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France: Decrees on Trade 1793-1810

Decree of the Executive Directory on the conduct of the flag of the French republic towards neutral vessels, 14th Messidor, 4th year, (2nd July, 1796.)

The Executive Directory, considering that, if it belongs to French loyalty to respect the treaties or conventions which assure to neutral or friendly Powers the commercial advantages, of which the result ought to be common to the contracting Powers, these same advantages, if they are turned to the benefit of our enemies, either through the feebleness of our allies or of neutrals, through fear, from the views of interest, or from any other motive, would provoke, indeed, the inexecution of the articles by which they should be stipulated, decree what follows:

It shall be notified, without delay, to all neutral or allied Powers that the flag of the French republic shall be used against neutral vessels, be it for the purpose of confiscation, search, or detention, (visite ou prehension) in the same manner that they suffer the English to use theirs in regard thereto.

The Minister of Foreign Relations is charged with the execution of the present decree, which shall not be printed.



Placed on the Napoleon Series March 2003


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