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5442 pages, as reduced to a common standard, that of the printing by Congress.
The British " Case" and documents fill, in the reprint by Congress, three volumes octavo, consisting of
Perusal of the American and British Cases, and of their accompanying documents on both sides, brings us to consideration of the peculiarities in the course of argument and trial prescribed by the Treaty.
In effect, the United States were the plaintiffs, and Great Britain the defendant, in a suit at law, to be tried, it is true, before a special tribunal, and determined by conventional rules, but not the less a suit at law for the recovery of damages in reparation of alleged injuries.
In common course, the plaintiff's counsel would open his case and put in his evidence; the defendant's counsel would then open the defense and put in defensive proofs; and, after the close of the testimony on both sides, the defendant's counsel would
in close for the defense, and then the plaintiff's counsel in final close for the plaintiff.
Here, on the contrary, the defendant's opening argument and defensive proofs went in at the same time as the plaintiff's opening argument and proofs, each under the name of the “Case” of the respective Party.
The British Case, of course, could not answer the American Case, save by conjecture and anticipation founded on common knowledge of the subject matter.
The respective Counter-Cases of the Parties were to go in together, in like manner, in April, and their
respective Arguments in June: so that the Counter
This course of presentation was in no sort prejudi. cial to the United States, as plaintiffs, and was exceed. ingly advantageous to Great Britain, as defendant.
THE AMERICAN CASE. Nevertheless, when our“Case" went in,—that is to say, the opening argument for the United States,-its true character as such was misapprehended in England, where it seemed to be forgotten that the time and place for replying to it were in the British Coun: ter-Case, and not in the newspapers of London or in the British Parliament.
Similar misconception occurred subsequently with regard to the American Argument; the Counsel for Great Britain thinking that he ought to have the opportunity of replying, as will be explained hereafter, and losing sight of the fact that the British Government had already argued the matter three times in Case," “ Counter-Case,” and “ Argument."
As to the American Case, it seemed to fall into the adversary's camp like a bomb-shell, which rendered every body dumb for a month, and then produced an explosion of clamor, which did not cease for three or four months, and until the final decision of the Tribunal of Arbitration.
The leading journals of England, whether daily or weekly, such as the London Times, Telegraph, and
News, the Saturday Review, the Spectator, the Pall Mall Gazette, the Manchester Guardian, and other British journals generally, are certainly conducted with great ability, and are second, in character and in value, to no others in Europe. In view of which it must be confessed that the outcry which they made against the American Case seemed to me at the time
imel to be altogether unworthy of them and of England.
It was my opinion on reading the American Case for the first time, and is my opinion now, after repeated readings, that it is not only a document of signal ability, learning, and forensic force,—which, indeed, every body admits,—but that it is also temper. ate in language and dignified in spirit, as becomes any state paper which is issued in the name of the United States.
I do not mean to say that it is so cold a document as the British Case. Warmth or coldness of color is a matter of taste, in respect of which the United States have no call to criticise Great Britain, and Great Britain has no right to criticise the United States.
We may presume that, in the exercise of its unquestionable right, the Government of the United States made up its Case in the aim of convincing the Arbitrators, and not with any dominant purpose or special expectation of pleasing Great Britain.
But there is no just cause of exception to the general tenor, spirit, or style of the American Case. Its facts are pertinent; its reasonings are cogent; its conclusions are logical: and in all that is the true' explanation of the emotion it occasioned in England.
Intelligent people there, on reading the American Case, then opened their eyes universally to the fact that Great Britain was about to be tried before a high court constituted by three neutral Governments. That was not an agreeable subject of reflection. Intelligent Englishmen also, on reading the American Case, began to be uneasily conscious of the strength of the cause of the United States. And that was not an agreeable subject of reflection. For a good cause, in a good court, seemed likely to result in a great in. ternational judgment adverse to England. • The specific objections preferred were quite futile. Thus, complaint was made because the Case charged the British Ministers with unfriendliness to the United States for a certain period of the Civil War. But the charge was proved by citing the declarations of those Ministers; it was not, and could not be de nied by any candid Englishman; it is admitted by Sir Alexander Cockburn in the dissenting opinion which he filed at the close of the Arbitration. And the charge was pertinent, because it explained the negligent acts of subordinate British authorities, as at Liverpool or Nassau: which acts could not be otherwise explained unless by suggesting a worse imputation, namely, that of hostile insincerity on the part of the Ministers.
If there be any person at the present day, who is inclined to call in question the truth of the foregoing remarks, he is earnestly entreated to read the American Case now, in the light of the adjudged guilt of the British Gorernment, and he will then see ample
cause to approve the reason, the dignits, and the tent. I. An
. per of that Case.
EXPLANATION OF OBJECTIONS TO THE AMERICAN CASE.
The truth undoubtedly is, that discontent with the Treaty itself had much to do in England with objec-) tions to the “Case:" The British Ministers had negotiated the Treaty in perfect good faith, and in well. founded conviction of its wisdom, of the justice of its provisions, and of its not conflicting with the honor either of Great Britain or of the United States. Par. liament had accepted the Treaty without serious opposition, and with but little debate, except on the very trivial party question whether it was more or less favorable to Great Britain than the conventions negotiated by Lord Stanley and the Earl of Clarendon. And Great Britain, as a nation, had, beyond all peradventure, heartily approved and welcomed the conclusion of the Treaty.
But, on reading the American Case, and reflecting on the constitution of the proposed Tribunal, many Englishmen yielded to a sentiment of undue estimate of English law and English lawyers, as distinguished from the laws and the lawyers of Continental Europe and of Spanish and Portuguese America.' England has good reason to be proud of her legal institutions and of her jurists, and, of late years, she has learned to regard the common law with some abatement of that fetichism of devotion which was taught by Coke and by Fortescue. But the statesmen appointed by the three neutral Governments to act as Arbitrators