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§ 349.

from the Foreign Office in London. In that reply the Secretary of State accepts generally „the interprétation placed by the German Government on my two notes of the i4th ultimo" ; and the letter further points out that the demand for payment, pending the war, is not a demand which is well founded on any proper constiuction of the Hague Convention, and requests that the German Government may be so informed.

When the case for the claimants was- opened, that document of September 20 was relied upon as evidence of a concluded agreement. I take the view that it shows only a step in the negotiations.... The German Government stated on September 24 its appreciation of the proposals of the British Government as they then stood. The passage reads: „German Government understands that British Government.... will retain ships and wül compensate the owners thereof." The main contention in the major part of the argument of counsel for the claimants with regard to the alleged agreement was that the passage I have summarised in the dispatch of September 24 was an acceptance by the German Government of a separate proposal of the British Government with regard to the detained ships. I cannot take that view. I read the whole of that letter, and I see that the question of compensation is stül the subject of discussion .... It appears further by some subsequent events. The date of that eommunication to which I have just referred is September 24,

1914. That is the date at which it was forwarded from Washington. Now it is said there was a concluded agreement at that time. On October 10,

1915, however, the German Impérial Government was giving instructions to its representatives in various foreign capitals, including, among others, its representative at Madrid, and it sent out instructions to the German Embassy at Madrid that German vessels in use by the British Government, in process of requisition without condemnation, might be detained and brought into the Comts of neutral countries for the purposes of release from British control. The Attorney-General points out that that eommunication is diiectly in conflict with any suggestion that the British Government had acquired by agreement the right to requisition ships, paying for their use.... — I should have come to the conclusion upon the correspondence, as it stood, that it showed only an interrupted negotiation — that it did not show a concluded agreement.... But ü I were able to give greater weight than I can to the arguments, it seems to me that the dispatch of October, 1915, puts an end to any possibiüty that it could be contended that there was in October, 1914, the concluded agreement which is now set up."

(2) Toutefois, la cour d'appel a interprété en sens contraire les faits relatés ci-dessus et a admis qu'üs ont eu pour effet de rendre obügatoire entre 1'AUemagne et la Grande-Bretagne l'article 2 de la Convention VI de 1907. Voir sa décision relative aux Blonde, Prosper and Hercules (1395):

„The appeüants claim the benefit of Convention VI, or, in the alternative, of a supposed agreement to the like effect, arrived at ad hoe by