Articles of the treaty relating to the
The high contracting parties agree that all claims on the part of corporations, companies, or private individuals (citizens of the United States) upon the government of Her Britannic Majesty, arising out of acts committed against the person or property of citizens of the United States during the period between the thirteenth of April, eighteen hundred and sixty-one, and the ninth of April, eighteen hundred and sixty-five, inclusive, not being claims growing out of the acts of the vessels referred to in Article I of this treaty, and all claims, with the like exception on the part of corporations, companies, or private individuals, (subjects of Her Britannic Majesty,) upon the Government of the United States, arising out of acts committed against the persons or property of subjects of Her Britannic Majesty during the same period, which may have been presented to either government for its interposition with the other, and which yet remain unsettled, as well as any other such claims which may be presented within the time specified in Article XIV of this treaty, shall be referred to three commissioners, to be appointed in the following manner, that is to say: One commissioner shall be named by the President of the United States, one by Her Britannic Majesty, and a third by the President of the United States and Her Britannic Majesty conjointly; and in case the third commissioner shall not have been so named within a period of three months from the date of the exchange of the ratifications of this treaty, then the third [Page 176] commissioner shall be named by the representative at Washington of His Majesty the King of Spain. In case of the death, absence, or incapacity of any commissioner, or in the event of any commissioner omitting or ceasing to act, the vacancy shall be filled in the manner hereinbefore provided for making the original appointment the period of three months in case of such substitution being calculated from the date of the happening of the vacancy.
The commissioners so named shall meet at Washington at the earliest convenient period after they have been respectively named; and shall, before proceeding to any business, make and subscribe a solemn declaration that they will impartially and carefully examine and decide, to the best of their judgment, and according to justice and equity, all such claims as shall be laid before them on the part of the governments of the United States and of Her Britannic Majesty, respectively; and such declaration shall be entered on the record of their proceedings.
The commissioners shall then forthwith proceed to the investigation of the claims which shall be presented to them. They shall investigate and decide such claims in such order and in such manner as they may think proper, but upon such evidence or information only as shall be furnished by or on behalf of the respective governments. They shall be bound to receive and consider all written documents or statements which may be presented to them by or on behalf of the respective governments in support of or in answer to any claim, and to hear, if required, one person on each side on behalf of each government, as counsel or agent for such government, on each and every separate claim. A majority of the commissioners shall be sufficient for an award in each case. The award shall be given upon each claim in writing, and shall be signed by the commissioners assenting to it. It shall be competent for each government to name one person to attend the commissioners as its agent, to present and support claims on its behalf, and to answer claims made upon it, and to represent it generally in all matters connected with the investigation and decision thereof.
The high contracting parties hereby engage to consider the decisions of the commissioners as absolutely final and conclusive upon each claim decided upon by them, and to give full effect to such decisions, without any objection, evasion, or delay whatsoever.
Every claim shall be presented to the commissioners within six months from the day of their first meeting, unless in any case where reasons for delay shall be established to the satisfaction of the commissioners, and then, and in any such case, the period for presenting the claim may be extended by them to any time not exceeding three months longer.
The commissioners shall be bound to examine and decide upon every claim within two years from the day of their first meeting. It shall be competent for the commissioners to decide in each case whether any claim has or has not been duly made, preferred, and laid before them, either wholly or to any and what extent, according to the true intent and meaning of this treaty.
All sums of money which may be awarded by the commissioners on account of any claim shall be paid by the one government to the other, [Page 177] as the case may be, within twelve months after the date of the final award, without interest and without any deduction, save as specified in Article XVI of this treaty.
The commissioners shall keep an accurate record and correct minutes or notes of all their proceedings, with the dates thereof, and may appoint and employ a secretary and any other necessary officer or officers to assist them in the transaction of the business which may come before them.
Each government shall pay its own commissioner and agent or counsel. All other expenses shall be defrayed by the two governments in equal moieties.
The whole expenses of the commission, including contingent expenses, shall be defrayed by a ratable deduction on the amount of the sums awarded by the commissioners, provided always that such deduction shall not exceed the rate of five per cent, on the sums so awarded.
The high contracting parties engage to consider the result of the proceedings of this commission as a full, perfect, and final settlement of all such claims as are mentioned in Article XII of this treaty upon either government; and further engage that every such claim, whether or not the same may have been presented to the notice of, made, preferred, or laid before the said commission, shall, from and after the conclusion of the proceedings of the said commission, be considered and treated as finally settled, barred, and thenceforth inadmissible.