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is the forcible employment of neutral, as well as national, private vessels for purposes of war, as in the conveyance of troops, aminunition, or stores. The right so to employ the national ships may be justified by municipal law; but all the arguments as to its legality, or its legality under pressing necessity, with full compensation to the owner, establish only the right of the robber, who violates the law with a strong, and more or less liberal, hand.
1480. It can hardly be too often repeated that a nation can neither acquire to itself, nor confer on its adversary, any right against neutrals by making war.
SECTION 6. INNOCENT COMMERCE. 1481. In strictness, all commerce between a neutral and a belligerent is innocent, for they are friends, and have a right to traffic with each other; but the word innocent has been used, and for want of a better may be retained, to describe that commerce which, except on the ground of blockade, the adverse belligerent has no right to interrupt. The word guilty is also used, not as indicating guilt in the merchant, but for want also of a better mode of description, to denote contraband; that which, irrespective of blockade, the adverse belligerent has a right to interrupt.
1482. In treating of innocent commerce, we are therefore, although this division of the subject is convenient, continuing the consideration of contraband, for all that is not contraband is innocent. There are subjects of com. merce which have been treated as unlawful, although not classed under the definition of contraband of war. It may be convenient to class those subjects under another head, and to call it prohibited commerce, that which has been condemned irrespective of the rightfulness of the condemnation.
1483. It has been asserted that the neutral was not entitled to acquire and carry on-1st, a traffic which the belligerent was obliged wholly or partially to abstain from carrying in his own ships, especially if that traffic had been interdicted to others previously to the war; we may call this acquired commerce : 2ndly, the coasting trade between the belligerent’s ports ; we may call this belligerent's coasting trade : 3rdly, the trade between the belligerent's homeports and his colonies, or between his colonial ports : we may call this his colonial trade. The principles affecting the coasting and colonial trade are the same, they may therefore be considered together. · 1484. It has been asserted— 1st, that a neutral was not entitled to carry in his ships cargo belonging to the enemy; 2ndly, that a neutral was not entitled to avail himself of the enemy's ships for the conveyance of his own goods.
1485. All these propositions have been more or less the subjects of controversy and dispute; they may be treated under the following heads, that is to say :- 1. Acquired commerce. 2. Enemy's coasting and colonial trade. 3. Enemy's goods in neutral ship. 4. Neutral goods in enemy's ship.
1486. ACQUIRED COMMERCE.-It has been held that a neutral is not entitled to embark in a trade with the colonies of the adverse belligerent which could no longer be carried on by that belligerent, by reason of the difficulties in which he was involved in the war, particularly where such trade had been interdicted before the war (Princessa); as where a nation had prohibited all traffic, except by its own subjects, with one of its colonies. Such a decision is not likely again to occur. It is impossible to find any justification for the doctrine. Not only is such trade but a slender compensation to the neutral for the inconveniences occasioned to him by the war, and an accident like those which interfere with him in other respects, but it has no relation to the principle which forbids the neutral to render the belligerent military aid. It is carried on, so far as the neutral is concerned, exclusively for his own benefit; and as to the adverse belligerent, bis subjects merely buy and sell innocent commodities, which perhaps they could not otherwise acquire or dispose of, but from which they derive no military assistance. If the greater or less need of such commodities, or the greater or less distress or inconvenience occasioned by the want of them for civil purposes, warrant the adversary in capturing the neutral trader, he is warranted in the prohibition of all trade. A belligerent acquires no right to mete out or measure the limits or development of the commerce of his neutral friend; it is affected, in many respects prejudicially, in a few beneficially, by the presence of war.
1487. COASTING AND COLONIAL TRADE.-It has been beld that the ships of a neutral are not entitled to carry the traffic which would or might otherwise have been conveyed by the enemy's ships from one of his ports to another, especially if such traffic had been previously engrossed and conducted in, or restricted to, the belligerent's own vessels. Immanuel.
1488. This in some respects differs from the condition of acquired trade. In some cases the neutral ships may convey cargoes wholly or partly purchased by neutral merchants ; in other cases they may convey cargoes wholly or partially the property of enemies. While the rule that enemy's goods in neutral vessels were liable to condemnation prevailed among some nations, the question was seriously affected by the distinction.
1489. The argument against the acquisition of new traffic by the neutral was of course applied to this subject. In addition, it was said that the neutral mixed himself up, and became associated with, the belligerent. This argument is certainly of no ralue, for the neutral is a friend of each belligerent, and his subjects have a right, in all peaceable occupations, to mix as much as they please with the subjects and peaceful affairs of either. It was said that it greatly aided the enemy by facilitating the communication and dealings between his ports. To this we reply that the neutral is not to be interdicted from his commerce, or the employment of his shipping, merely because either belligerent derives social advantage from dealing with him, or because the adversary deems that advantage excessive. It is further said that by affording this advantage to a belligerent, that belligerent is enabled to employ, for hostile purposes, ships of war, with which he must otherwise convoy and protect his traders ; and that the belligerent is moreover thereby empowered to employ the crews of the vessels, previously occupied in such commerce, on board his men-of-war. It may be true that no ships of war are occupied in convoying such traders, and that the crews of some, or many of the traders, may have been drafted into the ships of war; but all that proves is, that the enemy has relinquished wholly or partially the trade which has been assumed by the neutral, not that he would otherwise have carried it on, not that the crews would have remained on board the traders, not that the ships of war would have been employed as convoys. The neutral is not responsible for the contingent advantages which a belligerent friend of his may derive from the peaceful assistance he affords him; and the adverse belligerent, also his friend, has no right to interfere with such assistance. Should a neutral sovereign undertake any specific commerce for a belligerent, for the purpose of releasing and enabling him to employ his military forces more efficiently against the adverse belligerent, he would be guilty of a breach of neutrality; but the accidental occupations of one merchant or shipowner, or of many, must be considered with regard to their immediate purposes and direct results, and not with regard to conjectural, possible, or even probable consequences.
1490. NEUTRAL GOODS IN ENEMY'S SHIP.—Some prizecourts held that the cargo of a neutral on board the ship of the enemy was liable to confiscation. It is difficult to ascertain upon what principle. Reduced to its siinple condition, it is that the military officer of one Power has found the property of another, with which it is on friendly terms, on board a certain ship ; unless the character of that ship alter the question, it is simply piracy to take it. That ship however belongs to an enemy, therefore the officer has a right to take the ship. The owner of the goods has exposed himself to the danger of his goods being destroyed or damaged in conflict, and to the inconvenience arising from the necessity of separating the goods from the vessel; and as a belligerent can only send his prize to his own country, or temporarily to some convenient friendly port, and as the distinction between the characters of the ship and the cargo are not apparent, that inconvenience may be considerable, and attended with great expense and delay. This inevitable inconvenience the owner, who has so embarked his commodities, must endure. But the neutral and the enemy of the captor were friends of each other, and the same right of .chartering or employing the vessel as between them, continued to exist, as if all the world had continued in peace; the goods were lawfully, though subject to inconveniences, on board of the vessel ; they were therefore the goods of a .friend of the captive in a proper place. The English prize
court did not proceed so far, on the absurd principle that mixing with the enemy warranted confiscation, as to condemn the neutral cargo, but it manifested great reluctance in recognizing the neutral ownership in commodities so embarked. · 1491. The declaration of Paris runs thus:"Neutral goods, with the exception of contraband of war, are not liable to capture under enemy's flag.”
1492. The neutral is still subject to the danger and inconveniences to which we have referred, and must make out his title in the prize court; but, subject to these hazards, he may 'embark his cargo in a belligerent vessel.
· 1493. If the captor can distinguish the cargo, and can, consistently with his duties, convey it conveniently to its destination, it is proper that he should do so, and thereby