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the United States disposed to meet with perfect correspondence of good will the advances of the British Government.


Accordingly, on the 26th of January, 1871, the British Government, through Sir Edward Thornton, formally proposed to the American Government the appointment of a joint High Commission to hold its sessions at Washington, and there devise means to settle the various pending questions between the two Governments affecting the British possessions in North America.

To this overture Mr.Fish replied that the President would with pleasure appoint, as invited, Commissioners on the part of the United States, provided the deliberations of the Commissioners should be extended to other differences,—that is to say, to include the dif. ferences growing out of incidents of the late Civil War: without which, in his opinion, the proposed Commission would fail to establish those permanent relations of sincere and substantial friendship between the two countries which he, in common with the Queen, desired to have prevail.

The British Government promptly accepted this proposal for enlarging the sphere of the negotiation, with the result, as we have already seen, of the conclusion of the Treaty of Washington.


The Treaty begins by describing the differences, which we are now considering, as differences“ growing out of the acts committed by the several vessels, which have given rise to the claims generically known as the Alabama Claims," which are further described as.“ all the said claims growing out of acts committed by the aforesaid vessels, and generically known as the Alabama Clainas"?

Note that the subject of difference is stated in terms of absolute, although specific, universality, as all the claims on the part of the United States growing out of the acts of certain vessels. No exception is made of any particular claims growing out of those acts. And reference is not made to certain admitted claims by the British Government: on the contrary, it is expressly declared in the Treaty that the “complaints" and" claims” of the United States, without any discrimination between them," are not admitted by the British Government."

At the same time, the British Commissioners, by authority of the Queen, express, “ in a friendly spirit, the regret felt by Her Majesty's Government for the escape, under whatever circumstances, of the Alabama and other vessels from British ports, and for the depredations committed by those vessels.”

Whereupon," in order to remove and adjust all complaints and claims on the part of the United States, and to provide for the speedy settlement of such claims,” the contracting parties agree that all


the said claims, growing out of acts committed by the aforesaid vessels, and generically known as the Alabama Claims, shall be referred to a Tribunal of Arbitration to be composed of five Arbitrators, appointed in the following manner, -namely, one by the President of the United States, and one by the Queen of the United Kingdom, with request to the King of Italy, the President of the Swiss Confederation, and the Emperor of Brazil, each to name an Arbitrator; and, on the omission of either of those personages to act, then with a like request to the King of Sweden and Norway.

The Treaty further provides that the Arbitrators shall meet at Genera, in Switzerland, at the earliest convenient day after they shall have been named, and shall proceed impartially and carefully to examine and decide all questions which shall be laid before them on the part of either Government.

In deciding the matters submitted to the Arbitrators, it is provided that they shall be governed by certain rules, which are agreed upon by the parties as rules to be taken as applicable to the case, and by such principles of international law, not inconsistent therewith, as the Arbitrators shall determine to have been applicable to the case, which rules are as follows:

" A neutral Government is bound

“First, to use due diligence to prevent the fitting out, arming, or equipping, within its jurisdiction, of any vessel which it has reasonable ground to believe is intended to cruise or to carry on war against a Power with which it is at peace; and also to use like diligence to prevent the departure from its jurisdiction of any vessel intended to cruise or carry on war as above, such vessel having been specially adapted, in whole or in part, within such jurisdiction, to warlike use.

Secondly, not to permit or suffer either belligerent to make use of its ports or waters as the base of naval operations against the other, or for the purpose of the renewal or augmentation of military supplies or arms, or the recruitment of men.

“Thirdly, to exercise due diligence in its own ports and waters, and, as to all persons within its jurisdiction, to prevent any violation of the foregoing obligations and duties."

Great Britain, it is added in the Treaty by way of explanation, can not assent to the foregoing rules as a statement of principles of international law which were actually in force at the time when the claims in question arose; but, in order to evince her desire of strengthening the friendly relations between the two countries, and of making satisfactory provision for the future, she agrees that, in deciding the questions arising out of such claims, the Arbitrators should assume that she had undertaken to act upon the principles set forth in these rules.

And the Parties proceed to stipulate to observe these rules as between themselves in the future, and to bring them to the knowledge of other maritime Powers, and to invite the latter to accede thereto.

In respect of procedure, the Treaty provides that each of the two Parties shall name one person to attend the Tribunal as its agent or representative; that the written or printed case of each of the two Parties, accompanied by the documents, the official correspondence, and other evidence on which each relies, shall be delivered in duplicate to each of the Arbitrators and to the agent of the other Party, as soon as may be after the organization of the Tribunal; that within four months after the delivery on both sides of the written or printed case, either Party may, in like manner, deliver in duplicate to each of the said Arbitrators and to the agent of the other Party a counter-case, and additional documents, correspondence, and evidence, in reply to the case, docu- . ments, correspondence, and evidence so presented by the other Party; that it shall be the duty of the agent of each Party, within two months after the expiration of the time limited for the delivery of the counter-case on both sides, to deliver in duplicate to each of the said Arbitrators and to the agent of the other Party a written or printed argument showing the points and referring to the evidence upon which his Government relies.

No express provision for the appointment of counsel appears in the Treaty; but they are recognized in the clause which declares that the Arbitrators may, if they desire further elucidation with regard to any point, require a written or printed statement or argument, or oral argument, by counsel upon

but in such case the other Party shall be entitled to reply either orally or in writing, as the case


may be.

Finally, with reference to procedure, it is stipulated that the Tribunal shall first determine as to each vessel separately, whether Great Britain has, by any act or omission, failed to fulfill any of the duties set forth in the Treaty rules, or recognized by the

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