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that members of the Association will wish to have it postponed even for a moment. But there is a report from the Committee on International Law which will have to be submitted at some time and upon which no debate will arise, as the committee makes no recommendations for action by the Association. It occurred to me, if no objection was made, that it might be presented now before the regular business of the evening is
I will state briefly on behalf of the committee that, following our usual practice, we have dealt with the progress that has been made and the questions that have arisen in international law during the year. The first of those questions arose upon the action of the administration in negotiating general arbitration treaties. The Association will remember that at the last meeting in St. Louis, joining with other bodies which had taken action in the matter, we passed resolutions urging upon the Senate to ratify those treaties. When the treaties came up for action, an amendment was adopted by the Senate which radically changed their effect. They authorized the President, in any particular case coming under the language of the treaty, to draw up and submit what is known in the treaty as agreement--what is in the French text of the Hague Convention a compromise, which is nothing in the world but an agreed statement for submission to the arbitral tribunal. The Senate struck that word out and substituted the word “ treaty." The effect of this amendment would be to require the consent of the Senate to every particular arbitration in the future. That amendment the administration declined to recognize, and accordingly the treaties fell.
Now, the committee has considered the question of law as to whether or not it is competent for the President, with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make a general arbitration treaty. Let me note, in passing, that if the United States has not this power, it is the only government which has it not. The report calls attention to the fact that the very first arbitration treaty made by the United States, the Jay treaty of 1794 with Great
Britain, provided for three arbitral tribunals which were to pass upon three separate classes of claims or questions, not referring any specific question to any one of them, but providing for a decision of various classes of questions by a court created by the treaty. We then draw attention to the fact that was called to your attention also this morning in the very interesting address that we heard from Mr. Hemenway; that is to say, that the Supreme Court has held from the beginning that where power is given in the Constitution in general terms it is not to be limited by construction. It was under that doctrine that the Supreme Court held, as Mr. Hemenway pointed out, in the case of American Insurance Company vs. Cantor,' that we could acquire territory by treaty. Nothing is said in the Constitution of the special acquisition of territory, but the court held that, the general power to make a treaty being given, it was competent for the President and Senate, by means of that treaty, to acquire foreign territory.
Without going into the details of the authorities upon that subject, to which attention is called in the report, we come to the conclusion that, inasmuch as the Constitution sets no limit to the character of a treaty, it is competent for the President, with the advice and consent of the Senate, to negotiate a treaty which shall provide for submission to an arbitral tribunal of a general class of cases; and that under such a treaty, which then becomes the supreme law of the land, the President has power to submit any particular case to the tribunal referred to in the treaty. We draw special attention to the great Hague Convention. We are glad to have this opportunity of bringing specially to the attention of the Association again the fact that this great convention does provide a supreme international court; a court composed of members as distinct and as ascertained as the Supreme Court of the United States; a court which has a clerk, which has a regular system of procedure, and which is always open for the transaction of business. The object, as we consider it, of a general arbitration treaty is to
11 Peters 511.
put the United States of America in the position that when a question within the terms of the treaty comes up between this government and another government it should be competent for the President to direct the Attorney-General to make up a statement of our claim and submit it to that court. It seems to us that, on the whole, it is very much in the public interest that such should be the law as between us and other countries. And we call attention to the fact that in the great excitement that prevailed both in England and Russia over the Dogger Bank incident-an incident certainly which was calculated to excite the passions of the English people-provision was already made for a tribunal to which that matter could be at once referred under the provisions of the Hague Convention, and that in that way, without the negotiation of a new treaty, which would hardly have been possible in the excited state of public feeling, the whole matter was settled in a way that has given satisfaction to both nations.
That was a great triumph of the principle of international arbitration. We conclude that part of our report by calling attention to the fact that Sir John MacDonald, in his very interesting recent article on the subject, has said that the great international achievement of the nineteenth century is the creation of this international court and the development of a system of international arbitration, which has settled inany hundreds of controversies that in former years would have given rise to war, and settled them with as much satisfaction to the litigants as the decisions of our ordinary courts of justice. We know that those are sometimes not entirely satisfactory to the litigants. So, when we hear a certain amount of dissatisfaction expressed at the decision of an arbitral tribunal, we cannot say that it is altogether surprising. That is the report which the committee have made and which we submit for the consideration of the Association ; and I move, sir, that it be accepted.
Leonard A. Jones, of Massachusetts :
Robert D. Benedict, of New York :
Is it understood that the approval of this report is not requested? If it is to carry the weight of the approval of the Association, then I think there will be some discussion.
The Chair understands the motion to be simply that the report be received and filed.
Everett P. Wheeler :
I perhaps ought to say, in view of Mr. Benedict's remarks, that the by-laws of the Association forbid any action by the Association unless notice has been given to the members in a certain prescribed way. The committee were not able to come to their conclusions in time to get the report printed and distributed fifteen days before this meeting, and therefore we are not able to ask for any affirmative action at this time.
The question is on receiving and filing the report of the Committee on International Law. The motion was adopted.
(See the Report in the Appendix.) Henry H. Ingersoll, of Tennessee :
Mr. President, I desire to offer a brief resolution which will not require any discussion. The resolution is as follows:
Resolved, That the American Bar Association hereby expresses its grateful sense of appreciation of the liberal hospitality of the Rhode Island Bar Association in the entertainment enjoyed in the sail upon the waters of Narragansett Bay this afternoon, for which will be cherished pleasant memories by the members of this Association.
P. W. Meldrim, of Georgia :
I second the resolution, and ask that it be adopted by a rising vote.
The resolution was adopted by a rising vote.
Mr. President, I have another resolution which will take but a moment. I wish to remind the Association that one of
the duties we have taken upon ourselves is the teaching to the rising generation of lawyers a proper system of legal ethics. I think I have heard today one of the clearest, most classic and beautiful expositions of that topic I ever had the pleasure of listening to, and therefore I submit this resolution and move its adoption :
Resolved, That in appreciation of the noble sentiments of the annual address of Mr. Alfred Hemenway, and in furtherance of the duty of the American Bar Association to communicate to the law students of America a faithful expression of legal ethics and lofty professional ideals, the Secretary is hereby authorized by this Association to publish and distribute to the law colleges of the United States for the use of their students 10,000 copies of said address.
A. J. McCrary, of New York :
I think that resolution should properly be referred to the Executive Committee, and I offer a motion to that effect.
Everett P. Wheeler, of New York:
The motion referring the resolution to the Executive Committee was adopted.
It gives me very great pleasure now to present the Honorable Richard L. Hand, of the State of New York, the distinguished President of the New York State Bar Association, who will now address us.
Richard L. IIand, of New York:
Mr. President and gentlemen of the American Bar Association: Your kindly reception is very grateful to me as an expression of esteem for the society which I may be presumed in some sense to represent, and I very glad of any evidence that the New York State Bar Association, notwithstanding its misfortunes of last January, still has a hold upon your regard.
It is an honor to address this august assemblage of representative and distinguished lawyers from every part of the