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Opinion of the Court.

merely as a conduit through which it is to be conveyed to the enemy. To refuse to look beyond the legal title is to close our eyes for the benefit of the enemy. It would enable him always to protect his property by simply putting it in the name of a neutral trustee."

We agree with counsel for the United States that notwithstanding the indorsement of Gibernau and Company on the bills of lading, the proof of a neutral title was not sufficient. Even if when the neutral interest is adequately proyen to be bona file, the claim of the captors may be required to yield, yet in this case the belligerent right overrides the neutral claim, which must be regarded merely as a debt, and the assignment as a cover to an enemy interest.

Something was said in argument in relation to the character of the cargo. It is true that by the modern law of nations, provisions, while not generally deemed contraband, may become so, although belonging to a neutral, on account of the particular situation of the war, or on account of their destination, as, if destined for military use, for the army or navy of the enemy, or ports of naval or military equipment. The Benito Estenger, 176 U. S. 568; The Panama, 176 U. S. 535; The Peterhoff, 5 Wall. 28; Grotius De Jure Belli et Pacis, lib. III, c. 1, $5; Hall, $ 236.

Doubtless, in this instance, the concentration and accumulation of provisions at Havana might fairly be considered a necessary part of Spanish military operations, imminente bello, and these particular provisions were perhaps especially appropriate for Spanish military use; but while these features may well enough be adverted to in connection with all the other facts and circumstances, we do not place our decision upon them.

We are of opinion that a valid transfer of title to this enemy property to claimants was not satisfactorily made out, and that The decree below must be reversed, and a decree of condemna

tion directed to be entered, and it is so ordered.

MR. JUSTICE SHIRAS and MR. JUSTICE BREWER, dissenting.

MR. JUSTICE SHIRAs, with whom concurred MR. JUSTICE BREWER, dissenting.

This is an appeal from a decree of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of Florida, awarding to Kleinwort Sons & Company, the claimants, the proceeds of the sale of the cargo of the Spanish bark Carlos F. Roses.

The vessel sailed under the Spanish flag, and was owned, officered and manned by Spaniards. On or about March 14, 1898, Pla Gibernau & Company, a firm of commission merchants doing business at Montevideo, in the Republic of Uruguay, shipped on board the bark, then lying at Montevideo, a cargo consisting of about 275,000 kilos of jerked beef and 20,000 strings of garlic. The property was consigned upon three bills of lading to the order of the shippers; and two bills of exchange, at ninety days, were drawn upon the claimants, Kleinwort Sons and Company, British subjects, domiciled and doing business as bankers at London, England. One of these bills, for £2714 3 8, was drawn by Pla Gibernau & Company to the order of the London and River Plate Bank, Limited, a banking concern doing business in Montevideo; the other, for £3583 11 6, was drawn by the master of the Carlos F. Roses to the order of Pla Gibernau & Company, and was by them indorsed to the order of the London and River Plate Bank, Limited.

The bills of exchange and the bills of lading came that day, March 15, 1898, into the possession of the London and River Plate Bank, which cashed the drafts, and forwarded them for acceptance to Kleinwort Sons & Company at London, who accepted them on April 6, 1898, and paid them when due. At the time these bills of exchange were accepted the bills of lading, indorsed by Pla Gibernau & Company, came into the possession of the claimants.

The vessel sailed from Montevideo for Havana on March 16, 1898. On April 25, 1898, war between Spain and the United States was declared, and on May 17, when in the Bahama Channel, on her course to Havana, the Carlos F. Roses was captured by a war vessel of the United States, and sent in charge of a prize crew to Key West.

MR. JUSTICE SHIRAS and MR. JUSTICE BREWER, dissenting.

On June 2, 1898, the District Court condemned the vessel as enemy's property, seized upon the high seas.

On February 9, 1899, the District Court held that, as it satisfactorily appeared from the proof that both the title and the right of possession to the cargo were in a neutral at the time of the capture, as evidenced by the indorsed bills of lading and the paid bills of exchange presented at the hearing, the claim should be allowed, and it was so ordered. Thereupon the United States took this appeal.

It is admitted that, if the cargo in question belonged to a neutral, and was not contraband of war, it was not liable to confiscation, though found in an enemy's vessel: this upon wellestablished principles of international law, and as within the President's proclamation of April 26, 1898, expressly declaring that “neutral goods, not contraband of war, are not liable to confiscation under the enemy's flag.”

It can scarcely be pretended that, in this instance, the cargo consisted of articles contraband of war. They were the ordi

. nary products of the Republic of Uruguay, a country with which the United States were at peace, and were purchased and shipped six weeks before war was declared. Little, if anything, is left for the commerce of neutrals if such goods, shipped in such ciècumstances, are not within the protection of the President's proclamation.

The question is whether the District Court erred in finding that the goods in question were neutral goods and exempt, as such, from condemnation.

The first contention, on behalf of the United States, is that the affidavits and exhibits relied on by the claimants to prove their title were not competent evidence, and it is urged that the evidence should have been in the form of depositions, taken under a commission, and of documents duly proved.

We think it is a sufficient reply to this objection that the proofs were received and considered by the District Court upon the trial entirely without objection on the part of the United States or the captors; and that the action of the court in receiving the evidence was not among the assignments of error made and filed under the appeal.

MR. JUSTICE SHIRAS and MR. Justice BrewER, dissenting.

"If evidence in the nature of further proof be introduced, and no formal order or objection appear on the record, it must be presumed to have been done by consent of the parties, and the irregularity is completely waived. In the present case, no exception was taken to the proceedings or evidence in the District Court; and we should not, therefore, incline to reject the further proof, even if we were of opinion that it ought not, in strictness, to have been admitted." The Pizarro, 2 Wheat. 241, per Mr. Justice Story.

Rule 13 of this court is as follows:

"In all cases of equity and admiralty jurisdiction heard in this court, no objection shall hereafter be allowed to be taken to the admissibility of any deposition, deed, grant or other exhibit found in the record as evidence, unless objection was taken thereto in the court below and entered of record; but the same shall otherwise be deemed to have been admitted by consent."

It is next contended that the claimants' evidence, regarded as a whole, does not support the decree of the court below. It is said that the burden of proof is upon the claimants, and that this burden has not been sustained.

This was not the view of the District Court, which, as we have heretofore stated, held that it appeared satisfactorily from the proof that both the title and right of possession were in a neutral at the time of capture.

What are the matters urged against this finding of the court below?

It is argued that, because it appears in the invoices and in the manifest that the shipments were made partly on account of "the expedition or voyage of the Carlos F. Roses," partly on account of "Mr. Pedro Pagés of Havana," and partly on account of the shippers, that is, Gibernau & Company, it is a reasonable inference that it must have been known to the master that the consignees were, as to some of the cargo, enemies, and that it must be concluded, on the face of the papers; that when the goods were delivered to the vessel they became the property of the consignees named in the invoices.

Such a view loses sight of the decisive and indisputable facts that the money used by Gibernau & Company in the purchase

MR. JUSTICE SHIRAs and MR. JUSTICE BREWER, dissenting.

of the goods was procured from the London and River Plate Bank, which cashed the drafts drawn on Kleinwort Sons & Company, the claimants, and that when the latter company, on April 6, accepted the drafts they were furnished with the bills of lading covering the entire shipment; that the said bills of lading, at the time of such delivery, were duly indorsed in blank by Gibernau & Company, the shippers, and to whose order the said cargo was by the terms of the bills of lading to be delivered, all with the intent and result of entitling Kleinwort Sons & Company to the said bills of lading and to the cargo described therein as security for their acceptance of the drafts. It hence was entirely immaterial whether the ultimate consignees were, as to some of the cargo, residents of the enemy's country, and whether that fact was known to the master. Under the facts proved by the claimants the latter, through the London and River Plate Bank, had furnished the money used in the purchase of the goods, before the sailing of the vessel. This is made plainly to appear by the invoices furnished by the shippers, and wherein is stated that the master received the goods from Pla Gibernau & Company, and wherein also there is a statement of the cost of the goods and of the commissions charged by Gibernau & Company, corresponding in amount to the drafts.

The fact that the claimants' proofs do not set forth the correspondence between the claimants and the ultimate consignees is made a matter of unfavorable coinment. But the transactions were substantially described in the affidavits, and it is not easy to see what further light would have been afforded by such correspondence, if, indeed, there was such correspondence.

The purchase of the goods, the drawing and cashing of the drafts, the indorsement and delivery of the bills of lading, all took place before the sailing of the vessel, and long before the declaration of war, and before there was any reason to anticipate hostilities. The drafts were accepted before the war, and were paid before the seizure of the vessel.

No counter evidence was offered by the United States, although the case was pending in the District Court from June 6, 1898, to February 9, 1999, when the decree in favor of the claimants was entered. It is, of course, true that the burden

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