Slike strani
PDF
ePub

noeuvres near the American government, and with the agents of foreign powers in the United States.

The constitution, while it abolishes flavery, declares that the colonies are an integral part of the Republic, and that they shall be governed by the same laws. This declaration gives to St. Domingo the laws made relative to emigrants, who, by the CCCLXIIId article of the constitution, are for ever banished from the French territory, while it takes absolutely from the Legislative Body the right of making new exceptions on that head.

Filled with respect for the national will, we declare to you, that our firm intention is to prevent their approaching our coaft, and thus to guarantee this portion of the Republic from the peftilential influence of their principles, and from the dangers of an unavoidable re-action, if they were suffered to return.

We know, citizen minister, that there may be some legal exceptions among them ; some may have been forced by violent means to abandon their homes, but the law, equitable in this refpect, has left open to them the means of re-integration : a late decree of the Legislative Body entrusts to the Directory the decision on all petitions for being struck off the list of emigrants; and as we exercise their functions in St. Domingo, we shall haften to do justice to all.

The women, the children, the old men, who, driven by the fury of the rebels against the national authorities, fled from the conflagration of the Cape, shall be carefully distinguished from the abettors and authors of that unfortunate catastrophe. We shall pity misfortune, but never forgive crime.

We beg yori, confequently, to give no passport to St. Domingo to the emigrants of this colony, except those who may be authorised to return by a decree of the Legislative Body, by leave of the Executive Directory, or by a decision of their delegates to the Leeward Illands.

By the president of the commission,
(Signed)

SANTHONAX. A true copy

P.A. ADET.

The Ambassador of Sweden to the Citizen Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Paris, August 2, 1796. CITIZEN MINISTER, 17 is by the express order of my court that I have the honour

to renew, before the Directory, the steps I had already taken for the admission of M. de Rehaufen, in the quality of chargé d'affaires of his Majesty with the French Republic.

Inviting

Inviting you, citizen minister, to take again into consideration a step so conformable to the good intelligence which subsists between the two countries, I beg you will permit me to make some observations, which I submit to the Directory.

The confidence which friendly and allied powers reciprocally owe each other, the respect which is its result, has always been indiscriminately granted to the person chosen by his sovereign to represent him ; it is even inseparable from it. Both have, however, been neglected in the person of M. de Rehausen. His private sentiments can the less give umbrage to the government, as he would certainly facrifice them in the exercise of his functions, if they could be contrary to the instructions he has received; and if in his conduct, or in his language, he could be wanting to the treaty which subfifts between Sweden and France. And it is in this case only, if a misunderstanding should take place between the two governments, that his recat would become necessary. But since this is not the case, his sentiments cannot be considered as a valid motive of exclusion, and the refusal becomes consequently less an injury done to M. de Rehausen than a want of respect to his sovereign.

I must likewise remark, that M. de Rehausen being at Paris, has been appointed to attend ad interim to the affairs of Sweden, at a time when a rupture with Russia was every instant expected, and when the Swedish Ambassador at that court was on the eve

of quitting his post. His appointment could not, therefore, have been influenced by the Empress of Russia, to whom he is otherwife an utter stranger.

It is for these reasons, citizen minister, that I am unable to attribute to the person of M. de Rehaufen the refusal of the Directory to acknowledge him in his public character. This refusal appears evidently to announce the intention of disobliging, in the face of Europe, the most ancient friend of France. I hehtate to pronounce a more decisive supposition; it is too repugnant to the known wishes of the Swedes and the French themselves, as likewise to their respective interests; and at the same time, it would be difficult for the enemies of both countries, not to find great satisfaction in the disunion of which the French Republic may have given the signal. It is prescribed to me to declare, that if M. de Rehausen be not acknowledged, his . Majesty will be obliged, in support of his dignity, to use reciprocity with regard to Citizen Perrochel. This necessity will otherwise have 110 influence on the desire which his Majesty will always have to strengthen the bands of friendship and good understanding which ought ever to sublift between the two powers. Please, citizen minifter, to accept the assurance of my moft fincere attachment, (Signed) E. N. STAEL DE HOLSTEIN

CH. DELACROIX.

Resolution of the 18th Thermidor, (August 5,) Fourth Year. THE Executive Directory having seen the official note pre. sented by Monf. the Baron de Stael, amballador of Sweden, dated, August 2, 1796, old style,

Resolves, Article I. The Executive Directory persisting in their refusal of admitting M. de Rehausen ; they consequently charge the minister of general police to'notify to him the laws of the Republic concerning foreigners.

II. The Executive Directory recal citizen Perrochel, charge d'affaires, and citizen Marivaux, secretary of legation, and formerly charge d'affaires in Sweden.

III. The Executive Directory protest, nevertheless, that the Swedish nation may always rely on their sentiments of affe&tion.

IV. The ministers of foreign relations and of general police, are charged, each in his capacity, with the execution of the present resolution, which shall be printed with the note.

(Signed) REVELLIERE LEPEAUX, president. ay order of the Executive Directory,

(Signed) LAGARDE, Scoretary. (A true copy.)

Message of the Executive Directory to the Council of Fire Fundred

relative to the Organization and present Siate of the French Marine,

[ocr errors]

THE
HE Executive Directory hastens to reply to the message of

the council of Five Hundred, dated the 5th of thi: 'nonth, and which it received on the 7th, respecting its arret of the 23d Prairial, for completing the military officers of marine. The Legislative Body having itself suspended the execution of the maritime law of the 3d Brumaire, did not declare till the month Pluviose that all its provisions should be carried into Execution. The first of these provisions ordained the complete organization of the civil officers, and the nomination of the major part of the military. The second, which is evidently no more than an accessary provision, since it is indifferent as to the organization of the ports, and particularly on the armament pf vessels, only concerns the complement of military officers. Since the ift Germinal, the first disposition has been executed in the gross and all its details. On this difpofition refted the organization and regeneration of the marine and arsenals of the Republic. In the execution of this great design, the Directory neglected nothing to remove all the obstacles that impeded the production of a grand result. It had then the courage to facrifice all

personal

personal considerations, which may prove injurious to that great operation. It disappointed ambition, discarded ignorance, rejeded all pretensions, repressed all spirit of corporation and party; and anxious to correspond with the views of the legislature in the regeneration of the marine, it chose for the administration of the ports men whofe genius, experience, and probity, were not limited to the reputation of a day. They selected, for the command of the ships and harbours of the Republic, officers disringuished by their bravery, their talents, and their devotion to the glory of the marine. In this first arrangement it was unable to include several gallant officers, to whom age and infirmities did not afford means of activity proportioned to their zeal. But it was resolved to recompence their former services with honourable and useful retreats, or with employments in which activity was not required. Let any impartial man cast an eye upon the picture of wretchedness, languor, and disorganization, which the arsenals presented in Brumaire laft, and then take a view of their actual situation at present. He will perceive the union which now reigns in our large ports between all the authorities, civil and military. They all efteem each other, and propagate with ardour the love of the constitution. He will there see the intelligence with which business is conducted, and the efforts of the new administration, to relieve the indigence of the moment, and to encourage the workinen who have so long been miserable. He wil: fee æconomy and activity directing every speculation, and that adınirable spirit which impels a republican to obey without ervility, and to command without pride.

All are atiached @ the government, and eager to contribute to the glory and approa shing triumph of the marine. It is in vain, Citizens Legislators, that the ambitious who are disappointed, and the wicked of every description, endeavour to disturb this harmony, by representing to some that they are worthy of higher situations, and by talking to others of the unjust prepofleflions of government; it is in vain that they ftrove, and still strive, to vilify the superior anthorities. No; real merit Mall never be degraded, in an organized republic it always knows how to triumph over intriguers and intrigues.

Such, Citizen Legislators, is the effect produced by the first difpofition of the law of the 3d Brumairc, and it will shew with what fidelity the Directory entered into the spirit of it. The second difpofition, which is only accessary, as it only regards the filling up of the military ranks, becomes then the sole object of the meitage of the council, and it will be easy for the Directory to dillipate this fresh storin. The Legislature, in desiring to organize the whole of the navy, were aware of the difficulty of choosing amongst such a vast number of persons in the short tine that was limited. Confidering that the civil officers being

fedentiary

[ocr errors]

sedentary and residing in the ports, are better known, and that military mariners, whom a wandering life withdraws from observation, cannot produce such certain testimonials,--the Legirlature enjoined by the 3d Brumaire, that the administrators of all ranks and functions thould be named at the same time, but that the government, after naming the greatest part of the military officers of superior degree, Mould not be obliged to complete them for the space of six months. Thus the law, which was to have been executed on the iit of Nivose, adjourned that coinpleting of ranks to the first of the following Mellidor. This delay was the less injurious, as the number of general officers and captains already appointed were more than fullicient for the equipment of eighty thips of the line, and as many frigates. This certainly was a fage disposition at the time, that all ranks were filled according to the choice made by the popular societies. This disposition ought unquestionably to be executed in its full latitude by the Directory, as it afforded it the means of repairing errors, and correcting the inevitable intrusion of indiscreet and multiplied folicitations; because, infine, it conferred on it the means of advancing officers who are, at this moment, in the face of the enemy, burning to give battle, to restore its fplendour to the republican flag, to revenge the outrages it has received, and retrieve past misfortunes. It was this delay of six months, conformable to the spirit of the law, that produced the arret of the Directory, which is no more than explanatory. For the law of the 3d Brumaire having been suspended, muft necessarily be lo in all its dispositions; and it would not be consistent with good faith to regard the ift Meflidor as a period of rigour in a difposition calculated for the general advancement of the public weal. Who then can censure a measure, not only authoriled by the spirit of the law, but which also enables the government to justify its with of bringing to perfection an useful branch of the public force? On the contrary, how great would be the danger of entering upon a precipitate examination of the services of every officer, at the time that we are withdrawing ourselves from a state of disorganization ;--To put the forces in activity, to arm for the ruin of the commerce of our enemies, to equip, in order to defend and supply our colonies with provisions, are the duties you are to require of government; but to press it on the impartial examination of the deserts of individuals, since they are men who produce events, would tend to deprive it of the means of obtaining great successes. The Executive Directory having made this explanation to the council of Five Hundred, think it will be sufficient to prevent the bad effects which, in our political situation, might be produced by hazardou s exprellions tending to impress a false idea of the state of our marine. To adjourn to the first Vendemiaire the nomination of VOL. V. к

fome

« PrejšnjaNaprej »