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1865.

tion the questions whether they acted in
good faith in maintaining their neutrality,
or whether their law officers correctiy con-
strued the laws. The Alabama claims
would therefore be excluded from its con-
sideration ; but they are willing to agree
to a commission for the decision of all
claims which the two countries shall think
proper to submit. The British govern-
ment rejoice at the successful close of the
war and the abolition of slavery, and
earnestly desire the continuance of friendly

relations with the United States.
Sept. 8 In Lord Russell's note inclosed with No. 1042

the proposition for a commission is nearly
the same as that of Portugal in 1820, the
negative answer to which forms a part of
the same note. The British government
thus seem to be making us a proposal which
they know must be rejected, or the accept-
ance of which will convict the United States
of inconsistency on radical questions. Mr.
Adams proposes to notice this singular cir-

cumstance in his answer.
Sept. 14 | The note to Lord Russell will be of such

1043 Mr. Adams to

Mr. Seward.

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poned till next steamer.
Incloses copy of his note to Lord Russell, in

Sept. 21

which he refers to the latter's admission that the recognition of rebel belligerency was unprecedented, and that it was made when only the intention of establishing a blockade had been declared by the President, which was sufficient to justify its being called precipitate. In point of magnitude the revolutionary war was a parallel to the late insurrection, yet there was no hasty recognition of the Americans by foreign powers. The disposition of France was then perhaps unfriendly to Great Britain, but she abstained from recognition at the solicitation of the British government. Mr. Adams cites the Neapolitan revolution and the southern rebellion to show that careful observation of the probabilities of the issue of an insurrection, rather than its magnitude or its suddenness, is the real criterion for the action of foreign nations. Every nation then, in the case of insurrection against a government with which it is at peace, should first abstain carefully from doing anything which may affect the result, and then act in a spirit of strict neutrality as emergencies for action may arise. If, after a reasonable period, the probable length and importance of the struggle justify it, belligerency should be recognized. This was the course of the United States during the South American revolutions. Mr. Adams believes that the security of belligerents commerce hereafter depends upon a correct decision of this question; for if it be recognized by Great Britain as international law that a neutral may de

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cline responsibility for outrages committed
by its subjects because of the insufficiency
of its law, which it has always the power
to amend, other powers will follow her ex-
ample, and the country with the most ex-
tended commerce will, in the event of war,
be the greatest sufferer. Her Majesty's
government are responsible for the conse-
quences of violations of their neutrality,
because of the inefficiency of their law, and
their repeated refusal to amend it. The
British foreign enlistment act is deficient
in the very provisions of that of the United
States which were enacted at the request
of Portugal, and if these provisions had
been adopted and enforced by Great Brit-
ain the United States would have had lit-
tle or no ground of complaint. Mr. Adams
depicts the probable consequences to bel-
ligerent commerce in case the position of
the British government be hereafter adopt-
ed by neutrals. He then refers to Lord
Russell's proposition for a convention as
being in nearly the same words as that of
Portugal, which the United States had re-
jected, but says that he will transmit it
for the consideration of his government.
Mr. Adams also expresses his gratification
at the friendly spirit evinced in the note
of Earl Russell, as tending to lead to a bet-
ter understanding between the two coun-
tries, which may dissipate the strong feel-
ing of injury now entertained by the gov-

ernment and people of the United States. 1551 Mr. Seward to Sept. 27 The proposition for arbitration of claims, 574 Mr. Adams.

made in Mr. Adams's note to Earl Russell
of October 23, 1863, is not now renewed
by this government. Mr. Adams is direct-
ed to inquire what claims Lord Russell

proposes now to refer to a commission. 1064 | Mr. Adams to Oct. 12 Transmits copy of the London Morning Post 576 Mr. Seward.

containing a leader on the Alabama claims.
The writer asserts that, under the ruling
in the case of the Alexandra, the Alabama
could not have been detained; that the
government had done all in their power to
preserve neutrality; and that they could
not now admit the liability for its viola-
tions which they had heretofore steadily

refused. 1066 .......do ........ Oct. 14 | Transmits copy of the London Times stating 579

officially that the Alabama and similar
claims would be excluded from the consid-
eration of a commission. The arguments
most noticed in the newspapers are those
in reference to the future consequences to
British commerce of a refusal to settle the

claims. 1067 .......do ........ Oct. 19 Has received No. 1551. Refers to the news. | 580

paper articles on the subject of the Ala-
bama claims. Also incloses copy of note
from Lord Russell stating that in the pro-
posal for a convention the Alabama and
similar claims were not included. Mr. Ad-

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1865.

ams replies that his proposition for a con-
vention of October 23, 1863, was not re-
newed by the United States, and desires
to know what class of claims Lord Russell

proposes now to consider. 1072 Mr. Adams to Oct. 20 | Transmits note from Lord Russell stating 582 Mr. Seward.

that he will notify Mr. Adams as soon as
possible as to the character of claims pro-

posed to be submitted to a commission. 1580 | Mr. Seward to Nov. 4 Has received dispatches up to No. 1072, and | 583 Mr. Adams

approves Mr. Adams's proceedings. Lord
Russell's proposal for a convention exclud-
ing the Alabama claims is respectfully

declined. 1081 Mr. Adams to Nov. 9 Transmits copy of Lord Russell's note reas 583 Mr. Seward.

serting the similarity between the present
position of his government and that of the
United States in reference to the claims of
Portugal, and claiming that the English
foreign enlistment act, even if amended so
as to resemble the American, would not
have sufficed to detain the Alabama and

similar vessels. Lord Russell inclosesMemorandum from the foreign office in rela 588

tion to the conduct of Great Britain during

the revolutionary war; also, inclosesMemorandum showing the disposition made | 603

of all complaints preferred by Mr. Adams

in the late war; and then suggests an . improvement of both the English and

American foreign enlistment acts. 1090 ...... do .........Nov. 15 | Incloses London Gazette containing printed 613

correspondence between himself and Lord
Russell. Refers to the latter's disposition

to take shelter under American authority.
Nov. 22 Has received No. 1580. Transmits copy of

613 his note to Lord Clarendon declining Earl

Russell's proposition for a convention. 1093 ...... do ......... Nov. 22 Transmits copy of his note to Lord Claren- | 614

don in reply to Lord Russell's of the 2d.
Mr. Adams claims that our position during
the South American revolutions was radi-
cally different from that now taken by
Great Britain, in that-first, we did not
recognize the insurgents as belligerents
until they had armed vessels upon the
ocean; second, we went the full length
of the law in prosecuting violators of our
neutrality; and third, we amended that
law when requested to do so by the Por-
tuguese government. This latter proceed-
ing gave great satisfaction to Portugal.
In reply to our complaints of rebel opera-
tions in Canada, her Majesty's government
acknowledged the necessity of making a
new law to meet a new occasion.” Mr.
Adams will transmit to his government
Lord Russell's suggestion of amending the
British and American foreign enlistment
acts. They should at least be made co-

extensive. 1105 ...... do ......... Dec. 6 Transmits copy of Lord Clarendon's note 624

stating that no armed vessel left a British
port to rcuise against American commerce,
and claiming that Great Britain steadily
and honestly discharged its duty as a

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1865.

neutral throughout the civil war. Seeing
no advantage to result therefrom, her Ma-
jesty's government do not desire to con-

tinue the correspondence. 1626 | Mr. Seward to | Dec. 14 | Has received No. 1073, and approves Mr. | 625 | Mr. Adams.

Adams's proceedings. Lord Russell's pro-
position to amend the foreign enlistinent

laws is declined. 1629 -.... do ......... Dec. 18 Has received No. 1092, and approves Mr. 625

Adams's proceedings. 1115 Mr. Adams to Dec. 21 The authorities of Cape Town, having pro 626 Mr. Seward.

posed to deliver the Tuscaloosa to the
United States consul, Mr. Adams has in-
structed the latter to receive the ship for
her owners, reserving all claims on the
British government for damages for her
capture by the Alabama and her deten-

tion.
The Earl of Clar- | Dec. 26 | Has had an interview with Mr. Adams, in 626
endon to Sir F.

which the latter read Mr. Seward's dis-
Bruce.

patch in reference to the surrender of the
Shenandoah. Lord Clarendon expressed
his desire that the past should be forgot-

future prevention of violations of neutral-
ity. Sir F. Bruce is instructed to bring to
the notice of Mr. Seward the subject of

amending the laws of both countries. 1119 Mr. Adams to Dec. 28 Transmits copy of the London Gazette, of 627 Mr. Seward.

22d instant, containing remainder of cor-
respondence between himself and the for-
eign secretary; also, copy of the Times
with a leader containing a renewal of the
suggestion of a claims commission. The
present position of the government is not
satisfactory, and the subject may be

brought before Parliament.

1866.
Mr. Seward to Feb. 14 Has received confidential letter of Dec. 21. | 628
Mr. Adams.

The government and people of the United
States cannot waive any part of their
claims on Great Britain, and until these
are redressed, must decline any proposi-
tion for future regulation of their national

intercourse. 1151 Mr. Adams to Feb. 15 Refers to Lord Clarendon's dispatch to Sir 628 Mr. Seward.

Frederick Bruce proposing to amend the
neutrality laws, as showing a desire on
the part of the British government to pre-
vent the adoption of its own past policy
by the United States in case England
should become involved in a foreign war.
Lord Russell's abrupt refusal to consider
proposals for a settlement of the Alabama
claims is folt to have been a mistake, and
hence this proposition may be designed to
shift the fault upon the United States. It
may be attempted to settle the question
through a general conference of the mari-

time powers. 1700 Mr. Seward to March 5 Has received 1151. Sir Frederick Bruce has 630 | Mr. Adams.

| not yet communicated Lord Clarendon's

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1866.

proposal. The United States cannot con-
sider it. This dispatch will be shown to

Sir Frederick. 1798 | Mr. Seward to July 7 Refers to the reorganization of the British 630 | Mr. Adams.

ministry. Mr. Adams is directed to ascer-
tain the probability of their reopening

the claims question. 1801 ......do ......... July 14 Has received No. 1223, announcing the res- 631

ignation of Earl Russell's government,
and is pleased to believe that the changé
will not affect diplomatic relations with
the United States. It is important that
the new ministry's attention should be
called to our affairs in Ireland. An early

reply to No. 1798 is also desired. 1244 | Mr. Adams to | July 26 | Has received dispatches up to No. 1800. 631 Mr. Seward.

Lord Stanley's reply to a question in the
Commons would seem to indicate an in-

tention to reopen the subject of claims. 1819 Mr. Seward to July 30 Has received No. 1235, and is pleased to 632 Mr. Adams.

learn Lord Stanley's friendly disposition
toward the United States. Sir Frederick
Bruce is impressed with the necessity of a
better understanding between the two

countries. 1835 1... ...do ......... Aug. 27 | Incloses summary of the Alabama and simi 632

lar claims and recapitulates the circum-
stances on which they are based. Con-
trasts the action of the British govern-
ment with the prompt and unsolicited
suppression of Fenian movements in Amer-
ica. Mr. Adams is directed to bring the
subject of this dispatch to the attention
of her Majesty's government. The amica-
ble adjustment of existing difficulties will

promote peace throughout the world. 1270 Mr. Adams to Sept. 21 Has received No. 1835, and presented the 636 Mr. Seward.

subject to Lord Stanley. The latter de-
sired to have the matter postponed until

cabinet meetings were resumed. 7 | Mr. Moran to Oct. 6 | Calls Mr. Seward's attention to inclosed arti- | 637 Mr. Seward.

cle from the London Times in reference to
the Alabama claims, suggesting the ap-
pointment of an international commission
to deliberate upon the rights and duties
of neutrals in time of war, by whose re-
port the claims question might be decided.
Although the subject of Mr. Seward's No.
1835 has not yet been made public, the
writer of this article seems to have had
some knowledge of it, and may have been

.

inspired by the government. 1855 | Mr. Seward to Oct. 8 Has received No. 1270, and approves Mr. 640 Mr. Adams.

Adams's proceedings. The delay is to be

regretted. 1275 Mr. Adams to | Nov. 23 Refers to probable change of policy of the 641 Mr. Seward.

British government in regard to the Ala-
bama claims, and incloses article from the
London Times in reference thereto. A
royal commission to amend the neutrality
laws is suggested. The Times regards
Lord Russell's assumption that the neu-
tral obligations of Great Britain were to
be measured by her own laws, as errone-

ous.

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