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BOOK REVIEWS *
French Foreign Policy from Fashoda to Serajevo. By Graham H. Stuart,
Ph.D. New York: Century Co., 1921, p. 375. Bibliography and Index.
In this volume, Dr. Stuart has given an interesting study of the foreign policy of the French Government from 1898 to 1914. It is an attempt, he claims, “to portray impartially the policy of the French foreign office, from the crisis of Fashoda to the crime of Serajevo. Before 1898, French foreign policy seemed for the most part to be merged in her colonial policy; after the death of the Archduke Ferdinand, the foreign policy of France was inextricably mingled with the foreign policy of her allies. In the critical intervening period, the policy of the Quai Dorsay stands forth against the cloudy background of European diplomacy."
The book begins with an introductory chapter on the "International Situation in 1898," the Dual and Triple Alliances, and the FrancoBritish relations of that period. Then follow three chapters which have no apparent relation to one another: one on “Fashoda” including a discussion of the Franco-British agreement of 1898, the first Peace Conference at the Hague and the policy of France and Germany in regard to the Boer War, the second on “French Diplomacy in the Orient” concerning “the Cretan Affair,” French interests in Turkey, the Boxer Rebellion and adjustments with Siam, and the third dealing with French “Diplomatic Relations with Italy and the Pope.” The next seven chapters cover the history of the "Entente Cordiale” and Moroccan affairs from the signing of the agreements with Great Britain and Spain in 1904 down to the Agadir incident and the FrancoGerman treaty of 1911. The twelfth and last chapter is entitled "Toward the World War,” and is concerned with the “ministry of M. Poincaré” and the awakening of France to the danger of an European war.
One wonders why this last chapter was written in its present form. The obvious intention of the author seems to have been to bring down his narrative from the Franco-German treaty of 1911 to the murder at Serajevo in 1914. At least, he should have done this to justify the title of his work. But he has contented himself with giving a brief account of the general development of political affairs within France and in the Balkans during that period, without attempting to connect the trend of affairs in the Balkan Peninsula with the murder of the Archduke Ferdinand or the causes of the Great War. Indeed, he has made no effort to trace the history of French diplomatic activities in relation to Balkan affairs or the problems of Asia
* The Journal assumes no responsibility for the views expressed in signed book reviews. - ED.
Minor during the years 1904–1914. In view of the important bearing of the competition of France, Germany, Russia and Great Britain in the Turkish Empire (leading to the economic partition of Asiatic Turkey in June, 1914) on the political situation in Europe and on European expansion in Africa, no account of the French foreign policy during this period is complete without an analysis of their policy in regard to the progress of affairs in the Ottoman Empire.
In discussing the Fashoda episode, the author fails to make clear the intimate connection of this incident with the Franco-British competition in Africa. He ignores the colonial developments of the preceding quarter of a century, making no reference even to the fundamental facts enumerated in such secondary sources as Keltie's Partition of Africa, Johnson's Colonization of Africa or Harris's Intervention and Colonization in Africa. It is not often that one can construct an historical narrative by beginning with one conspicuous diplomatic controversy and ending with an international crime having no connection with the original controversy. Some French writers have attempted this method of composition with varying success. And Dr. Stuart has evidently followed their example in this instance. But his book would have been more complete and infinitely more valuable, if he had given us a study of French foreign policy from about 1890 to 1914 (particularly of those years when M. Hanotaux and M. Delcassé were directing the foreign and colonial policy of France), confining his attention to the field of North African and Near Eastern diplomacy. He has gained nothing by his excursions into the more distant regions of South Africa, and of the Far East. And the value of the seven chapters on Moroccan affairs-the best portion of the volume-would have been greatly enhanced.
A number of curious errors occur here and there through the book, which are possibly due to faulty proof reading. The author refers to Herr von Kiderlen-Waechter as “Herr von Kiderlen" on pages 302, 304, 308 and 310 and as "Herr Kiderlen" on pages 310, 312, 313, and 314. And on page 217, Elihu Root is named as Mr. and M. Root; while Mr. Balfour is called M. Balfour (as if he were a Frenchman) on page 105.
The author has a pleasing, straightforward style; and both the student and the diplomatic expert will find it interesting. But the frequent use of French words and quotations will prove tiresome to the average British or American reader. The volume, on the whole, is a creditable piece of work; and it should find a useful place on the reference shelves of university, college, and city libraries.
NORMAN DWIGHT HARRIS.
Die Satzung des Völkerbundes. Commentaries by Dr. Walter Schücking and
Dr. Hans Wehberg. Berlin: Franz Vahlen, 1921, pp. xxiii, 521.
The League of Nations has ceased to be a mere project. So long as it was a project, the literature dealing with it was largely non-technical. Now that fifty-one member-states have adopted this method of regulating their international relations within the scope of the League, treatises like the present will follow the method of jurisprudence. It is perhaps easier to dispense with legal aid in the creation of a plan than in its interpretation and detailed execution. It is probably not wise to do so in the former stage; it is impossible in the latter.
The book before us is a commentary on the Covenant, viewed as a constitutive statute. Political and historical material enter into the text only so far as required for legal elucidation. The authors are well known German publicists, active for many years before the war in liberal activities devoted to better international relations, which signifies that their influence was not appreciable until after the war. Dr. Schücking then became a member of the official German delegation at Versailles. Dr. Wehberg is head of the Division of International Law in the German League of Nations Union.
The introduction and the historical portions are complete, without being ponderous. The narrative begins with ancient times but is not involved with minutiae. The projects for a league advanced prior to and during the war are explained in some detail and a fairly complete picture is given of the development of the league plan at Paris. The authors are not to be blamed for laying too much emphasis on certain plans which had practically no influence in the deliberations, as these were widely published, where others were not. The proposals of the Fabians and of General Smuts are deemed by the authors to have been more highly regarded than any of the others, while the influence of the conference of the thirteen neutral Powers which met at Paris in March and April, 1919, is considered negligible, like that of the proposals made by the German delegation at Versailles. “This most solemn compact which was intended to realize the centuries-old dreams of the civilized world, came to be, then, not the result of common detailed deliberations, but was presented to humanity as the dictate of the victor” (p. 17). Notwithstanding a few complaints of similar character, the prevailing tone of the authors is not unfavorable to the League, thus differing from the judgment of one of their former colleagues, the late Dr. Fried, to whom, together with the late Dr. Lammasch, the book is dedicated. Indeed, the authors believe the results to be most promising. While they disapprove of the hegemony of the Great Powers, they believe the League to be especially valuable because of its opportunities for quick initiative; "the League is not merely a community of law but a community of work, having positive tasks" (p. 116). They also maintain that it is a layman's error to regard as war the use of force by a community of states against an offending state. The perfect idea of law presupposes that its majesty must be upheld by force if it cannot be otherwise achieved. This is not war. “For war always was and to a degree still is an international procedure between equals, for whom there is provided no obligatory tribunal” (p. 49).
The main part of the book is a detailed commentary on the Covenant, article by article, following the official texts in French and English and a German translation. Full reference is made to the debates in committee, in the plenary sessions of the Peace Conference, and in the sessions of the Council and Assembly. Legal methods are used to analyze the text and explain discrepancies with other instruments such as the treaties of peace. Particularly interesting, for example, from an American viewpoint, is the discussion of Article 22 on Mandates. The authors point out the conflict between this article, and Article 119 of the Treaty of Versailles, the former implying that the sovereignty of the German colonies is in the League of Nations, whereas the latter places it with the Principal Powers. They reach the conclusion that the terms of the Treaty are provisional because of the controlling Article 118, whereas the Covenant is definite; therefore the transfer of sovereignty to the Principal Powers is to be considered divested whenever the Council takes action. The situation is rendered more complicated by the fact that the United States, one of the “Principal Allied and Associated Powers," is not a member of the League. The authors seem to find in the protest of the United States of February 21, 1921, in respect of the mandate for Yap, implied recognition that sovereignty rests with these Powers, not in the League, nor with the Supreme Council. The situation is by no means free from difficulty. The authors have at least clarified the issues on this and many similar points where they fail to find a solution. There is no internal authority within the League to interpret the Covenant, so the authors discreetly await the functioning of the Permanent Court of International Justice (p. 490).
ARTHUR K. KUHN.
La Doctrine Scholastique du Droit de Guerre. Par Alfred Vanderpol. Paris:
A. Pedone, 1919, pp. xxviii, 534.
Coleman Phillipson, who, since the death of Ernest Nys, may lay undisputed claim to supremacy in the early history of international law, about seven years ago made the following remarkable statement:
Modern international law undoubtedly owes an inestimable debt to the work of Grotius. This fact is universally recognized, and unceasingly reiterated. But we are, too often, apt to forget that Grotius's work itself owes a very great debt to numerous forerunners. In the middle ages, the glossators and commentators, the Fathers, and the ecclesiastical doctors often discussed incidental questions concerning the law of nations.
Later we find more complete treatises on special subjects. The age of monographs begins in the 14th and 15th centuries, when divines and professors of law examine with comparative fulness not only questions of war and reprisals, but also problems emerging in time of peace.' The statement is remarkable in that it has not been forty years since James Lorimer called attention to "the extreme injustice of the manner in which, down to our own time, it has been customary to speak of the scholastic jurists, "2 at the same time in a footnote giving expression to the belief "that no more valuable contribution could be made to the literature of jurisprudence at the present time than a collection and translation of the portions of these works which have reference to general jurisprudence and international law.” This want is being supplied to a considerable extent by the “Classics of International Law,” inaugurated ten years ago and now being published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, under the general editorship of Dr. James Brown Scott, but such a series as this does not contemplate brief works or incidental discussions.
It is extremely gratifying, therefore, to have the results of the labors of him, whom the celebrated Belgian statesman Beernaert once called “le chevalier de la paix,” now incorporated in a single volume. The material collected in this volume and published posthumously was previously presented to the public in various smaller publications of the author, such as Le Droit de Guerre d'après les Théologiens et les Canonistes du Moyen-Age (Paris, 1911), La Guerre devant le Christianisme (Brussels, no date), and articles in the Bulletin de la Société Gratry (which became, in 1910, the Bulletin de la Ligue des Catholiques Français pour la Paix). The first named book is represented by pages 6–158 and 215–249, while the second is represented by pages 161-195, 250–252, 259–266, 271-284 and 325-359.
The aim of the present collection is to show the traditional and, in a certain sense, unvarying, character of the Christian doctrine on war. For this purpose, it is divided into three parts. Part I gives an exposé of the scholastic doctrine on war under the following headings:
Is war permitted to Christians?
The just cause.
The right intention.
Consequences of the doctrine and the rights of the victor. This part is itself written in the scholastic style, with the answering of objections first, followed by a brief yet clear enunciation of the proper principles involved and the addition of supporting excerpts judiciously selected from the Fathers of the Church, the theologians and the canonists.
1 Coleman Phillipson, Franciscus a Victoria, in the Journal of the Society of Comparative Legislation, new series, vol. xv (1915), p. 175.
2 James Lorimer, The Institutes of the Law of Nations (London, 1883), vol. i, p. 71.