The Akaroa Mail. FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 1914. THE LIMITS OF ARBITRATION.
It is agreed that war is a savage thing. At the present tirce, -when great European nations are in conflict., and '. tjhe modern weapons have such a deadly Reflect, the lists of casualties make the ordinary citizen cousider that in this age we are too civilised for warfare. However,, in the last century, many people thought, 'the £*ame,";arjd, after the long terra of Napoleon's wars, strong efforts wore made to persuade nations to resort to arbitration to settle thtir disputes Unfortunately, arbitration does not always settle the matter in dispute, and a resort to arms seems unn voidable. For some years past the Little [England Party has been scorning the idea of baying a war with Germany, When Captain Stewart, after spend-; ing a year in a German prison for 'espionage, tourpd England lecturing and endeavouring to persuade the English tbat Germany was only waiting ber time to descend on Great Britain, he was looked upon as a mild lunatic. Ifc was thought oil coiild be settled by arbitration, but the present war has shown that the crisis will arise again and again where arbitration -is quite useless. France and Great Britain in 1904 settled a number of long standing disputes by arbitration, matters affecting Morocco, Newfoundland and Gth.Br instances of the good work done by arbitration can be cited, but this war shows that all nations must be prepared to defend themselves. There will arise again and again some power anxious to extend its dominion, and, thinking it is strong enough, this power will do as Germany has done, and attempt to 'seize by force wba 1 - it desires. As illustrating the ' oeeo"for for war end tbe limitations for arbitration, we quote the fallowing extract from a con
temporary :---'•, In ibu midst of tbVg'eat war now raging in Europe the recent an ~ .nouncement that British and. French AmbftFsa'd >rs bave signed the Anglo American and -Franco-American Pea.cc -Commission , Treaties reads like-'aA.messit'ge, frb"r4 Another -world. Ifc seems strange and unreal to b9 talking aboub peace and arbitration at a time of unexampled strife - such as the present--thought it is very :'■ probable-.it'hat after the. war tbe movement in favour of settling interna,-' tional disputes by appease to some impartial tribunal will receive a powerful ■■ impetus. Following a felling of'exhaustion experienced by tbe nations of Europe as" the; result of tbe Napoleonic wars, a good deal of attention was given to the question of interna-, tiona.l arbitation,, men like Victor Fliigo, John Bright, and Richard Oobden taking a prominent part in the movement. Since those days much has been done to giveeffect to their aims and ideas in this matter. The only see Europe •'ablate *?on fhe-'-pm3eQt |; i' occasion were! .', tb'e V .fj&f "XJgfmanu-War P&'r-'fcf, 5 uud'- ii is tbat > '' 60m6 '' tbirjguwiH it less '•eaf j c m m c n fc !to yfilur.Qpe into i.another e-mfliiSf;.-;'- W^^ l n °t be a i wholly and utterly ; it has fits redeeming features. But it also .Sag a terribjy dark side, The devastation of Belgium is an impressive' proof' of this,.and it is tobe hoped, tbat tt> Struggle now goiDg on will be foilowA-3 b J a long period of unbroken aod Prosperity. It may be, l tno.mnctv .*° expect that war will be'effily but ' * fae estrfb * lish'ment of peace commissions like those which tho L> ited States;bas succeeded in arranging wifcD Frani3e and Britain should certa "Uily- hQ ;™A .' powerful influence in rest-'ttf'ingjh.e report to force for the settle of differences between nations- T-nB majority of" people -probably are wo* aware 'of £h'e~great~progfeEls Which h*s already been made in the direction ot arbitration. From the year 1822 to 1900 treaties of tbis character were,enacted to the number of 125, and during the following ten years no fewer than 180 such agreements came into opei» .ation. Tho number of arbitration awards mftde during the nineteenth ceatury waa 212, and though some of theta dealt with very, serious matters everyone of them was accepted aocl- ■ acted upen. There is still room for the extension of the scope of international arbitration, and it is cot too much 'to expect that before the twentieth century is over the appeal to, right and reason will have still 'more largely superseded brute force in settling the disputes of nation with nation."