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LIII. The prisoners shall be treated with all humanity and moderation, paying to every one the consideration due to his rank until they are delivered over to the military or, if none, to the political authority of the first port of the Republic where they shall arrive, taking the necessary certificate.
LIV. They who shall liberate the prisoners on their own authority shall pay a fine of 200 dollars for each one of those whom they set free, and if they have any interest therein, they shall lose it, that and the aforesaid fine remaining for the benefit of the Treasury.
LV. It is permitted, notwithstanding, to the captains or commanders to give them liberty, when, from their excessive number, there may be want of provisions, or for other sufficient causes, which prevent their detaining them, permitting them to pass to other vessels that they may meet on the high sea, or leaving them in foreign ports where they touch, with the knowledge of their Consuls, in case there should not be any Mexican Consul; but should there be one, they shall act with his knowledge, taking a certificate from the Consul or from the captain of the vessel who may have received them.
LVI. The prisoners thus liberated shall enter into an agreement, signed by them, the captain, and other individuals of credit, obliging themselves to negotiate with their Government for the liberty of an equal number of Mexicans; the Çonsul, on his part, delivering a list to the Consul of the hostile nation, so that he may recommend the exchange on his side.
LVII. The individuals who may not be subjects of the enemy, can be left at liberty at whatever place they may request, on this being certified by the respective Consul, or by the captain or commander. of the vessel in which he may have had to continue his voyage.
LVIII. Pirates are on no account to be set at liberty, but they shall be taken, without fail, to the Republic, to be judged according to the laws.
On the Ports to which the Prizes are to be taken. LIX. The prizes shall be taken to the ports of the Republic which are open to foreign trade; but if there should be any danger of their falling into the enemy's hands, they may then be taken to those of the coasting trade.
LX. When the prizes are made at places very distant from the coasts of the Republic, and near ports of neutral Powers, they may be taken to the nearest where it is permitted, where there is a Consul or Mexican Agent, and there be sold, should they undoubtedly belong to the enemy, in the judgment of the said Consul. Excepting in these cases, this measure shall only be taken when the prizes cannot arrive at the ports of the Republic without certain danger.
LXI. In the cases referred to, the Consul shall open the box or bag in which the papers may be, in the presence of both captains, and from them shall have two certified copies taken, one to remit to the Government by the first packet that leaves for the Republic, and the other to keep in his archives, accompanying both with a list of all that there were, all parties agreeing to it. The originals being again packed up and sealed, shall be left in the power of the captor, so that he may present himself with them at the Prize Court of the Republic.
LXII. The permission of the Consul for the disembarcation of the goods being given, he shall proceed with the discharge in the same manner as if he were the consignee, being present at the opening of the hatches, and other sealed places, and taking a circumstantial account of the cargo, furniture, money, and other things, which the captain who has made the prize may wish to land, proceeding with all these operations in the presence of the parties interested
LXIII. The sale shall be effected by the captain who has made the prize, with the intervention of the Consul, and its proceeds shall be deposited to his satisfaction, until the prize be judicially declared, one-half per cent. being deducted, which the said Consul shall receive for his remuneration.
LXIV. When the captain who has made the prize is ready to proceed on his voyage, he will do so direct to the ports of the Republic, taking with him the captain of the captured vessel, s well as the individuals mentioned in Article XLV.
LXV. The Consul, besides the copy prescribed by Article LXI, sball inform the Government of all that has been done, transmitting the respective documents, and giving notice of all that has occurred, which may be worthy of being made known.
LXVI. If the vessel should be wrecked or be taken by the enemy, or should not appear in the ports of the Republic within the longest term in which it might be able to do so, the Goverse ment will lay all the documents which it may have received in respect to the prize before the tribunal at the port where the owner may reside, or at that nearest to his residence; and if he is not of the Republic, to any other of the said tribunals which it may deem expedient, in order imniediately to proceed, in the presence of the same, or of him who may legally be his representative, to make the declaration in conformity with justice.
On cases in which Consuls may secure the Privateers, and liberate the
Prizes themselves. · LXVII. When the privateer, on arriving under the Mexican flag at a foreign port, shall not present to the Consul the letters of
marque which authorizes it, the Consul shall denounce it to the authorities of the country for its seizure, and the crew shall be punished as pirates.
LXVIII. If, on the examination which the Consul has to make of the crew individually, it should be found that the captain or commander of the privateer has been guilty of any very serious or capital crime, he shall give the command of the vessel to the person who may merit his confidence, who will conduct the former as a prisoner, and under his own responsibility, to the ports of the Republic, having received the proper passport in the name of the Government for the purpose.
LXIX. The said Consuls, in conjunction with two Mexicans, if there should be any at the port of their residence, and if not of themselves alone, may liberate the captured vessels, should the seizure : be notoriously unjust, and if there should be no cause for suspicion, according to the provisions of the regulations, they being personally responsible for any abuse of this power.
On the Tribunals which have to take cognizance of Prizes.
LXX. The cognizance of prizes belongs to the Circuit Courts of the District Tribunals, and the Supreme Court of Justice in the terms expressed in the Constitution of 1824,* and in the decree of 23rd May, 1826. On what has to be done when the Prize has been definitively Condemned.
LXXI. A prize being declared lawful, and the sentence executed, it will be left to the entire option of the parties interested to sell it where and in what manner it may appear best to them, the Custom-House duties being previously paid, and the goods being cleared in the form which is customary with respect to other vessels.
LXXII. Should a disagreement arise between them in regard to the manner of effecting the sale in consequence of their not having arranged this point beforehand, that shall be done which the owner or manager of the company may agree to, with two other persons who shall be named by the captain, and the other persons of the crew of the vessel; and if these should not be able to agree, a public sale shall take place, under the authority of the Clerk of the Court.
LXXIII. The prizes, or the part thereof, which may belong to the public treasury, shall also be sold by public sale, and the amounts carried to the respective treasury, in the same manner as with the fines, which are imposed by these regulations.
LXXIV. Prohibited goods shall be re-shipped, the parties interested being at liberty to take them for sale to a foreign country;
* Vol. XIII. Page 701.
and if difficulties should present themselves, they may place them in bond until they are removed, paying the duties which have to be collected on this account.
LXXV. Before the prize is condemned, no one shall be allowed to purchase anything belonging to it, under the penalty of returning its value threefold, and the same punishment as for theft if taken away clandestinely.
LXXVI. The individuals of the court shall not be able to buy anything before or after the prize has been legally condemned, under the same penalty of restitution and fine.
On what has to be done when the Prizes arrive at the Coast-Trade
Ports. LXXVII. When a prize is taken to a coast-trade port, the political authorities of the Treasury which may exist thereat, shall direct what they may consider necessary for the landing of the goods.
LXXVIII. For their sale, a special licence from the respectire court will be required.
LXXIX. The chest or bag in which the papers may be contained being given up without breaking the seals, and the proper examination of the hatches and other places being made, where seals may have been placed, they shall proceed, without the intervention of the authorities mentioned in Article LXXVII, to take a declaration from the captain of the detained vessel, and other individuals of its crew, who must be interrogated as well as those of the privateer, and upon this summary investigation they will give an express account to the court of the district, accompanied with their own report, and with the statement in writing, which the captain of the privateer must give, sending also the chest or bag mentioned.
LXXX. If the captain of the detained vessel should wish to present himself in person to defend his rights before the court which has to take cognizance of the prize, he shall be permitted to do so, as well as those whom he may require to accompany him, placing him under the necessary escort for his custody and security.
LXXXI. As soon as the court shall receive notice that a prize has been conducted to a coast-trade port, the court shall duly inform the collector, so that he may name the officer he may think proper, and get the necessary particulars, with the view of performing the duties of inspector, and proceed with the arrangement of the duties which may be chargeable on the cargo, as well as with all the other operations of his office.
LXXXII. When the prize may have been arbitrarily taken to 3 coast-trade port, the said court may order that it may be conveyed to that where it belongs, should there be no danger or serious inconvenience to prevent it.
LXXXIII. The sealed despatches and private letters which may be found amongst the papers of the detained vessel will be opened in court, in the presence of the post-master, a copy being taken of those which may contain matter which may tend to the declaration of the prize, and they are afterwards to be remitted to the places of their destination; and if amongst them there should be any whereof the contents should be known to the Government, the originals shall be forwarded to it by express, if the case should so demand. On Information which must be given to the Government, and Trans
mission of Legal Proceedings to the Supreme Court of Justice.
LXXXIV. The courts shall send a copy of the sentence to the Government, with an exact and circumstantial account of the legal proceedings, and of everything else which may have occurred: the tribunals of the circuit, and the Supreme Court of Justice, acting in the same way in so far as they are concerned.
LXXXV. One legal action being definitely ended, the originals shall be transmitted to the Supreme Court of Justice, where all those of its class must be preserved; the Government being advised thereof.
Wherefore, I order that this be printed, published, circulated, and duly fulfilled.
JOSE MARIANO DE SALAS.
National Palace of Mexico, September 10, 1846. José Mariano de Salas, General exercising the Supreme Executive Power, to the inhabitants of the Republic, Be it known: :
Whereas one of the most efficacious modes of procuring the wellbeing of the Republic, is to promote the increase of her population, and to facilitate the naturalization of industrious men, by removing all hindrances arising out of laws dictated under less open and liberal principles than those which the Government now professes; he has been pleased to resolve that, until the national Congress takes into consideration the reforms they require, the following Articles shall be complied with :
1st. Any foreigner desirous of naturalizing himself in the Republic of Mexico, may obtain the necessary letters of naturalization upon giving sufficient proof of knowing some useful trade or profession, by which means he may bonestly procure the means of subsistence.
2nd. In like manner, any foreigner who may carry arms in the service of, or be employed in the arıny of the nation, may obtain the same privilege.
3rd. The said letters of naturalization will be issued by the President of the Republic, on stamps of the first class, and without