Rules in regard to belligerent vessels in French ports.


ministry of marine and of the colonies.

The minister of marine and of the colonies to the maritime prefects; general officers, superiors, and others commanding at sea; commandant of marine in Algeria; governors of colonies; commissaries general of marine; chiefs of the marine seryice in secondary ports; and administrators of the maritime inscription.

first direction—second bureau.—movements.

Rules to be observed in regard to vessels of belligerents.

Paris, February 5, 1864.

[314] Gentlemen: By its declarations of the 10th of June, 1861, inserted in the Moniteur, the Emperor’s government has made known the principles which serve as a basis to *the neutrality it intended to observe in the war which insanguines North America.

Since then, these principles have received their application as well in our colonies as in the ports of the mother country.

But the continuation of the war having led the belligerents to carry the theater of maritime hostilities into the neighboring waters of the neutral states of Europe and brought them to seek in our ports the means of repairs or of provisioning, the Emperor’s government has [Page 43] deemed it useful to remind you again of the rules to be observed in order, to maintain its neutrality, conformably to public law and to the traditions of the French marine, and to determine consequently on the treatment which is to be applied, without distinction of flag,to the vessels of the belligerents.

You will therefore have to attend to the strict execution of the following regulations:

No vessel of war or belligerent privateer will be allowed to stay more than twenty-four hours in a port of the empire of the French colonies, or in the adjacent waters, except in the case of a forced putting in on account of bad weather, of injuries, or of exhaustion of provisions, necessary to the safety of the voyage.
[315] In no case can a belligerent make use of a French port for a purpose of war, or for there supplying himself with arms or munitions of war, or for there *executing, under pretext of repairs, works whose object is to increase his military power.
There can only be furnished to a vessel of war or belligerent privateer the provisions, stores, and means of repair necessary for the subsistence of her crew and for the safety of her voyage.
No vessel of war or belligerent privateer allowed to take in provisions or to make repairs in a French port can prolong her stay there beyond twenty-four hours after her supplies shall have been shipped and her repairs finished, except in the case hereinafter provided for.
When vessels of war, privateers, or merchant-vessels of the two belligerent parties are found together in a French port, there shall be an interval of not less than twenty-four hours between the departure of any vessel (of one of the belligerents, and the subsequent departure) of any vessel of war or privateer of the other belligerent.

This delay shall be extended, in case of need, by order of the maritime authority, as long as may be necessary.

You will take care to make known the foregoing regulations to every vessel of either of the belligerents which may come into the ports, roadsteads, or waters subject to your command.

Accept, gentlemen, the assurance of my very distinguished consideration.

Minister Secretary of State, of Marine, and of Colonies.

Inserted in the official bulletin, 1864.