§33. The Hague Convention of 1899. The Convention on Pacific Settlement of International Disputes of July 29, 1899, contained (Article 9) a recommendation that for international disputes involving neither honor nor vital interests and relating to points of fact, States should, so far as circumstances permit, institute international commissions of inquiry to elucidate the facts.1 The members of such commissions were to be appointed in accordance with the scheme laid down in Article 32 of the Convention for the appointment of members of arbitral tribunals. Agreements made ad hoc were to define the facts to be investigated and the powers of the commission. The parties were to supply commissions with all facilities necessary for understanding the facts in question, and both sides were to be heard. The report of a commission signed by all of the members was to be limited to a statement of facts; and it was expressly stated that a report should not have the character of an arbitral award, the parties to a dispute being free to decide as to the effect to be given to it.
§34. The Hague Convention of 1907. Experience gained in connection with a single commission of inquiry set up in 1904 to deal with the North Sea Incident, was made the basis of proposals by various delegations at the Second Peace Conference for extensive modifications of the provisions in the 1899 Convention relating to commissions of inquiry, anti Articles 9-14 of the 1899 Convention were expanded into Articles 9- 36 of the 1907 Convention. New provisions were added for assessors, agents, counsel, and advocates, and for the summoning of witnesses; the procedure was elaborately set forth and assimilated in some measure to judicial procedure; and the International Bureau of the Permanent Court____________________