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our relations with our sister Republics, and not be used among the American people in their relations to each other.
Mr. SAENZ PEÑA. I wish to reply briefly to the observations of my honorable colleague, the Delegate from Colombia.
I have not understood, Mr. President, that the committee would accept the amendment proposed by the honorable Delegate from Mexico; if they accept it I will vote for it with pleasure, for in making my motion I had no other intention than that of saving time and avoiding discussion.
With respect to the observation of the honorable Delegate from Colombia, on the revision of the internal laws of any nation, I must say that substantially I entirely agree with him. I have had occasion to maintain in the committees that all internal laws are and ought to be revised, so as to adjust themselves to the treaties which are entered into, and that a Congress, at the time of approving the stipulations, ought, by a special act, to amend or repeal all internal laws incompatible with their provisions. But that does not prove that either the Conference or the treaties ought to propose enactments of an internal character to the respective legislatures.
The honorable Delegate from Colombia, in speaking of the penal and civil matters provided for by treaties, has referred to questions bearing on jurisdiction, but in no wise to the gradation of punishment in penal matters, because that pertains to the internal policy of each country; laws are amendable in so far as they would prevent the substantial execution of such treaties.
It is clear that it is the interest of a nation to harmonize its internal order with the external. But this is the duty of the respective legislatures, and is not competent to this Conference; so that Mr. Estee's recommendation, to follow the procedure of the Congress of the United States, is foreign to the scope
of international relations,
Mr. ROMERO. I think it would shorten the discussion on this matter if the Chair were to decide, ac- : cording to Article 13 of the rules, to refer
amendment to the committee, so that if they consider it acceptable they may report upon it at this session, or withhold it for the following one, if they think they ought to study the point more carefully. But at all events, I think it should be referred to their consideration.
The chairman of the committee has told me privately that he would accept it, but I am not authorized to say so.
Mr. CASTELLANOS. The honorable Delegate from the Argentine Republic considers that it is not within the purview of the Conference to advise the Governments upon anything relative to their internal affairs. This question has arisen on account of the amendment proposed by the honorable Delegate from Mexico. With a desire to avoid difficulties, and, as I said before, in order that it may not be thought that I made it a question of personal pride to sustain the report, I stated that I would accept any wording whatsoever, either that proposed by the Hon. Mr. Romero or any other, and if it is necessary for me to state that I accept it, I do so, in order to put an end at once to the discussion.
The FIRST VICE-PRESIDENT. The Chair would like to know whether the members of the Committee on Weights and Measures accept the modification proposed by the honorable Delegate from Mexico, Mr. Romero ?
Mr. CASTELLANOS. Mr. President, I spoke for myself alone, because I have not yet consulted
the point with
my honorable colleague from the United States.
Mr. STUDEBAKER. I call for the reading of the preamble and resolution offered by the committee.
(The report of the committee was read; also the modification offered by Mr. Romero.)
Mr. Alfonso (Chili). In the name of the Chilian Delegation, Mr. President, I must state that I shall give my vote to the widest and most comprehensive proposition, for although I think in general, like the honorable Delegate from the Argentine Republic, that this Conference can only concern itself with international affairs, nevertheless, through force of circumstances, this must often go much further, as it will have to in this instance.
Suppose it were decided that the Conference recommend to all the countries the adoption of the decimal system, when will each nation know what documents or circumstances are to exist or govern in foreign relations? If it happened that they were governed in the interior by a system different from the decimal one, the result would be that at each step use would be made of antecedents and documents not in accordance with the recommendation of this Conference.
Therefore if it decides that the nations represented here should adopt the metric system in internal as well as external affairs, I think the most comprehensive proposition is the best.
The FIRST VICE-PRESIDENT. As the committee has accepted the amendment of Mr. Romero, the vote will be taken on the report as amended.
The roll-call resulted as follows:
So the report of the Committee on Weights and Measures as amended was adopted, as follows:
THE RECOMMENDATIONS AS ADOPTED.
Resolved, That the International American Conference recommends the adoption of the metrical decimal system to the nations here represented, which have not already accepted it.
SESSION OF FEBRUARY 26, 1890.
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON RAILWAY COM
[As submitted February 21, and adopted by the Conference February
26, 1890.] The International American Conference is of the opinion:
First. That a railroad connecting all or the majority of the nations represented in this Conference will contribute greatly to the development of cordial relations between said nations and the growth of their material interests.
Second. That the best method of facilitating its execution is the appointment of an International Commission of engineers to ascertain the possible routes, to determine their true length, to estimate the cost of each, and to compare their respective advantages.
Third. That the said Commission should consist of a body of engineers, of whom each nation should appoint three, and which should have authority to divide into subcommissions, and appoint as many other engineers and employés as may be considered necessary for the more rapid execution of the work.
Fourth. That each of the Governments accepting may appoint, at its own expense, commissioners or engineers to serve as auxiliaries to the subcommissions charged with the sectional surveys of the line.
Fifth. That the railroad, in so far as the common interests will permit, should connect the principal cities lying in the vicinity of its route.
Sixth. That if the general direction of the line can not be altered without great inconvenience, for the purpose mentioned in the preceding article, branch lines should be surveyed to connect those cities with the main line.