Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

qual to two thirds of what was ought to be prosecuted, relatively ided to old France by the treaty to each of the bases proposed, by

the zoth May, and in which ordering the undersigned to prehould be comprehended the for- sent the following considerations resses of Condé, Philippeville, on the first of these bases,-that Tarienbourg, Givet and Charle- respecting territorial cessions, nont, Sarre-Louis, Landau, and in which that important object is forts Joux and L'Ecluse.

examined, in the twofold rela2. The demolition of the for- tions of justice and utility, which tress of Huninguen.

it would be so dangerous to se3. The payment of two sums; parate. the one of 600 millions, under The want of a common Juge, the denomination of indemnity; having authority and power to the other of 200 millions, to terminate the disputes of Soveserve for the construction of for- reigns, leaves no other course, tresses in the countries contermi- when they cannot come to an aminous with France.

cable agreement, but that of re4. The military occupation, ferring the decision of such disduring seven years, of the for-, putes to the fate of arms, which tresses of Valenciennes, Bouchain, constitutes between them the state Cambray, Maubeuge, Landrecy, of war. If in this state, possesLequesnoy, Avesne, Rocroy, sions of the one are occupied by Longwi, Thionville, Bitche, and the forces of the other, these the tete-du-pont of Fort Louis, as possessions are under conquest, well as of a line along the north- by right of which the occupier ern and eastern frontiers, by an acquires the full enjoyment of army of 150,000 men, under the them during all the time that he orders of a General nominated occupies them, or until the reby the Allies, and to be subsisted establishment of peace. He is by France.

entitled to demand as a condition His Majesty, ardently desirous of that re-establishment, that the of hastening as far as lies in his territory which he occupies should power, the conclusion of an ar- be ceded to him in whole or in rangement, the delay of which part ; and the cession, when it has caused to his people so many has taken place, transforming the evils which he daily deplores, and enjoyment into property, from a has prolonged in France, and still mere occupier of it he becomes prolongs, that internal agitation the Sovereign. This is a mode which has excited the solicitude of acquisition which the law of of the Powers, but still more ani- nations authorises, mated by a desire to make known But the state of war, conquest, his good dispositions to Sovereigns and the right of exacting cessions, his Allies, has wished that the are things which proceed from undersigned should communicate and depend upon each other, in without delay to their Excellen- such way that the first is an abcies the Plenipotentiaries of the solute condition of the second, four Courts, the principles on and the latter of the third; for which he thinks the negociation out of the state of war, there can

be

be no conquest made : and where whom he acknowledges as the leconquest has not been made, or gitimate possessor. no longer exists, the right of de- To entitle you to deem yourself manding territorial cessions can- at war with a country, without not exist, since a claim cannot be being so with him who has been made to retain that which one previously acknowledged a Sovehas not, or that which he no reign, two things must necessalonger has.

rily happen; the one is that of There can be no conquest where ceasing to hold him as such, and there is no state of war, and as to regard the sovereignty, as you cannot take from him who transferred to those whom you has nothing, you can only make fight against, by the very act for conquest of what a man pos- which you fight against them :sesses ; hence it follows that in that is to say, you then recognize, order to constitute the possibility pursue, and sanction those doeof conquest, there must have been trines which have overthrown so war by the occupier on the pos- many thrones, shaken them all, sessor, that is on the Sovereign; and against which all Europe was right of possession of a country under the necessity of arming and sovereignty being things in itself: or, you must believe that separable or rather identical the Sovereignty can be double

If then you make war in a while it is essentially one, and incountry, and against a number capable of division; it may exist more or less considerable of the under different forms, be collecinhabitants of that country, while tive or individual, but not each of the Sovereign is excepted there- these at once in the same country, from, you do not make war on which cannot have two Sovereigns the country, the latter word being at the same time. merely a trope by which the do- The Allied Powere, however, main is put for the possessor, A have neither done nor believed Sovereign, however, must be con- either the one or the other of sidered as excepted from the war these two things. which foreigners carry on in this They have considered the encountry, when they acknowledge terprise of Buonaparte as the him and maintain with him the greatest crime that could be comaccustomed relations of peace. mitted by men, and the very atThe war is then made against tempt of which alone placed him men, to the rights of whom he without the law of nations. In who combats them cannot suc- his adherents they viewed only ceed, because they have no rights, accomplices of that crime, whom and from whom it is impossible it was necessary to combat, to put to conquer what does not belong down, and punish, circumstances to them. Neither the object nor which irrefragably exclude every the effect of such a war can be supposition that such men could to make conquests, but to recover. naturally either acquire, or conHe, however, who recovers that fer, or transmit any right. which does not belong to him, The Allied Powers have not, cannot recover it but for him for an instant, ceased to recog

his Most Christian Majesty thority, a measure which would King of France, and conse- have caused conquest to cease, ntly to recognise the rights had these provinces been really ich belonged to him in that conquered. It is evident, then, acity; they have not for an that the demand which is made of tant ceased to be with him in territorial cessions cannot be ations of peace and amity, founded upon conquest. ich alone conveyed with it the Neither can it have as adequate gagement to respect his rights; reason the expenditure made by ey took upon them this engage- the Allied Powers; for if it be ent in a formal though implied just that the sacrifices to which anner in the declaration of the they have been forced by a war, sth of March, and in the Treaty undertaken for the common good, : the 25th. They rendered it but for the more particular belore strict by making the King nefit of France, should not renter, by his accession to that main chargeable on them, it is reaty, into their alliance against equally just that they should sahe common enemy; for if you tisfy themselves with an indemannot make conquests from a nification of the same kind with riend, you can still less do it the sacrifices. The Allied Powers, from an ally. And let it not be however, have made no sacrifice said, that the King could not be of territory. the ally of the Powers, but by We live at a period, when, more co-operating with them, and that than at any other, it is importhe did not do so ; if the total de- ant to strengthen confidence in fection of the army, which, at the word of Kings. The exacthe time of the treaty of the 25th tion of cessions from his most of March, was already known Christian Majesty would produce and deemed inevitable, did not a quite contrary effect, after the permit him to bring regular troops declaration in which the Powers into action, the Frenchmen, who, announced, that they took up by taking up arms for him to the arms only against Buonaparte number of 60 or 70,000, in the and his adherents; after the departments of the West and the treaty in which they engaged to South, those who shewing them- maintain against all infraction selves disposed to take them up, the integrity of the stipulations placed the Usurper under the ne- of the 30th May, 1814,-which cessity of dividing his forces, cannot be maintained unless that and those who, after the defeat of France is so; after the proclaof Waterloo, instead of the re- mations of their Generals in Chief, sources in men and money which in which the same assurances are he demanded, left him no other renewed. but that of abandoning every The exaction of cessions from thing, were, for the Allied Powers, his most Christian Majesty would a real co-operation, who, in pro- deprive him of the means of exportion as their forces advanced tinguishing totally and for ever into the French provinces, re- among the people that spirit of established there the King's au- conquest, fanned by the Usurper,

and

and which would inevitably re- is it possible to doubt that the kindle with the desire of recover monarchs of Europe should not ing that which France would ne- be unanimous in a case where that ver believe she had justly lost. which is not just would even be

Cessions exacted from his Most pernicious ? Christian Majesty would be im. It is therefore, with the most puted to him as a crime, as if he entire confidence, that the underhad thereby purchased the aid of signed have the honour of subthe Powers, and would be an ob- mitting to the Allied Sovereigns stacle to the confirmation of the the preceding observations. Royal Government, so important Notwithstanding, however, the for the legitimate dynasties, and inconveniences attached in actual so necessary to the repose of circumstances to every territorial Europe, in as far as that repose cession, his Majesty will consent is connected with the internal to the re-establishment of the tranquillity of France.

ancient limits, in all the points in In fine, the exaction of cessions which additions were made to old from his Most Christian Majesty, France by the treaty of the 30th would destroy, or at least alter May. His Majesty will also conthat equilibrium, to the establish- sent to the payment of such an ment of which the Powers have indemnity as shall leave means devoted so many sacrifices, efforts, of supplying the wants of the and cares. It was themselves interior administration, without who fixed the extent that France which it would be impossible to ought to have. How should that arrive at that settlement of order which they deemed necessary a and tranquillity which has been year ago, have ceased to exist ? the object of the war. There are upon the continent of His Majesty will likewise conEurope two States that surpass sent to a provisional occupation. France in extent and in popu. Its duration, the number of forlation. Their relative greatness tresses, and the extent of country would necessarily increase in the to be occupied will be the subject same proportion as the absolute of negociation; but the King greatness of France should be does not hesitate to declare at diminished. Would this be con- present, that an occupation of seformable to the interests of Eu- ven years, being absolutely incomrope? Would it even be suitable patible with the internal tranquilto the particular interests of these lity of the kingdom, is utterly two States, in the order of rela- inadmissible. tions in which they are placed Thus the King admits in printowards each other?

: ciple, territorial cessions as to If in a small democracy of what did not appertain to old antiquity, the people in a body France; the payment of an inlearning that one of their Generals demnity; and a provisional occuhad to propose to them something Pation by a number of troops, and advantageous but not just, ex- for a period to be determined. claimed unanimously, that they His most Christian Majesty Hatwould not even hear it mentioned, ters himself, that the Sovereigns,

his allies, will consent to establish lead to a discussion of that right. the negociations on the footing of The Allied Powers always conthese three principles, as well as sidering the restoration of order, to carry into the calculation of and the confirmation of the royal conditions that spirit of justice authority in France, as the prinand moderation which animates cipal object of their proceedings, them, in order that the arrange- but persuaded at the same time ment may be brought to a con- that France cannot enjoy a solid clusion speedily, and with mutual peace whilst neighbouring nations satisfaction.

continue to cherish with regard If these bases should not be to her either bitter animosities or adopted, the undersigned are not perpetual alarms, have recognised authorised to receive or propose the principle of a just satisfacany other.

tion for losses and past sacrifices,

as well as that of a sufficient REPLY OF THE MINISTERS OF THE guarantee for the future security

ALLIED SOVEREIGNS. of neighbouring countries, as the

Paris, Sept. 22, 1815. only means of putting an end to The undersigned, &c. &c. have all discontents and apprehensions, received the note in which Mes and consequently as the only true sieurs the Plenipotentiaries of bases of every solid and durable France have replied to the com- arrangement. munications made to them in the It is only upon these two prineonference of the 20th of this ciples that the Allied Powers have month, with reference to a defi- fixed their propositions, and in nitive arrangement. They have drawing up the projet which the been surprised to find in it a long undersigned have had the honour series of observations on the right to transmit to the Plenipotentiaries of conquest, on the nature of those of France, they were distinctly wars to which it is applicable, and expressed in every one of its aron the reasons which should induce ticles. the Contracting Powers not to The Plenipotentiaries of France recur to it in the present instance. themselves admit the first of these

Theundersigned consider them- principles, whilst they remain selves so much the more fully silent with respect to the second. exempted from the necessity of It is, however, abundantly clear, following the Plenipotentiaries of that the necessity of guarantees France in their reasoning, inas. for the future, has become more much as no one of the propo- sensible and urgent than at the sitions which they have made, by period of the signature of the command of their august Sove- Treaty of Paris. The subsequent reigns, with a view to the regu- events have carried consternation lation of the present and future and alarm to every partof Europe; relations between Europe and at a moment when the Sovereigns France, was founded on the right and their people flattered themof conquest, and because they selves that after so many afflichave carefully avoided in their tions, they were about to enjoy a communications whatever might long interval of peace, these events Vol. LVII.

2 R

have

1

« AnteriorContinuar »