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WAR WITH RUSSIA.
RUSSIANS IN ENGLAND-LICENSES-AND NEUTRAL PORTS. The deputation of Russian merchants to Lord Clarendon yesterday (March 20, 1854] consisted of Messrs. Weguelin, Brandt, Morgan, Mitchell, Tooke, Hill, Robinson, and Hodgson. In answer to their inquiries, his lordship stated that the government are disposed to respect the persons and property of all Russian subjects residing as merchants in this country to the full extent promised by the Emperor of Russia towards British subjects, and that all necessary measures will be adopted to enable them to remain unmolested in the quiet prosecution of their business. With regard to licenses for special shipments during the war, it was stated that each case must be considered on its merits, but that the government will do all in their power, after concert with their naval allies, to protect the bona fide property of British subjects in Russia Finally, on the question as to the trade of neutral ports, his Lordship said that the desire is to avoid throwing any special obstacles in its way, and that certificates of origin will not be demanded. Produce shipped from the ports of Prussia or any other friendly or neutral country will consequently be considered prima facie as friendly cargo.—Times.
RUSSIAN PRODUCE via PRUSSIA.
Foreign Office, March 25, 1854. SIR,-I am directed by the Earl of Clarendon to state to you, that since his lordship had the pleasure of seeing, on the 20th instant, the deputation of merchants connected with the trade with Russia, his lordship has further considered the question put to him by the deputation, whether Russian produce brought over the frontier by land to Prussian ports, and sbipped thence by British or neutral vessels, will be subject to seizure by Her Majesty's cruisers, and to subsequent confiscation in the High Court of Admiralty.
Lord Clarendon conceives that the question will turn upon the true ownership of, or the interest or risk in, and the destination of, the property which may be seized or captured; and that neither the place of its origin nor the manner of its conveyance to the port whence it was shipped will be decisive, or even in most cases of any real importance.
Such property, if shipped at neutral risk, or after it has become bona fide neutral property, will not be liable to condemnation, whatever may be its destination, if it should still remain enemy's property, notwithstanding it is shipped from a neutral port, and in a neutral ship, it will be condemned, whatever may be its destination; if it be British property, or shipped at British risk, or on British account, it will be condemned, if it is proved to be really engaged in a trade with the enemy, but not otherwise. 'l'he place of its origin will be immaterial, and if there has been a bona fide and complete transfer of ownership to a neutral (as by purchase in the neutral market), the goods will not be liable to condemnation, notwithstanding they may have come to that neutral market from the enemy's country, either overland or by sea.
Lord Clarendon has, however, to observe that circumstances of reasonable suspicion will justify capture, although release and not condemnation may follow; and that ships with cargoes of Russian produce may not improbably be considered, under certain circumstances, as liable to capture, even though not liable to condemnation. I am, sir, your most obedient humble servant,
H. U. ADDINGTON.
GENERAL REPRISALS AGAINST RUSSIA. At the Court at Buckingham Palace, March 29, 1854. Present, the Queen's
Most Excellent Majesty in council. Her Majesty having determined to afford active assistance to her ally, His Highness the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, for the protection of his dominions against the encroachments and unprovoked aggression of His Imperial
WAR WITH RUSSIA.
Majesty, the Emperor of all the Russias, Her Majesty, therefore, is pleased
J. R. G. GRAHAM.
W. E. GLADSTONE.
DECLARATION AS TO NEUTRALS. Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, having been compelled to take up arms in support of an ally, is desirous of rendering the war as little onerous as possible to the powers with whom she remains at peace.
To preserve the commerce of neutrals from all unnecessary obstruction, Her Majesty is willing, for the present, to wave a part of the belligerent rights appertaining to her by the law of nations.
It is impossible for Her Majesty to forego the exercise of her right of seizing articles contraband of war, and of preventing neutrals from bearing the enemy's
WAR WITH RUSSIA.
despatches, and she must maintain the right of a belligerent to prevent neutrals from breaking any effective blockade which may be established with an adequate force against the enemy's forts, harbours, or coasts.
But Her Majesty will wave the right of seizing enemy's property laden on board a neutral vessel, unless it be contraband of war.
It is not Her Majesty's intention to claim the confiscation of neutral property, not being contraband of war, found on board enemy's ships, and Her Majesty further declares that, being anxious to lessen, as much as possible, the evils of war, and to restrict its operations to the regularly organized forces of the country, it is not her present intention to issue letters of marque for the commissioning of privateers.
Westminster, March 28, 1854.
BRITISH SHIPS NOT TO ENTER AND CLEAR OUT-GENERAL
By 0. C., March 29, 1854, that no ships belonging to any of Her Majesty's subjects, be permitted to enter and clear out for any of the ports of Russia, until further order; and Her Majesty is further pleased to order, that a general embargo or stop be made of all Russian ships whatsoever, now within or which shall hereafter come into any of the ports, harbours, or roads, within any of Her Majesty's dominions, together with all persons and effects on board the said ships : provided that nothing herein shall extend to any ships specified or comprised in a certain order of Her Majesty in council, dated this March 29, for exempting from capture or detention Russian vessels under special circumstances ; and Her Majesty is pleased further to order that the utmost care be taken for the preservation of every part of the cargoes on board any of the ships, so that no damage or embezzlement whatever be sustained.
C. C. GREVILLE.
At the Court at Buckingham Palace, March 29, 1854. Present, the Queen's
Most Excellent Majesty in Council. Her Majesty, being compelled to declare war against His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias, and being desirous to lessen as much as possible the evils thereof, is pleased to order that Russian merchant vessels, in any ports within Her Majesty's dominions, shall be allowed until May 10 next, six weeks from the date hereof, for loading their cargoes and departing from such ports ; and that such Russian merchant vessels, if met at sea by any of Her Majesty's ships, shall be permitted to continue their voyage if, on examimation of their papers, it appear that their cargoes were taken on board before the expiration of the above term. Provided, that nothing herein shall extend to Russian vessels having on board any officer in the military or naval service of the enemy, or any article prohibited or contraband of war, or any despatch of or to the Russian government.
And it is hereby further ordered by Her Majesty, that any Russian merchant vessel which, prior to the date of this order, shall have sailed from any foreign port bound for any port in Her Majesty's dominions, shall be permitted
WAR WITH RUSSIA.
to enter such port, and to discharge her cargo, and afterwards forthwith to depart without molestation, and that any such vessel, if met at sea by any of Her Majesty's ships, shall be permitted to continue her voyage to any port not blockaded.
C. C. GREVILLE.
CONJUNCTION WITH FRANCE. Her Majesty feels called upon by regard for an ally, the integrity and independence of whose empire have been recognised as essential to the peace of Europe, by the sympathies of Her people with right against wrong, by a desire to avert from Her dominions most injurious consequences, and to save Europe from the preponderance of a power which has violated the faith of treaties, and defies the opinion of the civilized world, to take up arms in conjunction with the Emperor of the French, for the defence of the Sultan.
Westminster, March 28, 1854.
CONVENTION BETWEEN FRANCE AND ENGLAND. Art. 1. The high contracting parties bind themselves to do their utmost to effect the re-establishment of peace between Russia and the Sublime Porte upon a solid and durable basis, and to secure Europe against the recurrence of the lamentable complications which have just now so unhappily disturbed the general peace.
2. The integrity of the Ottoman Empire being violated by the occupation of the provinces of Moldavia and of Wallachia, and by other movements of Russian troops, their Majesties the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the Emperor of the French have concerted and will concert upon the means the most proper to free the territory of the Sultan from foreign invasion and to attain the object specified in Art. 1, and they engage to maintain for this purpose, according to the necessities of the war, to be judged of by common consent, military and naval forces sufficient to meet the emergency, and of which subsequent arrangements will determine, if there be occasion, the quality, number, and destination.
3. Whatever event may arise in consequence of the execution of this convention, the high contracting parties bind themselves not to accept any overture, or any proposition, for the cessation of hostilities, and not to enter into any engagement with the Imperial Court of Russia, without having previously deliberated in common.
4. Animated with the desire to preserve the European balance of power, and seeking no self-interested object, the high contracting parties renounce before. hand the acquisition of any special advantage from the events which may occur.
5. Their Majesties the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the Emperor of the French will receive with readiness into their alliance, to co-operate for the proposed object, the other powers of Europe who may be willing to join it.
6. The present convention shall be ratified, and the ratifications exchanged at London within eight days.
In witness whereof the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed the same and affixed their seals. Done at London, April 10, 1854.
WALEWSKI. Our Minister and Secretary of State for the Department of Foreign Affairs is charged with the execution of the present decree. Done at Paris, April 21, 1854
NAPOLEON. Seen and sealed with the State Seal,
By the Emperor. The Keeper of the Seals,
The Minister of Minister of Justice,
Foreign Affairs, A BBATUCCI.
DROUYN DE LHUIS. WAR WITH RUSSIA.
WAR PROCLAIMED AT THE ROYAL-EXCHANGE. On Friday, March 31, 1854, in accordance with the ancient custom of enter.' ing upon a war by proclamation at the usual resort of merchants, the civic authorities proceeded to the Royal Exchange, and, having ascended the steps at the grand entrance, Her Majesty's declaration of war against Nicholas, Emperor of all the Russias, was read in a clear voice by Mr. Samuel Beddome, sergeant-at-arms and macebearer to the corporation.
SALE OF RUSSIAN SHIPS TO NEUTRALS.
HOUSE OF COMMONS, Thursday, March 30, 1854. Mr. HEADLAM asked whether, upon a Russian vessel being sold to avoid a capture and purchased bona fide by a neutral having notice of the cause of the sale, the sale would be recognised by the British fleet, in the event of the vessel continuing to be navigated by a Russian crew, or in the event of the vessel after the sale being navigated by a fresh crew of neutrals ?
Lord J. RUSSELL.-If the Attorney-General thinks it consistent with his duty to do so, I have no doubt he will answer the questions which have been put by the hon. and learned member for Newcastle-on-Tyne.
The ATTORNEY-GENERAL.-In answer to the first question, I beg to say that the view I take is this—that the sale of a Russian ship to a neutral for the purpose of avoiding capture, if it were a bona fide transaction, would undoubtedly be protected by law. The hon. and learned gentleman asks the question generally, and also with reference to the circumstance that a vessel thus sold might continue to be navigated by a Russian crew. If the transaction were really bona fide, I think that would not make any difference, although it might raise a suspicion as to the bona fides.
BRITISH PROPERTY, CONTRABAND OF WAR AND BLOCKADE.
Mr. A. MITCHELL begged to ask whether the declaration published in the Gazette of Tuesday, the 28th day of March, that "Her Majesty will waive the right of seizing enemy's propery laden on board a neutral vessel, unless it be contraband of war," was to be understood to apply also to British property in the same position, or shipped by British vessels, and to include freedom from seizure on the arrival of the goods in this country, as well as during the transit; and what articles would come under the head of “contraband of war," and be thus liable to seizure! He might observe that great doubts existed as to what articles were contraband of war.
The ATTORNEY-GENERAL said, he would endeavour to give the best reply he could to the question of his hon. friend. He thought the hon. gentleman misapprehended, in some degree, the effect of the recent declaration. It was never intended to give up-nor did that declartion give up—the right of searching neutral vessels. It was impossible to give up that right, and this country still maintained its right to search and to seize vessels which carried enemy's despatches or articles contraband of war. The declaration gave up the right to seize in neutral vessels, goods which, by the common law of nations, it was ihe right of belligerents to search for and to seize. So far the declaration waived and abandoned that right. With reference to the question what was contraband of war, he really could not undertake to answer it off-band. It was one of the most difficult and complicated questions that arose out of the law of nations, occupying of itself a very considerable portion of any treatise on that law. He might, however, generally place contraband of war under two heads—first, articles which from their nature were applicable directly to the purposes of war—such as arms and ammunition; and, secondly, articles that were capable of being applied indirectly to the purposes of war, by enabling the maintenance of hostilities, such as provisions. As to the question whether Russian pro