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matters above named, that is, the immunity from seiz-
ure of private property on the high seas, and the throw-
ing open of our proceedings, and the honors of the
whole conference is yours."

He seemed impressed by all this, and took a different
tone from any which has been noted in him since we
came together. I then asked him if he had heard Baron
d'Estournelles's story. He said that he had not. I told
it to him, as given in my diary yesterday; and said,
"You see there what the failure to obtain a result which
is really so much longed for by all the peoples of the
world will do to promote the designs of the socialistic
forces which are so powerful in all parts of the Continent,
and nowhere more so than in Germany and the nations
allied with her."

This, too, seemed to impress him. I then went on to
say, "This is not all. By opposing arbitration, you not
only put a club into the hands of socialists, anarchists,
and all the other anti-social forces, but you alienate the
substantial middle class and the great body of religious
people in all nations. You have no conception of the
depth of feeling on this subject which exists in my own
country, to say nothing of others ; and if Germany stands
in the way, the distrust of her which Americans have
felt, and which as minister and ambassador at Berlin



AT THE HAGUE PEACE CONFERENCE: III-1899 305

I have labored so hard to dispel, will be infinitely in-
creased. It will render more and more difficult the main-
tenance of proper relations between the two countries.
Your sovereign will be looked upon as the enemy of all
nations, and will be exposed to every sort of attack and
calumny, while the young Emperor of Russia will be-
come a popular idol throughout the world, since he will
represent to the popular mind, and even to the minds of
great bodies of thinking and religious people, the effort
to prevent war and to solve public questions as much as
possible without bloodshed; while the Emperor of Ger-
many will represent to their minds the desire to solve
all great questions by force. Mind, I don't say this is a
just view: I only say that it is the view sure to be taken,
and that by resisting arbitration here you are playing
the game of Russia, as you yourself have stated it that
is, you are giving Russia the moral support of the whole
world at the expense of the neighboring powers, and
above all of Germany."

I then took up an argument which, it is understood,
has had much influence with the Emperor, namely, that
arbitration must be in derogation of his sovereignty,
and asked, ''How can any such derogation be possible?
Your sovereign would submit only such questions to the
arbitration tribunal as he thought best; and, more than
all that, you have already committed yourselves to the
principle. You are aware that Bismarck submitted
the question of the Caroline Islands for arbitration to the
Pope, and the first Emperor William consented to act
as arbiter between the United States and Great Britain
in the matter of the American northwestern boundary.
How could arbitration affect the true position of the
sovereign? Take, for example, matters as they now
stand between Germany and the United States. There
is a vast mass of petty questions which constantly trou-
ble the relations between the two countries. These lit-
tle questions embitter debates, whether in your Reichs-
tag on one hand, or in our Congress on the other, and

II.- 20



306 IN THE DIPLOMATIC SERVICE-XXII

make the position of the Berlin and Washington govern-
ments especially difficult. The American papers attack
me because I yield too much to Germany, the German
papers attack Von Billow because he yields too much to
America, and these little questions remain. If Von Billow
and I were allowed to sit down and settle them, we could
do so at short notice ; but behind him stands the Reichstag,
and behind our Secretary of State and myself stands the
American Congress."

I referred to such questions as the tonnage dues, the
additional tariff on bounty-promoted sugar, Samoa, the
most-favored-nation clause, in treaties between Germany
and the United States, in relation to the same clause in
sundry treaties between the United States and other
powers, and said, "What a blessing it would be if all
these questions, of which both governments are tired,
and which make the more important questions constantly
arising between the two countries so difficult to settle,
could be sent at once to a tribunal and decided one way
or the other! In themselves they amount to little. It
is not at all unlikely that most of them possibly all of
them would be decided in favor of Germany; but the
United States would acquiesce at once in the decision by
a tribunal such as is proposed. And this is just what
would take place between Germany and other nations.
A mass of vexatious questions would be settled by the
tribunal, and the sovereign and his government would
thus be relieved from parliamentary chicanery based,
not upon knowledge, but upon party tactics or personal
grudges or inherited prejudices."

He seemed now more inclined to give weight to these
considerations, and will, I hope, urge his government to
take a better view than that which for some time past
has seemed to be indicated by the conduct of its repre-
sentatives here.

In the afternoon I went to the five-o'clock tea of the
Baroness d'Estournelles, found a great crowd there, in-
cluding the leading delegates, and all anxious as to the



AT THE HAGUE PEACE CONFERENCE: III-1899 307

conduct of Germany. Meeting the Baroness von Suttner,
who has been writing such earnest books in behalf of
peace, I urged her to write with all her might to influ-
ence public prints in Austria, Italy, and Germany in
behalf of arbitration, telling her that we are just arriv-
ing at the parting of the ways, and that everything pos-
sible must be done now, or all may be lost. To this she
responded very heartily, and I have no doubt will use
her pen with much effect.

In the evening went to a great reception at the house
of the Austrian ambassador, M. Okolicsanyi. There was
a crush. Had a long talk with Mr. Stead, telling him
D 'Estournelles 's story, and urging him to use it in every
way to show what a boon the failure of arbitration
would be to the anti-social forces in all parts of Europe.

In the intervals during the day I busied myself in com-
pleting the memorial to the conference regarding the
immunity from seizure of private property at sea. If
we cannot secure it now, we must at least pave the way
for its admission by a future international conference.



CHAPTER XLVIII

AS PRESIDENT OF THE AMERICAN DELEGATION AT THE
PEACE CONFERENCE OF THE HAGUE: IV-1899

June 16.

THIS morning Count Miinster called and seemed much
excited by the fact that he had received a despatch
from Berlin in which the German Government which,
of course, means the Emperor had strongly and finally
declared against everything like an arbitration tribunal.
He was clearly disconcerted by this too literal accep-
tance of his own earlier views, and said that he had sent
to M. de Staal insisting that the meeting of the subcom-
mittee on arbitration, which had been appointed for this
day (Friday), should be adjourned on some pretext until
next Monday ; ' ' for, ' ' said he, ' * if the session takes place
to-day, Zorn must make the declaration in behalf of Ger-
many which these new instructions order him to make,
and that would be a misfortune." I was very glad to
see this evidence of change of heart in the count, and
immediately joined him in securing the adjournment he
desired. The meeting of the subcommittee has therefore
been deferred, the reason assigned, as I understand, be-
ing that Baron d'Estournelles is too much occupied to
be present at the time first named. Later Count Miinster
told me that he had decided to send Professor Zorn
to Berlin at once in order to lay the whole matter before
the Foreign Office and induce the authorities to modify
the instructions. I approved this course strongly, where-
upon he suggested that I should do something to the same

308



AT THE HAGUE PEACE CONFERENCE: IV-1899 309

purpose, and this finally ended in the agreement that
Holls should go with Zorn.

In view of the fact that Von Billow had agreed that the
German delegates should stand side by side with us in
the conference, I immediately prepared a letter of in-
troduction and a personal letter to Billow for Holls to
take, and he started about five in the afternoon. This
latter is as follows :

(Copy.)
(Personal.)

June 16, 1899.
DEAK BARON VON BULOW :

I trust that, in view of the kindly relations which exist
between us, succeeding as they do similar relations begun
twenty years ago with your honored father, you will
allow me to write you informally, but fully and frankly,
regarding the interests of both our governments in the
peace conference. The relations between your delegates
and ours have, from the first, been of the kindest; your
assurances on this point have been thoroughly carried
out. But we seem now to be at " the parting of the ways, ' '
and on the greatest question submitted to us, the great-
est, as I believe, that any conference or any congress has
taken up in our time, namely, the provision for a tri-
bunal of arbitration.

It is generally said here that Germany is opposed to
the whole thing, that she is utterly hostile to anything
like arbitration, and that she will do all in her power,
either alone or through her allies, to thwart every feasi-
ble plan of providing for a tribunal which shall give
some hope to the world of settling some of the many dif-
ficulties between nations otherwise than by bloodshed.

No rational man here expects all wars to be ended
by anything done here ; no one proposes to submit to any
such tribunal questions involving the honor of any na-
tion or the inviolability of its territory, or any of those
things which nations feel instinctively must be reserved
for their own decision. Nor does any thinking man here



310 IN THE DIPLOMATIC SERVICE-XXIII

propose obligatory arbitration in any case, save, possibly,
in sundry petty matters where such arbitration would
be a help to the ordinary administration of all govern-
ments; and, even as to these, they can be left out of the
scheme if your government seriously desires it.

The great thing is that there be a provision made for
easily calling together a court of arbitration which shall
be seen of all nations, indicate a sincere desire to pro-
mote peace, and, in some measure, relieve the various
peoples of the fear which so heavily oppresses them all
the dread of an outburst of war at any moment.

I note that it has been believed by many that the mo-
tives of Russia in proposing this conference were none
too good, indeed, that they were possibly perfidious; but,
even if this be granted, how does this affect the conduct
of Germany 1 ? Should it not rather lead Germany to go
forward boldly and thoughtfully, to accept the champion-
ship of the idea of arbitration, and to take the lead in
the whole business here?

Germany, if she will do this, will certainly stand be-
fore the whole world as the leading power of Europe;
for she can then say to the whole world that she has taken
the proposal of Russia au serieux; has supported a thor-
oughly good plan of arbitration; has done what Russia
and France have not been willing to do, favored the
presentation to the conference of a plan providing for
the immunity of private property from seizure on the
high seas during war, and that while, as regards the
proceedings of the conference, Russia has wished se-
crecy, Germany has steadily, from the first, promoted
frankness and openness.

With these three points in your favor, you can stand
before the whole world as the great Continental power
which has stood up for peace as neither Russia nor
France has been able to do. On the other hand, if you
do not do this, if you put a stumbling-block in the way
of arbitration, what results? The other powers will go
on and create as good a tribunal as possible, and what-



AT THE HAGUE PEACE CONFERENCE: IV- 1899 311

ever failure may come will be imputed to Germany and
to its Emperor. In any case, whether failure or suc-
cess may come, the Emperor of Russia will be hailed in
all parts of the world as a deliverer and, virtually, as a
saint, while there will be a wide-spread outburst of hatred
against the German Emperor.

And this will come not alone from the anti-social forces
which are hoping that the conference may fail, in order
that thereby they may have a new weapon in their hands,
but it will also come from the middle and substantial
classes of other nations.

It is sure to make the relations between Germany and
the United States, which have been of late improving,
infinitely more bitter than they have ever before been,
and it is no less sure to provoke the most bitter hatred
of the German monarchy in nearly all other nations.

Should his advisers permit so noble and so gifted a
sovereign to incur this political storm of obloquy, this
convergence of hatred upon him? Should a ruler of such
noble ambitions and such admirable powers be exposed
to this? I fully believe that he should not, and that his
advisers should beg him not to place himself before the
world as the antagonist of a plan to which millions upon
millions in all parts of the world are devoted.

From the United States come evidences of a feeling
wide-spread and deep on this subject beyond anything
I have ever known. This very morning I received a
prayer set forth by the most conservative of all Protes-
tant religious bodies namely, the American branch of
the Anglican Church to be said in all churches, begging
the Almighty to favor the work of the peace conference ;
and this is what is going on in various other American
churches, and in vast numbers of households. Something
of the same sort is true in Great Britain and, perhaps,
in many parts of the Continent.

Granted that expectations are overwrought, still this
fact indicates that here is a feeling which cannot be dis-
regarded.



312 IN THE DIPLOMATIC SERVICE-XXIH

Moreover, to my certain knowledge, within a month, a
leading socialist in France has boasted to one of the
members of this conference that it would end in fail-
ure; that the monarchs and governments of Europe do
not wish to diminish bloodshed; that they would refuse
to yield to the desire of the peoples for peace, and that
by the resentment thus aroused a new path to victory
would be open to socialism.

Grant, too, that this is overstated, still such a declara-
tion is significant.

I know it has been said that arbitration is derogatory
to sovereignty. I really fail to see how this can be said
in Germany. Germany has already submitted a great
political question between herself and Spain to arbitra-
tion, and the Emperor William I was himself the arbiter
between the United States and Great Britain in the mat-
ter of our northwestern boundary.

Bear in mind again that it is only voluntary arbitration
that is proposed, and that it will always rest with the
German Emperor to decide what questions he will sub-
mit to the tribunal and what he will not.

It has also been said that arbitration proceedings would
give the enemies of Germany time to put themselves in
readiness for war ; but if this be feared in any emergency,
the Emperor and his government are always free to
mobilize the German army at once.

As you are aware, what is seriously proposed here
now, in the way of arbitration, is not a tribunal con-
stantly in session, but a system under which each of the
signatory powers shall be free to choose, for a limited
time, from an international court, say two or more
judges who can go to The Hague if their services are
required, but to be paid only while actually in session
here ; such payment to be made by the litigating parties.

As to the machinery, the plan is that there shall be a
dignified body composed of the diplomatic representa-
tives of the various signatory powers, to sit at The
Hague, presided over by the Netherlands minister of



AT THE HAGUE PEACE CONFERENCE: IV 1899 313

foreign affairs, and to select and to control such secre-
taries and officers as may be necessary for the ordinary
conduct of affairs.

Such council would receive notice from powers having
differences with each other which are willing to submit
the questions between them to a court, and would then
give notice to the judges selected by the parties. The
whole of the present plan, except some subordinate fea-
tures of little account, which can easily be stricken out,
is voluntary. There is nothing whatever obligatory
about it. Every signatory power is free to resort to
such a tribunal or not, as it may think best. Surely a
concession like this may well be made to the deep and
wide sentiment throughout the world in favor of some
possible means of settling controversies between nations
other than by bloodshed.

Pardon me for earnestly pressing upon you these facts
and considerations. I beg that you will not consider me
as going beyond my province. I present them to you as
man to man, not only in the interest of good relations
between Germany and the United States, but of interests
common to all the great nations of the earth, of their
common interest in giving something like satisfaction
to a desire so earnest and wide-spread as that which has
been shown in all parts of the world for arbitration.

I remain, dear Baron von Billow,

Most respectfully and sincerely yours,

(Sgd.) ANDKEW D. WHITE.

P. S. Think how easily, if some such tribunal existed,
your government and mine could refer to it the whole
mass of minor questions which our respective parliamen-
tary bodies have got control of, and entangled in all
sorts of petty prejudices and demagogical utterances;
for instance, Samoa, the tonnage dues, the sugar-bounty
question, the most-favored-nation clause, etc., etc., which
keep the two countries constantly at loggerheads. Do
you not see that submission of such questions to such



314 IN THE DIPLOMATIC SERVICE -XXIII

a tribunal as is now proposed, so far from being derog-
atory to sovereignty, really relieves the sovereign and
the Foreign Office of the most vexatious fetters and limi-
tations of parliamentarianism. It is not at all unlikely
that such a court would decide in your favor ; and if so,
every thoughtful American would say, "Well and good;
it appears that, in spite of all the speeches in Congress,
we were wrong." And the matter would then be ended
with the good-will of all parties.

(Sgd.) A. D.W.

It is indeed a crisis in the history of the conference,
and perhaps in the history of Germany. I can only hope
that Billow will give careful attention to the considera-
tions which Miinster and myself press upon him.

Later in the day Sir Julian Pauncefote called, evi-
dently much vexed that the sitting of the subcommittee
had been deferred, and even more vexed since he had
learned from De Staal the real reason. He declared that
he was opposed to stringing out the conference much
longer; that the subcommittee could get along perfectly
well without Dr. Zorn; that if Germany did not wish
to come in, she could keep out; etc., etc. He seemed to
forget that Germany's going out means the departure
of Austria and Italy, to say nothing of one or two minor
powers, and therefore the bringing to naught of the
conference. I did not think it best to say anything about
Holls 's departure, but soothed him as much as I could by
dwelling on the success of his proposal that the per-
manent council here shall be composed of the resident
diplomatic representatives.

The other members of our commission, and especially
President Low, were at first very much opposed to Dr.
Holls 's going, on the ground that it might be considered
an interference in a matter pertaining to Germany; but
I persisted in sending him, agreeing to take all the re-
sponsibility, and declaring that he should go simply as
a messenger from me, as the American ambassador at
Berlin, to the imperial minister of foreign affairs.



AT THE HAGUE PEACE CONFERENCE: IV-1899 315

June 17.

The morning was given largely to completing my draft
of our memorial to the conference regarding the immu-
nity of private property in time of war from seizure on
the high seas.

In the afternoon drove to Scheveningen to make sundry
official visits, and in the evening to the great festival
given by the Netherlands Government to the conference.

Its first feature was a series of tableaux representing
some of the most famous pictures in the Dutch galleries,
the most successful of all being Rembrandt's "Night
Watch." Jan Steen's " Wedding Party" was also very
beautiful. Then came peasant dances given, in the midst
of the great hall, by persons in the costumes of all the
different provinces. These were characteristic and in-
teresting, some of them being wonderfully quaint.

The violinist of the late King, Johannes Wolff, played
some solos in a masterly way.

The music by the great military band, especially the
hymn of William of Nassau and the Dutch and Russian
national anthems, was splendidly rendered, and the old
Dutch provincial music played in connection with the
dances and tableaux was also noteworthy.

It was an exceedingly brilliant assemblage, and the
whole festival from first to last a decided success.

June 18, Sunday.

Went to Ley den to attend service at St. Peter 's. Both
the church and its monuments are interesting. Visited
also the church of St. Pancras, a remarkable specimen of
Gothic architecture, and looked upon the tomb of Van der
Werf, the brave burgomaster who defended the town
against the Spaniards during the siege.

At the university I was much interested in the public
hall where degrees are conferred, and above all in the
many portraits of distinguished professors. Lingered
next in the botanical gardens back of the university, which
are very beautiful.

Then to the Museum of Antiquities, which is remark-



316 IN THE DIPLOMATIC SERVICE-XXIII

ably rich in Egyptian and other monuments. Roman
art is also very fully represented.

Thence home, and, on arriving, found, of all men in
the world, Thomas B. Reed, Speaker of our House of
Representatives. Mr. Newel, our minister, took us both
for a drive to Scheveningen, and Mr. Reed's conversa-
tion was exceedingly interesting; he is well read in his-
tory and, apparently, in every field of English litera-
ture. There is a bigness, a heartiness, a shrewdness, and
a genuineness about him which greatly attract me.

June 19.

Called on M. de Staal to show him Holls's telegram
from Berlin, which is encouraging. De Staal thinks that
we may have to give up the tenth section of the arbitra-
tion plan, which includes obligatory arbitration in sundry
minor matters ; but while I shall be very sorry to see this
done, we ought to make the sacrifice if it will hold Ger-
many, Italy, and Austria to us.

A little later received a hearty telegram from the Sec-
retary of State authorizing our ordering the wreath of
silver and gold and placing it on the tomb of Grotius.
Telegraphed and wrote Major Allen at Berlin full direc-
tions on the subject. I am determined that the tribute
shall be worthy of our country, of its object, and of the
occasion.

In the afternoon took Speaker Reed, with his wife and
daughter, through the "House in the Wood," afterward
through the grounds, which are more beautiful than ever,
and then to Delft, where we visited the tombs of William
the Silent and Grotius, and finally the house in which
William was assassinated. It was even more interesting
to me than during either of my former visits, and was
evidently quite as interesting to Mr. Reed.

At six attended a long meeting of the American dele-
gation, which elaborated the final draft of our communi-
cation to M. de Staal on the immunity of private prop-
erty on the high seas. Various passages were stricken



AT THE HAGUE PEACE CONFERENCE: IV 1899 317

out, some of them and, indeed, one of the best in defer-
ence to the ideas of Captain Mahan, who, though he is
willing, under instructions from the government, to join
in presenting the memorial, does not wish to sign any-
thing which can possibly be regarded as indicating a
personal belief in the establishment of such immunity.
His is the natural view of a sailor; but the argument
with which he supports it does not at all convince me. It
is that during war we should do everything possible to
weaken and worry the adversary, in order that he may



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