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"rder of his Majesty, that the underwritten again renews, in the most formal manner, the demand of the succours stipulated by different treaties, and particularly that of 1 - 16.
Hitherto your High Mightinesses have been silent upon this essential article, whilst you insisted upon a forced interpretation of the treaty of commerce of the year 1674, against the abuse of which Great Britain at all times protested. This interpretation cannot be reconciled with the clear and particular stipulation of the secret article of the treaty of peace of the (ame year. An article of a treaty of commerce cannot annul so essential an article of a treaty of peace, and both are expressly comprehended in the principal treaty of alliance of 1678, by which your High Mightinesses are obliged to furnish his Majesty with the required succours. You are too wife and too jult not to feel that all the engagements between powers ought to be mutually and reciprocally observed, and although they were ogteed upon at different periods, do alike bind the contracting parties. This incontestable principle is the more applicable here, as the treaty of 1716 renews all the anterior engagements between the Crown of England- and the Republic, and in a manner includes them in one.
The underwritten had further orders to declare to yonr High Mightinesses, that he was ready to enter into conference with you to regulate, in an amicable manner, all that was necessary to prevent a misunderstanding, and every other disagreeable event, by con»
certing measures which mould be both equitable and advantageous to the subjects of both countries; but this amicable overture was refused in a manner as unexpected and extraordinary as unusual between two friendly powers: and without paying any attention either to the repeated public and private representations relative to convoys, your High Mightinesses not only granted these convoys lo different sorts of naval stores, but more particularly ordered that a certain number of men of war should be ready for the future to convoy -naval ammunition of all sorts to the ports of France, and that at a time when the subjects of the republic enjoyed by treaty a liberty and extent of commerce far beyond what the right of nations grants to neutral powers.
This resolution, and the orders given to Rear-admiral Count Byland, to oppose by force the searching of the merchant-lhips, brought on an incident which the friendship of the king desired much to prevent; but it is notorious, that that admiral, in consequence of his instructions, fired first at the boats under English colours, which were sent to examine the (hips in the manner prescribed by the treaty of 1674.
This then is a manifest ng» grellion, a direct violation of that fame treaty which your High Mightinesses seem to look upon as the most sacred of all. His Majesty had before-hand made reiterated representations upon the necessity a,nd justice of the examination, which had taken place in all analogous circumstances, and is fully authorized by the treaty. They were apprized in London,
[Y] 4 tliat that a number of vessels were at the Texel, laden with naval stores, and particularly masts, and large lhip-building - timber, ready to fail for France, with or under a Dutch convoy. The event proved the truth of these informations, as several of these vessels were
• found even under the said convoy, the greatest part of them escaped, and furnislicd France with very efficacious supplies, of which they stood in great need. Whilst your High Mightinesses thus assisted the king's enemies, by favouring the transportation of these succours, you imposed a heavy penalty on those subjects of the Republic who should supply the garrison of Gibraltar with provisions, although that place is comprehended in the general guarantee of all the British possession^ in Europe, and although at that moment Spain had disturbed the trade of the Republic in an unprecedented and outrageous manner.
It is not only on these occasions that the conduct of your High Mightinesses towards the king, and towards the enemies of his
'majesty, holds up a striking contrast to the impartial eyes of all the world. No one can be ignorant of what has pasted in Paul Jones's assair: the asylum granted to that pirate was directly contrary to the treaty of Breda in 1667, and to your High Mightinesses Placard in 1756; besides which, although your High Mightinesses have, and still continue to keep an absolute, silence relative to the jutt reclamations of his majesty, yet, upon the simple request of the king's enemies, you allured them you.would observe a strict: ami'unlimited neutrality, without any
exceptions of the ancient engagements of the Republic, founded on the most solemn treaties.
Notwithstanding all this, the king is willing to persuade himself, that all that has passed ii less to be attributed to the real sentiments of your His»h Mightinesses than to the artifices of his enemies, who, after sowing discord between the members of the States, have by threats and promiles endeavoured to set them against their ancient ally.
His majesty cannot think that your High Mightinesses have resolved to abandon a svstem that the Republic has kept to for more than a century with so much success and so much glory.
But if such is the resolution of your High Mightinesses; if you are determined to break the alliance with Great Britain by refusing to fulfil your engagements, things will bear a new face; the king will fee any such change with a very sensible regret, but the- consequences will be necessary and inevitable. If by an act of your High Mightinesses the Republic cease to be an ally of his majesty, the relations between the two nations are totally changed, and they have no other connections, no other ties, than those which subsist between neutral poweis in friendsliip and unity. Every treaty being reciprocal, if your High Mightinesses will not fulfil your engagements, the consequence must be, that those on the part of the king cease to be any longer binding. It is in departing from thete incontestable principles, that his majesty has ordered the underwritten to declare to your High Mightinesses, in the
molt most amicable, but yet the most serious manner, that if, contrary to his just expectations your High Mightinesses do not, in the course of three weeks, from the day of the presentation of this memorial, give a satisfactory answer relative to the succours reclaimed eight months ago; his majesty will look upon such conduct as breaking oft" the alliance on the part of your High Mightinesses, and will not look upon the United Provinces in any other light than on the footing of other neutral powers, unprivileged by treaty, and consequently will suspend, till further orders, all the paiticu!ar stipulations of the treaties made in savour of the subjects of the Republic, particularly those of the treaty of 1&7.', and will only hold to the general principles of the right of nations, which serves as a rule for neutral and unprivileged powers. Done at the Hague, March al, 1780. (Signed)
The folk/wing provisional Answer vxu given to the above Memorial.
THAT their High Mightinesses are very desirous Jo coincide with the wishes of bis British majesty, by giving a positive answer to the memorial delivered by his ambassador, but that their High Mightinesses foresee, that from the nature of the government of the Republic, it Is impossible to return an answer in three weeks time, as the memorial must be deliberated upon by the different provinces, and their resolutions waited for. That their High Mightinesses arc assured his ma
jesty would not wish rigorously to keep to the before - mentioned time, that their High Mighiinesses might be able to conclude upon an answer in a manner conformable to the constitution of the Republic, in which they had no right to make any alteration, and they promise to accelerate the deliberations upon that head as much as poslible.
i '"' ~" ~*
Declaration of the Court of Great Britain, April x^th, 1780.
WHEREAS since the commencement of the war in which Great Britain is engaged by the unprovoked aggrestjon of France and Spain, repeated memorials have been presented by his majesty's ambassador to the States General of the United Provinces, demanding the succours stipulated by treaty; to wli.ch requisition, though strongly called upon in the last memorial of the 21st of March, their High Mightinesses have given no answer, nor signified any intention of complying therewith: and whereas by the non-performance of the clearest engagements, they desert the alliance that has ib long subsisted between the crown of Great Britain and the Republic, and place themselves in the condition of a neutral power, bound to this kingdom by no treaty, every principle of wisdom and justice requires that his majesty slionld consider them henceforward as standing only in that distant relation in which they have placed themselves: his majesty therefore having taken this matter into bis royal consideration, dotii, by and
with with the advice of bis privy council, judge it expedient to carry into immediate execution those intentions which were formally notified in the memorial presented by his ambassador on the z i tt of Search last, and previously signified in an official verbal declaration, made by Lord Viscount Stoiruont, one of his majesty's principal secretaries of slate, to Count Welderen, envoy extraordinary and plenipotentiary from the Republics, nearly two mouths before the delivery of the afore&id memorial: for these causes, his majesty, by and with the advice of bis privy council, doth declare, that the subjects of the United Provinces are henceforward to be considered upon the fame footing with those of other neutral slates not privileged by treaty; and his majesty doth hereby suspend, provisionally, and till further order, all the particular stipulations, respecting the freedom of navigation and commerce, in time of war, us the subjects of the States General, contained in the several treaties now subsisting between his majesty and the Republick, and more particularly those contained in the marine treaty between Great Britain and the United Provinces, concluded at London, December r'T« in74
From a humane regard to the interests of individuals, and a desire to prevent their suffering by any surprize, his majesty, by and with the advice of his privy council, doth declare, that the effect of this his majesty's order ihall take place at the following terms, viz.
in the channel and the North
seas, twelve days after the drte hereof.
From the channel, the Briusli seas, and the North seas, as far as the Canary islands inclusively, either in the ocean or Mediterranean, the term shall be six weeks from the aforesaid dateThree months from the said Canary Islands as far as the equinoctial line or equator.
And lastly, six months beyond the said line or equator, and ia all other parts of the world, without any exception or other more particular description of time and place. . '.
The Manorial fresented to tfiar High Mightinesses by Prints Gallitzin, t/ie Ruffian Minifies, on the Part of the Empress his Sf vereig*.
High and Mighty Lords,
TH E underwritten envoy extraordinary from the Empress of all the Ruffias has the honour to communicate to yona copy of the declaration which the empress his sovereign has made to the belligerent powers. Your High Mightinesses may look upon this communication as a particular mark of the attention of the Empress for the Republick, which a equally interested in the reasons which occasioned the declaration. He has further orders to declare to your High Mightinesses, in tne name of her Imperial Majesty, that how desirous soever she nay be on the one hand to maintain the strictest neutrality during the present war, yet her majesty is» determined
determined to take the most efficacious means to support the honour of (he Ruffian flag, the security of the trade, and the navigation of hersubjeas, and not suffer either ( to be hurt by any of the belligerent powers; that, in order to prevent on this occasion any mssqDderstanding or false interpretation, she thought it necessary to specify in the declaration the limits of a free trade, and what is called contraband. That, if the definition of the former is founded upon the clearest notions of natural right, the latter is literally taken from the treaty of commerce between Kuslia and Great Britain, by which her Imperial Majesty means incontestably to prove her good faith and impartiality towards each party; that the consequently apprehends that the other trading powers will immediately came Into her way of thinking relative to neutrality.
From these considerations, her Imperial Majesty has ordered the underwritten to invite your High Mightinesses to make a common cause with her, as such an union may serve to protest the trade and navigation, and at the same time observe a strict neutrality, and to communicate to your High Mightinesses the regulation ihe has in consequence taken.
The same invitation has been made to the courts of Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Lisbon, in order that by the united endeavours ot all the neutral maritime powers, a natural system, founded on justice, might be established and legalised in favour of the trade of neutral nations, which by it» real advantages might serve for a rule for future ages.
The underwritten does not doubt but your High Mightinesses will, without delay, take the invitation of her Imperial Majesty into consideration, and concur in 'immediately making a declaration to the belligerent powers, founded on the fame principles as that of the empress, explaining at the fame time the nature of a tree and contraband trade, conformable to their respective treaties with the other nations.
For the rest the underwritten has the honour to assure your High Mightinesses, that if, to establish such a glorious and advantageous system upon the most solid basis, they wished to open a negotiation with the above-mentioned neutral powers on this subject, the empress, his sovereign, is ready to join you.
Your Mightinesses will easily see the necessity of accelerating your resolutions upon objects of such importance and advantage for humanity in general. The underwritten begs of you to give him a speedy answer.
Demethi Prince Gai.
Hague, April I, 1780.
Declaration from the Empress of
TH E Empress of all the