Letters to "The Times" upon War and Neutrality (1881-1920)
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Letters to "The Times" upon War and Neutrality (1881-1920)

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Letters To "The Times" Upon War And Neutrality (1881-1920), by Thomas Erskine Holland
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Title: Letters To "The Times" Upon War And Neutrality (1881-1920)
Author: Thomas Erskine Holland
Release Date: December 24, 2004 [EBook #14447]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
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Produced by Robert Connal, Aaron Reed and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team. This file was produced from images generously made available by the Bibliothque nationale de France (BnF/Gallica) at http://gallica.bnf.fr
LETTERS UPON WAR AND NEUTRALITY
(1881-1920)
LETTERS TO "THE TIMES"
UPON
WAR AND NEUTRALITY
(1881-1920)
WITH SOME COMMENTARY
BY
SIR THOMAS ERSKINE HOLLAND
K.C., D.C.L., F.B.A.
FELLOW OF ALL SOULS COLLEGE SOMETIME CHICHELE PROFESSOR OF INTERNATIONAL LAW MEMBRE (PRÉSIDENT 1913) DE L'INSTITUT DE DROIT INTERNATIONAL ETC., ETC.
THIRD EDITION
LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO.
39 PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON FOURTH AVENUE & 30TH STREET, NEW YORK BOMBAY, CALCUTTA, AND MADRAS
1921
PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION
For a good many years past I have been allowed to comment, in letters toThe Timesen raised by the, upon points of International Law, as they have be events of the day. These letters have been fortunate enough to attract some
attention, both at home and abroad, and requests have frequently reached me that they should be rendered more easily accessible than they can be in the files of the newspaper in which they originally appeared.
I have, accordingly, thought that it might be worth while to select, from a greater number, such of my letters as bear upon those questions of War and Neutrality of which so much has been heard in recent years, an d to group them for republication, with some elucidatory matter (more especially with reference to changes introduced by the Geneva Convention of 1906 , The Hague Conventions of 1907, and the Declaration of London of the present year) under the topics to which they respectively relate.
The present volume has been put together in accordance with this plan; and my best thanks are due to the proprietors of The Times for permitting the reissue of the letters in a collected form. Cross-references and a full Index will, I hope, to some extent remove the difficulties which might otherwise be caused by the fragmentary character, and the chances of repetition, inseparable from such a work.
T. E. H. EGGISHORN, SWITZERLAND, September14, 1909.
PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION
I have again to thankThe Timespermission to print in this new edition for letters which have appeared in its columns during the past four years. They will be found to deal largely with still unsettled questions suggested by the work of the Second Peace Conference, by the Declaration of London, and by the, unfortunately conceived, Naval Prize Bill of 1911.
I have no reason to complain of the reception which has so far been accorded to the views which I have thought it my duty to put forward.
T. E. H. OXFORD, January10, 1914.
PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITION
This, doubtless final, edition of my letters upon War and Neutrality contains, by renewed kind permission ofThe Times, the whole series of such letters, covering a period of no less than forty years. To the letters which have already appeared in former editions, I have now added those contained in the "Supplement" of 1916 (for some time out of print) to my second edition; as also others of still more recent date. All these have been grouped, as were their predecessors, under the various topics which they w ere intended to illustrate. The explanatory commentaries have been carefully brought up to date, and a
perhaps superfluously full Index should facilitate reference for those interested in matters of the kind. Such persons may not be sorry to have their attention recalled to many questions which have demanded practical treatment of late years, more especially during the years of the great war.
Not a few of these questions are sure again to come to the front, so soon as the rehabilitation of International Law, rendered necessary by the conduct of that War, shall be seriously taken in hand.
T. E. H. OXFORD, April25, 1921.
CONTENTS
CHAPTER I
MEASURES SHORT OF WAR FOR THE SETTLEMENT OF INTERNATIONAL CONTROVERSIES
SECTION 1
Friendly Measures
The Petition to the President of the United States (1899)Commissions of Enquiry and The Hague Convention (1904)The League of Nations (1919)The League of Nations (1919)The League of Nations (1920)
SECTION 2
Pacific Reprisals
The Blockade of the Menam (1893)Pacific Blockade (1897)The Venezuelan Controversy (1902)The Venezuela Protocol (1903)War and Reprisals (1908)
CHAPTER II
STEPS TOWARDS A WRITTEN LAW OF WAR
Count von Moltke on the Laws of Warfare (1881)Professor Bluntschli's Reply to Count von Moltke (1881)The United States Naval War Code (1901)
A Naval War Code (1902)
CHAPTER III
TERMINOLOGY International Terminology (1918)
CHAPTER IV
CONVENTIONS AND LEGISLATION
Government Bills and International Conventions (1911)The present Bill in Parliament (1914)The Foreign Enlistment Bill (1912)
CHAPTER V
THE COMMENCEMENT OF WAR
SECTION 1
Declaration of War
The Sinking of theKowshing(1894)
SECTION 2
The Immediate Effects of the Outbreak of War
Foreign Soldiers in England (1909)The Naval Prize Bill: Civil Disabilities of Enemy Subjects (1911)Enemy Ships in Port (1917)
CHAPTER VI
THE CONDUCT OF WARFARE
SECTION 1
On the Open Sea
The Freedom of the Seas? (1917)
The Suez Canal (1898)The Suez Canal (1898)
SECTION 2
In Other Waters
The Suez Canal (1898)The Closing of the Dardanelles (1912)The Closing of the Dardanelles (1912)
SECTION 3
In a Special Danger Zone?
The German Threat (1915)
SECTION 4
Aerial Warfare
The Debate on Aeronautics (1909)The Aerial Navigation Act (1913)Sovereignty over the Air (1913)Attack from the Air: The Enforcement of International Law (1914)Attack from the Air: The Rules of International Law (1914)
SECTION 5
Submarines
Germany and the Hague (1914)The "Pirates" (March 13, 1915)Submarine Crews (March 22, 1915)Mr. Wilson's Note (May 16, 1915)
SECTION 6
Lawful Belligerents
Guerilla Warfare (1906)The Russian Use of Chinese Clothing (1904)The Rights of Armed Civilians (1914)Civilians in Warfare: The Right to take up Arms (1914)Civilians and a Raid (1914)Miss Cavell's Case (1915)
SECTION 7
Privateering and the Declaration of Paris
Our Mercantile Marine in War Time (1898)Our Mercantile Marine in War Time (1898)Our Mercantile Marine in War (1898)The Declaration of Paris (1911)The Declaration of Paris (1914)The Declaration of Paris (1916)The Declaration of Paris (1916)
SECTION 8
The Natal Proclamation (1906)
Assassination
SECTION 9
The Choice of Means of Injuring
Bullets in Savage Warfare (1903)Gases (1918)
SECTION 10
The Geneva Convention
Wounded Horses in War (1899)
SECTION 11
Enemy Property in Occupied Territory
International "Usufruct" (1898)Requisitions in Warfare (1902)
SECTION 12
Enemy Property at Sea
Private Property at Sea (1913)
SECTION 13
Martial Law
The Executions at Pretoria (1901)The Petition of Right (1901)The Petition of Right (1902)Martial Law in Natal (1906)
SECTION 14
The Naval Bombardment of Open Coast Towns
Naval Atrocities (1888)The Naval Manoeuvres (1888)The Naval Manoeuvres (1888)Naval Bombardments of Unfortified Places (1904)
SECTION 15
Belligerent Reprisals
Reprisals (1917)Reprisals (1917)
Undesirable Peace Talk (1915)
SECTION 16
Peace
CHAPTER VII
THE RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF NEUTRALS
SECTION 1
The Criterion of Neutral Conduct
Professor de Martens on the Situation (1905)Neutrals and the Laws of War (1915)
SECTION 2
The Duties of Neutral States, and the Liabilities of Neutral Individuals, distinguished
Contraband of War (1904)Coal for the Russian Fleet (1904)German War Material for Turkey (1911)
SECTION 3 Neutrality Proclamations
The British Proclamation of Neutrality (1904)The British Proclamation of Neutrality (1904)The British Proclamation of Neutrality (1911)The Proclamation of Neutrality (1911)
SECTION 4 Neutral Hospitality
Belligerent Fleets in Neutral Waters (1905)TheAppam(1916)
SECTION 5 Carriage of Contraband
Absolute and Conditional ContrabandContraband of War (1898)Is Coal Contraband of War? (1904)Cotton as Contraband of War (1905)Cotton as Contraband of War (1916)Japanese Prize Law (1905)
Japanese Prize Law (1915)Continuous VoyagesPrize Law (1900)TheAllanton(1904)Unqualified CaptorsTheAllanton(1904)
SECTION 6 Methods of Warfare as affecting Neutrals
MinesMines in the Open Sea (1904)Territorial Waters (1904)Cable-cuttingSubmarine Cables (1881)Submarine Cables in Time of War (1897)Submarine Cables in Time of War (1897)
SECTION 7 Destruction of Neutral Prizes
Russian Prize Law (1904)Russian Prize Law (1904)Russian Prize Law (1904)The Sinking of Neutral Prizes (1905)
SECTION 8 An International Prize Court
An International Prize Court (1907)A New Prize Law (1907)A New Prize Law (1907)A New Prize Law (1907)
The Naval Prize Bill (1910)The Naval Prize Bill (1911)Naval Prize Money (1918)
SECTION 9 The Naval Prize Bill
SECTION 10 The Declaration of London
The Declaration of London (1909)The Declaration of London (1910)The Declaration of London (1911)The Declaration of London (1911)The Declaration of London (1911)The Declaration of London (1915)The Declaration of London (1916)Germany wrong again (1917)
INDEX
CHAPTER I
MEASURES SHORT OF WAR FOR THE SETTLEMENT OF INTERNATIONAL CONTROVERSIES
SECTION 1
Friendly Measures
Of the letters which follow, the first was suggested by a petition presented in October, 1899, to the President of the United States, asking him to use his good offices to terminate the war in South Africa; the second by discussions as to the advisability of employing, for the first time, an International Commission of Enquiry, for the purpose of ascertaining the facts of the lamentable attack perpetrated by the Russian fleet upon British fishing vessels off the Dogger Bank, on October 21, 1905. The Commission sat from January 19 to February 25, 1905, and its report was the means of terminating a period of great tension in the relations of the two Powers concerned (seeParl. Paper, Russia, 1905, No. 3): this letter deals also with Arbitration, under The Hague Convention of 1899.
It may be worth while here to point out that besides direct negotiation between the Powers concerned, four friendly methods for the settlement of questions at issue between them are now recognised,viz (1) Good offices and mediation of third Powers; (2) "Special mediation"; (3) "International Commissions of Enquiry"; (4) Arbitration. All four were recommended by The Hague Convention of 1899 "For the Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes" (by which, indeed, (2) and (3) were first suggested), as also by the amended re-issue of that convention in 1907. It must be noticed that resort to any of these methods is entirely discretionary, so far as any rule of International Law is concerned; all efforts to render it universally and unconditionally obligatory having, perhaps fortunately, hitherto failed.
It remains to be seen how far the settlement of international controversies has been facilitated by the establishment of a "League [002]of Nations" (to which reference is made in the concluding letters of this chapter), and, in particular, by the plan for the establishment of a "Permanent Court of International Justice," formulated by the League, in pursuance of Art. 14 of the Treaty of Versailles, and submitted to its members in December, 1920.
THE PETITION TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
Sir,—It seems that a respectably, though perhaps thoughtlessly signed petition was on Thursday presented to President McKinley, urging him to offer his good offices to bring to an end the war now being waged in South Africa. From the New York Worldcablegram, it would appear that the President was requested to take this stepaccordance with Art. 3 of the "in protocol of the Peace
[001]
Conference at The Hague." The reference intended is doubtless to the Convention pour le règlement pacifique des conflits internationaux, prepared at the Conference [of 1899], Art. 3 of which is to the following effect:—
"Les Puissances signataires jugent utile qu'une ou plusieurs Puissances étrangères au conflit offrent de leur propre initiative, en tant que les circonstances s'y prêtent, leurs bons offices ou leur médiation aux États en conflit.
"Le droit d'offrir les bons offices ou la médiation appartient aux Puissances étrangères au conflit, même pendant le cours des hostilités.
"L'exercice de ce droit ne peut jamais être considéré par l'une ou l'autre des parties en litige comme un acte peu amical."
Several remarks are suggested by the presentation of this petition:—
(1) One might suppose from the glib reference here and elsewhere made to The Hague Convention, that this convention is already in force, whereas it is [1899], in the case of most, if not all, of the Pow ers represented at the conference, a mere unratified draft, under the consideration of the respective Governments.
(2) The article, if it were in force, would impose no duty of offering good offices, but amounts merely to the expression of opinion that an offer of good offices is a [003]useful and unobjectionable proceeding, in suitable cases (en tant que les circonstances s'y prêtent). It cannot for a moment be supposed that the President would consider that an opportunity of the kind contemplated was offered by the war in South Africa.
(3) One would like to know at what date, if at all, the Prime Minister of the British colony of the Cape was pleased, as is alleged, to follow the lead of the Presidents of the two Boer Republics in bestowing his grateful approval upon the petition in question.
Oxford, October 28 (1899).
Your obedient servant, T. E. HOLLAND
Par. 2 (1).—The Convention of 1899 was ratified by Great Britain, on September 4, 1900; and between that year and 1907 practically all civilised Powers ratified or acceded to it. It is now, for almost all Powers, superseded by The Hague Convention, No. i. of 1907, which, reproduces Art. 3 of the older Convention, inserting, however, after the word "utile," the words "et désirable."
Ib.March 6, 1900, the two Boer Republics proposed that peace should be (2).—On made on terms which included the recognition of their independence. Great Britain having, on March 11, declared such recognition to be inadmissible, the European Powers which were requested to use their good offices to bring this about declined so to intervene. The President of the United States, however, in a note delivered in London on March 13, went so far as to "express an earnest hope that a way to bring about peace might be found," and to say that he would aid "in any friendly manner to bring about so happy a result." Lord Salisbury, on the following day, while thanking the United States Government, replied that "H.M. Government does not propose to accept the intervention of any Power in the South African War." Similar replies to similar offers had been made both by France and Prussia in 1870, and by the United States in 1898.