The Secretary of State to the Russian Ambassador.

Dear Mr. Ambassador: Responding to the wish expressed in your personal note of the 5th instant, I have the pleasure to send you herewith a memorandum communicating the reply of the President to the message of His Imperial Majesty the Tsar, which you delivered to the President on the 13th ultimo, relative to the convocation of a Second International Peace Conference at The Hague.

I have taken note of the preliminary inquiry addressed to all the other governments looking to their acquiescence in the calling of such a conference by the formal invitation of His Majesty.

I am, etc.,

Elihu Root.


On the 13th of last month, at Sagamore Hill, his excellency the ambassador of Russia presented to the President a memorandum, being a message from His Majesty the Tsar to [Page 830] the President, to the effect that in view of the termination, with the cordial cooperation of the President, of the war, and of the conclusion of peace between Russia and Japan, His Imperial Majesty, as initiator of the International Peace Conference of 1899, deems the present a favorable moment for further developing and systematizing the labors of that conference, and that to this end, upon being assured in advance of the sympathy of the President, who last year pronounced himself in favor of such a project, His Majesty desires to approach the President with a proposal to the effect that the Government of the United States take part in a new international conference, which could be called together at The Hague as soon as favorable replies may be obtained from all the other states to which a similar proposal is to be made.

The Secretary of State, by direction of the President, has the honor to confirm to his excellency the ambassador of Russia the assurances which the President had the sincere pleasure to give to his excellency at the time of the presentation of the memorandum of September 13. The President’s circulars to the powers, partiesto the acts of The Hague Conference, which the late Secretary of State communicated to the several signatory states through the American envoys accredited thereto, dated, respectively, October 21 and December 16 of last year, have demonstrated the President’s keen desire that upon a favorable occasion the labors of the First International Peace Conference might be supplemented and completed by an accord to be reached by a second conference of the powers. The suggestion so put forth having been accepted in principle by the signatories, it only remained for the opportune moment to come for the powers to agree upon the place and time for their renewed assemblage in order to perfect the beneficial agreements of the first conference.

The President most gladly welcomes the offer of His Imperial Majesty to again take upon himself the initiation of the steps requisite to convene a Second International Peace Conference, as the necessary sequence to the first conference, brought about through His Majesty’s efforts, and in view of the cordial responses to the President’s suggestion of October, 1904, he doubts not that the project will meet with complete acceptation and that the result will be to bring the nations of the earth still more closely together in their common endeavor to advance the ends of peace.

As respects the further statement of his excellency’s memorandum of September 13, that, as the late war has given rise to a number of questions which are of the greatest importance and closely related to the acts of the first conference, the plenipotentiaries of Russia, at the future meeting, will lay before the conference a detailed programme which could serve as a starting point for its deliberations, the President finds it in consonance with the indications of his circular of October 21, 1904, touching the questions to come before a second conference for discussion, and the importance of completing the work of the first conference by ample exchange of views and, it is to be hoped, full concord upon the broad questions specifically relegated by the final act of The Hague to the consideration of a future conference.

[Continued in Foreign Relations, 1906.]