Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, With the Annual Message of the President Transmitted to Congress December 8, 1908
File No. 2372/13–15.
Ambassador Dudley to the Secretary of State.
Petropolis , May 14, 1908 .
Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith translation of the message presented by President Penna to the Brazilian Congress at its opening session on the 3d instant. Copies in the original Portuguese will be forwarded as soon as furnished the embassy in pamphlet form. I also inclose a copy and translation of an epitome of the message, published by the Jornal do Commercio on the 4th instant, which perhaps renders a review of the message unnecessary.
Comment has been made principally upon statement in the message that Brazil’s relations are excellent “with nearly all nations” and upon its defense of the new military service law.
The showing of this country’s foreign commerce in 1907, with a favorable balance stated at £13,649,295, and of the Government revenues and expenditures is regarded as very satisfactory.
I have, etc.,
[From the Brazilian Review of May 12, 1908.—Extract.]
Gentlemen: It is with the liveliest satisfaction that I address myself to you for the second time, congratulating myself on your reunion, which is always welcome event to the Brazilian people who so justly confide in your enlightened and fruitful labors.
Before explaining the position of the country to you and pointing out suet measures and reforms as seem to be most urgent, in accordance with the dispositions of article 48, paragraph 9, of the Constitution, I must thank you for your valuable cooperation with Government during last session when you decreed several wise measures which the condition of the country demanded. As you will see from the official papers which will be laid before you, some of these measures have already been put into effect, whilst others are being studied and prepared so that they may be executed properly and at the most opportune moment.
I continue to do all in my power to make our relations with foreign powers closer and more cordial. Whilst with nearly all nations our relations are excellent, [Page 43] from some governments and peoples we have lately received special proofs of the appreciation in which the Brazilian nation is held, an appreciation which both the nation and Government have recognized with the liveliest gratitude.
The visits which were paid by a Brazilian naval division to Hampton Roads, by another to Montevideo, and by single ships of our navy to Montevideo, Punta Arenas, Talcahuano, Valparaiso, and Callao de Lima, as well as those paid to the port of the capital by the American Atlantic Fleet, and by a Chilean and two German training ships, were made the occasions of many significant and cordial manifestations of esteem between the Government of Brazil and those of Germany, the United States, Chile, Peru, and Uruguay. In Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay the whole population spontaneously and enthusiastically associated themselves with the official demonstrations of good will.
I was much touched by the friendly terms in which the telegrams were couched which, on different occasions, I received from President Pedro Montt, His Majesty the Emperor William II, and President Theodore Roosevelt.
On November 15 last and on the 1st of the current month of May, I had the satisfaction of receiving special missions from the Republic of Uruguay and the Republic of Paraguay, respectively. The first was headed by Gen. Eduardo Vasquez, minister of war and marine, and the second by Dr. Cecilio Baez, minister of foreign affairs. These missions came to return the good wishes which were presented in my name and that of Brazil by our diplomatic representatives in Montevideo, and Assumption to President Claudio Williman of Uruguay, and President Benigno Ferreira of Paraguay, when these gentlemen assumed office as President, and to the people of the two Republics.
The welcome then extended by the Government and the people of Brazil to the Uruguayan and now to the Paraguayan mission (so recently arrived) are solid proofs of the sincere affection which Brazil feels for the two Republics which are our neighbors. Indeed we desire nothing better than that the bonds of ancient and loyal friendship which unite us to them and to the other nations of this Continent should ever grow stronger.
This is the year in which Brazil celebrates the first centenary of the opening of her ports to the world’s trade and the end of the colonial period in Portuguese America, and we had invited His Majesty, King Dom Carlos I of Portugal, to join in that celebration as our guest. Unhappily a barbarous outrage deprived us of the great satisfaction we should have felt in giving a worthy welcome to a sovereign to whose impartial judgment we owe the amicable settlement of a grave international question in 1886, and who, amongst other proofs of friendship, had expressed his keen desire to visit this country. I forwarded to the royal family and the Portuguese nation the expression of the profound grief with which the Republic of Brazil heard the news of so sad an event and I appointed a special mission to represent Brazil at the funeral.
The ratifications of the frontier treaty between Brazil and Colombia were exchanged in the city of Rio de Janeiro on April 20 last. This treaty was signed in Bogota on April 24, 1907, approved by the National Congress on December 31, and promulgated by decree No. 6932 of 23d of April last.
The agreement for a modus vivendi on the Icá or Putumayo between Brazil and Colombia, concluded at Bogota on April 24, 1907, and approved by you on December 31, was also ratified and promulgated by decree No. 1866 of January 9 last.
The treaty between Brazil and Holland which establishes our frontier with that of the colony of Surinam, arranged in this capital on May 5, 1906, submitted for your approval by message on September 20, 1906, approved on June 25, 1907, and ratified by decree No. 1659 of the same date, is now awaiting the examination and approval of the States General of Holland. I trust that the final exchange of ratifications may take place this year and that the question, now so long outstanding, may be finally settled.
The two protocols of November 9, 1905, signed in Caracas were ratified by decree No. 1768 of November 6, 1907. The first of these declares the approval of the demarcation of the frontier between Brazil and Venezuela from Pedro de Cucuhy to Serro Cupy, as arranged in 1880; the second arranges for the appointment of a mixed commission to inquire into the work done by the Brazilian commission from 1880 to 1884 from Serro Cupy to a point on the Serro Roraima, where the three frontiers of Brazil, Venezuela, and British Guiana meet (special attention to be paid to the division of the rivers which flow into the Amazon, the Orinoco, and the Essequibo), and to mark out the [Page 44] frontier in accordance with the dispositions of paragraphs 2 and 3 of article 2 of the treaty of May 5, 1859.
The note in which the British Government recognized the frontier as marked out by the Rome award, shows that the river Cotingo does not rise in Monte Yakontipu, but in Monte Roraima, farther west, as had been already proved by the Brazilian commission of 1884. The two Governments interested will now have to make a special arrangement for the demarcation of the frontier between the two said points.
The agreement of February 6, 1907, between Brazil and Bolivia regarding the Rio Verde and its sources received the approval of Congress on September 10, and was ratified by decree 1721 of the 16th of the same month and year.
The demarcation of the frontier between the two countries arranged by the treaty of Petropolis of November 17, 1903, has been suspended owing to the withdrawal, on account of disagreements amongst the members, of the Bolivian commission. The new Bolivian commission, of which Gen. Pando is the head, is expected to arrive shortly at Corumba, where the Brazilian commission is waiting under Admiral Guillobel.
A protocol will shortly be signed at Rio de Janeiro confirming the approval given by the Governments of Brazil and Argentina to the plans and other works executed by the mixed commission appointed for the demarcation of the common frontier along the rivers Uruguay, Pepiry-Guacu. Santo Antonio, and Iguacu from the confluence of the Quarahim to that of the last-mentioned river on the Alto Parana, in execution of the Washington decision of February 5, 1895, and of the treaty of Rio de Janeiro of October 6, 1898. So soon as this protocol has been signed the two countries will be at liberty to occupy administratively the islands allotted to each of them in the said rivers by the said demarcation.
The date for the diplomatic discussion proposed in view of a direct agreement between Brazil and Peru for the demarcation of the frontier from the source of the Javary to the eleventh parallel south, treated of in article 8 of our treaty with Bolivia of November 17, 1903, and in article 1 of the provisional agreement which we made with Peru on July 12, 1904, was postponed till the 30th of the current month. The Peruvian minister to Brazil went away on leave in April last year, and for reasons of a political nature which bear witness to the deservedly high esteem in which he is held by his fellow countrymen it appears that he will only be able to return to this country in July next. In view of this fact, a fresh postponement must be made till the end of the current year, and I still trust that the two friendly Governments will arrive at an honorable and satisfactory solution of the only outstanding disagreement between them without appealing to third parties.
The period for the duration of the Brazilian-Peruvian arbitration court created by the agreement of July 12, 1904, has been again extended by the two Governments. This court is working with great diligence, and we trust that all outstanding questions will be settled by the end of June of the current year.
The Brazilian-Bolivian court, established by article 2 of the treaty of Petropolis, which suspended its work on May 20, 1906, owing to the withdrawal of the Bolivian arbiter, should, in accordance with the agreement of February 6, 1907, have recommended its sittings within a period of one year; that is, by the 6th of February last. The Bolivian Government, however, was unable to manage this, and the reopening of the sessions was postponed until the 6th of September of the current year, by which date the new representative of the neighboring Republic, at present engaged in other work of great importance, is expected to be in Rio de Janeiro.
A treaty of commerce and navigation, signed in this city on May 10, 1907, between Brazil and Ecuador, will be submitted for your examination and approval, as also the agreement signed in Lima on April 6 last by the plenipotentiaries of Brazil and Peru for the navigation of the Japurá or Caquetá.
In accordance with the treaty of April 24, 1907, which we concluded with Colombia, merchant vessels and ships of war belonging to Colombia have the right to navigate the Brazilian reaches of the River Japurá., whilst our vessels may navigate those belonging to Colombia on the same river.
By decree No. 1775 of November 8, 1907, I ratified the international convention of radiotelegraphy, together with the additional agreement, the final protocol of the conference of Berlin, and the regulations of the service. These various acts were concluded in the city of Berlin on November 3, 1906, and have already received your approval. Brazil’s ratification will now be deposited in Berlin.[Page 45]
By decree No. 1720 of September 16, 1907, there were sanctioned, and by decree No. 6987 of March 17 last were promulgated, the agreements of the Universal Postal Convention signed in Rome on May 23, 1906, together with the final protocol of the conference and the regulations and agreement for the exchange of packets containing valuables, the value of which has been declared, and the agreement for the service of postal orders. These were approved by you on September 10 last. The ratifications of the main convention and of the two agreements were deposited in Rome on March 11 of the current year.
By decree No. 1854 of January 9 last I ratified the resolution of the Third International American Conference held at Rio de Janeiro, adhering to the sanitary convention of Washington. This resolution was approved by you on December 31.
By decree No. 1834 of December 27, 1907, I also ratified the convention agreed upon at the said Third International American Conference on August 23, 1906, for the appointment of an international commission of jurisconsults for the drawing up of a code of international public law, and another of international private law, approved at the last session of Congress on December 24, 1907.
The meeting of this commission of jurisconsults was arranged for April 10 of this year at Rio de Janeiro; but owing to the fact that several of the American republics were unable to appoint their delegates in time, it was decided to postpone it until May 10, 1909.
In my message of June 13 of last year I submitted for your examination another convention, which was signed here on August 23, 1906, by the plenipotentiaries of the republics of our continent who took part in the Third International American Conference. This convention determined the standing of naturalized citizens who renewed their residence in their countries of origin.
With the same end in view a convention between the United States and Brazil was concluded in this capital on April 27 last, which will be shortly laid before you in another message.
I solicit your careful consideration of these two agreements, which I consider ought to be approved.
With your authorization, ratified by decree No. 1617, of May 28, 1907, Brazil, on June 14, adhered to the convention of The Hague, signed at that city on July 29, 1899, for the peaceful settlement of international differences, and in view of this I appointed as Brazilian arbiters at the permanent court at The Hague established by that convention Srs. Ruy Barbosa, Lafayette Rodrigues Pereira, Joaquim Nabuco, and Clovis Bevilaqua.
As I pointed out in my last message, the Republic of the United States of Brazil, having been unable to accept the invitation to the First International Peace Conference at The Hague extended to it by His Majesty the Emperor of Russia (an invitation received on that occasion by two other nations of our continent—the United States of America and Mexico), now accepted that sent to it by his Imperial Majesty for the second conference. The work of the conference commenced on June 15 of last year, and only ended on October 18 following, having thus lasted for more than four months.,
All the Republics of America were invited to this conference, at which we were represented by a delegacy headed by the vice president of the Federal Senate, Sr. Ruy Barbosa, as ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary.
There is no need for me to remind you of the exceptional brilliancy and ability with which that eminent statesman, lawyer, and orator represented Brazil at that great assembly of the nations. He took the most assiduous part, not only in the labors of the full sessions, but also in those of the four grand committees into which the members of the conference were subdivided. You all know—indeed, the whole country knows—that our illustrious fellow countryman spared no effort to warrant the confidence which we all reposed in his wisdom and his patriotism.
A great honor fell to Brazil, for soon after the commencement of the conference her ambassador was chosen to be honorary president of the first committee.
The position which we were obliged to take up, wholly disinterestedly, in defense of the incontestable principle of the equality of sovereign States resulted in Brazil finding herself supported by almost all the Republics of America and by many of the States of both Europe and Asia.
In addition to the final act of the conference, 14 separate conventions were signed at The Hague on October 18. The second and twelfth of these conventions, the former referring to the collection of contractual debts and the latter establishing an international prize court, were opposed by the Brazilian ambassador [Page 46] and were left unsigned by the Brazilian delegacy. Our ambassador also opposed the creation of a second permanent arbitration court, and it was indeed only on October 9, in one of the most notable of his speeches, that he agreed to accept this first convention with certain reservations.
The following were the conventions signed by the Brazilian delegacy:
- For the peaceful solution of international differences and the establishment of a new permanent arbitration court composed of paid judges; the organization of the court to be agreed upon by the various Governments after the close of the conference. Brazil made certain reservations with regard to the second paragraph of article 52 and articles 53 and 54, declaring that in future negotiations we could not accept any organizations which did not accept the principle of the equality of sovereign States, and, consequently, from which any system of election of judges and choosing of the same by foreign electors was not absolutely excluded.
- Convention relating to the outbreak of hostilities.
- Concerning the laws and usages of land warfare.
- Concerning the rights and duties of neutral powers and persons in land warfare.
- Relating to the position of merchant vessels belonging to the enemy at the commencement of hostilities.
- Relating to the transformation of merchant vessels into ships of war.
- Relating to the laying of automatic submarine contact mines.
- Concerning bombardments by naval forces during war time.
- For the adaptation of the principles of the Geneva convention to naval warfare.
- Relating to certain restrictions as to the exercise of the right of capture in naval warfare.
- Concerning the rights and duties of neutral powers in naval warfare.
- Declaration referring to the prohibition from throwing projectiles and explosives from balloons.
- The final act.
In a special message I shall lay before you all these international agreements in order that you may give your opinion on the same.
I can not bring this portion of my message to a close without reproducing verbatim the following extract from my message of May 3 of last year:
“I beg to call your attention to the urgent need for the reorganization of the foreign office and for the increase of its personnel. The number of the staff is the same as it was in the year 1859, when the minister still enjoyed the valuable assistance of the council of state, whose advice was available on all important subjects and to whom different departments, especially those of foreign affairs and of justice, frequently applied for enlightenment on important points and obtained invaluable assistance in their study and solution. During a period of almost half a century our foreign relations, both political and commercial, have greatly developed. In consequence the employees of this department have much more work, in view of the establishment of new services and the ever-increasing amount of both postal and telegraphic correspondence.”
extradition of criminals.
At this point it appears to me to be advisable to remind you that attention should be paid to the law regulating the extradition of criminals, so that uniform rules may be drawn up on which Government can act when attending to the requests made to it in this sense by friendly governments. Since the judicial authorities in more than one case have confirmed the doctrine that extradition should not be granted on a promise of reciprocity various doubts have arisen which ought to be decided.
The regulations for the execution of law No. 1860 of January 4 last, which instituted military service by lot, are ready and will be published within a few days. This measure, which has been demanded for many years back in messages to Congress and in reports of various ministers of war, will establish our military organization on a sound and stable basis.
The constitution wisely abolished recruiting by force and determined that the army and the navy should be composed of unpaid volunteers, and, if these were insufficient, of men drawn by lot according to rules previously laid down. [Page 47] The law of 1874 which regulated this had been found inadequate for the purpose intended, besides retaining recruiting by force in addition to the drawing by lot—a form of procedure which is contrary to the constitution.
It is quite clear that the ranks of the regular army will only be filled up by ballot when the number of volunteers forthcoming is insufficient. To wait, however, for this lack of volunteers, or for exceptional circumstance which may force us to put the army on a war footing, for the organization of the rules for ballot for military service, would be to show a lamentable lack of forethought, and would, indeed, amount to abandoning the defense of the country to the chances of measures taken in a hurry and without time for proper execution.
The constitution lays down that every Brazilian is obliged to serve in the army for the defense of the country and of the constitution, and to insure the carrying out of this principle the law provides for reserves for the regular army—an example which is followed by every civilized nation. Failure to understand the object and mechanism of the law has given rise to much undeserved censure.
There is no question of “militarizing” the country by dragging off to barracks the young men and the laborers, and thus depriving agriculture, trade, and industry of the strong arm, whose fruitful labor develops the wealth and greatness of the country. Reflection will show what a multitude of barracks we should need and what enormous sums of money would have to be expended on the upkeep of the men, and that indeed our resources would be insufficient to support even half such a burden.
The law of ballot exists in several South American countries, our neighbors, whose social, political, and economic conditions are similar to our own, and no one will go so far as to say that in those countries work has suffered such an enormous setback as has been predicted will be the case here.
The effective strength of the army will remain the same as in previous years, and it is absurd to suppose that the new organization will result in disturbance of labor amongst us.
It will be easy and practicable to establish battalions and give them some indispensable practical knowledge such as they can obtain in instruction camps and maneuvers, in rifle ranges, and in training schools. According to law, the national guard was always supposed to undergo this training. The new law makes the reservists subject to the same training, but it will be given at the places, seasons, and times when it will least prejudice the ordinary occupations of those drawn by lot.
A natural corollary of the law of military service is the reorganization of the army on a basis in accordance with the progress of military science and art, reorganization which has been demanded by successive war ministers. The small effective strength of our army (the same indeed as it has been for many years) shows clearly that we have not the slightest wish to make ourselves a military power, and that all we desire is to take ordinary precautions and measures to secure the nation against possible aggression.
I would ask you to consider the reform of the law regulating penal process in the army. Experience has shown that the omissions and ambiguities of the present law give rise to delays which are prejudicial, not only to the prisoners but also to the discipline of the army itself, as they postpone the punishment of offenders.
Maneuvers took place in the second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth military districts with satisfactory results, both officers and men showing great keenness. Every year practical instruction is developing, and, in the opinion of experts, we are making marked progress in this direction.
The construction of the smokeless-powder factory will be completed this year, and so soon as we have installed the proper plant in the arsenals for the preparation of projectiles we shall cease to be dependent on foreign markets for the purchase of ammunition.
The military town of Deodora is in course of construction, and will, when finished, permit of the concentration of the forces stationed in the capital of the Republic in a healthy and open spot, which will be invaluable for the healthy training, discipline, and practical instruction of the men.
As I informed you in my first message, the condition of the barracks and other military buildings in the various States of the Republic is not at all satisfactory, but the construction of new ones and the rebuilding and repairing of those at present in use can only be done piecemeal (in order to avoid large and immediate expenditure) by the appropriation of a certain sum in each [Page 48] succeeding budget for this purpose. With the money already voted important work has been done on the barracks at Manaos, Obidos, Belem, S. Luiz do Maranhao, Lorena, Corumba, and Caceres, and on the forts at Obidos and Coimbra.