Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, With the Annual Message of the President Transmitted to Congress December 6, 1904
Mr. McCormick to Mr. Hay.
St. Petersburg, August 3, 1904.
Sir: In compliance with the Department’s telegram of yesterday’s date, I send to you herewith a copy in the Russian language of the Russian Prize Regulations, approved by the Emperor on March 27, 1895; also “special instructions” approved by the council of admiralty on September 20, 1900, relative to the visitation and capture of ships.
I have been unable to find any translation of these regulations either in the English or French languages.
I have, etc.,
REGULATIONS ON MARITIME PRIZES.
- The provisions of the present regulations are applicable to all cases for which, in matters relating to maritime prizes, special rules are not established by conventions between Russia and other nations.
- Note.—Regarding the capture of enemy’s property on shore or from shore special rules are observed.
- On the precise basis of the Paris declaration of April 4 (16), 1856, the following rules are observed in the application of these regulations: (1) Letters of marque are not issued in the name of private persons; (2) a neutral flag covers a hostile cargo, with the exception of contraband of war; (3) neutral goods, with the exception of contraband of war, are not subject to confiscation under a hostile flag; and (4) a blockade, in order to be considered obligatory, must be effective—that is, it must be maintained with sufficient military forces to actually prevent access to the hostile shore.
- In order to capture a prize either open force or permitted military stratagem must be used, but breach of faith must by no means be resorted to.
- In determining the application of those rules of these regulations which limit the right of stopping, examining, detaining, and confiscating the vessels of a hostile or neutral power and its subjects, on the principle of reciprocity, the Imperial Government reserves to itself the right to admit a departure from the rules mentioned, in the case of a hostile or neutral power from which it is impossible to expect their observance, and to conform the steps which it takes in the matter to the special circumstances of a given case.
- The following are acknowledged as prizes: (1) Detained (captured) hostile vessels and cargoes, as well as vessels and cargoes of neutral nationality, and (2) Russian and neutral vessels and cargoes and the vessels and cargoes of an allied power captured back from an enemy who has seized them (recaptures), if the detention or recapture has been effected under the conditions indicated in these regulations.
Part I.—The Stoppage, Visitation (Examination), and Detention (Capture) of Vessels and Cargoes, and their Confiscation as Prizes.
Chapter I.—Vessels and cargoes subject to stoppage, examination, detention, and confiscation.
- In time of war at sea merchant vessels (acknowledged to be which are all vessels not belonging to the “war” navy) may be subjected to stoppage and examination for the purpose of ascertaining their nationality and whether they are observing neutrality. Merchant vessels sailing under military convoy of an allied or neutral power are not subjected to examination, provided the commander of the convoy furnishes a certificate as to the number of vessels being convoyed, their nationality, and the destination of the cargoes, and also as to the fact that there is no contraband of war on the vessels. The stoppage and examination of these vessels is permitted only in the following cases: (1) When the commander of the convoy refuses to give the certificate mentioned; (2) when he declares that one or another vessel does not belong to the number of those sailing under his convoy, and (3) when it becomes evident that a vessel being convoyed is preparing to commit an act constituting a breach of neutrality.
- The nationality of a vessel is determined according to the laws of the nation under whose flag it sails or to whose navy it claims to belong. Merchant vessels acquired from a hostile power or its subjects by persons of neutral nationality are ackowledged to be hostile vessels unless it is proven that the acquisition must be considered, according to the laws of the nation to whom the purchasers belong, as having actually taken place before the purchasers received news of the declaration of war, or that the vessels acquired in the manner mentioned, although after the receipt of such news, were acquired quite conscientiously, and not for the purpose of covering hostile property.
- Neutrality is considered violated when the symptoms mentioned in articles 11 and 12 are present.
- Subject to detention are vessels and cargoes which may, according to the provisions of these regulations, be subjected to confiscation as prizes.
- Subject to confiscation as prizes are hostile war and merchant vessels and all objects on board of them, except (1) those intended for the use of the crew or passengers and (2) those belonging to the government of a neutral power or its subjects and not constituting contraband of war. Independently of this the Imperial Government reserves the right to admit, on a basis of reciprocity, the exemption from confiscation of all or certain kinds of hostile vessels and cargoes, except the cases in which these vessels or cargoes are subject to confiscation according to the rules indicated in articles 11 and 12 for neutral vessels.
- Note.—All goods found on an enemy’s vessel are considered as enemy’s property unless the contrary is proven.
- Merchant vessels of neutral nationality are subject to confiscation as prizes in the following cases: (1) When the vessels are caught conveying to the enemy or to an enemy’s port: (a) Ammunition, as well as objects and accessories for making explosions, independently of their quantity; (b) other objects contraband of war, in quantities exceeding, by volume or weight, half of the entire cargo; (c) hostile military detachments, unless it be proven in all these cases that the declaration of war remained unknown to the masters of these vessels; (2) when the vessels are caught violating a blockade and it is not proven that the establishment of the blockade remained unknown to the masters; (3) when the vessels have resisted by armed force their stoppage, examination, or detention; and (4) when they have taken part in the hostile operations of the enemy.
- The cargo of merchant vessels of neutral nationality is subject to confiscation as prizes: (1) When such cargo consists of contraband of war being conveyed to the enemy or to an enemy’s port and it is not proven that the declaration of war was unknown to the masters of the vessels; (2) when the cargo is found on board a vessel subject to confiscation by virtue of points 2–4 of article 11, and it is not proven that it belongs to Russian owners or to neutral owners not guilty of violations involving confiscation.
- Objects acknowledged as contraband of war are announced for general information in a special declaration. Exempt from confiscation are those of these objects which constitute, properly speaking, the armament and provisioning of vessels of neutral nationality.
- If only the contraband of war is subject to confiscation, without the vessel on which it is loaded (art. 11, point 1; art. 12, point 1), the vessel itself is detained only until the contraband is surrendered. This surrender may take place, in the discretion of the detainer (captor), either at the place of detention or after the detained vessel has been conducted into port.
Chapter II.—Conditions and consequences of stoppage, examination, and detention of vessels and cargoes.
- The right of stopping, examining, and detaining hostile or suspicious vessels and cargoes belongs to the vessels of the imperial “war” navy. The vessels of the merchant marine are allowed this right only in the following cases: (1) When attacked by hostile or suspicious vessels and (2) when rendering assistance to Russian or allied vessels which have been attacked. Vessels and cargoes detained according to this provision by merchant vessels must be delivered by the latter into the custody of the authorities indicated in articles 23 and 24, with the right, in the case of confiscation of the vessels and cargoes in question as prizes, to demand the reward established for their detention.
- Note.—The limitations indicated in this article for merchant vessels do not extend to cases for which special rules may be established according to article 4 of the present regulations.
- The stoppage, examination, and detention of hostile or suspicious vessels and cargoes is permitted throughout the extent of the ocean and other waters, with the exception of those under the dominion of a neutral power or those excluded from military operations by special international agreements.
- Upon the declaration of war, military operations at sea begin from the time designated by the Imperial Government. In case of a truce these operations are limited according to the conditions of the truce, and upon the conclusion [Page 738]of peace they cease from the time the vessels of the fleet receive the proper notification of the conclusion of a truce or peace.
- Upon detaining a merchant vessel and cargo, the commander of the vessel which has made the detention is obliged to draw up a protocol concerning the reasons and circumstances of the detention, as well as to take the necessary measures for taking care of the detained vessel or cargo. Moreover, upon detaining the vessel itself (1) there are detained, together with the vessel, temporarily, regardless of whether they are acknowledged to be prisoners of war or not, the master, supercargo, and other persons of the crew whose statements may, in the opinion of the commander of the detaining vessel, be indispensable in deciding matters during the investigation prescribed for prize cases, and (2) all documents found on the vessel are inventoried and sealed.
- The master of a detained merchant vessel, as well as the owners of the vessel or cargo and the agents (trustees) of these owners, provided they are on the spot, are entitled to be present during the acts mentioned in the first part of article 18 and in point 2 of the same article (18), to make their observations and suggestions with regard thereto, and to affix their seals to the articles and rooms being sealed.
- Upon the detention of a war ship the commander of the vessel which has captured such ship proceeds in accordance with article 351 of the Navy Regulations (1899 edition).
- In extraordinary cases, when the preservation of a detained vessel proves impossible in consequence of its bad condition or extremely small value (sic), the danger of its recapture by the enemy, or the considerable distance or blockade of the ports, as well as of danger threatening the detaining vessel or the success of its operations, the naval commander is permitted, on his personal responsibility, to burn or sink the detained vessel after having first taken all the people off it, and, as far as possible, the cargo on board, and also after having taken measures for preserving the documents and other objects found on board, and which might prove essential in elucidating matters when the case is examined according to the method prescribed for prize cases.
- Concerning the circumstances which led to the destruction of the detained vessel, the naval commander prepares a memorandum according to article 353 of the Naval Regulations (1899 edition).
- Detained vessels and cargoes are conducted by the detaining vessel into Russian ports, and if there are none such in the vicinity, then into the ports of an allied power or to the active Russian fleet (the fleet engaged in operations). In case of storm or other extreme necessity the detaining vessel may, together with the detained vessel, seek shelter in the port of a neutral power. Regarding the period and conditions of remaining in port, the commander of the detaining vessel is obliged to submit to the rules established on this subject by the local government.
- Upon conducting a detained vessel or cargo into a Russian port or to the active fleet, it is surrendered to the naval authorities, the proper documents being turned over to the latter (arts. 18 and 21). The naval authorities, upon opening the documents which have been placed under seal, take measures as to the reception, inventorying, and preservation of the property turned over to them, and also in case of undelayable necessity, arrange for the sale by public auction of those articles constituting such property which, by their nature or condition, do not permit of being kept. Not only the commander of the detaining vessel or his empowered agent, but also the persons mentioned in article 19, are entitled to be present during these acts, as well as to make their observations and suggestions regarding them.
- The rights and duties of the naval authorities indicated in article 23 become incumbent, in the absence of such authorities, as follows: (1) In Russian ports, on the local port, customs, or police authorities; and (2) in the ports of an allied power, upon agreement of the director of the naval ministry and the minister of foreign affairs with the proper foreign authorities, on the local Russian naval agency, or Russian consulate, or other establishment.
- Concerning the conducting of a detained vessel or its cargo into port, the proper authority (arts. 23 and 24) immediately notifies the nearest prize court, and, after the measures indicated in article 23 have been taken, he turns over to the disposal of the court the master, supercargo, and other persons from among the crew of the detained vessel who have been detained for the purpose of explaining matters, as well as all documents relating to the case.
- Detailed rules concerning the method of stopping, examining, and detaining [Page 739]vessels, as well as concerning the conducting of detained vessels and cargoes into port and their surrender, are contained in instructions approved by the admiralty board.
Chapter III.—Conditions and consequences of confiscation of detained vessels and cargoes.
- The confiscation of detained war vessels and cargoes takes place by order of the proper naval authority. The confiscation of other vessels and cargoes subject to detention does not take place otherwise than by virtue of a decision of a prize court.
- Detained property is subjected to confiscation only in case it belongs to the class of articles which may be confiscated as prizes (arts. 10–12) and provided it has been detained in observance of the conditions laid down (arts. 2, 3, and 15–17). In a contrary case the property is released and returned to the original owner.
- If the property subject to return to the original owner is found to be sold, or released on deposit made, the owner is given the full amount obtained by the sale or received as a deposit. If, however, the property subject to return has been destroyed by order of the naval authorities or has perished through the fault or negligence of the officials to whom its custody was intrusted, the owner is indemnified in the amount of the value of the destroyed or perished property, estimated on the basis of information furnished.
- Independently of the delivery of the property subject to return or of the indemnification to the amount of its value (arts. 28 and 29) a special indemnity may be awarded the original owner of the property for damages caused by the detention of the property when it is acknowledged that the property was detained without sufficient reason or in violation of the conditions prescribed (arts. 16 and 17). In case the property is returned in a damaged state the owner may be awarded an indemnification for his losses, provided it is proven that the damage was caused through the fault or negligence of the officials who were responsible for its custody.
- To the original owner of property detained on waters situated within the dominions of a neutral power or excluded from military operations by special international agreements this property is returned, and damages caused by its detention or injury are only made good on the demand of the proper neutral power or the power which participated in the agreement mentioned, and provided that such demand be made within the course of a year from the day the property was detained. If, however, such demand is not made within the course of the period mentioned the detained property is confiscated for the benefit of the Government, without any reward being given to the person who detained it.
- Sums intended for disbursement, in accordance with articles 29–31, as indemnity for destroyed property or losses occasioned by its detention or injury are paid from the funds of the national treasury, and the expenditures thus made by the treasury are recovered in appropriate cases from the guilty parties in the manner established by law.
- Objects confiscated as prizes constitute Government property. An appraisal is made of these objects, and then those of them which the navy department does not consider necessary to keep are sold at public auction. In both cases prize money is awarded for the detention of the property in question.
- Note.—The appraisal and sale of prizes takes place according to rules issued by the director of the naval ministry with the consent of the minister of finance.
- Regarding Russian and foreign vessels and cargoes
recaptured from the enemy, as well as the conducting into
port and surrender of these vessels and cargoes, the general
rules concerning detention, conducting into port, and
surrender of hostile and suspicious vessels are observed,
together with the following special rules:
- Property recaptured from the enemy, although it may have been already confiscated by the enemy as a prize, is returned by direction of the prize court to the original owner, who is obliged to pay the prize money for the recapture and the expenses incurred in the recapture, and in case property is found on board the recaptured vessels which belongs to the enemy this property is considered as a prize and is subjected to confiscation according to the general rule.
- Russian Government vessels and cargoes recaptured from the enemy are returned to the Government without the intermediation of the court, by order of the proper naval authority.
- Property recaptured from the enemy and belonging to a foreign owner is returned to him without payment by him of prize money or the expenses of the recapture, provided it is proven that this property could not have been considered as lawful prize by the enemy, but would have been subject to release; in this case no reward is paid for recapture.
Part II.—Prize Money.
Chapter I.—The right to prize money.
- Prize money is awarded to those parts of the fleet (squadron, detachment, or vessels) by which the detention or recapture of the prize was effected, or which, during the detention or recapure, participated in the military operations with which these parts of the fleet were connected, or contributed to their success by their presence.
- The commanders of squadrons and detachments receive a share of all prize money awarded to sections of the fleet under their command. Other employees of the navy department, including volunteer employees, acquire a right to a share in the prize money awarded to the sections of the fleet only when such employees were actually present in these sections of the fleet at the time of the detention or recapture of the prize, or, being assigned to duty in said sections, were not present in person by reason of wounds or injuries received during the war in question or because of being detailed for military purposes.
- Land troops who are present on war vessels acquire a right to a share in the prize money only when they took a direct part in the detention or recapture of the prize or in the military operations participated in by the naval detachments at the time of such detention or recapture.
- Independently of the persons indicated in articles 35 to 37 a right to a share in the prize money is conferred upon persons who have revealed the prize by furnishing information and indications concerning it to the naval authorities, although such persons did not participate in the detention or recapture of the prize.
- Shares in the prize money are allotted to the persons indicated in articles 35–37 according to the ranks, occupations, or duties which such persons were holding or performing at the time of the detention or recapture of the prize.
- A person who has revealed a prize (art. 38) receives 4 per cent of the amount of the prize money awarded after the prescribed deductions have been made (art. 46).
- Shares allotted to persons who have died after the performance of the operations for which the prize money has been awarded, as well as shares allotted to persons who have been killed before the conclusion of such operations, in the same battle in which these operations were carried out, are distributed among the widows and relatives in a direct descending line, according to the general rules of inheritance prescribed by law; if the persons who have died leave no relatives in a direct descending line, but have left widows, the shares are paid in full to the latter; if, however, the persons killed have left neither relatives in a direct descending line nor widows, the shares are applied to the invalid fund, and in the cases provided for in article 19 of the regulations on the mutual pension fund of the navy department they accrue to the benefit of this fund.
Chapter II.—Amount of prize money and its distribution.
- For the detention by vessels of the war fleet of property
which is eventually confiscated as a prize, prize money is
awarded, after the prescribed deductions (art. 46), in the
- For vessels of the enemy’s war fleet, their appurtenances and cargoes, when they have been seized in battle, in the proportion of three-fourths of the value of the prize; and in case they have been seized without a battle, in the proportion of one-half this value.
- For merchant vessels and cargoes, in case they are seized in battle, in the proportion of the whole value of the prize; and in case they have been taken without battle, in the proportion of three-fourths of such value.
- For enemy’s property which has been found on board Russian or foreign vessels recaptured from the enemy, in the proportion of the whole value of the prize.
- For the detention of enemy’s vessels and cargoes by merchant vessels, prize money is awarded to the amount of the value of the prize.
- For the detention of property (1) destroyed by order of the naval commander and afterwards acknowledged by due process to have been subject to confiscation, (2) released by decision of the prize court which has subsequently been reversed, and (3) returned to where it belongs, according to the conditions of a truce or peace, the reward is determined in each separate case, according to the attendant circumstances, by the admiralty board, in proportions not exceeding those established by articles 42 and 43.
- For the recapture of Russian or foreign vessels and cargoes detained by the enemy, prize money is awarded in the proportion of one-eighth the value of the recaptured property; and when the recapture has been effected under especially difficult and dangerous circumstances, to the extent of as high as one-fourth of the said value.
- The value of detained or recaptured property is determined by the amount of money obtained from its sale, and if it has not been sold, then by the amount calculated from the appraisal of the property after the following deductions have been made from the said sums: (1) The customs duties to which the merchant vessels and cargoes are liable according to the customs regulations, and (2) the expenses connected with the bringing into port, unloading, storage, appraisal, and custody of the property, as well as with its sale, provided it has been sold. From the amounts determined on this basis there are withheld 10 per cent, to be applied to the invalid fund.
- Note.—In returning property captured from the enemy or the money obtained from its sale to the original owners of such property the indemnification for the expenses mentioned in point 2 of this article is incumbent on the owners.
- The amount of prize money for the detention of prizes by the vessels of the war fleet is divided among the persons entitled to a share of it according to special tables. In these tables the persons who may be entitled to prize money are divided into classes corresponding to the degree of responsibility and significance in the service, of their ranks, occupations, and duties, as well as to the measure of their participation in the detention of the prize, and for every person constituting part of a particular class there is allotted a certain number of shares. These tables, after being examined by the admiralty board, are submitted for imperial approval.
- In the case of the detention of a prize by merchant vessels the owners of the detaining vessels are awarded, according to the injuries sustained by these vessels in the detention of the prize, from one-fourth to one-half of the amount of the prize money. The amount allotted to each owner is proportioned to the share he has in the ownership of the vessel. The remaining portion of the prize money is distributed among the crews of the detaining vessels according to the rules for the distribution of prize money for the capture of prizes by vessels of the war fleet, with such departures therefrom as may be necessitated by the peculiarities of the service on merchant vessels.
- The determination of the amount of prize money for the detention of a prize by merchant vessels, and the distribution of the amount of prize money for the recapture from the enemy of Russian vessels and cargoes not belonging to the Imperial Government, as well as of foreign vessels and cargoes, is incumbent on the prize courts. In all other cases the determination of the amount of prize money and its distribution is done by special commissions and the admiralty board in the manner established by the director of the naval ministry in agreement with the ministers of finance and war.
Part III.—Organization of Prize Courts and Procedure in Prize Cases.
Chapter I.—Organization of prize courts.
- The adjudication of prize cases is incumbent (1) on port and flag officers’ prize courts and (2) on the admiralty board acting as a superior prize court.
- Port prize courts are established by the director of the naval ministry in Russian ports and, in case of necessity and after an agreement has been reached with the proper foreign government, in the ports of an allied power. Flag officers’ prize courts are established by flag officers separately commanding.
- A port prize court consists of a president and five members. The president of a port prize court is appointed by imperial order from among officers serving in the military-naval judicial department with a rank not under that of colonel. The composition of the prize court is as follows: Two members to be designated by the director of the naval ministry from among the line officers of the navy department, and two members to be designated by the minister of [Page 742]justice from among the officers of the judicial department who have become acquainted by practice with commercial law and procedure, and one member to be appointed by the minister of foreign affairs from among the officials of his ministry. In case of absence of the president of the prize court his duties are performed by the ranking member of the court from the navy department. In a port prize court there are a judge-advocate, secretary (who is also treasurer), and a translator, as well as clerks and minor employees according to necessity. The judge-advocate of a prize court is appointed by the director of the naval ministry from among persons who have completed a course in law or demonstrated in service their knowledge of judicial matters and who have been engaged in court practice. The appointment of the secretary of the court is incumbent upon the director of the naval ministry, and the appointment of a translator, clerks, and minor employees is made by the president of the prize court. The translator, in case he has not been appointed from among persons employed in the Government service, is placed under oath before being admitted to perform his duties in the court.
- The president, members, judge-advocate, and secretary of a port prize court who receive a salary for other duties performed by them not less than that assigned to the corresponding officers of a military-naval court do not receive any special compensation for the performance of the duties in the prize court, and the president, members, judge-advocate, and secretary of a prize court who receive a salary less than that indicated above, or who receive no salary at all, are paid as follows: In the former case an addition to their salary bringing the latter up to the amount they usually receive, and in the second case a salary equal to that assigned to corresponding officers of the military-naval court.
- The sessions of a prize court are considered legal if participated in by the following persons besides the president or his substitute, the judge-advocate, and the secretary: (1) In the determination of the matters mentioned in points 1 to 3 of article 58, not less than three members, among them being one each from the naval ministry, the ministry of justice, and the ministry of foreign affairs; and (2). in the adjudication of all other matters laid before the prize court, not less than two members, among them being one from the ministry of justice.
- The composition of prize courts established in the ports of an allied power is determined in accordance with the provisions of the present regulations, upon agreement of the director of the naval ministry and the minister of foreign affairs with the proper foreign authorities.
- A flag officer’s prize court is formed by the flag officer, under the presidency of one of the senior commanders of one of the vessels of the squadron or detachment, of four line officers of the navy department, the performance of the duties of judge-advocate devolving upon an official of the judicial branch of the service, while the duties of secretary and translator are performed by other officials of the squadron or detachment. The sessions of a flag officer’s prize court are considered legal if attended by the presiding officer and not less than three members, as well as the persons performing the duties of judge-advocate and secretary.
- The higher prize court is formed by adding, according to directions from the supreme authority, to the composition of the admiralty board two senators of the fourth or of the civil cassation departments of the governing senate and a member of the ministry of foreign affairs. The duties of judge-advocate in the higher prize court are discharged by a jurisconsult of the naval ministry, and the duties of secretary by one of the secretaries of chancellery of this ministry. The sessions of the higher prize court are considered legal if attended by the persons acting as judge-advocate and secretary, respectively, and not less than three members of the admiralty board and one senator: and in the matters mentioned in points 1 to 3 of article 58, also by a member of the ministry of foreign affairs.
Chapter II.—Procedure in prize cases.
- The following matters come under the jurisdiction of prize courts according to the provisions of articles 59 to 93: (1) The confiscation and release of detained merchant vessels and cargoes, or of the amount accruing from the sale of these vessels and cargoes, or of the amount placed on deposit for the release thereof; (2) the indemnification for losses resulting from the detention, destruction, perishing, or injury of merchant vessels and cargoes;(3) the return of merchant vessels and cargoes recaptured from the enemy to the private [Page 743]owners and the determination of the proper payment by these owners of prize money and money to cover the expenses incurred, and (4) the determination of the amount of prize money for the detention of enemy’s vessels and cargoes by merchant vessels and the distribution of this sum.
- Note.—The course of procedure in prize courts established in the ports of an allied power is determined in accordance with the provisions of the present regulations, after an agreement has been reached by the director of the naval ministry and the minister of foreign affairs with the proper foreign authorities.
- Cases in which any difficulty is encountered in the course of proceedings in prize cases are decided by taking into account the provisions contained in the present regulations, together with the rules contained in the codes of civil and criminal court procedure.
Section I.—Course of procedure in the confiscation and release of detained vessels and cargoes, or of the amounts accruing from the sales of such vessels or cargoes or deposited to secure their release.
- In cases regarding the confiscation and release of detained vessels and cargoes, or of the sums accruing from the sales of such vessels and cargoes or deposited to secure their release, the following persons are recognized on each side: A judge-advocate, who represents the interests of the Government, and the original owners of the detained property or their agents, and, in the absence of the owners and their agents, the master of the detained vessel. In all matters upon which depends the recognition of the right to prize money and its amount the commander of the detaining vessel or his agent enjoys the rights of a party to the case.
- The parties are allowed (1) to be present during all the acts of the prize court and to make declarations with regard to all such acts; (2) to present proofs in substantiation of their declarations, and, with the permission of the president of the court, to interrogate the witnesses; (3) to make petitions and statements, either oral or written, with regard to the case; and (4) to examine the original minutes of the proceedings and receive thereof a copy, as well as a copy of the papers and documents.
- The time and place of the sessions of the prize court are fixed by the president of the court in accordance with the conditions set forth in articles 64 and 73. Notification of the time and place of the sessions of the court is given to the judge-advocate of the court and to those of the parties connected with the case who have informed the court of the place of residence selected by them in the place where the court is held.
- The declarations of those witnesses in a prize court who do not know the Russian language are permitted to be taken in writing. Such declarations, as well as all documents written in a foreign language, are translated into the Russian language.
- Upon receiving notice of the bringing into port of detained property, a prize court, in a session appointed for the earliest date possible, proceeds to examine those persons constituting the crews of the detaining and of the detained vessels, as well as those persons who appear voluntarily and whose statements the court considers necessary to be taken into account. In those cases in which the detained property is brought into a port situated elsewhere than at the place of holding the court, the latter, for the purpose of taking depositions, proceeds to the place in a full body or details thither one of its members, and if it is impossible to do this before the day fixed for the departure of the vessels, it intrusts the taking of depositions to the local naval or other authority.
- In case of necessity, independently of the examination of witnesses (art. 64), the court, either at its own discretion or at the instance of parties concerned in the case, makes an inspection of the detained property either in a full body or through one or more of its members, and has it examined by experts.
- A prize court is permitted to release detained goods before the case has been decided when a money deposit equal to the value of said goods has been made. The value of the goods is determined by appraisal made under the supervision of a member of the court by sworn appraisers, and, in the absence of such, by experts to the number of no less than two.
- Detained property may be sold at public auction before the case is decided, at the instance of the parties or in the discretion of the court itself, provided such property, owing to its nature or bad condition, does not permit of being [Page 744]kept, and also when the value of the property, in the opinion of experts, does not warrant the expense of keeping it. Moreover, the court is permitted to sell detained property before the decision of a case, provided a further keeping of such property does not appear necessary for the determination of the case and the parties have agreed to its sale.
- In case of the bringing of detained property into the port of an allied power in which no prize court is established, the performance of the acts indicated in articles 64 and 65 is incumbent, after an agreement has been reached by the director of the naval ministry and the minister of foreign affairs with the proper foreign authorities, on the local Russian naval attaché or consul or on a specially designated person, in the presence of witnesses to the number of no less than two, to be taken, if possible, from among the Russian subjects residing at the locality in question. After the steps indicated have been taken, the case, with regard to the detained property, together with all documents relating thereto, is turned over to the nearest prize court. Moreover, the said naval attaché, consul, or specially designated person is required to take the measures provided for in articles 66 and 67 (No. 1) regarding the detained property, whenever it appears unsuitable to await the taking of these measures by the prize court.
- Upon the formalities indicated in articles 64 and 65 having been fulfilled the prize court proceeds to an examination of the case and, before all else, reaches the decision for the release for those parts of the detained property a further detention of which, owing to the circumstances of the case, is not considered necessary.
- In cases when it is found to be necessary for the elucidation of the matter the court orders additional evidence to be gathered on the subject, and also directs that an interchange of documents take place between the parties and that they present additional evidence, a period being fixed for such interchange of documents and presentation of evidence. The examination of witnesses indicated by the parties in compliance with these instructions is either carried out by the court itself, or, under instructions from the latter, by a naval authority who did not participate in the detention of the property constituting the object of the trial, or by one of the persons indicated in article 68.
- In cases involving merchant vessels of neutral nationality or merchant vessels whose nationality is in dispute, or the cargoes of such vessels, provided such cargoes contain objects other than contraband of war, a port prize court, in case of the absence of the original owners of the detained property, summons these owners by public advertisement. A flag officer’s prize court turns over matters of this nature without delay to the nearest port prize court for further action, preserving the right to take the measures indicated in articles 66 and 67 (No. 1) with regard to the detained property which has not been released by the flag officer’s court in accordance with article 69 whenever it appears unsuitable to await the taking of these measures by the port prize court.
- By the advertisement mentioned in article 71, the original owners of detained property or their agents are invited to appear in the port prize court the present to it the evidence which they possess within a period indicated in the advertisement. This period is fixed by the court according to the place where it is held, and other circumstances, but can not be less than one month nor more than four months from the date of the last advertisement. The advertisement is printed three times in three consecutive numbers of the Official Gazette and of two newspapers published in Russia in foreign languages, to be selected by the director of the naval ministry. In case of necessity the text of the advertisement may be communicated to the newspaper offices by telegraph. The expenses incurred in making such summons by advertisement are defrayed from the amount accruing from the sale of the prize, and if the prize has not been sold, then from the funds of the national treasury, in which latter case the expenditure made is either deducted from the value of the prize (art. 46) or is made good by the original owner (art. 46, note) or is charged up to the Government (art. 82).
- The session for the adjudication of the matter regarding which the original owners of the detained property have been invited to appear by advertisement is not held until these owners appear, or their agents, or until the expiration of the period fixed for such appearance in the advertisements.
- The examination in a prize court begins by a report from one of the members of the court setting forth the circumstances of the case. After this recitation of the facts of the case the court listens to the argument of the judge-advocate and of those persons taking part in the trial who have [Page 745]appeared at the session. Having reached an intimate conviction as to the significance and relative force of the evidence presented in the case, the court renders a decision as to the essence of the case or determines special questions arising therein. A decision as to whether the detained property is subject to release or confiscation is rendered by the court even in case this property has been destroyed by order of the naval commander. If the property was detained on waters of a neutral power or on waters excluded from military operations by special international agreements, the court renders a decision involving confiscation of the property, provided no demand is made for the return of this property within the course of a year after its detention (art. 31).
- The decision of the prize court is rendered by a majority of votes. In case of a tie the opinion of the presiding officer decides.
- The decision reached in the case by the court is announced by the president in the same session in which it was reached. While announcing the decision, the president appoints a day on which the parties may appear in order to read over the written decision of the court, and he also announces to the parties the manner in which they can complain against this decision and the period in which such complaint can be made. The decision and finding of the court must be prepared not later than two weeks from the day on which the decision was announced, and must contain a statement of the grounds on which the judgment was based. The decisions and findings of the court are considered as having been announced on the day appointed for their perusal.
- The parties, including the commander of the detaining vessel or his agent, have the right to make an appeal. The appeal, accompanied by the proper number of copies thereof (according to the number of parties to the case), is lodged with the court which has rendered the decision within a month from the announcement of the latter. (Art. 76.) In case the period for making appeal has elapsed, owing to causes specially worthy of consideration, it lies with the court against whose decision the complaint is made as to whether the said period shall be renewed. Requests for a restoration of the right to appeal are presented within the course of two weeks from the time of announcement of the determination by the court that the period for bringing such appeal has been declared elapsed. Against the determination of the court to refuse a renewal of the period of appeal, private complaints are permitted to be made within two weeks from the time such determination was announced.
- After the receipt of the petition for appeal the prize court sends a copy thereof to the judge-advocate, as well as to the other parties in the case whose interests are affected, provided such persons have announced their place of residence in the place where the court is held. Otherwise the copies of the appeal intended for these persons remain in the court. The original appeals are presented, together with a record of the proceedings, to the superior prize court, to which are also transmitted the private complaints mentioned in article 77 against the refusal of the prize court to renew the period for appeal. The statements of the parties to the case with regard to the appeals which have been communicated to them are transmitted by them to the superior prize court immediately and before the day designated for the hearing of the case therein.
- A decision to confiscate detained property when no appeal has been made within the period specified is carried into effect immediately upon the expiration of said period. The execution of a decision as to confiscation against which appeal has been made is suspended until the appeal has been acted upon.
- A decision involving the release of detained property, if it be rendered in conformity with the opinion of the judge-advocate and the argument of the commander of the detaining vessel or his empowered agent, is carried into effect immediately after the decision is announced. A decision which has been rendered not in accord with the said opinion and statement is not carried into effect until the expiration of the period fixed for bringing an appeal. In case such appeal is brought the detained property undergoes an appraisal in the manner prescribed in article 66. It lies with the court to permit the release of such property before the appeal has been decided, either on condition of a money deposit being made equal to the value of the property as determined from the appraisal or without such deposit. In case there arise any disputes concerning the ownership of the property to be released the return of such property to its original owner is delayed until these disputes are settled according to the regulations or until a money deposit equal to the value of the property is made by one of the persons laying claim thereto.
- From the time the person or establishment in whose custody the detained property is being kept receives instructions to release the property without a deposit being made, the expenses for its further custody will devolve upon its original owners.
- Detained property acknowledged to be subject to release, but not called for within six months from the date upon which the decision regarding its release went into force, may be sold at public auction. If within the course of ten years from the date in which the decision went into legal effect no one appears with proofs as to his rights to the property subject to release, the said property or the proceeds of its sale reverts to the Government, which bears all the expenses connected with the custody of such property or sum of money.
- With regard to the method of procedure in the higher prize court in passing upon complaints against the decisions of prize courts, as well as concerning the method of announcing the decisions of the higher prize courts, the rules established for prize courts in articles 62 and 73–76 are applicable.
- The higher prize court enters upon an examination only of those parts of the decision of the prize court against which complaint has been made by parties to the case. The reversal of a decision involving release of detained property and its return to the original owner without demanding a deposit, in spite of the fact that an appeal has been brought (art. 80), involves the awarding, in the manner established (arts. 44 and 49), of prize money corresponding to the value of the part of the released property which is acknowledged by the decision of the higher prize court as being subject to confiscation as prize.
- The decisions of the higher prize court are not subject to appeal, and, immediately upon being rendered, a copy thereof is sent to the proper naval authority for execution.
- Petitions, statements, complaints, and other papers relating to matters transacted in prize courts and in the higher prize court, as well as the proceedings themselves, are exempt from the payment of stamp and other duties. For the issue of copies of papers and documents all persons, except, a judge-advocate, to whom such papers are issued are charged at the rate of 40 kopecks a sheet. No compensation is allowed for the conduct of cases in prize courts or in the higher prize court.
Section II.—Procedure in matters regarding indemnity for losses arising in consequence of the detention, destruction, perishing, or injury of merchant vessels and cargoes; regarding the return of merchant vessels recaptured from the enemy to their original owners and the determination of the payment to be made by said owners as prize money and to cover expenses incurred; and regarding the amount of prize money for the detention of hostile vessels and cargoes by merchant vessels and the distribution of this amount.
- Matters concerning (1) indemnification for losses arising in consequence of the detention, destruction, perishing, or injury of merchant vessels or cargoes; (2) the return of merchant vessels and cargoes recaptured from the enemy to their original owners and the determination of the payment to be made by these owners as prize money and to cover expenses incurred; and (3) the determination of the amount of prize money for the detention of hostile vessels and cargoes by merchant vessels and the distribution of this amount are transacted in accordance with the rules established in articles 60–86, with the exceptions and additions indicated below (arts. 88–93).
- Matters concerning indemnification for losses arising as a result of the detention, destruction, perishing, or injury of merchant vessels and cargoes are transacted in port prize courts, and are begun only at the instance of parties who have sustained losses, or their agents. The rights of parties in the matters mentioned are enjoyed by the persons who have suffered loss, or their agents, and by the judge-advocate as representative of the interests of the Government.
- The matters indicated in article 88 are attended to in the same session with those relating to the confiscation or release of detained property, and are decided on the basis of evidence presented or pointed to by the parties. The decisions in matters relating to losses are rendered simultaneously with the decision regarding confiscation or release of detained property, or else apart from this decision. Against the decisions in matters concerning losses an appeal is allowed within one month, such an appeal suspending the execution of the decision complained against.
- Matters regarding the return of merchant vessels and cargoes recaptured [Page 747]from the enemy to the original owners and the determination of the amount of payment to be made by these owners as prize money and for expenses are adjudicated in port prize courts. Such matters are passed upon in flag officers’ prize courts only in case the original owners of the recaptured property or their agents are present, but in their absence the flag officers’ courts turn the cases over to the port prize court for further action.
- The original owners of recaptured property and the commander of the recapturing vessel, or the agents of the owners and of the commander, as well as the judge-advocate, are admitted to participate as parties in the cases mentioned in article 90. In the determination of these, port prize courts, in case of necessity, summon absent owners by advertisement, and upon the appearance of the owners or of their agents, or upon the expiration of the period fixed for such appearance, they render a decision on the facts in the case. An appeal may be brought against the decision of prize courts in the matters mentioned within a month.
- The return of recaptured property to the original owners is permitted (1) before the rendering of the decision and its going into legal effect, only on condition of the owners making a money deposit equal to the amount of prize money and expenses which may be charged against them (arts. 45, 46, note, and 66), and (2) after the decision has gone into legal effect, on condition of the payment by the owners of the amount of reward and expenses charged against them. The sale of recaptured property is permitted not only in the cases contemplated in articles 67 (No. 1) and 82, but also in case a request is made to this effect by the original owners. Upon the reversion to the Government of property which was subject to return, all expenses are charged up to the Government, as well as the payment of the prize money.
- Matters concerning the determination of the amount of prize money for the detention of enemy’s vessels and cargoes by merchant vessels and the distribution of this amount are transacted in port prize courts. Such cases are begun at the instance of persons belonging to the crew of the detaining vessel and are passed upon in the presence of these persons and of the judge-advocate as parties to the case. Petitions for appeal may be presented against the decisions of prize courts in the matters mentioned within one month.
President of the Imperial Council.
INSTRUCTIONS CONCERNING THE STOPPING, EXAMINING, AND DETAINING OF VESSELS, AND CONCERNING THE CONDUCTING INTO PORT AND SURRENDER OF DETAINED VESSELS AND CARGOES.
1. Vessels of the imperial war fleet, acting in accordance with the regulations on maritime prizes, are guided, with regard to the method of stopping, examining, and detaining merchant vessels, as well as the conducting into port and surrender of detained vessels and cargoes, by the following rules, besides the declarations and other instructions issued by the Government in case of war.
Note.—The determination of the neutral territorial sea and other waters excluded from military operations by special international agreements, where, according to article 16 of the Regulations on Maritime Prizes, it is not permitted to stop, examine, and detain vessels and cargoes, also forms the subject of additional instructions.
method of stopping.
2. In order to stop a vessel encountered it is necessary to approach her, to hoist one’s flag, and to fire a blank cannon shot in the direction of the vessel encountered. Besides, a signal may be raised according to the international code. In order to stop a vessel at night, upon firing a blank shot it is necessary to have the gaff lights and the distinctive (regulation) lights open.[Page 748]
resistance to stoppage.
3. If a vessel does not stop in spite of the shot fired, a projectile is fired across the bows of the escaping vessel. In case of further resistance to stoppage, it is permissible to fire upon and pursue the fleeing vessel in order to compel her by force to stop.
Upon beginning fire it is recommended to fire the first shot across the vessel among the masts. However, such indulgence is not obligatory, especially if the steamer be superior in point of speed, so that there is a possibility of her eluding pursuit.
Every vessel which has shown an evident intention to escape from the cruiser, in consequence whereof the latter has been obliged to give chase and use force in order to stop her, is subject to detention; however, it lies with the commander, if he deem it expedient, to subject the temporarily detained vessel to an examination and to shape his further course in accordance with the results of such examination.
4. For the purpose of making an examination there are appointed an adequately experienced officer and several men of the crew, among whom it is useful to include the mate, etc. If the personnel present enable it to be done, two officers are designated who are more or less acquainted with foreign languages.
5. It is desirable that several relays of officers and men be designated beforehand for the task of making examinations. The officers and men sent to make the examinations should be armed with revolvers. It is useful to agree beforehand upon several simple conventional signals (with an oar, handkerchief, flag, etc.).
From the moment the chase is begun the officers designated for the examination prepare their men and ascertain the latitude and longitude of the imperial vessel.
6. The imperial cruiser approaches the halted vessel as closely as possible; caution, however, should be observed.
Note.—The undesirable consequences of a collision should be borne in mind. The vessel may prove to be an enemy’s vessel, and hostile acts and a desire to injure the cruiser by collision are to be expected.
7. Having lowered a boat with the officers and men, the imperial cruiser remains in such a position during the continuance of the examination as to be able to see its boat at all times and to observe everything going on in the vessel undergoing examination. The guns must be loaded and the gun captains at their quarters.
officers on board the vessel.
8. While proceeding on board the halted vessel, the name of the vessel and the port for which it is bound are observed while on the cruiser’s boat. An officer accompanied by two enlisted men boards the vessel. If two officers are designated for the examination they go on board with one enlisted man.
Note.—The remaining enlisted personnel proceeds on board only after examination of the documents has been completed and that of the whole vessel is begun. The number of sailors going on board depends upon the size of the vessel and the discretion of the officer (for instance, four, six, and more sailors).
9. The junior officer remains on the upper deck during the whole time and is not allowed to descend below. He is obliged to observe everything going on on the deck of the vessel under examination, and to watch the cruiser’s boat and the signals from his ship. He is assisted by an enlisted man who has come on board. The examination of the documents and of the vessel is performed by the senior of the officers detailed. In case of visitation by one officer the duties of junior officer are performed by the senior of the two enlisted men who have gone on board simultaneously with the officer.
10. The dealings of the officers and men with the master, crew, and passengers should be marked by courtesy and fully in accordance with the dignity of the military profession.
In case resistance is shown by the halted vessel to the carrying out of the examination, it is subject to capture.[Page 749]
examination of documents.
11. The examination is begun by asking the master:
- To give the name and nationality of his vessel.
- To name the port of destination and whence the vessel departed.
- To exhibit the log book and all documents regarding the vessel and cargo. A list of the principal ship’s papers carried on board the merchant vessels of various nations is appended hereto. (Appendix I.)
12. In proceeding to the examination of the papers the officer pays especial attention to the log book, endeavoring to ascertain all circumstances of sailing, the place according to the chart where the master considers himself to be, and the last entries made in the log book.
13. In examining the documents regarding the nationality of the vessel the officer observes the port of registry, the registry number, the names and nationality of the owners, the place and time of construction of the vessel, and also as to whether it was not bought from subjects of the enemy after the declaration of war for the purpose of covering enemy’s property.
14. In examining the documents relating to the cargo, the officer determines the kind and quantity of the goods, the places whence and whither they are being sent, the names and nationality of the shippers and consignees of the cargo. In this connection it is important to ascertain whether there are not articles contraband of war among the goods,a and to whom the cargo belongs—whether to hostile or neutral subjects.
15. In examining the documents regarding the composition of the crew and the passengers the officer should ascertain the nationality and occupation of these persons, endeavoring to determine whether there are not hostile military persons among the passengers, and who among the crew may be detained in accordance with article 18 of the Regulations on Maritime Prizes.
16. After having examined the ship’s papers, the officer asks the master to present what mail he has, searches for correspondence of the hostile government and, generally speaking, all packages addressed to the enemy’s ports.
17. The officer takes note of all documents presented to him and makes a record of everything which is most essential. In examining the documents he may ask questions of the master, steersman, and other members of the crew at his option.
results of examination of documents.
18. The officer ceases the examination and the vessel is subject to detention in the following cases:
- If the vessel proves to be an enemy’s.
- If no ship’s papers are found, especially those from which the nationality of the vessel might be determined and the circumstances of its sailing verified; and if the ship’s papers are thrown overboard or otherwise destroyed.
- If there be among the papers such as give rise to the suspicion that the vessel is a hostile one.
- If the officer becomes convinced that the documents are false.
- If it is evident from the documents that the vessel was bought by a neutral purchaser from hostile subjects and there is reason to suppose that a fictitious sale was consummated for the purpose of covering enemy’s property.
19. Having become convinced that the documents are all right, that the vessel is actually a neutral one, that there is no possibility of there being among the goods any articles contraband of war destined for the enemy, and that, generally speaking, the vessel is in no manner subject to detention, the officer immediately leaves the vessel, observing the rules set forth below in sections 28, 29, and 30 (conclusion of the examination).
20. In case of doubt as to the authenticity of the information received in the examination of the documents, and especially in those cases when the vessel is proceeding to a hostile port, or when, from the general character of the courses, navigation, and situation of the detained vessel, it may be supposed that a hostile port is the ultimate destination of the vessel or of the cargo conveyed thereon, the officer proceeds to an examination or search of the whole vessel in order to satisfy himself that there are no articles contraband of war among the cargo.[Page 750]
examination of vessel (search).
21. The examination (or search) of every vessel is performed by an officer with the assistance of several members of the crew, who go on board from the cruiser’s boat at the command of the officer.
22. The number of sailors going on board may be four, six, or eight, or more, according to the size of the vessel to be examined, and in the discretion of the officer. If it is found that the number of men on the cruiser’s boat is insufficient, the cruiser may be signaled to send more assistance. The men who go on board to make an examination should, as far as possible, be the most intelligent, active, and experienced.
23. The examination of the interior apartments presents many difficulties, and may call forth protests from neutral parties who innocently suffer. For this reason the officer should first judge what part of the cargo appears the most suspicious owing to the insufficient clearness of the ship’s papers, and to this part of the cargo he should direct his first attention. The conduct of the officer and of the men should be courteous, but without any deviations from the requirements of duty and service.
24. During the examination of the interior apartments the officer must positively demand the presence of the master during all acts, and only in extreme cases that of his assistants.
25. The master who is present during the search is obliged, upon the request of the officer making the search, to open all Jocks and rooms which the officer may desire to inspect, and indicate what objects should be handled with special care, and how certain packages (trunks, casks) should be opened or unbunged which are selected for more minute inspection. In case the master refuses to open a room upon the demand of the examining officer the vessel is subject to detention.
26. During the time of the examination or search, the officer, in order to render more easy his task, may ask various questions of individuals of the crew and passengers in order to obtain necessary information concerning the vessel and cargo. It is also advisable to pay attention to certain exterior signs; for instance, to the marks which exist on the smokestacks of steamers of various companies and which may be painted over.
27. The officer desists from further examination of the vessel when he becomes convinced that there is no contraband of war in the cargo, and that the vessel contains nothing suspicious. Every object which has been displaced should, as quickly and carefully as possible, be returned to its place according to the directions of the master.
conclusion of the examination.
28. Upon concluding the examination the officer records in the log book, in the Russian language, the time and place of the examination (latitude and longitude), the name of his ship, the name of the commander, and the result of the examination. The entry may be made in accordance with the form appended hereto. (Appendix III.)
29. Before leaving the vessel the officer proposes to the master to give a written certificate (if possible in his native tongue) that he has no cause for complaint; or, if the master have any complaint, to state the same in writing.
30. Upon descending from the vessel the officer informs the master that permission to continue his voyage will not be given until the officer arrives on the imperial ship and reports to the commander. The officer prepares a detailed account of everything which he has examined and seen.
31. If the vessel is to be detained the officer makes known this fact by a signal, and, taking with him the documents, the master, and other persons whose testimony may be necessary, he proceeds to his ship.
32. The detention of vessels and cargoes lies exclusively in the power of the commander of the imperial vessel. In this event the following order of procedure is observed:
33. On board the imperial vessel a commission is formed of three officers (including the officer who has made the examination), which prepares a detailed [Page 751]report concerning everything that has taken place and been discovered during the examination, and submits it for the approval of the commander.
preparation of the report.
34. The report is written in the Russian language. The following points must be accurately indicated therein: Nationality, kind, and name of the vessel; the names of the masters and owners; the number of the crew and their nationality; all circumstances accompanying the stoppage of the vessel; all documents presented by the master, and their contents; all circumstances attending the examination of the documents and of the vessel; all information concerning the cargo and concerning everything that was found on the vessel; all statements of the master, supercargo, boatswain, and other persons questioned.
protest of the master.
35. The contents of the report are translated orally to the master, and he is asked to sign the report. However, the signature of the master is not obligatory. A note should be made on the report that it was read and translated to the master.
The protest of the master (in writing) should be added to the report and the points on which he disagrees should be explained therein.
Note.—In view of the fact that the preparation of the report and the interrogation of the master and other persons of the crew may occupy considerable time, the cruiser has the right to compel the merchant vessel to move along a given course, and to follow after her and perform the acts mentioned while under way.
decision of the commander.
36. When the report is prepared and signed by the members of the commission it is submitted to the commander, who writes his decision on the report and settles the question as to the detention of the vessel or cargo on the basis of the following considerations:
37. Vessels subject to detention are the following:
- All hostile war and merchant vessels. (See arts. 9 and 10 of the Regulations on Maritime Prizes.)
- Note.—If, by virtue of special international agreements concluded by the Imperial Government, some of the foreign vessels are considered as not subject to seizure, they are nevertheless subjected to detention (see second half of art. 10 of the Regulations on Maritime Prizes) provided they commit the acts indicated in the second part of the present paragraph (a, b, c, d, e).
- Neutral merchant vessels:
- If they are carrying to the enemy any quantity whatever of ammunition, objects or appurtenances for making explosives, or detachments of hostile troops. (See point 1, art. 11, Regulations on Maritime Prizes.)
- If they are carrying to the enemy other articles contraband of war in a quantity exceeding by volume or weight half of the whole cargo. (See point 1, item b, art. 11, Regulations on Maritime Prizes.)
- Note.—If the quantity of such contraband of war is less than half of the whole cargo, the vessel is detained only until the contraband is surrendered, and it is left to the discretion of the commander as to whether such surrender may be made at the place of detention or after the vessel has been conducted into port. (See art, 14, Regulations on Maritime Prizes.)
- If they are caught violating an actual and declared blockade, (See art. 2 and point 2, art. 11, Regulations on Maritime Prizes.)
- If they have shown armed resistance to stoppage or examination. (See point 3, art. 11, Regulations on Maritime Prizes.)
- If they have taken part in hostile operations of the enemy. (See point 4, art. 11, Regulations on Maritime Prizes.)
- All suspicious vessels, although sailing under a
neutral flag. (See art. 16, Regulations on Maritime
Prizes.) The following and other similar acts furnish
grounds for considering a merchant vessel as suspicious:
- If the vessel does not stop its engines or lie to upon the demand of the cruiser, in consequence whereof the latter is compelled to give chase and use force in order to stop her. (See sec. 3 of the Instructions.)
- If the vessel has no papers, or has counterfeit or suspicious papers. (See sec. 18 of Instructions, points b, c, and d.)
- If there are grounds for supposing that the vessel was fictitiously sold to a neutral subject after the declaration of war. (See sec. 18, Instructions, point d.)
- If the halted vessel has shown resistance to the examination, and likewise if the master refuse to open the apartments on the demand of the examining officer. (See sees. 10 and 25 of the Instructions.)
38. Cargoes subject to detention are the following:
- Enemies’ cargoes being conveyed on hostile vessels. (See art. 10, Regulations on Maritime Prizes.)
- Hostile and neutral cargoes found on neutral vessels
which have violated their neutrality, that is (art. 12,
Regulations on Maritime Prizes):
- On neutral vessels which have taken part in hostile operations of the enemy;
- Which have shown armed resistance to stoppage, examination, or detention; and
- Caught violating a blockade.
- All cargoes which constitute contraband of war, with the exception of articles constituting the armament and provisioning of the neutral vessel itself. (Art. 12, point 1, and art. 13, Regulations on Maritime Prizes.)
In detaining vessels and cargoes the rule is observed that personal effects intended for the personal use of the crew and passengers is not subject to detention. (Art. 10, point 1, Regulations on Maritime Prizes.)
Except in the above-mentioned cases the following rules are observed:
- A neutral flag covers an enemy’s cargo with the exception of contraband of war. (Art. 2, point 2, Regulations on Maritime Prizes.)
- Neutral goods, with the exception of contraband of war, are not subject to detention under a hostile flag. (Art. 2, point 3, and art. 10, point 2, Regulations on Maritime Prizes.)
Conducting into Port.
method of conducting into port.
39. Detained vessels and cargoes are, in the discretion of the imperial cruiser, conducted into port or to the active fleet either by the cruiser itself or they proceed independently into port under the direction of a Russian officer and crew, commanders being governed in these cases by the rules set forth in articles 351–353 of the Navy Regulations, edition of 1899. In case the detained vessel is sent off separately, its original ship’s papers and the documents concerning the detention are kept with the commander of the cruiser, while the officer conducting the vessel is given copies of these papers and documents.
destruction of detained vessel.
40. In the following and other similar extraordinary cases the commander of the imperial cruiser has the right to burn or sink a detained vessel after having previously taken therefrom the crew, and, as far as possible, all or part of the cargo thereon, as well as all documents and objects that may be essential in elucidating the matter in the prize court:
- When it is impossible to preserve the detained vessel on account of its bad condition.
- When the danger is imminent that the vessel will be recaptured by the enemy.
- When the detained vessel is of extremely little value, and its conduct into port, requires too much waste of time and coal.
- When the conducting of the vessel into port appears difficult owing to the remoteness of the port or a blockade thereof.
- When the conducting of the detained vessel might interfere with the success of the naval war operations of the imperial cruiser or threaten it with danger.
The officer prepares a memorandum under his signature and that of all the officers concerning the circumstances which have led him to destroy the detained vessel, which memorandum he transmits to the authorities at the earliest possible moment.
Note.—Although article 21 of the Regulations on Maritime Prizes of 1895 [Page 753]permits a detained vessel to be burned or sunk “on the personal responsibility of the commander,” nevertheless the latter by no means assumes such responsibility when the detained vessel is actually subject to confiscation as a prize, and the extraordinary circumstances in which the imperial vessel finds itself absolutely demand the destruction of the detained vessel.
exchange of vessels.
41. If the detained vessel subject to destruction on the basis of the foregoing article is found to be better than the imperial vessel, owing to its condition or its seagoing qualities, the commander has the right to substitute the prize for his own vessel and burn or sink the latter.
entrance into neutral ports.
42. An imperial vessel, while conducting away detained vessels, may enter the ports of a neutral power which has not forbidden in its declaration of neutrality (or other official document) the visitation of its ports by war vessels of the belligerent parties with prizes.
Similarly an imperial cruiser may seek refuge in a port of a neutral power, together with captured vessels, in the case of a storm or other extreme necessity (for instance, a breakdown in the engines, insufficiency of supplies, or in case of pursuit by an enemy of superior strength), in which case the commander of the imperial vessel must submit to the rules established by the local government with regard to the period and other conditions of the sojourn in the neutral port.
in russian ports and to the active fleet.
43. Upon the bringing of a detained vessel or cargo into a Russian port it is delivered to the local naval authority (and in the absence of the latter to the port, customs, or police authority), to whom are presented all documents and surrendered all persons detained on the vessel in question for the purpose of elucidating the case.
In case the detained vessel or cargo is brought to the active fleet, it is turned over to the commander of the squadron.
The proper naval or other authority opens the sealed documents and takes measures for the reception, inventory, and preservation of the surrendered property, as well as for the sale at public auction of those articles which can not be kept, owing to their nature or condition.
The following have a right to be present during the performance of the acts in question: Firstly, the commander or one of the officers of the imperial vessel which has made the capture; and, secondly, the master of the detained vessel, as well as the owners of the vessel and cargo or their agents, provided these owners or agents are present at the place in question. All persons present are entitled to make suggestions and observations in regard to the acts of the local authority receiving the property.
in foreign ports.
44. In the case of a detained vessel or cargo being brought into the port of an allied power, it is surrendered to the local Russian naval agency, Russian consulate, or other establishment, upon which, after agreement of the Russian Government with the proper foreign authorities, will devolve the duty of receiving the prizes.
notification of the authorities.
45. The commander of the imperial vessel is obliged to notify the director of the naval ministry by telegraph, at the earliest possible moment, of all vessels and cargoes detained, as well as of their conduction into port and proper delivery.
Chief of the Central Naval Staff
List of the principal ship’s papers carried on board merchant vessels of several nationalities.
According to article 13 of the “Regulations on Maritime Prizes,” articles considered as contraband of war are announced for general information in a special declaration. The following have been declared such in declarations:a (a) All kinds of arms, both hand (portable) and artillery (ordnance), whether assembled or in parts; (b) ammunition, such as projectiles for cannon, fuses, bullets, capsules, cartridges, cartridge cases, powder, saltpeter, sulphur; (c) objects or accessories for making explosions, such as mines, dynamite, pyroxylene, and other explosive compositions; (d) artillery appliances, engineer and army vehicles, such as gun carriages and mounts, cartridge boxes or packs (small arms and ordnance), field forges, field kitchens, tool wagons, pontoons, bridge trestles, draft harness, etc.; (e) articles of troop equipment and dress, such as cartridge boxes and bags, knapsacks, bandoleers, breastplates, intrenching tools, drums, kettles, saddles, horse trappings, ready-made uniforms, tents, etc.; (f) naval vessels sailing to an enemy’s port, even though under a neutral commercial flag, if by the construction of their hull, their interior arrangement, and other signs they are evidently built for war purposes and are going to the enemy’s port for the purpose of being sold or turned over to the enemy; (g) generally speaking, all other objects directly intended for war, whether land or naval, if they are being transported at the cost of or with destination to the enemy. By the designation “to the enemy” is meant transportation to his fleet, to one of his ports, or even to a neutral port if the latter, according to obvious and indisputable proofs, merely serves as an intermediate station to the enemy and as the final goal of all transportation.
The following acts are considered on a par with military contraband and involve the same consequences for a neutral vessel and cargo: (1) Conveyance of hostile troops, military detachments, and individual military persons, and (2) conveyance of enemy’s dispatches—that is, business correspondence between hostile commanders and their agents stationed on a vessel or on territory belonging to or occupied by the enemy.
model of memorandum of visitation.
1901 (month, date), in (such and such) latitude and longitude, the Imperial Russian first-class cruiser Rurik, first-class Captain_______, commanding, stopped the steamer ___ (or sailing vessel, bark, schooner, etc.), under a neutral Dutch flag. The steamer immediately shut off its engine (or the sailing vessel lay to). Upon examination it was found that the steamer bore the name of _________, the ship’s papers (to be named) were found in good order, and there was no contraband of war on board the steamer. The examination lasted two hours (from______to______).
- Concerning articles contraband of war see Appendix II, p. 754.↩
- The enumeration here used as a basis for a list of contraband articles is that given in the enumeration of the ukase of the governing senate of May 12, 1877, on the occasion of the war between Russia and Turkey, printed on p. 477, Foreign Relations, 1877.↩