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The substantial work already accomplished by the tribunal of arbitration established at The Hague under the provisions of the Conventions for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes has often been underestimated. This underestimate has in many instances been due to the fact that the evidence of the real accomplishments of the tribunal has not been available for judgment. It is true that much has been written about the work of the tribunal, but at the same time it has been exceedingly difficult to learn exactly what the questions before the tribunal have been and how they have been settled. The awards which have been made by the tribunal at The Hague since its establishment have not before been gathered in generally accessible form. The compromis containing the relation of the facts and conditions under which a given case has been submitted is often more difficult to find than the award even in a well-supplied library, and in most libraries cannot be found at all. The language of the compromis or of the award may in some of the cases be a barrier to easy consultation.
In this book the compromis of each case is given as well as the award. The official language is always given, and when this is not English, for convenience, and upon the opposite page, a somewhat literal translation is furnished. When the compromis or the award is in language other than English and there is an official translation into English, this official translation only is given. Accordingly, in the Japanese House Tax case where the compromis was drawn in German, French, Japanese, and English, only the English form is given, as that is equally official. In the Norwegian-Swedish Frontier case the two languages are given, with the translation, and in like manner the two languages of the compromis in the Canevaro Claim case.
Maps, some of which were specially prepared for this collection,
are inserted where necessary to make clear the award of the tribunal. For convenience the Hague conventions under which the court has been constituted are given in the Appendix. To facilitate reference there is inserted in the general index a detailed index under each case. The fifteen cases upon which the court has acted show that the resort to arbitration as a means of settlement of international disputes has become common in the early days of the twentieth century. The cases already brought before the tribunal at The Hague have involved questions and events relating to Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, and South America. The scope of questions has also been wide. Financial claims have been passed upon frequently, but such questions as the right to fly the flag, the violation of territory, the delimitation of boundaries, and other questions involving the fundamental rights of states have likewise been considered. Some cases have been simple and have occupied the attention of a tribunal but a short time; others have been complex and elaborately and lengthily argued. The first case, the Pious Fund case of 1902, was between two American states. The second, the Venezuela Preferential Claims case in the following year, concerned three American and eight European powers. In the third case, the Japanese House Tax of 1904, three European and one Asiatic power appeared. The fourth case, the Muscat Dhows, was brought by two European powers in regard to the right of certain Asiatics to fly a flag. The fifth, the Casablanca, was also brought by two European powers but in regard to respective rights of jurisdiction in Africa. The sixth, the Norwegian-Swedish Frontier arbitration, was the first purely European difference settled by the tribunal. The later cases have shown similar range of subject matter and geographical distribution. In about one half the cases no nationals of the parties to the controversy have sat as arbitrators, and in the other cases nationals of the contending parties have been appointed. Nearly one half the cases have been before three judges, and all but one of the remaining cases before five judges. Of the six arbitrators sitting in the cases decided in 1913 and 1914, each arbitrator had previously sat upon at least one case at The Hague and some had already appeared in several cases. France has been a party in six cases, Great Britain in five, the United States in four, Germany and Italy in three each, and several states in two or only in one. Seventeen different states in all have been parties in cases before the Hague tribunal. These facts show an established confidence in the tribunal and in its personnel. It certainly has a worthy record in achievement, as shown by the number and the varied nature of the causes brought before it, by the wide geographical distribution of the states appearing as parties, and by the readiness with which all parties have accepted the tribunal's decision.
While the arguments of counsel have often occupied the attention of the tribunal for many days and have filled many volumes, the compromis and award in each case as here printed furnish the official material essential for a comprehensive understanding of the recent development of arbitral methods in the settlement of international differences.
Acknowledgments are due to the officials of the Department of State of the United States, to officials of the foreign offices of other states, to members of the permanent court of arbitration, and particularly to the secretaries of this court, who have willingly given valued assistance.
GEORGE GRAFTON WILSON CAMBRIDGE, AUGUST, 1914