Zafiro Claim GB v US American and British Claims Arbitration

The case arose out of looting during the Spanish- American War of 1898, in Philippines. The Zafiro was a privately owned ship, with a Chinese crew. It was being used during the war by the US as a supply ship with its master and crew being placed under the command of a US Naval officer.

We think the officers were not actually present at the house when the looting was done… after the matter was drawn to the attention of the naval officers the vessel was searched and the articles found on board were returned to the claimants. But the damage have been done, there was no effective control of the Chinese crew at the time when the real damage took place. The nature of the crew, the absence of a regime of civil or a military control ashore and the situation of the neutral property were circumstances calling for diligence on the part of those in charge of the Chinese crew to see to it that they were under control when they were ashore in a body.