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general complaints of “unfriendlinessin this matter, with the very serious charge against our Government, that the intelligence of Mr. Adams' official disavowal of the conduct of Captain Wilkes,

was suppressed, and public opinion encouraged to drift into a state of hostility against the United States," and that "the peremptory instructions to Lord Lyons were neither revoked nor in any sense modified.” The reader, perhaps, would be "surprised to hear” that the whole of this statement is entirely false. The outrage complained of took place on the 9th November, 1861 ; and upon becoming known to the British Government, was at once taken notice of in the emphatic manner already indicated-and, be it added, with prompt response. Lord Russell received a despatch from Lord Lyons, announcing the submission of the American Government on the 9th January, 1862, and on the following day sent back a reply, fully accepting the settlement arrived at, and adding: “It gives her Majesty's Government great satisfaction to arrive at a conclusion favourable to the maintenanceof the most friendly relations between the two nations." The Government of the United States, on its part, marked its displeasure at the perilous indiscretions of Capt. Wilkes, by forthwith promoting him to the rank of Admiral.*

* As there are some people who yet have doubts as to the legality of the seizure of Messrs. Mason and Slidell, the Confederate envoys, on board the Trent, it may be well to give a few words of explanation on the subject. There is no question that the despatches of a belligerent are contraband

Heffter enumerates amongst the acts illegal to neu.

of war

THE NEW CODE OF NEUTRAL OBLIGATIONS. The American Case, in a dissertation occupying 109 pages, and headed “Duties of a Neutral,” and



trals," the forwarding of despatches to or from a belligerent." But they must be despatches in connection with the war, and for the purpose of promoting it; as from one part of a bellige. rent's dominions, or from one part of his field of operations to another, or to an ally in respect of the conduct of the war, or on political affairs connected with it. So it is laid down by Lord Stowell, and he adds that “despatches from a belligerent to his consul resident in a neutral state, may lawfully be carried in a neutral vessel, because the functions of the consul relate to the joint commerce in which the neutral, as well as the belligerent, is engaged.” Much less are the despatches of a belligerent to a neutral state to be held contraband of war; -wbether they relate to matters of interest to the subjects of the two states, in their commercial relations, or to some important question affecting the political position of one or other of the states, as, for instance, proposals for the interposing of good offices between the belligerents. “It would be," says Lord Stowell, “almost tantamount to preventing the residence of an ambassador in a neutral state if he were debarred from the means of communicating with his own.” So much as to despatches, and when they are contraband: there now comes the question of the envoys. “Is it reasonable,” as suggests Sir R. Phillimore, that a man should be cantraband for carrying despatches,which are not contraband.” There are, however, circumstances under which an envoy from a belligerent to a neutral state may be taken : but what are those circumstances ? According to Vattel, he cannot be taken :-First, when he has been accepted by the neutral to whom he is accredited. Secondly, anywhere except within the territory of the belligerent, or where he is in possession. Certainly, therefore, although the confederate envoys had not een accepted by Her Majesty's Government, they could not

aken on board a neutral vessel on the high seas.


referring more particularly to “the duties which Great Britain, as a neutral, should have observed toward the United States," lays down principles for the most part inconsistent with, and repugnant to the principles of international law regarding the rights and duties of neutrals, as they have existed from the earliest times down to our day. It is insisted also that the “new rules" adopted at Washington were part and parcel of the old established international law, notwithstanding the reservation adopted in regard to them by the British Govern. ment, in the following unmistakeable terms:

"It is true that it was thought essential by the British negociators to insert a declaration on the part of Her Majesty's Government, that they could not consent to those rules as a statement of the principles of international law which were in force at the time when the claims now under consideration arose.

But the United States were then, and are still, of opinion, and they confidently think, that the Tribunal of Arbitration will agree with them, not only that those rules were then in force, but that there were also other rules of international law then in force not inconsistent with them, defining with still greater strictness the duties of a neutral in time of war.”

The obvious intention of this statement is to impugn the candour and good faith of the British Government and its Commissioners in making the reservations referred to; the words " it was thought essential” having an unmistakable significance. But apart from this it would lead to most momentous


results if the Tribunal of Arbitration were to give its sanction to the position that the "new rules,” were indeed ancient rules of international law, and that beyond them “there were other rules” of ancient standing, “defining with still greater strictness the the duties of a neutral in time of war.Such sanction would, so far as the authority of the tribunal might be held to have weight, virtually establish the American code of neutral obligations not only as against the United Kingdom, but as against neutrals generally. At present, by the terms of the Treaty, the contracting parties only agree to observe the “new rules” as between themselves for the future, and “to bring them to the knowledge of other maritime powers, and to invite them to agree to them.The American “Casewould go further, and add to the invitation to agree to the "new rules” something like the moral pressure of authority, and that, as we shall see, in respect of a still larger and more stringent scheme of international law. This would involve most serious results to the comity of nations; it not being too much to say that the general adoption of the new code would render the position of neutrality more perilous than that of belligerency itself; if indeed it did not abolish neutrality altogether, in the sense of exemption from the operations and consequences of the war. Such conditions would be most onerous and costly to large maritime States, and might be fatal to the very existence of the smaller. It would, indeed, effect a recurrence to the old times of ruthless violence, when the term neutral was not even known, (it is not as much as mentioned by Grotius), and when no State was held to be neutral if either belligerent thought proper to attack it.

The new scheme of international law, which the American “ Case” formulates, for the occasion, “as against Great Britain," is set forth not under three, but twelve distinct heads, with an additional one elsewhere, making thirteen in all. We repeat that the British Government would have been perfectly justified, and would have exercised a sound discretion, if, in its Counter-case, it had declined to discuss this “ Résumé of Principles,” as it is called, contenting itself by referring to the special conditions laid down in the Treaty, and submitting to have the case tried by the "new rules,” three in number, and by “such principles of international law, not inconsistent therewith, as the arbitrators shall determine to be applicable to the case.” Un

. fortunately they have not so acted, but have been tempted to cite the American “ Résumé," with occasional comments, in which, far from expressing the emphatic denunciation which so much groundless pretension called for, they sometimes make admissions which will, inevitably, whenever they are brought in question, lead to confusion and We will pass in review this “bakers'

" dozen” of propositions, making such remarks on them as may seem necessary.

The first of the propositions advanced by the American Goverment is follows:

- That it is the duty of a neutral to preserve strict and impartial neutrality as to both belligerents



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