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the Arbitration ? 184 ers were permitted to pervert the privilege of hospi. tality into making a base of operations of Nassau or of Melbourne. The recognized fault in the matter of the Shenandoah was mainly the augmentation of her crew at Melbourne, and the addition of equip. ments, without which she could not have operated as a cruiser in the North Pacific. In the case of the Alabama, and especially that of the Florida, the fault was in allowing them to come and go unmolest. ed, and even favored, in the Colonial ports, when the British Government could no longer pretend to be ignorant of their originally illegal character, nay, when it was now fully aware of what Mr. Adams calls the “continuous, persistent, willful, flagrant falsehood and perjury,” and the “malignant fraud,” which attended the equipment of the Confederate cruisers in Great Britain. It was this class of facts, and not any such secondary consideration as the supply of coal, which turned the scale against Great Britain in the opinions of the Arbitrators.
No: neither the Treaty of Washington, with its Rules, nor the Decision of the Tribunal of Geneva, has inaugurated any new policy of neutrality in the United States, nor created for them any rights or any duties not previously possessed by and incumbent on the Government.
What, then, it may be asked, have the United States gained by the Treaty of Washington, and by
WHAT THE UNITED STATES HAVE GAINED BY THE AWARD.
We have gained the vindication of our rights as a Government; the redress of the wrong done to our citizens; the political prestige, in Europe and America, of the enforcement of our rights against the most powerful State of Christendom; the elevation of maxims of right and of justice into the judgment-seat of the world; the recognition of our theory and polị. cy of neutrality by Great Britain; the honorable conclusion of a long-standing controversy and the extinction of a cause of war between Great Britain and the United States; and the moral authority of having accomplished these great objects without war, by peaceful means, by appeals to conscience and to reason, through the arbitrament of a high international Tribunal. That war, the great curse and scourge of mankind,
, will utterly cease because of the present successful instance of international arbitration, nobody pretends. Questions of national ambition or national resentment.--conflicts of dynastic interest,-schemes of territorial aggrandizement,-nay, deeper causes, resting in superabundant population or other internal facts of malaise, misery and discontent,—will continue to produce wars to the end of time.
"Non, sans doute," says M. de Mazade,-speaking of the acts of the Tribunal,—“la guerre n'est point bannie de ce monde, elle n'est pas remplacée par un tribunal de conciliation faisant rentrer au fourreau les épées impatientes d'en sortir: ce n'est pas moins un événement caractéristique et heureux que le succés de ce tribunal d'équité, de cette sorte de justice internationale."
We, Great Britain and the United States, have in
this matter shown that even a question affecting, or supposed to affect, national honor, may be settled by arbitration; and if we have not effected the establishment of international arbitration as the universal substitute for war, we have co-operated to prove by our example that the largest possible questions between contending Governments are susceptible of being settled by peaceful arbitration. As Lord Ripon truly says, in so doing, we have taken a great step in tủe direction of the dearest of all earthly blessings, the blessing of peace.
Let us hope that other nations may follow in our footsteps. Great Britain, to her honor be it said, has been true in this respect to the engagements she entered into at the Conferences of Paris. If we of the British race are more capable of reasoning in the midst of passion than others, then ours be the glory. In all this, the sacrifices of feeling have been on the side of Great Britain. We owe the acknowledg. ment to her, in all sincerity. Standing, as we now do, side by side, with every cloud of offense removed from between us,—two peoples, as Mr. Gladstone has well said, on whom the seal of brotherhood has been stamped by the hand of the Almighty himself,—we may proudly point in unison to the homage we have both rendered to the cause of peace and humanity in the hall of arbitration at Geneva.
The Treaty goes on to provide, in Articles XII. to XVII. inclusive, that all claims on the part of corporations, companies, or private individuals, citizens of the United States, upon the Government of Great Britain, arising out of acts committed against the persons or property of citizens of the United States, during the period between April 13, 1861, and April 9, 1865, inclusive, not being claims growing out of the acts of the vessels referred to in the previous articles of the Treaty; and all claims, with the like exception, on the part of corporations, companies, or private individuals, subjects of Great Britain, upon the Government of the United States, arising out of acts committed against the persons or property of subjects of Great Britain during the same period, shall be referred to three Commissioners to be appointed, one by each of the two Governments, and the third by the two Governments conjointly: these Commissioners to meet at Washington, there to hear, examine, and decide upon such claims as may be presented to them by either Government.
The stipulation, it will be perceived, does not cover
all existing claims of citizens or subjects of the one Government against the other, but only claims for acts committed against persons or property on either side between certain defined dates,—that is, during the pendency of actual hostilities in the United States. It is a provision, supplementary in effect to the preceding clauses of the Treaty, conceived in the apparent intention of thus closing up all subjects of contention growing out of our Civil War.
The Commission was duly organized by the appointment of Mr. Russell Gurney, Commissioner on the part of Great Britain, and Mr. James S. Frazer, on the part of the United States, and of Count Corti, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of Italy, Commissioner named conjointly by the two Governments.
The Treaty contains detailed provisions for the prosecution of the business before the Commission, to be completed within two years from the day of their first meeting; and the contracting parties engage to consider the decision of the Commissioners absolutely final and conclusive on each claim decided by them, —to give full effect to such decision without any objection, evasion, or delay whatsoever,—and to consider every claim comprehended within the jurisdiction of the Commissioners as finally settled, barred, and thenceforth inadmissible, from and after the conclu. sion of the proceedings of the Commission.
The Commissioners assembled at Washington on the 26th of September, 1871, and are assiduously engaged in the determination of the claims submitted