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Mr. Dayton to Mr. Seward.
[Extract.] No. 336.]
Paris, August 21, 1963. Sir : Your despatch No. 378 has been duly received, and I have called Mr. Drouyn de l'Huys's attention to the subject therein referred to. He assures me that France has no purpose or design upon the independence of the republic of Ecuador. That should any change in its territory take place, or should it be absorbed in another government, as in the republic of Colombia, this would not, in the language of Baron Gowry du Roslan, their minister, pass unobserved by the government of France, but its observation of such events would apply only to such change of ministers or agents as the absorption of two governments into one might render necessary. If they had any claims against the country or territory so absorbed, they would reserve the right to press them, of course. But he said he recollected nothing of a special character in the despatches of Baron Gowry du Roslan on these subjects; he would, however, examine them further.
It is not improbable or unnatural that, in view of the course of France in Mexico, the republics of Central America may have become alarmed for their future. They look, therefore, with great suspicion and distrust upon the language of all French officials, which seems to imply a purpose upon the part of the Emperor to interfere further.
In this connexion I should add, that Mr. Drouyn de l’Huys took occasion again to say that France had no purpose in Mexico other than heretofore stated; that she did not mean to appropriate permanently any part of that country, and that she should leave it as soon as her griefs were satisfied, and she could do so with honor. In the abandon of a conversation somewhat familiar I took occasion to say that in quitting Mexico she might leave a puppet behind her. He said
the strings would be too long to work. He added they had had enough of colonial experience in Algeria ; that the strength of France was in her compact body and well-defined boundary. In that condition she had her resources always at command. There is much force in the suggestion, as applied to this government, which is so emphatically a military power.
You will put upon this conversation as to Mexico your own construction, and draw your own inferences. It seemed to me, however, that Mr. Drouyn de l'Huys was disposed to avail himself of the opportunity to relieve, as far as possible, the suspicion and distrust which our government might, from late events, naturally entertain of the purposes of France in that country.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
WM. L. DAYTON.
Hon. William H. SEWARD,
Secretary of State.
Mr. Dayton to Mr. Seward. No. 334.]
Paris, August 20, 1863. Sir: I read to Mr. Drouyn de l’Huys to-day your despatch No. 380, expressing the sentiment of the President in reference to the explanation in the 5 Moniteur" of the views and purposes of the Emperor in respect to the south, and his conversation with Messrs. Roebuck and Lindsay.
I furthermore reminded Mr. Drouyn de l’Huys of the fact that your despatch, which stated that our government would consider the acknowledgment of the