International Law and Diplomacy in the Spanish Civil Strife

By Norman J. Padelford; Bureau of International Research of Harvard University and Radcliffe College. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II
INTERFERENCE WITH FOREIGN SHIPPING

AMONG the problems most frequently arising in connection with insurrections and civil strife are those relating to the status of foreign vessels in the areas of hostilities, and to the activities of the armed forces of the contestants in relation thereto.1 According to international rules gradually evolved during the nineteenth century and generally enforced in time of civil disturbance, contending factions enjoy the right to control the movements and activities of foreign shipping within their territorial waters, but are not legally entitled to interfere with foreign vessels upon the high seas unless the states having jurisdiction over such vessels have recognized the belligerency of the contestants.2 Control within territorial waters does not, however, authorize the contestants to make foreign vessels therein the object of attack or bombardment, unless they are in the direct line of fire and fail to remove upon warning, or are rendering active aid and service to the armed forces of the enemy.

Notwithstanding the reiteration of these rules on numerous occasions during the contemporaneous civil strife in Spain,3 and in spite of consistent protest by the states concerned, extensive interference with foreign shipping on the high seas, and bombardment of such shipping within territorial waters continuously occurred.4 Interference on the high seas was carried out in four ways: by surface war vessels stopping foreign vessels for visit and search according to the customary methods of naval practice; by the sowing of auto-

____________________
1
See N. J. Padelford, "Foreign Shipping During the Spanish Civil War," A.J.I.L., Vol. XXXII ( 1938), pp. 264-279, upon which this chapter is based.
2
G. G. Wilson, "Insurgency and International Maritime Law,"ibid., Vol. I ( 1907), p. 54; G. G. Wilson, N.W.C., 1902, pp. 72, 79-83; ibid., 1904, p. 39; ibid., 1907, pp. 136-137; ibid., 1912, p. 20; ibid., 1935, p. 82; N. J. Padelford, "International Law and the Spanish Civil War," A.J.J.L., Vol. XXXI ( 1937), p. 226et seq.; Moore, Digest, Vol. II, pp. 1085-1086, 1089, 1112, 1118-1120; Weisse, op. cit., pp. 45, 61, 222.
3
See statements quoted in New York Times, Aug. 21, Nov. 24, 26, 1936; March 24, April 2, 13, May 2, July 16, Aug. 27, 1937.
4
See Appendix XV for list of instances of interference together with particulars.

-25-

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International Law and Diplomacy in the Spanish Civil Strife
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • Chapter I - The Legal Status of the Contesting Parties 1
  • Conclusions 23
  • Chapter II - Interference with Foreign Shipping 25
  • Conclusions 50
  • Chapter III - The International Non-Intervention System 53
  • Chapter IV - The League of Nations and the Civil Strife 121
  • Conclusions 140
  • Chapter V - Problems in Diplomatic and Consular Relations 144
  • Conclusions 167
  • Chapter VI - The United States and the Civil Strife 169
  • Summary of American Policy 187
  • Chapter VII - The Termination of the Strife 189
  • Chapter VIII - Conclusion 196
  • Appendices 203
  • Index 675
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