after remaining a day or two in Ferrol
, got under way and proceeded to Corunna
, where both she and the Sacramento
remained until after the departure of the Stonewall
This was assumed as prima facie evidence that they designed to attack the Stonewall
immediately on her leaving Ferrol
and having got beyond Spanish jurisdiction.
Had the Niagara
remained in Ferrol
, she could not, under the international rule, have sailed until the lapse of twenty-four hours after the sailing of the Stonewall
; but from Corunna
she could have sailed on the same day and hour, for every movement of this little vessel was promptly telegraphed to the Niagara
That this procedure is inadmissible in public law is clearly laid down by publicists, and that the international hospitality of the port of Corunna
was in this instance violated is clearly deducible from the recognized doctrine as to the treatment of belligerents in neutral ports.
It cannot be doubted that the Niagara
, while lying in the port of Corunna
, were making that neutral port a “base of naval operations” --a point of departure — where they lay in wait for and whence they designed to issue and attack the Stonewall
on her going to sea. This is clearly prohibited to belligerents, and a violation of the hospitalities usually extended by the neutral power to the vessel in distress.
These two men-of-war had not “put into port” wanting either repairs or provisions.
A striking instance of the argument of “meum and tuum” is here illustrated.
It was urged upon the Government
to eject the Stonewall
from the port of Ferrol
without repairs, without coal or provisions; while the Niagara
, wanting neither, were not only to enjoy the hospitalities of the very near port, but be permitted to make that port a “base of naval operations.”
It seemed, however, that the “bases” was not suited to the “operations” for which these vessels had been summoned.
The repairs had been finally completed, the Stonewall
“stripped” to lower-masts and “standing rigging,” in order that neither spars nor running rigging, if shot away, should entangle her propellers — when the commanding officer called to make his acknowledgments to the Captain-General
and others, for the hospitalities extended in the work of making her again seaworthy.
It was kindly suggested, in view of the great odds against her, that the Stonewall
should avail herself of the obscurity of the night to make her escape from the superior force supposed to be lying in wait in Corunna
The suggestion was the prompting of gallant, generous spirits, who invariably