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find it a more difficult matter than I thought to obtain any application from any diplomatic agent of the French Government for the transmission of these persons to France; but that, in every event, I might be sure of his best co-operation, in making use of whatever means this Government could put forth for the investigation of this subject.
M. de la Tour du Pin called upon me at about one o'clock, to read me his instructions, if such they can be called. They consisted of a letter from the Duc de Richelieu, enclosing a copy of one addressed by M. de Cazes to the ProcureurGeneral at Bruxelles. Judge of my astonishment and dismay, when I found scarcely any mention of the arrest of some of these persons, that of others very vaguely noticed; no direct instruction to make any application whatever, and not a single word upon the transmission of these persons, or of any of them, to Paris !
Having finished the reading, M. de la Tour du Pin asked me what I thought should be done. Putting the best face I could upon the matter, I told him it appeared to me pretty clear that the object of his Government was that the ten persons above-named, and whose names I had noted down while he was reading, should be seized as soon as they could be caught here, and transmitted at the earliest period to Paris; and, upon his expressing a doubt upon the subject, and asserting that his instructions went far short of this length, I added that, if any doubt could be entertained from M. de Richelieu's letter, this was fully cleared up by yours to me, written as it was by the Duc de Richelieu's express desire, and that in this the desire was so clearly expressed as to render it impossible to mistake; and therefore urged him immediately to write an official note, withdrawing his royal master's protection from these ten persons, and requiring their immediate arrest and transmission to France. He objected to this, saying that your letter to me was no authority to him. However, after much persuasion, he agreed to frame such a note; and it was arranged
that, when performed, he should call upon me, and that we should both go together to M. de Nagell (of my early visit to whom he was ignorant) for the purpose of presenting and enforcing its contents.
He did not return to me till near four o'clock; it was then too late to read the note over to me, and he referred the lecture till our arrival at the Foreign Office. When read there, however, it turned out far short of what he had undertaken to make it. In the first place, it is utterly silent upon any demand for even the arrest or interrogation of Mesdames Regnault and Guyet; and, in the second, it makes no mention of the transmission of the other eight to France, but seeks their arrest and detention till further orders shall be received from Paris, thus making this King an officer of French police, to serve under the supreme direction of M. de Cazes. Happily, this did not strike Nagell, and the note was immediately, in our presence, despatched to the King, with a strong recommendatory letter from his Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Such is a tolerably circumstantial detail of this transaction, and I ask you by what right or show of equity it is that the French authorities presume to vomit forth their filthy venom against those who are heartily desirous of co-operating with them in the investigation of this black conspiracy; while they who have the means and ought to set the example are terribly, and I believe wilfully, defective in the discharge of their duties?
Both the Duc de Richelieu and M. de Cazes must know that the hands of this Government are much confined ; that it does not possess the advantage of being able to execute the functions of haute police; that some foundation for arrests, &c., even of foreigners, is requisite; and it surely is for them (and they have the means) to endeavour to lay such ground as will cover this Crown and its officers, before their own people, from charges of having made arbitrary and unconstitutional arrests. Two modes lie open to them, and the Minister of Justice, with whom I have conversed on this subject, assures me that he would have recommended compliance by this Court with applications from that of France founded on either—the one, to have, in the first instance, commenced a judicial proceeding on this subject at Paris, and applied to this Government to back its mandats d'amener against French subjects, founded on such proceeding—the other, the same that I endeavoured to obtain the adoption of by La Tour du Pin, in the present instance, founded on the undertaking of the King.
The French authorities, however, adopted neither; and I cannot but suspect that they have reasons for it, and that they would rather keep alive, and even invent, causes of quarrel with this State, than lend their aid, as it is their duty, to the best means of obtaining a thorough elucidation of the dark plot against your person. If they mean fairly, in the name of God, let them act fairly, and instead of coarsely abusing this Government for weakness, which it does not rest with it to counteract, rather lend a helping hand to avoid the difficulties of their situation, and which could have been done, in the present instance without trouble or expense.
So much for the first complaint of the ten persons comprised within it, against every one of which, with the exception of Madame Regnault, as we learn from Bruxelles, mandats d'amener have been issued; so that the authorities of the King at Bruxelles have gone further even than the authorities of the French Government in this country under their direction have dared to go, in following up this business with vigour.
Upon the second point, viz., the procuration sought for the examination of Marinet's papers—although I should have gone a shorter way to work, and so, I have good reason to believe, would the Minister of Justice, yet, upon reflection, the mode adopted was the preferable mode of proceeding. Here you are to be informed that the proceeding at Bruxelles has been from the commencement a judicial one. All the interrogatories have been taken before the Juge d’Instruction, and all form complete evidence in a court of justice. If the papers
had been opened by summary process, and anything of consequence found among them, it would have been open to the accused to have alleged—and, in a corrupt country, the proof of such allegation might not have been difficult—that such and such particular papers formed no part of his, but were placed among them by his accusers. The procuration obviates such an attempt, and occasions no risk or inconvenience but that of a short delay, as, during the whole time of its being sought, the papers were under seal.
I know not whether with sufficient reason, but it is much regretted here that the inquiry at Paris has not been rendered judicial : it is urged in support of this, that the interrogatory of Cantillon, and all others that have been taken by the Police, are, with reference to any future trial, but so much waste paper; that they cannot be given in evidence; and that Cantillon, Lord K- Marinet, &c., may deny every word that they have formerly deposed, when interrogated anew in any judicial proceeding.
I had forgot to state that, after our return yesterday from M. de Nagell's, I spoke in strong terms to La Tour du Pin of the conduct of his Government in the issue of such imperfect instructions to him as those under which he had just been acting, and I hope he will express the same to the Duc de Richelieu. While writing the above, I have seen M. de Nagell, who tells me he has received a most favourable answer from the King to his letter, conveying M. de la Tour du Pin's note; that this is now in the hands of the Minister of Justice, and, when returned, he shall frame a note to the French Minister upon it; he, I know, will wait for this, in order to convey a copy of it by this courier, so that M. de Richelieu will put you in possession of its contents.
Adieu! I am afraid you will be tired of reading, I am thoroughly of writing, this letter.
Yours, &c., CLANCARTY.
Lord Clancarty to Lord Castlereagh.
The Hague, April 3, 1818. My dear Lord— Your private letter, with the copy of that marked Private and Confidential, to Lord Cathcart, both bearing date the 27th of March, were received by me early on the morning of the 1st, by messenger Robinson, who was on the same day, at two o'clock, P.M., despatched forward on his way to St. Petersburgh.
In a private conference had yesterday with the King for this purpose, I opened to him the substance of the letter to Lord Cathcart, directing his attention principally to the necessity of considering the means of effectually guarding against the apprehension of any sudden attack from France, in the event of the Occupation armies of the Allies being withdrawn from that country, and under the not improbable supposition of the boiling spirit of French profligacy and disaffection venting itself in war, or being directed for evaporation to the invasion of neighbouring territories.
I requested the King to advert to the state and composition of his military means, the still incomplete state of his fortifications, and begged him to weigh well the consequences of a sudden attack to him particularly, as occupying the honourable but dangerous position of the advanced post of Europe, and the means by which any apprehension from such an attack could be best obviated; stating that he could not be ignorant of the interest which the Prince Regent must necessarily take upon this subject, or of the sincere friendship which dictated this communication; and that I was perfectly sure his Majesty would sensibly feel the same, and be disposed, in the same spirit of confidence in which this communication was made, to make known to his Royal Highness, through his Ambassador at this Court, fully and without reserve, whatever reflections or conclusions might occur to his Majesty thereon.
In short, I went through the whole of what you had taught