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the preceding article, and minus the deductions provided for in the same, shall be paid into a special and separate fund to the credit of the parties entitled thereto at the Caisse of Deposits for seamen in the Maritime Department of Genoa.
At the end of hostilities the fund will be liquidated in favor of those entitled, in accordance with our dispositions to follow.
We order that the present decree, furnished with the seal of state, be included in the official record of the laws and decrees of the Kingdom of Italy, requiring everyone concerned to observe it and cause it to be observed. Given at Rome this 17th day of June, 1915.
THOMAS OF Savoy.
ROYAL DECREE OF JUNE 24, 1915 (No. 1014)
Thomas of Savoy, Duke of Genoa, Lieutenant-General of His Majesty
Victor Emanuel III, by the Grace of God and the will of the Nation,
In virtue of the authority delegated to us;
Whereas the Royal Decree of the 16th May, No. 659, suspends the application of Article 243 of the Mercantile Marine Code during the present international conflict;
Whereas our decree of the 30th May, 1915, No. 814, in substitution of Article 243 of the Mercantile Marine Code, lays down rules for the treatment of enemy merchant vessels in the territorial waters of the kingdom and of the colonies, on the outbreak of hostilities;
Whereas our decree of the 17th June, 1915, No. 957, in pursuance of the above-mentioned decree of the 30th May, 1915, No. 814, lays down rules for the use of enemy merchant vessels sequestrated in the ports of the kingdom and of the colonies;
Having regard to Article 244 of the Mercantile Marine Code;
* Article 244 is as follows: (Translation.) “Vessels sequestrated as indicated above and merchandise loaded on the same which are of enemy property may, In virtue of the extraordinary powers conferred on the Government of the King by the law of the 22nd May, 1915, No. 671;
The Council of Ministers having been consulted;
On the motion of the Minister of Marine, acting in concert with the President of the Council of Ministers, the Minister of the Interior, and with the Ministers for Foreign Affairs, of the Colonies, and of Grace and Justice, and Worship;
We have decreed and decree:
Article 1. If the enemy causes damage to the lives or goods of Italian subjects or citizens by bombarding undefended towns, ports, villages, houses, or other buildings, by destroying unarmed merchantmen, or by committing any hostile acts which are contrary to the principles of the rights of war generally recognized and admitted—The Government of the King are authorized to order the appropriation of the sum required to indemnify Italian subjects or citizens, or their representatives, who have suffered damage from the enemy, from the fund which has been established by the Caisse of Deposits for seamen in the Maritime Department of Genoa in accordance with the terms of Article 6 of our decree of the 17th June, 1915, No. 957.
Art. 2. If the fund established in virtue of Article 6 of our decree of the 17th June, 1915, No. 957, shall not prove sufficient to indemnify those who have suffered damage in the sense indicated in the preceding Article 1, those enemy merchant ships in regard to which the provision of sequestration has been enacted in accordance with the terms of Article 4 of our decree of the 30th May, 1915, No. 814, may be declared good prize and confiscated.
Similar treatment may be accorded to such enemy goods as have been found on board all enemy merchant ships sequestrated in ports of the kingdom and of its colonies at the outbreak of hostilities, for which the provision of sequestration was established in Article 5 of our decree of the 30th May, 1915, No. 814.
Art. 3. Decisions as to the legitimacy of prizes which may be declared under the terms of the preceding Article 2, as well as the disposal of the according to circumstances, be detained until the conclusion of hostilities or else declared to be good prize.
“In that case the proceeds will go to indemnify, pro ratâ of the respective interests involved, Italian subjects who have suffered injury from the enemy, subject to the observance of the rules and procedure established above, both in regard to judgment as to the legitimacy of the prize and in the liquidation connected there with.”
sums obtained from their seizure, and the distribution of the fund mentioned in the preceding Article 1 will be taken by the Prize Court, which will be guided by the rules and procedure established in the Mercantile Marine Code, and by the regulations drawn up for the court itself.
Art. 4. If the Prize Court ascertains that the sums composing the fund mentioned in Article 1, or the ships or goods declared to be good prize and confiscated in accordance with the terms of Article 2, belong to individuals of Italian nationality but natives of regions which are under the dominions of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Prize Court may suspend the acts of distribution of such sums or of the sums obtainable from the sale of such ships or goods, and inform the Government of the King of the facts ascertained; the Government of the King may then after the Council of Ministers has considered the matter proceed to liberate the sums, ships, and goods belonging to the above-mentioned individuals, or may invite the Prize Court to continue the action and procedure provided for in the preceding articles.
Art. 5. Subsequent dispositions will be issued establishing the mode of procedure for the application of Articles 1 and 2 of the present decree.
We order that the present decree, furnished with the seal of state, be included in the official record of the laws and decrees of the Kingdom of Italy, requiring everyone concerned to observe it and cause it to be observed. Given at Rome this 24th day of June, 1915.
THOMAS OF Savoy.
ITALIAN NAVAL PRIZE REGULATIONS
(Approved by decree of July 15, 1915)
1. In execution of the Royal decree of the 16th May, 1915, suspending the application of Article 211 of the Mercantile Marine Code during the present conflict, the capture of enemy merchant ships is authorized in every case, with the following exceptions:
(a) Sailing boats adapted exclusively to shoal-water fishing, or to
5 These have not yet been published.
short local services within 3 miles of the enemy coast, provided they do not exceed 5 tons displacement, nor violate special provisions issued by the military authorities concerning fishing and navigation.
(b) Ships exclusively employed for religious, scientific or philanthropic purposes, hospital ships fitted out by private persons or charitable societies expressly recognized as such by the Royal Government in accordance with special instructions issued to naval commanding officers.
Cargoes which are enemy property in boats specified under (a) are exempt from sequestration, provided they do not include contraband of war; cargoes which are enemy property are equally exempt on board ships specified under (6) when connected with the mission on which the ship is engaged.
Boats and ships included under (a) and (b) are, however, in every case subject to capture as well as their cargoes, being enemy property, when such ships and boats take any direct or indirect part in hostilities.
2. Merchant ships, under whatever flag they may be sailing, shall be subject to capture in accordance with the provisions of the following articles if
(a) Guilty of violation of blockade;
(e) They are without ship's papers, or have on board ship's papers or manifests which are either falsified, altered, or insufficient so as to give rise to suspicion that they are concealing their real nationality or the real description or destination of the cargo;
(f) They are going to an enemy port, while on the ship's papers a neutral destination is indicated;
(g) They have been transferred from an enemy to a neutral flag subsequent to the outbreak of war, or not more than 30 days before that date, or not more than 60 days when the deed of sale by which the transfer of flag was effected is not found on board.
3. A ship is liable to be captured for violation of blockade when it endeavors to enter or leave a blockaded zone without being furnished with a formal safe-conduct, or when, after having obtained a safe-conduct to enter or leave, it does not observe the rules laid down as to the route which it must follow while navigating in the blockaded zone or crossing the line of blockade.
4. If a ship is shaping its course towards a blockaded zone in ignorance of the existence of the blockade, she shall be notified of it by one of the blockading vessels, entry to that effect being made, if possible, in her log.
Ignorance of the existence of blockade is assumed when this has been declared after the ship left its last port of call.
5. Are considered as contraband of war the objects and materials included in the respective lists approved by decree.
Articles of absolute and conditional contraband are seized when their destination is territory belonging to or occupied by the enemy, or when consigned to the enemy's forces.
Both absolute and conditional contraband on board a ship proceeding to a neutral port is subject to seizure when the name of the consignee does not appear on the manifest, or when the ultimate consignee resides in territory belonging to or occupied by the enemy, or when the goods are consigned to agents of an enemy government, wherever established, or to third persons who are receivers of the goods on account of agents of an enemy government.
6. A ship carrying absolute or conditional contraband may be captured on the high sea or in belligerent territorial waters at any time during its voyage.
If, however, contraband articles form a small part of the cargo, naval commanding officers may at their discretion take over, and, if circumstances require it, destroy the contraband goods, and after noting the fact in the ship's log may allow the vessel to continue her voyage.
7. A ship shall be captured as guilty of giving assistance to the enemy if she
(a) Has taken direct part in hostilities;
(b) Has been entirely chartered by an enemy government, or has on board an agent of such government in control of the ship;
(c) Is employed exclusively for the transport of troops, or for the transmission of news in the enemy's interest;
(d) Is engaged in transporting enemy military detachments or persons who during the voyage may render or have lent direct assistance to the enemy's operations with the knowledge of the owner, charterer, or master;
(e) Is navigating with the specific object of transporting individuals on their way to join the enemy's armed forces.
8. Persons belonging to or intending to join the enemy's armed forces found on board a neutral vessel may be made prisoners of war, even though the ship be not subject to capture.