« PreviousContinue »
to their subjects in that country. The United States was advised to accede to the arrangement, but declined to do so. After the three Governments had adopted certain measures of force, the British and Spanish Governments withdrew, while France entered upon that course of intervention which resulted in the attempt to establish an empire in Mexico.
See supra, § 956; see, also, Dana's Wheaton, § 76, note 41.
In January, 1885, Dr. Stuebel, German consul-general at Apia. seized or attached the sovereign rights of the Samoan King, Malietoa, in the municipality of Apia and raised the German flag on Mulinuu Point, the seat of the native Government, under the form of reprisals for certain acts of that Government, among which was its refusal to execute a treaty with Germany, which Malietoa signed on November 10, 1884, as the Samoans alleged, under personal duress. The action of the German consul was not sustained by his Government.
For. Rel. 1888, I. 600.
The Nicaraguan Government having declined to comply with a demand of Great Britain for indemnity for injuries inflicted on certain British subjects by authorities of Nicaragua in the Mosquito Reserve, the British naval forces on April 27, 1895, landed at Corinto and took military possession of the place by occupying the custom-house and other Government buildings. The officer in command, Admiral Stephenson, in so doing issued the following proclamation:
"Whereas the Nicaraguan Government having unlawfully seized the persons of Her Britannic Majesty's vice-consul at Bluefields, together with some twenty British subjects, and has either confined them in the town of Managua or expelled them from Nicaraguan territory, I have in consequence received orders from Her Majesty's Government to occupy Corinto, and to seize all vessels carrying the Nicaraguan flag, and to hold the same until such time as the Nicaraguan Government shall have complied with the demands of the British Government. Be it known that during the occupation of Corinto the lives, property, and trade of all will be respected, and the force now landed will occupy only the Government buildings. In the event, however, of any resistance or disturbance arising, I shall be compelled to use the means at my disposal to maintain order. I have constituted Capt. Frederick Percival Trench, of H. M. S. Royal Arthur, governor of the port."
On May 5, 1895, the troops were withdrawn, an agreement for the payment of the indemnity having been reached.
For. Rel. 1895, II. 1032-1034.
As to the bombardment of Omoa, Honduras, by British forces, in 1873, see 67 Br. & For. State Papers (1875-76), 955,
In November, 1901, France seized the custom-house at Mytilene in order to enforce compliance by the Turkish Government with demands for the settlement of the Lorando claim, the rebuilding of French schools and institutions destroyed in 1895-96, the official recognition of existing schools and institutions, and the recognition of the Chaldean patriarch.
For. Rel. 1901, 529–530.
6. PACIFIC BLOCKADE.
There is much difference of opinion as to whether there exists in international law such a measure as "pacific blockade." It may be said that this difference is suggested by the words themselves, the term “blockade" properly belonging to a well-recognized belligerent operation. Nor is the word "pacific" in itself fortunate as the description of a measure of open force and coercion. But, if we close our eyes to the inappropriateness of the words and consider the nature of the measure which they are intended to describe, the fact may be recognized that we have, under the title of "pacific blockade," merely a form of reprisals. Reprisal is a measure short of war, but is not otherwise "pacific; " and so with pacific blockade. If the measure is not, like blockade in the ordinary sense, attempted to be extended to the citizens and property of third powers, there appears to be in it nothing exceptionable from the legal point of view, so long as the legality of the reprisals continues to be acknowledged.
July 20, 1838, the French minister at Washington asked for the restitution by the United States of the American schooner Lone, which was rescued by her master and brought to New Orleans after capture by a French brig of war belonging to the forces then blockading Mexican ports. The Department of State treated the case as one entirely novel. "The writers on international law have not," said the Department, "enumerated blockade as one of the peaceable remedies to which an injured nation might resort, but have classed it among the usual means of direct hostility.". It therefore seemed reasonable, said the Department, in the absence of all other rules, to apply to the case those that related to ordinary blockade in time of war. Testing the case by these rules, it was held that the President could not intervene in the matter, but that an application for redress, if any was due, should be made to the courts.
Mr. Vail, Act. Sec. of State. to M. Pontois, French min., Oct. 19, 1838, MS.
See, also, same to same, Oct. 23, 1838, id. 38.
Calvo cites, as the first example of pacific blockade, the action of France, Great Britain, and Russia in blockading, in 1827, the coasts H. Doc. 551-vol 7-10 .
of Greece, where the Turkish armies were encamped. The representatives of the three powers did not cease to assure the Sultan of their friendship, and to declare that peace was not broken, although the measure which they adopted served to paralyse his armies.
In June, 1831, a French fleet appeared in the Tagus to insist on reparation for injuries done to French subjects in Portugal during the reign of Dom Miguel. The French fleet blockaded a number of points on the coast and captured a large number of Portuguese ships, but it retained its essentially "pacific" character till the signature at Lisbon of the treaty of July 14, 1831, which provided reparation for French subjects and at the same time restored all the Portuguese ships of war and of commerce which had been captured by the French fleet.
Calvo, Droit International, III. secs. 1833, 1834; Hansard, Parl. Debates,
In 1833 France and Great Britain imposed a blockade on the ports of Holland without terminating pacific relations with that country. The object was to compel the assent of Holland to the recognition of the Kingdom of Belgium under the treaty of London.
In 1838 France blockaded certain ports in Mexico. The Mexican Government resented this act, and declared war, and expelled French subjects from its territory. On the other hand, Mexican men-of-war as well as merchant vessels were seized by the French, and the fortress of San Juan d'Ulloa was reduced. The quarrel between the two countries was terminated by the treaty of Marcl. 9. 1839, by which it was agreed to submit to a third power the decision of the questions (1) whether Mexico could claim restitution of the Mexican ships of war captured by the French after the surrender of the fortress of Ulloa or compensation therefor; (2) whether indemnities could be claimed for Frenchmen who had been expelled from Mexico; and (3) whether Mexican ships and cargoes sequestrated during the blockade and subsequently captured by the French in consequence of the declaration of war ought to be considered as legally acquired to the captors. The Queen of Great Britain, who was chosen as arbitrator, decided on August 1, 1844, that, after the departure of the French plenipotentiary from Mexico, followed by hostile operations on the part of the French against the fortress of Ulloa and the Mexican fleet, and the actual declaration of war by the Mexican Government, and the expulsion of French subjects from its territory, there was a state of war between the two countries, and that neither restitution of the vessels and cargoes mentioned nor the payment of indemnities could be exacted.
Moore, Int. Arbitrations, V. 4865-4866.
Hall says that F. de Martens, in his Traité de Droit International, III. 174, has been misled by Hautefeuille into saying that England, in
case of pacific blockade, seizes both the ships of the blockaded powers and neutral ships and confiscates both. Hall declares that this statement is entirely destitute of foundation, and, referring to the French blockade of Mexican ports in 1838, says: "This is believed to be the only occasion on which vessels of third powers have been confiscated; though, if the pacific character of the Formosan blockade had been omitted, and neutral vessels had been seized, they would have been treated, it would seem, in like manner." (Hall, Int. Law (5th ed.), 372, note.)
From the brevity of Hall's reference to the French blockade of Mexican ports in 1838, it is uncertain whether he did not overlook the fact that the pacific blockade was afterwards converted into an avowed hostile blockade.
From 1838 to 1840, France, and from 1845 to 1848, France and England blockaded certain ports on the river Plate. With reference to this blockade, Lord Palmerston, writing in 1846 to the British ambassador at Paris, expressed the opinion that the French and English blockade had been "from first to last illegal," and that, unless a state of war existed, there was no right "to prevent ships of other states" from communicating with the blockaded ports. To this language, says Hall, “there is nothing to add, except an expression of surprise that the subject could have ever presented itself to any mind in a different light. It is only under the supreme necessities of war, that other states can be reasonably asked to forego their right of intercourse with the enemy. practice, however, assumes a very different aspect when it is ducted as to be harmless to the interests of third powers. It is a means of constraint much milder than actual war, and therefore, if sufficient for its purpose, it is preferable in itself."
Hall, Int. Law (5th ed.), 374–375.
In 1850 Great Britain, as a punishment for certain alleged injuries inflicted by Greek soldier-police on the officers of the British ship Fantome and to compel the payment of certain indemnities, blockaded the ports of Greece. This blockade was withdrawn without resulting in a state of war.
In 1860 Victor Emmanuel, then King of Piedmont, joined the revolutionary government of Naples in blockading ports in Sicily then held by the King of Naples. The relations between the courts of Turin and Naples continued to be legally peaceful.
The British Government demanded reparation from Brazil for the plundering of the British barque Prince of Wales on the Brazilian coast in 1861. It also demanded redress for what was termed an outrage on three officers of the British man-of-war Forte by the Brazilian guard at Tijuca Hill. As the British demands were refused,
the British admiral instituted a pacific blockade of the port of Rio de Janeiro, and seized and detained five Brazilian vessels as an act of reprisal. It was subsequently arranged that the claim in the case of the Prince of Wales should be paid under protest and the captured vessels released, the Brazilian Government assuming responsibility for any losses which might have resulted to the citizens of third countries, and that the case of the Forte should be submitted to arbitration.
Moore, Int. Arbitrations, V. 4925; Hall, Int. Law (5th ed.), 372.
Under the head of pacific blockade, Calvo mentions the fact that in
In 1884 France blockaded a portion of the coast of Formosa. “The French Government disavowed any wish to assume the character of a belligerent, but it proposed to treat neutral vessels as liable to capture and condemnation; .. Lord Granville . . . intimated that he should consider the hostilities which had in fact taken place, together with the formal notice of blockade, to constitute a state of war;" and declared the contention of the French Government that a pacific blockade conferred on the blockading power the right to capture and to condemn the ships of third nations to be "in conflict with well-established principles of international law.”
Hall, Int. Law (5th ed.), 372, 373.
See, also, Holland, Studies in International Law, 135.
In 1886 Greece was blockaded by the fleets of Austria, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, and Russia. In this blockade the powers followed the course adopted by England in the blockade of 1850, when Greek vessels only were seized and sequestrated and when even Greek vessels were allowed to enter with cargoes bona fide the property of foreigners, and to issue from ports if chartered before notice of the blockade was given for the conveyance of cargoes wholly or in part belonging to foreigners.
Hall, Int. Law (5th ed.), 372, 373, note.
In 1888-1889 a very anomalous " blockade of the coasts of Zanzibar was instituted by the British and German admirals, by order of their Governments, but in the name of the Sultan, against the importation of "materials of war and the exportation of slaves." The operation "was in reality a measure of high international police, exercised, directly or indirectly, by all the powers of western Europe