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vessel having been visited by an enemy's cruiser, renders the sick and wounded incapable of serving during the continuance of the war. The cruiser shall even have the right of putting on board an officer in order to accompany the convoy, and thus verify the good faith of the operation.

If the merchant ship also carries a cargo, her neutrality will still protect it, provided that such cargo is not of a nature to be confiscated by the belligerents.

“ The belligerents retain the right to interdict neutralized vessels from all communication, and from any course which they may deem prejudicial to the secrecy of their operations. In urgent cases special conventions may be entered into between commanders-in-chief, in order to neutralize temporarily and in a special manner the vessels intended for the removal of the sick and wounded.

"Art. XI. Wounded or sick sailors and soldiers, when embarked, to whatever nation they may belong, shall be protected and taken care of by their captors.

“ Their return to their own country is subject to the provisions of Article VI. of the Convention, and of the additional Article V.

"Art. XII. The distinctive flag to be used with the national flag, in order to indicate any vessel or boat which may claim the benefits of neutrality, in virtue of the principles of this Convention, is a white flag with a red cross. The belligerents may exercise in this respect any mode of verification which they may deem necessary.

Military hospital ships shall be distinguished by being painted white outside, with green strake.

“ART. XIII. The hospital ships which are equipped at the expense of the aid societies, recognized by the governments signing this Convention, and which are furnished with a commission emanating from the sovereign, who shall have given express authority for their being fitted out, and with a certificate from the proper naval authority that they have been placed under his control during their fitting out and on their final departure, and that they were then appropriated solely to the purpose of their mission, shall be considered neutral as well as the whole of their staff. They shall be recognized and protected by the belligerents.

“ They shall make themselves known by hoisting, together with their national flag, the white flag with a red cross. The distinctive mark of their staff, while performing their duties, shall be an armlet of the same colors. The outer painting of these hospital ships shall be white, with red strake.

“ These ships shall bear aid and assistance to the wounded and wrecked belligerents, without distinction of nationality.

They must take care not to interfere in any way with the movements of the combatants. During and after the battle they must do their duty at their own risk and peril.

“ The belligerents shall have the right of controlling and visiting them; they will be at liberty to refuse their assistance, to order them to depart, and to detain them if the exigencies of the case require such a step.

“ The wounded and wrecked picked up by these ships can not be reclaimed by either of the combatants, and they will be required not to serve during the continuance of the war.

“ART. XIV. In naval wars any strong presumption that either belligerent takes advantage of the benefits of neutrality, with any other view than the interest of the sick and wounded, gives to the other belligerent, until proof to the contrary, the right of suspending the Convention as regards such belligerent.

“ Should this presumption become a certainty, notice may be given to such belligerent that the Convention is suspended with regard to him during the whole continuance of the war.

“Art. XV. The present act shall be drawn up in a single original copy, which shall be deposited in the archives of the Swiss Confederation.

“An authentic copy of this Act shall be delivered, with an invitation to adhere to it, to each of the signatory Powers of the Convention of the 22d of August, 1864, as well as to those that have successively acceded to it."

The interpretation placed by France and England on Art. X. is to the following effect :

“ The question being raised as to whether, under Article X., a vessel might not avail herself of the carrying of sick or wounded to engage with impunity in traffic otherwise hazardous under the rules of war, it was agreed that there was no purpose in the articles to modify in any particular the generally admitted principles concerning the rights of belligerents; that the performance of such services of humanity could not be used as a cover either for contraband of war or for enemy merchandise; and that every boat which or whose cargo would, under ordinary circumstances, be subject to confiscation can not be relieved therefrom by the sole fact of carrying sick and wounded.

Question being raised as to whether, under Article X., an absolute right was afforded to a blockaded party to freely remove its sick and wounded from a blockaded town, it was agreed that such removal or evacuation of sick and wounded was entirely subject to the consent of the blockading party. It should be permitted for humanity's sake where the superior exigencies of war may not inter

H. Doc. 551-vol 7—25

vene to prevent, but the besieging party night refuse permission entirely.”

The full text of the French interpretation is as follows:

“ The second paragraph of the additional Article X. reads thus: 'If the merchant ship also carries a cargo, her neutrality will still protect it, provided that such cargo is not of a nature to be confiscated by the belligerent.

“ The words of a nature to be confiscated by the belligerent apply equally to the nationality of the merchandise and to its quality.

“ Thus, according to the latest international conventions, the merchandise of a nature to be confiscated by a cruiser are

“First. Contraband of war under whatever flag. " Second. Enemy merchandise under enemy flag.

“ The cruiser need not recognize the neutrality of the vessel carrying wounded if any part of its cargo shall, under international law, be comprised in either of these two categories of goods.

" The faculty given by the paragraph in question to leave on board of vessels carrying wounded a portion of the cargo is to be considered as a facility for the carriage of freight, as well as a valuable privilege in favor of the navigability of merchant vessels if they be bad sailors when only in ballast ; but this faculty can in no wise prejudice the right of confiscation of the cargo within the limits fixed by international law.

“Every ship the cargo of which would be subject to confiscation by the cruiser under ordinary circumstances is not susceptible of being covered by neutrality by the sole fact of carrying in addition sick or wounded men. The ship and the cargo would then come under the common law of war, which has not been modified by the convention except in favor of the vessel exclusively laden with wounded men, or the cargo of which would not be subject to confiscation in any case. Thus, for example, the merchant ship of a belligerent laden with neutral merchandise and at the same time carrying sick and wounded is covered by neutrality.

“ The merchant ship of a belligerent carrying, besides wounded and sick men, goods of the enemy of the cruiser's nation or contraband of war is not neutral, and the ship, as well as the cargo, comes under the common law of war.

" A neutral ship carrying, in addition to wounded and sick men of the belligerent, contraband of war also is subject to the common law

of war.

“ A neutral ship carrying goods of any nationality, but not contraband of war, lends its own neutrality to the wounded and sick which it may carry.

· In so far as concerns the usage which expressly prohibits a cartel ship from engaging in any commerce whatsoever at the point of


arrival, it is deemed that there is no occasion to specially subject to that inhibition vessels carrying wounded men, because the second paragraph of Article X. imposes upon the belligerents, equally as upon neutrals, the exclusion of the transportation of merchandise subject to confiscation.

“Moreover, if one of the belligerents should abuse the privilege which is accorded to him, and under the pretext of transporting the wounded should neutralize under its flag an important commercial intercourse which might in a notorious manner influence the chances or the duration of the war, Article XIV. of the convention could justly be invoked by the other belligerent.

“As for the second point of the British Government, relative to the privilege of effectively removing from a city, besieged and blockaded by sea, under the cover of neutrality, vessels bearing wounded and sick men, in such a way as to prolong the resistance of the besieged, the convention does not authorize this privilege. In according the benefits of a neutral status of a specifically limited neutrality to vessels carrying wounded, the convention could not give them rights superior to those of other neutrals who can not pass an effective blockade without special authorization. Humanity, however, in such a case, does not lose all its rights, and, if circumstances permit the besieging party to relax the rigorous rights of the blockade, the besieged party may make propositions to that end in virtue of the fourth paragraph of Article X.”

In 1870 the French and North German Governments, although the additional articles had not become internationally effective, provisionally accepted them, together with the English-French interpretations of Articles IX. and X., as a modus vivendi applicable, by land and by sea, to the war then in progress.

The Spanish Government, by a note of Sept. 7, 1872, declared its readiness to adhere to the articles.

The President of the United States, March 1, 1882, acceded both to the convention of 1864 and the additional articles of 1868; but, in his proclamation of July 26, 1882, promulgating the convention of 1861, the promulgation of the accession to the additional articles was reserved till the signatory powers should render them internationally effective by the exchange of ratifications. By an instruction to its minister at Berne, Jan. 20, 1883, the United States reserved the right to omit the bracketed amendment to Art. IX. of the additional articles, and to make “ any other necessary corrections” if the exchange of ratifications should be completed between the signatory and adhering powers. This instruction apparently was suggested by the discovery that the amendment, which appeared in brackets in the English text in the possession of the Department of State, was not to be found in the original French text adopted at Geneva, Oct. 20,

, }


1868. It seems that the United States was never furnished with the amendment and elucidations till May 4, 1898.

On the breaking out of hostilities with Spain, however, in April, 1898, the United States commissioned the ambulance ship Solace to accompany the Atlantic fleet as a noncombatant hospital ship, to render aid to the sick, wounded, and dying, according to the spirit of the additional articles. To this end the Government issued the following order: “ GENERAL ORDERS)

No. 487.

Washington, April 27, 1898. The Solace having been fitted and equipped by the Department as an ambulance ship for the naval service under the terms of the Geneva Convention is about to be assigned to service.

* The Geneva Cross flag will be carried at the fore whenever the national flag is flown.

" The neutrality of the vessel will, under no circumstances, be changed, nor will any changes be made in her equipment without the authority of the Secretary of the Navy.

“No guns, ammunition, or articles contraband of war, except coal or stores necessary for the movement of the vessel, shall be placed on board; nor shall the vessel be used as a transport for the carrying of dispatches, or officers or men not sick or disabled, other than those belonging to the medical department.

“ Information as to the special work for which the Solace is intended will be communicated to the commander in chief of the squadron by the Department.

“JOHN D. Long, Secretary." Contemporaneously the Swiss Government, as the organ of the signatories of the Geneva Convention, proposed both to the United States and to Spain that they adopt the additional articles as a modus vivendi during the existence of hostilities. This proposal was accepted by both Governments with the amendments of Art. IX. and the elucidation of Article X., above noted.


For. Rel. 1898, 1148, 1150, 1151, 1155; U. S. Treaty Vol. (1776-1887),

1155. As to the use of the American hospital ship Jaine in Chinese waters in

1900, see For. Rel. 1900, 31-33.

The Russian circular of Dec. 30, 1898, embodying the programme of

The Hague Conference, contained the following artiThe Hague Con


“5. Adaptation to naval war of the stipulations of the Geneva Convention of 1861, on the basis of the additional articles of 1868.


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