Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: International Conference Held at Washington for the Purpose of Fixing a Prime Meridian and a Universal Day. October, 1884. - Protocols of the Proceedings
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "International Conference Held at Washington for the Purpose of Fixing a Prime Meridian and a Universal Day. October, 1884. - Protocols of the Proceedings" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE

HELD AT WASHINGTON

FOR THE PURPOSE OF FIXING

A PRIME MERIDIAN

AND

A UNIVERSAL DAY.

OCTOBER, 1884.


PROTOCOLS OF THE PROCEEDINGS.


WASHINGTON, D. C.

GIBSON BROS., PRINTERS AND BOOKBINDERS.

1884.



TABLE OF CONTENTS.

                                                                 Page

     I. Protocol, October  1, 1884                                  1

    II. Protocol, October  2, 1884                                 13

   III. Protocol, October  6, 1884                                 35

    IV. Protocol, October 13, 1884                                 73

     V. Protocol, October 14, 1884                                113

    VI. Protocol, October 20, 1884                                151

   VII. Protocol, October 22, 1884                                195

  VIII. Protocol, November 1, 1884                                205

        Final Act                                                 199

        Act of Congress authorizing the President of the
        United States to invite the Conference (ANNEX I)          209

        Act of Congress making appropriation for expenses
        (ANNEX II)                                                209

        Circular to United States representatives abroad
        bringing the subject to the attention of foreign
        governments (ANNEX III)                                   210

        Circular to United States ministers extending
        invitation to foreign governments (ANNEX IV)              211



International Meridian Conference

HELD IN THE

CITY OF WASHINGTON.



I.

SESSION OF OCTOBER 1, 1884.


The Delegates to the International Meridian Conference, who assembled
in Washington upon invitation addressed by the Government of the
United States to all nations holding diplomatic relations with it,
"for the purpose of fixing upon a meridian proper to be employed as a
common zero of longitude and standard of time-reckoning throughout the
globe," held their first conference to-day, October 1, 1884, in the
Diplomatic Hall of the Department of State.

The following delegates were present:

  On behalf of Austria-Hungary--

      Baron IGNATZ VON SCHÆFFER,
            _Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary_.

  On behalf of Brazil--

      Dr. LUIZ CRULS,
            _Director of the Imperial Observatory of Rio Janeiro_.

  On behalf of Colombia--

      Commodore S. R. FRANKLIN, _U. S. Navy_,
            _Superintendent U. S. Naval Observatory_.

  On behalf of Costa Rica--

      Mr. JUAN FRANCISCO ECHEVERRIA,
            _Civil Engineer_.

  On behalf of France--

      Mr. A. LEFAIVRE,
            _Minister Plenipotentiary and Consul-General_.
      Mr. JANSSEN, _of the Institute_,
            _Director of the Physical Observatory of Paris_.

  On behalf of Germany--

      Baron H. VON ALVENSLEBEN,
            _Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary_.

  On behalf of Great Britain--

      Captain Sir F. J. O. EVANS,
            _Royal Navy_.

      Prof. J. C. ADAMS,
            _Director of the Cambridge Observatory_.

      Lieut.-General STRACHEY,
            _Member of the Council of India_.

      Mr. SANDFORD FLEMING,
            _Representing the Dominion of Canada_.

  On behalf of Guatemala--

      M. MILES ROCK,
            _President of the Boundary Commission_.

  On behalf of Hawaii--

      Hon. W. D. ALEXANDER,
            _Surveyor-General_.

      Hon. LUTHER AHOLO,
            _Privy Counsellor_.

  On behalf of Italy--

      Count ALBERT DE FORESTA,
            _First Secretary of Legation_.

  On behalf of Japan--

      Professor KIKUCHI,
            _Dean of the Scientific Dep't of the University of Tokio_.

  On behalf of Mexico--

      Mr. LEANDRO FERNANDEZ,
            _Civil Engineer_.
      Mr. ANGEL ANGUIANO,
            _Director of the National Observatory of Mexico_.

  On behalf of Paraguay--

      Captain JOHN STEWART,
            _Consul-General_.

  On behalf of Russia--

      Mr. C. DE STRUVE,
            _Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary_.
      Major-General STEBNITZKI,
            _Imperial Russian Staff_.
      Mr. J. DE KOLOGRIVOFF,
            _Conseiller d'État actuel_.

  On behalf of San Domingo--

      Mr. M. DE J. GALVAN,
            _Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary_.

  On behalf of Salvador--

      Mr. ANTONIO BATRES,
            _Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary_.

  On behalf of Spain,

      Mr. JUAN VALERA,
            _Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary_.
      Mr. EMILIO RUIZ DEL ARBOL,
            _Naval Attaché to the Spanish Legation_.
      Mr. JUAN PASTORIN,
            _Officer of the Navy_.

  On behalf of Sweden--

      Count CARL LEWENHAUPT,
            _Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary_.

  On behalf of Switzerland--

      Colonel EMILE FREY,
            _Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary_.

  On behalf of the United States--

      Rear-Admiral C. R. P. RODGERS,
            _U. S. Navy_.

      Mr. LEWIS M. RUTHERFURD.

      Mr. W. F. ALLEN,
            _Secretary Railway Time Conventions_.

      Commander W. T. SAMPSON,
            _U. S. Navy_.

      Professor CLEVELAND ABBE,
            _U. S. Signal Office_.

  On behalf of Venezuela--

      Señor Dr. A. M. SOTELDO,
            _Chargé d'Affaires_.

  The following delegates were not present:

  On behalf of Chili--

      Mr. FRANCISCO VIDAL GORMAS,
            _Director of the Hydrographic Office_.

      Mr. ALVARO BIANCHI TUPPER,
            _Assistant Director_.

  On behalf of Denmark--

      Mr. CARL STEEN ANDERSEN DE BILLE,
            _Minister Resident and Consul-General_.

  On behalf of Germany--

      Mr. HINCKELDEYN,
            _Attaché of the German Legation_.

  On behalf of Liberia--

      Mr. WILLIAM COPPINGER,
            _Consul-General_.

  On behalf of the Netherlands--

      Mr. G. DE WECKHERLIN,
            _Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary_.

  On behalf of Turkey--

      RUSTEM EFFENDI,
           _Secretary of Legation_.

The delegates were formally presented to the Secretary of State of the
United States, the Honorable FREDERICK T. FRELINGHUYSEN, in his office
at 12 o'clock. Upon assembling in the Diplomatic Hall, he called the
Conference to order, and spoke as follows:

     GENTLEMEN: It gives me pleasure, in the name of the
     President of the United States, to welcome you to this
     Congress, where most of the nations of the earth are
     represented. You have met to discuss and consider the
     important question of a prime meridian for all nations. It
     will rest with you to give a definite result to the
     preparatory labors of other scientific associations and
     special congresses, and thus make those labors available.

     Wishing you all success in your important deliberations, and
     not doubting that you will reach a conclusion satisfactory
     to the civilized world, I, before leaving you, take the
     liberty to nominate, for the purpose of a temporary
     organization, Count Lewenhaupt.

     It will afford this Department pleasure to do all in its
     power to promote the convenience of the Congress and to
     facilitate its proceedings.

By the unanimous voice of the Conference the Delegate of Sweden, Count
LEWENHAUPT, took the chair, and said that, for the purpose of
proceeding to a permanent organization, it was necessary to elect a
President, and that he had the honor to propose for that office the
chairman of the delegation of the United States of America, Admiral C.
R. P. Rodgers.

The Conference agreed unanimously to the proposition thus made,
whereupon Admiral RODGERS took the chair as President of the
Conference, and made the following address:

     GENTLEMEN: I beg you to receive my thanks for the high honor
     you have conferred upon me in calling me, as the chairman of
     the delegation from the United States, to preside at this
     Congress. To it have come from widely-separated portions of
     the globe, delegates renowned in diplomacy and science,
     seeking to create a new accord among the nations by agreeing
     upon a meridian proper to be employed as a common zero of
     longitude and standard of time reckoning throughout the
     world. Happy shall we be, if, throwing aside national
     preferences and inclinations, we seek only the common good
     of mankind, and gain for science and for commerce a prime
     meridian acceptable to all countries, and secured with the
     least possible inconvenience.

     Having this object at heart, the Government of the United
     States has invited all nations with which it has diplomatic
     relations to send delegates to a Congress to assemble at
     Washington to-day, to discuss the question I have indicated.
     The invitation has been graciously received, and we are here
     this morning to enter upon the agreeable duty assigned to us
     by our respective governments.

     Broad as is the area of the United States, covering a
     hundred degrees of longitude, extending from 66° 52' west
     from Greenwich to 166° 13' at our extreme limit in Alaska,
     not including the Aleutian Islands; traversed, as it is, by
     railway and telegraph lines, and dotted with observatories;
     long as is its sea coast, of more than twelve thousand
     miles; vast as must be its foreign and domestic commerce,
     its delegation to this Congress has no desire to urge that a
     prime meridian shall be found within its confines.

     In my own profession, that of a seaman, the embarrassment
     arising from the many prime meridians now in use is very
     conspicuous, and in the valuable interchange of longitudes
     by passing ships at sea, often difficult and hurried,
     sometimes only possible by figures written on a black-board,
     much confusion arises, and at times grave danger. In the use
     of charts, too, this trouble is also annoying, and to us who
     live upon the sea a common prime meridian will be a great
     advantage.

     Within the last two years we have been given reason to hope
     that this great desideratum may be obtained, and within a
     year a learned Conference, in which many nations were
     represented, expressed opinions upon it with singular
     unanimity, and in a very broad and catholic spirit.

     I need not trespass further upon your attention, except to
     lay before you the subject we are invited to discuss: the
     choice of "a meridian to be employed as a common zero of
     longitude and standard of time reckoning throughout the
     world;" and I shall beg you to complete our organization by
     the election of a Vice-President, and the proper Secretaries
     necessary to the verification of our proceedings.

Mr. LEFAIVRE, Delegate from France, stated that on behalf of his
colleague he would suggest that all motions and addresses made in
English should be translated into French.

The PRESIDENT inquired whether the proposition made by the Delegate
for France met with the approval of the Conference, when it was
unanimously agreed to.

The PRESIDENT thereupon said that he was ready to lay before the
Conference the subject of the election of Vice-President.

Count LEWENHAUPT, the Delegate of Sweden, stated that elections in
such large bodies were always difficult, and inquired whether it was
necessary to have a Vice-President. He further said that for his part
he had every reason to hope and to expect that the services of a
Vice-President would not be required.

It was thereupon agreed that a Vice-President should be dispensed
with.

The PRESIDENT then stated that the next business was the election of
Secretaries; but suggested, in view of the proceedings already had,
and of the necessity of some consultation in regard to the matter,
that the election might be postponed till to-morrow.

Mr. VALERA, Delegate of Spain, stated that he saw no reason why the
nomination of Secretaries could not be made just as well at present as
at any future time.

Mr. LEFAIVRE, Delegate of France, inquired what would be the functions
of the Secretaries.

The PRESIDENT in reply said that an acting Secretary had been
appointed by the Secretary of State, who was at the same time a
stenographer, and that the principal labor of keeping the records of
the Conference would devolve upon him; that nevertheless regular
Secretaries of the Conference had to be appointed, for the purpose of
examining and verifying the protocols from day to day, which would be
the more important in the event of the records of the Conference being
made in two or three different languages, and that these Secretaries
ought no doubt to be members of the Conference, in order to give the
requisite authenticity to the acts thereof, and, in view of the
character of the proceedings, should be specialists and informed as to
the subjects under discussion.

Mr. SOTELDO, Delegate of Venezuela, said that he thought the
Conference should adjourn until to-morrow, as they had done already
enough to-day in settling its organization; that by adjourning over it
would give an opportunity to the delegates to consult as to the
functions of the Secretaries, and who would be most likely to be
qualified for those functions; that there were gentlemen from
different countries who were not familiar with the English language,
and by to-morrow the Conference could determine as to the languages in
which the proceedings should be had, although, as it seemed to him,
that the proceedings should be recorded in French and English. He then
moved that the Conference adjourn until to-morrow.

Mr. LEFAIVRE, Delegate of France, stated that he agreed with what had
been said by the President, that the Conference should have
Secretaries who were specialists, and that the proceedings should be
recorded in two languages. By adjourning till to-morrow he thought
that the delegates would have an opportunity to reflect upon the
subject, and to come back prepared to vote upon it.

The PRESIDENT then stated that if any delegates wished to make
propositions in regard to the proceedings to-morrow it would be in the
power of the Conference to proceed to the consideration of those
subjects after the election of the Secretaries, and he suggested to
the Delegate of Venezuela (Mr. Soteldo) that the motion to adjourn be
withdrawn for the present.

The Delegate of Venezuela thereupon withdrew his motion.

Mr. FREY, Delegate of Switzerland, said that, in his opinion, the
order of proceedings to-morrow should be first a general discussion.

Mr. VALERA, Delegate of Spain, stated that he thought the proceedings
should be recorded in two languages at least, and that Secretaries
conversant with these languages and specially acquainted with the
subject matter pending before the Conference should be selected; that,
in order to have the record of the proceedings accurate, officers
qualified in this way were requisite, and that it would be preferable
to elect these officers after consultation among the members of the
Conference, which could be had between now and the meeting to-morrow.

Count LEWENHAUPT, Delegate of Sweden, said that he saw no difficulty
in deciding now that the order of proceedings to-morrow would be first
the election of the Secretaries and then a general discussion, and he
moved that this proposition be adopted.

The Conference then unanimously agreed to the proposition.

Professor ABBE, Delegate of the United States, inquired whether it
would not facilitate the action of the Conference to-morrow if the
President appointed a committee now who could nominate the
Secretaries.

The PRESIDENT replied by asking whether it would not be better to
select this committee at a subsequent meeting, rather than at the
first meeting, which was held to-day.

Commander SAMPSON, Delegate of the United States, then gave notice
that at the session to-morrow he would bring before the Conference the
question whether the meetings shall be open to the public or not, and
that he would, at the proper time, also make a motion for the purpose
of determining the sense of the Conference as to the propriety of
inviting distinguished scientists, some of whom are now in Washington,
and who may desire to be present at the meetings of this Conference,
to take part in the discussion of the questions pending.

Mr. LEFAIVRE, Delegate of France, stated that in regard to the first
proposition--that is, as to making the proceedings public, he would
object, inasmuch as he thought that by opening the doors of this
Conference to the public nothing could be gained, while the
proceedings might be embarrassed or delayed by such a course.

Professor ADAMS, Delegate of England, stated that he did not favor the
first proposition to make the proceedings of this Conference public,
but he did agree with the second proposition, and thought it was a
very important and valuable one.

The PRESIDENT remarked that the propositions made by the Delegate of
the United States of America were merely in the nature of a notice,
and that they were not before the Conference at the present time, and,
consequently, were not the subject of discussion; still he thought
that much good could be elicited from this interchange of opinions in
a preliminary way.

Captain STEWART, Delegate of Paraguay, said that he thought that it
would be a very good thing, in view of the proposition to make the
meetings public, to invite all the world to the Capitol for the
discussion of these subjects.

Professor ABBE, Delegate of the United States, stated that it would be
perfectly practicable to have the discussions of the Conference
printed in full from day to day for our own official use, and that the
public might thereby be made familiar with the proceedings if it were
necessary.

The PRESIDENT announced that arrangements had been made by the State
Department whereby the proceedings of each day would be printed and
furnished in time for the examination of the members of the Conference
before the next meeting, and that they would be printed in two
languages, French and English; but that these records or protocols
could not be regularly verified until the Conference shall have
appointed duly authorized Secretaries.

Baron VON SCHÆFFER, Delegate of Austro-Hungary, asked that a list of
the delegates be presented to each of the members of the Conference.

The PRESIDENT replied that he would instruct the acting Secretary (Mr.
Peddrick) to have the list prepared.

Upon the motion of Mr. DE STRUVE, Delegate of Russia, the Conference
then adjourned until to-morrow, (Thursday,) the second instant, at one
o'clock p. m.



II.

SESSION OF OCTOBER 2, 1884.


The Conference met pursuant to adjournment in the Diplomatic Hall of
the Department of State, at one o'clock p. m.

Present:

  Austria-Hungary: Baron IGNATZ VON SCHÆFFER.
  Brazil: Dr. LUIZ CRULS.
  Colombia: Commodore S. R. FRANKLIN.
  Costa Rica: Mr. JUAN FRANCISCO ECHEVERRIA.
  France: Mr. A. LEFAIVRE, Mr. JANSSEN.
  Germany: Baron H. VON ALVENSLEBEN, Mr. HINCKELDEYN.
  Great Britain: Sir F. J. O. EVANS, Prof. J. C. ADAMS,
      Lieut.-General STRACHEY, Mr. SANDFORD FLEMING.
  Guatemala: Mr. MILES ROCK.
  Hawaii: Hon. W. D. ALEXANDER, Hon. LUTHER AHOLO.
  Italy: Count ALBERT DE FORESTA.
  Japan: Professor KIKUCHI.
  Mexico: Mr. LEANDRO FERNANDEZ, Mr. ANSEL ANGUIANO.
  Paraguay: Capt. JOHN STEWART.
  Russia: Mr. C. DE STRUVE, Major-General STEBNITZKI, Mr.
      KOLOGRIVOFF.
  San Domingo: Mr. DE J. GALVAN.
  Salvador: Mr. ANTONIO BATRES.
  Spain: Mr. JUAN VALERA, Mr. EMILIO RUIZ DEL ARBOL,
      and Mr. JUAN PASTORIN.
  Sweden: Count CARL LEWENHAUPT.
  Switzerland: Col. EMILE FREY, Professor HIRSCH.
  United States: Rear-Admiral C. R. P. RODGERS, Mr. LEWIS
      M. RUTHERFORD, Mr. W. F. ALLEN, Commander W. T.
      SAMPSON, Professor CLEVELAND ABBE.
  Venezuela: Señor Dr. A. M. SOTELDO.

Absent:

  Chili: Mr. F. V. GORMAS and Mr. A. B. TUPPER.
  Denmark: Mr. O. S. A. DE BILLE.
  Liberia: Mr. WM. COPPINGER.
  Netherlands: Mr. G. DE WECKHERLIN.
  Turkey: RUSTEM EFFENDI.

The PRESIDENT stated that the first business before the Conference was
the election of Secretaries.

Mr. DE STRUVE, Delegate of Russia, stated that it was his opinion that
it would be very difficult to elect Secretaries by a direct vote, and
he proposed that the selection of the Secretaries be left to a
Committee to be appointed by the President; that the Committee present
the names of the officers selected to the Conference, and that these
Secretaries be four in number.

Count LEWENHAUPT, Delegate of Sweden, stated that it was generally
understood among the delegates that Mr. Hirsch, one of the delegates
from Switzerland, should be elected a Secretary, as he was a Secretary
of the Conference held at Rome, but as he has not yet arrived, he
proposed that the Conference elect only three Secretaries to-day.

Mr. DE STRUVE, Delegate of Russia, stated that he believed that Mr.
Hirsch would soon arrive, and he accepted the amendment just offered.

The original motion, as modified by the amendment, was thereupon
unanimously agreed to.

The Chair appointed the Delegate of Russia, Mr. de Struve, the
Delegate from Spain, Mr. Valera, the Delegate from France, Mr.
Lefaivre, and the Delegate from Sweden, Count Lewenhaupt, as the
Committee to select the Secretaries.

The Conference thereupon took a recess, to enable the Committee to
consult and report.

Upon the reassembling of the Conference, the Delegate of Sweden, Count
Lewenhaupt, announced that the Committee had selected for Secretaries
the Delegate from Great Britain, Lieut.-General Strachey, the Delegate
of France, Mr. Janssen, and the Delegate from Brazil, Dr. Cruls.

The report of the Committee was then unanimously adopted by the
Conference, and the Delegates named as Secretaries signified their
acceptance of the office.

Mr. DE STRUVE, Delegate of Russia, moved that the President direct the
Acting Secretary to arrange the seats of the Delegates according to
the alphabetical order of the countries represented. He added that it
would be a great convenience to the members to have their seats
permanently fixed.

The motion was unanimously agreed to.

Commander SAMPSON, Delegate of the United States, then presented the
following resolution:

     _Resolved_, That the Congress invite Prof. Newcomb,
     Superintendent of the United States Nautical Almanac; Prof.
     Hildgard, Superintendent of the United States Coast and
     Geodetic Surveys; Professor A. Hall; Professor De
     Valentiner, Director of the Observatory at Karlsruhe; and
     Sir William Thomson, to attend the meetings of this
     Congress.

General STRACHEY, Delegate of England, stated that, as he understood
this resolution, it would not necessarily authorize the parties
invited to take any part in the discussions.

The PRESIDENT stated that the resolution seems merely to invite the
gentlemen to be present.

General STRACHEY, Delegate of Great Britain, stated that he thought it
necessary to clear up this matter a little; that if the gentlemen
invited could not address the Conference, it seemed very little use to
have them invited; that it was not for their own advantage but for
that of the Conference that the invitations were extended to those
scientific gentlemen, and therefore he thought it was the intention in
inviting them to have the benefit of any information which they might
desire from time to time to express on the subjects before the
Congress. He thought that if any remarks on the part of these
gentlemen were presented to the Conference, with the assent of the
Congress, through the President, that would doubtless meet all the
requirements of the case.

The PRESIDENT inquired whether the Delegate of Great Britain meant
that the remarks should be presented in writing.

General STRACHEY, Delegate of Great Britain, replied that that would
not necessarily be the case.

Prof. ABBE, Delegate of the United States, inquired whether the
persons named in the resolution were the only ones to be invited.

The PRESIDENT replied that it was so, so far as the Chair was
informed, but that it would be in order at any time to add new names
in the same way.

Prof. ABBE, Delegate of the United States, stated that this was a
matter which he had very much at heart, and he would like to observe
that some of the nations which were invited to send Delegates to this
Conference had failed to do so, and that it would be a courtesy to
invite persons of those nations to be present.

Commander SAMPSON, Delegate of the United States, stated that after
consulting with a number of the delegates he drew the resolution, and
that it was suggested to him this very morning that possibly there
might be a difference of opinion as to whether these gentlemen should
take part in the discussion, and that that was the reason why the
first resolution merely proposed to invite them to be present. He
stated that he proposed subsequently to submit another resolution
authorizing these gentlemen to take part in the discussion; that he
thought that the original intention was to confer an honor on certain
distinguished scientists, and that it would be well for the Conference
to limit the invitation to gentlemen of that character.

Mr. LEFAIVRE, Delegate of France, stated that he was opposed to the
proposition to admit to the deliberations of this Conference
gentlemen, no matter how distinguished or eminent they might be, who
were not specially delegated by their Governments as members of this
body. He questioned the power of the Conference to admit to its
discussions persons who were not regularly appointed to vote upon the
subject at issue; that this was an international conference created
for the purpose of obtaining an interchange of views from the
representatives of the different Governments; that it would extend the
scope of the work before this body to entertain the views and opinions
of persons not authorized to speak for the Governments whose Delegates
are here; that there would be a great divergence of opinion among such
men, and the result would be rather to embarrass than to help this
Conference to an accord. He insisted that the matter was exclusively
governmental, and, while he would be happy to extend any courtesy to
men distinguished in science, such as the gentlemen who are proposed
to be invited, he felt constrained to oppose the proposition under the
circumstances.

The PRESIDENT stated that he understood that the resolution did not
propose to confer a vote upon the gentlemen invited, but simply to
enable them to lay any information before the Conference which they
might have upon the matter at issue.

Mr. LEFAIVRE, Delegate of France, contended that the resolution was
intended to authorize these gentlemen to deliberate, and he thought
that the inconvenience would be very great of extending this privilege
to persons not authorized to represent their Governments. He did not
think it was reasonable or fair that his opinions should be questioned
or opposed by the opinions of men not authorized to speak for their
Governments.

Gen. STRACHEY, Delegate of Great Britain, said that as he had taken
upon himself to make some remarks both as to the manner in which the
gentlemen should be invited and the extent of their rights when
invited, he wished to say that while he agreed with much that had been
said by the Delegate of France, he held that these gentlemen should
have an opportunity of expressing their views; that they were not to
come here merely to listen to the proceedings, but that they should
themselves be heard.

The PRESIDENT directed that the resolution be read in French, and then
put it to the vote, when it was unanimously adopted.

Commander SAMPSON. Delegate of the United States, then offered the
following resolution:

     "_Resolved_, That the gentlemen who have just been invited
     to attend the meetings of the Conference be permitted to
     take part in the discussion of all scientific questions."

Mr. LEFAIVRE, Delegate for France, then stated that it was not in
accordance with the object of this Conference that private
individuals, not authorized by their respective Governments, should be
permitted to influence the decision of this body, and that, while it
was very proper to extend courtesy to such learned gentlemen as were
invited, it surely was never intended that they should participate in
our proceedings.

Gen. STRACHEY, Delegate of Great Britain, said that it would, perhaps,
save trouble if he stated his views on the point under discussion,
which he apprehended were generally in accordance with those of the
representative from France. He said that, if he were permitted, he
would read a resolution, which he suggested might be accepted as a
substitute for that pending before the Conference, and it was as
follows:

     "_Resolved_, That the President be authorized, with the
     concurrence of the Delegates, to request an expression of
     the opinions of the gentlemen invited to attend the Congress
     on any subject on which their opinion may be likely to be
     valuable."

The PRESIDENT inquired in what way they would express it.

Gen. STRACHEY, Delegate of Great Britain, stated that it would be
orally.

The PRESIDENT replied that the resolution undoubtedly read that way.

Gen. STRACHEY, Delegate of Great Britain, stated that the language,
"to take part in the discussion," employed in the resolution of
Commander Sampson, would mean that the persons invited would be in a
position, of their own motion, either to reply to remarks made, or to
state their own views, or to take part in the discussion just as the
Delegates are entitled to do.

Mr. LEFAIVRE, Delegate of France, stated that he hoped that the
proposition of the Delegate of Great Britain would not be pressed
until a vote was had upon the original resolution.

The PRESIDENT then put the resolution to a vote; but, being unable to
determine from the _viva voce_ vote whether it was carried or not, he
stated that the roll would be called.

Mr. FREY, Delegate of Switzerland, stated that he thought before the
vote was taken a decision should be had upon the question, how the
Delegates were to vote--whether as nations or as individuals.

The PRESIDENT announced that it had been the custom in all such
conferences to vote as nations, each nation casting one vote, and that
no other way seemed practicable; and that in conformity with this
ruling the roll would be called and the vote taken by nations.

The roll was then called, when the following States voted in the
affirmative:

  Costa Rica,       Guatemala,
  Italy,            Mexico,
  San Domingo,      Salvador,
  Switzerland,      Venezuela.

And the following in the negative:

  Austria-Hungary,  Brazil,
  Colombia,         France,
  Germany,          Great Britain,
  Hawaii,           Japan,
  Paraguay,         Russia,
  Spain,            Sweden.
  United States,

The PRESIDENT then announced that the ayes were 8 and the noes 13, and
that the resolution was lost.

Gen. STRACHEY, Delegate of Great Britain, then renewed his resolution,
which was as follows:

     "_Resolved_, That the President be authorized, with the
     concurrence of the Delegates, to request an expression of
     the opinions of the gentlemen invited to attend the Congress
     on any subject on which their opinion may be likely to be
     valuable."

No discussion arose upon this resolution, and it was adopted.

Commander SAMPSON, Delegate of the United States, then offered the
following resolution:

     "_Resolved_, That the meetings of this Congress be open to
     interested visitors."

Mr. LEFAIVRE, Delegate of France, stated that he considered this a
subject of grave importance; that this was an official and
confidential body; scientific, it was true, but also diplomatic; that
it was empowered to confer about matters with which the general public
have now nothing to do; that to admit the public to the meetings would
destroy their privacy and subject the Conference to the influence of
an outside pressure which might prove very prejudicial to its
proceedings, and that he would object to this resolution absolutely.

No further discussion being had, the PRESIDENT, after a _viva voce_
vote of doubtful result, ordered the roll to be called, when the
following States voted in the affirmative:

  Colombia,               Costa Rica,
  Guatemala,              Paraguay,
  Salvador,               Spain.
  Venezuela,

  And the following States in the negative.

  Austria-Hungary,        Brazil,
  France,                 Germany,
  Great Britain,          Hawaii,
  Italy,                  Japan,
  Mexico,                 Russia,
  San Domingo,            Sweden,
  Switzerland,            United States.

The PRESIDENT then announced that the ayes were 7 and the noes 14, and
that the resolution was therefore lost.

The PRESIDENT then said that there would doubtless be some preliminary
general discussion on the subject before the Conference, and suggested
that if Delegates desired to be heard upon the subject it would be
expedient to give an intimation to the Secretary.

Prof. ABBE, Delegate of the United States, then said: I have been
requested to present to the Conference the communication that I hold
in my hand, and in doing so wish to offer the following resolution:

     "Whereas several persons desire to submit to this Conference
     inventions, devices, and systems of universal time:
     therefore,

     "_Resolved_, That the Conference will acknowledge the
     receipt of such communications, but will abstain from any
     expression of opinion as to their respective merits."

Professor ADAMS, Delegate of Great Britain, said that the Conference
should be very cautious in admitting the devices and schemes of people
who have no connection with this body; that there are, no doubt, many
inventors and many people who have plans and schemes which they wish
to press upon the Conference, and that it was probable that the
Conference would be subjected to very great inconvenience if they took
upon themselves even the burden of acknowledging the receipt of these
communications.

The PRESIDENT stated that he had received several Communions of this
character, one proposing that Jerusalem should be taken as the prime
meridian.

Mr. LEFAIVRE, Delegate of France, proposed that the Conference should
appoint a committee to examine the different papers submitted by
outside parties, and to make such suggestions as they might deem
proper after examining the papers.

Mr. VALERA, Delegate of Spain, said that it seemed to him the proper
course of proceeding for the Conference was to take up the subject
article by article, and treat it in that order; that there were
presented to the Conference certain well-defined propositions, and
that besides these there were the resolutions which had been adopted
by the Conference at Rome, which could be used as a basis for the
discussions of this Conference; that in that way the Delegates would
have before them some precise subject-matter, and after discussion, if
any proposition needed to be altered or amended it would be in the
power of the Conference to do so, but that unless some regular method
of proceeding were adopted the sessions would be prolonged
indefinitely, and the Conference would be confused by a multitude of
irrelevant propositions that might be presented to them.

Mr. RUTHERFURD, Delegate of the United States, stated that it seemed
to him that to invite a general discussion upon the subject, which has
undoubtedly a great many heads, the best method would be the one just
suggested; that by having a well-defined course much time would be
saved, and there would be a precision in the proceedings, which
undoubtedly is always valuable; that in this way the discussion could
be kept within bounds, but unless there is some proposition pending
before the Conference it is impossible to say whether any discussion
is in order or out of order; that it seemed to him there should be
some well-defined propositions laid before the Conference, and those
propositions could easily be gathered, not only from what has gone
before, not only from the Conference which has been held in Rome, but
from the acts of Congress and the circulars of the Secretary of
State, under which this body has been organized.

The PRESIDENT stated that if these communications from outside parties
were brought before the Conference it would entail a great deal of
labor.

The resolution of the Delegate of the United States, Prof. ABBE, was
then put to the vote, and was negatived.

Mr. RUTHERFURD, Delegate of the United States, then presented the
following resolution:

     "_Resolved_, That the Conference proposes to the Governments
     represented the adoption as a standard meridian that of
     Greenwich passing through the centre of the transit
     instrument at the Observatory of Greenwich."

Mr. LEFAIVRE, Delegate of France, remarked that the proposed
resolution seemed to him out of order, and that his colleague, Mr.
Janssen, desired to address the Conference on the subject. He went on
to say:

The competence of the Conference can give rise to no long debate among
us. Let us remark, in the first place, that no previous engagement
exists, on the part of the Governments, to adopt the results of our
discussions, and that consequently our decisions cannot be compared to
those of a deliberative congress or an international commission acting
according to definite powers.

We have no definite powers, or rather, we have no executive power,
since our decisions cannot be invoked executively by one Government
towards others.

Does this mean that our decisions will be wholly unauthoritative? An
assembly which numbers so many eminent delegates, and in which there
is so much scientific knowledge, must certainly be regarded with
profound respect by all the Powers of the world. Its powers, however,
must be of a wholly moral character, and will have to be balanced
against rights and interests no less worthy of consideration, leaving
absolutely intact the independence of each individual State.

Under these circumstances, gentlemen, it seems to me that our course
is already marked out for us. From our Conference is to be elicited
the expression of a collective wish, a draft of a resolution, which is
to be adopted by the majority of this assembly, and afterwards
submitted to the approval of our respective Governments.

This is our mission. It is a great one, and has a lofty international
bearing. We must, however, realize its extent from the very outset,
and not go beyond its limits.

An appeal has been made to the decisions of the Conference held at
Rome. But, gentlemen, I beg leave to remark that that Conference was
composed entirely of specialists, and that it did not meet for the
purpose of examining the question in an international point of view.
This Conference is composed of various elements, among which are
scientists of the highest standing, but also functionaries of high
rank, who are not familiar with scientific subjects, and who are
charged with an examination of this question from a political
stand-point. It is, moreover, our privilege to be philosophers and
cosmopolitans, and to contemplate the interests of mankind not only
for the present, but for the most distant future.

You see, gentlemen, that we enjoy absolute freedom, and that we are in
nowise bound by the decisions of the Conference held at Rome. It is
even desirable that those precedents should be appealed to as little
as possible, inasmuch as we have scientists among us who are regarded
as authorities in both the Old and the New World, and who are
perfectly capable of directing us in technical matters, and of
furnishing all the information that we can desire. I will say even
more than this: The results of the Conference held at Rome are by no
means regarded as possessing official authority by the Governments
that have accredited us; for if those results had been taken as a
starting point, there would be no occasion for our Conference, and our
Governments would simply have to decide with regard to the acceptance
or rejection of the resolutions adopted by the Geodetic Congress at
Rome.

Everything, however, is intact, even the scientific side of the
question, and that is the reason why we have so many Delegates
possessing technical knowledge among us.

The PRESIDENT stated that he considered the resolution entirely in
order, and likely to bring about a discussion upon the very point for
which this Conference was called together; that the resolution was
open to any amendment that might be offered, could be altered from
time to time if necessary, and, if it did not meet the sense of the
Conference, could be defeated.

Mr. LEFAIVRE, Delegate of France, inquired whether this proposition
did not demand an immediate solution.

Mr. RUTHERFURD, Delegate of the United States, replied that no such
thing was contemplated.

Prof. JANSSEN, Delegate of France, then spoke as follows:

GENTLEMEN: I formally request that the resolution just proposed by my
eminent colleague and friend, Mr. Rutherford, be held in reserve, and
that it may not now be pressed for discussion.

It is wholly undesirable that a proposition of so grave a character,
which forestalls one of the most important resolutions that we shall
be called upon to adopt, should be put to the vote while our meeting
has scarcely been organized, and before any discussion relative to the
true merits of the questions to be considered has taken place.

This would be inverting the proper order of things and reaching a
conclusion before having examined the subject before us.

Before discussing the question of the selection of a meridian which is
to serve as a common zero of longitude for all the nations of the
world, (if the Congress shall think proper to discuss that point,) it
is evident that we must first decide the question of principle which
is to govern all our proceedings; that is to say, whether it is
desirable to fix upon a common zero of longitude for all nations. I
therefore formally ask for the withdrawal of Mr. Rutherford's
proposition.

The PRESIDENT stated that as something had been said about the
Conference at Rome, he desired to say that he had carefully abstained
from any allusion to it, and that the delegation of the United States
found no allusions to it in their instructions; that, so far as the
Chair understood the resolution offered by the Delegate of the United
States, it was simply to bring before the Conference the consideration
of the subject of a prime meridian; that he did not understand that
even the Delegate who presented the motion offered it as an expression
of his own opinion on the subject, but that he had carefully stated,
when he had brought the resolution before the Conference, that it was
for the purpose of enabling the Delegates to proceed to an immediate
discussion. He added, further, that the resolution was quite open to
amendment in case the Delegates from France desired to amend it.

Commander SAMPSON, Delegate of the United States, stated that he
wished to offer the following as a substitute for the resolution
already pending:

     "_Resolved_, That it is the opinion of this Congress that it
     is desirable to adopt a single prime meridian for all
     nations in place of the multiplicity of initial meridians
     which now exist."

Mr. RUTHERFURD, Delegate of the United States, then announced that he
accepted this substitution in place of the first resolution.

General STRACHEY, Delegate of England, stated that if he rightly
understood the remarks made by the Delegate of France, Mr. LEFAIVRE,
he thought that it was intended to call attention to the ultimate form
in which the resolutions of this Congress should be recorded. He
referred to the address which the Secretary of State of the United
States (Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN) made to the Delegates on their assembling,
in which he said: "You have met to discuss and consider the important
question of a prime meridian for all nations. It will rest with you to
give a definite result to the preparatory labors of other scientific
associations and special congresses, and thus make those labors
available."

He added that the object at which they should aim was to put together
a series of resolutions which could be presented to the various
Governments whose representatives are here present, with a view to
inducing them to accept the decision which may be arrived at by this
Conference, and, finally, to put that decision in a diplomatic form--a
form which shall be more definite and precise than the mere
resolutions which would be adopted by a purely scientific body; this
he understood to be the position to be adopted by the Delegates to
this Conference. He then said that it seemed to him that it would be
necessary, after settling the original shape of the resolutions, that
they should be reconsidered and afterwards put together in an orderly
way, in a manner which would give a regular and satisfactory record of
the proceedings; that it appeared almost certain to him that the
discussions would be desultory in their nature, but that ultimately a
revision would be had after the rough-hewing of the blocks out of
which the edifice was to be formed; that he had no wish, at the
present stage of the discussion, to go into the merits of the question
presented; that, for his part, he thought it more prudent to abstain,
but that with reference to the remarks of his honorable friends from
France, he could not agree that they should set aside what occurred at
Rome; that the discussions at Rome were most valuable; they went
thoroughly into the whole question, and he apprehended that every
gentleman in the Conference was possessed of the records of what
occurred there.

He continued by saying that he thought that the Delegate from France,
Mr. LEFAIVRE, went a little beyond what was strictly right in saying
that we should shut our eyes to what occurred there; that, for his own
part, he was obliged to pay attention to what occurred there; that
some of the most eminent scientific men to be found in any country met
there and fully discussed the questions now before us, and that the
Delegates here present were now called upon to revise what occurred
there.

Mr. RUTHERFURD, Delegate of the United States, said that the Delegate
from France, Mr. LEFAIVRE, in his remarks, insisted that we should
first establish for what purpose the Delegates were here assembled;
that he wished to refer to the circulars sent out by the Government of
the United States, under which this Conference was called together. He
said that he could assert, without fear of contradiction, that in
those communications the President stated that it was believed to be a
foregone conclusion that a prime meridian was desirable; that that was
the basis on which the President acted in giving his invitation; that
how he came to that conclusion he does not state--whether or not the
proceedings at Rome had anything to do with it, but he thought that
they had a great influence on the mind of the President; that,
doubtless, his action was not determined solely by that, and,
therefore, that the Secretary of State first made a tentative
application to see whether a proposition for another Conference was
acceptable, and that he found all countries here represented answering
the circular in the affirmative; that they agreed with him that a
conference for this purpose was desirable.

He continued by saying that the Secretary of State then sent a second
invitation to the different nations to send Delegates, who were to
assemble here on the first of October, 1884, for the purpose of
establishing a prime meridian and a universal time. He added that it
seemed to him a great loss of time to go over the question whether a
prime meridian was or was not desirable; that the Delegates were sent
here for the purpose of agreeing upon a prime meridian. He then asked
why this Conference should lose time in discussing that question.

The resolution offered by the Delegate of the United States, Commander
SAMPSON, was then unanimously adopted as follows:

     "_Resolved_, That it is the opinion of this Congress that it
     is desirable to adopt a single prime meridian for all
     nations in place of the multiplicity of initial meridians
     which now exist."

Mr. RUTHERFURD, Delegate of the United States, then renewed his
original resolution, as follows:

     "_Resolved_, That the Conference proposes to the Governments
     represented the adoption as a standard meridian that of
     Greenwich, passing through the centre of the transit
     instrument at the Observatory of Greenwich."

Mr. JANSSEN, Delegate of France, stated that he wished to reiterate
the objections that he had already offered to the first resolution,
and spoke as follows:

GENTLEMEN: Mr. Lefaivre, my honorable colleague, and I are of the
opinion that the mission of this Congress is chiefly to examine
questions of principle.

I consider that we shall do a very important thing if we proclaim the
principle of the adoption of a meridian which shall be the same for
all nations.

The advantages of such a meridian have been felt by the geographers
and navigators of all ages. France might claim the honor of having
sought to accomplish this reform as early as the seventeenth century.
It is not to be expected, therefore, that France, at this late day,
will seek to place any obstacles in the way of the adoption of an
improvement which would by this time have been adopted if the use of
the meridian which she proposed, and which she had caused to be
generally accepted, had been continued.

We therefore fully agree with you, gentlemen, as to the principle of a
common international meridian, impartially defined and wisely applied,
and we think that if the Congress should cause a useful reform, which
has been so long expected, to be finally adopted, it would render a
great service to the world, and one that would do us the highest
honor.

This point being gained, is it proper for us to proceed to the
adoption of such a meridian? We think not, unless we are assured by a
previous declaration as to the principle which is to govern the
selection of that meridian. Without such a declaration, we should have
no power to begin a discussion on an undefined subject, and we are not
authorized to pledge ourselves.

I must even add that our acquiescence in the principle of an
international meridian could not be maintained if the Congress
proceeded to a choice at variance with the exclusively scientific
principles which we are instructed to maintain. Thus, in the very
interest of the great principle which we all desire to see adopted, it
would, to my way of thinking, be wiser to confine ourselves to a
general declaration which, by uniting the opinions of all, would
sustain the principle with all the authority possible. The principle
having once been adopted, our Governments would subsequently convoke a
conference of a more technical character than this, at which questions
of application would be more thoroughly examined.

Mr. VALERA, Delegate of Spain, stated that it seemed to him the order
of proceeding for this Conference was very well laid down in the
invitations addressed by the President of the United States to the
different countries and in the articles which were formulated at Rome;
that if these were taken up one after the other and discussed there
would be a clearly-defined line of action for the Delegates; that if
an article was not satisfactory it could be altered or amended, or
could be rejected; but if the propositions were taken up one at a time
and the discussions directed to these propositions, the Conference
would be more likely to reach a definite result than in any general
discussion.

The PRESIDENT stated that, so far as he understood the proposition,
there was no desire to press it to an immediate vote; that it was
quite proper for the Delegate from France to offer any other
proposition, as suggested by the Delegate of Spain, in lieu of the
motion now pending; that so far as the Chair was concerned it seemed
to him that the Conference could at once proceed to the discussion of
the general subject of a prime meridian under the pending resolution;
that if the Delegate from France desires to make any other
proposition, or offer anything else in a distinct form, he will be
listened to with great attention and with profound respect.

Mr. RUTHERFURD, Delegate of the United States, remarked that the
Delegate from France, his learned friend, Mr. JANSSEN, had expressed
the opinion that the Delegates had not the power to decide upon any
particular meridian, but that they were sent here merely to discuss
this principle, namely, whether a general meridian was desirable. He
added that he was, of course, not in possession of the instructions
which the Delegates from France received from their own Government,
but that he found among the instructions received by the Delegates of
the United States from their Government a copy of one of the
communications made by the President of the United States to France,
as well as to the other nations, through the Secretary of State, in
which was this language:

     "I am accordingly directed by the President to request you
     to bring the matter to the attention of the Government of
     ----, through the Minister for Foreign Affairs, with a view
     to learning, whether its appreciation of the benefits to
     accrue to the intimate intercourse of civilized peoples from
     the consideration and adoption of the suggested common
     standard of time, so far coincides with that of this
     Government as to lead it to accept an invitation to
     participate in an International Conference at a date to be
     designated in the near future."

The Delegate of the United States continued by saying that the whole
object of this Conference was not to establish the principle that it
is desirable to have a prime meridian, but to fix that prime meridian;
that that was the object of the meeting, and that it seemed to him
that there must be some misapprehension on the part of the learned
gentleman from France in thinking that this Conference has not the
power to fix upon a prime meridian; that as to our organization, the
Delegate of France (Mr. Lefaivre) spoke of its not being sufficiently
complete to take up this subject at present, but that it seemed to him
that the Delegates undoubtedly were ready to hear and express
arguments _pro_ and _con_ in regard to that question; that he supposed
that every Delegate had studied this matter before coming here, and
that he did not think that any Delegate would be likely to come here
unless he knew, or thought he knew, some thing about this matter.

Mr. VALERA, Delegate from Spain, announced that he had no power to
pledge his country on this subject; that his authority merely extended
to the power of recommending to his Government such resolutions as
this Conference might adopt.

Count LEWENHAUPT, Delegate of Sweden, then said: "I desire to state in
the protocol that I have no power to engage my Government by my votes
on the different questions which will be submitted to this Conference,
and that, therefore, these votes must only be considered as an
engagement on my part to recommend to my Government the decisions for
which I vote."

General STRACHEY, Delegate of Great Britain, said that in the name of
the Delegates of Great Britain he wished to state that they were in
the same position, but that would not prevent them or this Conference
from forming an opinion and expressing it.

The PRESIDENT stated that on behalf of the Delegates from the United
States they had no power except that of discussion and recommendation.

Mr. DE STRUVE made, on behalf of the Delegates of Russia, a
declaration identical with that made by the Delegate of Sweden.

Baron VON ALVENSLEBEN, Delegate from Germany, made the same
announcement on behalf of his Government.

Mr. FERNANDEZ, Delegate from Mexico, made the same announcement.

Mr. VALERA, Delegate of Spain, remarked that this Conference was
called together not merely to discuss the subject of a prime meridian,
but to determine, so far as these Delegates were concerned, the
propriety of adopting a particular prime meridian, and that his
Government would decide afterwards whether it would accept what this
Conference should recommend.

Dr. CRULS, Delegate of Brazil, stated that his Government authorized
him to take part in the discussion, but not to commit his Government
to the adoption of any particular proposition.

Mr. FLEMING, Delegate of Great Britain, said that he would like to
call the attention of the Conference to the language of the act of
Congress calling this Conference together, and that language runs as
follows:

     "That the President of the United States be authorized and
     requested to extend to the Governments of all nations in
     diplomatic relations with our own an invitation to appoint
     delegates to meet delegates from the United States in the
     city of Washington, at such time as he may see fit to
     designate, for the purpose of fixing upon a meridian proper
     to be employed as a common zero of longitude and standard of
     time-reckoning throughout the globe."

He added that he thought the object of the Conference clearly was to
determine and to recommend; that although the word "recommend" was not
used in the body of the resolution, it was certainly understood, and,
as a matter of fact, the title of the joint resolution passed by
Congress contains the word "recommend." It reads as follows:

     "An act to authorize the President of the United States to
     call an international conference to fix on and recommend for
     universal adoption a common prime meridian, to be used in
     the reckoning of longitude and in the regulation of time
     throughout the world."

Baron von Schæffer, Delegate of Austria-Hungary, then moved that the
Conference adjourn until Monday, the 6th instant, at one o'clock, to
enable Delegates to confer on this subject.

The proposition of the Delegate of Austria-Hungary was then agreed to,
and the Conference adjourned to Monday, October 6, 1884, at 1 o'clock,
p. m.



III.

SESSION OF OCTOBER 6, 1884.


The Conference met pursuant to adjournment in the Diplomatic Hall of
the Department of State, at one o'clock p. m.

Present:

  Austro-Hungary: Baron IGNATZ VON SCHÆFFER.
  Brazil: Dr. LUIZ CRULS.
  Colombia: Commodore S. R. FRANKLIN.
  Costa Rica: Mr. JUAN FRANCISCO ECHEVERRIA.
  France: Mr. A. LEFAIVRE, Mr. JANSSEN.
  Germany: Baron H. VON ALVENSLEBEN, Mr. HINCKELDEYN.
  Great Britain: Capt. Sir F. J. O. EVANS, Prof. J. C. ADAMS,
      Lieut.-General STRACHEY, Mr. SANDFORD FLEMING.
  Guatemala: Mr. MILES ROOK.
  Hawaii: Hon. W. D. ALEXANDER, Hon. LUTHER AHOLO.
  Italy: Count ALBERT DE FORESTA.
  Japan: Professor KIKUCHI.
  Mexico: Mr. LEANDRO FERNANDEZ, Mr. ANGEL ARGUIANO.
  Paraguay: Capt. JOHN STEWART.
  Russia: Mr. C. DE STRUVE, Major-General STEBNITZKI, Mr.
      KOLOGRIVOFF.
  San Domingo: Mr. DE J. GALVAN.
  Salvador: Mr. ANTONIO BATRES.
  Spain: Mr. JUAN VALERA, Mr. EMILIO RUIZ DEL ARBOL, Mr.
      JUAN PASTORIN.
  Sweden: Count CARL LEWENHAUPT.
  Turkey: RUSTEM EFFENDI.
  United States: Rear-Admiral C. R. P. RODGERS, Mr. LEWIS
      M. RUTHERFURD, Mr. W. F. ALLEN, Commander W. T.
      SAMPSON, Professor CLEVELAND ABBE.
  Venezuela: Dr. A. M. SOTELDO.

Mr. RUTHERFURD, Delegate of the United States, said that the
resolution offered by him at the last meeting omitted to state that
the proposed meridian was for longitude, and he would offer the
following as a substitute therefor:

     "_Resolved_, That the Conference proposes to the Governments
     here represented the adoption of the meridian passing
     through the centre of the transit instrument at the
     Observatory of Greenwich as the standard meridian for
     longitude."

The PRESIDENT then asked if the Conference would permit the
substitution to be made, and it was unanimously agreed to.

Mr. RUTHERFURD, Delegate of the United States, stated that he did not
propose to press the resolution to an early vote, but that it was
offered simply to elicit the opinions of Delegates on the subject. He
further stated that, having heard that the Delegates of France, Mr.
LEFAIVRE and Mr. JANSSEN, desired to present certain propositions, he
would, for that purpose, move to withdraw for the time being the
resolution offered by him.

No objection being made, the resolution was temporarily withdrawn.

Mr. LEFAIVRE, Delegate of France, then made the following statement:

Our colleague, Mr. RUTHERFURD, having withdrawn his motion for the
adoption of the meridian of Greenwich, we, the Delegates of France,
after consultation with him, submit the following motion:

     "_Resolved_, That the initial meridian should have a
     character of absolute neutrality. It should be chosen
     exclusively so as to secure to science and to international
     commerce all possible advantages, and in particular
     especially should cut no great continent--neither Europe nor
     America."

Sir F. J. O. EVANS, Delegate of Great Britain, then stated that he
presumed the Conference could hardly pass by the important meeting
held at Rome, where twelve of the thirty-eight Delegates were
directors of national observatories, and where the subject of the
conditions which should attach to a prime meridian were discussed
without reference to any particular nationality; that these learned
gentlemen came to the conclusion (which he thought was a very wise
one) that the necessity existed for a prime meridian that it should
pass through an astronomical observatory of the first order; that
modern science demanded such precision, and therefore they excluded
all ideas of a meridian being established on an island, in a strait,
on the summit of a mountain, or as indicated by a monumental building.
Looking at the subject in its various aspects, they came to the
conclusion that there were only four great observatories which in
their minds combined all the conditions, and this decision was
unanimously received by that Conference. Those great observatories
were Paris, Berlin, Greenwich, and Washington. He stated further that,
having this in view, he thought this Conference should be particularly
guarded, looking at the question from a scientific point of view, not
to depart from the conditions laid down by the Conference at Rome;
that he had no desire to advocate any one of the places enumerated,
but merely mentioned them as satisfying all the conditions of science,
which was so brilliantly represented at Rome.

Commander SAMPSON, Delegate of the United States, then said:

I can only attempt to anticipate the arguments which may be advanced
by the learned Delegate from France in support of his resolution to
adopt a neutral meridian. But it is our simple duty, in our present
judicial capacity, to examine the question of a prime meridian from
all points of view. With the object, then, of considering the question
from another stand-point, I ask your attention for one moment. This
Congress, at its last meeting, by a unanimous vote, declared its
opinion that it was desirable to adopt a single prime meridian for the
purpose of reckoning longitude. Further, it is fair to assume that the
delegates here assembled, in answer to a specific invitation from the
Government of the United States, and for a stated purpose, have come
empowered by their respective governments to act upon the questions
submitted for their consideration in the invitation.

At the last meeting, the Delegates from France left us somewhat in
doubt regarding their views upon this important question of the powers
of the delegates, or at least of their own delegation. But as they
have to-day advocated the adoption of a neutral meridian, we may
conclude that they have the necessary delegated power to fully
consider and determine the main question before us--the selection of a
prime meridian.

In the absence of any declared opinion to the contrary, we may take it
for granted that the Delegates from all States here represented are
deputed to "fix upon a meridian proper to be employed as a common zero
of longitude throughout the globe," and to recommend the same for
adoption to their respective Governments.

If, then, we are of one mind as to the desirability of a single prime
meridian, and if we are fully empowered to make the selection, which
may be taken as another way of saying that we are directed by our
respective Governments to make the selection, we may proceed directly
to the performance of this duty.

In the choice of a prime meridian, there is no physical feature of our
earth which commends itself above others as the best starting point;
nor does the form of the earth itself present any peculiarity which
might be used as an initial point. If the refinements of geodesy
should finally lead to the conclusion that the figure of the earth is
an ellipsoid with three axes, yet the question of the direction of
either of the equatorial axes must remain to such a degree uncertain
that the extremity of the axis could not be assumed as the point of
departure for counting longitude. Indeed, as an initial meridian must
above all things be fixed in position, it would not answer to make its
position depend upon any physical constant which is itself in the
slightest degree uncertain; for in these days, when refinements in
physical measurements are constantly leading to more and more accurate
results, each advance in accuracy would necessitate an annoying change
in the initial meridian, or, what would more probably result, the
retention of the first chosen meridian, which would thus lose its
dependence upon the original definition, and become as arbitrary as
if taken by chance in the first instance.

We may then say that, from a purely scientific point of view, any
meridian may be taken as the prime meridian. But from the standpoint
of convenience and economy there is undoubtedly much room for a
choice.

Considering this question of convenience in connection with the
necessary condition of fixity already referred to, the prime meridian
should pass through some well-established national observatory.

In making the choice of a prime meridian which is to serve for a great
period of time, it is important to so fix and define it that the
natural changes of time may not render it in the least degree
uncertain. To this end, the nation within whose borders the chosen
point may fall should engage to establish it in the most enduring
manner, and protect it against all possible causes of change or
destruction.

When taken in connection with other requirements, to be mentioned
hereafter, this character of permanence will be best secured by making
the adopted meridian pass through an observatory which is under the
control of the Government.

Such observatory should be in telegraphic communication with the whole
world, in order that the differences of longitude from the prime
meridian may be determined for any point. These conditions of
convenience are so important that they may fairly be considered
imperative. To fulfil them one of the national meridians now in use
should be selected. To select any other than one of these meridians,
or a meridian directly dependent upon one of them, and defined simply
by its angular distance from one of these national meridians, would be
to introduce endless confusion into all charts and maps now in use.

To select as a prime meridian one which shall be a defined angular
distance from one of the national meridians, must have for its object
either to remove some inconvenience which results from the use of the
national meridian itself, or it must be to satisfy a desire to deprive
the selected meridian of any nationality.

The inconvenience of east and west longitudes, which results from
having the prime meridian pass through a thickly populated portion of
the world, will be removed by reckoning the longitude continuously
from O° to 360°. At the same time an important advantage is secured by
having the prime meridian occupy a central position with regard to the
most densely populated part of the earth; because the distances which
will then separate the various points from the central observatory
marking the initial meridian will be a minimum, and consequently less
liable to error in determination. The selection of a meridian by
calculation, defined as a certain number of degrees east or west of
one of the national meridians, would not thereby deprive the meridian
thus selected of a national character; for though we may reckon
longitude from a meridian passing through the Atlantic or Pacific
Ocean, yet the initial point from which all measurements of longitude
must be made would still remain one of the national meridians. Again,
if any other than one of the national meridians were selected, or a
meridian dependent upon one of them, as, for example, a neutral
meridian in the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean, it would necessitate a
change in all charts and maps.

It is hardly necessary to say that no scientific or practical
advantage is to be secured by adopting the meridian of the great
pyramid, or by attempting to establish permanent meridian marks over a
great length of the selected meridian, for even in the present
advanced condition of astronomical and geodetic science it is not
practicable to establish two points on the same meridian at a
considerable distance from each other with such a degree of accuracy
as would warrant the use of them indifferently as the initial point.

As a matter of economy as well as convenience that meridian should be
selected which is now in most general use. This additional
consideration of economy would limit our choice to the meridian of
Greenwich, for it may fairly be stated upon the authority of the
distinguished Delegate from Canada that more than 70 per cent. of all
the shipping of the world uses this meridian for purposes of
navigation.

The charts constructed upon this meridian cover the whole navigable
globe. The cost of the plates from which these charts are printed is
probably 75 per cent. of the cost of all plates in the world for
printing mariners' charts, and is probably not less than ten millions
of dollars. As a matter of economy, then, to the world at large, it
would be better to permit those plates to remain unchanged which are
engraved for the meridian of Greenwich and to make the necessary
changes in all plates engraved for other meridians.

A very natural pride has led the great nations to establish by law
their own prime meridian within their own borders, and into this error
the United States was led about 35 years ago.

Should any of us now hesitate in the adoption of a particular
meridian, or should any nation covet the honor of having the selected
meridian within its own borders, it is to be remembered that when the
prime meridian is once adopted by all it loses its specific name and
nationality, and becomes simply the Prime Meridian.

Mr. RUTHERFURD, Delegate of the United States, stated that he did not
propose to take up much of the time of the Conference; that he had
listened with great pleasure to the exhaustive speech of his
colleague, Commander SAMPSON, but that he wished to say a few words
about the conditions of permanence in the prime meridian to which
allusion had just been made. He said that he would call attention to
the fact that the observatory at Paris stands within the heart of a
large and populous city; that it has already been thought by many of
the principal French astronomers that it should no longer remain
there; that it has been, interfered with by the tremors of the earth
and emanations in the air, which prevent it from fulfilling its
usefulness; that for several years past strenuous efforts have been
made to remove the observatory from Paris to some other place where it
may be free to follow out its course of usefulness, and that the only
thing which keeps it there is the remembrance of the honorable career
of that observatory in times past. He added that he was sure that
there was no one here who failed to recognize its claims to
distinction; that there was no one here acquainted with the past
history of astronomy but looks with pride upon the achievements of the
human intellect effected there. At the same time, however, if a
change is to be made, if sentiment should give way to practical
reason, a locality, no doubt, will be found which may be calculated to
fulfil the requirements of a prime meridian better than that one.

As to the fitness of Greenwich, he said that the observatory was
placed in the middle of a large park under the control of the
Government, so that no nuisance can come near it without their
consent, and that it was in a position which speaks for itself; that
he would only add one word more in regard to this matter, and that is,
that the adoption of the meridian of Greenwich as the prime meridian
has not been sought after by Great Britain; that it was not her
proposition, but that she consented to it after it had been proposed
by other portions of the civilized world.

Mr. JANSSEN, Delegate of France, said: We do not put forward the
meridian of the observatory of Paris as that to be chosen for the
prime meridian; but if it were chosen, and we wished to compare it
with that of Greenwich as to the accuracy with which it is actually
connected with the other observatories of Europe, it would not lose by
the comparison. The latest observations of the differences of
longitude made by electricity by the Bureau of Longitudes of France
and our officers have given very remarkable results of great accuracy.
It is well known that what is important for a starting point in
reckoning longitude is, above all things, that it should be accurately
connected with points whose positions have been precisely fixed, such
as the great observatories. There is, therefore, a slight confusion on
the part of my eminent colleague, namely, that of not distinguishing
between the conditions which require the exact connection of the
starting point of longitudes with observatories, and the merits of the
position of such a point in an astronomical aspect, which is here a
matter of secondary importance.

Mr. LEFAIVRE, Delegate of France, said that he did not not know if his
observation was well founded, but it seemed to him that what the
Delegates of France had proposed had not been contested, but that the
arguments used had rather been those in favor of the adoption of the
meridian of Greenwich.

Mr. RUTHERFURD, Delegate of the United States, said that the
observations which he had made were merely to be regarded as a
negative of the proposition made by the Delegates of France, and not
as a statement of the arguments in favor of the adoption of Greenwich.

The PRESIDENT said that the remarks of the Delegate of the United
States were not out of order, inasmuch as they were intended to combat
the proposition brought forward by the Delegate of France.

Mr. JANSSEN, Delegate of France, then spoke as follows:

GENTLEMEN: At the last session, when a proposition was made by my
eminent colleague and friend, Mr. RUTHERFURD, to discuss and vote upon
the adoption of the meridian of Greenwich as the common prime
meridian, I thought it necessary to say that the proposal appeared to
me prematurely made, and that we could not agree to the discussion
proceeding in that manner. Mr. RUTHERFURD has informed me that he
would withdraw his proposition for the present, in order to permit me
to direct the discussion, in the first place, to the principle which
should direct the choice of a common prime meridian. I here take the
opportunity of thanking Mr. RUTHERFURD for his courtesy, and I no
longer object to proceeding with the debate.

What we ask is, that after the general declaration of the second
session as to the utility of a common prime meridian, the Congress
should discuss the question of the principle which should guide the
choice of that meridian.

Being charged to maintain before you, gentlemen, the principle of the
neutrality of the prime meridian, it is evident that if that principle
was rejected by the Congress it would be useless for us to take part
in the further discussion of the choice of the meridian to be adopted
as the point of departure in reckoning longitude.

We think, gentlemen, that if this question of the unification of
longitude is again taken up after so many unsuccessful attempts to
settle it as are recorded in history, there will be no chance of its
final solution unless it be treated upon an exclusively geographical
basis, and that at any cost all national competition should be set
aside. We do not advocate any particular meridian. We put ourselves
completely aside in the debate, and thus place ourselves in a position
of far greater freedom for expressing our opinion, and discussing the
question exclusively in view of the interests affected by the proposed
reform.

The history of geography shows us a great number of attempts to
establish a uniformity of longitude, and when we look for the reasons
which have caused those attempts (many of which were very happily
conceived) to fail, we are struck with the fact that it appears due to
two principal causes--one of a scientific and the other of a moral
nature. The scientific cause was the incapacity of the ancients to
determine exactly the relative positions of different points on the
globe, especially if it was a question of an island far from a
continent, and which consequently could not be connected with that
continent by itinerary measurements. For example, the first meridian
of Marinus of Tyre and Ptolemy, placed on the Fortunate Isles, in
spite of its being so well chosen at the western extremity of the then
known world, could not continue to be used on account of the
uncertainty of the point of departure. That much to be regretted
obstacle caused the method to be changed. It became necessary to fall
back on the continent. But then, in place of a single common origin of
longitude indicated by nature, the first meridians were fixed at
capitals of countries, at remarkable places, at observatories. The
second cause to which I just now alluded, the cause of a moral
nature--national pride--has led to the multiplication of geographical
starting-points where the nature of things would have required, on the
contrary, their reduction to a single one.

In the seventeenth century, Cardinal Richelieu, in view of this
confusion, desired to take up again the conception of Marinus of Tyre,
and assembled at Paris French and foreign men of science, and the
famous meridian of the Island of Ferro was the result of their
discussions.

Here, gentlemen, we find a lesson which should not be lost sight of.
This meridian of Ferro, which at first had the purely geographical and
neutral character which could alone establish and maintain it as an
international first meridian, was deprived of its original
characteristic by the geographer Delisle, who, to simplify the
figures, placed it at 20 degrees in round numbers west of Paris. This
unfortunate simplification abandoned entirely the principle of
impersonality. It was no longer then an independent meridian; it was
the meridian of Paris disguised. The consequences were soon felt. The
meridian of Ferro, which has subsequently been considered as a purely
French meridian, aroused national susceptibilities, and thus lost the
future which was certainly in store for it if it had remained as at
first defined. This was a real misfortune for geography. Our maps,
while being perfected, would have preserved a common unit of origin,
which, on the contrary, has altered more and more.

If, as soon as astronomical methods had been far enough advanced to
permit the establishment of relative positions with that moderate
accuracy which is sufficient for ordinary geography, (and that could
have been done at the end of the 17th century,) we had again taken up
the just and geographical conception of Marinus of Tyre, the reform
would have been accomplished two centuries sooner, and to-day we
should have been in the full enjoyment of it. But the fault was
committed of losing sight of the essential principles of the question,
and the establishment of numerous observatories greatly contributed to
this. Furnishing naturally very accurate relative positions, each one
of these establishments was chosen by the nation to which it belonged
as a point of departure for longitude, so that the intervention of
astronomy in these questions of a geographical nature, an intervention
which, if properly understood, should have been so useful, led us
further away from the object to be attained.

In fact, gentlemen, the study of these questions tends to show that
there is an essential distinction between meridians of a geographical
or hydrographical nature and meridians of observatories. The meridians
of observatories should be considered essentially national. Their
function is to permit observatories to connect themselves one with
another for the unification of the observations made at them. They
serve also as bases for geodetic and topographical operations carried
on around them. But their function is of a very special kind, and
should be generally limited to the country to which they belong.

On the contrary, initial meridians for geography need not be fixed
with quite such a high degree of accuracy as is required by astronomy;
but, in compensation, their operation must be far reaching, and while
it is useful to increase as much as possible the number of meridians
of observatories, it is necessary to reduce as much as we can the
starting points for longitudes in geography.

Further, it may be said that as the position of an observatory should
be chosen with reference to astronomical considerations, so an initial
meridian in geography should only be fixed for geographical reasons.

Gentlemen, have these two very different functions been always well
understood, and has this necessary distinction been preserved? In no
wise. As observatories, on account of the great accuracy of their
operations, furnish admirable points of reference, each nation which
was in a condition to do it connected with its principal observatory
not only the geodetic or topographical work which was done at home--a
very natural thing--but also general geographical or hydrographical
work which was executed abroad, a practice which contained the germ of
all the difficulties with which we are troubled to-day. Thus, as maps
accumulated, the need of uniformity, especially in those that referred
to general geography, was felt more and more.

This explains why this question of a single meridian as a starting
point has been so often raised of late.

Among the assemblies which have occupied themselves with this
question, the one which principally calls for our attention is that
which was held at Rome last year; indeed, for many of our colleagues
the conclusions adopted by the Congress of Rome settle the whole
matter. These conclusions must, therefore, receive our special
attention.

In reading the reports of the discussions of that Congress, I was
struck with the fact that in an assembly of so many learned men and
eminent theorists it was the practical side of the question that was
chiefly considered, and which finally determined the character of the
resolutions adopted.

Thus, instead of laying down the great principle that the meridian to
be offered to the world as the starting-point for all terrestrial
longitudes should, have above all things, an essentially geographical
and impersonal character, the question was simply asked, which one of
the meridians in use among the different observatories has (if I may
be allowed to use the expression) the largest number of clients? In a
matter which interests geography much more than hydrography, as most
sailors acknowledge, because there exist really but two initial
hydrographic meridians, Greenwich and Paris, a prime meridian has been
taken, the reign (practical influence) of which is principally over
the sea; and this meridian, instead of being chosen with reference to
the configuration of the continents, is borrowed from an observatory;
that is to say, that it is placed on the globe in a hap-hazard manner,
and is very inconveniently situated for the function that it is to
perform. Finally, instead of profiting by the lessons of the past,
national rivalries are introduced in a question that should rally the
good-will of all.

Well, gentlemen, I say that considerations of economy and of
established custom should not make us lose sight of the principles
which must be paramount in this question, and which alone can lead to
the universal acceptance and permanence of its settlement.
Furthermore, gentlemen, these motives of economy and of established
custom, which have been appealed to as a decisive argument, exist, it
is true, for the majority in behalf of which they have been put
forward, but exist for them only, and leave to us the whole burden of
change in customs, publications, and material.

Since the report considers us of so little weight in the scales, allow
me, gentlemen, to recall briefly the past and the present of our
hydrography, and for that purpose I can do no better than to quote
from a work that has been communicated to me, and which emanates from
one of our most learned hydrographers. "France," he says, "created
more than two centuries ago the most ancient nautical ephemerides in
existence. She was the first to conceive and execute the great
geodetic operations which had for their object the construction of
civil and military maps and the measurement of arcs of the meridian in
Europe, America, and Africa. All these operations were and are based
on the Paris meridian. Nearly all the astronomical tables used at the
present time by the astronomers and the navies of the whole world are
French, and calculated for the Paris meridian. As to what most
particularly concerns shipping, the accurate methods now used by all
nations for hydrographic surveys are of French origin, and our charts,
all reckoned from the meridian of Paris, bear such names as those of
Bougainville, La Pérouse, Fleurieu, Borda, d'Entrecasteaux, Beautemps,
Beaupré, Duperrey, Dumont d'Urville, Daussy, to quote only a few among
those who are not living.

"Our actual hydrographic collections amount to more than 4,000 charts.
By striking off those which the progress of explorations have rendered
useless, there still remain about 2,600 charts in use. Of this number
more than half represent original French surveys, a large part of
which foreign nations have reproduced. Amongst the remainder, the
general charts are the result of discussions undertaken in the Bureau
of the Marine, by utilizing all known documents, French as well as
foreign, and there are relatively few which are mere translations of
foreign works. Our surveys are not confined to the coasts of France
and of its colonies; there is scarcely a region of the globe for which
we do not possess original work--Newfoundland, the coasts of Guiana,
of Brazil, and of La Plata, Madagascar, numerous points of Japan and
of China, 187 original charts relative to the Pacific. We must not
omit the excellent work of our hydrographic engineers on the west
coast of Italy, which was honored by the international jury with the
great medal of honor at the Universal Exhibition of 1867. The
exclusive use of the Paris meridian by our sailors is justified by
reference to a past of two centuries, which we have thus briefly
recalled.

"If another initial meridian had to be adopted, it would be necessary
to change the graduation of our 2,600 hydrographic plates; it would be
necessary to do the same thing for our nautical instructions, (sailing
directions,) which exceed 600 in number. The change would also
necessarily involve a corresponding change in the _Connaissance des
Temps_."

These are titles to consideration of some importance. Well, if under
these circumstances the projected reform, instead of being directed by
the higher principles which ought to govern the subject, should take
solely for its base the respect due to the established customs of the
largest number and the absence on their part of all sacrifice,
reserving to us alone the burden of the change and the abandonment of
a valued and glorious past, are we not justified in saying that a
proposition thus made would not be acceptable?

When France, at the end of the last century, instituted the metre, did
she proceed thus? Did she, as a measure of economy and in order to
change nothing in her customs, propose to the world the "Pied de Roi"
as a unit of measure? You know the facts. The truth is, everything
with us was overthrown--both the established methods and instruments
for measurement; and the measure adopted being proportioned only to
the dimensions of the earth, is so entirely detached from everything
French that in future centuries the traveller who may search the ruins
of our cities may inquire what people invented the metrical measure
that chance may bring under his eyes.

Permit me to say that it is thus a reform should be made and becomes
acceptable. It is by setting the example of self-sacrifice; it is by
complete self-effacement in any undertaking, that opposition is
disarmed and true love of progress is proved.

I now hasten to say that I am persuaded that the proposition voted for
at Rome was neither made nor suggested by England, but I doubt whether
it would render a true service to the English nation if it be agreed
to. An immense majority of the navies of the world navigate with
English charts; that is true, and it is a practical compliment to the
great maritime activity of that nation. When this freely admitted
supremacy shall be transformed into an official and compulsory
supremacy, it will suffer the vicissitudes of all human power, and
that institution, (the common meridian,) which by its nature is of a
purely scientific nature, and to which we would assure a long and
certain future, will become the object of burning competition and
jealousy among nations.

All this shows, gentlemen, how much wiser it would be to take for the
origin of terrestrial longitude a point chosen from geographical
considerations only. Upon the globe, nature has so sharply separated
the continent on which the great American nation has arisen, that
there are only two solutions possible from a geographical point of
view, both of them very natural.

The first solution would consist in returning, with some small
modification, to the solution of the ancients, by placing our meridian
near the Azores; the second by throwing it back to that immense
expanse of water which separates America from Asia, where on its
northern shores the New World abuts on the old.

These two solutions may be discussed; this has been often done, and
again quite recently, by one of our ablest geologists, M. de
Chancourtois.

Each of these meridians combine the fundamental conditions which
geography demands and upon which there has always been an agreement
when national meridians are set aside from the discussion. As to the
determination of the position of the point which may be adopted, the
present excellent astronomical methods will give it with a degree of
exactness as great as that which geography requires.

But what is the necessity for a special and costly determination of
the longitude of a point which can be fixed arbitrarily, provided this
be done within certain limits, as for instance by satisfying the
conditions of passing through a strait or an island. We may be content
with fixing the position of the point adopted in an approximate
manner. The position thus obtained would be connected with certain of
the great observatories selected for the purpose from their being
accurately connected one with another, and the relative positions thus
ascertained would supply the definition of the first meridian. As to
any material mark on the globe, if one be desired, though it is in no
manner necessary, it would be established in conformity with this
definition, and its position should be changed until it exactly
complied with it.

As to the question of the changes to be introduced in existing maps
and charts which, by our proposition, would be imposed upon everybody,
they could be very much reduced, especially if it were agreed--which
would be sufficient at first--to draw upon existing charts only a
subsidiary additional scale of graduation which would permit immediate
use of the international meridian. Later, and as new charts were
engraved, a more complete scale of graduation would be given; but I
think that it would always be desirable to preserve in the manner now
done in many atlases both systems of reckoning longitude--the national
and international. If it be necessary at the present time to
facilitate the external relations of all nations, it is also well to
preserve among them all manifestations of personal life, and to
respect the symbols which represent their traditions and past history.

Gentlemen, I do not propose to dwell upon the details of the
establishment of such a meridian. We have only to advocate before you
the principle of its acceptance.

If this principle be admitted by the Congress, we are instructed to
say that you will find in it a ground for agreement with France.

Without doubt, on account of our long and glorious past, of our great
publications, of our important hydrographic works, a change of
meridian would cause us heavy sacrifices. Nevertheless, if we are
approached with offers of self-sacrifice, and thus receive proofs of a
sincere desire for the general good, France has given sufficient
proofs of her love of progress to make her co-operation certain.

But we shall have to regret that we are not able to join a combination
which to protect the interests of one portion of the contracting
parties would sacrifice the more weighty scientific character of the
meridian to be adopted, a character which in our eyes is indispensable
to justify its imposition upon all, and to assure it permanent
success.

Prof. J. C. ADAMS, Delegate of Great Britain, stated that if he were
allowed to offer a few observations upon the eloquent address made by
his colleague, the representative of France, Mr. JANSSEN, he would
remark that, so far as he could follow that discourse, it seemed to
him to turn almost entirely on sentimental considerations; that it
appeared to him that the Delegate of France had overlooked one great
point which was correctly laid down by the President in his opening
address, viz., that one of the main objects to be kept in view in the
deliberations of this Conference would be, how best to secure the
aggregate convenience of the world at large--how we should choose a
prime meridian which would cause the least inconvenience by the change
that would take place. Of course, any change would necessarily be
accompanied by a certain amount of inconvenience, but our object, as
he understood it, was to take care that that inconvenience should be
as small in its aggregate amount as possible.

He stated that if that were taken as the ground of consideration by
this Conference, it appeared to him that the question was narrowed to
one of fact rather than to be one of sentiment, which latter would
admit of no solution whatever; for it was quite clear that if all the
Delegates here present were guided by merely sentimental
considerations, or by considerations of _amour propre_, the Conference
would never arrive at any conclusion, because each nation would put
its own interests on a level with those of every other.

He added that if the Conference should be able to agree in the opinion
that the adoption of one meridian (for his part he did not undertake
to say what meridian) would be accompanied by a greater amount of
convenience in the aggregate than the adoption of any other, he
thought that this should be the predominant consideration in guiding
the decision of this Conference, on the question referred to them, and
it appeared to him that this is a consideration which the Delegate of
France has not put before this Conference, at least not in a prominent
way. It is clear that the inconvenience caused to any one nation by
the adoption of a new neutral meridian would not be lessened by the
fact that all other nations would suffer the same inconvenience.

With respect to the question of a neutral meridian, Professor ADAMS
wished to call the attention of the Congress to the fact that the
Delegates here present are not a collection of representatives of
belligerents; that they are all neutral as men should be in a matter
purely scientific, or in any other matter which affects the
convenience of the world at large, and that this Conference is not met
here at the end of a war to see how territory should be divided, but
in a friendly way, representing friendly nations.

He stated that he hoped the Delegates would be guided in their
decision by the main consideration, which was, What will tend to the
greatest practical convenience of the world? That he need not address
a word to the other part of the argument which he thought at first of
commenting upon a little, for the Delegate of the United States,
Commander SAMPSON, who spoke first, had put his views so clearly
before the Conference that he (Professor ADAMS) would not detain it
longer.

He would add, however, that if the Conference is to take a neutral
meridian they must either erect an observatory on the point selected,
which might be very inconvenient if they should choose such a point as
is alluded to by the Delegate of France, or if some such place was not
selected, we should merely have a zero of longitude by a legal
fiction, and that would not be a real zero at all; that they would
have to select their zero with reference to a known observatory, and
that, for instance, supposing they took a point for zero twenty
degrees west of Paris, of course that would be really adopting Paris
as the prime meridian; that it would not be so nominally, but in
reality it would be, and he thought that we now-a-days should get rid
of legal fictions as much as possible, and call things by their right
names.

Mr. JANSSEN, Delegate of France, said:

My eminent colleague, whose presence is an honor to this Congress,
Professor ADAMS, thinks that I overlook too much the practical side of
the question; namely, how a prime meridian can be established so as to
cause the least inconvenience. He says that I pay too much attention
to what he calls a question of sentiment, and he concludes by
expressing the hope that all nations will lay aside their national
pride and only be guided by this consideration: What meridian offers
the greatest practical advantages? My reply is that I intend no more
than Professor ADAMS to place the question upon the ground of national
pride; but it is one thing to speak in the name of national pride and
another to foresee that this sentiment common to all men, may show
itself, and that we should avoid conclusions likely to arouse it, or
we may compromise our success. That is all our argument; and the
history of the great nation to which Professor ADAMS belongs furnishes
us with examples of considerable significance, for the French meridian
of Ferro was never adopted by the English, notwithstanding its happy
geographical situation, and we all still awaiting the honor of seeing
the adoption of the metrical system for common use in England.

But let us put aside these questions which I would not have been the
first to touch upon, and place ourselves upon the true ground of the
importance of the proposed reform, which is the only one worthy of
ourselves or of this discussion. We do not refuse to enter into an
agreement on account of a mere question, of national pride, and the
statement of the changes and expenses to which we should have to
submit in order to accomplish the agreement is a sufficient proof of
this.

But we consider that a reform which consists in giving to a
geographical question one of the worst solutions possible, simply on
the ground of practical convenience, that is to say, the advantage to
yourselves and those you represent, of having nothing to change,
either in your maps, customs, or traditions--such a solution, I say,
can have no future before it, and we refuse to take part in it.

Prof. ABBE, Delegate of the United States, stated that the Delegate of
France, Mr. JANSSEN, had made a very important proposition to the
Conference: That the meridian adopted should be a neutral one. He said
that he had endeavored to determine what a neutral meridian is. On
what principle shall the Conference fix upon a neutral meridian, and
what is a neutral meridian? Shall it be historical, geographical,
scientific, or arithmetical? In what way shall it be fixed upon? He
looked back a little into the history of an important system adopted
some years ago. France determined to give us a neutral system of
weights and measures, and the world now thanks her for it. She
determined that the base of this neutral system should be the
ten-millionth part of a quadrant of the meridian. She fixed it by
measurement, and to-day we use the metre as the standard in all
important scientific work; but is that metre part of a neutral
system? Is our metric system neutral? It was intended to be, but it is
not; we are using a French system. Had the English, or the Germans, or
the Americans taken the ten-millionth part of the quadrant of the
meridian, they would have arrived at a slightly different measure, and
there would have been an English, a German, and an American measure.
We are using the French metric system. It was intended to be a neutral
system, but it is a French system. We adopt it because it deserves our
admiration, but it is not a neutral system. The various nations of the
world might meet and agree upon some slight modification of this
metric system which would agree with the results of all scientific
investigations, and thus make it international instead of French; but
we do not care to do that, and are willing to adopt one system, taking
the standard of Paris as our standard. How shall we determine a
neutral system of longitude? The expression "neutral system of
longitude" is a myth, a fancy, a piece of poetry, unless you can tell
precisely how to do it. He would vote for a neutral system if the
French representatives can tell the Conference clearly how to decide
that it is neutral, and satisfy them that it is not national in any
way.

Mr. JANSSEN, Delegate of France, said:

I perfectly understand the objection of my honorable colleague, Prof.
ABBE. He asks what is a neutral meridian, and adds that the metre
itself does not appear to him to be a neutral measure, but to be a
French measure. He relies upon the consideration that if the English,
the Americans, and Germans, in adopting a definition of the metre, had
measured it for themselves, they would have arrived each at a slightly
different result, which would have given us an English, American, and
German metre; nevertheless, he adds, we use the French metre, because
we find it so admirable.

I would answer, first, that the metre, as far as the measure is
derived from the dimensions of the earth, is not French, and it was
precisely to take away this character of nationality that those who
fixed on the metre sought to establish it on the dimensions of the
earth itself. What is French is the particular metre of our national
archives, which exhibits a very slight difference from that which our
actual geodesy would have given us. Also, I think that if, at the time
of the adoption of the Convention du Mêtre, in which the nations of
Europe participated, we had slightly changed the length of our
standard to make it agree with the result of actual geodetic
measurements, we should have done an excellent thing in depriving this
measure of any shadow of nationality. I agree with my honorable
colleague that if a few slight changes adopted by common accord could
perfect the metrical system, we French ought to have no motive for
opposing it. We have the honor of having invented a system of measures
which, being based upon considerations of a purely scientific nature,
has been accepted by all. Therefore if it can be said with truth that
the metre of the Archives of Paris is French, (not intentionally, but
because it bears the mark of an error of French origin,) it is an
international metre, by the same title that the discovery of the
satellites of Mars made by my friend, Prof. Asaph Hall, whom I have
the pleasure of seeing here, is scientific and of a universal nature.
The metre--equal to the ten-millionth part of the distance from the
equator to the pole--is no more French than that distance itself, and,
nevertheless, if the Americans, English, or Germans had measured it,
they would each have arrived at a slightly different metre.

Now, my honorable colleague adds that a neutral meridian appears to
him a myth, a fancy, a piece of poetry, so long as we have not exactly
settled the method of determining it. I shall disregard the
expressions which my honorable colleague has thus introduced into the
discussion, because this discussion should be serious. It is plain
that Prof. ABBE did not thoroughly apprehend the explanations which I
gave of the proper methods of fixing the initial meridian, and of the
conditions which make a meridian neutral; but I return to them, since
I am invited to do so. Our meridian will be neutral if, in place of
taking one of those which are fixed by the existing great
observatories, to which, consequently, the name of a nation is
attached, and which by long usage is identified with that nation, we
choose a meridian based only upon geographical considerations, and
upon the uses for which we propose to adopt it.

Do you want a striking example of what differentiates a neutral
meridian from a national meridian? In order to avoid the confusion
which existed in geography at the beginning of the seventeenth
century, on account of the multiplicity of initial meridians then in
use, a congress of learned men, assembled in Paris at the instance of
Richelieu to select a new common meridian, fixed its choice on the
most eastern point of the Island of Ferro. This was a purely
geographical meridian, being attached to no capital, to no national
observatory, and consequently neutral, or, if you please, purely
geographical. Later, Le père Feuillet, sent in 1724 by the Academy of
Sciences to determine the exact longitude of the initial point, having
given the figure 19° 55' 3" west of Paris, the geographer, Delisle,
for the sake of simplicity, adopted the round number 20°; and, as I
stated a little while ago, this alteration completely changed the
character of this prime meridian. It ceased to be neutral, and became
merely the meridian of Paris disguised, as has been truly said, and
the English, notably, never adopted it. Here is the difference,
gentlemen, between a neutral meridian and a national meridian.

And, parenthetically, you see, gentlemen, how dangerous it is to
awaken national susceptibilities on a subject of a purely scientific
nature. Now allow me to add that, if in 1633 it was possible to find a
neutral meridian, a purely geographical meridian, an independent
meridian, it may easily be done in 1884 if we wish to do so; and that
a point chosen on purely geographical considerations, either in
Behring's Strait or in the Azores, could be much better determined now
than was possible to Father Feuillet in 1724, and could take the
position which the meridian of Ferro would not have lost had it not
been confounded with the meridian of Paris.

Professor J. C. ADAMS, Delegate of Great Britain, stated that he
merely desired to refer to one subject touched on by the Delegate of
France, Mr. JANSSEN, whose opinion he thought could hardly be
supported, and that was that the question of longitude was purely one
of geography. He desired to controvert that, and to hold that the
question of longitude was purely one of astronomical observation. The
difference of longitude between two places could not be determined by
geodetic observations, because to do this you must take hypothesis as
to the figure of the earth, and the figure of the earth is not a
simple figure. You may take as hypothesis that the figure of the earth
is spheroidal, and that the ratio of the axes is exactly defined. Now,
in the first place, we are not agreed as to the exact ratio of the
axes, nor are we agreed as to the exact figure of the earth. If an
attempt is made to measure the difference of longitude between two
points on the earth's surface, especially when they are a considerable
distance from each other, it is necessary to depend upon astronomical
observations. In attempting to deduce the difference of longitude from
geodetic measures, you must assume that the true figure and dimensions
of the earth are known, which is far from being the case. The theory
that the prime meridian is a matter purely of a geographical nature is
liable to the fatal objection that the determination of the difference
of longitude between one place and the other is really the
determination of the difference of time of the passage of a star
across the meridian of the two places concerned. That is very
definite. You observe the transit of the star at one place, and you
observe the transit of the star at the other place, and by means of
telegraphic communications you are able to determine their difference
of longitude independent of the figure of the earth. He said, in
conclusion, that he thought the honorable Delegate of France was
mistaken upon the main point which he had just referred to, if,
indeed, he had rightly understood him.

M. JANSSEN, Delegate of France, replied as follows:

I think that M. ADAMS entirely misunderstands me. I agree with him
absolutely in thinking that longitudes cannot be determined,
especially of places far apart, except by astronomical methods.
Geodesy can only furnish it for short distances; in such cases, it is
true, it supplies it with a degree of accuracy which meridianal
observations cannot attain. So, if the question be to determine
rigorously the difference of longitude in time between two places on
the earth at considerable distances apart, it becomes one of
astronomy, because here it is astronomy which gives the quickest and
most accurate solution. For these reasons if, for instance, we should
wish to connect a given observatory with a point situated on the other
side of the ocean which had been chosen as the starting point of
longitudes, it would become a question of astronomy. Astronomy here is
an admirable instrument for the solution, but it should only be the
instrument.

On the contrary, the question becomes geographical, if it be that of
determining where it will be most convenient to fix the origin of
terrestrial longitudes. If the question be, for instance, to select
one or another point, in some one or other ocean, astronomy has
nothing to do with it, and when it wishes to impose upon us one of its
observatories to fulfil such a function it tends to give an inaccurate
solution.

At first sight it may seem that any point might become a starting
point for terrestial longitudes, but when we study the question a
little more we see there may be great advantages in choosing some one
point in preference to some other. Hence it is that all geographers
have agreed to place initial meridians, when possible, in the oceans.

The PRESIDENT stated that, in accordance with the decision of the
Conference, he had sent to the scientists named by them invitations to
a seat upon this floor. The Chair sees several of these gentlemen here
to-day, notably one of the most eminent astronomers of this country,
to whom his countrymen are always ready to do homage, Professor
Newcomb, Superintendent of the United States Nautical Almanac. If it
be the pleasure of the Congress, the Chair will now request Professor
Newcomb to give us his views upon the resolution now under discussion.

No objection being made to the proposition of the President, Professor
NEWCOMB arose and said:

That in reference to the remarks of the distinguished Delegate of
France, Professor JANSSEN, he would prefer, if the Conference would
consent, to study his arguments more carefully when they should be in
print.

He remarked that some points raised by that argument have been already
replied to, and he wished now more particularly to request that
Professor JANSSEN would define precisely what he meant by "a neutral
meridian;" that he had partially answered this question in reply to
Professor ABEÉ; but that there was a more fundamental point, one of
practice, which must be brought in and kept in mind at every step, and
which was raised by Commander SAMPSON'S paper, to which he had
listened with great interest. Commander SAMPSON held that it would be
necessary to have a fixed observatory on the chosen prime meridian,
but he (Professor NEWCOMB) did not concur in that view, but rather
agreed to a limited extent with what Professor JANSSEN had said on
that question.

In choosing a meridian from which to count longitude, you meet a
difficult problem. You have a point on the globe defined as the first
meridian. This would be taken as the initial point of departure, and
you are to determine the longitude of a certain place from that point.
Now, doubtless, there is no other way to do this than to have an
astronomical instrument and telegraphic communication. And if they
chose the Azores or Behring's Strait, in neither case could they mount
a transit instrument or have a system of telegraphic communication.
Nor could we make a determination of longitude from a single fixed
observatory in any case.

He then stated that it was impracticable under any circumstances to
have an absolutely neutral prime meridian; that the definition of the
prime meridian must practically depend upon subsidiary considerations,
no matter where it might be located. In the practical work of
determining longitudes a connection with the prime meridian cannot be
made in each case. What is really determined is the longitude from
some intermediate point, generally in the same country, and in
telegraphic communication with the place whose longitude we wish to
know. This intermediate point would, for the time, be the practical
prime meridian. But the longitude of this point itself must always be
uncertain. Science is continually advancing in accuracy, and we find
that we continually need to correct the longitude of our intermediate
meridian, and hence of all points determined from it. How can this
difficulty of constantly changing longitudes be avoided? He replied
that each system of connected longitudes must rest upon its own basis.
It must be referred to an assumed prime meridian, and the
measurements must be made from that, even if it be found to be
somewhat in error. If some such system had been adopted thirty or
forty years ago, we would have avoided the confusion arising from the
fact that the longitudes given on many maps do not refer at all to any
absolute meridian. All that is known is that the astronomers
determined the longitude of the place, and then the maps had to be
corrected accordingly. The longitude of one place would be determined
from Cambridge, and perhaps in the neighborhood is another place
determined from the observatory at Washington. In either case we know
nothing of the longitude of Cambridge or Washington which the observer
assumed in his calculations.

Generally, in determining longitude, the country adopts the principal
place within its confines as a subsidiary prime meridian, and the
assumed longitude of this place is necessarily selected somewhat
arbitrarily. The longitude, for instance, of Washington was, thirty
years ago, known to be nearly 5 hours 8 minutes and 12 seconds west
from Greenwich. Had we adopted this difference by law, it would have
amounted to choosing for our prime meridian a point 5 hours 8 minutes
and 12 seconds east of Washington, whether we happened to strike the
transit instrument at Greenwich or not. This would have fixed an
assumed longitude for the Cambridge observatory and for all points
within our telegraphic net-work. We should have had a practical
system, which might, however, require to be corrected from time to
time, if some slight error were found in the assumed longitude of
Washington.

In the present state of astronomical observation these little errors
are of no consequence except in some very refined astronomical
discussions. For all geographical and perhaps geodetical purposes the
error may be regarded as zero, and it may be said, in regard to
astronomical work, that it will always be independent of any meridian
that might be chosen.

But even if this difficulty were avoided, he could not see how they
could have any place which would come within the definition of a
neutral meridian. Supposing they took the Azores, they belong to
Portugal; then certainly they would have a Portuguese prime meridian,
belonging to the Portuguese nation. Thus they would no longer have a
neutral point, if he (Professor NEWCOMB) rightly understood the
meaning of Professor JANSSEN.

He said that the Delegate of Great Britain, Professor ADAMS, had
expressed very clearly his (Professor NEWCOMB'S) ideas, and the
difficulty we have in meeting the propositions of the French
Delegates; that what he had said would apply very properly to any
neutral meridian that might be chosen in accordance with the plans of
Professor JANSSEN. Whatever that meridian might be, we must always
assume for it a certain number of degrees from the capital of the
country, where the place to be determined is located, and then take
that imaginary meridian instead of a real point on the surface of the
globe.

It is true that this is perfectly practicable, and on that theory
there might not be any necessity of having an astronomical
observatory. But why we should go to this trouble and expense Mr.
JANSSEN did not make very clear; his considerations were purely
sentimental, as was remarked by the Delegate of Great Britain,
Professor ADAMS, and he (Prof. NEWCOMB) did not see what advantage
would be gained by a neutral meridian in preference to one fixed by
convenience.

In order that a discussion may proceed, it is necessary to agree on a
given basis from which to start, and it is extremely difficult to
agree upon a basis if there are considerations of sentiment
introduced, because such considerations are peculiar to each person.

He therefore wished to propose this question again to the Delegate of
France, namely, what advantages can we derive from fixing upon a
neutral meridian?

Mr. JANSSEN, Delegate of France, said:

Professor NEWCOMB asks me to point out the advantages of a neutral
meridian. These advantages are of two kinds--they are of a
geographical nature and a moral nature. Let us examine the first. By
placing the initial meridian between Asia and America, we get away
from the centres of population, which is almost indispensable in view
of the change of dates. We divide the world into two parts, the Old
World and the New. The advantage of drawing the prime meridian
through the ocean has always been understood, and it was precisely for
this reason that Marinus of Tyre, during the first century, placed it
at the Fortunate Isles, west of the African Continent. It is idle to
urge the difficulty of fixing such a meridian as an objection.
Astronomy is so far advanced in our day as to enable us to make this
calculation with all desirable accuracy.

As to the methods of obtaining this meridian exactly, there are
several. I have already spoken of them, but I return to the subject,
since more details are desired. These methods fall under two principal
heads. We can, and that is the ancient idea, choose some remarkable
physical point--as, for instance, the extremity of an island, a
strait, the summit of a mountain--and determine approximately the
distance in longitude of this point from the points of reference,
which are at present the observatories. This method, if all the
precision that science can now attain is required, would be costly in
certain cases. For the Azores the expense would be small, because of
the proximity of the telegraphic cables; it would be much greater for
Behring Straits. On the hypothesis of the employment of this method,
it would evidently be necessary to place our meridian at the Azores.

According to the other method, it is not the physical point which is
fixed, but simply the distance of the assumed origin from the points
of comparison. For example, admit that the general definition of our
prime meridian was that it should pass through the middle of Behring
Straits. To obtain its theoretical definition, we should obtain a
position of this point, either by summary observations of the nature
of hydrographic surveys, or by the aid of existing information, and
the longitude thus obtained would be connected with the observatories
best connected with each other. A list of the differences of longitude
would become the definition of our meridian, and not the physical
point in the sea which marks the exact middle of the strait. If, now,
we absolutely wished for a physical point, we have the Island of St.
Lawrence, which is cut towards its eastern part by such a meridian,
and we could put a point of reference there, subject to the condition
that the position of this point should conform to the definition, and
that it should be removed, in one direction or the other, until it did
conform to it. As to the very slight errors which might still affect
the relative positions of the great observatories actually connected
by electricity, they do not concern geography. If I am not mistaken,
the eminent Superintendent of the American Nautical Almanac
acknowledges that we could thus avoid the difficulties which might
result from the changes to which the perfecting of science would in
the course of time give rise in the statement of longitudes.

In this manner the expense would be nothing or small. Thus, also, the
meridian would be truly neutral, both by reason of its position in the
ocean between the continents, and by reason of its definition, since
the zero of longitude would then be so placed as to occupy a point not
identified with any nation. This illustration appears to me to answer
the demands of Professor NEWCOMB. I have taken it only for that
reason, for I maintain no particular method, but only the principle of
neutrality.

Finally, I must return again to those sentimental reasons which my
eminent and friendly opponents so often call to my attention. If I do
not err, the very warmth of these interesting discussions shows me
that the honor of being personally connected with a great reform
touches us more than we are willing to admit, or than practical
interests alone could effect.

Professor ADAMS himself supplies an illustration of this. He should
remember the lively discussions of the English and French press on the
occasion of the magnificent discovery of Neptune, and on the claims of
the two illustrious competitors who were then the objects of universal
admiration. If we go back in history, do we not see the friends of
Newton and of Leibnitz equally contesting with asperity the discovery
of the infinitesimal calculus. The love of glory is one of the noblest
motives of men; we must bow before it, but we must also be careful not
to permit it to produce bad fruits.

When our men of science sought, a hundred years ago, to determine a
new measure of length, some one proposed the length of the seconds
pendulum at Paris. This measure was rejected, because it introduced
the idea of time in a measure of length, and also because it was
peculiar to Paris, and because a measure acceptable to the whole world
was desired. It is important not to introduce questions of national
rivalries into a scientific reform intended to be accepted by all, and
history shows us precisely on this question of prime meridians what
active rivalries there are. There was a time when almost every nation
which had a large observatory had a meridian, and that meridian was
considered an object of national pride. There were the meridians of
Paris, of Rome, of Florence, of London, and so on, and no nation was
willing to abandon its meridian for that of another. If you please to
adopt either the meridian of Greenwich, Washington, Paris, Berlin,
Pulkowa, Vienna, or Rome, our reform may be accepted for the moment,
especially if it offers immediate advantages in economy; but it will
contain within it a vice which will prevent its becoming definitive,
and we are not willing to participate in action which will not be
definitive.

Whatever we may do, the common prime meridian will always be a crown
to which there will be a hundred pretenders. Let us place the crown on
the brow of science, and all will bow before it.

Commander SAMPSON, Delegate of the United States, said that he thought
that the Delegate of France, Professor JANSSEN, had explained very
fully the advantages of a neutral meridian, but he thought that he had
not explained how we are to determine the neutral meridian. He added
that he quite agreed with Professor ADAMS and Professor NEWCOMB, that
to establish a prime meridian it is necessary to refer its position to
an astronomical observatory.

He stated further that if a meridian were selected passing through the
Atlantic or Pacific Ocean, it must be referred to some initial point
whose longitude is known, and the consequence of that would be, it
seemed to him, that the prime meridian selected would still be
dependent upon some national observatory, and that to select a
meridian at random without reference to any observatory would lead to
the utmost confusion, and, he had no doubt, would not be entertained
by any one.

Prof. JANSSEN, Delegate of France. When my honorable colleague,
Commander SAMPSON, reads the remarks which I have just made, he will
see that I have very fully shown what characterizes a neutral or
geographical meridian, as contradistinguished from those meridians
which, passing through capitals and observatories of different
countries, bear the names of nations, whilst geographical meridians
bear geographical names, such as the meridian of Ferro, of the Azores,
Behring's Strait, &c. Of course it would be necessary to connect the
places selected with observatories, either by calculation or in some
other effective manner. I said all this a few moments ago.

Mr. RUTHERFURD, Delegate of the United States, then remarked that in
addition to what had been said he would merely call attention to the
fact that after that neutral point had been established it would cease
to be a neutral meridian; that if the Azores be chosen they belong to
Portugal, and he did not know any island in the Pacific which would
serve the purpose, and at the same time not be subject to this
objection; that perhaps Behring's Strait, mentioned by the French
Delegate, might be less objectionable than any other place. He added
that it is absolutely necessary that there should be some means of
determining the difference between this adopted place and the other
places, or else no use could be made of it. We must know how far other
places are from the prime meridian, and for that reason it is
necessary that it should be on land. Now, that land must belong to
some country, and after we have fixed upon it it would cease to be a
neutral meridian, and it would have to be connected by telegraphic
wires with all the great observatories in the world.

Prof. JANSSEN, Delegate of France. My honorable friend, Mr.
RUTHERFURD, says that from the time the prime meridian was chosen it
would cease to be neutral. I reply that he confounds a scientific
principle with a question of property in the soil. If, for reasons of
a geographical nature, we should fix upon a point in the Azores, that
meridian would be neutral, because it would have been chosen on
scientific grounds alone. The equator is neutral because geographical
conditions give it that character; and, nevertheless, the countries
along it belong to various nations, do they not? As to the manner of
connecting the prime meridian with the system of observatories, I have
already explained how this may be done in my former speech.

General STRACHEY, Delegate of England, remarked that he had rather
hesitated about saying anything on the subject, after the expression
of so many opinions of persons better qualified to speak than himself,
but he felt that he ought to make a few remarks as to the distinction
which Prof. JANSSEN had attempted to establish between astronomical
and geographical longitude. It appeared to him that longitude was
longitude. It would never do if, for geographic purposes, we are to
have a second or third-class longitude and for astronomical purposes a
first-class longitude. He said that as a geographer he repudiated any
such idea. When you come to the practical application of the
determination of longitude at sea for maritime purposes, it is true
that a much less accurate determination suffices than would suffice
for the determination of longitude for astronomical observatories;
but, for all that, what is the object of a ship desiring to know what
its place at sea is? Obviously to arrive at the port to which it is
destined, and the object to be obtained is such a determination of the
longitude as to enable that ship to arrive at its port without danger.
You obtain a comparatively imperfect determination of longitude, but
it is sufficiently accurate to prevent you from striking on the solid
earth. But how is the longitude of the port to be determined?
Certainly, as has been properly said, by astronomical observations,
which can only be made with certainty on the earth. Consequently, it
seemed to him that it is absolutely essential for fixing an initial
meridian for the determination of longitude that it should be placed
at an astronomical observatory which can be connected with other
places by astronomical observations and by telegraph wires, and that
the idea of fixing a neutral meridian is nothing more than the
establishment of an ideal meridian really based upon some point at
which there is located an observatory. This has been repeated once or
twice before, and I need not enlarge upon it.

Prof. JANSSEN, Delegate of France. My honorable colleague, General
STRACHEY, thinks that longitude is longitude, and that there is not an
astronomical longitude and a geographical longitude. I answer, that
this is, nevertheless, what the nature of things indicates. The
longitude of observatories, or rather the difference of longitude
between those establishments, must be fixed with an accuracy which is
never sufficiently great. In the Bureau of Longitude of France we are
occupied with the differences of longitude of European observatories,
and we adopt for these calculations all the latest scientific
improvements, and especially the employment of electricity. Geography,
especially for general purposes, does not require this great accuracy,
which could not be expressed on maps. All geographers agree upon that
subject. A statement of the longitude is like the statement of a
weight, of a measure, or of anything, and its precision must vary
according to the purpose to which it is applied. Is not a weighing
necessary to determine a chemical equivalent of an entirely different
kind from that of a commercial weighing? Yet it is still a weight. Is
it necessary to insist on this further? It is entirely a secondary
question. If General STRACHEY, whom I had the pleasure of meeting in
India, demands that the prime meridian should be connected with
observatories with rigorous accuracy, this can be done if it be
desired; the astronomical and electrical methods at our disposal will
permit of it.

Prof. ABBE, Delegate of the United States, said that he was quite
interested in the determination, if possible, of what is a neutral
meridian. We are precisely in the condition in which we were years
ago, when the French Institute determined that the basis of the metric
system should be the one ten-millionth of the quadrant of the globe.
Having settled upon that ideal basis, they spent years of labor, and
finally legalized a standard metre, which is still preserved at Paris.
We have now the same problem to solve. We have before us the idea of a
neutral meridian, and, if it be adopted, we must see that there be
embodied in the system the distance of certain other important places
with reference to it. The only suggestion given as to the location of
this neutral meridian is Behring's Strait. This is said to be a
neutral meridian, because it lies between Russia and America; but how
long will it remain so? Perhaps a year or two, or perhaps fifty years.
Who knows when Russia will step over and reconquer the country on this
side of Behring's Strait? Who knows when America will step over and
purchase half of Siberia? At any rate, that point is not cosmopolitan;
something must be found which is fixed, either within the sphere of
the earth or in the stars above the earth--something that is above all
human considerations--otherwise we shall fail in securing a neutral
meridian.

Commander SAMPSON, Delegate of the United States, said that he would
like to ask the Delegate from France, Mr. JANSSEN, where he would
place the neutral meridian.

The PRESIDENT said that the Delegate of the United States, Commander
SAMPSON, puts a question which seems to be somewhat categorical.

At this point in the proceedings the PRESIDENT stated that it would be
convenient if the Conference would take a short recess to enable the
Secretaries, with himself, to consult upon the subject of the
preparation and approval of the protocols.

A recess was thereupon taken.

After the recess, the Delegate from France, Prof. JANSSEN, presented
the following resolution:

     "_Resolved_, That the decision upon the motion of the French
     Delegates, in regard to the choice of a neutral meridian, be
     postponed to the next meeting of the Conference."

He said that as he must speak French, and as several of his colleagues
could, perhaps, not entirely grasp the meaning of the discussion, he
asked for the adjournment of the vote until the next meeting, so that
the protocol of this meeting may be printed and distributed to the
members of the Conference.

The PRESIDENT stated that as far as he understood this resolution it
merely amounted to this: that no vote shall be taken upon the original
resolution of the French Delegate--namely, as to the adoption of a
neutral meridian--until the next meeting of the Conference, when the
protocols in both languages will have been printed and distributed.

Commander SAMPSON, Delegate of the United States, inquired whether, if
this resolution were adopted, it would be necessary to vote upon the
original question at the next meeting.

The PRESIDENT replied that was not necessarily the case. The Delegate
of France simply desires that no vote shall be taken to-day. The
original subject will come up and be open for debate at the next
meeting, but it seemed to the Chair that it should be as far as
possible exhausted to-day, so that the Delegates could have the whole
matter before them at the next meeting.

Mr. LEFAIVRE, Delegate from France, said that the arguments already
presented will require time for careful consideration. Consequently he
asked for the adjournment of the vote, and he hoped that none of his
colleagues would object to it.

The PRESIDENT stated that he would venture to suggest, for the purpose
of preventing delay, that so far as was possible any arguments that
are to be offered should be made now, so that in the protocol of this
day's proceedings, which will be of considerable length, these
arguments may be incorporated.

Mr. RUSTEM EFFENDI, Delegate of Turkey, stated that it would be
impossible to prepare a proper protocol of this Conference without the
assistance of a French stenographer, and he therefore suggested that
such a stenographer be secured as early as possible.

The PRESIDENT stated that efforts had been made to obtain a French
stenographer, but without success, and that if any Delegate knows of
such a stenographer and will communicate with the Chair it will be
happy to take the necessary steps to secure his services.

Count LEWENHAUPT, Delegate of Sweden, then made the following
statement:

I beg to propose that the Conference adjourn at the call of the
President, that the time and hour for the next meeting be communicated
to the Delegates 24 hours before the meeting, and that at the same
time a proof-copy of the protocols of the present meeting be
forwarded.

He added that by giving the Delegates 24 hours after the protocols are
printed time would be allowed them to revise the protocols and make
such corrections as they thought necessary, and those corrections
could be reported to the Secretaries and made in the printed text. The
protocol can then be finally and definitively printed and approved at
the beginning of the next meeting of the Conference.

The proposition of the Delegate of Sweden was then adopted.

The Conference then adjourned at 5 o'clock p. m., subject to the call
of the President.



IV.

SESSION OF OCTOBER 13, 1884.


The Conference met pursuant to adjournment in the Diplomatic Hall, in
the State Department, at one o'clock P. M.

Present:

  Austria-Hungary: Baron I. VON SCHÆFFER.
  Brazil: Dr. LUIZ CRULS.
  Chili: Mr. F. V. GORMAS and Mr. A. B. TUPPER.
  Colombia: Commodore FRANKLIN.
  Costa Rica: Mr. J. F. ECHEVERRIA.
  France: Mr. A. LEFAIVRE and Mr. JANSSEN.
  Germany: Baron H. VON ALVENSLEBEN and Mr. HINCKELDEYN.
  Great Britain: Sir F. J. O. EVANS, Prof. J. C. ADAMS, Lieut.
      General STRACHEY, and Mr. SANDFORD FLEMING.
  Guatemala: Mr. MILES ROCK.
  Hawaii: Hon. W. D. ALEXANDER and Hon. LUTHER AHOLO.
  Italy: Count ALBERT DE FORESTA.
  Japan: Professor KIKUCHI.
  Liberia: Mr. WILLIAM COPPINGER.
  Mexico: Mr. LEANDRO FERNANDEZ and Mr. ANGEL ANGUIANO.
  Netherlands: Mr. G. DE WECKHERLIN.
  Paraguay: Capt. JOHN STEWART.
  Russia: Mr. C. DE STRUVE, Major-General STEBNITZKI, and
      Mr. J. DE KOLOGRIVOFF.
  San Domingo: Mr. M. DE J. GALVAN.
  Spain: Mr. JUAN VALERA, Mr. EMILIO RUIZ DEL ARBOL, and
      Mr. JUAN PASTORIN.
  Sweden: Count CARL LEWENHAUPT.
  Switzerland: Col. EMILE FREY.
  Turkey: Mr. RUSTEM EFFENDI.
  Venezuela: Dr. A. M. SOTELDO.
  United States: Rear-Admiral C. R. P. RODGERS, Mr. LEWIS
      M. RUTHERFURD, Mr. W. F. ALLEN, Commander W. T.
      SAMPSON, and Prof. CLEVELAND ABBE.

Absent:

  Denmark: Mr. C. S. A. DE BILLE.
  Salvador: Mr. A. BATRES.

The PRESIDENT. In view of the many communications addressed to the
President of this Conference, having reference to the business before
it, presenting statements and arguments in relation thereto, the Chair
asks that a committee be appointed, to which shall be referred all
such communications, and that the committee be instructed to make such
report upon them as it may deem advisable.

Count LEWENHAUPT, Delegate of Sweden. I beg leave to propose to the
Conference that the appointment of this committee be left to the
President.

Mr. SOTELDO, Delegate of Venezuela. I second the motion of the
Delegate of Sweden.

Mr. DE STRUVE, Delegate of Russia. I entertain the same opinion, and I
support the motion.

The motion was then unanimously adopted.

The PRESIDENT. I will name as the members of the Committee the
Delegate of Great Britain, Professor ADAMS; the Delegate of Germany,
Mr. HINCKELDEYN; the Delegate of the United States, Professor ABBE;
the Delegate of Japan, Mr. KIKUCHI; and the Delegate of Costa Rica,
Mr. ECHEVERRIA.

PRESIDENT. Alter a discussion of only three hours this Conference
adjourned a week ago to-day, subject to the call of its President.
Owing to the want of a French stenographer to report the words that
were spoken in French, there has been much delay in preparing the
protocol, which has not yet been completed. Fortunately, an
experienced French stenographer has been procured through the kind
intervention of Mr. SANDFORD FLEMING, of the delegation from Great
Britain, and Mr. WILLIAM SMITH, Deputy Minister of Marine for the
Dominion of Canada. We may now hope to have a fairly accurate report
of what is said, both in French and English, needing only slight
verbal corrections, and the Chair trusts that delegates may find it
convenient to make the corrections very promptly, so that the
protocols may be printed and verified as speedily as possible.

Should any delegate, who has not yet spoken, desire to address the
Conference upon the resolution of the Delegate from France, his
remarks will now be received, and when the mover of the resolution
shall close the debate, the vote will be taken, if such be the
pleasure of the Conference.

Mr. SANDFORD FLEMING, Delegate of Great Britain. I have listened with
great attention and deep interest to the remarks which have fallen
from the several gentlemen who have spoken, and I desire your kind
indulgence for a few moments while I explain the views I have formed
on the motion of the distinguished Delegates from France.

I feel that the important question which this Conference has to
consider must be approached in no narrow spirit. It is one which
affects every nationality, and we should endeavor, in the common
interest, to set aside any national or individual prejudices we
possess, and view the subject as members of one community--in fact, as
citizens of the world. Acting in this broad spirit, we cannot fail to
arrive at conclusions which will promote the common good of mankind.

In deliberating on the important subject before us, it seems to me
there are two essential points which we should constantly bear in
mind.

1. We should consider what will best promote the general advantage,
not now only, but for all future years, while causing at the present
time as little individual and national inconvenience as possible.

2. We should, in coming to a determination on the main question for
which this Conference is called, leave nothing undone to avoid
offence, now or hereafter, to the sensitiveness of individual nations.

The motion is, that the initial meridian to be chosen should be
selected on account of its neutrality. This undoubtedly involves the
selection of an entirely new meridian, one which has never previously
been used by any nation, as all initial meridians in use are more or
less national, and, as such, would not be considered neutral in the
sense intended by the honorable Delegates from France.

Let us suppose that this Conference adopted the motion. Let us
suppose, further, that we found a meridian quite independent of and
unrelated to any existing initial meridian. Would we then have
accomplished the task for which we are met? I ask, would the
twenty-six nations here represented accept our recommendation to adopt
the neutral meridian? I greatly fear that the passing of the
resolution would not in the least promote the settlement of the
important question before the Conference. The world has already at
least eleven different first meridians. The adoption of the new
meridian contemplated by the Delegates from France would, I apprehend,
simply increase the number and proportionately increase the difficulty
which so many delegates from all parts of the earth are assembled here
to remove.

This would be the practical effect of the passing of the resolution.
If it had any effect, it would increase the difficulty, and I need not
say that is not the object which the different Governments had in view
when they sent delegates to this Conference. The President has well
pointed out in his opening address the advantages which would be
gained, and the great dangers which, at times, would be avoided by
seafaring vessels having one common zero of longitude. Besides the
benefits which would accrue to navigation, there are advantages of
equal importance in connection with the regulation of time, to spring,
I trust, from our conclusions.

It does not appear to me that the adoption of the motion would in any
way advance these objects. I do not say that the principle of a
neutral meridian is wrong, but to attempt to establish one would, I
feel satisfied, be productive of no good result. A neutral meridian is
excellent in theory, but I fear it is entirely beyond the domain of
practicability. If such be the case, it becomes necessary to consider
how far it would be practicable to secure the desired advantages by
adopting as a zero some other meridian which, while related to some
existing first meridian, would not be national in fact, and would have
the same effect as a perfectly neutral meridian in allaying national
susceptibilities.

The selection of an initial meridian related to meridians now in use
gives us a sufficiently wide choice. Allow me to read the following
list, showing the number and the total tonnage of vessels using the
several meridians named, in ascertaining their longitude.

======================================================================
                           | SHIPS OF ALL KINDS. |   PER CENT.
       INITIAL MERIDIANS.  +---------------------+--------------------
                           | Number. | Tonnage.  | Ships. | Tonnage.
---------------------------+---------+-----------+--------+-----------
Greenwich..................|  37,663 |14,600,972 |  65    |    72
Paris......................|   5,914 | 1,735,083 |  10    |     8
Cadiz......................|   2,468 |   666,602 |   5    |     3
Naples.....................|   2,263 |   715,448 |   4    |     4
Christiana.................|   2,128 |   695,988 |   4    |     3
Ferro......................|   1,497 |   567,682 |   2    |     3
Pulkova....................|     987 |   298,641 |   11/2   |     11/2
Stockholm..................|     717 |   154,180 |   11/2   |     1
Lisbon.....................|     491 |   164,000 |   1    |     1
Copenhagen.................|     435 |    81,888 |   1    |     1/2
Rio de Janeiro.............|     253 |    97,040 |   1/2    |     1/2
Miscellaneous..............|    2,881|   534,569 |   41/2   |     21/2
                           |---------+-----------+--------+-----------
      Total ...............|   57,697|20,312,093 | 100    |   100
---------------------------+---------+-----------+--------+-----------

It thus appears that one of these meridians, that of Greenwich, is
used by 72 per cent. of the whole floating commerce of the world,
while the remaining 28 per cent. is divided among ten different
initial meridians. If, then, the convenience of the greatest number
alone should predominate, there can be no difficulty in a choice; but
Greenwich is a national meridian, and its use as an international zero
awakens national susceptibilities. It is possible, however, to a great
extent, to remove this objection by taking, for a zero of longitude
and time, the meridian farthest distant from Greenwich. This being on
the same great circle as Greenwich, it would not require the
establishment of a new observatory; its adoption would produce no
change in charts or nautical tables, beyond the notation of longitude.
It would possess all the advantage claimed for the Greenwich meridian
in connection with navigation, and as a zero for regulating time it
would be greatly to be preferred to the Greenwich meridian. This
Pacific meridian being accepted as the common zero, and longitude
being reckoned continuously in one direction, there would be an end to
the necessity of any nation engraving on its charts the words
"longitude east or west of Greenwich." The one word "longitude" would
suffice. The zero meridian would be international and in no respect
national. Even on British charts all reference to Greenwich would
disappear.

This view of the question is sustained by many distinguished men. I
shall only ask permission to read the opinion of Mr. Otto Struvé,
Director of the Imperial Observatory at Pulkova, than whom there is no
higher authority.

"The preference given to the Greenwich meridian was based, on one
side, on the historical right of the Royal Observatory of England,
acquired by eminent services rendered by this establishment during the
course of two centuries, to mathematical geography and navigation; on
the other side, considering that the great majority of charts now in
use upon all the seas are made according to this meridian, and about
90 per cent. of the navigators of long standing are accustomed to take
their longitude from this meridian. However, an objection against this
proposition is, that the meridian of Greenwich passes through two
countries of Europe, and thus the longitude would be reckoned by
different signs in different portions of our own continent and also of
Africa.

"Moreover, the close proximity of the meridian of Paris, to which,
perhaps, some French geographers and navigators of other nations would
still hold to, from custom, from a spirit of contradiction or from
national rivalry, might easily cause sad disaster. To obviate these
inconveniences, I have proposed to choose as prime meridian another
meridian, situated at an integral number of hours east or west of
Greenwich, and among the meridians meeting this condition, I have
indicated, in the first place, the meridian proposed to-day by
scientific Americans, as that which would combine the most favorable
conditions for its adoption. Thus the meridian situated 180° from
Greenwich presents the following advantages:--

"1. It does not cross any continent but the eastern extremity of the
North of Asia, inhabited by people very few in number and little
civilized, called Tschouktschis.

"2. It coincides exactly with that line where, after the custom
introduced by a historical succession of maritime discoveries, the
navigator makes a change of one unit in the date, a difference which
is made near a number of small islands in the Pacific Ocean,
discovered during the voyages made to the east and west. Thus the
commencement of a new date would be identical with that of the hours
of cosmopolitan time.

"3. It makes no change to the great majority of navigators and
hydrographers, except the very simple addition of twelve hours, or of
180° to all longitudes.

"4. It does not involve any change in the calculations of the
Ephemerides most in use amongst navigators, viz., the English Nautical
Almanac, except turning mid-day into midnight, and _vice versa_. In
the American Nautical Almanac there would be no other change to
introduce. With a cosmopolitan spirit, and in the just appreciation of
a general want, the excellent Ephemerides published at Washington,
record all data useful to navigators calculated from the meridian of
Greenwich.

"For universal adoption, as proposed by the Canadian Institute, it
recommends itself to the inhabitants of all civilized countries, by
reason of the great difference in longitude, thus removing all the
misunderstandings and uncertainties concerning the question, as to
whether, in any case, cosmopolitan or local time was used.

"In answer to the first question offered by the Institute at Toronto,
I would, therefore, recommend the Academy to pronounce without
hestation in favor of the universal adoption of the meridian situated
180° from Greenwich, as Prime Meridian of the globe."

I quote from the report of M. Otto Struvé to the Imperial Academy of
Sciences of St. Petersburg, 30th Sept., 1880.

I respectfully submit, we have thus the means of solving the problem
presented to us, without attempting to find such a meridian as that
contemplated in the motion of the honorable delegates. Whatever its
origin, the Pacific meridian referred to would soon be recognized as
being as much neutral as any meridian could possibly be. If, on the
other hand, we adopt the motion, I very greatly fear that the great
object of this Conference will be defeated, and the settlement of a
question so pregnant with advantages to the world will be indefinitely
postponed.

Dr. CRULS, Delegate of Brazil. Gentlemen. Since the opening of this
discussion more authoritative voices than mine--among others that of
the Honorable Mr. SANDFORD FLEMING, Delegate of Great Britain, who has
just expressed his opinion upon the question--have been heard upon the
important subject which we are now called upon to discuss, and of
which we should endeavor to find a full and final solution. The
various aspects of the projected reform--viz., the unification of
longitude, which numerous international interests recommend to our
care--appear to me to have been examined, and that relieves me of the
task of taking up again the question in its details, and permits me to
abridge very much the considerations which I think it is my duty to
present in order to explain my vote. Upon to the present moment we
have settled one point, gentlemen, and it is one of great importance;
that is, the necessity of adopting a common prime meridian. This point
has obtained the support of all the Delegates present at the
Conference. This necessity being recognized, it is proper to take
another step towards the solution of the problem presented to us, and
to decide what that meridian shall be. It is this choice, gentlemen,
which at this moment forms the subject of our discussion, and upon
which we have to decide.

My honorable colleague, Mr. RUTHERFURD, the Delegate of the United
States, has presented a motion proposing the adoption of the meridian
of Greenwich, a motion which is again made, having been withdrawn
temporarily from our discussion with the consent of its proposer. The
motion which was presented at the last session, and which has formed
the subject of numerous interesting discussions is that made by my
honorable colleague, Mr. JANSSEN, Delegate of France, who proposes
that the meridian adopted should have a neutral character, and should
not cross either of the great continents of Europe or America. This
proposition, gentlemen, has been strongly resisted by the Delegates of
Great Britain and the United States, and firmly maintained by the
Delegates of France, and the debates which followed gave us an
opportunity of being present at a scientific tournament of the highest
interest. The speakers whom we have had the honor of hearing seem to
me to have exhausted all the arguments for and against, and at the
present stage of the discussion I presume that these debates have
permitted each one of us to form, with a full knowledge of the case,
an opinion upon the question on which we are called to vote.

For my part, gentlemen, I desire to state clearly the attitude that
Brazil, in my opinion, must take in this Conference. That attitude is
one of absolute neutrality, inasmuch as the question is whether or not
to choose a national meridian which may provoke among certain nations
very legitimate rivalries. From the point of view only of the
interests of Brazil, the choice of one meridian rather than any other
is recommended to me by no consideration. Our local charts are
referred to the nearest meridian, that of the observatory of Rio
Janeiro, which is the point of departure in the geodetic or
hydrographic operations in course of execution in Brazil, and which
all are connected with that same meridian. The marine charts of the
coast most in use are the result of the hydrographic works executed by
the Commandant MOUCHEZ, now admiral and director of the observatory of
Paris. As to the telegraphic determination of the longitude of the
observatory of Rio, we owe it to the American Commission, directed by
Commandant GREEN, of the United States Navy. Now, gentlemen, up to the
day on which the Conference met for the first time, I had hoped that
these discussions entered upon under the influence of a generous
rivalry, and having for their only purpose the establishment of a
measure, the necessity of which is strongly sought by many interests
of a diverse nature, would lead to a complete and final solution of
the problem. Unfortunately, and I regret to be obliged to add it, the
differences of opinion which have manifested themselves in this
Congress permit scarcely a hope of this result. For my part,
gentlemen, I cannot lose sight of the fact that it is indispensable
that the question for which this Congress is assembled should receive
a complete settlement; if not, the purpose of the Congress will not be
attained. Since the Delegates of France have manifested from the
begining of our discussions their opposition to the adoption of any
meridian which had a national character, which has given rise to the
motion presented by Mr. JANSSEN, it follows that every measure voted
by the Congress tending to the adoption of a national meridian, will
be, by the very fact of the abstention of France, an incomplete
measure, and which will not answer the purpose sought by the
Conference. I hasten to add, in order to avoid all erroneous
interpretations which could be given to my words, that it would be the
same, if, for instance, the meridian of Paris was proposed, and any
great maritime nation, such as England, the United States, or any
other, should abstain from voting for its adoption. In that case,
also, the measure adopted would not be complete, and in that case,
also, my line of conduct would be the same.

To resume, I would say that the great benefits that the whole world
will receive from the adoption of a common prime meridian will not be
fully produced unless the measure is unanimously accepted by all the
most important maritime nations. In any other event, I am, for my
part, absolutely convinced that the measure adopted will be partly
inefficacious, its adoption not being general, and everything will
have to be done over again in the not distant future. The discussions
at which we have been present abundantly prove to me that it will
always be so, as long as the meridian of some great nation is
proposed. In the face of this difficulty, which appears to me
insurmountable, the only solution which, by its very nature, will not
raise exciting questions of national pride is that of a meridian
having a character of absolute neutrality. If the adoption of such a
meridian was admitted in principle, I am certain that a discussion
based upon pure science, and following the best conditions which it
should realize, would conduct us rapidly to a practical settlement of
the question.

In such a discussion the arguments which ought to prevail should be,
before everything, drawn from science, the only source of truth which
alone can enlighten us, so as to permit us to form a sound judgment,
and to decide solely upon considerations of a purely scientific
nature.

In addition to these considerations, I am not ignorant that there are
others. I refer to questions of economy of which it is necessary to
take count. As to political interests, if there are any, our eminent
colleagues who represent so worthily the diplomatic element in this
assembly would see that they had due weight, and, thanks to this
assembly of men distinguished, some in science and others in
diplomacy, there was every reason to hope that the final practical
solution of the question which we are seeking would not be long in
being made clear to us all by the discussions.

Moreover, this practical solution appears to me already to follow from
what our honorable colleague, M. JANSSEN, has told us on that subject.
The principle of the neutral meridian once adopted, there would still
to be discussed the conditions which it should fulfil and the
determination of its position. Two things must be considered, either
the meridian will be exclusively over the ocean, and then, by its very
nature, it will be neutral, or it will cut some island, and in that
case nothing would prevent an international diplomatic convention
making neutral the plot of land on which it was desirable to establish
an observatory, which would in reality be a very small matter. Of
these two solutions, both of which satisfy the conditions which the
meridian ought to fulfil in its character of neutrality and by the
requirements of science, I prefer the second. I wish merely to suggest
by what I have said how it would be possible to arrive at a practical
solution of the question, since now I am only speaking of the adoption
of the principle of the neutral meridian.

I conclude, gentlemen, by declaring that I shall vote in favor of the
adoption of a meridian with a character of absolute neutrality, and in
doing so I hope to contribute my share to giving our resolutions such
a character of independence as is necessary to make them generally
acceptable in the future, and to unite in their support, at present,
scientific men without distinction of nationality who are now awaiting
our decision.

Professor JANSSEN, Delegate of France. Gentlemen, I have listened with
a great deal of attention to the discourse of the Delegate of England,
Mr. FLEMING, and if we had not had such an exhaustive discussion last
session, at which, I believe, all the reasons for and against were
given, I would certainly have asked permission to answer it. But I
believe that on all sides we are sufficiently enlightened on the
question, and I desire above all to declare that it is not our
intention of making this debate eternal. It is now for you, gentlemen,
to decide. I am the more inclined to act thus, as my honorable
colleague, the Delegate of Brazil, Dr. L. CRULS, who is an astronomer
like myself, appears to me to have recapitulated the question with a
loftiness of views, and in such happy language, that, in truth, we may
take his arguments as our own. Before concluding, I wish to thank my
colleagues for the kind attention that they have been good enough to
accord me.

The PRESIDENT. The question recurs upon the resolution offered by the
Delegates of France. The resolution is as follows:

     "_Resolved_, That the initial meridian should have a
     character of absolute neutrality. It should be chosen
     exclusively so as to secure to science and to international
     commerce all possible advantages, and especially should cut
     no great continent--neither Europe nor America."

The PRESIDENT. Is the Conference ready for the question? No objection
being made, the roll was called, with the following result:

               _Ayes_.

  Brazil,                 San Domingo.
  France,

               _Noes_.
  Austria,                Germany,
  Chili,                  Great Britain,
  Colombia,               Guatemala,
  Costa Rica,             Hawaii,
  Italy,                  Spain,
  Japan,                  Sweden,
  Liberia,                Switzerland,
  Mexico,                 Turkey,
  Netherlands,            United States,
  Paraguay,               Venezuela.
  Russia,


Twenty-one noes and three ayes.

The PRESIDENT. The resolution is, therefore, lost.

Mr. RUTHERFURD, Delegate of the United States. Mr. President, in
presenting again the resolution which was withdrawn by me to give
place to the resolution offered by our colleagues from France, having
taken the advice from several members of the Conference with whom I
consulted, it was thought best to offer a system of resolutions which
should be responsive to the mandate under which we act. With the view
of bringing the subject to the notice of all the members of the
Conference, I caused copies of the resolutions which I hold in my hand
to be sent to them.

I have since heard that is has been held that these resolutions had
been irregularly so communicated; that is, that the communication was
made in a semi-official manner. I beg to express an entire disclaimer
of anything of that sort. It was merely my individual action, and I
desired to give notice of certain resolutions, with the sole view of
having them fully understood before we met and to save time. I hope,
therefore, that this excuse and explanation will be understood and
accepted.

These resolutions are founded, as far as may be, upon those adopted at
Rome. They differ from them only in two points. In the counting of
longitude the Conference at Rome proposed that it should take place
around the globe in one direction. This counting was to be in the
direction from west to east.

Very singularly, I find in the report of the proceedings of the Roman
Conference no discussion on that subject. No questions were asked, nor
were any reasons given, why it should be so counted, and yet it was an
entire divergence from the usage of the world at that time. The
wording of the resolution of the Conference at Rome is substantially
this: That the counting of longitude should take place from the
meridian of Greenwich in the single direction of west to east.

It being my desire to avail myself, as far as possible, of the work of
the Conference at Rome, I consulted with my colleagues here, and found
that there was a great diversity of opinion. In the first place, some
said we have always counted longitude both ways, east to west and west
to east. Shall we cease to do that? Those who claimed that it was a
more scientific way to count all around the globe immediately differed
on the direction in which the longitude should be counted. Without
going into any argument as to which of these methods would be the best
or most convenient, I propose, by the second resolution, that we
should go on in the old way, and count longitude from the initial
meridian in each direction.

One of the objects of the third resolution is to make the new
universal day coincide with the civil day rather than with the
astronomical day. In the Conference at Rome the universal day was made
to coincide with the astronomical day. It seems to me that the
inconvenience of that system would be so great that we ought to
hesitate before adopting it. For us in America, perhaps the
inconvenience would not be so very great, but for such countries as
France and England, and those lying about the initial meridian, the
inconvenience would be very great, for the morning hours would be one
day, and the afternoon hours would be another day. That seems to me to
be a very great objection.

It was simply, therefore, to obviate this difficulty that this
resolution was offered. I hope, notwithstanding, that some day, not
far distant, all these conflicting days, the local, the universal, the
nautical, and the astronomical, may start from some one point. This
hope I have the greater reason to cherish since I have communicated
with the distinguished gentlemen who are here present, and it was with
that hope before me that I framed the resolution so that the beginning
of the day should be the midnight at the initial meridian, and not the
mid-day. With this explanation, I now again move the adoption of the
first resolution, which is as follows:

     "_Resolved_, That the Conference proposes to the Governments
     here represented the adoption of the meridian passing
     through the centre of the transit instrument at the
     Observatory of Greenwich as the initial meridian for
     longitude."

The PRESIDENT. The Conference has heard the resolution. Any remarks
are now in order.

Mr. SANDFORD FLEMING, Delegate of Great Britain. I think, sir, the
resolution goes a little too far at a single leap. I beg leave,
therefore, to move an amendment in harmony with the resolution, at the
same time leaving it to be settled by a subsequent resolution, whether
the zero be at Greenwich or at the other side of the globe.

     "That a meridian proper, to be employed as a common zero in
     the reckoning of longitude and the regulation of time
     throughout the world, should be a great circle passing
     through the poles and the centre of the transit instrument
     at the Observatory of Greenwich."

Prof. ADAMS, Delegate of Great Britain. Mr. President, I desire merely
to state, in reference to the amendment brought forward by one of our
delegates, that the remaining delegates of Great Britain are by no
means of the opinion expressed in that amendment, and that it is their
intention, if it should come to a vote, to vote against it.

The proposition to count longitude from a point 180 degrees from the
meridian of Greenwich appears to them not to be accompanied by any
advantage whatever. On the contrary, it must lead to inconvenience.
You do not, by adopting the meridian opposite Greenwich, get rid of
the nationality of the meridian. If there is objection to the meridian
of Greenwich on account of its nationality, the meridian of 180
degrees from Greenwich is subject to the same objection. The one half
is just as national as the other half.

The PRESIDENT. The chair would say that no specific meridian is
mentioned in the amendment.

Prof. ADAMS, Delegate of Great Britain. That is true, but, at the same
time, it should be said that the meridian described is ambiguous. It
is the meridian that passes through the poles and the centre of the
transit instrument of the Observatory of Greenwich. That is the
language of the amendment. But it is intended to apply to only
one-half of the great circle passing through the poles, that is to the
distant half of the meridian rather than to the nearer half. Unless it
defines which half it is intended to take, the amendment is ambiguous,
and it is not proper to be voted on.

Mr. MILES ROCK, Delegate of Guatemala. Mr. President, It may be well
to hear the words of the original resolution, in order that we can
clearly see the relation of the amendment to that resolution.

The original resolution of the Delegate of the United States was then
read.

Baron VON ALVENSLEBEN, Delegate of Germany. Mr. President, I think
that in this amendment offered by the Delegate of Great Britain two
questions are mixed up together. The first thing for us to do is to
fix upon a prime meridian; the second thing to settle is the question
whether the adoption of a universal day is desirable or not. If we
adopt this amendment, these two questions are involved in one vote.
Therefore, I think that they should be divided, for they are not
appropriate in the form in which they are presented.

Mr. VALERA, Delegate of Spain. I ask permission to speak, in order to
explain my vote. The Government which I represent here has told me to
accept the Greenwich meridian as the international meridian for
longitudes, but I think it my duty to say that, though the question
does not arise in this debate, that Spain accepts this in the hope
that England and the United States will accept on their part the
metric system as she has done herself. I only wish to state this, and
I have no intention of making it a subject of discussion. I shall only
add that I believe Italy is similarly situated with Spain in this
matter.

The PRESIDENT. The Chair would say with great deference to the
distinguished Delegate from Spain that the question of weights and
measures is beyond the scope of this Conference. The invitation given
by the Government of the United States to the nations here represented
was for a distinct and specific purpose, the selection of a prime
meridian, a zero of longitude throughout the world and a standard of
time-reckoning. So far as the Chair is informed, it would not be in
order at this Conference to discuss a question of metric system.

Mr. JUAN VALERA, Delegate of Spain. My only intention in making these
remarks was to verify a fact. I know very well that we have not to
discuss that question. Besides, the Government which I represent
expresses only a hope, and I know we do not insert any hopes in our
protocols; but I thought it my duty to make this declaration.

Mr. LEFAIVRE, Delegate of France. I desire to make some remarks on the
question when it is put to a vote; for the time being I shall only say
a few words on the remarks of my honorable colleague, the Delegate of
Spain, Mr. Valera. I believe that though the question of weights and
measures is not before the Conference, it is allowable for a member to
state, in the name of his Government, the conditions to which his vote
has been subordinated. Even though the question is not under
discussion, it may appear from such an explanation that the vote is
conditional, instead of being a simple affirmation. If my honorable
colleague has received from his Government instructions to subordinate
his vote to such or such a condition, even when the question to which
it is subordinated is not submitted to the Conference, it follows from
it, according to me, and everybody will admit it, that the
consequences of that vote are at least conditional.

Mr. VALERA, Delegate of Spain. My Government has charged me to express
here its hopes and desires, but the vote which I have given is not, in
my opinion, conditional; for I have received instructions to pronounce
in favor of the Greenwich meridian to measure the degrees of
longitude. However, it was necessary for me to say at the same time
that it was with the hope that England and the United States would
adopt the French weights and measure.

General STRACHEY, Delegate of Great Britain. While I entirely agree
with the view which the Chair has taken of the question whether the
adoption of metrical weights and measures is before this
Conference--namely, that it is beyond our competence to discuss
it--yet I am glad to have the opportunity of saying that I am
authorized to state that Great Britain, after considering the opinions
which were expressed at Rome, has desired that it may be allowed to
join the Convention du mètre. The arrangements for that purpose, when
I left my country, were either completed, or were in course of
completion, so that, as a matter of fact, Great Britain henceforth
will be, as regards its system of weights and measures, exactly in the
same position as the United States.

In Great Britain the use of metrical weights and measures is
authorized by law. Contracts can be made in which they are used, and
the department which regulates the weights and measures of Great
Britain is charged, consequently, with the duty of providing properly
authenticated standard metric weights and measures for purposes of
verification. It is quite true that the Government of England does not
hold out any expectation that she will adopt the compulsory use of the
metric system, either at the present time, or, so far as that goes, at
any future time; but it is a well known fact--and in saying this I
shall be supported, I have no doubt, by the views of the eminent
scientific men of my own country who are here present--that there is a
strong feeling on the part of scientific men of England that, sooner
or later, she will be likely to join in the use of that system, which,
no doubt, is an extremely good one, and which, so far as purely
scientific purposes are concerned, is largely in use at the present
time.

Mr. VALERA, Delegate of Spain. I desire to thank the honorable
Delegate of England, General Strachey, for the friendly words which he
has just pronounced, and to felicitate myself for having manifested
the desire and hope of my Government that England should accept the
weights and measures which have been accepted in Spain and in other
parts of the European continent.

Mr. LEFAIVRE, Delegate of France. Mr. Chairman, I cannot pretend to
make any suggestion of any technical value on the question now before
us. I only rise to add a few words to the views which have been so
authoritatively expounded to you by Prof. JANSSEN, in order to explain
clearly the situation of the French Government in this important
discussion.

It is henceforth evident, after the instructive debate at which we
have just assisted, that the meridian of Greenwich is not a scientific
one, and that its adoption implies no progress for astronomy, geodesy,
or navigation; that is to say, for all the branches and pursuits of
human activity interested in the unification at which we aim.

Thus, science is absolutely disinterested in the selection which we
are now discussing and that fact I wish to emphasize particularly, as
we are about to take a vote which we can easily anticipate by the one
we had a few minutes ago, in order that the opponents of the
resolution may not be accused of obstructing progress and the great
aims of science for private interests.

If, on the contrary, any conclusion is to be drawn from the
instructive debate at which we have assisted, it is that the
principal, I will say more, the only merit of the Greenwich
meridian--and our colleague from Great Britain just now reminded us of
it by enumerating with complacency the tonnage of British and American
shipping--is that there are grouped around it, interests to be
respected, I will acknowledge it willingly, by their magnitude, their
energy, and their power of increasing, but entirely devoid of any
claim on the impartial solicitude of science. To strengthen my
assertion, gentlemen, I fall back upon the arguments brought forward
by Mr. Hirsch in his remarkable report to the Geodetic Conference at
Rome, arguments that evidently carried the vote of that assembly.

The Greenwich meridian, says that report, corresponds to an empire
that embraces twenty million square kilometres and a population of two
hundred and fifty millions. Her merchant marine, which counts 40,000
ships of a tonnage from six to nine million tons, and crews of
370,000 men, surpasses in importance all the other marines put
together. Other States, equally important by their merchant marine,
especially the United States, make use of the Greenwich meridian.
Well, gentlemen, if we weigh these reasons--the only ones that have
been set forth, the only ones that at present militate for the
Greenwich meridian--is it not evident that these are material
superiorities, commercial preponderances that are going to influence
your choice? Science appears here only as the humble vassal of the
powers of the day to consecrate and crown their success. But,
gentlemen, nothing is so transitory and fugitive as power and riches.
All the great empires of the world, all financial, industrial, and
commercial prosperities of the world, have given us a proof of it,
each in turn.

So long as there are not in polities or commerce any scientific means
by which to fix, to enchain fortune, I see no reason to fix, to
enchain, to subordinate, so to say, science to their fate.

The character of the proposed determination of the initial meridian is
so evident, that the reporter of the Conference at Rome, Mr. Hirsch,
admits it implicitly, for recognizing that the adoption of the
meridian of Greenwich is a sacrifice for France, he asks that England
should respond by a similar concession, by favoring the definitive
adoption of the metric system, and by acceding to the Convention of
the metre which furnishes to all States metric standards rigorously
compared. Thus, Mr. Hirsch, in a spirit of justice, wished to make for
each a balance of profit and loss--evident proof that the question was
of a commercial, and of no scientific advantage. I am not aware, and
my mission is not to discover, whether the bargain might have been
accepted by France. However, it is with great pleasure that I heard
our colleague from England declare that his Government was ready to
join the international metric convention, but I notice, with sorrow,
that our situation in this Congress is not as favorable as that of
Rome, since the total abandonment of our meridian is proposed without
any compensation.

At Rome the adoption of the metric system of weights and measures, of
which France had the glorious initiative, was held out to us, but here
we are simply invited to sacrifice traditions dear to our navy, to
national science, by adding to that immolation pecuniary sacrifices.

We are assuredly very much flattered that there should be attributed
to us sufficient abnegation to elevate us to that double heroism. We
wish that we were able to justify such a flattering opinion, and
especially we should like to be encouraged by examples. There are at
this very moment magnificent transformations to be realized for
the progress of science, and of the friendly relations of
nations--unification of weights and measures, adoption of a common
standard of moneys, and many other innovations of a well recognized
utility, infinitely more pressing and more practical than that of
meridians. When the discussion of these great questions is begun, let
each nation come and bring its share of sacrifices for this
international progress. France, according to her usage, I may say so
without vain glory as without false modesty, France will not remain
behind. For the present we decline the honor of immolating ourselves
alone for progress of a problematic, and eminently secondary order;
and it is with perfect tranquillity of conscience that we declare that
we do not concur in the adoption of the meridian of Greenwich,
persuaded as we are that France does not incur the reproach of
retarding and of obstructing the march of science by abstaining from
participating in this decision.

The PRESIDENT. Unless some other Delegate desires to speak, the
question will be put upon the amendment of the Delegate of Great
Britain, Mr. FLEMING.

The question was then put, and the amendment was lost.

The PRESIDENT. The Chair sees upon the floor to-day, as the guest of
this Conference, one of the most distinguished scientists, who was
invited to be present at our meetings, Sir WILLIAM THOMSON, whose name
is known the world over in connection with subjects kindred to this we
are now discussing. If it be the pleasure of the Conference to ask Sir
WILLIAM THOMSON briefly to express his views, the Chair would be very
happy to make the invitation.

The Chair, hearing no dissent, takes pleasure in introducing Sir
WILLIAM THOMSON.

Sir WILLIAM THOMSON. Mr. President and Gentlemen, I thank you for
permitting me to be present on this occasion, and I thank you also for
giving me the opportunity of expressing myself in reference to the
subject under discussion. I only wish that the permission which you
have so kindly given me may conduce to the objects of this Conference
more than I can hope any words of mine can do.

The question immediately under discussion is, I understand, the
proposal that the meridian passing through the centre of the
instrument at the Observatory of Greenwich shall be adopted as the
initial meridian of longitude, and it does seem to me that this is a
practical question; that this resolution expresses a practical
conclusion that it is expected by the world the present Conference may
reach. It is expected that the resolutions adopted will be for the
general convenience, and not for the decision of a scientific
question. It is the settlement of a question which is a matter of
business arrangement. The question is, what will be most convenient,
on the whole, for the whole world.

It cannot be said that one meridian is more scientific than another,
but it can be said that one meridian is more convenient for practical
purposes than another, and I think that this may be said pre-eminently
of the meridian of Greenwich.

I do most sincerely and fervently hope that the Delegates from France
and from the other nations who voted for the preceding resolution will
see their way to adopt the resolution that is now before the
Conference. It does seem to me that it is a question of sacrifice, and
I do trust that the honorable Delegate from France who spoke last, Mr.
LEFAIVRE, will see that France is not being asked to make any
sacrifice that it was not prepared to make.

In the admirable and interesting addresses which Mr. JANSSEN has given
to this Conference, (which I had not the pleasure or satisfaction of
hearing, but which I have read with great interest,) the readiness of
France to make a much greater sacrifice than that which is now
proposed was announced. The amount of sacrifice involved in making
any change from an existing usage must always be more or less great,
because it cannot be said that it is a matter of no trouble to make
such a change; but what I may be allowed to suggest is that the
sacrifice which France was ready to make would be very much greater
than that which would be made by adopting the resolution now pending.

If the resolution for a neutral meridian had been adopted, all nations
would have to make the sacrifice necessary for a change to a meridian
not actually determined, and the relations of which could not be so
convenient with those meridians already adopted as are the relations
between the meridians now in use with that of Greenwich. It does seem
to me that if the Delegates of France could see their way to adopt
this resolution, they would have no occasion whatever to regret it.

I sympathize deeply with what has been said in regard to a common
metrical system. I have a very strong opinion upon this subject, which
I will not express, however, if it meets any objection from the Chair;
but it seems to me that England is making a sacrifice in not adopting
the metrical system. The question, however, cannot be put in that way.
We are not here to consider whether England would gain or lose by
adopting the metrical system. That is not the way to view this
question at all, because whether England should adopt the metrical
system is a matter for its own convenience and use, and whether it
adopts it or not, other nations are not affected by its course. It
would not at all be for the benefit or the reverse of other nations.

The PRESIDENT. The Chair would be very glad to hear Sir WM. THOMSON'S
views on this subject if it were before the Conference for discussion,
but it is not.

Sir WILLIAM THOMSON. I beg pardon for having mentioned it.

I would repeat that the adoption of the meridian of Greenwich is one
of convenience. The difference of other meridians from it is readily
ascertained, and therefore it seems to me that the minimum of trouble
will be entailed on the world by the general adoption of the meridian
of Greenwich. This would require the minimum of change, and,
furthermore, the changes which would be necessary are already wholly
ascertained.

I would inquire of the Chair whether it would be in order for me to
allude to the resolutions number 2 and 3, which have been read?

The PRESIDENT. I think that we must confine ourselves to the subject
immediately under discussion--the adoption of a prime meridian.

Sir WILLIAM THOMSON. Then I have only to thank you and the Delegates
for allowing me to speak, and to express my very strong approbation of
the resolution that has been proposed.

Sir F. J. O. EVANS, Delegate of Great Britain, then made the following
remarks:

In view of the interesting information furnished to the Congress by M.
JANSSEN on the hydrographic labors of France, past and present, and of
the results as represented by the number of Government charts; it has
appeared to myself--as having held the office of hydrographer to the
Admiralty of Great Britain for many years--in which opinion I am
supported by my colleagues, that I should place at the disposal of the
Congress certain statistical facts bearing on the great interests of
navigation and commerce, as illustrated by the number of marine
charts, of sailing directions, and of nautical almanacs annually
produced under the authority of the British Government, and of their
distribution.

I would wish to disclaim any comparison in this respect with the
labors of other countries. From personal knowledge I am aware that all
nations--with only one or two exceptions--are, and especially so in
the last few years, diligent in the development of hydrography, and
that a cordial interchange of the results unfettered by any conditions
is steadily being pursued.

With this preface I would lay before you the following statements,
observing that the shores of the whole navigable parts of the globe
are embraced in the series of Admiralty charts referred to:

The number of copper chart plates in constant use is between 2,850 and
2,900. This number keeps up steadily. About 60 new plates are added
every year.

Average number of copper plates annually receiving correction amount
to 2,700.

Total number of charts annually printed for the daily use of the ships
of Her Majesty's fleet in commission, and for sale to the general
public, has for some years ranged between 180,000 and 230,000.

The sale of Admiralty charts to the public through an authorized
agent, both in London and at other commercial ports in the kingdom,
has been for the last seven years as follows:

  1877................................104,562
  1878................................109,881
  1879................................103,943
  1880................................114,430
  1881................................118,542
  1882................................131,801
  1883................................157,325

Of these numbers, about one-fifth have been purchased by the
governments or agents of Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Russia,
Turkey, and the United States. The appended list, which was furnished
to me by the Admiralty Chart agent during the present year, gives the
more precise particulars.

+-------+-------+------+-------+------+-------+-------+--------+-------+
|       |       |Ger-  |United |      |       |       |        |       |
|Years. |France.|many. |States.|Italy.|Russia.|Turkey.|Austria.|Total. |
+-------+-------+------+-------+------+-------+-------+--------+-------+
|1877 ..| 2,039 | 5,184| 2,067 | 1,518| 11,763|       |        | 22,561|
|1878 ..| 5,741 | 3,381| 2,641 | 2,645|  5,651|       |   600  | 20,529|
|1879 ..| 3,340 | 6,425| 5,185 |   802|  9,354|       |   641  | 25,747|
|1880 ..| 5,793 | 5,280| 1,879 |   797| 10,145|   519 |   376  | 24,788|
|1881 ..| 4,418 | 3,640| 1,273 | 2,694|  3,406| 1,160 |   996  | 17,587|
|1882 ..| 7,454 | 5,656| 1,716 | 2,569|  4,245|   115 | 1,197  | 22,952|
|1888 ..| 5,592 | 7,882| 6,174 | 2,607|  6,280| 2,368 | 2,158  | 32,961|
|1884   |       |      |       |      |       |       |        |       |
|(1st   |       |      |       |      |       |       |        |       |
|quar.) | 1,367 | 2,261| 2,942 |   908|  2,186|   429 |   677  | 10,670|
|       +-------+------+-------+------+-------+-------+--------+-------+
|       |35,741 |39,679|23,867 |14,440| 52,930| 4,591 | 6,544  |177,795|
+-------+-------+------+-------+------+-------+-------+--------+-------+

But the chart resources of the British Admiralty, great as they are,
do not suffice to meet the requirements of the smaller class ships of
the mercantile marine of Great Britain. There are three commercial
firms in London who publish special charts, based, however, on
admiralty documents, to satisfy this demand. On inquiry I found that
these firms publish 640 charts, which, from their large size, require
about 930 copper plates. I am not able to furnish the number of charts
sold by these firms, but it is large.

Supplementary to the Admiralty Charts, there are 51 volumes of Sailing
Directions. Several of these volumes exceed 500 pages, and have passed
through several editions. Private commercial firms also, in addition
to their charts, publish directions for many parts of the globe. These
include regions with which the Admiralty have not yet, notwithstanding
great diligence, been able to deal.

The annual sales of nautical almanacs for the past seven years have
been:

  1877................................18,439
  1878................................16,408
  1879................................16,290
  1880................................14,561
  1881................................15,870
  1882................................15,071
  1883................................15,535

I think, sir, that these are salient points, which will assist the
Conference in coming to a clearer view of the great interest which
navigation and commerce have in the charts of a particular country.

The question was then put on the adoption of the resolution offered by
the Delegate of the United States, Mr. RUTHERFURD, as follows:

     "That the Conference proposes to the Governments here
     represented the adoption of the meridian passing through the
     transit instrument at the Observatory of Greenwich as the
     initial meridian for longitude."

The roll was called, and the different States voted as follows:

In the affirmative--

  Austria,                Mexico,
  Chili,                  Netherlands,
  Costa Rica,             Paraguay,
  Columbia,               Russia,
  Germany,                Spain,
  Great Britain,          Sweden,
  Guatemala,              Switzerland,
  Hawaii,                 Turkey,
  Italy,                  Venezuela,
  Japan,                  United States.
  Liberia,

In the negative--

  San Domingo.

Abstaining from voting--

  Brazil,                 France.

The result was then announced, as follows:

Ayes, 21; noes, 1; abstaining from voting, 2.

The PRESIDENT then announced that the resolution was passed.

Mr. DE STRUVE, Delegate of Russia. In the name of the Delegates for
Russia I have now, at this point of the discussion, to say a few
words.

If we had to consider the scientific side alone of the questions,
which have already been discussed and resolved by the prominent
scientists of the different countries at the General Conference of the
International Geodetical Association at Rome, in 1883, we might as
well simply adhere to the resolutions of the Roman Conference, and
limit our work to the shaping of these resolutions into the form of a
draft of an international convention, to be submitted for approbation
to our respective Governments. But, as we have, besides, to consider
the application of the intended reform to practical life, we beg to
submit the following suggestions to the kind attention of the
Conference.

It is important to find for the more densely populated countries the
simplest mode possible of transition from local to universal time, and
_vice versa_; and we believe, therefore, that it would be convenient
for the practical purposes of the question to adopt for the beginning
of the universal day the midnight of Greenwich, and not the noon, as
was deemed advisable by the Conference of Rome.

This modification would offer for the whole of Europe and for the
greatest part of America the advantage of avoiding the double date in
local and universal time during the principal business hours of the
day, and would afford great facilities in the transition from local
time to universal.

In adopting the universal time for the astronomical almanacs and for
astronomical ephemerides, and in counting the beginning of the day
from the midnight of Greenwich, there would be, it is true, a
modification of the astronomical chronology, as heretofore used; but
we think it easier for the astronomers to change the starting point,
and to make allowance for these 12 hours of difference in their
calculations, than it would be for the public and for the business
men, if the date for the universal time began at noon, and not at
midnight.

The Conference at Rome proposes to count the longitudes from O° to
360° in the direction from west to east. It seems to us that this
system can lead to misunderstanding in the local and universal
chronology for the countries beyond the 180° east of Greenwich.

We believe that a more practical result of the reform could be easily
obtained by modifying the clause IV of the resolutions of the Roman
Conference, and by maintaining the system already in use for a long
time, which is to count the longitudes from 0° to 180° to east and
west, adopting the sign + for eastern longitudes, and the sign - for
western longitudes Thus the transition from universal to local time
could be exactly expressed by the formula:

Universal time = Local time - Longitude.

The adoption of this modification would necessitate that the change of
the day of the week, historically established on or about the
anti-meridian of Greenwich, should henceforth take place exactly on
that meridian.

We are in favor of the adoption of the universal time (clause V of the
resolutions of the Roman Conference) side by side with the local time,
for international telegraphic correspondence, and for through
international lines by railroads and steamers.

We fully accept the resolution of the Roman Conference concerning the
introduction of the system of counting the hours of the universal day
from 0 to 24; and we think it desirable that the same system should be
introduced for counting the hours in ordinary life. This would greatly
contribute to the disappearance of the arbitrary division of the day
into two parts, a. m. and p. m., and to an easier transition from
local to universal time.

We think it advisable to mark on all general maps the meridians in
time as well as in degrees of longitude, which would render the reform
familiar to the public, and facilitate its introduction in the
education of the young.

On maritime charts the longitudes ought to be given in degrees, as
these are necessary for the determination of distances in maritime
miles.

The topographical maps may maintain temporarily their national
meridian, in consequence of the difficulties of the modification of
the co-ordinates for plates already engraved; but it would be
necessary to mark on every sheet the difference between the national
and the initial universal meridian in degrees of longitude.

It would be most desirable to have in all new geographical catalogues
of astronomical and geodetical points the longitudes given in degrees
as well as in time, and that in these new catalogues the new initial
meridian be taken as the starting point for the longitudes.

The PRESIDENT. The Chair has listened with great interest and pleasure
to the paper which has just been read by the Delegate of Russia, Mr.
DE STRUVE, but the Chair begs to state that there is no resolution
before the Conference.

The PRESIDENT. The Chair will now direct the second resolution to be
read.

The resolution was read, as follows:

     "From this meridian" (_i.e._, the meridian passing through
     the centre of the transit instrument at the Observatory at
     Greenwich) "longitude shall be counted in two directions up
     to 180 degrees, east longitude being plus and west longitude
     minus."

Mr. RUTHERFURD, Delegate of the United States. Mr. President, In
submitting this resolution to the Conference, I wish to say that the
remarks of the Delegate of Russia have increased my confidence in the
belief of its propriety.

Mr. W. F. ALLEN, Delegate of the United States. Mr. President, the
establishment of a prime meridian has, from the force of
circumstances, become of practical importance to certain interests
entrusted with vast responsibilities for the safety of life and
property. These interests bear an important relation to the commerce
of the world, and especially to the internal commerce of an extent of
country embracing within its limits about sixty-five degrees of
longitude. Exactness of time reckoning is an imperative necessity in
the conduct of business.

On November 18, 1883, the several railway companies of the United
States and the Dominion of Canada united in the adoption of the mean
local times of the seventy-fifth, ninetieth, one hundred and fifth,
and one hundred and twentieth meridians, west from Greenwich, as the
standards of time for the operation of their roads. The system under
which they have since been working has proved satisfactory. They have
no desire to make any further change. A large majority of the people
in the several sections of the country through which the railways pass
have either by mutual consent or special legislation adopted for their
local use, for all purposes, the standards of time employed by the
adjacent roads. Upon the public and working railway time-tables
generally the fact has been published that the trains are run by the
time of the seventy-fifth or ninetieth, etc., meridians, as the case
may be.

The same standards are used by the Railway Mail Service of the United
States Post-office Department, which had previously used Washington
time exclusively for through schedules.

It will at once be apparent how undesirable any action would be to the
transportation interests of this country, which should so locate the
prime meridian as to require these time-standard meridians to be
designated by other than exact degrees of longitude. That these
standard meridians should continue to be designated as even multiples
of fifteen degrees from Greenwich is regarded as decidedly preferable.
To change to different standards, based upon exact degrees of some
other prime meridian, would require an amount of legislation very
difficult to obtain.

At a convention of the managers of many important railway lines which
control through their connections fully three-fourths of the entire
railway system of this country, held in Philadelphia on October 9,
1884, certain action was taken, of which I have the honor to present a
duly attested copy.

     "At a meeting of the _General Railway Time Convention_, held
     in _Philadelphia, October 9th, 1884_, the following minute
     was unanimously adopted:

     "_Whereas_, An International Conference is now in session at
     Washington, D. C., for the purpose of fixing upon a prime
     meridian and standard of time-reckoning; and

     "_Whereas_, The railway companies of the United States and
     Canada have adopted a system of time standards based,
     respectively, upon the mean local times of the 75th, 90th,
     105th, and 120th meridians west from Greenwich, and this
     system has proved so satisfactory in its working as to
     render any further change inexpedient and unnecessary;
     therefore

     "_Resolved_, That it is the opinion of this Convention that
     the selection of any prime meridian which would change the
     denomination of these governing meridians from even degrees
     and make them fractional in their character would be
     disturbing in no small measure to the transportation lines
     of the United States and Canada.

     "_Resolved_, That a duly attested copy of these resolution
     be presented to the Conference."

                                   P. P. WRIGHT,
                                   _Chairman._

     Attest: HENRY B. STONE,
     _Secretary pro tempore_.

Count LEWENHAUPT, Delegate of Sweden. Mr. President, I propose as an
amendment to the resolution just offered the fourth resolution adopted
by the Congress at Rome:

     "It is proper to count longitude from the meridian of
     Greenwich in one direction from west to east."

Baron H. VON ALVENSLEBEN, Delegate of Germany. Mr. President, I beg to
state that I think that this is only a question of detail; and, if the
question is put to the Conference, I shall not be able to vote, and I
shall abstain from voting.

The PRESIDENT. May I ask the Delegate from Germany whether his remark
applies to the amendment?

Baron H. VON ALVENSLEBEN, Delegate of Germany. Yes, sir; to the
amendment, and to the resolution, also.

Prof. ADAMS, Delegate of England. Mr. President, I must say that I am
very much inclined to agree with the Delegate of Germany in the
opinion that this is only a question of detail.

It is a mere matter of convenience whether we count longitudes in one
direction only, or in two opposite directions, considering longitudes
measured in one direction as positive and in the opposite direction as
negative. These two methods are nominally different from each other,
but in reality there is no contradiction between them.

In the mathematical reckoning of angles we may agree to begin at zero,
and reckon in one direction round the entire circumference of 360
degrees, but this does not prevent a mathematician, if he finds it
convenient for any purpose, from reckoning angles as positive when
measured in one direction, and negative when measured in the opposite
direction.

If angles be considered positive when reckoned towards the east, it is
quite consistent with this usage that they should be considered
negative when reckoned towards the west.

It is much more convenient to consider all angles as positive in
astronomical tables, but for other purposes it may be more convenient
to employ negative angles also, especially when, by so doing, you
avoid the use of large numbers.

In comparatively small countries, like Great Britain for instance, it
is more convenient when giving the longitude of a place in the west of
England to consider it as being a few degrees west of Greenwich,
rather than 350 and some degrees to the east of that meridian.

Commander SAMPSON, Delegate of the United States. Mr. President, while
I think the question of reckoning longitude is a matter of detail, I
think it devolves upon us to decide it one way or the other.
Navigators are more interested in the question than mathematicians,
and the longitudes must be engraved upon our hydrographic charts.

Now, as the learned Delegate of Great Britain, Prof. ADAMS, who has
just spoken, has stated, the principle involved is the same, whether
we reckon east or west, or reckon continuously in the same direction.
It seems to me, however, that when we come to consider the reckoning
of longitude in connection with the adoption of a universal day, we
should then make a decided choice in favor of counting longitude from
zero to 360 degrees. If we adopt the resolution which my friend, the
Delegate of the United States, Mr. RUTHERFURD, has offered, it will be
in perfect conformity with the habits of the world. For that reason,
and it is a very strong reason, I think it might be adopted; but a
little consideration will show that if we reckon the longitude from
zero to 360 degrees, east to west, then we will change the existing
practice of reckoning longitude; but, of course, only in one
hemisphere, and that will be eastward of the prime meridian; but, as
we shall all remember, to the eastward of the prime meridian we have
the main portions of the continents of Asia, Europe, and Africa, and
in all the navigable water lying in the other hemisphere the longitude
will continue to be reckoned as now. To navigators of the water lying
to the eastward of the prime meridian there will be a change in the
method of counting longitude both ways, it would be necessary to adopt
two different rules for converting local into universal time.

Prof. ADAMS, Delegate of Great Britain. Oh! no; by no means.

Commander SAMPSON, Delegate of the United States. For although one
rule would answer, by having regard to the algebraical sign affecting
the longitude, it must be remembered that this rule is to be applied
by many who are not accustomed to distinguishing east and west
longitudes by a difference of sign, and who would therefore require
one rule when the longitude is east and another when it is west. If,
however, we adopt the method of reckoning from zero to 360 degrees,
from east to west, the relation existing between the local and the
universal time becomes the simplest possible. To obtain the universal
date and hour, under these circumstances, it only becomes necessary to
add the longitude to the local time, understanding by local time the
local date as well as the local hour. I think, for this reason, it
will be preferable to reckon the longitude in one direction from east
to west, instead of west to east.

Sir FREDERICK EVANS, Delegate of Great Britain. I would like to
present a few words on behalf of seamen. There is clearly an important
change proposed by the amendment. In the resolution before us it is
simply a question of the reckoning of longitude as now employed by
seamen of all nations, and I think it would be well to keep that fact
separate from the reckoning of time.

The PRESIDENT. The Chair begs to state that the discussion is now upon
the amendment of the Delegate of Sweden, Count LEWENHAUPT, to adopt
the fourth resolution of the Congress at Rome.

Sir FREDERICK EVANS, Delegate of Great Britain. Then I consider that,
in the interest of seamen, it would be very undesirable to accept the
amendment. We must recollect that an immense deal of the world's
traffic is carried around the world entirely by sea, and that this
proposed dislocation of the methods of seamen by reckoning longitude
in one direction only would, to say the least, be extremely
inconvenient, and it would require considerable time for them to get
into the habit of doing so. I think, however, that as to the question
of time, there would be no difference of opinion; doubtless, it is the
easier method; but, as we have to look at the practical side of this
calculation of longitude, I must certainly disagree with the amendment
and vote for the original resolution.

Mr. JUAN PASTORIN, Delegate of Spain, then presented the following
amendment:

     "_Resolved_, That the Conference proposes to the Governments
     here represented that longitude shall be counted from the
     prime meridian westward, in the direction opposite to the
     terrestrial rotation, and reckoned from zero degrees to 360
     degrees, and from zero hours to 24 hours."

The PRESIDENT. The question before the Conference now is the amendment
of the Delegate of Sweden. If the Delegate of Spain desires to offer
his resolution as an amendment to the amendment already offered, the
Chair will place it before the Conference.

Mr. JUAN PASTORIN, Delegate of Spain. I am in accord with the views
expressed by our colleague, Commander SAMPSON, and I propose the
resolution which I have just presented.

Mr. VALERA, the Delegate of Spain. I believe the amendment proposed by
my colleague, Mr. PASTORIN, Delegate of Spain, does not apply to the
amendment of the Delegate of Sweden, but to the original resolution.
In order to avoid all ambiguity it would be much better to discuss
them one after the other. Therefore let us decide the question whether
it is better to count up to 180° in each direction or up to 360°
continuously. Then we can go on to something else.

The PRESIDENT. In order to meet the views expressed by Mr. VALERA, the
Delegate of Spain, Mr. PASTORIN will withdraw his amendment, and the
Delegate of Sweden, Count LEWENHAUPT, will propose the substance of
his original resolution so modified in form that its details may be
considered separately.

Mr. JUAN PASTORIN, Delegate of Spain. In conformity with the statement
of the President, I now withdraw my amendment.

Count LEWENHAUPT, Delegate of Sweden. I beg to offer the following
propositions in the form of amendments to the original resolution
offered by the Delegate of the United States; these may be discussed
in succession:

     "1. That from this prime meridian (the Greenwich meridian)
     longitude shall be counted in one direction."

     "2. That such longitude shall be counted from west to east."
     Or, in place of No. 2--

     "3. That such longitude shall be counted from east to west."

The PRESIDENT. The Delegates from Sweden and Spain have agreed as to
the first part of the resolution, that longitude shall be counted in
one direction--that is, from zero to 360 degrees. The question before
the Conference is now upon the first clause of the resolution, and the
other two will be subsequently discussed.

General STRACHEY, Delegate of Great Britain. I think it is impossible
to proceed to a vote upon these propositions without bearing in mind
what is to be decided as to the universal day. That day, as it appears
to me, will have to be determined with reference to the initial
meridian in such manner as to prevent, as far as possible,
inconvenience from discontinuity of local time and date in passing
around the world.

No matter how longitude is calculated, you must necessarily arrive at
discontinuity at some point in passing around the great circle of the
earth. It seems to me that the most convenient way of counting both
longitude and time is that the discontinuity in both shall take place
on the same point on the earth. Now, certainly, as was observed at
Rome, it will be far less inconvenient if the discontinuity of date
takes place on the meridian of 180 degrees from Greenwich. Then the
reckoning of local time all around the world, going from west to east
in the direction of the earth's rotation, will be continuous.

In any other way, as far as I can see, there will be a discontinuity
at some point on the inhabited part of the earth. If the
discontinuity were to take place on the meridian of Greenwich, as has
been proposed by the Conference at Rome, the dates will change there
during the daytime. That, as it appears to me, will be extremely
inconvenient.

In order to harmonize what I have called the discontinuity of date
with the discontinuity in the reckoning of longitude, it appears to me
that it will be best to reckon the longitude in both directions. There
will be no discontinuity then except on the 180th meridian. It would
be very inconvenient for a great part of the civilized world if the
resolution which has been offered should be adopted, if, as I presume
it would do, it caused discontinuity both in longitude and local time
in Europe.

After all, what are we here to endeavor to do? Notwithstanding what
has been said in the other direction, for my part I must say that the
great object before us is to secure the greatest convenience of the
whole civilized world, and it seems to me that we should try to obtain
it.

If there is no very strong reason for altering the existing system of
counting longitudes, it appears to me that this is a very excellent
reason in favor of maintaining it. I do not see myself that, for any
practical purpose, anything would be gained by reckoning longitude
from zero to 360 degrees. There may be some special scientific
purposes for which it may be convenient, but the object which this
resolution is intended to meet is of another character.

What we want is longitude for ordinary purposes, and on that hangs the
reckoning of universal time, which, of course, should be for the
general use of the whole world.

Professor ADAMS, Delegate of Great Britain. Mr. President, I doubt
whether I should trouble the Conference in reference to this point. I
think, however, that it is a matter of little importance whether we
consider longitude as positive, when reckoned toward the east, and
negative, when reckoned to the west, or go on in one direction from
zero to 360 degrees; it amounts, mathematically speaking, to the same
thing. We never can consider mathematical lines or angles as positive
in one direction, without implying that in the opposite direction
they are negative. One of these is merely the complement of the other.

For myself, I would say that there is no use in the Conference
resolving that we should count longitude only in the eastwardly
direction. The Conference may say that if longitude is reckoned
towards the east, it shall be considered positive, and, if reckoned
towards the west, negative; and that is all we should say. I do not
think it is within the competence of the Conference to say that
mathematicians shall reckon longitude only in one direction. Whether
you choose to reckon right through to 360 degrees or not is a matter
of detail, and of no importance in a scientific point of view. You can
adopt one style or the other, according to which is found the more
convenient in practice.

Mr. SANDFORD FLEMING, Delegate of Great Britain. I would suggest that
this matter of detail can very well be discussed and arranged by a
committee, otherwise, it may take up the whole time of the Conference.
I move, therefore, that a committee be appointed to take up this
matter and report upon it at the next meeting.

The PRESIDENT. The Chair desires only to carry out the wish of the
Conference, but it does not see clearly what we should gain by a
committee. Still, if it be the desire of the Conference to order a
committee, then the question will arise as to the organization of that
committee, and the Chair would feel some hesitation in appointing it.

Mr. RUTHERFURD, Delegate of the United States. Mr. President, if this
was a new question, in regard to which we had heard no discussion, it
would be eminently proper that we should put it into the hands of a
committee to formalize and thereby to shorten our deliberations; but
it seems to me that the appointment of a committee now would not help
us at all. When the report of that committee came in, we should have
to proceed exactly as we do now.

There are only three questions before the Conference, and they come
within very narrow limits. First, shall we count longitude both ways?
Second, shall we count it all around the 360 degrees? Third, if so, in
which direction is the counting to take place?

These are the only three questions, and, after all, they are questions
of convenience. We are just as capable of voting upon these
propositions now as we should be after the appointment of a committee.

Baron VON SCHÆFFER, Delegate of Austria-Hungary. Mr. President, I move
that we adjourn until to-morrow at one o'clock P.M.

The question upon the motion to adjourn was then put and adopted, and
the Conference accordingly adjourned at 3.45 P.M. until Tuesday, the
14th inst., at one o'clock P.M.



V.

SESSION OF OCTOBER 14, 1884.


The Conference met, pursuant to adjournment, in the Diplomatic Hall of
the Department of State, at one o'clock p. m.

Present:

  Austro-Hungary: Baron IGNATZ VON SCHÆFFER.
  Brazil: Dr. LUIZ CRULS.
  Chili: Mr. F. V. GORMAS and Mr. S. R. FRANKLIN.
  Costa Rica: Mr. JUAN FRANCISCO ECHEVERRIA.
  France: Mr. A. LEFAIVRE, Mr. JANSSEN.
  Germany: Baron H. VON ALVENSLEBEN, Mr. HINCKELDEYN.
  Great Britain: Sir F. J. O. EVANS, Prof. J. O. ADAMS,
      Lieut.-General STRACHEY, Mr. SANDFORD FLEMING.
  Guatemala: Mr. MILES ROCK.
  Hawaii: Hon. W. D. ALEXANDER, Hon. LUTHER AHOLO.
  Italy: Count ALBERT DE FORESTA.
  Japan: Professor KIKUCHI.
  Liberia: Mr. Wm. COPPINGER.
  Mexico: Mr. LEANDRO FERNANDEZ, Mr. ANGEL ANGUIANO.
  Netherlands: Mr. G. DE WECKHERLIN.
  Paraguay: Capt. JOHN STEWART.
  Russia: Mr. C. DE STRUVE, Major-General STEBNITZKI, Mr.
      KOLOGRIVOFF.
  San Domingo: Mr. DE J. GALVAN.
  Salvador: Mr. ATONIO BATRES.
  Spain: Mr. JUAN VALERA, Mr. EMILO RUIZ DEL ARBOL, Mr.
      JUAN PASTORIN.
  Sweden: Count CARL LEWENHAUPT.
  Switzerland: Mr. EMILE FREY.
  Turkey: RUSTEM EFFENDI.
  United States: Rear-Admiral C. R. P. RODGERS, Mr. LEWIS
      M. RUTHERFURD, Mr. W. F. ALLEN, Commander W. T.
      SAMPSON, Professor CLEVELAND ABBE.
  Venezuela: Señor Dr. A. M. SOTELDO.

Absent:

  Denmark: Mr. C. S. A. DE BILLE.

The PRESIDENT:

The Chair begs leave to announce that, in the regular order of
business, the first matter before the Conference to-day would have
been the proposition of the Delegate of Great Britain, Mr. SANDFORD
FLEMING, that a committee be appointed to consider a report upon the
resolution offered by him yesterday. The Chair understood, however,
from Mr. FLEMING this morning that he had no desire to press that
proposition, and, therefore, it may be considered as withdrawn.

The question then would be upon the amendment offered by the Delegate
of Spain, Mr. JUAN PASTORIN, and if that amendment be withdrawn upon
the amendment offered by the Delegate of Sweden, Count LEWENHAUPT. The
Chair understands that both of those gentlemen desire to withdraw
their propositions temporarily, and, in that event, the first action
to be taken will be upon the resolution offered by the Delegate of the
United States, Mr. RUTHERFURD.

Mr. RUSTEM EFFENDI, Delegate of Turkey. In voting yesterday in favor
of the resolutions proposed by the Hon. Delegate of the United States,
I wish to have it well understood that my vote does not bind my
Government. I am, indeed, obliged to vote against any proposition
which would tend to bind it in any way, for I desire to leave it free
to act in the matter.

I engage to submit to my Government the result of our deliberations
and to recommend their adoption, but that is all. In other words, I
have only voted "_ad referendum_," and I ask that my statement be
entered in the protocol.

The PRESIDENT. The Chair would inform the Delegate who has just
spoken that the same statement was made by several delegates at a
former meeting of the Conference.

M. JANSSEN, Delegate of France. I believe that the very correct
doctrine just enunciated by the Delegate of Turkey, Mr. RUSTEM
EFFENDI, is the one adopted by all the members of the Congress, and
that we have all voted "_ad referendum_."

The PRESIDENT. The Chair so understood the general sense of the
Conference as expressed at one of our former meetings, when many of
the delegates made the same declaration.

Mr. ANTONIO BATRES, Delegate of Salvador. Mr. President, I could not
be present yesterday, on account of illness, and I now request
permission to register my name in favor of the resolution adopting the
meridian of Greenwich as the prime meridian.

The PRESIDENT. The Delegate of Salvador, Mr. BATRES, informs the Chair
that he was not able to be present yesterday, on account of illness,
and he desires that his name may be recorded as voting for the
meridian of Greenwich. If there be no objection to the request of the
Delegate to Salvador, his vote will be so entered.

No objection being made, the President instructed the Secretary to
make the proper entry in the protocol.

The PRESIDENT. The Delegate of Spain, Mr. PASTORIN, has withdrawn his
amendment, and the Delegate of Sweden, Count LEWENHAUPT, has also
withdrawn the amendment which he offered to the resolution of the
Delegate of the United States, Mr. RUTHERFURD. The resolution
originally offered will now be read.

The Secretary then read the resolution, as follows:

     "_Resolved_, That from this meridian [_i.e._, the meridian
     of Greenwich] longitude shall be counted in two directions
     up to 180 degrees, east longitude being plus, and west
     longitude minus."

Mr. SANDFORD FLEMING, Delegate of Great Britain, representing the
Dominion of Canada. I wish to offer some observations on the
resolution before the Conference, but I am unable to separate the
particular question from the general question. To my mind, longitude
and time are so related that they are practically inseparable, and
when I consider longitude, my thoughts naturally revert to time, by
which it is measured. I trust, therefore, I may be permitted to extend
my remarks somewhat beyond the immediate scope of the resolution. I
agree with those who think that longitude should be reckoned in one
direction only, and I am disposed to favor a mode of notation
differing in other respects from that commonly followed.

If a system of universal time be brought into use, advantages would
result from having the system of time and the system of terrestrial
longitude in complete harmony. The passage of time is continuous, and,
therefore, I think longitude should be reckoned continuously. To
convey my meaning fully, however, it is necessary that I should enter
into explanations at some length.

Ten days back I ventured informally to place my views, with a series
of recommendations on this subject, before the delegates. I hope I may
now be permitted to submit them to the Conference.

The PRESIDENT. The Chair would inquire of the Conference whether the
recommendations and remarks which were sent in print to the Delegates
a few days ago by Mr. SANDFORD FLEMING, the Delegate of Great Britain,
may be entered upon the protocol as presented to-day. Each member was,
it is understood, furnished with a copy of these papers.

Mr. TUPPER, Delegate of Chili. The Delegates of Chili have not
received them.

The PRESIDENT. The Chair will take care that they are sent.

No objection was made to the request of the Delegate of Great Britain,
Mr. SANDFORD FLEMING, who continued as follows:

The adoption of a Prime Meridian, common to all nations, admits of the
establishment of a system of reckoning time equally satisfactory to
our reason and our necessities.

At present we are without such a system. The mode of notation followed
by common usage from time immemorial, whatever its applicability to
limited areas, when extended to a vast continent, with a net-work of
lines of railway and telegraph, has led to confusion and created many
difficulties. Further, it is insufficient for the purposes of
scientific investigation, so marked a feature of modern inquiry.

Taking the globe as a whole, it is not now possible precisely to
define when a year or a month or a week begins. There is no such
interval of time as the commonly defined day everywhere and
invariable. By our accepted definition, a day is local; it is limited
to a single meridian. At some point on the earth's surface one day is
always at its commencement and another always ending. Thus, while the
earth makes one diurnal revolution, we have continually many days in
different stages of progress on our planet.

Necessarily the hours and minutes partake of this normal irregularity.
Clocks, the most perfect in mechanism, disagree if they differ in
longitude. Indeed, if clocks are set to true time, as it is now
designated, they must, at least in theory, vary not only in the same
State or county, but to some extent in the same city.

As we contemplate the general advance in knowledge, we cannot but feel
surprised that these ambiguities and anomalies should be found,
especially as they have been so long known and felt. In the early
conditions of the human race, when existence was free from the
complications which civilization has led to; in the days when tribes
followed pastoral pursuits and each community was isolated from
the other; when commerce was confined to few cities, and
intercommunication between distant countries rare and difficult; in
those days there was no requirement for a common system of uniform
time. No inconvenience was felt in each locality having its own
separate and distinct reckoning. But the conditions under which we
live are no longer the same. The application of science to the means
of locomotion and to the instantaneous transmission of thought and
speech have gradually contracted space and annihilated distance. The
whole world is drawn into immediate neighborhood and near
relationship, and we have now become sensible to inconveniences and to
many disturbing influences in our reckoning of time utterly unknown
and even unthought of a few generations back. It is also quite
manifest that, as civilization advances, such evils must greatly
increase rather than be lessened, and that the true remedy lies in
changing our traditional usages in respect to the notation of days and
hours, whatever shock it may give to old customs and the prejudices
engendered by them.

In countries of limited extent, the difficulty is easily grappled
with. By general understanding, an arrangement affecting the
particular community may be observed, and the false principles which
have led to the differences and disagreements can be set aside. In
Great Britain the time of the Observatory at Greenwich is adopted for
general use. But this involves a departure from the principles by
which time is locally determined, and hence, if these principles be
not wrong, every clock in the United Kingdom, except those on a line
due north and south from Greenwich, must of necessity be in error.

On the continent of North America efforts have recently been made to
adjust the difficulty. The steps taken have been in a high degree
successful in providing a remedy for the disturbing influences
referred to, and, at the same time, they are in harmony with
principles, the soundness of which is indisputable.

When we examine into time in the abstract, the conviction is forced
upon us that it bears no resemblance to any sort of matter which comes
before our senses; it is immaterial, without form, without substance,
without spiritual essence. It is neither solid, liquid, nor gaseous.
Yet it is capable of measurement with the closest precision.
Nevertheless, it may be doubted if anything measurable could be
computed on principles more erroneous than those which now prevail
with regard to it.

What course do we follow in reckoning time? Our system implies that
there are innumerable conceptions designated "time." We speak of
solar, astronomical, nautical, and civil time, of apparent and mean
time. Moreover, we assign to every individual point around the
surface of the earth separate and distinct times in equal variety. The
usages inherited by us imply that there is an infinite number of
times. Is not all this inconsistent with reason, and at variance with
the cardinal truth, that there is one time only?

Time may be compared to a great stream forever flowing onward. To us,
nature, in its widest amplitude, is a unity. We have but one earth,
but one universe, whatever its myriad component parts. That there is
also but one flow of time is consistent with the plain dictates of our
understanding. That there can be more than one passage of time is
inconceivable.

From every consideration, it is evident that the day has arrived when
our method of time-reckoning should be reformed. The conditions of
modern civilization demand that a comprehensive system should be
established, embodying the principle that time is one abstract
conception, and that all definite portions of it should be based on,
or be related to, one unit measure.

On these grounds I feel justified in respectfully asking the
consideration of the Conference to the series of recommendations which
I venture to submit.

The matter is undoubtedly one in which every civilized nation is
interested. Indeed, it may be said that, more or less, every human
being is concerned in it. The problem is of universal importance, and
its solution can alone be found in the general adoption of a system
grounded on principles recognized as incontrovertible.

Such principles are embodied in the recommendations which I am
permitted to place before the Conference. They involve, as an
essential requirement, the determination of a unit of measurement, and
it is obvious that such a unit must have its origin in the motion of
the heavenly bodies. No motion is more uniform than the motion of the
earth on its axis. This diurnal revolution admits of the most delicate
measurement, and, in all respects, is the most available for a unit
measure. It furnishes a division of time definite and precise, and one
which, without difficulty, can be made plain and manifest.

A revolution of the earth, denoted by the mean solar passage at the
Prime or Anti-prime Meridian, will be recognizable by the whole world
as a period of time common to all. By general agreement this period
may be regarded as the common unit by which time may be everywhere
measured for every purpose in science, in commerce, and in every-day
life.

The scheme set forth in the recommendations has in view three
principal objects, viz:

1. To define and establish an universal day for securing chronological
accuracy in dates common to the whole world.

2. To obtain a system of universal time on a basis acceptable to all
nations, by which, everywhere, at the same time, the same instant may
be observed.

3. To establish a sound and rational system of reckoning time which
may eventually be adopted for civil purposes everywhere, and thus
secure uniformity and accuracy throughout the globe.

But, in the inauguration of a scheme affecting so many individuals, it
is desirable not to interfere with prevailing customs more than
necessary. Such influences as arise from habit are powerful and cannot
be ignored. The fact must be recognized that it will be difficult to
change immediately the usages to which the mass of men have been
accustomed. In daily life we are in the habit of eating, sleeping, and
following the routine of our existence at certain periods of the day.
We are familiar with the numbers of the hours by which these periods
are known, and, doubtless, there will be many who will see little
reason in any attempt to alter their nomenclature, especially those
who take little note of cause and effect, and who, with difficulty,
understand the necessity of a remedy to some marked irregularity
which, however generally objectionable, does not bear heavily upon
them individually.

For the present, therefore, we must adapt a new system, as best we are
able, to the habits of men and women as we find them. Provision for
such adaptation is made in the recommendations by which, while local
reckoning would be based on the principles laid down, the hours and
their numbers need not appreciably vary from those with which we are
familiar. Thus, time-reckoning in all ordinary affairs in every
locality may be made to harmonize with the general system.

Standard time throughout the United States and Canada has been
established in accord with this principle. Its adoption has proved the
advantages which may be attained generally by the same means. On all
sides these advantages have been widely appreciated, and no change
intimately bearing upon common life was ever so unanimously accepted.
Certainly, it is an important step towards the establishment of one
system of universal time, or, as it is designated in the
recommendations, Cosmic time.

The alacrity and unanimity with which the change has been accepted in
North America encourages the belief that the introduction of cosmic
time in every-day life is not unattainable. The intelligence of the
people will not fail to discover, before long, that the adoption of
correct principles of time-reckoning will in no way change or
seriously affect the habits they have been accustomed to. It will
certainly sweep away nothing valuable to them. The sun will rise and
set to regulate their social affairs. All classes will soon learn to
understand the hour of noon, whatever the number on the dial, whether
six, as in Scriptural times, or twelve, or eighteen, or any other
number. People will get up and retire to bed, begin and end work, take
breakfast and dinner at the same periods of the day as at present, and
our social habits and customs will remain without a change, depending,
as now, on the daily returning phenomena of light and darkness.

The one alteration will be in the notation of the hours, so as to
secure uniformity in every longitude. It is to be expected that this
change will at first create some bewilderment, and that it will be
somewhat difficult to be understood by the masses. The causes for such
a change to many will appear insufficient or fanciful. In a few years,
however, this feeling must pass away, and the advantages to be gained
will become so manifest that I do not doubt so desirable a reform will
eventually commend itself to general favor, and be adopted in all the
affairs of life.

Be that as it may, it seems to me highly important that a
comprehensive time system should be initiated to facilitate scientific
observations, and definitely to establish chronological dates; that it
should be designed for general use in connection with railways and
telegraphs, and for such other purposes for which it may be found
convenient.

The Cosmic day set forth in the recommendations would be the date for
the world recognizable by all nations. It would theoretically and
practically be the mean of all local days, and the common standard to
which all local reckoning would be referable.

With regard to the reckoning of longitude, I submit that longitude and
time are so intimately related that they may be expressed by a common
notation. Longitude is simply the angle formed by two planes passing
through the earth's axis, while time is the period occupied by the
earth in rotating through that angle. If we adopt the system of
measuring time by the revolution of the earth from a recognized zero,
one of these planes--that through the zero--may be considered fixed;
the other--that through the meridian of the place--being movable, the
longitudinal angle is variable. Obviously the variable angle ought to
be measured from the fixed plane as zero, and as the motion of the
earth by which the equivalent time of the angle is measured is
continuous, the longitude ought to be reckoned continuously in one
direction. The direction is determined by the notation of the hour
meridians, viz., from east to west.

If longitude be so reckoned and denoted by the terms used in the
notation of cosmic time, the time of day everywhere throughout the
globe would invariably denote the precise longitude of the place
directly under the mean sun. Conversely, at the epoch of mean solar
passage at any place, the longitude being known, cosmic time would be
one and the same with the longitude of the place.

The advantages of such a system of reckoning and nomenclature, as
suggested in the recommendations which I now submit, will be, I think,
self-evident.

     RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE REGULATION OF TIME AND THE RECKONING
     OF LONGITUDE

     1. _That a system of universal time be established, with the
     view of facilitating synchronous scientific observations,
     for chronological reckonings, for the purpose of trade and
     commerce by sea and land, and for all such uses to which it
     is applicable._

     2. _That the system be established for the common observance
     of all peoples, and of such a character that it may be
     adopted by each separate community, as may be found
     expedient._

     3. _That the system be based on the principle that for all
     terrestrial time reckonings there be one recognized unit of
     measurement only, and that all measured intervals of time be
     directly related to the one unit measure._

     4. _That the unit measure be the period occupied by the
     diurnal revolution of the earth, defined by the mean solar
     passage at the meridian twelve hours from the Prime Meridian
     established through Greenwich._

     5. _That the unit measure defined as above be held to be a
     day absolute, and designated a Cosmic Day._

     6. _That such Cosmic Day be held as the chronological date
     of the earth, changing with the mean solar passage at the
     anti-meridian of Greenwich._

     7. _That all divisions and multiples of the Cosmic Day be
     known as Cosmic Time._

     8. _That the Cosmic Day be divided into hours, numbered in a
     single series, one to twenty-four, (1 to 24,) and that the
     hours be subdivided, as ordinary hours, into minutes and
     seconds. Note.--As an alternative means of distinguishing
     the cosmic hours from the hours in local reckonings, they
     may be denoted by the letters of the alphabet, which,
     omitting I and V, are twenty-four in number._

     9. _That until Cosmic Time be admitted as the recognized
     means of reckoning in the ordinary affairs of life, it is
     advisable to assimilate the system to present usages and to
     provide for the easy translation of local reckonings into
     Cosmic Time, and vice versa; that, therefore, in theory, and
     as closely as possible in practice, local reckonings be
     based on a known interval in advance or behind Cosmic Time._

     10. _That the surface of the globe be divided by twenty-four
     equidistant hour meridians, corresponding with the hours of
     the Cosmic Day._

     11. _That, as far as practicable, the several hour meridians
     be taken according to the longitude of the locality, to
     regulate local reckonings, in a manner similar to the
     system in use throughout North America._

     12. _That, in all cases where an hour meridian is adopted as
     the standard for regulating local reckonings, in a
     particular section or district, the civil day shall be held
     to commence twelve hours before and end twelve hours after
     the mean solar passage of such hour meridian._

     13. _That the civil day, based on the Prime Meridian of
     Greenwich, shall coincide and be one with the Cosmic Day.
     That civil days on meridians east of Greenwich shall be
     (according to the longitude) a known number of hours, or
     hours and minutes in advance of Cosmic Time, and to the west
     of Greenwich the contrary._

     14. _That the surface of the globe being divided by
     twenty-four equidistant meridians (fifteen degrees apart)
     corresponding with the hours of the Cosmic Day, it is
     advisable that longitude be reckoned according to these hour
     meridians._

     15. _That divisions of longitude less than an hour (fifteen
     degrees) be reckoned in minutes and seconds and parts of
     seconds._

     16. _That longitude be reckoned continuously towards the
     west, beginning with zero at the Anti-prime meridian, twelve
     hours from Greenwich._

     17. _That longitude, generally, be denoted by the same terms
     as those applied to Cosmic Time._

I submit these recommendations suggestively, and without any desire
unduly to press them. I shall be content if the leading principles
laid down be recognized by the Conference.

With regard to the more immediate question, I have come to the firm
conviction that extreme simplicity of reckoning and corresponding
benefits would result if longitude be notated in the same manner, and
denoted by the same terms as universal time. If, therefore, the
Conference adopts the motion of the distinguished Delegate of the
United States, which, I apprehend, is designed to cause as little
change as possible in the practices of sea-faring men, I trust the
claims of other important interests will not be overlooked. I refer to
all those interests, so deeply concerned in securing accurate time on
land, and in having easy means provided for translating any one local
reckoning into any other local reckoning, or into the standard
universal time. In this view I trust the Conference will give some
expression of opinion in favor of extending around the globe the
system of hour meridians which has proved so advantageous in North
America. In an educational aspect alone it seems to me important that
the hour meridians, one to twenty-four, numbered from the anti-prime
meridian continuously toward the west, should be conspicuously marked
on our maps and charts.

Prof. ADAMS, Delegate of Great Britain. I wish, Mr. President, to
express my entire adhesion to the proposition which has been made by
the Delegate of the United States, Mr. RUTHERFURD. It seems to me to
satisfy one of the principal conditions that we have had before us to
guide our decision; that is, that we should pursue a course which will
produce the least possible inconvenience.

Now, I think if we keep that in mind, we shall have very little
difficulty in coming to the conclusion that we should reckon longitude
eastward, as positive or plus, and westward as negative or minus. This
mode of reckoning would be attended with the least inconvenience; in
fact, it will not be attended with any inconvenience at all, because
it will keep to the present mode of reckoning. For my part, I see no
adequate reason for changing that. There is no scientific reason, and
certainly there is no practical reason. There is no scientific reason,
because, as I stated yesterday, if in mathematics you measure from the
zero a distance in one direction and consider that positive, you must,
by the very nature of the case, consider the distance measured in the
opposite direction from the same zero as negative. One follows
mathematically and necessarily from the other, and by adopting this
resolution you thus include both in one general formula.

It seems to me quite as scientific, to say the least, to start from
zero and go in both directions, distinguishing the longitudes by the
signs plus and minus, according as the directions are taken east or
west, as to reckon longitudes in one direction only from zero to 360
degrees. It is, I say, just as scientific to do this, and practically
it is more convenient. Because if you go on reckoning from zero to
360 degrees continuously, you have to make a break at 360 degrees. You
do not count on after you have completed one revolution, but have to
drop the 360 degrees and start again at zero. But this is attended
with great inconvenience, because this break in counting occurs in
countries which are thickly inhabited. The longitude would be a little
less than 360 degrees on one side of the prime meridian, and on the
other side the longitude would be a small angle. This seems to me very
inconvenient.

On the other hand, if you count longitudes in one direction from zero
to 180 degrees as positive, and in the opposite direction from zero to
180 degrees as negative, you are, no doubt, obliged to make a break in
passing abruptly from plus 180 degrees to minus 180 degrees. But the
break would then occur where it would cause the least inconvenience,
viz., in mid-ocean, where there is very little land and very few
inhabitants, and where we are accustomed to make the break now. This
will require no change in the habits and customs of the people, and no
inconvenience whatever would be caused by the action of the Conference
if it decides on this method, which also has the minor advantage of
not requiring the use of such large numbers as the other. But to adopt
the reckoning of longitude from zero to 360 degrees would involve a
very considerable change, and I think it may be doubted whether it
would be generally accepted. Under the circumstances, I think the
resolution contains the most expedient course for us to adopt. I do
not object to anybody who chooses to do so reckoning on, for certain
purposes, from zero to 360 degrees, but I do not think it would be
well to make it compulsory.

With regard to the proposal of the Delegate of Great Britain, Mr.
FLEMING, I would say that it would be attended with great
inconvenience, because it departs from the usages and habits now
existing. That, to my mind, is a very great and insuperable objection,
and I do not see any countervailing advantage.

With regard to the subject of time that Mr. Fleming is anxious to take
into consideration, I think that nothing can be simpler, if I may be
allowed to deal with the question of time, than the relation between
time and longitude which is proposed to be created by the resolution
of Mr. RUTHERFURD.

By that resolution the longitude indicates the relation between the
local time and the universal time in the simplest possible way. What
can be easier than the method involved in the resolution of Mr.
Rutherfurd? It is this: Local time at any place is equal to universal
time plus the longitude of the place, plus being understood always in
a mathematical sense. The longitude is to be added to the universal
time if it is positive, and subtracted if it is negative. That is very
simple, the whole being involved in one general formula.

Now, I think it is perfectly impossible for Mr. Fleming to make a more
simple formula than that. The formula laid down in the proceedings of
the Roman Conference was far less simple, as it involved an odd twelve
hours. You got the universal time equal to the local time, minus the
longitude, plus twelve hours. This is far from simple. It makes the
calculation more complicated, and it seems to me that for other
reasons it is objectionable.

Mr. RUTHERFURD, Delegate of the United States. Mr. President, I do not
propose to take up the time of the Conference in reiterating the very
conclusive remarks in favor of this resolution made by the Delegate of
Great Britain. I wish, however, to allude, for a moment, to another
view of this question. Suppose we do not adopt this resolution. What
is the course before the Conference? We shall then be called upon, no
doubt, to decide that longitude shall be counted all around the world
from zero to 360 degrees.

That general proposition is one which would not probably meet with
violent opposition, but the next point is one that will divide us very
materially, and perhaps disastrously. Which way shall we count? Shall
it be towards the east or towards the west?

My conversations with the gentlemen here present have lead me to know
that there is a very great difference of opinion upon this point, and
I believe that if we should not adopt this resolution and should
decide to count longitude from zero to 360 degrees, a preference to
count it in one direction rather than the other would be established
only by a very close vote, nearly annulling the whole moral influence
of the Conference, and we should go back to our Governments without
much, if any, authority on the point in question.

And I doubt whether our resolutions would be accepted by these
Governments if we show ourselves to be divided upon a question of so
much practical importance.

It is simply a question of practice--of convenience. We all bowed to
the rule of convenience in selecting the meridian of Greenwich. And
why? Because seven-tenths of the civilized nations of the world use
this meridian, not that it was intrinsically better than the meridian
of Paris, or Washington, or Berlin, or St. Petersburg. Nobody claimed
any scientific preference among these meridians. It was simply because
seven-tenths of the civilized world were already using the meridian of
Greenwich.

If we accept this argument in favor of the first resolution for
selecting the initial meridian, why should we not be equally inclined
to recognize the fact that all the civilized world count longitude in
both ways? There is no difference of opinion on that point. There is
no difference of usage. Shall we break that usage? Shall we introduce
a new system, which may or may not be found practical or agreeable?
Shall we not rather adopt the rule of all nations, already in use
among their practised astronomers and navigators, by saying continue
to do as you have already done?

Sir FREDERICK EVANS, Delegate of Great Britain. Having for many years
mixed among the practical seamen of more than one nation, I confess I
look with some dismay on any other system for the notation of
longitude being adopted than the one proposed in this resolution.

My colleague, Mr. FLEMING, made the remark that he could not
disassociate longitude from time. If he had mixed with seamen, he
would have found out that there is very frequently a well-defined
difference between the two in their minds. Longitude with seamen
means, independently of time, space, distance. It indicates so many
miles run in an east or west direction. Consequently, I am not able to
look upon longitude and time as being identical.

Under these circumstances, this resolution also, as I understand it,
should be considered on practical grounds.

The question of universal time will come on for consideration
hereafter, and how that may be settled seems to me a matter of
indifference compared with the decision on this resolution. I
question, for myself, whether any other plan than that it proposes
would be generally accepted. That is what I am afraid of. Whatever
respect nations may have for this Conference, public opinion would be
very strong upon the point now at issue. When you further recollect
that all around the globe, in all these various seas, there are
colonies with histories; that their geographical positions and
boundaries were originally recorded by longitude according to the
notation of which I have spoken, I think it is to be over sanguine to
expect that those colonies will accept a new notation of longitude
without greater proof of the positive necessity of the change. It
would not be the fiat of this Conference, or the fiat of any
government, that would bring about the change. I say this with all
deference to the opinions of those who have advocated a change.

General STRACHEY, Delegate of Great Britain. At the risk of repeating
somewhat my remarks made to the Congress when we last met, I would add
a few words to what has now been said. It is our wish that the points
of real difference should, as far as possible, be clearly brought out
before the Conference comes to a vote.

As regards the counting of longitude in two directions, and the degree
of advantage or disadvantage that may arise in starting from zero and
treating east longitude as positive or plus, and west longitude as
negative or minus, let me ask the attention of the Congress to the
fact that longitude is already counted in these two directions, and
that, as a matter of fact also, latitude is counted in the same way,
in both directions from the equator, north latitude being plus and
south latitude minus. Nobody, so far as I have heard, has ever
proposed that we should abolish this method of reckoning latitude, and
substitute for it North or South polar distance, to be counted right
round the earth; and yet there is the same _quasi_ scientific
objection to the present method of counting in the one case as in the
other. As already stated, it seems to me that, for purposes of
practical convenience, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible,
to separate the ideas on which the reckoning of longitude must be
based, from those which must regulate the reckoning of time, and
especially the reckoning of time in the sense of adopting a universal
day over the whole world. Now, it appears to me that, as regards the
acceptance of the universal day, it certainly will be anything but
convenient, if it begins and ends otherwise than when the sun passes
the 180th meridian. On the contrary, I think it will be extremely
inconvenient. I think that if the world were to adopt the meridian of
Greenwich as the origin of longitude, the natural thing for it to do
would be to have the international day, the universal day, begin from
the 180th meridian from Greenwich--that is, to coincide with the
Greenwich civil day. That meridian passes, as I said before, outside
of New Zealand, and outside of the Fijee Islands; it goes over only a
very small portion of inhabited country. It appears to me, therefore,
that inasmuch as there must be an absolute break or discontinuity in
time in passing round the earth--a break of twenty-four hours--it is
much more convenient that this break should take place in the
uninhabited part of the earth than in the very centre of civilization.

If we adopt the universal day which coincides with the civil day at
Greenwich, then you will be able to have complete continuity of local
time over the whole earth, in harmonious relation with the universal
day, except at the break which necessarily takes place on the 180th
meridian. Otherwise this will not be possible. For instance, according
to the system proposed by the resolution, the local time
corresponding, say, to 0 hours of Monday at Greenwich, would, in
passing round the earth to the eastward from the 180th meridian,
gradually change from 12 hours of Sunday to 12 hours of Monday; and,
on returning to that meridian, the break of time would occur, and one
day would appear to be lost. But complete continuity both in the days
and hours, and harmony with the universal day, that is, the Greenwich
civil day, would be preserved for the whole earth, excepting on
crossing the 180th meridian.

The result of the system which was proposed at Rome would be to cause
the break of dates to take place at Greenwich at noon, so that the
morning hours of the civil day would have a different universal date
from the afternoon hours, and this would be the case all over Europe.
But if the universal day be made to correspond to the civil day of
Greenwich, and the longitude is counted east in one direction and west
in another direction to the 180th meridian, these difficulties would
be overcome, and a perfectly simple rule would suffice for converting
local into universal time. As regards what was said upon the subject
of longitude being plus or minus, according as you move to the east or
west, it appears to me that there is a positive, clear, and rational
reason for calling longitude eastward plus and longitude westward
minus. The time is later to the east, and therefore the hour is
indicated by a higher number. In converting universal into local time,
if the place is east of Greenwich, you add the longitude to the
universal time, and therefore increase the number of the hour; if the
place be west of Greenwich, you subtract the longitude, and therefore
diminish the number of the hour. It is natural, therefore, to call
east longitude positive and the other negative.

It appears to me also that the passage of the sun over the meridian
is, in reality, what may be called the index of the day, the day
consisting of 24 hours, distributed equally on either side of the
meridian. Noon of the universal day would thus coincide with the time
of the sun passing the initial meridian. There is perfect consistency,
therefore, in adopting the reckoning of longitude and time that is
proposed in the resolution before us. It is a rational and symmetrical
method.

Mr. JUAN PASTORIN, the Delegate of Spain. I listened with great
pleasure to the observations which our honorable colleague, the
Delegate of England, General STRACHEY, has just made.

I am not sufficiently acquainted with the English tongue to make a
speech, though I know it well enough to follow the debate. Moreover,
as I had beforehand studied the subject which is now before us, I have
quite well understood all that has been said on this point. I proposed
an amendment yesterday, in order to obtain what I consider the most
simple formula for converting local time into cosmical time. This
formula is not, perhaps, the most suitable for astronomers and
sailors, but they form the minority, and it is, I am sure, the easiest
for the mass of the people. This formula would be based on the
considerations which are now under discussion. I am not sufficiently
familiar with the language to give the reasons upon which I based my
amendment, but, as I demonstrated in the pamphlet which I had the
honor of addressing to my learned colleagues, the means, in my
opinion, of obtaining the simplest and the most suitable formula is to
make the beginning of civil time and of dates on the first meridian
coincide with the cosmical time and date, and to count longitude
continuously in the same direction from the initial meridian. This is
what I proposed to obtain by my amendment.

Count LEWENHAUPT, Delegate of Sweden. Mr. President, I now propose
that the Conference take a recess for a few moments before a vote is
taken upon the resolution.

No objection being made to the motion, the President announced that a
recess would be taken until the Chair called the Conference to order.

THE PRESIDENT, having called the Conference to order, said. The recess
has given an opportunity for an interchange of opinion upon the
subject pending, and if the Conference be ready the vote will now be
taken.

Commander SAMPSON, Delegate of the United States. Mr. President, I
think that the informal discussion which we have had upon this
question of the method of counting longitude must lead to the
conclusion that there is a great difference of opinion. So far as I
have been able to learn, many of the delegates have come here
instructed to favor the resolution adopted by the Roman Conference. It
is my own opinion that the recommendation to count longitude
continuously from the prime meridian from west to east, as recommended
by the conference at Rome, is not so good as the proposition now
before us. Personally, however, I would prefer to see it counted
continuously from east to west, as being more in conformity with
present usage among astronomers. But, as it appears that so many
delegates are instructed by their Governments to favor counting in the
opposite direction, and as, if this Congress adopts any other plan
than that proposed by the Conference at Rome, they will have to lay
before their Governments as the action of this Congress something that
will be opposed to the recommendation of the Roman Conference, and as
these two recommendations would naturally tend to neutralize each
other, I would favor the proposition which is now before us as being
the most expedient.

I would suggest, however, that, instead of making a positive
declaration upon the question, we leave it as it now stands; that is
to say, that longitude shall be counted east and west from the prime
meridian, without specifying which direction shall be considered
positive, and declare it to be the opinion of this Congress that it is
not expedient to change the present method of counting longitude both
ways from the prime meridian.

Count LEWENHAUPT, Delegate from Sweden. In my opinion the delegates
have not undertaken to recommend the resolutions adopted by a majority
of the Conference, but only the resolutions for which they have
themselves voted. As regards the fact that there may be great
differences of opinion concerning the questions which remain for our
consideration, I am unable to see in it any reason for our not
proceeding to vote upon them. On the contrary it will be of great
interest to our Governments to know the exact position taken by each
of the delegates, and even if any delegate should abstain from voting,
such abstention would be of interest in the event of future
negotiations on the subject. I am therefore of opinion that we should
proceed to vote on the remaining resolutions.

The vote was then taken upon the resolution of the Delegate of the
United States, Mr. RUTHERFURD, which is as follows:

     "_Resolved_, That from this meridian (_id est_, Greenwich)
     longitude shall be counted in two directions up to 180
     degrees, east longitude being plus and west longitude
     minus."

The following States voted in the affirmative:

  Chili,                  Liberia,
  Colombia,               Mexico,
  Costa Rica,             Paraguay,
  Great Britain,          Russia,
  Guatemala,              Salvador,
  Hawaii,                 United States,
  Japan,                  Venezuela.

The following States voted in the negative:

  Italy,                  Sweden,
  Netherlands,            Switzerland.
  Spain,

The following States abstained from voting:

  Austria-Hungary,        Germany,
  Brazil,                 San Domingo,
  France,                 Turkey.

Ayes, 14; noes, 5; abstaining, 6.

The PRESIDENT then announced that the resolution was adopted.

Mr. RUTHERFURD, Delegate of the United States. Mr. President, I now
propose to read the third resolution from the printed circular which
has been furnished to the delegates. It is as follows:

     "_Resolved_, That the Conference proposes the adoption of a
     universal day for all purposes for which it may be found
     convenient, and which shall not interfere with the use of
     local time where desirable. This universal day is to be a
     mean solar day; is to begin for all the world at the moment
     of midnight of the initial meridian coinciding with the
     beginning of the civil day and date of that meridian, and is
     to be counted from zero up to twenty-four hours."

This resolution is somewhat complex, and in order to facilitate
debate, I propose that we first occupy ourselves only with the first
clause, namely:

     "_Resolved_, That the Conference proposes the adoption of a
     universal day for all purposes for which it may be found
     convenient, and which shall not interfere with the use of
     local time where desirable."

After having disposed of that clause we can proceed to dispose of the
other parts of the resolution.

The PRESIDENT. You propose, then, to divide the resolution as printed
in the circular into two resolutions, and you now offer the first part
for consideration.

Mr. RUTHERFURD, Delegate of the United States. If that is the more
convenient form of putting it, it meets my views. It will be more easy
to discuss the subject, more easy to arrive at a decision, in that
form.

M. le Comte ALBERT DE FORESTA, Delegate of Italy. I propose as an
amendment the fifth resolution of the Roman Conference, which reads as
follows:

     "The Conference recognizes, for certain scientific needs and
     for the internal service of great administrations of ways of
     communications, such as those of railroads, lines of
     steamships, telegraphic and postal lines, the utility of
     adopting a universal time, in connection with local or
     national times, which will necessarily continue to be
     employed in civil life."

The PRESIDENT. The question is now upon the amendment offered by the
Delegate of Italy.

Professor ABBE, Delegate of the United States. I would like to ask
whether this amendment adds anything substantially to the resolution.
I think it does not. It simply specifies the details of the resolution
pending before us. That resolution "proposes the adoption of a
universal day for all purposes for which it may be found convenient."
That is general. The amendment merely specifies certain of these
purposes. That is a matter of detail.

Mr. ALLEN, Delegate of the United States. Mr. President, I desire to
offer an amendment to the amendment, as follows:

     "Civil or local time is to be understood as the mean time of
     the approximately central meridian of a section of the
     earth's surface, in which a single standard of time may be
     conveniently used."

Mr. RUTHERFURD, Delegate of the United States. Mr. President, it does
not seem to me that it is within the competence of this Conference to
define what is local time. That is a thing beyond us.

Mr. W. F. ALLEN, Delegate of the United States, then said: Mr.
President and gentlemen, all efforts to arrive at uniformity in
scientific or every-day usage originate in a desire to attain greater
convenience in practice. The multiplicity of coins of which the
relative value can only be expressed by fractions, the various common
standards of weights and of measures, are inconvenient both to the
business man and the scientist. Alike inconvenient to both are the
diverse standards of time by which the cities of the world are
governed, differing, as they do, by all possible fractions of hours.

All coins have a relative and interchangeable value based upon their
weight and fineness. Weights and measures remain the same by whatever
unit they may be expressed; but, primarily, time can only be measured
by a standard actually or apparently in motion. Absolutely accurate
mean local time, varying, as it does, by infinitesimal differences at
every point in the circuit of the earth, may be shown on a stationary
object, but cannot in general be kept by an individual or object in
motion. The mean local time of some fixed point in each locality must
be taken as the standard for practical use. The important question to
be determined is, over what extent of territory, measuring east and
west from such fixed point, its mean time may be employed for all
ordinary purposes without inconvenience. This can be absolutely
determined only by practical experience.

Careful study of this phase of this subject led, perhaps, more
directly than any one single cause, to the proposal of the detailed
system of standard time which now satisfactorily controls the
operations of one hundred and twenty thousand miles of railway in the
United States and Canada, and governs the movements of fifty millions
of people.

Before the recent change there were a number of localities where
standards of time were exclusively employed which varied as much as
thirty minutes, both on the east and the west, from mean local time,
without appreciable inconvenience to those using them. From this fact
the conclusion was inevitable that within those limits a single
standard might be employed. The result has proved this conclusion to
have been well founded.

No public reform can be accomplished unless the evil to be remedied
can be made plainly apparent. That an improvement will be effected
must be clearly demonstrated, or the new status of affairs which will
exist after the change, must be shown to have been already
successfully tried. Here, as in law, custom and precedent are all
powerful. It would be a difficult task to secure the general adoption
of any system of time-reckoning which cannot be employed by all
classes of the community. Business men would refuse to regard as a
reform any proposition which introduced diversity where uniformity now
exists, nor would railway managers consent to adopt for their own use
a standard of time not coinciding with or bearing a ready relation to
the standard employed in other business circles. To adopt the time of
a universal day for all transportation purposes throughout the world,
and to use it collaterally with local time, would simply restore, and
possibly still more complicate, the very condition of things in this
country which the movement of last year was intended to and did to a
great extent obviate. Railway managers desire that the time used in
their service shall be either precisely the same as that used by the
public, or shall differ from it at as few points as possible, and then
by the most readily calculated differences. The public, on the other
hand, have little use for absolutely accurate time, except in
connection with matters of transportation, but will refuse to adopt a
standard which would materially alter their accustomed habits of
thought and of language in every-day life. That this position is
absurd may be argued, and, perhaps, admitted, but it is a fact, and
one which cannot be disregarded.

The adoption of the universal day or any system of time-reckoning
based upon infrequent--such as the great quadrant--meridians, to be
used by transportation lines collaterally with local time, is,
therefore, practically impossible.

Shall it, then, be concluded that there is no hope of securing
uniformity in time-reckoning for practical purposes? Or does the
proposition for the general division of the earth's surface into
specified sections, governed by standards based upon meridians fifteen
degrees or one hour apart, supply the remedy? Objections have been
urged against this proposition on account of difficulties encountered,
or supposed to be encountered, in the vicinity of the boundary lines
between the sections. It is argued that the contact of two sections
with standards of time differing by one hour will cause numerous and
insuperable difficulties. In railway business, in which time is more
largely referred to than in any other, the experience of the past year
has proved this fear to be groundless. It is true that the approximate
local time of a number of cities near the boundary lines between the
eastern and central sections in the United States is still retained. A
curious chapter of incidents could be related which led to this
retention, not affecting, however, the merits of the case; but the
fact serves to show that changes much greater than thirty minutes from
local time would not be acceptable.

Adjacent to and on either side of all national boundary lines the
inhabitants become accustomed to the standards of weights, measures,
and money of both countries, and constantly refer to and use them
without material inconvenience. In the readjustment of a boundary upon
new lines of demarcation it must be expected that some temporary
difficulties in business transactions will be encountered, but all
history shows that such difficulties soon adjust themselves. Legal
enactments will finally determine the precise boundaries of the
several sections. If different laws respecting many other affairs of
life may exist on either side of a State or national boundary line,
with positive advantage or without material inconvenience, why should
laws respecting time-reckoning be an exception? Coins and measures are
distinguished by their names. So, also, may standards of time be
distinguished.

The adoption of standard time for all purposes of daily life, based
upon meridians fifteen degrees apart, would practically abolish the
use of exact local time, except upon those meridians. Numerous
circumstances might be related demonstrating how very inaccurate and
undetermined was the local time used in many cities in this country
before the recent change.

Except for certain philosophical purposes, does the inherent advantage
claimed in the use of even approximately accurate local time really
exist? Would the proposed change affect any custom of undoubted value
to the community? These questions have been answered in the negative
by the experience of Great Britain since January 13, 1848, of Sweden
since January 1, 1879, and of the United States and Canada since
November 18, 1883.

Greenwich time is exclusively used in Great Britain, and differs from
mean local time about eight minutes on the east and about twenty-two
and a half minutes on the west. In Sweden the time of the fifteenth
degree of east longitude is the standard for all purposes. It differs
from mean local time about thirty-six and a half minutes on the east
and about sixteen minutes on the west. In the United States the
standards recently adopted are used exclusively in cities like
Portland, Me., (33,800 inhabitants,) and Atlanta, Ga., (37,400
inhabitants,) of which the local times are, respectively, nineteen
minutes and twenty two minutes faster than the standard, and at Omaha,
Neb., (30,500 inhabitants,) and Houston, Tex., (16,500 inhabitants,)
each twenty-four minutes slower. At Ellsworth, Me., a city of six
thousand inhabitants, a change of twenty-six minutes has been made.
Nearly eighty-five per cent. of the total number of cities in the
United States of over ten thousand inhabitants have adopted the new
standard time for all purposes, and it is used upon ninety-seven and a
half per cent. of all the miles of railway lines.

Let us now consider whether insuperable practical difficulties owing
to geographical peculiarities will prevent the adoption of this system
throughout the world.

A table has been prepared, and accompanies this paper, upon which are
designated the several governing meridians and names suggested for the
corresponding sectional times. For the use of this table I am
indebted to Mr. E. B. Elliott, of this city.

On the North American continent, in the United States and Canada, the
75th, 90th, 105th, and 120th west Greenwich meridians now govern time.
In Mexico the 105th west meridian is approximately central, except for
Yucatan, which is traversed by the 90th. For Guatemala, Salvador, and
Costa Rica, the 90th west meridian is approximately central. San
Domingo closely approaches and Cuba touches the 75th.

In South America--the United States of Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, the
western portion of Bolivia, and Chili would use the time of the 75th
west meridian, while Venezuela, Guiana, western Brazil, including the
Amazon River region, eastern Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, and the
Argentine Republic, would be governed by the time of the 60th
meridian. In eastern Brazil the 45th west meridian would govern.

Passing to Europe, we find Great Britain already governed by the zero
meridian time, which can also be used in the Netherlands, Belgium,
France, Spain, and Portugal. The 15th east meridian, which is about as
far east of Berlin as west of Vienna, and no more distant from Rome
than from Stockholm, now governs all time in Sweden. This time could
also be advantageously used in Denmark, Germany, Austria-Hungary,
Switzerland, Italy, and Servia. The time of the 30th east meridian,
which is nearly the mean between Constantinople and St. Petersburg
times, could be used in Western Russia, Turkey, Roumania, Bulgaria,
East Roumelia, and Greece. When the development of Eastern Russia in
Europe shall require it, the division of that great country between
the times of the 30th and 45th east meridians, upon lines of
convenience similar to those employed in the United States, can
doubtless be arranged. The governing meridians for Africa appear to
present some advantages, especially for Egypt, and no insuperable
difficulties; but for continents where the boundaries of countries are
so loosely defined, the limits of time-reckoning cannot well and need
not now be shown. They would ultimately adjust themselves.

In Asia the 60th east meridian passes through Khiva. Bombay would use
the 75th and Calcutta the 90th. The 105th east meridian touches Siam,
the 120th is near Shanghai, and the 135th passes through Japan and
near Corea. The 150th meridian of west longitude is sufficiently near
Hawaii. In Australia the 150th, 135th, and 120th meridians of east
longitude are admirably located for governing, respectively, the time
of the eastern, central, and western divisions of that continent.

In none of the localities defined or mentioned, would the standards
proposed vary more from mean local time than has already been
demonstrated to be practicable without detriment to any material
interest. Convenience of use, based largely upon the direction of
greater commercial intercourse, would determine the action of
communities other than those mentioned, and probably somewhat modify
the schedule proposed.

That no practical difficulty of usage would prevent the universal
adoption of the hour-section system of time-reckoning is apparent. Its
convenience has been abundantly realized. In adopting it, practically
no expense whatever is incurred. The alteration of the works or faces
of watches or clocks is not required. Their hands are simply set to
the new standard, and the desired result is accomplished.

By the adoption of this system, the exact hours of time-reckoning,
although called by different names in the several sections for
every-day life, but specifically designated, if desired, for
scientific purposes, would be indicated at the same moment of time at
all points. The minutes and seconds would everywhere agree. The
absolute time of the occurrence of any event could, therefore, be
readily determined. The counting of the hour meridians should begin
where the day begins at the transition line.

It would then be one of the possibilities of the powers of electricity
that the pendulum of a single centrally located clock, beating
seconds, could regulate the local time-reckoning of every city on the
face of the earth.

_Table of Standards governing the Hour-Section System of
Time-reckoning._

======================================================================
Longitude |              HOUR MERIDIANS.                 |Simultaneous
  from    |----------------------------------------------|  hours in
Greenwich.|                                   |          | the several
          |Proposed names of sectional times. | Numbers. |  sections.
----------+-----------------------------------+----------+------------
_Degrees._|                                   |          |
----------|                                   |          |
180       |Transition time                    | 0 or 24th|12 midnight
165 west  |Alaskan                            | 1st......| 1 A. M.
150       |Hawaii                             | 2d ......| 2
135       |Sitka                              | 3d ......| 3
120       |Pacific  (Adopted in U.S. and Can.)| 4th......| 4
105       |Mountain                  "     "  | 5th......| 5
90        |Central (American) time   "     "  | 6th......| 6
75        |Eastern (or Coastwise)    "     "  | 7th......| 7
60        |La Plata                           | 8th......| 8
45        |Brazilian                          | 9th......| 9
30        |Central Atlantic                   |10th......|10
15        |West African                       |11th......|11
0         |Int'l or Unvs'l (Used in Gt. Brit.)|12th......|12 noon.
15 east   |Continental     (Used in Sweden.)  |13th......| 1 P. M.
30        |Bosporus                           |14th......| 2
45        |Caucasus                           |15th......| 3
60        |Ural                               |16th......| 4
75        |Bombay                             |17th......| 5
90        |Central Asian                      |18th......| 6
105       |Siam                               |19th......| 7
120       |East Asian                         |20th......| 8
135       |Japan                              |21st......| 9
150       |East Australian                    |22d.......|10
165       |New Caledonian                     |23d.......|11
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

I have no desire, however, to press on the Conference the
consideration of the question of local time reckoning. But, as the
system adopted in the United States and Canada has proved successful,
and is now firmly established, I have deemed it proper that a
statement of this fact and of the possibilities of the application of
the system to other parts of the world should be made to the Congress.
I will now, therefore, withdraw my amendment.

Mr. RUTHERFURD, Delegate of the United States. The Delegate of Italy
has moved, as an amendment to the first part of the resolution offered
by me, the fifth resolution adopted in the Conference at Rome. Really,
in spirit and in substance, there is little or no difference between
them, except that the Conference at Rome has specified that the
objects they had in view as suitable for regulation by universal time
were these, namely: "For the internal service of the great
administrations of means of communication, such as railways,
steamships, telegraphs, and post-offices."

Now, I submit that in the words used in my resolution all this is
embraced, and a good deal more, for this universal day is to be
adopted "for all purposes for which it may be found convenient." If it
were desirable that every purpose for which the universal day may be
found convenient should be specified, it would make a very long
resolution. On the other hand, however, we might find in the end that
we had omitted some of the purposes for which it was eminently
convenient. It appears, also, that in this same fifth Roman resolution
all questions of chronology of universal date, etc., are omitted,
although they are brought forward and appear in the sixth resolution.
It seems to me, Mr. President, that nothing would be gained by the
adoption of this amendment, for everything that is embraced there is
more comprehensively embraced in the original resolution.

General STRACHEY, Delegate of Great Britain. In explanation of the
amendment offered by the Delegate of Italy, let me call attention to
what really passed at the Roman Conference. I find, first of all, in
the report of the Roman Conference, in the abstract of the discussion
before the Special Committee, these words, (p. 49 of the reprint:)

     "The fourth resolution, in favor of a universal hour for
     certain scientific and practical purposes, is unanimously
     adopted."

There appears no discussion whatever upon it; not a word seems to have
been said as to how it should be defined or acted upon. I then turn
back to the report of the committee which prepared the resolutions,
and there we see what, in reality, they had in their minds when they
drew up that resolution. It is perfectly evident that they had no
intention of tying the hands of anybody. This is what they say on page
26 of the report:

     "The administrations of railroads, of the great steamship
     lines, telegraph lines, and postal routes, which would thus
     secure for their relations with each other a uniform time,
     excluding all complication and error, could nevertheless
     not entirely avoid the use of local time in their relations
     with the public. They would probably use the universal time
     only in their internal service, for the rules of the road,
     for the time-tables of their engineers and conductors, for
     the connection of trains at frontiers, etc.; but the
     time-tables for the use of the public could hardly be
     expressed otherwise than in local or national time. The
     depots or stations of the railroads, post-offices, and
     telegraph offices, and the waiting-rooms, could exhibit
     outwardly clocks showing local or national time, while
     within the offices there would be, besides, clocks
     indicating universal time. Telegraphic dispatches could show
     in future the time of despatch and of receipt, both in local
     and universal time."

Now, I think that the subject of universal time is dealt with in a
better manner in the proposition offered by Mr. RUTHERFURD than in the
proposition which emanated from the Congress at Rome. This Conference
cannot designate positively the manner in which local time may be best
reckoned. We are concerned now only with universal time. It may,
however, be proper that the resolution offered by Mr. RUTHERFURD in
regard to the employment of universal time should be supplemented by
something more specific--something, for instance, of this sort:

     The Conference will not designate the system on which local
     time may best be reckoned so as to conform, as far as
     possible, to universal time; this should be determined by
     each nation to suit its convenience.

     The arrangements for adopting universal time for the use of
     international telegraphs will be left for regulation by the
     telegraph international congress.

This last idea was expressed, I forget now by whom, but by one of the
Delegates since the Conference met, and it appears to me that inasmuch
as there is an international congress specially appointed to regulate
all matters of international telegraphy, this subject can be left to
them with the firm belief that it will be regulated satisfactorily.

The question was then put to the vote; and upon the amendment offered
by the Delegate of Italy the following States voted in the
affirmative:

  Colombia,               Paraguay,
  Italy,                  Spain,
  Netherlands,            Sweden.

The following in the negative:

  Brazil,                 Liberia,
  Chili,                  Mexico,
  Costa Rica,             Russia,
  France,                 Salvador,
  Germany,                San Domingo,
  Great Britain,          Switzerland,
  Guatemala,              Turkey,
  Hawaii,                 United States,
  Japan,                  Venezuela.

Austria-Hungary abstained from voting.

Ayes, 6; noes, 18; abstaining, 1.

So the amendment was lost.

The question then recurred upon the original resolution.

Mr. RUTHERFURD, Delegate of the United States. Mr. President, it has
been represented to me that it may, perhaps, be found advantageous in
different countries and different localities to use a time that would
not be accurately described as local time. In one place the standard
of time may be strictly local time; in another place it may be
national time; in another place it may be railroad time.

In order to meet this condition of things, I propose to alter the
phraseology of the original resolution in this way: by inserting the
words "or other," so that it shall read "which shall not interfere
with the use of local or _other_ time where desirable."

Professor ADAMS, Delegate of Great Britain. May it not be better to
put it in this way: "Which shall not interfere with the use of local
or other _standard_ time where desirable."

Mr. RUTHERFURD, Delegate of the United States. I accept the amendment
offered by the Delegate of Great Britain.

Mr. JEAN VALERA, Delegate of Spain. As I consider that both the
amendment which was just rejected and the present proposition really
signify the same thing, I shall vote for the proposition, as I before
did for the amendment.

The PRESIDENT. The question is now upon the resolution, as modified.
It will be read.

The resolution was then read, as follows:

     "_Resolved_, That the Conference proposes the adoption of a
     universal day for all purposes for which it may be found
     convenient, and which shall not interfere with the use of
     local or other standard time where desirable."

The following States voted in the affirmative:

  Austria-Hungary,        Mexico,
  Brazil,                 Netherlands,
  Chili,                  Paraguay,
  Colombia,               Russia,
  Costa Rica,             Salvador,
  France,                 Spain,
  Great Britain,          Sweden,
  Guatemala,              Switzerland,
  Hawaii,                 Turkey,
  Italy,                  United States,
  Japan,                  Venezuela.
  Liberia,

There were no negative votes.

Germany and San Domingo abstained from voting.

Ayes, 23; noes, 0; abstaining, 2.

So the resolution was carried.

Mr. RUTHERFURD, Delegate of the United States. Mr. President, I now
propose to offer the other portion of the resolution, or rather I
propose to offer the other portion in the form of a distinct
resolution. It will run as follows:

     "_Resolved_, That this universal day is to be a mean solar
     day; is to begin for all the world at the moment of midnight
     of the initial meridian, coinciding with the beginning of
     the civil day and date of that meridian; and is to be
     counted from zero up to twenty-four hours."

This is, in substance, the resolution adopted by the Conference at
Rome, with the exception that the Conference at Rome proposed that the
universal day should coincide with the astronomical day instead of the
civil day, and begin at Greenwich noon, instead of Greenwich midnight.

Professor ADAMS, Delegate of Great Britain. I desire to make one
remark merely. Would it not be a little more correct if we said "at
the moment of mean midnight?" I think I have mentioned this before,
but, to be clear, I think it should be made.

Mr. RUTHERFURD accepted Professor ADAMS'S suggestion.

Mr. JUAN VALERA, Delegate of Spain. Mr. President, I wish to call
special attention to the proposition now before us, on which we are
called upon to vote, as it is of very great importance.

As for me, I acknowledge that my mission is already fulfilled. The
Government of Spain had directed me to admit the necessity or the
usefulness of a common prime meridian, and also to accept the meridian
of Greenwich as the universal meridian. I have attended to these
directions.

We have now to deal with a scientific question on which I cannot well
express an opinion, as I do not feel that I am competent in such
matters; besides, I am not authorized to do so. This may be due to my
ignorance in matters of this kind, but I fear that extraordinary
difficulties may arise in the adoption of this proposition, and if we
proceed with too great haste, we run the risk of placing ourselves in
contradiction to common sense. All the popular ideas of men for
thousands of years past will, perhaps, be overturned. It may happen
that when the day begins at Greenwich it will be 23 hours later at
Berlin. The east will be confounded with the west, and the west with
the east. If we made the day begin at the anti-meridian these
questions would be avoided, and we should at one be with the rest of
the human race. I believe that it would be better to adjourn till
to-morrow to give us time to reflect; in this way we shall not risk by
our devotion to science drawing upon ourselves popular criticism.

I propose, therefore, that the vote on this question be put off till
to-morrow.

M. LEFAIVRE, Delegate of France. Not to-morrow.

Count LEWENHAUPT, Delegate of Sweden. I beg to propose as an amendment
the sixth resolution adopted by the Conference at Rome, which is as
follows:

The Conference recommends as initial point for the universal hour and
the cosmic day the mean midday of Greenwich, coinciding with the
moment of midnight or the beginning of the civic day at the meridian
12 hours or 180° from Greenwich.

The universal hours are to be counted from 0 up to 24 hours.

The PRESIDENT. The Chair quite concurs with the Delegate of Spain in
thinking that it would be very proper for us to take some time to
consider this matter.

A motion to adjourn would be in order, but before that motion is made,
the Chair would like to read a communication which he has just
received from the Assistant Secretary of State. It is this:

     "The President of the United States will receive the members
     of the Conference on Thursday, the 16th instant, at 12
     o'clock, at the White House."

The Assistant Secretary of State proposes that we shall meet here at a
quarter before 12, and go to the White House from this hall.

The PRESIDENT. If the Delegate of Spain will withdraw his motion to
adjourn for one moment, the Delegate of Sweden desires to offer a
resolution.

Count LEWENHAUPT, Delegate of Sweden, then read the following
proposal:

     Hereafter the reports of the speeches, whether in English or
     French, will be sent as soon as possible to the Delegates
     who made them, and the proofs should be corrected and
     returned by them without delay to the Secretary. No
     correction will be allowed afterward, except such as are
     considered necessary by the Secretaries, who will meet as
     soon as possible after the first corrections shall have been
     printed to prepare the protocols for the approval of the
     Conference.

The motion being put to a vote by the President, was unanimously
carried.

The PRESIDENT. The Chair would very informally state that he has
received to-day a letter from Sir William Thomson, the distinguished
scientist who addressed the Conference yesterday, expressing his
regret that he did not then say something which he had in his mind and
which he wished to say, namely, that the meridian of Greenwich passes
directly through the great commercial port of Havre.

Mr. JANSSEN, Delegate of France. Since the Chairman refers to this
subject, I may state to my colleagues that I have received a telegram
from Sir William Thomson, in which he makes certain propositions of
the nature described.

Yet it is not possible to make out precisely, by this telegram, what
are Sir William Thomson's ideas. All that I can say is, that whatever
proceeds from such an eminent man should be treated with great
consideration, and that is a reason for asking Sir W. Thomson to be
good enough to explain to me his ideas more fully. If we could adjourn
to Monday, I think that it would be better. The preparation of the
protocols is very much behind-hand, and it is desirable that the
members of the Conference be kept fully acquainted with all the
discussions. I would, therefore, suggest that we adjourn till Monday.

The PRESIDENT. There are several propositions to adjourn to different
days. The Chair will take them up in order and will first put the
question upon the motion to adjourn until Monday.

The motion was carried, and at four o'clock the Conference adjourned
until Monday, the 20th instant, at one o'clock p. m.



VI.

SESSION OF OCTOBER 20, 1884.


The Conference met, pursuant to adjournment, in the Diplomatic Hall of
the Department of State, at one o'clock p. m.

Present:

  Austro-Hungary: Baron IGNATZ VON SCHÆFFER.
  Brazil: Dr. LUIZ CRULS.
  Chili: Mr. F. V. GORMAS and Mr. A. B. TUPPER.
  Colombia: Commodore S. R. FRANKLIN.
  Costa Rica: Mr. JUAN FRANCISCO ECHEVERRIA.
  France: Mr. A. LEFAIVRE, Mr. JANSSEN.
  Germany: Baron H. VON ALVENSLEBEN, Mr. HINCKELDEYN.
  Great Britain: Sir F. J. O. EVANS, Prof. J. C. ADAMS,
      Lieut.-General STRACHEY, Mr. SANDFORD FLEMING.
  Gautemala: Mr. MILES ROCK.
  Hawaii: Hon. W. D. ALEXANDER.
  Italy: Count ALBERT DE FORESTA.
  Japan: Professor KIKUCHI.
  Liberia: Mr. Wm. COPPINGER.
  Mexico: Mr. LEANDRO FERNANDEZ, Mr. ANGEL ANGUIANO.
  Netherlands: Mr. G. DE WECKHERLIN.
  Paraguay: Capt. JOHN STEWART.
  Russia: Mr. C. DE STRUVE, Major-General STEBNITZKI, Mr.
      J. DE KOLOGRIVOFF.
  San Domingo: Mr. DE J. GALVAN.
  Spain: Mr. JUAN VALERA, Mr. EMILO RUIZ DEL ARBOL, Mr.
      JUAN PASTORIN.
  Sweden: Count CARL LEWENHAUPT.
  Switzerland: Col. EMILE FREY.
  Turkey: RUSTEM EFFENDI.
  United States: Rear-Admiral C. R. P. RODGERS, Mr. LEWIS
      M. RUTHERFURD, Mr. W. F. ALLEN, Commander W. T.
      SAMPSON, Professor CLEVELAND ABBE.
  Venezuela: Dr. A. M. SOTELDO.

Absent:

  Denmark: Mr. C. S. A. DE BILLE.
  Hawaii: Hon. LUTHER AHOLO.
  Salvador: Mr. ANTONIO BATRES.

The PRESIDENT. Some days ago a Committee was appointed to report on
communications addressed to the Conference through the Chair. All
communications that have been received from time to time, and they
have been numerous, have been referred to this committee, of which the
Delegate from England, Prof. ADAMS, is the chairman. He now informs
the Chair that he is prepared to make a report.

The Delegate of England, Prof. ADAMS, then read the following report:

              _Letter from the President of the Conference._

                               INTERNATIONAL MERIDIAN CONFERENCE,
                DEPARTMENT OF STATE, WASHINGTON, _Oct. 14, 1884_.

     SIR: I have the honor to submit to the Committee of which
     you are the Chairman the following communications:

     No. 1. Letters from Mr. Roumanet du Cailland, through Mr.
     Hunter, Ass't Sec. of State.

     No. 2. Letter and communication from Mr. C. M.
     Raffensparger.

     No. 3. Letter from Mr. A. S. de Chancourtois, accompanying
     books from Paris.

     No. 4. Letter from Mr. A. W. Spofford, enclosing letter of
     Mr. J. W. Stolting, of Dobbs' Ferry.

     No. 5. Letter from Mr. B. Aycrigg, Passaic, N. J.

     No. 6. Letter from J. T. Field, St. Louis, Mo.

     No. 7. Letter and two enclosures from Mr. Theodor Pæsche.

     No. 8. Description of the Universal Time-Piece of Dr. A. M.
     Cory.

     No. 9. Letter and enclosure from Mr. E. R. Knorr.

     No. 10. Letter from Mr. J. E. Hilgard, of the U. S. Coast
     Survey and Geodetic Survey.

     No. 11. Arguments by Committee of New York and New Jersey
     branch, and other papers relating to weights and measures.

     No. 12. Letter from Lt. C. A. S. Totten, U.S.A., in relation
     to a Standard Meridian.

     No. 13. Letter from Mr. J. P. Merritt, in relation to the
     Metric System.

     No. 14. Postal card from W. H. Yates, in relation to the
     Mercator Projection.

     No. 15. A New System of Mensuration, by Lawrence S. Benson.

     No. 16. Letter of T. C. Octman, of Hope Mills, N. C.,
     calling attention to the fact that the meridian of Greenwich
     passes through Havre.

     No. 17. Letter from Dr. H. K. Whitner, explaining his
     notation of 24 hours.

     I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,

                         C. R. P. RODGERS,
                         _President International Meridian Conference_.

     Prof. J. C. ADAMS.


                  _Report of the Committee._

     The Committee on communications respectfully reports as
     follows:

     We have carefully examined all of the communications
     referred to us, as enumerated in the letter of President
     Rodgers, with the following results:

     No. 1 recommends that the meridian of Bethlehem be adopted
     as the initial meridian. This question has been already
     disposed of by the Conference; therefore further
     consideration of the proposition is unnecessary.

     No. 2 refers to an invention, the author of which states
     that "a patent has been applied for," consequently your
     Committee does not feel called upon to express any opinion
     upon it.

     No. 3 is a letter from M. de Chancourtois, accompanying a
     work by him which contains an elaborate program of a system
     of geography based on decimal measures, both of time and of
     angles, and on the adoption of an international meridian.

     The work also contains copious historical notices on the
     metric system and on the initial meridian.

     A copy of this work was presented to each of the Delegates
     prior to the discussions of the Conference with regard to
     the choice of an initial meridian, and therefore no special
     report of the author's views on this subject appears to your
     committee to be necessary. These views are nearly identical
     with those which were so ably laid before the Conference by
     Professor Janssen, but which failed to meet with their
     approval.

     The author further proposes to supersede the present mode of
     measuring both angles and time by a system in which the
     entire circumference and the length of the day should each
     be first divided into four equal parts, and then each of
     these parts should be subdivided decimally.

     However deserving of consideration these proposals may be,
     in the abstract, your Committee are clearly of the opinion
     that they do not fall within the limits indicated by the
     instructions which we have received from our respective
     governments, and that, therefore, any discussion of them
     would only be of a purely academical character, and could
     lead to no practical result. Such a discussion would be sure
     to elicit great differences of opinion, and would,
     therefore, occupy a considerable time.

     Hence, your Committee think that it would be very
     undesirable for the Conference to enter upon it.

     No. 4 is a letter from Mr. Spofford, Librarian of Congress,
     including a communication of Mr. J. W. Stolting, Dobbs'
     Ferry, N. Y. The author recommends the adoption of the
     meridian 162° W. from Greenwich as the prime meridian; he
     proposes further, not to say east or west, but first or
     second half, and also recommends the adoption of a universal
     time, not to interfere with local or other standard time,
     and to reckon from "1 to 24." He expresses no opinion as to
     whether the day should begin at noon or midnight. There
     seems to be nothing in the communication to influence the
     decisions of the Conference.

     No. 5. See report as to letter No. 1.

     No. 6 suggests that the prime meridian should be 180° from
     Greenwich, and that longitude should be reckoned from 0° to
     360°. This proposition has been already considered and
     rejected by the Conference.

     No. 7. This communication proposes "to adopt as the prime
     meridian the frontier line between Russia and the United
     States, as defined in the treaty of March 30, 1867." As the
     initial meridian has already been agreed to by the
     Conference, this proposition needs no further notice.

     No. 8. This communication refers to an invention which has
     no bearing on the question before the Conference. The
     committee therefore abstain from expressing an opinion as to
     its merits.

     No. 9. Two letters from Mr. E. R. Knorr, of Washington,
     D.C., advocating the advisability of reckoning longitude
     "westward from 0° to 359°," and marking them on charts by
     time instead of by degrees. The Conference has already taken
     action on the question involved.

     No. 10. A letter from Prof. Hilgard, enclosing a pamphlet by
     Lt. C. A. S. Totten on the metrology of the great pyramid, a
     subject which does not fall within the scope of the subjects
     presented for the consideration of this Conference. In the
     enclosing letter Prof. Hilgard says: "I am purely and
     squarely for Greenwich midnight as the beginning of the
     universal day, and an east and west count of longitude; that
     is, 180° each way."

     No. 11 advocates the preservation of the Anglo-Saxon system
     of weights and measures. This subject being foreign to the
     questions under consideration by this Conference, the
     Committee deems further comment unnecessary.

     No. 12. A letter from Lieut. C. A. S. Totten, U.S.A.,
     advocating a prime meridian through the great pyramid. The
     proposition involved has already been decided by the
     Conference.

     No. 13 recommends redistribution of time according to the
     decimal system. As already remarked under No. 3, this
     proposition is clearly not within the limits indicated by
     the instructions which we have received from our respective
     governments.

     No. 14 states that the author has a plan by which
     "chronometers will record the longitude equably." This
     proposition is foreign to the subjects under consideration
     by the Conference.

     No. 15 proposes a new system of mensuration; and, therefore,
     this does not fall within the subjects for consideration by
     the Conference.

     No. 16. This communication suggests that as the prime
     meridian passes through Havre, it should be allowable to
     call it by that name. This Committee recommends that the
     prime meridian be not named after the localities through
     which it passes, but be called simply "The Prime Meridian."

     No. 17 is the subject of a patent. The Committee does not
     feel called upon to express an opinion respecting it.

     This report is respectfully submitted to the Conference.

                              J. C. ADAMS,
                              _Chairman Committee on Communications._

     WASHINGTON, _Oct. 18th, 1884_.

The PRESIDENT. The report of the Committee is before the Conference.

Mr. RUTHERFURD, the Delegate of the United States. I move that the
report be accepted, and its conclusions adopted.

There being no objection, the report was adopted.

The PRESIDENT. In the regular order of business to-day, the first
subject before the Conference is the resolution offered on Saturday by
the Delegate of the United States, Mr. RUTHERFURD, with the amendment
offered by the Delegate of Sweden, Count LEWENHAUPT.

The resolution is as follows:

     "_Resolved_, That this universal day is to be a mean solar
     day, is to begin for all the world at the moment of mean
     midnight of the initial meridian coinciding with the
     beginning of the civil day and date of that meridian, and is
     to be counted from zero up to twenty-four hours."

The amendment offered is as follows:

     "The Conference recommends as initial point for the
     universal hour and the cosmic day the mean mid-day of
     Greenwich, coinciding with the moment of midnight or the
     beginning of the civil day at the meridian 12 hours or 180°
     from Greenwich.

     "The universal hours are to be counted from 0 up to 24
     hours."

Mr. VALERA, the Delegate of Spain, said that he thought that the
amendment of the Delegate of Sweden should be first discussed.

Mr. JANSSEN, the Delegate of France. At the last session I informed
the Congress that I had received a telegram from Sir William Thomson
upon the question of the meridian. Since then, that illustrious
foreign member of the Institute of France has written me a very kind
letter upon the subject, in which he expresses his complete
appreciation of the disinterested attitude taken by France in this
Congress. I thank Sir William Thomson for his sentiments towards
France, and I am persuaded that, with such excellent feelings, we
should arrive at an understanding, upon scientific bases, in which the
moral and material interests of all would be equitably adjusted, as we
have always understood them.

But the question is not open now, and this Congress would, doubtless,
not be disposed to reopen it. Sir William Thomson will understand,
therefore, that in the present condition of affairs we have only to
maintain the attitude which we have taken and the votes which we have
given.

The PRESIDENT. The Chair will simply say to the Conference that he
very informally alluded to the letter that he had received from Sir
William Thomson, and the Chair would also say in answer to the Spanish
Minister that the rule in this Conference, a simple one, is to discuss
the last amendment offered and dispose of it, instead, as suggested by
the Delegate of Spain, of taking up the one most important in its
character. It would be somewhat difficult for the Chair to decide on
all occasions which amendment is the most important. I think,
therefore, as Chairman, that I will pursue the rule in force in this
country, and, unless the Conference order otherwise, shall present the
amendment which is the last offered.

Mr. RUIZ DEL ARBOL, Delegate of Spain. Mr. Chairman, the Spanish
Minister has not referred to the most important amendment, but to the
most radical. For instance, here there are several propositions to
select a meridian; one of them must be considered, and it seems to me
that my amendment, which is the most radical, is the one to be first
presented to the Conference.

The PRESIDENT. Unless the Conference shall direct otherwise, the Chair
must pursue the principle on which it has acted hitherto, taking the
amendments in the order in which they are offered, and presenting them
inversely for the action of the Conference. The proposition before the
Conference, therefore, is the amendment offered by the Delegate of
Spain, Mr. ARBOL, which is as follows:

     "Having accepted the meridian of Greenwich to account the
     longitudes, as a general need for practical purposes, but
     thinking that the introduction of any new system of
     time-reckoning is far more scientific and important, and
     liable to great difficulties and confusion in the future, we
     propose the following resolution:

     "_Resolved_, The Congress, taking in consideration that
     there is already a meridian tacitly accepted by almost all
     the civilized nations as the origin of dates, the
     anti-meridian of Rome, abstains from designating any other
     meridian to reckon the universal time."

Mr. RUIZ DEL ARBOL, Delegate of Spain. It is proposed to introduce an
absolute universal or cosmopolitan system of time-reckoning, which, it
is hoped, will, at a more or less distant day, be generally adopted,
not only for scientific purposes, but for all the ordinary purposes of
life for which it can possibly be used; and it is further proposed to
designate a meridian at which this cosmopolitan time-reckoning is to
begin. What I have to state is, that this method of absolute
time-reckoning already exists, (although we do not use it,) as does
this universal meridian which has been tacitly chosen by almost all
civilized nations--that is to say, by all such as have adopted the
Julian calendar, with or without the Gregorian correction. Thus it is
that anything involving even a slight modification of our present
system is nothing more than a chronological reform, which I do not
feel certain that it will be well for us to introduce or recommend,
and with regard to which I have my doubts whether it will be received
with unanimous or hearty approval.

In fact, gentlemen, all nations that have adopted the Julian and
Gregorian systems of time-reckoning have necessarily accepted their
consequences, and these consequences are, as Rome told us in the time
of Caesar and in that of Gregory XIII, that we must reckon our days
according to certain fixed dates; some part of the world had to reckon
their dates before all the rest, and as Rome consented that countries
situated to the east of it should reckon their date before it and
countries situated to the west after it, it is evident that both
reckonings had to meet at some point on some meridian, which was and
could be no other than the anti-meridian of Rome. Nature itself seems
to have lent its sanction to this, since the anti-meridian of Rome
crosses no continent, and, probably, no land whatever.

Let us suppose, for the sake of illustration, that it were agreed to
abandon the Gregorian system of reckoning at a given moment, and to
adopt another; that it were agreed to abandon it at all points on the
globe when the hour should be twelve o'clock at noon at Greenwich, on
the first day of January, 1885; and let us suppose that for historical
or scientific purposes we were interested in knowing exactly how long
the Gregorian system had been in use. Is it possible to ascertain
this? It is; and very easily. Using that system of universal
time-reckoning which it is proposed to establish, but logically
referring it to the origin of that cosmopolitan reckoning which really
exists, that is to say, to the anti-meridian of Rome, we shall find
that 1885 years have been reckoned according to the Gregorian system,
plus the difference of longitude between the anti-meridians of
Greenwich and Rome. Nothing is more certain than this, and there is no
other way of solving the problem. As I have already shown, when the
Gregorian correction was made, the day which, according to the old
mode of reckoning, would have been the 5th of October, was called the
15th of October, 1582; the countries situated to the east of Rome had,
however, previously begun to reckon according to the new system
(previously in absolute time I mean,) and the countries situated to
the west adopted it successively afterwards. Now, then, as that
portion of the globe which lies to the east of any given point or
meridian is nothing more or less than one hemisphere, and as that
which lies to the west is another hemisphere, it is evident that, at
the anti-meridian of Rome, the two meridians, which constantly differ
by one day in their dates, are confounded, and that the anti-meridian
of Rome, being the first one in the world that adopted the Julian and
the Gregorian systems of reckoning, is the prime meridian of the
world, the meridian by which we now reckon, and ought to reckon
universal time, until the establishment of a different system. If we
had, at the present time, to settle any question depending on dates,
in the region where there is some confusion in regard to them, we
should have to do so on this principle. If we desired to compel the
entire world to keep a regular and logical account of dates, we should
have to do so by compelling all the nations to the west of the
anti-meridian of Rome to go on reckoning their dates uninterruptedly
after they have begun to be reckoned at the said anti-meridian, and by
forbidding all the nations to the east of it to reckon any date until
it has been reckoned at the anti-meridian of Rome. For this reason I
say that the express designation, for the reckoning of universal time,
of the meridian of Greenwich or of any other than the anti-meridian of
Rome, involves a chronological reform, inasmuch as it will involve the
abandonment of the system to which we now adhere, and which we now use
by common consent.

This reform will cause a change of nearly 13 hours--that is to say, 12
hours plus the difference of longitude between Rome and Greenwich, if
the meridian of Greenwich is designated as the new initial point of
the universal date. I do not believe, however, that you will adopt
this choice irrevocably, since its curious and strange consequences
may be shown by one example, which I will adduce: This table is of
about sufficient extent to allow the difference between the
geographical longitude of its two ends to be observed and appreciated.
Let us suppose that these sessions were held at Greenwich, and that
the table were placed east and west, so that the meridian intersected
it lengthwise; let us further suppose that we had agreed to reckon the
new universal time by this meridian--that is to say, by that of
Greenwich--and that, in signing the protocol, we wished to set an
example to the world by using the universal date, the present civil
date and the future civil date, which, by the daily use of the
universal date, the nations will or may finally accept, to the
exclusion of all others, for the ordinary purposes of life. Well, now,
gentlemen, we should bring our own choice into discredit. We could not
sign, according to these three dates. As regards the last, we should
find that half the table and half the Congress were under one date,
and the other half under another; even our chairman, if seated in the
middle, would find that he had been presiding over our sessions with
his right side in one day and his left in the next.

I may be told that this would happen, whatever might be the meridian
chosen, but we could afford to allow it to happen at sea, or in some
isolated and uninhabited region where congresses never sit, and where
no ray of civilization ever penetrates.

But to return to the reform, what are you going to do? I will say that
if, instead of the meridian of Greenwich, you designate the
anti-meridian for the reckoning of universal time and for the initial
point of cosmopolitan dates for the present, but for the future as the
initial point also of local dates, the reform will amount to about an
hour only, but it will still be a reform. In a word, the anti-meridian
of Rome is the one which now furnishes dates to the entire world, and
you propose to make the meridian of Greenwich or the anti-meridian do
so in future.

I therefore tell you, if you desire a common hour for postal and
commercial purposes, designate no meridian at all; let the railway and
telegraph companies, the postal authorities and the governments make
an arrangement and select an artificial hour, so to speak, whatever
it be the hour of Rome, London, Paris, or even that of Greenwich, but
do not make a premature declaration which will be an authoritative one
as emanating from this Congress, an apparently insignificant reform,
but in reality one of very great importance, since, giving the
preference to determinate localities in the face of what is
scientific, historical, and logical, you render difficult, in the
future, the adoption of that very reform, which will, perhaps, then be
more necessary, and which can perhaps then be introduced more
intelligently.

You see that I am not speaking in behalf of any special meridian, not
even that of Rome, since I admit that the reform may be necessary. You
see, and I assure you, that I have not the slightest wish that the
meridian which is to be the initial point of universal time should
bear the name of any observatory or place in Spain, although that
nation discovered the New World in which this Congress is holding its
sessions, and although it may be said of that nation that it
discovered those very meridians concerning which we are now speaking,
inasmuch as terrestial meridians were indefinite and unknown lines,
and were even without form until one was given them by Sebastian
Elcano. I therefore hope that if you do not honor my proposition by
accepting it, you will at least do justice to my intentions.


Prof. ADAMS, Delegate of Great Britain. Mr. President, I shall be very
short in any remarks which I may make upon the proposition before us.

As far as I understand it, it is that, although we have adopted the
meridian of Greenwich as a prime meridian from which to count
longitudes, we should begin to count our time according to the
meridian at Rome. I cannot consent to that proposition. It appears to
me to be wanting in every element of simplicity, which should be our
chief aim in this Conference. To count longitude from one meridian and
time from another, is something that will never be adopted. I do not
understand that that was at all the proposition recommended by the
Roman Conference. On the contrary, I think that it was quite a
different one.

Mr. RUIZ DEL ARBOL, Delegate of Spain. Mr. President, I do not in
reality propose to adopt the meridian or anti-meridian of Rome. What I
have been contending for is that we should abstain at present from
adopting any meridian as a point of departure for the calculation of
time; otherwise, we introduce a new element of confusion for the
future. We should change the chronological reckoning which is now in
vogue, and I contend that we have no right, scientific or historical,
to make that change now. According to my views, the meridian of
longitude is relatively an unimportant affair. It is a practical one;
it cannot be changed in twenty years, probably, and it will take that
time to correct all existing charts. But if you adopt a meridian for
time, it will be very difficult to alter it in the future. I cannot
now clearly see what the difficulties will be, but I apprehend that
the application of this new principle to the various details of
scientific and civil matters will necessarily be attended with great
inconvenience, and may result in proving to be quite impracticable. I
understand it very well that it is proposed to confine this principle
to certain subjects, and that it is adopted for the purpose of
avoiding dangers in communications, in navigation, in railways, and in
transmitting telegrams, &c.; but this is purely an administrative
matter, and can be left for settlement to other bodies.

The PRESIDENT. The Chair would remind the Delegate of Spain, Mr. RUIZ
DEL ARBOL, that at its last session the Conference resolved, with
singular unanimity, that it was expedient to adopt "a universal day
for all purposes for which it may be found convenient, and which shall
not interfere with the local or other standard time where desirable."
The Chair would politely suggest that the subject now under
consideration is the adoption of the proposition recommended by the
Conference at Rome, and which has been presented here by the Delegate
of Sweden, Count LEWENHAUPT.

Mr. RUIZ DEL ARBOL, Delegate of Spain. My proposition is to abstain
from the adoption of any one meridian, and that we leave the matter to
some other Congress, organized with the special object of regulating
this question.

Commander SAMPSON, Delegate of the United States. Mr. President, as
near as I can follow the Delegate of Spain, he seems to be under the
apprehension that by the adoption of the universal day, which has been
proposed here, we should either gain or lose time in our chronology;
that we should skip 12 hours, more or less. But, of course, that is
not the case. Any event which has occurred, or which will occur, at
the time of the adoption of the universal day will be expressed just
as exactly with reference to time as if the time had been calculated
from the beginning of the Christian era. There will not only be no
confusion, but it seems to me the adoption of the universal day will
tend to avoid confusion hereafter, because confusion must exist where
we have so many standards of time. Now, if any event which is taking
place, or has taken place at any past time in the history of the
world, is referred to the prime meridian, or is expressed in the time
of any locality or of several localities, these times will all be
different. The adoption of the universal day is to avoid any
difficulty of that sort, and any event which has transpired will, when
expressed in the time of the universal day--that is, according to the
universal method--represent exactly the interval of time which has
elapsed since the beginning of the Christian era. Nothing is gained or
lost.

General STRACHEY, Delegate of Great Britain. It seems to me that the
Congress having accepted the resolution to which reference was made a
little while ago, adopting the universal day, it is incumbent upon us,
in the nature of things, to determine when that universal day shall
begin. The resolution presented by the Delegate of the United States
proposes to define how that universal day shall be reckoned; that is,
when it shall begin and how its hours shall be counted.

It was explained by him that the difference between his proposition
and the proposition made at Rome consisted in altering the time of the
commencement of the so-called universal day from noon at Greenwich to
the commencement of the civil day. Certainly what Commander SAMPSON
just said is perfectly true. The adoption of this so-called universal
day will not interfere in the smallest degree with any purpose for
which time is employed in civil life. The two objects are entirely
distinct. It is obvious that the conception of the necessity of having
a universal day has arisen from the more clear conception of the fact
that time on the globe is essentially local; that the time upon any
given line (supposing it to be a meridian) is not the time at the same
moment on either side of that line, however small the departure from
it may be; and for scientific accuracy it has, therefore, been thought
desirable to have some absolute standard to which days and hours can
be referred. Up to the present time it has been the practice to say,
in an indefinite way, that an event happened, say, on the 1st of
January at 6 o'clock in the morning, and such a statement of the time
has been considered sufficient; but, in truth, this does not
completely describe a definite epoch of time, for if the event
occurred at Madrid and was so reported, that report would not
designate the same moment as a report of an event which was described
to have occurred at precisely the same date and hour at Greenwich, or
Rome, or Washington. What is required and desired is that we should
have an absolute and definite standard for reckoning events of a
certain description, for which complete precision is desirable. I
consider, therefore, that the Delegate of Spain leads us astray in the
proposition which he has offered, by which he virtually proposes to
nullify the resolution already adopted. We have already decided that a
universal day was expedient, and it is for the Conference to settle
now when that universal day shall begin.

Mr. RUIZ DEL ARBOL, Delegate of Spain. I understand that the
consequences, perhaps, would not be troublesome at first; but who can
look into the future and say, if we take the meridian of Greenwich as
the standard of time, what difficulties we may be driven into? Every
country will be obliged to count both ways. They will have to use
civil time and universal time. Perhaps all countries may get
accustomed to this radical change sooner or later, but we cannot
foresee the difficulty now. I have here a treatise (a book) on
"Analytic Chronology," showing the rules by which to bring into accord
different dates of different calendars and eras, and I do not know how
they would be affected by this universal time; but it is unnecessary
for me to speak of that, as I think you are acquainted with the
subject.

Mr. JUAN PASTORIN, Delegate of Spain. The Congress has already come to
very important decisions on the subject of the reckoning of longitude,
and it will also certainly approve to-day those which have just been
submitted on the subject of the universal day.

I say certainly, because the result of the former votes being already
known, it cannot be doubted on which side the majority will be, and
because, from a scientific point of view, having chosen Greenwich as
the prime meridian for the calculation of longitude, and having
decided to reckon longitude in two directions from zero hours to
twenty-four hours, with the sign plus towards the east and minus
towards the west, it will be advantageous to make the civil day of
Greenwich coincide with the universal day, if we would have an easy
formula for passing from local to cosmic time.

So many of the resolutions submitted to the Congress by Mr. RUTHERFURD
having been approved one after another, the plan that our colleague
has carefully studied will be accepted in its entirety; but it will be
impossible for the Conference to know in all their details other plans
which, perhaps, would not be less worthy of attention.

Is the resolution adopted by a majority of the Congress the best?
Should we reach the end of the reform in complete harmony with the
hopes of all the governments represented here? On the contrary
hypothesis, it seems to me, that the sessions of this Congress will
only be another step towards that reform, but not the reform itself.

If the majority of the Congress, in accordance with the logical
consequence of its work, adopts as the cosmic time the civil time of
Greenwich, that decision will be contrary to the most ancient ideas of
the human race. For many centuries the day has been reckoned as
starting from the east, and the world will not easily abandon the
traditions of its predecessors.

The civil day of the world commences near the anti-meridian of Rome,
Greenwich, or Paris. Therefore it is not natural that one of these
meridians should be chosen as the point of departure of dates.

Really, one phenomenon cannot be the commencement of a series of
phenomena if there is another which precedes it periodically.

If the majority, as is logical, adopts the formula, "cosmic time=local
time-longitude," and applies in the calculation longitude with the
signs plus and minus, according as the longitude is east and west, the
system will be source of frequent mistakes, and those, in their turn,
will be the cause of disastrous accidents, especially on railroads.

Let us take the 31st of December, for instance. It is three o'clock at
a point nine hours east of Greenwich; at the same moment they will
count at Greenwich eighteen civil hours of the 30th of the same month,
after the actual manner of reckoning the civil day, and that civil
time of Greenwich will be the cosmic time.

Apply to the proposed example the formula which I suppose the majority
of the Congress will adopt, and the result will be a negative
quantity, minus six hours--a result not sufficiently comprehensible in
itself, and one that could not be easily applied by the general
public.

Can a majority prevail in questions, such as those we are speaking of,
simply by the force of numbers? The whole world for several centuries
thought that the earth was the centre of our planetary system; in
fact, until an insignificant minority rose against this theory, for a
long time considered by their ancestors indisputable.

I will conclude by expressing my opinion upon the subject with which
the Congress is occupied. My opinion is not new, in spite of its
having been modified in the course of our sitting. The works of our
eminent colleague and indefatigable propagandist, Mr. SANDFORD
FLEMING, the resolution of the Conference at Rome, the valuable
opinions of Messrs. Faye, Otto Struve, Beaumont de Boutiller, Hugo
Gyldén, the scientific work of Monsieur Chancourtois, and the report
which M. Gaspari has just presented to the Academy of Sciences of
Paris are the text upon which I base the simplest and most practical
method of solving the problem, namely, to adopt as the prime meridian
for cosmic time and longitude a meridian near the point at which our
dates change, and to reckon longitude from zero hours to twenty-four
hours towards the west, contrary to the movement of the earth. The
formula would be then: Cosmic time = local time + longitude.

I think that the best way of finding cosmic time in relation to local
time and longitude is to add a quantity to the civil hour of each
point of the globe.

But as the majority of this Congress, so worthy of respect, admits no
modifications of the system which we may call Greenwich, let us lay
aside the question of longitude and consider cosmic time separately.

I have the honor, therefore, to present the following resolutions, and
I ask the Congress to consider them, and to accept them as a means of
compromise:

I. We agree to choose as the prime meridian for cosmic time that
meridian near which the civil day of the world commences, namely, the
anti-meridian of Rome, Greenwich, or Havre.

II. The cosmic day consists of twenty-four hours, and commences at
midnight of the prime meridian.

III. The earth is divided from the initial meridian into twenty-four
hour-spaces, counted in a direction contrary to the movement of the
earth from _0h._ to _24h_.

We shall, then, have the following formula: T = t + R, where R
represents the difference reckoned from _0h._ to _24h_. between the
local time of the prime meridian and the local time of each point of
the globe; T the Cosmic Time and t the local time.

The PRESIDENT. The Chair would ask the Delegate of Spain, Mr.
PASTORIN, whether he offers his resolution as an amendment to that
offered by his colleague, Mr. RUIZ DEL ARBOL.

Mr. RUIZ DEL ARBOL, Delegate of Spain. Mr. Chairman, the amendment
last offered is not intended to interfere with my proposition.

The PRESIDENT then put the question to the Conference upon the
amendment offered by the Delegate of Spain, Mr. RUIZ DEL ARBOL.

Upon a vote being taken, the amendment was lost.

The PRESIDENT. The question now recurs upon the amendment offered by
the Delegate of Spain, Mr. PASTORIN. That amendment runs as follows:

     "I. We agree to choose as the prime meridian for cosmic time
     that meridian near which the civil day of the world
     commences, namely, the anti-meridian of Greenwich or Havre.

     "II. The cosmic day consists of twenty-four hours, and
     commences at midnight of the prime meridian.

     "III. The earth is divided from the initial meridian into
     twenty-four hour spaces, counted in a direction contrary to
     the movement of the earth.

     "We shall, then, have the following formula: F = A + R where
     R represents the difference reckoned from 0h. to 24h.
     between the local time of the prime meridian and the local
     time of each point of the globe; F the cosmic time, and A
     the local time."

The PRESIDENT. In order that this amendment may be presented more
clearly to the Conference, I would propose a recess for a few minutes.
If there be no objection, a recess will be taken.

No objection being made, the Conference took a recess.

       *       *       *       *       *

The PRESIDENT having called the Conference to order stated that,
unless further remarks were presented, the vote would be taken upon
the resolution offered by the Delegate of Spain, Mr. PASTORIN.

No objection being made, the vote was then taken upon the amendment,
and it was lost.

The PRESIDENT. The question now recurs upon the resolution offered by
the Delegate of Sweden, Count LEWENHAUPT, which will again be read.
The resolution is as follows:

     "The Conference recommends as initial point for the
     universal hour and the cosmic day the mean mid-day of
     Greenwich, coinciding with the moment of midnight or the
     beginning of the civil day at the meridian 12 hours or 180°
     from Greenwich. The universal hours are to be counted from
     0 up to 24 hours."

Professor ADAMS, Delegate of Great Britain. Mr. President, I intended
to speak on the resolution offered by the Delegate of the United
States, Mr. RUTHERFURD, but the remarks which I have put together
apply equally well to the amendment to that resolution now offered by
the Delegate of Sweden, which is identical with one of the
recommendations of the Conference at Rome, because, in fact, in my
remarks I discuss these propositions alternatively. Therefore, with
your permission, I will lay before you the observations which I wish
to make.

I beg leave to express my entire approval of the resolution which has
been laid before the Conference by Mr. RUTHERFURD. There is only one
point involved in the resolution which seems to call for or even to
admit of any discussion.

It appears evident that the universal day and date should coincide
with the day and date of the initial meridian. The only question,
therefore, which we have now to decide is, when shall this day of the
initial meridian be considered to commence? And the proper answer to
be given to this question does not appear to me in any degree
doubtful.

In modern times it is the universal practice to reckon dates by _days_
and not by _nights_. The word "day" is used in two different
significations, being sometimes applied to the period of daylight and
sometimes to the period of 24 hours, including both day and night; but
in whichever of these senses the word _day_ is employed, the term
mid-day has one and the same signification, viz., the instant of noon
or of the sun's passage over the meridian. In the present case, where
we are concerned with mean time, mid-day means the instant of mean
noon, or of the passage of the mean sun over the meridian.

Accordingly, the civil day, by which all the ordinary affairs of life
are regulated, begins and ends at midnight, and has its middle or
mid-day at noon.

It appears, then, most natural that the universal day should follow
this example, and should begin and end at the instant of mean midnight
on the initial meridian, and should have its middle at the instant of
mean noon on the same meridian.

I fail, therefore, to see the force of the reasons which induced the
Conference at Rome to recommend that the universal day should commence
at _noon_ on the initial meridian.

The only ground for making this recommendation is that astronomers,
instead of adopting the use of the civil day, like the rest of the
world, are accustomed to employ a so-called astronomical day, which
begins at noon. The advantage thus gained is that they avoid the
necessity of changing the date in the course of the night, which is
the time of their greatest activity; but this advantage is surely very
small when compared with the inconvenience of having two conflicting
methods of reckoning dates, and of being obliged to specify, in giving
any date, which mode of reckoning is adopted. If this diversity is to
disappear, it is plain that it is the astronomers who will have to
yield. They are few in number compared with the rest of the world.
They are intelligent, and could make the required change without any
difficulty, and with very slight or no inconvenience.

The requisite changes in the astronomical and nautical ephemerides
would be easily made. As these ephemerides are published several years
in advance, there would be plenty of time for navigators to become
familiar with the proposed change in time-reckoning before they were
called upon to employ it in their calculations.

I believe that they would soon come to think it more convenient and
natural to reckon according to civil time than according to the
present astronomical time. I am told that this practice is already
universally adopted in keeping the log on board ship. To avoid any
chance of mistake, it should be prominently stated on each page of the
ephemerides that mean time reckoned from mean _midnight_ is kept
throughout.

Whether or not astronomers agree to adopt the civil reckoning, I think
we ought to adopt the instant of midnight on the initial meridian as
the commencement of the universal day.

The relation between the local time at any place and the universal
time would then be expressed by the simple formula:

Local time = universal time + longitude.

Whereas, if the proposition of the Roman Conference were adopted, we
should have to employ the less simple formula:

Local time = universal time + longitude - 12 hours.

In recommending the mean noon at Greenwich as the commencement of the
universal day and of cosmopolitan dates, the Roman Conference refers
to this instant as coinciding with the instant of midnight, or with
the commencement of the civil day, under the meridian situated at 12
h. or 180° from Greenwich. Now, this reference to the civil day and
date on the meridian opposite to Greenwich appears not only to be
unnecessary and to be wanting in simplicity, but it may also lead to
ambiguity in the date, as expressed in universal days, unless this
ambiguity be avoided by making an arbitrary assumption. No doubt the
Greenwich mean noon of January 1 coincides with midnight on the
meridian 12 h. from Greenwich, but with what midnight. What shall be
its designation and the corresponding date given to the universal day?
Shall we call the instant above defined the commencement of the
universal day denoted by January 1 or by January 2? Each of these
dates has equal claims to be chosen, and the choice between them must
clearly be an arbitrary one, and may, therefore, lead to ambiguity.

By adopting Greenwich mean midnight as the commencement of the
universal day, bearing the same designation as the corresponding
Greenwich civil day, all ambiguity is avoided, and there is no need to
refer to the opposite meridian at all.

Those are the ideas I wish to express with regard to the commencement
of the universal day.

I may mention in connection with this subject that Professor
Valentiner is one of the gentlemen who were invited, a week or two
ago, to attend the meetings of this Conference, in order that, if
requested, they might express their opinions from a scientific
standpoint upon the questions before it; but as Professor Valentiner
had to leave Washington before our sessions were at an end, I thought
it would be expedient to ask him for his opinion in writing upon the
matter which is now pending before this Conference. He has written a
letter in German, expressing his opinion. I have caused that letter to
be translated into English, and if the Conference allows me I will
read it.

The PRESIDENT. If there be no objection to the proposition of the
Delegate of Great Britain the letter will be read.

No objection being made, Professor ADAMS continued: It is well known
that Professor Valentiner is an eminent practical astronomer, and I
think that any opinion coming from him on this subject, which
interests astronomers very much, will be considered of great weight.
The letter runs as follows:

                                            CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA.,
                                            _October 12th, 1884_.

     HONORED SIR: You had the kindness to ask me for my views as
     to the choice of the moment for the beginning of the day. As
     I cannot remain longer in Washington, I allow myself thus
     briefly to write to you.

     When, as in the present case, the object is to introduce
     uniformity in the time-reckoning of the astronomical and the
     civil world, I am of the opinion that it is the astronomer
     only that must give way. For all purposes of civil life one
     cannot begin the day in the middle of the day-light--that is
     to say, in the middle of that interval during which work is
     prosecuted. In general it appears to me natural that the
     middle of the day, and not the beginning of the day, should
     be indicated by the highest position of the sun which
     governs all civil life. In fact, it would in civil life be
     simply impossible to bring about a change of date in the
     middle of the daylight. For the astronomer there certainly
     exist difficulties. His activity occurs mostly in the civil
     night, and he, therefore, has to make the change of date in
     the midst of his observations; and this difficulty is
     increased, since he almost exclusively observes according to
     sidereal time, so that often a computation must be made in
     order to ascertain whether the observations were made before
     or after the midnight or moment of change of date. However,
     this difficulty can be overcome by habit, and I believe that
     scarcely any doubt will occur as soon as a uniformnity of
     expression has established itself through the astronomical
     world. As regards the ephemerides, we already employ, in
     fact, the beginning of the date at midnight, since the
     places of planets and comets, are generally computed for 12
     o'clock midnight of Berlin or Greenwich or other places.
     But these are points that have themselves long since been
     discussed.

     I scarcely need to say anything further. I would not
     hesitate for a moment to give the preference to making the
     change of date take place at midnight, according to civil
     reckoning, in order to establish a uniformity with the
     customs of civil life.

     It, perhaps, may be important to remark that we could not
     introduce this change immediately, since the ephemerides are
     already computed and published for three or four years in
     advance. It would, therefore, be well to fix the epoch of
     change of normal dates to some distant time, such as 1890.

     I remain, very respectfully yours,

                                   W. VALENTINER.

I may also mention that the practice that prevails among astronomers
at the present time of reckoning the day from noon is by no means
without exceptions. There are very important astronomical tables which
reckon the day from midnight; for instance, in Delambre's Tables of
the Sun; in Burg's, Burckhardt's and Damoiseau's Tables of the Moon;
in Bouvard's Tables of Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus, and in Damoiseau's
Tables of Jupiter's Satellites, mean midnight is employed as the epoch
of the tables. I may also mention that Laplace, in his Mécanique
Celeste, adopts the mean midnight of Paris as the origin from which
his day is reckoned. Hence there are great authorities, even among
astronomers, in favor of commencing the day at midnight.

General STRACHEY, Delegate of Great Britain. Sir, I observe that a
very eminent American authority is present in this room, I mean
Professor Hilgard. As he was invited to attend the meeting of this
Conference, I suggest that the views of the Conference may be taken,
whether he may not be invited to express his opinion on the point now
under consideration.

The PRESIDENT. With the concurrence of the Conference, the Chair will
be most happy to ask Professor Hilgard to do us the favor to give us
his opinion upon the question now before the Conference.

No objection was made to the proposition of the President.

Professor HILGARD arose and said. I thank you and the Conference very
much for this invitation, and General STRACHEY for having proposed it
to the Conference, but my opinion has been squarely expressed both in
French and English in the report of a certain committee, that I am in
favor of midnight at Greenwich as the beginning of the universal day,
and of longitude being calculated both ways from Greenwich. I really
cannot add anything to what has been said in the arguments already
presented by Professor ADAMS, and I do not think that I ought to
detain this Conference a moment by repeating the opinion he has
expressed to all the experts in this matter.

I beg you will excuse me for not further ventilating my views. Absence
from the city, I regret, has prevented me from availing myself of the
invitation earlier.

Sir FREDERICK EVANS, Delegate of Great Britain. I have the honor to
address the Conference once more upon the practical aspect of the
subject before us as affecting the large body of navigators. I wish to
say upon this point that there appears to me, in the address of my
colleague, Professor ADAMS, somewhat of a mixing together of two
subjects.

The question immediately before us, as I understand it, is whether the
commencement of the universal day shall be midnight or noon of the
initial meridian. That is what we practically have to decide. Now, I
gather from Professor ADAMS' remarks that upon this question the
ephemerides which we now employ have some important bearing. I do not
think that that should influence us, for this reason, that the next
resolution which will come before the Conference "expresses the hope
that as soon as may be practicable the astronomical and nautical days
will be arranged everywhere to begin at midnight."

This resolution, so far as I understand it, will be the warning to
astronomers to begin to make the changes growing out of this
resolution which may be necessary for seamen. Therefore, I consider
that we may at once proceed to vote upon the question whether the day
is to commence at midnight or noon, without any reference to the
practice or interests of navigation. In reality, it does not appear to
me to affect that subject at all.

I have given some consideration to the practical bearings of this
question--whether it should be midnight or noon. What we ought to
decide is what will be the least inconvenience to the world at large.
I have ascertained from two of my colleagues, who have given this
matter the greatest consideration, that the adoption of midnight will
really cause less confusion than noon, for this reason, that all the
great colonies of the world would be less affected; that is to say,
that the times they are using now would be less affected by midnight
than by noon. That being so, it appears to me to be an essential point
in coming to a settlement of this question.

Mr. RUIZ DEL ARBOL, Delegate of Spain. I have only to say that I have
listened to the remarks about navigators changing the reckoning of
time. I do not know whether there are many navigators here, but it is
a fact that seamen reckon the day from noon.

The PRESIDENT. I beg the pardon of the Delegate of Spain; but, in the
United States navy, we reckon the day from midnight.

Mr. RUIZ DEL ARBOL, Delegate of Spain. I am speaking generally. Now,
there is some reason for this rule among seamen, for the only way to
find out the position of a ship is to observe the meridian altitude of
the sun; and everybody requires to know, at sea, what has taken place
in the course of every day, from the beginning to the last moment of
the day; and I think that whatever the rule may be in the United
States navy, navigators generally will count their time as they count
it now.

I think that navigators will not change the rule now in force, no
matter what we may adopt in this Conference.

Commander SAMPSON, Delegate of the United States. I think, Mr.
President and gentlemen, that the change to the adoption of the
universal day, beginning at midnight, would be a very decided
advantage to navigators. The quantities as now given in the nautical
ephemerides are for noon of the meridian for which they are computed,
as Washington, Greenwich, &c. It is very evident that every navigator,
in making use of the quantities given in the nautical almanac, must
find the corresponding time at Greenwich, wherever he may be on the
surface of the earth. Consequently, if we suppose that navigators are
pretty equally distributed, one-half on one side of the earth and
one-half on the other side, the Greenwich day for one portion would be
the local night for the other.

The usual observations made by navigators at sea consist in a meridian
observation of the sun for latitude, and a morning and possibly
afternoon observation of the sun near the prime vertical for
longitude. Consequently all navigators, when in the vicinity of the
initial meridian, might have their day's work occurring in two
astronomical days. On the other hand, those navigators who were in the
neighborhood of the 180th meridian would have all their work of one
day occurring in the same astronomical day. The first would have the
advantage of interpolating for short intervals only, while the second
would be obliged to interpolate for much larger intervals.

Consequently, on the whole, it would make no difference to navigators
whether the quantities given in the nautical almanacs were for noon or
midnight of the initial meridian. Another consideration, however,
would make it very advantageous to have the quantities given for
midnight. That consideration is this: if midnight were chosen, then
the universal day would be identical with the nautical almanac day,
and navigators would have only ship time and universal time to deal
with, while, if the quantities were given for noon, they would have
astronomical time, in addition to the other two. This consideration I
think a very important one.

The PRESIDENT. The question will be on the amendment offered by the
Delegate of Sweden, Count LEWENHAUPT, which has been read.

The vote was then taken, as follows:

States voting in the affirmative:

  Austria,                Sweden,
  Italy,                  Switzerland,
  Netherlands,            Turkey.

In the negative:

  Brazil,                 Japan,
  Chili,                  Liberia,
  Colombia,               Mexico,
  Costa Rica,             Paraguay,
  Great Britain,          Russia,
  Guatemala,              United States,
  Hawaii,                 Venezuela.

Abstaining from voting:

  France,                 San Domingo,
  Germany,                Spain.

Ayes, 6; noes, 14; abstaining from voting, 4.

The PRESIDENT then announced that the amendment was lost.

The question then recurred on the original resolution offered by the
Delegate of the United States.

RUSTEM EFFENDI, Delegate of Turkey. Mr. President, I have listened
with a great deal of interest and attention to the learned arguments
bearing upon the proposition under discussion offered by the Hon. Mr.
RUTHERFURD, the Delegate of the United States for the adoption of a
universal hour.

This question is of such high importance, and of such interest to
every one, that I consider it my duty to make a few remarks upon the
subject, as I wish to state clearly the position my government
proposes to take in the matter.

I do not pretend to discuss scientifically this subject, which has
already been so ably treated by several of the gentlemen present. My
task is of a different and inferior order. I merely propose to briefly
examine the manner in which the proposition ought to be made, in order
that it may be adopted by our respective governments.

The question of a universal hour is not of equal interest and
importance to all. The United States of America, although
comparatively a young nation, have done so much in the pursuit of
science and scientific investigation that they must have more than a
common interest on the subject. The vast expanse of their country,
stretching over sixty degrees of longitude, with a difference of time
of more than four hours, almost compels them to adopt a universal
hour. The thousands of miles of railroad tracts covering this
continent, facilitating the intercourse between distant places,
necessitate a uniform system to avoid confusion. It was, therefore,
natural that the United States and Canada should have taken the lead
in proposing such a reform, which would likewise benefit other
countries, as, for instance, the British Empire, Russia, and Germany.
But there are, at the same time, other countries, like France, Spain,
Italy, Scandinavia, etc., that may content themselves with a national
hour, owing to the small difference in time within their dominion. For
them, the adoption of a universal hour would only be of secondary
importance, because it would only affect their international
relations.

I hope I may be permitted to remind you of the conclusions arrived at
by a commission consisting of scientists, railroad and telegraph
officials, &c., appointed by the French Government to express their
opinion upon this subject. If I am not mistaken, they recommended a
universal hour, stating, however, at the same time, that the benefit
to be derived from such an hour would be only of secondary importance
for their country. The learned Delegate from France, Professor
JANSSEN, will probably be kind enough to inform us whether I am right
or not.

The few remarks I have made bring me to the point I wanted to consider
more specially. I mean that the originators of the pending
proposition, and those directly interested in it, should be induced to
modify their proposition somewhat if they wish it to be adopted by
other countries. In other words, to leave to each country the greatest
latitude possible in adopting a universal hour.

With regard to the Ottoman Empire, I must state that it is placed in a
somewhat exceptional position in this respect, and is, therefore,
obliged to ask for more latitude even than the other countries
concerned.

In our country we have two modes of reckoning time: one from noon to
noon, or from midnight to midnight, as everywhere else, (heure à la
franque), the other (heure à la turque) from sundown to sundown. In
this latter case the hours count from the moment when the disk of the
sun is bisected by the horizon, and we count twice from _0h._ to
_12h._, instead of counting without any interruption from _0h._ to
_24h._ We are well aware of the inconveniences this system of counting
produces, because _0h._ necessarily varies from day to day, for the
interval of time between one sunset and the one following is not
exactly 24 hours. According to the season the sun will set earlier or
later, and our watches and clocks at Constantinople will be at most
about three minutes fast or slow from day to day, according to the
season.

Reasons of a national and religious character prevent us, however,
from abandoning this mode of counting our time. The majority of our
population is agricultural, working in the fields, and prefer to count
to sunset; besides, the hours for the Moslem prayers are counted from
sundown to sundown.

Therefore it is impossible for us to abandon our old system of time,
although in our navy we generally use the customary reckoning or
"heure à la franque."

Finally, permit me to state that I am ready to cast my vote in favor
of a universal hour, with the precise understanding that the universal
hour will have to be limited to international transactions, and that
will not interfere with the rules up to now in force in my own
country.

Before resuming my seat I wish to thank the President and the members
of the Conference for their kind indulgence in having listened to my
remarks.

The PRESIDENT, The Chair would remind the Delegate of Turkey that the
following resolution was passed at our last session:

     "_Resolved_, That the Conference propose the adoption of a
     universal day for all purposes for which it may be found
     convenient, and which shall not interfere with the use of
     local or other standard time where desirable."

The very difficulty which the Delegate of Turkey anticipates was thus
carefully provided for in the resolution just read.

Mr. SANDFORD FLEMING, Delegate of Great Britain. To my mind it is of
very great importance that this resolution should be adopted. I have
already given generally my views on this question, and therefore I do
not intend to trespass on the attention of the Conference beyond
saying a very few words. From what I have already ventured to submit,
it will be obvious that I hold that all our usages in respect to the
reckoning of time are arbitrary. Of one thing there can be no doubt.
There is only one, and there can only be one flow of time, although
our inherited usages have given us a chaotic number of arbitrary
reckonings of this one conception. There can be no doubt of another
matter; the progress of civilization requires a simple and more
rational system than we now have. We have, it seems to me, reached a
stage when a unification of the infinite number of time-reckonings is
demanded.

This unification will be, to a large extent, accomplished if the
resolution be adopted, and by adopting it, it seems to me to be in the
power of the Conference to confer lasting benefits on the world.

Universal time will in no way interfere with local time. Each separate
community may continue the usages of the past in respect to local
time, or may accept whatever change the peculiar conditions in each
case may call for. But the use of universal time will not necessarily
involve a change; it will rather be something added to what all now
possess. It will be a boon to those who avail themselves of it.

To the east of the prime meridian all possible local days will be in
advance; to the west all possible days will be behind the universal
day.

The universal day, as defined by the resolution, will at once be the
mean of all possible local days, and the standard to which they will
all be related by a certain known interval, that interval being
determined by the longitude.

In my judgment, the resolution is an exceedingly proper one, and the
Conference will act wisely in passing it.

The PRESIDENT. In taking the vote upon the resolution, it is requested
that the roll be called.

The following States voted in the affirmative:

  Brazil,                 Liberia,
  Chili,                  Mexico,
  Colombia,               Netherlands,
  Costa Rica,             Paraguay,
  Great Britain,          Turkey,
  Guatemala,              United States,
  Hawaii,                 Venezuela.
  Japan,

States voting in the negative:

  Austria-Hungary,        Spain.

Abstaining from voting:

  France,                 San Domingo,
  Germany,                Sweden,
  Italy,                  Switzerland.
  Netherlands,

Ayes, 15; noes, 2; abstained, 7.

The PRESIDENT then announced that the resolution was passed.

Mr. RUTHERFURD, Delegate of the United States. Mr. President, I now
present for the consideration of the Conference the following
resolution:

     "_Resolved_, That the Conference expresses the hope that as
     soon as may be practicable the astronomical and nautical
     days will be arranged everywhere to begin at midnight."

Before action is taken upon this resolution, I would make a verbal
correction. I think that the word "_mean_" ought to be introduced
before the word "_midnight_" and I therefore alter my resolution in
that way.

The vote was then taken upon the resolution just offered, and it was
carried without division.

The PRESIDENT. The Chair begs leave to state that the protocols in
French and in English of the first and second sessions of the
Conference, have been examined, and are now before the Conference for
adoption. If any Delegate wishes to make any correction in these
protocols, he can submit it to the Conference, and, if approved, it
can be immediately made.

No objection was raised, and the President put the question to the
Conference on the adoption of the protocols of the first and second
sessions in French and English, and they were unanimously adopted.

M. JANSSEN, Delegate of France. Mr. President, we have been directed
to present for the approval of the Congress the desire that studies
relative to the application of the decimal system to the division of
angular space and of time should be resumed in order that this
application may be extended to all cases--and they are numerous and
important--where it presents real advantages.

I would say that a similar desire upon the same subject was expressed
by the Conference at Rome.

You are aware, gentlemen, that at the time of the establishment of the
metrical system the decimal division had been extended to the
measurement of angular space and of time. Numerous instruments were
even made according to the new system. As to time, the reform was
introduced too abruptly, and, we might say, without enough discretion,
and it came into conflict with old habits and was quickly abandoned;
but as to the division of angular space, in which the decimal division
presented many advantages, the reform sustained itself much better,
and is still used for certain purposes. So, the division of the
circumference into 400 parts was adopted by Laplace, and we find it
constantly employed in the Mécanique Celeste. Delambre and Mechain
used, for the measurement of the are of the meridian from which the
metre was derived, repeating circles divided into "_grades_." Finally,
in our own time, Colonel Perrier, Chief of the Geographical Division
of our Department of War, has used instruments decimally divided, and
at the present time logarithmic tables appropriate to that method of
division are in course of calculation.

But it is especially when it is a question of making long
calculations of angular space that the decimal system presents great
advantages. In this respect we find, so to speak, only one opinion
expressed by scientists.

The Conference at Rome, which brought together so many astronomers,
geodetists, eminent topographers--that is to say, the men most
competent and most interested in the question--expressed in respect to
it a desire, the high authority of which it is impossible to mistake.

It is, therefore, now evident that the decimal system, which has
already done such good service in the measurements of length, volume,
and weight, is called upon to render analagous services in the domain
of angular dimensions and of time.

I know that this question of the decimal division encounters
legitimate doubts, principally as to its application to the
measurement of time. It is feared that we want to destroy habits fixed
for centuries, and upset established usages.

In this respect, gentlemen, I think that we ought to be fully
satisfied. The teachings of the past will be respected. It will be
perceived that if we failed at the time of the Revolution, it is
because we put forward a reform which was not limited to the domain of
science, but which did violence to the habits of daily life. It is
necessary to take the question up again, but with due regard to the
limits which common sense and experience would prescribe to wise and
well-informed men.

I think that the character of the reform would be well defined by
saying that it is intended especially to make a new effort towards the
application of the decimal system in scientific matters.

But, gentlemen, I have not to discuss here the bearing of the reforms
which the study of this question will lead to. It is sufficient for me
to show that there is in that direction an indispensable step to be
made, and to ask you to express the desire that the question should be
studied. I do not think that there is anybody here who would desire to
oppose a request which does not in truth commit us to any specific
solution of the question, and which appears so opportune at the
present time. I would ask the President to be so kind as to submit the
following proposition to the Conference:

     "_Resolved_, That the Conference expresses the hope that the
     studies designed to regulate and extend the application of
     the decimal system to the division of angular space and of
     time shall be resumed, so as to permit the extension of this
     application to all cases where it presents real advantages."

The PRESIDENT. The Chair is of opinion that the Conference was called
for a special and somewhat narrow purpose, and the consideration of
the decimal system, proposed by the Delegate of France, seems to it
foreign to that purpose and beyond the scope of the Conference. The
President, however, simply acts for the Conference, and if the
Conference shall decide to take the matter up, he will acquiesce, but
it strikes the Chair that the resolution is out of order.

Gen. STRACHEY, Delegate of Great Britain. Sir, I desire to express my
personal views on this subject. I should be very happy to join the
Delegate of France in voting for such a resolution, but I fear that
there is a feeling among many of the delegates that it is not within
our competence to discuss it. If that is so, I would suggest whether
it might not be better that it should not be pressed to a vote. It
would be a pity if there should be on the records of the proceedings
of this Conference anything in the shape of a vote against the
subject-matter of this resolution. I consequently think that if
delegates have formed any decided opinion on the subject, they might
express their opinion without voting; but I repeat that it would be a
great pity if a negative vote should be taken on the subject of the
decimal system of dividing the circle and time, particularly as it was
received with unanimity in the Conference at Rome.

Prof. ADAMS, Delegate of Great Britain. Mr. President, I may say that
while I agree with Gen. STRACHEY in thinking that I should not like to
vote against the proposition brought forward by our eminent colleague,
Mr. JANSSEN, yet I feel it is somewhat beyond the scope of the
subjects which we have to discuss, and, therefore, I should abstain
from voting. I quite recognize that, for certain purposes, the decimal
division of the circle is very valuable.

The PRESIDENT. Unless the Conference decides to entertain this
proposition, the Chair suggests that no discussion shall take place.
If any member present desires to bring the matter up, he can do so by
taking an appeal from the decision just made.

Gen. STRACHEY, Delegate of Great Britain. Do I understand, sir, that
the subject is dropped?

The PRESIDENT. The Chair has decided that the resolution offered by
the Delegate of France is out of order, and unless a difference of
opinion is expressed by the Conference, the subject will be dropped.
The Chair wishes to treat with the most distinguished deference the
Delegate of France, because we are all most happy to do honor to him
in every way. Does the Chair understand that the Delegate of France
appeals from its decision, and wishes to take the sense of the
Conference upon it?

Mr. JANSSEN, Delegate of France, replied in the affirmative.

Commodore FRANKLIN, Delegate of Colombia. Mr. President, I would like
hear the resolution read again. If it be merely a suggestion to
consider the subject of the decimal system, I should like to know it.

The vote was then taken upon the appeal of the Delegate of France from
the decision of the Chair.

States voting in favor of the appeal:

  Austria-Hungary,        Netherlands,
  Brazil,                 San Domingo,
  Chili,                  Spain,
  France,                 Switzerland,
  Italy,                  Turkey,
  Japan,                  Venezuela.
  Mexico,

States voting against the appeal:

  Colombia,               Hawaii,
  Costa Rica,             Liberia,
  Germany,                Paraguay,
  Great Britain,          United States.
  Guatemala,

Abstaining from voting:

  Russia,                 Sweden.

Ayes, 13; noes, 9; abstained, 2.

The PRESIDENT. The appeal from the decision of the Chair is sustained,
and the proposition offered by the Delegate of France is now before
the Conference. If no delegate wishes to speak upon the resolution,
the vote will be taken.

Mr. JANSSEN, Delegate of France. Mr. President, before the definitive
vote I desire to again call my colleague's attention to the fact that
it is a question here of the much-needed extension of the decimal
system, an extension desired by a large number of the highest
scientific authorities and of the most distinguished observers. As I
said only a moment ago, the Congress at Rome, whose high authority in
the matters which have occupied us is acknowledged, was a still higher
authority as to astronomy, geodesy, topography; that is to say, in the
domain to which our proposition relates. At Rome a wish, similar to
that which we ask you to formulate, was expressed. Besides, if we
observe that it is a question here only of expressing the desire that
studies should be resumed upon the matter in question, is there anyone
among us who would wish to oppose the liberal proposition which
prejudges nothing in the solution of the question, but which will
surely lead to important progress. I do not doubt, then, that all our
colleagues will desire to unite in a resolution, which by its object
and by the manner in which it is expressed, ought, it appears to me,
to unite the suffrages of all.

No further remarks were made upon the resolution, and the vote was
accordingly taken on the question whether it should be adopted.

States voting in the affirmative:

  Austria-Hungary,        Mexico,
  Brazil,                 Netherlands,
  Chili,                  Paraguay,
  Colombia,               Russia,
  Costa Rica,             San Domingo,
  France,                 Spain,
  Great Britain,          Switzerland,
  Hawaii,                 Turkey,
  Italy,                  United States,
  Japan,                  Venezuela.
  Liberia,

  States voting in the negative: None.

  Abstained from voting:

  Germany,                Sweden.
  Guatemala,

Ayes, 21; noes, 0; abstained, 3.

The PRESIDENT. The resolution of the Delegate of France is, therefore,
adopted.

General STRACHEY, Delegate of Great Britain. Sir, before concluding
the session to-day, I hope that the Delegates will be in a position to
listen to the two resolutions which I now desire to propose, and which
I think will tend to clear up a good deal of the discussion which we
have had. The first of these resolutions is as follows:

     "The Conference adopts the opinion that, for the purposes of
     civil life, it will be convenient to reckon time, according
     to the local civil time at successive meridians destributed
     round the earth, at time-intervals of either ten minutes, or
     some integral multiple of ten minutes, from the prime
     meridian; but that the application of this principle be
     left to the various nations or communities concerned by it."

This resolution, as it stands, embraces all the practical suggestions
which have been made on the subject up to the present time. The only
limitation it proposes to put upon the adoption of what may be called
local standard time is that the breaks shall be at definite intervals
of ten minutes or more.

The second resolution which I propose is a very simple one. It is
this:

     "The arrangements for adopting the universal day in
     international telegraphy should be left for the
     consideration of the international telegraph congress."

There has been established by an international arrangement a congress
which meets every two years to settle questions of international
telegraphy, and I think that the precise manner in which universal
time may be adapted to telegraphy would very properly be left to that
congress.

Mr. DE STRUVE, Delegate of Russia. On behalf of the Delegates of
Russia, I beg to make the following remarks:

We have already expressed the opinion that the universal time could be
properly used for international postal, railway, and telegraphic
communications. But it is to be understood that local or any other
standard time, which is intimately connected with daily life, will
necessarily be used side by side with the universal time.

It has been proposed, in order to establish an easier connection
between local and universal time, to accept twenty-four meridians at
equal distances of 1 hour or 15°, or to divide the whole circumference
of the earth by meridians at distances of 10 minutes of time or 21/2°.

This question not yet having been made the subject of special and
thorough investigation by the respective Governments, and not having
been discussed at the International Conference at Rome, we believe
that it would as yet be difficult to express, in regard to Europe, any
positive opinion on the practical convenience of the above mentioned
or other possible methods of dividing the globe into equal time-zones.

We would suggest to recommend that the system of counting the hours of
the universal day from 0 to 24, which probably will be adopted for the
universal day, might also be introduced for counting the local time
side by side with the old method of counting the hours of 0 to 12 A.
M. and 0 to 12 p. m.

Count LEWENHAUPT, Delegate of Sweden. I have had the honor to transmit
to the members of the Conference a résumé of a report on this subject
made by Professor Gyldén, an eminent Swedish astronomer, whose name,
no doubt, is familiar to many of the Delegates. The system proposed by
Mr. Gyldén is similar to the one now proposed by the Delegate for
Great Britain. The only difference is that Mr. Gyldén, in explaining
the system, recommends the adoption of equidistant meridians,
separated by intervals of 21/2°, or 10 minutes of time, while the
proposition of the Delegate for Great Britain is so worded that this
distance may be greater than 10 minutes. This difference is, however,
only a question of detail. The basis of Mr. Gyldén's system is that
time meridians should be separated from the standard initial meridian
by either 10 or some integral multiple of 10 minutes. Therefore, I
shall, with pleasure, vote for the resolution of the Delegate from
Great Britain.

I beg only permission of the Conference to insert Mr. Gyldén's report
as part of my remarks:

     _RÉSUMÉ OF A REPORT read before the Swedish Geographical
     Society by Hugo Gyldén, Professor of Astronomy and member of
     the Academy of Sciences in Stockholm, concerning the use of
     Equidistant Meridians for the fixation of the Hour._

     If we suppose the meridian passing through the Observatory
     of Greenwich extended round the globe, this grand circle
     will cut the equator, at 180° from Greenwich, at some place
     a little east of New Zealand. This meridian falls almost
     entirely in the Ocean, and cuts, in any case, not more than
     a few small islands in the Pacific. If we suppose, further,
     another great circle at 90° from the meridian of Greenwich,
     the western half touches very nearly New Orleans, and the
     eastern half passes a few minutes from Calcutta. If, now,
     the hour is fixed according to these four meridians, we have
     four cardinal times--one European, one American, one
     Asiatic, and one Oceanic.

     It will, however, be necessary to fix much more than one
     civil time for Europe. Therefore I suppose for Europe a
     whole system of meridians, which, however, ought not to be
     closer together than 21/2°. The difference of time between
     these meridians is then only 10 minutes, which, in general,
     can be considered as an insignificant difference between the
     civil and the true solar time. The starting point of this
     system is the meridian of Greenwich. To the west the system
     ought to extend 30 minutes; to the east 21/2 hours, or to a
     meridian passing near Moscow.

     I suppose as time zero the meridian of Greenwich. The next
     meridian to the east is meridian 1. This meridian will not
     pass far from the Observatory of Paris, because the
     difference between this meridian 1 and the meridian of Paris
     is only 40 seconds, an insignificant difference in civil
     life. The meridian 1 can be called the meridian of Paris, or
     French meridian.

     The second meridian (to the east of Greenwich) does not
     touch Utrecht, but will pass so close that the time of this
     city could, without the least inconvenience, be regulated as
     if the difference of time between Greenwich and Utrecht were
     exactly 20 minutes. The second meridian would also pass
     almost as close to Amsterdam, (22s.,) and would not be far
     from Marseilles, (1m. 29s.) In the vicinity of the third
     meridian we have, first, Bern, (16s.;) next, a little
     further, Turin, (42s.) The fourth meridian is close to
     Hamburg, Altona, and Gottingen, (respectively 6s. and 14s.)
     Not far from the same meridian is Christiania, although at a
     distance of a little over 2 minutes. The fifth meridian
     passes also close to three large cities--Rome, (5s.,)
     Leipzig, (26s.,) and Copenhagen, (20s.)

     The sixth meridian does not touch any city of importance,
     but it coincides very nearly with the meridian adopted for
     the normal civil time in Sweden; the difference amounts only
     to 15 seconds.

     The seventh meridian touches the little town of Brieg, in
     the vicinity of Breslau, and Königsberg is situated two
     minutes from the eighth. The ninth meridian passes less than
     one minute to the west of Abo, and is situated at a distance
     of only a few seconds from Mistra, a town in Greece. The
     tenth meridian almost touches Helsingfors in Finland. As
     regards the eleventh meridian, I have not been able to find
     any locality of importance exactly so situated that it
     merits a place in this list, but I can, however, mention
     the cities of Minsk and Jassy. The twelfth meridian is
     situated 1m. 14s. to the west of the Academy of Sciences, in
     St. Petersburg, and the distance from Kiew is about the
     same. It is not necessary to continue the enumeration of the
     other meridians to the east by intervals of 10 minutes, but
     I will mention that Moscow is situated _2h. 30m. 17s._ to
     the east of Greenwich, and in consequence the system would
     be convenient with regard to this city.

     If we pass to the west of Greenwich, we will find that the
     first meridian west touches the little town of Almeria, in
     the south of Spain, which country extends to equal distances
     on both sides of this meridian, east and west, and the
     situation of Portugal is the same with regard to the third
     meridian west.

     Then, in all the towns and localities given above, of which
     the greater part are of some importance, the local time
     coincides so closely with times differing from the Greenwich
     time, by whole multiples of 10 minutes, that there is no
     reason to fear any real inconvenience if these times were
     taken to regulate local reckonings. If the different
     countries in Europe should decide to adopt the system which
     I have explained, the following system of normal times
     would, perhaps, be found convenient:

                 EAST OF GREENWICH.

     1st   Meridian,   France.
     2d       "        Holland and Belgium.
     3d       "        Switzerland.
     4th      "        Norway, (and Western Germany.)
     5th      "        Denmark, Germany, and Italy.
     6th      "        Sweden and Austria.
     7th      "        Eastern Germany.
     8th      "        Hungary.
     9th      "        Poland and Greece.
     10th     "        Finland, Roumania, and Bulgaria,
     11th     "        European Turkey.
     12th     "        Western Russia.

                 WEST OF GREENWICH.

     1st   Meridian,  Spain.
     3d      "        Portugal.

     It is, however, not at all necessary that each country
     should adopt a single civil time for the whole of its
     territory. If several normal times should be adopted, it is
     still possible to use the system, provided only the several
     times differ from Greenwich time by 10 minutes, 20 minutes,
     &c.; but it would be necessary that the clocks should
     indicate the times adopted with great precision, and that
     the difference did not amount to even a few seconds, because
     otherwise the advantages of the adoption of the system would
     be materially reduced.

     This circumstance, that it is possible for each country to
     adopt the system, and at the same time to maintain a certain
     independence with regard to the adoption of the most
     convenient normal times, is of considerable importance with
     regard to the possibility of introducing a system of this
     kind. In fact, it is possible to arrive at the application
     of the system in such a way that the transition would hardly
     be observed by the great majority of the population. As
     regards railroads and telegraphs, the advantages would be
     the same as if the local times were everywhere identical,
     because it is easy to remember the multiple of 10 minutes
     which ought to be added to the time of a given country for
     translation into the time of another country. The difference
     of time between Sweden and Denmark would, for instance, be
     10 minutes--a circumstance which everybody would soon learn
     to remember. A traveller leaving Sweden would then know that
     his watch, if correct, shows exactly 10 minutes more than
     the clocks of the Danish railroad stations, and if he
     continued his voyage to Paris, he would know that the clocks
     of Paris are exactly 50 minutes behind the clocks in Sweden.

     I have tried to explain the advantages of this system for
     the countries in Europe. I am not able to judge if similar
     systems can be considered necessary in America and Asia. It
     is possible that North America could be satisfied with one
     single normal time, which, if America connects this time
     with the European system, ought to be fixed exactly 6 hours
     behind Greenwich. While starting from this normal meridian,
     it is possible to establish a more or less elaborate system
     of equidistant times analogous to the system which has been
     proposed for Europe. The same can be said of the civil times
     of Asia, which ought to be connected with a normal time 6
     hours in advance of the time of Greenwich.

     Africa ought to belong to the European system. The French
     civil time could be adopted for Algeria and Tunis; the time
     of Denmark, Germany, and Italy for Tripoli; for Egypt the
     time of Russia; the Spanish time for Morocco; at the mouth
     of the Congo where, no doubt, sooner or later, an important
     centre of civilization will rise, the meridian of Sweden and
     Austria could be used; the meridian of Hungary could be
     adopted for the Cape of Good Hope.

     It will not be possible to connect South America and
     Australia with any of the four cardinal times mentioned, but
     some other combination, into which it is not necessary to
     enter on this occasion, can easily be found.

The PRESIDENT. If the Chair hears no objection, the pamphlet referred
by the Delegate of Sweden will be printed as proposed.

Mr. LEFAIVRE, Delegate of France. Mr. President, I move that the
Conference adjourn until Wednesday, at one o'clock p. m.

The motion was put and agreed to, and the Conference thereupon
adjourned at 4:30 p. m. until Wednesday, the 22d inst., at one o'clock
p. m.



VII.

SESSION OF OCTOBER 22, 1884.


The Conference met pursuant to adjournment in the Diplomatic Hall of
the Department of State, at one o'clock p. m.

Present:

  Austria-Hungary: Baron IGNATZ VON SCHÆFFER.
  Brazil: Dr. LUIZ CRULS.
  Chili: Mr. F. Y. GORMAS and Mr. A. B. TUPPER.
  Colombia: Commodore S. E. FRANKLIN.
  Costa Rica: Mr. JUAN FRANCISCO ECHEVERRIA.
  France: Mr. A. LEFAIVRE, Mr. JANSSEN.
  Germany: Baron H. VON ALVENSLEBEN, Mr. HINCKELDEYN.
  Great Britain: Sir F. J. O. EVANS, Prof. J. C. ADAMS,
      Lieut.-General STRACHEY, Mr. SANDFORD FLEMING.
  Guatemala: Mr. MILES BOOK.
  Hawaii: Hon. W. D. ALEXANDER, Hon. LUTHER AHOLO.
  Italy: Count ALBERT DE FORESTA.
  Japan: Professor KIKUCHI.
  Liberia: Mr. WM. COPPINGER.
  Mexico: Mr. LEANDRO FERNANDEZ, Mr. ANGEL ANGUIANO.
  Netherlands: Mr. G. DE WECKHERLIN.
  Paraguay: Capt. JOHN STEWART.
  Russia: Mr. C. DE STRUVE, Major-General STEBNITZKI, Mr.
      J. DE KOLOGRIVOFF.
  San Domingo: Mr. DE J. GALVAN.
  Spain: Mr. JUAN VALERA, Mr. EMILIO RUIZ DEL ARBOL,
      and Mr. JUAN PASTORIN.
  Sweden: Count CARL LEWENHAUPT.
  Switzerland: Col. EMILE FREY.
  Turkey: RUSTEM EFFENDI.
  United States: Rear-Admiral C. R. P. RODGERS, Mr. LEWIS
      M. RUTHERFURD, Mr. W. F. ALLEN, Commander W. T.
      SAMPSON, Professor CLEVELAND ABBE.
  Venezuela: Dr. A. M. SOTELDO.

Absent:

  Denmark: Mr. C. S. A. DE BILLE.
  Salvador: Mr. ANTONIO BATRES.

The PRESIDENT. The first business before the Conference to-day is the
resolutions offered by the Delegate of Great Britain, General
STRACHEY; but before we proceed the Delegate of San Domingo, Mr.
GALVAN, asks permission, as a matter of privilege, to read a
communication to the Conference.

Mr. GALVAN, the Delegate of San Domingo. Before the sessions of the
Conference come to a close, I feel compelled to make a declaration
which will be a tribute to the illustrious scientists who have
directed the decisions of the majority of the Conference, and at the
same time a reservation of future freedom of action to the country
which I have the honor to represent.

The negative vote of San Domingo on the principal question was
entirely in consequence of the proposal by the Delegates of France of
a neutral International Meridian, which was rejected by the
Conference.

San Domingo, which had no part in the various important interests
connected with the meridian of Greenwich, was bound to regard equity
alone on the occurrence of the disagreement produced by the proposal
of the Delegates of France, a nation renowned for being one of the
first in intellectual progress.

At the last session I was glad that another proposal of the Delegates
of France was accepted almost unanimously by the Conference. That fact
should be considered as a good omen of a more complete and unanimous
agreement at some future time in behalf of the general interest of
science.

That day will be saluted with a cordial _hosanna_ by the Republic of
San Domingo, which is always ready freely to give its assent to the
progress of civilization.

The PRESIDENT. The resolutions offered by the Delegate of Great
Britain, General STRACHEY, are now before the Conference, and will be
read.

The resolutions were then read, as follows:

     "1. The Conference adopts the opinion that, for the purposes
     of civil life, it will be convenient to reckon time
     according to the local civil time at successive meridians
     distributed round the earth, at time-intervals of either ten
     minutes, or some integral multiple of ten minutes, from the
     prime meridian; but that the application of this principle
     be left to the various nations or communities concerned by
     it."

     "2. The arrangements for the use of the universal day in
     international telegraphy should be left for the
     consideration of the International Telegraph Congress."

General STRACHEY, Delegate of Great Britain. In consequence of the
opinions I have heard expressed regarding the resolutions which I
brought forward at our last meeting, I feel constrained to say that I
am not disposed to ask the Congress to proceed to a vote upon them. I
find that, although I had reason to think that those resolutions, in
substance, that is in their main features, would be acceptable, still
there is extreme difficulty in finding precise expressions that shall
meet the views of everybody, and there are divisions of opinion as to
the exact manner in which these resolutions should be modified.

My object in bringing forward the resolutions was mainly to obtain a
decided expression of opinion on the part of the Congress, that the
method of counting local time, so as to harmonize as far as possible
with universal time, should be left for settlement locally; and that,
at the utmost, all the Congress could do would be to suggest some
general principle such as that embodied in my resolution. There was,
of course, never any intention of employing the universal day so as to
interfere with the use of local standard time; and as I shall, no
doubt, elicit a further clear expression of opinion on the part of the
delegates, that there is no intention of bringing about this
interference, I will now, with the permission of the Conference,
withdraw the resolutions.

Mr. RUTHERFURD, Delegate of the United States. Mr. President, I think
that all of us appreciate the desire which moved the Delegate of Great
Britain to present these resolutions. There is a wish on his part that
we should not seem, in any way, by our action here, to interfere with
the convenience of the world in the use of its present civil time, or
any other time which it may be found convenient to adopt, while he
recognizes that some of the proposals made as to local time are such
as could not be objected to. Still, I cannot refrain from expressing
my satisfaction that he has come to the conclusion that these
resolutions are not necessary.

I think the whole question is covered by the resolutions already
adopted by this Congress; that our universal day is for those purposes
only for which it may be found convenient, and that it is not to
interfere in any way with the use of civil or other standard time
where that may be found convenient. This seems to me to be so fully
embodied in our resolutions that it is unnecessary to enunciate again
in a negative form the same idea, and I therefore express my
satisfaction that the resolutions are withdrawn.

Mr. SANDFORD FLEMING, Delegate of Great Britain. Mr. President, I have
a few words bearing on the subject before the Conference which I wish
to express before any action is taken.

The PRESIDENT. There will be no subject before the Congress if the
resolutions of General STRACHEY are withdrawn, and the Chair
understands that the object of General STRACHEY in withdrawing these
resolutions was to avoid a discussion upon a subject that could hardly
lead to any satisfactory conclusion.

If, however, Mr. FLEMING desires to address the Conference, he will be
at liberty to do so.

Mr. FLEMING, Delegate of Great Britain. I do not wish to intrude any
new matter upon the Conference. What I had to say had a bearing upon
the subject, but, if the resolutions are withdrawn and the Conference
desires to end the matter, I shall not insist upon speaking.

No objection being made, the resolutions offered by General STRACHEY
at the last session of the Conference were then withdrawn.

Count LEWENHAUPT, Delegate for Sweden, then proposed that the
resolutions passed by the Conference should be formally recorded in a
Final Act, stating the votes on each resolution that was adopted.

The Conference took a recess, in order to allow the Delegates to
examine the draft of the Final Act.

After the recess the Final Act was unanimously adopted, as follows:

                            FINAL ACT.

     The President of the United States of America, in pursuance
     of a special provision of Congress, having extended to the
     Governments of all nations in diplomatic relations with his
     own, an invitation to send Delegates to meet Delegates from
     the United States in the city of Washington on the first of
     October, 1884, for the purpose of discussing, and, if
     possible, fixing upon a meridian proper to be employed as a
     common zero of longitude and standard of time-reckoning
     throughout the whole world, this International Meridian
     Conference assembled at the time and place designated; and,
     after careful and patient discussion, has passed the
     following resolutions:

                                I.

     "That it is the opinion of this Congress that it is
     desirable to adopt a single prime meridian for all nations,
     in place of the multiplicity of initial meridians which now
     exist."

     This resolution was unanimously adopted.

                               II.

     "That the Conference proposes to the Governments here
     represented the adoption of the meridian passing through the
     centre of the transit instrument at the Observatory of
     Greenwich as the initial meridian for longitude."

     The above resolution was adopted by the following vote:

     In the affirmative:

     Austria-Hungary,        Mexico,
     Chili,                  Netherlands,
     Colombia,               Paraguay,
     Costa Rica,             Russia,
     Germany,                Salvador,
     Great Britain,          Spain,
     Guatemala,              Sweden,
     Hawaii,                 Switzerland,
     Italy,                  Turkey,
     Japan,                  United States,
     Liberia,                Venezuela.

     In the negative:

     San Domingo.

     Abstaining from voting:

     Brazil,                 France.

     Ayes, 22; noes, 1; abstaining, 2.

                               III.

     "That from this meridian longitude shall be counted in two
     directions up to 180 degrees, east longitude being plus and
     west longitude minus."

     This resolution was adopted by the following vote:

     In the affirmative:

     Chili,                  Liberia,
     Colombia,               Mexico,
     Costa Rica,             Paraguay,
     Great Britain,          Russia,
     Guatemala,              Salvador,
     Hawaii,                 United States,
     Japan,                  Venezuela.

     In the negative:

     Italy,                  Sweden,
     Netherlands,            Switzerland.
     Spain,

     Abstaining from voting:

     Austria-Hungary,        Germany,
     Brazil,                 San Domingo,
     France,                 Turkey.

     Ayes, 14; noes, 5; abstaining, 6.

                               IV.

     "That the Conference proposes the adoption of a universal
     day for all purposes for which it may be found convenient,
     and which shall not interfere with the use of local or other
     standard time where desirable."

     This resolution was adopted by the following vote:

     In the affirmative:

     Austria-Hungary,        Mexico,
     Brazil,                 Netherlands,
     Chili,                  Paraguay,
     Colombia,               Russia,
     Costa Rica,             Salvador,
     France,                 Spain,
     Great Britain,          Sweden,
     Guatemala,              Switzerland,
     Hawaii,                 Turkey,
     Italy,                  United States,
     Japan,                  Venezuela.
     Liberia,

     Abstaining from voting:

     Germany,                San Domingo.

     Ayes, 23; abstaining, 2.

                                V.

     "That this universal day is to be a mean solar day; is to
     begin for all the world at the moment of mean midnight of
     the initial meridian, coinciding with the beginning of the
     civil day and date of that meridian; and is to be counted
     from zero up to twenty-four hours."

     This resolution was adopted by the following vote:

     In the affirmative:

     Brazil,                 Liberia,
     Chili,                  Mexico,
     Colombia,               Paraguay,
     Costa Rica,             Russia,
     Great Britain,          Turkey,
     Guatemala,              United States,
     Hawaii,                 Venezuela.
     Japan,

     In the negative:

     Austria-Hungary,        Spain.

     Abstaining from voting:

     France,                 San Domingo,
     Germany,                Sweden,
     Italy,                  Switzerland.
     Netherlands,

     Ayes, 15; noes, 2; abstaining, 7.

                               VI.

     "That the Conference expresses the hope that as soon as may
     be practicable the astronomical and nautical days will be
     arranged everywhere to begin at mean midnight."

     This resolution was carried without division.

                              VII.

     "That the Conference expresses the hope that the technical
     studies designed to regulate and extend the application of
     the decimal system to the division of angular space and of
     time shall be resumed, so as to permit the extension of this
     application to all cases in which it presents real
     advantages."

     The motion was adopted by the following vote:

     In the affirmative:

     Austria-Hungary,        Mexico
     Brazil,                 Netherlands,
     Chili,                  Paraguay,
     Colombia,               Russia,
     Costa Rica,             San Domingo,
     France,                 Spain,
     Great Britain,          Turkey,
     Hawaii,                 United States,
     Italy,                  Venezuela.
     Japan,

     Abstaining from voting:

     Germany,                Sweden.
     Guatemala,

     Ayes, 21; abstaining, 3.

     Done at Washington, the 22d of October, 1884.

                                   C. R. P. RODGERS,
                                   _President_.

     R. STRACHEY,     J. JANSSEN,      L. CRULS,
                                   _Secretaries._


The following resolution was then adopted unanimously:

     "That a copy of the resolutions passed by this Conference
     shall be communicated to the Government of the United States
     of America, at whose instance and within whose territory the
     Conference has been convened."

Mr. RUTHERFURD, Delegate of the United States, then presented the
following resolution:

     "_Resolved_, That the Conference adjourn, to meet upon the
     call of the President, for the purpose of verifying the
     protocols."

This resolution was then unanimously carried, and the Conference
adjourned at half past three, to meet upon the call of the President.



VIII.

SESSION OF NOVEMBER 1, 1884.


The Conference met at the call of the President for the approval of
the protocols, as arranged at the last meeting, in the Diplomatic Hall
of the Department of State, at 1 o'clock p. m.

The PRESIDENT having called the Conference to order, said: The
protocols in French and English, having been examined by the
Secretaries of the Conference, have been submitted to all of the
delegates for perusal. If any delegate should desire to make any
observation on them the opportunity is now given for his doing so.

RUSTEM EFFENDI, Delegate of Turkey, stated that he desired to change
his vote on the fifth resolution of the Final Act, providing for the
commencement of the universal day, from the affirmative to the
negative.

No objection being made, the change was ordered to be made.

The PRESIDENT then said: No further observations having been made on
the protocols, they will now be signed by the Secretaries and the
President.

Mr. DE STRUVE, Delegate of Russia. Before the Conference terminates, I
beg to express, in the name of my colleagues, our sincere gratitude
for the hospitality extended to the Conference by the Government of
the United States, and I beg to express our heartiest thanks to you,
Mr. President, for the able and impartial manner in which you have
presided over our deliberations. When we elected you, we unanimously
elected the first Delegate of the United States. If we had to begin
again, the personal feelings of all the delegates would supply
powerful additional reasons for making the election equally
unanimous.

Mr. DE STRUVE'S observation met with the unanimous approval of the
Delegates.

The PRESIDENT. Gentlemen, I am greatly honored by the kind expression
of your good feeling towards me as the President of this Conference,
and I thank you very heartily for it. The duty assigned to us all has
not been free from difficulty, but our meetings and discussions have
been characterized by great courtesy and kindness, and by a
conciliatory spirit.

With patience and devotion the Delegates to this Congress have sought
to discharge the trust committed to them, and, as your Chairman, I beg
you to receive my most cordial thanks for the courteous consideration
I have received at your hands. The President of the United States and
the Secretary of State desire me to renew to you their thanks for your
presence here, and their best wishes for your safe and happy return
each to his own home.

I shall esteem myself very happy hereafter whenever I shall have the
good fortune to meet any of my colleagues of the International
Meridian Conference.

Mr. RUTHERFURD, the Delegate of the United States. Mr. President and
gentlemen, I am sure that you will all unite with me in passing the
resolution which I now propose to read:

     "_Resolved_, That the thanks of the Conference be presented
     to the Secretaries for the able manner in which they have
     discharged their arduous duties."

The resolution was unanimously adopted.

General STRACHEY, Delegate of Great Britain. I wish, sir, as one of
the Secretaries, to express my thanks for the manner in which my
labors have been esteemed by the delegates present. All that I can say
on the subject is, that however troublesome the duties of the
Secretaries have been, I have not the least doubt that anybody else
named instead of myself would equally have bestowed his best attention
on the discharge of those duties.

Mr. JANSSEN, Delegate of France, then said: Before the dissolution of
the Conference, Mr. CRULS and I desire specially to thank our
colleagues for the honor they have done us by entrusting to us the
revision of the French version of the protocols. In order that we
might fully respond to that honor, we have examined with all possible
care the French translations of the remarks of our colleagues. Our
only regret is that, in consequence of the desire of several of them
to quit Washington, we have been obliged to leave portions of the
translations, particularly of the last protocols, much in the state in
which we received them from the official translators, not having had
the time to correct these translations as we would have desired.

Upon motion of Mr. JANSSEN, Delegate of France, the Conference passed
a vote of thanks to the delegate of Turkey for the aid he has rendered
the Secretaries in the revision of the protocols.

The PRESIDENT then said: Before our final adjournment I desire to
express a very high appreciation of the ability, fidelity, and zeal
with which Mr. W. F. PEDDRICK, the Secretary attached by the
Department of State to this Conference, has performed his difficult
duties, and to thank him for his services.

The Conference expressed its cordial assent to these observations.

The PRESIDENT then declared that the business of the Conference having
been concluded, it would adjourn _sine die_.

                                   C. R. P. RODGERS,
                                   _President._

     R. STRACHEY,     J. JANSSEN,      L. CRULS,
                                   _Secretaries._



ANNEX I.


     AN ACT to authorize the President of the United States to
     call an International Conference to fix on and recommend for
     universal adoption a common prime meridian, to be used in
     the reckoning of longitude and in the regulation of time
     throughout the world.

_Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled_, That the President of
the United States be authorized and requested to extend to the
governments of all nations in diplomatic relations with our own an
invitation to appoint delegates to meet delegates from the United
States in the city of Washington, at such time as he may see fit to
designate, for the purpose of fixing upon a meridian proper to be
employed as a common zero of longitude and standard of time-reckoning
throughout the globe, and that the President be authorized to appoint
delegates, not exceeding three in number, to represent the United
States in such International Conference.

Approved August 3, 1882.


       *       *       *       *       *



ANNEX II.


     AN ACT making appropriations for sundry civil expenses of
     the Government for the fiscal year ending June thirtieth,
     eighteen hundred and eighty-five, and for other purposes.

_Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled_, That the following
sums be, and the same are hereby, appropriated for the objects
hereinafter expressed for the fiscal year ending June thirtieth,
eighteen hundred and eighty-five, namely:

Under the State Department:

For expenses of the International Conference for fixing a common zero
of longitude and standard of time-reckoning, including cost of
printing and translations, to be expended under the direction of the
Secretary of State, five thousand dollars; and the President is hereby
authorized to appoint two delegates to represent the United States at
said International Conference, in addition to the number authorized by
the act approved August third, eighteen hundred and eighty-two, and
who shall serve without compensation.

Approved July 7, 1884.



ANNEX III.


Circular.]


                                               DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                                   WASHINGTON, _October 23, 1882_.

SIR: On the 3d of August last the President approved an act of
Congress, in the following words:

     "_Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
     of the United States of America in Congress assembled_, That
     the President of the United States be authorized and
     requested to extend to the governments of all nations in
     diplomatic relations with our own an invitation to appoint
     delegates to meet delegates from the United States in the
     city of Washington, at such time as he may see fit to
     designate, for the purpose of fixing upon a meridian proper
     to be employed as a common zero of longitude and standard of
     time-reckoning throughout the globe, and that the President
     be authorized to appoint delegates, not exceeding three in
     number, to represent the United States in such international
     conference."

It may be well to state that, in the absence of a common and accepted
standard for the computation of time for other than astronomical
purposes, embarrassments are experienced in the ordinary affairs of
modern commerce; that this embarrassment is especially felt since the
extension of telegraphic and railway communications has joined States
and continents possessing independent and widely separated meridional
standards of time; that the subject of a common meridian has been for
several years past discussed in this country and in Europe by
commercial and scientific bodies, and the need of a general agreement
upon a single standard recognized; and that, in recent European
conferences especially, favor was shown to the suggestion that, as the
United States possesses the greatest longitudinal extension of any
country traversed by railway and telegraph lines, the initiatory
measures for holding an international convention to consider so
important a subject should be taken by this Government.

The President, while convinced of the good to flow eventually from the
adoption of a common time unit, applicable throughout the globe,
thinks, however, that the effort now to be made should be to reach by
consultation a conclusion as to the advisability of assembling an
International Congress with the object of finally adopting a common
meridian. He, therefore, abstains from extending an invitation for a
meeting at an assigned day, until he has ascertained the views of the
leading Governments of the world as to whether such International
Conference is deemed desirable.

I am accordingly directed by the President to request you to bring the
matter to the attention of the Government of ----, through the
Minister of Foreign Affairs, with a view to learning whether its
appreciation of the benefits to accrue to the intimate intercourse of
civilized peoples from the consideration and adoption of the suggested
common standard of time so far coincides with that of this Government
as to lead it to accept an invitation to participate in an
International Conference at a date to be designated in the near
future.

You may leave a copy of this instruction with the Minister for Foreign
Affairs, and request the views of his Government thereon, at as early
a day as may be conveniently practicable.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

                                   FRED'K T. FRELINGHUYSEN.


       *       *       *       *       *



ANNEX IV.


Circular.]

                                              DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
                                   WASHINGTON, _December 1, 1883_.

SIR: By a circular instruction of October 23, 1882, you were made
acquainted with (the language of) an act of Congress, approved August
3, 1882, authorizing and requesting the President to extend to other
Governments an invitation to appoint delegates to meet in the city of
Washington for the purpose of fixing upon a meridian proper to be
employed as a common zero of longitude and standard of time-reckoning
throughout the world; and you were instructed to bring the matter to
the attention of the Government to which you are accredited and to
inform it that the President deemed it advisable to abstain from the
issuance of the formal invitation contemplated, until through
preliminary consultation the views of the leading governments of the
world as to the desirability of holding such an International
Conference could be ascertained.

In the year that has since elapsed this Government has received from
most of those in diplomatic relations with the United States the
approval of the project, while many have in terms signified their
acceptance and even named their delegates.

Besides this generally favorable reception of the suggestion so put
forth, interest in the proposed reform has been shown by the
Geographical Conference held at Rome in October last, which very
decisively expressed its opinion in favor of the adoption of the
meridian of Greenwich as the common zero of time longitude, and
adjourned, leaving the discussion and final adoption of this or other
equivalent unit, and the framing of practical rules for such adoption,
to the International Conference to be held at Washington.

The President therefore thinks the time has come to call the
Convention referred to in my instruction of October 23, 1882. I am
accordingly directed by the President to instruct you to tender to the
Government of ----, through its Minister for Foreign Affairs, an
invitation to be represented by one or more delegates (not exceeding
three) to meet delegates from the United States and other nations in
an international Conference to be held in the city of Washington on
the first day of October next, 1884, for the purpose of discussing
and, if possible, fixing upon a meridian proper to be employed as a
common zero of longitude and standard of time-reckoning throughout the
globe.

You will seek the earliest convenient occasion to bring this invitation
to the attention of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of ---- by handing
him a copy hereof and requesting that the answer of his Government may
be made known to you.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

                                   FRED'K T. FRELINGHUYSEN.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "International Conference Held at Washington for the Purpose of Fixing a Prime Meridian and a Universal Day. October, 1884. - Protocols of the Proceedings" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home