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the port in which it is advertised, from the shortest period after the advertisement which is consistent with a just presumption that it has come to the knowledge of the master.
1547. But if, simultaneously with the proclamation, information arrives that the blockading squadron has been driven off by the enemy, it does not constitute an effective notice. It however involves a duty on the part of the ship to inquire on each convenient opportunity in her voyage. .
1548. It has been said in the prize court that a proclaimed blockade must be presumed to continue until it is by like authority declared to have ceased, at least, until there is a clear case of its determination by cessation of the fact. (Neptunus.) This is not quite accurate. If trustworthy information has been received in the port from which she sails, a ship is entitled to proceed, making reasonable inquiry, as in the case of such information arriving contemporaneously with the notice.
15+9. GENERAL INFORMATION.-It has been said in the prize court that evidence of ignorance of a blockade, when matter of general notoriety, as it has been called, must be perfectly satisfactory to the court (Union),-a doctrine doubtless most agreeable to captors, but a reversal of all the rules of law and common sense. What is general notoriety ? assume it more than mere rumour, assume it specific and extensively known, to establish guilt against a man otherwise pursuing a lawful avocation, the obligation rests upon the accuser to prove the person otherwise inno. cent to be guilty, The Privy Council rescued the law of this country from the ignoming of a such a doctrine. (Fran, ciska.) It was held necessary to show that the master of the ship was in such a situation as to warrant the presumption that he was aware of it, and the notorious blockade was tried on its validity and found wanting.
1550. INQUIRY.It has been said in the prize court that a ship is bound to inquire at the ports which lie in the way; that she is not entitled to approach the blockaded river or
estuary to inquire of the blockading squadron; that it is only under special circumstances that she is entitled to do 80. Union.
1551. If this doctrine is confined to the ship after she has received notice of the blockade, or after it has become so well known as to raise a fair presumption that she has become informed of it, the proposition is accurate : but it seems to have been stated generally; if so, it is erroneous. The only presumption on which a ship at peace with all nations, and uninformed of blockade, is bound to proceed on her voyage is, that every port is open, on payment of usual dues, to receive her. The belligerent who closes a port by blockade is bound to discharge his duty by informing her of it before he interferes with her prugress, or calls upon her to perform a duty which does not arise until he has given her due information. The prudent mariner will, however, avail himself in time of war of convenient opportunity of inquiry, especially from ships of the belligerent, as to the condition of the ports of his destination, especially if they have been blockaded. Whea. 577. Betsy. Neptunus.
1552. The Privy Council of England has of late corrected some of the disgraceful doctrines of the prize court, and, among other such corrections, has declared in effect that if a mariner has, on sailing, no notice of an effectual blockade, although he had been in a situation in which it would be presumed that he had been informed of a blockade which was improperly proclaimed, he is not bound to speculate upon a blockade de facto being established.
1553. ATTEMPT TO BREAK THE BLOCKADE.— We have stated what ships are privileged to quit a blockaded port, and what notice is essential to constitute the attempt of others to enter or quit it a violation of the law of blockade.
1554. We have now to inquire what act, after such notice, is sufficient to constitute the offence. It must be the proceeding to enter the port, which we denominate ingress; or
the attempt to quit it, which we call egress, although neither of the words may be quite apposite.
1555. INGRESS.—There can be no breach of blockade, un. less the true destination of the ship is to a blockaded port or place; that is, either her original sole place of destination, or one of her original places of destination, or a place at which she is to call without reference to its being blockaded, or a new destination adopted instead of, or in addition to, her original destination; or a deviation to enter it.
1556. Her destination to any port of a neutral, or to any open port of either belligerent, however near the beleaguered place, is no violation of the law of blockade.
1557. The true destination is often concealed, and a false one indicated by the papers. Papers indicating destination to the blockaded place are evidence against a vessel. All her papers are to be assumed to be honest, unless there is some just cause of suspicion, and it is incumbent on those who allege it to prove fabrication.
1558. Concealment of destination is indicative of an intention to proceed to an unlawful port; as with munitions of war, to proceed to the port of a belligerent;—in the neighbourhood of a blockaded port, of an intention to enter it.
1559. The offence of attempting ingress begins from the moment of sailing, whether on her original or altered destination, for the purpose of proceeding to the besieged port. But she may sail from a distant country to an open port near that which is blockaded, to await the discontinuance of the blockade. Calypso. Jonge Petronella. Franciska.
1560. She may not sail from a port so near that under blockade as to indicate an intention of entering it, unless news has arrived that the blockade has been raised or discontinued.
1561. She may not hover so near as to raise a fair presumption of her intention to enter. Searching for a pilot and other pretexts will not avail a vessel endeavouring to get under the protection of the land batteries of a blockaded barbour. Neutralität.
1562. EGRESS.—Coming out with a cargo loaded after the notice of blockade, although she bad entered in ballast, is breach of blockade. Betsy. Francisca.
1563. A blockading squadron ought to allow ships found in a blockaded port a reasonable time after notice to unload, and even to load and sail out. This is sometimes done. Elize.
1564. Coming out even in ballast, after having broken through the same blockade, bas been held a breach of blockade. A vessel purchased from the enemy after notice of the blockade is guilty of a breach of it, although coming out in ballast. Whea. 584.
1565. A vessel licensed to enter a blockaded port is inferentially licensed to come out again with a new cargo.
1566. A ship which came out in ballast, but took on board, outside the blockaded harbour, a cargo from boats sent along the coast to meet her, was held guilty of breach of blockade. Neutralität. Stert.
1567. Blockade is a sea-siege, and consequently cannot be violated by ingress or egress by land or by inland waters. Therefore, notwithstanding a blockade, a merchant is entitled to import or export his goods, or to send his vessels by inland navigation, river, or canal, to or from a blockaded port, from or to one which is open, as freely as he may convey them by carriages or a caravan. Comet.
SECTION 8. VISITATION AND SEARCH.
A sail! a sail ! a promised prize to hope
Her nation-flag-how speaks the telescope ?—Corsair. · 1568. Visitation and search are to be performed by an officer who is interested in the extravagant exercise of his office, who is interested in being suspicious, and who has been generally indemnified by the prize court in even unwarranted suspicion. · 1569. We have spoken of it in its limited character in connection with the national revenue, and as conceded, to
some extent, with reference to piracy and the slave-trade. As an international right, or rather as a concession of neutrals to belligerents, it is confined to contraband of war, the detection of attempts to interfere with blockade, and the ascertaining that the vessel is not an enemy.
1570. It is an act of sovereignty, and therefore can be exercised only by the officers of public ships of the state. Until lately, the neutral nations were insulted by the institution of search by the licensed plunderers called privateers. If the sovereign is so destitute of war-ships as to be under the necessity, as in times of yore, of summoning the merchant service to his assistance, and thus improvising a navy, let him at least convert them into public ships, and make their commanders, however ill-disciplined, responsible for their conduct to him, and thus, for the honour of his nation, towards foreign states.
1571. The execution of the office consists in ascertaining, by her flag and papers, to what nation a ship belongs, to what port she is really bound, and by these papers and examination of her cargo, so far as it is practicable on the open sea, whether she carries contraband of war.
1572. Not OF PUBLIC SHIPs.--As the act is one to be exercised only by the armed ships representing the sovereignty of the state, so they cannot violate the sovereign rights of any other state by visiting or searching the ships which bear its commission. No government will permit its sovereignty to be insulted, or its ships of war to be suspected of piracy, of enmity, or rendering service to a hostile state. The neutral war-ships enjoy entire immunity from search, even within the national waters of the belligerents. If they offend, complaint of their conduct must be addressed to the sovereign of whose power they constitute a part. We have spoken of visitation and search as connected with convoy.
1573. PRIVATE VESSELS.-In time of war all private ships not under convoy are liable to the visitation and search of the ships of war of either belligerent.