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Olney-Pauncefote Treaty


OLNEY-PAUNCEFOTE TREATY. The Olney-Pauncefote Treaty was an accord resulting from Anglo-American arbitration. It was drafted primarily by Secretary of State Richard Olney and Sir Julian Pauncefote, British ambassador to the United States. The United States and the United Kingdom had considered such a treaty for some years when, in January 1896, the British prime minister, Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, Lord Salisbury, suggested it anew. Salisbury proposed one of limited terms whereas Olney believed in giving arbitration the greatest possible scope and in making the awards securely binding. The treaty he and Pauncefote drew up during 1896 made pecuniary and most other nonterritorialdisputes completely arbitrable. Territorial disputes and any "disputed questions of principle of grave importance" were arbitrable subject to an appeal to a court of six, and if more than one of the six dissented, the award was not to be binding. Parliament promptly ratified the treaty. President Grover Cleveland sent it to the Senate on 11 January 1897 with his strong approval, but it remained suspended until the Republican administration came into office. Then, although President William McKinley and Secretary of State John Hay earnestly supported it, ratification failed.


Bentley, Michael. Lord Salisbury's World: Conservative Environments in Late-Victorian Britain. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2001.

Wright, L. R. Julian Pauncefote and British Imperial Policy, 1855– 1889. Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 2002.

AllanNevins/a. e.

See alsoForeign Policy ; Great Britain, Relations with ; International Law .

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