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Although it can be no question for us at Frankfort or those at Munich to agitate, I agree very much with Lamb in thinking that Austria is unwise in pushing the question with Bavaria, at least at present.
Whether it would not be a better mode of consulting her real interests for Austria altogether to forego those exchanges, and sit down quietly on her territories on the other side of the Rhine, is a question on which even her own Cabinet is far from being agreed. Metternich, as I learn, is favourable to this course, and, as Wessenberg informs me, who is also of this faith, all those uninfluenced by the military authorities unite in this opinion. However this may be, it seems to me, and I am far from being singular in this idea, (in which you will see that Lamb appears to participate) that, for the very purpose of obtaining the assent of Bavaria to these exchanges, the best course for Austria to pursue would be to appear to forego them. If, following up this line, she were to proclaim her intention of continuing in occupation of the territories on the left bank of the Rhine, and to obtain a military road through the Bavarian territories, an object in which, from its necessity, she would be supported by all Germany, I am very much mistaken if, after a very short period of time, Bavaria would not be induced herself to seek those very exchanges which she now so vehemently opposes. Whether Austria will follow this course it is impossible for me to determine. Wessenberg is aware of it, and, I doubt not, has communicated with his Court upon it.
I cannot think that Austria will endeavour directly to pash her point by force, in the manner in which, from Lamb's despatch, it should seem that General Wacquant so injudiciously threatens. If determined to carry her object by the intervention of force, she has a far better ground for its employment in the occupation of the territory she seeks to acquire, than is to be found in the refusal of Bavaria to effectuate these exchanges, relative to which a frer option is stipulated in her treaties. By the treaty between Austria and Bavaria, signed at Paris on the 3rd of June, 1814, a joint occupation by both these powers of the territories between the French frontier and the Rhine, was agreed upon, “ jusqu'aux arrangemens définitifs en Allemagne :" but the * arrangemens définitifs en Allemagne" are fixed, except in so far as Bavaria herself impedes their final settlement.
By the Act of Congress, these countries were made over to Austria in full sovereignty. Nevertheless, Bavaria still continues to occupy them. Now, it seems unjust that she should not only hold in her hands, but refuse to treat upon the claims demanded from her, and at the same time occupy those countries intended to indemnify her, and which are the absolute and acknowledged property of another. This was so thought by the Allies at Paris, and, by the Protocol of the 3rd of November, they engage to make a démarche simultanée, for the purpose of engaging Bavaria immediately to evacuate them. This démarche may be considered as having been already made by the communication of that Protocol to the Bavarian Minister. Bavaria has not, however, as I understand, shown any disposition to evacuate those countries, unless a declaration may be considered as such, made, I know not when, or in what form, by M. de Rechberg, that she would retire from them when certain liquidations should be made, which may, and probably, in the exhausted state of that country, will continue uneffected for an indefinite period of time.
Austria may, therefore, and with some show of reason, march into Salzburg, &c., founding herself upon the injustice of Bavaria, in holding over at once the territories sought from her, and those intended for her indemnification; and, being in possession, may work out the unwilling assent of Bavaria to effectuate the exchanges. I should most seriously hope that things will not take this turn. Any resort to force, besides the calamity in itself, could not fail to cast odium upon all that has been done, and so perseveringly done, for the purs pose of establishing complete repose in Europe. Better would it be, even for Austria herself, to renounce these exchanges altogether, or to have recourse to the line above suggested of appearing to do so, than, even with the plausible case above presented, to make use of violence for the realization of her object.
As far as I may be enabled, therefore, I shall conceive it to be my duty to use every exertion for the maintenance of quiet, and should I hear of an attempt of this sort being actually in contemplation, shall not fail to urge its relinquishment. I have dwelt upon it the more particularly, because Humboldt, of his own accord, started the subject, in conversation with me yesterday, and, as I gathered from him, he had also spoken to Wes. senberg upon it. From the latter, probably, I shall be able to draw whether it is a proceeding likely to be pursued, and shall act accordingly.
I received a short note from M. de Nagell last night, in answer to mine of the 19th ult., the copy of which was sent you by the last messenger. Full instructions, which I have since seen, have been sent to M. de Gagern upon the subject of Luxemburg, according with the former assurances to me. It seems to have been the object of the Government of the Hague, in heretofore withholding the instruction relative to the Commandant, to endeavour to obtain by this means from Prussia the possession of the enclares of Hyssen, Sevenaar, &c., made over to the Low Countries by the Act of Congress, and the settlement of the limits between the two States, fixed by the same treaty; both of which, notwithstanding Prince Hardenberg's promises both to you and to me the official notes of the former asserting that the orders had actually been issued for this purpose--the promise of the King of Prussia to the King of the Netherlands at Brussels, that these matters should be executed without further lows of time, still remain uneffected.
I send you a correspondence, consisting of two pieces, which
Nagell has transmitted to me, and which has lately passed between him and M. de Sack, the Prussian Governor of the provinces entre Rhin et Meuse, upon that subject. From this it appears that M. de Sack is desirous of making an exchange, which his Government wishes to effect, for the purpose of extending themselves in front and to the north of Aix-laChapelle, a condition precedent to the settlement of the frontier, or, in other words, to force accession to a private object, as the price to be paid for the execution of a general treaty to which all Europe are parties. However legitimate the object, the mode of attaining it cannot be supported; and however reasonable the desire of Prussia may be, in this instance, I am sure they have chosen a line for its attainment the least likely to accomplish their design. I must beg of you to read these papers, and to take this matter up in such wise, that our efforts may not be wanting at length finally to terminate this irritating conduct of Prussia towards the Netherlands, and that the Treaty of Vienna may, as respects this last Power, at length find its execution.
I have spoken to Humboldt upon this subject, and told him that his Court would never obtain the desired extension about Aix, in any other manner than by acting loyally by their neighbour. He reprobates the conduct of M. de Sack in the line he has taken; professes his desire, in the first instance, to have the treaty executed, and to trust to the reasonableness of the request and the natural desire of the King of the Netherlands to lend himself to a measure of exchange, by which he would do an act so agreeable to his Prussian Majesty. He has promised to write to his Court upon this subject. He told me also that this negociation for the exchange for the enlargement of the rayon at Aix was to have been entrusted to him here, but that Prince Hardenberg altered his mind, and placed the negociation in the hands of M. de Sack. Whatever faith may be placed in Humboldt's professions, (and it may be permitted to doubt of Prussian promises) it seems clear that Sack, in this proceeding, has done no more than follow Hardenberg's instructions.
Gagern's instructions being now arrived, and being also as explicit as I could have wished, we are now only delayed by the want of Humboldt's. Be assured I shall do my best to push this matter to a final conclusion, as early as circumstances over which I have no control will admit. Yours, my dear Lord, most affectionately,
CLANCARTY. [Enclosures.] The Hon. F. Lamb to Lord Castlereagh.
Munich, December 31, 1815. My dear Lord—I am sorry to send you so unproinising an account of this negociation. I have always thought that Austria attached an importance to these provinces far beyond their real value; as Bavaria, on her side, shows an equally unreasonable determination to refuse an indemnity which I am inclined to believe is, in fact, an equivalent for the cessions demanded.
If, however, it becomes clear, as I expect it will, that Austria cannot carry her point except by the display of force, I cannot help thinking that she would better consult her own interest by adopting some other mode of arrangement rather than commit an act of hostility against a friendly Power in the face of such positive treaties. The courses she might adopt are either to retain possession herself of the countries on the other side of the Rhine, with a military road through Bavaria, the proposition of which might be expected to produce its effect in disposing Bavaria to another arrangement; or else to buy the consent of Bavaria by some further sacrifices. Perhaps for this it would be found necessary to leave her the Inn-viertel, the real value of which to Austria is scarcely worth thinking of. If this were done, she would at least get out of the affair with honour, which, unless by obtaining the consent of Bavaria, it is impossible for her to do.