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contraband illegitimate and penal. The question why the carriage of contraband articles may nevertheless be prohibited and punished by the belligerents, although it is quite legitimate so far as International Law is concerned, can only be answered by a reference to the historical development of the Law of Nations. In contradistinction to former practice, which interdicted all trade between neutrals and the enemy, the principle of freedom of commerce between subjects of neutrals and either belligerent has gradually become universally recognised; but this recognition included from the beginning the right of either belligerent to punish carriage of contraband on the sea. And the reason obviously is the necessity for belligerents in the interest of self-preservation to prevent the import of such articles as may strengthen the enemy, and to confiscate the contraband cargo, and eventually the vessel also, as a deterrent to other vessels.
The present condition of the matter of carriage of contraband is therefore a compromise. In the interest of the generally recognised principle of freedom of commerce between belligerents and subjects of neutrals, International Law does not require neutrals to prevent their subjects from carrying contraband; on the other hand, International Law empowers either belligerent to prohibit and punish carriage of contraband just as it
empowers either belligerent to prohibit and punish breach of blockade.
The Declaration of London has in no way altered the existing condition of the matter. The fact that articles 22 and 24 give a list of articles which, without special declaration and notice, may always be treated as absolute and conditional contraband respectively, does not involve the forbidding by International Law of the carriage of the articles. Articles 22 and 24 are certainly part of International Law, vet they merely embody an agreement as to what goods may--but they need not--be treated as contraband.
Oppenheim, vol. 2, pp. 495–497.
t. S. TREASURY (IRCULAR, 1862- MR. CHASE TO COLLECTORS OF CUSTOMS.
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, May 23, 1862. Sir: In pursuance of the provisions of the proclamation of the President, modifying the blockade of the ports of Beaufort, Port Roval, and New Orleans, and of the regulations of the Secretary of the Treasury relating to trade with those ports, no articles contraband of war will be permitted to enter at either of said ports, and you will accordingly refuse clearance to vessels bound for those ports, or either of them, with any such articles on board.
Until further instructed, you will regard as contraband of war the following articles, viz: cannons, mortars, fire-arms, pistols, bombs, grenades, firelocks, flints, matches, powder, saltpetre, balls, bullets, pikes, swords, sulphur, helmets or boarding-caps, sword-belts, saddles and bridles, Calways excepting the quantity of the said articies which may be necessary for the defence of the ship and of those who compose the crew,) cartridge-bag material, percussion and other caps, clothing adapted for uniforms, rosin, sail-cloth of all kinds, hemp and cordage, masts, ship-timber, tar and pitch, ardent spirits, military persons in the service of the enemy, despatches of the enemy, and articles of like character with those specially enumerated. You will also refuse clearances to all vessels which, whatever the ostensible destination, are believed by you, on satisfactory grounds, to be intended for ports or places in possession or under control of insurgents against the United States, or that there is imminent danger that the goods, wares, or merchandise, of whatever description, laden on such vessels, will fall into the possession or under the control of such insurgents; and in all cases where, in your judgment, there is ground for apprehension that any goods, wares, or merchandise, shipped at your port, will be used, in any way for the aid of the insurgents or the insurrection, you will require substantial security to be given that such goods, wares, or merchandise, shall not be transported to any place under insurrection:ury control, and shall not, in any way, be ised to give aid or comfort to such insurgents.
You will be especially careful upon application for clearances to require bonds, with sufficient sureties, conditioned for fulfilling faithfully all the conditions imposed by law or departmental regulations. from shippers of the following articles to the ports opened, or to any other ports from which they may easily be, and are probably intended to be, re-shipped in aid of the existing insurrection, namely: liquors of all kinds other than ardent spirits, coals, iron, lead, copper, tin, brass, telegraphic instruments, wire, porous cups, platina, sulphuric acid, zinc, and all other telegraphic materials, marine engines, screw propellers, paddle-wheels, cylinders, cranks, shafts, boilers, tubes for boilers, fire-bars, and every article or other component part of an engine or boiler, or any article whatever which is, can or may become applicable for the manufacture of marine machinery, or for the armor of vessels. I am, very respectfully,
S. P. CHASE, Secretary of the Treasury.
In order that Goods may be Contraband, two conditions are necessary :
1. The Goods must be fit for purposes of war exclusively, or for purposes of war as well as of peace.
2. They must be destined for the use of the Enemy in war.
Corresponding to these conditions, two points will have to be ascertained by the Commander, when he suspects a Vessel to be carrying Contraband, viz. :
1. The character of the Goods on board.
2. The destination of the Vessel, which is conclusive as to the destination of the Goods on board.
Holland, p. 18. It is part of the prerogative of the Crown during the war to extend or reduce the lists of Articles to be held Absolutely Contraband, subject, however, to any Treaty Engagements binding upon Great Britain.
Holland, p. 21.
Ammunition and materials for Ammunition, including Lead, Sulphate of Potash, Muriate of Potash (Chloride of Potassium), Chlorate of Potash, and Nitrate of Soda.
Gunpowder and its materials, Saltpetre and Brimstone; also GunCotton.
Military Equipments and Clothing.
Naval Stores, such as Masts, Spars, Rudders, and Ship Timber, Hemp and Cordage, Sail-cloth, Pitch and Tar; Cooper fit for sheathing vessels; Marine Engines, and the component parts thereof, including Serew-Propellers, Paddle-Wheels, Cylinders, Cranks, Shafts, Boilers, Tubes for Boilers, Boiler-Plates, and Fire-Bars; Marine Cement, and the materials used in the manufacture thereof, as Blue Lias and Portland Cement; Iron in any of the following forms-Anchors, Rivet-Iron, Angle-Iron, Round Bars of from ito of an inch diameter, Rivets, Strips of Iron, Sheet Plate-Iron exceeding : of an inch, and Low Moor and Bowling Plates.
Holland. pp. 19 and 20.
List of absolute contraband proclaimed by the United States in 1898.
Ordnance; machine guns and their appliances and the parts thereof; armor plate, and whatever pertains to the offensive and defensive armament of natal vessels; arms and instruments of iron, steel, brass, or copper, or of any other material, such arms and instruments being specially adapted for use in war by land or sea; torpedoes and their appurtenances; cases for mines, of whatever material; engineering and transport materials, such as gun carriages, caissons, cartridge boxes, campaigning forges, canteens, pontoons; ordnance stores; portable range finders; signal flags destined for naval use; ammunition and explosives of all kinds; machinery for the manufacture of arms and munitions of war; saltpeter; military accoutrements and equipments of all sorts; horses.
I'roclamation and Decrees of Neutrality (l'. S. State Department publica
tion), p. 88.
List of contraband proclaimed by Spain in 1898.
Art. VI. Under the denomination contraband of war, the following articles are included :
Cannons, machine guns, mortars, guns, all kinds of arms and firearms, bullets, bombs, grenades, fuses, cartridges, matches, powiler, sulphur, saltpeter, dynamite and every kind of explosive, articles of equipment like uniforms, straps, saddles and artillery and cavalry harness, engines for ships and their accessories, shafts, screws, boilers and other articles used in the construction, repair, and arming of war ships, and in general all warlike instruments, utensils, tools, and other articles, and whatever may hereafter be determined to be contraband.
I'roclamation and Decrees of Neutrality (V. S. State Department publication), pp. 93, 94.
In case of war, the articles that are conditionally and iconditionally contraband, when not specifically mentioned in treaties previously made and in force, will be duly announced in a public manner.
L. S. Vaval War ('ode, 1900, Article 34.
The term "contraband of war” includes only articles having a belligerent destination and purpose. Such articles are classed under two general heads:
(1) Articles that are primarily and ordinarily used for military purposes in time of war, such as arms and munitions of war, military material, vessels of war, or instruments made for the immediate manufacture of munitions of war.
U. S. Naval War Code, 1900, Article 34.
Until otherwise announced, the following articles are to be treated as contraband of war:
Absolutely contraband.-Ordnance; machine guns and their appliances and the parts thereof; armor plate and whatever pertains to the offensive and defensive armament of naval vessels; arms and instruments of iron, steel, brass, or copper, or of any other material, such arms and instruments being specially adapted for use in war by land or sea; torpedoes and their appurtenances; cases for mines, of whatever material; engineering and transport materials, such as gun carriages, caissons, cartridge boxes, campaigning forges, canteens, pontoons; ordnance stores; portable range finders; signal flags destined for naval use; ammunition and explosives of all kinds and their component parts; machinery for the manufacture of arms and munitions of war; salt peter; military accoutrements and equipments of all sorts; horses and mules.
U. S. Naval War Code, 1900, Article 36.
The following articles are deemed to be contraband of war:
(1) Small arms of every kind, and guns, mounted or in sections, as well as armour-plates;
(2) Ammunition for fire-arms, such as projectiles, shell-fuses, bullets, priming, cartridges, cartridge-cases, powder, saltpetre, sulphur;
(3) Explosives and materials for causing explosions, such as torpedoes, dynamite, pyroxyline, various explosive substances, wire conductors, and everything used to explode mines and torpedoes;
(4) Artillery, engineering, and camp equipment, such as gun carriages, ammunition wagons, boxes or packages of cartridges, field kitchens and forges, instrument wagons, pontoons, bridge trestle, barbed wire, harness, &c.;
(5) Articles of military equipment and clothing, such as bandoliers, cartridge boxes, knapsacks straps, cuirasses, entrenching tools, drums. pots and pans, saddles, harness, completed parts of military uniforms, tents, &c.;
(6) Vessels bound for an enemy's port, even if under a neutral commercial flag, if it is apparent from their construction, interior fittings, and other indications that they have been built for warlike purposes, and are proceeding to an enemy's port in order to be sold or handed over to the enemy;
(7) Boilers and every kind of naval machinery, mounted or unmounted
(8) Every kind of fuel, such as coal, naphtha, alcohol, and other similar materials.
(9) Articles and material for the installation of telegraphs, telephones, or for the construction of railroads.
(10) Generally, everything intended for warfare by sea or land, as well as rice, provisions, and horses, beasts of burden, and other animals, which may be used for a warlike purpose, if they are transported on the account of, or are destined for, the enemy.
Russian Rules, 1904, sec. 6. The following articles will, in the event of their being destined for the enemy territory, or for the enemy army or navy, be held to be contraband of war:
Arms, ammunition, explosives, materials (including lead, salt petre, sulphur, &c.) and machinery for making the same, cement, naval and military uniforms and accoutrements, armor-plate, materials for the building and fitting of ships of war or other ships, and all other articles which, though not coming under the above-mentioned list, are intended solely for use in war.
Japanese Regulations, 19904, Article 13.
Under the name of food-stuffs, to which allusion is made in section 10 of this Article, must be included among the number of articles which may be used for food-stufl's and forage for the Japanese army, - all kinds of grain, fish, fish products of various kinds, beans, bean oil cakes.”
On the list of articles intended for warlike purposes, either on land or on sea, should figure machinery and parts of machinery intended for the manufacture of cannon, small arms, and projectiles.
Extract from the Journal de Saint-Petersburg" of March 6 (19), 1904. These (contraband articles) may include:
(11) Weapons of war (guns, rifles, sabers, etc., ammunition, powder and other explosives, and military conveyances, etc.).
b) Any materials out of which this kind of war supplies can be manufactured, such as salt peter, sulphur, coal, leather, and the like.
(c) Horses and mules.
(d) Clothing and equipment (such as uniforms of all kinds, cooking utensils, leather straps, and footwear).
(e) Machines, motor-cars, bicycles, telegraphic apparatus, and the like.
German War Book, pp. 191, 192.
21. The following will be regarded as contraband of war, without any official declaration, under the designation of absolute contraband articles and materials:
1. Arms of every kind, including hunting weapons and all recognised parts belonging to them.
2. Projectiles, charges, and cartridges of all kinds, as well as their recognised parts belonging to them.
3. Powder and explosives which are especially intended for war
1. Gun mounts, ammunition, carriages, limbers, supply wagons, field forges, and their recognised parts.
5. Articles of clothing and equipment distinctly military.