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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,
CLANCARTY. I send the projet 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 course 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
to him has had the same effect upon the King. Both evidently considered these advances as a grant, and complain that the matter was not (if otherwise considered) brought forward before, and of the very awkward situation in which the Government is now placed, after having professed to state in their late Budget (with such difficulty passed through the StatesGeneral) every article of arrear, and brought prominently forward the £2,000,000 due from Great Britain as a relief to the nation in their charges for fortifications. In having so large a sum still in arrear as £687,700 to produce for provision at a future period, they state the fears they entertain that the good faith of the King in his late communications with his StatesGeneral will be compromised, and that these will naturally suspect that so large an arrear has been intentionally kept back from their notice.
Under the apprehension of this, M. de Nagell has requested me to solicit that, till some arrangement can be thought of, whereby this evil may be obviated, you will endeavour to prevent this matter from being noticed in our debates in Parliament, lest it should transpire here, and raise an outcry in the States-General and in the country.
M. de Nagell pressed much that every inclination should be formed on the part of the British Government to afford to this every possible degree of acccommodation in such arrangements as they may hereafter be enabled to propose upon this subject. For a long time he argued the matter as bearing upon the provisions required for the charges of this country for the present year, 1818, stating the utter impossibility of making any arrangement whereby the sum of £1,000,000, proposed to be advanced by Great Britain for these fortifications, could be otherwise diminished than by the sums due for the frigates and Hanoverian subsidy; and, upon my assuring him that it did not enter into your intention further to diminish this sum than under their own proposal, he then applied the same arguments to the subject of the charges for fortification, and advance of a million by Great Britain, as referable to the expenditure of 1819.
In the course of the argument, he stated that it was not now the time particularly to examine the precise amount of the items, but that these he believed (not?] to go beyond the quantum of arms and clothing actually furnished for the immediate service of the King. He also mentioned that, under the second secret Article of the Convention of August 13, 1814, his Majesty would have some he did not pretend to say a very large-demand to make upon Great Britain in the settlement of this account for the revenues of Bernagore (?). The amount of these I should conceive to be very trifling ; however, it may be possible (though I very carefully avoided even hinting the subject to M. de Nagell) that some accommodation to this Government, though certainly to no very considerable extent, might be found in the absolute purchase of these revenues in fee simple by Great Britain. You will know best what value to place on this suggestion.
On the matter of the Slave Trade, M. de Nagell stated to me that he did not entertain a doubt of the King's willingness to enter into the Convention you require; and he strongly recommended, by way of saving time, that I should write for the immediate expedition of the full powers to me requisite for the commencement and prosecution of this negociation. I give you the recommendation as I received it. I cannot, however, (though from nothing which transpired in my conversations with M. de Nagell) avoid suspecting the possibility that, in my audience with the King, his Majesty, perceiving the sums paid to both in the Conventions with Spain and Portugal, may endeavour, though without possessing the same foundation, to attach some conditions connected with the money demands upon his compliance with your object relative to the trade in slaves. If he should do so, as the best mode, in my judgment, of managing both questions, I shall put a direct negative to any such pretension; and, if you shall disapprove