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tolls on the Elbe, and Bremen to tolls on the Weser. The Po, short stream as it is, was under toll of each city strong enough to make these exactions. Austrian vessels were not seen in the portion of the Danube which lay outside of the jurisdiction of the German Empire. In the Iberian Peninsula some traces of the Roman freedom of the river remained, but the rest of Europe had abandoned this ancient and equitable principle wherever two sovereignties divided a navigable stream. These exactions had grown rather than diminished. The Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle refused to modify them. Even France did not protest against these injurious restrictions upon the trade of one of its chief streams. Joseph II of Austria had striven in vain to secure for the provinces in the Low Countries, which he had inherited, the privileges which had been bartered away at the close of the long struggle between Spain and the United States of the Netherlands.

Suddenly there began a movement in all parts of Europe which ended all these exactions. Many factors existed, but the most conspicuous one, directing the attention of the world to the injustice of this interference with the freedom of fluvial trade, was the treaty between France and England in 1763 which had guaranteed to the British colonists the free navigation of the Mississippi. The United States of America both inherited and asserted this privilege. It was made the basis of protest and negotiation, embodied in the treaty of peace, 1783, which established the principle on the American continent that rivers should be free to all their inhabitants, and duly remembered and recorded by us for England in the Louisiana purchase in days when this great stream was believed to be navigable into Canada. Widely commented upon in Europe, the publication of the treaty of 1783 was followed by, and one may fairly say was the proximate cause of, the immediate movement which went into effect before the French Revolution and was soon won, demanding the abolition of all these obstructions to free trade on the rivers of Europe. In 1669 Hamburg had protested in vain to the Duke Christian of Mecklenburg-Schwerin against tolls. on the Elbe which prevented navigation and turned trade to land.2 After the futile attempt of Joseph II from 1781 to 1784, the French Republic on November 20, 1792, made an energetic declaration asserting tolls on the Scheldt and Meuse "contrary to any right"-an echo of Jefferson's phrase. A secret article of the Peace of Campo Formio,

2Histoire du Droit Fluvial Conventionnel, par Ed. Engelhardt, Aux Temps du Rome et au Moyen Age, Nouvelle Revue Historique, 12:735.

3Nouvelle Revue Historique de Droit Français et Étranger, 13:77; Loi du Novembre, 1790; Traité de la Haye du 16 Mai, 1795.

1797 (p. 87, ibid.) freed the Rhine. The 18th article of the Treaty of Ryswick extended this freedom to all nations. In 1798 the City of Ulm pleaded for the freedom of the Danube from the tolls imposed by Austria and Bavaria. Bremen added the same plea against the tolls on the Weser. These various steps and demands culminated in a convention in Paris, August 3, 1805, concurred in by the authorities of the German Empire, in which Russia as well as France were concerned, establishing the principles on which the unrestricted and universal navigation of European rivers has since been urged. These were accepted by the Congress of Vienna and have ruled since. They were the application of the principles which Jefferson had enunciated and which so liberal a thinker and so radical a statesman as Mirabeau had controverted. The despotic rule of Napoleon had returned to these tolls and the ancient exactions Mirabeau defended; but the allied sovereigns, first at Paris and then at Vienna, not only declared the Rhine free, but laid this down as a principle "for all other navigable streams traversing different states," a conclusion drawn by Baron William von Humboldt, the elder brother of the great traveller and explorer, whose name is imperishably associated with the rivers of the New World, soon themselves to be free. Successive conventions of the Powers involved, relieved from toll and restriction the Weser, Ems, Elbe, Rhine, Po and later the Scheldt. These regulations continued to 1831 and were still subjects of international discussion in 1858, and the broad principle first asserted by an American statesman was only finally and fully applied to the Scheldt by the treaty of July 16, 1863.

The Mississippi was the first of American rivers to see the recognition of this principle, which the united colonies had secured while under the English flag, which they had asserted under the flag of the United States, and which successive Secretaries of State, Jefferson and Madison, had warned Spain would become a cause for war if interference were permitted. France and Portugal carried this principle to South America in 1805 by agreeing to the free navigation of the Arawairi in deciding the boundary of Guiana.

The United States, which had begun this work, continued it by its protests against obstruction, first of the St. Lawrence in 1827, and later of the River St. John, which the Treaty of Washington, August 9, 1842, had declared "shall be free and open to both parties and shall in no way be obstructed by either."

In 1852 the United States began its demands for the freedom of the Amazon. An imperial decree, October 2, 1854, abrogated an ex

clusive concession of steam navigation on the Amazon, and in the course of the next decade the Amazon became free. The final step was taken by the Emperor of Brazil on December 7, 1866, by a decree declaring the navigation of the Amazon open to vessels of all nations to the frontiers of Brazil, of the Tocantins to Cameta, the Tapajos to Santarem, the Madeira to Borba and the Rio Negro to Manáos. On the same date the San Francisco was opened to Penedo. Where but one bank belonged to Brazil, treaties already negotiated were to decide police regulations, and engagements with Peru and Venezuela were duly validated. Regulations in regard to these rivers were decreed on July 31, 1867. Earlier the Platte was opened to all nations in various treaties, of which one, between the Argentine Confederation and Belgium, opened the Parana and Uruguay on March 3, 1860. The Orinoco was later added to the free rivers of the world. Colombia, which had with Venezuela long struggles over the Orinoco, finally secured its liberty and recognized this principle in its constitution May 25, 1864, giving the central government exclusive power to enforce it.

The United States was the first to establish this principle on the Pacific by opening the Yukon on equal terms to British trade as well as its own. Trading rights exist for all nations on the Yang-tse-kiang, and the last of Asiatic rivers to be added to the list is the Karun by decree of the Persian Government in 1888.

The joint act of the Powers assembled at Berlin, which created the Congo Free State, gave free access to the Congo and its affluents, February 26, 1885. Common rights of navigation exist also on the Zambesi.

In just a century, from the earliest assertion of the United States at the beginning of its diplomatic history to the declaration of the freedom of the Karun by Persia, the whole round of great rivers in the world has been made subject to this general principle wherever they cross more than one sovereignty. The peace of the waters is not yet wholly complete. Every international canal should be as free to all nations as is the Suez Canal. Some remnants of ancient restriction remain in one great bay and another, in claims like that of Russia over the Anadir Sea; but the peace of the waters is nearly complete. The universal claim of all nations to all the resources of the earth is accomplished.

This great work of the United States began when it consisted of a little fringe of States bound together by a new Union whose strength

was doubted by the world and whose majestic power was unknown even to those who had accepted its sovereignty. Today when the population of the Republic has risen to one hundred millions and its resources have enabled it to construct the greatest work known to man in the Panama Canal, it is alike incredible and inconceivable that the nation which in the day of small things stood for a great principle and has seen it through a century carried to a triumphant acceptance by humanity, should bar the great waterway between the Atlantic and the Pacific, and should fail to continue at the opening of the twentieth century that peace of seas, straits and rivers which the young Republic began at the end of the eighteenth. It is not to be thought of that the early and intrepid policy of the young Republic which has flowed for a century to the open sea of men's praise should lose itself in the bogs and shallows of self-interest which seek to enforce unequal rights in the use of the Panama Canal. It stands the monument of national achievement. It must not become the tomb of national honor.

The CHAIRMAN. In the address to which we have had the pleasure of listening, Mr. Williams refers to the fact that in the century and a third of our American existence, the United States departed but once from its line of precedents. You will be very glad indeed to listen to the next speaker of the evening, who happened to be, on the occasion referred to, a member of the Bering Sea Commission that sat at Paris and decided adversely to the contention of the United States.

It will be my very great pleasure to yield in a moment to the next speaker, his excellency, Mr. Gram, of Norway, Minister of State, who has crossed the ocean for the express purpose of being present at this meeting and of addressing you upon "The international interest in the settlement of the Panama Canal toll question." Mr. Gram is a lawyer by profession; a judge of experience, not merely in his own country, but in the mixed courts of Egypt; and a tried and trusted arbiter of the nations under the Hague Convention.

It is, I assure you, no common pleasure to be able to introduce to you as the last speaker of the evening a gentleman whose reputation is not only national but international, and who greatly honors us by his presence tonight-his excellency, Mr. Gram of Norway.


Minister of State of Norway.

I esteem it a great honor to address the American Society of International Law, and I beg to express my heartfelt thanks to that Society for having, by its kind invitation, given me an opportunity of so doing.

The subjects suggested for discussion at this sitting of the distinguished Society involve, according to the program which was sent to me, problems of wide bearing and of extraordinary importance. It is proposed to examine into the bearing of the principles of international law on the Panama question which has lately arisen and is pressing for a decision. The responsibility incurred by any one volunteering an opinion on that question is enhanced by the fact that it has given rise to some disagreement between the Governments of the United States and Great Britain. An investigation into the legal principles would fail to get at the root of the matter if we do not, in addition, consider the points raised in the diplomatic communications that have been exchanged. I have regarded the invitation of this distinguished Society as being in the nature of a mandate, and on this assumption, of presenting to you my view of the important issues before us, without in any way attempting to arrogate the high mission of an arbiter. I am confident that you will forgive me if, owing to the short notice given to me, I have been obliged to confine myself to a brief discussion of the principal issues-a discussion which I dared to undertake in the hope that I might have opportunity to confer with some other jurists from abroad, present on this occasion.

The international legal relations involved in the Panama question rest on the treaty, concluded on November 18, 1901, between the United States of America and Great Britain, relative to the establishment of a communication by ship canal between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

This treaty, commonly called the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty, states that it is agreed that the canal may be constructed under the auspices of the Government of the United States, either directly at its own cost, or by gift or loan of money to individuals or corporations, or through subscription to or purchase of stock or shares, and that, subject to the provisions of the treaty, the said government shall have and enjoy

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