Boundary-making: A Handbook for Statesmen, Treaty Editors and Boundary Commissioners

Boundary-making: A Handbook for Statesmen, Treaty Editors and Boundary Commissioners

Boundary-making: A Handbook for Statesmen, Treaty Editors and Boundary Commissioners

Boundary-making: A Handbook for Statesmen, Treaty Editors and Boundary Commissioners

Excerpt

Dr. Jones has written a "first aid" handbook for all who have responsibilities in making or maintaining boundaries. Such a reference work has long been needed, but there has never been a better time to prepare it than now.

Those who are drafting or negotiating treaties must consider allocation of territory (with reference to local populations, railroads, roads, access to markets, water supply, mines and mineral resources, and other factors); they must fix upon a precise line or, as is frequently better, a narrow zone within which the boundary is to be laid down (involving questions of linguistic boundaries, river or mountain or geometrical boundaries, trade frontiers, and the like); they must describe boundaries in terms that are equally precise and unambiguous to lawyers and civil engineers; if information should be obtained in the field and report made before the treaty is concluded they will wish to learn what to request and how to get it; and they usually provide for the creation of a commission to demarcate the boundary. In connection with all these aspects of their responsibility statesmen and treaty negotiators will be anxious to draw upon the history of boundary disputes the world over in order to avoid, if possible, future sources of friction and misunderstanding from which serious situations may arise.

The members of demarcation commissions desire to know how best to exercise their discretion in adapting the boundary to local requirements, if they are thus fortunately empowered; provision must be made for settlement of disputes among the members and for filling vacancies; time-limits may well be imposed; services of supply while they are in the field must be provided, and sometimes police escort as well; boundary monuments and reference marks must be established; reports and maps must be prepared. Finally, boundary monuments and "vistas" should be periodically inspected and maintained, and boundaries should be administered in such manner as to avoid friction and serve the local populations and the governments of the two states.

Railroads and roads, the "ribbons of land dedicated to movement," are laid out by engineer specialists. International boundaries, some of which are fabricated obstacles to the movement of human beings and their goods and ideas as formidable as the Alps, are not made by professional boundary-makers, as no such profession is recognized or established. There are today, however, more than 100,000 miles of international boundaries in five continents, and there have been tens of thousands of miles that have disappeared from the map, which are . . .

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