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of Mexico, Central and South America, Haiti, Santo Domingo, and the Empire of Brazil, to join the United States in a conference at Washington on October 2, 1889. Among the subjects proposed for discussion were the adoption of a customs union, the improvement of the means of communication between the various countries, uniform customs regulations, a uniform system of weights and measures, laws for the protection of patents and copyrights, extradition, the adoption of a common silver coin, and the formulation of a definite plan for the arbitration of international disputes of every character. When the conference assembled, Mr. Blaine was again secretary of state, and presided over its opening sessions. The conference formulated a plan for international arbitration and declared that this means of settling disputes was "a principle of American international law." Unfortunately this treaty was not ratified by the governments whose representatives adopted it. The most lasting achievement of the conference was the establishment of the Bureau of American Republics in Washington. While the conference was in session Brazil went through a bloodless revolution, which converted the empire into a republic. Thus disappeared the only independent monarchy of European origin which ever existed on American soil.
Scarcely had the Washington conference adjourned, when the United States and Chile got into an ugly wrangle and were brought to the verge of war over an attack on American sailors on shore leave at Valparaiso. During the civil war between President Balmaceda and the Congressional party, the American minister, Mr. Egan, admitted to the American legation
certain adherents of the President. The people of Chile resented the action of the American minister, and were further aroused against the United States by the detention of the Itata, a vessel which left San Diego, California, with a cargo of arms for the Congressional party and was overhauled by an American warship. The United States cruiser Baltimore was lying in the harbor of Valparaiso when news of this incident was received. Members of her crew who happened to be on shore leave were attacked by the populace and several of them killed. As this attack upon American sailors appeared to be due to resentment against the official acts of their government, an apology was immediately demanded, but refused. After considerable delay, President Harrison had just laid the matter before Congress when a belated apology from Chile arrived, and war was fortunately averted. The charge that the United States had interfered in behalf of one of the parties in a civil strife created an unfavorable impression throughout Latin America and counteracted, to a considerable extent, the good effects of the Washington conference.
The Second International American Conference was held in the city of Mexico 1901-02. This conference arranged for all Latin-American States to become parties to the Hague Convention of 1899 for the pacific settlement of international disputes, and drafted a treaty for the compulsory arbitration of pecuniary claims, the first article of which was as follows:
The High Contracting Parties agree to submit to arbitration all claims for pecuniary loss or damage which may
be presented by their respective citizens, and which cannot be amicably adjusted through diplomatic channels and when said claims are of sufficient importance to warrant the expenses of arbitration.
This treaty was signed by the delegates of seventeen states, including the United States of America."
The Third International American Conference was held at Rio de Janeiro in 1906. Among other things it extended the pecuniary claims convention drafted by the previous conference for another period of five years, and recommended to the governments represented that they invite the Second Hague Conference, which had been called for 1907, "to examine the question of the compulsory collection of public debts, and, in general, means tending to diminish between nations conflicts having an exclusively pecuniary origin." Added significance was given to the Rio conference by the presence of Secretary Root who, although not a delegate, made it the occasion of a special mission to South America. The series of notable addresses which he delivered on this mission gave a new impetus to the Pan American movement.
The Fourth International American Conference was held at Buenos Aires in 1910. It drafted treaties relating to patents, trade-marks, and copyrights. It extended the pecuniary claims convention for an indefinite period. And finally, it enlarged the scope of the Bureau of American Republics and changed its name to the Pan American Union. A fifth conference was
Second International American Conference, English text (Mexico, Government Printing Office, 1902), p. 309.
Third International American Conference, Minutes, Resolutions, Doc. uments (Rio de Janeiro, Imprensa Nacional, 1907), p. 605. Bulletin of the Pan American Union, Vol. 31, p. 796.
called to meet at Santiago, Chile, in 1914, but was postponed on account of the European war.
The conferences above described were political or diplomatic in character. Besides these there have been held two Pan American scientific congresses in which the United States participated, one at Santiago, Chile, in 1908, and one at Washington, December, 1915. to January, 1916. There have also been held two Pan American financial conferences in the city of Washington, the first in May, 1915, and the second in January, 1920. These conferences have accomplished a great deal in the way of promoting friendly feeling and the advancement of science and commerce among the republics of the Western Hemisphere. The First Financial Conference recommended the establishment of an International High Commission, to be composed of not more than nine members resident in each country appointed by the Minister of Finance of such country for the purpose of carrying on the work of the conference. This recommendation was adopted by the various countries, and the Congress of the United States, by act of February 7, 1916, authorized the establishment of a section in this country. The International High Commission carries on its labors largely through the various national sections. Its first general meeting was held at Buenos Aires in April, 1916.
The American Institute of International Law, organized at Washington in October, 1912, is a body which is likely to have great influence in promoting the peace and welfare of this hemisphere. The Institute is composed of five representatives from the national society of international law in each of the twenty-one American republics. At the suggestion of Secretary
Lansing the Institute at a session held in the city of Washington, January 6, 1916, adopted a Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Nations, which was as follows:
I. Every nation has the right to exist and to protect and to conserve its existence; but this right neither implies the right nor justifies the act of the state to protect itself or to conserve its existence by the commission of unlawful acts against innocent and unoffending states.
II. Every nation has the right to independence in the sense that it has a right to the pursuit of happiness and is free to develop itself without interference or control from other states, provided that in so doing it does not interfere with or violate the rights of other states.
III. Every nation is in law and before law the equal of every other nation belonging to the society of nations, and all nations have the right to claim and, according to the Declaration of Independence of the United States, "to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them."
IV. Every nation has the right to territory within defined boundaries, and to exercise exclusive jurisdiction over its territory, and all persons whether native or foreign found therein.
V. Every nation entitled to a right by the law of nations is entitled to have that right respected and protected by all other nations, for right and duty are correlative, and the right of one is the duty of all to observe.
VI. International law is at one and the same time both national and international; national in the sense that it is the law of the land and applicable as such to the decision of all questions involving its principles; international in the sense that it is the law of the society of nations and applicable as such to all questions between and among the members of the society of nations involving its principles.10
10 Am. Journal of International Law, Vol. 10, p. 212.