« ПретходнаНастави »
A Listening Patrol Leaving the Trench for Dangerous Service in the Shell-Shattered Strip or Ground Between
the Lines (Photo from Medem Sertice.)
lent moral effect, to the profit of Ger which could easily be fixed to the deck many.
by means prepared in advance. The United States faced a novel and To these automobile torpedoes it would delicate problem: Was the Deutschland be quite a simple matter to add automatic really a merchant ship? Was she not mines. These could be placed on the rather a disguised warship, and even, deck, out of the axis of the torpedo tubes. from an absolute point of view, could a Or they might be taken aboard like simsubmarine ever be regarded as anything ple packing cases and lowered into the else than an engine of war?
hold through scuttles. They could easily It is known that the Washington Cabi be thrown overboard at favorable points, ret decided that the Deutschland was since they would probably be floating really a merchant ship, since neither mines. weapons nor emplacements for them were There remains the question of guns. I found on her.
admit that it would not be easy to install Perhaps the Entente Powers had
these aboard a submarine on the open counted on an attitude less inspired by
sea, and that, in any case, the necessary the desire to keep on good terms with preparations could not have escaped the both sides; but they do not seem to have scrutiny of competent examiners. But made decisive efforts to press their views,
the fact seems to be that the Deutschwhich were intended to establish the land already mounts, and quite openly, point that a submarine cannot be, and is two light guns, of 57 millimeters (244 not, anything but a warship. Let us ex inches) according to some, of 76 millimeamine this contention.
ters (3 inches) according to others. But To begin with, it is evident that the
the Captain affirms that they are only carrying of a cargo is not enough to
“for defense " against armed merchant make any vessel a merchant ship. Noth
ships, and-why not?-against English ing would prevent a cruiser from taking
or French submarines, such guns as are on board goods of high value filling a
allowed by the new jurisprudence of the small space. The cruiser would be none
United States to the most consistently the less a war vessel. Yes, but would she pacific steamship or sailing ship of comcease to be one, and could she enter a neu
One could not, without crying intral port to remain there more than justice, refuse to the innocent submatwenty-four hours, if she proved that her rine the privilege granted to the ships of guns had been disembarked? Perhaps;
the Allies. Agreed. But, unfortunately, but the port authorities would not re nothing so resembles a gun “for attack" quire very strong evidence to make them as a gun“ for defense”! believe that her guns had simply been
Perish the thought! cried the pro-Gerput away, on board another ship lying mans; the Deutschland carries only blank out at sea, all ready, on signal, to rejoin cartridges. She wishes only to fire signals the pseudo-merchant vessel and restore of alarm, in case of imminent peril! So them as soon as she had left territorial be it, but—even supposing that there are waters.
no shells hidden in a double bottom, a Now, if this operation is not at all im convoy ship supplying torpedo tubes possible, applied to guns of moderate would not have the slightest difficulty in calibre, it would evidently be even easier supplying the necessary munitions for to restore automobile torpedoes to a sub guns. marine. Our American friends would Now, let us note this well, for it surely grant this, if the question were touches the root of the matter: Once put to them. They believe they have set they are placed aboard a submarinetled the difficulty by proving that the essentially an engine of surprise, which Deutschland had no torpedo tubes. Un can emerge within a few yards of a fortunately, this guarantee is a delusion, liner taken at short range—these light for the good reason that the German guns are much more dangerous and have submarine might be armed with torpe a much greater offensive power than if does inclosed in simple skeleton tubes they were mounted on a surface ship.
The latter can be seen approaching at a great distance, and precautions can be taken at leisure against an eventual attack. And nothing shows better how great an error is committed, no doubt in good faith, by those who consent to accept the Deutschland as an ordinary merchant ship.
But I go further and affirm that the submarine, even if she had been absolutely devoid of weapons, might still have the offensive character which is the essential mark of the military instrument. For this it would be sufficient to have supplied her with a reinforced bow, backed by a shock compartment well supplied with bulkheads. This submersible, which suddenly emerges, as I said a moment ago, at a few yards distance from a
liner-what prevents her ramming the thin-skinned hull and ripping it up below the water line? Oh, this would be quite accidental, of course, and due to poor steering, or to the whim of an engine that would not back in time. But meanwhile the hapless liner would go to the bottom, with the Allies' munitions or other useful cargo, which had come under the notice of the submarine's commander while in American ports.
I insist again, and I beg that it shall not be forgotten, in all discussions as to applying to a submarine the rules of international maritime law: By its very character a submersible is always "in itself” an engine of offense, which can be instantly used as a warship. Therefore it should be so considered.
Official Correspondence as to Barring Submarines
From Our Ports Fom
TOLLOWING is the text of a joint
memorandum sent to neutral na
tions last August by the Entente Powers, apropos of the Deutschland episode, urging the exclusion of all submarine vessels of belligerent nations from neutral waters:
In view of the development of submarine navigation and by reason of acts which in the present circumstances may be unfortunately expected from enemy submarines, the allied Governments consider it necessary, in order not only to safeguard their belligerent rights and liberty of commercial navigation, but to avoid risks of dispute, to urge neutral Governments to take effective measures, if they have not already done so, with a view to preventing belligerent submarine vessels, whatever the purpose to which they are put, from making use of neutral waters, roadsteads, and ports.
In the case of submarine vessels, the application of the principles of the law of nations is affected by special and novel conditions: First, by the fact that these vessels can navia gate and remain at sea submerged, and can thus escape all control and observation; second, by the fact that it is impossible to identify them and establish their national character, whether neutral or belligerent, combatant or noncombatant, and to remove the capacity for harm inherent in the nature of such vessels.
It may further be said that any place which
provides a submarine warship far from its base with an opportunity for rest and replenishment of its supplies thereby furnishes such addition to its powers that the place becomes in fact, through the advantages which it gives, a base of naval operations.
In view of the state of affairs thus existing, the allied Governments are of the opinion that submarine vessels should be excluded from the benefit of the rules hitherto recognized by the law of nations regarding the admission of vessels of war or merchant vessels into neutral waters, roadsteads, or ports, and their sojourn in them. Any belligerent submarine entering a neutral port should be detained there.
The allied Governments take this opportunity to point out to the neutral powers the grave danger incurred by neutral submarines in the navigation of regions frequented by belligerent submarines.
Reply of the United States The full text of Secretary Lansing's reply to the foregoing is given below. It is a refusal, with reasons therefor:
Washington, Aug. 31, 1916. The Government of the United States has received the identic memoranda of the Governments of France, Great Britain, Russia, and Japan in which neutral Governments are exhorted “to take efficacious measures tending to prevent belligerent submarines, gardless of their use, to avail themselves of neutral waters, roadsteads, and harbors."*
These Governments point out the facility possessed by such craft to avoid supervision or surveillance determination of their national character and their power " to do injury that is inherent in their very nature" as well as the additional facilities afforded by having at their disposal places where they can rest and replenish their supplies. Apparently on these grounds the allied Governments hold that “ submarine vessels must be excluded from the benefit of the rules heretofore accepted under international law regarding the admission and sojourn of war and merchant vessels in neutral waters, roadsteads, or harbors; any submarine of a belligerent that once enters a neutral harbor must be held there," and therefore the allied Governments warn neutral powers of the great danger to neutral submarines attending the navigation of waters visited by the submarines of belligerents."
In reply the Government of the United States must express its surprise that there appears to be an endeavor of the allied powers to determine the rule of action governing what they regard ås a “novel situation" in respect to the use of submarines in time of war, and to enforce a compliance of that rule, at least in part, by warning neutral powers of the great danger to their submarines in waters that may be visited by belligerent submarines. In the opinion of the Government of the United States, the allied powers have not set forth any circumstance, nor is the Government of the United
States at present aware of any circumstances, concerning the use of war or merchant submarines which would render the existing rules of international law inapplicable to them. In view of this fact and of the notice and warning of the allied powers announced in their memoranda under acknowledgment, it is incumbent upon the Government of the United States to notify the Governments of France, Great Britain, Russia, and Japan that, so far as the treatment of either war or merchant submarines in American waters is concerned, the Goyernment of the l'nited States reserves its liberty of action in all respects, and will treat such vessels as, in its opinion, becomes the action of a power which may be said to have taken the first steps toward establishing the principles of neutrality and which for over a century has maintained those principles in the traditional spirit and with the high sense of impartiality in which they were conceived.
In order, however, that there should be no misunderstanding as to the attitude of the United States, the Government of the United States announces to the allied powers that it holds it to be the duty of belligerent powers to distinguish between submarines of neutral and belligerent nationality, and that responsibility for any conflict that may arise between belligerent warships and neutral submarines on account of the neglect of a belligerent to so distinguish between these classes of submarines must rest entirely upon the negligent power.
Seizure of Neutral Mails at Sea—Anglo-French
Reply to Our Protests
Following is the full text of the latest memorandum of Great Britain and France in rice fense of their practice of seizing and censoring all transatlantic mails, including those from outral nations to neutral nations. It is a reply to the note of May 24, 1916, in which the l'eited States protested against certain definite infringements of neutral rights by the Allied Powere. [That note was published in CURRENT HISTORY MAGAZINE for July.] In the present communication the Allies refuse to concede any of the points in question, thus leaving the katter is as unsatisfactory a state as before.
THE BRITISH AMBASSADOR TO THE
SECRETARY OF STATE,
Oct. 12, 1916.
ceived from Viscount Grey of Fallodon,
his Majesty's principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, I have the honor to transmit herewith copy of the memorandum, agreed upon by his Majesty's Governmpt and the French Government, embodying the joint reply of the Allies to your note of May 24 regarding the examination of the mails,
1. By a letter of May 24 last the Secretary of State of the United States was pleased to xive the views of the American Govern
ment on the memorandum of the allied Governments concerning mails found merchant ships on the high seas.
2. The allied Governments have found that their views agreed with those of the Government of the United States in regard to the postal union convention, which is recognized on both sides to be foreign to the questions now under consideration; post parcels, respectively, recognized as being under the common rule of merchandise subject to the exercise of belligerent rights, as provided by international law; the inspection of private mails to the end of ascertaining whether they do not contain contraband goods, and, if carried on an enemy ship, whether they do not contain enem property. It is clear