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967

§ 553.

It must be possible to draw a line between unneutral service and „fleet auxiliaries" .... Ships which enlist in the service of (the) armed forces (of a belligerent), although not armed themselves, may naturally be the subject of rules more stringent than those which govern ordinary merchantman. The forces assisted may consist of single ships or of whole fleets. Assistance may be rendered when in company or when detached ; it may consist in the supply of coal and stores, or in the collection and' forwarding of information. An unarmed ship may be of service as a decoy or as a screen ; the assistance may be rendered casually or on a system, voluntarily or under orders, gratuitously or for hire. Such service is not necessarily confined to ships of the country to which the fleet assisted belongs or of a country engaged in the war at all. Again, such a ship may be captured in delicto, and while rendering the service, or after the service has come to an end....

Regarding the Mazatlan as a ship of enemy character, those in oommand of her nevertheless held no personal commission from the German Government; she was not even such a „private ship of war" as was commissioned in the days of privateering; she took no direct part in hostilities; it is not shown that she was under the orders or control of any agent placed on board by the enemy Government j she was not even in the employment, still less in the exclusive employment, of such Government ; she was not under requisition to them ; she did not fly the colours of the German Navy, nor were her crew subject to military law. . . .

Whatever the title „fleet auxüiary" may mean, it seems to fit the Marie better than the Mazatlan."

D'ailleurs, 1'argumentation de la cour est un peu compliquée, paree qu'elle tend en même temps a définir la portée de la règle du droit des prises anglais qui dénie toute validité juridique aux transferts sous pavillon neutre de navires de guerre et de batiments similaires d'un Etat belligérant. Voir concernant cette règle ci-dessus, § 223MS.

Dans 1'affaire Pontoporos (70) la Cour des Straits Settlements refusa de condamner un navne grec qui avait été capturé auparavant par un croiseur allemand et contraint par celui-ci a lui servir de navbe charbonnier. Voir § 560.

Italië.

La bella Scutarina (342), goélette albanaise capturée, le 29 juillet 1915, a Bari après son arrivée dans ce port italien, è. cause de diverses ebeonstances suspectes dont il faut mentionner la longue durée du voyage de Scutari a Bari, trajet assez court; 1'arrivée de deux pigeons voyageurs; la présence k bord d'une quantité considérable de pétrole d'une quaüté fine et coüteuse et de sept cartes nautiques,

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