Изображения страниц

Hague Rule on Internment.


The Hague rule as to internment.—The rule adopted at The Hague in 1907 was as follows:

ART. 24. If, notwithstanding the notification of the neutral power, a belligerent ship of war does not leave a port where it is not entitled to remain, the neutral power is entitled to take such measures as it considers necessary to render the ship incapable of taking the sea during the war, and the commanding officer of the ship must facilitate the execution of such measures.

When a belligerent ship is detained by a neutral power, the officers and crew are likewise detained.

The officers and crew thus detained may be left in the ship or kept either on another vessel or on land, and may be subjected to the measures of restriction which it may appear necessary to impose upon them. A sufficient number of men for looking after the vessel must, however, be always left on board.

The officers may be left at liberty on giving their word not to quit the neutral territory without permission. (Convention concerning rights and duties of neutral powers in case of maritime war.)

This rule is not aimed at a vessel which voluntarily leaves the neutral port without notification and before the time limit allowed for departure has expired.

The Hague Convention XIII binds United States.· The United States has adhered to and proclaimed the Hague Convention XIII concerning the Rights and Duties of Neutral Powers in Maritime War. Its provisions would therefore be binding upon the United States in time of a war in which the States concerned were also parties to the Convention.

Art. 28. The provisions of the present convention do not apply except between the contracting powers, and only if all the belligerents are parties to the convention.

Prof. Westlake's opinion.-Prof. Westlake speaking of the rule permitting to a belligerent vessel of a sojourn of 24 hours in a neutral port says:

The first remark on this is that no distinction is made in it between the cases of a belligerent ship of war entering neutral waters in flight from an enemy to escape from peril of the sea or for any reason lying within her free choice. Yet these cases may be distinguished in principle. When refuge is given even for a limited time to a ship of war flying from an enemy, in which must be included the case of escape after defeat although no pursuer may be following close, we have not to do with that aid of a merely general nature which can not fail to be received from any use of a neutral port, but with the interruption of a specifie operation of war to the advantage of the belligerent who is received but not interned. Accordingly the Institute of International Law has justly laid down that "a belligerent ship taking refuge in a neutral port from pursuit, or after being defeated by the enemy, or for want of a sufficient crew to keep the sea, must remain there till the end of the war." The same applies if she conveys there any sick or wounded, and is in a condition for fighting when she has landed them. The sick or wounded, although received and succored, must equally be interned after being healed unless judged to be unfit for military service. The want of a sufficient crew to keep the sea is here put on a level with flight from the enemy, because to permit the recruitment of men would be a more obvious and flagrant breach of neutrality than to permit the receipt of supplies and repairs. In comparing the rule of the Institute with the British rule it must be borne in mind that the latter only limits the stay of a belligerent ship of war, not recognizing or conferring on her a right even to the hospitality so limited, and that an intention can not be presumed to surrender or fetter the power of the Crown to deal with any case as the principles of neutral duty may require. The British rule is not, therefore, to be read as insuring a 24-hour stay, free from internment, to a ship of war flying from her enemy or wanting a sufficient crew to keep the sea, and we can not believe that such would be granted to her. (Westlake, International Law, Part II, War, p. 209.)

Departure of belligerent vessels simultaneously in neutral port.—The question of the order of departure of vessels of opposing belligerent parties when such vessels are at the same time in a neutral port has often given rise to difficulties. Some of these difficulties and the regulations of several States in regard to the sojourn and departure of belligerent vessels from neutral ports are set forth in the notes on Situation II of the Naval War College, International Law Situations of 1908 (pp. 37–52). The question under consideration in 1908 is, however, different from the present situation which relates to permitted departure while the situation of 1908 related particularly to the case of a return to port to escape the enemy. The rules in regard to the departure from neutral ports of the war ships of opposing belligerents have been of slow growth.

Departure of Belligerent Vessels.


At the Second Hague Conference in 1907 a questionnaire asked:

VIII. Comment faut-il regler le cas de navires des deux parties belligérantes se trouvant simultanément dans un port neutre? Fixation de l'ordre des départs.

The replies to this question were as follows:
Great Britain:

(13) Si des navires, soit de guerre soit de commerce, des deux Parties belligérantes se trouvent au même moment dans le même port ou la même rade d'un neutre, le Gouvernement neutre ne devra pas permettre à un vaisseau de guerre d'un des belligérants de quitter le port ou la rade sauf à l'expiration d'un délai de 24 heures après le départ d'un navire, tant de guerre que la commerce, de l'autre belligérant.


(20) L'intervaile de ni plus ni moins de 24 heures doit être maintenu entre le départ d'un port ou des eaux neutres d'un bâtiment de commerce ou d'un bâtiment de guerre d'un belligérant, et le départ des mêmes ports ou eaux neutres d'un bâtiment de guerre de l'autre belligérant. C'est à l'État neutre de décider lequel des bâtiments adversaires partira le premier.


(6) Lorsque des bâtiments de guerre et de commerce des deux parties belligérantes se trouveront simultanément dans un port neutre, il y aura un intervalle de vingt-quatre heures entre le départ subséquent des bâtiments de l'autre belligérant.

De la priorité de la demande faite par les navires de l'un des États belligérants peuvent librement profiter les autres navires du même belligérant se trouvant dans le même port. (Deux. Conf. de la Paix, Tome III, p. 708.)

After much discussion the Hague Conference adopted in the Convention concerning the Rights and Duties of Neutral Powers in Maritime War, the rule that:

ART. 12. In the absence of special provisions to the contrary in the legislation of the neutral power, belligerent ships of war are forbidden to remain in the ports, roadsteads, or territorial waters of the said power for more than 24 hours, except in cases covered by the present convention.

Germany ratified this Convention with reserve on this article 12. Several of the more important naval powers had not ratified the Convention up to July, 1910.

It was interpreted in the Conference that the sense of article 12 was

S'il n'y a pas de loi spéciale édictée par l'État neutre, c'est la loi des 24 heures qui est la règle; il est naturellement loisible à l'État neutre d'établir un autre délai. Mais, la rédaction de l'article rend obligatoire pour les États qui ne veulent pas de la règle de 24 heures, l'établissement d'une autre règle spéciale. (Deux. Conf. Int. de la Paix, Tome III, p. 627.)

The discussion upon the order of departure of belligerent vessels from neutral ports brought out differing opinions. These are briefly summarized in the report of the Third Commission as follows:

Il y avait donc en présence les systèmes sulvants; 1. l'État neutre règle l'ordre des départs; 2. la priorité des demandes est prise en considération; 3. le navire le plus faible part le premier ; 4. l'ordre des arrivées détermine l'ordre des départs.

Ce dernier système a fini par être admis, et l'article 16 ci-après a été voté par 13 voix (Allemagne, États-Unis d'Amérique, Belgique, Brésil, Chine, Danemark, Espagne, France, Italie, Norvège, Russie, Suède, Turquie), contre 3 (Grande-Bretagne, Japon, Portugal) ; les Pays-Bas se sont abstenus.

On a trouvé dangereuse pour l'Etat neutre la faculté de fixer l'ordre des départs même en lui donnant quelques indications. Si très souvent l'inégalité entre deux vaisseaux de guerre est évidente, il peut n'en être pas ainsi et l'autorité du port pourrait être embarrassée. La règle de l'ordre des arrivées est très simple et le neutre n'aura aucune difficulté à l'appliquer. Elle pourra se trouver forcément modifiée si le navire entrant le premier est dans un cas où la durée légale du séjour est prolongée à son profit ; il ne peut être privé de cette prolongation par l'effet de l'obligation de partir le premier. La règle des 24 heures est maintenue dans les rapports d'un bâtiment de guerre et d'un bâtiment de commerce en ce sens que le premier ne peut quitter un port moins de 24 heures après le départ du second, mais la réciproque n'est pas vraie. Rien n'empêche un bâtiment de commerce portant le pavillon d'un belligérant de quitter, si cela lui convient, un port moins de 24 heures après un navire de guerre de l'autre belligérant.

Il n'y a pas non plus de délai de 24 heures entre les départs de deux navires de commerce.

On avait pensé pouvoir écarter la difficulté résultant de la présence simultanée dans un port de deux navires de forces inégales au moyen de la disposition suivante : "Si un navire de guerre belligérant se dispose à entrer dans un port ou dans une rade neutre où se trouve un navire de guerre de son adversaire,

[blocks in formation]

l'autorité locale doit, autant que possible, l'avertir de la présence du navire adverse." (Vol. III, Trois Com. Annexe 53.) Le na vaire ainsi averti aurait vu ce qu'il avait à faire; s'il se sentait plus faible que son adversaire, il pouvait ne pas entrer ou, s'il entrait, il savait qu'il ne pourrait sortir qu'après lui. La proposition a fini par être rejetée par 8 voix (Allemagne, Etats-Unis d'Amérique, Chine, Espagne, Grande-Bretagne, Japon, Portugal, Suède) contre 5 (Belgique, Brésil, Danemark, France, Italie) et 4 abstentions (Norvège, Pays-Bas, Russie, Turquie), parce qu'on a considéré qu'une disposition de ce genre engagerait trop la responsabilité du neutre. (Deux. Conf. Int. de la Paix, Tome I, p. 313.)

Article 16 of the Convention concerning the Rights and Duties of Neutral Powers in Maritime War adopted after much discussion made provision for the order of departure of ships of war from neutral ports.

When ships of war of both belligerents are present simultaneously in the same port or roadstead, a period of not less than 24 hours must elapse between the departure of a ship belonging to the other.

The order of departure is determined by the order of arrival, unless the ship which arrived first is so circumstanced that an extension of the period allowed legally is admissible.

A belligerent ship of war can not leave a neutral port or roadstead less than 24 hours after the departure of a merchant ship flying the flag of its adversary.

Two views.-The treatment of a vessel of war which has entered a neutral port when pursued by an enemy is still a matter for difference of opinion.

One group maintain that, when a ship of war enters a neutral port for a reason which would prompt her to enter even if no war existed, the ship should be granted the fullest hospitality of the port. Thus a ship of war would be received without question when entering because of stress of weather, want of fuel or supplies, need of repairs, provided fuel or supplies were not with the direct purpose of attacking the enemy and repairs were of damages caused by other agencies than the enemy. This group would not limit the stay of a ship of war in a neutral port provided such stay were not directly a part of a military operation. M. de Lapradelle says:

Le traitement du navire de commerce, instrument de la navigation sans combat, s'étend au navire de guerre en tout ce que


« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »