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THE SLAVE TRADE.
General Instrucions for Commanders of Her Majesty's Ships and
Vessels employed in the Suppression of the Slave T'rade.
Admiral of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and
1. THE Slave Trade has been denounced by all the civilized AUTHORITY. world as repugnant to every principle of justice and humanity. You are, however, to bear in mind, that Great Britain claims no rights whatever with respect to foreign ships engaged in that traffic, excepting such as the Law of Nations warrants, or as she possesses by virtue of special Treaties and Conventions with particular States.
2. In proceeding to deal with a vessel suspected of being engaged in the Slave Trade, you are in the first instance to refer to that part of the Instructions which applies to the particular circumstances of the case. But those Instructions in no degree diminish the necessity of a careful study of the Treaty, Convention, or Law, upon which they are founded. You are, therefore, to make yourself thoroughly conversant with the Treaties, Conventions, and Laws, as well as with all the Instructions given to you relative to the Slave Trade; and you are to enjoin the Officers under your command to make themselves acquainted with the parts that refer to the duties which those Officers may have to perform; taking care to afford every facility for this purpose.
3. The powers with which you are invested on this service are entrusted to you for the sole purpose of suppressing the Slave Trade, and are never to be exercised without reasonable grounds of suspicion, that the case is one of a vessel liable, on account of being engaged in the Slave Trade, to be brought to justice by Her Majesty's ship under your command.
4. You are not to visit a vessel under a Foreign flag on the High Seas on suspicion of Slave Trade, except in virtue of special authority under. Treaty, or in case you have reason to
believe that the vessel has no right or title to claim the protection of the flag she bears.
5. You are not on any account to search any vessel, whether British or Foreign, lying within the recognized jurisdiction of a Foreign civilized State, without the formal permission of the local Authorities.
Demeanouk 6. Towards every functionary, British or Foreign, with TO BE OB- whom you may come into contact, you will invariably maintain
a respectful and courteous demeanour. AND MEN 7. Towards the masters and crews of vessels whose cases it
will be your duty to investigate, in the service of suppressing the Slave Trade, you will not only use moderation, and discretion, combined with firmness in the execution of the duty entrusted to you, but will take every opportunity of affording them assistance in distress; giving them medical advice when required, and furnishing supplies where they are urgently needed, and can properly be spared by Her Majesty's ships.
8. You will take special care to ensure propriety of language and demeanour on the part of Officers, seamen and marines, towards all persons with whom they may come into contact in the service of suppressing the Slave Trade; and they must be reminded that any breach of discipline, or any exhibition of intemperance, will be visited with severe punishment. And in all cases Her Majesty's Officers are to recollect, that they will be held answerable, not only for their own conduct, but for that of their men.
BRINGING 9. You are not, without necessity, to resort to coercive meaVesseLS TO. sures for bringing vessels to; and you are to be cautious not to
occasion further deviation from the course such vessels are steering, than a due regard to the service on which you are employed may require; and you will bear in mind that, in every case, and in all stages of the proceedings, it is highly important to cause to the vessel visited as little delay or inconvenience as possible, consistent with the effectual discharge of the duty to be executed.
10. You are not entitled to insist, that a boat shall be sent to you from a vessel which has been brought-to for the purpose of being visited, or that any person shall come, or that any papers shall be brought, on board of Her Majesty's ships upon such occasion.
11. On all occasions of visiting suspected vessels, the Officer sent on board is to be in proper uniform, and of the rank required by the Treaty or Instructions under which the visit is made; and the boat in which he goes is always to carry a British flag and pendant: and he is to be provided with the documents conferring authority to Visit and Search, and the Instructions applicable to the occasion.
12. Before an Officer proceeds to search a vessel, the minutest inspection is to be made of her papers, and every information