« AnteriorContinuar »
belligerent shall or shall not be permitted with impunity to violate the terms of Her Majesty's proclamation forbidding the fitting out, within the ports of Great Britain, of any armament intended to be used against a nation with which she is at peace.”
The foregoing note was immediately answered by Earl Russell, as follows:
Earl Russell to Ur. ldams,
FOREIGN OFFICE, November 23, 1861. Lord Russell presents his compliments to Mr. Adams, and begs leave to acquaint him that his letter and the inclosure shall receive the immediate attention of Her Majesty's government.
Lord Russell has already given directions that no infringement of the foreign enlistment act shall be permitted in regard to the Nashville.
On the 28th November, 1861, Earl Russell addressed to Vr. Adams, with reference to his note of the 2:), a further note, which was as follows:
Earl Pilssell to Wr. Alams
FORMIGN OFFICE, Vorember 28, 1861. The undersigned, Her Majesty's principal secretary of state for foreign affairs, has the honor to inform Mr. Adams, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of the United States at this court, that his note of the 22d instant has been the subject of careful and anxious consideration by Her Majesty's government.
Mr. Adams, after reciuing the capture and destruction by fire of the United States merehant-ship on the high seas by order of the commander of the armed steamer called the Nashville, and the subsequent arrival of the Nashville in the port of Southampton, asks for an inquiry as to two classes of facts: the first, “ as to the authority possessed by tbis vessel to commit so aggressive an act on the citizens of a friendly power, and then to claim a refuge in the harbors of Great Britain ;" the second, “in case the nature of that authority be deemed sufficient, at least in the view of Her Majesty's goveroment, as to the purposes for which the ship is alleged to have come across the ocean, to wit, the making more effective preparations in the ports of Great Britain for carrying on war against the people of a friendly nation."
Her Majesty's government have directed their inquiries to both these points, and also to the state of the law as applicable to the facts thus by them ascertained.
With regard to the first point, the undersigned has to state that the Nashville appears to be a confederate vessel of war; her commander and officers have commissions in the so-styled confederate navy; some of them have written orders from the Davy department at Richmond to report to Lieutenant Pegram “for duty” on board ibe Nashville, and ber crew have signed articles to ship in the confederate navy.
In these circumstances the act done by the Nashville, of capturing and burning on the high seas a merchant-vessel of the United States, cannot be considered as an act * voluntarily undertaken by individuals not vested with powers generally acknowledged to be necessary to justify aggressive warfare," nor does it at all “ approximate within the detinition of piracy."
Such being the answer of Her Majesty's govern:nent on the first point raised by Mr. Adams, the undersigned passes to the second.
The undersigned stated to Mr. Adams, in his informal note of the 230 instant, that he had already given directions that no infringement of the foreign enlistment act should be permitted in regard to the Nashville. In fact, directions had already been given to prevent the Nashville from augmenting her warlike forces within Her Majesig's jurisiliction in contravention of the foreign enlistinent act.
With respect to the allegation made by Mr. Adams that some of the oflicers of the Nashville are to be put in command of vessels now titting out in British ports for purposes hostile to the Government of the United States, the undersigned can only say that, if reasonable evidence can be procured to that effect, all parties concerned who shall be acting in contravention of the foreign enlistment act shall be legally proceeded against, with a view to the punishment of the persons and to the forfeiture of the vessels.
Having thus answered Mr. Adams upon the two points to which his attention was called, the undersigned bas only further to say that if, in order to maintain inviolate the neutral character which Her Majesty has assumed, Her Majesty's government Appendix, vol. ii, p. 95.
· Ibid., p. 101.
should find it necessary to adopt further measures within the limits of public law. Her Majesty will be advised to adopt such nieasures.
It is the earnest desire of Her Majesty to preserve intact the friendly relations between Her Majesty and the United States of America. The undersigned, &c. (Signed)
RUSSELL.  * On the 21 December, 1861, Mr. Adams answered the foregoing
note as follows:
Mi, Adams to Earl Russell.1
London, Decemher 2, 1861. The undersigned, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of the United States, bas the honor to acknowledge the receipt of a note from the Right Honorable Earl Russell, Her Majesty's principal secretary of state for foreign affairs, dated on the 28th of November, and in answer to the note of the undersigned soliciting au investigation into the case of the armed steamer the Naslı ville.
While the undersigned regrets that Her Majesty's government has determined to give what he cannot but think a liberal construction to the evidence furnished of the character of the voyage of the Nashville, it is yet a source of great satisfaction to him to learn the intention expressed by the government to apply all its power to the prevention of measures taken within this kingdom by ill-disposed persons to fit out enterprises of a hostile character to the United States. The undersigned entertains no doubt that this information, which has been already transmitted by him to this government, will be received with much pleasure. The undersigned, &c. (Signed)
CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS. Reports of the nature of the repairs which the Nashville was undergoing, showing that nothing whatever was being done to fit her more completely as a vessel of war, were from time to time received at the Foreign Office from the senior naval officer at Southampton, and were forwarded to Mr. Adams for his information. Mr. Adams, in acknowledging the receipt of these reports, added, “It is a source of gratification to him (Mr. Adams) to observe the continued supervision exercised by Her Majesty's government over the outfit of that ressel."—(28th December, 1861.)
On the 15th December, 1861, the United States war-steamer Tuscarora arrived in Southampton Water. She remained there, occasionally shifting her anchorage, until after the departure of the Nashville, which occurred on the 3d February following. While the two ships remained in British waters, Her Majesty's government enforced with strict im. partiality the rule which had previously been enforced by the French authorities at Martinique in the case of the Sumter and Iroquois, that, if either should sail, the other should not follow within twenty-four hours afterward. The facts are stated in reports aildressed by Captain Patey as senior naval officer to Her Majesty's board of admiralty. Both ships coaled at Southampton.
In July, 1862, the Tuscarora returned to Southampton, and remained in that port undergoing repairs for three weeks or thereabouts. GENERAL COURSE PURSUED BY HER BRITANNIC MAJESTY'S GOVERN
MENT, AND BY OTIIER MARITIME POWERS, IN REGARD TO THE RECEPTION OF BELLIGERENT CRUISERS.
From the beginning of the war to the end of it, Her Britannic Maj. esty's government scrupulously observed. in respect of vessels entering British ports or waters under the flag of either belligerent, the duties of a neutral power. The cruisers of both were admitted upon the same Appendix, vol. ii, p. 102.
2 Ibid., p. 105. 3 For a summary of the proceedings of the two vessels, see Appendix, vol. ii, p. 120.
terms; and the regulations which it was found necessary to make from time to time in order to prevent the hospitality thus accorded from being abused, whether by design or through inadvertence, were impartially applied to both. Unremitting care and vigilance were employed to prevent these necessary precautions from being infringed or eluded, and especially to prevent any belligerent vessel from engaging in hostilities, or from enlisting seamen or otherwise increasing its military force, within British territory, or using such territory as a station from whence to observe and attack enemy's ships. The difficulties occasioned, especially in Her Majesty's colonial possessions, by the resort of belligerent cruisers to British ports and waters, were considerable, and called for the exercise of much judgment and moderation on the part of the local anthorities. By United States cruisers the ports and waters of Her Majesty's dominions were resorted to for coaling and other purposes more frequently than by vessels of the Confederate States. The impartial neutrality maintained in these respects by Her Majesty's government was nevertheless made a frequent subject of complaint by the Government of the United States, which continued to insist that confederate vessels ought to have been treated as piratical, or at least excluded altogether; whilst the Confederate States, on their part, complained that the regulations enforced were unequal in operation, and unduly disadvantageous to a belligerent whose ports and coasts were under blockade.
The neutrality observed by Great Britain was observed also throughont the war by other maritime powers. By them, as by Great Britain, the armed vessels of both belligerents were admitted impartially and indifferently into their ports, subject to such regulations and conditions as they respectively judged it expedient to impose for their own protection, and to prevent their hospitality from being abused.
STATEMENT ON INTERNATIONAL RIGHTS AND DUTIES; ON THE POWERS
WHICII WERE POSSESSED BY HER BRITANNIC MAJESTY'S GOVERNMENT OF PREVENTING UNLAWFUL EQUIPMENTS, AND THE MANNER AND CIRCUMSTANCES IN AND UNDER WHICH THESE POWERS WERE EXERCISED DURING THE WAR.
With a view to enable the tribunal to form a just appreciation of
the circumstances under which certain vessels were productory statement. cured from ports in Great Britain by the government of the Confederate States, it will be proper to state, in the first place, some general propositions, applicable to the subject, which are believed by Her Britannic Majesty's government to be in accordance with interna tional law and practice; secondly, to explain the means of prevention which were at the command of Her Majesty's government; and, thirdly, to describe in some detail the manner in which those means of prevention were exercised during the war.
Her Britannie Majesty's government believes the following propositions to be in accordance with the principles of international law and the practice of nations:
1. A neutral government is bound to exercise due diligence, to the intent that no place within its territory be made use of by either bellig. erent as a base or point of departure for a military or naval expedition, or for hostilities by land or sea.
2. A neutral government is not, by force of the above-mentioned obligation or otherwise, bound to prevent or restrain the sale within its territory, to a belligerent, of articles contraband of war, or the manufacture within its territory of such articles to the order of a belligerent, or the delivery thereof within its territory to a belligerent purchaser, or the exportation of such articles from its territory for sale to, or for the use of, a belligerent.
3. Nor is a neutral government bound, by force of the above-mentioned obligation or otherwise, to prohibit or prevent vessels of war in the service of a belligerent from entering or remaining in its ports or waters, or from purchasing provisions, coal, or other supplies, or undergoing repairs therein; provided that the same facilities be accorded to both belligerents indifferently; and provided also that such vessels be not permitted to augment their military force, or increase or renew their supplies of arms or munitions of war, or of men, within the neutral territory
4. The unlawful equipment, or augmentation of force, of a belligerent vessel within neutral waters being an offense against the neutral power, it is the right of the neutral power to release prizes taken by means or by the aid of such equipment or augmentation of force, if found within its jurisdiction.
5. It has been the practice of maritime powers, when at war, to treat as contraband of war vessels specially adapted for warlike use and found at sea under a neutral flag in course of transportation to a place possessed or occupied by a belligerent. Such vessels have been held liable to capture and condemnation as contraband, on proof in each case that the destination of the ship was an enemy's port, and provided there were reasonable grounds for believing that she was intended to be sold or delivered to or for the use of the enemy.
6. Public ships of war in the service of a belligerent, entering the ports or waters of a neutral are, by the practice of nations, exempt from the jurisdiction of a neutral power. To withdraw or refuse to recognize this exemption without previous notice, or without such notice to
exert, or attempt to exert, jurisdiction over any such vessel, 21] would *be a violation of a common understanding, which all
nations are bound by good faith to respect. 7. A vessel becomes a public ship of war by being armed and commissioned, that is to say, formally invested by order or under the authority of a government with the character of a slip employed in its naval service and forming part of its marine for purposes of war. There are no general rules which prescribe how, where, or in what form the commissioning must be effected, so as to impress on the vessel the character of a public ship of war. What is essential is that the appointment of a designated officer to the charge and command of a ship likewise designated be made by the government, or the proper department of it, or under authority delegated by the government or departDent, and that the charge and command of the ship be taken by the officer so appointed. Customarily a ship is held to be commissioned when a commissioned officer appointed to her has gone on board of her and hoisted the colors appropriated to the military marine. A neutral power may indeed refuse to admit into its own ports or waters as a public ship of war any belligerent vessel not commissioned in a specified form or manner, as it may impose on such admission any other conditions at its pleasure, provided the refusal be applied to both belligerents iudifferently; but this should not be done without reasonable botice.
8. The act of commissioning, by which a ship is invested with the character of a public ship of war, is, for that purpose, valid and conclusive, notwithstanding that the ship may have been at the time registered in a foreign country as a ship of that country, or may have been liable to process at the suit of a private claimant, or to arrest or forfeiture under the law of a foreign state.
The commissioning power, by commissioning her, incorporates her into its naval force; and by the same act which withdraws her from the operation of ordinary legal process assumes the responsibility for all existing claims which could otherwise have been enforced against her.
9. Due diligence on the part of a sovereign government signifies that measure of care which the government is under an international obligation to use for a given purpose. This measure, where it has not been detined by international usage or agreement, is to be deduced from the nature of the obligation itself, and from those considerations of justice, equity, and general expediency on which the law of nations is founded.
10. The measure of care which a government is bound to use in order to prevent within its jurisdiction certain classes of acts, from wbich harm might accrue to foreign states or their citizens, must