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United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, with the annual message of the president transmitted to Congress December 5, 1898
(1898)

Miscellaneous,   pp. 1148-1182 PDF (2.4 MB)


Page 1148

MISCELLANEOUS.
RED CROSS
CIRCULAR AND PAPERS RELATING TO THE ADOPTION BY THE
UNITED STATES OF THE ADDITIONAL ARTICLES OF THE
- GENEVA CONVENTION AS A MODUS VIVENDI DVRING PRESENT HOSTILITIES WITH SPAIN
[Circular.]
Ganeva Oonvention (Red Uross)—additional articles thereof as applied
to naval warfare, adopted by the United States as a modus vivendi during
present hostilities between the United States and Spain.
It is the desire and purpose of the United States in its conduct of war to
observe the most humane and enlightened principles in the treatment of the
sick, wounded, and dying. It recognizes the very great service rendered to
that end by the conference of Geneva, held in the year 1864, which framed
certain humane and expedient regulations for the care of the wounded and
sick in the field. These were embodied in the convention of August 22, 1864,
which has been ratified or adhered to by most of the civilized powers.
In 1868 a second international conference was held at Geneva, when
it was proposed that the regulations contained in the original articles concerning
military warfare be extended and adapted so far as practicable to war at
sea. Fifteen articles, known as the "additional articles of 1868," were proposed,
Articles VI to XV of which relate exclusively to marine warfare. In the subsequent
discussion of then~ an amendment to Article IX was proposed by France, and
in correspondence between England and France Article X was interpreted and
elucidated. These "additional articles," although acceded to by the United
States March 1, 1882, subject to promulgation after general exchange of ratifications,
have never been formally adopted or ratified by the powers. During the Franco-Prussian
war, however, they were adopted as a modus vivendi between the belligerents.
Upon the breaking out of the present hostilities between the United States
and Spain, the United States at once commissioned the ambulance ship Solace
to accompany the Atlantic fleet as a noncombatant hospital ship, to be employed
solely to render aid to the sick, wounded, and dying, and to observe in spirit
the additional articles of the Geneva
Conference.
On the 23d day of April, 1898, this Government was addressed by
- the Swiss minister at this capital proposing the formal adoption by this
Government and by the Government of Spain of the additional articles, as
a modus vivendi, during the present hostilities with Spain. The United States
Government was readily disposed thereto, and on the 9th day of May sent to
the Swiss minister notice of its adoption of the same as a modus vivendi.
It has this day been informed by the Swiss minister of a 1-ike adoption thereof
by the Government of Spain.
1148


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