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The ordinary mode of obtaining international redress is by diplomatic negotiation. There is nothing that so much conduces to the adjustment of differences as a full and frank discussion of them. Usually, negotiations are conducted by the regular official representatives of the governments concerned. Where, however, the exigencies or magnitude of the controversy appear to render it expedient, special or additional representatives, official or unofficial, are employed; and, where the occasion requires it, formal international conferences are held. Of such conferences the history of diplomacy affords many examples.
Where negotiation fails, the parties may try the good offices or mediation of a friendly power, or may resort to arbitration.
"When a dispute as to territorial limits arises between two nations, the ordinary course is to leave the territory claimed by them respectively in the same condition (or as nearly so as possible) in which it was when the difficulty first occurred, until an amicable arrangement can be made in regard to conflicting pretensions to it. It has not been the intention of the United States to deviate from this course, nor has any notice been given by Mexico that she proposed to assume jurisdiction over it, or change the possession as it was held at the conclusion of the treaty of peace and limits between the two Republics."
Mr. Marcy, Sec. of State, to Mr. Conkling, min. to Mexico, May 18, 1853,
2. GOOD OFFICES AND MEDIATION.
(1) TO ADJUST DIFFERENCES.
"There is a distinction between the case of good offices and of mediator. The demand of good offices or their acceptance does not confer the right of mediator. (Klüber, Droit des Gens Moderne de l'Europe, Part II. tit. 2, § 1, ch. 2, § 160.) The offer of Russia to mediate between the United States and Great Britain, in the war of 1812, was at once accepted by the former; and in order to avoid delays incident to the distance of the parties, plenipotentiaries were commissioned to conclude a treaty of peace with persons clothed with like power on the part of Great Britain. (Wait's State Papers, Vol. IX. p. 223; President Madison's message, May 25, 1813.) The re
fusal of Great Britain, at that time in the closest alliance with Russia, can only be accounted for by the supposed accordance between the United States and Russia in questions of maritime law. Sir James Mackintosh considered the rejection of the proffered mediation, whereby hostilities were unnecessarily prolonged, the less justifiable, as a mediator is a common friend, who counsels both parties with a weight proportioned to their belief in his integrity and their respect for his power. But he is not an arbitrator, to whose decisions they submit their differences, and whose award is binding on them.' (Hansard's Parliamentary Debates, Vol. XXX. 526, April 11, 1815.)" Lawrence's Wheaton (1863), 495.
As to Russia's offer of mediation in the war of 1812, see Am. State Papers,
"The phrase 'good offices' being somewhat elastic, it may be well to confine its use to the two contingencies in respect to which this Department is careful to limit its employment. In its first sense, it corresponds to the French term officieux, or the Spanish oficioso, and means the unofficial advocacy of interests which the agent may properly represent, but which it may not be convenient to present and discuss on a full diplomatic footing. In its second sense, it is allied to arbitral intermediation as an impartial adviser of both parties, and not only implies but requires the assent of both parties and oftener, a spontaneous invitation from each. Neither of these meanings may be attached to the service which the Colombian minister desires you to render."
Mr. Hay, Sec. of State, to Mr. McNally, No. 235, March 16, 1900, MS. Inst.
"On the part of France the mediation [that of Great Britain in 1835, as to the non-performance of the French spoliation treaty] had been publicly accepted before the offer of it could be received here. Whilst each of the two Governments has thus discovered a just solicitude to resort to all honorable means of adjusting amicably the controversy between them, it is a matter of congratulation that the mediation has been rendered unnecessary. Under such circumstances the anticipation may be confidently indulged that the disagreement between the United States and France will not have produced more than a temporary estrangement. . . . Of the elevated and disinterested part the Government of Great Britain has acted, and was prepared to act, I have already had occasion to express my high sense."
President Jackson, message of February 22, 1836, Richardson's Messages,
As to the dispute between the United States and France, to which Presi-