The Akaroa Mail. TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 1915. THE GERMAN BLOCKADE.
The announcement from Germany that she will starve England and her warning to neutral ships to avoid tbe channel is remarkable at this juncture Considering tbat she has always sunk as many of our ships as she cmld and i that her first idea was to cut off all supplies from Britain, the statement i* the more curious. The game of blockade has cost Germany very dear, as her damaged fleet shows The | Allies have proved that naval block jading is a game that more than one lean play, and now'tnat she must be J feeling sore with defeat, Germany I announces she is going to carry on a blockade. Another point to be con ! .sidered is that Germany has not been very keen in the past to reveal her j plans, and, therefore, this open state- | ment surprises the thoughtful. The [question is: What object has Ger tMiauy to serve in making this declar liiion'? She may think that by bluff j v£ this sort shs can persuade Great | Britain to allow her to have foodstuffs i tarried to her by neutrals. It would II a more to the point if the Ailies.de cared a blockade against Germany. | They really have done so; but did not
choose the bombastic style so much affected by Germany. Though (be British and French newspapers lcok upon Germany's announcement of a
blockade as f. piece of bravadoTthß"reult of strain and worry, an official nessage from Copenhagen declares 'lermany is able to carry out her
t eat. An explanation of what a b'ocknde really means is of interest q w: Blockade, according to an.eminent >iutbo:ity on international law, con 8 sts in the interception by a belligerent of access to territory or to a place which is in the possession of his enemy. As it is obviously a mode by which severe stress may be put upon he population subjected to it through 4he interruption of communication with the external world. wb.icb it entails, it is an invariably concomitant of all warlike operations by which control is gained over avenues through which such communication takes place. At spa, the rights of the neutral being equal to those of the belligerent except in so far as they are subordinated to the special needs of the latter, the neutral has prima facie a right of access to the , and when this right is ousted by the assertion of the special needs of the b I'igerent, it must be shown that the latter is in a position to render the assertion affective, the right which is apt up by his needs being a bare one, like all other belligerent rights, and fhe .conditions of maritime warfare being puch that control over a space of wat-er in which a naval force is stationed cannot be supposed to be effective as on land Maritime blockade therefore calls for special rules defining the conditions under which it can be set up, and those under which it continues to exist. It is agreed that for a maritime b'ockade to be duly set up and main tamed: —' 1. The belligerent must intend to institute it as a distinct and substantive measure of war, and must bring hia intention in some way to the knowledge of the neutrals affected 2. It must have been initiated under sufficient authority. 3. It must be maintained by a suffi cient and properly disposed force, The question to be-- proved is Whether Germany can fulfil the third condition. Her exploits in the past would lead one to think that she will * be far from being able to maintain the l blockade. If she could blockade the English Channel she would : have ' stopped the British troops and food supplies from crossing the Channel. To say, that "she might, an' she would" is absurd, because there appears to have been no opportunity of doing harm which she has let go by her. Now that ber beard has been singed, a<* Drake singed the beard of the King of Spain, she cries out and proclaims all the work her damaged
fl«et is going to executß,