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The Palmerston ministry.

In reply to some questions put to him by the Earl of Derby, in the House of Lords, on the 15th of February, Lord Russell is reported to have said that, in the affair of the rams he acted from a sense of duty, and from no extraneous influence, believing that the rams were intended to be used for the purpose of carrying on war with the United States. From this, it is evident that he considers it his duty to assist the United States in every way short of a declaration of war, and to thwart the Confederates in every way short of actual hostilities. If he believes that the rams are designed to be used against the United States, he knows that the cannon, small arms, and munitions of war, which the Yankees obtain in vast quantities from England, are designed to be used in making war upon the Confederate States. His idea of a strict neutrality, then, is to throw open at the resources of the British empire to the Yankees, and to keep them closed against the Confederate States. The Confederate States may be injured to the greatest extent possible by means furnished by Great Britain, for that is legitimate. The United States must suffer no damage from any permission given to the Confederates. It is perfectly legitimate for the Yankees to build ships at Liverpool to capture the Alabama; but should the Confederates build ships to oppose these Liverpool vessels, that is a violation of neutrality. The law does not justify the detention of the rams; but as they are to be used against the United States, they must be detained against law, and Parliament must pass an ex-post facto law rendering the detention legal. The foreign enlistment act does not prevent forty thousand Irishmen per annum from emigrating to the United States, to be enrolled as soon as they land at New York, to fight against the Confederacy; but this emigration is so clearly contrary to the spirit of that act that Lord John would no doubt stop it, and "go down to Parliament" for a new act, were these men destined for the Confederate States, instead of Yankeedom. As, however, Lord Russell's friends would feel the want of them in the coming campaign, it would be clearly contrary to the law of neutrality to stop them on their way to their graves in the swamps and ditches of the Confederacy. --The Tuscaloosa is a Confederate cruiser, and England has recognized the Confederate States as a belligerent power. It is perfectly just, therefore, to seize her, on the same principle that it was just to seize the rams — that is to say, she was designed to make war on the United States. Great Britain, according to Russell's idea, is the guardian of the United States, but not of the Confederate States. And this is his neutrality: To injure the Confederate States in everything possible. To do all possible service to the United States. Think not that there are not some reasons for this policy.--The United States are powerful at sea, and can attack Canada. The Confederate States are shut out from the world, and cannot reach Great Britain.

As might have been expected, the same man who is a truculent bully to a helpless State is the most abject of cowards to such States as can help themselves. We say nothing of the United States. The whole world has seen the papers published by the Yankee Congress, in which Seward figures as the dictator, and Russell as the cringing and subservient tool. Look at the continent of Europe. Russell pretends to intercede for the Poles, and he is told at once by Alexander to shut his month and attend to his own business. Russia wants none of his interference. He induces the Danes — whom England has cruelly injured on more than one occasion — to raise their crest against Austria and Prussia. When he remonstrates and "represents," these two Powers treat her with the most sovereign contempt. --They laugh at his remonstrances, and defy him to do their worst. The Yankees, the Prussians, the Russians, and the Austrians, all, have taken measure of the man. They know that there is no danger in him, and that however he may threaten he dare not attempt to carry his threats into execution.

It is strange to us that the English nation — that any nation — can submit to be degraded as this Palmerston Administration has degraded them. Anything, however, for a quiet life. England has lost her prestige, and she will never recover it while the Palmerston ministry continues to exist.--We see no prospect of its being replaced by any other, simply because we can see no man to head a new ministry.

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