Mr. Hay to Mr. McCormick.
Washington, August 11, 1904
(Mr. Hay states that it appears from the decision relating to the Arabia that flour consigned to commercial houses in Japan is considered as absolutely contraband. Under the Eussian rules of last February rice and food stuffs “which may be used in time of war when they are transported for account of or in destination of the enemy” [Page 757]are declared to be contraband of war. It was believed that this definition conditionally qualified in this manner was in harmony with international law, and this Government has been confident that it would be so interpreted. Department’s circular of June 10 (printed ante) clearly stated the views of this Government as to what constituted conditional contraband of war in the normal course of trade to open ports of the enemy’s country. No other interpretation can be regarded as in harmony with international law. Instructs him to earnestly impress the views of the United States Government upon the Russian Government, to state that the Arabia carried consignments of flour under an American charter to private commercial houses in open Japanese ports in the ordinary course of commerce, and to protest against the condemnation of the same without proof of transportation for account of, or in destination of the enemy, to ask for its release, and to reserve all rights of American citizens or of the Government of the United States acting for them.)