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Count Rechberg rose to answer the question, “What measures has the government taken to protect its commercial relations with the United States of North America, under the warlike condition of things now existing there,” put by Mr. Putzer and his associates. He said: “The minister of foreign affairs has, in connexion with the ministers of trade and the navy, caused information to be obtained through the imperial minister resident at Washington as to the measures which other governments have taken for the same reason. The answer received was, that England and France, as well as Holland, had strengthened their squadrons in the American waters, and had endeavored to bring the belligerent powers to the recognition of those principles, especially relating to the protection of private property, which were agreed upon at the congress of Paris in 1856. The imperial government has, for the present, abstained from sending ships-of-war, and has directed the minister resident to obtain from the belligerent powers the recognition of the following points established by the said congress:
“1. The neutral flag covers enemy's goods, with the exception of contraband of war.
“2. Neutral goods, with the exception of contraband of war, are not liable to capture under enemy's flag.
“3. Blockades, in order to be binding, must be effective; that is to say, maintained by a force sufficient really to prevent access to the coast of the enemy.
“The government hopes, on account of the friendly relations which have existed between it and the American States for years, to obtain the recognition of these three points on the part of the belligerents.”
In an interview with Count Rechberg a day or two ago, he expressed to me a hope that the answer might be deemed satisfactory to my government, as it was his wish to make it so. I replied that, so far as I was advised, no exception could be taken to his language, but that I should transmit to my government both the question and answer, and if they had anything to say they would make it known to him through their minister here. He repeated his strong desire to see the integrity of the Union preserved in America, and said Austria was anxious to cultivate the most friendly relations with us, and would be the last to aid or abet any movement looking to the disruption of our confederacy, or weakening its power.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, J. GLANCY JONES. Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington.
Mr. Hülsemann to Mr. Seward.
AUSTRIAN LEGATION, Washington, August 7, 1861.
The undersigned, in pursuance of the understanding come to this morning, has the honor to transmit to the honorable Secretary of State a copy of the instructions received from Count Rechberg concerning the maritime rights of neutrals in time of war; and he takes this opportunity to renew his offer of high consideration to the honorable Secretary of State
HULSEMANN Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State of the United States.
SIR: With deep regret we continue to follow events in the United States which, shaking the foundations of the Union, have effectively taken the character of an active warfare between powers; whence it has ensued that friendly nations, for the protection of their own commerce and navigation, are placed reluctantly in such position that they must reclaim their rights as neutrals. You already know by my despatch of 14th June of last year what principles of international law bearing upon the questions of maritime rights in time of war we relied upon as between us and the government of the Union, whether under the provisions of old treaties, or under more recent arrangements; inasmuch as we have given our adhesion to the Paris declaration of maritime rights in 1856, as tending to improve the heretofore ill-advised mode of dealing with the political fluctuations that lie before us. Albeit the government of the Union did not explicitly and at once accept, upon the first invitation, the declaration of the European powers, yet we still entertain an earnest expectation that such subsequent express assent may be given, as the abrogation of all hindrance to the security of private property on the seas was established on the broadest grounds. By a proposal which, unfortunately, was not accepted on the other side, we, however, as you know, were always ready and willing to sustain the principle. We await, however, in friendly expectation, at least, the express recognition of the second, third, and fourth principles of the Paris declaration on the part of the United States quite distinctly from that, because the government of the Union, on different occasions, has not only plainly expressed these principles in manner more or less forcible, but has upon its own motion set them forth and explicitly maintained them. We therefore rest securely in the belief that we may soon receive a satisfactory communication upon this subject, and that under the high authority of the President, administering the relations of his government, the above mentioned three principles will be authentically asserted by the United States. But you also have it in express charge to invite the earnest attention of the Secretary of State to the matter, and to take the same steps as we see reason to adopt with the other European powers in what may be regarded as definitively settled. You will, I hope, carry this important question through to a favorable close, and I present you the assurances of my cordial sympathies. RECHBERG.
His Excellency the Chevalier HULSEMANN, &c., &c., &c., Washington.
Mr. Seward to Mr. Hülsemann.
a- DEPARTMENT of STATE, Washington, August 22, 1861.
The undersigned, the Secretary of State of the United States, has the honor to acknowledge the receipt of a communication from Mr. Hülsemann, minister resident of his imperial royal Majesty the Emperor of Austria, bearing date 7th August, instant. Mr. Hülsemann's letter is accompanied by an instruction sent to him by Count Rechberg, the Austrian minister for foreign affairs, calling sor information on the subject of the views of this government concerning the rights of neutrals in maritime war. Count Rechberg expresses a hope that the government of the United States will give assurances that it adopts and will apply the 2d, 3d, and 4th principles of the declaration of Paris, viz: 2. The neutral flag covers enemy's goods, with the exception of contraband of war. 3. Neutral goods, with the exception of contraband of war, are not liable to capture under enemy's flag. 4. Blockades, in order to be binding, must be effective; that is to say, maintained by a force sufficient really to prevent access to the coast of the enemy. The undersigned has great pleasure in assuring Mr. Hülsemann that this government does adopt, and that it will apply the principles thus recited and set forth, and that its liberal views in this respect have not only been long held, but they would have been formally communicated to the Austrian government several months ago but for the delay which has unavoidably o in the arrival of a newly appointed minister plenipotentiary at 16 Jnna. Of course the principles referred to are understood by the United States as not compromitting their right to close any of their own ports for the purpose of suppressing the existing insurrection in certain of the States, either directly or in the more lenient and equitable form of blockade which has already for some time been established. Mr. Motley, who proceeds immediately to Vienna as envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of the United States, will be directly advised of this communication, while he will be charged with more ample instructions on the general subject involved. The undersigned avails himself of this occasion to tender assurances of the good will of this government towards the government of Austria, and of his distinguished consideration for Mr. Hülsemann personally. WILLIAM H. SEWARD. The Chevalier HULSEMANN, &c., &c., &c.
Mr. Seward to Mr. Jones.
No. 14.] DEPARTMENT of STATE, Washington, August 12, 1861.
SIR: Your despatch of the 20th of July, No. 22, has just been received.
Owing to the change of Mr. Burlingame's destination, the instructions he Conveyed have failed to reach your legation. A new appointment has just now been made in the person of Mr. Motley, who will, without much delay, Proceed to relieve you of the mission which you have conducted so satisfactorily during the period of my connexion with this department.
Mr. Motley will have full powers to treat with the government of Austria 9m all the matters discussed by Count Rechberg in the speech to which, by his direction, you have called my attention, and I am sure that they will be disposed of to the entire satisfaction of Austria, as well as for the common *dvantage of both countries.
In the meantime, however, you are authorized to say to Count Rechberg that the United States adhere now, as heretofore, to the three principles enunciated by him in that speech, namely: 1. The neutral flag covers enemy's goods, with the exception of contraband of war. 2. Neutral goods, not contraband of war, are not liable to confiscation under enemy's flag. 3. Blockades, in order to be binding, must be effective. Of course these principles are understood by us as not compromitting out right to close any of our own ports for the purpose of suppressing the existing insurrection, either directly or in the more lenient and equitable form of blockade which we have already some time since established. You will not fail to assure the imperial royal government that the President had received with great satisfaction the assurances of the just purposes and good will of Austria towards the United States, communicated by Count Rechberg to yourself, and repeated by Mr. Hülsemann, the minister of Austria residing at this capital. It shall be our purpose to cultivate the best understanding with all nations which respect our rights as Austria does. I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant, WILLIAM H. SEWARD. J. GLANCY JONES, Esq., &c., &c., &c.
Mr. Seward to Mr. Motley.
No. 2.] DEPARTMENT of STATE, Washington, August 27, 1861.
SIR: The despatch of your predecessor, Mr. Jones, No. 23, dated August 6, has been received and read with much interest. It relates, however, exclusively to the affairs of Austria, and does not seem to require any special remark from me at the present moment, when the attention of this department is so largely engrossed by the concerns of our own country at home as well as in foreign countries.
Should Mr. Jones be still remaining at Vienna when this communication arrives, you will express to him the entire satisfaction with which his conduct of the legation since it has fallen under the review of the present administration is regarded by the government of the United States.
I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant, WILLIAM H. SEWARD. J. LOTHROP MoTLEY, Esq., &c., &c., Vienna.
Mr. Seward to Mr. Motley.
No. 4.] DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 20, 1861. SIR: The despatch, No. 24, of your predecessor, Mr. Jones, under date of August, has been received. I send you a copy of my latest instructions to Mr. Adams and Mr. Dayton on the subject of the proposed accession to the declaration of the congress at Paris. You will learn from these papers that the negotiations for that object with the governments of Great Britain and France have been arrested, as well as the manner of suspension, and the reasons for it. You will already have discovered for yourself that this suspension of the negotiation with those two powers must operate, to a certain extent, upon the dispositions in the same respect of other European States, although it does not at all modify the views of this government. So far as such other European powers are concerned, all that remains to be said is, that acting in good faith we will cheerfully enter into convention with any State that may desire to receive our accession at this time, and that we shall not, at present, urge our proposition on those States which, for any reason of their own, may propose to await a more convenient season.