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On the 1st of February we intend to begin submarine warfare unrestricted. In spite of this it is our intention to endeavor to keep neutral the United States of America.
If this attempt is not successful, we propose an alliance on the following basis with Mexico: That we shall make war together and together make peace. We shall give general financial support, and it is understood that Mexico is to reconquer the lost territory in New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona. The details are left to you for settlement.
You are instructed to inform the President of Mexico of the above in the greatest confidence as soon as it is certain there will be an outbreak of war with the United States, and suggest that the President of Mexico on his own initiative should communicate with Japan suggesting adherence at once to this plan; at the same time offer to mediate between Germany and Japan.
Please call to the attention of the President of Mexico that the employment of ruthless submarine warfare nov promises to compel England to make peace in a few months.
May we not hope that the words of Hosea, found applicable in the past, may always apply to those who would create discord and distrust between nations: “They have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.”
JAMES BROWN SCOTT.
TREATMENT OF ENEMY ALIENS
Apart from its special horrors and excesses, due mainly to the Teutonic theory and practice of warfare, the Great European War seems to mark a reversion to certain former severities which modern civilization was supposed to have outlived. While most of these reactionary tendencies or practices are wholly unjustified, others may perhaps be successfully defended on the ground of a fundamental change in the conditions of modern warfare.
Among the defensible reversions to former severities which were supposed to have been abandoned is that of the detention in concentration camps of enemy aliens of military age.
It is true that there has never been a clearly defined rule of international law governing the treatment of enemy aliens. Even in the Middle Ages alien merchants regarded as enemies were usually permitted to dispose of their property or depart with it. Sometimes a period of forty days was allowed for this purpose. As is well known, Magna Charta provided for the security both of the persons and property of
i Congressional Record, Vol. 55, No. 4, p. 194.
foreign enemy merchants. In 1666 Louis XIV issued a proclamation permitting Englishmen three months in which to leave with their property.
After a careful examination of modern practice, the writer of this editorial thus stated what he supposed was the present-day practice relating to the treatment of enemy aliens, on page 362 of his Essentials of International Law, published in 1912:
A considerable practice of over a century and a half has established the customary rule that nationals of the enemy State found in belligerent territory at the outbreak of war are permitted to remain during good behavior, unless their expulsion is required by military considerations. Permission to remain carries with it, of course, the right to protection of life and property and an obligation of temporary allegiance. If ordered to leave, alien enemies should be given a reasonable time for the withdrawal or disposal of their property. Nor may they any longer be detained or held as prisoners.
It was added in two footnotes:
The only instances of expulsion during recent wars with which we are familiar have been that of the Germans from Paris in 1870 a precautionary measure which has been much criticized; the expulsion of various categories of British subjects during the Boer War; and the forcible ejectment and cruel treatment of Japanese refugees in Manchuria and Siberia by the Russians during the Russo-Japanese War. In its Imperial Order of February 28, 1904, the Russian Government had authorized Japanese subjects to continue, under the protection of the Russian Law, to reside and to follow peaceful callings in the Russian Empire except in territories forming part of the Imperial Lieutenancy of the Far East. In its “Instructions” of February 10, 1904, the Japanese Government made no exceptions whatever, though it was made clear that such permission to continue residence in Japan should be considered as an act of grace and conditional upon good behavior.
The last instance of forcible detention occurred in 1803, when Napoleon I ordered the arrest of all Englishmen between eighteen and sixty years of age residing in France, as an unjustifiable reprisal for the British capture of French vessels without & prior declaration of war.
In another footnote the writer had, however, raised the question whether, in a future war on the European Continent, the practice of detention of alien enemies might not be revived. He observed:
The question has been raised whether, in view of the generality of the obligation of military service on the Continent of Europe, it would be permissible to detain alien enemies who might otherwise join the opposing belligerent army. It would be difficult to justify an obligation to permit the departure of such persons, though it appears to be tolerated on grounds of policy.
The modern practice is thus stated by a recent authority, Coleman Phillipson, in his International Law and the Great War (pages 83-85):
Though there is no definitive international law on the subject, it has become a modern customary rule that enemy aliens may not be arrested, nor their property confiscated, but should be allowed a reasonable time for withdrawal. No aliens of any kind, even friendly and neutral, may claim, as a right, to remain within the jurisdiction; every State, in virtue of its sovereign power, is entitled, if it sees fit, to expel en masse all enemy subjects, even if they are established bona fide and have acquired a domicile. If they are not called upon to leave, and are allowed to continue their residence, they should be treated, subject to special restrictions of the municipal law and of government orders, with moderation, if not on terms of perfect equality with subjects. So long as they remain inoffensive, carefully respect the law, and fulfill other requirements demanded by the interests of public security, they ought not to be treated as enemies or even as though they were prisoners of war.
Whether an exception to the rule of free withdrawal is to be made in the case of such enemy aliens as are liable to military service is a question depending on considerations of public policy, military necessity, and reciprocal treatment by the hostile government.
Immediately upon the outbreak of the present war it became evident that France and Germany at least had no intention of permitting the departure of enemy aliens of military age to swell the ranks of the opposing belligerent armies. As the war continued, an ever-increasing number of enemy civilians have been interned in these countries. In Germany we know that these have not merely been held as prisoners, but have often been treated in the most cruel and ignominious fashion. Several hundreds of thousands of civilians or noncombatants have even been deported into Germany from the occupied districts of Belgium and northern France and reduced to a condition of slavery of the most fearful sort.
"Owing to the extensive diffusion of German subjects, the existence of large numbers in this country [England], and the extraordinarily elaborate net of espionage spread everywhere by their [the German] authorities," the British Parliament, on August 5, 1914, passed a very drastic Aliens Restriction Act. “This Act empowered the King in Council to impose on aliens whatever restrictions might be deemed necessary to prohibit them from landing on our [British] shores, to provide measures for deporting alien residents in the United Kingdom, or to require such aliens as were permitted to remain and comply with
any regulations that might be made with regard to registration, place of abode, traveling, or otherwise." 1
The British Aliens Restriction Act was soon supplemented by an Aliens Restriction Order, which prescribed more definite and detailed restrictions on the freedom of enemy aliens resident in the United Kingdom.
In the United States it is provided by Statute (sect. 4067 of the Revised Statutes):
Whenever there is declared a war between the United States and any foreign nation or government, or any invasion or predatory incursion is perpetrated, attempted, or threatened against the territory of the United States, by any foreign nation or government, and the President makes public proclamation of the event, all natives, citizens, denizens, or subjects of the hostile nation or government, being males of the age of fourteen years and upwards, who shall be within the United States, and not actually naturalized, shall be liable to be apprehended, restrained, secured, and removed, as alien enemies. The President is authorized, in any such event, by his proclamation thereof, or other public act, to direct the conduct to be observed, on the part of the United States, toward the aliens who become so liable; the manner and degree of the restraint to which they shall be subject, and in what cases, and upon what security their residence shall be permitted, and to provide for the removal of those who, not being permitted to reside within the United States, refuse or neglect to depart therefrom; and to establish any other regulations which are found necessary in the premises and for the public safety.
In pursuance of this authority vested in him by an Act of Congress, President Wilson, immediately upon our declaration of war against Germany on April 6, 1917, issued the following declaration:
All alien enemies are enjoined to preserve the peace towards the United States and to refrain from crime against the public safety, and from violating the laws of the United States and of the States and Territories thereof, and to refrain from actual hostility or giving information, aid or comfort to the enemies of the United States, and to comply strictly with the regulations which are hereby or which may be from time to time promulgated by the President; and so long as they shall conduct themselves in accordance with law, they shall be undisturbed in the peaceful pursuit of their lives and occupations and be accorded the consideration due to all peaceful and law-abiding persons, except so far as restrictions may be necessary for their own protection and for the safety of the United States; and towards such alien enemies as conduct themselves in accordance with law, all citizens of the United States are enjoined to preserve the peace and to treat them with all such friendliness as may be compatible with loyalty and allegiance to the United States;
1 The above citations are from Coleman Phillipson, op. cit., pp. 85 and 86.
2 For the texts of this Act and this Order, see the Appendices to Baty and Morgan, War: Its Conduct and Legal Results.
And all alien enemies who fail to conduct themselves as so enjoined, in addition to all other penalties prescribed by law, shall be liable to restraint, or to give security, or to remove and depart from the United States in the manner prescribed by Sections four thousand and sixty-nine and four thousand and seventy of the Revised Statutes, and as prescribed in the regulations duly promulgated by the President.
The President also declared and established the following regulations:
(1) An alien enemy shall not have in his possession, at any time or place, any firearm, weapon, or implement of war, or component part thereof, ammunition, maxim or other silencer, bomb or explosive or material used in the manufacture of explosives;
(2) An alien enemy shall not have in his possession at any time or place, or use or operate any aircraft or wireless apparatus, or any form of signaling device, or any form of cipher code, or any paper, document or book written or printed in cipher or in which there may be invisible writing;
(3) All property found in the possession of an alien enemy in violation of the foregoing regulations shall be subject to seizure by the United States;
(4) An alien enemy shall not approach or be found within one-half of a mile of any Federal or State fort, camp, arsenal, aircraft station, Government, or naval vessel, navy yard, factory, or workshop for the manufacture of munitions of war or of any products for the use of the army or navy;
(5) An alien enemy shall not write, print, or publish any attack or threats against the Government or Congress of the United States, or either branch thereof, or against the measures or policy of the United States, or against the person or property of any person in the military, naval, or civil service of the United States, or of the States or Territories, or of the District of Columbia, or of the municipal governments therein;
(6) An alien enemy shall not commit or abet any hostile act against the United States, or give information, aid, or comfort to its enemies;
(7) An alien enemy shall not reside in or continue to reside in, to remain in, or enter any locality which the President may from time to time designate by Executive Order as a prohibited area in which residence by an alien enemy shall be found by him to constitute a danger to the public peace and safety of the United States, except by permit from the President and except under such limitations or restrictions as the President may prescribe;
(8) An alien enemy whom the President shall have reasonable cause to believe to be aiding or about to aid the enemy, or to be at large to the danger of the public peace or safety of the United States, or to have violated or to be about to violate any of these regulations, shall remove to any location designated by the President by the Executive Order, and shall not remove therefrom without a permit, or shall depart from the United States if so required by the President;
(9) No alien enemy shall depart from the United States, until he shall have received such permit as the President shall prescribe, or except under order of a court, judge, or justice, under Sections 4069 and 4070 of the Revised Statutes;
(10) No alien enemy shall land in or enter the United States, except under such restrictions and at such places as the President may prescribe;