LORD ADOLPHUS VANE TEMPEST
1988 said, that representing as he did a constituency which had a considerable interest in shipping, he was anxious that before the adjournment of the House the neutral trade of this country should not be left in its then unsatisfactory position. From Earl Russell's statement in another place, it almost appeared as though Federal cruisers had a right to seize, without limit, neutral vessels running to Matamoras and to Nassau. Yet the noble Earl had laid it down in a most able despatch to the Federal Government, that though that Government had undoubtedly the belligerent rights in respect to neutral vessels, the indiscriminate use of that right would become an intolerable evil. By the last mail from America it appeared that the Government of Washington had opened the question in respect of the cargo of the Peterhoff. Now, Judge Story held distinctly that the question of cargo was not to be considered with regard to neutral trade, but that it was a question of destination; and he further stated that there could be no question of contraband of war between two neutral countries. If that position was international law, he thought that Her Majesty's Government ought to adhere to it. The Federal Government would, he believed, be prepared to concede to their just demands if they held their own; but if they abandoned the ground which they were justified in taking on this question, that Government would make new encroachments. It would be necessary to take a stand at last, and he thought that the Government ought to take that stand, and ought to insist that the Washington Cabinet should adhere to the principles which Mr. Seward laid down in answer to Admiral Milne last year. As matters stood, they were surrendering the trade with Mexico and the West India Islands to the New York merchants and to those of France.
§ Motion agreed to.
§ House at rising to adjourn till Thursday 28th May.