Mr. Corwin to Mr. Seward.
Sir: Yesterday I received your despatch No. 37. The first of the two conditions upon which a loan may be made, as set forth in your despatch, I have reason to fear will be very difficult of arrangement.
I have understood that both France and England have declined to accept our proffered guarantee, alleging as a reason that they deem it improper to complicate their Mexican affairs with those of any other government. Acting on this state of fact, the Mexican government proposed to me that they could afford to part with enough of their revenue to secure the interest on their foreign debt, provided when this was done they could be sure of the aid of our credit to them of a given sum, to be paid in such payments as the exigencies of their government might require. With a view to comply with their request, and at the same time to get rid of intervention by the allies, I so arranged the treaty (a copy of which I sent to the department) that the whole amount to be loaned should be paid to Mexico at such times and in such amounts as to avoid the probability of a bad use being made of these funds. The payments would have been so small that the actual and proper necessities of the government would absorb them. But I shall await the action of the Senate before I agree to any proposition that may be submitted to me.
As you will have seen a preliminary treaty has been made, a copy of the articles is herewith enclosed. I have the strongest assurances that the English and Spanish commissioners are determined to “adhere to the text of the triple treaty,” and the copy of the preliminary arrangement seems to give proof of the sincerity of this declaration. But while I rely strongly on these assurances, coupled with the acts of the commissioners to which I refer, I cannot understand how these friendly acts consist with the sending of 6,000 additional troops here after the Emperor has been, or might have been, fully informed of all that has been done or said here. It is possibly capable of explanation upon the supposition that a better treaty for France may be made in the presence of these troops than could be obtained in their absence.
Thus far not a hostile gun has been fired ; and the troops now here are quartered in healthy positions, and are said to be the guests of Mexico. Negotiations are to open at Orizaba on the fifteenth of April. It will be easy to know the ultimate end of this enterprise when the propositions of the allies, in detail, are submitted. It is not improbable that the recent northern victories may have some influence in mitigating the rigorous demands of Spain, and perhaps of France also. I speak from a very careful investigation made by myself, when I say that the money demands of England are in the main, if not altogether, just. I am not surprised that her patience is exhausted. Those of France are comparatively small, very small, so far as they arise out of previous treaties; and those dependant on claims of more recent date, and not included in former treaties, are, as presented, so enormously unjust as to be totally inadmissable as to the amounts claimed. The treaty with Spain made by General Almonte is said to be an outrageous fraud, but I know nothing of the facts except from report—too vague to be relied on All these are now to undergo a scrutiny, which I hope may end in a reasonably just arrangement.
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I shall write more fully by the courier, via Vera Cruz, who leaves on the 25th instant.
I am your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State of the United States, Washington, D. C.[Page 731]