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spread the words, "Central America," over the British possessions in that quarter, but to make the language of the Treaty retrospective. "Not to occupy," was to evacuate-" not to colonize," was to abandon colonies. In vain was it urged in the Senate by Mr. Seward, that senators, who now professed to be in ignorance of any other interpretation than that put upon the Treaty by factious and placehunting individuals, "could not have been, or at least ought not to have been, under any misapprehension as to its meaning, even supposing (a thing difficult to suppose) that they were not aware of the declaration on the part of Great Britain which accompanied its ratification: it being notorious that a British settlement, by whatever title it might be held, did exist at Belize, and that it could not have been reasonably supposed by any one that the British government had entered into an engagement to abandon this settlement by a Treaty in which it was not even alluded to."
To meet this, but one argument was used. Could it be supposed that America would deliberately have bound herself never for all time to occupy a foot of ground in Central America, and yet leave England in possession of territory in that region? Here, it was said, was no reciprocity. Is not the answer plain-where would be the reciprocity, were the Treaty interpreted in the American sense? England would have lost everything, and America would have lost nothing. Lord Clarendon, in his despatch of the 28th of September, 1855, enunciates this with much force and clearness.
Neither can her Majesty's government subscribe to the position, that, if the convention did not bear the meaning attached to it by the United States, it would have imposed upon the government of the United States a self-denying obligation which was not equally contracted by Great Britain, and that such a state of things could not have been in the intention of the contracting parties; because if the convention did bear the meaning attached to it by the United States, it would then have imposed upon Great Britain the obligation to renounce possessions and rights without any equivalent renunciation on the part of the United States. If the government of the United States can complain in the one case of the convention, as presenting an unilateral character unfavourable
to the United States, with much greater reason might the government of Great Britain, in the other case, if the assumption of the government of the United States were to be acted upon in the construction of the convention, complain of it as prejudicial to England.
The truth is, the reciprocity is complete; but it is prospective. The status quo is started from; and the mutual engagements grounded upon it are strictly equitable. To assert that the Treaty reads differently ---that we have signed away our rights, and must relinquish them, is pretty nearly as reasonable as to tell a man who has hired horses for a post-chaise along with you, to travel to the next stage, and who has his portmanteau in it, that he must leave. his luggage behind, or you will remove it by force, as you had not agreed to bring it along with you.
Such would seem to be the common-sense of the case as regards Article 1 of the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty. The construction suggested irresistably to the mind, we might expect, would be the interpretation originally placed upon it by the statesmen of the American republic, in spite of the contemptible quibbles of Mr. Cass and his party. Considering the cir
cumstances under which the Convention was entered into--the characters of the men who were concerned in its preparation-the objects for which it was framed-the magnitude of the interests involved, and the power and dignity of the nations between whom it was negociated, it was to be expected that the most comprehensive construction would be given to its provisions, and that no attempt would be made by either party to special-plead, or force meanings out of it opposed to its own character and tenor, to say nothing of the general impression of the governments of the respective countries at the time of its completion. Yet the facts, as our readers well know, prove how groundless such expectations would have been. Mr. Crampton, who succeeded to the honorable and arduous post of her Majesty's representative at Washington, immediately after the ratification of the ClaytonBulwer Treaty, which he had had so large a hand in assisting to bring to a conclusion, was soon made aware of the difficulties and disappointments
that were before him. In place of that liberal, enlightened, conciliatory, and straightforward character which had marked the policy of the ministers in 1850, he had to encounter all the vexations which a petty and captious spirit of opposition was calculated to engender and it may truly be said that for the last three years he has been engaged in little else than the thankless task of vainly reiterating his endeavours to bring the government to which he is accredited, back to those views and sentiments which presided at the negociations of 1849. We are not without our suspicions that his identification with the policy of that period may have proved one of the objections to him with a government pledged to turn its back upon it. But this will be better understood as we go on.
Let us, before we go any farther, once for all distinguish between the American government, and the American nation. In what is here said-and we speak out-it is by no means our intention to confound the two. Disapproving altogether as we do of President Pierce's government, we believe we are justified in assuming that the great mass of intelligence in the States is of our mind, and that the result of the new elections will prove that worthier principles and a more enlightened policy may in the end command popu lar support. That England and America should be thrown into a war, because General Cass is obstinate and nettlesome, and President Pierce an unscrupulous electioneerer, is what our Yankee brother will not stand. In the mean time, we must claim the privilege of verbally identifying the nation and its rulers in our present remarks, on account of the manifest inconvenience of keeping them separate.
The most prominent advocates of the American side of the question have been Mr. Marcy, the Secretary of State, and, as instructed by him, Mr. Buchanan, the late American Minister in London. The English view of the case has been supported by Lord Clarendon : not, we think, with that vigour and ability which it called for. The fault which runs through the whole of the correspondence on the British side is discursiveness,:—
and it is to be observed that this it was the object of America to provoke. The strong point against her was contained in the plain question--what did the parties mean at the time? To this our Minister should have stuck—nothing should have led him to the right hand or to the left:-nevertheless, he was soon entangled inextricably in the Mosquito question -in the affair of the cession or exchange of Greytown-in the original title to our possessions at Belize---in everything, in short, except the single essential one does the Treaty disturb our status quo? Mr. Crampton, it may be presumed, was in this no master of his own course. He could only follow, reiterate, and enforce the arguments of the Minister at home. This he appears to have done with discretion and firmness-even at a time when, from other causes, difficulties were thrown in his way. He has been blamed for an oversightthe only one we have been able to detect in the protracted negotiations of the last six years-in omitting to communicate at once to Mr. Marcy an offer from the British Government in November last, to submit the Central American question to arbitration. Unfortunately this omission-purely accidental as it was-gave rise to some misunderstanding for a time; but it was what might have happened to any one similarly circumstanced; and, if our view of the question be correct, can have exercised no real influence upon the dispute. To our judgment, his less ambitious and more business-like style contrasts favorably both with the courtly discussiveness of Lord Clarendon's, and the diplomatic pedantry of the American Minister's. It is, however, in the discussion of the question to which we would next call the reader's attention, that he exhibits still more prominently the qualities for which we give him credit.
It will be necessary, in order fully to understand the circumstances we have to detail, to refer back to the state of things which existed at the close of the year 1854. The reader will remember that the triumphs anticipated on the plains of the Crimea were not realized to the extent of the public expectation. On the contrary, the monotony of an arduous and bloody siege was sickening the
hearts of the most sanguine. Confidence began to yield to mistrust and despondency; and when, in the month of November, after the battle of Inkermann, it was discovered that but twelve thousand of our troops could be mustered on the field of battle, we began to look with something approaching to dismay at the decimation of our ranks, and to experience a depressing uncertainty as to how they were to be filled up. We all remember this; and with what alacrity we turned to the prospect of a fresh supply held out by the proposal of recruiting in friendly countries for the British army. The Foreign Enlistment Act was passed; and we naturally turned our eyes to America, where so many thousand native British subjects resided. We saw at once what use they might be turned to-but here we were met at once by the Neutrality Laws, which were comprehensive and stringent, and which we were bound to respect. At the same time, we had no reason to believe, judging from the moral code of America in this respect, that provided a breach of those laws was avoided, there could be any objection on the part of its goverment to our working out our own purposes as we could; and accordingly, acting on this idea, and having been informed by the consuls of the principal cities of the United States that there were men eager to avail themselves of the opportunity to enlist, Government determined to establish recruiting stations outside the limits of the States (which would satisfy the requirements of the law) and invite residents within their limits to repair to them. In furthering this project, Mr. Crampton, to whom the first suggestions were made by the British consuls at New York, Philadelphia, and Cincinnati, exerted himself to the utmost, and spared no labour or pains on the one hand to prevent any formal violation of the laws, and on the other to send forward as many effective men to the frontier for enlistment as he could. In this he was encouraged by instructions from home, and aided by numbers of experienced military men of different nations, who volunteered their services-some, we fear, with objects very different from the ostensible ones. Now, had there been no other point at issue between the
countries, and had it not been the policy of others to foment discord between them, there can be little doubt, judging from the past and present conduct of the United States in similar circumstances, that their government, if it had not connived at their proceedings, would at least have winked at them; and suffered the most favourable construction to be put upon the movement which was openly set on foot within the States. Had it been their policy, even up to the last, to deal equitably with the case, they would not have dreamt of cherishing a feeling of hostility, or reiterating a demand of satisfaction, when the whole affair had passed over, and the Powers whose quarrel had led to the difficulty, had shaken hands with each other.
Up to the month of March, 1855, the home government urged Mr. Crampton by every possible means to induce foreigners or British subjects in the United States to enlist in her Majesty's service. "The subject," says Lord Clarendon, in a despatch of the 16th of February, "is one which engages the earnest attention of her Majesty's government, and you will use your best endeavours to give effect to their wishes." The above injunction was coupled, at the same time, with a caution against affording any cause of complaint to the United States government on account of a violation of their laws.
Mr. Crampton's reply bears date the 12th of March. It contains the following passages :
In order that no misconception or mistake should arise in regard to this matter, which
justly regarded by Her Majesty's Government as one of primary importance, and which is indeed an indispensable condition to success in the objects they desire to effect, I have caused the legal opinion in regard to the bearing of the Neutrality Laws of the United States in this matter, of which I have the honour to inclose a copy, to be drawn up by an eminent American lawyer, in the soundness of whose views-both professional and political place the firmest reliance. I have sent copies of the same to such of Her Majesty's Consuls as may be required to act in the matter we have in hand.
Your Lordship will no doubt percieve that restrict our operations within very narrow the provisions of the Neutrality Act will limits, but I feel convinced that your Lordship will approve of my having strictly enjoined upon Her Majesty's Consuls to keep
rigidly within the limits of the law according to its true meaning and intent, as well as according to the letter of its provisions.
The "opinion" is then given at length.
To this despatch Lord Clarendon replied on the 12th of April. He
I entirely approve of your proceedings as reported in your despatch of the 12th ultimo, with respect to the proposed enlistment in the Queen's service of foreigners and British subjects in the United States.
In the meantime Mr. Crampton had put himself in communication with Sir Gaspard Le Marchant, the Governor of Nova Scotia, with a view to establishing a recruiting depôt in that province; and had at last deemed it advisable to visit him there. In his absence Mr. Savile Lumley, who was charged with his duties, wrote a despatch to Lord Clarendon on the 7th of May, to an extract from which we beg the reader's attention :
At an interview which I had with Mr. Marcy I told him that he had judged rightly in supposing that Mr. Crampton's visit to Canada had reference to the English question.
I stated that, from the first moment this question was mooted, Mr. Crampton had shown the greatest anxiety that it should in no way lead to violations of the laws of the United States, that he believed everything that could be done might be effected legally, and that he was determined, as far as lay in his power, to prevent anything like infraction or evasion of the Neutrality Laws of this country. Unfortunately the very stringent nature of the provisions of these laws was not generally understood, and several persons had on their own responsibility acted at variance with them, and it was for the purpose of fully explaining the bearings of the law, and of preventing such infractions, that Mr. Crampton had undertaken his journey to the British Provinces.
Lordship's despatch of the 12th ultimo. Mr. Marcy appeared much pleased with this communication, and said that as the question was one which had engaged the attention of the United States' Government he should be very glad to be able to show this despatch to the Cabinet. I told Mr. Marcy that I had no instructions to leave it with him, but I would take upon myself to do so if he would consider it in the light of a private memorandum.
I then told Mr. Marcy that as I thought it would interest him to see your Lordship's last instructions on the subject I had brought them with me, and I said that I was certain a perusal of this paper would convince him of two things: first, that the view which had been taken, and the opinions which had been expressed by Mr. Crampton on this suject, were precisely such as Mr. Marcy might have expected from his knowledge of Mr. Crampton; and secondly, that those opinions had been responded to by Her Majesty's Government in the same frank and honourable man. ner.
I then read to Mr. Marcy a copy of your
Mr. Marcy said he would note it as such, and that if at any time Mr. Crampton wished, he might recall it; "the question," Mr. Marcy added, "will no doubt come before Congress, and I should be glad if this despatch could be found among the papers called for."
I am aware that in leaving this despatch with Mr. Marcy I have transgressed the regulations of Her Majesty's service, for which I must throw myself on your Lordship's indulgence; but Mr. Crampton was anxious that the United States' Government should not for a moment suppose that a project for enlisting troops for Her Majesty's service within the United States had ever been contemplated.
After reading the despatch himself, Mr. Marcy said he had no doubt that the course pursued by Mr. Crampton was the proper one; he was, indeed, convinced of this from having seen Mr. Crampton's instructions to Her Majesty's Consuls when the question of recruiting in the United States first arose.
Now up to this date it will be seen that there was not room for the shadow of a suspicion that in what the British ministers in America were engaged about there was anything which could possibly cause a misunderstanding, or bring the countries into unfriendly collision, provided only the letter of the law was strictly observed;-and not even in case of its violation, unless it was brought home to them. Mr. Crampton accordingly felt it in accordance with both his duty and his patriotic sympathies, to make the organization he had planned as extensive and as efficient as possible, and believed that he was earning the gratitude of his country when he spread the network over the whole face of the States. He became thus the centre of a wide-spread system, and found himself in constant and confidential communication with a host of persons, strangers to him, of every nation and character, disaffected politicians, restless spirits, needy adventurers-in short, as might be supposed, that portion of society which is more valuable numerically than in any other aspect.
It was in the midst of these efforts that a dispatch from Lord Clarendon, dated the 22nd of June, reached Mr. Crampton, enjoining him to stay all further proceedings in the matter of enlistment, and to abandon the project definitively. It may easily be conceived in what a predicament this injunction, prudent and proper though it certainly was, left the British Minister. There he was, surrounded by a labyrinth of machinery of his own construction, dangerous enough in the working, but trebly dangerous when interfered with, obliged to put a sudden and violent stop to its motions, and disjoint and safely take to pieces, as it were, the whole of what he had put together. No easy task, certainly; but still more dangerous than difficult. A host of expectants had to be disappointed a host of needy wretches had to be turned adrift a host of desperadoes to be summarily got rid of. Ill-humour, malignity, revenge were to be encountered. The odium which always attaches to the ostensible promoter of an abortive scheme had to be endured. All this time there were at his elbow the ministers of the very country against whom these schemes were directed. They were looking over his shoulder, as he played his cards, and may be supposed to have made their own signs to his enemies, who must now have been numerous. A man placed in such a situation can scarcely expect to get off scathless. In point of fact, Mr. Crampton, who had been the choice of the Americans themselves—whose singular suavity and grace of manner, as well as higher accomplishments and qualities, had made him up to that time perhaps the most popular minister who ever represented British interests in America, suddenly lost his prestige with both government and people, and became an object of public opprobrium. In the prosecutions which were instituted against various individuals for alleged violation of the neutrality laws, and especially on the trial of Hertz, the authorities who acted for the government made no secret of its being their chief endeavour to implicate the ambassador-to expose him as a "malefactor." It is unfortunately beyond the scope of an article like this, to enter upon an examination of the evidence upon which
No-they had not. The AttorneyGeneral had taken care, by express instructions addressed to the District Attorney, to contrive so that no British officer should be permitted to interfere in the trials in question. Yet up to the very last despatch received from Mr. Marcy during the month that is just past, it is still insisted that Mr. Crampton has no right, in self-defence, to impugn the testimony of witnesses admitted and credited in courts of justice in America! The result of the contest indeed cannot be doubtful,
Ubi tu pulsas, ego vapulo tantûm.
A simple question disposes of the If a functionary against whom a charge is preferred, is not to be heard either in court or out of court, how is he to defend himself?
It would afford us great pleasure to be able to give, for the benefit of our