Neutral Rights and Obligations in the Anglo-Boer War eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 168 pages of information about Neutral Rights and Obligations in the Anglo-Boer War.

[Footnote 6:  Op. cit., p. 45.]

[Footnote 7:  Commerce in War (1907), p. 255.]

The first position taken by Great Britain to support her right of seizure of foodstuffs bound for Delagoa Bay seems to have been based upon this departure of the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of the Springbok in 1863.  It was found, however, that this basis of justification would not be acceptable to other Powers generally nor to the United States when the doctrine of “continuous voyages” was given such an application as practically to include foodstuffs as contraband.  Without the taint of contraband there could be no justification even upon the Springbok decision as a precedent, since there was no blockaded port in question.  In the seizure of American goods which were being conveyed by British ships there was the possibility of a violation of a municipal regulation which forbade British subjects to trade with the enemy.

But the charge of trading with the enemy to gain plausible ground necessarily carried with it the further presumption that the ultimate intention was that the foodstuffs should reach the Transvaal by a later stage of the same voyage.

With reference to the arrest and detention of German mail steamers bound for Delagoa Bay, the English Government found the attempt to substitute possibly well-grounded suspicions for facts no more acceptable to third Powers than the assumption with regard to foodstuffs had been, if the emphatic statements of the German Government indicate the general opinion upon the subject of the carrying of analogues of contraband and unneutral service in general.


THE BUNDESRATH.—­It was reported to the English Government by Rear Admiral Sir Robert Harris, on December 5, 1899, that the German East African mail steamer Bundesrath had sailed from Aden for Delagoa Bay.  He informed his Government that ammunition was “suspected but none ascertained;” that the Bundesrath had on board “twenty Dutch and Germans and two supposed Boers, three Germans and two Australians believed to be officers, all believed to be intending combatants, although shown as civilians; also twenty-four Portuguese soldiers."[8] On the twenty-ninth of the same month the Bundesrath was taken into Durban, about three hundred miles from Lorenzo Marques, under the escort of the British cruiser Magicienne.  The German Government demanded the immediate release of the steamer upon the assurance made by the Hamburg owners that she carried no contraband.  Great indignation was expressed in Hamburg, and a demand was made in the Chamber of Commerce that measures be taken to insure the protection of German commercial interests.  A diplomatic note was sent by Germany protesting against the action of England.  Lord Salisbury’s reply on the part of his Government was that the Bundesrath

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Neutral Rights and Obligations in the Anglo-Boer War from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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