Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

cause they do not emanate from the House. That is very likely what Secretary Fish had in mind in his comments upon the proposed treaty between the Argentine Republic and the United States which the honorable Delegate has alluded to. I repeat it, many statesmen in this country believe that such treaties are not constitutional, because they do not emanate from the House of Representatives, as the Constitution requires; and that the best method which has been found for avoiding this difficulty, as in the case, for instance, of the treaty with England in regard to Canada, which was the first of this class negotiated by this country, was to provide that it should not be in force before it was approved by a bill passed by the House of Representatives. The same course was adopted as to the treaty with the Hawaiian Islands.

The Mexican treaty has never been approved by the House of Representatives, but it was ratified by the Senate and it appears among the perfected treaties of the United States.

The treaty with San Domingo was not rejected by the Congress of the United States; that country negotiated it under one administration, and then the succeeding administration, being of different opinion, did not think it expedient to accept it, and recalled it from the Senate, which had not yet passed upon it, either to approve or reject it. The same thing occurred with the reciprocity treaty with Spain as to trade in Cuban products.

It is not strange that such changes should take place as to matters of such importance, of such moment, among successive administrations, especially in this country, in view of the fact that frequently they belong to different parties and have different economic views. One administration had negotiated a treaty with Mexico; the same negotiated treaties with the Republic of Santo Domingo and with Spain; but a new administration coming in, it upheld the treaty with Mexico and withdrew the other two.

I will not undertake to speak of the treaty between the Argentine Republic and the United States, because I do not wish to intervene in a matter which does not concern me; but I think something similar took place because it happened when the administration of General Grant, whose Secretary of State was Mr. Fish, came into power.

Probably Mr. Fish's personal opinion was opposed to reciprocity treaties, and when the suggestion was made to him by the Argentine Government he set forth the reasons which, in his judgment, justified a refusal to enter into such treaties. I do not think he can have had any other motive. Even in this country opinion is much divided as to the expediency of reciprocity treaties. It thus appears that public opinion, for a long time hostile to these treaties, has during the last few years commenced to change, and there has existed a desire to negotiate them, at least on the part of the President and the Senate. That body has never actually rejected any of these treaties, and even the Mexican treaty, never came to be discussed and voted on in the House of Representatives. In that treaty, I ought to say, a period was fixed during which it was to be put in operation; that period expired before the House of Representatives took action on it, so that without being actually rejected, in fact it was not approved by the House of Representatives during the time fixed therefor. Mr. SAENZ PEÑA. To reply briefly I will say

that when I referred to the disapproval or rejection of treaties I spoke of Congress and not of one or other of the Houses. It is a matter of absolute indifference to me whether the House of Representatives or the Senate rejects it. If a treaty is not in force it does not exist and that is all there is about it.

REMARKS OF MR. GUZMÁN.

Mr. GUZMÁN. As a member of the Committee on Customs Union I wish to say a few words at this point with regard to the brilliant speeches which we have listened to from the honorable Delegate from the Argentine Republic, as well as from Messrs. Romero and Alfonso.

I, Mr. President, do not propose to combat in any manner the ideas or opinions of my colleagues of the minoritv who have presented their report, since they deserve much respect, as do all the members of this Conference; but since a report bearing my signature has been opposed, I consider it my duty to say a word on the subject.

In my opinion, Mr. President, the International Conference ought to adopt the report of the majority, because in that report, in addition to recognizing that the idea of an American customs union can not be realized, the reasons are stated which have led to this conclusion, and entire justice is done to the subject without in any way compromising the individual views entertained in this Conference, which in my mind would not be the result if the report of the minority were accepted.

The minority report, Mr. President, is couched in terms that, as I understand it, may lead to interpretations which do not represent the sentiments which surely animate all, or at least the greater part of the Governments here represented.

The minority report recommends: That the project of a Customs Union between the nations of America be rejected.

This resolution, in my opinion, Mr. President, involves the idea that the inviting Government has forced upon the American nations the proposition of establishing a Customs Union, and that the Conference rejects that proposition, since it is so said in the minority report.

Mr. President, I do not believe that the United States Government has proposed to the American nations the establishment of a Zollverein such as is understood in Germany and such as we all understand it here. In my way of looking at it the only thing the United States Government has done (and I can refer to the act of Congress in virtue of which this Conference was convened) was to call the attention of the nations of America to the consideration of the project of a Customs Union, in order . that such measures might be taken (I think the act says so) as would lead to the establishment of a union, with the object of increasing the commercial relations between the nations of America.

This is very different from presenting to the Conference a scheme like the Zollverein, which we now reject.

Mr. President, if the United States Government had wished to present to this Conference the project of a Customs Union, it would have done so by means of its organ, which in this case is the American delegation to this Conference, and if I rightly remember, the honorable American Delegate, General Henderson, at one of the meetings of the committee, was one of the first to declare that the idea of an American Zollverein could not be realized.

Why, then, Mr. President, shall the International American Conference now say that it rejects the proposition of an American Customs Union, when no such proposition has ever been presented? Why not accept the resolution or recommendation proposed by the majority ? It includes all that is expressed by the resolution contained in the minority report so far as relates to demonstrating the difficulties and the impossibility of effecting a Customs Union, and it moreover presents it in a style and form which in my opinion is more acceptable.

I think, Mr. President, that we ought to proceed at once to vote whether we should accept the proposition of the majority or that of the minority. As for the treaties of reciprocity recommended by the majority, it seems to me that all that has been done is simply to present to the American nations, as the report says, a recommendation to the effect that those who consider it advisable to negotiate treaties should do so; and this has been presented to them as a means of establishing more intimate commercial relations between the nations here represented.

Therefore, Mr. President, I would like the discussion of this matter to be now terminated, and terminated by a vote of the Conference as to whether it accepts the minority report signed by the honorable-Delegates from the Argentine Republic and Chili, or that of the majority, which, in my opinion, presents both the interests of the American people and the views here entertained by the Governments here represented.

Mr. SAENZ PEÑA. It seems to me that the remarks made by the honorable Delegate from Nicaragua are premature in the defense of the American delegation against an imputation or attack which has not been made by any one, neither by the honorable Delegate from Chili nor by myself, who are the two representing the minority. If the report of the minority had said that it advised the rejection of the idea of a Customs Union upheld or presented by the American delegation, I would agree with the honorable Delegate from Nicaragua in the conclusion endorsed by him; but if the gentleman had given me more attention he would have heard me, in my discourse, take pains to declare that the honorable Delegate from the United States does not accept the idea of the Zollverein, and there is a long paragraph in which I say that I am glad that the United States does not look to the Zollverein for that promotion of the commercial relations of America which we seek for; so that an idea is attributed to us which we do not favor, neither the honorable Delegate from Chili nor the one from the Argentine. We have no reason for representing the United States as holding views or sentiments other than those which their delegation has maintained; but one thing that can not be overlooked by the honorable Delegate from Nicaragua is the fact that the delegates from the United States have proposed the discussion of the measure, and this is the idea that we oppose, and it certainly can not appear that there is

respect in the fact that we do not declare ourselves agreeable to a system which the United States at some time thought of trying to establish; a system which, in my opinion, is not expedient. I

any lack of

« AnteriorContinuar »