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such a subject with the King, his Royal Highness looked upon
as nothing short of a positive refusal to comply with his just
request; that, the communication sought being thus refused,
the Princess and he must wait in patience till he should
receive an answer to a similar application that he was thus
compelled to make to the Emperor of Russia, on whose justice
he relied to make known to them the nature of the complaints
alleged against them, in order that they might have the means
of justifying themselves." Nagell, having shown this letter
to the King, his Majesty agreed with him in thinking that
there was no need of further prolonging the correspondence.
I make no comment on the above, but, heartily wishing that
his Royal Highness had a better head and better advisers,
remain most affectionately yours,
Lord Clancarty to Lord Castlereagh.
The Hague, February 3, 1818.
My dear Lord—The Budget passed the second Chamber on the night of the 28th ult., and it is now before the first Chamber, in which it has been referred to the sections, the discussions on whose Report will terminate this business, probably towards the close of the present or early in the ensuing week. This matter has been very much litigated in the second Chamber; and, though ultimately carried by a sufficient majority, the Government were, at one moment, in some fear of its failure; and, although no very serious apprehensions are entertained of its being thrown out in the first Chamber, yet it is not fully ascertained to what extent the opposition may be carried.
With a view to operate a decision favourable to his views in some of the Members of the first Chamber, the King has been induced to take a step, which, though of little apparent consequence, I cannot think either wise in itself or quite compatible with his Majesty's desire to avoid the formation of a regular Opposition in hifl States-General. Several of the Members of both Chambers occupy the honorary situation of Chamberlains in the King's household. Four of these, Messrs. Vilain XIV., Varnewych, Cornet de Gretz, and another, Members of the second Chamber, voted against the principal Budget laws. A ball was given by the Queen on Saturday last, to which every person who had been presented was invited, with the exception of these four persons; and, they were avowedly excluded upon the ground that, belonging to his Majesty's household, it did not become them to act counter to the views of his Government.
This has become a theme of general conversation and criticism here; and I must own that, besides giving to the persons excluded a degree of consequence to which otherwise they are in no degree entitled, I should fear the example will rather tend to excite some of the Belgic Chamberlains in the first Chamber to resist the Budget law, in the hopes of acquiring to themselves some character as marked and oppressed men by the Court, than induce their pliancy to the views of Government.
A projet of law to restrain the license of the press in favour of foreign Powers and the acts or intentions of their Governments will be presented to-day, by the Minister of Justice, to the second Chamber, and I have taken measures (I should hope successfully) to procure a copy of this document, which, if it shall reach me in time, will form an enclosure in this letter. A more efficient law upon this subject has been strongly solicited by several of my colleagues at this Court, and, aware of this circumstance, I have endeavoured, but ineffectually, to learn the proposed details. It is, indeed, strange, and marks the want of unity in this Government, that, conversing only yesterday with M. de Nagell upon the rumour of such a projet being to be brought forward to-day, he solemnly assured me that he had never seen it, nor had its provisions been ever communicated to him; and that, notwithstanding its peculiar reference to his department, he had not been consulted as to its redaction, but that the whole had been arranged, exclusively of others, between the King and the Minister of Justice.
I have written you a despatch relative to a Tunisian vessel, bound from Tunis to Rotterdam, with despatches upon the subject of the Barbary corsairs. This Government seems very anxious for an early and general alliance of the Powers of Europe against them.
Yours, my dear lord, ever faithfully,
I send the prqjet of law.
Mr. C. Bagot to Lord Castlereagh.
Washington, February 8, 1818.
My dear Lord—Exactly as your lordship foresaw, this Government has declined, though very civilly, to accept of our mediation in their differences with Spain. I have reported at great length in my despatch the substance of the conversations which have passed upon the subject between Mr. Adams and myself, and I have perhaps very little to add to that report.
It is impossible to say whether the reasons which the President has assigned for declining our offer are the only reasons which have influenced him: but there is certainly truth in much of what he says, as to the effect which our intervention might have upon the public temper here, as it respects ourselves.
The President has assured me distinctly that the United States have no intention whatever of going to war for any of the points in dispute—that their claims upon Spain for spoliations, &c, do not amount to much more than five millions of dollars—and that, as to the territories, they have been the subject of claim, and dispute, and complicated negociation for fifteen or twenty years; and that they may well continue to be so for fifteen or twenty years longer, without leading to any hostilities between the two countries. The Spanish Minister, however, thinks that the result will be that they will be taken possession of without any declaration of war whatever. This apprehension may certainly be well founded, so far as relates to the Floridas: but I think that the United States are really indifferent at the present moment upon the subject of the territory to the westward of the Mississipi, being persuaded that it is not with old Spain that they shall finally have to settle that question.
M. de Onis was certainly not at all surprised at the refusal of the American Government to accept our proposal. He tells me that he shall return to Spain in the course of the spring, and that he then hopes that all the Powers of Europe will be induced to make a joint effort of their intervention in the business.
The President and Mr. Adams have both received with evident pleasure the assurance, which I was authorized by your lordship's private and confidential letter of the 10th of November to give them, of the principles upon which Great Britain would act in respect to the commerce of the Spanish settlements of South America, in the event of her being employed to mediate between them and Spain. They have both repeatedly expressed to me their satisfaction at the remarkable coincidence of sentiment in the two Governments upon this question, as well as upon that of the contest in South America. Your lordship's assurance that Great Britain would not seek any exclusive advantages of commerce is observed to correspond exactly with the assurance given upon that subject in the President's Message; and the Prince Regent's Proclamation of the 27th of November is thought to correspond as exactly with that part of the Message which speaks of the character of the warfare between Spain and her colonies.
Mr. Adams and the President have taken great pains to assure me that there is nothing which they so much desire as that the two countries should act in unison upon the whole of the great question of South America. I believe that they are sincere in this wish, and I believe it the more, because they would certainly derive from such unison considerable strength to their own administration in resisting the great endeavours which are to be made in the course of the present session of Congress by the Western States to force them into an absolute and unqualified acknowledgment of the independence of all the South American provinces—a courso which I now think (though I lately entertained a different opinion) that the President is not yet prepared to take, and which Mr. Adams certainly is not.
Mr. Adams, however, appears to think that it is somewhat doubtful whether there is, in fact, any room for mediation between them and the mother country; as he conceives (if I understand him rightly) that a free trade, once given (as it must and will be) to the colonies, Spain has nothing left which she can offer to them in return for even the slightest allegiance. He is, however, of opinion, that there is one point upon which Great Britain might most powerfully interfere, in concert with the other Governments of the world, and that is in the immediate and effectual suppression of the piracies and abuses of every kind, which are carried on against the commerce of the whole world, under the revolutionary flags of these provinces. Upon this subject he speaks loudly, and is, I really believe, fully prepared to carry his power to its utmost extent in assisting in this object.
I have the honour to be, &c,
Lord Clancarty to Lord Castlereagh.
The Hague, February 10, 1818. My dear Lord—Upon my opening the demand of the first three items of the Treasury account, conveyed in your despatch No. 2 to M. de Nagell, he seemed surprised and much embarrassed; and he states to me that the mention of this matter