Page images
PDF
EPUB

XXXII.-PROTOCOL OF CONFERENCE BETWEEN THE HIGH COMMISSIONERS ON THE PART OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE HIGH COMMISSIONERS ON THE PART OF GREAT BRITAIN.

WASHINGTON, April 24, 1871. The High Commissioners having met, the protocol of the conference held on the 22d of April was read and confirmed.

The High Cominissioners then proceeded with the consideration of the matters referred to them. The conference was adjourned to the 25th of April.

J. C. BANCROFT DAVIS.
TENTERDEN.

XXXIII.-PROTOCOL OF CONFERENCE BETWEEN THE HIGH COMMISSIONERS ON THE PART OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE HIGH COMMISSIONERS ON THE PART OF GREAT BRITAIN.

WASHINGTON, April 25, 2871. The High Commissioners having met, the protocol of the conference held on the 24th of April was read and confirmed.

The High Commissioners then proceeded with the consideration of the matters referred to them. The conference was adjourned to the 26th of April.

J. C. BANCROFT DAVIS.
TENTERDEN,

XXXIV.-PROTOCOL OF CONFERENCE BETWEEN THE HIGH COMMISSIONERS ON THE PART OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE HIGH COMMISSIONERS ON THE PART OF GREAT BRITAIN.

WASHINGTON, April 26, 1871. The High Commissioners having met, the protocol of the conference held on the 25th of April was read and confirmed.

The High Commissioners then proceeded with the consideration of the matters referred to them. • The conference was adjourned to the 31 of May.

J. C. BANCROFT DAVIS.
TENDERDEN.

XXXV.-PROTOCOL OF CONFERENCE BETWEEN THE HIGH COMMISSION. ERS ON THE PART OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE HIGH COMMISSIONERS ON THE PART OF GREAT BRITAIN.

WASHINGTON, May 3, 1871. The High Commissioners having met, the protocol of the conference held on the 25th of April was read and confirmed.

The High Commissioners then proceeded with the consideration of the matters referred to them.

The American Commissioners produced the following further full power, under the seal of the United States, authorizing them to conclnde aud sign a treaty:

ULYSSES S. GYANT, President of the United States of America, to all

to whom these presents shall come, greeting :

Know ye that whereas, by my power bearing date the 10th day of February last, Hamilton Fish, Secretary of State, Robert C. Schenck, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Great Britain, Samuel Nelson, an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Ebenezer R. Hoar, of Massachusetts, and George H. Williams, of Oregon, were authorized to meet the commissioners appointed, or to be appointed, on behalf of Her Britannic Majesty, and with them to treat and discuss the mode of settlement of the different questions which should come before them;

And whereas that meeting and discussion have taken place, and the said mode of settlement has been agreed upon :

Now, therefore, I, Ulysses S. Grant, President of the United States, do hereby appoint the said Hamilton Fish, Robert C. Schenck, Samuel Nelson, Ebenezer R. Hoar, and George H. Williams, jointly and severally, Plenipotentiaries for and in behalf of the United States, and do authorize them, and any or either of them, to conclude and sign any treaty or treaties touching the premises, for the final ratification of the President of the United States, by and with the advice and cousent of the Senate, if such advice and consent be given.

In witness whereof I have caused the seal of the United States to be hereunto affixed.

Given under my hand at the city of Washington, the second

day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hun. (SEAL.] dred and seventy-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the ninety-fifth.

U. S. GRANT. By the President:

HAMILTON FISH,

Secretary of State.

This full Power was examined by the British Commissioners and found satisfactory.

The Joint High Commissioners determined that they would embody in a protocol a statement containing an account of the negotiations upon the various subjects included in the Treaty, and they instructed the Joint Protocolists to prepare such an account in the order in which the subjects are to stand in the Treaty. The conference was adjourned to the 4th of May.

J. C. BANCROFT DAVIS.
TENTERDEN.

XXXVI.—PROTOCOL OF CONFERENCE BETWEEN THE HIGH COMMISSIONERS ON THE PART OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE HIGH COMMISSIONERS ON THE PART OF GREAT BRITAIN.

WASHINGTON, May 4, 1871. The High Commissioners having met, the protocol of the conference held on the 3d of May was read and confirmed.

The High Commissioners then proceeded with the consideration of the matters referred to them.

The Statement prepared by the Joint Protocolists, in accordance with the request of the Joint High Commissioners at the last conference, was then read as follows:

STATEMENTS.

ARTICLES I TO XI.

At the conference held on the eighth of March the American Commissioners stated that the people and Government of the United States felt that they had sustained a great wrong, and that great injuries and losses were inflicted upon their commerce and their material interests by the course and conduct of Great Britain during the recent rebellion in the United States; that what bad occurred in Great Britain and her col. onies during that period had given rise to feelings in the United States which the people of the United States did not desire to cherish to. ward Great Britain; that the history of the Alabama and other cruisers which had been fitted out, or armed, or equipped, or which had received augmentation of force in Great Britain or in her colonies, and of the operations of those vessels, showed extensive direct losses in the cap. ture and destruction of a large number of vessels with their cargoes,

and in the heavy national expenditures in the pursuit of the cruisers, and indirect injury in the transfer of a large part of the Americani commercial marine to the British flag, in the enhanced payments of insurance, in the prolongation of the war, and in the addition of a large sum to the cost of the war and the suppression of the rebellion; and also showed that Great Britain, by reason of failure in the proper observance of her duties as a neutral, had become justly liable for the acts of those cruisers and of their tenders; that the claims for the loss and destruction of private property which had thus far been presented amounted to about fourteen millions of dollars, without interest, which amount was liable to be greatly increased by claims which had not been presented; that the cost to which the Government had been put in the pursuit of cruisers could easily be ascertained by certificates of Government accounting officers; that in the hope of an amicable settlement no estimate was made of the indirect losses, without prejudice, however, to the right to indemnification on their account in the event of no such settlement being made.

The American Commissioners further stated that they hoped that the British Commissioners would be able to place upon record an expression of regret by Her Majesty's Government for the depredations committed by the vessels whose acts were now under discussion. They also pro posed that the Joint High Commission should agree upon a sum which should be paid by Great Britain to the United States, in satisfaction of all the claims and the interest thereon.

The British Commissioners replied that Her Majesty's. Government could not admit that Great Britain had failed to discharge toward the United States the duties imposed on her by the rules of International Law, or that she was justly liable to make good to the United States the losses occasioned by the acts of the cruisers to which the American Commissioners had referred. They reminded the American Commissioners that several vessels, suspected of being designed to cruise against the United States, including two iron-clads, had been arrested or detained by the British Government, and that that Governinent had in some instances not confined itself to the discharge of international obligations, however widely construed, as, for instance, when it acquired at a great cost to the country the control of the Anglo-Chinese Flotilla, which, it was apprehended, might be used against the United States.

They added that although Great Britain had, from the beginning, disavowed any responsibility for the acts of the Alabama and the other vessels, she had already shown her willingness, for the sake of the maintenance of friendly relations with the United States, to adopt the principle of arbitration, provided that a fitting Arbitrator could be found, and that an agreement could be come to as to the points to which arbi. tration should apply. They would, therefore, abstain from replying in detail to the statement of the American Commissioners, in the hope that the necessity for entering upon a lengthened controversy might be ob.. viated by the adoption of so fair a mode of settlement as that which they were instructed to propose; and they had now to repeat, on behalf of their Government, the offer of arbitration.

The American Commissioners expressed their regret at this decision of the British Commissioners, and said further that they could not consent to submit the questiou of the liability of Her Majesty's Goverument to arbitration unless the principles which should govern the Arbitrator in the consideration of the facts could be first agreed upon.

The British Commissioners replied that they had no authority to agree to a submission of these claims to an Arbitrator with instructions as to the principles which should govern him in the consideration of them. They said that they should be willing to consider what princi ples should be adopted for observance in future; but that they were of opinion that the best mode of conducting an arbitration was to submit the facts to the Arbitrator, and leave him free to decide upon them after hearing such arguments as might be necessary.

The American Commissioners replied that they were willing to consider what principles should be laid down for observance in similar cases in future, with the understanding that any principles that should be agreed upon should be held to be applicable to the facts in respect to the Alabama Claims.

The British Commissioners replied that they could not admit that there had been any violation of existing principles of International Law, and that their instructions did not authorize them to accede to a proposal for laying down rules for the guidance of the Arbitrator, but that they would make known to their Government the views of the American Commissioners on the subject.

At the respective conferences on March 9, March 10, March 13, and March 14, the Joint High Commission considered the form of the declaration of principles or rules which the American Commissioners desired to see adopted for the instruction of the Arbitrator and laid down for observance by the two Governments in future.

At the close of the conference of the 14th of March the British Commissioners reserved several questions for the consideration of their Government.

At the conference on the 5th of April the British Commissioners stated that they were instructed by Her Majesty's Government to declare that Her Majesty's Government could not assent to the proposed rules as a statement of principles of International Law which were in force at the time when the Alabama Claims arose, but that Her Majesty's Government, in order to evince its desire of strengthening the friendly relations between the two countries and of making satisfactory provision for the future, agreed that in deciding the questions between the two countries arising out of those claims, the Arbitrator should assume that Her Majesty's Governmeut had undertaken to act upon the principles set forth in the rules which the American Commissioners had proposed, viz:

That 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 carry on war against a power with which it is at peace; and also to use like diligence to prevent the departure from its jurisdiction 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 or waters, and as to all persons within its jurisdiction, to prevent any violation of the foregoing obligations and duties.

It being a condition of this undertaking, that these obligations should in future be held to be binding, internationally between the two countries.

It was also settled that in deciding the matters submitted to him the Arbitrator should be governed by the foregoing rules, which had been agreed upon as rules to be taken as applicable to the case, and by such principles of International Law, not inconsistent therewith, as the Arbitrator should determine to have been applicable to the case.

The Joint High Commission then proceeded to consider the form of submission and the manner of constituting a tribunal of arbitration.

At the conferences on the 6th, 8th, 9th, 10th, and 12th of April the Joint High Commission considered and discussed the form of submission, the manner of the award, and the mode of selecting the Arbitrators.

The American Commissioners, referring to the hope which they had expressed on the 8th of March, inquired whether the British Commis. sioners were prepared to place upon record an expression of regret by Her Majesty's Government for the depredations committed by the ves. sels whose acts were now under discussion; and the British Commissioners replied that they were authorized to 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.

The American Commissioners accepted this expression of regret as very satisfactory to them and as a token of kindness, and said that they felt sure it would be so received by the Government and people of the United States.

In the conference on the 13th of April the Treaty Articles I to XI were agreed to.

ARTICLES XII TO XVII.

At the conference on the 4th of March it was agreed to consider the subjects referred to the Joint High Commission by the respective Gov. ernments in the order in which they appeared in the correspondence between Sir Edward Thornton and Mr. Fish, and to defer the consideration of the adjustment of “all other claims, both of British subjects and citizens of the United States, arising out of acts committed during the recent civil war in this country," as described by Sir Edward Thornton

« PreviousContinue »