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year, that the French ministers would explain and inake known to them, in a satisfactory and complete manner, the whole of the sacrifices which the French republic was disposed to require of the Empire at the conclusion of this unfortunate war; and when afterwards it was found necessary, in the note of the with of March, to accede to the first basis of peace proposed by France, that agreeinent was grounded upon previous conditions, which excluded all the ulterior demands which might be made upon the Empire ; it was believed that these conditions would have checked every other sacrifice that could possibly be exacted from the Empire, in order to obtain a peace so earnestly wished for--(see the note of the 23d of March); and it is for this express purpose that these previous conditions have been forinally received in the notes of the 4th and 21st of April, as it is again done in the present; the deputation could not therefore but feel furprised, on observing the new pretensions contained in the French note of the 14th of May. Guided, however, by their anxious desire to accelerate the conclusion of peace, they determined, in the notes of the 18th of May and the oth of July, to agree to some of those demands. The French ministèrs, in their notes of the 4th Meflidor and ift Thermidor, have somewhat retracted respecting some other demands, or have endeavoured to modify them; and the points that still remain under discussion they have in part resumed, in seven articles in their last note They shall be now answered article by article, and in a manner that thall afford the most unequivocal proof of ibe ardent defire felt by the deputation to procure for Germany a peace, which it so anxiously wishes for, however dear it may be obliged to purchase it.
1. The deputation has proposed to postpone the consideration of the objects relative to commerce and navigation, till the conclusion of a treaty of commerce, in order to be enabled thoroughly to investigate and discuss an affair of so much importance, and which involves so many considerations. At the same time, if the difficulties could be so easily removed, as, without retarding the pacification, to admit the arrangement to be made on this subje&t to be inserted in any treaty of peace, the deputation of the Empire are disposed to accede to it. They as readily subscribe to the defire manifested by the French ministers plenipotentiary with regard to the toll duties on the Rhine; and they consent to their abolition, as the republic, on its side, has consented to the fuppression of those on the left bank of the Rhine, such as the ware. house duties, and the customs paid by watermen. At the same time, as the custom duties must form a certain compensation for the loss of considerable revenues derived from the tolls, and as their establishment will experience much difficulty, for the reafons mentioned in the former notes, it ought 10 be fixed as the
Che Rhine. Batavian
condition, that the complete suppression of those tolls Mall not take place for two years. In this interval, the principles and rules which shall be observed in the establishinent of the customs, may be determined ; and agreeably to the proposition made in the notes of the 18th of May and 19th of July, to secure entirely the free navigation of the Rhine from its mouth upwards, by means of a convention made with the Batavian republic.
2. The deputation of the Empire have consented that the principal navigable course of the Rhine, formerly called the Thalweg, as it has been fixed at various tines by scientific persons with common consent, shall form the future boundary between Germany and France, from the place where, leaving the Dutchy of Cleves, it enters into Holland, under the naine of the Waal. In the above Dutchy, the canal which divides the ide of Buderich into two parts, shall be considered as the Thalweg. With regard to the islands in the Rhine, the proposition that the islands situated to the right of the Thalweg shall remain or be ceded to the Empire; and those to the left thall be ceded to the French republic: ihis point is perfectly agreeable to the wilhes of the deputation. They make no difficulty, sherefore, to consent to the succeeding propofition, relative to the part of the Rhine which formerly conItituted the boundary between Germany and France, viz. That the isles situated on the right of the Thalweg, which were previously in the undisputed possession of France, shall remain so in future, under condition of a similar concession in favour of the Empire, and the sovereigns of Germany, with regard to the illes fituated to the left of the Thalweg, and which are now subject to Germany. They likewise agree to the new proposition of the French ministers, that the changes which may take place in the channel of the Rhine, Tall not in future change the rights of sovereignty over the islands; that these shall remain henceforth in their present division, subje&t, as they ftand, to France and Ger. many, although it should even happen, that, by a change of the bed of the river, their relative polition with regard to the Thal. weg might be changed. The private property of the illes, and the free enjoyment of its produce, fhail of course belong to the present and future owners, without regard to the line of separation through the Thalweg. In addition to these points, the neutrality of the navigation thall be scrupulously observed.
3. The deputation of the Empire, in order to discharge every duty which the important obligations they have to fulfil require, and animated with the most sincere desire as speedily as possible to obtain peace for Germany, have resolved, notwithstanding the severe facrifices they have already made, to accede to the afiliating propofition of the French plenipotentiaries.wr. That the fortress of Ehrenbreitstein thall be demolished after the conclusion of peace."- This consent, however, is given under the conditions
fine fine qua non et refolutiva, that the French government, on its side, fhall canse to be demolithed all the fortified places on the right bank of the Rhine, and on the same side of the Thalweg, viz. Kehl, Caflel, the fort of Mars, and the isle of St. Pierre; that all these fhall be given up to the Empire, and all claims to them, as well as to the other places on the same side, solemnly renounced. The deputation of the Empire, in adopting the resolution to give up in future a bulwark which has hitherto been so useful, think themselves entitled to demand (which is likewise consistent with existing conventions) that the blockade of Ehrenbreitstein be immediately raised, and that the measures taken to prevent the inhabitants of the Thal from receiving provisions be likewise dircontinued.
4. With regard to the bridges established for the purposes of commerce, they persist to believe, as has been already observed in the notes of the 18th of May and gth of July, that permanent bridges on a river which serves as a boundary between two nations, cannot be considered simply as relating to commerce, but also as points of contact connected with political and military operations. These motives have already prevented, in preceding treaties of peace, the establishment of bridges of the like kind. To this must be added, that the bridge of Huninguen would be only at the distance of half a league from that of Bafle ; that it might touch on the right bank the Swiss territories with the same facility as those of the German Empire, since a part of the ille des Cordonniers, as well as the terra firma situated behind that iland, belongs to the canton of Balle. With regard to the bridge between the two Brisacs, as this sort of bridge ought not, even in the opinion of the French ministers, to be established, but by the mutual consent of the inhabitants of the banks, it may be said, in opposition, that the inhabitants belonging to the House of Austria will not find this bridge either useful or necefSary. It is hoped then that the French government will not inlist farther on the establishment of these bridges.
5. As to what concerns the possessions of the nobility situated on the left bank, they cannot approve the distinction intended to be made between those held immediately by the nobility themselves, and those held by others. Hopes then are still entertained that in this respect, as well as to the sequestration of that property, and the loss sustained, the French government will consent to a far. ther discussion. "
6. In the note of May 18th, transmitted to the French minif. ters, they have already given a detail of the different kinds of debts on the left bank of the Rhine, and alleged the most convincing motives, which oppose in every respect the transferring of all the debts of chambers and demesnes to property on the right bank. It appears that these important observations have not yet
effected effected in the French ministers the wished-for convi&ion, since in their note of the 19th July they persilt in transferring all debis, without making the least distinction between them, either in regard to their origin, their employment, or the time when contracted, nor in regard to the creditors, and the nature of the fecurities. The deputation are then obliged to refer again to their note of the 18th of May, and to the essential observations it conTains; and to remark, belides, that this transfer of debts, confidered not only under a political point of view, would be extremely burdensome, and almost impossible to be executed, but which cannot be reconciled in regard to the creditors, with the natural and civil rights of mankind. The creditor has only a right to demand payment of his debtor. It is rare in Germany that the person of the regent is bound for the debts of the state. It is commonly to particular countries that the creditor has a right to apply. They cannot then, without the consent of the interested party, transfer thosc debts to other countries, nor force the creditor to change the nature of his security, nor place him in the situation (even if another country should voluntarily consent to become his debtor) of being forced to sacrifice, in the cate of competition, his previous security, and the rights of his class to other creditors, whose claims may even be more ancient. The rights of the creditor are his particular property, which the French ministers have promised to leave untouched; they are the rights of particular citizens, which the French government would certainly not with to violate.
7. In the notes of the 3d of March and 18th of May, the deputation of the Empire have alreally made a general declaration, in which they have promised all those renunciations which would necessarily result from the nature of the present cessions; they have, however, reserved a reciprocity in favour of the German Empire, on which the French plenipotentiaries have not yet given any farther explanation. As they actually demand a renunciation in favour of all the republics in alliance with France, and that in general, without naming the republic, or the objects in regard to which that renunciation Mall be precisely made ; in order that there may arise no doubt or dificulty in future, and on account of the iinportance of the affair, it will be necessary that they should furnish ihe deputation with a sufficient and clear explanation on these points, in order to enable them to return an antwer on that subject. The deputation presume, that the said republics, on their part, will equally renounce all the rights and pretensions which they may have on the Empire, and promise, at the same time, that all the property, revenues, rights, pofleffions, &c. situated on their respective territories, belonging to all or each of the states of the German Empire, the immediate nobility, and other mediate or immediate dependents of the Empire, shall be
equally equally preserved to them; and that they shall not, in any manner, be interrupted in the full enjoyment of them : these republics, these corporations and inhabitants, thall preserve, as is just, the property which they now have in the German Empire. In the 7th article, the French plenipotentiaries ftipulate, as a clause on which there can arise no doubt, that the German Empire will renounce, in the approaching treaty of peace, all pretensions to Frickthal, belonging to the House of Austria. The deputation of the Empire must have necessarily found this proposal the more strange, as they declared that they would only cede, under certain conditions, to the French republic, those German pofTeffions on the left bank of the Rhine which immediately touch the French territory, while Frickthal is separated from France by a part of Switzerland. The pretensions even of the French ministers have not till this moment been directed to that object : on the contrary, they say expressly, in their note of February 20, a period antesior to the cellion of the left bank, that this first basis of the boundary of the Rhine does not give to the French republic but what it already possesses : ce qu'elle enfin ne laisante à la république que ce qu'elle possede, garantit encore la tranquillité des états. As the opinion of the deputation was not then por could be, to comprehend in the cellion of ihe said countries the Frickthal, which was not occupied by the French troops, it cannot now consent to this new demand. Finally, many of the propositions and demands made by the deputation, particularly in its notes of March 3 and 11, May 18, and July 9, have again been left without any answer, in the last note of the French ministers, of July 19. The deputation of the Empire, constantly convinced, that, without an explanation on the said points, the relations between the two nations cannot be brought to a complete determination, find themselves obliged earnestly and again to request, that the French ministers plenipotentiary will give a concise answer on all these points still in dispute *.
Definitive Note of the French Plenipotentiaries, in Answer to the
iast of the Deputation of the Empire. THE undersigned ministers plenipotentiary of the French republic for negotiating a peace with the Empire, have received the last note of the deputation of the Empire, which was transmitted to them on the 230 Thermidor, the present month, by M. de Metternich, minister plenipotentiary of his Majesty the Emperor.
In doing justice to the intentions of the deputation of the Empire, the undersigned cannot diffemble the disagreeable impres.
* This conclufum was not approved by the Imperial minister, who transmitted it to the French minister, without annexing to it his sanction.