No. 19.
General Schenck to Mr. Fish.

No. 210.]

Sir: At this moment it appears too probable that the Government here will * * * * * * * take such a course as will put an end to the Arbitration at Geneva and to the Treaty.

[Page 477]

I will not now attempt to explain or comment on the situation. The development and the events of the last few days you will have gathered from my telegraphic communications, and from the reports of proceedings in Parliament, and articles from the London journals, which I continue to send you.

If there is to be a disastrous termination of all our work, from which we had hoped so much of good for the two countries and for the world, the obstinate refusal of the British Government and people to go on with a solemn and high engagement that, without any sacrifice of their dignity and interests, might have been conducted to a conclusion which would have blotted away all serious causes of disagreement between them and us, will be not a little owing to the course of some of our own citizens.

The difficulties have been wonderfully increased of late, and Great Britain encouraged in her position by the tone of some of the American journals, by inconsiderate declarations of some public men, and by much writing, telegraphing, and conversation, not wise and thoughtful, though generally, perhaps, not mischievously intended. This has led at last to a common conviction here that the best and most influential men of the United States desire to have our Government recede from its position.

I await still your communication in reply to Lord Granville’s note of the 20th ultimo. I hope, also, with that, or sooner by telegraph, to receive instructions from you, which may direct and help me in any contingency likely to occur. I shall doubtless have much to report and bring to your consideration now very soon. In the mean time, I will not fail to keep my mind anxiously directed to any and every expedient by which the Treaty may possibly be preserved, although our interest in maintaining and executing its provisions is certainly not greater than the need of this nation, which does not seem to me to fully weigh and appreciate the unhappy consequences to flow from its repudiation.

I have, &c.,