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Autobiography of Andrew Dickson White Volume II by Andrew Dickson White

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Its fourth provision is that any of the signatory powers desiring
to have recourse to the tribunal for the settlement of
differences shall make known such desire to the secretary of the
central office, who shall thereupon furnish the powers concerned
with a list of the members of the tribunal, from which such
powers may select such number of judges as they may think best.
The powers concerned may also, if they think fit, adjoin to these
judges any other person, although his name may not appear on the
list. The persons so selected shall constitute the tribunal for
the purpose of such arbitration, and shall assemble at such date
as may be most convenient for the litigants.

The tribunal shall ordinarily hold its sessions at ----; but it
shall have power to fix its place of session elsewhere, and to
change the same from time to time, as circumstances may suggest.

The fifth provision is that any power, even though not
represented in the present conference, may have recourse to the
tribunal on such terms as may be prescribed by the regulations.

Provision sixth: The government of ---- is charged by the
signatory powers, on their behalf, as soon as possible after the
conclusion of this convention, to name a permanent council of
administration, at ----, composed of five members and a
secretary. This council shall organize and establish the central
office, which shall be under its control and direction. It shall
make such rules and regulations as may be necessary for the
office; it shall dispose of all questions that may arise in
relation to the working of the tribunal, or which may be referred
to it by the central office; it shall make all subordinate
appointments, may suspend or dismiss all employees, and shall fix
their salaries and control their expenditure. This council shall
select its president, who shall have a casting-vote. The
remuneration of the members shall be fixed from time to time by
accord between the signatory powers.

Provision seventh: The signatory powers agree to share among them
the expenses pertaining to the administration of the central
office and the council of administration; but the expenses
incident to every arbitration, including the remuneration of the
arbiters, shall be equally borne by the contesting powers.

From a theoretical point of view, I prefer to this our American
plan of a tribunal permanently in session: the judges, in every
particular case, to be selected from this. Thus would be provided
a court of any odd number between three and nine, as the
contesting powers may desire. But from the practical point of
view, even though the Russian plan of requiring the signatory
powers to send to the tribunal a multitude of smaller matters,
such as those connected with the postal service, etc., is carried
out, the great danger is that such a court, sitting constantly as
we propose, would, for some years, have very little to do, and
that soon we should have demagogues and feather-brained
"reformers" ridiculing them as "useless," "eating their heads
off," and "doing nothing"; that then demagogic appeals might lead
one nation after another to withdraw from an arrangement
involving large expense apparently useless; and in view of this
latter difficulty I am much inclined to think that we may, under
our amended instructions, agree to support, in its essential
features as above given, the British proposal, and, with some
reservations, the code proposed by the Russians.

Among the things named by the Russians as subjects which the
agreeing powers must submit to arbitration, are those relating to
river navigation and international canals; and this, in view of
our present difficulties in Alaska and in the matter of the
Isthmus Canal, we can hardly agree to. During the morning Sir
Julian came in and talked over our plan of arbitration as well as
his own and that submitted by Russia. He said that he had seen M.
de Staal, and that it was agreed between them that the latter
should send Sir Julian, at the first moment possible, an
amalgamation of the Russian and British plans, and this Sir
Julian promised that he would bring to us, giving us a chance to
insert any features from our own plan which, in our judgment,
might be important. He seemed much encouraged, as we all are.

Returning to our rooms, I found Count Munster. As usual, he was
very interesting; and, after discussing sundry features of the
Russian plan, he told one or two rather good stories. He said
that during his stay in St Petersburg as minister, early in the
reign of Alexander II, he had a very serious quarrel with Prince
Gortchakoff the minister of foreign affairs, who afterward became
the famous chancellor of the empire.

Count Munster had received one day from a professor at Gottingen
a letter stating that a young German savant, traveling for
scientific purposes in Russia, had been seized and treated as a
prisoner, without any proper cause whatever; that, while he was
engaged in his peaceful botanizing, a police officer, who was
taking a gang of criminals to Siberia, had come along, and one of
his prisoners having escaped, this officer, in order to avoid
censure, had seized the young savant, quietly clapped the number
of the missing man on his back, put him in with the gang of
prisoners, and carried him off along with the rest; so that he
was now held as a convict in Siberia. The count put the letter in
his pocket, thinking that he might have an opportunity to use it,
and a day or two afterward his chance came. Walking on the quay,
he met the Emperor (Alexander II), who greeted him heartily, and
said, "Let me walk with you." After walking and talking some
time, the count told the story of the young German, whereupon the
Emperor asked for proofs of its truth. At this Munster pulled the
letter out of his pocket; and, both having seated themselves on a
bench at the side of the walk, the Emperor read it. On finishing
it, the Emperor said: "Such a thing as this can happen only in
Russia." That very afternoon he sent a special police squad,
post-haste, all the way to Siberia, ordering them to find the
young German and bring him back to St. Petersburg.

Next day Count Munster called at the Foreign Office on current
business, when Gortchakoff came at him in a great rage, asking
him by what right he communicated directly with the Emperor; and
insisting that he had no business to give a letter directly to
the Emperor, that it ought to have gone through the Foreign
Office. Gortchakoff reproached the count bitterly for this
departure from elementary diplomatic etiquette. At this Munster
replied: "I gave the letter to the Emperor because he asked me
for it, and I did not give it to you because I knew perfectly
well that you would pigeonhole it and the Emperor would never
hear of it. I concede much in making any answer at all to your
talk, which seems to me of a sort not usual between gentlemen."
At this Gortchakoff was much milder, and finally almost
obsequious, becoming apparently one of Munster's devoted friends,
evidently thinking that, as Munster had gained the confidence of
the Emperor, he was a man to be cultivated.

The sequel to the story was also interesting. The policemen,
after their long journey to Siberia, found the young German and
brought him to St. Petersburg, where the Emperor received him
very cordially and gave him twenty thousand rubles as an
indemnity for the wrong done him. The young savant told Munster
that he had not been badly treated, that he had been assigned a
very pleasant little cottage, and had perfect freedom to pursue
his scientific researches.

On my talking with the count about certain Russian abuses, and
maintaining that Russia, at least in court circles, had improved
greatly under Alexander III as regarded corruption, he said that
he feared she was now going back, and he then repeated a remark
made by the old Grand Duke Michael, brother of Alexander II, who
said that if any Russian were intrusted with the official care of
a canary he would immediately set up and maintain a coach and
pair out of it.

At six o'clock our American delegation met and heard reports,
especially from Captain Mahan and Captain Crozier, with reference
to the doings in the subcommittees. Captain Mahan reported that
he had voted against forbidding asphyxiating bombs, etc.,
evidently with the idea that such a provision would prove to be
rather harmful than helpful to the cause of peace.

Captain Crozier reported that his subcommittee of committee No. 2
had, at its recent meeting, tried to take up the exemption of
private property from seizure on the high seas in time of war,
but had been declared out of order by the chairman, De Martens,
the leading Russian delegate, who seems determined to prevent the
subject coming before the conference. The question before our
American delegation now was, Shall we try to push this American
proposal before the subcommittee of the second committee, or
before the entire conference at a later period? and the general
opinion was in favor of the latter course. It was not thought
best to delay the arbitration plan by its introduction at

In the evening dined with Minister Newel, and had a very
interesting talk with Van Karnebeek, who had already favorably
impressed me by his clear-headedness and straightforwardness;
also with Messrs. Asser, member of the Dutch Council of State,
and Rahusen, member of the Upper Chamber of the States General,
both of whom are influential delegates.

All three of these men spoke strongly in favor of our plan for
the exemption of private property on the high seas, Van Karnebeek
with especial earnestness. He said that, looking merely at the
material interests of the Netherlands, he might very well favor
the retention of the present system, since his country is little
likely to go into war, and is certain to profit by the carrying
trade in case of any conflict between the great powers; that, of
course, under such circumstances, a large amount of commerce
would come to Holland as a neutral power; but that it was a
question of right and of a proper development of international
law, and that he, as well as the two other gentlemen above named,
was very earnestly in favor of joint action by the powers who are
in favor of our proposal. He thought that the important thing
just now is to secure the cooperation of Germany, which seems to
be at the parting of the ways, and undecided which to take.

In the course of the evening one of my European colleagues, who
is especially familiar with the inner history of the calling of
the conference, told me that the reason why Professor Stengel was
made a delegate was not that he wrote the book in praise of war
and depreciating arbitration, which caused his appointment to be
so unfavorably commented upon, but because, as an eminent
professor of international law, he represented Bavaria; and that
as Bavaria, though represented at St. Petersburg, was not
invited, it was thought very essential that a well-known man from
that kingdom should be put into the general German delegation.

On my asking why Brazil, though represented at St. Petersburg,
was not invited, he answered that Brazil was invited, but showed
no desire to be represented. On my asking him if he supposed this
was because other South American powers were not invited, he said
that he thought not; that it was rather its own indifference and
carelessness, arising from the present unfortunate state of
government in that country. On my saying that the Emperor Dom
Pedro, in his time, would have taken the opportunity to send a
strong delegation, he said: "Yes, he certainly would have done
so; but the present government is a poor sort of thing."

I also had a talk with one of the most eminent publicists of the
Netherlands, on the questions dividing parties in this country,
telling him that I found it hard to understand the line of
cleavage between them. He answered that it is, in the main, a
line between religious conservatives and liberals; the
conservatives embracing the Roman Catholics and high orthodox
Protestants, and the liberals those of more advanced opinions. He
said that socialism plays no great part in Holland; that the
number of its representatives is very small compared with that in
many European states; that the questions on which parties divide
are mainly those in which clerical ideas are more or less
prominent; that the liberal party, if it keeps together, is much
the stronger party of the two, but that it suffers greatly from
its cliques and factions.

On returning home after dinner, I found a cipher despatch from
the Secretary of State informing us that President McKinley
thinks that our American commission ought not to urge any
proposal for "seconding powers"; that he fears lest it may block
the way of the arbitration proposals. This shows that imperfect
reports have reached the President and his cabinet. The fact is
that the proposal of "seconding powers" was warmly welcomed by
the subcommittee when it was presented; that the members very
generally telegraphed home to their governments, and at once
received orders to support it; that it was passed by a unanimous
vote of the subcommittee; and that its strongest advocates were
the men who are most in favor of an arbitration plan. So far from
injuring the prospects of arbitration, it has increased them; it
is very generally spoken of as a victory for our delegation, and
has increased respect for our country, and for anything we may
hereafter present.

June 2.

This morning we sent a cipher telegram to the Secretary of State,
embodying the facts above stated.

The shoals of telegrams, reports of proceedings of societies,
hortatory letters, crankish proposals, and peace pamphlets from
America continue. One of the telegrams which came late last night
was pathetic; it declared that three millions of Christian
Endeavorers bade us "Godspeed," etc., etc.

During the morning De Martens, Low, Holls, and myself had a very
thoroughgoing discussion of the Russian, British, and American
arbitration plans. We found the eminent Russian under very
curious misapprehensions regarding some minor points, one of them
being that he had mistaken the signification of our word
"publicist"; and we were especially surprised to find his use of
the French word "publiciste" so broad that it would include M.
Henri Rochefort, Mr. Stead, or any newspaper writer; and he was
quite as surprised to find that with us it would include only
such men as Grotius, Wheaton, Calvo, and himself.

After a long and intricate discussion we separated on very good
terms, having made, I think, decided progress toward fusing all
three arbitration plans into one which shall embody the merits of

One difficulty we found, of which neither our State Department
nor ourselves had been fully aware. Our original plan required
that the judges for the arbitration tribunal should be nominated
by the highest courts of the respective nations; but De Martens
showed us that Russia has no highest court in our sense of the
word. Then, too, there is Austria-Hungary, which has two supreme
courts of equal authority. This clause, therefore, we arranged to
alter, though providing that the original might stand as regards
countries possessing supreme courts.

At lunch we had Baron de Bildt, Swedish minister at Rome and
chief of the Swedish delegation at the conference, and Baron de
Bille, Danish minister at London and chief delegate from Denmark.
De Bille declared himself averse to a permanent tribunal to be in
constant session, on the ground that, having so little to do, it
would be in danger of becoming an object of derision to the press
and peoples of the world.

We were all glad to find, upon the arrival of the London "Times,"
that our arbitration project seemed to be receiving extensive
approval, and various telegrams from America during the day
indicated the same thing.

It looks more and more as if we are to accomplish something. The
only thing in sight calculated to throw a cloud over the future
is the attitude of the German press against the whole business
here; the most virulent in its attacks being the high Lutheran
conservative--and religious!--journal in Berlin, the
"Kreuz-Zeitung." Still, it is pleasant to see that eminent
newspaper find, for a time, some other object of denunciation
than the United States.

June 3.

In the afternoon drove to Scheveningen and took tea with Count
Munster and his daughter. He was somewhat pessimistic, as usual,
but came out very strongly in favor of the American view as
regards exemption of private property on the high seas. Whether
this is really because Germany would derive profit from it, or
because she thinks this question a serviceable entering wedge
between the United States and Great Britain, there is no telling
at present. I am sorry to say that our hopes regarding it are to
be dashed, so far as the present conference is concerned. Sundry
newspaper letters and articles in the "Times" show clearly that
the English Government is strongly opposed to dealing with it
here and now; and as France and Russia take the same position,
there is no hope for any action, save such as we can take to keep
the subject alive and to secure attention to it by some future



June 4.

We have just had an experience which "adds to the gaiety of
nations." Some days since, representatives of what is called "the
Young Turkish party" appeared and asked to be heard. They
received, generally, the cold shoulder, mainly because the
internal condition of Turkey is not one of the things which the
conference was asked to discuss; but also because there is a
suspicion that these "Young Turks" are enabled to live in luxury
at Paris by blackmailing the Sultan, and that their zeal for
reform becomes fervid whenever their funds run low, and cools
whenever a remittance comes from the Bosphorus. But at last some
of us decided to give them a hearing, informally; the main object
being to get rid of them. At the time appointed, the delegation
appeared in evening dress, and, having been ushered into the
room, the spokesman began as follows, very impressively:

"Your Excellencies, ve are ze Young Turkeys."

This was too much for most of us, and I think that, during our
whole stay at The Hague thus far, we have never undertaken
anything more difficult, physically, than to keep our faces
straight during the harangue which followed.

Later, we went with nearly all the other members of the
conference to Haarlem, in a special train, by invitation of the
burgomaster and town council, to the "Fete Hippique" and the
"Fete des Fleurs." We were treated very well indeed, refreshments
being served on the grand stand during the performances, which
consisted of hurdle races, etc., for which I cared nothing,
followed by a procession of peasants in old chaises of various
periods, and in the costumes of the various provinces of the
Netherlands, which interested me much. The whole closed with a
long train of fine equipages superbly decorated with flowers.

Discussing the question of the immunity of private property, not
contraband of war, on the high seas, I find that the main
argument which our opponents are now using is that, even if the
principle were conceded, new and troublesome questions would
arise as to what really constitutes contraband of war; that ships
themselves would undoubtedly be considered as contraband, since
they can be used in conveying troops, coal, supplies, etc.

June 5.

Having given up the morning of the 5th mainly to work on plans of
arbitration, mediation, and the like, I went to the meeting, at
the "House in the Wood," of the third great committee of the
conference--namely, that on arbitration.

The session went off satisfactorily, our duty being to pass upon
the report from the subcommittee which had put the various
propositions into shape for our discussion. The report was
admirably presented by M. Descamps, and, after considerable
discussion of details, was adopted in all essential features. The
matters thus discussed and accepted for presentation to the
conference as a whole related:

(1) To a plan for tendering "good offices."

(2) To a plan for examining into international differences.

(3) To the "special mediation" plan.

The last was exceedingly well received, and our delegation has
obtained much credit for it. It is the plan of allowing any two
nations drifting into war to appoint "seconding nations," who,
like "seconds" in a duel, shall attempt to avert the conflict;
and, if this be unsuccessful, shall continue acting in the same
capacity, and endeavor to arrest the conflict at the earliest
moment possible.

Very general good feeling was shown, and much encouragement
derived from the fact that these preliminary matters could be
dealt with in so amicable and business-like a spirit.

Before the meeting I took a long walk in the garden back of the
palace with various gentlemen, among them Mr. van Karnebeek, who
discussed admirably with me the question of the exemption of
private property from seizure on the high seas. He agreed with me
that even if the extreme doctrine now contended for--namely, that
which makes ships, coal, provisions, and very nearly everything
else, contraband--be pressed, still a first step, such as the
exemption of private property from seizure, would be none the
less wise, leaving the subordinate questions to be dealt with as
they arise.

I afterward called with Dr. Holls at the house of the burgomaster
of The Hague, and thanked him for his kindness in tendering us
the concert last Saturday, and for various other marks of

On the whole, matters continue to look encouraging as regards
both mediation and arbitration.

June 6.

In the morning Sir Julian Pauncefote called, and again went over
certain details in the American, British, and Russian plans of
arbitration, discussing some matters to be stricken out and
others to be inserted. He declared his readiness to strike out a
feature of his plan to which from the first, I have felt a very
great objection--namely, that which, after the tribunal is
constituted, allows the contesting parties to call into it and
mix with it persons simply chosen by the contestants ad hoc. This
seems to me a dilution of the idea of a permanent tribunal, and a
means of delay and of complications which may prove unfortunate.
It would certainly be said that if the contestants were to be
allowed to name two or more judges from outside the tribunal,
they might just as well nominate all, and thus save the expense
attendant upon a regularly constituted international court chosen
by the various governments.

Later in the day I wrote a private letter to the Secretary of
State suggesting that our American delegation be authorized to
lay a wreath of silver and gold upon the tomb of Grotius at
Delft, not only as a tribute to the man who set in motion the
ideas which, nearly three hundred years later, have led to the
assembling of this conference, but as an indication of our
gratitude to the Netherlands Government for its hospitality and
the admirable provision it has made for our work here, and also
as a sign of good-will toward the older governments of the world
on the occasion of their first meeting with delegates from the
new world, in a conference treating of matters most important to
all nations.

In the evening to Mr. van Karnebeek's reception, and there met
Mr. Raffalovitch, one of the Russian secretaries of the
conference, who, as councilor of the Russian Empire and
corresponding member of the French Institute, has a European
reputation, and urged him to aid in striking out the clause in
the plan which admits judges other than those of the court. My
hope is that it will disappear in the subcommittee and not come
up in the general meeting of the third great committee.

June 8.

The American delegation in the afternoon discussed at length the
proposals relating to the Brussels Conference rules for the more
humane carrying on of war. Considerable difference of opinion has
arisen in the section of the conference in which the preliminary
debates are held, and Captain Crozier, our representative, has
been in some doubt as to the ground to be taken between these
opposing views. On one side are those who think it best to go at
considerable length into more or less minute restrictions upon
the conduct of invaders and invaded. On the other side, M.
Bernaert of Belgium, one of the two most eminent men from that
country, and others, take the ground that it would be better to
leave the whole matter to the general development of humanity in
international law. M. de Martens insists that now is the time to
settle the matter, rather than leave it to individuals who, in
time of war, are likely to be more or less exasperated by
accounts of atrocities and to have no adequate time for deciding
upon a policy. After considerable discussion by our delegation,
the whole matter went over.

In the evening to a great reception at the house of Sir Henry
Howard, British minister at this court. It was very brilliant,
and the whole afforded an example of John Bull's good sense in
providing for his representatives abroad, and enabling them to
exercise a social influence on the communities where they are
stationed, which rapidly becomes a political influence with the
governments to which they are accredited. Sir Henry is provided
with a large, attractive house, means to entertain amply, and has
been kept in the service long enough to know everybody and to
become experienced in the right way of getting at the men he
wishes to influence, and of doing the things his government needs
to have done. Throughout the whole world this is John Bull's wise
way of doing things. At every capital I have visited, including
Washington, Constantinople, St. Petersburg, Rome, Paris, Berlin,
and Vienna, the British representative is a man who has been
selected with reference to his fitness, kept in the service long
enough to give him useful experience, and provided with a good,
commodious house and the means to exercise social and, therefore,
political influence. The result is that, although, in every
country in the world, orators and editors are always howling at
John Bull, he everywhere has his way: to use our vernacular, he
"gets there," and can laugh in his sleeve at the speeches against
him in public bodies, and at the diatribes against him in
newspapers. The men who are loudest in such attacks are generally
the most delighted to put their legs under the British
ambassador's mahogany, or to take their daughters to his
receptions and balls, and then quietly to follow the general line
of conduct which he favors.

June 9.

In the morning an interesting visit from M. de Staal, president
of the conference. We discussed arbitration plans, Brussels rules
and Geneva rules, and, finally, our social debts to the Dutch

As to the general prospects of arbitration, he expressed the
belief that we can, by amalgamating the British, Russian, and
American plans, produce a good result.

During the day, many members of the conference having gone to
Rotterdam to see the welcoming of the Queen in that city, I took
up, with especial care, the Brussels rules for the conduct of
war, and the amendments of them now proposed in the conference,
some of which have provoked considerable debate. The more I read
the proposals now made, the more admirable most of them seem to
be, and the more it seems to me that we ought, with a few
exceptions, to adopt them. Great Britain declines to sanction
them as part of international law, but still agrees to adopt them
as a general basis for her conduct in time of war; and even this
would be a good thing for us, if we cannot induce our government
to go to the length of making them fully binding.

At six o'clock Dr. Holls, who represents us upon the subcommittee
on arbitration, came in with most discouraging news. It now
appears that the German Emperor is determined to oppose the whole
scheme of arbitration, and will have nothing to do with any plan
for a regular tribunal, whether as given in the British or the
American scheme. This news comes from various sources, and is
confirmed by the fact that, in the subcommittee, one of the
German delegates, Professor Zorn of Konigsberg, who had become
very earnest in behalf of arbitration, now says that he may not
be able to vote for it. There are also signs that the German
Emperor is influencing the minds of his allies--the sovereigns of
Austria, Italy, Turkey, and Roumania--leading them to oppose it.

Curiously enough, in spite of this, Count Nigra, the Italian
ambassador at Vienna and head of the Italian delegation, made a
vigorous speech showing the importance of the work in which the
committee is engaged, urging that the plan be perfected, and
seeming to indicate that he will go on with the representatives
who favor it. This, coming from perhaps the most earnest ally of
Germany, is noteworthy.

At the close of the session Sir Julian Pauncefote informed Dr.
Holls that he was about to telegraph his government regarding the
undoubted efforts of the German Emperor upon the sovereigns above
named, and I decided to cable our State Department, informing
them fully as to this change in the condition of affairs.

At eight went to the dinner of our minister, Mr. Newel and found
there three ambassadors, De Staal, Munster, and Pauncefote, as
well as M. Leon Bourgeois, president of the French delegation;
Sir Henry Howard, the British minister; Baron de Bildt, the
Swedish minister; and some leading Netherlands statesmen. Had a
long talk with M. de Staal and with Sir Julian Pauncefote
regarding the state of things revealed this afternoon in the
subcommittee on arbitration. M. de Staal has called a meeting of
the heads of delegations for Saturday afternoon. Both he and Sir
Julian are evidently much vexed by the unfortunate turn things
have taken. The latter feels, as I do, that the only thing to be
done is to go on and make the plan for arbitration as perfect as
possible, letting those of the powers who are willing to do so
sign it. I assured him and De Staal that we of the United States
would stand by them to the last in the matter.

Late in the evening went to a reception of M. de Beaufort, the
Netherlands minister of foreign affairs, and discussed current
matters with various people, among them Count Nigra, whom I
thanked for his eloquent speech in the afternoon, and Baron de
Bildt, who feels as I do, that the right thing for us is to go
on, no matter who falls away.

June 10.

This morning I gave to studies of the various reports sent in
from the subcommittees, especially those on arbitration and on
the Brussels Conference rules. Both have intensely interested me,
my main attention being, of course, centered on the former; but
the Brussels rules seem to me of much greater importance now than
at first, and my hope is that we shall not only devise a good
working plan of arbitration, but greatly humanize the laws of

At four o'clock in the afternoon met the four other ambassadors
and two or three other heads of delegations, at the rooms of M.
de Staal, to discuss the question of relaxing the rules of
secrecy as regards the proceedings of committees, etc. The whole
original Russian plan of maintaining absolute secrecy has
collapsed, just as the representatives from constitutional
countries in the beginning said it would. Every day there are
published minute accounts in Dutch, French, and English journals
which show that, in some way, their representatives obtain enough
information to enable them, with such additional things as they
can imagine, to make readable reports. The result is that various
gentlemen in the conference who formerly favored a policy of
complete secrecy find themselves credited with speeches which
they did not make, and which they dislike to be considered
capable of making.

After a great deal of talk, it was decided to authorize the
chairman of each committee to give to the press complete reports,
so far as possible, keeping in the background the part taken by

At six the American delegation met, and the subject of our
instructions regarding the presentation of the American view of
the immunity of private property on the high seas in time of war
was taken up. It was decided to ask some of the leading
supporters of this view to meet us at luncheon at 12.30 on
Monday, in order to discuss the best way of overcoming the
Russian plan of suppressing the matter, and to concert means for
getting the whole subject before the full conference.

June 11.

Instead of going to hear the Bishop of Hereford preach on
"Peace," I walked with Dr. Holls to Scheveningen, four miles, to
work off a nervous headache and to invite Count Munster to our
luncheon on Monday, when we purpose to take counsel together
regarding private property on the high seas. He accepted, but was
out of humor with nearly all the proceedings of the conference.
He is more than ever opposed to arbitration, and declares that,
in view of the original Russian programme under which we were
called to meet, we have no right to take it up at all, since it
was not mentioned. He was decidedly pessimistic regarding the
continuance of the sessions, asking me when I thought it would
all end; and on my answering that I had not the slightest idea,
he said that he was entirely in the dark on the subject; that
nobody could tell how long it would last, or how it would break

June 12.

At half-past twelve came our American luncheon to Count Munster,
Mr. van Karnebeek, and Baron de Bildt, each of whom is at the
head of his delegation,--our purpose being to discuss with them
the best manner of getting the subject of immunity of private
property at sea, not contraband, before the conference, these
gentlemen being especially devoted to such a measure.

All went off very well, full interchange of views took place, and
the general opinion was that the best way would be for us, as the
only delegation instructed on the subject, to draw up a formal
memorial asking that the question be brought before the
conference, and sending this to M. de Staal as our president.

Curious things came out during our conversation Baron de Bildt
informed me that, strongly as he favored the measure, and
prepared as he was to vote for it, he should have to be very
careful in discussing it publicly, since his instructions were to
avoid, just as far as possible, any clash between the opinions
expressed by the Swedish representatives and those of the great
powers. Never before have I so thoroughly realized the difficult
position which the lesser powers in Europe hold as regards really
serious questions.

More surprising was the conversation of Count Munster, he being
on one side of me and Mr. van Karnebeek on the other. Bearing in
mind that the Emperor William during his long talk with me just
before I left Berlin in referring to the approaching Peace
Congress had said that he was sending Count Munster because what
the conference would most need would be "common sense," and
because, in his opinion, Count Munster had "lots of it," some of
the count's utterances astonished me. He now came out, as he did
the day before in his talk with me, utterly against arbitration,
declaring it a "humbug," and that we had no right to consider it,
since it was not mentioned in the first proposals from Russia,
etc., etc.

A little later, something having been said about telegraphs and
telephones, he expressed his belief that they are a curse as
regards the relations between nations; that they interfere with
diplomacy, and do more harm than good. This did not especially
surprise me, for I had heard the same opinions uttered by others;
but what did surprise me greatly was to hear him say, when the
subject of bacteria and microbes was casually mentioned, that
they were "all a modern humbug."

It is clear that, with all his fine qualities,--and he is really
a splendid specimen of an old-fashioned German nobleman devoted
to the diplomatic service of his country,--he is saturated with
the ideas of fifty years ago.

Returning from a drive to Scheveningen with Major Burbank of the
United States army, I sketched the first part of a draft for a
letter from our delegation to M. de Staal, and at our meeting at
six presented it, when it met with general approval. President
Low had also sketched a draft which it was thought could be
worked very well into the one which I had offered, and so we two
were made a subcommittee to prepare the letter in full.

June 13.

This morning come more disquieting statements regarding Germany.
There seems no longer any doubt that the German Emperor is
opposing arbitration, and, indeed, the whole work of the
conference, and that he will insist on his main allies, Austria
and Italy, going with him. Count Nigra, who is personally devoted
to arbitration, allowed this in talking with Dr. Holls; and the
German delegates--all of whom, with the exception of Count
Munster, are favorably inclined to a good arbitration plan--show
that they are disappointed.

I had learned from a high imperial official, before I left
Berlin, that the Emperor considered arbitration as derogatory to
his sovereignty, and I was also well aware, from his
conversation, that he was by no means in love with the conference
idea; but, in view of his speech at Wiesbaden, and the petitions
which had come in to him from Bavaria, I had hoped that he had
experienced a "change of heart."

Possibly he might have changed his opinion had not Count Munster
been here, reporting to him constantly against every step taken
by the conference.

There seems danger of a catastrophe. Those of us who are faithful
to arbitration plans will go on and do the best we can; but there
is no telling what stumbling-blocks Germany and her allies may
put in our way; and, of course, the whole result, without their
final agreement, will seem to the world a failure and, perhaps, a

The immediate results will be that the Russian Emperor will
become an idol of the "plain people" throughout the world, the
German Emperor will be bitterly hated, and the socialists, who
form the most dreaded party on the continent of Europe, will be
furnished with a thoroughly effective weapon against their

Some days since I said to a leading diplomatist here, "The
ministers of the German Emperor ought to tell him that, should he
oppose arbitration, there will be concentrated upon him an amount
of hatred which no minister ought to allow a sovereign to incur."
To this he answered, "That is true; but there is not a minister
in Germany who dares tell him."

June 14.

This noon our delegation gave a breakfast to sundry members of
the conference who are especially interested in an effective plan
of arbitration, the principal of these being Count Nigra from
Italy; Count Welsersheimb, first delegate of Austria; M. Descamps
of Belgium; Baron d'Estournelles of France; and M. Asser of the
Netherlands. After some preliminary talk, I read to them the
proposal, which Sir Julian had handed me in the morning, for the
purpose of obviating the objection to the council of
administration in charge of the court of arbitration here in The
Hague, which was an important feature of his original plan, but
which had been generally rejected as involving expensive
machinery. His proposal now is that, instead of a council
specially appointed and salaried to watch over and provide for
the necessities of the court, such council shall simply be made
up of the ministers of sundry powers residing here,--thus doing
away entirely with the trouble and expense of a special council.

This I amended by adding the Netherlands minister of foreign
affairs as ex-officio president, there being various reasons for
this, and among these the fact that, without some such provision,
the Netherlands would have no representative in the council.

The plan and my amendment were well received, and I trust that
our full and friendly discussion of these and various matters
connected with them will produce a good effect in the committees.

Count Nigra expressed himself to me as personally most earnestly
in favor of arbitration, but it was clear that his position was
complicated by the relations of his country to Germany as one of
the Triple Alliance; and the same difficulty was observable in
the case of Count Welsersheimb, the representative of Austria,
the third ally in the combination of which Germany is the head.

In the course of our breakfast, Baron d'Estournelles made a
statement which I think impressed every person present. It was
that, as he was leaving Paris, Jaures, the famous socialist, whom
he knows well, said to him, "Go on; do all you can at The Hague,
but you will labor in vain: you can accomplish nothing there,
your schemes will fail, and we shall triumph," or words to that
effect. So clear an indication as this of the effect which a
failure of the conference to produce a good scheme of arbitration
will have in promoting the designs of the great international
socialist and anarchist combinations cannot fail to impress every
thinking man.

Dined in the evening with the French minister at this court, and
very pleasantly. There were present M. Leon Bourgeois, the French
first delegate, and the first delegates from Japan, China,
Mexico, and Turkey, with subordinate delegates from other
countries. Sitting next the lady at the right of the host, I
found her to be the wife of the premier, M. Piersoon, minister of
finance, and very agreeable. I took in to dinner Madame Behrends,
wife of the Russian charge, evidently a very thoughtful and
accomplished woman, who was born, as she told me, of English
parents in the city of New York when her father and mother were
on their way to England. I found her very interesting, and her
discussions of Russia, as well as of England and the Netherlands,
especially good.

In the smoking-room I had a long talk with M. Leon Bourgeois,
who, according to the papers, is likely to be appointed minister
of foreign affairs in the new French cabinet. He dwelt upon the
difficulties of any plan for a tribunal, but seemed ready to do
what he could for the compromise plan, which is all that, during
some time past, we have hoped to adopt.

June 15.

Early this morning Count Munster called, wishing to see me
especially, and at once plunged into the question of the immunity
of private property from seizure on the high seas. He said that
he had just received instructions from his government to join us
heartily in bringing the question before the conference; that his
government, much as it inclines to favor the principle, could not
yet see its way to commit itself fully; that its action must, of
course, depend upon the conduct of other powers in the matter, as
foreshadowed by discussions in the conference, but that he was to
aid us in bringing it up.

I told him I was now preparing a draft of a memorial to the
conference giving the reasons why the subject ought to be
submitted, and that he should have it as soon as completed.

This matter being for the time disposed of, we took up the state
of the arbitration question, and the consequences of opposition
by Germany and her two allies to every feasible plan.

He was very much in earnest, and declared especially against
compulsory arbitration. To this I answered that the plan thus far
adopted contemplated entirely voluntary arbitration, with the
exception that an obligatory system was agreed upon as regards
sundry petty matters in which arbitration would assist all the
states concerned; and that if he disliked this latter feature,
but would agree to the others, we would go with him in striking
it out, though we should vastly prefer to retain it.

He said, "Yes; you have already stricken out part of it in the
interest of the United States," referring to the features
concerning the Monroe Doctrine, the regulation of canals, rivers,

"Very true," I answered; "and if there are any special features
which affect unfavorably German policy or interests, move to
strike them out, and we will heartily support you."

He then dwelt in his usual manner on his special hobby, which is
that modern nations are taking an entirely false route in
preventing the settlement of their difficulties by trained
diplomatists, and intrusting them to arbitration by men
inexperienced in international matters, who really cannot be
unprejudiced or uninfluenced; and he spoke with especial contempt
of the plan for creating a bureau, composed, as he said, of
university professors and the like, to carry on the machinery of
the tribunal.

Here I happened to have a trump card. I showed him Sir Julian
Pauncefote's plan to substitute a council composed of all the
ministers of the signatory powers residing at The Hague, with my
amendment making the Dutch minister of foreign affairs its
president. This he read and said he liked it; in fact, it seemed
to remove a mass of prejudice from his mind.

I then spoke very earnestly to him--more so than ever
before--about the present condition of affairs. I told him that
the counselors in whom the Emperor trusted--such men as himself
and the principal advisers of his Majesty--ought never to allow
their young sovereign to be exposed to the mass of hatred,
obloquy, and opposition which would converge upon him from all
nations in case he became known to the whole world as the
sovereign who had broken down the conference and brought to
naught the plan of arbitration. I took the liberty of telling him
what the Emperor said to me regarding the count himself--namely,
that what the conference was most likely to need was good common
sense, and that he was sending Count Munster because he possessed
that. This seemed to please him, and I then went on to say that
he of all men ought to prevent, by all means, placing the young
Emperor in such a position. I dwelt on the gifts and graces of
the young sovereign, expressed my feeling of admiration for his
noble ambitions, for his abilities, for the statesmanship he had
recently shown, for his grasp of public affairs, and for his way
of conciliating all classes, and then dwelt on the pity of making
such a monarch an object of hatred in all parts of the world.

He seemed impressed by this, but said the calling of the
conference was simply a political trick--the most detestable
trick ever practised. It was done, he said mainly to embarrass
Germany, to glorify the young Russian Emperor, and to put Germany
and nations which Russia dislikes into a false position. To this
I answered, "If this be the case, why not trump the Russian
trick? or, as the poker-players say, 'Go them one better,' take
them at their word, support a good tribunal of arbitration more
efficient even than the Russians have dared to propose; let your
sovereign throw himself heartily into the movement and become a
recognized leader and power here; we will all support him, and to
him will come the credit of it.

"Then, in addition to this, support us as far as you can as
regards the immunity of private property on the high seas, and
thus you will gain another great point; for, owing to her
relations to France, Russia has not dared commit herself to this
principle as otherwise she doubtless would have done, but, on the
contrary, has opposed any consideration of it by the conference.

"Next, let attention be called to the fact--and we will gladly
aid in making the world fully aware of it--that Germany, through
you, has constantly urged the greatest publicity of our
proceedings, while certain other powers have insisted on secrecy
until secrecy has utterly broken down, and then have made the
least concession possible. In this way you will come out of the
conference triumphant, and the German Emperor will be looked upon
as, after all, the arbiter of Europe. Everybody knows that France
has never wished arbitration, and that Russian statesmen are
really, at heart, none too ardent for it. Come forward, then, and
make the matter thoroughly your own; and, having done this,
maintain your present attitude strongly as regards the two other
matters above named,--that is, the immunity from seizure of
private property on the high seas, and the throwing 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 I have
labored so hard to dispel, will be infinitely increased. It will
render more and more difficult the maintenance 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 become 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 Germany 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

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 trouble the relations between
the two countries. These little questions embitter debates,
whether in your Reichstag on one hand, or in our Congress on the
other, and make the position of the Berlin and Washington
governments especially difficult. The American papers attack me
because I yield too much to Germany, the German papers attack Von
Bulow because he yields too much to America, and these little
questions remain. If Von Bulow 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 representatives here.

In the afternoon I went to the five-o'clock tea of the Baroness
d'Estournelles, found a great crowd there, including the leading
delegates, and all anxious as to the 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
influence public prints in Austria, Italy, and Germany in behalf
of arbitration, telling her that we are just arriving at the
parting of the ways, and that everything possible 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

In the intervals during the day I busied myself in completing 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



June 16. This morning Count Munster 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 acceptance of his own earlier views, and said that he
had sent to M. de Staal insisting that the meeting of the
subcommittee 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 Germany 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, being that Baron
d'Estournelles is too much occupied to be present at the time
first named. Later Count Munster 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,
whereupon he suggested that I should do something to the same
purpose, and this finally ended in the agreement that Holls
should go with Zorn.

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

(Copy.) (Personal.)

June 16, 1899

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 greatest, as I
believe, that any conference or any congress has taken up in our
time,--namely, the provision for a tribunal 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 feasible plan of providing for a
tribunal which shall give some hope to the world of settling some
of the many difficulties between nations otherwise than by

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 nation 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 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
governments; 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 or easily
calling together a court of arbitration which shall be seen of
all nations, indicate a sincere desire to promote 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 motives 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? Should it not rather
lead Germany to go forward boldly and thoughtfully, to accept the
championship of the idea of arbitration, and to take the lead in
the whole business here?

Germany, if she will do this, will certainly stand before 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 thoroughly 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 secrecy, 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 f
or 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 whatever
failure may come will be imputed to Germany and to its Emperor.
In any case, whether failure or success 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

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 Protestant 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 disregarded.

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 failure; 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 declaration is

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 arbitration, and the Emperor William
I was himself the arbiter between the United States and Great
Britain in the matter 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 submit 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 constantly 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 representatives of the various
signatory powers, to sit at The Hague, presided over by the
Netherlands minister of foreign affairs, and to select and to
control such secretaries 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 features 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 Bulow,
Most respectfully and sincerely yours,

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 parliamentary 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 a tribunal
as is now proposed, so far from being derogatory to sovereignty,
really relieves the sovereign and the Foreign Office of the most
vexatious fetters and limitations 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 Bulow
will give careful attention to the considerations which Munster
and myself press upon him.

Later in the day Sir Julian Pauncefote called, evidently 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 Molls's departure, but soothed him as much as
I could by dwelling on the success of his proposal that the
permanent 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 responsibility, 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.

June 17.

The morning was given largely to completing my draft of our
memorial to the conference regarding the immunity 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
interesting, 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 Leyden 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 remarkably rich in
Egyptian and other monuments. Roman art is also very fully

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 conversation was exceedingly interesting; he is
well read in history and, apparently, in every field of English
literature. 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 arbitration 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 Germany, Italy, and Austria to us.

A little later received a hearty telegram from the Secretary 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 directions 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 delegation, which
elaborated the final draft of our communication to M. de Staal on
the immunity of private property on the high seas. Various
passages were stricken out, some of them--and, indeed, one of the
best--in deference 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 anything 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
be the sooner ready for peace; but this argument proves too much,
since it would oblige us, if logically carried out, to go back to
the marauding and atrocities of the Thirty Years' War.

June 20.

Went to the session of one of the committees at the "House in the
Wood," and showed Mr. van Karnebeek our private-property
memorial, which he read, and on which he heartily complimented

I then made known to him our proposal to lay a wreath on the tomb
of Grotius, and with this he seemed exceedingly pleased, saying
that the minister of foreign affairs, M. de Beaufort, would be
especially delighted, since he is devoted to the memory of
Grotius, and delivered the historical address when the statue in
front of the great church at Delft was unveiled.

A little later submitted the memorial; as previously agreed upon,
to Count Munster, who also approved it.

Holls telegraphs me from Berlin that he has been admirably
received by the chancellor, Prince Hohenlohe, and by Baron von
Bulow, and that he is leaving for Hamburg to see the Emperor.

At four P.M. to a meeting of the full conference to receive
report on improvements and extension of the Red Cross rules, etc.
This was adopted in a happy-go-lucky unparliamentary way, for the
eminent diplomatist who presides over the conference still
betrays a Russian lack of acquaintance with parliamentary
proceedings. So begins the first full movement of the conference
in the right direction; and it is a good beginning.

Walked home through the beautiful avenues of the park with Mr.
van Karnebeek and Baron d'Estournelles, who is also a charming
man. He has been a minister plenipotentiary, but is now a member
of the French Chamber of Deputies and of the conference.

June 21.

Early in the morning received a report from Holls, who arrived
from Hamburg late last night. His talks with Bulow and Prince
Hohenlohe had been most encouraging. Bulow has sent to the
Emperor my long private letter to himself, earnestly urging the
acceptance by Germany of our plan of arbitration. Prince
Hohenlohe seems to have entered most cordially into our ideas,
giving Holls a card which would admit him to the Emperor, and
telegraphing a request that his Majesty see him. But the Emperor
was still upon his yacht, at sea, and Holls could stay no longer.
Bulow is trying to make an appointment for him to meet the
Emperor at the close of the week.

Early in the afternoon went with Minister Newel and Mr. Low to
call on M. de Beaufort regarding plans for the Grotius
celebration, on July 4, at Delft. It was in general decided that
we should have the ceremony in the great church at eleven o
'clock, with sundry speeches, and that at half-past twelve the
American delegation should give a luncheon to all the invited
guests in the town hall opposite.

Holls tells me that last night, at the dinner of the president of
the Austrian delegation, he met Munster, who said to him, "I can
get along with Hohenlohe, and also with Bulow, but not with those
d--d lawyers in the Foreign Office" ("Mit Hohenlohe kann ich
auskommen, mit Bulow auch, aber mit diesen verdammten Juristen im
Auswartigen Amt, nicht.").

June 22.

Up at four o'clock and at ten attended a session of the first
section at the "House in the Wood." Very interesting were the
discussions regarding bullets and asphyxiating bombs. As to the
former, Sir John Ardagh of the British delegation repelled
earnestly the charges made regarding the British bullets used in
India, and offered to substitute for the original proposal one
which certainly would be much more effective in preventing
unnecessary suffering and death; but the Russians seemed glad to
score a point against Great Britain, and Sir John's proposal was
voted down, its only support being derived from our own
delegation. Captain Crozier, our military delegate, took an
active part in supporting Sir John Ardagh, but the majority
against us was overwhelming.

As to asphyxiating bombs, Captain Mahan spoke at length against
the provision to forbid them: his ground being that not the
slightest thing had yet been done looking to such an invention;
that, even if there had been, their use would not be so bad as
the use of torpedoes against ships of war; that asphyxiating men
by means of deleterious gases was no worse than asphyxiating them
with water; indeed, that the former was the less dangerous of the
two, since the gases used might simply incapacitate men for a
short time, while the blowing up of a ship of war means death to
all or nearly all of those upon it.

To this it was answered--and, as it seemed to me, with
force--that asphyxiating bombs might be used against towns for
the destruction of vast numbers of non-combatants, including
women and children, while torpedoes at sea are used only against
the military and naval forces of the enemy. The original proposal
was carried by a unanimous vote, save ours. I am not satisfied
with our attitude on this question; but what can a layman do when
he has against him the foremost contemporary military and naval
experts? My hope is that the United States will yet stand with
the majority on the record.

I stated afterward in a bantering way to Captain Mahan, as well
as others, that while I could not support any of the arguments
that had been made in favor of allowing asphyxiating bombs, there
was one which somewhat appealed to me--namely, that the dread of
them might do something to prevent the rush of the rural
population to the cities, and the aggregation of the poorer
classes in them, which is one of the most threatening things to
modern society, and also a second argument that such bombs would
bring home to warlike stay-at-home orators and writers the
realities of war.

At noon received the French translation of our memorial to De
Staal, but found it very imperfect throughout, and in some parts
absolutely inadmissible; so I worked with Baron de Bildt,
president of the Swedish delegation here, all the afternoon in
revising it.

At six the American delegation met and chose me for their orator
at the approaching Grotius festival at Delft. I naturally feel
proud to discharge a duty of this kind, and can put my heart into
it, for Grotius has long been to me almost an object of idolatry,
and his main works a subject of earnest study. There are few men
in history whom I so deeply venerate. Twenty years ago, when
minister at Berlin, I sent an eminent American artist to Holland
and secured admirable copies of the two best portraits of the
great man. One of these now hangs in the Law Library of Cornell
University, and the other over my work-table at the Berlin

June 23.

At work all the morning on letters and revising final draft of
memorial on immunity of private property at sea, and lunched
afterward at the "House in the Wood" to talk it over with Baron
de Bildt.

At the same table met M. de Martens, who has just returned by
night to his work here, after presiding a day or two over the
Venezuela arbitration tribunal at Paris. He told me that Sir
Richard Webster, in opening the case, is to speak for sixteen
days, and De Martens added that he himself had read our entire
Venezuelan report, as well as the other documents on the subject
which form quite a large library. And yet we do not include men
like him in "the working-classes"!

In the evening to a reception at the house of M. de Beaufort,
minister of foreign affairs, and was cordially greeted by him and
his wife, both promising that they would accept our invitation to
Delft. I took in to the buffet the wife of the present Dutch
prime minister, who also expressed great interest in our
proposal, and declared her intention of being present.

Count Zanini, the Italian minister and delegate here, gave me a
comical account of two speeches in the session of the first
section this morning; one being by a delegate from Persia, Mirza
Riza Khan, who is minister at St. Petersburg. His Persian
Excellency waxed eloquent over the noble qualities of the Emperor
of Russia, and especially over his sincerity as shown by the fact
that when his Excellency tumbled from his horse at a review, his
Majesty sent twice to inquire after his health. The whole effect
upon the conference was to provoke roars of laughter.

But the great matter of the day was the news, which has not yet
been made public, that Prince Hohenlohe, the German chancellor,
has come out strongly for the arbitration tribunal, and has sent
instructions here accordingly. This is a great gain, and seems to
remove one of the worst stumbling-blocks. But we will have to pay
for this removal, probably, by giving up section 10 of the
present plan, which includes a system of obligatory arbitration
in various minor matters,--a system which would be of use to the
world in many ways. While the American delegation, as stated in
my letter which Holls took to Bulow, and which has been forwarded
to the Emperor, will aid in throwing out of the arbitration plan
everything of an obligatory nature, if Germany insists upon it, I
learn that the Dutch Government is much opposed to this
concession, and may publicly protest against it.

A curious part of the means used in bringing about this change of
opinion was the pastoral letter, elsewhere referred to, issued by
the Protestant Episcopal bishop of Texas, calling for prayers
throughout the State for the success of the conference in its
efforts to diminish the horrors of war. This pastoral letter, to
which I referred in my letter to Minister von Bulow, I intrusted
to Holls, authorizing him to use it as he thought fit. He showed
it to Prince Hohenlohe, and the latter, although a Roman
Catholic, was evidently affected by it, and especially by the
depth and extent of the longing for peace which it showed. It is
perhaps an interesting example of an indirect "answer to prayer,"
since it undoubtedly strengthened the feelings in the prince
chancellor's mind which led him to favor arbitration.

June 24.

Sent to M. de Staal, as president of the conference, the memorial
relating to the exemption of private property, not contraband of
war, from capture on the high seas. Devoted the morning to
blocking out my Grotius address, and afterward drove with Holls
to Delft to look over the ground for our Fourth-of-July festival.
The town hall is interesting and contains, among other portraits,
one which is evidently a good likeness of Grotius; the only
difficulty is that, for our intended luncheon, the rooms, though
beautiful, seem inadequate.

Thence to the church, and after looking over that part of it near
the monuments, with reference to the Grotius ceremony, went into
the organ-loft with the organist. There I listened for nearly an
hour while he and Holls played finely on that noble instrument;
and as I sat and looked down over the church and upon the distant
monuments, the old historic scenes of four hundred years ago came
up before me, with memories almost overpowering of my first visit
thirty-five years ago. And all then with me are now dead.

June 25.

At nine in the morning off with Holls to Rotterdam, and on
arriving took the tram through the city to the steamboat wharf,
going thence by steamer to Dort. Arrived, just before the close
of service, at the great church where various sessions of the
synod were held. The organ was very fine; the choir-stalls, where
those wretched theologians wrangled through so many sessions and
did so much harm to their own country and others, were the only
other fine things in the church, and they were much dilapidated.
I could not but reflect bitterly on the monstrous evils provoked
by these men who sat so long there spinning a monstrous theology
to be substituted for the teachings of Christ himself.

Thence back to The Hague and to Scheveningen, and talked over
conference matters with Count Munster. Received telegrams from
Count von Bulow in answer to mine congratulating him on his
promotion, also one from Baron von Mumm, the German minister at
Luxemburg, who goes temporarily to Washington.

June 26.

At work all the morning on my Grotius address Lunched at the
"House in the Wood," and walked to town with sundry delegates. In
the afternoon went to a "tea" at the house of Madame Boreel and
met a number of charming people; but the great attraction was the
house, which is that formerly occupied by John De Witt--that from
which he went to prison and to assassination. Here also Motley
lived, and I was shown the room in which a large part of his
history was written, and where Queen Sophia used to discuss Dutch
events and personages with him.

The house is beautiful, spacious, and most charmingly decorated,
many of the ornaments and paintings having been placed there in
the time of De Witt.

June 27.

At all sorts of work during the morning, and then, on invitation
of President Low, went with the other members of the delegation
to Haarlem, where we saw the wonderful portraits by Frans Hals,
which impressed me more than ever, and heard the great organ. It
has been rebuilt since I was there thirty-five years ago; but it
is still the same great clumsy machine, and very poorly
played,--that is, with no spirit, and without any effort to
exhibit anything beyond the ordinary effects for which any little
church organ would do as well.

In the evening dined with Count Zanini, the Italian minister and
delegate, and discussed French matters with Baron d'Estournelles.
He represents the best type of French diplomatist, and is in
every way attractive.

Afterward to Mr. van Karnebeek's reception, meeting various
people in a semi-satisfactory way.

June 29.

In the morning, in order to work off the beginnings of a
headache, I went to Rotterdam and walked until noon about the
streets and places, recalling my former visit, which came very
vividly before me as I gazed upon the statue of Erasmus, and
thought upon his life here. No man in history has had more
persistent injustice done him. If my life were long enough I
would gladly use my great collection of Erasmiana in illustrating
his services to the world. To say nothing of other things, the
modern "Higher Criticism" has its roots in his work.

June 30.

Engaged on the final revision of my Grotius speech, and on
various documents.

At noon to the "House in the Wood" for lunch, and afterward took
a walk in the grounds with Beldiman, the Roumanian delegate, who
explained to me the trouble in Switzerland over the vote on the
Red Cross Conference.

It appears that whereas Switzerland initiated the Red Cross
movement, has ever since cherished it, and has been urged by
Italy and other powers to take still further practical measures
for it, the Dutch delegation recently interposed, secured for one
of their number the presidency of the special conference, and
thus threw out my Berlin colleague, Colonel Roth, who had been
previously asked to take the position and had accepted it, with
the result that the whole matter has been taken out of the hands
of Switzerland, where it justly belonged, and put under the care
of the Netherlands. This has provoked much ill feeling in
Switzerland, and there is especial astonishment at the fact that
when Beldiman moved an amendment undoing this unjust arrangement
it was, by some misunderstanding lost, and that therefore there
has been perpetuated what seems much like an injustice against
Switzerland. I promised to exert myself to have the matter
rectified so far as the American delegation was concerned, and
later was successful in doing so.

In the evening dined at Minister Newel's. Sat between Minister
Okolicsanyi of the Austrian delegation, and Count Welsersheimb,
the chairman of that delegation, and had interesting talks with
them, with the Duke of Tetuan, and others. It appears that the
Duke, who is a very charming, kindly man, has, like myself, a
passion both for cathedral architecture and for organ music; he
dwelt much upon Burgos, which he called the gem of Spanish

Thence to the final reception at the house of M. de Beaufort,
minister of foreign affairs, who showed me a contemporary
portrait of Grotius which displays the traits observable in the
copies which Burleigh painted for me twenty years ago at
Amsterdam and Leyden. Talked with Sir Julian Pauncefote regarding
the Swiss matter; he had abstained from voting for the reason
that he had no instructions in the premises.

July 2.

In the morning Major Allen, military attache of our embassy at
Berlin, arrived, bringing the Grotius wreath. Under Secretary
Hay's permission, I had given to one of the best Berlin
silversmiths virtually carte blanche, and the result is most
satisfactory. The wreath is very large, being made up, on one
side, of a laurel branch with leaves of frosted silver and
berries of gold, and, on the other, of an oak branch with silver
leaves and gold acorns, both boughs being tied together at the
bottom by a large knot of ribbon in silver gilded, bearing the
arms of the Netherlands and the United States on enameled
shields, and an inscription as follows:

To the Memory of HUGO GROTIUS;
In Reverence and Gratitude,
From the United States of America;
On the Occasion of the International Peace Conference
of The Hague.
July 4th, 1899.

It is a superb piece of work, and its ebony case, with silver
clasps, and bearing a silver shield with suitable inscription, is
also perfect: the whole thing attracts most favorable attention.



July 4.

On this day the American delegation invited their colleagues to
celebrate our national anniversary at the tomb of Grotius, first
in the great church, and afterward in the town hall of Delft.
Speeches were made by the minister of foreign affairs of the
Netherlands De Beaufort; by their first delegate, Van Karnebeek;
by Mr. Asser, one of their leading jurists; by the burgomaster of
Delft; and by Baron de Bildt, chairman of the Swedish delegation
and minister at Rome, who read a telegram from the King of Sweden
referring to Grotius's relations to the Swedish diplomatic
service; as well as by President Low of Columbia University and
myself: the duty being intrusted to me of laying the wreath upon
Grotius's tomb and making the address with reference to it. As
all the addresses are to be printed, I shall give no more
attention to them here. A very large audience was present,
embracing the ambassadors and principal members of the
conference, the Netherlands ministers of state, professors from
the various universities of the Netherlands, and a large body of
other invited guests.

The music of the chimes, of the organ, and of the royal choir of
one hundred voices was very fine; and, although the day was
stormy, with a high wind and driving rain, everything went off

After the exercises in the church, our delegation gave a
breakfast, which was very satisfactory. About three hundred and
fifty persons sat down to the tables at the town hall, and one
hundred other guests, including the musicians, at the leading
restaurant in the place. In the afternoon the Americans gathered
at the reception given by our minister, Mr. Newel, and his wife,
and in the evening there was a large attendance at an "American
concert" given by the orchestra at the great hall in

July 5.

Early in the morning to the second committee of the conference,
where I spoke in behalf of the Beldiman resolution, doing justice
to Switzerland as regards the continuance of the Red Cross
interests in Swiss hands; and on going to a vote we were

Then, the question of a proper dealing with our memorial
regarding the immunity of private property on the high seas
coming up, I spoke in favor of referring it to the general
conference, and gave the reasons why it should not simply be
dropped out as not coming within the subjects contemplated in the
call to the conference. Though my speech was in French, it went
off better than I expected.

In the afternoon, at the full conference, the same subject came
up; and then, after a preface in French, asking permission to
speak in English, I made my speech, which, probably, three
quarters of all the delegates understood, but, at my request, a
summary of it was afterward given in French by Mr. van Karnebeek.

The occasion of this speech was my seconding the motion, made in
a very friendly manner by M. de Martens, to refer the matter to a
future conference; but I went into the merits of the general
subject to show its claims upon the various nations, etc., etc.,
though not, of course, as fully as I would have done had the
matter been fully under discussion. My speech was very well
received, and will, I hope, aid in keeping the subject alive.

In the afternoon drove to Ryswyck, to the house of M. Cornets de
Groot, the living representative of the Grotius family. The house
and grounds were very pleasant, but the great attraction was a
collection of relics of Grotius, including many manuscripts from
his own hand,--among these a catechism for his children, written
in the prison of Loewenstein; with official documents, signed and
sealed, connected with the public transactions of his time; also
letters which passed between him and Oxenstiern, the great
Swedish chancellor, some in Latin and some in other languages;
besides sundry poems. There were also a multitude of portraits,
engravings, and documents relating to Olden-Barneveld and others
of Grotius's contemporaries.

The De Groot family gave us a most hearty reception, introducing
their little girl, who is the latest-born descendant of Grotius,
and showing us various household relics of their great ancestor,
including cups, glasses, and the like. Mr. De Groot also gave me
some curious information regarding him which I did not before
possess; and, among other things, told me that when Grotius's
body was transferred, shortly after his death, from Rostock to
Delft, the coffin containing it was stoned by a mob at Rotterdam;
also that at the unveiling of the statue of Grotius in front of
the church at Delft, a few years ago, the high-church Calvinists
would not allow the children from their church schools to join
the other children in singing hymns. The old bitterness of the
extreme Calvinistic party toward their great compatriot was thus
still exhibited, and the remark was made at the time, by a member
of it, that the statue was perfectly true to life, since "its
back was turned toward the church"; to which a reply was made
that "Grotius's face in the statue, like his living face, was
steadily turned toward justice." This latter remark had reference
to the fact that a court is held in the city hall, toward which
the statue is turned.

In the evening to a dinner given by Mr. Piersoon, minister of
finance and prime minister of the Netherlands, to our delegation
and to his colleagues of the Dutch ministry. Everything passed
off well, Mr. Piersoon proposing a toast to the health of the
President of the United States, to which I replied in a toast to
the Queen of the Netherlands. In the course of his speech Mr.
Piersoon thanked us for our tribute to Grotius, and showed really
deep feeling on the subject. There is no doubt that we have
struck a responsive chord in the hearts of all liberal and
thoughtful men and women of the Netherlands; from every quarter
come evidences of this.

A remark of his, regarding arbitration, especially pleased us. He
said that the arbitration plan, as it had come from the great
committee, was like a baby:--apparently helpless, and of very
little value, unable to do much, and requiring careful nursing;
but that it had one great merit:--IT WOULD GROW.

This I believe to be a very accurate statement of the situation.
The general feeling of the conference becomes better and better.
More and more the old skepticism has departed, and in place of it
has come a strong ambition to have a share in what we are
beginning to believe may be a most honorable contribution to the
peace of the world. I have never taken part in more earnest
discussions than those which during the last two weeks have
occupied us, and especially those relating to arbitration.

I think I may say, without assuming too much, that our Grotius
celebration has been a contribution of some value to this growth
of earnestness. It has, if I am not greatly mistaken, revealed to
the conference, still more clearly than before, the fact that it
is a historical body intrusted with a matter of vast importance
and difficulty, and that we shall be judged in history with
reference to this fact.

July 6.

At 5.30 P.M. off in special train with the entire conference to
Amsterdam. On arriving, we found a long train of court carriages
which took us to the palace, the houses on each side throughout
the entire distance being decorated with flags and banners, and
the streets crowded with men, women, and children. We were indeed
a brave show, since all of us, except the members of our American
delegation, wore gorgeous uniforms with no end of ribbons, stars,
and insignia of various offices and orders.

On reaching our destination, we were received by the Queen and
Queen-mother, and shortly afterward went in to dinner. With the
possible exception of a lord mayor's feast at the Guildhall, it
was the most imposing thing of the kind that I have ever seen.
The great banqueting-hall, dating from the glorious days of the
Dutch Republic, is probably the largest and most sumptuous in
continental Europe, and the table furniture, decorations, and
dinner were worthy of it. About two hundred and fifty persons,
including all the members of the conference and the higher
officials of the kingdom, sat down, the Queen and Queen-mother at
the head of the table, and about them the ambassadors and
presidents of delegations. My own place, being very near the
Majesties, gave me an excellent opportunity to see and hear
everything. Toward the close of the banquet the young Queen arose
and addressed us, so easily and naturally that I should have
supposed her speech extemporaneous had I not seen her consulting
her manuscript just before rising. Her manner was perfect, and
her voice so clear as to be heard by every one in the hall.
Everything considered, it was a remarkable effort for a young
lady of seventeen. At its close an excellent reply was made by
our president, M. de Staal; and soon afterward, when we had
passed into the great gallery, there came an even more striking
exhibition of the powers of her youthful Majesty, for she
conversed with every member of the conference, and with the
utmost ease and simplicity. To me she returned thanks for the
Grotius tribute, and in very cordial terms, as did later also the
Queen-mother; and I cannot but believe that they were sincere,
since, three months later, at the festival given them at Potsdam,
they both renewed their acknowledgments in a cordial way which
showed that their patriotic hearts were pleased. Various leading
men of the Netherlands and of the conference also thanked us, and
one of them said, "You Americans have taught us a lesson; for,
instead of a mere display of fireworks to the rabble of a single
city, or a ball or concert to a few officials, you have, in this
solemn recognition of Grotius, paid the highest compliment
possible to the entire people of the Netherlands, past, present,
and to come."

July 7.

In the morning to the great hall of the "House in the Wood,"
where the "editing committee" (comite de redaction) reported to
the third committee of the conference the whole arbitration plan.
It struck me most favorably,--indeed, it surprised me, though I
have kept watch of every step. I am convinced that it is better
than any of the plans originally submitted, not excepting our
own. It will certainly be a gain to the world.

At the close of the session we adjourned until Monday, the 17th,
in order that the delegates may get instructions from their
various governments regarding the signing of the protocols,
agreements, etc.

July 8.

In the evening dined with M. de Mier, the Mexican minister at
Paris and delegate here, and had a very interesting talk with M.
Raffalovitch, to whom I spoke plainly regarding the only road to
disarmament. I told him that he must know as well as any one that
there is a vague dread throughout Europe of the enormous growth
of Russia, and that he must acknowledge that, whether just or
not, it is perfectly natural. He acquiesced in this, and I then
went on to say that the Emperor Nicholas had before him an
opportunity to do more good and make a nobler reputation than any
other czar had ever done, not excepting Alexander II with his
emancipation of the serfs; that I had thought very seriously of
writing, at the close of the conference, to M. Pobedonostzeff,
presenting to him the reasons why Russia might well make a
practical beginning of disarmament by dismissing to their homes,
or placing on public works, say two hundred thousand of her
soldiers; that this would leave her all the soldiers she needs,
and more; that he must know, as everybody knows, that no other
power dreams of attacking Russia or dares to do so; that there

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