Mr. Swenson to Mr. Hay.

No. 341.]

Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith copies, together with translations, of a notice issued February 10, 1904, and a proclamation dated the 27th ultimo, both bearing on the neutrality of Denmark in the present war between Russia and Japan. The latter document has been formulated after an interchange of views between the Governments of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. There was a desire to secure a uniformity in rules to be adopted, and this has been accomplished with one or two minor exceptions. You will observe that the Danish decree specifically concerns itself with the “Present war between Russia and Japan,” whereas the Swedish, as I understand, is drawn so as to be applicable in any war, omitting reference by name. A number of ports are declared closed to warships belonging to the, belligerents; which is not the case, in Denmark.

* * * * * * *

I have, etc.,

Laurits S. Swenson.
[Inclosure 1.—Translation.]

Royal proclamation relative to neutrality of Denmark.

Whereas we have decided to preserve a strict neutrality during the present war between Russia and Japan: Now, therefore, we, Christian IX, by the grace of God King of Denmark, etc., in order to enforce such neutrality, make the following decree:

Paragraph 1.

If warlike operations should extend to the vicinity of Denmark, the inner waters south of Sealand limited by the meridians of Omö and Stege shall be closed by means of stationary submarine mines; and ships of war belonging to either belligerent shall not be permitted to enter these waters nor the roadstead and harbor of Copenhagen, except in evident stress of weather, in which case such entrance shall be made public.

Paragraph 2.

With the above exceptions, the war ships of either of the belligerents may enter all Danish ports. They must not, however, while in such ports, take in any supplies except provisions and such other things as may be requisite for the subsistence of their crews or for such repairs as are necessary for safe navigation. Urgent repairs, intended to make navigation safe, may be undertaken in such ports; but no acts intended to augment the military force of such ships will be permitted. The visit must not extend over a longer period than twenty-four hours, unless stress of weather, lack of provisions, or repairs necessitate [Page 22] a longer stay; in either of which cases the ship shall be required to put to sea as soon as possible after the cause of the delay has been removed.

So much coal only may be taken in as may be necessary to carry such vessels to the nearest nonblockaded home port, or, with permission from the proper Danish authorities, to some other neutral destination. No ship will be permitted, without special authorization, to coal in any Danish harbor or roadstead more than once in the course of three months.

During the visit the existing sanitary and police regulations, as well as others that later circumstances may render necessary, must be strictly observed.

The belligerents must not commit hostile acts in Danish harbors or waters or make use of the same as base for operations at sea against each other or for the purpose of facilitating such operations. Nor must they use such harbors or waters for augmenting or renewing their military equipment or for recruiting purposes.

No warship belonging to either of the belligerents shall be permitted to leave a Danish harbor, roadstead, or bay from which a ship (whether it be a warship or a merchant vessel) belonging to the other belligenent has departed before the expiration of at least twenty-four hours from the departure of such last mentioned vessel.

Paragraph 3.

Privateers will not be permitted to enter Danish harbors nor to lie in a Danish roadstead.

Prizes must not be brought into a Danish harbor or roadstead except in evident case of stress, nor must prizes be condemned or sold therein.

Paragraph 4.

Hostile ships have free access to the harbors and waters of the country, and may take in such supplies as may be needed for the prosecution of their work.

Paragraph 5.

The belligerents are not permitted to maintain coal depots on Danish territory.

It is forbidden to clear from Danish harbors cargoes of coal directly destined for the fleets of the belligerents. This injunction does not, however, apply to coal brought from a harbor to the outlying roadstead intended to be used in compliance with the above provisions of paragraph 2, section 2.

Paragraph 6.

Under penalties imposed by the law of February 13, 1904, relating to acts that endanger the neutrality of the country, the following acts are forbidden to be done by Danish subjects:

Cooperating in any act involving a violation of the provisions contained in the above paragraphs 1–3 and in paragraph 5.
In any capacity to enter service, in or from Danish territory, on board government vessels of the belligerents, including, except in peril of the sea, the towing of the warships or military transports, or rendering them any other assistance in navigation, or piloting them beyond Danish pilots’ waters. Pilots duly authorized by the state will, however, be permitted, within their respective districts, to pilot such ships in the water thoroughfares Kattegat, the Sound, and the Belts, as well as into and out of a harbor.
On Danish territory, to construct or reconstruct for, sell, or in any other way, directly or indirectly, transfer to the belligerent powers ships which are known or suspected to be intended for use in war, as well as to cooperate in any way, on or from Danish territory, in the fitting out of such ships or in preparing them for warlike enterprises.
On or from Danish territory, to aid either of the belligerents in their warlike enterprises; as, for instance, by supplying their ships with articles that are considered contraband, or by undertaking any work that is intended to augment the armament of their ships or to increase the military force.
On Danish territory, publicly inviting anyone to take services in the forces of the belligerents, either on land or at sea, or to render them military aid in any other manner.

This decree takes immediate effect.

Under our royal hand and seal.
  • Deuntzer.
[Page 23]
[Inclosure 2.—Translation.]

Notice to the Danish trade and shipping in consequence of the outbreak of war between Russia and Japan.

By Royal authority of this date, the following regulations are to be observed by Danish trade and shipping during the war, according to Danish laws or the rules of international law.

  • Article 1. When a Danish merchant vessel at sea is hailed by an armed ship belonging to either belligerent, she has, at the request of the officer in command, without opposition, to produce the ship’s papers, i. e., the certificate of nationality and registry (or default of such a one, a provisional certificate of nationality delivered by a Danish consul), the crew list, the clearance papers, and the manifest. It is forbidden to conceal, to destroy, or to throw overboard papers concerning the ship or her cargo as well before as during the search. No Danish ship is allowed to have double papers or fly another flag than the Danish flag. Without a special permission in every case from the ministry of foreign affairs, no provisional certificate of nationality shall be delivered to any ship which has sailed under the flag of one of the belligerent powers during the war or the last six months before its outbreak.
  • Art. 2. No master is allowed to sail to any port blockaded by one of the belligerent powers. He has, as far as possible, to procure information, whether the entry to the port to which he is bound, is free. If he, on approaching a port, the blockade of which was unknown to him, is hailed by a man of war of the blockading power, and is informed by the commanding officer of the blockade of that port, he has immediately to withdraw, without trying secretly to enter the port.
  • Art. 3. No owner or master is allowed to employ his ship to the transporting of troops or contraband of war for any of the belligerent powers, or to let or charter ships which are known or supposed to be destined for such purpose.
  • Art. 4. As contraband of war—which is forbidden to convey to the belligerent powers or to their subjects—are considered: arms, ammunition, articles of clothing and equipment, and other manufactured articles which may be directly used for war purposes. Also dispatches from or to the authorities of any of the belligerent powers may be contraband of war, which it is prohibited to carry. If modifications or additional provisions with respect to contraband of war be needed, the ministry of foreign affairs will publish further instructions, after having procured the royal assent.
  • Art. 5. Russia having signed and Japan having later joined the maritime declaration made at Paris on the 16th of April, 1856, both parties are bound to recognize that privateering is abolished, that the neutral flag covers the enemy’s cargo, contraband of war excepted; that the neutral cargo is not subject to seizure on board the enemy’s ship, contraband of war being likewise excepted, and that blockades have to be effective.
  • Art. 6. If a master considers himself entitled to complain of the way in which he has been treated by any armed ship belonging to the powers at war, he has, as soon as possible, to present his claim before the ministry of foreign affairs, or before a Royal legation or consulate.