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The National Boycott as an International Delinquency

  • C.L. Bouvé (a1)


John Smith, an American citizen, is engaged in a profitable local business in a foreign country. He unexpectedly receives information from a reliable source that the people of the vicinity plan to attack and destroy his establishment within twenty-four hours. Smith at once imparts this information to the local authorities, who take no steps whatever to protect him. The threatened attack occurs and his business is either severely damaged or ruined. It is obvious that we have here a case for diplomatic representations. A foreigner residing in a friendly state has suffered injury to his property at the hands of the nationals of that state, under conditions where national responsibility attaches. The state of residence has failed to meet its international duty of taking adequate steps to afford the resident foreigner the protection of the local law; in other words, it has not been diligent in attempting to prevent the perpetration by its nationals of acts violative of the local law directed against the foreigner and resulting in injuries to his business interests.



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1 The allegation of national responsibility referred to was not embodied in a statement addressed to the Chinese Government.

2 Memoranda Presented to the Lytton Commission, Vol. 1, pp. 411-413.

3 Foreign Relations of the United States 1905, pp. 206-233.

4 Anti-foreign Boycotts in China, Document A, Appendix No. 7 of the Japanese Assessor with the Lytton Commission.

5 Orchard, Dorothy J., “China's Use of the Boycott as a Political Weapon,” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 152, p. 259, November, 1930.

6 Memoranda Presented to the Lytton Commission, Vol. I, p. 407.

7 Ruling Case Law, Vol. 5, p. 1096.

8 Law of Torts, London, 1907, p. 441.

9 Op. cit., p. 446.

10 1901, A. C, 495.

11 32 L. R. A. (N. S.), p. 750, footnote to American Federation of Labor et al. v. Buck's Stove & Range Co., 33 App. D. C. 83; and see specifically to this effect, Duplex Printing Press Co. v. Deering et al, 254 U. S. 443, 466, 468.

12 John E. Orchard, Japan's Economic Position, pp. 453-461.

13 Supplement to the Lytton Report, p. 215.

14 Dorothy J. Orchard, he. cit.

15 John E. Orchard, op. cit, p. 465.

16 Op. cit., pp. 467-468.

17 P. 239.

18 Page 243. It is remarked in the Supplement that information as to the effects of the boycott on various Japanese interests is unavoidably, almost exclusively, of Japanese origin “because of the fact that no one else is in possession of such documentation” (p. 243). The statement quoted is a summarization of the Japanese Assessor's Document “A,” Appendix 7; and in commenting on the subject of the methods employed in conducting the boycott, the Commission had occasion to remark that “the description given in Document ‘A,’ Appendix 7, submitted to the Commission by the Japanese Assessor, may be safely taken as correct” (p. 227). And on this special question of the economic effectiveness of the national boycott, see Dr. C. F. Renter's excellent contribution to the general subject: A Study of Chinese Boycotts with Special Reference to their Economic Effectiveness (1933), pp. 35, 42, 49, 64, 111, 132, and Chapters XIV and XVI.

19 P. 209.

20 Hosea Ballou Morse, The Guilds of China, with an account of the Guild Merchant, or Co-Hong of Canton.

21 P . 211.

22 John Stewart Burgess, The Guilds of Peking, New York, 1928. Suppl., p. 211.

23 P. 213.

24 John E. Orchard, op. cit., p. 456.

25 Supplement, p. 214

26 Supplement, p. 214.

27 John E. Orchard, op. cit., p. 462.

28 Supplement, p. 214.

29 ibid., pp. 215-216.

30 ibid., p. 217.

31 ibid., p. 217.

32 John E. Orchard, op. cit., p. 466.

33 Supplement, p. 221.

34 ibid., p. 222.

35 Report, p. 118.

36 Supplement, pp. 227-228.

37 Supplement, p. 247. And see also on this point, Remer, op. cit., p. 240, where the author states that the boycott of 1931 made use of all methods of the earlier boycotts and that “in some cases the death penalty was inflicted.“

38 Supplement, p. 223.

39 “The Menace to Hong Kong,” Vol. 16, Dec. 1926-Sept. 1926, p. 534.

40 Report, p. 120.

41 Memoranda Presented to the Lytton Commission, by Dr. V. K. Wellington Koo, Assessor, Vol. I, p. 415.

42 Dr. Koo, op. cit., p. 420.

43 Laferrière, in Revue Giniralé de Droit International Public, 1910, pp. 288-326, quoted in Dr. Koo's Memoranda, Vol. I, pp. 408-9.

44 Traité de Droit International Public, Sec. 985 (3).

45 Supplement, pp. 222, 227, 229, 248.

46 Report, p. 120.

47 Supplement, pp. 229, 230.

48 ibid., p. 246.

49 Foreign Relations, U. S., 1905, p. 223.

50 Supplement, p. 213.

51 ibid., p. 215.

52 Supplement, p. 215.

53 ibid., p. 214.

54 Supplement, p. 246.

55 Report, p. 120.

56 John E. Orchard, op. cit., p. 455.

57 Draft of Report of Special Committee of the Assembly, p. 17.

58 Supplement, p. 249.

59 After the fall of Tsingtao in 1914, the stationing of Japanese troops there inspired the boycott of that year. The boycott of 1927 was launched in response to the presence in Shantung of Japanese troops stationed there to insure the safety of Japanese residents. They were withdrawn, but were again despatched to Tsinan in 1928 in view of the imminence of a collision between the Nationalist army and the Shantung provincial forces. See Antiforeign Boycotts in China, Document A, Appendix No. 7, of the Japanese Assessor with the Lytton Commission, pp. 7, 12 and 15.

60 It is of interest to note in this connection that at the 10th Plenary Meeting of the Assembly of the League on Dec. 6,1932, Mr. Benes, of Czechoslovakia, characterized as hostile acts anti-foreign propaganda and particularly economic boycott, when systematic, prolonged, organized, supported and apparently fomented officially. At the 11th Plenary meeting, Mr. Politis, of Greece, characterized the unilateral denunciation of treaties and the anti-foreign agitation which found expression in systematic boycotting organized or abetted by the government, as “a kind of aggression and a flagrant violation of international law.“

The National Boycott as an International Delinquency

  • C.L. Bouvé (a1)


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