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2. To lay anchored submarine mines which do not become harmless as soon as they have broken loose from their moorings;
3. To use torpedoes which do not become harmless when they have missed their mark.
As to this article, Germany, which had previously reserved its vote with respect to the first paragraph in the full conference and final vote, withdrew its reserve and accepted the paragraph as it stood.
The Turkish delegation was not ready to accept the article and enter into an engagement because the systems of rendering mines harmless were not universally known.
Russia and Siam accepted the article with a reserve as to the first paragraph.
ARTICLE 2. It is forbidden to lay submarine mines off the coast and ports of the enemy, with the sole object of interrupting commercial navigation.
Upon this article Germany and France reserved their vote on account of possibility of evasion.
ARTICLE 3. When anchored submarine mines are employed, every possible precaution must be taken for the security of peaceful shipping.
The belligerents undertake to see, in as far as it is possible, that these mines become harmless within a certain interval, and in case they should cease to be looked after, to notify, as soon as military exigencies permit, those engaged in navigation, and the governments through the diplomatic channel, of the danger zones.
To this article the only dissenting voice was that of Turkey. The Turkish delegate stated that in view of the exceptional situation created by treaties now in force with regard to the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus, straits which are integral parts of its territory, the Turkish Government would not assume any engagement whatever that would restrict the means of defense that it might judge to be necessary for these straits in case of war, or for the purpose of causing respect for their neutrality.
ARTICLE 4. Neutral powers which lay submarine mines off their coasts must observe the same rules and take the same precautions as are imposed on belligerents.
The neutral powers must inform shipowners, by a notice issued in advance, where submarine mines have been laid. This notice must be communicated at once to the governments through the diplomatic channel.
ARTICLE 5. At the close of the war, the contracting powers undertake to do their utmost to remove the mines which they have laid, each one removing those which it has laid.
As regards anchored submarine mines laid by one of the belligerents off the coast of the other, their position must be notified to the other party by the power which laid them, and each power must proceed with the least possible delay to remove the mines in its own waters.
ARTICLE 6. The contracting powers which have not yet perfected mines such as the present convention has in view, and which, consequently, could not at present carry out the rules laid down in articles 1 and 3, undertake to transform these mines as soon as possible, so as to bring them into conformity with the foregoing requirements.
The Turkish delegation repeated their inability to undertake any engagement for the present with respect to the transformation of mines required by article 6.
The provisions of the present convention are concluded for a period of seven years or until the end of the Third Peace Conference, if that date is earlier.
The contracting powers engage themselves to reopen the question of the employment of the automatic contact submarine mines six months before the expiration of the period of seven years or in case where it has not been reopened and settled by the Third Peace Conference at an earlier date.
Failing the arrangement of a new convention, the present rules will continue to remain in force, except by denunciation of the present convention. The denunciation will not be effective (with respect to the power which has notified) until six months after the notification.
The Spanish delegation gave its vote to the project, but with regrets that it was insufficient and did not answer entirely to the wish of their Government. In voting for the project as a whole, it was adopted by the conference unanimously, excepting the reserve relative to paragraph 1 of article 1 made by the delegations of the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Montenegro, Russia, and Siam, and that of Turkey relative to the whole article. Also excepting the reserves made relative to article 2 by Germany and France, and Turkey with respect to articles 3 and 6.
The first article seems to be clear and intelligible in its phrasing and to be the best thing possible under the circumstances. It was stated by experts present that it had been demonstrated by experiment that the drifting mines referred to in the first two paragraphs of this article could be rendered harmless in the times mentioned. One method was by making a hole in the case of the mine and filling it with a soluble substance like sal ammonia, which in a certain time would drown the charge and sink the mine. Another method proposed the same effect by galvanic action. Automobile torpedoes of the present day are so arranged as to follow the conditions of the third paragraph, so no novelty is here prescribed.
The second article has been criticised both by British and German authorities as capable of allowing an evasion or using some pretext that may come within the inventive ingenuity of the commanding naval officer. The principle to my mind is well established by the wording of the article; its violation would be a very serious matter, involving as it would, in all probability, more danger to neutrais than to belligerents. I must confess that I think the high sense of honor to be expected from the naval officer in command in such case would not be wanting in any civilized naval force. The English proposition upon this subject has been given elsewhere.
In article 4 for the first time is recognition of the right of neutral powers to use submarine mines for the purpose of defending their neutrality. It is a right that comes within that of self-preservation, which has naturally included heretofore the right to use force by other means and on the surface to maintain the neutrality of their territory and the control of their waters.
The general principles enunciated in articles 3, 4, and 5 met with practically no objection except from Turkey concerning the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles. Article 6 has been criticised because it is not sufficiently definite and limited in the period providing for the transformation of mines in conformity with the rules laid down in articles 1 and 3. It seems to border upon the hypercritical to complain of this, for with varying budgets and technical skill and resources it appeared to be almost impossible to bind the nations to a fixed time. The governing principle being agreed upon, it is not very likely to be ignored and mines of the old pattern used if there is sufficient interval allowed before the next naval war.
The rules as given above and adopted do not go as far as the United States and many other powers, including Great Britain, desired, but the half loaf is certainly better than no loaf at all. By the next conference it is hoped that the safety of the high seas will be provided for in a more effective and comprehensive manner than the rules which were finally formulated. It is, however, a beginning, but, in the words of Sir Ernest Satow, a British delegate, this arrangement can not be considered as giving a definite solution to the question. It is something where nothing before existed, and at least a milestone on the way to a more complete correction of the evils with which it deals.
C. H. STOCKTON.
BOMBARDMENT BY NAVAL FORCES.
Among the six voeux to be found in the final act of the First Hague Peace Conference is the following:
The conference expresses the wish that the proposal to settle the question of the bombardment of ports, towns, and villages by a naval force may be referred to a subsequent conference for consideration.
This recommendation did not fall upon deaf ears, and among the most admirable results of the Second Peace Conference is the small but simple convention forbidding the bombardment of undefended ports, towns, villages, dwellings, or buildings. This is not the appropriate place to discuss the relation between a recommendation of one conference and the work of a succeeding one, but it is pleasing to note that the recommendation of a conference is not a burial; that it calls attention of the powers to the subject matter and thus paves the way for a substantial agreement at the conference to which the recommendation is referred. If the recommendations of the Second Conference fare as well as the recommendation of the First Conference regarding bombardment, the world will be the gainer and the cause of international justice, and therefore of peace, will be much advanced by the Third Conference, which is gradually becoming the center of hope and expectation.
The purpose of war is to bring the enemy to terms, and any means calculated to attain this desirable end are legitimate, provided they do not cause needless suffering and are not in their nature more brutal than war must always be. The noncombatant is regarded merely as a prospective enemy, to be looked upon with suspicion but not to be subjected to the pains and penalties of the soldier in the field. Public property may indeed be appropriated; private property may be destroyed for a military purpose, may be requisitioned, or may be subjected to contribution, but it is no longer at the mercy of an enemy or invader. A fortress may be assaulted, but the