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§ 1284.

Commodore Biddle, in a letter of November 11, 1827, to the Brazilian admiral, states" that blockades never have been deemed to extend to public ships. Great Britain, almost perpetually at war, and numerically superior at sea to any other nation, never for a moment pretended that neutral ships-of-war could be affected by blockades. During several years of the war in Europe, the Government of the United States maintained its diplomatic intercourse with France, exclusively by means of its public ships entering the French blockaded ports. In 1811, in the United States steamer Hornet, I myself went into Cherbourg, then blockaded by a British squadron; was boarded as I went in by the blockading squadron, but merely for the purpose of ascertaining our national character." The Brazilian admiral in reply stated that by a recent decision of the British cabinet," vessels-of-war could not enter blockaded ports, and such has continued to be the practice of the English."

15 Br. & For. State Papers, 1120.

The Secretary of the Navy was requested to order the commander of the
U. S. S. Boston, which was to convey Commodore Porter to Algiers,
to repair with him to such other port of the Mediterranean as he
might designate, if, when the Boston reached the vicinity of Algiers,
that place was "so strictly blockaded
as to render it dan-
(Sec. of State to Sec.

gerous or difficult for her to enter the harbor."

of Navy, June 4, 1830, 23 MS. Dom. Let. 361.)

"Armed vessels of neutral states will have the right to enter and depart from the interdicted ports."

Mr. Seward, Sec. of State, to Baron Gerolt, Prussian min., May 2, 1861, MS. notes to Prussian Leg. VII. 110. This referred to the blockade of the Confederate ports.

Referring, on October 4, 1861, to reports that foreign vessels of war, which had entered blockaded Confederate ports, had "in some instances carried passengers, and in others private correspondence," Mr. Seward, in order to prevent future misunderstanding, notified the members of the diplomatic corps that no foreign vessel of war which might enter or depart from a blockaded port should "carry any person as a passenger, or any correspondence other than that between the government of the country to which the vessel may belong and the diplomatic and consular agents of such country at the ports adverted to."

Mr. Seward, See. of State, to Lord Lyons, British min. (circular), Oct. 4, 1861, Dip. Cor. 1861, 152.

July 15, 1898, the Department of State addressed to all the foreign representatives in Washington a circular in relation to the entrance of neutral men-of-war into blockaded ports. In this circular it was stated that while there was no disposition on the part of the Government "to restrict the courteous permission heretofore accorded to neutral men-of-war to enter blockaded ports, it is advisable that all risk of error or mischance should be avoided by due attention to the rules prescribed by prudence as well as by courtesy. To this end, a neutral man-of-war desiring to enter or to depart from a blockaded port should communicate with the senior officer of the blockading force." As to the port of Havana, it was said to be "advisable that neutral men-of-war should, besides observing the above. suggestions, approach the port from points between north by west and north by east, and follow the same general course in departing," for the reason that, as the commanding officer was stationed north of Morro, "such a course would enable vessels readily to communicate with him, and thus not only attend to a matter of proper naval ceremonial, but also to avoid the danger of a neutral man-of-war being mistaken for an enemy in the dusk or in thick weather."

The receipt of this circular was acknowledged by the different members of the diplomatic corps, and in no instance was objection then or subsequently made to its contents. On the contrary, the

German Government presented certain counter suggestions, of a more stringent nature, which were accepted by the United States as embodying an arrangement for the future. The rules thus agreed on were as follows:

1. That the consent of the blockading Government, obtained through the usual diplomatic channels, should, unless in a case of exceptional urgency, be a prerequisite to the entrance of a neutral man-of-war into a blockaded port.

2. That approach to the blockaded port should be made in such manner that the senior officer of the blockading squadron would with certainty identify the neutral vessel, on her appearance in the blockaded belt, as the vessel of whose coming he had been notified.

3. That in exceptional cases, such as prevented the obtaining of previous permission through the usual diplomatic channels, the decision should rest with the senior officer present of the blockading squadron.

4. That in the departure from a blockaded port no special formalities were requisite other than might be necessary to identify the departing neutral, such formalities to be agreed on by her commander and the officer in command of the blockade.

For. Rel. 1898, 1159–1169.

Mr. Day, Sec. of State, to members of the diplomatic corps, circular,
July 15, 1898, For, Rel. 1898, 1159; Mr, von Holleben, German

ambass., Aug. 26, 1898, id. 1167; Mr. Adee, Act. Sec. of State, to Mr. von Holleben, Sept. 28, 1898, id. 1168.

On the outbreak of the war the British Government expressed the desire to send a vessel of war to Havana and a gunboat to visit Santiag) de Cuba, the proposed visit to be made solely for the purpose of giving any necessary advice or assistance to the British consular officers, and not to be prolonged beyond the time required to effect that object. The Secretary of the Navy, in compliance with this request, telegraphed the commander in chief of the United States naval forces on the Atlantic station to afford facilities as far as possible for the ships in question. Their names were subsequently furnished by the British ambassador. (For. Rel. 1898, 974-975.)


§ 1285.

In 1868, Admiral Davis, commanding the South Atlantic Squadron, sent the U. S. S. Wasp up the Parana, with a view to bring away the American minister, Mr. Washburn, and his family from Paraguay. The commander of the allied forces of Brazil and the Argentine Republic refused to permit the Wasp to pass through his blockade up to Asuncion, in consequence of which the Wasp returned to Montevideo without having accomplished the object of her voyage. Mr. Seward took the ground that the United States had "a lawful right to send a ship of war up the Parana to Asuncion, for the purpose of receiving the United States minister and his family, and conveying them from the scene of siege and war to neutral territory or waters," and that the refusal of the commander of the allied forces to permit the Wasp to pass through "violates becoming comity on the part of Brazil and the allies towards the United States, and is in contravention of the law of nations." Before this instruction was received at Rio de Janeiro, the difference was settled by the action of the allies in agreeing that a United States man-ofwar might proceed to Asuncion for Mr. Washburn and his family, subject to such trifling delay as might arise from the active execution of military operations.

Mr. Seward, Sec. of State, to Mr. Webb, min, to Brazil, No. 233, Aug. 17, 1868, Dip. Cor. 1868, II. 298.

As to the settlement of the difference, see Senhor Paranhos, Brazilian min. of for. aff., to Mr. Webb, Aug. 5, 1868, id. 295.

"I am aware of no instance in which the right of blockade has been invoked for the purpose of preventing the Government of a neutral and friendly state from communicating with its diplomatic agent accredited to the government of the blockaded territory. It is believed that safe conducts are rarely, if ever, refused under such circumstances, and when the refusal does take place the aggrieved party has a right to expect sufficient reasons therefor."

Mr. Fish, Sec. of State, to Mr. Kirk, June 17, 1869, MS. Inst. Arg. Rep. XV. 317.

When Mr. Nelson, American minister to Spain, arrived at Cadiz in 1823, he was unable to enter owing to the blockade of the port by a French squadron. (Moore, Int. Arbitrations, V. 4505-4506.)


§ 1286.

Febraury 14, 1862, Lord Stanhope, in the House of Lords, called attention to the report that a second squadron of ships laden with stone was about to be sunk by the United States in Maffitt's channel at Charleston, South Carolina. He observed that the sinking of large ships laden with stone on banks of mud at the entrance of a harbor could only end in its permanent destruction and was not justified by the laws of war, and declared that the British Government was well entitled to protest against the act. Earl Russell replied that he considered the destruction of commercial harbors a most barbarous act, that the French Government took the same view, and that they had decided to remonstrate with the Government of the United States. On February 28 Earl Russell stated that he had received a dispatch from Lord Lyons to the effect that Mr. Seward had stated that there had not been a complete filling up of Charleston Harbor and that no more stones would be sunk there.

The subject had been discussed between Mr. Seward and Lord Lyons, and Mr. Seward had made explanations to the effect that artificial obstructions in the channels of rivers leading to ports had been regarded as an ordinary military appliance of war; that it was not conceived that such obstructions could not be removed; and that, upon the termination of the war, there would be cast upon the Government the responsibility of improving the harbors of all the States. After these explanations were given, Mr. Seward ascertained and stated that between the channels at Charleston which had been obstructed there still remained two-the Swash channel and a part of Maffitt's channel-neither of which had been nor was intended to be artificially obstructed and which were to be guarded by the blockading naval forces. Mr. Seward observed that, in making these explanations he was not to be understood as conceding to foreign states a right to demand them. They were accepted by the French, as well as by the British Government.

Halleck, Int. Law (Baker's ed.), II. 23; Mr. Seward, Sec. of State, to
Mr. Adams, min. to England, No. 187, Feb. 17, 1862, Dip. Cor. 1862,

36; Mr. Seward, Sec. of State, to Mr. Dayton, min. to France, No. 114,
Feb. 19, 1862, id. 315, 316.

See, also, Archiv. Dip. 1862, II. 80; Fauchille, Blocus Maritime, 144,

H. Doc. 551-vol 7-55

In a telegram to Mr. Young, minister at Peking, January 22, 1884, Mr. Frelinghuysen, referring to an interview which Mr. Lowell had had with Lord Granville, relative to the threatened obstruction by the Chinese of the Canton River, took the ground that "the treaty ports can not rightfully be closed by either France or China, except the latter should do so for necessary protection;" that, if France should agree absolutely and not conditionally to make no attack on the treaty ports, a protest against their obstruction will be made to China by this Government;" but that no protest could be made to China against "taking such steps for its defence as it may deem necessary."

Prior to the sending of these instructions by Mr. Frelinghuysen, Mr. Young had had an interview with the ministers of the Tsung-li yamên, in which he had protested against the obstruction of the navigation of the Canton River, both on the ground that Article XXVI. of the treaty of 1858 provided that in case China should be at war with a foreign power the vessels of the United States should be permitted to continue their commerce with her ports in freedom and security, and that the Chinese authorities were performing in time of peace a belligerent act which, if permitted at Canton, would stand as a precedent for closing every port in China. The Chinese ministers warmly repelled the suggestion that a state of peace existed, declaring that the whole world knew that France was at war with China and that French troops were fighting Chinese troops in Tonquin. They also maintained the right of China to make the obstructions, as an act of self-defense. In an interview with Sir Harry Parkes, British minister, the ministers of the Tsung-li yamên intimated that if China could be authoritatively assured that France would not attack the open ports without notice the obstructions at Canton might be removed.

With reference to these discussions Mr. Frelinghuysen, on April 18, 1884, observed that the gravity of the question seemed in a great measure to have been removed by an assurance given by the yamên that a passage over 100 feet wide would be left in both channels for the convenience of steamers and sailing vessels, a width which seems afterwards to have been increased to 150 feet. "Even, however, under this favorable modification," said Mr. Frelinghuysen, "the obstruction to the channel at Canton and Whampoa can only be tolerated as a temporary measure, to be removed as soon as the special occasion therefor shall have passed, and under no circumstances to be admitted as a precedent for setting obstacles to open navigation at the treaty ports in time of peace, under pretext of being intended for ultimate strategic defense in the contingency of future war."

Mr. Frelinghuysen, Sec. of State, to Mr. Young, min. to China. tel.,
Jan. 22, 1884, For. Rel. 1884, 64; Mr. Young to Mr, Frelinghuysen,

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