Imatges de pÓgina

signed members of a meeting, representing the religious Society of Friends, commonly called Quakers, in Great Britain, venture to approach the Imperial presence," &c. With such profound respect did they treat the Autocrat, with such 'bated breath did did the address proceed? The account they come into his presence. Then, how he should give of the matter was from an authentic narrative, which had been of those invidious descriptions which told signed by themselves, and not from any how the Emperor, raising the broadbrimmed hats of his admirers, lauded them, and said he would introduce them throughout his dominions. First, let him give their account of what they did when they reached their destination:—

dressed themselves to Count Nesselrode, Chan"On their arrival at St. Petersburg they adcellor of the Empire. They sent him a note, requesting an interview, stating that they had not deemed it advisable to apply to their own Minister, and they preferred applying to Count sistance in the presentation of the address to Nesselrode, for the purpose of securing his asthe Emperor. The Count sent a private secretary to them to fix an hour for receiving them. They had an interview with Count Nesselrode, that both himself and the Emperor (ego et Rex and met with a very cordial reception: He said meus) approved of their sentiments." Then came the interview, as recorded in

Louis Napoleon. That address had been discussed in the House before, and he would not now dwell upon it. He (Lord Campbell) did not disapprove of the sentiments embodied in the address which Sir James Duke had so presented, in the name, as he stated, of the people of Eng land, and expressive of their opinions, and of their hearty desire for the maintenance of peace, of an entente cordiale with France; but still he thought the course which had been taken by the Lord Mayor on that occasion, under the circumstances, and in that mode, was an example of dangerous precedent, and which it was highly desirable should not recur. If, however, it was desirable that the chief magistrate of the British metropolis should present such an address, let the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs append two or three lines to it, if its terms were unobjectionable, and then the provisions of his (Lord Campbell's) Bill would be satisfied. The last violation that had occurred of the law of nations in this very important respect was the deputation of Quakers who went to pay their homage to the Czar Nicholas. He entertained a profound and sincere respect for the body to which that deputation belonged, and he fully believed that the individuals composing the deputation were men of the highest respectability and strictest loyalty, and were animated by the most innocent and laudable motives; but, admitting this, their Lordships could none the more approve of the course which had been taken by these persons; and it must be well considered that, great as were the inconveniences, the impropriety, the danger of this proceeding on the part of innocent and well-inclined men, inconvenience and danger still greater and more alarming were to be anticipated if such procecdings, passing unnoticed and unguarded against for the future, were to be imitated by men of evil purpose. It so happened that the Czar Nicholas was pursuing measures which the Government of this country thought it indispensable to resist to resist, if necessary, with the utmost exertion of our power. The horrible massacre at Sinope had already taken place, when three individuals, as a deputation from the whole body of the Quakers of England, set off to St. Petersburg with a view to present to the Emperor Nicholas of All the Russias an address which began in these terms:

"To Nicholas, Emperor of All the Russias,May it please the Emperor! We, the under

the protocol, signed by the three deputies

Mr. Sturge, Mr. Pease, and Mr. Charl

in due form and with infinite respect, the ton. The address having been delivered Emperor said:

"I wish to offer some explanations of my views as to the causes of the present unhappy differences. I have myself acted as my predecessors have done, and the Treaty of Adrianople, in 1849, was as explicit as the former ones in this respect. Turkey recognised the right of religious until within the last year or two, when, for the interference, and fulfilled all her engagements first time, she gave me reason to complain. I will not now advert to those who were her principal instigators on that occasion"- -a dig, doubtless, at our representative at Constantinople. "Suffice it to say, that it became my duty to interfere, and to claim from Turkey the fulfilment of her engagements. I have every reason to believe that matters would soon have been settled if Turkey had not been induced by other persons" -a glance at our Foreign Secretary-" to believe that I had ulterior objects in view; that I was aiming at conquest, aggrandisement, and the ruin of Turkey. I have solemnly disclaimed, and do now solemnly disclaim, every such motive. What on my part was prudent foresight has been unfairly construed in your country into a designing policy and an ambitious desire of conquest. I will not attack, and shall only act in self-defence. I have a duty to perform as a Sovereign." The address having been delivered, the deputation did not attempt to recommend

that the Czar should yield to the remon- | His noble Friend (the Earl of Clarendon) strances of England, but urged arbitra- had failed in bringing about a pacific settion. Next, to carry on the cajolery and tlement; but these three Quaker gentlemystification thus commenced, the Czar men thought they could do better. They said that the Empress desired to see them, stated that while they were in St. Petersand they were introduced to the Empress burg the terrible slaughter of Sinope was and the Grand Duchess Olga. It was represented in the theatres every night. It quite clear that in the interview with would be rather curious to know how these the deputation, the Czar had endea- men of peaceful disposition had reconciled voured, and successfully, to impress on themselves to the representation at all them that he was a much-injured, ex- the theatres every night of the terrible tremely moderate, perfectly unambitious, slaughter of Sinope," or how they had and abominably calumniated person; that reconciled the reception of that terrible he had no evil intentions whatever; that slaughter by the Czar with that eminent he was a man of peace, like themselves; kindliness of heart for which they euloand, on this authority, he requested they gised him. This lecture of Mr. Pease was would give him that character in Eugland printed and largely circulated for the puron their return. The proposition exactly pose of exhibiting the Czar in a favourreminded him of a request which had been able light to the people of England, and made to a near relative of his own, now no of making out a case that the war in more, a Member of their Lordships' House, which we were embarked against him was who was once sent for by a fashionable a war which he had not provoked, and lady against whom certain rumours were which was in itself quite unjustifiable, or, afloat not quite consistent with her con- practically, to set the people against the jugal fidelity, the purpose of her summons war, and to impede its successful prosebeing to request his relative to contradict cution. If consequences of such injurious all such rumours on her authority. "If tendency upon the public service should there were any truth in them," said she, follow from the proceedings of innocent "I certainly must know it, and I therefore and well-disposed men, what might not be desire you will contradict them on my au- anticipated from the attempts of men of thority.' In the same way, the Czar different principles and purposes, if they Nicholas, having informed the three Friends, might visit foreign Sovereigns whenever on his own authority, that he was a par- they took it into their heads to do so? ticularly moderate and unambitious and Supposing there were men in this country very ill-used man, desired them to contra--and there were, he believed, a few-who dict all rumours against him to the con- believed that "the sick man "had better trary, and, accordingly, returning home, be knocked on the head, and his spoils they did so, taking infinite pains to pub-divided among two or three favoured Polish far and wide among us the particu- tentates the Czar, for example, being larly authoritative account of himself which placed in possession of Constantinople and the Czar had so successfully impressed the Dardanelles-and supposing a depuupon their simple minds. He held in his tation from such a faction to wait upon the hand the account which Mr. Pease had Czar, and as Englishmen to urge him to rendered of his mission to a public meet- resist our Government, and to persist in ing in the north of England, from which his designs of aggrandisement, who should he would read these extracts :say what amount of mischief might not be occasioned by such a course? He therefore thought that the Legislature ought to interfere, not to punish, but to prevent the future occurrence of such deputations, and he had accordingly introduced this Bill to accomplish that object. The Bill contemplated no interference with private interviews between individuals, as such, and foreign Governments-no interference with legitimate private enterprise; it only sought British subjects on national affairs with to prevent the interference of unauthorised foreign Governments. He desired to go no further than this-but so far he hoped

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"There was nothing unreasonable or anything to ridicule in a body of men who had been in existence for 200 years, and whose number averaged 20,000, sending three of their number to endeavour to bring about a pacific settlement of the disputes... While in St. Petersburg the terrible slaughter of Sinope was performed at the theatres every night. He was exceedingly grieved and humbled at the course which the press in England had pursued, resorting to abuse and calumny against the Czar. . . . The impressions conveyed by the press were erroneous and unfounded as regarded the Emperor... From what he saw of the Emperor he was convinced that the estimation in which he was held at St. Petersburg was correct."

Lord Campbell


their Lordships would consent to go. What part of the world, were held guilty of were the objections to such a measure? felony, and might be tried as such at the It was said that we might be satisfied with Old Bailey. Another example was afforded the law of nations as it stood; that the by the Royal Marriage Act, lately dislaw of nations already forbade this offence; cussed in the case of the Sussex peerage. and that there was no occasion for any The provisions were held to be binding alteration in our municipal law for the on all British subjects, whether at home purpose. But we could not enforce the or abroad. So, if the Legislature made law of nations beyond our own terri- it a misdemeanor for a British subject to tory, and he had various precedents on present an address to a foreign Sovereign which he could rely for the legislation he with respect to national affairs, that law sought. For example, by the law of na- would be binding on all British subjects, in tions passports or safe conducts were to whatever part of the world they might be. be respected, and it was a violation of the It was suggested that this measure would law of nations to violate them. Yet it had interfere with the intercourse which took been deemed expedient to enact a Statute, place from time to time between English the 2nd of Hen. V. chap. 6, by which the travellers and foreign Sovereigns; but it breaking of safe conducts was made high would have no such effect. The noble Lord treason. So, again, by the 29th of Hen. below the gangway (Lord Beaumont) had VI. chap. 2, and the 31st of Hen. VI. informed him that not long since he had chap. 4, the Lord Chancellor and Chief an interesting interview with the King of Justices may punish offenders who break Sardinia; and another noble and learned safe conducts by sea or land, and order res- Friend of his had not long since had an intitution. So, by the law of nations, am-terview with the Emperor Louis Napoleon. bassadors and their train could not even With such interviews he had no desire to be sued in our courts, much less could they be deprived of their liberty in any civil process, yet it had been deemed expedient to embody that rule of the law of nations in a Statute. In the reign of Queen Anne it so happened that an ambassador from Russia was arrested in London, whereupon Peter the Great sent another ambassador to demand the heads of all the offenders who had taken any part in the arrest. The English Government replied that it exceeded their power to comply with His Imperial Majesty's request; but an Act of Parliament was thereupon passed (7th of Anne, chap. 12), declaring all arrests of ambassadors, or of persons in their train entitled to the privileges of embassies, illegal, and subjecting offenders to such penalties and punishments as the Lord Chancellor and the two Chief Justices should ordain. He proposed to act upon the same principle now, and to enforce the law of nations by the municipal law. It was said that we ought, at least, to confine legislation on this head to what took place within the limits of the United Kingdom. Undoubtedly, so far as foreigners were concerned, we must do so; but as to our own subjects, we had a perfect right, and were called upon to legislate all the world over. An example of this had been given in the measure of his noble and learned Friend (Lord Brougham) with regard to slavery, by which all British subjects who should be found engaged in slavery, in whatever

interfere. Such persons had, no doubt, a
right to express their own individual opinions.
in such conversations, and such an inter-
change of opinions might be both laudable
and useful; but the case would have been
very different, if his noble Friend had stated
that he represented, not his own opinion
simply, but that of the county of York.
An apprehension was entertained, be be-
lieved, that this Bill would interfere with
the private business which might be trans-
acted by individuals with foreign Govern-
ments. He regretted that the noble Earl
who was at the head of the late Govern-
ment (the Earl of Derby) was not in the
House, for that noble Earl was the first
Member of their Lordships' House, to
whom he had mentioned his intention to
bring forward this Bill, and the noble Earl
was good enough to discuss the subject
with him. The only objection the noble
Earl made to the Bill was, that he was
afraid it might interfere with the proceed-
ings of British subjects who might wish to
negotiate with foreign Governments re-
specting such matters as the establishment
of places of worship or burial-grounds. He
(Lord Campbell) apprehended that the Bill
would not have any such effect, because
those could not be considered either as
national or political objects. If, however,
such should really be the effect, he (Lord
Campbell) did not see any reason why
such negotiations should not be conducted
through the accredited representatives of

of aggrandisement and aggression, and that, if more vigorous measures had been taken at an early stage, the consequences would have been merely to accelerate the

the British Government, or with the concurrence of the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. He found, from the public prints, that there were persons in the country who objected to the Bill be-action of Russia before this country was cause they considered that authorised negotiations had been so ill-conducted, and had succeeded so badly, that unauthorised negotiations ought to be permitted. He did not know whether his noble Friends behind him would concur in that view, but he might be allowed to read an extract from a newspaper-the Dundee Advertiser -which had been sent to him, and which contained an article on this subject. That journal said

"We object to this proposal, because we think it would be well if there were much more of the unauthorised class of negotiations which seem so offensive to the Lord Chief Justice. Let us ask what there is so pre-eminently desirable in the authorised negotiations' between European Governments? If there be one opinion more prevalent and more justly grounded than another, is it not that the existing diplomacy is treacherous to all popular interests, and a vile conspiracy against the progress of freedom and the advancement of States, as distinguished from the upholding of tottering thrones? Ilas the secret correspondence so lately published tended to invest the authorised negotiations' of Governments with new titles to respect? There is no danger to the people of any country in the honest and unconcealed represen tations of the views of any number of the inhabitants of one State to the Sovereign of another, but there is danger, as every page of history tells us, in the stealthy manoeuvres of Royal confederacies. They have landed us in a fearful war, and we believe the national heart does not desire that during the progress of that war authorised negotiations' should alone occur. Let not Lord Campbell de

lude himself!"

Now, he must say his opinion was-although there might have been some things a little startling and perplexing in the negotiations that had been carried on by authority that upon the whole those negotiations had been wisely and judiciously conducted. At times during their progress the Czar might, perhaps, have been a little encouraged to think that he could go any length with impunity, and he (Lord Camp. bell), while watching those negotiations, had sometimes been reminded of the Italian proverb, Qui se fa peccora il lupo mangea"-" He that makes himself a sheep is sure to be devoured by the wolf." Now, however, that he had seen the whole of the negotiations, he must be allowed to express very humbly his approbation of the manner in which they had been conducted by Her Majesty's Government, because it now appeared that the Czar had, from the beginning, a determined purpose Lord Campbell


He had

well prepared, and we should not have had the advantage of the approval of all mankind, except the deputies of the Quakers. Another objection had been urged against this Bill. He learnt from good authority that the Roman Catholics were apprehensive that, if this measure passed, all communication between the See of Rome and themselves would be prohibited. He could only say, that he was the last man who would wish to throw any impediment in the way of such communications. resisted the introduction into the Bill for legalising diplomatic relations with the Court of Rome, which passed their Lordships' House some years ago, of the clause proposed by his noble Friend the late Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (the Earl of Eglinton), prohibiting the reception of any Minister from the Court of Rome who should be in holy orders. He knew that this clause had produced much mischief; for if it had not existed, there would have been an authorised Minister from Rome at the British Court, and we should have heard nothing of the Papal Aggression, or of that miserable contest about the Ecclesiastical Titles Bill which he could not think of without shame. If he received any encouragement to do so, he should be glad to propose the repeal of the clause to which he had referred. Instead of doing anything to prevent intercourse with Rome by our Roman Catholic fellow-subjects, he would rather do all he could to facilitate it. But how would this Bill prevent such intercourse? Civil business was now transacted by accredited agents, a treaty having reference to commerce having been recently concluded by a near relative of his own, under the auspices of the noble Earl near him (the Earl of Clarendon). With intercourse on spiritual matters this Bill would not interfere, because it referred only to intercourse with reference to political affairs. Bulls and documents of a spiritual nature might therefore still be received from Rome. If their Lordships would read the Bill a second time, he would consent to its being referred to a Select Committee, and would propose any noble Lord who expressed his willingness to serve on that Committee to be a Member of it. He could not, of course, consent to make any departure

from the principle of the measure, but he stated with so much ceremony in the should be willing to consider any amend- preamble, and no Act of the municipal ments in its details which might be pro-law to enforce it-it was a self-evident posed. Whatever the result of this at- proposition. But intercourse carried on tempt at legislation might be, he would between the members of one State and not regret the part he had taken, for he the Government of another was not an had been actuated simply by a desire to intercourse between independent States. serve his country; and, as the head of That was an intercourse between indivithe common law in this kingdom, having duals on the one side and a Government found that a defect existed in that law, he on the other, but the Government of had considered it not unbecoming his posi- the State of which the individuals were tion to endeavour, to the best of his ability, subjects was in no way bound by any comto remedy that defect. munication of this description. He (Lord Lyndhurst) had never found any rule laid down by the law of nations which rendered it illegal for individuals of one State to communicate and to have intercourse with the Government of another State with respect either to the acts of that State or to the acts of the State to which those individuals belonged. His noble and learned Friend haad cited no authority on this subject, and so far from such intercourse being contrary to the law of nations, it took place constantly, and to the general benefit. What was the case with regard to loans? The subjects of one State had intercourse and communication with respect to such matters, with the Government of foreign States. But, if so, then, according to the terms of this Bill, that all intercourse between individual subjects of one State and the Government of another State, with respect to the acts of that State, are illegal, the parties concerned in such transactions would be liable to punishment as for a misdemeanor? He objected

Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a. LORD LYNDHURST said, he entertained so high a respect for the professional character of his noble and learned Friend that he always hesitated with respect to any opinion he might hold when he had the misfortune to differ from the noble Lord. He must say, however, that he entertained doubts with regard to the measure which his noble and learned Friend had now submitted to their Lordships. He had doubts as to the form and the extent of the noble and learned Lord's Bill, and he would submit those doubts, and the grounds upon which they rested, to the consideration of their Lordships and of his noble and learned Friend. The noble and learned Lord had said that he was ready, at some future stage of the Bill to make any alterations which might be suggested either in the Committee of the House or in a Select Committee. It was not for him (Lord Lyndhurst) to anticipate the alterations which might be contemplated by his noble and learned Friend, but at present he could only consider the nature and the extent of the Bill as it was laid before the House. He (Lord Lyndhurst) would venture to point out some of the effects and consequences of the measure in its present form. But first, he would direct their Lordships' attention to the preamble of the Bill, which stated that, "according to the law of nations, intercourse between two independent States ought only to be carried on by agents lawfully authorised by those respective States. Now, as two independent States could not come into bodily communication with each other, he knew no manner in which they could correspond except by means of agents, and such agents could not be properly considered as agents unless they were duly authorised for that purpose. It, therefore, required no authority from the law of nations to establish the position

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to the form and extent of the Bill of his noble and learned Friend. The noble and learned Lord had not condescended to state to their Lordships the terms of the Bill; but the effect of it was to provide "that if any person, either acting or professing to act on the part of any portion of Her Majesty's subjects, should, without the licence of the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, obtained for that purpose, hold any intercourse with a foreign Government with respect to the acts of that Government, or with respect to the acts of the Government of which such person was a subject, he should be considered and adjudged guilty of a misdemeanor; so that if he (Lord Lyndhurst). without the licence of the Secretary of State, held any intercourse with the French Government on the part of any portion of Her Majesty's subjects with respect to any act of the French Government, he was to be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor.

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