Imágenes de páginas

more modest proposal, with the result that M. Renault sat down beside him, took pen and paper in hand, and, after saying that he did not approve of the principle, drafted the project presented by the Belgian delegation in accordance with the views and desires of his colleague.

In the London Naval Conference, M. Renault, in addition to being a representative of France, was chairman of the committee of the whole and of the committee of examination, and reporter general. He prepared the masterly report upon the Declaration of London, which unfortunately has gone down like many a ship it was drafted to preserve.

In international arbitrations - to mention only those of The Hague under the provisions of the peaceful settlement conventionhe was arbiter in the Japanese House Tax case of 1905, between Japan, on the one hand, and Germany, France, and Great Britain, on the other; the Casa Blanca case of 1909 between Germany and France; the Savarkar case of 1911 between France and Great Britain; president of the tribunal in the Canevaro case of 1912 between Italy and Peru; arbiter in the Carthage case of 1913 between France and Italy, and in the Manouba case of 1913 between the same countries.

M. Renault's career as professor and international lawyer was so distinguished that, in comparison, his career as a writer may seem to be overshadowed; but it should not, and, indeed, it can not, be overlooked, as it would alone have sufficed to hold his name in grateful remembrance in two domains of the law. In conjunction with M. Lyon-Caen, a fellow student, a fellow professor in the Faculty of Law as well as in the School of Political Sciences, and the friend of a lifetime, he published a Compendium of Commercial Law, in two volumes, an elaborate treatise on commercial law in eight volumes (which reached a fourth edition two years ago), and a manual of commercial law, the twelfth edition of which appeared in 1916.

In the field of international law, as such, he has many an article and monograph devoted to special phases of the subject, some large collections of treaties and documents, and more than one book to his credit. His admirable introduction to the Study of International Law, published in 1879, and which has been translated into Japanese, he modestly called “the work of a beginner," and toward the end of his career, in a little work of almost the same size entitled The First Violations of International Law by Germany, dealing with the invasion of Luxemburg and Belgium by that Power in violation of the treaties

to which it was at the time a party, he brought to bear the principles of law, of justice, and of fidelity to the pledged word which he had professed and applied during a lifetime.

Among the texts which he edited, or with whose publication he was associated, but one need be mentioned, which, like all of his work is a model of its kind. It is a small volume and bears the simple title: : The Two Peace Conferences. Collection of Texts Adopted by the Conferences of 1899 and 1907. Supplementary Documents of 1909.

In appearance M. Renault was tall and well formed, with finely molded features, beaming with benevolence and good will, outwardly suggesting the simple curate whose precepts he inwardly and devoutly followed. So modest and unassuming, so unconscious of his greatness, and so unaware of the services which he had rendered in behalf of justice, upon which peace between nations can only be based, he was astounded when the Nobel Committee honored itself by awarding him a peace prize in 1907.

He was, indeed, although he knew it not, “the very oracle of international law."




Communicated by Dr. Juan Bautista de Lavalle, of the Peruvian Society

of International Law The Peruvian steamer Lorton was sunk by a German submarine, which captured it after having hoisted the French flag. This vessel had started from Caleta-Buena for Bilbao but was wrecked at a distance of four miles from the harbor of Suances upon the Spanish coast. After the completion of the act the Peruvian Legation at Berlin received instructions to inform the Imperial Government that the attack upon this neutral vessel, within neutral waters, with a cargo destined for a non-belligerent country, and outside the zone forbidden to navigation, constituted an unjustifiable attack against international law against which Peru protested, demanding at the same time in a peremptory manner that the German Government should repair the damage occasioned, pay indemnities, and condemn the act by punishing its authors.

Several months passed by, and the Imperial Government made the necessary investigations to enable it to make answer to the Peruvian note; finally, it decided to do so; it mentioned that the Lorton had been stopped and sunk for having had on board contraband of war, in conformity with Article 49 of the Declaration of London, and that the case would be settled by a prize court before which the parties interested might appear to justify their rights.

The Peruvian Government decided that such a decision was unacceptable and forwarded instructions to our minister at Berlin to transmit to the German Government a note in which our government maintained that in accord with the Declaration of London referred to by the Imperial note, the torpedoing of the Lorton was absolutely unjustified by reason of the nationality of the vessel, the nature and destination of the cargo, the place of the wrecking, the impossibility on the part of the vessel of knowing anything about the decree concerning the forbidden zones, which the Peruvian Government refused, moreover, to accept, and the principles governing maritime hostilities and protecting neutral vessels; for all these reasons Peru did not nor could she agree that the matter be taken before a prize court, and insisted in a decisive manner that the reparation and indemnification asked for should be complied with.

Subsequently, Germany declared herself ready to submit the matter to an arbitration in order to clear up the following point, to wit: whether the vessel had been sunk in Spanish waters, an insinuation which was repelled by our Minister for Foreign Affairs, who stated that the point was of no importance in view of the fact that, whether within or without these waters, the incontestable fact remained that the Lorton had been sunk within the twenty-mile maritime zone declared free by the decree of February 1st, and that the attack had been committed against a neutral vessel which was navigating in an absolutely licit commercial purpose and protected by the provisions of international law then in force.

As the efforts of our government remained ineffectual and our government could not secure from the Empire acceptance of the claim presented, Peru resolved to demand satisfaction within the space of one week from the German Government. The latter stated to the Peruvian representative at Berlin that it regarded the solution of the affair in peremptory terms as absolutely impossible. In possession of this answer, our Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. F. Tudela y Varela,

requested a meeting of Congress in order to inform it of the resolution of the government to break diplomatic relations with Germany; this decision was approved by 105 votes against 6. Immediately thereafter the Ministry ordered our minister at Berlin to ask for his passports and handed to Mr. Perl, German Minister to Peru, his passports.

The attitude of the Peruvian Government and Congress has met with the most enthusiastic approval on the part of public opinion and the press, which were in full accord with the sentiments and sympathies of the leaders of the Peruvian people. From the juridical and diplomatic point of view the act of Peru was fully justified.

Before the break on September 5th, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, while ratifying the declarations contained in the last message read to Congress by the President of the Republic, Mr. Joseph Pardo, and confirming the ideas set forth in the course of the discussion anent external politics, declared that the international policy of the government had for its object Pan-American solidarity founded upon the principles of international justice as proclaimed by President Wilson. The Chamber of Deputies agreed, therefore, to the declaration of the Minister for Foreign Affairs. On September 8th the Senate of the Republic unanimously adopted the following declaration: the international policy of Peru must be inspired by the principle of the solidarity of the nations of the continent with the United States, in harmony with the idea of international justice proclaimed by President Wilson and the declarations formulated in the Chamber of Deputies on the 5th of the current month by the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

In communicating to the different nations our break with Germany, the Minister stated in his important note on October 8th:

Peru, on her part, while endeavoring to realize the preponderance of a uniform continental policy, maintains with complete firmness the integrity of her national sovereign rights in the presence of the refutation made by Germany of the principles of naval warfare, and it is in defense of these same principles that Peru has been brought to break her relations with the Empire because of the act committed on the Spanish coast by the German submarine against the Lorion while this vessel was sailing between neutral ports, and exercising an authorized commerce in no way contrary to the German regulations with regard to forbidden zones which in themselves constitute a violation of the law of nations; an unjustifiable act for which the Peruvian Government was powerless to obtain the reparations which were due to it.

The resistance made by Germany against our just demand, in spite of the invocation of the general principles of international law, in spite of the consideration of this case from the point of view of these same arbitrary rules proclaimed by the German Government, the establishment of anterior facts for which a similar claim was favorably allowed,- these are acts which brought home to Peru the want of justice with which German policy is carried on and led her to take just action to counteract this policy in order that there might prevail in the world a juridical standard which might forever establish the predominance of right in the relations between nations.



It was foreseen by the framers of the Constitution, to whom we owe this more perfect Union, and indeed to whom we owe a more perfect union of States than has ever existed, that the government created by the States as their agent for general purposes should be invested with sovereign powers to handle matters of more interest to all States than to any one State; that matters of interest to the individual State should be determined by the sovereign powers of that State; and that the rules or regulations prescribed by the United States in the common interest should be uniform, whereas the rules and regulations prescribed by the individual States might infinitely vary, according to local conditions and circumstances. Among these general interests was that of naturalization, and to remove the subject from doubt it was provided in the eighth section of Article 1 of the Constitution that the Congress should have, among other grants of power, that “to establish an uniform rule of naturalization.” In pursuance of this grant the Congress has from time to time passed naturalization laws, the most elaborate one of which is that approved by the President June 29, 1906, entitled “An Act to establish a Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization and to provide a uniform rule for the naturalization of aliens throughout the United States.” The right of subjects or citizens to emigrate and to expatriate themselves is a logical consequence of the Declaration of Independence, which derives the powers of government from the consent of the governed.

While recognizing the right of expatriation in formal terms by Act of Congress of July 27, 1868, as "a natural and inherent right of all

« AnteriorContinuar »