Earl Granville to Her Majesty’s High
My Lord and Gentlemen: With reference to my other dispatch of this day’s date, in which I have adverted to the revision of the rules of maritime neutrality as being one of the subjects which will probably be presented for your consideration, I have to state to you that the [Page 378] extent to which a neutral country may be hereafter held justly liable for the dispatch, after notice, of a vessel under similar circumstances to those in the case of the Alabama cannot be precisely defined in the present stage of the controversy; but there are other points in which it may be convenient to you to be informed beforehand that this government are willing to enter into an agreement.
That no vessel employed in the military or naval service of any belligerent which shall have been equipped, fitted out, armed, or dispatched contrary to the neutrality of neutral state should be admitted into any port of that state.
That prizes captured by such vessels, or otherwise captured in violation of the neutrality of any state, should, if brought within the jurisdiction of that state, be restored.
That, in time of war, no vessel should be recognized as a ship of war, or received in any port of a neutral state as a ship of war, which has not been commissioned in some port in the actual occupation of the government by whom her commission is issued.
The first of these rules has been incorporated into the foreign-enlistment act, passed during the last year, and both the first and second were included in the report of the royal commission for inquiring into the neutrality laws.
I am, &c.,