Harper's Weekly 07/27/1872



ToDavis, Geneva:
“Your telegram of the 19th informs me that the tri-
bunal has made a declaration that a class of the claims
set forth in the case presented in behalf of the United
States does not constitute, upon the principles of interna-
tional law applicable to such cases, a good foundation
for an award of compensation and computation of dam-
ages between nations, and upon such principles should be
wholly excluded from the consideration of the tribunal
in making up its award
. You also inform me that
the counsel of this government at Geneva have ad-
vised in writing that they are of the opinion that the
announcement thus made by the tribunal must be re-
ceived by the United States as determinative of the
question of public law involved, upon which the United
States have insisted upon taking the opinion of the tri-
bunal
; that the counsel advise, therefore, that this
judgment be submitted to on the claims set forth in
the case presented on the part of the United States for
losses in the transfer of the American commercial ma-
rine to the British flag, the enhanced payments of in-
surance, and the prolongation of the war, and the ad-
dition of a large sum to the cost of the war and the
suppression of the rebellion, as adjudicated and dis-
posed of, and that consequently they should not be
further insisted upon before the tribunal by the United
States but should be henceforth excluded from its con-
sideration by the tribunal in making its award.


“The President directs me to say that he accepts the
declaration of the tribunal as its judgment upon a ques-
tion of public law which he had felt that the interests
of both governments required should be decided, and for
the determination of which he had felt it important to
present the claim referred to for the purpose of taking
the opinion of the tribunal. This is the attainment of
an end which this government had in view in the putting
forth of these claims. We had no desire for a pecuniary
award, but desired an expression by the tribunal as to
the liability of a neutral for claims of that character
.


“The President, therefore, accepts the opinion and
advice of the counsel as set forth above, and author-
izes the announcement to the tribunal that he accepts
their declaration as determinative of their judgment
upon the question of public law upon which he had felt
it his duty to seek the expression of their opinion; and
that, in accordance with such judgment and opinion,
from henceforth he regards it as precluding the propriety
of further insisting upon the claims covered by the dec-
laration of the tribunal
; and that the United States,
with a view of maintaining the due course of arbitra-
tion on the other claims, without adjournment, an-
nounce their opinion that the claims referred to by the
tribunal will not be further insisted upon by the Unit-
ed States, and may be excluded from its consideration
by the tribunal in making its award.”


Mr. Nast's admirable cartoon on our first
page graphically represents the position of the
United States on this question, and their acqui-
escence in the decision reached at Geneva.



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