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Record of proceedings before the special tribunal.

Séance du 15 septembre 1902 (matin).

L’audience est ouverte à 11½ h. du matin sous la présidence de M. Matzen.

M. Matzen prend place au fauteuil de la Présidence et pronounce le discours suivant:

Excellences! Messieurs! Comme Président du Tribunal d’Arbitrage, institué en vertu du traité conclu à Washington le 22 mai 1902 [Page 503]entre les Etats-Unis de l’Amérique et les Etats-Unis Mexicains, je déclare la première séance du Tribunal ouverte.

“C’est la première fois qu’a été constitué un Tribunal d’Arbitrage, siégeant sous le régime de la Convention de la Haye sur l’Arbitrage International et composé de membres de la Cour Permanente d’Arbitrage, crée par la Convention; et je remercie Vos Excellences ici présentes, Président et Membres du Conseil Administratif de la Cour Permanente, d’avoir bien voulu nous faire l’honneur d’assister à la premiere seance du premier Tribunal d’Arbitrage, émané de la Cour permanente.

“Ce premier Tribunal est constitué grâce à Pinitiative de deux Grandes Puissances du Nouveau Monde, qui, animées du même sincère désir de faire règler un différend survenu entre eux à l’amiable et d’une manière satisfaisante et juste, sont tombées d’accord de le soumettre à un Arbitrage conforme dans son essence aux règles de la Convention de la Haye.

“Toutes les stipulations du traité susmentionné relatives à la constitution de ce Tribunal d’Arbitrage ont été dûment exécutées.

“Les Membres du Tribunal ici présents sont prêts à remplir consciencieusement la tâche importante et honorable, qui leur a été confiée.

“Les Arbitres, choisis par les puissances, brillent au premier rang des jurisconsultes durnonde et sont bien au-dessus des mes éloges.

“Le fait d’avoir été appelé par leur vote, à présider leurs séances est considéré par moi comme un grand honneur illustrant toute mon existence, mais il serait de nature à m’effrayer, si je n’avais pas la ferme certitude de pouvoir compter sur leur constante et bienveillante collaboration.

“Au nom du Tribunal je souhaite une respectueuse et cordiale bienvenue aux illustres personnages représentant les Puissances devant le Tribunal et aux Conseils éminents, qui les assistent de leurs lumiéres, dont les savants discours élucideront les faits et fixeront des bases pour nos délibérations.

“Au moment de Pouverture des séances du Tribunal j’émets le vœu qu’il nous soit donné, grâce aussi au concours zèlé et à la collaboration des Hautes Parties d’inaugurer les travaux des tribunaux d’arbitrage de la Convention de la Haye d’une manière conforme à la pensée sublime qui Pa inspirée et au but glorieux, qu’elle jest appelée a faciliter: le règlement pacifique des litiges entre les États sur la seule base solide, la base du respect du droit.”

Avant de procéder à l’instruction, j’ai encore quelques communications à faire. Les arbitres choisis par les Puissances, et qui m’ont fait l’honneur de me mommer président du Tribunal, sont:

“Le Très Honorable Sir Edward Fry, docteur en droit, siégeant à la Cour d’Appel, membre du Conseil Prive de Sa Majeste Britannique, membre de la Cour Permanente d’Arbitrage, arbitre désigné par les États-Unis d’Amérique;

“Son Excellence Mr. de Martens, Conseiller privé, membre du Conseil du Ministère impérial des affaires étrangères á Saint Pétersbourg, membre de la Coar permanente d’arbitrage, arbitre désigné par les États-Unis d’Amérique;

“M. T. M. C. Asser, docteur en droit, membre du Conseil d’État des Pays-Bas, ancien professeur a l’Universite d’Amsterdam, membre de la Cour Permanente d’Arbitrage, arbitre désigné par les États Unis Mexicains;

[Page 504]

“M. le Jonkheer de Savornin Lohman, docteur en droit, ancien ministre de l’Intérieur des Pays-Bas, ancien professeur a PUniversite libre d’Amsterdam, membre de la seconde Chambre des Etats-Généraux, membre de la Cour Permanente d’Arbitrage, arbitre désigné par les Etats-Unis Mexicains.

“Les agents des parties sont:

“M. Jackson Harvey Ralston, agent pour les Etats-Unis d’Amérique, et Son Excellence M. Emilio Pardo, envoyé extraordinaire et ministre plénipotentiaire du Mexique près de Sa Majesté la Reine des Pays-Bas, agent pour les Etats-Unis Mexicains.

“Les conseils sont:

“Pour les Etats-Unis d’Amerique:

“Mr. William Lawrence Penfield, juge,

“M. le Sénateur Stewart,

“M. le Chevalier Descamps, sénateur du royaume de Belgique, Secrétaire-Général de l’Institut du droit international, membre de la Cour Permanente d’Arbitrage,

“Mr. Charles J. Kappler,

“Mr. W. T. S. Doyle,

“Mr. Garrett W. McEnerney.

“L’agent des Etats-Unis Mexicains sera assisté de Son Excellence M. Beernaert, ministre d’Etat membre de la Chambre des représentants de Belgique, membre de la Cour Permanente d’Arbitrage.

“Auxtermes de l’article 4 (1) de la convention de La Haye, le Président doit nommer les secrétaires. J’invite done M. Ruyssenaers, Secrétaire-Général de la Cour Permanente d’Arbitrage, à remplir les mêmos fonctions auprès du Tribunal d’Arbitrage.

“Comme secrétaires lui sont adjoints:

“Mr. Walter S. Penfield.

“M. Luis Pardo, premier secrétaire de la Légation du Mexique à La Haye, et M. le Jonkheer W. Röell, premier secrétaire du bureau international de la Cour Permanente d’Arbitrage.

“D’après l’article 38 de la Convention de La Haye, le Tribunal décide du choix des langues dont il sera fait usage et dont l’emploi sera autorisé devant lui. Le Tribunal a décidé que la langue officielle devant lui serait la langue francaise, mais il a autorisé l’emploi des langues française et anglaise. Les procés-verbaux seront en rédigés en francais et sous une forme concise; cependant les Parties seront libres d’engager des sténographies pour les comptes-rendus des débats.

“D’après l’article 41 de la Convention de La Haye, le Tribunal, avec l’assentiment des Parties, a décidé que les débats seront publics, mais á cause de la place restreinte dont il dispose, l’admission aux séances sera réservée aux personnes munies de cartes à délivrer par le Secrétaire-Général du Tribunal.

“Telles sont les communications que j’avais à faire.

“M. l’agent des Etats-Unis d’Amérique du Nord a la parole.”

Mr. Jackson Harvey Ralston, Agent des Etats-Unis d’Amérique, prononce le discours suivant:

“On behalf of the United States, it is my honor and pleasure to offer a brief reply of thanks to the courteous sentiments of the distinguished president of this court.

“At this moment, permit me to express my appreciation of the action of the Netherlands Government in extending many courtesies in connection with the establishment of the court of arbitration, as well [Page 505]as in facilitating the work of the first litigants, and furthermore to acknowledge most heartily the compliment shown by the attendance on this occasion of the members of the administrative council.

“We, who represent the United States, esteem highly the opportunity of presenting before this learned body a controversy involving the two foremost nations of the North American continent. It is perhaps natural that we should felicitate ourselves upon the fact that the first nations to resort to this tribunal are of the Western Hemisphere, and are nations which may take pride in the fact that they are legitimate offspring of the peoples of Europe, and as such, inheritors of centuries of a common civilization, the most advanced that the world has ever known.

“We of the United States find satisfaction in the fact that the first suggestion of arbitration of the question now offered for your consideration was made by Mr. Secretary Hay, of the United States, whose fame as a diplomatist and as a statesman knows no national bounds. We congratulate our neighbours upon the other side that after this suggestion Mr, Hay and the distinguished secretary of foreign affairs of Mexico, Mr. Mariscal, came to a speedy accord upon the proposition to refer the proposed arbitration for settlement under the provisions of The Hague Peace Convention.

“On May 22, 1902, the protocol was signed at Washington, and without loss of any time the Mexican Senate, on May 30, validated its requirements by ratifying the instrument.

“That the two countries should have been willing to arbitrate their differences before five members of the permanent court of arbitration is, I venture to say, conclusive evidence of belief in the impartiality and ability which would be displayed by those whom the signatories of The Hague Convention had designated from among their most eminent jurists and publicists.

“Inaugurating our proceedings under such circumstances, I may assure you, Mr. President and honorable arbitrators, that the determinations of this court, whatever they may be, will command and receive the respect and unquestioned acquiescence of the United States. After your award shall have been rendered, no matter wnat our previous opinions may have been, we will remember the language of a distinguished English jurist who, on the occasion of a famous international arbitration, said:

I hope that the English people will obey the decisions of the judges with the submission and respect due to the decision of a tribunal whose decree they have freely agreed to accept.

“I do not wish to take my seat without expressing the hope of my country that the precedent of appealing to the judges forming the Permanent Court of Arbitration may be followed with increasing frequency as years go by. While the unique honor must remain to the United States of America and the United Mexican States of being the first voluntarily to submit their differences to the jurisdiction of this court, it will be a source of the greatest satisfaction to my Government if the action thus taken should pave the way to similar settlements in the future, whereby in later cases misunderstandings which might otherwise lead to conflicts between states may receive peaceable adjustment, believing as it does that the most happy rivalry that can possibly exist between nations is to be found in a common effort to excel in whatever tends to bring about the contentment and well-being of mankind. The good of humanity is an end to which the United States [Page 506]steadily and consciously struggles, and toward the same end, we believe, assuredly the formation and the extension of the employment of the Permanent Court of Arbitration must largely contribute.

“In again thanking you, Mr. President, for your own expressions of courtesy and good will, let me once more express the hope that our labors may conduce towards the coming of the time when, to paraphrase the language of England’s great poet:

The war drum throbs no longer,
And the battle flags are furled

In the parliament of man,
The federation of the world.

M. le Président. M. l’agent des Etats-Unis Mexicains a la parole.

Son Excellence M. Emilio Pardo, agent des Etats-Unis Mexicains, prononce le discours suivant:

“Messieurs! Au nom du Gouvernement des Etats-Unis Mexicains, je profite de cette occasion solennelle pour exprimer ses remercîments très sincères et très cordiaux aux éminents publicistes qui forment la Cour Permanente d’Arbitrage, appelée à prononcer la dernière parole sur le différend suscité entre les représentants de l’Eglise Catholique de la Haute Californie et mon Pays, au sujet de la réclamation, désormais célèbre, du Fond Pie de Californie.

“Jeme fais un devoir de rernereier également le Gouvernement des Pays-Bas, pour l’hospitalité si tranche et si généreuse qu’il a bien voulu nous accorder, et qui rentre si bien dans les traditions du peuple Néerlandais, et je me pérmets de presenter la reconnaissance de mon Pays et de son Gouvernement aux très distingués membres du Corps Diplomatique qui ont bien voulu honorer de leur présence, cette imposante cérémonie.

“La grande institution créée par le Congrès de la Paix, est appelée pour la première fois à rend re ses importants services à la cause du Droit et de la Justice, et je m’empresse de faire profession publique de la foi du Gouvernement Mexicain en la sagesse, en la science et en l’impartialité de la Cour qui vient d’être installée.

“Quoiqu’il en soit pour nous du jugement de la Cour, nous pouvons dire avec le plus légitime orgueil que, comme le prouve la correspondance diplomatique échangée entre les deux Gouvernements en cause, pour préparer la signature du Protocole du 22 mai dernier, le Mexique fut le premier à proposer l’application de l’arbitrage international établi par la Convention du 29 juillet 1899.

“L’événement, dont nous sommes les témoins, marquera, j’en suis sûr, une date inoubliable dans les fastes de l’histoire de l’arbitrage international, si modeste que soit le litige qui a motivé la convocation de la Cour, et nous devons espérer tons, les puissants et les faibles, tons égaux devant la Justice, que l’exemple donné par les deux Républiques de l’Amerique du Nord ne restera pas infécond et isolé.”

(L’audience est suspendue à 11 h. 45 du matin.)

deuxième séance.

15 septembre 1902 (après-midi).

L’audience est reprise à 2¼ heures de l’après-midi, sous la présidence deM. Matzen.

M. le Président. Je donne la parole d’abord à M. le Secrétaireé-Général, [Page 507]pour faire lecture des communications qui ont été adressées au Tribunal d’Arbitrage, par l’intermédiaire du Secrétaire-Général de la Cour Permanente.

M. le Secrétaire-Général. Voici la liste des communications reçues:

1°.
Déposition notariée du 24 juillet 1902 de l’archevêque de San Francisco;
2°.
Catholic Register de 1902;
3°.
Annexe de la Réponse du Mexique “Pleito de Rada;”
4°.
Deux copies certifiées conformes du compte-rendu en la cause de Alemany et al. vs. le Mexique, dans lesquelles setrouvent reliées: des copies certifiées conformes de la correspondance diplomatique entre les Hautes Parties, concernant l’affaire soumise au Tribunal, ainsi que le Memorandum de l’Amérique se rapportant à cette affaire et l’original du compte-rendu susmentionné;
5°.
Deux enveloppes scellées, concernant les nominations de l’archevêque de San Francisco: Mgr. Riordan, et de l’évêque de Monterey; Mgr. George Montgomery;
6°.
Lettre de l’agent du Mexique du 3 septembre 1902 avec une traduction anglaise de la réponse de Mexique du 6 août 1902 aux demandes Américaines.
7°.
Lettre de l’agent d’Amérique du 3 septembre 1902 concernant la communication à l’agent du Mexique du volume contenant le compterendu en la cause Alemany et al. v. le Mexique;
8°.
Lettre de l’agent d’Amérique du 4 septembre 1902 au sujet du discours à prononcer par M. le sénateur Stewart.
Communication addressée à M. Pardo à ce sujet.
9°.
Des extraits assermentés de publications se rapportant à l’affaire soumise au Tribunal;
10°.
Sept extraits assermentés de l’ouvrage intitulé “Noticias de la Provincia de Californias,” etc.
11°.
Deux copies certifiées conformes du traité de Washington;
12°.
Une copie certifiée conforme du document intitulé “Testimonio de la escritura de venta,” etc.;
13°.
Une lettre de l’agent d’Amérique du 12 septembre 1902 faisant part d’une communication faite par lui le 12 septembre à S. E. M. Pardo, pour lui faire savoir que les documents déposés au Secrétariat-Général par Mr. Ralston peuvent étre consultés par l’agent du Mexique;
14°.
Une lettre de l’agent d’Amérique du 13 septembre 1902 notifiant qu’il sera assisté en qualité de conseils par M. le juge William Lawrence Penfield, M. le sénateur W. M. Stewart, M. le Chevalier Descamps, sénateur du Royaume de Belgique, Secrétaire-Général de l’Institut du droit international d’Arbitrage; Mr. Charles J. Kappler, Mr. W. T. S. Doyle, Mr. Garret W. McEnerney.
15°.
Une lettre du Ministre d’Amérique du 12 septembre 1902 pour transmettre au Tribunal deux enveloppes scellées contenant la déposition de Mr. John T. Doyle et les pièces justificatives dans l’affaire soumise au Tribunal;
16°.
Une lettre du S. G. du 13 septembre 1902 au Tribunal portant à sa connaissance que Son Excellence Mr. Emilio Pardo qui sera assisté de Son Excellence Mr. Beernaert en qualité de conseil, a été nommé agent des Etats-Unis mexicains;
17°.
Une lettre du chargé d’affaires d’Amérique communiquant que M. Jackson H. Ralston, qui sera assiste de M. William Lawrence [Page 508]Penfield en qualité de conseil, a été nommé agent des Etats-Unis d’Amérique.

M. le Président. Maintenant je demande aux Parties si elles ont encore des actes ou des documents à nous communiquer.

M. Delacroix. En l’absence de M. Pardo, qui va arriver, j’ai Phonneur de vous faire savoir que le Mexique a en effet encore des documents qui lui sont annoncés, qui devront être déposés et quin’ont pas été communiqués plutôt à raison de certaines circonstances qui seront exposées et qui expliquent le retard. Cependant, s’il convient au Tribunal d’entendre des plaidoiries, sous réserve de notre droit de déposer certains documents dès qu’ils nous parviendront, nous serions à la disposition du Tribunal.

Mr. Ralston. If I might speak in English upon that subject, we have made certain demands for discovery upon Mexico. Some of these demands have been met. The protocol, you will recall, permits one party to demand certain information from the other. The demands which have been made relate simply to the correctness of certain documents which are contained in the volume which you have before you, and I am correct in saying that while the Mexican Government has made certain corrections in the Spanish referred to, yet the English translation of those in question contained in the document is in substance correct.

We have also demanded from Mexico the production of a document known as the Escritura de Venta, in other words, the deed (in English) of a hacienda, or place, ranch, known as Cienega del Pastor. That discovery has been made by Mexico, and a copy of the deed has been placed in the hands of the secretary General, and in a moment I will furnish this tribunal with a translateafcopy.

Mexico has made certain demands upon us. We nave telegraphed to Washington and to San Francisca for suitable responses to those demands. We expect them to arrive almost daily. They will certainly, I think, reach here before Monday, but there will be nothing contained in them, I am satisfied, which will in any way interfere with the case proceeding immediately. I should add that we are ready to submit certain documents, arguments, and other papers which I think fully state our case, aside perhaps from the discoveries of which I have spoken. We are ready now to submit them in writing, and I will place them before the court and in a word explain exactly for what purpose they are placed before the court, with your permission.

Our memorial, which is in substance the claim of the United States, has already been filed with the secretary-general as a part of the volume before you. At the end of the volume is a copy in English of our memorial. The answer of Mexico, I understand, has not yet been filed.

M. Pardo. Elle doit être avec le dossier envoyé par le département d’Etat des Etats-Unis.

Mr. Ralston. Certainement non.

M. Pardo. D’après le protocole, cette réponse devait être déposée par le Département des Etats-Unis.

Mr. Ralston. J’ai des copies en espagnol, mais cela ne vaut rien je pense devant ce Tribunal.

However, I have been able to place before the gentlemen of this tribunal an English copy of the Mexican answer—a translation. I have presumed that Mexico would file here its own pleadings, therefore [Page 509]I have not filed a Spanish copy. I want to say, and I should explain to Mr. Pardo, that I am about to place before the tribunal again a copy of the English translation. Some little inaccuracies were noted in the translation submitted to Mr. Pardo. Some little corrections have been made in the English turns of expression. The translation, in other words, is, I think, a little better. We have adhered with as great fidelity as has been possible to the Spanish original; but I have thought it proper to call Mr. Pardo’s attention at this moment that, word for word, the translation which will now be submitted is not identical with the translation already submitted, while I do not believe there is any departure of any possible moment. I think it is simply perfected, not changed.

With this explanation, I desire to submit to this honorable court, first, what I have taken the liberty of terming, in accordance with the law to which I am accustomed, a replication; that is to say, en Francais, “réplique,” to the answer—to the response—of Mexico to our memorial. I have discussed the points which have been raised by Mexico in her answer, and I have undertaken to answer them. To this réplique I have added, as exhibits, certain documents. The first is the English translation of the answer of Mexico, with footnotes in the way of corrections, which it seemed to me proper to make. There were various manifest errors which crept into the answer of Mexico, mistranslations perhaps in some cases of the documents referred to, references to wrong pages, and to matters of that sort which the court will find corrected in the footnotes of the document about to be submitted. I have added a further exhibit, which is entitled “Résumé of litigation relating to the de Rada property,” referred to in the answer of Mexico. The secretary-general has placed before the court the volume entitled “Pleito de Rada,” which is entirely in Spanish, and I might say, very ancient Spanish; but we have undertaken at considerable toil to extract the substance of that volume, I think correctly, and we have added a statement in Exhibit B of the effect of that volume, and copied entirely the decree upon which Mexico relies, and which is found at its end, giving an English translation parallel with the Spanish.

We have also added as Exhibit C a statement taken from a work of authorhyy, tending to show the amount of the Indian populations of Lower California. You gentlemen, and honorable members of the court, will understand the difference between Lower and Upper California, as it will be termed in the discussions; Lower California being a peninsula, as will be pointed out, and Upper California, or as we say simply California, now being a part of the United States. We have concluded the exhibits with a copy in Spanish, with parallel English translation, of the document of which I have already spoken, the Escritura de Venta, the deed of a property formerly belonging to the Pious Fund of Mexico, and of which we asked discovery from Mexico. That discovery was given, and, as I take the liberty of saying, the document so discovered, has been translated and is added as an exhibit to our replication. In addition, I desire to present at this time for the convenience of this court, and I trust for the convenience of Mr. Pardo as well, and ourselves, a translation of the law of Mexico relating to the Pious Fund, the matter out of which the present dispute arises. In some of the briefs and memoirs which will be submitted, this honorable court will find references to various laws, but the translation [Page 510]was made many years ago, and in one or two instances, in our judgment, not made with sufficient care, and we should much prefer, and I believe on examination Mr. Padro, the agent of Mexico, will agree with me, that the translation of these laws, which is now submitted, is much more carefully and accurately done.

I shall also desire to submit a statement and brief of the counsel and agent of the United States. I may say that this is designed to embrace practically all of the points, which we believe will call for the consideration of this court, and while its length may alarm you, I trust that it may, nevertheless, prove somewhat useful.

At the same time, in submitting all of our papers to this honorable court and to the inspection of our friends upon the other side, I desire to add a brief, which has been prepared by Senator Stewart and Mr. Kappler on behalf of the United States, and also a similar brief prepared by Messrs. Doyle and Doyle, the senior of these gentlemen having been connected with the litigation, of which this is an outgrowth, from its very commencement. (I shall at this moment take the liberty of asking the secretary to hand to the court several of these documents.)

M. le Prséident. Est-ce que l’un des délégués a encore des documents à produire?

M. Emilo Pardo. Avec la permission de la Cour. Quand nous sommes venus ici pour la première fois, je me suis addressé officiellement à Mr. Ralston pour lui proposer de demander au Tribunal ou à son Secrétariat-Général la permission de nous renseigner sur le dossier qui avait été envoyé par le Département des Etats-Unis. J’ai renouvelé cette démarche auprès de Mr. Ralston; mais peutêtre à cause de ce que les correspondances respectives étaient écrites en espagnol il ne m’a pas bien compris, et au lieu de répondre à ma démande de faire une démarche collective pour permettre aux Parties et aux conseils de voir les dossiers, il m’a répondu en m’envoyant le volume imprimé que Messieurs les Arbitres connaissent. Ce n’est qu’au dernier moment, c’est à dire hier, que nous avons pu nous expliquer devant l’honorable Président du Tribunal, et que Mr. Ralston a manifesté son bon vouloir de nous permettre de nous renseigner sur le dossier. Il est bien vrai qu’on nous a dit que dans le volume imprimé qui se trouve entre les mains de Messieurs les Arbitres, et dont Mr. Ralston a bien voulu nous envoyer des exemplaires, se trouve tout le dossier, c’est-à-dire toutes les pièces qui ont été présentées à la commission mixteqai a siégé à Washington, les allégations des Parties, la correspondance diplomatique échangée entre les deux Gouvernements, et même une annexe qui contenait les divers traités qui sont pertinents dans l espèce; mais je viens d’apprendre de la bouche de M. Ralston que la réponse du Gouvernement Mexicain ne se trouve pas dans le dossier. Cependant dans le protocole du 22 mai dernier se trouve le passage suivant que je veux tâcher de traduire en français:

  • Art. 5. Tout témoignage oral qui ne se trouve pas dans les archives du premier arbitrage pourra être déposé par l’une ou l’autre des Parties, pourvu que le témoignage soit rédigé par écrit, qu’il soit signé par le temoin et légalisé par le fonctionnaire devant lequel il aura été rendu. Il devra être dirigé vers le Tribunal étant scellé. Il sera confié au Département des affaires étrangères du Mexique pour qu’il soit remis au Tribunal qui est établi quand eelui-ci sera réuni.
  • Art. 7. Dans le délai de 40 jours après la deposition du mémorial, l’agent ou l’avocat du Mexique fera part à son Département de la même façon avec les monies références, de ses allégations et arguments pur réfuter à la réclamation.

[Page 511]

Ainsi done, e’est le Département d’Etat des Etats-Unis qui est chargé de présenter à la Cour le dossier des réclamations; ce dossier comprend l’ancienne instruction faite devant la commission mixte et. la réponse du Gouvernement mexicain, parcequ’elle a été communiquée au Département des Etats-Unis.

Je viens done d’apprende de la bouche de Mr. Ralston que cette réponse ne se trouve pas dans le dossier. Alors nous avons de quoi nous étonner, et e’est pourquoi j’ai insisté tant sur la prétention de connaître le dossier, d’être en mesure de nous renseigner sur les pièces qu’il renferme.

Si cette réponse ne se trouve pas dans le dossier, le Tribunal sera forcé de nous admettre à la présenter; cette réponse est d’ailleurs déjà traduite en français; le Tribunal en effet ne peut pas juger l’espèce actuelle sans connaître la réponse du Gouvernement Mexicain.

Nous avons entendu que, d’après diverses clauses du protocole, même après cette espèce d’instruction préalable, l’agent des Etats-Unis du Mexique avait le droit de présenter de nouveaux arguments, de nouvelles défenses ou exceptions à la demande, et tous les documents ou pièces qu’il jugerait convenable. Ainsi done le Gouvernement mexicain par mon conduit s’est réservé expressément le droit de présenter ses pièces, et il les présentera sans délai, c’est-à-dire à la prochaine audience.

Il y avait un point sur lequel la difficulté était un peu plus grander e’est au sujet du livre imprimé dont MM. les agents américains connaissent le texte et qui fut annexé à la réponse du Gouvernement mexicain. Cependant on dit que cette réponse ne se trouve pas dans le dossier, alors que cependant le livre s’y trouve à ce qu’il paraît! Nous étions forcés de faire les démarches nécessaires pour obtenir l’authenticité de ces documents, notamment de la partie qui contient la décision rendue dans le procès entame entre les héritiers de la principale donatrice des biens qui constituent le Fonds pieux de la Californie. Sur ce sujet, heureusement, M. Ralston et moi nous sommes d’accord, et cette question peut être considérée comme écartée. Nous pouvons admettre—je prie Monsieur l’agent des Etats-Unis de prendre note de mes paroles—nous pouvons admettre comme prouvé et établi le jugement prononce dans le procès dont je viens de parler et qui se trouve a la fin du volume imprimé presénté avec la réponse du Gouvernement Mexicain.

Quant aux exhibitions qui viennent d’être faites par l’agent des Etats-Unis, le Tribunal ne peut pas s’étonner si nous nous réservons le droit de voir tout cela, le droit de voir quelles sont ces pièces, quelle est leur opportunité dans ce procès, et le droit aussi de présenter des preuves à l’encontre des documents et des pieces produits par le Gouvernement de Etats-Unis.

Enfin je crois que notre conseil, M. Delacroix, a déjà dit au Tribunal que nous étions tout à fait disposés à ce que la plaidoirie d’un des avocats américains soit entendue tout de suite, sous réserve, d’après les termes exprès du protocole, de produire les documents qui font partie intégrale de la réponse du Gouvernement mexicain, parce que autrement le procès serait jugé sans preuves, et le Gouvernment mexicain se trouverait dans une situation tout-à-fait pénible parcequ’il serait jugé vraiment sans être entendu.

Je renouvelle done la réserve de droits qui vient d’être faite par M. Delacroix, et je prie le Tribunal de vouloir bien prendre note de [Page 512]ces réserves, sous la réserve de présenter des documents à la prochaine audience.

M. Delacroix. Ou plutôt à une des prochaines audiences: il y a des documents qui ne sont pas encore reçus.

M. Pardo. C’est toujours compris dans les termes du protocole.

M. le Président. Alors après-demain nous aurons la réponse du Gouvernement Mexicain?

M. Pardo. Je denlande la permission au Tribunal de mous permettre de connaître le dossier pour savoir si la réponse du Gouvernement mexicain s’y trouve ou non; parce que c’est une découverte tout-à-fait extraordinaire que nous venons de faire, à savoir quele Gouvernement américain chargé de présenter un dossier n’a pas voulu consigner la réponse du Gouvernement mexicain!

M. Beernaert. Je n’ai demandé la parole que pour appuyer ce que vient de dire M. Pardo. Nous sommes dans une situation assez extraordinaire; il a été entendu et stipulé que le dossier commun serait déposé à Washington; il semble que rien n’etait plus naturel que de nous mettre à même de vérifier ce dossier; or c’est en vain que M. Pardo d’un côté et M. Delacroix envoyé par moi a La Haye pour cela, ont demande a prendre connaissance de ce dossier.

Il est done indispensable que le dossier soit mis à notre disposition et puisse être vérifié. C’est une besogne à laquelle nous pourrons nous mettre dès demain, mais il est indispensable qu’elle soit faite. C’est une réserve à ajouter à celles qui viennent d’être exprimées.

Mr. Ralston. I wish to confirm what has been said by the agent of the Mexican Government upon the question of the authenticity of the Pleito de Rada, the printed document presented by Mexico. We cheerfully admit that it is an authentic copy of the proceedings of which it purports to be a copy. There is no question between us. I think there are perhaps some misunderstandings of no great moment, if I have carefully followed the address of the agent, and which may be speedily explained. The provisions erf the protocol say, on page 50, section 3:

All pleadings, testimony, proofs, arguments of counsel, and findings or awards of commissioners or umpire, filed before or arrived at by the mixed commission above referred to, are to be placed in evidence before the court hereinbefore provided for, together with all correspondence between the two countries relating to the subjectmatter involved in this arbitration, originals or copies thereof duly certified by the Department of State of the high contracting parties being presented to said new tribunal.

Reference to that paragraph will show, I think, to the court that it has no regard whatever to the proceedings before the present tribunal, but refers entirely to everything which happened be’fore the tribunal of some thirty years ago. All of the proceedings before that tribunal, absolutely everything, is to be found in the printed volume at the disposal of this honorable court, and which has been filed here now some two weeks, and there have also been deposited with this court two copies of that same record duly certified, as provided by this article. More than that the United States was not obliged to do in that respect. We have filed at the same time our original memorial, and according to the practice with which we have any familiarity, it is the duty of the defendant to file his own answer to the complaint which is made by the complainant (le demandeur). However, if the agent of Mexico so desires, and if I catch his point correctly, there is no possible objection on the part of the United States to file with the secretary-general [Page 513]of this court a copy of the Mexican answer in Spanish. We certainly want to have no delay, because on our part we have misapprehended our duty, although to our mind the view taken by the agent of Mexico is extraordinary. There has been some correspondence between the agent of Mexico and myself relative to what is termed in Spanish the “expediente,” a word with which we are not familiar in English, and these technical words always present some difficulty of translation. We understood the “expediente” to relate to all the papers in the old case. They are filed here and are before this court in the printed volume.

Sir Edward Fry. I would like to put a question. Do you propose to file a replication; that is to say, a reply to the Mexican answer? It appears to me that if you refer to the compromis, that provides for two pleadings. By the language of Section VI, the United States, through their agent or counsel, shall prepare and furnish to the Department of State aforesaid a memorial in print of the origin and amount of their claim, and Section VII provides for the delivery by Mexico of its memorial or statement of the case, but it makes no provision for a replication by the United States to the pleadings of Mexico. It seems to me if we allow that we must allow a reply by Mexico, and we would go on ad infinitum.

Mr. Ralston. That perhaps is correct. There is no express provision in the protocol.

Sir Edward Fry. There is not.

Mr. Ralston. It is quite possible, but perhaps I have in mind the usual practice in our cases at law.

Sir Edward Fry. This is the code [referring to the protocol].

Mr. Ralston. I submit to that.

M. Asser. Monsieur le Président; je voudrais m’associer a l’observation de mon honorable collègue, et je me permettrais d’ajouter ceci: M. l’agent et les conseils des Etats-Unis du Mexique ont entendu ce qui vient d’être dit; d’après le compromis il n’y a que deux mémoires, un mémoire du demandeur et un mémoire du défendeur; maintenant, nous trouvons dans les documents qui viennent de nous être produits un deuxième mémoire du demandeur. La question est de savoir si le défendeur permet que ce deuxième mémoire reste au dossier, ce que j’espère on permettra, mais si dans ce cas on ne demandera pas aussi d’avoir l’autorisation de répondre par un mémoire.

M. Beernaert. Cela est évident. Nous ne faisons pas objection à ce qu’on produise une seconde fois les documents de l’adversaire, mais à la condition d’y pouvoir répondre.

M. Ralston. C’est chose entendue.

With the permission of Mexico, if I correctly understand, we may present this replication. I have your permission?

M. Pardo. Nous sommes d’accord d’avoir l’occasion de connaître ce mémoire.

M. Beernaert. Nous y répondrons d’une manière complète lorsque nous aurons été à même de prendre connaissance du dossier, que nous n’avons pas encore vu.

M. le Président. Est-ce que l’agent des Etats-Unis Mexicains admet de faire le Statement des Etats-Unis d’Amérique?

M. Beernaert. En effet, mais sous la condition expresse, à laquelle adhère le représentant des Etats-Unis, que de même qu’il a eu le droit de faire une réplique nous avons le droit de faire une réponse.

[Page 514]

Sir Edward Fry. Ecrite?

M. Beernaert. Bien entendu.

M. le Président. Nous sommes d’accord que c’est admis sous réserve d’y répondre par écrit.

Mr. Ralston. May it please your honors, if it is understood, and I suppose it will be, that the filing of this replication, so called by us, does not involve any unusual delay to the case, I will cheerfully agree to the reservation made by the agent of Mexico. Otherwise it seems to me to be simply this: That we would change the title of “replication” to that of “argument,” and submit an additional argument at this moment; so I think that we may assume that the agent of Mexico will have as much time to reply to this as to anything else, no more, no less. We have wished to place our case fully before the court, absolutely to put the court in possession of everything which might be of any assistance to it in reaching a just conclusion, and it is for that reason that we have thought it convenient at this moment to put our additional considerations upon the answer of Mexico in the form of a replication. If the name be objectionable, we will change it to an argument.

M. de Martens. Je crois, si j’ai bien compris, qu’il n’y a pas de malentendu sur le fond de la question. Tout le monde est d’accord que d’après le protocole de Washington il n’y a qu’un mémorial et une réplique écrite; maintenant, si une des parties présente au Tribunal encore une réplique ou un mémoire—* * *

M. Beernaert. C’est fait.

M. de Martens. Sans doute alors l’autre partie a le droit de donner sa réplique; seulement je ne vois aucune nécessité que la réplique soit écrite.

M. Beernaert. Si, elle sera écrite: nous y tenons.

M. de Martens. Je crois que dans ce cas l’autre partie a le droit de faire d’autres réponses devant le Tribunal et de réfuter ce que l’autre partie a dit oralement ou par écrit.

M. Beernaert. Nous répondrons par écrit: il est préférable que la même forme soit toujours observée.

M. Descamps. Il est entendu qu’en ce qui concerne les plaidoiries qui auront lieu ultérieurement, si celui qui a plaidé désire remettre une conclusion écrite de ce qu’il aura dit il pourra le faire?

M. Beernaert. Parfaitement.

M. Descamps. Sous ce rapport je ne comprends pas bien la situation qui nous est faite. Les Etats-Unis ont déposé autant de pièces qu’ils ont pu en déposer; d’autre part il n’y en a pas d’autres.

M. Beernaert. Il y a eu une mission commune.

M. Descamps. Nous avons fourni à nos adversaires un très grand nombre de documents; évidemment cela présente une très grande importance; ils pourront y répondre; seulement il doit être bien entendu qu’en ce qui concerne les plaidoiries qui auront lieu on pourra remettre sous forme de conclusions les éléments essentiels permettant au Tribunal de se rendre un compte absolu et par écrit de l’opinion du défenseur.

M. Beernaert. Nous sommes tout à faint d’accord.

Mr. Ralston. I suppose that the answer to the replication, if we may be permitted so to term it, will come within ample time, within the thirty days, and that the presentation of the replication will not be a cause for delay beyond that time; otherwise I will withdraw the title at any rate.

[Page 515]

M. Pardo. Je dois appeler l’attention du Tribunal sur le point que l’agent des Etats-Unis a eu l’occasion de connaître la reponse du Gouvernement mexicain depuis le 12 du mois dernier, c’est-à-dire qu’il a eu tout le temps nécessaire pour préparer la réplique que l’on vient de nous distribuer. Nous sommes d’accord sur la necessité de faire marcher la procédure pour finir le plus tôt possible, mais je crois qu’il est d’équité, de justice, de nous permettre de disposer au moins du temps nécessaire pour nous renseigner sur ce mémoire. Pour le dire en très peu de mots, l’agent du Gouvernement des Etats-Unis mexicains est tout-à-fait d’accord que tous les documents, toutes les pieces, toutes les argumentations qui seront présentés des deux côtés, soient mis a la disposition du Tribunal, parceque le but que poursuit le Gouvernement mexicain est que cette question soit résolue en pleine connaissance de cause. Tous les documents de nature à éclairer la religion de la Cour doivent done être admis. Le gouvernement Mexicain ne s’y oppose pas du tout, mais il demande, car e’est la justice et l’equite, d’avoir les mêmes droits que ceux qui ont été exercés par l’agent des Etats-Unis.

Mr. Ralston. I wish to add one word with reference to the testimony. There are in the volume submitted to you certain extracts from Spanish works, commencing about page 187 or 189, and running to page 221. The translations into English of these Spanish works were not made before the old tribunal. We have caused them to be prepared for the use of this tribunal, and with your permission, and under such reservations as the agent of Mexico may agree to make with regard to our translations, we shall desire to submit them, but the printing will not be completed before Wednesday morning.

Before presenting Senator Stewart, whom we will ask to make the first speech, with your permission, there is one question which has arisen between the agent of Mexico and myself upon which I should be pleased to have the court pass, as it may determine the course of the arguments somewhat. According to English, I think, and I know to American, practice the complainant (demandeur, so to speak) has the right to open and to close the case; to make the opening argument and the closing argument. The defender may make two or three or more intervening arguments, or if there be a large number of counsel the counsel should arrange it in such manner the closing speech is made on the part of the plaintiff (demandeur). I know that this practice is an absolutely uniform one.

Sir Edward Fry. Not in England.

Mr. Ralston. It is with us. I want to submit the question of the order of debate at this time to the decision of the court.

M. le Président. Est-ce que vous demandez une décision du Tribunal sur cette question?

Mr. Ralston. S’il vous plaît.

M. le Président. Est-ce que l’agent des Etats-Unis mexicains est d’accord?

M. Pardo. La remarque faite par l’agent des Etats-Unis d’Amérique prouve ce que je m’étais permis d’indiquer dans une réunion préalable de la Cour: la nécessité absolue de fixer la procedure a suivre. Le protocole n’a pas pu comprendre tous les details de cette procédure; il faut absolument, pour éviter une discussion à chaque pas, que le Tribunal daigne fixer une bonne fois au moins les éléments d’une procédure régulière, autrement nous serons à chaque instant l’une et l’autre [Page 516]partie aux prises pour savoir combien de fois chacun des avocats peut parler, si les documents peuvent être produits pendant l’audience ou en dehors. Il faut je crois que le Tribunal daigne fixer une bonne fois la procédure qui doit être suivie devant elle, autrement le procès sera embrouillée d’une façon telle que nous ne nous entendrons jamais.

J’adhère done à la proposition de M. l’agent des Etats-Unis, et je demande au Tribunal de fixer une bonne fois la procédure a suivre devant lui.

(MM. les arbitres se concertent à voix basse.)

M. le Président. Le Tribunal en délibérera après la cloture de la séance et prendra une décision sur les questions que les agents ont relevées.

Mr. Ralston. If the court is prepared at this moment, or as soon as the court will be prepared, Senator Stewart is ready to proceed to address the court whenever the court desires.

(Discussion between the members of the court as to order of debate.)

Mr. Ralston. If you will, the Senator will wait until the court shall decide the question before it.

M. le Président. Alors Monsieur le conseil das Etats-Unis de l’Amérique du Nord peut commencer à discuter; nous nous retirerons après.

M. Beernaert. Il est bien entendu, Messieurs, qu’en entendant Mr. Stewart nous n’abandonnons pas les questions préalables, et que c’est sous le bénéfice de nos réserves que nous écouterons Mr. Stewart.

M. le Président. La question n’est pas décidée maintenant, nous la déciderons plus tard. Je donne la parole à Mr. Stewart, avocat des Etats-Unis d’Amérique.

Mr. Stewart. Mr. President and honorable arbitrators: This controversy grows out of donations made by pious persons in the eighteenth century to create a fund for the civilization and conversion of the natives of the Californias, and for the maintenance and support of the Catholic religion in that country. The fund created by such donations was covered into the Mexican treasury by the decree of October 24, 1842, with an undertaking on the part of Mexico to pay interest thereon for the purposes intended by the donors. After the sale of California to the United-States the Mexican Government failed to pay the agreed interest on that part of the principal belonging to the missions of Upper California. The questions as to the amount of the principal and the amount of the interest due thereon, with all collateral questions necessary to be decided for the determination of those questions, were submitted to arbitration by the United States and Mexico by the convention of July 4, 1868. The commissioners of the United States and Mexico failing to agree, Sir Edward Thornton, the British minister at Washington, made the decision as umpire, and found that the principal, which was a permanent investment, amounted to $1,435,033; that the part to be apportioned to Upper California was 1717,516.50; and that the interest then payable amounted to $904,070.79. He therefore rendered judgment for such interest against Mexico and in favor of the bishops of California. Mexico thereupon paid the judgment, but she has paid no interest on the principal since October 24, 1868. The present proceeding is to determine what interest, if any, is now due and payable to the bishops of California.

[Page 517]

I. The United States contend that all questions relating to the principal investment and the annual interest due thereon, and all questions of the rights of the bishops of California thereto, were determined and became res judicata by the decision in the former arbitration.

I will not now discuss the question of res judicata, as that subject will be fully treated in the argument to be made by the agent and counsel of the United States. I will, however, venture the assertion that no tribunal of recognized authority, whether national or international, having jurisdiction of the parties and the subject-matter, has ever held that any question, either of law or fact, which it was necessary to decide to reach the final judgment was not res judicata and binding upon the parties and their privies in all subsequent proceedings involving the questions thus put in issue and decided. This principle is especially important in international courts of arbitration, because if matters decided by them are not finally settled, such courts will naturally fall into disuse.

II. The United States are now confronted with the denial by the representative of Mexico that anything became res judicata by the judgment in the former arbitration, except the duty of Mexico to pay the sum of $904,070.79 awarded, and also with his contention that every matter of law and fact upon which such judgment was founded and which was necessarily decided to reach the final conclusion, is still open to investigation and decision. I confess my surprise at the position taken by the representative of Mexico. But without waiving the question of res judicata, and being desirous of treating respectfully any argument the representative of Mexico may advance, I will make the following statement of the case:

The Californias consisted of the Peninsula of California and the western part of the Spanish dominions in North America (indicating on map). The harbors of San Diego, Monterey, San Francisco, and numerous other harbors and landings were visited and the rivers and streams connected therewith explored a considerable distance inland by Spanish navigators and adventurers. The explorers had penetrated and described the country sufficiently to show that Upper California was a vast region, blessed by nature with a salubrious climate and boundless resources. It was occupied by numerous tribes of Indians, furnishing an almost unlimited field for the work of the Christian missionaries in converting the natives to the Catholic religion.

As early as 1697 donations were made, and thereafter continued to be made from time to time down to 1765, by the Christian people of Spain to the fund now known as the “Pious Fund of the Californias,” to be used for the civilization and conversion of the natives of the Californias. These donations were made for the avowed purpose of civilizing and converting the natives to Christianity and for the maintenance and support of the Catholic missions in the Californias. In 1735 a large donation was made by the Marchioness de las Torres de Rada and the Marquis de Villapuente. The object and desire of the donors were then fully set forth and particularly descrioed. The habendum of their deed, which is denominated the foundation deed, proceeds as follows:

To have and to hold, to said missions founded, and which hereafter may be founded, in the Californias, as well for the maintenance of their religious, and to provide for the ornament and decent support of divine worship, as also to aid the native [Page 518]converts and catechumens with food and clothing, according to the destitution of that country; so that if hereafter, by God’s blessing, there be means of support in the “reductions” and missions now established, as ex. gr. by the cultivation of their lands, thus obviating the necessity of sending from this country provisions, clothing, and other necessaries, the rents and products of said estates shall be applied to new missions to be established hereafter in the unexplored parts of the said Californias, according to the discretion of the father superior of said missions; and the estates aforesaid shall be perpetually inalienable, and shall never be sold, so that, even in case of all California being civilized and converted to our holy Catholic faith, the profits of said estates shall be applied to the necessities of said missions and their support; and in case that the reverend Society of Jesus, voluntarily or by compulsion, should abandon said missions of the Californias or (which God forbid) the natives of that country should rebel and apostatize from our holy faith, or in any other such contingency, then, and in that case, it is left to the discretion of the reverend father provincial of the Society of Jesus in this New Spain for the time being, to apply the profits of said estates, their products and improvements, to other missions in the undiscovered portions of this North America, or to others in any part of the world, according as he may deem most pleasing to Almighty God; and in such ways that the dominion and government of said estates be always and perpetually continued in the reverened Society of Jesus and its prelates, so that no judge, ecclesiastical or secular, shall exercise any control thereon, or intervene in or about the same; and all such rents and profits shall be applied to the purposes and objects herein specified—i. e., the propagation of our holy Catholic faith. And by this deed of gift we, the said grantors, both divest ourselves of, and renounce absolutely all property, dominion, ownership, rights and actions, real and personal, direct and executive, thereover, and all others whatever, which belong to us, or which from any other cause, title, or reason may belong, appertain to us; and we cede, renounce, and transfer the whole thereof to said reverend Society of Jesus, its missions of Californias, its prelates and religious, under whose charge may happen to be the government of said missions and of this province of New Spain, now and at all times hereafter, in order that from the profits of said estates, and the increase of their cattle, large and small, their other gains, natural or otherwise, they may maintain said missions in the manner above proposed, indicated, defined, and laid down forever. (Transcript, p. 106.)

Sir Edward Fry. May I interpose a question?

Mr. Stewart. Certainly.

Sir Edward Fry. If you take this deed, you will find that it provides on page 106 for the expulsion and abandonment of the missions by the Jesuits, and then it proceeds in these terms:

And in case that the reverend Society of Jesus, voluntarily or by compulsion, should abandon said missions of the Californias, or (which God forbid) the natives of that country should rebel and opostatize from our holy faith, or in any other such contingency, then, and in that case, it is left to the discretion of the reverend father provincial of the Society of Jesus in this New Spain, for the time being, to apply the profits of said estates, their products and improvements, to other missions in the undiscovered portions of this North America.

Now, that event has happened. The Jesuits have been compelled to abandon the missions. Therefore the contingency has happened. Then it is left with the Society of Jesus to do as they think fit. How can that deed help you?

Mr. Stewart. It helps us very much if the whole document is considered. The fund was to be used in the Californias unless the reverend father provincial of the Society of Jesus of this New Spain ordered it to be used elsewhere. He never did so order. On the contrary, the fund was used in the Californias from the time of the-expulsion of the Jesuits until the cession of Upper California to the United States. It makes no difference what reason the reverend father provincial of the Society of Jesus had for not acting. It is sufficient for the purposes of this case that he did not act. The reverend father and every member of the Jesuit order were expelled from the Spanish dominions by the King of Spain and suppressed by the bull of the Pope. The King then assumed the management of the fund as trustee and proceeded to carry out the designs of the donors. He first divided the Californias [Page 519]into two provinces, Upper and Lower California. He assigned the Dominicans to Lower California and the Franciscans to Upper California to continue the work of converting, civilizing, and educating the Indians at the missions and the creation of new missions. He appointed a royal commission to manage the estates of the Pious Fund, collect the proceeds, and deposit the same in the treasury, and assigned the duty to certain officers of the treasury department to transmit the same to the missions in the Californias.

III. The above quotation, and, in fact, the entire deed, shows a very clear conception on the part of the donors of the magnitude of the undertaking to convert the natives of the Californias. It devotes the entire fund to the civilization and conversion of the natives, and the maintenance and support of the Catholic religion in that country, and provides particularly that after the civilization and conversion of the natives the proceeds of the fund are to “be applied to the necessities of said missions and their support” in the Californias. The language is as follows:

And the estates aforesaid shall be perpetually inalienable and shall never be sold, so that, even in ease of all California being civilized and converted to our holy Catholic faith, the profits of said estates shall be applied to the necessities of said missions and their support. (Transcript, p. 106.)

The donors state in what events the proceeds of the Pious Fund may be diverted to the support of missions other than those in the Californias. This exception is so important in fixing the Californias as the place which the donors intended the proceeds of their gifts to be employed that I quote the language:

And in case that the reverend Society of Jesus, voluntarily or by compulsion, should abandon said missions of the Californias, or (which God forbid) the natives of that country should rebel and apostatise from our holy faith, or in any other such contingency, then, and in that case, it is left to the discretion of the reverend father provincial of the Society of Jesus in this New Spain for the time being to apply the profits of said estates, their products, and improvements to other missions in the undiscovered portions of this North America, or to others in any part of the world, according as he may deem most pleasing to Almighty God, and in such ways that the dominion and government of said estates be always and perpetually continued in the reverend Society of Jesus and its prelates, so that no judge, ecclesiastical or secular, shall exercise any control thereon, or intervene in or about the same; and all such rents and profits shall be applied to the purposes and objects herein specified, i. e., the propagation of our holy Catholic faith. (Transcript, p. 106.)

The natives did not rebel or apostacise, and there is no pretext for claiming that exception as an excuse for the use of the Pious Fund elsewhere than in the Californias. The reverend Society of Jesus did not voluntarily abandon the missions, but was expelled by the King of Spain. The reverend father provincial of the Society of Jesus in this New Spain did not order the fund to be used elsewhere, because he was also expelled and deprived of his functions, so that he could not control the fund or order its use elsewhere. The royal decree of February 27, 1767, declares:

Therefore, by virtue of the supreme authority vested in me by the Almighty for the protection of my subjects and maintaining the respect due to my crown, I have decided to order the banishment from out of all my dominions in Spain, the Indias, Philippine and other islands of the regulars, both priests and laymen, of the Order of Jesus; also such as may have taken up vows and the novices who may desire to follow the calling; and that all the temporalities belonging to the order within my dominions be taken possession of; and for the uniform execution of the same I have given full powers and instructions to Count Arrauda, president of my council, to immediately proceed to take the necessary measures, as set forth by my other royal decree of the 27th of February. (Transcript, p. 410.)

[Page 520]

The Pope, after the expulsion of the Jesuits by the King, suppressed the order of Jesuits, which deprived them of the control of the Pious Fund and of the missions for which it was established. In his bull of July 21, 4773, he said:

But as regards the religious missions, we desire to extend and include all that has been decreed concerning the suppression of the society (of Jesuits), reserving (at the same time) the privilege of providing the means by which not only the conversion of the infidels, but also the peaceful settlement of dissensions may be obtained and secured with greater facility and stability. (Transcript, p. 335, par. 32.)

The Jesuits having thus been excluded and deprived of all participation in or control of the properties of the Pious Fund or the distribution of the proceeds thereof, the King of Spain assumed to himself the trusteeship of the Pious Fund and the management of the properties belonging thereto. The Franciscan Fathers were substituted in the place of the Jesuits as to Upper California, to continue the work inaugurated by them in establishing missions and in educating and converting the natives. The King appointed agents to manage the properties of the Pious Fund and to collect the proceeds thereof, and authorized the officers of the Spanish treasury to transmit the same to the fathers in the Californias.

IV. On acquiring her independence Mexico, as we shall hereafter see, followed the policy of Spain and provided by law for the management of the properties of the Pious Fund and the collection and transmission of the proceeds thereof to the fathers conducting the missions in the Californias. In 1836 she made an important change. On the 19th of September of that year she passed a law petitioning the Pope to create the Californias into a diocese and to appoint a bishop therein. The Pope appointed as such bishop the Right Rev. Francisco Garcia Diego, who was consecrated on the 27th of April, 1840. (Transcript, p. 182.) The residence of the bishop was located at Monterey, in Upper California, about five hundred miles northerly from the north line of Lower California, and in what was then about the center of the population of the missions in the Californias. The bishop of Monterey remained in office during his life.

The bishop of a diocese has charge of the Roman Catholic Church and all missions, charities, and Christian establishments in his diocese. He also has charge of all the temporalities and the receipt and disbursement of all moneys to be used or distributed within his jurisdiction. The creation of the Californias into a diocese and the appointment of the Right Reverend Francisco Garcia Diego bishop thereof conferred upon him and his successors in office the control of the temporalities of the church, and the right to collect, receive, and disburse all moneys belonging to the church, the missions, and all Catholic establishments in such diocese. When upon the petition of Mexico a bishop was appointed for the Californias, it became the duty of such bishop to receive and distribute the proceeds of the Pious Fund in his diocese.

V. I will now consider the action of Mexico in her dealings with the Pious Fund as successor of Spain.

On the 25th of May, 1832, Mexico passed a law providing for the renting and management of the properties of the Pious Fund, and created a board for that purpose. The sixth paragraph provides that:

The proceeds of such properties (of the Pious Fund) shall be deposited in the treasury of the Federal city, to be solely and exclusively destined for the missions of the Californias. (Laws of Mexico, p. 2.)

[Page 521]

And by the tenth paragraph, under subdivision nine, the board was required:

To name to the Government the amounts which may be remitted to each one of the Californias, in accordance with their respective expenses and available funds. (Laws of Mexico, p. 3.)

Thus it will be seen that Mexico commenced the discharge of her duties as successor of Spain by adopting a system entirely similar to the one established when the Jesuits were expelled.

A change of policy was adopted, as we have already shown, by Mexico on the 19th of September, 1836, when she applied to the Pope for the appointment of a bishop for the Californias. In the sixth article of that application it is provided that:

The property belonging to the Pious Fund of the Californias shall be placed at the disposal of the new bishop and his successors, to be by them managed and employed for its objects or other similar ones, always respecting the wishes of the founders. (Laws of Mexico, p. 5.)

This article recognized the authority of the bishop of the Californias to manage the properties belonging to the Pious Fund, which were situated outside of his bishopric, and to use the proceeds thereof for the benefit of the missions in the Californias, which he accordingly did, and appointed Don Pedro Ramirez his general agent in Mexico, who received the rents, paid the expenses, and attended generally to the business of the Pious Fund.

On the 8th of February, 1842, President Santa Anna repealed Article VI of the law of 1836, above quoted, and Mexico again assumed the management of the properties of the Pious Fund (Laws of Mexico, p. 5); but she did not attempt to deprive the bishop of the right to manage the temporalities of the church and receive whatever money and property which might be for the use of the missions and the Catholic Church in his diocese.

VI. The officers of the Mexican Government then demanded a statement of the properties belonging to the Pious Fund from Ramirez, the general agent of the bishop of the Californias, which, after protest, he furnished. The properties embraced in the inventory, as computed in the memorial of the United States, amount to $1,853,361.75. (Memorial, p. 11). Thereupon the Mexican Government, by the decree of October 24, 1842 (having the force of a legislative enactment), ordered the real estate and other property of the Pious Fund sold, and the entire fund reported by Ramirez covered into the treasury, which was accordingly done. In the same decree Mexico undertook to pay interest on the capital so turned into the treasury at the rate of six per cent per annum, and pledged the revenue from tobacco for the payment of such interest. The following is the language of the decree:

The revenue from tobacco is specially pledged for the payment of the income corresponding to the capital of the said fund of the Californias, and the department in charge thereof will pay over the sums necessary to carry on the objects to which said fund is destined without any deduction for costs, whether of administration or otherwise. (Laws of Mexico, p. 9.)

The revenue thus pledged was abundantly sufficient to pay the interest. Sr. Juan Rodriquez de San Miguel delivered a speech in the Mexican Congress on 28th of March, 1844, in which he said that this revenue (from tobacco) was merely nominal, so far as the missions were concerned, but that the officers of the Government received from tobacco with the greatest punctuality the sum of $35,000 monthly. [Page 522](See Mexican Pamphlets about the Pious Fund of the Californias, Nos. 24, 25, p. 12.).

The failure of Mexico to pay to the bishop of the Californias the interest due him from the revenue on tobacco was not because she did not know to whom the same ought to be paid, for we find in the Mexican archives an entry, ordering $8,000 from such revenue transmitted to the bishop of the Californias. The following is the entry:

Minister of the treasury sec. 2° 297. His excell. the President has been pleased to order me to inform your excell., as I now do, to give an order on the maritime custom-house of Guymas, which shall be payable to Sr. Juan Rodrigues de San Miguel, as the representative of the rt. rev. bishop of the Californias, for the sum of $8,000, on account of the income belonging to the Pious Fund of California, the properties of which were incorporated into the national treasury; and let this be done with the greatest punctuality although it may be paid in partial payments. And let this order be obeyed with all exactness, notwithstanding my communication of yesterday to your excells. under No. 277 that the former order of Jan. 30 should be without effect. Contracted in order that the quantity mentioned in it might be paid by the aforesaid custom-house; and without injury to the assignment of the $500, monthly made upon the product of tobacco from the state of Zacatecas. (Transcript, p. 149.)

Mexico also recognized the right of the bishop to receive the property of the Pious Fund by decreeing on April 3, 1845, that—

The credits and other properties of the Pious Fund of the Californias which are now unsold shall be immediately returned to the reverend bishop of that see and his successors, for the purposes mentioned in article 6 of the law of September 29, 1836, without prejudice to what Congress may resolve in regard to the property that has been alienated. (Laws of Mexico, pp. 7, 8.)

This decree would not have been made unless the bishop, as such, was entitled to receive the property referred to. The fact that no property was actually transferred does not affect the designation of the bishop as the proper official to receive any property that might be transferred.

I call attention to the treatment by Mexico of a fund contributed by the pious people of Spain for the establishment of missions in the Philippines, which is a precedent for the claim of the bishops of California.

In 1844, eight years after the independence of Mexico was acknowledged by Spain, a treaty was entered into for the settlement of a claim of the missions in the Philippines against Mexico. The property out of which the claim of the missions arose consisted of two haciendas, the Chica and the Grande, both situated in Mexico. By the latter convention Mexico agreed to pay, and did pay, $115,000 as principal and $30,000 in addition thereto as interest or rent. The money was paid to Father Moran, the representative of the Philippine missions. (Transcript, p. 25.)

The fact that Mexico recognized the bishop of the Californias as the proper officer to receive the proceeds of the Pious Fund proves that she did not agree to pay interest, intending at the same time to avoid such payment for want of a person to receive the same.

The United States appreciate the honor of Mexico too highly to suppose for a moment that she would promise to pay interest on the Pious Fund, knowing her promise was nugatory for the want of a payee, and we hope that no one, will hereafter accuse Mexico of such insincerity. But suppose that Mexico intended to confiscate the fund which she covered into her treasury, and to deny that anyone had a right to receive the interest which she agreed to pay; she has now made ample amends for such unfair conduct. She has agreed that [Page 523]this honorable tribunal, if it finds that the former judgment is not res judicata, shall determine “whether the claim be just,” and “render such judgment or award as may be meet and proper under all the circumstances of the case.” (Protocol, p. 3).

M. Pardo. Nous présenterons à la Cour avant l’ouverture de la prochaine audience la réponse du Gouvernement mexicain en espagnol, avec sa traduction en français et avec les documents cités à l’appui.

M. le Président. M. l’agent des Etats-Unis a été assez bon de dire tantôt qu’il mettrait à la disposition du Tribunal le Code Civil de Californie; je le prie, s’il le veut bien, de nous le fournir.

Mr. Ralston. Je le denmnderai par le télégraphe.

(L’audience est levée à 3 h. 45 et la suite des débats renvoyée au mercredi 17 Septembre, à 9½ h. du matin.)

troisième séance.

17 septembre 1902 (matin).

L’audience est ouverte à 9 h. 45 sous la présidence de M. Matzen.

M. le Président. Je donne d’abord la parole à notre Secrétaire-Général pour lire quelques décisions que le Tribunal à prises a l’occasion des discussions qui ont eu lieu à la dernière séance.

M. le Secrétaire-Géneral. Voici la première décision, qui a été communiquée aux deux agents par écrit:

Le Tribunal: Attendu que l’agent de la partie défenderesse (Etats-Unis Mexicains) a consenti à ce que la réplique écrite de la partie demanderesse (Etats-Unis d’Amérique) soit jointe au dossier, sous la condition que la partie défenderesse ait le droit d’y répondre par écrit, a décidé que ladite réplique sera acceptée par le Tribunal et que la partie défenderesse aura le droit d’y répondre par écrit, pourvu que cette réponse soit déposée au greffe du Tribunal en manuscrit au plus tard le 25 de ce mois, et qu’au plus tard le même jour une copie en soit remise à la partie demanderesse.

Le Tribunal autorisé M. le Secrétaire-Général à notifier cette décision aux agents des deux parties.

Seconde décision:

Vu la nécessité de fixer l’ordre des plaidoyers et se conformant au réglement de la procédure arbitrale, consigné dans la Convention de la Haye de 1899 (art. 30 et suivants), le Tribunal a décidé ce qui suit:

1°.
Attendu que ce sont les représentants des Etats-Unis d’Amérique qui ont ouvert les débats en leur qualité de partie demanderesse, la parole sera donnée aux représentants des Etats-Unis Mexicains comme partie défenderesse aussitôt que la partie demanderesse aura termine son plaidoyer. Ensuite les deux parties, si elles le désirent, alterneront encore une fois dans le même ordre.
2°.
Les parties ont le droit de faire parler tous leurs conseils tant pour le premier plaidoyer que pour la réponse. Pour la réplique et la duplique chaque partie désignera un seul de ses conseils pour prendre la parole, sauf le droit des autres conseils d’intervenir pour répondre aux objections qui concerneraient spécialement les discours qu’ils ont prononcés.

M. le Président. Monsieur l’agent des Etats-Unis d’Amérique a la parole.

Mr. Ralston. I will ask the permission of this tribunal for an opportunity to examine more carefully the decision of the court just read, and to consider the exact order in which we will offer our counsel. I suppose I may have that opportunity, perhaps, at noon hour— this noon, between the morning and evening sessions.

The President. You will get a copy of the decision.

Mr. Ralston. Thank you. For the present upon that point I would simply say that Senator Stewart having opened the debate will conclude [Page 524]it—with your permission, will conclude his speech for the United States; and, if I understand correctly what has been read, and the disposition, I believe, of the court, it is the desire of this tribunal that in our case—all the points of our case that we consider necessary to be relied upon—should be fully presented, offered to the court, before the Mexican reply; and if I understand correctly, for the purpose of obtaining that end it will be proper for Senator Stewart to be followed by another of our counsel who will complete the opening of our case. That will be, with the permission of the court, Mr. McEnerney, who will follow Senator Stewart, and who, I hope, will be able to finish to-day what he may desire to present to the court, although I want to safeguard what I say by saying that perhaps part of his argument may go over until Monday. But that is not our desire. We desire to present, and hope to be able to present,’ our opening of the case fully at this session.

Now, having said this much, I promised the court at its last session that I would present for its consideration a translation into English of a number of pages in the record, the dossier, of the old case, which are there found in Spanish, French, Italian, and German, and the translation has been completed and printed, and I therefore take pleasure in handing to the secretary-general a number of copies for the court, individual members of the court, and for the files of the court, and also in delivering some copies to the agent of Mexico. Mr. President and honorable arbitrators, you will note, of course, on the face of the paper that it is a translation of extracts which are to be found on pages 187–221 in the large printed volume of the record you have before you.

Furthermore, Mr. President, about three weeks ago, scarcely that much, I received information from the Department that Mexico had made a demand upon the United States for a discovery as to what had become of the proceeds of the award which was made against Mexico more than 26 years ago in the case before you. While we do not admit, and in fact expressly deny, that information of that nature comes within the design of the Protocol of last May, because we do not think that it is in any degree pertinent to the present case, and that when the award was made it became a matter of absolute indifference to Mexico what was done by the Catholic bishops of California in distributing the money—while I say that is our position, nevertheless, subject to the reservations which I now make as to the materiality and the relevancy and the pertinency of the demand made by Mexico, I stand ready to answer the demand, as I at once telegraphed for the specific information desired by Mexico. This I indicated would be here shortly. I so indicated at the last session of the court, and in fact it was delivered to me Monday evening.

Mr. Asser. It was a written document?

Mr. Ralston. Yes, it was a written document, the contents of which I will very briefly explain.

Sir Edward Fry. It should be handed to the other side, so that they can use it.

Mr. Ralston. As the court will. We were required to produce it.

Sir Edward Fry. You produce it and leave it. They can use it if they see fit.

Mr. Ralston. Very well; and for the convenience of the court, if the court desires hereafter to examine it, we have prepared printed [Page 525]copies of the same, coupled with the affidavit of the archbishop of San Francisco to the truth of the facts.

Sir Edward Fry. This is not part of your case. It is part of the Mexican case. Under these circumstances you produce it and leave it to them to use it.

Mr. Ralston. So be it.

M. le Président. Est-ce que M. l’agent des Etats-Unis Mexicains a quelques observations à faire à présent?

M. Pardo. L’agent Mexicain a entendu la décision de la Cour; il s’y soumet naturellement. Il se réserve de répondre aux communications qui viennent d’être faites par l’agent des Etats-Unis une fois qu’il aura pris connaissance des documents qui viennent d’etre mis à sa disposition.

M. le Président. Le Tribunal décide maintenant d’entendre le represéntant de l’Amérique du Nord. M. le sénateur Stewart a la parole.

Mr. Stewart. Mr. President and honorable arbitrators: I will again call attention for a few moments to what is called the “foundation deed.” This deed so clearly declares the purposes and designs of the donors, and is so frequently referred to by both sides, that I will be indulged in reading a small portion of it. It was made in 1735, although there were many donations made previous to that time, which we have not in writing. This is taken by both sides as a sample of the donations, and indicating the purposes of the donors. The tribunal will pardon me for rereading the portion of the foundation deed presented to you last Monday. I read from the habendum:

To have and to hold, to said missions founded, and which he in the Californias, as well for the maintenance of their religious, and to provide for the ornament and decent support of divine worship, as also to aid the native converts and catechumens with food and clothing, according to the destitution of that country; so that if hereafter, by God’s blessing, there be means of support in the “reductions” and missions now established, as ex. gr. by the cultivation of their lands, thus obviating the necessity of sending from this country provisions, clothing, and other necessaries, the rents and products of said estates shall be applied to new missions, to be established hereafter in the unexplored parts of the said Californias, according to the discretion of the father superior of said missions; and the estates aforesaid shall be perpetually inalienable, and shall never be sold, so that, even in case of all California being civilized and converted to our holy Catholic faith, the profits of said estates shall be applied to the necessities of said missions and their support; and in case that the reverend Society of Jesus, voluntarily or by compulsion, should abandon said missions of the Californias or (which God forbid) the natives of that country should rebel and apostatize from our holy faith, or in any other such contingency, then, and in that case, it is left to the discretion of the reverend father provincial of the Society of Jesus in this New Spain for the time being to apply the profits of said estates, their products and improvements, to other missions in the undiscovered portions of this North America, or to others in any part of the world, according as he may deem most pleasing to Almighty God, and in such ways that the dominion and government of said estates be always and perpetually continued in the reverend Society of Jesus and its prelates, so that no judge, ecclesiastical or secular, shall exercise any control thereon, or intervene in or about the same, and all such rents and profits shall be applied to the purposes and objects herein specified, i. e., the propagation of our holy Catholic faith. And by this deed of gift we, the said grantors, both divest ourselves of and renounce absolutely all property, dominion, ownership, rights, and actions, real and personal, direct and executive, thereover, and all others whatever which belong to us, or which from other cause, title, or reason may belong, appertain to us, and we cede, renounce, and transfer the whole thereof to said reverend Society of Jesus, its missions of Californias, its prelates and religious, under whose charge may happen to be the government of said missions and of this province of New Spain, now and at all times hereafter, in order that from the profits of said estates and the increase of their cattle, large and small, their other gains, [Page 526]natural or otherwise, they may maintain said missions in the manner above proposed, indicated, defined, and laid down forever. (Transcript, p. 106.)

I am still of the opinion that the exception discussed on Monday emphasized the intention of the donors that the fund should be used in the Californias. That exception reads as follows:

And in case that the reverend Society of Jesus, voluntarily or by compulsion, should abandon said missions of the Californias, or (which God forbid) the natives of that country should rebel and apostatise from our holy faith, or in any other such contingency, then, and in that case, it is left to the discretion of the reverend father provincial of the Society of Jesus in this New Spain for the time being to apply the profits of said estates, their products and improvements, to other missions in the undiscovered portions of this North America, or to others in any part of the world, according as he may deem most pleasing to Almighty God; and in such ways that the dominion and government of said estates be always and perpetually continued in the reverend Society of Jesus and its prelates, so that no judge, ecclesiastical or secular, shall exercise any control thereon, or intervene in or about the same; and all such rents and profits shall be applied to the purposes and objects herein specified, i. e., the propagation of our holy Catholic faith. (Transcript, p. 106.)

It is not claimed that the Jesuits voluntarily abandoned the missions, nor that the natives rebelled or apostatized, nor that any other contingency arose whereby the proceeds of the Pious Fund might be used elsewhere than in the Californias. The expulsion of the Jesuits undoubtedly meant a condition of things which would make it impossible for them to continue their work of converting the natives in the Californias. It could not have had reference to the expulsion or removal of the Jesuits by the King and the substitution in their place of the Franciscan order, nor to the suppression of the Jesuits by the Pope. It was as well known then as now that the King had power to expatriate the Jesuits and that the Pope had power to suppress them, but in that case other orders of the church would take their place. The bishops, for example, in most all religious organizations have charge of the temporalities of the church, but they have no property rights in such temporalities, and when they are removed another church official is substituted. The temporalities of the church are then under the charge of the new official. It is very certain that the Pious Fund was not diverted from the Californias or used elsewhere by virtue of the exception under consideration.

The conveyance was made to the Missions. The language is:

To have and to hold, to said missions founded, and which hereafter may be founded, in the Californias, as well for the maintenance of their religious, and to provide for the ornament and decent support of divine worship as also to aid the native converts and catechumens with food and clothing according to the destitution of that country.

The object of the exception under consideration manifestly was to maintain the existence of the fund, and if it could not be used in the Californias, the reverend father provincial of the Society of Jesus might order its use elsewhere; but the time never arrived when it was not used in the Californias, and the time never arrived when the reverend father provincial of the Society of Jesus ordered its use elsewhere. It must be remembered also that the Jesuit Order itself was under the control of the Catholic Church and could be removed from the Californias and another order substituted, as was done in this case.

Mr. Ralston. At this point will you allow an interruption?

Mr. Stewart. Certainly.

Mr. Ralston. If the tribunal please: After consultation with other [Page 527]counsel in the case, we will not insist upon the objection I had thought it my duty to call to the attention of the tribunal with reference to this exhibit, but we will offer it on our own account.

I may state in just a word the substance of its contents, as it has an important bearing upon the argument made by Senator Stewart, and upon the point to which he is now addressing himself. I have stated the purport of the demand by Mexico. I have here, to begin, the affidavit of the secretary of the Roman Catholic archbishop of San Francisco to the effect that he has in his possession and is the custodian of “all the books, records, files, papers, and documents of the Roman Catholic archbishop of San Francisco.” This is on page 3. And that the “annexed document is a full, true, correct, and verbatim copy of the pontificial decree directing the distribution of the monies of the Pious Fund, which said pontificial decree is among the files, papers, and documents of the said Roman Catholic archbishop of San Francisco.”

Then we have on page 4 the Latin copy of the pontifical decree, and on page 5 an English translation of the same, wherein it appears that by the decree “there having been deducted from the whole sum the expenses of the suit and the sum of $26,000 to be paid to the family of Aguirre (since it is plainly evident that such a sum is due to the aforesaid family), and payment having been made of $24,000 to the right reverend the archbishop of Oregon for the missions of the ecclesiastical province of that name and the vicariate apostolic of Idaho, and $40,000 to the fathers of the Order of St. Francis and the fathers of the Society of Jesus, to be equally divided between them; of the remaining sum there shall be taken seven equal parts, of which one shall remain perpetually assigned to the missions of the Territory of Utah and the remaining six shall be divided equally between the three above-named bishoprics of the ecclesiastical province of San Francisco.” The rest is not material upon that point. To this is added upon page first the affidavit of the archbishop himself, the material part for your consideration being particularly the last paragraph:

I am acquainted with all of the facts relative to the distribution of the proceeds of the judgment obtained in the case of Amat v. Mexico, referred to in said pontifical document, and am personally cognizant of the fact that distribution of all the said proceeds was made in strict conformity with the terms of said instrument; and myself supervised the distribution of seven out of fourteen of the installments thereof, having received the necessary receipts from all of the parties in interest.

I may very briefly explain to the tribunal that there were claims presented before the former commission on behalf of citizens of the United States against Mexico, and by citizens of Mexico against the United States, and when the proceedings of the court were terminated a balance was struck and it was found that a considerable excess became payable to citizens of the United States, and Mexico paid that excess in different instalments, the last payment being made in 1890.

Just one word before I close. It will be noted that the division was made among a number of States which were considered as forming part of what was anciently known as Upper California, on behalf of which we claim: First of all, all California shares in the division; next, Oregon, forming part of ancient California; next Idaho, which runs up to the British possessions on the north; and Utah, which is in itself a very large State.

Nevada then belonged to the California dioceses, and Washington, Idaho, and Montana were attached to the Oregon diocese.

[Page 528]

So that we have this whole extensive country, many thousands, in fact several hundreds of thousands, of square miles in extent, with an extremely large population and many thousand Indians, perhaps fifty to one hundred thousand, who, shared in the benefits of the former award as against the narrow and barren strip of Lower California, which was adjudged by Sir Edward Thornton as entitled to one-half of the entire interest under the whole award.

Mr. Stewart. That evidence confirms to some extent my opinion of the clause “by compulsion.” It had reference to some circumstance other than the regular change which the church had the power to make in the society or church officialc which should take charge of the missions. It will be seen that there was $40,000 of this money given to the Jesuits. The Jesuit Order was not perpetually suppressed. It was revived in 1814. It is doing service in many parts of the world, and particularly in Upper California. The reception of a part of the Pious Fund recovered in the former arbitration after a century of silent acquiescence, removes any pretense that the order ever had even a desire that the Pious Fund should be used elsewhere than in the Californias. It appears then that the reverend father provincial not only did not order the fund to be used elsewhere, but the entire society remained silent on that subject for many years after the order was revived, and finally received and used a portion of the fund in the Californias. It will be seen by the following paragraph of the bull of the Pope suppressing the Order of Jesus that he intended to promote, and not to destroy, the work of establishing missions and converting the heathen in the Californias:

But as regards the religious missions, we desire to extend and include all that has been decreed concerning the suppression of the Society (of Jesuits), reserving (at the same time) the privilege of providing the means by which not only the conversion of the infidels but also the peaceful settlement of dissentions may be obtained and secured with greater facility and stability. (Transcript, p. 335, par. 32.)

Sir Edward Fry. Where is that bull to be found? The only note I have is page 461.

Mr. Stewart. It is in Spanish, and this is a translation, paragraph 32, page 335.

Sir Edward Fry. Where is it to be found; in what book?

Mr. Ralston. Transcript page 323, in Spanish.

Mr. Stewart. And we have it translated.

Sir Edward Fry. That is all right. I only wanted to get it.

Mr. Stewart. It is also translated in the answer of the representative of Mexico.

At all events, this part of the bull of the Pope shows that the intention was to secure peaceable administration of this fund and to make larger provisions if necessary.

VII. I now call attention to the foundation deed for the purpose of showing that the representative of Mexico was misled in his answer to the memorial of the United States by the omission from his extract, quoted from that document, of most essential parts. His extract is certainly most misleading.

The parts omitted and represented by stars are essential in determining the intention of the donors. In order that the materiality of the parts omitted may be judged, I quote in parallel columns a true extract from the foundation deed and the extract used by the representative [Page 529]of Mexico. The parts omitted by the representative of Mexico are printed in italics in the true copy:

true copy. misquoted copy.

This donation, which we make good, pure, perfect, and irrevocable as a firm contract inter vivos from this day, henceforth and forever.

To have and to hold, to said missions founded, and which hereafter may be founded, in the Californias, as well for the maintenance of their religious, and to provide for the ornament and decent support of divine worship, as also to aid the native converts and catechumens with food and clothing, according to the destitution of that country, so that if hereafter, by God’s blessing, there be means of support in the “reductions” and missions now established, as ex. gr. by the cultivation of their lands, thus obviating the necessity of sending from this country provisions, clothing, and other necessaries, the rents and products of said estates shall be applied to new missions to be established hereafter in the unexplored parts of the said Californias, according to the discretion of the father superior of said missions; and the estates aforesaid shall be perpetually inalienable, and shall never be sold, so that, even in case of all California being civilized and converted to our holy Catholic faith, the profits of said estates shall be applied to the necessities of said missions and their support; and in case that the reverend Society of Jesus, voluntarily or by compulsion, should abandon said missions of the Californias, or (which God forbid) the natives of that country should rebel and apostatize from our holy faith, or in any other such contingency, then, and in that case, it is left to the discretion of the reverend [Page 530]father provincial of the Society of Jesus in this New Spain for the time being to apply the profits of said estates, their products, and improvements to other missions in the undiscovered portions of this North America, or to others in any part of the world, according as he may deem most pleasing to Almighty God; and in such ways that the dominion and government of said estates be always and perpetually continued in the reverend Society of Jesus and its prelates, so that no judge, ecclesiastical or secular, shall exercise any control thereon, or intervene in or about the same; and all such rents and profits shall be applied to the purposes and objects herein specified, i. e., the propagation of our holy Catholic faith. And by this deed of gift we, the said grantors, both divest ourselves of and renounce absolutely all property, dominion, ownership, rights, and actions, real and personal, direct and executive, thereover, and all others whatever which belong to us, or which from any other cause, title, or reason may belong, appertain to us; and we cede, renounce, and transfer the whole thereof to said reverend Society of Jesus, its missions of Californias, it sprelates and religious, under whose charge may happen to be the government of said missions and of this province of New Spain, now and at all times hereafter, in order that from the profits of said estates and the increase of their cattle, large and small, their other gains, natural or otherwise, they may maintain said missions in the manner above proposed, indicated, defined, and laid down forever.

And we, the said grantors, both desire that at no time shall any judge, ecclesiastical or secular, undertake to investigate or intrude himself to ascertain whether the conditions of this donation be fulfilled; for our will is that in this matter there shall be no pretence [Page 531]for such intervention, and that whether the said reverend society fulfils or does not fulfil the trusts in favor of the missions herein contained it shall render an account to God our Lord alone.

(Transcript, p. 106.)

This donation, we make to said missions founded, and which may hereafter be founded, in the Californias, as well as for the maintenance of their religious, and to provide for the support and conduct of divine worship, as also to aid the native converts and catechumens by the same (probably “from the misery”) of that country; so that if thereafter, by God’s blessing, there be means of support in the “reductions” and missions now established, — as ex. gr. by the cultivation of their lands, thus obviating the necessity of sending from this country clothing and other necessaries—the rents and products of said estates shall be applied of (surely “to”) new missions

* * * * *

and in case the Society of Jesus, voluntarily or by compulsion, should abandon said missions of the Californias or, which God forbid, the natives of that country should rebel and apostatize from our holy faith, or in any other such contingency, then, and in that case, it is left to the discretion of the reverend father provincial of the Society of Jesus in this New Spain for the time being to apply the profits of said estates, their products and improvements, to other missions in the undiscovered portions of this North America, or to others in any part of the world, as he may deem most pleasing to Almighty God; and in such a way that the government of said estates be always and perpetually continued in the reverend Society of Jesus and its prelates, so that no judge, ecclesiastical or secular, shall exercise any control therein.

* * * * *

we, desire that at no time shall this donation be set aside, nor shall any judge, ecclesiastical or secular, undertake to investigate or intervene to ascertain whether the conditions of this donation be fulfilled; for our will is that in this matter there shall be no pretence for such intervention, and that whether the said reverend Society fulfils or does not fulfil the trusts in favor of the missions herein contained, it shall render account to God our Lord, alone.

(Answer to Memorial in English, p. 4.)

In comparing the foregoing extracts the materiality of the parts omitted by the representative of Mexico will be readily observed.

VIII. The contention of the representative of Mexico that all the natives in Upper California have been converted, and that therefore there is no necessity for the use of the interest on the Pious Fund in that locality, rests on two mistakes:

1.
There are many thousands of natives in Upper California who are still unconverted.
2.
It was not the intention of the donors, as we have already seen, that the use of the proceeds of the Pious Fund should terminate upon the conversion of all the natives in the Californias. On the contrary, they intended that the use of such proceeds should be continued indefinitely for the benefit of Christian missions in that locality. For the purpose of calling particular attention to the provision in the foundation deed which makes the use of the Pious Fund in the Californias perpetual, we again quote one of the parts omitted in the extract from the foundation deed used by the representative of Mexico, which is as follows:

And the estates aforesaid shall be perpetually inalienable, and shall never be sold, so that even in case of all California being civilized and converted to our holy Catholic faith the profits of said estates shall be applied to the necessities of said missions and their support. (Transcript, p. 106.)

The foregoing provision shows that the donors anticipated the argument of the representative of Mexico that there would be no further use for the Pious Fund in the Californias after all the natives were converted and gave a complete answer thereto. Such conversion is not yet accomplished. The necessities for the continuance of the work of conversion and the maintenance of the Catholic faith in the missions will remain indefinitely, and the donors made special provision therefor.

IX. The contention of the representative of Mexico that the United States, by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, proclaimed July 4, 1848, which, among other things, ceded a large territory, including Upper California, to the United States for the sum of $15,000,000, discharged Mexico from all demands on account of the Pious Fund can not be maintained. Article XIV of the treaty, quoted by the representative of Mexico as establishing a full defense to this proceeding, reads as follows:

The United States do furthermore discharge the Mexican Republic from all claims of citizens of the United States, not heretofore decided against the Mexican Government, which may have arisen previously to the date of the signature of this treaty: which discharge shall be final and perpetual, whether the said claims be rejected or be allowed by the board of commissioners provided for in the following article, and whatever shall be the total amount of those allowed. (Appendix to Record, p. 16.)

There are several conclusive reasons why the foregoing article does not discharge Mexico from the obligation she assumed to pay interest [Page 532]on that part of the Pious Fund dedicated to Upper California. The United States did not undertake to exonerate Mexico from her obligations to persons who were then Mexican citizens and who might thereafter become citizens of the United States on compliance with the provisions of the treaty. The undertaking of the United States, was confined to the then citizens of the United States. Neither the Roman Catholic Church nor its dignitaries or members of its fold, were citizens of the United States at the time ratifications of the treaty were exchanged. Whether they would ever become citizens of the United States depended upon an election or option to be exercised by them after such exchange of ratifications.

The Pious Fund by the action of Mexico, was a permanent investment upon which she agreed to pay interest annually. No claim for interest has been made by the United States in behalf of the bishops of California for any instalment of interest which became due and was payable previous to July 4, 1848, but interest arising after that date was submitted to arbitration under the convention of July 4, 1868, and decided in favor of the United States. The claim for interest in this proceeding has arisen subsequent to October 24, 1868. There is nothing in the treaty which can give the slightest pretext for the assertion that the United States either agreed to extinguish the obligations of Mexico to Mexican citizens or to pay the debts of Mexico to citizens of the United States which might become due after the execution of the treaty.

X. The recital of the representative of Mexico of various statutes of his Government confiscating church property, barring debts by limitation, and fixing times within which demands against the Mexican Government must be presented, has nothing to do with this proceeding. Whatever efforts Mexico may have made to close her own tribunals against the claim of the bishops of California by her local legislation do not concern us. It is sufficient for the purpose of this proceeding that both the United States and Mexico have agreed that the alleged obligation of Mexico to pay interest to the bishops shall be tried before this honorable tribunal.

Fortunately, Mexico does not now repudiate the various recitals in her statutes that her intention was to preserve, maintain, and apply the Pious Fund to the conversion and civilization of the natives of the Californias, and for the maintenance and support of the Catholic religion in that country, but on the contrary agrees that this honorable tribunal shall, in the event the matters are not res judicata, determine whether the beneficiaries of the Pious Fund have a just claim against Mexico, and “render such judgment as maybe meet and proper under all the circumstances of the case.”

This honorable conduct on the part of Mexico ought not to be disparaged by her own representative, or any one else, by an intimation that she is willing to oppose the rendering of a judgment which shall be just and equitable. Even if Mexico had confiscated the Pious Fund before California became a part of the United States, why has she not the right to waive any advantage such confiscation or any other arbitrary act might afford her, and submit the justice of the claim as it originally existed to arbitration? If the claim is just, no act of Mexico, however arbitrary or wrong, stands in the way of a judgment directing the payment thereof, because by her agreement to arbitrate she has [Page 533]swept away all defenses to the claim of the beneficiaries of the Pious Fund, except the plea that it is unjust.

Can there be any question of the justice of the claim? If there was no Pious Fund of the Californias, why did Mexico, by the law of May 25, 1832, provide for leasing the same? If the proceeds of such property when leased did not belong to the missions of the Californias, why did Mexico declare, in the sixth section of that law, that “the proceeds of such property shall be deposited in the treasury of the Federal City to be solely and exclusively destined for the missions of the Californias?” If the proceeds were not to be remitted to the Californias, why did Mexico, in section 10, subdivision 9, of that law, require the administrators of the fund “to name to the Government the amounts which maybe remitted to each one of the Californias, in accordance with their respective expenses and available funds?”

Again, why did Mexico on the 21th of October, 1842, in the preamble of the decree, directing the sale of the Pious Fund, say that the decree of February 8, 1842, “was intended to fulfill most faithfully the beneficent and national objects designed by the foundress without the slightest diminution, of the properties destined to end?” Why did Mexico pledge, by the third section of that act, the revenues arising from tobacco for the payment of interest on the Pious Fund, “without any deduction for costs, whether of administration or otherwise?” Why did Mexico, by the law of April 3, 1845, order all unsold property of the Pious Fund restored to the bishop if it was not the property of the missions and the Catholic Church of the Californias?

In short, why did every law or decree enacted or promulgated by Mexico recognize the existence of the Pious Fund and also that it belonged to the missions of the Californias and the Catholic Church in that region? Why was neither the existence of the Pious Fund nor the objects and purposes of its founders not questioned until after the beneficiaries of the fund become citizens of the United States? If the Pious Fund was not the property of the missions and the Catholic Church of the Californias, why did not Mexico claim it as her own? Why did she continually declare, in effect, that it was not her property, by asserting that it belonged to the missions and the Catholic Church of the Californias?

XI. Very different questions are submitted to this tribunal from those which the arbitration under the convention of 1868 was called upon to decide. Under that convention the arbitrators were not authorized to disregard any defense which would be allowed under the ordinary rules of procedure in courts of justice. Confiscation or any other arbitrary act, which would have been a bar in Mexico to the recovery of the Pious Fund while California was a part of that country, might have been urged as a defense under the general language of Article II of the protocol of 1868.

Article II of that protocol contains the following:

The commissioners shall then conjointly proceed to the investigation and decision of the claims which shall be presented to their notice, in such order and in such manner as they may conjointly think proper, but upon such evidence or information only as shall be furnished by or on behalf of their respective governments. They shall be bound to receive and peruse all written documents or statements which may be presented to them by or on behalf of their respective governments in support of or in answer to any claim, and to hear, if required, one person on each side in behalf of each government on each and every separate claim. (Appendix to Record, p. 31.)

[Page 534]

Under such a submission any defense might have been interposed that would be good in ordinary proceedings at law. There was no revising of contracts, no reforming of instruments authorized.

But the issue submitted to this tribunal, in case the matters are not res judicata, is different. It submits the justice of the claim without regard to technical defenses. The protocol reads:

1. If said claim, as a consequence of the former decision, is within the governing principle of res judicata.

That is the first, question this tribunal is to consider.

If not, whether the same be just.

And to render such judgment or award as may be meet and proper under all the circumstances of the case. (Protocol, p. 3.)

This is the broadest possible pleading. No court can have more liberal rules to redress wrongs of whatever nature than are prescribed in the protocol in this case. This tribunal is directed in so many words “to render such judgment or award as may be meet and proper under all the circumstances of the case.” The question submitted is un trammeled by any rules of pleading or practice, and this tribunal is directed to the one issue: Is it just?

I am not familiar with the pleadings and rules of practice in any country where the English language does not prevail, but whatever rules may exist anywhere which would prevent this tribunal from deciding this case according to the principles of justice must be disregarded.

The courts of equity in England and America redress many wrongs which can not be adjudicated in courts of law. I will read, for an illustration, a passage or two from Bouvier’s Law Dictionary, Pawle’s Revision, Vol. I, page 684:

Third, where the courts of equity administer equitable relief for the infraction of legal rights, in cases in which the courts of law, recognizing the right, give a remedy according to their principles, modes, and forms, but the remedy is deemed by equity inadequate to the requirements of the case. This is sometimes called the concurrent jurisdiction. This class embraces fraud, mistake, accident, administration, legacies, contribution, and cases where justice and conscience require the cancellation, or reformation of instruments, or the rescission, or the specific performance of contracts.

The courts of law relieve against fraud, mistake, and accident, where a remedy can be had according to their modes and forms; but there are many cases in which the legal remedy is inadequate for the purposes of justice.

The modes of investigation and the peculiar remedies of the courts of equity are often of the greatest importance in this class of cases.

Sixth. Where, from a relation of trust and confidence, or from consanguinity, the parties do not stand on equal ground in their dealings with each other: As, the relations of parent and child, guardian and ward, attorney and client, principal and agent, executor or administrator, and legatees or distributees, trustee and cestui que trust.

If a court of equity could have full jurisdiction to investigate all matters culminating in the act of October 24, 1842, whereby the real property of the Pious Fund was sold and the entire fund covered into the Mexican treasury, a much larger judgment might be rendered against Mexico than the United States ever demanded.

This tribunal is not restrained from “rendering such judgment or award as may be meet and proper under all the circumstances of the case” by any matter not affecting the justice of the original claim. All honor is due to President Diaz for the liberal conditions of this arbitration. He has fully reciprocated the example of the United States in returning to Mexico the money awarded by the former arbitration to Weil and La Abra, which I will hereafter mention. His [Page 535]agreement that fall justice shall be done to the missions and the Catholic Church of California, waiving all excuses and objections not affecting the justice of the claim, is a full and cordial response to the action of the United States in protecting Mexico from dishonest demands.

XII. The complaint of the representative of Mexico, under various headings, that the United States are demanding of Mexico extravagant and inequitable claims, is unreasonable. The United States demand nothing from Mexico which the officers of the United States do not believe, after careful investigation, to be absolutely just. The good faith of the United States is illustrated by their treatment of the Weil and La Abra claims. Those claims were submitted to and decided by the arbitration under the convention of July 4, 1868, and the aggregate of the judgments in the two cases rendered against Mexico amounted to $1,130,506.55. Upon the suggestion by Mexico to the United States of a discovery of false evidence and perjury in obtaining such judgments, the United States, although Mexico had paid the money into their treasury, refused to pay the same to the claimants. Congress thereupon passed a law giving the courts of the United States jurisdiction to hear and determine both of those cases, and after a full and fair hearing such courts held that the claims were fraudulent; whereupon all the money deposited in the treasury for the payment of the Weil and La Abra claims was refunded to Mexico in gold coin. But the United States have continued to insist upon the solemn obligation of Mexico to pay to the bishops of California the interest on the Pious Fund dedicated for use in the Californias. The character and standing of the various Secretaries of State of the United States who have called the attention of Mexico to and reminded her of her obligation to make such payment, ought to be accepted as some proof of the good faith of that Government.

The following is a list of the officers of the United States who have conducted the negotiation with Mexico; which has terminated in the present proceeding:

Hon. William F. Wharton, Acting Secretary of State, August 3, 1891. (Transcript, Diplomatic Correspondence, p. 23.)

Hon. James G. Blaine, February 19, 1892. (Same, p. 24.)

Hon. John W. Foster, September 15, 1892. (Same, p. 24.)

Hon. Walter Q. Gresham, June 8, 1893. (Same, p. 24.)

Hon. John Sherman, October 30, 1897. (Same, p. 122.)

Hon. W. R. Day, Acting Secretary, July 17, 1897. (Same, p. 22.)

Hon. John Hay, December 4, 1899. (Same, p. 46.)

These men have world-wide reputations. They have figured in the great affairs which the United States have had with the balance of the world for many years.

XIII. I will now briefly consider the complaints of extravagant demands and bad faith made by Mexico against the United States.

The claim of the United States that the interest due to the bishops of California should be paid in the gold coin of Mexico and not in depreciated currency is made one cause of complaint. Mexico can hardly afford to insist upon paying the bishops of California in silver since she has recognized her duty to pay her other foreign obligations in gold. The interest on her bonded debt, which is dealt in by for eigners, is paid in gold. Her recognition of the money current in commercial nations has strengthened her credit and been of great [Page 536]benefit to her both at home and abroad. The payment to the bishops in silver would be grossly inequitable.

At the time Mexico sold the estates belonging to the Pious Fund and covered the entire property belonging to that fund into her treasury, and undertook to pay interest thereon, her silver coin was at a premium over the gold coin of any other country. In the second section of the act of October 24, 1842, we read:

The minister of the treasury will proceed to sell the real estate and other property belonging to the Pious Fund of the Californias for the capital represented by their annual product at six per cent per annum. (Laws of Mexico, p. 7.)

In the unsettled and revolutionary condition of Mexico the vast haciendas belonging to the Pious Fund could not possibly have produced a net income corresponding to their actual value. Mexico had just passed through a struggle for independence, and was in a revolutionary condition. It is certain that no hacienda in that country was producing at the time a net revenue equal to six per cent on the value of the property. It is even doubtful if two per cent was then realized upon any hacienda in the Republic. The property sold must have been worth at least three times what was received and covered into the treasury. The former members of the tobacco monopoly, to wit, Messrs. Don Francis de Paula Rubio and brother, Don Manuel Fernandez, Don Joaquin Maria Errazu, Don Felippe Neri de Barrio, Don Manuel Escandon, Don Benitto de Magua, and Muriel Brothers, made an offer of purchase within 24 hours from the passage of the law. These gentlemen knew the value of the property, and were ready to purchase as soon as, and perhaps before, the law was passed. Their prompt action indicates that they realized that the sale of the haciendas at the price fixed was an opportunity to make money.

For example, Mexico sold the Hacienda del Pastor capitalized at six per cent on $17,000 income per annum. The purchasers immediately thereafter rented this hacienda for more than $24,000 per annum, which would have made a difference in price of more than $100,000. (See Deed, Exhibit D to Replication on behalf of the United States.)

Since Mexico by that sale must have sacrificed a very large part of the property of the Pious Fund, it would be extremely inequitable to allow her to pay such an obligation in depreciated money. If Mexico keeps in circulation depreciated currency, it should not affect the claim of the bishops. She coins both gold and silver, and her gold coin corresponds in value to the money she covered into her treasury belonging to the Pious Fund, but her silver coin is at a discount, when compared with gold, of nearly 60 per cent.

While Mexico may require her citizens to receive any kind of money which by her law is current, it is grossly inequitable for her, in her capacity as trustee, to pay in a depreciated currency an obligation contracted by her when her money was gold or its equivalent. Notwithstanding Mexico, as we have already seen, forced the sale of the properties of the Pious Fund without the consent of the beneficiaries, she has failed to perform her undertaking as trustee in the payment of interest. The former award reduced the annual instalments of interest due the bishops to $43,080.99, which for 33 years amounts to $1,420,682.27, which sum must be accepted if the matter is res judicata.

Sir Edward Fry. The amount is $1,420,682.67?

Mr. Stewart. Yes. In that case simple interest at six per cent on each of such instalments from the time it became due, without including [Page 537]the principal, amounts to $2,858,652, which, according to the principles of equity, Mexico ought to pay in gold. It is not “meet and proper under all the circumstances of the case” to exonerate Mexico from the payment of interest and at the same time permit her to pay in depreciated currency. Article X of the protocol, submitting the kind of currency in which the judgment is to be paid, must be considered in connection with the power conferred upon this honorable tribunal to do justice between the parties.

XIV. There is another consideration which the representative of Mexico has entirely overlooked, and that is the liberality shown to Mexico in the judgment rendered by Sir Edward Thornton, the umpire, in allowing Upper California only one-half of the interest due on the Pious Fund belonging to the two Californias.

The King of Spain ordered his council, immediately upon the expulsion of the Jesuits, to make a division of the Californias in order that he might place the Franciscans in one part and the Dominicans in theother. You will see that here [indicating on the map] is the dividing line. The eastern boundary of the Californias must have been at that time somewhat indefinite. California was separated from Mexico by the Gulf of California, and then came the Colorado River. Bishop Alemany, in his testimony which is printed in the transcript, bounds this country by the Colorado, the upper branch of the Colorado River being called the Green River, terminating up here somewhere [indicating]. All this belongs to the watershed of the Pacific; consequently when the Pious Fund was distributed by the bishops parts were given to Utah, Idaho, Oregon, Nevada, and California. The King assumed the trusteeship of the fund and designated the Franciscans to take charge of the missions and use a part of the fund in Upper California and the Dominicans to do likewise in Lower California. The officers of all churches to a greater or less extent, whether they be priests, preachers, or bishops, have charge of the temporalities of the church and ofiiciate wherever directed by the governing power of the church. When the Jesuits were removed and suppressed the Franciscans were substituted by the authority of the King with the approval of the church to do the work of the missions, while the King himself acted as trustee for the property, the proceeds of which were transmitted to the missions.

Mr. de Martens. Can you fix the boundaries of the Californias as they were at the end of the 18th century? We can not quite fix the boundaries of California at this time from the geographical point of view.

Mr. Stewart. The State of California is bounded thus [indicating it on the map]. That is the State of California as it now is. I was there before California became a State with General Vallejo and other residents (Mexicans). They claimed then that it would follow up the Colorado River. They wanted more country taken in, but that was the division that was made by the United States. The eastern boundary at the time these donations were made in 1735 probably had not been traced. They followed up the Colorado River on the east and the Pacific coast on the west, which was all Spanish country, clear over to the Mississippi River. The western part of Spain’s vast dominion was called the Californias. There was no other name for it that we know of. The rivers and harbors along the coast had been explored, and upon that exploration the title of Spain rested. [Page 538]It might not have been exactly known at that time how far the Californias extended east, but it was the name of the western coast. Subsequently this has been treated by the church according to the boundary suggested by Bishop Alemany. He was undoubtedly correct, as he did not go east of the watershed flowing into the Pacific ocean. It was the great western coast, a vast region.

It is true that the work was commenced by the Jesuits in Lower California, because that locality was more easily reached from Mexico than the great body of the country contemplated by the donors. Comparatively little was accomplished in Lower California on account of the barren and desolate character of the country, which afforded sustenance for only a very few natives, and could not be made the home of any considerable population. Father Rubio, who gave evidence before the mixed commission in 1868, declared that he was sixty-eight years of age at that time; that he had resided at the mission of San Jose for thirty years, and at the mission of Santa Barbara nine years; that he had been most of that time a vicar general in the Catholic Church, and had been engaged in instructing and converting the natives. He testified that the number of missions in Upper California was twenty-one and in Lower California thirteen, giving the date of the establishment of each; that in Upper California in 1832, when he first went there to reside, there were 17,364 converted natives living at the several missions; that in Lower California there were scarcely any Indians in the missions; that in some of the missions there were none; that more than seven-tenths of the whole population of the Californias, subject to the missions, belonged to Upper California. (Transcript, p. 148.) The reason for the diminution of the population of Lower California was the want of water and fertile soil.

In 1857 Mexico appointed a commissioner, by the name of Ulises Urbano Lassépas, to examine into and report upon the resources and population of Lower California. The examination was very thorough and the report exhaustive. The country was found to be practically a rocky, barren waste, almost destitute of water, and the population to be very small and continually growing less. The report fully verifies the testimony of Vicar General Rubio. (See De La Colonization de la Baja California by Ulises Urbono Lassépas-Primer Memorial: 1859.)

I visited the missions of Upper California in 1850. At that time I conversed with many reliable persons familiar with Lower California, who described to me the country and the inhabitants thereof. Lower California was, I was told, destitute of water for irrigation and practically uninhabited. The missions of Upper California were in a more prosperous condition. They had immense herds of cattle, horses, and sheep, and cultivated fields sufficient to more than supply the inhabitants with vegetables and cereals. Their vineyards and orchards were especially important. They furnished grapes and fruit for a population of many thousands of miners.

If the work done and the natives converted in the two Californias, when I visited that country in 1850, were compared, it would be an exaggeration to assume that as much as one-tenth of the proceeds of the Pious Fund was required to be used in Lower California. Certainly the result produced by the expenditure was at least as much as ten to one in favor of Upper California. The statement of Vicar-General Rubio that in 1832 seven-tenths of the whole population of the Californias subject to the missions belonged to Upper California, [Page 539]was undoubtedly true. Notwithstanding these historical facts, the umpire in the former case, to make it as easy for Mexico as possible, gave only one-half of the interest on the Pious Fund to Upper California. If the matter were not res judicata, but were open to reexamination as to all the facts, the United States would confidently contend for 85 per cent of the interest instead of one-half, which would then be a more liberal allowance to Lower than to Upper California.

XV. The statement of the representative of Mexico that there is no legal basis on which to claim anything from the donation of properties made by the Marchioness de las Torres de Rada and the Marquis de Villapuente to the Pious Fund, is not sustained by the evidence. He has not pointed out how Mexico has lost one dollar by any alleged defective title of the estate of the Marquis, nor what claims the heirs of the Marquis have against Mexico in consequence of the sale of the property and the covering of the proceeds thereof into the treasury. On the contrary, the value of the estate which the umpire rejected and excluded from the fund was more than the amount demanded by the claimants under the Marquis in full satisfaction of their pretended judgment. (Transcript, p. 520.) In addition to that, the representative of Mexico has utterly failed to show by the evidence adduced that Mexico has not retained in her treasury the entire proceeds from the sale of the Ciénaga del Pastor, amounting to $213,750. The evidence of such disbursements, if it exists, is in the possession of Mexico, and that Government not having furnished such evidence it is fair to presume no disbursements have been made in consequence of the alleged attachment.

It must be presumed, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, which, if it existed, Mexico could and would produce, that the entire proceeds of the sales of the property of the Pious Fund were covered into the treasury and there remain. There is no evidence whatever in the record to warrant the exclusion of the $213,750 for which the Ciénega del Pastor was sold.

The amount of the fund, if the matter is not res judicata, as we have already seen, is $1,853,361.75, but the American commissioner, in the arbitration under the convention of 1868, leaving out sundry small items as bad debts or claims not sufficiently proved, and also the value of the Ciénaga del Pastor, reduced the total to $1,436,033. The umpire at first concurred in this amount, but afterwards deducted $1,000 on account of an error in calculation. He found the principal to be $1,435,033, and awarded one-half thereof, or $717,516.50, to Upper California.

On an accounting, if the matter is not res judicata, the claimants would contend that the Ciénaga del Pastor, valued at $213,750, with six per cent interest thereon since July 4, 1848, together with the other items mentioned in the memorial, should be added to the capital of the Pious Fund, and that the bishops are entitled to 85 per cent thereof, making an aggregate of at least $3,108,207.52 now due, as the following figures show:

Grand total. $1,853,361.75
The interest on this at 6 per cent per annum is 111,201.70
85 per cent of the last-named sum is 94,521.44
33 instalments of $94,521.44 amount to 3,108,207.52
(Memorial, p. 11.)

[Page 540]

The charge of exaggeration of amounts must be disregarded, because Mexico has the records to prove such exaggerations, if they exist, and no such proof has been furnished. In the former arbitration, Sir Edward Thornton, although he felt constrained to adopt the views of the Commissioner of the United States, who excluded from his finding a large portion of the claim, was manifestly dissatisfied because the Mexican Government did not exhibit in its defense the records in its possession showing the actual amount which was covered into the treasury. He said:

A larger sum is claimed on the part of the claimants, but even with regard to this larger sum the defense has not shown, except indirectly, that its amount was exaggerated.

There is no doubt that the Mexican Government must have in its possession all the accounts and documents relative to the sale of the real property belonging to the Pious Fund and the proceeds thereof; yet these have not been produced, and the only inference that can be drawn from silence upon this subject is that the amount of the proceeds actually received into the treasury was at least not less than it is claimed to be. (Transcript, p. 609.)

Notwithstanding the matter was called to the attention of Mexico by Sir Edward Thornton thirty-three years ago in the forcible language above quoted, the records and accounts referred to by him are still retained in the archives of Mexico, to which the claimants have no access. The nonproduction of the records, which ought to show the amount of the Pious Fund covered into the Mexican treasury, leaves no other inference than that “the amount of the proceeds actually received into the treasury was at least not less than it is claimed to be.”

The introduction of a book relating to legal proceedings which took place long ago, without proving that it affected the fund covered into the treasury, is indirect evidence that there is nothing in the Mexican archives showing that the amount claimed is excessive. The inventory of Ramirez, and the items particularly described in the memorial, can not be charged by the defense as excessive in the absence of proof to sustain such charge. The basis for everything claimed in the memorial must have been of record and must now be in the possession of the defense. No evidence having been produced by Mexico to contradict the claimant’s case, the presumption that the amount stated is correct will prevail.

XVI. I have gone into the details of this case, not because I doubt that the decision in the former arbitration is res judicata as to the amount of interest annually due to the bishops of California from the Mexican Government, but to answer charges of unfairness against the United States.

I thank you for your kind attention.

M. le Président. Maintenant, avant de donner la parole à un autre conseil des Etats-Unis d’Amérique, je dois l’avertir que le Tribunal sera ajourné à 11 h. ¾; peut-être alors le conseil préférera-t-il commencer son discours lundi matin à 10 heures. Le Tribunal siégera alors et continuera de siéger tous les jours; le matin et après le déjeûner; alors j’espère que les débats marcheront bien rapidement.

Mr. Ralston. I wish to speak a moment to Mr. McEnerney, whom we have contemplated would follow Senator Stewart, if you will permit me just a moment to explain to him what you have said.

M. Beernaert. Je demande la parole.

[Page 541]

M. le Président. M. Beernaert a la parole.

M. Beernaert. Serait-il absolument impossible que le second conseil des Etats-Unis d’Amérique prît encore la parole cette après-midi, par exemple? S’il faut que la semaine prochaine nous répondions immédiatement à sa plaidoirie cela nous offrira de très grandes difficultés, parce qu’il ne nous est pas possible d’apprécier complètement la plaidoirie à une simple audition. Nous la faisons sténographier, il nous la faut faire traduire; par conséquent l’intervalle qui s’écoulerait entre la journée d’aujourd’hui et celle de lundi serait extremêment utile au point de vue de l’éclaircissement du débat.

M. le Président. Il nous faut continuer lundi matin.

M. Beernaert. Sans doute, Monsieur le Président; mais jedemandais si les convenances du Tribunal ne lui permettraient pas de nous donner encore une séance cette après-midi—cela avait été entendu je crois—ce qui nous permettrait d’avoir une connaissance complète de la plaidoirie de la partie demanderesse.

M. le Président. Ce n’est pas possible; des membres du Tribunal ne seront pas présents cette après-midi.

M. Beernaert. Je me permets de faire remarquer d’avance la situation dans laquelle nous nous trouverions en présence d’une plaidoirie à laquelle nous devrions répondre sans la connaître suffisamment.

M. le Président. Alors; nous nous retirons un moment pour délibérer.

(L’audience est suspendue pendant quelques instants).

M. le Président. La séance est reprise. Le Tribunal a décidé qu’il siégerait encore jusqu’à midi et qu’il y aurait une séance à 2½ h. Je donne la parole au conseil des Etats-Unis d’Amérique.

Mr. Ralston. I understand, Mr. President, that we will proceed now until 12 o’clock, and at half past two o’clock we will begin again, and for what time, how long will the sessions continue?

Mr. President. Until about five o’clock.

Mr. McEnerney. Mr. President and honorable arbitrators: The State of California became a State of the American Union on September 9, 1850. In anticipation of its admission to the American Union, the question was largely debated whether as a State it should adopt for the basis of its jurisprudence the civil law or the common law. By a small majority it was finally determined to adopt the common law as the basis of its jurisprudence.

Consequently, the lawyers educated for practice at the California bar deal almost exclusively with a jurisprudence which has its origin in the common law of England. I am one of the number, and I have accordingly been accustomed to the jurisprudence of the common law and have but a fragmentary acquaintance with the civil law. It will be necessary for me, therefore, to discuss this case largely from the outlook of one acquainted only with the common law of England. I console myself, however, with the recollection that a court has everywhere been defined to be a place where justice is judicially administered. The function of all courts, the function of all systems of jurisprudence, is the attainment of justice, and in the essentials which find their origin in the moral law all nations and all peoples think alike. So, if I shall be able to establish in this discussion any proposition which, according to the jurisprudence of the common law, is deemed consonant with and the result of the application of justice, I [Page 542]feel assured that the members of this court will find something closely analogous to it in the system of jurisprudence with which they themselves are perhaps more familiar.

If in the course of this argument I shall frequently refer to the system of jurisprudence to which I have been accustomed, it will not be on account of any belief on my part that it is a system superior to the continental system. My resort to it will arise out of the necessity of the case, which is, that being conversant with but the one system of jurisprudence, I can argue this case only in the light of its jurisprudence.

Our case, as appears from the title, is the case of the Pious Fund of the Californias. It is the subject which you are here called upon to consider. And naturally you are prompted of the outset of the inquiry to ask, What is the Pious Fund? When did it have its origin? Who created it? What is its history? When did it come to a close? What work did it accomplish? What were its objects? Were they changed or altered by the flood of time? Because Plato has said that “Time and time alone is the maker of states,” likewise is it true that time and time alone is the maker of all great historical institutions; and the Pious Fund of the Californias, far away on the Western Hemisphere, has been a great historical institution.

I shall therefore in the exposition of this case, and in consonance with what I conceive to be the logical order, first concern myself with what the Pious Fund was. The first proposition to which I shall address myself is that “the Pious Fund of the Californias has had an unbroken and generally recognized existence from 1697 down to the cession of Upper California to the United States by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, exchanged February 2, 1848.”

Upon the former arbitration, there was submitted to the tribunal, in support of the memorial of the archbishop and the bishop of California a brief history, so called, of the Pious Fund of the Californias, compiled by Mr. John T. Doyle, who has had charge of this case for now fifty years, and whose advanced age and infirmities make it impossible for him to appear before this tribunal to sustain the cause, which he has so successfully sustained in the past.

The brief history of the Pious Fund will be found in the transcript which you have, pages 17 to 22. Accompanying that brief history of the Pious Fund was a production by Mr. Doyle, which we know as “Extracts from various historical works bearing upon the Pious Fund.” These extracts, in the original French, Italian, Spanish, and German, but not translated, are found in the Transcript, pages 187 to 221. The United States have prepared and presented a translation of these extracts. The brief history and these extracts were submitted to the former arbitral court at the beginning of the litigation. In no essential was the correctness of either the history or the extracts disputed by Mexico; and we could safely rely upon that brief history for a full, fair, and unchallenged account of our case were it necessary for us to do so. The brief history was very largely confirmed by subsequent investigations made upon behalf of the archbishop and the bishop, the results of which were laid before the former tribunal. It was also confirmed in so many particulars by the argument of Sr. Don Manuel de Azpiroz, counsel for Mexico, and I shall have occasion in treating of this question to make frequent use of his argument for confirmation, extension, and elucidation of our theory of the case, a theory from [Page 543]which we have not deviated from the beginning. And it will be found that most of the facts which I shall have occasion to call to the attention of this honorable tribunal are to be found either expressed or implied in the brief history.

Having made this preliminary statement with respect to the sources from which the proofs will be forthcoming, I shall now recur to the first proposition, which I propose to sustain and which I have already stated to your honors.

It is that the Pious Fund of the Californias has had an unbroken and generally recognized existence from 1697 down to the cession of Upper California to the United States of America by Mexico by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, of date February 2, 1848. It has come to be an accepted fact that the Pious Fund of the Californias had its origin in 1697 in money collected from charitable people to enable certain Jesuit priests to commence their missionary effort in the Californias. Attached to the argument of Sr. de Azpiroz will be found the permission of the viceroy, dated February 6, 1697, whereby the missionaries were granted permission (quoting the language) “to penetrate into the provinces of California and convert the gentiles there residing upon the terms and conditions set forth in this instrument.” The document appears at page 401 in English, Anexo n°. 1.

In his argument, Sr. de Azpiroz stated, page 374 in English and 226 in Spanish, that the conquests of California were commenced by the Society of Jesus upon the charitable contributions collected by Fathers Salvatierra and Ugarte in the beginning of 1697, and were continued for some time without becoming a burden upon the royal treasury, which was one of the conditions contained in the permission authorizing the undertaking.

Sr. Aspiroz also mentions, at page 374 in English and 227 in Spanish, a number of contributions to the fund, made as early as 1703, which aggregated fifty-five thousand dollars. He also says at the page to which I have last referred you, “up to this time”—meaning the year 1716—“the means belonging to those already established”—that is, the missions—“had not been delivered to the Society. The founders retained it in their possession, and paid the annual interest, which reckoned for each of them from the date of their establishment.” And then, after recounting that one of the gentlemen who had made a contribution to the missions became bankrupt, the missions in consequence losing his donation, he goes on to say that “Father Salvatierra in 1717 requested and obtained permission to receive the capitals and invest them in real estate, which he did through Father Romano, the attorney of the missions. This permission was indispensable, because the Society of Jesus was not competent to acquire temporalities.” Accepting this statement as true, for we have no evidence or information which would enable us to either affirm or deny it, it will be seen that until 1716, the principal donations for the propagation and maintenance of the Catholic religion in California had a close analogy to what is known in English and American jurisprudence as a covenant to stand seized to the use of another. The donors agreed to hold the property for the benefit of the missions. They said: “We contribute ten thousand dollars; we pay you interest upon that sum;” the interest was computed at 5 per cent and amounted to five hundred dollars annually. In the early history of this fund it was supposed, and the idea prevailed in Mexico, that five hundred dollars was a sufficient [Page 544]sum for the maintenance of one mission for one year. Contributions for the purpose of founding missions were accordingly asked in the sum of ten thousand dollars each, each ten thousand dollars founding a separate mission.

I have now carried the history of the Pious Fund from 1697 to 1716, a period of twenty years. The period saw the origin of the fund, saw the first work of the missionaries, and saw the chief event with which I close the period, namely, the delivery of the capital, which theretofore had been held by the contributors, into the possession of the Jesuits for administration.

The next period with which I propse to deal covers fifty years, starting with 1717, when the Jesuits were permitted by law to assume the corporal possession of the property, and ending with 1768, the year in which they were expelled from Mexico by virtue of a royal decree passed in the preceding year. During that period the Jesuits had possession of the fund and administered it. A copy of the royal decree of February 27, 1767, of Charles III, banishing the Society of Jesus and taking possession of their temporalities will be found in the transcript at page 410. During these fifty years, from 1717 to 1768, the fund grew for that age to enormous proportions. We find it historically stated in a work devoted to the history of California that the minor contributions amounted in 1731 to one hundred and twenty-thousand dollars. In 1735 came the Villapuente benefaction, evidenced by a conveyance undoubtedly drawn by some one versed in the law of Mexico. By examining that deed, you will notice that the conveyance is to the missions. The language is “To have and to hold to the said missions.” Whether the object or function of that conveyance was to pass the title to the missions or to the Society of Jesus, my unfamiliarity with the Mexican system of jurisprudence will not allow me to say; but it is evident to demonstration that the benefaction was intended for the benefit and behoof of these missions, subject, if you please, to the exercise of a power which I shall have occasion hereafter to discuss. This benefaction given by the Marquis of Villapuente and his cousin or wife, the Marquesa de la Torres de Rada, conveyed to the missions properties of great area and value. The area was four hundred and fifty thousand acres, and the estimated value of the donation was four hundred and eight thousand dollars. The value as estimated at that date is derived from a recital in the deed, at the foot of page 104 of the transcript, which is to this effect:

And, whereas, the said Marquis of Villapuente, my cousin, is my only creditor, he having supplied me out of his own means with over two hundred and four thousand dollars, which he has furnished me, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, and which is well known whereby our rights in the premises are just and equal.

In other words, the Marquis of Villapuente and the Marquesa de la Torres de Rada, undertaking to donate an estate to the missions owned by the Marchioness de Rada, but subject to a lien in favor of the Marquis de Villapuente, recited and engaged between themselves that her right in the property, after the debt was paid, was equal to the debt; consequently, according to the values which they put uppn the transaction, now one hundred and sixty-five years ago, his donation was two hundred and four thousand dollars, and her donation was two hundred and four thousand dollars. The deed is found in English in two places in the transcript, and it is in Spanish in two places. In English it is found at pages 104 and 452 and in Spanish at pages 99 and 309.

L’audience est levée à midi et renvoyée à 2 h. 1/2 de l’après-midi.

[Page 545]

17 septembre 1902 (après-midi).

A la reprise de la séance a 2½ heures M. McEnerney continue son discours jusqu’à 4½ heures.

Mr. Ralston. With the permission of Mr. McEnerney, and to prevent any misunderstanding, I simply want to announce that in view of the terms of the order passed by the court and read this morning, to which we have given careful consideration, that I shall follow Mr. McEnerney on Monday, with your permission, in the presentation of the case of the United States, and while I have not, unfortunately, had an opportunity to consult with Monsieur le Chevalier Descamps, I anticipate that he will close the opening arguments for the United States. In reply to the argument from Mexico, which will thereafter be presented, we shall have the pleasure of the assistance of Mr. Penfield, the solicitor of the Department of State.

Mr. McEnerney. Mr. President and honorable arbitrators: At the time the tribunal rose for midday intermission we had under discussion the period of the Pious Fund, which I have arbitrarily assumed to have begun with 1717 and to have continued for fifty-one years—that is, to the expulsion of the Jesuits under the royal decree of Charles III of Spain. We had pointed out that to 1731 the minor donations to this fund aggregated $120,000, and that in 1735 a donation was made estimated by the grantors between themselves to have been worth $408,000. The next donation to which I shall call your attention is that made by the Duchess of Gandia, which amounted, according to the historical authority which we have for it, to about $120,000.

You will realize that it was impossible upon the former arbitration to account, item by item and donation by donation, for this great benefaction extending over a period of one hundred years. When we came to make our claim we made it upon the condition of the fund as it existed in 1842. But it was necessary for us, in view of its magnitude, to trace the history of this fund, to show that its proportions, as we claimed them, were no exaggeration; and therefore we were entitled to refer, and we did refer, to the history of the early Californias to show that pious and wealthy people had contributed to it benefactions of great value and extent, approximating the proportions of the fund as we claim them to have existed in 1842.

I have already shown you benefactions amounting to half a million dollars—more than $520,000. The historical reference by which it is shown that the Duchess of Gandia contributed to this fund $120,000 is one of the extracts to be found in the original at the foot of page 198 of the transcript. It is taken from the “Story of California,” printed in Venice in 1789. I desire, with the permission of your honors, to read that extract from the translation on page 8 of the translation of extracts furnished to you this morning:

Two things were needed to advance the missions to the northward as the missionaries desired, namely the capital to found them and the locations to establish them in; and there was no hope of the one or the other until God moved the mind of an illustrious and most noble benefactress. This was the Duchess of Gandia, Doña Maria Borja, who having heard an old servant of hers, who had once been a soldier in California, speak of the sterility of that region, the poverty of the Indians there and the apostolic labors of the missionaries, thought that she could not do anything more pleasing to God than to devote her fortune to the aid of these missions. She therefore ordered in her will that there be provided, out of her ready money, those large annuities which she left her servants during their lives, and that all the rest [Page 546]of her estate should go to the missions of California, together with the capitals of the above-mentioned annuities, after the death of those who who enjoyed them; and that a mission, consecrated to the honor of her beloved ancestor, St. Francis Borgia, be founded in said peninsula. The sum of money acquired from this legacy by these missions amounted, in 1767, to sixty thousand dollars, and a like amount ought to be obtained after the death of the pensioned servants, over and above some very large debts which there was hope of recovering. With such a large capital, many missions could be founded in California, as in fact they would have been founded, if the Jesuits had not been obliged in the above-mentioned year to abandon that peninsula.

I now pass to what is known as the Arguelles benefaction, under which, from Señora Arguelles, who died before the expulsion of the Jesuits, the fund received what is estimated to be $600,000. This benefaction passed to the missions of the Californias under the following circumstances. Señora Arguelles bequeathed one-quarter of her estate to a college in Guadalajara owned by the Jesuits; three-quarters of her estate she devised in trust to the missions. The Jesuits renounced the benefaction and thereupon an officer, representing the State, and claiming that the benefaction should not lapse either as to the quarter or as to the three-quarters, intervened on behalf of the Government. The case continued in litigation for more than twenty-five years; and it was finally decided that the gift of the one-quarter lapsed, I presume upon the theory that the devise of the one-quarter was a gift to the Jesuits personal in character, given to their college as a private institution. But it was decided as to the other three-quarters, that it did not fail; because, presumably, it was a public charity, and it is the law the world over, that public charities do not fail for want of a trustee; the declination of the trustee to whom property is given or devised for charitable uses can not cause the trust to lapse, nor does he control its destinies nor defeat its execution. In the court of last resort in Spain it was decided as to the three-quarters of the estate, that one-half of it should go to the Philippine missions in accordance with Señora Aguellas’ will, and that the other half should go in accordance with an appointment which His Majesty the King of Spain should thereafter make. His majesty appointed that the benefaction should go to the Pious Fund of the Californias. This appointment was final and irrevocable; no attempt has ever been made to retract or alter it.

I wish the members of this court to keep in mind the fact just stated, that half of the Arguelles benefaction went to the Philippine missions. It is connected with an important event in the history of Spain and Mexico, upon which we rely as a precedent to establish the rights we are contending for before this tribunal. The Arguelles estate was thereafter distributed: $10,000 as a legacy to the children of Carro; one-fourth of the estate to the heirs at law, because as to the one-fourth subject to the $10,000 it was decided that the declination of the Jesuits defeated the gift; the other three-quarters in equal shares to the Philippine missions and to such other missions as the king should designate (the California missions being subsequently designated by him).

I invite the attention of the members of this tribunal, in connection with this Arguelles benefaction, to a report in the record at page 22, which has been called throughout the litigation “Manuel Payno’s report.” It commences on the middle of page 22 and continues to the top of page 36. Mr. Payno’s deposition follows, and then the certificate of the consul of the United States to Mexico at the top of page 37.

[Page 547]

It appears by Mr. Pay no’s deposition that in 1862 he was commissioned by the Mexican Government to prepare a history of its financial condition. He says, at page 22:

Being commissioned by the Supreme Government to make a report upon and adjust the debt contracted in London, the diplomatic conventions—and some other financial affairs which should be arranged by the treaty about to be made between the Republic and the commissioners of the three allied powers—I have endeavored in the short space of time at my disposal scrupulously to examine the records and books of the public offices, with the object of treating every affair separately, by forming a concise historical extract of each, and giving at the end a statement of what the treasury owes up to date.

It is interesting to ascertain who the three powers were to which reference is made in Payno’s report, and this happily we are able to do by a reference to the second volume of Moore’s International Arbitrations, page 1289.

He says:

October 31st, 1861, France, Great Britain, and Spain entered into a convention with reference to combined operations against Mexico for the enforcement of claims.

Mr. Moore premises the account of this convention with a statement that there were complaints to various nations from their subjects having domicile in Mexico that their claims were not recognized and discharged by the Government of Mexico.

Returning now to the Payno report.

We know that Mr. Payno’s report was prepared by him with great care and in obvious hostility to the claims of the Philippine missions and that the report is an official publication of the Republic of Mexico, which she can not and never has disputed.

I invite your attention to an item of this Payno report on page 23. You will notice that it is a list of the sums, according to the journals of the general treasury, that were received into the treasury on account of the property bequeathed by Doña Josefa de P. Arguelles to the missionaries of the Philippine Islands;

which list is formed in virtue of the supreme order of the 1st of the present month of May, number 191, and in conformity with the agreement entered into between the supreme government and the agent of those missionaries; which was communicated to the general treasury on the 24th of December, 1845 (of this document we have asked discovery from Mexico); it being observed that the present list shall serve for no other purpose than as evidence to the Spanish legation; for which object it is remitted to the finance department in compliance with the said supreme order.

Now note:

As appears by the entry of the 2d of August, 1803, up to that date there had been delivered on account of the property of Doña Josefa de P. Arguelles the sum of $544,951.10, of which $10,000 corresponded to the children of Carro; and of the remainder, one-quarter part to the heirs and the residue in equal parts between the Californian and Philippine missions; consequently to these latter $200,606.54.

And so on, item for item, until the sum total was $306,901.62, not $316,901.62, for you will notice that on the 15th of May, 1804, $10,000 was assigned to the children of the Carro. Keep in mind that the estate went $10,000 to the children of the Carro; one-fourth to the natural heirs, one-half of three-quarters, or three-eighths, to the Pious Fund of the Californias, and the other three-eighths, one-half of three-quarters, to the Philippine missions.

That I may make this matter clear beyond all question I beg to invite the attention of your honors to an extract from one of the briefs of Mr. Doyle (which will be found at page 467 of the Transcript), [Page 548]where he gives the history of these Arguelles benefactions. If I may be permitted to read it, I think it will help to simplify the labors of your honors:

On May 29, 1765, Dona Josefa Paula de Arguelles, a wealthy lady of Guadalajara, executed her will, wherein she bequeathed $10,000 to a foundling hospital at Manila, one-fourth of the residue of her property to the Jesuit College of St. Thomas, Aquinas, in Guadalajara, and the other three-quarters to the missions in China and New Spain. She died about a year and a half thereafter, leaving an estate of about $800,000. The Jesuits, at that time pressed by a storm of obloquy in Spain and Portugal, renounced the legacy in their favor, and the heirs of the deceased lady brought an action to have her declared intestate as to all her estate, save the small legacy to the foundling hospital. The Crown intervened in the action, claiming the portion bequeathed for missions. And one Agustin de Mora in like manner put forward a claim for “Sustitucion vulgar,” with respect to the quarter bequeathed to the college, but on behalf of what institution or in what right I have been so far unable to discover. It will be remembered that at this time the missions both in New Spain and the Philippines were in the hands of the Jesuits, so that if their renunciation could affect the bequests in favor of the missions in their charge, the heirs had as clear a case as to the three-fourths bequeathed to the latter as they had for the quarter bequeathed to the college. The case, after going through the lower courts, came before the “audiencia real” of New Spain on appeal; which tribunal on June 4,1783, gave judgment denying Mora’s claim for the “sustitucion vulgar” as to the quarter bequeathed to the college, and declared the deceased, in consequence of the renunciation of the Jesuits, intestate as to that quarter. As to the other three-quarters, however, it decided that the missions took under the will, and declared that said three-quarters, therefore, vested in the Crowna to be employed in the conversion of the infidels in this Kingdom and the Philippines (one-half in each), under the orders of the King, whom it especially concerns; and that a report be made to His Majesty to the end that he may be pleased to determine what may be his sovereign will with respect to the direction, consistency, and security of the funds so destined for the pious work of missions. This decree simply vested in the Crown a power of appointment as to what particular missions should be supported out of the bequest, subject to the sole condition that one-half should be destined to Asia and the other to America. The Crown exercised its power of appointment by ordering one-half of the three-quarters so devised to be aggregated to the Pious Fund of California, and the other half to the missionary fund of the Philippine Islands.

Then Mr. Doyle continues, but I shall not read further.

Mr. de Martens. May 1 ask a question? On page 467 (of the Transcript, line 14) there is no number of dollars given.

Mr. McEnerney. There is not, your honor, and I cannot tell you what it is. We shall be able to furnish you that from the original, but I cannot give it exactly now.

Mr. W. T. S. Doyle. It is $600,000.

Mr. McEnerney. It should be $600,000.

Mr. McEnerney (continuing). This will of Senora Arguelles was the subject of litigation until 1793, about twenty-five years after the expulsion of the Jesuits, when its benefaction was confirmed to and became a part of the Pious Fund. During the seventy years from 1697 to 1768 the Jesuits founded in Lower California thirteen missions, as you will see by reference to the testimony of Father Rubio, pages 148 to 150. You will find there stated the missions founded in Upper California and the missions founded in Lower California. Father Rubio was the vicar-general of the first bishop of the Californias, who was appointed, as I shall presently have occasion to show you, in 1840. The bishop died in 1846, and Father Rubio was vicar-general from 1846 until 1850, the year in which the second bishop—Bishop Alemany, who was one of the claimants before the former arbitral court—was consecrated.

[Page 549]

I have now stated the chief events connected with the Pious Fund during the period which I have taken as covering the years 1717 to 1768. I now come to the period from the expulsion of the Jesuits to the time of Mexican independence, which is stated by Mr. Moore (second volume of Moore’s International Arbitration, 1209) to have been achieved in 1821, although the treaty with Spain recognizing it is of date December 28, 1836.

From the expulsion of the Jesuits in 1768 until Mexico achieved her independence the fund was administered by the Crown of Spain through officials appointed for that purpose. The trust character of the fund and its dedication to the establishment and maintenance of the Catholic religion in the Californias was always recognized.

In the royal decree of February 27, 1767, at page 410 of the Transcript, concerning the banishment of the regulars of the Society of Jesus and the taking possession of their temporalities, we find in paragraph 5, which occurs on page 411 of the Transcript, that it is declared by His Majesty:

I further declare that the taking possession of the temporalities belonging to the order embraces their property, real and personal, as well as the ecclesiastical revenues which legally belong to it within the kingdom, but without prejudices to such charges as may have been imposed upon them by their endowers.

This is an express recognition of the obligation assumed by the Crown when it took over trust properties.

And we have it upon the authority of Mr. Azpiroz, counsel for Mexico, in his argument before the former arbitral court, paragraph 33, page 375:

Upon the expulsion of the regulars, the King took possession of their temporalities within his dominions, and among these was included the Pious Fund of the Californias. Nevertheless, this was separately administered and its proceeds continued to be employed for the purposes for which they were instituted by the civil officers of the Crown.

In other words, when the King made his royal decree he said, “I take over these properties subject to these obligations.” And we have it upon the authority of the learned counsel for Mexico, now its minister plenipotentiary at Washington (who executed the protocol under which this tribunal is organized), that the King not only promised, in the decree whereby he expelled the Jesuits and took possession of their properties, to assume the obligations attached to those properties, but that he actually carried out this promise.

At the end of an official publication of New Spain, which is anexo No. 5 to the argument of Mr. Azpiroz, found between pages 416 to 425 of this record, your honors will find it stated (see top of page 425) that the “foregoing is taken from the 42d volume of the Section of History belonging to the general archives of the nation.” All that I desire to call to your attention in this report at the present time are paragraph 19, on page 420, and paragraph 38, on page 423. Paragraph 19, page 420, says:

Each missionary receives a stipend of $350 per annum, which is paid out of the gross of the Pious Fund acquired by the Jesuit fathers, and to which I will refer in its proper place.

And it is said, in paragraph 38, page 423:

They receive no contribution or duties, but each mission receives a stipend of $400 per annum, drawn from the Pious Fund left by the extinct regulars. One thousand dollars from the same fund is also furnished both to the Fernandinos and Dominicans, respectively, for the establishment of each new mission.

[Page 550]

Sir Edward Fry. I do not quite understand what amount is to be received—what mission or missionary is to receive the three hundred and fifty dollars and what four hundred dollars.

Mr. McEnerney. Both paragraphs deal with the missions of California. One says that each missionary receives $350, and the other says each mission receives $400.

Official archives were kept by Spain and preserved by Mexico, containing an official history of the Pious Fund of California (see English translation, page 425 of the transcript and continuing to the foot of page 433). You will notice the extract is certified by Mr. Azpiroz, as chief clerk, presumably of the foreign office, before he became counsel for Mexico. Under date of Mexico, September 27, 1871, he says:

“The foregoing is a copy of the original found in a book called Fondo de Piadoso de California, belonging to the general archives.”

Here we have it clearly stated that in the archives of Mexico there was kept an official record devoted to the Pious Fund of the Californias. This name—The Pious Fund of the Californias, here mentioned in the certificate—is not only the common and ordinary designation of the fund, but, as will appear, document after document, official recognition after official recognition, make use of this designation as the official title of these properties. They were from a period shortly after the expulsion of the Jesuits down to 1842 known officially, by the action of the Crown in one instance and by the Government in the other, as the “Pious Fund of the Californias,” a name denoting first that they were devoted to pious uses, and, secondly, to pious uses in the Californias.

I was speaking of and had referred you to the official history of the Pious Fund of the Californias, and I desire to read to you two or three lines from paragraph 3 on page 425 (of the transcript):

The superior government, without loosing sight of the pious purpose to which they devoted, by order of the 12th of October, 1768, directed Fernando Mangino, the director of temporalities, to pay special attention to the examination of the property destined for the propagation of the faith in that peninsula.

From this same official history of the Pious Fund we find (page 426, paragraph 9) that an agreement was made March 21, 1772, between the board of war and the treasury department on the one hand and the Dominicans and Franciscans on the other, by which it was agreed that the Dominicans should have charge of the missionary work of Lower California and the Franciscans of the missionary work in Upper California.

In other words, we find four years after the Jesuits had been expelled, that is in 1772, that the religious orders of the church, by agreement with the Government and, of course, necessarily and presupposing the confirmation of their ecclesiastical superior, agreed upon a division of this missionary work—the Dominicans assuming the labors in Lower California and the Franciscans assuming them in Upper California. I ask your honors to dwell upon that fact because I shall hereafter undertake to enforce an argument upon one branch of this case predicated upon the fact that the Spanish Government did make that agreement and that from it there followed consequences shortly to be considered.

But even before that time—even before 1772—to wit, on the 8th [Page 551]of April, 1770, His Majesty the King of Spain, by royal order, had directed a division of the missions between the Dominicans and Franciscans. That will be found stated in the transcript, English translation, page 426, in the recital of the proceedings which occurred in 1772. But although that order had been made in 1770, the missionary work of the Franciscans commenced even earlier than that date; for we find that in 1769 they journeyed overland from Lower California to Upper California, and on their way thither founded the mission of San Fernando de Villacate in 1769, which was then the most northerly mission in Lower California. By the year 1823 (from 1769 to 1823, 54 years) they founded in Upper California 21 missions, making, with the mission which they founded in Lower California, 22 in all. The 21 missions which they founded in Upper California, with the date of the foundation of each, will be found in Father Rubio’s deposition, page 150 of the transcript. An examination of that list of missions will give you the beginnings of all the civil and the social history of California; for we find among these mission foundations that of San Francisco, now the chief metropolitan city of the Pacific coast, founded in 1776; we find the mission of San Rafael, a well-known town in California; of Santa Cruza, another well-known place; of Santa Barbara; of San Buenaventura, of San Luis Obispo, all well-known places; and finally of San Diego, also very well known, the most southerly mission of Upper California.

In the report of the treasury of Mexico, to which I invite your attention (the English translation of which will be found from pages 135 to 146) there will be found repeated acknowledgements of the trust character of these properties subsequent to the expulsion of the Jesuits. For instance, it appears therein that his majesty the King of Spain directed that “the administration of the said fund shall be kept with entire separation” (page 143, section 20). It also appears there that on October 1st, 1781 (I now ask your attention to section 22) the King ordered the sale of the properties. Listen to the conditions attached to the authority to make this sale: “Your excellency shall proceed immediately to the sale of those of the Pious Fund”—that is, the properties of the Pious Fund—“and that you shall secure the amount thereof in favor of the missions, giving due advice thereof through the department under my charge,” meaning under the charge of the viceroy, who communicated the order to the director of the temporalities by whom the sale was to be made.

It having, however, been brought to the attention of his majesty that such sale was contrary to the expressed wish and will of the Marquis de Villapuente, another later decree was issued on December 14, 1715, whereby, in view of these facts, his majesty (see paragraph 26) “has been pleased to order, that for the present the sale shall be suspended and the administration continued,” and whereby (paragraph 28), “His majesty . . . . bearing in mind the instructions of the Marquis de Villapuente, who gave his estates for that purpose, has been pleased to order that the surplus money shall be invested in safe landed property for the increase of the funds and that reports shall be made immediately, etc., etc.”

This brings us to the period from the independence of Mexico to November 2, 1840, the day of the transfer of these properties to the first bishop of the Californias.

[Page 552]

Mr. de Martens. You were speaking about the different missions in San Francisco and other places. Have you some facts concerning the situation of these missions?

Mr. McEnerney. There are reports in the record. For instance, one of the publications to which I have referred you is a report on the condition of the missions. The proof on that subject is very meager, however. But there is a report showing how the missions are controlled, what their source of revenue is, whether there are contributions of the natives, and what the source of revenues of the missionaries are, etc. (Of course, there are reliable histories published in California which give an authentic history of the missions.) It appears by one of the paragraphs I read that they had no revenues except those derived from the Pious Fund. In other words, the natives had no means to assist the missionaries and they were dependent on the revenues derived from the Pious Fund.

Sir Edward Fry. Were there also payments by the Government?

Mr. McEnerney. There were payments ordered, but never made. There is not a single fact here to show that any payment was ever made for the missions as such—for the military service—yes—for the Presidio as distinct from the missions.

I have now come to the period commencing with the Mexican independence and running down to November 2, 1840.

At what date subsequent to the attainment of its independence Mexico actually took possession of these properties the record does not say. But we do know that it passed a law on May 25, 1832, for the leasing of these properties by a board of directors, created by that act, and called a “junta,” in which it was expressly stated that the moneys derived from the leasing of these properties should be paid into the mint or treasury for the account of the missions for which the funds were “solely and exclusively destined.”

There is not in the entire history of this fund, from the year in which Mexico achieved its independence down to the cession of Upper California to the United States on February 2, 1848, a single repudiation of the obligation under which Mexico labored with respect to this fund. Not one.

To illustrate this I quote from Mr. Azpiroz (paragraph 99, page 390):

Hence both the civil and canonical law clothed the endowment fund with the character of a trust, and acknowledged the same respect with regard to the intention of the founders or endowers as to those of the devisers. In fact no name better suits the class of pious funds to which the “fund” of the mission belongs, than that of trust, for the purpose of designating the legal effects of its creation. It is still more convenient for us to do so, for in doing so we agree with the claimants.

Sir Edward Fry. In 1772 the King, after-taking possession of this property, issued a direction (page 456) to all the representatives of the Jesuits, etc. Then he goes on to say that these purposes shall be “carried into effect by my said viceroys and governors in my name as part and parcel of my royal crown.” Is that consistent with his being a trustee?

Mr. McEnerney. I think that you must interpret the royal decree by the conduct of the Crown. It will appear by all of the documents which we cite that it was administered by him in his capacity as a trustee.

And again Mr. Azpiroz says (paragraph 92, page 388):

Still, as the owners of their property they could or not contribute it to the establishment of the missions, and in so doing they had the right to place conditions upon [Page 553]the administration and employment of their property. In fact they made use of this legal right and the Society of Jesus when it accepted their alms as their trustee, which it was, and upon the conditions prescribed, beyond doubt compromised its principal, the Government, to respect the intentions of the donors, to the same extent that they themselves were bound. This fact has always been recognized by the Spanish sovereign and his successor, the Mexican Government.

Indeed in the answer of Mexico to our memorial (Replication, page 20) it is said:

The Mexican Government which succeeded the Spanish Government, was, as the latter had been, trustee (comisario) of the fund, and in this conception successor of the Jesuit missionaries, with all the rights granted to them by the founders.

It will be seen, therefore, that it is an admitted fact in this case that Mexico always held and administered the fund as a trust estate. She herself claims in the answer already mentioned that she had the rights of the Jesuits. This argument necessarily implies that she, Mexico, had all of the duties of the Jesuits in respect of the fund.

We shall hereafter consider what the duties of Mexico were with respect to the fund, but for our immediate purposes we emphasize the deliberate admission of Mexico that she held the Pious Fund as trustee. Among the evidences of her recognition of her duties as trustee is that contained in the legislative act of Mexico, dated May 25, 1832, providing that the rural properties belonging to the Pious Fund of the Californias should be leased.

This law is to be found on the first page of the pamphlet, Laws of Mexico Relating to the Pious Fund. It is provided in paragraph 6, on page 4, that—

The proceeds of such properties shall be deposited in the treasury of the Federal city, to be solely and exclusively destined for the missions of the Californias.

It is also provided in subdivision 9 of section 10 (on page 5, near the bottom) that this board shall—

name to the Government the amounts which may be remitted to each one of the Californias, in accordance with their respective expenses and available funds.

And there is no provision in this act for any distribution of these moneys or for the diversion of any part of the income except to the Californias, according to the state of their funds and according to the state of their necessities.

The title of this act is “Law. That the Government proceed with the lease of the rural property belonging to the Pious Fund of the Californias;” and in Article I it is provided that “The Government shall proceed to rent the rural property belonging to the Pious Fund of the Californias.” It is to be noted that I read those two clauses for the reason that in them Mexico declares that these properties belong to the Pious Fund of the Californias.

I have already called to your attention section 10, subdivision ninth, and have pointed out that there is no provision for the disbursement of those funds to any missions other than the missions of the Californias. But there are other legislative evidences that Mexico recognized her duty as trustee throughout the period under consideration. These need not, however, to be cited. It is sufficient for the present controversy that it is an undisputed proposition, made so by the answer of Mexico, that she never made any claim of title to this property except as a trustee thereof. I may stop for a moment, however, to speak of one or two of these laws. The law of September 19, 1836, concerning the erection of the bishopric in the two Californias, with [Page 554]which your honors are already familiar, is another recognition by Mexico of its duty with respect to the Pious Fund. In that act it is provided that the property belonging to the Pious Fund of the Californias shall be placed at the disposal of the new bishop and his successors, to be by them managed and employed for its objects, or other similar ones, always respecting the wishes of the donors of the fund.

By the enactment of that law and the subsequent surrender of the property to the Bishop of California, presently to be mentioned, Mexico simply discharged its clear duty as a trustee in possession. On April 27, 1840, His Holiness Gregory XVI, upon the petition of Mexico, erected Upper and Lower California into a diocese, and appointed as its first bishop Francis Garcia Diego, at that time, and for some time before, president of the Missions of the Californias. You will find that fact established at page 182, by the deposition of Archbishop Alemany, claimant before the former arbitral court.

Bishop Diego was consecrated October 4, 1840, as is stated at page 91 of this record. On November 2, 1840, the properties of the Pious Fund were surrendered to him by Mexico, in conformity to its duty as trustee, recognized by the legislative act of September 19, 1836—a fact shown by some of the correspondence of Pedro Ramirez, to be found at page 520 in English and 495 in Spanish. This brings us to November 2, 1840.

Within the period from November 2, 1840, to February 2, 1848—from November 2, 1840, until the cession of Upper California to the United States under the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo of February 2, 1848, made in consideration of $18,250,000—Mexico took no measures with respect to the properties of the Pious Fund except those to be now stated. The first one was the decree of February 8, 1842, by which it is provided:

  • Article 1. The sixth article of the law of the 19th of September, 1836, by which the Government relinquished the management of the Pious Fund of the Californias, and the same was then placed at the disposal of the right reverend bishop of the new diocese, is hereby repealed.
  • Article 2. The administration and employment of this property shall therefore again become the charge of the Supreme Government, in such way and manner as it shall direct, for the purpose of carrying out the intention of the donor, in the civilization and conversion of the savages.

This decree of February 8, 1842, is preceded by correspondence, to which I shall refer your honors and pass on. It is the correspondence called the Valencia-Ramirez correspondence. It covers two or three months in 1842. It opens on page 499 with a letter of January 26, 1842, wherein the minister of justice asked Mr. Ramirez, as the agent of Bishop Diego, to pay $2,000 due to the English consul for money laid out, which it was claimed by the Government of Mexico was lawfully chargeable against the Pious Fund.

The answer to this was made on the 28th of January, 1842 (page 500) by Mr. Ramirez. It is substantially to the effect that the condition of the fund was; such that he could not pay the $2,000; and he suggested that, as under the law of 1836 more than $8,000 was due to the bishop from Mexico on account of the $6,000 per annum which she agreed to pay for the support of the bishopric, it would be proper for the Mexican Government to pay the $2,000 out of that money. There followed a short letter from the minister of justice to Mr. Ramirez, on the 5th of February, and his reply thereto; and finally came the decree of [Page 555]February 8, 1842, to which I have referred you. The correspondence will be found from page 499 to the foot of 502.

On February. 21, 1842, as will be seen by a reference to page 505, Gen. Santa Anna, President of the Mexican Republic, having legislative power, appointed Gen. Gabriel Valencia, his chief of staff, “general administrator of said goods, upon the same terms and with the same powers as were conferred to the board (junta) of the same department (ramo) by the decree of the 25th of May, 1832.”

Next follows the decree of October 24, 1842. This decree of October 24, 1842, recites that the decree of February 8, 1842, “was intended to fulfil most faithfully the beneficent and national objects designed by the foundress without the slightest diminution of the properties destined to that end.” The act then provides that all of the properties belonging to the Pious Fund of the Californias are incorporated into the national treasury, and further provides that the revenue from tobacco “is specially pledged for the payment of the income corresponding to the capital of the said fund of the Californias.” It furthermore provides that the Department in charge of the revenues “will pay over the sums necessary to carry on the objects to which said fund is destined, without any deduction for costs, whether of administration or otherwise.”

You will note that this act provides that the department of tobacco will pay over these moneys to the objects for which the fund is destined. Note that a few months before this decree was passed Gen. Gabriel Valencia was appointed to manage the fund upon the terms upon which it was managed by the junta under the law of May 25, 1832; and note, furthermore, that it is recited in the law of May 25, 1832, that the funds are solely and exclusively destined for the missions of California.

It is evident, when the act of May 25th, 1832, the appointment of General Valencia February 21, 1842, and the decree of October 24, 1842, are read together, that there can be no doubt that the decree of October 24th, 1842, was intended to recognize the rights of the missions of the Californias, and was also intended to contain a recognition of the fact that the properties of the Pious Fund were solely and exclusively destined and designed for and dedicated to the use of the missions of the Californias.

I next come to the treasury order of April 23, 1844, which will be found on page 149 of the record, in the deposition of Father Rubio. The same order in Spanish is a footnote on page 88 of the record. Father Rubio, whom you will remember was first the secretary and then the vicar-general of the bishop, and also exercised the faculties of a bishop ad interim from 1846 to 1850, deposed that he saw in about the year 1845 this official notice in the diary of Mexico. That it is a genuine and authentic document was not disputed upon the former hearing, and the fact stated in it was equally unchallenged. It was an order made by the minister of the treasury of Mexico, from which it appears that the President of Mexico had given an order on the custom-house of Guaymas, payable to the representative of Bishop Diego. The language is this:

For the sum of $8,000, on account of the income belonging to the Pious Fund of California, the properties of which were incorporated into the national treasury.

This document, the genuineness and authenticity of which, I say, are not disputed—there being no evidence that the document did not exist [Page 556]or that the notice was not given—is proof that as late as April 23, 1844, the Mexican Government affirmatively recognized its obligation to the missions arising out of the facts already stated.

I come now to the act of April 3, 1845, also to be found in the pamphlet, which is a law passed by Mexico concerning the restitution of debts and properties of the Pious Fund of the Californias. By this act it is provided that the debts and other properties of the Pious Fund of the Californias which are now unsold shall be immediately returned to the right reverend bishop of California and his successor, “for the purposes mentioned in article 6 of the law of September 19, 1836, without prejudice to what Congress may resolve in regard to the property that has been alienated.” No property was ever returned pursuant to this statute. We quote it here only for its evidential value. From the foregoing facts as I have detailed them to you I deduce the proposition which I enunciated at the beginning: That from 1697 down to the cession of California to the United States by Mexico, under the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the Pious Fund of the Californias had a generally recognized existence and a continuous life.

The second proposition which I desire to advance is, “That at no time during the existence of this fund, beginning with 1697 and continuing to February 2, 1848, was the Pious Fund of the Californias considered to be other than a trust fund. Its character as such was continuously and repeatedly recognized by Spain and thereafter by Mexico.” Not only was it recognized as. a trust in the abstract, but during all the period of time from the expulsion of the Jesuits down to the cession of California to the United States by Mexico, it was recognized as a trust in favor of the missions of the Californias. This proposition was unavoidably but only partially dealt with in the discussion of my first proposition. It appears that during all the years from the expulsion of the Jesuits down to the cession of California to the United States, in all of the documents issued under the Crown of Spain and the Government of Mexico, this fund, consisting of the properties which I have described, bore the title which we claim designated both its purposes and the persons for whose benefit it existed. In other words, in all the documents of this period the fund is specifically called “The Pious Fund of the Californias.” It is true that the two decrees of February 8 and October 24, 1842, implied that on those days Mexico claimed the right to manage and possess (that is, take into her keeping) these properties; but there is nothing in either decree which involves a repudiation by her of the idea that the properties were to be devoted to carrying out the intention of the donors, namely, the conversion to the Catholic faith of the inhabitants of the territory known as the Californias, and after their conversion the continued maintenance and support of the Catholic religion in that country.

In addition to what we have already shown to be the facts, we again call to your attention that it is expressly conceded by Mexico in her answer to our memorial that the property was given in trust and that the trust character was never disavowed. We wish to emphasize the declaration made by her minister of foreign affairs in the answer which he has sent here for the consideration of the members of this tribunal. He says that the fund was a trust estate and that Mexico never denied its trust character. Let me read from the English [Page 557]translation of Mexico’s answer, to be found in the replication, pages 19 and 20:

The claimants agree with the Government of Mexico in admitting the following facts, proved by irrefutable documents:

  • First. The Jesuits were the original trustees or administrators of the properties which constituted the Pious Fund of the Californias up to the year 1768, when they were expelled from Spanish dominions.
  • Second. The Spanish Crown, in place of the Jesuits, took possession of the properties which constituted the aforesaid Pious Fund, and administered them by means of a royal commission until the independence of Mexico was achieved.
  • Third. The Mexican Government, which succeeded the Spanish Government, was, as the latter had been, trustee (comisario) of the fund, and, in this conception, successor of the Jesuit missionaries, with all the rights granted to them by the founders.

The claim by the Mexican Government that it succeeded to the Jesuits in this benefaction, with all the rights granted to the Jesuits by the founders, carries with it, as a consequence, that it also assumed all the correlative duties. If Mexico obtained, by reason of her subrogation, so to speak, all of the rights, she became burdened with all of the duties. The assumption of all of the rights necessarily carried with it and connoted the assumption of all of the duties.

I therefore pass the proposition that the Pious Fund was recognized as a trust estate by Spain and Mexico. We have Mexico’s deliberate admission that our claim in that regard is true. I come, then, to the point that the trust purpose of the Pious Fund of the California mission was the conversion of the natives of the two Californias, Upper and Lower, and the establishment, maintenance, and extension of the Catholic religion and worship in that country. It is conceded by Mexico that the trust purpose of the Pious Fund of the Californias was the conversion of the natives of the two Californias, Upper and Lower. This is stated in paragraph 4 of her answer, Replication, page 30:

The claimants state that the object of the Pious Fund of the Californias was to provide for the conversion of the Indians and for the support of the Catholic Church in the Californias. This being a double object, it is necessary to distinguish between the two parts which constitute it. The first part, the conversion of the pagan Indians to the Catholic faith, and to the obedience of Spanish authority is unquestionable, and must be considered as the principle and direct object of the missions entrusted to the Society of Jesus by the Catholic King, endorsed by the founders of the Pious Fund, and subsidized by the public treasury of Mexico. The other part of the object, that is, the support of the church in California, was not the principal or direct object of the establishment of the fund, but the means of carrying out the spiritual conquest of uncivilized Indians through the religious missionaries.

We do not concede, as is claimed by Mexico in the foregoing extract, that the Pious Fund had for its object the conversion of the pagan Indians to obedience to Spanish authority, nor that the fund was ever subsidized to the extent of a single dollar “by the public treasury of Mexico.”

These propositions heretofore and now advanced by Mexico were considered in the arguments upon the former arbitration and are referred to in other arguments for the United States already submitted to this tribunal, and need not now be dwelt upon.

It will be seen from the extract above quoted from the answer of Mexico, that it is therein stated that one of the objects of the Pious Fund was the conversion of the natives to the Catholic faith. Mexico says this proposition is unquestionable. Mexico likewise concedes that another purpose of the Pious Fund was the support of the church [Page 558]in California. She so concedes, although she also claims that this purpose was subordinate to the spiritual conquest of the uncivilized Indians. But Mexico does concede, and we have properly claimed, therefore, that one of the purposes of the donors of the Pious Fund was the support of the church in California; but even without this admission the proof upon this point is complete. The Pious Fund of the Californias was, as its name implies, a fund to be devoted to pious uses in the Californias, and to pious uses of the Roman Catholic type. But how can you devote properties to pious uses of a Roman Catholic type in California without devoting them to the support of the Roman Catholic Church and the extension of her religious work there? The object of all missionary work is first to establish religion, and having established it, next, to maintain it. To establish it and then to abandon it is to have wasted and misspent your means.

What the object of this fund in the Californias was in the beginning is clearly shown by the deed of the Marquis of Villapuente and the Marchioness of Torres de Rada, executed in 1735. As I have already called to your attention the contributions to the fund in 1731, four years before the Villapuente donation, amounted to $120,000. Of that sum the Marquis of Villapuente had contributed $40,000 himself, so that all of the contributions to this fund, of which we have any evidence, prior to the de Rada donation, amounted to about $80,000.

The contributions to the fund which followed the munificent endowment of the Marquis of Villapuente and Marchioness of Torres de Rada were necessarily given to objects in close affinity to those for which the Villapuente and de Rada donation was given. Let us examine the Villapuente and de Rada deed for the purpose of ascertaining what religious object was sought to be achieved thereby. I shall come afterwards, and under a separate head which I have designed for it, to the question as to what effect the clause of that deed mentioned by Sir Edward Fry during the course of the argument yesterday, has upon the case; but I desire now to examine the deed to ascertain for what religious objects in the Californias the Marquis of Villapuente and the Marchioness of Torres de Rada made this great donation. I called to your attention this morning that the deed is a deed in terms to the missions. I desire to read to you an extract, commencing with the word “and,” about the middle of page 104, in a line which contains the words “of all things visible and invisible.” What goes before is a mere religious preamble:

And whereas the reverend Society of Jesus, with its well-known religious zeal, has been heretofore employed and is steadily engaged in the conversion of the heathen natives of the Californias; and its members, by preaching and instruction, have drawn into the fold of our holy Catholic faith great numbers of those barbarous people, to whom they have devoted and are devoting themselves, according to their institute; sacrificing their lives and exposing themselves to contumely from the heathens, solely for the greater glory of our Lord God. And whereas, in the propagation of His holy faith (which at the sacrifice of so much labor they have established), and in order also that the many other tribes which are now at the doors of the church, as well as those remaining yet undiscovered, may not be deprived of the same advantages, they need human aid as a means of successfully prosecuting their labors; considering all which, and that we both are without forced heirs, who have the right to succeed to our inheritance, and are without hope of having such.

I next desire to quote two lines, the thirteenth and fourteenth lines, on page 105:

We give to the missions of the Society of Jesus founded, and which in after times the said society may found in said Californias, the above-mentioned estate.

[Page 559]

Here follows a description of the estates granted until we reach the middle of page 106, where the description ends.

The habendum clause then commences.

It reads as follows:

To have and to hold, to said missions founded, and which hereafter may be founded, in the Californias, as well for the maintenance of their religious, and to provide for the ornament and decent support of divine worship, as also to aid the native converts and catechumens with food and clothing according to the custom of that country; so that if hereafter, by God’s blessing, there be means of support in the reductions, and missions now established, as ex. gr. by the cultivation of their lands, thus obviating the necessity of sending from this country provisions, clothing, and other necessaries, the rents and products of said estates shall be applied to new missions to be established hereafter in the unexplored parts of the said Californias according to the discretion of the father superior of said missions; and the estates aforesaid shall be perpetually inalienable, and shall never be sold, so that even in case of all California being civilized and converted to our holy Catholic faith, the profits of said estates shall be applied to the necessities of said missions and their support.

In other words, the fund, except in a given contingency, which I shall consider under another head of my argnment, is granted first for the support of the missions which then existed, then for additional missions, and finally, in the case that all California became civilized and converted to the holy Catholic faith, the fund, or profits of said estate, for the necessities of all of the missions of the Californias and their support. So far as that clause of the deed is concerned, the fund was to be a perpetual endowment for the support of religion in that country.

Again, it is said at the first line on page 107: “We the said grantors “(continue reading on the fifth line of said page).

Renounce and transfer the whole thereof to said reverend Society of Jesus, its missions of Californias, its prelates and religious, under whose charge may happen to be the government of said missions and of this province of New Spain, now and at all times hereafter, in order that from the profits of said estates, and the increase of their cattle, large and small, their other gains, natural or otherwise, they may maintain said missions in the manner above proposed, indicated, defined, and laid down forever.

Then two lines below:

And we give power and authority, so far as by right may be required, for said missions and said reverend Society of Jesus, that of their own right and authority, as they may be advised, they may take the seizin and possession of said estates

and the like.

I desire to call your attention to the clause commencing on the seventeenth line of page 108:

And we, the said grantors, both desire that at no time shall any judge, ecclesiastical or secular, undertake to investigate or intrude himself to ascertain whether the conditions of this donation be fulfilled, for our will is that in this matter there shall be no pretence for such intervention, and that whether the said reverend society fulfils or does not fulfil the trusts in favor of the missions herein contained it shall render an account to God our Lord, alone, for we have entire confidence that it will comply with its duty and do what may be most pleasing to God. And Father, John Fraucis de Tompes, of said reverend Society of Jesus, the attorney in fact to that end, instructed and named by the most reverend Father Andrew Nieto, late provincial of said society, in and by the power of attorney given him in this city November 3, 1729, before John Alvarez de la Plata, royal notary, for all things concerning the missions of the Californias, being also present, declares: That by virtue of said power he accepts the donation in manner and form as above made, expressed, and declared, and from this time forth he acknowledges, in the name of said missions, to have received the said estates.

I therefore say that whether the Villapuente deed, considered technically, [Page 560]was a conveyance to the missions of the Californias founded and to be founded, or a conveyance to the Society of Jesus, or however it operated, considered as a technical conveyance, it certainly was a benefaction to the missions and had for its object the promulgation of the Roman Catholic religion in the Californias, and the maintenance and extension of that religion in the same country.

It is true that there is a clause in the deed, called to attention by Sir Edward Fry, by which the properties are authorised to be diverted in a given contingency. I shall consider this clause shortly; but we are now dwelling upon the deed to ascertain what the religious motive was which actuated the donors to make it. Laying aside for the moment its technical legal effect, we submit that it is very clear that it was the object of the grantors of that deed (and of all who, after them, contributed to the Pious Fund of the Californias) to establish a fund for the foundation and support of pious works of the Roman Catholic type in the Californias.

In passing I may say that it was claimed upon our behalf before the former arbitral court that, according to the law of Mexico, each bishop, parish priest, monastery, hospital, and religious foundation had legal personality, was, in law, a corporation, and had capacity to receive conveyances of real property. To this contention the very form of the Villapuente deed lends support. The habendum clause is “to have and to hold to the said missions.” It maybe in view of these facts that technically the conveyance was to the missions.

It is not important to our case, however, whether this be true or not. It is not to be expected that we shall be able to trace each piece of property into this great historical fund, comprising properties aggregated in the manner which I have attempted to detail, by the same clear chain of title, by which owners of real property trace the title to their estates. We made no attempt to trace titles in this manner before the former arbitral tribunal, nor do we undertake to do so before this tribunal. We proved to the satisfaction of the former tribunal the amount and value of the fund on October 24, 1842. Upon that proof, supplemented by some evidence since discovered, and over and above all upon the conclusive effect of the judgment of the former arbitral court, we submit this branch of our case to this tribunal.

We come now to the proposition that the Villapuente deed is the foundation deed of this fund. It is such in an historical sense only, not in a technical sense.

Let it be kept in mind that from the expulsion of the Jesuits down to the decree of October 24, 1842, all of the estates embraced in the Villapuente and de Rada deed were uninterruptedly devoted to the purposes to which the grantors in that deed designed them to be devoted; so that the main intent of the deed was adhered to.

One clause only had been abandoned.

There was no exercise by the Jesuits of the power given to them in the instrument and exercisable by them in a given contingency. Let me read the clause.

It is provided in the deed, Transcript, page 106, that:

And in case that the reverend Society of Jesus, voluntarily or by compulsion, should abandon said missions of the Californias or (which God forbid) the natives of that country should rebel and apostatize from our holy faith, or in any other such contingency, then, and in that case, it is left to the discretion of the reverend father provincial of the Society of Jesus in this New Spain, for the time being, to apply the profits of said estates, their products and improvements, to other missions in the undiscovered portions of this North America.

[Page 561]

The clause authorizes properties previously dedicated to the missions of California to be diverted elsewhere, in a contingency which involved the continued existence of the reverend father provincial of the Society of Jesus “in this New Spain.” In other words, the compulsory retirement upon which that officer of the Society of Jesus “in this New Spain” was to exercise these functions, did not contemplate a retirement brought about by the entire suppression of the order and the consequent destruction of all its ecclesiastical functions. I say, then, that if you stop to dwell upon the single word “compulsion” it is true that the contingency did happen, for you may say that Jesuits did abandon the missions by compulsion, but they did not abandon them by the compulsion contemplated by the makers of this instrument, who assumed the abandonment of the missions and the existence of the society as a coexistent fact. From 1773, however, the reverend father provincial of “this New Spain” could not exist, because the order was banished from all the Spanish dominions, nor could he exist in any quarter of the globe, because the order itself had been suppressed.

The first point I make, therefore, with respect to the above-quoted clause is that the contingency mentioned in it never happened, either within the spirit or the letter of the deed. It is the function and office of all courts and tribunals charged with ascertaining the true meaning and intent of an instrument to attempt to place themselves in the position of the donors.

If we place ourselves in the position occupied by the grantors of the Villapuente deed at the time of its execution, we will surely see that they contemplated the abandonment of the missions by the Jesuits under such circumstances only as would involve the continued existence of the order in New Spain, and its continued existence as a religious order of the Roman Catholic Church. The circumstances, as they actually transpired, involved the banishment of the Society of Jesus from Spanish dominions by royal decree and the suppression of the order by Papal bull. It is evident, therefore, that the emergency, as it was contemplated, did not occur.

Before I pass to my second point, I call particular attention to the circumstance that under the deed the Jesuits were only authorized to divert funds which had been already dedicated to the missions of the Californias. The fund had already been given to the missions. The power conferred upon the Jesuits was to recall the gift. This is evident from the words of the deed: “To have and to hold to said missions.” I put particular stress upon these words for the reason that they show that the gift was already executed to the missions of California. Whether the transfer operated as a technical grant or conveyance is not important. Disregarding technicalities it is evident that the Villapuente and de Rada donation was made to the missions of the Californias, and was only to be defeated by the exercise of a privilege given to a particular Jesuit and exercisable only in a given contingency—a contingency which, I have already argued, never occurred within the letter or spirit of the instrument.

Let us assume, however, that the contingency did happen; assume that the circumstances were such as the Marquis of Villapuente contemplated; then the person at whose discretion the funds of the missions in California could be diverted to other fields was clearly designated to be the “reverend father provincial of the Society of Jesus in New Spain.” But such a person as the “reverend father provincial of New [Page 562]Spain” did not exist. He could not exist in Spain by reason of royal decree; he could not exist in any quarter of the world, because he and his order had been suppressed by papal bull, and his title, powers, and office had all ceased to exist. To sum up: The first point I have made is that the contingency never happened; secondly, if the contingency did happen, the power could not have been exercised because conditions had made the exercise of it impossible.

My third point is that if the contingency did happen, and if the power could have been exercised, the Jesuits have waived the right to exercise it by a long, unbroken, and unequivocal course of conduct. The very doctrine of prescription, which obtains in the civil and the common law, has been sustained in the jurisprudence of some nations by the fiction, which is allowed to prevail even contrary to the fact, of the existence of a lost deed. A man who has been in the unbroken possession of property for a long time is entitled in aid of his title to have it presumed that the last man to whom the title regularly descended had executed a grant to the one in possession.

My fourth point is that the power to divert the fund was personal to the Jesuits; that it was intended to be exercised by a specified religious and monastic officer; that it was intended to be exercised by a person who by reason of his religious office had obtained the confidence in an unusual degree of the Marquis of Villapuente. If there ever was in the eighteenth century a religious devotee, I venture to say that he was the Marquis of Villapuente. You will find in this record, commencing at the top of page 109, a biographical sketch of his career. You will there find that the dominant motive by which his life seemed to be actuated was a religious one. This likewise breathes in every line of his deed. When he conveyed these properties he relied on the honesty of the grantees and provided that the Jesuits should never be called on to account to any court or tribunal, ecclesiastical or lay, for the due administration of these trusts. He evinced beyond peradventure that his donation or grant to them, with a power to divert that estate, was personal in character, and when they, by reason of papal suppression, were unable to exercise it, the result was that the property already donated to the missions of California, or for the enjoyment of the missions of the Californias, could not, like the right which we have in the common law to reenter for breach of condition, be ever exercised. The gift made by the Villapuente deed did not, in the first instance, require the intervention of the Jesuits. It was a gift to the missions in the first instance, with the right in the missionaries to the exercise of a power, not for the aggrandizement of the Jesuits, not for their benefit and behalf at all, but it was a right to be exercised by them according to their discretion.

These considerations, I fear, involve too technical a point of view for such a case in such a tribunal. The history of this fund was made by three-quarters of a century’s treatment of it by two governments, and we rely on that treatment, culminating in the engagement in 1842. It is not necessary that our case, as we understand it, be dealt with in purely technical fashion. All of these considerations, however, lead us to see the case in its true light, and, seeing it, we are able to clearly understand what justice demands.

I have now dealt with four propositions in relation to the clause of the deed whereby the Jesuits were authorized to divert the fund to other missions. The fifth is that if the contingency happened, if the [Page 563]power did survive but could not be exercised by the Jesuits, and if it did devolve upon the Spanish crown, the power to appoint to other missions was never exercised. On the contrary, one of the earliest royal decrees recognized and confirmed the devotion of these properties to the Californias; and, as I have taken occasion to repeat three or four times, in all the official decrees and legislative acts of these two Governments from shortly following the expulsion of the Jesuits down to 1848, the official title of these properties was the “Pious Fund of the Californias.”

Mr. Asser. I very well understand your first, second, fourth, and fifth proposals concerning this point; but as to the third, I would be very glad to have some further information. What is your meaning concerning the third point?

Mr. McEnerney. I say that they waived the right.

Mr. Asser. By what means?

Mr. McEnerney. By a long, unbroken, and unequivocal refusal to claim. The Jesuits were restored in 1814 by Pius VII. They have been an order in the church since that time. They received of the former award, as proved by the deposition filed to-day, in response to a demand by Mexico, under an apportionment by the Holy See, to be devoted to the propagation of religion in the Californias—one-half of $40,000—that is, $20,000.

The Jesuits knew that they had this power of appointment. Their attorney received the deed from the grantors (Tr., 108). Since their restoration as a religious order in the church they have never put forward any claim to the Pious Fund. More than that: It is not necessary to prove that the Roman Catholic Church as it exists the world over is a papal church. The Holy See is the head and front of it. He is the legislative, the judicial, and the executive departments of the church. All the orders of the church are in subordination to him. These properties had passed to the control of other orders and of other officers of the church under permission, necessarily, of the Holy See. When the Pope appointed Francisco Garcia Diego first bishop of California, he did it in response to the solicitation of the Mexican Government. The Government then tendered the bishop the Pious Fund, which the Jesuits had formerly controlled. To this disposition of it the Jesuits are deemed to have consented, not only because they offered not one word of objection, but also because they were bound by the constitution of the church to which they belong to yield obedience to the head of that church, their ecclesiastical superior, the bishop of Rome.

(La seance est levée et le Tribunal s’ajourne à lundi le 22 septembre à 10 heures du matin.)

cinquième séance.

Lundi 22 septembre 1902 (matin).

Le tribunal s’est réuni à 10 heures, tous les arbitres étant présents.

M. le Président. Je donne la parole au secrétaire-géneral pour lire le protocole des séances précédentes.

M. le Secrétaire-Général (donne lecture du protocole des séances des 15 et 17 septembre 1902).

M. le Président. La parole est au conseil des Etats-Unis d’Amérique.

[Page 564]

M. Beernaert. Je demande la parole pour une observation d’importanee très seeondaire, mais sur laquelle nous serons je pense d’accord. C’est que le dossier déposé par les Etats-Unis est en réalité un dossier commun, ainsi que cela avait été convenu a Washington; ce sont done des pièces communes, réunies par l’une des parties, mais pour le compte des deux. Il semblait que quelques mots de ce que M. le Secrétaire-Général a lu tout-à-l’heure auraient pu comporter à cet égard quelques doutes, et c’est la raison de mon observation.

M. le Président. On prendra acte de cette déclaration. La parole est à M. Ralston.

Mr. Ralston. I perhaps did not catch entirely all that Mr. Beernaert said.

The President (explains what Mr. Beernaert said).

Mr. Ralston. Assuredly, assuredly.

M. le Président. La parole est au conseil des Etats-Unis.

Mr. McEnerney. Mr. President and honorable arbitrators, in the considerations which I had the honor to submit for your consideration on Wednesday last, I had concluded the discussion of three propositions.

1. “The Pious Fund of the Californias” had an unbroken and generally recognized existence from 1697 down to the cession of Upper California to the United States of America by Mexico in the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo of February 2, 1848.

2. At no time during its existence, beginning with 1697 and continuing to February 2, 1848, was “The Pious Fund of the Californias” considered to be other than a trust fund. Its character as such was continuously and repeatedly recognized, first by Spain and thereafter by Mexico.

3. The trust purpose of “The Pious Fund of the Californias” was throughout its existence the conversion of the natives of the two Californias, Upper and Lower, and the establishment, maintenance, and extension of the Catholic Church, its religion and worship, in that country. This purpose Mexico consistently recognized.

In addition to having concluded the consideration of these three propositions, I was engaged when the tribunal rose for its adjournment on Wednesday last with a consideration of the connection and relation which the Society of Jesus bore to the fund from and after the expulsion and suppression of the society, a proposition which I have since that adjournment formulated and which I desire to express as follows:

4. The Society of Jesus has had no estate in the properties of the Pious Fund since 1773; nor has it had, since that time, any interest therein such as would in any manner interfere with the legal or moral right of the United States of America to demand from Mexico the award which is here sought.

I undertook, in the course of the considerations which I had the honor to submit to you, to establish in connection with this proposition the following:

(a) The contingency mentioned in the above-quoted clause of the Villapuente deed never occurred within either the letter or the spirit of that conveyance.

(b) The power granted to the “reverend father provincial of the Society of Jesus in this new Spain” to divert the income of the estates to missions in other parts of the world was ineffective from the banishment and suppression of the Jesuits (1767 and 1773), for want of the religious person designated to exercise the power. From 1773 [Page 565]there was no father provincial in New Spain, nor elsewhere, and no Jesuit nor Jesuit mission in all the world.

(c) The Society of Jesus renounced the right by failing ever to put forward a claim for its enjoyment.

(d) The power was religious in its nature and personal to the Jesuits.

And I had reached and had under discussion at the moment the tribunal rose the fifth point, which is this:

(e) Even if the contingency contemplated by the deed did occur, and even if the power to divert was not personal to the Society of Jesus, but did survive to and devolve upon the Spanish Crown, then we answer that the power to divert these funds from the missions of the Californias to missions in other parts of the world was never exercised by Spain. On the contrary, the dedication of the properties as a fund for the maintenance of the missions in the Californias was repeatedly confirmed by Spain, and all power to divert them to other parts of the world was waived and abandoned. Indeed, the earliest royal decrees of Spain following the banishment of the Jesuits recognized and affirmed the dedication of the properties to the support of the missions of the Californias.

The very division of the missions between the Franciscans and Dominicans, to which, when I had occasion heretofore to refer to it I begged you to impress upon your attention, for the reason that I intended thereafter to make the point at which I have now arrived. That point is that the very division of the missions between the Franciscans and the Dominicans, with the consent and approval and by the direction of the Spanish Crown, and the entire treatment of the problem of the missions in Upper and Lower California by Spain, was based upon the idea that the Pious Fund belonged to the missions of the Californias. If this fund had not been treated by Spain as a fund for the support of the missions of the Californias, Upper and Lower, those missions of necessity would have had to be abandoned.

It would have been impossible without the dedication of these funds to the missions of California for the Franciscans or the Dominicans to have carried on that work. The very agreement of Spain for a division of the missions between the Franciscans and the Dominicans was, under these circumstances, a reaffirmation by that country of the dedication of these properties to the missions of the “Californias.

I pass to the sixth point, which is this:

(f) The Villapuente deed, in which this power is reserved to the Jesuits, constituted only a portion of the Pious Fund, and by the course of history and with the concurrence and by the direction of two Governments, Spain and Mexico, the Villapuente and De Rada properties were merged in the other properties of the fund, and for three-quarters of a century (from 1768 to 1842) all of these properties were treated as constituting “The Pious Fund of the Californias,” a fund devoted, as its name implies, to pious uses, to be achieved in the Californias.

I pass now to the seventh point, which I had occasion in a faint way to foreshadow to the tribunal on Wednesday last. It is this:

(g) The court will remember that the religious orders of the Roman Catholic Church are not purely self-existent bodies. They are each of them attached to the See of Rome in a particular manner, and that See is for each of them the ultimate superior. The acts of the Holy See in respect of the functions of any particular order have not only [Page 566]the general authority recognized in the See of Rome by all Catholics, but they have also a particular authority, and may, for the considerations which I shall hereafter advance to you, be regarded as the acts of the order itself.

The whole history of the religious orders, including that of the Society of Jesus, will show no exception to the rule that they all regard this particular authority of the Holy See, and submissive concurrence in its commands, as a necessary condition of their very existence. And we need not stop to dwell upon that longer than a moment, because as they exist by virtue of permission issued from the Holy See, concurrent submission to its authority is a condition, a fundamental condition, to the existence of religious orders within the pale of the Roman Catholic Church. It conclusively follows from this universally admitted principle that whatever the Holy See directs or permits in the case of a religious order may be presumed to be an act of that order itself; nor could a better example of this principle be adduced than the submission of the Jesuits themselves to the papal bull of 1773 by which that order was suppressed.

Coming now to apply those principles stated in the abstract to our case in the concrete, we say that the Franciscans and Dominicans could not have taken over the administration of the missions of the Californias without the consent of the Holy See—a consent to which the Jesuits (not yet suppressed when the missions were taken over) must be deemed, from the principle enunciated above, to have been a party. The Holy See permitted the Franciscans and Dominicans to take over the missions of the Californias. What the Holy See permitted to be done from the very fundamental notion of the attachment of the religious orders to the Holy See, that act of the Holy See must carry with it the concurrence of the Jesuits.

The same idea is true of every subsequent act authorized or permitted by the Holy See in connection with the administration of the missions and the application of the Pious Fund of the Californias to their use. It will also be evident that as the archbishop and the bishop of California were permitted to present the claim which they made before the former arbitral court the validity of that claim was implicitly conceded and agreed to by the Society of Jesus. Another evidence of this concurrence is the acceptance by the Society of Jesus of the sum of $20,000 under the apportionment by the Holy See on March 4, 1877, of the recovery in the former arbitral court.

The present claim, the one before this tribunal, made by the United States of America on behalf of the archbishop and the bishop of California (these latter necessarily acting with the leave of the Holy See), will be conclusively presumed to have been made with the active and passive concurrence of the Society of Jesus. And it will be furthermore presumed as a part of this suggestion that any act of that society necessary to perfect the claim here urged has been duly had and taken in due season by said society.

In other words, it will be presumed under the circumstances that if any act could be done by the Jesuits to make effectual the claim that act has been duly performed in due season by that society. This is no novel principle of jurisprudence to put forward in a judicial tribunal, because it bears a close analogy to the presumption of a modern lost grant indulged in the law of England in support of a title by occupancy.

[Page 567]

I desire to briefly refer to Herbert’s Law of Prescription, an essay to which was awarded the York prize in the University of Cambridge in 1890.

I shall read a few short extracts, commencing on page 12 and ending on page 20.

It appears that in order to sustain a title by prescription according to the English law, in the early history of that law, it was necessary for the claimant of title to show occupancy during the period of legal memory fixed in English jurisprudence as running back to the time of Richard the First, or 1189. It came in the evolution of the English law that this necessity was satisfied by proof of twenty years’ occupancy, from which it would be presumed, in the absence of other testimony, that the occupancy had dated back to this twilight of time represented by the year 1189.

Sir Edward Fry. Is not this rather a too technical point for us?

Mr. McEnerney. We would not have considered it necessary to argue this point but for a question addressed by Sir Edward Fry to Senator Stewart during the course of his argument.

Sir Edward Fry. I only throw it out to you as a too technical point for this court.

Mr. McEnerney. I think it is very technical; and as I have heretofore had occasion to say, I do not think the case can be in any manner affected by these considerations. I determined to submit them, however, on account of the question put by Sir Edward Fry to Senator Stewart. I will pass on—

Sir Edward Fry. I do not wish to stop you.

Mr. McEnerney. I do not care to go on. I am very glad that you made the suggestion. I thank you for it.

Mr. McEnerney (continuing). I will state now two additional grounds and then pass on. They are these:

(h) The Franciscans and Dominicans, and after them Bishop Diego, his successors in title and interest, have acquired, prescriptively, the right of the Jesuits, with the consent, seasonably made, of both Spain and Mexico.

And, lastly—

(i) The title, if any, and whatever its character, was abandoned by the Jesuits; whether compulsorily or not is unimportant. And abandonment is one of the methods by which title may be lost.

I therefore pass to my fifth proposition in the case, which is:

5. The question whether either Spain or Mexico might have diverted the fund to other missions is not involved in this case, and is therefore purely academic. Were such a position maintained, it could be conclusively answered by the fact that neither Spain nor Mexico ever did so divert the fund and neither of them ever claimed the right to do so.

In connection with this point I beg to invite your attention to an argument made before the former tribunal, printed at pages 75–76 of the Transcript.

It reads:

By the act of 1842 the Mexican Government had taken to itself private property contributed to the church for a special purpose, and bound itself to make good by paying a certain annual interest. Can there be a doubt that the church in California was then entitled to receive from the Government this annual payment, to be applied to the purpose for which the fund was originally created? We find nothing to indicate [Page 568]at this time any intent to repudiate its obligation, by any direct act, or by the adoption of any such arguments as are now urged to this end.

On the contrary, the Government acknowledged its indebtedness in the most formal and solemn manner, in the very act by which it placed in its treasury the proceeds of this property. The obligation thus assumed by Mexico towards a portion of its citizens was as perfect and binding upon it as if the same had been contracted by an individual. Nor is the obligation at all impaired by its own default in making payment, nor by the fact that, owing to its sovereign character, there were no means to enforce payment by judicial process. No suits can be maintained in the courts of the country against the United States, and yet its public debt constitutes an obligation as binding upon it as if judgment and execution could be invoked to enforce it.

I now invite your attention to the reply, by Mr. Doyle, at page 47 of the Transcript, Paragraph VI. It is this:

In view of the clear recognition by Mexico in the decree of October, 1842, of a debt equal to the proceeds and value of the property taken into the treasury, and of the promise to pay interest thereon at six per cent, I have deemed it unnecessary to notice many points in the argument of Don Manuel Aspiros, based on matters long antecedent to that date—such as the alleged incapacity of the Society of Jesus to acquire property; the suggestion that their estates were confiscated on their expulsion from the Spanish dominions, and that the Pious Fund came to the monarch’s hands as a temporality; that the validity of the constitution of the Pious Fund required the sanction of the Pope; that portions of the fund, derived from bequests destined by the donors to missions in general, were not necessarily applicable to California missions in particular, and, hence, were improperly incorporated into the Pious Fund of California; questions whether the church of California could, have complained if the the funds destined for the propagation of the gospel here had been (while the sovereignty of Mexico yet extended over the country) diverted to missions in other parts of the Republic; whether, if the Pious Fund had remained invested in real estate down to the time of the treaty of Queretaro, it could have been successfully claimed by the church of California, which, by that treaty, lost its status of Mexican citizenship, and the like—because, as it seems to me, none of these questions can affect the decision of this claim. It is not disputed that the Jesuits did, in fact, receive these donations in trust for the pious purposes designed by the founders, and neither the binding force of the trust nor their right and duty to administer it was ever questioned by Spain or Mexico. The legality of the additions made to it were also unquestioned at the time, and have since remained so, and it is not denied that they were, in fact, made. The acquiescence of the Government, and of all others interested, for a long series of years, entitles as to a presumption, juris et dejure, that all these things were rightly done and legal, as no doubt they were.

And that is what we say to you to-day that the acquiescence of the Government and of others interested for a long series of years entitles us to the presumption that these things were rightly done and legally, just as the foundation to much of the territory the world over has been upon unquestioned occupancy during a long series of years—sometimes not longer than seventy-five years and oftentimes less.

Sir Edward Fry. The treaty of Quéretaro?

Mr. McEnerney. It is the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The ratifications took place at Querétaro. The treaty was signed at Guadalupe Hidalgo.

Sir Edward Fry. I thought so.

I continue with Mr. Doyle’s argument:

Mr. McEnerney:

Nor is it disputed that the Crown received the funds on the expulsion of the Jesuits, and assumed to succeed to the same title, rights, and duties as had previously devolved on them, and administered the trust thereunder down to the epoch of independence, when Mexico succeeded in like manner to Spain, and continued to administer in the same way down to the year 1836.

Neither power, during this long period of over an hundred years, raised any of these questions, and I submit with entire confidence that it is too late to entertain them here and now.

So the question, whether either Spain or Mexico might have diverted the fund to other missions, is conclusively answered by the fact that they never did so, and never claimed the right to do so.

[Page 569]

We therefore submit that neither Mexico nor Spain ever claimed the right to divert or attempted the diversion of the Pious Fund. It is hence unnecessary for us to debate the purely academic point as to whether either Government ever possessed the right suggested.

This carries me to the sixth question with which I propose to deal, and that is:

6. That the rights of the beneficiaries of the Pious Fund of the Californias which are asserted here arise out of the promise made by Mexico on October 24, 1842, and the duty of Mexico to those beneficiaries as a trustee of the fund.

When Mexico made her decree of October 24, 1842, she promised to pay 6 per cent upon the capital of the Pious Fund for the uses and purposes to which the fund had been dedicated by the donors. This’ engagement was no mere gratuity. There was not only a sufficient, but an ample consideration for the promise. She incorporated the entire Pious Fund into her national treasury. The least she could do in honor was to promise to pay interest upon the fund. Mexico not only agreed to pay the interest, but she agreed to pay it to the religious objects specified and intended by the donors of the fund, which, as we have already pointed out, were the conversion of the natives of the Californias, Upper and Lower, and the establishment, maintenance, and extension of the Catholic Church, its religion and worship, in that country.

At the time she made the engagement Mexico sustained the relation of a trustee to the beneficiaries and to the fund. This, as we have pointed out, is conceded in her answer to our memorial. Her promise, therefore, is to be read in the light of her duty as trustee. The promise which Mexico made was to pay an annuity in perpetuity. Her promise was also to pay it to certain religious purposes to be accomplished in Upper California and certain religious purposes to be accomplished in Lower California. Upon the cession of Upper California to the United States by Mexico, for a consideration of $18,250,000, the obligation to pay the equitable portion due for application to the religious purposes to be accomplished in Upper California was not canceled. It survived for the benefit and behoof of the inhabitants and citizens of the ceded territory, whose American citizenship, as it was to be thenceforth, entitled them to demand performance through the interposition of the United States. It is this demand which they made with success under the convention of 1868, and which they are now endeavouring to make with the same success before this court.

The seventh point is that:

7. All of the events preceding October 24, 1842, are in the nature of matters of inducement, as that term is used in English and American jurisprudence. The obligation of October 24, 1842, is to be read in the light of these events, in order that it may be properly interpreted. But Mexico’s obligation arises out of its legislative decree of October 24, 1842, and its precedent trusteeship.

In the law of pleading, as it is established in American and English jurisprudence, we have what are known as “matters of inducement.” These are matters appropriately to be stated in a pleading, in order that the court to which the pleading is submitted may the more intelligently appreciate the force of the particular transaction out of which arises the cause of action or the matter of defence. In this case the [Page 570]cause of action upon which our claim is made is the engagement in the light of the historical circumstances which preceded it. These circumstances enable us to appreciate the exact legal and moral obligation which Mexico assumed by the act of October 24, 1842, whereby she incorporated all the property of the Pious Fund into the Mexican treasury, and agreed to pay 6 per cent thereon annually and in perpetuity.

The next point to which I desire to call the attention of the tribunal is that—

8. It was the duty of Mexico during the period when it managed the “Pious Fund of the Californias” prior to the appointment of the bishop of the Californias to pay over the income thereof to the missionaries in charge of the missions, in furtherance of the purpose of the donors.

I support this proposition with the argument that as the missionaries alone were in the possession of the spiritual faculties having relation to the missions, as the spiritual faculties of the missions were their very life and very existence, as they had no other, and as that spiritual life, its foundation, and support were the objects which appealed to the donors, it follows as a consequence that the only persons who, from the very necessity of the case and the very circumstances of the missions, could administer these funds to the pious uses specified by the donors were the missionaries themselves. Hence out of the very necessity of the case they were entitled to receive the funds, and as it was intended by the donors to make their gifts effectual, it must be conclusively presumed that they intended the funds to go to those persons who alone were capable of administering them for the purposes which the donors had in mind.

The next proposition is that—

9. This duty was solemnly recognized by Mexico and was never repudiated.

It was solemnly recognized by Mexico in 1832, when she provided in the act of May 25th for the leasing of the rural properties belonging to the Pious Fund. Mark the emphasis which I place upon the word “belonging” to the Pious Fund. I so emphasize the word because it is stated in the act of May 25, 1832, that these properties “belong to the Pious Fund.” And it is provided that the moneys shall be paid into the treasury “to be solely and exclusively destined for the missions of the Californias.”

And, again, there is the provision that the board shall “name to the Government the amounts which may be remitted to each one of the Californias, in accordance with their respective expenses and available funds.”

There is no other provision of any kind in that act of 1832 which contemplates the disbursement of any of these moneys except to these Californian missions.

I say, therefore, as it is provided that these moneys shall be remitted to the missions, and as it is said in the act that the moneys are “solely and exclusively destined” for these missions, and as it is also said therein that the properties belong to the Pious Fund of the Californias, that we have made good, so far as the act of 1832 is concerned, the proposition which we now have under consideration—namely, that the duty of remitting to the missionaries prior to the appointment of the bishopric was recognized by Mexico.

[Page 571]

Then, again, its duty to remit to the bishops was recognized by the act of September 19, 1836—the act in relation to the creation of a bishopric—by which Mexico solicited the Holy See to create a bishopric in the Californias and pledged for its support six thousand dollars per annum. In this act it is provided that all of the properties of the Pious Fund should be passed to the possession of the bishop for administration in conformity to the will of the donors or similar objects.

Again, after the passage of the act of February 8, 1842, which affirms the trust character of the properties, General Santa Anna, President of the Mexican Republic, appointed Don Gabriel Valencia, chief of staff, to be the general administrator of the funds. This you will find stated at page 505 of the Transcript.

In a letter from the minister of justice to Don Pedro Ramirez, dated February 21, 1842, it is stated that General Gabriel Valencia is appointed general administrator of said goods upon the same terms and with the same powers as were conferred upon the board under the act of May 25, 1832. (Transcript, p. 505.)

And what were those powers? They were to conserve the properties and to remit to the missions of the Californias under the act, which said that the funds were solely and exclusively destined therefor.

In further recognition of Mexico’s duty to remit to the missions is the order of the President of the Mexican Republic of April 3, 1844, to which I had the honor to call your attention on Wednesday, in which the custom-house of Guaymas is directed to pay $8,000 to the bishop of the Californias on account of the income from the Pious Fund, which had been incorporated into the national treasury.

My next proposition is that:

10. From the consecration of Francisco Garcia Diego as first bishop of the Californias, Upper and Lower, which occurred October 4th, 1840, the proper persons to receive the income or interest upon the Pious Fund have been the bishop of the Californias and his successors in title and interest.

As I have heretofore had occasion to call to your attention, Bishop Diego was appointed April 27, 1840. He was consecrated (as you will find by turning to page 91 of the Transcript) on October 4, 1840. He died April 30, 1846. His successor, Joseph Sadoc Alemany, was appointed May 1, 1850; consecrated June 30, 1850, and arrived in California in 1850. (See Transcript, pages 182, 183, and 12.)

From the death of Bishop Diego until the appointment of Bishop Alemany the bishopric was administered by the vicar-general, Father Rubio (whose deposition was submitted in the former arbitral court and is shown in this transcript), who exercised that post with the faculties of a bishop.

We have pointed out to you that from the very necessity of the case, prior to the appointment of the bishop, it was necessary to forward the funds for application to the pious uses for which they were designed directly to the missionaries. After the appointment of the bishop it was necessary in the nature of things, as he was in exclusive charge of the spiritualities and temporalities of the church, that he should apply them. It was, from the very nature and constitution of the Roman Catholic Church, its maintenance and extension, impossible for it to be applied by any other persons.

Upon this point I desire to call to the attention of the tribunal the argument made by Mr. Doyle (commencing at the top of page 86 of [Page 572]the Transcript, point II, and continuing to the foot of page 93, the end of point III) in which he discusses this question.

From this discussion I shall make a short extract:

This brings us to the consideration of the next question suggested by the counsel for Mexico, viz: Whether the bishops of the Church of California are the proper persons to demand, before the commission, the performance of this duty. This I think presents no serious difficulty. The church is a mystical body; it consists of the bishops and clergy and the body of the laity under their government and in communion with the See of Rome. As a body it is deemed a corporation in all countries having an established religion. Throughout the United States the absolute severance of church and state has led to the corollary of ignoring the corporate existence of any particular denomination as such, because the state having no official communication with it can not take notice of its doctrines, discipline, or organization. But statutes in all the States have, I believe, without exception, provided for the formation of religious corporations, representing the body of believers, usually in such form as each particular denomination may desire …

Mr. Doyle continues at the top of page 87:

In view of these considerations the bishops of the church (even if unincorporated) would be the proper persons, on behalf of their respective flocks, to demand before an international tribunal, like the present, fulfillment by Mexico of the duty it assumed by the decree of 1842.

Since that argument was made, and since the former award was made, a considerable body of jurisprudence has grown up in America relating to controversies about church property. In the absence of a corporate capacity the property is treated as owned by a number of persons in communion for particular purposes, like any unincorporated association for literary, benevolent, or scientific purposes. That is the status of all religious sects in the United States which are unincorporated, at least so far as their properties are concerned.

The argument which we now have under consideration, that the bishop was the proper person to demand performance here, is a rule settled in the jurisprudence of the United States in relation to land grants by Mexico to these missionary uses immediately preceding the cession of Upper California to the United States.

Shortly after the cession of California to the United States and its admission into the American Union, the Congress of the United States passed an act to settle private land titles in the State of California. This act, which was passed in 1851, provided a commission to ascertain whether grants of land which it was claimed had been made by Mexico were valid. If valid they were to be given force and recognition by a patent issued by the United States. This act of 1851 provided for the creation of a board of land commissioners, to which every person having or claiming to have a title derived from Mexico was required to present his claim. Upon the adjudication of the commission, either for or against the grant, the case passed by appeal to the United States district court and thence, if need be, to the United States Supreme Court. Under that act the bishop of the Californias, Joseph Sadoc Alemany, presented to the board of land commissioners a claim for all of the properties of the church which had been granted to religious persons or which had been dedicated without any formal conveyance to missionary or other religious uses. The question arose in that case whether the bishop was the proper person to come forward on behalf of the undefined communion known as the Roman Catholic Church in California to claim patents and whether he appropriately represented the church. Our courts decided against their own Government, because if these grants were not valid the property claimed under them remained [Page 573]a part of the public domain of the United States. Our courts, I say, held that those were effectual grants to be carried out by the United States under its obligation to treat as valid and effective grants previously made by the Government of Mexico, and furthermore decided in accordance with the contention which Mr. Doyle made before the former arbitral court, and which he indeed made before the land commission upon behalf of the bishop, that the bishop appropriately represented the church, the clergy, and the laity—both those actually and those potentially within the fold—and was entitled to receive the patents for church lands.

It is that principle established by the courts of the United States that we invoke for application here.

At page 564 Mr. Doyle says, third line:

When the territory of Upper California was ceded by Mexico to the United States it was held by the judges, in a suit between the Government and the church, that the latter had become the owner of these properties so appropriated by dedication of the Government.

Please keep in mind that some of these grants were affirmed, not on the ground that the Government had made a written instrument by which it conveyed the property to the church, but for that it recognized the use by the church for religious purposes. It had dedicated the property by its express consent, or by a course of conduct amounting to acquiescence, just as a man suffers a right of way to grow up by usage if he permits the public to travel over his domain from a time out of mind.

I now return to the extract which I was reading from Mr. Doyle’s brief at page 564 of the Transcript.

He says:

And this doctrine received the sanction of the Supreme Court of the United States, in the case of Beard vs. Federy, 3 Wall., 479 (492). The United States only asks in this case the same recognition of the rights of the church to property, expressly dedicated ad pios usus, by individuals which their judiciary enforced against themselves in a case of dedication of portions of the public domain, in respect to which they had succeeded to all the right of Mexico implied in the vice-regal license under examination.

This point is also dealt with, commencing with the words “Another precedent occurred,” etc., on page 89 of the Transcript, and continuing to the words “why not also the interest,” on page 92. At page 89 will be found extracts from the decision of the United States land commission upon the application of the Roman Catholic bishop of Monterey for a patent to the properties claimed by the church. In this case all of the questions with which we are now concerned are dealt with, and it was there decided that the bishop was the proper person to receive the patent.

On this same point I desire to refer the tribunal to paragraph 5 of one of Mr. Doyle’s briefs, page 471. I shall not read it.

There is another precedent upon which we rely—one established by Mexico in a treaty with Spain, made in 1844. Of that precedent it is said at page 92:

In this connection, and in order to present the whole argument together, I take occasion to repeat in extenso the reference to the precedent (quoted in our memorial) of the missionary fund of the Philippine Islands. In its general character and the objects to which it was devoted it was analogous to the Pious Fund of the Californias. Its income had been, down to the severance of Mexico from the Spanish dominion, periodically remitted to the ecclesiastical authorities in those islands. Shortly after the declaration of Mexican independence the properties of this fund [Page 574]were seized and embargoed by the Mexican Government, and farther remittances of their proceeds forbidden. This embargo was afterwards raised; but two haciendas belonging to the fund had been appropriated by Mexico, so that their value, with indemnity for past rents, remained due to the Philippine missions; and this was made the subject of diplomatic representations by Spain to Mexico after the recognition of her independence by the former power. These negotiations resulted in the convention of November 7th, 1844, whereby the Republic of Mexico bound itself to pay to the president of the Philippine missions the sum of $115,000, the agreed value of the property, and $30,000 of indemnity, in satisfaction of said claim. The total of $145,000 was to draw interest at six per cent per annum until extinguished, from the particular revenues which were specifically pledged for the purpose.

That same incident is dealt with in the first memorial, at page 14, arid again in Paragraph XII, page 474, of the transcript.

We therefore conclude that from the time of the appointment of the bishop until the cession of California to the United States it was the duty of Mexico to remit these moneys for administration to the bishop.

We support this contention with two precedents, one derived from the jurisprudence of America in a controversy between the church, claiming title derived from Mexico, on the one hand, and the United States on the other; the other a precedent established by Mexico in a convention with Spain having relation to the Philippine missions.

I desire to call to the attention of the tribunal that the matters which were the subject of this treaty by Mexico arise out of the Arguelles benefaction, which is the subject of Payno’s report, at pages 23 and 24. Three-eighths of the estate belonged to the, Philippines missions and three-eighths to the California missions. The law for the Philippine missions in that case must be the law for the California missions in this case, and as Mexico accounted to Spain for the income properly appertaining to the Philippine missions we say that it is likewise her duty to account to the United States for the income appertaining to the missions of Upper California.

The duty in each case depends upon precisely the same facts.

11. My next proposition is that whatever the rights of the American church were before the cession of the territory, they remained afterwards. In support of that proposition, although the circumstances are slightly variant, I desire to quote to you a decision referred to on page 586 of the transcript. It is a decision of the United States Supreme Court, written by one of the most distinguished judges who ever sat upon the American bench, Mr. Justice Joseph Story, and concurred in by the most distinguished judge America has produced, Chief Justice John Marshall.

These were the facts:

While Virginia was a colony of Great Britain and the Episcopal Church was the established religion, certain glebe lands came into possession of the church. Virginia, after the Revolution had established its independence, undertook to pass an act authorizing the overseers of the poor of each parish to sell these glebe lands and appropriate the proceeds to the use of the poor.

In commenting on this, the Supreme Court of the United States said:

Be however the general authority of the legislature as to the subject of religion as it may, it will require other arguments to establish the position that at the Revolution all the public property acquired by the Episcopal churches, under the sanction of the laws, became the property of the State. Had the property thus acquired been originally granted by the State or the King there might have been some color (and it would have been but a color) for such an extraordinary pretension. But the property was, in fact and in law, generally purchased by the parishoners or acquired by the benefactions of pious donors. The title thereto was indefeasibly vested in the [Page 575]churches, or rather in their legal agents. It was not in the power of the Crown to seize or assume it, nor of the Parliament itself to destroy the grants, unless by the exercise of a power the most arbitrary, oppressive, and unjust, and endured only because it could not be resisted. It was not forfeited, for the churches had committed no offence. The dissolution of the regal Government no more destroyed the right to possess or enjoy this property than it did the right of any other corporation or individual to his or its own property. The dissolution of the form of government did not involve in it a dissolution of civil rights, or an abolition of the common law under which the inheritances of every man in the State were held. The State itself succeeded only to the rights of the Crown, and, we may add, with many a flower of prerogative struck from its hands. It has been asserted as a principle of the common law that the division of an empire creates no forfeiture of previously vested rights of property. Kelly vs. Harrison, 2 John C, 29; Jackson vs. Lunn, 3 John C, 109; Calvin’s case, 7 Co., 27. And this principle is equally consonant with the common sense of mankind and the maxims of eternal justice.

This principle was recognized by the United States in its treatment of the municipal corporations, known as pueblos, existing by virtue of Mexican law. They were recognized as existing bodies until they were reorganized under municipal laws enacted by California as one of the States of the American Union.

12. We now pass to the proposition that the amount of the Pious Fund, and the properties of which it consisted on October 24, 1842, as fixed by the former arbitral court were definitely established by the proofs presented to that court. If the case is not controlled by the principle of res Judicata, we claim that the total as fixed by the former arbitral court should be increased by $381,518.15.

The amount of the Pious Fund before the former arbitral court was ascertained and fixed by the aid of the inventory and appraisement of those properties, prepared by Pedro Ramirez upon the demand of the Mexican Government, and which accompanied the surrender of the fund to General Gabriel Valencia, appointed, as I before shown to the tribunal, on February 21, 1842. The inventory is to be found in English, commencing on page 512 and continuing down to 518.

It is styled:

Detailed statement of the condition in which I received as attorney of the Most Illustrious Lord Don Fray Francisco Garcia Diego, bishop of Californias, the properties which constitute the Pious Fund of his missions, and of their condition at this date, as noted in my official letter of the 28th of February last.

The inventory is also set forth in the record in Spanish, transcript 488 to 493 and 169 to 175. If the members of the tribunal will turn to the opinion of the American commissioner, which was affirmed or approved by the umpire, they will find at page 525 that Mr. Wadsworth said:

I take the reports Pedro Pamirez of February 28, 1842, upon the condition of the fund made to Ygnacio de Cubas, Exhibit A to the deposition of Jose Maria de Romo, as a sufficiently accurate and satisfactory account.

Ygnacio de Cubas was secretary to General Valencia in the administration of the Pious Fund (Tr., 510).

If this case is not controlled by the former decision, then we ask to add the following items to the capital of the Pious Fund as fixed by the former arbitral court:

The Cienega del Pastor, which was sold November 29, 1842, by Mexico for $213,750.00.

Sir Edward Fry. $213,750.00.

Mr. McEnerney. $213,750.00.

The deed by which this sale was made is to be found in the replication, [Page 576]page 47. Other estates were also conveyed by the same instrument, but it is shown in a brief here, filed by Messrs. Doyle and Doyle, and can not be disputed, that the price of the Cienega del Pastor was $213,750.00. This estate was not calculated as a part of the capital in the former arbitration for the reason that it appeared by the report of Pedro Ramirez that the property was under attachment to secure a lien of $158,000, and there was nothing in the record to show that Mexico had ever sold it or that she ever derived a dollar from it. Under a demand for discovery Mexico has produced the conveyance in the replication at page 47, by which it does appear that Mexico did, one month and seven days after the decree of October 24, 1842, sell this property for $213,750.00.

Our second item is $3,000.00, which is for personal property belonging to the Pious Fund, sold with the Cienega del Pastor, as will be found by an examination of the same deed.

The third item is $7,000.00. That is a debt due from the Mexican Government to the Pious Fund, which the former arbitral court rejected because of a mistaken understanding, as we believe, of the report of Mr. Ramirez in connection with it. The money was advanced by the fund at the request of the Mexican Government to a third person. The third person to secure the money delivered to the administrator of the Pious Fund an obligation, promissory in character, as collateral. Ramirez styled the collateral as a bad debt. The American Commissioner in making up his report assumed that the original obligation was the bad debt; hence the mistake.

The fourth item is $22,763.15, moneys borrowed from the Pious Fund by Mexico.

Sir Edward Fry. The amount please?

Mr. McEnerney. $22,763.15, moneys borrowed from the Pious Fund by Mexico for colonization purposes, for the particulars of which see Ramirez-Valencia correspondence, in English at page 500, Spanish pages 478–479 and 160.

The fifth item is $30,000.00. A payment by Mr. Ramirez, shown in his correspondence at page 500, of $30,000 on account of a loan of $60,000 to the Mexican Government, secured by a mortgage of the Pious Fund.

The sixth item and the last is $105,004.89. It appears by Payno’s report, transcript, pages 23 and 24, that there was paid into the general treasury for the account of the Pious Fund of Californias from the Arguelles estate $306,901.64.

Mr. Asser. Is it not $316,000?

Mr. McEnerney. No; the last item, $10,000 to the foundling asylum in Manila or the children of Carro, should be deducted, leaving the sum of $306,901.64. Of this sum, presumably for the want of knowledge, Mr. Ramirez claimed for the Pious Fund in his inventory the sum of $201,896.75 only. The difference between these two sums, which we now claim, is $105,004.89. You will find Mr. Ramirez’s figures at pages 517 and 526; 517 Mr. Ramirez’s and 526 the American Commissioner’s. The difference between these suites is $105,004.89. The total of the foregoing items is $381,518.15.

Mr. Sir Edward Fry. $381,518.15?

Mr. McEnerney. $381,518.15.

13. The next proposition which I desire to advance for the consideration of the members of this tribunal is that it is well established [Page 577]that in the disposition of causes a litigant is to be judged by the proof which it is within his power to produce, compared with that which he in fact produces. It is a supplementary principle in the decision of causes that the presumption is that proof withheld would be adverse to the party withholding it if it were produced. We invoke these principles to draw the conclusion that as Mexico has full possession of all of the books, papers, vouchers, and accounts with respect to the Pious Fund, she can establish to the smallest fractional account of her currency what was received, and it should be therefore presumed that if all of the accounts with respect to the Pious Fund were produced by Mexico they would show a larger liability than we have been able to prove. It will be kept in mind that by two sections of the act of May 25, 1832, sections 11 and 12, books of account of the Pious Fund were required to be kept; also that General Valencia was appointed general administrator of the Pious Fund in 1812 with the same powers and, of course, with the same duties as had the board (junta) under the law of 1832; so that these two administrations, provided for by law, were by the law of their appointment required to keep accounts of the Pious Fund. It must be presumed that the accounts were kept, for it is a presumption existing in all jurisprudence that every public officer does his duty.

14. I come now perhaps rather tardily, to what we conceive to be the controlling question in this case, and that is the first question propounded in the protocol for decision by this tribunal, namely, whether this controversy is, by virtue of the former award, operating as res judicata, foreclosed from consideration upon its merits.

In considering this question I propose to briefly advance four propositions, leaving their extension and amplification for other counsel, particularly for the learned agent of the United States, who has given this question the careful, diligent, and learned investigation which its importance and far-reaching effect demand.

The four propositions which I propose to advance in connection with the question are:

1.
The principle of res judicata does apply to international arbitrations.
2.
The former arbitral court had jurisdiction to make the award which it did make.
3.
The force of the principle of res judicata extends to all of the matters which are necessarily included within the condemnatory part of a judgment; in other words, that a judgment of any tribunal the world over includes not only the thing spoken, but all things organically a part of it.
4.
That all matters necessary to an award here in favor of the United States, except the one question of nonpayment since February 1, 1869, were determined, and necessarily determined, in and were organically a part of the former award.

Before proceeding to show that the principle of res judicata does apply to international arbitration, it is appropriate that I should mention to you that it is frequently stated by the law writers that the principle of res judicata is a fundamental concept of every jural society.

If the principle is a fundamental concept of every jural society, it must necessarily apply to matters international.

We need not be long detained, however, in arguing that the principle does apply to international arbitration, because Mexico has [Page 578]declared in unmistakable terms and conceded that the principle does apply to international arbitrations.

In his letter addressed-to Mr. Powell Clayton, American minister to Mexico, under date of November 28th, 1900, Mr. Mariscal, minister of foreign affairs of Mexico, concedes that the principle of res judicata does apply to the awards of international arbitrations. The particular part of the letter which I propose to quote presently will be found in the middle of page 31.

Mr. Mariscal, while admitting the existence of res judicata generally, contends, however, that it should not be applied in the present case, for two reasons:

1.
The former award was not pronounced within the limits of the jurisdiction of the arbitral court created under the convention of July 4, 1868.
2.
Res judicata is limited in its application to the condemnatory portions of judgments, and does not embrace the premises upon which such portions are based.

I now quote from the Diplomatic Correspondence, page 31. This is Mr. Mariscal’s letter. And, although the members of this Tribunal have read it, it will bear repetition:

That, says Mr. Mariscal, res judicata pro veritate accipitur is a principle admitted in all legislation and belonging to the Roman law, certainly no one will deny. Nor is it denied that a tribunal or judge established by international arbitration gives to its decisions “pronounced within the limits of its jurisdiction” (in the language of the authority cited by Mr. McCreery) the force of res judicata; but to give in practice the same force, as that directly expressed in the decision to close the litigation, to the considerations or premises not precisely expressed as points decided by the judge, but simply referred to by him in the bases of his decision, or assumed as antecedents necessary for the party in interest, who interprets the decision, is a very different thing, and can not be considered in the same way.

It will be seen, as I have contended, that Mr. Mariscal concedes that res judicata does apply to international awards. It furthermore appears that the only objections which Mr. Mariscal can interpose to the application of that principle here are two:

1.
That the former decision was in excess of the jurisdiction of the former arbitral tribunal; and
2.
That the function and force of res judicata do not extend beyond the bare condemnatory portion of the judgment.

This last proposition we meet by showing, as we hope to be able to show beyond peradventure, that res judicata not only extends to the condemnatory part of the judgment, but to all matters necessarily a part of it; to those matters without the decision of which the conclusion reached could never have been attained. We then apply the principle here and claim that there is no question involved in the present case and necessary to a decision in favor of the United States which could have been decided against our present contention by the former arbitral court without having defeated us in that court.

It is important, in considering the admission of Mexico, to briefly refer to the diplomatic correspondence which preceded Mr. Mariscal’s letter. The letter practically closed the discussion upon the subject of res judicata. It was followed by a suggestion on the part of the Government of the United States, cheerfully and promptly agreed to by Mexico, to submit the questions as they are stated and framed in the protocol to the decision of an impartial tribunal.

The first letter in which this question of res judicata is suggested is [Page 579]at page 6 of the Diplomatic Correspondence—a letter from Mr. Clayton, minister of the United States to Mexico, addressed to Mr. Mariscal, minister of foreign affairs, under date of September 1, 1897, five years to a day before the initial meeting of this tribunal.

After mentioning the claim, Mr. Clayton says:

I need only refer to the findings of the American and Mexican joint commission under the convention of July 4, 1868, which established the following propositions:

1.
That the Roman Catholic Church of Upper California is a corporation of citizens of the United States.
2.
The obligation of the Mexican Government to pay to the bishops of California and their successors the interest on the proceeds of the property belonging to the fund, same being held in trust by the Mexican treasury for the purpose of carrying out the wish of the founders of the fund.
3.
That the claimants are the direct successors of the bishops of California, and should, therefore, receive a fair share of the interest upon the proceeds of the fund.
4.
That the archbishop and bishops of that church are the proper parties to demand and receive it.
5.
That the case is one in which all inhabitants of the State of California, and even the whole population of the United States, are interested, and is, therefore, a proper one for the diplomatic intervention of the United States Government.

These propositions being, as it were, “res judicata,’’ and the Mexican Government having paid no interest upon the fund since the payments made under the award of the Joint Commission, I respectfully call your excellency’s attention to that fact, and request that I may be informed of the purposes of the Mexican Government in relation to this claim.

The United States addressed a number of diplomatic communications to Mexico in connection with this claim from 1891 to 1897. No answer was made to any of them until Mr. Clayton wrote the above-quoted letter to Mr. Mariscal. To this Mr. Mariscal replied, page 5 of the Diplomatic Correspondence, in which he said:

Therefore, claims arising or filed against either of the contracting Governments after the 1st of February, 1869, were not the object of said convention; neither could they therefore, nor in a general way could the questions which, not treating directly upon injuries indemnifiable in money, refer to points of fact or of right such as those set forth in the note which I answer, and which your excellency considers as decided in the decision pronounced by the arbitrator on the 11th of November, 1875, be a matter for the arbitration provided in said convention.

Meaning thereby to argue that the former award by its own force and virtue did not compel the Mexican Government to make the payment claimed.

Mr. Mariscal, continuing, said:

Said decision condemned the Mexican Republic to pay to the Catholic Church of Upper California a determined sum of money which amounted to the interest calculated on one-half of the so-called Pious Fund of the Californias, corresponding to the twenty-one years included between the dates of the signature and exchange of ratifications of the said convention.

In other words, from February 2, 1848, the date of the signature of the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, to February 1, 1869, the date of the exchange of the ratifications of the treaty of 1868, was precisely twenty-one years.

Mr. Mariscal then says:

From what has been stated it follows that the debt imposed upon the Mexican Republic by the arbitral decision of November 11, 1875, or the res judicata, as your excellency designates it, was extinguished.

Again, on the same page, he says:

If it is now alleged that the reasons on which said decision was founded justify an analogous claim, though subsequent to the one decided by it, such argument lacks the force attributed to it. It is well understood that only the conclusion of a sentence [Page 580]or decision passes into authority of res ad judicata. The considerations that served it as premises are subject to controversy in the future, are perfectly impugnable, and therefore do not constitute the legal truth.

And further:

The Mexican Government will demonstrate fully the falsity and injustice of the foundations of the decision pronounced in favor of said church.

I lay particular emphasis and stress on the word “foundations,’’ because Mr. Mariscal is of the opinion that res judicata does not apply to the foundations of a judgment, while we claim that it does apply. We insist that the foundations of a judgment are organically part of it.

This reply by Mr. Mariscal was the subject of a rejoinder forwarded to the Secretary of State by Mr. Doyle, which is to be found in the Diplomatic Correspondence.

I read one brief paragraph from his letter, page 13, where he says:

These suggestions of Señor Mariscal proceed upon a misapprehension of the scope claimed for the doctrine of res adjudicate invoked by Mr. Powell Clayton in his communication to which the Mexican secretary replies. That doctrine, briefly expressed in the civil-law maxim, “Res adjudicate pro veritate accipitur,” has been declared by eminent jurists to be a necessary concept of every jural society, and is accepted as axiomatic in every system of law which has ever prevailed in any civilized society. It has been so often invoked, defined, sustained, and commented upon by the highest judicial tribunals of England and America, and expressed in the language of the most eminent jurists of the world, that it would be presumptuous in me to state it in language of my own.

And again (third line from the bottom of page 14):

The principle of res adjudicata renders the adjudication in question conclusive evidence in any future contest between the same parties (or between parties deriving under them), not only of the ultimate conclusion of indebtedness existing at that time, but of each of the constituent facts from which that conclusion resulted. In fact it is apparent on the least reflection that such is the necessary logical result of its conclusiveness on the question of indebtedness. For indebtedness is not a primary fact, but is necessarily the result of other and antecedent facts. A man is indebted for money borrowed. Why? Only because he borrowed the money. The tribunal which adjudges him indebted must, of necessity, determine the cause of such indebtedness, i. e., the act of borrowing and the amount borrowed; so that what decides the indebtedness, which is the consequence, necessarily determines also the fact of borrowing, and the amount of the loan which constitute the cause.

Mr. Doyle then proceeds, and I shall not trouble the tribunal to read it, commencing at the foot of page 15 and continuing to the top of page 17 to quote a number of well-known American law writers dealing with this question. He concludes at the top of page 17 with the quotation which I referred some time since, from Mr. Black, who says, speaking of res adjudicata:

It is not too much to say that this maxim is a fundamental concept in the organization of every jural society.

On December 4, 1899, in a letter addressed by Mr. Hay, Secretary of State of the United States, to Mr. Clayton (pages 46–47 of the Diplomatic Correspondence) the principle of res judicata is enforced in language no less clear and vigorous. On June 7th, 1900, Mr. Hay forwarded to Mr. Clayton an authority or statement from Merignhac, which was laid before Mr. Mariscal (page 11) by Mr. McCreery. Merignhac said that “The sentence, duly given within the limits of the convention, decides the question between the parties in a definitive manner.” It is this authority to which Mr. Mariscal referred in saying, “Nor is it denied that a tribunal or judge established by international arbitration gives to its decisions, ‘pronounced within the limits [Page 581]of its jurisdiction’ (in the language of the authority cited by Mr. McCreery), the force of res judicata”

We therefore start with the proposition that it is conceded by Mexico that the principle of res judicata does apply to the awards and judgments of international courts. Indeed, it seems to be so assumed in the protocol, which, as Sir Edward Fry has said, constitutes the code for this court.

Let me read a short extract from the protocol, which will also show some of matters which Mexico concedes were decided by the former arbitral court:

Whereas, under and by virtue of the provisions of a convention entered into between the high contracting parties above named, of date July 4, 1868, and subsequent conventions supplementary thereto, there was submitted to the mixed commission, provided for by said convention, a certain claim advanced by and on behalf of the prelates of the Roman Catholic Church of California against the Republic of Mexico for an annual interest upon a certain fund known as “The Pious Fund of the Californias,” which interest was said to have accrued between February 2, 1848, the date of the signature of the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, and February 1, 1869, the date of the exchange of the ratifications of said convention above referred to; and

Whereas said mixed commission, after considering said claim, the same being designated as No. 493 upon its docket, and entitled Thaddeus Amat, Roman Catholic bishop of Montery, a corporation sole, and Joseph S. Alemany, Roman Catholic bishop of San Francisco, a corporation sole, against the Republic of Mexico, adjudged the same adversely to the Republic of Mexico and in favor of said claimants, and made an award thereon of nine hundred and four thousand seven hundred and 99/100 (904,700.99) dollars; the same, as expressed in the findings of said court, being for twenty-one years’ interest of the annual amount of forty-three thousand and eighty and 99/100 (43,080.99) dollars upon seven hundred and eighteen thousand and sixteen and 50/100 (718,016.50) dollars, said award being in Mexican gold dollars, and the said amount of nine hundred and four thousand seven hundred and 99/100 (904,700.99) dollars having been fully paid and discharged in accordance with the terms of said convention.

Sir Edward Fry. Those figures are not quite correct.

Mr. McEnerney. No. In the petition for revision, filed by Señor Avila, he pointed out that there had been a mistake in addition so that the fund was erroneously calculated to be one thousand dollars more than in truth it was. Twenty-one years’ interest at 6 per cent on a thousand dollars is $1,260; half of that would be $630, so that the sum instead of $904,700, should have been $904,700 less $630, which is $904,070. Sir Edward Thornton corrected the award accordingly (Tr., 650).

I continue with the reading of the protocol:

Whereas the United States of America on behalf of said Roman Catholic bishops, above named, and their successors in title and interest have since such award claimed from Mexico further instalments of said interest, and have insisted that the said claim was conclusively established, and its amount fixed as against Mexico and in favor of said original claimants and their successors in title and interest under the said first-mentioned convention of 1868 by force of the said award as res judicata; and have further contended that apart from such former award their claim against Mexico was just, both of which propositions are controverted and denied by the Republic of Mexico, and the high contracting parties hereto, animated by a strong desire that the dispute 30 arising may be amicably, satisfactorily, and justly settled, have agreed to submit said controversy to the determination of arbitrators, who shall, unless otherwise herein expressed, be controlled by the provisions of the international convention for the pacific settlement of international disputes, commonly known as The Hague Convention, and which arbitration shall have power to determine—

1.
If said claim, as a consequence of the former decision, is within the governing principle of res judicata; and,
2.
If not, whether the same be just.

And to render such judgment or award as may be meet and proper under all the circumstances of the case.

[Page 582]

Having now called to your attention that it is conceded by Mexico that the principle of res adjudicata does apply to international arbitrations, I desire briefly to call to your attention the law and the history of the principle of res adjudicata as we understand them.

To this end I desire to read a few quotations from Chand on Res Judicata, a work which has considerable circulation in America—one written by a British India judge.

Sir Edward Fry. I did not catch the name.

Mr. McEnerney. Hukm Chand. Mr. Chand died a short time ago, after having written some other legal works.

The work is dedicated to the Right Honorable Baron Herschell, lord high chancellor of England.

Mr. McEnerney (continuing). On page 1 of this work it is said:

The doctrine of res adjudicata is of universal application, and in fact (quoting again the language which I have repeated so often) a fundamental concept in the organization of every jural society. Justice requires that every cause should be once fairly tried, and public tranquillity demands that, having been tried once, all litigation about that cause should be concluded forever between those parties.

The maintenance (quoting Judge Campbell, one of the early judges of the United States Supreme Court and a man of great distinction and learning) of public order, the repose of society, and the quiet of families require that what has been definitely determined by competent tribunals shall be received as irrefragable legal truth. If it were not for the conclusive effect of all such determinations there would be no end of litigation and no security for any person, the rights of parties would be involved in endless confusion, and great injustice often done under cover of law, while the courts, stripped of their most efficient powers, would become little more than advisory bodies, and thus the most important function of government, that of ascertaining and enforcing rights, would go unfulfilled.

On page 2 the author says:

The term “res adjudicata” is derived from the Roman law, and in its most obvious and general meaning it signified at Rome, as it signifies in England and in America, that a matter in dispute had been considered and settled by a competent court of justice. A judgment of the court among the Romans always operated as an novation of the original cause of action which was deemed to merge in it. This effect did not attach, however, to the judgments of the praetor’s court, which were regarded as foreign judgments, but allowed to be pleaded by way of confession and avoidance.

And it is said (p. 2), speaking of the rule according to Roman law:

The conclusiveness of the judgment extended to every point necessarily decided.

The author also says (page 2):

These maxims having stood the test of centuries, still retain their original place in the jurisprudence of every civilized country of to-day.

It being established that res adjudicata does apply to the awards of international courts, the next question to be considered is whether the award of the arbitral court created under the convention of July 4, 1868, was within the limits of its jurisdiction. You will recall that it is urged by Mr. Mariscal that the award of the former arbitral court was not within the jurisdiction of that court. He therefore invokes in italics the limitation upon the doctrine, contained in the authority cited by Mr. McCreery, that the former award had not the force of res adjudicata unless the award was within the jurisdiction of the court which made it, the idea being that, if the court has no jurisdiction, its judgment is void and has not the force of res adjudicata nor any force whatever. It will be, therefore, necessary to consider the propositions advanced by Mr. Mariscal that the former arbitral court acted beyond its jurisdiction.

[Page 583]

We claim that the court had jurisdiction upon five different grounds. Our first ground is that the court decided that it had jurisdiction, and its decision that it had jurisdiction being an inherent function, is conclusive before all courts in all places. What is jurisdiction? It is the power to hear and determine a cause. The possession of jurisdiction does not involve, of necessity, its rightful exercise. Jurisdiction involves the power to commit error, because when you assert that a court has jurisdiction, you necessarily assert that it has the power in the exercise of that jurisdiction to correctly or incorrectly interpret the law, to correctly or incorrectly understand, appraise, and weight the facts. It has come to be axiomatic that the first thing that a court decides, that the fundamental decision of every court in every country, in every place, in every case, is that it has jurisdiction, because, when a court sits to hear a case, it necessarily affirms that it has the power to hear it, and when it determines it, it necessarily determines that it has the power to adjudge the case.

There is, therefore, necessarily involved in the hearing and determination of every case a judicial determination (usually implied) by the court that it has power to hear and determine the cause.

(A midi la séance est suspendue jusqu’à, 2 heures.)

sixième séance.

22 septembre 1902 (après-midi).

La seance est ouverte à 2 h. 20 sous la présidence de M. Matzen.

M. le Président. La parole est à l’agent des Etats-Unis de l’Amérique du Nord.

Mr. Ralston. I want to say just one word in reply to the observation of Mr. Beernaert of this morning, a word which perhaps is entirely unnecessary, but as an observation of the same general tenor has been several times submitted, it seems to me that our ground should be made absolutely and entirely clear.

The protocol under which we are acting provides that—

all pleadings, testimony, proofs, arguments of counsel, and findings or awards of commissioners or umpire filed before or arrived at by the mixed commission above referred to, are to be placed in evidence before the court hereinbefore provided for, together with all correspondence between the two countries relating to the subject-matter involved in this arbitration, originals or copies thereof, duly certified by the departments of state of the high contracting parties being presented to said new tribunal.

The record of the old case, what we term in English the record, and which is termed on the continent “dossier,” happened to be entirely in the possession of the Department of State of the United States, and for that reason, and for that reason alone, and not because there was any special understanding between the parties, the United States printed that dossier, that record, and it is before you. The United States also had printed a complete copy of the diplomatic correspondence between the parties, contained in the same volume; but I desire to state, and to make entirely clear, that that was not printed because any special duty so to do rested on the United States more than upon Mexico, for, as is stated, “originals or copies thereof, duly certified by the departments of state of the high contracting parties, being presented to said new tribunal,” it therefore became equally the duty of Mexico to present certified copies of that diplomatic correspondence. [Page 584]The United States chose to perform that duty, and Mexico did not, but that has not involved any hardship or inconvenience to the court, one copy having been presented. Perhaps what I am saying is entirely unnecessary, but I want to make clear the situation of the United States. I think there has been a confusion between us in the application of the word “dossier.” When we have said that it was our duty to present it, we have referred to the “dossier” of the old case, and it was our duty to present that, because it rested entirely within our control. The special duty rested on us to present that, but so far as what you may term the “dossier” of the present case is concerned, it is our clear and manifest understanding that each party, Mexico as well as the United States, shall present to this court such documents and such pleadings, allegations, as it may see fit, and as it may think incumbent upon it to present or advantageous to present. I want to make this absolutely and entirely clear to my friends upon the other side, so that they may not think that we regard any duty resting upon us which in fact does not rest upon us under the protocol. We have stood ready to perform our whole duty under the protocol. We hold ourselves ready still to do it, but we do not wish our willingness to be made the foundation of any claim of right.

M. le Président. L’agent des Etats-Unis Mexicains a la parole.

M. Emilio Pardo. Je crois que Pincident qui vient d’être provoqué par M. l’agent des Etats-Unis n’a qu’une importance tout-à-fait secondare, parceque nous pouvons dire que l’incident est vidé une fois que la réclamation des Etats-Unis et la réponse du Gouvernement Mexicain avec les pièces à l’appui ont été présentés à la Cour. Cependant, comme il y a, plus ou moins caché, une espèce de reproche contre la conduite du Gouvernement Mexicain dans cette affaire, je dois appeler l’attention de la Cour sur un point qui me paraît tout-à-fait bien établi par le protocole du 22 mai dernier. D’après ce protocole, article 7:

Dans les 30 jours suivant le dépôt du mémorial à l’ambassade mexieaine, l’agent ou l’avoeat de la République du Mexique déposera au Département d’Etat de la République des Etats-Unis de la même façon et avec la même réferénce un mémorial de son opposition è ladite réclamation.

D’accord avec cet article, mon Gouvernement, dans le délai fixé par le protocole a dépose au Departement d’Etat des Etats-Unis la réponse de la République Mexieaine. Il a déposé cette résponse, et il l’a accompagnée d’un livre imprimé qui se trouve à la disposition de la Cour.

Quand nous nous sommes apercus que la réponse du Gouvernement mexicain n’avait pas été envoyée par le Départment d’Etat des Etats-Unis, nous avons eu de très justes motifs pour nous étonner, d’autant plus que cette réponse n’ayant pas été remise le livre imprimé se trouvait cependant dans les mains de l’agent américain et était présente devant la cour, sans prendre soin de faire remarquer que cette pièce appartenait à la réponse du Gouvernement mexicain, et que si l’annexe était préente le mémorial, qui contient la réponse demon Gouvernement, devait aussi être présent.

Peut-être n’avons-nous pas bien compris les termes du protocole, mais nous pouvons citer à l’appui de la conduite du Gouvernement Mexicain le texte sur lequel je viens d’appeler Pattention de la cour. Nous avions entendu et compris que toutes les pièces présentées à la cour formaient le dossier commun, et c’est justement la remarque que M. Beernaert, notre conseil, a eu l’occasion de faire devant la cour [Page 585]dans l’audience d’aujourd’hui, c’est-à-dire que ce dossier ne peut pas être considéré comme appartenant exclusivement aux Etats-Unis, mais qu’il contient les pièces et documents que le Mexique a l’honneur de présenter à la cour, avec sa réponse et les annexes présentées avec cette réponse.

Je crois que l’incident, comme je le disais tout à l’heure, n’a aucune importance et qu’il peut être considéré entièrement vidé; mais je me suis considéré comme obligé de justifier devant cette Cour la conduite de mon Gouvernement, invoquant le texte si précis et si clair de l’article dont lecture vient d’être faite.

Mr. Ralston. Mr. President and honorable arbitrators, just to add one word. I quite agree with the honorable agent for Mexico that the matter is of entirely secondary importance, and I would not have thought of troubling you with the slightest reference to it to-day had it not been on several different occasions made the subject of apparent complaint against the United States. For that reason and for that reason alone I mention it, not because it is of any importance. I should be very sorry, however, if any words which I have said should be construed in any manner as a reproach on the Mexican Government, for anything of that kind is as far removed from my thought as can possibly be. I assume that the agent of Mexico performs his duty and his whole duty according to his understanding of the requirements of the case. I trespass upon your time for a moment more. The protocol does not, in our opinion, require that Mexico should have served upon us the written document to which allusion has been made, the Pleito de Rada. It was so served before I left Washington, although the protocol only provided that it be deposited with the Mexican embassy, and that we have an opportunity to examine it; but having been delivered to us, we have felt it our duty to bring it here at the” earliest possible moment, and to safeguard ourselves to deposit it with the secretary-general of this court. It is entirely open to both parties; everything that we have placed before the court is open to the court and to our friends on the other side.

M. le Président. La première question c’est que tous les documents sont à la disposition des deux parties; l’autre question est sans importance; nous donnerons seulement acte au protocole des déclarations de MM. les agents.

M. Emilio Pardo. Puisque nous sommes en train de faire des rectifications, je me permettrai d’appeler, un peu tardivement, l’attention de la Cour sur un point qui peut avoir une certaine importance. Je dois commencer par avouer que j’aurais dû faire cette observation avant, mais il est toujours temps de réparer une erreur, et je me hâte de faire la rectification suivante: Dans les procès-verbaux qui ont été lus à l’audience de ce matin on a fait constater que j’avais l’honneur de comparaître devant la Cour en qualité de ministre plénipotentiaire et d’envoyé extraordinaire de la République mexicaine auprès de la Cour des Pays-Bas. Le fait n’est pas tout-à-fait exact: bien que j’ai reçu de mon Gouvernement ma nomination de ministre plénipotentiaire je ne suis pas encore accrédité; par conséquent en ce moment je ne comparais devant la Cour qu’en ma qualité d’agent du Gouvernement mexicain et non en qualité d’envoyé extraordinaire de la République du Mexique que je n’ai pas encore parce que je n’ai pas eu l’occasion de presenter mes lettres de créance. La remarque a son importance, [Page 586]parce qu’une fois mon earactère diplomatique établi et mes lettres de créance remises, je ne pourrai pas continuer la représentation de mon gouvernement comme agent de la République mexieaine.

Je prie la Cour de faire constater dans le procès-verbal cette rectification parce que j’y tiens absolument comme ayant une importance spéciale.

M. de Martens. Mais, Monsieur Pardo, vous avez signé le procès-verbal.

M. Emilio Pardo. On y fait plusieurs fois mention de ma qualité de ministre plénipotentiaire et d’envoyé extraordinaire et on m’attribue un appointement que je n’ai pas encore devant la Cour.

M. de Martens. Alors, vous désirez que ce soit supprimé?

M. Emilio Pardo. Absolument.

M. le Président. Maintenant l’incident est clos, et le conseil des Etats-Unis de l’Amérique du Nord a la parole.

Mr. McEnerney. Mr. President and honorable arbitrators:

At the hour when the tribunal rose this forenoon I was addressing myself to the first of the five grounds upon which we claim that the arbitral court of 1868 had jurisdiction to make the award that it did make in favor of the archbishop and the bishop of California against the Republic of Mexico. You will recall that the argument in support of this proposition was that the former arbitral court did decide and had inherent power to decide that it had jurisdiction of the particular case. The decision of a court that it has jurisdiction of a cause is often not final. It is often not final in the sense that its decision that it does possess jurisdiction is open to review in a higher court. This can not be true of an international court, because in the very nature of things, there is no tribunal to which the decision of an international court holding that it has jurisdiction of a particular case can be appealed. This proposition is reasoned out to completion and sustained by ample precedent in the statement and brief of the United States, written by the learned agent of the United States. I shall not stop to dwell upon the argument which he makes, nor refer to the authorities with which he sustains his proposition. There is, however, one precedent to which I desire to call the attention of the tribunal, not to be found in the brief of the learned agent of the United States. It is to be found in 2 Moore’s International Arbitrations, page 1242. It refers to the convention between the United States and Mexico created under the treaty of 1839.

Sir Edward Fry. What volume?

Mr. McEnerney. 2 Moore’s International Arbitrations, page 1242.

From 1821 down to this time there have been five treaties between Mexico and the United States. Four of them were ratified; one not ratified; these were the treaties of April 11, 1839, January 30, 1843, November 20, 1843 (not concluded), February 2, 1848, July 4, 1868, and May 22, 1902. A history of all these treaties and the proceedings, under them will be found in Mr. Moore’s work on International Arbitrations (pp. 1209–1286).

During the session of the joint commission created by the treaty of 1839 claims were presented against Mexico for damages which were said to have been sustained on account of the seizure of an American schooner called the “Topaz.” This seizure had been made the subject of diplomatic negotiations between the United States and Mexico for the settlement of some claims asserted by the United States as a sovereign. [Page 587]The Mexican commissioners thereupon applied to Daniel Webster, then the Secretary of State of the United States, to know whether these diplomatic negotiations excluded from consideration by the mixed commission claims presented by individuals for damages claimed on account of the seizure of the “Topaz.”

The following is an extract from Mr. Webster’s reply addressed to the Mexican commissioners:

The Mixed Commission under the convention with that Republic has always been considered by this Government essentially a judicial tribunal with independent attributes and powers in regard to its peculiar functions. Its right and duty, therefore, like those of other judicial bodies, are to determine upon the nature and extent of its own jurisdiction as well as to consider and decide upon the merits of the claims which might be laid before it.

And in connection with other claims before that same commission, Mr. Webster said, as is reported by Mr. Moore in the same volume and on the same page:

That body is in effect a judicial body, and it belongs to its members alone to determine the rights of claimants under the convention.

With the citation of this precedent, I pass to the second ground upon which we support the affirmation by us that the arbitral court of 1868 had jurisdiction to make the award which it did make.

I invite the attention of the tribunal to Article III of the treaty of 1868, at page 32 of the appendix.

It is there provided that:

It shall be competent for the commissioners conjointly, or for the umpire, if they differ, 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 convention.

In other words, it was the duty of the commission, and it was given power by the agreement of the contracting parties, Mexico and the United States, to decide whether any claim came properly within the true intent and meaning of this convention.

The question of jurisdiction raised by Mr. Mariscal is whether the claim upon which the former award was made came within the true intent and meaning of the convention of July 4, 1868.

It is therefore a point which his Government expressly stipulated that court should decide.

Our third point is that Mexico, after our claim had been presented and while it was under consideration by the Mixed Commission, extended the life of the commission, extended the time within which it should do its work, and in one instance revived the commission after it had expired by limitation. The convention which revived the commission after it had expired by limitation is to be found at page 38 of the appendix.

The preceding treaty expired on the 31st of January, 1873, while the treaty at page 38 was not ratified until March, 1873, and not exchanged nor proclaimed until July, 1873. So that after this claim had been presented to the arbitral court for its determination and after the power of that arbitral court had lapsed, because the time within which the decision had to be rendered and within which the court might live had expired, Mexico covenanted and agreed to revive that same arbitral court.

Sir Edward Fry. I have not heard the exact date of the presentation of the memorial.

[Page 588]

Mr. McEnerney. You will find it on the first page of the docket entries, at page 3 of the Transcript. It is December 31, 1870. You will notice, and I might call to your attention in passing, the first three items of the docket entries. The arbitral court of 1868 was required to meet within eight months after the exchange of ratifications. Its time for meeting expired July 31, 1869. On that day there was one commissioner present, who continued the session until the 10th of August, 1869, when, the other commissioner being present, the court was organized (2 Moore, 1296–1297).

By reference to the first item of the docket entries, page 3, it will be seen that on August 13, 1869 (three days after the organization of the arbitral court), the Department of State of the United States referred the claim of the archbishop and bishop of California to the arbitral court, (Tr., p. 3). On that day, to wit, August 13, 1869, there was no other claim pending before the Department of State except the claim of date July 20, 1859, (Tr., 5–8). Subsequently, to wit, on March 31, 1870, a statement was filed (Tr., 3). This statement is to be found in the record (pp. 8–9). The original memorial was filed December 31, 1870. The memorial is in the Transcript (pp. 9–15). April 24, 1871, a motion to dismiss the claim and a brief in support of that motion were filed by Mr. Cushing. To this motion and brief a reply on behalf of the United States was filed March 1, 1872 (Tr., 3). All of these steps had been taken prior to the expiration of the life of the arbitral court, which expired on January 31, 1873, under the treaty to be found at page 35 of the appendix. By ratifying the treaty, to be found at page 38, Mexico revived the arbitral court. We insist that in so doing she revived it for the decision of all undecided cases. By implication she covenanted that the commission had power to decide the cases.

Sir Edward Fry. Some of them.

Mr. McEnerney. We submit that she covenanted that the arbitral court had power to decide all of the cases. If Mexico did not intend to agree that the arbitral court had power to decide all of the cases, she should have specified those which she claimed the commission had no power to decide. Of course, we do not claim that Mexico covenanted that the commission could rightfully decide all or any of the cases against her. But we do insist that by reviving the arbitral court, and failing to withdraw, or except from its consideration, any of the cases then before the court, she necessarily agreed that it had power to hear and determine all of them.

The fourth point upon which we predicate the jurisdiction of the arbitral court of 1868 will require a short statement.

We rely upon the proposition that the jurisdiction of an arbitral court is created by the agreement of parties. The maxim that consent can not give jurisdiction has no application to a tribunal which is created and whose jurisdiction is defined by agreement or consent of the parties litigant.

It is a universally recognized principle of jurisprudence that ratification is equivalent to precedent authorization. What Mexico could have agreed to do in advance she could have ratified after it had been done. If Mexico had power to confer jurisdiction upon the commission of 1868, she had power to ratify the exercise of jurisdiction by the commission. Her ratification might have been expressed in words or it might have been implied from a course of conduct. Her course [Page 589]of conduct might have created against her what is known in English and American jurisprudence as an estoppel in pais, or some bar of that general nature. By such an estoppel she would be prevented from asserting that the court had no jurisdiction.

We assert that it is not open to Mexico to claim that that tribunal did not have jurisdiction. Mexico made no objection to the jurisdiction of the arbitral court formed under the convention of July 4, 1868, until the writing of Mr. Mariscal’s letter on the 28th of November, 1900, forty-two years after the convention of 1868, and ten years after she had made the last payment under the former award. His letter is at page 27 of the Diplomatic Correspondence. During the pendency of the cause before the former arbitral court it was not intimated by Mexico that she claimed or would claim that the former commission had no power to decide the case.

Mr. Cushing’s motion to dismiss the claim “because the injuries complained of were done before February, 1848, and this commission has no jurisdiction of the claim” (Tr., 68), implied that the commission had the power to hear and determine the question whether the injuries complained of were within the true intent and meaning of the convention of July 4, 1868. The very submission of the motion to the commission implied the power and duty of the commission to decide it.

The objection was not to the jurisdiction of the court to decide upon the claim, although it was stated in that form, but it was a claim by Mexico that the demand of the archbishop and the bishop of California were not within the provisions of the convention. The motion of Mr. Cushing was therefore not an attack upon the jurisdiction of the court. On the other hand, it was an affirmation of its jurisdiction to decide whether the particular claim here involved came within the intent and meaning of the convention of July 4, 1868.

After it had been decided there was an exchange of diplomatic representation between the two Governments, but the jurisdiction of the arbitral court was not called into question. On the contrary, as I shall presently show you, the jurisdiction was affirmed by Mexico.

I now refer to the Diplomatic Correspondence, commencing at page 77 and concluding on page 83.

The commission under the convention of 1868 and the conventions supplementary thereto expired by limitation on November 20, 1876. On the next day, November 21, 1876, Mr. Avila, counsel for Mexico, addressed a letter to Mr. Mariscal, then envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to Washington, in which he called his attention to three matters: First, the Weil and La Abra Mining Company’s claim; second, the Pious Fund; and third, cases where the umpire had made allowances, subject to proof that the claimants enjoyed American citizenship.

Following is what Mr. Avila said (Diplomatic Correspondence, p. 77):

In the case No. 493, of Thaddeus Amat and Others vs. Mexico, the claim presented to the United States Government on the 20th of July, 185.9, and to this commission during the term fixed for the presentation of claims in the convention of July 4, 1868, was to the effect that the “Pious Fund” and the interest accrued thereon should be delivered to claimants; and though the final award in the case only refers to interest accrued in a fixed period, said claim should be considered as finally settled in toto, and any other fresh claim in regard to the capital of said fund or its interest, accrued or to accrue, as forever inadmissible.

In letter No. 2 (Diplomatic Correspondence, p. 78) Mr. Mariscal [Page 590]forwards Mr. Avila’s letter to Mr. Hamilton Fish, the Secretary of State of the United States, who replied under date of December 4, 1876. In his letter he says that by the second article of the treaty of 1868 Mexico had agreed to consider the matters adjudged by the commission as final and conclusive, etc.

Mr. Fish then added:

I must decline, however, to entertain the consideration of any question which may contemplate any violation of, or departure from, the provisions of the convention as to the final and binding nature of the awards, or to pass upon, or by silence to be considered as acquiescing in, any attempt to determine the effect of any particular award.

To this Mr. Mariscal replied four days later, and said:

In his second statement (that relating to the Pious Fund) Sr. Avila intended only to express his Government’s opinion as to the impossibilhy of claiming at any future time the capital of the Pious Fund, the accrued interest on which is now going to be paid in conformity with the award. He endeavors to avoid, if possible, a future claim from the interested parties, through the United States Government, but does not pretend to put in doubt the present award.

In other words, Mr. Mariscal not only does not dispute the validity of that award, but when the Secretary of State of the United States declares to him that he (the Secretary) will not undertake to determine in a diplomatic way what the effect of that award may be, nor will he permit Mr. Mariscal by his (the Secretary’s) silence or acquiescence to put a construction upon it, Mr. Mariscal, thereupon and upon behalf of Mexico, promptly answers that he only seeks to interpret the award, but does not pretend to put in doubt its validity (foot of page 80). Mr. Mariscal forwarded the correspondence to the foreign office in Mexico. Hence we have the statement of the minister of foreign affairs of Mexico, at the foot of page 81, under date of May 1, 1877, five or six months afterwards, in which he says:

In regard to the case of the archbishops and bishops of California, the Mexican Government, far from putting in doubt the final effect of the awards, has declared in the second of said statements that, in conformity to article 5 of the convention, the whole claim presented to the commission must be considered and dealt with as finally arranged.

In other words, Mexico contended that the award was valid. She insisted that the award foreclosed all claims for subsequent instalments. By this insistence she claimed the benefit of that award; claimed that it was valid. When Mr. Avila wrote his letter he attempted to forestall all further claim. He realized the effect of the decision, for he said in section 156 of his argument in support of a petition for revision (Transcript, foot of page 640):

If the decision rendered is sustained, the claimants will probably pretend to give it a permanent effect, alleging that by it they have been declared a right to receive a determined sum annually.

We do insist that the decision is entitled to a permanent effect, and that by it we have been declared a right to receive a determined sum annually.

Mr. Avila realized that we would certainly make this claim, and that is the reason why he sought to interpret, through the medium of diplomacy, an award or judgment, the validity of which, with all his learning and familiarity with the case, he never dreamed of calling into question.

I shall pass the question of the jurisdiction of the former arbitral court with the following brief observations: Mexico had the power [Page 591]to confer jurisdiction; she had the power to ratify the exercise of it. It would not be consistent with the dignity of a nation nor the obligation of a litigant to accept an opportunity of success without its accompanying opportunity of defeat. Mexico never challenged the jurisdiction of the court which she created by her own solemn act and before which she went for judgment, a judgment by which we would have been bound had we lost; a judgment by which Mexico is bound, she having lost. It is a fundamental rule of the jurisprudence with which I am familiar, and it must be a fundamental principle in all jurisprudence that res judicata and estoppels generally are mutual. Where they bind one of the litigants they bind the other.

Defeat upon the merits before the arbitral court of 1868 would have concluded us for all time from asserting the validity of our claim. Hence it must likewise conclude Mexico for all time, as she lost and we prevailed.

In this connection permit me to just read two or three lines from Chand on Res Judicata, page 46:

The general rule of law maybe briefly stated to be that where a recurring liability is the subject of a claim, a previous judgment dismissing the suit upon findings which fall short of going to the very root of the title upon which the claim rests, can not operate as res judicata; but if such previous judgment does negative the title itself, the plaintiff can not reagitate the same question of title by suing to obtain relief for a subsequent item of the obligation.

If we had been defeated before the arbitral court of 1868 upon the ground that our case lacked merit, we would have been foreclosed and properly and rightfully foreclosed forever. If it should be decided that we have no claim, that this decision is not controlled by the former award operating as res judicata and is not just, would it be in accordance with the jurisprudence which pertains to all the countries of the world for us next year, the year after, and the third year to request our Government to intervene with Mexico for the payment of annual interest commencing with October 24, 1903, upon the ground that those installments had not been the subject of consideration by this tribunal? That is the question to be decided here.

The fifth point upon which we affirm the jurisdiction of the tribunal of 1868 is that as an open question the convention of July 4, 1868, had jurisdiction to hear and determine the case of the Pious Fund. What was the claim made before the former tribunal? It was that on the 24th day of October, 1848, and on the same day in each of twenty years thereafter, making twenty-one in all, there had accrued to American citizens claims against Mexico. It was for the settlement of just such claims that the tribunal of 1868 was created and organized.

The treaties use the word “injuries” originating within the twenty-one years. Of course it was the function of the commission to decide what an injury was. The tribunal will find on pages 93–99 of the transcript an argument by Mr. Doyle which, it seems to me, forecloses reply. The argument is that an “injury” within the meaning of the law is the withholding of a right by one person from another.

It is true that the convention of July 4, 1868, contained the following clause (Appendix, p. 32):

It is agreed that no claim arising out of a transaction of a date prior to the 2d of February, 1848, shall be admissible under this convention. (Appendix, 32.)

But in the supplementary convention of February 8, 1872, the United [Page 592]States and Mexico gave this clause a binding interpretation. It is recited in the supplementary convention that the convention of 1868 was “for the settlement of outstanding claims that have originated since the signing of the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo on the 2d of February 1848.” (Appendix, 36.)

This is the true construction of the convention of 1868, and it is the one which was adopted by Sir Edward Thornton in this case, and also in the case of Belden vs. Mexico, likewise decided by him. (Tr., 588.)

The former arbitral tribunal had power to interpret the convention of 1868. If it had no such power, it would follow that the moment there was a suggestion made that a particular claim was not within the convention, that moment the arbitral court would cease to entertain the claim; for if the court had no power to decide that the claim came within the convention, it had no power to decide that it did not come within the convention. But, as we have above shown, it was expressly agreed between Mexico and the United States that the umpire had power 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 convention.” (Appendix, 32.)

I submit that upon all five of these grounds the arbitral court had jurisdiction to make the award which it did make. In the consideration of this question of jurisdiction I beg you, Mr. President and honorable arbitrators, to keep in mind that jurisdiction is the power to hear and determine a cause. Jurisdiction does not depend upon its rightful exercise. Jurisdiction does not depend upon the correctness of the decision. If it were otherwise, nobody would ever know whether a tribunal had or did not have jurisdiction. It would then be said: The tribunal had jurisdiction if it correctly decided the case, but it did not have jurisdiction if it incorrectly decided the case.

I come now to the proposition, the third in our case so far as res judicata is concerned, that—

15. It is a settled rule of English and American jurisprudence that the principle of res judicata applies not only to the thing directly adjudged, but also to all matters necessarily involved therein, i. e., in the thing directly adjudged.

The agent of the United States has devoted much learning and research to establishing the proposition that this same rule obtains in all European countries. I shall argue this question bat briefly, leaving the exposition of the doctrine to him. I shall argue the rule as it exists in English and American jurisprudence and I shall attempt to show that it has its foundation in a wise philosophy which must underlie all systems of jurisprudence and which must exist among all the peoples of the earth.

I leave to be discussed by the learned agent for the United States authorities to be found at pages 48–49 of Chand, which deal with cases involving installments and recurring liabilities like those involved here.

I desire to call to your attention the decision in Outram vs. Morewood 3 T. R., 346, by Lord Ellenborough, when Chief Justice of England, and cited by Chand, page 4.

Lord Ellenborough said:

A recovery in any one suit upon issue joined on matter of title is equally conclusive upon the subject-matter of such title; and a finding upon title in trespass not only operates as a bar to the future recovery of damages for a trespass founded on the [Page 593]same injury, but also operates by way of estoppel to any action for an injury to the same supposed right of possession. And it is not the recovery, but the matter alleged by the party, and upon which the recovery proceeds, which creates the estoppel. The recovery of itself in an action of trespass is only a bar to the future recovery of damages for the same injury; but the estoppel precludes parties and privies from contending to the contrary of that point or matter of fact which, having been once distinctly put in issue by them, or by those to whom they are privy in estate or law has been, on such issue joined, solemnly found against them.

Chand says (page 40, section 28):

A matter in issue in a suit is also distinct from the subject-matter, and the object of the suit, as well as from the relief that may be asked for in it, and the cause of action on which it may be based; and the rule of res judicata requiring the identity of the matter in issue will apply even when the subject-matter, the object, the relief, and the cause of action are different. There is a general unanimity as to the matter in issue being altogether independent of the internal character of the subject-matter of the suit.

Let me illustrate with a case within my own experience. Several years ago a very rich man died in San Francisco. A woman claimed to be his widow. She filed a petition in the court of administration, in which she asked that she be allowed five thousand dollars per month for her support. The children of the deceased filed an answer, in which they denied that she was the widow of the deceased or had ever been married to him. The trial of that case occupied forty-five days. There was no question in the case but the question of whether the relation of husband and wife had ever existed between the parties. When the case came to be decided the judge entered an order in which he denied her application. The order (or judgment) read: “It is hereby ordered that the petition of (naming her) be, and the same is hereby, denied.” The condemnatory part of the judgment was simply a denial of the petition. The only thing litigated in the case was the question whether she was the wife of the deceased or not. This issue was necessarily included in the judgment, because if she had been the wife she was entitled to the money; if she had not been she was not entitled to it. So that the judgment organically included the question of whether she was his wife or not. Subsequently, upon a petition to the probate court for the distribution of the estate, the woman came forward again. She said: “I am the widow. My former petition was for a widow’s allowance; now it is for an undivided interest in the estate.”

The court held that res judicata applied and in effect said:

The decision denying to you a widow’s allowance was predicated upon the finding of fact that you were not the widow of the deceased, and as that finding was necessarily involved in the decision denying you any money for support during the administration of the estate, you stand foreclosed from asserting your widowhood in any litigation between you and the children of the deceased, whatever form the litigation may take.

It is that principle which we seek to establish as the law of res judicata applicable to this controversy.

It is said by a continental writer cited by Chand, which will be referred to by the agent of the United States—indeed it is obvious—that res judicata would have no function—it certainly would have no function in America, where it constitutes a very large body of the jurisprudence—if it were limited to the condemnatory part only. All or nearly all the litigation to which res judicata is applicable involves cases where it is invoked to bar litigation about matters which form [Page 594]the fundamental bases of the condemnatory part of a previously pronounced judgment.

The next point to which I pass is that—

16. Of the facts necessary to an award in favor of the United States the only one which is not res judicata under the judgment of the former arbital court is that of nonpayment of the annual interest since February 1, 1869. This fact is conceded by the protocol. The whole case is therefore controlled by the principle of res judicata.

The validity of this proposition requires the consideration of but one question, which is a very simple one. What question here urged to defeat a recovery would not have defeated the recovery in the former arbital court? Not one. Read the opinion of the umpire, also that of the American commissioners. The umpire’s was necessarily brief for the reason that he had hundreds of cases under consideration within the year previous to the expiration of the commission. But take and read either of those opinions and then ask yourselves what fact necessary to an award here was not necessary to an award there? What question can be litigated here which could not have been litigated there? What question—save the question of the statute of limitations—urged here would not have defeated an award there had Sir Edward Thornton and the arbital court, under the act of 1868, taken the view then advanced and now advanced by Mexico? Some questions of fact and some questions of law were involved there as well as here. That tribunal, like this tribunal, was a judicial body. So Mr. Webster said and so all the publicists have said when dealing with this subject.

What question then decided by that tribunal against Mexico can now be decided in its favor without involving a decision that the conclusion reached by the former arbital court was incorrect either in point of law or point of fact? That is the test. If there is no proposition now necessary to our case which was not necessary to the former award, then there is no question not concluded by the principle of res judicata.

The seventeenth point—and I merely state it—is that—

17. The objections urged by Mexico against the decision of the former arbital court do not, as she maintains, impeach the jurisdiction of that tribunal, but rather attack the justice of the decision upon the merits.

Mexico’s entire argument, when analyzed, is to the effect that the former arbital court misdecided the case. I have already had occasion to say that the jurisdiction of a tribunal does not depend upon the rightful exercise of that jurisdiction.

18. I now pass to the point advanced in the answer of Mexico, which is that this claim is barred by the statute of limitations.

Under the treaty of 1868, and under certain supplements to that treaty, it was provided that the Government which was debtor at the close of the commission should pay to the Government which was creditor a named sum of money on the 31st of January, 1877, and pay the balance in equal installments of not less than $300,000 each year thereafter. Mexico made her first payment on the day it became due, which was January 31, 1877. Her last payment was made on January 21, 1890. Forty days after that date, on March 1, 1890, Senator William M. Stewart, counsel for the bishops of California, addressed to [Page 595]the Department of State a request for its intervention with Mexico for the payment of the later installments. A reference to this letter will be found at the foot of page 23 of the Diplomatic Correspondence in the Transcript. The date of this letter was March 1, 1890, forty days to a day after Mexico had made her last payment under the former award. “On August 3, 1891 (page 23, Diplomatic Correspondence), the matter of these installments became the subject of diplomatic representation by the United States to Mexico, and was the subject of diplomatic negotiations to May 22, 1902. I call your attention to the fact to show that there has been no delay upon the part of the persons in interest in the assertion of this claim. Within forty days after the last payment under the old award they requested the intervention of their Government, and within eighteen months after that last payment the Government of the United States had moved in the matter.

New Mexico, among other defences, claims that the demand is barred by section 1103 of her Civil Code and by an act passed by her in 1894, three years after this claim had become the subject of diplomatic representation by the one government to the other.

Our answers to this claim, based upon the statute of limitations, are these:

1. Such a plea is not allowable under the protocol of May 22, 1902.

By that convention two questions have been submitted for decision.

(a)
Is the claim, as a consequence of the former decision, within the governing principle of res judicata? and
(b)
If not, is the same just?

A claim barred by limitation is as much a just claim as one not so barred.

2. A statute of limitations is a law of the forum. In this case whatever the statute of limitations may be in Mexico, it is a law for Mexican tribunals alone, and not for international courts.

3. We submit that it ought not to be and that it is not allowable under the law of nations for a sovereign, while the claim of a citizen of another sovereign is the subject of diplomatic negotiation between the powers, to pass a law of limitation and thereby bar or attempt to bar the claim. This claim became the subject of diplomatic negotiation on August 17, 1891 (Tr., Diplomatic Correspondence, 8).

And yet, Mexico avers in her answer that the claim became barred by a statute of limitations enacted by her September 6, 1894. (Replication, 30.)

4. There is no statute of limitations in international law except such as may be agreed to exist for a particular case by provision in a convention between two or more powers.

Of course, in this connection I draw the distinction, which is drawn by all the text writers, between prescription which is a method of acquiring title to land or other properties, by occupation, and a formal enactment which bars the remedy but does not destroy the right.

5. The statutes of limitations of Mexico have no extra-territorial effect and cannot destroy the claim of non-resident creditors.

6. If Mexico had desired to avail herself of the plea of her statute of limitations, she should have declined to arbitrate or (failing that) she should have insisted upon a provision in the protocol whereby she could have obtained the decision and judgement of the court upon the question whether this claim was effectively barred in an international [Page 596]tribunal by a law peculiar to Mexico, territorially limited, and enacted to control proceedings and remedies in her own domestic courts. She failed to take either of these steps.

7. According to the law of Mexico the claim is not barred.

19. I have now arrived at the last subdivision of the argument as I planned to make it to you, Mr. President and honorable arbitrators. I shall not undertake to consider this head in any great detail, although I have prepared it in considerable detail and shall furnish it for the consideration of the tribunal. It is that the defences attempted to be set up by Mexico in her answer are not sufficient to defeat the award claimed by the United States. I consider these defences one after another in my brief, now nearly prepared. I need not consider them all orally. I shall therefore pass to the last point which Mexico makes in her answer, and that is with respect to the point which constitutes the volume called “Pleito de Rada.”

I think that we shall be able to make the nature and history of the litigation very clear to this tribunal. Mexico, in the seventh paragraph of her answer, declares that no doubt the counsel for the United States will be very much surprised to know that the title to the estates conveyed to the Pious Fund by the Villapuente and De Rada deed had been defeated in litigation and therefore lost to the fund. If the title had been defeated by litigation, it would not make any difference to our case, because we are here claiming under a sale made by Mexico.

The Villapuente and De Rada property, moreover, was in the possession of the bishop of the Calif ornias in 1842. Possession is proof of title, which will not be overcome by an interlocutory and unexecuted judgment of 90 years before. Mexico claims that the title was invalidated in 1749, ninety-three years before the time when the bishop was in the peaceful possession of the property and surrendered it to Mexico. What we rely upon here is the sale of that property by Mexico. Whether she sold a good title or a bad title is unimportant. She is answerable in either event for the price.

I shall presently show to you, however, that the construction which the learned counsel upon the other side put upon this litigation is not sustained in any degree.

What were the facts?

The Marquis de Rada died in 1713, one hundred and thirty years before the act of October 24, 1842.

His widow, the Marquesa de Rada, claimed his entire estate in the probate court. She based her claim upon her dowry and her rights as tutor of two sons by a former husband; also on certain other indebtednesses due from the marquis to her. She claimed that the marquis owed to her more than the value of the entire estate. The estate was appraised. Upon the petition of the marquesa and upon proof that the estate was insufficient to pay her debt, and upon a comparison of the debt and the value of the estate, the whole estate was awarded to the marquesa. This occurred in the year of her husband’s death, 1713. In 1718 the heirs of the Marquis de Rada instituted litigation and made two charges—concealment of goods and undervaluation. They insisted that the marquis had had other property which had been hidden, and that the appraisers have undervalued the property which had been exhibited. They charged that it was not true that the estate was insufficient to pay the debt and averred that it was more than sufficient so to do. They insisted that the result of the concealment of goods and of [Page 597]the undervaluation by the appraisement was that the Marquesa de Rada had obtained the entire estate of her husband, when the estate was not only sufficient to pay her debt, but sufficient to leave an excess to the heirs. They, the heirs, therefore prayed that the appaisement should be set aside and the case reheard. They (these heirs) were defeated in all of the courts to which they appealed until the case came before the royal and supreme council of the Indies at Madrid, where, in 1749, the inventories were set aside, and the cause was remitted to the court of first instance to hear and determine the rights of the parties. It is down to this date that this bound volume called the “Pleito de Rada,” produced by Mexico, brings the history of the litigation.

If you will look at the Transcript from pages 518 to 523 you will see a statement made by Pedro Ramirez for the opinion of counsel upon this subject of the litigation. Mr. Ramirez’ statement continues the history of the litigation to the year 1842. It appears therein that on January 31, 1829, the Pious Fund was condemned to pay $158,175.00 to the heirs of the Marquis de Rada. The old decree of the court of last resort, you will keep in mind, was made in 1749, and the last decree in 1829, eighty years afterwards. One will naturally inquire, how did it happen that this litigation culminated in a decree that the heirs of the Marquis de Rada should receive from the Pious Fund of the Californias $158,175.00. The inquiry is easily answered. The marquesa had transferred her estates to the Pious Fund of the Californias. The Pious Fund of the Californias was thereafter successor in title and interest of the Marquesa de Rada. The court evidently found that the estate of the marquis exceeded the debts due to the marquesa by $158,175.00. The court therefore necessarily confirmed the title of the marquesa already transferred to the Pious Fund, subject to a lien of $158,175.00.

This is not the last we hear of that $158,175.00. Whether that judgment was ever paid or discharged, or whether it was upon appeal or in any other litigation, or before the court which rendered it, or otherwise set aside or annulled, we have no means of ascertaining.

In 1842 an execution was levied upon the Cienega del Pastor, the estate of which I spoke this morning, and which we claim should be added to the capital of the Pious Fund, if the cause is not controlled by res judicata, to satisfy the judgment for $158,175.

These were the proofs made before the former arbitral court. What happened? The American commissioner said, at page 526, that the Cienaga del Pastor belonged to the Pious Fund, but that he found that it was subject to an attachment for $158,175, issued in the litigation already detailed, and as there was no evidence to show that Mexico ever sold the property, or obtained anything for the property, he refused to allow the Cienaga del Pastor to be calculated as a part of the capital of the Pious Fund. The necessary evidence has been now produced by us to show that Mexico did sell this property for $213,750, and unless she can show that she paid the judgment of $158,175 we are entitled to have the price added to the capital, unless the case is concluded by res judicata.

We submit that instead of defeating the benefaction by the Pleito de Rada, we find that Mexico defeated us out of the allowance of $213,750 on the last arbitration to satisfy the only claim that the heirs of the Marquis de Rada had upon the benefaction conferred of the Marquesa de Rada and the Marquis de Villapuente upon the Pious Fund.

[Page 598]

I am about to bring this much protracted argument to a close.

In doing so, I desire to express my deep appreciation, Mr. President and honorable arbitrators, for the patience and attention which you have granted to me.

It must be very gratifying to the high contracting parties by which the present tribunal was constituted that after many years of dispute the contention between them is soon to be closed forever.

But it is not alone to the two leading Republics of the New World, who have brought a controversy involving New World questions to the Old World for decision—I say it is not to these two Republics alone that the present arbitration is of great interest and moment.

It should be, and no doubt it is, highly gratifying to the powers signatory to the convention which created the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague that the first case is to be submitted for decision to jurists chosen by the high contracting parties from the most distinguished in all Europe, with the single eye to a decision which, from the character and great learning of those who make it, should command and would receive universal acceptance.

For the high purpose with which these two high contracting parties were thus animated, they deserve the respect and commendation of all civilized society.

It is not alone on account of the large amount involved, nor for the reason that it is to settle a dispute between two conspicuous nations of the world that this case is of universal interest and transcendent importance; but it is important in a far greater degree, because it is intimately connected with a movement of recent times to put the intercourse amongst nations on a high and permanent plane, consistent with the objects of good government, which are the peace of the world and the welfare of human society.

This tribunal has in its keeping in no small measure the future of that great movement.

And in submitting our case, whatever may b$ its results, we feel certain that the tribunal will enter upon its consideration and decision with the learning, rectitude of purpose, and sense of responsibility which are befitting its greatness and importance.

Mr. Ralston. I submit to the desire of the court either to proceed this afternoon or to defer until to-morrow morning.

M. le Président. Vous pouvez procéder, s’il vous plait.

Mr. Ralston. Mr. President and honorable arbitrators: In the proper and orderly presentation of the case brought before you, it has seemed fit on behalf of the United States that there should first be presented and dwelt upon with thorough emphasis and elaborate discussion the various facts which led up to the former decision, and I think I may congratulate myself personally upon the fact that the various elements which entered into the judgment before reached have received ample and elaborate discussion before you. I believe it has been made manifest from the argument which has so far proceeded that there was a Pious Fund of the Californias; that it was a fund of vast extent, a well-known fund; that its proper administrators were the Catholic Church through its various agents; that Mexico, having had control of that fund, and having herself voluntarily assumed a certain relationship to it, by virtue of these several facts entered into a distinct obligation to a certain branch of the Catholic Church—and that was to pay the interest of the fund to its representatives. All these facts, I say, [Page 599]I believe have been thoroughly demonstrated. They were demonstrated before the former court. All of the considerations which have been discussed here to-day and up to this time, in the course of the argument, were considered by the former court—the incidental questions of church and state, the obligations the state might put itself under to render certain services or to pay certain moneys to a particular religious body, all were amply considered.

While, therefore, we have believed on behalf of the United States that there should be the fullest, the most complete exposition of all of these preceding facts, at the same time it has strongly been borne in upon us that the substantial, that the real question upon which this case must turn would be whether the decision of the prior arbitral court created that state of affairs to which we in English give the name res judicata—borrowing the term from the Latin—and which on the continent is better known in civil jurisprudence under the name of chose jugée. We have believed that the facts to which I have adverted brought about in themselves when embodied in a judgment that condition or force which constituted chose jugée and would govern this case, and we primarily rely upon this position.

Chose jugée is said to rest—giving a free interpretation to the Latin maxims—upon two things, first, that the interest of the public requires that an end should be put to suits; and second, that no one should be twice vexed for the same cause, and we invoke this principle on behalf of the complainant here.

The question first offering itself for the consideration of this tribunal is to a degree a novel one, and that is whether there should be given to the utterances of an arbitral court all of the weight which we attribute to courts in general. And that is the first proposition to which I desire to address myself.

We shall insist that an arbitral court is a court of high dignity; that in favor of its jurisdiction all necessary intendments are to be indulged; that its awards are to receive as full execution as would be granted to the awards of any other court.

I say in international jurisprudence the question may, I believe, be regarded as a novel one. I am not able to cite this tribunal to any case where it has been distinctly stated that the judgments of arbitral courts as between nations are to be given the same sanctity as will be accorded to the judgments of the most ordinary courts passing upon the most trivial disputes between man and man. And I count it—if I may be permitted so to say—I count it a matter of extreme good fortune, a matter of the gravest importance to public interest, to international interest, that the first case presented before this tribunal should involve a question of such widespread importance and dignity, deeply involved as it is in the successful conduct of arbitrations for the entire future.

For, as it seems to us, if the judgments of arbitral courts are not to be given at least as high sanctity as is now accorded to a judgment of the most inferior courts, then may we not expect that such courts will be resorted to in the future.

Mr. McEnerney in his very thorough and very learned address has pointed out to you the fact that the Mexican minister of foreign affairs himself admitted that the judgments of arbitral courts were entitled to the benefit of the plea, or exception as it is termed in the language of Europe as a rule, and that the plea of res judicata is as to them to be [Page 600]accorded as great dignity and has as much force as pertains to those of any other nature.

But the language used on behalf of Mexico has not always been uniform.

In order that its change of position may be most clearly understood, I refer to the Mexican answer contained in the exhibits attached to the replication, in which the quotation is made from the letter of Secretary Bayard. It is said on page 26:a

Decisions of international commissions … are not regarded as authoritative, except in the particular case decided. They do not in any way bind the Government of the United States, except in those cases in which they were rendered.

At the foot of page 26 I have given the entire language contained upon this particular point in the letter of Mr. Bayard, and I quote it for a moment:

But, aside from this criticism, I must be allowed to remind you that decisions of international commisions are not to be regarded as establishing principles of international law. Such decisions are moulded by the nature and the terms of the treaty of arbitration, which often assume certain rules in themselves deviations from international law, for the government of the commission. Even when there are no such limitations, decisions of commissioners have not heretofore been regarded as authoritative, except in the particular case decided. I am compelled, therefore, to exclude from condsideration the rulings to which you refer, not merely because they do not sustain the position for which they are cited, but because, even if they could be construed as having that effect, they do not in any way bind the Government of the United States, except in those cases in which they were rendered.

It seems proper at this time, and in connection with the citation from Secretary Bayard’s communication, to make a certain explanation. There is known in the English and American law the doctrine of stare decisis—a doctrine which, I believe, perhaps does not exist under continental jurisprudence. That is to say, our courts consider themselves bound by the decisions of law had in prior cases. The rule is not one uniform at all in its operations. If the court to-day believes that the prior enunciations of law have been erroneous, the court will often diverge from them; but it is held many times that it is even better to adhere to an erroneous view of law, which has been accepted by the general public and acted upon, than to depart from it and establish a new line of decision.

It is conceded under English and American practice that when decisions with relation to the law are given, the general public will be so controlled by them in their relations of property that to depart from them would involve hardship. That may not be conceded with regard to the doctrine of res judicata, nor is there the slightest connection between the two.

Res judicata refers to litigation had between the same parties and having relation to the same general matter. Then the doctrine of res judicata compels adherence to the finding of fact, or of law in connection with the fact, once found by the court. The doctrine of stare decisis, which is really the doctrine upheld by Señor Mariscal, applies and refers to general enunciations of law, and does not ever affect subsequent proceedings between the same parties and having relation to the same subject-matter. And when we come, in the light of this explanation, to examine the paragraph cited from Secretary Bayard, we find that there was an attempt made on the part of the Spanish Government to invoke in its favor a decision had in a certain case which had existed between the United States and England. The facts in [Page 601]the two cases were somewhat different, the parties were entirely different. And so, while Señor Muruaga might have seen fit to appeal to the decision between the United States and England as tending to establish a certain principle of law, certainly Señor Mariscal could not appeal to the expression of Secretary Bayard as referring to res judicata. It was a matter had between other parties, the subject-matter somewhat varying. We are not compelled to discuss the question as to whether Secretary Bayard was correct or was not correct in saying that certain enunciations of law would not be considered as binding in subsequent international relations.

Now I mention this matter particularly and at this point because the same error, the same confusion, continues to exist in Sr. Mariscal’s mind, and is illustrated in the correspondence between the two Governments, and is also illustrated by the example to which I have just called attention, to be found in his answer; so much so that Sr. Mariscal, states that it does not appear that arbitral decisions have the force of res judicata.

But what is the rule of res judicata as it prevails in English and American jurisprudence? I quote from my own brief, which is before this tribunal, and reading from page 20a

The English and American rule is summed up in the first edition of the American and English Encyclopaedia of Law, title “Res Judicata,” volume 21, page 128, as follows:

When a matter has once properly passed to final judgment without fraud or collusion in a court of competent or concurrent jurisdiction, it has become res judicata, and the same matter between the same parties can not be reopened or subsequently considered.

And we find to similar effect, article 1351 of the French civil code, which I think has been subsequently followed throughout the countries of Europe:

L’autorité de la chose jugée n’a lieu qu’a l’égard de ce qui a fait l’objet du jugement. Il faut que la chose demandée soit la même, que la demande soit entre les monies parties et formeé par elles et contre elles en la même qualité.

The declaration of law which I have already indicated is entirely applicable to English and American jurisprudence. The first point, then, which will arise when we come to consider particularly the American and English definition is whether the matter which was formerly adjudicated upon passed to judgment in a court of competent or concurrent jurisdiction. In other words, was the former tribunal competent to pass upon the matters presented to it? Its jurisdiction was fixed by the treaty of 1868. That its judgments were intended to be final and conclusive is, I think, a matter of important consideration at this moment, and we find that the President of the United States of America (I read from Appendix, page 32b) and the President of the Mexican Republic

hereby solemnly and sincerely engage to consider the decision of the commissioners conjointly or of the umpire, as the case may be, as absolutely final and conclusive upon each claim decided upon by them or him, respectively, and to give full effect to such decisions without any objection, evasion, or delay whatsoever.

And again, from the last part of the second paragraph of Article III on the same page:c

It shall be competent for the commissioners conjointly, or for the umpire if they differ, 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 convention.

[Page 602]

In other words, they were given the entire jurisdiction to pass upon the matters brought before them.

Sir Edward Fry. Would you allow me to interrupt you at this moment? In Article II it is agreed that no claim arising out of a transaction of a date prior to the 2nd of February, 1848, shall be admissible under this convention. Did not your claim arise out of the decree of 1842?

Mr. Ralston. That is a question which was very greatly discussed before the former tribunal, and the answer to it, I take it, is this: It is true there was a transaction had before 1842 which fixed the relation of the parties, but the transaction upon which the suit was brought was the subsequent taking of the interest by Mexico—the taking of the money after the exchange of ratifications of the treaty of 1848. That is to say, the groundwork, if you trace it back, is to be found long prior to 1848, but the transaction in relation to which suit was brought was the taking of the money.

Mr. McEnerney calls my attention to this, which occurs on page 35.a

Sir Edward Fry. Page 35 of what?

Mr. Ralston. 35 of the appendix.

Whereas a convention was concluded on the 4th day of July, 1868, between the United States of America and the United States of Mexico, for the settlement of outstanding claims that have originated since the signing of the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo on the 2nd of February, 1848, by a mixed commission limited to endure for two years and six months from the day of the first meeting of the commissioners, etc.

In the same sense that this case might be said to arise oat of a transaction prior to the 2nd of February, 1848, referring to, let us say, the Republic of Mexico, it might be said to have arisen out of the prior action of Spain with relation to the same affairs, or out of any act which went toward constituting or creating the Pious Fund.

I am discussing at the present moment the question of the jurisdiction of this tribunal. Mr. McEnerney has referred in his argument to the fact that the jurisdiction of the tribunal to pass upon the question just mentioned, as well as upon all the other questions which might be raised before the court, was confessed by Mexico. In the first part of my brief, and beginning on page 6,b I have tried to arrange the dates in such manner that the attitude of Mexico at particular times and the condition of this particular case would appear together. It will be borne in mind that there were some four extensions of the original convention of 1868. At the time of the first extension a motion to dismiss had been filed by Mr. Cushing, which raised absolutely the right of the tribunal to proceed, and raised particularly the question just mentioned. I have cited in my brief, on page 4,c the motion to dismiss of Mr. Cushing. It is found on page 67 of the Transcript.

Sir Edward Fry. What was the date of that motion?

Mr. Ralston. The date of that motion was April 24, 1871.

Sir Edward Fry. It is not given on page 67, is it?

Mr. Ralston. I think so. It is given in the docket entries on page 3.

Sir Edward Fry. April 24, 1871?

Mr. Ralston. Yes, sir; April 24, 1871; motion to dismiss filed by Mr. Cushing, and I will read it, as it is a matter of some importance. He moved to dismiss:

1.
Because the act of incorporation of the petitioners as corporation sole did not authorize them to claim property beyond the limits of the State of California.
2.
Because the petitioners show no legal interest in or title to the Pious Fund in controversy.
3.
Because the petitioners had a legal remedy in the Mexican courts which they were bound to pursue and exhaust before coming here.
4.
Because the injuries complained of were done before February, 1848, and this commission has no jurisdiction of the claim.

The very question of jurisdiction was raised and was before the tribunal at the time the decision was reached. Knowing that fact as Mexico did; knowing that the tribunal’s jurisdiction was challenged,—for it was done by herself—she proeeded to conclude the extension. The convention providing for the extension of the time within which the joint commission should settle claims was signed between the two countries April 19, 1871. That was five days before the motion, and the ratifications—for the convention had, of course, no validity whatsoever until the exchange of ratifications—the ratifications were exchanged February 8, 1872. Note the further fact in this connection that the exchange of ratifications occurred eight days after the original convention had expired by limitation.

Sir Edward Fry. The ratifications of December, 1871?

Mr. Ralston. I do do not think I can have made any mistake.

Sir Edward Fry. The proclamation was February, 1872.

Mr. Ralston. That is the one signed April 19th.

Mr. McEnerney. At the top of page 38 is the treaty which was ratified after the other had expired.

Sir Edward Fry. According to your book, it was ratified December, 1871.

Mr. Ralston. If I may ask the court to turn to page 35, it was signed April 19. Ratified means to say, ratified by the Senate of the United States, but a treaty does not become effective on ratification by the Senate of the United States. That has simply reference to the action of the United States, not the action of Mexico, but the joint action which gave life to the whole convention, and before which it had no life whatsoever, took place, as stated, on February 8, 1872, and was therefore, eight days after the original tribunal had ceased to have any powers whatsoever, and while yet this motion was pending before it, Mexico, by the exchange of ratifications, for she was bound by nothing until the ratifications were exchanged, gave new life and new force to the commission, with all the pending questions before it.

Let us go a step further. A second convention is provided for. The convention to which reference has just been made extends the powers of the commission to January 31, 1873, as will appear stated on page 6. Now, on January 31, 1873, the date of the expiration of the second convention, to which reference has been made, the motion to dismiss, filed by Mr. Cushing, was still pending and undetermined, although, on March 1, 1872, a reply thereto had been filed on behalf of the claimants at that time. Now then, with that motion then pending for more than a year previously—eighteen months previously—on November 27, 1872, a further convention is concluded, extending the joint commission not exceeding two years, etc.

We have, therefore, a second act by Mexico again referring, for that is the practical effect of it, to the old commission the determination of this very motion to dismiss. Now the point becomes of some importance. (I may perhaps be pardoned for a moment for digressing from what I intended as the order of my remarks.) The point becomes of some importance when we bear in mind the unquestioned rule with regard to arbitral tribunals that the party submitting the question has [Page 604]the right to withdraw that question from the jurisdiction of the tribunal before which he has placed it. It was in the power of Mexico, notwithstanding even the first submission, if you will—it was in the power of Mexico to say, “we will agree to extend the functions of this commission, but we will withdraw from it the consideration of the Pious Fund case because we do not believe it comes within the purview of its powers.” Mexico never said that. I think the language of all the text writers with regard to arbitration (I have summed up many of them in the brief before you) is in substance that before the arbitral action be taken one party or the other may withdraw from the arbitration, and in the very withdrawal cancel jurisdiction. No such step was taken by Mexico. Now, reading from the brief, page 6:a

On November 27, 1872, a further convention was concluded, reviving and extending the duration of the joint commission for a period not exceeding two years from the day on which the functions of the commission would have terminated according to the convention of April 19, 1871. In other words, the commission was extended until January 31, 1875. Ratifications of this convention were exchanged July 17, 1873, nearly six months after the commission had expired by virtue of the convention of April 19, 1871, and it was proclaimed July 24, 1873.

We have, therefore, this condition of affairs that not once, but twice, Mexico agreed, even after the functions of the commission had expired, to extend its powers and complete all the work there was before it—to decide the pending case, for the extension meant nothing else. There was, therefore, one period of eight days, a second period of six months, during which the convention was functus officio.

At the time of this second extension, reading from the brief, page 6:a

At the time of the expiration of the functions of the commission by the convention signed April 27, 1872, and ratified July 17, 1873, to wit, on January 31, 1875, final argument for the claimants and an exhibit attached thereto had been offered by the agent of the United States (January 25, 1875).

The original motion submitted by Mexico to dismiss the cause yet remained pending and undetermined.

Again we find that by the further convention, concluded November 20, 1874, ratifications of which were exchanged January 28, 1875, and proclamation issued January 25, 1875, the functions of the commission were extended to January 31, 1876. And at this time when this extension went into effect the Pious Fund case was still pending and undetermined, the difference of opinion being announced on May 19, 1875. Here we note something of a change of condition. There had been the disagreement between the two arbitrators resulting in sending the case to the umpire, and while that new condition of affairs existed Mexico agreed to a new convention allowing the umpire to determine the very question upon which the arbitrators had differed, and the award of the umpire was made November 11, 1875, about ten months after the exchange of ratifications, and but for that exchange of ratifications there would have been no final judgment in this case, for the arbitrators had disagreed and the case rested undetermined. So that I say, step by step, not once but twice, three times, four times over, Mexico has confessed the jurisdiction of the former tribunal over this very subject-matter, and we insist that it does not lie in the mouth of Mexico, to use the legal expression, now to say, after her repeated submissions of this cause to the former arbitration, that there was want of jurisdiction, or that this claim originated before 1848, or that the facts were other than were found by the umpire, nor can she present [Page 605]any defense which finds its foundation in any fact prior to the date of the rendition of the judgment by the umpire.

M. de Martens. May I ask you, Mr. Ralston, could Mexico stop the submission of the umpire?

Mr. Ralston. Yes, sir.

M. de Martens. How could she do it? She was obliged to put it before the umpire.

Mr. Ralston. No, if you will pardon me. She may well have been obliged to submit the first question before the umpire, yes; but she was not obliged to continue the case before the umpire after the first convention had expired by its terms. She could have said, yes, we will agree to a new convention, but we do not think that the arbitrators have control over this particular case; we do not think that this particular case comes within the purview of the original convention, and therefore we will decline to allow the Mixed Commission to take further cognizance of it. That in brief, is our position.

M. de Martens. But I think Mexico was obliged to accept the jurisdiction of the umpire in the whole case, do you not think so?

Mr. Ralston. Precisely. I think so absolutely, because I think the umpire had the absolute right to determine his jurisdiction and to determine all questions which might be raised before him in connection with this matter. I think the court had a right to determine all questions of jurisdiction, precisely as I think this court has the express right to determine any questions before it.

Sir Edward Fry. It has the express power.

Mr. Ralston. Yes; the express right is given under Article XLVIII of this convention. Nevertheless, the court would have the right without it, and I will have to submit yet some observations upon that point.

I stated a moment ago that in our belief, and it is our position, that an arbitral body has a right to determine its competency under the compromis. That power is particularly given this court by article 48.

This part of our contention, and one of the first principles that we would lay down, is that an arbitral court possesses inherent power to pass upon its own jurisdiction, and we believe that the former court, the court of thirty years ago, possessed the power to pass upon its own jurisdiction. Ordinarily, as we know, in the due course of law, appellate courts are provided which have the power of review over the actions of lower courts. In this case (that arising under the convention of 1868) no such power exists—no such power of review exists. It must have rested then with the court itself, for who else was to pass upon the question of jurisdiction? Not the parties, surely. For if the parties themselves were to exercise the power of review of the judgments of arbitral courts upon questions of jurisdiction, it would result simply in setting at naught the arbitration. Not a superior court, for there was none. Not a later court, because, except by a convention of the parties, the later arbitral court can only have the express powers given it under the protocol. If such power be given under the protocol expressly, well and good, but certainly not otherwise; and that power has not been given here.

In discussing, therefore, this particular subject, I say in my brief:a

We have adverted to the principle that power must rest somewhere to determine the jurisdiction of an arbitral court, and in the case under consideration, this power not having been reserved for any other authority, must, as we believe, be considered to rest in the court itself.

[Page 606]

The analogy existing between international and private arbitrations is such that we are justified in believing that if private arbitrators possess the power to determine their own jurisdiction and to interpret the instrument creating them, for stronger reasons must the same power be regarded as resting in international arbitral courts, bodies of infinitely greater dignity and importance, and from whose actions consequences may flow of vastly more importance to the welfare of mankind.

I am reading now from the top of page 23a of the Statement and Brief on Behalf of the United States. The first reference, as you will note, is to Répertoire Générate Alphabetique du Droit Français:

Tout tribunal a le droit et la devoir de statuer sur sa propre compétence.

“Civil law judges,” as we find, “have many times passed upon the powers of arbitral courts in this respect, and have held: Que les arbitres peuvent connaître de leur compétence bien qu’ils n’y soient pas expressément autorisés par le compromis,” which is precisely our contention. Even though no express authorization be given in the compromis itself, nevertheless the arbitrators must pass upon that question—must have that power.

Ce n’est pas la juger hors des termes du compromis: le droit de juger de leur propre compétence est la conséquence naturelle du caractère de juges dont ils sont investis par les parties.

From this flow the natural consequences expressed under the same title in paragraph 60:

Lorsquet le tribunal se déclare compétent il doit nécessairement statuer sur la cause qui lui est soumise à peine de déni de justice.

The rule so laid down by the civil law authorities is the rule followed also by common law courts. I read for the moment just a single citation from volume 2 of the American and English Encyclopaedia of Law. I have had bound together from that work the single title, “Arbitration and award,” which is at the service of the tribunal. I read from page 795:

Where the parties agree to submit certain legal questions to the decision of an arbitrator, and one of the parties subsequently sued the other, and the subject matter of such suit was the same as that upon which the arbitrator’s decision was rendered, it was held that the award was the law which governed the case.

Again:

An award under a common law arbitration is not required to be made a judgment of any court. It is binding between the parties until set aside—

which could not be true except it be that the arbitral court has power to pass upon its own jurisdiction.

Now the question as to the right of a mixed commission or international board of arbitrators to pass upon its own powers has several times been under active consideration. The earliest example in American practice is discussed in Moore’s International Arbitrations, and relates to the commission formed under Article VII of the treaty between the United States and Great Britain of November 19, 1874. (I am reading still from page 23 of the brief.b) “In that case the British commissioners attempted by withdrawal to deny the power of the court to determine its own jurisdiction, but the British Government refused to sustain them in their position.”

We have quoted somewhat at length from the opinion of Mr. Gore, one of the American commissioners:

A power to decide whether a claim referred to this board is within its jurisdiction appears to me inherent in its very constitution, and indispensably necessary to the discharge of any of its duties.

[Page 607]

To decide on the justice of the claim it is absolutely necessary to decide whether it is a case described in the article. It is the first quality to be sought for in the examination. To say that power is given to decide on the justice of the claim, and according to all the merits of the case, and yet no power to decide or examine if the claim has any justice, any merit even sufficient to be the subject of consideration, is to offer in terms a substance, in truth a phantom.

To my mind there can be no greater absurdity than to conceive that these two nations appointed commissioners with power to examine and decide claims, prescribe the rules by which they were to examine them, authorize them for this purpose to receive books, papers, testimony, examine persons on oath, award sums of money, and solemnly pledge their faith to each other that the award should be final and conclusive both as to the justice of the claim and to the amount of the sum to be paid, and yet give them no power to decide whether there is any claim in question.

It is a contradiction in terms to say that a measure adopted shall terminate all differences, and yet that the very measure presupposes a new negotiation on what are the differences.

The objection that the board is incompetent to decide whether these cases, or any of them, are within the description submitted arrests and stops all proceeding and, in fact, renders the article null and illusive.

To say that the board has authority to decide that a cause is not within its jurisdiction, and yet no authority to decide that a case is within its jurisdiction, appears to be a contradiction too glaring to be persisted in. That the commissioners have a right to decide in favor of one party only—in favor of the party complained against, but not in favor of the complainant—can not be true.

Mr. Pinkney, the other American commissioner, followed, expressing substantially the same view. And our own idea with regard to the position taken by the American commissioners receives more than ample confirmation in the fact that when this question, the very question arising in this case, was referred, as it was, to Lord Chancellor Loughborough, of England, he said:

The doubt respecting the authority of the commissioners to settle their own jurisdiction was absurd; and they must necessarily decide upon a case’s being within or without their competency.

We have, therefore, a position taken by the American commissioners in favor of the tribunal passing finally upon its own jurisdiction, the British representatives withdrawing, the question being referred by them to Lord Loughborough, or by the English State Department to Lord Loughborough, and his decision confirming the position taken by the American commissioners. And to that position we adhere, and we say with Lord Loughborough that a doubt respecting the authority of the commissioners to settle their own jurisdiction would be absurd. They must have that right. And that is the first, the primary question, for discussion when we consider whether the case coming before this tribunal be res judicata or not. Had the former tribunal a right to pass upon its own jurisdiction? Did it pass upon that jurisdiction? According to Lord Loughborough these questions, both questions, must be decided in the affirmative. The former tribunal had the right to pass upon its jurisdiction. It did pass upon it and it passed upon its jurisdiction, sustaining it.

I have referred to one or two other cases, which happen to be American ones, one between the United States and Venezuela, in which questions were raised as to whether the court should or should not take jurisdiction of a given claim, and in the particular instance the court declared themselves competent. If they had declared themselves incompetent surely they would have been within the exercise of their powers. The converse of the question ought to be and must be true that they were within their powers when they declared themselves competent.

[Page 608]

I take the liberty of reading, because I think it is important in an historical sense as bearing upon article 48 to which reference has been made, an extract from the Chronique des Faits Internationaux, Revue Générale de Droit International, contained on page 25a of the brief:

L’arbitrage tend à devenir de plus en plus le droit commun international pour la solution judiciaire des conflits entre les Etats; si cela est, ne faut-il pas, dans le doute, se prononeer pour tout ce qui peut en favoriser l’extension?

Les arbitres doivent done êtré seuls juges de leur compétence. Cette doctrine est conforme à la nature des choses: l’ affirmation de ses pouvoirs est un attribut naturel detoute autorité. La règle que le juge de Faction est aussi le juge de l’exception est universellement admise dans les rapports de droit civil; pourquoi en serait-il différemment dans l’ ordre international?

Telle est au surplus l’opinion de la plupart des écrivains du droit des gens; et l’Institut de droit international, réunion des jurisconsultes les plus considérables du monde entier, a donné à cette thèse l’appui de son autorité; le 28 août 1875, dans sa session de la Haye, il a en effet déclaré, à l’unanimité, que les arbitres doivent prononeer sur les exceptions tirées de l’incompétence du tribunal arbitral. Dans le cas où le doute sur la compétence dépend de l’interpretation d’une clause du compromis, les parties sont censées avoir donné aux arbitres la faculté de trancher la question, sauf clause contraire. (Art 14, sees. 2, 4.)

M. de Martens. I think, Mr. Ralston, all this question was raised by the case of the Alabama arbitrations. That provoked all that the writers upon the subject of jurisdiction have written since the raising of the question in 1873.

Mr. Ralston. Yes. The question arose before the arbitral tribunal as to whether the United States had the right to press the claim for indirect damages, and that particular question was never in form submitted to the Geneva tribunal, but nevertheless the judges came together and they expressed their opinion upon that, not upon the question of jurisdiction exactly, but they said that they did not think they could permit indirect damages to be allowed.

Now, the question is interesting, and I have discussed it somewhat in the brief from this point of view. England, at that time, said in effect, that if that question were pressed she would withdraw or perhaps insist upon a new convention. Certainly she would withdraw. She would not allow that question to be passed upon.

In such reading as I have been able to give to the various writers upon the subject of international law there is but one who has denied the right of England to withdraw from that tribunal under such circumstances had she seen fit to do so. That is our suggestion with regard to the position of Mexico when these different new conventions were signed, or even without the signing of any new convention, that if she had chosen absolutely to withdraw the case she might have done it.

Sir Edward Fry. Withdraw from the case. She could not withdraw the case. What you mean is they might have retired and left the tribunal to go on if they chose.

Mr. Ralston. Yes, sir. And I think that that is the view of practically all the writers with whom I have any acquaintance on international law, with a single exception, and he goes further in the position which I take than I think it is necessary for us to go, for he denies the right of England even to withdraw. For he says that she, having entered into the arbitration—having once entered into it was bound by such interpretation as the tribunal saw fit to give to the convention itself. In other words, that she submitted absolutely to the jurisdiction of the court in the same sense that a private party submits to the [Page 609]jurisdiction of a court and she had not the right to withdraw under any circumstances. It is M. Rolin-Jaequemyns who takes that view, but I think he is a solitary exception upon the point.

All that we insist upon in that regard is what we believe to be the universal language of writers of international law, and that is that there must have been a withdrawal to avoid a decision upon the sub ject of jurisdiction, and there being no withdrawal there was a full and absolute submission to the right of the arbitrators and ultimately the umpire to pass upon this very question of jurisdiction or of compétence

Now, the opinion of M. Calvo upon the right of interpreting the compromis, is quoted (page 25a of the brief):

Ils ont le droit d’interpréter le compromis, préalable intervenu entre les parties, et par conséquent de prononcer sur leur propre compétence.

But without foregoing the point to which I desire particularly to call the attention of the court, we have next the unanimous declaration of the session of The Hague, of what the gentlemen there assembled conceived to be an absolute principle of international law at that time—in 1875. That is, that the arbitrators themselves should pronounce upon the pleas or the exceptions relating to the incompetency of the arbitral tribunal. I think we may regard that expression of opinion as the immediate forerunner of the expression which is now embodied in The Hague Peace Convention under which we are operating.

And going back even the year previously, we find M. Goldschmidt discussing the matter in 1874 (cited on page 26a of the brief):

Le danger d’un excès de compétence ne justifie point une immixtion préjudicielle du tribunal officiel. Dans l’arbitrage international il y a cette raison de plus, qu’ une procédure judiciaire préliminaire est impossible.

Without troubling you by reading at length, we next have the authority of M. Pradier-Fodéré He finds that, in principle, arbitrators are judges of their competence; that have the right to interpret the compromis.

And the author continues:

Les arbitres doivent done être considérés comme juges de leur compétence avec le consentement tacite des parties, dans le silence du compromis et en l’absence de toute clause ultérieure; de plus, ce consentement tacite produit sons effet autant que les parties donnent suite à l’arbitrage sans manifester une volonté contraire.

Now, upon that principle we absolutely rely. We have the tacit consent of Mexico that the court should determine its own jurisdiction. We may say that we have the absolute or express consent of Mexico that the jurisdiction should be so determined, because we have her repeated extensions of powers to that tribunal even after it has ceased to have any power in itself. It has then been reinvoked and brought into new being.

I have believed it fair and just to the court that I should cite and I have cited in the course of this brief, the only authorities which might be conceived—the only authorities that I at least have been able to find after a very considerable research—which might be conceived to be in derogation of the powers which we contend belong to all arbitral courts—the court of 1870 by virtue of which we claim and this court—one and the other equally. The only two authorities which I have been able to find which present to the slightest degree any different view are M. Rivier and M. Bonfils. I have cited already a number of authorities [Page 610]to the other side. I am justified in relying upon the unanimous opinion of the jurisconsults who were present here at The Hague in 1875. I am justified, as I shall endeavor to show in regarding the declaration contained in The Hague Convention as a declaration of antecedent law and not the making of any new rule of action whatsoever in this respect.

M. Rivier regards a collection of arbitrators as merely an assemblage of mandataries and not a court—a position which I can hardly conceive capable of favorable analysis.

But, nevertheless, M. Rivier although he takes that position, joined with the other gentlemen named at the foot of page 26a in the brief in reporting what I have just now read, which I believe to be absolutely law and of great force in this particular case.

M. Rivier says, at least, the committee says, M. Rivier being part of it:

Les exceptions tirées de l’incapacité des arbitres, doivent être opposées avant toute autre. Dans le silence des parties toute contestation ultérieure est excluse, sauf les cas d’incapacité postérieurement survenus. Les arbitres doivent prononcer sur les exceptions tirées de l’incompétence du tribunal arbitral, sauf le recours dont il est question à l’art. 24, 2me. al., et conformément aux dispositions du compromis. Aucune voie de recours ne sera ouverte contre des jugements préliminaires sur la compétence, si ce n’est cumulativement avec le recours contre le jugement arbitral définitif.

No tribunal of review whatsoever was provided for the old commission. He continues, or the committee continues:

Dans le cas où le doute sur la compétence dépend de l’interprétation d’une clause du compromis, les parties sont censées avoir donné aux arbitres la faculté de trancher la question, sauf clause contraire.

exactly agreeing with the declaration at The Hague, in fact forming part of the declaration of 1875.

Now we think, we may, upon that particular proposition, quote M. Rivier against M. Rivier. And when we find M. Rivier in committee in accord with the great weight of authority, we may be justified in believing that that time at least he has been right.

I said there was one other author whose expressions tended to deny the right of the arbitrators to pass upon their own jurisdiction—M. Bonfils.

(La séance est levée à 5 heures et le tribunal s’ajourne au lendemain à 10 heures.)

septième séance.

23 septembre, 1902 (matin).

La séance est ouverte à 10¼ heures du matin; tous les arbitres étant présents.

M. le Président. Je donne la parole au secrétaire-général pour lire une décision du tribunal.

M. le Secrétaire Général. Voici cette décision:

Afin de garantir la marche régulière et continuelle des débats, le tribunal décide ce qui suit:

1°.
Les séances du tribunal auront lieu tous les jours de 10 heures à midi, et de 2 h.½ à 5 heures jusqu’a la fin des débats.
2°.
Toute proposition ou demande des parties en litige concernant la marche de la procédure arbitrale ou l’interprétation des règles établies devra etre formuiée par écrit.

[Page 611]

M. le Président. Cette décision sera conimuniquée aux parties immédiatement. La parole est à l’agent des Etats-Unis d’Amerique pour continuer son diseours.

Mr. Ralston. Before continuing my remarks upon the subject-matter of the dispute, I desire to present to the Court, if it be not in opposition to the last clause read, a telegram from M. le Chevalier Descamps, in which he says:

Reine morte. Pourrai plaider lundi. Priez mes confrères de me reserver la réplique Descamps.

I desire to say with reference to this that our arrangements are such that it will not be possible to reserve for M. Descamps, as he requests, the final reply on the part of the United States. That particular duty falls to the Solicitor of the State Department of the United States. We are, however, very greatly disappointed that M. Descamps can not be here this morning. We had confidently counted upon his presence and his assistance. Under the unfortunate circumstances, for which we should not ourselves desire to suffer, nor should we desire, if it may be, that M. Descamps should lose the opportunity of presenting the considerations which most strongly appeal to him in the case—under the unfortunate circumstances I beg to present to the court an application, if it be not in opposition to the rule already announced, an oral application for the privilege to be granted M. Descamps to speak at some subsequent time—say, as he suggests, Monday—but not to interfere with the final reply on behalf of the United States which remains to Mr. Penfield. I appeal simply to the good graces of the court in the matter, without in any degree presenting it, of course, as a matter of right in view of the rules already adopted by the court. Nevertheless it is something which we would highly appreciate, and I am sure would be appreciated by M. Descamps.

M. le Président. Nous avons à délibérer sur la question de savoir si nous pourrions ajourner les séances, mais nous sommes arrivés au résultat qu’il faut continuer les débats.

M. Beernaert. Je demande la parole.

M. le President. M. Beernaert a la parole.

M. Beernaert. J’ai l’honneur d’annoncer à la Cour que je la saisirai d’une demande analogue à celle de M. Descamps, mais dans une beaucoup moindre mesure. La Cour sait quelle est la position politique que j’ai occupé et que dans une certaine mesure j’occupe encore. Quelque soit mon désir de tenir compte de l’intention qu’a exprimée la Cour de terminer promptement les débats—jen’aipuendonnerunemeilleure preuve qu’en m’excusant au Congrès de Hambourg—il est cependant impossible que je n’assiste pas aux funérailles de la Reine. Je bornerai done la demande écrite dont je vais avoir l’honneur de saisir le Tribunal aux séances de jeudi et de vendredi. Dans cette hypothèse, il me semble que nous pourrions avoir promptement fini. Mr. Ralston a annoncé l’intention de terminer aujourd’hui, si je ne me trompe. . . . . .

Mr. Ralston. Je le pense.

M. Beernaert. Il finirait done aujourd’hui, et il resterait la séance de demain—mercredi—pour entendre M. Descamps, s’il prend part à la première plaidoirie. Si M. Descamps ne prend pas part à la première plaidoirie et se réserve la réplique, M. Delacroix prendrait la séance de demain, nous reprendrions samedi, et je ne pense pas que pour ce qui nous concerne il nous faille plus de deux séances, c’est-à-dire celle de mercredi si M. Descamps ne parle pas et celle de samedi, [Page 612]Dans l’autre cas, il nous suffirait des audiences de samedi et de lundi. La Cour voit que nous sommes extremêment préoccupés de tenir compte de ses convenances que nous comprenons, mais j’espère qu’elle voudra bien aussi tenir compte de la situation dans laquelle nous nous trouvons par suite d’un évènement aussi malheureux que possible et assurément imprévu. J’aurai l’honneur de la saisir de ma demande écrite.

Je dois ajouter, messieurs, que je ne suis pas seul dans ces conditions: Son Excellence M. Pardo, la Cour le sait, est accrédité auprès de la Cour de Belgique comme il Pest aupres de la Cour de Hollande; il doit done nécessairement lui aussi—il est invité officiellement à la cérémonie—quitter La Haye; nous partirons ensemble aussi tard que possible, c’est-a-dire demain mercredi soir.

Mr. Ralston. Mr. President and honorable arbitrators:

Recognizing the unhappy circumstances of the case, we should certainly not think of opposing the proposition of Mr. Beernaert; that is, that the court adjourn on Thursday and Friday, which would enable Mr. Beernaert and Mr. Pardo to attend the funeral of the Queen. Unfortunately I have not been able to see M. Descamps since last Tuesday, and I can not speak of his engagements other than may be indicated by the telegram which I have before me. It is not, of course, my desire in any degree to disarrange the order of speeches already laid down by the court. In his telegram, as read, he asks leave, if possible, to address the court on Monday—“Pourraiplaider lundi”—and it is that request that I desire to submit. I assume from the contents of the telegram that it would not be possible for him to be here to-morrow. If he could be here then, I should personally much prefer that he proceed at that time. I submit, therefore, the question to the consideration of the court as to whether he may speak, even out of order, arriving on Monday.

M. le Président. M. Descamps ne peut done plaider demain?

M. de Martens. Si vous avez la bonté, Mr. Ralston, de prévenir M. Descamps que le tribunal a décidé de siéger continuellement, peutêtre alors prendra-t-il des arrangements afin de pouvoir, s’il le faut absolument pour lui, assister à l’enterrement de Sa Majesté la Reine de Belgique, et, comme la distance entre Bruxelles et La Haye est settlement de 3 heures, je crois que pendant une journée il pourrait parfaitement faire ce voyage à Bruxelles et revenir. Il me paraît qu’une demande catégorique de votre part le mettra tout-à-f ait en état de s’arranger afin d’être ici s’il est possible demain.

Mr. Ralston. I will then have a telegram sent, with the permission of the court, addressed to M. Descamps, urging him by all means to appear here to-morrow, and that despatch will go immediately. I can not anticipate the exact length of my own argument, but I do not anticipate it will take all of to-day, so there may be a hiatus perhaps between the end of my speech and the coming of M. Descamps.

Mr. Ralston. Mr. President and honorable arbitrators:

I desire to sum up for a moment, in opening this morning, some of the positions to which the attention of the court was invited on yesterday.

After the preliminary observations and a discussion of the foundation of the claim we considered the jurisdiction of the mixed commission as fixed by the convention of 1868, and as admitted by Mexico because of her repeated extensions of the function of the original [Page 613]mixed commission without any objection to the consideration by it of the question of the right of the United States to maintain this action in the face of the provisions of the original convention of 1868.

Sir Edward Fry. Did you not go over this yesterday?

Mr. Ralston. Yes, sir. This is only, if your honor please, by way of inducement. I desire, however, to call the attention of the court to the further consideration which was not discussed in this connection yesterday, but which is found in the original project of M. Goldschmidt, referred to on page 30a of my brief. It will be seen that that writer considered that it was the duty of the party objecting to the competency of the court to raise that objection at the first opportune moment. And the particular language used by him, to which I invite your attention, is this:

Si l’exception d’incompétence n’est pas opposée au premier moment opportun ou si l’exception opposée en temps utile ayant éte repoussée par le tribunal arbitral, les parties passent outre sans faire de réserves, toute contestation ultérieure de la compétence est exclue.

I call the attention of this tribunal to the fact that the parties did pass beyond the question of competency without making any reservation of any rights of discussion of it in any future time.

The same view we also find, noted on the brief at the same page, was entertained by M. Rolin-Jacquemyns and also by M. Calvo in his work in the following language:

La partie que soulève ainsi devant les arbitres une exception d’incompétence a le droit d’y ajouter des réserves formelles de nullité totale ou partielle de la sentence à intervener pour le cas où l’exception serait rejetée par les arbitres. A défaut de présenter de pareilles réserves, la partie que soulève l’exception est censée avoir accepté d’avance la décision arbitrate comme définitive et sans appel.

Repeating what, I say, we find here that the parties passed beyond the question without the formal reserves in the case of the exception being rejected by the arbitrators. Without reading it in extenso, we also find the language of M. Pradier-Fodéré to the same intent, quoted on page 31a.

So that from our point of view the question of jurisdiction and the question of the right of the former tribunal to pass absolutely and finally upon its jurisdiction are settled because of the making of further conventions and because of the absence of any reserves noted by Mexico in connection with the decision of the question.

The point at which discussion ceased yesterday had reference to the differences of opinion entertained by M. Rivier on two several occasions, and I made the statement that I was able to find but two who entertained the idea that the arbitral court was not, in fact, a true court, M. Rivier and M. Bonfils.

I call your attention to the language of M. Bonfils, on page 27b of the brief, in which he is quoted as saying, among other things:

Les arbitres ne peuvent pas statuer eux-mêmes sur leurs pouvoirs et déterminer les limites de leur compétence. Bluntschli pensait autrement; mais son opinion est erronée. Un mandataire ne saurait fixer lui-même la portée et l’étendue de son mandat. Si des doutes se produisent, les arbitres doivent en référer à leurs mandats et leur demander l’extension de leurs pouvoirs et une fixation plus nette et plus precise de l’objet du compris.

Now the two theories, therefore, with regard to the arbitral courts are, on the one hand, that they constitute true courts, with all the powers and with all the attributes of courts. They have power or faculty of passing upon the instrument which creates them or determining [Page 614]their own powers as any other court of last resort would do. The other view is that they are simply a collection of agents who, in the case of any doubt being raised, must refer the question for solution to their mandants. As between the two views, it seems to me there should be little doubt as to the correct one. And I find even that such is the opinion, apparently, of the editor of the work of M. Bonfils, who says that article 48 of the Hague Convention, “a consacré l’opinion de Bluntsehli,” that the arbitrators could determine their own powers and pass absolutely upon the question of competency.

I have cited in the brief, commencing on page 28a references to a number of writers on the subject of international law covering this particular question. We have an eminent English authority in the person of Mr. Hall, who finds in accordance with the ideas we present that: “The arbitrating person or body forms a true tribunal, authorized to render a decision obligatory upon the parties with reference to the issues before it. It settles its own procedure when none has been prescribed by the preliminary treaty; and when composed of several persons it determines by a majority of voices.”

And the opinion of M. Calvo is also to the point:

Les arbitres, une fois nommés, forment, bien qu’ils ne tiennent leurs pouvoirs que des parties, un corps indépendent, un véritable tribunal judieiaire. Ils ont le droit d’interpréter le compromis préalable intervenu entre les parties et par conséquent de prononcer sur leur propre compétence.

I have quoted in the brief, as it has happened, M. Descamps. I need hardly explain to this tribunal that at the time this brief was prepared in America it was as far from my thoughts as well could have been that M. Descamps would appear in this case or have any possible connection with it. The brief was printed in the Government Printing Office in Washington six weeks or two months ago, so that when I quote the opinion of M. Descamps it will be well understood it is not the opinion of the advocate, but M. Descamps, when speaking as a jurist before an eminent collection of jurists and with reference to the action of such a collection of publicists. So we find his language:

L’arbitrage n’est pas une tentative de conciliation. L’arbitre est juge et statue comme tel.

Before all, the language so far quoted, is, as we see from further inspection, in exact line with the language of the civil law quoted in the brief. And upon the question of “Arbitrage,” we find in Vol. IV, Répertoire Générale de Jurisprudence:

Le droit de juger leur propre compétence est la conséquence naturelle du caractère de juges dont ils sont investis par les parties.

We find them spoken of, therefore, by the best authority of which I have any knowledge under the civil law; the best collection, at least of authors of which I have any knowledge, as judges.

Il est vrai que les arbitres ne sont pas revêtus de fonctions publiques et que leurs pouvoirs n’ont d’autre source que la volonté des parties. Mais il faut remarquer que le législateur ne considère pas les arbitres comme de simples mandataires;

differing absolutely, as will be noted, from the language of MM. Rivier and Bonfils in the passages quoted from them. It continues:

Leur sentence a par elle-même autorité de chose jugée; de plus, elle ne peut pas être revisée, quant au fond, par le juge qui est chargé d’y apposer son ordonnance d’exéquatur. C’est done que les arbitres ne sont pas seulement des mandataires, [Page 615]mais aussi des juges; et par consequént, leur sentence doit avoir la même force proban te que les jugements.

And according to our view that probative force which attaches to the judgments is conclusive in its nature. It determines all the issues, as we shall come to see, properly placed before the court.

As fortifying the view which we have desired to present, it has seemed well to us to call the attention of this honorable tribunal to the general rule of interpretation applicable to the “compromis” and applying with absolute force to the body before which we have the honor of appearing, and which in our judgment applied with equal strength and force to the proceedings of the commission of 1868.

We find that this has been discussed in the following manner. I read from my brief, on page 29a:

Some of the writers upon international law have laid down a rule for the interpretation of the compromis, which rule seems to us in accord with common sense and with the necessities of the situation, and presents to us the point of view from which former Mixed Commission may properly have regarded the instrument they were called upon to construe.

Dans tous les cas où le tribunal arbitral entretient des doutes sur l’étendue du compromis, il doit l’interpréter dans son sens le plus large.

In other words, it ought to interpret it in the sense confirmatory of its own powers. It ought not to give a narrow, restricted interpretation to the instrument under which it acts.

And we have the further consideration suggested by M. Rolin-Jacquemyns (page 29a of the brief):

La question de compétence ne doit pas être résolue par une stricte interprétation du compromis, mais qu’il faut dans le doute la trancher affirmativement.

Now, if it be granted in an argumentative way that there was a question of doubt raised on behalf of Mexico before the former tribunal, then it became the duty of the former Mixed Commission to interpret the instrument before it in the largest sense and not to give it a strict interpretation. But if we were to say, on the one hand, that it was the duty of the former Mixed Commission to interpret its powers broadly and largely for the purpose of carrying out all the ends sought to be obtained by the two countries, and if we were, on the other hand, to say that nevertheless that interpretation so reached were to be regarded as a nugatory thing, we would place ourselves, as we submit, in an entirely incompetent and entirely contradictory position. We can not say in the one instance “give this instrument a large interpretation,” and in the other, “if you give it the large interpretation we will disregard what you do.” So that we claim for the action and the interpretation of the former Mixed Commission all the effects which naturally flow from the decision of any court whatsoever being competent to pass upon its own powers as this was.

I have inserted at this point, as having a tendency to support the argument now presented, reference to the decision of the Court of Appeals of England, cited in 62 Law Journal (page 29a of the brief), Gueret v. Andoury, wherein it was held that where parties to a contract have referred to arbitrators the question of its construction, their award is conclusive evidence as to the construction in a subsequent action brought for other breaches of the same contract. And if that rule may prevail, as it undoubtedly does, in disputes which exist between private individuals and where the arbitrator is not invested with any [Page 616]powers proceeding from the consent of governments in themselves sovereign, surely the same rule must apply with added, with multiplied, force in the case of tribunals solemnly sitting to judge questions which have arisen between nations.

The next question to which I desire to invite the attention of this tribunal is: Does the doctrine of res judicata apply to arbitral decisions?

It would seem to us in fact, without any extensive argument, that an affirmative answer must follow from the considerations which have already been adduced. But we have not felt at liberty to present this case to this honorable tribunal upon any assumptions, either of fact or of law, and we are fortunately able to sustain the position we take by a plentitude of citation, both from the civil law and from the common law.

I shall therefore trouble you with references sustaining our position, which will occupy me for a few moments, reading largely from my brief. We find the civil-law rule as follows, as stated in the Répertoire Générale de Jurisprudence, Volume IV (page 31a of the brief):

Les sentences arbitrates acquièrent autorité de chose jugée comme les autres jugements, dès quelles sont de venues inattaquables par l’expiration de délais établies.

And again, under another title, in the same work (page 32a of the brief):

Les sentences arbitrates sont de véritables jugements; elles sont done investies de l’autorité de la chose jugée.

As indicated, the consequence necessarily flows from the existence of the precedent condition that they are true courts.

I am fortunately again able to say that on a proposition of this importance in the discussion of a question of this magnitude the common law of England and America is at one with the civil law of the continent of Europe. And the declaration of the rule of common law, cited in my brief, page 32,a is that—

An award of arbitrators with jurisdiction can not be collaterally impeached for errors or irregularities in the proceedings.

And again:

Whenever any person is given authority to hear and determine any question, such determination is in effect a judgment having all the properties of a judgment pronounced in a legally created court of limited jurisdiction.

I desire for a moment to fortify the situation already given by another reference, which is not in my brief, and which I should be obliged if the court would kindly note, to the American and English Encyclopædia of Law, on “Arbitration and award,” page 795, wherein it is said that, “Even when erroneous, the award, if fairly made, is binding.”

I do not know, but I may fairly presume, that it will be the contention of Mexico that the former award was erroneous; that the court failed to properly appreciate some of the suggestions or implications of evidence from the standpoint of view of Mexico.

But if we could grant that—and on behalf of the United States we deny it—if we could grant that the award being fairly made is binding, and it is a pleasure to be able to say that the fairness of the former award has never been in the slightest degree attacked. We stand here with no suggestion of unfairness of treatment, with no suggestion of evidence wrongly presented before the court, with no suggestion of fraudulent conduct on the part of anybody, and under [Page 617]such circumstances, the award being fairly made, we claim it as binding.

And again I read from the Encyclopaedia of Law (p. 794), not, however, cited in the brief:

The rule is that an award is a final judgment, both at law and in equity, in regard to all the matters within the scope of the submission disposed of by it as between the parties thereto, binding on them for all time, unless it is expressly provided that it shall have binding force and effect for a limited time only.

Following further the discussion contained in the brief (p. 32:)a

The weight of authority in the United States leans toward making absolute the certain and simple rule that the award of arbitrators, when made in good faith, is final, and that it can not be questioned or set aside for a mistake, either of law or of fact.

I read next from one of the most celebrated of American jurists, one whose name in the United States is national, whose words are always quoted with respect, and who presided over the highest court of the State of Massachusetts for a long term of years, and did much toward settling the jurisprudence of that State as well as of the United States, Mr. Chief Justice Shaw. Speaking of the weight to be given to the finding of arbitrators, Justice Shaw said:

It is within the principle of res judicata. It is the final judgment for that case and between these parties. It would be as contrary to principle for a court of law or equity to rejudge the same question as for an inferior court to rejudge the decision of a superior, or for one court to overrule the judgment of another, where the law has not given an appellate jurisdiction or a revising power acting directly upon the judgment alleged to be erroneous.

And again there are many American and English citations, contained on page 805 of the Encyclopaedia of Law, to which I have referred, to the effect that “where an award is admissible in evidence, it is conclusive between the parties.” And that is the language also of the most excellent English writer cited on several occasions by Mr. McEnerney in his very able exposition of this case on yesterday:

A decision in a former suit in accordance with an award of the arbitrators, to whom the matter should have been referred, would be res judicata; such an award having, as observed by Mr. Justice Bell, in Lloyd v. Barr, the same legal effect as the verdict of a jury and judgment thereon under an issue strictly made up. Mr. Herman, speaking of the law of the American courts, says that a judgment on an award is to all intents exactly of the same force as a judgment on a verdict.

Sir Edward Fry. From what book are you quoting?

Mr. Ralston. Page 125 of Chand on the Law of Res Judicata, referred to yesterday by Mr. McEnerney in his able presentation of the case.

The next question in the regular development of the argument which I have laid out for myself is: Does the docrineof res judicata apply to international arbitral decisions?

We may refer, as incidentally bearing upon the argument, to article 18 of the Hague Convention, which to our mind is rather a declaration of principle than merely an exposition of law intended to apply solely to future arbitrations. For that article says (page 33b of the brief):

La convention d’arbitrage implique l’engagement de se soumettre de bonne foi à la sentence arbitrale.

M. de Martens. We have this already before us, I think.

Sir Edward Fry. I believe we have all read your brief.

(Some discussion among the arbitrators).

[Page 618]

M. de Martens. Yes; we have.

Mr. Ralston. If you have, that will shorten materially my argument.

I have further discussed this matter in my brief and need not spend any particular time now over the subject as to when arbitral awards may be attacked. I have sought to refer to the authorities which were available to me upon that subject.

Sir Edward Fry. I am not aware of any attack being made. Mexico has not attacked the award.

Mr. Ralston. Yes; if I may be pardoned, there is an intimation, a strong intimation, in the answer of Mexico that she intends to attack this arbitral award. She attacks it when she says that it has no force, that she is entitled to go back of it, and that she is entitled to ask at your hands a review of all the facts leading up to the former adjudication. That, as it seems to us, is a very direct attack upon the arbitral award of the Mixed Commission of thirty years ago, and it is for that reason that I have spent as much time and labor as I have in discussing that question. We have to consider the question as to whether the former arbitral award was or was not conclusive of the facts of the case.

I say that Mexico has attacked it. Of necessity she has done so, as will appear from the careful consideration of her answer attached to the replication, for if she admits the jurisdiction of the court, which, in my mind, she does not do by her answer—if she admits the jurisdiction of the court—then the only question which remains, as it would seem to me, for consideration by this tribunal is whether the consequences which we claim flow from the former adjudication; and that is the question to which I desire to address myself.

It is the contention of Mexico that, even granting the jurisdiction of the former tribunal, granting that it had the power to adjudicate all that it then adjudicated, nevertheless that adjudication is not binding for future time as to the amount justly due by her on later instalments to the bishop of California, represented here by the United States. Her contentions, therefore, are two-fold: First, that the former adjudication had no binding character whatsoever upon this court; and, secondly, that whatever weight might be given to it, the consequence which we claim from it as fixing the annual amount of interest to be paid by Mexico does not flow.

It is contended on behalf of Mexico in the letter of Sr. Mariscal, the secretary for foreign affairs, contained in the diplomatic correspondence, that there is but one part of the judgment which is to be considered as decisory in its character, and that we must reject all the considerations leading up to that one single point of final determination. In his letter he contends to the effect that only the “dispositive” or decisory part of the judgment has the force of res judicata. We prepared and submitted to the State Department an answer to that contention on behalf of Mexico, the answer so submitted commencing on page 51 of the diplomatic correspondence. On page 54 the effect of the citation from Laurent is discussed.

Mr. Laurent had been quoted as follows:

The creditor sues his debtor for interest of the principal sum, the judge condemns the debtor to pay. Is there res judicata in respect to the principal? It is supposed that the decisory part of the decision fixed the amount of the principal, and it has been decided that a decision in these terms does not give the force of res judicata with respect to the principal itself.—Citing Dalloz, Chose Jugée.

Beneath is to be found the exact citation from Dalloz to which [Page 619]M. Laurent refers, and, as we argued then, we think on examination it proves to be without force to sustain the contention urged, and, furthermore, as noted below, we find on the very same page of Laurent a discussion of the principle which states it in terms which would be applicable to the present case:

Un jngement accorde à une personne des aliments en qualité d’enfant. A-t-il l’autorité de chose jugée sur la question de filiation? Si la question a été débattue entre les parties, l’afrirmative n’est point douteuse.

The questions which were discussed before the former tribunal, as this tribunal is aware, were the existence of the fund, which was a fact found; the purposes for which that fund was intended, which was found; the obligation of Mexico to pay the California bishops their due proportion of the income of that fund, which was found; the amount so payable, which was fixed, and including in that the rate per cent per year. All of these were fixed, and in addition, the number of years for which there had been default, and, summing up these various elements, the conclusion was reached that some forty-three thousand dollars per year was the quantity which should be paid to the Roman Catholic bishops. The contention of Mexico is, if I correctly apprehend it, that the former adjudication, if res judicata at all, was conclusive merely as to the decisory part, and that decisory part was nothing more than the direction to pay some $904,000, but was not conclusive as to the various elements without which that decisory part could not have existed. Our contention in answer to that is two-fold in character; the first is, that in point of fact the adjudication as to the annual interest does form part of the decisory portion of this judgment, for we find in the opinion of the umpire, given on page 609, the direct statement that—

The annual amount of interest, therefore, which should fall to the share of the Roman Catholic Church of Upper California is $43,080.99, and the aggregate sum for twenty-one years will be $904,700.79.

These are not the last words, of course, of the opinion, but they are as much the decisory part as they could possibly be. They sum up his opinion in a few words, although the concluding lines are:

The umpire consequently awards that there be paid by the Mexican Government, on account of the above-mentioned claim, the sum of nine hundred and four thousand seven hundred Mexican gold dollars and seventy-nine cents ($904,700.79) without interest.

Our first contention, therefore, is that the award itself has included that very thing in its decisory part, and under that contention may be embraced the further one that it is stipulated by the protocol under which this court is convened, that that very fact was found by the arbitrators, for it will be found, reading from page 48a of the Appendix, and referring to the protocol under which we are acting.

M. de Martens. Which page?

Mr. Ralston. Page 48.

Whereas said mixed commission, after considering said claim, the same being designated as No. 493 upon its docket, and entitled Thaddeus Amat, Roman Catholic bishop of Monterey, a corporation sole, and Joseph S. Alemany, Roman Catholic bishop of San Francisco, a corporation sole, against the Republic of Mexico, adjudged the same adversely to the Republic of Mexico and in favor of said claimants, and made an award thereon of nine hundred and four thousand seven hundred and 99/100 (904,700.99) dollars; the same, as expressed in the findings of said court, being for twenty-one years’ interest of the annual amount of forty-three thousand and eighty and 99/100 (43,080.99) dollars upon seven hundred and eighteen thousand and sixteen [Page 620]and 50/100 (718,016.50) dollars, said award being in Mexican gold dollars, and the said amount of nine hundred and four thousand seven hundred and 99/100 (904,700.99) dollars having been fully paid and discharged in accordance with the terms of said convention, etc.

So that, I think, we are justified in saying that the matter in point of fact is beyond discussion by the very terms of the protocol; but inasmuch as in the answer of Mexico this point is renewed on her behalf, we find ourselves compelled to continue the discussion beyond the point to which it has so far been carried. As this honorable tribunal is familiar with the brief placed before you, I need only state that the common law and the civil law authorities therein contained reach the position that whatever was of necessity implied or flowed as a necessary consequence from the finding of the judgment is to be considered as an integral part of it, and not to be divorced from it, and such has been the language in effect of many French and English courts cited in the brief, and such is the language as cited also from Chand and given by him on pages 48 and 49, not cited in the brief, with illustrations there given. I take a moment to read these citations, as they are not contained in the brief, and I commence on page 47 as giving examples of the rule:

In Gardner v. Buckbee, also, the suit was on a promissory note. The defendant alleged that that note with another was given for the price of a shop which was sold fraudulently by plaintiff. The plaintiff replied that the issue as to the sale being fraudulent had been decided against the defendant in a former suit on the other note, and that decision was held to be res judicata. In Van Dolsen v. A bendroth and Cleveland v. Creviston, a decision for the plaintiff for the amount of the interest claimed in respect of a bond was held to be res judicata in a suit for the amount of the bond, as to the plea of the bond being invalid for fraud, on the ground that that plea ought to have been raised in the former suit. Mr. Herman, citing a number of other cases, says: “In an action on a promissory note where the defence was fraud and the judgment was rendered for the defendant, the verdict was held in another action on another ground, growing out of the same transaction, conclusive evidence of the fraud.* * * On the same principle in an action of assumpsit for goods sold and delivered, a verdict against the vendee on the ground that the same was fraudulent as against the vendor’s creditors is conclusive of fraud in the subsequent action between the same parties for other goods which were not included in the first action.”

Then there are a large number of citations of similar effect, with which I shall not trouble the court at the present time, simply making the reference.

In the discussion of this general subject, contained in the answer of Mexico, reference has been made to Griolet as an authority upon the subject of res judicata, to the discussion of Savigny, which is quite notable in the history of jurisprudence, and to Pantoja upon certain incidental points. I may say that unfortunately I think every reference contained in the answer of Mexico has been erroneous. I should make one single exception—the reference to the letter of Secretary Bayard. We have, with exceeding great difficulty, verified all of them and given the correct pages in the notes, except the reference to Pantoja. That we are entirely unable to verify. We can not find any corresponding pages. I call the attention of the agent of Mexico to that at this time, with the request that he will kindly furnish us with the correct reference to Pantoja. The others, as I have stated, we have found with a great deal of labor.

The first authority discussed by Mexico to the proposition that the legal principle of res judicata applies exclusively to the decision or to the decisory part of the judgment, and that the reasons are not [Page 621]embraced in it, is that of Savigny. That is not the doctrine of Savigny, although that inference might perhaps be drawn from the manner in which the printer has presented the answer of Mexico. Savigny refers to it as a doctrine entertained by various ancient authors, a large number of authors, as he says, but it is not his doctrine, and he so expressly states. But the discussion by Savigny of the general underlying principle is one which I am sure the court must have found extremely interesting, for his discussion is referred to very generally, I suppose, by European writers, and his conclusion might be briefly expressed as that the force of res judicata, or chose jugée, applies to what he terms the objective parts of the judgment; that is, the things which must be found by the court in order to reach a given conclusion, as, for instance, applying it to this case, the amount of annual interest which had to be found before fixing the sum total for twenty-one years, but does not apply to what he terms the subjective reasons or the reasons which bring the mind of the court to conclude that particular things essential in the formation of a judgment are existent; for instance, the force of res judicata, under the doctrine of Savigny, would apply to the fact found that $43,000 per year was due by Mexico to the Roman Catholic bishops of California, but would not apply to the particular reasons which induced the mind of the court to reach that conclusion, and the particular things concluded, the things which enter into, which form the integral and inseparable part of the judgment, form part of the res judicata. Thus he says:

Les motifs (meaning in this sense, as my contention is, as explained by him; that is to say, the objective motifs) font partie intégrante du jugement, et l’autorité de la chose jugée a pour limites le contenu du jugementy compris ses motifs.

He further comments:

Ce principe important, conforme à la mission du juge, a été formellement reconnu par le droit romain et appliqué dans tout son extension.

So that we may cite with absolute reliance, so far as our position is concerned, Savigny, an author of the very highest repute. It is true that Griolet, an author, we may say fairly and justly of very much less celebrity, has been cited on behalf of Mexico as differing from Savigny, and his particular language in the way of difference has been quoted in the answer of Mexico, but, as will appear by reference to the Replication on behalf of the United States, even Griolet qualifies his own language of criticism of Savigny, and so qualifies it as to make that criticism, in our judgment, meaningless, for we find, quoting from the foot of page 5 of the Replication,a referring to the distinctions made by Savigny between objective and subjective motifs, that Griolet says:

Cette théorie est exacte dans saplus grande partie, parce qu’on voit que M. Savigny considère comme motifs objectifs de la sentence les rapports de droit en vertu desquels la condamnation est demandée, et les rapports de droit que le défendeur oppose au demandeur, pour neutraliser en quelque sorte l’effet des rapports de droit qu’on invoque contre lui, et éviter ou am oindrir la condamnation.

And we follow our citation from Griolet, with illustrative cases given by him, tending to sustain the very doctrine for which we contend here to-day, and showing, as appears by the extracts on page 6, and which I will not trouble you by reading, that when he comes to apply his own theory of law, he exactly accords in application with Savigny, and agrees with the contention now advanced by us.

[Page 622]

I desire now, and in connection with the discussion of this question at this point, to refer the court to some statements of principle to be found in another treatise upon this subject, the treatise of M. Lacombe, “De l’autorité de la chose jugée.” I shall read from paragraph 68, on page 67, as illustrative of his belief in the absolute necessity for what I may term a substantial following of the doctrine of Savigny, although, as I shall note, he makes some minor criticisms which have no effect or force, so far as this case is concerned, in view of the summing up of his doctrine to be given hereafter. He says:

Je dois dire tout d’abord que l’autorité de la chose jugée restreinte au dispositif seul ne donnerait nullement satisfaction aux nécessités sociales qui Font fait instituer, que les auteurs et les tribunaux qui ont proclamé en principe cette restriction n’auraient jamais pu l’appliquer rigoureusement à la pratique, et qu’ils ont dû, tout en la maintenant en théorie, y apporter dans l’application des dérogations sous le nombre et l’importance desquelles elle disparaît presque complètement.

I think the remark just made has a very direct bearing upon the course taken by M. Griolet in this work upon the same subject—that is, as laying down the principle that the force of chose jugée attaches only to the dispositif of the judgment, immediately proceeding as he does to give a succession of cases cited in the replication of the United States which show absolutely that the formal application of such a rule to a state of facts at all similar to that presented before this honorable tribunal is absolutely impossible. He does not apply the rule laid down by him when the necessity arises.

The writer from whom I am now quoting, M. Lacombe, on page 68 indicates the way, however, which has been resorted to by such writers as M. Griolet to avoid the effect of the rule which he has undertaken to maintain, and in the note this writer says:

Nous devons du reste ajouter immédiatement que la jurisprudence applique la faeulté d’interprétation du dispositif par les motifs d’une maniére trés large, ce qui arrive à restreindre dans une forte proportion les inconvénients de la doctrine que nous combattons,

in other words, to get rid of their own doctrine by interpretation so as to enable courts to arrive at a reasonable result.

Another contention, I read from page 74, paragraph 74:

74. C’est done dans l’ensemble du jugement sans égard à sa division en diverses parties qu’il faut puiser tous les renseignements qui feront connaître si l’exception est ou non applicable.

The summing up in a few words of this particular author of his theory is contained in, a note at the foot of page 79, as follows:

L’autorité de la chose jugée couvre non-seulement la solution proprement dite donnée par le juge, mais encore tous les rapports de droit qui sont liés à cette solution par le rapport de principe à conséquence, et peu importe, quani à ce, que l’opinion du juge à leur égard se trouve exprimée dans le dispositif du jugement ou dans ses motifs.

We have therefore the opinion of the continental text writers sustaining the position taken by the United States that the elements which of necessity enter into the judgment form part of the chose jugée. We have the opinion of the French courts, innumerable opinions, almost, cited in the brief to precisely the same effect. We have the opinion of Savigny indicating the same, and I am happy to be able to add, as I have in a note on page 7a of the replication, that the courts of the Netherlands entertain precisely the same view, and we see in the brief it is the same as that of the courts of the United States and of England. [Page 623]In fact, when it comes to a careful analysis of the situation, the objection which is raised by Mexico on this behalf seems absolutely to disappear, for if it were otherwise, when would there be an end to litigation? Suppose the position taken by Mexico were correct; suppose that it might be said that the dispositif of the judgment is the only thing to be looked at, and in that dispositif you must only look at the one fact that the defendant has been compelled to pay a certain sum without having the liberty of analysing that statement into its respective and necessary parts, the parts which come together to form the whole; let us therefore imagine for a moment the position in which Mexico might be placed. It calls for the exercise of imagination, as I think must be conceded. We obtained, let us say, under the former arbitral convention, an award against Mexico for $904,000. According to Mexico’s contention, nothing is settled by the dispositif except that single fact. Well and good. The United States on a subsequent occasion, or the bishops under whatever form of pleading may be appropriate under the circumstances, bring a suit for one of the instalments embraced in that twenty-one years. If the doctrine of Mexico be correct, why might they not do it? Mexico might say, You obtained an award against us once for $904,000, and the reply of the United States, assuming Mexico’s position, would be, Yes, we received an award of $904,000, but you can not plead that award, because the court has no right to analyse its parts and see what years that particular award covered. Therefore, accepting the very position of Mexico, she would be unable to plead that prior judgment as against a subsequent demand covering part of the same period made by the United States, unless the second tribunal possessed the right to inspect the wdiole record and to determine from that whole record whether the particular question was in point of fact presented to, discussed by, and passed upon by the preceding court; so that it seems to us that the contention of Mexico, if it be once carefully examined, can be reduced to what logically we might term an absurdity, and that I say, of course, with every respect for my friends on the other side.

While I do not care to trouble this tribunal with reading of matters already submitted to it in printed form, I may be pardoned for again inviting your attention particularly to the decisions of the Netherlands, which seem to us to be in exact accord with right reason upon this point, and we find a case before the Netherlands high court of justice in which it was advised by the procureur-général that every decision of the judge which by reason of the contentions of the parties he might and has given with regard to their rights, is included in the subject-matter of his judgment, no matter in what particular part thereof the decision might be found.

And again, in the discussion by Dr. Opzoomer:

Whatever has once passed through all the forms of a suit and is legally decided by the judge must never afterwards be subject to any doubt.

And further discussing, he says:

From what has been here discussed, it appears that as the legal bases are actually fundamental parts of the judgment of the judge, they should be entirely independent of the place in which they appear in such a judgment. Whether they are found in the so-called dispositif or whether they be anywhere else, is a matter of perfect indifference. They become authority not because of the place in which they appear, but because of the inseparable connection in which they stand to the immediate decision. Those who tear the legal basis from the decision follow the abstract method of treatment, [Page 624]which in the nature of things regards as divided that which our reasoning power divides.

And so there are other decisions quoted, and these decisions are given a practical application by the courts in this country, as well as, I should say, by the courts of England, France, and America, and by the courts of Germany, if we assume as authoritative the opinion of Savigny.

There is one point to which I want to invite your attention for just a moment, a point which I think was not mentioned in the prior arguments, and to which brief reference might be made, and that is the legal position occupied by the bishop of Calif ornia at the time of the cession of Upper California to the United States. Our contention is that the bishopric was at that time a corporation, and such also is the language of the Mexican representative on the occasion of the former hearing, for he says in the Transcript, page 395, paragraph 126:

The merely canonical creation of the Church of California may have given it a standing in the Universal Church as a religious body, but it would not have been, sufficient to entitle it to the recognition of the sovereign of the country, hence the said church was created by virtue of a decree of the Mexican Congress. This, which occurred in a nation officially Catholic, is the same as is established by the laws of the United States to entitle a corporation to be acknowledged by public law, as has been repeatedly decided, in accordance with the public law of all nations.

The point is a minor one, but before concluding I wanted to call your attention to it as illustrating that at the time of the cession of Upper California the Roman Catholic bishop of California was a corporation, was entitled to hold as such, and to all the rights as such, and when Upper California passed into the control of the United States, then, as matter of public international law, his corporate capacity, which had been fixed under the Mexican law, still adhered to him. It is true there was and is no established church in the United States, but churches are in the United States recognized as corporate bodies. Probably the laws of every State provide for their actual incorporation, so that they may sue and they may receive devises of property, and they may make conveyances and accept gifts as may a private individual.

Sir Edward Fry. I suppose you will show the succession of the present bishops to the bishops in 1875?

Mr. Ralston. That is in evidence.

Sir Edward Fry. That is not before us.

Mr. Ralston. I beg your pardon, it is already filed—filed but not printed. It was filed with the secretary-general, I think, before the meeting of the court, but we did not have it printed, and we have not laid great stress upon the fact, for the reason that officially, at least, the United States of America is the plaintiff here, and we have assumed that it may be presumed to be the party plaintiff, suing on behalf of all persons who may be interested, and that it would be charged, in the event of a judgment in its favor, with the duty of distributing the funds to whoever might be interested without there existing any necessity from the point of fact for a formal presentation of these persons before this court. We proceed upon that theory, at least we entertain that theory rather than proceed upon it. We entertain that theory, because it was, for instance, the theory entertained at the time of the Geneva award. It will be recalled that there a large sum of money was awarded against England because of certain injuries found to have been inflicted on American citizens. The question as to [Page 625]what particular American citizens were injured, or the proof of injury in certain instances, was not brought to the attention of that tribunal, but it was apparently, if I remember correctly, conceded that that was a question between the United States and its citizens rather than one which would be considered by the arbitral court. I make these suggestions as to our own view concerning the principle controlling the case, notwithstanding the fact that we have filed proofs of succession. We have not, therefore, for the reasons indicated, laid any great stress upon them.

Above and beyond all the matters which we have submitted, or at any rate which have been submitted by me, rests the fact, the substantial fact to our minds, of the innate justice of the claim, and without undertaking to refer even to all the details of evidence which have been presented here, and well presented, by Senator Stewart and Mr. McEnerney, I simply want to take the liberty of calling your attention to this single thing: That there was a Pious Fund of large amount; that the bishops were in the enjoyment of that property; that it was devoted to certain ecclesiastical uses and was intended so to be devoted by the various donors, who had contributed to it for the period of substantially one hundred and fifty years; and that, without warning, and without reason, save it may have existed in the revolutionary or warlike necessities of the moment so far as Mexico was concerned, that fund was laid hands upon and was turned to a purpose far from that to which it had been intended, devoted to entirely other ends, and remains—so far as we are aware, except for the amount paid pursuant to the award of 1875—remains to this day devoted to entirely other purposes, setting at defiance the will of the donors and, as we contend, setting at defiance the natural and intrinsic justice of the case. And we may, for the moment, brush aside all the considerations of res judicata, which are considerations of substantial moment and substantial justice in themselves, and look to this one solitary fact—the people and religious institutions to which this fund was devoted primarily have been deprived of it. And we stand here, on behalf of the Government of the United States, which may not be assumed to be ecclesiastically in any particular sympathy with one church rather than another—we stand here, as I say, on behalf of these institutions, and on behalf of the Government of the United States, asking this court to rectify what we believe to be a great wrong to American citizens entitled to American aid and to American intervention.

And we assume that this fact of substantial right may not be lost sight of, as we can not believe it will be lost sight of, in any of your deliberations concerning this question, and that you will note, and as I am sure you will take pleasure in noting, that while, on the one hand, you can sustain the adjudication of the former Mixed Commission and thereby give renewed dignity and solemnity to the adjudications of every commission and every arbitral court yet to come for hundreds of years—while that rests in your hands, that great, magnificent power I might almost say rests in your hands, at the same time, it will be possible for you to exercise it and exercise it in the fullest without in any degree derogating from those principles of natural right and intrinsic justice to which it is always our pleasure to appeal.

My attention is called to the fact that before closing I ought not to neglect to say that this claim was promptly presented to the attention [Page 626]of the Government of Mexico after the severance of Mexico from the United States. You, Mr. President and honorable arbitrators, will have found reference in the decision of the umpire to the fact that the archbishop had stated that he had in 1852 presented this claim to the attention of the Government of Mexico and that it had been refused, but that the arbitrator did not desire that such presentation should be considered as inaugurating a right to claim interest upon interest from the date of such presentation, particularly because there was no written evidence of the fact. While offering to the court at the present time very little evidence that may be considered as strictly new, we have filed with the secretary-general, but it has not yet been printed, the deposition of Mr. Doyle, and attached to that we have the original letter written by the Mexican officials in answer to the demand made by the archbishop at that time—1852—so that which rested merely in word of mouth in 1875, and upon which for that reason the umpire was unwilling to base any portion of his award, has now been fully proven, and adds, if such a thing might be necessary, additional force to the award given by the umpire in 1875.

At the same time it justifies me in calling attention to one further feature of the award of 1875, and that is the liberality displayed by the umpire toward Mexico. He rejected the payment of interest upon interest at that time because of the want of this particular proof that we adduce to-day, and he accepted as fair, under alt the circumstances of the case, an equal division between Upper and Lower California—a division which to-day would not be, as we shall submit further in evidence (the particular evidence will be before the court before the week terminates), which would not be in any degree fair, for while in Lower California there are, so far as any evidence before the court tends to show, not to exceed two thousand Indians if division among Indians be the basis of division, in the State of California there are fifteen thousand, and in the territory which we regard as forming part of Upper California under the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo there are sixty-eight thousand. So that, if we are to assume the number of Indians in the first instance to be the basis we should have as seven to one, and if we assume the other method of division as two to sixty-eight.

Mr. Asser. Is this all of this territory?

Mr. Ralston. Yes; it is all of this territory, except that as we understand Spanish claims extended far enough to include Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and part of Montana and Wyoming.

That whole vast territory known under the name of Upper California under Mexico included California, Nevada, Utah, part of Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico, and all of Arizona.

Sir Edward Fry. Were they known as California at the date of the severance?

Mr. Ralston. Yes, sir; at the date of the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, 1848.

Sir Edward Fry. The Territory of Washington surely was part of the United States before 1848?

Mr. Ralston. Yes, sir; the State of Washington, as it is now going up to Puget Sound and to the British possessions (showing the map). I will give you a fair illustration of the size of these countries by comparing this State of Nevada, which is only about half in area of the size of California, by comparing this State of Nevada with Holland. [Page 627]This single State is eight times as large as Holland, and the State af California is about fifteen times as large as Holland. There are 180,000 square miles, roughly, in the State of California and over 90,000 in the State of Nevada.

So we submit that when we ask the court to rest whatever conclusions it may reach primarily upon this question of res judicata, we are asking something which is really in the interest of Mexico; but at the same time that we ask that, we are asking, as we believe, the affirmation of a principle of the highest possible importance in all international discussions.

Mr. President and honorable arbitrators, I thank you for your attention.

M. le Président. Le tribunal se retire pour délibérer et la séance est suspendue jusqu’à 2 h. ½.

(La séance est suspendue jusqu’à 2½ heures.)

huitième séance.

23 septemlre 1902 (après-midi).

La séance est ouverte à 2 h. 45 sous la présidence de M. Matzen.

M. le Président. M. le Representant des Etats-Unis de l’Amérique du Nord a la parole.

Mr. Ralston. In conformity with the order of court this morning, I desire to present for the consideration of this tribunal the following written application on behalf of M. Descamps, premising the same by saying that immediately upon the opening of the morning session a telegram was sent to M. Descamps, and no response has yet been received:

The agent of the United States has the honor respectfully to state to this honorable tribunal that he has been handed a telegram from M. Descamps, by which he is informed that that gentleman desires to address the court Monday; that he (the agent) had expected to be followed to-day by M. Descamps, but in view of the obligations placed upon that gentleman because of the regretted death of the Queen of Belgium, he has been unable to be present. The agent, therefore, has the honor to ask this tribunal that permission may be granted to M. Descamps to address the court on next Monday, giving, if desired, full opportunity to the agent and counsel of Mexico to reply to the arguments advanced by him before the réplique on the part of the United States, which last argument will be offered by Mr. Penfield, the solicitor of the Department of State of the United States.

M. le Président. Le Tribunal délibérera sur la demande qui vient d’être faite. La parole est au conseil des Etats-Unis Mexicains.

M. Delacroix. Est-ce que la question qui vient d’être posée ne doit pas être résolue avant de me donner la parole, Monsieur le Président?

M. le Président. Non, le Tribunal se retirera pour délibérer sur cette question.

M. Beernaert. Je me permets cependant de faire remarquer que la question posée par M. Ralston est en quelque sorte préalable; vous avez décidé qu’une fois la première plaidoirie finie et notre tour commencé, il n’y aurait plus place que pour les répliques qu’elles devraient être confiées à une seul orateur; par conséquent, si M. Delacroix prend la parole, le demande de M. Ralston pourrait devoir être considerée comme implicitement rejetée. Je crois devoir en faire l’observation.

M. le Président. Le Tribunal a décidé que la demande de l’agent des Etats-Unis de l’Amérique du Nord ne peut pas être admise.

[Page 628]

plaidoirie de m. delacroix.

Messieurs: Vous avez entendu plusieurs beaux discours en faveur des Etats-Unis du Nord, et s’il fallait en juger par la multiplicity des brochures qui vous ont été distribuées il faut avouer que la cause du Mexique semblerait compromise. Cependant, nous ne le croyons pas, et je puis dire dés à present a la Cour que nous serons beaucoup plus courts, beaucoup moins longs que nos honorables contradicteurs, parce que nous croyons que notre these se defend en quelque sorte d’elle-même.

Il nous paraît impossible que les éminents jurisconsultes qui composent le tribunal arbitral n’aient pas apercu le vice de l’argumentation de nos honorables contradicteurs. Ces Messieurs vous ont éttabli—etils l’ont fait avec succès, avec fondement—que la volonté primitive des donateurs du Fonds Pieux de Californie n’est pas aujourd’hui réalisée par le Gouvernement mexicain. Nous sommes d’accord, et non seulement nous sommes d’accord mais nous renforcerons encore si possible la thèse qui vous a été présentée par les Etats-Unis d’Amérique sur ce point. En effet, les donateurs primitifs ont eu en vue de faire une donation aux Jésuites; c’était si bien leur préoccupation de faire une donation aux Jésuites, de vouloir que les Jésuites seuls et exclusivement puissent disposer de ces fonds, que dans notamment le testament de M. le Marques de Villapuente il est dit que ni les autorites seculieres ni les autorites religieuses, en un mot ni le clergé ni l’autorité laїque, ne pourront intervenir.

Done, puisque telle a été la volonté des donateurs de favoriser exacte ment les Jésuites, il est clair, et, nous devons l’avouer, que la volonté des donateurs sur ce point n’est pas réalisée aujourd’hui, puisqu’il n’y a plus de Jésuites ou qu’il semble qu’il n’y en ait plus.

Les donateurs ont voulu appliquer le Fonds Pieux aux Missions. Les Missions, que je definirai tout-a-l’heure, c’est une ceuvre de conquête spirituelle et temporelle, si vous voulez, l’un et l’autre; mais, comme le disent tous les auteurs dont je parlerai, c’est une œuvre de réduction: on veut subjuguer la Californie au point de vue politique et au point de vue religieux: c’est une ceuvre de reduction religieuse en même temps qu’une ceuvre de réduction politique. Cela est si vrai qu’il n’y a plus de Missions qu’il ne pourrait plus y en avoir sur le sol de la Libre Amérique; pas plus aux Etats-Unis d’Amérique, où la liberté de conscience est aujourd’hui complète et entiere qu’au Mexique d’aujourd’hui il ne serait possible d’établir encore de ces oeuvres de réduction ou de conquête religieuse pas plus que de conquête politique.

Done, il n’y a plus de Missions, et à ce second point de vue la volonté primitive des donateurs, n’est pas respectée.

Enfin, messieurs, les donateurs ont eu surtout en vue de favoriser une des populations les plus déhétées de la terre, les Indiens, les sauvages, ces gens qui se trouvaient encore dans la ténèbres du paganisme. Voilà ceux qui avaient appelé la préoccupation des donateurs, et je puis bien le dire, heureusement pour la Californie, il n’y en a plus … ou plutôt je m’expliquerai sur ce point.

A ce troisième point de vue encore, la volonté des donateurs primitifs ne peut pas être réalisée.

Mais, messieurs, si sur cette prémisse nous sommes d’accord avec nos honorables contradicteurs, où nous ne sommes plus d’accord c’est sur la conclusion qu’ils en tirent, ou plutôt sur la seconde prémisse, [Page 629]lorsqu’ils disent: Les Jésuites e’est nous, les Missions c’est nous, les Indiens c’est nous. Là nous ne sommes plus d’accord, et vous apercevez aisément que le titre, la preuve à juridique de cette allégation fait défaut.

Mais, messieurs, vous serez aussi certainement été frappés de ce qu’il semble que l’histoire traditionnelle des peuples condamne la réclamation d’aujourd’hui; vous aurez été frappés des conséquences de la décision qui serait rendue conformément à la demande, puisque vous devez en quelque sorte par votre sentence réviser l’Histoire.

Si nous relisons l’histoire du 18e siècle, nous voyons que toute la seconde période de ce siècle s’est trouvée agitée par ce fait mondial de la suppression des Jésuites; les intrigues, les démarches, les luttes de tout genre, ont eu lieu autour de cette question: Les Jésuites doivent-ils être maintenus, ou doivent-ils être expulsés?

Louis XV en France et son premier ministre Choiseul, se sont préoccupés de cette question des Jésuites: ils redoutaient les Jésuites qui semblaient devenir une puissance trop grande dans l’Etat. Charles III, en Espagne, sujet fidele de l’Eglise, ay ant les meilleurs rapports avec le Pape, s’en préoccupe également, et en arrive à décider, lui aussi, la suppression des Jésuites.

Il suffit, messieurs, d’ouvrir l’histoire de cette époque pour voir à quelles querelles, à quels pamphlets, à quelles discussions de tout genre cette lutte entre les amis et les adversaires des Jésuites a donné lieu.

Lorsque les souverains catholiques, l’un avant, l’autre apres, ont supprimé les Jésuites, ils ont d’abord rencontré dans la Papauté, c’est-à-dire dans le pape Clément XIII, un adversaire qui aurait voulu défendre les Jésuites; mais Clément XIV lui a succédé, a fini pencher du côte delinus adversaires et les a supprimés.

C’est un fait que cette suppression des Jésuites. Nous savons qu’une des raisons qui ont déterminé leur suppression était leurs richesses considérables; et voilà que dans tous ces Etàts nous voyons les richesses des Jésuites passer non pas entre les mains de l’Eglise, entre les mains des archevêques et des evêques de l’époque, et sans protestation aucune, nous constatue ce fait que chez tous ces souverains, sans protestation aucune je le répète, même du Pape, les biens des Jésuites passent entre les mains des souverains.

Il y a eu, messieurs, en dehors de ce fait, dans l’Histoire, chez tous les peuples il y a eu des suppressions d’ordres religieux ou bien d’ordres à la fois militaires et religieux, comme l’Ordre des Templiers, l’Ordre Teutonique, etc., et toujours c’est le Gouvernement, c’est le souverain qui s’est substitué à eux, qui s’est approprié leurs biens.

Et il s’agirait aujourd’hui de méconnaitre l’Historie il s’agirait alors que pendant des siècles, cela a été admis, avec le consentement de l’Eglise ou sans protestation de sa part au point de vue des biens—comme nous l’établirons plus tard—il s’agirait de réviser cette jurisprudence traditionnelle de l’Histoire.

Il n’est pas de pays où la décision que vous rendriez dans le sens qui est sollicité de l’autre côté de la barre n’eut un retentissement! Permettez-moi de vous citer un exemple sur iequel j’appelle les meditations de mes honorables contradicteurs. Il y avait en France, en Alsace-Lorraine, des biens ecclésiastiques, il y avait des Jésuites, il y avait des communautés religieuses; lorsque sont intervenus, le décret de Louis XV de 1773 dont je vous dirai un mot plus tard, puis la loi [Page 630]du 2 novembre 1789 que je vous citerai également, lorsque ces évènements se sont produits, presque dans les mêmes termes les Gouvernements se sont approprié ces biens, mais toujours en s’appropriant ces biens les Gouvernements disaient qu’ils tiendraient compte des volontés des fondateurs, qu’ils appliqueraient les biens au service du culte, a l’entretien des ministres du culte et au soulagement des pauvres. Il en a été ainsi en 1763 et en 1789; depuis lors l’Alsace et la Lorraine ont été l’objet d’une conquêté analogue à celle de la Californie par les Etats-Unis; il y a eu un traité qui était analogue au traité de Guadalupe-Hidalgo; eb bien, messieurs, si l’analogie entre ces deux cas est complète—et je ne demande pas mieux que d’insister sur cette comparaison—serait-il possible aujourd’hui, comme un écho de la sentence que vous rendriez, que la Prusse ou que les évêques d’Alsace-Lorraine vinssent dire: il y avait autrefois des biens de communautés religieuses, ces biens ont été donnés dans une pensée pieuse, ils appartenaient donc à l’Eglise, nous sommes les successeurs de l’Eglise, par conséquent nous demandons que ces biens nous soient attribués.

A notre sens—c’est un exemple que j’ai mûri—il nous semble que l’analogie est complète, et qu’étant données les idees que nous constatons après plus d’un siecle que ces événements se sont passés, il est impossible que l’on puisse dire lorsque l’on voit de telles conséquences, que le raisonnement de la partie adverse ne doive pas avoir un vice que nous chercherons à dégager.

Mais, messieurs, il y a encore un sentiment qui a dû vous choquer lorsque vous avez examiné la réclamation de la partie adverse, avant même d’aborder son côté juridique. Vous vous êtes dit que cette donation considérable qui avait formé le Fonds Pieux de Californie émanait de Mexicains. Elle émanait de personnages qui ont occupés au Mexique une situation importante. On nous dit aujourd’hui que c’étaient des Chrétiens, que c’étaient des gens pieux je le crois: sans aucun doute la préoccupation religieuse devait determiner dans une large mesure le sacrifice qu’ils faisaient; ce qu’ils voulaient, c’était sans aucun doute faire de ces Indiens égarés dans les abîmes du paganisme des soldats de Dieu, c’est incontestable. Mais, qui oserait dire que ces personnages n’étaient pas en même temps des patriotes? Qui oserait dire que ces Mexicains n’avient pas la préoccupation de faire de ces Indiens barbares des sujets du Roi?

J’entendais un de mes honorables contradicteurs dire à une précédente audience que c’était la volonté de ces donateurs qu’il fallait rechercher, et il en déduisait que ce fonds devait être donné aux Etats-Unis, c’est-à-dire que le Mexique devait être condamné à payer un tribut perpétuel pour un service public étranger, pour un budget des cultes de l’étranger, rente perpétuelle, service perpétuel, exonération perpétuelle: Il aurait done fallu que ces fonds aillent aux mains des étrangers e’est-à-dire d’une autre race qui n’est plus la race espagnole: Et l’on pourrait dire que ce serait là la volonté des donateurs? … Nous ne le croyons pas, et vous vous le serez dit déjà.

Il y a enfin, messieurs, un autre fait qui vous aura frappés. La Californie a fait l’objet d’un partage en 1848: la moitié, la Haute Californie, a été attribuée aux Etats-Unis, la Basse Californie est restée au Mexique. Il y a encore un évêque mexicain; il ne me sera pas difficile de vous démontrer qu’au point de vue des lois mexicaines une réclamation qui serait produits en justice par l’évêque de la Basse [Page 631]Californie serait non recevable et ne pourrait être accueillie en aucune manière.

Alors, ne vous êtes-vous pas dit: Voilà un fonds qui appartiendrait en copropriété, à titre d’indivision, d’une part à un mexicain, d’autre part à un étranger, et on nous demande de dire que l’Etat est le débiteur de l’étranger, alors qui le mexicain ne peut rien réclamer à l’Etat, que l’Etat n’est pas son débiteur.

Examinons done de plus près:

Une première question que vous vous serez posée est celle-ci: une Cour d’arbitrage est instituée: Quel est le droit qu’il faut appliquer? quelle est la loi qui nous régit?

A ce point de vue, messieurs il ne faut pas de confusion. Quelles sont les parties que vous avez devant vous? Sont-se les Etats-Unis qui sont demandeurs? Non, les Etats-Unis ne sont pas demandeurs: les Etats-Unis sont au procès pour appuyer une réclamation d’un ou de plusieurs de leurs sujets, c. a. d. à titre de bons offices.

On a dit que les Etats-Unis étaient au procès pour represénter les évêques de Californie. Si le mot “représenter” devait être employé dans son sens juridique il serait évidemment inexact: les Etate-Unis ne réclament rien pour eux-mêmes.

Je regrette, messeurs, au point de vue de la facilité de ma tâche et de la brièveté du débat, que ce ne soient pas les Etats-Unis qui soient au banc des demandeurs, parce que s’il en était ainsi nous aurions bien vite fini; nous dirions: Il y a un traité entre nous, le traité de Guadalupe Hidalgo; aux termes de ce traité les Etats-Unis ont reconnu que nous ne leur devions plus rien; c’est d’ailleurs de l’essence d’un traité ae mettre fin à toutes revendications ou réclamations réciproques: aux termes de ce traité de 1848 non-seulement les Etats-Unis reconnaissent qu’ils n’ont aucune créance comme Gouvernement vis-à-vis du Mexique, mais ils paient aux Etats-Unis mexicains 15 millions de dollars. J’aurai Poccasion, lorsque j’en viendrai à l’examen du traité de Guadalupe-Hidalgo, de vous montrer quelle a été la pensée des plénipotentiaries qui l’ont discuté; pour le moment je me borne a rappeler qu’aux termes de ce traité les Etats-Unis d’Amérique paient 15 millions de dollars aux Etats-Unis mexicains a raison de l’enlèvement d’une partie de leur territoire et notamment de la Californie. Nous pouvons done affirmer que les Etats-Unis n’avient pas d’autre créance et ne s’en réservaient aucune puisqu’ils Pauraient déduite de la somme à payer.

Je ne dois pas insister puisque les Etats-Unis ne sont pas demandeurs; pas plus aujourd’hui que lorsqu’ils ont comparu devant la Commission Mixte en 1869 ou 1870. Et, s’il fallait une démonstration sur ce point je me permettrais de vous signaler la première lettre qui a engagé ce débat: celle du 17 août 1891 insérée dans le livre rouge à l’endroit o se trouve la Correspondance diplomatique (page 8), lettre addressée par M. Ryan à M. Mariscal; dans cette lettre le Ministre des Etats-Unis è Mexico écrit au Ministre des affaires étrangères:

Monsieur le Ministre: J’ai des instructions formelles pour attirer l’attention de Votre Excellence sur les rélations légales du Gouvernement Mexicain à l’égard du Fonds Pieux de Californie, etc. . . Parmi les réclamations présentées contre le Gouvernement du Mexique devant cette commission il y en avait une de l’arehevêque et des évéques de l’Eglise catholique romaine de la Haute Californie intitulée, etc.

Plus loin, dans la lettre, il est dit que c’est aux évêques et à l’arche-vêque de cette Eglise qu’il appartient de réclamer et de recevoir—ce [Page 632]sont les Etats-Unis qui le disent—le cas est de ceux où peut s’exercer l’intervention diplomatique.

Intervention diplomatique. Il arrive en effet constamment qu’un Gouvernement, s’intéressant au sort de l’un de ses sujets qui a une réclamation vis-à-vis d’un autre Gouvernement, s’interpose: c’est l’interposition diplomatique.

Plus loin on ajoute:

L’archevêque de San Francisco et l’évêque de Monterey, agissant au nom de ladite eglise, représentent maintenant au Départment d’Etat de Washington qu’il ne leur a rien été payé en sus du revenue … ses bons offices en leur faveur afin que l’attention de Votre Excellence soit attireé, etc.

Ce que l’on demande ce sont de “bons offices,” c’est une intervention diplomatique, pas autre chose.

Je m’excuse, messiers, d’avoir insisté un moment sur ce point, car je pense que cela n’est pas contredit. Ce n’est pas un conflit entre deux Etats, c’est un conflit entre des citoyens d’une part et d’autre part un Gouvernement. Il en résulte qu’il ne s’agit pas d’un arbitrage international, un arbitrage international fait supposer nécessairement un conflit entre deux Etats, deux Gouvernements souverains.

La question est importante, parce que s’il s’agissait d’un conflit entre deux Etats quelle est la loi qu’il faudrait appliquer? Il n’y a pas de loi, ce ne peut pas etre la loi d’un pays plutôt que la loi de l’autre, ce ne pourrait être en tout cas que la loi commune des deux pays c’est-à-dire un disposition qui serait commune aux deux législations, et, pour le reste, ce serait dans le fonds commun des notions juridiques de l’humanité que les arbitres devraient chercher les éléments devant régir et guider leur décision.

Mais, messieurs, il ne s’agit pas de cela; il s’agit d’un conflit qui normalement aurait dû êtré résolu par les tribunaux, par les institutions judiciares qui existent au Mexique pour résoudre ces cas.

Cependant, sans que nous en fassions un reproche à nos honorables contradicteurs on a estimé que comme il s’agissait ici non seulement d’une question importante mais d’une question qui soulevait des principes d’ordres divers où même peut-être la question nationaleoupatriotique aurait pu jouer un certain rôle, on a estimé qu’il était préférable d’avoir des arbitres internationaux au lieu de soumettre le cas aux juges mexicains qui en étaient les juges naturels, et voilà, pourquoi vous cour internationale, vous avez pris la place des tribunaux mexicains; vous êstes substituée ô eux, vous jugez à leur lieu et place; par conséquent vous jugerez en adoptant les règles et les principes qui auraient dû régir ces tribunaux s’ils avaient jugé.

La question qui nous occupe, n’est pas d’ailleurs une question de droit public; il peut y avoir, au cours de ce débat, des questions d’ordre public accessoires qui doivent être appreciees et résolues par vous, mais le fond du litige n’est pas de droit public; il ne s’agit pas d’actes souverains en conflit, non, il s’agit d’un droit civil, et par conséquent ce sont les régles du droit international privé qui doivent nous régir.

Droit privé, droit d’un citoyen … On dit: Étranger, j’ai un droit privé contre l’Etat mexicain, je le revendique et je l’exerce. L’Etat mexicain répond: Quel est votre titre? Voila le procès.

Done, droit privé et droit civil. Droit civil, droit positif; quel droit civil et quel droit positif? Droit positif mexicain parce que les lois mexicaines continuent à régir le Fonds Pie.

Les demandeurs ont admis que ce Fonds Pieux continuait à rester et [Page 633]devait perpétuellement rester entre les mains du Gouvernement mexicain. J’aurai à vous expliquer la genèse ou l’origine de la réclamation actuelle et pourquoi elle a été présentée sous cette forme, ce sera un autre point de ma plaidoirie, mais pour le moment je signale simplement au Tribunal arbitral que les Evêques Americains acceptent que ce Fonds Pieux de Californie reste entre les mains du Gouvernement mexicain, que c’est ltd qui continue à le réglr, mais bien entendu, disent-ils, il en doit un intérêt intégral à 6 pour cent par an en or.

C’est done la loi mexicaine qui, à ce point de vue encore, va continuer à régir ce Fonds.

D’ailleurs, il s’agit d’une réclamation qui aurait dû être présentée devant le Tribunal mexicain; à ce titre, je le disais, c’est la loi mexicaine qui doit régir le débat. Du reste c’est le Mexique qui était débiteur et les actes sur lesquels on va s’appuyer sont des actes mexicains: done, à tous égards c’est la loi mexicaine qui doit être appliquée.

Messieurs, le fait que je vous signale est important, lorsque j’aurai à faire l’exposé des diverses lois qui vont avoir à régir le litige, la question sera vite résolue. Aussi mes honorables contradicteurs s’en défendent-ils . . . . sans le dire. Ils nous disent: Mais non, ce qu’il faut voir ce n’est pas la loi, c’est si la réclamation est juste ou si elle n’est pas juste.

On invoque alors le compromis du 22 moi 1902 reproduit dans le volume que vous connaissez (page 49) et on dit: Le Tribunal arbitral est chargé de résoudre deux questions: la première y-a-t-il “res judicata?” et la seconde: la réclamation est-elle juste? Est-ce juste, ou non, dit-on, et vous serez peut-être surpris de la déduction que la justice exclut le droit:

Sans doute, messieurs, le juge rend la justice, mais il la rend conformément au droit, et assurêtre nent c’est la première fois que j’ai entendu induire de ces mots “est-ce que la réclamation est juste?” cette conséquence que le juge aurait à faire abstraction du droit.

La justice de la case. … Qu’entendez-vous par justice? Vous avez dit: “équité.”. Ah! équité, c’est déjà autre chose; équité, c’est un mot dangereux, parce qu’il ne faut pas que les Cours d’arbitrage jugent avec arbitraire, il faut qu’elles aient des règles, et ces règles c’est le droit.

Comment serait-il possible de dire que les deux parties ont voulu donner à Messieurs les arbitres le droit, le pouvoir ou le mandat de s’affranchir du droit? Comment le Gouvernement mexicain aurait-il pu même sans l’intervention de sa législation mettre sa signature au bas d’un compromis dans lequel il aurait été dit que les arbitres auront à faire abstraction du droit mexicain? C’eut été impossible.

Non, messieurs, et d’ailleurs c’est un terrain où la fantaisie est trop grande pour que mes honorables contradicteurs puissent s’y aventurer avec sûreté Lorsqu’on quitte le droit il n’y a plus de sûreté. C’est presque un axiome, mais permettez-moi d’en faire l’application à la cause.

Vous dites: Faisons abstraction des lois, faisons abstraction du droit, ne regardons qee l’équité.

Et le second de mes contradicteurs vous disait: l’équité, c’est la volonté des donateurs!

L’Equité, mais alors où serait le droit des Jésuites? Il existe encore des Jésuites, car si un bref de Clément XIV les à supprimés en 1773, Pie VII les a rétablis, et il y à a ce sujet une bulle de 1801 et une [Page 634]autre bulle de 1814, qui sont très intéressantes toutes deux. Si on considère la volonté les donateurs, cedevrait done être aux Jésuites à revendiquer le Fonds Pieux! Eh bien, ils ne sont pas là.

Il y avait une autre idée qui me venait: L’équité absolue, ne serait-ce peut-être pas que les héritiers des donateurs primitifs pussent revendiquer ce qui vient de leurs auteurs? En effet, si les donateurs, le marquis de Villapuente, la Marquise de la Torres de Rada ou d’autres, ont fait le sacrifice de se dépouiller de fortunes considérables aux dépens des leurs pour enrichir ce fonds, ils ont voulu que ce fût aux Jésuites que ces biens allassent, e’était à leur profit qu’ils en faisaient le sacrifice, pour les Missions Indiennes; eh bien, s’il n’y à plus de Jésuites, d’Indiens, de Missions, les héritiers de ces donateurs ne pourraient-ils en équité venir dire: Le Fonds n’ayant plus d’objet il doit nous revenir? … Est-ce là l’équité? Mais, ce sont là des digressions et je m’en excuse, car vous avez à juger d’apres le droit.

Nous avons devant nous des juges. Des juges? Ce matin, mon honorable contradicteur, M. Ralston, vous citait l’opinion d’un de nos éminents collègues que nous regrettons de ne pas voir ici, M. le Chevalier Descamps, disant: “L’arbitre juge et statue comme tel” (page 28 de l’ouvrage); et il citait encore l’opinion de M. Lambermont, qui écrivait: “Arbitre et non médiateur, je n’avais qu’à dire le droit.”

Messieurs, lorsque l’on veut que l’arbitre ne soit pas un juge il faut le dire; il est alors amiable compositeur, et assurément ce n’est pas là ce que l’on a voulu dire quand on vous à confié le soin de décider si la réclamation est juste!

Dès lors, aux demandeurs qui se présentment devant vous et qui réclament l’attribution de certaines sommes d’argent, nous avons tout d’abord à démander d’établir le fondement juridique de leur réclamation: vous êtes demandeurs, à vous à prouver et à justifier de votre titre.

Mais d’abord, messieurs, je demande à la Cour la permission de lui faire un court exposé des faits; non pas que j’aie l’intention de vous rappeler des faits que vons connaissez mieux que moi et qui vous ont été longuement exposés; non, je ne veux pas faire perdre son temps à la Cour; mais je pense qu’il est indispensable que nous caractérisions chacun des faits au point de vue juridique pour que la Cour puisse immédiatement apprécier ce qui nous divise.

En effet, si nous sommes d’accord sur la matérialité des faits dans leur ensemble, nous différons d’appréciation au point de vue du caractère juridique de chacun d’eux, et de là des différences essentielles que je dois signaler.

Le Roi d’Espagne eût de bonne heure l’attention attirée sur la Californie. Vous savez que c’est en 1534 que Cortez en avait fait la découverte et y avait planté le drapeau espagnol. Seulement, ce n’était guère qu’une conquête nominale. L’Espagne avait proclamé sa souverainteté en Californie comme dans toutes les parties du Nouveau Monde où ses navigateurs avaient mis les premiers les pieds; mais il fallait autre chose. Et ici l’attention du souverain était d’autant plus appelée que la Californie avait pour lui une importance considérable; ses côtes inhabitées et désertes devenaient un repaire de corsaires et la navigation s’y trouvait exposée, notamment vers les Philippines; le Roi d’Espagne se préoccupait done de créer là des établissements, d’assurer les côtes, d’avoir des ports, et ses préoccupations se traduisirent par de nombreuses expéditions.

[Page 635]

Et voilà qui va nous servir ô caractériser les Missions. C’est le Roi qui veut la conquête, c’est le Roi qui envoie des expéditions. Ce sont des expéditions militaires et coûteuses; leur but est une conquête politique.

Mais toutes ces expéditions échouent, ce sont des échees successifs; cela se comprend: les soldats passaient, les expéditions ne s’implantaient pas dans le pays et leur influence était éphémère.

La dernière de ces expéditions eût le 29 décembre 1579 et coûta 225,400 dollars, nouveau capital inutilement englouti.

Alors arrive l’heurede l’intervention des Jésuites. On les avait vus réussir au Paraguay, au Pérou, au Brésil, et l’on se dit: Ils réussiront peut-être là où les militaires ont échoué; et le Roi proposa aux Jésuites de faire la conquéte de la Californie en son nom et à ses frais.

Les Jésuites prirent le conseil de leur Provincial et refusèrent; on leur demandait d’être les agents directs du Roi, ils devaient être payés par lui, et il aurait payé aussi la force armée dont le concours était nécessaire, les officiers notamment auraient été à la solde du Roi et les abus qui avaient déterminé l’échec des expéditions précédentes se seraient inévitablement renouvelés.

Telle était l’opinion des Jésuites; ils ne voulaient rien tenter que si on leur donnait une autorité absolue, même quant au choix des officiers.

Preténtion grave, messieurs, et devant laquelle le Roi hésita; mais les représentations des Pères Jésuites Salvatierra et Quirno l’emportèrent, et un décret du 5 février 1597 (reproduit à la page 401 du livre rouge) confia aux Jésuites la mission de faire la conquête spirituelle et temporelle de la Californie.

Conquête spirituelle et temporelle. Spirituelle, c’est incontestable: ce sont des Jésuites, et par conséquent ce sont avant tout des soldats de Dieu. Mais conquête temporelle aussi, car il s’agit du Roi et c’est lui qu’ils doivent représentee Le Roi inter vient pour leur permettre de partir et de s’établir dans ce pays qui est le sien; le Roi intervient pour leur donner le pouvoir exorbitant de diriger l’administration militaire de la Californie, même qaint à la nomination des officiers; ce sont eux qui les choisiront, qui les payeront, qui les révoqueront au besoin, même on leur donne un droit de conscription militaire, une loterie militaire. Mais en même temps le Roi leur dit: Vous irez en mon nom, vous planterez mon drapeau, c’est l’étendard d’Espagne qui doit flotter au-dessus de l’établissement des Missions.

J’oubliais un point essentiel: Le Roi leur donne même le pouvoir d’administrer la justice. Ah! la justice! cette grande institution, où l’homme juge ses semblables, se substituant en quelque sorte à Dieu! mission divine aussi, celle là. Eh bien, le Roi qui détient ce pouvoir auguste comme monarque de droit divin, va le confier aux Jésuites; et d’après la partie finale du décret du 5 février 1597 c’est eux qui désormais jugeront et puniront.

Voilà, messieurs, dans quelles conditions partent les Jésuites.

Mais il fallait le nerf de la guerre, il fallait de l’argent. L’intention du Roi avait été de faire face aux frais, mais les Jésuites avaient repoussé cette combinaison. Ils comptaient sur les fonds qu’ils pourraient recueillir, sur la générosité des fidèles.

Mais ici encore il fallait l’intervention du Roi; lui seul pouvait leur permettre de recueillir des aumônes; ce pouvoir, le Roi le leur donne, et c’est encore par le décret du 5 février 1597; l’autorisation du Roi est done encore ici la base des Missions et leur condition d’existence.

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Et ici pas la moindre intervention de l’Eglise. Je démontrerai tout-à-l’heure qu’elle n’est pas intervenue à la suppression des Missions; mais voici qu’a leur naissance, dans leur acte de baptême, si je puis m’exprimer ainsi, on ne voit pas non plus d’autre parrain que le Roi.

Les Jésuites vont done en Californie comme délégués du Roi, comme agents du Roi, et c’est comme tels, en vertu de ce pouvoir que le Roi personnifie mais qu’il leur délègue, qu’ils vont en Californie pour en faire la conquête temporelle et spirituelle … Temporelle et spirituelle; à cette époque, le Roi n’en faisait pas d’autres; iltient son pouvoir de Dieu, il ne connaît qu’une religion, et par conséquent rien de plus naturel que de faire des cbrétiens en même temps que des sujets.

Les Jésuites n’avaient pas attendu le décret du 5 fevrier 1597 pour recueillir des aumônes. Ces sommes, ils les ont employées de suite naturellement, et en capital. Mais elles se trouvérent absolument insuffisantes. Déjà, en 1700; nous voyons le Père Salvatierra, le premier Jésuite parti pour la Californie, qui avait refusé toute allocation de subsides, obligé après trois ans d’adresser une requêté au Roi pour en solliciter. Alors Philippe V, par deux décrets successifs, aloua sur sa cassette personnelle une somme annuelle d’abord de 6,000, puis de 12,000 dollars pour les fonds des Missions de Californie.

En Californie, comme dans tous leurs autres établissements du Nouveau Monde, les Jésuites réussirent, ils forcerent l’admiration, et la charité chrétienne, la générosité chrétienne qui se montre partout intervint largement. Les Missions s’organisèrent et se multiplièrent.

Qu’était-ce qu’une Mission? Déjà je l’ai définie tout-à-l’heure au point de vue juridique: c’était une ceuvre religieuse et politique, mais politique surtout. Une Mission se composait d’un établissement où se trouvait le Père ou les Pères Jésuites qui le dirigeaient, et le “presidio,” ou en langue moderne la caserne, avec la force militaire, le capitaine et ses soldats, également subordonnés aux Pères comme nous le disions tout-à-l’heure; puis, plus loin, le “pueblo,” oule village, où se trouvaient les Indiens employés aux travaux agricoles et qui étaient en même temps les neophytes et les nouveaux sujets du Roi, qu’au besoin l’on vêtait et nourrissait. Le tout était sous la direction, sous la tutelle des Pères.

Les Missions étaient done une ceuvre de conquête, un établissement gouvernemental. Et où se trouvaient les missions d’alors? En Californie, et à cette époque on croyait communément que c’était une île, ainsi qu’on peut le voir dans l’ouvrage du Père Venegas, qui est certainement un des auteurs les plus considérés au point de vue des questions qui nous occupent et qui date de 1757.

Cependant à cette époque, déjà d’autres mieux édairés y voyaient une presqu’île. Pour tous la Californie se terminait à l’extrémité du golfe, c’est à dire en-dessous des limites de la Basse Californie actuelle.

Au cours de ma plaidoirie, messieurs, j’aurai l’honneur de donner lecture d’un décret du Roi que rapporte le Père Venegas, et vous y verrez ce qu’on pensait alors des Missions et de la Californie; en un mot, vous aurez l’impression du temps. Mais, si vous me donnez crédit jusqu’a tout à l’heure, je continue mon exposé, me bornant à exposer qu’à cette époque la Californie n’était que la Basse Californie d’aujourd’hui, et à constater que les Jésuites n’ont jamais établi de [Page 637]Missions que dans ces limites; c’est là un point important qui n’est pas contesté.

Au eours de ce débat, nous aurons è examiner les différents actes de donation qui ont servi à la constitution du Fonds Pieux, et nous aurons vite fini, car je vous annonce qu’il n’y en a que deux.

On parle de la volonté des donateurs; mais elle doit être constated dans des actes; or, nous ne possédons que l’acte relatif à la donation d’ailleurs considérable du Marquis de Villapuente et du la Marquise de la Torres del Rada de 1735, puis il y à la succession Argueles dont j’aurai à vous parler; il n’y à pas d’autre acte. Nos honorables adversaires veulent le prendre comme actetype — cela facilitera peut-être leur thèse, mais nous verrons tout à l’heure ce qu’il en faut admettre.

Je vais prendre cet acte. Le Marquis de Villapuente y donne aux Jésuites des biens considérables, plus de 400,000 piastres. Ce document est très intéressant au point de vue du procès, il est reproduit à la page 452 du livre; il donne aux Jésuites les droits les plus absolus et il les leur donne, sans réserve, pour toujours, sans possibilité d’intervention ou de contrôle, soit pour l’autorité religieuse, soit pour l’autorité temporelle.

Les donateurs se dépouillent en vue des Missions de Californie, — mais les circonstances peuvent changer; ou la conversion des Indiens sera complète, ce qui rendrait l’ceuvre inutile, ou quelque révolte peut rendre la situation des Jésuites impossible. Dans ce cas, ils pourront porter leur œuvre ailleurs, non seulement en Amérique, mais dans l‘Universo Mundo. Les biens sont à leur discrétion, les donateurs ont en eux pleine confiance, ils feront ce qu’ils voudront, c’est à Dieu seul qu’ils pourraient avoir à rendre compte.

Mais semblable confiance est toute personnelle, et les Jésuites seuls ont été investis de ce pouvoir discrétionnaire.

Or, jamais avant leur expulsion ils n’ont dépassé les limites de la Basse Californie et toutes les Missions se trouvaient dans le territoire qui est encore aujourd’hui Mexicain. Ainsi l’éventualité prévue par les donateurs ne s’est point réalisee, elle n’aurait pu l’être que par la volonté des Jésuites, et nous en conclurons qu’elle ne peut plus être entrevue.

Telle est done la donation Villapuente, l’acte-type d’après les demandeurs: Tous pouvoirs sont donnés aux Jésuites.

Au point de vue du droit à qui pourrait bien être la propriété des choses données?

Il y à un pouvoir qui était en dehors de la volonté du Marquis de Villapuente, le pouvoir du Roi, ce quel’on appelleen droit modernele domaine éminent du souverain. Lorsqu’il s’agit d’un établissement de mainmorte, d’une personnalité civile, d’une fiction légale, d’une entité juridique qui n’a d’existence que par la volonté du souverain, celuiqui à donné la vie s’est toujours réservé de modifier ses conditions d’existence, ou même de supprimer celle-ci, en faisant rentrer dans son domaine ce qu’il avait permis d’affecter à un objet spécial. C’est là une qualification moderne, mais la notion à existé dans tous les âges: Nous aurons l’occasion de vous citer un décret de Charles Quint, de 1520, où, souverain d’Espagne comme des Pays-Bas, se préoccupant de la mainmorte il disait que les personnes morales ne pourraient acquérir qu’avec son consentement. C’est cette notion juridique, que vous concevez mieux que moi, messieurs, et d’aprés laquelle, du moment où il [Page 638]s’agit non d’un être en chair et en os, mais d’un être qui n’a d’existence que parce que le Roi l’a voulu, celui-ci reste maître de la reprendre.

Je reprends mon exposé. Les Missions continuent à être prospères * * * trop prospères; la prospérité amène toujours des ombrages * * * et les Jésuites ont un succès tel qu’il inquiéte les Gouvernements. C’est la periode à laquelle je faisais allusion il y a quelques instants, c’est la période où les souverains qui avaient favorisé les Jésuites, qui leur avaient donné le moyen de devenir puissants et prospères, s’émeuvent * * * du moins les souverains catholiques, car, phènomène curieux, ce sont les souverains protestants, c’est Catherine II c’est Frédéric de Prusse, qui donnent asile aux Jésuites quand ils sont chassés par des Gouvernements catholiques.

En 1763, Louis XV prend l’initiative; le 27 février 1867, Charles III expulse les Jésuites de tout son empire Ce document très important est reproduit à la page 410 du volume rouge. On y voit le Roi d’Espagne proclamer deux choses: Le bannissement des Jésuites, et la prise de possession de leurs biens temporels. Dans l’intitulé de ce document, lorsque le Roi lui-même le résume, il dit:

Décret royal du 27 février 1767 comprenant; 1° le bannissement des membres dela Société de Jésus; 2° la prise de possession de leurs biens temporels.

Le Roi chasse done les Jésuites, et emploie vis-à-vis d’eux les mesures les plus rigoureuses; non seulement il les bannit mais il ne veut plus qu’il y en ait un sur son territoire, il édicte les peines les plus sévères contre les gouverneurs qui les toléreraient encore; il veut que tous soient mis dans un navire et transportés dans les Etats Romains.

Alors le pape Clément XIII proteste. Il écrit à Charles III, son fidele enfant, son Roi bienaimé, il lui dit que le plus grand chagrin de son pontificat serait la suppression des Jésuites, que jamais il n’avait cru que le Roi d’Espagne aurait fait un acte pareil, et il le supplie dans les termes les plus touchants de revenir sur sa décision. Il fait allusion au décret royal du 27 février 1767 que Charles III lui avait envoyé; il y à vu que Charles III, qui va prendre possession des biens temporels des Jésuites, a décidé de donner à chaque Jésuite une pension alimentaire de 100 piastres par an, et il dit au Roi: Je ne recevrai pas les Jésuites que vous annoneez devoir m’expédier, je ne les recevrai pas parce qu’une fois dans mes Etats il faudrait les nourrir; vous dites bien dans votre décret que vous leur donnerez une pension de 100 piastres par an, mais qui me garantit que vous la paierez?

Je ne prends dans ce livre que ce que je viens de vous citer.

M. Asser. Quel est le titre de l’ouvrage?

M. Delacroix. “Histoire du Pontificat de Clément XIV, page 82.”

M. de Martens. Quel en est l’auteur?

M. Delacroix. Je ne l’ai pas; c’est un auteur de l’époque.

Il est done intervenu un décret qui à révolutionné le monde; qu disait-il done?

Qu’il soit pris possession de tous les biens temporels appartenant à l’ordre dans mes possessions.

Et plus loin, paragraphe 5:

De plus, je déclare que la prise de possession des biens temporels appartenant à l’ordre comprend leurs propriétés—littéralement réelles et personnelles, e’est-à-dire foncières et mobilières—ainsi que les revenus ecclésiastiques qui leur appartiennent également dans le royaume, mais sans préjudice aux charges qui peuvent leur avoir été imposées par les donateurs, etc.

[Page 639]

Voilà done un décret d’appropriation ou de confiscation … J’aurai Phonneur tout-à-l’heure de démontrer à la Cour et à mes honorables contradicteurs que le mot m’est indifférent; que ce soit Fusage d’un droit préexistant, que le Roi en s’appropriant les biens des Jésuites ait fait ce qu’il avait le droit de faire de par les lois existantes, de par les principes existants, ou bien qu’il ait fait ce qu’il n’avait pas rigoureusement le droit de faire, e’est-à-dire qu’au lieu d’être une appropriation ce soit une confiscation, dans les deux cas c’est un acte souverain et par consequent unacte qui impose le respect ici. C’est un acte souverain, et il ne peut appartenir ni à la Cour arbitrate ni à mes honorables contradicteurs de discuter un acte souverain, ou dele discuter utilement bien entendu, parce que, comme il s’agit d’un conflit de droit positif, ainsi que je l’ai indiqué en commencant, ce sont des lois qui nous régissent tous, que nous pouvons interpréter, que nous pouvons discuter, dont nous pouvons demander l’application, mais dont nous ne pouvons pas demander la révision.

Si je me suis permis, messieurs, d’évoquer la lecture que j’ai faite dans ce document de l’Histoire du pontificat de Clément XIV, si je me suis oublié à faire cette digression et à vous parler de cette lettre du pape suppliant le Roi de revenir sur sa décision, c’est parse que j’y vois que le pape qui suppliait’ ne songeait pas à critiquer cette partie du decret qui avait pour objet l’appropriation ou la confiscation des biens: il estimait que e’était un acte souverain qui donnait si peu naissance à une créance civile permettant un débat devant les tribunaux civils et donnant naissance à un droit privé, qu’il n’etait même pas sûr que le Roi paierait les 100 piastres par an de pension à chaque Jésuite et qu’il se disait: comment pourrais-je l’y contraindre?

N’est-ce pas encore là la reconnaissance qu’il ne s’agit pas de droits civils, mais d’un acte souverain ne devant recevoir d’autre exécution que celle que le Roi voudra bien lui donner?

En 1768, l’année suivante, le décret royal recut son exécution au Mexique. Les supplications du pape n’ont pas arrété le Roi souverain. Charles III va ordonner que sa décision soit mise à exécution au Mexique, que les Jésuites soient expulsés de Californie et il va confisquer leurs biens: c’est l’application du principe qu’il à proclamé le 17 février 1767.

J’ai signalé tout-a-l’heure que l’Eglise n’était pas intervenue à la naissance du Fonds Pieux; voici que ce Fonds Pieux qui etait éntre les mains des Jésuites va passer en d’autres mains; est-ce que l’Eglise va intervenir? Pas davantage; pourquoi? Parce que l’Eglise n’a jamais considéré ce fonds comme bien ecclésiastique, par la raison que ce qui caractérise même en droit canon le bien ecclésiastique c’est l’intervention de l’Eglise ou de ses représentants pour en permettre la constitution, c’est la conservation pour l’Eglise du droit de demander compte et l’exercise de ce droit. Ici, messieurs, ni à la naissance ni à la fin l’Eglise n’intervient, et vous allez voir qu’en 1773, par un document nouveau, e’est-a-dire par la bulle du Pape Clément XIV qui se trouve reproduite page 332, texte espagnol, livre rouge, ce pape va supprimer les Jésuites et ne va pas faire allusion à cette confiscation.

Il va faire allusion au décret du Roi Charles III, il va ratifier cette décision; il va dire que c’est à la demande des princes chretiens qu’il agit

Notez que nous sommes en 1773; c’est depuis 1763 que Louis XV à expulsé les Jésuites en confisquant leurs biens comme je vous le dirai, [Page 640]c’est depuis 1767 que Charles III à confisqué leurs biens; le pape connaît les décrets; qu’est-ce qu’il va faire? Il a vu que ces décrets proclament la confiscation par le Roi, l’appropriation des biens par lui; est-ce qu’il va protester? Non, messieurs: il va ratifier, et cette bulle va Stre publiée en Californie en vertu d’une cédule royale qui en autorise la publication.

De telle sorte, messieurs, que l’Eglise représentée par ses autorités les plus éminentes va admettre la thèse critiquée aujourd’hui, va admettre qu’il ne s’agit pas de biens ecciésiastiques mais qu’l s’agit de biens que le Roi à le droit de s’approprier, elle va ratifier cet acte souverain au lieu d’en demander la revision et de protester, et il faudra attendre plus d’un siècle, il faudra attendre que votre Cour suprême soit constitute ou que la Commission mixte soit constituée pour que ces droits et ces principes soient mis en question!

Sir Edward Fry. Il n’y à pas la date de la bulle dans le livre rouge.

M. Delacroix. C’est à la page 332, elle est en espagnol.

M. Ralston. Ce n’est pas traduit en anglais; il y à un sommaire où la pièce est indiquée.

M. Delacroix. C’est un document que nous ferons traduire.

Sir Edward Fry. Cela n’est pas nécessaire.

M. Delacroix. Je pense qu’il pourrait être intéressant pour le Tribunal et c’est la raison pour laquelle j’ai demandé moi-même la traduction que je donne à la Cour, je pense qu’il sera utile qu’elle l’ait également.

Voilà done, messieurs, que le pape Clément XIV supprime sans protestation les Jésuites, et c’est pour constater cette absence de protestation que le document est intéressant.

Mais, me dira-t-on, il reste dans ce décret de Charles III une indication que vous omettez: Charles III, lorsqu’il confisque les biens, lorsqu’il se les approprie, a soin d’ajouter que c’est sans préjudice aux charges qui peuvent avoir été imposées par les donateurs et aux moyens d’existence des Jésuites, et ces charges, le Roi les a assumées.

Certainement. Il y avait, pour le Roi avant même qu’il n’eût énoncé cette volonté, une obligation morale; il y avait, si je puis employer cette expression, qui, lorsqu’il s’agit d’un Etat n’est cependant pas toujours en situation, une obligation de conscience de la part du souverain qui confisquait les biens, de dire; je dois leur donner une destination conforme à la volonté de ceux qui ont constitué le Fonds Pieux. C’était une obligation morale ou de conscience préexistante, et le Roi catholique, le roi de droit divin, le roi qui à le plus grand intérêt à ce que le nombre des sujets catholiques augmenteil va avoir soin de dire: Je respecterai cette obligation morale, je respecterai la volonté des fondateurs, je m’en charge.

Mais, messieurs, dans l’histoire, lorsqu’un souverain confisque des biens, c’est une ajoute qu’il fait toujours: C’est ainsi que j’ai eu la curiosité de rechercher la loi du 2 novembre 1789 par laquelle la Révolution Française à nationalisé tous les biens ecclésiastiques. En les confisquantelle à eu soin de dire (jeprends le texte même de la loi):

Tous les biens ecclésiastiques sont à la disposition de la nation, à la charge de pour voir de manière convenable aux frais du culte, à l’entretien de ses ministres et au soulagement des pauvres.

En bien, je vous le demande, est-ce qu’avec ce billet-là on pourrait s’adresser à un Tribunal et demander que l’Etat soit condamné à payer les ministres du culte, à soulager les pauvres et à entre-tenir les églises? [Page 641]Evidemment non; pourquoi? Parce que ce n’est pas un contrat, parce que ce n’est pas un acte donnant naissance à un droit civil: c’est une loi, c’est un acte souverain, c’est un acte due pouvoir législatif, c’est un acte qui va donnor naissance à des obligations pour les sujets mais non pas à des droits civils à leur profit. Par conséquent, si dans le decret de Charles III il y à l’expression d’une volonte royaté, c’est une intention, c’est la volonté souveraine qu’il fait connaître, mais il dépend de lui de la realiser, c’est un acte souverain dont il est par consequent souverain juge tant au point de vue de sa promulgation que de son exécution.

Voilà, messieurs, le caractere juridique de ce decret. Ce que le Roi fait là c’est l’énoncé d’une intention, d’une volonté respectable qui correspondait à une obligation morale comme elle correspondait à un intérêt bien compris. Il devait souhaiter que les Missions de Californie fussent maintenues; c’est si vrai que lorsque 50 ans plus tard le Gouvernement méconnaîtra ses obligations morales, la Californie ne sera pas loin de lui échapper; l’événement l’a prouvé.

Je continue. En 1769, l’administration due Fonds Pieux fut confiée par le Roi à des commissaires la’iques. C’était une nécéssite. Le Roi confisque les biens des Jésuites, il faut bien qu’il les fasse administrer; il va les faire administrer par des commissiares royaux, et il va confier le produit de ce Fonds aux Franciscains, c’est-à-dire qu’il va décider quels sont ceux qu’il va choisir pour êtré ses délegués et pour accomplir l’œuvre primitive des missions, c’est-à-dire la conquêté spirituelle et temporelle de la Californie. Il va s’adresser aux Franciscains; les Franciscains vont s’y installer en 1769. Le Roi leur dit qu’il leur donnera 400 piastres par tête, c’est-à-dire que chaque père Franciscain recevra pour son entretien et celui de sa mission 400 piastres; puis il lui donnera, quand il le trouvera boh, un supplément de 1,000 piastres pour les distributions qui seront faites en vêtements, nourriture, etc., aux habitants des missions.

En 1772, les Dominicains ont, eux aussi, voulu s’installer en Californie, ils trouvaient que c’était uneceuvre qui méritait leur attention; ils prenaient aussi en considération les émoluments royaux qui étaient attachés à la tâche; c’est ainsi que les Dominicains vinrent—si je puis me servir d’une expression’ dont je m’excuse—faire une concurrence pour la bonne cause aux Franciscains en Californie.

Alors on à décidé de faire un partage. Qui est-ce qui va faire le partage? C’est le Roi, c’est le Gouvernement; le Gouvernement va dire: les Franciscains iront dans le Nord et les Dominicains dans le Sud; c’est-à-dire qu’aux Dominicains on va confier les Missions de la Basse Californie, et aux Franciscains celles qu’ils voudront constituer dans la Haute Californie. Ce partage fut réalisé par un décret du 30 avril 1772.

Je dois ici ouvrir une parenthèse pour exposer un autre fait assez caractéristique qui a eu son dénouement en 1783. Il s’agit d’un procès auquel avait donné lieu la succession Arguelles. Je vous ai dit que le Fonds Pie avait été constitué par des donations diverses, notamment par la donation considérable du marquis de Villapuente, et aussi par une donation de la Doña Josepha de Arguelles. Cette personne fort désireuse d’avantager les Jésuites était décidée à leur donner tout ce qu’elle avait. Elle avait disposé que les Jésuites auraient un quart de sa fortune pour leurs colléges, leurs pensionnats, leurs établissements [Page 642]d’instruction, et que les trois autres quarts, done le reste de sa fortune, seraient donnés aux Jésuites moitié pour les Missions de Californie et moitié pour les Missions des Philippines. Seulement, messieurs, il se fait que ce procès traîne beaucoup: il n’y avait pas encore la procédure des Tribunaux internationaux d’arbitrage et les procès de ce temps-la, comme certains procès de nos jours, duraient longtemps; de telle Jacon que le procès n’était pas fini lorsque les Jésuites ont été expulsés. Le procès à continué et les héritiers ont dit: Puisque notre auteur à donné aux Jésuites et que ceux-ci n’existent plus, qu’ils ont été chassés par le Roi, que leur Ordre à été supprimé par le pape, eh bien, le testament est nul et par conséquent la fortune est pour nous.

Alors, messieurs, la Cour des Intestats, en suite d’une décision du Conseil royal des Indes, à décidé par une sentence reproduite à la page 456 du volume rouge, du 4 juin 1783, ceci; elle à dit: en ce qui concerne le quart de la fortune, qui avait été légué aux Jésuites en vue de leurs collèges, la disposition n’est pas valable, ce quart sera pour la famille, parce que les colleges des Jésuites n’existent plus, parce que dans tous les cas il n’y a plus de personnalité capable de recevoir; cette donation est nulle, et par conséquent c’est l’héritier légal, e’est-adire le plus proche parent, dit la sentence, qui va recevoir ce quart. Il est à remarquer que nul ne songe à revendiquer pour l’Eglise ce legs fait au profit des Jésuites expulsés et devenu exclu. Quant aux trois autres quarts—ceci est intéressant parce que cela va peut-être faire la chose jugée—le Conseil des Indes va décider que ces trois quarts qui avaient été donnés de par la volonté de la donatrice aux Jésuites, vont être mis “à la disposition de Sa Majesté, à laquelle la succession appartenait originellement.”—je lis les propres termes de la sentence.

Voici done qu’dà une époque où l’on pouvait apprécier mieux qu’aujourd’hui quelle avait été la vonlonté des donateurs, notamment par les circonstances ambiantes, on décide—et c’est le Conseil royal des Indes qui décide après une longue procédure—que ces biens qui avaient été destinés aux Missions de Californie et des Philippines seraient à la disposition de Sa Majesté, à laquelle la succession appartenait originellement.

Et qui plus est:

Il est finalement ordonné, dit l’arrêt, que la copie en double des délibérations, e’est-à-dire de la procédure, soit soumise à Sa Majesté afin qu’Elle puisse signifier son souverain plaisir quant à la direction, subsistance et sécurité des fonds voués à l’œuvre des missions pieuses.

Voici done que le 4 juin 1783 la question qui s’agite aujourd’hui devant vous était jugée; il etait jugé que les biens destinés aux Missions, devaient après la disparition des Missions et des Jésuites être à la disposition du Roi pour qu’il en use suivant son souverain plaisir.

Je continue. Nous arrivons ainsi à la fin du 18e siècle et au commencement du 19e. Nous avons terminé l’étude de la période de prospérité et de grandeur des missions, de leur période de succès, de la période pendant laquelle le Roi peut dire qu’en Californie son peuple lui est attaché. Mais alors va commencer une période trouble; c’est le moment où le Mexique estime qu’il peut se passer de l’infcervention de la métropole. A ce moment commencent des ferments de trouble, des ferments d’agitation dans le Mexique. De là les préoccupations du Roi, non pas seulement au sujet du Mexique et de la Californie, mais de toute cette contrée; constamment il est obligé d’envoyer des expéditions militaires pour maintenir en respect ses sujets en révolte. [Page 643]Cela coûte de l’argent, et déjà alors il semble que les menses des Franciscains n’étaient plus régulièrement payées. Nous voyons dans les ouvrages de l’époque que l’on se plaint, que les Franciscains en arrivent bientôt à devoir abandonner certaines missions. Les concours qu’ils demandent ne leur sont plus donnés, et nous arrivons ainsi, messieurs, à la période de l’indépendance mexicaine, qui date de 1827. C’est l’époque où le Mexique va se substituer au Roi d’Espagne.

Il y avait là un fonds constitué par des mexicains, composé de biens mexicains; ce fonds va passer au nouvel Etat, c’est-à-dire à l’Etat nouvellement constitué, à l’Etat indépendant du Mexique, qui va se substituer au Roi d’Espagne.

Immediatement l’Etat mexicain va avoir, lui aussi, à prendre des mesures pour l’administration de ce Fonds. Est-ce qu’il va dire: ce sont des biens d’Eglise, je vais les remettre à l’Eglise? Non. Il va prendre une loi du 25 mai 1832, loi qui est pubilée avec le concours de nos honorables contradicteurs dans la petite brochure jaune que vous possédez—c’est la première des lois publiées. Dans cette loi le Gouvernement du Mexique va affirmer sa volonté souveraine comme le Roi d’Espagne l’avait affirmée précédemment. Dans cette loi presque à chaque article, il est question du droit exclusif du Gouvernement; le Gouvernement crée un bureau chargé d’administrer les propriétés et composé de trois personnes.

Mes honorables contradicteurs triomphent parce que parmi ces trois personnes il y à un ecclésiastique. Mais enfin est-ce parce qu’un administrateur sur trois porte soutane que le Gouvernement perd ses droits?

Le Gouvernement affirme son droit dans chaque article. A l’article 8 il dit que ce bureau sera composé de trois personnes “nominées par le Gouvernement.” A l’article 10 il est dit que c’est au nom du Gouvernement que des sommes pourront être envoyees en Californie. Le bureau est chargé de “proposer au Gouvernement” l’envoi de telle ou telle somme en Californie, mais c’est toujours le Gouvernement qui depose comme c’est à lui de dire dans quelles conditions les biens pourront être loués, adjugés, vendus. Tout cela se fait publiquement, suivant les régles applicable aux biens de l’Etat.

Ainsi que je vous le disais, il est arrivé au Gouvernement de ne pas toujours se préoccuper suffisamment des Missions. Il les a laissés péricliter. C’etait un tort; ces Missions ont été ainsi abandonées; des ferments de discorde se sont développés, et au bout de peu de temps la Californie à été détachée du Mexique en fait avant d’en être détachée en droit.

Done, le roi d’Espagne avait eu tort, et le Mexique à eu tort, mais le roi d’Espagne et le Mexique ont fait ce qu’ils avaient incontestablement le droit de faire; s’ils ont mal administré, c’était leur droit; s’ils ont dans l’exercice de leur pouvoir souverain commis des fantes, je dirai que c’était leur droit de commettre des fautes. Est-ce que l’Etat agissait là comme Gouvernement ou comme particulier? je vous le demande. Est-ce que la question se pose? Est-ce que c’était la personne publique qui agissait ou la personne civile de l’Etat? Est-ce que la question a besoin d’une réponse? Il est bien certain que ce sont la tous actes souverains; ce sont des lois, des décrets, est-ce que cela ne suffit pas à résoudre la question? Le Roi agissait comme il l’entendait; il agissait mal, il commettait une faute qui était une faute politique, mais qui ne pouvait donner naissance à une demande de dommages intérêts.

[Page 644]

Lorsque le Gouvernement administrait mal la Californie, envoyait trop peu de fonds, s’en préoccupait trop peu, lorsqu’il avait toute sa préoccupation attirée d’un autre côté et affectait toutes les ressources dont il pouvait disposer à an autre point de son territoire—il pouvait avoir tort—mais est-ce que, si je puis employer cette expression, l’article 1382 pouvait être invoqué, et peut-il être question de dommages-intérêts? Non, en droit, juridiquement, ce n’est pas sérieusement discutable.

Mais, le 18 aoôt 1833 et le 16 avril 1834, le Gouvernement mexican à pris des arrêtés de sécularisation. Il avait installé luimême les Fransciscains en Californie, et voici qu’il prend des arrêtés par lesquels il sécularise, il supprime les Franciscains; il leur permet de subsister, mais comme curés intérimaires, c’est-à-dire que ce ne sont plus religieux qui seront là, non, ce seront des curés, le Gouvernement ne connaît plus de religieux. C’est ce qui résulte des deux décrets que je viens de citer.

Alors, messieurs, il y eût une très mauvaise organisation, parce qu’il n’y avait plus de chef, plus de direction, il n’y avait plus d’unité de vues. C’était une faute politique dont le Gouvernment n’a pas tardé à se rendre compte, et aussitôt nous voyons poindre l’intervention politique des Etats-Unis dans la Californie; comme toujours—c’est l’histoire de tous les peuples—quand il y à un territoire troublé, bouleversé, un voisin plus puissant intervient et profite de son intervention pour faire ceuvre de conqueté. C’est ce qu’ont fait les Etats-Unis.

Alors le Gouvernement mexican comprit sa faute etvoulut créer un chef. Ce chef, il le choisit parmi les anciens missionnaires, parmi les anciens Franciscains, c’est Don Garcia Diego; il le désigne comme évêque: puisque les Franciscains étaient devenus curés, leur chef devait étre un évêque.

C’est ainsi que le Gouvernement en est arrivé le 19 septembre 1836 à prendre un arrêté par lequel il prépara la création d’un évêche; il sollicita l’intervention du pape pour la constitution de cet évêche; et nous voyons dans le susdit décret préparatoire que l’on va décider de confier à cet évêque nouveau l’administration du Fonds Pie, du fonds des Missions, et cette mesure sera justifiée par la nécessité de la défense dela Californie centre les Etats-Unis.

Telle est la raison du décret du 19 septembre 1836. Ce décret, vous le connaissez, on en a suffisamment parlé, mais nous y reviendrons lorsque nous examinerons le titre des demandeurs.

L’article 6 est intéressant parce qu’il décide aue les biens du Fonds Pieux seront mis à la disposition de nouvel évêque pour être administrés et appliqués à certains objets—nous reviendrons sur ces mots, je les indique maintenant parce que je fais l’exposé:

Ces biens seront mis à la disposition pour être administrés.

J’anticipe peut-être, mais je me souviens que dans les décrets de la Révolution Française, lorsque le Gouvernement confisqua tous les biens ecclésiastiques, tousles biens des églises, il à agi à peu près ainsi; il s’est trouvé embarrassé par les cathédrales, les métropoles, les églises qu’il avait prises et dont il ne pouvait guère tier un revenu utile; alors il les à mises “à la disposition des évêques” cela se trouve dans les décrets. Jamais cependant on n’a considéré que les évêques en fussent propriétaires, et la jurisprudence unanime décide que ce sont les villes, les communes, qui sont propriétaires des cathédrales, des églises, etc. Cependant le même mot se trouvait dans le Concordat du 26 Messidor an IX.

[Page 645]

Voici done, messieurs, que l’évêjue va être nommé en suite du décret du 19 septembre 1836. Dans l’esprit du Gouvernement, c’est un fonctionnaire à qui Pon va donner un traitement de 6,000 piastres. L’article ler le dit: “Il aura un traitement annuel de 6,000 piastres.” Puis à l’article 5 il est dit qu’on lui donnera 3,000 dollars pour payer les frais d’expédition des bulles—et de déménagement je pense—Voilà ce qui lui est alloué.

Plus tard nous aurons à examiner les conséquences juridiques que mes honorables contradicteurs déduisent de ce décret. Ils vont dire qu’ils puisent dans ce décret un droit de créance, que par ce décret du 19 septembre 1836 le Gouvernement mexicain en mettant les biens du Fonds Pie à la disposition de l’évêue pour être administrés, ne substituait pas un nouveau “manager” aux commissions créées par la loi du 23 mai 1832, mais se dépouillait de ses droits de propriété au profit de l’évêque.

Nous répondrons plus tard; nous dirons notamment: Vous oubliez que c’est un décret, que c’est une loi, que c’est un acte du pouvoir souverain, et que ce n’est pas un titre de reconnaissance civile, que ce n’est pas un transf ert de propriété. Nous discuterons cela.

Done, messieurs, le 19 septembre 1836 le Gouvernment confie l’administration des biens du Fonds Pie à l’évêque. Mais, il y a probablement dans l’histoire du Mexique ce que nous retrouvons dans l’histoire d’autres peuples, une balance des partis: peut-être y avait-il là des conflits entre cléricaux et libéraux; je ne connais pas assez l’histoire du Mexique pour préciser; mais je sais qu’un décret du 8 février 1842 va reprendre à l’évêque l’administration qu’on lui avait confiée en 1836. Son pouvoir à été éphémère car il n’a été en réalité nommé qu’en 1840, et déjà au commencement de 1842 le Gouvernement lui reprend le pouvoir d’administration qu’il lui avait confié.

Nous aurons à dire plus tard: Mais quoi! vous prétendez que le 19 septembre 1836 le Gouvernement mexicain à transféré un droit privatif, un droit de propriété, un droit de créance, un droit civil à l’évêque? mais alors, s’il le lui reprend, il doit l’exproprier; si le droit est entré dans le dominium de l’évêque et est devenu son patrimoine à quelque titre que ce soit, et si on le lui reprend c’est une expropriation, parce que donner et retenir ne vaut.

Mais, messieurs, le Gouvernement mexicain ne croit pas qu’il en soit ainsi; il reprend tout simplement par un acte du pouvoir souverain du 8 février 1842 ce qu’il avait concédé par un autre acte du pouvoir souverain le 19 septembre 1836. Ce qui est un acte du pouvoir souverain n’est jamais perpétuel; en matière politique surtout rien n’est éternel; par conséquent, une autre administration succédant à la précédente, on à supprimé, on a rapporté, suivant l’expression textuelle, le décret du 19 septembre 1836. L’Etat à repris l’administration des biens, il à dit: Je m’en chargerai moi-même, j’emploierai mieux moi-même les fonds au but pour lequel ils étaient destinés, je ferai cela plus directement moi-même. Alors, par un décret du 24 octobre 1842 le Gouvernement cette fois voulant en finir, a nationalisé le bien, il l’a incorporé au Trésor national et il à dit qu’il en paierait un intérêt de 6 pet., ou plutôt qu’il affecterait un intérêt de 6 pet. “aux objets de bienfaisance et nationaux” qui avaient été visés par les donateurs.

Nous aurons à examiner—j’indique la question, je ne la résous pas—si ce décret du 24 octobre 1842, qui est tout spécialement invoqué par les demandeurs, conférait à quelqu’un un droit civil, si, quand le [Page 646]Gouvernement disait: “j’affecterai 6 pet.,” il y avait quelqu’um qui etait institué comme ayant droit à ces 6 pct., si en d’autres termes le Gouvernement, quand il signait ce décret, s’était enlevé un droit pour le donner à un autre, et nous nous demanderons quel était cet autre. Ce n’était pas l’évêque, puisque précisément ce décret avait pour eflet de lui enlever ce qu’il lui avait donné en 1836; ce n’était pas l’Eglise; ce n’étaient pas les Indiens; nous examinerons cela, et nous dirons qu’il n’y avait pas de créancier constitué à charge de l’Etat par ce décret de 1842.

Vous verrez alors que les faits vont se compliquer et ce précipiter jnsqu’en 1848. C’est une époque de fièvre, d’agitation au Mexique; cette question des Calif ornies à beaucoup préoccupé les Gouvernements, cette succession de dérets le prouve. Un représentant de l’évêque, Don Ramirez, avait été chargé d’administrer les biens à Mexico. Ces biens étaient situés à Mexico, l’évêque devait aller en Californie, il n’y avait pas alors les facilités de communication d’aujourd’hui; de telfe sorte que l’évêque ne pouvait pas à la fois administrer les Missions, faire son apostolat, et en même temps administrer les biens de Mexico; il devait avoir un représentant à Mexico: ce fut Don Ramirez.

Don Ramirez était devenu âgé; il était assisté d’un avocat, Don Miguel; quand ilsvirent que le Gouvernement le 8 février 1842 reprenait à l’évêque l’administration due Fonds Pie, que le 21 octobre 1842 il nationalsait le Fonds Pie, l’incorporait au Trésor, Don Ramirez et Don Miguel son conseil dirent au Gouvernement mexicain: Faites attention, l’œuvre que vous accomplisez est une œuvre néfaste parce qu’elle consomme la ruine des missions.

A cette époque, messieurs, il faut bien le reconnaître, les envois de fonds qui étaient faits aux anciens Franciscans devenaient de plus en plus rares; le Gouvernement, ou plutôt les Gouvernements successifs avaient d’autres préoccupations. En 1845, dans un document important, l’avocat de l’évêque va prendre la parole et va demander compte au Gouvernement de ses actes; il va lui signaler le danger de son attitude, de l’abandon des Missions, dans le document mémorable qui est reproduit dans le volume rouge à la page 385 (Mémoire de M. Aspiroz, N°. 77 et annexe N°. 25) et nous allons voir pour la première fois ce que pense l’évêque. Il s’agit due décret de 1836 qui à donné à l’évêque l’administration du Fonds Pie, du décret du 8 février 1842 qui lui a enlevé cette administration et du décret de 24 octobre 1842; et lévêque par l’organe de celui qui est attitré pour parler en son nom va dire ceci:

Ni le prélat de de Californie ni ses agents de fait n’ont prétendu ni même rêvé de prétendre à la propriété du fonds pour le révérend évêque ou pour la mître. . . . . Le révérend évêque n’a formulé et ne formule aueune prétention semblable. Les biens qu’une loi du régime république à placés entre ses mains lui ont été arrachés, il à éléve la voix vers le Congrès le priant de mesurer la justice de cet acte et ses conséquences; il à placé devant lui les documents et les contrats qui démontrent et l’origine et la destination du Fonds. Si dès lors le Congrés décide que le Département à bien agi et que le Fonds est propriété nationale, les devoirs du révérend évêque auront été accomplis. Le représentant de l’évêque ne se con sidérait pas plus comme le proprétaire du Fonds que le député ne l’est de son département.

Nous avons là, messieurs, un témoignage important, le témoignage de l’évêque ou de son représentant. On lui à arraché les biens, il va dire ce qu’il pense, il va protester, et il va bien marquer la nuance, il va dire: je proteste parce que c’est une faute politique énorme, parce [Page 647]que si vous ne vous préoccupez pas des Missions, je ne réponds pas de la Californie.

Don Miguel aurait rajson: ce fut une faute; mais il le dit respectueusement, condamnant d’avance la thèse qui est présentée ici: je ne prétends pas à une propriété qui n’appartient pas à la mître, je ne suis pas plus propriétaire qu’un députe ne l’est de son département, je ne suis la qu’un fonctionnaire. C’est-à-dire qu’il caractérise la situation juridique de l’évêque, son mandant; par conséquent, il y a une autorité incontestable qui s’attache à ce document.

(La séance est levée à 5 heures et le Tribunal s’ajourne au lendemain ê 10 heures du matin.)

neuvième séance.

24 septembre 1902 (matin).

La séance est ouverte à 10 heures du matin, tous les Arbitres étant présents.

M. le Président. La parole est au conseil des Etats-Unis mexicains.

suite de la plaidoirie de m. delacroix.

Messieurs: Je continuerai, avec la permission de la Cour, l’exposé que j’ai commencé hier.

La Cour aura remarqué par la revue des faits que nous avons rapidement passée hier, que tant que les Jésuites sont restés à la tête du Fonds Pie ils en ont disposé seuls, et que l’intervention du Roi, du souverain, ne s’est produite que pour les autoriser, les diriger, tout au plus les contrôler. Mais à partir du moment où l’ordre des Jésuites à été aboli, ou les Jésuites ont été expulsés, alors le Roi, le pouvoir souverain dispose, lui, des biens des Jésuites comme les Jésuites en avaient disposé antérieurement.

Un autre fait qui ne vous aura certainement pas échappé, c’est que tandis que nous voyons constamment cette intervention du Roi déjà lorsque les Jésuites disposent du Fonds, par un contrôle, une surveillance, une intervention, une autorisation, et plus tard par un droit de disposition et d’affectation, l’Eglise d’autre part n’intervient jamais, ni à la naissance de l’ordre des Jésuites en Californie, ni à la suppression, ni à aucun moment par la suite.

Nous en arrivons ainsi, messieurs ô la période qui à son point final en 1844.

Je dois ici exposer à la Cour la succession des faits relatifs à l’incident appeié affaire des îles Philippines. Vous vous souvenez que doña Josepha Arguelles, qui avait disposé au profit du Fonds Pie à concurrence d’une somme que l’on chiffre par 800,000 piastres, avait divisé sa fortune en quatre parties; toutes les quatre parties étaient donées aux Jesuites, mais un quart était destiné à leurs collèges tandis que les trois autres quarts étaient destinés pour moitié aux Missions des Philippines et pour l’autre moitié aux Missions de Californie. En 1827, lorsque l’indépendance du Mexique a été proclamée, lorsque le Mexique s’est séparé de l’Espagne, le Gouvernement mexicain a trouvé cet ensemble de biens qui a reçu le nom de Fonds Pie, qui avait été constitué par des mexicains et qui se trouvait composé de biens situés au Mexique. Le gouvernement mexicain s’est approprié ces biens, c’est [Page 648]à-dire que de son propre mouvement il s’est substitué au roi d’Espagne dans les droits que celui-ci pouvait avoir sur ces biens.

Mais, messieurs, si le roi d’Espagne avait laissé faire, il n’avait pas encore ratifié cette situation. Il s’est produit alors des réclamations de la part des Dominicains chargés des Missions des îles Philippines. Ceux-ei faisaient valoir—et il faut bien reconnaître qu’ils le faisaient valoir à juste titre—que si le roi d’Espagne avait la disposition de l’ensemble du Fonds Pie pour des Missions situEes dans deux parties de ses Etats, d’une part en Californie, d’autre part aux îles Philippines, si alors la Californie attenant au Mexique était détachée de I’Espagne, et si on pouvait admettre que le Gouvernement mexicain prît la place du roi d’Espagne dans ses droits sur le fonds en tant qu’ils affectaient les missions de Californie, il ne se concevrait pas que le roi d’Espagne abdiquât ses droits sur ces fonds en ce qui concerne la partie qui affectait les îles Philippines. Le roi d’Espagne avait l’ensemble des droits sur l’ensemble du Fonds Pie, mais il avait en même temps l’ensemble des Missions à diriger, à entretenir; il pouvait done se concevoir que puisque e’étaient des biens mexicains d’un fonds mexicain constitué par des Mexicains, le nouveau Gouvernement de Mexique se substituat au roi d’Espagne, mais seulement pour autant que ces biens n’eussent pas été affectes aux Missions des Philippines; le roi devait conserver cette partie puisqu’il avait l’intégralité des droits jusque-là.

C’étaient là, messieurs, il faut bien le dire, des raisons profondément juridiques et profondément justes que faisaient valoir les Missions des Philippines par l’organe du Ministre du roi d’Espagne. Le Gouvernement mexicain le comprit … que dis-je? le gouvernement mexicain fut heureux de ce que le roi d’Espagne voulait bien reconnaître que le gouvernement mexicain se substituait à lui pour cette partie du Fonds Pie qui concernait la Californie, à la simple condition qu’on reconnut au roi d’Espagne la conservation de la partie du Fonds qui était destinée aux îles Philippines. Aussi, messieurs, le gouvernement mexicain a-t-il accepté de faire le traité du 14 octobre 1836 par lequel il a reconnu au roi d’Espagne le droit sur la partie du Fonds destinée aux îles Philippines.

Ce n’était que juste: le roi d’Espagne était maître du tout, il conservait une partie de la charge, il conservait par le fait la propriété, la disposition d’une partie du fonds. Cette raison seule eût du suffire pour que le Gouvernement mexicain s’empressât d’accepter les propositions qui lui étaient faites par I’Espagne sous la forme d’une revendication. Mais il y était d’autant plus incite que d’autres considérations d’ordre politique venaient appuyer ces propositions. Le Gouvernement mexicainqui s’était déclaré indépendant depuis 1827 était toujours préoccupe de faire reconnaître cette indépendance par le roi d’Espagne, par le Gouvernement espagnol dont il s’était affranchi, dont il s’etait séparé, et voilà pourquoi il était pressé de faire cet accord, qui devait être suivi de l’accord relatif à la reconnaissance de son indépendance.

Cela est si vrai, messieurs, qu’à peine le traité du 14 octobre 1836 est-il intervenu au sujet du partage du Fonds Pie que le 28 décembre 1836, c’est-à-dire deux mois et demi après, un traité reconnait l’indépendance du Mexique. Vous le voyez, ces deux négociations étaient concomitantes et le Gouvernement mexicain avait trop de raisons pour ne pas s’empresser de donner cette satisfaction pécuniaire au Gouvernement espagnol.

[Page 649]

Mais, messieurs, si ce traité du 14 octobre 1836 reeonnaissait ainsi les droits du Gouvernement espagnol—lequel s’était déchargé des missions aux Philippines sur les missionnaires Dominicains—sur tous les biens qui avaient été destinés aux missions des Philippines, cette tradition des biens ne s’était pas effectuée d’une manière définitive, elaire et effective dès 1836, et c’est ainsi que nous allons voir que quelques années après, l’un des biens qui étaient destinés aux Missions des îles Philippines, qui appartenaient à ces Missions ou au roi d’Espagne pour ces missions, l’un de ces biens avait été vendu. Alors en vertu de la déclaration de principe, de la reconnaissance existant dans le traité du 14 octobre 1836, le Gouvernement espagnol représenté par son ministre et les Missions dominicaines représentées par le pèpre Moran, ont réclamé à Mexico en disant: Voilà un bien qui Stait destiné aux îles Philippines, vous l’avez reconnu, or vous l’avez vendu, c’est un tort—et c’était incontestablement un tort.

Aussi, messieurs, par une convention du 7 novembre 1844 le Gouvernement mexicain a consenti à transiger, et il a remis pour les missions des îles Philippines une somme principale de 115,000 piastres et une somme accessoire de 30,000 piastres à titre d’indemnitté, soit en tout 145,000 piastres. C’était une transaction.

Tout ce que je dis ici, messieurs, se trouve notamment rapporté dans le mémoire de M. Azpiroz, page 397 du livre rouge, sous le N°. 136.

Quelle était l’importanee des îies Philippines? Je ne connais pour ma part comme biens du Fonds Pie spécialement affectés aux îies Philippines que la moitié des trois quarts de la succession de Madame Arguelles. Cette succession, vous disais-je tout-à-l’heure, devait s’élever à plus de 800,000 piastres, et si je le dis, c’est parce qu’un rapport du 23 auût 1871, un inventaire de ces biens, amène à cette constatation qui était faite par le notaire de l’époque. De telle fapon que si un quart appartenait aux Jésuites pour leurs collèges et trois quarts pour leurs missions, il y avait une somme de 600,000 piastres au moins qui devait être partagée par les Missions de Californie et par celles des Philippines. C’est sur cette base qu’une transaction est intervenue.

Il y avait, paraît-il aussi—mais ici la précision n’est pas possible—d’autres petits biens qui auraient été donnés également à la fois pour la Californie et pour les îles Philippines et qui auraient été compris dans cette transaction dont je parlais il y a un instant. Dans tous les cas ce point n’a d’intérêt qu’au point de vue de la chronologie des faits. Mes ho no rabies eontradicteurs en ont parlé parce qu’ils y voyaient un argument, ils disaient: Nous sommes, nous, dans la situation des îles Philippines, nous sommes dans la même situation que les missions dominicaines, et puisque le Gouvernement mexican a reconnu le droit des Missionnaires des îles Philippines, pourquoi ne reconnait-il pas celui des Missionnaires de Californie?

Je n’ai pas besoin de vous démontrer, messieurs, que l’analogie dont on fait état n’existe absolument pas. La situation est toute différente, parce que d’abord je pourrais déjà dire: Vous argumentez d’une transaction, et le caractere essentiel d’une transaction c’est précisénent d’écarter la reconnaissance du droit qui pouvait être discuté.

Mais, messieurs, en dehors même de cette considération qui vous aura frappés, vous vous serez dit assurément que la situation n’est pas différente parce que celui avec lequel on transigeait avait tous les droits; il voulait bien en abandonner la plus grande part, on lui en laissait une faible partie pour les Missions dont il conservait la charge. Ce n’est [Page 650]pas assurément la situation aujourd’hui des demandeurs, qui, eux, n’auront pas tous les droits puisqu’ils n’ent ont aucun, et qu’ils revendiquent des droits que certes ils ne possédaient pas autrefois.

C’était là, messieurs, le fait qui avait eu sa conclusion par la convention du 7 novembre 1844. Vous vous souvenez qu’à cette époque la législation qui régissait cette question des Missions se trouvait dans les deux décrets de 1842, des 8 février et 24 octobre. Aux termes de ces décrets le Gouvernement mexicain avait repris à l’évêque de Californie l’administration qu’il lui avait confiée due Fonds Pie, il la lui avait reprise en disant qu’il se chargerait lui-même des besoins de ses Missions ou qu’il se chargerait lui-même des nécessités de la situation en Californie; il avait annoncé également qu’une somme de 6 pct. sur la valeur de ce Fonds serait ainsi affectée par lui.

Mais, messieurs, en 1845 un revirement se produit dans la législation. J’ai tout-à-l’heure argumenté de cette circonstance que les formes de gouvernement ne sont pas perpétuelles, qu’elles ne sont pas étérnelles; assurément le Mexique nous en donne un exemple dans cette période de l’histoire. Voici done que l’on va revenir en 1845 à la situation que l’on avait créée en principe en 1836, et fait en 1840, et que l’on avait abolie en 1842.

Le 3 avril 1845 intervient un nouveau décret; aux termes de ce décret le gouvernement va rendre à l’évêque l’administration du Fonds Pie, c’est-à-dire l’administration de ce qui reste du Fonds Pie, car, il ne faut pas l’oublier, en 1842 le gouvernement avait décidé la vente des biens, de telle façon qu’il ne pouvait plus disposer en 1845 que de ce qui restait des biens du Fonds Pie. Aussi dit-il qu’il confie à l’évêque l’administration de ce qui reste, sans préjudice du droit du Gouvernement de disposer en ce qui concerne le surplus.

Le surplus, qu’était-ce? Mais, le surplus, ce n’était que les 6 pct. qui restaient encore, dont le Gouvernement avait indiqué l’intention d’employer le montant aux besoins des Missions de Californie. C’était là ce qui restait encore. En bien, quant à ce reste-là, quant à ces 6 pet., il annonce que le Congrès en disposera comme il l’entendra.

C’était done un décret d’une importance secondaire ou d’une conséquence relative puisque ce décret du 3 avril 1845 ne restituait en réalité à l’évêque que la disposition ou l’administration des biens qui n’étaient pas aliénés.

Ce décret, messieurs, n’eut pas une application bien longue, parce que nous nous rapprochons de la date finale de la conquête de la Californie par les Etats-Unis.

Déjà en 1842, les moyens de communication n’étant pas rapides comme ils le sont aujourd’hui, on avait cru à un certain moment que les Etats-Unis avaient déjà pris la Californie; c’était un faux bruit; mais en 1846 ce fut une réalité; Monterey fut occupé par les troupes des Etats-Unis, et par conséquent ce fut le fait qui fut consacré par le droit plus tard; à partir de 1846 la Californie était occupé par les Etats-Unis, était considérée comme une conquête des Etats-Unis.

Cette situation de fait, cette conquête de la Californie par les Etats-Unis, réalisée en 1846, fut consacrée légalement le 2 février 1848 par le traité de Guadalupe-Hidalgo.

Ce traité avait été naturellement l’objet de discussions préliminaires nombreuses. C’était un traité important. Déjà depuis plusieurs années existaient des ferments de discorde nombreux entre les Etats-Unis et le Mexique; or voici que la conquêt s’était produite. … J’ai [Page 651]lu dans un document qui émane de mes honorables contradicteurs que la Californie avait été achetée par les Etats-Unis au Mexique; c’était une de ces ventes où la partie venderesse n’a pas la faculté de disposer ou de choisir. … L’on avait conquis, puis il fallait bien voir à quelles conditions on voulait faire ratifier la conquête, mais la conquête était faite, le fait brutal, le fait de la force primant le droit était accompli. Mais on fait un traité.

Ce traité devait prendre in place de bien d’autres conventions internationales qui avaient été signées entre les deux pays ou avaient été proposées pour régler les conflits entre eux. On avait constaté qu’il existait entre les deux pays une série de conflits pécuniaires qui venaient encore aggraver la situation irritante des rapports entre ces deux Etats, et pour y mettre fin l’on débat d’abord une indemnité pécuniaire à payer par les Etats-Unis au Mexique. Le fait de la conquête, le fait du détachement du Mexique de toute cette partie de territoire qui était le Nouveau Mexique et qui comprennait la Californie, était un fait qui s’était produit de la part des Etats-Unis par la conquêté et sur lequel ils n’admettaient plus la discussion; ces états seraient détachés du Mexique pour être incorporés par les Etats-Unis, mais il fallait traitér, ratifier, conclure. On admet la discussion sur une indemnité.

J’aurai l’honneur dans une autre audience de vous indiquer ce que furent les préliminaires de ce traité, mais dès a présent je vous dis qu’on avait indiqué quelle devait être la bas de la fixation de cette indemnité. La Californie et les états détachés du Mexique constituaient une charge pour le Mexique et aussi une source de revenus; c’était cette considération qui devait être la base de la discussion. Ainsi, par exemple, le Mexique avait une dette nationale, cette dette nationale avait été créeé pour les besoins de l’ensemble du territoire, c’était l’ensemble du territoire qui en avait profité, et il allait de soi que si une partie de ce territoire était détachée il fallait que cette dette nationale qui pesait alors sur la partie restante reçût un soutien, une contribution de la part du pays qui avait conquis le nouveau territoire. C’était là une notion profondément juste et juridique. Il fallait pour déterminer le chiffre de cette contribution tenir compte non pas seulement des charges que le Mexique restreint allait supporter seul, alors qu’il pouvait autrefois les répartir sur l’ensemble de son territoire, mais il fallait aussi tenir compte des avantages que pouvait en retirer le Nouveau Mexique, c’est-à-dire les charges dont il était débarrassé et dont il passait la main au nouveau gouvernement conquérant.

Voilà, messieurs, ce qui fit l’objet de la discussion, et ce débat amena le traité du 2 février 1848. On fixa une indemnité: 15 millions de dollars. Le gouvernement des Etats-Unis voulait bien dire: finissonsen, en ce qui concerne ce que peuvent être les rapports pécuniaires d’Etat à Etat, ces rapports pécuniaires qui peuvent être la conséquence du détachement d’une partie du territoire du Mexique pour son incorporation dans le territoire des Etats-Unis, nous allons fixer une somme debattue, chiffrée, 15 millions de dollars, et moyennant cette somme c’est fini, d’Etat à Etat il n’y a plus de rapports pécuniaires, il n’y a plus de dettes ou de créances parce que ces dettes ou ces chances entre les deux Etats se trouvent liquidées par le paiement de la somme qui constitue la différence entre ce que peuvent être le doit et l’avoir.

Voilà la première stipulation essentielle de ce traité du 2 février 1848: liquidation des droits d’Etat à Etat.

[Page 652]

Mais, messieurs, les parties voulant aller plus loin encore, voulant faire en sorte qu’il n’y eût plus de sujet de conflit entre les deux Etats, ont dit: nous allons créer ici une situation exceptionnelle.

La situation que j’indiquais tout-à-l’heure était logique, elle était normale, elle est dans la plupart des traités; mais voici qu’ici on veut aller plus loin et on dit: Il y a des citoyens d’un Etat qui ont des droits individuels civils ou privés, vis-à-vis de l’autre Etat, c’est asussi un sujet de conflit parce que ces citoyens créanciers d’un Etat sollicitent l’intervention diplomatique ou les bons offices de leur gouvernement vis-à-vis de l’autre Etat; encore une fois, c’est un sujet de discussion, une cause d’acrimonie entre les deux pays. Pour y mettre fin, on decide que le Gouvernement des Etats-Unis donne decharge au gouvernement mexicain pour toutes les créances que des citoyens des Etats-Unis peuvent avoir vis-à-vis de l’Etat Mexicain.

C’était une chose anormale, car les Etats-Unis n’avaient pas qualité pour donner décharge des créances civiles que leurs citoyens pouvaient avoir vis-à-vis des citoyens d’un autre Etat, mais ils acceptent de prendre la place de l’Etat mexicain vis-à-vis d’eux, c’est-à-dire qu’ils disent: Vous allez, vous, Etat mexicain, me payer une somme de, un forfait de 3,250,000 dollars, et moyennant cette somme je me charge de payer touts les créances que des citoyens américains peuvent avoir vis-à-vis de vous.

C’est done une décharge absolue par la substitution d’un débiteur à un autre; c’est, si je puis employer cette expression de droit civil, une novation qui est opérée, et qui implique une décharge absolue—la décharge se trouve d’ailleurs dans l’article 14 du traité de 1848.

Voici done que les deux Etats voulant aplanir toutes les difficultés, supprimer tous les sujets de conflit, avaient fait des choses extraordinaires, le Gouvernement des Etats-Unis acceptant de payer les dettes, quelles qu’elles fussent, du Gouvernement mexicaine vis-à-vis des citoyens américains. Le Gouvernement américain acceptait cette charge et de par le traité lui-même il était entendu qu’il aurait institué une commission américaine qui aurait été chargée de juger la valeur des créances produites par les citoyens américains vis-à-vis de l’Etat mexicain, de les apprécier, d’en fixer le chiffre, et le Gouvernement américain les aurait réglées quel qu’en fût le montant.

Est-ce que le Mexique, en présence, de cette double décharge, décharge de la part de l’Etat, décharge de la part des citoyens Américains, pouvait croire encore, en signant ce traité, qu’il conservait une dette vis-à-vis de cet Etat abandonné, detaché de son territoire, vis-à-vis de l’Eglise de la Haute Californie? Nous examinerons plus tard ce traits, et nous verrons que s’il y avait des droits appartenant à une collectivité quelconque dans la Haute Californie, c’était assurément le gouvernement américain, qui prenait le soin de ce nouvel Etat, qui en prenait la charge, alors qu’il prenait cet Etat sous sa tutelle, qu’il representait cette collectivité de la nation nouvelle, lui qui assurément aurait dû faire valoir ses droits lors du traité de Querétaro.

Messieurs, le Gouvernement mexicain devait être d’autant plus rassuré que dans un premier texte du traité, dans l’article 9 notamment, il avait été indiqué que les associations, communautés ecclésiastiques ou autres, les institutions jouissant de la personnalité civile au Mexique, auraient continué à en jouir dan’s le nouvel Etat, mais que le Sénat américain n’a pas accepté cette formule. Le Sénat américain n’acceptait pas d’être lie par une législation qui n’était pas la sienne, il n’acceptait [Page 653]pas que des eitoyens du nouvel Etat de Californie pussent encore se réclamer d’une législation qui n’était plus la leur parce qu’elle leur était devenue étrangère; le Sénat américain exigea done que le texte définitif du traité fût celui que vous possédez entre les mains, et tout ce qu’il consentit à dire e’est que chacun aurait le droit d’avoir les croyances, la religion qu’il lui conviendrait, sans que la liberié de conscience fût atteinte; mais quant à reconnaître une personnalité civile en vertu d’une législation étrangere, le Governement américain ne le voulut pas.

Dès lors, messieurs, il semble que le Gouvernement mexicain devait être de par le traité de Querétaro à l’abri de toute espéce de préoccupation; il devait se dire: je ne puis plus avoir de créanciers qui puissent faire valoir de crérances, et s’il existait encore un citoyen américain qui pût avoir une créances vis-à-vis de moi elle se trouve supprimée par le traité de Querétaro et par la volonté du. Gouvernement américain; e’est done fini. Il devait le croire, il l’a cru, et tout le monde Pa cru.

Je continue. En 1850 un être nouveau va apparaître, l’Eglise américaine, un évêché d’abord, puis un archevêché américain dans la Haute Californie. Cet être nouveau va devoir son existence à la légistion américaine naturellement. A partir de 1848 le Gouvernement des Etats-Unis agissait comme il l’entendait dans le nouveau territoire conquis, il y appliquait la législation qu’il lui convenait, il y appliquait ses lois, et e’est en vertu de ses lois qu’il a créé des êtres nouveaux, c’est-à-dire de ces fictions légales, de ces entités juridiques qui sont une portion de la nation nouvelle.

C’est ainsi que l’Eglise américaine de Californie prend naissance en 1850.

A cette époque le nouveau prélat qui était a la tête de l’Eglise nouvelle de Californie a du nécessairement se renseigner sur ses droits, sur l’etendue de ses droits, parce que pour un prélat ses droits sont en même temps ses devoirs; il devait done se renseigner. C’est ce qu’il fait. Il paraît même qu’il se serait rendu en 1852 é Mexico et qu’il y aurait formulé une réclamation verbale. Il le dit, il l’affirme, ce doit done être exact. Mais, messieurs, c’était évidemment une de ces réclamations assez extraordinaires en matière administrative où les réclamations se font toujours par écrit et où les autres n’ont pas de valeur.

Quoi qu’il en soit, de 1850 à 1859 il n’y a pas de réclamations, et il n’y en aura pas encore jusqu’en 1870. Mais, s’il n’y a pas de réclamations de la part des évêues nouveaux de Californie vis-à-vis de l’Etat mexicain depuis 1850 jusqu’en 1870, il peut y avoir de leur part une préoccupation: ils se demandent s’ils n’ont pas des prétentions à faire valoir.

Je dis qu’ils se le demandent parce qu’ils essaient de présenter une réclamations vis-à-vis des autorités américaines. C’est ainsi qu’il y avait dans la Haute Californie des biens qui ne faisaient pas à proprement parler partie du Fonds Pie de Californie, il y avait notamment des terrains qui avaientété acquis paries missionnaires, les Franciscains, dans la Haute Californie; les Franciscains ay ant été supprimes, l’évêque nouveau de la Haute Californie dit: Ces biens acquis par les Franciscains, c’est moi qui en suis l’héritier.

Il y a eu un procès en Haute Californie, procès américain auquelle Mexique est resté absolument étranger. Ce procès relaté à la page [Page 654]343 du livre rouge s’est terminé en octobre 1856; c’était un procès intitulé “Nobile versus retman.” Je lis seulement la notice de la décision qui se trouve en tête du paragraphe:

Les missions établies en Californie avant son acquisition par les Etate-Unis étaient des établissements politiques et n’avaient en aucune manière de relations avec l’Eglise. Le fait que des moines ou des prêtres étaient è la têté de ces institutions ne prouve rien en faveur de la réclamations de l’Eglise au sujet de leur propriété universelle.

Eh bien, qu’est ce que cela veut dire? C’est qu’en 1856 les Etats-Unis d’Amérique représentés par leurs institutions nationales avaient jugé la prétention de l’Eglise et avaient dit: Comment! vous vous prétendez les successeurs des missionnaires, des apôtres, de ceux qui étaient des conquérants? mais non, c’est une erreur, le fait que des moines ou des prêtres étaient à la tête de ces institutions ne donne pas à ces institutions la nature de propriétés ecclésiastiques, pas plus que quand Richelieu ou Mazarin étaient à la tête du Gouvernement ce qu’ils touchaient n’acquérait la valeur de biens ecclésiastiques, c’étaient des agents du roi, des agents du gouvernement.

Voilà, messieurs, un appréciation qui a été formulée par des institutions américaines, et qui condamne naturellement la prétention des demandeurs actuels; c’était une appréciation de tribunaux.

Ah! je sais que l’on nous à dit a la précédente audience que eependant les archevéques et évêques de Californie avaient presénté a un bureau institué par la loi américaine l’indication des propriétés qu’ils revendiquaient, qu’ils considéraient comme étant les leurs comme successeurs des missionnaires, et que leurs droits ont été reconnus. Je n’en disconviens pas; cependant, messieurs, si je donne cette indication de décision c’est parce que vous voyez qu’en Amérique, où les droits eussent été, semble-t-il, sanctionnés en faveur des évêques américains, ce que je dis ici a été jugé par les tribunaux américains.

Cette circonstance, messieurs, comme d’autres que je vais vous indiquer, devait faire écarter la prétention des évêques américains si elle avait été présentée devant une juridiction américaine. Et quelle juridiction américaine? Nous croyons que la juridiction qui était competente au prémier chef pour juger cette question, c’était la commission américaine à laquelle je faisais allusion il y a quelques instants. Je vous disais que le traité de Guadalupe-Hidalgo avait prévu l’institution d’une commission américaine charge de juger les conflits entre les citoyens amérieains et l’Etait mexicain et chargée de les régler moyennant une somme forfaitaire. C’eût été alors les Etats-Unis qui eussent été les défendeurs ou les intéresses dans ce débat. Les évêques américains auraient dû dire: Nous sommes les successeurs des évêques mexicains, ceux-ci avaient une créance qui a son origine dans le décret de 1842 ou dans celui de 1845 ou encore dans celui de 1836, nous avons une créance qui a son origine dans un droit antérieur à 1848 et nous étions alors les créanciers de l’Etat mexicain, puisque vous, Etats-Unis, vous vous étés substitués par une novation aux obligations de l’Etat mexicain, vous allez nous régler la créance, et c’est la commission chargée d’en juger qui va en être saisie. Ils ne l’ont pas fait.

Mais nous apprenons qu’en 1859 l’honorable M. Doyle, qui était le conseil des avocats d’alors, presenta au secrétaire d’Etat des Etats-Unis la réclamations actuelle; cette réclamations fut présentée par M. Doyle à la date du 20 juillet 1859 par une lettre qui est la première du livre rouge (page 5 et suivantes). Cette lettre de réclamations était accompagnée d’un mémoire assurément admirablement Concorde dans [Page 655]lequel toute la réclamations avec tous les éléments qui pouvaient en asseoir le fondement étaient produits. Les Etats-Unis cette fois étaient juges, ils allaient voir si la pretention des évêques avait une valeur. Il était temps de reclamer: nous sommes en 1859, le traité est de 1848, si une réclamations est encore fondée de la part de eitoyens devenus américains, de la part d’une institution ou d’une collectivité de la Haute Californie, e’est-à-dire de ce territoire détaché, les Etats-Unis vont s’empresser de se retourner vis-à-vis du Mexique et de lui dire: Ah: pardon, nous avons fait un traité en 1848, nous nous sommes donne une decharge absolue, mais il y a encore quelque chose, il y a la une obligation qui ne peut pas même être déterminee en chiffres, mais qui va faire l’objet de notre part de négotiations; nous avons dans la nouvelle Californie la charge d’un service public qui est le budget des cultes, il y a là par conséquent quelque chose; vous avez jadis repu des fonds que vous avez nationalisés et dont la destination antérieure était précisément l’entretien du culte; nous vous avons payé 15 millions de dollars, mais vous nous devez encore quelque chose.

Les Etats-Unis comme gouvernement, je le démontrerai, auraient eu seuls qualité pour réclamer, ils auraient dû immédiatement prendre la place des évêques et réclamer en leur nom s’ils avaient un droit vis-à-vis du gouvernement mexicain. Mais, messieurs, c’est par le silence qu’on accueille cette réclamations, du moins à notre connaissance nous ne savons pas si une suite quelconque a été donnee a cette lettre du 20 juillet 1859; si j’en juge par les documents qui ont été fournis, le Gouvernement des Etats-Unis n’aurait pas repondu ou n’aurait donné aucune suite à la réclamations. Dans tous les cas, ce qu’il y à de certain c’est que le Gouvernement des Etats-Unis n’a pas songé pendant plus de dix années à réclamer quoi que ce soit à l’Etat mexicain. La réclamations aurait du naître en 1848, elle aurait dû apparaître tout au moins en 1850, en 1859 il était peut-être déjà trop tard; mais comment pouvaiton encore attendre dix ans avant même qu’une représentation diplomatique quelconque fût faite au Mexique?

Nous voyons alors que c’est le 30 mars 1870, par une lettre qui se trouve dans le livre rouge à la page 8 qu’un autre avocat des évêques, M. Casserly, adresse au Secrétaire des Etats-Unis américains, l’honorable Hamilton Fish la réclamations qui fut ensuite, je le suppose, par l’intermédiaire de la commission mixte présentée au Mexique. Je dis que je le suppose parce que je n’ai pas trouvé dans le livre la lettre par laquelle le Gouvernement américain se serait adressé au Gouvernement mexicain.

M. Emilio Pardo. Il n’y en a pas eu.

M. Delacroix. Alors cela explique que je ne Pai pas trouvée.

Dans cette lettre du 30 mars 1870 la réclamations était présentée dans la forme que vous verrez: elle avait pour objet les propriétés du Fonds et elle avait pour objet la creance intégrale, le capital comme les intérêts.

Ainsi présentée, la réclamations devait se heurter à une exception d’incompétence de la part de la commission mixte et à une fin de non recevoir que je vais indiquer.

Je dis à une exception d’incompétence, parce que la commission mixte instituée par la convention du 4 juillet 1868 ne pouvait être saisie que des réclamationss qui avaient une origine postérieure au traité de 1848; jamais le Mexique n’aurait apposé sa signature au bas d’une convention qui aurait permis de remettre en question une prétention [Page 656]ou un droit antérieur à 1848; il aurait dit: Mais pardon, nous avons fini, j’ai une décharge, le traité de 1848 me permet de ne plus écouter de réclamations venant de l’autre côté de la frontiùre et qui aurait son origine dans un fait antérieur à 1848.

Mais, je le veux bien, il y avait des réclamationss d’origine postérieure à 1848, il y avait un enchevêtrement dans les relations entre les citoyens de ces deux Etats, des citoyens américains prétendaient constamment avoir des réclamationss à formuler vis-à-vis de l’Etat mexicain; et il faut dire que la séparation entre les deux pays, la séparation des deux territoires n’avait pas mis fin à ces diffieultés. Il y a done des faits postérieurs à 1848 qui, prétend-on, vont donner des droits à des citoyens americains vis-à-vis du Mexique. Alors on fait une convention par laquelle on charge une commission mixte composee de commissaires ou de délégués des deux Etats et chargée de juger les différends de la nature que je viens d’indiquer, e’est-à dire de juger les différends de citoyens d’un Etats vis-à-vis de l’autre gouvernement et réciproquement, mais pour autent que les réclamationss aient toujours une origine postérieure au 2 février 1848.

Donc, messieurs, si la réclamations avait été maintenue telle qu’elle était présentée dans la lettre du 30 mars 1870 par M. Casserly, avocat des évêques, cette réclamations se serait heurtée à une exception d’incompétence parce que la commission mixte aurait dû dire: Vous demandez le capital, vous demandez les propriétés du Fonds, vous vous fondez sur des décrets antérieurs à 1848, c’est impossible, je ne suis pas compétente.

Elle aurait ajouté: mais, votre réclamations n’est même pas receivable parce que ayant une base antérieure au traité de Queretaro, les Etats-Unis ayant donné décharge au Mexique pour toutes réclamationss antérieures à 1848 tant de la part du gouvernement des Etats-Unis que des citoyens américains, votre réclamations se heurte à une exception d’incompétence et à une fin de non recevoir. Voilà ce qu’aurait dit la commission mixte.

Aussi, alors, la réclamations ne fut pas définitivement présentée dans ces termes, et les demandeurs d’alors se bornérent è demander les intérêts annuels; c’était, pensaient-ils—je crois qu’ils se trompaient—le moyen d’écarter et l’exception d’incompétence et la fin de non recevoir, puisqu’ilsdisaient: nous demandons les intérêts échus chaque année, le droit naît chaque année, nous n’étions done pas créanciers en 1848 et nous n’avons pas pu donner décharge d’une créance qui n’existait pas, done nous demandons les intérêts. Et comme il y avait en 1870 21 années d’intérêts échus on ne demandait que les 21 années d’intérêts. C’est conformément à cette thèse qu’aujourd’hui on demande 33 années d’intérêts, mais on ne demande pas le capital.

Voilà, messieurs, comment la réclamations fut présentée en 1870 à la commission mixte: demande de 21 années d’intérêts.

Alors la commission mixte statue. Vous le savez, chacun des délegués des Etats émet un avis contradictoire. Il fallait recourir à un troisième arbitre: c’est Sir Edward Thornton, ministre plénipotentiaire d’Angleterre à Washington, qui est chargé de vider le différend; il vide le différend relatif a ces 21 années d’intérêts en faveur des demandeurs.

Je vais lire immédiatement, pour ne plus avoir à y revenir, cette sentence qui ne doit pas, pensons-nous, être discutée ici par la raison que nous croyons que la Cour d’arbitrage actuelle a son independence [Page 657]la plus absolue, qu’elle est saisie d’une question nouvelle et d’éléments nouveaux sur lesquels elle aura à statuer. Mais, messieurs, il m’est imposible en passant de ne pas faire remarquer que l’honorable arbitre de 1875 commençait sa sentence en disant:

L’arbitre se trouve dans l’impossibilité de discuter les divers arguments qui ont été formulés par les deux parties sur la réclamations de Amat, évêque de Monterey et Alemany, archevéque.

Cet honorable surarbitre dit en commenpant: je ne puis pas examiner tous ces arguments. Peut être n’était-il pas jurisconsulte, je l’ignore, mais dans tous les cas il n’a pas examiné les arguments; mais il va nous dire sur quoi il a fondé sa conviction.

Il s’est dit! le seul point que je doive examiner est celui-ci: est-ce que les donateurs primitifs qui ont constitue le Fonds, qui ont donné des biens en vue d’un but déterminé, en vue d’une conquête spirituelle et temporelle, en vue d’une oeuvre pieuse et nationale, ont eu plutôt une pensée politique? L’honorable surarbitre a voulu peser les mobiles qui avaient détérminé les donations primitives, il a voulu sectionner ces mobiles, et il s’est dit: Est-ce que c’était une pensée pieuse? Est-ce que c’étaient des chrétiens avant d’être des patriotes, ou étaient-ce des patriotes avant d’être des chrétiens?

Eh bien, messieurs, je crois qu’ils étaient à la fois patriotes et chrétiens, que le but qu’ils avaient en vue était une conquête spirituelle et temporelle, que par conséquent on ne pouvait pas sectionner ces mobiles, qu’il était en tout cas difficile de les deviner et de savoir quelle était la prépondérance que les uns devaient avoir sur les autres.

Nous croyons qu’il y avait d’autres éléments qui devaient être pris en considération par le Tribunal d’alors comme par le Tribunal d’aujourd’hui pour déterminer sa conviction; ce sont ces éléments que nous avons l’honneur de vous soumettre.

Done, les demandeurs ont eu gain de cause, ils ont obtenu satisfaction: une condamnation à 904,000 dollars.

Le montant de la condamnation a été régié, et par conséquent ceci me permet une rectification en passant. L’un de mes honorables contradicteurs disait à la précédente audience que le Mexique acceptait un arbitrage en vue de s’y soumettre s’il lui était favorable et en vue de s’y soustraire s’il aboutissait à un échec. Non, il y avait là un litige relatif a une somme de 904,000 dollars, nous avons été condamnés, nous avons payé, mais nous disons que c’est tout ce qui a été jugé.

Messieurs, je m’excuse de faire en quelque sorte une incursion dans ce domaine de la chose jugée, je ne vous en parlerai pas car cette partie de la discussion voudra bien être traitée exclusivement par mon éminent confrère M. Beernaert.

Lorsque la somme a été payée il a fallu partager; comment a-t-on partagé? Nous le savons aujourd’hui par la communication que nos honorables contradicteurs ont bien voulu nous faire. Dans une petite brochure qui vous a été distribuée, vous trouvez à la page 5 l’indication du partage qui a été fait sur l’intervention de Sa Sainteté le 4 mars 1877. On a recouru à cette haute autorité pontificale pour intervenir et faire le partage de la somme qui avait fait l’objet de la condamnation. Nous voyons alors que la Congrégation sur laquelle le Pape s’était decharge du soin de l’etude de cette question et de l’iridication du partage a effectué ce partage de la manière que voici.

[Page 658]

Il y a d’abord, après déduction des frais, une somme de 26,000 dollars qui est payée à la famille de Aguirre—je ne sais pas pourquoi. Il y a ensuite une somme de 24,000 dollars qui est allouée aux Missions de l’Orégon … pourquoi de l’Orégon? Puis une somme de 40,000 dollars allouée aux pères Franciseains et aux pères de la Société de Jésus … Jadis ils avaient tout, aujourd’hui on leur donne 40,000 dollars. Le reste est divisé en sept parties: il y a 1/7 qui est donné aux Missions du territoire d’Utah, et les six autres septièmes sont attribués par 1/7 à chacun des évêchés de la Haute Californie.

Voilà, messieurs, une répartition qui a sans doute provoqué chez vous un point d’interrogation: Pourquoi le Fonds Pie de Californie est-il partagé entre des Missions d’autres territoires? C’est un point d’interrogation sur lequel nous reviendrons.

Donc, messieurs, en 1877 le partage fut effectué, la répartition eût lieu, le paiement fut réglé.

Mais, lors de ce paiement est-ce qu’on s’est dit: ah mais! nous sommes en 1877, les 21 années sont expirées depuis 1870, il y a déjà six autres années, il faut les payer en même temps? Non, et on vous dira, messieurs, quel fut le seul mot prononcé à ce sujet, ce fut l’ffirmation par l’avocat du Mexique que moyennant le réglement des 904,000 dollars c’était fini in toto, que c’était un réglement final, qu’il n’y avait plus de réclamations à formuler au sujet de ce Fonds Pie. Les Etats-Unis ont-ils répondu: non, vous nous devez les six années éeoulées puis le capital et un intérêt perpétuel? Non Le Gouvernement américain a dit: je ne veux pas discuter la portée de la décision de la commission mixte et je n’entends pas que l’on mette en discussion cette portée; et le Gouvernement mexicain a dit: nous n’entendons pas discuter la portee de la décision de la commission mixte.

Messieurs, après cet échange de vues, jusqu’au 17 août 1891 il n’a plus été formulé de réclamations; le Gouvernement des Etats-Unis n’a plus réclamé, il n’a pas dit: vous me devez tous les ans 43,000 dollars. Il devait dire déjà en 1877 lorsqu’il recevait le réglement des 904,000 dollars pour 21 années dont la dernière arrivait à échéanceen 1870: il y a encore 7 années qui font sept fois 43,000 dollars en plus. Il ne le dit pas, et non seulement il ne le dit pas mais il ne va pas réclamer jusqu’au 17 août 1891. C’est à cette époque seulement que la réclamations va reparaître, alors que l’on prétend aujourd’hui qu’il y avait une somme annuelle qui était due en vertu d’un jugement définitif et sur lequel il n’y avait plus à revenir.

J’arrive ainsi, messieurs, a la fin de cet exposé.

Le 22 mai 1902 un tribunal arbitral a été constituté pour juger et décider les différents points entre les deux pays et juger ces deux questions, d’abord s’il y avait res judicata quant à la sentence arbitrate quant au droit perpétuel, et en second lieu si la réclamations était fondée.

Je vais maintenant, beaucoup plus brièvement parce que je me suis peut-être un peu trop étendu sur l’examen des différents faits dont la succession doit appeler votre attention, je vais maintenant examiner les fondements de la demande, les demandeurs, leur titre, leur pretention.

La question qui vous est soumise, je vous l’ai déjà dit, est intéressante a ce point de vue spécial que la même question peut apparaître dans tous les Etats, et spécialement dans tous les Etats d’Europe. Il [Page 659]n’y a pas un Etat, ni en Angleterre, ni en Allemagne, ni en Espagne, ni en France, ni en Prusse ou a un moment donné on ne s’est pas approprié des biens de personnes civiles, de communautés religieuses, militaires ou autres. Cela s’est fait presque toujours dans les mêmes termes comme je vous l’ai indiqué et comme j’y reviendrai. Aujourd’-hui, la question qui se pose est celle de savoir si ces actes accomplis par les Gouvernements peuvent être mis en discussion, s’ils peuvent être révisés, s’il appartiendra à un tribunal d’aibitrage de réviser ces actes du pouvoir souverain et par le fait de réviser l’histoire.

La question est grave à un autre point de vue, parce que, messieurs, telle qu’elle est présentée, il faut bien le dire, elle doit créer a la charge du Mexique une charge morale beaucoup plus que pécuniaire qui sera toujours pénible. Le Mexique n’a pas de budget des cultes chez lui, il estime que les fidèles de la religion catholique sont suffisamment généreux pour entretenir leur culte, et le Mexique, qui n’a pas de budget des cultes chez lui, devrait perpetuellement entretenir un budget des cultes à l’étranger! Ce sera toujours une charge morale à laquelle il aura toujours beaucoup de mal à se soumettre, surtout lorsqu’il se souviendra que ce budget étranger qu’il devra alimenter est celui d’un pays conquis!

La réclamations, quelle est-elle? Avant d’employer un terme juridique je verrai ce qu’elle est. Les demandeurs nous disent: Nous avons un droit perpétuel, un droit absolu, un droit irrévocable sur le Fonds Pie.

Droit perpétuel: c’est leur prétention, il faut qu’annuellement et indéfiniment la somme de X dollars leur soit payée. Droit absolu: pas de contrôle de la part du Mexique, plus de volonté mexicaine intervenant dans la disposition de ses fonds, plus d’administration de la part du Mexique. Droit absolu, sans conditions, et droit irrévocable puisque, quelles que soient les législations mexicaines postérieures, d’après les demandeurs l’obligation doit subsister indéfiniment.

Qu’est-ce que c’est, messieurs, que ces trois attributs que je viens de vous indiquer? Ce sont les attributs de la propriété, ce sont les attributs des droits civils, de la créance civile, et je puis mesurer quelle en est la conséquence. Ainsi, non seulement les demandeurs prétendent pour eux à tous les droits sur les produits du Fonds Pie mais même ils dénient au Mexique un droit quelconque: plus de droit de contrôle, plus de droit d’administration, plus aucun droit. Done, c’est la propriété en leur nom.

On nous dit: Non, ce h’est pas un droit de proprété, c’est un droit de trust, les Jésuites étaient trustees, le gouvernement était trustee et nous sommes trustees aussi.

Messieurs, c’est un mot dont on use et dont on abuse peut-être. Sans doute les évêques sont les trustees de leurs diocèses, les gouvernements sont les trustees de l’Etat, le général ou le provincial des Jésuites était le trustee de sa communauté. Mais si nous laissons les mots de côté—los mots sont parf ois si bizarres—et si nous revenons aux notions juridiques du droit qui est invoqué, nous voyons que ce n’est pas le trust qu’est le contrat dont on parle.

Qu’est-ce que c’est que le trust? C’est un mandat compliqué d’un dépôt. Le trust suppose, suivant une expression ancienne, un être qui lui doit posséder l’intégralité du droit au profit de qui le trust existe; il faut en un mot un propriétaire, un être sujet du droit, et un autre qui administre, qui a le mandat, qui a le dépôt, qui a dee droits [Page 660]peut-être qui doivent être respeetés même par le propriétaire, par celui qui truste, mais il y a toujours un de ces éléments essentiels.

Un autre élément du trust c’est que le trustee doit rendre compte, en droit civil. Par conséquent il ne suffit pas de dire: il doit rendre compte à Dieu. Quand nous disons “doit rendre compte” cela vent dire qu’il a une obligation civile de rendre compte, obligation qui pent l’amener devant les tribunaux.

Eh bien, cela n’existe pas dan la prétention des demandeurs. Les demandeurs disent: nous ne devons pas compte. Ils n’indiquent pas quel serait le propriétaire, quel serait le sujet du droit … nous examinerons tout-à-l’heure qui il pourrait être, si c’est la collectivité des Indiens, si c’est l’Eglise catholique; mais si c’est l’Eglise catholique ce n’est plus un trust, c’est elle qui est propriétaire, c’est elle qui demande!

Ne confondons pas, n’est-ce pas, les évêques avec les évêches. Ceux qui sont demandeurs ce sont les évêches, c’est-à-dire l’Eglise catholique constituée en évêches, c’est cette personne morale qui demande pour elle la propriété, elle ne demande pas un trust elle demande un droit absolu. De leur part tous les droits, de l’autre aucun! Voilà la demande.

Alors, nous disons aux demandeurs ce que j’ai déjà indiqué à la précédente audience: Vous invoquez un droit de propriété ou de créance civile, un droit absolu vis-à-vis de nous, quel est votre titre? justifiez votre demande.

Ce titre il faut le produire. Nous sommes en matière civile, en matiere juridique, il faut produire votre titre. Il n’est pas permis de dire: je ne produis pas de titre parce que je me fonde sur l’équité. Non, pas d’arbitraire, pas de fantaisie, montrez le titre! vous nous actionnez devant un Tribunal et devant un Tribunal il ne suffit pas de dire: je vais deviner la pensée des donateurs. Non, le titre!

En bien, messieurs, ce titre ne pent se trouver que clans les actes de donation primitifs ou bien dans les decrets et lois mexicains de 1836 à 1848. Nous examinerons successivement ces deux points, et nous verrons d’abord si les demandeurs produisent un titre, s’ils puisent un titre, un droit dans les actes de donation primitifs.

Et, puisque nous parlons des actes de donation primitifs, le Tribunal aura immédiatement fait cette réflexion: quels sont ils? est-ce qu’on possède les actes de donation primitifs? Vous apercevez immédiatement la lacune: il n’y a que le testament du Marquis de Villapuente que l’on puisse produire.

On dit alors: nous le considérerons comme l’acte-type. Vous le dites, mais puisque vous allez puiser un droit, vous allez montrer l’existence d’une inténtion chez le donateur, intention qu’il va peutetre être difficile de discerner. Il va failoir peser des mobiles, il faudra voir s’ilaeu une intention pieuse dominant ses préoccupations politiques ou patriotiques. Eh bien, alors, il faut le titre pour que nous puissions peser, et nous ne l’avons que pour le testament du Marquis de Villapuente.

Nous allons alors, messieurs, la lacune, l’absence du titre qui doit exister au moins pour la plus grande partie de la prétention étant constatee, nous allons voir ce que l’on trouve dans le testament lui-même du Marquis de Villapuente que les demandeurs considèrent comme l’acte type.

Nous voyons, messieurs, que le donateur tient à donner tous ses biens [Page 661]aux Jésuites. Je n’ai plus à revenir sur ce que je vols ai dit à ce sujet; je vous aimontré que ceque voulait le donateur primitif c’était l’abandon absolu de tout son domaine aux Jésuites et aux Jesuites exclusivement, puisqu’il veut interdire au pouvoir séculier et au pouvoir régulier d’intervenir. Il va plus loin que ce qui est son droit et il marque si bien que sa volonté est d’avantager les Jésuites exclusive ment—la Mission des Jésuites, je vais y venir—qu’il ajoute, voulant montrer sa pensée finale: Ils n’auront de comptes a rendre qu’a Dieu, c’est a dire pas a un humain. Il n’y a done personne qui puisse veria pretendre d’apres l’acte de donation primitif a un droit à côte de celui des Jésuites sur ses biens, puisque le donateur en tend les donner tous aux Jésuites; il n’en réserve aucun pour qui que ce soit à côte d’eux.

Ah! sans doute, messieurs, les donateurs avaient un but, une préoccupation en donnant aux Jésuites; ils savaient qui étaient les Jésuites, ils savaient que les Jésuites avaient une organisation en Californie, cette organisation que j’ai caractérisée quand j’ai parlé de leurs missions; ils savaient que les Jesuites etaint alles en Californie comme délégues et mandataires du Roi, qu’ils étaient les agents du Roi là-bas, qu’ils étaient chargés d’administrer la justice, qu’ils étaient chargés de la direction militaire, qu’ils étaient chargés de la conquête, de la réduction de ce pays que l’on avait vainement tenté de reduire jusque-là. Ils savaient tout cela, ils savient que le drapeau que les Jésuites allaient planter en Californie c’était le drapeau du Roi d’Espagne, et c’est aux Jésuites qu’ils ont voulu donner.

On nous dit aujourd’hui: c’est à l’Eglise? Non, ce n’est pas a l’Eglise, c’est aux Jésuites, ils l’ont précisé, c’est à eux seuls qu’ils ont voulu donner et qu’ils ont donné.

Mais, ajoute-t-on, les Jésuites e’étaient les mandataires de l’Eglise. Non, s’ils étaient même mandataires ils étaient les mandataires du Roi; l’Eglise, si elle était mandante aurait dû intervenir lorsqu’ils ont réuni des fonds et sont partis pour leur conquête; nous, nous ne les voyons que comme les mandataires du Roi.

Mais en tout cas, messieurs, tout cela, ce ne sont que des hypothèses, mais dans l’acte nous ne voyons que les Jésuites, et pas autre chose.

Il y a, messieurs, dans ces testaments une chose qui est curieuse; c’est que dans ces titres les donateurs ont voulu créer une œuvre longue, une ceuvre qu’ils ont cru appelée a une durée indéfinie. Ils ont par conséquent prévu des éventualités nombreuses: ils ont prévu, comme je le disais a une précedénte audience, l’éventualite de l’expulsion des Jésuites du territoire Californien, l’éventualite de l’insurrection des indigènes, mais il y a une chose qu’ils n’ont pas prévue, c’est la suppression de l’Ordre des Jesuites. Par conséquent, lorsque vous voulez trouver un titre dans les actes de donation vous devez deviner, vous devez faire une hypothèse, une supposition gratuite, puisque c’est là une éventualité que les donateurs n’ont pas pu prévoir, car s’ils l’avaient prévue ils l’auraient indiquée dans l’acte. Quand ils prévoient une éventualité ils disent quelle sera leur volonté; mais celle-ci, ils ne l’ont pas prévue, ils n’ont done pas exprimé leur desir pour ce cas; cette éventualité ils ne pouvaient pas même y penser, la concevoir, ils ne l’ont done pas prévue.

Il faut done deviner quelle aurait été la volonté des donateurs pour le cas où les Jésuites auraient été supprimés. Voulez-vous deviner? Je veux bien, je veux vous suivre même sur ce terrain.

Je suppose qu’ils aient eu cette pensée; les Jésuites un jour seront [Page 662]supprimés, que deviendront les biens? Ils devaient se dire ce qui était la loi, ils devaient connaître ce qui était l’histoire traditionelle et par conséquent la législation traditionelle, ils devaient se dire que puisque les Jésuites étaient allés installer là une œuvre nationale au nom du Roi si ces Jésuites étaient supprimés c’était le Roi qui ren trait dans la pleine propriété.

Je pense, messieurs, qu’ils n’y ont pas pensé, mais s’ils y avaient pensé ils auraient dû conclure ainsi.

On nous dit: c’étaient des biens ecclésiastiques. Ah! non! Des biens ecclésiastiques? Est-ce que mes honorables contradicteurs feraient cette confusion de croire que l’on doit considérer comme biens de l’Eglise tous les biens qui appartiennent à toutes les communautés religieuses, militaires et autres, du moment où il y a une certaine pensée pieuse qui les dirige? C’est impossible, et encore une fois ici je vous oppose le jugement de l’Histoire. Est-ce que l’English a jamais revendiqué les biens des communautés religieuses? Est-ce que dans tous les pays nous n’avons pas vu depuis Philippe le Bel qui supprimait les Templiers bien d’autres souverains qui ont supprimé l’Ordre teutonique, l’Ordre des Chevaliers de Malte et celui de Notre Dame du Mont-Carmel? Est-ce que jamais l’Eglise a dit; leurs biens sont à moi?

Du reste, messieurs, je trouve dans les documents mêmes du procès la preuve qu’il n’en est pas ainsi. A la page 181 du livre rouge vous trouverez un document important, c’est la déposition de Sa Grandeur Mgr. Alemany, évêque de San Francisco, et a la page 183, sous le N°. 7, vous verrez ce ci: c’est que, “en vertu du décret du Conseil plénière de Baltimore …” Il faut savoir que l’Eglise américaine se trouve sous la tutelle immédiate d’un Conseil composé de tous les archevêques et évêques des Etats-Unis, et qui forme le Conseil de Baltimore qui est l’intermédiaire entre le Pape et les évêques individuellement.

En vertu du Décret du Conseil plénière de Baltimore, qui est en vigueur dans tous les Etats-Unis, les propriétés ecclésiastiques de chaque diocèse dans les Etats Unis appartiennent, etc. … exeepté celles qui peuvent appartenir aux ordres, aux monasteres et aux congrégations religieuses.

Voici done que lorsque l’Eglise va instituer l’évêque de San Francisco, lorsqu’elle va lui donner des pouvoirs, et lorsque le Conseil de Baltimore, qui est une autorité religieuse, va déterminer quels sont les pouvoirs de l’évêque il va dire qu’il a le droit de revendiquer tous les biens de l’Eglise, mais il va en excepter, entre parenthèses, comme une chose qui a à peine besoin d’être dite, les biens des communautés religieuses et des congrégations. Ce qui prouve, messieurs, qu’aujourd’hui comme de tout temps l’Eglise n’a pas prétendu à la propriété des biens des communautés religieuses.

Mais, messieurs, je n’ai pas besoin de vous dire cela; dans la précédente audience je vous montrais quelle était Pindication donnée par le conseil de l’évêque, qui disait: “Je ne prétendais pas à la propriété du Fonds.”

Est-ce que d’ailleurs l’on peut concevoir qu’une personne civile, une ceuvre de la loi, une personne morale, une entité juridique qui représente une collectivité, une portion de la nation, qui a cette existence fictive dérivant du pouvoir souverain venant à disparaitre les biens puissent aller ailleurs qu’a celui qui représente toute la nation. Est-ce que ce n’est pas un principe de droit commun général que les biens sans maître—et du moment où l’entité juridique disparaît les biens [Page 663]deviennent sans maître—retournent à la nation et à celui qui la représente, c’est-à-dire au Roi ou au Gouvernement?

Donc, messieurs, ce qui se trouve confirmé ici dans la déposition de l’honorable Mgr. Alemany est une vérité de droit commun et de principe général. Ce ne sont pas des biens ecclésiastiques que les biens des Jésuites parce que lorsqu’il s’agit d’un bien de l’Eglise celle-ci y met sa marque. Sa marque, c’est son intervention à la constitution du bien, à la constitution du droit. Quand il s’agit d’un bien de l’Eglise, l’autorité de l’Eglise intervient toujours à l’acquisition, et elle intervient à la suppression, à l’aliénation, à la passation d’un sujet du droit dans un autre.

Ici, ai-je besoin de vous faire remarquer que jamais elle n’est intervenue, confirmant par conséquent ainsi ce qui était dans les actes, à savoir que les actes disent “les Jésuites” et non pas “l’Eglise,” et par consequént l’excluent expressément?

Messieurs, lorsque ce testament est fait, lorsque cette donation est créée, nous voyons que les Jésuites interviennent par un procurateur, par un mandataire; c’est ainsi que vous verrez à la finale de ce document intéresant que les biens sont acceptés par les bénéficiaires; c’esta-à-dire que nous trouvons là une relation de droit civil, un transfert de droits qui suppose toujours deux parties, le donateur et l’accepteur; on ne conçoit pas un acte de volonté unilatérale pouvant en général créer un droit synallagmatique, c’est une notion qui est commune.

Voilà done que les donateurs entendent disposer au profit des Jésuites exclusivement; ce sont les mandataires du Roi; en tout eas ce n’est pas l’Eglise.

Mais, messieurs, nous voyons dans le testament autre chose; on dit que la donation est faite au profit des Missions des Jésuites. Vous avez entendu qu’à une précédente audience on vous disait: C’est pour les Missions, donc c’est pour une œuvre pieuse, donc c’est pour l’Eglise. Messieurs, les Missions c’est une chose bien spéeiale, surtout qu’on les entendait; le missionaire c’est un apôtre; le missionnaire n’est pas la même chose, même au point de vue de l’Englise, que l’ordinairé, n’est-ce pas? Ce sont des notions aussi différentes que les notions de civil et de militaire alors que tous deux sont des laїques; ce sont des notions bien distinetes. Les Missions étaient une œuvre que vous connaissez et qui a été caractérisée: une ceuvre nationale, politique, de conquête, de réduction politique et religieuse; moi, jene sépare pas, parce que je pense que la volonté des donateurs a été de ne pas séparer les donataires. Les donateurs ont su ce qu’ils faisaient, ils ont voulu donner pour une ceuvre determinee qui était une œuvre de conqête à la fois religieuse et temporelle. Mais cette œuvre-là n’existe plus, ne peut plus exister, je l’ai déjà indiqué à une précédente audience: est-ce qu’il serait possible de concevoir encore, dans un pays où la liberté de conscience est proclamée comme un axiome, comme étant la base de la Constitution comme en Amérique, des Missions telles que les comprenaient les donateurs, c’est-à-dire cette œuvre de réduction religieuse comme de reduction politique?

Voyez done quelle aurait été la situation des parties, par exemple en 1848; le Gouvernement mexicain aurait dit: J’ai des fonds qui m’ont été remis pour les Missions de Californie, vous m’enlevez la Californie, je garde les fonds, mais je vais continuer les Missions. Le Gouvernement des Etats-Unis aurait répondu: Comment est-il possible de concevoir que vous veniez continuer une ceuvre qui est des siècles passés, [Page 664]qui n’est plus concevable avec les idées que nons avons dans notre gouvernement moderne? Et comment le Mexique aurait-il pu songer à continuer ces Missions? Comment même un gouvernement comme les Etats-Unis, Etat protestant, aurait-il pu continuer ces Missions chez lui? C’est une conception qui n’est plus possible parce que le temps et les circonstances ont changé.

Mais, messieurs, dans les actes de donation nous trouvons encore que les donateurs ont voulu avantager les Missions des Jésuites de Californie. Quelles étaient ces Missions de Jésuites de Californie? Elles se trouvaient dans la péninsule, dans cette partie de territoire qui est aujourd’hui appelée la Vieille ou la Basse Californie, mais dans cette partie qui est restée mexicaine; c’est la seulement que les Jésuites ont installe des Missions, et si nous voulons compulser les actes de donation primitifs nous voyons que les donateurs ont eu en vue les Missions des Jésuites, et des Jésuites de Californie, de ce que eux consideraient comme la Californie alors, de ce que les Jésuites considéraient comme la Californie, de ce pays qui était la seule préoccupation des Jésuites d’alors. c’est-à-dire de la Vielle Californie.

Par conséquent, comment les demandeurs pourraient-ils à un titre quelconque trouver dans les documents de l’époque, dans les actes de donation, un titre en leur faveur?

Messieurs, je vous demanderai la permission de vous faire une réplique de quelques pages, cela me permettra d’abréger ce que j’ai à vous dire, c’est une des seules lectures que je me permettrai de faire, sachant combien les moments de la cour sont précieux. Vous avez a la page 436 du livre rouge un document qui est un document historique: c’est un décret du roi du 13 novembre 1734 qui est traduit dans l’Histoire de la Californie du Père Venegas, c’est done un document que les Jésuites eux-mêmes considéraient comme ay ant une importance capitale. Si je vous demande la permission de vous lire ce document c’est parce que je veux que vous entendiez une parole qui ne soit plus la mienne mais celle d’un homme de l’epoque, c’est-à-dire du roi, qui va vous parler des missions et qui va vous dire comment on comprenait ces missions alors; vous verrez s’il est encore possible, alors que les donateurs ont dit que c’était à ces missions-là qu’ils voulaient faire une donation, de soutenir que ce soit, à l’exclusion du gouvernement, l’église qui aurait été avantagée. Voici ce document:

Le Roi.

Don Juan Francisco de Guemes et Horcasita, lieutenant-général de mes armees, Viceroi, Gouverneur et capitaine général des provinces de la Nouvelle-Espagne, et président de mon audience royale résidant dans la ville de Mexico: On envoya le 13 de novembre 1734, a votre prédécesseur dans ces emplois, le comte de Fuen-Clara, un ordre conçu en ces termes:

Le Roi.

Comte de Fuen-Clara, mon cousin, chevalier del’ Ordre de la Toison d’Or, gentilhomme de ma chambre, gouverneur et capitaine général de provinces de mon royaume de la Nouvelle-Espagne, et président de mon audience royale, résidant dans ma ville de Mexico. L’archévêque vice-roi, votre prédécesseur dans ces emplois, m’ayant par une lettre du 23 d’avril, 1735, et par une autre du 10 du même mois 1737, envoyé un détail de ce qui s’est passé dans la révolte des Indiens des nations appelées Peri cues et Guaicura dans la province de Californie, des mesures qu’on a prises et des dépenses qu’on a faites pour les soumettre et les faire rentrer dans la tranquillité où elles se trouvent actuellement, par la bonne conduite du gouverneur de Sinaloa. Ces mémoires ont été présentés à mon conseil des Indes pour en délibérer, ensemble avec l’origine, les progrès et l’état présent de la conquête spirituelle et temporelle de ladite province de Californie, et ayant, à la reqête du Père Attamirano de la Société de Jésus, et agent général pour ses provinces dans les Indes, et particulièrement des missions de son Ordre dans la Californie, approuvé les mesures qu’on a prises et les [Page 665]dépenses qu’on a faires pour les réduire, comme je vous l’ai signifié dans ma lettre du 2 d’avril de l’année dernière, on a jugé à propos, en attendant les mémoires et les instructions relatives à ces lettres, qu’on attend journellement de la Californie, de délibérer dans mon susdit conseil sur les mesures qu’il convient de prendre pour l’entier aecomplissement de la réduction et de la conquête en question, laquelle a été tentée depuis l’année 1523, premièrement par Don Ferdinand Cortez, Marquis del Valle, premier vice-roi de ces provinces; et depuis, par quelques-uns de ses successeurs et par divers particuliers en différents temps. Et quoiqn’il en ait coûté de grandes sommes à mon trésor royal, cependant cette entreprise n’a jamais eu d’effet, à cause des malheurs qu’on a éprouvés et des difficultés insurmontables qu’on a rencontrées, quoiqu’on fût porté à cette conquête par l’appat flatteur de la pêche des perles. Sur le rapport qui m’a encore été fait de la docilité des naturels du pays, et de l’inclination qu’ils ont d’embrasser notre sainte religion, et un genre de vie civilisé ainsi que l’ ont confirmé les missionnaires Jésuites, entr’autres les pères Jean-Marie de Salva-Tierra et Eusèbe François Kino, dans l’année 1698, et plus particulièrement le père François Piccolo dans l’année 1716; lesquels m’ont représenté que par le zèle infatigable des religieux de la Société de Jésus, les seuls qui se soient dévoués à ce service recommandable, et à l’aide des contributions des fidèles, ces missions et ces conversions étaient déjà fort avancées; j’ai fourni de mon trésor royal un subside annuel de 13,000 piastres depuis l’année 1703, dans la vue principalement de défrayer les dépenses d’un corps de soldats pour les missions, et payer les officiers et l’équipage de la barque destinée à transporter les missionnaires de la côte de Cinaloa dans la Californie; sur quoi mon dit Conseil des Indes ayant revu et examiné avec la plus grande diligence et la plus exacte ponetualité les différents articles relatifs à ce chef, de même que les rapports des auditeurs, en présence du susdit père Pierre-Ignace Attamirano et autres personnes judicieuses de cet Ordre, et versées dans ces conversions: Oui, le rapport de mon solliciteur sur le tout, on m’a représenté dans mon Conseil du 12 de mai de cette année, qu’il était de la dernière importance que l’on prît immédiatement les measures les plus efficaces pour faire rentrer ladite province de Californie dans le sein de l’église et sous ma domination; que cette entreprise avantageuse, quoique vigoureusement appuyée du zèle catholique de mes glorieux prédécesseurs, et par les vicerois de ces provinces, avait si souvent échoué, qu’ on n’ était pas maître d’ une pied de terre dans cette vaste contrée, et que pour y réussir plus efficacement, il fallait établir pour base fondamentale de cette conquête la conversion des Indiens a notre sainte religion, en la confiant aux missionnaires Jésuites, qui ont fait de si grands progrès parmi eux et parmi toutes les nations infidèles dont ils ont pris la conduite dans toute l’étendue de l’Amérique; et en outre fonder dans tous les ports que l’on rencontreroit dans les contrées voisines, une colonie espagnole avec un fort et une garnison, et dans le centre de chaque province, une ville espagnole pour tenir en bride les Indiens et servir de retraite aux missionnaires en cas de révolte. Et comme le transport des families de ce royaume dans ces colonies espagnoles occasionnerait bien des difficultés et des dépenses, indépendamment du besoin qu’on peut en avoir pour d’autres établissements, on a trouvé à propos que ces émigrations se fissent de la ville de Mexico et des provinces voisines; sur quoi nous attendons les rapports et les informations que nous avons demandés pour nous déterminer là dessus. Le Conseil m’a encore représenté que pour réduire plus promptement les Indiens des Californies, il seroit à propos que les missionnaires Jésuites entrassent dans la province du côté opposé à celui par lequel y sont entrés ceux qui s’y trouvent actuellement, c’est-à-dire par la partie du nord où cette province confine avec le continent; vu qu’on a découvert, et qu’on assure que la province de Californie n’est point une île, comme on le croit communément, mais une terre ferme, qui confine du côté du nord avec celle du Nouveau-Mexique; car au moyen de ces mesures, les peuples qui l’habitent se trouveroient enfermés ou comme isolés sans aucun passage ou communication dans les terres des autres sauvages Indiens; au moyen de quoi, les missionnaires s’avancant le long de leurs différens départemens vers le centre du pays, on abrégeroit beaucoup la réduction totale de la province. Mais pour exécuter ce projet, on croit qu’il est d’une grande conséquence qu’il y ait deux missionnaires dans les missions de tous les départemens d’Indiens qu’on a déjà réduits, et qu’il est absolument nécessaire de pousser la conquête dans les contrées contigues aux Indiens qu’on n’a pas encore soumis, vu qu’indépendamment des avantages communs à tous, un des missionnaires venant à passer dans les territories des infidèles pour les convertir, les cantons habités ne seroient privés des instructions nécessaires et auroient toujours chez eux une personne intelligente et en état de veiller sur tous les mouvemens qui tendent à la trahison ou à la révolte, ce qu’on auroit toujours à craindre, si ces peuples étoient abandonnés à eux-mêmes.

Il convient encore d’établir sur toutes les frontières des pays qu’on a réduits, une garde de soldats tant pour la sûreté des missionnaires et des Indiens, que pour escorter [Page 666]les missionnaires dans les territoires des infidèles, lesquels soient toujours sous la direction des religieux, et n’agissent que par leurs ordres, de peur que par des châtimens indiscrets ou des courses imprudentes ils n’alarment les Indiens. On espère par cette mèthode de faire de grands progrès dans les districts où l’on a établi des missions. On juge encore à propos pour hâter la conquête de cette province avec le secours des missions, qu’on les étende vers le midi, mais dans un sens opposé, pour qu’elles se rencontrent avec celles du nord; et pour que les mesures susdites puissent aisément se pratiquer dans les missions du même ordre établies dans les montagnes des Pimas et dans la province de Sonora, on doublera les missionnaires dans tous les districts convertis qui confinent avec les infidèles, en leur donnant la garde spécifiée ci-dessus. Au moyen de quoi les missionnaires établis dans les montagnes des Pimas continuant à réduire les nations des Cacomaricopas et des Yumas, qui confinent avec la rivière du nord, qu’on appelle aussi Colorado, près de l’endroit où elle se jette dans le golfe de Californie; les Jésuites espèrent, suivant les premières relations qu’ils ont données, de trouver un accueil favorable chez ces nations, et fondant un village des Indiens convertis sur les bords du même Colorado, ils pourront aisément passer sur l’autre côté de la Californie, où après avoir réduit les Hoabonomas et les Bajiopas, qui sont des peuples très dociles et très traitables, ils pourront y fonder un autre village pour assurer le passage des deux côtés de la rivière, et établir une communication avec la terre ferme; s’avancant de là vers le midi, à travers la Californie, jusqu’aux anciennes missions. Quant à la garde que l’on demande pour les Pimas montagnards, on juge que le détachement posté è Terrenate, ou l’autre qui est à Pitiqui suffiront, vu qu’il paraît par le rapport de Don Augustin de Vildosola, gouverneur de la province de Cinaloa, que tous les deux ne sont point nécessaires; cependant, pour plus grande sûreté on pourra faire passer le détachement de Pitiqui à Terrenate et envoyer celui-ci aux missions des Pimas montagnards, au moyen de quoi on pourra fournir une garde convenable aux nouvelles et aux anciennes missions de la Californie sans qu’il en coûte davantage à mon trésor royal. Le même conseil m’a encore représenté qu’encore que les défenses des missionnaires aient augments, on doit se souvenir que par une cédule de 1702 on donna ordre d’assister les missionnaires de la Californie dans tout ce qui pouvoit contribuer à leur soulagemens et aux progrès de l’ouvrage qu’ils avoient enterpris; et par un autre de 1723 que les religieux actuellement en place, ou qui passer ont dans la suite dans la Californie eussent le même salaire que ceux de leur ordre, et fussent payés régulièrement et ponctuellement; on ne les a point exécutées jusqu’ici, et que cependant ces missions n’ont occasionné aucune dépense, et n’ont recu ni appointement ni salaires: les quinze missions qui sont actuellement dans la Californie s’étant soutenues sans qu’il m’en ait rien coûté, par les libéralités de plusieurs particuliers, obtenues par le zèle et les bons offices des religieux de l’Ordre. Comme done les moyens qu’on propose sont peu dispendieux, eu égard à l’avantage prodigieux qui doit en résulter, il convient que tous ces Ordres ou tels autres qu’approuveront les Jésuites, lesquels connoissent mieux le pays, et desquels j’attends de plus am pies informations, soient exécutés; et que dès a présent même on leur fournisse de mon trésor royal les sommes nécessaires pour l’xécution de cette enterprise et que l’on augmente le nombre des missionaires Jésuites: étant nécessaire qu’il y en ait deux dans chaque district conquis qui confine avec les Indiens infidèles.

Enfin, pour assurer la subordination, on remettra la paye des soldats aux missionnaires pour qu’ils la reçoivent de leurs mains. Voulant aucasqu’unsoldatsoit d’un caractère turbulent, ou se conduise mal, que les missionnaires puissent le renvoyer et en prendre un autre à sa place, vu que faute de ces précautions et de quelques autres dont quelques habiles missionnaires m’ont instruit relativement à ces provinces, les soldats par leur mavaise conduite ont extrêmement retardé la réduction des Indiens, qu’il est nécessaire de tenir dans la crainte et le respect pour les empêcher de tramer aucun complot, les traitant néanmoins avec douceur pour dissiper leurs soupçons et leur méfiance, leur faire goûter les instructions qu’on leur donne et les civiliser.

M. de Martens. Est-ce qu’il n’y a pas une erreur? dans le livre rouge il est dit que ce document est de novembre 1734.

M. Delacroix. C’est le document que je viens de lire.

M. de Martens. Ce n’est pas possible, car au commencement on parle de 1735. De quelle annee ce document est-il?

M. Delacroix. Ce document en rappelle un autre; si vous voulez le regarder vous-même vous verrez qu’au commencement il est indiqué qu’on se réfère à un document de 1734.

M. de Martens. Dans le livre rouge, à la page 441, à la fin du document [Page 667]que vous avez lu il est dit qu’il est de 1734, mais dans ce document même on parle de 1735; vous avez corrigé en disant 1735?

M. Delacroix. J’ai corrigé d’après le livre rouge. Il y a en effet une anomalie. Je vérifierai et tâcherai de trouver le nœud de cette énigme. En tout cas le document est antérieur à 1767 puisque c’est la date de la publication du livre.

M. Beernaert. C’est l’exemplaire de la Bibliothèque royale de Bruxelles, c’est une édition déjà fort ancienne; nous croyons que c’est l’ouvrage du père Venegas bien qu’il ne soit pas nommé; chose curieuse et même remarquable, il est dit que ce volume est traduit de l’anglais. En tête du volume il y a une mention fort ancienne, d’une écriture effacée, qui indique le nom du père Buriel.

M. de Savornin-Lohman. Cela peut s’expliquer en prenant la page 443.

M. de Martens. Alors, il y aurait une faute d’impression.

M. Doyle. Je crois que la date est 1744.

M. Beernaert. En tout cas, cela n’aurait pas grande importance.

(A midi la séance est suspendue jusqu’à 2½ heures.)

dixième séance.

24 septembre 1902 (après-midi).

L’audience est ouverte à 2 h ½ de l’aprês-midi sous la présidence de M. Matzen.

M. le Président. La parole est à l’agent des Etats-Unis de l’Amérique du nord.

Mr. Ralston. With the permission of the counsel for Mexico, I want to make a slight explanation with regard to the territorial limits of California and to present a map to the court. The honorable members of the court will have noticed in the treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, a reference to the map which accompanied the treaty and which is really made part of it. I telegraphed to Washington for a certified copy of this map and I have it here, it having arrived this noon. I desire to file it with the court and at the same time to invite the attention of the court to it, so that no misunderstanding might arise out of anything that I stated yesterday with regard to the limits of California. According to the map which I have before me [Mr. Ralston indicates on the map], the northern limit of the territory ceded by Mexico is the 42d degree, and the 42d degree is carried as the northern limit out into the State of Wyoming. The exact point is a limit difficult to determine. And then, proceeding southward, it follows the line of the Colorado River substantially so far—it goes about here—[indicating on the map] and so on down to the Gulf of California. So that the territory actually obtained from Mexico by the treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo was the State of California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, part of New Mexico, and a slight part of Colorado and Wyoming—and all of that, according to this map, passes under the name of “Alta California.”

I have also a map which occurs in an official publication of the Governncnt, and which I have just received, which shows the limits of the various acquisitions of territory by the United States; and which I will take the liberty for the moment of handing to the court, with the permission of the agent of Mexico. I am compelled to return this [Page 668]volume, so I simply present it for your examination a moment. [Shows the book to Mr. Pardo and the court.]

I will add just one word. At one point in the record—I can not for the moment refer to it—it is stated on behalf of Spain that their discoveries went from the southern point of Lower California a distance of seven hundred leagues to the north. Seven hundred leagues carry the discoveries about to this line [indicating on the map], which would include both Washington and Oregon, both large States; so that we may regard the benefactions from our point of view as covering the whole territory of Washington and Oregon and the country adjacent, although the Alta California described by Mexico and referred to in the map (of the treaty) only includes California, Nevada, Utah, part of Wyoming, part of Colorado and New Mexico, and all of Arizona.

M. Beernaert. La Cour sait que les délais fixés par le protocole sont très courts et que nous n’avons eu que peu de temps à consacrer à l’étude de cette affaire. Nous n’avons done pu songer à répondre par un mémoire développé au mémoire de la partie adverse; mais nous avons fait imprimer des conclusions qui résument en termes succincts mais complets tous les éléments de notre système de défense. Je vais avoir à Pinstant l’honneur de faire distribuer ces conclusions à la Cour, des exemplaires en ay ant été déjà remis à la partie adverse.

Je me permets, Messieurs, d’ajouter: Tout en sachant le plus grand gré à la cour de nous avoir mis à même, Son Excellence M. Pardo et moi, de prendre part demain à Bruxelles aux funerailles de ma regrettée Reine, je dois faire remarquer que les devoirs qui nous incombent à cette occasion nous rendront extrêmement pénible l’obligation de repartir pour La Haye le jour même. S’il pouvait entrer dans les convenances de la cour de ne siéger que vendredi après-midi, M. Pardo et moi lui en serions fort reconnaissants et elle répondrait en même temps au désir manifesté par notre honorable contradicteur, M. le Sénateur Descamps.

M. le Président. Par suite de la demande d’ajournement qui vient d’être faite, après cette séance le Tribunal s’ajournera à vendredi 2h. ½.

M. Beernaert. Je remercie vivement la cour, au nom de Son Excellence M. Pardo et au mien.

M. le Président. La parole est au conseil des Etats-Unis mexicains pour la continuation de sa plaidoirie.

suite de la plaidoirie de m. delacroix.

Messieurs: Au moment où Paudience a été levée, j’avais eu l’honneur de donner lecture à la cour d’un document qui, je crois, méritait son attention, et qui porte la date du 13 novembre 1744. C’est par erreur que nous avions indiqué 1734; vous trouverez à la page 196 du volume rouge le texte espagnol de ce document et il porte en eifet la date de 1744; ainsi que l’a fait fort sagement remarquer Pun des membres du siège.

Messieurs, nous avons examiné ce matin si les demandeurs pouvaient puiser un titre à leur prétention dans les actes de donation primitifs. Nous avons constaté que ces actes donnaient les droits les plus absolus aux Jésuites de Californie, que ces droits étaient exclusifs, dans la pensée des donateurs, de toute intervention de l’église comme de toute intervention du pouvoir civil. Ces actes avaient été faits en [Page 669]vue d’avantager les missions, oeuvres de conquête, et les missions de Californie. Nous avons dit, documents en main, ce qu’était la Californie à l’époque où les donations ont été faites, quel était le pays, quel était le territoire que ces donateurs pouvaient avoir eu en vue.

Nous avons ajouté, messieurs—et j’en étais arrivé à cette question lorsque l’audience a été levé—que si les donateurs avaient attribué aux béneficiaires de ces donations, c’est-à-dire aux Jésuites, tous les droits, tous les pouvoirs qu’ils pouvaient leur conférer, si de leur part il n’y avait aucune restriction dans cette attribution de droits, il y en avait ime qui dérivait de la loi, du pouvoir souverain.

C’est ici que se place une indication que j’avais fugitivement donnée à la cour: un édit de Charles Quint du 10 novembre 1520; reproduit dans les Placards de Brabant, le partie, p. 80 à 84, et reproduit dans les Placards de Flandre, 8e Partie, p. 10 à 17, disait ceci:

Chez nous les mainmortes ne pouvaient acquérir à cause de mort et entre vifs, il fallait l’autorisation du prince et des gens de loi.

C’est-à-dire que déjà du temps de Charles Quint, qui était le souverain tant des Pays-Bas que d’Espagne, on considérait qu’il y avait à se préoccuper de l’envahissement de la mainmorte, et que le souverain devait intervenir pour limiter le droit de posséder de ces personnes civiles, c’est-à-dire de ces entités morales qui ne trouvaient leur existence que dans la loi elle-même.

Cet édit, Messieurs, fut ratifié par Marie-Thérèse le 28 septembre, 1753, et c’est à l’occasion de cette ratification par Marie-Thérèse que nous trouvons la citation que je viens de faire et qui est reproduite dans les placards de Brabant et dans les placards de Flandre aux pages que j’ai indiquées.

Voici donc, Messieurs, que la loi déjà depuis le 16e siècle était intervenue, en concurrence en quelque sorte avec les droits des bénéficiaires de mainmortes. Ce qui est intéressant dans ce débat c’est que si à côté du droit du donataire il y a un autre droit qui vient se mêler à celui-là, ce n’est pas le droit de l’église, c’est le droit du souverain, le droit de celui qui représente la nation, l’ensemble de la collectivité.

A ce point de vue il est intéressant de signaler ce qui suit: Lorsque la présente question a été soumise à la commission mixte, l’honorable surarbitre à estimé que les biens dont il s’agit devaient être des biens ecclésiastiques, des biens de l’église, uniquement parce que la pensée qui avait dicté ces donations était une pensée pieuse, c’est-à-dire une pensée dont le but pieux devait prédominer sur le but politique. Eh bien, Messieurs, nous croyons qu’il ne suffit pas qu’une donation ait été faite dans une préoccupation pieuse pour que le bien appartienne à l’église, c’est là à notre sens une confusion absolue. En effet, lorsque nous regardons de près cet acte de donation de 1735, ne voyons-nous pas que ce qui a déterminé la donation c’était sans aucun doute une pensée pieuse, mais que c’était également une pensée politique?

Ce n’est pas le mobile que nous devons considérer, c’est le fait, c’est l’objet de la donation. Eh bien, je vous le demande, je suppose qu’on fasse une donation à une personne déterminée, je dis à telle personne: je vous donne mon bien, je vous donne un domaine qui m’appartient, je vous le donne en propriété absolue, mais je désire que vous l’employiez de telle et telle manière, je désire que vous y receiviez telle ou telle congrégation, telle ou telle personne, que vous entreteniez tels ou tels pauvres, que vous fassiez un établissement de bienfaisance, que [Page 670]vous y recueilliez des vieillards pauvres; je suis guidé, en un mot, par une idée de bienfaisance quelconque; je donne à cette personne le pouvoir absolu en ce qui concerne ce bien, sauf que je lui fais une recommandation.

Dans notre législation moderne, une telle disposition serait dangereuse parce qu’il pourrait se faire que l’on dît que cette donation sera nulle, étant en contrariété avec certaines dispositions législatives positives; mais, d’une manière absolue, et laissant de côté cette question de nullité qui n’intéresse pas le débat actuel, n’est-il pas évident que cel ui qui serait le bénéficiaire de cette donation serait incontestablement l’individu lui-même et non pas l’église? Est-ce qu’il est possible de sanctionner par un arrêt que toute donation qui aurait été determinée par un mobile religieux entraînerait une propriété de l’église? Ce n’est pas possible, ce n’est pas juridique.

Je me permets à ce point de vue d’en revenir à ce qui s’est passé lors de la Révolution Franchise et lors de la sécularisation qui s’en est suivie. Je vous parlais du decret du 2–4 novembre 1789 disant:

L’assemblée Nationale décrète:

Que tous les biens ecclésiastiques sont à la disposition de la Nation, à la charge de pourvoir d’une maniere convenable aux frais du culte, à l’entretien de ses ministres et au soulagement des pauvres, sous la surveillance et d’après les instructions des provinces; que dans les dispositions à, faire pour subvenir à l’entretien des ministres de la religion il ne pourra être assuré à la dotation d’une cure moins de 200 livres.

Puis, l’ouvrage que je tiens en ce moment à la main, le “Répertoire de l’Administration” dit:

Le droit que l’ Assemblée Constituante reconnaît à la Nation de disposer des biens ecclésiastiques n’est pas un droit nouveau qu’elle a créé tout exprès pour la circonstance; il préexistait; il est inhérent à toute nation comme la souveraineté dont il dérive; l’Angleterre, l’Autriche, l’avient exercé avant elle, l’Espagne l’a exercé depuis, et chaque peuple exercera losque la nécessité lui en fera un devoir.

Et plus loin:

Vainement dirait-on que la nation n’avait pas le droit de supprimer le clergé; la noblesse etle tiers-orde comme corps politiques; ce serait refuser à une nation le droit de se constituer comme elle l’en tend, ce serait inféoder les peuples à une forme de gouvernement qui une fois établie ne pourrait plus être changee quels que fussent les changements survenus dans les mceurs, les besoins et les intérêts de la société, ce serait saper la principe sur lequel reposent toutes les Constitutions anciennes et modernes. Disons done avec assurance que la nation à le droit de supprimer tout ce qui n’existe que par sa volonté expresse ou taeite, et que le elergé une fois supprimé comme corps, les biens ecclésiastiques a, sa disposition ne pouvaient plus appartenir qu’a l’Etat.

Il est bien entendu que je ne discute pas ici la légitimité au point de vue politique de telle ou telle mesure, telle par exemple que la suppression d’un corps ou d’une communauté religieuse, mais je dis ceci: c’est que de même que toutes les institutions gouvernementales sont sujettes à changement parce que les mceurs changent, parce que les besoins, les nécessités se modifient, tout ce qui est une institution gouvernementale, quelle qu’elle soit, est appelé à disparaître et à être remplacé par une autre; ce sont toujours des entités juridiques qui sont des émanations de la nation, qui n’existent que par la volonté de la nation, et par conséquent il appartient à celle-ci de les faire disparaitre, que ce soit une faute ou non, et chaque fois c’est la nation qui rentre dans le dominium complet dont elle avait abandonné une part à une main-morte, à une personne civile.

Eh bien, messieurs, c’est cette éventualité que les donateurs primitifs [Page 671]n’avaient pas prévue, ou, s’ils l’ont prévue ils l’ont acceptée avec toutes ses conséquences fatales, c’est-à-dire notamment avec cette conséquence que les biens devaient rentrer dans le dominium général.

Si j’ai insisté sur ce fait, messieurs, c’est qu’au point de vue de ma démonstration j’ai désiré être complet, parce que je ne pense pas que cette question ait dans le litige une importance essentielle. En effet, les actes de donation primitifs ont cessé d’avoir leur effet, leur vertu juridique, à partir du jour où le Roi y a substitué des actes nouveaux, c’est-à-dire des actes d’appropriation ou de confiscation.

J’ai cru devoir vous démontrer ce principe qui est à la base de toutes les législations, c’est que les biens sans maître appartiennent à l’Etat; mais je n’avais pas besoin de faire cette démonstration parce que le fait est la: un acte du souverain à declare qu’il en serait ainsi, et cet acte du souverain, messieurs, vous le connaissez, il se trouve dans le decret de Charles III de 1767 et dans le décret d’exécution de 1768. A partir de ce moment, les biens, quels qu’ils fussent, quelle que fût la légitimité de leur possession antèrieure, sont entrés dans le domaine du Roi, qui représente la nation, parce que le Roi, qui à cette époque surtout avait tous les droits, a estimé que ces biens qui étaient entre les mains des Jésuites devaient rentrer dans son domaine. Dès lors, comme je vous le disais, à mon sens les actes de donation primitifs ne pourraient en aucun cas être invoqués par nos honorables contradicteurs. Ils ne pouvaient pas l’être, messieurs, et en fait ils ne l’ont pas été. Cet argument n’est pas sans importance dans l’espèce, car si les demandeurs revendiquent une succession, une hérédité, s’ils appuient leur soutènement sur les actes de donation primitifs, à quelle époque, je vous le demande, devaient-ils faire valoir leur revendication ou leur petition d’hérédité N’est-ce pas au moment où les Jésuites cessaient d’exister, ou les biens ne pouvaient plus appartenir aux Jésuites? N’était-ce pas alors que celui dans le domaine de qui les biens devaient rentrer devait immédiatemente apparaître? Est-ce l’Eglise? est-ce le Roi? Si c’est l’Eglise ou si l’Eglise y prétend, elle ne va pas laisser passer ces biens dans le domaine du Roi sans protester. Elle ne proteste pas . . . . “qui ne proteste pas consent” . . . . elle acquiesce, elle accepte, c’est à-dire, messieurs, qu’elle ratifie tout ce que j’ai l’honneur de dire ici.

Ceci est done le jugement de l’Histoire, le jugement de l’Eglise le plus solennel et le plus puissant, parce que, ne l’oublions pas, ce jugement date de plus d’un siècle.

Et dans quelles conditions cet acquiescement se présente-t-il? Jene veux plus y revenir parce que vous connaissez les faits, et la bienveillante attention que vous m’avez accordé ne me permet assurément pas de revenir sur ce que j’ai dit. Mais je me permets cependant de vous rappeler combien à notre sens la bulle du pape Clément XIV qui supprimait Pordre des Jésuites six années après le decret de Charles III, lequel à amené la confiscation des biens des Jésuites, avait son importance, et combien j’avais raison, me semble-t-il, de vous dire à une précédente audience que si l’Eglise avait une protestation à formuler elle devait la formuler dès 1767 et avant 1773, et qu’à partir du moment où le pape avait sanctionné ce décret plus personne ne pouvait au nom de l’Eglise formuler une revendication quelconque?

Donc, messieurs, à notre sens, la demande à pour objet de réviser un acte souverain, un acte de Charles III, et cette révision, outre qu’elle n’est pas admissible en droit, aurait dû amener une protestation à [Page 672]l’époque, cette protestation n’a pas été produite alors, elle est tardive aujourd’hui.

Mais, messieurs, Facte de Charles III, qui prend la place de l’acte de donation, comprenait, comme je l’ai dit à la précédente audience, une réserve. Charles III disait dans son décret de 1767 qu’il prenait les biens saus préjudice aux charges qui sont imposées par les donateurs”—ce que mon honorable contradicteur traduisait en disant qu’il prenait les biens “cum onere.”

Eh bien, messieurs, la traduction latine ne me paraît pas exacte, parce qu’elle implique une idée de droit civil, et qu’à notre sens des idées de droit civil ne pouvaient pas prendre place dans un décret de droit public.

Ce décret de 1767 est incontestablement un acte du pouvoir souverain. Le soverain, qui chasse les Jésuites, agit comme souverain, et l’acte qui décide, qui décrète que les biens appartenant à cette mainmorte seront au Eoi est incontestablement aussi un acte du pouvoir souverain. Et voici que dans la thèse des adversaires, dans cet acte ayant à ce double titre le caractere d’acte souverain se serait glisèe une disposition de droit civil? Non, jamais personne ne Fa cru, et certainement le Roi ne l’a pas voulu.

En effet, messieurs, qu’est-ce qu’une dispostion de droit civil? Elle suppose le transf ert d’un droit qui appartenait à l’Etat dans le chef d’un autre sujetdu droit; elle suppose done la création d’une créance dans le chef d’un tiers à charge de l’Etat. Quel est ce tiers? et conçoit-on d’abord que le Roi, qui avait alors les prétentions que l’on sait, qui agissait avec cette toute-puissance qu’il s’attribuait de droit divin, ait admis qu’il se créait un créancier et que quelqu’un aurait pu l’actionner devant les tribunaux d’alors pour lui reclamer l’exéeution de cet engagement? Ah non! c’était une disposition qu’il prenait de droit souverain, o’était une volonteé qu’il exprimait, qui était destinée dans sa pensée à donner satisfaction à la population; mais il n’entendait pas aliéner ou diminuer ses droits.

D’ailleurs, messieurs, si j’y insiste maintenant, c’est que cette même idée va revenir lorsque nous analyserons les décrets du 19e siècle. Il ne peut pas se concevoir qu’une créance soit ainsi créée à charge de l’Etat dans la forme que nois connaissons. Une créance ne résulte pas d’un décret, d’un acte unilatéral du pouvoir souverain; le pouvoir souverain énonce une volonté politique. Est-ce que quelqu’un aurait pu venir devant les tribunaux discuter la manière dont le pouvoir souverain exercerait cette intention ou cette volonté? Evidemment non.

D’ailleurs, quel serait le créancier ainsi créée? Serait-ce l’Eglise catholique? Mais, messieurs, nous ne la voyons pas intervenir; comme je le disais, s’il y à un bien donné à l’Eglise nous devons toujours voir apparaître une autorité ecclésiastique pour l’accepter. Il en est si peu ainsi que le Roi, au lendemain du décret va instituer des commissaires royaux pour administrer les biens; puis il les donnera aux Franciscains, ensuite aux Dominicains; il donnera à Fun ce qu’il à retire à Fautre. Cela se pourrait-il s’il y avait un droit civil? Non.

J’ai tort d’insister sur des notions aussi élémentaires et essentielles du droit.

Au surplus comment se produit le droit des demandeurs? d’où procède-t-il? quelle est sa filiation?

Les demandeurs, aujourd’hui, formuleraient une revendication au nom de l’Eglise en se fondant sur les actes de donation primitifes ou [Page 673]sur le décret de Charles III; ils seraient héritiers à travers le Gouvernement mexicain, à travers le Roi d’Espagne, pour remonter jusqu’aux Jésuites. C’est une succession d’assez longue haleine, et on imagine difficilement que cette période de plus d’un siecle qui s’est écoulée entre le moment où la donation aurait été constitutée et le moment où la revendication s’est produite, n’ait pas laissé une trace, l’affirmation d’un droit au profit de l’Eglise, que jamais un acte quelconque n’ait marqué son intervention, son droit, sa possession.

Je crois doncpouvoir conclure sur ce premier point que les demandeurs ne peuvent déduire ni de Facte de donation ni du décret de Charles III aucun titre, aucun appui. Mais j’ajoute—et je termine sur ce point:—Pourquoi serait-ce l’Eglise de Californie qui pourrait réclamer plutôt que l’Eglise universelle? Il semble que ce soit l’Eglise universelle a certains égards qui revendiqué, ou qui ait revendique, puisque nous voyons que lors du précédent débat et de la précédente condamnation c’est le chef de l’Eglise universelle qui a réparti, qui a distribué le montant de la condamnation, et nous voyons que le produit de cette condamnation, a servi à différents pays et non pas seulement à la Californie.

Alors je me demande: où est done le titre que l’on veut puiser dans les actes de donation, puisque nous savons que ce que l’on pouvait avoir en vue à cette époque ce n’était que la Californie de l’époque, c’est-à-dire la péninsule, que la veille encore on croyait une île; ce n’était done pas la Haute Californie d’aujourd’hui.

Mais il y a plus. Les donateurs entendaient donner aux missions des Jésuites, et les Missions des Jésuites ont existé mais n’ont existé que dans la Basse Californie. Sans doute les donateurs disaient que les sacrifices qu’ils faisaient pourraient advantager aussi les Missions d’autres pays si elles étaient fondées par les Jésuites, c’est-à-dire que c’était une faculté laissée aux Jésuites de faire servir ces biens à des Missions d’autres pays, mais si les Jésuites n’ont pas usé de cette faculté, s’ils ont restreint leurs Missions à la Basse California, on se demande vraiment comment aujourd’hui l’on pourrait trouver un tire dans Facte de donation de 1735 pOur dire que c’était la Haute Californie, un pays où jamais les Jésuites n’ont créé une Mission, qui pourrait revendiquer le bénéfice des donations.

On a dit aussi, messieurs, que l’Etat, le Roi d’Espagne, aurait occupé ces fonds en qualité de trustee. C’est exact dans un sens, mais c’est erroné dans un autre sens. Il est incontestable que les biens en question—je parle de la notion juridique du fait—appartiennent à la nation, à l’Etat comme tel, ou a l’Eglise comme telle, que le Roi peut done être considéré comme le commissaire, l’administrateur, le trustee comme l’evêque serait l’administrateur ou le trustee; mais on ne peut tenir compte de cette notion de trustee; le Roi comme tel, e’est-à-dire l’Etat espagnol qui était concentré dans la personne du Roi alors, avait tous les pouvoirs, il avait les pouvoirs les plus absolus; pourquoi? Parce que l’on ne m’indiquera pas quelq’un qui ait un droit privatif ou exclusif du sien. S’il y a une restriction dans ce droit de l’Etat, il faut qu’elle existe au profit de quelqu’un. Quel serait ce quelqu’un? On ne pourrait pas Findiquer. Par conséquent les droits du Roi sont absolus, exclusifs. Et il ne s’agit pas d’un mandat; le Roi mandatire de qui? De la collectivité des Indiens? Ce n’est pas un être juridique!

J’en arrive ainsi, messieures, aux décrets de 1836, 1842 et 1815.

[Page 674]

La situation juridique était done à cette époque ce que je viens d’indiquer; je crois avoir démontré—et pour le moment je suppose que ma démonstration est complète—qu’en 1836 l’Eglise n’avait aucun droit sur ces biens, que les pouvoirs les plus absolus résidaient dans la personne du Roi ou de l’Etat, et des lors cette démonstration étant faite, ou supposée faite, examinons la portée du premier décret qui est invoqué, celui du 19 septembre 1836. Ce décret vous le connaissez, il a pour objet l’institution éventuelle d’un évêchés. Vous connaissez les raisons politiques qui avaient déterminé cette institution: il y avait là des curés intérimaires, les anciens Franciscains, qui n’avaient pas de chef, il fallait un évêque, on en avait senti la nécessite, car on voyait déjà poindre a l’horizon l’intervention de l’étranger.

On décide done qu’il faudra un évêque, qu’on demandera l’intervention du pape. Tout cela se trouve réalisé en 1840; on alloue à cet évêque un traitement de 6,000 piastres, 3,000 piastres de frais de déplacement, etc, et on dit que le produit des propriétés sera administré et employé par lui suivant les vues des donateurs.

Qu’est-ce que cela? C’est un décret, n’est pas un contrat synallagmatique.

Eh bien, messieurs, je vous disais que lorsqu’un décret confie à un fonctionnaire un service public—et assurément on considerait en 1836 que les Missions de Californie constituaient un service public et un service public du plus haut intérêt puisqu’il était le moyen d’eviter l’intervention de l’etranger—il ne lui transfère pas de droits civils. En Belgique, il existe un partie des impôts dui est affectée aux villes, aux communes, c’est le Fonds communal; il y a certaines recettes de l’Etat qui sont affectées aux communes et qui sont distributées entre dies; mais cette appropriation suppose-t-elle un droit civil? Non. Eest-ce que le gouvernement beige ne pourrait pas par une loi nouvelle changer demain ce qui a été décidé aujourd’hui? Si aujourd’hui il a convenu que le Fonds communal, que telles recettes du trésor, seraient affectés aux communes et distribués entre elles pour leurs besoins—les communes ont cependant bien la personnalité civile—est-ce que c’est une créance de droit civil qu’on leur donne? est-ce qu’elles pourront actionner l’Etat en paiement? Mais non! parceque c’est un acte des pouvoirs publics; c’est un décret, ce n’est pas un contrat, c’est un acte unilatéral, et que plus est, unilatéral du souverain qui décide, qui édicte.

Je suppose, messieurs, par impossible, que le gouvernement de 1836 ait eu l’intention de transférer à l’évêque de Californie les droits que lui Etat possédait jusque-là, qu’il ait voulu lui donner un droit civil, lui faire un abandon de propriété; je suppose cela; est-ce qu’il n’aurait pas eu soin de faire alors un contrat? Quand l’Etat aliène une de ses propriétés au profit d’un particulier il fait un acte de vente; s’il reconnaît une créance vis-à-vis d’un particulier il le fait dans une forme qui implique la reconnaissance d’obligations réciproque; cela se fait toujours dans une forme distincte d’un décret. Pourquoi? Parce qu’il faut des conditions, parce que si l’on vend, parce que si l’on abandonne un droit on demande quelque chose en retour, on impose des conditions, des obligations.

Concevez-vous, messieurs, que ce décret qui ne nommait pas encore l’évêque, qui ne l’instituait pas encore mais qui annonçait l’intention de de l’instituer, aurait eu pour objet un transfert de propriété ou la transmission [Page 675]d’une créance civile au profit de l’évêque de San Francisco, ou au profit d’une personne que n’existait pas encore? C’est inadmissible:

D’ailleurs le texte du décret lui-même dit que les biens appartenant au Fonds Pie sont placés à la disposition du nouvel évêque pour être administrés. Ce sont les deux mots que j’ai indiqués; je ne puis plus y revenir, mais je vous ai dit que nous avions trouvé dans la legislation française les mêmés mots lorsqu’on decidait dans le décret du 26 messidor, an IX, article 12:

Toutes les églises métropolitaines, cathédrales, paroissiales on autres non aliénées sont mises à la disposition des évêques.

Est-ce que quelqu’un a jamais pensé que les évêques devenaient propriétaires des cathédrales parce que le Concordat en avait décidé ainsi? Mais non! Messieurs, et nous voyons dans l’article 91 de la loi de 1793, qui est postérieure:

Les habitations et emplacements nécessaires aux services de la commune, qui sont employés comme tels, comme les prisons, les presbytdres ne peuvent cesser d’appartenir aux communes.

Vous voyez done toujours dans le droit public cette notion de mise a la disposition de quelqu’un en vue de Pexercice d’un service public, comme le culte dans le cas que j’indique, et jamais on n’estime que c’est un transfert de propriété.

Nous avons d’ailleurs à ce point de vue des autorités irrécusables et qui ne seront certes pas récusées par nos honorables contradicteurs. En effet, je vous ai dit hier que nous avions pour nous l’autorité et l’aveu de l’évêque lui-même; je vous citais son aveu exprès par l’organe de l’avocat qui avait été chargé de protester en 1842 contre des mesures dont je vais avoir à vous parler. Mais je vais maintenant vous indiquer son aveu tacite, car si un décret du 19 septembre 1836 avait mis les biens à la disposition de l’évêque un autre décret du 8 février 1842 lui reprenait ce qui lui avait été concédé. Ceci, à mon sens, est tout a fait décisif, parce que cela vous montre, d’abord ce que pensait le Gouvernement mexicain. C’est lui qui a fait le décret de 1836; s’il estime qu’il a renoncé à ses droits, qu’il les a abandonnés au profit de l’évêque, qu’il les lui a attribués, il ne peut pas reprendre ce qu’il lui a donné. Mais, avec la plus grande facilité, de même que ce décret avait été signé en 1836, un autre décret va reprendre ce qui été concédé, et on va dire que l’Etat va se charger directement de l’administration du Fonds et de Papplication des produits de ce Fonds.

Comme je l’indiquais hier, si tant est qu’un droit civil fût né dans le chef de l’évêque, une expropriation était necessaire. Or, non seulement l’Etat ne fait pas d’expropriation mais l’évêque n’en réclame pas, parce que l’évêque reconnaît que c’est le droit de l’Etat, qu’il n’a été investi de droits que dans la mesure du service qui lui était confié.

En 1842 l’Etat charge le général Valencia d’administrer le Fonds. Le 24 octobre 1842 le gouvernement va décider cette fois que les biens vont être nationalisés, incorpores au Trésor—ce sont les termes dont se sert le décret. C’est-à-dire que s’il pouvait rester encore un doute dans cette affaire, cet acte du pouvoir souverain du 24 octobre 1842 va le dissiper et l’anéantir définitivement. Et l’Etat annonce qu’il va affecter une somme représentant un intérêt de 6 pour cent du produit du Fonds à “des buts de bienfaisance et nationaux” conformes aux volontés des donateurs.

[Page 676]

Ici, Messieurs, j’aurai vite fini, parce que je n’ai à me poser qu’une question: Est-ce que ce décret du 24 octobre 1842 aurait donné naissance à une créance civile que l’on pourrait faire valoir aujourd’hui?

Il faut se demander d’abord quel est ce créancier; serait-ce l’évêque? Mais, c’est impossible, puisque la loi de 1842 a eu prEcisEment pour objet de retirer à l’évêque l’administration et la disposition qu’on lui avait données. Ce n’est qu’en 1845 qu’il sera question de lui rendre une partie de cette administration, mais en 1842 le décret du 24 octobre comme celui du 8 février nationalisaient, c’est-à-dire qu’on reprenait à l’évêque ce qu’on lui avait donné; ce n’est done pas lui qu’on va créer créancier de l’Etat. Si ce n’est pas l’évêque, si ce n’est pas l’église, alors qui est-ce? Ce ne sont pas les Indiens; j’ai difc, en effet, individuellement ils n’ont aucun droit, collectivement ils ne sont rien ou ils sont représentés par la nation. Donc, Messieurs, il est impossible d’imaginer, d’indiquer le créancier que l’Etat se serait créé en 1842.

Ce décret, qui est l’expression d’une volonté unilatérale du pouvoir souverain, va être remplacé par le décret du 3 avril 1845. A cette Epoque l’on décide de rendre a Pévêque une certaine administration, l’administration de ce qui reste, de ce qui n’est pas aliéné.

Sur ce point, Messieurs, il n’y a pas de demande; mes honorables contradicteurs ne réclament pas de droits dérivant du décret de 1845 en tant qu’il aurait restitué à l’évêque l’administration des biens qui n’avaient pas été aliénés parce que ce serait la revendieation d’un capital; or, cela on ne nous le demande pas.

Qu’est-ce qui reste alors dans le décret du 3 avril 1845? L’affirmation du pouvoir souverain, du droit du congrès de disposer du Fonds comme il l’entend, en tant que celui-ci a été aliéné. Or, en tant qu’il avait été aliéne, ce qui pouvait subsister c’était un revenu de 6 per cent que l’Etat avait indiqué comme devant être affecté à des objets de bienfaisance; on réserve au congrès le droit d’en disposer, il n’en a jamais disposé.

Mais cela ne suffit pas. Quelles que soient les conséquences de cet acte, quelle que soit la disposition qui est prise et que nous n’avons pas à discuter ici, ce que vous avez à rechercher et à proclamer c’est le caractère souverain de tous ces décrets, et cela, Messieurs, me paraît indiscutable et incontestable. Est-ce que nous ne voyons pas dans cette succession même de décrets l’affirmation constante du pouvoir souverain au sujet de ce Fonds? Est-ce que ces modifications successives permettent ericore que l’on vienne dire qu’il existait un droit privatif en dehors de l’Etat et contre l’Etat? Cela n’est pas possible.

Messieurs, la question avait déjà été examinée et résolue dans le procès auquel je faisais allusion dans l’audience d’hier, le procès relatif a la succession de Dona Josepha Arguelles. Vous vous souvenez que le Conseil des Indes, par une sentence du 4 juin 1783, avait décidé que les biens dépendant de cette succession, en tant qu’ils avaient été attribués aux missions des Jésuites, étaient à la disposition du Roi et à son bon plaisir. Est-ce que, Messieurs, une sentence pareille a pu intervenir sans contradiction de la part de l’autorité religieuse, et est-il possible qu’une autorité religieuse dise aujourd’hui que faisant valoir des droits de son auteur elle a des droits contraires a ceux qui ont été proclamés alors?

Il me paraît, Messieurs, que cette décision a une importance capitale à ce procès. Il y avait un quart qui a été abandonné par les Jésuites, auquel ils ont renoncé, qui était destiné aux collegès et qui ne leur a [Page 677]pas été attribué: n’en parlons plus. Mais il y avait les ¾ de la succession qui de par la donation étaient destinés aux missions des Jésuites. Le procès était considérable. Eh bien, voici que les Jésuites sont expulses depuis 1768, qu’ils ont disparu, la famille conteste la donation, elle demande que ces biens lui soient attribués; alors si l’église est l’heritiere des Jésuites, si elle est aux droits des Jésuites, n’est-ce pas elle qui va intervenir, et conyoit-on que sans protestation de la part de l’autorite religieuse la Cour Suprême d’alors ait pu décider que ces biens, par le fait qu’ils étaient donnés aux missions des Jésuites, appartenaient originellement au Roi et qu’ils devaient être mis à sa discretion? Est-ce que cette absence de protestation n’est pas l’aveu le plus complet qu’on puisse souhaiter?

Je ne parle plus, parce que je vous en ai dit un mot ce matin, mais vous en retiendrez l’importance, du procès jugé dans l’Amérique même, dans la Haute Californie, depuis la suppression des Jésuites, et dans lequel nous avons vu cette affirmation formelle que les missions étaient des œuvres politiques et non pas des oeuvres religieuses; et cela a été jugé depuis la séparation de la Californie.

D’ailleurs peut-on concevoir que quelqu’un puisse dire encore aujourd’hui: il y a des sommes qui ont été données aux missions et je les revendique au nom de la Haute Californie? Quelle serait la signification d’une telle demande? Le Gouvernement mexicain, le 16 Janvier 1839, par l’organe de son ministre des affaires ecclésiastiques—c’est un document qui se trouve reproduit dans la défense de M. Azpiroz, page 393 du livre rouge—s’était exprimé dans les termes suivants:

La Basse Californie doit maintenant devenir l’objet de toute la sollieitude du Gouvernement, en ce qui concerne ses besoins tant civils qu’ecclésiastiques, parce que ce territoire ayant été démembré en vertu du traité de Guadalupe Hidalgo la part qui nous reste a besoin de législations spéciales pour assurer son administration. Elle ne peut pas évidemment seule constituer l’évèche” qui fut créé par décret du 19 septembre 1836. Le Gouvernement dirige son attention sur les intérêts des habitants de la région et il fera usage de tous ses pouvoirs constitutionals dans ce but, sauf à demander au besoin aide et appui aux représeiitants de la nation.

C’est-à-dire, Messieurs, qu’en 1849, au lendemam du traité qui avait définitivement enlevé au Mexique les territoires du Nouveau Mexique et de la Haute Californie, le ministre des affaires ecclesiastiques, qui avait dans ses attributions le Fonds Pie, disait: Il faut maintenant s’appliquer a defendre, à protéger la Basse Californie. Le ministre d’alors se rendait compte de la faute politique que j’indiquais hier; on n’avait pas assez tenu compte des nécessités de ces pays de la côte; il y avait maintenant à se préoccuper avant tout de la Basse Californie, parce que la lecon avait profité.

Eh bien, je vous le demande, Messieurs, alors que le Gouvernement du Mexique comme pouvoir souverain va affecter toutes les disponibilités qu’il aura pour soutenir la Basse Californie et qu’il demandera même l’aide de la nation dans ce but, il sera permis à un tiers, à un étranger, de venir lui dire: Non, vous allez employer le produit de ce fonds Pie à la Haute Californie? C’est inadmissible. Et comme je le disais, est-il possible de fonder une réclamation pareille sur la volonteé des donateurs primitifs, sur la volonteé des Mexicains d’alors, de ceux qui devaient avant tout se préoccuper du territoire du Mexique, de la race mexicaine, de la race espagnole, de ceux qui ne pouvaient alors connaitre que la Basse Californie? Et n’y a-t-il pas, par conséquent, en dehors de toutes les considérations juridiques que je viens de vous présenter, une antinomie absolue ô venir réclamer au nom d’un Etat [Page 678]étranger ou plutôt au nom d’évêques étrangers, l’application du produit du Fonds Pie au profit de la partie étrangère du territoire ancien au detriment de la partie du territoire restée nationale.

C’est important, parce que vous voyez immédiatement le caractère de la demande, qui est un caractère d’immixtion: on veut en somme empêcher le Gouvernement mexicain, qui a toujours été propriétaire outitulaire de ce Fonds, de l’employer pour la Californie, Haute ou Basse, comme il l’entend; il n’a plus que la Basse Californie, on lui a conquis l’autre, et il ne pourrait pas y employer les fonds qu’il a à sa disposition.

Je passe, Messieurs, à l’examen d’un point tout différent, mais qui constitue à mon sens, elle aussi, une réponse décisive et péremptoire à la demande que est formulée devant vous. Cette réponse est puisée dans le traité de 1848.

Je n’ai plus à revenir sur les circonstances dans lesquelles ce traité a été conclu, vous les connaissez; mais je dois indiquer à le cour ce qui a été la pensee des parties au moment ou elles ont conclu ce traité, et surtout ce qu’elles ont abandonné, les décharges qu’elles se sont donnés et qui sont incompatibles avec la demande actuelle.

Comme je vous l’ai dit, Messieurs, de la part du Gouvernement américain une réclamation serait tout a fait impossible. Lorsque le traité a été débattu il l’a été pied a pied; il avait en grande partie pour objet une question d’argent; la conquête était réalisée depuis 1846, les territoires devaient être abandonnés, c’était entendu, les Etats-Unis vainqueurs n’admettaient plus la discussion de ce point; mais il y avait une question d’équité, il y avait une question d’argent à débattre. Comme vous l’avez vu, Messieurs, c’était en somme au point de vue superficiel la plus grande partie du territoire du Mexique qui Etait cédée aux Etats-Unis; c’était un abandon considérable qui avait pour conséquence de laisser toutes les charges du Mexique à la partie qui n’était pas détachée. C’est ce que se sont dit les plénipotentiaires qui sont intervenus à la conclusion de ce traitE. lis ont dit: il y a la une chose raisonnable, il faut que nous intervenions, non pas pour acheter le territoire comme on l’a dit—il n’en était pas question—mais pour rembourser une dette qui affectait ce territoire et qui serait laissée à la charge du pays vaincu. Par conséquent, il faillait fixer cette indemnité. Tous les éléments en ont été débattus; il y a eu naturellement des préliminaires nombreux, on a dû faire des calculs, établir des chiffres, et c’est ainsi que l’on est arrivé à fixer définitivement une somme de 15 millions de dollars qui a été payée. L’on a été plus loin encore, l’on a donné décharge au Gouvernement mexicain au nom des eitoyens américains qui pouvaient être ses créanciers.

Quelle devient, je vous le demande, la prétention actuelle, dans ces conditions?

A ce moment-là les deux parties, après deux annèes de debats en arrivaient a un accord, a une décharge réciproque absolue; elles allaient aussi loin que possible dans les efforts tentés pour supprimer tout sujet de conflit dans l’avenir et elles auraient voulu réserver cet élément de discorde actuellement débattu? Est-ce possible?

Il y aurait eu quelqu’un a qui on aurait réservé un droit vis-à-vis du Mexique! quiétait-il? Assurément s’il y avait eu quelqu’un qui eût pu prétendre à cette réserve? C’était l’Etat américain seul; il aurait pu tenir au Mexique ce langage: Vous avez un Fonds, vous avez des biens qui ont été donnés jadis pour l’ensemble du territoire mexicain [Page 679]et plus spécial emeu t pour la Californie, nous prenons une partie du territoire, donnez-nous une partie de ce Fonds. Ce à quoi probablement le Mexique aurait répondu: Pardon, je prends toute la dette, je prends toutes les charges, et je n’ai pas à vous donner ime partie du Fonds.

Concevrait-on d’ailleurs qu’une telle prétention ait été formulée alors qu’il s’agissait de déterminer la somme que les Etats-Unis avaient à payer. Ils auraient pu faire valoir cette circonstance lorsqu’on débattait le chifl’re de l’indemnité, je ne sais si cette prétention a été formulée, jepense qu’elle ne l’a pas été; mais dans tous les cas c’est alors et alors seulement qu’elle pouvait être produite utilement. Mais, si ce débat terminé la déchargé était donnée réciproquement, que pouvait réclamer encore le Gouvernement des Etats-Unis, qui représentait naturellement la collectivité soit d’Indiens soit de catholiques qui aurait eu des droits vis-à-vis du gouvernement mexicain?

Or, messieurs, le Gouvernement américain donne quittance, il donne décharge sans réserve aucune; comment imaginer encore que le Mexique ait une dette soit vis-à-vis du Gouvernement américain soit vis-à-vis des collectivités qu’il représente? Vis-à-vis des citoyens américains il n’en pouvait avoir davantage. Sur ce point les adversaires ne eontesteront certainement pas ce que j’ai dit ce matin, parce que c’est le texte de l’article 14 du traité qui le dit expressément:

Le gouvernement donne décharge au nom des citoyens des Etats-Unis.

Et le texte de l’article 15 confirme cela de plus pres puisque le Gouvernement Américain se charge de toutes les dettes que le Gouvernement Mexicain pouvait avoir vis-à-vis des citoyens des Etats-Unis moyennant la remise d’une somme de 3.250 000 dollars.

Dés lors, ni l’Etat ni les citoyens américains ne pouvaient avoir un droit résérve contre l’Etat mexicain.

Que restait-il? On nous dit: l’Eglise. J’ai répondu déjà en vous disant: l’Eglise, la collectivité des catholiques ou la collectivité des Indiens, c’était la nation, c’était le gouvernement qui les représentait qui devait faire une réserve pour eux. Mais à partir du traité de Guadalupe Hidalgo de 1848, le Gouvernement mexicain s’étant affranchi de toute dette vis-à-vis des citoyens et de l’Etat américains, il n’avait plus de dettes de l’autre côté de la frontière et il n’en pouvait plus avoir.

Que peut-il rester si l’Etat et ses sujets n’ont plus de créance? Il ne reste plus rien!

Mais on dit: ce ne sont pas des citoyens, c’est une personnalité civile. Non, elle n’existait pas, puisque l’Eglise comme personnalité civile dans la Haute Californie ne va naître qu’en 1854 en vertu d’une loi américaine; done en 1848 elle n’existe pas, elle ne peut par conséquent pas être sujette du droit et conséquemment avoir une créance contre l’Etat mexicain.

Je vous ai rappelé, messieurs, cette circonstance caractéristique que dans un premier projet de traité il avait été stipule que les communautés jouissant de la personnalité civile jusqu’en 1848 auraient momentanément continue a en jouir après 1848, e’est-à-dire apres l’incorporation américaine: mais le Sénat de Washington n’a pas voulu de cette disposition et l’a remplacee par une disposition platonique que n’était que la confirmation du principe de la liberté de conscience de tous.

De telle façon, messieurs, que je mets encore ici mes honorés contradicteurs au défi de dire quelle était lors du traité de 1848 la [Page 680]personne qui pouvait avoir un droit contre l’Etat mexicain? Si en 1848 l’Etat mexicain n’a plus de debiteurs, il ne peut appartenir à personne de l’autre côté de la frontière de lui réclamer l’exécution d’un engagement comme étant aux droits d’un débiteur de 1848.

Si le gouvernement mexicain n’a plus pris d’engagements depuis le traité de Guadalupe Hidalgo, s’il n’est plus intervenu pour se créer une charge en Haute Californie après 1848, il faut qu’on me démontre qu’à la date du 2 février 1848 il existait quelqu’un qui eût un droit; ce quelqu’un on ne me le nommera pas parce qu’il n’existait pas, parce qu’il ne pouvait pas exister!

Dans les préliminaires de ce traité de 1848 je trouve dans des documents officiels, dans des rapports qui étaient adressés au Gouvernement mexicain, les indications que voici:

Les 15 millions eonvenus à l’article 12 et les stipulations des articles 13 et 14 sont l’indemnisation las plus claire que nous puissions obtenir comme compensation des dommages soufferts par la République; celle ci, diminuée par l’aceroissement de territoire acquis par sa voisine, les mêmes obligations qu’elle avait auparavant vont peser sur un nombre moindre d’ habitants et sur un pays moins grand et sont par conséquent plus onéreux. Ainsi, notre Dette intérieure et extérieure devra être satisfaite en entier par la partie du peuple mexicain qui concerve ce nom, tandis que sans la cession elle s’étendrait sur toute la République telle qu’elle était auparavant. Ce sont des dommages de cette nature qui dans la mesure du possible son réparés par l’indemnisation.

Vous voyez, messieurs, que ce que je vous disais tout-à-l’heure n’est pas neuf, mais que c’était la pensée due traité puisque je le trouve dans les travaux préparatoires. C’était une pensée d’ailleurs normale: Lorsqu’un territoire est détache d’un autre à la suite d’une conquête il y à un compte a faire, et si la réclamation actuelle avait eu une valeur elle aurait dû prendre place dans ce compte. Mais aujourd’hui que ce compte est liquidé on ne conçoit plus qu’une nation vienne dire à l’autre: Nous avons traité, nous avons débattu, nous avons fait un compte, nous sommes arrivés à une somme de 15 millions de dollars, et nous exigeons encone aujourd’hui de nouveaux millions. C’est impossible.

Dans les mêmes travaux préparatoires je lis ce qui suit:

La véritable utilité, disait le plénipotentiaire mexicain, des arrangements contenus dans les trois articles ne consiste pas précisément en ce que la République soit exonérée dupaiement des sommes auxquelles il se réèfere, quel qu’en soit le montant, petit ou élevé, mais dans le réglement de tous ses comptes avec la nation voisine, et á ce que rien ne reste pendant, susceptible d’altérer la bonne intelligence entre les deux gouverneménts et de donner lieu à des contestations embrouillées et dangereuses. Cela est bien d’une importance capitale.

C’est-à-dire, messieurs, que la pensée qui avait animé les plénipotentiaires était cette pensee qui doit toujours guider ceux qui ont l’honneur de discuter un traité entre deux nations jadis en guerre: Il faut supprimer toute cause de conflit, il faut non seulement aplanir les difficultes du passe mais encore faire en sorte qu’il n’en puisse plus naitre. C’est cette pensée que nous retrouvons ici, et c’est contre cette pensée que se heurte la demande actuelle.

Quelles sont les objections que l’on formule? car enfin cela semble si évident que l’on se demande comment l’on peut soutenir que le traité de 1848 a maintenu à la charge du Mexique une dette vis-à-vis de la nation ou d’une partie de la nation des Etats-Unis.

Il y a une double objection qui nous est faite; la première est celle-ci, on nous dit: Mais, les demandeurs, ce sont les évêques de Californie [Page 681]ou plutôt ce sont les évêchés de Californie; ils n’existent comme personne morale que depuis 1854, ils n’existaient pas en 1848, par conséquent ils n’ont pas pu donner une décharge à cette date.

Ah! messieurs, j’allais dire et je m’en excuse: Le bon billet! … Comment! lorsque nous recherchons si lors du traité il y avait une réserve, c’est-à-dire s’il y avait encore un sujet de droits qui pût avoir une créance quelconque contre le Mexique, et qui pût recevoir par conséquent une obligation du Mexique, je démontre qu’il n’y en avait pas et qu’il n’en pouvait pas exister, et voici que les honorables contradicteurs qui doivent contester ce que je viens de dire invoquent les mêmes circonstances mais pour prétendre qu’ils ne pouvaient pas renoncer à un droit parce qu’ils n’existaient-pas! Ce qui fait, messieurs, qu’après avoir reconnu ainsi implicitement la valeur de notre argument lorsque nous disions: vous ne pouvez pas avoir un droit parce que vous n’étiez pas encore; ils éludent l’argument en disant: nous n’avions pas de droits et nous ne pouvions done pas y renoncer.

Mais vous ne pou viez pas renoncer parce que vous n’a viez pas de droits et vous n’aviez pas de droits parce que vous n’existiez pas. Nous en revenons done toujours à ma thèse primitivé, a savoir que lors du traité de 1848 il n’y avait personne qui eut un droit privatif vis-à-vis du Mexique.

L’autre objection, est celle-ci: on nous dit: Nous n’avions pas de créance en 1848, notre créance n’a pris naissance que postérieurement. Et pour donner une apparence de fondement à cette thèse on nous fait observe que ce que l’on demande ce sont des intérêts et non le capital; “comme les intérêts coulent d’annee en annee, on peut ne pas avoir de créance en 1848 et avoir des droits aux intérêts en 1849!”

Je n’ai pas besoin, messieurs, de vous démontrer combien cette these me paraît—sauf le respect que je dois à mes honorés contradieteurs—peu juridique, parce qu’il me paraît impossible, si vous n’avez pas de droits de créance réservés en 1848, et si depuis lors le Mexique n’est pas intervenu pour vous en conferér, que vous puissiez en avoir un. Si vous n’aviez pas de créance en 1848 comment en auriez-vous acquis depuis, et comment est-il possible de dire que parce qu’on ne réclame que les intérêts et non le capital on ne se trouve pas atteint par la décharge de 1848? N’est-il pas evident, messieurs, que si des intérêts sont dus c’est en vertu d’un droit préexistant a 1848? Cela est apparu d’autant plus a l’evidence lorsque j’ai demandé tout-é-l’heure à mes honorables contradicteurs le titre, le fondement de leur créance, ce titre, ils ne le puisent que dans les décrets de 1836 à 1845 ou dans les actes de donation primitifs, c’est-à-dire dans des documents, dans des droits antérieurs a 1848. La créance devait exister, à terme ou non avant 1848, et si elle n’existait pas alors elle ne pouvait plus naître.

Notez que la thèse des adversaires revient à dire ceci: C’est que leur titre serait fondé sur une loi américaine, et que sans l’intervention due Mexique ce serait la loi américaine qui aurait donné naissance à la créance dont ils se prévalent aujourd’hui.

Et, messieurs, c’est bien leur thèse puisqu’ils d’isent qu’ils n’existaient pas avant 1854, que leurs droits ne pouvaient naître qu’é partir de la loi américaine qui leur a donné la personnalité civile.

Il en résulte d’abord ceci: c’est que s’il avait plu à l’Etat américain de ne pas mettre au monde cette entité juridique nouvelle, nous n’aurions pas eu de créanciers. Mais, s’il lui a paru avantageux de créer [Page 682]cet être nouveau, s’ensuit-il que nous en devenions le par rain obligé et que nous devions alimenter perpétuellement cet être qu’il lui a plu de créér? Ce n’est pas possible.

Est-il plausible qu’une loi d’un Etat étranger puisse avoir cette conséquence de créer une obligation civile privée à la charge d’un autre Etat? Si vous n’aviez pas de droits avant 1848 vous ne pouviez plus en acquérir et si vous en aviez un il est couvert par le traité de 1848 qui emporte la décharge la plus absolue.

Dans la thèse même des demandeurs les intérêts sont la contreprestation de l’exonération de la volonteé des fondateurs: les fondateurs primitif s auraient eu la pensée que le revenu des biens qu’ils donnaient serait appliqué annuellement à une pensée de bienf aisance et religieuse, à l’exoneration d’une Mission. Or, ils doivent reconnaître qu’ils n’existaient pas de 1848 à 1854; ils sont donc impuissants à être sujets du droit comme ils sont impuissants à exonérer une fondation, et malgré cela ils auraient droit année par année à ces intérêts, même pendant la période où ils n’existaient pas!

Vous voyez, messieurs, à quelle erreur juridique la these des demandeurs me paraît se heurter. En 1848, disons-nous, le Mexique avait le droit de croire qu’il n’avait plus de dette de l’autre côté de la frontiere, il n’y avait plus d’être pouvant formuler une revendication civile vis-à-vis de lui, il avait obtenu une décharge, il avait même pris le soin de constituer un débiteur a sa place et ce débiteur c’était le Gouvernement des Etats-Unis; il lui avait remis une somme de 3,250,000 dollars pour qu’il se chargeât de payer à sa place toutes les dettes qu’il pouvait avoir de l’autre côté de la frontière. Conçon-on que dans ces conditions un être puisse dire: Je n’existais pas, je n’avais pas de droits, et parce qu’une loi postérieure m’a donné naissance je puis puiser dans cette naissance le fondement d’une revendication? Messieurs, c’est impossible!

Nous croyons done qu’à ce second point de vue encore la thèse des demandeurs n’est pas fondée, qu’il y a dans le traité a côté d’un élément juridique qui doit faire ecarter la demande un élément moral dont la haute portée n’échappera pas à la Cour d’arbitrage.

Il y a une appréciation du traité qui doit être faite par vous. Vous devez vous rendre compte des difficultés qui ont pu naître au lendemain de conflits aussi aigus que ceux qui ont existé entre le Mexique et les Etats-Unis, de la pensée qui doit guider ceux qui font de tels traités, et vous devez vous dire, même s’il doit rester un doute dans vos esprits, que les auteurs du traité ont du avoir la pensée de mettre fin a tout sujet de conflit.

Nous croyons avoir pu vous démontrer que c’était non seulement la pensée du Mexique mais aussi celle des Etats-Unis. Je vous ai indiqué en effet, lorsque j’ai eu Phonneur de vous exposer les faits, que la demande actuelle avait été déjà agitée par les honorables avocats de la Haute Californie à partir de 1852 ou 1859, qu’alors ils l’avaient étudiée, qu’ils l’avaient préseatée aux Etats-Unis; et, messieurs, le gouvernement des Etats-Unis n’aurait certainement pas attendu que les intéressés lui adressassent des communications officielles s’il avait cru qu’il y avait eu un oubli dans le traité, s’il y avait eu une réserve qui n’avait pas été exprimée mais qui était implicite.

Messieurs, il ne fait rien pendant vingt années. Dix années après le trait, les évêques addressent à leur Gouvernement une réclamation, et il va encore se passer dix années sans que le gouvernement des Etats-Unis [Page 683]formule une réclamation quelconque vis-à-vis du gouvernement du Mexique; il a fallu le hasard de Pinstitution d’une Commission mixte qui précisement avait été destinee à régler toute une série de conflits nés posterieurement a 1848, pour que les demandeurs trouvassent un Tribunal devant lequel ils pussent porter leur demande, sinon le gouvernement des Etats-Unis ne la prenait pas en main et par conséquent acceptait cette interpretation large mais cette interprétation rationnelle que nous donnons au traité de 1848.

Je passe, messieurs, à une autre proposition. Il s’agit d’une troisième réponse que nous faisons à la demande; nous disons: Les lois mexicaines sont applicables au Fonds Pie de Californie et elles ont nationalisé les biens ecclésiastiques. Ces lois de 1857 et 1859 ont été distributées à la Cour ou se trouvent dans les documents du dossier.

Aux termes de cette législation, postérieure au traité de 1848, il y a au Mexique une interdiction absolue pour les communautés religieuses de posséder, elles ne peuvent avoir la personnalité civile. La loi de 1857 dont vous verrez les termes, est d’une violence—je puis bien m’exprimer ainsi—extraordinaire. Nous avions des lois de la Révolution Frangaise qui s’étaient exprimées au sujet des biens eeclesiastiques dans des termes énergiques, mais les lois du Mexique de 1857 et de 1859 sont absolument radicales: c’est une interdiction absolue de posséder des biens, qu’il s’agisse de communautés religieuses, d’églises, d’ecclésiastiques séculiers ou réguliers.

Ce sont à des lois sur le mérite ou l’pportunité politique desquelles nous n’avons pas à nous prononcer, c’est la loi; une loi guidée par une pensée d’ordre public, bien ou mal entendue, opportune ou inopportune, mais la loi, ne sera-t-elle pas applicable au Fonds Pie?

Constatons tout d’abord que d’apres les demandeurs eux-mêmes le Fonds Pie appartiendrait pour partie a l’Eglise de la Haute Californie et pour une autre partie à l’Eglise de la Basse Californie; on a partagé par moitié naguère; on réclame actuellement près de 9/10.

Et voici done que la loi mexicaine serait nécessairement applicable à la partie du Fonds Pie qui serait affectée à la Basse Californie: l’évêque de la Californie ne pourra se présenter devant le Gouvernement mexicain et lui dire: j’ai une créance à votre charge, vous me devez telle somme, et pour l’obtenir, je m’adresse aux institutes pour juger le Governement mexicain. Sans aucun doute soumis à la loi mexicaine, les fonds qu’il réclamerait devraient être soumis à l’application de la loi de 1857; une telle demande de sa part serait done certainement non recevable. Aussi n’a-t-elle pas été formulée.

Des lors concevrait-on la logique du système qui consisterait à dire que cette loi ne serait pas applicable à l’autre partie du Fonds? Il s’agit d’un Fonds qui était composé autrefois d’immeubles réalisés pour la plus grande partie et aujourd’hui représentés par une créance hypothécaire. Je dis hypothécate parce que le décret de 1836 affecte le revenu des Tabacs à la garantie du paiement de la somme à titre d’hypotheque; c’est-à-dire que le gouvernement a transformé un meuble en immeuble par destination et fait une créance réelle de ce qui aurait pu être une créance personnelle.

Voici done en tout cas qu’il s’agit d’un fonds mexicain, qui d’après la théorie même des adversaires reste dans le chef du Mexique, dont le Mexique doit le produit dans l’hypothèse des adversaires; eh bien, je vous le demande, est-ce que cette loi ne sera pas applicable?

Sir Edward Fry, Où se trouve cette loi?

[Page 684]

M. Delacroix. Elle doit être entre les mains de M. le Secrétaire général, elle est parmi les documents du dossier que nous avons déposé.

Donc, messieurs, cette loi devrait recevoir son application générale parce qu’elle est d’ordre public; elle devrait être appliquée par les tribunaux mexicains dont vous avez pris la place, auxquels vous êtes substitués. Il est certain que le défendeur étant le Mexique, la créance étant à sa charge, les fonds qu’on revendique étant mexicains, cette loi devrait être appliquée.

Ah! messieurs, j’ai dû le dire en commenpant, il est de ces lois dont l’opportunité peut être critiquée, et l’on peut admettre qu’il y ait quelque chose de froissant à ce qu’une loi d’un pays puisee nuire à des intérêts de l’étranger; cela donne lieu alors à des représentations diplomatiques; seulement il n’en est pas moins vrai que dans la rigueur de la justice cette loi doit être appliquée. Est-ce qu’il n’existe pas dans certains pays une interdiction par exemple aux juifs de posséder, et dans d’autres pays d’une manière générale une interdiction aux étrangers de posséder? Eh bien, je vous le demande, si un étranger, par ignorance de ces lois ou par suite de certaines circonstances se trouvait en possession de biens, si la loi devait lui être appliquée ce serait dur, mais enfin elle devrait l’être. Tout au plus cela pourrait-il entraîner une intervention diplomatique, mais il n’en est pas moins vrai qu’on ne pourrait pastrouver la justification juridique de cette loi dans l’exclusion de son application au Fonds en question.

Comme je vous’le disais, il y a ici un principe de droit international privé, c’est pourquoi des le début j’indiquais à la Cour qu’il y avait à se préoccuper du droit qui régissait la créance; ce’st une créance privée que l’on fait valoir, c’est un droit civil qui fonde la demande des demandeurs, et par conséquent c’est un droits civil que vous devez apprécier d’après les lois civiles.

Cette loi a été prise dans des termes généraux; elle est d’une application générale et spécialement en ce qui conceroe le Fonds Pie il est impossible qu’elle ne soit pas appliquée. Cette loi est intitulée “Loi de nationalisation des biens ecclesiastiques,” et s’il y a dans ce fait qu’une loi étrangère peut être ainsi appliquee a un fonds revendique partiellement par des étrangers une anomalie, cette anomalie disparaît si l’on songe pour quelles raisons ce Fonds prétendûment appartenant à des étrangers se trouve encore entre les mains du Mexique.

Mais messieurs, n’est-il pas évident—et ceci vient confirmer ce que je vous disais tout à l’heure a propos du traité de Guadalupe Hidalgo—que si les Etats-Unis avaient eu un droit à prétendre sur le Fonds, soit pour eux-mêmes soit pour des collectivités qu’ils répresentaient, ils devaient le faire valoir de suite? Est-ce que de la part des Etats-Unis ce n’était pas, si je puis m’exprimer ainsi, une imprudence tout au moins que de laisser ce Fonds Pie qui appartenait a eux ou a leur collectiviteé entre les mains du Mexique? Le fait qu’ils le laissaient à la disposition ou à la discrétion du Mexique devait aboutir à cette conséquence, que plus tard le Mexique pouvait adopter une législation funeste aux étrangers.

Donc, messieurs, s’il y a qulque chose dans cette argumentation, dans ce moyen, qui peut être froissant—le fait d’une législation aussi radicale étant imposée a un étranger et pouvant nuire à ses intérêts—cela dérive du fait des Etats-Unis eux-mêmes, qui s’ils avaient eu un droit en 1848 auraient du prendre ce Fonds etl’administrer eux-mêmes immédiatement, le faire valoir, de façon à empêcher que le Mexique [Page 685]prît plus tard une législation qui n’était d’ailleurs pas prise pour ce cas exceptionnel et qui pût nuire à des étrangers.

J’ajoute qu’a l’époque où ces lois mexicaines étaient adoptées il n’y avait pas encore de réclamation au sujet du Fonds Pie. La première réclamation n’a été adressée au Mexique—sauf une réclamation verbale sur le caractère de laquelle nous ne sommes pas édifiés—qu’à ladate de 1870 ou 1871; de telle façon que lorsqu’en 1857 et 1859 le Mexique adoptait ces législations qui excluaient toute espèce de revendication il le faisait dans la plénitude de son droit, parce que cette législation lui apparaissait comme opportune, comme conforme aux intérêts de sanation. Voila donc, messieurs, une législation qui, spéciale au Mexique devait avoir pour conséquence d’interdire la réclamation actuelle, c’est pourquoi, lorsque le Mexique s’était présenté devant la première Commission mixte, il avait fait valoir cette circonstance que les évêques de Californie ne jouissaient de la personnalité civile que dans certaines limites, que le décret qui leur avait donné la personnalité civile limitait leurs pouvoirs aux biens situes dans leurs diocèses, que par conséquent ils ne pouvaient pas avoir de droits sur des biens qui auraient été situés a l’étranger.

Nous ne reproduisons pas ce moyen comme tel parce qu’il nous paraît qu’il devient inutile. La législation des deux pays se trouve en concours non en contradiction; de même que le Mexique dit: aucun ecciesiastique ne peut posséder, ne peut même administrer, de même aux Etats-Unis il avait été décidé que la personnalité civile qui avait été donnée aux évêques était limitée à l’exercice des droits situés dans leurs diocèses.

Ici, messieurs, je répare une omission qui s’est produite dans la plaidoirie que j’ai eu l’honneur de vous faire. J’ai oublié de vous dire que les Jésuites n’ont pas, d’après leur ordre, le droit de posséder; les Jésuites, d’après leur règle ne peuvent pas posséder de biens. Si done ils ont eu des biens a un moment donne, s’ils ont recu cette permission exceptionnelle et contraire aux règles de leur ordre ce n’était done pas pour l’Eglise, en supposant qu’ils eussent qualité pour représenter l’Eglise, c’était pour l’œuvre à laquelle ils étaient spécialement attachés, et je vous ai démontré que cette œuvre avait un caractère politique et national de conquête militaire. Je crois done vous avoir démontré que par les trois raisons que j’ai développées jusqu’ici la réclamation des demandeurs ne peut être accueillie.

M. de Martens. Permettez-moi de vous poser une question: Est-ce que le Mexique a refusé de discuter ces prétentions devant les deux Commissions qui ont été nominees en vertu de l’arrangement de 1868 ou plus tard? Est-ce que le Mexique est entré en discussion de ces prétentions? Est-ce qu’il a refuse nettement ou bien est-ce qu’il a admis la possibilité de discuter cette question, qui est à présent portée devant ce Tribunal?

M. Delacroix. Quelle question?

M. de Martens. C’est-à-dire justement la prétention des évêques de Californie.

M. Delacroix. Lors de la Commission mixte le Gouvernement a résisté, il a discuté, il a plaidé, il s’est défendu et il a succombé.

M. de Martens. Vous dites que d’après le traité de Guadalupe Hidalgo le Mexique était en droit de refuser toutes les prétentions avant 1818 …

[Page 686]

M. Delacroix. Parfaitement.

M. de Martens. Maintenant, cette prétention a été portée devant la commission?

M. Delacroix. Parfaitement.

M. de Martens. Est-ce que le Gouvernement mexicain a refusé d’entrer en discussion? Il pouvait refuser nettement, dire que c’était une prétention n’ayant pas une force légale.

M. Delacroix. Voici la réponse. Comme j’ai eu l’honneur de vous le dire, le traité de 1848, d’après nous, excluait toute réclamation pour des faits antérieurs. Mais les demandeurs, au lieu de réclamer, comme cela se trouvait indiqué dans la lettre de 1859 comme aussi dans celle du 13 mars 1870, le capital, c’est-à-dire le Fonds lui-même, la créance dont Porigine évidemment était antérieure à 1848, ont réclamé seulement l’intérêt en disant: l’intéràt a une naissance postérieure à 1848, et par conséquent nous sommes recevables a en poursuivre la réclamation devant la Commission mixte. C’est ce point qui était débattu, il s’agissait de savoir si on pouvait demander les intérêts comme ayant une origine posterieure a 1848 et comme n’étant pas couverts par le traité. Ce point a été débattu devant la Commission mixte; la question de la créance ne pouvait être utilement discutée par la raison que la partie adverse avait dit d’avance: ce n’est pas la créance que je réclame, ce sont les intérêts d’année en année postérieurement à 1848.

M. de Martens. Merci.

M. Delacroix. J’ai maintenant à examiner, messieurs, quelques moyens subsidiaires que j’indique parce qu’ils dérivent de la nature des choses, qu’ils sont profondément juridiques, et je ne serais pas complet si je ne les avais pas indiqués.

Il s’agit d’autres lois mexicaines, de 1885 et de 1894. Vous savez, messieurs, que dans la première moitié du siecle le Mexique avait traversé une période de trouble et d’agitation, des gouvernements successifs avaient occupé le pouvoir, il y avait eu dans l’administration certaines lacunes comme cela peut se concevoir lorsqu’il s’agit d’un gouvernement jeune, âgé de quelques années seulement. En 1885, le Mexique a estimé qu’il ne pouvait pas arriver à avoir de bonnes finances s’il n’y mettait pas de Pordre, et pour cela il a estime qu’il était néeessaire qu’il appelat tous ses créanciers pour qu’ils vinssent affirmer quel était le montant de leur créance. Le Mexique a alors, aux termes de cette législation spéciale que vous posseéez également—lois de 1885 et de 1894—institué un Tribunal spécial—je crois même que Son Excellence M. Pardo était président de ce Tribunal—qui Etait chargé de juger toutes les créances existant à charge du Gouvernement mexicain, de telle manière que le gouvernement pouvait connaitre exactement le montant de sa dette et pouvait se convaincre qu’il n’avait pas de dettes en dehors de celles qui avaient été reconnues. Comme il existait un certain désordre dans l’établissement de la dette, c’était le moyen radical d’établir des finances nettes et claires.

Le Gouvernement, en vue de sanctionner la mesure qu’il prenait ainsi, avait décidé que ceux qui n’auraient pas produit leurs créances dans un certain délai, fixé d’abord à 8 mois, ensuite à 11 mois, seraient déchus de leurs droits de débiteurs. C’Etait radical mais c’Etait un acte du pouvoir souverain. L’Etat mexicain avait estimé que c’était pour lui une nécessité et de même que nous avons vu certains gouvernements se trouver à un moment obligés de tiercer leur dette, c’est-à-dire de diminuer la dette qu’ils avaient primitivement contractée, en [Page 687]vue de consolider leurs finances, de même ici le gouvernement pouvait prendre cette mesure, qui pouvait être critiquée si elle affectait des étrangers et qui pouvait amener, comme je le disais précédemment, une intervention diplomatique, mais qui devait être en tout cas appliquée par les tribunaux.

Cette loi a été appliquée à des étrangers: il y avait de la dette vis-à-vis d’Anglais, vis-à-vis d’habitants de la Haute Californie, tous ont dû accepter cette loi et s’y soumettre, c’est-à-dire faire reconnaître leur dette au bureau constitué pour etablir le bilan des dettes de l’Etat.

A cette législation les demandeurs ne se sont pas soumis; et il est d’autant plus étrange qu’ils ne s’y soient pas soumis que précisément je vous indiquais à une précédente audience qu’il était incroyable que si les demandeurs estimaient qu’ils avaient une créance annuelle aussi considérable à la charge de l’Etat mexicain, ils ne l’aient pas revendiquée à chaque échéance, et que depuis 1870 jusqu’à 1891 aucune demande n’ait été formulée.

Cet argument, que je vous citais en termes généraux à une précédente audience, est renforcé par cette circonstance qu’il existait au Mexique des lois de déchéance pour ceux qui n’auraient pas formulé leurs réclamations dans un certain délai. Vraiment, peut-on les plaindre de n’avoir pas fait ce qui était nécessaire pour maintenir, protéger et conserver leurs droits?

Mais, messieurs, cette législation est-elle done si exceptionnelle? Est-ce que dans tous nos Codes nous n’avons pas une prescription de 20 ou 30 ans, qui exclut les revendications tardives? Nous avons aussi dans la législation mexicaine une prescription quinquennale affectant les annuités qui ne sont pas réclamées. De telle façon, messieurs, qu’à tous égards nous constatons ici l’existence de prescriptions successives qui constituent des fins de non recevoir contre la réclamation actuelle.

Vous voyez qu’il nous est à peu pres indifferent que l’on invoque ces dispositions générales de tous les Codes civils, de toutes les législations, ou que l’on invoque cette législation spéciale mexicaine de 1885 et de 1894. Vous voyez que tout cela entame par la base la réclamation des demandeurs. Est-ce que tout cela ne vous prouve pas que la créance n’était pas dans le patrimoine des demandeurs comme le serait une créance ordinaire?

Et quand on songe que les demandeurs ont plaidé que non seulement ils avaient une créance, mais que cette créance était reconnue par un jugement international, qu’il y avait chose jugée sur la question! et ils ne la produisent pas, et ils laissent malgré ce jugement atteindre leurs réclamations par ces prescriptions successives, spéciales et générales que je viens d’indiquer!

Tout cela vous démontre, messieurs, que la réclamation manque de fondement à tous egards et se heurte aux moyens divers que je viens de vous indiquer.

M. Asser. Je voudrais demander à M. Delacroix quelle est la date de la loi qui inscrit les prescriptions.

M. Emilio Pardo. 1884.

M. Delacroix. Tous les articles auxquels je viens de faire allusion ont été remis par M. le Ministre Pardo dans le dossier que possède le Tribunal et que détient Fhonorable secrétaire général. Je n’ai pas donné lecture de toutes ces dispositions parce que je suis déjà confus d’abuser des moments de la Cour; elle les trouvera dans le dossier, [Page 688]nous en avons d’ailleurs des copies. Vous trouverez toutes ces dispositions, qui sont, je le répète, communes à la plupart des législations.

M. Asser. Avant ce Code Civil de 1884 est ce que la prescription n’existait pas pour les rentes?

M. Delacroix. Le premier Code civil qui a été promulgué au Mexique date de 1871; le Code de 1884 ne fait pas autre chose que de réduire le délai de la prescription.

M. Asser. Je vous remercie beaucoup.

(Le Tribunal s’ajourne a vendredi à 2½ heures de relevée.)

onzième séance.

26 septembre 1902 (apès-midi).

Le Tribunal s’est réuni à 2½ heures de l’après-midi, tous les Arbitres étant présents.

M. le President. Le parole est à M. l’Agent des Etats-Unis de l’Amérique du Nord.

Mr. Ralston. On the 21st of August, the chargé d’affaires of Mexico in the United States addressed a demand for discovery upon the United States to the following effect: “Whether it is true that there are Indians who are not Christianized or who are wholly free from obedience to the authorities in the State of California.” We have prepared our discovery and have it printed, and I will file, with the permission of the court, the original and certified documents, as well as printed copies, and we shall on our own account desire the evidence to be placed before the court. Adding one word, I may say that the exhibits which are attached to the letters certified by the Secretary of State are taken from the Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs for the year ending June 30, 1901, which is the official document which I shall deliver to the secretary-general. The exhibits show that there are in the Catholic schools—Indian Catholic schools within the territories regarded as a part of California—1,177 Indians.

Sir Edward Fry. Not the State of California?

Mr. Ralston. Not the State of California. In the State of California there are 234 attendants. The total is as I have stated. In addition there are in the State of California about 15,377 Indians, and in the limits of California as shown by the map filed here the other day—in Alta California—there are 68,397 Indians, and the additional territory which we consider was formerly claimed by Spain under the name of California has some 20,000 additional Indians. But at any rate, limiting ourselves to the territory ceded by the treaty of Gaudelupe Hidalgo, there are more than 60,000 Indians.

M. le President. Nous prenons acte de votre communication. M. le Secrétaire général communiquera ce document à l’adversaire. La parole est au Conseil des Etats-Unis du Mexique, M. Delacroix.

fin de la plaidoirie de m. delacroix.

Messieurs: Pour terminer ma plaidoirie sur le fond du procès, je n’ai plus à analyser devant vous qu’un document de la plus haute importance, que nous considérons à lui seul comme décisif; nous croyons que s’il a pu rester encore après ces débats un doute dans [Page 689]l’esprit de la Cour au sujet du fondement de la thèse que nous avons l’honneur de lui présenter au nom du Mexique, ce doute sera dissipé par le document que vous allez connaître.

Dans le livre rouge que vous possédez, il y a à la page 343 un document dont je veux vous faire une courte analyse parce que vous allez apercevoir immédiatement son importance.

Avant de formuler la réclamation dont le Tribunal est actuellement saisi, l’Eglise catholique de la Haute Californie avait formulé une prétention analogue devant le Tribunal américain de la Haute Californie. Sa prétention était celle-ci; elle disait: Il y a dans la Haute Californie des biens de Missions, des terres, des vergers, des propriétés, des établissements de tout ordre, qui ont été autrefois acquis par les Missions, nous sommes, nous Eglise catholique, évêchés de la Haute Californie, les successeurs des Missions, et par conséquent c’est à nous que ces biens appartiennent.

Ces biens, messieurs, avaient une importance considérable. La question a été soumise au Tribunal américain en octobre 1856, la Cour trouvera dans les pages 343 à 350 Pindication du systeme qui fut présenté devant le Tribunal américain par l’Eglise de la Haute Californie. Ce système, messieurs, vous le lirez, mais je demande la permission de vous indiquer et d’analyser devant vous la réponse qui fut faite, non pas pour l’Etat américain mais par tous ceux qui étaient intéressés à ce que ce ne fût pas l’Eglise de Californie qui eût l’attribution de la propriété de ces biens des Missions.

La question était importante, elle a été etudiée en droit de très près, et voici ce qui fut répondu par le sollicitor qui répresentait les parties défenderesses. Il fut établi devant les tribunaux américains de la Haute Californie que l’Eglise américaine n’avait pas de personnalité civile et que par conséquent elle n’avait pas de capacité pour recevoir.

Cet argument est absolument décisif, puisque nous avons discuté jusqu’ici le point de savoir si les autorités, le pouvoir souverain du Mexique ou de l’Espagne, avaient transféré des droits civils au profit de l’Eglise, et je crois avoir démontre avec succes qu’il n’en est rien. Mais voici que maintenant, par une démonstration absolument décisive, nous en arrivons á pouvoir établir que non seulement on n’a rien transféré mais que l’Eglise était impuissante à recevoir. Voici done (page 350) les quelques considérations qui ont été présentées:

1. L’Eglise, nous dit M. Horace Hawes, était originellement incapable d’acquérir, de posséder, de transférer des biens fonciers.

2. Subséquemment, quand ce pouvoir d’acquérir etde posséder (mais nond’aliéner) des biens temporels, fut conféré à l’Eglise, ce fut sous de grandes restrictions. Et il ne pouvait s’exercer sans l’expresse sanction, pour chaque acquisition, du pouvoir souverain.

3. Les modes par lesquels l’Eglise peut aequérir, ou les titres et documents nécessaires pour conférer le droit (de propriété) sont les mêmes que ceux requis daus le cas de particuliers ou d’autres personnes ciyiles, avec l’addition de la sanction souveraine.

4. Toutefois, contrairement au cas des particuliers, le droit de l’Eglise d’acquérir des biens fonds n’est pas inhérent, ni d’origine divine, mais purement d’ordre civil, créé par des lois civiles et sujet aux limitations qu’elles peuvent imposer.

Voici done que Phonorable avocat qui défendait alors les intérêts dont nous avons la charge aujourd’hui—e’étaient les mêmes—disait: L’Eglise n’a pas par essence le droit de posséder ou d’acquérir des biens, il faut qu’une loi le lui ait attribué. Nous allons rechercher, [Page 690]dit-il, quelle est la loi civile qui aurait donné à l’Eglise le droit de posséder; et il ajoute:

5. Bien que l’Eglise comme corps spirituel, restreinte aux objets spirituels de son institution divine, existe indépendamment de et en dehors du contrôle de l’Etat; cependant, envisagée comme corporation et proprietaire de biens temporels, elle est simplement une communauté politique, une partie constituante de l’organisation politique de la société, n’ayant que les droits de celles de sa catégorie, et sujets à tous les changements et modifications qui peuvent y être apportés.

6. Les acquisitions de l’Eglise, comme celles de toutes autres communautés politiques et au contraire des personnifications civiles fondées dans un but commercial, ne sont jamais, ni en tout ni en partie, la propriété de ses membres; elles ne sont pas davantage destinées a leur bénéfice individuel, mais aux usages d’ utilité publique que la “corporation” a pour but de poursuivre.

Voici done qu’il établit que l’Eglise, si elle a pu a un moment posséder, ne possédait pas au même titre qu’un particulier ou une soeiété commerciale. Quand une société commereiale vient à se dissoudre, tous les elements qui la composent, toutes les personnes qui en font partie ont une part du produit de la liquidation; tandis que