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determined to take the most effica- The underwritten does not
cious means to support the honour doubt but your High Mightinesses
of the Russian flag, the security of will, without delay, take the in-
the trade, and the navigation of vitation of her Imperial Majesty
her subjects, and not sutter either into consideration, and concur in
to be hurt by any of the bellige. immediately making a declaration'
rent powers; that, in order to to the belligerent powers, found-
prevent on this ocoasion any mis- ed on the same principles as that
understanding or false interpreta- of the empreis, explaining at the
tion, the thought it necessary to same time the nature of a free
fpecify in the declaration the li. and contraband trade, conform-
mits of a free trade, and what is able to their relpective treaties
called contraband. That, if the with the other nations.
definition of the former is founded For the rest the underwritten
upon the cleareft notions of natu- has the honour to assure your
ral right, the latter is literally High Migbtinesses, that if, to
taken from the treaty of commerce establith fuch a glorious and ad-
between Ruffia and Great Britain, vantageous system upon the most
by which her Imperial Majelty folid basis, they wished to open a
means incontestably to prove her negociation with the above-men-
good faith and impartiality to. tioned neutral powers on this sub-
wards each party; that the conse- jeet, the empress, his sovereign,
quently apprehends that the other is ready to join you.
trading powers will immediately Your Mightineiles will easily
come into her way of thinking re- see the neceflity of accelerating
lative to neutrality.

your resolutions upon objects of
From these confiderations, her such importance and advantage
Iroperial Majesty has ordered the for humanity in general. The
underwritten to invite your High underwritten begs of you to give
Mightinesses to make a common him a speedy answer.
cause with her, as such an union

DEMETRI Prince GALmay serve to protect the trade and

LITZIN, navigation, and at the same time Hague, April 3, 1780. observe a strict neutrality, and to communicate to your High Mightinefses the regulation the has in Declaration from the Empress of consequence taken.

Pullia to the Courts of London, The fame invitation has been Versailles, and Madrid. made to the courts of Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Lisbon, in T HE Empress of all the order that by the united endea. Rullias has so fully mani. Fours of all ihe neutral maritime fested her sentiments of equity and powers, a natural system, founded moderation, and has given such on justice, might be established evident proofs, during the course and legalised in favour of the of the war that the supported trade of neutral nations, which by against the Ottoman Porte, of the its real advantages might serye for regard she has for the rights of a rule for future ages.

neutrality and the liberty of uni


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versal commerce, as all Europe They are reducible to the folcan witness. This conduct, as lowing points : well as the principles of impar

First, That all neutral ships tiality that the has displayed during the present war, juftly in..

in may freely navigate from port to spires her with the fullest confi- port,

ti port, and on the coasts of nations dence, that her subjects would at war. peaceably enjoy the fruits of their

Secondly, That the effe&s be. industry and the advantages be

longing to the subjects of the said longing to a neutral nation. Expe.

warring powers shall be free in all rience has nevertheless proved the

i neutral vessels, except contraband contrary. Neither the above

merchandise.. mentioned considerations, nor the

Thirdly, That the empress, as regard to the rights of nations,

to the specification of the abovebave prevented the subjects of her

mentioned merchandise, holds to Imperial Majesty from being often

on what is mentioned in the oth molested in their navigation, and

and uth articles of her treaty of ftopped in their operations, by

commerce with Great Britain, exthose of the belligerent powers.

tending her obligations to all the These hindrances to the liberty Po

to powers at war. of trade in general, and to that

. Fourthly, That, to determine of Ruflia in particular. are of a what is meant by a blocked-up nature to excite the attention of P

0 port, this is only to be understood all neutral nations. The empreis

of one which is so well kept in by finds herself obliged therefore to

to the ships of the power that attacks

! free it by all the means compati

it, and which keep their places, ble with her dignity and the

he that it is dangerous to enter inwell-being of her subjects; but, before she puts this into execution,

Fifthly, That these principles and with a fincere intention to

to serve as a rule for proceedings

her prevent any future infringements, and judgments upon the legality the thought it but just to publish of prizes. to all Europe the principles she Her Imperial Majesty, in mak. means to follow, which are the ing these points public, does not properest to prevent any misun- helitate to declare, that to main. deritavding, or any occurrences tain them, and to protea the hothat may occasion it. Her Impe- nour of her flag, the security of rial Majesty does it with the more the trade and navigation of her confidence, as she finds these prin- subjects, the has prepared the ciples coincident with the primi- greatett part of her maritime forces. tive right of nations which every This meature will not, however, people may reclaim, and which influence the strict neutrality The the belligerent powers cannot in- does .observe, and will observe, lo validale without violating the long as she is not provoked and laws of neutrality, and without forced to break the bounds of modifavouring the maxims they have deration and perfect impartiality, adopted in the different treatics It will be only in this extremity and public engagements.

that her fleet have orders. to go


wherever honour, intereft, and engagements have altered this need may require.

primitive law, by mutual ftipulaIn giving this folenın assurance tiops, proportioned to the will with the usual openness of her and convenience of the contrading character, the empress cannot do parties. other than promise herself that the Strongly attached to her Mabelligerent powers, convinced of jesty of all the Ruílias, by the the sentiments of justice and cqui- ties of reciprocal friendship, and ty which animate her, will con- common interest, the king, from tribute towards the accomplith the commencement of thote trou. ment of these falutary purposes, bles, gave the most precite orders which manifestly tend to the good respecting the flag of her Imperial of all nations, and to the advan- Majesty, and the commerce of her tage even of those at war. In subjects, agreeable to the law of consequence of which, her Impe. nations, and the tenour of the enrial Majesty will furnith her com- gagements ftipulated by his treaty manding officers with instructions of commerce with her, and to conformable to the above-men- which he thall adhere with the tioned principles, founded upon moft scrupulous exactness. the primitive laws of people, and The orders to this intent have 1o often adopted in their conven- been renewed, and the utmolt care tions.

will be taken for their strictest ex

ecution. Answer from the Court of Great It may be presumed, not the

Britain, to the Declaration of the least irregularity will happen ; but Empress of Rullia ; sent to the in case any infringements, conBritish Envoy at Petersburgh, trary to these repeated orders, April 23, 1780.

take place, the Courts of Admi

ralty, which in this, like all DURING the course of the other countries, are eltablished to war, wherein his Britannick Ma- take cognizance of such matters, jefty finds himself engaged through and in all cases do judge solely by the, unprovoked aggreflion of the law of nations, and by the France and Spain, he hath con- specifick ftipulations of different ftantly manifefted his sentiments treaties, will redress every hardof justice, equity, and modera- ship in fo equitable a manner, tion, in every part of his con- that her Imperial Majesty thall be duct. His majesty hath acted to perfectly satisfied, and acknowwards friendly and neutral powers ledge a like spirit of justice which according to their own procedure the herself porleises. respecting. Great Britain, and conformable to the cleareft principles, Answer from the King of France generally acknowledged as the to the Declaration of the Emprefs law of nations, being the only of Ruilia. law between powers where no treaties fubfift,' and agreeable to THE war in which the king the tenour of his different engage is engaged having no other objeit ments with other powers ; those than the attachment of his ma


jefty to the freedom of the seas, empress will no doubt be satisfied he could not but with the truest with the difpofitions made by his satisfaction see the Empress of majesty in the regulations he has Ruffia adopt the same principle, published. They do not hold by and resolve to maintain it. That circumstances only, but they are which her Imperial Majesty claims founded on the right of nations, from the belligerent powers is no and quite fuitable to a prince other than the rules already pre who finds the happiness of his fcribed to the French marine, the own kingdom in that of general execution of which is maintained prosperity. The king wishes her with an exactitude known and ap- Imperial Majesty would add to plauded by all Europe.

the means the has fixed to deThe liberty of neutral vessels, termine what merchandizes are restrained only in a few cafes, is reckoned contraband in time of the direct consequence of neutral war, precise rules in the form of right, the safegard of all nations, the sea-papers with which the and the relief even of those at war. Ruffian fhips will be furnished. The king has been desirous, not With this precaution, his maonly to procure a freedom of na- jesty is assured nothing will hapo vigation to the subjects of the pen to make him regret the bav. Empress of Russia, but to those of ing put the Russian navigators on all the states who hold their neu- as advantageous a footing as can trality, and that upon the same be in time of war. Happy ciró conditions as are announced in cumstances have more than once the treaty to which bis majesty occurred to prove to the courts this day answers.

how important it is for them to His majesty thought he bad explain themselves freely relativo taken a great step for the general to their respective interests. good, and prepared a glorious His majesty is very happy to epocha for his reign, by fixing, by have explained his way of thinkhis example, the rights which ing to her Imperial Majesty opon every belligerent power may, and fo interesting a point for Ruina, ought to acknowledge to be due and the trading powers of Europe. to neutral vessels. His bopes have He the more fincerely applauds not been deceived, as the empress, the principles and views of the in avowing the strictest neutrality, emprefs, as his majesty partakes has declared in favour of a system of the same sentiments which have which the king is supporting at brought her majesty to adop! the price of his people's blood, thote meafures, which must be to and that her majetty adopts the the advantage of her own subjects, same rights as he would wish to and all other nations. make the basis of the maritime Versailles, April 25, 1780. code,

If fresh orders were necessary to Answer from the King of Spain, prevent the veifels of her. Imperial to the Declaration of the Empre Majefty from being disturbed in of Russia, their navigation by the fubie&ts of the king, his majefly would im- THE king, being informed of mediately give them; but the the empress's sentiments with re.

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spect to the belligerent and neu-, followed captures and detentions tral powers, by a memorial re- innumerable, and other disagreemitted to the Compte de Florida able consequences, though in reaBlanca, on the 15th init. by Mr. lity not fo prejudicial as pretendEtienne de Zinowief, Minitter toed; on the contrary, some of these her Imperial Majefty: the king detentions have turned to the ad. considers this as 'the effect of a vantage of the proprietors, as the juft confidence which his majesty goods, being sold in the port has on his part merited; and it is where they were condemned, have yet more agreeable that the prin frequently gone off at a higher ciples adopted by this sovereign price than they would have done at should be the same as have always ihe place of their destination. guided the king, and which his The king, nevertheless, not conmajesty bas for a long time, but tented with these proofs of his without success, endeavoured to justification, which have been nie. caufe England to observe, while nifeft to all Europe, will this day Spain remained neuter. There have the glory of being the firit to principles are founded in juftice, give the example of respecting the equity, and moderation ; and there neutral flag of all the courts that lume principles Ruflia and all the have consented, or shall consent, other powers have experienced in to defend it, till his majesty finds the resolutions formed by his ma- what part the English navy takes, jesty; and it has been entirely and whether they will, together owing to the conduct of the Eng- with their privateers, keep within lith navy, both in the last and the proper bounds. And to thew to prefent war (a' conduct wholly all the neutral powers how much labverfive of the received' rules a Spain is desirous of observing the mong neutral powers) that his fame rules in time of war as die majesty has been obliged to follow was directed by whilst neuter, his their example; fince the English majefty conforms to the other paying no respect to a neutral flas, points contained in the declaration if the same be laden with etfects of Ruffia. To be understood, ne. belonging to the enemy, even if vertheless, that, with regard to the articles should not be contra- the blockade of Gibraltar, the band, and that flag not using any danger of entering fublists, as demeans of defending itself, there termined by the fourth article of could not be any just cause why the said declaration. These danSpain ihould not make reprisals, gers may, however, be avoided to indemnify herself for the great by the neutral powers, if they condiladvantages the most otherwise form to those rules of precaution labour under. The neutral pow- established by his majesty's decla. ors have also laid themselves open ration of the 13th of lalt March, to the inconveniences they have which has been communicated to lattered, by furnishing themselves the Court of Petersburg by his with double papers, and other minifier. artifices, to prevent the capture

FLORIDA BLANCA. of their vessels; from which have At Aranjuez, 18 April, 1780.


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