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accepts that of Rio de Janeiro practically accepts that of Lima, and vice versa. In this view we may consider that unity is attained whether we indorse the one or the other. If I am not misinformed, the Congress of Lima has sent agents to the different Republics of South America for the purpose of obtaining a complete adoption of its project; so that, even in the event that the recommendation of that of Rio de Janeiro should be made, we would find perhaps that that of Lima had been accepted, and what we desire is that our recommendation may be somewhat beneficial.
Mr. ROMERO. Some of the honorable Delegates have made a suggestion to me, which, if approved by the Conference, would probably facilitate the voting upon this point. I must state, before presenting this suggestion, that I am a stranger to medical science, and incompetent to decide which of the two conventions is the best. In the opinion of the chairman of the committee, who is competent in these matters, I suppose that it will be that signed at Lima ; among other reasons because it is of a later date, and because the Delegates to the Congress of Lima had before them the Convention of Rio de Janeiro, and on this account were enabled to notice its provisions and to append all the progress of science since the date on which it was signed.
I propose, therefore, that the report of the committee be modified in the sense that a simple recommendation be made to adopt the draft of the Congress of Lima, in accordance with the following resolution:
It recommends to the nations represented at this Conference to adopt the provisions of the draft of the Sanitary Convention of the Congress of Lima of 1888.
Mr. Cruz. I find there is a serious drawback to the acceptance of the proposition just formulated by the honorable Delegate for Mexico, and that is, that if the resolution is modified the whole report will need modification, because it all involves the supposition that an alternative recommendation is going to be made. If the report remains as it is, based upon the assumption that the recommendation will be alternative and its final portion is changed so as to recommend simply one of the two conventions, be it that of Rio de Janeiro or that of Lima, there will be an incongruity between the argument and the resolutions of the report. Therefore, I propose that, if in the judgment of the Conference only one of the two conventions should be recommended, whether it be that of Rio de Janeiro or that of Lima, the report be returned to the committee in order that it be so drawn that unity and consistency may appear between the report and the resolution.
Mr. ROMERO. I do not think that the arguments adduced by the honorable Delegate for Guatemala impair what I have proposed, for it does not follow that because the committee proposes a thing the Conference must accept it. The object of my proposition was to ascertain the opinion of the majority of the honorable Delegates upon this matter; but, if it is so desired, I have no objection to have my motion referred to the committee, so that it may report whatever it deems proper.
It seems to me that said committee is aware of this point, and some of its honorable members have stated to me the reasons which induced them to make this recommendation alternative, and it is likely that they hold the same at present against the recommendation I offer. I believe, nevertheless, that there would be a saving of time were my proposition to be voted upon, but I do not propose either that the proceedings be dispensed with in this respect or that the vote be taken at once; if, in the opinion of the Conference, it has to go in committee, I have no objection whatever.
Mr. QUINTANA (Argentine Republic). Mr. President, the Argentine Republic was one of the three nations which attended the Sanitary Convention of Rio de Janeiro, and it did not attend the Congress of Lima. This one reason would have been sufficient to cause the Argentine delegation not to vote exclusively in favor of the Convention of Rio de Janeiro, but to join the committee in recommending both conventions to the consideration and study of the nations represented at this Conference.
The honorable Delegate for Mexico has just stated that the convention of Lima having been held at a later date than that of Rio de Janeiro, it is to be inferred that in the lapse of time between them some scientific discoveries may have come to light of which the Congress of Lima may have availed itself in order to improve upon, while drawing its project from the Convention of Rio de Janeiro. If the honorable Delegate for Mexico had been pleased to fix his attention upon the respective dates of these conventions, he would have come to the conclusion that this assertion can only be a simple supposition, totally unwarranted by the real facts.
The Convention of Rio de Janeiro was adopted after a thorough study, carried on by persons of the
highest ability, in November, 1887. The draft of the Convention of Lima was concluded in March, 1888, and however carelessly we may follow the progress and enlargement of science, it is obvious that between these two dates, so near to each other, no such discoveries could have been made as to give warrant for saying, prima facie or a priori, that the treaty of Lima greatly excels that of Rio de Janeiro. But, sir, the Convention of Rio de Janeiro, had we to choose one of the two, is immensely superior to that of Lima; and this superiority consists, Mr. President, in that the Convention of Rio de Janeiro has been given the form of a treaty; that it has been approved by the respective nations, and that it is at present in force with a success which has but confirmed the correctness of all its provisions.
Mr. MENDONCA. Confirmed by experience.
Mr. Quintana (continuing). So it is; whereas the Convention of Lima is as yet a simple project which has not been put in force. But this is not the question; the main question is another: Is the Convention of Lima really in advance of that of Rio de Janeiro? I undertake, Mr. President, notwithstanding I am a stranger to the science upon which these conventions treat, to asseverate that it is in advance upon absolutely nothing of a fundamental character; and should I require in this connection some authoritative opinion, I would invoke that of the honorable president of the committee, who has disposed of this subject after a careful examination and a thorough comparison of both conventions. As all the honorable Delegates can perceive, most of the slight modifications made by the Convention of Lima, in regard to that of Rio de Janeiro, are simply matters of form; none is of any importance; in some cases they do not go beyond a mere verbal change in the naming of some mode of locomotion. Hence, I say, Mr. President, that as the Convention of Rio de Janeiro initiated this class of labors in America, especially so in South America, it would be truly a slight, a glaring injustice, which probably did not enter the mind of the honorable Delegate for Mexico, to lay it aside in order to advise the adoption of another one which is but a copy (let us not be afraid of the word) of the Convention of Rio de Janeiro.
Mr. Guzman. I will say but a few words. In the first place, I desire to state that, according to what Mr. Trescot said, when this subject was submitted to our consideration, I was of opinion that the convocation of a sanitary congress should be recommended to the nations of America, at which they should all be represented, and that, at the same time, the Convention of Rio de Janeiro should be recommended to it, in order that this congress should act upon it after consideration, but in the end we arrived at the other conclusion.
I think that what has been stated by Mr. Romero is very forcible, and it certainly would have been advisable to recommend but one of the conventions, whichever it might be; but, as I have already stated, and as we say in our report, both of them constitute but a single body of sanitary regulations. That of Lima has been based upon that of Rio de Janeiro; it has almost copied it.
Mr. ZEGARRA. As that of Rio de Janeiro has copied that of Rome.