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CONTRABAND OF WAR ART. 34. The term “contraband of war” includes only articles having a belligerent destination and purpose. Such articles are classed under two general heads :
(1) Articles that are primarily and ordinarily used for military purposes in time of war, such as arms and munitions of war, military material, vessels of war, or instruments made for the immediate manufacture of munitions of war.
(2) Articles that may be and are used for purposes of war or peace, according to circumstances.
Articles of the first class, destined for ports of the enemy or places occupied by his forces, are always contraband of war.
Articles of the second class, when actually and especially destined for the military or naval forces of the enemy, are contraband of war.
In case of war, the articles that are conditionally and unconditionally contraband, when not specifically mentioned in treaties previously made and in force, will be duly announced in a public manner.
ART. 35. Vessels, whether neutral or otherwise, carrying contraband of war destined for the enemy, are liable to seizure and detention, unless treaty stipulations otherwise provide.
Art. 36. Until otherwise announced, the following articles are to be treated as contraband of war:
Absolutely contraband. — Ordnance; machine guns and their appliances and the parts thereof; armor plate and whatever pertains to the offensive and defensive armament of naval vessels ; arms and instruments of iron, steel, brass, or copper, or of any other material, such arms and instruments being specially adapted for use in war by land or sea; torpedoes and their appurtenances; cases for mines, of whatever material; engineering and transport materials, such as gun carriages, caissons, cartridge boxes, campaigning forges, canteens, pontoons; ordnance stores; portable range finders; signal flags destined for naval use; ammunition and explosives of all kinds and their component parts; machinery for the manufacture of arms and munitions of war; saltpeter; military accouterments and equipments of all sorts; horses and mules.
Conditionally contraband. - Coal, when destined for a naval station, a port of call, or a ship or ships of the enemy; materials for the construction of railways or telegraphs; and money, when such materials or money are destined for the enemy's forces; provisions, when actually destined for the enemy's military or naval forces.
BLOCKADE ART. 37. Blockades, in order to be binding, must be effective; that is, they must be maintained by a force sufficient to render hazardous the ingress to or egress from a port.
If the blockading force be driven away by stress of weather and return without delay to its station, the continuity of the blockade is not thereby broken. If the blockading force leave its station voluntarily, except for purposes of the blockade, or is driven away by the enemy, the blockade is abandoned or broken. The abandonment or forced suspension of a blockade requires a new notification of blockade.
Art. 38. Neutral vessels of war must obtain permission to pass the blockade, either from the government of the State whose forces are blockading the port, or from the officer in general or local charge of the blockade. If necessary, these vessels should establish their identity to the satisfaction of the commander of the local blockading force. If military operations or other reasons should so require, permission to enter a blockaded port can be restricted or denied.
ART. 39. The notification of a blockade must be made before neutral vessels can be seized for its violation. This notification may be general, by proclamation, and communicated to the neutral States through diplomatic channels; or it may be local, and announced to the authorities of the blockaded port and the neutral consular officials thereof. A special notification may be made to individual vessels, which is duly indorsed upon their papers as a warning. A notification to a neutral State is a sufficient notice to the citizens or subjects of such State. If it be established that a neutral vessel has knowledge or notification of the blockade from any source, she is subject to seizure upon a violation or attempted violation of the blockade.
The notification of blockade should declare, not only the limits of the blockade, but the exact time of its commencement and the duration of time allowed a vessel to discharge, reload cargo, and leave port.
Art. 40. Vessels appearing before a blockaded port, having sailed before notification, are entitled to special notification by a blockading vessel. They should be boarded by an officer, who should enter upon the ship's log or upon its papers, over his official signature, the name of the notifying vessel, a notice of the fact and extent of the blockade, and of the date and place of the visit. After this notice, an attempt on the part of the vessel to violate the blockade makes her liable to capture.
ART. 41. Should it appear, from the papers of a vessel or otherwise, that the vessel had sailed for the blockaded port after the fact of the blockade had been communicated to the country of her port of departure, or after it had been commonly known at that port, she is liable to capture and deten. tion as a prize. Due regard must be had in this matter to any treaties stipulating otherwise.
ART. 42. A neutral vessel may sail in good faith for a blockaded port, with an alternative destination to be decided upon by information as to the continuance of the blockade obtained at an intermediate port. In such case, she is not allowed to continue her voyage to the blockaded port in alleged quest of information as to the status of the blockade, but must obtain it and decide upon her course before she arrives in suspicious vicinity ; and if the blockade has been formally established with due notification, sufficient doubt as to the good faith of the proceeding will subject her to capture.
ART. 43. Neutral vessels found in port at the time of the establishment of a blockade, unless otherwise specially ordered, will be allowed thirty days from the establishment of the blockade, to load their cargoes and depart from such port.
Art. 44. The liability of a vessel purposing to evade a blockade, to capture and condemnation, begins with her departure from the home port and lasts until her return, unless in the meantime the blockade of the port is raised.
Art. 45. The crews of neutral vessels violating or attempting to violate a blockade are not to be treated as prisoners of war, but any of the officers or crew whose testimony may be desired before the prize court should be detained as witnesses.
THE SENDING IN OF PRIZES Art. 46. Prizes should be sent in for adjudication, unless otherwise directed, to the nearest suitable port, within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States, in which a prize court may take action.
ART. 47. The prize should be delivered to the court as nearly as possible in the condition in which she was at the time of seizure, and to this end her papers should be carefully sealed at the time of seizure and kept in the custody of the prize master.
ART. 48. All witnesses whose testimony is necessary to the adjudication of the prize should be detained and sent in
with her, and if circumstances permit, it is preferable that the officer making the search should act as prize master.
The laws of the United States in force concerning prizes and prize cases must be closely followed by officers and men of the United States Navy.
Art. 49. The title to property seized as prize changes only by the decision rendered by the prize court. But if the vessel or its cargo is needed for immediate public use, it may be converted to such use, a careful inventory and appraisal being made by impartial persons and certified to the prize court.
Art. 50. If there are controlling reasons why vessels that are properly captured may not be sent in for adjudication such as unseaworthiness, the existence of infectious disease, or the lack of a prize crew — they may be appraised and sold, and if this can not be done, they may be destroyed. The imminent danger of recapture would justify destruction, if there should be no doubt that the vessel was a proper prize. But in all such cases all of the papers and other testimony should be sent to the prize court, in order that a decree may be duly entered.
ARMISTICE, TRUCE, AND CAPITULATIONS, AND VIOLATIONS OF
LAWS OF WAR ART. 51. A truce or capitulation may be concluded, without special authority, by the commander of a naval force of the United States with the commander of the forces of the enemy, to be limited, however, to their respective commands.
A general armistice requires an agreement between the respective belligerent governments.
ART. 52. After agreeing upon or signing a capitulation the capitulator must neither injure nor destroy the vessels, property, or stores in his possession that he is to deliver up, unless the right to do so is expressly reserved to him in the agreement or capitulation.