« PředchozíPokračovat »
On May 5, 1860, Garibaldi sailed from Genoa with 2,000 troops to wrest Sicily from the King of Naples.
In 1863 war between Austria and Prussia on one side and Denmark on the other virtually commenced by the occupation of Holstein and Lauenburg by the troops of the two great powers.
In 1870 the war between France and Germany. The declaration of war clearly preceded war.
THE AMELIORATION OF THE RULES OF WAR ON LAND
With a view to the systematic discussion of the questions inscribed upon its program, the membership of the conference was divided into four great committees, to each of which a related group of subjects was assigned for investigation with a view to the formulation of such stipulations as might be deemed worthy of insertion in a general convention. The second of these committees was charged with the investigation of all questions having to do with the operations of war on land. While it was assumed that the Second Committee would address itself to the amelioration of the existing rules and usages of war, as embodied in the convention framed by the First Peace Conference, it was also expected that considerable time would be devoted to the serious consideration of questions which, though they were not touched by the First Conference, were now believed to be ripe for conventional regulation. To that end the following subjects were formally assigned to the Second Committee at the second plenary session of the conference:
The modification and amelioration of the rules of war on land; b. The opening of hostilities;
The declarations of 1899;
At the same session the following officers were chosen by accla-
Marquis de Soveral, Portugal,
The first meeting of the committee was held on June 22 in one of the council rooms of the Hall of the Knights, which had been set apart by the Government of the Netherlands for the use of the conference. The proceedings were opened by an address from President Beernaert, who had acted as president of the committee charged by the First Peace Conference with the preparation of a code of rules for the conduct of military operations on land. At this session the delegates of China and Switzerland announced the adhesion of their respective Governments to the convention of 1899 in respect to the laws and usages of war on land.
A proposition to apportion the work assigned to the committee among two subcommittees was adopted, and the following assignment of subjects was unanimously approved: To the First Subcommittee, under the presidency of M. Beernaert :
Modifications in the rules governing the operations of war
on land; b. The declarations of 1899; To the Second Subcommittee, under the presidency of M. Asser:
The rights and duties of neutrals on land;
d. The opening of hostilities. Col. Eugene Borel, a distinguished officer of the Swiss General Staff, was charged by the committee with the exacting and responsible duties of rapporteur.
THE OPENING OF HOSTILITIES
The convention concerning the opening of hostilities applies to naval operations as well as to land warfare. It was therefore made a separate convention. Nevertheless the matter is too closely connected with the convention for the rules of war on land to pass it by without remark in that connection.
At the first session of the Second Committee a paper was read by Major-General Yermoloff, the Russian military delegate, in which the attention of the committee was drawn to the important subject of hostilities without declaration. At the same session the following proposition was submitted by the delegation of France:
I. The contracting powers acknowledge that hostilities between them ought not to begin without a previous and unequivocal warning, which shall take the form of a justificatory declaration of war, or of an ultimatum accompanied by a conditional declaration of war;
II. Neutral powers should be advised without delay of the existence of a state of war.
Although it is well established that war is a question of fact rather than of intention, that a state of war dates from the commission of a particular act of hostility, and that the necessity for a formal declaration no longer exists, it was the view of the committee, and subsequently of the conference, that the subject proposed by the French delegation was not only worthy of serious consideration, but, on account of its important and far-reaching effects upon the relations of both belligerent and neutral powers, stood in need, in some degree at least, of conventional regulation.
It did not escape the attention of the delegation of the United States that a general proposition the effect of which was to restrict or modify in its exercise a power vested in Congress by the Constitution was one which exceeded the treaty-making power. For that reason it was deemed wise to submit the following declaration in behalf of the delegation, with a view to make clear the limitations which are imposed upon its activity in the Constitution of the United States:
The delegation of the United States, while agreeing heartily with what has been said in respect to the opening of hostilities, thinks it desirable to invite the attention of the committee to the provision of the Federal Constitution which confers upon Congress the exclusive power to declare war, in the following terms:
“ The Congress shall have power to declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water.”
A power conferred by the Constitution is not susceptible of regulation or modification by law or treaty — in other words, it is independent of the legislative and treaty-making power. For that reason it is obvious that the delegates plenipotentiary of the United States find it impossible to support a proposition which is calculated to modify or diminish a power vested, by the Federal Constitution, in the legislative department of the Government.
While this is true as to aggressive military operations, it proper to say, however, that it has been the unbroken practice of the Government of the United States for more than a century to recognize in the President, as the Commander-in-Chief of the constitutional land and naval forces, full power to defend the territory of the United States from invasion, and to exercise at all times and in all places the right of national self-defense.
It was then announced, in behalf of the delegation of the United States, that it was willing to support a proposition, nonmandatory in character, favoring a formal declaration of intent to engage in hostilities.
After an exhaustive discussion of the matter from all points of view in which the important, and, to some extent, conflicting interests of both belligerents and neutrals were fully considered, the following text was approved by the committee and adopted by the conference:
I. The contracting powers acknowledge that hostilities between them ought not to commence without a previous and unequivocal notice, which shall take the form of a justificatory declaration of war or an ultimatum accompanied by a conditional declaration of
II. Neutral powers should be advised without delay of the existence of a state of war, which shall not be operative as to them until after the receipt of a formal notice, which may be given by telegraph. It is also understood that neutral powers may not take advantage of the absence of such notification if it be established, in an unmistakable manner, that they have actual knowledge of the existence of a state of war.
MODIFICATION OF THE RULES AND USAGES OF WAR ON LAND
The history of the development of the rules of war on land has been traced in a former number of this JOURNAL.1 As formulated in the convention of July 29, 1899, these rules have been subjected to the crucial test of application to the actual operations of modern war, under conditions calculated to develop any inherent elements of weakness which they were found to contain. It is a tribute to the high character of Dr. Lieber's work, and to the painstaking