Earl Granville to Mr. Lowell.
Sir: In compliance with the request contained in your letter of the 8th instant, I have now the honor to forward a copy of the warrant under which Mr. Joseph B. Walsh, who is said to be a naturalized citizen of the United States, was arrested at Castlebar, County Mayo, Ireland, on the 8th March last.
Her Majesty’s Government have also had under their consideration the application made by you on the 10th instant, requesting to be furnished with particulars of the charge under which Mr. Daniel Sweeney, or McSweeney, an American citizen, had been arrested on the 2d June, and lodged in Dundalk jail.
In the first place, I beg leave to assure you that Her Majesty’s Government are very sensible of the friendly feeling toward this country, and of the appreciation shown by the President of the United States with regard to the difficulties presented by the abnormal condition of affairs at this moment in a portion of the United Kingdom.
It will not, I trust, be necessary to enter at great length upon the reasons which, in the opinion of Her Majesty’s Government, prevent them from recognizing any distinction between the liability of foreigners and British subjects in respect of unlawful acts committed within the limits of British jurisdiction, or from admitting any claim to exemption on behalf of any person, whether alien or citizen, from the operation of the laws which equally affect all persons residing in the dominions and under the protection of the Crown.
It will, it is hoped, suffice to refer to the dispatch written on the 18th December, 1848 (see British and Foreign State Papers, vol. xlvii, p. 1242), to Mr. Bancroft by Mr. Buchanan, where he admits that the application Of the law suspending the writ of habeas corpus (11 and 12 Vict., cap. 35) was one to which his government might have “submitted in silence” if it “had been carried into execution in the same impartial manner against the citizens and subjects of all foreign nations.”
On the present occasion Her Majesty’s Government have no reason to believe that there is ground to suppose that American citizens have met with exceptional treatment.
I have, &c.,