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that his uncle undermined. Germany claimed an interest in the settlement of Morocco, and refused to allow France a free hand. The relations of the two countries became strained and to prevent possible disagreeable consequences it was finally agreed that the great powers should go into conference on Moroccan affairs. France yielded to Germany and consented to take from the powers what she would have taken alone.
On joint invitation of France and Germany the conference met at Algeciras in Spain on January 16, 1906, to consider a programme arranged in advance and agreed upon by the powers chiefly concerned.
Inasmuch as the United States was a party to the protection convention of 1880 at Madrid (Treaties in Force, 1904, pp. 561-567; and see 2 Moore's Internationa ILaw Digest, 748–751), an invitation was extended to this conference, and the United States was represented at Algeciras
by Mr. Henry White, ambassador to Italy (recently designated as 2
ambassador to France), and Mr. Samuel R. Gummere, American minister to Morocco.
American interests in Morocco are not extensive, platonic rather than business like, but the United States was interested in the conference, namely, that an agreement should be reached by the powers; that in such agreement the open door policy should prevail and that religious and racial intolerance should find no place. It is perhaps not wide of the truth to say that the American representative played the modest but not unimportant role of the fly-wheel.
After a session of three months an agreement was reached April 7, 1906.
The two questions of supreme importance before the convention were police organization and financial reform. France and Germany compromised their differences on the question of police regulation, by the terms of which France and Spain are entrusted for a period of five years with the maintenance of order in Moroccan ports.
For the regulation of financial reform, it was agreed that the bank of Morocco be established at Tangier under international control and supervision; that France have three shares and that each of the signatory powers have a single share; and that the bank itself be supervised by four censors, appointed respectively by the banks of France, Germany, Great Britain and Spain.
Before the agreement to a conference a feeling prevailed quite generally that France was being crowded by Germany and it was known that the policy of France had the approval of Great Britain. (Declaration Respecting Egypt and Morocco, between Great Britain and France, signed April 8, 1904.) It was a foregone conclusion that the FrancoRussian entente would manifest itself in a matter in which Russia had no special interest. The attitude of Italy was not so easy to predict, because Italy was thwarted in its policy of African expansion by the establishment of a French protectorate in Tunis in 1881. But in the conference the Latin made common cause with the Gaul against the Teuton. The Teutons Austria and Germany stood together.
It would seem that the isolation of Sedan is past and that the powers of Europe are forming new alignments. The accession of King Edward has resulted in an Anglo-French entente of April 8, 1904, which has signalized itself by the settlement of outstanding difficulties in Newfoundland and by a recognition of the permanency of the British occupation of Egypt. An Italian rapprochement is likewise evident, and it would seem that the third republic is obtaining a standing in the world.
The influence and disinterestness of the United States in the Algeciras, conference are nowhere better stated than in the speech of Prince von Bülow in the Reichstag, on November 14, 1906:
In regard to our relations with America, the majority of this House will support me in the statement that Germany and America belong to those nations which, both upon natural and historical grounds, should have mutually good relations with each other. Our frontier lines do not touch each other; our general interests tend in the same direction; our commercial interests make it necessary that we should each use conciliatory means and that we should arrive at a mutually good understanding; and if these two conditions be met, it seems to me that upon these grounds an agreement is not in any sense impossible.
I wish to avail myself of this opportunity to declare that we have reason to be grateful to America for its attitude at the conference of Algeciras. America took, by reason of its less important interest, an attitude of reserve. It maintained its neutral position throughout, but its distinguished and highly respected representative, Mr. White, omitted no opportunity to remove difficulties and to aid toward an agreement which should be satisfying to all the parties in interest. That was a great service which America rendered to the peace of the world, because the failure of the conference of Algeciras would not only have broken the relations between Germany and France, but would have disturbed the general political situation in the world, and would have introduced a disturbing and threatening element into the politics of all nations.
This was the second great service which America rendered to the peace of the world, the first being the reëstablishment of peace between Japan and Russia.
LAKE MOHONK CONFERENCE ON INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION, 1906
The report of the twelfth annual meeting of the Lake Mohonk conference on international arbitration, held at Lake Mohonk, New York, May 30 to June 1, 1906, has been recently published and from it the unanimous platform and resolutions of the conference are taken.
PLATFORM—At the present time it is important that public attention should be concentrated upon the second Hague conference soon to assemble. We hope and believe that the beneficial results of the former conference will be equaled and perhaps surpassed by further deliberation in the land of Grotius, upon the principles of international law and the best methods for the pacific settlement of international difficulties.
Especially we hope that the second Hague conference will elaborate and propose a plan by which like conferences may be held at stated periods, and that in the intervals appropriate officers may be maintained at the Hague so that these conferences may become a permanent and recognized advisory congress of the nations.
A general arbitration treaty to be formulated by the Hague conference, is most desirable and will doubtless be accepted by all or nearly all the countries represented in the conference.
Among other subjects of immediate importance the many unsettled questions arising out of maritime warfare, including the exemption of private property from seizure at sea and the neutralization of ocean routes, are respectfully commended to the consideration of the Hague conference.
As the general restriction of armaments can only be secured by concurrent international action, unanimously recommended by the British House of Commons, we earnestly hope that this subject will receive careful and favorable consideration.
While we shall welcome any action taken by the coming Hague conference in the way of clearly defining the rights and obligations of belligerents as to each other and as to neutrals; of lessening the horrors of war, and of giving increased stability and protection to the Red Cross movement; it is our hope that the conference will remember that it is consecrated to the great work of ending as well as softening war, and of subjecting the relations of nations to the dominion of law rather than force.
Resolved, That the twelfth annual Lake Mohonk conference on international arbitration respectfully petitions President Roosevelt to instruct the delegates from the United States to the next Hague conference to urge that body to give favorable consideration to three measures which will greatly conduce to the peace and welfare of the world:
A plan by which the Hague conference may become a permanent and recognized congress of the nations with advisory powers;
A general arbitration treaty for the acceptance of all the nations;
A plan for the restriction of armaments and if possible for their reduction by concurrent international action.
THE PEACE OF THE MARBLEHEAD
In 1905 President Roosevelt earned the world's gratitude by persuading Russia and Japan to end the bloodshed in Manchuria by a fair and full discussion of the questions at issue. The result of these protracted conferences was the Peace of Portsmouth.
In a lesser degree but in no different spirit the United States appeared as a pacifier in the affairs of Central America. This time the president did not act alone but was seconded in every respect by President Diaz of Mexico.
If it is perhaps too much to say with Dr. Franklin that a bad peace is better than a successful war, it is certain that a fair and just peace is better than all wars put together.
The facts of the case are few and simple. In May of 1906, a revolt broke out in Guatemala against the government of President Cabrera. Now this would seem to be a matter solely for the enlightened or misguided patriots of Guatemala. A glance at the map, however, shows how easily a rebellion can be aided from the border of a neighboring state. San Salvador was accused of helping the rebels, and as it is so much easier to strike a blow than to ascertain truth and act wisely and justly, war resulted between the two neighbors. But Guatemala has another neighbor on the south-Honduras—and nothing was more natural or easier than to embroil Honduras in the struggle. This was done by a party of Guatemalans who invaded Honduras. The result was that Guatemala found itself at fisticuffs with San Salvador and Honduras, with a fair chance of involving directly or indirectly the remaining states of Central America.
To prevent this President Roosevelt and President Diaz coöperated in extending their good offices which were accepted by the belligerents on July 16. Two days later an armistice was declared, and under the personal guidance of the American and Mexican ministers, representatives of the jarring factions were got on board the Marblehead, an American cruiser, which promptly steamed beyond the three-mile line so as to be on the high seas. Whether the calm of the ocean, or the sweet reasonableness of peace dawned upon the representatives, or whether finally they were overcome by mal de mer, incident to life upon the high seas, is perhaps a matter of no great moment. The fact is that on the 20th an agreement was reached and signed by Guatemala, San Salvador and Honduras, providing for the establishment of peace, the withdrawal of military forces within three days, an exchange of prisoners, the negotiation within two months of a treaty of friendship, commerce, navigation, and the reference of future differences to arbitration by the presidents of the United States and Mexico.
This agreement had the moral sanction of Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
In accordance with the provisions of the Marblehead treaty, a conference of Central American representatives met, September 15 to 25, in San José under the presidency of Luis Anderson, minister of foreign affairs for Costa Rica.
This resulted in (1) a general treaty of peace and friendship, arbitration, commerce, extradition, etc., signed September 25; (2) a convention for the establishment of an international Central American bureau at Guatemala, signed September 25; and (3) a convention for the establishment of a pedagogical institute of Central America, under the general control of Costa Rica, dated September 24.
There can be no doubt that the energetic action of the United States and Mexico prevented what might have been a prolonged struggle. Disastrous it must have been, for war-whether it be on a large or a small scale-is an evil and is only tolerable when unavoidable.
The happy and joint actions of Presidents Roosevelt and Diaz show the vast influence for peace that our larger states possess and the result of this peaceable intervention shows power to be not a danger but a means of unmixed good if wisely used.
MR. ROOT's SOUTH AMERICAN TRIP
The presence of the Honorable Elihu Root, secretary of state, at the third international conference at Rio de Janeiro, on July 31, 1906, and his prolonged visit to the sister republics of the south was an event of more than passing interest, and while it is impossible to estimate accurately at this moment its effect upon the relation of the North to the South, it is little less than a moral certainty that the visit in itself and the friendliness everywhere evidenced will draw the republics into closer relations.
The lack of personal knowledge keeps nations as well as individuals apart and Mr. Root pointed out time and again in his addresses the necessity of personal acquaintance as a prerequisite to friendly and confidential relations; that while commerce was not sentimental it nevertheless flourishes in an atmosphere of friendship and confidence.
In an address delivered July 22, 1906, at Pernambuco, Brazil, Mr. Root declared it to be “the chief function of an ambassador from one country to another to interpret to the people to whom he goes the people from whom he comes." And in this broad and accurate sense of the word Mr. Root interpreted the friendliness of the people of the United States to the peoples of South America, and communicated the hope of every American that the governments of the South American republics may be firmly established upon the basis of law, order and popular desire and that the prosperity of the republics may be unbroken.
Mr. Root pointed out repeatedly that the full development of the material resources of the South could only follow in the wake of law, order and justice; that railroads and manufacturers required the inflow of capital, and that the United States not only wished them well, but that the people of the United States were sincerely desirous to contribute financially and materially to the republics of the South.