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year later, and was then rejected by a vote of 176
In defense of the action of the Chamber of Deputies, the argument was diplomatically urged by the French government that the financial responsibility of the state could be pledged only by a vote of the legislature; but in the discussion before the Deputies, the administration, the Duc de Broglie being Minister of Foreign Affairs, gave fair support to the bill, and in the course of the debate the contention was made that the honor of the nation was committed. Moreover, the action of the chambers in ultimately providing for the fulfillment of the terms of the treaty may be considered a further recognition of its obligatory force. In estimating the attitude of the American government, the fact is not to be overlooked that the action of the Deputies appeared to be a repudiation of a debt not contracted by the treaty, but of long standing and of serious origin, and of which the treaty was but an acknowledgment. It was this circumstance, as well as the refusal to execute the treaty, that prompted President Jackson to recommend reprisals, and the House of Representatives unanimously to resolve that the execution of the convention should be insisted upon.
Under the constitution of 1848 the President of the Republic negotiated and ratified treaties; but no treaty was definitive until approved by the National Assembly.5 While the project of a law was pending, to authorize the
* Le Moniteur, p. 770, col. 1. Moore, International Arbitrations, vol. v, p. 4463.
· House Ex. Doc. 40, p. 80, 23rd Cong. 2nd sess. See Le Moniteur, p. 764, col. 2.
Wharton's International Law Digest, vol. ii, p. 20. • Resolution adopted Mar. 2, 1835. Cong. Debates, vol. xi, pt. 2, pp. 1633, 4.
5 Art. LIII. Brit. and For. Síate Papers, vol. xxxvi, p. 1078.
ratification of a treaty with Sardinia, signed November 5, 1850, objections were raised to particular articles of the treaty, and a proposal was made to amend them. This was opposed by the president of the Assembly who maintained that the function of that body was to accept or reject the treaty as signed.' He was unable to see how the Assembly could modify a treaty with a party who was not present and with whom it could not negotiate. A member' observed that the amendment was made, not to the treaty but to the law approving it, for the purpose of indicating to the Executive the basis on which the treaty must be concluded in order to meet the approval of the Assembly. To this the president replied that the wishes of the Assembly could be indicated by the debates, and that action on the question of approval might be postponed until the Executive had negotiated for the desired changes. He raised the objection that the vote of the Assembly in advance would be in effect an ultimatum. The motion to authorize the ratification of the treaty with modifications was rejected by the Assembly,' and on March 20, 1851, resolutions were adopted to regulate its procedure in acting upon treaties. They provided among other things that the Assembly might not present amendments to the text; that its function was confined to the adoption or rejection of, or to the suspension of action on, the project of law authorizing the ratification, and that, in case of such suspension, it might call the attention of the Government to the objectionable clauses. This method of accepting or rejecting in toto is followed at the present day.
'Le Moniteur, p. 3769, col. 2. Le Moniteur, p. 3771, col. 1.
? M. de Leyral. * Le Moniteur, p. 820, col. 3.
Article VI of the constitution, proclaimed by Louis Napoleon January 14, 1852, gave to the President of the Republic power to conclude treaties." Article III of the sénatus-consulte of December 23, 1852, modifying the constitution, specifically provided that treaties of commerce made in virtue of Article VI of the constitution should have the force of laws in the modification of tariff rates. Although the treaty-making power was thus vested absolutely in the Executive, the treaty of Turin of March 24, 1860, by which Savoy and the arrondissement of Nice were to be united as an integral part of France, was confirmed by a sénatus-consulte-an act of the sovereign or amending power under the constitution -of June 12, 1860, subsequently to the exchange of the ratifications.3 The sénatus-consulte of September 8, 1869, amending the constitution of 1852, and the sénatusconsulte of December 23, 1852, provided that thenceforth treaties stipulating for a modification of tariffs or postal rates should be binding only by virtue of a law.4
With the defeat at Sedan a provisional Government of National Defense was formed September 4, 1870, by whose authority military conventions were concluded and preliminary negotiations of peace conducted. Bismarck, however, requested that the treaty of peace should have the sanction of a national assembly, and in the preliminary articles signed February 26, 1871, there was inserted an express provision for ratification by the National Assembly. From the meeting of the National Assembly in
'Brit. and For. State Papers, vol. xli, p. 1086. * Ibid., vol. xli, p. 1338.
De Clercq's Recueil des Traités de la France, vol. viii, pp. 32, 48. * Art. X. Duvergier's Lois, Décrets, etc., vol. Ixix, p. 285. s Art. X. De Clercq's Recueil des Traités de la France, vol. x, p. 435.
February, 1871, until the adoption of the Constitutional Laws in 1875, treaties were negotiated by the Executive, but ratified only on the authority of a law of the National Assembly. As the law authorized the ratification, it preceded that act. In the case of two treaties, concluded on October 12, 1871, with Germany, relating, respectively, to the evacuation of certain departments by that power, and to commercial relations with Alsace-Lorraine, it preceded the negotiations.'
On March 13, 1873, the National Assembly voted to establish a second chamber and to determine upon the distribution of public powers. Accordingly M. Dufaure, for the Thiers Government, on May 19 laid before the Assembly a plan, in which it was provided that the President should negotiate and ratify treaties, but that no treaty should be definitive until approved by the two chambers.' M. Thiers was compelled to resign soon afterwards, and the project was not adopted. During the monarchical reaction, a project was, on May 15, 1874, presented by the Duc de Broglie. To the upper house, called the Grand Council, nearly one-half of whose members were to be appointed by the President for life, while most of the remainder were to be elected by the departments to serve for a period of nine years, was given the ratification of all treaties negotiated by the President.3. An amendment made by the Assembly, which provided that the upper house should be entirely elective, rendered the plan so unacceptable to the Right that it was rejected. On May 18, 1875, M. Dufaure introduced a bill on the distribution of the public powers, Article VII of
'De Clercq's Recueil des Traités de la France, vol. x, pp. 495, 496,
· Art. XIV. Journal Officiel, p. 3209, col. 2. : Art. XIX. Ibid., p. 3271, col. 3.
which, with the addition of clauses requiring the approval of the chambers for treaties of peace and those affecting the person and property of French citizens in foreign countries, was adopted as Article VIII of the Constitutional Law of July 16, 1875, which defines the treatymaking power in France at the present time.'
II. THE CONSTITUTIONAL LAW OF JULY 16, 1875 Article VIII of the Constitutional Law reads, “The President of the republic negotiates and ratifies treaties. He communicates them to the chambers as soon as the interest and safety of the state permit. Treaties of peace, and of commerce, treaties which involve the finances of the state, those relating to the persons and property of French citizens in foreign countries, shall become definitive only after having been voted by the two chambers. No cession, no exchange, no annexation of territory shall take place except by virtue of a law.". The French law thus attempts to classify under five general heads the treaties which require the approval of the legislature; but owing to the complex nature of the subject-matter of treaties, it is necessary, in order to determine specifically what treaties are thus included, to examine into the practice of the government. The legislative approval, in case it is required, is given in the form of a luw authorizing the President to raty the treaty and to cause it to be execute. It according precedes the exchange of ratifications and regularisiorows the signing.
la che negurations to terminate the war with China,