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look with solicitude on the uneasy relatiousy of the Is. British Government with the United States, and the inconvenience thereof in case of possible complications in Europe. Thus impelled, the Government dispatched to Washington a gentleman, who enjoyed the confidence of both Cabinets, Sir John Rose, to ascertain whether overtures for re-opening negotiations would be received by the President in spirit and terms acceptable to Great Britain.
It was the second time, in the present generation, that the foreign policy of England had been directed by a sense of the importance to her of maintaining good relations with the United States; for, by arguing from that point, France, at the opening of war with Prussia, induced the British Government to de sist from those excessive belligerent pretensions to the prejudice of neutrals, which in former times had served to embroil her with both France and the Unit: ed States.
There is another fact, which, in my opinion, powerfully contributed to induce this overture on the part of the British Government, although it was not spoken of in this connection by Lord Granville. I allude to the President's recommendation to Congress to appoint a commission to audit the claims of American citizens on Great Britain growing out of the acts of Confederate cruisers, in view of having them assumed by the Government of the United States. In this incident there was matter of grave and serious reflection to Great Britain.
On arriving at Washington, Sir John Rose found
the United States disposed to meet with perfect correspondence of good will the advances of the British Government.
OVERTURES BY GREAT BRITAIN.
Accordingly, on the 26th of January, 1871, the British Government, through Sir Edward Thornton, formally proposed to the American Government the appointment of a joint High Commission to hold its sessions at Washington, and therë derise means to settle the various pending questions between the two Governments affecting the British possessions in North America.
To this overture Mr. Fish replied that the President would with pleasure appoint, as invited, Commissioners on the part of the United States, provided the de liberations of the Commissioners should be extended to other differences,—that is to say, to include the differences growing out of incidents of the late Civil War: without which, in his opinion, the proposed Commission would fail to establish those permanent relations of sincere and substantial friendship between the two countries which he, in common with the Queen, desired to have prevail.
The British Government promptly accepted this proposal for enlarging the sphere of the negotiation, with the result, as we have already seen, of the conclusion of the Treaty of Washington.
STIPULATIONS RESPECTING THE ALABAMA CLAIMS. The Treaty begins by describing the differences, which we are now considering, as differences“ grow. ing out of the acts committed by the several vessels, which have given rise to the claims generically known as the Alabama Claims ;" which are further described as “all the said claims growing out of acts committed by the aforesaid vessels, and generically known as the Alabama Claims." : Note that the subject of difference is stated in terms of absolute, although specific, universality, as all the claims on the part of the United States growing out of the acts of certain vessels. No exception is made of any particular claims growing out of those acts. And reference is not made to certain admitted claims by the British Government: on the contrary, it is expressly declared in the Treaty that the “ complaints” and" claims" of the United States, without any discrimination between them," are not admitted by the British Government."
At the same time, the British Coinmissioners, by authority of the Queen, express,“ in a friendly spirit, the regret felt by. Her Majesty's Government for the escape, under whatever circumstances, of the Alabama and other vessels from British ports, and for the depredations committed by those vessels.”
Whereupon,“ in order to remove and adjust all complaints and claims on the part of the United States, and to provide for the speedy settlement of such claims,” the contracting parties agree that all!
the said claims, growing out of acts committed by the aforesaid vessels, and generically known as the Alabama Claims, shall be referred to a Tribunal of Ar. bitration to be composed of five Arbitrators, appoint: ed in the following manner,—namely, one by the President of the United States, and one by the Queen of the United Kingdom, with request to the King of Italy, the President of the Swiss Confederation, and the Emperor of Brazil, each to name an Arbitrator; and, on the omission of either of those personages to act, then with a like request to the King of Sweden and Norway.
The Treaty further provides that the Arbitrators shall meet at Genera, in Switzerland, at the earliest convenient day after they shall have been named, and shall proceed impartially and carefully to examine and decide all questions which shall be laid before them on the part of either Government.
In deciding the matters submitted to the Arbitrators, it is provided that they shall be governed by certain rules, which are agreed upon by the parties as rules to be taken as applicable to the case, and by such principles of international law, not inconsistent therewith, as the Arbitrators shall determine to have been applicable to the case, which rules are as fol. lows:
" A neutral Government is bound
"First, to use due diligence to prevent the fitting out, arming, or equipping, within its jurisdiction, of any vessel which it has reasonable ground to believe is intended to cruise or to carry on war against a Power with which it is at peace; and also to use like diligence to prevent the departure from its ju
risdiction of any vessel intended to cruise or carry on war as above, such vessel having been specially adapted, in whole or in part, within such jurisdiction, to warlike use.
“Secondly, not to permit or suffer either belligerent to make use of its ports or waters as the base of naval operations against the other, or for the purpose of the renewal or augmentation of military supplies or arms, or the recruitment of men.
Thirdly, to exercise due diligence in its own ports and waters, and, as to all persons within its jurisdiction, to prevent any violation of the foregoing obligations and duties.”
Great Britain, it is added in the Treaty by way of explanation, can not assent to the foregoing rules as a statement of principles of international law, which were actually in force at the time when the claims in question arose; but, in order to evince her desire of strengthening the friendly relations between the two countries, and of making satisfactory provision for the future, she agrees that, in deciding the questions arising out of such claims, the Arbitrators should assume that she had undertaken to act upon the principles set forth in these rules.
And the Parties proceed to stipulate to observe these rules as between themselves in the future, and to bring them to the knowledge of other maritime Powers, and to invite the latter to accede thereto.
In respect of procedure, the Treaty provides that each of the two Parties shall name one person to attend the Tribunal as its agent or representative; that the written or printed case of each of the two Parties, accompanied by the documents, the official correspondence, and other evidence on which each relies, shall be delivered in duplicate to each of the