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pressing. Notwithstanding that, we have held something like twenty-five meetings, and I am happy to say we have agreed I think I may say unanimously-upon our Report. It is on the point of being presented to Her Majesty, and after that no doubt it will be laid in the usual way before your Lordships. As to the views of that Commission, it would be obviously improper for me to say a word. I may, however, express a hope that when the recommendations of that Commission are known, if it should be the pleasure of Parliament to adopt them in the shape of legislation, I trust that many, if not all, the difficulties and embarrassments which have arisen in times past may easily for the future be avoided. The other question put by the noble Earl is as to any Correspondence which may have taken place between Her Majesty's Government and the Government of the United States in reference to the Alabama and other claims. There is no Correspondence subsequent to that which has been already laid before Parliament by my noble Friend the Secretary of State. Beyond this I hope the noble Earl will not consider I am wanting in any courtesy or respect for him if I decline to follow him into the somewhat large and difficult field upon which he has entered. I feel quite satisfied-as I am sure your Lordships do that when the noble Earl, who was at the head of the Foreign Office, felt it to be his duty to decline the arbitration for the settlement of these claims proposed by the United States, he acted from a high sense of public duty. I think you will be of opinion that, in the progress of public sentiment upon this subject, and as time went on and public prejudice and passion much abated, my noble Friend the present Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs did that which was eminently desirable for the maintenance of good relations between this country and the United States when he consented, or proposed, to refer to arbitration the question of these claims. If I rightly understand the noble Earl, the objections or doubts which he suggested as to arbitration of that kind were really only two. The noble Earl, as I understood him, said that the case upon our side as regards these claims was an extremely clear one; and that we were not chargeable in any way or manner in which the Government of the United States contended we were chargeable. It is no reason for declining arbitration that you have an extremely good case to sub

mit to the arbitrators. On the contrary, I think that would be rather a reason why we should not shrink from having the case alleged against us referred to a tribunal of that kind. The other objection which the noble Earl mentioned was this he said there was a controversy on a matter of fact at the very commencement of the claim which was made by the American Government. The noble Earl stated very accurately that Mr. Adams had contended that armed ships had left_the ports of this country; whereas Lord Clarendon had taken issue on that point, and had denied that any ships which could be properly so described had left the ports of this country. Questions of fact are just as necessary to be referred to arbitration as questions of law. I should desire to know how a question of fact of that kind, asserted on one side and disputed on the other, is to be determined, unless you are able to evoke the aid of some independent arbiter or tribunal, who will decide the fact as well as he will decide the law. I think, therefore, none of these grounds could afford any reason why we should decline arbitration. I do not desire to say more with regard to the state of the negotiations than to remind your Lordships exactly how they now stand. As the noble Lord the Secretary of State said elsewhere, we have now conceded that which, in the first instance, the American Government required-that is to say, that there shall be arbitration as to the liability of the Government of this country with regard to the claims in question. But beyond that, and since that concession on our part, the American Government, through their Foreign Minister, have made a further demand, and they require now not merely that we shall refer to the arbitrator whether this country is liable in respect of these claims; but also that it shall be referred to the arbitrator, as a matter to be decided, whether this country acted properly or improperly in recognizing the seceding Southern States as belligerents at the time this country so recognized them. In answer to that demand, the argument of my noble Friend has been so simple, and I venture to say so conclusive, that in a very few sentences I will remind your Lordships of it. My noble Friend contended, in the first place, that that question is altogether irrelevant to the claims arising out of the case of the Alabama and of other ships, and irrelevant for this reason: it has never been disputed on


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"The sum of all true diplomacy is to be found in the Christian maxim of doing to your neighbour that which you would he should do to you; and where the will is good a way of arrangement is sure ultimately to be found."

My Lords, I think we have shown substantially that our will for the adjustment of this difficulty is good. I am willing to take according to the letter what Mr. Adams states of the will and inclination of the American Government. It will be strange, indeed, my Lords, if with that state of mind on both sides, an arrangement of this difficulty does not before long present itself.

either side that there was a time at which, beyond all doubt, the recognition of the Southern States as belligerents must have been proper and necessary on the part of this country. If we take that time it matters little whether it be a month sooner or later-about the month of July, or the date of the battle of Bull's Run, then it would be many months before the time at which the Alabama left this country, which happened in the April following. In the next place, my noble Friend has contended that, according to the principles of International Law, according to all authorities on International Law, according to the authorities recognized by the United States LORD WESTBURY wished to offer a Government itself, the question whether a few observations, which, he said, would be neutral Power shall, at any particular time, elicited by the regret he felt that these nerecognize a state of war between two gotiations for arbitration had been suspenPowers which are actually at war, is a ded for a time. He thought they were susmatter entirely to be decided by the neu- pended under some misapprehension of the tral Power itself; and that there are no nature of the claim intended to be brought data upon which any arbitrator or inde- forward by the United States. It was pendent tribunal can be called upon to extremely desirable to ascertain with accupronounce whether the recognition was racy what ought to be the condition of the proper or was improper. In the third arbitration. In the discussion of this place, my noble Friend has contended- matter we often heard the phrases "Interand this, perhaps, will be quite sufficient national Law and "breach of Intereven if there were no other argument in national Law." No word could be more the case that before the Government of inappropriate to express the mutual obligathis country recognized the Southern States tions between nations of equal rank and as belligerents, the Government of the power than the word "law," for there was United States itself had recognized the no law whatever. There was no sanction or Southern States in that capacity, by de- any power of this country judicially to inflict claring the blockade of their ports, which punishment for breaches of the so-called could be declared only upon the footing law. There were, however, certain rules that a state of war existed. My noble which had been agreed to by civilized naFriend has pointed out that if the questions, and which derived their authority tion were to be re-opened it would go further than the United States has proposed, because it would entitle us to claim compensation for all captures made by the United States Government of ships that were breaking the blockade. That is the stage at which the negotiations I hope only for the present-have come to a halt. The noble Earl referred, in words which I am sure would find a response in the minds of all your Lordships, to the character, great eminence, and ability of the distinguished statesman who has been so long the Minister to this country of the United States, and whose departure from this country in that capacity we all, I am sure, extremely regret. I could not help being much struck by some observations made by that very eminent person a few days ago. Speaking on the subject which has now occupied your Lordships' attention, Mr. Adams is reported to have said

and force merely from the consents of their Governments, but that was by no means law. Throughout the whole of these discussions false notions were incidentally suggested by the use of the phrase "International Law." There was one rule of conduct which undoubtedly civilized nations had mutually agreed to observe, and it was that the territory of a neutral should not be the basis of military operations by one of two belligerents against the other. In speaking of the base of operations he must to a certain degree differ from the noble Earl. It was not a question whether armed ships had actually left our shores; but it was a question whether ships, with a view to war, had been built in our ports by one of two belligerents. They need not have been armed; but if they had been laid down and built with a view to warlike operations by one of two belligerents, and this was knowingly permitted to be done by a neutral

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Power, it was unquestionably a breach of he meant was this-he said in effect: neutrality. Now, what was the obligation Whether you were a sincere and loyal neuof a neutral Power? Its obligation could tral is the question in dispute, and that must be no more than that it should use the laws be judged from a view of the whole of your and institutions of its own country in order conduct. I do not mean to put it merely to prevent a breach of its neutrality. It upon the particular transaction relative could not be called upon to do any more. to the Alabama. I insist upon it in that If there were any grounds of complaint it case undoubtedly; but I contend that from ought to be shown that the neutral had by beginning to end you had an undue preferits own laws and institutions the power to ence and predilection for the Confederate prevent the subject of that complaint. States; that you were, therefore, not loyal This was the doctrine laid down by the in your neutrality; and I appeal to the United States in their disputes with Por- precipitancy with which you issued your tugal. They alleged that they had, bond Proclamation, thereby involving a recognifide and with sincerity, used their own laws tion of the Confederate States as a belliand institutions to the utmost in order to gerent Power, as a proof of your insinprevent any breach of their neutrality. cerity and want of impartial attention." Indeed, the animus with which the neutral And now could we prevent him from using Powers acted was the only true criterion. that document for such a purpose? How The neutral Power might be mistaken; it unreasonable it was to say, When you might omit to do something which ought go into arbitration you shall not use a to be done, or direct something to be particular document, even as an argument done which ought not to be done; but the upon the question whether there was question was whether, from beginning to sincere neutrality or not." He (Lord end, it had acted with sincerity and with Westbury) should very much regret if the a real desire to promote and preserve a negotiations were broken off on a misapspirit of neutrality? A neutral could never prehension of the meaning and intent of be required to do more. Possibly, one the American Government, and if that nation might have a right to make domi- which was most necessary for the peace of ciliary visits, and to search for and take mankind-the security of peace with the possession of papers; but a country hav- United States-was perilled by any such ing that power could not complain of a misapprehension. A favourite notion had alcountry which did not possess it, for not ways been entertained in the United States using such means of discovering whether that the late war was not a civil war, but or not a breach of neutrality was medi-a revolt or rebellion, and very probably tated. He wished these observations to the United States committed a blunder in be applied to the demands made by Mr. proclaiming the blockade. It was quite comSeward, and the manner in which they had been met by the noble Lord the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. The ultimate issue of the Correspondence-if he correctly understood his noble and learned Friend on the Woolsack-was this:-Mr. Seward said, "I will insist in the reference that you did wrong, and that you acted injudiciously and without proper information in recognizing the Confederate States as a belligerent Power." Now, it was quite preposterous to suppose that Mr. Seward meant to contradict himself. The object of the reference was to obtain compensation for breaches of our neutrality; but when Mr. Seward issued his own proclamation there had unquestionably been attempts to break the blockade on the part of the merchant vessels. Mr. Seward could therefore never say that he claimed compensation in respect of our proclamation of neutrality, involving, as it did, a recognition of the Confederate States as belligerents; but what

petent for them to have issued a proclamation prohibiting intercourse with the ports of the States whom they alleged to be in a state of revolt; but the effect of such a proclamation would simply have been that if a foreign ship had attempted to enter one of those ports, the United States vessels could not have captured and condemned her, but could only have obstructed her progress and turned her away. Instead of adopting such a course, however, Mr. Seward issued a proclamation of blockade, and by that proclamation necessarily placed the Confederate States in the position of belligerents, and all the other countries in the world in a position of neutrality. Mr. Seward, indeed, admitted this; but complained of a breach of neutrality, and held that that must depend, not upon single transactions, but upon the inferences to be derived from the whole of our conduct. Now, suppose the case of the Alabama were being argued before an arbitrator, his

upon the demand made by the United States Government through Mr. Seward. All he could say was that the explanation of that demand which his noble and learned Friend had given had never been given by Mr. Seward himself; and he thought, for this very good reason, that if all that was desired was that the premature recognition, as it was called, of the state of belligerency should be made a topic before the arbitrator, or a matter of evidence going to sup

that was not a thing to be stipulated for beforehand; it was a question for the arbitrator. The arbitrator would be the judge of what evidence was relevant and what was not. It was for the arbitrator to decide what evidence he would admit; and it was, he thought, a thing unheard of that a reference to arbitration should contain a definition of the evidence to be adduced before the arbitrator. The other error which he desired to correct was this :-His noble and learned Friend had spoken of the negotiations as having been broken off. The exact point at which they stood was this. Mr. Seward's last communication contained a proposal, couched in somewhat general terms, that there should be a Commission to inquire into all claims. Upon that his noble Friend the Foreign Secretary requested Mr. Seward to develop more accurately what he designed or aimed at by such a Commission; and the negotiations, he thought, were at present waiting for a communication from Mr. Seward on that score.

noble Friend (Earl Russell) might say, | elsewhere. His noble and learned Friend "Why, the Alabama was permitted to had placed a very ingenious construction escape simply by an accident, over which I had no control; and' you ought not to judge of my conduct by one accidental default, but by the spirit I manifested when I seized the Alexandra and the rams, and placed myself in peril from the Conservative Opposition, which nearly brought the Government into a minority." Now, if it would be reasonable for his noble Friend to use that topic, derived from the general conduct of the English Government, as touching the particular case of the Ala-port the claim raised in other respects, bama, surely it was equally reasonable for Mr. Seward to apply his argument to any particular fact connected with the conduct of this country, and to draw from it the opposite conclusion as to the sincerity of our neutrality. While, therefore, he (Lord Westbury) cordially concurred in all that had been done by the noble Lord at the head of the Foreign Office, he regretted that the noble Lord should have taken one matter up from a mistaken point of view, and should have supposed that Mr. Seward intended to make a demand for pecuniary damages in respect of our Proclamation, instead of using it as a special argument in support of his claim for damages in other particulars. He deeply lamented that the negotiations should have terminated upon that misconception. One point had arisen in the course of the debate to which it was proper to refer namely, the desirability of effecting an alteration in the existing law. In his opinion no alteration of the law would be effectual unless it extended to this-that no armed vessel, and no vessel obviously built for warlike purposes by any private individual in this country, should be permitted to leave our harbours unless upon security, or upon the fact being clearly ascertained, that she was bona fide the property of some other Power not being a belligerent. In conclusion, he would say that he had only desired for a moment to point out the view of the case which he trusted would be considered by the noble Lord at the head of the Foreign Office, and to express his hope that the negotiations for an arbitration would be resumed, and would shortly be brought to the condition of a final reference.


THE LORD CHANCELLOR said, he wished to correct two errors into which his noble and learned Friend (Lord Westbury) had inadvertently fallen, and which, if left unnoticed, might lead to misunderstanding

LORD WESTBURY explained. What he had said was this, that in the last despatch of the Foreign Secretary he stipulated that all question of precipitancy should be excluded from the consideration of the arbitrator. If that were so, it could not be admitted either as a matter of evidence, or as a general topic.

EARL RUSSELL was also understood to explain that he had not objected to the Foreign Secretary having assented to arbitration; but to his having assented to an arbitration that was so vague.

Motion (by Leave of the House) withdrawn.

House adjourned at Seven o'clock, till To-morrow, Twelve o'clock.

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MR. STEPHEN CAVE said: It is with great regret that I feel myself obliged, for the first time since I have had a seat in this House, to intrude myself on the House with regard to a personal It will be in the recollection of many hon. Members that on Tuesday last I made a few remarks on the amalgamation of railways, in discussing the Resolutions of the Chairman of Committees with reference to competition. No exception was taken to those remarks by any Member of the House; but it has been reported to me that, on the following morning, the hon. Baronet the Member for the Flint boroughs (Sir John Hanmer), who is Chairman of the Committee on a group of Railway Bills, among which is the Amalgamation Bill of the Brighton and other railways, publicly made use of the following expressions in the Committee-room :


"A matter has happened in the House which I think extremely improper. It happened at five o'clock, when the House was dead sick of private business, and therefore, although it was my ness to answer the Vice President of the Board of Trade, I did not do so. The Vice President of the Board of Trade, in my opinion, gave a most improper expression of opinion upon the subject of a question now pending before this Committee, which he had no business to do, even if he had been a private Member, still less an official Member. Speaking on the question of competition, he expressed his opinion against the monopoly of railways. This was a question which was legitimately before the House; but he said there was another monopoly-that is to say, these amalgamations— and he said there was a gigantic scheme. His observations went to show that it was a very prejudicial thing, that it was now pending-and so on. He had no business to express that opinion." There was more to the same effect, with

which, after what has since passed, I will
not trouble the House. Now, Sir, these
are very strong expressions, especially from
one sitting in a judicial capacity, and I
cannot deny that they have given me great
pain; but the hon. Baronet has assured
me privately-and he will no doubt repeat
it publicly-that he had no intention of
saying anything personally offensive to my-
self, and that he is willing, as far as ex-
pressions go, to withdraw everything that
has such an appearance. I cannot hesitate
to accept this assurance, and to dismiss so
much of the subject altogether from my
mind. I cannot, however, help thinking
it unfortunate that the hon. Baronet did
not express his opinion in the House before
those in whose minds what I had said was
fresh, instead of doing so on the following
day to a mixed audience in my absence-
when I was, of course, unable to justify
myself or to offer any explanations. I do
not, however, wish to dwell upon this
point. But as the hon. Baronet has told
me, as frankly as he withdrew the form of
his charge against me, that he adheres to
the substance of it-which is, after all, the
most serious part of the question-it is in-
cumbent on me to clear myself if I can
from these imputations, which, if deserved,
would prove me unfit for the office I hold,
and even for a seat in this House. Several
months ago my attention was officially
directed to the effect of railway amalgama
tions. Complaints reached the office from
various quarters of increased charges and
diminished accommodation, and it
suggested that the Board of Trade, which
has no power of active interference in these
matters, would not be doing its duty if it
did not warn Parliament that monopoly
was rapidly replacing competition, and that
it behoved the House, in which the power
really was, to take care that the public
did not suffer by the change. Having
spoken to the Chairman of Committees,
the right hon. Gentleman the Member for
the City of London (Mr. Goschen), and
other Members, who all concurred in this
view, I proposed to take advantage of the
Resolutions on Competition of my hon.
Friend the Chairman of Committees (Mr..
Dodson), and to go somewhat into the de-
tails of Bills of this Session. But, unfor-
tunately, the discussion of these Resolu
tions was delayed until some of the Bills
were before Committees. I then felt that
it would be scarcely right to refer to the
details of these measures, and therefore
confined my remarks to the general ques-

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