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The language of article 1 of the convention concluded on the 19th day of Apri last, between the United States and Great Britain, describing the country not to be occupied, &c., by either of the parties, was, as you know, twice approved by your Government, and it was neither understood by them nor by either of us (the negotiators) to include the British settlement in Honduras (commonly called British Honduras, as distinct from the State of Honduras), nor the small islands in the neighborhood of that settlement, which may be known as its dependencies. To this settlement and these islands the treaty we negotiated was not intended by either of us to apply. The title to them it is now and has been my intention, throughout the whole negotiation, to leave as the treaty leaves it, without denying. affirming, or in any way meddling with the same, just as it stood previously.

The chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate, the Hon. William R. King, informs me that "the Senate perfectly understood that the treaty did not include British Honduras." It was understood to apply to, and does include, all the Central American States of Guatemala, Honduras, San Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, with their just limits and proper dependencies. The difficulty that now arises seems to spring from the use, in our convention, of the term "Central America," which we adopted because Viscount Palmerston had assented to it, and used it as the proper term, we naturally supposing that on this account it would be satisfactory to your Government; but if your Government now intend to delay the exchange of ratifications until we shall have fixed the precise limits of Central America, we must defer further action until we have further information on both sides, to which at present we have no means of resort, and which it is certain we could not obtain before the term fixed for exchanging the ratifications would expire. It is not to be imagined that such is the object of your Government; for not only would this cause delay, but absolutely defeat the convention.

Of course, no alteration could be made in the convention, as it now stands, without referring the same to the Senate; and I do not understand you as having authority to propose any alteration. But on some future occasion a conventional article, clearly stating what are the limits of Central America, might become advisable.

There is another matter, still more important, which the stipulations of the convention direct that we shall settle, but which you have no instructions now to determine, and I desire you to invite the attention of your Government to it: "The distance from the two ends of the canal within which vessels of the United States or Great Britain, traversing the said canal, shall, in case of war between the contracting parties, be exempted from blockade, detention, or capture, by either of the belligerents." The subject is one of deep interest, and I shall be happy to receive the views of your Government in regard to it as soon as it may be convenient for them to decide upon it. JOHN M. CLAYTON.

I avail, &c.,

Sir H. Bulwer acknowledges the receipt of Mr. Clayton's dispatch, on the same day, in the following words:

BRITISH LEGATION, July 4, 1850. SIR: I understand the purport of your answer to the declaration, dated the 29th June, which I was instructed to make to you on behalf of Her Majesty's Government, to be, that you do not deem yourself called upon to mark out at this time the exact limits of Her Majesty's settlement at Honduras nor of the different Central American States, nor to define what or what are not the dependencies of the said settlement; but that you fully recognize that it was not the intention of our negotiation to embrace in the treaty of the 19th April whatever is Her Majesty's settlement at Honduras nor whatever are the dependencies of that settlement, and that Her Majesty's title thereto subsequent to the said treaty will remain just as it was prior to that treaty, without undergoing any alteration whatever in consequence thereof.

It was not the intention of Her Majesty's Government to make the declaration I submitted to you more than a simple affirmation of this fact, and consequently I deem myself now authorized to exchange Her Majesty's ratification of the treaty of the 19th April for that of the President of the United States.

I shall take the earliest opportunity of communicating to Her Majesty's Government the desire which you express to have determined the distance from the two ends of the canal within which the vessels of United States or Great Britain traversing the said canal shall, in the case of war between the contracting parties, be exempted from blockade, detention, or capture by either of the belligerents, and I will duly inform her Majesty's Government of the interest which you take in this question.

I avail, &c.,


And finally, on the 5th July, Mr. Clayton signed the following mem orandum :

The within declaration of Sir H. L. Bulwer was received by me on the 29th day of June, 1850. In reply I wrote to him my note of the 4th July, acknowledging that I understood British Honduras was not embraced in the treaty of the 19th April last, but at the same time carefully declining to affirm er deny the British title in their settlement or its alleged dependencies. After signing my note last night I delivered it to Sir Henry, and we immediately proceeded, without any further or other action, to exchange the ratifications of said treaty. The consent of the Senate to the declaration was not required, and the treaty was ratified as it stood when it was made. (Signed) JOHN M. CLAYTON.

To this memorandum the following postseript was attached: The rights of no Central American State have been compromised by the treaty or by any part of the negotiation.

It would seem, then, to be opposed to all sound principle that the United States should now claim to abrogate the treaty of 1850, by reason of the existence of a state of things which has prevailed, to their knowledge, before as well as since its ratification, to which the treaty was never intended to apply, and notwithstanding the known existence. of which they have more than once recognized the treaty as subsisting. It seems, indeed, to be suggested that, at the time the Clayton-Bulwer treaty was made, Honduras was only a British settlement under Spanish-American sovereignty, and that it has since been converted into a British possession, and that to this conversion the United States has never given its assent.

It is true that, during the middle of the last century, the British settlement at Belize owed its existence to the permission of Spain, and that the colonists were gradually allowed to occupy the territory now called British Honduras, for the purpose only of cutting logwood and exporting mahogany; but it is also a matter of history that, when England and Spain were subsequently at war, an attack made by the forces of the latter on the British settlement was successfully repulsed; and in consequence, from that time, British Honduras remained under the dominion of the British Crown.

When peace was signed most of the British conquests from Spain were restored to her; but the settlement in Honduras, like that of the Falkland Islands, was not given up, and continued on the same footing as any other possession under the British Crown.

At the time of the abandonment by Spain of all her possessions in South America, she made no protest against the rights which the British Crown had acquired over Belize and British Honduras.

It is therefore clear that the sovereignty of British Honduras was acquired by conquest, and was possessed by this country long prior to the time of the Clayton-Bulwer treaty. I would observe, moreover, that the preamble of the postal convention concluded at Washington on the 11th August, 1869, and in London on the 4th September of the same year, shows that the United States have formally recognized British Honduras as being a "colony" of Great Britain.

The preamble of that convention, which received the formal approval of President Grant on the same day on which it was signed at Washington, runs as follows:

The general post-office of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the general post-office of the United States of America, being desirous of establishing and maintaining an exchange of mails between the United States on the one side and the colony of British Honduras on the other, by means of the British mail-packet plying between New Orleans and Belize, the undersigned, duly authorized for that purpose, have agreed upon the following articles.

The contention, therefore, in Mr. Frelinghuysen's dispatch, that "a settlement" has been converted into a "possession," and a material change thereby effected, in consequence of the employment of the word "possession" in the treaty with Guatemala of 1859, cannot be supported consistently ith the facts above stated.

As regards the third question, Mr. Frelinghuysen states that

The President is still ready, on the part of the United States, to agree that the reciprocal engagements respecting the acquisition of territory in Central America, and respecting the establishment of a free port at each end of whatever canal may be constructed, shall continue in force, and to define by agreement the distance from either end of the canal where captures may be made by a belligerent in time of war, and, with this definition thus made, to keep alive the second article of the ClaytonBulwer treaty.

A similar proposal respecting captures by belligerents, as already shown, was made to Her Majesty's Government by Mr. Clayton shortly after the conclusion of the treaty of the 19th April, 1850; in fact, on the very day on which the ratifications were exchanged (4th July, 1850); and no objection was then offered by Her Majesty's Government to the conclusion of such an arrangement.

In a dispatch which was addressed to Sir H. Bulwer by Viscount Palmerston on the 4th October, 1850, his lordship stated:

With reference to your dispatch of the 8th July last requesting to be informed of the views of Her Majesty's Government as to the arrangement which remains to be agreed upon between Great Britain and the United States with regard to the limits within which vessels traversing the ship-canal between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans are to enjoy exemption from blockade, detention, or capture, I have to acquaint you that the lords commissioners of the admirality consider that a segment of a circle of 25 nautical miles radius, drawn to seaward from each end of the canal, as from a center, should be the limits within which vessels should enjoy the exemption in question.

And on the substance of this dispatch being communicated to Mr. Clayton at Boston, he informed Sir H. Bulwer that the proposal appeared to him to be a fair one, although he added that on his return to Washington, after receiving a written communication from Sir H. Bulwer on the subject, he would give him a more decided answer with respect to it.

On the 19th of May of the following year, however, Sir H. Bulwer reported that, although he had conversations with Mr. Webster respecting the different points which then remained unsettled in regard to the convention of the 19th April, his mind and time had been so occupied with a variety of other matters that he had frankly confessed to him that he had been unable, up to that time, to give that full attention to those subjects which would enable him to make what he should consider a satisfactory proposal concerning them.

Sir H. Bulwer then suggested to Lord Palmerston a plan for the settlement of some of these disputed questions, and added:

Should your lordship, under all the circumstances, be disposed to consider favorably this suggestion, the course which, after some consideration, I should be disposed to advise would be a new treaty supplementary to that of the 19th April, with Mr. Webster, settling, among other things, the distance from the two ends of the proposed canal at which, in case of war, neutrality should be observed.

No result was, however, arrived at.

The conclusions arrived at by her Majesty's Government, after a careful consideration of the questions raised in Mr. Frelinghuysen's dis patch, are that the meaning and effect of Article VIII of the ClaytonBulwer treaty are not open to any doubt; that the British Government have committed no act in relation to British Honduras or otherwise

which can invalidate that treaty and justify the Government of the United States in denouncing it, and that no necessity exists for renewing any of the provisions of that treaty.

There might, perhaps, be advantages in defining by agreement the distance from each end of the canal within which no hostilities should be committed by belligerents, in order to maintain the freedom of the passage through the Panama Canal, should that route be completed; and when the time approaches for its completion Her Majesty's Government would, no doubt, be prepared to give its careful attention to the question of concluding an arrangement with that object, should such a proposal be made to them; but in the present stage of the enterprise they conceive that it would be premature to enter upon negotiations for that purpose.

I have not thought it necessary to allude in this dispatch to the "traditional continental policy" of the United States as laid down in what is commonly called the "Monroe doctrine," since Mr. Frelinghuysen, in his note of the 8th May last, in which he explained the views which were entertained by his Government on that subject, admitted that Her Majesty's Government was not called upon either to admit or deny the views therein expressed.

You will state to Mr. Frelinghuysen that Her Majesty's Government are animated by the most sincere desire to arrive at an amicable settlement of the questions which have given rise to this correspondence, and that they note with great satisfaction the friendly assuranee with which he concludes his dispatch, that the diversity of opinion which now exists will not in any wise impair the good understanding happily existing between the people and Governments of the United States and Great Britain.

You will read this dispatch to Mr. Frelinghuysen, and, if he should desire it, place a copy of it in his hands. I am, &c.,


No. 586.]


2.-Mr. Frelinghuysen to Mr. Lowell.

Washington, May 5, 1883.

SIR: I inclose herewith copy of an instruction from Lord Granville to Her Britannic Majesty's minister in Washington, dated December 30, 1882, a copy of which was handed to me by Mr. West, and which is a reply to the agreement contained in my No. 368 to you, of May 8, 1882, on the subject of the Clayton-Bulwer treaty.

You will remember that my No. 368 showed that the first seven articles of the treaty related to a particular canal then in contemplation, to aid the construction of which the treaty was signed; that the United States being then without the means to build the canal, for which they had secured an exclusive grant from Nicaragua, naturally turned to England for capital, to secure which they were willing to surrender some of their exclusive privileges; and that the canal never having been built, the reason for the surrender of privilege has ceased and the treaty with Great Britain is voidable, being without consideration or any object to which it is applicable.

Lord Granville in his instruction to Mr. West in substance concedes that the first seven articles of the treaty related to what was then known as the Nicaragua Canal, but intimates an uncertainty as to the route. In this he is in error, for the line of the canal was definitely fixed soon after the conclusion of the treaty, and accepted by both Governments. His lordship, however, practically confines himself to an assertion of rights under Article VIII, by which the parties—

after declaring that they not only desired in entering into the convention to accomplish a particular object, but also to establish a general principle, agreed to extend their protection by treaty stipulations to any other practicable communications, whether by canal or railway, across the Isthmus which connects North and South America, and especially to the interoceanic communications, should the same prove to be practicable, whether by canal or railway, which are now proposed to be established by the way of Tehuantepec or Panama;

and he claims that this provision is in effect an agreement that all the prior provisions with reference to the particular ship-canal-the Nicaragua route-then in contemplation should be applied to any other canal thereafter constructed. Citing treaties between the United States and some of the Central American States, he contends that this Government, having since the Clayton-Bulwer treaty of 1850 entered into treaties which harmonize with the "general principle," is estopped from denying that the 8th article has the construction and effect he contends for.

Lord Granville further holds that Article VIII is none the less an agreement because it provides for further treaty stipulations to carry it into effect.

This argument has already been anticipated in my No. 368, in which it was shown that while the parties interested agreed, in Article VIII, to extend, by future treaty stipulations, their protection over other communications across the Isthmus, the immediate object of the article was the protection of the communication "now" (1850) proposed to be established by the way of Tehuantepec or Panama. None of the proposed communications having been established, the reason for the agree ment has disappeared.

Further, the article provides for carrying out the "general principle" by additional stipulations, which have not been even discussed. Nor is there anything in the eighth article which makes applicable to any other route the provisions of the first seven articles covering the "particular object," viz, the Nicaragua Canal.

The eighth article, therefore, is simply a declaration of the intention entertained more than thirty years ago, by two nations, to take up, at some subsequent period, the negotiations of a treaty on a particular subject. In order to carry out this purpose, treaties must be made by the United States and England with each other and with each of the Central American States through which a canal may be built, defining in detail the stipulations necessary to execute the general principle.

It cannot be successfully contended, as is suggested by Lord Granville, that the separate treaties made by this company with some of the Central American States, by which this Government agrees to guarantee neutrality, show an agreement to guarantee it jointly with Great Britain, for that would involve the admission that an express agreement to guarantee singly is in effect an implied agreement to guarantee jointly. Nevertheless, it is not denied that the United States did for many years try to induce Great Britain to fulfill her part of the agree ment of 1850, and it was only when it became impossible for Her Majesty's Government to perform the promises which had led the United

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