Page:Frontiers.djvu/55

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53
Frontiers

of international reputation: the rulers of the more detached or less powerful States, such as the Kings of Sweden and Italy or the President of the Swiss Confederation, being much in request; in one case, that of Venezuela, the United States were admitted as amicus curiae, acting on behalf of the smaller State of which they had assumed the virtual protectorate. Treaties providing for arbitration in a number of cases which may embrace Frontiers have been concluded between several of the leading Powers.

Finally, in the last decade, there has been set up the International Tribunal of the Hague, which, if its prestige be maintained and a permanent Court established, will probably become in an increasing degree the referee and arbiter of the Frontier disputes of the future.

These symptoms, when viewed in combination, will, I think, be sufficient to justify the claim that progress in the delimitation of Frontiers is positive and real. It would be futile to assert that an exact Science of Frontiers has been or is ever likely to be evolved: for no one law can possibly apply to all nations or peoples, to all Governments, all territories, or all climates. The evolution of Frontiers is perhaps an art rather than a science, so plastic and malleable are its forms and manifestations. But the general tendency is forward, not backward; neither arrogance nor ignorance is any longer supreme; precedence is given to scientific knowledge; ethnological and topographical considerations are fairly weighed; jurisprudence plays an increasing part; the conscience of nations is more and more involved. Thus Frontiers, which have so frequently and recently been the cause of war, are capable of