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The Florida, after her illegal outfit as a ship of war in the neutral territory of Great Britain, and the completion of her armament, warlike munitions, and crew from the same neutral territory, took the seas under a Confederate commission, and after an unsuccessful attempt to add to her complement of men by violating the neutrality of Spain, slipped into Mobile by a fraudulent imposition upon the blockading vessels, which her British origin enabled her to practice. She was there imprisoned four months before she was able to elude the vigilance of the blockaders, and she obtained there, it is said, some addition to the force of the crew which she had when she entered that port. Her captures were made after she left Mobile, and a question of public law is now raised upon this state of facts, to this effect: "Is the responsibility of Great Britain to the United States for the depredations of the Florida relieved by this visit of that cruiser to a Confederate port under the circumstances in evidence?" The question assumed that, but for this visit, the neutral responsibility for the acts of this cruiser would exist, and seeks to arrive at the significance, if any, of this visit in relieving the neutral from such responsibility. The Counsel of Her Britannic Maj. esty has discussed this question, and we now offer a brief reply to his Argument.

I. It is said, that a limitation upon a neutral's responsibility for the acts of a cruiser, for which the neutral would otherwise continue to be responsible, may be found in the principle of the rule by which neutral trade in contraband of war and belligerent right to prevent it are regulated. This rule is understood to be, that the belligerent right to intercept or punish trade in contraband, carried on by a neutral, must be exercised during the guilty voyage, and that its termination ends the bel ligerent's redress and the neutral's exposure. The view which we take of this suggestion makes it unnecessary to consider whether the more strict or the more liberal measure of the duration of the guilty voyage is the proper one.

It seems to us that it needs but little attention to the nature of this struggle between neutral right to trade and belligerent right to restrict and defeat that trade, and to the solution of these conflicting and competing rights which the law of nations has furnished, to reject the analogy as valueless in the present discussion.

Neutral nations properly insist that their trade is not to be surrendered because of the war between the two belligerents. But they concede that the belligerent Powers, as against each other, may rightfully aim at the restriction or destruction of each other's commerce. How far the bellig. erent may press against his enemy's commerce, which, in turn, is also the neutral's commerce, and how much the neutral must acquiesce in its commerce being dealt with in its character of being also the enemy's

commerce, is the problem to be solved in the interest of preserving peace with the neutrals, and restricting the war to the original belligerents.

The solution arrived at, and firmly and wisely established, covers the three grounds of (1) neutral trade with ports of the enemy under actual blockade; (2) visitation and search of neutral ships to verify the property, in ship and cargo, as being really neutral; (3) the interception and condemnation of contraband of war, though really of neutral ownership and though not bound to a blockaded port. It is with the last only that we have to deal.

There were but three modes in which the consent of nations could dispose of this question of contraband trade. First, It might have been proscribed as hostile, and, therefore, criminal, involving the nation suffering or permitting it, or not using due diligence to prevent it, in complicity with and responsibility for it. This has been contended for as the true principle by able publicists, but has not obtained the consent of nations. Second, It might have been pronounced as free from belligerent control as all other neutral commerce, submitting only to verification as really neutral in ownership, and to exclusion only from blockaded ports. This has been contended for, but has not been accepted.

The only other disposition of this conflict of rights and interests at all reasonable is that which has been actually accepted and now constitutes a rule of the law of nations. This limits the right of the belligerent, and the exposure of the neutral, to the prevention of the trade in contraband by warlike force for capture, and prize jurisdiction, for forfeiture. Manifestly, the natural, perhaps the necessary, limit of this right and exposure, by the very terms of the rule itself, would be flagrante delicto or during the guilty voyage. To go beyond this would, in principle, depart from the reason of the actual rule and carry you to the ground of this trade being a hostile act in the sense in which the consent of nations has refused so to regard it. But, to adhere to the principle on which the rule stands and attempt to carry its application beyond the period of perpetration, would involve practical difficulties wholly insurmountable, and encroachments upon innocent neutral commerce wholly insupportable. How could you pursue the contraband merchandise itself in its subsequent passage, through the distributive processes of trade, into innocent neutral hands? But, while it remained in belligerent hands, it needs no other fact to expose it to belligerent operations, irrespective of its character or origin. Again, how can you affect the vessel which has been the guilty vehicle of the contraband merchandise in a former voyage, with a permanent exposure to belligerent force for the original delict, without subjecting general neutral trade to inflictions, which are in the nature of forcible punishment, by the belligerent of the neutral nation, as for hostile acts exposing the neutral nation to this general punitive harassment of its trade?

It will, we think, be readily seen that this analogy to contraband trade, as giving the measure of the endurance of the responsibility of Great Britain for the hostile expedition of the Florida, is but a subtle form of the general argument, that the outfit of the Florida was but a dealing in contraband of war, and was to carry no other consequence of responsibility than the law of nations affixed to that dealing. But this argument has been suppressed by the Rules of the Treaty, and need be no further considered.

II. The criticism on the celebrated judgment of Chief Justice Marshall, in the case of the Gran Para, does not seem to shake its force as authoritative upon the precise point under discussion, to wit, whether a visit to a belligerent port terminated the neutral's duty and responsi

bility in respect of a vessel which, in its origin and previous character, lay at the neutral's charge. It is not profitable to consider the special distinctions which may be drawn between the facts of the Gran Para and of the Florida in this respect. If it is supposed that other circumstances than the mere visit of the Florida to a Confederate port divested her of being any longer an instrument of rebel maritime war, furnished from the neutral nation, we fail to find in the evidence any support to such suggestions. Certainly, the fact, if it existed or was shown by any definite evidence, of the fluctuating element of actual hostilities, or navigation in the presence on board of substituted or added seamen, does not divest the cruiser, its armament, its munitions, and its setting forth to take and keep the seas, of their British origin and British responsibility. These all continued up to the violation of the blockade, which they enabled the Florida to make. They equally enabled it to take and to use in the hostile cruise the enlistments at Mobile. Yet, if there be anything in the learned Counsel's argument, it comes to this: that the seamen enlisted at Mobile became, thereafter, the effective maritime war of the Florida, and the cruiser and her warlike and navigable qualities "suffered a sea change," which divested them of all British character and responsibility. This reasoning is an inversion of the proposition, Omne principale ad se trahit accessorium.

III. As a matter of fact, the evidence concerning what happened at Mobile by no means exhibits the crew with which the Florida left Mobile as original enlistments there. The force she took from Nassau, and which enabled her to make the port of Mobile, must have adhered to her. All the motives for such adherence continued in full force, and in a port without ships or trade, and so absolutely closed as Mobile was, there was no possible chance for them, as seamen, except to adhere to the Florida. The evidence does not contain any shipping articles, either at Nassau or at Mobile, and the list made by, or for verification by, Thomson at Liverpool, in reference to prosecutions under the Foreign-Enlistment Act, was made only in reference to nationality and the place where, within Thomson's knowledge, (who did first join her at Mobile,) he found them connected with the Florida. Very possibly a form of enlistment or engagement, as from Mobile as the place of departure, if they could ever get out, for the purposes of wages or otherwise, may have been gone through at Mobile, though it is not so proved. A perusal of Thomson's affidavit will show that it, and the accompanying list, relate only to crew dating on the cruise from Mobile, or from later recruitment, and that he imports to give no evidence that there were not re-enlistments at Mobile of her former crew, except in his own case, or by incidental inference, perhaps, in some others.

IV. The learned Counsel diverges, as it seems to us, from the point open for discussion into a somewhat vague inquiry as to what should be the consequences in respect of indemnity to the United States, from the responsibility of Great Britain for the violations of her obligations as established by the three Rules of the Treaty, if the Tribunal should find Great Britain so responsible.

We have considered this subject in our Argument, submitted on the 15th of June, and need not renew that discussion unless it is required from us. Of course minute and artificial reasoning may attempt to make out that the last man essential to a crew for navigation or fighting, or the last rope or spar which she could not spare, was the guilty cause of all a cruiser's subsequent depredations, and that all preceding structure, fitment, armament, munitions, officers, and men, are absolved from any share of the guilt. This reasoning may point the wit of the

proverb that "it is the last ounce that breaks the camel's back,” but will not go much further. The response is too immediate. What preceded is what gives the place and power for the casual incorporation of the new atom, and the preceding preparations laid foundation for these casual and fluctuating elements of prosperous war, and thereby, as well as directly, for the war itself. Again we have only need to repeat, "Omne principale ad se trahit accessorium." The provisions of the Treaty plainly indicate what the responsibility for indemnity should be if the responsi bility for fault be established."




1. The question of the allowance of interest on the sums claimed in respect of their alleged losses by the United States, is one of grave importance, both in principle and in amount. It has not hitherto been discussed, with any precision or fullness, by either party. By Great Britain this demand has been simply demurred to in principle; it was thought premature to enter into any detailed argument on that subject until some liability should have been established, which would properly raise the question. The United States, in their Argument, presented on the 15th of June, have suggested (paragraphs 484-5) some reasons why, if a gross sum is awarded, "interest" should be "awarded by the Tribunal as an element of the damage;" but these reasons are very short and vague, and no attempt has been made to develop them in such a manner as to be of any real assistance to the Tribunal.

2. It is necessary to bear in mind what it is which the Tribunal has power to do in this matter. Under the seventh Article of the Treaty, on finding that Great Britain has failed to fulfill any of the duties previously mentioned, in respect of any of the vessels, the Tribunal "may, if it think proper, proceed to award a sum in gross to be paid by Great Britain to the United States for all the claims referred to it.” If it does not award a sum in gross under this Article, the duty of examining and of ascertaining and determining the validity of all the claims brought forward, and "what amount or amounts shall be paid by Great Britain to the United States on account of the liability as to each vessel, according to the extent of such liability as decided by the Arbitrators," will devolve upon Assessors, under the tenth Article.

It may be that the Tribunal has power to decide, if it should think it right and just to do so, that on all or some part of the principal amounts of the losses for which Great Britain may be found liable, when ascertained and determined by Assessors in the manner provided by the tenth Article, Great Britain should further be liable to pay interest at some rate or rates to be fixed, which interest would, in that case, have to be computed by the Assessors, and would be included in the sum or sums finally ascertained and determined by them as payable by Great Britain. But it is indisputable, on the other hand, that, under the ninth Article, the Tribunal has no power to direct any interest to be paid upon any gross sum which they may think fit to award. It is one gross sum only, to be paid in coin within twelve months after the date of the award, which they have power to allow. The Counsel for the United States appear to be sensible of this, when they assume in the passage of their Argument already quoted (page 484) that "interest will be awarded by the Tribunal, as an element of the damage ;" the meaning of which evidently is, that they ask the Tribunal, when fixing the amount of the gross sum (if any) which they may award to be paid, to take into consideration, and to include in such gross sum, (among other "elements of damage,") some allowance in respect. of interest upon the losses for which Great Britain is held responsible.

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