When considered in conjunction with the facts of the [p64] preceding periods, the case in favour of Denmark is confirmed and strengthened. The request made to the Norwegian Government is therefore, in this respect, on the same plane as those addressed to the other Powers. The Government followed the advice of the Commission. In his Fiscal Letter of April 1st, , he writes as follows:
Later, two inhabitants of Iceland set out to search for the islands seen by Gunnbjörn and, according to the Saga, they reached Greenland and passed the winter there. These undertakings have been fully discussed by the two Parties, and in three cases the Court considers that undertakings were given. Ihlen was mistaken as to the results which might ensue from an extension of Danish sovereignty, it must be admitted that this mistake was not such as to entail the nullity of the agreement. But there is nothing in these replies to indicate that these Governments believed that they were confirming an already existing sovereignty. Gilbert Gidel, as Counsel and Advocate, on behalf of Norway.
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And how can one account for the fact that these States did not then reply that they had already granted this recognition by the conclusion of one or other of these treaties? Ihlen's minute of the interview. For the purposes of the present case, it is only necessary to note two dates:
The colonies thus established remained Norwegian possessions until , when the King of Denmark and Norway, by the Treaty of Kiel, ceded the kingdom of Norway to the King of Sweden - Greenland, the Ferroe Isles and Iceland excepted. The attention of the Danish Government was repeatedly drawn from different sides to the possibility of disputes and to the danger of uncolonized territories in Greenland being occupied by other States. Ihlen, the latter merely replied that the question would be considered. I would ask you to explain to the Norwegian Minister for Foreign Affairs that the Danish Government is confident that it will meet with no difficulties on the part of the Norwegian Government with regard to such an extension. This step led to a Conference between these Powers which held its first meetings in London in July and August
In regard to the other Powers, the situation of the Danish Government was different, as it was asking them for declarations which would definitively settle the question. The subject of this conversation was recorded by M. In the first place, the Court holds that, at the time of the termination of the Union between Denmark and Norway to , Norway undertook not to dispute Danish sovereignty over Greenland.
Steglich-Petersen was in fact permitted to comment on the documents in question and thereupon withdrew his Government's objection to this admission. The notes exchanged with Russia in relate to Greenland in general. Indeed, up till , no Power disputed the Danish claim to sovereignty. The Convention of July 9th, , was a confirmation of Denmark's friendly disposition in respect of these Norwegian hunting and fishing interests. A report of the Royal Greenland Trade Commission of speaks of two inspectors who are to be regarded as the only public authorities in the country, and in the same year another report of the said Commission mentions that the two inspectors have to watch over the territorial rights of Your Majesty.
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Ihlen realized that the statement which the Norwegian Government was being asked to give was to be the counter-part of the declaration which the Danish Government was promising to make in regard to Spitzbergen. All the papers with regard to the granting of the Tayler concession have been submitted to the Court at the request of the Norwegian Agent. There remains the question whether during this period, i. This evolution seems to have obliterated to some extent the separation which had existed between them from a constitutional standpoint. Owing to the loss of a ship, this station ceased [p35] working in the following year.
In making this statement to the Norwegian Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Danish Minister was to point out that the Danish Government had been anxious for some years past to obtain the recognition by all the interested Powers of Denmark's sovereignty over the whole of Greenland, and that she intended to place that question before the above-mentioned Committee ; and, further, that the Danish Government felt confident that the extension of its political and economic interests to the whole of Greenland would not encounter any difficulties on the part of the Norwegian Government. With the British Minister in that capital acting as mediator, the conference prepared for signature by the King of Denmark and by the King of Sweden and Norway, in his capacity as King of Norway, the Convention of September 1st, , which finally settled the difficulties. This proposition Denmark sets out to establish as a fact.
Steglich-Petersen, Agent, and by M. Accordingly it is a proceeding which, so far as I am aware, has not been often resorted to. It was, perhaps, as a result of this communication from M.
In date, these conventions cover the period from onwards. Indeed, up till , no Power disputed the Danish claim to sovereignty. Accordingly, in my view, the first thing to be done was to decide whether this constituted a valid agreement between the two Governments; if so, the rule to be applied for the solution of the dispute should first and foremost have been sought in this agreement. These are the words recorded in the minute by M. In his numerous petitions Hans Egede recalled the fact that Greenland had been a dependency of the Kingdom of Norway.
In the Ordinance of , for instance, the word Greenland is used three times. The Danish Government has for some years past been anxious to obtain the recognition of all the interested Powers of Denmark's sovereignty over the whole of Greenland, and it proposes to place this question before the above-mentioned Committee at the same time. The animus possidendi, of which so much has been said in these proceedings, is, at bottom, nothing else than the old claim on the basis of which, first the kings of Denmark and Norway and later the kings of Denmark, did not hesitate to act as sovereigns of Greenland when opportunity offered itself.
- It is so described in the judgment in connection with events subsequent to that date. The Company was, however, dissolved and, after an interval during which the State itself took over the conduct of Greenland affairs by means of a Greenland Department attached to the Royal Chancellory, a fresh concession was granted in to a certain Jacob Severin. Since then the Greenland trade has been a monopoly of the State of Denmark.
- The memorandum concluded with the following paragraph: In my view there has been a good deal of exaggeration on both sides. Bull, on behalf of the Norwegian Government: The general effect of it is to show the points on which the two Governments were at issue. On the other hand, it is easy to understand that the Norwegian Government should have thought it unnecessary to dwell particularly on this point, since the whole question was going to be brought up and examined on a later occasion.
I have little doubt that the word further which, in M. Government to make a declaration corresponding to that made by the American Government. The former law - which served as the basis for a Proclamation Notice to Mariners dated May 22nd, , by the Greenland Directorate on navigation in the seas around Greenland - reserved this hunting and fishing in Greenland waters exclusively for Danish subjects including Eskimos settled in Greenland, and for persons obtaining special licences, subject to the terms of the above-mentioned Decree of July 5th, which contains in substance the provisions of the Convention of the 9th of that [p40] month. As the territory affected by the Norwegian declaration of occupation of July 10th, , is indubitably one of the parts of Greenland which - according to the Danish Government's position in - were not subject to Danish sovereignty, that territory must be considered as a terra nullius, unless Denmark could be shown to have extended her sovereignty to it by acts subsequent to , and in conformity with international law; but no such fact has been adduced by the Danish Government. The Convention of July 9th, , was a confirmation of Denmark's friendly disposition in respect of these Norwegian hunting and fishing interests.
This assertion has been contested on behalf of Norway: Since then the Greenland trade has been a monopoly of the State of Denmark. According to the report made by the Danish Minister to his own Government, M. Ihlen's minute of the interview. In the course of the negotiations with the United States of America concerning the cession of the Danish West Indies, the Danish Government raised this question in so far as concerned recognition by the United States Government, and it obtained from the latter, simultaneously with the conclusion of the Convention regarding the cession of the islands referred to, a declaration to the effect that the United States would not raise any objection to the extension by the Danish Government of its political and economic interests to the whole of Greenland.
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In , this Company was granted a concession placing at its disposal for twenty-five years the whole country of Greenland - the King simply reserving his sovereignty, absolutum dominium and hereditary [p29] rights. The founding of the colonies was accompanied by the grant of a monopoly of the trade, and before long legislation was found to be necessary to protect and enforce the monopoly. The claims, however, were not disputed. The concessions previously granted to private persons were bestowed upon a privileged Trading Administration. In most of the cases involving claims to territorial sovereignty which have come before an international tribunal, there have been two competing claims to the sovereignty, and the tribunal has had to decide which of the two is the stronger. That view is, indeed, confirmed by the subsequent documents, which show that the Norwegian objections were not aimed at the extension of Danish sovereignty, but at an extension of sovereignty involving a corresponding extension of the monopoly; the extension of sovereignty was, therefore, common ground: