said,* my Lords, when I consider the very great importance of the question, in all its relations, both foreign and domestic, which I have undertaken to bring before the House this evening, and when I reflect on the load of responsibility which must appear to rest on me in performing, or at-* From a corrected report.600 tempting to perform, this undertaking, I certainly do not deny, that though I have had a very large and long experience in addressing various public assemblies, in dealing with subjects of various kinds and under every aspect of public affairs, I feel considerable uneasiness and even anxiety at the present moment. It may be thought to savour of presumption in an individual, apart from the Government, voluntarily to grapple with a question of such mighty interest; nevertheless there are some considerations which, while they have urged me to the enterprise, seem to have a force sufficient to support me in proceeding with it. It is not now for the first time, my Lords, that I have had to deal with most important matters, concerning the relations of this country and the United States. None of your Lordships have had for so long a period as I have had, the fortune to take an active part in endeavouring to allay animosities, and to restore peaceful and amicable relations between this country and America. Not only in 1808, when the ill-devised orders in Council were issued; but in 1812, when I was aided by my noble Friend, whose negotiation forms the object of the present motion, and whose conduct upon that occasion pointed him out prominently as the proper person to proceed to America, for the purpose of putting an end to all matters in difference, and of restoring those feelings of friendship and mutual confidence that are of such vital importance to the welfare of the two countries—in 1812 I grappled for the second time with this question, and I had, with his powerful aid, the good fortune to triumph over that vicious policy which fettered the freedom of commercial dealings, embittered all intercourse with our American kinsmen, and sapped the whole commercial prosperity of the empire. But what sustains and repairs me in performing this arduous duty is the absolute confidence I feel in the impregnable position which I now occupy. I rely on its strength upon all points; not merely those on which no attempt has ever been made to assail it, but I should even say still more with reference to those on which attacks have been made, and been triumphantly repulsed. I shall now at once proceed to the subject-matter of this "great argument;" and if I shall succeed in "rising to the height of it," I feel confident that my labour and my anxiety will be rewarded by being the feeble, the humble instru- 601 meat, of rendering a service to the cause of train, of peace, and of my country. When either the policy of a state, or the conduct of a family or of an individual, is canvassed, in any particular way, with reference to blame or praise, the question usually is, what has been gained, or restored, or lost, or secured, in that particular transaction? But it is, I should say, first of all absolutely necessary that we form to ourselves a clear idea of what the object was which the parties had in view—what was the point of pursuit—what the matter sought to be obtained—before we can safely come to any decision. If we take not this course, we shall little know how to mete out the share of praise or of blame that the parties concerned ought to receive. I shall therefore, at once consider what the object of our Government was in originating this great negotiation, and what specific purpose they had in view when they sent a Minister to America. Now, I hold this to be the clear and undeniable truth—that the one great object of pursuit, the one great purpose sought to be attained, that purpose, in comparison with which every other point is a mere grain of dust in the balance, was the restoration of friendly feeling and amicable intercourse between England and America. If we only cast our eyes back for half a century, if we only look to the beginning of the independence of the United States, we shall at once perceive of what paramount importance as well as difficulty, this reconcilement was to both countries. So soon as the disatrous struggle which stripped England of her finest colonies was brought to a close, it is in vain to deny that on both sides of the Atlantic much ill-feeling naturally prevailed. Those feelings were kept rankling in the bosoms of each party to the contest, and circumstances occurred to render them still more acute. The great loss which England had sustained made the recollections bitter on this side of the Atlantic, and the indignities to which our opponents were exposed by the cast and complexion of our prejudices, made the feeling equally sore on the other side, notwithstanding the signal triumph which had there been won. To this I may add, for it is now matter of history, and can give offence to no one, that there was something in the establishment, for the first time in modern ages, of a great democratic government, of a. purely republican constitution, which bad an 602 inevitable tendency to beget soreness of feeling on our side of the water. We, with all our monarchical principles—for I will not call them prejudices—we, with all our aristocratic feelings, for I will not call them superstfBons—we, with all our natural abhorrence of the levelling system and a democratic form of government, were impatient of beholding a great and rising empire, founded by monarchical England's sons, a republic—a level republic—in the veins of whose members flowed the blood of aristocratic England. We saw those republican principles rooted and planted deep in the hearts and feelings of 3,000,000 of Englishmen—we saw them ruling, and conquering, and flourishing, without a king to govern, without a prelate to bless, without a noble to adorn them—we saw all this effected at the point of the sword after a series of defeat, disaster, and disgrace to the British arms. No wonder, then, that all strong feelings and deeply-rooted prejudices were called into fierce action so often as the successes of America were remembered—so often as the name of the new republic was pronounced. Nor were words wanting to express those exasperated feelings. A tone was assumed, sometimes of bitterness, sometimes of affected superiority, far more offensive than the utmost bitterness—sometimes of aristocratic exultation over the humbler members of the American community—which, though it might be in some degree excused by the violence offered—and somewhat rudely offered—to long-cherished prejudices, and was not the less calculated to wound and exasperate American bosoms, because it was diametrically opposed to those strong and powerful sentiments which they themselves cherished. They were as deeply impressed with the necessity of upholding the principle of plain and rustic equality as we were with the duty of maintaining the Corinthian capital of aristocratic rule. They upheld the massive but simple columns of their homely structure with as much fondness as we showed for our own many beautiful pillars. Events were not wanting to blow the coal of discord between the two countries. Whilst various matters were tending to maintain exasperation between the two countries, a great event shook all Europe, and indeed all the world to its base. The French Revolution added, on the part of England, new fuel to the aristocratic and monarchical feeling 603 which was so dearly cherished in this country, imparting at the same time new exultation and additional triumph to republican America. When things were in this state—when the feelings on either side were highly exacerbated—the French intriguer, the Jacobin leveller, the propagandist of republic opinions and principles, stepped in, and increased the discord. France, not satisfied with the dead level of American institutions—not content with the pure and absolute democracy of republican America—could not be grateful unless America, republican like herself, democratic like herself, should raise her arm against all the institutions of the old world, partake of that anarchy which prevailed within herself, and join in the war to which it had given birth. French intrigue laboured hard to introduce that confusion into America which had already laid waste all France, and which had kindled the war with England. Hence, For the last three years of the president ship of that great man who then governed America, the greatest man, I will venture to say, that as a ruler, either the old or the new world has produced, he endeavoured to hold the balance evenly between the factions in his country, and to maintain the republican principle untainted by that anarchy which mischievous or misguided men would introduce into the State founded by his sword, guided by his wisdom, and sustained by his patriotism. He successfully resisted the intrigues of France, and succeeded in preserving the great blessing of peace which he had achieved, when he nobly conquered the independence of his native land. During those three momentous years we were fated to see one perpetual contention between England and America, in the course of which, at every turn of the negotiation, war was ready to burst forth. Next came the neutral questions; then the short peace or truce with France—the peace of Amiens. Then followed, in rapid succession, the new neutral controversy, the orders in Council, and the question of impressment, Until we were ultimately involved in actual war. So that since the peace of Versailles, which acknowledged the independence of the United States, from those feelings and prejudices which I have described, owing to the events at which I have shortly glanced, and in consequence Of the practices of French in triguers, it had so happened that points of 604 difference having revived the half-forgotten hostilities of 1812 and 1813, we have been in a state of perpetual soreness, irritation, and heart-burning. The interval was tilled up by mutual injuries, mutual offences, mutual recriminations; suspicions and jealousies were ready, each moment, to break out on either side; mutual chagrin and vexation at each other's success—mutual joy and triumph at each other's disasters; then direct and downright animosities; then short-lived truce; then war—actual war; and at last peace—the name of peace rather than the reality or the substance of that prime, that inestimable blessing. One is reminded of the picture given in the Roman comedy of the relations between parties who should naturally know no coldness, no quarrels.Injuriæ,Suspiciones, inimicitiæ, induciæ,Bellum, pax rursum.But it was the aspect rather than the real, fair form of peace. It is in vain to doubt what it is impossible to deny, that after peace was in name restored, matters continued almost entirely on the same footing as before; so that, upon the accession to office of my noble Friends opposite—I allude particularly to my noble Friend the Secretary for Foreign Affairs—they really may be said to have found matters with respect to England and the United States in anything but a satisfactory position, in everything but a warlike position, with some half dozen of the more difficult questions to settle—some three or four points upon which both nations had all but vowed never to listen to reason, and never to come to any understanding—and some other points, the settlement of which had often been attempted, and the attempt had as often failed. One question, at least, baffled all such attempts; a question which, with regard to the importance of the interests involved, with respect to the strong feeling entertained on the subject on both sides of the water, and, as to the difficulties which surrounded it, matched, I will venture to say, any other point of discussion on which negotiators ever had to treat, or which, when all attempts at treaty have failed, has brought on the last resort—the resort to the sword. Such, my Lords, was the state of things—such was the aspect of our foreign affairs as regarded America—such were the feelings and such the difficulties 605 which prevailed, when my noble Friend undertook the task—as important as it was hard—of effecting a complete adjustment of all these difficulties, and of reconciling; the two nations once more. I have said that matters were all but in a hostile position; and the state of the case was this:—A train was laid in America, in the feelings of the people upon the boundary question; on the subject of Canadian interference with respect to the cases of the Caroline and the Creole; above all, upon the question of the slave-trade and the right of search; feelings of a similar kind prevailed in this country, though on the opposite side of the question, doubtless as strong and as universal. It was thus rendered inevitably certain that, if any mischance had happened to peace in Europe,—if any war, or anything like war had broken out on this side the Atlantic,—one spark of that fire which would then have broken out in the old world, borne across the ocean, would have kindled the train thus ready laid to explode, extended the flame to America, and involved the new world as well as the old in endless war. And if I am asked whether there was any likelihood of that spark being flung off, I must refer—though I am loth to broach any matters but those immediately under discussion—to a man existing in France, who may be said to have been, and still to be, the impersonation of hostile feeling, the promoter of discord between America and England. I name him because I wish to attach undivided blame to the quarter within which, at I hope, the guilt is, without any accomplice, confined. I name General Cass as the person, whose manœuvres, whose discreditable conduct, whose breach of duty to hit own Government—more flagrant than hit breach of duty to humanity, and as a descendant of free English parents—whose conduct in these particulars it is wholly impossible either to pass over or to palliate. Even after the adjustment of the differences between the two countries, after an end had, all but miraculously, been pat to the difficulties which beset us—that negotiator, that envoy sent to preserve peace—that man presiding at Paris over the pacific relations between France and America—that man sent to maintain general good wilt and amity—that minister of peace, acting as if some friend had whispered to him, and inspired him, Disjioe composition pacem, sere crimina belli 606 —did hit very best to destroy it, by the circulation of arguments upon questions of international law, of even the rudiments of which he had no more conception than he had of the languages spoken in the moon—he having, to all appearance, no more capacity of reasoning upon any question than he had of understanding legal points and legal differences—by stepping out of his own province, and mixing himself up with French affairs—with the negotiations between France and England—which he had no more to do with than he had with treaties between two powers in the Peninsula of India—and by officiously intruding upon the French Government his impertinent protest against the treaty between England and France, in order, if he could, to excite war between the two countries. That was his object; and I speak with the greater confidence, because I have now before me the severe reprimand given him by his own principal, Mr. Webster, for his conduct during that negotiation, for hit interference with matters which in nowise concerned him, and for his gratuitously thrusting his remonstrances upon his own Government, who had sent him out, whose servant he was, whose orders he was bound by his allegiance to obey, whose proceedings he had no shadow of vocation even to criticize, much test to blame. And for what did he do this? For the sake of furthering his electioneering interests in America—from a desire for the attainment of that situation, the possession of which he envied Mr. Tyler—the situation of first magistrate of that great republic—he pandered to the mob-feeling of the lowest rabble in the United States. It is a circumstance which I contemplate with a pure and unmingled satisfaction, that the most respectable portion of the American community is favourable to the maintenance of peace with England, although the detestable spirit of faction prevents that desire from being entertained in every quarter. This vile working of party feeling prevents me from affirming that every respectable person in the Great Union is the friend of this country and of peace; but this I will say, and every one who is acquainted with the state of things in America will vouch for the truth of my assertion, that where so ever in that country there is to be found a lower race of politicians than all others—wherever there can be discovered an inferior caste of 607 statesmen—wheresoever in raking into the filth and the dross of faction, the dregs of political society, there is to be dug up a grovelling, groundling set of politicians—that wherever the mere rabble holds sway, as contradistinguished from men of property, of information, and of principle—in that quarter, among those groundling statesmen, among those rabble mobs, among that lowest class of the people, you are absolutely certain to find the strongest and most envenomed prejudices against the American alliance with England, and the greatest disposition to see war usurp the place of peace between the two kindred nations. Such, my Lords, were the dangers, such were the risks, and such the difficulties by which my noble Friend opposite, and my noble Friend (Lord Ashburton), whose delicacy prevents him from attending in his place this evening, found their path beset at every step. To heal these divisions—to provide a real and substantial cure for the wounds which existed in each of the two countries—to effect, not merely the adjustment of the differences in detail, but, above all, to reconcile the two countries, and to restore that feeling of cordial good-will which ought naturally to subsist between communities related by language, by laws, by the same literature, and by a common descent, was the paramount object of my noble Friend opposite, and of his emissary, my Lord Ashburton. Your Lordships will, I am am sure, give me credit for not having been influenced in entering into these details by any desire of needlessly occupying your time by referring to these fruitful subjects of an easy declamation; but it is quite impossible to tell what my case is, without calling your attention to the present, or, rather happily, the late position, and the state of feeling that prevailed, or had so long unhappily ruled, on both sides of the Atlantic. But, because I hold the assuaging of these feelings to have been the grand object of our endeavours, do I say, that the terms agreed upon are of no moment at all, that they are but as dust in the balance, absolutely, and of themselves and in every point of view, when I only say they are as a feather compared with far mightier objects? Do I hold that it was quite immaterial what terms were consented to on one side or the other? Very far from it. Some terms are always of importance. I should say that the pecuniary interests, the commercial interests 608 of countries are, in questions of negotiation, of comparatively little importance, and for this reason:—If a war should take place, the expenses of the first six months of that war would cost incalculably more to both parties than the whole object in dispute. The case is similar to many law suits, as many of my noble and learned Friends know. Some of my noble Friends have profited more or less by such suits, and other noble Lords continue, without profiting much, to suffer a great deal from the laborious discharge of their duties in investigating such cases. 1 have very seldom seen a cause, in which a moderate amount, under 100l.. or even 150l., was involved, which, upon a calculation of profit and loss, it would not have been the most prudent course, if the man had a receipt in his pocket, to have given up rather than incur the expenses of costs—and then run the risk, and there is always some risk, as to the result. But a man knows that if he did this in one case he would be liable to be gradually, and indeed very speedily, stripped of every thing he possessed. Such is also the case of nations, with regard to their disputes and their great trials, wars. The cost is heavier than any mere loss or gain can be worth. But anything affecting the honour of a country is always of importance; and I think it was Mr. Fox who once wisely and profoundly observed, that while he could never approve a war for profit, a war for the maintenance of honour was a very different thing, for the sacrifice of national honour mast lead to the downfall of the country. It is, therefore, necessary to examine the terms and conditions of the important treaty to which I am now referring. This becomes doubly necessary when you are dealing with a people like our Transatlantic brethren, who are somewhat prone, after the manner of democratic nations, to magnify themselves and undervalue others, and to count all they gain in any new state as a tribute rendered by fear to their greatness and their courage—I now undertake to show your Lord ships, that every one object of the negotiation has been gained, as well as the reconcilement of the two nations—that no one interest of this country has been sacrificed—that nothing has been given up which it was of the slightest moment that England should retain; and, above all, that no one principle has been sacrificed, and that the high and untarnished honour 609 of the people, of the Crown, and of the Constitution of this country has, throughout the negotiations of my Lord Ashburton acting on the instructions of my noble Friend opposite, been preserved absolutely unsullied and pure. I, therefore, come, my Lords, and I will be as brief as possible, to those points which the negotiator had to handle. I will begin with the subject of the Caroline. It has been said that an apologetical tone was adopted by my noble Friend in dealing with this question; but that he entirely succeeded in his negotiations on this point, that every difficulty was removed, that every doubt was at once abolished, and that the whole question was settled satisfactorily to all parties, I have yet to hear denied. This has certainly never been doubted on either side of the Atlantic. The greatest difficulty to be apprehended in the settlement of the differences between Canada and the United States arose, perhaps, from the fact of their near neighbourhood; for near neighbourhood in the case of states, as in that of private persons, does not always engender great vehemence of affection; but has sometimes a tendency, both with individuals and with communities, to beget feelings of a very different character. Accordingly monarchical and aristocratic Canada is very apt, if not to look down upon its neighbour the United States, yet to feel a pharisaical self-importance; to bless God that it is not as other men are—deprived of the spiritual blessings of a church, destitute of the light of the royal countenance, possessing only the rude and clumsy Doric columns of a republic, instead of seeing the tendrils of their vine and the branches of their fig-tree twine round the graceful Corinthian shafts of an aristocratical structure. Such is the feeling which prevails among our fellow-subjects in Canada. They were the witnesses, and indeed the actors in the affair of the Caroline, and if any persons were likely to feel dissatisfaction with the negotiations on this subject, had anything gone wrong, had any undue concession been made, or had any needful stipulation been omitted, the people of Canada were they. I understand from some friends of mine who have lately visited that country,—one of them an hon. and learned gentleman who has lately appeared at our Bar (Mr. Falconer)—for whose great abilities my noble and learned friends will vouch,—for whose accuracy 610 and intelligence, and total freedom from prejudice, I can vouch from personal knowledge, and who was in Canada when the result of the negotiations was promulgated,—that nothing could give more entire satisfaction to the people of the province than these negotiations and their results. The press also was almost unanimous in its praise of the manner in which the affair of the Caroline was concluded; and, the press may be taken as an indication of the popular feeling, so far it is worthy of attention, though I am far, indeed, from holding it anything like a safe guide in other respects. It appears that out of eleven papers, of which the press of Canada is composed, no less than ten gave the most entire and express approval of all that had been done on the subject of the Caroline. But another testimony in favour of that negotiation I take from a very different source—from the eloquent silence on the subject of the objectors to my noble Friend. Not one word has been said by them against that section of the Treaty which touches the taking of the Caroline. True, I may be expected to say—Oh, such candid objectors as they are must have too much British feeling, too much candour not to give their open and oral testimony in favour of that part of the Treaty. But no! Not only is there a dead silence with regard to blame, but there is a dead silence with regard to praise also—Et quæDesperat tractata nitescere posse, relinquit.The objector, whenever he can find food for his spleen, battens upon it; when there is nothing that can turn to gall, he leaves it; anything that seems unfit, not to make his eloquence shine brighter, but ill-adapted to serve as fuel to the flame of war, he leaves untouched. That silence, however, though little creditable to the objector's fairness, at least is valuable in that it forms a reluctant testimony to my noble Friend's success. It is said, however, that my noble Friend made an apology on the subject of the Caroline. Did he? Here is the language of this so-called apology. He is speaking of those who went across the St. Lawrence and cut out the Caroline, and who committed the act of hostility and of invasion of the American territory; and if my noble Friend made an apology, we must expect to hear him use the language of apology. You will expect to hear him saying,—"We are 611 sorry for it; we will never do so any more; we admit that we are wrong and that you are right; and we beg that you will accept this declaration as an apology for what we have done." This is the sort of language which, when men talk of an apology, you may expect roe So read as the language of my noble Friend. But what does he really say?—I might safely put it to any candid man acquainted with the state of the circumstances, whether the military commander could, on the 24th of December, reasonably expect that he could be relieved by any American authority?That is to say, when the American authorities found it impossible to restrain their own subjects from the course they were pursuing, we must take the thing into our own hands and act. The noble Lord goes on,—How then could the Government, having imposed on them the paramount duty of protecting their own people, be reasonably expected to wait for that which they had no reason to expect?I really do not know which the most to admire in this passage, my Lords,—the remarkable force, point, and precision of the language, or the dignity of the assertion of the right.The necessity of self-defence," continues my noble Friend, "leaving no option of deliberation, was applicable to this case in as high a degree as to any case in the history of nations.I need not read further. AH the rest of that despatch is to the same effect, and justifies the act on the ground of necessity, using the self-same topic, so offensive at that time to Americans, which my noble Friend opposite (Duke of Wellington) used in the heat of the controversy—namely, that the American Government was too feeble to restrain its own subjects, and that therefore we must take the law into our own hands. So that it was most justly observed in a work not very prone to take the part of America, and which has many sins to answer for in exciting prejudices on both sides,—I mean that able and learned journal, the Quarterly Review,— that it is really an instance of kindly feeling on the part of the American Government to take this most plain and spirited assertion of a right as anything like an apology. But whence did all this dispute arise? It arose—mark this—out of a transaction which ended in reflecting equal honour on 612 the candour and the sense of justice of the American Government, and on the dignified and determined tone of the British negotiator. It arose out of a transaction caused by that very deficiency of authority in the American Government to which the noble Duke referred at the time, and to which my noble Friend (Lord Ashburton) refers, in nearly the same terms, in the passage I have just read. It arose out of the case of M'Leod, which was not only declared to be an unlucky one by my noble Friend, but was also admitted by Mr. Webster to be so, for he says in the very next paper to that from which I have already quoted, that "it is a subject of regret that the release of M'Leod should have been so long delayed," I do not attempt to triumph over the United States because of this admission. I do not assume to look down on the American secretary on account of it. I do not wish to seize hold of this sentence as an apology, and therefore a humiliation of America. But, after all that I have heard said about my noble Friend having made an apology, I really must say, that the tone of the passage which I have just read does look to me much more like an apology than anything which is to be found in any part of my noble Friend's despatches. It is couched in the appointed phraseology of apology, the terms used by men when they feel they have done wrong, and wish to be pardoned by the injured party. But it casts no blame on America or her minister; on the contrary, it does credit to both. It is highly proper, fitting, and becoming that such a passage should there be found, because it shews that those honest republicans are not prepared to sacrifice truth and justice to diplomatic arts. But see what has been the result. It was necessary for my noble Friend, on behalf of this country, to endeavour to obtain such an arrangement of the law as would prevent the like evils happening in future. Surely it was no light matter to ask any State to change the fundamental law of its constitution,—to say to them, "Be pleased to alter the form of your Government in a material particular,'—to add to the power of that executive, of which you are so jealous that you watch it by every kind of contrivance—be pleased to give to the Government of that central power, of which all the States of the Union are so especially jealous—as jealous as love of independence and na- 613 tional feelings united can make them,—be pleased to arm the Government with a new, unheard-of, unconstitutional prerogative, which, till then, had never been enjoyed in the Federal Executive of the States." Surely, it was no little matter to ask any power for such a concession; and for what reason? Why, because the absence of such a prerogative caused inconvenience to the neighbours of that power, and in order that the case of M'Leod might never occur again. Nevertheless; notwithstanding the greatness of such a concession, it was asked by my noble Friend, and it was entertained; it was honestly, candidly, and liberally received by the American negotiator; and, ten days before my noble Lord turned his back upon the country where his negotiation had been so satisfactorily concluded, a law received the assent of the President, altering the constitution, giving the power that was so jealously looked upon, and rendering it impossible, henceforth and for ever, that such a case as M'Leod's could occur any more. I apprehend, therefore, that in that part of the negotiation which related to the Caroline, the success of the negotiator has been triumphant and complete. The next case is that of the Creole-one of peculiar nicety,, If, my Lords, you. recollect the affair of the Creole, a year and a half back, and the state of feeling on it both Out of doors and in Parliament, yen will at once say that at no time has there been any case which appeared more likely to create difficulty, or to encumber the march of negotiation than that of the Creole. I remember well what took place before my noble Friend's departure. 1 had, in common with many noble Lords, conversations with my noble Friend on the subject, and I believe it will he readily admitted that no one entertained a doubt bow difficult, if not impossible, it would prove to settle that question without consenting to give up something in the way of principle, with regard to the great question pf the slave-trade—aye and something which would be most painful and repugnant to the feelings of this country, It always happens that men forget, or think lightly of difficulties, eyen of the greatest, after they have been overcome. It is so with us in all matters, from the most trifling to the most important, from the obstacles presented to our progress by a had road, up to the obstructions in our path when governing a 614 country and administering its affairs. But justice requires, when we are called upon to examine the conduct of those who have guided the State in its course, that we should cast our regards back, and recollect how we felt when the obstacles surrounded us, and beset every step of our path. I am about to carry your Lordships back then to that period, before any one of those difficulties had been overcome. The case is this:—The American coast in the Gulf of Florida lies on the borders of a narrow channel studded with islands, which islands must be neared by almost every vessel engaged in the coasting trade of the southern states, and since the establishment of steam communication this mode of transport has become still more desirable and preferable to that through the interior, because of the difficulties of the roads. Now, in these vessels the crews are composed of one or two free men and the rest are slaves. The consequence is, that this coasting communication, which is almost like a daily communication between parish and parish, cannot be carried on without exposing the owners of those slaves to the difficulty arising put of the principle laid down in the case of Somerset, and now re-asserted in that of the Creole; not to mention that many bands of slaves are constantly carried by their owners coastwise from one state to another, an unavoidable consequence of those great friends of human liberty still pertinaciously clinging to the crime and the curse of negro slavery. It was never doubted that the Americans, seeing this difficulty, would call upon us to give them some security against it, so that their negroes, in coasting from island to island, should not be tempted to run their vessels ashore, in order to avail themselves of that principle by which a negro, the moment he touches British land, becomes immediately free. The difficulty apprehended was, how we should be able to meet any such demand as this, if it were made. But what has been the result? It appears to me even more gratifying than that in the case of the Caroline. The American government, as if they saw the situation in which we were placed—the impossibility pf our yielding on that point, and the extreme delicacy of the subject-made no demand of the kind, except that there should be some guard against conspiracies to harbour slaves, or decoy them from their owners; such as we ourselves pro- 615 vide against persons who harbour apprentices against their masters, and such as is provided more or less by all laws. But, on the other hand, a most important gain has been acquired—a most invaluable concession has been made by the American government. Now, for the first time, I rejoice to say there has been a distinct and unqualified admission by the American government—by that government representing not merely the good men of the northern and middle states, where happily slavery does not contaminate the banner of a free republic, but also the southern states,—they who are as great enemies of negro emancipation as ever existed,—for, although under republican institutions, there is nowhere, 1 am ashamed to say, a more deep-rooted aversion and disgust towards the very name of negro liberty than exists in the breasts of the free citizens of the slave-holding states of America; nevertheless, a most unqualified admission has been made by the government which represents those southern as well as the other states, that the instant a slave, whether American or any other country, touches a British settlement, that instant his fetters fall off for ever. Then, also, statutory provisions have been stipulated for, and are now in course of being passed for executing what is called the extradition clause, by which offenders in either country, under strict regulations, shall be mutually delivered up to justice. And now, my Lords, I approach that which, after all, is the main subject of these negotiations—the great boundary question—but before I come to that, I must address a few words to your Lordships upon what is called the right of search. If your Lordships will look to the despatch of the noble Earl (the Earl of Aberdeen) to Mr. Fox, of the 18th of January, 1843, you will find that he there expresses his astonishment that such grievous misrepresentations should have been made, and misapprehensions so industriously circulated on this subject; for that the right of search never did form, and never could have formed, any part of the subject-matter of these negotiations:The President of the United States must have well known (said the noble Earl), that the right of search never formed the subject of discussion during the late negotiations, and that neither had any concession been required by the United States, nor made by (Great Britain.616 Yet we hear men persisting in the assertion that we have made an abandonment of the right of search. My noble Friend went there to hear what they had to say on the subject, and, as we had nothing to ask, we bad it all our own way. Our right, all the right we claimed, we were in full possession of, and in daily exercise of, consequently we had nothing whatever to propound. It was for America to ask, which she did not. We did not claim the right of search in the proper sense of the term, because there had been no treaty. Without a treaty there can be no right of search in peace. We search French vessels, but that is by treaty. The Americans never would give up the right—one of the many evils that have grown out of the stale of feeling, which I commenced by describing, and which I was forced to dwell upon at such length, because it appears to me to be the key that will unlock all the difficult passages in this case. We never claimed that right. If a vessel be an American, and is brim full of slaves, though every slave may have been found on board, or may be proved to have been thrown overboard in the chase, though an act of piracy, accompanied by murder as well as pillage, and attended by the most grievous infliction of cruelty, has been committed each time a poor negro was carried on board in irons, yet we never pretended that in such a case we had a right to search that vessel and ascertain whether it were a slave trader or not, or even if it were admitted to be a slave-trader, we admit the right of the Americans to carry slaves, as far as our authority is concerned. They are answerable to their own government, and not to us, for breaking their own laws, and we do not claim any right to stop or search a really American vessel, even although it may be caught in flagranti delicto, in the actual and audacious commission of piracy or murder. Nor are the right of search and the right of visit two different rights. No such thing. "Visit" is the French word, and "search" is the English. All that we have to do is to make certain that the ship is American, and then all right to search or to detain, ceases at once. But, on the other hand, no person has a right to hoist two penny worth of flag, and call it the American flag, and by the magic of the name of that flag, keep us out of a slave-ship which we know is not American, or anything like 617 American. Where the case is one of such pregnant suspicion, that there can be no reasonable doubt of the American flag being fraudulently assumed—of the whole being as well a foul fraud on America as on ourselves—in that case our right to ascertain the truth is not done away with; but the fact is, that such cases are not at all included in the proposition on which the supposed right of search is based, because they are not American ships. The law is—the law of nations—that without a treaty we have no right to search an American ship for slaves any more than for anything else—that we have no right to stop an American ship on the sea—that an American ship may for anything that concerns us, trade in slaves as much and as foully as she pleases. But it is not the law, it is neither the law of nations, nor of common sense, that any vessel may trade in slaves, and commit all crimes, and shelter all felons, by hoisting an American flag, and that the sight of that flag is to turn away all our cruizers, though they may know that the ship is wholly manned, and owned, and fitted out, by British subjects. Let the objectors, if any there be in America, make the case their own. Suppose a murder committed in America—I put it in America, for if we have no right to search American guilty vessels, they have no right to enter English guilty vessels—and; by their own argument, if our flag is hoisted to cover that which is not English, they have not any right to go aboard a vessel fraudulently using our flag, and make search, anymore than they say we have to go on board an English ship with a false American flag; suppose a crime of great enormity—a murder of a most cruel stamp—of the utmost blood thirstiness—was committed at New York, and the perpetrators were to go on board an American ship, which should put out to sea before the police could overtake the felons, and hoist the British ensign, lying off half a mile or a mile from the coast—according to the argument—I am astonished, I am petrified to find that such an argument should be repeated by persons writing on the law of nations, and by that profound jurist, General Cass—according to their argument, if argument such vile trash may be called, out of pure courtesy to the nation of those who use it to the degradation of that nation—according to their argument—the reasoning of 618 those who can no more draw an inference than a pyramid—the murderers of New York might set the law of the country at defiance, because the ship they were on board of had an English flag, and no one had a right to visit her to ascertain whether she was English or not. That, however, is not the argument of Mr. Webster, or of my friend Mr. Everett, who most worthily represents his country here, and who, whilst he is most ready to maintain the honour of his own nation, feels the most amicable sentiments towards the country in which he is resident. Nor is this the argument of Mr. Stevenson, or of any man but those who shew that they are dealing with subjects of which they are not competent to comprehend even the very rudiments; these able and well-informed men never said that their own flag was to cover piracy, because used by fraud. Oh, but it is said, we are not to look at the text of the treaty; we are to look at the commentary upon the text contained in President Tyler's message. My Lords, I wish to speak with respect of the chief magistrate of the United States, although he was not chosen to be the chief magistrate—he was chosen as the second magistrate, as Vice-President, and by the death of the real object of popular choice, he succeeded accidentally to the chief magistracy. I speak with respect of him in his accidental office of chief magistrate. It is the practice in America, from a great confidence in human life, to choose a person as Vice-President, not with reference to any prospect he may have of succeeding to the chief magistracy—a person, whom, for chief magistrate, the people never would have thought of choosing. Nevertheless, I speak with respect of President Tyler, as he is a person chosen by the citizens of the United States to fill an office which gave him a chance of becoming President. And yet I confess, I believe that, as an honest republican, the head of a popular Government, he would not object to my giving a fair and candid opinion, that there are some parts of his conduct which I do not approve of, and which I do not at all comprehend. The electioneering system of America seems to me to make the whole time one perpetual canvass from beginning to end of each Presidency, and just in proportion as the period of election approaches does the feeling of political animosity become more exasperated, and all 619 the arts of canvassing become, as it were, more rifely quickened into life. Now, the message of President Tyler has been by many viewed as an address, principally oh the subject of his own election, to the Southern States of the Union, to which he belongs, or at all events where he has great hopes of success; men have looked at the whole matter as a canvass of the slave states in the President's message. Certainly, I cannot deny that a very curious gloss is put upon the articles of the treaty, which makes it appear that we have given up something we never dreamed of, and about which we never negotiated for a moment. Those who say nothing of the articles themselves tell us that we nave abandoned the right of search, and think they can prove it because President Tyler has said so. I do not say, that they are right; I do not say, that the president has said so; and I believe he did not mean to say so; if he did, it would have been a canvassing measure, and I am the last man to suppose, that he would have uttered a false statement as a truth for the purpose of canvassing. But President Tyler has happily since told us what he did mean in language so plain, that he who runs may read. After stating the law as I have laid it down, he says:—And such, I am happy to find, is substantially the doctrine of Great Britain herself, in her most recent official declarations, and even in those now communicated to the House.This was in February.These declarations," he adds, "may well lead us to doubt whether the apparent difference between the two Governments is not rather one of definition than principle. Not only is the right of search, properly so called, disclaimed by Great Britain, but that of mere visit and inquiry is—What?Oh, say those who charge my noble Friend Lord Ashburton, with truckling, and abandonment, and degradation, and other hard terms with which they fill their mouths, though I verily believe their heads are free from them—oh, that is the only question. Nobody says, that the right of search was given up; but the right of visit—the right of suspicion—the right of ascertaining if a flag is genuine, and a ship really American—that right has been given up. Has it? Why do you say so? Because President Tyler gays so. They do not look at the documents and the treaty, but they trust to the American commentators and to Presi- 620 dent Tyler. But does he say so? "Even that of mere visit and inquiry is"—what? given up? abandoned? sacrificed? departed from?—No such thing—the very contrary "is asserted, with qualifications inconsistent with the idea of a perfect right." Why, who ever said it was a perfect right? Who ever said, that there was an unqualified right to visit any vessel, French or any other? Nobody ever heard of it—nobody ever thought of it. That is the very hard statement of my noble Friend opposite (Lord Aberdeen), and the statement he abides by, and the statement I abide by.A right which is only to be exercised under such restrictions and precautions and risk, in case of any assignable damage, to be followed by the consequences of a trespass, can scarcely be considered anything more than a privilege asked for, and either conceded or withheld on the usual principles of international comity.And the president says,—Such, I am happy to find, is substantially the doctrine of Great Britain herself, in her most recent official declarations, and even in those now communicated to the House.I was curious to look at these documents thus referred to as communicated now,—namely, 27th of February, 1843, because, though I have the president's clear admission in the rest of the paper, this reference to a document puts the matter beyond doubt. Now, then, I shew your Lordships that I have the admission of President Tyler himself, that we have not given up, but nave asserted the right of visit. This message of the 27th of February, 1843, refers to the note of Lord Aberdeen to Mr. Everett of the 20lh of December, 1841, in which the right of search is modified and qualified; but the right of visiting a vessel under a flag used fraudulently is asserted in plain, distinct, and downright terms, from the beginning to the end of the note. This is the document to which the passage refers; consequently the President states that Lord Aberdeen, up to February 27,1843, holds by and asserts the right of ascertaining the genuine nationality of any ship under an American flag. Then what says Mr. Webster? At one of his first interviews with Lord Ashburton, when the subject was glanced at Mr. Webster cut short all discussion by distinctly and categorically asserting, that the question had been set completely at rest by the unanswered 621 and unanswerable statement of my noble Friend (Lord Aberdeen) to Mr. Stevenson. [The Marquess of Lansdowne: where does that appear?] It is not in any dispatch. I have it in the statement of my noble Friend, Lord Ashburton, made in his place as a Peer of Parliament, which I think sufficient to satisfy my mind as to what Mr. Webster said to him,—that the question had been for ever settled by Lord Aberdeen's despatch to Mr. Stevenson. But though this would clearly have been sufficient, the matter rests not here. Look to No. 5 of the papers last laid before the Howe, on the motion of my noble Friend himself (the Marquess of Lansdowne.) 1 And it stated by Lord Aberdeen, in a letter to Mr. Fox,—That be had no intention to renew the discussion upon the subject, which was the less necessary, as the Secretary of State, that is Mr. Webster, had more than once (I said ones; I find I understated the case), more titan once declared to the British Plenipotentiary, that is Lord Ashburton, that the statements of Lord Aberdeen had been satisfactory.This shews that I have not misstated or misunderstood the information I obtained from my noble Friend. It shows, that he must have related in his despatches to Lord Aberdeen, the conversations and ad-missions of Mr. Webster, in the same terms in which he recounted them to your Lordships in his place. I have had occasion, in dealing with this branch of the question; to notice what has been said of the political character of America. No one will suspect me of any hostile feeling towards the American government, or of joining in any outcry raised against it; but when I sea it confidently stated by General Caw, and stated as a known and admitted fact, that the American Government is beyond all comparison, and without any manner of doubt, by far the freest Government on the face of the earth, I, with the moderation of one speaking as the subject of another government with the respect due to all foreign institutions, and with the self-denial which becomes me in comparing them with oar own, must be allowed to enter my ptotest against such a statement. True, there is no monarchy there; tree, they have no thraldom either from despotic prince or haughty patrician; but I do venture, and I think I may without offence venture to express a hope that all is not 622 tyranny which is clothed with a royal name, and that all is not pride and oppression where nobility exists; that there may be freedom under a sovereign, and equal rights enjoyed by private individuals under an aristocratical polity; whilst it is barely possible that there may be tyranny and despotism beyond all endurance—that there may be tyrants not one but many, who may drive a people to desperation, to abject degradation, to self-abasement where kings are unknown; that there may be a helpless state of thraldom in a democratic constitution beyond all that nobles can inflict. The worst sort of tyranny is that of a reckless mob, without responsibility, at least in its corporate or aggregate capacity; but I pause on this proposition; for there is a tyranny worser still, where not even the slender personal responsibility exists which the individuals of a mob feel—that tyranny, the greatest curse of America—the intolerable despotism of the anonymous mob, the licentious and slanderous press—.the curse pervading the whole union, invading the privacy of domestic life, outraging the personal feelings of all ages and both sexes, from whose venomous fangs nothing is sacred, and which alike revels in the destruction of all character and the corruption of all taste. I name it now in the hope which every good American and every true friend of America cherishes, that many years may not pass over our heads before these ruthless and despicable tyrants shall be dethroned and destroyed, if they cannot be curbed, reformed, and reclaimed! I now proceed to the last point, but in some respects the most important of all, the Boundary Question. We have been told that the cessions we have made "have fixed a stain upon the honour of the Country, which it Would be difficult to parallel in the whole annals of diplomacy." Here I have no locus standi if there be the least foundation for the charge; but if repel it, and, without retaliation-—if I shew that there is no colour or foundation for it, without at all recriminating on those who make the assault, then I think the stain will rest, not upon the honour of this country, or of the negotiator, or of his instructors, who are attacked, but somewhere else, which I leave this House to divine. The Boundary Question was a question of compromise, not of strict right. Then, what is meant by the magniloquent expressions about a 623 stain on the honour of the country, if it was no question of right, but only a matter of arrangement? If, in such a case I should be of opinion that a man got less than another thought he was entitled to, could it be said that there was a stain upon his honour. But I will show that nothing was given up at all. In 1794, the negotiations were referred to arbitration, by two commissioners on each side, with power to choose an umpire by lot, and the lot fell on an American, and by these arbitrators the head of the St. Croix was determined to be the commencement of the American line, which thus included the whole of St. John's river. Now, in the American treaty of 1783, the language is to be considered, though there is a certain map on which I have a word to say. But, if in conveying a certain estate, there is a description and also a plan, the plan is only resorted to in case of ambiguity of the words: if the description is one way and the plan another, the plan goes for nothing. Now the description is this:—"A ridge which divides the waters which flow into the St. Lawrence, from the waters which flow into the Atlantic." If the American line is followed—if the Bay of Fundy is in the Atlantic, then the description of the ridgeis completely answered be the American line; but by no conceivable supposition can the ridge be our boundary line; there is no ridge within 200 miles of our boundary, dividing the waters of the Atlantic on the one hand, and those of the St. Lawrence on the other; therefore, by possibility their line may be right, but by no possibility can ours be right. Now, the matter was referred to the king of Holland, and he made what the Americans call the Dutch line, which kept the Americans very near the coast of the St. Lawrence. Did we object to this reference? Did we fly off? Did those who now object to what Lord Ashburton has done, shudder at what the king of Holland proposed? Did they exclaim, "What, give up 500,000 acres of bad land? God forbid !" Did they shrink at the Americans being so near the coast of the St. Lawrence? Did they wring their hands in despair that we got no more? On the contrary, they accepted the Dutch line; they pressed it urgently upon America for three or four years, and America refused it. There were two great objects, two great points we were throughout anxious to gain—the keeping 624 away the Americans from the St. Lawrence, and the keeping open the communication between Canada and the coast of that river. The Dutch line gives us the latter object, but not the former. Nevertheless, we adopted and pressed that line on America. Compare now what Lord Ashburton has done with the Dutch line; and first of all, to estimate the difficulties he had to encounter, look at his situation with reference to this boundary question. The inhabitants of Maine, of all the people of the United States, are most affected by this question. I believe that they proposed to themselves that there should be no treaty on the subject. I believe that was their desire. But I know that they appointed four deputies, and Massachusetts, the state next to Maine most desirous there should be no treaty made, appointed three, to attend the negotiation. They were required to make no concessions; and that they might be more sure to render the treaty utterly impossible, each of the seven negotiators had an absolute veto upon the whole proceeding at every stage. A liberum veto, that famous expedient for neutrality, for preventing all action, for what Americans would term nullification, was conferred on each of the seven commissioners with whom my Lord Ashburton bad to treat. Such were some of the difficulties with which he had to deal. How did he steer his way? You would say it was utterly impossible he should get a line half so good as the Dutch line—a line of which we were so fond that it was deemed a victory—which was cheerfully adopted by us and pressed upon America, and we were greatly disappointed that it was not accepted. You would naturally suppose that Lord Ashburton, whose difficulties were very much increased by the state of the negotiation, he having succeeded in four points out of the five, which rendered it more difficult to succeed in the fifth, especially when there were parties armed with a veto from Maine and Massachusetts for the express purpose of preventing his success. You naturally expect, therefore, that he would have got anything rather than the Dutch line. He must give up something, and something considerable, to obtain that line. But what if he gave up very little of any value? What, if the price he paid for obtaining a good line was nothing very material? The Dutch line was manifestly no longer to be hoped for; 625 a worse line was inevitably our fate. What, if the line we obtained through Lord Ashburton, was not so materially worse than the Dutch line as might justly and naturally have been expected? What, if it was not worse at all? What, if he got the Dutch line itself? Would that be no success in negotiation? Would that be no praise to a negotiator, so skilfully and judiciously selected?—no praise due to the good instructions he was armed with?—no praise to the ability and firmness with which he executed them? But what if he got a line a great deal better than the Dutch line? The Dutch is as far inferior to the line which Lord Ashburton has got, as the Dutch line is better than the line we had any title to expect; and while it keeps open the communication—one of the points in view—it removes the Americans much further from the St. Lawrence than the Dutch line did, which was the other great object. Such is the state of the case. I need not go further; never, the less, I am compelled to take notice of another circumstance, because it is incumbent upon me, from the singularity of the matters attending it—from the peculiarity of the discovery—from the charges that have been grounded on it of neglect against us, and of the suppression of truth against my excellent friend Mr. Webster; but which derives in my eyes an additional interest from the name with which it is connected, of one of the greatest philosophers and philanthropists and statesmen by whom either England or America, fruitful in all such produce, ever was before honoured or adorned—I mean the illustrious name of Franklin. We find that, at this extraordinary moment in a singular place, and under circumstances of no little suspicion, a map or plan has been produced, said to contain Dr. Franklin's sketching, in red ink, of what he held to be the boundary line of Mr. Oswald's treaty; and it is said, that when you examine that line it turns out to be coincident with the British line; whence an argument is said to arise—that we have been defrauded out of a few thousand acres of land, which this map would have given us, and which the Americans must have conceded, because Dr. Franklin, their own negotiator, had drawn it against them and for us in the year 1783. Upon that point I would first make this remark:—it is a very singular fact that my excellent friend Lord Granville, after searching in the ar- 626 chives of the Foreign-office in Paris, could not find this map; and that there is no trace of its history. Well, then, after a minute being made in the office that there was no such plan; in a letter from Count de Vergennes to Dr. Franklin, or rather in a letter from Dr. Franklin to Count de Vergennes, in answer to one from him, the Count's letter not being found up to this hour, Dr. Franklin speaks of a map, "in which," he says, "I have traced what I take to be the line in Mr. Oswald's treaty." It is very odd that this could not be discovered at all till a long time after the search for it, and that there is nothing whatever to connect the map with that letter. There is no evidence which they would have been able to produce in any court of justice to shew that this is the map to which Dr. Franklin's letter refers. The map could never have been let into any such case at all. They find the letter in one place, and at one time, and at a different time, and in a different place, they find the map; but whether that is the map referred to in the letter of Dr. Franklin or not, they cannot tell. Dr. Franklin's name does not appear upon it; nor is there anything in the slightest degree calculated to connect it with Dr. Franklin; and it is a map of very small dimensions, a few inches square. My first remark upon this is, that under the suspicious circumstances and mysterious nature of its appearance, and the want of evidence to connect it with the letter, it is by no means upon such a document that a great matter like this can be settled; it is by no means upon such evidence as that, so doubtful and unexplained, and surrounded with so many suspicions, that it would be safe for nations to suffer that the success of their negotiations should depend. But the map does not tally with the description given? Suppose you had an account in writing, that the thames, as is the fact, forms the boundary of the counties of Surrey and Middlesex; and suppose you found a map, or chart, or plan connected with that description, on which a red line through Piccadilly was drawn as the boundary, I should not take it; I should go down to the river; because the red line is only to be regarded if the words do not speak for themselves, or the language is ambiguous; and the same is the case here, more or less. A great charge against Mr. Webster is, that he suppressed the map of Dr. Franklin in 627 the course of the negotiation; and this suppression has been said to savour of bad faith. I deny it. I deny that a negotiator, in carrying on a controversy, as representing his own country, With a foreign Country, is bound to disclose to the other party whatever he may know that tells against his own Country, and for the opposite party. I deny that he is so bound, any more than an advocate is bound to tell the court all that he deems to make against his own client and for his adversary. My noble Friend, Lord Ashburton, has been Objected to—my noble Friend opposite has been blamed for selecting him—because he is not a regular bred diplomatist, because he is not acquainted With diplomatic lore, because he is a plain unlettered man as regards diplomatic affairs, and because he had only the guide Of Common honesty and common sense, great experience of men, great general knowledge, a thorough acquaintance with the interests of his own country and of the country he was sent to, for his guide in the matters he Was to negotiate. But I believe my noble Friend has yet to learn this one lesson—that it is the duty of experienced diplomatists, of regular bred politicians, Of those who have grown grey in the mystery of negotiation and the art Of statescraft, that when you are sent to represent a Country, and to get the best terms you can for it, to lower the terms Of the opposite party, and to exalt the terms of your own, as far as may be—you ought first of all to disclose all the weaknesses of your own case—that your duty to your country is something, but that your duty is first to the opposite party, and that you are bound to tell every thing that makes for that adverse party. That is your duty; that is one of those arts of diplomacy which have lain concealed until the present year, 1843—one of those principles of statesmanship which it remained for the 6th of Victoria to produce and promulgate, but which Were assuredly not quite understood by that old French statesman, albeit trained in the diplomatic school, who said, that language had been conferred upon men by Providence for the purpose of concealing their thoughts. This was a lesson he had yet to learn, this regular bred diplomatist- this practised negotiator. He certainly could not have thought, that it was his duty to practise a window to his bosom, and let every one see what 628 passed in his mind. But it was the duty, it seems, of my noble Friend to tell all, and it was equally the reciprocal duty of Mr. Webster to do the same. It was my noble Friend's duty to disclose all that he had found out against the negotiation he went to conduct. That was the new art, the new mystery, the new discovery of 1843; but I find my hon. Friend Mr. Webster, has great authority, and that even if he were wrong, he errs in excellent good company. It does so happen that there was a map published by the King's geographer in this country in the reign of his Majesty George 3rd; and here I Could appeal to an illustrious Duke Whom I now see, whether that monarch was not as little likely to err from any fulness of attachment towards America, as any one of his faithful subjects? [The Duke of Cambridge: Hear.] Because he well knows that there was no one thing which his revered parent had so much at heart as the Separation from America, and there was nothing he deplored so much as that separation having taken place. The King's geographer, Mr. Faden, published his map 1783, which contains, not the British, but the American line. Why did not my noble Friend take over a copy of that map? My noble Friend opposite (Lord Aberdeen) is a candid man; he is an experienced diplomatist, both abroad and at home; he is not unlettered, but thoroughly Conversant in all the crafts of diplomacy and statesmanship. Why did he conceal this map? We have ft right to complain of that; and I, on the part of America, complain Of that. You ought to have sent out the map of Mr. Faden, and said, "this is George the third's map," But it never occurred to my noble Friend to do so. Then, two years after Mr. Faden published that map, another was published, and that took the British line. This, however, came out after the boundary had become matter of controversy, post litem motam. But, at all events, my noble Friend had to contend with the force of the argument against Mr. Webster, and America had a right to the benefit of both maps. My noble Friend opposite never sent it over, and nobody ever blamed him for it But that was not all. What, if there was another map containing the American line, and never corrected at all by any subsequent chart coming from the same custody. And what if that map came 629 out of the custody of a person high in office in this country—nay, what if it came out of the custody of the highest functionary of all,—of George 3rd himself? ! know that map—I know a map Which I can trace to the custody of George 3rd, and on which there is the American line And not the English line and upon which there is a note, that from the hand-writing, as it has been described to me, makes me think it Was the note of George 3rd himself: "this is the line of Mr. Oswald's treaty in 1783," written three Or four times upon the face of it. Now, suppose this should occur—I do not know that it has happened—but it may occur to a Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs,—either to my noble Friend Or Lord Palmerston, who, I understand by common report, takes a great interest in the question; and though he may not altogether approve of the treaty, he may peradventure envy the success Which attended it, for it was a success which did not attend any of his own American negotiations. But it is possible that my noble Friend or Lord Palmerston may have discovered that there Was this map, because George 3rd's library by the munificence of George 4th was given to the British Museum, and this map must have been there; but it is a curious circumstance that it is no longer there. 1 suppose it must have been taken out of the British Museum for the purpose of being sent over to my noble Friend in America; and, that according to the new doctrines of diplomacy, he was bound to have used it When there, in order to show that he had no case—that he had not a leg to stand upon. Why did he not take it over with him? Probably he did not know of its existence. I am told that it is net now in the British Museum, but that it is in the Foreign Office. Probably it was known to exist; but somehow or other that map, which entirely destroys our contention and gives all to the Americans, has been removed from the British Museum, and is now to be found at the Foreign Office. Explain it as you will, that is the simple fact, that this important map was removed from the Museum to the Office, and not in the time of my noble Friend (Lord Aberdeen). Now one Word as to the ignorance and inefficiency of Lord Ashburton. I am aware that there was a plan proposed in 1837, by very experienced diplomatists, for the 630 settlement of this question; and what do you think they proposed as a rational practical expedient? A mediator was necessary, a reference was necessary, and an arbitration was necessary. The reference to the King of Holland had failed, his award had met with the refusal of America J therefore, they said there must be a new reference, and there must be a new mediator. Let us try this plan, said they. One king does not do, let us appoint three; and so, on the 6th of January, I suppose, which our French neighbours call the day of the three kings, but Which we call Twelfth-day, they draw for three kings and this was the result; this was the plan of diplomatists of experience of, regular bred statesmen, of men grown old in the service of the Foreign office, of men really at the head of all diplomatic craft; this was their consummate tattle for practically settling a difficult question. They said appoint three kings; and What then? Did they add, let these three kings arbitrate? Oh no, no such plan! It was too much akin to common sense to let those you appointed arbitrators, arbitrate. That was not their plan; they meant nothing so plain and so vulgar as that; but they said: "Let us appoint three kings, and let them have a commission to do"—what? To settle the dispute? The kings had a royal road to truth, though there is no royal road to geometry. They had a royal road to an award, which a common arbitrator did not appear to have; but the three kings, truly mailed and fenced in with their own peculiar dignity, they had a road all to themselves in the air, and, therefore, they had nothing to do With arbitrating. They were chosen for that, but they Were to do nothing of the kind. What had they then to do? To choose philosophers, men of Science, and to send those men of science to examine the boundary—and report. Behold the result of diplomatic experience of long acquaintance with the forms of office; it Is an accomplishment to which my noble Friend never aspired, even in his dreams of arbitration. I know that once upon a time, by a departure from professional arbitrators, very short work was made of a long suit, which, as my noble and learned Friend on the Woolsack knows, had lasted some eight or nine years in the court of Chancery, and when some of the parties entitled to the pro-petty were starting, but that we did'nt mind. The suit might have tasted for the 631 natural lives of all the parties, and of the counsel too. Some of the parties were in the workhouse, but they got tired of this; the counsel did not get tired of it at all, nor possibly even the solicitors; but the judge got tired of it, and the parties got tired of it, and so the judge recommended a reference, and the parties acceded to it, and it was about the only reference in equity that has ever been final. The four years that I was there, there was not a single reference. There was only one in my noble Friend's time, and it ended in the cause coming back to him again; but in this case the reference was effectual. Now, as they said to the Foreign-office upon the present question, "Why send a man who is not a regular bred diplomatist?" so was it said in this particular case, "Why not take a lawyer—it is shocking, it is indecent not to do so." But the practitioners did let go the carcass, or what little remained of it; it was not much; but the whole cause was referred to my excellent friend Mr. John Smith, and to this very Lord Ashburton. And what was the result? That in less than a week—in less I believe than three days—the whole matter was settled; an entire division of the property took place, there was an end of the suit, and the bill was dismissed. The whole of the money was divided amongst the parties, and those who were in the workhouse were released, and in the enjoyment of their own property. It was a most shocking event, because it took the property out of the hands of those who were its natural owners—I mean the lawyers—and vested it in the hands of those who were intruders, being those to whom it belonged, and who had so long been perishing for want of it. And I hope your Lordships will excuse my recounting this anecdote, though a professional one, as it may perhaps a little enliven the dry details into which I am obliged to enter; but I mention it also to let you know that a man who was not bred a diplomatist, who was not an experienced statesman, might be selected as an arbitrator, and might adjust a most difficult question; as the same person not bred a lawyer had successfully arbitrated an endless equity suit. I come now to that part of the question which has reference to the giving up of the boundary of Madawaska. That is, in fact, the gist of the charge against my noble Friend Lord Ashburton. I will state what the 632 Madawaska is. It is a small piece of territory through which the St. John's River runs; and the insult and dishonour is said to be because British subjects inhabited it, and that we gave up a part inhabited by British people. ["No, no."] I mean French people from Canada, or from Nova Scotia; but they were British subjects. The truth is this—in 1763, when the illustrious achievements of our arms at Quebec under Wolfe had conquered Canada, and we had taken possession of Nova Scotia, a number of refugees, disliking our dominion—that is the fact—disliking our dominion, and annoyed by our conquest, left our territory, and voluntarily took refuge in the Madawaska district. I do not think we were very much bound to go out of our way to consider them, and to run the risk of throwing up our negotiation on their account. But then it is said we have given up and have abandoned this new territory for no object. But what if those people who make these objections did a great deal more to abandon Madawaska than my noble Friend ever dreamt of doing? For my noble Friend kept a large portion, and three-fourths of the people, and they gave up the whole. Upon the disputed ground a fort, Fort James, was erected by the Americans within the last ten years, while the objectors to this treaty were in the Foreign-office; and yet no step was taken to prevent that act of sovereignty. I suppose no apprenticeship of ten years at the Foreign-office is necessary to make one know that erecting a fort upon any ground was pretty good evidence of a claim of sovereignty over that ground. That fort was erected,—there was no attempt to take it, and that fort was erected on the very spot where we had before arrested a citizen of America named Baker; and for what? For making a seditious movement to claim that very territory on behalf of America. Therefore our allowing the fort to be erected was a great deal worse than if we had allowed it without claim or remonstrance. Mr. Baker was arrested for making a claim. He was given up after being arrested, and the fort was allowed to be erected on the very spot. Fort Fairfield, another fort, was erected on the same disputed territory, and suffered to remain undisputed and undisturbed. Then a writ was issued out of Penobscot county for electing American officers in Mada- 633 waska. The American officers were arrested for serving and executing that writ; Mr. Livingston remonstrated, and upon his remonstrance, the officers were released by the objectors to my noble Friend, Lord Ashburton, and my noble Friend opposite. Next, a road was made by the Americans through the disputed territory. A remonstrance was offered by us, but the road was not stopped by the objectors. My Lords, there is nothing so degrading—if they talk of dignity, and abandonment, and degradation, and truckling—as their conduct who do not abandon before remonstrance, and without remonstrance—but choose to remonstrate, and when they are not listened to then abandon. Last of all a census was taken of the population, another act of sovereignty, and a pretty distinct act—a numbering of their Madawaska subjects by the American government. My noble Friend, Lord Ashburton, gave up part of the settlement and it is said to be an intolerable and unparalleled stain upon our honour. But the very parties who say so, allowed that census to be made. The person who was employed to take the census was taken into custody; but on the 5th of August, 1837, he was released by Sir John Harvey, in consequence of positive instructions to that effect from the Foreign Office. The terms in which the demand for his release was couched are sufficiently remarkable, and are deserving the attention of your Lordships. It says:—A deep violation of our law has been committed on the soil and territory of the United States by the arrest of Creed.Such, my Lords, is the language in which the demand for the release of the person who made the census was couched, and to which Lord Palmerston twice paid implicit obedience, for the same person was again arrested on the 26th of August; but he was again given up upon a remonstrance made by the American authorities, and was never after retaken. If ever men, then, my Lords, had no title to speak of degradation, dishonour, and abandonment of rights, in relation to the settlement of Madawaska, surely it is the very men who now so complain of and so vituperate the conduct of my noble Friend—the men who had long ago suffered five several acts of sovereignty to be done on the spot—had always tried to prevent or to punish them, and had always been frustrated in 634 their attempts—had always yielded when resisted and beaten. And now, my Lords, I come to the last of these charges, which have been showered upon my noble Friend and it applies rather to my noble Friend himself, than to those who commissioned him. My noble Friend's tone, it seems, was too mild; they call it "a truckling, a cunning, a wheedling, and an undignified tone." My Lords, I am here to deny it, but I feel embarrassed with the nature of such a charge. Hitherto I have had to deal with men's actions—with their course of conduct while struggling for the interests of their country, or for the interests of humanity, or, as the objectors alleged, of my noble Friend, while abandoning and giving away the rights and the interests of both. My Lords, I can understand the acts of a man; 1 know that they are palpable and may be found fault with—I can perfectly understand that a charge may be brought against a man in respect of deeds done by him—I could deal with such charges and repel them, or if not I might submit; but when I hear a complaint of a tone, of the tone of the language used by an individual, the matter wholly eludes me; it is very difficult to meet, because when you try to grasp it, it vanishes into thin air. My noble Friend is charged with having compromised the position in which he was placed—with lowering the dignity of that great Crown which he represented. It is said, "All his deeds may have been right enough, but look to his words. He has done nothing amiss; he has made no concessions failed in no attempt, submitted to no dishonour; but observe his tone; scan his words. They are too civil, too humble, too little dignified." That charge is rested upon the words which are to be found in his despatch of the 21st of June, and to them I entreat your Lordships' particular attention. See what it is that they complain of as "cunning, wheedling, truckling, undignified."If the part which through a long life £ have taken in public affairs is marked by any particular character, it has been by an earnest and persevering desire to maintain peace and promote harmony between two countries having a common origin. On the accession to power of the present ministers, perceiving the same wise and honourable spirit to prevail, I could not resist the hope of being able to serve my country, and, accordingly, at a time of life when no other inducement 635 would have been sufficient to lure me from that retirement better suited to my feelings, I have taken upon me the cares of this negotiation.I know not whether my noble Friend is a practised author, and capable of facing the courts critical of the country, any more than that he is a practised diplomatist, and fit to pass muster at the Foreign-office, But I will say, that a more beautiful piece of composition, in the writing of any author, I have never yet seen, than the remarkable passage I have just read. But this language has been attacked as cunning, as truckling, as leading to the humiliation of our country, it has been' stigmatized as wheedling and unworthy of a diplomatist. My Lords, who can be so great an authority upon such a question as Mr. Fox? He was not only well versed in all matters of modern and ancient lore, but in foreign affairs he was peculiarly so; indeed, he has been painted, and most justly painted, by the relative pf a noble Duke opposite, one who knew him well, (Mr. T. Grenville) as the man who, above all other men, was an able an accomplished negotiator. Nay, this very character has been given of him, and his 'high authority appealed to by those ignorant, those singularly ignorant objectors, whose attacks I am now dealing with. They so ushered in an appeal to his fancied authority. Well, the objectors say, "Good God, what would Mr. Fox have said to such an appointment as that of my noble Friend? what would Mr. Fox have said to such a cunning, truckling, wheedling mode pf carrying on a great negotiation?" Now, my Lords, I cannot take upon myself to say what Mr. Fox would have said. I cannot take it upon myself to speak of him in that fanciful and easy tense, of what a man would have done, or might have done; but I will take upon myself to say, speaking in the past tense,—the tense of the historian, and not of the poet,—I will take it upon myself to say, not what Charles Fox would have done, but what he did; and upon that I rest my ease, and the ultimate defense of my noble Friend. My Lords, I speak now as a witness of what I am about to lay before you. But I am not the only witness; my lamented Friend, Lord Holland, was a present, and I believe the passage will be found in his papers; for I am confident he must have noted down a passage so remarkable, that 636 I have again and again heard him refer to it. In 1806, when Charles Fox presided over the Foreign Office, the question of furnishing out the embassies arose. Mr. Fox then said, "I will choose my ambassadors only in one way—I will choose them out of Homer." Of course such a reply caused some astonishment, and naturally the, question was put to him, "How so? He said," When Agamemnon wished to send an embassy to Achilles to promote a treaty of peace with him, he could not find one man combining all the qualities he thought necessary; therefore he chose three—Ajax, Ulysses, and Phoenix. He chose Ajax for' his high birth; Ulysses for his great experience and skill in negotiation; and Phoenix, because he was the old master and friend of the man to whom the embassy was sent, and the man for whom Achilles had the greatest regard." Well, then, in choosing his negotiator, ray noble Friend opposite followed the example of Agamemnon. Lord Ashburton had rendered great services to England and America, in promoting a good understanding between them; he was connected with England by birth and affection—As Phoenix stood in an endearing private relation to the chief he was sent to conciliate, so Lord Ashburton had a yet more endearing connexion with the nation he was sent to, having brought from among them the matron who divides with him his cares, who shares his distinguished name, and who will now partake the new illustration which your Lordships are about to shed upon it. In him all the three requisites for an embassy were joined, in him there was rank, skill,, and above all kindness—kindness mutually prevailing between him and the party with whom he was sent to treat.' But then, my Lords, it is said that this was only a speculative opinion of Mr. Fox's; but did he not act upon it? That he most undoubtedly did. He had not been a week in the Foreign Office before a miscreant waited upon him with an offer to assassinate Bonaparte. What was his conduct then? Did he treat the man with sullen scorn, and command him to be cast out of the office because he had offended' his dignity? He did no such thing; but he sent him over to M. Talleyrand, who was then the Foreign Minister in France, with a letter; and if any man, or any 100 men, were to swear that in thus sending him over, Mr. Fox had no hope of 637 thereby opening the door for negotiation, that be had no hope of his act of courtesy some reconciliation with France through the Emperor, I would not believe him or them; I would not believe any authority on such a subject, save that of Charles For himself, who I full well know never would for an instant pf time have pot forward so absurd and incredible a pretence. But that was not the end of the truckling and wheedling of Mr. Fox; for negotiations did arise opt of these courtesies. One courtesy indeed was repaid with another; for I remember that Mr. Fox received a present of the growth of France, of which I partook, and which was very acceptable to my illustrious Friend for its own intrinsic merits, though still more as a token of reviving goodwill among the rulers of France. But, ray Lords, Mr.Fas thus opened the door, and the door being opened by this truckling and wheedling system, somebody behoved to enter; and then came the proper time for my illustrious Friend to put the Homeric plan in operation. In the cabinet of 1806, were when of all the various shades of opinion; the Whigs were there in considerable proportion, the friends of Lord Sldmouth in a smaller proportion, the friends of Mr. Windham in considerable numbers,—men who had been notorious through their lives for a repugnance to France and French notions of liberty; there were also the friends of Lord Grenville, and there was Lord Hastings, who might be characterised as belonging to no party. There was, therefore, no limit to the choice of men in the hands of Mr. Fox; he was not driven to choose a friend of his own by any want of proper materials. Well, according to the doctrine of those who now raise the cry of truckling and wheedling against my noble Friend, Mr. Fox ought to have chosen for his ambassador a man who all his life had been a violent enemy to Bonaparte, some adherent of Mr. Windham, who had opposed the peace of 1802, and never ceased to vituperate the Consul or the Emperor; some practised diplomatist of Lord Granville's school, who had rejected the Con sol's advances in 1800, on his first accession to power. But who was it that he did choose? Why, my late worthy and lamented Friend, Lord Lauderdale—the very man in all England who was mast the friend of France; be was the man selected for that embassy, al- 638 though during the whole course of his life he had given expression to strong opinions in favour of the French, When the emperor heard of this nomination he exclaimed, "They have sent me an old Jacobin." "On m'a envoyé un vieux Jacobin.." Greatly mistaking Lord Lauderdale's opinions certainly, but right in believing he was partial to France and French principles in those days. My Lords, did any man war charge Mr. Fax with truckling and wheedling, because of his choice of an ambassador on that occasion? No such thing. Mr. Fox knew that the way to gain his own ends, and to serve his country, was to send over a men who would be favourably received by the party with whom he was to negociate, end therefore he chose one to whom the French could have no enmity, but for whom they would rather be inclined to feel kindness. If your Lordships want any more instances of the same policy I have one ready, of which I speak from personal knowledge, having been under that truly great man Lord St. Vincent, one of the mission I am about to describe, It was thought expedient to thwart Bonaparte in his attempts upon Portugal, and to prevail upon the royal family to leave Europe for the Bra-ails, an important operation afterwards very ably and successfully performed by my noble Friend opposite (Lord Strangford), The battle of Jena, soon after our arrival in the Tagus, suspended for the present our mission; but how was it a composed? Three commissioners were sent, and one of those was General Simcoe, a gallant general, no doubt, but wholly inexperienced as a negotiator, and in such a state of health that be died immediately and before the mission was closed. However, he was sent with us on the were ground that the name be bore was a pass-port to the hearts of the Portuguese--he was sent because he was the son of the General Simcoe, who took out from Eng-land 200,000l., towards the relief of the sufferers by the great earthquake in 1761, and whose name was revered in Lisbon, Was that truckling conduct? No; it was called, and I think rightly, a wise expedient, and in no manner of way unworthy of, or unbecoming a great nation. My Lords, I have now arrived at the last charge which has been mode against my noble Friend, that at a public meeting he spoke of Boston as being the cradle of American liberty. It is said that such an 639 expression was in bad taste, that it was undignified and unbecoming the representative of England. But, my Lords, it must be remembered that this meeting was held after the negotiations had been terminated, after all had been concluded, and the parties had then met for the purpose of singing, as my noble Friend (the Duke of Wellington) lately said, a song of triumph upon the happy occasion. It was a public meeting, attended by 3,000 persons, and held for the purpose of celebrating the new alliance, the reconciliation between two countries which ought never to be at variance; and what is rather strange, this objection, this charge, is made by Whigs, or a sort of Whig—a Whig not of the first growth, but rather of a light body. It is something strange to hear such as they object to anything said in favour of the cradle of liberty? Wherever the word "liberty" is used should have thought they would think the sound so sweet as might have reconciled them even to a breach of dignity or decorum; but 1 find I was mistaken. My Lords, I am sorry to have detained your Lordships so long, but I am happy to say I have now arrived at the end of this tedious subject, nor shall I think it necessary to trouble you longer on the present occasion. His late Majesty George 3rd, did not think that he stooped from his august position, or adopted a truckling and unbecoming tone when he received Mr. King, the first American minister, who represented the revolted subjects of the Monarch at the court of the Sovereign whose allegiance they had thrown off". It was a most delicate meeting for both parties, the more especially as it was well known that the Sovereign had held fast by those provinces until they were wrested from his royal grasp. Upon that occasion the Sovereign did not think it either cunning, or truckling, or wheedling conduct, to give the Minister a most courteous reception, and he did so for the purpose of promoting the reconcilement which had just taken place, of cementing the friendship which had just been restored. That was the conduct of the Sovereign—it was worthy of all imitation. He told the American that he was the last man in his dominions to recognize the independence of America; but he added that there was no man in his dominions who wished better to that independence, or was more anxious for the prosperity of the republic. This 640 noble conduct of the Sovereign was after the cessation of the war; so also was the speech of Lord Ashburton after the negotiations had been concluded. My Lords, I fervently breathe the same prayer to which my late Sovereign gave expression upon that memorable day. I hope and trust, for the sake of America first, for the sake of England next, for the sake of humanity, of mankind at large, that the establishment of the republic and the prosperity and the happiness of that great people, who are descended from common ancestors with ourselves, may be perpetuated for ever! I cannot view with indifference that magnificent empire which Englishmen have erected on the Western Ocean; my heart glows when I reflect that it is from England that America derives all that is valuable in her laws, her institutions, her letters; but, above all, am I gratified when I reflect that it was from us she inherited that spirit of liberty—religious as well as civil, which has made her republic the greatest democratic nation which ever held existence on the face of the earth. Contemplated by itself there is enough to make the heart leap with hope and admiration; but it is necessary in order fully to estimate the blessings which she enjoys, that we compare and contrast her condition with that of other settlements; in other parts of the same continent—in countries enjoying all the gifts of nature, but gifts rendered useless by the want of the great blessings of social existence. Look, my Lords, at the condition of South America, a region blessed by Providence above all others in the boundless resources of nature; with a climate varying from the mild to the torrid through every degree of temperature; with a soil that pours into the lap of man the richest produce in unmeasured profusion, scents the air with every spicy perfume, and for its mineral wealth proverbially surpassing all the earth besides; and peopled by tribes that embrace the industry of the negro, the swiftness of the Indian, the practised ability of the European; all this abundance has failed to produce the peace that should spring from plenty—has failed to prevent civil broils and perpetual anarchy from becoming the ordinary condition of those boundless regions; and has failed because Spain could not send over to the new world the far greater treasures of good laws, wise institutions—the inestimable treasures of 641 civil and religious freedom. Turn now to the north, where men, but they were Englishmen, had to struggle with a bad climate and an ungrateful soil. Their numbers, small at first, gradually extended themselves—spreading far and near, till they erected a system of free government, which has proved capable of resisting every tempest; and, finally, outrode the revolutionary storm in which so much of the European commonwealth had suffered shipwreck. Wherefore do I draw this contrast? Because I wish to direct the attention of the House to the fact that the Spaniard had not brought out to South America the blessings of a free constitution; therefore did the United States surpass the other portion of the American continent in all that constitutes social and political greatness. If, for a moment, a passing cloud has passed over the American name, by a departure from the high feeling of rigid commercial honour and perfect good faith, I yet entertain no more doubt than I do that I now stand on this floor addressing your Lordships, that the cloud will quickly disappear, and that the free citizens of America will proudly and gloriously resume once more those principles and that practice, from which neither nations nor individuals can safely depart, and on which alone the purity of national honour, with the security of national prosperity, can permanently rest. My Lords, I have done; I feel that I have trespassed upon your Lordships' indulgence for an unpardonable length of time, but I also feel that I could not within a less compass have discharged the important duty which I had voluntarily undertaken. I move you to resolve;—That this House doth approve the conduct of the late negotiation with the United States; doth rejoice in the terms, alike advantageous and honourable to both parties, upon which the treaty has been concluded; and doth express its high sense of the ability with which the Lord Ashburton, the Minister sent to treat with the United States, executed his commission, and its satisfaction at the restoration of a good understanding, which it is alike the duty and the interest of both countries to maintain unbroken.
§ The Duke of Cambridge
begged leave to detain their Lordships for two minutes, that he might express to them how heartily he concurred in the motion that had been so ably made by the noble and learned Baron. He should feel that he did wrong 642 if he did not express how much benefit the noble Lord (Lord Ashburton) had done his country by the successful termination of this treaty. He in the station which he had filled abroad, had himself had some experience of what were called boundary treaties; for in the country over which he had had to preside, there had been differences on the subject of the demarcation of boundary with almost every neighbour state. He had therefore some knowledge of the great difficulty that attended the adjustment of such differences. He had the satisfaction, however, of knowing that all those differences had been settled when he left the country. He knew, also, the great importance of a judicious selection of a negotiator, and how very necessary it was that the individual chosen should be of a conciliatory character. It was impossible, he believed, that on the present occasion a better choice could have been made. No man could have been selected better qualified for the mission. And, considering the age of the noble Lord (Lord Ashburton), he thought that the noble Lord deserved the highest credit for undertaking so difficult a negotiation; and in the manner in which he had conducted it he had shown himself attached to the best interests of his country, and ready to make every sacrifice for the promotion of those interests. It was impossible that any man should look upon the noble Lord with any feeling but that of respect, and he felt at the same time, that he was called on to do justice to the manner in which the noble and learned Lord had brought forward this motion. Should that motion go to a division, he (the Duke of Cambridge) hoped it would be carried by a very large majority.
§ The Marquess of Lansdowne
, before he proceeded to address their Lordships, wished to be informed whether this motion had been brought forward in connection with the Government?
§ The Earl of Aberdeen
There is not the least connection between the motion and the Ministry; but the motion will have their support.
§ The Marquess of Lansdowne
said, that having obtained the answer to which he thought he was entitled, the more so as the noble Earl well knew that this motion was a very unusual one to proceed from any one not immediately connected with her Majesty's Government, he felt that the House would expect some remarks in jus- 643 tification of their votes from those who felt it to be their duty to withhold their concurrence from this motion. The noble and learned Lord had consumed considerable time, profitably, no doubt, in making a most unusual motion, which he had introduced by a speech of great—from any other individual he would have called it—of singular eloquence, embracing a vast variety of topics. It appeared, however, from the answer of the noble Earl, that a less expenditure of eloquence on the part of his noble and learned Friend would have been sufficient to prevail on her Majesty's Ministers to accept the diplomatic laurels which his noble and learned Friend was so eager to cast upon them. Nevertheless, the noble and learned Baron had not made it apparent that this deviation from the ordinary Parliamentary course was called for by any particular necessity. It had hitherto been deemed more consistent with the wisdom of Parliament, that all motions for public thanks should be left to the Government, and that they should not be decided with reference to the feelings of individuals, but by the feeling of the public at large, whether such a course should be followed after any great public transactions. For diplomatic services it was quite unusual to call upon Parliament for a vote like that now proposed. He might go through one treaty after another to show that such a proceeding had not been deemed necessary in former times, but he would not fatigue their Lordships. He would only mention one or two cases. He would take one that seemed to bear some analogy to the treaty to which their attention was now immediately directed. He meant the first treaty after the war of independence with the United States of America. Differences arose on an infinite variety of subjects, and after they had accumulated for years, these differences were adjusted in 1795, by a treaty negotiated in London by a noble Friend of his, now no more, Lord Grenville, of whom he could never speak without emotion and respect. That treaty embraced no less than twenty-eight articles, bearing upon every subject that could arise between the two countries. No demand had then been made on their Lordships to go out of their usual course in order to thank Lord Grenville. No, Lord Grenville was content to rest on the general approbation of his country. He would refer to another case, of a somewhat similar character. Lord 644 Palmerston brought about the solution of great difficulties, occasioned by the trans-actions that followed—he would not call it the revolution, but he would call it the event which placed the present dynasty on the French throne. Great difficulties arose with respect to Belgium; but, by a bold and successful course of negotiation, those difficulties were brought to a conclusion in 1832. Though that treaty had not been universally approved of, for it was attacked in both Houses of Parliament, yet it completely gained its object, the preservation of the peace of Europe. Sinister opinions were not wanting then, that in six months or less the event he had referred to would lead to a general war; but the experience often years had proved the wisdom of his noble Friend's negotiation. Their Lordships might depend upon it it was not wise to depart from a course which Parliament had adopted from the experience of centuries. Upon this ground alone (continued the noble Marquess) I feel it will be impossible for me to concur in the motion which has been submitted by my noble and learned Friend. I feel that by agreeing to this motion we should be introducing a most inconvenient practice, and that before many years could elapse, her Majesty's present Government or any Government which might succeed them, would deeply regret the establishment of such a precedent. I might stop at this point, because I think I am warranted in calling upon your Lordships not to depart from the usual course of proceeding upon similar occasions, in the absolute absence of any proof that it is either necessary or expedient to do so. I do not call upon the House to negative the motion, because I am anxious not to pass anything like a condemnation on the treaty, which, for reasons I shall presently state, it would not consist with my views to condemn. If, however, I were to stop here, it might be supposed that I was shrinking from making a declaration of my opinions as to those particular parts of the treaty which I think are obnoxious to more or less criticism, if not condemnation; and therefore, I will, without entering into further detail than is necessary to elucidate my opinions, I will proceed to state what portions of the treaty I approve of, and what portions I disapprove of. But first, a few words with respect to the individual whom the noble Lords opposite sent on a special mission 645 to negociate the treaty in question. I have always considered that noble Lord as my Friend through a great many years of our respective lives, and what I know of him in that capacity imposes on me the duty of declaring in his absence—a duty which I have the greatest pleasure in discharging—that no person could be found who, from his great natural and acquired talents—from his many amiable and estimable qualities, and from a facility of intercourse which he possesses in a greater degree than most men, and which wins for him the good will and confidence of all those with whom he comes in contact, could be better qualified for the discharge of the particular duty which was assigned to him, or, indeed, for discharging the duties of any civil office whatever, which he might be willing to undertake. I say, also, that my noble Friend's connection with America formed no disqualification for the office of negotiator between the two countries; for of this I am sure, that there is no man in existence, on either side of the Atlantic, less likely to be influenced by any selfish considerations than my noble Friend. I think it was quite unnecessary for my noble Friend to defend himself from imputations pointing to that direction, if such imputations have been made. Entertaining those Opinions of my noble Friend, and not yielding to any noble Lord opposite, in a sincere desire to establish and maintain a good understanding with the United States, I nevertheless cannot shut my eyes to what I conceive to be the disadvantages, as well as the advantages of the treaty which has been brought under the consideration of this House. My noble and learned Friend seems to think that a disposition exists to withhold praise, where praise is due; but I declare, for my own part, that I have no wish to see in this treaty anything that is not worthy of praise. When I first heard of the treaty—being then out of the country—my first feeling was one of unbounded satisfaction, and I was disposed to acquiesce in all its provisions as far as I then could collect them. When, however, I came to look into the details of the treaty, and considered them in connection with the correspondence which has been published, while I still think that some parts of the treaty have been ably, wisely, and judiciously negotiated, there are other parts with respect to which I entertain a different opinion, and to those parts I felt it my 646 duty to advert on the first day of the Session. I do not hesitate to admit at once that the case of the Caroline has been successfully disposed of. I must here do justice to the American government, by observing that the representations which they made with regard to this question—that the law of America was totally defective as to the means of redressing the wrong done to this country in the case of the Caroline and Mr. Macleod—were founded on no opinions then for the first time adopted. From the commencement of the negotiations which were entered upon by Lord Palmerston and Mr. Fox, the American minister uniformly declared that the federal government possessed no power to do justice in the case, and acknowledged that it would be necessary, both from regard to their own dignity, as well as the interests of other countries, to effect such an alteration of the constitution of the States as should prevent outrages of a similar kind from being taken cognizance of by the departmental courts, over which the federal government has no control. I do not quarrel with what has been done in the case of the Creole, and though doubts have been expressed with respect to the wording of the treaty on this point, I will content myself with expressing a hope that the question has been permanently settled. I now proceed to notice two or three parts of the treaty, with respect to which, though my opinion may differ from that of the majority of the House, I cannot join in expressing a degree of satisfaction amounting to joy. I will first advert to the case of Madawaska, which my noble and learned Friend connected with the award made by the King of Holland. My noble and learned Friend stated that we accepted that award with joy and satisfaction. This is new to me. I always understood that we accepted the award under positive compulsion, because we were bound to accept it. The award was not proposed by Lord Palmerston. Lord Palmerston found the award on coming into office; he looked at the treaty, and found by the first article that the two parties were bound to adhere to the award. The British Government, therefore, had no alternative, but to agree to the award. The Americans, also, ought to have had no alternative but to agree to it; but they got out of the obligation by what I must be permitted to call a subterfuge, which I should be sorry to see the British 647 Government have recourse to. The British Government employed no subterfuge. They did not say that they liked the award; but they said that good faith required them to adhere to it. The Americans, however, availed themselves of a subterfuge, and the King of the Netherlands was bound to find for the claims of one or the other party, and not compromise them, the Americans said they were not bound by the award. There was an end of the arbitration and the British Government was at perfect liberty to enter into negotiations with America upon a totally different footing from that upon which former negotiations rested. They might either attempt to ascertain the line which was fixed by the treaty of 1793, or, failing that, could contend for such a line as they considered most advantageous. But, now, with respect to the Madawaska case, I think it was creditable to Lord Ashburton, and noble Lords opposite, to consider the interests and feelings of the inhabitants of that district. My noble and learned Friend who touched upon this point, about the middle of his speech, appeared to me to treat the interests of these persons somewhat lightly. He stated that they were of French origin, which is perfectly correct and that they had emigrated—that, I believe, was his phrase—from under the protection of our Government to the spot where they were located. I am not aware that those persons ever conducted themselves in a disreputable manner: if they had done so, it must have been known to the noble Earl opposite (the Earl of Aberdeen), and, under those circumstances, he could not have instructed Lord Ashburton to speak of them as he has done in his correspondence with the American government. I presume that Lord Ashburton acted in strict conformity with the instructions he received from the Government. Here I cannot avoid remarking, as a curious circumstance, that, although the papers on the Table of the House contain all the instructions which Lord Palmerston gave to Mr. Fox, they do not, with the exception of the instruction relative to the right of visit, which the noble Earl communicated at my request the other day, include any of the noble Earl's instructions to Lord Ashburton. No doubt, Lord Ashburton had instructions, and, as I presume he acted strictly in conformity with them, I am compelled to collect what his instruc- 648 tions were from the conduct which he pursued. If my noble and learned Friend thinks it absurd and injurious to the interests of peace to attach importance to the Madawaska case, it is not 1, but the noble Earl opposite, and the negotiator appointed by the Government, who have done so. I call upon your Lordships to look at Lord Ashburton's first letter, in which he states the various points which he was prepared to concede, and those as to which he was resolved to offer determined resistance. This despatch was evidently framed on the principle—I do not stop to inquire whether it were right or wrong—of stating his ultimatum at the outset. Lord Ashburton, speaking from the instructions of the Government says:—There would be evident hardship, I might say cruelty, in separating this now happy and contented village, to say nothing of the bickerings and probable collisions likely to arise from taking in this spot the precise line of the river which would, under other circumstances, satisfy us. Indeed, I should consider that such a separation of these industrious settlers, by placing them under separate laws and governments, a most harsh proceeding, and that we should there by abandon the great object we should have in view of the happiness and convenience of the people, and the fixing a boundary the least likely to occasion future strife. I dwell on this circumstance at some length, in justification of the necessity I am under of departing to this inconsiderable extent from the marked line of the river St. John. What line should be taken to cover this difficulty I shall have to consider with you, but I cannot in any case abandon the obvious interests of these people.In conclusion, Lord Ashburton says:—It must be sufficiently evident, that I have not treated the subject in the ordinary form for a bargain, where the party making the proposal leaves himself something to give up.By using such language Lord Ashburton distinctly implied that this was one of the points on which he insisted, and would, under no circumstances, abandon. My noble and learned Friend, in one part of his speech, alluded to the ignominy, as I think he called it, of making remonstrances, and allowing them to be disregraded. I will not apply the term ignominy to the conduct of Lord Ashburton and the Government, in the case of Madawaska; but I must say I do not think it a very creditable proceeding on the part of a Government, not on a question of mere trade and commerce but on a question of honour, involving an 649 act of cruelty to persons who have lived under our sway, to mate such solemn declarations as Lord Ashburton did on this very point, and then to abandon them without any sufficient cause being apparent. But this is not all. Lord Ashburton having advanced the reasons which I have read to the House, for retaining the inhabitants of Madawaska under the British dominion, subsequently addressed Mr. Webster in the following terms:—It is sufficiently explained in my plan for a settlement, why I was anxious not to divide, in two pans, by our new line of boundary, the Madawaska settlements; and I am sorry to say, that the information I have since received, both as to local circumstances and the anxiety of the people themselves, tends strongly to confirm my impressions.His Lordship then proceeds to say, in the most precise and emphatic language:—This strip I have no power to give up, and I beg to add, that the refusal of my Government is founded simply on their objection t5 dispose arbitrarily of the persons and property of her Majesty's subjects living by preference under her authority, an objection which you are sensible applies with peculiar force to the inhabitants of this part of New Brunswick.[The Earl of Aberdeen; What page?] In page 25. It is clear that, according to Lord Ashburton's original instructions, the retention of Madawaska was a sine qua non. Yet the territory was at length given up to America on no other ground than an allegation on the part of Mr. Webster, which was contradicted by the petition of the inhabitants themselves, that they did not wish to remain subject to the authority of the British Government. It appears to me that Lord Ashburton had no sufficient reason to depart from the resolution which he solemnly declared in his despatch should be binding on him. I will now proceed to another point. My noble and learned Friend said that the award of the King of Holland gave us less than we have obtained under the treaty of Washington. I cannot altogether concur in that opinion. It appears to me that immense advantages have been conceded to America by the treaty, no one of which she could have obtained under the award of the King of Holland, unless the British Government had thought proper to concede it. The treaty opens the navigation of the St. 650 John to the Americans. Let it not be supposed that I quarrel with this. I am a friend to the free navigation of rivers all over the world. I think it would be wise policy for all governments to enter upon negotiations, in order to make the navigation of all rivers free from their source to their mouth. Still I cannot help thinking that by opening the navigation of the St. John we have conceded a great boon to America. By that arrangement American timber will be brought duty free into this country, and the importation of American corn, upon the same terms, will probably soon follow. Many of your Lord ships, I think, will be of opinion that that is a considerable boon to America, and some of you, perhaps, may not deem it quite so unobjectionable as I do. Well, this being a boon, it was something to bargain for, and we might have got some equivalent for it. But this is not all. The Sugar island and St. George's island have also been ceded to America. Now neither of these cessions were included in the King of Holland's award. Again, we have given up, beyond Lake Superior, many millions of acres, which were not comprised in the award, and which contain a rich mineral field that must hereafter prove of the greatest value to America. Why did we not insist upon retaining Madawaska as an equivalent for these concessions? But if we consented to abandon Madawaska we removed the only objection which, according to the testimony of those who have visited the country, existed to making the St. John the boundary between the British and the American territories. Even that boundary would have been most advantageous to the United Slates; for though each country would have got an immense tract of the disputed territory, that obtained by America would have been the most populous and fertile, whilst that which we should have acquired would have derived its value from the facilities it affords of defending the two Canadas. This, however, is a consideration which my noble and learned Friend—I say it with great respect—is not capable of appreciating; for I remember that a few years ago my noble and learned Friend stated emphatically, in this House, that the Canadas were worth nothing to this country in a national point of view, and that the only question to be considered was, how he could best get rid of them. That being my noble and learn- 651 ed Friend's opinion, he is not likely to criticise severely the abandonment of any portion of territory which derives its importance from being a means of defence for Canada. Those, however, who think that Canada ought to be defended, will take a different view of the question, and I doubt whether my noble and learned Friend, with all his eloquence, would be able to convince the noble Duke opposite that Canada, in a national point of view, is worth nothing to this country. I think that we ought to have insisted on having the St. John for the boundary, as an equivalent for giving up the Sugar Island, St. George's Island, and some millions of acres besides, in addition to the outlets at Champlain Lake, and the territory immediately adjoining thereto. I know that Rouse's Point would have fallen to America under the King of Holland's award, but in addition to that, we have, under the Washington treaty, given a district of some hundreds of miles to America, and I have seen a report made by some engineers to the government at Washington, in which it is stated, that the outlets of Lake Champlain, and the territory adjoining, are a most important acquisition to America, affording, as they do, the means of making an aggressive movement on Canada. These are all points which, in my opinion, have not been adjusted in such a manner as to call for any particular expression of joy. There remains another question which my noble and learned Friend touched upon, and which will probably be discussed by others who can bring a greater amount of knowledge of international law to bear upon it than I can boast of being possessed of. I allude to the question of the right of visit; and after the recent message of the President of the United States, I cannot think that that question has been placed on a satisfactory footing. I entirely acquit the noble Earl opposite of any blame on this head. I think the noble Earl's letter of December, 1841, contains a sound, clear, and dispassionate exposition of international law on this subject. Whatever construction may be put on the article in the Washington treaty, I trust the noble Earl may persevere in claiming for this country the right to visit all vessels for the purpose of seeing whether the flag they bear is genuine or not. If instructions to that effect are given it will bring the point to issue. But till then—till I know what 652 practical measures have been taken, I cannot consider the question to be placed on a satisfactory footing. I am, indeed, at a loss to know how the case really stands. I can find nothing on the subject in the treaty, for the 8th article refers only to the employment of American men-of-war to suppress the slave-trade. My noble and learned Friend has said, on the authority of Lord Ashburton, that the general opinion in America is in favour of our exercising the right of visit; but that it is clear is not the interpretation put on the treaty by the first authority in the United States. The President very magnanimously says that the right exists in the Government of Great Britain; but this is much like the concession formerly granted to the kings of England of being kings also of France—provided only they do not exercise the right. It is plain that the people of America do not wish nor expect us to exercise the right of visit. And yet it is a right which, if not exercised, goes for nothing. The principle is worthless; it is only the practice which can make it available for any good. And if my noble Friend (the Earl of Aberdeen) does not issue instructions for enforcing this right, I believe that we may give up our labours for the suppression of the slave-trade. But I do not believe that my noble Friend means to withhold such instructions. I think it a great object for securing that good understanding so essential to the good feeling between the two countries, that it should be known in America as it is here, that our cruizers, whenever they meet the American flag, should have the power, when they see just cause of suspicion (I ask only these terms), to stop the vessel for the purpose of searching it.
Not when they have a suspicion' of the American vessel being a slave trader, but of her carrying a fictitious flag.
§ The Marquess of Lansdowne
Yes, I rest the grounds of a right of search on a suspicion of the genuineness of the flag which is carried. And, until I see the President admitting that he considers such a suspicion a sufficient justification for the right of search, I cannot see that the disposition of men to peace and good will will be much promoted by this negotiation; and though I sincerely trust that nothing will occur to disturb the good understanding between the two countries, 653 I do not know that there is anything so likely to disturb it as a confused understanding of this important right in America and England. If our cruisers go forth, not with any discretion vested in their commanders, but with positive instructions to stop a suspicious flag under the circumstances I have stated, and if there prevail in America an opinion that no such right exists, that no such instructions have been given, and that, consequently, our cruisers in stopping American vessels are committing acts of piracy, they must consider such a proceeding an usurpation open to just remonstrance from the country to which they belong. Therefore I must say, that my noble Friend does not appear to have cleared up a difficulty, on which he states he found a strong opinion prevailing in the States.
§ The Marquess of Lansdowne
I am sure, my Lords, I am loth to stop that encounter of legal research and ability which you will have much more pleasure in listening to than to any remarks of mine; but I trust my noble and learned Friends will allow me to express once more my strong conviction that there is not now, whatever there may be hereafter, any prospect of arriving at a clear understanding of this most important matter. I have now gone through the whole of my objections to this treaty. To secure a good understanding between the two countries—to guard against future differences—to maintain those relations of amity and commerce, the limits of which it is impossible to describe, but which, if uninterrupted by discussions of an angry nature, must redound to the prosperity of both countries; to such objects of the treaty I readily subscribe with an ardent wish (notwithstanding the objections I have stated to it) that it may prove successful. If it should so prove successful, I shall be the first to congratulate the noble Lords opposite and my noble Friend who undertook this mission. Not that I doubt the sincerity of the first, or the activity of the last, to bring about a desirable settlement of the differences which existed; but the observations I have made were promoted by 654 the duty which I felt to arise on a perusal of the papers before your Lordships. I have stated again and again, I believe, in this House, but certainly out of this House, and before my noble and learned Friend gave notice of this motion, that this treaty was one which I was not prepared to condemn. I speak in the hearing of those, and who know I entertained such opinions. The treaty is one to the object of which I wish well, but when I am called on to say that I absolutely rejoice at the terms in which it is concluded, I must say that in some of those terms I cannot "rejoice," and as I do not wish indirectly to condemn it, instead of saying "not content," I shall satisfy myself by moving, that this House do now adjourn."
§ The Earl of Aberdeen
It is undoubtedly true, as stated by the noble Marquess, that the course which has been pursued by my noble and learned Friend, is one of a very unusual nature, and the noble Marquess intimated an opinion, that in so doing my noble and learned Friend assumed to himself an office which would be more properly discharged by the Government. Now, however, this may be, I cannot help thinking that my noble Friend not now present, who is the object of this motion, will feel as highly, and appreciate as duly, your Lordships' thanks when moved by a noble Lord unconnected with any party in this House, and moved, too, with that power, eloquence, and ability which are not possessed by any Member of this assembly, as if those thanks had been proposed by a Member of the Government. The noble Marquess must not suppose, that because the Government may have been disposed to follow the ordinary course, and to have abstained from originating any motion of this description, that they were, therefore, indifferent to the services of the noble Lord, or in sensible to the debt which this country owes him for his exertions. My Lords, though the motion may be thought unusual, the manner in which my noble Friend has been animadverted upon (I do not mean on this occasion, or in this House), has certainly been of an unusual character. Formerly it was the custom to attack the Government for the acts of the agent whom it employed. On this occasion we heard of nothing but criticisms of the acts of my noble Friend, not from the noble Marquess, but he knows that they have been publicly circulated, and that they proceeded from quarters which it was 655 generally understood spoke sentiments which might be expected to be pronounced in the Legislature, and not to be communicated through those organs to which I have referred. My Lords, whatever these critics may say, her Majesty's Ministers are responsible for the acts of the noble Lord,, and we are ready and willing to take on ourselves that responsibility. Amongst those servants of her Majesty I am prominently responsible; for the noble Lord did not go to America without instructions on all the points which he negotiated. Those instructions, whether right or wrong, were full and precise on every point; and I must say, that I had every reason to believe, not only that my noble Friend was eminently qualified to discharge the duties imposed on him, but it is my belief (and I am confirmed in that belief by those in the United States best qualified to judge) that there is probably no other man in England who would have succeeded in obtaining the terms of the treaty now on your Lordships' Table. It happens but too often, that we not only show little gratitude to those who have extricated us from difficulties and danger, but we forget the very existence of the apprehensions from which we have been freed. Now I request your Lordships to call to mind the state of feeling which prevailed at the period of the departure of my noble Friend. I am more able than most of your Lordships fully to estimate what our position then was. It was well known to the public, that every mail was then looked for with anxiety, for it might have brought intelligence, which would put an end to anything like friendly relations between the two countries. Numerous subjects of controversy had arisen, which were then aggravated by the course of time, and the manner in which they had been treated. I would ask any of your Lordships, could he be sanguine enough when my noble Friend left this country to hope that he would have succeeded in obtaining the boundary awarded by the King of the Netherlands? Recollect, that for ten years it had been steadily refused by the United States, and no man expected that award to be adopted by them. The noble Marquess, it is true, denied the position of my noble and learned Friend, that the late Government had accepted readily and with satisfaction the award so made by the King of the Netherlands. Possibly they did not; but at least it was accepted by them, and not only accepted, but when rejected by the United States, 656 it was for three or four years perseveringly pressed on the acceptance of the United States by the noble Lords opposite. If this award is very objectionable, as the noble Marquess now seems to think, why did not the Government, of which the noble Marquess was a Member, when the United States declined to be bound by it, express their disapprobation of it; and why did they, on the contrary, use every exertion to induce the United States to accept it? The noble Marquess says, that that award sacrificed the Madawaska settlement, and not being bound by or approving of it, he holds himself at liberty to claim that portion of the territory which has now been ceded. But I beg to remind the noble Marquess, that he was himself a party to the voluntary cession of this very Madawaska territory. What took place in 1835, after the award of the King of the Netherlands had been departed from? The Government of that day proposed a new line to the States, which would have made precisely the same cession of territory as that which has now taken place. They proposed by the boundary of the St. John to divide the Madawaska settlement; and had that been accepted by the States, we should have ceded precisely that territory now given up by the treaty. I am sure your Lordships will bear with me while 1 shortly explain what the Madawaska settlement is. It consists of a population of 4,000 persons, 3,000 of whom are situated on the north of the St. John—these we have retained. About 1,000 are located on the south of the river, and these we have ceded to the United States. And this was the portion which was offered to be ceded in 1835, when the proposition was made through Sir C. Bagot. The noble Marquess stated, that my noble Friend avowed that he had not "power" to cede this territory. Now, see what he says in his despatch:—At the same time you will have seen, that I was sensible that some good reason should be assigned, why we should not be satisfied with what you justly term the otherwise perfect boundary of the St. John. In your reply you recognise the difficulties of the case and do justice to our motives; but you state distinctly on the part of your Government, that you can consent to no line which should bring us over the St. John, without some equivalent of territory to be found out of the limits of that part which is in dispute, and you refer, more particularly to a certain strip lying between the north line and the river.Now, the noble Marquess inferred from this, that it was the Madawaska settle- 657 ment which my noble Friend said he had no power to give up; but this is quite a mistake. "The strip" refers to a part of New Brunswick, which was no part of the disputed territory, and which has always been and then was in the possession of the Crown. When, then, it was proposed, that in lieu of the north line through St. Croix, some portion of the territory south of the St. John should be ceded, my noble Friend said, that constituted no part of the disputed country, and that the inhabitants manifested a strong desire not to abandon the dominion of her Majesty. The terms of the boundary proposed by the King of the Netherlands, such as they were, the former Government accepted and maintained. That award was founded on what had taken place before the accession of the late Government to office. It was submitted when I was in office, twelve years ago, under my superintendence, and when I left office I thought this boundary question was settled or about to be settled very speedily. I certainly thought, that the award Of the King of the Netherlands was final on both parties. I left the question submitted to one sovereign, when I returned to office, 1 found it had been proposed to submit it to three sovereigns, and in the month of August, 1841, a very few days before the change of Government, a contre projet was sent to the United States, after refusing all conditions which authorised Mr. Fox to call for the adjudication of three sovereigns. Therefore the question, so far from having been advanced by ten years of wrangling, was actually much further removed from settlement than when I quitted office. And the position in which we were placed was very different indeed from that in which we were when we submitted the question to the decision of the King of the Netherlands. In fact, the population of the United States had advanced on our possessions. It was very difficult to expel those who had occupied the country; and as my noble and learned Friend accurately stated, a fort was built on the spot, where, ten years previously, jurisdiction was exercised by this country. The noble Marquess talked of the military defence of Canada. No doubt, this was a most important point in fixing the boundary, and we were bound to take pains to satisfy ourselves that any cession which was made was not incompatible with the military security of Canada, and the communication which was necessary to be kept open. But apart from military security, 658 the amount of territory is a matter of comparative indifference, and though I am not indifferent to the possession of territory, that must be given up to obtain security. The boundary we have actually obtained, is to all intents and purposes equal to the St. John for a military defence, for all the heights between the St. John and St. Lawrence are ceded to us. That is the important consideration, and not extent of territory. In swelling the charges against my noble Friend, the noble Marquess dealt somewhat in exaggeration; for he said we have ceded Sugar Island and St. George's Island. Now, the two happen to be one, and instead of consisting of 25,000 acres, it does not exceed 1,000. The noble Marquess then referred to the eighth article of the treaty, by which he contended that we had taken a retrograde step as regarded the final abolition of the slave-trade. Now, my Lords, I confess, though I always thought it the greatest object of this country to obtain a mutual right of search, and on that point, this treaty, so far as it goes, is a very considerable advance towards the abolition of this traffic. It is a little unreasonable to blame my noble Friend for conceding such an article, when we know what has taken place; for though we always desired to obtain a mutual right of search, we have been prepared to accept precisely such an article as the present. The commissioners of Sierra Leone, in January, 1839, actually proposed that which is established by the article—namely, a joint plan of cruising on the coast of Africa, as most effectual for putting an end to the traffic; and what says Mr. Fox in his note of October 29tb, 1839, by the direction of the Government at home:—In conclusion, the undersigned has to state that it remains the settled conviction of the Government that the sure and effectual means of checking the slave-trade is by an agreement for the mutual exercise of the right of search by cruisers of the two nations; and the undersigned is instructed to urge this plan on your serious attention. As to obstacles, the Government is unwilling to anticipate any that can prevent the co-operation of the two Governments; and it has only to express an anxious hope that the Government of the United States will be able to devise some other effectual method of removing the progress of this sinful traffic.We have put in execution, then, this very proposal; and I am certain that Mr. Fox would have been too happy to have, obtained that article, which has been made 659 the subject of criticism in the treaty of my noble Friend. It has been said, that this treaty is differently interpreted by the President of the United States. My noble and learned Friend has so fully stated his views as to the claims of this country, that it is unnecessary for me to follow him. But I do not think the noble Marquess quite correct in the statement he has made on this subject. Not only we made no claim to search, visit, or detain an American vessel, but we made no claim to search or detain any vessel, except such as we were allowed to search by virtue of our treaties. Therefore, when we visited an American vessel, it was not as an American vessel at all, but because we had reason to believe that it belonged to a state giving us permission to search it by treaty. Without such treaty, we have no right to visit any vessel whatever. This is the view which the President takes in his message. He argues, that we do not claim it as a per. Feet right. It is not such a right as all nations have in capturing pirates, but it is a right, the exercise of which is accorded by treaty. And it is because we have reason to believe, that a vessel belongs to a country with which we have a treaty, that we have any ground for visiting her with the view of ascertaining her nationality. Now, such being the nature of our pretensions, we shall adhere to them in spite of all opposition; for, being founded in common sense and justice, it is impossible to recede from them. But I must say, I think the United States had reason to complain of the pretensions which were put forward at no very distant period, and of the manner in which they were enforced. And it is, I think, more owing to the recollection of what took place on those occasions than to anything which exists at present, that we are to trace the feeling which exists in the United States. Why, my Lords, it was only in the month of February, 1841, that the noble Lord then at the head of Foreign Affairs gave instructions to her Majesty's cruisers to abstain from capturing American vessels. Not visiting or searching, but actually capturing American vessels. So that up to that period, they had been in the habit of capturing American vessels believed to be slavers. On several occasions, the commissioners at Sierra Leone found great difficulty in adjusting differences when one party acted in this manner. It was very natural, therefore, that an impression should prevail in the United States 660 that such proceedings were still possible, and on that account a good deal of excitement prevailed on this subject throughout the union. Before this right can be exercised, two things are necessary; first, that there is ground for suspecting, that the vessel is engaged in the slave-trade; and, next, that she belongs to one of those states the vessels of which we have, by treaty, a right to search. It is true, a mistake may be made. It is true, that we may imagine an American flag to be displayed for deceit, and that on visiting, we find the vessel to be bonâ fide American. If so, whatever reparation is due, ought to be made at once, and the Government will never be reluctant in such a case to afford such reparation as may be fit. We can do no more than admit that such vessels as are bonâ fide American are perfectly free from our jurisdiction. But, by this article, the Americans agree to send a squadron to the coast of Africa, which, as my noble Friend says, will practically settle the question. No doubt they will have no right to detain or search any but American vessels; and whether they cruise separately or with our squadron, of course they will search every vessel bearing the American flag. And no doubt those officers will, as they always do, when acting in company with the British navy, display the same zeal, activity, and cordiality, for the attainment of an object in which they are mutually interested. We have always found that to be so, and it will be the case, I am sure, in the present instance. I have heard it said, that we made another retrograde movement by a letter I addressed to the Lords of the Admiralty about a year ago, which had reference to the proceedings on the coast of Africa. Now, my Lords, having had statements from the law officers of the Crown, warning me that such proceedings could not be maintained by the law of nations, of course it was my duty to apprise the captains of our cruisers of such an intimation. To such an extent, and to that extent only, did that letter go. I should like to know, therefore, how it can be called a retrograde step, when I have just informed your Lordships that it was only in February, 1841, that the capture of American vessels was desisted from. Why was that done? It was evidently because we had discovered that to capture those vessels was contrary to the law of nations, and that we had no right to capture them. Such considerations induced me to 661 write that letter. I did nothing eke, except to encourage the meritorious exertions of our cruisers on those coasts. If it were possible to suppose that this country alone could effect the abolition of the slave-trade by its single exertions, we might deal with these questions more easily, but it is an undoubted fact that our only chance of effecting the abolition of that traffic is by the assistance of other: countries. It is therefore, necessary, that in the execution of this duty we should do nothing to injure the rights of independent nations, or to violate public Justice. Her Majesty's Government are disposed to do alt in their power to effect this object, and I trust that so far from any retrograde step having been taken in this great cause, we hare made a great advance, and that the very article of this treaty which has been found fault with will operate practically to give very important additional means of terminating this traffic. The noble and learned Lord has so fully exhausted this and every other part of this subject, that I do not think it necessary to detain your Lordships further at this hour of the night. My Lords, the present motion has been made by the noble and learned Lord entirely unconnected with her Majesty's Government, and it has been brought forward without their sanction; but having been made, we feel it our duty to give it a ready and a willing support.
said, he was somewhat surprised at this extraordinary and unprecedented motion of his noble and learned Friend. He discovered, from the votes of the other House of Parliament, that a notice had been given on this subject, by a very distinguished Member of that assembly, who was now looked up to, he presumed, by his noble and learned Friend, as his political leader; but his noble and learned Friend was bolder than his leader, for the notice of motion in the other House was confined to approbation of the treaty for settling the north-eastern boundary, whilst his noble Friend called for the approbation of the House for the ability with which the whole of the negotiations were conducted, and required them to rejoice not merely in the treaty, but in all the terms of the treaty. Now he (Lord Campbell) would take it upon himself to say for the British people, that whilst they rejoiced in the treaty, they grieved at the terms of that treaty. No doubt the noble Lord had conducted these negotiations to the best of his ability, and with an anxious desire for 662 the benefit of the country. He should consider it as great a calamity as could befall us, if any circumstances should bring on hostility between two nations, who should always recollect their common origin, their common language, and even their common institutions; for although, as his noble and learned Friend had said, the United States had no monarch, no bishops, and no nobility, still their institutions and our own bore a strong family resemblance. He agreed also with his noble and learned Friend that there was no imputation resting on Mr. Webster; it was not his duty to furnish materials to his opponent; he had eon-ducted himself throughout with equal honour with our negotiator, and with far more ability. When our negotiator was opposed to Daniel Webster, he was greatly overmatched. He had read with some mortification and humility the despatches of the two negotiators, for Mr. Webster's showed infinitely more astuteness, judgment, and skill than the noble Lord's. In touching on the different points of this treaty, he would begin with the north, eastern boundary. His opinion was, that the line of demarcation was of much less importance than the various other topics which arose during the negotiation between the two countries; but when Lord Ashburton left this country, the general expectation certainly was, that this country would obtain a much better line than what was called the Dutch line, because, in consequence of the ignorance of the physical geography of the country at the time of that award, it was little favourable to us. If the maps produced by America were examined, they would be found to be mere delusions. They laid down rivers where no rivers flowed; they made mountains where there were only plains and morasses. When Lord Ashburton went out, better evidence had been obtained of our rights than we had previously possessed, and what he blamed that noble Lord for in this part of the negotiation was, that he began by putting himself out of court; he began by saying that the treaty of 1783 could not be executed, and that we could never find the north-west angle of Nova Scotia. Mr. Webster admitted no such thing. He said that there was no difficulty in finding the north-west angle or of executing that treaty; they had only to run a straight line due north from the source of the St. Croix till they found certain Highlands, which were his Highlands, and which, he said, were 663 contemplated at the time of the treaty by Franklin and Oswald; and then, when they got to those Highlands, they were to go to the north-west branch of the Connecticut; and Mr. Webster said that America must make a concession if we had a foot of that land. Now, these Highlands had none of the conditions of the Highlands of the treaty; there were not rivers flowing on both sides, and when they went to the Connecticut they went south, and not north, as they ought to do by the treaty of 1783. The map of Franklin was, in his opinion, quite conclusive. If they assumed that the map now known to be in existence was the map, as he believed it was, which was referred to in the letter of Dr. Franklin, the negotiator of the treaty, to the Count De Vergennes, this was the very map on which the treaty was made; and, after the production of that map before any jury of Englishmen, there would not be the slightest doubt as to what was the true boundary. His noble and learned Friend admitted that they ought to settle a disputed boundary between nations precisely as they would settle it between private individuals, and he (Lord Campbell) agreed in that doctrine. Now, in this very Session, and in that House, there had been a cause arising out of a dispute relating to some land in the neighbourhood of Glasgow which had been granted many years ago. The question was whether the grant extended eight feet beyond a garden wall; there had been a map which was referred to during the negotiation between the parties for the grant; that map was neglected by the Court of Session; but when the case came to that House, he, who presided in the absence of the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack, together with his noble and learned Friend (Lord Brougham), and his other noble and learned Friend (Lord Cottenham), all concurred in deciding, that as this map, although not referred to in the contract, had been used at the time of the contract by the parties negotiating it, it was to be taken as evidence of the boundary. Except that in the one case the line was red, and in the other it was black, the cases were precisely alike. Although he believed that the whole of the disputed territory belonged to England; although he believed that if more firmness had been shown, a better boundary would have been obtained, and better terms than proposed by the King of the Netherlands; and although we had now given up the navigation of the river St. 664 John, which was not conceded at the time of that, proposed settlement; and although, therefore, he could not rejoice in the terms, he could not condemn the treaty. He then came to another subject which had entered into these negotiations—the case of the Caroline. The negotiations upon this point were conducted with ability and with success, and he rejoiced that Lord Ashburton had refused to give way. The dispute relating to the Caroline arose whilst he had the honour to fill the office of Attorney-general, and he had never had the slightest doubt that we had a perfect right to cut out the Caroline from the shores of America; and he felt little regret that she had been sent down the Falls of Niagara. He found that the noble Lord had adopted the very argument and illustration he had used at that time. The noble Lord, in reply to Mr. Webster, said:—If cannon are moving and setting up in a battery which can reach you, and are actually destroying life and property by their fire; if you have remonstrated for some time without effect, and see no prospect of relief, when begins your right to defend yourself, should you have no other means of doing so than by seizing your assailant on the verge of a neutral territory?In his opinion, it was just the same as if in a neutral territory a fortification were erected by the owner, who allowed his guns to be used and to be fired in our territory, slaughtering our men. There could be no doubt that we had a right, to take possession of that fortress, and to level it to the ground. Firmness had been displayed by Lord Ashburton with regard to the case of the Caroline, and he had succeeded. In that case the United States did what was very honourable to them—they allowed that the responsibility rested entirely on the Government of Great Britain. They admitted, that when an officer acting under the orders of his Government entered upon a belligerent expedition, he was not responsible, but the Government whose instructions he executed. He was glad that the United States had passed an act the necessity for which had been demonstrated by the case of M'Leod, to enable them to maintain amicable relations with foreign countries. So much for the case of the Caroline, in which he admitted the noble Lord had done justice to his country. When, however he (Lord Campbell) came to the case of the Creole, he was obliged to take a very different view of these negotiations. He 665 doubted whether his noble and learned Friend (Lord Brougham), from the course of his daily avocations, sitting as a judge from ten to four, had had time to read the correspondence between Lord Ashburton and Mr. Webster with respect to the Creole. Was the case of the Creole settled? It remained unsettled to that hour. He deeply deplored, that when this question had been raised, it had not been met as it ought. We were now placed in a situation of great difficulty, and the noble Earl opposite either had, or would have points to settle, which he would hardly arrange without much difficulty. In the despatch of Mr. Webster, of the 1st August, 1842, he said,—The facts in the particular case of the Creole are controverted; positive and officious interference by the colonial authorities to set the slaves free being alleged on one side, and denied on the other. It is not my present purpose to discuss this difference of opinion as to the evidence in this case, as it at present exists; because the rights of individuals having rendered necessary a more thorough and a judicial investigation of facts and circumstances attending the transaction, such investigation is understood to be now in progress, and its result, when known, will render me more able than at this moment to present to the British Government a full and accurate view of the whole case. But it is my purpose and my duty to invite your Lordship's attention to the general subject, and your serious consideration of some practical means of giving security to the coasting trade of the United States, against unlawful annoyance and interruption, along this part of their shore.He (Lord Campbell) asked then, whether on the return of Lord Ashburton from America, the case of the Creole was settled? The noble Earl (Lord Aberdeen) appeared to-assent to the statement that the whole question was undisposed of; and here, in order to illustrate his complaints, he must remind their Lordships that disputes had before arisen between this country and America, as to the liberation of slaves which came into our ports in vessels driven there by stress of weather. His noble and learned Friend (Lord Brougham) appeared to entertain a desire of palliating the conduct of the American government in their internal slave-trade, for the noble Lord had argued as if American ships entering the gulf of Florida had no slaves on board, that they had only black men forming part of the crew. [Lord Brougham had said, that there were no slaves going from one part of the United States to another.] 666 Although America had abolished the external slave-trade, yet he regretted to say, with respect to the internal trade, that it remained in full activity; there were certain states in which the breeding of slaves was carried on, and they came through the gulf of Florida to be taken to the Carolinas, to be sold in the markets there. These cargoes of slaves did come into the gulf of Florida, and had been again and again driven by stress of weather into Bermuda and other English ports. Two cases of this kind occurred before the abolition of slavery in our own colonies, the cases of the Comet and the Encomium; the governor detained the slaves and liberated them. A demand was made on the English Government for compensation for this liberation. He was Attorney-general at that time, and after much reluctance he was bound to say, that compensation must be made, for whilst we ourselves, who still maintained slavery in our colonies, liberated American slaves which came to those colonies, we were bound to cause compensation to be given. But since that period slavery had been happily abolished in all our colonies; slavery existed now as little in Bermuda as in Middlesex. Afterwards, in the year 1836, the ship Enterprise was driven by stress of Weather into Bermuda, and then the authorities of the colony had no option. It was precisely as if a vessel with a cargo of slaves came into Portsmouth, that they sued out a writ of Habeas Corpus, and were brought before his noble and learned Friend, the Chief Justice of the Court of Queen's Bench, who would be bound to liberate them. The Chief Justice of Bermuda was obliged to do the same thing, and accordingly he liberated the slaves. Compensation was claimed for those slaves by the American government, and he (Lord Campbell) as Attorney-general, came to the conclusion, that no compensation should be made. The slaves were no longer slaves; the moment they entered an English port, they were entitled to their freedom: it would be a trespass to detain them, they would be in the same situation as emigrants unlawfully imprisoned; and in the case of the Enterprise compensation was refused. For several years the American government acquiesced in that decision, and the general understanding between the two governments was, that no compensation could be made in such cases. Mr. Webster tried to get Lord Ashburton to admit, that compensation was due, or that a new law 667 should be passed applicable to English ports, to recognise the slave-trade, and to enable the masters to take away their slaves. Mr. Webster entered into the general principle, he tried to show that the slaves ought not to be liberated, that the masters were wronged if they were so liberated, and that the American government had, in these cases, a right to demand compensation. The reasoning of Mr. Webster would have shown that the negro Somerset ought to have been kept captive by Lord Mansfield. But not only was the law of England as he (Lord Campbell) had laid it down, but it was the law of America also; for Professor Storey, one of the greatest ornaments of the United States, who had a greater reputation as a legal writer than any author this country could boast, since the days of Blackstone, said, that slavery was a local law, but that the moment the slave got beyond the limits of that local law, he had broken his chains, he had escaped from his prison, and from that moment he was free, and entitled to the protection of the law of the place in which he was. And Mr. Storey followed up this doctrine with sentiments which would have done credit to his noble and learned Friend (Lord Denman), who so worthily presided over the Court of Queen's Bench here, and who had ever proved himself a distinguished friend to the freedom of the human race. When an English port received a slave cargo, from that moment the whole of the individuals composing that cargo were entitled to their freedom. What, then, ought to have been the answer of our negotiator to such a demand? And, be it observed, that there was not the slightest difference in this respect between Bermuda and Portsmouth. He ought either to have refused to enter into this negotiation at all, or he ought to have asserted the high principle upon which the English Government had acted in the case of the Enterprise, and on which he (Lord Campbell) trusted the noble Earl opposite would continue to act. What, however, did Lord Ashburton do? He did not blame him, because he was not probably aware of the concession he was making, or of the principles which ought to have guided him. Instead of repudiating the demand, he said,—For the reasons which I will state, this question had better be treated in London, where it will have a much increased chance of settlement, on terms likely to satisfy the interests of the United States.668 The noble Lord was all acquiescence—he was willing to assist in the continuance of slavery, he desired that a law should be passed, in which in our colonies and in this country slavery should be legalised. He goes on to say;—Although I really believe that much may be done to meet the wishes of your Government, the means of doing so would be best considered in London.The noble Lord hands Mr. Webster over to the noble Earl, to contrive some means of keeping chains on the slaves when they were brought into this country. The noble Lord added—Whatever I might attempt, would be more or less under the disadvantage of being fettered by apprehensions of responsibility, and I might thereby be kept within limits which my government at home might disregard. In other words, I believe you would have a better chance in this settlement with them, than with me. I state this after some imperfect endeavours by correspondence to come at satisfactory explanations. If I were in this instance treating of ordinary material interests, I should proceed with more confidence; but anxious as I unfeignedly am, that all questions likely to disturb future good understanding between us should be averted, I strongly recommend this question of the security of the Bahama Channel being referred for discussion in London.The noble Lord entered into an understanding that instructions should be given to the British colonial governors to comply as far as possible with the wishes of Mr. Webster. [Lord Brougham: No such thing.] It was quite clear that his noble and learned Friend had not read the despatch, for he was entirely ignorant of its contents. [Lord Brougham; " hear."] The case was not new; it had already occurred in the Enterprise, and again and again the British Government had refused the demand of compensation. The papers upon the Table, therefore, showed a departure from the great principle on which our Government had uniformly acted; and a departure, he would venture to say from the law of England. He remembered that his noble and learned Friend, when at Paris, sent him a letter—not a private and confidential one, and he therefore supposed there was no reason for not mentioning it, upon this subject. It put this hypothetical case:—Suppose a foreign ship was in a harbour in a British colony, and a murder was committed on board, would the courts of that British colony take cognizance of 669 that murder? Most undoubtedly they would; and the murderer would be convicted and executed. If a foreign vessel laden with slaves too, or worked by slaves, were driven by stress of weather into a port belonging to this country, the vessel might not be forfeited, but there could be no question that the human beings, as aliens, were entitled to their liberty. There could be no doubt also that if an affidavit were made in this country that any human bangs were unjustly deprived of their liberty, the Court of Queen's Bench would grant a habeas corpus. Such was the case with the Canadian prisoners, who were brought before the present Lord Chief Justice, in whose favour Mr. Joseph Hume, the header of his noble Friend (Lord Brougham) had made an affidavit. Such being the law of England, was it a law which ought to be altered? Certainly not. What then would be done? The noble Earl at the head of the Foreign Department would refuse the demand of Mr. Webster. He (Lord Campbell) deprecated any cause of quarrel between Great Britain and America, but if they were unfortunately to quarrel, could Great Britain have a holier cause than the refusal to give compensation for human beings liberated by the law of the land. Our conduct in such a case would be applauded by mankind, and would receive the blessings of heaven. He now came to the eighth article of the treaty, which involved the question of the right of visit and the right of search. To his utter astonishment his noble and learned Friend had said that he knew no distinction between the right of visit and the right of search. [Lord Brougham: I never said any such thing.] What would General Cass say to the position that there was no distinction between the right of visit and the right of search? He admitted that when General Cass was in Paris, he mixed himself up with the disputes between England and America most reprehensibly, but at the same time he (Lord Campbell) regretted that his noble Friend had thought proper to employ language towards that individual which would fly over all parts of the world. Let their Lordships consider what might be the consequences. General Cass might become President of the United States, and his noble and learned Friend (Lord Brougham) might become Prime Minister of this country. [Question, question.] He apprehended that he was speaking strictly to the question. He wished to know in what respect he was out of order. 670 [A Noble Lord said, that he had cried "question," when the supposition was stated that the noble Lord (Lord Brougham) might become Prime Minister of this country.]
There could be no breach of order in such a supposition whether it were possible or not. He did not think the event impossible, and when it did arrive—as far as eloquence and ability were concerned, England would never have a Minister of whom she could have better reason to be proud. But what might be the consequence if, at the same time, General Cass happened to be president of the United States? Might it not tend to the disturbance, at least, of the friendly relations between the two countries? He would return to the eighth article of the treaty, and would contend that the right of visit claimed by Great Britain was a perfect right, and that it subsisted by the law of nations. That right had been most admirably and convincingly defined and defended by the noble Earl opposite (Earl Aberdeen), in his two letters to Mr. Stevenson and Mr. Everett. The object of this right of visit was simply to ascertain the genuineness of the flag, and whether the ship was entitled to carry the colours she hoisted. That was an indispensable right, and it existed as much in time of peace as the right to search for arms, &c, existed in time of war. It had been denied by Mr. Stevenson, by Mr. Everett, and by Mr. President Tyler, and they relied upon a decision by Sir W. Scott, which they supposed shewed that there existed no right of visit without a convention. The fact, however, was, that Sir W. Scott's expressions all had reference, not to the right of visit, but to the right of search, detention, and condemnation. No such right, Sir W. Scott decided, existed in time of peace; but he had never decided that in time of peace there did not exist the right of visit for the purpose of determining the nationality of the flag displayed by a suspected vessel. There was not the slightest ground for denying that right, or for asserting that it was not a perfect right. What was said by the Americans on the point? President Tyler, in his first message, represented that England had set up a right entirely contrary to the law of nations, and that she had been obliged to abandon it. In his second message he persisted in denying the right of visit, and contended that it was a trespass. If it were a trespass, it was wrongful, and if wrongful, it 671 might be resisted; if resisted, British sailors, in asserting it, might kill American citizens; and if they were carried to an American port, they might be tried and hanged for murder. This dispute still remained unsettled, between Great Britain and America; Great Britain maintained that it was a right, and America that it was a trespass. That it was a right, and a perfect right, he (Lord Campbell) entertained no more doubt than the noble Earl who had so ably and conclusively argued the question in his letters to Mr. Stevenson and Mr. Everett. He hoped that the noble Earl would persevere in this opinion, notwithstanding the assertion of America, that she was competent to avenge any insult upon her own flag, and that she did not require the interposition of Great Britain. It was quite evident that without this right of search it would be impossible to put an end to the slave-trade, and he would ask if this eighth article of the treaty was not retrogressive, and did not place this country in a worse position as regarded the extinction of slavery and the slave-trade? If so, was there any ground for the song of triumph which his noble Friend would raise, founded on the eighth article? If, indeed, America, had complied with the claim of the noble Earl, there might be some reason for rejoicing; but not only did America refuse to concede it, but the refusal had already had a most injurious effect upon our negotiations with other powers. It had afforded a strong motive to France, not only to refuse to ratify the last treaty, but to rescind those into which she had formerly entered. Another point related to the destruction of the barracoons, and it was understood that the noble Earl had desired that such attempts as that of Captain Denman were not to be repeated. [Lord Denman: "No, no."] He was glad to hear that such was not the case, because he considered that such gallant efforts were essential to the suppression of the slave-trade. While the subject of the 8th article was still in dispute, how could he or any noble Lord concur in the terms of the motion, that there had been a restoration of the good understanding between the two nations? The two nations were directly at issue, and it was not a question like that of the disputed boundary, which might be postponed for years, but it might lead to open hostilities in a single day. Had goodwill then been re-established? There was another matter of dispute. Lord Ashburton had hardly quitted the shores of America, 672 when a bill was introduced into the senate, asserting that the whole of the Oregon territory belonged to the United States. This question, of itself, might lead to the employment of a military force, and might, even shortly, bring about a war. The feeling in the United States was, that they had gained an advantage over this country; that Great Britain had yielded to the high tone assumed by the United States, and that if they continued to make demands in the same spirit, they would be followed by similar concession. On the whole, therefore, he thought that his noble Friend would have done better not to bring forward this motion, notwithstanding the notice given in the other House. It was entirely unprecedented, must produce an unpleasant discussion, and, perhaps, an angry feeling on the other side of the Atlantic. Why had his noble Friend introduced it, he could not imagine; but he was sure it was not for the sake of sneering at the noble Lord lately at the head of the Foreign Affairs of this country. At all events, nobody would join with his noble Friend in the sarcasms he had uttered against that great statesman; for every man who had marked his conduct during the last ten years, could not fail to entertain the highest opinion of his abilities, and of the success which had attended their exercise. Was there not the greatest danger of an European war, when his noble Friend (Lord Palmerston) assumed the office of Secretary for Foreign Affairs? And yet had he not, during the period of ten years that he held office, saved the country from that danger? Not a gun had been fired throughout Europe to disturb the public tranquillity. But his noble Friend had done even more than preserve the general peace; and he should have thought, that the service his noble Friend the late Foreign Secretary, had rendered towards the abolition of the slave-trade, might have propitiated his noble and learned Friend (Lord Brougham). Had not his noble Friend (Lord Palmerston) done more than any other man in Europe for the prevention and suppression of that inhuman traffic? His noble and learned Friend should have borne in mind that Lord Palmerston had preserved the influence of England in every part of the world. In Spain had not his conduct been most successful? Had he not by his energy and firmness saved Spain from the domination of France? There was no statesman to whom this country was more indebted than to his 673 noble Friend (Lord Palmerston), and he could only wish that when the noble Earl opposite (the Earl of Aberdeen) should quit office, that he might leave the British name as much respected, and its influence as powerful abroad as he found them. If the noble Earl should be able to do this, then, in his opinion, the noble Earl would be entitled to be reckoned one of the greatest and most successful statesmen of whom his country could boast.
§ Lord Colchester
considered the outcry raised upon those parts of the case which related to the right of search and of visit was by no means justified by facts, and he believed it to be made to suit other political purposes. He had been employed on the coast of Brazil, and had, on several occasions gone on board both American and French vessels to inspect their papers, and no complaints had ever been heard of by him. No doubt there was a difference between the right of search and the right of visit. The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs had given up the first, but had very properly maintained the latter. He might boldly say, from considerable experience, that under ordinary circumstances a visit to a vessel for the purpose of verifying her papers would not delay the ship more than fifteen or twenty minutes. It appeared to him, that the 8th article of the treaty, so far from being a retrograde step, had improved our hopes of ultimately putting down the slave-trade. The great object for which Lord Ashburton was sent to the United States was to bring to a close the differences existing between those States and this country in a manner honourable and fair to both parties. His humble opinion was, that the noble Lord had completely succeeded in that object, and, therefore, he should cordially give his vote for the present motion.
§ Lord Denman
would not trouble their Lordships with any lengthened observations. He joined in the expression of satisfaction which appeared to prevail on both sides of the House at the settlement of the important difference between the United State, and this country, more especially with respect to the boundary question and the question relating to the ship Caroline. So strong indeed was his desire, that those questions should be settled, that he was unwilling to enter into any inquiry at what price that great good had been obtained. There were, however, ex- 674 pressions used in one of the despatches of Lord Ashburton with regard to the instructions which he recommended the noble Earl at the head of Foreign Affairs to issue to the governors of our colonies with respect to the mode of executing the laws with reference to particular exigencies, in the use of which expressions he (Lord Denman) thought the noble Lord had gone further than any negotiator ought to go; because the laws must be executed according to their own exigency, and by their own authority. If any governor, under any instructions, were, for the sake of promoting any political or other purposes, to warp or distort the laws, that man would deserve to be impeached. He thought it therefore right to enter his protest against the expression used by Lord Ashburton, although he trusted it would not at all interfere with the settlement of the question relating to the slave-trade, upon principles perfectly satisfactory to all the world, or rather upon the principle which already existed with regard to our own laws, by which it was perfectly notorious, that the touching the English soil by the foot of a slave, emancipated him at once. He believed, however powerful any Ministry might be, however great their majority, however triumphant their success, they never would persuade either House of the British Parliament to alter the law is the slightest degree upon that important question. He could not refrain from alluding to an act on the part of the noble Earl which had been regarded in some degree as a retrogradation from the policy and principle adopted by this country in respect to the suppression of the slave-trade. A letter had been written by the noble Earl, which he (Lord Denman) had not been prepared to hear spoken of in the way in which it had been by the noble Earl. It seemed to him (Lord Denman) whether he looked at it as a question of injustice to an individual, or as a matter of importance to the public service, it became a question how far it was proper that such a letter should have been written. He, however, would not make it a question affecting merely an individual. He stood up for the liberty of mankind, for the natural rights which belonged to us all. He did not consider the abolition of the slave-trade as conferring any rights on us. He regarded the trade and system itself as an enormous crime, which all mankind were bound to 675 unite to put down. But the question had never, in his opinion, been sufficiently regarded in this light. It was en extensive and gigantic evil which individuals, as well as nations, had a right to interfere with and prevent, as much as they had to prevent the kidnapping of their fellow-creatures, or to prevent murder; and every one would be abandoning his duty if he should allow such a crime to pass in his presence, having himself the power to put it down. Every civilised nation had agreed that it was a crime that ought to be extirpated from the face of the earth, and the question that now remained was, by what means was this to be done. He would not enter into a distinction between the right of search and the right of visit. But he stood up for the right of prevention, and every restriction and limitation which was imposed upon that right was the abandonment of a sacred duty incumbent on all men, but more particularly so upon England, which owed an act of retribution to Africa for the many years of wrong she had inflicted by the slave-trade upon that unhappy country. It was quite clear to him that there was no other means for the suppression of the slave-trade than the employment of cruisers on the coast of Africa. He knew there was an objection to the system of granting bounties for the capture of slaves, because it was supposed that it held out an encouragement to the officers to connive at the slave-trade, in order that they might afterwards capture the vessel and obtain the bounty. But he was happy to bear testimony, which he could, to the fact, that there was not the slightest ground for believing that any British officer had been actuated in his conduct by any means such as those which were, at one time, thought to affect his mind. It was perfectly clear that when the cargo of human beings was placed on board the vessel, half the mischief was done. They might escape to Cuba, or to the Brazils, where that infernal traffic was encouraged. Besides, the very fact of chasing and detaining those vessels was a great evil, for it was generally accompanied by wholesale murder, by throwing overboard many of the victims, in order to ligthen the vessel, that it might escape. If, then, a man having command of our cruisers should say,These human beings shall not be put on 676 board the slave vessels; I will arrest them on the coast; I will liberate them, as was done at the barracoons,Who would deny that such a man entitled himself to the approbation of his country? He, on his own responsibility, gave orders by which no less than 1,000 men were saved in the barracoons. He (Lord Denman) was therefore much surprised to see new instructions given with reference to the conduct of the cruisers at the Galenas and New Cestus, at which places these acts also had been performed without the loss of a drop of blood, and with the sanction both of the late Board of Admiralty and of the present. He was satisfied that the noble Earl did not believe that these instructions would have produced the effect they had; but they certainly had led to great mischief, on the coast of Africa, where the French papers were read—the French nation having eagerly taken advantage of the circumstance to disparage this country. With regard to the 8th article of the treaty of Washington, he did not think this country was placed in a worse situation by its adoption, but he hoped it would be carried out in accordance with the principles laid down in the despatch of the noble Earl (the Earl of Aberdeen) addressed to Mr. Everett, and which it was impossible that America could quarrel with. It was to be regretted, however, that America should be allowed to say that her citizens should traffic in slaves if they thought it right to do so; and that England should ever have allowed any nation upon earth the power to make such a declaration. However, he was disposed to take the most favourable and practical view of the treaty in all respects, and he hoped, for the future, that they should see these great nations of the world laying aside that miserable jealousy by which they were made the instruments of the worst and basest of mankind—the buccaneers, or the still more base wretches who sat at home, using their capital for the degradation and torture of their fellow creatures. He trusted he should see France, America, and all the nations of the earth deeming it to be nothing more than their duty to join the greatest naval power in the world in putting down this horrible and disgraceful crime.
The Earl of Carnarvon
expressed his cordial approval of the treaty which his 677 noble Friend (Lord Ashburton) had concluded, and declared his entire concurrence in the vote of thanks now proposed.
replied: He must take the opportunity of denying most positively what his noble and learned Friend (Lord Campbell) had imputed to him—namely, that he (Lord Brougham) had adopted a sneering tone towards another noble Friend of his, the late Secretary for Foreign Affairs. He had done no such thing. If he had used any such tone, it was directed towards a totally different description of person—a person of very considerable distinction no doubt, but not to the noble Viscount (Lord Palmerston). He should be truly sorry to have it supposed that he wished to make any reflections upon his noble Friend, with whom be had had the honour of being a colleague for four years. He begged most distinctly to say (what, but for the observations which drew it forth, he should never have thought it necessary to say), that no man ever had a colleague more faithful, more honourable, and more perfectly fair to deal with, or one more able to discharge those important duties confided to him. This he was bound to say. He bad said it at all times in his absence, awl he would now say it most distinctly on the present occasion. Nothing would give him greater pain than to find that it was the opinion of any man that ho wished to a peak Sneeringly of his noble Friend. He knew that with regard to his noble Friend's conduct in 1840, though he was opposed to him with respect to his policy on the Eastern question, at that period which he greatly lamented, still he knew that there was a greet deal of groundless clamour raised against his noble Friend, more especially on the other side of the channel, and that he was considered as an enemy of peace, when he sincerely believed that there was but one object in common with him and his noble Friend, and that was to preserve peace throughout the world, and especially to preserve peace and friendship with France. Having received the buffetings of his noble Friends in the course of the whole battle, he thought he felt stronger and stood higher—on higher ground than ever. It was said that this motion was unprecedented. He had two instances to the contrary, one on a treaty of peace, and other the vole of thanks to Karl St. Vincent for his naval administration, a motion 678 which was made by Mr. Fox, and only opposed by Mr. Canning because no notice was given. The noble and learned Lord concluded by calling upon the House to do justice to a meritorious public servant.
§ Amendment negatived, the original motion agreed to.
§ House adjourned at a quarter past one.