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savent ou ont dû savoir que des troubles y ont éclaté, non plus que ceux qui s'etablissent ou séjournent dans une contrée ne présentant aucune sécurité par suite de la présence de tribus sauvages, à moins que le gouvernement du pays n'ait donné aux immigrants des assurances particulières."

These resolutions show that the opinion of the authorities on international law is that third powers who have not recognized the belligerency of those in revolt against a constituted state are not under obligation to respect a so-called blockade established by such insurgents. The Institute admits, however, that a third power may not obtain damages for injuries which its subjects bring upon themselves. This position would agree with the position taken by Admiral Benham at Rio de Janeiro. This position as a whole seems to accord with the best opinion and with practice and is at the same time easily understood.


1. Blockade is a war measure and should be reserved for a state of war between responsible belligerents.

2. The precedents allowing certain interference with the commerce of states not concerned in insurrections has been based rather on policy and convenience than upon principles of international law. Even this interference must be in pursuance of orderly military operations, and commerce must not "be at the mercy of every petty contest carried on by irresponsible insurgents and marauders under the name of war."

3. Insurgents can not be allowed to establish a blockade binding on foreign states because the status of insurgents is uncertain and the enforcement of blockade involves the establishment of prize courts and the exercise of extreme measures which can be allowed by foreign states only after belligerency has been recognized.

4. Insurgents should not be allowed to establish blockades because the growing importance of the world's commerce demands that for the well-being of mankind commerce should be in the fullest degree free, and that interference with it should be tolerated only after due

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notice of a contest of sufficient magnitude to constitute belligerency.

5. The Institute of International Law at its session in 1901 declared that a third state which has not itself recognized the belligerency, is not bound to respect blockades established by insurgents upon portions of the coast occupied by the regular government.

6. Public officials abroad, as of the State and Navy Departments, are entitled to instructions sufficiently definite to guide them in case of interference with foreign commerce by insurgents as the precedents and interpretations have been varied and confusing.

NOTE. In accordance with the sixth item of these conclusions, the Department of State, in a letter of November 15, 1902 (which see below), set forth clearly the attitude of that Department upon the so-called “insurgent blockade." The correspondence relative to this matter is herewith.


NAVAL WAR COLLEGE, Newport, R. I., November 7, 1902.

SIR: 1. I beg to lay before the Department certain suggestions respecting interference with commerce by insurgent vessels, which are in condensed form the outcome of the discussions upon this subject at the War College during the past summer. It is felt generally by naval officers that the subject is in a very unsatisfactory and indefinite status, and these suggestions are respectfully offered as forming a basis of action. They have been prepared, at the request of the College, by Prof. George Grafton Wilson, who was in charge of the subject of international law this last summer at the College. The full discussion of the subject at the College will shortly be in print as part of the "International Law Situations, with Solutions and Notes," of the present. year, so that I shall not enter upon a discussion of the subject here.

2. I inclose also Professor Wilson's letter to myself, which is explanatory of his paper.

3. I would add that I believe these instructions to be in accord with the views of Dr. John Bassett Moore and Mr. Adee, of the Department of State, both of whom are high authorities in the subject.

4. I would also add that the word "blockade," as used in Professor Wilson's paper, is in the strictly technical sense, as defined in the Declaration of Paris, April 16, 1856, and that the officers were unanimous in opinion that the use of the word "blockade" should be restricted to this technical meaning.

Very respectfully,

F. E. CHADWICK, Captain, U. S. N., President.


Navy Department, Washington, D. C. (Through Bureau of Navigation.)



Providence, R. I., October 11, 1902.

Capt. F. E. CHADWICK, U. S. N.,

President Naval War College, Newport, R. I. DEAR SIR: I inclose a statement in a brief form of the general reasons why there should be some understanding in regard to what has been unfortunately termed "insurgent blockade;" also a form for instructions which might be issued, and a résumé of the reasons why such instructions as those particularly mentioned might be issued. I think these cover the points upon which there was agreement among the officers and those which seem most important. These instructions will leave the Department at Washington to decide, except in the most unusual cases, what should be done. With the growing importance of our commerce some such definite stand entirely within the law and precedent is necessary.

The more extended treatment of this matter will appear in the solutions to the "Situations." If any conference is held on this matter, and it seems advisable to you, I will try to go into the subject more fully before the members.

Very truly yours,




The limits of interference with the world's commerce permissible to insurgents not yet recognized as belligerents should be more clearly determined:

1. Because the importance of the world's commercial relations demands freedom only to be denied in the case of grave public necessity.

2. In order that insurgents, often irresponsible, may not unduly interfere with the commerce and rights of foreign citizens.

3. In order that public officials may not be misled by the lack of agreement in the precedents relating to the treatment of insurgents interfering with foreign com


4. Particularly because frequently called upon to act when in the neighborhood of such insurrectionary movements, naval officers are entitled to instructions more definite than those now in force.

The following propositions are offered as bases for instructions:

1. Insurgents not recognized as belligerents have not the right to establish a blockade, nor have they the right to exercise in regard to the commerce of the United States any of the rights appertaining to the establishment of a blockade.

2. When insurgents actually have before a port of the state against which they are in insurrection a force sufficient, if belligerency already had been recognized, to maintain an effective blockade, the United States Government may admit that such insurgent force may prevent the entry of United States commerce.

3. The insurgents, even after such admission, may use against United States commerce only such force, however, as is necessary to prevent the entry of merchant vessels already notified by the officer of the insurgents before the port that the United States has admitted its closure by the insurgents, and force can be used only while such vessel is actually attempting to pass in or out of the port after such notification.

4. In general, the naval officers of the United States will permit no interference with ordinary commerce of

the United States unless they are duly instructed by their Government.

In regard to the proposition that insurgents have not the right to establish a blockade, it may be said that this is the position assumed by practically all the leading authorities on international law.

Blockade as defined by the Declaration of Paris, April 16, 1856, has often been cited as applicable to every attempt to prevent entry to a port. The clause thus used, "Blockade in order to be binding must be effective," was specifically made with reference to a state of war involving belligerents and neutrals and there was no thought that it would be extended to insurgents. The declaration states that it was made with the idea of introducing "into international relations fixed principles," because “that maritime law in the time of war has long been the subject of deplorable disputes," and "that the uncertainty of the law and of the duties in such a matter give rise to difference between neutrals and belligerents which may occasion serious difficulty and even conflicts."

Insurgents have not a status that would justify foreign states in allowing them to exercise the rights of visit, search, seizure, and other rights appertaining to the enforcement of a blockade. In general, responsible prize courts are necessary. Such courts insurgents not yet recognized as belligerents could hardly possess, and even if they did possess such courts their decrees would be of doubtful authority. The implication that insurgents may have any such rights should be most carefully avoided.

The Institute of International Law at its twentieth session, in September, 1901, adopted the following resolutions:

Art. 5, Sec. 1. Une tierce puissance n'est pas tenue de reconnaître aux insurgés la qualité de belligérants, par cela seul qu'elle leur est arrtibuée par le gouvernement du pays ou la guerre civile a éclaté.

Sec. 2. Tant qu'elle n'aura pas reconnu elle-même la belligérance, elle n'est pas tenue de respecter les blocus établis par les insurgés sur les portions du littoral occupées par le gouvernement régulier.

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