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Commercial Alarm On The War Question In France

Commercial Alarm On The War Question In France image
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1 he progresa of hostiltlies in América, and the prospecta thoy hold out oí injury and inconvenicnco to the Freneh Irado, have induced ti Chumbera ol Commerce ot Marseilles, Bordeaux. Dunkirk and othor lending ports of Frunce, to petition the Fronch Senate, to f=ny that, seeing ihat, privateering is aboliáhed, and tlie commerce of bellitíerents ia safe under the neutral ft&ffr tnerchant ships not carrying contraband of war should not be Hable to capture. This would, if complied with, ainount, so far as France is concerned, to the proposition of Mr. Marcy, that private property a war time should be exetnpt frprn eizure by anned vcssels - the eondition on uhioh the United States government, eix years ;_go cmimsentod to nbolish pnvuteenng. The French Senate doea not see its way to recoinmmending tho adoption of the principie contended for by the petitioners. The Emperor has endeavored to bring about nrrangements í'avorablo to tlie itnmunity of commerce-, and the free movement of inerchant ships in war time, and even to frame a list oí contraband of war, to be agreed to by all the marítimo powers, bo that there should be, on the out break of war, no doubt what does and what does not constituía contraband. These efforts have not been successinl, and it is evident that they relaie to questions the settlement of which can only be ed by general consent. Yet jurista have attempted, and not without feuccesa, to eöoct a classih'catioií oí' tboso articles oí commerce which nre genorally held to bu contraband of war. These have been deiinod to be - 1. 'I'hose whoso uso is solely. applicable to purposes of peace. 2. Those vvliich aro of direct uso in war. 8. Those which are in doubtfül use ( promiscui anctpitus unusj, as being applicable to purposes of peace or war. 4. Those which have boon declared i ■ ■ -- ti y iiiiiiii III I itim by a neutral, and ene or both of the belligerent powurs. 5. Thoso vvhiuh have been declared be to contraband by public notifications ot one the bulligerents. These ie will be observed, wbich are nothing inore than general tions or divisions, leave un ietermined the larga and constantly recurriug questions of vvhat ai'ticles should bo in cluded in one or other of tho divisions The fact is, that it has beon long ei nop laid down by Lord Stowell, anything in the simpe ol merehandise may be regardod as contrabatid of war, f it be intended for tho support, aid or comfort oí an enemy. Üntil oí' late ycars, coals were never heard of as included. among articles contraband of war. - Coals, however, were so regardod by the liussian government in 1854, and by the Austrian government 1859. In íact, ihe law of nntions recognize the right of either belligerent to declare any artiele eontraband of war, provided due DotiñoatioD be given to that etlect. On tliis subject of eontraband of war the European Powers have froni time to time come to arrangements amongst themselves. Such an arrangement was included in the treaties of liyswiek, Nimeguen and Utrecht; and at a considerably earlier period an understanding was arrived at on the subject of eontraband oí war butween Franco and England. There is nothing to prevent such an understanding being entered iulo between the European Powers, or any of them, and the belligerents on the other side of the Atlantic ; and, in the interest of maritime cotnmerce, we have oniv to say the sooner it is arrived at the botter. That the Fruneh government should refuse to entertain the request of the Chambers of Cimmeroo that private property 6houkl be re.-pected in war time, if nut uuaccounrable, is at least, inconsistent. Tho declaration of Paus w14. rtiu (... ", if uut itie uorU.ol CoUQt Walewski and Umt deolnration gnarantees the iir.munity of the enerny's conimerce on dor the neutral flag, and of neutral cornmeice under the enemy's llag, contraband of war exceptod. To say that all ruerchant ships Dot carrying contrabund of war oh all be exempt is to go a step further in the direction of the declaration. This step, however, the Einperor declined to tako Todo so vvould be iahis opinioa gratutious ly to weaken the naval fbree of France, more especially as France possesses few colonies and no greiït ex tent of fort'ign trade. These, it seeras to us, are just the roasons why the French government should aid by every me:ms tho libèratïon of cotnmerce from the lisabilitios attaehing to it, vvhether in loaco or in war. The intemiption to naritimo coramerce pruduced by hostiitios tnay be snpported by a nation vfliich has large colonial possessions md u comrnanding trade, but it bocoiiich fi seriniw rionairlflrapon with State whcro theso concülions are roversed. I!ut the foreign trade oí Trancé is grëatly on the inoreaso. It s time for Franco to take her place as a great maritime Power, and to declare in favor of the adoption of tho enligtitened, humane 'and progressivo Dfinoiples of the immunity of tho propM-ty of non-combatants, wbethor by aea or by land, from tho ravages of war. Porhaps, however, Franco is waiting for this country to set in this respect the examplo. If so, thuro is no excuse on our part for (liis continned embarrassmetit of a questtoñ in vvliich tbo interest of oominerco and of navigutton aro so deeply involved. The poli ey of the French government, as it respects the American civil wav. is at length declared. Tho Mbiitewr of this dav announees it to bs the Imperial resofve to Hiaintiiin " a striot noutrulity in the conflict betwcen the governmont of the Üflicrp and the States whieh pretenc to form a separate öönfederatToti." The sympathies of the French government timv perhaps without niiich ditlioult) ba í aterrecí from the wo.rilir.g of tlu. deckralion, bat it is obvious tlmt the nnderstanding between France anc Englaud on tho Aoieioari que'qttQn is so far complete that it insures, in the over actiqn oi' bolh governinents, a similarit; ol ctföo as well as ofexpression ; and Z is pei 'naps as tnuuii as, undir the . ,. , of tV'""= e bavea risht esisting etste to !ií..i fr-ofh Frunce or aoy oiiier contiuental Scato. LC" Lenrning makes a mau üt oom' pany for bimself.;


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