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included railway transportation, uniformity of bills of lading, postal facilities and cable, telegraph and wireless communication; uniformity and relative equality in laws and regulations governing the organization and treatment of foreign corporations; uniformity of laws on the subject of checks; the question of the best method of avoiding the simultaneous double taxation of individuals and corporations as between American countries, and that of the creation of an Inter-American tribunal for the adjustment of questions of a commercial or financial nature involving two or more American countries, and the determination of such questions by principles of law and equity. The Commission was also requested to continue its efforts to bring about the further adoption of the International Gold Clearance Fund Convention. The subject of maritime transportation was referred to the United States Shipping Board.
By another resolution the Conference recommended that where restrictions existed under the laws of States of the United States, which in effect prevented the operation of branches of foreign banks within their jurisdiction, such restrictions should be so modified as to permit the establishment of branches of banks of the Latin-American countries, under proper regulations, so as to insure equality of treatment. This resolution was prompted by the fact that United States banks, both National and State, have been permitted to establish branches in various Latin-American countries.
The Conference recommended the increased use of acceptances for the purpose of financing transactions involving the importation and exportation of goods, at the same time expressing the hope that the United States would open a constantly widening market for the longterm securities of American countries. It also recommended that the banking interests of the United States study the possibility of financial relief to Europe by repaying Latin-American obligations held in Europe by means of new loans granted in the United States to the respective Latin-American countries.
Yet other resolutions dealt with the subject of patents and copyrights, advising early and favorable action by all non-ratifying gov. ernments on the conventions adopted by the International American Conference at Buenos Aires in 1910; with the subject of trade-marks, urging the prompt ratification of the Buenos Aires convention of 1910 by all the governments that had not so far approved it, and suggesting that, pending the establishment of the International Bureau at Rio de Janeiro, consideration be given to the use of the Havana Bureau by countries of the southern group that had ratified the convention; with the subject of weights and measures, recommending that the Metric System be universally employed, and that, pending the attainment of that end, articles weighed and marked, and shipping documents prepared, according to the system of weights and measures now prevailing in the United States, be accompanied with statements giving the equivalents under the Metric System; with the subject of a simultaneous census, recommending that such an one be taken in all the American countries at regular intervals, not exceeding ten years, in harmony with the system prevailing in the United States, and that uniformity should be observed in the preparation of statistical works; and with the arbitration of commercial disputes, advising that the plan put into effect between the Bolsa de Comercio of Buenos Aires and the Chamber of Commerce of the United States in 1916 be extended to all the American countries, and that legislation be adopted, wherever it is now lacking, for the purpose of incorporating the arbitral settlement of commercial disputes into the judicial system, to be carried out under the supervision of the courts.
The Conference, recognizing the value of the services of commercial attachés, strongly urged a substantial extension of the system, and declared that, in so doing, it intended “to express its sense of the importance of appropriate training, linguistic and otherwise, for all branches of the foreign service, as a means of developing and facilitating commercial and financial relations."
The Conference recommended that the Webb Law, which to a certain extent permits combinations in the export trade, be so amended as to permit American companies, importing or dealing in raw materials produced abroad, to form, under proper governmental regulation, organizations to enable such companies to compete on terms of equality with companies of other countries associated for the conduct of such business. At the same time the Conference resolved that it was in the interest of all nations that there should be the widest possible distribution of raw materials, and that the importation of such materials into any country should not be prevented by prohibitive duties.
The foregoing summary of the resolutions of the Conference suffices to indicate the character and scope of its work. Looking to the future, it may be affirmed that work such as that in which the PanAmerican Financial Conferences and their permanent organ, the Inter-American High Commission, are engaged, is of incalculable importance. The American Republics cover a vast area with an aggregate population of almost 200,000,000. They represent all varieties of soil, of climate and of resources. Not in any sordid sense, but in the sense of contribution to the comfort and convenience of all men, through sharing the benefits of what the earth produces, it may be said that the future lies with the Western Hemisphere, and that its development has just begun.
THE DECLARATION OF PARIS
By CHARLES H. STOCKTON
Rear Admiral, U. S. Navy, retired
The Declaration of Paris of 1856 reads as follows:
(1) Privateering is and remains abolished. (2) The neutral flag covers enemy goods with the exception of
contraband of war. (3) Neutral goods, with the exception of contraband of war, are
not liable to capture under an enemy's flag. (4) Blockades, in order to be binding, must be effective, that is to
say, maintained by a force sufficient to prevent access to the coasts of an enemy.
This declaration was directly and indirectly caused by the Crimean War, beginning in 1854 and ending in 1856, which war was a result of the war between Turkey and Russia, which began in October, 1853.
The ustensible cause of this latter war was a dispute which had arisen upon the custody of the Holy Places in Jerusalem. The real cause was the intention of Russia to begin the dismemberment of the Turkish Empire in Europe. The Czar of Russia suggested in January, 1853, to the British Ambassador at St. Petersburg that England might receive Egypt and Crete as her portion of the proposed result. France and England were ready, however, for various reasons, to come to the assistance of Turkey, while Count Cavour, in order to increase the prestige and political position of Sardinia, was desirous of joining the Anglo-French Alliance.
Before the war actually occurred, during the time of its foreshadowment, the commercial neutrals in Europe, then mainly the Scandinavian Powers, began to initiate movements for protecting and fostering the lucrative trade afloat which follows in the train of war and from which they had benefited in the past. On January 2, 1854, Sweden, then united with Norway, and Denmark addressed identical dispatches to the actual and possible belligerents. Their dispatches announced in case of war, the steadfast adherence on the part of these Powers to “a strict neutrality founded in good faith, impartially, and an equal respect for the rights of all the Powers" which would in time impose on the Kings of Sweden and Denmark certain obligations. These were to abstain from participation in the war, direct or indirect; to admit to their ports the vesels of war and merchantmen of the belligerents under certain restrictions; to absolutely refuse admittance to privateers; to accord to belligerent vessels facilities for the supply of stores not contraband of war; to exclude prizes from their ports except in cases of distress. On the other hand, the advantages they claimed were to enjoy in their commercial relations with the countries at war all securities and all facilities for their vessels, as well as for their cargoes, with the obligation at all times for such vessels to conform to the regulations generally established and recognized for special cases of declared and effective blockades. The dispatches concluded with the statement that “Such are the general principles of the neutrality adopted by His Majesty the King in the event of war breaking out in Europe. His Majesty the King flatters himself that they will be acknowledged as in conformity with the Law of Nations."
These declarations of neutrality were notified by Denmark to the United States of America on January 20, 1854, and by Sweden on January 28, as well as to the other neutral Powers. Secretary Marcy, then Secretary of State of the United States, replied in both cases on the 14th of February, that the views expressed by the two governments were regarded by the President “with all the interest which the occasion demands." The Danish Chargé at Washington was further notified that the United States felt “deep solicitude in the events now transpiring in Europe, not only on account of the general anxiety they occasion to those Powers more nearly exposed to the menaced evils, but also as having a most important ulterior bearing upon the United States."
In the meantime, the Czar of Russia had been endeavoring to obtain the consent of the United States to the issue of Russian letters of marque to citizens of the United States. Reports to Europe from America tended to show that public opinion in the United States was favorable to the allies, but the question of service of Americans in Russian privateers presented difficulties. So far as I have examined the matter, I cannot find that any Americans accepted letters of marque from Russia which would have been, under our neutrality