The more important questions relating to the admittance of a belligerent's ships to the ports or territorial waters of a neutral, may be conveniently discussed under three heads: (1) Asylum; (2) Hospitality; (3) A base of naval operations. As these shade into one another, the distinction between them is not always clearly defined however, nor is the attempt made in the following pages to cover the whole ground, but rather to discuss a few of the more doubtful, and it is hoped, the more interesting of the questions Involved. That these questions are important, but that they are not answered alike by all the powers, the events of the recent war in the East plainly show.
By asylum is meant the refuge afforded by neutral waters to a ship of war seeking escape from the dangers of the elements, or from the attack of an enemy. Clearly there is a logical distinction between the two forms of danger, since it is the latter only which particularly involves neutrality. Moreover, when a ship seeks refuge in an unseaworthy state, she has an added claim upon the neutral for asylum, because her exclusion without an opportunity to repair would be an act of inhumanity.