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moval of all obstacles to the free action of the Tribunal, and commenting on the political relations of the Treaty of Washington, preparatory to the consideration of the other questions submitted to the Arbitrators.
SEAT OF THE ARBITRATION. And here, before proceeding to explain and to discuss the subsequent acts of the Tribunal, it seems convenient to pause, in order to speak of the scene of action and of the Tribunal, to which the eyes of all nations were attracted, and especially those of the people of England and of America.
It was most fit and proper to select Switzerland as the country, and Geneva as the city, in which to hold the sessions of the Tribunal.
In fact, Switzerland, at the same time that it is the land of hospitality, inviting the frequentation of all the world by its picturesque scenery, the beauty and sublimity of its lakes and mountains, is also the land of neutrality par excellence. No other country possesses in the same degree these qualities conjoined. In no other country was it possible to avoid all invidious local suspicion, and to be exempt from any possible political influence foreign to the objects of the Arbitration.
The selection was peculiarly agreeable to the United States, by reason of the striking similarity between our institutions and those of Switzerland. Both Governments cultivate a policy of international neutrality: the one, by reason of its isolation and re
moteness from the Old World, and the other because of its geographical position in the midst of the great military Powers of Europe. Both Governments are federal; and Switzerland, not content with those modifications of her system of government adopted in the year 1848, which did so much to assimilate her political organization to that of the United States, now manifests the purpose to amend that Constitution so as to make it still more like to ours. In both countries the force of public life pervades society like the blood in the human system, so that every citizen is an active member of the Republic. Hence it is impossible to an intelligent American to avoid entertaining warm sympathy for the Swiss Confederation.
Geneva is a cosmopolitan city, — situated in the very heart of Europe,—distinguished for the intelligence of its inhabitants and their love of liberty. It is city, in respect of the commodities of life: it is country, in so far as regards the locality and the surrounding natural objects, Lake Leman, the Jura, and the Alps.
The Federal Government, as well as that of the Canton of Geneva, appreciated the honor of being the seat of this great international Tribunal, and did not fail to welcome most cordially the two Governments, their Agents and their Counsel, by conspicuous manifestations of political as well as of personal consideration. The Cantonal Government at Geneva hastened to provide suitable accommodations for the Tribunal in the Hôtel de Ville of that city; it afforded to the mem
bers of the Tribunal and to the representatives of the two Governments access to numerous official exhibitions and entertainments; and, at a suitable time, it made for us a special festival at Geneva, as the Federal Government did at Interlaken and at Berne.
Switzerland, and Geneva especially, looking at the several acts of arbitration provided by the Treaty of Washington as constituting great steps in the prog. ress of public peace, welcomed us the more heartily because of the recent organization there of a society, whose objects are defined by its title of “ Comité International de Secours aux Militaires Blessés." This society had acquired universal respect by its acts of disinterested philanthropy in the late war between Germany and France. Its symbol of the red cross had been the harbinger of relief to many a suffering victim of battle. It was organized under the Presidency of that General Dufour who, in 1847, had led to victory the forces of Switzerland against the Secession [Sonderbund] Cantons. And men could not fail to note the coincidence, when they saw this great Tribunal of Arbitration organized under the auspices of the victorious commander of our own Union forces [General Grant], as the International Commission for the Succor of the Wounded had been under the auspices of the veteran General Dufour. It was impressive to see the greatest Generals of the two countries laboring to diminish the chances and lighten the evils of war.
The Tribunal of Arbitration occupied the same hall in the Hôtel de Ville which had just before been oc
cupied by the Society for the Succor of the Wounded: a room of moderate dimensions, but adequate to the
with elegance and good taste, not, however, specially for the Commission or Tribunal, but for ordinary uses of the City or Canton, indicated by its title “Salle des Conférences.”
The Hôtel de Ville is a structure in the Florentine style of architecture, situated on the summit of the old Geneva, and which is occupied both by municipal officers of the City and by the executive and leg: islative authorities of the Canton.
COUNT FREDERIC SCLOPIS. Here, then, in the “Salle des Conférences” of the Hôtel de Ville, at Geneva, the Tribunal assembled to listen to the opening discourse of the President, Count Sclopis, and to take up the business remaining for the consideration of the Arbitrators.
Count Sclopis, in this discourse, expressed belief that the meeting of the Tribunal indicated of itself the impression of new direction on the public policy of nations the most advanced in civilization, and the commencement of an epoch in which the spirit of moderation and the sentiment of equity were beginning to prevail over the tendency of the old routines of arbitrary violence or culpable indifference. He signified regret that the pacific views of the Congress of Paris had not been seconded by events in Europe. He congratulated the world that the statesmen who directed the destinies of Great Britain and the United States, with rare firmness of conviction and devotion
to the interests of humanity, resisting all temptations of vulgar ambition, had magnanimously and courageously traversed in peace the difficulties which had divided them both before and since the conclusion of the Treaty. He quoted approvingly the opinion expressed by Mr. Gladstone, on the one hand, and by President Washington, on the other, in commendation of the policy of peace, of justice, and of honor in the conduct of nations. And he proclaimed in behalf of his colleagues, as well as of himself, the purpose of the Tribunal, acting sometimes with the large perception of statesmen, sometimes with the scrutinizing eye of judges, and always with a profound sentiment of equity and with absolute impartiality, thus to discharge its high duty of pacification as well as of justice to the two Governments.
The discourse was worthy of the occasion and of the man.
Count Frederic Sclopis of Salerano, Minister of · State and Senator of the new Kingdom of Italy, has attained the ripe age of seventy-four years in the assiduous cultivation of letters, and in the discharge of the highest political and judicial functions. The countryman and the friend of Count Cavour, it was his fortune to co-operate in the task of the unification of Italy under the leadership of the House of Savoy.
This great military House, with its enterprising, ambitious, and politic instincts, second in fortune only to the Habsburgs and the Zollerns, rose in the eleventh century, on the ruins of the Burgundians, to the possession of the passes of the Valaisian, Cottian, and