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cases thus supposed to have been settled, which you thought proper to revive, although no favorable change had taken place in the policy or measures of your government, I have never failed to explain to you informally, in early interviews, the reasons which made it imperiously the duty of the U. States to continue to afford, to their rights and interests, all the protection in their power. The acknowledgment of this on your part, was due to the frankness of the communications which have passed between us on the highly important subjects on which we have treated, and I am happy to find by your letter of the 10th inst. that in relying on it, I have not been disappointed.
The impropriety of the demand made by your government of a copy of the instrument of instructions given by the French government to its cruizers, after the repeal of the Berlin and Milan Decrees, was sufficiently shown in Mr. Pinkney's letter to the Marquis of Wellesley of the 10th of December, 1810, and in my letters to you of the 23d July 1811, and 14th January last. It was for this rea
son that I thought it more suitable to refer you to those letters, for the answer to that demand, than to repeat it in a formal communication.
It excites, however no small surprise, that you should continue to demand a copy of that instrument, or any new proof of the repeal of the French Decrees, at the very time that you declare that the proof which you demand, in the extent to which we have a right to claim the repeal, would not, if afforded, obtain a corresponding repeal of the Orders in Council. This demand is the more extraordinary, when it is considered, that since the repeal of the Decrees, as it respects the U. States, was announced, your government has enlarged its pretensions, as to the conditions on which the Orders in Council should be repealed, and even invigorated its practice under them.
It is satisfactory to find that there has been no misapprehension of the condition, without which your government reiuses to repeal the Orders in Council. You admit that to obtain their repeal, in respect to the U. States, the repeal of the French Decrees must be absolute and unconditional, not as to the U. States only, but to all other neutral nations ; nor as far as they affect neutral commerce only, but as they operate internally and affect the trade in British manufac
tures with the enemies of G. Britain. As the Orders in Council have formed a principal cause of the differences which unhappily exist between our countries, a condition of their repeal, communicated in any authentic document or manner, was entitled to particular attention; and surely none could have so high a claim to it, as the letter from Lord Castlereagh to you, submitted by his authority to my view, for the express purpose of making that condition, with its other contents, known to this government.
With this knowledge of the determination of your government, to say nothing of the other conditions annexed to the repeal of the Orders in Council, it is impossible for me to devise or conceive any arrangement consistent with the honor, the rights and interests of the U. States, that could be made the basis or become the result of a conference on the subject. As the President nevertheless retains his solicitude to see a happy termination of any differences between the two countries, and wishes that every opportunity, however unpromising, which may possibly lead to it, should be taken advantage of, I have the honor to inform you that I am ready to receive and pay due attention to any communication or propositions, having the object in view, which you may be authorised to make.
Under existing circumstances, it is deemed most advisable, in every respect, that this should be done in writing, as most susceptible of the requisite precision, and least liable to misaprehension. Allow me to add, that it is equally desirable that it should be done without delay. By this it is not meant to preclude any additional opportunity which may be afforded by a personal interview. I have the honor to be, &c. JAMES MONROE.
Mr. Foster to Mr. Monroe.
WASHINGTON, June 14, 1812. SIR-I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 13th. instant.
It is really quite painful to me to perceive, that notwithstanding the length of the discussions which have taken place between us, misapprehensions have again arisen respecting some of the most important features in the questions at issue between our two countries; which misapprehensions, perhaps, proceeding from my not expressing myself
sufficiently clear in my note of the 10th inst. in relation to one of those questions, it is absolutely necessary should be done away.
I beg leave again to state to you, sir, that it is not the operation of the French Decrees upon the British trade with the enemies of G. Britain, that has ever formed a subject of discussion between us, and that it is the operation of those Decrees upon G. Britain, through neutral commerce only, which has really been the point at issue. Had America resisted the effect of those Decrees in their full extent upon her neutral rights, we should never have had a difference upon the subject; but while French cruizers continue to capture her ships under their operation, she seems to have been satisfied if those ships were released by special imperial mandates, issued as the occasion arose; and she has chosen to call municipal an unexampled assumption of authority by France, in countries not under French jurisdiction, and expressly invaded for the purpose of preventing their trade with England, on principles directly applicable to, if they could be enforced against America,
I beg you to recollect, sir, that if no revocation had been made of the Orders in Council, upon any repeal of the French Decrees, as hitherto shown by America to have taken place, it has not been the fault of his majesty's government. It was France, and afterwards America, that connected the question relative to the right of blockade with that arising out of the Orders in Council. You well know that if these two questions had not been united together, the Orders in Council would have been, in 1810, revoked. How could it be expected that G. Britain, in common justice to other neutral nations, to her allies, and to herself, should not contend for a full and absolute repeal of the French Decrees, or should engage to make any particular concession in favor of America, when she saw that America would not renounce her demand for a surrender with the Orders in Council of some of our most important maritime rights.
Even to this day, sir, you have not explicitly stated in any of the letters to which you refer me that the American government would expressly renounce asking for a revocation of the blockade of May, 1806, and the other blockade alluded to in Mr. Pinkney's letter; much less have I been
able to obtain from you any disclaimer of the rights asserted by France to impose upon the world the new maritime code promulgated by France in the late republication of her Decrees, although I have, by order of my government, expressly stated their expectation of such disclaimer, and repeatedly called for an explanation on this point.
I will now say that I feel entirely authorised to assure you that if you can, at any time, produce a full and unconditional repeal of the French Decrees, as you have a right to demand it in your character of a neutral nation, and that it be disengaged from any connection with the question concerning our maritime rights, we shall be ready to meet you with a revocation of the Orders in Council. Previous to your producing such an instrument, which I am sorry to see you regard as unnecessary, you cannot expect of us to give up our Orders in Council.
In reference to the concluding paragraph of your letter in answer to that in mine of the 10th inst. I will only say, that I am extremely sorry to find you think it impossible to devise or conceive any arrangement consistent with the honor, rights, and interests, of the U. States, which might tend to alleviate the pressure of the Orders in Council on the commerce of America. It would have given me great satisfaction if we could have fallen upon some agreement that might have had such effect. My government, while under the imperious necessity of resisting France with her own weapons, most earnestly desires that the interest of America may suffer as little as possible from the incidental effect of the conflict. They are aware that their retaliatory measures have forced the ruler of France to yield in some degree from his hostile Decrees, and whether it were more advisable to push those measures rigorously on until they complete the breaking of it up altogether, (the main object of our retaliatory system) or to take advantage of the partial and progressive retractions of it, produced by the necessities of the enemy, has been a question with his majesty's government. It is one on which they would have been most desirous to consult the interest of America. Under existing circumstances, however, and from our late communications, I have not felt encouraged to make you any written proposal arising out of this state of things; I shall, therefore, merely again express to you, that as the object of
G. Britain has been throughout to endeavor, while forced, in behalf of her most important rights and interest to retaliate upon the French Decrees, to combine that retaliation with the greatest possible degree of attention to the interest of America, it would give his majesty's government the most sincere satisfaction if some arrangement could be found which would have so desirable an effect.
I have the honor to be, &c.
AUGUSTUS J. FOSTER.
To the Senate and House of Representatives of the U. States.
I communicate to Congress copies of a letter to the Secretary of State, from the charge d'affairs of the U. States at London, and of a note to him from the British Secretary for foreign affairs.
June 22, 1812.
Mr. Russell to the Secretary of State.
LONDON, May 2, 1812, SIR-After closing the duplicate of my letter to you of the 26th ult. I discovered the copy of the note of lord Castlereagh to me of the 21st uit. had been left out by mistake. I take the liberty of now handing it to you.
[Enclosed in the above.]
The undersigned, his majesty's principal Secretary of State for foreign affairs, is commanded by his royal highness, the prince regent, to transmit to Mr. Russell, charge d'affairs of the government of the U. States of America, the enclosed copy of a Declaration accompanying an Order in Council which has been this day passed by his royal highness, the prince regent in Council.
The undersigned is commanded by the prince regent to request that Mr. Russell, in making this communication to his government, will represent this measure as conceived in the true spirit of conciliation, and with a due regard, on the part of his royal highness, to the honor and interest of the U. States; and the undersigned ventures to express his confident hope, that this decisive proof of the amicable