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English press on the annual message of President-Lincoln, are chiefly confined to the portion of that document in which is proposed the system of compensated emancipation. The London Post (Government organ) says that the message is as unsatisfactory as might have been anticipated, and that it is particularly valueless as an index of the political course to be pursued by the Government. In referring to the emancipation scheme, this mourns remarks that it "clearly proves that the President has lost faith — if, indeed, he ever possessed any — in the preposterous proclamation which some months since he issued for the emancipation of all the slaves in the Southern Confederacy on the first of January, and that "the President is evidently apprehensive that the incoming year may demonstrate but too clearly to the world how slender is the authority which he exercises in those States which he professes to rule; and he is anxious, while there is yet time, to avoid being placed in an undignified position." The Times says: ‘"that towards the South Mr. Lincoln's Message to Congress is less a threat than a bid for peace; that the scheme of emancipation enounced is such as we might fancy Mr. Davis and his Cabinet recommending to the Confederate States. If they were hard pressed by the enemy, and desired to gain the active good will of the European Powers; but that the Union should be restored by such a simple progress as this, and should emerge out of this great strife steadied by a debt of some three thousand millions of dollars, and purged from its curse of slavery, is we are afraid, the dream of a very weak man."’ It concludes its article by saying that the whole scheme is a labored substitute for the object of September last. The London News, the organ of the Exeter Hall or Abolition party, says that, ‘"in making his present proposition to Congress, Mr. Lincoln, far from revoking any of his former policy, and nullifying the proclamation of September last, simply fulfills a pledge which he gave their that, in the next session of Congress, he would recommend a measure offering compensation to the loyal owners of slaves,"’ and adds that "the freemen of the North have it in their power, if they are worthy of their cause, to destroy, root and branch, the monstrous growth which has cursed their country." The Manchester Guardian in its comments upon the message, remarks that there are some points of interest in it, though they do not bear on either the duration or issue of the war. It adds that President Lincoln nor his Congress have any power to legislate for slavery in the Southern Confederacy and it has long been evident that nothing they can say or do on that subject will affect the determination of the South to establish its complete in dependence, and thinks "we should have heard nothing of the project if it had not been for the success of the Democrats in the late elections." The Liverpool Mercury regards the emancipation scheme proposed as a prospect for a pacific settlement of all difficulties between the North and the South on the basis of an amended Federal Constitution, but abstains from any criticism of the proposition upon the ground that there is not the slightest probability that it will ever become a subject of practical discussion. It says, that ‘"on the whole there seems a more subdued and moderate tone throughout the present message than we have observed in any former utterance of the Washington. Securement since the commencement of the war."’
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