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An elaborate report was published in January, 1913, made by Professor Jitta of the University of Amsterdam to the Association Néerlandaise de Droit Maritime, on the declaration of London. He considers it as, while drawn under the influence of military interests, and therefore not always favorable to those of commerce, yet distinctly for their advantage, in tending to make clear much that heretofore has been obscure and uncertain. In contracts of insurance both parties will be equally benefited by this. He notes that the Association Internationale des Assureurs Maritime has already (in May and November, 1912) taken into consideration the unification of the clauses in all marine policies, referring to war risks. On the whole, Dr. Jitta is strongly in favor of the general ratification of the declaration. He is of opinion that it will be a basis for a step that ought not to be long delayed in the direction of the international registry of all seagoing shipping.
It seems unfortunate for the general interests of world-commerce that the Naval Prize Bill was defeated in the House of Lords in December, 1912. This removes Great Britain, for the present, from the number of the powers actively favoring the establishment of an international prize court of appeal, and greatly weakens the force of the declaration of London
The Norwegian Nobel Institute has voted to use some of its large funds in the publication of a series of scientific works. designed to elucidate the modern movement towards international concord, and the establishment of an international judicial organization. Among those who will contribute to these studies are Professors Oppenheim, Lammasch, and Reinsch."
A new international foundation was established in England in 1912 by Sir Richard Galton-the "Galton Foundation for Promoting the Study of International Polity." The fund yields £3000 a year, which will probably be supplemented by a subvention from the Carnegie Endowment. Its field seems to cover not only both public and private international law, but those principles of national convictions which govern the local development of each country, and vitally affect the public relations of all.
'La Vie Internationale, I, 215.
The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace has done no better work than in printing for circulation in Germany 250,000 copies of a German translation of Lord Haldane's discriminating address at Oxford, in 1911, on "England and Germany: a Study of National Characters." The paper carried double weight, as coming from a man of letters, who was also a man of affairs; and his rapid advancement in public station has made it plain that he did not misjudge the course of public opinion among his countrymen.
The Inter-Parliamentary Union, which meets this month at the Hague, will have before it a report from its Commission on Permanent Neutrality. It favors the establishment, by consent of all nations, manifested by a proper treaty, of a right to any power to assume that position, after due notice to other powers, and of a duty on their part to respect such neutrality. The neutral state may thereafter wage only a defensive war.
France in August, 1913, increased the term of compulsory military service from two years to three. This must tend to check the growth of her population, and reduce her industrial output.
The Pan-American Commission for the Codification of International Law, both public and private, was organized at Rio de ro, in June, 1912. Six committees we Six committees were appointed, to meet respectively at Washington, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, and Lima. The whole commission convenes to consider their reports in 1914.
While this body was created by the Congress of Rio de Janeiro in 1906, the United States did not give its adhesion to the convention under which it was established until May, 1912.
La Vie Internationale, III, 76.
Am. Political Science Review, VII, 86.
PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS.
The various bureaus, permanently maintained at different points by the concerted action and united contributions of several powers, now number nearly twenty. The budget of their actual expenses for the year 1910-1911 has been summed up in La Vie Internationale, and amounts to about half a million dollars. The Sanitary Maritime Council of Egypt is not included in this list, because its income comes from tolls. These brought in nearly $200,000.
The conference at Madrid of the Universal Postal Union, appointed for next year, is to consider the advisability of reducing the standard rate of international postage on a letter of the ordinary size from five cents to two. In the 38 years that have elapsed since the union was constituted and the 25 centime rate adopted, international correspondence has increased so enormously that the relative cost has substantially declined. At the Rome conference of 1906, a reduction to four cents was rejected by a majority of two to one, with eight powers not voting. It seems probable that the 17 who then favored the change will be re-inforced at Madrid. The South America Postal Union since 1911 have established the four cent rate between themselves. Germany and Austro-Hungary have now exchanged letters on a two-cent rate since 1850. Spain has the same arrangement with Portugal; and it is computed that, under similar conventions, four-tenths of all the correspondence in the world is now conducted on that basis."
The International Congress of Chambers of Commerce, held at Boston last year, voted in favor of the change, which is to be considered at the Madrid conference.
'La Vie Internationale, III, 330.
UNIFORMITY IN STANDARDS OF MEASUREMENT AND NOTATION.
The movement for the reform of the calendar, initiated by Switzerland in 1911, has resulted in the submission to a commission, appointed by the Federal Council, of 30 projects. Fourteen of these were written in Esperanto.
An official international conference on the unification of the hour was held at Paris in October, 1912. Sixteen nations were represented, including all the great powers. It decided to adopt, as the universal hour, that of Greenwich. Its coming is to be announced by wireless telegraphy from the Eiffel Tower at Paris. A provisional "international commission of the hour" was constituted, to plan for a permanent bureau at Paris, under the direction of a permanent council, composed of delegates from all the powers adhering to the convention."
Much progress has been made during the last few years tɔwards uniformity in the description of diamonds, fine pearls, and precious stones. In 1907, an international conference as to weights and measures recommended the general adoption of the term "metric-carat," to designate a bulk weight of 200 milligrams. On July 1, 1913, it came into general use in the United States. Twenty nations (including the United States) attended this conference, and thirteen have now adopted statutes following this recommendation. Previously a carat was considered in Italy to weigh only 1881 milligrams, at London 205, at Paris 205, and in Arabia over 254. The Mayor's Bureau of Weights and Measures, in New York city, will hereafter give the weights of precious stones by the new standard.
A WORLD CENTER OF INTERNATIONALISM.
At the meeting in April, 1912, at Brussels, of the International Commission of the Union of International Associations, resolutions were passed favoring the establishment of a permanent center of international life. This has been followed up by
"La Vie Internationale, II, 45.
an elaborate, if visionary, proposal, sent out from Rome by Hendrik Christian Andersen, for the foundation of a "world center of communication," in the shape of a new city, or suburb of an existing one, covering ten square miles, and housing representations of the life and industries of all nations, in buildings of splendid architectural design.
ORGANIZATION OF INTERNATIONAL CONGRESSES.
An important precedent for international congresses was set by the recent International Radiotelegraph Conference. Equality of votes was denied. Great Britain claimed the right to cast six votes, on account of her dominions beyond the sea. This was finally granted, but through a combination among the other great powers, by which the same number was secured to Russia, Germany, France, and the United States. Italy was given three votes, Spain and Portugal each two, and the other nations represented one. This is probably only the application of common sense to international diplomacy but, in thus frankly recognizing the practical inequality of nations, strikes at a principle which has been very dear to the smaller ones, and has often served to bring them to join in important conferences from which otherwise they would have stood aloof.
The next conference of this organization is to be held at Washington in 1918.
The general rule in unofficial international conferences has been to give each state whose citizens are members an equal vote. An apprehension of a possible departure from it brought the fourth International Congress of Popular Education, which was to have been held at Madrid in March, 1913, to an unexpected end. The program laid down contemplated discussions in which no claim should be made for the preference of any particular form of religious profession. The committee of organization, however, found, at the last moment that notices of an intent to participate had been sent in by 12,000 Roman Catholics, who proposed to advocate attendance at the confession as a desirable feature of school life. It was proposed then to limit the number