(who had given notice of his intention to more, as an Amendment to the Motion "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair,"—That, in the opinion of this House, the States which have seceded from the Union of the Republic of the United States, have so long maintained themselves under a separate and established Government, and have given such proof of their determination and ability to support their Independence, that the propriety of offering mediation, with the view of terminating hostilities between the contending parties, is worthy of the serious and immediate attention of Her Majesty's Government,")said, that before the Speaker left the chair, he wished to draw the attention of the House to a matter of the gravest interest to the people of this country—he meant the unhappy war raging in the United States of America. His hon. Friends who had urged him to postpone his Motion were, no doubt, of opinion that by raising the question at this time they might exasperate the Northern States. But if he might judge of the feelings of those States by the language of the public press, he thought it was impossible for us to stand worse with that people. He hoped, however, and believed, that the press of the Northern States did not represent the true feeling of the people, and he was not disposed to think that a frank expression of opinion on the part of the House of Commons with regard to the lamentable state of affairs in America was likely to produce an injurious effect; but in bringing the matter before the House, he would endeavour as far as possible to avoid all subjects likely to cause irritation. For instance, he would not, in the course of the observations he was about to make, whatever his own opinions might be, say one word about sinking the stone fleet at Charleston; nor would he venture to offer an opinion as to the recent proclamation of General Butler at New Orleans: his observations would be confined strictly to the terms of the Motion he had to submit to the consideration of the House. Though few hon. Members would be prepared to deny that the Confederate States had shown determination and ability to support their independence, there might be a difference as to the propriety of our offering mediation. Under that impression, he desired hon. Members to follow him while he considered—first, what he 512 believed to be the cause of the war; secondly, how it affected us; and lastly, why he conceived that the end of the war must be separation, and why he was of opinion that the instincts of humanity and the interests of this country demanded that the war should cease. The United States comprised thirty-four different sovereign and independent States, each having a Legislature and Governor of its own. These States were joined in a Union, or rather compact, as a matter of convenience—for instance, for the convenience of conducting correspondence with Foreign Powers, for carrying on public services by sea and land, and for raising the necessary taxation to cover the expenses of the Federal Government and its army and navy. The area of the country was 1,880,000 square miles, excluding the "Territories," which included an area of 900,000 square miles, with a population of only 300,000. The population of all the States was in round numbers 32,000,000. The Federal, as now distinguished from the Confederate States, had an area of 1,011,000 square miles, and a population of 20,000,000; and the thirteen States which had seceded had an area of 870,000 square miles, with a population of 11,600,000, of which 3,900,000 were slaves. The trade of the once United States, as measured by its exports, was in 1860 350,000,000 dols. Many people in this country were under the impression that the disunion was the impulse of the moment. That was nut so—the causes of it had been working for more than a quarter of a century. The people of the Southern States had been dissatisfied with the use, or rather the abuse of power exercised by the Union, and had protested against what they conceived to be the oppressive taxation of the North. In December, 1860, South Carolina gave notice that she desired to withdraw from the compact. He called the Union a compact, because it was a compact entered into purely for the convenience of all the States. He would leave others to argue whether South Carolina, or any minority of the States, had a right to withdraw from a compact made for the convenience of all the States; but as he read the constitution, there appeared to him nothing in it to prevent any State withdrawing from that compact when it found itself aggrieved; and, certainly, he did not find that the President of the Federal Government had any power to coerce the States which 513 seceded. The resolution of South Carolina to secede was unanimously arrived at by the vote of the Legislature, which met for the special purpose of considering whether it was to the interest of their State to remain by the compact. It was resolved, that it was for their interest that they should remain by it no longer, and three of their most distinguished citizens were appointed to wait on President Buchanan and his Government, to represent their grievances, state the reasons why they could no longer remain in the Union, and to arrange, if possible, the terms of their separation. These gentlemen the President refused even to receive. They then drew up a memorial representing their grievances, and the hardship of their position. It was addressed in respectful, but determined language, and forwarded to the Secretary of State. That memorial was returned to them unanswered. They consequently reported to the Legislature of their State that the President had refused to see them, and that their memorial had been returned unanswered. But South Carolina, anxious to preserve peace, and above all, to avoid bloodshed, sent, in February, 1861, its Attorney General to the Government at Washington. He was treated in the same way—he was not received, and his letter was returned unanswered. Other States, seeing how the Federal Government treated what they conceived to be the just complaints and representations of South Carolina, resolved to follow the example of that State, and withdraw from the Union. The States of Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Texas withdrew from the compact, and towards the end of March, 1861, met in convention and formed a provisional Government, which was to last for one year, and of which they elected Mr. Jefferson Davis to be President. These seven Confederate States, equally anxious to avoid a rupture, and especially to avert bloodshed, deputed three representatives to proceed to Washington and state their grievances to the Government, in the hope of arranging, if possible, terms of settlement. The object of the mission was, in the words of President Davis, to settle all questions of disagreement between the two Governments, on the principles of "justice, right, equity and good faith." The Commissioners arrived at Washington on the 5th March, immediately after the induction of Presi- 514 dent Lincoln to office, and on the 12th they communicated their mission to Mr. Seward, the Secretary of State. They did not receive an answer till the 8th April, and then it was a peremptory refusal even to receive them to hear what they had to say. President Davis published on the 29th of April a history of that mission, and all the incidents connected with it. No one could read that document without arriving at the conclusion that the three Commissioners were shamefully treated, for at the earnest request of Mr. Seward, and with the view "of promoting the peaceful settlement of all difficulties," the Commissioners were induced to forbear pressing for an answer to their communication. They were further assured that Fort Sumter, which commanded the entrance to Charleston harbour, and therefore threatened the city, would be evacuated; that nothing would be done to the prejudice of the Confederate States; and that a demand for an immediate answer would be productive of evil. But, while these assurances were given in the most solemn manner, the Northern States were secretly preparing a great naval and military expedition, which had for its object the reinforcement of Fort Sumter, and which actually sailed while the Commissioners were kept waiting at Washington in the hope and under the promise of "a peaceable settlement of all difficulties." As soon as the news of this expedition reached the Confederate States—and that was only three days before it arrived off Charleston—the people rose to a man; and it was not surprising that they did so. When they found that the answer to their appeals for justice, their remonstrance against oppressive taxation, and their prayer to be relieved from it—the prayer of 5,500,000 people (for that was the population of the States which had at that time seceded)—was to be an answer from the cannon's mouth, there was one shout of execration throughout the Southern States? It was then that the people of Charleston were obliged in self-defence to lay hold of Fort Sumter. If it had been reinforced, the harbour of Charleston would have been at the command of the Northern States, and the city at their mercy. Immediately afterwards President Lincoln issued his first proclamation for 75,000 men, to subdue what he called the rebellion of the South. Driven to desperation by these unconstitutional and extraordinary measures, six other States 515 resolved to follow the example of the seven seceding States and withdraw from the compact. North Carolina, Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri, Kentucky, and Virginia followed the other States in rapid succession; and thus this lamentable war commenced. Though there had been an outcry on the part of a small section of the people of the North against slavery in the South, the suppression of slavery had very little, if anything, to do with the civil war. If it had, the North would have received more sympathy from the people of England. But the word "slavery" during the last Presidential election was used by a large majority of the people of the North as a mere political cry, and for party purposes. It had no reality. In fact, President Lincoln, in his inaugural Address on the 4th of March, 1861, said—I have no intention to interfere, directly or indirectly, with the question of slavery where it exists. I do not think I have a right to do so legally, and I am by no means inclined to do it.Such was the policy of President Lincoln, and the majority of his Cabinet. Moreover, he acted upon that policy; for when General Fremont issued a proclamation freeing the slaves in Missouri, he was immediately recalled from his command. Again, when General Hunter issued a proclamation giving freedom to all the slave population of Beaufort and the three neighbouring districts under his control, his proclamation was disavowed by the Government at Washington. So also when Mr. Cameron the Secretary for War, in his report to the President, stated that one of the objects of the war was the suppression of slavery in the South, Mr. Lincoln ordered that clause to be struck out, and the report appeared without it. The Government at Washington would not admit that the suppression of slavery in the South was even one of the objects of this unhappy war. So much for the avowed policy of the Executive; but what said the people? The opinion of the New York Herald might not be worthy of great consideration, but the proprietor of that journal printed it to sell, and must therefore write so as to suit the taste of his readers. When he was himself at New York, some fifteen months ago, the average circulation of that newspaper was about 120,000 daily. Reviewing very recently the sermons preached on the day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer observed in the Northern States, the New York Herald distinctly stated that negro slavery 516 was part of the Constitution, and that the attempt to abolish it by the Congress or the Executive would be a violation of the Federal compact, and would, moreover, be an imputation on the character of Washington and the other founders of the Republic, who agreed by a solemn league and covenant that the rights of the Southern slaveholders should be guaranteed for ever. The writer, representing the opinions of a vast majority of his readers, disowned entirely that slavery had anything to do with this war, and combated the argument that slavery was a sin. In the North there was not, perhaps, one person out of ten who desired to see it abolished. But however repugnant to our own feelings the institution of slavery, we must look at the question as practical and not altogether as benevolent men. How was this ancient institution to be dealt with in a summary manner? The slaves of the South constituted a property of the value of five hundred millions sterling; and where was that money to come from, and what was to become of the slaves if they were all emancipated at once? With these remarks, he would now state what appeared to him to be the real cause of the war. Each of the thirty-four States sent two Members to the Senate—the smallest States sending two as well as the largest. On the other hand, the measure for the representatives returned for each State to the lower House was entirely regulated by population. But the ratio of population had entirely changed. In 1790, shortly after the Constitution was framed, there was one Member in the House of Representatives to every 33,000 persons; while in 1850 there was one to every 93,420. For many years past the tide of emigration had flown to the Northern and Western States; and as numbers alone formed the basis of representation, the wealth, the power, and the intelligence of the Southern States had been rapidly losing their influence, and, in fact, their independence in the lower House. For instance, in 1800 Virginia had twenty-three representatives, and Indiana only one; but in 1850 Virginia had thirteen representatives, and Indiana eleven. Again, in 1800 North Carolina had two representatives and Ohio had only one; but in 1850, while North Carolina had eight, Ohio had twenty-one. So that in 1850, while the North and West had very materially increased the number of their representatives, the South had ma- 517 terially diminished. It became a serious question with the people of the South. They felt that they were saddled with great taxation, while practically they had no voice in the imposition of the taxes, because the majorities of the West and of the North swamped on almost every occasion the representatives from the South. They saw the effect of this in the rapid increase of taxation, or rather of protective duties. He need not tell the House that the interests of the South and of the North were diametrically opposed. The South was a purely agricultural country, and its interest was perfect free trade—to sell its cotton in the dearest market and buy the manufactures it required in the cheapest. The interest, or the supposed interest, of the North was protection. Mark what had been the course of events. It was just as the numbers of the North began to gain the ascendancy in Congress that the first protective tariff was introduced. That was in 1824. In 1828 that tariff was made more stringent. So far back as 1833 South Carolina protested against the injustice of those oppressive tariffs, and gave notice that she would withdraw from the Union, because, she said, the taxation was such that she could not bear it. An arrangement was made there and then with South Carolina, and a pledge was given that the taxation should be reduced; and on those conditions South Carolina remained in the Union. But that pledge was not kept. The protective tariff was still further increased in 1846. They had all heard of the recent Morrill tariff. The duties under it had been raised to 100, and in some cases to nearly 200 per cent. Now, what was the effect of that on the people of the South? As he had said, the exports in 1860 from the United States amounted to 350,000,000 dols. As the House was aware, all exports must be paid for by imports. Of these exports 250,000,000 dols. were from the South, 200,000,000 dols. being the value of the cotton exported, and the remainder being tobacco and other products. The exports from the North amounted to only 100,000,000 dols., so that the South exported two and a half times more than the North either directly or indirectly. If, then, it were true—and it was true—that exports were paid for by imports, and if the imports were heavily taxed, the people of the South were bearing, either directly or indirectly, a most undue proportion of the taxation levied by the Federal Govern- 518 ment. The people of the South complained of this, and they said, with great force—"This taxation is not levied for the purposes laid down by the Constitution, but for the purpose of protecting the ironmasters of Pennsylvania and the manufacturers of New England; and it is telling upon us in a two-fold degree, because we are called upon to bear an undue proportion of this taxation; we are also, on the other hand, obliged to pay increased prices for the articles we buy from the North, and which we could buy cheaper and better in Europe." So that practically the real cause of this disruption was taxation without representation; taxation levied, not for the necessities of the United States or for the purposes of the Union, but for the benefit of particular States who had large majorities in the Congress. But how did this unhappy war affect us? The great bulk of the cotton grown in the South was exported to supply the manufacturers in Europe, and we were the greatest customers. He need hardly call the attention of the House to what our manufacturing districts were suffering by the stoppage of the supplies of cotton from the Southern States of America. By the last accounts the distress had increased to a degree almost unparalleled. At Preston the poor rates amounted to no less than 18s. in the pound. At Blackburn there were somewhere about 15,000 persons receiving relief; at Preston upwards of 12,000, and at that place there were about 17,000 claimants upon the Relief Fund. The English people were patient, and bore their trials quietly; but their patience and endurance must not be tried too far. He received two days ago a letter from a labouring man, who told a very simple tale. Writing for himself and various other workmen, he said, respecting the recognition of the Southern States—I can assure you in this part of the country (Ashton-under-Lyne) we are very anxious to see it. We think it high time to give the Southern States the recognition they so richly deserve. It would break a heart of stone to see the privations of the people here. We are willing to work, but what can we do? We can get no work, so we are obliged to go to the parish to get relief, which we are ashamed to ask for. What we are to do this next winter, if we can get no cotton, is dreadful to think of.He believed that the distress in the manufacturing districts was far greater than hon. Members generally supposed from the accounts in the newspapers. The people began to inquire—"What is the meaning 519 of all this suffering? It is because the people in America are lighting against each other." And many of them had already arrived at the conclusion that all this fighting must be in vain; that there was no power in the North to bring back the South into the Union, and that the contest could only result in the permanent separation of the North and the South, and they looked to this House to express an opinion and see if they could not by mediation and representation with the contending parties induce them, if they would not think of the injury they were doing themselves, at least to reflect on the serious injury they were doing this country. What was to be the end of this war? Was there any Member in the House who seriously thought that the South would ever be brought back into the Union? He from the first held and expressed the opinion that it was altogether impossible. When he saw that thirteen States with a population of 11,500,000 had resolved to govern themselves, he came to the conclusion that the Union could no longer be maintained. Let the House bear with him for a moment while he directed their attention to the Resolution passed in the Confederate Congress in March last. After stating their grievances, they went on to declare that it was the unalterable determination of the Confederate States to bear all the calamities of the most protracted war rather than they would go back into a Union with those who had invaded their soil and butchered their people. Even if the armies of the North overcame the armies of the South, there was a passive resistance still to be overcome which no army could subdue. This was shown in the case of the Mayor of New Orleans, who said to the Federals, "We are at your mercy; deal with us as you please, but your flag we will not honour, your laws we cannot respect, your taxes we will not pay." Such was the unanimous feeling of the whole of the Southern States. We had been told throughout the whole of the war, "Only let the Union flag be once hoisted in any part of the South, and you will see that the Southern people will rally round it and come back into the Union." Well, that flag had been flying at New Orleans for the last six months, and he wanted to know how many had come back to the Union? The hoisting of the flag was to open up a trade there and at Beaufort; but though the people of the South were suffering from the want of the necessaries of life, 520 yet they would have no dealings with the Northern people. The re-establishment of the Union was indeed hopeless. That being so—if we had come to that conclusion—it behoved England, in concert, he hoped, with the great Powers of Europe, to offer her mediation, and to ask those States, to consider the great distress among the people of this country caused entirely by this unhappy civil war which is now raging. He held from the first but one opinion on this war; and if the House would allow him, he would road a few remarks in a letter which he addressed more than twelve months since to a citizen of the United States, which was published at the time in the Northern States, and in reference to which he was sorry to say he received some very angry letters. [The hon. Member then read extracts from the letter in question, in which he stated that the interests of the North and the South were so diametrically opposed to each other, that, in his opinion, the Union could never be re-established.] That was the opinion he held then, and he begged his Friend, who was a leading Member of Congress, to use his influence to prevent the fearful bloodshed which he foresaw must ensue from any attempt to prevent the separation. Independently altogether of his anxious desire to see an end put to this fearful war and to the distress which our people were suffering, he desired to see the Southern States separated from the North because he believed it was for the interest of this country, both politically and commercially, that that separation should take place. We knew that the South would be prepared to adopt a free trade policy; that they would be prepared to enter into relations with this country, and to exchange directly their cotton and the other products of the South for our manufactures. Therefore, commercially, it was for our interest. Politically it would be well for us that a vast power like the United States should be divided. We had been constantly receiving threats of war from America; and therefore, independently of the reasons he had named, he he must frankly say he was anxious for the separation, because he believed it would be for the political interests of the people of this country. But was it really the case that the offer of mediation would be scouted by the North? What was the state of things in the Northern States? Why, men of position, intelligence, and property 521 were hardly allowed to express an opinion. There was a sort of mob law which reigned supreme. In proof of how earnestly the mediation of England was desired by the better class of American citizens, he would read part of a letter which he had received from New York only to-day, and which was dated July 4. The writer said—Will England hesitate any longer to offer mediation? Why, if she had in the first month of the war forcibly interfered, no greater ill-feeling could have been shown towards her than has been shown under her magnanimous forbearance. Nor need a war be feared if you recognise the South.. … Gold is at 10 per cent premium, silver disappearing, 'shin plasters,' or tradesmen's debt tickets, becoming a currency, millions of irredeemable paper constantly issuing by Government, and millions more to come if war continues. … What is all this against the stupendous power of England? No, indeed, there can be no war short of England declaring it. … Is she afraid for her Northern supplies of bread stuffs? Let her consider that her demand for them is the lifeblood of our agricultural States. They must sell to her. The probable loss of her custom alone would secure her from any danger on our part. We await her action in sad dismay.Such were the sentiments of many of the Northern people, and he believed the Government of Washington, seeing the hopeless fix that they have got into, would be glad to have some excuse for discontinuing the war. He had received another letter, from Brunswick, in the State of Maine, dated also the 4th of this month, in which the writer, a man of strong Union feeling, said he saw now the war was hopeless, and he trusted the Powers of Europe would offer mediation. That gentleman wrote to him not knowing that he had any intention of bringing the subject before the House. And now, he would ask, would Foreign Powers be prepared to go with us in offering this mediation? He thought there could not be a doubt that the Emperor of the French, whose people were known to be suffering even more severely than ours from the stoppage of the cotton supply, would only be too happy in joining England in offering mediation. He simply asked that Government should offer, in concert with other Powers, their mediation. He knew that the Southern States would be ready to receive it on the basis of separation; and if the North declined, then he concluded that the recognition of the Southern States on the part of this country would be perfectly justifiable, if our Government thought that the Southern people, as a nation, were fit to be received, 522 as they undoubtedly were, into the comity of nations. He believed that the Emperor of the French was prepared to join in offering mediation on the basis of separation. We knew, or at least it was generally believed, that the Emperor was very reluctant to acknowledge the so-called blockade of the Southern ports, and he had reason to believe that the Emperor's Government had made various remonstrances to Her Majesty's Government on the subject. Seeing that a large portion of the people of the Northern States must desire peace; seeing the number of our own people that are suffering from this fratricidal war, he did trust that Her Majesty's Government would, either alone or in concert with some of the great Powers of Europe, use their best endeavours, and that immediately, to put an end to the terrible struggle now raging in America. It seemed to him to be strange and remarkable that the Government should have taken no steps with a view to put an end to that war. It was clear the South could not be conquered. It was still more clear that the South could never be brought back to the Union. Considering these facts, and having regard to the abilities displayed by their statesmen and generals, and the manner in which they had defended themselves under circumstances most trying against the overwhelming numbers of the North, he thought, in submitting his Resolution to the House, they would agree with him that the time had arrived when the Southern States should be received into the family of nations.
To leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "in the opinion of this House, the States which have seceded from the Union of the Republic of the United States have so long maintained themselves under a separate and established Government, and have given such proof of their determination and ability to support their Independence, that the propriety of offering mediation, with the view of terminating hostilities between the contending parties, is worthy of the serious and immediate attention of Her Majesty's Government,
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
said, he was not permitted by the rules of the House to move another Amendment upon the Question that the Speaker do leave the chair, but 523 he hoped the House would allow him to give the reasons why, in his opinion, the Amendment of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Sunderland should be negatived. The hon. Gentleman had kept his Amendment dangling before the House for some time, and there seemed some probability that the Session would close without its being formally moved. Why he had finally determined to bring it forward he could not say; and he would venture to say that he had now selected a most inauspicious moment for doing so, and would have done much better if he had acceded to the request pressed upon him by several of his own friends, and given his proposition a still further postponement. There was a saying, not very reverential, that Providence fought on the side of the strongest battalions, and 20,000,000 of the North were not likely to be put down by 5,000,000 or 6,000,000 of the South, encumbered by 3,000,000 or 4,000,000 slaves. So far, in his opinion, from our intervention in the great struggle between the North and the South resulting in any advantage to our own people, he was convinced it would result in nothing more than increasing their expenses and burdens. They had recently been discussing economical doctrines, and the hon. Member for Sunderland was one of their stanchest supporters. But if the hon. Member had voted for every Vote for army, navy, and fortifications for Spithead, Portsdown, and Plymouth, and then, like Oliver Twist, had asked for more, he would have done a far more economical thing than ventilating the subject which he had brought before the House to-night. He regretted that the hon. Gentleman had not accepted the advice to withdraw a Motion which was without any possible advantage, and without any possible object except adding to the irritation and bitterness felt with regard to our position upon this question. The hon. Gentleman said that from reading the papers he was inclined to think those feelings could not be worse. But he differed from him; and although he admitted that exaggerated and mistaken opinions prevailed in the North, there was a great deal of ground for their bitterness and irritation. ["No."] He thought that much of the irritation of the North had been caused by the position which we had taken up between the two combatants. America had a right to expect that, with our anti-slavery opinions, we should have 524 looked with calmer eyes upon the struggle between the North and South. A certain portion, and a not uninfluential portion, of the English press had dealt anything but fairly with the Northern States. No sooner had the South proclaimed secession than these papers denounced the North for entering into war. All the indignation and hostility with regard to America when the Government at Washington was influenced by Southern counsels were transferred to the Northern Government, when the Southern power no longer predominated. He hardly knew whether upon the merits or demerits of the Northern Government this portion of the press was most bitter. The censure was diverse and inconsistent. First, it was said to be ridiculous for a republic to attempt to go to war, and that it could not have that individuality of power necessary to enable it to strike a blow with effect; but when the Northern States showed that they would put down faction, and even give up individual liberty and the liberty of the press, they were called tyrannical and dictatorial. One day they were told that they could not carry on the war because they could not raise the money, and the next they were told that they were extravagant and thriftless in their expenditure. They were denounced because they did not pass tax bills to raise revenue; and when the tax bills were passed and the tariff increased, they were blamed for their bad policy. They were denounced as hypocritical for professing to fight for the slaves; and yet as soon as they had shown distinctly the direction of their wishes by prohibiting slavery in the central State of Columbia, they were told that they were not dealing justly with the State rights of the South. The Amendment they were now discussing had been once or twice changed, and each time it was more diluted than before; but, no doubt, the hon. Gentleman meant, by mediation, recognition of the South and intervention in the North; and that meant nothing but war with the United States. "No, no!"] Intervention was only a longer word for war. Never was so tremendous an issue so easily, so lightly, and with so slight a recognition of its importance, raised, as had been this issue by the hon. Member. War without bloodshed and suffering was impossible; but why must we run into it? Did experience teach us no lessons? There was the war with Russia, and who would say that game was worth the light it cost? There was 525 the intervention in Mexico, the only good step in which was when we stepped out of it. There was immediate danger of war with China. Yet all these wars would be petty and insignificant if compared with a war between us and the United States of America. No war in the century would be a parallel for such a terrible conflict. It would be a fratricidal war, almost as truly as that which was being fought between the South and North—a war which would strike terror into all the friends of progress and liberty, and be rejoiced at by all who were their foes. At the beginning of the last century there was an intervention in the interest of "order." This would be like it, only it would be in the interest of rebellion. It was said, then, that they were to surround the scorpion of revolution with a circle of fire, that it might sting itself to death. The metaphor was bad. It was like battening down a volcano, which burst forth with more resistless power, and overran the greater part of Europe. We were compelled to fight almost for existence. It saddled us with the interest of hundreds of millions of debt, and it left a legacy of antagonism and hatred which fifty years had not been sufficient to expiate. He denied that the working-classes of this country entertained the opinions which the hon. Gentleman imputed to them. At a great meeting at Blackburn the other day, a Resolution similar to that now proposed by the hon. Member for Sunderland was submitted to them; it was negatived, and a resolution in the opposite sense was carried by the working men almost unanimously. He thought the attitude of the working classes in Lancashire one of the finest character that the history of this country had ever exhibited to our admiration. Suffering from something beyond their own action and control, and seeing their little savings gradually decreasing, with no hope for the future except that which was created by the confidence that their more favoured countrymen would stand between them and absolute want, they still declined to accept the intimation that they might remedy their distress by interference in the American quarrel. It was a magnificent spectacle of patience and intelligence, when these people were seen ready to bear their sufferings, because they felt, even if a supply of cotton should be the result of intervention, that that intervention would involve a sin and produce a stain on the anti- 526 slavery flag of England. There might occasionally be advantages in intervention—when, for instance, by some unfortunate misunderstanding, two nations had got into a quarrel. Then there might occur an opportunity for some judicious friend from without to put a constraint and force on them to compel them to do that which was for their own good. But the present strife in America was no such unexpected event, and it was one of the greatest reflections on all who had a deep interest in cotton—both on the men of Manchester and on the Government—that knowing that for such an essential article the English manufacturers were dependent on only one country, and that a country where slave labour prevailed, they did not long before take steps to enlarge the area of supply. For the present conflict in America the South had been preparing for many years past, and the thinkers of the North had been expecting it. This was no casual strife. It was the Nemesis of that system of slavery which condemned to chattelism four millions of human beings, because they were "guilty of a skin not coloured like our own," and which, taken in connection with the civilization prevailing without its pale, might be described as the wickedest and most infernal system the world had ever seen. This war might have occurred later, or it might have come on ten years sooner, but it was in itself inevitable. The history of the United States for many years past had exhibited one long attempt to postpone and put off this inevitable struggle. It was said that the Northern Americans cared nothing about slavery, and that the present war did not originate out of any feeling on that subject. That was true; but the issue depending on it was not the less "slavery" or "no slavery." The Northern States had not virtue enough to care for the slavery of the blacks, and only awoke to a sense of its infamy when they found that their freedom and independence were closely bound up with their own immediate interests. The whole legislation of the United States for many years past showed attempts to postpone this strife by concessions. At first the freedom of the citizens of the North was degraded by giving to the Southern States their three-fifth black vote, and at last was passed that measure, the most infamous that had ever degraded the statute-book of a civilized state—the Fugitive Slave Bill. Let not Englishmen suppose 527 that that was only a small sacrifice for the Northerners to make; let them only think what the citizens of the Old Bay State must feel when they saw its boundaries invaded by hellhounds from the South. There was a point, however, beyond which the Northerners would not go in the way of concession. They would not allow the action of slavery to be extended over all the States of America, and into the new territories. The South demanded this, and the answer was the election of old Abraham Lincoln, rugged, simple, and indomitable, whose name would live after that of many a smooth and polished statesman was forgotten. The South was certainly not to be blamed for drawing the sword, except so far as the act was connected with the maintenance of slavery and its abominations. The South were fighting like men worthy of a better cause. Interference on our part would be simply useless. If it even succeeded in stopping present hostilities, it would only create an armed truce, which would be no longer maintained when the South should feel itself strong enough to strike again, or the North should feel itself strong enough to overwhelm the South. If we did interfere, our intervention would not be in the interests of humanity, unless we could help the North and South to solve the issue raised between them. What an extraordinary instance of inconsistency to see a nation that expended £20,000,000 in order to emancipate the slaves in its own colonies, now discussing in Parliament a proposition for the establishment of the independence of new states whose independence was exclusively based upon the recognition of slavery. The opinion of John Stuart Mill was against any such interference, believing that, if attempted, the result would be a war between the Southern States and this country; and that we should have the North, if not in open hostility to us, at least firmly determined to refuse us their active support. He would venture to ask the House to negative, indignantly and almost unanimously, the proposition of the hon. Gentleman, which would be, if adopted, an insult to America.
LORD ADOLPHUS VANE TEMPEST
thought that the tone taken by the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down was hardly justified by the speech of the hon. Member for Sunderland (Mr. Lindsay). He should not have ventured to put a Motion on the paper himself, had he not 528 believed that the Motions of which notice had been given by the hon. Members for Sunderland and Clithcroe had been withdrawn, and that the House was about to separate without expressing an opinion on this momentous subject, which was the chief subject of conversation in every circle out of doors from the highest to the lowest; and he had thought that it was not for the dignity of the House, whose highest boast was to be the reflex of public opinion, that it should remain silent as to the course which the Government ought to take. Out of doors the question was discussed with varying sympathies for one side or the other; but there was almost an unanimous agreement that the time had come when this awful struggle, if possible, should be put an end to. The hon. Member for Leicester (Mr. Taylor) had attempted to represent this question as one of continued slavery or abolition. He claimed to have as deep a feeling against slavery as the hon. Member, but it was his firm conviction that the course advocated by the hon. Member for Sunderland would go farther towards the ultimate abolition of slavery than the continuance of the war. It was impossible that the Union could be re-established; but if its re-establishment depended on the continuance or the abolition of slavery, is there a doubt that the Northern Government would give any guarantee for its continuance? In his speech at Manchester the Chancellor of the Exchequer truly stated that the Northern Government had offered to the Southern Confederation every possible security which they could ask—they offered the Fugitive Slave Law and every other concession which could be required; but, as he knew, the Southern Government returned for their answer, "If you sent us a blank piece of paper, and told us to fill it up with our own conditions, we would decline to go back into your Union." The meeting, too, which had recently taken place at New York ought to teach the hon. Member a lesson. It was attended by the leaders of the great Democratic party, who were carrying on the war, and without whom it could not be carried on, and one of the resolutions they passed was, that the two great causes militating against the Union were Secession and Abolitionism. The meeting pledged itself equally against secession and abolition. How, then, could this be described as a question of the abolition of slavery? He could hardly have thought that any 529 hon. Member would have thrown such a colouring over the question as that which had been given to it by the hon. Member for Leicester; but, unless it were stripped of all that prejudice which was created by representing the cause of the North as the cause of the negro, it was impossible to discuss the question with any advantage. He was firmly convinced that the maintenance of the Union would go further to perpetuate slavery than anything else; and he conscientiously believed, from personal observation, that the establishment of a Southern Confederacy would, to a certainty, be followed by an amelioration of the condition of the slave, and eventually by a general manumission. The chief cause which had hitherto prevented it was the indiscreet efforts of a small abolition party in the North, whose advocate the hon. Member was on the present occasion—that party had done more to postpone the cause of abolition than any other class. He repeated, the cause of the negro would be more advanced by the success of the South than by any other event. The question now before the House might be divided into two parts—whether interference should take place; and, if so, what that interference should be. He might be inclined to agree in the views expressed in the Amendment of the hon. Member for Bradford (Mr. Forster) in favour of the continuance of non-intervention if it were not for our peculiar position towards America. We were not in the position of being totally indifferent in the matter—we had a locus standi in the shape of 5,000,000 of people in the manufacturing districts. Hon. Gentlemen must all have read the reports of the Commissioners sent by the Government into the distressed districts. He concurred fully in all that had been said of the magnificent courage which had been displayed by our distressed population. Thousands and thousands had been thrown out of employment, and their little hoards, the fruits of their hard labour and economy, were dribbling fast away day by day; but would they continue to bear their privations with the same firmness—nay, more, ought the House to entail them upon them if they could possibly be avoided? This was a question of principle as well as of interest, and he would ask did not this country inherit responsibility as well as greatness? Had we not a duty to perform to Europe, and ought we not to come forward and state what our views were on this subject, lay down a course 530 of policy, and accept the consequences of it? Two or three weeks ago he read in the New York journals that there would have been reason for our interference some time ago—we might have urged that it was necessary in the interests of our own population; but that now no such interference would be justifiable, because the Federal Government had all the cotton ports in their possession. This was not true, for Savannah, Mobile, and Charleston still resisted the Federal arms; but even if the North held the cotton ports, our interference ought to be grounded, not on cotton alone, but on conscience and Christianity. Two reasons might be urged against our interference—one being the chance that the North would be successful, and the other the necessity of maintaining friendly relations with the North. But what were the chances that the North would restore the Union? Could any person of reasonable mind doubt that the idea of the re-establishment of the Union by the Northern Power was an utter fallacy and delusion? Look at the position of affairs. For sixteen months the South had successfully kept at bay the North, though the latter were backed up by all the resources of Europe. The Southern capital was within 120 miles of the seat of the Northern Government, and yet it remained intact, and he had received a letter partially corroborating the news announced to-night, and stating that the Northern troops had been worsted near Richmond and were retreating. It had been proved that the Federal forces, when they were once taken from the seaboard and from the support of their gunboats in the river, could make no way at all. And under what circumstances had the South been fighting? The war surprised the South without a navy or an army. Theirs was an agricultural population; they had no manufactures of their own, and they had had to improvise everything—even the rudest manufacture of gunpowder. Yet now, after an interval of sixteen months, they gallantly held their own. The fact was, that you could not beat such a people—for this reason, that they were fighting for freedom. It was the old tale—For Freedom's battle, once begun,Bequeathed from bleeding sire to son,Though baffled oft, is ever won.But allowing that the South was overcome, how were the North to hold it when, by the confession of one of their own statesmen, it would take 200,000 men to hold Ken- 531 tucky and it took 70,000 to hold Maryland at the present moment? Why were we to exercise this unnatural magnanimity in keeping the lists open for a contest in which all our sympathies should be with the South? If this were the case of a king trying to subdue his rebellious subjects, how the hon. Member for Bradford and his party would exclaim! "The freedom of a people is at stake," they would say. Well, but he had this pull over the hon. Member. When a Sovereign had subdued his rebellious subjects, he resumed the government as before. But how could the Federalists henceforth govern the South? Not upon the principle which they professed—the will of the people. Twenty millions of people were trying to impose their rule upon 8,000,000, who, whether rightly or wrongly, detested it, and they were trying to do this by means of an army of which three-fifths were mercenaries. There was another point noticed in the newspapers, and corroborated by his private letters. Were we to hold aloof while the Northern Government enlisted 40,000 Blacks in order to assist in imposing their rule upon 8,000,000 Whites? As to the chances of our remaining upon friendly terms with the Northern Government, they were very slight. On almost every occasion, from the commencement of its existence, that Government had opposed, thwarted, and insulted us. Instances of this abounded. Upon no occasion had they shown the slightest consideration towards us; and it was truly remarked by a writer upon this point that the course taken by the American Government during the war with Russia was dictated not by sympathy with Russia, but by hatred of England. What could be done in the face of the extreme wilfulness and hostility of this very wayward child? All our forbearance had not produced on her part an atom of good-will or one bit of respect towards us. When the noble Lord at the head of the Government declared that General Butler's proclamation was an infamous one—an opinion which would be endorsed by every Member in that House—the American newspapers said that the Mississippi was not the Thames, that New Orleans was not London, and that when they got their hands clear, they would whip the old country until she knew how to behave herself. We might well laugh at all this, but what were the practical proofs given of the hostility of the North towards us? Not content with the Morrill 532 tariff, the North had introduced a tariff still more prohibitive. In Boston and other towns in the Northern States placards were posted outside the shops setting forth that "No English goods sold hero;" and was that, he would ask, a country in favour of which any extraordinary sympathy ought to be shown by the English people? The inhabitants of the Southern States were by interest and necessity free-traders, who, if they were let alone, would be glad to exchange for our manufactured goods their raw material. A Member of the Southern Government said to him at Richmond—I cannot understand how it is that your sympathy is not with us. We are not, and never mean to be, a manufacturing or naval Power; we should therefore look to England to be our workshop and our carrier.Let us, however, discard the notion of self-interest from the consideration of the question as sordid. Let us put aside also the question of the moral responsibility of England and what might have been expected from her influence on European policy, and he would appeal to the feeling of the House. He would ask whether it required any great stretch of imagination on the part of the hon. Member for Bradford and those who supported his views in reference to the struggle going on in America to realize the feelings of those men in the South who saw their friends and relatives hung, or run the risk of being so, because they happened not to show respect to a flag which they abhorred, and the women around them outraged because they did not treat with what was deemed the requisite civility a soldiery they detested. The cause of the South, he might add, was that of 6,000,000 or 7,000,000 of people struggling manfully for their independence, and maintaining bravely their position for a period of sixteen months. Was it surprising that under those circumstances they should think they had a claim to the sympathy and good offices of the nations of Europe? Why not, he would ask, adopt in their case the principle on which we had hitherto so constantly acted—that of acknowledging Governments de facto, and not interfering with the will of a people, as was done in the case of the Provisional Government in Greece, in the case of Belgium, and at the present day in the case of Italy? The principle was one, he might further say, which was not new to America herself, for in 1848 Mr. Buchanan, in writing to 533 the American Envoy in Paris, stated that—In its acknowledgment of foreign nations, the Government of the United States has, from its origin, always recognised de facto Governments, and the right of all nations to create or reform their political institutions according to their own will and pleasure. … It is sufficient for us to know," he added, "that a Government exists capable of maintaining itself; then our recognition immediately follows.That was the enunciation of a policy which he thought might justify our recognition of the Southern States. Now, he held in his hand a letter from the United States dated the 5th July. He would not trouble the House with the whole of it; he would only read a sentence towards the close, in which the writer said—If you wish to pay off all your small debts to the North, let them alone, and, like the two Kilkenny cats, they will do the work for themselves.No doubt, if our feelings towards America were as they were described in New York journals, this would be our natural policy; but as we knew those are not our sentiments, then let him ask whether justice, humanity, and interest combined, do not warrant interference and action? He must, however, observe, before he sat down, with respect to the question of mediation, that he did not think pur et simple mediation would be found to be worth much; while, with reference to the recognition of the Southern States, which might be regarded as an act of civility on the part of one country towards another, he did not think that it ought of necessity to be regarded as a casus belli by the North. It might, on the other hand, possibly entail on us complications which, on account of a merely complimentary proceeding, it might not be worth while to encounter. Then came the question whether any action should be taken by this country; and if taken, what the action should be? He had ventured to submit his views to the House of Commons. He thought the time was come when the English Government might interfere in some way to stop this deplorable struggle, either by itself or in conjunction with some European Powers. It was his strong opinion that the arbitration should be with the olive-branch, and not with the sword; but that it should convey the expression of the European Powers, that, in their opinion, this conflict had lasted too long; that its continuance could lead to no result; and that the interests of civilization and humanity demanded its cessation. He believed that 534 the time was come when such an interference would be successful, and he thought it the duty of the House of Commons to strengthen the hands of the Government in this matter; and if such a course were adopted with singleness of purpose, they might hope for that benediction from above which was held out in Divine Writ to the peacemakers upon earth.
§ MR. W. E. FORSTER
said, the noble Lord had asked him a variety of questions as to what the Northern Government would, could, might, or should do in certain contingencies. He begged to assure the noble Lord and the House that he did not stand there as the advocate or mouthpiece of the Northern Government. He looked at the question purely from an English point of view. No man more deeply deplored than himself the evils caused by the war, both here and in America, and no prepossession in favour of either party would prevent him from supporting any feasible mode of putting an end to them. He believed, however, that the Motion of the hon. Member for Sunderland, so far from staying the war, would rather aggravate and prolong it, and, possibly, drag us into it; and he earnestly trusted that we would persevere in the principle and policy of entire non-intervention. The Motion had undergone many alterations. First, it simply implied recognition of the Confederate States as an independent nation; then it implied both recognition and mediation, if not something stronger than mediation; then recognition was dropped out, and Her Majesty was requested to adopt measures, in conjunction with other European Powers, to put an end to the civil war in America. It was to the Motion in that shape that he had ventured to put an Amendment on the paper. It was evident there had been a conflict of opinion in the hon. Gentleman's own mind, whether he should go for a friendly mediation, or mediation accompanied with a threat; but let not the hon. Gentleman transfer that doubt, which existed in his own mind, to the House, so that America and their own constituents should not know what was really meant. What did they mean? Was it friendly mediation or forcible intervention? If the object was friendly mediation, in the present relations with America, the less that was publicly said about it the better. He differed from his hon. Friend as to the causes of the war, but there could be no doubt as to the object in continuing it. The men of the 535 South were fighting in order to make themselves an independent nation, and in order to destroy the Union. The Federals were fighting in order to prevent their becoming an independent nation, and in order to maintain the Union. How was it possible to end the war short of the utter defeat of either party? either that the men of the South should on some conditions return to the Union, or that the men of the North should on certain terms allow them to leave it? If any Government would go between these two powerful and furious foes—both confident in the right of their cause, both sanguine of success, neither prepared to submit to dictation—one thing must be avoided—to express any opinion on the object in dispute. But the hon. Member for Sunderland had, in bringing forward this subject, expressed an opinion in favour of the South, and accompanied it with a threat to the North, which had been reiterated boldly enough by those who supported him. Yet the hon. Gentleman expected the North to listen to this friendly mediation. They were going the very worst way to work in order to effect their object. Notwithstanding his wish for peace, the hon. Member for Sunderland does not think our mediation would be less likely to be successful if accompanied by a threat. Was that likely to put an end to the war? Were we in the position of the Federals—take the case of the war in India—if an offer of mediation had been made, accompanied by a threat—if France had stood forward and said, this contest can end only in separation—should we not have considered it an insult, and, instead of bringing us to peace, would it not much more likely have tended to aggravate the war? If we wanted this war to be prosecuted by the men of the North with greater fury, we could not go to work more ingeniously to attain our end. Again, if any disturbance arose in Ireland, if a contest were going on there, and if another Power stepped in, saying to us, "Let Irishmen alone, and let them govern themselves," should we be prepared to submit to dictation in such a matter? It might be said this was a war so suicidal, so foolish, so wicked, that we must simply consider how to put a stop to it. Now this was not the opinion of the vast majority of the 20,000,000 of the North, and it would not be our opinion if we were in the same position. The courage and endurance of the South were beyond all praise, and com- 536 manded our sympathy; but why did they evince these qualities? Because they regarded the Northern army as foreign invaders. But let us threaten the North with foreign interference, and we shall work them up to the same pitch of fury as the South. On the other hand, if we left them alone, it was possible the Federalists might themselves find out that they had undertaken a task too hard for them. President Lincoln had called for 300,000 more troops. He could not help thinking there was a little more difficulty in getting these 300,000 than there was before. The sick and wounded men going home were not good recruiting sergeants; but if we wished to find President Lincoln his 300,000 men, we had only to send out by next mail the statement that England, in concert with other Powers, threatened interference if she did not put a stop to the war. Some went still further, and were ready to assume the character of peacemakers, as defined by the noble Lord at the end of his speech—rather a curious interpretation of the language of Scripture, "Blessed are the peacemakers"—who do not stand aloof from the contest. There might be those who would say, "Better a war with America than a continuance of the present state of things." Now, surely, if we had no casus belli against America, where would be the justification of our going to war with her? Were we to go to war with any country because we happened to be in disaster on account of what was occurring in that country? Not only would such a war be wicked and unjust, but foolish to the greatest possible degree. It was said that our population was starving, and he believed that the cotton famine at this moment was likely to get worse. But we could keep the working population of Lancashire in luxury for less than the price it would cost us to interfere as the noble Lord opposite suggested. We had a cotton famine now; but if we did that, we should stand in danger of a corn famine. Even if we were to enter into such a war, and to break all the rules of international law, on the ground of mere interest, because we could not get a certain commodity, then we ought to take our material interest in all its bearings, and see whether we should not lose more than we should gain by it. He believed that, considered in a merely selfish and economical point of view, such a war would be the worse alternative. His hon. Friend 537 the Member for Leicester had referred to the case of the French Revolution, and the intervention which then took place. Did they not all know that the horrors of that revolution were made more horrible still by that intervention, and the struggle rendered more bitter? Well, the same thing would happen if we now interfered in America. This was not a common civil war—it partook more of a revolution than of a civil war; it was an entire change in the social system. The Southern States had been slaveholders, and the Northern States had connived at their being so. But the American people now felt that they could not remain a great and powerful country, united before the world, because of slavery, and they said they would have an entire change in their social system. He believed it was now generally acknowledged that slavery was the real cause of this war. ["No, no!" and "The tariff!"] Why, Vice President Stephens said that the South went to war to establish slavery as the corner stone of the new Republic. The tariff was not mentioned in the declaration of independence put forth by South Carolina, and it was scarcely alluded to in the contest for the Presidential election. He believed that slavery was the cause of the war, and that the war would cause the end of slavery. How it would do that he did not pretend to say, and he would make no prophesy as to whether it would result from the South becoming independent. But he said—"Let us, who are free from the responsibilities which are coming upon that unhappy country in punishment for the crime of slavery, take care how we involve ourselves in any such responsibilities by an attempt at interference." There was a feeling in the North, with respect to the question of slavery, at which some persons sneered. The North was loath to add a servile war to the present civil war, and hence, in a great measure, the inconsistency with which it was taunted. Let us not by our interference be instrumental in any way in helping to provoke a servile war. It was said that we should be sure of cotton, but in six months after we interfered the able-bodied negro slaves would probably be converted into Sepoys, acting with the army of the North instead of producing the raw material for our manufactures. Thanking her Majesty's Government for the policy of non-intervention which they had hitherto pursued in regard to this terrible war, he earnestly 538 hoped they would continue to adhere steadfastly to that policy. This matter, he thought, might be safely left to their discretion. As to the present Motion, altered though it had been, yet remembering both how it was worded, and the way in which it had been supported, he must give his vote decidedly against it.
§ MR. WHITESIDE
Sir, I quite admit, with hon. Gentlemen who have addressed the House, that this question is one of great delicacy and some difficulty; but it does not therefore follow that we should not venture to express an opinion upon it. I do not believe that any popular assembly in the world could be more cautious, more abstinent, more prudent and circumspect than this House of Commons has been since this unhappy war began. For a long period it has been felt by every hon. Member that the introduction of the question would be unpalatable to the House; but now, when under different circumstances, and after a great lapse of time, an independent Member has introduced it, it would, I think, be very cowardly on our part not to express our feelings upon the true question before us, which, with all deference to the hon. Gentleman who spoke last, I hold he has left untouched. An hon. Gentleman connected with the North of England has stated the degree of suffering which now presses upon our artisans there. That is only one part and one phase of the great question which now rises before us in such awful proportions. We are not so much concerned with the past as with the present and the future. Her Majesty's Government have given us their opinion on the subject of fortifications, and on other subjects which may be of more or less importance. They have stated nothing on this great question, which is uppermost in the mind of every man in the kingdom. I think the hon. Member who has introduced it deserves well of the country, for having afforded Her Majesty's Ministers the opportunity of declaring what their opinions are on this momentous subject. There may be involved in it a question of principle and a question of high expediency; but both the principle and the expediency ultimately turn upon a question of fact. I maintain that this Motion in a great degree turns upon a matter of fact—because we do not come here to discuss whether one form of Government is better than another, nor to criticise the Government of the United States. I re- 539 member that the sentiment of the Roman historian was applied to the Government of those States after they had seceded from the Government of England—"Civitas, incredibile memoratu est, adepta libertate quantum brevi creverit." I have no intention of speaking disrespectfully of that Government, nor of the Government established by the Southern States. I do not believe that the rules or principles of international law give us any authority to sit in judgment between the disputants. It is not for us to pronounce precisely how far either party was, in the first instance, right or wrong; although, indeed, if one were animated by an impertinent curiosity, he might be disposed to ask how it is that republicans refuse to allow republicans to form a republic. I cannot understand how the gentlemen who framed that famous Declaration of Independence which procalims that all men—at least all white men—are created free; that all men have a right to examine the principles of the Government under which they live—to alter, amend, change, or destroy it according to their sovereign will and pleasure—I say I think it would puzzle any person to give a reason why those who have acted upon such principles, and who have changed their own form of Government on the ground that it was not convenient to maintain it, should deny others the exercise of the same privilege which they claimed for themselves. If we were to follow the precedent of Mr. Justice Story, we might construct good arguments to show that in the constitution of that country there is nothing to prevent one State seceding from the Government of another, if it thinks fit to do so. But I admit that, in the practice of the United States, there is a considerable difference between seceding to the United States and seceding from the United States. I have always understood that the behaviour of Florida was exemplary in seceding from Spain; that her conduct in seceding to the United States was better still; that the conduct of Texas in seceding first to Mexico, and next from Mexico to the United States, was perfectly right; but when Texas now secedes from the United States, the champions of liberty start up and denounce in the strongest terms this secession as a daring attack upon the constitution of the United States. I think some Gentlemen have forgotten that the Americans have framed a clause in their new constitution which enables them to take under 540 their particular wing any State—and even Canada has been hinted at; they would receive any State which might think fit to prefer to join their Government, and woe betide the tyrannic Power of Europe that should dare to question that right. Upon principle there is almost nothing to discuss. Nor do I think it surprising that there has been a secession of certain States of America. If you investigate the character of the populations of the North and South—if you look at the vastness of their territories, and consider the incompatibility of their tempers, habits, passions, and desires—it is surprising, not that there should be now a secession, but that it has not happened long ago. The hon. Gentleman who moved the Resolution (Mr. Lindsay) ascribed these cession to several possible causes. One was said to be slavery. The hon. Gentleman who last spoke (Mr. W. E. Forster), and gave utterance to very creditable sentiments, asserted that slavery was the cause of the secession. But I find that the most intelligent persons in New York, including Governors, Generals, and even the President himself, differ from him. I have read a Resolution passed at a meeting in New York the other day, in which nothing could be more precise or emphatic than their denunciations of those who said that slavery was a question between the North and South, and they went the length of asserting that such a statement could only be put forth by the enemies of the Republic. Therefore I can scarcely accept slavery as the cause of quarrel. Loss of power may have been an important element in the dispute; and the hon. Gentleman stated correctly that where representation depends upon numbers, and when the great influx of population into the Northern States took place, the South saw their power would be destroyed, and accordingly they came to the conclusion that they might as well fight for their political existence now as at some future time. The hon. Gentleman also drew the attention of the House to the question of tariffs and free trade, and I must say I am startled to find free-traders in theory so opposed to it in practice. I have not heard the disciples of Adam Smith say one word against the tariff now imposed upon the manufacturers of England by the Government of the United States. I agree we have no right to go to war on that ground, and no sensible man ever said so; but we have a right to observe that policy, to understand upon what prin- 541 ciple the United States are acting, and to govern our conduct in accordance with our interests as they govern their policy in accordance with their interests. This will appear a more critical question than the hon. Gentleman who spoke last seems to think, for no one can deny that self-interest is a great moving-spring of human action. If the men of the South think that their interests are affected injuriously by the policy and taxation of the men of the North, it is not at all surprising that they should do what people in all ages have done under similar circumstances. Looking at the opposing interests of the North and the South, every sensible observer would have said at the beginning of this quarrel, if you are about to separate, separate quietly. The North may have a brilliant destiny before it—the South may, perhaps, become wise. But I cannot believe that the evil of slavery—which the North never did abate when it had the power—that that is the cause of the quarrel. I have heard nothing to show that the slave population in the South have risen against their masters, nor does it appear that there is any alarm in the South of a rebellion of the slave population, such as we have been led to expect, and therefore we should be cautious in forming opinions upon a question upon which we have not the materials for a sound and safe judgment. But what, then, was the cause of quarrel? And here I think the hon. Member who spoke last has left the question untouched. If the causes of quarrel be deep-rooted and fundamental, may I ask him to tell me when is the point of time when the South will be reconciled to the North, or the North to the South? If the quarrel be one of principle, as he has said—if one party abhors the other—if there be that hatred so intense and malignant that one party is prepared to perish rather than to live under the same Government with the other—will the hon. Gentleman tell me when is the point of time that would be auspicious for us to intervene not, as he said, mistaking the object of the Motion, by war, but in the spirit of this Resolution, which I understand to state two important matters of fact, and then to propose a policy arising out of those facts? If these facts do not exist, there is no ground for the Motion. These facts are—that "the States which have seceded have so long maintained themselves under a separate and established Government, and have given such 542 proof of their determination and ability to support their independence"—these are the two facts from which the policy springs—"that the propriety of offering mediation with a view of terminating hostilities between the contending parties is worthy of the serious attention of the Government." I understand those words to imply that mediation with a view to recognition is the policy that is put forward in the Resolution—a policy that can only be founded upon a belief in the facts that are stated in the Resolution. But that is a different question from that which has been raised by the hon. Gentlemen who have opposed the Resolution. I will admit that, no matter what the rights of the quarrel might be on the part of the South against the North, nor how plausible so ever the reasons that may be assigned, there would be no ground for any State to offer any opinion or to acknowledge the existence of the seceding State, unless that seceding State has exhibited power, has been able de facto to establish a Government, and has exhibited courage and ability requisite to maintain that Government. It therefore becomes a matter of fact whether the seceding States have established a Government, and have shown a power and determination to resist any force that can be brought against them; and, if so, whether there is any ground to believe that at any time that can be named the North will be able to subjugate the South. I understood the hon. Member for Leicester (Mr. Taylor) to say that we ought to stand by until the North had overwhelmed the South. I do not know from the news we hear whether Washington will be taken by the men from Richmond or Richmond be taken by the men from Washington; but I do know that at the end of sixteen months, Richmond being only 130 miles from Washington, that city has not yet been taken, and that no great success has been obtained by the North upon the field of battle but where they have had the powerful aid of their gunboats. There is also the extraordinary fact that the President of this all-powerful Republic demands a conscription of 300,000 men in aid of the half-million or more already in arms to crush these incorrigible and sturdy asserters of Republican freedom. Then we come to the facts of European history and international law, and from that I do not intend to shrink. If we have no grounds founded upon international law for expressing our feelings, for recommending mediation, and for going to 543 the extent of recognising the South, we have no case, and we must submit to the miseries inflicted upon our own people and abstain from recognising a Government de facto which has established itself in strength, power, arms, and valour. Hon. Gentlemen who have spoken against the Motion appear to have given the strongest arguments against themselves. They say that this is a terrific conflict, hundreds of thousands of fresh combatants will appear, one party may destroy itself, it will not destroy its opponent; but I want to know whether, as Christian statesmen and senators, if we can prevent this waste of human life, this destruction of property, this interruption of trade, this disturbance of the peace of the world—ought we not to do it at the right time, before irremediable mischief has been done? What are our rights? We are told we have no right to interfere. What are our duties and responsibilities? Do you remember that you have recognised the South as a belligerent Power? When the recognition was made by Earl Russell—and I do not censure him for it—I thought it a remarkable and significant fact, because in the great contest between Spain and her revolted provinces in America, when Sir James Mackintosh and the Whig party pressed on Mr. Canning to recognise each particular province that had established de facto its independence, the fact was very strongly urged that he had admitted those provinces to be a belligerent Power. Mr. Canning was a very candid man, and the answer he gave to that argument was this—We allowed the colonists to assume an equal belligerent rank with the parent country. Thus we did pro tanto raise them in the scale of nations.We have already raised the Southern States to the scale of nations—we have admitted them to the rank of a belligerent Power—and they are not engaged as rebels or pirates, but as a nation waging war against a nation. It is in this form that the question comes before the House. Those Gentlemen who have spoken against the Resolution have held that recognition is inconsistent with neutrality. That I entirely deny. I say that recognition is compatible with neutrality; and no State has asserted that doctrine more constantly than the United States of America. I have a sincere respect for the United States of America. They have had able statesmen, great jurists, and enlightened lawyers. They have books written with a 544 taste and elegance which some of our writers have failed to copy; but on this question they must reason with us. In the consideration of such a question there is no use in appealing to prejudice or passion. We argue this question with America as we should with the proudest commonwealth in the world; but we must argue it on reason. There is no use in their seeking to make a law for themselves. They must argue it in accordance with the laws which bind civilized nations. How does it happen that recognition and neutrality are compatible? If we establish that proposition we shall have done a great deal to prove our case. The Motion is not a rash one—one for a wild interference which would lead to war. Now, when I speak of Sir James Mackintosh, I do so with sincere respect and admiration. Great he was—greater as a professor of ethics, as a philosopher, as a professor of natural law, as it is called, than as a statesmen—he is an authority on a question of this kind; and he had occasion to consider whether recognition, as he expounded it, led to war with the parent country in the case of a province which had revolted, and he said—I wish to add one sterling fact on the subject of recognition. The United States of America accompanied their acknowledgment with a declaration of their determination to adhere to neutrality in the contest between Spain and her colonies. A stronger instance cannot be adduced of the compatibility of recognition and neutrality.It was said that in this sense recognition must always include a denial or renunciation of authority. Certainly, when what have since been the United States committed, as I think, the great mistake of renouncing the good Government of England, they obtained a recognition afterwards. But in the case now under consideration, we have nothing to renounce, and we are not going to confer any powers or advantages on any State. The recognition spoken of in this Resolution is the mere acknowledgment of the existence de facto of a Government, and nothing more. Sir James Mackintosh, in spite of such a recognition, says—It implies no guarantee, no alliance, no aid, no approval of revolt, no intimation of opinion concerning the justice or injustice of the circumstances by which it has been accomplished.That is very strong. Sir James goes on to observe—The tacit recognition of a new State, not being a judgment for the new Government or 545 against the old, is not a deviation from perfect neutrality or a cause of just offence to the dispossessed ruler.I say, therefore, that the United States will have no cause to quarrel with you if you consider this is a proper time to recognise the existence of a de facto Government in the Southern States after the events which have taken place within the last twelve months. Let us just turn to the history of Europe, and see whether hon. Gentlemen can make good the proposition that because there is a war raging between two countries a third State is not to recognise one of the belligerent Powers; We recognised the Netherlands many years before Spain and the Netherlands brought their hostilities to an end. Spain did not make that a cause of quarrel with this country. I do not think she did. Then, what do you say to the example you set in the case of Portugal? In 1640 the Portuguese rose against the tyranny of Spain, under which they had groaned sixty years. They seated the Duke of Braganza upon the throne, and in January, 1641, a Cortes ratified his title. England did not wait long. Within one year after the proclamation of the Duke of Braganza a treaty was signed at Windsor between Charles I. and John IV. Charles was moved to conclude this treaty by his solicitude to preserve the tranquillity of his kingdom, and to secure the liberty of trade of his beloved subjects. The contest was carried on, the Spaniards obtained victories, and there is no trace of any complaint, or remonstrance, or even murmur, against the early recognition by England, though it was not till twenty six years afterwards that Spain herself acknowledged the independence of Portugal, and, what is remarkable, made that acknowledgment in a treaty concluded under the mediation of England. I dare say Charles II. was very well received while wandering over the continent of Europe when driven from this country, and I do not know that any complaint was made by him that the Protectorate had been acknowledged by other countries. How did you act in the case of Greece? Did you not acknowledge the independence of Greece before the termination of its struggle with the Turks? Then, what was your conduct with respect to Belgium? I do not think Holland had inflicted any very flagrant injury on Belgium. There was some incompatibility of temper, no doubt, and the noble Lord at the head of the 546 Government signed a treaty with that Minister who was as politic as he was pious—Prince Talleyrand—which intimated to the King of Holland, that if he did not quit Belgium as quickly as possible, with every respect for him, you would blow him up. Within twelve months after the breaking out of hostilities you acknowledged the independence of Belgium. But it may, perhaps, be said that you did a very extraordinary thing, because the Hollanders were on the point of conquering Belgium when you signed the treaty. The noble Lord did not hesitate in that case. He was not afraid. Holland was not as strong as the United States. You interfered, and independence was established in Belgium. In the case of Austria and the Italian Duchies, there was an incompatibility of temper perhaps also; but the people in the States from which Dukes had to walk out were afflicted with no such grievous oppressions as the Southerners assert was practised on them by the Northerners, yet you did not hesitate to acknowledge the de facto Government in Italy. However, those examples do not serve us as well as the case of Spanish America; and I refer to it because in that instance those principles which were afterwards asserted by Mr. Canning—on the occasion when he said he "called the new world into existence to restore the balance of the old"—were laid down by Lord Castlereagh, in his elaborate and masterly despatch to our Minister at the Congress of Verona. He said—The case of revolted colonies is different. It is evident from the course events have taken that their recognition as independent States has become merely a question of time; over by far the greater part of them Spain has lost all hold.Therefore although war was still raging, as the revolted provinces had for a sufficient time shown their power to make and keep a Government, the Duke of Wellington was instructed that such Government—and the Government even of particular provinces—should be recognised. The conduct of Lord Castlereagh on another branch of this question proved how thoroughly he understood the doctrine of recognition—that is to say acknowledgment as contradistinguished from active interference. Against the strong opposition of the Whig party he brought forward his Enlistment Bill to prevent soldiers from being enlisted in this country, and sent out to assist in wresting from Spain those colonies whose happiness since has not perhaps been as 547 great as Mr. Canning thought it would be. Lord Castlereagh held that he was not at liberty to allow armaments to sail from this country to take part in the contest, because we were at peace with Spain; but that while abstaining from encouraging revolt, or doing anything to promote insurrection, we were at liberty, in full observance of a strict, impartial, and honourable neutrality, to acknowledge any Government de facto once established. Spain threatened to interdict our trade and to lay on prohibitory duties. What was his answer?—If you do, we will recognise the whole of those provinces as Governments de facto. We cannot prevent you fulfilling your threat; but if you act in that manner, we shall acknowledge the independence of those States the next morning.In the conference with Prince Polignac a State document was drawn up in which Lord Castlereagh asserted—Completely convinced that the ancient system of the colonies cannot be restored, the British Government could not enter into any stipulations binding itself either to refuse or delay the recognition of independence … The British Government had no desire to precipitate that recognition as long as any reasonable chance of accommodation between the mother country and the revolted provinces existed; but it could not wait indefinitely for that result"—this is the point which I consider specially applicable to the present case——"it could not consent to make its recognition of the new States dependent on that of Spain. … Great Britain had no desire for any special advantages in the way of trade, but considered that the force of circumstances, and the irrepressible force of events, had already determined the freedom of these provinces. She had trade relations with the Colonies, and would continue to maintain them; that if attempts at laying on a positive interdiction were made, such attempts should be cut short by a speedy and unqualified recognition of the new States.What does the same Minister say in his despatch to the Minister of Spain?—In any further step to be taken by his Majesty towards the acknowledgment of de facto Governments, the decision must depend on various circumstances, and, among others, the reports the Government receive of the actual state of affairs in the several American provinces.And then he adds, "The recognition of the Government de facto cannot much longer be delayed." When that question came to be discussed, Mr. Brougham explained what he understood to be the difference between recognition and acknowledgment; and his words I venture to submit to the House—There is, unquestionably, all the difference in the world between recognition by the mother country, implying a renunciation of her claim of 548 right, and that bare acknowledgment for the interests and purposes of your own subjects, and for the convenience of your own foreign relations, which renounces no right, and gives no aid, but which may eventually secure the highest advantages. Viewing the subject in this light as an acknowledgment, and avoiding the word 'recognition,' about which some dispute may arise, it can be considered as no breach of neutrality towards the mother country, and can by possibility involve us in no hostile discussion with any other Power.And the speech of Sir James Mackintosh puts this point, as it affects the United States of America, in a manner which I defy any one to answer. He says—I wish to add one striking fact on the subject of recognition. The United States of America accompanied their acknowledgment with a declaration of their determination to adhere to neutrality in the contest between Spain and her colonies. A stronger instance cannot be adduced of the compatibility of recognition and neutrality." [2 Hansard, xi., 1404.]The Government of the United States preceded ours by nearly two years in the acknowledgment of those revolted provinces, and they would not allow anybody to criticise their course of action. They said, "The law of nations entitles us to decide what is best for our own interests. We believe that these provinces have sufficiently established their existence; and we will resent the interference of any other Power to assist Spain in recovering her provinces." Is that the country which is now to say to England, "Beware how you offer an opinion?" This may be a question of time, it may even be a question of geography; but, after all, it is a question of fact. And is it not a fact that battles have been fought, and that no great victory over the South has been obtained? Does not every sane man believe it to be an impossibility that the South can be overmastered and put down? The United States have imposed excessive duties with a facility which must be distasteful to the followers of Adam Smith; the principles of that great writer have been set aside by Republican Governments with a freedom surprising to the most old-fashioned Protectionist. Why not apply to them the same argument which Castlereagh did in the case of Spain? The time for recognition has certainly arrived. International law, the feelings of humanity, the best and the kindest intentions towards Americans themselves, all induce us to come forward and propose mediation, having for its object to put an end to the war. Precedent is on our side; principle 549 is in our favour; the maxims of international law are not defied but respected; we do not provoke war with the United States when we say, in a spirit of strict and honourable impartiality, that the seceding States, having succeeding in establishing their independence and in maintaining a Government, deserve to be recognised among civilized and independent States.
§ MR. GREGORY
It is just four months from this date that a prophet rose up among us and proclaimed, "Yet within ninety days and the civil war in America will be ended." And this prophet was a much less ambiguous and a much more outspoken prophet than his predecessors, whether sacred or profane, for not only did he give you the period within which the war was to end, but he actually described the basis of arrangement on which it was to be concluded; namely, the establishment of the independence of the Southern Republic. The prophet I allude to was the noble Lord the Foreign Secretary; and the worst of prophecies by Ministers is this, that men of business, being matter-of-fact persons, naturally conclude that these glimpses of futurity are derived from positive information, they trust to them, and they make their arrangements accordingly. And if I am correctly informed, there are not a few of them who have bitterly regretted that the noble Lord the Foreign Secretary did not follow a late strongly-laid-down injunction of the noble Lord the Prime Minister, that for a statesman, if he must prophesy, the best thing is to prophesy after and not before. Now, Sir, I understand the cause of the noble Lord's error. He was misled by a Northern gentleman who came here to set the mind of England right on American politics; this gentleman, though not actually a Minister, still occupied a position as possessing the entire confidence of the Washington Cabinet. I make no secret of the name; it was Mr. Thurlow Weed, a gentleman of great intelligence and, I believe, of moderation. I understand there is no denial that this gentleman went about and had interviews with the chief Members of the Government, and the burden of his representations was, "Give us three months, let us do our best; and if at the end of three months we fail to recover the Seceders, then we have little more to say." The noble Lord was, no doubt, struck with this appeal, and being quite acute enough to see that the Confederate States were determined at all sacrifice to achieve their 550 independence, and remembering Lord Chatham's celebrated expression; "Conquer a free population of three millions of souls, the thing is impossible," he judged the thing impossible, and he has been right so far in his judgment. But this has been the note of every Northener since the commencement of this contest. Every one, without a solitary exception, last year said, "Within twelve months, if we are only let alone, the war will be over. We utterly abjure conquest, domination, subjugation; all that we wish to do is to enter the South, and liberate that hearty Union sentiment which we know to be there, but which is now repressed by a tyrannical and violent minority." Let us hear Mr. Cassius Clay. [A laugh.] My hon. Friend below me laughs, and I understand the reason why; but let me assure him that Mr. Cassius Clay is not one whit more ridiculous nor more ignorant of diplomatic usage than very many of those persons who have been sent over to represent the United States to the consternation of foreign countries. Witness the celebrated dinner at Paris of Northern representatives, and their speeches on that occasion. Mr. Cassius Clay, writing to the Times, May 17, 1861, asks himself various questions, which he answers with great ease and satisfaction to himself; he begins thus—But can you conquer the South? Of course we can. We can blockade them by sea and invade them by land, and close up the rebellion in a single year, if let alone, for the population of the Slave States is divided, perhaps equally, for and against the Union, the loyal citizens being for the time overawed by the organized conspiracy of the traitors; while the North is united to a man.That point being so comfortably settled, he goes on to ask another question—But can you govern a subjugated people and reconstruct the Union? We do not propose to subjugate the revolted States. We propose simply to put down the rebel citizens. We go to the rescue of the loyal Unionists of all the States. We carry safety and peace and liberty to the Union-loving people of the South, who will of themselves, the tyranny being overthrown, send back their representatives to Congress, and thus the Union will be reconstructed without a change of a letter in the Constitution of the United States.So much for Mr. Clay's views, in which he only asks for a year, and that not for conquest, but simply to elicit and set free the Union feeling compressed and fettered in the South. Mr. Bright, too, the great English advocate of the North, used precisely the same argument in his celebrated speech at Rochdale of December 6, 1861. 551 Speaking of the Southern States, and of Alabama in particular, he says—There are great numbers of most reasonable, just, and thoughtful men in that State who entirely deplore the condition of things there existing. What would you do with all these States, and with what may be called the loyal population of these States? Would you allow them to be dragooned into this insurrection, and into becoming parts of a new State to which they themselves are hostile?Now, I ask you, has not this platform sunk beneath the feet of the North and Northern advocates in England? This Union sentiment has been hunted for wherever a Federal force has penetrated. Last year, on the first invasion of the Confederate territory, when the Northerners occupied Capo Hatteras, they announced they had hit upon it, and great was the exultation of the New York papers, and it turned out that it was represented by some twenty or thirty persons—half fishermen, half smugglers—who were brought together, and under the influence of "cocktails" passed certain Union resolutions. This has been the solitary and notable discovery of Union proclivities. Has General Halleck found it at Nashville, where he has so safely locked up the clergy in the penitentiary; or at Memphis? or has General Banks in Western Virginia? or General Wool at Norfolk? or has the rigour of General Butler, by treating ladies as prostitutes, called it from its lurking-place in New Orleans? No! it is perfectly clear that the Southern Confederacy is of one mind and of one heart, determined, whatever be the cost, whatever be the ruin, to work out their freedom from subjection to a people for whom their hatred is intensified by their contempt; and the Northerners now know this, and the war is no longer a war for independence on the one side, and for empire on the other. It is a war for independence on the one side, and for vengeance on the other—the vengeance of "one who grapples with his enemy and strives to strangle him before he dies." The wreaking of this vengeance is the uppermost thought of ninety out of every hundred in the North, and in this blind desperation every other feeling has been swallowed up; national faith, national solvency, national decency, national humanity, and, I may with truth add, national Christianity. The press of the United States, without exception, applauds those acts which are more the mad ferocity of a savage than of a man who calls himself a Christian. What 552 in Europe would be infamy, in America has been dignified into energy, patriotism, and glory. Now I am not going to attack the United States for engaging in this war. If they conscientiously believed that there was a powerful Union party in each State, they may certainly plead with fairness that it would have been an act of pusillanimity to allow so great a fabric to be lightly levelled with the ground. But this I will say, that when I was in the Southern States, in all the Southern States in 1860 the universal sentiment was for separation. Whether in the railway cars, or in the barroom, whether in high society or low society, I am bound to say there was but one thought, one aspiration, and that was, separation sooner or later. I am bound also to say there was one notable exception, and that was Louisiana, where the interests of protected sugar rendered the general disposition favourable to Union. But after the North had discovered that even those considerations failed to influence Louisiana, and that Secession was as hot at New Orleans as at Charleston, it became a blind, wilful self-delusion on their part and a mockery of the intelligence of foreign nations, to pretend that the war was continued, not for purposes of empire, but to liberate a Union sentiment, which notoriously did not exist. Well, then, if this Union feeling be a mere delusion, proved and convicted to be so—if the power of conquest be a mere delusion, proved and convicted to be so at Corinth, at Fair Oaks, at Charleston, and at Richmond, by that inexorable logician General "Stonewall" Jackson—if the war is degenerating into unmitigated cruelty, and into the wreck and ruin of what should be two great flourishing and happy communities, it seems to me the time has come when the nations of Europe should take some decided course. I do not wish to go into a history of this great campaign, but I think it is clear that the conquest of the South is farther off than at this time last year, when the North had not put forth its strength. If this be so, the dictates of humanity alone ought to have some weight with us. We do not go to war, it is true, for an idea, nor liberate an oppressed country, like our friends the French, under the influence of a sentiment. Still, in spite of our somewhat unimaginative character, we have some feelings of this tendency; and though the Taepings have some good friends in this House, public opinion is rather in favour 553 of their being suppressed, as enemies of the human race. We thought, too, some years ago, that the Greeks and Turks had cut each other's throats long enough, and we blew up the Turkish fleet under the influence of kindly feelings to both parties. If we feel so much for Chinamen, and Turks, and Greeks, we might have some commiseration for our own blood and kin on both sides of this conflict, devastating and slaughtering each other. But our humanity should come nearer home. We should remember what is impending over Lancashire—what want, what woe, what humiliation—and that not caused by the decree of God, but by the perversity of man. I leave the statistics of the pauperism that is, and that is to be, to my hon. Friends the representatives of manufacturing England. But there is something to me even more harrowing than the physical privation that awaits the working classes of those districts. Judging of their character by their conduct, of the discipline of their minds by their noble patience and resignation, of their proud spirit of independence by their sacrifice of their all ere they condescended to ask relief, I dread, in their case, the humiliation of mind arising from the thought that they are supported from other sources than their own honest skill and industry, even as much as the stint, and the penury, and the squalid garb, and the cold and desolate hearth. The whole question of putting an end to this state of things depends on our obtaining cotton. We know we cannot get that supply in India. We do know we can get it from the Southern States of America. Now, in endeavouring to obtain it, are we likely to be driven into isolated action? Most assuredly not. France wants it as urgently as we do. Not that distress will be as extensive in France, but from the constitution of society in that country. In England the local rates provide for local destitution; in France the State is responsible, and the Emperor is the State. He is held responsible, and in France that responsibility is a danger, and shakes thrones. The French know, too, that if access to American cotton is cut off, it is to us they will have to come eventually on their bended knees for every pound of cotton they will require for their consumption, and markets once lost are not easily regained. They know also, as we know, that by the new tariff the rulers of the United States have virtually proclaimed 554 that the great American Continent is to be closed to the products of Europe. By the Morrill tariff they resolved on scourging us with whips; by the Stevens amended tariff they propose to scourge us with scorpions, to punish France and England for that want of sympathy which they have so long sought to evoke by menace and abuse. Now, the French see, as clearly as ourselves, that this war is not only inflicting misery on all engaged in the manufacture of cotton, but that, if successful on the part of the North, it will shut out for ever 8,000,000 of customers ready and anxious to receive their silks and wine, and objects of luxury, and to give their raw products in exchange. They see, also, as we do, that if the South establishes its independence, these wretched tariffs will vanish from the North, for the smuggler will break down those barriers which United States officials—I cannot call them statesmen—have erected to gratify the insatiable love of gain of the manufacturers of New England and Pennsylvania, or, what is even worse, the promptings of malice as ignorant as it is impotent. Now, I say, France has even a greater interest than we have in putting an end to this state of things. All Europe has an interest; and I consequently think the Resolutions of the hon. Member (Mr. Lindsay) and my noble Friend (Lord A. V. Tempest) are rightly worded in calling on the Government to unite with the other European Powers in a joint and immediate course of action in this great emergency. Now I come to the question of recognition, and I shall show, very briefly, from all analogy, that we are justified in recognising the Confederate States as a Sovereign Republic; that they have every element constituting a de facto Government, for into the de jure question I cannot now enter—namely, the doctrine of State rights; and that we have openly interfered in favour of other countries, asserting their independence, and that, too, in cases where the necessity did not come home to us with one-tenth the urgency as in the present instance. The only difference was this, that the United States are strong and aggressive, the other Governments with whom we interfered were weak and incapable of resistance. First of all, take the case of Texas, for it is a strong instance of recognition. When Texas asserted her independence we were in amity with Mexico; but we did not hesitate to recognise the flag of the lone State. What 555 was the then population of Texas? not more than 60,000. But, as Lord Palmerston said, in 1839, in reply to Mr. O'Connell, "The principles of the Government were to recognise every State that was de facto and permanently independent." So, considering this small State of 60,000 souls to be de facto and permanently independent, we followed the example of France, and recognised it. We did the same by the South American Spanish Republics. We hastened to be the first to do the same by the Kingdom of Italy; and here let me quote Lord Russell's famous despatches:—November 15, 1859. Lord Russell to Earl Cowley. "1825, England acknowledged two or more South American Republics. 1827, the treaty between Great Britain, France, and Russia, which led to the independence of Greece. 1830, Belgium rose against Holland, and Great Britain was active, both in the Cabinet and on the sea, in concerting the measures which led to the establishment of the independence of Belgium. Thus, in five instances, the policy of Great Britain appears to have been influenced by a consistent principle. She uniformly withheld her consent to acts of intervention by force to alter the internal government of other nations, but she uniformly gave her countenance, and, if necessary, her aid to consolidate the de facto Governments which arose in Europe or America." But, as to interference, what did we do in Greece? Why, disgusted with the long-protracted bloodshed, we blew up, as I said before, the Turkish fleet, and we made Greece a sovereign independent state, although, unquestionably, had the war continued, the power of Turkey and the Egyptian forces would have crushed the insurrection. But what did you do in the case of Belgium, to which my hon. Friend (Mr. Whiteside) has just alluded? You recognised her independence, and you interfered to establish it. Although Belgium formed part of a State called into existence by the Congress of Vienna, and its integrity recognised by the Great Powers of Europe, yet you considered, owing to various reasons unnecessary here to allude to, that its separation from Holland was of vast importance. So you tore up the treaties of Vienna at the point of the sword; you assumed an attitude of hostility to your oldest friend and ally, Holland, and you encouraged the French to bombard the citadel of Antwerp. But the Dutch held Ant- 556 werp, and would have recovered Belgium in one campaign. Well, then, I say, what is the superior claim which the United States Government has over Holland on your forbearance? Is it on the ground of a superior State necessity than that of saving the lives and independence of hundreds of thousands of the Queen's loyal and devoted subjects? Is it on the ground that the United States have been a true and faithful ally to us, and that in the hour of need we should prove gratitude, and not avert our faces from them? Witness the Russian war. Is it on the ground of innumerable kindly offices, interchange of friendship between two friendly kindred peoples? Witness the inroads of sympathizers in the Canadian rebellion, the seizure of St. Juan, and the refusal to submit that question even to arbitration on the part of Mr. Lincoln's Government. Witness the outrages that are daily occurring to British ships in British waters, at the Bahamas, and an English port virtually blockaded; witness the seizure of British property at New Orleans, and the treatment of the British representative there. Is it on the ground of high and honourable dealing, even though it be not friendly? Witness the disgraceful fraud, perpetrated knowingly, justified and applauded, in the negotiations on the north-east frontier. Sir, we owe them nothing, save the strictest and sternest justice. And I am perfectly entitled to ask—What is the meaning of all this terrible bother over our heads which Mr. Seward has raised, in that despatch in which he threatens the nations of Europe with I know not what, in case they venture even to hold communications with Confederate Commissioners? Let me show the House what has been the invariable practice of the United States—God forbid that we should frame our practice on American practice!—but I have a right to enter into these matters to show you, that though the doctrine allows to themselves every liberty of action, they make all this terrible hubbub if they even suspect that any other country is about to venture an inch on the same path. In March, 1848, Mr. Buchanan, then Minister for Foreign Affairs at Washington, lays down to Mr. Rush, then Minister at Paris, that it was his duty at once to recognise the French Republic, and adds that—"It is right that the Envoy of the United States should be always the first to recognise a new Government," and as a confirmation 557 of this principle Mr. Buchanan exultingly adds—So anxious are the United States to recognize de facto Governments, that the Pope, the Emperor Nicholas, and President Jackson, were the only authorities on earth who recognized Don Miguel.But a still stronger case remains. The House may, perhaps, remember the quarrel between Austria and the United States in 1850. The cause of quarrel was this:—Under the Presidency of General Taylor, while Hungary was contending with Austria for its independence, even so early as June, 1849, Mr. Clayton, Foreign Secretary at Washington, sent as an emissary to Hungary a gentleman with the most ample instructions, in case the opportunity presented itself of recognizing what is now called the insurgent Government. It is a curious coincidence that the same person then sent to Hungary to recognize its independence, was one of the representatives of the Southern States lately in this country, to claim their recognition—I mean Colonel Mann. The instructions given to Colonel Mann were published subsequently at Washington, and offence was thereby given to the Austrian Minister, the Chevalier Hulsemann. A spirited war of words took place between him and Mr. Webster, the then Foreign Secretary; and it was on that occasion that Mr. Webster wrote his celebrated letter, throwing down the gage to the despotic Powers of Europe, enunciating the principles of the United States as regards the recognition of new States. He says—It is not to be required of neutral Powers that they should await the recognition of the new Government by the parent State.The words "parent state" clearly recognizes the right of secession, and he points out how, in the case of the Spanish South American Republics, Greece, and Belgium, independent Governments were recognized by the leading countries of Europe, and by the United States, before they were acknowledged by the State from whom they had separated. Now, let us come to the tests of what should entitle a country to recognition as a separate sovereign and independent State; that depends on its wealth, on its population, and on the spirit of that population to maintain its sovereignty and independence. On the latter point, Generals M'Dowell and M'Clellan can give you better information than I can. First of all, as to the population; there is an impression prevailing that the 558 South is a retrograde, doomed, and dwindling population; but in the last ten years, according to the late census, the slave-owning States have increased from six and a half to eight and a half millions in free population. These figures show that as far as numbers go there is no retrogression, and that they are capable of maintaining themselves. Then as to territory, I will not weary you with statistics of square miles and acres, but it is enough to say that Texas alone contains territory sufficient to support a population engaged in agricultural pursuits of at least 20,000,000; that it is as large as France and the British Islands combined, that it has trebled its population within ten years, and from 1838 to 1860 it has increased from 60,000 to 600,000, and that not by any sudden influx of persons in search of minerals, as in the case of Australia and California, but by the regular course of emigration. Take the increase of property as another test—let me give you the one case of Georgia; you will find that in 1860 the taxable property of that State had reached 670,000,000 dols., or double what it was in 1850. Now, let us see how the Southern States stand as regards their productive powers. According to the report of the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, lately published—the Report, I mean, on Commerce and Navigation—the exports of domestic produce for the fiscal year ending June 30th, 1860, the year before the war, amounted to 373,000,000 dols. in round numbers. Of this 56,000,000 dols. Was in gold coin and bullion, which it is impossible to allocate between the two sections, and which, therefore, had better be deducted, leaving 317,000,000 dols. to be accounted for; of this 198,000,000 was in exports from Southern ports, and 19,000,000 dols. of Southern products, such as cotton, rice, tobacco, turpentine, pitch, &c., from Northern ports. We thus find, that of the whole 317,000,000 dols., 217,000,000 dols. of Southern produce, 100,000,000 dols. of Northern. So much for the material condition of the South—and now as to their position as a Government. The words of President Jefferson Davis, in his inaugural speech, are the very notes of Southern policy—An agricultural people, whose chief interest is the export of a commodity required in every manufacturing country, our true policy is peace, and the freest trade which our necessities will permit.559 And have they not amply fulfilled this pledge? They have thrown open the Mississippi to the commerce of the world; they have abolished all discriminating duties on foreign tonnage; they have sanctioned the lowest ad valorem tariff compatible with their necessities, and they have embodied in their constitution a provision that duties are to be imposed for revenue, and not for protection. Now, I have heard many persons abuse the Southerners for their destruction of cotton. You might as fairly abuse the Russians for the burning of Moscow. They burnt it, not to prevent it from reaching us, but to prevent it from becoming a source of wealth and strength to their opponents; it is not to starve Manchester, but to starve Lowell and New England. Remember, the Northerners promised us a cotton port, and how have they kept their word? Why, by General Butler keeping watch and ward and not allowing one bale of cotton to leave New Orleans unless it can give a certificate of loyal origin, and of belonging to loyal citizens, as he calls them. Then, again, look with what wisdom the Confederates have effected change in the former Constitution of the United States. They have prolonged the Presidential power from four to six years, and having rendered the revolution that disturbs the United States to the very centre every four years to be of rarer occurrence, they have enacted that ministers are for the future to be members of the Legislature, to explain the intentions of the Government, and not leave them to be expounded and interpreted according to the views of each speaker—a memorable instance of which was the attempt of Senator Douglas to frame a policy out of Mr. Lincoln's words, which was directly contrary to Mr. Lincoln's intentions, They have done away also with that wretched custom of dismissing every office-holder after the change of a Presidential party, the most miserable and short-sighted expedient of party warfare ever resorted to, spreading corruption broadcast, and paralyzing the public service; and, lastly, they have enacted the most stringent provisions against the slave trade, and grafted them on their Constitution; and all this has been done with a dignity worthy of the inauguration of what I trust will be a thriving, powerful, and peace-loving Republic, wherein Republicans will not have to blush for Republican institutions. As I have alluded to the provisions made by the Confederate 560 States on the subject of the slave trade, I must now detain the House for a few minutes on the subject of slavery and the slave trade, which are perpetually thrown in the teeth of the advocates of Southern independence, and very notably this evening by the hon. Member for Leicester (Mr. Taylor), whose whole argument in favour of the North was based on the fact that the Southerners were slaveowners, and that the independence of the South carried with it the extension of slavery. I should be the last man to have so ardently taken up the cause of the South from the commencement of this struggle had the contest been for the extension of slavery and the revival of the slave trade. Now as to the slave trade. It is represented by Northern advocates, that one of the great objects of secession was the revival of this traffic. This I utterly deny. It is from Northern and not from Southern ports that precede the real traffickers in the flesh and blood of their fellow-men. Lord Lyons writes that in 1860 eighty-four vessels were notoriously fitted out for this unholy traffic; of these eighty-four vessels almost every one belong to New York and ports in New England. When I was in Cuba in 1860 I was shown a list of the vessels that brought 30,000 of these wretched Africans to that island within the current year. The greater, by far the greatest, proportion of these vessels were American, and almost all the American vessels were from Northern ports. Of the ten vessels captured by the United States squadron in 1859–60 fitted up for the slave trade, or with slaves on board, seven were from the port of New York alone. No; the Southerners are not the culprits. It is in Yankee ships—floated by Yankee capital—commanded by Yankee skippers, sent forth on their odious errand by the connivance of bribed Yankee officials—that this work of iniquity is carried on. It will be stopped now, I trust, effectually by the treaty between this country and the United States, and I rejoice that the rulers of the United States have adopted this honorable course, for which I give them the fullest credit. But does any one believe that without Secession we should have ever got the North to consent to such a treaty? I am quite aware that in the South the subject of the revival of the slave trade has been canvassed. But its advocates are of two classes: first, the poorer class of whites, who think it right that the principles of political eco- 561 nomy should be extended to the purchase of negroes, and that they should be permitted to purchase in the cheapest market; and secondly, by a few persons of extreme opinions in the South, who, irritated by the violent language of Northern abolitionists, have determined to go for whatever may be most galling to their opponents. Thus one extreme begets another extreme. The Government, however, in the South is not directed and swayed by this violent section, nor is it, as it would be in the North, in the hands of the populace. It is directed by the ablest, and the wisest, and the most respected men in the community, and among them the idea of the revival of the slave trade never enters their imagination. I can say, with truth, that when I was in the South the idea of the revival of the slave trade was perfectly scouted. To say nothing of the instincts of humanity, which I suppose the hon. Member for Leicester (Mr. Taylor) will altogether deny to every Southerner, there were three reasons alleged why they objected altogether to this traffic:—1st. The immense diminution of profits that African immigration would cause—the negro, now worth 1,200 dols., would fall to 300 dols. 2ndly. The unwillingness on the part of all prudent and thinking men to increase the disproportion between the whites and the colored race; for already in two States, South Carolina and Mississippi, the negro has obtained the superiority in number. 3rdly. That from the experience of the few cargoes that have been landed, the planter dreads the incoming of these turbulent barbarians among his slaves, they having turned out perfect pests in the plantations where they were introduced. Then, again, let me remark, that Louisiana, no longer protected in her sugar, has to compete with the Cuban sugar-grower, with cheap slave labor; so that, rely on it, knowing as they do that their best chance is the enhanced price of labor in Cuba, the Louisiana planter will be as strong an anti-slave-trade man as you will find in this city or on the platform of Exeter Hall. But the best proof of the real honest intention of the South on this subject may be gathered from the articles of its Constitution. Let me read to you Article 9 of the Constitution—1. The importation of African negroes from any foreign country other than the slave-owning States of the Confederate States is hereby forbidden, and Congress is required to pass such laws as shall effectually prevent the same. 2. 562 Congress shall also have power to prohibit the introduction of slaves from any State not a Member of the Confederation.This enactment was subsequently confirmed by all the States in the ratification of the Constitution. South Carolina, the State in which this subject has been most discussed, ratified the Constitution and condemned the slave trade by a majority of 146 to 23. It is curious enough that precisely the same arguments were used by those who objected to the recognition of Texas, as by those who object to the recognition of the Southern Republic. Mr. Hoy, in August, 1836, who had introduced the discussion on the recognition of Texas, grounded his objections to it on this very point. His words were—The war now carrying on in Texas was a war not for independence, not for liberty, but positively for slavery. If Texas were added to the American Union, the basis of the connection would be to establish the slave trade permanently in that State. The Texans were men of the lowest morality, and their interest was, as speculators, carrying on the slave trade.The Texans hardly deserved these compliments, for it is asserted by them that not one cargo of negroes from Africa has been landed in Texas since a fixed Government took the place of the anarchy of Mexican rule. President Houston's first message could not have been stronger had it been composed by Mr. Wilberforce himself; in it he speaks of the slave trade as that "accursed traffic," and calls on England "to help him to put a stop to the importation of slaves from Cuba." And now with regard to the slavery question, I do not hesitate to say, that looking on all that is going on with the hope of gradual diminution and ultimate extinction of slavery, every Englishman ought to wish for the triumph of the Southern separation. I contend it is the only circumstance that can contract the area of slavery and prevent its extinction, whereas the restoration of the Union would confirm, stabilitato, and spread it. Supposing peace were now concluded on the basis of the independence of the South, it is probable that a portion of what is now slave territory would go with the North; but I do not pretend to form an opinion as to what would be that portion. This much, however, is clear, that there would be no fugitive slave law. The consequence would be that a slave on the border, on considering himself aggrieved, could, with very little risk, make his escape. The result 563 of this would be, that in the Border States slavery would be pushed back and free labor would take its place, and this process would go on until slavery became confined to that portion of the South where white labor would find the climate insupportable—and bear in mind that, with the establishment of a separate Republic, the South could have no jealousy of free labour—they will then gladly welcome every accession of wealth and industry. But do you, who hate slavery in your hearts, really think the reconstruction of the Union would favor your views? Why, you must be mad to think so. Why, what would be the result of reconstruction? Why, that every concession on the slavery question would be offered to the South if they would only come buck again, and allow the North to dip as deep as before into the pockets of their dupes. Why, what can be more lamentable and more humiliating than the conduct of the North from the commencement of these troubles till now? They come whining to the South, with patriotism in their mouths, but with protection in their pockets, and they proffer everything, only let them return and deal with them again. For this they offer to recognize slavery by name; they offer to get the States to do away with Personal Liberty Bills; they offer to tear up and split into toothpicks the chief plank of the Chicago platform. Now, what said the men of the Chicago Convention? That under no circumstances would they ever allow slavery to be extended to their territories Upon this there could be no surrender—other concessions they might grant; but this—in which humanity, conscience, and nil the holiest considerations were indirectly involved,—this they never could surrender no never, never, never. And what have they offered? Why to cast all these considerations of conscience and humanity and duty to the four winds of heaven, to hand over all territories south of Mason and Dixie's line (36° 30′) to slavery, if only the South will return and wear bad clothing, and use inferior iron, and pay the North some 9,000 000 sterling a year for the advantages of such a connection. Is not this the case at this very moment? And let me recommend the seventh resolution of the great meeting held at the Cooper Institution, New York, on the 1st of July last, to the consideration of the hon. Members for Leicester (Mr. Taylor) and Bradford (Mr. Forster)— 5647. That this is a Government of white men and was established exclusively for the white race; that the negro race is not entitled to and ought not to be admitted to political or social equality with the white race; but that it is our duty to treat them with kindness and consideration as an inferior and dependent race.A New York pamphlet was put in my hand last year by a Member of this House, supposed to carry with it very strong arguments to induce the South to return and nestle again in the warm Northern bosom—and this was one of the inducements—Slavery, as protected by the Constitution of the United States, has more friends in the North than it has in all the world beside—friends who would march by thousands for its protection and defense as it exists under the Constitution.But to leave anonymous writers for a minute, let us turn to authorities. In December, 1860, Senator Johnson, of Tennessee, used these words—If I were an abolitionist, and wanted to accomplish the abolition of slavery in the Southern States, the first step I would take would be to break the bonds of this Union. I believe the continuance of slavery depends on the preservation of the Union and a compliance with all the guarantees of the Constitution.The New York Tribune, the recognized organ of Northern Republicanism, the unflinching advocate hitherto of immediate abolition at all risks and hazards, pipes in quite an altered and lower key, "Be it the business of the people everywhere to forget the negro and remember only the country." But what said, last year, the man who wanted to occupy the Presidential chair, bearing on his banner two words, since rendered famous, "irrepressible conflict"—irrepressible conflict between slavery and freedom. I mean Mr. William Seward; the same Mr. Seward who was lately making capital by offering to sacrifice everything to Secession except the Morrill tariff, and who proclaimed an irrepressible conflict with every one of his former convictions and expressions. This Mr. William Seward is the same person who only the autumn before last was stumping it throughout the North on the broadest anti-slavery principle, who at Detroit declared "that slavery was, and must be only temporary and local;" who, in European boudoirs and saloons, had been trying to play the part of Barak to the Deborah of Mrs. Beecher Stowe; prophesying woes and lamentations to the South, and singing songs of triumph on the approaching exodus of the African race from the land of Egypt, when his hands should have grasped the reins of State. Let us 565 hear what a consistent man says of the present most influential Minister of the Washington Cabinet. The person I quote is Mr. Wendell Philipps, a man as honest as he is eloquent—fanatical, if you will, upon one subject, namely, that of slavery; a most insane fanatic, no doubt, in the eyes of New York, because he is one of the few who regards his conscience more than dollars, and who thinks—To live by law,Acting the law we live by without fear;And because right is right, to follow rightWere wisdom, in the scorn of consequence.At a meeting in the Music Hall at Boston, on June 20, 1861, he made a speech and used these expressions with regard to his former ally, who now directs the policy of the United States—The Republicans, led by Seward, offer to surrender anything save the Union. Their gospel is the Constitution, and the slave clause is their Sermon on the Mount. They think that at the judgment-day the blacker the sins they have committed to save the Union, the clearer will be their title to heaven.And again—We look in vain through Mr. Seward's speeches for one hint or suggestion of dealing with our terrible lust. Indeed, one of his terrors of disunion is, that it will give room for a European—that is, an uncompromising hostility to slavery. Such an hostility, the irrepressible conflict between right and wrong, William Seward in 1861 pronounces 'fearful.'Mr. Philipps adds—Before the Union existed, Washington and Jefferson uttered the boldest anti-slavery opinions, but their sentiments would have been mobbed this very day in every city of the North.And the proof of the soundness of these views was practically exemplified by the narrow escape of Mr. Philipps from an enraged mob, on his return from the Music Hall; so well had anti-slavery Boston given heed to the lessons of its political instructors, "to forget everywhere the negro, and to remember only the dollars." Nothing is to me so extraordinary as persons in this country persisting to look on the North as the friend of the negro. Why, it is perfectly notorious that these wretched people, when in the North, are treated like vermin, and shunned like leprosy. Look at the course pursued towards them by Northern legislation, and then believe, if you can, in the regards of the North for the African. If you refer to the Legislatures of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, it will be seen that every sympathy seems to have been enlisted in favor of the negro while in bondage, every hand 566 raised against him in the North when once enfranchised. In Indiana, 1831, Free Negroes and Mulattoes Act; none of these persons to be admitted unless some white person should enter into a bond of 500 dols. for his good behavior and power to maintain. Illinois, still more severe (1829) forbade any black to reside within the State without giving similar bond in 1,000 dols. In Oregon—admitted into the Union in 1859—the right of voting denied to negroes, Chinamen, mulattoes; and in a clause, carried by 8,640 votes to 1,081, free negroes are in future denied admittance to the State—No free negro, or mulatto, not residing in this State at the time of this Constitution shall come, reside, or be within this State, or hold any real estate, or make any contract, or maintain any suit; and the Legislative Assembly shall provide by penal laws for the removal by public officers of all such negroes and mulattoes, and for their effectual exclusion from this State, and for the punishment of persons who shall bring them into the State.In 1862, similar enactments have been passed in Illinois—the President's own State; and yet General Hunter offers to raise 40,000 negroes to fight for the Union against their masters, he knowing well that when the war is over not one of these people will be allowed to enter those States for whose love of empire they have shed their blood. I have been obliged to enter at this great length on the slavery question; for though it is now beginning to be well understood, at the commencement of this conflict the issue sought to be raised by the advocates of the North was, whether the country was prepared to advocate or to disapprove of the encroachments of slavery. This shallow device has become appreciated, and the result is the utter want of sympathy which the North experiences in Europe, and which it resents by menace and abuse. Now, I contend, if you wish to put an end to this lamentable war, if you wish at once to avert that terrible calamity which is daily increasing in intensity throughout Lancashire, you will accept the Resolution before you. It has been said, if the mediation of Europe be refused, what then? Why, then the next step must be the immediate recognition by Europe of the Confederate States. But it has been asked during this debate, will recognition give you one bale of cotton, and will it not entail war? I answer, it will give cotton, and it will not entail war. For, mind, I do not advocate isolated action on the part of England, which would, I 567 know, be useless, and only add to the irritation against us in the United States. But it is perfectly notorious that France has long been anxious to interpose, to do something even more than mediate, and that we have hitherto discountenanced this interposition, and our thanks have been that we have so acted from our usual perfidious motives, that the United States might be exhausted and ruined by the war, and not from any desire of impartiality. Now, I say, we shall not have war; for though there is hardly a folly that has not been committed by the United States, yet it is not conceivable that, hard pushed as they are by the South, they should, in addition, bring on themselves the hostility of the most powerful European nations—and for what? Why, for doing that which every State has a perfect right to do according to all received international law—namely, to recognize any Government as independent, as was clearly shown by the right hon. and learned Member for the University of Dublin (Mr. Whiteside). But I go further, and I say that the day when the interposition of Europe is announced, the war bubble in America will burst. It will be a day long remembered in Wall Street and by the speculators of New York. It is these speculators, and contractors, and manufacturers, aided by a very small minority, who are thoroughly honest in the matter, namely, the ardent abolitionists, who are urging on and inflaming their countrymen ill this war. Let but the great mass of the nation once see that Europe dispassionately believes the war to be hopeless, let them see that this mediation is offered without menace, but in a frank and friendly spirit, and I am confident that very soon it will be cordially grasped at. I look on the North hitherto as being in a state of hallucination, bewildered by the din of clamour—and boasting all around and everywhere. It seems to have been bitten by a tarantula, and drifted into a kind of monomania; that monamania is a craving that everything about it should be vast, vaster than anything elsewhere. It seems to reconcile itself to every privation and sacrifice, so that all about it be on the most gigantic scale. It boasts that it has the largest army in the world; it cares nothing for the cost. It consoles itself by the reflection that if plundered, its peculators are robbers of the vastest proportions. Even Bull Run is atoned for as being the greatest defeat in the memory of most 568 living men. And it positively exults in the reflection that within two years it will have accumulated a public debt of as great an amount as it has taken the greatest countries of worn-out and effete old Europe centuries to incur. I will read to the House an extract, sent to me by I know not whom, from the Dubugue Sun, a newspaper in the State of Iowa, and this is the way a national debt is treated in America—The man who owes nobody is a poor, miserable being; nobody manifests interest in his welfare—nobody cares a continental cent whether he lives or dies. He is loan, hungry, and generally as poor and wilted as the pin-feathers on Job's turkey. Look at our great men—they are all debtors—owe everybody; our men of science, our authors, our sensation ministers, all, the entire cahoot of them, are deeper in debt than Pharaoh's army were in the Red Sea. Debt ennobles a man; gives a more expanded and liberal view of human nature; keeps him moving, especially if he never pays rent. Nothing will cure the consumption quicker than a strong course of debt, properly taken. To owe is human, to pay is divine. Therefore till man becomes superhuman, he should not attempt to emulate divinity. The science of payment—the true modern science—is to get in debt to somebody else whom you owe. By this means, you avoid getting out of debt, and maintain a reputation of paying. The greatness of a nation increases with its national debt. Make a note of this at ninety days.Surely no one can believe that this state of things can continue in a country of prudent, educated men; and every mail brings us intelligence that moderate counsels are beginning to make themselves heard. If the great Powers of Europe offer their mediation in respectful and friendly terms, it will arouse thousands who are desirous of peace, but who have hitherto been crushed and kept down by violence and the intoxication of success. It will have this good effect, too—that it will permit the impulse for peace to arise among the Americans themselves. It can inflict no wound on their pride and spirit of independence. It asks them to do nothing more than what their wisest and best citizens have advocated in the days when the Union was yet unthreatened. I would that over every door-post in the United States were graven at this moment the eloquent words of Mr. J. Quincy Adams, once a President of the United States, who, at the New York Historical Society, at the jubilee of the Constitution, 1839, expressed himself in this noble language—But the indissoluble link of union between the people of the several States of this Confede- 569 rated nation is, after all, not in the right, but in the heart. If the day should ever come (may Heaven avert it!) when the affections of the people of these States shall be alienated from each other; when the fraternal spirit shall give way to cold indifference, or collisions of interest shall fester into hatred, the bands of political association will not long hold together parties no longer attracted by the magnetism of conciliated interests and kindly sympathies; and far better will it be for the people of the disunited States to part in friendship from each other than to be held together by constraint. Then will be the time for reverting to the precedent, which occurred at the formation and adoption of the Constitution, to form again a more perfect Union, by dissolving that which could no longer bind, and to leave the separated parts to be reunited, by the law of political gravitation, to the centre.There will shortly be a lull of arms when the great heat prevents military operations; therefore I pray you to avail yourselves of this opportunity. Give us peace for a little, even though it be but an armistice, and all may yet be well. The hon. Member for Leicester (Mr. Taylor) says peace can be but a hollow truce. That I utterly deny. Fierce and vindictive as may be now the passions of both combatants, yet time, the healer of all things, scars over the deepest wound. Give us peace, and I do not despair, even in this darkest hour, that though the United States of Washington be no more, yet that the traditions of Washington may prevail on both sides of the boundary, and a great future yet be in store for those two vast Republics. If monarchies can exist side by side of each other, without strife and variance, why may not Republics? Rivalries there may be, but rivalries in progress, and in the arts of peace. I contend, if you will only help, that there is still hope that less hot and more Christian counsels may prevail, and that these two Republics may take their onward course, diverging, but not hostile—independent, yet not forgetful of their common origin—bidding each other farewell, in the language of Abraham to Lot—"Is not the whole land before thee? Separate thyself, I pray thee, from me; let there be no strife between me and thee, for we are brethren."
§ MR. SEYMOUR FITZGERALD moved the adjournment of the debate.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Debate be now adjourned."
§ VISCOUNT PALMERSTON
I should hope, after the length to which the debate has gone, that the House will be disposed to come to a division to-night on the 570 Motion of the hon. Member for Sunderland The subject which we have been debating is one of the highest importance, and one also of the most delicate character, and I cannot think that the postponement of the conclusion of this debate till next week can be attended with any beneficial result, either one way or other. I confess I regret very much that my hon. Friend has thought it his duty to bring this subject under discussion in this House in the present state of things. There can be but one wish on the part of every man in this country with respect to this war in America, and that is that it should end. I might doubt whether any end which can be satisfactory, or which could lead to an amicable settlement between the two parties, is likely to be accelerated by animated debates in this House. We have had to-night the American war waged here, in words, by champions on both sides. It is quite true that many things have been said which must be gratifying to the feelings of both parties now fighting in America; but, on the other hand, things have been said in the warmth of debate which must tend to irritate and wound the feelings of both sides; and it is in human nature to think more of things that are offensive, than of things which are gratifying and friendly. I confess, therefore, that I regret that the debate has been brought on, and I should earnestly hope that the House would not agree to the Motion of my hon. Friend, but would leave it in the hands of the Government to deal with the future, content as I believe the country is with the manner in which the past has been conducted by them. I do not ask this upon the ground of confidence in the Government of the day, because I think that whatever party might have the rule in this country—whoever might sit on these benches—it would be wise and expedient in the House to leave a matter of such difficulty, of such delicacy, and of such immense importance in the hands of the responsible Government of the day to deal with it according to the varying circumstances of the moment, and not by a Resolution to dictate and point out a specific course, and to tie up their hands, thus taking upon the House of Commons the responsibility which ought properly to belong to the Government. The Motion of my hon. Friend points to two courses—mediation and acknowledgment. We have heard a very learned and well-argued speech from 571 the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Whiteside) on the question of acknowledgment. I am not going to dispute, that if this country thought it right to take that course, we should be perfectly justified in acknowledging the independence of the Southern States, provided only that that independence had been—in the words which he used—"firmly and permanently established." Moreover, I quite concur with him that our acknowledgment of that independence, if we thought right to make it, would be no just cause of war, no just cause of offence on the part of the United States as against this country. But the cases which the right hon. Gentleman cited—more especially the case of the South American Republics—were totally different from that which is now presented to our consideration. The South American Republics were not acknowledged till a great many years after they had practically achieved and obtained their independence. There was a war between them and Spain—separated by the wide Atlantic from her revolted subjects—and unable with any degree of power to re-establish her authority over them; and, I believe, it was nearly fifteen years—certainly a great many years—before their independence was acknowledged. But what was the state of affairs in this case until the uncertain rumors we have received this day? A fortnight ago it was doubtful whether the Confederates or the Federals would be in possession of Richmond. It was but a few days ago that we imagined that the whole course of the Mississippi was in the hands of the Federals—we knew that New Orleans, and possibly Charleston were in their hands; and I contend, that up to the present moment, whatever may be the opinion which anybody may entertain of the determination of the South to fight to the last for the maintenance of its independence, practically the contest has not yet assumed that character which would justify this country in assuming that that independence was permanently and fully established. But, then, many people who talk of acknowledgment seem to imply that that acknowledgment, if made, would establish some different relations between this country and the Southern States. But that is not the case. Acknowledgment would not establish a nation unless it were followed by some direct active interference. Neutrality, as was well observed by the right hon. Gentleman opposite, is perfectly com- 572 patible with acknowledgment. You may be neutral in a war between two countries whose independence you never called in question. Two long-established countries go to war; you acknowledge the independence of both, but you are not on that account bound to take part in the contest. The right hon. Gentleman argued that we had taken a step towards acknowledgment by admitting that the South had belligerent rights. But Vattel, and all the best authorities on the law of nations, hold that when a civil war breaks out in a country that is firmly established, other nations have a right to deal with those two parties as belligerents, without acknowledging the independence of the revolted portion of the country. Admitting that the war has been established on such a footing that each party is entitled to be regarded by other countries as belligerents, the mere fact of our having acknowledged that those two parties are belligerents in the proper international sense of the word does not imply a step towards acknowledging one or other of them as an independent nation. Nobody can be insensible for a moment of the vast importance to this country of a speedy termination of this war. We all know the privations and sufferings which a great portion of our population are enduring, in consequence of that unfortunate war. But, on the other hand, it has been well put by an hon. Gentleman who spoke in this debate, that any attempt to put an end to it by active interference would only produce greater evils, greater sufferings, and greater privations to those on whose behalf interference had been attempted. There is no instance, I believe, in the history of the world, of a contest such as that which is now going on in America—a contest of such magnitude between two different sections of the same people. The Thirty Years' War in Germany was a joke to it in point of extent and magnitude. It was but the other day that I saw a map sent by the Quartermaster General of the Federal forces, on which were marked out the positions of 720,000 Federal troops—we now hear that 300,000 more men are to be called into the field—making one 1,000,000 of men on one side; and probably there is something not much less on the other. Irritation and exasperation on both sides are admitted by all who have taken part in the debate, and is that the moment when it can be thought that a successful offer of mediation could be made to the two parties? My hon. 573 Friend said, "I do not care for that; we had better offer mediation and let it be refused; and if that were followed by acknowledgment, that acknowledgment would ultimately lead to a satisfactory settlement between the two parties." I wish to guard myself against anything in regard to the future. The events of this war have been so contrary to all anticipation, from time to time, that he would be a bold man indeed who should attempt to prophesy from month to month what character the war would assume. I believe the country and this House are of opinion that the Government has, up to the present time, pursued a wise and prudent course. We should be too happy if any opportunity should present itself which would afford us a fair and reasonable prospect that any effort on our part might be conducive to establish peace between the two parties who are carrying on this desolating and afflicting contest; but I think that the House had better leave it to the discretion of the Government to judge of the occasions which may arise, and of the opportunities which may present themselves. It is upon that ground that, without going into any investigation of the rights on either side as to which may be right and which wrong—without expressing any judgment, because I think it is the duty of the Government of this country to abstain from expressing any judgment upon the two parties—I ask the House not to sanction this Resolution. If at any time we should be able by friendly offices to contribute to the establishment of peace, it can be only by presenting ourselves in the shape of impartial persons, not tied by opinions either one way or the other, anxious only to promote that settlement between the two which may be consistent with the feelings and interests of both. It is only in that way that we can render any service; and, in order to remain in that position, to enjoy that character, it is necessary that we should avoid pronouncing any judgment or opinion. I therefore do not follow the example of those who have expressed opinions upon the merits of the two parties. I only entreat the House not to adopt the Resolution of my hon. Friend, but to leave to the responsible Government the task of judging what can be done, when it can be done, and how it can be done.
§ MR. SEYMOUR FITZGERALD
submitted whether it was not desirable that there should be an adjournment of the 574 debate. He confessed that he never rose to address the House with a greater sense of responsibility than that with which he was then impressed—not because he presumed to suppose that any opinion of his was of greater weight than that of other Members, but because the words of every Gentleman who took part in this debate would be severely scanned in a community where the minds and judgments of men had been distorted and disturbed, and their passions roused by a contest which it would be difficult to parallel in the annals of the world. His hon. Friend (Mr. Lindsay) had been found fault with for bringing forward a Motion which, it was said, was likely to produce great irritation in America. Now, it appeared to him that fault was found with the Motion, not for what it was, but for what it was not. True, its wording had been altered from time to time; but that, at all events, showed that his hon. Friend had bestowed great care and consideration on the question, and that he desired to meet the objections which might be supposed to attach to it in its original shape; and it would be difficult to point out any particular in which the Motion better deserved commendation than from the extreme caution and moderation which now characterized it. His hon. Friend proposed that Her Majesty's Government should attempt mediation upon the ground that the Confederate States had long preserved a separate Government and shown a determination to maintain their independence; and he must say that until he heard the speech of the noble Lord, he should have thought it difficult for any one to disagree with the terms of the Resolution. The Confederate States had maintained not only a Government perfectly distinct from that from which they had separated themselves, but an established Government, with a recognized constitution, a President, a Senate, and House of Representatives duly elected, constituencies who exercised an independent choice, and elections freely conducted. They had not only a large army in the field, but for upwards of a year had maintained and paid a body of troops numbering not less that 300,000 men. He was not prepared to say that the present condition of affairs in America did not justify a very different course from that recommended by the hon. Member for Sunderland; but when the hon. Member (Mr. Forster) advocated a policy of strict non-interference he would ask what circumstance could possibly justi- 575 fy interference if these did not—not a forcible or coercive interference, but a friendly mediation, tendered in the most respectful and friendly tone? Could anything more shocking be pointed out in history than the cruel warfare now being waged in America? They heard of father being arrayed against son, and brother against brother. But this was not all. The contest was a sanguinary one, such as it was impossible to parallel in modern times. It was said that the two armies had lately fought for seven consecutive days, and that in the last three days the killed, wounded, and missing amounted to up-wards of 40,000. Numbers like these appeared almost incredible, yet there was reason to suppose that the accounts were not overcharged; and one statement in a Southern newspaper was that a Southern division, which on the fourth day went into action 14,000 strong could next morning only muster 6,000. Surely a friendly ally ought, at the earliest possible moment, to interpose, and by mediation try to stop so dreadful a contest. But it was not only on account of the state of things in America that we were called upon to interfere. He was struck with astonishment by what seemed the utter inability of Gentlemen of good information, and even the noble Lord himself, to realize the magnitude of the distress which was extending itself over great districts of the North of England. That there would be a want of employment in the cotton districts for a certain time was not all. A cotton famine was not like a corn famine. When the potato crop failed one year in Ireland or the wheat crop in England, there was always the prospect and the hope that in the year following the kindly fruits of the earth would be enjoyed in due season. But it was not so with the cotton crop. The cotton crop required large capital combined with skill and industry. In the cotton-producing States of America capital was destroyed; the system of servitude was destroyed; and even if peace were brought about to-morrow, it would be impossible to obtain that steady and ample supply of cotton which we had been in the habit of receiving. Then, again, although the patience and self-reliance of the population in the North of England were worthy of all praise, and though he believed that this self-respect and regard for order on the part of the bulk of the population would continue, was it quite certain that agitators might not find opportunities of spreading discontent, 576 and that next winter might not be marked by as much social disorder as it was, unhappily, sure to be marked by social misery? He thought, then, that we should be wanting in our duty to our own population, as well as to humanity in general, if we did not step forward, and, by peaceful mediation, try to put an end to this odious contest. He was told that this course would have no effect unless it were followed up by forcible intervention, but he did not believe that this was a fair estimate of the effect of mediation. His hon. Friend proposed, not that this country should alone offer its mediation, or that we should recognise the South and afterwards call on the Federal Government to accept our good offices; but that, in concert with all our allies, we should express our conviction, as the result of careful observation of all that has been passing during the last eighteen months, that it was impossible that there should be any other issue to this war than a separation between North and South. Coupled with this there would be an attempt to enforce our conviction, not by arms, but by the whole weight of our moral influence and authority. He believed, that if we were to tender to the people of the United States our good offices to promote some terms of arrangement, it would have the best effect, because it would give to the sensible and moderate portion of the American people an opportunity of expressing opinions which were now overborne amid the din of war. A proof of this was afforded by what happened after the Trent affair, when, the first excitement having passed away, every moderate paper admitted that the North must be wrong, and must have exceeded their rights, since all the Powers of Europe declared that this was so, combining for the purpose from no motives of self-interest, but merely in defense of the law of nations. In the same spirit our object should be to induce not France only, or Russia, but Austria, Italy, and the other Powers of Europe to unite with us in an offer of mediation, and in counseling both parties to come to terms of compromise and reconciliation; and he felt sure that such advice, coming from the most enlightened nations of the world, united in the cause of peace and humanity, was such that no people, and least of all the people of the United States, could afford to disregard. Perhaps at first the North might be irritated by an offer of mediation; but he believed 577 that they would ultimately listen with respect and deference to the collected opinion of Europe, and we should then enjoy the proud satisfaction of having contributed as far as we could to the attainment of so satisfactory an end. He did not know whether his hon. Friend the Member for Sunderland intended to take the responsibility of proceeding to a division, or the almost equal responsibility of withdrawing the Motion; but in his heart of hearts he so entirely agreed with it, that if his hon. Friend pressed the Motion, he should certainly support it by his vote. However this might be, he was sure that in the line now taken by the Government a weightier and serious responsibility was incurred by them than had almost ever been incurred by any other Government in modern times. A policy of noninterference might be the part of prudence and of wisdom, or it might arise from indecision or from timid and divided councils. He did not know what course the Government might hereafter take; but he felt assured, that if they were only prepared to accept the responsibility of being the first to initiate in Europe the policy of inviting—in conjunction with the Powers of the Continent—the contending States of America to come to a settlement of their differences, they would have the satisfaction of knowing that they had taken a step which might have the effect of restoring peace to one hemisphere, and contentment and prosperity to the suffering people of another. Thus, without the expense of a single shilling, or the loss of a single human life, might they confer a great blessing on those who were our kindred But whether they took that course or not, the hon. Member for Sunderland would have the gratification resulting from the fact that he had done his best by proposing, as they upon those benches would have the satisfaction of knowing that they had done their best by supporting, a Resolution which had for its object the restoration of peace between two contending parties, and which pointed to the only course which was compatible with our own honor and national interests.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Question again proposed, "That the Words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ MR. HOPWOOD
(who had given notice that it was his intention to move—That it is the duty of Her Majesty's Govern- 578 ment to use every means consistent with the maintenance of peace, either in concert with the great Powers of Europe or otherwise, as they may think it expedient, to endeavor to terminate the civil war now raging in America,")said, he did not feel disposed to take the course suggested for the adoption of the hon. Member for Sunderland, and withdraw his Motion. Very little had been said in the course of the discussion with respect to the distressed operatives of Lancashire and Cheshire, of whom 197,000 were working short time, while 58,990 were altogether without employment. [Cries of "Divide, divide!"] He was sorry to perceive the spirit in which those hon. Members who professed to be the friends of the operatives seemed inclined to deal with their case; but he should implore the Government, in the name of justice and charity, as well as in the interests of humanity, to take some steps to put an end to the misery which the unhappy struggle in America was creating, not only in that country, but our own. In his opinion it would have been the crowning act of a long and useful life if the noble Lord at the head of the Government had accepted the course suggested by the Resolution which had been moved by the hon. Member for Sunderland.
said, that he would rest satisfied with the statement of the noble Lord at the head of the Government, and the hope which it held out that he would take the earliest opportunity to bring about a termination of the war, and would, with the permission of the House, withdraw his Motion.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Main Question put, and agreed to.