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authority of this Government within its own jurisdiction.

There has grown up an abuse, however, the result of this tolerance on the part of the President, which is too serious to be longer allowed. Great Britain has deemed it for her interest to refuse acknowledging the patent fact of the existence of this Confederacy as an independent nation. It can scarcely be expected that we should, by our own conduct, imply assent to the justice or propriety of that refusal, now that the British Minister accredited to the Government of our enemies assumes the power to issue instructions and exercise authority over the Consuls of Great Britain residing within this country; nay, even of appointing agents to supervise British interests in the Confederate States. This course of conduct plainly ignores the existence of this Government, and implies the continuance of the relations between that Minister and the Consuls of Her Majesty resident within the Confederacy which existed prior to the withdrawal of these States from the Union. It is further the assertion of a right, on the part of Lord Lyons, by virtue of his credentials as Her Majesty's Minister at Washington, to exercise the power and authority of a Minister accredited to Richmond, and officially received as such by the President. Under these circumstances, and because of similar action by other Ministers, the President has felt it his duty to order that no direct communication be permitted between the Consuls of neutral nations in the Confederacy and the functionaries of those nations residing within the enemy's country. All communication, therefore, between Her Majesty's Consuls, or Consular agents in the Confederacy and foreign countries, whether neutral or hostile, will hereafter be restricted to vessels arriving from or dispatched for neutral ports. The President has the less reluctance in imposing this restriction because of the ample facilities for correspondence which are now afforded by the fleets of Confederate and neutral steamships engaged in regular trade between neutral countries and the Confederate ports. This trade is daily increasing, in spite of the paper blockade, which is upheld by Her Majesty's Government in disregard, as the President conceives, of the rights of this Confederacy, of the dictates of public law, and of the duties of impartial neutrality.

You are instructed by the President to furnish a copy of this dispatch, with a copy of the papers appended, to Her Majesty's Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.

I am, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

J. P. Benjamin,
Secretary of State. Hon. James M. Mason, Commissioner, &c., &c., London.

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