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SECTION TWENTY-SIXTH. OF A DIPLOMATIC CONGRESS.
As a national mode of promoting peace, diplomatic Congresses, like that of the Holy Alliance and the Congress of Panama, ought to be encouraged in Europe and America. (Vattel b. 2d, ch. 18, s. 330.) It is true that the Holy Alliance, fearing free institutions, acted in opposition to their fundamental declaration for a time. But the truth is now apparent that freedom, intelligence and morality are the only solid basis of social order and national glory. Let the sovereigns of Europe return to their first principles, the precepts of the Gospel, and set themselves in earnest about the improvement of international law and the preservation of peace, by mediation, by arbitrament and by a general treaty for disarming, or reducing to a low and fixed standard their military and marine establishments, and wars will be of rare occur
The moral power of Christianity would then prevail and enforce international rights and duties, according to the moral law of nations. This was the object of the contemplated Congress of Panama.
The object of the United States in sending ministers to the Congress of Panama, as appears from their instructions, and President Adams' communications to Congress, was to induce the the American nations to sanction the abolition of
private war on the ocean, to establish free and re. ciprocal trade and commerce, to establish freedom of religious worship, to substitute mediation and arbitrament as far as possible for the decision of national difficulties, and to restrict to the narrowest limits the pretended belligerent right of blockade. In short the generous purpose was, as the President said in his annual Message of December, 1827, to bring “ all the nations of this hemisphere to the common acknowledgment and adoption of the principles, in the regulation of their internal relations, which would have secured a lasting peace and harmony between them, and have promoted the cause of mutual benevolence throughout the globe.” It is much to be regreted that the dissentions of the new American nations prevented the success of this noble experiment for the improvement of international law, and the establishment of the principles of peace and freedom. We trust that some American statesman at a more propitious era may revive this plan of an American diplomatic Congress for the improvement of the laws and customs that govern the great Republic of humanity.
The obvious duty of neutrality attaches to neutral nations in case of wars between other states. To be just it must be strictly impartial, and the neutral state must in no way aid either belligerent. Hence the territory and maritime curtilage of a nation must not be permitted to be used by the fleets and armies of the hostile states, nor ought the neutral, during the war, to furnish soldiers, arms, ammunition or munitions of war in neutral ships to either belligerent. Such acts would be unfavorable to peace, and would destroy the mediating influence of the neutral, and hence they are disallowed. Our American policy proclaims peace the first of national duties.
International justice is also a duty. A nation ought to demand from other states nothing unless it is clearly right, and nothing that the demandant would refuse, if a like claim were made upon it. This is the doctrine of our republic, and has been so since the commencement of the government. We acknowledge nothing unless clearly right, while we refuse to submit to wrong. This international duty calls for treaties for the arrest of foreign fugitives from justice, excepting always
political offenders and fugitive slaves. In Great Britain and the United States this obligation has been met and discharged by the Ashburton treaty in 1842, as it is called by an article in these words:
"Art. X.-It is agreed that the United States and Her Brittanic Majesty shall, upon mutual requisition by them, or their ministers and officers, or authorities, respectively made, deliver up to justice, all persons who, being charged with the crime of murder, or assault, with intent to commit murder, or piracy, or arson, or robbery, or forgery, or the utterance of a forged paper, committed within the jurisdiction of either, shall seek an asylum or shall be found, within the territory, of the other: provided, that this only shall be done upon such evidence of criminality as, according to the laws of the place where the fugitive or person so charged, shall be found, would justify his apprehension and commitment for trial, if the offence or crime had there been committed : and the respective judges, and other magistrates of the two governments shall have power, jurisdiction and authority, upon complaints made under oath, to issue a warrant for the apprehension of the fugitive or person so charged, that he may be brought before such judge or other magistrate, to the end that the evidence of criminality may be heard and considered : and if, on such hearing, the evidence may
be deemed sufficient to sustain the charge, it shall be the duty of the examining judge or magistrate, to certify the same to the proper executive authorities, that a warrant may issue for the surrender of such fugitive. The expenses of such apprehension and delivery shall be borne and defrayed by the party who makes the requisition and receives the fugitive.”
A similar treaty between France and our Republic has been lately made. These treaties were essential, as our government, as President Madi. son in 1813, in giving instructions to our commissioners for negotiating the last peace with Great Britain by Mr. Monroe, Secretary of State, affirms that without a treaty stipulation there was no international duty to deliver up fugitive criminals. The Supreme Court of the United States has also decided that in the United States without a treaty no power to deliver them up exists in any department of our government. This treaty is confined properly to the crimes stated, and does not extend to any offences except those named, and these are held to be crimes in all countries. Justice also requires that the courts of a country should be equally open and free to foreigners and citizens, and that the same measure of justice and rules of right should be applied to both. But no international duty is violated by denying to foreigners