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a condition to his being brought to trial ? He was of opinion that no greater insult could be offered to any man than to be first arrested by a foreign gov. ernment, and then be required by that government to forswear allegiance to his own and allegiance to theirs before the charge against him could be investigated. He trusted that a distinct answer to that question would be given by the noble earl.
Earl Russell. The answer is, that so far as I know the American government never tendered the oath of allegiance to a British subject knowing him
to be a British subject. When informed by Lord Lyons that a person • arrested was a British subject, Mr. Seward once or twice replied that he
was not aware of the fact, and that he would take care that the oath should not be tendered to a British subject.
The Earl of Derby. Then it just comes to this, that he had no means of escaping from prison except by taking the oath.
THE BLOCKADE OF THE SOUTHERN PORTS.
The Earl of Malmesbury asked the noble earl at the head of foreign affairs whether, amongst the papers he had received from admirals on the American station and consuls in America, he had found any account of the actual condition of the blockade of the Confederate States. He did not ask the question in any spirit of cavilling with the course which the government had pursued, and he was the more anxious not to be misunderstood not only by their lordships but by the public, from the circumstance that in a most strange and unaccountable manner the noble earl near him (the Earl of Derby) had been extremely misunderstood and misrepresented by a morning journal (the Times) both to-day and last week. Although the noble earl gave that journal an opportunity of stating what he really said on Thursday relative to the blockade, he observed this morning an article in the same paper warning the public against the advice given by his noble friend on that occasion. Now, the noble earl never used a single argument in favor of breaking the blockade, nor would it be consistent with his (the Earl of Malmesbury's) opinion as to public policy to say one word to induce the government to adopt that course. That must be a question of time. No person on that side of the house wished to press the government to take any course but that which they bad adopted. But, although these were bis views with respect to the policy hitherto pursued by the government, he wished to know what the real truth and facts of the case were with respect to the blockade, because, perhaps, a great deal of exaggeration had been made use of in describing it. He was told that Mr. Mason, who came over here, as they all knew, to represent the case of the southern States, openly declared that no less than six or seven hundred ships had broken the blockade and passed in and out of the southern ports. It was, therefore, very desirable that the government should be prepared to form some judgment upon the matter. It must be a question on the part of the government as to the time in which they would vindicate international law. Under the particular circumstances of the case it would, he was aware, be very impolitic to take hasty measures with respect to the blockade ; but after the opinion which, he believed, had been given by every great power in Europe, that though legal according to international law, it would be impossible after a time, and if the statement of Mr. Mason, to wbich he referred, proved true, for the whole world to continue to suffer the inconvenience arising from the blockade. (Hear, hear.) Much had been said with respect to the declaration of Paris in 1856. He was sorry that his noble friend (the Earl of Clarendon) was not present, as he did not like to speak on a subject of this nature in the absence of one whom he believed to be the originator of that declaration. At that time he expressed an opinion that should a great war take place the declaration of Paris would cease to be regarded.' We could not lay down a strict rule with respect to blockades, nor did he believe we should be able to carry out a declaration prohibiting privateering. If two great nations like England and France were unhappily at war, as they had been so often, would it be believed that a warlike people, brought to bay, a portion of their fleet destroyed, and the remaining portion blockaded, would not have recourse to all means to repel the opposing power? They would do so, of course, and one way of doing so to which they would resort would be to issue letters of marque, authorizing privateers to destroy the commerce. of the enemy. He wished further to know whether the noble earl was in a position to give any information respecting the assassination of Dr. McCarthy at Pisa, who was stabbed in his own house by an Italian corsair, and who had escaped in consequence of the gross neglect and indifference of the Italian authorities?
Earl Russell said her Majesty's government felt sensible of the support given by the noble earl opposite (Earl Derby) on the first night of the session to them respecting their conduct with regard to America. It gave great force to the government when they found that all parties agreed in the line of policy they adopted, and the nation derived great confidence from knowing that they were all united on that subject. With regard to the question of the blockade, it was one of very great importance. He could not presume to enter upon the discussion of it at that moment. He had given orders to Admiral Milne at a very early period, and also to the consuls, to afford her Majesty's government every information possible. When the blockade was first mentioned by Mr. Adams, he stated the difficulty which he saw would exist in blockading 3,000 miles of coast. To this Mr. Adams replied that there were only seven ports which it would be necessary to blockade, so that the difficulty was not so great as appeared at first sight. With regard to the allegation that 500 ships had broken the blockade, he had himself made inquiry of Mr. Mason. He asked Mr. Mason what was the tonnage of the vessels to which allusion had been made, and to that question Mr. Mason was unable to give him any answer. That was a matter, however, of great importance in the question, because the seven ports were connected with several other smaller ports, and it was possible that vessels carrying small cargoes might run from one to the other ; but these could hardly be called vessels running or breaking the blockade. Before the meeting of Parliament the had given instructions to have all the papers on this subject put together. That was being done, and they would be laid shortly before their lordships. He hoped that any judgment upon this question, which was one of very great importance, would be postponed till all the information was before the house. It was an evil on the one hand if the blockade was ineffective, and therefore invalid; and on the other hand, if they were to run the risk of a dispute with the United States without having strong ground for it, it would be a great evil. With regard to the dreadful murder to which the noble earl referred, it was quite true that the British residents in. Tuscany made representations as to the inefficiency of the authorities and the means of punishing and detecting crime. That representation was sent to Turin, and a hope expressed that measures would be devised to make the police more effective in that part of the country. With regard to the arrest of the assassin and the bringing him to justice, the report made by the consul was that the proceedings were more than usually speedy. But it appeared that these quarters were inhabited by an undisciplined and savage kind of men, and crimes were frequent amongst them. It appeared that the British residents of Florence complained that there was a want of some regular tariff of charges. He hoped that some
rules would be laid down which would prevent the occurrence of such crimes in future.
Earl Granville said he could not allow the remarks of the noble earl opposite (the Earl of Malmesbury) to pass without observation. The noble earl stated his conviction that the force of circumstances would oblige this gorernment, in case of war, to disregard the obligations of the treaty of Paris. This declaration, as it appeared to him, would have so injurious an effect on foreign powers, coming as it did from one who had filled the office of secretary of state for foreign affairs, that he put it to him whether he had not, in the heat of debate, somewhat overstated the matter ?
The Earl of Malmesbury said, what he intended to say was this: that supposing a great country like this or France, after a desperate war, driven to the last extremity, and struggling with other powers for its very exist. ence, he did not believe that an impatient military people like the French, or a people having the spirit of the people of this country, would bear to be guided by the paper declaration of 1856, but that the law of self-preservation would overrule all other feelings, and under it that they would take any steps they thought proper to save themselves and the country from the extreme dangers in which they were placed. (Hear, hear.)
Earl Granville said he did not expect that anything of the kind was likely to happen, and he hoped the country would never be brought to such an extremity as to break the treaty obligations into which it had entered to secure some secondary object.
Earl Russell said he certainly had given expression to an opinion that was not in favor of the treaty of Paris in some respects, but said that having been made it must be maintained.
The subject then dropped.
Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, February 13, 1862. Sir: Westerly winds have hindered the steamers so that it is only after a period of twenty days that I now receive your despatch of the 24th of January, No. 105.
It affords me pleasure to know that the inhibition against the exportation of saltpetre, which was so unnecessary, has been rescinded.
It has been only European sympathies and European aid that have enabled our disloyal citizens to prolong the civil war. The commercial advantages which Great Britain derives from her present policy are, a trade with the insurgents in articles contraband of war, and in less illegitimate merchandise introduced into the disloyal States in contravention of a vigorous blockade. Besides this commercial advantage, Great Britain gains the security of an acknowledgment of her immunity as a neutral by the pirates who are engaged in destroying our commerce. But the pirates are outlaws, having the control of not one port in our own country. On the other hand, what inconveniences do not result to Great Britain herself from her unnecessary and undeserved concessions to the insurgents ? Alarms, apprehensions, and preparations for war with that one of all the nations whose constitution and habits most incline it to peace, and which, if left in the enjoy. ment of peace, is always at once the most liberal in its supplies.of material and provisions to the British manufacturers, and the most liberal consumer of their fabrics.
Has not the policy of Great Britain in regard to our internal troubles been adhered to long enough? This is a question for the British government. If the British government shall still think it necessary to persevere, is it asking too much of them that they shall lend the protection of their courts to the enforcement of the neutrality which the Queen's proclamation commands? Will they stand by and see the Bermuda again fitted out with munitions and arms by British subjects, to be employed by insurgents in their attempts to overthrow the government of the United States ?
When Spain refuses shelter to the Sumter, is Great Britain willing that she shall rest from her work of destruction, apd repair in the harbor of Gibraltar ?
These indulgences extended to pirates, who are destroying our commerce, must, sooner or later, give rise to the questions, What wrong have the United States done or even meditated against Great Britain ? What duty of neutrality, or even friendship, which they owed to Great Britain have they failed to perform? What fault have they committed in their national conduct? They, indeed, are involved in a domestic strife, but it is a strife which, while they are fighting for their own existence, is, at the same time, purely a war of self-defence.
In your own way please bring these views to the attention of Earl Russell
. Meantime, I shall refer the matter you mention relative to the Bermuda and the Sumter to the Secretary of the Navy. I doubt not that, if we must maintain war in European waters against American pirates, in addition to the naval operations in which we already are engaged nearer home, we shall be able to meet that responsibility with full success. I am, sir, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD. CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS, Esq., Sc., $c., fc.
Mr. Seward lo Mr. Adams.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, February 14, 1862. Sir: I herewith transmit to you the copy of a communication of the 24th ultimo, addressed to this department by the consul general of the United States at Havana. It has reference to the conduct of the master of the English steamer General Miramon, off the port of Mobile, in the month of May last. It will be seen that, in violation of a solemn pledge, the captain of the General Miramon grossly abused a privilege granted to him by Flag Officer McKean from motives of humanity.
You will make the facts known to the British government, and express the expectation of the President that if that government has the necessary power it will cause the captain of the Miramon to be suitably punished
for his perfidy:
WILLIAM H. SEWARD.
I am, sir, your obedient servant, CHARLES FRANCIS Adams, Esq.,
&c., &c., fr., London.
Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, February 17, 1862. Sir: The interval between the reception of your last despatches and the departure of the mail is too short to permit full response to your call for information respecting details which would show the efficiency of the blockade. I send you a copy of a communication which has been received from the consul general at Havana, by which you will learn, first, that in view of the extent of the coast blockaded, and the amount of commerce which existed before the blockade began, the number of vessels which have run the blockade is very small, and the trade effected by them is inconsiderable.
Second. That the success of the blockade has continually increased. It is now as nearly absolutely effective as any blockade ever was.
Third. That far the largest portion of the vessels which have run the blockade are British vessels.
You need not be told how little care the British government has taken to discourage or repress that prohibited trade.
But the true test is not the number of vessels that have entered or left the blockaded ports, but the actual effect of the blockade. I send you two articles on that subject, which you will find conclusive against all allegations that the blockade is inefficiently conducted.
Happily the active campaign of our land and naval forces has begon. The great preparations which have been made so diligently and so carefully in defiance of popular impatience at home and political impatience abroad are now followed by results indicative of a complete and even early decision of the contest in favor of the government.
We entertain too high an opinion of the justice as well as the wisdom of foreign states to apprehend any intervention in the face of these significant triumphs of the arms of the Union. As to details, the public journals which you will receive will be the best despatches possible. I am, sir, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD. CHARLES FRANCIS Adams, Esq., &c., &c., &c.
Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, February 17, 1862. Sir : I am not prepared to recognize the right of other nations to object to the measure of placing artificial obstructions in the channels of rivers leading to ports which have been seized by the insurgents in their attempt to overthrow this government. I am, nevertheless, desirous that the exaggerations on that subject which have been indulged abroad may be corrected. I have, therefore, applied to the Navy Department for information, and I have now to inform you that between the channels leading to the harbor of Charleston which have been so obstructed there still remain two other channels, neither of which has been so obstructed, and in which there has been no design to place any artificial obstructions. These are the Swash channel and a part of the so-called Maffit's channel. These two latter channels are guarded, and passage through them prevented only by