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Consular Cases and Opinions from the decisions of the English and
American Courts and the Opinions of the Attorneys General. By Ellery C. Stowell, Docteur en droit (Paris), Graduate of the Ecole Libre des Sciences Politiques, Secretary of the College of the Political Sciences. Washington: John Byrne & Co. 1909. Pp. xxxvi, 811.
In compiling this book Doctor Stowell has not only rendered a great service to the many young men who are pursuing courses of study in our colleges and universities with a view of entering upon a career in the consular service recently made possible by the application of civil service principles to appointments in that branch of the public service, but he has also provided a most useful reference book for consuls, lawyers and others who may be called upon to deal with problems connected with the exercise of consular functions. Any one who has had to refer to the decisions of the American courts upon consular questions can not but feel grateful to Doctor Stowell for making a laborious task comparatively easy.
Perhaps the best way to describe the book would be to follow the order of its arrangement. There are a list of abbreviations, alphabetical and chronological lists of cases, tables of judges and of the opinions of the Attorneys General, usually found in books of this character. The regulations of the Institute of International Law relating to consular immunities are given an appropriate place in the first part of the volume.
The American and British cases relating to consuls with the appropriate references to dates and the volumes in which reports of the cases may be found occupy the next 450 pages of the book.
The cases are followed by the opinions of the Attorneys General relating to consuls, chronologically arranged and supplied with very satisl'actory synopses which aid materially in quickly ascertaining the purport of any opinion.
In addition, there have been included a useful subject analysis of treaties in relation to consuls to which the l'nited States is a party, prepared by Mr. Woislav Petrovitch, formerly American Vice-Consul at Belgrade; an index to the Federal Statutes relating to consuls prepared by Messrs. Scott and Beaman, and a table of cases cited.
Besides a comprehensive index to the volume, Doctor Stowell has added a compendium, the purpose of which is to arrange under subject headings references to the pertinent cases and opinions somewhat in the manner of an index-digest. The compendium is one of the most practical and useful features of the book and enables one to see at a glance
precisely what cases the courts have dealt with upon any branch of the general subject.
In this connection one can not but regret that the compendium should have been limited to a brief statement of the point involved in each case to which reference is made. It would seem that the book would have been vastly improved if all the cases and opinions in their entirety had been arranged chronologically under the appropriate subject headings so that one endeavoring to find the law upon any branch of the subject might turn to the proper head and find thereunder all that had been said upon the point by the American and British courts and by the Attorneys General. The arrangement suggested would have been invaluable to the busy consul or professional man using the book occasionally to whom convenience is of prime importance.
It is also believed that the volume would have been much more useful had the author seen fit to supply in all cases a succinct statement of the facts, and a synopsis of the opinion of the court as well as the full opinion instead of limiting himself in a majority of instances to a brief statement of the holding of the court.
The volume is not designed to cover a much broader field than that covered by Doctor Stowell's first book on “Le Consul ” and therefore does not include cases and opinions referring to the exercise of extraterritorial jurisdiction by consular officers. As the author intimates, this subject is really one deserving separate treatment and furthermore is likely to become less important as time goes on. Already within ten years this special jurisdiction has been abolished in Japan, Zanzibar, Samoa and Siam, and there are indications that the time may not be far distant when a similar change may take place in Turkey.
On the whole the book is creditable piece of work and one that can not but prove of great value to consuls as well as to students of consular affairs and to lawyers, who have hitherto felt the need of a compilation in convenient form of the information which this volume contains.
WILBUR J. CARR.
pp. xi, 166.
Letters to “The Times” upon War and Neutrality (1881-1909), with
some Commentary. By Thomas Erskine Holland. Longmans, Green, and Co., 39 Paternoster Row, London: 1909.
During the Civil War a series of letters, over the signature of Historicus, dealing with questions of belligerency, appeared in the London Times. They were written by the late Sir William Vernon-Harcourt while at the bar, who, yielding to the judgment of competent authorities,
published them in book form with considerable additions. As revised and enlarged they have not only taken a permanent place in international law, but may properly be considered classics.
The publication of Professor Holland's Letters to the Times Upon War and Neutrality suggests comparison with the letters of Historicus, and notwithstanding their brevity and casual origin, they stand the test.
Professor Holland's letters were regarded at the time of their publication as contributions to international law. As such they were quoted by writers on international law, and in the Second Hague Peace Conference Professor Holland's letters to the Times dealing with the destruction of neutral prizes were cited as the opinion of one of the most celebrated contemporary writers on international law” (Deuxieme Conférence International de la Pair, Actes et Documents, Vol. 3, pp. 992–993, 1018); and two of the letters, dated respectively August 17th and August 30th, 1904, were presented by the German delegation as the authoritative statement on the subject and as such are printed in the proceedings of the Conference (Ibid., pp. 1171, 1172).
Professor Holland was therefore well-advised to reprint his various letters to the Times and to furnish them with an adequate commentary.
A careful reading of these letters shows them to have permanent value, for they not only state within the narrowest compass the international law at the time of writing, but indicate at one and the same time the tendency and line of future development, and it must be a source of gratification to Professor Holland to see that his various sug. gestions and predictions have been justified by the action of international conferences. By way of a concrete example, the series of letters on the naval bombardment of open coast towns, pages 73–85, may be selected, for Professor Holland's views on this subject have not merely been adopted by the Institute of International Law, but substantially incorporated in the Hague convention of 1907 respecting bombardments by naval forces in time of war.
JAMES BROWN SCOTT.
Diplomatic Memoirs. By John W. Foster, author of "A Century of
American Diplomacy," "American Diplomacy in the Orient,” “The Practice of Diplomacy,” etc. Boston and New York: Houghton Miflin Company. 1909. 2 Vols. Illustrations.
General Foster has at least five separate careers, any one of which would have rounded out the life and satisfied the ambition of an ordinary
His service in the field during the Civil War was distinctly creditable to him as a man and a soldier and of value to the country. His rich and varied experience in practical diplomacy in Mexico, Russia and Spain was equally valuable to the countries to which he was accredited as well as to the United States which he had the honor to represent. As legal adviser to China after its disastrous war with Japan and his active participation in negotiating the terms of peace of Shimonoseki, he rendered inestimable service to China and enhanced the prestige of the United States in the Far East. As Secretary of State at the close of President Harrison's administration he cleared off the arrears of business, having, as he says with just pride, acted upon every pending question before the Department ripe for settlement.
As an international lawyer he has an enviable reputation, for he has appeared as agent of the United States in the Bering Sea Arbitration and in the Alaskan Boundary case. In addition he has pressed to a successful conclusion various claims against the United States placed in his hands, and he has been at all times a safe and trusted counselor of various foreign legations at Washington. Finally, and as a mere incident in busy career, he has won no little recognition as a writer on subjects connected with international law and diplomacy. His “Century of American Diplomacy" (1900), his "American Diplomacy in the Orient” (1903), his “Arbitration and the Hague Court” (1904), his
Practice of Diplomacy” (1907) are standard books, and his “Diplomatic Memoirs," published in the present year, will undoubtedly enhance a reputation already high. It should be mentioned in passing, as an indication of General Foster's modesty, that he does not refer to his literary career, although he refers in one instance for details to his “American Diplomacy in the Orient."
General Foster has entitled the work under review Diplomatic Memoirs, and has therefore excluded from his long and busy career episodes which would have been interesting to a wide circle of readers. For example, he barely mentions his career before 1872 when he was appointed American Minister to Mexico, and dismisses his early career with a few paragraphs on his ancestry, his education, his career in the army (Vol. 1, p. 9) and his experience in Indiana politics.
General Foster was appointed to the diplomatic service without any special qualifications, but like so many others selected from private life, he amply and immediately justified the choice. As the result of a lifetime's experience, General Foster is convinced that the diplomatic service should be recognized so as to be made a regular career and expresses his conviction in the following measured language:
I am a strong advocate for the establishment of a regular career for the diplomatic service of the United States; I would have all Secretaries of Legation enter the service through a competitive examination; continue in office during good behavior; and, as they should prove worthy, have them promoted to Ministers. But I doubt whether the time will ever come when our Government will think it wise to confine the appointment of Ministers and Ambassadors entirely to promotions from the posts of Secretary. It has never been so in the Governments of Europe where the regular diplomatic career has long been an established system. Many of their most useful and distinguished diplomats have been those who have entered the service through a competitive examination. but who were appointed from other branches of the public service or from private life. (Vol. I, pp. 12, 13.)
The Executive Order of President Taft, issued upon the recommendation of Secretary Knox (see Editorial Comment, p. 173, and Supplement, p. 99) is a confirmation of the soundness of General Foster's views.
As Minister to Mexico (1873–1880), General Foster had the great advantage of seeing our sister republic pass through the critical stage of revolution to assume an honored and respected place among the family of nations under the firm hand of General Diaz. He describes from the standpoint of an observer conditions as he found them (pp. 15–149); he appreciates the participants in the great struggle and sums up the result of Mexican activity in the following passage:
When Diaz assumed control of affairs, the financial situation of the country could hardly have been more desperate. No interest on its public debt had been paid for many years. Its bonds had no value at home or abroad, and were not quoted in the money-market of a single city of the world. But the financial improvement which Diaz inaugurated soon began to create confidence among foreign capitalists, and the rapidly growing revenues finally enabled Señor Limantour, the able Secretary of Finance, to reëstablish the Government credit. The foreign indebtedness of every character, whose legitimacy could be shown, was funded, first into gold bonds at six per cent, afterwards at five per cent, and later at four per cent, until the credit of Mexico became equal to that of some of the first Powers of Europe and much above that of any other of the Latin-American Republics. (Vol. I, p. 114.)
The success, however, of the Diaz régime has not blinded General Foster to the dangers of the system, as is evident from the following appreciation and criticism of the Mexican President:
During those years the country has enjoyed unparalleled prosperity, and it was natural that the inhabitants who had been so greatly benefited by his administration should wish to continue him in power. But I regard it as mistaken statesmanship to have so long yielded to their desire. In reviewing the history