Mr. Thomas to Mr. Hay.

No. 369.]

Sir: Referring to former correspondence on the neutrality of Sweden and Norway during the Russo-Japanese war, I have now the honor to inclose herewith a printed copy, furnished me by the Royal foreign office, in the French language, of the rules of neutrality for Sweden and Norway, proclaimed this day by Royal ordinance.

These rules take effect at once.

I have, etc.,

W. W. Thomas.

Rides of neutrality decreed by Royal ordinance of April 30, 1904.

The King of Sweden and Norway, having agreed to the declaration on the subject of the principles of maritime law in times of war, signed at Paris on April 16, 1856, privateers will not be admitted to the ports nor to the roadsteads of the two kingdoms.

The King, having ratified the convention of July 29, 1899, for the adaptation to maritime law the principles of the Geneva Convention of August 22, 1864, it is necessary to announce that article 6 of said convention declares that merchant vessels, yachts, or small neutral vessels carrying or receiving wounded, sick, or the shipwrecked of the belligerents can not be captured on account of the fact of such transportation, but remain liable to capture only for violations of neutrality which they may have committed.

The King has decided—

1st. To interdict to war vessels of the belligerents entry to the territorial waters within the fixed submarine defences, as well as to the following ports:

(a) In Sweden:

Stockholm, comprising the waters within a line commencing at Spillersboda, on the Swedish continent, and passing Furusund, Sandhamn, and Fiversätraö, to Dalarö and another line, Herrhamra-Landsort-Ledskär;

Karlskrona, within the fixed submarine defences

Fårösund, the entrance from the north comprising the waters within a line connecting Vialmsudde with Hällegrundsudde, and the entrance from the south comprising the waters within a line Ryssnäs—boundary of Bungeör—Bung-nas; and

Slite, comprising the waters within the true north and west lines connecting the boundary of Magö with the main land of the Island of Gottland.

(b) In Norway:

The port of Fredrikshald;

The fjord of Kristiania inside of Bastö;

The fjord of Tönsberg inside of Natholmen and of the light-houses of Östre Vakerholmen, of Mogerötangen, and of Vallö;

The port of Kristianssand with the waters inside of Fredriksholm and of the light-houses of Oxö, of Grönningen, and of Torsö;

The port of Bergen with its entrances;

(a) Byfjorden inside of Hjelteskjaer-Stangen;

(b) The entrance from the north inside of Herlö-Agnö-Bognö;

The fjord of Trondhjem inside of the fortifications of Agdenes; and

The port of Vardö.

2nd. To accord to war vessels of belligerent powers entrance to the other ports of Sweden and Norway.

They must, however, conform with the following rules:

They are forbidden to obtain any supplies except stores, provisions, and means for repairs necessary for the subsistence of the crew or for the security of navigation. In regard to coal, they can only purchase the necessary quantity to reach the nearest nonblockaded national port, or, with the consent of the authorities of the King, a neutral destination. Without special permission [Page 32] the same vessel will not be permitted to again purchase coal in a port or roadstead of Sweden or Norway within three months after the last purchase.

They will be permitted to make urgent repairs for the security of navigation, but they are forbidden to undertake work for the purpose of strengthening their military power.

They can remain there only 24 hours unless the state of the sea, the want of provisions, or the damages to the vessel require a longer stay. In this case they must leave the port as soon as possible after removal of the cause of its detention.

The sanitary and police regulations which the circumstances would or might render necessary must be observed and respected.

It is well understood that neither of the belligerents is permitted to do any hostile act in the ports or waters of Sweden or Norway nor to make them a base of maritime operation against the other, nor to use them to facilitate or to increase or to renew its military forces.

It is likewise forbidden to any war vessel of one of the belligerent parties to leave the port, haven, or bay of Sweden and Norway from which any vessel of the other belligerent party (war vessel or merchant vessel) has left, before the expiration of not less than 24 hours after the departure of the latter vessel.

3rd. To forbid entrance into the ports and roadstead of Sweden and Norway, except in case of distress, of prizes as well as their condemnation or sale therein.

4th. To forbid the belligerent powers to establish coal depots on Swedish or Norwegian soil.