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HARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY
DEPOSITED BY THE LIBRARY OF THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
JUN 21 1940
THE SECOND EDITION.
THE NECESSITY having arisen for the issue of a new edition of this volume, it appears to me to be my duty not only to express in this Preface my grateful acknowledgment of the favour with which the first edition has been received, but likewise to add, with respect to the subject matter therein treated, a few remarks necessitated either by actual or attempted subsequent legislation.
But before I do so, I may be permitted for a moment to refer to certain critical observations which came to my notice soon after the publication of the first edition, and which characterised my work as an exposition of German views. I am, however, although a native of Germany, a British subject, and have been a resident in this country for more than twenty years, during which not only a close observance of everything relating to maritime commerce, but a careful study of our Laws and Customs, have been my constant duty.
So that, although the introduction of steam power and telegraphic communication has more than pre
viously cemented all the nations of the world into one and the same great Trading Community, and therefore in the improvement of our Laws not only British subjects, but the citizens of all other nations have a very material interest, my observations on them were never intended to be merely foreign views, which, if disagreeable to a very influential body of men, could readily be shelved, but the suggestions of a British subject, who has been for more than thirty years practically engaged in the consideration of matters of International and General Maritime Law, to an extent which falls to the lot of only few. This will readily be believed by those who are aware that I have been for years, and am now, honoured with the powers of attorney of more than Two hundred Marine Insurance Companies and Associations in different States of Europe and America, for the purpose of protecting their interests in cases of shipwreck within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and of conducting their Lawsuits within this territory. This fact should, I think, give some weight to the remarks which I feel it my duty to submit; and here may I beg to remind my readers of a sentence which His Royal Highness the late Prince Consort uttered on a rather remarkable occasion, to the following effect:
I conceive it to be the duty of every educated person closely to watch and study the time in which he lives, and, as far as in him lies, to add his humble mite of individual exertion to further the accomplishment of what he believes Providence to have ordained.
Nobody, however, who has paid any attention to the peculiar features of our present era, will doubt for a moment that we are living at a period of most wonderful
transition, which tends rapidly to accomplish that great end to which, indeed, all history points--the realisation of the unity of mankind.
Not a unity which breaks down the limits and levels the peculiar characteristics of the different nations of the earth, but rather a unity, the result and product of those very national varieties and antagonistic qualities. The alterations I have made in this edition are but few; the principal are the different order in which the contents appear, and, in consequence of a suggestion for which I feel very grateful, the reprint of the clauses of the Acts upon which my observations were intended to bear.
I trust that the class of readers for whom this second edition is more particularly intended will find this more systematical form an improvement, and that the same may be said for the addition made in reprinting the clauses of the different Acts.
Let me now review, as concisely as possible, the different subjects in their present order.
I. I am sorry to be obliged to record that, in spite of the repeated attempts made by the Associated Chambers of Commerce to prevail upon the Board of Trade to make the International General Average Rules, as adopted at the Congress of Delegates at York, in September 1864, a subject of imperial legislation, nothing has been done.
Why not, may appear a mystery to those who remember that at the request of the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce the Foreign Office issued instructions to their principal consular officers abroad, for the purpose of urging upon the authorities where they were accre. dited, the desirability of sending delegates to the York Congress, expressing at the same time the deep interest Her Majesty's Government felt in the result of the deliberations. Such result may have been unexpected, but it was to be hoped that the interest of the Government might survive the disclosure that some of our peculiarities were almost universally condemned,
That under such circumstances the International Law of Affreightment, as adopted at a Congress held at Sheffield in 1865, which is of equal importance to the mercantile community generally, has not been brought by the Board of Trade before any branch of the Legislature, cannot surprise.
It has often been remarked that if the late Lord Kingsdown had been sitting, such an infringement of International Law as the Judicial Committee of Her Majesty's Privy Council committed in the decision of the “Marie de Brabant,' could never have occurred ; but it is more remarkable still that, notwithstanding the conclusions which I submitted in this correspondence, the Law Officers of the Crown should not have insisted on recommending the erasure of this blot from our Statute-book; or, is the influence of the large Steamboat Companies so great that they can with their power so easily defy the clear and incontrovertible right ?