« EelmineJätka »
that as there had been two plenipotentiaries appointed by his majesty, it was the emperor's intention to do the same, and that the name of the person selected would be communicated to us.
It is proper to state, that in the course of this conversation, lord Yarmouth recalled to general Clarke's recollection, that in all the interviews he had had with him, he uniformly stated the uti possidetis as the only basis upon which he could possibly treat. General Clarke in reply said, that he could make no answer to what lord Yar mouth stated, without alluding to conversations which he affected to consider as loose, calling them "*des_romans_politiques" at the same time by his silence he clearly admitted what lord Yarmouth most distinctly stated.
Our first interview terminated with an appointment to meet at lord Lauderdale's apartments on Friday, the 8th, at twelve o'clock, the general observing that it might be perhaps necessary to put off the appointment, as he wished to have full time to consider the note which had been delivered, and as the new plenipotentiary might wish to have an opportunity carefully to read the correspondence that hitherto had taken place.
mised at the same time if this was the case, to give us notice by writing in the morning.
On Friday the eighth at eleven o'clock the inclosures (marked B. and C.) were left at lord Lauderdale's apartments, and an answer was sent to general Clarke, stating that an appointment had been
made by lords Lauderdale and Yar. mouth to receive the Turkish ambassador at four o'clock, and requesting that the meeting should take place on Saturday the 9th at
General Clarke and monsieur Champagny, minister of the interior, the newly appointed plenipotentiary, afterwards put off this meeting till four o'clock to day, as the latter was obliged to attend the emperor's privy council at St. Cloud.
Late on Friday night lord Yar. mouth received the answer to the note delivered by lord Lauderdale, a copy of which (marked D.) is inclosed, to which lord Lauderdale and lord Yarmouth immediately returned the answer, also enclosed, (marked E.)
General Clarke and M. Champagny came to the meeting appointed at four o'clock, and a conversa. tion took place which lasted for upwards of two hours. Into the details of this it is impossible now to enter. The general object of it was to engage lord Lauderdale to depart from the basis which he had insisted should be recognized, to prevail upon him to consult his government, or to take ten or fifteen days for consideration; but it terminated by lord Lauderdale's declaring that the last note was to be considered as a prelude to his demanding passports, for which he should apply to M. Talleyrand in the course of the evening.
The letter, a copy of which (marked F.) is inclosed, was dispatched to M. Talleyrand half an hour after the departure of the plenipotentiaries,
Paris, August, 7, 1806. The undersigned plenipotentiary of his Britannic majesty, previous to entering upon the negotiation actually pending between his sovereign and the court of France, thinks it necessary briefly to retrace the circumstances in which it origi nated. At the same time, he conceives it consistent with that character of openness and sincerity, which, as his Britannic majesty's plenipotentiary, he is determined invariably to support, to declare the only basis upon which France herself originally laid down; and to define the nature of the discussion into which he is about to enter.
The strong and energetic language in which the French government a few months since, expressed its desire for peace, whilst it inspired his majesty with the confidence in the real sincerity of the wishes of the court of France, left him only to regret that the proposal of treat-, ing with his majesty separately from his allies, appeared to prevent both France and England from profiting by that happy disposition of their respective governments; it being at that time impossible for his majesty, conformably with the
good faith which he has ever evinced, to treat otherwise than conjointly with his ally the emperor of Russia.
Since that time, his majesty hav. ing found that circumstances which it is unnecessary to detail here, permitted his majesty to negotiate separately he received with great pleasure, the proposal of treating generally, upon the basis of uti possidetis, which was to be scrupulously observed except in the case of Hanover, which was proposed to be ceded to his majesty with all its dependencies.
It is true, that this proposal was not made either directly, or through the channel of an accredited minister: of its authenticity, however, no one could entertain the smallest doubt.
Independently of the authority which it derived from the character of the person employed to commu nicate it, it seemed to agree conpletely with what had been previously announced. For the emperor desires nothing that England possesses," (an avowal made at the commencement of the correspondence between the two courts) was a natural prelude to such a proposal.
His majesty regarded the cession of Hanover as a proof of the spirit of justice in which the proposal was conceived, because this electorate, although occupied on account of a supposed identity of interests and of measures, in fact had no relation whatever with the disputes which produced the present war; and his majesty saw in the principle hitherto acknowledged as the general basis of negotiation, a basis peculiarly adapted to the relative situations of the two parties, which
he considered a proof that France was as sincerely disposed as Great Britain to put an end to an order of things, equally prejudicial to the interests of both countries.
In fact, it appeared to his majesty to be the only principle upon which it was probable that a negotiation could be brought to a successful issue. From the nature of the interests of the parties engaged in it, there was but little hope that any satisfactory arrangement could be made on the ground of recipro cal restitutions, by giving up their respective acquisitions; whilst on the other hand, the priuciple of uti possidetis naturally presented itself, as the mode of terminating the unfortunate hostilities between the two nations, both of whom were in possession of conquests extensive and important in point both of territory and of influence; France on the continent of Europe, and Great Britain in other parts of the world.
This truth appeared still more striking to his majesty, upon reflecting that the state of possession in which the two nations held their respective acquisitions could scarcely suffer any important change by the continuance of the war; the superiority of the naval force of Great Britain being, according to all appearance, not less firmly es tablished on the seas, than that of the armies of France on the conti. nent of Europe.
It was under the impression which these ideas naturally produced, that his majesty accepted, without hesitation, the proposal of treating upon the principle of uti possidetis, with the reservation due to the connection and the concert that
subsisted with the emperor of Russia; and as a proof of his sincerity, his majesty fixed upon the person by whom the communication had been made, to announce the readiness with which he had acceded to the basis proposed for the conclusion of a treaty.
The undersigned is by no means disposed to conceal the satisfaction his majesty derived from these hap. py prospects of speedily restoring to his subjects the blessings of peace, upon just and equitable principles, such as were conformable to the honour of his crown; nor the regret which his majesty felt, when, almost at the very moment of his declaring his acceptance of the proposal that had been made to him, it was signified that this principle was suddenly abandoned by the demand of the evacuation and cession of Sicily; a demand which has hitherto been modified merely by projects of indemnity for his Sicilian majesty, which appear to be totally inadequate and inadmissible.
This demand, so incompatible with the avowed principles upon which the two powers were treating, was in itself sufficient to put an end to the negotiation, but the anxiety of his majesty the king of Great Britain and Ireland to concur with his ally the emperor of Russia, and to secure to his subjects the blessings of peace, induced him to receive any new proposal for obtaining for his Sicilian majesty, in exchance for Sicily, a real and satisfactory equivalent, such as that sovereign should consent to accept.
No satisfactory proposal of this nature having yet been made, the
undersigned must declare that he cannot consent to treat upon any other principle than that of the uti possidetis, as originally proposed to his sovereign by the court of France; at the same time he is desirous it should be well understood, that the adoption of this principle will not prevent him either from listen. ing to any just and adequate in. demnification to his Sicilian majesty for the cession of Sicily, or from accepting any proposition for the exchange of territory between the two contracting parties, upon just and equal principles, such as may tend to the reciprocal advantage of the two countries.
The undersigned is well aware that since the uti possidetis was proposed by the court of France, peace has been concluded between France and the emperor of Russia, and that, in consequence, the relative situation of the two countries is no longer the same; but, on the other hand, he must also observe, that since that time France has acquired fresh advantages in conse quence of the extensive changes which she has made in the constitution of the German empire; an arrangement, the preventing of which was represented by France to the court of Great Britain as a powerful motive for the immediate conclusion of peace on the basis of uti possidetis. If then this principle formerly appeared just to France, it cannot fail at present, according to her own views of the subject, to be more favourable to her interest than to those of the British empire.
The undersigned thinks it, at the same time, necessary to observe, that although France may have other important views upon the continent of Europe, bis majesty the king of
Great Britain and Ireland may very fairly form views in other parts of the world of infinite importance to the commerce and to the power of his empire, and consequently that he cannot, conformably with either the interests of his people or the honour of his crown, negotiate upon any principle of inferiority either avowed or supposed. He can treat upon no other footing than the supposition, that the continuation of hostilities is equally disadvantageous to both parties. There can be no reason to suppose that the conquests which his majesty proposes to retain by the peace can be wrested from him by war; and the undersigned is persuaded that the best proof of the equity of the conditions, upon which he proposes to treat, is to be found in the fact, that they were proposed by France herself at the first opening of the communications between the two governments, which have led to the mission with which his sovereign has been pleased to entrust to him conjointly with the earl of Yarmouth. (Signed)
Paris, August 8th, 1806. The undersigned minister plenipotentiary of his majesty the emperor of the French, king of Italy, has laid before his government the note transmitted yesterday by his excellency lord Lauderdale, plenipotentiary from his Britannic majesty.
His majesty the emperor of the French, king of Italy, could not see without pain, that a negotiation which has already been the subject of so much discussion, which has occasioned the dispatching of so many messengers by both parties, which was in a word brought to maturity, should have suddenly taken a retrogade direction, so as to present obstacles founded, not in the nature of the stipulations, but on the very ground on which that negotiation was commenced.
The court of France has constantly refused to admit in the same negotiation, the courts of England and Russia, and whatever desire his majesty the emperor of the French, king of Italy, may have to see a general peace shortly re-established, no consideration could induce him to violate that principle of his policy. The negotiations which France had commenced at Petersburgh, had moreover convinced his majesty the emperor of the French, king of Italy, that the English cabinet deceived itself with respect to the nature of its relations with Russia.
After several months of discussion, the cabinet of London yielded this point, and his excellency the earl of Yarmouth arrived publicly at Calais, and afterwards at Paris, for the purpose of treating for peace. He had conferences with his excellency the minister for foreign affairs immediately after his arrival
in this capital, having previously made known to him that he was duly authorised by his government.
Since that period, Russia has concluded her peace with France. The undersigned has been appointed minister plenipotentiary to negotiate with the plenipotentiary of his Britannic majesty, and the first step was an exchange of his powers with those of his excellency the earl of Yarmouth, whom he was bound to believe, as it is expressed in his excellency's full powers, authorized to negotiate, conclude, and sign a definitive treaty between France and the united kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Very frequent conferences, most of them of several hours, have since taken place between the two plenipotentiaries, who, with good faith on both sides, endeavoured to do away the difficulties, and put aside every thing that could have tended to irritate their minds, or to embar. rass and unnecessarily retard the progress of negotiation.
Instead of transmitting to each other notes, more or less ingenious, but which rather remove than approximate the object which it is wished to attain; instead of beginning those written controversies, which are not less injurious to humanity than open hostilities, and which prolong the miseries of nations instead, above all things, of negotiating peace in the same manner in which war is carried on, the plenipotentiaries had free conferences, in which his majesty the emperor and king granted all which be could grant, without losing sight of the dignity of his crown, his love for his people, and the interest of his allies.
His majesty will never be reduced to make further sacrifices.