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ican Republics a plan was prepared under which loans would be furnished for the purpose of paying off past indebtednesses and supplying funds for internal improvements, especially for the building of railways upon which stable conditions and development in these countries so largely depend. A treaty of the United States with Honduras for this purpose was signed on January 10th; with Nicaragua, on June 6th. These treaties provide that if a loan is to be made to the respective government, it is to be secured on the customs revenues. A collector-general is to be appointed by the debtor government from a list of names presented by the fiscal agent of the loan and approved by the President of the United States. The fiscal agent shall make an annual report to the Department of State and to the government of the respective country. “The United States will afford such protection as will be requisite.” These treaties were submitted to the United States Senate for approval, but were not acted upon during the year.
Further attention was given to the affairs of Liberia. An agreement was arrived at between the United States and the chief creditor nations. A new loan is to be issued for the payment of indebtednesses and the making of improvements; security for it is to be afforded in the import and export duties, the head tax, and the rubber tax. An American collectorgeneral is to administer the revenue, assisted by a British, a German, and a French collector. In administrative decisions these shall each have one vote, but in the case of a tie the American collector-general is to be entitled to two votes. American inspectors are to organize the frontier police.
The Alsop claim, so long pending between the United States and Chile, was at last settled by award of the King of Great Britain, represented by a commission headed by Earl Desart, which decided that the claimants are entitled to judgment in the sum of 2,275,375 Bolivianos ($887,000).
The Canadian Reciprocity Bill was after much public discussion adopted by the House of Representatives and (July 22d) by the Senate. The policy of this measure engaged the attention of Canada during the elections in September and the
Canadian parties had taken a definite stand upon this question. So, although other matters also were involved in the election, the victory of a Conservative Party meant that a Reciprocity bill would not be passed by the Canadian Parliament, for the time being. This virtually put an end to the efforts to place the commercial relations with our northern neighbors upon a more natural basis through joint action of Congress and the Canadian Parliament.
The informal announcement by President Taft of his desire to have an unlimited arbitration treaty adopted by Great Britain and the United States, was followed on May 17th by the submission of drafts of a general arbitration treaty by the Department of State to the Governments of Great Britain and of France. Negotiations for a similar treaty were also carried on with the German government. On May 23d, Sir Edward Grey made a speech in Guild Hall in which he pledged his hearty support to the idea of unlimited arbitration between England and America. On August 3d the arbitration treaties were signed in Washington and Paris and then sent to the Senate. As objections were made to the treaties they were not acted upon during the year. The treaties provide that all questions which may arise between the respective countries are to be settled by arbitration, but that, if either party should maintain that the question at issue is not "justiciable" in its nature, a preliminary decision shall be made upon this point by a commission composed in equal parts of nationals of the two powers. If this commission decides the question to be "justiciable,” it shall be submitted to arbitration. A treaty has been concluded between the United States and Great Britain for the arbitration of a great number of special claims which have arisen since 1812.
A diplomatic conference was held at Washington for the devising of means to control pelagic seal fishing. The conference, composed of representatives of the United States, Great Britain, Russia and Japan, on July 7th signed a convention under which seal fishing is to be entirely prohibited on the high seas, that is, at a distance of more than three nautical
miles from shore. Offenders against this prohibition may be seized by the representatives of any of the treaty powers, but must be delivered to the nearest authorized official of their own nation, to whom the right of trial and punishment is reserved. Ratifications of the sealing convention were exchanged at Washington on December 12th.
The concession of the Ottoman American Development Company (the Chester Project) remained before the Turkish Parliament throughout the year, but has not yet been ratified. The concession provides for railways to be constructed from the Gulf of Alexandretta into the interior of Turkish Asia, to the Lake of Wan and to the Persian frontier. The concession is modelled upon the American railway grants and includes mining rights and land concessions lying in a belt along the projected railway.
The development of the affairs of the Panama Canal included many considerations of an international nature. During the earlier part of the year the right to fortify the canal was discussed in Congress, and a decision was arrived at that such fortification was to be undertaken by the American Government. Towards the end of the year the question of canal tolls attracted attention. In his message of December 21st President Taft suggested that Congress adopt a system of remitting to American ships the toll rates charged for passage through the Canal. To this was added the suggestion of the Secretary of the Treasury that a fund be provided by Congress out of which tolls paid by American vessels can be remitted. As under the Hay-Pauncefote treaty we have engaged ourselves in matters of the Canal, to give the ships of all nationalities equal treatment with our own, any remission of tolls to American vessels will be regarded by foreign nations as a breach of our engagement in spirit, whatever form it may be given. By our action in this matter the value of our national professions and engagements will be judged by the world. It is important that the questions of ship subsidy and of canal tolls should be dealt with separately.
Cause for serious dissatisfaction had long been given by the Russian government through its treatment of American
citizens of the Jewish race, who, provided with American passports, have attempted to travel in Russia. This treatment was not confined to persons born in Russia, who had become naturalized in the United States, but also to Jewish Americans who had never owed allegiance to Russia. As continued representations had proven fruitless in securing for American citizens their rights, President Taft in December denounced the treaty of the United States with Russia of the year 1832, so that now according to its terms it will lapse on January 1st, 1913. A resolution was passed by the Senate in which the action of the Executive was endorsed. Negotions are to be taken up for the conclusion of a new treaty more in accord with present conditions. The position of the United States Government in offering resistance to the oppressive action of Russia was very favorably commented upon in the European press.
A conference of the Central American Union was held at the city of Guatemala in January. It adopted a resolution looking to the establishment of various educational institutions in the different republics of Central America, the establishment of free trade, and the opening of the privilege of carrying on the coasting trade to citizens of all the Central American Republics. According to a treaty signed on May 17th, the long disputed boundary between Costa Rica and Panama is to be determined by arbitration. A treaty for the arbitration of all questions of a legal nature not affecting vital interest was ratified by the representatives of the United States and Brazil on July 26th. The investigation of the boundary between Bolivia and Peru, on behalf of the arbitration commission which is to decide this matter, proceeded throughout the year 1911. After the refusal on the part of Ecuador to submit her boundary dispute with Peru to arbitration by the Hague Tribunal, negotiations continued between the two contestants and the United States government with the view to arranging with the latter a final disposal of the controversy. In December an arrangement
was arrived at between the government of Paraguay and a group of European bankers, by which a loan of 25 million francs is to be furnished to the Republic; of this amount three fifths will be subscribed by French capitalists. On account of a large floating indebtedness, and the indemnities claimed against Paraguay by Brazil and Argentina as a consequence of the war of 1867, Paraguay has hitherto experienced great difficulty in securing funds abroad; the present loan therefore means an entirely new departure in the financial and general development of the Republic. A Pan-American commercial conference was held at Washington at the Pan-American Union from February 13th to 18th, upon which occasion commercial conditions and relations were discussed by experts.
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES AND INTERNATIONAL LAW
A conference to discuss the Manchurian plague and to devise means for its abatement was held at Mukden during April. With respect to practical suggestions to be made, opposition developed between Russia and Japan on the one hand, and China, Great Britain and the United States on the other. At the request of the Chinese Government the final proceedings of the conference were kept secret.
A conference was held at Bern in May, at which the twelve states composing the European Freight Union were represented. The conference considered the adoption of a convention and subsidiary agreements relating to the international transport of travellers and baggage. The Freight Union has operated so successfully during the past twenty years that the creation of a similar arrangement with respect to travellers has repeatedly been suggested. The convention elaborated by the conference is now before the member states for ratification.
On June 2d, the International Conference on Industrial Property closed its sessions at Washington. In addition to the twenty-one states which are members of the Industrial Property Union, twenty other governments were represented. Several modifications of the convention were adopted, bearing upon the