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Department of State, Central Files, A typed note on the source text indicates it was sent by commercial telegram. The transliterated Russian text is ibid. At noon on February 22 Rusk , Kohler , and Harriman briefed French Ambassador Alphand and British Ambassador Caccia on the content of this message stating that it was general in nature and informing them that specific questions would be addressed in further messages after consultations with their governments.

Memorandum of conversation; Department of State, Central Files, Official Use Only; Niact. Drafted at the White House. Secret; Niact; Limit Distribution.

Between Us: Women of Letters

A slightly different translation is printed in Department of State Bulletin , May 8, , p. The Russian-language text was transmitted as an enclosure to despatch from Moscow, May 3. The source text is a press release from the Office of the White House Press Secretary, which was marked for release at 6: Kennedy , , pp.

Current Documents, , pp.

And award-winning cartoonist First Dog on the Moon expresses his affection for his editor Sophie Black through drawings while she sticks to the written word. Between Us is an inspiring and engaging collection of all-new letters from some of Australia's best-loved people. Praise for the Women of Letters series: Find your local bookstore at booksellers. Prizes were assessed and valued with profits split in pre agreed proportions between the government, the owners and the captain and crew. A letter of marque and reprisal in effect converted a private merchant vessel into a naval auxiliary.

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A commissioned privateer enjoyed the protection and was subject to the obligations of the laws of war. If captured, the crew was entitled to honorable treatment as prisoners of war, while without the licence they were deemed mere pirates "at war with all the world," criminals who were properly hanged. For this reason, enterprising maritime raiders commonly took advantage of " flag of convenience " letters of marque, shopping for cooperative governments to license and legitimize their depredations.

The letter of marque by its terms required privateers to bring captured vessels and their cargoes before admiralty courts of their own or allied countries for condemnation. Applying the rules and customs of prize law , the courts decided whether the letter of marque was valid and current, and whether the captured vessel or its cargo in fact belonged to the enemy not always easy, when flying false flags was common practice , and if so the prize and its cargo were "condemned", to be sold at auction with the proceeds divided among the privateer's owner and crew. A prize court's formal condemnation was required to transfer title; otherwise the vessel's previous owners might well reclaim her on her next voyage, and seek damages for the confiscated cargo.

Often questions arose as to the legitimacy of the letter of marque in the case of divided sovereignty during civil wars.

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An English court, for instance, refused to recognize the letters of marque issued by rebellious Ireland under James II , and hanged eight privateer captains as pirates. Seventy-nine years later during the American Civil War , the Union charged officers and crew of the Confederate privateer Savannah with piracy, calling their letter of marque invalid since the Union refused to acknowledge the breakaway Confederacy as a sovereign nation. Privateers were also required by the terms of their letters of marque to obey the laws of war, honour treaty obligations avoid attacking neutrals , and in particular to treat captives as courteously and kindly as they safely could.

Nations often agreed by treaty to forgo privateering, as England and France repeatedly did starting with the diplomatic overtures of Edward III in ; privateering nonetheless recurred in every war between them for the next years. Benjamin Franklin had attempted to persuade the French to lead by example and stop issuing letters of marque to their corsairs, but the effort foundered when war loomed with Britain once again. Finally, after the Congress of Paris at the end of the Crimean War , seven European nations signed the Paris Declaration of renouncing privateering, and forty-five more eventually joined them, which in effect abolished privateering worldwide.

Between Us: Women of Letters by Marieke Hardy - Penguin Books Australia

Despite the attempt to end privateering around the world, nations continued issuing letters of marque. In at the beginning of the War of the Pacific , Bolivia issued letters of marque to any vessels willing to fight for them. At the time Bolivia was under threat from Chile's fleet but had no navy.

In December and the first months of , Goodyear commercial L class blimp Resolute operating out of Moffett Field in Sunnyvale , California, flew anti-submarine patrols. As the civilian crew was armed with a rifle, many [ who? Article 1 of the United States Constitution lists issuing letters of marque and reprisal in Section 8 as one of the enumerated powers of Congress , alongside the power to tax and to declare War. However, since the American Civil War, the United States as a matter of policy has consistently followed the terms of the Paris Declaration forbidding the practice.

The United States has not legally commissioned any privateers since , although the status of submarine-hunting Goodyear airships in the early days of World War II created significant confusion.


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  6. Various accounts refer to airships Resolute and Volunteer as operating under a "privateer status", but Congress never authorized a commission, nor did the President sign one. The issue of marque and reprisal was raised before Congress after the September 11 attacks [39] and again on July 21, , by Congressman Ron Paul. The attacks were defined as acts of "air piracy" and the Marque and Reprisal Act of was introduced, which would have granted the president the authority to use letters of marque and reprisal against the specific terrorists, instead of warring against a foreign state. The terrorists were compared to pirates in that they are difficult to fight by traditional military means.

    However, the bills Paul introduced were not enacted into law.

    Letter of marque

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the novel, see The Letter of Marque. This section needs expansion with: You can help by adding to it.