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The only motive which could lead this court to entertain the difcuffion of a propofal fo unusual in itself, and fo difadvantageous to the interefts of Great Britain, as that of a maritime truce to precede negotiation, is the defire of contributing to facilitate the conclufion of a general peace; and the termination of the armistice on the continent, by the act of the French government, would put an end to all inducements to fuch a measure on the part of this country.
The neceffity of receiving the king's commands, on the projet communicated by M. Otto, must prevent the undersigned from transmitting any reply to that paper before Sunday next. It is therefore for M. Otto to determine whether he will not think it proper immediately to write to his government, to remark, that if France had propopofed an armistice with Great Britain for the purpose of its leading to general negotiation and peace, that object can only be attained by at leaft fuch a prolongation of the continental armiftice as will allow the time required for receiving the anfwer to the propofal made here.. (Signed) GRENVILLE. Downing-Street, Sept. 5, 1800.
VII. His Catholic majesty and the Batavian republic are included in the prefent armistice.
Thurfday Evening, Sept. 4, 1800. Citizen Otto prefents his compliments to Mr. Nepean, and, according to his defire, inclofes a fketch of the treaty propofed by his government.
Landon, the 5th Sept. 1800. SIR, (18th Fruct. year 8.) I have received the letter which you have done me the honour to addrefs to me, acquainting me that
his majefty had thought proper provifionally to appoint Mr. Grenville to take part in the eventual negotiations at Luneville. That choice cannot fail to be very agreeable to the French government, As foon as the refult of the present communications fhall have rendered the journey of Mr. Grenville neceffary, I fhall deliver to him the paffport for which I had previously applied; and I am directed to give, in the name of my government, every afsurance which Mr. Gren. ville can defire refpecting the promptitude and the inviolability of his correfpondence.
With refpect to Mr. Garlike, it will be very easy to fend to him directly to Berlin the paffport neceffary for him; and I fhall requeft it of my government,
The arrangements to be taken in the cafe of an eventual congrefs, in order that the refpective minifters may arrive about the fame time at the place of the conferences, are fo conformable to the ordinary proceedings in fimilar cafes, that they will not be neglected. The proximity of Paris will afford me the facility of giving to the British miniftry every information which it may defire upon that fubject, long before it could be procured from Vienna, I have the honour to be, &c. (Signed)
No. 22. The unde. figned received yester day, at four o'clock in the afternoon, the note which his excellency lord Grenville did him the honour to addrefs to him. It appeared to him to be of fuch high importance, that at the fame hour he tranfmitted it by an extraordinary neffenger to his government. He hopes that it may arrive in time to produce the effect which his ex
No. 24. NOTE.
The underfigned has had the ho nour to lay before the king the official answer of the French government which he received from M. Otto on the 4th inftant, and alfo the projet of an armistice communicated on the fame day.
The spirit of that answer is unhappily but little confonant with thofe appearances of a conciliatory difpofition which had before been manifefted. If it be really practicable in the prefent moment to reftore permanent tranquillity to Europe, this object must be effected by very different means than thofe of fuch a controverfy as that paper is calculated to produce.
Some reply is however indifpenfably neceffary to the affertions there advanced, which, if now paffed over, might hereafter be confidered as admitted.
The articles which an Auftrian officer, charged with no fuch com miffion,
miffion, was perfuaded to sign at Paris, do indeed appear to his majefty little calculated to terminate the calamities of Europe.
But whatever be the tendency of the conditions which the French government has there fpecified, there can be no pretence for reprefenting them as preliminaries concluded by Auftria, or annulled by the intervention of his majefty.
The engagements by which the courts of London and Vienna have agreed not to treat except in concert with each other, were concluded before there was any quef tion of these pretended preliminaries of peace. And the first intimations which his majefly received of their fignature were accompanied by the exprefs declarations of his ally, that they were wholly unauthorised, and must be confidered as abfolutely null.
The French government could indeed expect no other determination to be taken by his imperial majefty. The want of all powers or inftructions for fuch a treaty, on the part of the Auftrian officer, was, at the time, diftinctly notified by him to those who treated with him, and is declared even on the very face of the paper which he figned.
With refpe&t therefore to the fuppofed demand of his majesty to be admitted to thofe negotiations, nothing more is neceffary to be faid. The note delivered to M. de Thugut by lord Minto fufficiently explains the part which his majefty is really difpofed to take in any negotiation which may be regularly fet on foot for general peace.
The king has always been perfuaded that the refult of fuch a negotiation can alone effectually reeftablish the tranquillity of Eu
Experience has confirmed this opinion; and it is only from the conviction of its truth that his majefty has now been induced to wave his ftrong objections to the first propofal of a naval armistice, and to enter into the difcuffion of the conditions on which it may be establifhed.
His majefty, judging from the experience of fo many former negotiations, confiders fuch an armiftice as in no degree likely either to expedite or to facilitate an arrangement of the direct interests of Great Britain and France.
He views it in no other light than as a temporary advantage which it is propofed to him to yield to his enemy, in order to prevent the renewal of continental hoftilities, and thereby to contribute to the conclufion of a general peace.
And on this ground, notwithftanding the many disadvantages which he is fenfible muft refult to this country from fuch a measure, he is refolved to give to his allies, and to all Europe, this new pledge of the fentiments by which he is actuated; provided that his enemies are difpofed to regulate the conditions of fuch an armistice, as far as the nature of the cafe will allow, in conformity to the obvious and established principle of fuch arrangements.
This principle is, that the refpective pofition of the two parties fhould remain during the conti nuance of the armistice fuch as it was at its commencement; and that neither of them fhould, by its operation, acquire fresh advantages or new means of annoying his enemy, fuch as he could not otherwise obtain. The difficulty of doing this with the fame precifion in the cafe of naval operations, as by land, has already been adverted to in a former
former note; and it conftitutes a leading objection to the measure itfelf.
But the French projet, inftead of attempting to remove or leffen thefe difficulties, departs at once, and in every article, from the principle itfelf, although exprefsly recognized and ftudioufly maintained in the continental armiftice, which is there referred to as the foundation and model of this tranfaction.
It is propofed, in effect, that the blockade of the naval ports and arfenals of the king's enemies fhould be raised; that they fhould be enabled to remove their fleets to any other stations, and to divide or to collect their force as they may judge moft advantageous to their future plans: the importation both of provifions and of naval and military ftores is to be wholly unreftrained. Even Malta and the ports of Egypt, though exprefsly ftated to be now blockaded, are to be freely victualled, and for an unlimited period, in direct contradiction to the ftipulations of the German armistice refpe&ting Ulm and Ingolstadt, to which places it is nevertheless profeffed to affimilate them and this government is expected to bind itfelf towards the allies of France even before any reciprocal engagement can be received from them; while, at the fame time, all mention of the king's allies is on the other hand totally omitted.
To a propofal fo manifeftly repugnant to justice and equality, and fo injurious not only to his majefty's interefts, but alio to thofe of his allies, it cannot be expected that any motive fhould induce the king to accede.
The counter-projet, which the undersigned has the honour to tranf mit to M. Otto, contains regula
tions in this refpect more nearly correfponding with that principle of equality on which alone his majefty can confent to treat.
Éven thofe articles are in many important points, and particularly in what relates to the actual stations of his majefty's fquadrons, very far fhort of what his majefty might juftly demand from a reference to the general principle above stated, from analogy to the conditions of the continental armistice, or from the relative fituation of naval force: and a confidence is repofed in the good faith of his enemies, which, although it can never be claimed in tranfactions between belligerent powers, his majefty is nevertheless willing to hope he fhall not find to have been mifplaced on the prefent occafion.
If M. Otto is empowered to accede to thefe ftipulations, a proper perfon will immediately be authorifed to fign them on his majefty's part: if not, he is requested to tranfmit them without delay to his government.
(Signed) GRENVILLE. Downing-Street, Sept. 7, 1800.
It having been agreed that negotiations for a general peace shall be immediately fet on foot between the emperor of Germany, his Britannic majefty, and the French republic, and an armiftice having already been concluded between the forces of his imperial majefty and thofe of the French republic, it is agreed that an armiftice fhall alfo take place between the forces of his Britannic majefty and those of the French republic, on the terms and in the manner following: that is to fay,
Art. 1. All hoftilities, both by fea and
and land, between the forces of the two contracting parties fhall be fuf. pended, and shall not be renewed until after fourteen days' notice given of the termination of the armiftice. This notice, in fo far as relates to the parts of Europe north of Cape St. Vincent, must be given by one of the two governments to the other, and is to be reckoned from the day in which the fame fhall be received by the government to whom it is given. In the Mediterranean, or other parts of the world, the notice must be given by the refpective commanding officers. But in cafe of the renewal of hoftilities between Auftria and France, the armistice between Great Britain and France is likewife to be confidered as terminated, fo foon as fuch renewal of hoftilities fhall be known to the officer commanding the British forces; except only in fo far as relates to prizes of merchant veffels, which fhall be regulated by the third article of this convention.
Art. II. Orders fhall immediately be fent by the two governments to their officers in the different parts of the world, to conform themfelves to this agreement; fea-paffes fhall be given to the fhips which are to carry thefe orders; and his Britannic majefty's officers to be fent for that purpofe through France fhall be furnished with the neceffary paffports and facilities to expedite their journey.
Art. III. All prizes made in any part of the world during the continuance and operation of the armiftice, by any officers having actually received due notice of this agreement, fhall be reftored; and generally, whether fuch notice fhall have been received or not, ali prizes made in the channel, or in the north feas after twelve days (to be reckoned from the exchange of the
ratifications of this convention), fhall be reftored; and the fame periods fhall be allowed, in this refpect, for the other parts of the world, as were ftipulated by the 22d article of the preliminaries of the last peace.
Art. IV. Malta, and the maritime towns and ports of Egypt, fhall be placed on the fame footing as thofe places which, though comprifed within the demarcation of the French army in Germany, are occupied by the Auftrian troops; confequently nothing fhall be admitted by fea which can give additional means of defence; and provifions only for fourteen days at a time, in proportion to the confumption, as it fhall be afcertained by commiffaries to be named for the purpose, who fhall have power to eftablifh the neceflary regulations for giving effect to this ftipulation, conformably to the principles of the 4th article of the convention concluded between the Austrian and French generals in Germany.
Art. V. The blockade of Breft, Toulon, and any other of the ports of France, by his majetty's feets, fhall be difcontinued; and all Britifh fhips fhall be inftructed not to interrupt or obstruct the trade or navigation of any thips failing to or from the coafts of France, except in the article of naval or military ftores, which are not to be brought thi her by fea during the prefent armistice. None of the fhips of war now ftationed in the faid ports refp. &tively fhall, before the renewal of hoftilities, be removed to any other station.
Art. VI. The allies of the two parties fhall feverally be at liberty. to accede to this armiftice, if they fo think fit; provided that they alfo engage to obferve a like armistice, on conditions fimilar to thofe here