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Now, it is very possible that by such shifts and stratagems the penalties of the existing law of this country, nay, of any law that could be enacted, may be evaded; but the offence thus offered to her Majesty's authority and dignity by the de facto rulers of the Confederate States, whom her Majesty acknowledges as belligerents, and whose agents in the United Kingdom enjoy the benefit of our hospitality in quiet security, remains the same. It is a proceeding totally unjustifiable, and manifestly offensive to the British crown.

Secondly, the Confederate organs have published, and her Majesty's government have been placed in possession of it, a memorandum of instructions for the cruisers of the so-called Confederate States, which would, if adopted, set aside some of the most settled principles of international law, and break down rules which her Majesty's government have lawfully established for the purpose of maintaining her Majesty's neutrality. It may, indeed, be said that this memorandum of instructions, though published in a Confederate newspaper, has never as yet been put in force, and that it may be considered as a dead letter; but this cannot be affirmed with regard to the document which forms the next ground of complaint.

Thirdly, the President of the so-called Confederate States has put forth a proclamation acknowledging and claiming as a belligerent operation, in behalf of the Confederate States, the act of Bennett G. Burley in attempting, in 1864, to capture the steamer Michigan, with a view to release numerous Confederate prisoners detained in captivity in Johnson's Island, on Lake Erie.

Independently of this proclamation, the facts connected with the attack on two other American steamers, the Philo Parsons and Island Queen, on Lake Erie, and the recent raid at St. Albans, in the state of Vermont, which Lieutenant Young, holding, as he affirms, a commission in the Confederate States army, declares to be an act of war, and therefore not to involve the guilt of robbery and murder, show a gross disregard of her Majesty's character as a neutral power, and a desire to involve her Majesty in hostilities with a coterminous power with which Great Britain is at peace.

You may, gentlemen, have the means of contesting the accuracy of the information on which my foregoing statements have been founded; and I should be glad to find that her Majesty's government have been misinformed, although I have no reason to think that such has been the case. If, on the contrary, the information which her Majesty's government have received with regard to these matters cannot

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