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these insults, by making reprisals on English property (as is done with respect to Spanish property in England) His Majesty, however, requires that the seizures consequent on this arrangement should be proceeded in with such method and regularity, that the effects may be preserved entire, and uninjured, until the further pleasure of his Majesty be made known respecting them. The command for this pnrpose, which this paper conveys, is to be immediately obeyed, under your direction, and you will consider the steps proper to be taken respecting such commercial transactions as are yet in progress, in which such English effects may be concerned.
WAR witH SrAIN.—Declaration of War made by Shain against England, dated Madrid, 12th Dec. 1804. The peace which Europe beheld with so much delight, re-established at Amiens, has, unfortunately for the welfare of nations, proved but of short duration. The rejoicings with which this happy event was celebrated upon all sides, were scarcely concluded, when the public satisfaction began to be troubled, and the advantage of the peace to disappear. The Cabinets of London and Paris held Europe suspended, and agitated between its terrors and its hopes, seeing the event of the negotiations every day become more uncertain, until the moment that discord arrived at such an height, as to kindle between them the fire of a war, which must naturally extend itself to other powers; since it was very difficult for Spain and Holland, who had treated jointly with France at Amiens, and whose interests and political relations are so reciprocally connected, to avoid finally taking part in the grievances and offences offered to their ally.—In these circumstances, his Majesty, supported by the most solid principles of a wise policy, preferred pecuniary subsidies to the contingent of troops and ships with which he was bound to assist France, in virtue of the treaty of alliance in 1796; and as well by means of his minister in London, as of the English agents at Madaid, he gave the British government to understand, in the most positive manner, his decided and firm resolutiou to remain neutral during the war; making no doubt that he should quickly have the satisfaction of seeing that these ingenuous assurances were well received by the court of London.—Nevertheless, that cabinet, which must have resolved in silence before-hand, for its own particular ends, upon the renova. tion of the war with Spain, and which it was always able to declare, not with the forms
and solemnities prescribed by the Law of Nations, but by means of positive aggressions, which should turn to its own profit, sought the most frivolous pretexts to bring into doubt the conduct of Spain, which was truly neutral, and to give demonstrations, at the same time, to the desires of his Britannic Majesty, to preserve the peace, all with the intention of gaining time, cajoling the Spanish government, and holding in uncertainty the opinion of the English nation upon its own premeditated and unjust designs, which could in no manner be approved by that nation. Thus it is, that in London it appeared artfully to accept various reclamations from Spanish individuals, which were addressed to it; while its agents in Madrid magnified the pacific intentions of their own Sovereign: but they never shewed themselves satisfied with the frankness and friendship with which all their notes were answered, rather anxious for proclaiming and magnifying armaments which had no existence, and pretending, contrary to the most positive protests on the part of Spain, that the pecuniary succours given to France were not merely an equivalent for the troops and ships which were stipulated in the treaty of 1796, but an indefinite and immense stock, which did not permit them to consider Spain in any other light than as a principal party in the war.——Moreover, as there was not time entirely to banish the illusion under which they laboured, they exacted, as the precise conditions upon which they would consider Spain as neutral, the cessation of every armament in her ports, and a prohibition of the sale of prizes brought into them. And, notwithstanding that both of these conditions, although urged in a tone superlatively haughty and unusual in political transactions, were immediately complied with, and religiously observed, they persisted, nevertheless, to manifest their want of confidence, and they quitted Madrid with eagerness, immediately after receiving dispatches from their court, of which they did not communicate a particle of the contents. The context which results from all this between the conduct of the Cabinets of London and Madrid, must be sufficient to shew clearly to all Europe, the bad faith, and the secret and pervese aims of the English ministry; even if they had not manifested them by the abominable crime of the surprise, battle, and capture of the four Spanish frigates, which, navigating in the full security which peace inspires, were fraudulently attacked in consequence of orders from the English government, signed in the very moment in which it was faithlessly exacting condiuons for the prolongation of the peace, in which every possible security was given to it, and in which its own vessels were provi. ded with provisions and refreshments in the ports of Spain. —Those very vessels, which were enjoying the most perfect hospitality, and were experiencing the fidelity with which Spain was proving to England the good faith of her engagements, and how firm her resolutions were to maiutain her neutrality--those very ships carried, concealed in the bosom of their commanders, the unjust orders of the English cabinet for assaulting Spanish property on the seas—iniquitous orders, and profusely circulated, since all its vessels of war on the seas of America and Europe, were already detaining and carrying into its harbours as many Spanish vessels as they met with, without respecting even the cargoes of grain which were coining from all parts to succour a faithful nation, in a year of the greatest calamity. Barbarous orders, since they deserve no other name, to sink every Spanish ship under an hundred tons; to burn those which they found on shore on the coast; and to make prize of, and carry to Malta, those only which exceeded an hundred tons. The master of a laud, of Valentia, of fifty-four tons, has made this declaration, that he effected his escape in his launch upon the 16th of November, on the coast of Catalonia, when his vessel was sunk by an English vessel, whose captain took from him his papers and his flag; and informed him, that he had received these express instructions from his court. — In spite of such atrocious actions, which proved to perfect evidence the covetous and hostile views which the English Cabinet had meditated, it was still able to carry on further its perfidious system of blinding the public opinion, alieging, for this purpose, that the Spanish frigates had not been carried into the English ports in quality of prizes, but as being detained until Spain should give the desired securities, that she would observe the strictest neutrality.——And what greater securities could or ought Spain to give What civilized nation, until this hour, has made use of means so unjust and violent, to exact securities of another ? Although England should find, at last, any claim to exact from Spain, in what manner could she justify it, after a similar atrocity ? What satisfaction could she be able to give for the lamentable destruction of the frigate Mercedes, with all its cargo, its equipage, and the great number of distinguished pos. sengers who have perished, the innocent vic. tims of a policy so detestable 2––Spain could not comply, with what she owes to
herself, nor think herself able to maintain her well known honour and diguity amongst the greatest powers of Furope, were she any longer to shew herself insensible to such manifest outrages, and did not take care to revenge them with the nobleness and energv which belong to her character.—Animated with these sentiments, the magnanimous breast of the King, after having exhausted (in order to preserve the peace), all the resources compatible with the dignity of his Crown, finds himself in the hard predicament of making war upon the King of England, upon his subjects and people, omitting the formalities of style by a solemn declaration and publication, owing to the English Cabinet's having begun and continued to make the war without declaring it. In consequence, after having given orders for an embargo, by way of reprisal, upon all English property in his dominions, and that the most convenient instructions, both for his own defence, and the offence of the enemy, should be circulated to his viceroys, captains general, and great officers of the marine, his Majesty has commanded his minister in London to retire, with all the Spanish legation; and his Majesty does not doubt, that all his subjects, inflamed with that just indignation with which the violent proceedings of England must inspire them, will not omit any of all those means to which their valour shall prompt them, of co-operating with his Majesty towards the most complete vengeance for the insult of.
fered to the Spanish flag. For this pur
pose, he invites them to arm corsairs against Great-Britain, and to possess themselves,
with resolution, of her ships and property, by every possible means; his Majesty promi
sing them the greatest promptitude and ce
lerity in the adjudication of prizes, upon the
sole proof of their being English property; and his Majesty expressly renouncing, in favour of the captors, whatever part of the va. lue of the prizes he had, upon other occo. sions, reserved to himself, so that they shall enjoy them in their full value, without he smallest disconnt. And finally, his Ma
jesty has resolved, that what is contained in the premises, shall be inserted in the public papers, that it may come to the knowledge of all ; and also, that it shall be transmitted to the anbassadors and ministers of the King, in foreign courts, in order that all the powers shall be informed of these acts, and
take interest in a cause so just ; hoping that Divine Providence will filess the Spanish
arms, so that they may obtain a just and cou
venient satisfaction for the injuries they have received. - - •
SUMMARY OF POLITICS.
WAR witH ScA1 N. In the preceding pages will be found the declaration of war against England, on the part of his most Catholic Majesty. Some of the ministerial writers have inculcated the propriety of abstaining from all observations upon this subject, until the appearance of the counter declaration, which, they assure us, is about to come, forth from their employers. But, while it must be allowed, that it is, as yet, impossible to form a correct judgment upon some parts of the conduct of these latter, it cannot be denied, that, as to other parts thereof, we have quite sufficient grounds whereon to judge. These writers seen to regard the Spanish declaration as the commencement of that series of acts which constitute a war; whereas, the fact is, that it is the first publicly known act of that sort on the part of Spain only, England having actually begun the war more than three months ago, and that, too, by a battle, and by the capture of ships, money, and men, and by the destruc. tion of several hundreds of lives. “ In “ order to be justifiable in taking up arms, “ it is necessary, 1. That we have just cause “ of complaint; 2.That a reasonable satisfac“tion have been denied us ; 3. The ruler of “ the nation ought maturely to consider, “whether it be for the advantage of the “state to prosecute his right by force of “ arms; and, 4. That, as it is possible, that “ the fear of our arms may make an impres“sion on the mind of our adversary, and “induce him to do us justice, we owe this “further regard to humanity, and especially “ to the lives and peace of the subjects, to declare to that unjust nation, or its chief, “ that we are, at length, going to have re“ course to the last remedy; and this is “ called declaring war." The division here made by a celebrated writer on public law naturally presents itself for the discussion of the subject before us, except that the question of policy, which comes under the 3d head, may, for the present, remain untouched, as interesting to our own country only. To begin, then, according to the order above prescribed, with the question of right, it is alleged by the ministerial writers, that Spain had, since the breaking out of the present war, assisted our enemy, Napoleon, with money; and also, that she had begun to make warlike preparations in her ports. These are acts of aggression ; and, if committed by a power simply neutral, are unquestionably quite sufficient to justify war, on the part of the power against whom they operate, unless, upon application duly made, full satisfaction be immediately given. But,
in war as we viewed her in peace. We must meet her now as we left her at Amiens, the ally of Napoleon; and bound, in case of war, to assist him with a fleet and an army, whether the war should be defensive or offensive. This treaty was concluded at Ildelphonso, on the 19th of August, 1796. It sets out with stipulating, that there shall exist for ever an offensive and disensive alliance between the French Republic and His Catholic Majesty the King of Spain. After stipulating for the mutual guarantee of each others dominions, it is agreed, that, when either power shall, in future, be engaged in any war, the other shall, upon requisition being made, hold in readiness, and place at the disposal of the requiring power, 15 ships of the line, 6 frigates, and 4 sloops of war, all manned and armed, victualled for six months, and stored for a year. In like case and in like manner, the power called upon is to place at the disposal of the requiring power, 18,000 infantry and 6,000 cavalry, with a proportionate train of artillery. These forces, both by land and sea, are to be paid, and maintained in every respect, by the power that furnishes them; if ships are lost, or damaged, or if men are killed, or die, or desert, the deficiency is to be immediately made up ; and, lastly, if the aforesaid succours are found insufficient, the power called upon is to come forward with, and to employ, its whole force, upon the simple demand of the power already at war. Such was the connexion existing between Napoleon and Spain, when we made a treaty of peace and amity with them both at Amiens. One of the ministerial writers seems to regard this treaty as of no weight at all in the dispute, observing, that, “ as to “ the secret articles of their treaty of 1796 “ with the Committee of Public'safety, or “ the Jacobin Directors, of France, what “ has this country to do with them " Another ministerial writer, who does not pretend to regard the treaty as null and void merely because it was made with persons not now in existence, does, nevertheless, assert, that such treaty is not valid, unless it was “communicited to the other powers.” With respect to secrecy relative to the stipulations of this treaty, an excuse of that sort can only serve to expose our insincerity; and, as to the communication of the treaty to other powers, it would be entertaining and instructive enough to hear Lord Musgrave and his brother-in law endeavouring to prove, that, to render a treaty valid with regard to third powers, it must be officially communicated to those powers. What, for instance, gave us a right to complain, by the mouth of Lord Whitworth, and in our subsequent declaration of war against France, that France had “ continued to keep a * French army in Holland in rotagnance to “ the letter of three solemn treatics #" No one will pretend that any of these treaties were ever officially communicated to us. What, then, gave us a right to make this complaint What but the notoriety of the existence of the treaties between France and Holland 2 Unless, therefore, Lord Mulgrave or Lord Harrowby can make it out, that treaties between foreign powers, not officially communicated to us, are valid, or invalid, according as it suits our interest, the circumstance of the treaty of 1796 not having been communicated to us will avail us nothing: for, as to the public notoriety of its existence, and also of its stipulations, what other proof need we than the fact of its having been published in the Political Register, not only previous to the commencement of the present war, but previous to the ratification of the treaty of Amiens of As we left Spain at the peace, therefore, we must necessarily have expected to find her st the beginning of our next war with France. Whether we should, in consequence of the existence of the treaty above spoken of, have been justified in regarding Spain as an associate with France, and, at once, making war upon her accordingly, may admit of some doubt. From what MARTEN's gives as a sort of summary of the law of nations upon this point, it would seem that we should not have been justified. * Strictly speaking,” says he, “a bellige“rent power has a right to treat as his ene“ mies all the powers who lend assistance to * the enemy, from whatever motive, or in * consequence of whatever treaty. Policy “ has, however, induced the powers of Eu“ rope to depart from this rigorous principle. “They now admit, 1. That a sovereign * who furnishes troops in virtue of a treaty of subsidy, does not thereby become the “enemy of the power against which those “ troops act; 2. That, as long as a sove“ reign sends to the assistance of his ally .* no more than the number of troops, &c. “ stipulated for in the treaty of alliance, and does not authorize them to serve upon
“ such sovereign ought to be permitted to “ enjoy his rights of neutrality. This is “ more especially the case, when the aid of “ an auxiliary is the consequence of a treaty “ of general defensive alliance, concluded “ before the beginning of the war.” It is easy to conceive reasons for adopting principles like these ; and, though, in the present instance, they were intended to operate most injuriously towards the liberties of Europe, they have frequently had a directly contrary effect, and that effect has sometimes been very powerful. VAttel, who treats the matter more at large, concurs in the doctrine of MARTEN s, as to alliances which are only defensive, and which stipulate for the employment of only a part of the forces of the auxiliary power; but, if the alliance be offensive as well as defensive; or if, though defensive only, and even general also, it stipulates for the employment of the whole force of the auxiliary power, he regards that power as having, by such treaty, forfeited the rights of neutrality with respect to the antagonist of its ally, which antago. nist may, of course, treat it as an associate of his enemy, and may, at once, make war upon it. Such appears to be the situation of Spain with regard to us. Her treaty with Napoleon certainly is general, but it is offensive as well as defensive, and though it does not positively say, that she shall bring forward her whole force, yet it contains a conditional stipulation to that extent, and the condition is, indeed, neither more nor less than that she shall, if his wants or will demand it, furnish him to her last ship and her last battalion. All this we knew, however, when we revived and solemnly renewed our friendly relations with her, which circumstance renders the case such an one as does not appear to have been in the contemplation of VAttel; for, there is surely a wide dif. ference between a treaty of alliance entered into/revious to the war, and one entered into previous to the foregoing peace, previous to the renewal of assurances of perfect amity. And here, we have another instance either of the absolute necessity or of the folly or wickedness of the peace of Amiens; for, to what, if not to absolute necessity can we possibly attribute a measure, in which we acknowledged our expectation, that, in case of war, Spain would, as a matter of course, be called upon to assist France with, at least, 15 ships of the line and 24,000 soldiers * Allowing, however, that the existence of the treaty of 1796 was, of itself, sufficient to justify our making war upon Spain: allowing it to have given us the full right, that 'right was no longer possessed after we, either expressly or tacitly consented to her remaining neuter, which we clearly did by suffering our minister to remain at Madrid, by entering into negotiations with her as to the manner in which she could conduct herself with regard to the belligerent parties. Here we gave up our right of war founded upon her compact with France; and, this is the “ embarrass“ ment” which the partisans of Mr. Pitt and Lord Melville say their employers have been involved in by the misconduct, “the incapa* city and imbecility,” (to use Mr. Pitt's own words) of Lord Hawkesbury and Mr. Addington. We see, then, and we shall see more fully when the papers come to be submitted to parliament, that the situation of Spain with regard to us, became entirely changed; from an associate of our enemy, she became a neutral power, retaining none of the rights of an auxiliary arising out of previous treaties, and liable to hostility on our part if she assisted our enemy contrary to the laws of neutrality. Viewing her in this light, it was for us first to verify the fact of her aiding Napoleon, and, having obtained proof of her supplying him with money, or of her making preparations to supply him with military or naval force, the next step was to demand satisfaction, and that being refused, we had a right to make war upon her. Whether this demand was made in a proper manner; whether it was wise to draw forth her naval force against us, rather than suffer her to supply Napoleon with dollars; and whether the satisfaction she offered us was not quite sufficient; these are points upon which we are not, as yet, possessed of information whereon to judge correctly. The right of making war upon Spain, as a nation guilty of a breach of the laws of neutrality, may have been clear, it is possible, too, and, according to present appearances, barely possible, that to make war upon her may have been wise: but, that the manner of beginning that war was unjust and odious will hardly be denied by any upright and bonourable man, to whatever party or country he may belong. The ministers must deny the validity, with respect to us,
of the treaty of 1796, or they call in question.
their right of complaining of the conduct of Spain; so that, they cannot allow of its va. lidity, in order to avail themselves of its existence as a justification for having commenced an undeclared war, without destroying the very foundation of all their proceedings. Aware of this dilemma, they will, in all probability, affect to regard their attack and capture of the Spanish frigates, not as an act of war, but of reprisals. But, is it postiple that the nation, or that foreign powers,
will be deceived by a subterfuge like this? Reprisals, without war, are made in cases in which war would not be justifiable; and the idea of reprisals, as denoted by the word itself, naturally confines itself to wrongs of inferior magnitude, to objects respecting which there exists not the slightest doubt. GRoTius does not seem so much as to think of making reprisals alone for any other sort of wrong than that of an unjust seizure or detention of property belonging to a state or its subjects. This is the light, too, in which the right of exercising this power is viewed by VATTEl. “If," says he, “a nation has “ taken possession of what belongs to ano“ ther; if she refuses to pay a debt, to re“ pair an injury, or to give adequate satis“ faction, the latter may seize something be“ longing to the former, and apply it to her “ own advantage, till she obtains payment “ of what is due to her, together with inte“ rest and damages.” This idea is never lost sight of in speaking of reprisals disconnected from war. To render reprisals lawful the same writer says, “the grounds “ on which they are made must be evidently “just ; it must be for a well-ascertained and “ undeniable debt." To make reprisals instead of at once having recourse to war, is generally a proof of justice and moderation ; but, very fallacious indeed is that argument which proceeds upon the maxim, that, in cases where war would be justifiable, reprisals must, of course, be justifiable, because they are something short of war. “There “ are cases," says VAttel, “ in which re“ prisals would be justly condemnable, even “ when a declaration of war would not be “ so : and these are precisely those cases “ when nations may with justice take up “ arms. When the question which consti“ tutes the ground of a dispute, relates, not “ to an act of violence, or an injury inflict“ ed, but to a contested point, after an in“effectual endeavour to obtain justice by conciliatory and pacific measures, it is a declaration of war that ought to follow, “ and not pretended reprisa's, which, in such “ case, would only be a real act of hostility “ without a declaration of war, and would be contrary to public faith as well as to the “ mutual duties of nations." The reason whence this doctrine proceeds is very clear. Reprisals, because they are made upon grounds evidently just, and for an “unde* niable debt or an injury actually received," need not be preceded by a de laration ; whereas war must be preceded by a declaration, because, where there is room for dispute as to the justice of the grounds, no advantage, particularly so great an advantage as