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[515] to say, that in future, any document in which it may be repeated will be returned unanswered and unnoticed.

With respect to the subject of the extract from Earl Russell's despatch, the President desires me to state, that the plea of neutrality which is used to sustain the sinister course of her Majesty's present government against the government of the confederate States, is so clearly contradicted by their actions that it is regarded by the world, not even excepting the United States, as a mere cover for actual hostility, and the President cannot but feel that this is a just view of it. Were, indeed, her Majesty's government sincere in a desire and determination to maintain neutrality, the President would not but feel that they would neither be just nor gallant to allow the subjugation of a nation like the confederate States, by such a barbarous, despotic race as are now attempting it. He cannot but feel, with the history and traditions of the Anglo-Saxon race before him, that under a government faithfully representing the people of Great Britain, the whole weight and power of that nation would be unhesitatingly thrown into the scale, in favor of the principles of free government on which these States were originally formed, and for which alone the confederate States are now struggling. He cannot but feel that with such a government, and with the plea of neutrality urged upon the people, as it now is, no such pitiful spectacle could be witnessed as is now manifested by her Majesty's present government, in the persistent persecution of the confederate States, at the beck and bidding of officers of the United States, while a prime minister mocks and insults the intelligence of a House of Commons, and of the world, by excusing the permission to allow British subjects to go to the United States to fight against us, by the paltry subterfuge that it was the great demand for labor, and the high rate of wages that were taking them thither. He cannot but feel that a neutrality most cunningly, audaciously, fawningly, and insolently sought and urged, begged and demanded by one belligerent, and repudiated by the other, must be seen, by all impartial men, to be a mere pretext for aiding the cause of one at the expense of the other; while pretending to be impartial, to be, in short, but a cover for treacherous, malignant hostility.

As for the specious arguments on the subject of the rams, advanced by Earl Russell, the President desires me to state that he is content to leave the world and history to pronounce judgment upon this attempt to heap injury upon insult, by declaring that her Majesty's government and law officers are satisfied of the questions involved, while those questions are still before the highest legal tribunal of the kingdom, composed of members of the government and the highest law officers of the crown, for their decision. The President himself will not condescend to notice them.

I have the honor to be your lordship's obedient, humble servant,

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