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a peremptory note by which they told them that should they carry out their project in sending deputies to the Greek Boule or the National Assembly, the necessary steps would be taken by them to frustrate the Cretan plan.
To revert to our subject, it may now be asked what is, after all, the political or international status of Crete?
She is certainly not an independent state, nor can rightly be considered as part of the Hellenic Kingdom, although the country is administered in the name of King George and the laws of Greece apply mutatis mutandis, and although its public officers swore allegiance to the King of the Hellenes; nor can the acceptance by the Postal Union of letters from Crete with the emblem of “ IIellas" on their postage stamps be considered as an acquiescence by the Powers of the union of Crete with Greece.
The island is, as it was well observed by Sir Edward Grey, in trust, in the hands of the four protecting Powers, which trust seems to be dormant for the moment, or at least exercised in a benevolent manner; for otherwise it cannot be explained how the “trustees" permitted their “ward” to act as if the island was not in the least connected with the Ottoman Empire.
As a matter of fact the protecting Powers have all along played a double game; on one hand they kept assuring the Porte that they would maintain her “supreme rights,” on the other hand, they have been paving the way for the union of the island with Greece.
They have encouraged that hope not only in words, but also in acts. The appointment of a Prince of the Greek Royal house as High Commissioner, of Greek officers at the head of police and militia of the island, and the right given to the King of the Hellenes to nominate in future the Iligh Commissioner could not have any other meaning but that they had firmly resolved to solve the Cretan question in accordance with Hellenic aspirations. In their early communications, both to Greece and to the Cretans, they declared that for the present the union was not possible; in their recent notes they said that the realization of that desideratum depended on the maintenance of order on the island; and in their very last note to the Executive Committee, after the declaration of union
with Greece, they promised to consider favorably that wish and to discuss the question with the Porte.
It is, therefore, evident that the only question to be discussed with the Sultan's Government provided the Powers are consistent with their previous policy — is the incorporation of the island with Greece. It is to that policy that they are committed. Any one conversant with the diplomatic history concerning Cretan affairs can not form any other opinion.
Autonomy or any other similar regime ought to be out of the question, because that was already settled over twelve years ago when Crete became a separate state, which arrangement even the Porte had tacitly accepted.
As a matter of fact, there now exists in the island a self-government without any restriction or limitation, with the exception of the shadowy rights of the Sultan indicated in the emblem of a flag on a barren islet in the Cretan territorial waters; it is therefore not likely that the Cretans will accept any other solution but union with Greece.
But will European diplomacy cut that Gordian knot, or will they wait for a modern Theseus to kill the new Cretan Minotaur?
THEODORE P. Ion.
HOW THE GREAT LAKES BECAME “HIGH SEAS," AND THEIR STATUS VIEWED FROM THE STAND
POINT OF INTERNATIONAL LAW
The convention which met in 1787 to frame the Constitution of the United States, embraced two earnest and determined bodies of
One favored a strong central government; the other opposed any great increase of power over that granted by the Articles of Confederation. With what jealousy the states guarded their rights and with what reluctance they made surrenders to the federal government is common knowledge. The Constitution, as adopted, was a compromise between the factions, and that part relative to admiralty and maritime jurisdiction was the second great compromise between conflicting depositories of power.
The first occurred after a struggle waged for centuries between the admiralty and the common-law courts of England. After the Norman Conquest of England, the Norman admirals claimed exclusive jurisdiction over all maritime matters which arose not only on the open sea but on waters within the body of a county, and the right to try without a jury. A deputy of the admiral sat as the court, being often a nautical man and calling to his aid expert masters of ships. The common-law courts claimed jurisdiction of all matters upon land and water within the body of a county and the right to try with a jury. The conflicting claims at length became subject of compromise and 13 Richard II (ch. 5) declared that the admiralty must not meddle henceforth of anything done within the realm, but only of a thing done upon a sea. The 15 Richard II (c. 3), coming two years later, removed all doubt as to what was meant by the “realm of the sea," in ordering that things done within the bodies of counties by land or water, the admirals should not have cognizance, but they shall be tried by the law of the land.
13 Blackstone 68, 69, 106; 4 Blackstone 268; 2 Bacon's Abridgment 735; Comyn's Digest.
Thus it became and was that admiralty embraced acts committed and things done upon the “high seas ” and out of the reach of the commonlaw courts of justice. The admiralty never pretended to claim after 15 Richard II, nor could it rightfully exercise jurisdiction except in cases where the service was performed or to be performed on the sea : upon the waters within the ebb and flow of the tide. In brief, this is the way the law of England stood at the time of the adoption of the American Constitution.
The second great compromise occurred, as is stated above, in the Constitutional Convention. It came about when the question was being discussed as to what admiralty and maritime jurisdiction the states were to surrender to the central government.
England established courts of vice admiralty throughout the colonies in 1697 with power to try admiralty and revenue cases without a jury, after a very strenuous resistance had been made, especially by the chartered colonies.2
The Articles of Confederation, in defining the powers of Congress, allowed that of establishing courts for the trial of piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and establishing courts for receiving and determining appeals in all cases of captures.
The duty of hearing appeals in prize cases from the state courts, performed for several years by a standing committee of Congress, had been finally transferred to an admiralty court of appeals, consisting of three judges.
This authority was not exercised without some sharp conflicts with state authorities.4
Such historical facts could be multiplied, but those mentioned are sufficient to illustrate the opposition of the states to inroads upon their admiralty.
The central government was for national purposes and the state governments for municipal purposes. The powers surrendered by the state were those which were either external to themeselves, or
2 Hildreth's History of U. S., vol. II, p. 198.
those which, when surrendered, would revert to the mutual advantage of all the states. All powers not clearly surrendered to the central government were left to the states and to the people.
It was in the broadest language that the states gave admiralty jurisdiction to the federal government. The whole judicial power the federal government is to be found in subdivision 1, section 2, article 3 of the Constitution. Respecting the subject under discussion we quote,
The Judicial power shall extend to all cases in law and equity arising under this Constitution
to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction. *
It may therefore be asserted that in 1789, the limits and extent of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction were well established and admitted of no uncertainties. The states gave the federal government jurisdiction over the ocean, which included the high seas, the common highway of nations, waters which were open, free and common to all, and which were not in the jurisdiction or under the control of any foreign power or of any state of the union. It was a matter for national control, being entirely outside, rather than inside the union. This is illustrated by section 8 of the Crimes Act, of April 30, 1790, which limited the punishment of certain enumerated crimes by the United States to those committed
upon the high seas, or in any river, haven, basin or bay out of the jurisdiction of any particular state.
But I apprehend it may fairly be doubted whether the Constitution of the United States meant, by admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, anything more than that jurisdiction which was settled and in practice in this country under the English jurisprudence when the Constitution was made.5
For fifty-six years after the adoption of the Constitution, there appeared to be no tendency on the part of our eminent jurists nor inclination on the part of Congress to extend the admiralty jurisdiction of the United States.
Let us briefly review a few of the decisions of the United States Supreme Court, which may be considered as extracts from the na
81 Kent's Com. 377.