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1095

§ 634.

Apart from the Treaty of Versaüles, the result as to the lour ships of the conclusions I have stated would be a decree for restitution in value by payment over of the four appraised amounts to the claimants for the use of the respective owners. What is the effect of the Treaty ? — The -subjects of the claim now are four sums of money payable to a neutral Sovereign for the use of German owners. The Treaty purports to transfer to the Crown aü property and interests in the United Kingdom belonging to German subjects at the date of the coming into force of the Treaty, and the beneficial interest in these sums is, I think, within the class of things transferred. — There being no property or beneficial interest in the claimant, the neutral Power, the fact that that Power is no party to the Treaty seems to me to be immaterial. The ratification of the Treaty by the Sovereign authority of the signatory Powers gives it binding effect as against their respective subjects, and none the less so because ratification was subsequent in date to the material events in the cause, including the interlocutory decree. The view which I take of this matter is, I think, based upon identical consideraüons with those which underlie the judgment of the United States Suprème Court in United States v. Schooner Peggy. Marshal, C. J., stated the governing principle in these words : „Where a treaty is the law of the land, and as such affects the rights of parties ütigating in Court, that treaty as much binds those rights, and is as much to be regarded by the Courts as an act of Congress ;. . . ." The treaty there in question operated to divest, by certain of its general provisions, rights of a captor which had been established in a Court of first instance before the date at which the treaty took effect. In the present case effect must be given to the relevant articles of the Treaty of Versailles. — In the events that have happened the proceeds of the four ships must be retained to be dealt with pursuant to the Treaty."

Mais le Comité Judiciaüe du Conseü Privé a réformé rarrêt de Sir Henry Duke, en se refusant a faire apphcation de rarticle 297 du traité de Versaüles, Pellworm and other vessels (1396):

„In theh Lordships' opinion this consideration must prevaü. It is not a sufficiënt objection to say that the Dutch Government have no proprietary interest in money, or that they would recover money only as trustees for or for the benefit of ex-enemy owners . . . . If the prospect of the return of the restored ships to their ex-enemy owners does not prevent their restoration to the neutral Government, no different result would foüow from the prospect that the money, when restored, wül be handed over likewise. . . . [par conséquent, les navires doivent être restitftés in specie ou leur valeur doit être payé au Gouvernement néerlandais] . . . ."

Et plus loin, a propos du traité de Versaüles :

„If the right of His Majesty's Government to the property in and possession of those ships or sums by virtue of the treaty of Versaüles or otherwise is plain, their Lordships can not doubt that the Government

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