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harbor, roadstead, or other waters within the jurisdiction of the United States as a station or place of resort for any warlike purpose, or for the purpose of obtaining any facilities of warlike equipment; and no ship of war or privateer of either belligerent shall be permitted to sail out of or leave any port, harbor, or roadstead, or waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, from which a vessel of the other belligerent (whether the same shall be a ship of war, a privateer, or a merchant ship) shall have previously departed, until after the expiration of at least twenty-four hours from the departure of such last-mentioned vessel beyond the jurisdiction of the United States. (U. S. Foreign Relations, 1870, p. 48.)
A similar proclamation was issued by the United States in consequence of the Russo-Japanese war of 1904–5.
In regard to this proclamation by President Grant of October 8, 1870, Sir Edward Thornton wrote to Earl Granville:
WASHINGTON, October 10, 1870. My Lord: I have the honor to inclose a copy of a proclamation which was signed by the President of the United States on the 8th instant, and published yesterday, as to the manner in which, with reference to the war now existing between France and the North German Confederation and its allies, the armed vessels of either belligerent, whether public ships or privateers, are to be treated in the ports of the United States. The contents of this proclamation are in many respects similar to the orders recently given by Her Majesty's Government with respect to the treatment of such vessels in British ports.
It would seem that the issue of this document has been instigated by the recent conduct of French vessels of war in the neighborhood of the port of New York. It is said that French gunboats have lately moored about the entrance of that port, and have sometimes been anchored outside, within 3 miles of the coast, for the purpose of intercepting any North German vessels which might leave New York, and particularly the German steamers, which, in consequence of the termination of the blockade of the German ports, have renewed their voyages. On one occasion the French gunboat Latouche Tréville steamed up the bay of New York, round the German steamer Hermann, went out again, and anchored outside.
A French frigate and two smaller vessels of war arrived lately at New London, in Connecticut, on the pretext of requiring repairs; they remained there for some days, although they only had to repair some spars, which could have been done nearly as well at sea as on shore. From that point notice could be given of the sailing of German vessels from New York, and men-of-war stationed at New London could easily have intercepted them.
Mr. Fish told me that he had represented to the French minister, that, although he could not positively allege a violation of international law, he considered that the proceedings of belligerent vessels of war in hovering about the entrance of a neutral port and as it were, blockading it and making the neighborhood a station for their observations, were contrary to custom, and were unfriendly and uncourteous to the United States. Mr. Fish added that Mr. Berthemy had written upon the subject to the French admiral, who in reply had denied the fact of hovering about the port or of using the neighborhood as a station of observation; but confessed that the proceeding of the Latouche Tréville in entering the port of New York for the purpose of observing the German steamer Hermann was improper, and that her commander had consequently been severely reproved.
My Prussian colleague in expressing his satisfaction at the issue of the inclosed proclamation, has made observations which lead me to suppose that he imagines that by the its provisions merchant vessels are prohibited from exporting arms and ammunition from the ports of the United States for the use of the belligerents, and I fear that he may have telegraphed in that sense to his Government, but though I did not feel called upon to question Baron Gerolt's view of the case, I can find no expressions in the proclamation which justify such an interpetration; indeed, Mr. Fish denies that it was intended to convey any such meaning. I have, etc.,
Edw. THORNTON. (61 British and Foreign State Papers, 1870-71, p. 878.)
The Netherlands order, 1893.—The Netherlands royal order of February 2, 1893 (Official Gazette, No. 46), in article 5 provides:
If, however, war ships or other ships and vessels of the parties at war should simultaneously be in the same harbor, roads, or sea channel of the State, a period of twenty-four hours shall elapse between the departure of a ship or ships, of a vessel or vessels, of the one party and the departure of a ship or ships, of a vessel or vessels, of the other party.
This period, according to circumstances, may be extended by the local maritime authorities.
Neutrality proclamations. The French declaration of neutrality in 1898, to which that of 1904 corresponded, was as follows:
The Government decides in addition that no ship of war of either belligerent will be permitted to enter and to remain with her prizes in the harbors and anchorages of France, its colonies and protectorates, for more than twenty-four hours, except in the case of forced delay or justifiable necessity.
While the Italian authorities proclaimed the twentyfour-hour rule, their mercantile marine code allows some degree of freedom of judgment:
ART. XI. If ships of war, cruisers, or merchant vessels belonging to the two belligerent parties should be at the same time in a port or roadstead or on the coast of the Kingdom, there must be an interval of at least twenty-four hours between the departure of any vessel of one belligerent party and that following of any ship of the other party. This interval may be increased according to the circumstances by the maritime authority of the place.
Similar discretion was allowed by other States.
The Brazilian regulations issued at the outbreak of the Spanish-American war in 1898 provide that,
VI. No war ship or privateer shall be permitted to enter and remain, with prizes, in our ports or bays during more than twenty-four hours, except in case of a forced putting into port, and in no manner shall it be permitted to it to dispose of its prizes or of articles coming out of them.
By the words "except in case of a forced putting into port" should also be understood that a ship shall not be required to leave port within the said time:
First. If it shall not have been able to make the preparations indis. pensable to enable it to go to sea without risk of being lost.
Second. If there should be the same risk on account of bad weather. Third. And, finally, if it should be menaced by an enemy.
In these cases, it shall be for the Government, at its discretion, to determine, in view of the circumstances, the time within which the ship should leave.
Belgian decree, 1901.-A Belgian royal decree of February 18, 1901, made a definite statement in regard to the return of war vessels to a neutral port:
Art. VIII. Vessels belonging to the navy of a power engaged in a maritime war are only admitted in the Belgian territorial waters and harbors for a stay of twenty-four hours. The same vessel will not be admitted twice within the space of three months.
The prohibition of entrance to a neutral port for a period of three months from the date of taking coal in that port has been general, as in Article XIII of this Belgian decree:
In no case shall vessels of war or privateers of a nation engaged in a maritime war be furnished with supplies or means of repairs in excess of what is indispensable to reach the nearest port of their country, or of a nation allied to theirs in the war. The same vessel may not, unless specially authorized, be provided with coal a second time until the expiration of three months after a first coaling in a Belgian port.
In regard to the sailing of vessels of the two belligerents from Belgian ports, the decree provides:
Art. XIX. Should men-of-war or merchant vessels of two nations in a state of war happen to be at the same time in a Belgian harbor or waters, there shall occur an interval of at least twenty-four hours, fixed by the competent authorities, between the departure of a vessel of one of the belligerents and the subsequent departure of a vessel of the other belligerent.
In this case an exception may be made in regard to the prescriptions of Article VIII.
Priority of request secures priority of sailing.
There is also provision against using a Belgian port as a base:
Art. XV. They must abstain from any act intended to convert their place of refuge into a base of operation whatever against their enemies, and also from any investigation into the resources, forces, or location of their enemies.
A certain degree of freedom is left to the Government in cases warranted by special circumstances:
ART. XX. The Government reserves the right to modify the provisions of Articles VIII and following of the present order, with the view to taking, in special cases and under exceptional circumstances arising, all measures which the strict observation of neutrality might render opportune or necessary.
Opinion of Professor Lawrence.—Lawrence says of the “twenty-four hour rule:”.
In recent times neutral states have acted upon their right of imposing conditions on belligerent vessels visiting their ports. The twenty-four hour rule is the oldest and the most common. It lays down that when war vessels of opposing belligerents are in a neutral port at the same time, or when war vessels of one side and merchant vessels of the other are in the like predicament, at least twenty-four hours shall elapse between the departure of those who leave first and the departure of their opponents. The object of this injunction is to prevent the occurrence of any fighting either in the waters of the neutral or so close to them as to be dangerous to vessels frequenting them. Sometimes the word of the commanders that they will not commence hostilities in or near neutral territorial waters has been accepted as sufficient. (Principles of Int. Law, p. 509.)
Opinion of Hall.—Hall, speaking of the “twenty-fourhour rule," writing before the Second Hague Conference, says:
The neutral may take what precautions he chooses in order to hinder a fraudulent use being made of his ports provided he attains his object. If he prefers to rely upon the word of a commander, there is nothing to prevent him. Even if the twenty-four hours' rule becomes hardened by far longer practice than now sanctions it, the right of the neutral to vary his own port regulations can never be ousted. The rule can never be more than one to the enforcement of which a belligerent may trust in the absence of notice to the contrary. (Int. Law, 5th ed., p. 628n.)
The regulations have not been uniform, but the aim has usually been definite. Hall says:
If a belligerent can leave a port at his will, the neutral territory may become at any moment a mere trap for an enemy of inferior strength. Accordingly during a considerable period, though not very generally or continuously, neutral states have taken more or less precaution against the danger of their waters being so used. Perhaps the usual custom until lately may be stated as having been that the commander of a vessel of war was required to give his word not to commit hostilities against any vessel issuing from a neutral port shortly before him, and that a privateer as being less a responsible person was subjected to detention for twenty-four hours. (Int. Law, 5th ed., p. 627.)
French opinion.-A French writer has recently said of the "twenty-four hour rule:”.
La première a pour but d'éviter que des hostilités se produisent dans un trop proche voisinage d'un port neutre où deux navires belligérants ennemis ont dû chercher asile en même temps. Il peut arriver, en effet-et cela arrive plus particulièrement lorsque c'est le mauvais temps, qui n'a de ménagements pour personne, qui a contraint des belligérants à chercher un refuge-que des vaisseaux ennemis se rencontrent dans un même port neutre. Tant que ces vaisseaux se trouveront dans le territoire neutre, il est à croire que les règles formelles qui s'opposent à toute hostilité sur ce territoire les empêcheront de se livrer bataille dans ce port neutre ou dans ces eaux. Mais le parti le plus fort pourrait cependant profiter de cette réunion fortuite, et, sortant du port neutre en même temps que son ennemi plus faible, il pourrait l'assaillir aussitôt en pleine mer, et lui infliger une défaite certaine. C'est en vue d'éviter d'aussi regrettables conséquences à l'asile que les Etats neutres ont adopté la règle dite des vingt-quatre heures, ainsi formulée par la France dans ses dernières instructions. Lorsque des belligérants ou navires de commerce des deux belligérants se trouveront ensemble dans un port français, il y aura un intervalle qui ne pourra être moindre de vingt-quatre heures entre le départ de