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the United States said it was reluctantly forced to conclude that the policy pursued by the British government in such matters exceeded the manifest necessities of a belligerent and constituted restrictions upon the rights of American citizens on the high seas which were “not justified by the rules of international law or required under the principle of self-preservation,” and that, if such things continued, they might "arouse a feeling contrary to that which has so long existed between the American and British peoples.” Sir Edward Grey, in reply (January 7, 1915), pointed to the increase of American trade with neutral countries, and stated that the British government were desirous “not to interfere with the normal importation and use by the neutral countries of goods from the United States." The note of November 5, 1915, dealt at great length with the operation of the order in council of the 11th of the preceding March, and, after adverting to the fact that trade was carried on openly by sea between the Scandinavian countries and Germany, declared that the methods sought to be employed to obtain and use evidence of enemy destination of cargoes bound for neutral ports and to impose a contraband character upon such cargoes were “without justification”; that the “blockade," upon which such methods were founded, was "ineffective, illegal, and indefensible”; that the judicial procedure offered as a means of reparation for an international injury was inherently defective for the purpose; that in many cases jurisdiction was "asserted in violation of the law of nations"; and that the United States could not submit to "the curtailment of its neutral rights" by measures which, being “admittedly retaliatory, and therefore illegal, in conception and in nature,” were "intended to punish the enemies of Great Britain for alleged illegalities on their part.'

1 In the argument of the case of the Hakan, before Sir Samuel Evans, President of the English Prize Court, as reported in Lloyd's List, June 9, 1916, there occurred between the bench and the bar the following colloquy:

As to the essential illegality of retaliatory measures, the British government, in its reply (April 24, 1916), took issue with the United States, maintaining that if one belligerent "is allowed to make an attack upon the other regardless of neutral rights, his opponent must be allowed similar latitude in prosecuting the struggle," and that in such case the latter should not be limited to the adoption of measures precisely identical with those of his opponent.” On this point all the belligerents appeared to be in accord.

Discussions also took place between the United States and Great Britain as to other infractions or

a

"Mr. Balloch was proceeding to refer to the blockade, when

"The President interrupted to say that what was called a blockade was not a blockade at all, except for journalistic and political purposes.

"Mr. Balloch: I notice that Mr. Balfour yesterday spoke of it as a blockade, so that I am sinning in very good company.

"The President: I do not know what Mr. Balfour said yesterday, but I remember reading a very informing article in which he pointed out that the restrictions we were imposing were very much less onerous than would be the case in an actual blockade.

curtailments of neutral rights or privileges. By the record it appears that the order in council of March II, 1915, above mentioned, may be regarded as constituting the centre of the system, enforced by various methods, including not only the seizure and detention of vessels and cargoes, but also embargoes, detention and search of mails, the blacklisting of firms in neutral countries, the withholdment of cargo space from non-assenting neutral shippers, and the denial of hospitalities in British ports to nonassenting neutral vessels, for the commercial and

nancial isolation of the Central Powers, and especially of Germany. Through all these controversies the British government constantly emphasized the distinction between acts affecting "life" and those affecting "property.” By the Revenue Act of September 8, 1916, however, the Congress of the United States placed in the hands of the President the power to adopt and enforce countervailing commercial measures. Specifically, when there was reasonable ground to believe that any country was, by “laws, regulations, or practices contrary to the law and practice of nations," restricting the importation of United States products, he was empowered to prohibit or restrict the importation of similar or other products of such country into the United States. He was likewise empowered to detain any vessel, American or foreign, which, “on account of the laws, regulations, or practices of a belligerent,” was giving undue or unreasonable pref

erence or advantage to any person or traffic in the United States, or subjecting any person or traffic in the United States, or American citizens in neutral countries, to any undue or unreasonable discrimination in regard to the reception, delivery, or transportation of freight or passengers. And finally, to any belligerent failing to accord to American ships or citizens the commercial facilities which its vessels and citizens enjoyed in the United States, or equal privileges or facilities of trade with vessels of other nationality than its own, he was empowered to deny similar privileges or facilities.

The German government assured the United States, January 7, 1916, that its submarines in the Mediterranean had from the beginning had “orders to conduct cruiser warfare against enemy merchantvessels only in accordance with general principles of international law,” and in particular to exclude retaliatory measures such as were applicable to the war zone around the British Isles. In the case of the grain-laden American vessel William P. Frye, which was sunk, after taking off the crew, by a German auxiliary cruiser, the German government, besides agreeing to make indemnity in accordance with the treaties between the two countries, stated (August 19, 1915) that it had issued orders forbidding American merchantmen carrying conditional contraband to be destroyed, and that, if a vessel carrying absolute contraband were to be destroyed by a submarine, the persons aboard would not be

ordered to the life-boats except where the weather conditions and the nearness of the coast afforded absolute certainty that they would reach the nearest port.

On September 8, 1915, the United States instructed its ambassador at Vienna to inform the government of Austria-Hungary that its ambassador at Washington, Dr. Dumba, was no longer acceptable. This action was based on an intercepted letter addressed by Dr. Dumba to his government, and entrusted by him to a newspaper correspondent for conveyance to Europe, which outlined a plan to instigate strikes in American manufacturing plants engaged in producing munitions of war. The question of the right of neutral individuals to manufacture and sell arms and munitions of war had formed the subject of an extended correspondence between the two governments. The question of the use of submarines was also discussed between them in the case of the Italian steamer Ancona, whose sinking, by an Austrian submarine, resulted in the loss of American lives. It was alleged that the steamer attempted to escape; but, as it appeared that she was torpedoed after her engines were stopped and when passengers were still on board, the United States demanded a disavowal of the act, the punish

1 As to the law of contraband, see Moore, Digest of International Law, VII, 656 et seq.; Kleen, De la Contrebande de Guerra. Italy, in her notification, Aug. 28, 1916, of a state of war with Germany, seems to have failed to discriminate between “supplies of arms" and "instruments of war, terrestrial and maritime."

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