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.

The recommendations for the adjustment of the difficulty in the several cases were made by a commission of five members, two of whom were Germans, and the awards gave general satisfaction in Germany.  The East African Line congratulated Count Von Buelow upon the energetic manner in which he had handled the incidents.  German commercial interests considered that they might count upon the effective support of the Government, and that the result was a complete justification of the attitude which Germany had assumed with regard to the conflicting interests of belligerents and neutrals.



Almost contemporaneously with the German-English controversy with reference to the restrictions which might legitimately be put upon German mail steamers Great Britain and the United States became involved in a lengthy correspondence.

Various articles of the general nature of foodstuffs were seized upon ships plying between New York and Delagoa Bay.  It developed later that the seizures were justified by England not upon the ground of the guilt of carrying contraband per se, but because an English municipal regulation was alleged to have been violated by English subjects in that they had traded with the enemy.  But the fact was incontrovertible that the port of destination as well as that of departure was neutral.  The burden of proof under the circumstances rested upon the captor to show that goods innocent in themselves were really intended for the enemy.  Consequently the line of justification which was set up involved not merely an extension of the doctrine of continuous voyages, but an application of this much mooted theory that would show an ultimate intention to trade with the enemy.

The offense of trading with the enemy is not a new one in international law.  In 1799 Sir William Scott, afterwards Lord Stowell, sitting upon the case of the Hoop, which is perhaps the leading case upon the subject, declared that all trading with the enemy by the subjects of one State without the permission of the sovereign is interdicted in time of war[1].  It was pointed out that, according to the law of Holland, of France, of Spain and as a matter of fact of all the States of Europe, “when one state is at war with another, all the subjects of the one are considered to be at war with all the subjects of the other and all intercourse and trade with the enemy is forbidden.”  This principle has been accepted in the United States as one of the conditions of warfare.  Wheaton declares:  “One of the immediate consequences of the commencement of hostilities is the interdiction of all commercial intercourse between the subjects of the States at war without the license of their respective Governments."[2]

[Footnote 1:  1 C. Rob. 200.]

[Footnote 2:  Elements of International Law, Dana Ed. (1866), Sec.309 et seq.]

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