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commissioners themselves, in order that nothing may on this occa. fion have an unfavourable appearance, and which evidently has no other object than to secure a happy issue to the negotiation, by removing at the first outset every thing that might, in the course of that negotiation, awaken feelings that might eventually commit it.:
The underligned hopes the commissioners and envoys extraordinary will soon enable hiin to inform the Executive Directory of their determination. Whatever this determination may be, the undersigned flatters himself, that the explanation he has given will have placed the subject in its true light, and may eventually serve to remove, in the eyes of all impartial men, the unfavourable impreslion, which might be endeavoured to be made respecting the intentions of the French republic and her govern. ment. · He concludes by renewing to the commissioners and envoys extraordinary the assurance of his consideration.
(Signed) Ch. Max. TALLEYRAND.
freth notint the Esthe moft poy at leaft
Beilamy, of Hamburgh, to the Editor of the Ami des Loix, in'
Answer to his Paper of the 21st Prairial. THE report of the American commissioners has been circulated
throughout all Europe with great profusion. It furnishes fresh nourishment to keep alive the hatred the enemies of France feel against the French government, by endeavouring to prove that corruption has the most powerful influence in the Directory and over their ministers; it may at least fairly be supposed, that the report alluded to originated in this perfidious intention ; but without attempting to defend those who stand in need of no defence, I shall content myself with repelling the injury done to me in that report, by describing me in the character of an intriguer.
Citizen Talleyrand, without whose orders I have done nothing, laid nothing, written nothing, might very well mistake me for another, from the character given to me in the report of the commillioners--I myself should have been led into an error by it, if your journal had not lately named me as the person represented by the letter Y. I expect from your impartiality, that as you have been the echo of calumnies against me, you will also give room to the following simple truths, substantiated by facts, which I submit to the consideration of the public.
Commercial concerns, in which it is well known I was engaged, made my presence necessary at Paris, where I had frequent opportunities of seeing Citizen Talleyrand, with whom I was formerly pretty intimately acquainted. One of my friends, a atizen of the United States, who had been informed of that cir002
cumstance, came to entreat me to communicate to that minister certain means of bringing about a reconciliation between France and America: I consented, and the minifter thought the proposition was not unworthy of his attention. He accordingly made me immediately acquainted with the charges of the French Jepublic against the Americans, especially with those that were taken from the speech of the President Adams, of which he sent me a French translation, together with notes written in his own hand, respecting explanations and reparations that he required. He next proposed to me that I should see the commissioners.
A wish to oblige him was not the only motive that determined my resolution. The commercial advantages which I Mould derive from a treaty of peace, towards which I should have contri. buted, made me, I confess, somewhat regardless of the refolu. tion I had taken, not to intermeddle in political affairs.
I waited on the commissioners; and the friend who had entreated me to speak to Citizen Talleyrand, was at once my introductor and my interpreter; for, to my great surprise, they declared that they did not understand French, and I was equally unac. quainted with English. In this first conference I howed them the above-mentioned note of the minister, respecting the Prefident's speech. My interpreter wrote down in French from what I dictated to him, five articles which I conceived might conftitute the basis of a treaty, of alliance: not a word did it contain relative to any specific sum of money: read these propofitions transcribed literally from the report of the American commisGoners *
Nor Nor is that all : read over the whole of that conference, and also the three other conferences which I held under the descrip. tion of Y. with the whole of the coinmissioners together. How. ever mil-shapen and contradictory the narrative of these conversations may appear under their pen, you will perceive that they have never dared to accuse me of having made a demand of twelve hundred thousand livres; that they do not quote a fingle word of mine, that has any respect to such a circumstance; they merely pretend that in one instance I answered in the affirinative, to a question which they mention having put to me on this subject.
• " There is demanded a formal disavowal in writing, declaring that the Speech of the Citizen President Barras did not contain any thing offensive to the government of the United States, nor any thing which deserved the epi. ther's contained in the whole paragraph: fecondly, reparation is demanded for the article, by which it shall be declared, that the decree of the Directory there mentioned did not contain any thing contrary to the treaty of 1778, and had none of those fatal consequences that the paragraph reproaches to it: thirdly, it is demanded, that there should be an acknowledgment in writing, of ihe depredations exercised on our trade by the English and . French privateers: fourthly, the government of France, faithful to the profession of public faith which it has made, not to intermeddle in the interpal affairs of foreign governments with which it is at peace, would look upon this paragraph as an attack upon its loyalty, if this was intended by the Prerident.-It demands, in consequence, a formal declaration, that it is not the government of France, nor its agents, that this paragraph meant to designate. In consideration of these reparations, the French republic is dis· posed to renew with the United States of America, a treaty, which shall place them reciprocally in the same state that they were in 1778. By this new treaty Frante shall be placed with respect to the United States, exactly on the same footing as they stand with England in virtue of the last treaty which has been concluded between them. A secret article of this new treaty
What! fhall an accusation of so ferious a nature rest on no better foundation than a gesture, a nod, or a monosyllable, which is not even so much as mentioned? And shall they be received as an answer to a question put in a foreign language which I do not understand? The bare statement of such an accusation is suffi. cient to refute it.
With the knowledge of the ininister, I had a second conference with them, in which I proposed of my own accord, and as a means of proving their attachment to France, to buy up some Batavian rescriptions at par-See iny proposition as it is reported by the commissioners; you cannot discover a word in it refpeeling a pretended douceur for the offices *.
The commissioners were desirous to transmit me a written an. (wer-read it over again, Citizen, in their own correspondence, and say whether it contains a single word concerning the pretendo ed twelve hundred thousand livres fra
would be a loan to be made by the United States to the French republic: and once agreed upon the amount of the loan, it would be endeavoured to consult the convenience of the United States with respect to the best method of preventing its publicity.” ,
"M. Y. said further, ibat if we defred him to point out the sum which he believed would be satisfactory, he would do so. We requested him to proceed; and he said, that there were thirty-two millions of forins of Dutch refcriptions, worth ten shillings in the pound, which might be ale figned to us at twenty shillings in the pound; and he proceeded to state to us! the certainty, that, after a peace, the Dutch government would repay us the money, so that we should ultirnately lose nothing; and the only opera. tion of the measure would be an advance from us to France of thirty-two millions on the credit of the government of Holland.”
† “ We commitied immediately to writing the answer we proposed, in the following words : Our powers respecting a treaty are ample; but the proposition of a loan in the form of Duich rescriprions, or in any other form, is not within the limits of our instructions. Upon this point therefore the government must be consulted : one of the American ministers will, for the purpose, forthwith embark for America, provided the Directory will fur. pend all further captures on American vessels, and will suspend proceedings on those already captured, as well as where the decisions have not yet been rendered; and that where sales have been made, but the money not yet been received by the captors, it shall not be paid until the preliminary questions proposed to the ministers of the United States, be discuted and decided'.”
Permit me here to correct and to animadvert on a very serious mistake: in fpeaking of that answer of the commissioners, you fay, “ When an attempt is made to confide to Y. the negative answer to his proposition of twelve hundred thousand livres, he inrinks from undertaking it; and he is compelled to confess, from a kind of shame, that the proposition comes neither from the Directory, nor even from the minifter, but that it comes merely from himself.”
. What levity, what injustice does not this paragraph betray, in which you so inconsiderately dispose of the reputation of an honest
- Peruse once more that answer, or get it explained to you, and you shall not discover in it one single word respecting that pre. tended proposition of a sum 10 be paid for attaining the ends of corruption. Read over the whole conference, and you will perceive that, from the very outfet, I hold out the idea of a purchase of Batavian rescriptions as my private individual opinion; and then, perhaps, you will repent of the injury you have done me!
Finally, a third conference took place on the 30th of October: I delivered into the hands of the American commissioners a paper containing seven articles, among which is to be found the proposed purchase of Batavian refcriprions, but not one word here neither, of the twelve hundred thousand livres *.
Observe, Citizen, that in each conference I invariably ftarted by declaring “a circumstance not denied by the coinmillioners themselves, that I did not pretend to any public character ; that I did not infinuate any connexion whatever with the Directory; that I was not known to any of its members; and that I took a part in these conferences merely out of complaisance for Citizen Talleyrand, who was studious to devise every possible means of securing an honourable peace between the two nations."
Have, therefore, the candour to confess, that a man unacquainted with the Directory, without possessing any weight with any of its members, and who cannot fairly be regarded as āļtempt. ing to impose upon the world, is not a person of sufficient confi. deration to be bought at the price of twelve hundred thousand livres.
"1. That the envoys should remain in France six monthis on the same etiquette as the Portuguese minifler. 2. That a commillion of five should decide on the reclamations of the Americans relative to prizes. 3. That the Ainerican government shall pay the indemnifications to the American creditors of the French republic in the first instance: the French to repay in fulure. 4. One of the envoys thall return to America to demand powers to purchase, for canh, thirty-two millions of Dutch refcriptions. 5. In the interval, the definitive treaty to proceed, and to be ready for signature on the return of the envoy. 6. The question of the role d'equipage to remain Suspended until his return. 7. Hoftilities to be suspended for six months, during the going and the return of the envoy."
Shall Shall it be said, that, availing myself of my acquaintance with the minister, I endeavoured to make good fome claim to that fuin? The narrative of the commillioners is an additional argument to prove the absurdity of that imputation. You may there read, that, convinced of the inutility of intermediate conferences, I waited upon Mr. Gerry, to entreat him to ask for a personal interview with Citizen Talleyrand, the minister ; that I myself conducted him to the house of that minister, praying him to acquaint the minister, without any exception, with the whole of the propofitions or demands that had been made to him. And here, indeed, is it that I have to appeal to Mr. Gerry himself, . beseeching him to do homage to that truth ; to have the goodness to say, whether he was silent on any propofition ; whether he was conscious of the least pollible omillion; and whether I did not express myself in terms of thanks for his very punctilious exactness; and what was the answer of Citizen Talleyrand? namely, That the instructions given by me, Bellamy, to Mr. Gerry, were exact, and that he conld always rely upon them *.
What then, might I ask with some degree of astonilhmentwhat then are the political views of Mr. Gerry, when, notwithstanding the preceding facts, he so tardily accuses me, in his letter of the 31st May, of not having, as far as he knew, produced any confidential powers, any document, of any nature whatsoever, and consequently of being a person who came forward in a very questionable unauthorized nape?
But I myself am here guilty of injustice towards the American commissioner. It is not he, but you, Citizen, who brand me with the odious suspicion of being a hireling negotiator, while your own journal contains a proof that Mr. Gerry exonerates me from any such imputation.
“ Mr. Gerry," you say, “has positively declared, in one of his letters, that no citizen authorized by the minister, has said a syllable to him that carried with it the most reinote intimation of the proposition of disbursing money for the purposes of corruption."-Say, therefore, Citizen, that I am the person, or that Mr. Gerry points out a person, who, derring the whole course of this negotiation, has been more accredited than I was by the minis. ter to treat with Mr. Gerry-All the inítructions of Mr. Bellamy are exact, and you may always confide in them. Connect this tornal authorization of the minister with what Mr. Gerry has declared pofitively, and again you mult vent a repentant ligh for ibe injury you have done me.
How also does it come to pass, Citizen, that you mention in terms of praise, the exertions made by the minister of the foreign
• Report of the cominillioners.