« PreviousContinue »
who were interested in the locality, for the prevention of a traffic generally recognized by them as cruel and immoral." Italy and Portugal aided actively in the blockade, and France sent a war ship to visit vessels flying the French flag. Auxiliary steps were taken on the mainland by the Congo State and the Netherlands.
Holland, Studies in Int. Law, 139-140; referring also to M. Rolin-
See Mr. Wharton, Assist. Sec. of State, to Mr. Pratt, consul at Zanzibar,
"WASHINGTON, March 20, 1897.
"The undersigned, under instructions from their respective Governments, have the honor to notify the Government of the United States that the admirals in command of the forces of Austria-Hungary, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, and Russia in Cretan waters have decided to put the island of Crete in a state of blockade, commencing the 21st instant, at 8 a. m.
"The blockade will be general for all ships under the Greek flag. Ships of the six powers or neutral powers may enter into the ports occupied by the powers and land their merchandise, but only if it is not for the Greek troops or the interior of the island. The ships may be visited by the ships of the international fleets.
"The limits of the blockade are comprised between 23° 24′ and 26° 30' longitude east of Greenwich, and 35° 48′ and 34° 45′ north latitude.
"JULIAN PAUNCEFOTE, H. B. M. Ambassador.
"PATENÔTRE, Ambassadeur de la Republique Francaise. "FAVA, Ambasciatore d'Italia.
"THIELMANN, Etc., Etc., Etc.
"VON HENGELMULLER, Etc., Etc., Etc.
"KOTZEBUE, Etc., Etc., Etc."
Enclosure with Sir Julian Pauncefote, British ambass., to Mr. Sherman,
"I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 24th instant, transmitting to me a communication under date of March 20, 1897, signed by yourself and the representatives of France, Italy, Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Russia at this capital, relative to certain measures taken by the naval forces of the great powers, signatories of the treaty of Berlin, in the waters of the island of Crete.
"As the United States is not a signatory of the treaty of Berlin, nor otherwise amenable to the engagements thereof, I confine myself to taking note of the communication, not conceding the right to make such a blockade as that referred to in your communication, and reserving the consideration of all international rights and of any ques
tion which may in any way affect the commerce or interests of the United States."
Mr. Sherman, Sec. of State, to Sir Julian Pauncefote, British amb., March 26, 1897, For. Rel. 1897, 255.
The note of Sir Julian Pauncefote of March 24, 1897, which Mr. Sherman thus acknowledged, was as follows:
"On behalf of my Government and at the request of my colleagues, the representatives of Austria-Hungary, France, Germany, Italy, and Russia, I have the honor to transmit the inclosed communication relative to certain measures taken by the naval forces of the great powers, signatories of the treaty of Berlin, in the waters of the island of Crete.
"I desire to explain that this communication has not been delivered on
A notice, similar to that communicated to the Department of State in
Dec. 13, 1898, the British ambassador at Washington transmitted to the Department of State a communication signed by himself, as well as by the representatives of France, Italy, and Russia, saying: "The admirals of the four powers in Cretan waters have issued a notice that the blockade of Crete has been raised from the 5th of December instant, but that the importation of arms and munitions. of war is absolutely prohibited."
For. Rel. 1898, 384.
The German ambassador at Washington, in a promemoria of Dec. 20, 1901, referring to the design of his Government to use coercive measures against Venezuela to bring about a settlement of claims, and to this end to employ in the first instance a pacific blockade, said that this blockade "would touch likewise the ships of neutral powers, inasmuch as such ships, although a confiscation of them would not have to be considered, would have to be turned away and prohibited until the blockade should be raised." No response appears to have been made to this notice at the time; but, a year later, when it was announced that Germany and Great Britain would act together, Mr. Hay, on Dec. 12, 1902, directed Mr. Tower, the American ambassador at Berlin, to say that the United States adhered to its position in the case of the Cretan blockade in 1897, and therefore did “not acquiesce in any extension of the doctrine of pacific blockade which may adversely affect the rights of states not parties to the controversy, or discriminate against the commerce of neutral nations," and that the United States reserved all its rights in the premises. The German Government replied that it was at first inclined to a pacific
blockade, but that, yielding to the wishes of Great Britain, which had insisted on establishing a warlike blockade, it would join with that Government in announcing such a blockade in a few days. Mr. Tower also reported that he had been assured that Germany" at present has no intention whatever to declare war or to proceed beyond the establishment of [a] warlike blockade." In response to an inquiry by Mr. Hay as to what was intended by a "warlike blockade without. war, especially as regards neutrals," the German Government stated. that, although it was not intended to make a formal declaration of war, a state of war would actually exist, and that the warlike blockade would be attended with all the conditions of such a measure, just as if war had been formally declared. A blockade of Puerto Cabello and Maracaibo was proclaimed by Germany on Dec. 20, 1902.
On Dec. 12, 1902, an instruction similar to that sent on the same day to the American ambassador at Berlin was addressed to the American embassy in London. On the 18th of December the embassy reported that the prime minister, Mr. Balfour, had stated in the House of Commons that he agreed with the United States in thinking "there can be no such thing as a pacific blockade; " that "evidently a blockade does involve a state of war," and that a formal notice would be issued in due time for the information of neutrals. Such a notice was published on Dec. 20.
It may be observed that the United States did not take the ground that there could be "no such thing" as a pacific blockade; it stated that it could not acquiesce “in any extension" of the doctrine of pacific blockade so as to affect "the rights of states not parties to the controversy."
For. Rel. 1903, pp. 420, 421, 423, 452, 455, 458.
For the promemoria of the German ambassador, see For. Rel. 1901, 196.
In 1887 the Institute of International Law, twenty-seven members being present, adopted a declaration to the effect that pacific blockade should be recognized as permitted by the law of nations only under the following conditions: (1) That ships under a foreign flag should be allowed freely to enter in spite of the blockade; (2) that the blockade should be declared and notified officially and maintained by a sufficient force; (3) that ships of the blockaded power which should fail to respect the blockade should be sequestered, and that when blockade had ceased they should be restored with their cargoes to their owners, but without any damages for their detention.
Annuaire de l'Institut, 1887-88, 300.
"It has been erroneously stated, even by Dr. Wharton, Digest, vol. iii, p. 408, that the Institut' had, in 1875, expressed itself as opposed to pacific blockade for any purpose. The question was never before the Institut' in 1875; and the mistake is due to the fact that in a 'Questionnaire' addressed to the members of a committee on private
property at sea, which reported in that year, attention had been incidentally called to the legality of pacific blockades, but without distinguishing between the different modes in which they have been applied. A majority of the members of the committee replied in a sense adverse to the practice, as thus unlimited in its scope. See Revue de Droit International, t. vii, p. 611" (Holland, Studies in International Law, 144, note.)
"It is difficult to understand the objections which have been made to the more limited form of the measure,” i. e., pacific blockade, when applied only to vessels of the blockaded power. "M. Perels seems to be supported only by M. Heffter [Völkerrecht der Gegenwart, § 111] in maintaining that the measure may be lawfully extended so as to affect the ships of third states. The opposite view is taken by F. de Martens, W. E. Hall, Neumann, De Negrin, Oppenheim, Wurm, Glas, Fiore, Calvo, Bluntschli, Wharton, Bulmerincq, Nys, Gessner, Geffcken." The opinions of international lawyers are focused in the resolutions of the Institute of International Law of 1887, which "may be taken as a well-considered expression of expert European opinion.”
Holland, Studies in Int. Law, 140, 143–144.
Rivier, after noticing the theoretical objections to the idea of "pacific blockade," says it is hardly possible to deny to the measure the character of an institution of the actual law of nations, and that, with the limitation that it can be applied only to the ships of the blockaded country, it is in substance nothing more than a particular phase of reprisals, such as embargo. The measure of pacific blockade had a powerful advocate in the late Rolin-Jaequemyns.
Rivier, Principes du Droit des Gens, II. 198-199; Rolin-Jaequemyns, in
"Pistoye et Duverdy (Traité des Prises Maritimes, II. 376-8), and Wool-
*See, also, H. B. Deane, Law of Blockade, 45-48; Fiore, Droit Int., § 1231; Lawrence's Wheaton (1863), 845.
By a joint resolution of Congress of March 26, 1794, an embargo was laid for thirty days on all ships and vessels in ports of the United States bound for any foreign port or place. The immediate
cause was the British order in council of Nov. 6, 1793, and a reported hostile speech by Lord Dorchester to the Indian tribes which were in hostility with the United States. It was expected that the measure would lead to a restriction of the supply of provisions to the British fleet in the West Indies, though the letter of the act operated equally against the French. Washington, in a message to Congress of March 28, 1794, stated that he had requested the governors of the several States to call out the militia for the detention of vessels, if necessary; and he recommended that the embargo be extended to fishing vessels, to which it had not been held to apply. It was also construed not to apply to armed vessels possessing public commissions, except letters of marque. By a resolution of April 18, 1794, the embargo was extended to May 25, 1794. On April 7, 1794, a resolution was introduced in Congress to suspend intercourse with Great Britain in British productions, but when Jay's mission to England was announced it was dropped. For the same reason the act of June 4, 1794, which was to remain in force till fifteen days after the commencement of the next session of Congress, and by which the President was authorized to lay an embargo whenever in his opinion the public safety should require it, remained unexecuted. By an act of May 22, 1794, however, the exportation of munitions of war was prohibited for a year, and their importation free of duty was authorized for two years.
Resolution March 26, 1794, 1 Stat. 400; message of March 28, 1794, Am.
In a special message to Congress of December 18, 1807, President Jefferson, in view of the injuries inflicted on American commerce under Napoleon's Berlin decree of November 21, 1806, and the British decrees of blockade and orders in council, recommended "an inhibition of the departure of our vessels from the ports of the United States." The Senate, in secret session, by a vote of 22 to 6, passed a bill laying an embargo on all shipping, foreign and domestic, in the ports of the United States. The House, with closed doors, passed the bill, after a debate of three days, by a vote of 82 to 44. The bill became a law by the approval of the President on December 22, 1807. To the immediate operation of this measure an exception was made in favor of foreign vessels, which were allowed to depart, either loaded or in ballast, on receiving notice of the act. The embargo was repealed by the act of March 1, 1809, which substituted a policy of nonintercourse.
On April 1, 1812, President Madison sent a message to Congress recommending another embargo. An appropriate act was adopted