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THEORY OF ARBITRATION. Sovereign States, it has been said, should be trusted to do justice spontaneously, and without humbling themselves to be judged by an arbitrator. It might with just as good reason be said that all men should be trusted to do justice spontaneously, and without humbling themselves to be judged by a tribunal. The experience of mankind contradicts each of these propositions. Diverse views of the facts, and of the rules of right applicable to the facts, to say nothing of prejudice, passion, pride of opinion, are inseparable from human affairs, because they are conditions of the human mind, influencing the actions as well of men in political society as of individual men. Admit that in a majority of cases reason will prevail to prevent or to settle controversies between individual persons; but reason does not suffice in all cases, and it is for such exceptional cases that tribunals of justice exist, without which, in the attempt of men to right themselves, society would be dissolved into a state of anarchy and bloodshed. The considerations which recommend the establishment of tribunals hav. ing authority as such within the limits of each sovereign State, are still more cogent when applied to sovereign States themselves, which, having no common superior, must of necessity determine their dif. ferences by war, unless they accept the mediation of some friendly Power to restore concord between them, or unless they recur to arbitration, by mutual consent, in one form or another according to circumstances, as the United States and Great Britain have done by the Treaty of Washington.
So many examples of arbitration between Governments, within a recent period, contribute to prove that M. Pradier Fodéré errs in assuming that in our day “ offers of arbitration made and accepted are becoming more and more rare.” On the contrary, this method of terminating national differences may now be regarded as permanently fixed in the international jurisprudence of Europe and America.
I conclude, therefore, that the United States acted wisely in submitting the claims of British subjects to a mixed commission by the Treaty of Washington.
Some persons in the United States, with disposition to criticise the Treaty of Washington, have suggested that this Commission may result in finding a large balance of many millions due from the United States to Great Britain.
I think the supposition is altogether gratuitous, and that no such considerable balance will be found to be due. If it should be so, however, the fact will in no sort detract from the credit belonging to the Treaty. If the Government of the United States, in the course of its efforts to suppress insurrection, shall have done injury to the subjects of Great Britain for which we are justly responsible by the law of nations, it is altogether proper that we should pay whatever indemnity therefor may be found due by the judg.
ment of a lawfully constituted international tribunal, such as the present Commission.
Citizens of the United States are not slow to invoke the intervention of their Government in behalf of any
American injured in the progress of civil war in other countries, and on such occasions to talk loudly of “outrages to citizens:" let us do as we would be done by, and concede that Great Britain is entitled to judicial examination of the cases of her subjects alleging injury by the occurrences of civil war in the United States.
THE NORTHWESTERN BOUNDARY-LINE.
PROVISIONS OF THE TREATY.
THE Articles of the Treaty from XXXIV. to XLII. inclusive dispose of the long-standing dispute between the United States and Great Britain regarding the true water-line by which the Territory of Washington is separated from Vancouver's Island.
The subject of the controversy, and the agreement for its termination, are set forth as follows:
“Whereas it was stipulated by Article I. of the treaty concluded at Washington on the 15th of June, 1846, between the United States and Her Britannic Majesty, that the line of boundary between the territories of the United States and those of Her Britannic Majesty, from the point on the forty-ninth parallel of north latitude up to which it had already been ascertained, should be continued westward along the said parallel of north latitude to the middle of the channel which separates the continent from Vancouver's Island, and thence southerly, through the middle of the said channel and of Fuca Straits, to the Pacific Ocean; and whereas the Commissioners appointed by the high contracting Parties to determine that portion of the boundary which runs southerly through the middle of the channel aforesaid, were unable to agree upon the same; and whereas the Government of Her Britannic Majesty claims that such boundary-line should, under the terms of the treaty above recited, be run through the Rosario Straits, and the Government of the United States claims that it should be run through the Canal de Haro, it is agreed that the respective claims of the Government of the United States and of the Government of Her Britannic Majesty shall be submitted to the arbitration and award of His Majesty the Emperor of Germany, who, having regard to the above-mentioned Article of the said Treaty, shall decide thereupon, finally and without appeal, which of those claims is most in accordance with the true interpretation of the Treaty of June 15, 1846."
Subsequent articles prescribe that the question shall be discussed at Berlin by the actual diplomatic Representatives of the respective Governments, either orally or by written argument, as and when the Arbi. trator shall see fit, either before the Arbitrator himself, or before a person or persons named by him for that purpose, and either in the presence or the absence of either or both Agents.
A previous arrangement in a treaty negotiated by the Earl of Clarendon and Mr. Johnson for referring the subject to the arbitration of the President of the Swiss Confederation had been rejected by the Senate of the United States, not on account of any objection to the particular arbitrator, but for other considerations.
There is good cause for the suggestion of Lord Milton that the Senate of the United States considered our“ right to the disputed territory so extremely clear that it ought not to be submitted to arbitration.” That, indeed, is the tenor of Senator Howard's speech on the subject, the publication of which was authorized by the Senate. Such a view of a question of right may be admissible on the part of a private individual, who, in a clear case, may prefer a suit at law in the courts of his country to arbitration; but it is