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term applied to a written minute, and in the above article means the written minute of the act of deposit. The "first deposit of ratifications" is also referred to in Article 5 as follows: “The first deposit of ratifications shall be recorded in a procès-verbal signed by the representatives of the Powers which take part therein and by the Netherland Minister for Foreign Affairs.” The term is applied to the collective deposit of ratifications made by the Powers which have signified their intention of ratifying the convention within what might be called a reasonable time after it has been signed. This information is obtained through the diplomatic channel by the Netherland Government. The procedure seems to be merely a device for ascertaining before any ratifications are deposited if a sufficient number of Powers will ratify to make it worth while to attempt to put the convention into effect.

The ratifications subsequent to the first deposit are also referred to in Article 5 as follows: "The subsequent deposits of ratifications shall be made by means of a written notification, addressed to the Netherland Government and accompanied by the instrument of ratification." This needs no extended explanation. It merely refers to individual deposits of ratifications made subsequent to the collective deposit.

By the phrase “Powers which adhere to the convention” is meant those Powers which, not having signed the convention originally, later express the desire to become parties to it. Their intention to take this action is probably not communicated until after the approval of the ratifying branch of their governments has been obtained, so that adhesion has the effect of both signature and ratification.

Another point which is deserving of more consideration than has sometimes been given to it is the interpretation of the clause found in some of the conventions, that their provisions shall not apply except between contracting Powers, and then only if all the belligerents are parties. The provision on its face seems simple enough, but it should be borne in mind that the conventions of 1907 respecting the laws and customs of war on land and for the adaptation to naval war of the principles of the Geneva Convention, Articles 2 and 18 of which respectively contain this provision, are revisions of similar conventions adopted in 1899. Both conventions contain additional articles stating that the 1907 conventions, when duly ratified, shall replace, as between the contracting Powers, the conventions of 1899, but that the latter conventions remain in force as between the Powers which ratify them but which do not ratify the former. It seems to have been the intention of the Conference of 1907 to limit the substitution of its conventions for the 1899 conventions to those Powers which accept the 1907 conventions, and to leave the 1899 conventions in force for those Powers which do not feel justified in ratifying the revision of 1907. There would therefore seem to be no doubt as to the applicability of the conventions in a war in which all the belligerents are parties to the 1907 conventions, or in which none are parties to the 1907 conventions but all are parties to the 1899 conventions; but, query, which, if either, of the conventions apply in a war where some of the belligerents are parties to the 1907 conventions and some to the 1899 conventions? An international court to which this question may be referred does not exist, and it will be necessary to await the practical construction put upon the above provisions before it is decided. The reporter of the convention of 1907 for the adaptation to naval war of the principles of the Geneva Convention, Mr. Louis Renault, the eminent and authoritative jurisconsult of the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs, seems to entertain no doubt on this point, in case the parties to the conventions of 1907 were originally parties to the conventions of 1899, for, in commenting in his report to the Conference upon these provisions in that convention, he says: “Where two Powers are parties to the convention of 1899 and only one of them a party to the new convention, the convention of 1899 will necessarily continue to govern their relations.” 1

A number of tables, for use in considering the applicability of these conventions, have been issued from time to time from different sources, giving information as to signatures, ratifications and adhesions. The use of these tables appears to have given rise to another source of confusion. While they were no doubt correct at the time of their publication, attention is called to the fact that no time limit is set in the conventions for their ratification, it being stipulated merely that they shall be ratified “as soon as possible.” It is possible, and no doubt probable, that subsequent to the appearance of these tables additional ratifications or adhesions have taken place. For example, a table giving ratifications up to the year 1912 could not include ratifications deposited in the years 1913 and 1914. The Netherland Government is made the official depository of the instruments of ratification and adhesion and certified copies of them are sent through diplomatic channels to the governments which took part in the Conferences. For complete and exact information at any given date concerning all of the conventions, absolute reliance 1 Deuxième conférence internationale de la paix, Actes et documents, Vol. I, p. 77.


may not be placed upon any printed table issued prior to that date, but the Department of State should be consulted.

A word should also be said as to the reservations to the conventions. A Power may make a reservation either when signing a convention or at the time of ratifying it. A reservation may be made to an article or to several articles, in which case the nation making the reservation gives notice that it does not accept these articles and they are thereupon not binding upon it. A reservation may also be made not to the article itself, but to the meaning to be placed upon the article. If such a reservation is made at the time of ratification, its text is usually embodied in the instrument of ratification. If, however, the reservation is made only at the time of signature the meaning which the reserving nation accepts is stated in the Conference and may be obtained only by reading the minutes of the session in which the reservation was made. These minutes have never been printed in English and, so far as known, have appeared only in the official report in French published by the Dutch Government. It is understood that the Division of International Law of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace has had the portions of these minutes containing the reservations translated and will issue them in English in pamphlet form within a short time.

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At the outbreak of the present war the warships Goeben and Breslau formed an integral part of the German navy. As such they engaged in battle and to avoid capture they appear to have taken refuge in Turkish waters, where early in August, they were reported to have been sold to the Turkish Government. Their officers and crews appear to have been retained, although the names of the vessels were changed to Sultan Yawuz Selim and Midellu, and they are reported to have taken part in an attack on Odessa, a Russian port, although Russia and Turkey were at the time at peace. In view of the sale of these vessels to a neutral, it seems advisable briefly to consider the validity of the transfer from the standpoint of law.

On August 1st war was declared between Germany and Russia. On the 3rd of August Germany and France were officially at war, as were Great Britain and Germany on the 4th. At the date of the transfer of the Goeben and the Breslau to a neutral Power—for Turkey was then neutral in law if not in fact—the vessels were exposed to capture by

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British and French cruisers. The effect of the sale was to deprive France and Great Britain of their right to capture the two vessels in question, if they were able to do so. The question is whether a neutral by its action can legally deprive belligerents, without their consent, of the right of capturing the vessels which the belligerents undoubtedly possess under the law of nations. There is very little precedent on the question, but such as it is, it is against the right of the neutral. There are three cases which are believed to be in point: the Minerva (6 C. Robinson, 396); United States v. The Etta (4 American Law Reg. N. S. 38, 25 Fed. Cases, No. 15,060); the Georgia (7 Wallace, 32).

The case of the Minerva was decided in 1807 by Lord Stowell, then Sir William Scott. Briefly stated, during war between Holland and Great Britain, a Dutch vessel, the Minerva, lying in the port of Bergen, was sold to the neutral Prince of Kniphausen in 1807, placed under Kniphausen colors, and appears to have been captured on a voyage from Bergen to the River Jade, the port of Kniphausen. The Minerva appears to have been chased into North Bergen by a British cruiser. Lord Stowell condemned the vessel, and in the course of his opinion stated that the recognition of the sale under such circumstances would, without their consent, withdraw from belligerents the right of capture. He said:

Some communication, at least, we might suppose would be made to the belligerent government, accompanied with disclosure of every circumstance of caution that should exclude the suspicion of what is always to be apprehended, the danger of such a vessel finding her way back again into the navy of her own country. Can such things be allowed to be transferred as articles of commerce, and under the known pressure under which the enemy's marine has labored? It can, at most, only be expected to be allowed under all circumstances of communicated preventive caution, that might secure the belligerent from the just apprehension of abuse, which I have before stated; some previous acquiescence signified on the part of the belligerent government some consent obtained, upon an entire disclosure of the intention fully substantiated.

The opinion expressed by Lord Stowell was twofold; namely, that the vessel would by sale to a neutral escape capture and that at some later time it might again find itself in the fighting force of the enemy. These two fears seem to be justified in the present case. The German vessels were, by the sale, withdrawn from the possibility of capture by British and French cruisers. The incorporation of the two vessels in the Turkish navy permits their use against France and Great Britain, because Turkey is at war with both these countries.

The second case happened in the American Civil War. The Etta, under the name of the Retribution, was a privateer flying the flag of the Confederate Government. It entered the neutral port of Nassau and was there sold at public auction to a neutral. It was later resold to a neutral, again at public auction in Nassau, both transactions taking place in the year 1863. The name of the vessel was changed to the Etta. Upon capture by authorities of the United States it was condemned in 1864. In the course of his opinion, District Judge Field said:

This question as to the right of a neutral to purchase an enemy's vessel of war, would at any time, and under any circumstances, be a question of importance; but it derives an especial interest from the nature and character of the war in which we are now engaged, and which would render the exercise of such a right, supposing it to exist, peculiarly liable to abuse. It is a matter of some surprise, that a question confessedly so important, and one too so likely to arise, should not have received a larger share of attention from writers on international law, and that it should not have been the subject of more frequent judicial interpretation. And yet, with the exception of the case of The Minerva (6 C. Rob., Adm. 396), decided by Lord Stowell in 1807, and which has been silently adopted as an authority by subsequent text writers, it has never, so far as I have been able to ascertain, been the subject either of legal discussion or of legal adjudication.

The Georgia, the twin of the Alabama, was a Confederate cruiser flying the Confederate flag and under the command of Captain Maury. The Georgia entered the port of Liverpool in 1864 to escape capture by the Kearsarge, the Niagara, and the Sacramento, vessels of the United States cruising off the coast of France and in the British Channel, to quote the opinion of the court, "in search of this vessel and others that had become notorious for their depredations upon American commerce.” It was dismantled and purchased by a British subject, and sailed as a neutral on a voyage from Liverpool under a charter party to the Portuguese Government on August 8, 1864. It was seized upon reaching the high seas from Liverpool, and condemned by the Supreme Court. Mr. Justice Nelson, who delivered the judgment, relied upon the two cases previously cited, and in the course of his judgment said:

It has been suggested that, admitting the rule of law as above stated, the purchase should still be upheld, as the Georgia, in her then condition, was not a vessel of war, but had been dismantled, and all guns and munitions of war removed; that she was purchased as a merchant vessel, and fitted up, bona fide, for the merchant service. But the answer to the suggestion is, that if this change in the equipment in the neutral port, and in the contemplated employment in future of the vessel, could have the effect to take her out of the rule, and justify the purchase, it would always be in the power of the belligerent to evade it, and render futile the reasons on which it is

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