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the case of the Bermuda by a somewhat fanciful metaphor. “ Successive voyages connected by a common plan and a common object form a plural unit. They are links of the same chain, each identical in description with every other, and each essential to the continuous whole.” Unfortunately, however, as regards the application of the metaphor to the case of the cargo of the Springbok, the last link, which was essential to constitute the chain, was wanting as a matter of fact, whilst in the English cases, from which the metaphor has been borrowed, the chain was in fact complete.*
Let us consider for a moment the practical bearings of this plural unification of successive voyages, when applied to the transportation of cargo. The eminent American Juristt who drew up the brief of the owners of the cargo of the Springbok, has discussed the possible consequences of the new practice from the American point of view : “We are apt,” he says, “to think these questions of continuous voyages are chiefly interesting to Great Britain with her transmarine possessions, and not to a country like the United States or Italy without them. But the United States with its immense sea-coasts on the Atlantic and Pacific, and Italy, in its position half-way between the Levant and the Atlantic, both occupy positions of the greatest interest on the question.
“Is the whole coasting trade in the dry-goods and breadstuffs between Northern and Southern ports, and in cotton between New Orleans, Savannah, and Charleston and New York, to be exposed to the French and British cruisers in a war between those countries, or between either of them and Mexico or South America, because these domestic voyages between neutral ports of this country are to be supplemented by future voyages of unknown vessels to unknown belligerent ports ? Are these cruisers to visit and send in across the Atlantic for adjudication a cotton-laden ship, admitted to be bound from New Orleans to New York, because New York merchants are sending shipload after shipload of cotton to France or to England, and it is probable the intercepted cargo might have an ulterior destination ? Is Italy, in wars between France and England, or of either or both of them with Russia, on some Eastern or Turkish question, * to find its neutral trade molested, because what comes to it from the Levant, may seek a new voyage through the Straits of Gibraltar, and what comes to it through the Straits of Gibraltar may have an ulterior destination by a new voyage to the Bosphorus, the Black Sea, the Greek entrepôt of Syra, or the Suez Canal ?
* The Maria, 5 Ch., Rob. 365, and cases there cited ; the William, 5 Ch., Rob. 385, and cases there cited; the Thomyris Edward, 17, are all cases of cargo captured after transhipment and in the course of the ulterior voyage to the enemy's port.
+ The Hon. William Maxwell Evarts.
“We must think no more important question than this of • Continuous Voyages,' as illustrated by the case of the prize condemnation of the cargo of the Springbok can touch either the interests or the pride of neutral maritime States."
A case may also be imagined from a British point of view. It is well known that almost all the saltpetre of commerce is collected in Bengal and is shipped from Calcutta to the port of London, and that London is in fact the great entrepôt of saltpetre, to which all the nations of Europe, not omitting those of America, resort for their supplies. In time of general peace, as saltpetre will not bear a high freight, it is shipped for the most part from Calcutta to London by the route round the Cape of Good Hope, but in time of war it is not unreasonable to expect, that it may be worth while for a merchant of Bengal to forward it in a British steamer with other merchandise by the route of the Suez Canal from Calcutta to London. Such a commerce, being between neutral ports, would be perfectly legitimate under the hitherto received Law of Nations, but under the novel
* This was written in 1873.
doctrine of “ Continuous Voyages," at the present moment, when Russia and the Ottoman Porte are at war, if there should be any ground for suspicion that the English merchant has in contemplation a sale of the saltpetre immediately on its arrival at London, and that it will be forthwith transhipped on board another vessel from London to St. Petersburgh, the British vessel and her cargo, whilst on its way to London, would be liable to capture by an Ottoman cruiser as soon as the vessel has left the Suez Canal, and before she is well out of sight of Port Said. On the other hand, if a similar cargo of saltpetre were shipped on board of a German vessel from Calcutta to Hamburgh, it would not be liable to capture, however strong the suspicion might be that it would on its arrival be sold forthwith to a Russian merchant, and would be forwarded by railway to St. Petersburgh. Again, if there should be a war at any time between France and Russia, and France should establish a blockade of the Russian ports in the Baltic, a perfectly innocuous cargo, such as sugar and coffee, laden in an American port, on board of a British ship bound direct to London, would be liable to capture in mid-Atlantic by a French cruiser on suspicion, that the cargo on its arrival at London is to be sold to a Russian merchant, and will be forwarded by sea to some blockaded port in the Baltic, it being notorious that the normal supply of sugar and coffee to Russia in time of peace is by such a course of trade. But the new doctrine of continuous voyages, as at present limited, would not apply to cargoes of a like kind despatched from America in American or German vessels to Hamburgh or to Bremen, although the cargoes themselves should be destined on their arrival at one or other of those ports to be forwarded by railway to Riga or some other blockaded port in the Baltic, the novel doctrine of continuous voyages having only at present been applied to cargoes, which are to be forwarded by sea.* Yet the
* If England be supposed to be at war with Russia and the Russian Baltic
ulterior destination of the cargo to the enemy's country will have been as much the inducement to send such cargoes to Hamburgh or to Bremen, as to send them to London, while the necessity of cutting off the enemy's supplies, which is the only justification of a belligerent's interference with neutral commerce, would be as great in the one case as in the other. It is on these, amongst other considerations, that I have ventured to remark, that the Supreme Court of the United States in giving to the doctrine a prospective operation, as regards the conveyance of contraband of war and breaches of blockade, has stepped on to a dangerous declivity, down which it will be difficult for Prize Courts to arrest their progress ; for although the Supreme Court has attempted to lay down a different rule for contraband merchandise, in regard to its ulterior destination over land, from that which it has applied to breach of blockade, the Prize Court of another nation in applying the doctrine of continuous voyages frospectively may ignore the attempt of the Supreme Court to distinguish them, and may rule that cargoes may be rightfully captured in either case during the transitus from one neutral port to another, whether the intermediate terminus ad quem be a continental port or an insular port, if the goods are suspected to be ultimately destined to enemy's uses.
The bearing of the new doctrine on the Declaration of Paris of 1856 is not without practical importance. There can be no doubt that the doctrine of "prospective continuity"* applied to the transport of merchandise on the high seas opens wide the floodgates of visitation and search, Ports to be in a state of effective blockade, according to the novel American doctrine, an English cruiser might thereupon capture a neutral Dutch vessel carrying a cargo of sugar or coffee from a neutral port in Cuba to the neutral port of Hamburgh or Bremen on a suspicion, that the cargo was intended to be transhipped at such neutral German port, and that its ulterior destination was “ some blockaded Russian Port.”
• The term prospective continuity may be conveniently used to distinguish the continuity of a voyage in posse from that of a voyage in esse.
which it was one object of the Declaration of Paris to close partially, and that instead of tending to localise the future operations of maritime warfare, it is calculated to extend them over every sea. Under the Second Article of the Declaration of Paris the neutral flag covers enemy's goods with the exception of contraband of war. Under the Third Article neutral goods, with the exception of contraband of war, are not liable to capture under the enemy's flag. Under the general law of nations no goods were contraband of war, unless they were shipped on board of a vessel actually going to an enemy's port or to enemy's ships. Under the new theory the destination of the ship to a neutral port will be no criterion of the goods not being contraband. The belligerent cruiser will be in each case entitled to ascertain the ulterior destination of the cargo after the ship has completed her actual voyage, and consequently although the neutral ownership of both the ship and the cargo may be beyond doubt, the ship may be sent into port for a judicial inquiry as to the ulterior destination of the cargo. With regard to blockade the maritime world has still to await a judicial interpretation of the Fourth Article of the Declaration of Paris. “Blockades, in order to be binding must be effective, that is to say, maintained by a force sufficient really to prevent access to the coast of the enemy.” It has been thought by most jurists that the object of this article was to abolish paper blockades, in other words, blockades virtually established by a notification, but not actually maintained by any blockading cruisers stationed off the port, and so to protect a neutral vessel and its cargo from capture and condemnation for a constructive breach of blockade, when the port to which the vessel is bound at the time of capture, is not actually under an effective blockade ; but under the “ prospective theory of continuous voyages,” every neutral port to which a neutral cargo may be consigned in a neutral vessel, becomes a virtually blockaded port, if there should
to be bin s. the Decla clal inte