Mr. McCormick to Mr. Hay.

Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith, for the information of the Department, the French text of temporary regulations for the protection of certain Russian ports in time of war.

I have etc.,

Robert S. McCormick.
[Inclosure.]

Protection of certain Russian ports in war time.

[From the St. Petersburg Gazette of July 28 [August 9], 1904—Translation.]

The committee of ministers, having examined on March 16 [28], 1904, the proposition of the director-general of navigation and commercial ports, of the ministers of foreign affairs and war, and of the director of the naval ministry, dated March 12 [24], 1904, No. 1640, treating of the measures to be taken for the protection of Russian ports in time of war, has given the following opinion:

  • “I. The temporary regulations for the protection in time of war of Russian military and commercial ports, so long as martial law shall not have been proclaimed therein, shall be submitted for the sanction of His Majesty the Emperor; they shall be applied, on a given date, after a preliminary understanding between the director-general of navigation and commercial ports, the ministers of foreign affairs and war, and the director of the naval ministry; they shall be applicable only during the present war.
  • “II. The minister of foreign affairs shall be charged (1) with informing immediately the governments of foreign powers of the existence of said regulations, and (2) with entering into conference with the governments in question in order that, until the end of the present war, the Imperial Government of Russia may be opportunely informed of the arrival in Russian ports of war vessels belonging to these powers.”

His Majesty the Emperor has approved the opinion of the committee of ministers and has deigned to inscribe with his own hand on the draft of the temporary regulations, “Let it be thus,” St. Petersburg, March 25 [April 6], 1904.

In communicating to the governing Senate the text of the “temporary regulations for the protection in time of war of certain Russian ports, so long as martial law shall not have been proclaimed therein,” the director-general of navigation and commercial ports notified it that, according to the terms of section I of the opinion of the committee of ministers, approved by His Majesty the Emperor, the director-general of navigation and commercial ports, the ministers of foreign affairs and war, and the director of the naval ministry reached an understanding and fixed a period of twenty days for the application of said temporary regulations. The director-general of navigation and commercial ports, the minister of war, and the director of the naval ministry likewise agreed to fix the limits of the radii of protection of the ports to which the present regulations are to be applied. These limits are as follows:

For Sveaborg. Starting from the right flank of the fortress, from the island of Lovo (to the north of the island of Drumso) along the west shore of Counts Island (Drumso) to the southwest extremity of Peredovoi (Miolko) Island to Khramtsoff Reef (meeting point of the pilots), following the southeast shore of the island of Stoura-Mioio to the island of Matalacara, the eastern extremity of the island of Willingo, and the islands of Lovholm, Sandholm, and Droningholm.

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For the port of Cronstaclt. To the east of the meridian of the London light-ship.

For the port if Libau. At a distance of 5 miles seaward from the shore, 9 miles northward and 5 miles southward along the shore from the port of Libau.

For Sevastopol. The line of intersection of the Inkermann light-houses NW.-SE. 85° 20’, the straight line from the Kherson light-house NE.-SW. 56°, and the line of intersection of the church of the cemetery with the house of the watchman on Mount Rudolphe NW.-SE. 17°.

For the port of Otchakoff. The line from Berezane Island to the tongue of land of Kinbourne.

For the port of Batum. The straight line from the extremity of the pier in the direction of Bouronne-Tabie NE.-SW. 64° (as far as Sibiriakoff villa) for steamers of over 500 tons net. As, owing to local conditions, other vessels can not stop on the aforementioned line, sailing vessels of over 500 tons net will be authorized to enter within the radius of the outer roadstead, and those of less than 500 tons within the radius of the inner roadstead. Large vessels will not be permitted to approach the entrance of Cape Green (latitude 41° 42′) nearer than 500 sagenes (3,500 feet) and small vessels nearer than 250 sagenes (1,750 feet).

Temporary regulations for the protection in time of war of certain Russian ports so long as martial law shall not have been proclaimed therein.

[Sanctioned by His Majesty the Emperor, March 25 [April 6], 1904.]

As long as martial law shall not have been proclaimed in the ports of Cronstadt, Sveaborg, Libau, Sevastopol, and Batum, and the fortress of Otchakoff, the special measures hereinafter mentioned shall be taken there for the purpose of securing unity of action among the organs of government instituted to insure public safety (articles 2 and 3) with regard to the formalities to be observed by commercial vessels in entering the protected area.

2. The general control of the measures for the maintenance of security in the harbors, roadsteads, and, generally speaking, all the space occupied by the above-mentioned ports (article 1), as well as by their establishments and buildings, is intrusted at Cronstadt to the commander in chief of the port at Cron-stadt; at Sevastopol, to the commander in chief of the Black Sea fleet, and at Sveaborg, Libau, Otchakoff, and Batum, to the commandants of these places.

3. The officer in charge of the defense of the port is intrusted with directing and supervising the execution of all the measures of order and security emanating, according to the laws in force, from the military and naval authorities, from the administrative authorites of the port, and from other administrative authorities established in the port.

4. Vessels bound for one of the above-mentioned ports (article 1) are obliged not to approach it nearer than the radius fixed for each port without having provided themselves in each case with a special permit emanating from the authorities of the port. The latter do not grant this permit until they have examined the proper persons and, in case of necessity, visited the vessel.

5. The areas mentioned in article 4, as well as their limits, are fixed by common accord by the director-general of navigation and commercial ports, the minister of war, and the director of the naval ministry, and are made public at the same time as the present regulations. These high officials are also obliged to formulate by common accord the instructions defining the method of making the examination (of persons) and the preliminary visitation (of the vessel), to authorize the approach of the vessel to the port, to designate the administrative officers of the port who are to be delegated for this purpose, and to indicate the coercive measures to be taken by the port authorities.

Note.—As regards the port of Sveaborg, the measures enumerated in the present article are taken by common accord by the minister of war and the director of the naval ministry. Complaints of private parties (article 15) against the dispositions made by the officer in charge of the defense of this port (article 2) must be presented within one month to the minister of war, who decides on them after an understanding with the director of the naval ministry.

6. Access to the port within a distance less than the radii indicated in article 4 is allowed vessels only from sunrise to sunset. The officer in charge of the defense of the port may, in exceptional cases, prolong this period and authorize certain vessels to enter the port during the night.

7. An administrative officer of the port must be sent out to vessels which are [Page 713]approaching the radius of the port. Upon the arrival of this officer on board the vessel, the captain or the person taking his place, after having received a copy of these regulations, is obliged to deliver to the said officer all the ship’s papers and documents relating to the cargo, and, if the officer demands it, to give all the explanations required, to allow the visitation of the vessel in all its parts, and to have opened for this purpose all the holds, coal bunkers, and other parts of the vessel.

8. All communication between the vessel and the coast is prohibited until the preliminary examination, and, if necessary, the visitation of the vessel have been carried out.

9. If, after the examination, and, if necessary, the visitation, the authorities of the port deem it possible to admit the vessel into port, these authorities cause a special flag to be hoisted on the foremast.

10. Every vessel which has been refused access to the port must withdraw therefrom as soon as the order to that effect has been given it.

11. In case the authorities of the port do not deem it possible to allow the unloading of the vessel on the mooring line, this operation must be performed by means of lighters while the vessel is at anchor or moored to a buoy. If the captain or the consignee of the vessel does not consent to submit to this regulation, the vessel is obliged to quit the port.

12. In case vessels do not comply with the provisions of articles 4, 10, and 11, it is the duty of the officer in charge of the defense of the port to compel the vessels in question to submit to these provisions, and even to employ armed force for this purpose if necessary. The captain of the vessel or his substitute is responsible for the consequences which these measures may involve.

13. If there should be in the ports designated by the present regulations any commercial houses or private” persons who are the owners or consignees of vessels, such commercial houses or private persons, as soon as they have been informed that a vessel consigned to them has left a Russian port or any foreign port, must communicate to the port authorities information concerning the port of departure of the said vessel, indicating the date of its departure, the approximate time of its arrival, its name, and its nationality.

Note.—The commercial houses and private persons mentioned in the preceding article may, in order to expedite the free passage into port of a vessel consigned to them, communicate to the authorities of the port, besides the information required by article 13, also data concerning the merchandise with which such vessel is laden, the quantity thereof, its place of shipment, its destination, and the nationality of the captain of the said vessel.

14. If the information mentioned in article 13 and the note thereto appended is communicated within the proper time to the administrative authorities of the port, the vessels should be admitted, if possible, into port after a preliminary examination and without being subjected to the visitation mentioned in article 4.

If, however, it is discovered, with regard to any vessel, that the information indicated in article 13, although received in due time by the owners or consignees of the vessel, has not been communicated to the administrative authorities of the port before the arrival of the vessel, the persons who have, without plausible reason, refrained from communicating this information to the proper authority, may be punished by order of the officer in charge of the defense of the port by a flue not exceeding 500 rubles [$250].

15. Complaints of private parties against the measures taken by the officer in’ charge of the defense of the port, according to articles 4 to 14 of the present regulations, must be presented within one month to the director-general of navigation and commercial ports (except in the cases contemplated by article 5). This high official decides on these complaints after having submitted them to the examination of the committee on fort matters, assisted by a representative of the naval ministry.

In case, within the committee, the delegates of the ministries of war and navy are not in accord with the decisions reached by a majority of the members of the committee, the matters in question are transmitted to the proper person according to articles 52 and 53 of the organic statutes of the office of director-general of navigation and commercial ports, approved by His Majesty the Emperor on June 10 [22], 1903.

“The committee of ministers, having taken cognizance on May 26 [June 7], 1904, of the communication of the minister of war dated May 19 [31], 1904, No. 383, regarding the application to the port of Viborg of the temporary regulations ratified by His Majesty the Emperor March 25 [April 6], 1904, concerning the protection in time of war of certain Russian ports so long as martial [Page 714]law shall not have been proclaimed therein, the said committee was of opinion that there is reason for applying these regulations also to the port of Viborg, provided (1) that, conformably to article 2 of the said regulations, the commandant of the fortress of Viborg be charged with taking all the measures required in order to maintain the integrity and safety of the whole space occupied by the port of Viborg and the dependencies of the port, and (2) that the minister of war and the director of the naval ministry shall receive the same full powers with regard to the port of Viborg as those which they enjoy with regard to the port of Sveaborg (note appended to article 5 of the said regulations). His Majesty the Emperor approved this opinion of the committee of ministers on June 6 [18], 1904.

“The director-general of navigation and commercial ports adds to the foregoing that, according to section 1 of the temporary regulations ratified by His Majesty the Emperor on March 25 [April 6], 1904, it has been decided by common accord by the director-general of navigation and commercial ports, the ministers of foreign affairs and war, and the director of the naval ministry that the said temporary regulations shall be applied within a period of twenty-one days after the publication of the opinion to the effect that they shall be applied likewise to the port of Viborg, and that, conformably to article 5 of the said regulations, the director-general of navigation and commercial ports, the minister of war, and the director of the naval ministry have defined the limits to the radius within which the said regulations shall be applied as follows: From Cape Poulliniemi to the northeastern extremity of the island of Teykar-saari, on the southwest shore of this latter island as far as the island of Kious-kerine-Saari and Cape Pitkeniemi.”