Page images
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]



following the abuse of the right of search.
The United States waited for the consent
of the great maritime nations to this doc-
trine before concluding treaties with minor
powers. Mr. Buchanan is of opinion that
Great Britain will yield in this matter to
our wishes and the desires of European
governments. Lord Clarendon commended
highly our neutrality law (of April 20,
1318) as superior to that of England, es-
pecially in regard to privatcers. Mr.
Buchanan suggests that the President

issue a proclamation after the war shall

have commenced, exhorting the proper

authorities to be vigilant in executing 25 Mr. Buchanan to Mar. 17 Giving account of interview with Lord Mr. Marcy.

Clarendon, in which the latter read her Majesty's forthcoming declaration in regard to neutrals, conforming to American doctrine in regard to blockade, and waiving right to issue letters of marque. Mr. Buchanan stated strongly his approbation of the course therein indicated. Lord Clarendon spoke of the difficulty in changing the former practice. He had repeated. to the cabinet his conversation with Mr. Buchanan, which had been influertial in inducing them to adopt this liberal policy toward neutrals. Although the declaration had not been finally revised by the cabinet, its principles would be

changed. .do

Mar. 24 Referring to conversation with Lord Claren

don about privateering. Lord Clarendon
spoke strongly against it as contrary to
modern civilization, and complimented
highly the treaties of the United States
with different nations, stipulating that if
the subjects of one of the parties, being
neutral, accept commissions to cruise
against the other from an opposing belli-
gerent, they shall be punished as pirates.
Mr. Buchanan says that these ideas were
doubtless suggested by apprehensions that
Americans would accept privateering
commissions from Russia, and that though
his lordship did not propose such a treaty
that was evidently his drift.

In answer,
Mr. Buchanan admitted abuses of priva-
teering, but thought we could not agree to
its abolition, unless naval powers would
consent to total abolition of war upon
private property at sea as on land. This
policy, lie thought, was dictated by Chris-
tianity and civilization, and would be

supported by the United States. 27

Mar. 31 Her Majesty's declaration, referred to in

dispatch of the 17th, has given great sat-
istáction to diplomatic representatives in
London, and is more liberal than was ex-





[blocks in formation]



1854. 35 Mr. Marcy to Mr. April 13 Expressing satisfaction of United States Buchanan.

government with the two main points of course indicated by Lord Clarendon to be pursued by British government in the event of a European war. France is expected to follow the same course. Both Great Britain and France would like to enter into treaty with United States, stipulating that the subjects of either, being a neutral, who should accept privateering commissions from an opposing belligerent to cruise against the other party, should be treated as pirates. The United States government would not con sent to a convention totally suppressing privateering, which would preclude it 'from resorting to its merchant marine in case of war. The government trusts Great Britain will not adhere to her doctrines in regard to blockade and neutral trade with belligerents asserted during wars after the French Revolution. The “right of search,” if exercised against us harshly in the approaching war, will excite deep

and wide-spread indignation.
12 | Mr. Mason to Mr. Mar. 22 Refers to the difficulty of combined action

between France and England in regard to
neutrals, on account of the difference in
their hitherto adopted policy. Has en-
deavoreil to impress upon the French gov-
ernment that the United States would not
be satisfied except by the recognition of
those liberal principles which she has
always maintained, and that, should these
principles be adopted, our government
would have no difficulty in preserving
neutrality. He regards the occasion as
auspicious for the establishment of our

cherished doctrines on this subject. 14

Mar. 30 Inclosing slips from Moniteur, containing

report of minister of foreign affairs and
Emperor's declaration on subject of neu-
trals, letters of marque, &c. Mr. Mason
thinks these documents will prove satis-

Mr. Bille to Mr. Jan. 28 Communicating the policy of strict neutral-

ity resolved upon by the King of Denmark
in concert with the King of Sweden and
Norway in reference to the war declared
by the Porte. Belligerent, war, or mer-
chant vessels may enter Danish ports, the
government reserving the right to inter-
dict them from the port of Christiana.
Privateers will not be admitted to any
Danish port or anchorage. Belligerent
vessels may purchase anything in Danish
ports, except contraband of war. Prizes,
except in distress, must not enter Danishi
ports. Danish vessels and cargoes should
receive every security from belligerents.
The King deems these regulations to be
conformable to the law of nations.



[blocks in formation]




Mr. DeSibbern to Jan. 28 Communicating the policy of strict neutral-
Mr. Marcy.

ity resolved upon by the King of Sweden
and Norway, in concert with the King of
Denmark, in reference to the war declared
by the Porte. Belligerent, war, or mer-.
chant vessels may enter his ports, the
government reserving the right to inter-
dict them from the port of Christiana.
Privateers will not be admitted to said
ports or to anchorage. Belligerent vessels
inay purchase anything in said ports ex-
cept contraband of war. Prizes, except
in distress, must not enter said ports. The
vessels of Sweden and Norway, with their
cargoes, should receive every security
from belligerents. The King deems these
regulations to be conformable to the law

of nations.
Mr. Marcy to Mr. Feb. 14 Acknowledging his note of 28th communica-
Bille, and (mu-

ting nentral policy determinerl upon by
tatis mutandis)

the King of Denmark. The views of the to Mr. De Sib

Danish government have been submitted

to the President. The government and
people of United States are deeply inter-

ested in course of events in Europe.
125 Mr. Schroeder to April 10 Inclosing copy of Swedish ordinance defin-
Mr. Marcy.

ing rights and obligations of Swedish
people engaged in commerce and naviga-
tion. Swedish vessels must have proper
documents and must not hoist a foreign
flag. Where Swedish ships are abroad
with insufficient crews neutral seamen
should be enlisted in preference to subjects
of belligerents, and in no case should the
latter exceed one-third of the crew. Such
changes in the crews of Swedish vessels
should be entered and attested before the
proper authorities.

Swedish ships are
forbidden to attempt to enter blockaded
ports, and to carry contraband of war,
dispatches, or troops. Belligerent vessels
may bring into or take away from Swe-
dish ports anything except contraband of
war. Swedish subjects must not fit out,
or take service in, privateers. Privateers
will not be admitted to Swedish ports,
except in distress, nor shall captures be
adjudicated or sold in Sweden, and Swe-
dish subjects must not purchase captured
goods. Swedish vessels, unless under
convoy, must show their papers. Swedish
ships observing the above regulations
should enjoy free navigation, and will re-
ceive support from ministers and consuls
abroad, should this right be violated ;
protection cannot, however, be extended
to those disregarding them. In case of
seizure of a Swedish ship, the captain
innst report the circumstances to Swedish

consul. 6 Mr. Marcy to Mr. May 9 Referring to declarations of England and Seymour.

France, and stating that this government

« PreviousContinue »