Mr. Sanford to Mr. Seward.

No. 424.]

Sir: The minister of foreign affairs communicated to the senate on the 15th the result of the labors of the London conference.

I enclose herewith, from the Moniteur, the communication in translation.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your most obedient servant,


Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

[Page 633]

Communication from the government.

M. Rogier, Minister of Foreign Affairs:

The Senate knows the circumstances which lead to the Luxembourg question. This incident threatened to cause a violent conflict, when the great powers not directly engaged in the difficulty succeeded, thanks to the sentiments of moderation of the states most directly interested, to bring about the meeting of a conference which should provide a new basis for the situation of the grand duchy.

Belgium, signer of the treaties of 1839, which it was proposed to modify in so far as regards Luxembourg, had naturally to be called upon to take part in the conference. And the King Grand Duke having addressed to us the same invitation that he did to the other state signers of the treaty, the government of the King hastened to transmit the necessary full powers to its representatives at London.

The independence and neutrality of Belgium being entirely out of the case, our plenipotentiary had for special instructions to join to the extent of his strength and influence in any pacific solution which should not clash with our interests and rights.

We have the satisfaction to announce, that coming together on the 7th, the conference terminated its labors on the 11th by signing a treaty which attains the desired object.

I am able to-day to make known to the senate the substance of this international act.

The Grand Duchy remains under the sovereignty of the House of Orange Nassau.

It is declared neutral state, and its neutrality is placed under the sanction of the collective guarantee of the powers signers of the treaty Belgium. Belgium as a neutral state is not a party to this stipulation. The city of Luxembourg will cease to be a fortified city.

The Prussian troops will be ordered to evacuate the place, and the King Grand Duke can only keep there the troops necessary for the public peace.

This treaty causes grave difficulties to disappear which had arisen between our two peaceful neighbors; it augments on that account the security of Belgium.

It is also, the senate will understand, not without interest for our country to have been for the first time represented in a political congress which has had this rare and good fortune to preserve to Europe the benefits of peace, that greatest benefit to nations. By the terms of Art. 68 of the Constitution, the government of the King will submit to the chambers the text of the treaty immediately after the exchange of ratification, for which a delay of a week has been agreed upon.