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moral union of this continent, for the defense of their essential rights of independence and sovereignty, which, in the end, are nothing else than the assertion of democratic principles in international relations.
The present number of the JOURNAL ? contains an editorial comment by a distinguished North American publicist on the Luxburg incident. The JOURNAL offers, in addition, the following translation of an opinion of Dr. Drago, given to the press of Buenos Aires on September 13, 1917:
The telegram of Count Luxburg cannot be considered as an individual act affecting only himself personally. It was the result of an intimate collaboration between him and his government, and it was part and parcel of an exchange of data, opinions and views, of a “correspondence,” properly so-called, intended to determine the conduct of the Empire in its naval policy in regard to us. It is not the minister accredited here who has ceased to be persona grata to this country; it is the German Government itself, which received the monstrous advice to sink Argentine vessels without leaving a trace, that is directly responsible for the abusive conduct of its agent, who, long after the date of the telegram, has continued in the discharge of his double duties of diplomatic envoy and of a spy attached to the Swedish Legation.
The German Government seems to have received with pleasure the secret communications of the agent, who has treated us so contemptuously, if we are to judge by the fact that he was retained and encouraged in his office, and that it was through him that the case of the Toro was finally settled by which the good faith of our Foreign Office was betrayed. It must be recalled that the Imperial Government formally proposed that the negotiations for this settlement should be carried on in Buenos Aires with Count Luxburg, the author of the telegram.
It is not improbable that the sinister counsel of the minister was followed in the case of the Argentine steamer Currumalán, which mysteriously disappeared a few months ago "without leaving a trace” while carrying a cargo of coal between Liverpool and Bahia Blanca.
Everything points to the belief that the recent explanations and promises of Germany had no other purpose than the preservation in this country of its extensive South American spy agencies, with the help of the Swedish Legation; and if such a government should now ive us new explanations and new protestations of friendship, it would only mean that it had another hidden purpose.
If many months ago I thought, as I took occasion to state publicly, that we should have severed our relations with Germany, when she decreed her inadmissible blockade, I am to-day still more convinced that it is not possible to maintain cordial relations with a country which employs such methods and such agents.
The severance of our relations with Germany, while gratifying to our national dignity, would place us beside the great democratic nations of the world, and would strengthen the bonds of solidarity with our sister Republics of this continent.
Doctors are proverbially said to disagree. In the present instance, in the interest of the United States of America, it is pleasing to note
1 Page 135.
that they are in accord, and that international policy and international law, as stated by Dr. Hill in Washington, is the same as that stated by Dr. Drago in Buenos Aires.
J. B. S.
THE ESPIONAGE ACT
The so-called Espionage Act, approved June 15, 1917, embraces much more than its popular title would indicate. Technically it is “An Act to punish acts of interference with the foreign relations, neutrality, and the foreign commerce of the United States, to punish espionage and better to enforce the criminal laws of the United States, and for other purposes." Its provisions concern numerous unrelated matters of vast importance to the nation, whether a belligerent or a neutral. These are responsive to recommendations of the Attorney General submitted in 1916, after having been concurred in by the Secretary of State and by the Joint State and Navy Neutrality Board.2 The Act contains thirteen titles.
The sections relating to espionage are designed broadly to prohibit and render criminal, attempts to obtain information respecting any aspect of the national defense for a use injurious to the United States, as well as attempts to communicate such information to foreign governments, or to any factions or parties within a foreign country, whether recognized or unrecognized by the United States. It is provided that when the United States is at war, whoever shall willfully make or convey false reports or false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of its military or naval forces, or to promote the success of its enemies, and whoever, at such a time, shall willfully cause or attempt to cause insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty in such forces, or shall willfully obstruct the recruiting or enlistment service, to the injury thereof or of the United States shall be subjected to punishment. The harboring or concealing of any person who, there is reasonable ground to believe, has committed or is about to commit an offense under this title is rendered criminal.
The serious damage inflicted upon German and Austrian vessels in American ports by their officers and crews early in 1917 rendered it important that by appropriate legislation the President should be en
1 Pri in SUPPLEMENT to this Jo NAL for October, 1917, p. 178.
The recommendations referred to are printed in an editorial in this JOURNAL for July, 1916, pp. 602–606.
abled, by proclaiming a national emergency in case of actual or threatened war, insurrection, invasion, or other disturbance of the international relations of the country, to control and safeguard any foreign or domestic vessel within the territorial waters of the United States. Title 2 of the Act makes appropriate provision to that end, conferring ample power upon the President and subjecting to heavy penalties the owner, master, or other person in charge of or commanding any private vessel who willfully causes or permits its destruction or injury, or knowingly permits the vessel to be used as a place of resort for persons conspiring with one another to commit any offense against the United States or in violation of its treaties, or of its obligations "under the law of nations," or to defraud the United States, or who knowingly permits the vessel "to be used in violation of the rights and obligations of the United States under the law of nations.” The President is, moreover, authorized to employ the land or naval forces of the United States to carry out the purposes of the title.
In order to simplify the prosecution and thereby facilitate the conviction of persons tampering with the motive power or instrumentalities of navigation of vessels engaged in foreign commerce, or of persons placing bombs or explosives on such ships, or of individuals setting fire to them, or of otherwise interfering with the safety on the high seas of American vessels with their occupants and cargoes, the provisions of the Criminal Code of 1909 were wisely amended and amplified. Again, interference with foreign commerce, that is, with the exportation to foreign countries of articles from the United States, by injuring or destroying, by fire or explosives, such articles, or the places where they might be while in such foreign commerce, was forbidden and made punishable.
It seems strange that important additions by way of amendment to the neutrality laws of the United States should have been made at a time when the nation itself was a belligerent. Title 5 embraces eleven sections respecting the "enforcement of neutrality.” The first four of these are operative only “during a war in which the United States is a neutral nation.” In this respect the title is unique; for it will be recalled that the Act of April 20, 1818, embracing the so-called neutrality laws of the United States, which are embodied in the Criminal Code of 1909 (S8 9 to 18), made no mention of the word "neutrality," and have been repeatedly enforced for the purpose of preventing offenses against friendly Powers attempting to suppress insurgents not recog
nized by the United States as belligerents. (It should be observed, however, that the joint resolution of March 4, 1915, which was repealed by the present Act of June 15, 1917, contemplated likewise the existence of a war to which the United States was not a party as a condition precedent to its operation.)
The design of the present law with respect to the enforcement of neutrality was to enable the nation, when a neutral, better to respond to its obligations as such, especially as acknowledged in certain provisions of the Hague Convention of 1907 concerning the Rights and Duties of Neutral Powers in Naval War, and that by definitely enlarging the powers of the Executive. In the Act of 1818 these were somewhat vaguely expressed. Under the present law (in modification of $ 15 of the Criminal Code), the President is empowered to employ such part of the land or naval forces of the United States, or of the militia thereof, as he may deem necessary to compel any foreign vessel to depart from the United States or any of its possessions, "in all cases in which, by the law of nations or the treaties of the United States, it ought not to remain, and to detain or prevent any foreign vessel from so departing in all cases in which, by the law of nations or the treaties of the United States it is not entitled to depart.” This provision is not conditioned upon the existence of a war with respect to which the United States is a neutral.
When the United States is a neutral, the President is given broad powers, both by withholding clearance from a vessel requiring it, and by service of specified notice in the case of a vessel not requiring it, to forbid the departure from the United States of any ship which there is reasonable cause to believe is about to carry fuel, arms, ammunition, men, supplies, dispatches, or information to any warship, tender, or supply ship of a belligerent nation in violation of the laws, treaties, or obligations of the United States under the law of nations. Equally important and of greatest value is the provision enabling the President, "or any person thereunto authorized by him," to detain any armed vessel owned wholly or in part by American citizens, or any vessel, domestic or foreign (other than one which has entered the ports of the United States as a public vessel), which is manifestly built for warlike purposes or has been converted or adapted from a private vessel to one suitable for warlike use, until proof satisfactory to the President is given that the vessel will not be employed to commit hostilities upon the subjects, citizens, or property of any foreign prince or state, or of
any colony, district, or people with which the United States is at peace, and that the vessel will not be sold or delivered to any belligerent nation or agency thereof either within the jurisdiction of the United States, or, having left it, upon the high seas.
In case of a war in which the United States is a neutral, it is rendered unlawful to send out of its jurisdiction any vessel built, armed, or equipped as a vessel of war, or converted from a private vessel into one, with any intent or under any agreement or contract, written or oral, that the vessel shall be delivered to a belligerent nation or agency thereof, or with reasonable cause to believe that the vessel will be employed in such belligerent service after its departure.
In order to enable the nation better to comply with the requirements of international law with respect to the treatment of the crews of interned warships, provision is made for the arrest and confinement of interned members of belligerent forces who endeavor to leave or escape from the limits of internment without permission.
It should be observed that 13 of the Criminal Code with respect to the organization of military expeditions against a friendly Power is somewhat modified and extended so as to be applicable to naval as well as to military expeditions.
Elaborate provisions are made under Title 6 to facilitate the seizure of arms and other articles intended for export, under circumstances when exportation is in violation of law. A procedure by judicial process is specified. In Title 7, power is conferred upon the President during the present war, upon finding that the public safety so requires, to render unlawful the exportation from the United States of articles which he may mention in a proclamation. His exercise of this power is appropriately facilitated by authority conferred upon collectors of customs to prevent the departure of vessels about to carry out of the United States articles in violation of the law.
Of much significance are the provisions of Title 8 respecting the disturbance of foreign relations. One, who willfully and knowingly makes an untrue statement in relation to a dispute between a foreign government and the United States, and that under oath before a person authorized to administer oaths, which the affiant has knowledge or reason to believe may be used to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or agent thereof, "to the injury of the United States," or with a view to influence any measure or action of the Government of the United States, or any branch thereof, to its