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to the meaning of a project, the language of the Capital in which the Commission was sitting should be accepted as authoritative. Courtesy as well as expediency suggested this, in the opinion of the Delegates of the United States. The delegations which expressed themselves as in accord with the American view were Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia and Peru. The result is four different versions which, if the experience of international conferences is to be enlightening, will disclose not unimportant divergences in meaning, with the requirement of a knowledge of the four languages on the part of those who use them, and a minute scrutiny of each version.
With these difficulties out of the way, the reasons for the success of the Commission should be mentioned. The element which made for success more than any other, and indeed all others, was the desire of success constantly expressed by the Brazilian Government through its sympathetic, courteous and broadminded Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Octavio Mangabeira, from the opening session to his farewell banquet to the Delegates, with which it closed. The Commission was thus surrounded with a congenial atmosphere proceeding from his evidently sincere desire and ambition that the meeting should justify the Americas in choosing the Capital of Brazil as the seat of the Commission's deliberations. The hospitalities, official and private, tendered to the members of the Commission were many and varied. They brought the delegates together and enabled them in an atmosphere of friendly informality to learn each other's views and to appreciate those qualities of grace and courtesy which are sometimes missing from official discussions. The American Delegates could not fail to notice, what they were pleased to consider an implied compliment to their country, in having the Commission meet in the Monroe Palace, the official seat of the Brazilian Senate, where everything tended to the comfort and convenience of the Commission and its members.
The Delegates of the United States believe themselves justified in calling attention to another element making for success. The careful and satisfactory preparation in advance of the Commission, due in large part to private initiative. The American Institute of International Law, composed of five publicists of each of the twenty-one American Republics, and of which the American Delegates are themselves members, prepared at the request of the Pan American Union the series of Projects of Public International Law and the projected Code on the Conflict of Laws, which were transmitted by the Governing Board of the Pan American Union a year or more in advance of the meeting to the governments of the Americas for their consideration. This was made possible by the munificence and far-sighted generosity of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace,
which enabled the American Institute to hold its sessions and to prepare both the projects and code, and which bore the entire expense of the printing and the distribution of the preparatory work accomplished by the American Institute of International Law and in the form in which it was laid before the Commission by the Pan American Union.
The services of the American Institute were formally recognized by the Commission of Jurists in plenary session by a vote of thanks ** and, in an even more substantial way, by a resolution submitted by Subcommission C on the ways and means of continuing the work of the International Commission. The report of the Subcommission was unanimous; the approval of the plenary session of the Commission, and the tribute were therefore unanimous.
At half-past four o'clock on the afternoon of Friday, the 20th of May, the International Commission of Jurists held its last and closing session. Its distinguished President, Mr. Epitacio Pessôa, in the remarks with which he opened the closing session, stated its success in unequivocal terms and looked forward to a closer and more intimate association of the Americas in the future.
"It is my desire," he began, "that in this final session all those who are interested in the codification of international law in America may find an enumeration, at least a simple enumeration, of the work accomplished.
“The Commission of Jurists prepared a general convention of International private law and, in addition, twelve projects of International public law, having to do with the following subjects:
"Fundamental bases of international law; States existence, equality, recognition; status of aliens; treaties; exchange of publications; interchange of professors and students; diplomatic agents; consuls; maritime neutrality; asylum; and the pacific settlement of international conflicts.
“As the Commission will see, our efforts were not unproductive; to the contrary, they give great promise for fruit from our labor. A general convention of international private law and the twelve projects regarding the important points of international public law_here you have that which the Commission of Jurists was able to accomplish in this second session, in the short space of one month during which it met.”
“ Spanish text in Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores del Brasil, Comisión Internacional de Jurisconsultos Americanos: Reunión de 1927, vol. I, p. 235.
Ante, p. 393.
For a stenographic report, in Spanish, of the closing session, containing the remarks of Messrs. Pessoa, Melo, Ortiz, and Mangabeira, referred to and quoted in the following pages of Dr. Brown Scott's report, see Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores del Brasil, Comisión Internacional de Jurisconsultos Americanos: Reunión de 1827, vol. 1, pp. 265 ff.
And of the future, he ventured to express the hope that shortly we may be able to reunite the Americas in a vast and majestic confederation of interests, of aspirations and of common ideals, in the midst of which all States, be they grand or small, may tranquilly live, prosper and progress in an ambient of true independence, of justice and of liberty."
After the applause with which his address was greeted, Dr. Leopoldo Melo, of Argentina, Member of the American Institute, President of the Argentine Society of International Law, and nominee of the Presidency of Argentina by one of the political parties of that great and progressive nation, was called upon to voice the appreciation of his fellow delegates. From Dr. Melo's carefully prepared address the American Delegates believe that at least a few paragraphs of his calm and measured pronouncement should find a place in their official report. They have ventured to select the following extracts as showing how a statesman of the most southern of American Republics speaking under a sense of political responsibility, as well as principle, views the Commission and its labors:
[Here follow extracts from Mr. Melo's address.]
Mr. Melo's address was immediately followed by that of Mr. Garcia Ortiz, principal Delegate of Colombia and its Minister Plenipotentiary to Brazil. The American delegates deem it important to add, in this connection, that he was Minister of Foreign Affairs of his country at the time when the treaty between Colombia and the United States, signed in 1914 but only ratified in 1922,48a reestablished those intimate, friendly and confidential relations which should always exist between members of the great American Family of Nations.
His address, of which but a few phrases may be quoted, made a most pleasing appeal to his fellow delegates, and to the country in which they had labored unceasingly for the codification of international law, public and private, for the Americas.
[Here follow quotations from Mr. Ortiz' address.]
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, who had appeared and graciously consented to preside at the session, arose—in what is always an impressive and solemn moment in international gatherings—to close the Commission. His few words, spoken in behalf of the United States of Brazil, which he has the honor to represent in its foreign relations, were instinct with regard for the Delegations, with respect for the countries which they represented, and with appreciation for the labors of the Commission, which he was to adjourn sine die.
"In closing the second session of the International Commission of American Jurists, I am pleased,” he said, “to declare publicly to you all the approval which the Government of Brazil desired to be the
We See Foreign Relations, 1922, vol. 1, pp. 974 tf.
first to voice, and to express the gratitude of America for the most important services which you have just rendered. The Government of Brazil congratulates itself for having convoked this assembly which in adjourning today is, however, not dissolved without having deserved the benedictions of the friends of peace and of justice. Carry away and transmit, gentlemen, to the nations of which you are the representatives, to their peoples and their governments, the assurances of respect and of loyal friendship of the people and government of Brazil. May my last words be in honor of America, the last which shall echo and reecho in these halls and in this beautiful manifestation of continental fraternity. To America! To its moral progress, to its increasing economic prosperity, to its political greatness. To America! To America, happy, industrious, pacific! To America, that it may the better contribute to the advancement of humanity.”
On the evening of Saturday, May 21st, the Minister of Foreign Affairs offered, on behalf of the Government of Brazil, a banquet to the Delegates and the ladies accompanying them. In the course of the evening he took advantage of the occasion to express in gracious and generous terms, vibrating with an emotion which he did not attempt to conceal, the feelings of regret and appreciation with which he and his government took leave of their departing guests.
[Here follow extracts from Mr. Mangabeira's remarks.]
It is customary in strictly official banquets offered by the Government of Brazil to have the Presiding Officer toast the guests, and to request one of them to respond with a toast to the President of the Republic. On this occasion, the Minister of Foreign Affairs honored the American Delegation with the request that Mr. Scott propose, on behalf of his colleagues, the toast to the President. He did so in a few remarks, which he deemed appropriate to the occasion, thanking the Brazilian hosts for their hospitality and courtesy, for which he ventured to coin the expressions, Brazilian hospitality and Brazilian courtesy, voicing appreciation of the attentions lavished upon them by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who, laying aside his official duties, had anticipated the desires of his guests and satisfied their most exacting requirements. And he ended by declaring that the codification of the law of nations and of the conflict of laws had ceased to be a dream, because of its realization by the Commission in the incomparable capital of Brazil.
With those expressions of gratitude, of appreciation, and of a purpose accomplished, the International Commission of Jurists passed into history.
What were the aims and purposes of the International Commission of Jurists, which sat in Rio de Janeiro for the short space of a month? What were the immediate, and what the implied results of their deliberations? They have been stated in a masterly manner by Mr. Maurtua, the Delegate of Peru, in a statement which is at once the envy and the despair of the American Delegates. Therefore, they asked Mr. Maurtua's permission to include it in their official report to their Government. The permission was at once and graciously granted, in plenary session. The statement therefore follows in full.
"The International Commission of Jurists has been in session for a month, in order to accomplish the mission confided to it by the Pan American Conferences. The result of its deliberations consists in twelve draft conventions of public international law, a general convention of private international law, and a plan of organization for the permanent and continuous workings of American legislation.
“This result should still be viewed as an attempt to formulate the law destined to regulate inter-American relations. Their complexity, both in public and in private law, the supreme importance of many of the legal relations regulated in the drafts, the difficulties, some of them hitherto insuperable, in adopting uniform rules or in developing certain essential but vaguely enunciated principles, show that what has now been realized is but the first stage, subject to correction, in an undefined journey which is to be continued as time goes on. The significance of the work done, then, lies not so much in its content as in what it reveals of the possibility of formulating law in America, and of the exigencies of this great undertaking in the future.
“This attempt of American jurists is the first one in the world brought into an organic form by the mandate of the Governments of a Continent. The first need, therefore, was that of determining the program and methods to be followed, or the procedure conducive to determining the subjects suitable for enactment, or the content itself of the task, and the mode or modes of dealing with them in order to reach satisfactory conclusions.
"In dealing with the preparation of international conventions, we must constantly bear in mind the conditions controlling the States in their acceptance of obligations with regard to each subject of international law. Indeed, what makes each subject possible for legislation is the certainty of such conditions and of their scope and limits. Such is the prime fundamental basis which those who prepare codification in America in the future are to build upon.
“But this governmental element which, in brief, is a fact or an empirical point of legislation, is not sufficient. In order that this work may acquire the excellence, the lofty spirit and the nobility proper for international legislation in a group of young idealistic
The minutes of the fourth plenary session, May 20, 1927, contain a statement by Mr. Maurtua in which he expresses appreciation for the generous spirit of the United States Delegation in offering to include in its report the statement prepared by him; Mr. Alvarez, the Chilean Delegate, then observes that the "statement (preámbulo] is to be inserted in the report of the Delegation of the United States and not in the minutes of the Conference"; and the President of the Conference, Mr. Pessoa, closes the discussion of this subject by stating that Mr. Scott has "permission to include the statement (proposición) of the Delegate of Peru, in the report which the American Delegation will submit to its Government." See Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores del Brasil, Comisión Internacional de Jurisconsultos Americanos: Reunión de 1927, vol. I, p. 263.