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nence it has acquired during recent times; namely, the treatment due to refugee belligerent ships in neutral ports.
It may also be desirable to consider and adopt a procedure by which states non-signatory to the original acts of the Hague Conference may become adhering parties.
You will explain to His Excellency the Minister for Foreign Affairs that the present overture for a second conference to complete the postponed work of the first conference is not designed to supersede other calls for the consideration of special topics, such as the proposition of the Government of the Netherlands, recently issued, to assemble for the purpose of amending the provisions of the existing Hague Convention with respect to hospital ships. Like all tentative conventions, that one is open to change in the light of practical experience, and the fullest deliberation is desirable to that end.
Finally, you will state the President's desire and hope that the undying memories which cling around The Hague as the cradle of the beneficent work which had its beginning in 1899 may be strengthened by holding the Second Peace Conference in that historic city.
I am, etc.,
THE SECRETARY OF STATE TO THE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE
UNITED STATES ACCREDITED TO EACH OF THE
OF THE HAGUE CONFERENCE, 1899
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
WASHINGTON, December 16, 1904.
SIR: By the circular instruction dated October 21, 1904, the
representatives of the United States accredited to the several governments which took part in the peace conference held at The Hague in 1899, and which joineil in signing the acts thereof, were instructed to bring to the notice of those governments certain resolutions adopted by the Interparliamentary Union at its annual conference held at St. Louis in September last, advocating the assembling of a second peace conference to continue the work of the first, and were directed to ascertain to what extent those governments were disposed to act in the matter.
The replies so far received indicate that the proposition has been received with general favor. No dissent has found expression. The
Governments of Austria-Hungary, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Luxemburg, Mexico, the Netherlands, Portugal, Roumania, Spain, Sweden and Norway, and Switzerland exhibit sympathy with the purposes of the proposal and generally accept it in principle, with a reservation in most cases of future consideration of the date of the conference and the programme of subjects for discussion. The replies of Japan and Russia conveyed in like terms a friendly recognition of the spirit and purposes of the invitation, but on the part of Russia the reply was accompanied by the statement that, in the existing condition of things in the Far East, it would not be practicable for the Imperial Government, at this moment, to take part in such a conference. While this reply, tending as it does to cause some postponement of the proposed second conference, is deeply regretted, the weight of the motive which induces it is recognized by this Government and probably by others. Japan made the reservation only that no action should be taken by the conference relative to the present war.
Although the prospect of an early convocation of an august assembly of representatives of the nations in the interests of peace and harmony among them is deferred for the time being, it may be regarded as assured so soon as the interested powers are in a position to agree upon a date and place of meeting and to join in the formulation of a general plan for discussion. The President is much gratified at the cordial reception of his overtures. He feels that in eliciting the common sentiment of the various governments in favor of the principle involved and of the objects sought to be attained a notable step has been taken toward eventual success.
Pending a definite agreement for meeting when circumstances shall permit, it seems desirable that a comparison of views should be had among the participants as to the scope and matter of the subjects to be brought before the second conference. The invitation put forth by the Government of the United States did not attenpt to do more than indicate the general topics which the Final Act on the First Conference of The Hague relegated, as unfinished matters to consideration by a future conference -- adverting, in connec ion with the important subject of the inviolability of private property in naval warfare, to the like views expressed by the Congress of the United States in its resolution adopted April 28, 1904, with the addıd suggestion that it may be desirable to consider and adopt a procedire by which
states non-signatory to the original acts of the Hague Conference may become adhering parties. In the present state of the project, this Government is still indisposed to formulate a programme. In view of the virtual certainty that the President's suggestion of The Hague as the place of meeting of a second peace conference will be accepted by all the interested powers, and in view also of the fact that an organized representation of the signatories of the Acts of 1899 now exists at that capital, this Government feels that it should not assume the initiative in drawing up a programme, nor preside over the deliberations of the signatories in that regard. It seems to the President that the high task he undertook in seeking to bring about an agreement of the powers to meet in a second peace conference is virtually accomplished so far as it is appropriate for him to act, and that, with the general acceptance of his invitation in principle, the future conduct of the affair may fitly follow its normal channels. To this end it is suggested that the further and necessary interchange of views between the signatories of the Acts of 1899 be effected through the International Bureau under the control of the Permanent Administrative Council of The Hague. It is believed that in this way, by utilizing the central representative agency established and maintained by the powers themselves, an orderly treatment of the preliminary consultations may be insured and the way left clear for the eventual action of the Government of the Netherlands in calling a renewed conference to assemble at The Hague, should that course be adopted.
You will bring this communication to the knowledge of the Minister for Foreign Affairs and invite consideration of the suggestions herein made.
I am, etc.,
THE HONORABLE ELIHU ROOT, SECRETARY OF STATE, TO THE
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
WASHINGTON, October 12, 1905.
On the 13th of last month, at Sagamore Hill, his excellency the ambassador of Russia presented to the President a memorandum, being a message from His Majesty the Tsar to the President, to the
effect that in view of the termination, with the cordial coöperation of the President, of the war, and of the conclusion of peace between Russia and Japan, His Imperial Majesty, as initiator of the International Peace Conference of 1899, deems the present a favorable moment for further developing and systematizing the labors of that conference, and that to this end, upon being assured in advance of the sympathy of the President, who last year pronounced himself in favor of such a project, His Majesty desires to approach the President with a proposal to the effect that the Government of the United States take part in a new international conference, which could be called together at The Hague as soon as favorable replies may be obtained from all the other states, to which a similar proposal is to be made.
The Secretary of State, by direction of the President, has the honor to confirm to his excellency the ambassador of Russiả the assurances which the President had the sincere pleasure to give to his excellency at the time of the presentation of the memorandum of September 13. The President's circulars to the powers parties to the acts of the Hague Conference, which the late Secretary of State communicated to the several signatory states through the American envoys accredited thereto, dated, respectively, October 21 and December 16 of last year, have demonstrated the President's keen desire that upon a favorable occasion the labors of the First International Peace Conference might be supplemented and completed by an accord to be reached by a second conference of the powers. The suggestion so put forth having been accepted in principle by the signatories, it only remained for the opportune moment to come for the powers to agree upon the place and time for their renewed assemblage in order to perfect the beneficial agreements of the first conference.
The President most gladly welcomes the offer of His Imperial Majesty to again take upon himself the initiation of the steps requisite to convene a second international peace conference, as the necessary sequence to the first conference, brought about through His Majesty's efforts, and in view of the cordial responses to the President's suggestion of October, 1904, he doubts not that the project will meet with complete acceptation and that the result will be to bring the nations of the earth still more closely together in their common endeavor to advance the ends of peace.
As respects the further statement of his excellency's memorandum
of September 13, that, as the late war has given rise to a number of questions which are of the greatest importance and closely related to the acts of the first conference, the plenipotentiaries of Russia, at the future meeting, will lay before the conference a detailed programme which could serve as a starting point for its deliberations, the President finds it in consonance with the indications of his circular of October 21, 1904, touching the questions to come before a second conference for discussion, and the importance of completing the work of the first conference by ample exchange of views and, it is to be hoped, full concord upon the broad questions specifically relegated by the Final Act of The Hague to the consideration of a future conference.
THE SECRETARY OF STATE TO THE RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
WASHINGTON, April 1906. EXCELLENCY: I have great pleasure in acknowledging the receipt of your note of the 3d instant, whereby you acquaint me with the instructions telegraphed to you by your Government to inform the Government of the United States that, in concert with the Dutch Government, it is proposed to convoke the Conference of The Hague during the first half of the month of July of the present year.
The President, to whom I hastened to communicate this information, charges me to express his deep sympathy with the contemplated purpose thus announced by His Imperial Majesty and his gratification at the prospect of the realization of a project in which he has heretofore expressed great interest, and which he trusts will redound to the welfare of all nations by promoting peace among them. It is the President's purpose to appoint plenipotentiaries to represent the United States at the forthcoming conference.
It behooves me, however, to say that, in the judgment of the President, the date suggested by the Imperial and the Dutch Governments for the assembling of the conference would be in a high degree embarrassing and inconvenient, not only to the United States but doubtless also to many other nations of the American hemisphere, owing to the fact that the 21st of July next has long been fixed for the meeting of the conference of all the American nations at Rio de Janeiro. Furthermore, so early a date as the first half of July does