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$ 89. Non-hostile Redress Good offices, mediation, and arbitration can only extend to international differences of certain kinds. Such measures are not applicable to all cases of disagreement, nor are such measures always acceptable to both parties. Consequently certain other practices have arisen with the view of obtaining satisfaction by measures short of war. Formerly an individual might be commissioned by a letter of marque and reprisal to obtain satisfaction from a state for injuries which he had suffered. This practice is, however, discontinued, 1 and satisfaction must be obtained through the proper state channels. The means by which satisfaction may be claimed vary, and are usually classed as retorsions, reprisals, of which embargo is an important variety, and pacific blockades.
$ 90. Retorsion Retorsion is a species of retaliation in kind.2 Retorsion may not consist in acts precisely identical with those which have given offense, though it is held that the acts should be analogous. The offense in consequence of which measures of retorsion are taken may be an act entirely legitimate and desirable from the point of view of the offending state. Another state may, however, consider the act as discourteous, injurious, discriminating, or unduly severe. In recent years commercial retorsion has become a very important means of retaliation which, bearing heavily upon mod
13 Phillimore, 21, 22. 2 Pradier-Fodéré, 2634-2636.
ern communities, may lead to a speedy settlement of difficulties. The tariff wars of recent years show the effectiveness of commercial retorsion, e.g. the measures in consequence of the tariff disagreements between France and Switzerland in 1892. These measures of retorsion should always be within the bounds of municipal and international law.
$ 91. Reprisals Reprisals are acts of a state performed with a view to obtaining redress for injuries. The injuries leading to reprisals may be either to the state or to a citizen, and the acts of reprisal may fall upon the offending state or upon its citizens either in goods or person. The general range of acts. of reprisal may be by (1) the seizure and confiscation of public property or private property, and (2) the restraint of intercourse, political, commercial, or general. In extreme cases, acts of violence upon persons belonging to one state, when in a foreign state, have led to similar acts upon the part of the state whose subjects are injured against the subjects of the foreign state. This practice is looked upon with disfavor, though it might be sanctioned by extremest necessity. Acts of retaliation for the sake of revenge are generally discountenanced.
$ 92. Embargo Embargo consists in the detention of ships and goods which are within the ports of the state resorting to this means of reprisal. It may be (1) civil or pacific embargo, the detention of its own ships, as by the act of the United States Congress in 1807, to avoid risk on account of the Berlin Decree of Napoleon, 1806, and the British Orders in Council, 1807 ; or (2) hostile, the detention of the goods and ships of another state. It was formerly the custom to detain within the ports of a given state the ships of the state upon which it desired to make reprisals, and if the relations between the states led to war to confiscate such ships. Hostile embargo may now be said to be looked upon with disfavor, and a contrary policy is generally adopted, by which merchant vessels may be allowed a certain time in which to load and depart even after the outbreak of hostilities. The Naval War Code of the United States provides that “ Merchant vessels of the enemy, in ports within the jurisdiction of the United States at the outbreak of war, shall be allowed thirty days after war has begun to load their cargoes and depart.” 1 By the proclamation of the President of the United States declaring that war with Spain had existed since April 21, 1898, it was also declared that “Spanish merchant vessels, in any ports or places within the United States, shall be allowed till May 21, 1898, inclusive, for loading their cargoes and departing from such ports or places.” 2 Spain, by the royal decree of April 23, 1898, declared “A term of five days from the date of the publication of the present royal decree in the Madrid Gazette is allowed to all United States ships anchored in Spanish ports, during which they are at liberty to depart.” 3
1 Art. 15, U. S. Naval War Code; Proclamations and Decrees, p. 77. See Appendix, p. 405.
2 30 U. S. Sts. at Large, 1770. 8 Proclamations and Decrees, p. 93.
§ 93. Pacific Blockade Pacific blockade is a form of reprisal or constraint which consists in the blockading by one or more states of certain ports of another state without declaring or making war upon that state. In the conduct of such blockades practice has varied greatly. In general, however, the vessels of states not parties to the blockade are not subject to seizure. Such vessels may be visited by a ship of the blockading squadron in order to obtain proof of identity. Whether vessels under foreign flags are liable to other inconveniences or to any penalties is not defined by practice or opinion of text writers. “ The Institute of International Law,” in 1887, provided that pacific blockade should be effective against the vessels of the blockaded party only. This position seemed to be one which could be generally accepted. From the nature of pacific blockade as a measure short of war, its consequences should be confined only to the parties concerned. The pacific blockade of Greece in 1886 extended only to vessels flying the Greek flag, but the admirals of the Great Powers in the pacific blockade of Crete in 1897 endeavored to establish the right to control other than Greek vessels if they carried merchandise for the Greek troops or for the interior of the island. As no case arose to test the claim, this question cannot be regarded as settled.
The provisions of the pacific blockade of Crete in 1897 were as follows :
“The blockade will be general for all ships under the Greek flag
1 Parl. Papers, Greece, No. 4, 1886.
“Ships of the six powers or neutral may enter into the ports occupied by the powers and land their merchandise, but only if it is not for the Greek troops or the interior of the island. These ships may be visited by the ships of the international fleets.
“ The limits of the blockade are comprised between 23° 24' and 26° 30' longitude east of Greenwich, and 35° 48' and 34° 45' north latitude.” 1
The Secretary of State of the United States, in acknowledging the receipt of the notification of the action of the powers, said, “ I confine myself to taking note of the communication, not conceding the right to make such a blockade as that referred to in your communication, and reserving the consideration of all international rights and of any question which may in any way affect the commerce or interests of the United States.”2 The weight of authority supports the position of the United States.
The first attempt to establish a blockade without resorting to war was in 1827, when Great Britain, France, and Russia blockaded the coasts of Greece with a view to putting pressure upon the Sultan, its nominal ruler. Since that time there have been pacific blockades varying in nature: blockade of Tagus by France, 1831; New Granada by England, 1836 ; Mexico by France, 1838; La Plata by France, 1838 to 1840; La Plata by France and England, 1845 to 1848; Greece by England, 1850; Formosa by France, 1884; Greece by Great Britain, Germany, Austria, Italy, and Russia, 1886; Zanzibar by Portugal, 1888; and Crete by Great Britain, Germany,
1 The London Gazette, March 19, 1897. 2 U. S. For. Rel., 1897, p. 255.