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Police Court at Bonn, in connection with the Macdonald affair, demanding if that sentence was affected by the Royal Proclamation of the 12th instant, I applied to Baron Schleinitz for information on this matter, and learnt from his Excellency that the penalty and fine imposed upon them was remitted by this proclamation, and that I was at liberty to inform them of the fact, which I did.

Baron Schleinitz, this morning, stated that he was about to make me a written communication in confirmation of what he had said. I told Baron Schleinitz I regretted that he had not in the first instance done so, as it would have been more gracious on the part of the Prussian Government to have made these gentlemen a separate communication, instead of letting them be included in the proclamation. I have, &c.

Lord J. Russell.


No. 49.-Mr. Lowther to Lord J. Russell.-(Received January 31.)
Berlin, January 29, 1861.

WITH reference to my despatch to your Lordship of the 26th instant, I have now the honour to inclose the copy of a note I have this day received from Baron Schleinitz, stating that the sentence pronounced on the 24th of December last against the Englishmen at Bonn will not be carried into execution.

Lord J. Russell.


I have, &c.


(Inclosure.)-Baron Schleinitz to Mr. Lowther,

Berlin, le 28 Janvier, 1861. EN me référant à ce que j'ai déjà eu l'honneur de vous dire de vive voix, je m'empresse de vous prévenir que l'amnistie accordée par Sa Majesté le Roi le 12 de ce mois profitera aussi aux Anglais qui ont été condamnés le 24 Décembre dernier par le tribunal de Bonn dans l'affaire du Captaine Macdonald, en sorte que le jugement prononcé contre eux ne sera point exécuté.

W. Lowther, Esq.

Recevez, &c.



No. 52.-Lord J. Russell to Mr..Lowther.

Foreign Office, February 11, 1861. HAVING referred to the Law Officers of the Crown the whole correspondence which has taken place respecting the case of Captain Macdonald, I have now to communicate to you the opinion of Her Majesty's Government.

In the first place, assuming that the charge of which Captain Macdonald was found guilty by the Prussian tribunal was legally

proved, his arrest, trial, and subsequent punishment must in that case be admitted to have been matters, strictly speaking, within the jurisdiction of the Prussian tribunals, and the legality of the proceedings cannot be impugned so far as Prussian law is concerned.

In the next place, the Staats-Procurator, Möller, having been reprimanded for the abusive language used by him in the conduct of the prosecution of Captain Macdonald, that reprimand may be accepted as a sufficient atonement by the Prussian Government for this misconduct of their subordinate officer; and lastly, Her Majesty's Government do not deny that the prosecution, by the authority of the Prussian Government, of certain British subjects at Bonn, for libel, although bearing the character of a harsh and vindictive proceeding, appears to have been in conformity with the law of the country, and was not a violation of International Law, assuming always that the provisions of the Prussian Municipal Law were duly observed.

But I have to add that, apart from the strict legal aspect of this affair, all these proceedings of the Prussian officials concerned in the case appear to Her Majesty's Government to have been uncalled for and unjustifiable.

1. The railway inspector ought, if it was so, to have explained through the sister-in-law of Captain Macdonald, that after the strangers who wished to come into the carriage had taken their seats, there would still be room for the gentleman, the nurse and child of Captain Macdonald's party, and if that explanation had been civilly given, no further altercation would probably have taken place. The order for Captain Macdonald and his party to leave the carriage was, therefore, a wanton act of arbitrary rudeness.

2. The caution or bail-money offered for Macdonald ought to have been accepted, and Captain Macdonald ought to have been left at liberty; but this was not done, and Captain Macdonald was sent for 5 nights to prison, merely because, as it was said, Madame Kuhe threw some imputations on the honesty of the inspector. But this reason was quite insufficient, and officials invested with such great arbitrary power are bound to be careful not thus to abuse it.

3. M. Möller's violent and libellous charge against the character of English travellers was highly unbecoming; for even assuming that Captain Macdonald had been guilty of an offence against the Prussian law, that was no reason why M. Möller should cast a malicious aspersion upon all Englishmen travelling in Germany.

4. The just indignation of the English residents at Bonn at hearing this wanton accusation made by M. Möller against their countrymen travelling or residing on the Continent, might well have been allowed to find expression in a protest, published in a

newspaper, without bringing down on the heads of its authors the vexation and annoyance of a State prosecution.

In a moral point of view, and having regard to the relations between the two countries, the conduct of the Prussian Government in this matter appears to Her Majesty's Government to have been in a high degree unfriendly.

Prussian law was enforced with extreme and unnecessary harshness, and in a manner not required for the purpose of justice. To throw a person of the rank and station of Captain Macdonald into prison on such a charge, and to refuse his liberation on bail, was an act which in England we should ascribe to a malignant spirit, violating the limits of a temperate administration of justice.

The rude refusal of the Prussian official, when informed of the rank held by Captain Macdonald in the Body Guard of his Sovereign, was not consistent with ordinary international courtesy, and is a fit subject to be observed upon, because it has not been disavowed by the Prussian Government. Her Majesty's Government feel confident that no Prussian officer or gentleman of the rank of Captain Macdonald would have been treated in a similar manner in England under similar circumstances.

Her Majesty's Government must also observe on the spirit which dictated a prosecution for a publication alleged to be a libel upon a Prussian official, when the very act which that alleged libel condemned had been censured by the Government of that officer; and it is further to be observed, that that prosecution was instituted whilst Captain Macdonald's case was still pending between the two Governments.

The Prussian Government has not thought fit to temper its justification of these extreme acts by any expression of regret, and Her Majesty's Government cannot but regard its conduct as too clearly evincing a disregard of international goodwill.

I have to instruct to you to read this despatch to Baron Schleinitz, and to give him a copy of it. I am, &c. W. Lowther, Esq.


No. 55.-Count Gruner to Count Bernstorff.—(Communicated to Lord J. Russell by Count Bernstorff, March 4.)

(Translation.) Berlin, February 27, 1861. AFTER the detailed communications which I made to Lord Bloomfield relative to the affair of Captain Macdonald on the 30th of November, and to your Excellency on the 8th of December last, I thought I might hope that the British Government would be convinced that the Prussian Government and its authorities had impartially treated this unfortunate occurrence in strict accordance with the laws, and that this much-discussed affair would now remain

at rest. This hope has not been realized; but, as your Excellency will see by the inclosed copy, Lord Augustus Loftus has been commissioned by his Government to present a further despatch, and to communicate to me a copy thereof.

First of all, I can only regret that, in this paper, although it was intended to be communicated to a friendly Government, a style of expression has been used which is by no means in harmony with those considerations which friendly Governments usually think themselves bound to observe. Such style of expression in the present case seems the less justified, inasmuch as the views and the assertions put forth in this despatch are almost wholly in opposition to the real state of the case, as it was communicated by me to the British Government from the documents. Hereupon I will confine myself to a proof of this, in a brief examination of the 4 points brought forward in the despatch:

1. By the testimony of Parow and his wife, and of Buchholtz, it is shown that, from the first, the entrance of those travellers was opposed by Captain Macdonald, partly by a threat of force, and partly by the actual employment of force. Nevertheless, the railway inspector, on being called, left no means untried to remove the cause of dispute by polite intervention. He offered Captain Macdonald and his party admission to another coupé. While he, with this view, tried to prevent M. Kuhe from getting in, Captain Macdonald used force, pulling his brother-in-law into the carriage, and thrusting his fist against the inspector's breast. After such conduct nothing was left to do but to order Captain Macdonald's removal from the carriage. Such an order towards a traveller who has replied to the summons of an official person by a forcible personal attack, can only be looked upon as the indispensable restoration of seriously violated order.

2. The assumption that Captain Macdonald at any time offered security to obtain his liberty rests simply upon an error. To the demand made at the station to deposit a security of 10 thalers, Captain Macdonald replied by silence only, while his sister-in-law, Kuhe, opposed the accusation that it was extortion. When once Captain Macdonald was arrested and conducted to prison, no further proposition was made by him or his defender to let him out of custody on security.

3. The assertion of Staats-Procurator Möller in reference to the conduct of individual (not almost all) English travellers, is admitted by the Prussian Government itself as unbecoming. A disciplinary inquiry was instituted by the constituted authorities, with full observance of the existing law, and the legal penalty awarded. In reference to this episodical occurrence, the requisite satisfaction has therefore resulted, and consequently the matter is completely settled.

4. The English residents in Bonn are sufficiently acquainted with the Prussian laws and regulations to be aware that it is indeed permitted to every man to make known his supposed grievances in the newspapers, but that public offences ("Beleidigungen") committed through articles in newspapers bring after them a legal penalty. Those Englishmen, therefore, only suffered the necessary consequences of their excited feelings, when they, without due consideration, published in the newspapers accusations against an official person. In this matter also the Prussian Government has simply put the law in force ("walten lassen"). This was purely a matter for the tribunal, with whose functions the Government, as such, is not competent to interfere.

The facts of this case being so notorious, there can be no question of any harshness with which, as Lord John Russell expresses himself, the law has been carried out. No knowledge whatever existed of the personal quality of Captain Macdonald when his own conduct rendered his arrest necessary. His violent behaviour was not calculated to make him known as a person of bigh rank and distinction. Even the demand to deposit a security of 10 thalers was not assented to. When once he was given over to justice, it was no longer possible for the Prussian Government to interfere with the course of it. It has deeply regretted this, and especially because of its close and friendly relations with England; it gave expression to this regret, not only in the note of the 30th of November last to Lord Bloomfield, but also in its endeavour to alleviate the position of Captain Macdonald by hastening his examination.

I cannot understand, for the rest, how a reproach can be drawn from the circumstance that the legal prosecution against the signers of the article in the Bonn newspaper was carried out while the discussions upon the affair of Captain Macdonald were pending between the two Governments. The course of justice in Prussia is as free from all influence of the Government, and as independent, as in England. It is not in the competence of the Government to impede it; and those discussions could have no other object than to furnish the British Government with the desired explanation as to the actual state of the case. The decision was solely in the hands of the tribunal, not in those of the Government.

I must, therefore, decidedly repel the view taken, that the Prussian Government has in this affair, by its acts or its omissions, violated any of the considerations which it owes to a friendly Government like the British. That such an opinion has appeared in the English press may be explained, inasmuch as it has gathered its information only from the partial representations of Captain

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