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The order in council also provides for the acceptance of the very valuable commentary on the declaration which was embodied in the general report prepared by Monsieur Renault.
ORDER IN COUNCIL.
Directing the adoption and enforcement during the present hostilities
of the convention known as the Declaration of London, subject to additions and modifications.
1914. No. 1260. At the court at Buckingham Palace, the 20th day of August, 1914. Present, The King's Most Excellent Majesty in Council.
Whereas during the present hostilities the naval forces of His Majesty will cooperate with the French and Russian naval forces; and
Whereas it is desirable that the naval operations of the allied forces so far as they affect neutral ships and commerce should be conducted on similar principles; and
Whereas the Governments of France and Russia have informed His Majesty's Government that during the present hostilities it is their intention to act in accordance with the provisions of the convention known as the Declaration of London, signed on the 26th day of February, 1909, so far as may be practicable.
Now, therefore, His Majesty, by and with the advice of his Privy Council, is pleased to order, and it is hereby ordered, that during the present hostilities the convention known as the Declaration of London shall, subject to the following additions and modifications, be adopted and put in force by His Majesty's Government as if the same had been ratified by His Majesty:
The additions and modifications are as follows:
(1) The lists of absolute and conditional contraband contained in the proclamation dated August 4, 1914, shall be substituted for the lists contained in articles 22 and 24 of the said declaration.
(2) A neutral vessel which succeeded in carrying contraband to the enemy with false papers may be detained for having carried such contraband if she is encountered before she has completed her return voyage.
(3) The destination referred to in article 33 may be inferred from any sufficient evidence, and (in addition to the presumption laid down in article 34) shall be presumed to exist if the goods are consigned to or for an agent of the enemy State or to or for a merchant or other person under the control of the authorities of the enemy State.
(4) The existence of a blockade shall be presumed to be known
(a) To all ships which sailed from or touched at an enemy port a sufficient time after the notification of the blockade to the local authori
1 The above was repealed by the Order in Council of Oct. 29, 1914. 23057—16 -7
DECLARATION OF LONDON.
ties to have enabled the enemy Government to make known the existence of the blockade;
(b) To all ships which sailed from or touched at a British or allied port after the publication of the declaration of blockade.
(5) Notwithstanding the provisions of article 35 of the said declaration, conditional contraband, if shown to have the destination referred to in article 32, is liable to capture, to whatever port the vessel is bound and at whatever port the carg) is to be discharged.
(6) The general report of the drafting committee on the said declaration presented to the Naval Conference and adopted by the conference at the eleventh plenary mecting on February 25, 1909, shall be considered by all prize courts as an authoritative statement of the meaning and intention of the said declaration, and such courts shall construe and interpret the provisions of the said dcclaration by the light of the commentary given therein.
And the lords commissioners of His Majesty's treasury, the lords commissioner of the admiralty, and cach of His Majesty's principal secretaries of state, the president of the probate, divorce, and admiralty division of the high court of justice, all other judges of His Majesty's prize courts, and all governors, officers, and authorities whom it may concern are to give the necessary directions herein as to them may respectively appertain.
File No. 763.72112/112.]
Chargé Wilson to the Secretary of State.
St. Petersburg, August 27, 1914. Russian Government accepts Declaration of London with exact modifications adopted by England and France.
File No. 763.72112/120.]
Paris, September 3, 1914. The French Government will observe the provisions of the Declaration of London with following reservation: Article 1. The declaration signed in London on February 26, 1909, concerning the legislation of naval war shall be applied during the war subject to the following additions and modifications:
One. The lists of absolute and conditional contraband notified by publication in the Journal Officiel of August 11, 1914, are substituted for those contained in articles 22 and 24 of the declaration. Notices published in the Journal Officiel shall eventually make known any new additions or modifications to said lists.
POSITION OF UNITED STATES, 1914.
Two. Any neutral ship which may have succeeded in carrying contraband to the enemy by means of false papers may be seized under this accusation if met with before completing its return journey
Three. The purpose within the meaning of article 33 of the declaration may be inferred from any sufficient proof, and (besides the assumption contained in article 34) shall be considered as existing if the merchandise is consigned to or in the name of an agent of the enemy or to or in the name of any dealer or of any other person acting under the control of the authorities of the enemy.
Four. The existence of a blockade shall be deemed known (a) for all ships starting from or touching at an enemy's port within a sufficient delay after notification of blockade to the local authorities to have allowed the enemy's government to make known the existence of the blockade; (b) for all ships which may have left or touched at a French or ally's port after publication of declaration of blockade.
Five. Notwithstanding the provisions of article 35 of the declaration the conditional contraband, if it is proved that its destination comes within the meaning of article 33, is liable to capture, whatever may be the port of destination of the ship and the port where the cargo is to be unloaded.
Only change made in Journal Officiel of August 11, 1914, is transfer of balloons, flying machines, etc., from conditional contraband list to absolute contraband list. Article 22 still, then, contains 12 subdivisions, 12 referring to balloons and flying machines, and article 24, 13 subdivisions, subdivision 8 being eliminated and becoming subdivision 12 of absolute contraband.
The Acting Secretary of State to Ambassador W. H. Page.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, October 22, 1914–4 p. m. Your No. 864, October 19, Declaration of London.
Inasmuch as the British Government consider that the conditions of the present European conflict make it impossible for them to accept without modification the Declaration of London, you are requested to inform His Majesty's Government that in the circumstances the Government of the United States feels obliged to withdraw its suggestion that the Declaration of London be adopted as a temporary code of naval warfare to be observed by belligerents and neutrals during the present war; that therefore this Government will insist that the rights and duties of the United States and its citizens in the present war be defined by the existing rules of international law and the treaties of the United States irrespective of the provisions of the Declaration of London; and that this Government reserves to itself the right to enter a protest or demand in each case in which those rights and duties so defined are violated or their free exercise interfered with by the authorities of His Britannic Majesty's Government.
File No. 763.72112/226a.]
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, October 24, 1914–5 p. m. Referring to department's August 6, 1 p. m., and embassy's October 22, relative to the Declaration of London, Mr. Lansing instructs Mr. Gerard to inform the German Government that the suggestion of the department to belligerents as to the adoption of declaration for sake of uniformity as to a temporary code of naval warfare during the present conflict has been withdrawn because some of the belligerents are unwilling to accept the declaration without modifications and that this Government will therefore insist that the rights and duties of the Government and citizens of the United States in the present war be defined by existing rules of international law and the treaties of the United States without regard to the provisions of the declaration and that the Government of the United States reserves to itself the right to enter a protest or demand in every case in which the rights and duties so defined are violated or their free exercise interfered with by the authorities of the belligerent Governments.
The Declaration of London and European practice.While certain States in 1914 and 1915 stated that they would observe the principles of the Declaration of London, their practice was not always in strict conformity with its provisions. The declaration furnishes a standard to which some of these practices may be referred. Upon the following pages such comparisons are made.
DECLARATION OF LONDON, 1909. DECLARATION CONCERNING THE LAWS OF NAVAL WAR. His Majesty the German Emperor, King of Prussia; the President of the United States of America; His Majesty the Emperor of Austria, King of Bohemia, &c., and Apostolic King of Hungary; His Majesty the King of Spain; the President of the French Republic; His Majesty the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas, Emperor of India; His Majesty the King of Italy; His Majesty the Emperor of Japan; Her Majesty the Queen of the Netherlands; His Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias.
Considering the invitation which the British Government has given to various powers to meet in conference in order to determine together as to what are the generally recognized rules of international law within the meaning of article 7 of the Convention of 18th October, 1907, relative to the Establishment of an International Prize Court;
Recognizing all the advantuges which in the unfortunate event of a naval war, an agreement as to the said rules would present, both as re
1 Same to the embassies at St. Petersburg, Vienna, and Paris, and the legation at Brussels.
gards peaceful commerce, and as regards the belligerents and as regards their political relations with neutral governments;
Considering that the general principles of international law are often in their practical application the subject of divergent procedure;
Animated by the desire to insure henceforward a greater uniformity in this respect;
Hoping that a work so important to the common welfare will meet with general approval;
Have appointed as their plenipotentiaries, that is to say: [Names of plenipotentiaries.]
Who, after having communicated their full powers, found in good and due form, have agreed to make the present declaration:
PRELIMINARY PROVISION. The signatory powers are agreed in declaring that the rules contained in the following chapters correspond in substance with the generally recognized principles of international law.
CHAPTER I.--Blockade in time of war." ARTICLE 1. A blockade must be limited to the ports and coasts belonging to or occupied by the enemy.
1 Great Britain followed this rule in certain African blockades:
FOREIGN OFFICE, Feb. 23, 1915. His Majesty's Government have decided to declare a blockade of the coast of German East Africa as from midnight, February 28-March 1. The blockade will extend along the whole coast, including the islands, i. e., from latitude 4° 41' south to latitude 10° 40' south.
Four days' grace from the time of the commencement of the blockade will be given for the departure of neutral vessels from the blockaded area. (London Gazette, Feb. 26, 1915.) Notice of declaration of blockade of the coast of the Cameroons.
FOREIGN OFFICE, A pr. 24, 1915. His Majesty's Government have decided to declare a blockade of the coast of the Cameroons as from midnight April 23-24. The blockade will extend from the entrance of the Akwayafe River to Bimbia Creek, and from the Benge mouth of the Sanaga River to Campo.
Forty-eight hours' grace from the time of the commencement of the blockade will be given for the departure of neutral vessels from the blockaded area. (London Gazette, Apr. 27, 1915.)
The British provisions for the blockade in the Eastern Mediterranean were as follows:
Notice of declaration of blockade of the coast of Asia Minor, including entrance to Dardanelles.
FOREIGN OFFICE, June 1, 1915. His Majesty's Government have decided to declare a blockade of the coast of Asia Minor, commencing at noon o
ncing at noon on June 2. The area of the blockade will extend from latitude 37° 35' N. to latitude 40' 5' N., and will include the entrance to the Dardanelles. Seventy-two hours' grace from the moment of the commencement of the blockade will be given for the departure of neutral vessels from the blockade i area. (London Gazette June 4, 1915.)