Page images



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 aythority, 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 authori. ties, 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

any legal remedies also denied to native citizens of a country. As for example, the Constitution of the United States as amended does not allow any suit to be brought against any state of the Union by any private citizen of any state or country. The states contract debts by issuing bonds for internal improvements, and other objects, and these to a large amount are now in the hands of Europeans and Americans. Some of the states are in default in paying interest, and no suit can be brought by any private holder, and inasmuch as the foreigner stands on the same footing as the American holder, there is no just ground of claim against the government of the United States. Chancellor Kent, in his Commentaries, lays down the doctrine that the United States, a state of our Union and a foreign state may sue in the Supreme Court of the United States any one of our states. The Supreme Court of the United States so decided in the celebrated case of Cohens vs. the State of Virginia. Besides our government is known to be organized under a United States and State Constitutions, and the powers of its component parts are limited, and all who deal with any department must look to its powers as defined in the fundamental Constitutions. It plainly follows that the national government violates no international duty by not furnishing foreigners with a right to sue our

States, or the United States, since we grant no such right to our citizens. Nor can the United States be justly bound to pay the debts of defaulting states either to foreigners or our own citizens. The national government ought indeed to stimulate every state to an honest payment of its debts, and employ its influence in favor of that object. As far as it can constitutionally go, it ought to sustain the credit of the states unimpaired.



Nations are morally bound to be kind to each other, to succor each other in great calamity, such as earthquakes, pestilence or famine, to assist 40 save the lives and properties of foreigners when wrecked, on the same terms as to salvage applied to native citizens, and to aid the sufferers, and to allow foreign consuls to assist them, to permit foreign consuls to appear in the courts and maintain the rights of their countrymen; to allow foreigners in time of peace to pass through any country or sojourn in it for business or pleasure at will. They ought to be allowed free.ingress and egress in all countries for the peaceful objects of commerce or pleasure. China had in this respect violated her international social duty, until Britain by the sword forced upon the closed doors of the celestial empire. Unjustifiable, as the British invasion of

« PreviousContinue »