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Feb. 11, 1884, id. 66; Mr. Frelinghuysen to Mr. Young, No. 267, April 18, 1884, id. 96.
In August, 1884, the governor-general of the two Kwang provinces closed the southern channel of the Canton River by barriers and obstructions of piles, stones, and sunken junks, in order to prevent hostile ships from menacing Canton. The southern channel offered the easiest means of access for vessels to Canton; but, as reported by Mr. Denby, American minister at Peking, in May, 1886, the channel had up to that time remained closed to navigation. The yamên appeared to be opposed to the reopening of the channel, chiefly on the ground that the viceroy of Canton having memorialized the throne, requesting that it might be closed forever, the Emperor had given his approval, and thus disposed of the question.
Mr. Denby, min. to China, to Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, No. 141, May 31, 1886, For. Rel. 1886, 90.
"Your No. 141 is before me, and brings to the Department, with much clearness, a question of great interest. It is unquestionable that a belligerent may, during war, place obstructions in the channel of a belligerent port, for the purpose of excluding vessels of the other belligerent which seek the port either as hostile cruisers or as blockade runners. This was done by the Dutch when attacked by Spain, in the time of Philip II; by England when attacked by the Dutch, in the time of Charles II; by the United States when attacked by Great Britain, in the Revolutionary war and in the war of 1812; by the United States during the late civil war; by Russia at the siege of Sebastopol; and by Germany during the Franco-German war of 1870. But while such is the law, it is equally settled by the law of nations that when war ceases such obstructions, when impeding navigation in channels in which great ships are accustomed to pass, must be removed by the territorial authorities. Such is the rule, apart from treaty; and it was implicitly admitted by Mr. Seward, when, in replying to the remonstrances by the British Government on the placing by the blockading authorities of obstructions in the harbor of Charleston, he stated that these obstructions were placed there merely temporarily. Were there any doubt about this question, which I maintain there is not, it would be settled by the provisions of our treaties with China, which virtually make Canton a free port, to which our merchant ships are entitled to have free access in time of peace. You are therefore instructed to make use of the best efforts in your power to induce the Chinese Government to remove the obstructions in the Canton River, which, as you state, operate to close the port of Canton to the merchant vessels of the United States. In sending to you this instruction, I affirm the
instruction of Mr. Frelinghuysen to Mr. Young, No. 267, dated April 18, 1884, printed in the Foreign Relations of that year."
Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to Mr. Denby, min. to China, No. 90, July 28, 1886, For. Rel. 1886, 95.
March 19, 1888, Mr. Denby reported that the Tsung-li yamên had again refused to remove the obstruction, but that the diplomatic corps did not accept the obstruction as final. (For. Rel. 1888, I. 270. Also, id. 224, 250.)
During the war with Japan in 1894, the Tsung-li yamên announced the closure of Foochow for purposes of defense. One entrance was left open, and a place was designated as an anchorage for foreign and Chinese steamers outside the mouth of the river, where they were required to discharge and load cargo, which was conveyed to and from Foochow by lighters registered at the customs. These lighters followed an indicated route and plied only in the daytime. In reporting these measures, the American chargé at Peking observed that, burdensome as they doubtless would prove to be, no objection could be made to them in view of the demoralization of the Chinese naval forces, Foochow being an important naval depot which must be guarded at all hazards. The Government of the United States reaffirmed the position taken by Mr. Frelinghuysen in his telegram to Mr. Young of January 22, 1884, and by Mr. Bayard, in his instructions to Mr. Denby of July 28, 1886.
Mr. Gresham, Sec. of State, to Mr. Denby, jr., chargé at Peking, Sept. 28, 1894, MS. Inst. China, V. 95; Mr. Denby, jr., to Mr. Gresham, No. 60, Oct. 9, 1894, For. Rel. 1894, Appendix I. 71.
VI. ENFORCEMENT OF NEUTRAL DUTIES.
1. Proclamations. § 1319.
2. Legislation. § 1320.
3. Executive action. § 1321.
4. Judicial action. § 1322.
5. Arrest and detention. § 1323.
6. Exaction of bond. § 1324.
7. Restitution of captured property. § 1325.
8. Effect of a commission. § 1326.
9. Question of extraterritorial pursuit. § 1327.
VII. MEASURE OF EXERTION.
1. Requisite diligence. § 1329.
2. Rules of 1871; Geneva Award. § 1339.
VIII. STATE OF BELLIGERENCY.
1. Essential, as against titular government.
IX. EFFECT OF ARMISTICE. § 1333.
X. RESPECT DUE TO NEUTRAL TERRITORY.
1. Inviolability. § 1334.
2. Duty to prevent violations. § 1335.
XI. RIGHTS OF NEUTRAL TRADE. § 1336.
1. NATURE OF OBLIGATION.
1. ITS SIGNIFICANCE.
"By the usual principles of international law, the state of neutrality recognizes the cause of both parties to the contest as just— that is, it avoids all consideration of the merits of the contest."
Mr. J. Q. Adams, Sec. of State, to Mr. Gallatin, May 19, 1818, MS. Inst.
See Fiore, Droit Int. Public, III. 372; Rivier, Principes du Droit des
The idea of a neutral nation "implies two nations at war, and a third in friendship with both."
Case of the Resolution, Federal Court of Appeals (1781), 2 Dallas, 19, 21.
"A neutral nation may, if so disposed, without a breach of her neutral character, grant permission to both belligerents to equip their vessels of war within her territory. But without such permission the subjects of such belligerent power have no right to equip vessels of war, or to increase or augment their force, either with arms or with men, within the territory of such neutral nation.”
Brig Alerta v. Blas Moran (1815), 9 Cranch, 359, 365.
The view that a neutral may permit unneutral acts to be committed within its territory, provided it extends the permission to both bellig
erents, is now obsolete. It is obvious that, although such permission was impartially offered, it might be of immense use to one belligerent and of none to the other.
"As to the sale and the delivery of war vessels to belligerents, it is to be observed that that industry does not exist in the country. If any acts of such nature were to take place on Belgian territory, article 123 of the penal code would provide the Government with the necessary power to repress them, inasmuch as they would be contrary to the rules universally recognized by the law of nations."
M. de Favereau, Belgian min. of for. aff., to Mr. Storer, min. to Belgium, Sept. 6, 1898, enclosed by Mr. Storer with dispatch No. 140, Sept 14, 1898, MS. Desp. from Belgium.
About the middle of March, 1898, upwards of a month before the commencement of hostilities between the United States and Spain, the United States purchased two war ships then building in England-a torpedo boat and the Brazilian cruiser Almirante Abreu. When war was announced, the British Government promptly prohibited the departure of the nearly completed torpedo boat, which had been named the Somers, and stopped work on the cruiser. This action appeared to be in conformity with the obligations of neutrality, and was acquiesced in by the United States. By the protocol between the United States and Spain, signed at Washington, August 12, 1898, hostilities were suspended, and it was stipulated that commissioners should be sent to Paris to negotiate for peace. On November 19, 1898, the American embassy in London was instructed to make, if practicable, arrangements with the British Government “permitting the bringing to the United States of the torpedo boat Somers, now stored at Falmouth, England, giving assurance that in case of the resumption of hostilities with Spain this vessel will not be made use of." A formal request to this effect was presented to the British foreign office, December 1, 1898, the embassy observing, with reference to the condition above stated, that the resumption of hostilities "would now appear to be highly improbable." A treaty of peace between the United States and Spain was signed at Paris, December 10, 1898. Two days before, on December 8, Lord Salisbury, replying to the embassy's request, said: "You add that you are instructed by the United States Government to give an assurance that in the event of hostilities being resumed with Spain, which would now appear to be highly improbable, the Somers will not be made use of. In view of this assurance I have the honor to state that Her Majesty's Government are glad to comply with your request, and that the necessary instructions will at once be sent to the proper authorities in order to facilitate the departure of the vessel."