« PředchozíPokračovat »
country a thousand times as much as the value of all the territory that was in dispute.
In the great business of settling international controversies without war, whether it be by negotiation or arbitration, essential conditions are reasonableness and good temper, a willingness to recognize facts and to weigh arguments which make against one's own country as well as those which make for one's own country; and it is very important that in every country the people whom negotiators represent and to whom arbitrators must return, shall be able to consider the controversy and judge the action of their representatives in this instructed and reasonable way.
One means to bring about this desirable condition is to increase the general public knowledge of international rights and duties and to promote a popular habit of reading and thinking about international affairs. The more clearly the people of a country understand their own international rights the less likely they are to take extreme and extravagant views of their rights and the less likely they are to be ready to fight for something to which they are not really entitled. The more clearly and universally the people of a country realize the international obligations and duties of their country, the less likely they will be to resent the just demands of other countries that those obligations and duties be observed. The more familiar the people of a country are with the rules and customs of self-restraint and courtesy between nations which long experience has shown to be indispensable for preserving the peace of the world, the greater will be the tendency to refrain from publicly discussing controversies with other countries in such a way as to hinder peaceful settlement by wounding sensibilities or arousing anger and prejudice on the other side.
In every civil community it is necessary to have courts to determine rights and officers to compel observance of the law; yet the true basis of the peace and order in which we live is not fear of the policeman; it is the self-restraint of the thousands of people who make up the community and their willingness to obey the law and regard the rights of others. The true basis of business is not the sheriff with a writ of execution; it is the voluntary observance of the rules and obligations of business life which are universally recognized as essential to business success. Just so while it is highly important to have controversies between nations settled by arbitration rather than by war, and the growth of sentiment in favor of that peaceable method of settlement is one of the great advances in civilization to the credit of this generation; yet the true basis of peace among men is to be found in a just and considerate spirit among the people who rule our modern democracies, in their regard for the rights of other countries, and in their desire to be fair and kindly in the treatment of the subjects which give rise to international controversies.
Of course it cannot be expected that the whole body of any people will study international law; but a sufficient number can readily become sufficiently familiar with it to lead and form public opinion in every community in our country upon all important international questions as they arise.
For these reasons it seems to me that the influence of the new American Society of International Law and the publication of its Quarterly will be of practical benefit to the people of the United States; and I commend the Association and the Quarterly to the support of thoughtful men and women who wish to help in promoting the cause of international justice and peace.
INTERNATIONAL RESPONSIBILITY TO CORPORATE
BODIES FOR LIVES LOST BY OUTLAWRY
A novel case has recently arisen involving the liability of a foreign government to indemnify an American corporation (a missionary board) for the death of its employees by mob violence. The case grew out of the assault in 1905 of a mob of native Chinese upon the American Protestant Mission Station at Lienchou, province of Quantung, China, resulting in the death of four missionaries and one child.
The Chinese local authorities were exonerated by the surviving missionaries from any complicity with the rioters, prompt punishment by decapitation and imprisonment was inflicted on the leaders of the mob, and payment was made by the Chinese authorities for all the property losses sustained. The board, whose office is in New York City, announced to the churches of its denomination, on receipt of the news of the massacre, that in no case whatever would the board receive indemnity for the beloved dead, nor would it accept indemnity of a punitive character, the board holding that the value of the blood of those who laid down their lives for Christ's sake should not be estimated in dollars and cents.
A notice of this action was sent by the board to the Chinese Minister in Washington, and by him communicated to his government at Peking and to the viceroy of the province in which the massacre occurred.
When the final payment on the property losses came to be made in the province, the viceroy was notified by the American consul that claims had been filed in the Department of State at Washington by relatives of the deceased missionaries for a large money compensation for their lives. The Chinese authorities, including the viceroy of the province and the minister in Washington, at once expressed their surprise at this claim, in view of the public announcement of the board, which was understood by them to be a voluntary waiver of all claims for loss of life. The answer of the board was that while the action of the relatives was a surprise to it, made without its knowledge or approval, in its announcement it did not purport to speak for the relatives, over whom it had no control, and that it thereby only waived its own claim of indemnity for the loss of life of its missionaries, but that it would not be a party to any efforts to secure indemnity for the lives of the missionaries.
The foregoing action and views of the board were communicated by its secretary to the Department of State, and the department made the following reply:
As it is difficult to conceive upon what grounds the mission board could have based a claim so as to enable it to receive any benefit from any sums that might be paid on account of the murder of those people, your board's disclaimer would seem to have been meaningless. This, however, may not be understood by the Chinese government, and may tend to embarrass this government in its determination to demand damages from China for the unlawful killing of American citizens, which demand arises as a matter of public policy, irrespective of the associations which such citizens may have had with any missionary body, and irrespective of any views as to the desirability or propriety of such demand that may be held by third parties.
In this connection it may be well to notice the attitude of the government of the United States in the case of the loss of life of American citizens in foreign lands by mob violence and outlawry. For our present purpose it will suffice to examine the treatment of a few of such cases occurring in the neighboring republic of Mexico which, like China, has in the past been subject to considerable civil disorder. Taking them in chronological order: in 1868, John Braniff, an American citizen was killed by a band of robbers while at work on the Vera Cruz railroad. The American chargé reported to the Department of State that the Mexican government had given assurance that every possible effort would be made to detect and punish the guilty parties. Secretary Seward replied:
The engagement which the Mexican government has made to investigate the case, and its assurance that upon such investigation the government will direct what justice may require, is entirely satisfactory.
In 1874, Rev. David Watkins, a missionary of the American board of missions, was assassinated in one of the interior towns of Mexico by a body of some two hundred religious fanatics, his body horribly mutilated, and his house plundered. It was stated that the prison guard and the soldiers participated in the outrage. The Mexican government took prompt and energetic measures for the punishment of the guilty parties. On receipt of a report of the event, Secretary Fish wrote the American minister as follows:
1 U. S. Foreign Rel., 1868, p. 582.
This atrocious act appears to have created a marked sensation in this country. A prompt and thorough trial of the case, and the punishment of those found guilty according to law, will be expected. The immediate friends of the victims at least may expect that the Mexican government will indemnify his widow and children, should he have left either, for their loss, especially if any persons in the service of that government should have taken part in the murder, or should have neglected to adopt measures toward preventing it. Upon this point, however, the Department will give further instructions when the result of the judicial proceedings shall be known.
The action of the authorities resulted in the conviction of the leaders of the mob, five of whom were condemned to death, and a number of others were sentenced to terms of imprisonment. After some delay, necessitated by an appeal to the Federal Supreme Court, all the sentences were carried into effect. It does not appear that any demand for a money indemnity was ever made upon the Mexican government.?
Another religious riot occurred at Acapulco, Mexico, in 1875, in the assault upon a Presbyterian chapel which resulted in the killing of a number of native Protestants and one American citizen. In making reply to the report of the minister on the occurrence, Secretary Fish said:
Such an incident is not uncommon to propagandism in regions where the doctrines sought to be disseminated may be new and consequently more or less unpalatable. Martyrs must be expected at such times. It is much to be deplored that a citizen of the United States should have been one of the victims. The promptness and energy with which you applied to the Mexican government in the matter, are to be commended. There is cause to fear, however, that we cannot judiciously require from them a pecuniary compensation for the relief of the wife and children of the murdered man, unless we can show that the killing was occasioned by an act or omission of a person in authority at Acapulco. Governments are not usually accountable in pecuniary damages for homicide by individuals. All that can fairly be expected of them is that they should in good faith, to the extent of their power, prosecute the offenders according to law.
The consul at Acapulco reported that public sentiment was so strongly on the side of the rioters that the judicial authorities failed
? For. Rel., 1874, pp. 734, 737; 1876, p. 386. :6 Moore's Int. Law Digest, 815.