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ART. 27. Neutral powers must use all available means to prevent violation of their neutrality within their ports or roadways and within their territorial waters.

ART. 28. Belligerent war or merchant vessels entering the ports, roadways, or jurisdictional waters of a neutral country, without the right to do so according to the provisions of these rules, may be interned by the neutral country.

A vessel shall be deemed interned from the moment it is ordered interned by the neutral local authority, even in case a request to reconsider is made by the infracting vessel.

ART. 29. Interning of a vessel and of its crew must be effected in the place and in the manner deemed most appropriate by the interning country.

The costs of internment are borne by the infracting vessel.

The country which interns a vessel is not responsible for injuries sustained by the interned vessel, except in the case of gross negligence.

ART. 30. When a merchandise-bearing vessel is to be interned in a neutral country, the part of the merchandise destined for the neutral country must be unloaded and the part destined for other ports must be transshipped.

ART. 31. In case where, in consequence of naval operations taking place without the jurisdictional waters of a country, there should be killed or wounded, provisional hospital vessels, under the control and watchfulness of the neutral Government, may be sent to the scene of the action, and the said vessels shall to the end of their mission enjoy absolute inviolability.

The said wounded or wrecked shall not be interned, but given their freedom as soon as possible.




ART. 32. The belligerent who violates the rights of neutrals established by these rules or by the conference of neutrals shall pay to the State interested a pecuniary indemnity to be determined by the said conference.

In case a belligerent commits at the same time and against the same country several infractions of neutrality, each of such infractions inust be indemnified separately.

The conference of neutrals shall determine the manner of payment of the payment of the indemnity, and in case of need determine the measures and means to which neutrals may resort to secure payment of the amount due by the infracting belligerent.

ART. 33. In case of war the local authorities of neutral countries are especially charged with:

1. Seeing to the observance, within ihe territory of the country, of the resolutions of the conference of neutrals.

2. Settling provisionally all controversies of an urgent character that may arise between the belligerents and the country where reside the authorities, especially controversies concerning the interning of vessels, without prejudice as to what may be finally decided by the said authorities.

3. Viséeing the papers of merchant vessels leaving the port of the country. The said documents shall certify as to the nature of the merchandise carried by the vessels, so as to liberate them from the right to search.

4. Deciding questions concerning requests for the embarkation on board a merchant vessel of a belligerent country of nationals of the other belligerent country or countries, according to article 10.

ART. 34. The conference of neutrals referred to in chapter 2 might appoint commissions composed of neutrals, whose duty it would be to watch in each belligerent country over the manner in which the laws and customs of war are there observed.

Upon the basis of the information and reports of these commissions, the said conference, in the name of all the neutral countries, may, if deemed appropriate, protest against the violation of the laws and usages of war.

Secretary Lansing addressed a memorandum to Dr. Scott, as follows:

“At the first meeting of the institute I had the honor to direct attention to the imperfect code of rules which define and govern the relations between belligerents and neutrals. These rules, which have grown up during the past 125 years, and have been in some cases differently interpreted by courts of different countries, have been frequently found inadequate to meet new conditions of warfare, and as a result every war has changed, modified, or added to the rules, generally through the process of judicial decisions.

“The prize courts of belligerents have thus become the interpreters of belligerent rights and neutral obligations, and their interpretations evidence an unconscious prejudice arising from overappreciation of the needs of the belligerent. Writers on international law have relied upon the prize-court decisions in dealing with the subject of neutrality, so that they have laid down rules formulated indirectly from a belligerent's point of view.

“In addition to these influences affecting a code to govern the conduct and treatment of neutrals, international conferences and congresses have generally confided the drafting of rules relating to belligerent and neutral rights to military and naval experts who naturally approach the subject from the belligerent's standpoint. Thus judicial decisions, text writers, and international agreements have given all the advantage to the belligerent, and have shown little regard for the rights of neutrals.

" It would appear that it is time to reverse this process of treatment of the subject of neutrality and to deal with it from the point of view of the neutral.

“I would, therefore, suggest that a committee be appointed to study the problem of neutral rights and neutral duties, seeking to formulate in terms the principle underlying the relations of belligerency to neutrality rather than the express rules governing the conduct of a nation at war to a nation at peace.

“I would further suggest that the subject might be advantageously divided into two parts, namely, the rights of neutrals on the high seas, and the duties of neutrals dependent upon territorial jurisdiction.

“In view of the past year and a half of war, the present time seems particularly opportune to study this question, and this institute, being composed of members from neutral nations, is especially

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fitted to do this from the proper point of view, and with the definite purpose of protecting the liberty of neutrals from unjustifiable restrictions on the high seas and from the imposition of needless burdens in preserving their neutrality on land.”

63. On the 25th of January, 1917, radical Admiralty action was taken by England in which a wide area of the North Sea was declared dangerous for shipping. The real reason for the change was not announced. The action was made public two days later in the following language:

American Embassy, London, has received information from the British Government that on account of belligerent operations the undermentioned area in the North Sea is dangerous to shipping:

Area comprising all the waters, except Netherlands and Danish territorial waters, lying to the southwestward and eastward of a line commencing 4 miles from the coast of Jutland, in latitude 56° N., longitude 8° E. from Greenwich, and passing through the following positions: Latitude 56° N., longitude 6° E., latitude 54° N., longitude 45' E., thence to a position in latitude 53° 37' N., longitude 5° E., 7 miles off the coast of the Netherlands. (New York Times, Jan. 27, 1917.)

On the 16th of February a new Admiralty decree suggesting intensified action in the North Sea was announced, in which it was officially declared the zone will be made perilous by operations against the enemy.

Ambassador Page's dispatch reads:

Following revised notice, dated February 13, received from the foreign office respecting dangerous area in North Sea, which is intended to replace notice of January 25, 1917:

G Caution with regard to dangerous area.

“In view of the unrestricted warfare carried on by Germany at sea by means of mines and submarines not only against the allied powers, but also against neutral shipping, and the fact that merchant ships are constantly sunk without regard to the ultimate safety of their crews, His Majesty's Government gives notice that on and after the 7th of February, 1917, the undermentioned area in the North Sea will be rendered dangerous to all shiping by operations against the enemy, and it should therefore be avoided.

“Dangerous area: The area comprising all the waters, except Netherland and Danish territorial waters, lying to the southward and eastward of a line commencing 4 miles from the coast of Jutland in latitude 56° north, longitude 8° east, and passing through the follow- . ing positions: Latitude 56° north, longitude 6° east, and latitude 54° 45' north, longitude 4° 30' east; thence to a position in latitude 53° 27' north, longitude 5o east, 7 miles from the coast of the Netherlands.

“ To meet the needs of the coastal traffic which can not strictly confine itself to the territorial waters owing to navigational difficulties, it will be safe to navigate between the coast of Jutland and a line passing through the following positions: Latitude 56° north, longitude 8° east, and latitude 55° 40' north, longitude go east; latitude 55° 36'

north, longitude 7° 15' east; latitude 55° 32' north, longitude 7° 15' east; latitude 55° 22' north, longitude 7° 45' east; latitude 55° 19' north, longitude 8° 4' east; latitude 55° 22' north, longitude 8° 19' east, which is 3 miles from the coast of Fano Island.

“Allso a safe passage will be left along the Netherland coast southward of a line joining the following positions: Latitude 53° 27' north, longitude 5o east; latitude 53° 31' north, longitude 5° 30' east; latitude 53° 34' north, longitude 6° east; latitude 53° 39' north, longitude 6° 23' east.” (New York Times.)

The press, February 22, 1917, carries another order in council which declares neutral vessels must be examined by allies or face confiscation.

The order in council is as follows: Whereas these enemy orders are in flagrant contradiction of the rules of international law, the dictates of humanity, and treaty obligations of the enemy, and render it necessary for further measures to be adopted in order to maintain the efficiency of those previously taken to prevent commodities reaching or leaving enemy countries;

His Majesty has ordered that the following directions shall be observed respecting all vessels which sail from their port of departure after the date of this order:

“First. A vessel which is encountered at sea on the way to or from a port in any neutral country affording means of access to enemy territory without calling at a port in British or allied territory shall, until the contrary is established, be deemed to be carrying goods with enemy destination or of enemy origin, and shall be brought in for examination, and, if necessary, for adjudication before a prize court.

“ Second. Any vessel carrying goods with enemy destination or of enemy origin shall be liable to capture and condemnation, in respect of the carriage of such goods: Provided, That in the case of any vessel which calls at an appointed British or allied port for examination of her cargo no sentence of condemnation shall be pronounced except on carriage of goods of enemy origin or destination, and no such presumption as laid down in article 1 shall arise.

" Third. Goods which are found on examination of any vessel to be goods of enemy origin or destination shall be liable to condemnation."






I have called the Congress into extraordinary session because there are serious, very serious, choices of policy to be made, and made immediately, which it was neither right nor constitutionally permissible that I should assume the responsibility of making.

On the third of February last I officially laid before you the extraordinary announcement of the Imperial German Government that on and after the first day of February it was its purpose to put aside all restraints of law or of humanity and use its submarines to sink every vessel that sought to approach either the ports of Great Britain and Ireland or the western coasts of Europe or any of the ports controlled by the enemies of Germany within the Mediterranean. That had seemed to be the object of the German submarine warfare earlier in the war, but since April of last year the Imperial Government had somewhat restrained the commanders of its undersea craft in conformity with its promise then given to us that passenger boats should not be sunk and that due warning would be given to all other vessels which its submarines might seek to destroy, when no resistance was offered or escape attempted, and care taken that their crews were given at least a fair chance to save their lives in their open boats. The precautions taken were meagre and haphazard enough, as was proved in distressing instance after instance in the progress of the cruel and unmanly business, but a certain degree of restraint was observed. · The new policy has swept every restriction aside. Vessels of every kind, whatever their flag, their character, their cargo, their destination, their errand, have been ruthlessly sent to the bottom without warning and without thought of help or mercy for those on board, the vessels of friendly neutrals along with those of belligerents. Even hospital ships and ships' carrying relief to the sorely bereaved and stricken people of Belgium, though the latter were provided with safe conduct through the proscribed areas by the German Government itself and were distinguished by unmistakable marks of identity, have been sunk with the sime reckless lack of compassion or of principle. 84610°—H. Doc. 2111, 64-2, pt 2—-16


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