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Spanish Declaration of War
(23 April 1898)
|By agreement of my Cabinet, in the name of my royal son,
the King Alfonso
XIII, as Regent Queen of the Kingdom, I decree :
1st: War status existing between Spain and United States compels
us to cancel the Treaty of Peace and Friendship of October 27, 1795, the
Protocol of January 12, 1877 and all agreements, pacts and conventions
that, until today, exist between both countries.
2nd: From the proclamation of this Royal Decree, all American ships
anchored in Spanish harbours can leave with freedom during the following
3rd: Although Spain has not signed the agreement of Paris, dated
April 16, 1857,
because Spain has declared his purpose for not adhering to that
Government, in consideration of international law, wants to observe
to observe the following rules of maritime law:
A) Neutral flags protect the enemy trade goods, except contraband
B) Neutral trade goods, except contraband of war, can not be confiscated
when under the enemy flag.
C) Blockades, for being obligatories, may be effectives, held by
force to prevent the arrival at enemy coasts.
4th: Holding up our right to give letters of marque for Privateers,
that was reserved by note of May 16, 1857, when Spanish Government answered
to French Government about the Spanish attachment to the Maritime
Law's agreement of Paris, Spanish Government shall fit out, with Spanish
Merchant Ships, a service of Auxiliary Cruisers that co-operate with the
navy during the war and under its command.
5th: With a purpose to capture enemy ships, to confiscate enemy trade
under its own flag and to confiscate contraband of war under any
flag, the right of inspection on high seas or enemy waters can be exercised
by the Royal Navy, Auxiliary cruisers and privateers, when these are used,
according to international Law.
6th: Guns, machine-guns, howitzers, rifles and any fire arms or side
bombs, grenades, bullets, fuses, wicks, powder, sulphur, dynamite
explosives; equipment such as uniforms, cartridge boxes, saddle-horses,
harness for artillery and cavalry; engines for ships, screw propellers,
boilers and other goods which can be used for building, refitting or equipping
warships or, in general, any instruments, items, or goods that can be used
for war are considered as Contraband of War.
7th: Captains, skippers, officers of ships, or when two third parts
of crew, not being Americans; make acts of war against Spain, will
be considered as pirates
and they will be judged with all law severity although they are
American letters of marque for privateers.
8th: State and Navy Ministers are entrusted to execute this Royal
and they can command the necessary orders to best carry it out.
Signed in Royal Palace on April 23, 1898.
Regent Queen Maria Cristina