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of the action of the great powers in Crete is, that the nascent law of pacific blockade has gone back into the region of doubt and uncertainty."
Franco-Chinese operations, 1884.-At the time of the Franco-Chinese difficulty in 1884, Minister Young wrote to Secretary Frelinghuysen under date of September 16, 1884, from Peking:'
"SIR: There has been much discussion in our diplomatic body as to the rights and duties of neutrals during the present complications between China and France. In my dispatch, No. 505, dated September 7, I inclosed a decree from the throne which appeared in the Peking Gazette August 27. In spite of our desire not to disturb the tranquillity, the pacific relations between France and us have been broken by the affair at Annam in regard to the matter of indemnity.' Under ordinary circumstances such a proclamation would be regarded as indicative of the actual existence of war, and could impose upon us the duties of neutrals.
"It has been impossible to obtain from the prince, with whom I have had several conversations, any declaration to the effect that China regards herself at war with France. I have asked for an official copy of the decree, but the answer is that decrees from the throne are domestic incidents and do not concern legations.
"I learn, furthermore, that M. Jules Ferry has said to European governments that France does not regard herself as at war with China. A proclamation issued by M. Lemaire, consul general of France at Shanghai, confirms this belief. At the same time the French at Kealing forcibly prevent a German ship from landing cargo, and the captain, in doing so, avers that he commits a 'belligerent act.'
"The question has assumed practical shape in various instances. The consul general and the consul at Tientsin have been asked whether American ships could carry munitions of war for Chinese. I have informed them that until war is declared our vessels are at liberty to carry any lawful merchandise. The consul at Foochow writes that he had forbidden American pilots to For. Rel. 1884, p. 103.
'Int. Law, 2d ed., p. 670.
FRENCH OPERATIONS IN CHINA, 1884.
serve on French ships. I have said to him that until we know war exists, American pilots are free to accept any engagements."
The various representatives generally took the position that until either China or France made it officially known that there was war, they would assume none of the duties of neutrality, as Mr. Young said, "I see no reason for imposing the obligations of neutrality upon our people until we know war exists." With this position the English, Japanese, and Russian representatives agreed.
Although it was held by some that de facto war existed, no state actually proclaimed neutrality. Great Britain put into operation her foreign enlistment act as a domestic measure, and France agreed not to exercise full belligerent acts in way of search and seizure.
The letter of Lord Granville to M. Waddington' said that Great Britain would put in operation the foreign enlistment act merely if France limited its operations to certain regions, and if France would refrain from the exercise of belligerent rights as regards neutral vessels in the high seas.
The blockade of Formosa was announced October 20, 1884, to be effective from October 23. The proclamation allowed three days for friendly vessels to depart and announced that it would be effective against all vessels conformably to the international law and treaties in force.
In a letter of November 11, 1884, the English minister said that the pretention of the French Government, that a pacific blockade conferred on the power which established it the right to seize and condemn ships of a third power for violation of a blockade, is in opposition to the opinion of the most eminent statesmen and jurists of France, to the decisions of the courts, and to the wellestablished principles of international law. Further, he says the condition then prevailing was a state of war between France and China.
'Blue Book, France, I, 1885, p. 3.
China on August 27, 1884, issued the following to the foreign representatives:
"The French fleet has commenced hostilities at Foochow. The duty of neutral powers being to maintain neutrality in accord with the law of nations, we respectfully request you to give stringent orders to your citizens that they refrain from furnishing coal to French vessels."
They also request that no cipher dispatches be transmitted for France, and of Japan that no sales of horses be made.
The ministers of the United States, England, and Russia saw no reason to act in regard to coal and messages if war did not exist.
France, on the other hand, wished to consider rice contraband and coal free, the last on the ground that war was not declared.'
Whatever may be maintained in regard to pacific blockade, this was certainly war with an attempt to qualify it in area and range of operations.
The attempt of France was to establish a war blockade while assuming only the consequences of a pacific blockade.
Conclusions.-(a) The commander of the United States vessel of war should in no way recognize the right of the powers to institute such a pacific blockade affecting the United States.
(b) The commander should in no way acknowledge the right of the powers to enforce such a blockade against neutral commerce.
He would be under obligations to maintain this posisition by the action of Secretary Sherman, who replied to the proclamation of the pacific blockade:
"I confine myself to taking note of the communication, not conceding the right to make such a blockade as that referred to in your communication, and reserving the consideration of all international rights and of any question which may affect the commerce or interests of the United States."
Livre Jaune, Chine, 1885, p. 16.
NO PACIFIC BLOCKADE AGAINST NEUTRALS.
(c) The commander should request of the commander of the blockading forces that the merchant vessel of the United States be allowed to enter port K. If the request is denied he should make a protest, informing the commander of the blockading forces that the United States does not acknowledge the right of a force instituting a pacific blockade to interrupt the commerce of third powers not concerned, and that for damages the blockading states would be held responsible.
(d) And further, that in no case would the United States admit that a vessel entering port K would be liable to the severe penalties of violation of blockade.
The United States commander could maintain the above positions on the ground that the authorities and practice alike justified his contention, and that it is now the general opinion
(1) That pacific blockade should be exclusively confined to those who are parties to it and should not be extended to third states.
(2) That pacific blockade as a measure short of war does not involve any neutrality on the part of those not parties to it.
(3) That pacific blockade should be limited as far as possible that it may not be confused with belligerent blockade, which is definitely outlined.
States X and Y are at war. A port of X is duly declared under siege by the land forces of Y and all communication with the port is declared closed, and all communication except by sea is cut off. Y is not maintaining an effective blockade of the port. A United States merchant vessel carries in flour for the use of the citizens and sells it at the port, when departing is seen just at the entrance of the port by a cruiser of Y, chased into the open sea, and there seized.
The captain of the merchant vessel, when brought into port, requests the assistance of the commander of a war vessel of the United States in obtaining his release, referring to a telegram of the Navy Department in the Spanish war which contained among other items: "Neutrals have a right to trade with ports not proclaimed blockaded."
What action should the commander take, and why?
The commander of a United States war vessel should inform the captain of the merchant vessel that the state of actually existing siege of the port made the act of carrying supplies to the port of Y one which constituted a departure from neutral duty and rendered the merchant vessel liable to penalty.
He could assure the captain that he would endeavor to make sure that he should have a fair trial.
NOTES ON SITUATION VIII.
THE EFFECT OF A SIEGE ON MARITIME COMMERCE.
The Telegram.-The portion of the telegram to which reference is made is upon page 298 of Naval Operations of the War with Spain, and is as follows:
WASHINGTON, D. C., August 10, 1898.
HOWELL, Naval Base, Key West, Fla. :
Replying to the last three lines of your telegram of the 8th instant, it is considered best for a few days not