No. 303.
Mr. Moran to Mr. Fish.

No. 491.]

Sir: On the 4th instant Earl Russell delivered two speeches in the House of Lords, which have attracted a good deal of attention; one touching the present aspect of political affairs on the Continent, and the other abounding in terms of condemnation of the late government for having concluded the treaty of Washington. I forward herewith reports of these speeches, taken from the Times of the 5th instant, and of the reply of Lord Derby, as well as copies of the editorial comments upon the discussion made by the editors of the leading London journals in their issues of the 5tb and 6th instant.

I also forward a copy of a letter which his lordship addressed to the editor of the Times on the 5th, inclosing an extract from Baron Hubner’s report of the alleged state of public opinion in the United States in regard to the treaty.

It is somewhat difficult to understand the real object of Lord Russell in renewing discussion on the treaty at this time. So far he does not appear to have obtained many converts to his views as to the assumed state of public opinion in the United States in regard to the settlement; but it is just possible that some newspapers friendly to him may inoculate the minds of their readers with his notions, and thus revive to some extent a feeling of dissatisfaction here in regard to the treaty which had almost died out. * * * *

I have, &c.,

[Page 506]
[Inclosure 1 in No. 491.]

Parliamentary intelligence.

[From the Times, Tuesday May 5, 1874.]

The lord chancellor took his seat on the woolsack at 5 o’clock.

* * * * * * *

the treaty of washington.

Earl Russell said he had given notice to move for any further instructions given to Her Majesty’s envoy to the United States of America, explanatory of the treaty of 1845, relating to the Oregon boundary; and also, an account of all compensations received for the injuries to person and property inflicted by Fenians from the United States upon Her Majesty’s subjects in Canada. In the Fenian raids farms were burnt, and the lives of the farmers and their families were put in danger; but when compensation was asked, the answer returned was, that the United States Government had given its representatives no instructions to answer that demand. Lord Lyons thought that the question between this country and America ought to have been allowed to rest, and that was his opinion also; but an arbitration had been entered into, and the character of England had been discredited by the treaty of Washington. At the last general election the people of England showed that to be their opinion of the treaty, and that being the case, he felt it unnecessary to move for the papers. He hoped that what was done on the making of that treaty would never be repeated. We ought to risk everything in future negotiations rather than that England should not stand on equal terms with any other country in the world, and the government of England ought at all risks to uphold her honor.

[Inclosure 2 in No. 491.]

Earl Russell and the Washington Treaty.

To the Editor of the Times:

Sir: As I appear to have been heard but very indistinctly by your reporter in the House of Lords, I wish to inform you that what I said of the negotiations on the treaty of Washington was, that in those proceedings our government “had tarnished the national honor, lowered the national character, and sacrificed the national interest.” I send you Baron Hubner’s report of the impressions of the “great public” in the United States.

Your obedient servant,


[Inclosure in 2 in No. 491.]

Extract from Baron Hubner’s report.

According to the sense of the great public the convention at Washington is, on the part of the English government, an act of deference, the acknowledgment of the superiority of the forces of the United States. England has submitted, she has capitulated; neither more nor less. If this erroneous interpretation spreads itself in the Union, and takes root in the convictions of the masses, the conciliatory dispositions which animated the British negotiators are evidently ill-understood, and the treaty, while removing existing difficulties, will have prepared men’s minds for future complications.