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du port dont ils ont forcé l'accès, ou dans lequel ils sont entrés sans délit de violation, mais dont ils ne peuvent sortir dans telles conditions déterminées. Si l'escadre de blocus n'a pu arrêter le navire coupable de violation, elle peut détacher un des vaisseaux qui la composent pour poursuivre à vue ce navire, et ce dernier ne sera valablement saisi que s'il est atteint par le vaisseau détaché de l'escadre bloquante avant d'être entré dans un port de son pays, ou dans un port neutre, car le droit de prise ne peut s'exercer dans les eaux neutres, et une fois entré dans un port de son pays, ou dans les eaux neutres, s'il en ressort il ne peut plus être question de flagrant délit. Les navires forceurs de blocus ne peuvent être capturés que par les bâtiments de l'escadre bloquante. D'après la doctrine française, en un mot, s'il agit de violation de blocus par entrée, le navire neutre qui viole un blocus par entrée au port bloqué ne peut être capturé que sur la ligne du blocus, ou sur poursuite commencée de la ligne du blocus et terminée, avec succès, avant l'arrivée du navire poursuivi, dans un port de son pays ou dans les eaux territoriales d'un État neutre; s'il est question de violation par sortie, cette violation prend fin dès que les lignes ont été franchies avec succès. Celui qui viole un blocus par sortie ne peut être pris qu'au moment ou il essaie de franchir les lignes d'investissement, ou au cours d'une poursuite commencée sur le champ et achevée avec succès en haute mer. Dans l'un et l'autre cas de violation la capture ne peut avoir lieu que par les navires de l'escadre de blocus. Cette doctrine si conforme à la nature des choses, au droit et à la raison, exclut, on le voit, le droit de suite, qui n'est qu'un vestige des blocus fictifs. La déclaration du congrès de Paris, du 16 avril 1856, et les traités conclus depuis cette époque par les Puissances maritimes, l'ont virtuellement supprimé en exigeant que les blocus soient effectifs.
American decisions. In the case of the British-owned steamer Memphis, seized by the U.S. S. Magnolia in 1862, it was claimed that the Magnolia, which seized the Memphis for violation of the blockade of Charleston, could not legally make such a capture, because not a part of the blockading squadron and because the seizure was made at a point about 85 miles distant from the blockade.
The decision of Mr. Justice Betts was that:
Any public vessel of the belligerent whose rights had been violated may be the agent or minister to apprehend the offender, though, by dexterity or superior speed, the culpable actor may escape arrest at the time or place of the perpetration of the wrong.
A vessel guilty of an unlawful trade with the enemy is liable to capture at any time during the voyage in which the offence is committed. (The Memphis, Blatchford Prize Cases, 260.)
As was said in the case of the Olinde Rodrigues, decided by the Supreme Court, May 15, 1899, our Government was originally of opinion that "commercial blockades in respect of neutral powers ought to be done away with; but that view was not accepted, and during the period of the civil war the largest commercial blockade ever known was established.” (174 U. S. Supreme Court Reports, 510.)
Early American opinion.—The United States was inclined to follow the European law of nations in regard to the principle of blockade in the eighteenth and early nineteenth century. In 1797, in the instructions to the representatives to France, the Secretary of State said:
Such extensive depredations have been committed on the commerce of neutrals, and especially of the United States, by the citizens of France, under pretence that her enemies (particularly Great Britain) have done the same things, it will be desirable to have it explicitly stipulated that the conduct of an enemy towards the neutral Power shall not authorize or excuse the other belligerent Power in any departure from the law of nations or the stipulations of the treaty; especially that the vessels of the neutral nation shall never be captured or detained, or their property confiscated or injured, because bound to or from an enemy's port, except the case of a blockaded port, the entering into which may be prevented according to the known rule of the law of nations. And it may be expedient to define a blockaded place or port to be one actually invested by land or naval forces, or both, and that no declaration of a blockade shall have any effect without such actual investment. And no commercial right whatever should be abandoned which is secured to neutral Powers by the European law of nations. (American State Papers 2 Foreign Relations 154.)
Mr. Madison, Secretary of State, in 1806 made a report to the President, mentioning other deviations from what he would at that time regard as international law.
The most important of the principles interpolated into the law of nations, is that which appears to be maintained by the British Government and its prize courts, that a trade opened to neutrals by a nation at war, on account of the war, is unlawful.
The principle has been relaxed from time to time, by order, allowing, as favors to neutrals, particular branches of trade, disallowed by the general principle; which orders have, also in some instances, extended the modifications of the principle beyond its avowed import.
In like manner, the last of these orders, bearing date the 24th of June 1803, has incorporated, with the relaxation, a collateral principle, which is itself an interpolation, namely, that a vessel on a return voyage is liable to capture by the circumstance of her having, on the outward voyage, conveyed contraband articles to an enemy's port. How far a like penalty, attached, by the same order, to the circumstance of a previous communication with a blockaded port, would likewise be an interpolation, may depend upon the construction under which that part of the order has been, or is to be, carried into execution.
The general principle, first above stated, as lately applied to reexportations of articles imported into neutral countries from hostile colonies, or vice versa, by considering the reexportation, in many cases, as a continuation of the original voyage, forms another interpolation, deeply affecting the trade of neutrals. For a fuller view of this and some other interpolations, reference may be had to the documents communicated with the message to Congress of the 17th instant.
The British principle which makes a notification to foreign Governments of an intended blockade equivalent to the notice required by the law of nations, before the penalty can be incurred; and that which subjects to capture vessels, arriving at a port, in the interval between a removal and return of the blockading force, are other important deviations from the code of public law. (Ibid., p. 728.)
The United States in 1806 regarded certain of the practices of Great Britain, which have since been accorded recognition as justifiable by the American Government, as beyond the sanction of the law of nations:
In addition to what is proposed on the subject of blockades in the sixth and seventh articles, the perseverance of Great Britain in considering a notification of a blockade, and even of an intended blockade, to a foreign Government, or its ministers at London, as a notice to its citizens, and as rendering a vessel, wherever found in a destination to the notified port, liable to capture, calls for a special remedy. The palpable injustice of the practice is aggravated by the auxiliary rule prevailing in the British courts, that the blockade is to be held in legal force until the governmental notifications be expressly rescinded, however certain the fact may be that the blockade was never formed, or had ceased. You will be at no loss for topics to enforce the inconsistency of these innovations with the law of nations, with the nature of blockades, with the safety of neutral commerce, and particularly with the communication made to this Government by order of the British Government in the year 1804, according to which, the British commanders and vice-admiralty courts were instructed not to consider any blockade of the islands of Martinique and Guadaloupe as existing, unless in respect of particular ports which may actually be invested, and then not to capture vessels bound to such ports, unless they shall previously have been warned not to enter them. (American State Papers, 3 Foreign Relations 121, Letter of Madison to United States Ministers at London, May 17, 1806.)
That the United States did not accept the extreme doctrine of constructive notification, is seen in the instructions of the Secretary of the Navy to Commodore Preble early in the nineteenth century:
Navy DEPARTMENT, February 4, 1804. Sir: Your letter of the 12th November, enclosing your circular notification of the blockade of the port of Tripoli, I have received.
Sensible, as you must be, that it is the interest, as well as the disposition, of the United States to maintain the rights of neutral nations, you will, I trust, cautiously avoid whatever may appear to you to be incompatible with those rights. It is, however, deemed necessary, and I am charged by the President to state to you what, in his opinion, characterizes a blockade. I have, therefore, to inform you, that the trade of a neutral, in articles not contraband, cannot be rightfully obstructed to any port not actually blockaded by a force so disposed before it, as to create an evident danger of entering it. Whenever, therefore, you shall have thus formed a blockade of the port of Tripoli, you will have a right to prevent any vessel from entering it, and to capture for adjudication any vessel that shall attempt to enter the same, with a knowledge of the existence of the blockade. You will, however, not take as prize any vessel attempting to enter the port of Tripoli without such knowledge; but in every case of an attempt to enter, without a previous knowledge of the existence of the blockade, you will give the commanding officer of such vessel notice of such blockade, and forewarn him from entering; and if, after such a notification such vessel should again attempt to enter the same port, you will be justifiable in sending her into port for adjudication. You will, sir, hence perceive, that you are to consider your circular communication to the neutral Powers not as an evidence that every person.attempting to enter has previous knowledge of the blockade, but merely as a friendly notification to them of the blockade, in order that they might make the necessary arrangements for the discontinuance of all commerce with such blockaded port. I have the honor to be, &c.,
ROBERT SMITH. Instructions in 1898.—The present understanding of the United States as to what constitutes reasonable efficiency and renders a blockade effective is seen in General Order 492, of June 20, 1898:
A blockade to be effective and binding must be maintained by a force sufficient to render ingress to or egress from the port dangerous. If the blockading vessels be driven away by stress of weather, but return without delay to their stations, the continuity of the blockade is not thereby broken; but if they leave their stations voluntarily, except for purposes of the blockade, such as chasing a blockade runner, or are driven away by the enemy's force, the blockade is abandoned or broken. As the suspension of a blockade is a serious matter, involving a new notification, commanding officers will exercise especial care not to give grounds for complaints on this score.
General Order 492 also provides in regard to penalty that
The liability of a blockade runner to capture and condemnation begins and terminates with her voyage. If there is good evidence that she sailed with intent to evade the blockade, she is good prize from the moment she appears upon the high seas. Similarly, if she has succeeded in escaping from a blockaded port she is liable to capture at any time before she reaches her home port. But with the termination of the voyage the offense ends.
French treaty provisions.-In a large number of treaties into which France has entered there is the following article:
Dans aucun cas un bâtiment de commerce appartenant à des citoyens de l'un des deux pays, qui sera expédié pour un port bloqué par l'autre état, ne pourra être saisi, capturé ou condamné si préalablement il ne lui a été fait une notification ou signification de l'existence ou continuation d'un blocus par les forces bloquantes ou par quelque bâtiment faisant partie de l'escadre ou division du blocus, et pour qu'on ne puisse alléguer une prétendue ignorance du blocus, et que le navire qui aura reçu cette intimation soit dans le cas d'être capturé s'il vient ensuite à se représenter devant le port bloqué pendant le temps que durera le blocus, le commandant du bâtiment de guerre qui fera la notification devra apposer son visa sur les papiers du navire visité, où sera faite la signification de l'existence du blocus, et le capitaine du navire visité lui donnera un reçu de cette signification, contenant les déclarations exigées par le visa.
The French practice of notification at the place of blockade is generally supported on the Continent.
Treaty agreements as to necessity of notification.—While the United States has maintained the doctrine of constructive notification arising from general notoriety, yet, in effect, action by a naval officer upon such a doctrine would be at risk, as a number of treaties require that proof that the neutral vessel knew of the blockade rests upon the captor. By the most favored-nation clause" such provision as was included in article 13 of the treaty of 1827 with Sweden, which is now in force, might become effective as regards other states: