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4th, I alfo informed M. Otto of the very fubftantial reasons that will prevent his majefty from agreeing to a general armistice previous to the figning of preliminaries, as detailed in the minute which I had the honour to receive from your lordship; and was answered by him, that he has every reafon to think, and is perfonally convinced, that the continuation of the German armistice will depend upon the conclufion of the English armistice, the advantages of the latter being confidered by France as an equivalent for the very obvious difadvantages of the German one. He obferved that the regulations contained in the German armistice do not extend to fuch places as were not actually blockaded or attacked by the French; judging therefore from analogy, fuch places only as are actually blockaded by the English forces could be comprehended in the propofed armiftice; therefore Belleifle, Malta, and Alexandria, fhould be put on the fame footing as Ulm, Philipfburg, and Ingolstadt.
M. Otto has been inftructed to.
require an answer to the propofal for a general armiftice before the 3d of September, which makes him conclude that hoftilities may again commence about that time, fhould the propofed armiftice be pofitively refufed on the part of his majesty. He farther obferved, that as long as hoftilities on the continent are carried on, there can be no firm bafis on which to ground negotiation, as every change on either fide would Occafion a new fubject of difcuffion.
M. Otto farther remarked, that if a general armistice fhould be agreed on, he is authorised to enter into any fecurity that may be thought neceflary for the commerce of Great Britain; and that the great importance of the fubject obliges him to
inquire whether he is to have a written anfwer on the subject of the general armiftice, or whether he is to confider the prefent verbal communication as definitive against it. I have the honour to be, &c.
(Signed) R. GEORGE. Right Hon. Lord Grenville. No. 8. Downing-Street, Aug. 29, 1800.
As M. Otto expreffed to you a defire to receive in writing the anfwer of the king's government to his note, I tranfmit to you the inclofed, which I request you will communicate to him. I am, &c. (Signed) GRENVILLE. Commiffioner George. No. 9. Downing-Street, Aug. 29, 1800. SIR,
I inclofe to you, by the king's command, the anfwer which his majefty has thought proper that I fhould return to the different points contained in the note which I had
the honour to receive from you.
The mode which you adopted for the tranfmiffion of that paper was perfectly fatisfactory to his majesty's government; but as captain George has, from his fituation, the opportunity of unobferved intercourfe with you, I will request you to tranfmit to me, through him, any further communications with which you may be charged by your government refpecting this bufinefs. (Signed) GRENVILLE.
No. 10.-NOTE. M. Otto having apprifed his majesty's government, through captain George, that the propofal made by the court of Vienna for fixing Luneville as the place for carrying on the propofed negotiation for a general peace has been acceded to by
by the French government, it only remains on that head to exprefs his majefty's agreement to the fame propofal; and to declare, that in confequence thereof a proper perfon fhall be fent to Luneville, on his majesty's part, to meet the plenipotentiaries of Auftria and France, as foon as the paffports for fuch minifter and his fuite fhall be received; provided that the French government is willing to enter into the neceffary engagements, that his majefty's plenipotentiary fhall be at liberty to communicate freely, and in the ufual manner, by courier, with this country, and with the dominions of his majesty's allies.
With refpect to the propofal for a general armistice by fea and land between Great Britain and France, the king would fee with great fatisfaction the moment when he could with propriety adopt any measure, the immediate effect of which would be to put a stop, at least for a time, to the calamities of war; but an armiftice, as applying to naval operations, has at no period ever been agreed on between Great Britain and France, during the course of their negotiations for peace, or until the preliminaries have been actually figned: fuch a ftep cannot therefore be confidered as neceffary to negotiation; and from the difputes to which its execution muft unavoidably be expected to give rife, there is juft reafon to apprehend that it might more probably tend to obstruct than to facilitate the fuccefs of thofe endeavours which the two parties might employ for the reftoration of peace. Befides this it is to be confidered, that the circumstances of a naval war are obviously not fuch as to admit of fuch equal arrangements as are easily established with regard to military operations, when fufpended by fuch an agree
ment. It appears therefore at all events premature to enter even into the difcuffion of this question, until, from the courfe of the negotiations, it fhall more clearly appear how far they are likely to lead to a fatisfactory iffue. But in any cafe no decifion could be taken hereon fuch a fubject, unless the French government had previously explained in what manner it is conceived that the principles of the regulations adopted in the German armistice, with refpect to blockaded towns, can be applied to the naval ports and arfenals of France and her allies now blockaded by his majefty's filcets, fo as to carry bona fide into execution, as to the refpective maritime forces, the fame objects which thofe ftipulations have in view with refpect to the military pofitions occupied by the armies in Germany and Italy.
(Signed) GRENVILLE. Downing-Street, Aug. 20, 1800.
No. 8, Hereford-Street, Aug. 30, 1800. (12th Fruc. An. 8.) MY LORD,
I received yesterday evening the letter and the note which your excellency did me the honour to addrefs to me; and I immediately tranfinitted them to Dover by an extraor dinary meffenger.
I cannot but be extremely flattered by the approbation which his majefty's government has been pleafed to give to the mode which I had adopted for my political communications. That which your excellency propofes to me combines the double advantage of difpatch and of fecrecy, and I fall follow it as often as orders from my govern ment fhall afford me an opportunity of profiting by it. I have the honour to be, with the moft refpe&ful confideration,
confideration, my lord, your excellency's moft humble and moft obedient fervant, OTTO.
No. 12.-NOTE. His excellency lord Grenville having been pleafed to inform the underligned of the intention of his majefty to fend a plenipotentiary to Luneville, in order to take a fhare in the negotiations which fhall be entered upon, as foon as the neceffary paffports fhall have been tranfinitted by the French government, and as foon as affurance fhall have been given refpecting the free correfpondence of this plenipotentiary with his court and with the countries be longing to the allies of his majefty, the undersigned immediately difpatched an extraordinary meffenger, in order to communicate these difpofitions to his government.
The conciliatory and humane fentiments which have had an influence in producing this decifion of the cabinet are a happy prefage of the re-establishment of good harmony between two countries which, from the genius, the talents, and the induftry of their people, are fo ftrongly interested in che. rifhing the arts and the enjoyments of peace. It is with a view to attain more fpeedily this end, fo ardently defired by all Europe, that the undersigned was directed to fubmit to the British goverment the projet for a maritime truce; but the minifters of his majefty having judged that it would be premature to enter even upon the difcuffion of this object, it is his duty to refpect the motives which appear to them to militate against fuch a negotiation, although he may have had every reafon to hope that the adherence of his majefty to that propofal might have become the pledge of
the continuance of the two armif. tices concluded in Germany and Italy; the French government not being able to confent, for any length of time, to facrifice the advantages afforded to it by its military position upon the continent, without the affurance of an analogous facrifice on the part of Great Britain.
If, through the imperious force of circumftances, the refult of the negotiations of Luneville should be fubjected to the future fortune of war, it is to be prefumed that the refpective inftructions and delibe. rations would no longer have for a bafis a state of things known and appreciated on all fides, and that the pacific difpofitions manifested by the belligerent powers would not produce effects as prompt and falutary as might have been hoped for from a general truce.
rate paffport for Mr. Garlike fhould be furnished by the French government, fuch as will enable him to proceed directly from Berlin to Luneville. You will add, that it will be a matter of convenience to his majefty's government, and to Mr. Garlike perfonally, if that paffport, instead of being fent through London, were tranfinitted, through the French minifter at Berlin, to the earl of Carysfort, his majesty's minister at that court.
I wish you farther to remark to M. Otto, that it is ufual in the opening of negotiations for peace, that fuch previous explanations fhould take place as may enable the refpective minifters to arrive nearly at the fame time at the place of negotiation; and that as the communication on this point may be received here fo much fooner from Paris than from Vienna, his majefty's government would wish to be informed through you of the period which may be fixed for the arrival of the Auftrian and French plenipotentiaries at Luneville, in order that no delay may take place on his majesty's part in the opening of the negotiation. I am, &c. (Signed) GRENVILLE. To captain George.
rances demanded for the plenipotentiary who fhall be appointed. I have the honour to be, with the higheft confideration, &c. (Signed) Отто.
No. 15.-NOTE. The undersigned having communicated to his government the note dated the 29th of Auguft, forwarded to him by his excellency lord Grenville, is directed to fubmit to him the following obfervations.
Preliminaries of peace had been concluded and figned between his imperial majesty and the French republic. The intervention of lord Minto, who demanded that England fhould be admitted to take part in the negotiations, prevented their ratification by his imperial majefty.
The fufpenfion of arms which had taken place folely in the hope of a speedy peace between the emperor and the republic ought then to ceafe, and will in fact ceafe on the 24 Fructidor, (11th Sept.) fince France had facrificed to that hope alone the immenfe advantages which victory had fecured to her.
The intervention of England renders the queftion of peace fo complicated, that it is impoffible for the French government to prolong farther the armistice upon the continent, unless his Britannic majefty will confent to render it common to the three powers.
If then the cabinet of St. James's defires to continue to make a common caufe with Auftria, and if its defire to take part in the negotiations be fincere, his Britannic majefty will not hesitate to adopt the propofed armistice.
But if this arn iftice he not concluded before the 24th Fructidor (11th Sept.) hoftilities wide (K 3)
been renewed with Auftria, and the first conful will no longer be able to confent, with regard to that power, to any but a feparate and complete peace.
In order to fatisfy the explanations demanded relative to the armiftice, the underfigned is directed to acquaint lord Grenville, that the places which it is propofed to affimilate to thofe of Germany are Malta and the maritime towns of Egypt.
If it be true that a long fufpenfion of arms between France and England would appear unfavourable to his Britannic majefty, it is not less fo, that an armiftice prolonged upon the continent would be eflentially disadvantageous to the French republic; fo that at the fame time that the naval armistice would be to the French government a pledge of the zeal which would be employed by England in promoting the re-establishment of peace, the continental armistice would be one alfo to the British government of the fincerity of the efforts of France; and as the pofition of Auftria would no longer admit of her not diligently feeking for a conclufion, the three powers would have, in their own private interefts, decifive reafons for confenting, without delay, to the facrifices which may be reciprocally neceffary in order to bring about an early conclufion of a general and a folid peace, fuch as may answer the with and the hope of the whole world. (Signed) Отто. Hereford Street, 17th Fru. Year 8. (4th Sept, 1800.)
French government has determined to make the continuance of the armistice between Austria and France, and the comm. ncement of the negotiations for peace, dependent on the conclufion of an armiftice with this cou try, it is judged proper, in order that the ultimate decifion on fo important and extenfive a queftion may be taken with the fulleft knowledge of all the confiderations by which it ought to be governed, that you fhoul fre M. Otto, and inquire of him, Whether (as his note of the 30th ultimo appears to intimate) he is furnished with a projet of a treaty of naval truce? and, in that cafe, Whether he is willing to communicate it to you for the information of his majefty's government?
You will further inquire, Whether he is impowered and inftructed to include in fuch treaty his majefty's allies?
And, laftly, if his projet should contain no article applicable to the queftion of moving the French and Spanish fhips now in Breft to any other station in or out of Europe, you will inquire, Whether M. Otto is authorised to enter into negotiation for the purpose of including proper ftipulations on that fubject in any treaty of the nature which his government has propofed? I am, &c. (Signed) GRENVILLE. Evan Nepean, efq.