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vessel encountered and not being painted with these huge red and white bands was to be torpedoed, without quarter, and as far as possible, to use the expression of the German diplomat at Buenos Aires, "spurlos versunken”; whereas, it, therefore, goes without saying that every vessel found in the other waters from the said time on was to be torpedoed; whereas, the vessels which might have desired to make for a Belgian port or to depart therefrom were accordingly directly exposed to being torpedoed in default of being able to show any distinctive mark, and whereas, those which might have shown a distinctive mark sufficiently apparent for a periscope would not have escaped the vigilance of and capture by the Allied patrol boats;
Whereas, to sum up, the situation was such, that as soon as a vessel had left Dutch territorial waters, bound either north or south, it was confronted by an unknown fate in the waters infested by enemy vessels and engines, and not only exposed to torpedoing without the least previous warning of any kind whatsoever by a German submarine, from which not the least quarter could be expected, but also to capture by an Allied naval or aerial patrol;
Whereas, it follows from these considerations that the blockade of the whole Belgian coast and of the port of Bruges in particular, was effective at the time of the transfer of the Roelfina to a neutral flag and that this transfer was null by virtue of the absolute presumption resulting from the Declaration of London ;
Whereas, the firm of Nederlandsche Gist en Spiritus Fabriek is not, therefore, justified in availing itself of the sale concluded between it and the German authorities on October 12, 1918, counter to the rights which the Belgian State bases upon the recapture of a vessel that has legally retained enemy character;
As to the claim of the French State made through diplomatic channels;
Whereas, the French State, through the mediation of the Executive Commission of Insurance against War Risks had, in the course of the year 1917 and independently of cargoes, insured the hull of the sailing vessel Roelfina for four-fifths of its agreed value, that is 50,840 francs ;
Whereas, by the effect of its condemnation through a German prize tribunal, this ship has acquired enemy character, with regard to the belligerent who effected its recapture subsequently;
Whereas, for reasons developed by the judgments of this council in the cases of the steamships Midsland and Gelderland, as well as in the case of the sailing vessel Agiena, the latter under date of this day, the recapture made by the Belgian State under the aforesaid conditions was not a recapture “but a new prize, not obliging the recaptor to restitution with regard to the former neutral proprietor, definitively deprived of his right";
Whereas, this juridical situation could not be influenced by the circumstance that since the original capture the Dutch shipowner Spliethof P. A. A. de Jonge, proprietor of the vessel, has relinquished it with subrogation of its rights to the underwriter, the French State;
Whereas, in spite of the regret that the Belgian Prize Council may feel in being compelled to reject a claim formulated by a friendly nation which during the recent war has made the most noble effort for the triumph of the cause of civilization, and while leaving it to the Belgian Government to act upon the claim, if it is fitting, the council must needs, under pain of failing in its mission of limiting itself to judge in accordance with law, state in the present case that the French State could not have with regard to the recaptor, the Belgian State, more rights than the neutral shipowner had, whose assign it is; whereas, the recapture affected a neutral vessel at the moment of its original capture, the latter alone having to be considered in this case; and whereas, under any hypothesis, if the vessel should be considered an Allied vessel, its condemnation by the German prize court would not in any less degree hinder the obligation of restitution, as in the case of a neutral vessel;
Whereas, the conditions of the armistice, which were directed exclusively against Germany, could not have had as their object to deprive Belgium, an Allied Power, of the benefits acquired before the armistice by a capture which would bring about the dispossession of the enemy and which represents the exercise of a legitimate right confirmed on this day by a sentence of validity;
For these reasons:
The council having heard the Assistant Commissioner of the Government, De Vos, in his pertinent motions, rejecting all contrary claims as unfounded, and acknowledging to the Nederlandsche Gist en Spiritus Fabriek that it estimates the litigation at more than 20,000 francs, declares legal and valid the capture of the sailing vessel Roelfina, and decrees that this vessel shall belong in its totality to the Belgian State, Expenses as in law.
IN RE THE UNITED COMBED WOOL SPINNING MILLS OF SCHAFFHAUSEN
French Council of Prizes
Paris, March 29, 1917
In the name of the French people, the Council of Prizes.
1 Translated from MS. in the Department of State.
In view of the memorandum of March 3, 1917, registered in the Office of the Secretary of the Prize Council on the 22nd of the same month, by the Minister of Marine Affairs, transmitting the report relative to the seizure at Havre of three boxes of woolen fabrics;
In view of the official report of February 23, 1917, according to which an officer, designated for that purpose by the Commandant of the Navy at Havre, declares that he seized in the railroad station at Havre three boxes of woolen fabrics shipped by the “United Combed Wool Spinning Mills at Schaffhausen and Derendingen," to wit
Two boxes marked L. and C. Numbers 7879-80. Net weight--548 K., containing 1,460 meters;
413 K. One box marked L. and C. Number 7875. Net weight
961 K. 1157 taining meters; said cases addressed to Havre to the forwarding
2617 agency Marzolff and Co., to be loaded on the Dutch steamer Ary Scheffer and consigned to the firm Lichtenstein and Co., at Amsterdam:
In view of the telegram of February 6, 1917, from the Naval Attaché of the French Legation at The Hague conveying the information that the firm Lichtenstein is German:
Together with the documents of the report:
Having heard M. Rouchon Mazerat, member of the Council, JudgeAdvocate, and M. Chardenet, Commissary of the Government, in his motions ;
Considering that if, according to the terms of Article 7 of the decree of March 13, 1915, “the question of ascertaining whether the intercepted merchandise is merchandise belonging to German subjects or coming from Germany or shipped over Germany, is brought before the Prize Council,” it appears from the provisions of said act that it can refer only to merchandise that has been loaded and seized on a vessel or in a warehouse detaining it :
Considering that the three aforementioned cases have on the contrary been seized, coming from Switzerland, in the railroad station of Havre before their embarkation on the Dutch steamer Ary Scheffer;
Decides: The Prize Council is incompetent to render decision on the seizure in the railroad station of Havre of three boxes of woolen fabrics of Swiss provenience before they are sent on to a firm at Amsterdam which is reputed to be German.
America and the Race for World Dominion. By A. Demangeon. New
York: Doubleday, Page & Co., 1921. xiv+234 pp. $2.00.
Sensational enough in the principal thesis which it supported in the original European edition, and brilliant as was its style in the original French, this little volume has been made still more sensational in translation. Its title has been materially altered and a phrasing and diction have been adopted by the translator which are skillfully calculated to accentuate all of the startling ideas, or all phases of the one startling idea, which the author presents. This is a rather unusual thing to do, it may be supposed. To present a work originally conceived as dealing with “the decline of Europe" as a treatise on “America and the race for world dominion” may be good tactics in the publishing world; it is hardly good science.
For the author is primarily interested in, and he discusses, primarily, the former subject. Europe has, he believes, for some half a century now, but mainly as a result of the War, been losing her pre-eminence in the manufacturing world and, what is more important, her control of world commerce and world finance. Man-power has been lost by emigration and by war; credit has been squandered in the purchase of food and raw materials which could not be had in Europe, and even manufactured products began to be imported while all European production and finance were concentrated on war. No longer is Europe in a position to supply the world with capital, with colonists, with manufactured products. Her subject peoples are rising to throw off European domination. The nonEuropean countries are preparing to do without Europe.” They dispute the idea that the world is to be unified with Europe as a centre; they hope for destruction of the European centralization and monopoly; they are bringing about “the dismembering of the European Empire.”
Such a thesis, if true, means that we are witnessing, in our own day, and in the space of a half-century or a little more, a shifting of the centre of civilization in the world comparable only with that which worked itself out from the fourth century to the fourteenth in Europe itself, when the Mediterranean gave place to Northern and Central Europe as the centre of the world's life. And the thesis is convincingly presented by the Professor of Geography at the Sorbonne, with a wealth of statistical evidence which seems to leave in the mind of the American reader, at least, no room for doubt.
*The JOURNAL assumes no responsibility for the views expressed in signed book reviews.-ED.
What, then, is to become of the predominance heretofore held by Europe! The title of the American edition implies that “world dominion" is to pass to America. One or two sentences in the book encourage this inference. “Financiers, manufacturers, and merchants (of the United States) work in unity, preparing the way for one another in all corners of the world where there is a part to play, or a market to conquer.” "It is an economic offensive that has as its aim the chaining to the chariot of America of vast groups of human beings that until recently followed the fortunes of Europe."
Yet, on the whole, the author does not mean to say either that there is a deliberate "race" for dominion on the part of America and Europe, or that the "dominion” for which there exists, in the very nature of the situation, an unconscious competition, is that sharp type of legal or political dominion which we call imperialism. The “dominion” at stake is general economic power and cultural authority. Even such power, moreover, is not to pass to the United States intact. Japan receives almost as much attention from the author as does America. If the man-power, the financial power, the industry, the sea-power, and the commerce of America have increased in stupendous leaps in the last generation, and especially since 1914, so have the powers of Japan developed, until she dominates the Asiatic scene as the United States dominates the American. What is happening, in reality, is that America and Asia are each rising to assert their independence from Europe. Europe need not, and will not, go under the yoke, but will merely lose her hegemony of other years. The world is to be decentralized, to be “regionalized”; the Pacific will be “a new Mediterranean”; certain parts of the earth will centre about Japan, others about America, and, presumably, others about old Europe. “There will be no longer unity, but a plurality, of influences." (This is very far from American dominion.)
This volume thus registers a turning point in world history as important as the Renaissance and the downfall of Rome together. It is the story in miniature of the decline and fall of the Empire of Europe, of the birth of Asia and America as distinct centres of the world's life.
PITMAN B. POTTER.
Le Droit des Gens et les Rapports des Grandes Puissances avec les autres États avant le Pacte de la Société des Nations. By Charles Dupuis. Paris : Plon-Nourrit, 1921, pp. 544.
The author tells us in his Preface to this interesting volume, that he wrote most of it at the request of the Nobel Committee of Peace (of the