Proclamation 1287

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Proclamation 1287  (1914)  by Woodrow Wilson
Neutrality - Panama Canal Zone
Delivered on November 13, 1914.

By the President of the United States of America
A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas, the United States is neutral in the present war and whereas the United States exercises sovereignty in the land and waters of the Canal Zone and is authorized by its treaty with Panama of February twenty-six, nineteen hundred and four, to maintain neutrality in the cities of Panama and Colon, and the harbors adjacent to the said cities:

Now, therefore, I, Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States of America, do hereby declare and proclaim the following Rules and Regulations Governing the Use of the Panama Canal by Vessels of Belligerents and the Maintenance of Neutrality by the United States in the Canal Zone, which are in addition to the general "Rules and Regulations for the Operation and Navigation of the Panama Canal and Approaches Thereto, including all Waters under its jurisdiction" put into force by Executive Order of July 9, 1914, and I do bring to the attention of all concerned the Protocol of an Agreement between the United States and the Republic of Panama, signed at Washington, October 10, 1914, which protocol is hereunto annexed.

Rule 1. A vessel of war, for the purposes of these rules, is defined as follows: a public armed vessel, under the command of an officer duly commissioned by the government, whose name appears on the list of officers of the military fleet, and the crew of which are under regular naval discipline, which vessel is qualified by its armament and the character of its personnel to take offensive action against the public or private ships of the enemy.

Rule 2. In order to maintain both the neutrality of the Canal and that of the United States owning and operating it as a government enterprise, the same treatment, except as hereinafter noted, as that given to vessels of war of the belligerents shall be given to every vessel, belligerent or neutral, whether armed or not, that does not fall under the definition of Rule 1, which vessel is employed by a belligerent Power as a transport or fleet auxiliary or in any other way for the direct purpose of prosecuting or aiding hostilities, whether by land or sea; but such treatment shall not be given to a vessel fitted up and used exclusively as a hospital ship.

Rule 3. A vessel of war of a belligerent, or a vessel falling under Rule 2 which is commanded by an officer of the military fleet, shall only be permitted to pass through the Canal after her commanding officer has given written assurance to the Authorities of the Panama Canal that the Rules and Regulations will be faithfully observed.

The authorities of the Panama Canal shall take such steps as may be requisite to insure the observance of the Rules and Regulations by vessels falling under Rule 2 which are not commanded by an officer of the military fleet.

Rule 4. Vessels of war of a belligerent and vessels falling under Rule 2 shall not revictual nor take any stores in the Canal except so far as may be strictly necessary; and the transit of such vessels through the Canal shall be effected with the least possible delay in accordance with the Canal Regulations in force, and with only such intermission as may result from the necessities of the service.

Prizes shall be in all respects subject to the same Rules as vessels of war of the belligerents.

Rule 5. No vessel of war of a belligerent or vessel falling under Rule 2 shall receive fuel or lubricants while within the territorial waters of the Canal Zone, except on the written authorization of the Canal Authorities, specifying the amount of fuel and lubricants which may be received.

Rule 6. Before issuing any authorization for the receipt of fuel and lubricants by any vessel of war of a belligerent or vessel falling under Rule 2, the Canal Authorities shall obtain a written declaration, duly signed by the officer commanding such vessel, stating the amount of fuel and lubricants already on board.

Rule 7. Supplies will not be furnished by the Government of the United States, either directly or indirectly through the intervention of a corporation, or otherwise, to vessels of war of a belligerent or vessels falling under Rule 2. If furnished by private contractors, or if taken from vessels under the control of a belligerent, fuel and lubricants may be taken on board vessels of war of a belligerent or vessels falling under Rule 2 only upon permission of the Canal Authorities, and then only in such amounts as will enable them, with the fuel and lubricants already on board, to reach the nearest accessible port, not an enemy port, at which they can obtain supplies necessary for the continuation of the voyage. The amounts of fuel and lubricants so received will be deducted from the amounts otherwise allowed in the ports under the jurisdiction of the United States during any time within a period of three months thereafter. Provisions furnished by contractors may be supplied only upon permission of the Canal Authorities, and then only in amount sufficient to bring up their supplies to the peace standard.

Rule 8. No belligerent shall embark or disembark troops, munitions of war, or warlike materials in the Canal, except in case of necessity due to accidental hindrance of the transit. In such cases the Canal Authorities shall be the judge of the necessity, and the transit shall be resumed with all possible dispatch.

Rule 9. Vessels of war of a belligerent and vessels falling under Rule 2 shall not remain in the territorial waters of the Canal Zone under the jurisdiction of the United States longer than twenty-four hours at any one time, except in case of distress; and in such case, shall depart as soon as possible; but a vessel of war of one belligerent shall not depart within twenty-four hours from the departure of a vessel of an opposing belligerent.

The twenty-four hours of this rule shall be construed to be twenty-four hours in addition to the time necessarily occupied in passing through the Canal.

Rule 10. In the exercise of the exclusive right of the United States to provide for the regulation and management of the Canal, and in order to ensure that the Canal shall be kept free and open on terms of entire equality to vessels of commerce and of war, there shall not be, except by special arrangement, at any one time a greater number of vessels of war of any one nation, including those of the allies of a belligerent nation, than three in either terminal port and its adjacent terminal waters, or than three in transit through the Canal; nor shall the total number of such vessels, at any one time, exceed six in all the territorial waters of the Canal Zone under the jurisdiction of the United States.

Rule 11. When vessels of war or vessels falling under Rule 2, belonging to or employed by opposing belligerents, are present simultaneously in the waters of the Canal Zone, a period of not less than twenty-four hours must elapse between the departure of the vessel belonging to or employed by one belligerent and the departure of the vessel belonging to or employed by his adversary.

The order of departure is determined by order of arrival, unless the vessel which arrived first is so circumstanced that an extension of her stay is permissible.

A vessel of war of a belligerent or vessel falling under Rule 2 may not leave the waters of the Canal Zone until twenty-four hours after the departure of a private vessel flying the flag of the adversary.

Rule 12. A vessel of war of a belligerent or vessel falling under Rule 2 which has left the waters of the Canal Zone, whether she has passed through the Canal or not, shall, if she returns within a period of one week after her departure, lose all privileges of precedence in departure from the Canal Zone, or in passage through the Canal, over vessels flying the flag of her adversaries which may enter those waters after her return and before the expiration of one week subsequent to her previous departure. In any such case the time of departure of a vessel which has so returned shall be fixed by the Canal Authorities, who may in so doing consider the wishes of the commander of a public vessel or of the master of a private vessel of the adversary of the returned vessel, which adversary's vessel is then present within the waters of the Canal Zone.

Rule 13. The repair facilities and docks belonging to the United States and administered by the Canal Authorities shall not be used by a vessel of war of a belligerent, or vessels falling under Rule 2, except when necessary in case of actual distress, and then only upon the order of the Canal Authorities, and only to the degree necessary to render the vessel seaworthy. Any work authorized shall be done with the least possible delay.

Rule 14. The radio installation of any vessel of a belligerent Power, public or private, or of any vessel falling under Rule 2, shall be used only in connection with Canal business to the exclusion of all other business while within the waters of the Canal Zone, including the waters of Colon and Panama Harbors.

Rule 15. Air craft of a belligerent Power, public or private, are forbidden to descend or arise within the jurisdiction of the United States at the Canal Zone, or to pass through the air spaces above the lands and waters within said jurisdiction.

Rule 16. For the purpose of these rules the Canal Zone includes the cities of Panama and Colon and the harbors adjacent to the said cities.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington this thirteenth day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and fourteen and of the independence of the United States the one hundred and thirty-ninth.

Woodrow Wilson
By the President:
W. J. Bryan,
Secretary of State

Protocol of an agreement concluded between Honorable Robert Tanning, Acting Secretary of State of the United States, and Don Eusebio A. Morales, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Panama, signed the tenth day of October, 1914.

The undersigned, the Acting Secretary of State of the United States of America and the Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Panama, in view of the close association of the interests of their respective Governments on the Isthmus of Panama, and to the end that these interests may be conserved and that, when a state of war exists, the neutral obligations of both Governments as neutrals may be maintained, after having conferred on the subject and being duly empowered by their respective Governments have agreed:

That hospitality extended in the waters of the Republic of Panama to a belligerent vessel of war or a vessel belligerent or neutral, whether armed or not, which is employed by a belligerent power as a transport or fleet auxiliary or in any other way for the direct purpose of prosecuting or aiding hostilities, whether by land or sea, shall serve to deprive such vessel of like hospitality in the Panama Canal Zone for a period of three months, and vice versa.

In testimony whereof, the undersigned have signed and sealed the present Protocol in the city of Washington, this tenth day of October, 1914.

Robert Lansing. [l. s.]
Eusebio A. Morales. [l. s.]


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).