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which I had no reason to doubt, which manifested a disk position equally strong in favour of the professed, and indeed real object of the proposed negotiation. He requested me in the conclusion to furnish him a project, which he promised to submit to his cabinet, and to communicate to me the result of its deliberations on it as soon as he could. I have since sent him a project, but too recently to admit my obtaining an answer in it
. I am inclined to think, from what passed in the conference, that soine advantage may be fairly expected from the negotiation. His lordship did not bind bimself to any thing it is true; he even went so far as to express a wish that the principles of our treaty of 1794 might be adopted in the present convention, where they applied; and an expectation, that if the accommodation which had been given in certain cases to the northern powers should be stipulated in our favour, that we should accord fully what they had yielded in return. Although I was very desirous to do justice to the moderate and friendly views of our government on the occasion, yet I did not fail to give him to understand that I could not accede to his idea in either case. I shall endeavour to bring the business to a conclusion and apprize you of the result as soon as possible, when I shall also communicate fully and in detail an account of what passes between us in the course of the transaction.” I am, with great respect, &c.
Extract of a Letter from Mr. Monroe lo Mr. Madison.
London, August 7, 1804. “ I RECEIVED a note from lord Harrowby on the 3d instant, requesting me to call on him at his office the next day, which I did. His lordship asked me, in what light was our treaty viewed by our government. I replied that it had been ratified with the exception of the fifth article, as I had informed him on a former occasion. He observed that he meant the treaty of 1794, which by one of its stipulations was to expire two years after the signature of preliminary articles for concluding the then existing war between Great Britain and France. He wished to know, whether we considered the treaty as actually expired. I. said, that I did presume there could be but one opinion on that point in respect to the commercial part of the treaty, which was, that it had expired: that the first ten articles were made permanent; that other articles had been executed, but that then, being limited to a definite period which had passed, must be considered as expiring with it. He said it seemed to him doubtful, whether the stipulation of the treaty had been satisfied by what had occurred since the peace :
that a fair construction of it might possibly require an interval of two years peace after the war, which had not taken place in point of form, much less so in fact, for the state of things which existed between the countries through that period was far from being a peaceable one. I informed his lordship, that the distinction had never occurred to us, though certainly it would receive from our government all the consideration which it merited, especially if it was relied on, on his part. After some further conversation, he seemed to admit that the construction he had suggested of the stipulation referred to was rather a forced one; that by the more obvious import of the article the commercial part of the treaty must be considered as having expired. What then, says he, is the subsisting relation between the two countries ? Are we in the state we were at the close of the American war? By what rule is our intercourse to be governed respecting tonnage, im posts and the like? I said, that the law in each country, as I presumed, regulated these points. He replied, that the subject was nevertheless under some embarrassment here. He asked, how far it would be agreeable to our government to stipulate, that the treaty of 1794 should remain in force until two years should expire after the conclusion of the present war? I told his lordship, that I had no power to agree to such a proposal; that the President, animated by a sincere desire to cherish and perpetuate the friendly relations subsisting between the two countries, bad been disposed to postpone the regulation of their general commercial system, till the period should arrive, when each, party, enjoying the blessings of peace, might find itself at liberty to pay the subject the attention it merited; that he wished those regulations to be founded in the permanent interests, justly and liberally viewed, of both countries ; that he sought for the present only to remove certain topicks which produced irritation in the intercourse, such as the
impressment of seamen, and in our commerce with other powers, parties to the present war, according to a project which I had had the honour to present his predecessor some months since, with which I presumed his lordship was acquainted. He seemed desirous to decline any conversation on this latter subject, though it was clearly to be inferred, from what he said, to be his opinion, that the policy, w'zich our government seemed disposed to pursue in respect to the general system, could not otherwise than be agreeable to his. He then added, that his government might probably, for the present, adopt the treaty of 1794, as the rule in its own concerns, or in respect to duties on importations from our country, and, as I understood him, all other subjects to which it extended; in which case, he said, if the treaty had expired, the ministry would take the responsibility on itself, as there would be no law to sanction the measure: that in so doing, he presumed that the measure would be well received by our government, and a similar practice, in what concerned Great Britain, reciprocated. I observed, that on that particular topick I had no authority to say any thing specially, the proposal being altogether new and unexpected; that I should commupicate it to you; and that I doubted not that it would be considered by the President with the attention it merited. Not wishing, however, to authorize an inference, that that treaty should ever form a basis of a future one between the two countries, I repeated some remarks which I had made to lord Hawkesbury in the interview which we had just before he left the department of foreign affairs, by observing that in forming a new treaty we must begin de novo ; that America was a young and thriving country; that at the time that treaty was formed, she had had little experience of her relations with foreign powers; that ten years had since elapsed, a great portion of the term within which she had held the rank of a separate and independent nation, and exercised the powers belonging to it; that our interests were better understood on both sides at this time than they then were ; that the treaty was known to contain things that neither liked ; that I spoke with confidence on that point on our part; that in making a new treaty we might ingraft from that into it what suited us, omit what we disliked, and add what the experience of our respective interests might suggest to be proper; and being equally anxious to preclude the inference of any sanction to the maritime pretensions of Great Britain under that treaty, in respect to neutral commerce, I deemed it proper to advert again to the project, which I had presented some time since, for the regulation of those points, to notice its contents, and express an earnest wish, ihat his lordship would find leisure and be disposed to act on it. He excused himself again from entering into this subject, from the weight and urgency of other business, the difficulty of the subject, and other general remarks of the kind. I told him, that the most urgent part of the subject was that which respected our seamen; that our government wished to adopt a remedy which would be commensurate with the evils complained of by both countries. His government complained that deserters from their ships in America were not restored to them ; ours, that our seamen were impressed in their ports (those of G. B.) and on the high seas, in our vessels, and sometimes in our bays and rivers ; that such injuries ought to be put an end to, and that we were willing to adopt a fair and efficacious remedy for the purpose. He said he was afraid, however well disposed our government might be to give the aid of the civil authority to restore deserters to their vessels in the United States, that little advantage could be derived from such a stipulation. The bias and spirit of the people would be against it, with us, as it was here, under favour of which deserters would always find means to elude the most active scarch of the most vigilant peace officers. I replied, that I did not think the difficulty would be found so great as he supposed ; that our people were very
obedient to the law in all cases; that as soon as the apprehension and restoration of deserting seamen to their vessels was made a law, as it would be, by be. coming the stipulation of a treaty, the publick feeling on that point would change, especially when it was considered as the price of a stipulation which secured from impressment their fellow citizens, who might be at sea, or in a foreign country; that sailors never retired far into the interior, or remained where they went long, but soon returned to the scaport towns to embark again in the sea service; that it was not likely they would be able to elude the search of the magistracy, supported as it would be by the government itself. I found, on the whole, that
his lordship did not wish to encourage the expectation, that we should agree in any arrangement on this head, though he was equally cautious not to preclude it. I left him without asking another interview, and the affair, of course, open to further communication."
Project of a Convention presented to Lord Hawkesbury,
April 7, 1804. ARTICLE 1. No person shall, upon the high seas, and without the jurisdiction of the other party, be demanded or taken out of any ship or vessel, belonging to citizens or subjects of one of the parties, by the publick or private armed ships belonging to, or in the service of the other, unless such person be at the time in the military service of an enemy of such other party.
2. No person, being a subject or citizen of one of the parties, and resorting to, or residing in the dominions of the other, shall, in any case, he compelled to serve on board any vessel, whether publick or private, belonging to such other party; and all citizens and subjects whatever of the respective parties, at this time compulsively serving on board the vessels of the other, shall be forthwith liberated and enabled by an adequate recompense to return to their own country.
A certified list of the crew, or protection from either government, in such form as they shall respectively prescribe, showing that the person claiming under it is a citizen or subject of either power, shall be deemed satisfactory evidence of the same. And in all cases where these documents may have been lost, destroyed, or by casualty not obtained, and any person claims to be a citizen or subject of either power, such other evidence of said claim shall be received and admitted, as would be satisfactory in a court of judicature.
3. If the ships of either of the parties shall be met sailing either along the coasts or on the high seas by any ship of war, or other publick or private armed ship of the other party, such ships of war, or other armed vessels, shall, for avoiding all disorder in visiting and examining the same, remain out of cannon shot, unless the state of the sea or place of meeting render a nearer approach ne.