The minister of state to the representatives of her Majesty in Paris and London.
Your excellency is aware that the government of her Britannic Majesty proposed, upon the 7th of November last, that the squadrons of France and England should meet in the bay of Port Royal, belonging to Guadalupe, and that the Spanish should unite with them fifteen miles northeast of the Cape of San Antonio. Upon the 6th of the same, the Spanish government had declared that the meeting was to take place at the Havana, to which the French government acceded, but that that the news of the consent of England arrived at a later period, for which reason it was impossible to notify the captain general of Cuba of this agreement until the lieutenant general, Count of Reus, had already departed.
Owing to these facts, and the considerations alluded to, the French and English governments will be convinced that it was not in the power of her Majesty to prevent the departure of the expedition resolved upon by the captain general of the island of Cuba, on account of the impossibility of detaining it longer in the waters of Havana, and for fear of its arriving after the other two, which he considered derogatory to the honor and dignity of Spain.
The government of the Queen regrets extremely this occurrence, which, however, can in no way change the nature of the operations and the results to be expected from the presence of the allied forces on the coast of Mexico.
S. OALDERON OOLLANTES.
No. 35 is the reply of our minister in London upon these facts to the ministry of state.
It is as follows:
The minister plenipotentiary of her Majesty to the excellent Senor first secretary of State.
Spanish Legation in London, London,December 23, 1861.
Excellent Sir : The telegram which your excellency did me the honor to address me with date of 20th, upon the probable departure of the Spanish expedition for Mexico, did not reach this capital until the night of Saturday, 21st.
Having informed myself of its contents I wished to see Count Russell immediately, but I learned that he was absent and would not return from Windsor until after the funeral of the prince consort. I was not sorry for this circumstance ; on the contrary, I was glad to find myself obliged to write to him, as the communication I had. to make is of that nature which it is best to consign to writing, and therefore, without further delay, I wrote and despatched the note the copy of which is here adjoined. In it I remind him that from the first I had warned him of the possibility of that which General Serrano now announces as about to take place, and I put before him the weighty reasons which have brought this about, concluding by declaring that if our troops have occupied Vera Cruz, [Page 760]this occupation must be understood to be made in the name of the three allied nations.
The seasonableness of this communication is approved by the news received to-day from America, and which I have had the honor of transmitting to your excellency by telegraph. Upon the 29th the first division of our expeditionary forces left the Havana in the midst of the most extraordinary enthusiasm, and very soon the other two will follow it, so that by this time it is certain that they are before Vera Cruz and in possession of that city, and of the castle of San Juan de Ulloa.
God preserve your excellency many years.