« PředchozíPokračovat »
Powers, in order to carry the above stipulation of renunciation) into effect,” is exceedingly broad and far-reaching It may be claimed that the expression "measures which may be taken now" has the effect of importing into the treaty and making final any action relating to the German colonies taken by the Peace Conference at any time prior to the date of the peace treaty, and thus recognizes and imports into the treaty the distribution made by the Council of Three. The argument would be, no doubt, that the action of the “Council of Three " was an act of partition made by the Principal Allied and Associated Powers in expectation of receiving the title collectively by Article 119 of the peace treaty, and that they made this partition in advance in order to carry into effect that article. The expression, “measures which may be taken now,” is so unusual and so difficult to understand in this connection unless it refers to the act of the Council of Three, that prudence demands that all doubt concerning what it means or implies should be set at rest before the United States is committed to it.
Were the United States to allow the peace treaty to be given such a construction that the distributive act of the “Council of Three" would be imported into it, it would give its consent to an act which it was not within the constitutional power of the representatives of the United States to do and which would violate its professed plan, accepted by the belligerents, that there should be a "free, open-minded and impartial adjustment of all colonial claims."
The distribution was not free or open-minded, being made in pursuance of secret commitments and understandings, and without reference to the full Conference. If the Covenant permits the British dominions and India to be at the same time members of the League of Nations as independent states, with full voting powers and the power to be mandatories of the League, and at the same time allows them to be parts of the British Empire in subordination to Great Britain, or federal states in a British Commonwealth under Great Britain as presiding and commanding head, the distribution was not impartial; for by it the British Empire received nearly all that there was to be distributed.
If Japan acquires permanently the islands distributed to it, it will be located between the United States and the whole Orient; its insular possessions will surround the Philippines and Guam; its influence will be extended to a line in the Pacific hundreds of miles nearer the United States; it will command Hawaii, the Panama Canal, and the whole Pacific Coast. In case a properly organized League of Nations should decide that it would be fair to dispose of all Germany's colonies and give Germany no mandate whatever, and in case backward regions not its colonies should be allotted to the various members of the League, the proper mandatory for the Pacific Islands north of the equator would unquestionably be the United States. Nothing should be allowed to check the development of the Philippines along the lines the United States has wisely laid out and successfully followed. No self-denying professions made in its behalf can properly be allowed to interfere with any action having for its object the prevention of the present distribution from becoming permanent. It is the first duty of a state to protect itself and its wards.
Reprinted from Judicial Settlement of International Disputes,
N the night of October 21st, 1904, during the
Russo-Japanese war, Russian warships, pro
ceeding down the North Sea in a mist, fired upon British trawlers at a fishing ground off the Northumberland coast, called “the Dogger Bank”; sinking or injuring some of these peaceful fishing vessels and killing or wounding a number of British citizens who were members of the crews. The excuse was that the officers of the Russian ships believed that the trawlers were Japanese torpedo boats. After a short period of excitement, during which the incident threatened to bring Great Britain and Russia into war with each other, a process of pacific settlement was agreed upon and a treaty signed embodying this agreement. The treaty recited that the British and Russian governments had “agreed to intrust to an International Commission of Inquiry, assembled conformably to Articles IX to XIV of the Hague Convention of the 29th (17th) July, 1899, for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes, the task of elucidating by means of an impartial and conscientious investigation the questions of fact connected with the incident which occurred during the night of the 21st-22nd (8th 9th) October, 1904, in the North Sea.” (Declaration between the United Kingdom and Russia, relating to the Constitution of an International Commission of Inquiry on the