National Geographic : 1897 Jul
200 THE VENEZUELAN BOUNDARY COMMISSION In addition to the influence exerted by the commission in initiating the peaceful settlement of the dispute, the contribu tion which it has made to the scholars of the world should not be overlooked. The investigations in history and geography set forth in the papers accompanying its report have a value wholly apart from the case to which they owe their origin. A few words about the arbitral tribunal and the work before it must end this already too long article. On February 2, 1897, a treaty of arbitration as to the boundary was signed in Washington by Sefior Jose Andrade,for Venezuela, and by Sir Julian Pauncefote, for Great Britain. It consists of 14 articles, describing in precise legal and formal phraseology how the dispute is to be disposed of. A printed copy of that now public treaty lies before me as I write. Let me summarize it. First. An arbitral tribunal is to be named forthwith. Second. It is to be composed of five jurists, two named by Venezuela and two by Great Britain. Venezuela names Chief Justice Fuller and Mr Justice Brewer, of the United States Su preme Court, and Great Britain names Baron Herschell and Sir Richard H. Collins, of Her Majesty's privy council. These four are to select, on or before September 14, 1897, a fifth arbiter, a jurist, who is to be president of the tribunal. In the event of failure to do so, the fifth arbiter is to be chosen by the King of Sweden. Third. The tribunal is to determine what belonged to the Netherlands and what to Spain at the time when Great Britain acquired from the Dutch what is now British Guiana. Fourth. The tribunal shall take account of all pertinent facts, shall be governed by the principles of international law, and by three rules, viz: (a) Adverse possession or prescription for 50 years to consti tute a good title. (b) The arbitrators may recognize and give effect to laws sup ported on any other valid foundation (than adverse possession) and which conform to international law. (c) In determining the boundary, if the tribunal shall find that the territory of one party was at the date of this treaty oc cupied by citizens or subjects of the other, it shall give to such occupation the effect which in its opinion is required by reason, justice, the principles of international law, and the equities of the case.