feeling. (Hear, hear.) I do hope the feeling of the House will be strongly expressed against any thing like a debate upon this subject at the present moment, (general cries of “Hear, hear;” ) and the hon. gentleman will not be tempted to follow my hon. friend, but will rather imitate the judicious silence which the noble lord has always maintained on this point. ( “Hear,” and a laugh.) Mr. Bright.--I think nothing could be more injudicious or more unfortunate than to read from private letters accounts of particular outrages said to be committed in America. We know, before war is terminated, there or anywhere else, there will be outrages enough; but of this I think we may be quite assured, that in the North as well as in the South, and in the South quite as much as in the North, there will be the greatest possible disposition to avoid any thing which can bring about a quarrel with this country. (Hear, hear.) Nothing could be more unfortunate for the South, nothing could be more unfortunate for the North, whatever quarrels there may be between the two sections of the American Republic, than that the quarrel should extend to this country. I feel confident that we are not more anxious to remain at peace with both the sections than they are to continue on good terms with us. In the policy which the noble lord has announced — that of strict neutrality — I agree as cordially as any other member of this House; and I think it would be well if that policy were not confined merely to the Government, but if individual members of the House were as far as possible to adopt the same line of, action. (Hear, hear.) It is an unhappy thing that these dissensions should have arisen; but let us hope, and I hope still, that among a population more extensively educated, probably, than the population of any other country in the world, it may yet (be possible to surmount the vast difficulties which have arisen in that country without those extensive cruelties which always accompany a civil war. With that expression of opinion I wish to make a request — and the House, I am sure, will feel that I am only asking what is reasonable and prudent — that we should avoid, as much as possible, discussions on matters which I believe we cannot influence for good, (hear, hear,) but with regard to which we may create a state of feeling, either in the North or South, that will add to the difficulties of the Government in preserving the line of action which they have laid down. (Hear, hear.) Mr. Gregory said — I really must warn the House not to be led away by stories and by letters which one gentleman has received from another gentleman, on whom he places the most implicit reliance, but who very probably knows nothing more of the matter than the gentleman who reads the communication with such perfect faith in the accuracy of its contents. As to the nonsensical trash of $20 being offered by the Confederate States for every man put to death on board an American ship, the House knows perfectly well that neither letters, newspapers, nor accredited information of any kind can at present be received from the South, but is stopped on the borders. Any thing which does see the light is cut into slips and published in the New York papers. Very few communications of the kind have reached this country, and they are principally the State documents which have been put forward by the South. I cannot better evidence the spirit by which they are animated, than by referring to the late address of President Davis; and I will ask the House whether it breathes a single one of those bloodthirsty, wicked, terrible opinions, (hear, hear,) which my hon. friend is anxious to impress on the House as being the doctrine of the Southern States. I beg to take this opportunity of saying that I shall certainly bring forward my motion on the subject of the recognition of the Southern Confederacy on the 7th of June, when I trust the matter will be fairly discussed, and in the mean time that we shall not throw imputations on one party or the other. (Hear, hear.) Mr. Bouverie.--In the question of notification of blockade, to which reference has been made, a matter which is very important for the commercial interests of the country is involved. The rule, I believe, is this: Public notification must be given to the State of which a neutral who seeks to violate a blockade is a member, before he can be held to have subjected himself to forfeiture of his vessel and goods; or actual notice must have been given to the neutral himself. The House will see that this is a most important question, because the intent to sail to a blockaded port, as to which a neutral merchant has received a notice of blockade, is considered as a violation of neutrality, and the ship will be accordingly condemned in the prize court of the capturing Power. He wished the noble lord would state distinctly whether or not the mercantile interests of this country were to understand that a public notification of blockade of the ports to which he had referred would be given; or that merely an intimation of the blockade to neutral ships arriving off those ports would be given to them when they got there. Lord John Russell, who was very indistinctly heard, was understood to say: I cannot give any further information to my right honorable friend with regard to the blockade; but the papers on the subject will shortly be laid on the table, and when they are submitted, the House will be in possession of the exact state of the case. But my right honorable friend will understand that, whatever the form of notification of the blockade may be, there is no former precedent that applies fully to the present proceedings. Mr. Seward has not given a general notification of a blockade, but has left it to the naval officers commanding on each station to declare the several ports blockaded, and when
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.