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care which was given to its adaptation to the necessities of modern warfare, by the First Peace Conference, that it was found necessary to modify but eleven of the original articles, and to add but three paragraphs to the code as adopted by the conference of 1899.

The amended articles will be discussed in their numerical order.


This article relates to the composition of the forces which may be employed in the conduct of military operations on land. An amendment was submitted by the delegation of Germany, which provided that the forces hastily organized by a state, with a view to resist a threatened invasion of its territory, should wear a distinguishing mark or badge, easily recognizable at a distance, the design of which should be formally notified to the opposing belligerent. After some discussion the amendment was withdrawn and a clause was adopted providing that such levies should carry arms openly and should respect the laws and customs of war in the conduct of their military operations, so that the amended article reads:

ARTICLE 2. The inhabitants of an unoccupied territory who, on the approach of an enemy, spontaneously take up arms in order to repel the invading troops, without having had time to organize in accordance with article i, shall be considered as a belligerent if they bear arms openly and respect the laws and customs of warfare.

Article 2, both in its original and amended forms, is conceived in the interest of those states which habitually maintain small permanent establishments, and who insist upon the right, at the outbreak of war, of employing a considerable portion of their armsbearing population in the defense of their territory against invasion. It has been seen that the amendment embodies the requirement that forces so raised shall carry arms openly and shall conduct their operations in conformity to the accepted rules and usages of war.


This article contains those provisions of the code which are intended to regulate the internment of prisoners in time of war. Internment is a measure involving a minimum of restraint upon the freedom of movement of those who are subjected to its operation, and is the normal status of prisoners of war. Confinement is a more rigorous form of detention and, according to the terms of the article, can only be resorted to by a captor in a case in which such a measure of restraint is warranted by the conduct of a particular prisoner; as where there has been serious misconduct, repeated attempts to escape, violation of a parole given, or the like; or where a prisoner is held awaiting trial for a criminal offense. As amended by the committee the article reads:

ARTICLE 5. Prisoners of war may be subjected to internment in a city, fortress, camp, or other place, and may be required not to go beyond certain fixed limits. However, they shall not be confined except as an indispensable measure of safety, and then only during the continuance of the circumstances which necessitate this measure.



Two slight modifications are introduced in this article; one in paragraph 1 exempts commissioned officers from its general operation; the second, in paragraph 3, furnishes a more exact scale of compensation than was provided in the original article, so that the article now reads as follows:

ARTICLE 6. A government may employ prisoners of war, except officers, as laborers, according to their grade or aptitude. The labor shall not be excessive and shall have no connection with the war operations.

Prisoners of war may be permitted to work for the benefit of public departments or private parties, or for their own benefit.

Labor performed for the government shall be paid for according to the schedules in force for soldiers of the national army performing the same labor, or, if there is no such schedule, then at rates commensurate with the work performed.

This change was made upon the representation of several delegates that the laws and regulations of the states which they represented made no provision for the compensation of prisoners of war for services rendered to the captor state, or to individuals or corporations with the consent of that government.

2 Changes in or additions to the text of the articles of 1899 are indica ted in italics.


The requirements of article 14, in respect to the bureau of information, have been found to some extent defective; this for the reason that inadequate provision is made for the keeping of the records of individual prisoners of war, or for the disposition of these records at the conclusion of peace.

This defect has been remedied by the following amendments:

ARTICLE 14. A bureau of information regarding prisoners of war shall be established in each of the belligerent states at the beginning of hostilities, as well as in any neutral countries which may have received belligerents in their territory. This bureau shall answer all inquiries made concerning the prisoners, and shall receive from the several branches of the service all data regarding internments, transfers, releases on parole, exchanges, escapes, entries into hospitals, deaths, and other information necessary in order to prepare and keep up to date an individual descriptive card for each prisoner of war. The bureau should keep on this card the matriculation number, name, age, place of residence, grade, regiment or corps, wounds, date and place of capture, date of internment, wounding or death, as well as all special entries. Upon the conclusion of peace the descriptive card shall be delivered to the government of the other belligerent.

It shall also be the duty of the information bureau to gather and keep together all articles of personal use, valuable papers, letters, etc., which are found on the fields of battle or left behind by prisoners released on parole, erchanged, or escaping, or dying in hospitals or ambulances, and to transmit them to the interested parties.

The purpose of the foregoing amendments is to require the belligerent to keep an accurate record of each prisoner of war in its hands, with a view to the completion of his individual history in the proper office or bureau of the government under whose flag

he serves.


The original article involved an application of the principle of reciprocity, and provided that a commissioned officer who occupies the status of a prisoner of war should receive such portion of his monthly pay as was allowed by his own government to prisoners of war in its custody. As there has been found to be considerable variation in these rates of allowance, and as some governments

among them that of the United States — make no provision for such a case, it was deemed proper to allow pay to each officer at a rate corresponding to his rank and grade in the service of the captor; that government to be reimbursed for payments made to prisoners of war in conformity to the requirements of the conventional stipulation. As so modified the article reads:

ARTICLE 17. Officers who become prisoners shall receive the pay to which officers of the same grade are entitled in the country where they are being detained, the amount to be repaid by their government.


In this article a number of acts are described to which neither belligerent is permitted to resort in the conduct of his military operations. It was the well-understood purpose of the convention of 1899 to impose certain reasonable and wholesome restrictions upon the authority of commanding generals and their subordinates in the theater of belligerent activity. It is more than probable that this humane and commendable purpose would fail of accomplishment if a military commander conceived it to be within his authority to suspend or nullify their operation, or to regard their application in certain cases as a matter falling within his administrative discretion. Especially is this true where a military officer refuses to receive well-grounded complaints, or declines to receive demands for redress, in respect to the acts or conduct of the troops under his command, from persons subject to the jurisdiction of the enemy who find themselves, for the time being, in the territory which he holds in military occupation. To provide against such a contingency it was deemed wise to add an appropriate declaratory clause to the prohibitions of article 23:

ARTICLE 23. Besides the prohibitions established by special conventions, it is particularly forbidden :

(h) To declare extinguished, suspended, or barred the rights and choses in action of the nationals of the adversary.

The experience gained in the practical application of the rules of war adopted by the conference of 1899 has made it apparent that the limitations imposed in that undertaking upon the authority of an invading belligerent, in the matter of requiring services from the population of the territory in his military occupation, were not expressed with sufficient clearness to assure to the population of the invaded district that immunity from the operations of war which it was the purpose of its framers to secure.

With a view to apply a remedy to this state of affairs, and to make clear the humane requirements of the original convention, a clause was adopted in committee with a view to impose an additional restraint upon the power of belligerents in that regard. The new regulation is conceived in the following terms:

A belligerent is also prohibited from compelling the subjects of the adversary to take part in military operations against their country, even in case they were in his service before the commencement of the war.


This article, in its original form, forbade belligerents to bombard towns, villages, dwelling places, or buildings which were not garrisoned or defended. The act forbidden was a bombardment with cannon of the types habitually used in field or siege operations. In view of the increased employment of balloons in military operations, it was believed to be not only prudent, but in the highest degree expedient, to give such an extension to its terms as to include within the scope of the prohibition a possible resort to balloons, or airships, as agencies of aggressive attack. This purpose was accomplished by adding the words “whatever be the means employed,” so that the amended article reads:

ARTICLE 25. It is forbidden to attack or bombard undefended cities, villages, dwellings, or buildings, whatever be the means employed.


It is the purpose of the amended article to secure to historical monuments the same measure of protection from the vicissitudes of siege operations that is accorded to the classes of structures which are named in the original convention. To that end the proper

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