Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/389

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second Hague Conference in June 1907, when the British and German delegates announced that they had been instructed to present schemes for the establishment of an international court of appeal in matters of naval prize. Two projects were simultaneously presented on behalf of Great Britain and Germany.

The original English idea was to “secure the adaptation” of the machinery of the existing Hague Court to the purposes of an “International Tribunal of Appeal” from decisions of belligerent prize courts. The official instructions, published in the correspondence respecting the Second Conference[1] observed, in reference to the proposal, that the “judgments of the tribunal in such cases would probably prove the most rapid and efficient means which can, under existing conditions, be devised for giving form and authority to the canons of international law in matters of prize.” The instructions continue that the advantages would far outweigh any difficulty which might arise from the fact that some alterations in the municipal laws of this country, and probably also of other states, would be required, and that “H.M. Government considered that if the Hague Conference accomplished no other object than the constitution of such a tribunal, it would render an inestimable service to civilization and mankind.”

The objection to the existing system is that the judge is appointed by the belligerent state whose interest it is to condemn the capture; that his bias, if any, is against the neutral interest. But will there be no room in an international prize court for bias against the belligerent? “Representing as we do,” said Mr Choate at the sitting of the 11th of July, “a widely extended maritime nation, and a nation which hopes and confidently expects always in the future to be a neutral nation, we deem the establishment of an international court of prize by this Conference to be a matter of supreme importance.” The converse may obviously be as important for a nation which, with its vast dependencies, cannot with equal confidence expect to remain a mere spectator among the rivalries of expanding states in different quarters of the globe. The interests of the civilized world in time of war are divisible into three groups, namely, the respective interests of the two belligerents, and the interest of the neutrals. In practice the interest of the neutrals is against the making of captures. Under the system hitherto prevailing it is the judge appointed by the captor who decides whether the capture was a legitimate one or not. It may be contended, however, that he hears the cause and gives his judgment in the face of the whole neutral world, at all times the larger part of civilized mankind, and one which has now infinitely greater facilities for making its voice heard than it had a century earlier, when a powerful belligerent maritime state was, out of all proportion to any neutral combination, able to enforce its views as regards neutral property.

(T. Ba.)

PRIZREN (also written Prisren, Prisrend, Prizrendi, Prezdra and Perzerin), the capital of the sanjak of Prizren, in the vilayet of Kossovo, Albania, European Turkey; 65 m. E. by N. of Scutari, on the river Bistritza, a left-hand tributary of the White Drin. Pop. (1905), about 30,000, chiefly Mahommedan Albanians, with a minority of Roman Catholic Albanians, Serbs and Greeks. Prizren is beautifully situated 1424 ft. above sea-level, among the northern outliers of the Shar Planina. To the north-west a fertile and undulating plain, watered by the White Drin, extends as far as Ipek (42 m.). A good road connects Prizren with the Ferisovich station on the Salonica-Mitrovitza railway (37 m.). The city is the seat of a Roman Catholic archbishop, a Greek bishop, and a Servian theological seminary. Its chief buildings are the citadel and many mosques, one of which is an ancient Byzantine basilica, originally a Servian cathedral. In its bazaars an active trade in agricultural produce, glass, pottery, saddlery, and copper and iron ware is carried on; but the manufacture of fire-arms, for which Prizren was long famous throughout European Turkey, has suffered greatly from foreign competition.

Prizren has sometimes, though on doubtful evidence, been identified with the ancient Tharendus or Theranda. In the 12th century it was the residence of the kings of Servia, and the sanjak of Prizren forms part of the region still called Old Servia (Stara Srbiya) by the Slavs. From the 13th century to the 16th Prizren had a flourishing export trade with Ragusa, and it has always been one of the principal centres of commerce and industry in Albania.

PRJEVALSKY [Przhevalsky], NIKOLAI MIKHAILOVICH (1839-1888), Russian traveller, born at Kimbory, in the government of Smolensk, on the 31st of March 1839, was descended from a noble Cossack family. He was educated at the Smolensk gymnasium, and in 1855 entered an infantry regiment as a subaltern. In November 1856 he became an officer, and four years later he entered the academy of the general staff. From 1864 to 1866 he taught geography at the military school at Warsaw, and in 1867 he was admitted to the general staff and sent to Irkutsk, where he started to explore the highlands on the banks of the Usuri, the great southern tributary of the Amur. This occupied him until 1869, when he published a book on the Usuri region, partly ethnographical in character.

Between November 1870 and September 1873, accompanied by only three men and with ridiculously small pecuniary resources, he crossed the Gobi desert, reached Peking, and, pushing westwards and south-westwards, explored the Ordos and the Ala-shan, as well as the upper part of the Yangtsze-kiang. He also penetrated into Tibet, reaching the banks of the Di Chu river. By this remarkable journey he proved that, for resolute and enduring men, travelling in the central Asian plateaus was easier than had been supposed. The Russian Geographical Society presented him with the great Constantine medal, and from all parts of Europe he received medals and honorary diplomas. The work in which he embodied his researches was immediately translated into all civilized languages, the English version, Mongolia, the Tangut Country, and the Solitudes of Northern Tibet (1876), being edited by Sir Henry Yule. On his second journey in 1877, while endeavouring to reach Lhasa through east Turkestan, he re-discovered the great lake Lop-nor (q.v.), which had not been visited by any European since Marco Polo. On his third expedition in 1879-1880 he penetrated, by Hami, the Tsai-dam and the great valley of the Tibetan river Kara-su, to Napchu, 170 m. from Lhasa, when he was turned back by order of the Dalai Lama. In 1883-1885 he undertook a fourth journey of exploration in the wild mountain regions between Mongolia and Tibet. On these four expeditions he made collections of plants and animals of inestimable value, including nearly twenty thousand zoological and sixteen thousand botanical specimens. Among other remarkable discoveries were those of the wild camel, ancestor of the domesticated species, and of the early type of horse, now known by his name (Equus prjewalskii). Prjevalsky's account of this second journey, From Kulja, across the Tian-Shan, to Lop-nor, was translated into English in 1879. In September 1888 he started on a fifth expedition, intending to reach Lhasa, but on the 1st of November he died at Karakol on Lake Issyk-kul. A monument was erected to his memory on the shores of the lake, and the Russian government changed the name of the town of Karakol to Przhevalsk (q.v.) in his honour.

PROA (Malay, prau), the general term in the Malay language for all vessels, from the sampan or canoe to the square-rigged kapal, but in western usage confined to the swift-sailing craft that the pirates of the Indian Ocean made familiar to sailors in eastern waters. The chief points which characterize these vessels are that while the weather-side is rounded the lee-side is flat from stem to stern, that both stem and stern are exactly similar in shape, and that there is asmall similarly shaped hull swung out from the side of the main hull on poles, which acts

  1. Prince von Bülow was credited with suggesting in his correspondence on the question of the Bundesrath that a tribunal of arbitration should be instituted to deal with all questions of capture. At any rate, on the 19th of January 1900 he wrote that the German government had proposed that all the points then in dispute should be submitted to arbitration. The British government declared their concurrence in the institution of a tribunal to arbitrate upon claims for compensation.