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Declaration of the King of Denmark ami Norway, to the Courts of London, Versailles, and Madrid.
IF the most exact and perfect neutrality, with the most regular navigation, and the most inviolable respect to treaties, could have kept tree the commerce of the subjects of the King of Denmark and Norway from the inroads of the powers with whom be is at peace, free and independent, it would not be necessary to take measures to insure to his subjects that liberty to which they have the most incontrovertible right. The King of Denmark has always founded his glory, and his grandeur, upon the esteem and confidence of other people. It has been his rule, from the beginning of his reign, to testify to all the powers, his friends, a conduct the most capable of convincing them of his pacific intentions, and of his desire to contribute to the general happiness of Europe. His proceedings have always been conformable to these principles, against which nothing can be alledged; he has not, till now, addrelled himself, but to the powers at war, to obtain a redress of his griefs; and he has never wanted moderation in his demands, nor acknowledgments when they have received the success they deserved: but the neutral navigation has been too often molested, and the most innocent commerce of his subjects too frequently troubled; so that the king finds himself obliged to take proper measures to allure to himself and his allies the safety of commerce and navigation, and
the maintenance of the inseparable rights of liberty and independence. If the duties of neutrality are sacred, the law of nations has also its rights avowed by all impartial powers, established by custom, and founded upon equity and reason. A nation independent and neuter, does not lose by the war of other* the rights which (he had before the war, because peace exists between her and all the belligerent powers. Without receiving or being obliged to follow the laws of either of them, she is allowed to follow, in all places (contraband excepted) the traffic which the would have a right to do, it" peace existed with all Europe, as it exists with her. The king pretends to nothing beyond what the neutrality allows him. This is his rule, and that of his people; and the king cannot accord to the principle, that a power at war has a right to interrupt the commerce of his subjects. He thinks it due to himself, and his subjects, faithful observers of these rules, and to the powers at war themselves, to declare to them the following principles, which .he has always held., and which he will always avow and maintain, in concert with the Empress of ajl the Russiis, whose sentiments he finds entirely conformable with his own.
I. That neutral vessels hart a right to navigate freely from port to port, even ou the coasts of the powers at war.
II. That the effects of the subjects of the powers at war shall be free in neutral vessels, except such as ave deemed contraband.
III. That nothing is to be understood under the denominations of contraband, that is not expressly fressly mentioned as such in the third article of his treaty of commerce with Great Britain, in the year 167", and the 26th and 27th articles of his treatv of commerce with France, in the year 1742; and the king will equally maintain these rules with those powers with whcm he has no treaty. N
IV. That he will look upon as a fort blocked up, into which no vessel can enter without evident danger, on account of vessels of war Rationed there, which form an effectual blockade.
. V. That these principles serve for rules in procedure, and that juliice shall be expeditioufly rendered, after the rules of the sea, conformably to treaty and usage received.
VI. His majesty does not hesitate to declare, that he will maintain these principles with the honour of his flag, and the liberty and ind'pendence of the commerce and navigation of his subjects; and that it is for this purpose he has armed a part of his navy, although he is desirous to preserve, with all the powers at war, not only a good understanding, but all the friendship which the neutrality can admit of. The king will never recede from these principles, unless he is forced to it: he knows the duties and the obligations, he respects them as he does his treaties, and desires no other than to maintain them. His majesty is persuaded, that the belligerent powers will acknowledge the justice of his motives; that they will be as averse as himself to doing any thing that may oppress the liberties of mankind, and that they will give their orders to their admiralty and co Vol. XXIII.
their officers, 'conformably to the principles above recited, which tend to the general happiness and interest of all Europe. .
Lopenbagtrii "July 8, 1780.
Declaration of the King of Sweden to tie same Courts,
EVER since the beginning of the present war, the king has taken particular care to manifest his intentions to all Europe; He imposed unto himself the law qf a perfect neutrality; he fuU filled all the duties thereof, with the most scrupulous exactitude; and in consequence thereof, he thought himself entitled to all the prerogatives naturally appertaining to the qualification of a sovereign perfectly neuter. But notwithstanding this, his commercial subjects have been obliged to claim his protection, and his majesty has found himself under the necessity to grant it to them.
To effect this, the king ordered last year a certain number of men of war to be fitted out. He employed a part thereof on the coasts of his kingdom, and the rest served as convoys for the Swedish mwchant ships in the different seas which the commerce of his subjects required them to navigate. He acquainted the several belligerent powers with these measures, and was preparing to continue the fame during the course of this year, when other courts, who had likewise adopted a perfect neutrality, communicated their sentiments unto him, which the king found entirely conformable to his own, and tending to the fame object. *" ,
The Empress of Russia caused a declaration to be delivered to the Courts of London, Versailles, and Madrid, in which she acquainted them of her resolution to protect the commerce of her subjects, and to defend the universal rights and prerogatives of neutral nations. This declaration was founded upon such just principles of the law of nations and the subsisting treaties, that it was impossible to call them into question. The king found them entirely concordant with his own cause, and with the treaty concluded in the year 1666, between Sweden and Prance; and his majesty could not forbear to acknowledge and to adopt the fame principles, not only with regard to those powers, with whom the said treaties are in force, but also with regard to such others as are already engaged in the present war, or may be involved therein hereafter, and with whom the king has no treaties to reclaim. It is the universal law, and when there are no particular engagements existing, it becomes obligatory upon all nations.
la consequence thereof, the king declares hereby again, " That he will observe the same neutrality, and with the same exactitude as he has hitherto done. He will enjoin all his subjects, under rigorous pains, not to act in any mariner whatever contrary to the duties which a strict neutrality ■ imposes unto them; but he will effectually protect their lawful commerce, by all possible means, ■whenever they carry on the fame, conformably to the principles here above mentioned."
Explanation <wbicb the Court if Sweden bat demanded, relative to the Pits o/al nxibicb tbe Court of Russia has made for tbe reciprocal Proteilion and Navigation of their Subjeas.
I. T TOW and in what manner Jlj. a reciprocal protection and mutual assistance shall be given.
II. Whether each particular1 power (hall be obliged to protect the general commerce of the whole, or if in the mean time it may employ a part of its armament in the protection of its own particular commerce.
III. If several of these combined squadrons should meet, or, for example, one or more of their vessels, what shall be the rule of their conduct towards each other, and how far shall the neutral protection extend.
IV. It seems essential to agree upon the manner in which representations shall be made to the powers at war, if, notwithstanding our measures, their ships of war, or armed vessels, should continue to interrupt our commerce in any manner. Must these remonstrances be made in the general name of the united powers, or shall each particular power plead its own cause only?
V. Lastly, it appears essentially necessary to provide against this possible event, where one of the united powers feeing itself driven to extremities against any of the powers actually at war, should claim the assistance os the allies in this convention to do ber justice; in what manner can this be bell concerted? A circumstance which
equally equally requires a stipulation, that the reprisals in that cafe (hall not be at the will of such party injured, but that the common voice (hall decide; otherwise an individual power might at its pleasure draw the rest against their inclinations and interests into disagreeable extremities, or break the whole league, and reduce matters into their original state, which would render the whole fruitless and of no effect.
Jn/wir es tie Court if Russia.
I. A S to the manner in which Xjl. protection and mutual assistance shall be granted, it must be settled by a formal convention, to which all the neutral powers will be invited, the principal end of which is, to insure a free navigation to the merchant ships of all nations. Whenever such vessel shall have proved from its papers that it carries no contraband goods, the protection of a squadron, or vessels of war, shall be granted her, under whose ca;e she shall put herself, and which (hall prevent her being interrupted. From , hence it follows:
II. That each power must concur in the general security of commerce. In the mean time, the better to accomplish this object, it will be necessary to fettle, by means of a separate article, the places and distances which may be judged proper for the station of each power. From that method will arise this advantage, that ail the squadrons of the allies , will form a kind of chain, and be able to assist each other; the particular arrangement to be confined only to the knowledge of the al
lies, though the convention in all other points, will be communicated to the powers at war, accompanied with all the protestations of a strict neutrality.
Us. It is undoubtedly the principle of a perfect equality, which must regulate this point. We shall follow the common mode with regard to safety. In case the squadrons should meet and engage, the commanders will conform to the usages of the sea service, because, as is observed above, the reciprocal protection, under these conditions, should be unlimited.
IV. It seems expedient that the representations mentioned in this article be made by the party aggrieved; and that the ministers of the other confederate powers support those remonstrances in the most forcible and efficacious manner.
V. We feel all the importance of this consideration ; and, to render it cleir, it is necessary to distinguish the case.
If any one of the allied powers should suffer itself to be drawn in by motives contrary to the established principles of a neutrality and perfect impartiality, should injure its laws, or extend their bounds, it cannot certainly be expected that the others should espouse the quarrel; on the contrary, such a conduct would be deemed an abandoning the ties which unite them. But if the insult-offered to one of the allies, should be hostile to the principles adopted and announced in the face of all Europe, or should be. marked with the character of hatred and animosity, inspired by Resentment, these common mea
[Z] % sure*
sure* of the confederacy, which bolder, and <wbicb -were tales met
have Bo other tendency than to of Mr. LaurensV Trunk.
make, in a precise and irrevocable
manner, laws for the liberty of
commerce, and the rights of every
neutral nation, then it shall be
held indispensable for the united
powers to make a common cause
of it (at sea only) without its
being a ground-work for other
operations, as these connections
are purely maritime, having no
other object than naval commerce
From all^ that is said above, it evidently results, that the common will of all, founded upon the principles admitted and adopted by the contracting parties, must alone decide, and that it will always be the fixed basis of the condust and operations of this union, finally, we shall observe, that iii-se conventions suppose no other naval armament than what shall be conformable to circumstances, according as those shall render them necessary, or as - may be agreed. It is probable that tins agreement, once ratified and established, will be of the greatest consequence; and that the belligerent powers Will find in it sufficient motive* to persuade them to respect the neutral flag, and prevent their provoking the resentment of a respectable communion, founded under the auspices of the most evident justice, and the sole idea of which is received with the universal applause ot all impartial Europe.
Papers ivbich inert communicated by Hir Joseph Yoike, by express Orders from the King bis Muster, to e;i S.rine Uighne/t the Prince Stadl
THE following are the out-
Done at Aix la-Chapelle, the 4th of September, 1778.
Signed, John Deneufville.
I hereby certify that the above is a true copy.
Signed, Sa Muel W. Stokton.
No. I. Treats of Amity and Commerce bitxaeen Ike Republic of Holland and the United Statet if America.
THE preamble recites, that the said contracting states of Holland.and America, wishing to establish a treaty of commerce, have resolved to six it on the basis of a perfect equality, and the reciprocal utility arising from the equitable laws of a free trade; provided that the contracting partics Ih 11 be at liberty to admit, as they think good, other nations tj partake of the advantages arising from the said trade. Actuated