Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

WAR 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 bond 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 declaration 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 bona 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 sale 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 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.

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 via 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.

NEUTRALS.

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 recognised 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 agent, 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 not 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.

WAR WITH RUSSIA.

EFFECT ON TRADE BY WAR WITH RUSSIA. A glance at the table of our exports will at once satisfy every reader that our increasing trade is with our colonies, with the United States, with China, and Brazil, and other countries to the west, with which Russia can in nowise interfere. She must be much more successful at sea than we antici. pate if she be able to interrupt our trade to any extent with Sweden, Norway, and Denmark in the north, or with the Mediterranean in the south. All our trade with the mouth of the Danube and the Black Sea, including our trade with Wallachia and Moldavia, she will impede or stop : but this, together with the trade direct to all her own dominions, will not be more than 2 per cent. of our whole export trade. In 1852, the latest returns yet published, the value of our exports to Russia and to Wallacbia and Moldavia united, was 1,369,4501., and, admitting that some of our trade to Turkey will be interrupted, as the total value of our exports for the year was 78,076,8541., the interruption may cut off 2 per cent. of our export trade, which will be the amount of the injury. The bulk of our growing trade with the advancing countries to the west lies beyond the reach of the great and barbarous empire of the east.Economist, April 1, 1854. TREATY BETWEEN ENGLAND, FRANCE, AND

TURKEY. Art. 1. A treaty of alliance, destined to guarantee the integrity and independence of the Ottoman Empire, having been signed at Constantinople on the 12th of March of the present year, 1854, between the French Empire, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and the Sublime Ottoman Porte, this treaty having been ratified, and the respective ratifications having been exchanged on the 8th of May, the said treaty, the tenor of which follows, will receive its full and entire execution.

TREATY. Art. 1. His Majesty the Emperor of the French and Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland having already, at the request of His Imperial Majesty the Sultan, ordered powerful divisions of their naval forces to repair to Constantinople, and to extend to the Ottoman territory and flag the protection that circumstances would permit, their said Majesties engage, by the present treaty, to co-operate still further with His Imperial Majesty the Sultan for the defence of the Ottoman territory, in Europe and Asia, against the Russian aggression, and employing for this end such a number of their land troops as may appear necessary for attaining this object: which land troops their said Majesties will forth with despatch towards such and such points of the Ottoman territory as shall be judged expedient; and His Imperial Majesty the Sultan agrees that the English and French land troops, thus despatched for the defence of the Ottoman territory, shall receive the same friendly reception, and shall be treated with the same consideration as the French and British naval forces already employed for some time in the Turkish waters.

2. The high contracting parties engage, each on his part, to communicate reciprocally to each other, without loss of time, every proposition that one of them might receive from the Emperor of Russia, whether directly or indirectly, with a view to the cessation of hostilities, of an armistice, or peace; and His Imperial Majesty the Sultan engages, moreover, to conclude no armistice, and to enter into no negotiation for peace, nor to conclude any preliminary of peace, nor any treaty of peace, with the Emperor of Russia, without the knowledge and consent of the high contracting parties.

3. As soon as the object of the present treaty shall have been attained by the conclusion of a treaty of peace, His Majesty the Emperor of the French and Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland will make arrangements at once for withdrawing immediately all their military and naval forces employed for realizing the object of the present treaty, and all the fortresses or positions in the Ottoman territory that shall WAR WITH RUSSIA.

have been provisionally occupied by the military forces of France and Eng. land shall be restored to the authorities of the Sublime Ottoman Porte within the space of forty days, or sooner, if possible, to date from the exchange of the ratifications of the treaty by which the present war shall be terminated.

4. It is understood that the auxiliary armies shall preserve the faculty of taking such part as may appear suitable in the operations directed againt the common enemy, the Ottoman authorities, whether civil or military, not claim. ing to exercise the least control over their movements; on the contrary, all aid and facility shall be afforded them by these authorities, especially for their disembarkation, their marching, dwelling, or encampment, their subsistence and that of their horses, and for their communications, whether they may act together or may act separately. It is understood, on the other hand, that the commanders of the said armies engage to maintain the strictest discipline among their respective troops, and will cause to be respected by them the laws and usages of the country. It is, of course, understood, that property is to be everywhere respected. It is moreover understood, on either side, that the general plan of the campaign shall be discussed and agreed upon between the Commanders-in-Chief of the three armies; and that, if a considerable part of the allied troops should be in line with the Ottoman troops, no operation can be executed against the enemy without having been previously concerted with the Commanders of the allied forces. Lastly, due attention shall be paid to every requirement relative to the wants of the service, addressed by the Commanders-in-Chief of the auxiliary troops, whether to the Ottoman Govern. ment through the medium of their respective embassies, or, in case of urgency, to the local authorities, unless paramount objections, distinctly explained, may prevent its execution.

5. The present treaty shall be ratified, and the ratifications shall be exchanged at Constantinople within the space of six weeks, or sooner, if possible, to date from the day of signature.--In faith of which, &c.

NAPOLEON.

PRIZES. Convention concluded, May 10, 1854, between England and France, regulating

the mode in which prizes taken during the present war by the combined forces are to be adjudged and shared. Signed by Count Walewski, on the part of France, and by Lord Clarendon, as the representative of Her Majesty.

By the first article it is provided that when a prize shall be made in common by the naval forces of the two countries the judgment respecting it shall be within the jurisdiction of that country the flag of which shall have been borne by the officer who had the superior command in the action. When a prize shall have been taken by a cruiser of one of the two allied nations in sight of a cruiser of the other, which may have intimidated the enemy and encouraged the captor, the judgment is to be within the jurisdiction of the actual captor. By the third article it is provided that in the case of the capture of a merchant vessel by one of the two countries, the judgment is to belong to the jurisdiction of the country of the capturing vessel, which judgment is to affect both vessel and cargo. In the case of a capture effected by the vessels of the two nations acting in common, the net produce of the prize, after deducting the necessary expenses, is to be divided into as many parts as there are men on board of the capturing vessels, without any reference to rank, and the share due to the men on board the vessels of the allied nation shall be paid to the person who shall be duly authorized by the allied government to receive it. By another article it is provided that when it may be necessary to proceed to the valuation of a captured ship of war, such estimate shall be be upon its effective value, and the allied government is to have the privilege of appointing one or several competent officers to take part in the valuation. In case of disagreement, it shall be decided by lot which officer is to have the preponderating voice. The crews of captured vessels are to be treated according to the laws and regulations of the country to which the jurisdiction in regard to captured vessels belongs under the present treaty.

In the case of the seizure of a merchant vessel belonging to the ally for

« ForrigeFortsett »