« AnteriorContinuar »
[The Alabama, the Florida, the Georgia, and the Shenandoah escaped. The rams were seized, but never condemned; no guilty party was ever punished ; Bullock and Prioleau were never interfered with.]
"And the Government of the United States cannot believe-it would conceive itself wanting in respect for Great Britain to impute-that the Queen's Ministers are so much hampered by juridical difficulties that the local administration is thus reduced to such a state of legal impotency. as to deprive the Government of capacity to uphold its sovereignty against local wrong-doers, or its neutrality as regards other Sover
eign Powers. [Contrast with this the course of the British Gov *ernment and Parliament during the Franco-German war.]
"If, indeed, it were so, the causes of reclamation on the part of the United States would only be the more positive and sure, for the law of nations assumes that each Government is capable of discharging its international obligations; and, perchance, if it be not, then the absence of such capability is itself a specific ground of responsibility for consequences. [This statement probably will not be denied.]
"But the Queen's Government would not be content to admit, nor will the Government of the United States presume to impute to it, such political organization of the British Empire as to imply any want of legal ability on its part to discharge, in the amplest manner, all its duties of sovereignty and amity toward other Powers.
"It remains only in this relation to refer to one other point, namely, the question of negligence; neglect on the part of officers of the British Government, whether superior or subordinate, to detain Confederate cruisers, and especially the Alabama, the most successful of the depredators on the commerce of the United States.
"On this point the President conceives that little needs now to be said, for various cogent reasons:
 "First, the matter has been exhaustively discussed already by this Department, or by the successive American Ministers. "Then, if the question of negligence be discussed with frankness, it must be treated in this instance as a case of extreme negligence, which Sir William Jones has taught us to regard as equivalent or approximate to evil intention. The question of negligence, therefore, cannot be presented without danger of thought or language disrespectful toward the Queen's Ministers; and the President, while purposing, of course, as his sense of duty requires, to sustain the rights of the United States in all their utmost amplitude, yet intends to speak and act in relation to Great Britain in the same spirit of international respect which he expects of her in relation to the United States, and he is sincerely desirous that all discussions between the Governments may be so conducted as not only to prevent any aggravation of existing differences, but to tend to such reasonable and amicable determination as best becomes two great nations of common origin and conscious dignity and strength.
"I assume, therefore, pretermitting detailed discussion in this respect, that the negligence of the officers of the British Government in  the matter of the Alabama, at least, was gross and inex*cusable,
and such as indisputably to devolve on that Government full responsibility for all the depredations committed by her. Indeed, this conclusion seems in effect to be conceded in Great Britain. [See the preface to Earl Russell's Speeches and Dispatches.] At all events, the United States conceive that the proofs of responsible negligence in this matter are so clear that no room remaius for debate on that point, and it should be taken for granted in all future negotiations with Great Britain.”
WHEREIN GREAT BRITAIN FAILED TO PERFORM ITS DU. TIES AS A NEUTRAL.-THE INSURGENT CRUISERS.
"In the first place, I am sorry to observe that the unwarrantable practice of building ships in this country, to be used as vessels of war against a State with which Her Majesty is at peace, still continues. Her Majesty's Government had hoped that this attempt to make the territorial waters of Great Britain the place of preparation for warlike armaments against the United States might be put an end to by prosecutions and by seizure of the vessels built in pursuance of contracts made with the Confederate agents. But facts which are unhappily too notorious, and correspondence which has been put into the hands of Her Majesty's Government by the Minister of the Government of the United States, show that resort is had to evasion and subtlety in order to escape the penalties of the law; that a vessel is bought in one place, that her armament is prepared in another, and that both are sent to some distant port beyond Her Majesty's jurisdiction, and that thus an armed steamship is fitted out to cruise against the commerce of a Power in amity with Her Majesty. A crew, composed partly of British subjects, is procured separately; wages are paid to them for an unknown service. They are dispatched, perhaps, to the coast of France, and there, or elsewhere, are engaged to serve in a Confederate man-of-war.
"Now, it is very possible that by such shifts and stratagems, the penalties of the existing law of this country, nay, of any law that could be enacted, may be evaded; but the offense thus offered to Her Majesty's authority and dignity by the de facto rulers of the Confederate States, whom Her Majesty acknowledges as belligerents, and whose agents in the United Kingdom enjoy the benefit of our hospitality in quiet security, remains the same. It is a proceeding totally unjustifiable, and manifestly offensive to the British Crown."”—Earl Russell's Letter to Messrs. Mason, Slidell, and Mann, February 13, 1865. Vol. I, page 630.
The Tribunal of Arbitration will probably agree with Earl Rus sell in his statement to the insurgent agents, that
Earl Russell de
which the United
unwarranted and to
"the practice of building ships" in Great Britain "to nonces the acts of be used as vessels of war" against the United States, and States complain as the "attempts to make the territorial waters of Great Brit- tally unjustifiable. ain the place of preparation for warlike armaments against the United States" "in pursuance of contracts made with the Confederate agents," were "unwarrantable" and "totally unjustifiable."
val operations of the
British territory was, during the whole struggle, the base of the naval operations of the insurgents. The first serious fight had scarcely taken place before the contracts were made the base of the na in Great Britain for the Alabama and the Florida. The insurgents. contest was nearly over when Waddell received his orders in Liverpool to sail thence in the Laurel in order to take command of the Shenandoah and to visit the Arctic Ocean on a hostile cruise.1
There also was the arsenal of the insurgents, from whence they drew their munitions of war, their arms, and their supplies. It is true that it has been said, and may again be said, that it was no infraction of the law of nations to furnish such supplies. But, while it is not maintained that belligerents may infringe upon the rights which neutrals have to manufacture and deal in such military supplies
in the ordinary course of commerce, it is asserted with confidence  that a neutral ought not to permit a belligerent to use the neu
tral soil as the main if not the only base of its military supplies, during a long and bloody contest, as the soil of Great Britain was used by the insurgents.
1 Vol. III, page 461.
The systematic op erations of the surgents a violation of the duties of a neutral.
It may not always be easy to determine what is and what is not lawful commerce in arms and munitions of war; but the United States conceive that there can be no doubt on which side of the line to place the insurgent operations on British territory. If Huse had been removed from Liverpool, Heyliger from Nassau, and Walker from Bermuda; or if Fraser, Trenholm & Co. had ceased to sell insurgent cotton and to convert it into money for the use of Huse, Heyliger, and Walker, the armies of the insurgents must have succumbed. The systematic operations of these persons, carried on openly and under the avowed protection of the British Goveenment, made of British territory the "arsenal" of which Mr. Fish complained in his note of September 25, 1869.1 Such conduct was, to say the least, wanting in the essentials of good neighborhood and should be frowned upon by all who desire to so establish the principles of International Law, as to secure the peace of the world, while protecting the independence of nations.
It is in vain to say that both parties could have *done the same  thing. The United States were under no such necessity. If they could not manufacture at home all the supplies they needed, they were enabled to make their purchases abroad openly, and to transport them in the ordinary course of commerce. It was the insurgents who, unable to manufacture at home, were driven to England for their entire military supplies, and who, finding it impossible to transport those supplies in the ordinary course of commerce, originated a commerce for the purpose, and covered it under the British flag to Bermuda and Nassau. Under the pressure of the naval power of the United States, their necessities compelled them to transport to England a part of the execu tive of their Government, and to carry on its operation in Great Britain. They were protected in doing this by Her Majesty's Government, although its attention was called to the injustice thereof. This conduct deprived the United States of the benefit of their superiority at sea, and to that extent British neutrality was partial and insincere. The United States confidently submit to the Tribunal of Arbitration that it is an abuse of a sound principle to extend to such combined transactions as those of Huse, Heyliger, Walker, and Fraser, Trenholm & Co., the well-settled right of a neutral to manufacture and *sell  to either belligerent, during a war, arms, munitions, and military supplies. To sanction such an extension will be to lay the foundation for international misunderstanding and probable war, whenever a weaker party hereafter may draw upon the resources of a strong neutral, in its efforts to make its strength equal to that of its antagonist. From the Queen's Proclamation of neutrality to the close of the struggle, Great Britain framed its rules, construed its laws and its instructions, and governed its conduct in the interest of the insurgents. What could tend more to inspirit them than the news that on the eve of Mr. Adams's arrival in London, as if to show in the most public manner a purpose to overlook him, and to disregard the views which he might have been instructed by his Government to present, it had been determined to recognize their right to display on the ocean a flag which had not then a ship to carry it? How they must have welcomed the parliamentary news,3 on the heels of this proclamation, that the effect of this recognition would be to employ British subjects in warring upon the commerce of the United
Continuing partiality for the insurgents.
States, with a protection against piracy promised in advance! How great must have been their joy, when they found British laws construed so as to confer upon them the right to use the workshops  *anddock-yards of Liverpool, for building ships which, without violating the municipal law of England, might leave British ports in such warlike state that they could be fitted for battle in twentyfour hours! How they must have been cheered by the official legalization of the operations of those who had been sent to Liverpool in anticipation of the proclamation, to be in readiness to act! And if these welcome sights inspirited and cheered the insurgents, as was doubtless the case, how relatively depressing must have been their effect upon the loyal people and upon the Government of the United States! The correspondence of Mr. Seward and of Mr. Adams, running through the whole of the volumes of evidence accompanying this case, bears testimony to the depth of this feeling.
When Great Britain carried into practice its theory of neutrality, it was equally insincere and partial.
Recapitulation of hostile acts tolerated
in British posses
Its municipal laws for enforcing its obligations as a neutral, under the law of nations, were confessedly inadequate, sions. and, during the struggle, were stripped of all their force by executive and judicial construction. Yet Great Britain refused to take any steps for their amendment, although requested so to do.1
 The Queen's Proclamation inhibited blockade-*running; yet the
authorities encouraged it by enacting new laws or making new regulations which permitted the transshipment of goods contraband of war within the colonial ports; by officially informing the colonial officers that "British authorities ought not to take any steps adverse to merchant-vessels of the Confederate States, or to interfere with their free resort to British ports;" by giving official notice to the United States that it would not do to examine too closely, on the high seas, British vessels with contraband of war;3 and by regulations which operated to deter the United States vessels of war from entering the British ports from which the illicit trade was carried on.
The Foreign Enlistment Act of 1819 forbade the employment of a British vessel as a transport; and yet vessels known to be owned by the insurgent authorities, and engaged in carrying munitions of war for them, were allowed to carry the British flag and were welcomed in British ports. Still further, the same vessel would appear one day as a blockade-runner, and another day as a man-of-war, receiving an equal welcome in each capacity.
The instructions of January 31, 1862, forbade both belligerents alike to enter the port of Nassau except by permission of the governor,  or in stress of weather. That permission was lavishly given to every insurgent cruiser, but was granted churlishly, if at all, to the vessels of the United States.
The same instructions forbade the granting to a steam man-of-war of either belligerent in British ports a supply of coal in excess of what would be necessary to take the vessel to the nearest port of its own country or some nearer destination. This rule was enforced upon the vessels of the United States, but was utterly disregarded as to the vessels of the insurgents.
Those instructions also forbade the granting of any supply of coal to such a vessel if it had been coaled in a British port within three months.
1 Ante, page 251.
Duke of Newcastle to Governor Ord, Vol. II, page 558.