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were informed that, if they refused permission, the German army would force a passage. It is believed that this action on the part of Germany is a technical compliance with the terms of the convention relative to the opening of hostilities, which requires an explicit warning “in the form either of a reasoned declaration of war or of an ultimatum with conditional declaration of war." This does not mean, however, that Germany was justified in insisting upon the right of passage through Luxemburg and Belgium, but that, so far as the Hague conventions are concerned, Germany complied with other requirements, for the warning served upon Luxemburg and Belgium was either a reasoned declaration of war or an ultimatum with conditional declaration of war, which created a hostile relation between Germany and the two countries, and which therefore excluded the application of the convention respecting the rights and duties of neutral Powers and persons in case of war on land.
It is shown elsewhere that Germany was bound by the treaty of April 19, 1839, by which it recognized Belgium as a neutralized and independent state, and by the London Declaration of May 11, 1867, by which it recognized and guaranteed Luxemburg as a neutralized state. By virtue of these treaties, Germany was not in a position to request a passage through Luxemburg or Belgium, for by these treaties Luxemburg and Belgium were not merely neutrals, but they were neutralized Powers, and by virtue of Convention No. V of the Second Hague Conference, their territory was inviolable— belligerents could not move troops or convoys or munitions of war across their territory, and they were bound to resist any and every attempt of this kind to violate their neutrality.
In the course of the discussion of this very grave and important international question, it is frequently urged that the action of Belgium in holding conversations with France and Great Britain for the protection of its neutrality against German invasion constituted such a violation of the treaty of 1839 as to liberate Germany from its provisions, and that treaties are concluded with the understanding that conditions shall remain as they were at the conclusion of the treaty. Admitting, for the purpose of discussion, that Belgium's action was unneutral, it has not been hitherto alleged that the action of Luxemburg was unneutral, and, as far as Luxemburg is concerned, this argument is without merit. It is indeed true that treaties, acceptable at the time of negotiation, become irksome in the course of time, but if treaties are not meant to be perpetually binding, and if the happening of certain contingencies is to abrogate them, treaties could be concluded for a term of years, subject to renewal, or their continuance or abrogation might be made to depend upon a contingency stated in clear and unmistakable terms in the treaty.
Now, the great European Powers, parties alike to the Belgium treaty and to the Luxemburg treaty, have put themselves on record in this matter and, wisely or unwisely, renounced the right to abrogate or to modify treaties which had become distasteful or inconvenient to them. By Article 14 of the treaty of Paris of 1856, Russia was forbidden to keep ships of war in the Black Sea. This provision was obnoxious, not only to the interest but to the amour propre of the great empire, and it took advantage of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 to denounce the provision in question. The Powers, however, objected to the modification without their consent of the treaty to which they were parties, and at the Conference of London, held in 1871, the following protocol was signed by all the Powers represented at the conference:
The plenipotentiaries of the North German Union, of Austria-Hungary, (of France), of Great Britain, of Italy, of Russia, and of Turkey, met to-day in conference, recognize that it is an essential principle of the law of nations, that no Power can release itself from the engagements of a treaty, nor modify the terms thereof, except by the consent of the contracting parties, amicably had. ?
It would appear, therefore, that the Powers represented at the London Conference, in recognizing the sanctity of treaties as an essential principle of the public law of Europe, deliberately tied their hands, and that the action of Germany, in so far as Luxemburg is concerned, is in direct violation of an obligation assumed in 1867 and observed in the FrancoPrussian War, the one war to which it was a party before the outbreak of the present great calamity.
1 The plenipotentiaries of all the countries except France signed the Protocol, Jan. 17, 1871. France signed March 13, 1871. For this reason the name of France has been inserted in brackets in the text of the Protocol.
2 British & Foreign State Papers, Vol. 61, pp. 1198–1199.
CHRONICLE OF INTERNATIONAL EVENTS
Abbreviations: Ann. sc. pol., Annales des sciences politiques, Paris; Vie Int., La Vie Internationale, Brussels; Arch. dipl., Archives Diplomatiques, Paris; B., boletin, bulletin, bolletino; P. A. U., bulletin of the Pan-American Union, Washington; Clunet, J. de Dr. Int. Privé, Paris; Doc. Dipl., France, Documents diplomatiques; B. Rel. Ext., Boletin de Relaciones Exteriores; Dr., droit, diritto, derecho; D. 0., Diario Oficial; For. rel., Foreign Relations of the United States; Ga., gazette, gaceta, gazzetta; Cd., Great Britain, Parliamentary Papers; Int., international, internacional, internazionale; J., Journal; J. O., Journal Officiel, Paris; L'Int. Sc., L'Internationalism Scientifique, The Hague; Mém. dipl., Mémorial diplomatique, Paris; Monit., Moniteur belge, Brussels; Martens, Nouveau recueil générale de traités, Leipzig; Q. dipl., Questions diplomatiques et coloniales; R., review, revista, revue, rivista; Reichs G., Reichs-Gesetzblatt, Berlin; Staats., Staatsblad, Netherlands; State Papers, British and Foreign State Papers, London; Stat. at L., United States Statutes at Large; Times, The Times (London).
February, 1914. 18 FRANCE-GREAT BRITAIN. Agreement respecting the delimitation
of the frontier between the British and French possessions from the Gulf of Guinea to the Okpara River. With map. French and English texts: G. B. Treaty Series, No. 5, 1914.
April, 1914. 4 GREAT BRITAIN-HONDURAS. Arrangement referring to arbitra
tion matters relating to the Masica incident. English and Spanish texts: G. B. Treaty Series, No. 10, 1914.
May, 1914. 30 GUATEMALA-GREAT BRITAIN. Additional protocol to the treaty
of extradition of July 4, 1885. English and Spanish texts: G. B. Treaty Series, No. 12, 1914.
July, 1914. 30 EUROPEAN WAR. SPAIN. Declaration of neutrality in the war
between Austria-Hungary and Servia. Gaceta de Madrid, July 30, 1914.
August, 1914. 5 EUROPEAN WAR. ARGENTINE REPUBLIC. Declaration of neu
trality in war between Austria-Hungary-Serbia, from July 26; Russia-Germany, from Aug. 2; France Germany, from Aug. 4; Great Britain-Germany from Aug. 4; Belgium-Germany from
Aug. 5. Bol. rel. ext. (Argentine Republic), 43:3; Clunet, 42:87. 5. EUROPEAN WAR. SIAM. Declaration of neutrality in war between
France and Germany. Clunet, 42:116. 14 EUROPEAN WAR. SPAIN. Declaration of neutrality in war between
Austria-Hungary and Montenegro. Gaceta de Madrid, Aug. 14,
1914; Clunet, 42:116. 16 EUROPEAN WAR. SPAIN. Declaration of neutrality in war between
Austria-Hungary-France and Great Britain. Gaceta de Madrid,
Aug. 16, 1914; Clunet, 42:116. 26 EUROPEAN WAR. SPAIN. Declaration of neutrality in war between
Germany and Japan. Gaceta de Madrid, Aug. 26, 1914; Clunet, 42:116.
EUROPEAN WAR. SPAIN. Declaration of neutrality in war between
Austria-Hungary and Belgium. Gaceta de Madrid, Sept. 1, 1914;
Clunet, 42:116. 5 EUROPEAN WAR. Declaration between the United Kingdom,
France and Russia engaging not to conclude peace separately during the present European war. English and French texts: G. B. Treaty Series, No. 1, 1915.
October, 1914. 27 GREAT BRITAIN-ITALY. Ratifications exchanged of the conven
tion for the extension to British India of the Anglo-Italian treaty of commerce and navigation of June 15, 1883, signed June 15, 1914. English and Italian texts: G. B. Treaty Series, No. 19, 1914.
November, 1914. 9 GREAT BRITAIN-NORWAY. Convention renewing for a further
period of five years the arbitration convention of August 11, 1904. (See G. B. Treaty Series, No. 8, 1904 and No. 27, 1909. English and Norwegian texts: G. B. Treaty Series, No. 14, 1914.
10 GREAT BRITAIN-UNITED STATES. Ratifications exchanged of treaty for the advancement of peace, signed at Washington, Sept. 15, 1914. Text: G. B. Treaty Series, No. 16, 1914; U. S. Treaty Series, No. 602.
10 EUROPEAN WAR. SPAIN. Declaration of neutrality in the war between Turkey and the Allies. Gaceta de Madrid, Nov. 10, 1914; Clunet, 42:116.
16 CHILE-VENEZUELA. Extradition treaty signed. Spanish text: Bol. rel. ext. (Chile), Dec. 1914, p. 63.
16 GREAT BRITAIN-PORTUGAL. Agreement providing for the settlement by arbitration of certain classes of questions which may arise between the two governments. English and Portuguese texts: G. B. Treaty Series, No. 15, 1914.
16 CHILE COLOMBIA. General arbitration treaty signed, Spanish text: Bol. rel. ext. (Chile), Dec. 1914, p. 51.
17 CHILE COLOMBIA. Extradition treaty signed. Bol. rel. ext. (Chile), Dec. 1914, p. 53.
20 GREAT BRITAIN-NETHERLANDS.
Ratifications exchanged of treaty relating to the extradition of fugitive criminals between certain British protectorates and the Netherlands, signed at The Hague Aug. 17, 1914. English and Dutch texts: G. B. Treaty Series, No. 18, 1914.
3 GREAT BRITAIN SWITZERLAND. Convention signed providing for the settlement by arbitration of certain classes of questions which may arise between the two governments. English and French texts: G. B. Treaty Series, No. 3, 1915.
26 EUROPEAN WAR.
Declaration of neu
trality in the war between Italy and Austria. Spanish text: B. rel. ext. (Argentine Republic), 44:248.
24 EUROPEAN WAR. UNITED STATES. The United States in answer to the German note of June 7, renewed its demand that the Frye case be settled by direct diplomatic negotiation rather than by a German prize court. Text in SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT to JOURNAL, p. 185.