The Russian Ambassador to the Secretary of State.
Washington, April 12, 1906.
Mr. Secretary of State: Supplementing the note dated April 12, relative to the programme of the Second Peace Conference, I am charged by the Imperial Government to submit to the favorable attention of the Government of the United States the following considerations:
The inclosed list shows that among the States invited to participate in the labors of the contemplated meeting there are several that have not taken part in the first conference of 1899. It can but subserve the lofty purpose pursued by these great humanitarian gatherings to increase the number of the powers which join in agreements so beneficial to universal peace. But, on the other hand, a difficulty, of form only, that stands in the way of the admission, pure and simple, of new states must be taken into account. If, as supposed by the Imperial Government, the forthcoming conference is to be called upon to perfect the provisions of 1899, a formal adhesion to the three conventions of The Hague should be formulated by the states which have newly convoked and would thereafter take part in the general deliberations over the additions or amendments to the said provisions.[Page 1632]
As to the convention relative to the peaceful settlement of international disputes, it contains in article 60 the following stipulation concerning eventual accessions: “The conditions on which the powers who were not represented at the International Peace Conference can adhere to the present convention shall form the subject of a subsequent agreement among the contracting powers.” As the agreement thus referred to has not been effected, it seems necessary to find a practical means of adjusting this formality, and the Imperial Government suggests that, on the opening of the second conference, the representatives of the states parties to the first conference sign the following protocol:
The representatives at the Second Peace Conference of the states signatories of the convention of 1899 relative to the peaceful settlement of international disputes, duly authorized to that effect, have agreed that in case the states that were not represented at the First Pence Conference, but have been convoked to the present conference, should notify the Government of the Netherlands of their adhesion to the above-mentioned convention they shall be forthwith considered as having acceded thereto.
If the Government of the United States, as well as the governments of other states parties to the First Peace Conference to which the foregoing has likewise been made known, should express its assent to this course being adopted, the Imperial Government would lose no time in advising the states newly convoked to the second conference.
As there is no clause similar to that of article 60 in the convention relative to the peaceful settlement of international disputes applicable to the other two conventions of 1899, the Imperial Government has addressed to the newly convoked states a request that they immediately forward to the Government of the Netherlands their adhesion to the last two conventions mentioned.
Awaiting a favorable answer of the Government of the United States in regard to the suggestion herein above formulated as to the mode of accession of the new states to the convention concerning the peaceful settlement of international disputes, I embrace the opportunity to renew to you the assurance of my high consideration.