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British government. A single supplemental stipulation would render a treaty with Great Britain similar to that we are making with North Germany equally acceptable and satisfactory to the United States. That supplemental article would be that the naturalized citizen of one country should have and enjoy in the other all the rights, immunities, and privi. leges which, by the law of nations, treaties, or municipal law, are allowed in that latter country to the native citizen of the country to which the naturalized citizen belongs.
I am in communication now with Mr. Thornton upon the subject. So soon as I shall have received the Berlin treaty, I shall furnish him with a projet of a treaty, which, if he approves, I shall be ready to execute immediately. I shall suggest to him to-day that he ask by telegraph for the necessary special power and directions.
If we can make such a treaty, only two things more will be necessary to relieve the now existing uneasiness which has resulted from the naturalization question. These are, first, that pardons be granted to Lynch and McMahon, two prisoners in Canada, believed by this government to be morally guiltless, and whose further punishment wears an aspect of unnecessary severity towards them and unkindness towards the United States; secondly, that her Majesty's government shall in some way provide for a discontinuance or termination of the cases of Colonels Warren and Nagle, which cases have been needlessly and blindly complicated by judicial persistence in the dogma of the indefeasibility of native British allegiance, which, it is expected, will be relin. quished in the proposed treaty.
With the good hope of adjusting the naturalization question promptly and in the manner indicated, I reserve, for the present, the consideration of Lord Stanley's suggestions relating to a mode of proceeding to arrange the Alabama and other questions, because the views I shall have occasion to submit on those subjects will be greatly influenced by the result of the anticipated proceedings in regard to naturalization. I am, sir, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD. CLARLES FRANCIS ADAMS, Esq., &c., &c., &c.
Mr. Adams to Mr. Seward. No. 1549.]
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES.
London, March 7, 1868. SIR: I have the honor to transmit a copy of the Times of this morning, containing a report of the debate in the House of Commons last night on the motion of Mr. Shaw Lefevre relative to the questions between the two governments springing from the late struggle. I add a copy of the Standard, because I learn from Mr. Forster, one of the parties to the discussion, that at least his speech is reported'in essential particulars more correctly there,
Although not present myself on this occasion, I learn from several quarters that the temper manifested in it was throughout fair, and even friendly. I am inclined to believe that on the single question of the claims for damage done by the Alabama, and perhaps one or two other Fessels, Parliament is almost prepared to pay whatever might be adjudged by a commission raised for the purpose, without much demur.
You will doubtless take note of the allusion made in Lord Stanley's remarks, towards the close, to that part of your latest communication to me on the subject which I made known to him. My opinion is that the failure of the negotiation is matter of general regret. Whilst there is a strong disposition to protect the action of Lord Stanley in his construction of the terms of your dispatch of the 12th January, 1867, there is nevertheless a feeling that if he had put a construction like that of Mr. Forster's, they would have been quite as ready to justify it. I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS. Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD,
Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.
[From the London Standard, March 7, 1868.]
HOUSE OF COMMONS, March 6. On the order of the day for going into committee of supply, Mr. S. L. Lefevre rose to call attention to the failure of the negotiations with the United States government for arbitration of the Alabama claims, and moved an address for papers. The honorable gentleman said, that in bringing that subject before the house he hoped he would not be embarrassing the noble lord the secretary for foreign affairs in his diplomatic correspondence with the United States government, or adding to the complications already existing between the two countries. But it seemed to him, and others with whom he had communicated upon the subject, that some good might arise if the question were discussed with candor and under a due sense of the important consequences which it involved. He would shortly state the facts of the case. The earliest cause of complaint on the part of the United States government arose out of her Majesty's proclamation of neutrality, which was issued on the 13th of May, 1861, upon the advice of the law officers of the Crown. The fall of Fort Sumter took place on the 14th of April in that year, and that was the commencement of the civil war in America ; but long before that seven of the Confederate States had made great preparations for war, and had virtually separated themselves from the northern States. The fall of Fort Sumter was followed, two days afterwards, by the proclamation of President Lincoln calling out 75,000 men, and that was followed in its turn by the confederate government calling out 30,000 men and issuing letters of marque. On the next day President Lincoln proclaimed the blockade of the southern ports, and announced his intention of treating the crews of the privateers as pirates. These facts reached this country on the 3d of May, and were published in the English newspapers on the day following. On the 6th of May her Majesty's government announced in that house that they would recognize the Confederate States as belligerents, and on the 13th of May, as he had already stated, the proclamation of neutrality was issued. The actual blockade was eftected by the north along the southern coast by the end of April, and from that day forward there were in the prize courts numerous cases relating to the capture of English vessels. But it was not until some time afterwards that the confederate flag made its appearance. It had frequently been said that the first confederate cruisers had sailed from this country. But that was not the fact. He found there were previously four cases of confederate men-of-war which sailed from southern ports. The first of these was a vessel called the Sunter, which escaped the blockade at New Orleans, and after capturing two prizes off Cuba, put into Trinidad on the 29th of July, 1861. That was the first instance in which the confederate flag had been recognized by this country. That vessel was followed by the Nashville, and next by the Oreto, (afterwards called the Florida,) which escaped from Liverpool and went to Nassau. It seemed that a complaint had been made to the collector of customs at Liverpool with respect to that vessel; but that gentleman appears to have been always easily deceived upon these subjects. [Ilear, hear.] He reported to the government that he had every reason to believe that the vessel was intended for the Italian government. She went from Nassau to Mobile, where she ran the blockade, and then commenced her career of destruction. Shortly afterwards the news of the escape of the Florida came to the knowledge of the American government, and they then complained that another vessel of the same description, called the “290," was being built by the Messrs. Laird. Her Majesty's government again referred to the collector of customs at Liverpool, and he reported that the latter ship was obviously a war vessel, and that her builders did not disguise that she was intended for a foreign government, but they declined to state what foreign government that was. On the 22d of July, six attidavits were laid by the American minister before the foreign office, for
the purpose of showing the true character of that vessel. Those affidavits were referred to the honorable and learned member for Richmond, the then solicitor general, (Sir R. Palmer,) on the 28th, the six days' delay in dealing with the case having been occasioned by the unfortunate illness, of the Queen's advocate, from which he never recovered. On the 29th the honorable and learned member for Richmond gave an opinion to the effect that the vessel in question, which was afterwards known as the Alabama, ought to le detained. A telegram was then sent to Liverpool for the purpose of giving effect to that opinion, but before the order could be obeyed the vessel escaped, under the pretense of taking a trial trip. She then sailed toward the Azores, where she was met by two other ships, from which she received her crew and armainents. She afterwards put into Jamaica, where she was recognized as a regular southern cruiser, and where she was hospitably received. Then began her devastations. She was intended for purposes of mere destruction, and she well performed her task. The seas were lighted up with her tires. She made no prizes, but burnt all the vessels she captured. In the course of one of the discussions which took place upon that subject in the house, an honorable member stated that he would rather have built that vessel than have made the speeches they had heard from the honorable member for Birmingham. [Hear, hear.) Now, observations of that kind had sunk deep into the hearts of the people of America, and had greatly complicated our relations with that country. He believed there were but few persons at present who would not say that those who had been connected with that vessel were among the greatest malefactors of the day. [Hear, hear.] He need hardly reinind the house of the case of the two iron-clad rams which were subsequently bing built in the yard of the Messrs. Laird. The government, going somewhat, perhajs, beyond their authority, had stopped the construction of these rams, and had afterwards purchased them on their own account. An attack was made upon the governmeut by the present Lord Cairns for the course they had thus taken, but his motion was defeated by the narrow majority of five. There was also another vessel which was being built for the Confederate States at Glasgow, which the government detained until the close of the war. She was then returned to the owners, who sold her to the Chilian government, and in their service she became known as the Tornado, and was the cause of considerable difficulty between that country and Spain. There was also a vessel called the Alexandra, which were detained at Nassau, and there were two others, called the Georgia and Shenandoah. The two latter ships, one of which was fitted out in Loadon and the other in Liverpool, pursued exactly the same course as the Alabama. These three cruisers, without having ever entered a southern port, had captured about 20 vessels. The loss they had caused to the United States was not, however, to be measured by the mere destruction of so many ships. The commerce carried on under the American flag had greatly declined in consequence of the increased rate of insurance which American ship-owners had to incur, and it appeared that while this carrying trade had fallen to one-third of what it had been before the war, the trade carried ou under the English flag had more than doubled in amount. That was a reason why this country should deal generously with that question. It was right to mention that both the Georgia and Shenandoah had escaped from our shores without any information with respect to their destination having been communicated to her Majesty's government; and it also appeared that the American minister at Lisbon complained to his own goremment that if he had received earlier intelligence as to the true character of the Shenandoah he might have been able to arrest her progress. Those facts seemed to show that the American authorities had been somewhat negligent in the matter, and it was very possible that if they had made better use of their own cruisers they might have prevented some of the destruction which had taken place. But the whole of those transactions bad produced the strongest irritation in America, and no one who had not traveled in that country could be aware of the extent of that feeling. The depredations committed by these vessels had caused constant irritation and aggravation, and had been used detrimentally by the Fenians and others who were anxious to create a feeling against this country and United States. Every right thinking person was therefore anxions, in the interest of peace, to bring, if possible, this unfortunate dispute to a conclusion. [Cheers.] He believed that the large preponderance of the higher opiniou of America was favorably disposed toward this country; but, notwithstanding this, it would be well for both parties to have all sources of contention swept away. [Hear, brar.] On both sides there was but one desire, viz, to have the difficulty brought to a satistactory solution. Having said so much upon one branch of this subject, he wished how to point out how diplomacy had dealt with the question. And, first of all, he would advert to the matter of the recognition of the belligerency. Mr. Adams arrived in this country on the very day the proclamation of neutrality was issued. His first task was to communicate with Earl Russell, and protest against the course adopted by the British government. He expressed great regret at the decision of her Majesty's ministry, and said that there could be no doubt that the effect of the proclamation would be disastrous. Earl Russell replied to this that in recognizing the south as belligerents no opinion whatever was expressed upon the merits of the American war. Mr. Adams answered that the proclamation of neutrality was a little more rapid than
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was actually called for by the occasion. With the exception of these two conversations which passed between Earl Russell and Mr. Adams, no protest or claim was made on behalf of the American government till within a very recent period. Such, however, had not been the case with respect to the confederate cruisers. No sooner was it ascertained that the Alabama was burning ships upon the ocean than Mr. Adams made a claim on our government for loss and damage done to the property of American citizens by vessels which had been allowed to escape from English ports. That was in November, 1862. In October, 1863, Mr. Adams received further information respecting other ships which had been burned by the Alabama; and in the course of the correspondence which followed he spoke for the first time of arbitration. On that subject he said the United States government were sincerely desirous of perserving peace and amity between the two nations, and that in case it was found impossible to arrive at any satisfactory conclusion they would be perfectly willing to submit to any fair or convenient arbitration. Now, so far as he had been able to discover, Earl Russell upon that occasion took no notice of the question of arbitration. He simply denied the justness of the claims made by Mr. Adams. From that time the matter lay dormant for about two years, and in the mean time the other vessels to which he had alluded were burning and destroying. The complaints were, however, again renewed in the case of the Sheuandoah, and then, for the first time, the question of the recognition of the belligerents of the south was brought forward, and we were charged with a breach of neutrality in permitting the cruisers to escape from our ports. On that occasion Mr. Adams said that the whole eril had practically its origin in this country recognizing the south as a belligerent power before they had a single vessel floating upon the ocean. In the course of the correspondence that followed, Earl Russell adverted to the claims between the Portuguese and the United States in 1824, which were similar to those between Eng. land and America, and pointed out that the American government had adopted the same line of defense upon that occasion as the English government adopted now. Alluding to the matter of arbitration, his lordship detailed his reasons for declining it, and said there should only be two questions for arbitration : first, whether the British government acted with good faith and honesty in the maintenance of neutrality; and secondly, whether the law officers of the Crown properly understood the foreign enlistment act when they declined to counsel the English government to detain the Alabama. Neither of these questions, his lordship held, could be referred to the arbitration of a foreigu power, with due regard to the honor and character of the British nation, and he therefore declined to refer them. With this dispatch the correspondence closed for some time, although the refusal to submit to arbitration was commented upon in a dignified and prudent manner in the message of President Johnson in 1865. Papers relative to the dispute were laid before the country in the autumn of 1865. When Parliament met in 1866, Lord Derby stated that he fully approved of Earl Russell's correspondence and the arguments with which he had supported the cause of England, aud in the lower house no objection was urged to the course adopted by the late government, except by one or two members, who expressed regret that the offer for arbitration had not been acceded to. He was one who had been in favor of that policy being pursued, and he framed a motion with the view of bringing it before the house, but upon consulting with other meni. bers, and finding that the resolution would not meet with general support, he abandoned his intention. The change of government which took place brought with it a sense of responsibility which was not previously apparent. The first symptom of the change was to be found in the correspendence between Mr. Seward and Mr. Adams, in which the latter gave an account of an interview which he had with the noble lord the head of the foreign office. Mr. Adams's account of what Lord Stanley said was, “His lordship, in welcoming me, remarked that he presumed his sentiments towards the United States were well known to me. He had always favored the cultivation of friendly relations with us, and regretted that these should have been at all endangered during the late struggle by inconsiderate speeches in Parliament.” (Hear, hear.] He (Mr. Lefevre) could only regret that the noble lord had not used his great influence for the purpose of preventing some of these ill-considered speeches, or, at all events, in mitigating their effect. Some time after the noble lord came into office the negotiations respecting the Alabama and her sister vessels were again renewed, and upon this occasion, for the first time, the question of the recognition of the belligerency, which had formerly been treated as a subordinate matter or not mentioned at all, became the principal cause of complaint. The claim was put forward in this manner: “While yet the civil war was undeveloped, and the insurgents were without any organized military force or a treasury, and long before they pretended to have a flag, or to put either au armed.ship or a merchant vessel upon the sea, her Majesty's government, acting precipitately, proclaimed the insurgents il belligerent power, and conceded to them the advantages and privileges of that character, and thus raised them, in regard to the prosecution of an unlawful armed insurrection, to an equality with the United States. This government has not denied that it was within the sovereign authority of Great Britain to assume this attitude, but on the other hand it insisted in the beginning, and has continually insisted, that the assumption of that attitude would be an injurious proceeding, for which Great Britain would immediately come under a full responsibility to justify it, or to render redress and indemnity." The noble lord, the foreign secretary, in writing to Sir F. Bruce on the 30th of November, 1866, said, “On the other hand, they are fully alive to the inconvenience which arises from the existence of unsettled claims of this character between two powerful and friendly governments. They would be glad to settle this question if they could do so consistently with justice and national self-respect; and with this view they will not be disiuclined to adopt the principle of arbitration, provided that a fitting arbitrator can be found, and if an agreement can be come to as to the points to which an arbitration shall apply." The United States government, however, wished to refer the whole controversy as it stood in the correspondence which had taken place between the two countries, with such further evidence as could be procured, without imposing restrictions on the umpire. The noble lord, in reply, said, “With regard to to the ground of complaint, on which most stress is laid in Mr. Seward's dispatch, viz., the alleged premature recognition of the Confederate States as a belligerent power, it is clear that no reference to arbitration is possible. The act complained of, while it bears very remotely on the claims in question, is one of which every state must be held to be the sole judge of its duty. There is, so far as I am aware, no precedent for any government consenting to submit to the judgment of a foreign power or to an international commission the question whether its policy has or has not been suitable to the circumstances in which it was placed." The answer which Mr. Seward made to this dispatch appeared to have been a letter written by him to Mr. Adams, which letter Was reád by the latter to Lord Stanley, but was not left with his lordship. That letter Tas consequently not included in the published correspondence. It had, however, been given at length in the American papers, the substance of it being that the President hoped the explanations which had been given would remove all difficulties, and allow both parties to bring the dispute to a satisfactory conclusion. Lord Stanley, on the 16th December, replied that her Majesty's government could not depart from their decision of refusing to refer the question of the recognition of the belligerency to arbitration, and Mr. Seward declined to accept arbitration upon such terms. Any one Fould admit from the last of these letters that a very considerable change was obseryable in the course of this correspondence in the position.of Mr. Seward. At the commencement of this correspondence he put the whole claim on the recognition of belligerency, aud at the close he, in fact, assented to the terms proposed by the noble lord. There were three stages in the correspondence-the first in which the whole question was put on recognition of belligerency, all other questions being considered 33 incidental and unimportant; the second, in which Mr. Seward offered to refer the whole correspondence as it then stood to an arbitrator; and the third, that in which hit accepted the proposition put by the noble lord-namely, whether we were morally responsible for the damages occasioned by the Alabama, and stated that that was sufticiently comprehensive for his purpose. The difference in these last stages was very great; and he (Mr. Lefevre) could not but regret that the noble lord had not left the matter there, but had thought it his duty to make special exception of the question of the recognition which induced Mr. Seward to withdraw from further negotiation in the matter. It was one thing to refer the question itself to an arbitrator, and another to make a special exception from the arbitration of another subject, and which might be mtroduced as an incidental topic bearing upon the question at issue. If the special exception were not made it would be open to the other side to introduce the subject as an argument, but it would be equally open to us to object to its introduction as irrelevant. In view of the nature of the whole question between the two countries he could not but regard it as a mistake on the part of the noble lord to expect a total withdrawal by Mr. Seward and the American people from what he (Mr. Lefevre) considered a bad and a false position. The noble lord might have been satisfied by the foncession already made in the course of the correspondence, and it was a mistake to brrak in upon Mr. Seward with a special exception, which he must have known would lead to the failure of the whole negotiation. Looking at the whole tone of the correspondence, he could not but think that it was the intention of the noble lord to bring the question to a common ground, in which it was possible that arbitration might be alinitted on both sides, and at the last moment he was frightened at the position at which he had arrived, and then made the special exception. The noble lord had put the question for arbitration--whether we were morally responsible for the damages caused by the Alabama. What was the meaning of the word morally! It needed some explanation. Was the arbitrator to go beyond the ordinary strict rules and Usages of international law, and into the more vague regions of morality? If so, on What ground were we specially to except a branch of the subject which the Americans thonght bore upon the morality of the question? If the morality of the whole question Was to come under consideration, he was not sure that it might not be for our advanfage that the inquiry should be extended. But he did not wish to express any opinion on the main question. He had ventured, within the last two or three years, to differ from the opinion of some learned authorities as to what our international obligations Were, and he should be silent on that occasion. He should not enter upon that ques