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Late European news.

The steamer China has arrived at New York with Liverpool dates of the 13th inst. The extracts from the English papers relative to the steam rams detained at Liverpool leave some doubt as to whether the detention is official, though Washington letters say that the Lincoln Government has received official intelligence that they are detained by order of the British Government:


[from the London morning Post.]

Some doubt has been cast upon the statement which we made a few days ago with reference to the steamer rams in course of construction at Mr. Laird's yard. We can only repeat our certainty of its accuracy. The Government have given notice to the builder that the ships will not be allowed to leave the Mersey; and if it is found that their construction is contrary to the terms of the foreign enlistment act they will be seized as violating its provisions.


[from the Shipping Gazette, Sept.10.]

We have reason to believe the announcement is premature, if not incorrect. On the attention of the foreign office being called to the character and build of the vessels in the early part of the month, and before the memorial was presented to Earl Russell, the officers of the crown at Liverpool made a survey of the ships, and some correspondence passed between the authorities and the builders. The result was forwarded to the foreign office, and in the event of no new material fact transpiring, we understand that no further action is likely to be taken in the matter until the important points of law raised by the ruling of the lord chief baron, in the case of the Alexandra, are settled by the full court next term, and possible not even then.


[from the Liverpool Mercury, Sept. 10]

The customs official at this port have not received any instructions to detain the steam rams which have been constructed by Messrs. Laird, so that the announcement of the Morning Post was premature, if not incorrect. Government officers have inspected the vessels, but that is all.


[from the London morning Herald,Sept. 12.]

We are informed that Earl Russell on Wednesday dispatched, by written missive, a positive order to Messrs. Laird to prevent these vessels leaving their yards without an ample explanation of their destination, and a substantial reference to the owner or owners for whom they are constructed. It is now affirmed, moreover, that the French ambassador has been appealed to as to the possibility or non-possibility of a French subject having ordered vessels of this stamp of an English shipbuilder. There is declared to have come a proper official reply from his excellency that no French subject has any legal right to possess or purchase any vessels of war, either for himself or on behalf of others. Earl Russell, it is said, argues to himself that these vessels could only be vessels for the warlike purposes of a State or an individual. His lordship holds that Messrs. Laird are bound to declare — and sustain on unimpeachable testimony such declaration — the Government for whom the steam rams have been built. The Secretary for Foreign Affairs is also of opinion that if it pleaded that these vessels are for an individual owner, native or foreign, that individual could only be a privateer or a pirate. --And it is on these grounds that the Government has made up his mind. At any rate, the English Government is now firmly resolved to try the question in a court of law, and if amerced for damages, to make an appeal for support to the House of Commons.


The Mexican question.

A Paris letter says:‘"The Count Montholon will start on the 16th for his new post in Mexico, and it is not a little curious that, having been so lately employed as French Consul-General at New York, he should ardently recommend the recognition of the South."’

The London Times city article says:‘"It is not believed that anything is really known of the plans contemplated by the French Government for establishing the future financial position of Mexico. It is, however, reported that the nearly isolated peninsula of old or lower California, divided from Sonora by a gulf 700 miles long, called the Lake of California or Vermillion sea, will be the territorial security ceded to France. It contains some sixty thousand square miles. It abounds in silver, gold, lead, and copper mines, and islands covered with forests of cedar trees. It is moreover the nearest point in Mexico to the French possessions in the Pacific."’

The London Morning Post, of the 12th, has a special telegram from Paris announcing that the Archduke-Maximilian has positively accepted the throne of Mexico.

The Times, in its city article, says that there is no reason to anticipate any trouble from the manner in which the United States will regard the proceedings in Mexico. It quotes from the New York Journal of Commerce to sustain these views.


Detention of the Florida at rest.

The stay of the Florida at Brest is, it is stated, likely to be prolonged beyond the limits originally, perhaps, contemplated by her commander. This results from two or three circumstances noticed in the French papers. La France says that the afflatus authorities of Brest, acting on instructions received from Paris, informed the consignees of the Florida that they held at their disposition a basin in which the vessel could be repaired. In consequence of this offer a towboat of the port conducted the Florida into a basin of the outward harbor on the 6th inst. Workmen having been authorized to enter the arsenal, the necessary preparations of the vessel were commenced at once, and in a short time it was expected the vessel would be fit to put to sea. However, a new cause of delay for the departure of the vessel has arises in consequence of a claim put in by a shipowner of Brest for £4,000 as indemnity for the seizure of one of his vessels by the Florida. M. Menier, the ship-owner in question, states that his vessel was captured by the Confederate cruiser, compelled to take a number of prisoners on board, and forced to go out of her course to carry them to Acapnico. On the authority of a private dispatch from Brest, the Paris papers of yesterday say that M. Menier presented his claims before the tribunal at that port, and, as a consequence, a provisional embargo has been laid on the Florida.

The Confederate cruiser Florida, at Brest, has just been informed of the decision come to by the Government respecting her. Her commander has entered into arrangements with a ship broker in order to procure all the supplies he stands in need of. On the 5th seventy-five men were landed from the vessel, and have taken their departure for England for the purpose of forming the nucleus of the crew of another Confederate vessel constructed on the model of the Florida, and which is now ready to take the sea.


Speech of Earl Russell.

The freedom of the town of Dundee was conferred on Earl Russell on the 9th inst., on which occasion he made a brief speech. The following is the only portion of general interest:

‘ As Secretary for Foreign Affairs it has been my object to preserve peace with honor. ("Hear, hear," and cheers.) You may rely with confidence in the administration of Lord Palmerston, who is so justly and universally popular, (cheers,) for maintaining a line of strict impartiality in the lamentable conflict in America. (Cheers.) The duties of neutrality between parties violently hostile are not easily performed (Hear, hear). It has been and it will be our endeavor to exercise the powers now entrusted or which may be entrusted to the crown by Parliament in such a manner as at once to defeat every attempt to engaged our people in enterprises inconsistent with our neutral position, and to preserve for ourselves, our persons, and our property, those safeguards of British law and British justice to which alone they are indebted for the security they now enjoy. (Loud and prolonged cheering.)

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