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Department of State. Correspondence concerning questions pending between Great Britain and the United… United States. Department of State 1870

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Array DEPARTMENT   OF   STATE.
CORRESPONDENCE
CONCERNING
QUESTIONS PENDING BETWEEN GREAT BRITAIN
AND
THE UNITED STATES.
TRANSMITTED TO THE SENATE IN OBEDIENCE TO A RESOLUTION.
WASHINGTON.
GOVERNMENT   PRINTING   OFFICE.
1870.
K
I
«sa
"=■*»*.  DEPARTMENT  OF  STATE
CORRESPONDENCE
CONCERNING
QUESTIONS PENDING BETWEEN GREAT BRITAIN
AND
THE UNITED STATES.
TRANSMITTED TO THE SENATE IN OBEDIENCE TO A RESOLUTION.
WASHINGTON.
GOVERNMENT  PRINTING  OFFICE.
1870.  CORRESPONDENCE.
Department of State,
Washington, July 13,1870.
The Secretary of State, to whom was referred the resolution adopted
by the Senate on the 8th instant, requesting the President to communicate to that body, if compatible with the public interest, copies of any
correspondence between the United States and Great Britain concerning
questions pending between the two countries, not heretofore communicated, has the honor to lay before the President the papers mentioned in
the annexed descriptive list.
Respectfully submitted.
Ill HAMILTON FISH.
The President.
List of papers.
No. 1. Mr. Fish to Mr. Motley, No. 119, December 22,1869. The
Senate having called for correspondence between the United States and
Great Britain, Mr. Fish has sent Lord Clarendon's note of November 6,
but has not sent the " Notes," because there was nothing to indicate that
they contained the official views of her Majesty's government.
No. 2. Mr. Motley to Mr. Fish, No. 21G, January 13, 1870. Acknowledging Mr. Fish's No. 119. Account of an interview with Lord Clarendon, in which the subjects of the naturalization treaty, the San Juan
water boundary, and the Alabama claims were discussed. Lord Clarendon regards the course of the United States upon water boundary
convention as discourteous, and thinks Mr. Fish should have sent the
British "Notes" to the Senate.
No. 3. Lord Clarendon to Mr. Thornton, No. 22, January 21, 1870.
Expressing surprise that no communication has been made to the British
government about the San Juan water boundary convention.
No. 4. Mr. Fish to Mr. Motley, No. 149, February 14,1870. Explaining
the circumstances under which the "Notes" were received, and the
reasons which this government had for regarding them as unofficial;
and instructing Mr. Motley to inquire whether they are to be regarded
as official.
No. 5. Mr. Fish to Mr. Motley, No. 151, February 15, 1870. Lord
Clarendon's charge of discourtesy as to the water boundary convention
exeites regret. The course of this government has not proceeded from
a want of desire to observe strict courtesy toward the government of
Great Britain.   As to the San Juan water boundary, the British gov- 2.
QUESTIONS  PENDING   BETWEEN  THE
eminent were informed from the outset by this government that, until
the naturalization question was settled, any attempt to settle other
questions would be unavailing. The naturalization question was not
settled when the time for exchanging ratifications of the water boundary
convention expired.
No. 6. Mr. Motley to Mr. Fish, No. 274, March 10, 1870. Has read
to Lord Clarendon Mr. Fish's No. 151 and left copy. Lord C. expressed
satisfaction.
No. 7. Mr. Motley to Mr. Fish, No. 278, March 17,1870. Further as
to the "Notes," inclosing copy of Mr. Motley's note to Lord Clarendon
under the instructions in Mr. Fish's No. 149.
No. 8. Mr. Motley to Mr. Fish, No. 282, March 19,1S70. Inclosing a
note from Lord Clarendon as to the character to be given to the " Notes."
They represent the views of her Majesty's government, and arc in tiie
nature of an historical statement.
No. 9. Mr. Fish to Mr. Motley, No. 190, April 25,1870. Acknowledging receipt of Mr. Motley's No. 282, commenting upon Lord Clarendon's
note in Mr. Motley's No. 282, and concluding that this government will
(unless invited by her Majesty's government to a different course) regard
the "Notes" as no part of the official correspondence.
No. 10. Mr. Fish to Mr. MotleyVNo. 211, June 10,1870. Transmitting
copy of a note (dated May 24,1870) from Lord Clarendon to Mr. Thornton about the " Notes." Her Majesty's government agree with Mr. Fish
that it is not expedient to prolong the discussion on points on which
there is little hope of being able to agree.
No. 1.
Mr. Fish to Mr. Motley.
No. 119.J Department of State,
Washington, December 22,1869.
Sir : The Senate of the United States on the 20th instant " resolved
that the President of the United States be requested to communicate to
the Senate, if in his opinion not incompatible with the public interests,
copies of any correspondence between the United States and Great
Britain concerning questions pending between the two countries, since
the rejection of the claims convention by the Senate."
In response to this resolution, the President has, this morning, sent to
the Senate a message,* of which I inclose a copy, together with a list of
the correspondence accompanying it.
You will observe that while the note of Lord Clarendon to Mr. Thornton, of the 6th of November last, referred to in your No. 168, is made
public, the paper entitled " Notes" on Mr. Fish's dispatch to Mr. Motley,
of 25th of September, 1869, respecting the Alabama, &c, claims, also
referred to in your No. 168, does not accompany the President's message.
It is perhaps proper that an explanation should be made of the reason
for this omission.
* For message of the President, see Senate Executive Document No. 10, forty-first
Congress, second session. n
UNITED  STATES  AND  GREAT   BRITAIN.
When Mr. Thornton, in obedience to his instructions, and at my request, handed me a copy of the " Notes " (which you will observe are
not dated or signed) he left with me no written paper to indicate
that they were to be regarded definitively and officially as the views of
her Majesty's government on the matters discussed in them. And since
Lord Clarendon, in his note of the 6th of November, had expressly declined to follow me in the discussion of the issues presented by my No.
70, of the 25th September last, I was forced to the conclusion that her
Majesty's government do not desire this government to regard the
" Notes" as a response to the views which you were instructed to present to Lord Clarendon, and that therefore I should not be justified in
giving that character to it by transmitting it to the Senate as a part of
the " correspondence."
Yon will, when an opportunity offers, make this explanation to Lord
Clarendon.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
HAMILTON FISH.
John Lothrop Motley, Esq., &e.
, <fe&,
&c.
No. 2.
Mr. Motley to Mr. Fish.
[Received January 26,1870.]
Legation of the United States,
London, January 13,1870.
Referring to your No. 119, of the 22d of December, I have the
No. 216
Sir:
honor to state that I had a long conversation with Lord Clarendon at
the Foreign Office on the 12th instant.
In answer to a question concerning the proposed bill on the subject
of naturalization, I understood him to say that it was nearly ready and
would be placed before Parliament at an early day in the coming session.
It will probably embody such legislation as may be necessary to give
effect to the principles of the protocol of the 9th October, 1868, on this
subject, between the United States government and that of Great Britain, so that the protocol may be connected into a treaty, while the
variety of details embraced in the elaborate report of the commission on
naturalization, and which have such extensive ramifications throughout
the complex [system] of communities, colonies, and dependencies which
make up the British Empire, might be left for future legislation.
I expressed satisfaction at this prospect, saying that the United
States government was anxious to see this arrangement completed.
His lordship answered by expressing his regret that there did not
seem to be the same anxiety at Washington to complete the arrangement which had been made in regard to the water boundary, appearances seeming to indicate that the convention for leaving the dispute
to arbitration would not be ratified or even acted upon by the Senate,
a result which he considered would be discourteous to her Majesty's
SL QUE8TI0NS PENDING   BETWEEN  THE
government. I replied that the twelve months for ratification had not
yet expired; that we had dates by mail only to the 31st of December,
and by telegraph to the 10th of January; ana that it would be better to
wait for the result. I had been instructed, on leaving the United
States, to say that the convention had been considered in the Senate;
which body had, however, adjourned withont coming to a vote upon it,
bat that, in the usual order of business, it would be before the Senate
when Congress should reassemble. Hitherto I had not been informed
of any indications to the contrary.
I then explained to him, as you had instructed me in your above-
mentioned dispatch to do, that, from the list of papers sent to the Semite
by the President on the 22d ultimo, the paper entitled "Notes on Mr.
Fish's dispatch to Mr. Motley of 25th September, 1869, respecting the
Alabama, &c, claims," had been omitted because yon had been forced
to the conclusion that her Majesty's government did not desire the
government of the United States to regard those "Notes" as a response
to the views set forth in your dispatch to me of the 25th of September
last, Mr. Thornton not having indicated, in writing, that they were to
be definitively and officially so regarded.
His lordship said that he had been much surprised at the omission
of the paper, because, although he would have preferred that the correspondence should remain unpublished for the present, he thought, as
the publication was to be made, that the "Notes" should have been
included.
I observed that, as his lordship had stated in a separate dispatch to
Mr. Thornton the determination of her Majesty's government not to follow the United States Secretary of State through the long recapitulation of the various points of the correspondence between the two governments during several years, it was reasonable that you should not
think yourself justified in giving an official character to the paper in
question, by transmitting it to the Senate as part of the correspondence.
I also read the whole of your dispatch No. 119 to his lordship, calling
his attention to its date, 22d December, two days accordingly before
publication had been made of parts of the same correspondence in the
London Gazette of Friday, 24th December last.
His lordship repeated his opinion that the '• Notes" ought to have
been included in the papers transmitted to the Senate, adding that the
documents had been communicated to the London Gazette only when
telegraphic information had been received that they had been made
public in the United States. With regard to your suggestion that the
"Notes" were not dated or signed, his lordship expressed the opinion
that they should be considered as bearing the same date as that of the
dispatch to which they were appended.
I ventured to remind his lordship that, so far as the omission might
be considered as prejudicial to a dae exhibition to the American public
of the latest views of her Majesty's government on the subject which
had already been so voluminously and elaborately disenssed for several
years between the two governments, the detriment would perhaps have
been already repaired by the reproduction from the London Gazette in
American journals of the "Notes" and of such other parts of the correspondence as had been made public in Fm gland and not in the United
States.
His lordship proceeded to comment upon your dispatch No. 70, saying
t hat it was difficult to look for hopeful negotiations when so strong an in- UNITED  STATES  AND  GBEAT   BRITAIN".
Inglish
Unitec
the statemen
overnment as was contained in that paper
States government as conciliatory.    1 said
in your dispatch corn-
large majority of the
upon in the United
setting forth of the
dictment against the 1
was considered by th<
that I believed that tne statements containe<
manded the cordial approbation and assent of a
American people, and that the paper was lookec
States as a calm, dispassionate, and reasonable
case—as moderate as it was forcible.
I ventured to remind him that in the first interview which I had the
honor to have with him, as well as all subsequent interviews, whenever
these unfortunate differences had been touched upon, I had expressed
the opinion that the first step toward a re-establishment of friendly and
honorable relations between the two nations was for her Majesty's government and the British people to look plainly at the case as we regarded it, and to become familiar with the deep sense of wrong for
which we considered reparation to be due. The painful fact remained,
in spite of all discussion, that, throughout the whole course of the war,
English-built, armed, manned, and equipped ships had been systematically employed in burning American merchant vessels; a general sense
of wrong thus excited could hardly be expected to subside without any
attempt at reparation. His lordship intimated that it had been found
impossible to prevent these evasions of the law, in spite of the efforts
of government; to which I responded that it had been found practicable to prevent similar misdemeanors in the United States on many
memorable occasions, and I took occasion, by way of example, to dwell
particularly on the expeditious manner in which affidavits had been
filed by telegraph in the case of the Maury, in 1855, and the ship instantly libeled by the United States government and held until declared
innocent to the full satisfaction of the British representative in the
United States. Allusions were made, in the course of the conversation,
to proposed changes in the law, which his lordship expressed himself
heartily in favor of, according to the suggestions in your dispatch. He
alluded to his having himself proposed such changes to Mr. Adams. I
took the liberty of repeating, what I had frequently intimated before,
that the people in the United States would hardly think it reasonable to
provide for the security of other nations in the possible contingencies
of the future, against the very injuries to which we had been obliged to
submit, so long as those injuries were justified, or at least left unredressed. On several occasions in our history we had altered our laws
at the instance of other governments, England among the rest, in order
to prevent the perpetration of wrong upon friendly nations, while the
British government, in the midst of the war, (our commerce then suffering from the depredations of cruisers fitted, out in British ports,) had
informed Mr. Adams that the British laws then in force required no
alteration and were sufficiently effective. If that was the case then,
why did they require alteration now ? Disasters were to be feared in
the future, 1 thought, if affairs should remain in their present condition ; for it was doubtful, if the cases were reversed at some future
period, whether the British government and people would quietly submit to the same amount of damage to their commercial marine by illegally equipped cruisers from our ports, as that which we had suffered
from the ships which were fitted out from the Mersey and Clyde.
The rulings in the Alexandra would make commerce the prey to unnumbered Alabamas, all that was necessary to legalize expeditions
against a friendly power being to divide them into two or three parts,
and make the junction three miles from the coast.
»«fcW* QUESTIONS  PENDING   BETWEEN  THE
It was because the widespread disasters which might flow from such
precedents were deprecated that we hoped that some means might be
found, now that peace happily prevailed, to arrange honorably and
equitably this great difference between the two nations.
I could not understand how a temperate and dispassionate statement,
like the dispatch of the Secretary of State, could be considered otherwise than conciliatory. Certainly, if all the proceedings of which we
complain were to be persistently justified by the British government, it
was difficult to see how these differences could be satisfactorily arranged.
If such proceedings were wrong, they required reparation; if they were
lawful, they might form an unfortunate precedent for the future.
Lord Clarendon said that he would certainly be very averse from
saying or doing anything to envenom the dispute, repeating what he
had expressed in all our interviews—his sincere and earnest desire for
peace and amity.
I assured him that the President and the United States government
were earnestly desirous of peace and the establishment of amicable relations between the two governments, upon honorable, equitable, and durable terms. Certainly, all my humble efforts would be to that end, and
nothing left undone consistently with devotion to the honor and interests
of my own country. The responsibility was great on those to whom any
part of the relations between two such powerful communities were confided, to provide now in time of peace for the great calamities which all
men saw were possible, if matters remained as they did now in case of
future wars.
This, as accurately as I can remember it, is the substance of the conversation which arose out of my making the explanations, according to
the instructions in your dispatch No. 119, and which, although of a
somewhat informal nature, I think should be reported to you as faithfully as my memory enables me to do. I am not unmindful of the desire of the President that the negotiations on this important subject
should be conducted, whenever reopened, at Washington.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
JOHN LOTHEOP MOTLEY.
Hon. Hamilton Fish,
Secretary of State, Washington, D. G.
No. 3.
Lord Clarendon to Mr. Thornton.
[Received February 10,1870, at Department of State.]
No. 22.] Foreign Office, January 21,1870.
Sib : I have to instruct you to state to Mr. Fish that her Majesty's
government have seen with some surprise that the 14th day of this
month and successive days have been allowed to pass over without
any communication being made to them, on the part of the government of the United States, respecting the San Juan convention, which,
under the authority of his government, Mr. Eeverdy Johnson signed
with me on the 14th of January, 1869, and of which the tenth article UNITED  STATES  AND   GREAT  BRITAIN. 7
provided that." the ratifications shall be exchanged at London as soon
as may be, twelve months from the date hereof." •
Tou reported in your dispatch No. 159, of the 26th of April, that the
Senate had decided that the further consideration of the convention
should be deferred until the next session of that body, which would
open in December; but, as far as her Majesty's government are informed, the Senate, since its reassembling in December, has not taken
the convention into consideration.
The Senate of the United States might unquestionably, in the exercise of its constitutional powers, have declined to advise the President
to ratify the San Juan convention, in the same manner as they had
declined to advise him to ratify the claims convention. But her Majesty's government cannot but observe that when the Senate had come
to that decision in regard to the latter convention, no time was lost in
making it known to her Majesty's government. But, in the case of the
San Juan convention, no explanation whatever has been made to them
of the action taken upon it by the Senate, or of the reasons why the
convention has been allowed to lapse without observation on the part
of the United States.
Tou will read this dispatch to Mr. Fish, and, if he should desire it,
furnish him with a copy of it.
I am, &c, &c,
CLAEENDON.
No. 4.
2F.r. Fish to Mr. Motley.
No. 149.] Department of State,
Washington, February 14,1870.
Sir : I find it necessary to call the attention of yourself, and, through
you, that of the Earl of Clarendon, to some incidents and suggestions
of late dispatches, in order to the clear understanding of the present
attitude of some of the questions now pending between the two governments.
- Mr. Thornton called at the department on the 19th of November last,
and read to me, and left with me, a copy of a dispatch addressed to him
by the Earl of Clarendon the 6th of November last, dedicated to the
consideration of my dispatch of the 25th of September last, in which
the Earl of Clarendon says:
And it is because they earnestly desire to hasten the period at which these important
objects may be accomplished that her Majesty's government have determined not to
follow Mr. Fish through the long recapitulation of the various points that have been
discussed in the voluminous correspondence that has taken place between the two
governments for several years.
The language of this paragraph is clear and explicit. For important
and sufficient reasons, stated with precision by the Earl of Clarendon,
her Majesty's government declined to take up and discuss the points of
my dispatch of the 25th of September.
The Earl of Clarendon does not present, as one of the reasons for
this determination, that my dispatch was not an official paper, discussing
officially matters of moment to both governments.   To the contrary of
 '——— 8 questions pending between the
this, throughout this dispatch, he treats mine as official, recapitulates
and responds to material parts of it, and propounds responsive propositions on the part of her Majesty's government. At the same time, Mr.
Thornton left with me an unsigned paper, entitled "Notes," consisting
of an argumentative commentary on the contents of my dispatch of the
25th of September. I was at a loss to comprehend the purpose of her
Majesty's government; that is, to perceive whether it did or did not
intend to be understood as "determined not to follow" me in discussion
of the points of controversy between the two governments. The Earl
of Clarendon's dispatch expressed absolute determination not .to do
this; and, nevertheless, it seemed to be done in fact in and by these
.-"Notes." '
In the presence of such uncertainty in this respect, it was considered
more just to adopt the course of comity and of favorable construction,
und before adopting any positive conclusion to wait for reflection and
for such possible solutions of doubt in the process of time as circumstances might afford. There was nothing in the state of controversy to
forbid such course or to prejudice by it any interest of the United
States.
-< Meanwhile the pre-existing uncertainty in this respect was augmented
by the publication in the London Gazette, of the 24th of December last,
of "Correspondence with the United States minister at Washington,''
in which appears a second dispatch from the Earl of Clarendon, of November 6,1869, which first came under my observation as thus published
by the Foreign Office in the London Gazette. In this dispatch I find to
my surprise that the Earl of Clarencfon professed to look upon my dispatch of the 25th of September as "not being of a strictly official
character," and as being communicated to him personally rather than
as the representative of the Queen's government, and that therefore he
did not think it necessary in his "official reply to the communication
made by Mr. Motley" to express dissent from the statements made in
my dispatch.
In the formal determination expressed by the Earl of Clarendon in
his first dispatch to Mr. Thornton, of November 6, not to pursue the
discussion, and in the delivery of the paper entitled "Notes," there
seemed to be contradiction between words and acts; but as the "Notes"
were without date and unsigned, as they were unofficial in tenor and
form, and as, therefore, they did not afford to the government of the
United States opportunity to treat them as an official reply of the
Queen's government to that of the United States, it was necessary for
the latter either to leave them unanswered, or, in answering them, to
call in question the frankness of the Earl of Clarendon.
The tenor of the Earl of Clarendon's second dispatch of the 6th of
November, and the appearance of the "Notes" in the " Correspondence"
published by the Foreign Office, but, when thus made public, elevated
into the dignity of " Observations," serve to increase the uncertainty of
construction in this respect which the delivery of the "Notes" in connection with the Earl of "Clarendon's first dispatch of the 6th of November produced,
The reference of the Earl of Clarendon in the second dispatch of the
6th of November to a passage in my dispatch of the 25th of September
adds still more-to this uncertainty. I addressed that dispatch to you
with authority to read it and deliver a copy of it to the Earl of Olaren-,
don in accordance with diplomatic usage.
This you did at the Foreign Office on the 15th of October, as appears
by Lord Clarendon's dispatch of 6th November, which Mr. Thornton 1
UNITED  STATES  AND  GREAT  BRITAIN. 9
read to me. Lord Clarendon then treated it as an official paper, remarking that he would not then enter into any discussion on the subject, yet
he hoped that'his silence would not be considered to indicate that the
" dispatch" (not a private communication) did not admit of a complete
reply. He requested a copy of it, "as he would not undertake from
memory accurately to report to his colleagues the contents." He further says that " Mr. Motley agreed to do so if I (he) would ask him for
it officially," and he accordingly addressed to him (Mr. Motley) the same
afternoon a letter dated at the Foreign Office, requesting a copy of "the
long and important dispatch" " for the purpose of reporting to his colleagues," as if it was at that time regarded as of an official character,
and as communicated to the Earl of Clarendon as the representative of
the Queen's government.
When Mr. Thornton called at this department on the 19th of November, I was on the point of departure to attend a meeting of the cabinet.
His visit was not expected. I mentioned to him the necessity of my
immediate departure, but at his request delayed to hear the dispatch of
6th of November, which he was instructed to read to me, and to leave
a copy of it if requested. He then produced a longer paper, which he
stated he was also instructed to read. I objected on account of the-*
shortness of time, as I could then barely reach the President before the
hour appointed for the cabinet meeting. He then proposed to leave
the paper with me, if I would consider it as having been read, to which
I assented, reserving the right to return to him the copy if on perusal
I should find in it anything (which I remarked I did not think at all
probable) that would be improper or objectionable to place among the
papers of this office. With this understanding I received the paper (at
that time) entitled " Notes," without its being read. It was the evening
of that day (after the cabinet meeting) before I read or knew the contents of that paper. I had nothing to excite my suspicion that Lord
Clarendon claimed to have received my dispatch No. 70 as a communication to him personally rather than as the representative of the Queen's
government. Any intimation of that nature would necessarily have induced a very different course of action on my part. Lord Clarendon's
own acts had negatived any such hypothesis. I was indeed at a loss to
account for the apparent discrepancy between the views of her Majesty's
government, as officially communicated to me, and the views of the unknown writer of the anonymous 'l Notes." When the correspondence was
called for by the Senate, being ignorant.of the character to be assigned
to the " Notes," I did not transmit them to that body, and instructed you
in my No. 119 to explain to Lord Clarendon the reason why I had not
done so.
This uncertainty continued until the receipt of the London Gazette
of 24th December, when I first saw the letter that Lord Clarendon had, *
on the 6th November, written to Mr. Thornton, in which he disclaimed
the official character in which he had appeared in the former note of the
same date, which had been read to me by Mr. Thornton and of which
he was authorized to, and did, give me a copy.' This publication first
gave to the "Notes" (or "Observations") an official significance.
In view of all this, the President has instructed me to address to you
this dispatch. He desires to be explicitly informed whether the "Notes"
or "Observations" are to be regarded as the official act of the Queen's
government in response to my dispatch of the 25th of September, in
which his views are officially stated for the information, not of the Earl
of Clarendon personally, but of the Queen's government. He desires
neither to utter nor to reply to ambiguous views.   If the "Notes" or
~JH 1
QUESTIONS   PENDING   BETWEEN  THE
" Observations" are official, he deems it proper that the government of
the United States shall treat them as such, and so, on the other hand.
if they arc unofficial. To this end, yon will address a communication to
the Earl of Clarendon in your own name, embodying in substance the
contents of this dispatch, and, appealing to the Earl of Clarendon in
respectful and courteous, but in explicit and plain language, to say
whether the " Notes" are or are not to be considered and treated by the
President of the United States as an official exposition of the views of
her Majesty's government.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
HAMILTON   I'IS!!.
JOHN LothroP Motley. Esq., dr.. ivv.. dr.
\o
Mi
rtsii
Mr
\lftl
No. 151.J Department op State,
Washington^ February 15,1870.
Sir : I have to acknowledge the reception of your dispatch No. lilO,
dated January 13. Mr. Thornton called upon me on the 10th instant,
and read tome a dispatch dated January 21,1870, addressed to him by
Lord Clarendon, of which a copy is inclosed herewith, expressing surprise that the 14th day of that month, and successive days, had been allowed to pass over without any communication being made to her Majesty's government on the part of the government of the United States
respecting the San Joan convention*
In your dispatch, acknowledged above, you mention a conversation
which yon had on the 12th January with Lord Clarendon at the Foreign
Office, in which yon state that, in answer to a question concerning tie
proposed bill on the subject of naturalization, yoo understood his lord
ship to say that it was nearly ready and wonld be placed before Parliament at an early day in the coining session : I hat, upon your expression
of satisfaction at this prospect, saying that the United States government was anxious to see this arrangement completed, his lordship answered by ex | tressing his regret" that there did not seem to be the same
anxiety at Washington to complete the arrangement which had been
made in regard to the water boundary, appearances seeming to indicate that the convention for leaving that dispute to arbitration would
not be ratified or even acted upon by the Senate, a result which he considered would be discourteous to her Majesty's government." You replied correctly and accurately that the twelve months for ratification
had not yet expired.
Treaties are considered by the Senate of the United States in secret
session, with closed doors and under the injunction of secrecy. His
lordship could not have known what action the Senate in its secret sessions might or might not have taken upon the convention, nor could he
have known but that on the day following his remark, you might have
presented the ratified treaty for exchange.
The haste to anticipate events ami to characterize the expected coarse
of t his government as discourteous to her Majesty's government excites
much regret. The President persuades himself, however, that it was
not intended as a discourtesy toward this government, and therefore
does not hesitate to say that the non-action of this government upon
mmmmmm UNITED  STATES   AND   GREAT  BRITAIN.
the San Juan convention has not, in any degree, proceeded from a want
of desire or of intention to observe the strictest courtesy toward the
government of her Majesty.
In the dispatch of Lord Clarendon to Mr. Thornton, of which a copy
accompanies this, his lordship expresses the surprise of her Majesty's
government that no communication had been made to them on the part
of this government respecting the San Juan convention.
It should be no cause of surprise to her Majesty's government that
the United States withhold their assent from that convention until the
question of naturalization shall have been satisfactorily settled by treaty
or by law of Parliament, or by both.
You are aware that when Mr. Reverdy Johnson left this country on
his mission, which resulted in the negotiation of what is termed " the naturalization protocol," the " San Juan" and the "claims" conventions, he was
instructed that" the so-called naturalization question is the one which
first and most urgently requires attention." His instructions further say,
"You will frankly State to Lord Stanley, that until this difficulty shall
be removed, it is believed by the President that any attempt to settle
any of the existing controversies between the two countries would be
unavailing, and therefore inexpedient." And further, "in case her
Majesty's government shall adopt the required measures to adjust the
naturalization question, you will next be expected to give your attention to the adjustment of the northwest boundary controversy, which
involves the right of national dominion and property over the island of
San Juan, on the frontier line between the United States and British
Columbia. It is understood that on the breaking out of the recent civil
war in the United States, this boundary question was on the eve of being arranged, by referring it to an impartial and friendly arbiter. The
question is increasing in urgency with the growing settlement and population of the Northwest, and with the multiplication of causes of litigation within the disputed territory. The United States still remain in
a disposition favorable to the process of adjustment originally contemplated." This was communicated by Mr. Johnson to Lord Stanley, as was
also the following extract from his instructions:
"Our conclusion is that, in the event that you become convinced that
an arrangement of the naturalization question which would be satisfactory to the United States, in view of your previous instructions, can be
made, then, and in that case, you may open concurrent negotiations upon
the two questions first herein named, to wit, San Juan and the claims
questions; but that those two negotiations shall not be completed, or
your proceedings therein be deemed obligatory, until after the naturalization question shall have been satisfactorily settled by treaty or by
law of Parliament." In consequence of this latter clause of Mr. Johnson's
instruction, a provision was inserted in the protocol, signed by Mr. Johnson and Lord Stanley on the 17th October, 1868, embodying the agreement to refer to some friendly state or power the settlement of the
northwest boundary line (the San Juan protocol) in these words: " It is
understood that this agreement shall not go into operation or have any
effect until the question of naturalization now pending between the two
governments shall have been satisfactorily settled by treaty, or by law
of Parliament, or by both, unless the two parties shall in the mean time
otherwise agree."
This government has at no time otherwise agreed. Her Majesty's
government has, therefore, from the first been fully advised that this
government regarded the satisfactory settlement of the naturalization
question as a preliminary to the settlement of the San Juan controversy,
v:
y**
mmmmmm 12 QUESTIONS  PENDING  BETWEEN  THE
and that the negotiations with respect to the latter should not be completed until after the naturalization question shall have been satisfactorily settled by treaty or by law of Parliament.
On the 10th of November, 1868, a further protocol was signed by Mr.
Eeverdy Johnson and Lord Stanley, agreeing to refer the disputed
question of boundary to the decision of the president of the federal
council of the Swiss Confederation.
On the 26th of December, 1868, Lord Clarendon instructed Mr. Thornton to recall to Mr. Seward's recollection a contingent authority he had
previously given to Mr. Johnson, to convert the San Juan protocol nta
a convention, and suggested that he be again specifically authorized by
telegraph to do so. The protocol was accordingly converted into a convention, and signed on the 14th January, 1869, and was immediately
submitted to the Senate for its constitutional action thereon.
The convention does not repeat the fifth article of the protocol of the
17th October, which made the agreement to refer the settlement of the
disputed boundary to arbitration depend for its operation and effectiveness upon the previous satisfactory settlement by treaty or by law of
Parliament, or by both, of the more important question of naturalization.
It was not necessary that it should be repeated. It was, in its nature,
but temporary, and therefore no proper article of a permanent convention,
on the face of which it might for all time be a blemish, to raise a question and to throw a doubt upon the validity of the treaty as dependent
upon the priority of ratification between it and another convention.
But it was a solemn agreement between the two governments, not to be
waived by implication or by inference—to be avoided only by agreement of both parties. Neither party has proposed to avoid or to abrogate it.
In forwarding the San Juan convention to his government, Mr.
Eeverdy Johnson wrote on the 15th of January, 1869, (the day after it
was signed,) that " it differs only from the protocol in the same subject,
in the insertion of such provisions as became necessary by their conversion into a convention." To attempt to argue the continued validity
of that part of the.agreement might be construed into a mistrust of the
fair dealing of one or other of the parties to the agreement.
It is true that in consenting that the San Juan protocol should be
matured into a convention in January, 1869, the United States did suffer
that subject to take a step in advance, in matter of form, of the naturalization question. But in so doing, this government did not intend to
relinquish, was not understood to relinquish, and did not, in fact, relinquish its position on the naturalization question. The British government
had agreed in the naturalization protocol of 9th October, 1860, to introduce measures into Parliament to carry its principles into operation,
as speedily as might be possible, having regard to the variety of public
and private interests which might be affected by a change in the laws
of naturalization, &c.; and the government of the United States, in permitting the San Juan question to take temporary or apparent precedence in point of form, still trusted in the good faith of the Queen's
government to carry out that agreement to the letter and spirit. This
could have been settled at any moment by act of Parliament. It was
a matter wholly within the power of the Queen's government to arrange
at any moment, at its own convenience, and in its own way, free from
the complications of international conventions or diplomatic negotiation. This it has not done. Parliament convened on the 16th February, 1869, more than four months after the agreement on the naturalization protocol, and continued its session until August 11, of the same "^
INITED   STATES  AND   GREAT   BRITAIN.
13
year—a sessioit of nearly six months—without the introduction of measures to carry the principles of the protocol into operation.
In pursuance of your instructions, you, on the 10th day of June last,
informed Lord Clarendon that you were "ready to enter into arrangements for converting the protocol signed on the 9th October, 1868, in
regard to naturalization into a treaty." In reply, he expressed a doubt
whether there would be time during what was left of the session, to
carry the necessary preliminary measures through Parliament.
On the 26th of June, under further instructions, you again called his
lordship's attention to this subject, and you expressed " the earnest
wish of your government that the needful legislation might be had and
the protocol converted into a treaty without further unnecessary delay."
His lordship replied, on the 5th of July, that " it would be absolutely
impossible to carry through Parliament so large and complex a measure
as the naturalization bill before the time arrives for the prorogation."
On the 10th of August, I instructed you to say that I had not felt willing to press Lord Clarendon while a domestic question of such great
importance to Great Britian, and so interesting to a large class of people in this country, as the Irish church bill was pending; that I acquiesced in his decision that it was impossible to carry a naturalization
bill through at the close of a session; that Mr. Seward had frankly informed the British government that, until the naturalization question
should be settled, any attempts to settle the other existing controversies
would be unavailing; and that the present administration concurred in
that opinion, and hoped that there would be no delay on the part of
Lord Clarendon in the preparation of a bill for the action of Parliament
at its next session. These representations were made by you on the 10th
of September, and were acknowledged by Lord Clarendon on the 22d
of that month.
Congress assembled as usual on the first Monday of December, and
proceeded with its ordinary business. The 14th of January arrived
without any further communication from Lord Clarendon upon the subject of the proposed naturalization convention, and without a request
from her Majesty's government for an extension of the time for the
exchange of the ratifications of the water boundary convention.
In these circumstances, while if there be any cause for the suggestion
of discourtesy (as implied by delay) on either side, the United States
government would seem to have the better reasbn to make such suggestion, yet we do not either admit or charge discourtesy. We stand
on'higher ground. We know well that her Majesty's government will
claim no advantage of the confidence which the United States reposed
in it, when converting the San Juan protocol into a convention, in anticipation of a prompt and prior settlement of the naturalization question in accordance with the solemn agreement between the two governments. In both nations we must accept the inconveniences of constitutional institutions with their greater benefits, and neither has good
cause of complaint against'the other, if the acts of the Senate of the
United States, on the one hand, or those of the Parliament of Great
Britain, on the other, do not keep pace with, or correspond to, all the
views of the executive government.
You will read this dispatch to Lord Clarendon, and leave a copy with
him.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
HAMILTON FISH.
J. Lothkop Motley, Esq.,
&c, &c. &c. London.
•I
< QUESTIONS  PENDING  BETWEEN  THE
No. 6.
Mr. Motley to Mr. Fish.
[Received March 26, 1870.]
No. 274.1
Legation op the United States,
London, March 10,1870.
Snt : I had an interview, by appointment, with Lord Clarendon yesterday, 9th instant, on which occasion I read to him, according to your
instructions, your dispatch No. 151, of the 15th February. No comments were made during the reading, and on its conclusion Lord Clarendon expressed satisfaction with the tenor and contents of the dispatch,
so far as he could judge after hearing it read once. I left with his lordship, as you directed me to do, a copy of the paper, and the conversation
which ensued was so informal that I do not think it necessary to report-
it. His manner was very friendly, and he alluded with much satisfaction to the prospect that the naturalization bill, now in committee of
the House of Lords, would become law at a very early day. The government, he said, would make every effort to prevent delay in either
House of Parliament.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
JOHN LOTHBOP MOTLEY.
Hon. Hamilton Fish,
Secretary of State, Washington, D. G.
No. 7.
Mr. Motley to Mr. Fish.
[Received March 29, 1870.]
No. 278.] Legation of the United States,
London, March 17,1870.
Ser : I have the honor to inclose herein the copy of a note addressed
by me to her Majesty's principal secretary of state for foreign affairs on
the 12th instant, in pursuance of the instructions in your dispatch No.
149, of the 14th February.
Referring to that dispatch, I beg to call your attention to a slight
addition which I have thought it necessary to make to its substance,
as embodied in my note. If you will have the goodness to refer to a
dispatch of Lord Clarendon to Mr. Thornton, No. 9, January 12,1870,
as printed in "North America, No, 1, (1870,) correspondence respecting the Alabama claims, 1869-'70, presented to both Houses of Parliament." a copy of which accompanied my No. 246, of date the 17th of
February, you will find that his lordship had not remembered with
entire accuracy the substance of your dispatch No. 119, of the 22d of
December, of which no copy was left with him. The opening paragraph
of his lordship's dispatch is as follows:
Mr. Motley lias this day read to me a dispatch dated the 22d ultimo, from Mr. Fish,
stating that, among the papers respecting the Alahama claims that had heen presentee!
to the Senate, he had not included my dispatch of the 6th of November, and the memorandum it inclosed, which he did not consider to be official, as the memorandum was
not signed or dated, and as in my other dispatches, &c. fNITED  STATES  AND  GREAT  BRITAIN.
15
Now, your dispatch, read by me to his lordship on the 12th of January,
distinctly states that Lord Clarendon's dispatch of 6th November
was included, and that the "Notes" were excluded because there was
no written paper left with them indicating that they were official.
There is, of course, no allusion to his lordship's "other dispatch," because that other dispatch (No. 7, in the printed correspondence above
cited) had not been seen by you until it reached you in print some two
weeks later.
In order to prevent any further misapprehension, I have incorporated
the substance of your said dispatch, No. 119, of 22d December, in my
note of the 12th instant, a course which I trust will meet your approbation.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
JOHN LOTHROP MOTLEY.
Hon. Hamilton Fish,
Secretary of State, Washington, D. G.
[Inclosuie.]
Mr. Motley to Lord Clarendon.
Legation of the United States,
London, March 12, 1870.
My Lokd : It is considered desirable by my government that your lordship's attention should be called to certain incidents connected with the recent correspondence
between the government of her Majesty and that of the United States.
Your lordship remembers that on the 15th of October last I had the honor of an interview with you at the Foreign Office, on which occasion I read to you a long official
dispatch of the Secretary of State of the United States.
This dispatch, which treated of international affairs of moment, had been addressed
to myself, as minister of the United States at her Majesty's court, with authority to read
it to yOur lordship. After hearing it read, your lordship observed that it would be
hardly proper for you to report from memory to your colleagues the contents of so long
and important a dispatch, (not a private communication,) and you accordingly asked
if I were authorized to furnish a copy of it. I replied that I would do so if you would
ask me for it officially. Your lordship accordingly did me the honor of addressing me
a written request from the Foreign Office on the same day, and the copy was furnished
by me on the following day, as appears by my note to your lordship of that date.
So far as I am aware, there was nothing in these incidents not strictly in conformity
with official diplomatic usage, the dispatch of Mr. Fish being one of a numbered
series, not marked confidential, and having been officially communicated by me, in
copy, to your lordship, expressly that it might be laid before your lordship's colleagues,
her Majesty's government.
It did not occur to me, either at our interview or when sending to your lordship the
copy of Mr. Fish's dispatch, that the transaction was other than a purely official one;
or that the communication made by me, on authority of the United States government, was not made to your lordship as her Majesty's principal secretary of state for
foreign affairs.
Your lordship did me the honor to observe that your silence at our interview did
not imply that there was not another side to the argument in Mr. Fish's dispatch, but
was only because of the wish expressed by myself, in obedience to the instructions of
my government, that official discussion on these particular topics might, in future, be
conducted in Washington. For this reason, no further official conversation ensued between us on that occasion.
On the 19th of November, (as I am informed by the Secretary of State of the United
States,) her Majesty's envoy at Washington, Mr. Thornton, called at the Department
of State and read to Mr. Fish, and left with him a copy of, a dispatch addressed by
your lordship on the 6th of November last to Mr. Thornton, dedicated to the consideration of Mr. Fish's dispatch of the 25th of September to myself. In this dispatch to
Mr. Thornton your lordship says:
" And it is because they earnestly desire to hasten "the period at which these important objects may be accomplished that her Majesty's government have determined
not to foUow Mr. Fish through the long recapitulation oi the various points that have
been discussed in the voluminous correspondence that has taken place between the
two governments for several years." 16
QUESTIONS  PENDING  BETWEEN   THE
The language of this paragraph, like the language throughout the dispatch} is clear
and explicit. For important aucl sufficient reasons, stated with precision by your
lordship, her Majesty's government announce their determination not to take up and
discuss the points of Mr. Fish's dispatch of the 25th of September. But it is nowhere
suggested, as one of those reasons, that the said dispatch is not an official paper, discussing officially matters of moment to both governments. On the contrary, your
lordship, throughout your dispatch to Mr. Thornton, seems to treat that of Mr. Fish
as official, recapitulating and responding to material parts of it; offering responsive
propositions on the part of her Majesty's government; and, in fact, impressing upon
the whole tone of your reply the official stamp of her Majesty's government, in whose
name, many times repeated in the dispatch, a formal decision on an important subject
is, through her Majesty's envoy, to be conveyed to the government of the United
States.
On the same occasion, above alluded to, (namely, on the 19th of November last,) Mr.
Thornton left with the Secretary of State (as I am officially informed) an unsigned
paper entitled " Notes," consisting of an argumentative commentary on the contents
of Mr. Fish's dispatch of the 25th of September, and the Secretary found himself at a
loss to comprehend the purpose of her Maiesty's government.    He was in doubt
whether it did or did not intend to be understood
determined not to follow " him
in discussion of the points of controversy between th.e two governments. Your lordship's dispatch expressed absolute determination not to do it, while, nevertheless, it
seemed to be done in fact and by these "Notes."'
I am informed that when Mr. Thornton made the above-mentioned call at the State
Department, on the 19th of November, Mr. Fish was on the point of departing to attend a meeting of the cabinet. His visitf had not been expected. The Secretary of
State mentioned to him the necessity of his" immediate departure, but, at his request,
delayed to hear your lordship's dispatch, the 6th of November, which he had been instructed to read to Mr. Fish, and to leave a copy of it if requested.
Mr. Thornton then produced a longer paper which, as he stated, he was also instructed to read. Mr. Fish objected, on account of the shortness of time, as he could
then barely reach the'President before the hour appointed for the cabinet meeting.
Mr. Thornton then proposed to leave the paper with the Secretary of State, if he
would consider it as having been read, to which Mr. Fish assented, reserving the right
to return the copy, if on perusal he should find in it anything (which, as he remarked,
he did not think at all probable) that would be improper or objectionable to place
among the papers of the department.
With this understanding Mr. Fish received the paper entitled (at that time) "Notes,"
without its being read, and it was the evening of that day, after the cabinet meeting,
before Mr. Fish knew its contents. He had nothing to excite any suspicion that your
lordship claimed to have received his dispatch (No. 70, of the 25th of September) as a
communication to yourself personally, rather than as a representative of the Queen's
government. Any intimation of that nature would doubtless have induced a very
different course on his part from the one adopted, while your lordship's own action, so
far as known to him, had negatived any such hypothesis. He found himself at a loss
to account for the discrepancy between the views of her Majesty's government as officially communicated in the copy of your lordship's dispatch of November 6th to Mr.
Thornton and the views of the unknown writer of the anonymous "Notes."
When the correspondence was called for by the Senate, the Secretary of State, being
ignorant of the character to be assigned to the " Notes," did not transmit them to that
body, and he instructed me to explain to your lordship the reason why this had not
been done. In accordance with those instructions, as your lordship will remember, I
had the honor, at an interview with your lordship on the 12th of January last, to read
to you a dispatch of Mr. Fish upon this subject. In that paper, the Secretary of State
explains to me that, while your lordship's dispatch to Mr. Thornton, of the 6th of November last, a copy of which had been communicated to Mr. Fish, was made public,
the j)aper entitled " Notes on Mr. Fish's dispatch to Mr. Motley of the 25th of September, respecting the Alabama; &c, claims," had not been included in the correspondence
sent to the, Senate, because, when Mr. Thornton handed a copy of the "Notes," (which
were neither dated nor signed,) he left with him no written paper to indicate that they
were to be regarded definitely and officially as the views of her Majesty's government
in the matter discussed in them.
Your lordship, in reply to the observation of Mr. Fish that the " Notes " in question
were not dated, nor signed, remarked that neither date nor signature to such a memorandum was necessary or customary, as the dispatch in which it was inclosed was
both dated and signed.
But it now appears that the^nclosing dispatch, which I had myself never seen until
it was printed in the London Gazette, had not been read to the Secretary of State, nor
communicated to him in copy, and that he was consequently in ignorance of its existence.   It would, therefore, have been impossible for him to publish it.
The uncertainty at Washington continued until the receipt of the London Gazette >
UNITED  8TATE8  AND   GREAT  BRITAIN.
1:7
of the 21st of December last. It was then that the Secretary of State saw for the first
time that second dispatch, written by your lordship to Mr. Thornton, in which the
official character maintained by your lordship in the former note of the same date,
which he had read to Mr. Fish, and of which he had furnished a copy, was disclaimed.
It was this publication that first gave to these "Notes " an official significance.'
Your lordship will now comprehend the doubtfulness of the Secretary of State as to
the position in this regard of her Majesty's government at tho moment of the official
communication made to him at Washington.
This doubtfulness has made it seem more just to adopt the course of comity and of
favorable construction, and before coming to a positive conclusion to wait for reflection
and for such possible solution of doubt in the process of time as circumstances might
afford. There was nothing in the state of the controversy to forbid such a course or
to prejudice by it any interest of the United States. But when the published correspondence in the Gazette of the 24th December arrived, the preceding uncertainty
was augmented.
The second dispatch of your lordship of date of 6th of November, now coming
under the observation of the Secretary of State for the first time, as thus published by
the'Foreign Office, made him aware, to his surprise, that your lordship professed to
look upon his dispatch of the 25th of September as not being of a strictly official
character, and as being communicated to your lordship personally rather than as the
representative of the Queen's government, and that, therefore, yon did not think it
necessary, in your official reply " to the communication made by " myself, to express
dissent from the statements in that dispatch.
In the formal determination expressed by your lordship in your first dispatch of
November the 6th to Mr. Thornton not to pursue the discussion, and in the delivery of
the paper entitled " Notes," there seemed to be contradiction between words and
acts, but as the " Notes" were without date and unsigned, as they were unofficial in
their tenor and form, and as therefore they did not afford the government of the
United States opportunity to treat them as an official reply of the Queen's government_
to that of the United States, it was necessary for the Secretary of State to leave them
unanswered; for, by answering them, it seemed to him that he would be calling, in
.question your lordship's frankness.
Thus the tenor of your lordship's second dispatch of the 6th of November, and the
appearance of the "Notes" in the " Correspondence" published by the Foreign Office,
but when thus made public elevated into the dignity of " Observations," served to
enhance the uncertainty of construction in this respect which the delivery of the
" Notes " in connection with your lordship's first dispatch of the 6th of November had
produced.
Having taken into consideration these various incidents, the President is now desirous of ascertaining with precision whether the above-mentioned "Notes" or " Observations " are to be regarded as the official act of the Queen's government in response
to the dispatch of the Secretary of State of the 25th of September last. In that dispatch, as I have already had the honor to state, the President's views were officially
set forth for the information not of your lordship personally, but of the Queen's government, the President wishing neither to utter nor to reply to any but the most
explicit propositions.
If the " Notes," or " Observations," are official, he deems it .proper that the government of the United States shall treat them as such; and so, on the other hand, if they
are unofficial.
I have, therefore, now the honor, in obedience to recent instructions from my government, to request your lordship, most respectfully and courteously, for information
whether the " Notes " are or are not to be treated by the President of the United States
as an official exposition of the views of her Majesty's government.
I pray your lordship to accept the assurance of the highest consideration with
which I have the honor to be, my lord, your lordship's most obedient servant,
JOHN LOTHROP MOTLEY.
The Right Honorable the Eakl of Clarendon,
<fc, <f-c:, rf-c.
No. 8.
Mr. Motley to Mr. Fish.
[Received March 31,1870.]
Legation of the United States,
London, March 1Q, 1870.
Sir, : Referring to my No. 278, of the 17th instant, in which was in-
S. Ex. Doc. 114 2
No. 282.1 IS
QUESTIONS  PENDING  BETWEEN  THE
closed the copy of a note addressed by me to Lord Clarendon, (in pursuance of the instructions contained in your No. 149,) asking for information as to the precise character to be assigned to the " Notes (or Observations) on Mr. Fish's dispatch to Mr. Motley, of 25th September,
respecting the Alabama claims," I have now the honor to send copies
of a note of the 18th instant, received by me this morning, in reply to
my above-mentioned note, and of my note to his lordship, of this day's
date.
For convenience of reference, I also inclose a copy of the printed " Correspondence respecting the Alabama claims, 1869-'70, presented to both
Houses of Parliament, by command of her Majesty, 1870," referred to in
Lord Clarendon's said note of 18th.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
JOHN LOTHROP MOTLEY.
Hon. Hamilton Fish,
Secretary of State, Washington, L>. G.
Lord Clarendon to Mr. Motley.
Foreign Office, March 18,1870.
Sn?: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 12th instant;
and I beg to state to yon that a report of the manner in which the paper forwarded in
my second dispatch to Mr. Thornton, of the 6th of November, was communicated to
Mr. Fish, is given in the dispatch from Mr. Thornton, of the 22d of November, published in the correspondence recently presented to Parliament, of which, for convenience of reference, I inclose a copy.   In this dispatch Mr. Thornton states:
" In compliance with the instructions contained in your lordship's dispatch of the
6th instant, I went to the State-Department and read that dispatch to the Secretary of
State, leaving a copy of it, at his request, in his hands.
" I then explained to him the reason, as set forth in yourlordship'sothe1" dispatch of
the 6th instant, which had induced you to follow his example as to the form which
you had adopted to express your dissent from the statements contained in his dispatch
to Mr. Motley of the 25th of September last, after which I proceeded to read to him
the paper containing your lordship's observations, and, at his request, gave him a copy
of it.
I Mr. Fish heard me read both the above-mentioned documents without making any
remark whatever, and upon my concluding merely said that they would be taken into
consideration by his government, at the same time expressing his hope that some
means might be found of coming to an amicable arrangement of all the questions at
issue." i
It will be seen, therefore, that there is an apparent d'screpancy, which I have no
doubt Mr. Thornton will be able to explain to Mr. Fish, between the accounts respectively given of this interview.
In reply to the inquiry contained in the concluding portion of your letter, I have the
honor to request that you will inform Mr. Fish that the paper containing my observations on his dispatch of the 25th of September was furnished to Mr. Thornton to be read
to Mr. Fish, with the same object, of usiug an unreserved frankness in its statements,
with which Mr. Fish's dispatch was addressed to you, in order that it might be read
to me.
For the reasons given in my other dispatch to Mr. Thornton of .the 6th or November, her Majesty's government had determined not to reply categorically to Mr. Fish's
dispatch, and the paper thus communicated by my directions to Mr. Fish was accordingly confined to some observations on matters with regard to which it appeared to her
Majesty's government from Mr. Fish's dispatch that the government of the United
States misapprehended the position in which this country stood.
These observations, therefore, correctly represent the views of her Majesty's government. They were in the nature of an historical statement, founded, as is shown on the
face of them, on the correspondence which has passed between the two governments,
on papers presented to Congress, on the judgments of United States prize courts, and
on other public records, and. were intended as a recapitulation of facts and arguments;
all, or nearly all, of which have been repeatedly referred to during the previous discussion, while the observations omitted all reference to various topics which might
have been introduced into them, had it not been the desire of her Majesty's govern- -*
UNITED   STATES   AND   GREAT   BRITAIN.
19
incntto narrow asonuch as possible what they think the unprofitable field of controversy.
Indeed, almost the only opinion adverted to in them is one in which her Majesty's
government am glad to recognize that the United States government concur, and which
consists in a citation of the proposal made by her Majesty's government in December,
1865, for a revision of the international law of maritime neutrality.
I have the honor to be, with the highest consideration, sir, your most obedient, humble servant,
CLARENDON.
JOHX Loth hop Motley, Esq., <J-c., tyc. <f-c.
Mr. Motley lo Lord Clarendon.
Legation of the United States,
London, March 19, 1870.
My I .< >i:i>: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your lordship's note of
the 18th instant in answer to mine of the 12th, conveying the request of my government for information in reference to the precise character to be assigned to the "Notes
(or Observations) on Mr. Fish's dispatch of the 25th of September, 1869," and to state
that a copy of your above-mentioned note of the 18th instant has been forwarded to
the Secretary of State by this.day's steamer.
Renewing. Ac.
JOHN LOTHROP MOTLEY.
The Right Honorable the Earl of Clarendon,
fc, 4-e., Jh.
No. 9.
■
Mr. Fish to Mr. Motley.
Ho. 190.] Department of State,
Washington, April 25,1870.
Sir : I have to acknowledge yonr dispatch, No. 278, of 17th March,
in which yon transmit a copy of yonr note of 12th March to the Earl
of Clarendon, which presents to his lordship, with great accuracy, the
circumstances under which one of his lordship's dispatches to Mr.
Thornton of 6th November last, and a paper at that time entitled
"Notes," and subsequently called u Observations," were presented to me
and came to the knowledge of this government. It also presents, correctly, the surprise with which I first saw, in'the London Gazette of
24th December, the second dispatch of the Earl of Clarendon to Mr.
Thornton, also dated 6th November.
You had been advised by me, in a dispatch of 14th of February, of the
particulars of an interview between Mr. Thornton and myself on 19th
of November, when he read to me the former of these two dispatches of
the same date, (6th November,) and left me, without its being read, but
with an understanding to consider it read, under a -contingent reservation, the paper then entitled " Notes."
Your note to his lordship of 12th March embodies, accurately, my
statement to you.
1 have also to acknowledge your No. 282, of 19th March, communicating a copy of Lord Clarendon's reply, dated March 18, to your note of 12th
March. In this reply, Lord Clarendon quotes Mr. Thornton's dispatch
to him of 22d November last, and adds: •• It will be seen, therefore,
that there is an apparent discrepancy, which I have (he had) no doubt
'*
I— 20
QUESTIONS PENDING  BETWEEN   THE
Mr. Thornton will be able to explain to Mr. Fish, between the accounts
respectively given of this interview."
I sincerely regret this reference of his lordship, after a careful review
of the statement in my dispatch, No. 149, of 14th February, of what occurred at the interview .between Mr. Thornton and myself of 19th November last. I am unable to find any alteration which either my own
memory or the private note of the interview made on the day of its occurrence will allow to be made; neither do I find anything therein stated
which a very friendly interchange of views at a recent conference with
the accomplished and estimable representative of her Majesty to this
government suggests as at variance with the actual occurrence at that
interview.
It is true that I have from Mr. Thornton that he quite confidently
thinks that he not only read to me Lord Clarendon's dispatch, published
as No. 6, in the supplement to the London Gazette of 24th December,
1869, but that he also read to me his lordship's other dispatch of the
same date, (November 6,) published as No. 7 in the Gazette. Herein
our memories are at variance; my recollection suggests very confidently
that only one note was read.
In this recollection I am sustain^ by a memorandum which I made
on the day of the interview, by the fact that 1 could not have heard
that second dispatch read, and have failed to be impressed by and to
have noticed the declaration therein that Lord Clarendon regards mine of
25th September as not being of a strictly official character, and as being
communicated to him personally, rather than as the representative of
the Queen's government; by the further fact that this second dispatch
did not authorize its being read; and, again, by the fact that on the
22d of November, only three days after the interview, when Mr. Thornton officially communicated its result to his government,-he did not
allude to his having read the second dispatch.
With the exception of this one point, I am not aware o
ence with regard to the interview of 19th November, which
suggestec
1: I
any difter-
a very free
fail to see
en in mine
and frank conference with Mr. Thornton ha
anything which will justify an alteration of tne account giv
of 14th February, and repeated by you in your note of 12th March.
I might, however, have added to that statement what I now state,.
viz: that on the next occasion, after the interview of 19th November,
when again I met Mr. Thornton, and in pursuance of the understanding with which the "Notes" had been left with me, without being then
read, I told him that I had read them and determined to retain the
copy, which he was thereby authorized to consider me as having requested at the close of its (constructively) being read to me; that I did
not accept many of the views presented, and thought them open to reply ; but that, as Lord Clarendon in his dispatch had expressed the determination of her Majesty's government not to follow me in the points
discussed in mine of 25th September, I should not pursue the discussion
which might be suggested by this paper. Nothing could be more explicit than the words used by his lordship in the dispatch No. 6, of 6th
November, which Mr. Thornton was directed to read to me, that " her
Majesty's government have determined not to follow Mr. Fish through
the long recapitulation of the various points that have been discussed
in the voluminous correspondence that has taken place between the
governments for several years."
The Earl of Clarendon, in his second dispatch to Mr. Thornton, November 6,1869, (No. 7, in the Gazette,) draws a distinction between
the " Observations" ("Notes") which it incloses and the views set forth 1
UNITED  STATES  AND  GREAT  BRITAIN. 21
in his No. 6, of the same date, to the same gentleman, which was officially communicated to me.
His No. 6 assumes to express the official views of her Majesty's government. Three paragraphs are devoted to describing his interview
with yourself and his reception of a copy of my dispatch of 25th September. Four paragraphs follow, reciting the substance of that dispatch. Seven successive paragraphs then state the views of her Majesty's government on different points, (including the determination,
above cited, not to follow me in the discussion,) and the last paragraph
instructs Mr. Thornton to read the dispatch to me.
His No. 7 incloses the "Notes" or "Observations." The first paragraph refers to the No. 6 as' containing the " official reply to the communication made by Mr. Motley," (*. e., to my dispatch of 25th September.) In the second paragraph Lord Clarendon says: "I desire, however, to place before Mr. Fish, in the same manner as Mr. Motley was
instructed to place.before me, some observations that have occurred to
me," and he accordingly transmits a paper to that effect.
The obvious conclusion from this language would be that a clear distinction is drawn between the "official reply to the communication made
to Mr. Motley" and some observations that had occurred to Lord Clarendon; that the reply (viz: the dispatch No. 6 to Mr. Thornton) was the
expression of her Majesty's government—official correspondence between that government and this; that the " Observations" (inclosed in
No. 7) were individual observations of Lord Clarendon.
The publication of this dispatch, No. 7, in the London Gazette of 24th
December led to my instructions to you, which were embodied in your
note of 12th of March, to inquire whether the "Notes" are or are not to
be treated by the President as an official exposition of the views of her
Majesty's government.
Lord Clarendon's reply to this question is not as explicit as might
have been desired. His lordship still draws the distinction between the
views contained in No. 6 and those contained in No. 7. He says that
" her Majesty's government had determined not to reply categorically
to Mr. Fish's dispatch," and that the paper communicated to me by his
direction was accordingly confined to some observations on matters with
regard to which it appeared to her Majesty's government from Mr. Fish's
dispatch that the government of the United States misapprehended the
position in which this country (Great Britain) stood," thus maintaining
the distinction previously observed between the official character of dispatch No. 6 and that of the inclosure in No. 7.
From this it would appear that the government of the United States
is warranted in drawing the conclusion that, although Lord Clarendon's
colleagues may individually or collectively concur with him in the views
expressed in the "Notes" or " Observations," that paper is nevertheless
not to be regarded as an " official expression" on the part of her Majesty's
government.
To treat them as part of the correspondence, and to answer them officially would not only open again what the Earl of Clarendon calls "the
unprofitable field of controversy," but might possibly widen that field
by drawing into discussion still other points, and make it even more
unprofitable, and less promising of hope for the disposition of the existing question.
We do not believe it the intent of either government, and it is certainly no part of the wish of this government, to extend the discussion.
' Acting therefore in the sense expressed, this government will, unless
a different course be invited by her Majesty's government, continue to
i 
22 QUESTIONS  PENDING  BETWEEN  THE
regard the " Notes" as no part of the correspondence, but a paper containing, iu the language of Lord Clarendon in his No. 7 to Mr. Thornton,
of November 6, some observations that had occurred to him, which he
desired to place before me personally rather than as the representative
of this government, which were received by me as not an official communication from her Majesty's government to this government, and to
which, when they had been read, I orally replied that I dissented from
many of the views and statements presented, but, influenced by Lord
Clarendon's expressed determination not to pursue the discussion, I
rested upon the verbal expression of dissent.
You will be pleased to read this dispatch to her Majesty's principal
secretary of state for foreign affairs, and will leave a copy thereof with
him.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
HAMILTON FISH.
J. Lothrop Motley,' Esq.
No.IO.
Mr. Fish to Mr. Motley.
No. "211.] Department op State,
Washin UNITED  STATES  AND   GEEAT  BRITAIN.
23
The memorandum therefore was confined, as I have already stated to Mr. Motley, to
* recapitulation 01 facts and arguments, all or nearly all of which have been repeatedly
referred to during the previous discussion.
Her Majesty's government, though prepared, if called upon, to maintain their views
as set forth in the memorandum and in the preceding communications which have
passed between the two governments, entirely agree with Mr. Fish that, for the settlement and disposition of the questions at issue, it.is neither useful nor expedient to continue a controversial correspondence in which there is so little hope of either government being able to convince the other, aud in which their respective position and
opinions have been so amply recorded and sustained.
Tou will read this dispatch to Mr. Fish, and give him a copy of it should he require
one.
I am, &c,
CLARENDON.
Edward Thornton, Esq., C. B., $c, $c, §c.
' 

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