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formity to the laws of nations. Reviewing the course of this statement, it will appear, that the blockade of May, 1806, cannot be deemed contrary to the law of nations, either under the ob. jections urxed by the French, or under those declared, or infinuated by the American government, because that blockade was maintained by fufficient naval force: that the decree of Berlin was not, therefore, justified either under the pretexts alledgeil by France, or under those fupporteri by America; that the orders in council were founded on a just principle of defensive retaliation, against the violation of the law of nations, committed by France in the decree of Berlin ; that the blockade of May, 1806, is now included in the more extensive operation of the orders in council; and lastly, that the orders in council will not be continved beyond the effectual duration of the hostile decrees of France, oor will the blockade of May, 1806, continue after the repeal of the orders in council, unless his majesty's government shall think fit to sustain it by the special application of a sufficient naval force. This fact will not be suffered to remain in doubt, and if the repeal of the orders in council should take place, the intention of his majesty's government respecting the blockade of May, 1806, will be notified at the same time,
I need not recapitulate to you the sentiments of his majesty's government, fo often repeated, on the subject of the French minifter's note to Gen. Armstrong, dated the 5th of last August. The ftudied ambiguity of that note has since been amply explained by the conduct and language of the government of France, of which one of the most remarkable instances is to be found in the speech of the chief of the French government on the 17th of the last month, to certain deputies from the free cities of Hamburg, Bremen and Lubeck, wherein he declares that the Berlin and Milan decrees thall be the public code of France as long as England maintains her orders in council of 1806 and 1807. Thus pronouncing as plainly as language will admit, that the system of violence and injustice, of which he is the founder, will be maintained by him until the defensive measures of retaliation to which they gave rife, on the part of Great Britain, shall be abandoned.
Jf other proofs were necessary to shew the continued existence of those obnoxious decrees, they may be discovered in the imperial cdiet dated at Fontainebleau in October 19, 1810, that monstrous production of violence, in which they are made the basis ofa system of general and unexampled tyranny and oppression over all countries subject to, allied with, or in the reach of the power of France : in the report of the French minister for foreign affairs, dated last December, and in the letter of the French minister of juftice to the president of the council of prizes. To this latter, fir, I would wish particularly to invite your attention ; the date is the 25th of December; the authority it comes from moft unquestionable ; you will there find, fir, the duke of Maffa, in giv. ing his instructions to the council of prizes, in consequence of
the president of the United States' proclamation of November 3, molt cautiously avoiding to assert that the French decrees were repealed, and afcribing not to such repeal, but to the ambiguous passage which he quotes at length from Mr.Champagny's letter of August 5th, the new attitude taken by America, and you will also find an evidence in the same letter of the continued capture of American fhips after November ist, and under the Berlin and Milan decrees, having been contemplated by the French government, since there is a special direction given for judgment on such fhips being fuspended in consequence of the American proclamation, and for
their being kept as pledges for its enforcement. Can then, fir, thofe decrees be said to have been repealed at the period when the proclamation of the president of the United States appeared, or when America enforced her non-importation act against Great Britain ? Are they so at this moment? To the first question the state papers which I have referred to, appear to give a fufficient answer : for even fuppofing that the repeal had fince taken place, it is clear, that on November 3d, there was no question as to that not being then the case; the capture of the ship New Orleans Packet feized at Bordeaux, and of the Grace Ann Green, seized at or carried into Marseilles, being cases arising under the French decrees of Berlin and Milan, as is very evident. Great Britain might, therefore, complain of being treated with injustice by America, even fuppofing that the conduct of France kad fince been unequivocal.
America contends that the French decrees are revoked as it respects her ships upon the high seas, and you, fir, inform that the only two Ainerican ships taken under their maritime opera. tion, as you are pleased to term it, since November ift, have been restored; but may not they have been restored in confe quence of the fatisfaclion felt in France at the paffing of the nonimportation act in the American Congress, an event fo little to be expected; for otherwise, why, having been captured in direct contradiction to the supposed revocation, were they not restored immediately?
The fears of the French navy, however, prevent many cases of the kind occurring on the ocean under the decrees of Berlin and Milan; but the moft obnoxious and destructive parts of those decrees are exercised with full violence, not only in the ports of France, but in those of all other countries to which France thinks she can commit injustice with impunity: Great Britain has a right to complain that neutral nations should overlook the very worst features of those extraordinary acts, and Thould suffer their trade to be made a medium of an unprecedented, violent and monstrous system of attack upon her resources; a fpecies of warfare unattempted by any civilized nation before the present period. Not only has America fuffered her trade to be moulded into the means of annoyance to Great Britain under the provisions of the French decrees, but construing
as extinct upon a deceitful declaration of the French cabinet, she has enforced her non-importation act against Great Britain. . Under these circumstances I am instructed by my government to urge to that of the United States, the injustice of thus enforcing that act against his majesty's dominions; and I cannot but hope that a spirit of justice will induce the United States' government to re-consider the line of conduct they have purlued, and at least to re-establish their former state of strict neutrality.
I have only to add, fir, 'that on my part, I shall ever be ready to meet you on any opening which may seem to afford à prospect of restoring complete harmony between the two countries, and that it will, at all times, give me the greatest satisfaction to treat with you on the important concerns fo interesting to both.
I have the honor to be, &c. (Signed) AUG. J. FOSTER.
Mr. Monroe to Mr. Foster. Sir,
Department of State, July 6, 1811. I have had the honor to receive your letter of the 2d instant, in which you express the regret of his royal highness, the prince regent, at the departure of the American minifter from Great-Brit. ain, and state that it was one of the first acts of his government to appoint an envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to the United States, with a view of maintaining the sublisting relations of friendfhip between the two countries and that he was solicitous to facilitate an amicable discussion with the government of the United States upon every point of difference which had arifen between the two governments.
I am instructed by the president to acknowledge to you the great satisfaction which lie has derived from the communication which you have made of the disposition of his royal highness the prince regent, to cultivate friendihip with the United States, and to assure you that the prompt and friendly measure which he
adopted, by the appointment of an envoy extraordinary and minifter plenipotentiary to this country to maintain the relations of friendship and facilitate an amicable discussion on every point of difference that had arisen between the two governments, is considered as a favourable and interesting proof of that difpofition.
I am also instructed by the president to ftate his ready dispofition to meet, in a similar fpirit, these frank and friendly assurances of the prince regent, and that nothing will be wanting on his part, consistent with the rights of the United States, that may be necessary to promote the re-establishment, in all respects, of that good tinderstanding between the two countries, which he couficiers highly important to the interests of both.
Permit me to add, fir, that if, as the organ of my government, I can be, in any degree, inftrumental, in concert with you, in promoting such a result, I shall derive from it a very great and fincere fatisfaction.
I have the honor to be, &c. (Signed) JAS. MONROE. Augustus J. Foster, Esq. &c. &c. &c.
No. 2.] TWELFTH CONGRESS....First Session. [1811--12.
Mr. Foster to Mr. Monroe. SIR,
Washington, July 1, 1811. Í beg leave to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated yesterday, in answer to mine of the 2d instant, and to assure you, ihat it gives me very sincere pleasure to have to transmit, for the purpose of being laid before his royal highness the prince regent, acting in the paine and on the behalf of his majesty,so satisfactory a testimony of the amicable manner in which the president of the United States has received the instances and assurances of a friend. ly disposition on the part of his royal highness towards the United States, which, by the command of his royal highness, I had the honor to communicate to the president through you.
The assurances which you have added, sir, of the gratification that you would yourself derive, if, as the organ of your govern ment, you could be instrumental towards re-establishing a good un. derstanding between both our countries, are too congenial with my own feelings on the subject not to be received with very high satisfaction.
I have the honor to be, with the highest confideration and re. fpect, fir, your most obedient humble servant, (Signed)
AUG. J. FOSTER. Mr. Foster to Mr. Monroe. SIR,
Washington, July 11, 1811. In consequence of our conversation of yesterday, and the observation which you made respecting that part of my letter to you of the 3d instant, wherein I have alluded to the principle on which his majesty's orders in council were originally founded, I think it right to explain myself, in order to prevent any possible mistake, as to the presentsituation of neutral trade with his majesty's enemies.
It will only be necessary for me to repeat what has already long fince been announced to the American government, namely, that bis majesty's order in council, of April 26, 1809, fuperfeded those of November, 1807, and relieved the system of retaliation, adopted by his majesty against his enemies, from what was con. fidered in this country as the most objectionable part of it......the option given to neutrals to trade with the enemies of Great Brito ain through British ports on payment of a tranfit duty.
This explanation, fir, will, I trust, be fufficient to do away any impression that you may have received to the contrary, from my observations respecting the effects which his majesty's orders in
council originally had on the trade of neutral nations. Those oo. fervations were merely meant as preliminary to a consideration of the question now at issue betwcen the two countries. I have the honor to be, &c.
(Signet!) AUG. J. FOSTER.
Mr. Foster to Mr. Monroe. SIR,
Washington, July 14, 1811. His majesty's packet-boat having been fo long detained, and a fortnight having elapsed since my arrival at this capital, his royal bighness, the prince regent, will necefTarily expect that I tould have to tranfmit to his royal highness fome official com. munication as to the line of conduct the American government mean to pursue. I trust you will excuse me, therefore, sir, if, without prefing for a detaik d anfiver to my note of the 3d instant, I anxioully cu fire to know from you what is the prefident's determination with respect to fuspending the operation of the late act of Congress prohibiting all importation from the British domin. jous.
There have been repeated avowal.; lately made by the government of France, that the decrees of Berlin and Milan were still in fullforce, and the aels of that government have corresponded with thofe avowals.
The measures of retaliation pursued by Great Britain against those chcree's, are consequently, to the great regree of his royal highness, Atill neceffarily continued.
I have had the bonor to state to you the light in a hich his royal highness, the prince regent, viewed the proclamation of the prefielent, of last November, and the surprize with which he learnt the iubfequent measures of congress againft the British trade.
American fhips, seized under his majesty's orders in council, even after that proclamation appeared, were not immediately condemned, because it was believed that the insidious profeflions of France might have led the American government, and the mer. chants of America, into an erroneous construclion of the inten. tions of France.
But when the voil was thrown afide, and the French ruler himl·lf avowed the continued existence of his invariable system, it was not expected by his royal bighness that America would Tave rc tufed io retrace the steps she had taken.
Frosh proofs have fince occurred, of the refolution of the French government to caft away all confideration of the rights of nations, in the unprecedented warfare they have adopted.
America, however, still perfifts in her injurious measures against the commerce of Great Britain, and his royal highnuss has, in consequence, been obliged to look to means of retaliation against thofe measures which his royal highress cannot but confid. er as most unjustifiable.