§ At the Court at Carlton-house, the 23d of June, 1812, Present his Royal Highness the Prince Regent in Council.
§ "Whereas his royal highness the Prince Regent was pleased to declare, in the name and on the behalf of his Majesty, on the 21st day of April, 1812, "That if 854 at any time hereafter the Berlin and Milan Decrees shall, by some authentic act of the French government, publicly promulgated, be absolutely and unconditionally repealed, then and from thenceforth the Order in Council of the 7th of January, 1807, and the Order in Council of the 26th of April, 1809, shall without any further Order, be, and the same are hereby declared from thenceforth to be, wholly and absolutely revoked:"
§ "And whereas the Chargé des Affaires of the United States of America, resident at this Court, did, on the 20th day of May last, transmit to lord viscount Castlereagh, one of his Majesty's principal Secretaries of State, a copy of a certain instrument, then for the first time communicated to this Court, purporting to be a Decree passed by the government of France, on the 28th day of April, 1811, by which the Decrees of Berlin and Milan are declared to be definitively no longer in force, in regard to American vessels.
§ "And whereas his royal highness the Prince Regent, although he cannot consider the tenor of the said instrument as satisfying the conditions set forth in the said Order of the 21st of April last, upon which the said Orders were to cease and determine; is nevertheless disposed on his part to take such measures as may tend to reestablish the intercourse between neutral and belligerent nations, upon its accustomed principles—his royal highness the Prince Regent, in the name and on the behalf of his Majesty, is therefore pleased by and with the advice of his Majesty's Privy Council, to order and declare, and it is hereby ordered and declared, that the Order in Council bearing date the 7th day of January, 1807, and the Order in Council bearing date the 26th day of April, 1809, be revoked, so far as may regard American vessels, and their cargoes being American property, from the 1st of August next.
§ "But whereas by certain acts of the government of the United States of America, all British armed vessels are excluded from the harbours and waters of the said United States, the armed vessels of France being permitted to enter therein; and the commercial intercourse between Great Britain and the said United States is interdicted, the commercial intercourse between France and the said United States having been restored; his royal highness the Prince Regent is pleased hereby further to declare, in the name and on the behalf of his Majesty, that if the go- 855 vernment of the said United States shall not, as soon as may be, after this Order shall have been duly notified by his Majesty's minister in America to the said government, revoke, or cause to be revoked, the said acts, this present Order shall in that case, after due notice signified by his Majesty's minister in America to the said government, be thenceforth null and of no effect.
§ "It is further ordered and declared, that all American vessels, and their cargoes being American property, that shall have been captured subsequently to the 20th day of May last, for a breach of the aforesaid Orders in Council alone, and which shall not have been actually condemned before the date of this Order; and that all ships and cargoes as aforesaid that shall henceforth be captured under the said Orders, prior to the 1st day of August next, shall not be proceeded against to condemnation till further orders, but shall, in the event of this Order not becoming null and of no effect, in the case aforesaid, be forthwith liberated and restored, subject to such reasonable expences on the part of the captors as shall have been justly incurred.
§ "Provided that nothing in this Order contained, respecting the revocation of the Orders here inmentioned, shall be taken to revive wholly or in part the Orders in Council of the 11th of November, 1807, or any other Order not here inmentioned, or to deprive parties of any legal remedy to which they may be entitled under the Order in Council of the 21st of April, 1812.
§ "His royal highness the Prince Regent is hereby pleased further to declare, in the name and on the behalf of his Majesty, that nothing in this present Order contained, shall be understood to preclude his royal highness the Prince Regent, if circumstances shall so require, from restoring after reasonable notice, the Orders of the 7th of January, 1807, and 26th of April, 1809, or any part thereof, to their full effect, or from taking such other measures of retaliation against the enemy, as may appear to his Royal Highness to be just and necessary.
§ "And the right hon. the Lords Commissioners of his Majesty's Treasury, his Majesty's principal Secretaries of State, the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, and the Judge of the High Court of Admiralty, and the Judges of the Courts of Vice-Admiralty, are to lake the necessary 856 measures herein as to them may respectively appertain. JAMES BULLER."
The Earl of Liverpool
said, that the document had not been officially communicated, but that it had been published in the official paper of the French government—the paper which was declared to be official with reference to all the acts of the government. That being the case, he felt a difficulty in point of form in laying such a document before the House.
conceiving only certain parts of the Berlin and Milan Decrees were contrary to the law of nations, wished to know whether it was the meaning of the Declaration that on those parts of the Decrees being repealed which were contrary to the law of nations, the Orders in Council were to cease.
The Earl of Liverpool
said, that with reference to the repeal of the Berlin and Milan Decrees, it was intended that the Court of Admiralty should judge of the fact—whether in the event of any act of the French government announcing the repeal of those Decrees, it was such an act as under the Declaration authorized the cessation of the operation of the Orders in Council. With respect to the noble lord's question, the repeal contemplated by the Declaration, was a total repeal of the Berlin and Milan Decrees, in which case alone the Orders in Council were to cease to operate.
The Earl of Lauderdale
thought that the Milan Decree repealed the Berlin Decree, it being stated in the former, that its operation was to cease on the repeal of the Orders in Council; whilst this Declaration stated, that the latter were to cease upon the repeal of the former, there was no prospect whatever held out of relieving the distresses of the manufacturers of this country, or lessening the evils inflicted upon neutral powers.
§ Earl Bathurst
observed, that in all the communications from the French government, whether to Mr. Russel, the American minister, or in any other way, the Berlin and Milan Decrees were uniformly spoken of together, which could not have been the case if the Milan Decree had re-pealed the Berlin Decree,
The Earl of Lauderdale
subsequently suggested, in order to get rid of the difficulty in point of form, that the French paper containing the document referred to in the Declaration, might be allowed to find its way upon the table, for the information of the House, without any motion.
This suggestion was assented to by the earl of Liverpool.