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a State. The very language of the Constitution itself announcing the superiority of a treaty shows the fallacy of such a test.3 The Federal Government has for more than a century been in the habit of concluding treaties constantly affecting the local interests of the several States. The advantages of such agreements have sometimes been questioned; but they have never, in a single instance, been pronounced unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States. No treaty has ever been declared void on the ground that its provisions were in excess of the power lodged in the President and Senate.
There have been several cases where courts have decided that a consular officer possessed the right to administer under the provisions of the Argentine treaty. Save in the case of Re Lobrasciano, a New York decision in 1902, the problem of interpretation has received careless treatment. In that case the court reached the conclusion that the right to intervene in the possession and administration necessarily embraced the right to administer. The court said in part:
It would seem that the only intelligent construction would be that the consul had the right to come between the property and the possession by some one else than himself, with the result that possession must necessarily be landed in him. To intervene in the administration is secondary; he first comes into possession, and then he comes between the administration and the person who might have a right thereto under State law. This is giving to the word “intervene” its ordinary definition, and avoiding its local legal significance. Endeavoring to ascertain the spirit and intention of the language “ to intervene in the possession, administration and judicial liquidation of the estate of the deceased," we must have regard for the entire context and we may not select a single word for definition. It must not be viewed, as would a New York statute, from our own local standpoint. It must be borne in mind that there can be but one correct construction of a contract; therefore, as we construe, so must the authorities of Italy; consequently, we must view it from the Italian, as well as our own, standpoint, and from both see what was intended to be accomplished by the use of the words quoted.5
Nowhere has there been a better commentary on the clause in question. Obviously the process of examining the sense in which a single word, such as “intervene,” is employed in a standard dictionary is wholly inadequate as a means of ascertaining the sense in which the parties to a treaty may have used an entire clause. It is reasonable to infer that the contracting parties sought to enable a responsible official of the nationality of a deceased citizen to place himself in control of the assets of the estate. The consul was known to be the natural and proper person to care for such interests. When the Argentine treaty was concluded the practice of civilized nations was to permit consular officers to exercise such rights. This practice was reflected in the views of text-writers. Thus the provisions of the treaty expressed, although in loose form, an acknowledgment or grant of a right which consuls were then supposed to possess.
2 See in Re Lobrasciano's Estate, 77 N. Y. Supp. 1040, 1044. 3 U. S. Constitution, art. VI, sec. 2.
4 See In re Wyman, 191 Mass. 276; In re Fattosini, 67 N. Y. Supp. 1119; In re Lobrasciano, 77 N. Y. Supp. 1040; In re Silvetti, 122 N. Y. Supp. 400; In re Arduino's Estate, 7 Ohio Law Rep., No. 51,
5 77 N. Y. Supp. 1040, 1047.
In the Ghio case the Supreme Court of California is of opinion that the provision that the consular right shall be exercised “conformably with the laws of the country” necessarily precludes consular preference over a local administrator, given by local law a right of appointment; that, in a word, the treaty contemplates that a consular officer shall not have the right to administer when the local laws of a particular commonwealth make contrary provision. If this contention be sound, it follows that the right to administer depends upon the consent of the several States, and that it lies within the power of any one of them to render nugatory what is sought to be given. It is not believed that this inference is to be derived from the language of the treaty. If it had been the intention of the high contracting parties to limit to such degree the right conferred, it is reasonable to assume that the right reserved to the States would have been specified in the agreement."
It is believed that the reference to the local laws in the Argentine treaty refers to procedure rather than to a limitation of the substantial right given; and that it was intended to signify that the consular officer who sought to avail himself of the power given him, should do so in
6 See, for example, communication of Mr. Marcy, Secretary of State, August 21, 1855, to the American Consul General at London; Moore International Law Digest, V, 118.
7 Thus we find, for example, that the Federal Government in the treaty with France of February 23, 1853, was reluctant to agree to permit Frenchmen to acquire and hold real property in the several States of the l'nited States without the consent of such States. Thus the treaty made specific provision in Article VII, that as to the States of the Union by whose existing laws aliens are not permitted to hold real estate, the President engages to recommend to them the passage of such laws as may be necessary for the purpose of conferring this right.” (See U. S. Treaties in Force, 270.)
accordance with local regulations, and submit himself to such tribunals as might in the respective countries care for the administration of the estates of deceased persons.
Until the Ghio judgment was rendered no American decision recorded in any report that has been seen, denied a consul the right to administer under the treaty in question. In taking a position flatly opposed to that of the courts in Massachusetts, New York, Ohio and Michigan (according to reports of nisi prius cases), the California tribunal has employed a method of interpretation which, irrespective of the conclusion reached, should be tested by appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States.
THE INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE ON THE LEGAL PROBLEMS OF AVIATION
An international committee on the legal problems of aviation has recently been constituted under the auspices of various associations interested in the progress of aërial navigation in France with the coöperation of the Aëro Club of France and the International Aërial League. This body which is to be known as the Comité Juridique International de l'Aviation, has a two-fold object: (1) to elaborate in each country the legal doctrines of aërial navigation with a special view toward legislation favorable to its progress; (2) to defend the interests of aviation in all countries before all official bodies.
In France itself, the Committee enjoys a most extensive organization. At the seat of each appellate tribunal, a doctrinal sub-committee composed of magistrates, professors of law, advocates and ministerial officials, has for its mission to elaborate a code of the air; to make a systematic collection of all literary documentary material relating to the legal problems of aërial navigation and to collaborate in the publication of a Review intended to constitute an official organ of the committee. In coöperation with the “ doctrinal committee," a "committee of defense" operates as a practical counselor and active defender before legislative,
8 The case of Lanfear v. Ritchie, 9 La. Annual, 96, cannot be regarded as in point because it did not involve the right of a consular officer to administer under the Argentine treaty. In the case of Re Logoriato's Estate, 69 N. Y. Supp. 507, the adverse comments of the court on the consular right under the Argentine treaty were dicta. The consul was even in that case granted letters of administration by default of a competent person to oppose him.
administrative and judicial tribunals of all societies and individuals interested in aviation who apply for its assistance. These committees work through an active delegate so as to obtain unity of action. In countries other than France, the organization is not completely effected as yet, although it is intended to place each country under a national delegate and the most important jurisdictions under local delegates.
The publication of the Review is already under way. It has appeared monthly since January, 1910, and bears the title Revue juridique internationale de la locomotion aérienne and is devoted to the purposes of the Committee as already outlined.
The detailed organization which has thus been undertaken in France contemplates a closer bond of union with other countries and the large number of distinguished jurists who are giving their moral as well as active support to the Committee, testifies to the very lively interest devoted, at least in France, to the influence which aërial navigation promises to exert upon all branches of jurisprudence, international as well as local, public as well as private.
At the meeting of the Institute of International Law which took place in Paris during March and April of this year, the topic received considerable attention and led to an exchange of views. M. Paul Fauchille, who, in 1902, presented a draft law suitable for uniform legislation in all countries, presented to the Institute an entirely new projet in the way of a draft convention for international acceptance relating only to peace times and containing modifications suggested by the mechanical advance of the art since 1902.
The Institute did not make this projet or the subject with which it deals the order of the day for 1910, but, instead. decided to submit the same to the Diplomatic Conference upon Aërial Navigation which it is intended shall meet in Paris some time during this year. This conference, called by the French Government, will be composed of official diplomatic delegates from as many countries as will accept the invitation and will consider a large number of problems relating to the subject, dealing more particularly with the administrative regulations governing international flights, the identification of the various types of air-craft and rules applicable to pilots. A report has recently been made to the Chamber of Deputies by M. Paul Deschanel upon the subject of this forthcoming conference and the expenses therefor are to be embraced in the budget for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the year 1910.
THE NEW ENGLAND ARBITRATION AND PEACE CONGRESS
The New England Arbitration and Peace Congress, held in Hartford and New Britain, Connecticut, May 8, 9, 10, and 11, presented a dignified contribution to the literature of international peace. The Congress was held under the auspices of the American Peace Society and of the Connecticut Peace Society. The headquarters were in the Center Church House, Hartford, kindly loaned by the First Church of Christ in Hartford, a society founded in 1832 by Thomas Hooker, “Father of American Democracy."
Hartford has long been a center of interest in the abolition of war. In 1828 the Hartford County Peace Society was founded, in 1831 the Connecticut Peace Society began, and in 1835 the American Peace Society moved from New York to Hartford, where it took over the
American Advocate of Peace, a quarterly journal which had been started . by the Connecticut Peace Society in 1834. Thus Hartford may be called
one of our ancient centers of interest in the cause of international peace. Indeed, one might point out that the Hartford Convention of 1814 was in a sense a peace congress of some little interest to the student of history.
New Britain, a city of nearly fifty thousand, and ten miles from Hartford, felt a peculiar interest in the Congress this year because Elihu Burritt was born in that place just one hundred years ago. New Britain is royally proud of the “Learned Blacksmith's” career, and generously demonstrated its affection by speech, pageant, and reception Tuesday afternoon and evening, May 10th. It was in the afternoon, near Burritt's grave, and in the presence of many thousands that the orator of the day, Dr. James Brown Scott, turned from his main thought long enough practically to announce that there had been essentially accomplished in this centennial year of Burritt's birth what Burritt plead and labored for a half-century ago, namely, an International Court of Arbitral Justice. A dispassionate retrospect must view this announcement, because of his dramatic color and historical importance, as the great single utterance of the Congress.
But there were other utterances at the various meetings, and for a variety of reasons many of them were of importance. John Brown Lennon, descendant of John Brown, and treasurer of the American Federation of Labor for many years, said in a carefully prepared paper:
What has been the lot of the world's toilers through all these ages of contest and war, slavery, serfdom, ignorance, poverty, squalor and spoliation ? Mark