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yond a doubt, the truth of their allegations. In the mean time, your petitioners acquaint this honourable house, that, unless a strong regular force be permanently established in Jamaica during the war, and a considerable fleet' stationed there, they cannot think that island in a state of [fcurity. This they con ceive themselves as Englithmen bound to lay before the reprelentatives of the people ot Great-Britain, humbly claiming protection as their undoubted right; and looking back with horror at the dangers from which (by the sole . disposition of the Divine Providence) they have escaped, whilst sundry of their fellow-subjects are now obliged id** prostrate themselves at the foot of the throne of the French king, to implore the mercy of that monarch, instead of the protection of their natural sovereign.
The Memorial presented by Sir Joseph Yorke, the English Ambassador Extraordinary at the Hague, the 2 ift Day of March, ivas to the following Purport:
High and mighty Lords,
THE King, my master, has always cultivated the friendship of your High Mightinesses, and has always looked upon the alliance which has so long subsisted between the two nations as founded on the wisest principles, and essential to their mutual welfare. The principal objects of that alliance, supported upon the strong basis of common interest, arc the security and prosperity of the two stales, the maintenance.
of public tranquillity, and the preservation of- that just equilibrium which has been so often troubled by the ambitious policy of the House of Bourbon.
When the Court of Versailles, in direct violation of public faith, and the common right of all sovereigns, broke the peace by a league made with his Majesty's rebellious iubjects, which was avowed and formally declared by the Marquis de Noailles, when France, by immense preparations, manifested a design to annihilate the maritime power pf England, the king thought your High Mightinesses too sensible not to see that the welfare of the liepublic: was so closely connected with that of Great-Britain, as to induce you to hasten to its succour. One of his Majesty's first careg was to inform your High Mightinesses of all the circumstances of that unjust war, and in the critical situation in which the king found himself he did not forget the interests of his ancient allies, but, on the contrary, lhewed the sincerest desire to favour the trade and free navigation of the Republic as much as the welfare of his people would permit; he even refrained a long time to reclaim the succours stipulated by treaty, and though he fulfilled his own engagements, did not require the fame from your High Mightinesses j the reclamation in question was not made till the united forces of France and Spain were ready to fall upon England at once, and attempt a landing, with the assistance of a formidable fleet. Although they were frustrated in that enterprise, the king's enemies are still meditating the fame projects; and it is by the express • ordsr "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 furnished 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 succtfurs, 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 possessions 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 ignojant of what has passed in Paul Jones's assair: the asylum granted to that pirate was directly contrary to the treaty of Breda in 16117, and to your High Mightinesses Placnrd in 1756; besides which, although your High Mightinesses have, and still continue to keep an absolute silence relative to the just reclnmaiions of his majesty, yet, upon the simple requeit of the king's enemies, you assured them you.would observe a strict and.unlimited neutrality, without any
exceptions of the ancient engagements of the Republic, sounded on the most solemn treaties.
Notwithstanding all this, the king is willing to persuade himself, that all that has passed is less to be attributed to the real sentiments of your Hit»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 system 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 tha 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 powers 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 these incontestable principles, that his majesty has or-r dered the underwritten to declare to your High Mightinesses, in the
most 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 off 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 167J, 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 21, 1780. (Signed)
The following provisional Answer •was given to the above Memorial.
THAT their High Mightinesses are very desirous Jo coincide with the willies 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 wisti rigorously to keep to the before - mentioned time, that their High Mightinesses 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 at ranch as possible.
Declaration of ilic Court of Great Britain, April i-tli, 1780.
WHEREAS since the commencement of the war in which Great Britain is engaged by the unprovoked aggression 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 which 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 so 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 sliould consider them henceforward as standing only in that distant relation in which they have placed themselves: his majesty therefore having taken this matter into his royal consideration, doth, by and
with vith 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 ti of March last, and previously signified in an official verbal declaration, made by Lord Viscount Stormont, one of his majesty's principal secretaries of state, to Count Welderen. envoy extraordinary and plenipotentiary from the Republick, nearly two months before the delivery of the aforesaid 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 conlidered upon the fame footing vith those of other neutral states not prfvileged 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 T'r, 1674.
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 (hall take place at the following terms, viz.
in the channel and the North
seas, twelve days after the date hereof.
From the channel, the British seas, and the North seas, as far as the Canary islands inclusively, either in the ocean or Mediterranean, the term (hall be six weeks from the aforesaid date.
Three months from the said Canary Islands as far as the equinoctial line or equator.
Aud lastly, six months beyond the said line or equator, and in all other parts of the world, without any exception or other more particular description of time and place. 1 •> .
The Memorial presented to their High Mightinesses ly Prince Gallitzin, tlie Russian Minister, on t/w Part of the Empre/i his So» vercign.
High and Mighty Lords,
TH E underwritten envoy extraordinary from the Empress of all the Rustias has the honour to communicate to yon a 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 is equally interested in the reasons which occasioned the declaration. He has further orders to declare to your High Mightinesses, in the name of her Imperial Majesty, that how desirous soever (he may be on the one hand to maintain the strictest neutrality during the present war, yet her majesty is as determined