HC Deb 30 March 1909 vol 3 cc310-1W

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can explain the effect on the carrying trade of this country of the declaration of London in a war in which this country might be neutral and the United States a belligerent, seeing that the United States is not a party to the Declaration of Paris of 1856; and would the United States in such a war retain the power of capturing the enemy's goods in British neutral vessels.


The Declaration of Paris is not affected by any provisions of the Declaration of London. The position of a State not bound by the Declaration of Paris remains, consequently, unaltered in this respect by the Declaration of London, except in so far as Article 2 of the latter reproduces the fourth rule of the Declaration of Paris, respecting the necessity of blockades being effective. If, however, the hon. Member will refer to Article 17 of the United States War Code (as amended), which served as the United States Memorandum for the deliberations of the Naval Conference (see Blue-Book Miscellaneous, No. 5 (1909), page 11), he will see that the United States Government recognise the principle that enemy's goods on neutral vessels are free unless the vessels are liable to capture for carriage of contraband, violation of blockade, or unneutral service.