Mr. McCormick to Mr. Hay.

No. 98.]

Sir: I have the honor to transmit to you herewith the Russian text and translation of the order of His Majesty the Emperor of Russia, communicated to the Senate by the minister of justice, sanctioning the rules to be observed by the Russian Government during the war with Japan.

I have, etc.,

Robert S. McCormick.

Ordered of His Majesty the Emperor, February 14, 1904, communicated to the Senate by the minister of justice, sanctioning the rules to be observed by the Imperial Government during the tear with Japan.

His Majesty the Emperor added at the foot of the original the words “Let it be so.”

rules which the imperial government will apply during the war with japan.

Japanese subjects are allowed to continue, under the protection of the Russian laws, their sojourn and the exercise of peaceful occupations in the Russian Empire excepting in the territories which are under the control of the imperial viceroy in the Far East.
Japanese trading vessels which were in Russian ports or havens at the time of the declaration of the war are authorized to remain at such ports before putting out to sea with goods which do not constitute articles of contraband during the delay required in proportion to the cargo of the vessel [Page 728] but which in any case must not exceed forty-eight hours from the time of the publication of the present declaration by the local authorities.
Subjects of neutral powers may continue without obstacle their commercial relations with Russian ports and towns on condition that they shall conform to the laws of the Empire and to the principles of the rights of nations.
The military authorities must take all necessary measures to insure the freedom of legitimate trade of neutrals, in so far as they are compatible with the operations of war.
The following rules must be observed in regard to the commerce of neutrals:
The neutral flag protects the enemy’s goods, with the exception of contraband of war.
Neutral goods, with the exception of contraband of war, can not be seized under the enemy’s flag.
A blockade, in order to be obligatory, must be effective—that is to say, maintained by a force sufficiently strong to really prevent access to the enemy’s shores.
The following articles are considered as contraband of war:
Small arms of all kind, both portable and of artillery, whether mounted or in parts, as well as armor plate.
Ammunition for firearms, such as shells, bomb fuses, bullets, caps, cartridges, cartridge tubes, powder, sulphur, saltpeter.
Material and all kind of substances for making explosions, such as torpedoes, dynamite, pyroxilin, various fulminary substances, conductors, and all articles used for exploding mines and torpedoes.
All material for the artillery, the engineer corps, and troop trains, such as gun carriages, limbers, cartridge and ammunition boxes, campaign forges, field kitchens, instrument wagons, pontoons, bridge trestles, barbed wire, harness for transport service, etc.
Material for the equipment and clothing of troops, such as bandoliers, knapsacks, sword hilts, cuirasses, intrenching tools, harness, uniforms, tents, etc.
Ships which are bound to an enemy’s port, even if sailing under a neutral commercial flag, if their construction or internal arrangements or any other indication would show that they are built for warlike purposes or for sale or destined to be handed to the enemy upon arriving at their destination.
All kinds of ships’ machinery or boilers, whether mounted or in parts.
All kinds of fuel, such as coal, naptha, alcohol, and such like.
Telegraph, telephone, and railway material.
In general, everything intended for warfare on land or sea, also rice, foodstuffs, horses, beasts of burden, and others available for warlike purposes if they are transported for account of or intended for the enemy.
The following actions, prohibited to neutrals, are considered as violating neutrality: The transport of the enemy’s troops, its telegrams or correspondence, the supplying it of transport boats or war vessels. Vessels of neutrals found to be breaking any of these rules may be, according to circumstances, captured and confiscated.
The Imperial Government reserves the right to depart from the above decisions with regard to a neutral or hostile power which on its part does not observe them, as well as to take measures necessary to fit the circumstances of each individual case.
The detailed rules which the military authorities are bound to observe during the war at sea are prescribed in the prize regulations sanctioned by His Majesty the Emperor on March 27, 1895, as well as in special instructions approved by the council of the admiralty on September 20, 1900, relative to the detention, visitation, capture, the conveyance, and the delivery of ships and captured goods.
The military authorities are furthermore bound to conform to the following international acts signed by Russia:
The Geneva convention of the 10th [22d] August, 1864, relative to the improvement of the condition of the wounded in time of war.
The St. Petersburg conference on November 29 [December 11], 1868, relating to the prohibition to employ explosive bullets.
The acts signed at the International Peace Conference at the Hague on the 17th [29th] of July, 1899, and ratified by His Majesty the Emperor on May 6, 1900.
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The convention relating to the laws and customs of war on land.
The convention for the application to war on sea of the principles of the Geneva convention of the 10th [22d] August, 1864.
The declaration concerning the prohibition for a period of five years to throw shells or explosives from balloons or by other means of that kind newly invented.
The declaration concerning the prohibition to employ shells the sole object of which is to emit injurious gases.
The declaration concerning the prohibition to employ bullets which collapse or flatten out easily on striking the human body, such as bullets with hard envelopes which do not entirely cover the body of the bullet or which bear incisions.