International Arbitration, from Athens to Locarno

By Jackson H. Ralston | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXVI
CASES BEFORE THE HAGUE PERMANENT COURT OF ARBITRATION

226. United States and Mexico. -- For the first three years after the formation of the Hague Permanent Court of International Arbitration, no nation referred any cause to it for determination and there existed a belief among the statesmen of Europe that this promising attempt at securing international justice through judicial processes was to be a failure and that the Court would die of inanition. However, such was not to be the case. The time came when under date of December 16, 1901, the American Minister in Mexico wrote to the Secretary of State that

Mr. Mariscal [the Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs] suggested that the question could be submitted either to the Hague Tribunal or to a tribunal created by the International Conference of American States now in session at this capital should one be created; and I suggested that in case neither should be acceptable to both parties, the two governments might agree upon a special board or tribunal for the purpose, to which he assented. In view of the nonexistence of the second tribunal referred to, we finally agreed to leave the selection of the tribunal open to further consideration.

In response to this, under date of January 23, 1902, Secretary Hay wrote to Mr. Clayton, the American Minister in Mexico

You will say to Mr. Mariscal that the Government of the United States would be pleased to have the case submitted to arbitration under Article XXXII of the Hague Convention.

Mr. Clayton so informed Mr. Mariscal shortly after and, not hearing from him promptly, the State Department further instructed the American Minister to press the determination of the case at The Hague, stating that

the President feels that it would especially redound to the credit of the United States and of Mexico if the two North American republics might be the first states to submit to the Hague Tribunal for determination by it of an international controversy.

Then followed negotiations to bring about the signing of the protocol of submission.

We have been thus explicit in stating the course of negotiations because the statement has frequently been made that the Hague Court was opened through the initiation of President Roosevelt. In point of

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