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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 Wallichia, 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 maintaiu 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 entering 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 bond 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-hand. 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 proWAR WITH RUSSIA.
duce in British vessels would be free from molestation, it was plain that, by the law of nations and by the law of the land, the subjects of belligerent powers had no right to claim any such immunity. Russian produce, however, purchased before the commencement of hostilities, and so become bona fide the property of British subjects, or having been so purchsed from neutrals who had bona fide obtained the property in it of their own right, would not come within the prohibition which applied to property purchased from the actual enemy.
Mr. W. PRICE asked Lord J. Russell whether Russian produce, being boná fide British property, would be exempt from seizure in neutral as foreign property would be in neutral, or neutral property in foreign vessels ; and whether any arrangement would be made by which letters of license would be granted to neutral or British vessels to bring away Russian produce, being now bona fide British property, notwithstanding any blockade of the harbours in which such property might be lying?
Lord J. RUSSELL said, there was no doubt that bona fide British property on board of neutral vessels would not be liable to seizure. With reference to the second portion of the question, arrangements were in contemplation by which license would be granted to British subjects now in the Russian territories to bring away their own bona fide property in neutral vessels notwithstanding the existence of blockade.
SALE OF A RUSSIAN VESSEL.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.—THURSDAY, APRIL 6, 1854. Mr. Hutt asked whether the bona fide sale of a Russian vessel to a British subject, since the declaration of war, but within six weeks of that event, would be regarded by the British government as a legitimate transaction ?
The SolicitOR-GENERAL conceived it to be somewhat objectionable, as a rule, that questions involving difficult points of law, and which might probably come before legal tribunals, should be put, in this way, to the law officers of the Crown; but he would readily give the best opinion he could offer on the point. Any sort of traffic in or sale of goods, after de. claration of war, between the subjects of belligerents, would, of course, be prohibited and unlawful; but having reference to the fact that, by Her Majesty's declaration, Russian vessels in our ports were to be allowed six weeks wherein to dispose of their cargoes, and that Russiau vessels which had cleared out before the declaration of war, from any foreign port to a British port, were allowed to complete their delivery within the same period, he (the Solicitor-General) thought that the license so granted would extend to the lonâ fide disposal of Russian vessels being in a British port, or on their way to a British port, antecedent to the declaration of war; and that, consequently, in the case put by the hon. gentleman, the bona fide sal of a Russian vessel to a British purchaser, since the declaration of war, within the six weeks allowed, and under the circumstances, was a strictly lawful and authorised transaction.
EAST INDIES AND FOREIGN OR COLONIAL POSSESSIONS.
By 0. C., April 7, 1854, Russian merchant vessels which, at the time of the publication of this order, shall be in any ports in Her Majesty's Indian territories, under the government of the East India Company, or within any of Her Majesty's foreign or colonial possessions, shall be allowed thirty days from the time of the publication of this order in such Indian territories, or foreign or colonial possession, for loading their cargoes and departing from such ports ; and such Russian merchant vessels, if met at sea by any of Her Majesty's ships, shall be permitted to continue their voyage if, on examination of their papers, it appear that their cargoes were
WAR WITH RUSSIA.
taken on board before the expiration of the above term. Provided that Dothing 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.
Any Russian merchant vessel which, prior to March 29, now last past, shall have sailed from any foreign port, bound for any port in any of Her Majesty's Indian territories, or foreign or colonial possessions, shall be permitted to enter such port, and to discharge her cargo, and afterwards forthwith to depart without molestation; and 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.
OVERLAND TRADE WITH RUSSIA.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES.
SIR, I take the liberty of forwarding you the enclosed communication, received from Lord Clarendon, in answer to the following questions submitted to his Lordship respecting the overland trade with Russia :
“When war is declared between this country and Russia, will the purchase of Russian produce become illegal and liable to seizure in its overland transit ria Prussia
“Further,—Will it be lawful for English merchants to purchase Russian produce from a subject of a neutral state ; and would such purchases be liable to seizure and confiscation in their transit from such neutral state to this country?
" Is it, or is it not, an evasion of the blockade to receive goods overland ria Prussia ?”
Trusting you will consider his lordship's reply to these questions of sufficient importanco for insertion in your valuable journal, I am, sir, your obedient servant,
HENRY WESTON ELDER.
Foreign Office, April 12, 1854. SIR,—I am directed by the Earl of Clarendon to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 11th ult., in which, on behalf of yourself and other parties interested in the Russian trade, you request information on certain points connected with the overland trade with Russia.
"I am to state to you, in reply, that Russian produce brought overland into Prussia, and shipped at a Prussian port for this country, would be liable to seizure, unless it should be bona fide neutral property, and that, although a British subject cannot trade with an enemy through a neutral, or make a neutral his agent for the purpose of such trade, it will be lawful for an English merchant to purchase Russian produce from a neutral subject resident or trading in a neutral state, and the goods so purchased would be safe in their transit from such neutral state to this country, provided the goods were bona fide the property of the neutral at the time of the purchase.
It will be equally illegal for a British subject to trade with the enemy, whether he sends or receives the goods by sea or overland, and whether a blockade of the enemy's ports does or does not exist. I am, Sir, your most obedient humble servant,
E. HAMMOND. Mr. H. W. Elder, 7, Commercial-place, City-road.
By 0. C., April 15, 1854, all vessels under a neutral or friendly flag, being neutral or friendly property, shall be permitted to import into any port in Her Majesty's dominions all goods whatsoever, to whomsoever the same may belong; and to export from any port in Her Majesty's dominions to any port WAR WITH RUSSIA.
not blockaded, any cargo or goods, not being contraband of war, or not requiring a special permission, to whomsoever the same may belong; and save and except only as aforesaid, all the subjects of Her Majesty and the subjects or citizens of any neutral or friendly state shall and inay, during and notwithstanding the present hostilities with Russia, freely trade with all ports wheresoever situate, which shall not be in a state of blockade, save and except that no British vessel shall, under any circumstances whatsoever, either under this order or otherwise, be permitted or empowered to enter or communicate with any port, which shall belong to or be in the possession or occupation of Her Majesty's enemies.
EXTENSION OF TIME. By 0. C., April 15, 1854, any Russian merchant vessel which, prior to May 15, 1854, shall have sailed from any port of Russia, situated either in or upon the shores or coasts of the Baltic Sea or of the White Sea, bound for any port in Her Majesty's dominions, shall be permitted to enter such last-mentioned port, and to discharge her cargo, and afterwards forthwith to depart without molestation; and 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.
In all other respects Her Majesty's order in council, of March 29, shall remain in full force.
RUSSIAN CONSULAR OFFICERS.
Notice is hereby given, that the “Exequaturs" heretofore granted by Her Majesty to the former consul-general and consuls of His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias, in various ports and places throughout Her Majesty's dominions, have been withdrawn ; and that no person is recoguised or permitted to act within Her Majesty's dominions as consul-general, consul, or vice-consul, or to perform any other duties as, or to act in any respect as, a consul, vice-consul, consular officer, or ageut, on behalf of his Imperial Majesty.
Foreign Office, May 6, 1854.
COAL AND HAY AS CONTRABAND OF WAR.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.—TUESDAY, MAY 9, 1854. Captain ScoBell wished to know whether by the recent orders in council coals were prohibited as contraband of war, or otherwise, from being conveyed by the vessels of neutral powers into any port or place in the dominions of Russia, not being in a state of blockade?
Sir J. GRAHAM said, the question was one of very great importance, and, at the same time, of very great difficulty. Coal was included in the terms of the orders in council, but instructions had been given to Her Majesty's cruisers that coal should be treated as an article of doubtful character, and should therefore be subject to the law of nations, as it had been declared in the last war. He might illustrate the case of coal by that of hay, which was also an article of doubtful character, and might be intended either for commercial purposes, in which case it would not be liable to capture, or for purposes of war, in which case it would be held to be contraband of war. The orders which had, therefore, been given to Her Majesty's officers were, that they should exercise a sound discretion with reference both to the port of destination and to the reasonable presumption they might entertain as to the use to which the commodity was to be applied, and if, from the port of its destination and the use to which they had reason to believe it was to be applied, they thought it should be treated as an article of commerce, it was not to be captured ; but if, on the contrary, they came to an opposite presumption, it was to be captured and dealt with by the Court of Admiralty, according to the established law of nations.