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Hague. International facenderecos ad, You

MISCELLANEOUS. No. 4 (1908).

PROTOCOLS

OF THE

ELEVEN PLENARY MEETINGS

OF THE

SECOND PEACE CONFERENCE

HELD AT

THE HAGUE IN 1907.

[Cd. 4081.] Price 4s, 5d.

WITH THE

ANNEXES TO THE PROTOCOLS.

Presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of His Majesty.
June 1908.

LONDON:

PRINTED FOR HIS MAJESTY'S STATIONERY OFFICE,
BY HARRISON AND SONS, ST. MARTIN'S LANE,
PRINTERS IN ORDINARY TO HIS MAJESTY.

And to be purchased, either directly or through any Bookseller, from
WYMAN AND SONS, LTD., FETTER LANE, E.C.; and
32, ABINGDON STREET, WESTMINSTER, S.W.; or
OLIVER AND BOYD, TWEEDDALE COURT, EDINBURGH; or
E. PONSONBY, 116, GRAFTON STREET, DUBLIN.

c+

No.

TABLE OF CONTENTS.

SUBJECT.

PROTOCOLS.

1 Protocol of Opening Sitting of Peace Conference, held on 15th June, 1907.

The Netherland Minister for Foreign Affairs, M. van Tets, welcomed the Delegates of the forty-five States taking part in the Conference. M. de Nélidow, the First Russian Plenipotentiary, was elected President of the Conference, and proceeded to propose the nomination of M. van Tets as Honorary President, and of M. de Beaufort, former Netherland Minister for Foreign Affairs, as Vice-President of the Conference; these proposals were unanimously accepted. The Secretariat was then constituted, and the Conference adjourned until 19th June.

2 Protocol of the Second Plenary Meeting, held on 19th June, 1907. After the Minutes of the proceedings of the First Plenary Meeting had been adopted and certain formal business transacted, the question of procedure was discussed, and the Regulations proposed were read Article by Article, and, with one omission, adopted (see Inclosure). The President then proposed the appointment of four Committees to deal respectively with the various subjects enumerated in the Russian programme (see "Miscellaneous No. 1 (1908)," No. 1).

Baron Marschall, the German Plenipotentiary, declared his intention of submitting a scheme for the establishment of an International Tribunal of Appeal in matters of naval prize. Sir E. Fry, the British Plenipotentiary, expressed his satisfaction at Baron Marschall's declaration, and added that he had received instructions of a similar character from his Government, and that he was therefore delighted to be able to associate himself with the other delegations in extending the principles of arbitration.

General Porter, the American Plenipotentiary, also supported the general principle of a Prize Court of Appeal. He further announced that he would in due course submit a proposal respecting the use of armed force for the collection of debts due to the private subjects or citizens of a foreign State by their Governments.

Both General Porter and Sir E. Fry made a general reservation of the right to introduce fresh subjects not mentioned in the Russian programme if they considered it expedient to do so.

A Special Committee, under M. de Beaufort, was appointed to deal with all addresses, resolutions, &c., from private persons or Associations to the Conference.

It was decided that the discussions of the Conference should be private.

3 Protocol of the Third Plenary Meeting, held on 20th July, 1907. After the Minutes of the proceedings of the Second Plenary Meeting had been adopted, M. de Beaufort, on behalf of the Committee appointed to deal with addresses, resolutions, &c., gave an account of the more important communications received by the Conference since it opened.

M. Louis Renault submitted a Report (see Annex 1, p. 87) prepared by the Third Committee respecting the amendments to be made in The Hague Convention of 29th July, 1899, for the adaptation to naval warfare of the principles of the Geneva Convention of 22nd August, 1864. The Articles of the amended Convention were read over one by one. Declarations were made by the Turkish and Persian Delegates respecting the recognition of their respective flags hoisted on board hospital ships. Sir E. Satow associated himself with the above declarations on behalf of His Majesty's Government. Reservations were further made by the British delegation in regard to Articles 6, 12, and 21. With the above and other slight reservations the draft Convention was unanimously adopted.

A Drafting Committee was formed for the purpose of harmonizing the schemes prepared by the four Committees. It was composed of the Presidents of the Committees and Sub-Committees, Secretaries and Reporters, and a few other specially qualified persons.

The Conference was reminded that their deliberations were private.

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No.

5

SUBJECT.

4 Protocol of the Fourth Plenary Meeting, held on 17th August, 1907.
After the Minutes of the proceedings of the Third Plenary Meeting had been adopted, the
President announced that the delegation of Uruguay adhered to the Convention respecting
the application of the Geneva Convention to land warfare; that the British delegation
withdrew their reservation as to Article 12 of the same Convention; and that the
Ottoman delegation withdrew their reserve as to Article 15.

The Conference then proceeded to discus he Report of the Second Committee (see
Annex 2, p. 100) on the amendments to be introduced into the 1899 Regulations respecting
the laws and customs of war on land. Baron Giesl de Gieslingen, Reporter of the
Committee, read the amended text. Germany and other countries raised objections to
Article 44 A. Thirty-five delegations voted for, and nine voted in favour of the amend-
ments subject to reservations.

The question of renewing the Declaration of 1899 respecting the prohibition to
throw projectiles and explosives from balloons was considered. Baron Giesl de
Gieslingen read the Belgian proposal for the renewal of this Declaration (see p. 106).
The French delegation expressed themselves unable to support the proposal. The
President thereupon referred to the British amendment, which was to the effect that in
paragraph 1 the words "for a term of five years" should be replaced by the words "until
the termination of the Third Peace Conference." On this amendment being put to the
vote, twenty-eight delegations voted for, eight against, and eight abstained from voting.
Austria-Hungary, Germany, Italy, and Russia were amongst those which voted in the
minority, while France did not vote at all. In spite of this vote, another one was taken
on the original Belgian proposal to renew the Declaration for five years. Twenty-nine
delegations voted for, eight against, and seven abstained from voting.

Sir E. Fry announced that his Government now accepted the Declaration of 1899,
prohibiting the use of projectiles the object of which was the diffusion of asphyxiating
or deleterious gases, and of bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body.

The Conference examined the Report of the Third Committee on the bombard-
ment by naval forces of undefended towns, villages, and dwellings (see Annex 3, p. 113).
The amended text of the Regulations was read Article by Article and was then put to
the vote. Forty-four delegations voted for, seven of them subject to reserves, including
Germany, France, Great Britain, and Japan.

Sir E. Fry moved the following Resolution in favour of the limitation of armaments :-
"The Conference confirms the Resolution adopted by the Conference of 1899 in regard
to the limitation of military expenditure; and inasmuch as military expenditure has con-
siderably increased in almost every country since that time, the Couference declares that
it is eminently desirable that the Governments should resume the serious examination of
this question."

In the course of his speech Sir E. Fry made an important declaration to the effect
that His Majesty's Government, which deplored the growing expenditure on armaments,
were ready to communicate annually to the Powers which were prepared to do likewise
the proposed programme of naval construction and the estimates therefor, with a view
to facilitating an exchange of views between the different Governments with regard to
the reductions which could by common agreement be effected. His Majesty's Govern-
ment believed that in this manner an understanding could be arrived at as to the annual
expenditure on naval construction. The United States' Plenipotentiary seconded the
British proposal; the French Plenipotentiary supported it. Communications in a similar
sense were read from the Spanish, Argentine, and Chilean delegations. In conclusion
the President read a speech in which he associated himself and the Russian Government
with the British proposal.

The proposal was received with applause by the Conference, and it was considered
unnecessary to put it to the vote.

Protocol of the Fifth Plenary Meeting, held on 7th September, 1907.
After the Minutes of the proceedings of the Fourth Plenary Meeting had been adopted and
certain business transacted, the Conference proceeded to discuss the Report of the Second

Pages

24-31

32-36

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