Page images

9. Conditional Recognition of the Independence of Servia

The High Contracting Parties recognize the Independence of the Principality of Servia, subject to the conditions set forth in the following Article.

In Servia the difference of religious creeds and confessions shall not be alleged against any person as a ground for exclusion or incapacity in matters relating to the enjoyment of civil and political rights, admission to public employments, functions, and honours, or the exercise of the various professions and industries in any locality whatsoever.

The freedom and outward exercise of all forms of worship shall be assured to all persons belonging to Servia, as well as to foreigners, and no hindrance shall be offered either to the hierarchical organization of the different communions, or to their relations with their spiritual chiefs. — (Treaty of Berlin, 1878, Arts. 34–35.)

10. Delayed Recognition


On the general question I will not go back to the subject of the old régime in the Congo further than to say that I have always made it very clear . . . that we did not hold the Belgian Parliament or the Belgian people responsible for any of those occurrences (i.e. The atrocities perpetrated on the natives).

I would only say as regards the particular point of the Congo, that I am sure the reports which have been laid before the House show that the condition of affairs has completely changed

1 These words, spoken in the House of Commons on May 29, 1913, refer to the annexation of the Congo Free State by Belgium, which took place in 1909, but was not recognized by Great Britain till 1913, when it was quite clear that the worst of the oppressions inflicted on the natives during the latter years of Leopold II had been remedied by the constitutional government of Belgium and the humane efforts of the new King, Albert I.

from that which existed under the old régime before the responsible Government of Belgium took the Congo in hand. — (The Times, May 30, 1913.)

11. A Law-making Agreement


[ocr errors]


That maritime law, in time of war, has long been the subject of deplorable disputes:

That the uncertainty of the law and of the duties in this same matter gives occasion to differences of opinion between neutrals and belligerents which may cause serious difficulties and even conflicts:

That it is consequently advantageous to establish a uniform doctrine on so important a point:

That the Plenipotentiaries assembled at the Congress of Paris cannot better respond to the intentions by which their Governments are animated than by seeking to introduce into international relations fixed principles in this respect:

The above-mentioned Plenipotentiaries, being duly authorised, resolved to concert among themselves as to the means of attaining this object; and, having come to an agreement, have adopted the following solemn Declaration:

1. Privateering is and remains abolished:

2. The neutral flag covers enemy's goods, with the exception of contraband of war:

3. Neutral goods, with the exception of contraband of war, are not liable to capture under enemy's flag:

4. Blockades, in order to be binding, must be effective; that is to say maintained by a force sufficient really to prevent access to the enemy's coast.

The Governments of the undersigned Plenipotentiaries engage to bring the present Declaration to the knowledge of the States which have not been called upon to take part in the Congress of Paris, and invite them to accede to it.

Convinced that the maxims which they now proclaim cannot but be received with gratitude by the whole world, the undersigned Plenipotentiaries doubt not that the efforts of their Governments to obtain the general adoption thereof will be crowned with full success.

The present Declaration is not and shall not be binding except between those powers who have acceded or shall accede to it.

NOTE. When the above Declaration was drawn up it was signed by seven powers: — Great Britain, France, Austria, Russia, Prussia, Sardinia and Turkey. Since then forty more have acceded to it, the United States being the only one of any importance whose signature is still withheld. But American statesmen have acted on it in every struggle to which their country has been a party since 1856, and when the United States has been neutral have expected the belligerents to observe it towards American Shipping. The unbroken observance of nearly sixty years has made the Declaration into International Law.

12. An Agreement that Purported to be Declaratory of

International Law

THE RULES OF THE FIRST ARMED NEUTRALITY, 1780 Their Majesties after having already insisted, in their declarations to the belligerent powers, on the general principles of natural right, of which the freedom of commerce and navigation as well as the rights of neutral nations are a direct consequence, have resolved no longer to allow them to be dependent on an arbitrary interpretation, suggested by isolated and momentary interests. With this view, they have agreed,

I. That all vessels may freely navigate from port to port, and upon the coasts of nations at war.

II. That property belonging to the subjects of States at war, shall be free on board neutral vessels, excepting merchandise of contraband.

III. That to determine what characterises a blockaded port, this term shall only be allowed to those where, from the arrangements of the power which is blockading, with vessels stationary and sufficiently near, there is an evident danger in entering.

IV. That neutral vessels cannot be stopped, without just cause and evident reasons; that they shall be judged without delay; that the proceedings shall always be uniform, prompt, and legal; and that, in every instance, besides the reparation afforded in cases in which there has been loss, but not offence, complete satisfaction shall be given for the insult offered to the flag of their Majesties. (Treaty between Russia and Denmark, 1780.)

NOTE. — All the important Continental states accepted these rules, while Great Britain opposed most of them, especially the second and third. In the course of thirty years from their promulgation they were discarded by their authors, revived again in 1800 by the Second Armed Neutrality, and again disregarded under stress of altered circumstances.

13. An Agreement that may be called Semi-Declaratory

of International Law



In deciding the matters submitted to the Arbitrators, they shall be governed by the following three rules, which are agreed upon by the high contracting parties as rules to be taken as applicable to the case, and by such principles of International Law not inconsistent therewith as the Arbitrators shall determine to have been applicable to the case.


A neutral Government is bound

First, to use due diligence to prevent the fitting out, arming, or equipping, within its jurisdiction, of any vessel which it has reasonable ground to believe is intended to cruise or to carry on war against a Power with which it is at peace; and also to use like diligence to prevent the departure from its jurisdiction of any vessel intended to cruise or carry on war as above, such vessel having been specially adapted in whole or in part, within such jurisdiction, to warlike use.

Secondly, not to permit or suffer either belligerent to make use of its ports or waters as the base of naval operations against the other, or for the purpose of the renewal or augmentation of military supplies or arms, or the recruitment of men.

Thirdly, to exercise due diligence in its own ports and waters, and, as to all persons within its jurisdiction, to prevent any violation of the foregoing obligations and duties.

Her Britannic Majesty has commanded her High Commissioners and Plenipotentiaries to declare that Her Majesty's Government cannot assent to the foregoing rules as a statement of principles of International Law which were in force at the time when the claims mentioned in Article I. arose, but that Her Majesty's Government, in order to evince its desire of strengthening the friendly relations between the two countries and of making satisfactory provision for the future, agrees that in deciding the questions between the two countries arising out of those claims, the Arbitrators should assume that Her Majesty's Government had undertaken to act upon the principles set forth in these rules.

And the high contracting parties agree to observe these rules as between themselves in future, and to bring them to the knowledge of other maritime Powers, and to invite them to accede to them. — (Article VI of the Treaty of Washington,

1871, between Great Britain and the United States.)

NOTE. — It is impossible to say that an agreement is declaratory of existing law when one side holds that it makes new law. In this particular case no formal invitation to accede to the Rules was given by Great Britain and the United States to the other maritime powers, partly because it was known that some important European states were not prepared to accept them, and partly because the two parties to them were unable to agree on the meaning of certain clauses in them. But nevertheless their general sense was embodied in the Hague Convention of 1907 on The Rights and Duties of Neutral Powers in Maritime War. But for the phrase which bound neutral powers to use “due diligence" in order to perform certain duties was substituted the formula, "employ the means at its disposal.” (See pages 310-315.)

« PreviousContinue »