belligerents a free access to the neutral territory and the right to secure supplies therein as freely as in time of peace. Vattel nine years later took a rather different and more advanced position. According to him, a neutral state must abstain from giving help to either party, and can not give it to both equally, "for it would be absurd that a state should succor two enemies at the same moment." He also points out that furnishing the same things to both sides may not be equivalent aid to them both. Nevertheless he goes on to say that a neutral may lend money to one of two belligerents if this is done as a purely business transaction.
Neutrality depends in large part on the municipal statutes of a country, especially as regards the neutral conduct of its citizens and residents. A proclamation of neutrality, while generally the pronouncement of the executive, is a unilateral act of a national state, and sets forth the policy of a country as determined by its domestic civil authority. Where one or both of the parties are not independent states, such a proclamation serves as a recognition of a belligerent status, with the right to employ belligerent rights. Moreover, neutral states in all wars, and maritime states especially, find it necessary to define their relation to the conflict. It is difficult to see how this definition could take place, if a state may be, as some have suggested, less neutral toward some states, and more neutral toward others. The first neutrality proclamation of the United States, issued by President George Washington on April 22, 1793, is worth quoting at this point:
Whereas it appears that a state of war exists between Austria, Prussia, Sardinia, Great Britain, and the United
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Publication information: Book title: The Neutrality Policy of the United States. Contributors: Julia E. Johnsen - Compiler. Publisher: H.W. Wilson. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1936. Page number: 82.