§ On the question that Mr. SPEAKER do leave the chair, in order that the House go into Committee of Supply, being put,
§ MR. G. H. MOORE
rose to move the Resolution with regard to the American question of which he had given notice.
§ MR. W. BROWN
rose at the same time, and said he would appeal to his hon. Friend the Member fur Mayo not to proceed with his Motion. From all he had heard there was a strong feeling both in that House and in the country that the matter should be left in the hands of the Government and the American Minister now in England, in order that the differences which had unfortunately arisen between the two countries might be adjusted. He had no doubt that, unless some cause of irritation should arise, those disputes would be amicably arranged compatible to justice and honour, and to the satisfaction of both parties. He thought it would be exceedingly unwise to discuss any supposed fault or irregularity in the arrangement of public affairs so long as negotiations were pending and the mouths of Ministers were shut, so that they could not give answers which they would otherwise be able to make. Under those circumstances, he must decidedly but respectfully appeal to his hon. Friend not to proceed with his Motion at the present time.
§ MR. CHEETHAM
said, he cordially joined in the appeal which had been made 15 by his bon. colleague. He believed that the negotiations between the two countries were at the present moment in a favourable condition, and, as he was sure that the hon. Gentleman would not wish to arrest the progress of those negotiations, he (Mr. Cheetham) hoped that he would not press his Motion.
§ MR. J. C. EWART
said, that there was among his constituency a strong feeling that nothing ought to be said or done in that House which would in the slightest degree interfere with those negotiations for a pacific solution of the difficulties between this country and the United States, which were, he believed, now going on. He therefore heartily concurred in the appeal which his hon. Friends near him had addressed to the hon. Member for Mayo.
§ MR. SPOONER
said, that the feeling against a discussion upon the American question was not confined to Liverpool. It was very general. [A laugh.] Hon. Gentlemen near him might laugh, and it was always with the greatest diffidence that he differed from his hon. Friends around him, but he did deprecate discussion on this subject. No possible good could arise from it; but it might be followed by difficulties and evils of the greatest magnitude. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Mayo (Mr. Moore) said, by his Motion, that the Government had not deserved the approbation of the House. Had they asked for it? All they said was, "Wait, and see what we do." He gave no opinion upon their conduct; he was not prepared to give an opinion. An hon. Gentleman near him said that he ought to do so; he had formed an opinion, but he was not prepared to express it. He was prepared to support his party as far as any man, but he would not surrender his own opinion when he was convinced that by so doing he should run the risk of inflicting a great injury upon his country. What good could arise from a discussion of this question at the present moment? The American Government had acquitted that of Her Majesty, and had said that they had no fault to find with it, but, unfortunately, they had some dislike to our Minister at Washington. Were hon. Members prepared to bring on at the present moment a discussion which would endanger the amicable relations between the two countries? ["Oh, oh!"] Let not hon. Gentlemen deceive themselves. If this discussion went on, expressions might be used, false estimates of the opinion of that 16 House and of the country might be formed, which might, they knew not how much, embarrass and delay the Government in carrying on negotiations for the settlement of our differences with America. In his opinion Ministers had better preserve a complete and perfect silence. [A laugh.] Hon. Gentlemen might laugh, but the country would be exceedingly indignant if anything should escape from Ministers which should produce a contest with America. A heavy responsibility rested on Ministers, in which he recommended the House not to share. If the discussion should be carried on, and there should arise difficulties which would prevent the completion of a treaty, the Government would say that it was all the fault of the House—they were going on smoothly, when the House stepped in and took the matter out of their hands. He therefore urged the hon. Member to withdraw his Motion, and implored his hon. Friends to pause before thoy sanctioned the progress of this discussion. For his own part, he was not prepared to support any proposal which could have the effect of weakening the hands of Government at so critical a juncture, or of incapacitating them from bringing to a satisfactory conclusion the disputes unhappily pending between this country and America. [Laughter.] He was not to be laughed down, nor would ridicule deter him from giving fearless expression to his honest convictions. He by no means desired to identify himself with the policy of the Government, or to express any opinion on it one way or the other, but it was essential to the welfare of the country that they should not be embarrassed at such a moment. Should we unfortunately be plunged into war, we should be ready to protect our rights and to defend our honour and dignity; but circumstanced as we were at the present moment, the better course would be to abstain from discussion. On every consideration of public honour and of patriotism, and by his sense of what he owed alike to his country, to that House, and to himself, he conjured the hon. Member for Mayo not to persevere in his Motion.
§ MR. G. H. MOORE
said, that the opinion of the hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Spooner) must necessarily have great weight with him on any subject, but more particularly on the subject of exciting ill-will and disunion among various classes, sects, and communities. He regretted, however, that he could not 17 be guided by his counsels on the present occasion. With regard to the hon. Members who had appealed to him from the opposite side of the House, he was bound to listen with great respect to any admonition that might come from them; but, in this instance, he must refer them for a reply to the observations which he had made upon the same subject on Friday evening, and which the hon. Gentleman would, doubtless, have the candour to admit they had not refuted. The hon. Member for North Warwickshire had spoken of this as of a party question. [Mr. SPOONER: Hear, hear!] The form of the notice might, no doubt, be correctly described as that of a party Motion, but the question involved was one which ought to be decided by that House without the slightest reference to party considerations, and in a purely judicial spirit. It was a question of right and wrong which had arisen between the Governments of two great countries, and which, in his view of the matter, had been settled on a basis of present dissatisfaction and of future danger, as regarded the feelings and opinions of the people of both nations, inasmuch as it had been left to be arranged by the wrongdoers themselves, and on the principle of saving their own character, or, at all events, their own position, at the expense of the national honour, which it was their duty to have guarded. In so far as such a proposition must, if entertained by the House, affect the position of Her Majesty's Government, it might so far be termed, if hon. Gentlemen liked the term, "a party question," but most assuredly it was one which ought to be judged by the House without regard to party consequences, and upon considerations the highest, widest, and most extensive which could govern the opinions of men. In his opinion, there were no circumstances which ought to be watched by Parliament with more vigilant and anxious attention than those which affected our relations with a people who, sprung from our own soil, spoke the same language, were governed by the same institutions, swayed by the same motives, and inspired by the same great instincts as ourselves. There was nothing which England ought to cherish with more hope and pride than to be loved and honoured by that great community of nations of her own blood and race who, gradually multiplying, were covering the earth with their cities, the sea with their fleets, and who carried with them, wherever they went, 18 the energy and the enterprise, the all-conquering will and the indomitable self-reliance of the great people from whom they had sprung. Although we had lost the political Government of the United States, as we might hereafter be doomed to lose that of other colonies, which might grow too powerful to admit of their being ruled by other hands than their own, we ought never to surrender—never to let lapse, by any fault of ours, our right to their reverence and allegiance, and our title to be regarded as the head of their race, the centre of their civilisation, the fountain of their inspirations, and the standard of what every nation ought to be in principle, policy, and conduct. Whatever might be the faults and follies of the American people, he believed them to be a people of wise and sagacious as well as ardent inspirations; and that there was no stronger impulse in the heart of an American than an instinctive admiration of the old country, and an intuitive desire for brotherly association with her children. But it was not to be wondered at if America should grow gradually tired of an attachment which was repelled, if not repudiated, and if she should become dissatisfied with an alliance which was occasionally ungracious, exacting, and inconsiderate. There was nothing which required to be watched with greater attention than the growth of such a feeling in the public mind of America, for in our transactions with that country our only policy was to compel their respect. As regarded our political and diplomatic relations, they rested on the foundations of truth and honour, of fair dealing and open speaking, and to abandon those principles would be to loosen the bonds of union between both countries and to expose each to a common calamity. He firmly believed that a well-founded distrust on the part of America in our character for integrity and veracity would be the most disastrous circumstance, the direst misfortune that could possibly befall this country, and it was because the English Government had, in his opinion, justly forfeited the respect and esteem of the people and Government of America that he deemed it to be the duty of that House to declare, at once, that, for the folly and weakness which had led to that result, and which, if persevered in, might lead to consequences still more lamentable, the people of England were in no degree responsible; and that they had had no act or part in bringing about a state of things 19 which it was impossible to regard with other feelings than those of sorrow and solicitude. The issues raised by this question were neither to be mistaken nor evaded. They had been fairly and thus accurately stated by Lord Clarendon himself in one of his despatches—The real questions at issue between Her Majesty's Government and that of the United States are, whether the British Government ordered or contemplated any violation of the neutrality laws of the United States; whether, if the British Government did not order or contemplate such violation, those laws were nevertheless violated by persons acting with the authority or approbation of the British Government?Now, on those two points he was prepared to join issue with Her Majesty's Government, and he would undertake to make it clear that the neutrality laws of the United States had been grossly and deliberately violated and outraged by persons acting with the consent and approbation of Her Majesty's Government, and that Her Majesty's Government did contemplate and sanction the violation of those laws. He was aware that the American Government had, in their last despatch, offered with contemptuous courtesy to separate the two propositions—that was to say, to separate the responsibility of Lord Clarendon and of the Government from that of Mr. Crampton: but, however well that diplomatic fiction might suit the purpose of the American Government, it could not be accepted by the British otherwise than at the expense of their own truth and honesty. That distinction of the American Government was based first on the disputed avowal of Mr. Crampton, and, secondly, on the distinct avowal of Lord Clarendon, that Mr. Crampton was enjoined to act above-board and to have no concealment from the Government of the United States. For his own part he cared not to consider whether Her Majesty's Government had or had not thought proper in their last despatch to ride off on that assumption. If they had it would avail them nothing, for it could be distinctly shown that Mr. Crampton had performed the duty indicated to him by Lord Clarendon, that he had acted on that interpretation of the law which had received the sanction of Lord Clarendon, and that from first to last he had pursued a course which had been authorised, accredited, and finally defended by Lord Clarendon. As for Lord Clarendon having deprecated a violation of the American law, so too had Mr. Crampton; but both insisted with equal pertinacity on 20 placing upon that law a perverse construction which had led to its being violated, and in that respect they were both equally blameable. But although Her Majesty's Government might be in a position to assert that the disavowal of Mr. Crampton's Acts (which the American Government assumed) did not rest upon an explicit declaration of their own, it was not so in regard to the assurance given by Lord Clarendon to which he had already referred, and which the American Government accepted in explanation. Lord Clarendon, writing to Mr. Buchanan at the beginning of the controversy, expressly declared that Mr. Crampton was enjoined above all to practise no concealment with the American Government. That declaration had been accepted by the United States' Government; they had made the most effective use of it from one end of the correspondence to the other, and it had been quoted with triumph by Mr. Marcy in his last despatch. Mr. Marcy said—If Mr. Crampton believed that what he was doing, or intended to do, in the way of recruiting was right, he could have had no reluctance to communicate it to me, for his instructions required him to make that disclosure. Acting in due frankness, and with a proper regard for the dictates of international comity, Mr. Crampton should, it would seem, have disclosed to me all the measures intended to be pursued within the United States by the agents of his Government, including himself, in execution of the Act of Parliament for raising the Foreign Legion. Nay, he was expressly commanded by his Government to practise no concealment with the American Government on the subject. If he had obeyed these orders all misunderstandings between the two Governments would have been prevented.Now that was the assurance on which Her Majesty's Government consented that they should be held exculpated and Mr. Crampton impeached, and was it true? He called on Her Majesty's Government to show that it had the slightest foundation in fact. On that point the whole question turned. If our Government enjoined Mr. Crampton to use no concealment, then there was an end to the charge against them; but if, on the contrary, Mr. Crampton received no such injunction, Her Majesty's Ministers could not escape from their responsibility. In making that assertion, however, Lord Clarendon, while betraying an imaginative memory as to what he had enjoined, evinced a distinct consciousness of what he ought to have enjoined and of what Mr. Crampton ought to have done. He (Mr. Moore) would prove that, so far from there having been no concealment on the part of 21 the English authorities in America, their conduct was all concealment—all a disavowing and denying of everything and everybody that was found out—all an aiding, abetting, and approving of everybody who remained concealed and of everything that worked well underground. He undertook, also, to show that Mr. Crampton was not "enjoined above all," nor even enjoined at all, to avoid concealment; but that he was abetted, sustained, approved, and defended in a course of conduct of which concealment was the very key-stone and afforded the only possible hope of success. It should be remembered that the question of the neutrality of the United States and the strict enforcement of the laws relating to it were first mooted and insisted upon by Her Majesty's Government. Early in April, 1854, in the beginning of the war with Russia, Mr. Crampton wrote to Mr. Marcy to the following effect—The allied Governments confidently trust that the Governments of countries which may remain neutral during this war will exert their authority and enforce on their subjects the necessity of observing the strictest neutrality, and also that the citizens of the United States shall rigorously abstain from taking part in armaments of this nature, or in any other manner opposite to the duties of a strict neutrality.To this reasonable demand the American Government returned this pithy answer—The law of this country imposes severe restrictions not only upon its own citizens, but upon all persons who may be resident in the United States, against equipping privateers, receiving commissions, or enlisting men therein for the purpose of taking part in any foreign war. It is not apprehended that there will be any attempt to violate the law, but should the just expectations of the President be disregarded he will not fail in his duty to use all the power with which he is invested to prevent any such participation in the contest in which the principal powers of Europe are now engaged.Well, that demand of our Government was cheerfully acceded to by the Government of the United States, and thus a clear understanding was formed between the two Powers as to their relative duties in regard to the neutrality of the latter. The interpretation now, however, sought to be put upon the arrangement—namely, that the Americans were unequivocally bound down to prevent any armaments from being fitted out in their country against the interests of England, but that under a quirk or quibble of law we were at liberty practically and in fact to carry out our wishes in regard to the enlistment of men in 22 the United States to fight against Russia—was really so monstrous, unreasonable, and unjust that no man of honest feeling or common sense would listen to it for a moment. Unfortunately, we soon began to take new views on the question of neutrality, and, construing right and wrong after a peculiar fashion of our own, insisted also on others construing them in the same way. The Foreign Enlistment Bill passed both Houses of Parliament; not, however, because it was deemed an unexceptional measure, but because the Legislature, having intrusted the Government with the conduct of the war, could not, without relieving them from their responsibility, refuse them the means which they asserted to be essential for its successful prosecution. The Bill, however, did not pass through either House without many explanations, or without assurances—not, indeed, contained in its provisions, but as solemnly binding as any understanding come to between the Legislature and the Government possibly could be. The Duke of Newcastle having been asked in the other House into what countries it was proposed to introduce the system of enlistment, replied that he could give no answer until the Governments of different nations had been consulted. That, in his opinion, must be taken as an indication that the Duke of Newcastle had no idea of enlisting in other countries without the consent of their Governments; and he believed that noble Duke incapable of giving such an intimation with a covert intention to violate its purport and spirit. It was for the noble duke's colleagues to say whether or not he (Mr. Moore) had rightly interpreted his meaning and views on the matter. The measure having, however, become law, the next question was, how was it to be put into operation consistently with the neutrality laws of other nations, and in conformity with the engagement into which our Government had entered with Parliament? A letter was sent from the Foreign Office to Sir Gaspard le Marchant, the Governor of Nova Scotia, suggesting that he should make certain inquiries as to the bringing of men presenting themselves to our consuls in the United States as willing to serve Her Majesty from their places of residence in the States to that British colony. That communication was enclosed by Lord Clarendon in a despatch to Mr. Crampton, with the following significant addendum:— 23The subject is one which engages the earnest attention of Her Majesty's Government, and you will use your best endeavours to give effect to their wishes.The first step taken in the matter by Mr. Crampton was wise and discreet; and he was strongly induced to believe that if he had had a wise and discreet chief over him our Ambassador at Washington would never have got into the trouble in which he subsequently became involved. Writing to Lord Clarendon, in answer to the despatch just mentioned, Mr. Crampton said:—In order that no misconception or mistake should arise in regard to this matter, which is justly regarded by Her Majesty's Government as one of primary importance, and which is, indeed, an indispensable condition to success in the objects they desire to effect, I have caused the legal opinion in regard to the bearing of the neutrality laws of the United States in this matter, of which I have the honour to enclose a copy, to be drawn up by an eminent American lawyer, in the soundness of whose views—both professional and political—I place the firmest reliance.Mr. Crampton thus placed a very just reliance in the soundness of the views of the eminent lawyer who drew up that document; and every one who had perused it attentively must admit that more sagacious or more pregnant advice than it contained was never received. Not a single danger or disaster had since occurred of which the document did not give distinct forewarning. In his Report this eminent lawyer said, speaking of the Neutrality Act—By the second section of this Act, a person enlisting himself within the United States, for foreign service, is punishable: and the person who enlists him is also punishable. This is the case of a complete enlistment within the United States; both parties to which contract are offenders. But it was apparent that if the statute stopped here, nothing would be easier than to evade its provisions. Good faith required that it should, if possible, be made to reach and prevent the mischief against which it was directed. Accordingly it is made equally an offence 'to hire or retain' any person to go beyond the limits or jurisdiction of the United States, 'with intent to be enlisted.' The offender in this case is the party hiring or retaining another to go, &c., with intent, &c.; and is complete by the fact of such hiring or retaining, whether the party so hired or retained actually go abroad and be enlisted or not. The proof thereof would ordinarily be found at hand, if found at all, and might be drawn from the other party to the contract, who could interpose no objection on the score of criminating himself, since, as to him, there is no offence except by enlistment within the United States, which the supposed case excludes. The danger 24 of volunteer witnesses among such people would also be very great.The opinion of this American lawyer concluded with the following comprehensive and sagacious summary of the whole matter:—When we consider the necessity of something like an inspection, the unavoidable coincidence of numbers of emigrants, the malice of rejected applicants, the inducements to treachery, the natural vigilance of a certain portion of the community in such a matter; and, through them, the action of the press and the police, I think the least to be apprehended is a prosecution, whatever its results; and, in that event, the connection of any official person, however indirect or faintly traced, would more than counterbalance the advantages proposed.Was it not, then, most arrogant and monstrous to seek to inculpate the authorities of the United States, and to blame them for taking that course which Her Majesty's Government were warned by their own lawyer, it would be the duty of the United States Government to take under such circumstances? Could anything be more extraordinary than the raising of an elaborate wrangle with the United States, in support of an interpretation of the law which was not only in direct opposition to the decisions of the American Courts of Judicature, but to the opinion of the legal adviser consulted on behalf of the British Government? It appeared to him that that opinion, if it was not at once decisive as to the matter in question, ought at least to have suggested further inquiry from the shrewd and sagacious man upon whose opinion Her Majesty's Government placed so much reliance. What, however, was the effect produced by this advice upon the mind of Mr. Crampton, and what was I the opinion he communicated to the authorities in Canada, and to the Foreign Secretary at home? It was this:—Washington, March 11, 1855.A copy of the instructions addressed to your Excellency by the Secretary of State for the Colonial Department has already been forwarded to me by the Earl of Clarendon, accompanied by an instruction from his Lordship to myself to use my best endeavours to give effect to the wishes of Her Majesty's Government, and with that view to communicate with your Excellency for the purpose of obtaining your co-operation in regard to such measures as may be adopted with safety; and with a scrupulous respect to the provisions of the law of the United States. Thus, though not empowered by Her Majesty's Government to raise or embody in the United States troops for Her Majesty's service—for this would be obviously impracticable in view of the existing laws of this country—I feel fully authorised to use such means 25 as may be within my power, and are legal, to meet the views of Her Majesty's Government.Mr. Crampton further instructed the authorities in Canada—To inform such persons generally of the disposition of Her Majesty's Government to accept such properly qualified candidates as may offer themselves, to make them acquainted with the terms upon which the enlistments will be made, and with the places within the British dominions to which they may repair for the purpose of being enrolled, carefully abstaining, however, from entering into any agreement with such persons, or from doing anything which might be construed into 'retaining or hiring' any individual to emigrate for the purpose of enlisting in the British service. Any advance of money by Her Majesty's agents or others in the United States would constitute an infraction of the neutrality law.There appears to have been a dogged determination on the part of Mr. Crampton, to pursue a particular course, despite the opinion which had been given to him by the American lawyer; and yet Lord Clarendon, with that legal opinion before him, and with a full knowledge of the resolution of Mr. Crampton to proceed upon his own interpretation of the law, said, in a despatch of the 12th of April, 1855, addressed to Mr. Crampton:—I entirely approve your proceedings as reported in your despatch of the 12th ult., with respect to the proposed enlistment in the Queen's service of foreigners and British subjects in the United States.Now, accepting the interpretation which was placed upon that particular passage by Lord Clarendon himself—or by somebody else if report spoke truly—as correct, it clearly covered the whole of the proceedings subsequently taken by Mr. Crampton, and it amounted to an approval of Mr. Crampton's resolution to proceed with the enlistment, notwithstanding the advice he had received. It was, in fact, an approval of Mr. Crampton's instructions to the Government authorities in Canada to communicate to all whom it might concern in the United States the terms upon which Her Majesty's Government would receive recruits, and an approval of his interpretation of the law that an advance of money by Her Majesty's agents or others in the United States would be necessary to constitute an infraction of the neutrality law. But let the House mark what followed. At the very moment when Lord Clarendon, in answer to Mr. Crampton's despatch and enclosure, expressed this complete and comprehensive approval of that gentleman's proceedings, he was in receipt of another despatch and enclosure which he did not 26 choose to notice in his despatch of the 12th of April. It appeared that on the 8th of April—four days before he wrote the despatch of April 12—the Earl of Clarendon received a despatch from Mr. Crampton, communicating intelligence that one Mr. Angus M'Donald had been found out in doing the very thing that Mr. Crampton had just instructed his agents to do, and which Lord Clarendon had approved. The despatch was in these terms:—I have the honour to enclose an extract from a letter which I have received from Mr. Consul Barclay at New York, informing me that the person whose name is at the foot of the printed handbill therein enclosed had stated to him, that that handbill had been issued by authority—that is, I presume, by the authority of Her Majesty's Government.He (Mr. Moore) would now ask the attention of the House to the placard referred to:—Highly important to the unemployed!—The British Government having concluded to form a foreign legion in Nova Scotia, and to raise several regiments for duty in the provinces, offer a bounty of £6, or 30 dollars, together with the pay of 8 dollars a month, rations, good clothing, and warm quarters, to every effective man fit for military duty, from nineteen to forty years of age; to join which are invited English, Irish, Scotch, and Germans. The subscriber (with the view of assisting those who have not the means of paying their passage) hereby gives notice that he has opened a passage-office, No. 36, Pearl-street (near Broad), where he proposes to engage passages by good vessels to Halifax, leaving twice or three times a week, for the sum of 5 dollars; or, procure through-tickets by railroad leaving every morning (Sundays excepted), and arriving at St. John's, near Montreal, that evening, which passage money must be paid him or his agent by the parties, together with the small sum of 50 cents additional for commissions, on arriving at their destination in the province. It is hoped that those effective men who are now suffering and in distress will avail themselves of this rare opportunity of bettering their condition before it is too late.—ANGUS M'DONALD.Now that placard was very strictly worded, and was confined to a statement of the terms upon which volunteers would be received in the British province of Nova Scotia, expressly stipulating that the passage-money should be paid by the parties themselves. Yet all our consuls with one accord concurred in denouncing this discreet notification. Mr. Barclay, our consul at New York, at once wrote off to Mr. Crampton the following very curt despatch:—The person whose name is at the foot of the enclosed printed paper informs me that it has been done by authority. I fear it will produce a ferment.27 Mr. Crampton despatched to Mr. Consul Barclay the following very disingenuous avowal:—I have received your letter of the 21st inst., enclosing a printed handbill signed Angus M'Donald, and informing me that the said M'Donald states to you that he has issued it by the authority of Her Majesty's Government. I have to state to you that Angus M'Donald has no authority from Her Majesty's Government for the issue of the handbill in question, or for hiring or retaining any person in the United States to go beyond the limits of the same with intent to be enlisted in Her Majesty's service.Now, they knew perfectly well that these proceedings had taken place by the authority of Sir Gaspard le Marchant, or of Mr. Crampton himself, but that gentleman stated that they had not taken place under the authority of Her Majesty's Government, which, in a certain diplomatic sense, might be perfectly true, and that Angus M'Donald had no authority "for hiring or retaining any person in the United States" to be enlisted in Her Majesty's service. The object of Mr. Crampton in communicating these facts for the information of Mr. Barclay was not at first sight very obvious, but the communication was really intended not for the information of Mr. Barclay, but for the misinformation of the American Government. Accordingly, Mr. Crampton, with a copy of this despatch wet in his hand, rushed off to the office of the Secretary of State for the United States, and threw it triumphantly before him as an explicit declaration of the views of Her Majesty's Government with regard to the notification of M'Donald, which he admitted must certainly be regarded as an infraction of the neutrality laws. It was clear that that despatch, which was laid before the American Government, and the explanations given amounted to a distinct declaration on the part of Her Majesty's Government that the notification did constitute a "hiring and retaining" under the American law, and so Mr. Marcy understood it when he declared his perfect satisfaction with the explanation of Mr. Crampton, and his resolution at once to prosecute. Now what was the proceeding which had thus been denounced by the representative of Her Majesty's Government? It was simply that of issuing a notification for the hiring and retaining of troops in the United States; but what he asked was, what was the difference between the line of conduct pursued at that state of the proceedings and that which was afterwards adopted? 28 It was made perfectly clear that what M'Donald found he was unable to do in the light of day, and by regularly accredited officers, he did not hesitate to attempt to do in the dark and through the agency of German mercenaries. Well, that assertion did not rest upon conjecture. It was here proved that at the very time Mr. Crampton went to the Secretary of State's office to denounce the conduct of M'Donald, our Government was issuing another handbill of a similar character, which he would be able to show had been issued under the authority of Her Majesty's Government. Mr. Buchanan, in a despatch to Lord Clarendon, dated July 6, said:—Attempts have been made, since the commencement of the existing war between Great Britain and Russia, to enlist soldiers for the British army within the limits of the United States, and rendezvous for this purpose have been actually opened in some of their principal cities. When intimations were thrown out that British consuls in the United States were encouraging and aiding such enlistments, Mr. Crampton, Her Britannic Majesty's Minister at Washington, exhibited to the Secretary of State a copy of a letter which he had addressed to one of these consuls, disapproving of the proceeding, and discountenancing it as a violation of the neutrality laws of the United States. After this very proper conduct on the part of Mr. Crampton it was confidently believed that these attempts to raise military forces within the territory of a neutral nation, from whatever source they may have originated, would at once have been abandoned.He then proceeded to show that the same efforts were still used to raise recruits in the United States, though in a different form, and that the Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia had had a direct agency in those attempts to violate the laws of the United States—This," he said, "will appear from the copy of a notification issued by that functionary, dated Halifax, on the 15th of March last, and believed to be genuine; a copy of which the undersigned has now the honour to communicate to the Earl of Clarendon.The proclamation was dated the 15th of March, and ran as follows:—The Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia, having been empowered to embody a foreign legion, and to raise British regiments for service in the provinces or abroad, notice is hereby given that able-bodied men, between the ages of nineteen and forty on applying at the depôt at Halifax, will receive a bounty £6 sterling (equal to 30 dollars) and on being enrolled will receive 8 dollars per month, with the clothing, quarters, and other advantages to which British soldiers are entitled. Pensions or gratuities for distinguished services in the field will be given. Nova Scotian and other shipmasters who may bring into this province poor men willing to serve Her 29 Majesty will be entitled to receive the cost of a passage for each man shipped from Philadelphia, New York, or Boston.Thus, while our authorities disavowed the placard which had been issued by M'Donald there was at the very time being issued, under the sanction of the Government, another proclamation containing all that was in the M'Donald notification, and to an equal degree infringing the law of the United States. Now what did Lord Clarendon say to that? It was to him something stupendous. The House would hardly believe that Lord Clarendon, with those two documents before him, declared that M'Donald's notification was very properly disavowed by the British authorities, but that the other proclamation was perfectly legal. He did, therefore, hope that the Government would do him the honour of taking the two proclamations and proving that which Lord Clarendon had asserted—viz., that M'Donald's was an illegal proclamation, and the one issued by Sir Gaspard Le Marchant from Nova Scotia perfectly in accordance with law. He thought it was right the House should know the precise stage of this question in the United States at the time the conversation, to which he had a little ago referred, took place. Mr. Marcy stated that—The scheme of enlistment did not significantly develope itself in our principal cities until the month of March. Immediately thereupon the United States' Government manifested the most decided, unequivocal, and public demonstration of averseness and resistance to it. Their attorney at New York was instructed to suppress enlistment in that city, and prosecute those engaged in it. On the 23rd of March he called upon the United States' Marshal for his assistance and co-operation, and addressed to that officer a letter containing a copy of the United States' law against foreign recruiting within their jurisdiction, stating that 'the Government is determined to execute the laws to their fullest extent.' In that letter he employed the following language:— 'I wish you to use such means as may be at your command to prevent any violation of the laws of the United States, which are passed to preserve our neutrality. On the succeeding day this letter was published in the journals of the city of New York, of the widest circulation, and shortly thereafter in the Washington Union and throughout the country. Numerous arrests of persons charged with enlisting men for the British service were made in March; their examinations before the magistrates were published in the newspapers. The Halifax Journal (a paper said to be in the interest of the British Government) published the following:— 'Brother Jonathan is making a great fuss about this foreign legion, and is using all kinds of proclamations to prevent the shipping of recruits, &c., threatening to arrest parties engaged. He is a very smart fellow, but Bluenose 30 is sometimes too much for him. They would like to lay hands on Mr. Howe, but he is so slippery they cannot catch him.'Now he would confidently appeal to the House, whether Mr. Marcy was not justified in believing that the declaration of Mr. Crampton amounted to a distinct avowal that the British Government had no participation whatever in proceedings that were scandalizing the Union; and yet Lord Clarendon, perfectly aware of all the circumstances, expressed his complete approval of all that had been done by the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia. Mr. Crampton having, as he thought, set the question right with the United States' Government, posted off in hot haste to Canada, and set on foot an extensive system of enlistment within the Union, in order to effect the same process and by the same means which he had just denounced. Hireling emissaries of all kinds were employed, and the Government issued memoranda for their guidance, to enable them to make known to persons in the United States the terms and conditions upon which recruits would be received—nay, they even furnished a cipher by which such men as Stroebel, a German of doubtful reputation, might carry on a correspondence with the representative of the Queen. Let it not be said the case rested on the authority of Stroebel. The fact did not depend on his testimony. He was willing to admit that Stroebel was a man of as bad a character as even Birch of The World, and he presumed Lord Clarendon thought him bad enough. But the matter rested on the evidence of Mr. Crampton himself, and on his own confession, tacit or expressed. Mr. Crampton admitted having furnished Stroebel with a cipher, and with having furnished him with the following memorandum for his guidance—It is essential to success that no assemblages of persons should take place at beerhouses, or other similar places of entertainment, for the purpose of devising measures for enlisting, and the parties should scrupulously avoid resorting to this or similar means of disseminating the desired information, inasmuch as the attention of the American authorities would not fail to be called to such proceedings.Now, this was what Lord Clarendon called "no concealment." Why, one would suppose that these were excerpta from the intercepted correspondence of an Irish Whiteboy instead of instructions issued by the representative of Her Majesty. In the same way Mr. Crampton did not deny 31 having furnished Stroebel with the following:—You were to telegraph him by this cipher instead of the usual way?—Yes, Sir.What was the object in giving you this cipher?—Such ciphers were given to several officers—to Mr. Smolenski, Mr. Cartensen, and men actually engaged in the recruiting business received those ciphers.Was it for the purpose of avoiding detection?—It was for the purpose of avoiding detection and avoiding any difficulties with the authorities here. It was to enable me to telegraph to Mr. Crampton from every place I might visit, without the people in the telegraph offices understanding it.Were all the officers sent on this recruiting to telegraph to Mr. Crampton as to their proceedings, and was that cipher to be used?—Yes, Sir.There, at any rate, was the cipher, and the House must judge whether or not it was used for the purpose of avoiding detection. They would observe that the preparation of these instructions and ciphers was contemporaneous with certain explanations in another place to which he would shortly call their attention. It was scarcely a figure of speech to say that at the very moment when Mr. Crampton was drawing up the memoranda for the use of these gentlemen with hard names and bad characters, Mr. Lumley, a chargé d' affaires, was explaining the transactions to the American Government in a way that formed one of the most discreditable chapters of this discreditable history. Mr. Marcy called upon Mr. Lumley to express the anxiety felt by the American Government at the reported cause of Mr. Crampton's absence in Canada, and Mr. Lumley wrote the following account to Lord Clarendon of the interview which then took place:—At an interview which I had with Mr. Marcy I told him that he had judged rightly in supposing that Mr. Crampton's visit to Canada had reference to the enlistment question; I stated that, from the first moment this question was mooted, Mr. Crampton had shown the greatest anxiety that it should in no way lead to violations of the laws of the United States; that he believed everything that could be done might be effected legally, and that he was determined, as far as lay in his power, to prevent anything like infraction or evasion of the neutrality laws of this country. Unfortunately the very stringent nature of the provisions of these laws was not generally understood, and several persons had, on their own responsibility, acted at variance with them, and it was for the purpose of fully explaining the bearings of the law and of preventing such infractions that Mr. Crampton had undertaken his journey to the British provinces.Be it remembered at the same time that Mr. Crampton had just impressed upon the 32 mind of Mr. Marcy that a precisely similar interpretation was put upon the American law by the two Governments, so that Mr. Marcy was led to believe by Mr. Lumley that Mr. Crampton was gone to Canada to explain the bearing of the law according to the American view, Mr. Crampton having really gone to explain it in a diametrically opposite sense, and to set on foot a conspiracy for the purpose of violating it. But Mr. Lumley went further. He said:—I then told Mr. Marcy that, as I thought it would interest him to see your Lordship's last instructions on the subject, I had brought them with me, and I said that I was certain a perusal of this paper would convince him of two things—first, that the view which had been taken and the opinions which had been expressed by Mr. Crampton on this subject were precisely such as Mr. Marcy might have expected from his knowledge of Mr. Crampton; and, secondly, that those opinions had been responded to by Her Majesty's Government in the same frank and honourable manner.The despatch shown to Mr. Marcy was the one in which Lord Clarendon said—I entirely approve of your proceedings as reported in your despatch of the 12th ult., with respect to the proposed enlistment; in the Queen's service of foreigners and British subjects in the United States.Thus, while Mr. Marcy was led to suppose that Lord Clarendon had written to express his approval of Mr. Crampton's putting a stop to the enlistment proceedings, Lord Clarendon's real meaning was that he approved Mr. Crampton's determination to continue those proceedings. [THE ATTORNEY GENERAL: Read on.] Certainly. Lord Clarendon continued—The instructions which I addressed to you upon this subject, and those which were sent to the Governor of Nova Scotia, were founded upon the reports from various quarters that reached Her Majesty's Government of the desire felt by many British subjects as well as Germans in the United States to enter the Queen's service for the purpose of taking part in the war in the East; but the law of the United States with respect to enlistment, however conducted, is not only very just, but very stringent, according to the report which is enclosed in your despatch, and Her Majesty's Government would on no account run any risk of infringing this law of the United States.Mr. Marcy expressly declared that he understood the despatch to mean that Lord Clarendon approved Mr. Crampton's resolution to stop the proceedings. Mr. Lumley, knowing what Mr. Crampton was doing at that moment, went on to say to Mr. Marcy, after showing him Lord Clarendon's despatch—Mr. Crampton was anxious that the United States' Government should not for a moment sup- 33 pose that a project for enlisting troops for Her Majesty's service within the United States had ever been contemplated.Now, he did not want a lawyer to draw fine distinctions upon a question of this kind; the British people, whatever might be their faults, prided themselves upon excelling all other nations in one virtue—a love of truth, and a detestation, above every other form of mendacity, of that quibbling equivocation which "lied like truth." The hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Spooner) had frequently, amid the applause of the House, rummaged among the works of Popish casuistical doctors in order to discover some strained approval of mental reservation, of the suppressio veri and the suggestio falsi; he now called upon that hon. Member to apply the same rules by which he had tested the writings of Popish casuists to the language of the Protestant representatives of the greatest people on earth, not hidden in monkish libraries, but published in the councils of the world, and expressed in that honest English which was not made for duplicity and equivocation. Was the hon. Member prepared to countenance by his vote these mental reservations, this suppressio veri, this suggestio falsi—all those forms of equivocation, to defend which would tax the casuistry and even the conscience of an Escobar? Well, there were other proofs than those he had cited of the responsibility of Lord Clarendon. It was said that the proceedings of the British officers were judicially shown to be illegal in May, yet that during May, June and July, Mr. Crampton allowed them to continue; and for that part of the transaction, at all events, he alone must be held responsible. But that was not the case. Lord Clarendon was as well aware of the proceedings of May as Mr. Crampton, but he insisted, with perverse ingenuity, upon citing a charge delivered by Judge Kane as an authority in his favour. A man might be an accomplice after the fact as well as before it. Now, what had been the conduct of Lord Clarendon in that respect? In September the trial of Hertz took place, and the statements of Stroebel and the corroborating evidence were made public. At that stage, at all events, the complicity of Mr. Crampton was known; Lord Clarendon was aware of his having gone to Canada to organise an extensive system of enlistment, of his having employed German emissaries, of his having concocted memoranda, and carried 34 on a correspondence in cipher for the purpose of evading detection. Did Lord Clarendon even then express the slightest disapprobation of any one of those proceedings? On the contrary, the defence he set up against the accusations of the American Government covered every act attributed to Mr. Crampton. His Lordship did not confine himself to defence; he thought he was in a position to indulge in invective. Here was a specimen of the temper with which he replied to the charges of Mr. Marcy—Her Majesty's Government have no reason to believe that such has been the conduct of any persons in the employment of Her Majesty, and it is needless to say that any person so employed would have departed no less from the intentions of Her Majesty's Government by violating international law, or by offering an affront to the sovereignty of the United States, than by infringing the municipal laws of the Union to which Mr. Buchanan more particularly called the attention of the undersigned. Her Majesty's Government feel confident that even the extraordinary measures which have been adopted in various parts of the Union to obtain evidence against Her Majesty's servants or their agents by practices sometimes resorted to under despotic institutions, but which are disdained by all free and enlightened Governments, will fail to establish any well-founded charge against Her Majesty's servants. The British Government is fully aware of the obligations of international duties, and is no less mindful of those obligations than is the Government of the United States. The observance of those obligations ought, undoubtedly, to be reciprocal, and Her Majesty's Government do not impute to the Government of the United States that, while claiming an observance of those obligations by Great Britain, they are lax in enforcing a respect for those obligations within the union. But as this subject has been mooted by Mr. Marcy, Her Majesty's Government cannot refrain from some few remarks respecting it. The United States profess neutrality in the present war between the Western Powers and Russia; but have no acts been done within the United States by citizens thereof which accord little with he spirit of neutrality? Have not arms and ammunition and warlike stores of various kinds been sent in large quantities from the United States for the service of Russia? Have not plots been openly avowed and conspiracies entered into without disguise or hindrance in various parts of the Union to take advantage of the war in which Great Britain is engaged, and to seize the opportunity for promoting insurrection in Her Majesty's dominions and the invasion thereof by an armed force proceeding from the United States?It appeared extraordinary logic to say that because the American Government sympathised with Russia they could not object to the enlistment proceedings of the English Government. The answer of the American Government to those insolent observations was as complete in substance as it was unexceptionable in tone and 35 temper. He would not follow Lord Clarendon minutely through all the political disquisitions and legal distinctions to which he was obliged to resort for the purpose of relieving the conduct of British officers from the culpability which attached to it. They consisted, in short, of this:—The judgment of the American Government, and the judicial decisions of the American Courts of Judicature were all wrong in the interpretation of American law; and that the American Government would see by Lord Clarendon's own construction of the Statutes, with which he was good enough to furnish them, that no possible act could be committed by hiring, retaining, or enlisting, which under any circumstances constituted an infraction of the American law. Lord Clarendon's argument was this:—nothing short of a valid contract could constitute hiring or retaining; but retaining to enlist according to the British law required attestation, and that could not take place outside the British territory, und, therefore, there could be no retaining to enlist in the shape of a valid contract within the territory of the United States. That was the nature of Lord Clarendon's very peculiar argument; but his indiscretion did not stop there, for, without the slightest possible object, he proceeded to advance, on the part of the Crown, claims of the most dangerous character, which, if practically put in force, would be resisted by the Americans to the last drop of their blood, probably leading to a war, of which it would be difficult to see the termination. Lord Clarendon, à-propos des bottes, chose to tell Mr. Marcy that Her Majesty had the unquestionable right to call to her own standard such of her own subjects as, residing in a foreign country, were capable of bearing arms, and that Her Majesty would not thereby incur any risk of violating the territorial sovereignty of that country. ["Hear, hear!"] Yes, hon. Members might cry "Hear!" if they pleased, and, no doubt, according to the English law, Her Majesty had the right to the allegiance of any British-born subject; but if a war took place between this country and America, would they dare to hang a person found on board an American ship of war under the plea that he was a British subject; or if they did, were they not aware to what a result such an act would lead? He had said that he would refrain from quoting the evidence of any man whose word was suspected, but he could not allow to pass without protest 36 the conduct of Her Majesty's Government in impugning the testimony and befouling the character of their own officers and agents, and publishing to the world that men in the British service, to whom rank was given, who were confidentially corresponded with by the servants of the Government, were men of abandoned and flagitious character. Here was Max Stroebel, a captain in the Queen's service, whom Mr. Crampton corresponded with and invited to his house when it suited his purpose, and called "Dear Mr. Stroebel," but who, as soon as he produced evidence against the British Government, was immediately discovered to be a man of abandoned character. Then a compatriot was cited to prove that Stroebel was a Russian spy. One Oscar Constant was brought forward to depose to that effect; but when he gave such a character to a British officer it was at least prudent to inquire into the character of the deponent. This Oscar Constant had been befouling Mr. Crampton as much as Stroebel; and Mr. Crampton afterwards came forward to say that he was a man of infamous character also. Now, he would ask hon. Members if such proceedings were not discreditable to British diplomacy in the United States? He thought Lord Clarendon might have known by experience the danger of such proceedings. The House could scarcely have forgotten that not long ago there was in Dublin a journal called The World, of very infamous character, with an editor of more infamous character still. That journal was employed by Lord Clarendon as the organ of his Government for months, he might say, for years. The noble Lord was in confidential communication with the editor, and paid him a large sum out of the public funds, which, however, was afterwards replaced. Lord Clarendon had protested that, being acquainted with the world in general, and the Dublin world in particular, he was unaware all the time that this editor was a man of doubtful character. But as soon as the man took a step which was exceedingly disagreeable to the Government, he was then found out to be a person of the most flagitious character. He would tell the House what was said at the trial, which took place, by an able and eloquent advocate (Mr. Keogh), since made a Judge:—These are the observations which appear to me to be necessary to address to you upon this most extraordinary and unprecedented case. If it be unprecedented, I hope that it will also be un- 37 followed by a parallel, for otherwise we must see the Government of this country degenerating from a machinery of high power and authority into a club of petty tricksters, having recourse to every implement, no matter how degraded—trailing their feet in every channel, no matter how disgusting—using it for a time against the most exalted and distinguished characters, and, having obtained the vile purpose which it served their object to accomplish, rushing into a court of justice, and attempting to rest their defence upon the malignity and infamy of a character which they took to their breasts, and cherished as long as they could obtain an object by it.He thought he could trace a certain similarity to the proceedings in the United States, for which the British Government were responsible, in the course pursued by the late Palmer, who impugned the verdict against him because the Attorney General argued and the Chief Justice charged in favour of the probability of poisoning by strychnine: therefore, Palmer thought that if he accomplished his end by other means he was perfectly innocent. The answer of the authorities to this reasoning was illogical, but conclusive—they hanged Palmer: and in like manner the United States were treated with equally cogent arguments; but they dismissed Mr. Cramp-ton. He thought that there was no valid answer to the claim of the United States for the withdrawal of Mr. Crampton, yet their demand was responded to by evasion, trickery, and equivocation, and by a special pleading, insulting not only to the authority, but to the understanding of the American Courts of Judicature. He was of opinion that the English people could take no just exception to the course pursued by the American Government, or to the tone and temper in which they had vindicated their honour. But how had the British Government vindicated their honour? Even in their deepest disgrace Her Majesty's Government seemed to find relief in writing a letter to say they enjoyed it. The following was Lord Clarendon's language:—Her Majesty's Government are gratified at learning that the assurances contained in my note to you of the 30th of April, that no intention existed on the part of Her Majesty's Government to violate the laws, compromise the neutrality, or disregard the sovereignty of the United States, have been unreservedly accepted by the President, and that all cause of difference with respect to the question of enlistment has ceased to exist between the Governments of Great Britain and of the United States.The House would observe, however, that the explanations of Her Majesty's Government had not been unreservedly accepted 38 by the President. Quite the contrary. The course of the American Government had been pretty much that of a man who should say to another who had struck him —"I am perfectly satisfied with your statement that you did not strike me, but as I have reason to know that your hand did, I shall take the liberty of chopping it off." Lord Clarendon's answer went on to say:—If the Government of a foreign country were capriciously, and without any apparent belief that it had good ground for doing so, to break off its diplomatic relations with the Minister accredited to it by Her Majesty, Her Majesty's confidential servants, answerable for maintaining the honour and dignity of the Crown, could not hesitate as to advising Her Majesty equally to break of all diplomatic intercourse with the Minister of such Government accredited to her Court. But in the present case Her Majesty's Government are bound to accept the formal and repeated declarations of the President of his belief that these officers of Her Majesty have violated the laws of the Union, and are, on that account, unacceptable organs of communication with the Government and authorities of the United States; and Her Majesty's Government cannot deny to the Government of the United States a right similar to that which, in a parallel case, they would claim for themselves—the right, namely, of forming their own judgment as to the bearing of the laws of the Union upon transactions which have taken place within the Union.That was as much as though he said,—"Your imputations being accompanied by a grave offence against us we pass them over, but if you had omitted the offence and confined yourselves to the imputations, the British lion would have been roused by them." There was another passage, however, which struck him as being still more extraordinary. It was as follows:—I have, therefore, the honour to inform you that, however deeply Her Majesty's Government regret a proceeding on the part of the President of the United States which cannot but be considered as of an unfriendly character, they have not deemed it their duty on that account to advise Her Majesty to command me to suspend my diplomatic intercourse with you; and I have to assure you that the high personal esteem which is felt for you by all the members of Her Majesty's Government will render it most agreeable to my self to have the honour of entering into communication with you upon all matters connected with the mutual relations of our two countries. You will be certain of meeting, on the part of Her Majesty's Government, the most friendly feeling towards the United States, and the most anxious desire so to arrange all questions of difference as to reconcile the just rights and real interests of the two countries with the maintenance of those amicable relations the preservation of which is of such great importance to both.It was possible, he, thought, to find a parallel for the above also in the biography 39 of Lord Clarendon. Upon one occasion a gentleman, in the course of a confidential correspondence with Lord Clarendon, spoke of Sir William Somerville, the Irish Secretary, as a "deliberate liar," and upon that he received a communication from Lord Clarendon's private secretary to the following effect:—Sir,—Having, by desire of the Lord Lieutenant, communicated to Sir William Somerville your letter in which you made use of the phrase, 'deliberate liar,' I am directed to inform you that a retractation of these words is demanded. If, therefore, you write me a line to that effect, and will send a confidential person here at 3 o'clock tomorrow, he shall receive the sum of £100, for which I am credited.Now, Her Majesty's Government certainly had not offered £100 to the American Government, but they sent them that which Falstaff declared to be "worth a million"—they sent them their love. The genius, it appeared, which had brought forth the revelations of Birch and the last United States Blue-books, was again at work, and not a word was to be uttered, not a syllable spoken, for fear of disturbing that divine parturition. He was told that it would be injurious to the public service to call attention to such proceedings as these at a time when the Minister was engaged in negotiations with a government which he had already offended; but, on the contrary, he (Mr. Moore) maintained it was a manifest injury to the public service that Lord Clarendon should be permitted to enter into a negotiation with a Government whose foot had already been on his neck. It was not long ago—during the present Parliament—that two Ministers of zeal and fidelity had been made the scapegoats for the faults of the entire Government, and was it now to be permitted that the Earl of Clarendon should make scapegoats of the Crown, of Parliament, and of the entire people? The question which the House had to decide was a very simple one. Lord Clarendon had been engaged in a very petty intrigue, as he was fond of doing, in America; he had been found out, of course, as he always was; he had persisted in his blunder, as was his custom; but, on the present occasion, unfortunately, he had discredited, not only his own character, but his country's also. The House had to decide, therefore, whether they would approve Lord Clarendon's proceedings in this matter, and whether they would accept as their own, in the name of the English people, Lord Clarendon's responsibility and his chastisement; 40 and in pronouncing an opinion upon that question they must remember that they would be judging, not Lord Clarendon, but themselves.
To leave out from the word 'That' to the end of the Question, in order to add the words:—the conduct of Her Majesty's Government, in the differences that have arisen between them and the Government of the United States, on the question of enlistment, has not entitled them to the approbation of this House," instead thereof.
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
said, he could not help thinking that the hon. Member for Mayo (Mr. G. H. Moore) would have exercised a sounder discretion had he yielded to the appeals which had been made to him to postpone, for the present, the discussion of the question. The significant delay which had elapsed before the Motion had found a seconder must, he (the Attorney General) apprehended, in some degree have shaken the hon. Member's confidence in the expediency of the course which he had taken. It was but on Friday last that the First Minister of the Crown had intimated that, in his opinion, this question could not be discussed consistently with a due regard to the public interest, and it had always been usual, even in times when party feeling ran highest, to treat such a statement, made at a period of public emergency, with proper consideration. The hon. Member for Inverness-shire (Mr. H. Baillie), who might be said to have a vested interest in this question, since he had given notice at an early period of the Session of his intention to call the attention of the House to it, acting in concert with those among whom he sat, had thought it proper and necessary to postpone his motion; but the hon. Member for Mayo, uninfluenced by the appeals made to him by Members representing constituencies of all others most interested in the maintenance of a good understanding with the United States, had declined to follow that example; therefore the responsibility of having provoked this discussion must rest with the hon. Gentleman. The hon. Member for Mayo told the House that the question was one which ought to be treated judicially, but had the hon. Member himself treated it judicially? It was impossible not to see that the hon. 41 Member was animated by no other feeling than one of personal animosity towards Lord Clarendon. [M. G. H. MOORE:— No, no!] The hon. Gentleman denies that, but he (the Attorney General) had never heard a speech which led so strongly to such a conclusion. Was it judicial, was it just, was it even common fairness, to drag into this debate allusion to a scandalous newspaper, to refer to some obscure transactions, the import and history of which not a single Member of the House was acquainted with? Was it arguing the question judicially, was it even in good taste, to compare Lord Clarendon to the malefactor who but a few days ago had paid the penalty of his crimes on the scaffold? He never remembered to have seen a notice of Motion so frequently altered as this had been. The hon. Member for Inverness-shire had modified the terms of his Motion from time to time, to suit the varying circumstances as they arose, and the hon. Member for Mayo himself had twice altered his Motion. As it stood now it was certainly a most strangely worded Motion. It did not ask the House to express its disapprobation of the conduct of the Government, but merely to declare that Her Majesty's Ministers were not entitled to the approbation of the House. That, he believed, was a new form of moving a vote of censure; but as the hon. Member meant it for a vote of censure as such it must be taken. Let it not be forgotten, however, that the responsibility for this discussion, as he had previously stated, rested with the hon. Gentleman. He (the Attorney General) had risen thus early in the debate, because it appeared to him that the question involved legal principles and considerations which it was most essential should be fixed as early as possible, and to which the hon. Gentleman did not seem to have given the attention which they deserved. The British Government was charged with having, by itself or its agents, infringed, first, international law; and, secondly, the municipal law of the United States. He joined issue with those who made this charge upon both those points; but it was necessary to see, first, what was the international law upon the subject; and, secondly, what was the municiple law. Now, the international law on this subject had been left very vague and uncertain by most publicists who had written upon it. It was very true that Vattel laid it down that by the law and polity of nations no State could 42 recruit its forces from the subjects of another without the consent of the latter. He would not for a single moment question that proposition, although he doubted whether the authority of Vattel would be sufficient to sustain a proposition of any great importance. Notwithstanding Vattel was generally received as an authority upon such subjects, yet where he could not ground himself upon the opinion of the jurists he was neither profound nor precise. Nevertheless, he would take the proposition which he had quoted as it was laid down by this author. He (the Attorney General) admitted that one State could not enlist the subjects of another to serve in its army and navy without the acquiescence of the State of which they were the subjects. But then be must go back to another proposition, which was, that that assent or acquiescence might not only be expressed by treaty, but might be implied; as for instance, by a State permitting its subjects to enlist into the forces of another country; because, if a State gave to its subjects permission to enter the service of foreign Governments, such permission necessarily carried with it, by implication, a permission to other foreign Governments to avail themselves of the services of the persons to whom that permission had been extended. Now, that being established, it was necessary to see what the municipal law of the United States prohibited and what it permitted the subjects of the Union to do. In that law you might find the measure and extent to which the Union enforced or relaxed its rights of sovereignty over its subjects. The municipal law of America upon this subject differed most essentially from our own. The law of Great Britain claimed and enforced the most complete, absolute, and unqualified authority over its subjects. It not only prohibited them from enlisting, or others from enlisting them upon its own territorities, but it prohibited them from enlisting beyond the territories of the United Kingdom; it prohibited them from serving in the military or naval forces of any other Sovereign or people, without the express consent of the Sovereign. Therefore, if a British subject were to enlist beyond the territories of Great Britain, he would be liable to the penalties of the law; and Great Britain would have reason to complain of any State which should propose to its subjects to violate the municipal law which was binding upon them. But how stood the case 43 with regard to America? Was the law of that country equally stringent? Certainty not. The American law said to its citizens, "You shall not enlist within the territories of the United States." It said to other persons, "You shall not enlist citizens of the United States within the territories of those States, neither shall you contract with them to go beyond the precincts of the States there to enlist;" but it did not prohibit American subjects, when once beyond the boundaries of the United States, from enlisting in the service of any foreign State or potentate, nor did it prohibit them from serving such foreign State or potentate. Now, that was a most material and important distinction, of which the hon. Gentleman had entirely lost sight. [Mr. G. H. MOORE: Not at all.] The hon. Gentleman intimated that he had not, but so far as he (the Attorney General) had heard, he appeared to have done so. If he had not lost sight of it, at all events, he had certainly forgotten it in his speech. The distinction undoubtedly existed; and he (the Attorney General) could not suppose that it was the result of accident. Perhaps the American law was so limited that, while the neutrality of the American territory and the responsibility of its Government should remain intact, that tendency which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli) had the other evening very happily characterised as a tendency to expansion, and which he represented as not only the natural but the legitimate policy of America, might remain unchecked. It might be that it was intended to leave the citizens of America, who were not quite so patient of control and restraint as the subjects of our own country, free to expand and to give vent to that energy of character which particularly distinguished them; but that the American law permitted the citizens of the Union, so long as they did not enlist within its territories, to serve foreign Powers was undoubted and unquestioned. The world has a grave instance and illustration of this in what was passing at the present moment. Not only did the law of America permit its citizens to engage in the service of a foreign State engaged in hostilities with another which was not at war with America, but it allowed them to enlist and take arms in support of a faction in the civil war in Kansas. The existing Government de facto of Nicaragua had been established with the aid of the arms 44 of American citizens, who, without the sanction of their Government, except so far as it might be implied from the existing state of the law, and from what that Government had done since, had established a Government in that country, and at this moment maintained it. So far was the American Government from seeking to punish those citizens—so far was it from complaining that the State or the Government of Nicaragua, by engaging their arms, had violated the sovereign rights of America, that it actually recognised the Government which had been established and subsisted entirety by the assistance of American subjects. That being the state of the law, he would briefly state the facts to which it was to be applied. One fact which ought never to be lost sight of was, I that it was never intended in this scheme of recruiting to enlist American subjects properly so called. At the time when the Foreign Enlistment Act was passed there were in the United States large bodies of persons who were anxious for military service. They were of two classes—British subjects who had emigrated to America, and who, being disappointed in their expectations, were anxious to return to their own country, and a vast number of political refugees whom the revolutionary movements of 1848, and, above all, the counter-revolutionary movements, had driven into exile, together with other foreigners who had served in the Schleswig-Holstein army, and who, on the disbandment of that army, had found refuge in America. With regard to the first class of persons, it was quite clear that, if they desired to enter the British service, so long as we did not violate the law of America, no man could say that we had not a perfect right to enlist them. The law of England was that no British subject could throw off the allegiance which he owed to the Government of England. His country or his allegiance he could not put off. A principal maxim of law was "Nemo potest exuere patriam." A man might expatriate himself, he might change his atmosphere, he might stand on another soil, and look at another heaven, but he could not put off his allegiance. Therefore, if you had, as was the case at this time, offers from British subjects who had not found in America the home which they had expected, who had not put off that attachment to their native land, which he believed a British-born man could no more put off than the law would allow him to 45 put off his allegiance, and who, when they heard that the old country was at war and needed the services of her sons, naturally felt an inclination to enter into her army, you could, without violation of the municipal law of the United States, take them into your service, and there could be no consideration, moral, social, or political, which could interfere with your doing so. The other body of men, the refugees, were not American subjects, in the proper sense of the term. They had taken refuge in America, but did not desire to remain there. They had fallen upon a period when there was great distress in that country. At the conclusion of the year 1854 trade and commerce were in a state of universal stagnation, employment was scarce, wages were low, and provisions dear. Those men could not find employment; they had been used to the army, and preferred military service to any other occupation: they, therefore, proposed—and proposed in considerable numbers—to take service in the army of this country. The whole question was this:—Could we, consistently with the laws of the United States, take those persons into our service? If we violated the laws of the United States, we were responsible; but, considering that the laws of the Union allow persons who owe allegiance to it to take foreign service beyond its boundaries, he said that there was nothing in the law of nations which prohibited us from receiving those persons into our service. We assuredly were not bound to carry the obligations of American citizens one whit beyond that which their own laws imposed. We were entitled to take that as the measure of the extent to which the American Government desired to carry its sovereign rights. We had a right to look at the municipal law; and if it did not forbid the enlistment, we were justified in proceeding with it. But, then, it was said that we had violated the law by enlisting men for the service of Great Britain upon American soil. He thought he could show that this had never been done by those for whom the British Government were responsible. He would take that opportunity of calling the attention of the House to the original instructions sent out by Her Majesty's Government. Those instructions were sent out on the 16th of February, 1855, while Mr. Sidney Herbert was at the Colonial Office, and were to be found in the following despatch from Mr. Sidney Herbert 46 to Sir Gaspard le Marchant, Governor of Nova Scotia:—I transmit to you a copy of the Foreign Enlistment Act, which has been passed in Parliament in the present Session; and, in connexion with it, am anxious to call your immediate attention to the following subject:—Her Majesty's Government have received communications from the British Minister at Washington, and also from some of the Consuls in American cities, which lead them to suppose that a considerable number of German and other European foreigners, now resident in the United States, are ready and disposed to enlist under the provisions of this Act. In particular, it has been stated that there are, scattered in different parts of the Union, men who have seen service with the Schleswig-Holstein army, and who hare, therefore, the advantage of a certain amount of military training, and who would willingly take up arms again under the British standard. But supposing these statements to be well founded, the men in question could not be enlisted for British service on American soil with due respect to the laws of the United States as a neutral Power; and considering how uncertain it is whether parties who might thus offer themselves would turn out fit for enlistment, it is scarcely practicable to invite them over to this county with the chance of rejection. Under these circumstances, it has occurred to Her Majesty's Government that it might be possible for men who should represent themselves to the Consuls, or other British authorities, in the United States, as willing to serve, to proceed to Halifax, if a depôt, of which public notice would be given, in Nova Scotia, could be established in that city, under your inspection, for the reception of recruits for a foreign legion, where they might be examined, and, if found fit for service, enlisted, and either sent to this country or formed on the spot into a battalion. It is also stated that a large number of persons in the United States, who are British subjects, would be willing to take service in the British army if an opportunity were afforded them of enlisting. It would be necessary to keep the latter class of recruits (if such should offer themselves) quite distinct from foreigners, and they might, perhaps, be willing to enlist for existing regiments of the line.Those were the first instructions sent out to the official personages connected with this country in the United States, and without troubling the House with the various despatches from the Colonial Office and the Foreign Office, he would assert that in every one of those despatches the most distinct and emphatic instructions were to be found to take the utmost care and caution not to infringe the municipal law of that country. Now he would ask what was the view of the Americans upon their own law and their own rights? The hon. Gentleman had put the question as if the fact of a depôt having been formed at Halifax for the reception of recruits had never been brought to the knowledge of Mr. Marcy. 47 Now, he did think that the hon. Gentleman, acting in a judicial character, as he intimated to the House it was his intention to do, ought to have stated the whole case. There was the positive statement of Mr. Crampton in two despatches, that he had communicated distinctly and clearly to Mr. Marcy the fact that a depôt had been established in Nova Scotia for receiving recruits from the United States, nor had this fact ever been denied by Mr. Marey or any one else. In his despatch, dated Feb. 22, to Lord Clarendon, Mr. Crampton said:—I told him (Mr. Marcy) that I utterly opposed and discountenanced any violation of the neutrality law. I also told him that numerous applications were made to me by persons here wishing to join our army, and that my answer had been, that I could not enlist them here, and that if they wanted to become British soldiers they must go to British territory to be enlisted. He made no sort of objection to this, and entered into no discussion as to its being inconsistent with international law; on the contrary, he said that anybody might go who chose— 'that half the United States might go if they chose, were, I think, his very words; and he repeated the same thing to Mr. Lumley during my absence. I certainly, never dreaming then, as I do not believe now, that any violation of international law was involved, so long as the municipal law was observed, did not enter into any discussion of such a question with him. He did not show the least inclination to enter on the subject of the recruitment at all; and I thought that I understood his motive to be the natural one, that having, on the one hand, shown a determination to sustain the law, and, on the other, a disposition to leave every citizen or resident of the United States free to exercise their undoubted right, or not, as they chose, he did not wish to seem to take part, either one way or the other, in either recommending or discouraging them from doing so in favour of either of the belligerents.That statement was borne out by Mr. Lumley, who repeated the same thing to Mr. Marcy, while Mr. Crampton was absent in Canada. The hon. Member had spoken of Mr. Crampton and Mr. Lumley as two mean, dishonourable, and miserable culprits, to whose statements not one tittle of credence was to be attached. Now, he certainly did not think that that was a fair view of the conduct and character of those gentlemen; and when he found both those gentlemen asserting that they had distinctly brought to the attention of Mr. Marcy the fact that the British Government had established a depôt at Halifax for receiving men for enlistment, he gave implicit belief to that statement. [Mr. GLADSTONE: Where does Mr. Crampton state that?] That was in page 172; but Mr. Crampton stated the 48 same thing in his despatch dated March 3, 1856, where he said—I told Mr. Marcy, on the 22nd of March, that numerous applications had been made to me by persons in this country who wished to join the British army, and that my answer had been, that I could not enlist them here, or hire, or retain them here, without violating the law, and that, consequently, they must go into British territory, there to be enlisted. Mr. Marcy made no objection to this, but remarked that any person might go who chose, and then reiterated the expression he had just before used, of his intention strictly to enforce the Neutrality Law. To this I, on my part, had no objection to make; on the contrary, the view it disclosed entirely agreed with that I had myself submitted to Mr. Marcy on showing him a letter I had written to Mr. Barclay disapproving of the proceedings of a Mr. Angus M'Donald, because I thought that those proceedings would, or might, be taken to constitute a violation of the Act of 1818.Now, it was clear that, unless Mr. Crampton had so far forgotten his honour and truth as to fabricate that statement, Mr. Marcy, on the 22nd of March, 1855, was made fully aware of the mode in which the British Government were carrying out the Enlistment Act.
§ MR. MILNER GIBSON
Mr. Crampton says the reverse. He says, in the very same despatch—It is perfectly true that I did not enter into any details of the means which were to be adopted by Her Majesty's Government to render available the services of those who tendered them to us in such numbers.
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
said, he had already read two despatches to that effect; and the despatch of the 7th November contained the same statement in substance, if not in words. The substance of his communication to Mr. Marcy was, that he had had various offers from persons who were desirous of entering into the British service, that he had told them they could not be enlisted there, but that the British Government had opened an office or a place at Halifax, where those persons were to go from all places of the United States. Well, that being the state of things, upon what ground did the American Government make their complaint against the British Government for having infringed their laws? They did not deny anywhere that the state of the American law was as it had been represented—namely, that, although no one could be enlisted on the soil of the United States, there was nothing to prevent the American 49 citizen from going beyond the boundary to another country to enlist there. No one denied that; but the American Government said the British Government had violated their "sovereign rights" by attempting to enlist their subjects at all. The answer of the British Government was, that they were not infringing or violating the sovereign rights of the United States if they availed themselves of the permission which the law of the United States gave. There was nothing in that law which prevented an American citizen from going to another country for the purpose of serving a foreign State. If that were permitted to the United States' subject, who was thus released from his obligation to give an unqualified and entire allegiance to his country, it could not be matter of complaint against the British Government that they were willing to accept the services which the subjects of the United States' Government were willing to render. The doctrine of sovereign rights could not certainly apply where the British Government had to do exclusively with British subjects, over whom they had rights which had the force of law; and it would hardly apply to persons who were the subjects of other States, and not of America, who were only temporarily in America, and did not intend to make it their permanent place of abode—who had not taken root in the soil, and only made it their temporary place of asylum, with the intention of returning to Europe. If the permission to go to the territory of another Power to enlist were allowed to American citizens, à fortiori, it must be allowed to the quasi subjects of other States and to British subjects; and, therefore, the British Government were entitled to take those persons and enlist them if they were willing. But it was said the British Government were not content with enlisting them beyond the boundaries of the United States, but that they violated the law by enlisting, or rather engaging them to enlist, in that territory. Now, upon what testimony did that assertion rest? It was denied in the most emphatic and indignant terms by Mr. Crampton and the British consuls. What was the evidence upon which the American Government persisted in saying that, although Mr. Crampton denied his complicity, he was involved in these transactions? It rested upon the evidence given on the trial of Hertz. Was that evidence worthy to be believed—was it evidence to which that 50 House would attach the slightest importance, confronted as it was by the positive statement of Mr. Crampton and the consuls, on their words of honour, that it was a tissue of falsehood and misrepresentation? The trial was a very remarkable one, and he approached it with a sense of the difficulty in which he found himself placed, because it was almost impossible to speak of it in those terms of moderation which the present state of affairs required. That that trial was set on foot and was conducted by men bitterly hostile in spirit to this country no one could doubt. He did not for a single moment wish to infer that those were the sentiments of the whole American authorities, and he entirely believed they were not the sentiments of the great body of the American people. That that trial was conducted in a spirit of most bitter animosity towards England, no one could doubt. Mr. Van Dyke, the United States' District Attorney, acting under the immediate direction of Mr. Cushing, the United States' Attorney General, opened the case rather as a case against Great Britain and the British authorities than against the individuals accused, spoke in terms of the greatest disparagement of Great Britain, adverted to the war in which we were then engaged, and showed his sympathies were not with the Allies, by alluding with evident satisfaction to our losses, and in terms of sneering sarcasm and contempt to our presumed deficiency in military skill. Witnesses were produced, and who were they? They were the Mr. or Captain Stroebel, whom the hon. Member (Mr. G. H. Moore) did not doubt to be a man of the most infamous character, others of very much the same stamp were examined to fill up the minuter details of the alleged transactions, and Mr. Hertz, who, being convicted, made a confession and implicated Mr. Crampton. The statements of a man who was an approver, and of another man who had just been convicted, both of whom the American Government would have found, if they had taken the slightest trouble to inquire, to be men of infamous character, were taken as true, notwithstanding the strong and emphatic denial of Mr. Crampton and the other gentlemen affected by those statements. Nay, more, the American Government sent here, not an authentic report of the trial, but the report which was prepared for a newspaper—The Pennsylvanian—remarkable for its bitter animosity against this country, the editor of which 51 was examined on the trial, and was attempted to be foisted as a juryman upon the panel. There was not the slightest chance of the jury finding any other than a verdict against Hertz. It was an indictment against, and, by implication, a conviction of, the British Government; and this gentleman, who was witness upon the trial, whose report was sent by the American Government as a report of the trial, did not scruple to speak of Great Britain in the following terms. They are somewhat amusing:—England for centuries has been bullying and bribing the world; her insolence is astounding. In the Pacific, in the Atlantic, on the Isthmus, everywhere, that haggard voluptuary, Great Britain, who has been so long drunk with the blood of other nations that she now reels and totters with her own inanity, glares upon us with her red eyeballs, and puts us at defiance.Those were the terms with which the editor of The Pennsylvanian introduced to the world a report of the trial on which he himself had been a witness, and which was adopted by the American Government. ["Hear, hear!"] He heard a right hon. Gentleman say "Hear" on the other side, but he thanked God the British press was not yet lowered to such wretched ribaldry as that, and he hoped it never would be. The hon. Member for Mayo seemed inclined to give implicit credit to the witnesses. [Mr. G. H. MOORE: What! I? I deny it.] Then, to cast imputations upon the honour, veracity, and character of the gentlemen whom the hon. Gentleman impugned, without evidence, was totally unwarrantable and totally unjustifiable. The case made by the American Government was based upon the statements of these persons. It turned out that Mr. Stroebel was a person of bad character; he had served in the Danish army; he had held some rank in that army; he volunteered to perform service in the English army; he proposed to raise men; he said many of his countrymen were ready at once to follow him. Then came Hertz, who said the same. Both expressed the greatest interest in the cause of the Allies, and the utmost zeal for the service of England, and expressed the utmost anxiety to return to Europe. There was abundant evidence now that Stroebel was a spy in the employ of Russia, and that Hertz was a swindler and a man of no character. But those facts were not in the possession of the British authorities in America when those persons offered their services. It might be true, 52 so far as their statements were concerned, that they violated the municipal law of the United States. In their anxiety to get men and establish a claim to be rewarded for their zeal and assiduity, they might possibly have transgressed the law of the United States. Whether they did so with the honest purpose of serving the British Government, or whether they were preparing schemes of treachery and fraud in the interest of Russia, or of those who were hostile to Great Britain, was a grave question, which he would not stay to discuss; but when, in answer to the statements of such men as those, he had the positive assertion of Mr. Crampton and the British Consuls that those statements were wholly and entirely destitute of the slightest shadow of foundation upon truth, he asked the House whether they thought that, under those circumstances, the British Government would have been justified in making scapegoats of Mr. Crampton and the consuls by recalling them, and marking them with the stigma of Government disapprobation? He thought no one would go along with the hon. Member for Mayo in believing that, in spite of their instructions, those gentlemen did violate the municipal law by causing enlistments, or engagements to enlist, on the territory of the United States; and he submitted that the British Government, in accordance with the instructions which were framed, were justified in accepting the services of their own subjects, and of Germans, Poles, Hungarians, or Italians, if they accepted those services by enlisting them beyond the precincts of the United States. There was no evidence that any acts were done in contravention of the local laws of the United States, except the evidence of those men, who could not be believed; and against it they had the positive denial of gentlemen, men of honour, and Englishmen. It was all very well for the hon. Gentleman, who wanted to make out a case, if he could, against those parties, to take up the despatches, and, instead of reading them in a manly, straightforward manner, read them with a sneering, sarcastic tone, meant to imply that he did not believe a word of them, but in that view he was sure the House would not follow the hon. Gentleman. He submitted that the question was, whether Her Majesty's Government would have been justified in acting merely upon the view taken by the American Government on the evidence of Hertz and Stroebel, in spite of the emphatic denial of Mr. Cramp- 53 ton and the consuls. Eliminated from the mass of verbosity with which, from one side or the other, it had been entangled, that was really the case which was brought before the attention of the House. He had cautiously abstained from saying one word upon the conduct of the American Government except as regarded that trial. At the same time he might say, without any intention of giving offence, that the spirit and the tone in which the American authorities had considered the correspondence which had taken place, and considered and answered the despatches of Lord Clarendon upon the subject (especially when the attempts of Lord Clarendon were always of a most conciliatory character), were not such as might have been expected from a State which desired, with sincerity, to maintain friendly relations with England. Whether their conduct was to be attributed to that cause to which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli) adverted the other evening—a conviction on the part of the United States that Great Britain would not view with favour or submit unhesitatingly to that expansive tendency which was said to characterise the territorial policy of the American Government, was more than he could undertake to say; but of this he was persuaded, that any permanent rupture of the friendly relations between the two countries would be fatal to the best interests of both, and deeply injurious to the cause of progressive improvement throughout the whole civilised world. It became us as the older, as not the least powerful, and looking to what was going on in various parts of America, he thought he might also add, as not the least united of the two nations, to evince a spirit of manly moderation and dignified forbearance. We were never better prepared for war, and therefore ought to be the more inclined to peace. Our power had now been proved. Our renown was not of yesterday; our glory was not of recent date; our prowess had been established by sea and by land in every quarter of the universe. We could afford to be conciliatory ourselves, and to exhort others to conciliation. Nor was it possible to misinterpret the motive with which we might address the American people in these persuasive accents:—Neu patriæ validas in viscera vertite vires.Tuque prior, tu parce, genus qui ducis Olympo;Projice tela manu, snnguis meus.54 It was in that spirit of harmony that the Government now entered on the present discussion. There was no denying that its tendency was to take at a disadvantage both the Ministry and those absent men whose honour and veracity had been impugned, but who did not enjoy the opportunity of defending themselves. Remembering that, though this attack was directed against Her Majesty's Government, the interests of those persons were deeply implicated—nor theirs alone, but what was of far greater moment, those also of two mighty nations, it was to be hoped that the House would view this question without reference to party considerations, and in a calm dispassionate spirit, suitable to its dignity, its gravity, and its importance.
§ SIR FREDERIC THESIGER
said, that although the House was naturally impatient of any debate likely to degenerate into a legal discussion, yet he felt it his duty to offer some remarks on the legal considerations which his hon. and learned Friend the Attorney General had stated to be involved in this interesting and most important question. With respect to the Motion itself, he did not think that the hon. Member for Mayo was to be censured for not having withdrawn it; for no particular facilities were offered by the occupants of the Treasury bench for bringing forward a vote of censure on the Government; and if the House were to wait until certain negotiations, never explained, but only darkly shadowed forth, had come to a conclusion, it would be in the power of the Government to prevent discussion altogether by protracting negotiations till the time was gone when discussion would have any life or interest. He fully concurred with his hon. and learned Friend the Attorney General on the necessity of approaching this important question in a spirit of moderation; deprecating, therefore, the infusion of party spirit into such a debate, he admitted that their deliberations should be characterised by a calm and judicial tone, and he sincerely hoped that nothing that he might say would create irritation or embitter the relations between this country and the United States. It was essential to consider first, the position in which we stood; and, secondly, the circumstances that had compelled us to occupy that position. In the dismissal of our accredited Minister, and in the withdrawal of their authority from three of our consuls, we had received from the Government of the United 55 States one of the strongest proofs of dissatisfaction that one nation could offer to another. Was that decided step on the part of the American Government to be justified or not? Was there any blame imputable to the agents of the American Government for the course they had pursued in acting in so abrupt and summary a manner? If so, our path was clear and open; for, as Lord Clarendon had remarked, no discredit could attach to the acknowledgment of unquestionable wrong. On the other hand, it was important to consider whether the conduct of the agents of the British Government had been such as not to render them obnoxious to censure. If their conduct was not fairly liable to censure, a gross and gratuitous insult had been offered to the British nation. When the Foreign Enlistment Bill was under discussion in that House, several wise and prudent persons anticipated that it would be very likely to lead us into a collision with foreign Powers, and warned the Government to that effect. During the whole of that debate, although questions were put as to the countries from whence recruits were likely to be obtained, no suggestion as to the probability of our recruiting our foreign legion from the United States was ever made. If such a suggestion had been offered, the Government would have been warned to be particularly careful in their transactions with America. That country had previously intimated that it would observe a strict neutrality during the war, and unfortunately there had arisen with the American Government circumstances of misunderstanding which would probably have rendered it wise on the part of the British Government either to abstain altogether from drawing supplies of men from that quarter, or, at all events, to proceed with the utmost caution and circumspection. In attempting to procure recruits from the United States, two circumstances should have been carefully considered—first, the municipal law of the United States; secondly, the rights which the Americans possessed under the international law. The first was a positive enactment, the latter had no written code except where treaties intervened, but was founded on justice, good faith, and mutual forbearance between nations. Under the municipal law of the United States, an Act of Congress, passed in 1818, made it a misdemeanor, punishable by fine and imprisonment, for any one to hire or retain 56 another to go out of the territory or jurisdiction of the United States for the purpose of being enlisted into the service of a foreign Power. Unfortunately, the Government kept its view too closely and specifically directed to the provisions of that municipal law. He (Sir F. Thesiger) thought they had regarded its provisions, not so much to see how they could obey them, as to ascertain how they could accomplish an object which was prohibited by the law without bringing themselves strictly within the letter of its provisions. The hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney General had taken what appeared to be an extraordinary view of international law as applicable to this particular question—the one adopted by the Government, and which had been fatal to their proceedings in this matter, and one which he (Sir F. Thesiger) ventured to say was unfounded. There was no doubt, as it appeared to him, that although an individual might evade the provisions of an Act of the Legislature of the United States, and keep himself clear of the penalty attaching to an infraction of the letter of the law, yet that if a Government were systematically to endeavour to attain an object which was prohibited by law, and at the same time to keep its agents clear from falling within the provisions of that law, such conduct was contrary to that good faith and forbearance which should characterise the intercourse between nations. Unfortunately, however, the view which had been submitted to the House by the hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney General was that upon which Mr. Crampton had acted, and which had been endorsed by Lord Clarendon. At page 176 of the Blue-book Mr. Crampton would be found writing:—It did not appear to me to be a thing to be supposed, that any free nation intended to enforce, as a restraint upon the liberty of its inhabitants, any more of the general law of nations than it had embodied in its municipal law. That municipal law appeared to me to have been enacted for the very purpose of defining and deciding how much of the general right of restraining the egress of its citizens from its territory the lawgiver intended to enforce.At page 264 Lord Clarendon said—Now, in reply to this, the undersigned begs to observe, that the policy of a nation in regard to its internal arrangements must be sought for in the laws of that nation; that what those laws forbid, it must be understood to be the policy of the State to prohibit; and that what those laws do not forbid, it must be understood to be the 57 policy of the State to allow. In every State, whatever may be its form of Government there is a sovereign power; that sovereign power may impose upon the subjects or citizens of such State what duties, obligations, and restrictions it may think fit; and it is a necessary conclusion that when the sovereign power puts a limit to its enactments, whether of obligation or of prohibition, it means to leave its subjects or citizens free in regard to all matters not within the enactments of the law.Now, with very great deference to such high authorities, he (Sir F. Thesiger) must say there was great confusion of ideas in such reasoning broached in the manner it had been. The municipal law was intended for the internal regulation of a country, and applied merely to the subjects of the country. It could not attach to any foreign State, nor to any person not a subject of that particular country, and, therefore, although it might bind or give freedom to the citizens of that State, it could have no effect or influence over international law or the intercourse between nations. For instance, there was no doubt that Americans had an undoubted right freely and voluntarily to quit their country; that opinion had been laid down by Judge Ingersoll, but that fact did not touch the question of international law. If a Government were to lend itself to plans for seducing or enticing persons to leave the United States, then the municipal law might not be violated in terms, but there would be a breach of international law, and there could be no doubt that it would be a violation of that frank intercourse which ought to subsist between nations. Supposing for instance the Americans had established a manufacture in their country which was of great public advantage, no doubt all the manufacturers in a body could, if they pleased, quit the United States and transplant their skill to another soil; but could it be said, because they had a right voluntarily to quit their country, that therefore another Government, if it should think it advantageous to do so, should attract such persons to its country—would it not commit a breach of international law if it held out inducements in the way of higher prices for labour? [Mr. CHEETHAM: It is done every day.] It might be done every day, but nevertheless he considered it a gross violation of international law, and contrary to the spirit of justice and good faith which should prevail in the intercourse of nations. He therefore could not agree with the hon. and learned Gentleman the 58 Attorney General in the opinion that, because the municipal law of the United States permitted persons to leave that country, even to enlist in the service of other countries, therefore it would be no infraction of the sovereign rights of the American nation for another Government to entice and persuade persons to leave the country for the purpose of enlisting in a foreign legion. It was that mistaken view of international law which had led to those proceedings which were, as he considered, justly blamable, and which had brought this country into a position of humiliation— a consequence attributable entirely to the course pursued by Her Majesty's Government. Taking the principles he had enunciated as a guide, he would just notice what the Government of this country had done with respect to the question of enlistments in America. There was, undoubtedly, great difficulty in tracing precisely in the Blue-book what acts were done by those who were the recognised and authorised agents of the British Government. There was abundant information as to the acts of the unauthorised and unaccredited agents, but there were also occasional glimpses of light, showing what was done by those who were clothed with authority, and sufficient to show that they were pursuing a system that was highly reprehensible. There were some facts which could not be disputed. There was no doubt that there was a recognised system organised within the territory of the United States for the purpose of obtaining men to leave those States and to proceed to Canada prior to coming to this country. There were agents employed, money was forthcoming, and a depôt was established at Halifax with the sanction of the Lieutenant Governor. The hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney General had expressed himself strongly, perhaps justifiably so, in regard to the course adopted at the trial of the parties who were accused of violating the neutrality laws. It was not his (Sir F. Thesiger's) intention to vindicate the character of Mr. Hertz or of Captain Stroebel, neither did he assume that the evidence given by those persons at the trial was perfectly correct; but there was other evidence. There was the admission under Mr. Crampton's own hand, that he employed those two persons as his agents to assist him in procuring enlistments; there were the instructions given to them among other agents, and there was the cipher prepared, with which they, 59 in common with other agents, were made acquainted. Such being the persons employed, and such the machinery set in action to obtain the object which Her Majesty's Government had in view, he would next see if he could trace in those proceedings any indication of a conviction on the part of the Government that what was being done was perfectly lawful, and that the machinery employed was not such as to afford the American Government any just ground of complaint. It appeared that at a very early period of the business, before the system had come into operation, Mr. Crampton prudently took the advice of a very able lawyer in order to ascertain how far the neutrality laws would affect the proceedings which it was proposed to institute for the purpose of procuring recruits from that country. Anything more strongly worded for the purpose of inducing caution on the part of our Minister than this legal opinion could hardly be imagined; and the House should bear in mind that this document, together with his letter to Sir Gaspard le Marchant, was sent by Mr. Crampton in his despatch of the 12th of March to Lord Clarendon; and that our Foreign Secretary was in possession of both when he wrote his letter of approval on the 12th of April. In his letter to Sir Gaspard le Marchant Mr. Crampton said—I have furnished your agent with a copy of this opinion for his information and guidance, and I have directed him to confine his operations in the first instance to making inquiries as to the desire which may exist among the inhabitants of the eastern cities of the United States to enter Her Majesty's service, to inform such persons generally of the disposition of Her Majesty's Government to accept such properly qualified candidates as may offer themselves, to make them acquainted with the terms upon which the enlistments will be made, and with the places within the British dominions to which they may repair for the purpose of being enrolled, carefully abstaining, however, from entering into any agreement with such persons, or from doing anything which might be construed into 'retaining or hiring' any individual to emigrate for the purpose of enlisting in the British service.Lord Clarendon, having been informed of the course intended to be adopted, wrote to Mr. Crampton on the 12th of April:—I entirely approve your proceedings, as reported in your dispatch of the 12th ult. with respect to the proposed enlistment in the Queen's service of foreign and British subjects in the United States.Considering that Lord Clarendon was cognisant of the opinion of the eminent American lawyer, clearly indicating that the 60 neutrality law of the United States "would be held to reach every case of payment, expenditure, or other valuable consideration, however ingeniously devised," he would have acted a far wiser part had he wholly abstained from the attempt to procure men in the United States, and warned his Minister that, the course he proposed to pursue not being open, candid, or straightforward, but secret and underhand, Her Majesty's Government did not feel themselves justified in sanctioning such a proceeding. The Earl of Clarendon, indeed, alleged that he enjoined on Mr. Crampton above all things to avoid concealment from the American Government; but he (Sir F. Thesiger), having looked carefully through the correspondence without discovering any trace of such an injunction, would feel obliged to any hon. Member following him in debate who should point out the despatch in which it was contained. If, however, any such instruction was given, it was certainly not observed by Mr. Crampton. Lord Clarendon was, at all events, informed at a later period of the secret steps taken to procure recruits, and the fatal mistake made by our Government throughout the transactions was, that the directions which they issued to their agents were confined to the avoidance of any infringement of the municipal law, and entirely overlooked the broader question on which the Americans were likely to feel extremely sensitive, namely, the bearing of our attempts at enlistment upon their rights of sovereignty. At an early period, and before the system was in full operation, Mr. Angus M'Donald published advertisements, and established an office for the purpose of providing passages to Halifax to persons willing to go thither and enlist themselves. It was said that the American Government were from the earliest date aware of the formation of a depôt at Halifax, and of the measures taken to secure recruits; but there was evidently some misapprehension on that point. No communication had been made to the American Government that could lead them to believe that such proceedings as those described in Mr. Crampton's letter were either contemplated or in progress. On the 22nd of March Mr. Crampton wrote to Consul Barclay to disavow the conduct of Mr. M'Donald—conduct which Consul Barclay had previously characterised as likely "to produce a ferment," and such as would cause the Government of the United States to interfere and put a stop 61 to the proceedings. It was very remarkable that, in the course of the conversation in which Mr. Crampton told Mr. Marcy that persons had applied to him relative to enlistment for the foreign legion, but that he had told them the thing could not be done without infringing the law, unless they first left the States and afterwards enrolled themselves, Mr. Crampton showed Mr. Marcy his letter to Consul Barclay in reference to Mr. M'Donald's proceedings; and that Mr. Marcy, on his part, declared in his subsequent despatches that he understood Mr. Crampton, when he communicated the contents of this letter to him, to have intended to disavow the participation of the British Government in any improper acts of recruiting. Mr. Marcy, ignorant of the underhand scheme in progress at the time, might very well have answered, as he was represented to have done, that persons were at liberty to quit the States for the purpose of being enlisted. The House ought carefully to consider the steps that were taken at an early period, because they showed that the course adopted by our Minister and sanctioned by his Government was perfectly unjustifiable, and had brought on us all the indignity and humiliation to which we had been since exposed. Mr. Grant, writing to Mr. Crampton, in February, 1855, said—My influence in this State enables me to raise within ten days (and in secret) a regiment of rifles, comprising the ordinary number (436), the majority of whom are born subjects of Great Britain, and who are only waiting the moment when they may be allowed to show that they, although living in a foreign country, are not insensible of the claim that their native country has on them. The men are ready, but what is wanted is proper sanction being (secretly) given to their proceedings. Throughout the whole of this enterprise we have borne strictly in mind the necessity there exists of not infringing the neutrality laws of the United States, and the men would depart in squads at their own expense, ostensibly travelling as citizens of the United States on their own account to Canada.Another letter from Major Rakow stated—To avoid any interference by the United States' authorities, the soldiers are to be shipped as passengers to some port, and there to be put in rank and file.The answer sent by Mr. Crampton to these offers of enlistment was somewhat singular. It was this:—Sir,—I have received your letter of the—, and I regret to say that I am not in possession of the information with which you desire to be furnished. I have received no instructions from Her Majesty's Government which would authorise me 62 to take steps for the enlistment of men or the engagement of officers for the British army.There were other letters from a Mr. Jones and a Mr. Reynolds, the replies to which were important. On the 23rd of March, 1855, Mr. Crampton wrote to Mr. Jones as follows:—I have received your letter of the 22nd, and I have to inform you in reply that, although I have no reason to doubt that Her Majesty's Government would accept of the service of such foreigners as may be desirous of joining it, no rendezvous for enlistment has been opened by the authority of Her Majesty's Government at any place in the United States, nor has any person been authorised to hire or retain any individual to go beyond the limits of the United States for the purpose of being so enlisted. This would constitute an infraction of the neutrality laws of the United States (vide Act of Congress, 1818, s. 2), and Her Majesty's Government, however desirous to obtain recruits for the British army, are still more anxious that the laws of the States, with which Her Majesty is at peace, should be respected.Should you desire information as to the terms, &c. upon which foreigners may be enrolled under the provisions of a late Act of Parliament, I shall have pleasure in furnishing you with such information as is in my possession at any time you should call at Her Majesty's Legation in this city.A similar answer was sent to Captain Zankish, and would be found in page 189. The letter of Lord Clarendon, of the 12th of April, approving the proceedings with regard to enlistment, arrived in the United States about a fortnight afterwards, and a very important correspondence then took place between Mr. Crampton, Mr. Lumley, and a Mr. Martin, to which he wished to call the attention of the House. Mr. Martin, in a letter dated the 26th of April, 1855, said, that circumstances which he thought purely providential at that important juncture would, he believed, enable a proper person, invested with proper authority, "to raise a force of 5,000 men and upwards of as brave and determined troops as ever marched to a battle-field under the British or any other flag on the face of the earth." Mr. Martin further said—I think that, for the sum of £6 to £10 per man, the number above alluded to—namely, 5,000 and upwards—can be raised or delivered in any of the West Indies or North American colonies, or even in Malta, without any additional expense to the Government.Mr. Lumley answered—I am desired by Mr. Crampton to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 26th of April, and to inform you that he has no doubt that the services of all those persons whom you describe as being anxious to join the forces of 63 Her Majesty will be gladly received, and that the feelings which actuate you will be gratefully acknowledged. At the same time, Mr. Crampton wishes me to impress upon you the very stringent and comprehensive nature of the neutrality laws of the United States, according to which it is not only illegal to enlist or recruit the subjects of any State within the United States for the service of a foreign Power, but equally an indictable offence to hire or retain any individual to emigrate for the purpose of enlisting in foreign military service against a Power with whom the United States' Government is at peace. It is essential, therefore, that nothing should be done which would be inconsistent with the supposition that the persons you refer to leave the United States as voluntary emigrants, for as such alone could they legally leave this country for a foreign State.Mr. Martin then wrote a most remarkable letter to Mr. Crampton, in these terms:—I presume that you will have noted through the public papers that a person, called Captain Walsh, has been trying here for some time past to engage a number of Germans for the Foreign Legion, under the head of labourers for the St. Andrew's and Quebec Railroad, but who has not yet succeeded in getting a single man off. … If it should appear to you desirable to carry out this object in a safe and proper manner, it will be necessary to place matters upon such a footing as will at once enable the parties engaged in it to negotiate their drafts to meet at least a part of their unavoidable expenses, which must be very considerable, as from all the information I can obtain upon the subject from captains of British ships and others acquainted with the emigration and passenger business, it will cost at least £6 15s. to £7 10s. per man, under the best and most economical arrangement that can be devised to convoy them from here to Halifax, and many of them will require assistance to get here from the interior. It would, therefore, be necessary to make at least £6 available to the party undertaking the business, leaving say £2 10s. as a contingent surplus to meet any deficit that might arise from accident or inefficiency of any portion of those sent forward, which, however, I do not apprehend, leaving £8 as the maximum amount chargeable to Government.Mr. Martin then proposed the following form of notice, and asked whether it could be legally published:—The A 1 passenger ship—will sail for Halifax, on Tuesday, June 5, and will be followed by a ship of the same class on each succeeding Tuesday throughout the summer, or so long as freight and passengers will offer to justify their continuance.Mr. Lumley's answer was—I have delayed replying to your letter of the 12th instant, until I could obtain the opinion of an eminent American lawyer on the subject to which it relates, and I now beg to inform you that there cannot be the slightest objection to your inserting the notice (copy of which was transmitted in your letter) in any newspaper you may think fit. I am also able to inform you that the collector at New Orleans has no legal autho- 64 rity to prevent ships clearing out with emigrants for Halifax, or any other part of the British dominions, even should those persons have declared their intention of enlisting on reaching British territory. Any person may, of his own free will, emigrate for the purpose of enlisting; but it is illegal to engage a person within the United States to enlist in the British army… I must therefore warn you that the act of giving assistance to persons in the interior to enable them to emigrate might possibly be considered in the light of an infraction of the law. There is, however, no doubt that the captains of ships affording a free passage to such emigrants will be reimbursed for the expenses of any number of able-bodied men who may enlist on reaching Halifax.[An hon. MEMBER: Read, read!] He (Sir F. Thesiger) was quite ready to read the next sentence. It was—From the enclosed extract, containing an account of a late trial at Philadelphia, you will perceive that Judge Kane has even expressed the opinion 'that the payment of the passage from this country of a man who desires to enlist in a foreign port does not come within the Act.'He must remind his hon. and learned Friend who had cheered that, when an application was made to Judge Kane to release Hertz, Stroebel, and others, the Judge appeared, according to the representation of Mr. Lumley, to have expressed his opinion that the payment of passage-money would not be illegal; but when Judge Kane tried Hertz and other parties he changed his opinion, and the view taken by Judge Kane at one time was therefore neutralised by his opinion at another period. With very great submission to Judge Kane or any other Judge, he (Sir F. Thesiger) would venture to say that if any person paid the passage-money of another to a foreign State, for the purpose of enlistment, that would as nearly approach "hiring and retaining" as anything he could possibly imagine, and would come not only within the spirit, but, in his belief, within the very letter of the law. He desired to call attention to these circumstances to show the secret proceedings of the parties with respect to enlistment, and he would now read to the House the instructions issued by Mr. Crampton to all the agents whom he employed:—It is essential to success that no assemblages of persons should take place at beer-houses or other similar places of entertainment for the purpose of devising measures for enlisting, and the parties should scrupulously avoid resorting to this or similar means of disseminating the desired information, inasmuch as the attention of the American authorities would not fail to be called to such proceedings, which would undoubtedly be regarded by them as an attempt to carry on re- 65 cruiting for a foreign Power within the limits of the United States; and it certainly must be borne in mind that the institution of legal proceedings against any of the parties in question, even if they were to elude the penalty, would be fatal to the success of the enlistment itself.His hon. and learned Friend the Attorney General had argued that the steps taken in the United States for the purpose of procuring recruits were perfectly legal, and that there had been no infringement of the law; but from the proceedings of the parties, and their endeavours at concealment, it was perfectly clear, they evidently thought that they were doing what they could not justify. That was, in his opinion, the strongest proof that the parties engaged in those proceedings did not adopt the view of the case which had been ingeniously pressed on their behalf—in the first instance by Mr. Crampton and Lord Clarendon, and afterwards by his hon. and learned Friend the Attorney General. It had been said that Mr. Marcy was aware of all that had been going on, and that he acquiesced in the proceedings, at least by his silence. Now how did that appear? The hon. Member for Mayo had compared the proclamation of Sir Gaspard le Marchant with the proclamation of Mr. Angus M'Donald, and no answer had been given by the hon. and learned Attorney General to that part of the case. When the hon. Member for Mayo referred to those proclamations the Attorney General cheered, no doubt because he intended to insist that the proclamation of Sir Gaspard le Marchant having been issued at Halifax, and within Her Majesty's territories, was perfectly legal. He would, however, call the attention of the Attorney General to the fact that the Halifax proclamation must have found its way to the United States, for the proclamation of Mr. Angus M'Donald, which was dated five days later than the proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, offered terms precisely similar to those proposed by Sir Gaspard le Marchant. In Mr. M'Donald's proclamation, he stated that the British Government offered "a bounty of £6, or 30 dollars, together with the pay of 8 dollars a month, rations, good clothing, and warm quarters, to every effective man fit for military duty, from nineteen to forty years of age, to join which are invited English, Irish, Scotch, and Germans." The proclamation of Sir Gaspard le Marchant stated that—The Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia having been empowered to embody a foreign 66 legion, and to raise British regiments for service in the provinces or abroad, notice is hereby given, that able-bodied men, between the ages of nineteen and forty, on applying at the depot at Halifax, will receive a bounty of £6 sterling, equal to 30 dollars, and on being enrolled will receive 8 dollars per month, with the clothing, quarters, and other advantages to which British soldiers are entitled.There could be no doubt, he apprehended, that the proclamation of Sir Gaspard le Marchant had found its way to the United States, and had been copied by Mr. Angus M'Donald. Now, did Mr. Marcy receive any intimation from Mr. Crampton as to the proceedings for the enlistment of troops? An attempt had been made to induce the House to suppose that Mr. Marcy was informed of these clandestine and secret modes of enticing and alluring men to leave the United States for the purpose of enlistment; but in his letter to Lord Clarendon of the 7th of May, Mr. Lumley stated that he read to Mr. Marcy a copy of Lord Clarendon's despatch of the 12th of April, and he added—Mr. Marcy appeared much pleased with this communication, and said that, as the question was one which had engaged the attention of the United States' Government, he should be very glad to be able to show this despatch to the Cabinet. … Mr. Crampton was anxious that the United States' Government should not for a moment suppose that a project for enlisting troops for Her Majesty's service within the United States had ever been contemplated.Now he would confidently ask any candid and dispassionate person whether it was possible, after such a communication was made by Mr. Lumley, that Mr. Marcy could entertain any other idea than that the project of enlistment was entirely abandoned, and that Her Majesty's Government had no intention of procuring men from the United States? That was the state of things when, at last, the attention of the American Government was called to the proceedings upon the subject of the enlistments, and on the 6th of July, 1855, Mr. Buchanan addressed Lord Clarendon on the subject. He (Sir F. Thesiger) most earnestly invited the attention of the House to the course of that correspondence. He would not weary them with many extracts; he had with much trouble taken different passages from the letters, which would be sufficient; and if there were any portions of those letters which would qualify the passages to which he was about to refer, he should feel indebted to any hon. 67 Member who would point them out. On the 6th of July, 1855, Mr. Buchanan called the attention of Lord Clarendon to these proceedings. He said:—The disclosures made within the very last month, upon a judicial investigation at Boston (a report of which is now before the undersigned), afford good reason to believe that an extensive plan has been organised by British functionaries and agents, and is now in successful operation in different parts of the Union, to furnish recruits for the British army. The plain and imperative duties of neutrality, under the law of nations, require that a neutral nation shall not suffer its territory to become the theatre on which one of the belligerents might raise armies to wage war against the other. If such a permission were granted, the partiality which this would manifest in favour of one belligerent to the prejudice of the other could not fail to produce just complaints on the part of the injured belligerent, and might eventually involve the neutral as a party in the war.And, then, in conclusion, he said—In view of all these considerations, the President has instructed the undersigned to ascertain from the Earl of Clarendon how far persons in official station under the British Government have acted, whether with or without its approbation, either in enlisting persons within the United States, or engaging them to proceed thence to the British provinces, for the purpose of being there enlisted; and what measures, if any, have been taken to restrain their unjustifiable conduct?That was the distinct and specific demand on the part of Mr. Buchanan. How, he would ask, was it met by Lord Clarendon, in his letter of the 16th of July, 1855?—The undersigned, &c., has the honour to acknowledge the receipt of the note which Mr. Buchanan, &c., addressed to him on the 6th inst., respecting attempts stated to have been recently made to enlist within the limits of the United States soldiers for the British army. The undersigned must, in the first instance, express the regret of Her Majesty's Government if the law of the United States has been in any way infringed by persons acting with or without any authority from them; and it is hardly necessary for the undersigned to assure Mr. Buchanan that any such infringement of the law of the United States is entirely contrary to the wishes and to the positive instructions of Her Majesty's Government.The House would, probably, allow him to point out this fact—that although it had been unqualifiedly asserted by Lord Clarendon that he had made the most frank expression of regret on the part of the British Government for any violation of the American law, yet he (Sir F. Thesiger) believed he was right in saying that the only passage to which Lord Clarendon could refer in the whole of his correspondence in support of that assertion was the passage 68 to which he (Sir F. Thesiger) had just referred, and that was not an expression of regret. It was an expression of regret "if the law of the United States had been in any way infringed by persons acting with or without any authority from the British Government;" and he went on to assert that the British Government had an incontestable right to recruit Her Majesty's army in the British North American possessions, whether from subjects of the Queen or foreigners, who were willing to enter Her Majesty's service. Therefore, so far from expressing regret at the course which had been pursued, hon. Members would perceive that Lord Clarendon justified himself; and from first to last never abandoned the position—that he had a right to do what he had done, and that the American Government had no just cause of complaint. He went on to say—Her Majesty's Government do not deny that the acts and advertisements of these self-constituted and unauthorised agents were in many instances undoubted violations of the law of the United States; but such persons had no authority whatever for their proceedings from any British agents, by all of whom they were promptly and unequivocally disavowed.Lord Clarendon had previously said that—Her Majesty's Government, desirous of availing themselves of the offers of these volunteers, adopted the measures necessary for making generally known that Her Majesty's Government were ready to do so, and for receiving such persons as should present themselves at the appointed place in one of the British possessions.Lord Clarendon admitted that the acts of those unauthorised and advertising agents were clearly illegal, but he did not condescend to tell what were the particular acts of the accredited and authorised agents of the Government which rendered them different from the acts of the advertising and unauthorised agents. Again, Lord Clarendon, in his letter of the 16th of July, gave no answer to the question put to him by Mr. Buchanan, namely—How far persons in official station under the British Government had acted, whether with or without its approbation, either in enlisting persons within the United States or engaging them to proceed thence to the British provinces for the purpose of being there enlisted, and what measures, if any, had been taken to restrain their unjustifiable conduct?That letter of Lord Clarendon, being of course very unsatisfactory, Mr. Marcy, on the 5th of September, 1855, wrote again, and distinctly stated what it was of which the American Government complained:— 69The President perceives with much regret that the disclosures implicate you (Mr. Crampton) in these proceedings; he has therefore preferred to communicate the views contained in this note to Her Majesty's Government through you, Her representative here, rather than through our Minister at London. The information in his possession does not allow him to doubt that yourself, as well as the Lieutenant General of Nova Scotia, and several civil and military officers of the British Government of rank in the provinces, were instrumental in setting on foot this scheme of enlistment, have offered inducements to agents to embark in it, and approved the arrangements for carrying it out, which embraced various recruiting establishments in different cities of the United States, and made liberal provision for funds to be used as inducements for persons residing therein to leave the country for the purpose of enlisting in the British military service.And he then returned to the demand which he had previously made, and said—The object of this note is to ascertain how far the acts of the known and acknowledged agents of the British Government, done within the United States, in carrying out this scheme of recruiting for the British army, have been authorised or sanctioned by Her Majesty's Government.Now, there was a clear categorical demand, which deserved a distinct and unequivocal answer, and he must express his opinion that he for one exceedingly regretted that Lord Clarendon so far forgot the courtesy which was due to the American Government, in the correspondence that was taking place between them, as to write the letter of the 27th of September, 1855, in which he made the most offensive remarks on the American Government, and, instead of answering the question which had been put to him, retaliated upon the Americans, and told them that they themselves had been guilty of a breach of the neutrality laws. He said—Her Majesty's Government have no reason to believe that such has been the conduct of any person in the employment of Her Majesty, and it is needless to say that any person so employed would have departed no less from the intentions of Her Majesty's Government by violating international law, or by offering an affront to the sovereignty of the United States, than by infringing the municipal laws of the Union, to which Mr. Buchanan more particularly called the attention of the undersigned. Her Majesty's Government feel confident that even the extraordinary measures which have been adopted in various parts of the Union to obtain evidence against Her Majesty's servants or their agents by practices sometimes resorted to under despotic institutions, but which are disdained by all free and enlightened Governments, will fail to establish any well-founded charge against Her Majesty's servants.He then went on to say— 70The British Government is fully aware of the obligations of international duties, and is no less mindful of those obligations than is the Government of the United States. The observance of those obligations ought, undoubtedly, to be reciprocal, and Her Majesty's Government do not impute to the Government of the United States that, while claiming an observance of those obligations by Great Britain, they are lax in enforcing a respect for those obligations within the Union.Now, that passage was not the less offensive because it was indirect—because it was a mere insinuation, and not a direct charge; and he certainly did exceedingly regret that Lord Clarendon should have so far forgotten himself as to have written a letter of that description in answer to what must be considered as a just demand, on the part of the American Government, because he felt that this had led to all the differences, and to all the bitterness and ill-feeling which existed between the two countries, and which were so deeply to be deplored. On the 13th of October, 1855, Mr. Marcy wrote a letter to Mr. Buchanan, in which he, first of all, replied to the remarks which had been made with respect to a breach of neutrality by the United States, and denied the imputation cast upon him in Lord Clarendon's letter, and then proceeded to say—Supported as this Government is in the charge made against British officers and agents of having infringed our laws and violated our sovereign territorial rights, and being able to sustain that charge by competent proof, the President would fail in due respect for the national character of the United States, and in his duty to maintain it, if he did not decline to accept as a satisfaction for the wrongs complained of Lord Clarendon's assurance that these officials were enjoined a strict observance of our laws, and that he does not believe that any of them have disregarded the injunction. This Government believes, and has abundant proof to warrant its belief, that Her Britannic Majesty's officers and agents have transgressed our laws and disregarded our rights, and that its solemn duty requires that it should vindicate both by insisting upon a proper satisfaction. The President indulges the hope that this demand for redress will be deemed reasonable, and be acceded to by Her Britannic Majesty's Government. This Government has indicated the satisfaction which it believes it has a right to claim from the British Government in my despatch to you of the 15th of July last.That despatch, of the 15th of July, was not delivered to Lord Clarendon until the 2nd of November. His Lordship has stated that Mr. Buchanan withheld it because he considered the British Foreign Secretary's despatch of July 16 entirely satisfactory, and would settle all the disputes which had arisen. He (Sir F. 71 Thesiger) thought that Lord Clarendon went too far in attributing entire satisfaction to Mr. Buchanan; but whether Mr. Buchanan was satisfied or not was wholly immaterial, the question being whether the American Government was satisfied. Now the House would observe that the American Government asked originally for much less satisfaction than they afterwards demanded. In page 121 they required Her Majesty's Government to "take prompt and effective measures to arrest their proceedings and to discharge from service those persons now in it who were enlisted within the United States, or who left the United States under contracts made here to enter and serve as soldiers in the British army." He ought, just in passing, to say that Lord Clarendon declared before that letter was received he had sent out orders to stop the recruiting. What, however, did Lord Clarendon reply to the above moderate demand? Why, the noble Lord wrote that letter of the 16th of November, 1855, in which he justified his whole proceedings, and contended that he had a right to do everything he had done:—It appears to Her Majesty's Government that, provided only that no actual 'recruiting' (that is, enlisting or hiring) takes place within the United States, British officers who, within the United States' territories, might point out the routes which intending recruits should follow, or explain to them the terms upon which they would be accepted, or publish and proclaim such terms, or even defray their travelling expenses, or do similar acts, could not be justly charged with violating such sovereign territorial rights. It has been legally decided in the United States that the payment of the passage from that country of a man who is desirous to enlist in a foreign port does not come within the Neutrality Laws of the United States; and that a person may go abroad, provided the enlistment be in a foreign place, not having accepted and exercised a commission. It would indeed be a violation of territorial right to enlist, and organise, and train men as British soldiers within the United States, and whether or not this has been done by British authority is the question involved in the first of Mr. Marcy's charges; but it is no violation of such right to persuade or to assist men merely to leave the United States' territory, and to go into British territory, in order, when they arrive there, either to be voluntarily enlisted in the British service or not, at their own discretionThen, in page 128, his Lordship continued with the following extraordinary passage—It only remains for me to state that no enlistment in the British service is valid without attestation, and that according to British law, a recruit cannot be attested in a foreign country, 72 nor even in the British colonies, without a specially delegated authority for that purpose. No binding contract could, therefore, be made with any man within the United States; promises might be so made, but any money given to men to enable them to repair to places beyond the United States' territory for the purpose of being enlisted would be advanced at a risk. Nevertheless, if it can be shown that there are persons now in the foreign legion who have been enlisted or hired in violation of the United States' law, as well as of the British law, Her Majesty's Government will be prepared to offer them their discharge, and to give them a free passage back to the United States if they choose to return thither.Now, that was Lord Clarendon's view of what this nation had a right to do with regard to the territory of the United States. That was his assertion of British right, and he (Sir F. Thesiger) thought Mr. Marcy might very well say, "Although you have discontinued your system of recruiting, yet you keep these principles in reserve for some future occasion, and, therefore, we are bound in self-defence to meet them and to deny that you are correct in the view you have presented to us." Could anything be more extraordinary than the principle which Lord Clarendon laid down. In effect it was this—"No recruiting in the English service is valid without attestation; no attestation can take place in a foreign country; but if it can be shown that any persons have been enlisted in violation of the United States' law as well as of the British law, I am willing to discharge them." It was perfectly illusory for Lord Clarendon to offer such an explanation as a satisfaction to the American Government. It was true that an explanation had been given by Lord Clarendon in his letter to Mr. Dallas, and that explanation he would here quote—The undersigned must also further observe that Mr. Marcy, in the same despatch, has misconceived the meaning of an expression used by the undersigned in making an offer, above referred to, that any man who might have been enlisted within the United States should be immediately discharged and sent back. The reference there made to British law was merely intended to indicate that if persons had been enlisted under the circumstances supposed, such enlistment would have been at variance with British as well as with American law; but the undersigned did not mean that respect would not be paid, in the discharge of men, to the principles of the law of the United States alone, should that law appear to have been violated in a single case.Now, if that was the meaning of Lord Clarendon, he was very unhappy in expressing it previously. Certainly the introduction of the allusion to the necessity 73 of attestation was calculated to mislead, and he (Sir F. Thesiger) could not comprehend why it should have been introduced except for the purpose of showing that there were no persons to whom the obligation of giving a discharge could apply, and, therefore, that Lord Clarendon could not comply with the demand made upon him. Now, he would ask was that interpretation a right one? Why, Lord Clarendon, in this letter to Mr. Dallas, stated this in so many terms—The satisfaction," he observed, "which the Government of the United States after mature deliberation had demanded had either been spontaneously and by anticipation granted, or had been shown to be impracticable, because there was no man in the British service whose enlistment, or contract to enlist, had, to the knowledge of Her Majesty's Government taken place in the manner specified by Mr. Marcy in his despatch of the 15th of July; and whose dischage, therefore, could form part of the satisfaction indicated by Mr. Marcy.Could anything be considered more illusory than the course adopted by Lord Clarendon for the purpose of meeting the demands for satisfaction made by the American Government? And was anything more natural than that, his Lordship having refused to give the extremely moderate satisfaction thus required, the American Government should then rise in their demands? For one moment he would call the attention of the House to the observations made by Mr. Marcy upon Lord Clarendon's arguments with reference to the enlistment question. In his letter of the 28th of December, 1855, Mr. Marcy said—This Government does not contest Lord Clarendon's two propositions in respect to the sovereign rights of the United States; first, that in the absence of municipal law, Great Britain may enlist, hire, or engage, as soldiers, within the British territory, persons who have left the United States for that purpose. This proposition is, however, to be understood as not applying to persons who have been enticed away from this country by tempting offers of reward, such as commissions in the British army, high wages, liberal bounties, pensions, and portions of the Royal domain, urged on them while within the United States, by the officers and agents of Her Majesty's Government. … In this view of the question as to the rights of territory, irrespective of municipal law, Lord Clarendon is understood to maintain that Her Majesty's Government may authorise agents to do anything within the United States short of enlisting, and organising, and training men as soldiers for the British army, with perfect respect to the sovereign rights of this country. This proposition is exactly the reverse of that maintained by this Government, which holds that no foreign Power whatever has the right to do either of the specified acts with- 74 out its consent. … Lord Clarendon, it is true, uses language in other parts of that despatch which seems to admit that enlisting into foreign military service within the United States, or hiring or retaining persons to leave the United States to enlist into such service, would be a violation of the United States' neutrality law; but this admission amounts to nothing when taken in connection with his definition of the terms enlisting, hiring, or retaining. In his view, as I understand it, each act must be the result of a valid contract. If the persons are not bound when they have left the United States to perfect their enlistment, then there has been no violation of the United States' law.Then, pursued Mr. Marcy, according to Lord Clarendon's argument, the English recruiting agents were at liberty to—Penetrate every part of the country, open rendezvous in any city, publish handbills, ornamented with the emblem of England's, royalty, presenting every inducement for enlistment which a United States' officer engaged in recruiting troops for his own Government could offer; and yet, in doing all these things they would comply with the stringent instructions so often repeated to them, and now so much relied on for their justification—not to violate the United States' Law of Neutrality.Well, then, unhappily the American Administration, owing to the course taken by Her Majesty's Government, found themselves compelled to demand the removal of Mr. Crampton. Now, he would ask the House whether Lord Clarendon, first of all, in that offensive letter which he wrote in answer to the question, whether the acts of the authorised agents of the Government were approved by them; and, next, in refusing the moderate satisfaction which the United States demanded, had not driven the American Government into a position which rendered it absolutely necessary that they should take steps to vindicate their sovereign rights? It appeared to him that Lord Clarendon might have prevented the indignity which had thus been cast upon us. He might have admitted that the course pursued by our agents was wrong, and on that ground he might have withdrawn the Minister and removed the Consuls. At the same time, if he thought they had been faithful servants, he could have provided for them in some other way. Unfortunately, Lord Clarendon adopted a different course. On the 30th of April, 1856, he wrote to Mr. Dallas a letter, in which he adverted to the application that had been made to disavow the acts of the agents of Her Majesty's Government. He said—With respect to the first part of this demand Her Majesty's Government deny that any illegal 75 proceedings were, so far as they knew, committed by its officers or authorised agents, and, therefore, they have none to disavow, and no officers or agents to deal with as offenders.Then, again—With respect to Mr. Crampton, the undersigned has to state that Mr. Crampton positively and distinctly denies the charge brought against him; he declares that he never hired, or retained, or engaged a single person within the United States for the service of Her Majesty, and that he never countenanced or encouraged any violation of the law of the United States.With regard to the consuls, Lord Clarendon stated that they actually denied the charge against them that they had violated the laws of the United States, and he went on to express the earnest hope that these explanations and assurances would prove satisfactory, and effectually remove any misapprehension which might have existed. The House would, however, observe that Lord Clarendon distinctly recognised and sanctioned the acts of Mr. Crampton and the consular agents, saying he had nothing to disavow, and denying that any acts had been committed but those particular acts of which he had been informed. The House would doubtless bear in mind that when that letter was written, on the 30th of April last, to Mr. Dallas, Lord Clarendon was in possession of the whole of the correspondence that took place in February and March of 1855, in which it was proposed that there should be secret proceedings for the purpose of procuring recruits safely, without alarming the United States; and that, therefore, Lord Clarendon was perfectly aware of what had been done from beginning to end. They knew, also, what were Lord Clarendon's views so late as the month of May, for on the 27th of that month he was reported to have said—There would have been no shortcoming on the part of Her Majesty's Government if we had seen reason to adopt a contrary course, or no hesitation to deal severely with any agent who should so far have forgotten his duty and been unmindful of his instructions as to violate the laws of the United States; but being convinced that that had not been done, and having in our possession the means of proving to the United States that it was not done, I think nobody will require of us to sacrifice our agents and to purchase a conciliation with the United States by doing that which would be both shabby and dishonourable.On the 27th of May the American Government wrote in these terms:— 76The unequivocal disclaimer by Her Majesty's Government of any intention either to infringe the law or to disregard the policy, or not to respect the sovereign rights of the United States, and their expression of regret, 'if, contrary, to their intentions and to their reiterated directions, there has been any infringement of the laws of the United States,' are satisfactory to the President. The ground of complaint, so far as respects Her Majesty's Government is thus removed. But the President extremely regrets that he cannot concur in Lord Clarendon's favourable opinion of the conduct of some of Her Majesty's officers, who were, as this Government believed, and after due consideration of all which has been offered in their defence, still believes, implicated in proceedings which were so clearly an infringement of the laws and sovereign rights of this country.Lord Clarendon was told that America was dissatisfied with the British Government's agents by reason of their having acted contrary to the reiterated instructions of their "own Government." Why, he knew perfectly well that they had acted with the perfect sanction of the British Government from beginning to end of the whole transaction. Lord Clarendon said that it would be both shabby and dishonourable to sacrifice those agents who had only been faithful in performing their duty. And yet he accepted the above statement from the American Government without remonstrance against its interpretation of the conduct of the Minister and the consuls. The manly, straightforward course would have been to say, "Do not mistake—do not suppose you are dismissing agents who have disregarded their duty to us; they have not disobeyed the reiterated instructions they have received, but, on the contrary, they have faithfully performed everything we required of them, and therefore we ought also to fall under the same censure, and suffer with them." Now, that undoubtedly would have been a straightforward course, but one was almost pained to read the answer returned by Lord Clarendon. He said—Her Majesty's Government retain the high opinion which they have ever held of the zeal, ability, and integrity of Mr. Crampton, and of the earnest desire by which he has ever been animated to avoid all great cause of offence to the Government to which he was accredited.Again,—If Her Majesty's Government had been convinced, like the Government of the United States, that Her Majesty's officers had, in defiance of their instructions, violated the laws of the United States, Her Majesty's Government would have removed those officers from the posts which they held.Then he proceeded to say,— 77But, in the present case, Her Majesty's Government are bound to accept the formal and repeated declarations of the President of his belief that these officers of Her Majesty have violated the laws of the Union, and are on that account unacceptable organs of communication with the Government and authorities of the United States.Now, was not that sacrificing those men and making an atonement for conduct which Lord Clarendon himself had characterised in terms which he (Sir F. Thesiger) would be loth to use? He had now brought the matter to this point, and he felt bound to say that he was in no way apprehensive that the discussion would produce irritation or keep alive any bad feeling in the mind of any American. For his own part, he believed that if the Government and the people of the United States perceived that the doctrines and principles put forward in the matter by Lord Clarendon were not sympathised with and agreed to by the House of Commons, it would go far to tranquillise and allay any bitter feeling in the United States which might have been created by the improper conduct of Her Majesty's Government. The question to be asked was—Were the United States right in the course which they have adopted, or were they wrong? Now, the answer to that question depended upon another question, which was—Were Her Majesty's Government justified in carrying out the clandestine and secret schemes which they set on foot, for the purpose and with the idea of invading the neutrality laws of the United States? If Her Majesty's Government were not justified in adopting that course, then the dismissal of the British Ambassador was perfectly right on the part of the Government of the United States, and this country must submit to the indignity which it had received in consequence of the policy of the Government. Now, he wished hon. Members to observe that he used the word indignity advisedly, because no one could doubt that to be obliged to submit to the dismissal of the British Minister placed this country in a position of humiliation and degradation, because it was a tacit confession that we had been in the wrong, and the Government of the United States in the right. He himself could imagine nothing so calculated to degrade England in the eyes of foreign States, and he had been much struck with a passage which he had seen quoted from a foreign newspaper, and which showed the opinion entertained abroad of the conduct of Her Majesty's Government—an opinion unhappily dero- 78 gatory to the British name and character. That passage was—It is far from our intention to blame the prudence, the circumspection, and even the humility of the Government and statesmen of England, which are commanded in the name of such great interests. But, nevertheless, we will permit ourselves to remark that the spectacle offered by the British Administration by no means corresponds with the ideas we had formed of a great Government. This moderation, this patience, pushed to the limits of abnegation in the presence of a cool and premeditated insult; this desertion of an agent who was declared up to the last moment worthy of responsibility; this facility of turning and of viewing matters in their best light, astonishes us above all. But, after all, the honour at stake is not our own, and it is not for us to take it under our protection.Did not that passage forcibly remind one of the celebrated expression of Lord Chatham—"Yesterday England might have stood alone against the world; now there is none so poor as to do her homage." Who had brought the country into such a position? The answer was a plain one—Her Majesty's Government. He could not, then, hesitate to vote for a Motion, the purport of which was, that the conduct of Her Majesty's Government did not entitle them to the approbation of that House.
§ MR. J. G. PHILLIMORE
said, in his opinion the discussion of the subject was not at all calculated to strengthen the hands of the Government in the negotiations in which they were now engaged, and was strongly to be deprecated, as contrary to the interests which every Englishman was anxious to promote. Before proceeding to analyse the case, he wished to refer to some observations made by the hon. and learned Gentleman, who had just resumed his seat, towards the close of his speech. The hon. and learned Gentleman had asked if the House were ready to submit to the insult of the dismissal of a British Ambassador. Now, it was an established principle of international law that any State had the right of demanding the recall of an Ambassador accredited to it, and that right had frequently been exercised. ["Hear, hear!"] He repeated that any State had a right, according to the law of nations, to demand the recall of an Ambassador. There was no point of international law more clear to any one at all acquainted with it. When Charles II. came to the throne—although he was on most friendly terms with the French Court—he demanded the recall of the French Ambassador. It was absurd, therefore, to suppose that the dismissal of an Ambassa- 79 dor made war inevitable, or imposed the alternative either of declaring war or of sending another Ambassador. The hon. and learned Gentleman (Sir F. Thesiger) had declared that the proclamation of M'Donald, disavowed by our Government, was the same as that which had been issued at Halifax. But the distinction was, that the latter had been issued in Halifax, while the former was published in New York, which was within the territory of the United States. The law of America did not upon this subject resemble the English law. The policy of the law of England was to forbid a British subject from enlisting in a foreign service without the consent of the Sovereign, whereas the policy of the United States permitted any subject of those States out of their territory to enter the service of foreign Powers. Then the Government of the United States, giving this encouragement to the propensities their own subjects were perpetually displaying of engaging in war with other countries, were taking advantage, in order to fix a quarrel upon us, of the acts of our agent for a similar purpose. There were many persons in the United States who might properly have joined with us in the late war. Some who had suffered from the tyranny of Russia—some who were English subjects. Was there any harm or wrong in inviting them to go to Halifax to be enlisted in our army? Judge Kane had laid it down that the important words in the law were "hire or retain," which included mutuality of engagement, and meant the having paid, or engaged to pay, or perform a contract. Judge Kane further said, "I do not think that the payment of the passage from the country of any men who desired to enlist in a foreign port, would be an act within the law." It was no answer to say that the Judge had afterwards altered his opinion. For if a Judge might mistake the law, a British agent might very well be excused for mistaking it. The fact was that the American law was that the subjects of the United States might go and bucaneer as they pleased abroad, and engage in any contest, however violently—or disturb the tranquillity of any nation, however peaceful, provided they made no engagement on the soil of the United States. The English law did not allow this without the consent of the Sovereign. It was all very well to talk of the contrary statements of Lord Clarendon; but let the House listen to the inconsistent statements of the President of 80 the United States. On the 6th December, 1855, the President said it was a mistake to suppose that the men who had left California, for the purpose of entering the military service of Nicaragua, had left to the knowledge of the California authorities with that hostile object. "On the contrary, whenever there is reason to think that such purposes are entertained, every attempt is made to prevent their departure." And on the 25th April, 1856, the President said:—The right of expatriation is not withheld from the citizens of any free State, and no Government can have authority to examine into the motives which lead subjects to exercise the right.Surely the hon. and learned Gentleman (Sir F. Thesiger), who was so eager at detecting the inconsistency of the English Minister, might have observed the contradictory statements of the American President. Throughout the whole of the transactions Lord Clarendon had shown the utmost anxiety to avoid any infringement upon the law of the United States. What reason was there, therefore, to doubt his sincerity? What was the conduct of the Government when they found that, in spite of their precautions, their directions had been violated—in consequence of the law of the United States, anomalous as it was, encouraging the conduct which it did not choose to authorise, and allowing the predatory habits of its people, while at the same time desirous of getting credit for its morality? When the Government of Her Majesty found that to be the case they sent out instructions to put an end to all the proceedings complained of. On the 16th of July, Lord Clarendon wrote to Mr. Buchanan that Her Majesty's Government, having reason to think, that no precautionary measures, with whatever honesty they might be carried out, would effectually guard against a real or apparent infringement of the law of the United States, had determined that all proceedings for enlistment should be put an end to, and that instructions to that effect were sent out before Mr. Buchanan's letter was received. Even if the municipal law of the United States had been transgressed, a high-spirited and generous nation ought to have accepted such a statement as that as a complete satisfaction. He believed it was so accepted by Mr. Buchanan; for Mr. Buchanan, in consequence of the receipt of that letter, did not present the despatch which he had received for Lord Clarendon. Would it not have been more consistent 81 with the honour and dignity of a great nation to accept that declaration as frankly as it was made, than to rely upon the testimony of such worthless scoundrels as Hertz and Stroebel? In speaking of the tone of Lord Clarendon's despatches, his hon. and learned Friend appeared to forget that Lord Clarendon was the Minister of a great country, and to overlook the provocation which he had received. In the very same breath in which the United States Minister admitted the testimony against the British agents to be that of scoundrels, he insisted upon and repeated that testimony. What, moreover, was the language of the United States Attorney General in his opening speech at a great State prosecution? He said,—The various schemes which have been adopted for the support of the balance of power by the potentates of Europe have never advanced, and never will advance, those republican institutions which it is our duty to foster. On the contrary, these combinations have been at all times made the means of obstructing in Europe the progress of the democratic spirit, and of prostrating the masses more thoroughly beneath the yoke of an overgrown and decaying aristocracy.Such was the manner in which the representative of the United States Government chose to speak of the institutions of this country. If any wrong had been done it was done without the sanction, direct or indirect, of Lord Clarendon. He defied any one to show from the correspondence that his Lordship ever countenanced the slightest infraction of the law of the United States; and, moreover, he maintained that the whole of the evidence which showed that any offence had in fact been committed was utterly worthless. The President of the United States had admitted that the offence was not intentional on the part of the British Government, and he (Mr. Phillimore) could not see anything in the conduct or history of the United States which should lead us to think that its Government felt any real indignation at what had taken place. When he reflected on the conduct of the United States with regard to this country, and its bearing towards other nations, he could not but be reminded of the words of Junius, when he spoke of the prude who prosecuted one man for rape, while, at the same time, she solicited the advances of another. Considering the excessive indignation which had been displayed by the United States Government in relation to the affair, and comparing with it their conduct with reference to Nicaragua, he thought the applica- 82 tion of those words was à propos. The case of the British Government rested on the simplest basis possible. First, he contended that the law of the United States allowed enlistment for a foreign service; and secondly, there had been no violation of that law. The allegation of violation rested on testimony the most worthless; the contradiction rested on the word of a man of unblemished reputation.
§ MR. H. BAILLIE
Sir, Her Majesty's Attorney General was perfectly correct in stating that, in deference to many hon. Gentlemen with whom generally I have the honour to act, I withdrew the Motion of which I had given notice on this subject. But, at the same time, I must state to the House that I have no reason whatever to complain of the course taken by the hon. Member for Mayo (Mr. G. H. Moore). He, no doubt, believes that the time has arrived when it is impossible for Parliament, without failing in its duty, any longer to remain silent, and that the House is bound to give the case that consideration which the vast importance of the subject imperatively demands. Sir, it is impossible to deny that this is a question in which the honour and character of the nation are involved. Whatever may be our differences of opinion in this House as to the origin of that war in which we have unfortunately been engaged, or as to the manner in which it has been conducted, we shall all, I trust, be equally prepared to maintain and vindicate the honour of our country. That honour, Sir, has been compromised; not, indeed, by the dismissal of Her Majesty's envoy from Washington, but because the Ministers of the Crown have thought fit to maintain and declare that he has been dismissed without a reason and without a cause—that he has committed no offence, and that he has violated no law. Sir, if all these allegations be true, an outrageous insult has then been offered to the people of this country which the Government of Her Majesty has failed in a proper manner to resent. But in discussing this question I consider that it is necessary to go to its origin. We have often been told in this House that the late war with Russia was popular throughout the country, that a great martial spirit had prevailed among the people. If that be true we have a right to ask the Ministers of the Crown how it was that they were unable to fill up the ranks of their army in this country and raise the necessary number of men in order that the war might be; carried on with vigour. We have further 83 a right to ask the Ministers of the Crown how it was that they felt themselves under the necessity of employing agents to solicit and seduce the people of the United States to enter the service of Her Majesty contrary to the wishes and laws of that country. These, I think, are important questions well worthy the anxious attention and consideration of Parliament. Sir, I am not one of those who opposed the Foreign Enlistment Bill in this House. Whatever might have been the objections which I entertained to that measure, I thought at the time it was desirable that at the commencement of the war full and ample powers should be given to the Executive Government; but I certainly did not anticipate that they would have abused them. I never for one moment anticipated that the Government would have brought forward a Bill in this House to sanction foreign enlistment without having by previous inquiry and negotiation ascertained that permission would be given to the raising of a foreign legion. Such has always been the practice adopted by modern European nations. It has always been the practice of France. Not only has that country obtained the permission of the Swiss Government previously to enlistment, but it has also sought the assistance of the municipal authorities. Such likewise is the practice of the Roman and Neapolitan Governments, by both of whom it is well known Swiss legions are engaged. But, Sir, it has been reserved for the Ministers of England to set all decency at defiance, and outrage the laws of other States, calling down upon themselves a just rebuke from the Government of the United States. Fortunate will it be for this country if their proceeding does not lead to still more disastrous results. It has always appeared to me, Sir, that Her Majesty's Government neglected their duty in not impressing on the minds of the people of this country that, if they were anxious that the war should be carried on with vigour, they must be prepared to submit to all the evils and inconveniences which a state of war necessarily entails upon civilised nations. It was, I apprehend, because the First Minister of the Crown shrank from the unpopularity of affirming that principle that the character of the country has been compromised and lowered. I cannot conceive a greater insult to a nation than to attempt to seduce its subjects from their allegiance for the purpose of their serving against a Power 84 with whom their Government is on friendly terms. Let us for a moment reverse the case. Let us suppose that some foreign nation did to us what we are accused of doing towards Prussia, Switzerland, and the United States. Suppose that during the last two years we had been at peace with Russia; that the Government and people of this country meant well to the Russian people; and that the war against Russia had been carried on by France alone. Suppose that the Russian Government, finding it impossible to man her fleets, had sent agents into our seaports to give bounties to our sailors to serve against France, contrary to the wishes and remonstrances of our Government. Suppose they sent vessels into the Thames and the Mersey, and fitted out ships with our sailors. Could, I ask, any Government exist in this country which was not prepared to resent such an insult? How, then, can we be surprised at the course taken by the Government of the United States? Sir, we have been told by a great authority, which receives its information and its inspiration from official sources (of course I mean The Times newspaper), that Her Majesty's Government were misled by the language held by the United States Minister, Mr. Buchanan. Now, Sir, that is a very serious charge to make against the American Minister; but one which he thought necessary formally and publicly to deny. But suppose the assertion were true, and that before the war broke out he had expressed his own private opinion that the great mass of the people of the United States would take a deep interest in the success of those European Powers which Came forward to resist aggression and maintain the independence of Europe. Why such language as that would only prove that he had mistaken the views of his Government, and the sentiments of the American people. But, Sir, there never was any mistake about the feeling of the United States' Government with regard to the enlistment question. Why, within seven days after Mr. Crampton had intimated to the Government of the United States that we were at war with Russia, they told him that the course they intended to take was one of strict neutrality, and that they would not tolerate any breach of their neutrality laws by any of the contending parties. Now of what is Mr. Crampton accused? He is accused of having given his sanction to the employment of agents by the officers of the 85 Canadian Government, for the purpose of seducing citizens of the United States from their allegiance to engage in the service of Her Majesty. That is the charge, and before I proceed to the proofs let us come to a clear understanding with respect to the nature of the offence. A great confusion of ideas has hitherto prevailed on that subject. The offence is described by the noble Lord the First Minister of the Crown, and by the noble Lord the Secretary of State for foreign Affairs, as a breach of some municipal law of the United States. Now if the offence charged has been committed, it is a direct and flagrant violation of the law of nations, and it is so held by various authorities on international law. I will very briefly advert to some of those authorities. The hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney General adverted to the authority of Vattel. He did not quote him, and did not seem to hold his authority in much estimation. Now hear what Vattel says upon the subject—The man who undertakes to enlist soldiers in a foreign country, without the Sovereign's permission, and, in general, whoever entices away the subjects of another state, violates one of the most sacred rights of the prince and the nation. This crime is distinguished by the name of kidnapping or man-stealing, and is punished with the utmost severity in every well-regulated state. Foreign recruiters are hanged without mercy, and with great justice. It is not presumed that their Sovereign has ordered them to commit a crime; and supposing that they had received such an order, they ought not to have obeyed it, their Sovereign having no right to command what is contrary to the law of nature. It is not, I say, presumed that these recruiters act by orders of their Sovereign; and with respect to such of them as have practised seduction only, it is generally thought sufficient to punish them when they can be detected and caught. If they have used violence and made their escape, it is usual to demand a surrender of the delinquents, and to claim the persons they have carried off. But if it appears that they acted by order, such a proceeding in a foreign Sovereign is justly considered an injury, and as a sufficient cause for declaring war against him, unless he makes suitable reparation.Kluber (who has acquired a great reputation in Germany by his works upon public law) says, in his Droit des Gens Modernes de l' Europe—A state entirely neutral has the right to exact, even by force if necessary, that belligerent powers do not use neutral territory for the purposes of war, that they take not therefrom munitions of war, and provisions and other immediate requirements of war for their armies, that they do not make there any military preparations, enrolments, or collections of troops.86 The celebrated Ferdinando Galiani, a learned Neapolitan, whose writings upon political economy, as well as upon public law, were much admired by Voltaire, says in his work Dei doveri de Principi Neutrali, upon the duties of neutral powers, p. 325—All Governments are accustomed to forbid under capital penalty any foreigner to make military engagements or recruits within their territory; in doing which they do no more than to sustain and defend a natural right, and one inherent in every sovereignty.Hautefeuille, a modern French writer of great authority, says—The duties of belligerents may be summed up in very few words. The belligerent ought to abstain from the employment of all such indirect means to molest his enemy as in the accomplishment of their object would first injuriously affect a neutral nation. He ought to respect in the most complete and absolute manner the independence and sovereignty of nations at peace.And again, he says—The passage of armed troops, the levying of soldiers without the consent of the Sovereign, would constitute an offence against the sovereignty of the neutral, and a violation of the duty of the belligerent.Sir, from the authority of jurists I will go to the authority of statesmen; and I will refer to the opinion of one whom I presume will be held in reverence and respect by the noble Lord the First Minister of the Crown—I mean Mr. Canning. On the 16th of April, 1823, a Motion was made by Lord Althorp to repeal an Act to prevent the enlisting or engagement of His Majesty's subjects to serve in foreign service. That Motion was supported by the noble Lord the Member for London (Lord J. Russell) and was opposed by Mr. Canning, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. In the speech which Mr. Canning made upon that occasion he illustrated the subject by reference to the conduct of the United States, and I am happy to have this opportunity of showing the House that the Government of the United States asks nothing from us now which they were not ready upon a former occasion, and under precisely similar circumstances, to concede. The coincidence is very striking, and I would beg the attention of the House to the statement of Mr. Canning. He says—All I now call upon the House to do is, to adopt the same course which it has recommended to neutral Powers upon former occasions. If I wished for a guide in a system of neutrality, I should take that laid down by America in the days of the presidency of Washington and the 87 secretaryship of Jefferson. In 1793 complaints were made to the American Government that French ships were allowed to fit out and arm in American ports for the purpose of attacking British vessels, in direct opposition to the laws of neutrality. Immediately upon this representation the American Government held that such a fitting out was contrary to the laws of neutrality, and orders were issued, prohibiting the arming of any French vessels in American ports. At New York, a French vessel fitting out was seized, delivered over to the tribunals, and condemned. Upon that occasion the American Government held that such fitting out of French ships in American ports, for the purpose of cruising against English vessels, was incompatible with the sovereignty of the United States, and tended to interrupt the peace and good understanding which subsisted between that country and Great Britain. Here, Sir, I contend is the principle of neutrality upon which we ought to act."—[2 Hansard, viii. 1056.]Such was the language—such the principles which Mr. Canning advocated. I cannot refrain from expressing my regret that they are no longer maintained by his successor, and I believe his Friend (Mr. Canning) might have added that the French Minister, engaged in the proceedings to which he referred, was recalled on the demand of the President. I will only quote one other authority, and that is of a great lawyer and statesman, I mean Sir William Scott. Sir William Scott moved the third reading of the Foreign Enlistment Bill, remarking "that there could be no solecism more injurious in itself, or more mischievous in its consequences, than to argue that the subjects of a State had a right to act amicably or hostilely with reference to other countries." This is directly at variance with the language of the noble Lord, who says, ubi civitas non career—that the people of the United States have a right to leave their country to enter into foreign service. The Act of Congress provides—That if any person shall hire or retain any other person to go beyond the limits or jurisdiction of the United States, with the intent to enlist or enter himself in the service of any foreign Prince, State, colony, district, or people, as a soldier, he is guilty of the misdemeanor created by the Act.It may be true that the Act of Congress is not so complete and perfect as our Foreign Enlistment Act, but the intention and spirit are the same, and I have yet to learn that this nation has a right to violate even the spirit of the laws of other countries. Having, as I believe, established what is the nature of the offence, as well as the duty of the State, I will now proceed to consider the charge made by the President of the United States against the Government of this country. The President of 88 the United States, upon a very solemn occasion, when making his speech to Congress, used the following language:—Meantime, the matter acquired additional importance by the recruitments in the United States not being discontinued, and the disclosure of the fact that they were prosecuted upon a systematic plan devised by official authority; that recruiting rendezvous had been opened in the principal cities and depôts for the reception of recruits established on our frontier; and the whole business conducted under the supervision and by the regular co-operation of British officers, civil and military—some in the North-American provinces, and some in the United States. The complicity of those officers in an undertaking which could only be accomplished by defying our laws, throwing suspicion over our attitude of neutrality, and disregarding our territorial rights, is conclusively proved by the evidence elicited on the trial of such of their agents as have been apprehended and convicted. Some of the officers thus implicated are of high official position, and many of them beyond our jurisdiction; so that legal proceedings could not reach the source of the mischief. These considerations, and the fact that the cause of complaint was not a mere casual occurrence, but a deliberate design, entered upon with a full knowledge of our laws and national policy, and conducted by responsible public functionaries, impelled me to present the case to the British Government, in order to secure, not only a cessation of the wrong, but its reparation. The subject is still under discussion, the result of which will be communicated to you in due time.Acts of complicity, then, have been proved upon the trial of the British agents. But before I enter upon that question, allow me to call the attention of the House to the statement made by the noble Lord at the head of the Government, in answer to a question put to him at the beginning of the Session by the hon. Member for the West Riding (Mr. Cobden). The noble Lord on that occasion said it was true that some violations of the municipal law of the United States might have taken place; but that as soon as those violations of the law were brought to the notice of the Government, they took immediate steps to put an end to them; that the depôts for recruiting were ordered to be removed, and the recruiting itself stopped; and that a suitable apology was made to the United States Government, which was accepted by the United States Minister here, who stated that he had no doubt it would also be accepted by his Government. Now, in making that statement the noble Lord, no doubt unintentionally, completely misled the House and the country; for the noble Lord, drawing upon his imagination, I apprehend, stated that a "suitable apology" had been made, whereas, in fact, none at all had been made for that which was the 89 principal complaint of the United States. The principal complaint of that Government was, that our Minister had violated their laws, and the answer of Her Majesty's Government was that the charges brought against him were based upon the fabrications of perjured witnesses. Well, that may have been a very proper answer if it were true, but surely it cannot be called an apology. Undoubtedly, on the 16th of July last year a despatch was delivered to Mr. Buchanan by Lord Clarendon, in which it was stated that if the laws of the United States had been violated, the noble Earl was very sorry; but he added, he did not believe that they had been, and it is also perfectly true that Mr. Buchanan was ready at that time to accept that as an apology, inasmuch as he said he would transmit it with satisfaction to his Government; but then he never said that his Government would receive it with satisfaction; and afterwards he repeatedly stated, that when he expressed that satisfaction he was not in the least aware of the charges that were made against Mr. Crampton. Now it is quite manifest that the charges against Mr. Crampton are of a much more serious nature than those for which the apology—if it can be called an apology—was made; because that was for acts supposed to be done by the over zeal of some of our Canadian officers. But when violations of the law are committed by the resident Minister of a Government, it is clear that the whole nature of the case is changed. It is, however, necessary that I should give Mr. Buchanan's explanation of the matter to the House. At page 156 of the Blue-book, Mr. Buchanan says that he was somewhat surprised at the broad statement made by the noble Lord at the head of the Government, that when the communication was made to the United States Minister in London he expressed himself satisfied with the explanation, and said he felt confident that his Government entertained a similar feeling in regard to it; that fortunately the only expression, verbal or written, which he (Mr. Buchanan) had employed on the occasion, was contained in his note to Lord Clarendon of the 18th of July, acknowledging the receipt of his Lordship's note of the 10th, and which was in the following language—And the undersigned will have much satisfaction in transmitting a copy of his Lordship's note to the Secretary of State by the next mail. From this it will be perceived that I made no allusion 90 whatever to what would be the opinion of my Government as to Lord Clarendon's note, nor did I express an opinion of my own, except that which might be inferred from the statement that I should have much satisfaction in transmitting a copy of his Lordship's note to the Secretary of State.It is not my intention, after the ample manner in which my hon. and learned Friend (Sir F. Thesiger) has dissected the question, to tire the House by going into a further analysis of it; but there are two or three points to which he has not referred, and to which I would beg to ask the attention of the House for a few moments. I will now give a short summary of the case presented by the Government of the United States against Mr. Crampton. Mr. Marcy states that when the recruiting first commenced in the United States it was carried on openly without any attempt at concealment, that houses were engaged in the principal towns for the reception of recruits, and that advertisements were put forth calling upon recruits to come forward, headed by the Queen's arms. It was natural that the attention of the United States Government should be immediately called to these proceedings, and an application was accordingly made by Mr. Marcy to Mr. Crampton to know whether the proceedings had received the sanction and approval of the British Government. Mr. Crampton at once assured Mr. Marcy that they were the acts of unauthorised agents, and that he entirely disapproved of them; in confirmation of which he read a copy of a letter; which he had written to Mr. Barclay, Consul at New York, expressing that disapproval. This letter was dated the 22nd of March, and the date is very important; for it afterwards came out upon the trial of Hertz that Mr. Crampton had been engaged for two months previously in correspondence and in verbal communication with the two most active agents of the recruiting—namely, Hertz and Stroebel, and this was proved upon the trial by the production of three of Mr. Crampton's letters, two addressed to Hertz, and one to Stroebel, dated the 27th January and 4th February, 1855, nearly two months previous to his interview with Mr. Marcy, in which he assured him he had nothing to do with the notices in the papers. Hertz had been invited by Mr. Crampton to come from Philadelphia, where he had a recruiting office, to Washington, where he had information to give him. Mr. Crampton 91 says—"With reference to our late conversation, I am now enabled to give you some more definitive information on the subject to which it related." Well, Hertz was arrested, tried, and convicted, and sentenced to imprisonment. He then made a confession, which, we are told, is a tissue of falsehood; I will not, therefore, ask the House to believe one word of it, that is not confirmed by Mr. Consul Mathew, and I suppose we are to believe him. Hertz says in his confession, "I was employed by Mr. Howe and acted as his agent, with the knowledge and approbation of Mr. Crampton and Mr. Mathew." "Mr. Howe," is now Sir Joseph Howe, an officer of high rank in Nova Scotia, whom Sir Gaspard le Marchant despatched to Mr. Crampton, as a person in whom he had perfect confidence, to concert respecting the recruiting business. Hertz says he was employed by Mr. Howe, and I beg leave to say that Mr. Crampton has, in his last letter, written since he has been in London, made this statement—"Who, then, Mr. Marcy asks, were responsible for the illegal acts proved to have been committed? It may be replied only those who were convicted of them—namely, Hertz and Wagner." Well, Hertz, it appeared, did act for him; let us see if he acted without authority. He says he was employed by Mr. Howe, with the knowledge of Mr. Crampton and Mr. Mathew. How is that borne out? At page 34 of the Blue-book there is a letter from Mr. Mathew to Mr. Crampton, and in that letter Mr. Mathew says—At his (Hertz's) request I transmitted a sealed letter to Mr. Howe, and handed him a reply, containing, I believe, money, for which he gave a receipt made out to Mr. Howe, and enclosed by me to him. On a second occasion I declined to give him the money, though merely the channel of transfer, and the amount was sent to the proprietor of an hotel, from whose bookkeeper he received it.This, then, is a clear proof that Hertz was the agent of Mr. Howe, and that Consul Mathew had a full knowledge of their proceedings, which he doubtless knew to be illegal, and, therefore, declined upon the second occasion to commit himself. As regards Mr. Crampton, we cannot doubt that he acted in concert with Mr. Howe, and his frequent reception of Hertz at his house is an additional proof that he had a knowledge of his proceedings. I am quite ready to admit the statement of Mr. Crampton to Lord Clarendon, "That he never hired, or retained, or engaged a single 92 person within the United States for the service of Her Majesty; "and no one ever accused him of having done so. I will even go further, and say that I do not doubt that Mr. Crampton told Hertz every time he saw him not to violate the law. But what is the use of telling a man like Hertz not to violate the law? Hertz's object was to obtain recruits; he knew that they were not to be had without money, and how was he to know what interpretation the United States lawyers might put upon the word hire or retain? The result was that he obtained the recruits, and, consequently violated the law. And now I come to the other agent, Stroebel. He seems to have acted a more conspicuous part than Hertz. Mr. Crampton's letter to him also was produced at the trial. It was dated Feb. 4, 1855, on the same day as that addressed to Hertz, and is expressed in nearly the same terms. After Stroebel's interview with Mr. Crampton at Washington he entered the recruiting service, and suddenly rose to the rank of captain of the 1st company of the Foreign Legion. He went with a detachment of recruits, raised in Philadelphia, to Halifax; was received into fellowship with the military and civil officers of the highest position in her Majesty's service there stationed; was invited to partake of the hospitality of his Excellency Sir Gaspard Le Marchant, the Lieutenant Governor of the colony; and the account of his triumphant entry at the head of his recruits into Halifax was published in all the papers. The vigorous application of the law in the United States, however, having put down the recruiting there, Mr. Crampton, in the month of May, went over to Canada; and upon his arrival at Halifax he again renewed his acquaintance with Captain Stroebel, which was proved by the following letter from Lieutenant Preston, of Her Majesty's 76th Regiment:—My dear Stroebel,—I am directed by the General to acquaint you that Mr. Crampton wants to see you at his house at ten o'clock tomorrow morning; be punctual. If you like to come up to my room at half-past nine we will go together.Now, he considered that this letter was very important, as showing that almost the first person Mr. Crampton sought out upon his arrival at Halifax was Stroebel. In the evidence of Stroebel, at the trial of Hertz, he declares that he submitted to Mr. Crampton a new plan of operations, 93 which was approved of; that the agents to be employed were left to his selection; and that Mr. Crampton drew up written instructions for their guidance, which instructions were delivered to Stroebel in the house and in the presence of the Governor of Canada. Mr. Crampton has admitted this, but he says the instructions were drawn up with a view to prevent a violation of the law. I do not wish to express any opinion as to what might constitute a violation of the Act of Congress; I suppose it will be admitted that the measure was passed to prevent American citizens from being sent out of the country to engage in foreign service, and I think it will also be admitted that the ingenuity of Mr. Crampton was exercised in order to evade the provisions of the Act. Here, then, a very grave question arises, whether any man in Mr. Crampton's position could be justified in writing out instructions for the guidance of men whom he now declares to be of an infamous character, and in pointing out to them how the laws of the country to which he is accredited may be evaded with impunity? I care not whether the written instructions delivered to Stroebel point to a violation or only to an evasion of the law; if they were issued after assurances had been given to the Government of the United States that Her Majesty's Minister had nothing to do with the recruiting, he committed his country, in a moral point of view, to a breach of faith most discreditable to the Government by whom he was employed, and calculated to compromise the honour of the nation in whose service he was engaged. In leaving this part of the subject let me be clearly understood; I do not stand here to defend the Government of the United States. Their conduct may have been as bad as possible, but this I do contend, that the conduct of our own Government has been quite inexcusable. It will now be my duty to show that these violations of international law were not accidental occurrences, which took place in consequence of the over-zeal of Canadian officials, but that they were carried out by the Government as deliberate acts of policy, not only in the United States of America, but also in the States of Europe, in Germany, in Prussia, in Switzerland, and in the Hanse Towns. It is perfectly true that we have no official information before with respect to the remonstrances which may have been made by the Governments of Prussia, the Hanse 94 Towns, and Switzerland, because the noble Lord at the head of the Government has refused to produce that information, upon the ground that he thinks it injurious to the public service to do so. But if it is injurious to the public service to produce that correspondence, there must surely be something in it which injuriously affects the character and the honour of the country; and I should like to know if this House will submit to be told by Ministers that important information with respect to transactions already closed shall not be laid before Parliament? Under the present circumstances of the case, then, as we cannot rely upon official information, it will be my duty, therefore, to take the facts that have been published in the newspapers, and talked about in every coffeehouse in Germany to the dishonour and discredit of the very name of Englishman. And, first, with regard to Switzerland. The Switz Government having refused to allow the neutrality of their country to be violated, Her Majesty's Ministers addressed themselves to the Emperor of the French, and requested permission to establish a depôt for the reception of Swiss troops at Huninguen, a town on the frontier of France, within a few miles of the city of Basle. This being acceded to, emissaries were at once sent into Switzerland for the purpose of "giving information;" and I must confess that I do not very clearly see the distinction to be drawn between those emissaries and what are termed "crimps." At all events, the measure caused very extensive desertions among the Swiss troops. On one occasion the whole of the soldiers on guard at the gate of St. John, Basle, deserted together in the course of the night. The results were, altogether, such as were disgraceful to this country, and calculated to render it a common nuisance to surrounding nations. Then, with regard to Prussia. The laws against recruiting for the service of foreign Powers in Prussia amounted to what in this country would be called felony. By the Prussian Code, whoever effected an enlistment of a Prussian subject for a foreign State, or brought recruits for such foreign State out of the Prussian dominions, though he might not be guilty of kidnapping, was punishable with four years' imprisonment in a fortress. It is well known that Her Majesty's consul at Cologne was tried, convicted, and sentenced on a charge of that description, and he was pardoned by the King only 95 because he pleaded that he had acted under the orders of Her Majesty's Government. Now, that was the position in which Her Majesty was placed by her Ministers. The noble Lord at the head of the Government, when asked to lay on the table the correspondence on the subject of enlistment with Prussia and the Hanse Towns, said there was none. There had, he stated, been a few agents imprisoned, but there was no correspondence. Now, that is the way in which great men treat their tools—those whom they employ in these matters. Why, however, should there be any difference as between the conduct of the Government towards the Hanse Towns and Prussia, in this instance, and the United States? When the United States remonstrated, their remonstrance was at once attended to, recruiting was stopped, and an immediate apology was made; but nothing of the kind has been done in regard to Prussia and the Hanse Towns; on the contrary, a sloop of war was lying in the Elbe all through the war, for the purpose of receiving recruits from these places, against the will of their respective Governments, and transferring them to Heligoland. Was it the policy of the Foreign Office, as it was when the noble Lord at the head of the Government more immediately superintended its action, to be humble and submissive to great naval States, and to treat with disregard those States which were not great naval Powers? The House must doubtless remember how humble and submissive the noble Lord was to Russia, in the case of the capture of the Vixen; and how humbly he submitted to the absorption of Cracow, and the violation of the Treaty of Vienna which it involved. It should also be remembered how determined he has been with Naples, and Sicily, and Greece, and other of the smaller Powers of Europe. I did hope that the foreign policy of the noble Lord would be improved with the change of his position; but I regret to find that it is not so, and I can imagine none other better calculated than that then and now pursued to render the name of England detested and despised by all Europe. Looking at the question, however, not so much in its relation to foreign States as in its relation to domestic policy, what do we see? In the year 1813, an army was maintained in this country of far greater efficiency than that which was voted last year, though the population of the country was then only 16,000,000, whereas it 96 is at present over 28,000,000. It is admitted on all hands that in time of war the only effective means of recruiting the army is from the militia; to neglect the militia, therefore, is to neglect the army. The state of the militia in 1813, was as follows: The county militia, embodied and called out for effective service, was 93,210 men; the local militia, not liable to removal from the place where they were raised, amounted to 304,000; the volunteers and cavalry were 68,000 in number; making, in all, 465,210 men. The regular army in, 1813, was 227,442 men. During the last war with Russia, however, the militia embodied only amounted to 45,000 or 50,000 men. In fact, the voluntary system entirely failed for the purpose of obtaining men of a proper age for active service. The hon. and gallant Member for Westminster (Sir De L. Evans) asked, in the early part of the Session, what had become of the army of 212,000 men voted by Parliament, as then only 60,000 had landed at Balaklava; and he also inquired if they were doing duty as policemen in the colonies? Now, I can answer that question. They were not doing duty in the colonies, for the regular troops had been removed from Canada, from Corfu, and elsewhere, to the Crimea; the truth was, they had never been raised. At the commencement of the present year, and all through the past year, the army was 45,000 men below the number that had been voted by Parliament. So it was during the war, the average being from 40,000 to 50,000 short of the number voted by Parliament. I believe there is not a man in the country who does not feel humbled at the manner in which the war has been conducted, as regards the army. It ought to have been the main-spring of the action of the Government to maintain the native army in a state of efficiency in point of numbers; but the Government, on the contrary, seemed to think that a lavish and profuse expenditure of money, far beyond what was spent in those times which were called the "rampant days of Toryism," when the noble Lord (Viscount Palmerston) was Secretary at War, was sufficient for all purposes. In those days of rampant Toryism, however, we had at least a national army to show for our expenditure; now we have none, for our army in the East boasted of no fewer than six different nations, namely—a corps of Germans, a corps of Swiss, a corps of Italians, a corps of Poles, a corps of Sardinians, and a 97 corps of Turks. Such was the motley assemblage to which the maintenance of the honour and dignity of England was entrusted. I may be told that this is the result of our system, and that this country can never have a large army, because of the aversion of the people to conscription. The people of the United Slates are not less free and independent than the people of England, and yet the United States Government find no difficulty in raising an army. Does any one think that the safety and honour of England can be defended and protected by hired troops? If such be the views of the Government the people of England must make up their minds to submit to a far worse evil than the conscription; they will have to submit to the degradation of our country, and her reduction from the high and lofty position which she has always occupied, and sink permanently into the position of a second-rate Power. The position of England has been changed in reference to other countries by the introduction of steam power into naval warfare, and unless we are prepared to adopt those means of defence which are demanded by this great change, we may give up all hope for the future.
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
Sir, it is my I intention to occupy only a short portion of the time of the House, on the matter under consideration, but I feel it necessary to make some remarks upon the speech which has just been delivered by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Inverness-shire. It is difficult to ascertain what is the precise nature of the charge which hon. Gentlemen opposite intend to prefer against Her Majesty's Government. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Mayo (Mr. G. H. Moore) has moved a Resolution on this question after a Resolution on the subject had been abandoned or given up by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Inverness-shire (Mr. H. Baillie), from considerations of regard for the public interest, and in concert with that party with which he acts. The hon. Member for Mayo has shown too clearly that he has but one endeavour—to dishonour and depreciate the character of Lord Clarendon, which stands far too high in the estimation of Europe to be affected by the sarcasms even of the hon. Gentleman. The hon. and learned Member for Stamford (Sir F. Thesiger) has cast a shaft at the Government for another reason—namely, because he thinks an indignity has been thrown upon the Government by 98 the removal of Mr. Crampton; and he says that if the Government were satisfied with his conduct they ought to have resented his dismissal by the dismissal of Mr. Dallas, the United States Minister here. He says that, in doing so, the Government have stooped to an indignity that compromised the honour and character of this country, and did not deserve to meet with the approbation of the House. But the hon. Gentleman the Member for Inverness-shire has taken a different view of the subject altogether. His ground of attack is the whole policy and spirit of the Foreign Enlistment Act. The hon. Gentleman has, indeed, made a speech that might have been made with force and effect, and which I am not sure was not made, at the time the Foreign Enlistment Act was passing through this House. He has laid down distinctly the position that no foreign country can allow its subjects to enter into the service of a country engaged in a war with a State with which that country is at amity. He says that the law civitas non carcer est is incorrect, and that the United States have no right to allow their subjects to enter the service of a State at war with a country with which they are not at war. [Mr. BAILLIE: Not without the permission of their Government.] But what did Mr. Marcy say? Mr. Marcy, writing to Mr. Molina, April 25, 1856, said,—The right of expatriation is not, I believe, withheld from the citizens of any free Government or from residents under its jurisdiction. The laws of neither country (Costa Rica and the United States), it is presumed, have conferred the authority to examine into the motives which may lead any one to exercise the right of expatriation. The liberty to go where hopes of better fortune may entice them belongs to freemen, and no free Government withholds it. It is, therefore, no cause of complaint against a neutral country that persons in the exercise of this right have left it, and have been afterwards found in the ranks of the army of a belligerent State.The President, in his Message of May 15, 1856, also said,—In these circumstances of the political debility of the Republic of Nicaragua, and when its inhabitants were exhausted by long-continued civil war between parties, neither of them strong enough to overcome the other or permanently maintain internal tranquillity, one of the contending factions of the Republic invited the assistance and co-operation of a small body of citizens from the State of California, whose presence, as it appears, put an end at once to the civil war, and restored apparent order throughout the territory of Nicaragua.Thus the hon. Gentleman the Member for Inverness-shire has laid down in defence of 99 the United States a doctrine which the United States do not lay down in their own defence. He asserts what has been disclaimed both by Mr. Marcy and also by the President. The law of the United States has been, I apprehend, clearly laid down by my hon. and learned Friend the Attorney General—except that he did not state it so high as, in my opinion, he might have done—that it is within the competence of a citizen of the United States to leave the territory of that country with the avowed object of taking service in the army of a foreign State, provided he does not enlist or engage himself within the limits of the territory of the United States. With regard to the Foreign Enlistment Act, the hon. Gentleman (Mr. H. Baillie) has adverted to the state of the army which this country had in its pay in 1813, at the close of the great war, and when our military force was very great, and he has argued that it was quite unnecessary to have recourse to foreign soldiers to recruit our ranks during the war with Russia. But the hon. Gentleman has overlooked the fact that it is at the beginning of a war much more than at the end of a war that the difficulty in recruiting a British army is found. The Government of that day thought, and I think justly, that, looking at the difficulty of raising our English forces with the rapidity that was necessary, it was desirable not to have recourse to any new method of recruiting, but to resort to a mode which prevailed during the war to which the hon. Gentleman has referred, and to see whether we could not draw to our standard those subjects of other countries who were disposed to make common cause with us. I believe that was sound policy, and it became the duty of the Government, after that Bill was passed, to take those measures which they thought most expedient to carry into effect the intention of that enactment. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Mayo says, that the first step in this enlistment question was taken by the Colonial Secretary in his despatch dated February, 1855, and addressed to Sir Gaspard le Marchant, in which he suggested that a depôt should be opened at Halifax for the reception of volunteers. But that, I must state to the House, was an incorrect description. The first movement, it is well known, was made by parties who resided within the United States, many of whom were British subjects, others being Germans who had taken 100 part in the Schleswig-Holstein war, and others foreigners who, from the force of political circumstances, had taken refuge in that country, who wrote to express their desire to take part in the war. Does the hon. Gentleman mean to say that it was not the bounden duty of the Government to write that letter? The Government felt that great caution was necessary in accepting these offers. They were aware of the neutrality laws of the United States, find they were most anxious that nothing should be done to infringe them. They thought it right that the fact of a depôt being opened at Halifax, where the British Crown had an undoubted right to open a depôt, should be communicated to Mr. Crampton, at Washington, Mr. Crampton having sent those offers, to which I have alluded, to Her Majesty's Government. They therefore directed Sir Gaspard Le Marchant to place himself in communication with Mr. Crampton, so that Mr. Crampton, knowing everything that was being done, might take care that nothing was done in violation of the sovereign rights or municipal law of the United States. Both Sir Gaspard Le Marchant and Mr. Crampton were enjoined to avoid anything that might be construed into a violation of the laws of the United States. In that spirit the Government acted, and in this spirit they believed that their officers had acted, and they therefore believed that it would be an act of baseness and injustice if, when they were asked to recall them, they had acquiesced in that demand, which would have amounted to an admission that, in the opinion of the British Government, their officers had violated their instructions, and that their assertions were not entitled to credit. They felt assured that their officers had acted up to the letter and spirit of the instructions they had received, and, therefore, Lord Clarendon, in the despatch of April 30, said he felt it to be his duty to abstain from recalling those officers, because there was nothing in his opinion to justify their recall. How did Mr. Crampton act? My hon. and learned Friend the Attorney-General, in the course of his speech, quoted a passage from the correspondence which showed that Mr. Crampton communicated to the Government of the United States the offers made by persons resident in the United States to take service in Her Majesty's army, and here is at once the answer to the hypothetical case put by the hon. and learned Member for Stamford, as 101 to what would be thought by this Government of the conduct of the French Government If, being at war with Russia or any other country, they should, because they were in want of seamen, send steamers to the ports and rivers of England and enlist men in a war to which we were no party, and against a State with which we were at amity? The first answer is, that it would be a direct violation of British law. The distinction between the law of England and the law of the United States has been pointed out by my hon. and learned Friend the Attorney General. No country could take that course without a direct violation of the law of this country. But suppose that it was no direct violation of the law of this country, and suppose that the French Government were to do what it is imagined possible they might do, if at the same time the French Ambassador communicated to Her Majesty's Government that the French Government were anxious to obtain the services of British seamen, and were taking measures to enlist them in their service, and we said, "So long as they respected our laws any seamen were welcome to enlist," the case would be wholly different, and all cause of quarrel between the two countries would be removed. That is precisely what was done by Mr. Crampton with respect to the United States' Government. He made no concealment of the offers of service; he made no concealment of the desire of Her Majesty's Government to avail themselves of those offers; and if he did not enter minutely into all the arrangements, with the view of respecting the laws of the United States, in obtaining the services whether of British subjects or of foreigners, it was because he was impressed with the conviction, that while Mr. Marcy asserted, and very properly asserted, the determination of the United States' Government to enforce the neutrality laws, he would not be anxious to inquire as to what was going on relative to persons like those who went to Nicaragua, who were induced to leave the United States for the purpose of entering the service of the British Crown. That was the spirit in which Mr. Crampton acted, and when criticism is passed upon a single passage of Lord Clarendon's despatches, or on the fact of Mr. Crampton being in communication with persons whose characters are most disreputable, the House will do injustice if it overlooks the general spirit of moderation and friendliness, as 102 well as fairness, which characterised the despatches of Lord Clarendon, and the friendly spirit in which Mr. Crampton acted throughout these transactions. When it was found that persons were engaged in acts which Her Majesty's Minister at Washington and Her Majesty's Government were bound to disavow—when it was found that persons, professing to act with authority they never received from Her Majesty's Government or Mr. Crampton, Her Majesty's Minister at Washington, were doing acts tending to compromise friendly relations between the two countries, and which it was impossible strictly to defend—whatever the letter of the law with regard to enlistment might be, Her Majesty's Government avowed their determination to put an end to the scheme of keeping open a depôt at Halifax for the reception of persons desirous of entering the British service. It has been stated in the course of the discussion that no apology or explanation was offered to the United States' Government which could be considered satisfactory. The apology, said to be no apology, does not admit acts to have been done by persons who were under the authority of Her Majesty's Government, because they felt that no act had been done under the authority which gave just cause of complaint; but the terms of the apology were these:—The undersigned must, in the first instance, express the regret of Her Majesty's Government if the law of the United States has been in any way infringed by persons acting with or without any authority from them; and it is hardly necessary for the undersigned to assure Mr. Buchanan that any such infringement of the law of the United States is entirely contrary to the wishes and to the positive instructions of Her Majesty's Government.It was impossible that apology should distinctly admit that the acts done were contrary to the laws of the United States, because we had no evidence to satisfy us of the fact. But we said, the fact may be so, and if so, we regret that such acts have been done. But was that the only passage calculated to remove any dissatisfaction in the United States with regard to these transactions? I think the concluding passage of this despatch is of a character which the House ought to mark in esteeming the spirit by which the Government has been influenced throughout this affair:—The undersigned has, however, the honour, in conclusion, to state to Mr. Buchanan that Her Majesty's Government, having reason to think 103 that no precautionary measures, with whatever honesty they might be carried out, could effectually guard against some real or apparent infringement of the law which would give just, cause for complaint to the Government of the United States, determined that all proceedings for enlistment should be put an end to, and instructions to that effect were sent out before the undersigned had the honour to receive Mr. Buchanan's note, as the undersigned need hardly say that the advantage which Her Majesty's service might derive from enlistment in North America would not be sought for by Her Majesty's Government if it were supposed to be obtained in disregard of the respect due to the law of the United States.Now, I ask the House whether the whole tone and spirit of that despatch is not an apology for any acts done in contravention of the law of the United States, though we were not aware of any such act; and whether the conclusion of it did not intimate that we would forego all the advantages we were likely to obtain from the zeal of certain persons in the United States to enter into our service, and take part in the contest in which we were engaged, rather than risk the occurrence of any circumstance which might give just cause of dissatisfaction to the United States? A good deal has been said as to the effect of that despatch on Mr. Buchanan, and my noble Friend has been accused of misrepresenting the feeling produced by that despatch. What are the facts of the case? Mr. Buchanan, to whom that despatch was addressed, made but a short answer. He did not enter into argument whether the line taken by Her Majesty's Government was likely to give satisfaction, nor did he controvert the statement of Lord Clarendon; but he answered thus:—The undersigned Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States has the honour to acknowledge the receipt of the note which the Earl of Clarendon, Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, addressed to him on the 16th inst., in answer to his note of the 6th inst., on the subject of the enlistment and employment of soldiers for the British army within the United States; and the undersigned will have much satisfaction in transmitting a copy of his Lordship's note to the Secretary of State by the next steamer.If that stood alone, I should say Mr. Buchanan was satisfied with the explanation given by Her Majesty's Government—with their apology, in case any acts had been done in violation of the United States' law, and the decision they had come to to abandon all these proceedings, to avoid any cause of offence. But it did not stand alone. That despatch was 104 crossed by one on its passage to this country from Mr. Marcy to Mr. Buchanan, insisting on satisfaction, in ignorance of the explanation and apology it contained, Mr. Buchanan received that despatch of Mr. Marcy, but did not think it necessary to give it to Lord Clarendon, although he was directed to do so; and it is impossible to doubt that he abstained from so doing because he felt that the despatch, which, as he terms it, "he should have great satisfaction in transmitting to his own Government," was likely to terminate, and, as we think, ought to have terminated the whole affair. To show the spirit in which we received the remonstrances of the United States' Government, and our anxiety to avoid everything which could give just cause of offence, I will read a few lines of the despatch of Lord Clarendon to Mr. Crampton, on the 16th of November, in which he says—Before I proceed to offer any remarks upon this despatch, it will be proper to state that when it was read to me by Mr. Buchanan, I had no cognizance of Mr. Marcy's despatch of the 15th of July, to which it alludes, and of which a copy was also transmitted to you; and upon my observing this to Mr. Buchanan, he said he had not thought it necessary to communicate it to me, as before it had reached him he had received my note of the 16th of July, which he thought would finally settle the question that had arisen between the two Governments.Now, I think this passage clearly shows that the impression made upon Mr. Buchanan's mind by the receipt of the despatch from which I have quoted was, that it ought and would terminate the whole affair, and that he concurred in thinking the conciliatory course we had taken, out of deference to the opinions of the Government of the United States, would be entirely satisfactory and remove all cause of complaint or remonstrance. I know it is said subsequent transactions occurred, but the whole rests on no other foundation than that some persons were paid who had gone to Halifax with the expectation of being received as recruits in Her Majesty's service and were not so received in consequence of the determination to abandon the scheme altogether, in deference to the feeling of the United States' Government. Money was paid to them, not for the purpose of enlisting them in Her Majesty's service, or for the purposes of inducing them to go anywhere, but merely to reimburse them for their loss of time and expenses incurred in a fruitless journey. I will not read the despatch which counter- 105 balances that read by the hon. and learned Member for Stamford (Sir F. Thesiger) and which he thinks not at all calculated to maintain friendly relations, but I may say that it was an answer to a despatch of a character not very friendly to Her Majesty's Government. Looking at the despatch of the 30th of April, and the despatch the other day sent to Mr. Dallas, I think that while Her Majesty's Government have been jealous of the honour and dignity of this country they have shown an earnest desire to maintain unimpaired the friendly relations of the two countries. They have done nothing by any hasty, harsh, or even unguarded expression which places them in the wrong, in case any of these affairs shall not be brought to a satisfactory and peaceful result, and I believe that the effect of the despatch of the 30th of April was most satisfactory in the United States, although it did not produce in the mind of the President the effect with which it was hoped the assertions of Mr. Crampton and the consuls, as to their not having violated the laws of the country, would have been received. Her Majesty's Government felt that those assertions were entitled to infinitely greater weight than the evidence adduced against those Gentlemen. That evidence has been completely thrown over to night. Every Gentleman has said that the characters of the witnesses were such that they could not be believed upon their oaths, and no Gentleman has ventured to quote anything said by them, unless it was corroborated by some evidence of an unimpeachable character. It had been exultingly stated that the evidence connecting Mr. Crampton with these proceedings showed that he had been in communication with Stroebel and Hertz. No doubt the fact was so; but those persons, when they first came forward to interfere in this matter, were utterly unknown to Mr. Crampton, to Sir Gaspard le Marchant, and the other officers of Her Majesty's Government. They professed to be in pursuit of a legitimate object, and as there was no immediate means of ascertaining their character, their integrity was taken for granted, and it was never suspected that they would turn out to be men undeserving of credit whose object was to entrap the English Minister. The friendly feeling of the British Government, and their unwillingness to do anything that could give just cause of offence to the Americans, were evident on the face of every despatch that had issued from the Foreign Office, and in none were they more 106 conspicuous than in that despatch in which Lord Clarendon intimated that if any recruits had been enlisted in a manner contrary to the laws of the United States they should be sent back without delay. But it did not appear that, in point of fact, there were any such recruits; for the few who had been enlisted were men who had come forward freely and of their own accord, and without persuasion or compulsion from any quarter. The intentions of Her Majesty's Government throughout these transactions, and the motive of their conduct, should be inferred from the general tone and spirit of their correspondence rather than from particular passages carefully selected to make out a case against them. A candid review of all the circumstances connected with the subject would not fail to lead to the conclusion that they had been animated throughout by the best intentions, and that they had had no deliberate purpose of violating either the municipal laws or the sovereign rights of the United States. It was to be hoped that the House would view the question, not with passion or prejudice, but rather by the calm, clear light of reason; and if they did so they would scarcely be prepared to condemn the Government for not having taken the extreme course recommended by the hon. and learned Member for Stamford and others—that of dismissing the American Minister at the Court of St. James's—a gentleman with whom we had no personal cause of offence, and whose presence was desirable in the interests of both countries, inasmuch as he was authorised to enter into negotiations with Her Majesty's Government for the settlement of various important questions. No doubt it was the bounden duty of Her Majesty's Ministers to uphold the honour of the country, but they should also act with forethought and manly prudence, and it would ill become them to plunge two kindred nations in the horrors of war through hasty and ill-considered notions of dignity. The House would most faithfully interpret the feelings of the country by declaring that the national honour was entirely untouched, and that the Government in adopting moderate and conciliatory counsels had acted in the manner best calculated to promote the interests of both, nations.
§ SIR FREDERIC THESIGER
Sir, I just wish to correct an error into which the right hon. Baronet fell, in supposing that we complain of the Government for not resenting the indignity offered to them—for not retaliating on the Government of the 107 United States for sending back Mr. Crampton by dismissing Mr. Dallas. We never stated anything of the kind. What we stated was this—that by the conduct of the Government in infringing the laws of the United States in the way they had done, the Government have compelled us to submit patiently to the insult that has been offered us.
§ VISCOUNT PALMERSTON
said, he objected to an adjournment. He considered that there was ample time to bring the discussion to a satisfactory conclusion that evening.
§ Motion made and Question put, "That the debate be now adjourned."
§ The House divided:—Ayes 110; Noes 220: Majority 110.
§ Question again proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ SIR JOHN WALSH
said, that considering the lateness of the hour, and the certainty that the debate must be adjourned, the exultation of hon. Members opposite at the result of the division was, he thought, rather misplaced. They had not yet heard many leading Members of that House, to whose opinions the country, as well as that House, looked with interest upon a subject so important. None of his right hon. Friends near him, nor several hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite, to whom the House always listened with interest, had as yet spoken, and therefore he did not think he had been premature, at twelve o'clock, in moving the adjournment of the debate. However, since the House has resolved to continue the discussion at this late hour, he bowed to its decision, and would briefly state the reasons which must oblige him to vote for the Motion. It must be remembered that it emanated from an hon. Member with whom he (Sir J. Walsh) had no political sympathies, nor should he, perhaps, in the delicate state of our American relations, have himself originated such an one. But, it having been brought forward, he had no option but to express an opinion upon it, however reluctantly. Finding that his vote was asked upon the question, whether the conduct of the Government in its transactions with the United States was such as to meet the approbation of that House, and whether it had been such as to maintain the honour of the country, he should not shrink from expressing his opinions. Having listened to all the argu- 108 ments that had been put forth on behalf of the Government, he could not withhold his support to the Motion of the hon. Gentleman (Mr. G. H. Moore). The hon. and learned Attorney General seemed to regard the dismissal of our Minister by the American Government as a proceeding in no degree offensive towards this country. Unless, however, such an act were based on some sufficient reason, it must be an insult either to the Minister individually, or to the nation which he represented. It was one thing if our Minister had become distasteful to the Court to which he was accredited for some reason of a purely personal nature; and quite another thing if the offence laid to his charge was the adoption of a particular policy in the discharge of his official functions. In the latter case it became a question, whether his conduct had been authorised by his Government. If it had been so authorised, the fault did not lie at the door of the Minister, but at that of the Government of which he was but the instrument. Be that, however, as it might, our Government, by permitting Mr. Dallas to remain, had, he apprehended, acquiesced in the slight cast upon them by the United States. Without condemning their conduct in Mr. Dallas's regard, it was yet obvious that their only justification for not dismissing the American Minister was, that they felt they had been in the wrong towards his country, and that the indignity offered to us was merited by their own laches. If two private individuals quarrelled, one of them might frankly admit that he had been in fault, and accept the reproof administered to him in consequence; but if the rebuke was undeserved, his submission would be pusillanimous. The position of our Government appeared to be that of men who felt that they had been in the wrong, and they were in this paradoxical position, that their having been in the wrong in the original dispute furnished their only excuse for submitting to the mortifying reproof of Mr. Crampton's dismissal. The speech of the right hon. Baronet the Secretary of State for the Home Department had been from beginning to end, in his opinion, nothing but an ingenious piece of special pleading. The right hon. Gentleman had laboured to establish a distinction between the evasion of the law of the United States and a direct infraction of its letter. The President and Mr. Marcy both declared the systematic evasion of their neutrality by our enlistment agents to be as great an affront as 109 its open infringement; and certainly an adroit and even successful evasion of the spirit of her neutrality laws could not be regarded as the fulfilment of the obligations due from one friendly State to another. He was, therefore, forced to vote for the Motion of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Mayo, for he felt that the conduct of the Government had placed this country in a humiliating position before the world. By acquiescing in the dismissal of Mr. Crampton, they had acknowledged themselves to be in the wrong; and an expression of opinion on the part of that House under those circumstances, so far from throwing obstacles in the way of a satisfactory adjustment of the differences between the two countries, was calculated, he believed, to facilitate that happy issue.
§ VISCOUNT PALMERSTON
said, that if the Motion for an adjournment was to be repeated in that way at that time of night, he could have no alternative but to agree to it: yet he would do so on the distinct understanding that the discussion should be resumed to-morrow.
§ Debate adjourned till To-morrow.