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of the subject might suppose from the language used that fleets of privateers had been despatched from British ports with the connivance, if not the direct support, of her Majesty's Government :Great Britain
permitted armed cruisers to be fitted out,' &c. " " The Queen's Government
suffered ship after ship to be constructed in its ports to wage war on the United States.' << Many ships
· were, with ostentatious publicity, being constructed.'
“Permission or negligence which enabled Confederate cruisers from her ports to prey,' &c:
"Great Britain alone had founded on that recognition a systematic maritime war'
'a virtual act of war.' "Suffering the fitting-out of rebel cruisers.'
“The fact being that only one vessel, of whose probable intended belligerent character the British Government had any evidence, escaped-viz. the 'Alabama.'
“ The 'Shenandoah' was a merchant-ship employed in the India trade under the name of the 'Sea King Her conversion into a Confederate cruiser was not heard of until more than a month after she had left England.
“ The Georgia,' or 'Japan,' was actually reported by the Board of Trade
surveyor, who had no idea of her destination, to be built as a merchant-ship, and to be rather crank. Nothing was known of her proceedings until she had taken her arms and crew on board in Morlaix Bay, and reached Cherbourg. Her real point of departure, as a cruiser, was France, and not England.
“ The · Florida' was detained at Nassau on suspicion, but discharged by the local Admiralty Court, there being no evidence of her being any thing but a blockade-runner. She was fitted out as a ship-of-war at Mobile.
“On the other hand, the British Government prevented the outfit of the ‘Rappahannock, prosecuted and detained the 'Alexandra,' seized the 'Liverpool' rams, and stopped the ‘Pampero,' besides investigating carefully every case of suspected outfit brought forward by Mr. Adams, and he complained of nineteen, as well as every case which could be discovered independently. Among other things, taking charge of Captain Osborn's Anglo-Chinese flotilla, which, it was apprehended, might fall into the hands of the Confederates, at a cost to this country of 100,0001.”
With respect to the claim made for the losses sustained by the career of the “Alabama,” Lord Clarendon said, “But it must be remembered that when Mr. Fish claims compensation for all her depredations, he should not overlook the fact of the negligence shown by the Federal navy in twice letting her escape from them. First, when Mr. Adams urged the captain of the Federal ship, which at his instance had gone to Holyhead to look after her, to pursue her, when the captain refused, and went off to his station at Gibraltar instead-a proceeding at which Mr. Adams expressed the
greatest indignation (see Congress Papers, 1862, page 159); and, secondly, when the United States' ship ‘San Jacinto' blockaded her in the French port of St. Pierre, Martinique, and then suffered her to slip away at night from under her bows.”
He further asked, with reference to the alleged falling off in the number of American shipping and decrease in American tonnage, as occasioned by the “unfriendliness" of Great Britain, “Is not, however, a good deal of it to be attributed to the high American tariff, which makes the construction of vessels in American ports more expensive than ship-building in England, and has thereby thrown so large a proportion of the carrying trade into English hands?
“ There must be some such cause for it, or otherwise American shipping would have recovered its position since the war instead of continuing to fall off.”
Lord Clarendon ended by saying, “The despatch, in conclusion, refers 'to important changes in the rules of public law,' the desirableness of which has been demonstrated, but does not say what are the changes to which he alludes.
“This is in the spirit of the proposal made by her Majesty's Government in December, 1865, North America, No. 1, 1866' (page 164) :
““], however, asked Mr. Adams whether it would not be both useful and practical to let bygones be bygones, to forget the past, and turn the lessons of experience to account for the future. England and the United States, I said, had each become aware of the defects that existed in international law, and I thought it would greatly redound to the honour of the two principal maritime nations of the world to attempt the improvements in that code which had been proved to be necessary. It was possible, I added, that the wounds inflicted by the war were still too recent, and that the illwill towards England was still too rife, to render such an undertaking practicable at the present moment; but it was one which ought to be borne in mind, and that was earnestly desired by her Majesty's Government, as a means of promoting peace and abating the horrors of war, and a work, therefore, which would be worthy of the civilization of our age, and which would entitle the Governments which achieved it to the gratitude of mankind.'
" It is not necessary in this Memorandum to dwell on the alleged efficiency of the American as compared to the English Foreign Enlistment Act. The failure of the American Act in the Portuguese cases, in the repeated filibustering expeditions of Walker against Central America, and the acquittal under it of Lopez, the invader of Cuba, are proofs that its action cannot always be relied upon; and this is further corroborated by the difficulties now being experienced in dealing with the ‘Hornet,' at Wilmington. Although, as Mr. Fish says, there have been prosecutions under it, it is believed that from the trial of Gideon Henfield, in 1793, to the present day there has never been a criminal conviction. The only result of the proceedings in rem has been to restore prizes, never to punish privateering; and the effect of the bonds which the Act provides may be taken, that the owners of a vessel shall not themselves employ her in a belligerent service, and which has, it is believed, never been practically enforced, is, as Mr. Bemis, of Boston, points out in his volume on American neutrality, to add so much to the price of the vessel. “With regard to the claims for 'vast national injuries,' it may
be as well to observe that Professor Wolsey, the eminent American jurist, has repudiated them as untenable, while the strongest arguments in favour of the recognition of Confederate belligerency are to be found in the notes to Mr. Dana's eighth edition of Wheaton ; and Mr. Lawrence (the editor of the second annotated edition of Wheaton), in a recent speech at Bristol, stated that as far as respects the complaint founded on the recognition of the belligerent rights of the Confederates, I cannot use too strong language in pronouncing its utter baseless character. No tyro in international law is ignorant that belligerency is a simple question of fact. With the late Sir Cornewall Lewis, we may ask, if the array of a million of men on each side does not constitute belligerency, what is belligerency? But what was the proclamation of the President, followed up by the condemnation of your ships and cargoes for a violation of the blockade which is established, but a recognition of a state of war? At this moment the United States, in claiming the property of the late Confederate Government, place before your tribunals their title on the fact of their being the successors of a de facto Government. I repeat that, however valid our claims may be against you on other grounds, there is not the slightest pretext for any claim against you based on the public admission of a notorious fact, the existence of which has been recognized by every department of the Federal Government.'”
In his despatch, Mr. Fish had said, “Least of all could the Government of the United States anticipate hostility towards it, and special friendship for the insurgents of the seceding States, in view of the inducements and objects of that insurrection, which avowedly, and as every statesman, whether in Europe or America, well knew, and as the very earliest mention of the insurrection in the House of Commons indicated, were the secure establishment of a perpetual and exclusive slave-holding republic. In such a contest, the Government of the United States was entitled to expect the earnest good-will, sympathy, and moral support of Great Britain."
But in answer to this, we ask how stand the actual facts? The war waged by the North against the South was not a war against slavery, but a war to maintain the Union. If the abolition of slavery had been its object, the Border States would have infallibly sided with the South, and the issue of the contest would probably have been very different. In his inaugural message in March 1861, President Lincoln said, “I have no purpose directly
or indirectly to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it erists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.”
And in a letter written and published by him in the second year of the civil war, the same President said, "My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it ; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do about slavery and the coloured race, I do because I believe it helps to save this Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union."
The emancipation of the slave was the result indeed of the war, but never its object. It was adopted at the last moment as a military measure, and as a punishment of those who remained disloyal. It is therefore trifling with truth to assert that the Northern States were entitled to expect “the earnest good will, sympathy, and moral support of Great Britain ” in the contest, so far as the question of slavery was concerned. We believe that the sympathies of the great mass of the people of this country were with the North, as was evinced by the conduct of the operatives during the pressure of the famine in Lancashire ; but there was also, undoubtedly, amongst the higher classes, a strong current of feeling in favour of the South, and the Americans have been disposed too much to forget the first fact, and remember the second. If the question of the “ Alabama" claims is
” again revived, it is certain that the dignity and honour of Great Britain will require, before the subject is again approached by our Government, a distinct and categorical statement of the terms and mode of “reparation ” demanded by the Government of the United States. We have already made large concessions, and gone to the utmost limits in agreeing to leave the whole question to arbitration, in accordance with the view taken by the Americans themselves. But after a solemn Convention had been executed by the accredited Ministers of both countries, it was unceremoniously annulled by the Senate, and treated as so much waste paper. It is not likely that we shall allow ourselves again to be placed in such a false position; and no Ministry in England would be able to remain in power a week which should be suspected of yielding to threat, or menace, or fear, in conducting whatever negotiations may take place on this question in the future.
UNITED STATES (continued).
Insurrection in Cuba and attitude of the United States-Speech of Mr. Senator
Sumner at a Meeting of the Republican Convention of Massachusetts-Meeting of
Congress--Message of the President. The revolution that broke out in Spain last year was followed by an insurrection in Cuba, the largest and most important of the Spanish colonies, and called in America “ The Pearl of the Antilles." General Dulce was at the head of the forces there ; but in the middle of the present year he was forced, by a tumultuous manifestation on the part of the troops, to resign the command, and General Caballero de Rodas was despatched from Spain as his successor. The insurgents were very anxious to have the independence of Cuba recognized by the United States, and there was a strong feeling in that country in favour of the measure. But the Government felt that it would be too gross an inconsistency to take such a step at the very time when it was making a grave complaint against Great Britain for merely proclaiming neutrality, and allowing the status of belligerency to the Confederate States at the outbreak of the civil war.
It therefore determined not to interfere further than by tendering its good offices to the Spanish Government to arrange the terms on which Spain should voluntarily give up the island of Cuba. The offer, however, was declined, and the United States Government steadily maintained an attitude of neutrality. The insurrection still continued to the close of the year, but with every prospect of being finally suppressed.
At a meeting of the Republican Convention of the State of Massachusetts, on the 22nd of September, Mr. Senator Sumner made a long speech on the foreign and domestic policy of the United States, which is worth reading, as an exposition of the views of an able American statesman, who is also one of the most unfriendly critics of the policy of Great Britain. He said that he wished to speak cautiously of foreign affairs; and in speaking at all he broke a vow with himself not to open his lips on these questions excepting in the Senate. He yielded to friendly pressure, and yet knew of no reason why he should not speak, and in speaking he should be frank. In their foreign relations there were with him two cardinal principles which he had no hesitation to avow at all times : first, peace with all the world, and, secondly, sympathy with all struggling for human rights. In neither of these would he fail, for each is essential. Peace was for them a universal conqueror; through peace the whole world would be theirs. Filled with the might of peace the sympathy extended would be next to an alliance. Following these plain principles, they should be open, and allow foreign nations to now their sentiments, so that even when there was a difference there