It will be observed from the minister for foreign affairs’ explanatory
statement in connection with this bill that the reasons for this measure are
based on the invitation of other than the signatory powers of The Hague
conventions of 1899 to the Second Peace Conference and proposals that the
representatives of such additional powers shall immediately upon the signing
of a treaty relating to the matter in question be allowed to participate in
the deliberations of the conference.
I forward the above-mentioned copy of the bill, together with the minister
for foreign affairs’ reasoning on the same, as an indication of the
preliminary steps taken by Her Majesty’s Government toward the realization
of the Second Peace Conference, and hence of possible interest to the
In this regard it may likewise be of interest to the department to know that
the Netherlands Government has asked for a special appropriation to meet the
expenses of the Government in connection with the entertainment of the
delegates to the Second Peace Conference.
To the Second Chamber of the
Gentlemen: We present you herewith for your
consideration a bill re the reservation of the right to conclude
agreements respecting the adhesion of powers which were not represented
at the international peace conference of the year 1899 to the treaty for
the pacific settlement of international disputes, concluded at The Hague
on the 29th of July, 1899.
The explanatory statement accompanying the bill contains the grounds on
which it is based.
And herewith, gentlemen, we commend you to God’s Holy care.
Het Loo, this 17th day of May, 1906.
We Wilhelmina, by the Grace of God, Queen of the Netherlands, Princess of
To all whom this shall concern,
greeting, to wit:
Whereas we having deemed it desirable that we reserve the right to
conclude agreements respecting the adhesion of foreign powers to the
treaty for the pacific settlement of international disputes, concluded
at The Hague on the 29th of July, 1899;
In observance of the second and third clause of article 59 of the
Hence, we, having heard the council of state, and with the general
consent of the States-General, have decided and agreed, as we do hereby
decide and agree:
- Article 1. We reserve the right to
conclude agreements respecting the adhesion of powers, which
were not represented at the International Peace Conference of
the year 1899, to the treaty for the pacific settlement of
international disputes, concluded at The Hague on the 29th of
July, 1899, approved by the law of the 9th of April, 1900
(Official Gazette No. 54).
- Article 2. This law shall take
effect on the day of its promulgation.
We do order and command that this shall be inserted in the Official
Gazette, and that all ministerial departments, authorities,
corporations, and officials concerned shall strictly observe the
The Minister for Foreign Affairs.
In a note dated April 3, 1906, the minister of His Majesty the Emperor of
Russia, in the name of his Government, laid before Her Majesty’s
Government a programme of the operations of the Second Peace Conference,
in which, among other things, as one of the subjects to be treated, is
mentioned: Improvements in the provisions of the treaty of the 29th of
July, 1899, for the pacific settlement of international disputes. A
number of states have been invited to the proposed conference which did
not participate in the conference of the year 1899.
As the participation of states in debates and decisions regarding the
revision of a treaty in which they did not participate is a matter of
serious consideration, it is necessary that such states should first be
able to adhere to the said treaty.
Article 60 of that treaty, ratified by the law of April 9, 1900 (Official
Gazette No. 54), reads as follows:
“The conditions under which powers which have not been represented at the
International Peace Conference shall be allowed to adhere to this treaty
shall form the subject of a subsequent conference between the
This subsequent arrangement has not yet been made and the above-mentioned
states have not as yet been able to adhere.
In order, therefore, with a view to the operations of the conference, to
render this necessary adhesion possible the Russian Government has
proposed to all the signatory powers of the said treaty that immediately
upon the opening of the Second Conference their representatives shall
sign a protocol containing a provision that the powers which were not
represented at the First Peace Conference, but have been invited to the
second, shall be regarded as having adhered to the treaty for the
pacific settlement of international disputes from the moment at which
they notified the Netherlands Government of their adhesion to the said
The direct result of this protocol will be the creation of the same
obligations between the Netherlands and those states which subsequent to
the signing of the protocol have given notice of their adhesion as are
embraced in the treaty of the 29th of July, 1899.
For this reason the Government considers that this protocol, which
moreover in a certain sense is a deviation from the above-mentioned
article 60, as well as from the treaty of the 29th of July, 1899,
itself, requires the approval of the States-General.
This approval can not be obtained in the usual way, subsequent to the
signing and before the ratification of an international convention.
Indeed, in that case the insertion of a proviso relating to ratification
would be required in the protocol, which would exclude adhesion until
after the deposit of the act of ratification or its going into effect,
which would annul the object of the protocol. The object is to secure
that alone the parties (contracting as well as adhering) to the treaty
of 1899 shall have equal rights in regard to the revisions to be made;
it is not sufficient, therefore, that those states can become parties,
to wit, provided the protocol be ratified and provided they thereafter
give notice of their adherence; in order to participate in the debates,
they must do this immediately after the signing of the protocol and by
so doing immediately become parties.
In the given circumstances it therefore seems imperative to make use of
the third clause of article 59 of the constitution.
The first article of the bill in question, which is expressly made to
read as amply as possible, in order that all possible subsequent
agreements relating to the adhesion of all powers which were not
represented at the conference in 1899 may be rendered possible, is based
on these considerations.
Whereas the law will have to take effect before the meeting of the
conference, the insertion of the second article seemed advisable.
Van Tets Van Goudrian,
The Minister for Foreign