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at any time, because if a notification is made to the principal states of Europe, the time may be considered to come when it will affect the rest, not so much proprio vigore, or by virtue of the direct act, as in the way of evidence. It is the duty of a state to make the notification as general as possible. Suppose a notification is made to Sweden and Denmark, it would become the general topic of conversation, and it would be scarcely possible that it should not travel to the ears of a Bremen man; and although it might not be so early known to him as to the subjects of the states to which it was immediately addressed, yet in process of time it must reach him, and must be supposed to impose the same observance of it upon him; it would strongly affect him with the knowledge of the fact that the blockade was de facto existing. Therefore, though a notification does not, proprio vigore, bind any country but that to which it is addressed, yet, in reasonable time, it must affect neighbouring states with knowledge, as a reasonable ground of evidence. It is not to be said by any person, although I know a blockade exists, yet, because it has not been notified to my court, I will carry out a cargo.' It would be a very fraudulent omission to take no notice of what is a subject of general notoriety in the place.” (Lord Stowell, in The Adelaide, 2 Rob. 111.)

Notification of blockade should be made not only to foreign governments, but to the subjects of the state imposing the blockade and to its cruisers; not only to those stationed at the blockaded port, but to others, and especially considerable fleets, that are stationed in itinere to such port, from the different trading coun


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tries that may be supposed to have an intercourse with it. (Lord Stowell, ub. sup.)

A more definite rule as to the notification of blockade was laid down in the treaty of 1794 between Great Britain and the United States (art. 18): “Whereas it frequently happens that vessels sail for a port or place belonging to an enemy without knowing that the same is either besieged, blockaded or invested, it is agreed that

circumstanced may from such port or place, but she shall not be detained, nor her cargo, if not contraband, be confiscated, unless, after notice, she shall again attempt to enter; but she shall be permitted to go to any other port or place she may think proper."

Due time for the notification of a blockade must be allowed according to circumstances. The recent facilitation of communication by the electric telegraph, and by steam and railway, will of course have lessened the time so to be allowed ; but in 1799 Lord Stowell restored a Danish ship (The Jonge Petronella), which had been captured off the coast of Holland on the 28th of March, on the ground that the blockade had only been notified to foreign ministers on the 21st of that month, and that he did not think a week sufficient time to affect the parties with a legal knowledge of the blockade. (2 Rob. 131.) In the case of The Calypso (Ib. 298) the learned judge condemned the vessel, on the ground that she had taken in cargo at Rotterdam (then blockaded) on the 20th April, when, intelligence of the blockade having been actually known to the Prussian consul at Amsterdam on the 12th, there was time for constructive notice at Rotterdam by the 15th.

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When once the notice, actually or constructively, has reached the neutral, he is not permitted to go to the station of the blockading force, upon pretence of inquiring whether blockade has terminated. merchant," said Lord Stowell, in The Spes and Irene (5 Rob. 76), “ is not to send his vessel to the mouth of the river, and say, 'If you don't meet with the blockading force, enter; if you do, ask a warning, and proceed elsewhere.' Who does not at once perceive the frauds to which such a rule would be introductory? The true rule is, that, after the knowledge of an existing blockade, you are not to go to the very station of blockade under pretence of inquiry.”

In the case of The Betsey (1 Rob. 334), Lord Stowell said: “ Ships sailing from neutral ports for ports under blockade must call somewhere to obtain information, for the court will not allow the information to be obtained at the mouth of the blockaded port. The distance of the port of departure is a circumstance to be favourably considered by the court, although not to be held a ground of absolute exemption from the common effect of a notification of a blockade : being at a distance where they cannot have constant information of the state of blockade, whether it is continued or is relaxed, it is not unnatural that they should send their ships conjecturally, upon the expectation of finding the blockade broken up, after it had existed for a considerable time; but the inquiry whether the blockade has su broken up, must be made by such ships at ports that lie in the way, and which can furnish information without furnishing opportunities of fraud, and not at the spot blockaded, or from the blockading vessels.”


In adventures from America, the court allowed some relaxation of this rule, on account of the distance of that country. In the case of The Betsey, an American vessel, proceeded against as for an intentional breach of the blockade of Amsterdam, Lord Stowell, in releasing the vessel, said: “The ship sailed (from America) in January last, when the owners were certainly informed of the blockade; but the distance of their country is a material circumstance in their favour. I certainly cannot admit that the Americans are to be exempted from the common effect of a notification of a blockade existing in Europe; but I think it is not unfair to say, that, being at such a distance where they cannot have (1799) constant information of the state of the blockade, whether it continues or is relaxed, it is not unnatural that they should send their ships conjecturally, upon the expectation of finding the blockade broken up, after it had existed for a considerable time. A very great disadvantage indeed would be imposed upon them if they were bound rigidly by the rule which justly obtains in Europe, that the blockade must be conceived to exist till the revocation of it is actually notified. For if this rule is rigidly applied, the effect of the blockade would last two months longer upon them than on the trading nations of Europe, by whom intelligence is received almost as soon as it is issued. That the Americans should therefore send their ships upon a fair conjecture that the blockade had, after a long continuance, determined, and for the purpose of making fair inquiry whether it had so determined or not, is, I think, not exceptionable.”

The declaration of blockade must be specific, as well

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as legal and regular. In The Henrick and Maria (1 Rob. 148), Lord Stowell decided that a notification of a general blockade of the coast of Holland, which was untrue in fact, was not available, by limitation or construction, for a blockade of Amsterdam only, though really existing. In this case the captor had warned the master “not to proceed to any Dutch port," and upon his saying he must proceed according to his bill of lading (Amsterdam) had arrested his ship. “This notice," says Lord Stowell,“ is, I think, in point of authority, illegal; at the time when it was given there was no blockade which extended to all Dutch ports. A declaration of blockade is a high act of sovereignty, and a commander of a king's ship is not to extend it. The notice is also, I think, as illegal

I in effect as in authority ; it cannot be said that such a notice, though bad for other ports, is good for Amsterdam. It takes from the neutral all power of election, as to what other port of Holland he should go to, when he found the port of his destination under blockade. A commander of a ship must not reduce a neutral to this kind of distress; and I am of opinion that if the neutral had contravened the notice, he would not have been subject to condemnation.” But, from the case of The Rolla (6 Rob. 367), it would seem that this limitation of a commander's power is held to subsist only “ on stations in Europe, where government is almost at hand to superintend the course of operations; and that a commander going out to a distant station may reasonably be supposed to carry with him such a portion of the sovereign authority delegated to him as may be necessary to provide for the exigencies of the service on which he is employed.”

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