of nations, nevertheless the seriousness of the violation depends in no uncertain degree upon its consequences; that is to say, whether it cause the loss of life or merely an injury to property. Thus:
It is true that the rights violated by the belligerents may differ in importance and, therefore, require different treatment. Thus the violation of the neutral right of life is a much more serious offense against an individual and against his nation than the violation of the legal right of property. There is no and cannot be adequate recompense for the wrongful destruction of life, but property losses may be satisfied by the payment of indemnities. If one belligerent violates the right of life and an
other belligerent violates the right of property, can you doubt for a moment which one gives this government the greatest concern, or which one will call forth the more vigorous protest and the more earnest effort to prevent repetitions of the offense?
A government which places life and property on an equality would be generally condemned, and justly condemned.
In concluding his address, Mr. Lansing spoke feelingly to the friends and associates of his boyhood and his maturer years, and in so doing used language which is capable of a wider appeal and which is calculated to awaken a responsive chord in his fellow countrymen.
I know that you she said), my friends and associates, all patriotic and thoughtful Americans, sympathize with me in the responsibilities which today rest upon me as Secretary of State. Whatever may happen in the uncertainties of the future I know that I can come back here assured of your friendly judgment and of a just estimate of the motives which have inspired my acts. Your friendship and your confidence I prize most highly. I hope that I may always merit them.
It should be and it is a consolation to the American people to know that, in these days of storm and stress, there is a calm and dispassionate, thoughtful and upright man in charge of the Department of State, not carried away by his feelings yet aware of their existence and not deaf to their voice, and desiring the friendship of his associates and the confidence of his fellow countrymen because he strives, earnestly and with singleness of purpose, to merit them.
JAMES BROWN SCOTT.
THE STUDY AND TEACHING OF INTERNATIONAL LAW
A report of the Standing Committee on the Study and Teaching of International Law and Related Subjects was presented to the American Society of International Law at the annual Meeting. The report of the Committee was unanimous and was approved by the Society.
This report was in continuance of the work begun by the Conference of Teachers of International Law and Related Subjects in 1914, which adopted sixteen resolutions for carrying out its wishes. So far as these were largely administrative, the resolutions were immediately carried out. Certain resolutions involving investigation and further consideration were referred to the Standing Committee. These resolutions in general referred to the plans for developing the study of international law and related subjects. The Committee was unfavorable to any attempt to standardize such study, but was favorable to the adoption of means for improving, extending and strengthening such study in a thorough manner. The course of events in the world since the Con
ference of Teachers in 1914 has emphasized the need of such an effort.
Certain points in the Standing Committee's report should be particularly mentioned. A course of one year “divided between international law as a system of law and the application of its principles in international relations is regarded as a minimum" (and that a full year or more should be given to each was to be desired when possible.) That these courses should be consecutive rather than concurrent seemed to be advisable.
The Conference of Teachers in 1914 had recommended “That prominent experts in international law be invited from time to time to lecture
the subject at the several institutions." The Standing Committee favored this plan “provided such lectures were made an integral part of the course," for which the student should be prepared and for which he should be responsible as for other parts of the course. Other resolutions were considered and the action upon these will be found in the Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Society, in which the Committee's report will also be found in full.
The Division of International Law of the Carnegie Endowment, believing this work recommended by the Conference of Teachers to be in accord with its purposes, has offered to place at the disposal of the Standing Committee an amount of money to aid in the work. The Standing Committee will be glad to receive further suggestions as to the carrying out of the resolutions or as to other matters relating to the promotion of the study and teaching of international law and related subjects. The Standing Committee is composed as follows, and such suggestions may be made to any member of the Committee: Chairman, Professor George Grafton Wilson, of Harvard University.
Professor Philip Marshall Brown, of Princeton University.
GEORGE GRAFTON WILSON.
MEXICO AND THE UNITED STATES AND ARBITRATION
From time to time the JOURNAL has had comments upon the Mexican situation in so far as its international aspects are concerned and in so far as the disturbed condition in Mexico affects the relations of Mexico and the United States. The comments have aimed to lay before the readers of the JOURNAL the facts as they are contained in official documents, as it is very difficult to obtain facts from other sources and, if obtained, it is equally, if not more difficult to sift them, separating the true from the false. In view of these circumstances, it has been deemed the policy of wisdom to avoid the expression of opinion, because an opinion based upon alleged facts or conditions resulting from alleged facts must necessarily fall or be modified when the facts themselves prove to be false or only partially correct.
The present comment will follow the policy herein stated. It will regard Mexico as a member of the society of nations; therefore, as a sovereign and independent state, and in law the equal of every other sovereign and independent state, with rights and duties precisely the same as the rights and duties of the other sovereign and independent states. It will consider the government of Carranza as the existing government of Mexico, recognized as such by the United States on October 19, 1915, and that General Carranza as the head of that government is entitled to speak for it in foreign matters and is required to meet and to fulfill the duties imposed upon his country by the law of nations.
Without stating either the rights or duties in general of Mexico and the United States in the premises, the present comment calls attention to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, concluded February 2, 1848, between the two countries and proclaimed by the President of the United States as the law of the land on July 4, 1848, which, ending a war, sought to provide a means in Article XXI which would render war between the two countries more remote, if not impossible. Article XXI says:
If unhappily any disagreement should hereafter arise between the governments of the two republics, whether with respect to the interpretation of any stipulation in this treaty, or with respect to any other particular concerning the political or commercial relations of the two nations, the said governments, in the name of those nations, do promise to each other that they will endeavor, in the most sincere and earnest manner, to settle the differences so arising, and to preserve the state of peace and friendship in which the two countries are now placing themselves, using, for this end, mutual representations and pacific negotiations. And if, by these means, they should not be enabled to come to an agreement, a resort shall not, on this account,