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in part on the risk which the submarine must run in giving warning, but mainly on the right of reprisal—it has violated international usage and law in every case in which a German submarine has captured an enemy merchantman. According to established international practice, a captured vessel is to be put in charge of a prize crew, and is to be taken into one of the captor's home ports, there to be condemned or released by a prize court. Exceptionally, indeed, where this procedure is impossible, the captor is entitled to destroy the captured vessel, but in such case he is bound to make adequate provision for the safety of its crew and of any passengers. In using the submarine for the capture of merchantmen, the exception, which formerly confirmed the rule, displaces it and becomes the rule. Because of its small size and its extreme vulnerability, the submarine is obliged to destroy every vessel it captures. Even if the captor's home ports be open, a submarine can not furnish a prize crew, nor can it convoy its prize to a home port, because it can not safely resist a recapture. Whether the vessel seized is legally subject to capture must be determined by the commander of the submarine; only after the vessel has been sunk can a prize court review his action. What is more serious, in destroying its prize the submarine can not make proper provision for the safety of the captured non-combatants. The best it can do for them is to leave them on the high sea in open boats, without regard to the distance from land or the state of the weather. In its use of the submarine against merchant vessels, Germany, as Count Bernstorff remarks, "only took into account the peculiarity of the new weapon.” It left wholly out of account the limitations imposed upon the use of the older weapon, the cruiser, because it could not use the new weapon under those limitations.

The new weapon can not do the work to which it has been put without disregard of humanity and violation of law. For this reason, the use of the submarine against merchant vessels is inadmissible; and the attempt of a submarine to capture a merchantman is not a legitimate act of war.


(2) In denying the right of a merchantman to defend itself against a submarine, the German authorities not only assume that submarine war vessels are entitled to do everything that supermarine war vessels may do, but they flatly disregard the existing rules of international law applicable to merchant vessels. It is well settled that a merchantman has the right to defend itself against threatened capture. In so doing, it of course takes certain risks. It becomes a combatant, and it may be sunk in the combat. If captured, however, its officers and men are to be treated as prisoners of war.


It is contended by the German authorities that these rules grew up under conditions which no longer exist; that they have become unreasonable and should be regarded as obsolete. They were estalished when piracy was rife; they were

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perpetuated during the period when privateering was admissible; in recent times, when merchantmen have been threatened with capture only by regular warships, these rules have not been invoked or applied. The merchantman's right of resistance has been lost by non-user. In the place of these obsolete rules of sea warfare, the Germans would set the opposite rules long established in land warfare. On land civilians may not defend themselves against regular military forces. Franc-tireurs, guerillas, bushwackers, snipers are not entitled to be treated as soldiers. They may lawfully be shot, not only in combat, but after capture.

From the purely military point of view, the German reasoning is undeniably logical. The arguments advanced might well be addressed to an international conference for the revision of the laws of maritime warfare. Even there, however, the German arguments might not prove convincing. In such a conference it would, of course, be pointed out that, if sea warfare is to be assimilated to land warfare, privately owned ships should be exempt from capture and destruction, unless they carry contraband or seek to break through a blockade. It would also be maintained that the use of submarines against merchant vessels is not to be recognized or tolerated. And it might well be argued that the abandonment in modern times of the right of the merchant vessel to resist capture by a supermarine warship has been due to the hopelessness of resistance; that "the peculiarity” of the submarine, namely its fragility, has again changed the situation; and that the ancient right of defense may well be maintained when a merchant vessel is threatened with destruction by this new weapon.

In using submarines against merchantmen and in treating resistance by merchantmen as guerilla warfare, Germany is endeavoring to remodel the existing code of naval warfare in its own immediate interest and by its own sole authority. In the society of nations, the state which assumes to be a law unto itself puts itself out of the law. (The American Rights League.)

(g) [8224] On Retaining Belgium (1917).

By GOVERNOR BARON VON BISSING. Copenhagen, May 23.—(Correspondence of The Associated Press.)—The memorandum of the late Governor General von Bissing of Belgium, in which he advocated the annexation of the little kingdom as the sole possible policy for Germany, is published in full in Greater Germany, a review issued by Dleputy Bacmeister of the Prussian Diety, a National Liberal and annexationist. The unashamed nakedness with which the memorandum calls for the dethronement of the Belgian royal house, the exploitation of Belgian resources and preparation for a new war to follow the present struggle, shows that the document was never intended for public view.

Von Bissing recognizes that Germany can have little hope of making friends of Belgians after this war, warns against "illusions of possible reconciliation” and calmly counts up the value of booty from Belgium and the advantages of pocketing the country from a military, naval, and economic point of view. He points out that the offensive prosecution of the present war was possible only through the invasion of Belgium, and speaks regretfully of the fact that the German right wing had to squeeze laboriously past the Dutch province of Limburg.

The memorandum says that the strategic aim of the present war is to gain room for the concentration and advance of German armies in a new war against England and France, and that, without the possession of Belgium, it is doubtful in the new war could be prosecuted on an offensive basis. Discussing the subject of the policy of the “iron hand,” von Bissing laments the mistakes of a vacillating policy of conciliation, as attempted in Alsace-Lorraine and German Poland, and says they must never be repeated in Belgium. He warns against the idea that the establishment of a Flemish State would be adequate to secure German interests, these absolutely requiring the absorption of all present Belgium.

According to von Bissing, the absorption of Belgium must not be discussed at any peace conference. “Let only the right of conquest speak,” are his words. In the Bissing Belgium there would be no room for King Albert and his dynasty, and the memorandum quotes approvingly the advice of Machiavelli that, under such circumstances, a King or regent should be put out of the way, if necessary by death.

Under the von Bissing scheme Belgian industry is not to be killed entirely, but is to be subjected to such conditions as will permit Germany to use it as a lever for fixing prices in the world market in German interests. In the same way Belgium's coal supply is to give Germany an economic monopoly on the Continent.

Von Bissing foresees the necessity for a continuance of his style of dictatorship for many years, and says that “reforms. introduced must be based on military might.”

(New York Times, June 13, 1917.)



1. Specific References.
(a) General topic.

“President's War Message” of Apr. 2, 1917.
“Background of American Hesitation,” in New Republic,

X, 246-248.
Anon. “Evolution of a National Policy in Relation to the

Great War. ibid, X. No. 123, Pt. II, Spec. Suppl.

(Mar. 10, 1917). Editorial. “Facts Behind the Phrase,” ibid, X, 5-7 (Feb. 3,

1917). “Feasibility of the President's Peace Program,” in Literary

Digest, LIV, 229-232 (Feb. 3, 1917). “The White Papers of Peace,” in Outlook, vol. 115, pp. 139.

140. (Jan. 24, 1917).
(b) Special phases.

Attempt to use our ports for belligerent purposes.
“Proclamation of Neutrality by United States,” Am. Jour.

Internat. Law, IX, Spec. Suppl., 194-198 (July, 1915).

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Memorandum of Sept. 19, 1914, on “Merchant Vessels Sus

pected of Carrying Supplies to Belligerent Vessels,” ibid,

235-236 (July, 1915).
Correspondence, ibid, 215-219.
"Steamship Appam,” ibid, X, Spec. Suppl., 387.
Reynolds, F. J. Story of the War, V. 618, 551.
Stowell and Munro, Cases, II, 300 seq.
Supreme Court Decision in N. Y. Times (Mar. 7, 1917).
Oppenheim. International Law (2d ed.), $328.
Hall. International Law (6th ed.), 614.
Bonfils. Manuel de Droit International Public, $1469.

(Note refusal of the United States and Great Britain to accede to article 22 of Convention XIII of Confer

ence of 1907.)
2. Dragging on of the War.

(a) Germany's so-called peace terms.
(b) Involving the continued combination of Germany, Austro-

Hungary, Turkey and Bulgaria, into one dominant world

power of 160 millions in centre of Europe. 3. Efforts of the United States to Bring About a General Peace.

(a) Pres. Wilson's peace speech--evidence of our opposition to war. (b) Hopelessness of any proper end to the war without the partici.

pation of the United States. 4. Documents and Extracts on the Section. (a) [8226] Who Led Us Into War?

By GEORGE ADE. In Germany it is commonly believed that the pro-ally sentiment over here is a poisonous product, encouraged and fostered by British falsehoods. We are a simple and credulous people, avaricious and lacking the long vision of those who would build empires and control large destinies.

Is there any measure of truth in their belief that we have been misled and hoodwinked by Britain ? Now that we are in the war, can any man convince himself that we might have kept out of it? Should we have refused to sell munitions to the Allies ? Could we have repressed and held in check our feeling of gratitude to France for services rendered long ago?

If we can give straight answers to these questions we are doubly fortified for the war.

And, if these questions suggest themselves to us, time and time again, it is not because we have our doubts, but because the more judicially and cold-bloodedly and impartially we crossexamine ourselves, the more evident it becomes that we either had to go into this war or surrender our charter as a free people.

Two prodigious facts stood out before us at the beginning of the struggle. All the sophistries and indirections of the diplomats, all the green books and blue books and white books flooding the world, all of the libraries that will be written in explanation and defense never can remove or even alter these two mountain-peaks of truth.

One fact was that Germany deliberately forced the war because it seemed that the fortunate Day had arrived when the continent of Europe could be pounded into submission.

The other fact was that Germany deliberately broke her word of honor and outlawed herself by the brutal invasion of Belgium.

With these two facts looming in front of them, the American people immediately and instinctively turned against Germany. Our sympathies were given whole-heartedly to the Allies because they couldn't go anywhere else. The issues were too plain. The evidence was too unmistakable. Great Britain and France did not lead us. We were led by an old-fashioned and elemental preference for decency and fair play.

After that we sold food and munitions to the enemies of Germany.

The Germans have always insisted upon their rights to sell guns and shells anywhere in the world at any time. Our soldiers in the Spanish-American war were killed by German bullets fired from German guns. Every Filipino insurrecto hiding in ambush to get one of our men carried a German weapon that had been smuggled to him.

We had - a right to sell our products to Great Britain and France. And now, thank goodness, we can say openly what we have felt all the time, that it was our duty to supply them.

With half of the world on fire, a good many dark places are being illuminated. This war has vindicated British policies and crowned France with a glory that never can perish.

(The Vigilantes Service.)



1. Specific References on the Section.
See $89 above.
Fullerton, W. M. “Monroe Doctrine and the War," in World's

Work, XXXII, 315-320 (July, 1916).
Gardner, W. H. Our Peril from Germany's Growth (16 pp. N. Y.,

Nat. Sec. League, 1917.) With maps.
MacHugh, R. J. “The Monroe Doctrine and the Latin American

Republics," in Fortnightly Review, vol. 101, pp. 671-681 (April,

1914). Eliot, C. W. “America and the Issues of the War,” in N. Y.

Times of Oct. 2, 1914; also Stowell, Diplomacy of the War,

655-660. 2. German Spirit of Conquest and World Empire a Menace to

the World, Including the United States. 3. Monroe Doctrine Would Be Disregarded if Germany Should

Be Successful. 4. Imperialistic German Ideas Contrary to Our Principles of

Democracy. 5. Our Wealth and Defenselessness Would Make Us a Probable

Object of Germany's Next Attack.
6. Germans Feel Revengeful for Our Sympathy with Allies.
7. The War Is, Therefore, One of National Defense.

(a) Of our external territorial possessions.
(b) Of our main territory which may be invaded.

(c) Of our place in the world as a great nation, 8. Documents and Extracts on the Section.

(a) [3228] Why We Fight Germany. BY SECRETARY FRANKLIN K. LANE (June 4, 1917). Because of Belgium, invaded, outraged, enslaved, impover

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