File No. 763.72112/2001
The Secretary of State to the Netherland Minister ( Van Rappard )
Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of December 13, 1915, wherein you state that your Government has lodged with the French and British Governments a protest against the new decrees doing away with the enforcement of Article 57 of the Declaration of London; that your Government has especially protested to the British Government against the seizure of the vessel Hamborn, recently taken into Halifax at the same time as the American vessel Hocking; that the Government of the Netherlands has taken the position that, not only under the Declaration of London, but also under the accepted rules of international law, the flag granted by a sovereign state determines the nationality of the vessel in time of war and of peace and places it under the protection of that state save the case of transfer of the flag; and that your Government desires to learn the attitude of the Government of the United States in the case of the Hocking, seized under the same circumstances as the Dutch vessel Hamborn.1
The Department has the matter under consideration, but is not prepared at this time to announce its views touching the phases presented by the seizure of the Hocking.