There are four or live reciprocity treaties, among them the Cuban treaty, which would be highly advantageous to the United States, but their ratification cannot be secured. It requires a two-third vote of the Senate to ratify a treaty, and so far, local and private interests have succeeded in preventing ratification in many instances. The question of the Alaskan boundary the administration of the United States desires to get out of the way. It is a source of irritation and danger and it is highly desirable to have it settled, and in order to get the treaty ratified and the first step taken towards the settlement of the question, it was necessary to get the support of the Senate. I am not in a position to say that Senator Lodge was promised a place on the commission if the treaty should be got through, but from the little I know about politics, no doubt the President of the United States would be anxious to secure the assistance of the only man who could get the treaty through the Senate. The treaty went through, and it is acknowledged on all hands that it went through in consequence of the support given it by Senator Lodge. Well, when the treaty was through, it was claimed that the final result had to be ratified at last by the United States Senate, that the United States Senate was a body with appellate jurisdiction, that the treaty must come before them, and would stand or fall in accordance with their decision, and it was claimed that it was a proper thing to have the body, which had the ultimate and unrestricted jurisdiction in the matter, represented on the commission. Whether that is a good contention or not it is not for me to say, but that is the contention that was made. It was contended that the United States Senate, which is the highest power in the United States, which must ratify every treaty, without whose concurrence no treaty can become law, was entitled to representation upon the Alaskan commission. That contention has been accepted by the United States, and two members of the Senate appointed, and besides these two members, Secretary Root.
I do not think it can properly be claimed that these are not all men of high character, that they are not nil of them jurists. They may not be impartial jurists.