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functions to perform either to enact new laws or to change existing ones. As an extension of the executive department of the central government, it was subordinate to the local laws in so far as they did not conflict with the political character, institutions and Constitution of the United States.44
The question as to whether or not the military governor went beyond his power in legislative matters would seem to be of no consequence whatever at this late day, especially if we take into consideration the fact that Congress finally, a year and a day afterwards, October 12,1900, passed a law to "temporarily provide revenues and a civil government for Porto Rico, and for other purposes," in which there was a provision to the effect that the laws and ordinances of the island then in force should continue in full force and effect, except as altered, amended or modified in the Act itself, or as altered or modified by military orders and decrees in force when the said Act should take effect, and so far as the same were not inconsistent or in conflict with the statutory laws of the United States not locally inapplicable, or the provisions thereof, until altered, amended or repealed by the legislative authority thereinafter provided for Porto Rico by Act of the Congress of the United States.45
It would seem, as stated by General Davis in his report on civil affairs in Porto Rico,46 that the military commanders in legislating upon local affairs, during the whole period of military government in Porto Rico, correctly interpreted the wishes of the President; moreover, as may be collected from the law above referred to, all the military orders of a legislative character were approved and confirmed by Congress and incorporated into the laws of Porto Rico until repealed or modified by the local legislature. Some of these orders have been, of course, altered, modified or abrogated by that body, but there are still many which form part of those laws, which is certainly the highest tribute that could be paid to their wisdom, fairness and justice.
Although the report of General Davis on civil affairs in Porto Rico does not seem to make any particular attempt to show how the Porto
"Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway Company v. Glinn, 114 U. S., 542; Strother v. Lucas, 12 Pet., 410; De Lima v. Bidwell, supra; Downes v. Bidwell, 182 U. S., 288.
« U. S. Stat, at Large, Vol. 31, p. 77.
46 Report of the Military Governor, supra, p. 27.
Ricans contributed to the magnificent success of the government of Porto Rico during the whole military regime, from a careful perusal of that report it may be fairly collected that their contribution was not small or unimportant; on the contrary, their efficiency and reliability may be held in many cases to have been the most valuable source of help and assistance, not only as subordinate public servants, but as coworkers with the administration on account of their recognized ability and knowledge of local affairs, conditions and aspirations. Quite apart from the writer's remarks, although founded as they are on his own private observation, and judging merely from the testimony of persons intimately connected with that government, as well as those who may have any real opportunity to form an honest and unprejudiced opinion about Porto Ricans generally, it will be found that they certainly are deserving of a large participation in the honor of promoting the success of the government, not merely for their special contribution in governmental matters, but also and more especially for their unimpeachable devotion to a faithful discharge of their obligations and duties, whether in high official positions of trust or in the plain status of mere lawabiding citizens.
(To be concluded in the next number.)
BOARD OF EDITORS OF THE AMERICAN JOURNAL
Chandler P. Anderson, New York, N. Y.
Editor in Chief
James Brown Scott, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace,
Washington, D. C.
Secretary of the Board of Editors and Business Manager of the Journal George A. Finch, 2 Jackson Place, Washington, D. C.
EDITORIAL COMMENT The Quotation From The Journal In The DECISION OF THE BRITISH
PRIZE COURT IN THE CHICAGO MEAT PACKERS' CASES
In the course of the opinion of the British Prize Court in the cases of the Kim, the Alfred Nobel, the B. Bjornson and the Fridland, the learned President of the court, Sir Samuel Evans, took occasion to make the following statement:
Before I conclude I will make reference to an opinion expressed towards the end of last year by a body of men eminent as students and expositors of International Law in America, in the editorial comment in the American Journal of International Law, to which my attention was called by the Law Officers. Amongst them I need only name Mr. Chandler Anderson, Mr. Robert Lansing, Mr. John Bassett Moore, Mr. Theodore Woolsey, and Mr. James Brown Scott.
It is as follows:
"In a war in which the nation is in arms, where every able-bodied man is under arms and is performing military duty, and where the non-combatant population is organized so as to support the soldiers in the field, it seems likely that belligerents will be inclined to consider destination to the enemy country as sufficient, even in the case of conditional contraband, especially if the Government of the enemy possesses and exercises the right of confiscating or appropriating to naval or military uses the property of its citizens or subjects of service to the armies in the field."
I cite this, not of course as any authority, but of showing how these eminent American jurists acknowledge that International Law must have regard to the actual circumstances of the times.
I have not in this judgment followed the course thus indicated by them as a likely and reasonable one in the present state of affairs. I have preferred to proceed on the lines of the old recognized authorities.
The passage quoted from the Journal appears in an editorial comment on Contraband of War in the January, 1915 number, page 210 at page 212.
According to the statement of the court, the quoted passage from the Journal's editorial comment was not cited as having any authority in the decision of the cases and was not followed in the judgment which was delivered, but the learned judge's characterization of the passage "as showing how these eminent American jurists acknowledge that international law must have regard to the actual circumstances of the times" and his assumption that the course indicated was regarded by the editors of the Journal "as a likely and reasonable one in the present state of affairs" does not seem to the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal, who was solely responsible for the contents of the comment in question, to be borne out by the language used and quoted. The phrase in question was chosen to avoid an expression of opinion of jurists of neutral countries and it confined itself to the belligerents, and it is not fairly open to be interpreted as in any sense a statement or acknowledgment by American jurists of what "international law must" or ought to "have regard to." The United States is not a belligerent, and as far as the writer's information goes, it does not expect to be.
Nor is the language fairly susceptible of the interpretation that, should belligerents adopt the course referred to, their action would be regarded by American jurists "as a likely and reasonable one in the present state of affairs." Any statement or reference, either directly or indirectly, as to the probable attitude of the members of the Board of Editors of the American Journal of International Law, or of any other American jurists, was foreign to the intention of the writer of the comment. The words quoted were intended to indicate and did indicate in concise form the probable attitude of the belligerents in the circumstances referred to. The language used was not suggested by any expressions on the subject, either oral or written, by any member of the Board of Editors or by other American jurists, but was based upon expressions contained in the notes of Great Britain to the United States, on the subject of neutral trade.
THE NINTH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF INTERNATIONAL LAW
The annual meeting of the American Society of International Law, which usually takes place in the last week of April, was, as announced in the April number of the Journal, postponed by the Executive Committee until the meeting of the Second Pan-American Scientific Congress in Washington, December 27, 1915 to January 8, 1916, so that the Society might accept the invitation of the Congress to meet in connection with its Sub-Section on International Law. The Committee on the Ninth Annual Meeting of the Society has recently held a meeting and decided upon the arrangements which should be made for the annual meeting. The Committee had the choice of adopting the topics of the Sub-Section on International Law of the Congress as the program for the Society, and thus merge the two meetings into one. Inasmuch as the American international lawyers who have consented to speak upon the subjects of the program of the Sub-Section on International Law are all prominent members of the Society, and since it would be highly desirable for the Society to have as speakers at its meeting some of the eminent South American publicists who will attend the Congress, the proposition of consolidating the two meetings into one seemed entirely feasible and desirable in some respects. The plan, however, was open to serious objection from the point of view of the Society, which has not failed to hold an annual meeting regularly each year since its organization nearly a decade ago, and the printed proceedings of its annual meeting are the most important part of its remarkable and useful career. It was felt that to merge the two meetings would result in the loss of the identity of the Society's meeting this year and deprive the Society of its customary printed proceedings, except, perhaps, in the form of reprints of the proceedings of the Sub-Section on International Law of the Congress.