coming down the Rhine from Cologne not passing by Rotterdam or any of their seaports, or vessels from sea going up to Cologne. The French niinister considers any prohibition of transit as cpntrary to the treaty öf Vienna. However, both prornised to consider this subject, with a view to fix a mode in which it should be proposed to the powers assembled here ») to bring it under the consideration of the king of the Netherlands. It must be observed that the reglement referred to in article 32 of the Annexe has not been agreed to *), and till this is hxed the navigation of the Rhine is governed by the law of 1804s).
- I confess that the examination which I have made of the subject gives me strong doubts that the government of the Netherlands or any government situated on the Rhine or any other river, has a right, under the treaty of Vienna, to levy any transit duty on goods passing through their territories by such river. I observe that neither the late lord Londonderry nor lord Clancarty entertained such doubts, nor does the Prussian nunister. But I conclude that the two former meant as long as the reglement is not agreed to. The latter certainly contends that the powers on the river have a right to transit duties. The levy of transit duties, however, is evidently contrary to the principle of the treaty, and they are not noticed in the treaty, and cannot be considered as douanes; and very little consideration of the subject will show that on the Rhine, for instance, a very moderate transit duty levied by each power may amount to a prohibition. We will take, for the instance, wine from Frankfort coming to England. This article would pay a transit duty to the grand duke of Darmstadt, the grand duke of Nassau, the king of Prussia and the king of the Netherlands; and, if it came from the Rhine a little higher up it might pay to the grand duke of Baden and the king of Bavaria, and possibly to France.
I doubt the powers on the river ha ving the right to agree among themselves to levy a transit duty, even by the new reglement, as all the powers of Europe are parties to, and interested in the execution of this treaty, and particularly in the levy of these transit duties.
»1) Te Verona. •) De Martens, Nouveau Recueil, II, blz. 447. ') Het Octrooi-verdrag, 15 Augustus 1804 tusschen de Rijnoeverstaten gesloten; de Martens, Supplément, IV, blz. 36.