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This compilation of treaties in force has been prepared to be of general service in showing what the obligations of the United States are at the present time with the foreign nations of the world. In the twelve years that the compiler had charge of the editing, indexing, and printing of the United States Statutes at Large, in which the treaties and conventions also appeared as they were proclaimed, he realized that it would be of practical utility to have a volume of the treaty engagements now existing, from which should be omitted the text of those that for various reasons were no longer in operation. The plan of such a collection was submitted to Secretary of State Olney, and met with his approval. After the draft of the arrangement had been prepared it was brought to the attention of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate, and a Joint Resolution was reported authorizing the preparation of such a compilation under the direction of the Committee. The resolution passed both Houses near the close of the first session of the Fifty-fifth Congress, and though it was enrolled there was not time to secure the signature of the Speaker before the gavel announced the adjournment of the session. At the next session, upon the recommendation of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate, the following item was incorporated in the deficiency appropriation bill, approved July 7, 1898:
That a competent person be employed under the direction of the Committee on Foreign Relations, at a compensation in full not exceeding one thousand five hundred dollars, which is hereby appropriated, to make a compilation of all the treaties now in force between the United States and any foreign Government. Said compilation shall contain the full text of the treaties now in force, together with a citation of any decision which may have been made in regard to said treaties by the Supreme Court of the United States or any court of Federal jurisdiction. The said work shall also contain a list, in chronological order, of all the treaties at any time made by the United States with other foreign countries, with a reference to the page and volume where the text of the same may be found; the whole to be carefully indexed by countries and by subject-matters. There shall be printed one thousand five hundred copies of said volume, one thousand for the use of the House of Representatives and five hundred for the use of the Senate.
More than fifty treaties have come into effect since the publication of the document which was submitted to the Senate in response to its resolution of January 5, 1885, and which had been carefully collated by Mr. John H. Haswell, for many years the efficient chief of the
Bureau of Indexes and Archives of the Department of State, and which contained the full text of all the treaties and conventions that had been proclaimed up to January, 1889.
The present compilation contains, in a form adapted for convenient reference, the treaties, conventions, international acts, and other diplomatic agreements with foreign nations to which the United States is a party, that are in force at the time of going to press. Treaties that have expired by limitations contained in the text of the instrument, those that have been executed in pursuance of their provisions, those that have been abrogated or annulled by the contracting parties, and others that have ceased to be operative from various causes, have been omitted. There have been inserted however, a number of protocols, notes of exchange of ratifications, Senate resolutions advising and consenting to the ratifications, and other papers which, while not strictly of the character of treaties, seem to be necessary to explain the construction of their provisions in particular cases, or indicate their fulfillment. Before each engagement there is an historical statement of the action taken to effect its completion, and a succinct summary of the provisions embraced therein, arranged by the several articles. This latter is intended to supersede the marginal notes given in the former collections, and from it at a glance may be obtained the location of the various matters contained in the text.
The treaties that have become obsolete appear in chronological order of their conclusion, under the different countries, with a brief note of their effect, the dates of the various stages of action upon them up to the proclamation, a statement of the causes of their termination, the results of the various claims commissions, and where certain articles are revived by subsequent agreements their text is reprinted, with a synopsis of those that are omitted. The chronological list which it is directed shall be prepared has been arranged in the order of the negotiation of the different agreements, and, in order to indicate the time of their taking effect, the date of the President's proclamation is also given. For historical reference there is given also a table of the terms of office of the various Presidents and of the Secretaries of State.
In the preparation of this document the compiler acknowledges the kind assistance of the officials of the Department of State, and especially of Mr. Frederick Van Dyne, the assistant to the Solicitor of the State Department, who prepared the references to the Federal cases bearing on the treaties. Recourse has been had to the History and Digest of International Arbitrations of which the United States has been a Party, by Hon. John Bassett Moore, for the statements in reference to the results of the claims commissions and agreements. The compiler is also indebted for valuable assistance and suggestions in the arrangement of the volume to the force of the Government Printing Ofhce.
HENRY L. BRYAN. Washington City, April 11, 1899.