--A Southern journal suggests the name of a distinguished Southern officer as one of the successors of Messrs. Mason
It is by no means certain that it will be necessary to have any successor to those gentlemen.
In the first place, it is within the limits of possibility that through a demand of the British Government
, these gentlemen may yet be released from their confinement, and placed on a British deck under the British
flag, from the protection of which they were so violently and illegally taken.
In that event, they can proceed on their voyage and execute their mission.
It is not only possible, but, in the opinion of many competent judges, it is probable that the British Government
will insist upon at least that degree of reparation to the insulted dignity of the British
If such a demand be made, we believe that the Yankee Government
would accede to it at once, for, with all their prodigious boasting, they will never dare to provoke a war with Great Britain
At all events, till that question is determined, it is at least due to our commissioned representatives to make no new appointments, a proceeding which, moreover, would expose us to the embarrassment of having, in the event of their release, two sets of Commissioners to England
But supposing it definitely determined that the British Government
will not interfere in their behalf, it is questionable policy whether other gentlemen should be sent from this country to take their places.
There are Southern gentlemen now in Europe
, who could perform their duties, and this without the risk which attends a voyage across the ocean.
At all events, the Confederate Government should carefully keep its own counsels as to any purpose it may form upon this subject.
If it is important that we should have Commissioners abroad, it is important that we should adopt all the means necessary to the successful accomplishment of that end, and among those means, none is more essential than profound silence as to what we intend to do.--We ought to know by this time, from bitter experience, that to make public an intention of sending Commissioners, and still more the names of those Commissioners, is the surest way of defeating our own object.
The late appointments were made known, and the circumstances attending the departure of the Commissioners
had as much publicity as if there were no obstacles whatever to impede their transit across the ocean.
It is clear that if successors are to be sent, the only prudent course is not even to let it be known that there is any such intention, and especially that the names of the appointees should not be whispered.
If appointed, let them get off in profound silence, and with none of the pomp and circumstance of an ambassadorial mission.
With the observance of these precautions, we may succeed in getting ministers to Europe
, in case the Government
deems such a commission necessary, of which we are by no means certain.