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§ 373.


Enfin, la cour d'appel refuse de faire application du traité de paix:

„The Treaty of Versailles contains a further provision (article 297), not specially applicable to shipping, by which the Alhed and Associated Powers reserve the right to retain and liquidate all property within their territories belonging to German nationals or companies controlled by them at the date of the coming into force of the Treaty, the liquidation to be carried out in accordance with the laws of the Allied or Associated State concerned. It has been urged on the one hand, and denied on the otherj that an answer can be found to the claim of the Danziger Reederei Aktien Gesellschaft for the release of these vessels in the apphcation of this article to the ships and funds in question. Beyond observing that the contentions raised on both sides deserve full and careful consideration by the appropriate tribunal, theh Lordships do not feel called upon to express any opinion about them, for they are satisfied that the Prize Court is not such a tribunal. Nor do the terms of the Armistice affect the matter. It is enough to say that article 30, which was cited, does not purport to touch the obligations of the Crown under Convention VI, when duly determined by a Court of Prize, whether before or after the conclusion of hostilities....

As soon as the conclusion has been arrived at that under the Treaty obligations of 1907 this country is bound to restore the res, whether now existing in specie or only in the form of a substituted fund, the duty of the Prize Court prima facte is to give effect to that obhgation and thereby to discharge itself and its officials from further custody of or control over it. The décision of course involves a duty of ascertaining that the private party claiming is a party presently entitled, who has not, by his own act or by the public act of those who bind him, been divested of his rights of ownership or of possession .... Whatever rights may have been reserved to His Majesty, as one of the Alhed and Associated Powers, to liquidate these ships or their value, they have not, so far as their Lordships have been informed, been hitherto put in force. The right referred to is not the right, existing independently of and prior to the Convention of 1907, to claim condemnation of these ships in prize in accordance with the law of nations, nor is the reservation of it equivalent to the discharge of the restrictions which Convention VI imposes. It is a right to liquidate in accordance with municipal law, that is to say, a new right which does not become effèctive unless and untü it is exercised. If this were to be done hereafter, it would be a new act not arising out of dealings with the prize as prize, nor modifying the rights of ownership as they now exist, and therefore it would be cognisable by some other tribunal. Their Lordships are clearly of opinion- that the Treaty of Versaüles, which neither names nor seems to consider Convention VI, does not in this article modify or annul the obligations which arise under it. So much they decide, but no more : the rest is open and, apparently, In accordance with the terms of article 297, is cognisable by the High