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er to say but little about it ; though, as the selfish policy of Great Britain was never more manifest than in her action on this subject, it is deemed proper to call the attention of the reader to it for. a short time.
Notwithstanding the existence of various trea-. ties establishing the liberty of the seas, and the . rights of neutrals, the British Governments on the . 8th of June 1793, issued an order in council to all her naval commanders to stop all vessels. bound to France, or any of its dependencies, whether wholly or only in part laden with grain. A proposition was made to the King of Denmark to permit the English to search Danish ves... sels suspected of being laden with grain for France ; but this proposition was peremptorily refused by Count Bernstorf, minister of the King of: Denmark. In the year 1800, Mr. MERRY, charge, d'affaires from Great Britain to the Court of Dena. mark, presented the following note, viz :
66 The search and examination of merchant vessels at sea, of whatever nation, without refera. ence to cargo or destination, is assumed by Great Britain to be an incontestible right belonging to all nations at war.”
The assertion of this principle by the English Government led to the formation of the Northern Alliance, by which Russia, Prussia, and Sweden,
uniting with Denmark, determined to resist such an unjust pretension. They armed themselves, and prepared to defend their rights; but England nevertheless still maintained the principle for which she had contended. I will lere give the repiy of the Prussian minister to Lord Carysfort, on this subject. He said:
“That the British Government had arregated to itself, in the present war, the supremacy of the seas; and in forming for itself a naval code which it would be impossible to conciliate with the rights of man: would exercise over other nations friends or neutrals -a usupod jurisdiction, the legitimacy of which it sustains, and wishes to palm upon us an imprescriptible right. Hence it is not siurprising, that, after so many multiplied vexations, the neutral powers should have conceived the design of seeking a tcmedy against it : and, in this view, 10 lis upon a concert of action, in order to esiabisi ilieir rights, àrd put them in a situation to maintain them against belligerent powers."
The death of Paul, Emperor of Russia, led to the dissolution of the aimed neutrality. The sovereign that succeeded him being friendly to England, backed out from the Northern Alliance, and formed a treaty with England, yielding the principle for which the latter had contended. The ether northern powers were deeply chagrined at
this step on the part of Russia ; but being wholly unable to help themselves, they were compelled finally to yield. After this, England commit. ted acts, boih towards France and the neutral powers, unequalled in atrocity in the history of the world.
France retaliated, by issuing the Berlin and Milan decrees. These opened the eyes of the different nations of the world, and in 1807, Rus. sia recalled the principles invoked by Catharina in 1780. But England had succeeded in drawing almɔst all the European powers into the sup. port of her principles : in fact, the United States was left alone to contend for the rights of nations on the scas; and they did contend manfullymaintaining then the same principles for which we have so successfully contended of late. We always hare, and always will contend for our rights upon the seas. We deny in toto the right of belligerants to search the vessels of neutrals; and we are unwilling to grant by treaty, or other. wise, the right to any nation to visit or search our vessels at sea.
The peace of 1814, of course, put an end to the right of search, as it was only claimed, in the absence of treaties stipulating it, as a right be. longing to belligerents. But England, havios
seen the advantages resulting from the admission of this principle, sought, immediately after peace, the formation of treaties with different nations, allowing the mutual right of search, under the pretext of suppressing the Slave Trade. A prop- . osition to this effect was made to France through the Duke of Wellington, but was promptly reject: ed. Another proposition was made of a similar. kind, by Lord Castlcreagh to Prince Talleyrand, at the Congress of Vienna. The Prince replied in the name of France - "That he would never. admit any other police of the seas than that which each nation exercised over its own vessels." England was more fortunate with Spain, Portugal, and the Netherlands; for in the year 1817, all three of these powers entered into treaties with England, granting the right of search, under the very plausible pretext of putting a stop to the Slave Trade.
The English minister, Lord Castlereagh, was so well pleased with the result of his negotiations, that very early in the year 1818, he assembled the representatives of all the maritime powers, and requested them to transmit to their respective courts a proposition to form a treaty allowing the mutual right of search, with a view of putting a stop to the Slave Trade. France, as before, re... jected the proposition. The Duke of Richelieu remærkt i
“ That the offer of reciprocity was illusory ; and the unavoidable conflicts to which the exer. cise of the right of search must give rise, would have a tendency to disturb the harmony then existing between the two governments.”
Repeated efforts were made by England to in. duce France to enter into arrangements with the other powers, to put a stop to the Slave Trade, but all efforts were unavailing. France still continued to reject all propositions to this effect. But after the revolution of 1830, which placed Louis Philippe on the French throne, France found herself unable any longer to resist the persevering efforts of England to form a treaty allowing the mutual right of search. Accordingly, the treaties of September 30th, 1831, and of 1833, were ratified. By these treaties, France bound herself to the Netherlands, Great Britain, Spain, and Portugal, to allow the mutual right of search, in order to put a stop to the Slave Trade.
On the 15th of July, 1840, another treaty was entered into by the several powers above named, with the exception of France, with a view of more effectually suppressing the Slave Trade, as it had increased in spite of every effort to suppresa