The Federal Spy system in Europe.
The London Index,
of the 5th inst, has an editorial on the boldness and persistence shown by the spies of the United States
Among other things it says:
Some of the doings of these gentry would be amusing, if they were not so intolerably annoying to decent people.
A short time since, in Liverpool
, the residence of a lady whose husband (then absent) is connected with Confederate affairs, was beset by spies, who watched it night and day, and sought ingress under various pretences, until the nuisance at last became so great that the police had to be applied to. In or near Glasgow
, an outrage even more flagrant was perpetrated.
A Federal official, bearing a commission from the President
of the United States
, obtained, under pretext of seeking lodgings, access to the chambers of a gentleman supposed to be implicated in the building of some suspected vessel in the Clyde
, and upon the date acquired in this ingenious reconnaissance, a search-warrant was actually issued afterwards, though, of course, without producing the expected revelations.
There is scarcely an officer or prominent citizen of the Confederate States
, resident in England
, who is not more or less beset and pestered by this ubiquitous and protean-shaped espionage.
Servant maids are bribed to purloin letters; landladies are frightened by a mock assumption of Inquisitorial authority; wives, in the absence of their husbands, are imposed upon with fictions.--When successful, which they seldom are, these practices are avowed by the Federal
agents, or at least the fruits are unblushingly used to swell the "mass of evidence" transmitted through Mr Adams
to the Foreign Office.
That we are not exaggerating the extent of the organization to which this system of Federal espionage has been carried, will be evident to every ordinary reader of the news papers.
It is a notorious fact, repeatedly complained of through the press, that every considerable shipyard in Great Britain
is watched by spies.
The circumstances of the seizure of the Peterboff will also be recollected, and how it was partially excused on the ground that she was marked on a list of suspected vessels with suspected owners furnished by a Federal Consul to his Government.
A short time since it was made a boast in a Northern newspaper that an officer of a blockade runner, the Cumberland
, had been bribed by the Federal Consul
, or his employee, to bring the ship to a designated spot, where the De Soto
lay five days in wait for her.
But these things are puerile compared to what remains to be told.
During last autumn
the confidential clerk of the eminent French naval contractor, M Voruz
, of Nantes
, disappeared, and with him very important and valuable papers relating to the business transactions of the house.
As the man enjoyed a highly respectable position and an ample salary, it was clear that no ordinary or small temptation could have induced him to forfeit his prospects and his country, and to risk the galleys.
Not long afterwards Mr Dayton
, the Federal Minister
, in a correspondence which has been recently published, submitted to the French Minister
of Foreign Affairs what purported to be copies of papers implicating M Voruz
, and also his correspondent, M Armand
, of Bordeaux
, by the evidence of their own signatures, in extensive transactions for building vessels of war for the Confederates
Upon this evidence, Mr Dayton
based a formal demand for the seizure, or at least detention, of certain vessels, and other measures to frustrate the nefarious attempts of the Confederates
against the neutrality of France
We have no means of judging of the genuineness of his evidence, and we understand that both Messrs Voruz
decline, as they have a perfect moral and legal right to do, to pronounce in the matter until the originals are produced, of which these papers profess to be copies.
's dilemma, however, is no enviable one to a gentleman and the representative of a foreign nation.
Either the papers submitted to the French
Foreign Office are of a piece with the report of the Confederate Secretary of the Navy
palmed on Earl Russell, and in that case the simultaneous employment of forged documents for the same purpose with the two Governments would bear somewhat too suspicious a character.
Or, on the other hand, if they are genuine, then he confesses himself guilty of subornation of robbery, and liable, but for his diplomatic character, to a criminal prosecution.